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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:39 PM
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Legislation & Politics, In the States

Aug 21

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Minimum Wage: Take This Pay and Shove It

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the last time the federal minimum wage was raised. The 10 long years minimum wage workers have earned just $5.15 an hour shows the skewed priorities of the Republican-controlled Congress, writes AFL-CIO President John Sweeney on The Hill, the blog recently launched by the influential congressional insider newspaper The Hill.

Says Sweeney in the Aug. 20 post:

If ever an issue clearly showed the skewed priorities of this Congress leadership, its the minimum wage. Two weeks ago the Senate rightly rejected a cynical ploy by Republican leadership to poison the current minimum wage increase with yet more massive tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans

While Republican leadership plays games with the minimum wage, real working families are struggling mightily to make ends meet. Ten years ago a gallon of gas cost working people $1.11. Today low-wage workers are faced with gas prices north of $3 per gallon. The majority of these workers are adults who significantly contribute to their familys overall income

The debate over the minimum wage increase is a debate about American values. Will the Republican leadership continue down a path that unfairly rewards the ultra-rich and leaves working people out in the cold?

When Congress returns to work after Labor Day, Sweeney says its first priority should be raising the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour. That message was carried yesterday in Louisville, Ky., by 100 union and community activists at a rally to mark the 10 years since the minimum wage was raised.

As Kentucky State AFL-CIO President William Londrigan said at the rally:

Its time to take this pay and shove it!

The AFL-CIO America Needs a Raise campaign has brought together union, community and religious groups to fight for minimum wage increases in the states through ballot initiatives and legislation and for federal legislation that Republican congressional leaders continue to hold hostage.

At the Louisville rally, Shanika Bell, who earns $5.15 an hour as a McDonalds cashier, said:

If you work hard, you should be able to support your familys basic needs.

by Mike Hall

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snowbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:51 PM
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1. I wonder if the AFLCIO will create a television ad with that message?
It's fine and dandy to whip out press releases, but how many people actually see and read it? :shrug:

I REALLY hope to see that message on national television -- EVERYWHERE!
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MikeyJones Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:55 PM
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3. It's not like most people give a shit
You have 9 million millionaires in this country. That's just enough to keep everybody fixated on the banana on the hook as the right-wing carries it and we follow it toward the cliff where they intend to lure us to and then push off.

The middle class is just worried about paying the bills and they don't give a damn. When their houses start depreciating due to the decline in the worth of the dollar they'll start paying attention.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:57 PM
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4. They should... air it during monday night football games!
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MikeyJones Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:53 PM
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2. I hate to say it but minimum wage laws really are becoming obselete
With so much illegal and under the table labor going on out there and with mass exploitation of workers it's no wonder so many people are turning to crime for a living.

Employers simply shift extra wage costs onto their employees by layoffs, cutting hours, increasing "productivity"(making them work harder and faster), cutting freebies like free/discount meals/free drinks, etc.

The old days where we could actually enforce these laws are over. Free trade outsourcing and union-busting made sure of that. It seems nowadays the only safe worker is the self-employed worker. I know a person who opened up a business after getting layed off and now is making triple their previous salary. It's very sad that we have to use self-employment as our only solution and fail-safe to increasingly crappier pay and working conditions.

But there's only so far you can stretch a shirt before it'll rip and I think we're doing that now. In economics, when you see people having to get VERY VERY creative and find little niche markets to carve careers out of then you know that that is the sign of a mature and rapidly slowing market. I recently read about a married couple who created something called "Doggles" which are like sunglasses for your dogs. They had to do research and invest a lot of their own money and then finally they found distributors and stores to carry their product but that's a perfect example of a small company that has to bend over backwards and jump through burning hula hoops just to get a company going that will pay the bills and buy the house.

Gone are the days when you could simply invest in tech companies and then watch as your profits came pouring in or the days even a few years ago when you could buy a few houses and fix them up and then retire in a few years.

The bubbles have burst and the cows have come home and the chickens have already begun to roost -- welcome to the last chapter in the great American economy. Where people have to come up with bizarre campy highly creative things to sell just to get by instead of settling for a service job working at a gas station or at some fast food joint.

The harder it is to start up a business and the more bizarre and "niched" your product line -- the more evidence that your economy has run out of steam and fresh ideas and methods of growing. Bubbles are catalysts of growth for economies and it appears we're out of them.
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MikeyJones Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
5. BTW, like the Eisenhower quote......
however apparently he was dead wrong as both parties are in bed with the NAFTA free-trade crowd who care nothing for America or America's workers. When Max Baucus was quoted as saying almost all Dems secretly support outsourcing I knew the party has slipped down a crevice. We need to do something to kick his ass and the wrest of his scum ilk out the party and return it to the hands of the working man and woman of America who make this country what it is.
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