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Americans Are Starving for Higher Wages

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

​​​Since day one, Don't Shop on Tuesday has been in strong support of raising the starvation minimum wage in the United States to a living wage. For years, the progressive left, led by Bernie ​​Sanders, has called for a $15 per hour minimum wage, up from the current stagnating (14 years and counting) starvation wage of $7.25 per hour. Despite often being decried as a radical proposal, raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, a so-called living minimum wage, is supported by the majority of the American people, who know it takes far more than $7.25 per hour to survive, let alone thrive. In fact, recent polling suggests even $15 per hour might be lagging behind public opinion.

General inflation over the last year, along with extra increases in consumer products’ prices due to corporate greed have made many Americans question if even $15 per hour is sufficient to live with dignity. Bernie Sanders, ever responsive to the needs of his constituents, has updated his own messaging, now fighting for a $17 per hour national minimum wage. However, even this is insufficient according to new reporting by Data for Progress. Their analysis found earning $15 per hour is not a living wage in any state in the country. To reach comfortable living wage status, Americans need to earn far more: over $20 per hour!

While the specific numbers might be new, the reality they reflect is something many Americans struggle with every day. Political elites, and the pundit class, comfortable as they are, find it absurd to suggest a near tripling of the minimum wage is what’s needed, putting them predictably out of step with the nearly three and four Americans who do support such a measure.

With over 60% of Republicans and nearly 90% of Democrats supporting legislation raising the minimum wage, this is the kind of bipartisan support for an issue most politicians could only dream of! And yet, there seems to be little appetite to raise the federal minimum wage at all, let alone meet the expectations of Americans, demonstrating once again how callus, uncaring and unrepresentative our government is. The open secret is, the precarity of our work force helps the donor class our politicians serve. People working multiple jobs, always struggling to make ends meet, have less time to organize for better working conditions or engage in political struggles. It's a vicious cycle keeping the current status quo intact, but one that looks increasingly less stable with each passing year.

To break the stranglehold of Capital we need organizing to build an economic cudgel that can beat back the greed of corporate rule that keeps Americans starving as they desperately work to survive in this “great nation.” Americans agree their work is valuable, and they deserve fair compensation for doing it. So, join us each Tuesday in growing solidarity as we fight to make sure that every American can work with dignity and can live on a 40-hour working week. Together we can win this fight, don't shop on Tuesday!

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