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How a $15 Minimum Wage Went from ‘Extreme’ to Enacted


How a $15 Minimum Wage Went from ‘Extreme’ to Enacted

Katrina vanden Heuvel

What once was considered “pie in the sky” is slowly becoming law. In New York, state legislators just agreed to raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour, with the full effect beginning in New York City by December 2018. California just passed a compromise raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022.


The fifteen dollar minimum wage should have happened three years ago.
The stalling tactics being used in the state of Washington and in California will ensure workers do not see the actual wage until 2019, at best.

The problem is that tech workers make three times that amount, and sometimes much more.
The single biggest issue this causes is the rise of rents, and the percentage of the population that can afford this rise.

Bariistas in San Fran are probably packed like sardines inside one of the hundred year old 500 sq. ft. apartments.

Notice the price of Orange Juice never goes on sale like it used to?

By the time fifteen dollars makes it to those who needed it,inflation will have again put survival at another pay grade.
This is a band aid on a hole in the wall of a reservoir.

If QE finally stops, the market correction can finally hit.
Hopefully that brings some parity to common man.


Well, the timeline for the $15 wage to actually come into force will be - what? - 6 years out in NYC and longer in rural areas! Yeah, right, good lookin-out!
Hillary and Cuomo have a damn lot of gall touting "their accomplishment" - what utter BS!

Cuomo will never support any issue until dragged kicking and screaming, and then usually making "reform" of an issue so onerous or such a joke its often worthless! Read: property tax and cannabis "reform"! Cuomo is also well-known for a highly vindictive nature and retribution against any with the temerity to oppose his rule.......One of the best DINO politicians money can buy!
Hillary will take credit for anything even remotely possible to be claimed - mostly talking in code for "business as usual"!



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Absolutely. Rather than a $15 minimum wage kicked down the road a few years, a $20 minimum wage kicking in immediately, and tied to REAL COLA increases, not the phony COLA based on fake inflation numbers, would restore the relative purchasing power that minimum wage workers had in the 1960s.

But we cannot lose sight of CAPPING income and wealth. Sprinkling more purchasing power to the working class is a band aid, welcome indeed but not changing the structure of the economy. Disempowering the looting class is fundamental.


If an employer cannot pay a living wage, that employer should do all the work himself/herself.


Consider this: Unions are good for workers, unions are good for communities.

One of the biggest factors to keep wages low and benefits non-existant is a lack of union membership, able to bargain with employers for better working conditions, and equality and dignity in the workplace. Jobs that don't provide a living wage in a community are bad for that community, since any money earned can't support other businesses, as they are all competing for a limited amount of money. If the wages paid to fast food workers in a community does reach $15 or beyond, the additional money paid over the $10 or so earned previously will not only benefit those workers, it will also benefit other businesses in that community since they will be getting more business. Remember the saying: A rising tide lifts all boats.

Thanks to Slick Willie and his NAFTA scam, good paying manufacturing jobs were shipped to Mexico at a rate of about 10% of the wage in the US. At a $1.50/hr wage, no one in Mexico gets ahead, not the workers, and not the local business where they shop. If those workers could organize for better wages, even an increase to $3, maybe even $5 or beyond would help most all of the business in the area of the Maquiladoras. Unfortunately, they gain so little from their jobs, they are all afraid of being replaced and having nothing. It's like the tar paper factory, it's a crappy place, but there's 50 guys wating at the door for your job. If they were a bit better educated, just possibly they might understand the importance of unions and solidarity.


And of course there are those obscure largely ignored states like Pennsylvania, where, with the lunatics running our state legislature, ANY minimum wage increase is further away than Galaxy GN-z11. So don't complain too much.

And yes, with all the New Yorkers coming down here to this newly-declared "cool" city, rents and home prices are going through the roof. If you really want to adopt the "rust-belt-chic" consider Buffalo instead!


Maybe I'm reading this all wrong or not reading it thoroughly enough or inferring incorrect conclusions from this & other news sources on the newly enacted $15 minimum wage laws in New York & California. But how much will the cost of living have increased by 2018 - 2022?


Thank you occupy Wallstreet!


I feel the same way. The stalling went on until Bernie shamed $100+ million dollar Hillary about her supporting $12 not $15. They knew it was boosting support for him and chilling support for her. Both governors knew low income voters in their states would dump Hillary and that the wage increase was inevitable anyway. Their states will likely decide the nomination and Hillary was blowing it. They preempted a swifter imposition of the increase that was likely to be pushed for by a president Sanders and also took away the issue for voters in their very populous states. Shouldn't Cuomo have had Bernie up there instead? I am just so stunned at how they treat us like we are that stupid! Look at $12.50 Hillary waving and smiling at the dumbed down and manipulated as if she fought for $15.


They didn't want to increase the min wage as it was. Your point is well taken. On the other hand, had Bernie not made this a national issue and Hillary stupidly coming out on the wrong side of the issue, there probably wouldn't have been much talk of an increase at all and maybe none if she were elected. Bernie made it a national issue.

Billary >>> "You know I fought as hard as I could for an increase of $12.50 but the important thing is that we did get a raise, right? $9.50 over three years. I wish it were more and I am disappointed and you are disappointed but we will just have to keep on fighting, right? Are you with me because I'm with you all the way! Now if you will excuse me, I need to deliver a congratulatory address to the TPP member states because we have successfully got the gold standard of trade deals passed in full! I told you I was the one who could get things done. An increase in the min wage and a trade deal ...something for everyone!"


Oh, I totally agree with your viewpoint; i.e., if it weren't for Bernie really bringing this minimum wage issue to the forefront, it would be a low-priority to no-priority subject. It's still a positive step in the right direction. I hope/pray that Sanders & we as his supporters movement will continue to fight hard to convince or force the powers that be to improve upon & speed up the deadline/timeline of a $15 minimum so people don't have to wait 3-6 years for it, only to realize it's too little too late. This "$15 per hour minimum over a multi-year time period" drawback to the plan is, I'm sure, not the way Bernie would prefer that it play out. Thx for your response & pointing out some of your own thoughts to me!


I don't know that they timed it directly but then I don't know that it was only coincidence either but in any case it removed a mistake that was clearly making Hillary look bad. Odd how things sure moved fast once Bernie made it an issue though.


That 2022 is so far away that it is almost like it would have happened in any case by then even if only unofficially. Clearly the powers that be the stars quo felt the need to cool some of the fires that were smoldering. The extraordinary thing is that no thinks a wage of $7.50ph is a livable wage anyway. nobody thinks that not even the people who are against the raise. They were just stalling making people's lives miserable until Bernie forced them to move on it finally.