Tin Shop Tartan - Randolph County Alabama's Own Snarky and Surly Scot Gets All Native

Blogging from the suburbs of the Tin Shop community, Captain Plaid brings Progressivism, and a share of Quixotic angst, to the ridges and hollows of Randolph County, Alabama. Hardly a booster yet rooted here enough to fight, Plaidsters can perhaps find like cause in trying to build local solutions to global concerns. Education, environment, economy, entertainment, engagement ... Trust the Tartan!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Progressivism In Op-Ed of The Randolph Leader

I was pleased to see The Randolph Leader print the work of Holly Sklar, in this case "Sklar: Congress values own paychecks more than workers". While I think men and women serving in Congress ought to be very well compensated, her point contrasting their pay, especially the patterns of raises, with the wages of Americans at the low end of the wage spectrum is well taken.

Ms. Sklar has done tons of work in this area. She co-authored "Raise the Floor : Wages and Policies that Work" that the Ms. Foundation for Women does a good job of covering. Tom Paine carried her work back in March entitled "Wanted: A High-Road Economy" with this portion being the meat of the matter:
The share of national income going to wages and salaries is at the lowest level since 1929—the year that kicked off the Great Depression. The share going to after-tax corporate profits, which heavily benefit corporate executives and other wealthy Americans through increased dividends and capital gains, is at the highest level since 1929.
Ms. Sklar and Rev. Paul Sherry promote their new book via Tom Paine with the piece entitled "The Moral Minimum" with these portions speaking to me:

Contrary to myth, raising the minimum wage helps business and boosts the economy. As Dan Gardner, commissioner of Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries, puts it: "Overall most low-wage workers pump every dollar of their paychecks directly into the local economy by spending their money in their neighborhood stores, local pharmacies, and corner markets. When the minimum wage increases, local economies benefit from the increased purchasing power."

Studies by the Fiscal Policy Institute and others show that states with minimum wages above the federal level have had better employment trends, including faster small business and retail job growth. A new report by the Center for American Progress and Policy Matters Ohio shows that the number of small businesses grew more in states with higher minimum wages and jobs in small retail businesses grew three times faster in higher wage states.

State minimum wage raises are putting thousands of dollars more into the hands of those for whom every extra dollar counts in the struggle to pay rent, health care and other necessities.

The Christianists serving "God's Own Party" often talk of "family values" yet I see little if any focus on social and economic justice. Jesus approves of tax cuts for the wealthy I guess? For an alternative view consider "Let Justice Roll".

To close, I agree Ms. Sklar would make a great Secretary of Labor. Peace ... or War!