Glad to see our area is leading the country in a drive to get people off government aid. Residents spending a $100 or $200 a year is well worth it. Maybe the dirt poor people in the south think that's a lot of money, so they may fight it big time. It has many benefits for the area. First of all, it lowers the financial aid burden on the local municipalities, along with the state and federal government. It also will lower the crime rate which is already very low. Another possible great great great benefit might be that Walmart will pack up their balls and go home and that would be worth a lot.
IN the past few weeks, Western Washington has become a hub for low-wage worker uprising and organizing, and vigorous public debate about how well our economy really works for most Washingtonians.
The Seattle Times has reported about how workers in Seattle filed wage-theft criminal charges. In SeaTac, a city ballot initiative would raise wages for service workers to $15 an hour. Berry pickers in Skagit County struck and are threatening to do so again. Tacoma workers are campaigning for paid sick leave as Seattle workers won last year. And the Seattle mayoral primary pitted candidates against one another over low-wage jobs at a nonunion grocery chain.
This is an unprecedented movement in which workers are uniting and mobilizing on multiple fronts. They are setting the stage for policy changes that will raise wages and support the economy. Although Seattle is on the vanguard, the action goes beyond the Pacific Northwest.
President Obama recently toured the nation touting his plan to help build an economy that grows from “the middle out.” The president wasn’t just offering new policies. He was offering an alternate and more accurate explanation for the origins of prosperity in capitalist societies than the orthodoxy of trickle-down economics. Proceeding from the fundamental law of capitalism — that if workers have no money, businesses have no customers — he offered a framework for animating growth and building shared prosperity.
Why is this happening? And how are these two things connected? Vast income disparity threatens the fabric of our communities, our nation and our democracy. The number of poor Americans is a staggering 46.2 million, or 15 percent, according to the Census Bureau. Nearly 80 percent of Americans will struggle with poverty or near-poverty at some time in their lives, according to The Associated Press. At the same time, unemployment remains high as weak demand from increasingly poor workers depresses consumption in a death spiral of falling demand.
Seventy-five years ago, unions helped reinvigorate an economy decimated by the Great Depression. By the end of World War II, middle-class families could afford a home, expect quality education for their children and enjoy secure retirements. Business boomed as the American middle class drove consumption and growth worldwide.
But over the past 30 years, corporations have turned labor laws against unions. Today, more American workers are excluded from the legal right to form a union than currently have union representation.
It is no surprise, then, that the worker unrest sweeping Washington state doesn’t exclusively revolve around traditional union organizing. Instead, creative activists have devised a much broader flank that includes multiple fronts.
While Alaska Airlines and major hotels make millions in profit because of Sea-Tac Airport, thousands of nonunion workers make poverty wages to serve the millions of people who pass through this regional gateway. Meanwhile, Washington’s taxpayers subsidize health care, housing, food and transportation for the workers and their families. Now these workers are joining with community leaders to require the airlines and hotels give back to the community by paying a living wage and providing sick leave.
In Skagit County, nonunion berry pickers are striking for better working conditions and wages.
In Seattle, nonunion fast-food workers, part of a nationwide strike movement, closed stores and sparked regional conversations about a $15-per-hour minimum wage and the true cost of cheap burgers. Fast-food workers are part of a growing trend to low-wage labor nationally. Many of these workers are not paid overtime or consistently work off the clock.
Locally, these workers are demanding enforcement of wage-theft laws, one step in their fight for living wages. Ironically, the first wage-theft arrests were made not of restaurant owners, yet, but of workers staging a peaceful sit-in outside of McDonald’s.
If this proposal goes through watch for that area of the country start outperforming the rest of the country by a lot. Its a winning formula for them. You put more money in the hands of people who will spend it and the economy will take off. Its econ 101 and the COST ceo understands that. Putting more money in the hands of multimillionairs and billionaires will do nothing. They will buy what they want just like they always have. Its smart government and smart business.
But what you're not understand karl is that the republicans and Walmart have no concern in the people doing well, the communities doing well or the country doing well. All they're concerned about is creating a two class society where a few people have all the money and all the others are destitute and will have no choice but to slave for the man. It won't go over very well with the people of this country but they do get the sub 80 IQ Teabagging crowd to parrot what they say and support them. Yes, it will destroy these Teabaggers but they're too dumb to realize it. Thinking isn't exactly their game.
We do have intelligent business leaders in this area, unlike the backward hillbillies in the south.
President Barack Obama wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 per hour. And the CEO of one of America's largest retailers says such a move would be good for workers and businesses alike. In fact, he says raise it even more.
On Tuesday, Costco CEO and President Craig Jelinek came out in support of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which aims to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, then adjust it after that for inflation.
"At Costco, we know that paying employees good wages makes good sense for business," Jelinek said in a statement. "We pay a starting hourly wage of $11.50 in all states where we do business, and we are still able to keep our overhead costs low."
"An important reason for the success of Costco’s business model is the attraction and retention of great employees," Jelinek added. "Instead of minimizing wages, we know it's a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty. We support efforts to increase the federal minimum wage."
Costco has a reputation for paying its employees above market rate, with the typical worker earning around $45,000 in 2011, according to Fortune. Walmart-owned Sam's Club, in contrast, pays its sales associates an average of $17,486 per year, according to salary information website Glassdoor
Costco also provides health insurance to a significantly larger percentage of its workers than does Walmart, the Harvard Business Review reported in 2006.
Jelinek's predecessor, Costco founder Jim Sinegal, has also expressed support for raising the federal minimum wage in the past. "The more people make, the better lives they're going to have and the better consumers they're going to be," Sinegal told the Washington Post in 2007. "It's going to provide better jobs and better wages."
Not all business leaders agree with Jelinek about the mi
Excuse me, I just crawled out of bed and the old brain is still sleeping. The heading should read
SEATTLY IS SETTING THE PACE IN THE DRIVE FOR A MINIMUM WAGE OF $15 AND HOUR