Jim Hightower: Do More Than the Minimum on Minimum Wage

Do more than the minimum on minimum wage

Monday, February 18, 2013   |

Posted by Jim Hightower

podcast http://jimhightower.com/sites/jimhightower.civicactions.net/files/5-21_m_show.mp3

story http://jimhightower.com/node/7962

“In the wealthiest nation on Earth,” President Obama declared in his State of the Union speech, “no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty.”   Right! Not only does his call to raise America’s minimum wage put some real pop in populism, but it could finally start putting some ethics back in our country’s much-celebrated, (but rarely-honored) “work ethic.” Kudos to Obama for putting good economics and good morals together – and for putting this long overdue increase on the front burner.

But then came the number: $9 an hour. Excuse me, Mr. President, but that means a person who “works full-time” would nonetheless “have to live in poverty.” Yes, nine bucks is a buck-seventy-five better than the current pay, but it’s still a poverty wage, and it doesn’t even elevate the buying power of our wage floor back to where it was in 1968.



Political and Social Justice Activists Unite to Fight for Living Wages and Decent Benefits for Retail Workers

Feb 04, 2013

Washington, D.C. – A coalition of political and social justice activists from around the country have united to launch the National Retail Justice Alliance to highlight the social and economic plight of retail workers across the country.  The new alliance was formed following the first-ever strikes by Walmart workers across the country last year, and is dedicated to raising the living and working standards of retail workers in the United States.

In addition to [Bill] Fletcher, the National Retail Justice Alliance Steering Committee includes Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Jim Hightower, and representatives from the Economic Policy Institute, Color of Change,  Jobs with Justice, Demos and other progressive leaders and organizations.



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.”