Category: Poverty


MSN News

Baton Rouge’s Rich Want New Town to Keep Poor Pupils Out: Taxes

February 6, 2014 12:00 AM ET

By Margaret Newkirk

Saying they want local control, they’re trying to leave the 42,000-pupil public-education system. They envision their own district funded by property taxes from their higher-value homes, which would take money from schools in poorer parts of state-capital Baton Rouge, home of Louisiana State University. They even want their own city.

Similar efforts have surfaced in the past two years in Georgia, Alabama, Texas and Tennessee, some of them succeeding as the end of court-ordered desegregation removed legal barriers. The result may be a concentration of poverty and low achievement. A 2012 report by ACT, the Iowa-based testing organization, found only 10 percent of low-income students met college benchmarks in all subjects, less than half the average.

“It’s going to devastate us,” said Tania Nyman, 45, who has two elementary-age children in the Baton Rouge system. “They’re not only going to take the richer white kids out of the district, they are going to take their money out of it.”

U.S. educational funding varies by state, often relying heavily on local taxes. The South, once notorious for segregated schools, by 2011 had the nation’s second-narrowest funding disparity among districts, according to a study by the Federal Education Budget Project, a Washington-based research organization that is an offshoot of the nonpartisan New America Foundation.

Dropping Further

Louisiana, however, scored worst in the nation, according to the study. A December report by three LSU economics professors found that breaking up the East Baton Rouge Parish school system would depress total per-pupil spending to $8,870 from $9,635. It would rise to $11,686 in the breakaway district.

Eighty percent of the current district’s students are black, and 82 percent poor enough to qualify for free or reduced school meals. Nyman and other district boosters say a split would set a dire precedent.

“Every affluent community in the state will want to create their own little school system,” said Carnell Washington, president of the East Baton Rouge Federation of Teachers.“They are taking money away that would help the entire school system and the entire city.”

Opting Out

Backers of the split, whose website is called Local Schools for Local Children, say the district has been failing for at least a dozen years, with some schools performing so poorly that the state took them over. In the 2011-2012 school year, six of 10 students attended a school ranked failing or almost failing by the state and the drop-out rate was 20 percent, according to Baton Rouge Area Chamber, a business group.

“Baton Rouge is one of the best job markets around, and the middle class is moving out,” said Republican state Senator Mack “Bodi” White. “Those who stay have their kids in private schools.”

About 30 percent of children within district lines were in private schools in 2009, according to Tulane University’s Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives.

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Published on Nov 17, 2012

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Many people think of hunger as an affliction that only affects underdeveloped countries or is typically the result of environmentally-induced famine. However, for one in ten Americans, hunger is an everyday reality.

Right now, over 50 million Americans — including nearly 17 million children — are struggling with hunger. We all know and are in contact with people affected by hunger, even though we might not be aware of it.

Poverty is forcing millions of Americans into a hunger crisis. Their hunger emergency is defined by food insecurity, which is the lack of access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs for an active and healthy life.2 Families find themselves buying cheaper and less nutritious food, or cutting entire meals out of their diet, just to make ends meet. Increasing over time, this pattern leads to chronic malnutrition, affecting children and families in profoundly destructive ways.

Hunger plays a pivotal role in perpetuating the cycle of poverty in the U.S., weakening families and systemically impairing the country’s collective ability to reach its full potential. Hungry children are not able to play, engage, and learn like other children, and are therefore less likely to become productive adults. Compromised health can lead to both short- and long-term problems; children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable.

Both the commonplace demands of daily life and unexpected, dramatic events can easily push families below the poverty line. “Families are often forced to make the tradeoff between food and other expenses” explains Penn State University economic geographer Amy Glasmeier in her book, An Atlas of Poverty in America. “Healthcare is a particular problem. In poor, rural communities families often have no choice but to use the emergency room for routine health care. This is very expensive. Car repairs are another significant and unexpected expense. If the family car needs repair and it is the end of the month, when cash reserves are low, a family will have no choice but to reduce food intake to get the car back on the road in order to go to work.”4

The Hidden Poor

According to FeedingAmerica.org, food insecurity affects many segments of the American population, and exists in every county in the U.S., from a low of 5% in Steele Country, ND to a high of 37% in Holmes County, MS.

Children

The USDA estimates that 16.7 million children are living in food-insecure households. In 2011, households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included households with children (20.6%), especially households with children headed by single women (36.8%) or single men (24.9%), Black, non-Hispanic households (25.1%) and Hispanic households (26.2%).

Families

Families: A frightening 14.7% of U.S. households experienced food insecurity during 2011. 50.1 million people lived in food-insecure households, including children, working adults, and seniors.

Seniors

8% of seniors (one million households) were food insecure in 2011. A study that examined the health and nutritional status of seniors found that food-insecure seniors had significantly lower intakes of vital nutrients in their diets when compared to their food-secure counterparts. In addition, food-insecure seniors were more likely to report fair/poor health status and had higher nutritional risk.6

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The Hunger Site

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In Plain Sight, Poverty In America :  NBC NEWS

After jobs move out, hunger takes root in factory town

Spencer Bakalar

Cliff Lambeth, right, checks individual bags to make sure each contains a sandwich, juice, fruit and a dessert for the bag lunches He Cares distributes.

Spencer Bakalar

Mike Turner assembles sandwiches to be distributed in the next few hours. Before all of the 300 sandwiches were made, the volunteers ran out of meat, causing them to go back into the sandwiches and cut every slice in half.

By Spencer Bakalar, NBC News Contributor

It is difficult to ignore the six abandoned and crumbling factories that dot the landscape surrounding Main Street in Thomasville, N.C. Less than a half-mile away from the faded storefronts, children race in the shadows of broken window panes, past the empty lumberyards that once brought the town to life.

More than 100 years ago, Thomasville was the furniture industry hub of North Carolina. It was the type of town that created generational jobs where grandfathers, fathers and sons could each work and prosper, knowing that the opportunity for employment would be there for years to come.

“It’s all a lot of people ever knew,” said Mike Turner, founder of He Cares, an outreach ministry in Thomasville that distributes bag lunches and food boxes to the community.

In the past 15 years, however, the town of roughly 27,000 people has lost more than 5,000 manufacturing jobs. Companies like century-old Thomasville Furniture Industries, Inc., Duracell, and others downsized, relocated or closed.

Spencer Bakalar

Edward McClatchen gives bags to a family in the poorest apartment complex in Thomasville. “This is the last stop before the streets,” says Mike Turner.

From 2007-2010 alone, unemployment spiked from 5.5 to 13.5 percent. Today, with an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent, Thomasville still ranks higher than the state and nationwide averages.

Mike Turner was laid off in 2005 from Thomasville Furniture,  but found factory work in nearby town, much like many of his former co-workers.

“All of those guys were struggling,” said Turner. “Some of them didn’t even know how to read or write. Furniture was all they knew.”

Spencer Bakalar

Edward McClatchen, left, and Mike Turner, right, pray with Frank Hill, center. Frank lives alone, but looks forward to seeing Turner every week. “No matter when I see him, no matter what is happening to him, he is always smiling,” said Turner.

The town’s economic hardship has since translated into a hunger problem. It touches those who cannot find work, those who are sick, single-parent households, traditional households, the elderly, and children.

And despite the best efforts of Turner, and other local organizations, sparse food donations, unapproved grants, and inadequate funding have made it difficult to provide enough food for the growing number of needy families.

Changing face of hunger

Terri Nelson has seen a huge increase in the number of people coming to Thomasville’s Fairgrove Family Resource Center: from 50 people a month to more than 1,000 in the decade she has worked there.

“The face of hunger has changed,” she said. “Children are most affected because of the economy. Their parents can’t find jobs, and if they do find jobs, they work as hard as they can and never make enough.”

It’s a feeling Jennifer Beck Powell knows well. A 34-year-old single mom with four kids, Powell lives in Thomasville, where the grim employment prospects forced her to look elsewhere.

Like Turner, she found another job 10 miles away, in High Point.

Spencer Bakalar

Jennifer takes a break during her shift.

Every morning she wakes up at 4 a.m. to take her children to school so she can arrive at Swaim Furniture on time for her 6 a.m. shift.

At the end of the day, after 11 hours on her feet, she picks up her kids from daycare and goes home to help them with homework and cook. Because Powell often works through her 10-minute lunch break, dinner is the first big meal of the day.

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Meals Per Hour

HENRYandREL Supermarche

Published on Jun 19, 2013

— GREAT NEWS! TOYOTA IS NOW GOING TO DONATE UP TO 1,000,000 MEALS! FOR EVERY VIDEO VIEW BETWEEN JUNE 20th AND JULY 19th, TOYOTA WILL DONATE ONE MEAL TO FOOD BANK FOR NEW YORK CITY, UP TO 1,000,000 —

The challenge: How can a non-profit implement Toyota’s legendary production system (TPS) to increase the number of meals distributed to people who are still affected by Superstorm Sandy? Watch this movie – and help us do even more.
thank you, and always be KAIZEN.
henry & rel

p.s. watch HD and loud ;)

for more information visit: mealsperhour.com
and to donate visit: foodbanknyc.org

credits:
directed by Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman – gosupermarche.com
produced by Melody Roscher – imdb.com/name/nm2860460
music by Rob Simonsen – robsimonsen.com/listen/films
cinematography by Aaron Wesner greencardnewyork.com/category/directors/­aaron_wesner
edited by Duncan Skiles – waverlyfilms.com/duncan
animation by Van Neistat -vimeo.com/vanneistat

written by Jeff Gonick – jeffgonicklikesyou.com
field producer Tony Borden – youtube.com/user/tonyborden
sound mixers Theodore Robinson – imdb.com/name/nm3007363 & Matthew Betlej imdb.com/name/nm2662065
art director Karly Grawin – pinterest.com/geemie/
additional photography Arianna LaPenne – ariannalapenne.com & Casey Neistat caseyneistat.com
colorst Sam Daley – imdb.com/name/nm2207707
Technicolor NY producer Steve Rapanaro
sound editor Corey Choy – silversound.us/
sound re-recording mixer Robin Shore – silversound.us/
Graphics and title design Adrian Letechipia – adrianletechipia.com
after effects artist Robin Comisar -robincomisar.com
assistant editors Bill Kemmler, Stefan Moore, John Mattia
production assistants Amy Crowdis, Ben Smith, Moni Vaughan, Paul Dadowski, Daniel Wright

democracynow democracynow·

Published on May 30, 2013

http://www.democracynow.org – As Republicans move to cut billions of dollars in funding for food stamps, a new report finds one in six Americans live in a household that cannot afford adequate food. In “Nourishing Change: Fulfilling the Right to Food in the United States,” the International Human Rights Clinic at New York University’s School of Law reports that of these 50 million people going hungry, nearly 17 million are children. Food insecurity has skyrocketed since the economic downturn, with an additional 14 million people classified as food insecure in 2011 than in 2007. The report comes as Congress is renegotiating the Farm Bill and proposing serious cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. Millions of Americans currently rely on the program to feed themselves and their families. The report’s co-author, Smita Narula of the International Human Rights Clinic at NYU’s School of Law, joins us to discuss her findings and why she is calling on the U.S. government to ensure that all Americans have access to sufficient, nutritious food.

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/5/30/as_lawmakers_target_food_stamp_funding

 

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Food stamp cuts hurt the economy and taxpayers along with the poor

Posted Tuesday, May. 28, 2013

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/05/28/4889196/food-stamp-cuts-hurt-the-economy.html#storylink=cpy

To hear Republicans — and some Democrats — in Congress talk, you’d think food-stamp dollars just disappear into a black hole. The prevailing debate in the Senate and House versions of the farm bill, which contains funding for food stamps (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP), is over how much to cut.

But when more than 15 percent of Americans remain impoverished, slashing food assistance for the poor makes no sense in humanitarian, economic or public-health terms.

The House bill which is gaining steam after passage by the Agriculture Committee last week, is the more draconian of the two. It would chop $20 billion over 10 years from SNAP, and its changes to food-stamp eligibility rules would cut off vital sustenance for about 2 million low-income people, including seniors and families with children.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 210,000 children in low-income families would lose their free school meals under the House plan.

The Senate version would cut far less, though a final figure will be hashed out by a conference committee in June. But the attacks on food assistance for the poor are deeply misguided and are only going to get worse.

The proposed House budget from Rep. Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., seeks to gut food stamps by an additional $135 billion through block grants to states.

Yet government and other studies clearly show that food stamps are among the most wisely spent public dollars, providing essential nourishment and public health benefits to low-income people as well as economic stimulus to rural and urban communities.

These are returns on spending that you won’t find in the corporate tax giveaways and military spending boondoggles routinely supported by both political parties. even as they scream for austerity when it comes to slashing “entitlements” and food assistance for the poor.

The Trust for America’s Health, a health advocacy organization that focuses on disease prevention, warned recently of the consequences of cutting food stamps: “If the nation continues to underfund vital public health programs, we will never achieve long-term fiscal stability, as it will be impossible to help people get/stay healthy, happy and productive.”

Indeed, According to a 2011 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “research shows that low-income households participating in SNAP have access to more food energy, protein and a broad array of essential vitamins and minerals in their home food supply compared to eligible nonparticipants.”

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Originally posted on Socio-Economics History Blog:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2301757/Governments-climate-watchdog-launches-astonishing-attack-Mail-Sunday--revealing-global-warming-science-wrong.html

Click on image for article!

  • Government’s climate watchdog launches astonishing attack on the Mail on  Sunday… for revealing global warming science is wrong! 
    by David Rose, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ 
    The official watchdog that advises the  Government on greenhouse gas emissions targets has launched an astonishing  attack on The Mail on Sunday – for accurately reporting that alarming  predictions of global warming are wrong.
    -
    We disclosed that although highly influential  computer models are still estimating huge rises in world temperatures, there has  been no statistically significant increase for more than 16  years.
    -
    Despite our revelation earlier this month,  backed up by a scientifically researched graph, the Committee on Climate Change  still clings to flawed predictions.
    -
    Leading the attack is committee member Sir  Brian Hoskins, who is also director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change  at Imperial College, London. In a blog on the Committee on Climate…

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The Art of Resistance

Originally posted on http://akkaoldfart.wordpress.com.:

Rebel of Oz – March 15, 2013

This is my eighth year as a full time Internet activist. The longer I’m fighting this “War on Evil”, the more I’m concerned with the effectiveness of resistance. No matter what our cause, liberty, false-flag terrorism, free Palestine, debt-free currency, New World Order, Illuminati, chemtrails, vaccination, cancer cures, drug prohibition, or historic revisionism, we must first and foremost make a conscience decision about what’s more important to us, being right or resisting effectively.

In most countries, the ‘ruling elite’ is more than happy for us to say, write and publish whatever we want, as long as nobody that matters listens to us. In facts, it’s a sign of strength and confidence for our self-chosen rulers to let us – figuratively speaking – stand on a box in Hyde Park and scream our head off, while everybody around shakes his head and thinks to…

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 Police restrain crowd from taking food after supermarket eviction

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -Law enforcement officials pushed back hundreds of people who were crowding around a large pile of merchandise outside an Augusta grocery store Tuesday afternoon.

But the goods sitting in the parking lot of the Laney Supermarket didn’t make into anyone’s hands.

Instead, the food people hoped to take home was tossed into the trash.

“People have children out here that are hungry, thirsty, could be anything. Why throw it away when you could be issuing it out?” asked Robertstine Lambert.

The Marshal of Richmond County, Steve Smith, says the food wasn’t theirs to give away, so they had to trash it.

“We don’t have authority to take possession of the property; we just have to make sure that it’s handled, disposed of by law,” Smith, said.

SunTrust Bank in Atlanta owns the property and they’re sending the merchandise to the landfill after evicting the Chois, the owners of the grocery store.

The Chois didn’t want to speak on camera but they say they were kicked out by the bank because they owe them thousands of dollars.

They say they offered the food to a church, but members didn’t show up to claim it.

That’s when word that store products were abandoned spread through the community.

About 300 people came to take merchandise home, but they were held back by law enforcement.

“These are brand new items; we saw the potential for a riot was extremely high,” said Sheriff Richard Roundtree.

Jennifer Santiago was forced to leave empty handed and she says trashing the merchandise is truly a waste.

“For them to do this is a low blow. A lot of people are sad, a lot of people aren’t going to have food to put on their table; this is ridiculous,” she said.

The Chois say they were notified by the bank on Friday that they would be evicted on Tuesday.

They say they didn’t move out earlier because they wanted to work up to the last minute.

 

Watch Video Here

 

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Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 1:47 PM

Last updated Thursday, March 28, 2013 2:41 AM

Nonperishable groceries once destined for the Richmond County landfill were donated Wednesday to Golden Harvest Food Bank.

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Tony Martin, who works with Thompson Building and Wrecking Co., moves boxes of items from Laney Supermarket to a Golden Harvest Food Bank truck.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF

SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Tony Martin, who works with Thompson Building and Wrecking Co., moves boxes of items from Laney Supermarket to a Golden Harvest Food Bank truck.

Three large trash bins filled with merchandise from Laney Supermarket, 843 Laney-Walker Boulevard, were stored overnight at a warehouse of Thompson Building and Wrecking, a company hired by the grocery’s property manager for disposal of the items.

A handful of staff members separated canned foods from household items, and boxed the items Wednesday morning. A Golden Harvest truck retrieved the load, which filled about half the truck.

Perishable items, including meat and produce, were taken to the landfill, said Hiram Thompson, president of Thompson Building and Wrecking.

“We had the option of taking it to the landfill or doing something good with it,” Thompson said.

The grocery store tenant, Il Ki Choi, was evicted Tuesday after he failed to obey a 30-day notice that its lease would not be renewed. The eviction notice was served Feb. 13.

On Tuesday, hundreds crowded the grocery store parking lot hoping to make off with merchandise piled outside the store before the Richmond County sheriff’s and marshal’s offices said they would not be allowed to take away any goods.

Travis McNeal, Golden Harvest’s executive director, said the food bank will sort and inspect the items before they are distributed to the hungry.

“The most sad thing is a lot of food got dirty or messed up because it was all thrown in there together,” McNeal said.

Perishable items, even if retrieved immediately from the store, might not have been salvageable, McNeal said. It would have been difficult to know whether meat had been properly refrigerated.

Thompson said when his business received the call from property manager FirstService Residential Realty to deliver trash bins quickly to the site, it did not know the situation with the food.

A truck driver alerted the company’s dispatch office, and additional Thompson Wrecking and Building crews arrived to assist a few workers that were already there.

Golden Harvest receives donated perishable items from major grocery store chains almost daily, McNeal said. Occasionally, restaurants or catering businesses going out of business will donate items.

The food bank is responsible for checking items and adhering to guidelines set by the federal Food and Drug Administration, he said.

House Republicans Unanimously Vote Down Minimum Wage Increase

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 03/15/2013 6:25 pm EDT  |  Updated: 03/15/2013 6:41 pm EDT

Gop Minimum Wage Increase

House Republicans voted unanimously against raising the federal minimum wage Friday.

A proposal by Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour over the next two years and increase the wage for tipped employees to 70 percent of the minimum wage was defeated, with every House Republican voting against the motion. On the Democratic side, six lawmakers voted against the measure, and 184 Democrats voted for it.

Miller’s proposal was more than a dollar higher than what President Barack Obama proposed during his State of the Union address in February. Obama said in his speech that Congress and the White House should work to “raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.”

Read Full Article Here

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AP News

Ark. House panel rejects raising minimum wage

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Embracing the concerns of Arkansas businesses, a Democrat-controlled House panel on Tuesday rejected a proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage by $2, to $8.25 an hour.

The House Committee on Public Health voted 10-6 against the bill, with Democratic Reps. Deborah Ferguson and Mark Perry joining Republicans who opposed the measure.

Rep. Butch Wilkins, D-Bono, said he sponsored the bill to improve the lives of working families, noting that the state has one of the lowest minimum wages in the country.

“It’s not going to make someone rich who was poor,” he told lawmakers. “We’ve got some catching up to do in Arkansas.”

Proponents of raising the minimum wage said it would actually spur economic growth because struggling, low-income households were more likely to spend any additional money at local businesses, rather than save it.

The state’s minimum wage has been $6.25 since lawmakers last approved an increase in 2006. Some Arkansas workers are subject to the higher, federal minimum wage of $7.25.

A worker making the state minimum wage earns $250 a week before taxes, or $13,000 a year. The federal poverty level is $11,170 annually.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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A worker uses a rotary cutter to shape a piece of limestone in Columbus, OhioPhotograph by Ty Wright/Bloomberg

A worker uses a rotary cutter to shape a piece of limestone in Columbus, Ohio

Higher Minimum Wage? Small Business Doesn’t Mind

By and on February 21, 2013

President Barack Obama’s recent proposal to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour by the end of 2015 has an unlikely ally: a sizable swath of America’s 6 million small employers. Historically, lobbyists representing small business almost unanimously condemned any increases in the federal minimum wage, arguing employers would be forced to fire workers. Now, with public anger over income inequality deepening and economic research challenging the notion that higher wages suppress employment, a growing number of small business advocates support a hike.

That includes dozens of business groups and networks composed primarily of small business owners such as the Main Street Alliance, the National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association, and the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce. “Our women [business owners] who pay a living wage have an advantage over their larger counterparts who don’t,” says Margot Dorfman, chief executive officer of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, an organization with 500,000 members, three-quarters of whom are small business owners. “Whether Obama’s proposal is high enough or the time frame is fast enough is the question.”

Taking inflation into account, a worker earning a minimum wage today is worse off than one who made the base hourly wage of $1.60 in 1968. “It’s just really ridiculous to think that business owners can’t pay today at least as much as what they paid four decades ago,” says Holly Sklar, founder of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, which has attracted support from more than 4,000 small business groups and owners. Main Street businesses suffer if “the economy is falling apart around them,” she says. “If the customer base is undermined because wages are so low, they feel it directly.”

Read Full Article Here

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Senator Tom HarkinPhotograph by Carolyn Kaster/AP Images

Senator Tom Harkin

Lawmakers Enlist Small Business to Back a Minimum Wage Increase

Posted by: on March 05, 2013

After President Barack Obama proposed raising the federal minimum wage earlier this year, my colleagues Karen E. Klein and Nick Leiber reported on the changing stance of small business owners on the issue:

“Historically, lobbyists representing small business almost unanimously condemned any increases in the federal minimum wage, arguing employers would be forced to fire workers. Now, with public anger over income inequality deepening and economic research challenging the notion that higher wages suppress employment, a growing number of small business advocates support a hike.”

Indeed, when Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Representative George Miller (D-Calif.) announced a new bill today that would gradually raise minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2016, from $7.25 today, the lawmakers enlisted a lineup of small business owners to speak in support of the legislation. (Among the proponents of the bill: a Washington, D.C., restaurant owner, who said that fair pay was fundamental to his success, and the managing partner of a St. Louis music store, who said that a wage hike would have a trickle-up effect.)

 

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