Twitter: @SteveAhlquist

Steve Ahlquist is an award-winning journalist, writer, artist and founding member of the Humanists of Rhode Island, a non-profit group dedicated to reason, compassion, optimism, courage and action. The views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of any organization of which he is a member.

His photos and video are usable under the Creative Commons license. Free to share with credit.

"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” - Elie Weisel

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu

"There comes a time when neutrality and laying low become dishonorable. If you’re not in revolt, you’re in cahoots. When this period and your name are mentioned, decades hence, your grandkids will look away in shame." - David Brooks

5 responses to “The anti-minimum wage lobby in Rhode Island”

  1. cailin rua

    So the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce is integrally involved in this effort? The same Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce who Abel Collins insists is so “much different” than the National Chamber of Commerce which put what was it? $50,000,000.00 into the effort to keep a public option from becoming a reality during the dickering over the Affordable Care Act ???

    I followed the DAPL/Citizens thread. One of the commenters, another Sierra Club rep, makes the case that Governor Raimondo shouldn’t have caved on Citizens blackmail re: their new Johnston relocation plans but should cave on Donald Trump’s plans to try to play around with R I’s federal funding, using the othered as ransom. I can’t help but notice that on their “about page” the GPCofC lists the Bank of America R I President as their chairman of the board. Maybe the Sierra Club would have preferred Citizens move to Charlottesville? I just don’t know. And, so it goes in Progressiveworld,

    Why am I losing my religion, one might wonder. It seems to me John Taunton’s shadow still looms large, and larger and larger.

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    1. cailin rua

      Tanton, of course, former Sierra Club chairman, not “Taunton”. The subject is somewhat unrelated to minimum wage battles but Nafeez Ahmed writes about Tanton, Larry Summers, Citigroup, Hillary Clinton supporting Henry Kissinger, a “mad dog” general, and a general who a “Progressive Democrat” asserts provides us with ” . . . great thing for Rhode Island . . .” here:

      Nice, nice, very nice, so many people caught in the same device. The two sided coin w/ Henry’s head on one side and his tail on the other, minted at one of the Rockefeller foundries. So interesting to know both Bob Whitcomb and Rex Tillerson are such great environmentalists who both support a carbon tax.

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  2. salgal

    I propose lobbyists and their clients be coerced to participate in a one week experiment. Each will be given one weeks pay at the prevailing minimum wage. They must find a place to live, feed themselves, pay for gas or other transportation costs, and buy anything they can’t carry in one suitcase for one week.

    They will wear ankle “bracelets” that will notify all media outlets and community based advocacy groups working to raise the minimum wage if they attempt to use a credit/debit or gift card. The State Police will arrest them if they attempt to enter their homes. The State Police will also stand guard at whatever lodging they have secured to ensure if anyone visits, they are not allowed to bring anything whatsoever to the participant. Video cameras inside the lodging will ensure that no money in any form is provided to the participant.

    They cannot arrange for any services to be paid at a later date. CASH AND CARRY ONLY.

    Let’s see how this goes. I predict the Governor will back it because it could actually be a licensed reality cable and/or web-based show and the advertising proceeds would go directly into the general revenue fund as well as all merchandising and licensing proceeds.

    And then the big reveal will be the final episode where we learn that………..

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  3. Raising the minimum wage in Rhode Island: Why it matters

    […] said Hall, answering the questions raised by the anti-minimum wage lobbyists, we have increased the minimum wage many times over the last few years, but if you factor in […]

  4. Douglas Hall PhD

    The impact of increases in the minimum wage is one of the most studied topics in economics today. To suggest we need ‘more studies’ is ludicrous. One of the best sources for accessing this body of work is via a website called Raise the Minimum Wage. Here are their “myth-busters”. Arin Dube, at UMass Amherst, had studied the empirical effects of minimum wage increases. His work can be accessed here: The Economic Policy Institute has published numerous reports on the minimum wage (and the sub-minimum wage). And one of my favorite reports, by John Schmitt, was published by the Center on Economic and Policy Research ( This piece examines the many avenues of adjustment employers use in response to increases in the minimum wage (spoiler alert — despite what your favorite Chamber of Commerce lobbyist might have you believe, the sky is not falling).

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