Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Six states raise minimum wage! A good start.

Six states approvedraising the minimum wage, joining 18 other states in setting a wage higher than the ridiculously low federal mark of $5.15 an hour.

In my state, Ohio, voters raised the wage to $6.85 an hour, Montana to $6.15 or the federal wage, whichever is higher, and Missouri to $6.50. Arizona voters raised the minimum wage to $6.75.

CNN also projects that Nevada voters will approve a mandatory minimum wage constitutional amendment that would set the wage at $6.15 if the employer does not provide health benefits. Blah.

A good start for most states. But they are still too low for anyone to live off of, even on the slimmest of budgets. There's a book, which I read, called Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

The author, Barbara Ehrenreich, sets out to find how anyone could make ends meet on $7 an hour, she left behind her middle class life as a journalist except for $1000 in start-up funds, a car and her laptop computer to try to sustain herself as a low-skilled worker for a month at a time. In 1999 and 2000, Ehrenreich worked as a waitress , a cleaning woman, a nursing home aide, and in a Wal-Mart employee.

End result? Her income barely covered her month's expenses in only one instance, when she worked seven days a week at two jobs (one of which provided free meals) during the off-season in a vacation town.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm encouraged that the many spotlights that have shone on the voting fraud issue seem to have caused the election riggers of 2000, 2002, and 2004 fame to at least partially stand down, and give Americans the chance to vote their conscience.

However there is still a need for a real investigation of 9/11, and I am appalled that Pelosi doesn't want to go after the criminals and traitors in the Bush administration who are responsible for those attacks.