Sea Tac Washington has just voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour!
There is so much to be depressed about and we are so far from a world in which all sentient beings are treated with the respect they deserved that it is easy to be pessimistic about the future.
So, for me personally I find it important to celebrate the victories and remind myself that progress is being made.
And I think this is a huge victory and sign of progress. Earlier this year there were protests by fast food workers demanding a $15 minimum wage, and now we have a city voting to approve a 15$ minimum wage. NJ voted to increase its minimum wage by a one dollar. Obama has come out in favor of a $10 minimum. Both mayoral candidates in Seattle have expressed approval for a $15 minimum wage. This could be the start of real movement. I think this may just be an idea whose time has come. There is obviously much more awareness of these issues in the past several years since the occupy movement. Income inequality is not something that radicals and academics talk about but something that has become a legitimate mainstream topic of discussion.
The other thing that I find encouraging is that many progressive policies are being enacted through direct ballot measures at state and city levels. A large majority of people are in favor of progressive policies like reasonable minimum wages, drug decriminalization, marriage equality, etc. and through direct ballot measures these progressive policies are passing despite the political ineptitude, partisanship, and corporate influence in Washington.
I guess I should probably note, since this is a philosophy blog, that a minimum wage that doesn’t provides decent standard is terribly unjust. Do I need to provide an argument for that or can I just assert it?