National News

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Fox News’ Hot New Job Creation Plan: Cut The Minimum Wage

By Pat Garofalo
The Wonk Room, Think Progress, Dec 15 2009

Back in July, when a scheduled increase in the minimum wage from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour was about to take place, Fox News ran a segment examining how “the hike will hurt,” joining a media chorus about the supposed detrimental effect the increase would have on business hiring.

Now, with its Republican-inspired “Where are the jobs?” campaign in full swing, Fox has gone “on the job hunt” with a “new” idea for increasing employment: cutting the minimum wage. Jumping off from an op-ed by Washington Post editorial board member Charles Lane, Fox yesterday ran a handful of segments on the same basic premise — cutting the minimum wage may be the answer to the jobs dilemma.

Promoting Wage Law Enforcement Policies in 2010

By Nathan Newman
Progressive States Network, Dec 14 2009
The problem of wage law violations and flat-out theft of wages from employees has become one of the most endemic crime waves suffered by Americans.   Workers suffer silently as their already meager wages are reduced.   Honest employers suffer as they lose out to competition willing to violate the law.  And state budgets lose out as employers fail to pay the taxes they would have owed if they followed the law.

Progressive States Network will be working with state leaders around the country to promote policies to improve enforcement of minimum wage, overtime and related wage laws in the states.

National Conference to Create Living Wage Jobs Nov 13-14, New York City

Nov 13 2009
Speakers include Paul Sherry, Director, Let Justice Roll.
Holly Sklar
, Policy Director, Let Justice Roll.
Robert Pollin, Co-Director, Political Economy Research Institute.
Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs.
Ricardo Valadez, Program Director, National Jobs With Justice.
Lillian Roberts, Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO

Change Wall Street Can Believe In

Op-ed by Holly Sklar
McClatchy Tribune News Service, Nov 6 2009
Wall Street is doing to America what private equity firms did to Simmons Bedding and many other productive companies. Taking control with borrowed money, stripping assets, slashing jobs and cashing out.

Taxpayer bailouts saved Wall Street from choking on its own greed. Now, as the Wall Street Journal reports, "Major U.S. banks and securities firms are on pace to pay their employees about $140 billion this year -- a record high."

Tipped Workers Need a Raise

Oct 23 2009
"Restaurant workers do some of the hardest and most underappreciated jobs in our nation. It's time they were guaranteed fair compensation," says Jose Oliva, Policy Coordinator for Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United.

A labor of love - and low pay

Op-ed by Renee Loth
Boston Globe, Oct 23 2009

A RECENT report in the medical journal The Lancet estimates that half the babies born in the United States this year will live to age 100. That means plenty more work for people like Evelyn Coke. Coke was a home care aide who spent more than three decades taking care of elderly shut-ins on New York’s Long Island. She bathed, dressed, and cooked for them, kept an eye on their prescriptions, and saved the health care system millions by keeping them out of nursing homes. For this the Jamaican immigrant was paid roughly $7 an hour.

Revised formula puts 1 in 6 Americans in poverty

By Hope Yen
Associated Press, Oct 20 2009
Washington -- The level of poverty in America is even worse than first believed.

A revised formula for calculating medical costs and geographic variations show that approximately 47.4 million Americans last year lived in poverty, 7 million more than the government's official figure.

$7.25 An Hour

By Patricia Smith
New York Times Upfront (Scholastic Magazine), Oct 5 2009
This summer's minimum-wage hike means more money in the pockets of working teens. But is there a downside?

Sixteen-year-old Steve Wayne, who worked this summer as a lifeguard and swim teacher in Idaho Falls, was thrilled to see an extra $20 in his paycheck when the federal minimum wage increased in July.

"When you're getting paid minimum wage, anything helps," Wayne told the Idaho Falls Post Register. He's one of several hundred thousand American teens who earn the minimum wage.

New 2008 poverty, income data reveal only tip of the recession iceberg

By Heidi Shierholz
Economic Policy Institute, Sep 10 2009
An additional 2.6 million people slipped below the poverty line, as the poverty rate increased from 12.5% to 13.2% between 2007 and 2008. Poverty is now at a higher rate than the country faced four decades ago, in 1968...
Furthermore, it is important to note that the federal poverty threshold as currently measured is widely understood by poverty researchers to be a vastly outdated and inadequate measure... Poverty experts often use twice the poverty line as a more accurate threshold for material deprivation... In 2008, 31.9% 96 million people were living below the twice-poverty threshold...
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