MAYOR RAWLINGS-BLAKE IS DETERMINED TO IMPLEMENT THE 'NEW ECONOMY' IN BALTIMORE. WE MUST TAKE SERIOUSLY THIS NEXT ELECTION. WE CAN TURN THIS THING AROUND! LOOK FOR A REFERENDUM TO RECALL/PLACE TERM LIMITS ON BALTIMORE CITY COUNCIL AND MAYOR.
WE ARE SEEING THE THIRD WAY DEMOCRATS PULLING THE CURTAIN BACK FROM THIS 'NEW ECONOMY' AS THEY GEAR UP TO MOVE FORWARD THEY CAN NO LONGER BUILD UNDER THE RADAR. SO WHEN BEN CARDIN SAYS 'IN MARYLAND WE GO WITH TIERED WAGES' AND WHEN MIKULSKI SHELVES THE GREEN CARD MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE, AND NOW THE PRISON LABOR DEAL....THESE ARE ALL SIGNS OF WHERE THEY WANT TO TAKE THIS COUNTRY. RIGHT NOW, 70% OF AMERICANS ARE EITHER ONLY SLIGHTLY ABOVE POVERTY, LIVING AT DOUBLE-POVERTY, WORKING FOR IMMIGRANT WAGE, AND NOW PRISON LABOR WORKING FOR FREE. THESE PEOPLE ARE OF EVERY RACE, CREED, AND GENDER. WHETHER POST OFFICE WORKER OR TEACHER......CONSTRUCTION LABORER OR SERVICE EMPLOYEE, IT WILL ONLY GET WORSE IF THIS IMMIGRANT EXPANSION HAPPENS WHILE THE LABOR LAWS CONTINUE TO EXPLOIT. WE MUST SHOUT LOUDLY AND STRONGLY AGAINST THIS TIERED SYSTEM OF LABOR. IT NEVER BENEFITS ONE SOCIOECONOMIC GROUP WHEN THIS HAPPENS.....IT IS A DOWNWARD TREND!
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT!!!
THE POWERS-THAT- BE TRY HARD TO TELL US THAT RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE KILLS JOB CREATION, BUT ALL RESEARCH SHOWS THIS NOT TO BE TRUE. COMPANIES MOVED OVERSEAS NOT BECAUSE THEY CAN'T COMPETE, BUT TO MAXIMIZE THEIR PROFITS. AS THEY PUSH WAGES DOWN TODAY THE ANNUAL PROFITS ARE IN THE BILLIONS. WHAT HAS CHANGED IS THAT SHAREHOLDERS HAVE REPLACED LABOR IN SHARING THE WEALTH. THIRD WAY DEMOCRATS WORK FOR SHAREHOLDERS AND THAT IS WHY YOU SEE THE POLICY YOU DO. THE PROBLEM IS NOT THAT IMMIGRANT WORKERS ARE TAKING JOBS, THE PROBLEM IS THAT YOUR POLITICIAN IS CREATING A WAGE STAGNATION FOR ALL WITH POLICY THAT KEEPS IMMIGRANT WAGES UNACCEPTABLY LOW.
SHOUT OUT FOR THE POST OFFICE....THEY ARE DELIBERATELY PASSING LAWS THAT CAUSE THE POST OFFICE TO APPEAR UNABLE TO COMPETE!!!
November 1, 2010, 6:00 am Along the Minimum-Wage Battle Front
By NANCY FOLBRE Nancy Folbre is an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
United States Department of Labor There’s no actual swordplay, but you can see flashes of steel along with sparks when economists wield their weapon of choice — statistical analysis. One of the most dramatic running battles concerns the effect of minimum-wage laws. Do they increase incomes for low-wage workers, or are higher wages counterbalanced by increased unemployment? Those opposed to government intervention once dominated this battlefield. In 1990, for instance, a survey of members of the American Economic Association showed that 60 percent agreed that minimum wages increase unemployment among young and unskilled workers. In 1994, however, a now-famous case study by the economists David Card and Alan Krueger compared employment trends in fast-food establishments in New Jersey affected by an increase in the state minimum wage in 1992 with trends in nearby counties of Pennsylvania, where no legislative change had taken place.
Professors Card and Krueger reported the surprising result that employment trends in the two areas did not significantly differ. In subsequent research, including a book, “Myth and Measurement,” they provided additional support for their assertion that minimum wage laws have benefited low-wage workers. Rallying under this banner, many economists pushed back against the conventional wisdom with some success. By 2000, only 46 percent of members of the American Economic Association agreed that minimum wages increase unemployment among young and unskilled workers. Another study published in 2006 showed that slightly less than half of all economists surveyed thought the minimum wage should be eliminated, while more than a third favored increasing it. This shifting alignment intensified the conflict. Critics of the Card-Krueger studies point to a number of methodological limitations, including their focus on relatively small geographic areas. The economists David Neumark and William Wascher, among others, argue that minimum wages do more harm than good for low-wage workers. Different conclusions reflect, in part, differences in research design. As can be seen from the map above, state minimum wages vary considerably by region and are lower (or nonexistent) in the South. These state-level differences complicate analysis of national trends, but also provide the opportunity to extend the case-study approach that Professors Card and Krueger developed to a larger number of counties over a longer period of time. An important new study exploiting this opportunity will appear this month in The Review of Economics and Statistics. The economists Arindrajit Dube of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, T. William Lester of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Michael Reich of the University of California, Berkeley, closely analyze employment trends for several categories of low-wage workers over a 16-year period in all counties sharing a common border with a county in another state where minimum wage increases followed a different trajectory. They report that increases in minimum wages had no negative effects on low-wage employment and successfully increased the income of workers in food services and retail employment, as well as the narrower category of workers in restaurants. The study successfully addresses a number of criticisms previously leveled at the case-study approach and points to flaws in all previous studies that have found negative employment effects. The level of technical discussion is daunting, but if you don’t want to grapple with concepts like “spatially correlated fictitious placebo minimum wages” you can watch a video instead — Arindrajit Dube clearly explains the issues in a 12-minute interview. He emphasizes that higher minimum wages tend to reduce worker turnover, benefiting both workers and employers. I’m sure this battle will rage on. My fellow blogger Casey Mulligan insists that increased minimum wages have reduced employment among teenagers. I plan a small skirmish on this point in a future post. Meanwhile, consider the simple, stark reality that lies behind this educational clash of ideas. Once adjusted for inflation, the federal minimum wage in the United States today is lower than it was in 1967. Wage earners seem increasingly unable to capture any of the gains from technological change and productivity growth. Whatever policies we cross swords over, we should count low-wage workers among the walking wounded
An economic recovery that leaves workers further behind
By Harold Meyerson, Published: April 10, 2012 The Washington Post
Why is this recovery different from all other recoveries? Many of the reasons are widely known: Rebounding from a financial crisis takes an excruciatingly long time; the huge decline in housing values has reduced Americans’ purchasing power; large corporations are making do with fewer employees — at least, in this country. But what really sets the current recovery apart from all its predecessors is this: Almost three years after economic growth resumed, the real value of Americans’ paychecks is stubbornly still shrinking. According to Friday’s Bloomberg Briefing, “the pace of income gains is well below that of the past two jobless recoveries and real average hourly earnings continue to decline.” The Bloomberg report cites one reason for this anomaly: Most of the jobs being created are in low-wage sectors. According to Bloomberg, fully 70 percent of all job gains in the past six months were concentrated in restaurants and hotels, health care and home health care, retail trade, and temporary employment agencies. These four sectors employ just 29 percent of the country’s workforce but account for the vast majority of the jobs being created. Among the economy’s better-paying sectors, construction still has an unemployment rate of 17 percent. Given the persistence of mass foreclosures, the continuing decline of housing values and Republicans officeholders’ reluctance to allot public funds even for paving roads, construction isn’t coming back anytime soon. Hiring has picked up in manufacturing, but manufacturing wages are falling nonetheless. The standard wage at Midwestern auto factories has declined from around $28 an hour to $15 an hour for workers hired during the past two years. New hires have their hourly wages contractually capped around $19, no matter how long they may work for the automakers. But the plunge in wages hasn’t stopped at $15. At a new high-tech locomotive plant in Muncie, Ind., Caterpillar is hiring workers at $12 an hour. That’s $24,000 a year — let’s say $30,000 with overtime, if there’s overtime — to assemble some of the most sophisticated machinery that this country builds. That’s not the kind of money you can send your kid to college on, or use to shop for much more than your daily bread. So, if not to workers, where’s the money going? Of the companies that comprise the Standard and Poor’s 500, net income (chiefly, their profits) has risen 23 percent since 2007, the last year of the bubble, the Wall Street Journal reported this week. Their cash reserves have increased 49 percent during that time — in large part because they’re neither hiring in the United States nor boosting their workers’ incomes. Workers are producing more: “In 2007, the companies generated an average of $378,000 in revenue for every employee on their payrolls,” the Journal reported. “Last year, that figure rose to $420,000.” But workers are seeing none of that increase in their pay. Profits and dividends are up and wages are down — which is why, as University of California economist Emmanuel Saez has documented, all income growth in the United States in 2010 went to the wealthiest 10 percent of households, and 93 percent to the wealthiest 1 percent. Profits and dividends are up largely because wages are down, as JPMorgan Chase chief investment officer Michael Cembalest has documented. “U.S. labor compensation,” Cembalest wrote in a newsletter to the bank’s major investors last year, “is now at a 50-year low relative to both company sales and U.S. GDP.” Why is this recovery different from all other recoveries? Because American workers have lost all their bargaining power. That’s a function of ongoing high unemployment levels, but not only that. The 1981-82 recession had even higher rates of joblessness, but wages didn’t continue to decline during the ensuing recovery. There have been two fundamental alterations in the U.S. economy since Ronald Reagan was president, however. First, American multinational corporations now locate much of their production abroad. Second, with the rate of private-sector unionization down to a microscopic 6.9 percent, workers have no power to bargain for higher pay. Employers can serenely blow them off — and judging by the data, that’s exactly what employers are doing. This recovery differs from its predecessors because it is concentrated among the affluent, and almost entirely among the very rich. Until we address the imbalance of power in the U.S. economy, and until Americans regain the clout that their parents and grandparents had to compel employers to share their revenue more equitably, the difference between our recoveries and our recessions will grow harder to discern.
THE PROBLEM IS NOT THAT IMMIGRANT WORKERS ARE TAKING JOBS, THE PROBLEM IS THAT YOUR POLITICIAN IS CREATING A WAGE STAGNATION FOR ALL WITH POLICY THAT KEEPS IMMIGRANT WAGES UNACCEPTABLY LOW. BALTIMORE'S IMMIGRANT STATISTICS ARE SIMILAR TO NEW YORK'S.
Immigrant Workers and the Minimum Wage in New York City
Fiscal Policy Institute
New York Immigration Coalition
• In 2003, there were 1.4 million immigrant workers in New York City and they accounted for
47% of the city's resident workforce.
• Of the New York City workers now earning between $5.15 an hour and $7.10 an hour who
would be directly affected by an increase in the New York state minimum wage, 62% are
• Immigrant workers in New York City are nearly twice (1.8 times) as likely to earn minimum
wages as native-born workers: 11.7% of immigrant workers receive minimum wage earnings
vs. 6.4% of native-born workers.
• The overwhelming majority (90%) of minimum wage workers in New York City are adults,
and two-thirds work full-time.
• Over four out of five NYC minimum wage workers are people of color: 41% are Hispanic,
25% are Black non-Hispanic, and 16% are Asian.
• While women represent 49% of NYC workers, they are 59% of minimum wage workers.
• Dominicans are the single largest immigrant group receiving low wages in NYC and likely
to be the largest among minimum wage workers. Dominicans account for 17.9% of all lowwage
immigrants in NYC. They are followed by Mexicans, who account for 13.7% of lowwage
immigrant workers, a much higher ratio than their share of NYC's foreign-born
population (4.3%). The next three immigrant groups among low-wage immigrant workers
are Chinese, Jamaicans, and Ecuadorians.
• The restaurant industry is the largest employer of low-wage immigrant workers in NYC.
Over 125,000 immigrants work in eating and drinking establishments, with a median wage of
$8.55 an hour. The next four NYC industries employing large numbers of immigrant
workers at median wages under $9 an hour are: health services n.e.c. (a category that
includes nursing homes and home health care workers), apparel manufacturing, grocery
stores, and private households. The immigrant share of all workers in these 5 industries
ranges from 64% to 89%.
• Minimum wage earnings are vital to many low-income households in NYC. Sixty percent of
increased minimum wage earnings would go to the lowest-earning 40% of NYC households.
The earnings of minimum wage workers represent the sole source of earnings for half of all
families with a minimum wage worker.
• Raising New York's minimum wage is an important first step in ensuring that NYC's
growing immigrant workforce is fairly compensated. In addition, more aggressive labor
standards enforcement is needed to reduce the exploitation of immigrant and other low-wage