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by Stewart A. Alexander
Thursday, Jan. 11, 2007 at 4:05 AM
The 110th Congress is now in session and congressional leaders are expected to move on a broad range of critical matters that are a vital concern to the entire nation; topping the list is the Iraq War, the national debt, the balance of trade, affordable health care, immigration, solving the nation’s energy crisis, the environment, and minimum wage. Congress is expected to move quickly to raise the federal minimum wage from the present rate of .15 to .25 per hour by 2009; it will be the first such increase since 1997.
Stewart A. Alexander
National Membership Campaign Coordinator
Peace and Freedom Party
January 9, 2007
The 110th Congress is now in session and congressional leaders are expected to move on a broad range of critical matters that are a vital concern to the entire nation; topping the list is the Iraq War, the national debt, the balance of trade, affordable health care, immigration, solving the nation’s energy crisis, inflation, the environment, and minimum wage. Congress is expected to move quickly to raise the federal minimum wage from the present rate of .15 to .25 per hour by 2009; it will be the first such increase since 1997. Legislation to raise the minimum wage is expected to pass both houses and has been supported by the White House.
The present direction of the U.S. Congress to raise the minimum wage falls extremely short of what is necessary to provide a decent standard of living for the millions of Americans that are struggling to survive in today’s U.S. economy.
Large corporations in America have been riding a wave of prosperity on the backs of low wage earners and on the backs of consumers; inflation has dwindled the pay checks of millions leaving little to meet the needs of average American households. Today over half of the nation’s population are only two pay checks away from being homeless.
During the pass half century big business and corporate America has enjoyed the fruits of a struggling working class; entering into the 21st Century the U.S. and world stock markets have boasted record gains and many leading corporations such as the oil industry, pharmaceutical companies, technologies, the health care industry and giant retailers have enjoyed years of prosperity.
Retailers such as Home Depot, Wal-Mart and oil industry giant Exxon Mobil are posting record profits; and recently Home Depot granted an extremely generous severance package valued at 0 million to outgoing Chairman and CEO Bob Nardelli, and only a year earlier Exxon Mobil gave former Chairman and CEO Lee Raymond a severance package worth nearly 0 million.
Many of the nation’s leading corporations are raking in billions in profits and are paying many of their executives salaries in the hundred’s of thousands and millions annually while the people at the bottom cannot afford to live on two and three pay checks in a household.
In the 80’s and 90’s people were waiting in line for jobs that paid , and more per hour; today many are waiting in line for jobs paying less than hourly and waiting in food lines to keep food on the table.
The Democrats were celebrating their victories that gave them control of both Houses in Congress however the Democrats and Republicans have done nothing to advance the working class in the pass two decades and are rolling back many of the gains that have been achieved during the past 75 years.
The Peace and Freedom Party, a political party representing working class people since 1967, supports a guaranteed dignified income for everyone, and raising the federal minimum wage by .10 falls far too short to meet any meaningful standards, according to party officials.
The challenge to the Democrats in the 110th session of Congress is to avoid staying the course that presently is robbing Americans of their hopes and dreams, a course that is dividing a nation with a costly war, a course that is spiraling millions of Americans and the nation deeper into debt.
For more information search the Web for: Stewart A. Alexander; or Alexander: PFP Setting Tone For 2008.
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