Today the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 14,270 -- completely erasing its 54 percent loss between 2007 and 2009. Yet the real median wage is now 8 percent below what it was in 2000, and unemployment remains sky-high.
Maybe this number alone will convince you: 20 million workers toil every day -- often under inhumane conditions -- harvesting fields, packing boxes, driving trucks, cooking meals, ringing up orders, serving tables, and cleaning up your mess.
Remember all the times that as a full-time salaried worker, you stayed home with a cold or to take care of a sick child? It's a perk many of us take for granted, but for workers who handle our food, in jobs where spreading germs is among the most risky, calling in sick not even an option.
Fundamentally, the President understands that a higher minimum wage - not tax breaks for the rich - is what's needed to drive economic growth for those who most need it in America: workers. And for low wage workers everywhere, this increase is long overdue.
Too many working people across the country have to hope for overtime, string together two or three jobs or rely on public benefits to financially stay afloat. Contractors and corporations are reaping the benefits of a productive workforce yet they aren't equitably sharing those rewards.
No one is saying the minimum wage should propel folks into the middle-class, because, clearly, that wasn't its intention. So Obama's proposed bump is significant. But even at $9 per hour, you're still poor. You're just less poor.
Based on our experience of these last few years, the 1 percent is more likely to set up the game so that you and I of the 99 percent will lose the house and the job. So, if it doesn't pay to work for "The Man," what hope do we have?
In the 2012 presidential election, voters put forth a clear mandate: We want a more prosperous country, where everyone can work for a living, support their families and have a fair shot at a better life.