Senate Says No to $15 Minimum Wage for Now

Do you support or oppose a $15 minimum wage?

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    With inflation and the costs of rents in the US being over $1700.00 per month, a person would have to pay out 3 weeks of pay to pay for rent alone. $15.00 Minimum Wage seems totally inadequate. Come on Law Makers, get real.

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    According to the Social Security Administration, 68% of individual American workers make less than $50,000. (The median salary being $31,561.) There is a BLS study that shows 62% of jobs only pay $20/hour or less. Let me be clear: Our economic reality is not mere circumstance; these are the result of policy choices made by both parties. Economic mobility has drastically declined since the 1940s. Unemployment and underemployment are persistent problems, especially for stigmatized groups who are subject to discriminatory exclusion from employment opportunities. In today’s economy, the American dream is just a dream, or worse, a rhetorical device that draws attention away from the economic reality playing out across the country. Despite long-term growth in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, in real terms middle-income Americans have less than they did 40 years ago. Poverty, especially amongst the most vulnerable in our society—our children—persists at unjust levels. Despite President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, declared more than 50 years ago, 43.1 million Americans remain in poverty, nearly 20 million of whom live in deep poverty. There’s no question that past policies intended to reduce poverty and inequality have fallen tragically short. It's time to think big. The rules that govern our economy are working best for far too few, at the expense of far too many. While Republicans have sought to dismantle the New Deal and the regulatory apparatus that was developed to protect Americans from an unfettered private sector, Democrats in recent decade have mustered no more than incremental changes to an increasingly unequal and unfair economy. The rise of Donald Trump provides a political lesson for both Democrats and Republicans: People are looking outside the box. Despite the vast gulf between the two major political parties on many issues, on fundamentals both have adhered to a neoliberal agenda of deregulation, reliance on market-based solutions to our social problems, and a devolution of the role of government in ensuring and enforcing Americans’ right to a decent standard of living, economic dignity and economic mobility. Direct government intervention for full employment, a cornerstone of the Democratic Party Platform for almost half a century, has been all but forgotten, replaced by a commitment to market liberalization or tax incentives and other subsidies for corporate America to cajole them into hiring more workers. Policies put forth so far do not go nearly far enough. They do not address the fundamental problem of increasing risk and vulnerability—employment “precarity”—confronting the American workforce. We need to resurrect a bold idea, an Economic Bill of Rights for all Americans—more specifically, an inclusive Economic Bill of Rights tailored to the conditions of the 21st century. In his groundbreaking 1944 State of the Union address, President Franklin Roosevelt called for an expansion of the Bill of Rights to recognize economic rights as well. “Necessitous men,” Roosevelt observed, “are not free men.” Those “who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.” Moreover, real freedom, freedom to “pursue happiness,” he said, required a “second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all.” For Roosevelt, full citizenship demanded more than the political rights designated in the nation’s original Bill of Rights: It required economic rights. Roosevelt outlined those rights as follows: 1. The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation. 2. The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation. 3. The right of every family to a decent home. 4. The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health. 5. The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment. 6. The right to a good education. We need to rethink public policies, breaking out of the straightjacket that overemphasizes market-based solutions. We have thought big before—but have compromised big as well. During the Great Depression, FDR and liberals made a Faustian bargain with southern segregationists to provide a New Deal and beyond, rewriting the rules of our economy. But only for some of our citizens. Ira Katznelson’s excellent book When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America documents how U.S. public policy implicitly and sometimes explicitly excluded black people from opportunity during the so called ‘golden age’ that followed. The racial apartheid that existed under slavery war renewed under another name—Jim Crow—for decades. The exclusions from the guarantees of the New Deal contributed to the highly unequal outcomes we observe today. Today, we must transcend the racial, ethnic, and regional divisions exacerbated by post-Depression and post-World War II-era policies by building universal policies that are cognizant of identities and intersectionality, and inclusive of race, gender, nationality, sexuality, and ability. The first six rights outlined by FDR above are still all too germane today, but to update these economic rights to facilitate an inclusive economy for the 21st century, we add: 7. The right to sound banking and financial services. 8. The right to a safe and clean environment. 9. The right to a meaningful endowment of resources as a birthright. - The Prospect: An Economic Bill of Rights for the 21st Century

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    The United States is trillions of dollars in debt. Not having some reasonable way to earn enough to achieve a standard of living similar to the majority and meeting basic needs and rights is leading many citizens to depend upon the government for financial support. A minimum wage that meets those requirements would help both the government and ts citizens.

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    Lawmakers must come to an amicable solution for the working poor community. It is deemed a criminalized situation when working 40 hours per week at the minimum wage of $7.50 per hour. In addition, rent cost is unaffordable throughout the larger states and causes chronic homelessness because of evictions. The criminalization of poverty is a socioeconomic obstacle and is endured by the low-income community. State and local governments have the capacity to end systematic inequality that discriminates against the poor.

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    People need to make substantially more than $7.25 an hour in order to support themselves.