Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) defended the $15 minimum wage and calls for its immediate implementation. In a recent interview, he disparaged the thousands of small businesses on the verge of bankruptcy that could not, at least today, increase their wage costs.
In Khanna’s own words, “We should not want businesses that generate low income.” It appears that his priorities are the workers, without taking into consideration that those who employ them are, to a large extent, the very companies he is condemning.
Critics argue that the logical solution would be to help those companies in this crisis that continue to hire personnel despite everything. But the option put forward by the Democrats to further hinder them and increase their costs will only lead to massive bankruptcies and an enormous increase in unemployment.
When CNN reporter Abby Phillip asked Khanna about the minimum wage, he reminded her, “Businesses, both large and small, are struggling in this pandemic economy, more than 9 million jobs have been lost in the last year, and they still aren’t back, and the problem is particularly acute in industries like retail and foodservice.”
Phillip then asked him the same question as raised by Republicans and critics of the measure: “Given the economic crisis in the United States, is now the right time to raise the minimum wage to $15?”
Khanna did not hesitate to answer, “Abby, it’s absolutely the right time to give working Americans a raise.”
He used the argument that companies like Amazon already implemented the $15 minimum wage policy without affecting their profits. Of course, he surely forgot to reflect that Amazon is a monopoly firm and one of the world’s wealthiest companies, which implies a completely different reality from most small businesses.
When Phillip challenged his argument, Khanna insisted, “Well, We don’t want low-wage businesses,” he stated.
Khanna also questioned his moderate Democratic colleagues who won’t commit to raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Congressional Democrats hope to pass Biden’s 1.9 million aid package, which includes the $15 minimum wage with the narrowest partisan margins in mid-March. But at least two moderate Democrats who would be needed for the slim 51-vote majority, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, have repeatedly stated that they would not support the $15 minimum wage provision.
Khanna declined after being asked Sunday whether he would support a scaled-back relief package as part of a concession to moderate Democrats.
“I will vote for the final package. But my question is: Why isn’t this question asked of the moderates? Why don’t they have to compromise sometimes?” responded Khanna.
It is clear that most Democrats do not intend to support the economy’s real engine: the thousands and thousands of small businesses. Interestingly, the talk of “defending the working class” ultimately leads to the death of small businesses and encourages the development of large monopolies.