Just in from Pew Research: 47% of Americans see themselves as lower or lower-middle class.
As PolicyMic reports: “600 economists now say it’s time the federal minimum wage to $10.10, including seven Nobel laureates, attaching their name to a letter from the Economic Policy Institute asking lawmakers to reform wage laws.
“It couldn’t come at a more pertinent time. On Tuesday during the State of the Union, President Obama is widely expected to state that he will raise the minimum wage for future federal contractors to $10.10 an hour from $7.25 via an executive action. The raise would affect some two million federal employees, and show that the president is serious about backing a proposal stalled in Congress to raise the minimum wage for all employees to $10.10 over three years and then index it to inflation.
“And Americans support it by huge margins. A January Quinnipiac poll discovered that some 71% of American voters support raising the minimum wage. That includes 52% of Republicans. As liberal economist Paul Krugman noted, perhaps the reality of class distinctions is beginning to sink in for many Americans as they see an economy recovery bypass so many of them and opportunities disappear across the board. A Pew survey found that Americans’ perception of their class status is converging towards reality, with some 47% of Americans defining themselves as lower and lower-middle class. Krugman thinks this is why economic inequality is now such a popular issue across the country. Continue reading “Revisiting the 47 percent”
Three and a half million people of color would be lifted out of poverty if Congress raised the minimum wage to $10.10, according to a new report from the restaurant workers’ group ROC United. According to a recent post on ThinkProgress: “This would be the majority of the six million people overall who would be lifted out of poverty. People of color are far more likely to work minimum wage jobs, as they represent 42 percent of those earners even though they make up just 32 percent of the workforce.
“That big number is in large part thanks to the overrepresentation of people of color in low-wage restaurant industry jobs. Over 500,000 of those lifted out of poverty by a raise in the minimum wage would be restaurant workers, 300,000 of whom would be workers of color.
“Restaurants are the single largest employer of people of color, but they are disproportionately concentrated in the lowest paying positions. As the report notes, “Two of the lowest-paying jobs, dishwashers and fast food preps and cooks, are 59% and 35% people of color, and earn a median wage of $8.78 and $8.85, respectively.” Forty percent of tipped workers — who make an even lower minimum wage of $2.13 — are people of color.
“The people of color who hold these jobs are also more likely to live in poverty. They make up more than half of tipped workers and restaurant workers with incomes below the poverty line.”
Read full story at: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/06/21/2194701/race-minimum-wage/
Seven in 10 Americans say they would vote “for” raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour if given the opportunity, while 27% would vote against such a bill, reports Gallup. “The proposal, made by President Barack Obama in his 2013 State of the Union speech, is backed by over 90% of Democrats and self-described liberals, and by over two-thirds of independents and moderates. Republicans are evenly split on the proposal, while conservatives tilt slightly in favor. Continue reading “Support for raising minimum wage”