Democrats Pledge To Live A Week On Minimum Wage
July 23, 2014 by Ben Bullard
Itās been a while since Congressional Democrats have rallied around President Barack Obamaās push for a Federal minimum wage increase, so itās about time for some fresh publicity. The midterms are less than four months away.
So this week, a gaggle of Democratic Representatives is putting itself through the minimum wage austerity experience, attempting to get by on $77 for a week — a budget thatās supposed to reflect the discretionary spending power that comes from earning a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
Hereās howĀ progressive blog ThinkProgress weeps over the tribulations of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, who joined with Congressmen Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Keith Ellinson (D-Minn.), Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and others in attempting to subsist on fast-food earnings:
Since he began his minimum wage challenge on Sunday, former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, now president of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, has had eggs and toast, a bowl of cereal with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and a banana. On Monday, he came to work with a bologna and cheese sandwich and a banana. āIām not sure what Iām going to have for supper,ā he told ThinkProgress.
Heās also had to give up some pleasures. āI was walking by a nice restaurant last night near my apartment and people were sitting outside and eating nice food and drinking,ā he said. āI was thinking, āYou know what would be nice? To have a cold beer.ā But you know, I didnāt. Ordinarily I would, but if you donāt have much money thereās a lot of things you canāt do.ā
Sounds like heās in a cold, dark place.
This āLive The Wage Challengeā theater is the product of a push, on the five-year anniversary of the last Federal minimum wage increase, to persuade Congress to raise the Federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. The challenge, which has a website that invites you to participate, is sponsored by dozens of labor unions and progressive organizations, according to a report from The Washington Free Beacon.
Instead of living for one week on minimum wage, perhaps well-intentioned Democrats could challenge themselves to live for one year on a middle-class wage (while theyāre at it, they might even consider enriching the endeavor by doing middle-class work). It would be an experience far more representative of Americans who, while working to pursue their careers and long-term goals, must make tough financial decisions that have lifelong consequences.