Labor 411 Publisher and Founder Cherri Senders writes in the LA Daily News about how the effort by cities to raise the minimum wage to $15 is a great start, but if we want to pull the middle class out of its slump, we can't stop there.
As Labor Day approaches, the Fight for 15 has taken center stage in a nation where income inequality has finally become front-page news. In recent weeks the country’s largest county government (Los Angeles County) and one of the biggest public university systems in the U.S. (University of California) raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour, while on the East Coast New York moved closer to a $15-per-hour wage for fast food workers and a $15-per-hour minimum wage ballot measure cleared a key hurdle in Washington, D.C.
The success of the Fight for 15 campaign has created understandable excitement within the ranks of activists. But lost in the din that surrounds the Fight for 15 is the fact that a $15 minimum wage is hardly a panacea for a country whose middle class has been declining for more than 30 years. While many workers will benefit greatly from a hike in the minimum wage, tens of millions of Americans will continue to struggle unless a much broader agenda is advanced to combat the truly staggering levels of economic inequality.
One interesting story in Curbed LA captured the bleak disconnect between wages and the cost of living. The analysis found that, even with a $15 an hour minimum wage, every part of Los Angeles is unaffordable.
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