Sparking The Left is a serious advocate for the minimum wage increase to $15 an hour. (It should have been to $25 an hour 20 years ago, honestly). Just check out this great tweet by Sen Bernie Sanders we put on the STL twitter feed:
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report released on Mon. 2/8/2021, a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour would boost the wages of the 17 million workers who make less than that now. And another 10 million workers otherwise earning slightly more than $15 per hour might see their wages rise as well. The number of people with annual income below the poverty threshold in 2025 would fall by 1.3 million.
In all fairness, the CBO report also predicted that the increase could be up to 1.3 million jobs lost between the six increases ending in 2025. But a phase-in of a $15 minimum wage would also lift some 900,000 out of poverty. The report also states that there are two points of uncertainty it does not take into account in their final numbers, namely, wage growth or the responsiveness of employment to a wage increase, i.e., how will rich pigs handle these new costs in terms of layoffs, benefits reduction, etc. So these two points show the CBO is not saying their conclusions are scripture.
According to a report done by John Schmitt at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, (Schmitt, 2013), a review of all major academic economic research from the early 1990’s to 2013 on minimum wage increases, minimum wage rates have little or no discernible effect on the employment prospects of low-wage workers. According to Schmitt 2013,
“;;;[T]he weight of the empirical evidence is either inconclusive (statistically insignificant or positive in some cases and negative in others) or suggestive of only small economic effects [pg. 22]
So I am distraught at how this lifeline to the working class, a part of the Biden’s Covid-19 relief bill, may be cut out due to some GOP congressional procedural shenanigans or by one or two Democratic cowards. This is totally unacceptable to the people.
The federal minimum wage being so low is one of the biggest crimes against the people in this country behind our astronomical healthcare costs. And the above cited sources show how many people could be saved by a small hike. The wage has not even increased since 2009. That’s 12 years now. A living wage to everyone, worker or not, should already be considered a human right globally. We cannot even get that for the millions of Americans who work 40 hours a week in the richest nation in history. Low-wage workers cannot stay above the poverty line at $7.25 hr., yet those like Jeff Bezos, who just retired from Amazon with $184.6 billion dollars, could never spend all the money they hoard. And according to the New York Times, Pres. Biden just met with the leaders of major corporations like Wal-Mart, Gap Inc., and JP Morgan Chase, where he probably begged at their feet for help because he promised voters a living-wage (which many experts qualify as $17.50 hr). He has already broken his word in how we will not be getting a full $2000 stimulus check from this worthless government.
This situation and the above cited facts point to one major point that is not new here at STL: We are screaming to the people, “The system does not work for you! Let’s do something about it!” This country’s power structure is simply here to perpetuate the domination of the 1%. And we have to do something about that.