Ted Kennedy's proposal to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 over three years, offered in the form of an amendment to the defense authorization bill, failed in the Senate last week; no surprise there, alas, though only in the U.S. Senate do you lose even when you win a majority (the measure would have needed 60 votes to pass, but garnered only 52). It was, you see, a vote against oppression: This is "a classic debate between two different philosophies,''
said Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican. "One philosophy believes in the marketplace, the competitive system and entrepreneurship. And secondly is the argument that says that government knows better, and the top down mandate works.''