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The Capitalist’s Case for a $15 Minimum Wage : Bloomberg View

By Nick Hanauer

The fundamental law of capitalism is that if workers have no money, businesses have no customers. That’s why the extreme, and widening, wealth gap in our economy presents not just a moral challenge, but an economic one, too. In a capitalist system, rising inequality creates a death spiral of falling demand that ultimately takes everyone down.

Low-wage jobs are fast replacing middle-class ones in the U.S. economy. Sixty percent of the jobs lost in the last recession were middle-income, while 59 percent of the new positions during the past two years of recovery were in low-wage industries that continue to expand such as retail, food services, cleaning and health-care support. By 2020, 48 percent of jobs will be in those service sectors.

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By |June 20th, 2013|Press|Comments Off on The Capitalist’s Case for a $15 Minimum Wage : Bloomberg View

Cutting wages won’t create jobs : The Hill

By Jack Temple

You know the summer has started when the restaurant industry fires up its annual campaign to blame the minimum wage for the lack of summer job opportunities for teens looking to make some side money.

This year’s effort includes a new highlight: a billboard on West Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles, featuring a jarring image of former child actress Amanda Bynes, suggesting that the distress visible on the celebrity’s face may be a reaction to minimum wage laws that are preventing teens from finding a job this summer.
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By |June 19th, 2013|Press|Comments Off on Cutting wages won’t create jobs : The Hill

Dems Rebrand Minimum Wage, Sick Leave As Women’s Issues To Pressure GOP : Huffington Post

Two years ago, a spat between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) over Planned Parenthood funding sparked a national debate about birth control that helped lead to a historic gender gap in the 2012 elections, with Obama beating Mitt Romney by about 10 points among women voters. Now, Democrats hope to leverage women’s support to pressure Republicans on a host of labor reforms, including the minimum wage, paid sick days and fair pay.

“A majority of Republicans voted against the Violence Against Women Act, and they only brought it to the floor this year with great reluctance because we made it too hot to handle out there,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told The Huffington Post in an interview. “That may be what we have to do with these issues — paycheck fairness, child care, sick leave. As President Lincoln said, ‘Public sentiment is everything,’ and that’s where we have to take our fight.”

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By |June 17th, 2013|Press|Comments Off on Dems Rebrand Minimum Wage, Sick Leave As Women’s Issues To Pressure GOP : Huffington Post

Living on Minimum Wage : The New York Times

At least one part of the labor force has expanded significantly since the recession hit: the low-wage part, made up of burger flippers, home health aides and the like.

Put simply, the recession took middle-class jobs, and the recovery has replaced them with low-income ones, a trend that has exacerbated income inequality. According to Labor Department data, about 1.7 million workers earned the minimum wage or less in 2007. By 2011, the total had surged to 3.8 million, with millions of others earning just a few cents or dollars more.

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By |June 17th, 2013|Press|Comments Off on Living on Minimum Wage : The New York Times

Gomez, Markey Both Support Hiking Minimum Wage to $10 an Hour : National Review Online

In their second Massachusetts Senate debate, Gabriel Gomez and Representative Ed Markey further highlighted their differences – but also found some surprising common ground.

Both would support raising the national minimum wage to $10 an hour, although Gomez noted he didn’t see making $10 an hour as being the American Dream (Markey said he agreed). Both strongly supported the Paycheck Fairness Act: Let’s end “era of discrimination against women that has plagued our country for generations,” Markey said, adding that paycheck fairness was at the “heart of it.” Gomez agreed, saying, “I think it’s a disgrace that we even have to have an act that makes women equal with men.” He added: ”I served in the military with amazing women,” and “they bleed just like the men do.” Gomez continued that he hoped the SEALs would allow women by the time his daughters were old enough to consider joining.

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By |June 13th, 2013|Press|Comments Off on Gomez, Markey Both Support Hiking Minimum Wage to $10 an Hour : National Review Online

Minimum Wage Increase: Economists Support It, and So Should You : Policymic

Massachusetts is debating a bill that would increase the minimum wage from $8 to $11 by 2015, and then peg future increases to inflation.The increase would be a boon to low-income workers and help reinvigorate a stagnant economy.

Critics of minimum wage increases point to the neoliberal consensus (“textbook economics”): if you increase the price of something (in this case labor) demand for that product goes down and you get less employment. In a state of equilibrium and perfect competition, this analysis is absolutely correct, the problem is, the world isn’t a textbook. Anyone who has ever worked a minimum wage job knows that markets are not as fluid as economists assume. Let’s look at a few “real world” situations.

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By |June 13th, 2013|Press|Comments Off on Minimum Wage Increase: Economists Support It, and So Should You : Policymic