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Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...

http://peaceandsocialjustice.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-progressive-program-for-real-change.html


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.


"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Friday, February 7, 2014

How pathetic that Minnesota's wealthy Democratic big city mayors would support keeping hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans in poverty with another poverty Minimum Wage.






Note: Discussion of each point follows this

article which was posted to the Minnesota

Democratic Farmer-Labor Party's front

groups' web site.


Mayors from across Minnesota take a stand for low wage workers, kickoff effort encouraging legislature to raise the minimum wage to at least $9.50


mayors


Minnesota mayors from the Iron Range to the Twin Cities took a bold step to support low-wage workers today by urging the state legislature to raise the minimum wage to at least $9.50 with increases for inflation.


“Minneapolis enjoyed a strong recovery from The Great Recession, but we know that many people were left behind,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “We have some of the largest gaps in the country between the haves and the have nots, and that includes a gap in wages. Our city, our state and our country need to do something to address the soaring inequity. Raising the minimum wage is crucial to ensuring that people who work for a living, can make a living.”


“We have an opportunity to act in the next few weeks here in Minnesota to provide relief for our low wage workers,” said Mayor Chris Coleman. “We must ensure wages keep pace with the basic cost of food, housing and other necessities.”


The city councils in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth are expected to pass resolutions officially endorsing measures calling on legislature to enact a minimum wage of at least a $9.50 indexed to inflation. In the run up to the legislative session, other mayors and councils are being urged to take similar actions.


“A minimum wage increase would put more money in the pockets of Greater Minnesota workers, helping expand the economy in rural Minnesota and on The Range,” said Hibbing Mayor Rick Cannata.


According to several studies released by Minnesota’s Raise the Wage Coalition, a $9.50 minimum wage would provide a raise for 357,000 Minnesotans, boosting their purchasing power by $470 million. Think tank Minnesota 2020 estimates 30,000 workers in Minneapolis would see a raise at $9.50, bringing nearly $40 million in additional purchasing power. St. Paul would see an additional $27 million in purchasing power, with 20,000 workers receiving a pay bump.


Statewide, 77 percent of people impacted by the $9.50 minimum wage are 20 and older, dispelling myths that teenagers would be the main recipient of the increase. It would also go a long way in supporting working families, boosting parental wages for 137,000 children.


A wide body of national research also disproves fears shared by some opponents that increasing the minimum wage would cause mass business closures and layoffs. A 2010 study published by Harvard’s Review of Economics and Statistics, comparing states’ border counties nationwide shows that states with higher minimum wage have no negative employment and strong positive earnings impacts in low-wage sectors.


Discussion--- my responses in bold.

"Minnesota mayors from the Iron Range to the Twin Cities took a bold step to support low-wage workers today by urging the state legislature to raise the minimum wage to at least $9.50 with increases for inflation."

This was not a "bold step." In fact, it was a very cowardly step on the part of these very wealthy mayors using their influence to encourage politicians to enforce poverty on large sections of their cities' populations.

A "bold step" would have been for these mayors to insist that the Minimum Wage becomes a real living wage by bringing the Minimum Wage in line with the actual "cost-of-living."

*********


"Minneapolis enjoyed a strong recovery from The Great Recession, but we know that many people were left behind,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “We have some of the largest gaps in the country between the haves and the have nots, and that includes a gap in wages. Our city, our state and our country need to do something to address the soaring inequity. Raising the minimum wage is crucial to ensuring that people who work for a living, can make a living.”

It is an outright lie that "Minneapolis has enjoyed a strong recovery from The Great Recession..." Minneapolis is mired in poverty wherever one looks... from the expanding homelessness to the soup kitchens to entire neighborhoods where people have been foreclosed on and evicted from the homes their entire lives were invested in to the unemployed hanging out on street corners everywhere. Minneapolis is a mess mired in despair of poverty--- only the very callous wealthy would choose to ignore the reality of Minneapolis.


**********

“We have an opportunity to act in the next few weeks here in Minnesota to provide relief for our low wage workers,” said Mayor Chris Coleman. “We must ensure wages keep pace with the basic cost of food, housing and other necessities.”

These are not merely "low wage workers;" these are workers being paid poverty wages. Why are these mayors so reluctant to use the word "poverty" in relation to wages"

How can a poverty wage ever keep pace with soaring prices for food, housing, mortgages and rents, home and auto insurance, electricity, gas, heating fuels, college tuition, health care?

What "relief" does another poverty wage provide to those who the government has already forced into poverty?


**********

“A minimum wage increase would put more money in the pockets of Greater Minnesota workers, helping expand the economy in rural Minnesota and on The Range,” said Hibbing Mayor Rick Cannata.

The reason for raising the Minimum Wage is not to prime the economic pump; Wall Street has trillions in cash to do this on its own.

The purpose of raising the Minimum Wage is to get working people out of poverty. The purpose of raising the Minimum Wage is so working class families can secure the necessities of life to provide a decent standard of living; not to further enrich the already wealthy who we all know will end up with any increases in the Minimum Wage since it is the wealthy employers paying these poverty wages who will sock away this wealth, thus leading to a further sinking of the economy no matter how much workers spend.


*********

"According to several studies released by Minnesota’s Raise the Wage Coalition, a $9.50 minimum wage would provide a raise for 357,000 Minnesotans, boosting their purchasing power by $470 million. Think tank Minnesota 2020 estimates 30,000 workers in Minneapolis would see a raise at $9.50, bringing nearly $40 million in additional purchasing power. St. Paul would see an additional $27 million in purchasing power, with 20,000 workers receiving a pay bump."

How come none of these "studies" done by these corporate and foundation-funded think-tanks never tell us what increasing the Minimum Wage to a real living wage of what Ryan Winkler, Chair of the Minnesota Select Committee on Living Wage Jobs, states a real living wage of $24.00 to $28.00 an hour would do for how many working class families?


***********

Statewide, 77 percent of people impacted by the $9.50 minimum wage are 20 and older, dispelling myths that teenagers would be the main recipient of the increase. It would also go a long way in supporting working families, boosting parental wages for 137,000 children.

Why aren't teenagers entitled to the same living wages as everyone else? Why should employers be allowed to hire teenagers so these employers can reap super-profits from the youth?

How many children would benefit from the Minimum Wage being a real living wage tied to all cost-of-living factors? Is the number so high that these "intellectuals" would be embarrassed to admit?


**********

A wide body of national research also disproves fears shared by some opponents that increasing the minimum wage would cause mass business closures and layoffs. A 2010 study published by Harvard’s Review of Economics and Statistics, comparing states’ border counties nationwide shows that states with higher minimum wage have no negative employment and strong positive earnings impacts in low-wage sectors.

Who cares what a real living wage for workers would do to business? Does business ever care about workers and their families?

For over 100 years business has reaped super-profits from paying workers poverty wages and paying these poverty wages is what has led to their fabulous wealth. The time has come for a drastic redistribution of this wealth to those who have created this wealth--- the working class.

How can poverty ever be eliminated if employers are going to be allowed and enabled by government to pay workers poverty wages.

Make no mistake... anything less than $15.00 an hour is a poverty wage.

Eliminating poverty will require:

1. A real living Minimum Wage.

2. A Basic Income Guarantee.

3. A "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity."

The starting point for any discussion about raising the Minimum Wage must begin exactly where any serious union negotiator begins a collective bargaining session and this is with the relationship between wages, hours worked, income and cost-of-living.

Perhaps all of this is too much for millionaire union "leaders" who only know how to "bargain" concessions for their own members to understand? If it is, why are they intervening on behalf of self-serving politicians to shove a poverty Minimum Wage down the throats of workers who never asked for their intervention on this issue?