Tuesday, November 1, 2011


MY COMMENT ON: http://www.prospect.org/article/protest-and-possibility

I have been spamming around that LBJ's 1968 minimum wage was $10.15/hr ($1.60/hr adjusted for inflation) -- and -- today's MEDIAN wage is $15/hr -- probably what the minimum wage should (minimally) be.

Correction?: I was using the Minneapolis fed reserve online inflation calculator for the first -- and -- drawing on a table on p. 134 in "The State of Working America, 2008/2009" for the second.

But according the the BLS online inflation calculator the UDS 1968 minimum was $10.43/hr -- and -- according to Harold Meyerson's article on AP online the US MEDIAN wage is now $12.75/hr ($26,363/2080hrs).
Want a slogan for the movement Mr. Kuttner? Try what calling "inequality" by how it hits me -- an enslaved American worker -- by the "Great Wage Depression" -- as in "End the."

Then try selling the one and only labor market set up that can possibly rebalance both the US labor market and the political forum: legally mandated S-E-C-T-O-R W-I-D-E L-A-B-O-R A-G-R-E-E-M-E-N-T-S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Try explaining this labor market setup originated as a Republican type program designed to thwart a race to the top by militant labor unions in post war Europe (we had a similar situation in the US in the late '60s and early '70s (as I fondly remember -- good ole Teamster's local 804; which last I heard had a defined retirement benefit of $3600/mo for high school educated truckers and warehousemen -- oh, and the securities are owned by the Teamsters, not some firm that may go out of business).

Miracle cure: sector wide collective bargaining thwarts any race to the bottom just as certainly. The only way to have a fair market is if both sides must agree to terms (no legally mandated contract for scabs; no legal work for scabs). American supermarket and airline workers would kill for sector wide (Northwest recently squeezed $1 billion in pay cuts out of flight crews -- next year gave $1 billion in bonuses to 1000 execs) -- the end of helpless American labor! But somebody has to tell American labor about it (Obama?, you?).

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