The Washington Times - March 17, 2013, 06:12PM

The fact that 227 Republicans recently voted to deny an increase to the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2016 has vexed Ralph Nader plenty.

“The Republicans in the House should be ashamed of how they have abandoned the interests of their constituents and of the 30 million Americans who are making less today, inflation adjusted, than they did in 1968,” he says. “Had the minimum wage kept pace with inflation since then, it would be $10.56 instead of $7.25 today.”


The outcome has also prompted the former presidential hopeful and long time environmental activist to do some math to make his point.

“Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, made $12,400 per hour last year and his counterpart at Walmart, Mike Duke, has made $11,000 per hour,” Mr. Nader observes.

“When Republicans can cast a vote which says that those types of salaries are OK, but the lowest wage workers among us must continue to live in poverty, something is wrong. The working poor deserve a raise to at least $10.50 per hour, and they deserve it now,” he continues.

Mr. Nader, now 79, most recently protested against Walmart on the streets of Connecticut on March 9. He still appears to be an old school advocate who can lash out with the best of them.

“Polls have shown that 70 percent of likely voters support increasing the minimum wage. With their votes today, Republicans have demonstrated that they do not answer to the American people. They answer to their corporate masters,” Mr. Nader observes.

“Over the past few decades, worker productivity has doubled and all workers have received for this effort is a shrinking minimum wage that has lost nearly a third of its purchasing power. As if that weren’t enough, in the same period of time average CEO compensation has skyrocketed by over 900 percent.”