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The Case for Raising the Minimum Wage to $21 an hour

The problem with raising the minimum wage for the political and economic royalists is that it would cut into those record corporate profits of the last several years, which have come about due to legislative actions by the 1 percent and their abusive power and corruption in the political marketplace, and which has nothing to do with anything else.

Raising the minimum wage would reduce corporate profits, which in turn, will lower those record share prices and extraordinary dividends the one percent receives for doing nothing other than purchasing legislation that redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent, such as shipping jobs overseas via trade treaties.

On the other hand, raising the minimum wage even to $15 an hour would enhance the demand for goods and services, thereby creating jobs, and possibly raising wages in the process. Tax receipts at all levels of government would rise. Public schools would have better funding. Pretty much, the pathetic US economy would grow faster and better for everyone, not just for the parasites of the 1 percent.

Raising the minimum wage to $21 an hour would be even more beneficial to the US economy, especially since it would simply be catching up to where it should be based on where it was back in 1968. And we all know the economy was much stronger then than it is now.

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“BERTRAND RUSSELL, the English philosopher, was not a fan of work. In his 1932 essay, “In Praise of Idleness”, he reckoned that if society were better managed the average person would only need to work four hours a day. Such a small working day would “entitle a man to the necessities and elementary comforts of life.” The rest of the day could be devoted to the pursuit of science, painting and writing.”

Russell thought that technological advancement could free people from toil. John Maynard Keynes sounded a similar idea in a 1930 essay, “Economic possibilities for our grandchildren,” in which he reckoned people might need work no more than 15 hours per week by 2030. But over 80 years after these speculations people seem to be working harder than ever. The Financial Times reports today that Workaholics Anonymous groups are taking off. Over the summer Bank of America faced intense criticism after a Stakhanovite intern died.

There is, of course, considerable truth to what Bertrand and Keynes said. For example, if wages had kept up with productivity growth since 1960, the federal minimum wage would be around $18 an hour, and much higher if things such as food and energy were included in the official inflation rate. Food has jumped perhaps 20 percent per year since President Obama took office, at least by some estimates.

A lot of people throughout the nation would be able to live on working only four to five hours a day or less if productivity and wages had been linked. Instead, productivity has been linked with share prices, dividends and corporate profits via federal legislation, and from which the rich primarily benefit. Free trade agreements, such as the looming Trans Pacific Partnership, the largest “free income redistribution from the 99 to the 1 percent treaty” of all time, which is also known as NAFTA on steroids, is being pushed by Obama and Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden. The latter has a history of voting 100 percent of the time on legislation that redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

It is because of Wyden’s work in the US house and senate, as well as many others, that the 99 percent in the US are working more and earning less, rather than working less and earning more. They have to support the rich and their campaign contributions and other perks the 1 percent provide the Wall Street senator. Wyden’s work is why there is such a massive financial inequality in the US. US citizens, because of Wyden, are something of a host, while Wyden’s favorite legislative beneficiaries (the 1 percent) are the parasites, in an ever increasing unequal society.

Thank you Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, at least from Wall Street’s point of view.

Notice that US citizens are working less nowadays than in 1990. However, part of that might be due to the weakness of the economy, and the overall higher unemployment in 2012 relative to 1990. Ergo, there are less hours to work nowadays than 22 years earlier. And don’t forget, when inflation is factored in, we’re earning less now than then. The difference in real wages from what they were and what they should be has been redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent via federal legislation, such as free trade treaties.

Check out the link below for more on the story.

Working Hours; Get a life–The Economist

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In Sunday’s paper, The New York Times stunningly devoted its entire editorial space to a thorough analysis and endorsement of raising the national minimum wage to $10.10. Titled “The Case for a Higher Minimum Wage,” the editorial said, “The political posturing over raising the minimum wage sometimes obscures the huge and growing number of low-wage workers it would affect. But the results of the wage debate are clear. Decades of research, facts and evidence show that increasing the minimum wage is vital to the economic security of tens of millions of Americans, and would be good for the weak economy.”

That’s absolutely true. Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would be good for the economy. However, raising it to $18.28 an hour would massively strengthen the economy by pushing the demand for goods and services into high gear. That’s what creates jobs and raises wages.

The economy can easily afford this, since raising the minimum wage that high would simply be tying it to the rate of productivity growth, which you can see from the graph below. Even by arch conservative logic, raising it that high would be great for the economy since everything in that sphere of supposed logic says that wages should grow with productivity, and it can’t possibly be inflationary since by conservative logic inflation is only caused by an increase in the supply of money.

By the way, the difference between the $18.28 and the current $7.25 per hour minimum wage (11.03 per hour) has been redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent via the political power of the 1 percent. They’ve used this ill gotten money to redistribute more money from the 99 to the 1 percent, purchased free trade treaties in the halls of congress and the white house so they can ship our jobs overseas, bought privatizations scams, corrupted our federal and state and local governments, raised the prices that we pay for goods and services in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and paid government officials to look the other way. That’s weakened our tax bases, stolen money from our schools, robbed the elderly of their social safety nets, and destroyed 30 American million jobs since 1990. The list goes on and on, and the one thing this list shows is that the 1 percent have been to the 99 percent as parasites are unto their hosts. That’s all the Koch brothers and their parasitic ilk are.

The New York Times editorial is the link below.

The Case for Raising the Minimum Wage–The New York Times

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I received the email below and decided to publish the complete thing. I should make a few comments about these revelations. The Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are intended to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent, and to push up corporate share prices. The parasites of the 1 percent are using these negotiations to rig the economic game against the 99 percent even more than it already has been. President Obama and his buddies, such as Wall Street Senators Ron Wyden and Mitch McConnell, are the epidemy of corrution and class warriers for the 1 percent  in Washington D.C. The Trans Pacific treaty aims to push up prices of goods, such as medicine. That will, naturally, lead to greater inflation.

Nov. 13, 2013

Contact: Peter Maybarduk (202) 588-7755 pmaybarduk@citizen.org<mailto:pmaybarduk@citizen.org>

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secret documents published today by WikiLeaks and analyzed by Public Citizen reveal that the Obama administration is demanding terms that would limit Internet freedom and access to lifesaving medicines throughout the Asia-Pacific region and bind Americans to the same bad rules, belying the administration’s stated commitments to reduce health care costs and advance free expression online, Public Citizen said today.

WikiLeaks published the complete draft of the Intellectual Property chapter for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed international commercial pact between the United States and 11 Asian and Latin American countries. Although talks started in 2008, this is the first access the public and press have had to this text. The text identifies which countries support which terms. The administration has refused to make draft TPP text public, despite announcing intentions to sign the deal by year’s end. Signatory nations’ laws would be required to conform to TPP terms.

The leak shows the United States seeking to impose the most extreme demands of Big Pharma and Hollywood, Public Citizen said, despite the express and frequently universal opposition of U.S. trade partners. Concerns raised by TPP negotiating partners and many civic groups worldwide regarding TPP undermining access to affordable medicines, the Internet and even textbooks have resulted in a deadlock over the TPP Intellectual Property Chapter, leading to an impasse in the TPP talks, Public Citizen said.

“The Obama administration’s proposals are the worst – the most damaging for health – we have seen in a U.S. trade agreement to date. The Obama administration has backtracked from even the modest health considerations adopted under the Bush administration,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s global access to medicines program. “The Obama administration’s shameful bullying on behalf of the giant drug companies would lead to preventable suffering and death in Asia-Pacific countries. And soon the administration is expected to propose additional TPP terms that would lock Americans into high prices for cancer drugs for years to come.”

Previously, some elements of U.S. proposals for the Intellectual Property Chapter of the TPP had been leaked in 2011 and 2012. This leak is the first of a complete chapter revealing all countries’ positions. There are more than 100 unresolved issues in the TPP Intellectual Property chapter. Even the wording of many footnotes is in dispute; one footnote negotiators agree on suggests they keep working out their differences over the wording of the other footnotes. The other 28 draft TPP chapters remain shrouded in secrecy.

Last week, the AARP and major consumer groups wrote to the Obama administration<http://citizen.typepad.com/eyesontrade/2013/11/38-million-retirees-say-no-to-a-trade-deal-that-would-make-medicine-more-expensive.html&gt; to express their “deep concern” that U.S. proposals for the TPP would “limit the ability of states and the federal government to moderate escalating prescription drug, biologic drug and medical device costs in public programs,” and contradict cost-cutting plans for biotech medicines in the White House budget.

Other U.S.-demanded measures for the TPP would empower the tobacco giants to sue governments<http://www.citizen.org/investorcases&gt; before foreign tribunals to demand taxpayer compensation for their health regulations and have been widely criticized<http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/23/opinion/why-is-obama-caving-on-tobacco.html&gt;. “This supposed trade negotiation has devolved into a secretive rulemaking against public health, on behalf of Big Pharma and Big Tobacco,” said Maybarduk.

“It is clear from the text obtained by WikiLeaks that the U.S. government is isolated and has lost this debate,” Maybarduk said. “Our partners don’t want to trade away their people’s health. Americans don’t want these measures either. Nevertheless, the Obama administration – on behalf of Big Pharma and big movie studios – now is trying to accomplish through pressure what it could not through persuasion.”

“The WikiLeaks text also features Hollywood and recording industry-inspired proposals – think about the SOPA debacle – to limit Internet freedom and access to educational materials, to force Internet providers to act as copyright enforcers and to cut off people’s Internet access,” said Burcu Kilic, an intellectual property lawyer with Public Citizen. “These proposals are deeply unpopular worldwide and have led to a negotiation stalemate.”

“Given how much text remains disputed, the negotiation will be very difficult to conclude,” said Maybarduk. “Much more forward-looking proposals have been advanced by the other parties, but unless the U.S drops its out-there-alone demands, there may be no deal at all.”

“We understand that the only consideration the Obama administration plans to propose for access to affordable generic medicines is a very weak form of differential treatment for developing countries,” said Maybarduk.

The text obtained by WikiLeaks is available at http://www.wikileaks.org/tpp&gt;. Analysis of the leaked text is available at http://www.citizen.org/access&lt;http://www.citizen.org/access&gt;.

More information about the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations is available at http://www.citizen.org/tpp&lt;https://hq-qz.salsalabs.com/salsa/include/fck2.5.1/editor/www.citizen.org

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It should be pointed out that food stamps go to feed people, and that corporate subsidies go toward redistributing income from the 99 to the parasites of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising share prices and surging dividends, and all at the expense of the 99 percent. It’s a rigged game against the 99 percent via corrupt US governments at most levels and a corrupt corporate US Supreme Court.

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President Franklin Roosevelt(FDR)  understood the ratio several decades ago. The more money the super rich have, the more they use it to buy more politicians, the more they use it to purchase more legislation that redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent. That’s why FDR successfully pushed for a high top marginal tax rate of 90 percent. It served to ensure a maximum wage, according the book FDR: Traitor to His Class.

The graph below shows the ratio, as it currently stands.

The Reagan tax cuts released a ton of money into the political markets to purchase favors detrimental to the 99 percent, such as free trade treaties, privatization scams, military buildups, wars,  etc….

The average middle class person pays a higher percentage of their income in total US taxes than the parasites of the 1 percent if you count federal taxes, state income taxes, sales taxes, payroll taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, other local taxes, and more. This is one of the many things the rich have purchased in the political markets.  One other thing should be pointed out. It’s true the rich pay a much higher portion of total federal taxes in the US than the middle class, but that’s because they’ve received most real income increases during the last thirty years. For example, in 2011, the 1 percent stole over 93 percent of all US income growth. It’s been over 80 percent in each of the last five years. This is another thing the rich have used the money they’ve received from tax cuts to purchase in the political markets.

The parasites of the 1 percent then take this money, and buy more legislation to redistribute more and more income from the 99 percent. The most glaring example is currently being secretly negotiated between the US, 600 corporate lobbyists and eleven other nations. It’s called the Trans Pacific Partnership. It’s also been called Nafta on Steroids. However, it really is a mechanism to redistribute income and political power from the 99 to the 1 percent.

 

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Parasites of the USA

The caption includes the Koch Brothers, parasites number one.

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