Democratic State Treasurer Richard Moore is beginning to signal that the unofficial race to replace Mike Easley is already started. The issue he is pushing right now is an increase in the minimum wage. From the Charlotte Observer:
At a luncheon packed with bankers and businesspeople, Moore said the minimum wage is worth less than in 1997, when adjusted for inflation, and said an increase would help more than 100,000 N.C. workers.
"North Carolinians who work hard and play by the rules should be able to make ends meet," Moore told the audience at an economic forum hosted by the N.C. Bankers Association and N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry.
Moore, seen as one of the Democrats likely to vie for governor in 2008, would have no direct role in raising the minimum wage, but said he wanted to bring the idea to a pro-business crowd. The N.C. House rejected a proposal to raise the wage last year.
Typically a business crowd is not the place to suggest this idea; however, Moore makes the right arguments to this group:
Typically, businesses oppose the cost of higher wages, but Moore argued the hike would help the economy by giving consumers more money to spend. He also said companies are indirectly paying higher wages when their state taxes subsidize programs that help the working poor.
Is it too early to begin the '08 speculation? I think not. In the ring thus far for the Democrats appear to be Roy Cooper, Bev Perdue, and now Richard Moore.