It's not easy to offend millions of low-wage workers in only 3 minutes, but Washington state Republican Rep. Matt Manweller was up to the task yesterday.
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Here's a news flash to Republicans like Rep. Manweller: across the country, voters in red states and blue states voted to raise the increased wage in 2014. Arkansas voters said yes to a higher minimum wage. Nebraska voters said yes to a higher minimum wage. Alaska and South Dakota. The California cities of San Francisco, Oakland and Eureka, too. And earlier this month, the cities of Chicago and Louisville became the two most recent cities of the 12 who have increased the minimum wage.
It's a simple concept: no one who works full time should live in poverty. That's why Washington state progressives Rep. Jessyn Farrell, Sen. Pramila Jayapal, and others have advocated hard for a $12 minimum wage. Yet the Republicans are clinging to the outdated and disproven idea that if we help out the rich enough some of the benefits will "trickle down" to the rest of us. Manweller blames the poor for being poor while ignoring the rigged system that props up Wall Street bankers and corporate CEOs while millions of workers take on two or three jobs to make ends meet.
If they truly want to strengthen the economy and create a strong middle class, increasing the minimum wage is the right thing to do for the people of Washington. Not only does it have strong bipartisan support, but it would benefit more than half a million workers in Washington state.