BossFeed Briefing for March 13, 2017. Last week marked a major "cut-off" in the Washington State Legislature, and the three bills to roll back the minimum wage are officially dead for the year! But there’s still time to ask your members of the State House to come out in favor of paid family leave and get us to a majority.
A raise is a raise is a raise
Three things to know this week:
A long-term trend towards inequality has been reversed: for the moment at least, the poorest workers are now seeing faster wage growth than the richest. The data shows this effect most dramatically in states which raised the minimum wage.
Employers would be allowed to charge an extra 30% in annual insurance premiums to employees who refuse to participate in genetic testing, according to a new bill moving through Congress. The proposal would allow genetic screenings to be added to "workplace wellness" programs.
Nordstrom announced a new parental leave program which provides new parents 6 weeks of bonding leave and birth mothers an additional 6 weeks of recovery leave. Unlike the controversial Starbucks policy, it appears all Nordstrom employees would get the same benefits, whether they work in corporate or in a store.
Two things to ask:
WTF? The president of right-wing think thank AEI said on the radio that he regularly asks audiences to engage a thought experiment where they imagine "all of the poor people in America just disappeared". His NPR interviewer agreed with him that it was "probably true" nobody would notice.
Shouldn’t that reduce demand? Economists have "an impressive track record of getting almost all the big calls wrong" in their predictions about the effects of deficits, interest rates, jobs, trade, and basically everything else. These errors have a huge impact on our economy, and yet the supply of these wrong guesses continues unabated & largely unexamined.
And one thing that’s worth a closer look:
Nicole Hallberg describes her experiences "Working while female" in a valuable Medium post prompted by a former co-worker’s twitter thread about how he came to understand workplace sexism through their interactions with a particular boss. The tensions between the two versions of the same story are fascinating, important, and revealing.
Read this far?
Consider yourself briefed, boss.
The BossFeed Briefing is our look at the world of work, wages, and inequality.