It gets harder every day to take Governor Christie seriously. His latest inflammatory comment that he is “tired of hearing about the minimum wage” further demonstrates how out of touch he is with low- and middle-income families.
He continued by saying, “I don’t think there’s a mother or father sitting around the kitchen table tonight in America saying, ‘You know, honey, if our son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, my God, all of our dreams would be realized. Is that what parents aspire to for our children?”
Shame on you Governor! Your comments are an insult to every hard working man and woman earning the minimum wage in our country. If you’re tired of hearing about the minimum wage, put your money where your mouth is, and do something about it.
The Governor’s narrow-minded comments completely miss the point of the minimum wage. For some families, the minimum wage is what puts food on the table and pays the rent. For students, the minimum wage can help to pay down college debt. For middle class families, a minimum wage job can often supplement a primary income in order to make ends meet. When workers earn more money, they spend more money, which in turn fuels our economy.
The truth is that the only people in our state that should be tired of hearing about the minimum wage are those who are earning it. Wages have not kept pace with rising costs over the years, and workers have fallen behind as a result. If we truly want to have economic mobility in our state, what we pay workers at the lowest end of the income scale is critically important.
The Governor has little ground to stand on when it comes to professing about the economy. Under his watch, New Jersey’s unemployment rate continues to remain higher than the national average. New Jersey had the second slowest job growth in the nation between August 2013 and 2014. Property taxes have increased 18 percent in the last three years due to the Governor’s cuts to rebates for the elderly and middle class. Furthermore, New Jersey poverty is at its highest level in over 50 years.
Rather than trying to bolster his national image with inflammatory minimum wage comments to the Chamber of Commerce in Washington, maybe it’s time for the Governor to take more of an interest in the economic realities of our state and the struggles of average working families.