BREAKING: Hickenlooper Backs Minimum Wage Increase

THURSDAY UPDATE: Colorado Public Radio’s Rachel Estabrook reports:

In an interview with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner, the Democratic governor said he is concerned that people making minimum wage now can’t afford to live in many parts of Colorado.

“I’m not sure there’s another way to help move more people out of poverty than to raise the minimum wage… I think in this country, if you work 40 hours a week, and you work hard, you ought to be able to afford an apartment somewhere,” Hickenlooper said.


That’s the late-breaking word from Colorado Public Radio via Twitter:

We’ll update with CPR’s interview tomorrow, but we figured readers would want to give feedback as soon as the word was out. Gov. John Hickenlooper’s support for Amendment 70, as a pro-business former bar owner, is a critical boost for the campaign to increase Colorado’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020.

And it’ll be a pleasant surprise to his Democratic base.

15 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bullshit! says:

    Hick proves the naysayers wrong again. My governor! Bravo!

    • BlueCat says:

      He's always been good on a lot of issues. He just has a blind spot where Big Gas and Oil are concerned. This one is pleasantly surprising since many in the restaurant and bar biz object. On the other hand there are a few innovators who are trying to move to a model where people earn a living wage without tip dependence as in many other countries.

      In other sectors Costco and a few other companies have had great success paying their workers more instead of relying on taxpayers to make up the difference between a non-living wage and a living worker a la Walmart. It just makes sense. If you really want less government spending on "entitlements", paying workers enough to support themselves without government assistance should be a no-brainer.

      Costco has found it doesn't even cost them more because they have much less frequent and constant turn over which means less spent on training new employees up to speed. More people who've been around a while and so know WTF they're doing can be more helpful to customers.  

      There is no evidence of connection with job loss as a result of higher pay either. More people with more money to spend boosts the whole economy.  That should be a no brainer too.

      The purists who hate both Hick and Bennet are missing a lot of positives. They both support a lot of good stuff while the Rs they beat would have supported nothing but conservative voodoo. They deserve more appreciation than they get from libs..

  2. Powerful Pear says:

    There are close to 100 ads per day on Denver Craig's List for truck drivers that double the pay of what this amendment would provide. If you are an abled body adult and you don't pursue or are not motivated to provide a better life for yourself and family, and working at minimum wage, you are over paid now.

    • BlueCat says:

      Here's the deal, Pear. If people aren't paid enough to live on doing jobs society needs to be done then taxpayers make up the difference. Do you really prefer to subsidize, say, Walmart billionaires with your tax dollars so they can have the benefit (entitlement?) of living workers without paying a living wage? You really think they need to have their lifestyle heavily subsidized with welfare paid for by you and the rest of us taxpayers to the tune of billions? 

      That's awfully generous of you.  And, not to put too fine point on it, awfully stupid. 

    • Cogito says:

      This is a false comparison. First, it should not come as a surprise that Craiglist ads are not realistic.  Or should everyone working minimum wage quit to go make "thousands a week" in sales? Second, OTR drivers work far more than 40 hours a week, and if you count the fact they are living in their truck for weeks on end they essentially work an average of 20 hours a day.  Truck drivers are usually exempt from minimum wage laws, so their pay can, and too often is, be less than minimum wage when calculated as an hourly rate.   Many many "able bodied" people can't be OTR truck drivers, and we shouldn't expect everyone to be.  Being on the road for weeks at at time is not feasible for many parents, even if they have a partner to help with childraising.  Nor is it possible for anyone who has to care for an aging relative, get consistent medical treatment, etc.  

      • Powerful Pear says:

        I'm one of those evil small business person who does post on Craig's List, (yes they are real) and I do have two positions that pay over $55,000 annually. You may object to the lifestyle which is not the point of the minimum wage bill. Proponents complain about a living wage. The jobs are there today, they were there yesterday, and they will continue to be more and more in demand.

        it should not be the concern of the government to match lifestyles. 

        Those who take pride in doing a job well will never have to settle for minimum wage pay. Those who put limitations on their efforts will limit their potential. 

        • BlueCat says:

          Either way, tax payers subsidize the difference between a wage workers can't live on and a living breathing worker.

          You use the services of underpaid workers all the time when you check things out at a big box or pick up some fast food or if a loved one needs some home health care r housekeeping assistance. If you think they aren't worth paying enough to live on…. surprise. You'e paying them every penny of the difference between what the employer pays and what it costs for that person to live with your tax dollars.

          There are only two ways to change that. Pay everyone who works, even those you deem worthless, enough to pay their own way or let them die in the streets and ignore their corpses until someone comes around to clean them up as in some poor crowded third world countries.

          Or, option number three, we can keep doing what we've been doing…. subsidizing employers who pay less than a living wage via government programs paid for by everyone who makes enough to pay taxes but not enough to not pay them. 

          The only option that results in more people paying taxes, fewer taking government benefits paid for by tax payers and puts more money into the economy, creating more jobs is option one. Period. Regardless of what you deem to be worthy and worthless work. 


  3. MichaelBowman says:

    Bravo, Governor!  Any bets on how long before Dr. Fluffy shows up here and gives us a trickled on down economics dissertation?

  4. Voyageur says:

    Colorado's $12 proposal is a moderate alternative to the left's $15 drive.  Obviously, that appeals to Hickenlooper's split-the-difference soul.  

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