Neal Peirce discusses the challenges of poverty wage jobs at major chains – linking severe inequality with these jobs. Given the recent debate in DC over its living wage job and recent reporting on inequality, the article is apropos.
Peirce notes that Los Angeles hotel workers near Los Angeles International Airport (with support from service unions) got a living wage law passed and are now paid $12 an hour. Further efforts in LA are underway to expand the law.
Peirce also highlights the negative social and psychological effect on children of low wage workers who feel helpless, which may be one of the most lasting and damaging side effects of inequality.
There is hope – Bill de Blasio, now the frontrunner in the NYC Mayoral race, has taken low wage work up as a campaign platform. Peirce quotes de Blasio’s exasperation over a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. He has been surging in the polls – maybe the economic populism has something to do with it.