Now that The Dems have taken the tiller in Congress the goodies are being dispensed. From Maine to The Maldive Islands minimum wage workers will soon see their incomes soar from $5.15 hour to $7.25. Their fryolaters overfloweth.
Everywhere except American Samoa, that is.
Amercan Samoa is a U.S. protectorate popularly known as the source of thyroidal sports freaks and mountainous movie henchmen, but it has another export: Starkist Tuna. Fully two-thirds of the Island’s industry is devoted to canning the delectable ocean dwellers, most of whom are paid a piddling top rate of $3.30 an hour.
What’s that you say? $3.30? Isn’t the minimum wage $5.15? Why thats….let’s see…carry the 5…where’s that calculator…
That’s a LOT less! What gives?
Well, apparently American Samoa is exempt from federal minimum wage laws. Wages on the island are set by a “Panel of Industry Leaders” (whatever that means – it conjures images of heavily tattoed, shriveled old naked men hunkered in parley around a smoking bonfire eating warm monkey brains and grunting, but it’s probably really done in a board room by dudes in suits, which is not an improvement). They decide what to pay the natives to keep them from getting restless.
Ok, granted – three bucks an hour and change is probably a fortune on an island where you could once buy an entire village for a half dozen cowrie shells and a twelve-pack of warm Bud. A meteoric rise in wages would most likely set off a massive wave of economic disruption. The industry there is already collapsing due to competition in Asia, more than doubling the wages would most likely kill it off and then it would be back to the jungle for everybody. But still, what makes THEM exempt?
Gee, could it have something to do with the fact that the parent company of Starkist Tuna, Delmonte, is headquartered in Speaker Pelosi’s district in San Francisco?
How come the “Economic Disruption” argument is a no-sell in every other part of the USA and territories, but it’s just hunky-dory in Samoa? The Beast imagines a similar situation exists in many other economically tottery tropical pestholes over whom the USA reigns benificently, like The Maldives, The Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico…um…that island in the TV Series “Lost”…did I say The Maldives already? What about them?
Guess they’ll just have to take their chances – they can’t all live under the cover of “The Great White Mother In Washington” can they?
As regular reader Yucca notes in the comments section, Heinz has sold off a 20% chunk of it’s non-ketchup buisnesses to Delmonte order “to focus on its fast-growing ketchup business”.