This is a conversation I had with my son today.
Him: “Did you hear about the minimum wage?”
Him: “I heard it’s going to get raised to $9.20.”
Me: [dumbfounded] “What?”
Him: “Yeah. Look it up. ”
I looked it up and — I would not with confidence say Obama will do anything with the minimum wage.
Do people WANT him to do something? Yes.
I learned that in July 2013 Obama said he would use, “whatever executive authority I have to help the middle class.”
I also learned that just yesterday, a Dem. from Ohio, Tim Ryan, said that he and others are pushing Obama to act “boldly” on the issue even if it means bypassing Congress and that he’d announce that in his state of the state address. source: PJ Tatler:
I also learned from Pew that most of the public is OK with an increase.
After conducting a Jan. 15-19 poll among 1,504 adults, Pew Research pronounced that, “Overall, 73% of the public favors raising the federal minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. And 63% back a one-year extension of unemployment benefits for those who have been out of work a long time. Both issues receive nearly unanimous support from Democrats and are favored by wide margins among independents but divide the GOP.”
Obama could take some heat off himself by raising the minimum wage for ONLY federal contractors – - something that he talked about doing with the use of the executive order. Seventeen members of the congressional progressive caucus reminded him about that last July.
Then last week, Ellison confronted Jason Furman, Obama’s chief economist, at a think tank event. (Which is awesome and I wish I had video of this but I can’t find it.) Check this out:
In an unusual move, CPC Co-Chair Keith Ellison, D-Minn., last week questioned Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors chairman, Jason Furman, from the audience of a panel at a think tank. Asked by Ellison about prospects for progress “outside of legislative action” on behalf of contracted workers, Furman answered that, “There’s no doubt that the biggest thing we could do is something legislative,” because “the biggest question” is, “How can we make sure that there’s no one in this country that’s paid less than $10.10 an hour?” Ellison told Salon that was “the most remarkable dodge I’ve ever seen.”
The pressure got ratcheted up a notch this week Wednesday when non-union minimum-wage food service and janitorial staff at the Pentagon walked off the job.
Yup. They’re on strike.
Democracy Is So Out These Days
If Obama uses an executive order to do anything, the Tea Party could go nuts because an executive order is not as democratic as going through congress.
So with that in mind, does anybody really think he cares about what’s democratic?
If you want to know where TPP is now, try this article: People Pressure is Making Fast Tracking the TPP Politically Toxic
Tweeters should take special note of this info from Truthdig:
“Every Tuesday there is a TPP twitter storm at 9 PM Eastern. Follow the hashtag #TPPMediaMarch to participate. There will be a special TPP storm during the State of the Union on January 28.”
On MLK day Rep. Keith Ellison released a statement that said that protesters who marched on Washington during Martin Luther King’s era called for a $2/hour minimum wage which is the equivalent of $15/hour in today’s dollars.