August 30, 2006

The Price of Morality

Baxley calls for raising state minimum wage by $1 per hour

Democratic candidate for governor Lucy Baxley said during a rally in Birmingham today that Alabama workers deserve a “moral wage,” and she urged the state to raise the minimum wage by $1 per hour.

“I will lead the charge to increase Alabama’s minimum wage, because people who put in an honest day’s work should earn enough to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads,” Baxley said.

Raising the hourly minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.15 has become a key issue of Baxley’s campaign for governor. Her campaign held a rally at union hall to support her proposal.

“It is morally unacceptable that anyone working 40 hours a week still earns $5,000 less than the federal poverty line for a family of four,” Baxley said.

Kim Chandler

If a person works 40 hours per week for 52 weeks a year, he or she will work 2,080 hours per calendar year. If that person makes minimum wage now, and is given a dollar extra for each hour worked in a year, it means his or her increase in pay for a year will be $2,080.

According to the candidate, it is morally unacceptable for any wage earner to earn $5,000 less than the poverty line for a family of four. Setting aside the argument that a single person is not the same thing as a family of four persons, and that no information is given as to exactly how many persons to which this would apply, we do find that if that minimum-wage earner does get a $1 raise, he or she would still have to earn an extra $2,920 to make up the total $5,000 "shortfall."

Therefore, it is morally acceptable for a person to earn $2,920 less than the poverty line for a family of four, but anything shy of that is just wrong. Why one sum is more moral than another is not clear, and why it would not be super-duper moral to propose erasing the $5,000 gap entirely I do not know, but I suspect it might have something to do with political affiliation.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at August 30, 2006 11:59 AM

Perhaps the candidate should advocate an income tax cut equivalent to $1/hr for those earning minimum wage. Oh wait, I forgot. The person making minimum wage isn't paying any income tax!

Posted by: BillW at August 30, 2006 12:32 PM

You! You with all your logic and all!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 30, 2006 12:53 PM

Don't you understand, either of you? Alabama is probably well below the political freeloading line. Why, I bet they only have $80 Billion annually to waste.

What the Gov wannabe is going to propose next is a Moral Tax Level for you folks. To make sure you have someplace for the lightfingered elected to dip into consonant with their needs. Perhaps a $400 Billion tax increase will allow Alabamian politicians to keep a gold-plated roof over their heads and put extremely expensive food on their plates.

Posted by: skinnydan at August 30, 2006 01:03 PM

Say, you sure you're not from around here!?

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 30, 2006 02:30 PM

As I've told you before, "Yeah, I'm from da South. South Brooklyn."

Oh, and if you missed it - we have a few politicians around here too.

Posted by: skinnydan at August 31, 2006 09:26 AM

Would you like some more? We have plenty of spares.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 31, 2006 09:33 AM

Let's talk trade instead of a one-way deal, shall we?

Posted by: skinnydan at August 31, 2006 11:18 PM

I got a better idea--let's send our surplus to Canada.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at September 1, 2006 08:14 AM