Raise the Minimum Wage

From Nick Hanauer:

Trump is a manifestation of a serious civic sickness. But treating the symptom by removing Trump won’t cure the disease, even if it temporarily makes us feel better. No, to heal the body politic we must confront the disease itself…

Nothing is going to get better until we enact laws and standards that persuade or oblige every business to pay every worker a fair, dignified and livable wage. Everything else, from Trump on down, is a distraction or a lie…

There’s no intrinsic reason why the social and political changes delivered by technological advances and globalization have to massively concentrate wealth in the hands of the few. We simply exploited changing circumstances to take advantage of people with less power than us.

Over the last 40 years, corporate profits as a percentage of GDP have increased from about six percent to about 11 percent, while wages as a percentage of GDP have fallen by about the same amount. That represents about a trillion dollars a year that used to go to wages, but now goes to shareholders and executives. One trick we use to keep profits high and labor costs low is to refuse to schedule workers for the 30-plus hours a week they would need to qualify for benefits…

Manufacturing as a percentage of the overall economy, and of jobs, has been declining globally for decades. This trend will not reverse. Trump cannot restore the middle class with empty promises to bring manufacturing jobs back from the dead.

No, the only realistic near term way to insure Americans do better is to make existing jobs into good jobs by requiring they be paid adequately…

The only difference between today’s service workers and yesterday’s manufacturing workers is that most service workers have no union, and thus have no power…

Raising wages will no more kill jobs than eliminating slavery killed jobs, or giving women the right to vote killed democracy (both of which arguments were made at the time).

I have zero hope this advice will be heeded.  Traditionally, the Left would undertake the proposition, but they sold out to neoliberal globalists.  While their leadership focuses on proving Trump collusion with Russia, the GOP establishment stonewalls healthcare reform in Congress, rather than give up Medicaid expansion.  Sooner or later, Trump will be deposed, only to be replaced by another member of the corrupt establishment.

Such a depressing outcome is virtually assured by the comprehensive efforts of ALEC and Libertarians at every level of politics.  And since Trump has no such pipeline of pols espousing populist Nationalism, when he is gone, so will be the hopes of those who voted for him, many for the first time.  Thus, in a year or two we will return to the managed democracy supported by the plutocrats and fascist austerity.

Civil war in 2021 sound about right, when Trump supporters will be heard from again.  Unfortunately, they will not have access to the plutocrats, so locals in country clubs and gated communities will have to do.  Ironically, by then they will probably have succumbed to enormous debts and be in pretty bad shape, themselves.  It is likely that those with torches, pitchforks and rope will find no one whom to attack.

The coming demise of the salary class will rob the working class of righteous victims, but the plutocracy will quickly find itself paralyzed by an absence of infrastructure, once run by the salary class.  By the time the wealthy capitulate, I suspect too much damage will have been done to the power grid and transportation network for a national reboot.   And absent an internet, digital wealth will cease to exist.

Given the need of the internet to express private wealth, drastic abridgment of net neutrality is in the offing, and soon.

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