Ever since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law the United States’ first national minimum wage in 1938, there have been Republicans and fiscal conservatives insisting that minimum wages are a job killer. FDR, however, told Republicans to relax — a mandatory 25 cents per hour wouldn’t destroy the U.S. economy or hamper the success of his New Deal — and 81 years later, a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study is showing that increasing the national minimum wage to $15 per hour would be economically beneficial. Naturally, fiscal conservatives are scrambling to spin the study to their liking.
The benefits, according to the CBO: Americans living belong the poverty line would see a 5.3% earnings increase, and wages would rise for up to 27.3 million workers. Workers already making more than $15 per hour would likely see their wages rise as well.
That’s the positive part of the CBO’s cost/benefit analysis, which also found that under a $15 minimum wage, Americans would be paying about 0.3% more for goods and services. Business owners would see a higher overhead if they started paying employees more.
But the American Prospect’s David Dayen explains that fiscal conservatives, responding to the study, are spinning it in terms of a “cost-cost” analysis — in other words, they’re highlighting the negatives while glossing over the positives.
For example, a group calling itself the Job Creators Network claims that a $15-per-hour minimum wage, according to the CBO, would bring staggering job losses. Dayen explains, “Though 21 people will get a wage boost for every one that would allegedly lose a job under the CBO’s analysis, the only impacts mentioned are the latter.”
Dayen stresses that although the CBO analysis of a $15 minimum wage was more positive than negative, other analysis and research on the subject has been even more favorable to such an increase. A study by economists at the University of California at Berkeley found no “adverse effects on employment, weekly hours or annual weeks worked.”
The American Prospect editor explains, “This is what you might call a wealth transfer: well-off people would pay a little bit more for goods, and businesses would lose a little bit more in profits, to finance a wage increase for a substantial segment of the population. Inequality would be reduced by a significant factor. The cost-benefit analysis clearly comes out on the side of benefits.”
Joe Biden was right about black people and Trump — and the left needs to get past purity tests
My uncle, whom I'll call Roger, is a white man. He "dated" my older cousin-aunt for 40 years, although they never got married. Roger was also a musician who played bass in my father's band. Roger and my cousin-aunt were very much in love and had several children. As such, Uncle Roger was always at family gatherings and other events. Inevitably, he would have too much to drink (and smoke) and get into a loud argument with someone about politics, sports, music, books or some other topic … and then he would say something impolitic about black folks. Everyone would look at him, shake their heads, roll their eyes and then laugh. On cue, everyone would say, "That's Uncle Roger! He's just getting too familiar again!"
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After the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Republican Rudy Giuliani was widely praised for the leadership he showed as New York City’s mayor during one of the darkest times in the city’s history. But these days, many of the people who were praising Giuliani as a take-charge leader after 9/11 have become blistering critics — for example, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough. And journalist Seth Hettena, in Rolling Stone, takes an in-depth look at Giuliani’s journey from “America’s mayor” to self-serving Trump sycophant.
Tolerance and violence: The fate of religious minorities during the plague under Christianity and Islam
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We might think that human nature is fairly invariant across time and space, and expect the response to these catastrophes to be perennially the same. Certainly, in the 21st century there are disturbing echoes of the way Jews were blamed by European Christians of the 14th century for the Black Death. From the US to the UK, from Iran to Indonesia (the largest Muslim country in the world), there has recently been an escalation of abuse and violence against Chinese and Asian-looking people. And not just Asians. Political groups and politicians have latched on to coronavirus as a weapon in their anti-immigration policies, urging their partisans to hunker down and suspect the alien minority. In a bid for votes President Trump seems to be using coronavirus to whip up anti-Chinese feeling. In India, egged on by the BJP, the ruling Hindu nationalist party, Muslims have been viciously attacked and accused of conspiring to kill Hindus by deliberately spreading the disease.