Well, at least not yet. If you didn’t hear, the minimum wage bill died today. This is the kind of news that typically gets buried in the middle of other glaring news reports, like the Beyonce concert and that news going on with Mr. Sterling and the Clippers.
A proposal was on the table to raise the minimum to $10.10 failed to pass. Even though $10.10 an hour is like throwing pennies at a beggar on the corner, it’s a big improvement from the current minimum wage national average, which is about $8.50. How on earth can anybody earn a living on that? I graduated from undergrad in 1991, and that’s about what my paltry part-time job earnings were and it was just me living in my momma’s house. Lots of folk have a family – a spouse and children – and it must be a nightmare trying to make ends meet. Trying to do something extra nice as a little special treat for your family most often will mean that a bill or two won’t get paid. It’s tough.
One of the most troubling things for me on this issue – like most issues – is that it ends up becoming a partisan tug-of-war. Republicans are generally against something and democrats are generally for it. When republicans are for something, democrats are against it. What kind of sense does that make? Maybe that’s why I could never succeed in politics. If something is right, then it’s right regardless of your political affiliation. If something is wrong, then it’s wrong.
People need to call and write – and call – their House and Senate reps and voice their concerns. This is a huge election year, and we can clean house if folks would get in there and take action. But unfortunately, people typically only get involved in large numbers in elections for which a president will be elected. The other elections don’t get much play. I wish we could eradicate this voter apathy.