Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Labor, War, and Lab Animals Edition

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-08-2013-05-2008

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The New York Times dreams of a living wage.

On Thursday, the day after the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, thousands of fast-food workers in 60 cities walked off their jobs, the latest in an escalating series of walkouts by low-wage workers demanding higher pay and the right to organize without retaliation.

The parallels, though inexact, are compelling. A half-century ago, the marchers called on Congress to increase the minimum wage from $1.15 an hour to $2 “so that men may live in dignity,” in the words of Bayard Rustin, one of the chief organizers of the march. Today, the fast-food workers also seek a raise, from the $9 an hour that most of them make to $15.00 an hour. That’s not much different from what the marchers wanted in 1963; adjusted for inflation, $2 then is $13.39 an hour today.

President Obama has noted, correctly, that increases in labor productivity have long failed to translate into higher wages for most Americans, even while income for the richest households has skyrocketed. His proposed remedies, however, leave much to be desired — a pathetic increase in the minimum wage, to $9 an hour by 2016, plus hopeful assertions that revolutions in energy, technology, manufacturing and health care will create good-paying jobs.

It can’t be said enough. Corporations are pulling in record profits. CEOs are continuing to increase their already ludicrous pay. It’s way, way, WAY past time that workers got to partake in the bounty they are creating.

And hey, let’s hope that you at least have enough time off this morning to come inside and read the rest.

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