Everyone have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend. The only thing I ask is to remember why we have it.

This Week in PM Blogging:

A Penny Earned is a Penny Spent

Wait, what? The sky won’t fall if we raise the minimum wage? It will actually help create jobs? A new report puts down the right-wing arguments that claim when low-income workers make more money the economy goes to hell. Turns out that argument isn’t even worth $7.40.

If I had $1,000,000

Who wouldn’t love to be a millionaire? We’re taught from a young age that if we work hard and get an education, we can be anything we want to be, including a millionaire! But if you really want to rake in the big bucks, you’re better off just being a crony to our governor.

Minimum wage, minimum logic

The House Government Oversight Committee meeting on SB934, Sen. Randy Richardville’s attempt to undermine the Raise Michigan Coalition, turned into a circus of ironic statements, irrational policy positions and flat out buffoonery from the corporate lobbyists.

The Land of Potholes

Next time you hit a pothole, you really should thank Terri Lynn Land. Land is out talking about how she’ll make Washington work for Michigan, but she ignores the fact that while she was Secretary of State, she worked against giving you a smooth commute to work.

TWIP Clips:

Did he really just say that?

As it was mentioned in the “Minimum wage, minimum logic” blog posted above, I was at the House committee meeting where they were discussing the minimum wage debate.

The most shocking thing I heard that day came from some representative with the Small Business Association of Michigan. I thought I was at CPAC when I heard it come out of his mouth because it was that crazy.

He said SBAM, which represents over 23,000 businesses, doesn’t believe there should be ANY minimum wage at all.

I couldn’t believe it. And here’s another thing I can’t believe: I can’t believe that the businesses they represent feel that way in the slightest.

Sure, there might be a small handful of free market wing nuts who belong to SBAM and would love to pay their employees $1 an hour — or nothing at all.

But how can anyone say there should be no minimum wage at all? If they want to go with that line of thinking then we should get rid of all workplace safety laws and we should let children work in factories. Let’s let the free market decide how we keep workers safe, how old they have to be and how much they get paid.

Sure, let’s return to the industrial revolution. Let’s have more warehouse fires, workplace accidents and even MORE poverty-level wages. While we’re at it, indentured servitude was pretty cool, let’s get some more of that.

Yeah, right…

Take note: These are the lobbyists our conservative lawmakers listen to. If that doesn’t scare you, perhaps nothing will.

Oil vey!

This week, 800 gallons of motor oil and hydraulic fluid spilled into the city of Jackson storm sewer system and some made its way into the Grand River.

This is a perfect example of what can happen when we fail to make adequate investments in local stormwater infrastructure.

During the past 10 years, there has been a $27 million decrease in investment in the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s (MDEQ) general fund appropriations. The MDEQ is the program responsible for managing and protecting our natural resources, which is pretty important considering that Michigan is home to one-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water.

Cuts to the MDEQ budget mean that communities like Jackson can’t make needed investments in infrastructure projects to control storm water runoff.

Just last month Lt. Governor Brian Calley signed legislation giving more tax breaks to corporate oil – the very companies that pollute our water while making record profits.

Conservatives love to tout the “Pure Michigan” brand for the economic benefits it brings to our state, yet they’d rather provide tax giveaways to big polluters than make investments in the program designed to make sure that “Pure Michigan” is more than just a slogan.  

Progressive Reads:

Road fix: General Fund well could run dry

Michigan’s fracking bonanza challenges state regulators

How right-wingers are amping up their war on science

Muskegon Heights education advocates submit a “Citizens’ RFP” to reclaim their schools from for-profit corporations

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