Jim Hightower on the Minimum Wage

lots more here:


” A leading wage-policy expert, Heidi Shierholz of EPI, spoke for a lot of us last month when she said, “I get mystified by the politics surrounding all this.” Indeed, it’s absurd that the White House has not grasped this issue with both hands. MESSAGE TO OBAMA AND DEMOCRATS: THIS IS A BIG-TIME WINNING ISSUE–DON’T JUST STAND THERE, RUN WITH IT! Look at the positives behind such a policy:

It’s a big boost for millions of Americans and for our foundering grassroots economy, plus it comes with a powerful moral argument that makes it compelling to big majorities.

Eighteen states have already raised their minimums above the federal level, eight of which have made future raises automatic by indexing the wage to rises in the cost of living.  Among states considering raises this year, battles are being fought in Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, and New York.
Not only do labor and a host of progressive organizations back an increase, but so do thousands of businesses, ranging from Costco to local independents, as well as such associations as Business For a Fair Minimum Wage, the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, and the US Women’s Chamber of Commerce.
Many Republican lawmakers are on board for an increase–the 2007 bill raising the wage by $2.10 got the support of 82 House Republicans and five senators (not a huge number, but a significant bipartisan showing).
Most important of all, the public is overwhelmingly behind the increase. This June, a Zogby Analytics survey of likely voters found seven out of 10 supporting a raise above $10 an hour (including 54 percent of Republicans). Notably, 71 percent of young people (18-23 years old) favored it. Likewise, last November’s “American Values Survey” by the Public Religion Research Institute shows two-thirds of Americans in favor of a $10-per-hour minimum. Included among the supporters were these interesting tallies:
52 percent of Republicans
66 percent of Independents
74 percent of women
73 percent of 18-29-year-olds
73 percent of Catholics
61 percent of white evangelical Protestants
63 percent of college grads
65 percent of those making over $100,000 a year

The only two groups to oppose the raise to $10 were (1) 56 percent of those who identify with the tea party, and (2) 54 percent of those whose most trusted news source is Fox TV.”


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