Raise Michigan, the organization responsible for successfully collecting 258,000 signatures to put raising the minimum wage in Michigan to $10.10 an hour by 2017 did their best to use democracy to bring change to the state according to the will of the people. Unfortunately, that means the Republicans had to take matters into their own hands because the last thing they want is the people getting what they want. So, to circumvent the will of the citizens of the state, they preemptively voted on a bill this week that would raise the minimum wage – except it’s less money.
State Senator Darwin Booher (R – Evart) voted in favor of raising the minimum wage in Michigan to $9.20 an hour on Thursday; not because he believes the working poor deserve to earn more, but rather to further discussion on why paying poor people so they’re less poor is a bad thing to do. According to Booher, something had to be done to stop the successful petition drive, or else the minimum wage would go up almost a dollar more. “Small businesses would have no choice but to get rid of employees.” Booher said, using a typical Republican claim that has never been substantiated. “Loss of jobs is the risk.”
In 2006 Booher voted against raising the minimum wage in Michigan, but it eventually passed and went up to the current level of $7.40 per hour. His reason for voting against it then is the same reason he voted for raising the minimum wage now. To make sure poor people don’t make rich people have to do bad things, like pay people a living wage. The Raise Michigan ballot measure would have given the people of Michigan too much power and too much money. Darwin Booher believes what all Republicans believe, that demoralizing the poor makes the poor better, and they should be grateful.