$3.65/hr in 1970 = $14.60 in 2012, but we’ll Settle for $7.75

RI Future reports that the General Assembly voted to increase the minimum wage.

While it’s far short of a living wage– taking into account the high cost of housing just as an example, it’s a good move. For all you out there who sweated at a press all summer for $3.65/hr and met people who worked in the factory for decades– remember that now, as then, some of the most essential work is underpaid. Rhode Island’s industry has moved to China, but we still need workers. You can’t outsource elder care.

If you buy into the myth that ‘job creators’ are financiers and stock traders, you will gripe about the lavish $0.35/hr raise for people doing the toughest jobs. If you value an economy that attracts good workers to the state you will see this as a baby step in the right direction.

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3 thoughts on “$3.65/hr in 1970 = $14.60 in 2012, but we’ll Settle for $7.75

  1. Well, I say double RI to $15.50 an hour. That and no tax at all, either fed or state on UI benefits, and forgiveness of 75% of principle on individual student loans. Those three things alone would put a shot into the U.S. economy like nobody has ever seen.

  2. Hear, Hear! Which, by the way, is an abbreviation for “hear, all ye good people, hear what this brilliant and eloquent speaker has to say!”

  3. “double RI to $15.50 an hour.”

    OK, but we absolutely need to make a pact with our neighbor states to peg a number and then adjust it -automatically- with the CPI (or some other index). This should not be a political issue.

    “That and no tax at all, either fed or state on UI benefits”

    That’s a strange loophole. I like the idea of taxing income as income, regardless of if it’s from work, investments, or government benefits.

    “and forgiveness of 75% of principle on individual student loans.”

    If we forgive student loans, then about $1T needs to come from the federal budget, which is already running deficits. The reason student loans aren’t dischargable is to prevent them from hitting the budget. It makes much more sense to pump money into colleges rather than pump it into students to spend at colleges. It’s cheaper, more controllable, and predictable.

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