President Obama didn’t draw the connection in his State of the Union address, but his plan to raise the minimum wage might help him with his plan to curb illegal immigration.
If companies pay more for low-skilled work, they’ll have an easier time finding native-born workers and legal immigrants to fill the jobs. That will decrease the demand for illegal workers.
While Obama didn’t make that point, others have. Michael Dukakis, the Democratic presidential candidate in 1988, co-wrote a New York Times op-ed in 2006 headlined “Raise Wages, Not Walls.” “If we want to reduce illegal immigration,” they wrote, “it makes sense to reduce the abundance of extremely low-paying jobs that fuels it.
Ron Unz, a former physicist and banker who ran for governor of California in 1994, says the only problem with Obama’s plan is that it doesn’t go far enough. He says the minimum wage should be at least $10 an hour, and possibly $12. Even if today’s illegal immigrants are put on a path to citizenship, “there will be large-scale incentives for more to come” unless the minimum wage is raised substantially, Unz says.
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• “Measurable Indicators: Resilient firms make effective use of measurable indicators, using them to build internal structures and create firm opportunities rather than simply focusing on survival.”
• “Assess strengths: Resilient firms correctly assess strengths and the business environment, identifying possible responses rather than relying on formulas and planned strategic growth schemes.”
• “Plan Effectively: Resilient firms plan effectively, identifying alternative responses to dramatic change and demonstrating how these new approaches will add value instead of soliciting assistance without a clear vision of sustainability.”
• “Creativity under Pressure: Resilient firms demonstrate creativity under pressure, trying new ideas that respond to the unexpected opportunities brought on by the market volatility instead of relying on normal business routines or established strategic growth plans.”
• “Adaptability: Resilient firms are adaptable, commitments to firm improvement and able to dynamically revise aspects of the firm’s strategic positioning in response to market shifts rather than sticking to a conventional business routine or adopting a reactive posture. Adapatability also requires at least some competency in the aforementioned capabilities.”
Read the entire article: ow.ly/hGojK
To that end, President Obama set forth an ambitious agenda that, if enacted, would make enormous strides in reducing poverty. Here are five big solutions the president outlined that would bring millions of struggling families into the middle class:
1. Creating good jobs. The president laid out several public investments and reforms that would create millions of jobs. Unemployment is one of the primary drivers of poverty and the president set forth a menu of solutions such as investing in infrastructure and school repair, clean energy, and manufacturing that will bring millions off the economic sidelines, grow our economy from the middle out, and enable workers to earn good wages to lift their families above the poverty line. Included in this agenda should be the president’s “Pathways Back to Work” proposal, part of President Obama’s American Jobs Act, which would create hundreds of thousands of subsidized and transitional jobs for low-income and long-term unemployed workers.
2. Raising wages. A good job is the lynchpin of any national strategy to cut poverty in half. But as the president rightly noted, under current law, a full-time worker with two children earning the minimum wage will still raise his or her family in poverty. In fact, we haven’t raised the federal minimum wage since 2007, and this basic wage floor has lost 30 percent of its buying power since the 1960s due to a failure to index the minimum wage to inflation. The president’s proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour and index it to the cost of living would increase the wages of millions of low-wage workers, and create demand in the economy for goods and services as workers spend their increased wages in local businesses.
3. Training the next generation of workers. The president also recognized that we don’t just need to create new jobs, but we need to also train workers to fill them. His proposals to better prepare high school graduates to compete in a high-tech economy, equip students with the information they need to make smart choices about a college education, and secure investments in worker training, will help ensure that American workers are prepared to fill the jobs of tomorrow.
4. Investing in children. Child poverty costs the U.S. economy $500 billion a year. Conversely, investing in early education for young children is one of the most important strategies to cut poverty, leading to outcomes such as better high school graduation rates, higher worker productivity, and lower rates of violent crime that yield $7 in savings for every $1 invested upfront in early education. The president’s plan to provide universal pre-K would provide millions of parents with a quality, reliable place for their children to thrive, enabling them to work more or steadier hours to bring additional income into the family, as well as create greater economic opportunity for their children in the long term.
5. Strengthening families. The president also recognized the key roles that families play in cutting poverty, offering solutions that promote more stable and healthy families. The president called for passage of the Violence Against Women Act, ensuring that more women are able to benefit from services and reforms to flee abusive relationships, for example. He also proposed an end to financial penalties for marriage in our public policies and for a greater emphasis on policies that encourage fathers to take responsibility for their children.
President Obama’s State of the Union address enshrined important principles to ensure that the coming deficit reduction fights do not exacerbate poverty and inequality. But he also set forth a bold and proactive agenda that, if enacted, would make major strides in cutting poverty.
It sounds like the plot of a horror movie—but it’s true. In 2006, the residents of Bottomley, West Yorkshire, England, were the victims of a 16-month rampage by an angry neighbor, the BBC reported. The perpetrator played loud choral music about rape and pillage, damaged vehicles, set booby traps, and littered the road with dead animals, dog feces and nails.
Eventually the judge slapped the accused with an anti-social behavior order (basically a restraining order here in the States). The woman filed for an appeal in 2008, but was denied and fined £200,000 for breaching the order on two occasions.
Neighborly Tip: It’s unclear exactly what initially set her off, but before you go off the deep end and do something you’ll regret, take more reasonable, legal steps. You don’t have to take abuse, either. Get your HOA or the city involved if you feel you’re being threatened.
The IRS isn’t ready to accept your tax returns. Congress’s down-to-the-wire fiscal cliff deal on tax changes, which included some goodies for home owners, has put the IRS behind the eight ball. It’s scrambling to create new tax forms and modify old ones to reflect the tax code changes. In case you missed it, Congress resurrected: Mortgage cancellation relief, Energy tax credits, The PMI deduction.
But if you’re claiming the energy credits with Form 5695, you’ll have to wait longer. The IRS doesn’t even know when that form, along with many others, will be available. End of February? Beginning of March?