It’s a Crime for a $7.25 Minimum Wage to Exist

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.

Power & Social Control: How We Will Win Against It

Bourgeois democracy has failed us.

It has not failed us because it’s Utopian characteristics or attributes are completely misguided. No, it is wrong in that the 1% has manipulated the system so brilliantly that we are rendered unable to advocate for ourselves as a class. How? Marxist theorists call it “false consciousness “:

“…the notion that members of the proletariat [the working class, or 99%]unwittingly misperceive their real position in society and systematically misunderstand their genuine interests within the social relations of production under capitalism. False consciousness denotes people’s inability to recognize inequality, oppression, and exploitation in a capitalist society because of the prevalence within it of views that naturalize and legitimize the existence of social classes.” – “False consciousness.” Britannica Academic, Encyclopædia Britannica, 17 Oct. 2016. academic.eb.com/levels/collegiate/article/false-consciousness/605373. Accessed 30 Dec. 2019.

Through this notion, most of us, the 99%, have been so manipulated through rhetoric that we cannot perceive reality as it truly is. We are not necessarily brainwashed, but rather so indoctrinated through various social means that we put the capitalists’ interests above our own, thinking that this is naturally right. But it certainly is not. The separation of society into the 1 % and the 99% is not a priori. Rather, it is created by the upper class in order to legitimate their own rule over us.

This is why I am calling for a group of leading far-left party members to be given temporary control over our government until this false consciousness can be eradicated. The capitalists will not go quietly and will even take up arms in the defense of this worldview. There is nothing the 1% will be shamed by; anything to preserve the status quo that will perpetuate our servitude.

V.I. Lenin called this group of leaders the “vanguard party”. They will lead us until the masses are ready to take over the reins of self-governance themselves. So in the meantime the vanguard party will install a “dictatorship of the proletariat, ” or the interests of the 99% will be enacted and defended despite all of the efforts by the 1%. The vanguard party will rule with no limits for the interests of the 99%. The 1% will no longer control us in any form or fashion. A true dictatorship of the many over the few.

6 New STL Images!

Sorry that it’s a day late (capitalism is killing me), but here are 6 new propaganda images for spreading revolution wherever one sees fit.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/TUomKrYbsYCMEWC59

NYT: Many Top Corps Paying 0% Taxes Driving Some to Far Left Organization

We want what the people want:

Mr. Robertson, the carpet cleaner, has his own idea: nationalizing the companies. “I think forcing them to pay higher alone is inefficient,” he said, “and taxation alone is inefficient.”

www.nytimes.com/2019/04/29/us/politics/democrats-taxes-2020.html

What Will Spark Real Change?

We know that great, revolutionary social movements are sparked by extreme discontent surrounding a variety of maladies. Yet many also often surround a single, large disaster that pushes the people over the edge.

The Russian Revolution was tipped off by the exceeding losses that the Russians were suffering on the eastern front during the first World War. The French Revolution was inflamed by the high prices of bread in Paris due to monarchy mismanagement (This was even somewhat due to the investment Louis 16th made into our cause in the American War for Independence.

What am I getting at? The question I am proposing is if there are any calamities in the foreseeable future that may push capitalist countries over the edge?

Sure, we have growing inequality which has exploded ever since 1975 (the end of the post WWII period) that is only going to get worse and worse according to Thomas Piketty’s work Capital in the 21st Century (this link is to a free.pdf copy of the book; It’s a must read if you are concerned with issues of economic inequality). But will that be enough or does one single event have to occur to move the people toward real change?

A few ideas I have is maybe a skyrocketing of fuel prices due to some foolish military action in the Middle East that everyone perceives as folly. Or perhaps a constitutional crisis, such as a U.S. President refusing to leave office after a lost election, or after his/her two terms are up. Perhaps, as Piketty also predicts, there will be a cycle of recession/depression after recession/depression occurring now that the golden years of 1913 to 1975 are over. But that one would be more of a gradual change unless one economic downturn would reach the level of the one of Weimar Germany.

Anyhow, I am not sure.

I invite the readers of this piece to offer up, first, if you think my theory is valid, and then if there is any form of disastrous phenomenon you see as a catalyst for real, radical change in the future? I look forward to your comments.

Proposed Tax On Million Dollar Living Spaces Serving As Second Home

“For properties valued between $5 million and $6 million, a 0.5 percent surcharge would be added on the value over $5 million. Fees and a higher surcharge would apply to homes that sold for more than $6 million, topping out at a $370,000 fee and a 4 percent surcharge for homes valued at more than $25 million.”

This would be huge in NYC where so many high end living spaces remain empty for they are just investments.

Would be great for a subway system revamp, and any leftover for remedying the housing crisis there.

www.nytimes.com/2019/03/11/nyregion/mta-subways-pied-a-terre-tax.html

NYT: “The Making of a U.K. Millennial Socialist”

Stand with our British sisters, brothers, and comrades!!!

nyti.ms/2GEXexS

Expert on Venezuela Stand-off says Attempted Aid Delivery: “It was a farce, and it failed.”

Mark Weisbrot, the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, who advocates a negotiated end to the political crisis (said),

”The ‘humanitarian aid’ this weekend was a public relations stunt, since the aid was just tiny fraction of the food and medicine that they are depriving Venezuelans of with the sanctions….As the Trump administration admitted, it was an attempt to get the Venezuelan military to disobey Maduro. It was a farce, and it failed.”

https://apnews.com/fda32cb8f5b944a989f6c2443c5c8084

Maduro Critic Even Argues A U.S. Coup Attempt is Occurring in Venezuela

A great Democracy Now! interview with a Caracas professor who, though being a Maduro critic, explains how U.S. aid is an attempt to incite the Venezuelan publics support for a Guaido/U.S. coup.

Also explains how U.S. sanctions are true cause for Venezuelan economic crisis.

Plus, for good measure, they have snippets of Trump spewing lies at one of his rallies calling Maduro a “Cuban Puppet.”

www.democracynow.org/2019/2/22/this_is_not_humanitarian_aid_a

Americans Should be Envious: “Why Infants May Be More Likely to Die in America Than Cuba”

nyti.ms/2HieZUR

A great op-Ed by Nick Kristoff at the NYT explaining how, though lacking in first rate medical technology, the infant mortality rates are actually lower in Cuba. We could take away many good practices from the Socialist, island nation so close to our shores.