Home | About | Donate

'Resounding Win for Economic Equality': 4 States Vote to Boost Minimum Wage


'Resounding Win for Economic Equality': 4 States Vote to Boost Minimum Wage

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Voters in four states—Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington—said yes on Tuesday to ballot initiatives that will boost their state's minimum hourly wage, offering hope, advocates say, of an increased standard of living for roughly 2.1 million workers.


You mean in the same manner that stalled or reduced wages have lowered rents and housing costs? You wear ideological blinders.


Tossing away some of your old unused trolling lines? The election is over. Take some time off. Like until 2020.


Even the mooted increases are below what struggle street needs in order to live a life of certainty. Oz thinking.


Holy shit Batman! General direction good--upward, and also still terribly unequal. In the 80's I worked for a parcel company, part time, for 8.35 hour while in college. If you start today at the same position, over 30 years later, the pay is 8.00 per hour.

My son started a retail job recently, in the very same state, at 7.50 per hour, full time.

Economic inequality breeds misery, death, conflict, violence. To deny it's overwhelming importance (as the entire 1% and davos clan do) was another missed topic, as global warming was in debates.

  • "global warming"--because I refuse to use Frank Luntz renamed terms (climate change), and it describes the truth.


Nudging up the minimum is a labor issue, not actually an "inequality" issue. People were never all paid the same wage. There are periodic, slight increases in the min. wage, and this is the way it's been for decades. "Inequality" is about the extremes. Liberals of this era have disregarded the extremes of US economic inequality -- our poverty crisis.

Let me risk shaking their faith in our deregulated capitalism. Out here in the real world, not everyone can work, and there aren't jobs for all. The US shut down/shipped out a huge number of jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare in the 1990s. (TANF is a short-term, marginally subsidized job program, only for those with children.)

The minimum wage is very modest, but our former welfare aid was only a fraction of the min. wage. Today, many have $0 incomes. Our war on the poor has resulted in the fact that the overall life expectancy of the US poor and low-income has fallen to age 60, below that of some third world countries. THIS is what American economic inequality is about.


The last I heard, there are 7 jobs for every 10 jobless people who still have the means to pursue one (home address, phone, etc.). Oddly, it seems that many are unaware that actual welfare in the US ended 20 years ago, so there's nothing to fall back on. Learn about what happens to all those who are left out.

The US has built am abundant surplus of job-ready people who are absolutely desperate for any job at any wage. Employers don't need to raise wages to get good workers. Few can risk pushing back, going on strike.


Nevertheless, they can know that they are among the "better off." I think most low wage workers are aware of the thin line between having their jobs, and losing everything. We simply don't have jobs for all. Once you no longer have a home address, phone, etc., you're out. You can get a job.

I'm curious: What are current attitudes toward those who can't work or for whom no jobs are available -- the very poor, homeless, etc.? Today's media seem unaware of them.


I guess that I'm behind the times. It appears that the "Fight for $15" has become the "Fight for $12" ... down the road. It must be one of those "deflationary" thingies. :cry:

Afterthought question #1: Does this sound like a 'Resounding Win for Economic Equality' to you? Let's look at an "equality" statistic:

  • The average increase in U.S. CEO pay from 1979 to 2015: 940.9%

  • The average increase in U.S. worker pay from 1979 to 2015: 10.3%

Source: Economic Policy Institute / July 2016.

Second question: Whose labor (physical and/or mental) actually generated the surplus value (profits) that pay these CEOs these outlandish compensation packages?

Third question: Isn't this actually legalized theft since the profits are taken from the generators of the profits and given to someone whose labor didn't actually generate the profits?


You talk about speculations but don't demonstrate any hard data. And hard data on this topic seems to be nonexistent. Yet that reality apparently doesn't make a difference with your conclusions. You generalize. “...increases in the minimum wage are meaningless.” Meaningless for whom? The person who doesn't want to be far from Central Park in NYC and pays a quarter to half a million a year for that convenience. Yes, its meaningless to them.

How about workers making minimum wage. If the minimum wage is raised a token amount, a dollar or two, and if rental/housing increases are no greater than the proportion of the minimum wage increase they will still gain by having more non-rental/housing income. It's a shit increase, but an increase. Workers making above minimum wage by an amount just about the minimum wage increase, for them it most certainly would not be meaningless. They could have their rental/housing costs increase without any wage increase. That's why its necessary, at the very least, to double the minimum wage. So that it is meaningful for low wage workers.

To compound this, the minimum wage increase to $15 that has been passed is being done incrementally and on a local/state scale and not nationally at the present. And of course the cost of living across the country varies. Making this into a cartoon simple situation is not being responsible. But that is what trolls do. Just stating a simple fact.


This is quite odd. You are the second person that I've communicated within days of each other in this commentary section who made comments that by any sane interpretation would appear to be coming from a right wing troll but apparently are not. It wasn't until you brought up the name Henry George that what you were getting at became at least somewhat clear. It's important, as this example shows, that the onus is on the commentator to make clear what they want to convey in the first place. The world is not a blank slate. There's a history to the past. If one's written comments appear to present something other than what was intended, the responsibility for that lies with the author.

There's no need to be tentative when talking about things progressive. The first Cold War period is over. You won't be called a socialist, which in the old days was synonymous with being a communist, which was synonymous with destroying America and putting its citizens in slave labor camps in Siberia. Capitalism is a grievous philosophy and system at best. It may be bearable if functioning democracy existed. But it most certainly doesn't. Living and breathing with open eyes and mind validate that.

Henry George would not address an article on minimum wage by commenting: “These increases in the minimum wage are meaningless. Anyone with a basic understanding of economics knows that any increase in wages is soon followed by an increase in rents and housing.” And leave it at that. How could you not see that?

Positioned within the walls of capitalism, while trying to chip away at that wall from the inside, piece by piece, hard data on the complexities of this topic are not known. That's different from addressing the perversion of individual and societal normality that capitalism and what flows from it brings. Complexities in any domain don't yield results readily. And that, amigo, is an empirically know reality.


Thank you for a 5-star example of a great post. Your thoughts were well organized, logically presented, and were presented respectfully without attacking the poster or the poster's views, integrity or sincerity of thought.

Thank you for the lesson and the example!


One important point made, and again neglected by commenters, is that no matter the theoretical downstream effect of raising the wages of the people at the bottom of the system, it puts more dollars back into circulation. Minimum-wage workers will not be putting their extra dollar an hour into offshore investments, or even T notes. They'll be spending them on clothes for their kids, maybe a bagful of produce instead of pasta, or yes, housing. But they will be spending it.

Oh, and that business about tipped workers in Maine? HUGE. As is the sick time in several provisions. Take it from one who's been mostly self-employed. And from the mother of a half-time low-wage worker who's fortunate enough to work for an institution that takes ethics more seriously than just meeting the law, and gave her a full week off with pay when she had elective surgery. I'd much rather my server had the option of staying home, with pay, when they're coming down with the flu.


mbrownec, if anything, this hints that using half regular/half decaf has its merits. If one lists the pros and cons of email and social media compared to what has historically gone into preparing a communique by snail mail, and eliminates the 'cons' of the former and keeps the 'pros' of the latter, then by some mysterious process, a process that existed throughout the history of written language, then civility, cordiality and understanding somehow can filter through. It also tends to create long sentences. And it also … now don't spread this around … but it can also be therapeutic. And when one goes through their editing process (see, now you got me goin'), it sort of reveals what was going through one's mind initially. Which can be pretty scary. Only kidding. Sort of. Also, never reply on a device smaller than your shoe. And always, always start with half regular/half decaf.


Yes, no secret that those on the south side of the median wealth line pour virtually everything they have back into the money circulation. But from whatever approach one looks at this, it highlights the hypocrisy that's used to defend the status quo. No direct approach, meaning government intervention, meaning representing the population, is ever permitted to be spoken. Or thought. Yet when 9-11 occurred there were no cries of 'let the market taken care of it'. But there are plenty of quieter but powerful dark side interventions that go on constantly. Interventions by the commissars for their elite paymasters to promote and maintain the nanny state. Which was John Dewey's description that government is the shadow cast on society by big business. Democracy = solved problems. Movement = real chance for Democracy. That's the 'to do' list. That's what will determine the future. For everything. It has a strong primordial ring to it, doesn't it. Fighting for survival hasn't changed.


And now we have active deflection.