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Obama urges Congress to raise minimum wage, open doors for kids in poverty

Published: Wed, December 4, 2013 @ 6:34 p.m.


President Barack Obama prodded Congress to raise wages and secure the social safety net as he issued an overarching appeal Wednesday to correct inequalities that he said make it harder for a child to escape poverty. "That should offend all of us," he declared. "We are a better country than this."

Focusing on the pocketbook issues that Americans consistently rank as a top concern, Obama argued that the dream of upward economic mobility is breaking down and that the growing income gap is a "defining challenge of our time."

"The basic bargain at the heart of our economy has frayed," the president said in remarks at a nonprofit community center a short drive from the White House in one of Washington's most impoverished neighborhoods.

Though he offered no new initiatives, Obama blended a call for Congress to act on pending short-term economic measures with a long vision aimed at correcting a growing level of income inequality in the United States. The speech came amid public doubts over Obama's stewardship of the economy, as his overall approval ratings sink and as he seeks to move past the health care troubles that have consumed his presidency in recent months.

He acknowledged his administration's "poor execution" in rolling out the flawed website that was supposed to be an easy portal for purchasing insurance, while blaming Republicans for a "reckless" shutdown of the government.

"Nobody has acquitted themselves very well these past few months," Obama said. "So it's not surprising that the American people's frustrations with Washington are at an all-time high." Worse for Americans, he added, are their growing difficulties in trying to make ends meet no matter how hard they work.

The speech coincided with growing national and international attention to economic disparities - from the writings of Pope Francis to the protests of fast-food workers in the U.S. The president cited the pope's question of how it isn't news when an elderly homeless person dies from exposure, but news when the stock market loses two points.

And he noted that in the United States, a child born into the bottom 20 percent of income levels has less than a 5 percent chance of making it to the top income levels and is 10 times likelier to stay where he is - worse than other industrial countries such as Canada, Germany and France.


1rickking123(321 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

Iceberg right ahead. Nothing to worry about with Captain Obama at the helm (sound asleep)......

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2JoeFromHubbard(1482 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

It has been shown that raising the minimum wage actually decreases the number of available jobs.

That shows, once again, that Obama fabricates stories about increasing employment.

His actions thus far have been more of employment reduction than anything else.

Back around 1971, one of my psychology classes examined a study about satisfaction with one's income. Those in the lower ranks were universally not satisfied with their income but stated that if they had "x" amount more, they would be happy.

That "x" amount more merely placed them in the next "not satisfied" bracket.

You can not force employers to make people universally satisfied with their income without destroying business.

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376Ytown(1318 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

Fast food jobs used to be filled by high school students willing to work for spending money, now they are being filled by college grads who can't find jobs in their field.

Raising the minimum wage won't solve the problem of fewer middle income jobs.

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476Ytown(1318 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago


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5redeye1(5264 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

This is just another sign that the arsehole in the White House is CLUELESS !!!! . And all of his liberturd friends who vote for this are just like him. They are only trying to control the people by putting even more people on welfare,


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6HappyBob(336 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

JoeFromHubbard says:
"It has been shown that raising the minimum wage actually decreases the number of available jobs."

Not so fast Joe. It has also been shown that raising the minumum wage has little effect on number of avaiable jobs.

2013 survey by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in which leading economists agreed by a nearly 4 to 1 margin that the benefits of raising and indexing the minimum wage outweigh the cost.

Also: http://www.cepr.net/documents/publica...

Also: http://www.irle.berkeley.edu/workingp...

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7Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

Q: So what happens when you artificially inflate the price of anything above its market value?

A: It's demand goes down.

"We can't survive on $7.25" is the chant. You're not supposed to. These are entry level jobs. And yes, it will result in higher prices and higher unemployment. How could it not?

The Democratic-Socialists need a permanent underclass that will slavishly vote for them to maintain their power reign. They need people to stay in entry level jobs, and not improve themselves financially, in order to keep them on the Democratic-Socialist plantation.

I worked as a janitor cleaning toilets while attending YSU. The key is to work hard and make yourself a valuable asset to your current or desired employer, or work for yourself. The key is not to maintain minimal skills , be dispensable, and then complain that life is unfair.

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8JoeFromHubbard(1482 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago


Economists come in all flavors including those with a liberal bent.

Be aware of your source of information.

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9HappyBob(336 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree with that, thoughtful people need to listen to all sides and evaluate the information.

More often than not there is some kernal of reality between extreme partisan positions.

Consequently, I won't reject either a conservative or a progressive source but try to understand both. It takes much more effort, but I believe that there are no simple answers to any of our economic problems. (or other social issues as well)

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