B²: Minimum Wage

Now that Labor Day Weekend has passed, you face two very important tasks: 1) put away your summer whites and 2) return to work.

A return to work quickly focuses our minds on the topic of the minimum wage…especially with the majority of Americans in support of raising it. (Hart Research Associates reported in January 2015 that 75% of Americans support raising the minimum wage to $12.50.) With the polling data so heavily favoring one side, it’s no surprise that the minimum wage has become a topic of conversation, especially amongst Presidential candidates.

On a tour through New Hampshire, Governor John Kasich was asked to give his perspective. The Washington Post reported that he “rebuffed the idea of raising the federal minimum wage. He told reporters that any increase in the minimum wage should be done state by state, but that it should obviously increase.”

Not too surprisingly, Hillary Clinton is happy to give her position on an issue polling in her favor. In July she stated, “I think it’s going to be important that we set a national minimum, but then we get out of the way of cities and states that believe that they can and should go higher.”

Much has been (and will continue to be) said about the minimum wage, especially as the Presidential race heats up. But what will you say if you’re asked about the minimum wage and your answer is not to raise it? Do you know how to respond so those struggling to make ends meet are considered?

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here is this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

Q: “How do you expect a single parent to support their family if they only make minimum wage? Isn’t it time to consider a living wage?”

: “The challenges a single parent faces are great, and I have no doubt it’s difficult to provide for a family when you’re only making minimum wage. There is, and should continue to be, a safety net for this reason. But we must look at the unintended consequences of raising the minimum wage <insert talking point>.”

Wherever you take the conversation next, whether you focus on how raising the minimum wage will mean less job opportunities for those looking for work, how it is likely to push people out of the workforce, or talk about the burden on businesses, you have to meet the emotion of the question before you transition to your talking points. Otherwise, you’ll sound like you don’t care about people. And if you sound like you don’t care about people, the audience will assume you care only about money…and that’s never a winning argument.

B²: Sore Loser (SCOTUS Edition)

No one likes a sore loser. Chances are, you probably fall into the “loser” camp for at least one of last week’s SCOTUS decisions.

While the decisions are often controversial – otherwise the case wouldn’t have been considered at the highest court – it rarely helps to spend the little time you have in your interview explaining the intricacies of why you think they were wrong.

Who said it best? Vote for which presidential candidate best spent his or her on-air time reacting to the SCOTUS ruling on marriage here.

Here’s a tip – leave the constitutional debate to the constitutional scholars. Complaining about a decision you can’t change will get you nowhere… fast.

So, do you know how to respond to questions about a SCOTUS decision without sounding like a sore loser?

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here is this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

Q: “What are your thoughts on the SCOTUS decision in King v. Burwell?”

: “The Court has spoken about the language in ObamaCare, but what it wasn’t there to address was the effectiveness of ObamaCare. With increasing costs and concerns across this country, we know we must <insert talking point>.”

Wherever you take the conversation next, don’t get stuck in the past. Instead, look to the future of health care. While aspects of ObamaCare may be here to stay, focus on what can be done to improve quality of health care for all Americans. You can substitute language for other major SCOTUS rulings; the point is to be respectful, to acknowledge the Court’s limits, and then move to your role in influencing and/or shaping policy.

Solutions always trump problems!