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Media Blacks Out Bush Assault on Minimum Wage

Bush's success in reducing the value of the minimum wage in each of the past four years has wreaked havoc with the lives of millions of working Americans, but it does not exist as a media story.

The minimum wage loses value as the cost of living rises. Were the government to take action to partially correct for this loss in value, the media would cover that story, but would refer to it as "raising the minimum wage."

The minimum wage has lost well over a third of its value to inflation since 1968 and has not been adjusted since 1997. Correcting the current $5.15 to $9 would not be a new experiment, but would restore the minimum wage to a value it held during years when the U.S. economy performed better than it does now. Contrary to myth, there is no correlation between the value of the minimum wage over the years and the unemployment rate. One doesn't rise or fall with the other.

Two years ago, Bush's proposal to gut what was left of welfare included elimination of the minimum wage for workfare workers. He lost on that point, but only after thousands of angry people, organized by the Center for Community Change and ACORN, protested at the headquarters of the Department of Health and Human Services and took over the lobby of the Heritage Foundation. The media paid attention for 24 hours in March of 2002. Since then, from the media's point of view, Bush hasn't done anything, so there's nothing to cover.

This is truly a good article concerning the gatekeeping going on in the media in regards to non-Bush agenda news and labor.


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