$15 an Hour Means $15 an Hour

promoted by Rosi, who is amused by things like ” lot, like-omg-millennial A LOT 

No exemptions.

In a recent Politico article shared on Facebook by a ranking member of the New Jersey State Senate, a story is told about the potential hiccups ahead for New Jersey‘s mission to redefine the minimum wage. Some of the story is typical American politics. Some of it is mind boggling, which is why I’ve come out of my self-enclosed woodwork to write again.

The Politico article suggests that Senate President Stephen Sweeney, “has previously pushed for exemptions for farm workers and teens” from the minimum wage law.

What.

In order to continue the theme, as initiated by Stephen Danley, of ‘what are democrats thinking while sabotaging progressive change?’, we must talk about this.

Phil Murphy has a lot, like-omg-millennial A LOT, of potential to transform not just New Jersey, but modern American political thought with his progressive agenda and the democratic control of the Assembly and Senate. For a super high ranking democrat to suggest that some professions and some age groups are not worth a $15 labor value… what in the world are we going to do here? Of course, hopefully this is just a previously held belief which has evolved in to something else by now. But if it is still currently a held belief, let’s break this down:

Farm workers are the hardest working people in the United States of America. It is a W. Bush-era known truth that many immigrants are the groups present in farm fields because they readily do the jobs that the overwhelming majority of Americans do not wish to do. It is back-breaking, hot AF, buggy, back-breaking, AND HOT AF. Industry and food prices be damned, farm workers deserve at least $15 an hour. That is the progressive and sanctuary society we want. Economic Justice = Civil Rights.

And teenagers- Look, I totally get the fact that many teenagers work in typical teenager jobs, like restaurants and retail. But what are we having them do? Are we having them clean the grimy grime that adults can’t reach, or don’t want to clean? Are we having them face off with angry customers who just decided that they needed to ream someone out today? Are teenagers capable of also being farm workers?! And if we exempt teens from this minimum wage, doesn’t this actually harm older workforce applicants by incentivizing industries to hire youngsters so they can pay them less? I’m pretty sure work-force discrimination laws might come in to play with this exemption…

When it comes down to it, labor should be of a value to be considered ‘livable’. New Jersey elected Phil Murphy because of many reasons, but mostly because of his resounding message of a $15 minimum wage, and legalized marijuana. To work against a world where EVERYONE is making at least 15 bucks an hour is effectively working against the progressive movement that New Jerseyans so desperately want.

 Brian K. Everett is a state-level political observer. Seldom does he contribute to the kerfuffle that is New Jersey politics, but when he does, it is because he really has something to mention, usually policy oriented. #DefendDACA

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