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From 'Too Radical' to Spreading Nationwide: Maryland Becomes 6th State to Pass $15 Minimum Wage

From 'Too Radical' to Spreading Nationwide: Maryland Becomes 6th State to Pass $15 Minimum Wage

Jake Johnson, staff writer

In the latest major victory for the Fight for $15 movement, Maryland on Thursday became the sixth state to pass $15 minimum wage legislation after state lawmakers overrode the veto of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

"Just a few years ago we were told a $15 an hour was 'too radical. Well, today, Maryland became the sixth state to send the loud and clear message that a job should lift you out of poverty, not keep you in it."
—Sen. Bernie Sanders

Until the national minimum wage can be raised I fully anticipate noticeably better economic growth in the states that have already raised theirs. Money can’t circulate if it ain’t there. I’d rather people get a pay increase than have to rely on SNAP. Sorry Walmart, pay your share–or at least closer to it. Besides, you, Dollar Store, etc. will be large beneficiaries of where much of this money gets spent.

So it’s quite possible that a cadre of conservadems will tilt the vote on raising the minimum wage nationally by siding with Rs against it.

Where have I seen that movie before?

Stores like Dollar General and Family Dollar are even worse – much worse – than Walmart about paying their employees starvation wages. And they take advantage of their salaried managers by forcing them to work so many overtime hours, their hourly rate is barely better than minimum wage.

Of course it’s a good thing to see employees paid a decent living wage, but unless the many other factors that have made this trickle-down economy and corporate capitalist system so pervasive are addressed I’m afraid a simple wage increase alone is not going to change anything that much. As long as CEOs and board members and white collar executives continue to funnel so much of the profits to themselves, they will simply pass the costs of the wage increases on to the consumer so that they can maintain their customary level of profits. This corporate capitalist system demands ever increasing profits, That is the nature of the beast.

Back in the 50s and 60s taxes on the wealthy were much higher, there were strong unions intact, and CEOs were used to making only 30 times what the average worker made, not 300 times. And there was more of a definite connection between productivity (with so many goods made here at home) and wages. Today we live in a service sector economy, not a “made-in-America” economy. And then, there is the fact that we spend so much of our GDP on war and the military. And only three candidates (Sanders, Gabbard, and Marianne Williamson) are even addressing the runaway spending of our military budget.

Unless and until we commit to a multi-pronged attack on this corrupt, rigged economy and political system built on war and privilege, these piecemeal changes are going to end up failing and backfiring, only strengthening the argument for the alt-right that progressive policies do not work. It is time for a New Deal and a second Bill of Rights for the 21st century. And it won’t happen with baby steps.

A family of three has to be able to survive on one income. Or else there is too much hardship. Either not enough income, or not enough time with family.

This may sound great, but think about it. By 2025/2026 $15/hr will probably still be starvation wages. Why can’t it happen sooner, so people can actually benefit now, instead of waiting for inflation to make the raise meaningless?