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The Root – Why We Need to Raise the Minimum Wage to $15

“Anyone who has struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.” — James Baldwin

I’m not poor, but I’m not rich; according to my W2, I’m middle-class. I’ve never had sleep for dinner, but I’m very familiar with poverty because I’ve witnessed it firsthand. In my neighborhood, nobody was “fly on your eyeball, too weak to blink, dying of starvation, Save the Children poor,” but there were a lot of third-time hand-me-downs and kids rocking with Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo well after the first PlayStation was on the market. I’m not making this plea for myself, but instead for the families that have to postpone Christmas until tax time, and the folks working two jobs just to keep the lights on, instead of those trying to keep up with the Joneses.

What’s the plea? The minimum wage needs to be raised to $15.

First, let’s start with a little history. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, drafted by Alabama Sen. Hugo Black, established the national minimum wage of 40 cents per hour, time and a half for overtime, and the standard 40-hour workweek; it also prohibited child labor that could be deemed oppressive. This was a big deal because it was the beginning of the nation’s financial rebound that President Herbert Hoover failed to deliver with his “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage” spiel. The FLSA actually ended sweatshop labor in the United States. (Before women and children in Taiwan were whipping up shirts in dimly lit warehouses, women and children were doing it in dimly lit warehouses in Brooklyn.) The purpose of creating a minimum wage was to put an end to unfair wage practices, and […]

By |February 1st, 2016|News Coverage|Comments Off on The Root – Why We Need to Raise the Minimum Wage to $15

Ralph Nader – Big Crony CEO Pay Grab–Effects Beyond Greed!

As the New Year gets underway, the highest-paid CEOs of many large corporations have already paid themselves more than the average worker will earn in the entire year! By the end of the first week of January, the highest-paid CEOs had already made as much as their average workers will earn over 8 years.

An analysis by Equilar, a consulting firm specializing in executive pay, found that on average, the 200 highest-paid CEOs make approximately $22.6 million a year, or almost $10,800 an hour, a 9.1% increase from the previous year. Meanwhile, the Census Bureau reports the average household earns approximately $53,000 a year.

Over the past fifty years, the pay gap between many highly-paid CEOs and their employees has increased dramatically. In 1965, when they also liked to be rich, CEOs made approximately twenty times as much as their average employee, meaning they would earn their workers’ average pay by the third week of January, and since the 1980s, the average difference and greed have increased. Highly-paid CEOs now make 303 times as much as their employees in a year, according to a study by the Economic Policy Institute.

Equilar notes that Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav makes $156.1 million a year ($74,796.36 an hour), or approximately 1,951 times as much as his average employee. Doug McMillan, the CEO of Wal-Mart takes in $25.6 million ($12,266.41 an hour), 1,133 times as much as the average experienced store associate, who earns roughly $22,000. Other highly-paid CEOs include Larry Merlo, the CEO of CVS Caremark, who makes 422 times as much as CVS employee, meaning that he earns an average worker’s yearly pay by 1 PM on his first work day of the new year; and Goodyear CEO Richard […]

By |January 29th, 2016|News Coverage|Comments Off on Ralph Nader – Big Crony CEO Pay Grab–Effects Beyond Greed!

From the Des Moines Register: Stories of People on the Minimum Wage.

News from Iowa: Minimum wage debate: Meet people living on it

By |November 10th, 2015|News Coverage|Comments Off on From the Des Moines Register: Stories of People on the Minimum Wage.

The Hill – Time for every presidential candidate to support raising the wage

What do Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina all have in common? Besides being home to the first three presidential nominating contests, these states are also filled with minimum wage workers and voters who desperately need a raise. In a crowded field, raising the minimum wage is a smart issue for candidates who want to differentiate themselves to the electorate. It also happens to be the right thing to do.

Instead of having a state minimum wage, each of these states—along with 18 others, including general election swing states like Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania—fall back on the federal minimum wage as a floor of what employers can legally pay workers. This patchwork of state and local wage laws has distorted the value of work and left millions of employees being paid substantially less than their colleagues in other states.

Democratic candidates Hilary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Martin O’Malley all agree that the federal minimum wage should be raised. Several of the GOP candidates still need to step up and take a stand that’s good for these voters and the country. At a previous debate, Ben Carson and Rick Santorum both declared their support for a raise for low-income workers. While their specific policies could be more robust, Carson even endorsed the idea of indexing the minimum wage to inflation, so that “we never have to have this conversation again in the history of America.”
The civil rights movement has been calling for increases in the minimum wage since before the March on Washington demanded one back in 1963. Indexing it to inflation would ensure that we don’t have to engage in protracted battles just so working people can keep up with the economy. According to […]

By |October 28th, 2015|News Coverage|Comments Off on The Hill – Time for every presidential candidate to support raising the wage

Ralph Nader – Why Is the So-Called Congressional Freedom Caucus Frozen Against a Living Minimum Wage?

Check out Ralph’s column in The Huffington Post on the Freedom Caucus and the Minimum Wage

By |October 23rd, 2015|News Coverage|Comments Off on Ralph Nader – Why Is the So-Called Congressional Freedom Caucus Frozen Against a Living Minimum Wage?

Washington Post: The big 2016 minimum wage push just got a powerful new ally

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/10/21/the-big-2016-minimum-wage-push-just-got-a-potentially-powerful-new-ally/

By |October 22nd, 2015|News Coverage|Comments Off on Washington Post: The big 2016 minimum wage push just got a powerful new ally