Cost Of Living

Los Angeles Minimum Wage To Go To $15 By 2020! Is This The Trend For The Nation?

The issue of the minimum wage has been a controversial one for the past decade, with the unwillingness of Congress to raise the minimum wage, which used to be raised automatically, based on the “cost of living” until the Presidency of Ronald Reagan.

Ever since, even despite occasional increases under George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, the argument has been that raising the minimum wage will cause more unemployment and raise prices for consumers dramatically.

But many say that is not the case, and that it is a situation of a basic human right, the ability to support oneself and one’s family, and that many of the people on the minimum wage are NOT young beginning workers, as claimed by critics, but rather people primarily of color who are single mothers with children.

Now Los Angeles has taken the bull by the horn, and mandated a $15 minimum wage in steps by the year 2020, and a few other localities, such as San Francisco and Seattle, have also raised the minimum wage, although not as high as Los Angeles.

There is a movement nationwide by fast food workers, and retail industry workers, to force an increase by demonstrations, with limited success at this time.

The fact is that IF the minimum wage was always based on the cost of living, the original minimum wage of 25 cents per hour in 1938 would not be about $22.00 an hour, so even what Los Angeles has mandated will happen, does not meet that standard.

President Obama has proposed a national minimum wage of $9 an hour, a small step forward.

It is clear that no worker, who works full time, should be expected to live in poverty, and if the rest of us must pay a higher price for goods and services, so be it!

The California Drought A Tragedy For The Nation!

Climate change and global warming is becoming a crisis for America’s economic future, and particularly in California, where one out of every eight Americans reside.

The drought going on in California is historic, and it will affect agriculture directly, but also the entire economy not just of the Golden State, but of the nation at large.

Shortages of fruits and vegetables will dramatically raise the cost of living, and these are foods that are so important for the health of all human beings.

Jobs will be lost as the parched earth of California continues to multiply, and water supplies are rapidly dwindling, and water is a basic of all sustenance.

Santa Ana winds and generally high dry heat conditions otherwise lead to massive fires that destroy much of the forested areas and threaten homes and lives.

And while the center of attention is California, the same situation affects the western half of the nation, from the Midwest to the Great Plains to the Southwest and the Pacific Northwest.

There are no easy answers as to how to address this crisis, but political stalemate on the environment insures long range damage that will harm America, its economy, and long range well being!

Republican Senators And The Minimum Wage Law

The Republican Party has effectively written off those workers who are paid the minimum wage, not caring about how they are to survive in an economy with the situation stacked against them.

It has been nearly a decade since the minimum wage was raised, and people forget that the minimum wage was never raised during the 1980’s, and so the cost of living is way beyond what the minimum wage should be.

Originally established at 25 cents an hour in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. the minimum wage should now be about $15 an hour based on inflation, but instead is, nationally at $7.25 an hour for nearly a decade, although some states have raised the limit.

The bill that failed to get to a vote in the Senate, due to the filibuster tactic, would have raised the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in stages until 2016, but NOT one GOP Senator, not even Senator Susan Collins of Maine, or Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, or a few others thought to have some “moderate” tendencies, voted for the rise in the minimum wage.

Many of the minimum wage workers are breadwinners for their families, and the stress of having too little income also affects their physical and mental health, but obviously Republicans and conservatives do not give a damn about those realities!

Today’s minimum wage is 25 percent below what it was in 1968, an absolute atrocity! Putting extra money in the hands of the working poor would make life easier, add to business profits, and would certainly all be put back into the economy, but the Republicans are determined to punish the poor for being poor, and in so doing, harm children and women, even more than men.

If this is not the new “Gilded Age”, what is it, not only for the poor, but for the dwindling middle class?

This is Scrooge at its best!