Reprinted from The Nation
The most Dickensian moment of 2015 came in November, when the Republicans who would be president gathered to debate in Milwaukee.
Inside, moderator Neil Cavuto asked billionaire Donald Trump, "As the leading presidential candidate on this stage... are you sympathetic to the protesters' cause, since a $15 wage works out to about $31,000 a year?"
"I can't be, Neil," responded Trump.
With "wages too high," the billionaire complained, "we're not going to be able to compete against the world."
Asked if he would raise the minimum wage, Donald Trump replies: "I would not do it."
Trump was simply saying, as one of the richest men in the world, that he was not ready to embrace the ancient principle that a fair day's work ought to be compensated with a fair day's pay. Like so many of his Republican compatriots, the billionaire cannot muster the generosity of spirit -- and economic common sense -- required to support modest policy changes that would extend a measure of equity to Americans who work full time but still live in poverty. For these political misers, policies that might improve the lot of the poor are not their business.