For years, opponents of raising the federal minimum wage have argued that we don’t need to raise the minimum wage because most low-wage workers are just teenagers trying to earn a little spending money. We’ve known that’s not true for years, but as the fight for $15 ramps up across the country, a new study shows just how far from reality that “common knowledge” really … Continue reading Adults and Breadwinners, Not Teens, Benefit Most from Raising Minimum Wage
The manner in which taxes are computed vastly favors the wealthy. Workers pay higher taxes on wages than those living on investment income — and workers also have to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on their wages but investment income recipients do not. A comparison of taxes due for 2018 for two married couples illustrates the gross inequities: Couple No. 1: Trust Fund Babies. … Continue reading Workers Pay While Trust Fund Babies Play
The road to every working American being able to afford their basic needs took a big leap forward last week when Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. Illinois now joins the growing number of states who are listening to the concerns of their workers and challenges they face from rising wealth inequality and … Continue reading $15 Minimum Wage a Win for All Illinoisans
Across the country, states have taken it into their own hands to raise the minimum wage, with 18 states raising their minimum wage in 2018 alone. Thanks to the voters who elected a new governor in November, Illinois is now one of them. Two years ago, instead of using his office to lift citizens out of poverty, former Gov. Rauner resigned his constituents to subsistence … Continue reading Illinois Becomes Fifth State with $15 Minimum Wage
Today, Democrats in the House and Senate introduced the Raise the Wage Act of 2019. If successful, it would be the most important legislative win for workers in decades. The bill would: Raise the federal minimum wage to $8.55 in 2019 and increase it over the next five years until it reaches $15 an hour in 2024; Adjust the minimum wage every year after 2024 to … Continue reading It’s Time for a $15 Minimum Wage – A Look at the Raise the Wage Act
Starting this year, Frontier Airlines will allow flight attendants to seek tips directly from passengers. Given the problems that tipping brings into any industry it enters, this is a terrible idea, a threat to all parties’ safety, and yet another reminder of the problems of forcing workers to rely on tips in any industry. Allowing workers to solicit tips to subsidize their wages is just … Continue reading Should Flight Attendants Have to Hustle for Tips?
A year ago this week, Republicans passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Among other things, they promised their legislation would generate jobs and increase wages. Neither has happened. Data suggests that, despite Republicans positioning their tax cuts as a boon for the middle class, the results have been more beneficial to shareholders than people who actually work for a living. Out of 152 corporations … Continue reading Still No Wage Growth One Year After Tax Cuts
While they still control the legislative agenda, Republicans on the House Education and the Workforce Committee planned to use their power to falsely claim that raising the minimum wage would somehow be bad for workers. To do so, they planned a hearing on the federal minimum wage titled “Mandating a $15 Minimum Wage: Consequences for Workers and Small Businesses,” with a full list of biased … Continue reading The Republican Witnesses We Would Have Heard Today
This summer, more than half of DC voters supported Initiative 77, which would eliminate the two-tiered wage system and increase the tipped minimum wage to match the rising non-tipped minimum wage at $15/hr. Almost six months later, activists are still working to see the will of voters go into effect. The “Save Our Vote” organizers, who are collecting signatures to overturn the DC City Council … Continue reading “Save Our Vote” Campaign Keeps Initiative 77 Fight Alive
During a year in which the political drama just won’t end, Republicans in Michigan have managed to pile onto their voter suppression in a devilishly ingenious way. Yesterday, during a lame duck session just months after passing the minimum wage and paid-leave legislation workers in the state were clamoring for, Republicans gutted their own legislation, accomplishing the con of the holiday season in the process. … Continue reading Michigan’s Minimum Wage and Paid-Leave Legislation Scam
This morning, Trump’s top economic advisor Larry Kudlow called the federal minimum wage “a terrible idea.” The only thing terrible about the federal minimum wage is that it hasn’t been increased in almost a decade. Since its institution in 1938, the federal minimum wage has helped millions of Americans move into the middle class. In the decades since, business interests have fought every federal minimum … Continue reading Letting Larry Kudlow Dictate Economic Policy is “a Terrible Idea”
Recently, Amazon announced it will begin paying its full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary workers a minimum wage of $15 per hour. To be clear, this is great news. The question is: why did we have to wait for Amazon to do it? There should already be a federally mandated minimum wage of $15 per hour. Since 2009, the federal minimum has been stuck at just … Continue reading Why Did We Have to Wait on Amazon to Pay a Fair Wage?
Yesterday, the DC City Council voted 8 to 5 to repeal the democratically enacted Initiative 77. The ballot measure would have gradually raised the tipped minimum wage until it matched the regular DC minimum wage of $15/hr. This is an outrage. This summer, Initiative 77 won the support of voters by an 11-point margin. Instead of this being the end of it, City Council has … Continue reading DC Council Repealed Voter-Approved Initiative 77
Restaurant employees across the nation are facing a serious threat to their wages, pushed by the legal arm of the National Restaurant Association, or “the other NRA.” Just as the National Rifle Association is a front group for weapons manufacturers (they are majority-funded by them, not concerned citizens), the National Restaurant Association is a front group for restaurant owners. They routinely oppose policies that would … Continue reading Show Up Against Wage Theft
Under the guise of improving and encouraging investments in our economy, federal legislation has made shareholders richer and richer. At the same time, the federal minimum wage and tipped-minimum wage have remained stagnant. The combination of these two policies has resulted in the weakening of American innovation. When Republicans lowered the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%, they did so under the promise that … Continue reading Stock Buybacks Instead of Employee Raises
The Department of Labor (DOL) recently proposed a new rule that would allow employers to take their workers’ tips, so long as they pay them the minimum wage. If finalized, this rule could cost workers $5.8 billion annually. For workers who rely on tips to make up the difference on their $2.13/hr wage, this would be an economic disaster. Women would be affected most, as … Continue reading Tip Stealing: the Latest Attack on Low-wage Workers
On February 24th, 2018 Chair Morris Pearl spoke at the Working People’s Day of Action rally in New York City. Below are his thoughts. I’m standing on the podium at the Working People’s Day of Action. It’s twenty minutes before call time and there are already at least a thousand people here. Hospital workers from local 1199. Teachers from the United Federation of Teachers (UFT). … Continue reading Working People’s Day of Action
One of the ills of American capitalism is the growing concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. At this very moment, the gap between rich and poor has never been wider, and it is only growing. As we are unable to even broach the discussion of maximum wages, we frequently argue over raising the minimum wage. These conversations quickly turn to ad hominems … Continue reading We Don’t Need or Want an Underclass to Look Down On
A bill that could increase the wages of 29% of workers in Massachusetts has sat in committee for almost a year. The legislation, which was filed by Senator Ken Donnelly of Arlington, now deceased, and Representative Dan Donahue of Worcester, would increase the state’s minimum wage by $1 a year until it is $15/hr in 2021. At that point, it would be indexed to the … Continue reading Why is Legislation to Raise the Minimum Wage in Massachusetts Stalling?
Let’s talk about the incentives in the new tax bill for employers to raise workers pay. Here is a concrete example. Say I own a small bar where people come and drink beer after work. Suppose I gross (on average) $1,000 per day in sales, the bartender gets paid $4,000 per month, I spend $10,000 per month on other fixed costs and $8,000 per month … Continue reading Does the New Tax Bill Provide More Incentives to Give Workers Raises… or Less?