Perennial champion of the little guy, our own Bernie Sanders will ring in the the New Year by introducing legislation to raise the Federal minimum wage for the first time in seven years. He’s only asking for $10.10 an hour; and even though a livable wage is something like $15. an hour, you can imagine the “righteous” indignation that will surely be spun by Republicans over this meager proposal.
Sanders very reasonably argues that raising the minimum wage will represent exactly the stimulus that our top-heavy economy needs to bring it back to life.
“Trickle-down” advocates have had more than ample opportunity to demonstrate how reduced taxes on the rich and corporations could work that magic. The experiment was a spectacular failure, plunging millions more Americans into poverty while lifting the rich into the lofty strata of the super-rich. So profound is the growth in income inequity that resulted from “trickle-down” economic policy, that we now have a convenient shorthand to identify those super-rich: “the One Percent.”
I was pleased to read the full text of Senator Sander’s press release on the minimum wage initiative, reprinted in the Weekend Messenger as an editorial.
St. Albans should be one place that pays particular attention to the message as it experiences its first holiday with Wal-Mart working the crowd at Exit 20.
. The Walton family fortune of $144 billion is greater than the combined worth of the bottom 40 percent of Americans. Yet the average Wal-Mart associate makes less than $9 an hour. This means that in order to feed their children, see doctors and put a roof over their heads, many Wal-Mart workers must rely on federal assistance. Nearly half of the children of Wal-Mart associates are either on Medicaid or uninsured. In many states, Wal-Mart has the highest percentage of employees receiving food stamps.
“American taxpayers should not have to subsidize the low wages at Wal-Mart to make the richest family in America even wealthier. That is not only morally grotesque, it is bad economic policy,” Sanders said.
Peace on earth and “Amen” to that.