from Daily Kos:
“The U.S. economy has turned a corner. The national unemployment rate hit a post-recession low of 7.8% in September. Rising consumer confidence, increasing home prices and other leading economic indicators confirm the trend.
Unemployment is still too high, but a focus on the number of jobs obscures a serious long-term crisis of declining wages and a shrinking middle class that is having a harder and harder time making ends meet. New jobs pay less, raises are rare and benefits even rarer. According to a National Employment Law Project study released in August, the majority of new jobs created in the last two years pay just $13.83 an hour or less. Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz recently said, “Increasing inequality means a weaker economy” for all of us.
The minimum wage used to help. Congress has only acted to raise the federal minimum wage three times since 1980, and it now buys less than it did in 1968. The minimum wage needs a lift. Congressional Republicans remain solidly opposed to increasing the minimum wage, so some cities are trying to fix an economy that is leaving too many behind. Grass-roots groups have put measures to raise the wage on the November ballot in San Jose, Long Beach and Albuquerque, N.M.”
the rest of the article by Donald Cohen: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/01/1153695/-Voters-to-decide-on-Minimum-Wage-in-three-cities