If you’re currently making the federal minimum hourly wage of $7.25 an hour, an increase to $10.10 would likely be a welcome development. But economists, labor advocates, and low-wage workers themselves say that, in reality, such an increase is actually insufficient to adequately address the economic injustice that has taken hold in the United States over the last several generations.
On Tuesday night, President Obama used his State of the Union address to call for the $10.10 hike nationwide—and though welcomed by many as a step in the right direction—a secondary call is ringing out that says: Progress? Yes. Enough? Not nearly.
As the speech unfolded, the advocacy group Fight For Fifteen used its Twitter feed to elevate the voices of low-wage workers nationwide:
According to financial expert and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, Obama’s executive order to increase wages for federal contract workers–which Obama vowed to do by executive order–will do little to combat the nation’s overall and soaring inequality. A bill in Congress, which Obama also supports, would see this same wage apply to all workers.
Asked by the Real News Network if Obama’s $10.10 increase for contract federal employees is enough to begin a reversal of the growing income gap, Johnston said, “No, not even close.”
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