Friday, January 10, 2014

Will Mr. Burns “release the hounds” on Pat Quinn? Minimum wage lingers on

My first thought to learning that Gov. Pat Quinn tried bashing all four of the major Republican candidates who want to take his post from him was to wonder if a rush of Dobermans would now come charging at him and tear his body to shreds.

BURNS: Should he be Ill. gov?
After all, Quinn issued a statement (on his campaign letterhead, not his official gubernatorial stationery) saying that the GOP candidates for governor, “have all the compassion of C. Montgomery Burns.”

I CAN’T ENVISION the “Mr. Burns” character from “The Simpsons” (a television program that has been around for nearly half my life, even though I can’t remember the last time I watched a new episode) putting up with any guff from a mere peon like Pat Quinn.

“Release the hounds!!!!!!!” Let them deal with the impudent excuse for a governor that we have.

Now I realize that Burns and his nuclear power plant that probably violates every single environmental law in existence (how else to explain the three-eyed fish of old) is a fictional character.

Although somehow, I suspect the gubernatorial candidates are going to wish they could use such a tactic against Quinn – who’s trying to make sure that the whole fiasco related to the minimum wage lingers around for awhile.

IF IT FADES away, Quinn loses what could be his weapon that could inspire voters to think that they approve less of the Republican challengers than they do him.

For the record, Quinn wants an increase in the minimum wage for Illinois to $10 – which probably would be phased in over a few years.

Candidate Bruce Rauner created a whirlwind when he suggested that the minimum wage could actually be decreased – for the benefit of businesses in Illinois. The stink he stirred up was so intense that he’s now backtracking (and also trying to claim his thoughts were distorted).

QUINN: Devoured by the hounds, or the voters?
Other candidates aren’t ridiculous enough to say something so blunt – although they’re not about to back Quinn’s suggestion that low-level labor ought to get more money. They’re more interested in the corporate vote, which sees this as an attack on their financial bottom line.

WHICH IS USUALLY key to determining what kind of financial bonus they get for their work. Non-profitable companies don’t pay out such perks.

It’s also interesting to see the “debate,” of sorts, that has arisen, as Rauner wrote a commentary on the minimum wage issue that hints at letting such salaries increase – under certain circumstances.

“By far, the best ways to raise wages are to have a booming economy with companies competing to hire workers, and have great schools and vocational training that provide skills people need to move up the economic ladder,” Rauner wrote.

While Quinn, after making his “Simpsons” allusion, said he thinks the increase is the way to start toward a booming economy, saying, “Everyday people don’t admire the extra money they earn in the bank; they spend it in the local community, creating more jobs.”

IT’S ALL TRULY a matter of just which set of voters do the candidates want to appeal to.

Rauner wants to get the votes of the bosses who run companies, while Quinn wants their employees. Although Rauner seems to think that maybe if those employees are suffering a bit, they’ll blame Quinn and vote for him instead.
SMITHERS: Would he be Lt. Gov?

In all, it’s a rhetorical exchange notable only because we don’t get all that many “Simpsons” references in an election cycle. Although I wonder if the most-offended person in all of this is Peter Jones.

He’s the Franklin Park resident who also is seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination who wasn’t even included in Quinn’s attack. Does that make him the equivalent of Burns’ sycophant “Smithers?”


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