“There’s a lot of peeps don’t mind believing the end is near, so long as it ain’t too near. The Apocalypse is a comfort to them. The alternative is to walk around thinking we might be able to patch things up for future peeps if we make the right changes, and who needs that noise?”
Swamp Rabbit was trying to explain the mentality of those who oppose big government projects like the Green New Deal and coronavirus pandemic relief bills. The planet will take care of itself even if we continue using fossil fuels, they say. The virus will go away on its own and all those lost jobs will magically return, even if the vaccines haven’t kicked in yet. Masks and distancing and relief money are a waste of time and a glaring example of gov’mint overreach.
“Yeah, but who really thinks like that?” I said. “You’ve got your mask-burning potato heads in Idaho and your wind turbine haters in Texas and so on, but most people are cool with clean energy and social distancing and extended unemployment benefits. Two-thirds of the country supports boosting the minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour, which is still about ten dollars short of a genuine living wage. What kind of jerk would not support a fifteen-dollar minimum?”
“Small business owners,” Swamp Rabbit said. But he changed his mind when I showed him evidence that the negative effect of a minimum-wage increase on small businesses has been exaggerated by Republican politicians and the billionaires who own them.
Then he said, “The Republican senators ain’t on board. Neither are Joe Manchin and them seven other DINOs who voted against it.”
I informed him that at least seven of those eight Dems were millionaires and wondered if they might form a club with the Republican millionaires. Big money trumps party affiliation most of the time.
“All’s I know is the Dems got two years to win over some of them suckers who voted for Trump,” Swamp Rabbit said. “If they don’t, they might lose the Senate and the House. And they ain’t gonna win ’em over by punking out on the minimum wage increase.”
Update: Swamp Rabbit reminded me to cheer the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill, a big step in the right direction for the Democratic Party despite the exclusion of the $15 minimum wage provision. Not a single Republican in the House or Senate voted for the relief bill. But they all voted for the $2 trillion tax cut for the rich a few years ago.