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Jim IB Headshot

Inside Views - April 2015
Raising the minimum wage will not get people into the middle class




The annual Economic Report of the President was released a couple weeks ago and it paints a picture of an improving economy. This is good news. After nearly seven years in the doldrums, even New Jersey’s economy is finally beginning to improve.


The report also emphasizes the president’s focus on "middle-class economics." Contrary to the news that the economy is getting better the report paints a very gloomy picture of the present status of the middle class. It goes on to offer prescriptions that really miss the point.


You have to understand that first and foremost all of this is about politics. Since almost everyone considers themselves middle class, it is the class to which politicians want to appeal. Republicans have always been good at letting the rich know how abused they are and the Democrats, with more success and reason, have been good at letting the poor know how abused they are.


Left out has been all of us in the middle. We have had a great ride. Decent and rising incomes, better service largely through technology and a great cradle-to-grave welfare system in the form of public schools, college loans, Social Security and Medicare. Most in the middle class own their own home through tax-subsidized mortgages, have a relatively new car with cheap credit and have access to top quality, tax-subsidized health care. Life ain’t bad.


Read the rest of Jim's column here!