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The Kind of Local Politician We Need


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To many liberals Mayors Bill DeBlasio of New York and Marty Walsh of Boston best symbolize the kind of progressive vision and initiative needed at the local level however other politicians should be considered too.

 

Kshama Sawant is the Seattle City Councilwoman largely responsible for the city's newly adopted $ 15 minimum wage increase which was the centerpiece of her successful 2013 election campaign. Sawant who is 44 and a native Pune, India came to Seattle with her husband in 2006. Both worked in the tech industry until Kshama began teaching economics at Seattle Community College and then Seattle University. She became a U.S. citizen in 2010. Sawant who was reelected to the council in 2015 is a member of the Socialist Alternative Party. She was defeated in her first bid for elected office a state house seat in 2012. Now she is the first socialist to win a city wide election since 1916 and only the second on the council since 1877.

 

After the council voted for the $ 15 minimum wage Sawant said, " We did this workers did this. Today's first major victory for $ 15 will inspire people all over the nation. " She has also advocated a millionaire's tax to fund expand bus and light rail capacity. She has also made improved transit services for the poor a priority. Oftentimes the outrageous and impossible demands of radicals like Sawant make reforms possible.

 

 

See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/kshama-sawant/

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Look, if we are turning into a service economy, then the wages need to reflect this otherwise we all will pay for the social outcome. Concerning minimum wage, historically it is easy to show how the federal minimum in real dollars has shrunk since 1968, however there is uncertainty regarding how it will effect overall employment numbers going forward.

 

https://oregonstate.edu/instruct/anth484/minwage.html

 

I feel an increase in the federal minimum wage makes sense however, I feel trade imbalances, tax expenditures as well as patent subsidies as they are contribute the most towards inequality.

 

Peace!

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Look, if we are turning into a service economy, then the wages need to reflect this otherwise we all will pay for the social outcome. Concerning minimum wage, historically it is easy to show how the federal minimum in real dollars has shrunk since 1968, however there is uncertainty regarding how it will effect overall employment numbers going forward.

 

https://oregonstate.edu/instruct/anth484/minwage.html

 

I feel an increase in the federal minimum wage makes sense however, I feel trade imbalances, tax expenditures as well as patent subsidies as they are contribute the most towards inequality.

 

Peace!

 

I think you make a good point and I'm not suggesting a minimum wage increase is a panacea. However if we can put more money in the pockets of low wage workers it's a needed step in the right direction along other things you mention.

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I think you make a good point and I'm not suggesting a minimum wage increase is a panacea. However if we can put more money in the pockets of low wage workers it's a needed step in the right direction along other things you mention.

I agree, and I also applaud Seattle's decision to raise the minimum to 15 bucks an hour. It's a very good experiment to say the least, especially when a lot of politicians are instead cutting taxes for the rich and cutting back on basic services for the poor who always suffer the most during hard times.

 

Peace!

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With the political right controlling most states and the national government cities may be the only political avenue for liberals and the left to change things for the better. People like Sawant, DeBlasio, and Walsh along with organized labor, civil rights, and other advocacy groups are making a real difference right now. Hopefully the Democratic Party too can be transformed into a movement party. Even if it remains marginal at state and national levels for the next several years it may still play a positive role on some level and just maybe return stronger than ever.

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Thanks for the HuffPost article. A politician like Kshama Sawant can, as has been suggested, serve as a bright ray of hope in a time of national darkness. Just reading about her inspires me.

 

Decent wages save Capitalism from itself. Higher minimum wages and above, put extra money in people's pockets creating more demand which is the impetus for industry to thrive by creating supply. Widespread high wages keep wealth from being excessively hoarded creating a healthy turnover of goods and services for cash.

 

When most of the wealth is concentrated at the top, there is less demand due to far-reaching destitution among the rest ... Causing layoffs, plant closings and a slowing of the economy ... And making the situation even worse.

 

The $15.00 min wage in Seattle needs to spread before it can exert a positive economic effect on the US economy, as a whole.

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Bludog I think you are on point. I would add that minimum wage increases should also take effect more quickly to keep pace with inflation. I live in Red state Kentucky where voters just gave Republicans control of the last Democratic state legislature in the south. The GOP now has total control of state government where they plan to roll back ACA Medicaid expansion, pass right to work laws, and eliminate the prevailing wage for state contractors. Late last year the Republican Right leaning state Supreme Court nullified local minimum wage increases passed by Louisville and Lexington. Quality of life is about to go down for poor and working class people here.

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