All Politics Is Local – Except Birmingham

As the south and mid-western states gear up for Super Tuesday, the Alabama legislature and Governor Robert Bently voided a move by the Birmingham City Council to raise their minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

I confess, I too was busy watching the primaries and anticipating visits by campaigners, Donal Trump, Marco Rubio, and Hillary Clinton to Alabama, and Huntsville, this weekend in advance of the Super Tuesday next week. So, I wasn’t paying much attention to the Birmingham story.

Apparently, the legislature and Robert Bently fast tracked a bill blocking Birmingham’s attempt to require a minimum wage knowing it was under the subterfuge of the elections. This kind of dirty politics is different from a legitimate filibuster like the Republican block of a Supreme Court replacement.

I’ve seen the ordinances passed in other bigger cities and didn’t pay much attention simply because I figured due to their larger size it was something different than we would likely see in Alabama.

When I first saw the story about Birmingham, it didn’t seem right, somehow. Then I got to thinking about it and I have to wonder why not?

State big-wigs say it will cost jobs. But, the Birmingham city council is made up of experienced and intelligent elected officials. If anyone is concerned about the success of Birmingham business and jobs it surely is them.

In states like Alabama you all the time hear about decentralizing the federal goverment in favor of ststes rights. You would think state law-makers would extend the concept to allow cities like Birmingham to manage their own business. If the concept, which has been successful in other large cities doesn’t work well for them, then the stage will be reset soon-enough from the inevitable attrition of time and inflation. Why not?

When I first heard of the idea of local minimum wage, I thought it might not be a good idea. On the national scale, a large regional schism between economies with different costs of living and standards could lead to currency valuation and stability problems. Birmingham’s move would only serve to level that larger playing field. Why not?

Once again it would seem that stupidity, greed, and a hidden plantation agenda has thrown Alabama back into the woods of Hicksville. Hay, Bently, WHY NOT?

&Copy; 2016 – Jim Casey

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