The American Dream has been and will continue to be the opportunity for anyone, including future generations to become successful through determination and hard work. Ideals such as liberty, equality and democracy have been the foundation of this dream and it is rooted in the Declaration of Independence, which states that "all men are created equal" with the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Even the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution spells it out, to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity"
The American Dream has been a powerful beacon calling to millions for generations and its value is something that’s never had monetary value and couldn’t be measured in dollars and cents.
Last Thursday, the Rhode Island General Assembly managed to attach a price tag to the American Dream when they voted to increase Rhode Island’s minimum wage by $1.00. Of course, the ultimate goal of many of the RI Democrats is to raise the state minimum wage to $15 dollars per hour and the reasoning is that too many Rhode Islanders are struggling and the state’s poverty level is at 14%.
The bill saw RI Democrats and Republicans voting along party lines, which is a regular occurrence here in Rhode Island, and when Republicans offered suggestions as how to raise RI’s minimum wage the Democrats shot back by saying they should have introduced legislation with their suggestions before today.
I argue that they have been trying to help Rhode Islanders make ends meet long before the introduction of Thursday’s legislation. It hasn’t been in the form of legislation but rather in opposition to Democrat legislation and taxation.
The Democrats argue that businesses need to share their wealth with their employees when in reality most businesses operate with a 3% profit margin in a state that has been ranked THE WORST state to do business in. Exorbitant taxes and burdensome regulations have tied the hands of many small business owners and if anyone was paying attention to the RI 2016 elections, small business are the heart of RI’s economy. They have to be because that’s all that’s left in RI. The large companies that pay moved out of here a long time ago and many workers and jobs went with them.
We have THE WORST roads and bridges in the country and our infrastructure is a joke. While it may be an inconvenience to the average Rhode Islander, it is a deterrent to any large business that may be considering making RI their home. No company is going to want to move someplace where they cannot move their people and goods in an efficient and productive way.
Rhode Island’s cost of living is among the highest in the country. One result of living in a state with an unlivable cost of living is losing college graduates to more prosperous states with lower taxes right after graduation. Less qualified workers mean fewer companies will move here to offer jobs.
If being ranked the worst place in the country to business, insane taxes and having one of the highest costs of living in the country wasn’t enough, let’s add tolls so we can charge trucks to drive on the worst roads in the country. Being the littlest state in the Union does have its advantages because many trucks can drive right around us without missing a beat. Should anyone be surprised that the revenue from the tolls isn’t meeting projected expectations?
Forcing the few businesses that are left here in RI to increase everyone’s pay by $1will not help anyone. We’ve seen what happens in places like Seattle and New York when businesses are forced to increase what they pay their employees. Worker’s hours get reduced, some are let go and some businesses are forced to close.
We are seeing it happen in real time, yet Democrats continue to argue that when you force employers to pay more, the employees will have more to spend and that will have a ripple effect on the economy. It will benefit everyone.
Tell me, the people who no longer have a job or are now working reduced hours, where are they spending their new windfall?
If the Rhode Island Democrats were actually interested in helping the RI working class, perhaps they should loosen the noose they are continuously tightening around working Rhode Islander’s wallets.
What’s the point of raising the minimum wage of $1 when the littlest state in the Union has a $10 BILLION dollar budget? It’s the same nonsense that caused Senator Elizabeth Warren’s decline in popularity.
The question isn’t will your taxes go up but how much will you pay. Who believes this crap? If I have to pay more now or at the end of the year, I’m still paying more you moron.
The RI Democrats slapped a price tag of $1 on the American Dream and are trying to sell it to you. That’s the Democrat’s American Dream. Giving you a little while taking a lot more and blaming you for not succeeding.
Allan Giberti is the host of RI Red Radio on 990WBOB.com. You can listen to Allan live on Mondays and Tuesdays at 7pm Eastern.
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