February 20, 2013 |
ALTHOUGH SOME SEE President Obama's proposal to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour as a way to help people make ends meet, others see it as a way for people to lose jobs. Anthony Liuzzo, professor of business and economics at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., said many people who now make the minimum wage may find themselves unemployed if the wage is increased. "I think it will hurt the exact people it was intended to help," he said. "An employer will look hard at whether they can afford it. People who make the minimum wage will simply be terminated rather than get the higher salaries, especially young people.
February 16, 2013 |
TRENTON - New Jersey voters will get the last word on whether to increase the state's minimum wage $1 to $8.25. The Assembly gave final approval Thursday to a resolution putting the increase on the ballot in November and tying automatic annual adjustments to the Consumer Price Index. The Senate approved the resolution previously, so Thursday's vote ensured the question's place on the ballot in a gubernatorial election year. Gov. Christie vetoed legislation last month that would have increased the wage to $8.50 per hour and provided automatic yearly increases.
February 15, 2013 |
Making the sell for his State of the Union proposal to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour, President Obama is dispatching his acting Labor Secretary to Philadelphia on Thursday. Seth D. Harris, who took over for outgoing Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, will visit the offices of the AFL-CIO in Philadelphia to hear from area labor leaders and minimum-wage workers. Harris' visit comes on the same day that the New Jersey Assembly considers whether to put a minimum-wage question on the ballot in November.
January 31, 2013
A quarter? Really? That's all Gov. Christie has offered the working poor: a 25-cent-an-hour increase in New Jersey's minimum wage, followed by three more quarters over three years, eventually raising the rate from $7.25 to $8.25 an hour. That's chump change for people who haven't had a raise since 2005. The cost of living in New Jersey is 27.6 percent higher than the national average, according to a 2008 report by the New Jersey Minimum Wage Advisory Commission. But the Garden State is not one of the 19 states where the minimum wage exceeds the federal rate of $7.25 an hour.
January 29, 2013 |
TRENTON - Voters will likely decide this fall whether to raise the state minimum wage after Gov. Christie rejected a bill that would have bumped the rate to $8.50 within weeks. In an alternate proposal that accompanied his conditional veto, Christie said Monday that he was willing to raise the hourly wage by $1, but only if it's phased in over two years. That would increase the current rate of $7.25, the federally mandated minimum, to $8.25 by March 2015. The Democratic bill, which would have increased the rate $1.25 on March 1 and allowed automatic cost-of-living adjustments thereafter would "jeopardize the economic recovery we all seek," he said.
January 29, 2013 |
TRENTON - Voters will likely decide this fall whether to raise the state minimum wage after Gov. Christie rejected a bill that would have bumped the rate to $8.50 within weeks. In an alternate proposal that accompanied his conditional veto, Christie said Monday that he was willing to raise the hourly wage by $1, but only if it was phased in over two years. That would increase the current rate of $7.25, the federally mandated minimum, to $8.25 by March 2015. The Democratic bill, which would have increased the rate by $1.25 on March 1 and would have allowed automatic cost-of-living adjustments thereafter, would "jeopardize the economic recovery we all seek," he said.
January 25, 2013
I LISTEN to presidential speeches with an ear to the parts about personal finance. In President Obama's second inaugural address, he made a few interesting points. The first came when he said, "For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. " I immediately wondered: Do we as a nation really understand this? I don't think so. If we did, I wouldn't receive numerous emails from people criticizing programs that help those who fell into the housing sinkhole.
January 24, 2013
Ten states, including Florida, Colorado, Montana, and Vermont, earlier this month raised their minimum wages above the unlivable level of $7.25 an hour that workers in New Jersey now receive. Gov. Christie should take the opportunity to help more than 300,000 struggling workers in New Jersey by signing a bill passed by the Legislature that would bring the state's minimum wage up to $8.50 an hour and allow for additional cost-of-living increases in the future. Christie has until Monday to sign the bill and show state residents that the depth of his compassion can reach down to those hard-working New Jerseyans who are patching multiple jobs together and often standing in line for long periods at food banks to make ends meet.
January 22, 2013
By Dedrick Muhammad Sr. Monday's inauguration of President Obama was laced with symbolism embracing the legacy of the civil rights movement. As the ceremonies coincided with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President Obama selected Myrlie Evers-Williams, a former chairwoman of the NAACP and the widow of slain NAACP activist Medgar Evers, to deliver the inaugural invocation. The president also used a Bible owned by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for his swearing-in. But while the president has adopted the symbolism of civil rights, these difficult times also require a substantive pursuit of the social and economic agenda of the movement.
January 2, 2013 |
I'm able to reveal the history of the future, thanks to an app downloaded unto me when I graduated from Columnist College. Use of this power is restricted to emergencies, but a deadline for an end-of-year column qualifies. So, unlike the speculative sort of look-aheads available elsewhere, my predictions are informed by hindsight. The top New Jersey story of 2013 was that Chris Christie, as the governor, seeking reelection, managed to retain new BFF Bruce Springsteen after yet another eleventh-hour photo op with Barack Obama.