Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


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...


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...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Democrats aim to get workers out of their hair, off their backs and out knocking on doors for them in time for 2016 Elections by pulling "bait and switch" all across the country

NYS Minimum Wage Coalition Welcomes Reported Agreement to Raise New York’s Minimum Wage

For Immediate Release: March 18, 2013
Contact: Danny Massey, daniel@berlinrosen.com, (646) 200-5323

New York State Minimum Wage Coalition Welcomes Reported Agreement
to Raise New York’s Minimum Wage
$9.00 increase helps restore lost value of minimum wage and will boost pay for 1.5 million New Yorkers, but is $1.2 billion smaller than under Assembly bill
New York, NY – Labor, community, religious and policy groups from around the state welcomed today’s reported agreement to increase in New York’s minimum wage, which will raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $9.00 per hour over the next three years.

With the reported increase, New York joins 19 other states that have raised their minimum wages above the current federal level of $7.25 per hour.  The reported package reflected demands by Senate negotiators to slow down the pace of the increase and drop the future cost-of-living increases that the state Assembly approved two weeks ago.  However, the agreement rejected loopholes for younger workers and tipped workers that Senate negotiators had been pushing.

“Speaker Silver and Governor Cuomo deserve tremendous credit for brokering this long overdue raise.  It will mean less hardship for more than 1.5 million working New Yorkers, and begins the process of restoring the lost value of the state minimum wage,”  said Paul Sonn, Legal Co-Director of the National Employment Law Project.  “But the weaker package that the Senate demanded means New York’s neediest workers are receiving a $1.2 billion smaller raise than they would have.”

According to the Economic Policy Institute, raising New York's minimum wage to $9.00 per hour will  benefit over 1.5 million New York workers — more than one in five workers in New York . The Fiscal Policy Institute estimates that increasing New York’s minimum wage to $9.00 per hour will generate more than $1.1 billion in new economic activity, supporting the creation of 10,200 new full-time jobs as businesses expand to meet increased consumer demand.

Advocates had been pushing New York to provide for automatic annual increases to the state’s minimum wage in future years to keep pace with the rising cost of living, a key reform known as “indexing” that 10 states have already successfully implemented, and that was contained in the minimum wage increase passed by the State Assembly last week.  However, Senate Republicans and the Independent Democratic Caucus insisted on dropping indexing, and delaying the increase to $9.00 until 2016.  Under the reported agreement, New York’s minimum wage will increase to $8.00 in 2014, $8.75 in 2015, and $9.00 in $2016.  New York’s tipped wage for food service workers will continue to be 69% of the full minimum wage, meaning that it will increase to $6.21 by 2016.

“Today, New York State takes an important step towards becoming a place where hard work leads to economic opportunity, not to poverty,” said Andrew FriedmanExecutive Director of the Center for Popular Democracy.

"Raising the minimum wage not only helps 1.5 million low-wage New York workers, it also supports the creation of 10,000 badly-needed jobs throughout the state, providing a much-needed economic boost," said James Parrott, chief economist at the Fiscal Policy Institute.
When New York’s minimum wage increases to $8.00 on January 1, it will still be behind Washington State ($9.19), Oregon ($8.95), and Vermont ($8.60), all three of whose minimum wages are expected to increase on January 1st because these states are among the ten that “index” the minimum wage to adjust with inflation. Connecticut, Illinois and Nevada’s minimum wages are close behind at $8.25.  Bills to increase the minimum wage are pending in about a dozen states, including Massachusetts ($11.00), Illinois ($10.00), Maryland ($10.00), and Connecticut ($9.75).

New York’s minimum wage boost also comes one month after Congress introduced the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 by 2015 and index it to inflation. Nearly 140 House of Representative members and 28 Senators have already signed onto this legislation as co-sponsors.  [See NELP fact sheet for key background and bill information].

Raising New York’s minimum wage also won support from leading business voices across the state, including  New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Crain's New York Business – which editorialized strongly in support of raising the minimum wage, and pointed out that past predictions of slower growth or jobs moving across state lines in response to raising the minimum wage did not materialize. Hundreds of individual businesses and trade associations such as Costco, ABC Home, and the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, also supported raising New York’s minimum wage.

New York’s minimum wage increase also comes at a time when the core of the U.S. economy is steadily shifting toward low-wage work. A recent report by the National Employment Law Project found that 58 percent of all jobs created in the post-recession recovery have been low-wage occupations. The growth of low-wage jobs in the U.S. has proceeded even as America’s workers have obtained better education and more skills: According to a report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, while the share of Americans with college degrees nearly doubled over the past 30 years, the share of middle-class jobs in the U.S. actually shrunk by 2.8 percent.

The most rigorous economic research over the past 20 years shows that raising the minimum wage boosts worker pay without causing job losses – even in regions where the economy is weak or unemployment is high.  Last month, leading economists surveyed by the University of Chicago agreed by a 3-to-1 margin that the benefits of raising and indexing the minimum wage outweigh the costs.  A new study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research reviews the past two decades of research on the impact of minimum wage increases on employment and concludes that “the weight of the evidence points to little or no effect of minimum wage increases on job growth.”

The New York State Minimum Wage Coalition is a collection of labor, community, policy and religious groups pushing Albany to raise the minimum wage. It includes the National Employment Law Project, ALIGN, Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, Central New York Labor Federation (CNY), Center for Popular Democracy, Citizen Action of New York, Coalition for Economic Justice (WNY), Communications Workers of America, Community Voices Heard, Fight for Fair Economy Table (WNY), Fiscal Policy Institute; Gamaliel of New York (Upstate), Hudson Valley Community Coalition, Hunger Action Network, Latino Pastoral Action Center, Laundry Workers Center United, Long Island Jobs with Justice (Long Island), Make the Road New York(NYC), Metro Justice (Greater Rochester), Micah Institute at the New York Theological Seminary (NYC), Moms Rising, New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYC), New York Communities for Change, New York State Council of Churches, New York State Episcopal Public Policy Network, New York State Interfaith Impact, New York State Labor-Religion Coalition, Occupy Albany (Albany), Occupy Faith (NYC), Retail Action Project (NYC), Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union Local 338 (Long Island), Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (NYC), Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, Service Employees International Union Local1199, Service Employees International Union Local 200 (Upstate), Strong Economy for All, United Auto Workers, United Federation of Teachers (NYC), United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500, United NY (NYC), Uri L’Tzedek (Downstate), Worker Center of Central New York (CNY), Worker Justice Center of New York, and the Working Families Party

Fascism is raising its ugly head in the Ukraine and goose-stepping backwards in Hitler's footsteps trampling democracy.

Check out the discussion on the Ukraine and join the continued discussion next week: