Fair Labor Standards Act

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!

Conservative Republicans Want To Repeal Constitutional Amendments And 20th Century Reforms That Make America A Better Nation!

The Republican Party of the second decade of the 21st century, along with the conservative movement, in all of its ramifications, is out to repeal constitutional amendments and numerous 20th century reforms that make America a better, more modern nation, all in their quest to make the corporations ever more dominant and enrich the top one percent more than already is reality!

When one follows, reads, and watches right wing spokesmen, in and out of the party, they have called for the following repeals:

The 16th Amendment–Federal Income Tax
The 17th Amendment–Direct Popular Election Of US Senators
19th Amendment–Woman Suffrage
Antiquities Act–National Parks, Forests, and Monuments Protection
Food And Drug Administration
Clayton Anti Trust Act
Federal Trade Commission
Federal Reserve Act
Social Security Act
Fair Labor Standards Act
Medicare
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Voting Rights Act of 1965
Department Of Education
Department Of Health And Human Services
Department Of Housing And Urban Development
Department Of Energy
Environmental Protection Agency
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Occupational Safety And Health Administration
US Post Office
Affirmative Action
Abortion Rights
Gay Rights and Gay Marriage
National Public Radio
PBS
Americans With Disabilities Act
Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan
ObamaCare–Affordable Care Act

These and other laws and amendments not mentioned here became law under Presidents of both parties, including

Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
George H. W. Bush
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Barack Obama

Basically, these right wing groups and the dominant element in the Republican Party in Congress want to repeal everything that is good about America, and bring us back to the 19th century Gilded Age!

The Advancement Of The Progressive Agenda In 2013

With the renewal and expansion of the coverage of the Violence Against Women Act, other important ideas are coming to the forefront of the progressive agenda:

Raising of the minimum wage, which 71 percent of the American people endorse, with a minimum of $9 an hour, although bills to raise it to $10 an hour have been introduced by some members of Congress. Realize that if one was to keep up with the cost of living since 1938, when the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed with a 25 cents an hour wage, the minimum wage would have to be at $13 an hour now to be the equivalent of 75 years ago.

Universal Background Checks for all gun purchases, which 88 percent of those polled want, including 85 percent of gun owning households.

More tax increases to reduce the deficit, a balanced approach with spending cuts that are fair and just, and do not hurt those on the bottom more than those on the top of the economic scale, with 76 percent agreeing with this.

Infrastructure Investments to repair and replace our deteriorating physical plant, and creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs. This is the best job creation policy, and is important for the nation’s economic growth and national security.

A pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, particularly for children brought to America and knowing nowhere else, and 70 percent agreeing with this in polls, and 60 percent of Republicans. This is the right thing to do, and is a way for Republicans to improve their image electorally.

Expansion of the Medicaid program, so that all Americans will be able to have accessible health care, a basic goal of human decency and compassion for those less fortunate.

Marriage equality, so that gay Americans no longer face discrimination legally in any aspect of their lives, including the right to have their marriages seen as legitimate.

Providing of Early Childhood Education, including universal Pre Kindergarten coverage, as a way to assist in the goal of early educational intervention, which will reap benefits in the future.

If all eight of these goals can be achieved, we will have major progressive victories in 2013!

Time To Raise Minimum Wage, Way Behind Cost Of Living!

President Barack Obama has proposed raising the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to $9.00, and immediately the Republican Party comes out strongly against it.

If a person is making the minimum wage full time, he or she is earning an annual income of about $15,000, while if the wage is raised to $9.00, the annual income is about $19,000. Neither is an adequate income for anyone to live on, but it is a step upward toward leaving poverty over time, as one, hopefully, moves up at work, and gains a higher wage with growing responsibility on the job!

When the minimum wage was passed into law in 1938, under Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation known as the Fair Labor Standards Act, the pay was 25 cents per hour.

Wage increases kept up with the cost of living until 1981, when Ronald Reagan worked to lower the minimum wage, and failing at that, refused to sign an increase in the minimum wage. And George W. Bush did not sign an increase for the first six years of his Presidency.

As a result, the minimum wage fell behind the cost of living, and if it was to match the level it had been from 1938 to 1981, it would now have to be $13.00, or an annual income of $27,000.

Can anyone, realistically, live on even $27,000 and be able to pay one’s every day expenses? The answer is NO, so raising it to $9 an hour is far from bringing back the cost of living to what it had been, but it is an important first step, and would increase purchasing power and aid the growth of the economy, and would only increase costs to consumers by one to two percent, in the estimate of most economists.

A popular idea, it is time for the Congress to do what is right, and help low wage workers to help themselves! It would actually improve the image of the Republican Party among such workers, and would help to revive the chances of the GOP rising from the ashes of losing the popular vote for President five of the last six Presidential elections, and its low ratings among the American people in public opinion polls.

Minimum Wage Goes Up In Ten States, And Only Seventeen States Are Above Federal Minimum Wage

The minimum wage, a concept passed into law under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal, was designed to provide a wage that workers could survive on, starting at 25 cents per hour.

During many periods, the minimum wage never went up, or only belatedly during the administration of a particular President, and the abuse was worst under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Is anyone really surprised? So inflation was greater than the increase in the minimum wage over time!

As a result, four to five million workers are paid only a guaranteed $7.25 an hour, as Congress has refused to raise the federal minimum wage in recent years. If the federal minimum wage had been indexed to inflation, that wage would now be close to $11.00 an hour!

Instead, as indicated, it is $7.25 in 33 states, plus these amounts elsewhere:

New Mexico–$7.50
Maine-$7.50
Rhode Island–$7.75
Alaska-$7.75
Colorado–$7.78
Florida-$7.79
Arizona-$7.80
Montana-$7.80
Ohio-$7.85
California-$8.00
Massachusetts-$8.00
Connecticut-$8.25
Illinois-$8.25
Nevada-$8.25
Vermont-$8.60
Oregon-$8.95
Washington-$9.19

So these workers are the true “working poor”, and are expected to live on a wage that for forty hours work, is only between $15,000 and $19,000 a year! And that is assuming full time work, which it often is not. And just because young workers are maybe a majority of the workers, along with less educated workers, does not justify people working for such lowly wages in a society which promotes “equal opportunity”!

Newt Gingrich Favors Bringing Back Child Labor To America! Is He For Real?

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, the present frontrunner in some polls for the Republican Presidential nomination, has come out for the revival of child labor for children under the age of 14-16, as a way to promote the work ethic and earn some money.

Suggesting that younger children be employed to clean the schools they attend, replacing union employed janitors, Gingrich said it would promote pride in their schools and encourage learning for poor children. He called the present child labor laws, passed in 1938 under the Fair Labor Standards Act, “stupid”!

Imagine this, after a century of child labor laws, first passed on the national level under President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the 1920s, and then finally established under Franklin D. Roosevelt, Newt Gingrich wants to go back to the days of children younger than 14 working and supporting their families, which aged them rapidly, caused dropouts from school, and denied them their childhood to have fun, to learn, to play, to grow up, before going to work as mid teenagers.

It has been shown that many high school students who work do poorly in school, and often drop out at age 16 or 17 without graduating high school, which just guarantees low income and poverty for the long haul of their lives.

Newt Gingrich stands for the “sweat labor” conditions of factories and mines in Great Britain and the United States, before social justice brought about the idea that children under 14 should not be acting as if they were adults, and should be encouraged to get an education.

While it is true that work never hurt anyone, it is outrageous and disgraceful that we should be advocating a return to the 19th century and early 20th century of the Industrial Age in the 21st century!

Have we come this far to go backwards and make for a class of poor children who will, effectively, be “serfs” for our schools, and making far less than the minimum wage?

It is obscene that Gingrich would have the gall to propose such a harsh idea, particularly for one who has never known what it is to work hard, other than to bloviate ad infinitum about his own virtues, and to make a career of promoting division and turmoil in his quest for wealth and attention from the American people!