Nancy Boyda debated Lynn Jenkins. Boyda is the first-term Congresswoman who beat Jim Ryun last year. Jenkins is the Kansas state treasurer, and a former state legislator:
One of their sharpest exchanges occurred when answering a question about the federal minimum wage. Last year, Congress approved increasing the wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour by next year. …
Boyda noted that she had supported the increase in the minimum wage and told Jenkins, “There was no clear answer on what you felt about the minimum wage.”
The congresswoman then suggested that Jenkins had been “backed into a corner” on the issue by her business supporters.
“First of all, no one backs me into a corner,” Jenkins said. “On the minimum wage, I don’t think that we need to mandate that. I’m a free-market girl. Let the free market decide.”
After the debate, Jenkins clarified her answer. Asked if she opposed the minimum wage law itself — a part of federal policy since the Great Depression — she said she was referring during the debate only to last year’s increase.
This, I must point out, is absurd. If you are a “free market girl” then it doesn’t mean you think the minimum wage should remain at $5.15/hour. It means you want it to be 0. Or that you want it to be set at a level that tracks the price of goods and services set by the free market.
If we’re going to have a minimum wage, it should be set at a level that someone can live on it. If we’re not going to have a minimum wage, we should figure out what to do with all the destitute people.