BFMW In the News

McClatchy Newspapers: On Friday, lowest-wage workers get a pay hike

By Tony Pugh
McClatchy Newspapers, July 19, 2009

WASHINGTON — The final installment of a three-part increase in the federal minimum wage is proving to be the most controversial.

Two previous wage hikes, one in 2007, the other in 2008, pushed the federal wage to $5.85 and then to the current $6.55 an hour. The third, which goes into effect Friday, will push it to $7.25 an hour.

That's not a life-changing raise — an extra $28 a week for a fulltime worker earning the federal minimum — though low-wage earners like Kendell Patterson in Oklahoma City, Okla., say it'll help.

On Common Ground News (GA): Minimum wage going up July 24

By Valerie J. Morgan
On Common Ground News (GA), July 15, 2009

The federal minimum wage for workers in Georgia and 28 other states will increase from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour starting July 24. This will mark the third increase in three years.

For a full-time worker, the 70-cent hike will mean a weekly pay increase to $290 and annual earnings of $15,080. Even with the increase, however, a family of three still will fall below the federal poverty line of $17, 600. About a third of Georgians impacted by the change are parents, according to state labor officials.

Reuters: In American crisis, anger and guns

By Bernd Debusmann
Reuters Columnist, 3/19/09

Washington -- In the first two months of this year, around 2.5 million Americans bought guns, a 26% percent increase over the same period in 2008. It was great news for gun makers and a sign of a dark mood in the country.

Gun sales shot up almost immediately after Barack Obama won the U.S. presidential elections on November 4 and firearm enthusiasts rushed to stores, fearing he would tighten gun controls despite campaign pledges to the contrary.

Yes Online: Chuck Collins: Wanted: A Commerce Secretary for Main Street

by Chuck Collins
Yes! Online, February 2009

Senator Judd Gregg’s withdrawal as designee for the post of Secretary of Commerce gives President Obama an opportunity to regain some credibility for his promise to bring change and restore the American middle class. He could name a Commerce Secretary who understands the real economy of Main Street and has a track record in serving the interests of Main Street businesses and workers.

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.