The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Democrats pass minimum wage raise:
It’s still starvation wages

Jun 3, 2007

Attached to the 100-billion-dollar Iraq war spending bill was a provision raising the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour today, to $7.25 – over two years.

Don’t celebrate too much! A worker supporting a family of four today would have to earn $9.62 an hour (and work 40 hours a week for 52 weeks a year) just to stay above the official poverty level. $7.25 an hour doesn’t even come close.

And workers earning minimum wage have to wait two years even for that?!

If Congress passed this increase – after nine years of freezing the minimum wage – it’s only because the result of the election worried them. But not enough to give workers an adequate wage. To get that, we’ll have to do more than vote.

Workers have always had more power in the streets than in the ballot box. Shutting down production, flooding into the streets is registered much more loudly than all those quiet votes.