Ralph Nader apparently believes that President Obama is a con man.
Nader made his feelings clear in the context of the lack of action on raising the federal minimum wage. He contends that Obama and the Democrats generally have only given lip service to boosting the national hourly wage rate.
Nader’s remarks came at a recent public appearance (see embed below) with left-wing activist Amy Goodman at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.
According to the consumer activist and former president candidate, 30 million American workers are making less than they did in 1968 when adjusted for inflation. He claimed that the current minimum wage should be $10.50 if adjusted for inflation (the way Congress adjusts its pay). Nader insisted that the increase would stimulate the economy and is supported by 70 percent of the people including some prominent Republicans. But he chided the president for his lack of assertiveness on this issue. Obama, according to Nader, is not “barnstorming” a minimum wage increase even though he campaigned on it in 2008 and advocated for it in the 2013 State of the Union address.
Give the lack of action on the minimum wage, Nader asked rhetorically,”Has there ever been a bigger con man in the White House? This is the easiest way to alleviate suffering … [Obama] should have been sensitized as a community organizer.”
Added Nader: “The one ingredient you want when you vote for somebody, it doesn’t matter what they have here [pointing to his head] in terms of cognitive knowledge…it’s their moral courage and the fire in the belly. That’s what makes all the difference in the world.”
Ralph Nader ran for president on the Green Party ticket in 1996 and 2000 and as an independent candidate in 2004 and 2008.
Even though they are both on the left of the political spectrum, Nader has expressed strong criticism of Obama before. Last fall, Nader claimed that that when it comes to overseas military and foreign policy decisions such as drone attacks in particular, Obama is “more aggressive, more illegal worldwide” than former President George W. Bush. Nader added that Obama should be held accountable for war crimes.
The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 for hourly — i.e., so-called non-exempt — workers. State minimum wage rates vary on the state level, with Washington (the highest) at $9.19. Federal law allows states to implement hourly wage rates that are higher than the federal minimum.
Do you think that the federal minimum wage should be increased? In the alternative, even given that many employers are stingy and arbitrary when it comes to pay, do you believe that the government — rather than marketplace forces — should be involved at all in setting pay rates for employees?
[Image credit: Ragesoss]