UPDATE: This was approved: Rhode Island’s low-skill minimum wage workers will very likely get a wage increase under legislation that the Rhode Island House is poised to approve before the end of the current legislative session.
The measure would jump the state’s floor wage for workers from the current $8 per hour to $9 on January 1, 2015. Such legislation has been approved by the state Senate and the House Labor Committee and has been posted for action by the full House tomorrow.
With all the attention given by R.I. media to economic inequality, one wonders why serious discussion of solutions has gone AWOL.
Just about everybody agrees that inequality has grown for the past three decades. With Rhode Island’s anemic recovery from the Great Recession, the problem is deeper in our small corner of southeastern New England.
While economists and media outlets from Providence to Seattle engage in hand-wringing over inequality, Rhode Island’s political leaders seem to have no solutions at all. Smith Hill is bogged down in ridiculous debates over the master lever and the never-ending tsunami that is 38 Studios. Yet, we don’t hear much of anything about raising the state’s minimum wage from the current $8 an hour rate.
From the Vatican to the White House and the Rhode Island Statehouse, the talk these days is about poverty. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what our small state can do to alleviate this scourge.
The Gospels tell us that the poor shall always be with us. Pope Francis has dedicated the early months of his papacy to highlighting the need to help the poor and plane the rough edges from unfettered capitalism.