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Consumer Advocate Ralph Nader Says President Obama’s $9 Minimum Wage by 2015 Is Far Too Little and Too Late

Consumer Advocate Ralph Nader Says President Obama’s $9 Minimum Wage by 2015 Is Far Too Little and Too Late

February 13, 2013

 

Ralph Nader made clear on Wednesday that President Obama’s proposal, in his State of the Union address, to increase the minimum wage to $9 per hour by 2015 is too little, too late.

“Thirty million workers are making less today than they did in 1968, adjusted for inflation!” said Nader. “Is $9 per hour the best that this President can come up with? They should be making at least $10.50 per hour to catch up with 1968.” That was the message Nader and other worker advocates took in demonstrations yesterday before the headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO (see here).

If the minimum wage had simply kept pace with inflation in the past 45 years, today it would be $10.56 per hour instead of the current federal minimum wage of $7.25. In about the same time that the minimum wage has lost nearly 33 percent of its value, the average value of CEO compensation has skyrocketed over 900 percent according to an annual Forbes survey.

“On the campaign trail in 2008, President Obama pledged to increase the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour by 2011. What changed?” asked Nader. “Are millions of the same hard-working Americans in 2015 worth 50 cents less per Obama-hour than they were in 2008?”

Despite his campaign pledge, in President Obama’s first term, not a whisper came from the White House on the minimum wage and 2011 came and went.

“Over four years has passed between when President Obama first suggested increasing the minimum wage and when he finally uttered a peep about it in his State of the Union address last night, […]

By |February 13th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Consumer Advocate Ralph Nader Says President Obama’s $9 Minimum Wage by 2015 Is Far Too Little and Too Late

Happy Birthday John L. Lewis: Raising the Minimum Wage to Catch Up to 1968 for Thirty Million Workers

Raising the Minimum Wage to Catch Up to 1968 for Thirty Million Workers

 Washington, D.C., February 12, 2013

Birthday of John L. Lewis (1880 – 1969)

 * Thirty million workers are making less today than workers made in 1968, adjusted for inflation. Had the minimum wage kept pace with inflation over these forty-five years, it would be $10.56 per hour instead of the current federal minimum wage of $7.25

* While the minimum wage has lost nearly 33 percent of its value since 1968, average CEO compensation has skyrocketed over 900 percent.

* Raising the minimum wage would stimulate the economy. Raising the minimum wage to $10.50 per hour would add at least $30 billion in additional spending to the economy each year for a two-year period.

* For every dollar increase to the hourly pay of a minimum wage worker, the result is $2,800 in new consumer spending from that worker’s household over the year.

* The United States has one of the lowest minimum wages when compared with other western, industrialized countries. Australia’s minimum wage is more than double the minimum wage in the United States – about $16 per hour. Of ten countries with minimum wages higher than the United States’, eight of them have unemployment rates lower than ours.

* Poll after poll has shown that 70 percent of the American people supports increasing the minimum wage to keep up with inflation.

* Even some Republicans support raising the minimum wage. Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney both supported raising the minimum wage to keep up with inflation – at least until Mitt Romney flip-flopped on the issue during the election.

* Raising the minimum wage will help families and individuals struggling to get by and working more for less. The current […]

By |February 13th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Happy Birthday John L. Lewis: Raising the Minimum Wage to Catch Up to 1968 for Thirty Million Workers

In the Absence of Federal Action, Some Voters Take Minimum Wage Issue Into Their Own Hands

Originally published on Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ralph-nader/minmum-wage-ballot-measures_b_2089641.html

Americans across the country raptly waited as the results from the presidential election rolled in last night. Some election results that may have flown under the radar, however, were a few ballot measures in Albuquerque, San Jose, and Long Beach that would raise workers’ minimum wage. While the president secured re-election with barely more than 50 percent of the popular vote, each of these ballot measures passed with decisive support — all garnering about 60 percent of the vote.

In San Jose, California, Measure D was placed on the ballot to raise the minimum wage to $10 per hour and automatically adjust it for inflation in subsequent years. It passed with about 59 percent of the vote.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, voters had the opportunity to vote on a ballot measure that would raise the minimum wage in the city one dollar to $8.50 per hour from $7.50. The measure passed with overwhelming support of 66 percent of voters. By comparison, President Obama received just 55 percent of the vote in the same county.

Finally, in Long Beach, California, voters were deciding whether to provide non-unionized hotel workers with a living wage in a ballot measure that would increase their hourly pay to $13 per hour. This measure passed with over 63 percent of the vote.

Since President Obama’s campaign pledge in 2008 to raise the federal minimum wage to $9.50 by 2011, he has been remarkably silent on the issue during the past four years — even in the 2012 campaign which has now come to a close. In the vacuum left by President Obama’s lack of leadership on this issue, members of the 112th Congress proposed legislation to increase the minimum wage. […]

By |November 8th, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on In the Absence of Federal Action, Some Voters Take Minimum Wage Issue Into Their Own Hands

Higher Minimum Wage Would Boost Economy

originally appeared in the Hartford Courant.
http://courant.com/news/opinion/hc-op-nader-higher-minimum-wage-vital-workers-econ-20121026,0,7140745.story

COMMENTARY

Higher Minimum Wage Would Boost Economy

By RALPH NADER | COMMENTARY

6:45 PM EDT, October 26, 2012

As the U.S. Senate race between Democrat Chris Murphy and Republican Linda McMahon draws to a close, notably absent from the two campaigns’ messages is any upfront position or debates about raising the minimum wage.

So where do the two candidates for Senate stand on this important issue?

Unfortunately, McMahon continues to keep voters in the dark about where she stands on increasing the minimum wage. The last time McMahon ran for U.S. Senate, in 2010, she could not even answer a question about what the minimum wage was! This year, she has yet to articulate a clear position to Connecticut voters on the minimum wage: Would she increase it, cut it, keep it the same or eliminate it all together?

On the other hand, although Murphy has been strangely passive about his position on the minimum wage, voters have a past record to look to for answers. In 2007, as a congressman in Connecticut’s 5th District, Murphy voted to increase the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25. Just this year, he co-sponsored pro forma legislation that would increase the federal minimum wage to $9.80 by 2014. But being on the record is not being on the ramparts.

The merits of raising the minimum wage are clear. Since 1968, the minimum wage has lost nearly 50 percent of its value — had it kept pace with inflation since 1968, it would be at $10.57 per hour, instead of the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 (Connecticut’s minimum wage is $8.25 per hour).

Increasing the minimum wage could help jump-start the economy and increase consumer spending. A 2011 study by the […]

By |October 28th, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Higher Minimum Wage Would Boost Economy

Nader: Higher Minimum Wage Would Boost Economy : The Hartford Courant

As the U.S. Senate race between Democrat Chris Murphy and Republican Linda McMahon draws to a close, notably absent from the two campaigns’ messages is any upfront position or debates about raising the minimum wage.

So where do the two candidates for Senate stand on this important issue?

Unfortunately, McMahon continues to keep voters in the dark about where she stands on increasing the minimum wage. The last time McMahon ran for U.S. Senate, in 2010, she could not even answer a question about what the minimum wage was! This year, she has yet to articulate a clear position to Connecticut voters on the minimum wage: Would she increase it, cut it, keep it the same or eliminate it all together?

Read more

By |October 26th, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Nader: Higher Minimum Wage Would Boost Economy : The Hartford Courant

Open Letter to Jim Lehrer

Dear Mr. Lehrer,

As the moderator of 11 previous debates since 1988, you have had an especially noteworthy opportunity to shape the political discourse of the day. In the upcoming October 3rd debate, yet again, you have the opportunity to raise the standards of and improve upon the political conversation in this country in what may end up being the last time you are the moderator of a Presidential debate. I suggest a question that presses the candidates to abandon their pre-determined, focus group tested talking points:

On the campaign trail in 2008, President Obama promised to increase the federal minimum wage to $9.50 by 2011. However, 2011 has come and gone and the minimum wage is still $7.25 with no Obama proposal in four years. Mitt Romney supported tying minimum wage increases to inflation, until he wavered during the primary. This issue is not only a crucially important issue to our economy and to thirty million hard-working Americans caught between $7.25 and $10.00 an hour. It gives you a chance to illuminate for the voters the candidates’ positions on an issue for which both have been markedly ambiguous or silent.

In the past few years, working people in this country have had to endure devastating economic conditions. In the aftermath of the Wall Street-produced financial crisis, millions were left unemployed, without a home, saddled with enormous college loans, and struggling to make ends meet. Unfortunately, the economy continues to lag, and millions of Americans remain out of work, underpaid, or in low-paying, part-time jobs. Nearly 23 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed.

Since 1968, when the minimum wage was worth an inflation-adjusted $10.57, it has lost nearly 50 percent of its value. Meanwhile, according to Forbes’ annual survey […]

By |September 27th, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Open Letter to Jim Lehrer