Minimum Wage and Low-Wage Jobs in the New Economy
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With holiday shopping under way, evidence of a frustrated workforce continues, with fast food workers striking again today. And President Obama has called for a federal minimum wage hike from $7.25 to $10 an hour. Would that help rectify income inequality? What are its chances on Capitol Hill and around the country? Also, radioactive material stolen near Mexico City has been recovered, but the thieves are likely doomed; and former New York Police Commissioner William Bratton gets his old job back with a promise of kinder, gentler policing.
Banner image: New York City rally to raise the minimum wage. Photo: All-Nite Images
Stolen Cobalt-60 Recovered, Thieves Likely Doomed ()
For two days, police in Mexico searched frantically for a stolen truck loaded with the radioactive materials used to manufacture so-called "dirty bombs." There were fears that it could fall into the wrong hands. Now, the truck's been discovered, and the story has changed. Tracy Wilkinson is Mexico City Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times.
Income Inequality, Economic Anxiety and the Minimum Wage ()
Fast food workers are back on the streets in 100 cities today. Walmart saw strikes on Black Friday. Yesterday, in a speech about the economy, President Obama said "the defining challenge of our time" is the decline of upward mobility, and called for a hike in the minimum wage. It's all about income inequality, a growing trend since before Great Recession. Instead of upward mobility into the Middle Class, many newly created jobs don't give workers enough to live on — even when they're full-time. We look at reality in some American workplaces and at the politics of restoring the American Dream.
- Gabriel Thompson: journalist and author, @G_Thompson1
- Jim Tankersley: Washington Post, @jimtankersley
- Joel Connelly: SeattlePI.com, @joelconnelly
- David Neumark: University of California, Irvine
Today's Talking Point
William Bratton Returns to New York ()
New York's Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio ran on a campaign highly critical of Michael Bloomberg's "stop and frisk" policy of policing. Now de Blasio's picked William Bratton to return as police commissioner, the man who initiated the city's "Broken Windows" strategy two decades ago. He was police chief in Boston before taking over the NYPD in the mid 90's, then chief at LAPD from 2002 to 2009. Now, back in the Big Apple, today he promised a style of policing that won't make New Yorkers feel intruded upon. Andrew White is Director of the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School.
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