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Gas prices go up, tuition goes up, why not wages?

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If the cost of living continues to increase isn’t it only logical that wages must be raised so that people can meet their needs?

From an article talking about a fight to raise San Jose’s minimum wage:

This legislative fight was hatched in a perfect storm. It was happening post-recession, in the wake of open global panic about the economy. It was happening during mind-boggling tuition hikes — SJSU has raised its tuition by 141 percent since California’s last minimum wage increase in 2008. It was happening when gas prices often surpassed $4 a gallon. The campaign kicked off just as thousands of angry Americans, many of them young, descended on Wall Street and hundreds of satellite cities, including San Jose. This wasn’t President Obama’s generic call to raise the federal wage in the State of the Union address. This was a fight that belonged to the students. And the fight wasn’t just altruistic, as the students’ own paychecks hung in the balance.

The argument that businesses and conservatives use that paying people more ends up creating less jobs and costing business more is shortsighted. I call this austerity-think and if we’re not careful this mindset can and will lead us into another recession.

Take Wal-Mart as an example. if they paid their employees more, those same workers would turn around and spend their money at Wal-Mart buying the goods they need on a day to day basis. This would reverse the trend of decreasing same store sales that Daniel Gross mentions in his Daily Beast piece.

Some day, the bosses in Bentonville will understand the connection between the low wages they pay and the continuing frustration of the bean counters. Sadly, for Walmart’s employees and shareholders, this is not the day. In premarket trading, Walmart’s stock was off about 2.5 percent.

In closing, austerity-think must be combated at all levels from private to public enterprise. Laying people off, cutting social programs and not paying them a living wage all contribute to a horrible economy where the wealth gap remains ever increasing.

As it’s been said about San Jose:

The funneling of creative, educated young people and venture capital dollars to a city, which in turn gives birth to a service industry to support this class, is both the modern emblem of urban success and a recipe for a cavernous wealth gap.

People have to make money to spend money. Down with extreme wealth disparities an the Two Americas.

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