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Within the past hour, the newest ballot total count shows the $15-an-hour minimum wage SeaTac initiative has WIDENED its lead -- to 53 votes from just 19 a day before, which was a lead that had shrunk -- a nice reversal from yesterday's narrowed vote. And, in my estimation, this means the initiative will now likely come out on top at the end of the count.

Here is the current count as of 4:18 Seattle time:

Yes: 2,837 (50.47%)

No: 2,784 (49.53%)

Another 142 ballots were counted today, leaving probably no more than between 100-150 to count.  It would take a huge swing -- an unlikely swing -- for the anti vote to now overtake the "yes" vote.

I think this is a winner.

As I've written in the past few days, though, a recount is probably likely and there is also a lawsuit teed up by the we-prefer-slavery-to-decent-middle-class wages anti-initiative business crowd. So, the fight is far from over.


The initial win, and the campaign around it, can give a great boost to the fight against poverty-level wages. It sets a standard that we need to aim for -- a standard that claws back the hard work of people over the past four decades, and the robbery that has continued daily for four decades in the pathetic level of the minimum wage.

It should also serve as a counterpoint to the mediocre proposal by the Democratic Party leadership -- in the House, Senate and White House -- which is pushing a proposal to up the federal minimum wage t0 $10.10 which is really mediocre:

If someone works 52 weeks a year, 40 hours a week (if they are that “lucky” at a minimum wage job to get that many hours), that adds up to a bit over $21,000 a year.

With no pension. Not a single day off. And probably no decent health care.

That $21,000 is BELOW the federal poverty level for a family of four.

Remember this: the federal minimum wage should be $21.72-an-hour if we factor in productivity, which is a fancy way of saying how hard people have worked.

$15-an-hour should be the bare minimum.

Bumper sticker it.

Originally posted to Tasini on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 05:13 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, Income Inequality Kos, Occupy Wall Street, and ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If it passes and survives any court challenges (12+ / 0-)

    this will make for a very good test case for how a community responds to a dramatic increase in the minimum wage. It would be good if someone at the University of Washington started collecting some really good, detailed, baseline data so the changes could be accurately measured.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 05:21:15 PM PST

    •  i agree (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bythesea, kyril, VClib, Larsstephens

      Krueger-Card studied this in New Jersey and found no major effects on employment with minimum wage hike. But more evidence is worth it.

      I also think it would be important not just to measure employment but overall economic effects i.e., can you show that people who actually earn more then contribute more to tax base and spending base of a community which offsets in a positive way any overall lower employment numbers (if that, in fact, is a result...)

      Follow me on Twitter @jonathantasini

      Visit Working Life.

      by Tasini on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 05:32:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think the difference is that the other increases (0+ / 0-)

        were much more modest. It's hard to get good data on the effects of the minimum wage because there are always so many variables and in the real world you can't hold the other variables constant. Add to that a modest increase in the minimum wage and the effects can be masked by other changes in the labor market or the local economy. In this case the change will be dramatic enough that the impact should be measurable, if the right baseline data is captured before it goes into effect.

        Does anyone know someone at UW who could push for collecting the data? It doesn't need to be the University of Washington it's just that it is the big research university in the neighborhood. For someone in the right field this could be a study that would be a great candidate for a research paper and could be very high profile.  

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 09:28:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  That is great news. (7+ / 0-)

    May wage awareness and action spread from Seattle nationwide like wild fire.

    Governments care only as much as their citizens force them to care. Nothing changes unless we change -- George Monbiot.

    by Nulwee on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 05:21:35 PM PST

  •  Finally! A crack in the dam(n) republicans... (6+ / 0-)

    ...of ALEC and Koch and the wall of obstruction to a living wage. Paying a living wage will actually increase corporate profits in the long term, but greedy short-sightedness and just plain mean-spirited and cruel policies are the bread-and butter of modern corporatism.

    "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

    by CanisMaximus on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 05:46:00 PM PST

  •   while australias minumum wage is nearly 17 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea, Larsstephens

    i would favor putting wages at close to their 1968 peak and indexing it to inflating. which is around 10.60. so in many state where the minimum is currently 7.25 that represents a big increase most of which will quickly be spenmt on the necessities like food clothing and rent.

  •  Also the Socialist continues to add to her lead (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, kyril, Larsstephens, Byblis, HeyMikey

    up by 1148 votes at last count. looks like she will avoid a recount as she up by .67% right now.

  •  Don't discount the $10.10 (0+ / 0-)

    It is a rate far likely to be accepted than $15.00.
    And, it's a rate that is very much in line with the 1968 min. wage.  Can't ask for much more than that - it brings the min. wage up to where it should be, adjusted for inflation.
    The $15 number is great! Hope it wins there! But, $10.10 is nothing to sneeze at. It's a Fed. minimum that lifts all boats.

    •  Of course we can - and should - ask for much (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      more than that!

      •  The 1968 Minimum is the benchmark. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Of course we can ask for much more than that.
        Not so sure that we should.
        I worked for the Minimum in 1968.
        The equivalent of $200 a week 2013 money! (20 hours p/t).
        Not bad for a H.S. or college student looking to score some date money
        and gas money!
        $20 in the gas tank each week, $60 for date money...
        Living Large!
        The problem we got today is $7.50 don't cover the date money.
        That's a problem.
        But, a 50% raise on that Minimum to $15 an hour?
        Great if you can get it!
        But, there's not a snowball's chance in Hell that that dog hunts in many cities.
        I LOVE that SeaTac has a chance to score the $15!
        Cheer it on!
        But, it's an totally unrealistic number almost everywhere else.
        $10.10 on the other hand lifts all boats, pours a TON of $$ back into "The Economy," and provides a Stimulus the White House has yet to stimulate.
        That's gotta hurt the Ubers and Filthys (rich) hell bent on denying prez Obama any success.

  •  Been studying up on the WA state (0+ / 0-)

    elections process, have you? All caught up?

  •  Washington state info (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens, HeyMikey

    Washington State does not have tip-offset in their minimum wage.  A tipped worker (airport wheelchair pusher, restaurant server, etc.) gets the minimum wage plus their tips.  Other states allow tips to offset the minimum wage down to a min-wage as low as $2.13/hr if the tips (supposedly) bring the actual pay up to minimum wage or better.

    And, Washington State's minimum wage for everywhere else in the state will be $9.32 after Jan 1 (presently $9.19).

    There will be a few marginal businesses that will be forced to fail with the high minimum wage.  These are the small businesses that have a low income customer base and cannot raise prices.  The big beneficiaries of the high minimum wage are the airport and surrounding hospitality workers where their careers are minimum wage jobs--hotels, airport workers such as concession stand jobs, baggage handlers, airport & plane cleaners, etc.

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