Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The #136: Marsh vs. Owen on Minimum Wage

Republican Rep. B.J. Marsh (#136) said if forced to, he could not live on Missouri's current minimum wage, but added that he still does not know how he will vote on a ballot initiative on the issue this November.

Marsh said he has "mixed feelings" about a proposed ballot initiative to raise the state's minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.50 an hour. "I know I couldn't live on it. That being said, I'm not saying I'm for it or against it," Marsh told me in a recent interview. "It's certainly difficult to raise a family on it right now," he said.

When I asked if his constituents deserve to know how he will ultimately vote on the issue, Marsh replied, "I don't tell anyone how I vote."

"I don't tell anyone how I'm going to vote before I cast a vote in the legislature, that's just how I am," Marsh added.

Democratic challenger in the #136, James Owen, said he will vote to raise the minimum wage.

"It will raise the standard of living, produce jobs and attract a stronger, more professional workforce," Owen said.

Opponents of the minimum wage increase have said the cost of the hike would fall on small businesses, and could force some of them to leave the state or shut down altogether.

"I don't believe that," Owen replied, when I put that argument to him. "I believe it will improve the jobs we already have."

Why should the government have anything to do with setting workers wages?

"That's like saying we shouldn't have government people inspecting meat. We need to have the free market be as effective as possible, but it also needs to be fair. Everything else is going up with inflation," Owen said.

In his nightly door-to-door travels, Owen said he has met countless people in the #136 district who depend on the minimum wage.

"A lot of people are on it, and they are not just in college or high school. They are older people, raising families. Maybe they don't have time to train for a higher wage or promotion. I don't think those people should be punished," Owen said.

So far, Owen estimates he has talked to around 3,500 people in the district. He said while people are split, "basically 50-50 on stem cells," he has not met one person against the minimum wage.


Unknown said...


Thank you highlighting this race. I am in this distinct. It might surprise Mr. Owens that I am dead against raising the minimum wage. I would love to have him come to my door and I would be glad to discuss it with him. I think Mr. Marsh is trying to hide his support or opposition to this popular issue. I would be interested in hearing their opinions on the MAWD cuts.

Thanks again.

Rev Chris M Fluharty said...

Mr. Owens I believe is exaggerating on this one. I have a hard time believeing that a lot of people in the 136th are living on minimum wage when the 137th is a much poorer district and those who do work make more then minimum. Even McDonald's starts over 6.00. The market will dictate the wages, as will the earner. If the worker is not worth his wage then he shouldn't be paid that. To have the governemnt force a business to pay a certain wage is wrong. If you want that move to Cuba or Russia.

The Libertarian Guy said...

Any government that can impose a MINIMUM wage, could conceivably impose a MAXIMUM wage. Do we really want that?

Anonymous said...

I too live in the 136th and have never had much to say bad about Mr. Marsh, until now. I do not like, at all, his vacillating on how he would vote on particular issues. Certainly, everyone has his/her right to a secret ballot, but as a State Representative, he must be naive to think that he gives up just a bit of such privacy, to his constituents at the very least.

With that said, I'm far from sold on Mr. Owen. I smell more than a whiff of political opportunism combined with Jovan Musk for Men.

Rev Chris M Fluharty said...

It worked just fine for many years. If we were to remove all the government handouts businesses would collapse and the market would crash. The market was much more self supported in our early history. Now we are forced to bend to the government and to rely to heavily on thier handouts. You and the republicans are turing us into Russia more and more evryday. God to have the libertarian way again as it was in the start. Read some history your way is called communism

The Libertarian Guy said...


Here's about the most pudding-headed thing I've read all year:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Congress Daily reported today that the Democratic Party's ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Rangel (D) of New York, all but guaranteed tax increases in the Democratic agenda if they take back the house in November. *When approached about whether tax increases across the income spectrum would be considered, Rep. Rangel responded, "No question about it.*"

I added the *'s for emphasis on the pudding-headed portion. Read that last sentence over and over, then tell us why it's necessary to raise ANYONE'S taxes.

The Libertarian Guy said...


IMO, if our gov't attempted to deny habeus rights to American citizens, I'd be in agreement with you. But, if we're talking enemy combatants, they do not deserve such, nor do they deserve ANY Constitutional or Geneva protections. At least, that's how it SHOULD be.

But hey, we give illegal aliens too much - if they can get hold of bogus SS numbers, they can get IDs and wind up voting, gain access to welfare, and other goodies that should ONLY belong to American citizens. IMO, restricting illegals to receiving emergency-room care would go a long way to keeping them from taxing our system.

Mexico has resources and a labor force. They COULD fix their own problems, and not depend on US dollars being sent back by their ex-patriates. It's not up to us to turn Mexico into what it *can* be; it's up to its government to fix itself.

If Mexicans and other-than-Mexicans, want to come here and go through the process, that's another thing. Do it legally, don't be a burden on the system, and you'd be welcomed; sneak in, not so much.

As for being "deeply... in debt", you're right. And with a federal budget and gov't that keeps growing exponentially, it won't get any better, but even if we raised taxes on EVERYONE (which Charlie Rangel espoused as a possibility), we couldn't confiscate enough largesse to get ourselves out of the hole.

Over fifty percent of the national budget goes solely to Socialist Security and Medicare. Someday, it will be closer to 75%. God help us if it ever becomes the WHOLE budget.

Rev Chris M Fluharty said...

Tim we owe the name change to J Q Hammons. Had he not offered to build MU a new building then Chuck Grahmn would have never ended his fiilabuster. This issue was won by lobbyist not the legislature. I was working as a staffer when t passed and could not believe the whelling and dealing that took place between the lobbyist.

The Libertarian Guy said...


"we become the North American Union, courtesy of the Bush administration"

Believe me, I'm no fan of Bush, but even you have to admit it's not just HIS party that's pushing this one-world nonsense.

However, I must point out, I'm not "worried" about illegal immigrants - Mexican or "Other Than Mexican" - not the way it's been portrayed lately, anyway... the conventional wisdom we've been fed lately is "if you're against people sneaking in over the borders, you're a racist or a xenophobe or just downright hateful of brown people", and I think it's disgraceful and disingenuous to distill it in such a fashion.

All I'm saying is, why bother having an immigration process, or an American citizenship process, if we just let people sneak in? Why should WE be subsidizing the Mexican nation when they could be fixing their own problems? They have resources, and a labor force. Take the corrupt and inefficient Mexican government out, put in effective, pro-capitalist leadership, and let them use their own resources to solve their own dilemma?

I don't care WHO comes here, as long as they're here legally, aren't criminals, work for their own living and stay off the dole, and sign the guestbook on the way through the turnstile. Not too much to ask, really.