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04.21 Trump's moral squalor, not impeachment, will remove him from power

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04.21 We’re altering the climate so severely that we’ll soon face apocalyptic consequences. Here are 9 last-ditch ways we could hack the planet to reverse that trend.[Hail Mary pass ideas]

04.18 'We Can Be Whatever We Have the Courage to See': New Video From AOC Envisions a #GreenNewDeal Future [7:35 video]

04.18 'Decades of denial': major report finds New Zealand's environment is in serious trouble

04.17 Thawing Permafrost Emitting Higher Levels of Potent Greenhouse Gas Than Previously Thought: Study

04.16 'That Backfired': Watch Bernie Sanders Counter Right-Wing Talking Point, Make Case for Medicare for All on Fox News

04.16 Cause of cancer is written into DNA of tumours, scientists find, creating a 'black box' for origin of disease

04.16 Scientists Unveil World's First Human Heart 3D-Printed From Patients' Own Cells

04.15 What It Was Like to Have a Baby in Sweden

04.14 'Shut the country down': British climate group Extinction Rebellion heads to US

04.13 With Youth Climate Actions Backed by Leading Experts, Latest Round of Protests Highlights Call for Bold and Urgent Action

04.11 Will You Rise Up for Climate Justice Next Week? Don’t Let Fatalism and Cynicism Hold You Back

04.11 300+ Groups to Congress: #GreenNewDeal 'Must Transform Our Food System and Revitalize Rural America'

04.10 Glaciers and arctic ice are vanishing. Time to get radical before it's too late [Willfully ignorant "conservatives" and corporately-bribed liberals diddle self-obsessively while life on earth dies]

04.10 Is there a beautiful, briny solution to the world’s clean water crisis?

04.08 'The perfect storm': hydrogen gains ground on LNG as alternative fuel [Good!]

04.08 Himalayan glaciers on the eve of destruction

04.08 Russia moves to free nearly 100 captive whales after outcry [Good!]

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04.12 DOJ Charging Docs: Julian Assange Committed Journalism

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04.21 Pentagon Spending Set to Hit Near-Record Levels, But 'Establishment Says We Can't Afford' Progressive Policies

04.19 14 Must-Read Moments From the Mueller Report

04.19 No One Listens to the President

04.19 'Whimsical, uninformed': French ambassador's parting verdict on Trump

04.19 Mueller report: press secretary Sarah Sanders admitted to lying to reporters

04.19 Videos appear to show armed militia detaining migrants at US-Mexico border

04.19 Mueller report unable to clear Trump of obstruction of justice [PDF]

04.19 Nadler says Mueller report shows 'disturbing evidence' of obstruction of justice – video [2:41 video]

04.18 Top Democrats Accuse Barr of 'Acting to Protect Donald Trump' Ahead of Mueller Report Rollout

04.18 Bernie Sanders 'Raises the Bar Even Further' on Climate With Vow to Ban Fracking, All New Fossil Fuel Projects [Mindlessly killing ourselves must stop]

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04.21 In Ruling on Coal Mining, Federal Judge Issues Latest Rebuke of Trump's Attack on Public Lands

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04.21 Progressive Capitalism Is Not an Oxymoron [For the good of the public and healthier economic growth, can we make government and financial markets behave morally?]

04.19 The Pentagon’s Bottomless Money Pit [pdf; Until the Pentagon can pass audits, use their allocated budget to fight causes of global warming]

04.19 The Public Banking Revolution Is Upon Us

04.18 Mark Carney tells global banks they cannot ignore climate change dangers

04.17 A Path to Democratic Socialism Means a Path To Climate Justice

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04.21 Frustration grows among migrants in Mexico as support fades

04.21 Decrying 'Toxic Alliance' of Macron and Polluters, Climate Campaigners Stage One of France's Largest Ever Acts of Civil Disobedience

04.21 Yellow Vests Demonstrate in Paris as Notre Dame Donations Highlight Wealth Inequality

04.21 The Observer view on the Mueller report: Trump is a disgrace not welcome in Britain

04.21 The Government Is Still Massively Complacent About Climate Change

04.19 Ways to Save the World

04.18 Half of England is owned by less than 1% of the population

04.18 Britain will have its second referendum – at the EU elections on 23 May

04.18 Hypocrisy without borders: the pomposity of Ivanka Trump’s trip to Africa

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  Wall Street Journal Does the Minimum
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Wall Street Journal Does the Minimum

In its editorial denouncing a the minimum wage increase, the WSJ omits essential facts.

by Alice Cherbonnier
Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The EITC is a tax-free subsidy for the businesses who hire minimum wage workers. If businesses pay workers more, then the government will subsidize them less.

The July 13, 2009 edition of the Wall Street Journal carried an editorial, "Mandating Unemployment," that rails against the idea that the U.S. minimum wage should be increased. It starts out by informing us that the June unemployment rate for U.S. teenagers is 24% (38% for black teens), then tosses out the usual "free market" bromide that raising wages will result in even higher unemployment (called "disemployment").

The heart of the editorial's argument is that, if a minimum wage employee gets paid more, that person will receive less Earned Income Tax Credit from the federal government. Employers, it seems, are doing employees a big favor by paying them the current minimum wage of $6.55 an hour (before taxes and FICA are deducted), because, if they earn more, they'll get less federal money.

The Journal helpfully trots out a chart (prepared by the Tax Foundation) showing that a full-time minimum wage employee earns only $13,100 a year, but in actuality will have an annual cash flow of $20,043, thanks to an EITC of $5,028, a refundable child tax credit of $1,515, and a "making work pay credit" of $400.

Nowhere in this sorry editorial is there any discussion of the value of work performed by workers at the bottom rungs of the employment ladder, and whether the jobs available to minimum wage workers are worth what the employees are paid. There is a whiff of suggestion that some of those receiving minimum wage are so marginal that they wouldn't be "worth" 70 cents an hour more in their paychecks. Employers are doing society a favor, readers are led to infer, by hiring people who add little value to their bottom lines. They shouldn't be asked to pay them enough to live on. Instead, they—and the Wall Street Journal—are happy to allow all U.S. taxpayers to make up the difference.

Wouldn't it be reasonable to expect the Wall Street Journal, of all entities, to endorse the concept of people supporting themselves without any form of government subsidy? Not when it comes to the bottom line of Wall Street Journal constituents. In 2005, over $39.7 billion in EITC claims were made by 21.9 million tax filers. That's great for minimum wage employees, but it's also a $39.7 billion tax-free subsidy for the businesses who employ those workers.

The disingenuous editorial concludes, "If Congress were wise and compassionate, it would at least suspend the wage hike for one or two years until the job market recovers. We know this Congress won't do that, but someone has to speak up for the poorest, least skilled Americans."

Yes, Wall Street Journal, someone does need to speak up for "the poorest, least skilled Americans." And it's not you.

P.S. to the Journal: The EITC is not available to the very group that's most in need of jobs: young males. To qualify for the credit, you cannot be someone's dependent for tax purposes; and, unless you have a "qualifying child," you need to be at least age 25.

Alice Cherbonnier is the Managing Editor of this newspaper.

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This story was published on July 15, 2009.

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