editor

USA Today: Give workers a raise

Excerpted from a Ralph Nader op-ed at USA Today.

The long-standing effort to raise the federal minimum wage is approaching showdown time. Opinion polls show consistent support for a raise across the political spectrum. Cities from Washington to San Jose have passed significant local increases, and more are on the way. Last week, President Obama upped the ante with a push for higher overtime pay.

Scared, the same corporate establishment who declared through the National Association of Manufactures in 1937 that the minimum wage would be “a step in the direction of communism, bolshevism, fascism and Nazism” has resorted to spewing out every broken-record argument in the book. Though the minimum wage has been increased 22 times without calamity, the broken record continues to spin. This tune is getting tedious.

Read the full op-ed at USA Today

By |March 18th, 2014|News Coverage|Comments Off|

Ralph Nader Letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner

The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

March 5, 2014

Dear Speaker Boehner,

What will it take for you to bring a raise in the minimum wage to a vote?  A recent poll shows that 80% of Americans, including 62% of Republicans, support raising the minimum wage. Seven Nobel Laureate economists explained that a moderate increase in the minimum wage would “provide a much-needed boost to the earnings of low-wage workers” while having “little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum-wage workers.” Conservatives Ron Unz, Peter Thiel and Phyllis Schlafly argue eloquently that a higher minimum wage will decrease public assistance spending. And yet, you still refuse to let “The People’s House” vote on this broadly popular, long-awaited and much-needed raise in the heavily lagging minimum wage.

Despite your lack of support for this long overdue restoration of the minimum wage to its peak purchasing power, I present the appeal of another constituency: six members of your own caucus. In July 2006, 26 Republican House members, including six current members of Congress, wrote you a letter urging you to schedule a vote on providing a “substantial increases in the minimum wage.” In the letter, they argued that the annual income of a minimum wage employee working full time — $10,700 per year — would leave a single parent with two children thousands of dollars below the federal poverty line.  They capped their argument with the strong and powerful statement: “Nobody working full time should have to live in poverty.”

Today, the poverty line for a single parent with two children is $19,790, which by 2016, adjusted for inflation, will be $20,633 per year, still thousands of dollars above the annual [...]

By |March 5th, 2014|Correspondence, Press|Comments Off|

Statement by Ralph Nader on Minimum Wage and CBO Release

The Congressional Budget Office’s report on the the effects of a minimum wage increase to $10.10 failed to reflect the modern economic consensus on minimum wage raise’s employment effects. The weight of evidence from the economics literature has found that increases in overall business costs resulting from moderate wage increases are modest and can be absorbed by slight price increases, lower employee turnover costs, and adjusting distribution of companies’ total revenues. In fact, two recent meta­studies of dozens of papers over the past years – the first by Hristos Doucouliagos and T.D. Stanley in 2009 and the second by Paul Wolfson and Dale Belman in 2013 – have concluded that modest minimum wage increases have little to no significant negative employment effects. Even more, the stimulus effects of an increase in wages to at least $10 – monies likely to be spent promptly – could, according to the Economic Policy Institute create as many as 140,000 net new jobs over the phase­in period of the increase.

Even more, the $10.10 an hour value by 2016 ­­ which would, by the time it is fully implemented, have a real value of only $9.69 an hour in 2014 dollars ­­ is modest relative to many minimum wage benchmarks. A minimum wage of $10.40 an hour by 2016 would set the minimum wage at half the median wage, which is a standard that the minimum wage levels of most OECD nations (as well as the United States itself in the 1960’s and 1970’s) meet without any employment crises. 100 economists have lent their support to a minimum wage that catches up to the 1968 inflation­adjusted federal minimum wage, which would be $10.92 an hour today. A “March on [...]

By |February 20th, 2014|Press|Comments Off|

Fixed: McDonalds on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Yesterday, McDonald’s ran the following full page ad in The New York Times in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. We didn’t think it told the true story.

Here’s our corrected, more accurate version of the ad.

Tweet this to @McDonalds and let them know it’s time to #RaiseTheMcWage

By |January 21st, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off|

Letter to Ken Langone

January 9, 2013

Dear Mr. Langone,

We saw your recent CNBC interview on Pope Francis’ recent exhortation about rising inequality. You worried that the Pope’s condemnations of a “new tyranny” of inequality, of ideologies that “defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation,” and of the “idolatry of money” were “exclusionary.” You stated that he should not generalize: that “rich people in one country don’t act the same as rich people in another country.” In response to his claim that we should respond “thou shalt not” to an “economy of exclusion and inequality” — a structure that the Pope calls an economy that “kills” — you said that the Pope and others would “get more with honey than with vinegar.”

The Pope’s statements do not seem excessively negative in tone relative to passages from the Bible itself regarding the fate of the rich and the poor. To give a few examples:

James 5: “Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.”

Matthew 23: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone [...]

By |January 13th, 2014|Correspondence|Comments Off|

Letter to Target

The following is a letter sent from Ralph Nader to Target.

Ralph Nader Letter to Target CEO – re Min Wage – 10-17-2013

By |December 23rd, 2013|Correspondence|Comments Off|