While activists are staging nationwide protests to demand a hike in federal minimum wage, Republican candidates have made it resoundingly clear that they completely oppose the idea.
GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump kicked off fourth GOP debate, hosted by Fox Business Network, by suggesting that the wages are already “too high” and that he isn't sympathetic to workers demanding a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour.
“I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is. People have to go out, they have to work really hard and they have to get into that upper stratum,” Trump began. “But we can’t do this if we’re going to compete with the rest of the world. We just can’t do it.”
He believes wage hikes are part of the problem why the country is being beaten “on every front, economically, militarily” — which is consistent with Trump's running commentary on American demise, even if most Americans don’t agree with the billionaire’s beliefs on that front.
However, the real surprise came with Ben Carson’s change of tune.
The former neurosurgeon, who had a hellish week trying to prove his honesty by assuring that he hadn’t shifted his narrative over the years, also argued against raising minimum wages to $15 — despite publicly supporting the idea in the past. He now believes it would increases joblessness in the United States.
“Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases,” Carson told the moderators. “How do we allow people to ascend the ladder of opportunity rather than how do we give them everything and keep them dependent?”
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also weighed in the debate that has sparked walkouts all across America, asserting that if businesses are required to pay higher wages, they will be forced to turn towards machines to save costs.
"It’s a disaster. If you raise the minimum wage, you’re only going to make people more expensive than a machine,” Rubio lamented, discussing the decline of vocational education. “Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers.”
It is safe to say that Republican presidential hopefuls are not joining the “Fight for 15” movement.