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Unfinished Business
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, January 24, 2007

You recall the minor flap which emerged when it was found that American Samoa had been exempted from the House's version of the minimum wage bill? And you recall that the corporate headquarters of the DelMonte corporation just happens to reside in the district of Speaker of the House Pelosi? Oh, and that her husband happens to own a good chunk of shares in that company?

Yeah, that flap. And you also recall Pelosi's promise to fix that and ensure that American Samoa had to toe the line just like everyone else?

Well, guess what?
The Democrat-controlled Senate took up a bill yesterday that would raise the minimum wage across the United States and its territories but exempt American Samoa, where tuna canneries pay workers $3.26 an hour.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters less than two weeks ago that she would close the loophole after coming under criticism from Republicans for what they termed a "fishy favor" to StarKist Tuna. StarKist has lobbied for years against raising the minimum wage in American Samoa, and its parent, Del Monte Corp., is based in Mrs. Pelosi's San Francisco district.

"I have asked the education and labor committee as they go forward with the legislation to make sure that all of the territories have to comply with U.S. law on the minimum wage," Mrs. Pelosi said earlier this month.

The House, however, passed the minimum-wage bill with the American Samoa exemption.
Gee how did that happen? For a much more in-depth look at the shennanigans, duplicity and flip-flopping going on concerning this continued exemption, see Lance's fine post at A Second Hand Conjecture.
 
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Thanks again for some of the background on that McQ, and I am glad you linked to me or I might have waited hours to go and look at my own post and note that my formatting on some of the quotes was seriously screwed.

Yeah, I read QandO before our own site.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
"I’m shocked, shocked to find politics going on in here!"
Congressman Renault from Casa Blanca New Mexico
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Ho ho ho...Democrat corruption? Democrat lying? Democrat stupidity?

My, my, my - when you ask for a change in power you will not get a change in the way things are run. Understand that, and maybe next time you won’t feel so let down after being so gung-ho to throw GOP control over the side.

Perhaps when gas goes up .50 or more because Dems got rid of all of those alleged "tax breaks" for "big oil," that wish for Dem control will start to hurt your wallet.

Just watching and laughing at those who wanted this. I voted Republican, so DON’T BLAME ME.
 
Written By: Alexander Alt
URL: http://
Ho ho ho...Democrat corruption? Democrat lying? Democrat stupidity?
Well, yeah, but I thought they might wait a month to get settled in.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I think they were hoping that they could make all the attention on Samoa go away by making the right "all of the territories have to comply with U.S. law" noises during debate. Of course the WaT, that Moonie tool of the VRWC, threw a monkey wrench into those machinations, dinnit?
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
You know in much of the country, the minimum wage is so far below the prevailing pay scale that it will only effect the most marginal businesses adversely. The minimum wage legislation is for the most part, a minor gesture of support for the lowly paid. Many states had already had a minimunm wage higher than that that was proposed.

In American Samoa however, my bet is that it would double the prevailing wage rate and thus would have all of the bad effects that economists say it would. So lets congratulate Nancy for exempting them, rather than questioning her motives for doing something that you would rather not have her do.

Insisting that people do the right thing for the right motives is asking a bit much, don’t you think?
 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
Insisting that people do the right thing for the right motives is asking a bit much, don’t you think?
Yea buddy...., and I’m sure the people accepting bribes & kickbacks for their votes feel the same way.

So what you mean is having not studied the economic effects on other places they’ve just employed this broad brush, but because Nancy understands the peculiar situation in Samoa the broad brush shouldn’t be used in that one place. And that just may have a beneficial effect on, um, her finances or the finances of someone she’s connected to.
Yeah, I get it.

That’s an awesome argument!

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
The minimum wage legislation is for the most part, a minor gesture of support for the lowly paid. Many states had already had a minimunm wage higher than that that was proposed.
So what you’re saying is that as far as the Dems go, as long as you have the APPEARANCE of doing good, but not actually doing good, well that’s just okay, eh?


You know in much of the country, the minimum wage is so far below the prevailing pay scale that it will only effect the most marginal businesses adversely.
And it’s okay to hurt "marginal" businesses, for the children, right?
 
Written By: Come on, Please
URL: http://
You know in much of the country, the minimum wage is so far below the prevailing pay scale that it will only effect the most marginal businesses adversely.
It is quotes like this that keep me rolling back to the classic Adam Sandler/Billy Madison movie reference...

"Mr. Madison (cindyb), what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
You know in much of the country, the minimum wage is so far below the prevailing pay scale that it will only effect the most marginal businesses adversely.


Effects only the most marginal businesses, workers, and consumers adversly.
The minimum wage legislation is for the most part, a minor gesture of support for the lowly paid. Many states had already had a minimunm wage higher than that that was proposed.


Of course. Everyone with a knowledge of econ knows minimum wage laws are stupid.
In American Samoa however, my bet is that it would double the prevailing wage rate and thus would have all of the bad effects that economists say it would. So lets congratulate Nancy for exempting them, rather than questioning her motives for doing something that you would rather not have her do.
The bad effects would be easy to see. They are always there, but they would reflect obvious stupidity in Samoa.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
So what you’re saying is that as far as the Dems go, as long as you have the APPEARANCE of doing good, but not actually doing good, well that’s just okay, eh?
The appearance of doing good while doing harm: almost defines the minimum wage.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
"marginal businesses" probably describes a heck of a lot of startup businesses. I will bet that Apple computers started out as a marginal business. I know a restaurant or two that started out as marginal businesses; if you were slow to get to the bank to cash your payroll check it would bounce. Today’s marginal business could be tomorrow’s Fortune 500 business, but not if that margin gets smaller.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
OOOOH - OOOOH This is totally relevant to something I noticed a few days ago:

From this week’s Economist, I found this very interesting piece of news from Iran:

A sudden decision last year to raise the minimum wage had to be reversed when it caused job losses and strikes across the country.

First of all, did I read that correctly?

An INCREASE in the minimum wage led to STRIKES in Iran?

The job losses are predicted by classical economics, but supposedly in the US they do not really happen enough to matter. I am guessing they raised it too high in Iran.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
So, now if American Samoa gets the minimum wage, maybe they will riot and strike?
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
cindyb,
In American Samoa however, my bet is that it would double the prevailing wage rate and thus would have all of the bad effects that economists say it would. So lets congratulate Nancy for exempting them, rather than questioning her motives for doing something that you would rather not have her do.

Insisting that people do the right thing for the right motives is asking a bit much, don’t you think?
Except that there are areas where the minimum wage has had a large effect, and there are individuals who will be affected everywhere, that are not in American Samoa. Just because it is easier to see does not change that.

Furthermore, Pelosi is trying to claim now that the exemption isn’t a good thing for Samoa, but of course somehow or another hasn’t found a way to address the matter. Dishonest no? Finally she hasn’t done the right thing for the wrong reasons, she and her allies have removed the exemption which exists in the Northern Marianas and left it in place for American Samoa, so on net she has done the wrong thing.

That is covered in more detail in the post that McQ linked to, but the Democrats on this have shown themselves to be corrupt and unsympathetic to workers in some Pacific island markets. The funny thing is they have been unsympathetic to the plight of workers in both chains, it just depends on your view of the minimum wage to figure out which.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Yes guys, you are right that the democrats are stupid and vein. They are 1000 times better than the crooks, perverts, Ludites and party "yes men" that they replaced.

American Samoa is really small potatos compared to the oil lease scandal, or Haliburton, or the K street project. Do the math. Does this add up to a hundred thousand dollars a year? Compare that to any of the above. The pacific islanders can’t vote, so no one cares. I know you’d like to make this a big partisan issue but its just too small a thing. If you give them some time, I’m sure the dems are stupid enough to give you something real to complain about

States like Washington and California both have higher miniumum wage laws than the country. No measureable effects have been found because the minimum wage is lower than the prevailing wage. For the most part, startups in those states at least, are less likely to hire unskilled labor.

 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
cindyb:
No measureable effects have been found because the minimum wage is lower than the prevailing wage. For the most part, startups in those states at least, are less likely to hire unskilled labor.
The reluctance of startups - or any other employers - to hire unskilled laborers when minimum wages are mandated and arbitrarily inflated is certainly no triffling matter. It hurts both the unskilled worker who needs the job and the employer who needs but can’t affort his labor. It hurts the manufacturers, retailers, their employees and stockholders and all others who would benefit if the unemployed laborer had the job and the wages with which to buy the things he wants. The effects go on and on and just because the US economy is robust enough to take it without going belly up does not mean that the drag isn’t there.

You talk about "no measurable effects," but consider that you can’t know and can’t measure all that might have happened if government had stood aside these last many decades so that people wanting to hire and people wanting to work could mutually establish the real worth of what they had to offer and take it from there.

I know that’s oversimplified and obvious and that it makes no reference to the knife being stuck into the back of the non-voting American Samoans by the party of Pelosi, but reading the quote referenced above just made me feel like saying it all the same.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
Actually, going back over the thing, with the exemption being granted after all, the American Samoans end up not being knifed so badly after all. Presumably, now that the House doesn’t require that they nearly double fish-scalers wages, their primary employer won’t pack up the cannery and move away.

So. Great. Lucky American Samoan tuna cannery employees. Really lucky, given that concern for their welfare had nothing whatever to do with the way the bill was handled.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://

 
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