BFMW In the News

Los Angeles Business Journal: Backers of Housing Bubble Were Living in Dreamland

By Richard Risemberg
Los Angeles Business Journal, 10/27/2008

What really has brought us to the economic state we’re in? Fingers are pointing everywhere – perhaps rightfully so, as blame is everywhere to be encountered. Greed on Wall Street, greed in boardrooms, greed in bankers’ suites, greed behind loan office desks, greed among homeowners, and irrationality all around, as many assumed, with a religious certainty, that growth could and should go on forever, and values rise eternally and infinitely.

Many of us saw this as delusional.

Washington Post: Hovering Above Poverty, Grasping for Middle Class

By Michael A. Fletcher and Jon Cohen
Washington Post, 8/3/08

Low-wage workers in the United States are gripped by increasing financial insecurity as they inch along an economic tightrope made riskier by pervasive job losses and rising prices. Many struggle to pay for life's basics -- housing, food and health care -- and most report having virtually no financial cushion should they stumble.

Reuters: In rich America, Third World inequality

By Bernd Debusmann
Reuters, 7/30/08

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The minimum wage in the world's richest country has just been raised by almost 12 percent. That followed a 13.6 percent hike last year and looks like major progress for those at the bottom of the economic ladder. At first sight, at least.

Examined more closely, the figures highlight poverty and economic inequality of Third World proportions.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Minimum wage rises to $6.55 an hour starting Thursday

By Michael E. Kanell
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 07/24/08

Seven decades after Franklin Roosevelt signed the law creating a minimum wage, each increase still sparks a version of the original debate. This week is no different.

The minimum wage rises Thursday from $5.85 to $6.55 an hour — part of a boost that will lift it to $7.25 an hour next summer — with many business representatives decrying the change while low-wage workers and advocates say it's about time.

And not enough.

Reuters: Minimum wage set to rise, but views vary

By Joanne Morrison - Analysis
Reuters, 7/23/08

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The national minimum wage is set to increase by 70 cents on Thursday to $6.55 an hour, the second of three increases to take place after the wages earned by the nation's poorest and least educated failed to rise for ten years.

In an economy where the richest 20 percent in the country earned more than half of all income earned, experts say the increase is more than due.

McClatchy-Tribune News Op-Ed: Holly Sklar, Minimum wage raise too little, too late

By Holly Sklar
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune News Service, July 22, 2008

Minimum wage workers have been stuck in a losing game of "Mother May I" with the federal government. Workers step forward when the government says yes to raising the minimum wage. Workers step backward when the cost of living increases, but the minimum wage doesn't.

Until 1968, minimum wage workers took frequent and big enough steps forward to make overall progress. Since 1968, when the minimum wage reached its peak buying power, workers have taken many steps backward for every step forward.

Tucson Citizen: What they plan to do with our money

By Billie Stanton, Opinion Editor
Tucson Citizen, 6/18/08

"Well, here's another nice kettle of fish you've pickled me in!"
Oliver Hardy of Laurel and Hardy in "Thicker Than Water" (1935)

Prices are high, wages are low and, as our economy sinks ever deeper, we have no choice.

We've got to dump those tax-and-spend conservatives.
You know the ones.

George W. Bush took office in 2000 with a $559 billion surplus, a parting gift to us from President Clinton, who was just another in a long line of thrifty liberals.

Post Bulletin (MN): The rich keep getting richer

By Bill Boyne
Post Bulletin (Rochester, MN), 12/28/07

America is still the land of promise -- for billionaires.

A recent news report by Holly Sklar for McClatchy-Tribune News Service told the happy stories of those who live in the top 1 percent of the U.S. income brackets.

It noted that only two years ago, even lowly multi-millionaires could qualify for the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans. That is no longer the case. As of 2007, only billionaires are on the list -- and there are even 82 billionaires who don't quite make the top 400.

Boston Globe: The future of the corporation

By Robert Kuttner
Boston Globe, 11/21/07

LAST WEEK, superinvestor Warren Buffett, America's second richest man, testified before the Senate Finance Committee on the subject of why people like him can well afford to pay taxes. In fact, Buffett is ceasing to be among the very wealthiest because he is giving most of his fortune away to philanthropies while he is still alive.

DMI Blog: Minimum Wage, Maximum Good

By Corinne Ramey
DMI Blog, 10/31/07

What do the US Women's Chamber of Commerce, the CEOs of Costco, Addus Healthcare, and ABC Home, and small business owners across the country have in common? They all supported an increase in the minimum wage. Perhaps Jim Sinegal, Costco's CEO, said it best. "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. "It's going to provide better jobs and better wages."

McClatchy-Tribune News Op-Ed: Holly Sklar, Billionaires up, America down

By Holly Sklar
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune News Service, 10/18/07
Known placements to date include: Atlanta Journal Constitution, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Columbus Dispatch, Akron Beacon Journal, Connecticut Post, Bangor Daily News (ME), Daily Camera (CO), Standard Examiner (UT), Montana Standard, Monterey Herald (CA),Watertown Daily Times (NY), Kokomo Tribune (IN), Daily Herald (UT), The Hour (CT), Stamford Times (CT), Labor World Newspaper (MN), Banderas News (Mexico), UAW.org, CommonDreams.org, Truthout.org, OpEdNews.com, etc.

When it comes to producing billionaires, America is doing great.

Until 2005, multimillionaires could still make the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans. In 2006, the Forbes 400 went billionaires only.

This year, you'd need a Forbes 482 to fit all the billionaires.

Dallas Business Journal: You Get What You Pay For

July's minimum wage hike has only upside for workers and businesses

By Kerry Curry, Dallas Business Journal Managing Editor
Dallas Business Journal, 8/9/07
Also published in Austin Business Journal, 8/10/07

The federal minimum wage hike on July 24 barely registered for many workers and employers.

The paltry raise was long past due, and everyone from liberals to conservatives, from large employers to fledgling entrepreneurs, realized that.

Jim Hightower: Pushing for Shared Prosperity

Jim Hightower.com, 8/8/07, Austin Chronicle, 8/10/07

One of the most oxymoronic and obnoxious phrases in America today is this: “The working poor.”

We live in the richest nation in the history of the world, and it’s morally abominable that anyone who works in this country is poor. Our economy is deliberately skewed by public policy. As a result, the vast portion of America’s wealth, which is generated by all of us, flows to the few at the top, shortchanging the middle class and leaving millions of hard working Americans – many working two or three jobs – in poverty.