Members of Congress, don't just say you support equal pay and then use gridlock as an excuse for continued inaction. It's time to walk the walk. Seize this broad public and political support as an opportunity to come together and move forward on one of the most fundamental economic issues of our time. Families are tired of waiting.
The danger in conceding that political gridlock is here to stay is that the concession is a form of acceptance, and we simply cannot accept inaction against a threat as serious and irreversible as global warming. Some contemporary issues may indeed defy bipartisan solutions, but evidence suggests that climate action and a clean energy revolution need not be among them.
A minimum wage increase will positively affect a sizable portion of the population, will have a moderate stimulative effect on the economy, and will be easily affordable. And by indexing it to inflation as the Harkin-Miller bill suggests, it would ensure that low income American workers would not risk seeing their wages eroded during the next recession.
The midterm elections loom but everyone knows what the outcome will be: gridlock, gridlock and more gridlock. That's because the U.S. system is based on a 227-year-old prototype (circa 1787) that badly needs a refresh to match the efficiency and transparency that characterizes other, superior government systems.
If Republicans win control of the Senate, there will be the gridlock -- only much worse. It will be so bad that the American people will look back on this current Congress as "productive". Suppose, however, that independents actually control the balance of power. If they act together, they can break the gridlock.
Does a sharply divided America necessarily mean that no meaningful legislation can emerge from our political leaders on both sides of the aisle? I don't think so! What many people describe as the greatest political agreement in the history of the world came out of a deeply divided America -- the US Constitution.