Raising the Minimum Wage Would Boost Economy
"I grew up hearing over and over, to the point of tedium, that 'hard work' was the secret of success. ... No one ever said that you could work hard -- harder even than you ever thought possible -- and still find yourself sinking ever deeper into poverty and debt."
Watching House Speaker
Aren't conservatives always going on about the toll income taxes have on the initiative of people in higher income brackets? High taxes are a disincentive to working longer and earning more, they say. And don't those same economic rules apply to people in low income brackets? Give people the opportunity to make a real living at a job, and they will work more. They won't need public assistance. They will pay taxes. All it takes is a slight adjustment to the formula of how much revenue goes to owners and bosses, and how much goes to the people who get their hands dirty.
Only government can make this happen since the private sector won't. People at the low end know from tough experience that, since the 1980s, America's old chestnut about working hard and getting ahead just doesn't apply anymore. From 1989 to 2010, real wages for high school-educated workers in the private sector grew by just 4.8 percent, even as U.S. productivity grew by 62.5 percent, according to the
America's social immobility problem was starkly illustrated in Ehrenreich's book. During 1999 and 2000, Ehrenreich tried to see what it was like to live on
The book was originally published in 2001, but since then, prospects for service workers haven't improved. The reason is politics.
Critics claim that raising the minimum wage always results in job losses, but recent research doesn't bear that out. Economists at the EPI say that modestly raising the federal minimum wage "would create jobs" throughout the nation by getting money to families who would spend it and stimulate the economy. And the raise Obama is contemplating is modest. It would bring the inflation-adjusted value of the minimum wage to 1981 levels.
Making every job a good job is doable. There is no dearth of restaurants in
"No one who works full time should have to live in poverty," Obama said, urging
- Economic Strategy for Better Jobs, Not Just Higher Profits
- Fast-food Workers Echo Occupy Spirit
- Inside the Superstar Economy of America's Big Thinkers
- The Real Economy: The Weather is Still Stormy
- Family Values and the New Economy
- The Nation-State and the Global Corporation
- A Good-Paying Job More Effective than a Lecture
- The Rich Life or the Good Life?
- The Economic Elephant in the Room: Widening Inequality
- Austerity Leaves Us Crying '96 Tears'
- Capitalism Is Not Dying
- Banking on the Poor
- Tracking CEO Pay
- The Stealth Sequester
- Half-Baked Economic Theories Continue to Direct Global Economy
- Why There's a Bull Market for Investors and a Bear Market for Workers
- The Contest Over Defining Our Biggest Economic Problem
- A Shortage of Mercy
- The Minimum Wage and The Meaning of a Decent Society
- The Hoax of Austerity Economics
- The Non-Zero-Sum Society
- Raising the Minimum Wage Would Boost Economy
- Poverty Still America's Vicious Cycle
- Government Spending That Isn't Smart
- Time to Break Up the Biggest Wall Street Banks
- Report Highlights Economic Threat of Hacking
- The Hoax of 'Entitlement Reform'
- Grow the Economy by Growing the Debate About It
- The Great Decoupling
- Why We Must Stop Obsessing About the Budget Deficit
- Christmas-Shopping Season Highlights Plight of Retail Workers
- The Holiday Shopping Guide for Hard Times
- The 'Land of Opportunity' is Becoming Hollywood Fiction
- The Fiscal Cliff: False Fears and Horrors
- Another Side of Economic Inequality
- Don't Cut Our Kids Out of the Budget
- Republicans and Democrats Playing Game of Economic Chicken
- The Trojan Horse in the Debt Debate
- The Dead-End Servant Economy
- Q&A with Joseph Stiglitz: 'The Price of Inequality'
Raising the Minimum Wage Would Boost Economy | Economy
(c) 2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc.