The presidential campaign seems to have been going on forever.
How long ago was it that Gloria Steinem caused a shit storm by claiming young women who are Bernie Sanders supporters were just doing it to get laid?
Then Frank Luntz, who is a minor cable personality and Republican media strategist, complained that socialism is doing so well because socialists are sexier than capitalism.
If you are a young person and you tell someone of the opposite sex that you are a socialist you are much more likely to get some action at the end of the evening. Why? Because being a socialist in 2016 among college kids is really cool. If it’s cool today, it’s going to change American politics tomorrow.
It has been a long time since I was young, so I can’t address the issue of the sexual power of socialism among young activists. But, it’s all good as far as I’m concerned.
That whole conversation was stupid, of course. But Luntz is taken seriously by many.
His firm is advising politicians and corporations how to respond to demands for a $15 minimum wage and the movement for guaranteed sick days for low paid workers.
A 2015 Chicago referendum supported guaranteed sick days. A Chicago city task force just recommended a statutory five sick days a year.
Luntz’ recommendation to those corporations that are concerned about public sympathy for the needs of working people: Change the subject.
Public support for a higher minimum wage is spiking. Spurred by the Fight for 15 protest movement, New York and California just announced plans to raise their rates to 15 an hour. But Merrit suggests that business leaders can keep wages low by “not talking about” the issue and instead focusing the political conversation on “creating more jobs.”
Both the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce oppose the recommendations.
“Businesses are at a tipping point and these proposals will only exacerbate the problems facing employees looking for more hours and higher wages,” said Rob Karr, president and CEO of the merchants association. “We cannot provide the jobs, pay the wages and invest in local communities while City Hall layers on one cost after another and chases sales out of the city. These policies will not result in more jobs being created or higher wages — just the opposite. City Hall needs to remember that the overwhelming majority of Chicago’s business owners are working families too.”
Changing the subject.