Income inequality is killing the economy. Retailers, bankers and Democrats agree on that. Really. It's only Republicans who continue to insist that income inequality is great.
America goes to the polls in less than 3 weeks, there's a lot at stake for the majority of voters -- namely women. Unfortunately women also make up another majority -- those working for our pathetic $7.25 an hour minimum wage.
Let's end Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) which allows multinationals to sue for lost future profits. This means that if Honduras passes new legislation to safeguard the environment from African palm or a higher minimum wage, multinationals that lose profits can sue the government for billions of dollars.
We must start somewhere. Raising our minimum wage to $13.00 an hour in the City of Chicago is that starting place. But $13.00 an hour by 2018 is truly a floor-base-minimum to ensure that our city has a viable workforce for a vibrant economy in the 21st century.
Our nation has been at its best when honoring a longstanding social contract that balances unbounded wealth building opportunity with fairness. Sharing our burdens as well as our benefits across various income groups is what has always made America strong.
This is not to argue against minimum wage increases as much as to argue that this remedy must not be substituted for reforms at deeper levels.
You know what might help in this crisis-to-end-all-crises? Having a Surgeon General in office. President Obama nominated someone for the job last November, but his confirmation has been blocked ever since.
As the country's largest full-service restaurant corporation, Darden plays a major role in setting national industry standards. And now, in the midst of a bitter shareholder fight, it has a decision to make. Will it tighten the vice on workers or will it change course and follow a high road approach to prosperity?
No matter what Republicans say, President Obama is not on the ballot this November. The GOP can't seem to admit to the public that the President has already run his last race.
If we count the workers who are marginally attached to the job market or working part-time for economic reasons, as many as 25 percent of all African Americans are under-employed. What's worse: wages in the job sectors where black workers are concentrated remain far below what anyone would consider a "living wage."
With so many business-hub communities surrounding Seattle (more than a dozen not counting bedroom communities), residents desiring low-cost local services do not have to drive far to find businesses not constrained by the new minimum wage.
When lawmakers, policy experts and advocates gather this week in Washington for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's annual policy summit, they will be discussing passing common sense immigration reform, accessing affordable health care and living in a clean environment. These are the issues that Latinos care about most.
There's a lot more to living wage proposals than emotional appeals to help working families and reaction to corporate welfare. Increasing wages will increase spendable income, which will increase demand, which will increase economic activity that benefits everyone. It's anti-austerity economics turned into a workable program.
GDP growth is less and less relevant to the wellbeing of most Americans. We should be paying less attention to growth and more to median household income.
For half a century beginning with Franklin Roosevelt, there was a direct connection between the problems that afflicted American society and the remedies on offer from our democratic system. High unemployment? The New Deal, the World War II mobilization, and the postwar boom took care of that. Stagnant wages? With unions, growing productivity, minimum wage laws, and other regulation of labor standards -- American real wages tripled. Education? The G.I. bill, massive investment in public universities, community colleges, and later in public elementary and secondary education produced a better educated and more productive population. The exclusion of blacks from the American dream? A mass movement and a revolution in civil rights law made a big down-payment on redeeming the promise of Lincoln. I could go on, but you get the point. In the last century, democratic politics addressed real problems.
Glaringly absent in the Fed's policy platform is a commitment to a fair architecture for capitalism that equitably distributes the fruits of enterprise by providing incentives for ethically pricing each person's contributions to the sustainable public good.