Sunday, November 05, 2006

A $7.50 state minimum wage -- indexed!

Governor Blagojevich and Mayor Daley came out last week in support of a $7.50 state minimum wage and will push for its implementation during the veto session in November. Even better, they both called for an indexed minimum wage, so that every year wages will adjust upwards based on inflation. (A flat minimum wage means every year it is worth less -- an indexed wage stays constant in terms of actual purchasing power).

As I've blogged previously, Cook County voters (thanks to Lt. Governor Pat Quinn's political team) will have the chance to vote for the minimum wage increase on an advisory referendum on Tuesday's ballot.

The reason I bring all this up is I've been meaning to cite an Economist article I've been carrying around for a month. In the October 7th edition, the magazine reports that the United KIngdom's minimum wage rose on October 15th to 5.35 pounds per hour. That's $10.08 an hour!

Think about that: ten bucks an hour minimum wage in England.

That's what it *should* be in the United States. You can't live on less than ten bucks an hour. So it should be illegal to pay anyone less than ten bucks an hour. And because the Brits manage to do quite will with a ten dollar an hour minimum wge, we should do well too.

It really is shocking to think that the Congress hasn't raised the minimum wage past $5.15 an hour for a decade and that's one of the most compelling reasons to help elect a Democratic majority -- the economic values of the governing coalition in D.C. are lined up against people with jobs.


CF said...

Actually voted for this referendum this morning, even though I know it increases unemployment, encourages illegal immigration and hurts U.S. manufacturing. $5.15 is just nuts and Republicans didn't dare touch it because of corporate special interests. So there. I did it. I voted for something that makes zero economic sense because it was the right thing. Does that make me a Progressive? Before you answer, I should tell you that I voted against the resolution about .50 cal rifles. I couldn't stop laughing at "For the health and safety of our children..." I would've voted no if the rest of that sentence was "cure cancer." And why can't Illinois companies manufacture .50 cal rifles? There's already a ban on selling them to individuals. Why can't Illinois make them and sell them to the military or police? That whole resolution was ridiculous, seemingly designed to kill Illinois jobs and humor me at the same time.

Dan Johnson-Weinberger said...

Right on. I call that progress!

miltongoldblatt said...

"There are some jobs Americans won't do." It's a lie.
The reason why thirty years ago United Farm Workers' Union (UFW) founder César Chávez fought against illegal immigration, and the UFW turned in illegals during his tenure as president, was because Chávez, like progressives since the 1870s, understood the simple reality that labor rises and falls in price as a function of availability.

the ratio of what a
minimum-wage earner makes and the average pay rates of other hourly workers
is at a significant low.

"The ratio of the minimum wage to the average hourly wage of non-supervisory workers is 31%, its lowest level since World War II," they said. "

Republican beholden to their corporatists want a cheap labor legal and illegal. Republicans put forth a bogus plan to raise the minimum wage over the summer, when they attached it to a whopping Estate Tax cut for America's
super rich, knowing that the legislation would fail, but providing them with a cynical way to tell voters that they had voted to improve the lot of working families.


--- Prof. Leland Milton Goldblatt, Ph.D. ®