It's no surprise that, as one of the largest states in the nation, Texas has a high population of low-wage workers. But it turns out that Texas has a very high concentration of low-wage workers relative to the rest of the country too. These factors combined mean that Texas would gain tremendously from a minimum wage increase.
Oxfam America has mapped where low-wage workers are concentrated around the U.S. Based on that, they figured out how many workers would benefit by raising the minimum wage to $10.10. The interactive map is broken out into congressional district to show members of Congress who could potentially make a difference in the lives of millions of low-wage workers just how much their districts would benefit.
Nationwide, more than 25 million workers would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10. In Texas, it would benefit almost 3 million workers - more than in any other state.
Read about what Texas stands to gain from a minimum wage increase - and why Republican opposition to an increase is wearing thin - after the jump.
UPDATED: This story has been updated to clarify that though the protest was organized in response to previous denials to address these issues, Gables did sit down with Workers' Defense Project on Thursday February 13th.
At a time when the President of the United States is pushing to raise the minimum wage for working people as well as tackle immigration reform, it seems unconscionable that in the progressive city of Austin, Texas workers would have to take legal action just to get paid for work and overtime they have already completed -- but that is precisely the reason behind Saturday's protest organized by Workers' Defense Project.
By targeting Gables Residential, one of state's most prominent luxury apartment developers, WDP hopes to promote change in the construction industry and accelerate action on immigration reform that will go a long way in addressing the status quo which allows for the exploitation of workers, many of whom are undocumented immigrants.
According to WDP there have been repeated complaints of workers' rights abuses at every Gables downtown project, including reports of $130,000 in wage theft since 2008, and violations of city ordinances regarding rest, safety, and water breaks.
See why one worker filed a lien against Gables on Friday and what Workers Defense Project is asking for below the jump...
The middle class remains under siege as we continue the corporate pilfering of America. Yet the big news promoted by the mainstream media is the resignation of a pope, a disabled carnival cruise liner, the McCarthy like behavior of Senators denying a qualified veteran timely confirmation, and other frivolities. None of these stories are of immediate material value to the middle class. Yet, they were the biggest stories of the week in an economy not working for the middle class sans the President's State of The Union address that broke down into the ineptitude of a rebuttal speech; a speech that was nothing more than a rehash of rejected policies and values and a Twitter/Facebook deflecting moment.
Today America wakes up to a very depressing news story to 99% of Americans.
U.S. corporations' after-tax profits have grown by 171 percent under Obama, more than under any president since World War II, and are now at their highest level relative to the size of the economy since the government began keeping records in 1947, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Profits are more than twice as high as their peak during President Ronald Reagan's administration and more than 50 percent greater than during the late-1990s Internet boom, measured by the size of the economy.
It is a mathematical fact that if the wealthy's income and wealth is growing at a faster rate than the wealth and income of the middle class in a virtually closed world economy, then it is being done at the expense of the middle class. In other words, the middle class is being robbed. The middle class is being pilfered. It has nothing to do with the wealthy being bad people. It is that politicians have created bad policy that have allowed an economic system of selected haves and "have nots" based on who has access to capital.
Governmental policy has allowed the hoarding of capital after the New Deal since the inception Reagan's supply side economics. No one needs to guess what has occurred. It is found readily in the charts. Now that the hoarding of capital has reached an unsustainable rate, many on the Right would have citizens believe the country is broke and that even more sacrifices are required of the middle class. This is a false premise. America is not broke. It is being pilfered from within.
This week President Obama called for an increase in the minimum wage from the poverty wage of $7.25 that would be a very small measure to raise many out of poverty as well as begin a minute march out of income inequality. Many on the Right insist on the fallacy that this would cost jobs when facts says otherwise. The media must be held accountable when they give plausibility to the verifiable lie stated by those on the right about the minimum wage causing job losses in the aggregate. In fact the increase in the minimum wage is also stimulative to the economy.
Ezra Klein showed an important graph that is not seen much on the news. He delivered a powerful piece on wages and the minimum wage.
Ezra Klein: If the Republicans don't like the minimum wage as a policy... They need an alternative... Because the market isn't fixing this on its own. And this graph isn't only about economics. This graph is about politics too. You can't have that blue line go down for much longer before people decide it is time to go to the ballot box and do something big to stop it.
His final statement has two purposes. Firstly, it is the acknowledgement that America's crony market will not fix the wage problem. Secondly, the masses will ultimately revolt if change does not occur through policy.
(Our Summer writers might still be getting used to that 'post to front page' button. =) - promoted by Karl-Thomas Musselman)
In case you missed it, the US Senate denied our country a raise in the minimum wage standards yet again. The vote was 52-46 in favor, 8 votes shy of the needed majority, even with some Republicans breaking ranks to vote in favor.
Senator Edward Kennedy only proposed a hike to $6.25 (compromised from an earlier $7.25). The current minimum wage is only $5.15, which is has been since 1997. Instead, the Senate has decided it needs to raise it's own pay for the 8th time since that year - a total of $31,000!
15 other states and D.C. have set standards above the federal level. When is the state of Texas going to realize that we can not sit by and wait for the federal government to increase the living wages of our citizens?
I would like to call on the next session of the state legislature to increase the minimum wage in Texas.