July 19, 2012
By Harry Kelber
If some 30 million low-wage workers had received their minimum wage checks adjusted to inflation over the past 40 years, they would be getting $10 an hour, instead of the $7.25 an hour under federal law.
This gross injustice against poorly-paid workers of the past forty years is being rectified in a proposed bill introduced by Illinois Democratic Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr., titled “The Catching Up to 1968 Act of 2012.”
The longtime consumer advocate and former presidential candidate, Ralph Nader, says: ”The U.S.’s federal minimum wage is lower than all Western countries.” In blunt language, Nader states: “This is basically an issue that reflects the craven, cruel nature of the Republican Party on Capitol Hill, but it also reflects the caution, the cowardliness, the betrayal of the Democratic Party of its core constituency.”
President Obama should not renege on his promise in 2008 to press for a minimum wage of $9.50 by 2011.