Raising the minimum wage crumbling in an

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works with the NELP Action Fund. ) In an interview last week, the soon-to-be-named chairman of the National Retail Federation (NRF), Container Store CEO Kip Tindell, pledged to try and push the retail store trade group to change its stance against raising the minimum wage. “I’m working , frankly, to get the NRF to maybe moderate its view on that,” he told Bloomberg . “It’s unbecoming to speak out against raising the minimum wage.” If Tindell is successful, the reversal would be stunning. The National Retail Federation has called the proposal to raise the federal minimum wage an “anti-job tax ” and has repeatedly warned lawmakers that it will include all minimum wage votes in its legislative scorecard. (For those unfamiliar with Beltway lexicon, that’s lobbyist shorthand for “cross us on this and we’ll break your kneecaps”). The NRF spent $1 million on lobbying in the first three months of 2014 alone , 50% more than the same period in 2013, coinciding with the run-up to a Senate vote on the minimum wage that Republicans filibustered. The NRF has never met a wage increase proposal it didn’t detest. Changing course would be a bit like a Red Sox fan suddenly declaring undying loyalty to the New York Yankees, or Frosty the Snowman singing “Here Comes the Sun.” Tindell joins an ever-growing list of unusual suspects who have spoken out in favor of raising wages . Conservative icons Bill O’Reilly , Rick Santorum , and Phyllis Schlafly have all expressed support for a higher minimum wage . F ortune 500 companies like Gap and Ikea have independently raised wages not only as an act of social responsibility but as a way of lowering turnover and boosting employee performance. About six in ten small business owners – a group that trends Republican – favor raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 and automatically adjusting it as costs rise , and the same number believe doing so will help the economy. Wealthy investors like Nick Hanauer, Ron Unz, Eli Broad, and Rick Caruso have passionately argued for minimum wages as high as $15 as a moral and economic necessity. Actually, in many parts of the country it’s becoming harder and harder to find anyone left who actively opposes raising wages . The NRF’s powerful business group peers like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Restaurant Association have kept up the fight, but as businesses small and large peel away, you get the sense that even their hearts aren’t in it anymore . It’s hard to blame them: this year key business leaders in Seattle not only dropped their opposition to raising that city’s minimum wage but actually threw their weight behind a plan that will lift it to an unprecedented $15 . Seattle’s businesses were soon one-upped by the San Francisco business community, which agreed to let one of the country’s most liberal electorates vote on an even faster increase to $15.
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  • Fall '11
  • LynnGreenky
  • Giroux

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