Saturday, September 14, 2013

You know why the repugs and corporatists and Koch-sucking freakazoids so desperate to keep the minimum wage below the minimum necessary to live on?  Because a living wage - and the economic power it gives to everyone who works - is the greatest obstacle to the lords-and-serfs economy the obscenely wealth are so very close to creating in this country.

But they haven't won yet.

David Atkins at Hullabaloo:

Let the sunshine in:
A bill that would boost California's minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016 won approval by the state Legislature on Thursday and was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown, who said he would sign it.

The measure would raise the current $8 minimum wage to $9 an hour next July 1 and to $10 on Jan. 1, 2016.

The 25% increase would be the first minimum-wage hike in California in five years and would put extra money in the pockets of an estimated 2.4 million Californians.

"This is the time to raise the minimum wage to provide relief for hard-working families," said the bill's author, Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville). About 3 of 5 minimum-wage earners are 26 or older, he stressed

Labor unions lobbied heavily for the bill, both in the Legislature and at the governor's office. Business groups opposed it.

The bill won final passage in the Assembly on Thursday evening by a 51-25 vote. Earlier in the day it received a 26-11 vote of approval by the state Senate.
We live in an era when asset holders take all the gains while wage earners get the shaft. We won't fix our problems until that trend is reversed.

Raising the minimum wage slightly isn't a huge fix, but it's a major step in the right direction. All too often liberals focus on government services and the safety net. Those things are crucially important, to be sure, but they're no substitute for changing the skewed rules that allow the asset class to walk away with all the loot.

National Democrats may still be mired in centrist DLC economic politics. But in places like New York, California and Massachusetts, the progressive economic revival is already well underway not just at a grassroots level, but at an institutional one as well.
Everyone who is not a millionaire benefits from a living wage - which today means at least $15 per hour, and $20 per hour if productivity is taken into account. Even small business owners benefit from paying their employees more, if everyone else does so also, because more money in everyone's pocket means more money gets spent which puts more money in everyone's pocket.

It's a virtuous circle that benefits even the disgustingly rich. But because it narrows the gap between the richest and the poorest, the richest would rather a bigger gap between them and us than an equitable economy that benefits all.

In that, they are no different from the racists who reject social programs like food stamps and unemployment compensation and Obamacare that help millions of white people because they also help thousands of black people.

Rich people are absolute poison to the economy, to society and to democracy. Unless we eliminate them through confiscatory taxation, they will kill us all.

No comments: