Occupy Belmont and Social Action Committee plan talk on wealth and income inequality
Occupy Belmont and the Social Action Committee of the First Church in Belmont are hosting a forum on wealth and income inequality and its social consequences on Monday, June 25, at the First Church in Belmont, Unitarian Universalist.
Marjorie Kelly, author of the new book “Owning our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution,” will be speaking about the economy as it is today, and as it could be.
She points to a community-owned wind facility in Massachusetts, a lobster cooperative in Maine, a multi-billion dollar employee-owned department-store chain in London, among others, as examples of businesses that eschew typical ownership designs and prosper.
A conversation about Occupy Wall Street: ‘Making the impossible seem possible’
Nine months ago Occupy Wall Street set up an encampment in New York’s financial district; an action that served as an ‘opening bell’ for a movement that quickly coursed across the United States and beyond.
Since then that encampment and others have been violently uprooted by the authorities. At the same time Occupy has largely disappeared from the regular news cycle; replaced by, among other things, the deadening coverage of the U.S. elections. Yet the massive May Day demonstration in New York — with estimates as high as 30,000 people, the largest of its kind perhaps since the 1930s — made clear the underlying discontent that gave rise to this movement is still highly present.
I wanted to get a better bead on the thinking underlying this movement. So, with my recent interview with David Harvey on his book, Rebel Cities, in hand, I approached the Occupy press team. The result was a conversation with two people who have been with Occupy from its start in September 2011: Peter Rugh, a social justice activist with a focus on environmental issues within the movement, and Sofía Gallisá Muriente, a Puerto Rican woman working on the OWS print publication IndigNación, which aims to reach the Latino community.
Women Are the Biggest Losers from Failure to Raise Minimum Wage
The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is far too low. A full-time worker earning the minimum wage makes just $15,080 per year, below the poverty line for a family of three. From 1968 to 2010, incomes for the top 1 percent of earners increased by 110 percent, but the inflation-adjusted value of the minimum wage has fallen by 31 percent. If the federal minimum wage had kept pace with the rising cost of living over the past 40 years, it would be $10.52 per hour today.
Women are disproportionately harmed by a low minimum wage because women-and especially women of color-are much more likely hold low-wage jobs than men. The typical woman earns 77 cents for every dollar the typical man does, and the fact that women are more likely to be minimum-wage earners than men contributes to that disparity. This gap is especially distressing now that two-thirds of mothers are either the breadwinners or co-breadwinners for their families.
In short, the minimum wage is not just a worker policy-it is also a woman’s policy.