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Seattle just voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour. This is the exact wage that so many throngs of protesters nationwide were demanding for months now. Seattle has realized that with the high cost of living within their city, the former minimum wage was not only outdated, but terrifically insufficient. This is a local move, and local moves are what spread nationwide movements. Take the gay marriage issue for example. When localities get national attention for making major changes in policy, it opens up the conversation, and gives validity to the issue. Thank you Seattle for being the most progressive state so far on this issue, however there are problems...

SEATTLE, recent Super Bowl champs have voted to increase the minimum wage not just a pittance, but enough to LIVE on! However, there is a catch. It will apparently take several years to roll this out, and by then inflation and cost of living will have again almost assuredly outrun the minimum wage once again. So, it's one small step for minimum wage proponents, and one slow crawl to staying just behind the poverty line years from now. I hate being cynical, but if the best we can do looks like the absolute least we can do, where did my beloved phrase "Yes We Can" go? As a radical, independent and socially liberal human being, what has happened here in Seattle offers some hope, tempered though by the binds of compromise even in a city recognizing the looming poverty crisis at hand. Even if passed, the Federal minimum wage increase to $10.10 per hour wasn't even close to keeping up with inflation and/or the cost of living. Anyone who thinks somebody that works a full time job, but doesn't deserve a basic wage to live on needs to move to India or China and learn how to make our 5 dollar t-shirts and live on a fraction of that per day. America is still the richest country in the world, but most of that is because of the concentration of wealth at the top few percent of our population. Minimum wage is one of those basic human rights ideas that came from the thought that if a person was contributing with full time work into our society that that person should be able to sustain himself and possibly a small family at the same time. Now minimum wage is being tied to ideas that a minimum wage itself creates less jobs and therefore more poverty. That argument is so half-cocked, out of bounds paradoxical talking points, that I'd love bow out of the discussion at this point. I have to give up and stop arguing when the idea that helping people hurts people becomes logic, if not a twisted up messed up logic. I have to stop arguing when the argument becomes that not only have the working poor become this way due to lack of effort or ambition in life, but that those same people must not be helped because of such a disturbingly prejudiced premise that helping people only teaches them to keep working their asses off not only with the dream of reaching the now mythical middle class in mind, but the hope that being a highly productive citizen might at least garner a life lived over the poverty line. I must begin arguing again the next version of "why poor people are to blame for it and how helping rich people helps these poor people help themselves."  Quite a tagline, and it's too bad politicians prefer sound byte after disconnected sound byte edited into meaningless oblivion rather than getting down to the nitty gritty truth of what are we actually talking about right now. It's US versus THEM. Pink Floyd said it way back when they took us to the Dark Side of the Moon. Us versus them is a perfect way of garnering support for a platform wholly and fully based on "No You Can't". Seattle for one has said, "Yes We Can!". Even if that means all that we are capable of is compromise that keeps a worthy ideology alive, if not thriving. Next question is, what state or city will take the lead now and continue the spread of what could at least be a national discussion on the rights of the working poor.

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