Minimum Wage Hypocrisy

I thought this was amazing, from an article by John Fund on the activist group ACORN.  Most of the article is about allegations of election fraud, but this caught my eye:

Founded by union organizer Wade
Rathke in 1970, Acorn boasts an annual budget of some $40 million and
operates everything from "social justice" radio stations to an
affordable-housing arm. Still run after 36 years by Mr. Rathke as
"chief organizer," it is best known for its campaigns against Wal-Mart,
and for leading initiatives in six states to raise the minimum wage....

Acorn is vulnerable to charges
it doesn't practice what it preaches. Its manual for minimum-wage
campaigns says it intends "to push for as high a wage as possible." But
it doesn't pay those wages. In 2004 Acorn won a $9.50 an hour minimum
wage in Santa Fe, N.M., for example, but pays its organizers $25,000 a
year for a required 54-hour week--$8.90 an hour. This year Acorn had
workers in Missouri sign contracts saying they would be "working up to
80 hours over seven days of work." Mr. Rathke says "We pay as much as
we can. If people can get more elsewhere, we wish them well."

In 1995 Acorn unsuccessfully sued
California to be exempt from the minimum wage, claiming that "the more
that Acorn must pay each individual outreach worker . . . the fewer
outreach workers it will be able to hire." Mr. Rathke acknowledges
higher wages can cost some jobs but that the raises for other workers
are worth it.

I am not sure this hypocrisy even requires further comment.  It is particularly hilarious that he argues that economic arguments against the minimum wage (e.g. that they reduce jobs) apply to a non-profit but not to for-profit companies.

This is also hilarious, for a group that is at the forefront of trying to unionize Wal-Mart:

One of them, Sashanti Bryant of
Detroit, Mich., was a community organizer for Acorn....Ms. Barton
alleges that when she and her co-workers asked about forming a union
they were slapped down: "We were told if you get a union, you won't
have a job." There is some history here: In 2003, the National Labor
Relations Board ordered Acorn to rehire and pay restitution to three
employees it had illegally fired for trying to organize a union.


  1. Josh:

    I suppose this begs the question of whether ACORN is actually a liberal organization that wants to promote unions and increased minimum wage, or if it's really just a capitalist organization that's using liberal sympathies to turn a profit. If you can make money by promoting values you don't believe in and don't follow yourself, is that really a bad thing (to people who also don't believe in those values)?

  2. Jesus Phreak:

    Fucking Acorn cornholes.