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Future of Milwaukee Depends on Raising Poverty Wages


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JL
- 431 days ago - wisconsinjobsnow.org
Raise the Floor Milwaukee:Better Wages& Labor Standards for Low-Wage Workers, examines what led Milwaukee from its place as an economic powerhouse with near 100% racial wage parity in the 1970′s to the stagnant, economically segregated city it is to



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JL A. (275)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 7:04 am
Future of Milwaukee Depends on Raising Poverty Wages
Posted by matthewfinnell on June 26, 2013
Title Cover for the Raise the Floor MKE Report

Click to download the report.

Writing about how to improve the future of Milwaukee, the Center on Wisconsin Strategy took a straight-forward approach with their new report. Raise the Floor Milwaukee: Better Wages and Labor Standards for Low-Wage Workers, examines what led Milwaukee from its place as an economic powerhouse with near 100% racial wage parity in the 1970′s to the stagnant, economically segregated city it is today.

The answer is quite simple. Good jobs in manufacturing have been replaced with low-paying jobs in food service, retail, and healthcare. This problem was made worse by the recent recession as middle-income jobs were permanently supplanted by low-wage, non-union, part-time jobs with few benefits. Essentially, the Milwaukee middle class has had the rug pulled out from under them, disproportionately affecting minority workers while enriching the wealthiest at their expense.

Today, about 35% of all Milwaukee workers are stuck in poverty-wage jobs (when they can find work at all). Whenever over one-third of any city can’t afford to make ends meet then families suffer, communities suffer, and the entire metro economy stagnates as consumer spending approaches record lows. As corporate profits reach record highs and good-paying jobs disappear, what can workers do?

The last time the United States saw this level of economic inequality was during the Gilded Age. Low-skill jobs in mills and factories were the fast food and retail jobs of their day. But, as the report makes clear, the solution now is much the same as it was then. Through outreach, organizing, and advocacy workers can improve their wages, hours, and benefits through direct action and by enacting pro-worker policies. The only reason manufacturing jobs paid well in the first place was because workers demanded that they did decades ago.

Instead of misleading the public by blaming a non-existent “skills gap,” saying high wages are “bad for business,” or claiming that benefits like health insurance are “too expensive,” elitist corporate groups like the MMAC should back this commonsense economic stimulus. More money in workers’ hands means that they spend more. This is better for them, better for our community, and better for the economy as a whole.

Check out this important report for yourself. Tell everyone about it on social media.
 

Ben Oscarsito (335)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 8:20 am
The minimum wage is $7.25 per hour...that's a bloody joke!
I say again; -$15 an hour...for a start...
 

Ben Oscarsito (335)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 8:22 am
And, sharing some absolutely useless information: -Many years ago I spent a few days in Milwaukee...
 

Kit B. (276)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 8:28 am

This article applies to any city or state in the United States, we can not sustain growth with these poor wages.
Good wages are not "job killers" austerity measures are.

Ben has been to Milwaukee and so have I.
 

JL A. (275)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 9:13 am
Excellent observations! You cannot currently send a star to Ben or Kit because you have done so within the last day.
 

Micheael Kirkbym (85)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 10:01 am
Why didn't you know but one of the planks in the Ellite's manifesto is the destruction of the middle class and has been since 1890. They want to keep us poor; dumb and indentured so as to have a ready made workforce that has no recourse but to accept and obey whatever the PTBs decided is good for them.
 

Micheael Kirkbym (85)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 10:02 am
Hey Ben, is there isn't a place you haven't been you old salt? LOL Have a great weekend.
 

JL A. (275)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 12:41 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Michael because you have done so within the last day.
 

Helen Porter (40)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 4:44 pm
Families have to eat.
 

Twyla Sparks (208)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 4:52 pm
noted
 

JL A. (275)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 5:05 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Zee because you have done so within the last day.
 

Adena Z. (42)
Friday June 28, 2013, 4:32 am
I know the feeling all to well.
 

Winn Adams (191)
Friday June 28, 2013, 7:22 am
Poor wages for workers hurts all of us in America. The minimum wage must be raised.
 

JL A. (275)
Friday June 28, 2013, 7:50 am
You cannot currently send a star to Winn because you have done so within the last day.
 
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