I, along with Bruce Barrick, have just met with Jim Paver, Congressman Doggett’s Distict Director and presented on the Universal Living Wage. we asked him to convey to Congressman Doggett our desire to have him Champion our cause and introduce Living wage legislation found on our web site at http://www.UniversalLivingWage.org Your e-mails of encouragement would be most appropriate at this time.
Richard R. Troxell
Universal Living Wage
January 11, 2007
Knowing of our shared interest in protecting workers’ rights, I offer this update from Washington. After years of Republican neglect on the issue, the House of Representatives yesterday
passed legislation to increase the minimum wage to $7.25. I strongly supported this bill, and my comments from the floor of the House are below.
There is much to be optimistic about in the New Year — the House has already passed half of its First 100 Hours agenda, including
H.R. 1, to enact reforms of the 9/11 Commission, H.R. 2, to increase the minimum wage, and H.R. 3, to expand stem cell research opportunities.
In the next few months, there may be a few bumps in the road, but we are on the right path. As always, please keep me advised of
any federal matters on which I may be of assistance.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett
(Here is Rep. Doggett’s speech:)
Minimum Wage Floor Speech
January 10, 2007
The last time the real value of the minimum wage was this low, Elvis was singing Heartbreak Hotel. But these days it is poor, working folks who have the hearts break when the minimum wage is not even close to being a living wage.
We need to take the minimum for wages and raise it, because there is no maximum limit on the cost of prescription drugs, tuition, a
doctor’s visit, or a tank of gas.
Meanwhile, if the gap between the rich and poor in this country continues to widen the way it has under this Bush Administration, we will soon have the economic features of a Third World country. A CEO earns in two hours what hard working people earn on the minimum wage in an entire year.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told workers in 1968, “It is a crime to live in this rich Nation and receive starvation wages.” And it is a great wrong to deny the nearly one in five workers in Texas who will get a raise as a result of this bill.
A rising tide does not raise the boats if some of them are anchored to the bottom by Republican ideology. The kinds of objections we have heard today are why it has taken so long to do so little. After ten years of doing nothing for the hardest workers, let’s approve at least this modest increase.
A response from John Kelly…Thank you, John, for writing your thoughts. I couldn’t agree more, and it is important we all speak out about a fair, LIVING wage….
$7.25/hr is $14,500/year, or a little over $1100/month before taxes.
Where I live, the cheapest 1 bedroom apartment costs $425/month +
$100/mo gas+electric and $25/mo for water. A bus pass is about $50/month.
How many people could you feed and clothe on what remains? How much
could you save for retirement?
Built into this wage is the assumption that both parents will work for
it, and that their kids will be raised on auto-pilot.
Contrast that with the other end–the 89 vice presidents at my company
each earning near or over seven figures per year. If I had $2,000,000,
I could live quite comfortably and never need to work another day in my
life. If I had $4,000,000, I would have to *work* at spending the
excess income to keep it from building up.
What drives a person to work so hard for money they don’t need? If
they can justify sacrificing their own family lives for excess income
needed only for bragging rights, why wouldn’t they sacrifice our retirement
and health security?
I don’t know what the answer to this problem is, but I think it would
have to be more dramatic than $7.25/hour.