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By Rachel Goldfarb, originally published on Next New Deal

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$15 Is the New $10.10 (U.S. News & World Report)

Paul K. Sonn argues a nationwide $15-per-hour minimum wage is both feasible and necessary in order to generate enough spending power to sustain the economy.

Just How Big Are CEOs’ Packages? (In These Times)

Leo Gerard says the purpose of calculating the pay ratio between CEOs and median workers isn't to shame CEOs, but to emphasize the need to pay workers better.

Fed Officials Growing Wary of Market Complacency (WSJ)

Jon Hilsenrath says the Fed is growing concerned that calm markets will increase investors' tolerance for risk too much, and lead to further problems down the road.

What Drives Credit Card Debt? (TAP)

Credit card debt has almost nothing to do with household spending habits, writes Amy Traub. Lack of health insurance, education, and assets are far stronger indicators of high consumer debt.

How Privatizing Government Hollowed Out the Middle Class (MSNBC)

A new report on government contracting shows that the massive shift to privatization in the 1990s cut costs by turning middle-class jobs into low-wage jobs, writes Timothy Noah.

Toward a Progressive Tax Policy (Bloomberg View)

Peter Orszag considers two options for taxing wealth in the U.S. that he thinks are more viable than Piketty's global wealth tax: a progressive consumption tax and an inheritance tax.

  • Roosevelt Take: Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz will appear on Moyers & Company again this weekend to continue discussing his new white paper on reforming our tax code.

Republicans Are Claiming the New Climate Rules Will Wreck the Economy. They're Wrong. (MoJo)

Chris Mooney says the economic costs of new environmental rules are consistently overstated, when in fact studies show the benefits from these regulations far exceed the costs.


Originally posted to Daily Kos Economics on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 05:11 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  $15.15 in '15! (0+ / 0-)

    And $1.01 a year for another 5 years.

    “Hardworking men and women who are busting their tails in full-time jobs shouldn't be left in poverty.” -- Elizabeth Warren

    by Positronicus on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 08:16:44 PM PDT

  •  Sure it is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pale Jenova

    $15 per hour by 2025. Less than a dollar an hour per year.

    I'm not even kidding. It's how they'll do it. And the Democrats will declare victory and move on to the NEXT cave-in.

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 08:26:05 PM PDT

    •  Heh heh. Those old Democrats (0+ / 0-)

      Every time they get a taste of victory, they look for a Republican to cave in to.

      Luckily though, my state Democratic party is decent, and control the statewide offices. Good thing too, because our Republicans are bat spit insane.

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 11:11:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  why I think $11+ is so important (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pale Jenova, RUNDOWN

    We have seen a lot of efficiency improvements over the past generation. Almost none of these efficiencies have been translated into higher wages, not has the work week been adjusted for the fact that we simply need much less time to get the same amount of work done.

    An $11-15 an hour wage accomplishes two things.  It gives workers, who choose, the ability work 20-30 hours instead of 30-40 hours.  Many are only given these hours as it is, because, honestly, for many workers a 20-30 work week makes sense, given the work and the efficiency.

    All the analysis saying that this really isn't going to cost money, and isn't going to cost jobs, is really incomplete.  Everyone's wages are going to go up, the definition of full time work will change, and that is ok.  Because if we think the middle class is important, and that work is preferable to recieving governement age, we need to create more higher wage jobs.  If that means that each of us work 30 hours a week, maybe with a 10% pay cut for higher wage workers(not salary) then maybe that is what happens.  Low paid workers who have to work and get governement assistance get more money.

  •  So -- No need for a federal minimum wage? (0+ / 0-)

    Sounds like local governments are taking up the cause -- and that might be better anyway, given that the cost of living is not the same across the country.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 08:31:31 PM PDT

  •  I'm dreaming here, but given the rise of automa... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pale Jenova, kosta, katiec

    I'm dreaming here, but given the rise of automation and the decline in man hours, a universal basic income would make more sense.

    •  Kurt Vonnegut discussed this (0+ / 0-)

      In Player Piano, engineers and managers replace human workers with automation, and there is a hollowing out of the working class obviated by machines. One of the issues raised from eliminating drudge work is what should we be doing with our time given this new freedom. The Soviet Union tried a) eliminating money and b) guaranteed a universal income. To this day, there are very few Russian companies outside the energy sector that are global powers (Kapersky Labs ironically has to do with anti-virus software), but even in the 1920s in the heady days after the revolution it was very hard to do anything with such "freedom". A lot of big artists started to emigrate in the 1970s just because they found it impossible to deal with so much freedom. Stress is necessary for every organism. The search for food and companionship stimulates the senses and give community a purpose. I like your dream, but hope you succeed in thinking it through further. We need  a system that reinforces the struggle to improve quality of life beyond banal consumerism and commodity fetishism.  

      It is not easy to see what you are not looking for, or to know what it is you do not know.

      by kosta on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 01:03:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  actually a universal basic income is a good idea (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        katiec

        The Soviet communist system was a brutal authoritarian system.  

        It wasn't even necessarily more "economically liberal".  People were far more likely to starve under Stalin than under Roosevelt.

        It also made a few claims of having some humane ideas - they always officially claimed to be against racism and sexism, for example.

        Yet, persistently, immigrants from behind the iron curtain seem to mistake the baby for being part of the extensive bathwater.  A good, humane idea is not a bad idea, just because the Soviets pretended to be in favor of it.

        "We need  a system that reinforces the struggle to improve quality of life beyond banal consumerism and commodity fetishism. "

        No, we don't need a government system to do that.  That's your job as a private individual.  And to speak politely, the idea that fear of starvation contributes to this outcome is quite the opposite of reality.  Maslow.  Check it out.  And no artist ever left the Soviet Union because they wanted to starve.  They wanted to get away from censorship and constant fear of official persecution.

        The system of government that works is regulation of, and supplementation with social programs and other protections of, a basically free market economy.  That's what works in all rich, humane countries.

        Part of the job of the government is to make sure no-one starves, freezes, catches diseases that can be prevented with basic public health, dies or suffers from lack of basic health care, fails to fulfill the educational potential they have the ability and motivation for, or is forced into an excessively undignified position by poverty.  

        A guaranteed income would reduce the cost and indignities of "means testing", while providing a solid social safety net.  It may be a dream but it's a sensible one.

        •  Great for Norway, Russia or Brunei (0+ / 0-)

          If your country has a large natural resource endowment relative to your population, government can easily assure housing, healthcare, etc. Russia pays a prize to mothers just for having a child. Norway has the best-funded social schemes among the Nordic countries. Brunei takes care of all by sultanic decree. Crunch time, however, comes when you have more people and a fewer natural resources to sell. Japan comes to mind. You get taken care of as a child and as a sick adult. Unemployment is such a stigma because healthy adults are expected to be giving back and paying into the system. Even healthy elderly get very modest state support.

          It's pretty pathetic that anybody in an advanced economy like the US has to even write

          Part of the job of the government is to make sure no-one starves, freezes, catches diseases that can be prevented with basic public health, dies or suffers from lack of basic health care, fails to fulfill the educational potential they have the ability and motivation for, or is forced into an excessively undignified position by poverty.  
          By definition, that's what goes with the territory in an advanced economy. A Frenchman would feel shame at that notion. A German would think you were talking about pre-Evo Bolivia or something. The fact that half of personal bankruptcies in the US were precipitated by medical events is more of an indication of a bifurcation of the society into parallel first world and third world existences.

          It is not easy to see what you are not looking for, or to know what it is you do not know.

          by kosta on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 06:10:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I agree, in the long run. However, what we really (0+ / 0-)

      need now is people doing all the stuff that needs doing, and pronto:

      Smart grid, cleaning our water sheds, knocking down some suburban sprawl and rebuilding our cities, modernizing supply lines, modernizing transportation, planting trees, etc....

      Lots of work to be done.

      We need a Guaranteed Jobs Program, plus Basic Income Guarantee, as a more efficient way to pay SS, for instance.

      http://neweconomicperspectives.org/...

  •  A lot of companies can improve their bottom (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RUNDOWN

    line and improve the lives of the workers . . . by "rightsourcing" their way overpaid CEO and board members.

    Of course, you need the voting power of the shareholders to do it.

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 11:09:30 PM PDT

  •  $15 is the new $1.65 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Done4nau

    It is good to see America thinking in terms of a subsistence minimum. One unintended benefit is that employers start insisting on a better-educated workforce to justify the higher expenditure. Too long the US has settled for a globally mediocre workforce and feigned competence. We may even see a renaissance in trades and vocational training.

    It is not easy to see what you are not looking for, or to know what it is you do not know.

    by kosta on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 12:30:13 AM PDT

  •  The greatest victory of the right (0+ / 0-)

    There's a paradox in the US - according to polls, the vast majority of voters prefer "liberal" economic policies, yet, while social policy has become more and more progressive, the US is hampered by extremely right wing economics - high cost private health care (ACA does some good but perpetuates that), massive costs for higher education (tiny fraction in most other rich countries), low wages, poorly progressive taxes, poor transportation options, and overpriced housing in economically viable areas.

    It's important to understand that many right wingers have a massive emotional feeling that poor people aren't poor enough, middle class people are too rich, and the rich aren't rich enough.  It never extends to including themselves.  But emotionally, at some level, they seem to have a strong urge to see others live in Dickensian poverty.  Claims that this "helps the overall economy" are likely disingenuous.  

    How was this accomplished?  Partly with by attaching social issues to right wing economics, sure - get people to vote away their own job because of gay marriage or abortion.  

    But one other brilliant technique was turning the otherwise relatively economically liberal public against "government workers".  Want to drive down wages?  Lay off millions of moderately decent wage earners.  Duh.  Can't get simpler than that.  Straight out supply and demand.  

    'Does Osborne, now a senior partner with a consulting firm, have second thoughts about privatization? “No, I don’t,” Osborne wrote in an e-mail. “We could subsidize higher wages than the marketplace provides, as we often do in the public sector, and tell ourselves we are all better off. But it would be a lie. The more of our dollars that go into taxes and fees to support public employees, the less we spend on other things, and the more demand we withdraw from the private economy. The end result: we are all poorer.”

    “Far better,” Osborne said, “to support things like [the Earned Income Tax Credit] and food stamps and job training to help the working poor than to subsidize millions of public employees.”'

    He overtly supports increased inefficiency.  He literally supports subsidizing for profit contractors by allowing them to pay wages so low that the workers need welfare.   This comes very close to outright saying that he'd rather pay lower wages to get the same job done, even if the cost of getting the job done is the same.  Low wages are not just to save money - they are considered a social good in themselves.  It's perverse, but it's a very common view on the right.

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