The minimum wage inextricably links the two most basic resources we have in life -- time and money -- and makes explicit what your time and my time are worth, down to the penny. But are these two basic resources really equivalent? Not deep in the human psyche.
In the last two decades, management and corporations have done better and workers have done worse. By way of the jar, bosses have found a way to keep their prices low, their profits high and pass part of their staffing costs onto consumers.
This "blue-collar" job is in no way a gimmick to "get-rich-quick." And like the employees of decades earlier, I am only minimally compensated. And I understand that this amount is not nearly enough to get by on.
In spite of the sometimes soaring and sometimes sour rhetoric surrounding Labor Day, the sad reality in 2013 is that, on average, the "average" American worker continues to struggle mightily.
The progress made in closing racial disparities will not continue without a focus on bridging economic inequality.
We need to start at the beginning. Support our children. Educate all children. Rework the justice system. Help those who make small mistakes to atone for them and reintegrate successfully into society, rather than losing them into the system.
The real threat to our national security is economic, not military. Nobody knows what a "limited strike" would cost, but General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says it will run in the billions. Here's what the money could buy instead.
This notion that opportunity should follow hard work is at the heart of the American economic ethos. While I believe in the power of markets, I also believe that the current minimum wage fails to meet a basic standard of reasonableness, and violates American values.
Republican gubernatorial candidates Dan Rutherford and Kirk Dillard used social media over the long holiday weekend to preview their running mate choices.
No, fast food employees should not, all across the nation, be elevated to $15 a hour. There should not be a national minimum salary because the cost of living varies greatly.
The real Welfare Kings are the Fast Food Giants and all those poverty wage employers who refuse to pay a livable wage. They depend on the taxpayer-funded government programs to subsidize their employees. It's the Wal-Marts and McDonald's that need those welfare programs. They are the Takers, not the Makers.
Many of those marching today might not realize that the very term "living wage" was first popularized by an American Roman Catholic priest, Monsignor John A. Ryan.
A happy Labor Day to all -- a day for a last summer outing to the beach, a three-day weekend to shop the sales, or maybe just a day to stay home and get ready for the school year. And, oh yeah, a day to honor working people. As Labor Day weekend approached, fast food workers in at least 50 cities went on one-day strikes to demand a living wage. One double-edged analogy that comes to mind is the Occupy movement. It created a venue to confront the chasms of inequality in American society and the power of Wall Street. But what Occupy did not do was to translate into a durable politics that led to real reform. That's what the fast food movement needs to do.
The question I'm struggling with this Labor Day is: why do we expect so many jobs to pay so poorly? For the people who care for our children and our elderly, prepare and serve us our food, ring up our purchases, guard the buildings in which we work, and a host of other occupations, our policy response is that these individuals should become more skilled so that they can move out of these jobs
Employees walked out of about 1,000 restaurant. Many earn the $7.25-an-hour federal minimum wage. They're demanding $15 an hour instead, contending, as one Los Angeles striker told The Times' Steven Greenhouse, that "people can't survive on the minimum wage."
As the nation's largest employer with 1.3 million workers and $15.8 billion in profits in 2012, Walmart occupies the unique position of being able to make a positive contribution to the lives of its workers and to our overall economy, and yet the company refuses to give up its exploitative ways.