Minimum Wage

Bernie Sanders Gets a Lesson in What a $15 Minimum Wage Would Mean

But the campaign workers complaining about their union-negotiated salaries are being hypocritical too.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) is, first and foremost, a politician. As a politician, he is responsible for setting rules that govern how other Americans must live and work.

He's got lots of ideas about that. One of his ideas—one of the more popular ones, considering that a version of it passed the House of Representatives this week—is that workers should be paid no less than $15 an hour, regardless of what agreement they and their employers might have otherwise reached.

But Sanders is also an employer.

As a presidential candidate, Sanders in charge of a national campaign operation that employs dozens of people (along with many more unpaid volunteers). But despite what Sanders believes other employers should have to do to treat their employees fairly, his campaign does not offer a $15 per hour minimum wage.

Some of his employees aren't very happy about that cognitive—and fiscal—dissonance. They intend to send a sternly worded letter to campaign manager Faiz Shakir in the coming days, The Washington Post reports. "Many field staffers are barely managing to survive financially, which is severely impacting our team's productivity and morale," says a leaked copy of the letter. It goes on to say that field workers "cannot be expected to build the largest grassroots organizing program in American history while making poverty wages."

Some background: Sanders' operation announced in March that it would be the first presidential campaign in American history to have all low-level employees represented by a union. The contract that the union signed with the campaign promises $36,000 in salary (and full health care benefits) for the lowest-level field workers. The workers now say they are earning less than $15 an hour when you calculate how much they make while toiling for 60 hours or more each week to help get Sanders elected. But they agreed to be paid a set salary rather than an hourly rate, so the criticism should be taken with more than a few grains of salt. Maybe joining the union didn't quite go the way they planned.

Still, it's telling to see how Sanders' campaign responded to the allegation that the Vermont socialist is not putting his money where his mouth is.

In a statement, Shakir stressed that Sanders' campaign "offers wages and benefits competitive with other campaigns, as is shown by the latest fundraising reports."

Exactly! If Sanders' campaign can find a sufficient number of employees willing to work for $10 an hour or $12 an hour, that's fine. No one is being coerced to work for him, and he's paying what the market for field workers allows.

Sanders the politician likes to criticize other employers for doing exactly what he's doing.

"Americans should not be subsidizing the richest family in America and Walmart workers should not be living in poverty," Sanders tweeted last month, castigating the big box retailer for not paying all workers $15 per hour. "Walmart's greed has got to end," he added.

But Sanders the employer surely knows that paying field workers $12 an hour instead of $15 per hour will allow his campaign to hire more field workers. He's not employing those people because it makes him feel good to do it, and he's not paying less than $15 per hour because he's a skinflint multi-millionaire who is too greedy to care about workers. He's employing them to help him succeed in a highly competitive arena where small margins can make a big difference.

When the problems with a government mandated minimum wage are so obvious that even a socialist's campaign can't help but acknowledge them, it should probably make you wonder if Sanders the politician is being willfully ignorant about one of his centerpiece proposals.

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  1. In a statement, Shakir stressed that Sanders’ campaign “offers wages and benefits competitive with other campaigns, as is shown by the latest fundraising reports.”

    This maps really, really well with what a lot of corporations say when they’re questioned about wages. “We provide a competitive salary and hourly pay to our employees based on current industry standards, the productivity of our employees and current applicable US law.”

    Most of these people can’t tell the difference between revenue, operating profit, net profit and cash flow. Most of them probably haven’t even heard the last term outside of Hollywood shows and movies about pushing street drugs (cash flow doesn’t mean what you probably think it means).

    1. Considering that I’m in the process of applying for funding to start a ranch, as an LLC, I understand cash flow quite well.

  2. If you can’t afford to pay your workers a living wage then you don’t deserve to be ins business…..or lead a country!

    /Ignoramus.

  3. Clearly, Sanders campaign workers deserve at least $15 per hour (shit, make it $25). And a cap on daily and weekly hours. And health and retirement benefits. And free child care and education reimbursement. Plus the campaign workforce should be a model of diversity, and hire anyone who wants a job (even if they forget to show up for work).

    I figure each fairly compensated worker will cost Bernie about $250k per year, and he will need at least double the current work force. But it will be a dramatic model of Fairness!

    1. So fair its insane!

    2. “Clearly, Sanders campaign workers deserve at least $15 per hour (shit, make it $25).”

      They deserve double pay just because they work for Bernie, so make it $50

      1. You fucking pikers. Make it a nice, three figure $100.00 per hour. It’s just money; print more up if you need it.

        1. I make six figures. 69,000.00

      2. And then, if another Dem candidate says they’ll pay $51, they’re more virtuous? Have I got the right of it there?
        Maybe in the next debate, they can do another enlightening round of that “Raise your hand if you would…” Game!
        “Who among you would pay Bernie Sanders campaign workers $50 per hour? Ah…unanimous. $60? Just leave your hands up…”

  4. I experienced a similar thing working for a left-wing activist group back in the late ’80s. They talked themselves blue in the face about the importance of living wages and raising the minimum wage and unionizing everyone, but of course we were paid only commission on whatever money we raised for the group, and if we had to work until midnight to make the quotas, well – we all need to sacrifice for the Cause, comrade.

  5. If Bernie was a truthful man, as a socialist he would equally distribute the campaign contributions among all campaign workers, right?
    And he would open all of his many houses to the homeless.
    And all the income from his book(s) would be given to various literacy projects.
    And the press would be factual and true, and unicorn farts would smell like lavender.

    1. Once the Revolution is won, my friend, once the Revolution is won.

      1. Which is the biggest piece of propaganda there is. The Revolution is violence, force, murder, poverty, want and oppression and those calling for one know it. Then it gets worse.

    2. If Bernie was a truthful man, as a socialist he would equally distribute the campaign contributions among all campaign workers, right?

      (LOL) Nope!
      If you were not so totally clueless about socialism, you just said that when a car is sold in North Korea, all the revenue is divided equally among the workers … at the dealership! … leaving NOTHING for building the car.

      Or, in this case, you ass-ume nothing for campaign expenditures … which is also FRAUD (of the contributors).

      Watching right-wingers screw up socialism is as funny as lefties screwing up capitalism! That’s the real reason God invented libertarians, He was desperate, and this seemed better than another flood.

      Time to build an ark. 🙁

      1. If you were not so totally clueless about socialism

        “Socialism” is nothing more nor less than whatever you want it to be, whether you are for it or against it.

      2. Building the car is free, but the revenue would be spread across all the auto workers. (If North Korea could build a car)
        By not leaving anything for Bernie, I am doing what is best for the country. No way to steal funds when you do not get any funds. this is how I avoid another Venezuela.
        You are not doing socialism right.

      3. Side note:
        God told us there will not be another flood.
        That is why he created the rainbow as an everlasting sign of His promise. So each and every homosexual is guilty of cultural appropriation by using rainbow colors as a flag.

        1. הַקֶּשֶׁת qeshet The bow. Genesis 9:16

          Many interpretations of that. Some predate the Hebrew and cross many civilizations.

          The physical one is important. At a certain angle 40.2 degrees a raindrop, Snells law all that, will display a spectrum of light which we all can see and learn about in school. You can do this with a simple piece of glass.

          The metaphysical one or religious is that in the Noah story the almighty puts this out as a covenant to humanity.

          When you see it in the sky it is wonderful. You see that what we perceive as light is made of components of differing wavelengths. Then we learned that photons and electromagnetic energy are even more complex.

          So too when we see each other.

        2. Homosexuals are promising not to flood the world.

      4. Folks, this is Hihn.
        Fuck off, Hihn, Fuck off and die someplace where we can’t smell you.
        Really, please make the world a better place; fuck off and die.

        1. It’s too bad he isn’t dead.

  6. To be fair, a lot of leftists favor authoritarianism to prevent themselves from being weak amoral bastards.

    1. Trumptards are LEFTISTS???

      1. Fuck off, Hihn.

      2. Agh. Hihnfection alert! He’s back, with two, two, two socks in one thread!

        1. He must have escaped from the asylum.

    2. To be fair, nearly all politicians(regardless of expressed ideology) favor authoritarianism to prevent themselves from being weak amoral bastards.

      FTFY

      1. Thanks for including Trump, who has perfected the practice, which is why he’s a total failure .. also as a deal-maker.

        1. So you’re the new troll, huh? Eh, 3/10, at least Hihn’s drug-fueled rants were entertaining.

      2. Actually the prefer authoritarianism to prevent other people from discovering they are weak amoral bastards. Can you say “Hillary Clinton”? Or better yet, “Ted Kennedy” – this is the anniversary of Chappaquidick.

        1. You forgot Trump. And Cruz. Santorum. And more.
          Left – Right = Zero

          1. Hihn, just use your name…… oh wait, you’re banned. Anyway, we always know it’s you.

            too bad you’re not dead.

          2. Fuck off and die, Hihn.

            1. You guys sure it’s Hihn? I remember him being less edgy, more unintentionally funny

  7. See, if we had a federal $15 an hour minimum wage, Sanders would be able to sue himself into paying his workers what they deserve!

  8. Oh, and here is another fun fact!

    Remember when Obama tried to raise the minimum salary to be exempt from overtime? If he had succeeded, Sanders would be paying his campaign workers time and a half for every hour worked over 40 in a week, because Obama’s minimum threshold for exemption was higher than $36,000 a year.

  9. $36,000 / 52 weeks / 60 hours = $11.53 per hour.

    So, Bernie’s field workers are the moral equivalent of all the illegals employed by Trump. And yet again, libertarians are proven correct for the past 50 years: Left – Right DOES = Zero.

    1. I see in your case you expect no vacation.

      1. VACATIONS ARE PAID. (smirk)

        1. You didn’t put in anything that indicates you shitting your diapers when you ‘smirked’.

        2. Fuck off and die, Hihn.

  10. Haha. So the king of “EVERYTHING IS SO TERRIBLE AND UNFAIR!!!!!!” Is actually terrible and unfair himself? Go figure!

    1. This is about BERNIE … not Trump.

      1. Yes it is. Haha. I’m guessing everything is about trump for you.

      2. Fuck off and die, Hihn.

  11. They intend to send a sternly worded letter to campaign manager Faiz Shakir in the coming days, The Washington Post reports.

    The sternly-worded letter is the cornerstone of national grievance.

    1. It is the .22 pistol of International Response as well. The UN has ’em fully loaded and at the ready.

      Followed by the “statement deeply deploring”, which seemingly requires a “press” of some sort to release and is obviously more powerful.

      That’s before getting to the big guns: the “condemns in no uncertain terms”, with an actual UN employee name attached (“Krim Pok Woo, vice co-chairman of the UN High Committee on Commissions and Omissions, read a resolution condemning in no uncertain terms…”), and the terrifying “will not tolerate and demands compliance with” official resolution. No sane nation would risk the latter, as it frequently also comes with the ‘no uncertain terms’ attached. It’s like a rocket launcher with a bayonet on it. A poisoned bayonet. That explodes.

  12. The workers now say they are earning less than $15 an hour when you calculate how much they make while toiling for 60 hours or more each week to help get Sanders elected.

    If Sanders-supporters had a fully functioning frontal lobe, this would be their road-to-Damascus moment.

    1. In a statement, Shakir stressed that Sanders’ campaign “offers wages and benefits competitive with other campaigns, as is shown by the latest fundraising reports.”

      If Sanders had a fully functioning frontal lobe, this would be his road-to-Damascus moment.

      1. What if they refuse to travel that road, as you have done?

        1. Fuck off and die, Hihn.

  13. “Bernie Sanders Gets a Lesson in What a $15 Minimum Wage Would Mean”

    He’d get a better lesson if the increased labor costs could put him out of business.

  14. Bernie Sanders is a steaming pile of rat shit.

  15. Based on their job responsibilities, few of these workers would be exempt from overtime requirements. They are not salaried employees, who can be made to work over 40 hours without time and a half. Accordingly, his campaign is highly likely to be violating wage and hours laws. If anyone is employed in Massachusetts, they would be entitled to treble damages plus attorneys fees. And Bernie likely would be personally responsible along with his campaign organization. Which undoubtedly is a corporation, BTW.

    1. I bet they have control over their hours and methods.

  16. Hillary made Bernie eat Obama’s cum out of her butt.

    1. Hot

  17. Perhaps his campaign workers should go out and GET A REAL JOB!

  18. As we know, this is very easy to solve. The highest paid workers on the campaign just need to give up their “stolen” money and give it to the lower paid workers. If they’re not doing it voluntarily, then Bernie just needs to force them to do it. This isn’t rocket surgery.

  19. Nice

  20. “Hog’s Apothecary in Oakland to close on Sunday”
    […]
    “Nearly six years after opening its doors in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood, Hog’s Apothecary announced on Facebook Thursday it will cease operations after this weekend.
    “It’s with an extremely heavy heart that we have to announce that Hog’s Apothecary will be closing as of this weekend with Sunday’s brunch service being the finale,” the post reads.
    […]
    He said a core reason for the closure was rising operating costs, including rising rents and minimum wage increases. The minimum wage in Oakland increased to $13.80 an hour in January.”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/food/article/Hog-s-Apothecary-in-Oakland-to-close-on-Sunday-14109021.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

    1. Now, now. Just because there *seems* to be a correlation between “rising costs” and “rising costs”, and just because the owner stated that “rising costs” was the reason for closing, doesn’t mean there’s a connection between the minimum wage increase and the shut down. You people who watch Faux News always get matters of fact like this wrong in no uncertain terms.
      /#conclusionprecedespostulate

  21. When the problems with a government mandated minimum wage are so obvious that even a socialist’s campaign can’t help but acknowledge them, it should probably make you wonder if Sanders the politician is being willfully ignorant about one of his centerpiece proposals.

    “Do as I say, not as I do.”

    1. Or some pigs are more equal than others.

  22. I’m sorry if someone already mentioned this, but I find it interesting that total compensation isn’t mentioned in the hourly wage debate. The negotiated salary or wage usually has benefit costs subtracted from the wage. The largest deductions from my paycheck are federal income tax, social security/Medicare/aid, tax deferred childcare, health insurance and then state income tax. Now my employer pays a portion of my benefits, as most do. This has to be counted as an addition to compensation. Most people making $15/hour don’t make enough to pay much toward health insurance, so my guess is that Sanders’ campaign is paying a large share of the costs in what is likely high deductible health insurance. If you add everything up, actual compensation is probably closer to $20-25/hour. Still not great, but more accurate.

  23. . . . and he’s not paying less than $15 per hour because he’s a skinflint multi-millionaire who is too greedy to care about workers.

    Oh, he absolutely is. There’s no reason to give this guy the benefit of the doubt. He’s absolutely paying as little as he can get away with in order to ‘rightsize’ his workforce – but also to ensure that as little money as possible is spent to create the workforce he needs.

    That’s *his* money being spent, after all – not yours – so it matters.

  24. Ah, the sound of jackals and hyenas jockeying for a larger share of someone else’s pound of flesh. The downside is that this has replaced music…

  25. “it should probably make you wonder if Sanders the politician is being willfully ignorant…”

    I’m not sure if it’s *willful* or not, but we can all agree on Sanders’ ignorance.

  26. Ah, the sound of jackals and hyenas jockeying for a larger share of someone else’s pound of flesh. The downside is that this has replaced music…

    https://www.down-p.com/

  27. 15 dollars federal min wage means other places of the country can become the next San Francisco faster. Imagine some place in the midwest where min wage is 9-10 dollars. Oops now it’s 15 dollars.

    Not every place in America has energy and tech companies that can sustain the state government spending fantasies. We have representational style of government for a freaking reason.

  28. Leftards gonna hypocrite.

  29. […] Boehm of Reason explores Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ recent experience with demands for a $15 […]

  30. Surely one of the worst beliefs to come along in this country is the idea that any full time job must pay what supporters euphemistically refer to as a ‘living wage’.

  31. “Many field staffers are barely managing to survive financially, which is severely impacting our team’s productivity and morale,”

    So change fricken job.

    YOU’RE WORKING FOR A KNOWN COMMUNIST AND FINANCIAL ILLITERATE.

    Zero sympathy for these bozos.

  32. […] less than $15 an hour.  So, how did Mr. Social Justice Warrior rectify the situation? They cut the number of hours their staffers could […]

  33. less than $15 an hour. So, how did Mr. Social Justice Warrior rectify the situation? They cut the number of hours their staffers could […]

    https://www.down-p.com/google-play-for-computer/

  34. […] over an hour (usually they are two-three hours), so we didn’t get any grilling about the minimum wage controversy Sanders recently […]

  35. […] tan obvios, incluso una campaña del socialista no puede hacer otra cosa más que reconocerlos,” dice Eric Boehm, “ciertamente hace que usted se ponga a pensar si Sanders, el político, está siendo […]

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