Don’t let feel-good rhetoric about “raising the minimum wage” kill another opportunity for enacting a LIVING wage!
Across America, workers are demanding more: More money, better benefits - in short, the things that enable a productive, happy, secure life.
Unfortunately, the Corporate State and its political parties - Democrats and Republicans - are using what they call “major social reforms” to squelch workers’ demands.
We have already seen the effects of the "Affordable Care Act": Employers drastically cutting or eliminating health insurance because the ACA requires people to buy their own. This is NOT health care reform. It is a gift of customers to Big Insurance and of billions of dollars to the bottom lines of the Corporate State.
Now, a similar fate is poised to befall workers’ efforts to win a government-mandated Living Wage.
Distinct from the “minimum wage,” a Living Wage is a rate of pay which lifts workers and their families out of poverty, instead of simply abetting their decline into it. Two bureaus of the United States government - Census and Labor Statistics (BLS) - have determined that a rate of at least $15 per hour - and more accurately, between $22 and $26 - is necessary for workers and their families to secure decent housing, clothing and nutrition. BLS further recommends a regular cost-of-living adjustment to the Living Wage, to assure it keeps pace with ever-changing costs.
The growing chorus of voices calling for a Living Wage, however, is being muddled by corporate-owned politicians, whose big-money donors would much prefer a meaningless increase to the minimum wage. Instead of advocating for the kind of poverty-eliminating Living Wage which government agencies themselves say is needed, these elected lobbyists want to keep wages low, so their corporate donors can supplement employees‘ paltry paychecks with government programs like food stamps and Medicaid. Funny how these oh-so-anti-socialist billionaires are just fine with social programs which boost their bottom lines.
Don’t let them win. Don't let politicians change the conversation from a LIVING WAGE to a pointless increase in the minimum wage. When your state or municipality jumps on the “higher minimum wage” bandwagon, state your case plainly: It is not a minimum wage that's needed, but A Living Wage, NOW!
They'll tell you something is better than nothing, but that is a lie. Anything less than a comprehensive Living Wage, adjusted regularly for cost-of-living, is capitulation to the Corporate State.