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A $15 Minimum Wage Is Exactly What Our Economy Needs

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/16/15-minimum-wage-exactly-what-our-economy-needs

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Pocan and Jayapal are members of The Squad.

And although Pocan writes that “There’s no excuse not to get this done,” he knows damn well that the reason not to get it done is called the DINOs in the No Labels/Problem Solvers/third way nexus. I predict a number of them will vote against the $15/hour minimum because their corporate masters matter to them far more than the working class.

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It might be exactly what our economy needs to try and save it from collapse, for the rich can stay rich, but it’s probably nowhere near a livable wage in the vast majority of the country.

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A $15 minimum wage will help a lot of people–but rents and food seem to be going up faster. And too, what happens to an economy when the majority of worker pay goes for just for and shelter? Who can afford to buy much of anything else?
I guess we are seeing that economy now, and of course corporations like Walmart don’t help much, as I have read that many Walmart workers receive food stamps and other state help with state health care too.
I suppose that’s why many dems are asking for $1 , or $3, or $5 donations, because that’s all people can afford.
When a nation has an economy where the pay is so low—that affects all kinds of businesses—and the economy drops to a slow crawl, or more part time jobs—and crime rises too. It’s not hard to see how America’s economy is moving about as fast as a stunned possum. : 0

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On the other hand, what happens to us old geezers who are stuck on pensions with no COLAs and on Social Security with a COLA that’s ten years behind when the Multi-Nazional Korporations just pass the wage increase along to us customers as higher (and higher and higher) prices?

I remember when a “Deluxe” hamburger at the local Frosty Shop was 75¢, and not long ago was $3.50.  A “Deluxe” burger these days – with just lettuce, tomato and a thick slice of red onion, no cheese – can run well over $6.00, and it’s headed for $10 real soon . . .

Then there is a map to who to primary. Let’s use it.

That’s right. And business needs no comeuppance, they have already bled the turnip.
There is no need to push the cost of raises onto the consumers, business can absorb that since they pay little or in some cases, no tax.
We may need some comprehensive adjustments for the small business start-ups, and reasonable relief for them to get going.

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Time to buy a freezer and stick a cow in it?

I’m surprised by these otherwise progressive congress rep’s, they are smart enough to know $15 by 2025 is too late. The workers need $15 now, not 6 years from now.
Some will say that’s the best they can do, with todays congress. This issue will be DOA in the Senate regardless what the number is, so lets talk about reality now, and not set the bar so low.

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No room to squeeze even a small freezer into my little place, and I couldn’t pay for it anyway, much less a side of beef.  My total pension + Social Security has gone up about $5/month each year since I retired twelve years ago Sunday (No coincidence that I got out of Cubicle Prison on Bastille Day), and inflation has cost me at least $25 or $30/month – probably more – during the same period.  I’m very grateful that Medi­Care has at least kept up with prescription costs.

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$15 might have ok 5 years ago, now one would need at leat $20 or $25.

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$15/hr minimum was needed 20 years ago for us to have a functioning economy* today. In order to have a functioning economy* 20 years from now the minimum would have to be over $20 today with regular scheduled increases every couple of years to match cost of living.

*By functioning economy I mean one that fully integrates the lowest paid workers. When the lowest paid workers don’t even have enough pay to cover basics and have to rely on assistance that really isn’t the same as being integrated in the economy. That is subsistence living that is the same thing as Serfdom.

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Yes, raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. And recognize that $15 is a floor and that the minimum might need to be higher in areas where cost of living is higher.

Also, recognize that this is a stop gap as more and more jobs are replaced by robots. What follows seems likely to be some kind of guaranteed income.

And keep in mind that for many a raise in hourly wage will mean their income is too high to continue to obtain food stamps and other benefits. I’ve seen research that shows an hourly income needs to be $22 an hour on average to provide an equal standard of living.

Alternatively, a raise in the minimum wage needs to include changes in how federal and state benefits distribution is calculated so that people don’t lose out and actually have their standard of living drop. Why don’t we prorate benefit amounts based on income rather than have absolute cutoffs.

but without those Blue Dogs from swing districts, you have no Speaker Pelosi.

So learn to love your big tent where you have next to no voice.

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