How raising the federal minimum wage would help working families and give the economy a boost | Economic Policy Institute

In response to several questions to my minimum wage press…..I read this report and thought I would pass it on……..

How raising the federal minimum wage would help working families and give the economy a boost | Economic Policy Institute.

Wanna Beer After Work?

If you are not watching the Sochi Olympics (congrats of 2 Americans with Gold in Snowboarding and NO the “flying tomato” is not one of them) then you have either watched the mind numbing crap they call reality TV….or you watched the news…..and I use the term loosely….nothing I saw on the tube was interesting enough to keep my attention…..with that said…let’s talk about something that will be tossed around the web in the next month or so……MINIMUM WAGE!

I know that economics is NO one’s fave topic……most Americans have NO idea what the science is all about other than how much they have to spend on the essentials like food, shelter, utilities, etc……but I apologize if this bores you….but somethings needed to be talked about….and economics is one of those subjects.

There has been so much chatter about the minimum wage…..some want to see a rise in it and others spin it as a jobs killer and a small business killer……all that is just ducky….but if you are having to work for minimum then it is a different story…..those against it are millionaires or just plain STUPID!

From an purely economic perspective……a rise in the minimum will do well for the economy….but of course that is NOT good enough for it to happen….there will be an endless debate, especially by idiots that dash to the nearest camera, on the pros and cons……

I read a report a few days ago that stated that a minimum wage worker would have to work an hour to afford a couple of Starbucks……and that got me to thinking…..most of us working stiffs enjoy a cold one after work…..so after a little research I found a piece along those lines…….

For a minimum-wage worker in Bangladesh, grabbing a cold one after work amounts to a serious investment. To afford a beer, that employee must toil for 13.4 hours, according to an analysis by Quartz. The report compares the price of a half-liter of beer in a country’s bars with that country’s minimum wage. Among the results:

  • Beer-seekers will have the hardest time in Georgia, where it takes 15.1 hours of minimum-wage work to earn a drink.
  • Puerto Rico is at the opposite end of the spectrum: Work for 12 minutes on minimum wage, and you can pay for a beer.
  • US workers have to work for twice as long as those in Puerto Rico; at 24 minutes, the US rate matches those of Canada, Spain, Taiwan, Germany, and Japan, among others.
  • After Georgia and Bangladesh, the countries facing the most work per beer are Libya (7.5 hours) and Ethiopia (6.6 hours).
  • Luxembourg, Australia, and Cyprus are runners-up for the briefest periods of toil, at 18 minutes per beer.

There you have the break down.  NO wonder Aussie like their brew.

Anything to add?

SCOTUS Humps Workers

While you were pissing and moaning about the SCOTUS ruling on voters rights or celebrating their ruling on DOMA, they were screwing the American worker……

In the first case, Vance v. Ball State University, the court ruled workers only are protected against a supervisor who has the power to make “significant change in [your] employment status, such as hiring, firing, failing to promote, reassignment with significantly different responsibilities, or a decision causing a significant change in benefits” or if the company ignores the fact a supervisor without this power is engaging in harassment. This very narrow definition of “supervisor” makes remedying harassment more difficult and ignores the reality that many supervisors without hiring and firing power have the ability to make an employee’s life much more difficult.

The second case, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, eliminated so called “mixed motive” retaliation claims under existing anti-discrimination law. Employees who pursue discrimination claims now will have to prove that discrimination was the sole thing on their boss’s mind when they were fired or demoted. Previously, discrimination only had to be one factor involved in punishing an employee and bosses were required to reveal what they were thinking at the time of the punishment. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pointed out in her dissent, that standard is almost impossible to meet, since few people in the real world are motivated by a single cause.

Not much to celebrate there now is there?

The Righties are winning their war on labor and the workers….and we seem to be blind to all these efforts while we stroke out over background checks or voters rights  or we pee all over ourselves with a minor victory in same sex marriage……all these worker hostile issues that the GOP is winning is doing what it intended…making of a low paid worker that has no rights and has only the ‘mercy’ of the employers whims….this benefits no one but corporations and it does not create jobs that would give the worker a liveable wage……

Expand your issues beyond the single issue that excites your passion…..

Poverty, American Style

We long haired hippie leftists have been telling the American people that their acquiescence on the political side of life was going to bring them nothing but pain and poverty…..and for the longest time we long haired hippies have been told that we were alarmists……I have one question…….can you hear us now?

I know my readers are getting tired of all gloom and doom about the economy and especially the Middle Class…..but I will not apologize…..I see the chance of the Middle Class disappearing completely and the possibility that it could never return….I have given lots of links and such to inform my reader and I will continue to do so……like today….I found more info on the economy and the Middle Class that is under attack……this time from Braden Goyette of ProPublica…….I know it is a lot of info, but the more you have the better your writings…….

Americans below the poverty line in 2010: 46.2 million

Official U.S. poverty rate in 2007, before the recession: 12.5 percent

Poverty rate in 2009: 14.3 percent

Poverty rate in 2010: 15.1 percent

Last time the poverty level was this high: 1993

Poverty line in 2010: $22,314 for a family of four, or $11,139 for an individual

Rough amount the poor are living on per week: $200 or less

Poverty rate in American suburbs: 11.8 percent, the highest since 1967

Percentage of the population making less than half the poverty line in 2010: 6.7 percent

Percentage of the population making less than half the poverty line in 2007, before the recession: 5.2 percent

Poverty rate for white Americans in 2010: 13 percent

Poverty rate for African-Americans in 2010: 27.4 percent

Real median household income in 2010: $49,445

Decline in median household income since 2009: 2.3 percent

Decline in median household income since before the recession: 6.4 percent

The last time median household incomes have been this low: 1996

Real median household income in 1999, in 2010 dollars: $53,252

Median income for full-time male workers in 2010: $47,715

Median income for full-time male workers in 1973, in 2010 dollars: $49,065

Official unemployment rate in August 2011: 9.1 percent

Total unemployed people in August: 14 million

People who were employed part-time for economic reasons in August 2011: 8.8 million

People not counted in the labor force who wanted work: 2.6 million

Net jobs created in August 2011: 0

Long-term unemployed people as of August 2011: 6 million

Unemployed workers per job opening as of July 2011: 4.34 (3.2 million openings and 13.9 million unemployed people)

Uninsured Americans in 2010: 49.9 million

Percentage of Americans without health insurance in 2010: 16.3 percent

Percentage of Americans without health insurance in 2007, before the recession: 15.3 percent

Percentage of children who were uninsured in 2010: 9.8 percent

Percentage of children in poverty who were uninsured in 2010: 15.4 percent

Percentage of American households that had enough to eat throughout the year in 2007: 88.9 percent

Percentage of American households that had enough to eat throughout the year in 2010: 85.5 percent

It is time for the American people to get INVOLVED!  Are you proud of the direction that your elected officials are taking our country?  If not, then get to writing, phoning, texting, tweeting, whatever……get INVOLVED or lose your country…FOR GOOD!

The Right To Work

A friend of Info Ink, Terrance of Sibboleth (go to blogroll and enjoy his site) who lives in Michigan…this post is for him and the state in which he lives…..

Michigan should not adopt a right-to-work law in an attempt to address its economic challenges, a new Economic Policy Institute paper finds.  In ‘Right to work’: The wrong answer for Michigan’s economy.

Sadly, this is not about a person sacred right to a job, but rather the state of employment in the Southern states, most notably…….A couple of years a go I did a post on the “right to work” and it has been getting a bit of traffic on it recently….the comments that I have gotten seem to show that not many people realize what the “right to work” really means…..

Let me help with the assistance of the Economic Policy Institute…..

Right-to-work (RTW) laws make it illegal for employees and employers to negotiate a union contract that requires all employees who benefit from the contract to pay their fair share of the costs of negotiating it.  RTW laws are designed to undermine unions’ bargaining strength, and their primary focus is the manufacturing industry.  Currently, 22 states have RTW laws.

RTW laws have no impact on the performance of state economies.  Seven of the 10 highest-unemployment states are states with RTW laws, including Nevada and Florida, which have unemployment rates higher than Michigan’s unemployment rate of 10.5%, and South Carolina, which also has an unemployment rate of 10.5%.  Factors other than RTW laws, such as major industries and climate, shape states’ economies.

RTW laws lower wages for union and non-union workers by an average of $1,500 a year and decrease the likelihood employees will get health insurance or pensions through their jobs.  By lowering compensation, they have the indirect effect of undermining consumer spending, which threatens economic growth.  For every $1 million in wage cuts to workers, $850,000 less is spent in the economy, which translates into a loss of six jobs.

RTW is not something that looks out for the working people of a state….it does however that the corporations want it…….it does nothing to expand the services that the state has promised to give to the residents…..it does nothing to increase the quality of life for the residents…..it does however give politicians a great source of income from the corporations that the states favor…..

If you like the idea of RTW…then by all means check out my state, Mississippi….there is NOTHING good that has come out of RTW….low wages, bad health care, poor education….to mention only a few….and then after checking it out….tell the politicians in your state just what you think of RTW!

Assaulting The System

For years I have been telling people to watch their backs that they were letting the politicians get away with way too much and that it would eventually sneak up and bite them in the butt…..right about now the voter’s ass should look like hamburger!

It began with the hatchet job done on ACORN by Breitbart and his lackey film maker….it seemed that the Far Right had to silence ACORN and the job it did helping poor people register to vote….for those people were “Democrats”…argh!

Then after the 2010 election we had a number of Repub governors attacking collective bargaining and union membership as some how making the deficits worse in their states….states like Ohio, Wisconsin …….after all unions were the major contributors to the opposition…..those “Democrats”…..argh!

And then Repub governors and legislatures started attacking voting…..they passed new laws that limit who could vote or made it extremely hard for some people to register….states like Florida…because these people more than likely would have voted….”Democrat”….argh!

And now there is a new approach…..the Hill is reporting….

A new proposal by the governor of Pennsylvania that would dramatically change how the state awards its Electoral College votes could have a major impact on the 2012 election — and President Obama’s reelection chances.The plan would be similar to the configurations in Nebraska and Maine, which divide their votes rather than adopting the “winner-take-all” system in place in the remaining states plus the District of Columbia. But while Nebraska and Maine have a relatively small impact on the race, due to their size, Pennsylvania’s adoption of the system would have a dramatic effect on the presidential process.

They will tinker with a plan that was stated in the Constitution….remember that document?

This plan would further eliminate the whole  idea of one vote concept….this is the attempt to find ways to prevent Obama from gaining all the electoral votes….these newly elected Repub governors and legislatures are doing what they accused us Leftist of wanting to do in the past….and yet they get support and the Left got vilified……why is that?  To be fair, this idea could well, backfire on them….but that is not important….trying to gin the system for the 2012 election is all that matters at this time…….

I warned yet again…WATCH your backs…….or you will lose what few voting rights you have now…..and there are NOT many left.

Thus Spake Barack!

Are you ready for some football?  But first, a few words from the President of the United States of America.

Everybody from the President to the House to the Senate to presidential candidates has a plan….a plan to create jobs….those elusive things that is needed to make our economy strong again…..so far ALL ideas revolve around spending cuts and tax cuts…..and I mean ALL….Repub and Dem alike….the same ideas…..but tonight will be different….the Prez will offer a new way of thinking about job creation….just wait and see….

The prediction before the fact was……

President Obama plans tomorrow to unveil a $300 billion jobs strategy that will involve tax relief for workers and spending on public works projects such as road repair and school renovations to put America back to work, according to sources familiar with the plan. Half of the stimulus will come from tax cuts, including a year-long extension of a Social Security payroll tax reduction for workers and a possible cut in payroll taxes paid by employers, according to Bloomberg. The plan also involves the extension of unemployment benefits, offering job training for the unemployed, and a program to prevent teacher layoffs, reports the Los Angeles Times.

And after spake the Prez we have…….the heavens opened up and the healing light from above shown on the country and its people…….(pause)……(sorry, I cannot go on….that was too mushy even for my sarcasm)……..okay, the points leaked and quoted above were very accurate…..

I have been re-reading the speech…..because there is something in it that is disturbing to me…..please read it for yourself……http://tpm.ly/pK5qXo

I do not see these moves that will do much to lower unemployment much…..it is full of tax cuts……..more spending cuts……and then there is the part about helping small business (tomorrow I will explain small business)……he talked anout infrastructure without ever mentioning the term infrastructure……I do not see this as anything but a proposal that will get Repub support….it is just empty in my mind…….

But the part that concerned me the most was Obama’s insistence on the passing of the free trade agreements…..this from his speech…..

“Now it’s time to clear the way for a series of trade agreements that would make it easier for American companies to sell their products in Panama, Colombia and South Korea — while also helping the workers whose jobs have been affected by global competition. If Americans can buy Kias and Hyundais, I want to see folks in South Korea driving Fords and Chevys and Chryslers. I want to see more products sold around the world stamped with three proud words: “Made in America.”

All I can say is to look at what NAFTA did to American jobs……stuff I have read about the Korean agreement would all the South to sell American goods to the North, something that is forbidden by Congress….the ones for Panama would allow corporations to hide money and stuff with extremely difficulty for the US to access the info for prosecutions……Free Trade Agreements in the past have done NOTHING to help American workers….why would labor support them?

Obama sounded forceful……Obama looked determined………Obama looked presidential and strong……but I believe that it was in appearance….ONLY!

Blame It On The Unions

With the revolution, so to speak, that has been festering in Wisconsin and now moved onto other states, the unions are being blamed for everything from the election of a president to e coli…..of course this is NOTHING new….conservs have been doing this for a very long time….almost since the beginning back in the early 20th century…..

Any one that has read Info Ink for any length of time knows that I am a labor supporter but not necessarily a supporter of unions, as we know them today.  Yes, I think that labor should be lead by a separate party, if you will……but NOT an AFL-CIO type of organization……why?  It is too bureaucratic and too top-centric (if that is a word)….this was not the fault of the members but rather a labor leader back in the day, named Gompers who believed economic power was more to his liking than political power…..

If you are a worker, either union or non, there is a lot you can blame on the unions…..a whole litany of issues that conservs have seldom been in favor of in the past and most notably in the present……

  1. Weekends
  2. All Breaks at Work, including your Lunch Breaks
  3. Paid Vacation
  4. FMLA
  5. Sick Leave
  6. Social Security
  7. Minimum Wage
  8. Civil Rights Act/Title VII (Prohibits Employer Discrimination)
  9. 8-Hour Work Day
  10. Overtime Pay
  11. Child Labor Laws
  12. Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
  13. 40 Hour Work Week
  14. Worker’s Compensation (Worker’s Comp)
  15. Unemployment Insurance
  16. Pensions
  17. Workplace Safety Standards and Regulations
  18. Employer Health Care Insurance
  19. Collective Bargaining Rights for Employees
  20. Wrongful Termination Laws
  21. Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
  22. Whistleblower Protection Laws
  23. Employee Polygraph Protect Act (Prohibits Employer from using a lie detector test on an employee)
  24. Veteran’s Employment and Training Services (VETS)
  25. Compensation increases and Evaluations (Raises)
  26. Sexual Harassment Laws
  27. Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
  28. Holiday Pay
  29. Employer Dental, Life, and Vision Insurance
  30. Privacy Rights
  31. Pregnancy and Parental Leave
  32. Military Leave
  33. The Right to Strike
  34. Public Education for Children
  35. Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011 (Requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work)
  36. Laws Ending Sweatshops in the United States

(Thanx to bigcorporationusa.blogspot for the list)

The next time you hear one of your potential reps telling you all about the evils of unions ask them about some of the things on the list and ask why they are so hated……so on Labor Day if you want to remember those in the Labor movement and thank them for the rights and benefits you have today….for without their work your life would be considerably more miserable than you think you have it.

Enjoy your day of fun, food and family…..see you tomorrow…….

How Will The Debt Deal Effect Me?

It is a done deal…..the president has signed the debt deal into law…..what now?

You have heard all the opinions on what will happen if we default and what will happen with the deal that has been made…….GOP says it will do this….and Dems say it will do that….and the Tea Party is just plain pissed…..but really now…how will it effect me and you….you know real people with real stake in the survival of the economy….how will it effect us mortals?

A great question and you will NOT hear an elected official that will actually tell you the truth….but rather go off onto a talking point rant or by quoting some lame political bumper sticker….so how will it effect you?

RJ Eskow of Campaign for America’s Future has written about it…….

1. You’ll be less likely to find a job if you’re looking. If you’ve got a job, you’re less likely to earn more money – and more likely to lose it.

The New York Times report of a secret agreement not to help the economy only confirms what we already knew: The President won’t aggressively push a jobs program, and the Republicans don’t intend to pass one in any case.

This is bad news if you or anyone close to you is currently unemployed — especially if you live an a hard-hit area, have been unemployed for a long time, are African American, or are older. It’s equally bad news if you’ve just graduated from college. This “grand bargain” won’t even extend your Federal unemployment insurance.

If you’re not working enough hours or haven’t seen your salary go up very much, this will hurt you too. Under-employment is also a symptom of an economy in need of stimulus, and that stimulus isn’t coming. And wages are stagnating, even for fully-employed people, too. There are several reasons for that — with high unemployment, employers don’t have to give raises to keep people. And a lot of employers are strapped, too, because they’re not making as much money as they used to.

In other words, of you’re one of the 22 to 24 million people in the country who are un- or under-employed, this deal is bad news. And if you’re one of the tens of millions of people with stagnant income, it will hurt you too.

By all means, please keep looking for a job and try not to surrender to despair. But this bill is a step backward for you.I know it’s going to be tough, and I feel for you. But hang in there and don’t give up. Join us in pressuring Washington to address unemployment. That will give you added purpose – and we sure could use the help.

2. Your housing value is likely to suffer.

The bipartisan coalition that bailed out Wall Street has agreed to exclude any help for suffering homeowners in their “grand bargain.” That means that a wave of foreclosures will continue unabated, driving down housing value, ruining millions of households, and depressing the local economy in tens of thousands of cities, towns, and neighborhoods.

The tax provisions we’ll describe in a minute are likely to make that problem even worse.

3. Your old age just got scarier.

A “chained-CPI” benefit cut will reduce Social Security by nearly ten percent by the time you’re 80 — and that’s if you retire right away. If you’re young the cuts will be even greater. Raising the retirement age is a huge benefit cut, too.

The right-wing “bipartisan” consensus isn’t willing to attack the real drivers of health care cost in this country, most of which come from our over-dependence on for-profit hospitals, insurance companies, and drug companies. That means benefit cuts are likely to be recommended by the “Super Congress” and implemented by that other body. (What should it be called from now on – the “Lesser Congress,” perhaps?)

That’s likely to mean an old age with more financial insecurity – unless this deal can be stopped, or the “Super Congress” is staffed with Democrats who believe in the higher good and not a deal for expediency’s sake.

Again, don’t despair. Join us in fighting to protect entitlement programs – or in electing politicians who will.

4. Your tax bill is likely to go way up.

You may have heard the phrase “revenue enhancement” and wondered why they don’t just say “tax increase.” Or heard the words “tax expenditure” and wondered why they didn’t just say “tax deductions.” Here’s why: The phrase “tax increase” is understood to mean raising tax rates, which would discommode the wealthy. But “revenue enhancement” also includes eliminating tax deductions that benefit the middle class but mean very little to the wealthy.

The American people are soooooo screwed……now think about what was written and then answer this question……who did the Congress actually have in mind when they passed the debt deal?  Here’s a clue if you are having problems with the question……..YOU were NEVER part of the equation!

Is There A Serfdom In Our Future?

Weiner’s weiner is gone!  Can we now return to the act of running a country into the ground?

Do you remember your history lessons?  Remember the term serf?  Let me help your memory a bit…..a serf is the lowest individual of society that is required to perform labor in return for certain legal or customary rights or a person in bondage or servitude.  I bring all this up….why?

The way the economy is going with all the greed and deceit that corporations are using on the average person…we could be looking at an updated form of serfdom.  In short, we are once again becoming peasants.  And now I bet that you are asking just what am I going on about, right?

How about a simple definition of indentured servitude…….servants could not marry without the permission of their owner, were subject to physical punishment, and saw their obligation to labor enforced by the courts. To ensure uninterrupted work by the female servants, the law lengthened the term of their indenture if they became pregnant. But unlike slaves, servants could look forward to a release from bondage. If they survived their period of labor, servants would receive a payment known as “freedom dues” and become free members of society.   One could buy and sell indentured servants’ contracts, and the right to their labor would change hands, but not the person as a piece of property.  (Does that silly to you as it does to me?)

Basically, it is more acceptable form of slavery!

Think not?  Today we have massive debates about marriage, who can and cannot do the deed…..we have legislation that is making it difficult for workers to get a fair shake from corporations and governments…..courts are siding with the special interests over the needs and desires of the people, especially the working majority…..we see women looked upon as the lower end of the worker population…..and finally we have the takeovers of one company over another and the workers used as a bargaining chip….workers at the mercy of capital and greed…..

There is even a push to repeal child labor laws……

business trade associations, employer groups, reactionary
Republican politicians and Tea Party activists to urge severe weakening of
the state laws, and, ultimately, of the federal law. They agree with Supreme
Court Justice Clarence Thomas that the child labor laws are unconstitutional
for a variety of obscure legal reasons. They’ve begun their legal attacks on
state laws with the laws in Maine and Missouri.

Basically, we have a growing updated form of serfdom and indentured servitude….and thanx to the Congress and the politicians it will continue to get worse for the worker……and eventually…our children.  I realize that it is a bit of a stretch but look at the economy and the jobs picture in the US or the GOP and its attacks on the working class or the Middle class,  if you prefer……the worker is becoming a tool of diminishing value or a serf……

I know that there will be people who think is fantasy and just a shot at capitalism……Well, I guess it is…in a way…..But just in case you do not see the working class disappearing….take a look at this Business Insider website…..

Without an abundance of good jobs, the middle class in the United States is going to shrivel up and die.  Right now, rampant unemployment is absolutely killing communities all over America.

Click here to see the signs >

The economy and the economic situation is not looking good for those in the working class or the middle class, if you will……it is NOT too late, but that deadline is quickly approaching….