$15/hr Minimum Wage - Seriously?

Permalink +

Wed, Aug 19, 2015, 5:00 am  //  Dick Conoboy

And therein lies the problem. Up ahead. Like Zeno's arrow, you never get there.

This week in Iowa, Bernie Sanders said in a stump speech“We’ve got to raise the minimum wage to a living wage, $15 an hour.”  Presumably this pleased the crowd, however, Bernie has it wrong. (I am not picking on Bernie - Obama does no better.)  In order to reset the minimum wage to anything near a living wage, it must be raised to about $21 an hour TODAY which would bring it in line with the purchasing power the minimum wage represented 4-5 decades ago.  "Based on consumption growth since 1968, the minimum wage today would have to be $25.05 to represent the same share of the country's total consumption. Based on national income growth, the minimum wage should be $22.08. Based on personal income growth, it should be $21.16," wrote Salvatore Bobones for Thruthout....over three years ago

So where does that leave those who might get $15 an hour under the legislation that recently passed in Seattle?  Not much farther, if you consider that the minimum wage there is being phased in so the $15 will be achieved in THREE to SEVEN years!  You can add another decade of low wages to the 2012 estimates by Bobones and see that minimum wage workers will still be locked into the equivalent of indentured servitude. The only thing missing is the company store, unless you count its modern day equivalent, Walmart.  $15 is already short of the $21 that would be meaningful.  By the time 2022 rolls around, one will likely need about $25/hr to keep a family afloat in any meaningful sense, let alone make any advancement whatsoever.  Lest we forget, most of our minimum wage workers are not full time.  Unless the minimum wage worker can find and hold down two or three part-time jobs, he/she will essentially recapitulate Sisyphus

The problem does not end with the wages but continues with the scheduling of many of these minimum wage jobs.  Even if you want to combine a few part-time gigs there are scheduling issues.  A GAP employee described this enervating problem in the Guardian thus,  "Our schedule comes out less than a week in advance. Some of the shifts leave workers “on-call,” meaning we don’t know if we’re going to be working at all that day. The earliest we find out is two hours before the shift is scheduled to start. At my first store, I had 18 hours of penciled-in shifts with only nine guaranteed hours some weeks. This is not uncommon in the industry."   By "industry" I infer the slave-labor industry, not only in stores like the GAP but also all those national retail stores, coffee house chains, fast food joints and the like.  These modern day slaves are not even treated as assets on some net worth statement as has been done throughout history, slaves = wealth.  Employees are now treated as junk, throwaways and cheap, replaceable cogs.

The cruel irony is that this move to $15 - sometime in a few years or more or whatever - locks these relatively low wages into the corporate planning structure and guarantees that the shortfall in wages, that is made up by food stamps and other public assistance, will continue to be born by the public at large.  This is our public subsidy for the salaries of CEOs and the dividends to stockholders. 

It is time to call for a realistic raise in the minimum wage AND an end to abusive employment scheduling practices.

 

John Palmer  //  Thu, Aug 20, 2015, 11:29 am

I liked this article.

  Though I would be happier if the minimum wage was in the $20 range, I don’t think a single large increase would be the best solution.  I am in favor of regularly schedule smaller increases in the national minimum wage.  My original suggestion was for a 50 cent and hour increase every 6 months.  After reading this I am not sure that would be enough.

  It is also important that any changes to the nation minimum wage NOT effect the ability of states or municipalities to set their own higher minimum wage.

The work scheduling is also very important issue.  I would like to see better scheduling rules implemented in national law.

Though I feel raising the minimum wage is an important tool in fighting income inequality, I believe higher taxes on higher earners will also be needed in the fight.

 


$15/hr Minimum Wage - Seriously?

Wed, Aug 19, 2015, 5:00 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Moves to set the minimum wage to $15, even if successful, are woefully insufficient. And why aren't people speaking out about abusive work scheduling?

1 comments; last on Aug 20, 2015

Electromagnetic Radiation: Who’s Looking Out for You?

Tue, Jul 14, 2015, 4:13 pm  //  John Lesow

The fight to keep Point Roberts from becoming a Radio Tower Farm is not over.

3 comments; last on Jul 22, 2015


County proposes free pass for vacation rentals

Sun, Apr 26, 2015, 2:05 pm  //  Guest writer

Tani Sutley writes a second article on the increasing number of vacation rentals - and the County Council bill to let them expand dramatically.

4 comments; last on May 02, 2015

Coal Ship Collisions Study Is Released

Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 5:04 pm  //  John Servais

One part of the environmental study for the proposed Cherry Point mega coal terminal has been completed and released. It deals with ship collisions - they call it…

2 comments; last on Dec 22, 2014

Twas the Week Before Christmas…

Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 12:26 pm  //  John Servais

Bellingham Public Works shows how tone deaf they can be to business concerns. They insisted on street work that takes away up to 80 parking spaces in Fairhaven…

0 comments

Reliable Prosperity

Thu, Aug 14, 2014, 3:13 pm  //  Guest writer

Sandy Robson guest writes of the need for real prosperity at Cherry Point, not a destructive short term coal port that destroys the fishing grounds.

5 comments; last on Oct 02, 2014

What Landlords Need to Know about Rental Registration

Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 5:30 am  //  Guest writer

Landlords are so caught up opposing a licensing and inspection ordinance, they cannot see the upside for them in ridding the city of bad rentals.

19 comments; last on Aug 01, 2014

Reid Boiler Works Burns Down

Sun, Feb 09, 2014, 10:13 am  //  John Servais

The old empty Reid Boiler Works industrial building in Fairhaven burned to the ground Saturday night.

0 comments

Krugman Spells It Out In Plain English

Sun, Apr 28, 2013, 10:30 pm  //  John Servais

New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman, has a masterful short article that explains why austerity is not working.

3 comments; last on May 23, 2013

PeaceHealth Merger Threatens Women’s Health in Whatcom County

Tue, Feb 26, 2013, 7:39 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley details upcoming merger between PeaceHealth and a much more conservative entity

1 comments; last on Feb 26, 2013

Petition to Establish a Bellingham Art Market

Mon, Feb 25, 2013, 6:51 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein artists have to eat, too!

0 comments

Doug Ericksen’s Opening Moves

Tue, Jan 15, 2013, 5:53 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley looks into Ericksen's legislative efforts this session

1 comments; last on Jan 22, 2013

Slaughterhouses and Rendering Plants - Videographers Needed

Mon, Dec 03, 2012, 4:26 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein citizens must hold their representatives' feet to the fire

6 comments; last on Dec 09, 2012

Honky Tonk Friday at Marlins’ Cafe

Thu, Nov 29, 2012, 9:23 am  //  Paul deArmond

Hoss Unplugged, November 30 will Honk the York Neighborhood's Tonk

0 comments

Lummi Nation Opposes Coal Terminal

Fri, Sep 21, 2012, 9:53 am  //  John Servais

Bellingham Business Journal breaking story - Lummi's to hold meeting today at noon to speak against the Cherry Point project.

7 comments; last on Nov 04, 2012

The Political Junkie interviews “Power Past Coal”

Mon, Aug 20, 2012, 9:00 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley sits down with Matt Petryni with Power Past Coal to get the latest scoop

0 comments

The REAL Problem With Costco

Fri, Aug 17, 2012, 12:50 am  //  Wendy Harris

The Mayor's Negotiations With Costco Undercuts City Permit Procedures And Public Process

4 comments; last on Aug 17, 2012

Motivated Reasoning Yields Useless Planning

Mon, Jul 23, 2012, 7:05 pm  //  John Servais

Where a planning staff desire for view corridors in the Fairhaven plan yields a view corridor that does nothing for views.

1 comments; last on Jul 25, 2012

A Worm’s Eye View of our local WorkSource Center

Wed, Jan 25, 2012, 11:42 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley visits the local WorkSource center and interviews the regional director

0 comments

Dan Pike Issues Order to Evict Occupy Bellingham

Tue, Dec 27, 2011, 1:55 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley questions Pike's timing, and Occupy's choice of tactics

2 comments; last on Dec 28, 2011

Sam Crawford Faces Ethical Concerns . . . AGAIN

Thu, Dec 15, 2011, 2:44 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Local blogger Shane Roth files ethical complaint over Crawford's sweetheart deals

3 comments; last on Dec 16, 2011

The Cole Train: Loads of BS

Sun, Dec 04, 2011, 6:53 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein the sooty prospect of economic necessity rears its ugly head

2 comments; last on Dec 05, 2011

UPDATE: City’s response focused on favoritism, not lost revenue

Wed, Nov 30, 2011, 7:51 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

More on the city employee moonlighting issue

0 comments

TPJ Exclusive: Little Documented Oversight for City Employee Moonlighting

Mon, Nov 28, 2011, 6:29 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

The Political Junkie breaks a story of employee moonlighting within city of Bellingham

7 comments; last on Nov 30, 2011

Padden Trails Rezone – You Should Be Worried

Tue, Nov 15, 2011, 11:43 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The Padden Trails rezone effort is a misuse of the Infill Tool Kit on the outskirts of Bellingham.

8 comments; last on Nov 16, 2011

Bellingham Bank of America hires security guard

Wed, Nov 02, 2011, 4:00 pm  //  Dick Conoboy

Occupy Bellingham is already creating jobs for the 99% - but this raises some interesting questions.

8 comments; last on Nov 04, 2011

Bad Idea, Wrong Place, and Wrong Time

Mon, Oct 31, 2011, 4:07 pm  //  Guest writer

Bob Ferris of Re-Sources takes a values based perspective on our community and a possible coal port.

9 comments; last on Nov 02, 2011

Doug Ericksen Continues to Attack Working People

Wed, Oct 19, 2011, 8:20 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley continues his examination of Ericksen's anti-working people values

1 comments; last on Oct 19, 2011

The Political Junkie Occupies Bellingham

Sat, Oct 08, 2011, 3:29 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley reports on the Occupy Bellingham Rally

11 comments; last on Oct 13, 2011

From the Political Junkie: Why is Dan Pike talking about Coal Trains?

Thu, Sep 08, 2011, 10:37 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Look at the title, it spells it out.

6 comments; last on Sep 12, 2011

SSA already started construction at Cherry Point

Fri, Jul 29, 2011, 11:11 am  //  John Servais

The Gateway Pacific coal port appears to be under construction now - secretly and w/o permits.

36 comments; last on Aug 05, 2011

The Political Junkie Interviews Christina Maginnis

Mon, Jul 18, 2011, 10:03 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

The Political Junkie interviews Christina Maginnis

4 comments; last on Jul 22, 2011

The Debt isn’t the issue . . .your approach is!

Wed, Jul 06, 2011, 1:40 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley rants about the economy, and the solutions to our ills

6 comments; last on Aug 02, 2011

Just say no to unneeded regulations

Mon, Jun 20, 2011, 10:45 am  //  Sheri Ward

Proposed landlord licensing for Bellingham is on today's city council agenda.

10 comments; last on Jun 30, 2011

Running blog on Coal Port

Fri, Jun 03, 2011, 12:56 pm  //  John Servais

A running update of links and info on the Coal Port and Trains of proposed Gateway Pacific at Cherry Point.

15 comments; last on Jun 29, 2011

Flash mob for coal meeting

Wed, Jun 01, 2011, 5:32 pm  //  Guest writer

Guest writer Mark Flanders' call to action for June 1 flash mob at coal port meeting

7 comments; last on Jun 09, 2011

From the Political Junkie: Patti Brooks is a Socialist

Wed, May 18, 2011, 10:31 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Patti Brooks' war on gophers shows how she is a socialist

3 comments; last on May 28, 2011

If You Need a Loan, Own a Bank

Wed, Mar 30, 2011, 10:44 am  //  Guest writer

Elisabeth Marshall explains that Washington is one of several states looking at the advantages of a state-owned Public Bank

1 comments; last on Apr 03, 2011

Cross-County Coal Train is Coming

Fri, Mar 25, 2011, 5:00 am  //  John Servais

Coal trains will probably pass Lynden on their way from Sumas to Cherry Point, after coming across on the Canadian rail roads.

16 comments; last on Aug 14, 2011

Port punts on commercial moorage rates

Thu, Feb 17, 2011, 7:30 pm  //  Guest writer

Guest writer Doug Karlberg follows up with report from Tuesday's Port Commission meeting

7 comments; last on Feb 20, 2011

Showdown at the Port of Bellingham

Mon, Feb 14, 2011, 7:35 pm  //  Guest writer

Why the price of moorage matters to all Whatcom County. A guest article by Doug Karlberg.

5 comments; last on Jun 30, 2011

Questions on Health Care

Sat, Mar 27, 2010, 6:45 am  //  Craig Mayberry

Some questions on health care reform to our Congressional delegation.

0 comments

From One Political Junkie to Another: Investing in Infrastructure

Tue, Mar 16, 2010, 6:59 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Supporting the proposed sales tax increase for the WTA - by new writer Riley Sweeney.

3 comments; last on Mar 21, 2010

Intraprising Government

Fri, Mar 05, 2010, 12:30 pm  //  Craig Mayberry

A novel approach to government monoplies

0 comments

Where Have We Been- Where Are We Going?

Mon, Feb 15, 2010, 7:00 am  //  Craig Mayberry

People and businesses have had to make changes in what they do, when will government do the same?

1 comments; last on Mar 02, 2010

Political Ethics

Sat, Jan 16, 2010, 7:00 am  //  Craig Mayberry

Contrasts business ethics and political ethics

4 comments; last on Jan 18, 2010

WA State Government Spending

Tue, Dec 15, 2009, 5:00 pm  //  Craig Mayberry

It is always fascinating to watch the government budgeting process. With the recent reduction in revenue forecast, the Governor and other state politicians announced a severe cut in…

0 comments

Hope for Chuckanut Ridge

Thu, Oct 01, 2009, 5:20 pm  //  Larry Horowitz

If you are interested in saving Chuckanut Ridge, there is some glimmer of hope for preserving this ecologically-rich and environmentally-sensitive property. If you are willing to make a…

3 comments; last on Oct 04, 2009

Economic Stress Index

Thu, May 21, 2009, 7:00 pm  //  Larry Horowitz

The Associated Press (AP) has created an interesting interactive chart measuring the economic stress by County.

According to the AP, Whatcom County has a Stress Index of 9.86 for…

1 comments; last on May 22, 2009

Consuming earth’s assets

Wed, May 20, 2009, 1:25 pm  //  Larry Horowitz

“At present, we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product.” So says renowned entrepreneur and visionary Paul Hawken at his…

1 comments; last on May 21, 2009

Shocking Revelation: President Impotent

Thu, May 14, 2009, 7:28 pm  //  g.h.kirsch

Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, asks, “What do you suppose it is like to be elected president of the United States only to find…

4 comments; last on May 16, 2009

Preserving Farmland

Sun, Apr 05, 2009, 9:59 pm  //  Craig Mayberry

This week a study suggested that one of the most important issues in Whatcom County is the preservation of farmland. The Whatcom County Council has talked for years…

1 comments; last on Apr 28, 2009

Moron Money

Sun, Mar 15, 2009, 6:25 pm  //  g.h.kirsch

"I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers…

6 comments; last on Mar 17, 2009

Infill, Sinfill & Sprawl

Thu, Feb 12, 2009, 8:36 pm  //  Larry Horowitz

Have you ever wondered how truly livable cities become undesirable hell holes? Do the people who run these highly attractive areas into the ground merely fail to comprehend…

2 comments; last on Feb 16, 2009

Top ten list for the next buyer of Chuckanut Ridge / Fairhaven Highlands

Sat, Feb 07, 2009, 11:17 am  //  Larry Horowitz

If you happen to find yourself in the market for an 82-acre hilly swamp wholly encumbered by critical areas like steep slopes and mature-forested Category 1 wetlands in…

0 comments

How Horizon Bank chose greed over the safety of its community

Tue, Feb 03, 2009, 1:05 am  //  Larry Horowitz

I really pity Horizon Bank’s CEO Rich Jacobson. His predecessor, Laury Evans, sure left him a bad hand to play. Not only is Mr. Jacobson faced with the…

2 comments; last on Mar 02, 2009

Fairhaven Shipyard to gain larger drydock

Fri, Jan 02, 2009, 7:23 pm  //  John Servais

Coming to our Fairhaven waterfront - this magnificent floating drydock. The above aerial photo is of the Fairhaven Shipyard with the new drydock placed as a computer image…

1 comments; last on Jan 03, 2009

Where Do You Draw the Line

Fri, Dec 12, 2008, 12:46 am  //  Craig Mayberry

Another day another bailout by our government. After facing fierce opposition from regular people, our federal government decided to bail out banks, now the latest effort is to…

7 comments; last on Dec 14, 2008

Population Projections: Victims of the past or Masters of our own destiny

Fri, Oct 17, 2008, 1:20 pm  //  Larry Horowitz

When it comes to planning for the future of our county and cities, must we be victims of the past or can we become masters of our own…

1 comments; last on Oct 18, 2008

What’s in a name?

Thu, Sep 11, 2008, 12:18 pm  //  Larry Horowitz

People everywhere like to use labels to compartmentalize things - as well as other people. In the context of our local growth debate, we hear terms like Pro-Growth

25 comments; last on Sep 18, 2008

 

New Links

Bellingham Wins

Noisy Waters

Election Info

Election Results

WA State Elections
Whatcom County Elections

Coal, Oil & Trains

Coal Stop

Community Wise Bham
Powder River Basin R. C.

Local Blogs & News

Bellingham Herald

Bham Business Journal
Bham Politics & Econ
Cascadia Weekly
Ferndale Record
Friends of Whatcom
Get Whatcom Planning
KGMI
Latte Republic
League of Women Voters
Lynden Tribune
Noisy Waters
Northern Light
Twilight Zoning
Western Front - WWU
Whatcom Watch

Local Causes

Chuckanut C. Forest

City Club of Bellingham
Conservation NW
Futurewise - Whatcom
Lake Whatcom
Lummi Island Quarry
N. Cascades Audubon
NW Holocaust Center
RE Sources
Salish Sea Org.
Save the Granary
Transition Whatcom
WA Conservation Voters
Whatcom Peace & Justice

Governments

- Whatcom County

Bellingham
Port of Bellingham
Skagit County
US House
US Senate
US Supreme Court
US The White House
WA State
WA State Elections
Whatcom COG

NWCitizen 1995-2007

Early Northwest Citizen

Weather & Climate

Cliff Mass Weather Blog

Climate Audit
Nat Hurricane Center
NW Radar
Two day forecast
Watts Up With That?

Leisure

Adventures NW

Bellingham Wins
Edge of Sports
Entertainment NNW
Famous Internet Skiers
Recreation Northwest
Sailing Anarchy

Good Web Sites

Al-Jazeera online

Alaska Dispatch
AlterNet.org
Antiwar.com
Arab News
Asia Times
Atlantic, The
Change The Mascot
Common Dreams
counterpunch
Crosscut Seattle
Daily Kos
Daily Mirror
Doonesbury
Drudge Report
FiveThirtyEight
Foreign Policy in Focus
GlobalPost
Guardian Unlimited
Gulf News
Haaretz
Huffington Post
Innocence Project
Irish Times
James Fallows
Jerusalem Post
Joel Connelly
Juan Cole
Julia Ioffe/New Republic
Le Diplo
Media Matters
Michael Moore
Middle East Times
MoveOn.org
Nation, The
New American Century
News Trust
NMFA
numbers
Online Journal
Palestine Daily
Palestine News
Paul Krugman
Personal bio info
Portland Indy Media
Progressive Review
Project Vote Smart
Reuters
Sea Shepherd
Slate
Stand for the Troops
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Talking Points Memo
TED
The Crisis Papers
The Intercept
the Oatmeal
Tom Paine.com
truthout
Vox
War and Piece
Washington Votes
WikiLeaks.ch
ynetnews.com

Quiet, Offline or Dead

Bellingham Register

Bhm Herald Politics Blog
Bob Sanders
Carl Weimer
Chuckanut Mountains
Citizen Ted
Citizens of Bellingham
Cordata & Meridian
David Hackworth
Facebook Port Reform
HamsterTalk
Intrnational Herald Tribune
Jack Petree
MikeatthePort
N. Sound Conservancy
No Leaky Buckets
Northwest Review
Orcinus
Post-Oklahoman
Protect Bellingham Parks
Sweeney Politics
The American Telegraph
Wally Wonders