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Thursday, March 07, 2013

Wall Street just got a big raise, now how about Main Street?

Raw Story:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Thursday that after witnessing Wall Street reach all-time highs this week, it’s time to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

“This week, we saw something quite remarkable, the stock market soaring to record heights. At the same time, we see productivity keeping pace,” Pelosi said during a Thursday briefing at the Capitol, according to The Hill. “But we don’t see income for America’s middle class rising. In fact, it’s been about the same as since the end of the Clinton years.”

Pelosi’s proposal overshoots a similar one by President Barack Obama, who suggested raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour from the current rate of $7.25, which translates to just $15,080 a year for a full-time employee.

A House Democratic aide told Raw Story that Pelosi asked for more than Obama did because she wants to see working people receive a livable wage, not just a small raise. “The economy is recovering, corporate profits are rising, but wages for lower-income folks are stagnating,” the aide said. “So there’s a strong case to be made for a wage that will help people raise families.”

“If we are going to honor our commitment to the middle class, we have to reflect that intention in our public policy,” Pelosi told reporters.

While Pelosi’s $10.10 is better than the President’s $9.00 minimum wage, it’s still a little bit short of where it should be. Had the minimum wage kept pace with inflation over the years, it would be at $10.59. A living wage would be great. A fair wage would be even better.

“Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Rep. George Miller (D-CA) said Tuesday they are proposing legislation to raise the minimum wage and peg it to the rate of inflation, which they say would better ensure working class Americans don’t fall behind the curb as corporate and Wall Street keep the lion’s share of profits for themselves,” the report tells us.

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