Sunday, May 14, 2006
  Minimum wage
The New York Times recently reported that, according to their survey of housing prices, a full-time worker earning minimum wage (which translates into an annual salary of $10,700) cannot afford a one-bedroom apartment anywhere in America at market rates. Heck, I doubt most people could survive half a year on that. Meanwhile, the CEO of ExxonMobile is earning 13,700 an HOUR.

Doesn't that say something about how "compassionate capitalism" is pretty much a broken system? Miminum wage needs a major boost in the arm (like, let's double it) and corporate greed needs to be reined in. Our government should be held responsible for selling out the American public to corporate America.

I keep wondering how long it can go on with the richest 1% amassing more and more of the wealth and the rest of us struggling to make ends meet. At what point will lowered wages hit the economy on the consumption side? If people can't afford the products they make and sell, at some point, profits are going to go down. Then, maybe, we'll realize that it's important to make life decent for all human beings, not just the rich, not, even, just Americans.
How would you respond to the position that an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit is much more effective and equitable at helping the working poor than an increase in the minimum wage?
Hi esquire,

As someone who at one point received earned income tax credit, my thought is that there is a pot that is only so big. Since I'm a firm advocate of progressive taxes (ie the rich pay a greater percentage tax than the poor), essentially the money is coming from the same people in the long run -- ie the people who own companies and either pay the higher taxes or the higher wages.

Not only that, the costs of business are ultimately reflected in the price of products and services, so ultimately, the consumer pays for the greater taxes or the greater wages.

What is needed, then, is for the earning power of various jobs to be more equal, rather than some people earning more than they can possibly spend, and others being left impoverished.

As for whether, as a wage earner I'd rather get EIC or a higher wage, from the point of view of the wage earner, earned income tax credits feel like a government handout. It feels like you are failing. Higher minimum wages, on the other hand, feel like you're getting paid a decent wage for a day's work. That psychological difference is important.
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Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

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Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

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This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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