Labor Day: raise the federal minimum wage in the USA

minimum_wage_pie_chart_05
Since it’s Labor Day, I shan’t work too hard. I want to recommend that you read:

A Livable Minimum Wage Could Decrease Unemployment by Decreasing Demand for Second Jobs:

Higher wages would more equitably distribute the jobs that are already available…. Forty hours a week (if you can get it) simply isn’t enough to pay the bills

Raising the Minimum Wage Can Reduce Unemployment

Lower-income and middle-class Americans have seen their income and wealth decrease over the last decade. So as you might imagine, many are pinching their pennies and spending less on goods and services. The end result is that businesses don’t have enough money or confidence to hire more workers.

The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income, from the CBO

[While] some jobs for low-wage workers would probably be eliminated…As a group, the workers whose income rose because of a minimum-wage increase would consequently pay more in taxes and receive less in benefits.

But if you look at none of these, I urge you to you to read The Pitchforks Are Coming…For Us Plutocrats by NICK HANAUER. It’s because it’s one thing for the 99% to complain about the inequity that exists, that despite a declining unemployment rate, consumer purchasing power is stagnant. It’s something else to read the views of a guy who made a ton of money through Amazon and other businesses:

Seeing where things are headed is the essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now?
I see pitchforks.

At the same time that people like you and me are thriving beyond the dreams of any plutocrats in history, the rest of the country—the 99.99 percent—is lagging far behind. The divide between the haves and have-nots is getting worse really, really fast. In 1980, the top 1 percent controlled about 8 percent of U.S. national income. The bottom 50 percent shared about 18 percent. Today the top 1 percent share about 20 percent; the bottom 50 percent, just 12 percent.

But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.
And so I have a message for my fellow filthy rich, for all of us who live in our gated bubble worlds: Wake up, people. It won’t last.

If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.

Many of us think we’re special because “this is America.” We think we’re immune to the same forces that started the Arab Spring—or the French and Russian revolutions, for that matter. I know you fellow .01%ers tend to dismiss this kind of argument… And yes, I know there are many of you who are convinced that because you saw a poor kid with an iPhone that one time, inequality is a fiction.

Here’s what I say to you: You’re living in a dream world.

He touts Henry Ford, and Washington state’s higher minimum wage, while noting the disaster of excessive CEO compensation and “trickle-down” economics.
***
One could also tax the rich, but that may be more difficult politically. It’s not class warfare when one side owns most of the ammo.

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