Denouncing the current federal minimum wage as a "starvation wage" which never should have been permitted to be stagnant for the past decade, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was joined Wednesday by several congressional Democrats in introducing legislation to raise the wage over the next five years.
My disabled roommate and I, a disabled senior, are THOROUGHLY SICK of living on Social Security, which pays us $3 to $4/hr. BELOW
Most businesses can’t get away with that, but the government can.
We were politely listened to by flunkies for a couple of “Democratic” “representatives”, then obviously forgotten, as neither took any action on this.
Also disgusting, is getting the same reaction from those groups who purport to advocate for us, like AARP, NAMI, and our local disability rights group! Beware NGO’s!
I agree that providing a livable wage is way more crucial than providing a fixed national minimum. I would set the minimum at the livable wage for a household of 1 adult and 1 child as defined by a technique like that used by the group at http://livingwage.mit.edu which of course changes appropriately over time and the cost of living in your area.
The bill that Senator Sanders is now sponsoring with the five year phase in does include a COLA type provision that says that all of the wages prescribed each year are also increased by the same percentage as the median national wage. So if wages continue to stagnate and just rise at the same rate as inflation, then the $15 would also increase by that inflation rate.
The parts of the bill that will give more dramatic increases to low paid workers are the parts that eliminate the current differential for tipped works (i.e. their minimum moves up to the same level as everyone else in the bill) and also the wages for teens and disabled workers are more dramatically increased to come into line with everyone else.
Yikes! you are right - the provision only applies to the periods after it gets to $15. I missed the part of that provision that referred back to that date.
I think tracking the median wage is a reasonable way to do the COLA though - as it is more relevant to the context and they have been rising pretty well with inflation (i.e. they have been stagnant after adjusting for inflation - not stagnant in actual numbers).
Which way to do a COLA that is better for the workers involved (tracking standard CPI or tracking median wages) depends on whether single payer happens and how that affects wages. I think it will reduce things on the CPI side - but may have a positive effect on the wage side.
No question, the parts of the bill you pointed out, are probably it’s best parts. I’ve felt for years that excluding certain workers from the min. wage should be unlawful. No one should be left out, I think you agree.
As I said above, I completely agree that we should be dealing with a living wage - not a minimum wage. And I support completely restructuring both the budget priorities and how they are paid for.
But I am also happy to support legislation that provides significant gains on specific topics like the minimum wage or single payer health care or improved social security or carbon reduction. This legislation is on the good side of the lower bound of what I’d support on the minimum wage topic. I see the provisions that eliminate the myriad of exemptions we now have to the current ridiculous minimum wage as being pretty important (obviously taking 5 years just to get to the $15 mark is not particularly supportable)
I do applaud and support the new progressive/left representatives, but their enthusiasm will soon (if not already) be sabotaged by the entrenched forces who will give them “the talk” on “how things work”…those are the MoFo’s that must be ripped-out root and branch!
Beside the utterly depraved R’Cons and their servitude to big-money, there are also many DINO Dems who will sabotage the “change” that should have come already under the great progressive fraud Obama, except for their servitude to big-money for campaign-contribution bribes and ordinary corruption…like frinstance NY’s Andy “fine-print” Cuomo…the best politician money can buy, who is already screwing the new “no excuses” Dem “majority” gov. in Albany! He has plenty of excuses and uber-wealthy to serve as he screws the little guy and gal!
The Federal minimum wage has not been raised now for 10 years.
Would you prefer that that go on for another 10? That’s what the Greedy Old Psychopaths would give us.
Bernie is doing what he has to do to get nearly the entire congressional Democratic party on board. We should thank Bernie that the issue is on the Democrats’ agenda at all.
If he is elected president, I expect that the schedule will be accelerated.
Absolutely. The good news is that Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal for a 70% tax rate on the very rich is already supported by a 59% of Americans, and by 71% of rank & file Dems.
Another equalizing proposal, supported by Bernie and AOC, is to mandate that a union will be formed when a majority of workers have signed an authorizing note. “Elections” at present, are usually delayed, finagled, and intimidated out of existence. The signature proposal will allow millions of workers to collectively bargain, and will change the political landscape of the country.
So we have 2 choices. We can work our asses off to primary in true workers’ candidates - a hundred more AOC’s, or we can activate the mass of secret revolutionary cadre who are currently hiding in a cave in Nevada. Or maybe wake up the comatose Greens.
That’s been our problem for a while now, accepting what they want to give us, instead of demanding what we want.
Bernie would do well learning how to negotiate, if you want $15 now, you ask for $20, and have wiggle room above what you want, and allows you’re opponent to feel like they made somewhat of a gain, when they bargain you back down to $15.
Tom, thanks for hanging in there on this conversation about a livable wage and where the power lies with unionization - with the workers themselves. The corporatized union bosses are a waste of breathe for the most part. Everything hinges on solidarity of the workers across every union.