Saturday, February 10, 2007

Which president’s signatures are on the $4, $5, $6, $7, $8 and $9/hour minimum wage bills?:

Which president’s signatures are on the $4, $5, $6, $7, $8 and $9/hour minimum wage bills (in 2005 dollars)?:

$4 (w/o tax): FDR’s – at 25% of today's income level, per capita.

$5: Clinton’s (same as FDR's w/tax)!

$6: Bush I’s -- at 80%.

$7: Eisenhower’s -- at 40%.

$8: Nixon’s -- at 60%.

$9: LBJ’s -- at 50%.


President Nixon signed an $8/hour minimum wage bill in 1974 -- to go into effect immediately -- when average income was 60% of today's.

At that time, Nixon was also promoting his version of a national health insurance plan – an employer mandate version, more market oriented than Ted Kennedy’s competing, single-payer version -- not because of any heavy free market bent on his part; he just thought a less radical approach (for the time) would sell more easily. Had Nixon lasted out a normal second term, the only question might have been which national health insurance program was now law.

I caught Nixon on a 1992 Larry King interview: it was so refreshing to hear a national political figure state flatly that Israeli settlements in the West Bank were an unworkable mistake (now that America has traded skyscrapers for settlements, I guess time has so proven him right).

What today’s Democratic Party needs is leadership well to the left of any of its recent or current presidential aspirants – who wont hesitate speak up about their social welfare policies: more "flaming liberals" types in the progressive mold of Richard M. Nixon.

No comments: