$15/hr Minimum Wage - Seriously?Permalink +
Wed, Aug 19, 2015, 5:00 am // Dick Conoboy
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.
Wed, Aug 19, 2015, 5:00 am // Dick ConoboyMoves 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
Tue, Jul 14, 2015, 4:13 pm // John LesowThe fight to keep Point Roberts from becoming a Radio Tower Farm is not over.
3 comments; last on Jul 22, 2015
Sun, Apr 26, 2015, 2:05 pm // Guest writerTani 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
Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 5:04 pm // John ServaisOne 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
Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 12:26 pm // John ServaisBellingham 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…
Thu, Aug 14, 2014, 3:13 pm // Guest writerSandy 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
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 5:30 am // Guest writerLandlords 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
Sun, Feb 09, 2014, 10:13 am // John ServaisThe old empty Reid Boiler Works industrial building in Fairhaven burned to the ground Saturday night.
Sun, Apr 28, 2013, 10:30 pm // John ServaisNew York Times columnist, Paul Krugman, has a masterful short article that explains why austerity is not working.
3 comments; last on May 23, 2013
Tue, Feb 26, 2013, 7:39 am // Riley SweeneyRiley details upcoming merger between PeaceHealth and a much more conservative entity
1 comments; last on Feb 26, 2013
Mon, Feb 25, 2013, 6:51 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein artists have to eat, too!
Tue, Jan 15, 2013, 5:53 pm // Riley SweeneyRiley looks into Ericksen's legislative efforts this session
1 comments; last on Jan 22, 2013
Mon, Dec 03, 2012, 4:26 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein citizens must hold their representatives' feet to the fire
6 comments; last on Dec 09, 2012
Thu, Nov 29, 2012, 9:23 am // Paul deArmondHoss Unplugged, November 30 will Honk the York Neighborhood's Tonk
Fri, Sep 21, 2012, 9:53 am // John ServaisBellingham 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
Mon, Aug 20, 2012, 9:00 am // Riley SweeneyRiley sits down with Matt Petryni with Power Past Coal to get the latest scoop
Fri, Aug 17, 2012, 12:50 am // Wendy HarrisThe Mayor's Negotiations With Costco Undercuts City Permit Procedures And Public Process
4 comments; last on Aug 17, 2012
Mon, Jul 23, 2012, 7:05 pm // John ServaisWhere 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
Wed, Jan 25, 2012, 11:42 am // Riley SweeneyRiley visits the local WorkSource center and interviews the regional director
Tue, Dec 27, 2011, 1:55 pm // Riley SweeneyRiley questions Pike's timing, and Occupy's choice of tactics
2 comments; last on Dec 28, 2011
Thu, Dec 15, 2011, 2:44 pm // Riley SweeneyLocal blogger Shane Roth files ethical complaint over Crawford's sweetheart deals
3 comments; last on Dec 16, 2011
Sun, Dec 04, 2011, 6:53 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein the sooty prospect of economic necessity rears its ugly head
2 comments; last on Dec 05, 2011
Wed, Nov 30, 2011, 7:51 pm // Riley SweeneyMore on the city employee moonlighting issue
Mon, Nov 28, 2011, 6:29 pm // Riley SweeneyThe Political Junkie breaks a story of employee moonlighting within city of Bellingham
7 comments; last on Nov 30, 2011
Tue, Nov 15, 2011, 11:43 am // Dick ConoboyThe Padden Trails rezone effort is a misuse of the Infill Tool Kit on the outskirts of Bellingham.
8 comments; last on Nov 16, 2011
Wed, Nov 02, 2011, 4:00 pm // Dick ConoboyOccupy Bellingham is already creating jobs for the 99% - but this raises some interesting questions.
8 comments; last on Nov 04, 2011
Mon, Oct 31, 2011, 4:07 pm // Guest writerBob Ferris of Re-Sources takes a values based perspective on our community and a possible coal port.
9 comments; last on Nov 02, 2011
Wed, Oct 19, 2011, 8:20 am // Riley SweeneyRiley continues his examination of Ericksen's anti-working people values
1 comments; last on Oct 19, 2011
Sat, Oct 08, 2011, 3:29 pm // Riley SweeneyRiley reports on the Occupy Bellingham Rally
11 comments; last on Oct 13, 2011
Thu, Sep 08, 2011, 10:37 am // Riley SweeneyLook at the title, it spells it out.
6 comments; last on Sep 12, 2011
Fri, Jul 29, 2011, 11:11 am // John ServaisThe Gateway Pacific coal port appears to be under construction now - secretly and w/o permits.
36 comments; last on Aug 05, 2011
Mon, Jul 18, 2011, 10:03 pm // Riley SweeneyThe Political Junkie interviews Christina Maginnis
4 comments; last on Jul 22, 2011
Wed, Jul 06, 2011, 1:40 am // Riley SweeneyRiley rants about the economy, and the solutions to our ills
6 comments; last on Aug 02, 2011
Mon, Jun 20, 2011, 10:45 am // Sheri WardProposed landlord licensing for Bellingham is on today's city council agenda.
10 comments; last on Jun 30, 2011
Fri, Jun 03, 2011, 12:56 pm // John ServaisA 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
Wed, Jun 01, 2011, 5:32 pm // Guest writerGuest writer Mark Flanders' call to action for June 1 flash mob at coal port meeting
7 comments; last on Jun 09, 2011
Wed, May 18, 2011, 10:31 am // Riley SweeneyPatti Brooks' war on gophers shows how she is a socialist
3 comments; last on May 28, 2011
Wed, Mar 30, 2011, 10:44 am // Guest writerElisabeth 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
Fri, Mar 25, 2011, 5:00 am // John ServaisCoal 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
Thu, Feb 17, 2011, 7:30 pm // Guest writerGuest writer Doug Karlberg follows up with report from Tuesday's Port Commission meeting
7 comments; last on Feb 20, 2011
Mon, Feb 14, 2011, 7:35 pm // Guest writerWhy the price of moorage matters to all Whatcom County. A guest article by Doug Karlberg.
5 comments; last on Jun 30, 2011
Sat, Mar 27, 2010, 6:45 am // Craig MayberrySome questions on health care reform to our Congressional delegation.
Tue, Mar 16, 2010, 6:59 am // Riley SweeneySupporting the proposed sales tax increase for the WTA - by new writer Riley Sweeney.
3 comments; last on Mar 21, 2010
Fri, Mar 05, 2010, 12:30 pm // Craig MayberryA novel approach to government monoplies
Mon, Feb 15, 2010, 7:00 am // Craig MayberryPeople and businesses have had to make changes in what they do, when will government do the same?
1 comments; last on Mar 02, 2010
Sat, Jan 16, 2010, 7:00 am // Craig MayberryContrasts business ethics and political ethics
4 comments; last on Jan 18, 2010
Tue, Dec 15, 2009, 5:00 pm // Craig MayberryIt 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…
Thu, Oct 01, 2009, 5:20 pm // Larry HorowitzIf 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
Thu, May 21, 2009, 7:00 pm // Larry HorowitzThe 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
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
Thu, May 14, 2009, 7:28 pm // g.h.kirschPaul 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
Sun, Apr 05, 2009, 9:59 pm // Craig MayberryThis 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
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
Thu, Feb 12, 2009, 8:36 pm // Larry HorowitzHave 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
Sat, Feb 07, 2009, 11:17 am // Larry HorowitzIf 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…
Tue, Feb 03, 2009, 1:05 am // Larry HorowitzI 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
Fri, Jan 02, 2009, 7:23 pm // John ServaisComing 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
Fri, Dec 12, 2008, 12:46 am // Craig MayberryAnother 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
Fri, Oct 17, 2008, 1:20 pm // Larry HorowitzWhen 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
Thu, Sep 11, 2008, 12:18 pm // Larry HorowitzPeople 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 LinksBellingham Wins
Election InfoElection Results
WA State Elections
Whatcom County Elections
Coal, Oil & TrainsCoal Stop
Community Wise Bham
Powder River Basin R. C.
Local Blogs & NewsBellingham Herald
Bham Business Journal
Bham Politics & Econ
Friends of Whatcom
Get Whatcom Planning
League of Women Voters
Western Front - WWU
Local CausesChuckanut C. Forest
City Club of Bellingham
Futurewise - Whatcom
Lummi Island Quarry
N. Cascades Audubon
NW Holocaust Center
Salish Sea Org.
Save the Granary
WA Conservation Voters
Whatcom Peace & Justice
Governments- Whatcom County
Port of Bellingham
US Supreme Court
US The White House
WA State Elections
NWCitizen 1995-2007Early Northwest Citizen
Weather & ClimateCliff Mass Weather Blog
Nat Hurricane Center
Two day forecast
Watts Up With That?
Edge of Sports
Famous Internet Skiers
Good Web SitesAl-Jazeera online
Change The Mascot
Foreign Policy in Focus
Julia Ioffe/New Republic
Middle East Times
New American Century
Personal bio info
Portland Indy Media
Project Vote Smart
Stand for the Troops
Talking Points Memo
The Crisis Papers
War and Piece
Quiet, Offline or DeadBellingham Register
Bhm Herald Politics Blog
Citizens of Bellingham
Cordata & Meridian
Facebook Port Reform
Intrnational Herald Tribune
N. Sound Conservancy
No Leaky Buckets
Protect Bellingham Parks
The American Telegraph