The Healing Line website linked on BFMW’s site does not exist and an Internet search for Helgaleena appears to produce more “erotic fan fiction” than material goods. Calls to the Healing Line went unreturned.
The majority of BFMW’s work has focused on reframing the debate to show that minimum wage increases are supported by more than just labor unions, activists, and low-income workers.
The meeting with Perez, Keener said, helped draw attention to the silent majority that supports minimum wage increases.
“He found it helpful to hear from business owners. It’s good for him to hear that there are business owners who want to see it increased because it is opposed by a vocal minority of folks who claim to speak for all business,” he said.
Michael Saltsman, research director for the Employment Policies Institute, said the prevalence of one-man shops casts doubts on the group’s claim that it speaks for employers.
“Ridiculous antics are the stock-in-trade of wage activists, but this new list of ‘businesses’ who support a higher minimum wage clearly represents a new low,” he said. “If a business owner doesn’t have any employees, it’s tough to see how they’d appreciate the cost impact of a 40% wage hike.”
However, Keener said the group’s signatories span the spectrum of business types and are representative of the attitudes of most small business owners.
“We all know that the majority of small businesses are small, 1 or 2 people,” he said. “The reality is when you poll small business owners, a large percentage—67 percent that we polled 6 months ago—supported increasing the minimum wage”
Jacq Jones, for example, the proprietor of Sugar—“Baltimore’s Best Adult Store 7 Years in a row”—signed the Maryland petition.
Jones was unavailable to comment as she is returning from Los Angeles where she held a seminar titled, “Lick Her: How to Lick Pussy Like a Rock Star.”
Saltsman said that the majority of the signatories are not major employers and are unlikely to be widely impacted by the minimum wage increase.
“I’m not an expert in the industry, but I doubt that sex shops are the kind of growth sector where you’d expect deep expertise on the effect of a higher minimum wage,” Saltsman said.
“The economic consensus on the consequences of raising the minimum wage is crystal clear: Raising it forces businesses to scale back on job opportunities. Collecting the signatures of a few ideologically like-minded dissenters doesn’t change that.”