By Leo Gerard
Beaver County Blue via HuffPost
March 4, 2013 – The invisible hand of the market, which the GOP worships as an infallible god, is curled into a fist and is pounding America’s lowest-paid workers.
Those workers have complained about the grinding poverty level of minimum wage. Wal-Mart warehouse workers and New York fast food workers recently demonstrated. They’re fed up. Well, they would be if they could afford enough to eat. President Obama responded, asking Congress to raise the minimum wage, which was last increased to $7.25 an hour in 2009.
Republicans, the party of NO, replied to Obama’s request with a surly, "No way!" Respect the hand, they said, referring to their beloved spectral regulator of the market. Government, Republicans said, must not tell business what to do, must not "burden" business by requiring it to pay a little more. Republicans never mention the burden under which 18 million minimum wage workers struggle, working full-time for $15,080 a year, barely enough to feed, clothe and house themselves. That’s because Republicans revere non-humans — corporations and invisible hands — while denigrating and disrespecting humans who work with their hands to serve food, care for the elderly and stock shelves.
The disrespect could be heard in Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s voice as he derided 47 percent of all Americans as "takers." That huge number Romney despises includes minimum wage workers – 84 percent of whom are 20 or older — whose children receive immunizations and antibiotics through Medicaid because employers paying minimum wage virtually never provide health insurance.