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People rally in support of a $15 minimum wage at Seattle Central Community College in Washington March 15, 2014. Voters in SeaTac, Washington recently passed a ballot initiative for $15 minimum wage.  REUTERS/Jason Redmond
San Francisco won't be outdone by Seattle. San Francisco's November ballot will include a measure raising the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour just months after Seattle was put on its way to $15 by its mayor and city council. In San Francisco:
The compromise announced at City Hall would increase the city's current hourly base pay, $10.74, to $12.25 next May 1, then to $13 in July 2016 and $1 each subsequent year until it reaches $15 in 2018. That would bring the annual pay for a full-time minimum-wage worker to $31,000.

The deal means that labor activists, who had filed a separate ballot measure to raise the wage to $15 by 2017, will drop their effort.

"I can't tell you how happy I am - San Francisco is yet again setting the bar on workers' rights," said Supervisor Jane Kim, who helped broker the deal. "All San Francisco employers will be paying $15 an hour by 2018 - there will be no tip credit, no health care credit. These are pure wages workers will be bringing home to their families."

With the federal minimum wage stalled at $7.25 an hour and Republicans standing in the way of any increase, action by states and cities is the only way to ensure workers anything approximating a living wage. Happily, a number of states and cities have recently taken that action, with more putting minimum wage measures on the November ballot. But too many American workers are still left behind.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 11:31 AM PDT.

Also republished by California politics, 15NOW, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  That sign, Low Wages=Corporate Welfare (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, glitterscale, Wolf10, dejavu

    is my best talkingpoint on minimum wage with TeaBaggers and Libertarians: Two VERY profitable companies, Mal*Wart and McDonalds are receiving massive taxpayer subsidies by paying their full time workers so poorly that they qualify for SNAP.
    And they are not the only companies at the trough.
    Do you think your taxes should be subsidizing profitable corporations?
    You should see the look on their faces as this idea takes root in their brains.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 11:41:30 AM PDT

    •  Recommend (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tex Arcana, beesknees, JuliathePoet

      I fully agree. The message about low wages really is that simple. The next shoe to drop is to point out that every time a person claims a tax write off, for example a home mortgage, they've just passed their share of the burden onto taxpayers who cannot afford homes.

      I'm encouraged that citizens are coming together to pass these ballot measures. Now we need structural tax reforms to codify transparency and fairness for everyone, lest the wage hikes merely fuel the current imbalance to higher levels.

      •  Home (single) tax write off? really (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tex Arcana, silverfoxcruiser

        The low amount written off on most Homeowners tax write off is a joke compared to the write offs corporations get. Right now it's one of the few write offs middle class Americans haven't lost to greed. Banks make the profit there. You are hardly "paying my mortgage". On the other hand my property taxes pay for schools and local roads, city employees etc. etc..Renters do not.

        •  Fair point Bartskid1. The middle class tax breaks (3+ / 0-)

          are most definitely not why the government lacks funds to aid the poor.  Besides your excellent point about property tax (where the middle class pays far more for equal values of property than the rich), middle class people pay HIGHER percentages of their incomes than poor people.  Furthermore, middle class get LESS back for their social security than poor people.  
          It is incredibly bad politics for a progressive to attack the middle class for hurting the poor, when in fact the rich overwhelmingly hurt both poor and middle classes.  

        •  Just an example (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not against home mortgages for reasons you've cited. Just using it as a familiar example of how any unevenly applied benefit works. I'll stick with the Walmart example next time. :-)

        •  Everything you say is true, but don't assume re... (0+ / 0-)

          Everything you say is true, but don't assume renters do not pay property taxes. The money technically comes out of the landlord's pocket, but is generally passed on on the form of higher rent to the tenant. It's usually the reason given when my landlord wants to raise the rent.

          I don't think the home mortgage interest deduction should be phased out, although I do think it should be limited to one home, rather than two.

  •  Oh good! Ready to vote for it :D n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Great News! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mftalbot, Jason Libsch

    San Francisco would be a great place for a $15hr minimum wage.

    It will help out working families in the Bay Area. They should also do up a $15hr minimum wage for Oakland too.

    "....No Compromise in the Defense of Mother Earth!"

    by Seattle Socialist on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:49:43 PM PDT

  •  With affordable housing almost nonexistent (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Creosote, scott jones

    this will give a boost that is sorely needed. Our local economy can easily absorb this. The minimum this year is $10.74 , which is indexed.

    New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

    by AlexDrew on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:23:55 PM PDT

  •  Local Minium Wage... (0+ / 0-)

    is a much better method than a National Minimum Wage.

    A livable wage is different in San Francisco,  Houston, or rural East Texas.

    •  Actually I'd say it's a great complement to a h... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote

      Actually I'd say it's a great complement to a higher National wage. Set the National value so no full time employee is below the federal poverty line individually, but let state/city ways go higher if they want.

  •  Let's bring it to NYC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (0+ / 0-)
  •  That's great, but.... (0+ / 0-)

    Knowing the cost of living, especially for housing, I don't see how anyone could live in S. F. Even for $31,000 a year.

    Freedom of speech, in my view, does not mean the freedom to buy the United States government -- Bernie Sanders

    by OnePingOnly on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 11:13:00 PM PDT

    •  Yes, this is an important point. This money wil... (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, this is an important point. This money will largely go to people living outside of the city and commuting in for work. I don't think you could raise a family in sf on even double that- 62k. It's a great start, though, and will have positive impact on the wider Bay Area.

  •  The minimum wage should be almost that NOW (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jason Libsch, ChuckChuckerson

    The minimum wage should be about $13.40 an hour RIGHT NOW in California, and here's what I base that off of:

    In 1988, when I was 16, I started working and the minimum wage was $3.35/hour. At the time, gas was about 90 cents per gallon and an apartment in Lake Merritt in Oakland (1 bedroom) was about $350.

    In 2014 that apartment is easily $1400 or more and gas is about $4 per gallon. That's an increase of over 400%. Thus, the minimum wage should reflect the cost of these two indispensable things.

    Thus, 3.35 * 4 = 13.40.

    By 2018 that $15 won't go as far as it did in 1998, when it was a decent wage.

    •  See you soon (0+ / 0-)

      I look forward to having many new neighbors in Texas as the migration out of California continues.

      Raising the minimum wage is going to have a small impact on poverty.  The real issue is what can be done to encourage the growth of real jobs?  So, people starting out on the bottom can actually move up to higher paychecks?

      All these initiatives are going to do is to encourage automation, help a few people and have other people get laid off entirely.

      You want a symbol?

      Raise the minimum wage.

      You want a solution?

      That's a lot harder.

      •  Move from San Francisco to Texass? (3+ / 0-)

        Never gonna happen. Gov Perry? Not a chance. PRISON for weed? Not likely. Cowboys? No thanks. Weather? Geez, we have The Marine Layer for Pete's sake. This "migration" you speak of is non-existent.  Good luck to you.

        •  Non-existent? (0+ / 0-)

          1,500 to 2,000 legal new arrivals in Texas per week.

          Ignore it if you will.

          •  Not from here. Tell me why poeple would want to (0+ / 0-)

            leave this land of Milk and Honey to move to a western outhouse?

            •  You've got to be kidding (0+ / 0-)

              Because in Texas you can buy still buy a house in a decent, safe neighborhood for less than $140k - in an area with low crime and a good school system - all with a commute of less than 40 minutes.

              Because, we have no state income or capital gains tax.

              Because, gasoline is about 60 cents per gallon less.

              Because 11 of the 30 best cities to find a job in are in Texas.

              Because, other than New York - Houston is the most ethnically diverse city in the United States.   Of course, they also have mosquitos large enough to carry off small children.

              Because, other than New York - Houston (and this hurts me as a new DFW resident) - has more theatres, symphonies, etc than any other American city. Austin is known for its musical venues & even Dallas is pouring money and resources into the arts.

              Because Texas is making real efforts to develop desalinisation so we can solve our water shortage - as opposed to simply cutting off our farmers.

              Because Texas employs 17% more teachers per capita than California.

              Because California spends far more money on prisons per capita.

              Because Texas spends more on its mass transit systems than California - and it isn't wasting the money on a high speed rail system from nowhere to nowhere (in an earthquake zone).

              Because our major cites - as opposed to Stockton and Bakersfield - aren't going bankrupt.

              That's why.

  •  Seattle Outdid San Francisco (0+ / 0-)

    $15 goes a lot further in Seattle than in San Francisco. Seattle has become pricier over the past decade or two. But SF is the most expensive city in America. It would have to offer at least $20:h minimum to compete with Seattle.

    These wages should be normalized to cost of living. The government should scientifically establish the actual poverty line for each zipcode (instead of the arbitrary made-up line that LBJ started 50 years ago). The minimum wage should pay to live at least just above the poverty line.

    Even if you're unemployed. UI should pay the minimum wage for the zipcode where you live. Students should earn the minimum wage for any hours required by the curriculum (class or homework). Everyone should have the time and money to live and prepare for work.

    That system would give the labor supply a basis to compete with all the many advantages the capitalist labor consumers use to keep it down. Stopping the capitalists from keeping labor down would lift labor. Which would lift the entire country.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 07:33:36 AM PDT

  •  Minimum Wage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catilinus

    One by one, cities and states around the country are beginning to recognize that low wages are dragging the economy down. Putting more money into the economy will create more jobs. It will be interesting to see which major corporation will decide to provide living wages to their employees nationwide.

  •  I remember making $14.97 an hour (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    silverfoxcruiser, JuliathePoet

    in San Francisco in the early eighties working for UPS. I was able to have a condo in Marin. It is time. Thanks citizens of the greatest city in the west!

  •  Our "Patriotic" Conservatives In Congress (0+ / 0-)

    want to abolish the minimum wage.

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