RAISING AMERICA’S PAY — Wal-Mart’s lowest paid workers could have an extra $5.13 an hour in their pockets if the company repurchased $6.6 billion of sold stock and invested it in raising wages, according to new findings by Demos. Meanwhile, taxpayers currently spend $7.8 billion a year subsidizing the retailer and the Walton family. Yesterday the Economic Policy Institute launched Raising America’s Pay, a three-year initiative to make wage growth an urgent national policy priority. FIND OUT what your wages would be if they had grown with productivity with EPI’s Potential Wage Calculator HERE.
MIN WAGE MUST READS — “Retail’s Choice: How Raising Wages and Improving Schedules for Women in the Retail Industry Would Benefit America” and “Raising America’s Pay: Why It’s Our Central Economic Challenge.”
GREEN IS THE NEW COAL – NRDC President and Top Wonk Frances Beinecke lauded the EPA’s proposal to set a national cap on carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants: “Strong carbon pollution standards will be good for our health, good for our economy and good for our children and all future generations.” The new standards could save Americans 37.4 billion on electric bills and create 274,000 jobs, according to new findings by the NRDC.
READ CAP’s “Fundamental Facts of the EPA’s Climate Protection Proposal” and “The GOP Is Freaking Out Over the EPA’s Carbon Rules. Why Aren’t Power Companies?” over at The Nation.
ARRESTED FOR A SCIENCE PROJECT — Advancement Project launched a new video detailing the experience of Kiera Wilmot, a 16 year-old honors student of color who fell victim to the school-to-prison pipeline when she was booked on felony charges and later expelled after her science experiment went awry. Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis summed it up: “Kiera’s experience is indicative of a larger school discipline crisis … All young people make mistakes; it’s part of growing up. We need disciplinary policies that help students learn from their mistakes, not pay for them for the rest of their lives.” WATCH HERE.
MITIGATING INEQUALITY — The Roosevelt Institute released a new report by economist and Top Wonk Joseph Stiglitz revealing the concrete ways that tax reform can be used to combat income inequality. The findings challenge the supposed tradeoff between growth and equity by detailing the tax reforms that can effectively achieve both. READ more HERE.
VOTING BLOCK – Advancement Project and Co-counsel Arnold and Porter challenged Wisconsin officials on Monday for their push to rush implementation of a new state law that would erect voting barriers for seniors and people of color. Despite the fact that a federal court recently struck down the state’s voter ID law as an unconstitutional violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Governor Scott Walker and state officials took exception to the ruling. Advancement Project Co-Director and Top Wonk Penda D. Hair: “As the leading democracy in the world, it is our responsibility to ensure states do not put in place laws that hinder citizens’ inalienable right to vote. States across the nation have an obligation to ensure that citizens have equal access to the ballot.”
CITIZENS DIVIDED — The Brennan Center for Justice is hosting a book talk with Robert C. Post on his new book, Citizens Divided: Campaign Finance Reform and the Constitution. The book examines the two sides of the debate around the controversial Citizens United v. FEC decision and presents a constitutional theory that seeks to reconcile the two opposing camps. The event will take place on Wednesday, June 18th at NYU Law’s Lipton Hall. RSVP HERE.
FROM THE WONK WIRE …
… THE CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE OF OUR TIME: Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich exposes the striking resemblance between the current plight of low-wage workers and the civil rights struggle of the 1960s.
… THE DANGERS OF DOWNSIZING: CEPR Co-Director and Top Wonk Dean Baker warns that downsizing the presently efficient social security system would make it look a lot more like the Department of Veterans Affairs.
… DENIAL IS NOT JUST A RIVER IN EGYPT: Demos Distinguished Senior Fellow and Top Wonk Robert Kuttner critiques Republicans’ present party platform of denial, exemplified by the Grand Old Party’s recent denial of both climate change and income inequality.
… FRIGHTENING FRIENDSHIPS: Demos Senior Fellow and Top Wonk Nomi Prins explores the hidden alliances between Wall Street and the White House that drive American policymaking in her new book All the President’s Bankers.
Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.
… ON OUR AGENDA …
… The Smart Capitalists were featured on CNN’s Inside Man, hosted by famed Super Size Director Morgan Spurlock. The segment followed the Smart Capitalists throughout their February lobby day and to witness the President sign an executive order raising the minimum wage of federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour. WATCH HERE …
… PP mourns the loss of poet, activist, and Presidential Medal of Honor recipient Maya Angelou … READ: “Maya Angelou: A Hymn to Human Endurance” …