March 17, 2011

War on the Middle class continues

Great story from the NYT on the role that public employment plays in Ohio's middle class, and how the Republicans have declared war on that too.
“What are they wanting?” she said of the bill. “For everyone to be making minimum wage?”

Wages at the bottom of the labor market have stagnated since 1970, with inflation gobbling up gains made over the years. The federal minimum wage buys a lot less today; it represented just 38 percent of the average hourly wage for private, nonsupervisory workers in 2010, down from 47 percent in 1970, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The short answer is, "yes, they do want everyone on minimum wage," but I suspect that the long answer is more complicated.

I think one of our friends at ATK made this analogy, or close, that this is like a home-owner who hired people to work on his house. But then, that same home-owner decided to take a self-imposed cut in wages, and now wants to "live within his means," and has decided to not pay those he hired to work on his house. Sure, he made a commitment, but he has to "live within his means" (did you not hear that before?) and cannot afford to pay for these luxuries, like wages, etc.

The analogy breaks down because many of those Republicans have done quite well in this market and so look at the workers with scorn. Hourly wage? Can you imagine?
Ms. Taylor was washing dishes when the State Senate passed the labor bill this month. She sat down and cried when she heard the news. It does away with seniority and leaves out any job protection for workers with longer service, putting public workers — most of whom are not eligible for Social Security — at risk of losing their retirement income.

“I’m scared,” Ms. Taylor said. “You just start to think, what about this, what about that? This is going to hurt a lot of people.”
The rich get richer, and have conned many in the middle class into supporting the interests of the wealthy over everyone else.

2 comments:

Smitty said...

I would like to take a break from today's War On The Middle Class to wish you a Happy St. Patrick's Day on the highest, most holiest day of such extreme magnitude.

Monk-in-Training said...

Today, as we celebrate the Annunciation, the words of Our Lady come to mind. "He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty."

Sounds a bit redistributionist to me. ;)