A Bold New Labor Call for a ‘Maximum Wage’
The national leader of one of America’s feistiest unions is aiming to expand the economic fairness debate. He’s proposing a cap on incomes at the top that rises only if incomes at the bottom rise first.
With Labor Day fast approaching, what better time to reflect about those Americans who earn the least for their labor? These Americans — workers paid the federal minimum wage — are now taking home just $7.25 an hour.
On paper, minimum wage workers are making exactly what they made in July 2009, the last time the minimum wage bumped up. In reality, minimum wage workers are making less today than they made last year — and the year before that — since inflation has eaten away at their incomes.
And if we go back a few decades, today’s raw deal on the minimum wage gets even rawer. Back in 1968, minimum wage workers took home $1.60 an hour. To make that much today, adjusting for inflation, a minimum wage worker would have to be earning $10.55 an hour.
In effect, minimum wage workers today are taking home almost $7,000 less over the course of a year than minimum wage workers took home in 1968.
Figures like these don’t particularly discomfort our nation’s most powerful. We live in tough times, their argument goes. The small businesses that drive our economy, we’re informed, can’t possibly afford to pay their help any more than they already do.
But the vast majority of our nation’s minimum wage workers don’t labor for Main Street mom-and-pops. They labor for businesses that no average American would ever call small. Two-thirds of America’s low-wage workers, the National Employment Law Project documented last month, work for companies with over 100 employees on their payrolls.
The 50 largest of these low-wage employers are doing just fine, even with the Great Recession. Over the last five years, these 50 corporations — outfits that range from Wal-Mart to Office Depot — have together returned $175 billion to shareholders in dividends or share buybacks.
And the CEOs at these companies last year averaged $9.4 million in personal compensation. A minimum wage worker would have to labor 623 years bring in that kind of pay.
So what can we do to bring some semblance of fairness back into our workplaces? For starters, we obviously need to raise the minimum wage. But some close observers of America’s economic landscape believe we need to do more. A great deal more.
Count Larry Hanley among these more ambitious change agents. Hanley, the president of the Amalgamated Transit Union, sits on the AFL-CIO executive council, the American labor movement’s top decision-making body. Earlier this month, Hanley called for a “maximum wage,” a cap on the compensation that goes to the corporate execs who profit so hugely off low-wage labor.
This maximum, if Hanley had his way, would be defined as a multiple of the pay that goes to a company’s lowest-paid worker. If we had a “maximum wage” set at 100 times that lowest wage, the CEO at a company that paid workers as little as $15,080 — the annual take-home for a minimum wage worker — could waltz off with annual pay no higher than just over $1.5 million.
During World War II, Amalgamated Transit Union president Hanley points out, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called for what amounted to a maximum wage. FDR urged Congress to place a 100 percent tax on income over $25,000 a year, a sum now equal, after inflation, to just over $350,000.
Congress didn’t go along. But FDR did end up winning a 94 percent top tax rate on income over $200,000, a move that would help usher in the greatest years of middle-class prosperity the United States has ever known.
Throughout World War II, FDR enjoyed broad support from within the labor movement — and the general public — for his pay cap notion. Now’s the time, Hanley believes, to put that notion back on the political table. We need, he says, “to start a national discussion about creating a maximum wage law.”
Hanley may just have started that discussion, just in time for Labor Day.
- Full-Time Minimum Wages Still Below Poverty Line (theepochtimes.com)
1 Comment »
or go to
From the Archives
As former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sets her sights on the White House, she continues to be plagued by her email scandal. On Monday, journalist Bob Woodward compared the controversy to the infamous Nixon tapes, which led to the end of his presidency. … continue
Aletho News Exclusive Content
This article will examine some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. … continue
Also by Aletho News:
September 19, 2011
March 8, 2011
January 2, 2011
October 10, 2010
July 5, 2010
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
January 5, 2010
December 26, 2009
December 19, 2009
December 4, 2009
May 9, 2009
TagsAfghanistan Africa AIPAC Al-Manar al-Qaeda American Civil Liberties Union Argentina Bashar al-Assad Benjamin Netanyahu Brazil Canada Central Intelligence Agency China CIA Colombia Cuba Da’esh Egypt EU European Union FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation France Gaza Germany Hamas Hebron Hezbollah Hillary Clinton Honduras Human rights India International Atomic Energy Agency International Solidarity Movement Iran Iraq Iraq War ISIL ISIS Israel Israeli settlement Japan Jerusalem John Kerry Latin America Lebanon Libya Mexico Middle East Military National Security Agency NATO New York Times NSA Obama Pakistan Palestine Police Press TV Qatar Russia Sanctions against Iran Saudi Arabia Syria Turkey UK Ukraine United Nations United States USA Venezuela Washington Post West Bank Yemen Zionism
traducteur on Israel Stoking More Conflict W… roberthstiver on Hitler the Ultra Zionist! roberthstiver on “Millions of Female… sarahbruso on Myths about Korean milita… sarahbruso on Let’s Talk About Korea: The Da… GUZE SPITERI on ‘Hitler was a Zionist’ claim g… Robert Little on ‘Hitler was a Zionist’ claim g… Robert Little on Livingstone vindicated: There… Leland ROTH on Hitler the Ultra Zionist! Leland ROTH on Hitler the Ultra Zionist! Leland ROTH on Hitler the Ultra Zionist! Gustavo Veira on Argentina Replaces Columbus St… rediscover911com on Israel settlement construction… knc165 on Argentina Replaces Columbus St… John Lindsay on Assassination Nation
Visits Since December 2009
- 2,572,142 hits
Contact:atheonews (at) gmail.com
- Colombian Soldiers Arrested for the Murder of Indigenous Leader May 5, 2016
- Syrians Protest Against US Boots on the Ground May 5, 2016
- Israel Stoking More Conflict With Gaza May 5, 2016
- South China Sea Dispute: How Russia Could Help China Win in The Hague May 5, 2016
- Why the US Will Not Sign the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea May 5, 2016
- Obama’s Last Gasp Imperialism May 5, 2016
- The Left: Business Accommodation and Social Debacle May 5, 2016
- Turkish ground op in Syria unlikely due to presence of Russian air force – Lavrov May 5, 2016
- US-Senegal deal gives Washington permanent access to African country May 4, 2016
- “Millions of Female Felons”? May 4, 2016
- Hitler the Ultra Zionist! May 4, 2016
- NATO to Form Allied Fleet in the Black Sea: Plans Fraught with Great Risks May 4, 2016
- Turkey urges immediate action in Syria May 4, 2016
- Jewish Human Rights Watch sues British councils over Israel boycott May 4, 2016
- US Republican lawmakers push Boeing to scrap any Iran deal May 4, 2016
- US not to sell F-35 fighter jets to Arab countries: Report May 4, 2016
- April 2016 Report: 567 Palestinians arrested by Israeli occupation, including 123 children May 4, 2016
- Israel settlement construction should keep going: Trump May 4, 2016
Looking for something?
Categories"Hope and Change" Aletho News Civil Liberties Corruption Deception Economics Environmentalism Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism False Flag Terrorism Full Spectrum Dominance Illegal Occupation Islamophobia Mainstream Media, Warmongering Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity Militarism Nuclear Power Science and Pseudo-Science Solidarity and Activism Subjugation - Torture Supremacism, Social Darwinism Timeless or most popular Video War Crimes Wars for Israel
This site is provided as a research and reference tool. Although we make every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and data provided at this site are useful, accurate, and current, we cannot guarantee that the information and data provided here will be error-free. By using this site, you assume all responsibility for and risk arising from your use of and reliance upon the contents of this site.
This site and the information available through it do not, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Should you require legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.
Nothing within this site or linked to by this site constitutes investment advice or medical advice.
Materials accessible from or added to this site by third parties, such as comments posted, are strictly the responsibility of the third party who added such materials or made them accessible and we neither endorse nor undertake to control, monitor, edit or assume responsibility for any such third-party material.
The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.
The word "alleged" is deemed to occur before the word "fraud." Since the rule of law still applies. To peasants, at least.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
This is information for anyone that wishes to challenge our “fair use” of copyrighted material.
If you are a legal copyright holder or a designated agent for such and you believe that content residing on or accessible through our website infringes a copyright and falls outside the boundaries of “Fair Use”, please send a notice of infringement by contacting email@example.com.
We will respond and take necessary action immediately.
If notice is given of an alleged copyright violation we will act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material(s) in question.
All 3rd party material posted on this website is copyright the respective owners / authors. Aletho News makes no claim of copyright on such material.