- Small businesses understand very well that workers are also consumers. If there’s not enough money in the wage base of the economy of the people they are hoping will come in and buy their goods and services, they feel that every day.
- So they believe very strongly that the workers should earn enough so that they can focus on the business, on the customer, and not be constantly worried about just how are they going to make ends meet, how are they going to make the rent and so on.
Janine Jackson, CounterSpin / FAIR
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Holly Sklar: “Small businesses understand very well that workers are also consumers.” (image: BillMoyers.com)
Janine Jackson: Whether the federal minimum wage should be raised was the first question of the recent Republican presidential candidates’ debate. Unsurprisingly, the responses ranged from no to hell no, but given a media environment in which some pundits claim that there is no wage too low to pay someone, it’s significant that the question even came up.
When you think of the fight to raise the minimum wage, you might think of fast food workers who’ve been at the forefront of the Fight for $15 movement that’s put a higher wage on the agenda in places like Seattle and Los Angeles and here in New York. You don’t, most likely, think of business owners, as media’s standard presentation often pits business owners, with their eyes supposedly on profits, against workers looking to earn enough to live on.
Janine Jackson is FAIR’s program director and and producer/host of FAIR’s syndicated radio show CounterSpin. She contributes frequently to FAIR’s newsletter Extra!, and co-edited The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the ’90s (Westview Press).
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