The National Rifle Association has long been the biggest boogeyman on K Street. But there's another NRA that Michele Simon at al-Jazeera thinks deserves some scorn: The National Restaurant Association, which has conducted a "campaign of duplicitous lobbying and outright deception at the expense of the public interest." This NRA has managed to hold minimum wage growth to a glacial pace, particularly at the state level, where it defeated 27 out of 29 attempts to raise wages last year—and won concessions in the other two.
The result: A $15,000 annual salary for full-time minimum-wage workers. Here are the lines the lobbyists use to "defy both democracy and common decency":
- "We represent mom-and-pops": The NRA endlessly touts individual restaurant owners, but its most influential members are the likes of McDonald's and Burger King.
- Restaurants power the economy: Well sure... restaurants and the taxpayers who pick up the slack in providing assistance for their underpaid workers. A recent study found the 10 largest restaurant chains accounted for almost 60% of public costs related to low wages.
- We can't afford higher wages: Except those same 10 chains saw a combined $7.44 billion in profits in 2012, and the McDonald's CEO makes $13.8 million a year.
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