In a country where a person can work full time and still not make enough to support themselves, frustration has been growing. A report on living wage activism produced by Jenna Pope was posted on YouTube by The Real News today. Highlighted in the video was a Brooklyn, NY protest where demonstrators and supporters rallied for an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15, more than double the current wage of $7.25.
Similar protests have been taking place across the nation, with demands of $11, $12, and the aforementioned $15 rate. Some cities, including New York City, Washington, D.C., and Detroit have even seen fast food workers organize strikes and one-day labor walkouts in support of a minimum wage increase.
Included in the support of a minimum wage increase is President Barack Obama, who on Wednesday, February 12, 2014, signed an executive order which will raise the minimum wage of some federal employees to $10.10 an hour starting January 1, 2015. During the most recent State of the Union address, President Obama told congress and the nation that he would act, with or without congress, to do as much as he could on this issue.
In the video, one organizer, who identified himself as being from Glasgow, Scotland, said millions across the world, including Britain had been inspired by the protests in the U.S.. He went on to say that there is a “crisis across the world, caused by the rich, caused by big business, and caused by the bankers…they’ve increased their profits…while our wages have fallen.”
Another organizer spoke about the March for Freedom and Justice of 1963 in Washington, D.C. asking for $2 an hour, saying in today’s wages, it would translate to $15.29. Some key figures in politics, such as Senator Dianne Feinstein, have pointed out that had the minimum wage kept pace with inflation, it would be between $20 and $22 an hour.
One interesting piece in the minimum wage debate is on the number of states where a minimum wage worker can afford a two-bedroom apartment at fair market value from working one 40 hour job. That number is zero.
Watch the video: