Key issues facing Democrats today

Published 7:00 am Thursday, April 10, 2014

The candidates’ signs herald the political season has begun.

Over the next three years, you will be bombarded as candidates gear up for elections covering different levels of government.

This year we deal with national mid-term elections for U.S. House of Representatives/Senate candidates and local non-partisan judicial races.  Next year, we will deal with state/county candidates.

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Then in 2016 the Presidential/U.S. Representatives at the national level and Election Commissioners locally appear on the ballot.  You will hear from Democratic, Tea Party, Republican, Reform, Constitutional, Libertarian and Independent candidates.

This is a Democratic column, so we deal with our issues only.  We don’t seek debate or arguments; leave that for social media.  This article seeks to educate everyone on issues Democrats think will move our country successfully into the 21st century global economy as the great and competitive nation it has always been.

We therefore introduce the first issue we consider important as Mississippi/US Democrats.  The minimum wage must be increased to $10.10 per hour.  Economists agree $10.10 will benefit not only the recipients but the local economies where they spend that money.  Everyone will benefit by the number of employees who will no longer depend upon “entitlements” for their existence but will take their place as so-called “tax-paying” citizens.  You will hear this will cause a loss of jobs.

Businesses are barely functioning on minimum employees now.  We don’t believe, given the amount of competition in the service industry, that employers would sacrifice quality service for the extra $2.35 an hour.

Then you will hear price will increase to compensate; but consider again the element of competition.

GAP, Target and other companies have voluntarily increased their minimum wages without increasing their prices.  The method to their “madness” is clear.  If those companies driven by greed decide to raise prices to compensate for improving the lives of their employees, then it is up to us, as informed consumers, to use our freedom shop where companies choose compassion over greed.

For the sake of time, we will preview the other issues — equal pay for equal work for women who still make $.76 to a man’s $1; support for our hospitals (that must treat uninsured citizens while absorbing the cost) by accepting the billions of federal dollars offered by our government and finally, asking our Legislature/Governor to fully fund adequate K- 12 education for the first time since the last Democratic governor.

Agnes Dalton.

Agnes is the chair of the Pearl River County Democratic Party.