Virginia House of Delegates candidate calls for $26.80 minimum wage, $15,000 guaranteed income

On Wednesday, Matt Vespa reported at Townhall that Montigue Magruder, a Green Party candidate running for the Virginia House of Delegates, is running on a platform that advocates a $26.80 minimum wage.  Additionally, his campaign website says he wants $15,000 per year, “without condition,” paid to every Virginian.

Writing at Redstate, Brandon Morse said:

He also wants to jack up the minimum wage to $26.80, a height that even Bernie Sanders hadn’t the stones to suggest to his followers. Magruder was recently shown on video at a campaign rally promoting his proposed skyrocketing of the minimum wage to cheers from the crowd.

 “And I want everybody to take the time, after you leave here, take the time to research on all your candidates, wherever you live. Wherever you live, you got to find out who’s running for office and who’s running in your area. Who’s supporting raising the minimum wage,” said Magruder. “I, for example, support raising the minimum wage to 26 dollars and 80 cents per hour. Because we all know this ladies and gentleman, 15 dollars an hour is just a start, it’s not enough, especially here in Richmond.”

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On his site, Magruder points out on his official site that such an increase could hurt small businesses, and thus wishes only to apply this minimum wage law to businesses making more than $2 million in profit.

But there’s plenty more on Magruder’s site (Emphasis added):

  • To establish and fund paid family and medical leave for all Virginians. The paid leave act would guarantee time off for as many as 120 days a year and provide at least 75% of a worker’s average income. Every worker is eligible for paid leave for pregnancy, adoption, and foster care, as well as personal or family leave.
  • To repeal anti-labor laws and allow labor unions to fund themselves and engage in collective bargaining for the benefit of all workers.
  • To allow you to take your boss to court if they do not pay you, by enacting a private right of action in civil court.
  • To fully staff and fund the offices responsible for the protection of labor in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • To provide $15,000 per year, without condition, to every Virginian.
  • To reduce inequality, rebuild our public services, and make the rich pay their fair share, by raising the income tax on people making more than $500,000 to 12%.

Observing that the whole $15 per hour minimum wage is just a ruse, Vespa suggested: “Frankly, Republicans should ask in response to these Democratic minimum wage proposals why can’t it be $40/hour or $100/hour?”

Vespa also said that schemes like this have been tried before and haven’t worked:

We’ve seen this in Seattle, New York, and in Maryland—proposals to hike the minimum wage are good for filling political war chests, but terrible public policy. It hurts workers; it cuts their hours, and adds more overhead costs to businesses. In Seattle, even USA Today cited the University of Washington study that pretty much said it screwed over city workers, naming the three things above as detrimental factors of the phased in minimum wage hike that was passed in 2014. The paper’s position was quite clear on this stuff: tread carefully because look at what it’s done in Seattle. In New York, 1,000 restaurants decided to close their doors after Albany caught the minimum wage fever. That’s fewer job opportunities for low-skill workers. In Maryland, Montgomery County risks losing 47,000 jobs by 2022 if they decide to hike the minimum wage.

The part-time scooter mechanic and fry cook says his political inspiration came in 2010, “when he spoke in opposition to fare increases on Richmond’s public transit system. That event lead to him joining the Richmond Transit Riders Union, VA Organizing, RePHRAME, and the Industrial Workers of the World. Working with those organizations cultivated Montigue’s philosophy of everyone living a life of dignity and love from birth until death. As such, his political advocacy continues to centralize around the issues concerning ‘the least of these’ in society.”

Here’s a short video of his comments.  Notice the applause from the audience:

There’s only one problem with Magruder’s plan.  It won’t work.  Worse yet, it would end up hurting the very people he claims to support.

Sadly, there’ll be quite a few people who will no doubt support his platform, given that more and more people are signing on to the notion that the state can give everyone a guaranteed income.


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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