September 07, 2007

Still more hypocrisy ('cause Larry Craig ain't the only one)

Radley Balko writes at Reason (my emphasis):

The workers who clean Baltimore's Camden Yards baseball stadium are planning a hunger strike to protest their $7 per hour wages. The stadium is the largest employer of the city's homeless day laborers. The kicker, though, is that the Maryland legislature recently passed a "living wage" bill, setting the minimum at $11.30 per hour. But while the bill covers any business with state contracts in the Baltimore area, the state government is exempt, and Camden is owned by the state of Maryland.

Such double standards aren't new to the living wage debate. The labor activist group ACORN is largely credited with jump-starting the national living wage movement. But ACORN itself has a notoriously shabby record when it comes to paying its own workers. In fact, not only did the group once sue the state of California to exempt itself from the very living wage it helped the state to pass, ACORN actually used free market critiques of the minimum wage in its brief (ACORN argued that if it had to pay existing workers more, it wouldn't be able to hire more workers).

As for Maryland, this would be the same state that attempted to pass legislation directed solely at Wal-Mart because of the allegedly low wages and benefits Wal-Mart pays its workers. Average starting wage at Wal-Mart: Just under $10 per hour. Average Camden clean-up worker pay: $7 per hour.

Can it get any better than this? The state of Maryland that wanted to force Wal-Mart to spend more cash on its employees' health benefits ... that passed a "living wage" bill setting said wage at $11.30 ... EXEMPTS ITSELF from these laws!! And the ACORN bit is even more rich -- they actually utilized the VERY ARGUMENT businesses use against minimum wage (or "living wage") increases, that being it'll be unable to hire more workers (and/or lay off current ones).

As they say in text lingo, "LOL!"

Posted by Hube at September 7, 2007 05:23 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Looky here, a second job for Mike Matthews! He could either clean the stadium or be paid to walk in the picket line. It's ACORN, after all.

Posted by: G Rex at September 7, 2007 05:46 PM

Just so long as you're there to wipe my brow, G.!

Posted by: Mike Matthews at September 7, 2007 09:54 PM

Mike ... wouldn't that be a 3rd job?

Posted by: me at September 8, 2007 08:58 AM

Here's an additional element of irony or hypocrisy, depending on how you want to look at it.

Posted by: soccer dad at September 10, 2007 04:47 PM