ProgressNow Colorado, Colorado Pols

It’s been about two years now since ProgressNow Colorado brought us the pitiful story of Melissa. You remember, Melissa is a single mother with with two children (one an adult by now), who worked minimum wage and wanted to enjoy the stuff everyone else got to do.

ProgressNow feigned compassion for Melissa’s circumstances but happily used her situation to campaign and fund raise, for legislation increasing the mínimum wage. The legislation passed. It’s time to hear from Melissa on the great strides she has made with an increasing minimum wage.

Let’s hear from Melissa! Or has ProgressNow moved on to the next prop?

33 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. mamajama55 says:

    Colorado minimum wage is now $10.20 /hour, after Colorado voters resoundingly passed Amendment 70, and minimum wage will increase each year until it is $12 an hour in 2020.

    Colorado's economy is booming – and the higher wages have contributed to the boom. I also credit renewable energy and cannabis jobs for the growth. We have one of the best economies in the country, with 2.9% unemployment, great job market.

    Rents are high  and housing is scarce – that's the downside of being so prosperous.  So my guess is that things have improved some for Melissa, getting higher wages. Colorado has also kept its Health Exchange, and low income people like Melissa can still get their health care subsidized.

    I doubt if PCN is going to run a Melissa update just because you asked them to, but then again your concern is touching. Perhaps you can reach out to residents at your local homeless shelter and ask them if getting $2 more per hour now has helped them or hurt them. We'll wait with bated breath for your response.

    Here’s the original video, since you hadn’t linked to it.

    • MichaelBowman says:

      I'm touched by your concern for Melissa as well.  Perhaps better questions might be: what would Melissa’s minimum wage be today if it had simply kept up with inflation?  A gradual rise over time that could have been easily absorbed in small increments.  Or, what has a $15 minimum done to destroy (not) affect the Seattle economy?  At the risk of quoting Henry Ford for so many obvious reasons, the guy understood that his workers needed living wages to buy goods that fuel an economy.  

      Or, we can keep going down this road, destroying the real job creators? (spoiler alert: it's a consumer with disposable income). 



      • Powerful Pear says:

        Bowman? Do you really exist or is this an avatar controlled by Willie Nelson?

        • MichaelBowman says:

          I’ll let you decide for yourself next Saturday?   We’ll have our ‘Tip and Ronnie’ moment – I know you’re old enough to remember those days 😁

          • MichaelBowman says:

            PS: I look forward to you directly responding to the questions posed above. So far you get an A+ for an ‘artful dodge’. 

          • Powerful Pear says:

            Bowman. Can’t make it next Saturday, got a friend in town from Missouri. Give my regards. 

            No politics at meet-up, enough of that here. I agree workers need to be paid for the skill set that adds value to the product or service. That skill set is what makes a living wage. Melissa has a minimum skill set hence a minimum wage.

            A minimum wage will always be a minimum wage no matter what dollar number you attach to it, $15, $20 or even $100, it will always be the minimum.

            If the real job creator is the consumer, with disposable income, who is doing the most to destroy a living wage? The GOVERNEMENT! Every time the Governement spends a dollar your disposable income goes down because the Government gets it from you.

            • MichaelBowman says:

              Sorry to hear that, Pear. Will look forward to the next opportunity.  

            • Voyageur says:

              Not true, Pear.  The Trump administration, like the Bushes that preceded it, does not believe in taking money by taxes.  It just borrows from China.  But at least the Bushes were smart enough to let China run a trade surplus, which they then borrowed to pay for tax cuts.  Trump wants to wreck world trade and still borrow money.  In the end, he will have to monetize the debt, printing press money, with high inflation.   We will pay a terrible price for the stupidest president in America history.  

              Plus, he stinks.

              God Almighty, Trump stinks!

              • MichaelBowman says:

                He has a very good brain (attached to his mouth). Or something. Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States…                     

              • Powerful Pear says:

                At 22 trillion in debt, the price has already been paid.

                • MichaelBowman says:

                  Be truthful Pear, your side of the aisle only cares about the deficit when they’re the minority party.  

                  • Davie says:

                    Yep, the editors of Fortune Magazine nailed it:

                    Trump’s heady economic potion, however, is masking misguided policies that could leave those same businesses with a severe hangover from today’s celebration. The U.S. government’s huge and growing budget deficits have become gargantuan enough to threaten the great American growth machine. And Trump’s policies to date—a combination of deep tax cuts and sharp spending increases—are shortening the fuse on that fiscal time bomb, by dramatically widening the already unsustainable gap between revenues and outlays. On our current course, we’re headed for a morass of punitive taxes, puny growth, and stagnant incomes for workers—a future that’s the precise opposite of what Trump champions.

                    By 2028, America’s government debt burden could explode from this year’s $15.5 trillion to a staggering $33 trillion—more than 20% bigger than it would have been had Trump’s agenda not passed. At that point, interest payments would absorb more than $1 in $5 of federal revenue, crippling the government’s capacity to bolster the economy, and constraining the private sector too. Contrary to the claims of the President and his supporters, the U.S. can’t grow fast enough to shed this burden; indeed, Trump’s agenda on immigration and trade looks likely to stunt that growth. (More on that later.) “This is almost like climate change,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “It doesn’t do you in this year, or next year, but you’ll see the ill effects in a day of reckoning.”

                    Naturally, it'll have to be up to Democrats to shovel up all of the GOP elephant crap they leave behind, letting guys like Pear to blame it all on us due to their lack of common sense and logic.

                    • MichaelBowman says:

                      Rember that time the black guy in the White House called for transparency and moved the credit card purchases of the Iraq War from 'off balance sheet' to 'fully disclosed'?   Or that time Cheney said 'deficits don't matter'? 

                      With the Iraq war treated as an "off the books" expense, the Pentagon was allowed to keep spending on high-end military equipment and cutting-edge technology. In fiscal terms, it was as if the messy wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were never happening.

                      More fundamentally, the Bush administration masked the cost of the war with deficit spending to ensure that the American people would not face up to its costs while President Bush was in office. Despite their recent discovery of outrage over the national debt, the Republicans followed the advice of Vice-President Dick Cheney that "deficits don't matter" and spent freely on domestic programs throughout the Bush years. The Bush administration encouraged the American people to keep spending and "enjoy life", while the government paid for the occupation of Iraq on a credit card they hoped never to have to repay.

                    • Davie says:

                      Yes, Republicans are very familiar with using accounting tricks to pretend they are doing something productive:

                      Unfortunately for Council of Economic Advisors Chair Kevin Hassett, the Commerce Department figures reflect a legal change in accounting methods, not a real change in corporate behavior. Yes, the corporations did change the entries on their books, because the tax law meant they no longer had to maintain the fiction that these profits were earned overseas. But bringing back that cash doesn't mean the corporations are suddenly free to invest in U.S. operations, and it certainly doesn't mean that American companies will no longer invest in foreign operations. 

                      Of the $2.1 trillion in liquid assets that companies in the S&P 500 had kept overseas, nearly 90% is owned by investment-grade companies that can borrow all the money they want. 

                      Now that these corporations have been forced by the tax law to pay the tax on their retained profits, they are free to do anything they'd like with them. And in a blow to the Trump camp, they are not increasing their capital investments in their U.S. operations very much. 

                      Mostly they are going to continue to buy back shares or buy up other companies. A few companies have announced some minor increases in U.S.-based investments. Corporations may have brought back $351 billion in cash, but they've announced $503 billion in share buybacks since the tax law was passed. 

                      A decision about "investment isn't a matter of where the cash is domiciled," S&P's Chang said in an interview. "It's a question of consumer demand. Companies will find a way to finance it." 

                      In other words, corporations first recognize the need to expand because the demand is there, and then find the money to finance those plans. They don't look at their pile of cash and say, "Let's build a factory!" 

                      They certainly don't say: "We have $100 billion in cash overseas, but our hands are tied. Boo hoo!" 

                    • MichaelBowman says:

                      When government attempts to reign them in and close loopholes the lobbyists, like biblical locusts, descend upon Capitol Hill, successfully thwarting said efforts (funded by the free cash they have exploited via the loopholes).  Then, when they're caught with their pants down they claim they're working within the confines of the law. 

                      Do I have that about right, Pear? 

                      It's like the little boy who shoots his parents and then pleads mercy upon the courts because he's an orphan.  Except in this case, no need to plead: the makeup of the courts over the next several decades will make sure Little Tommy Wall Street will continue its plunder on behalf of the 0.01%. 

                  • Powerful Pear says:

                    Neither side cares.

                    • Davie says:

                      That's absurd.  Republicans like Reagan, Bush and Trump care very much about deficits, as in, "Merry Christmas fellow millionaires! We'll keep cutting your taxes until we finally stop wasting any spending on weak, poor, old or sick people who are drinking our wine, eating our food, breathing our air!  God is going to destroy the Earth anyway, so eat, drink and be merry until the End Days arrive!"

            • MichaelBowman says:

              Pear, to the extent your description of GOVERNEMENT! [sic] is lobbyists and the military-industrial complex, we are in complete agreement.  

              • MichaelBowman says:

                If only Melissa would just work a little harder?

                MarketWatchAmericans are working hard and getting nowhere

                “People are working hard, but they are not able to achieve the prosperity that was available to people back in the day,” said Sarah Keh, Prudential Financial’s vice president of corporate giving. “With these hard times, many Americans are seriously anxious about their financial situation, no matter what income bracket they’re in.”

                Keh explained that there are two fundamental components to this crisis: work and wealth. “A person’s ability to build wealth and earn an income are essential to that basic financial security,” she said.

                For many today, the panelists said, building wealth is a luxury that time and salaries don’t permit. And, they added, the effects are taking a toll. Wages have remained stagnant since the 1970s and four in 10 households experience more than a 30% fluctuation in income month to month due to unreliable employment, irregular hours or periods of unemployment, according to data from the JP Morgan Chase Institute cited in The Aspen Institute’s new report, Reconnecting Work & Wealth. Nearly half of households have little or no emergency funds, while one in five Americans has a zero or negative net worth. According to PwC’s 2017 Employee Wellness Financial Survey, money matters were a top source of stress for boomers as well as younger generations.


              • Davie says:

                Apparently according to Pear, every dollar the government spends on medical research, building and maintaining our infrastructure, ensuring clean food, water and air, is a dollar *not* spent on a comic book or a pack of mints!

                Taxes are meant to consolidate funding for necessary things individuals or businesses couldn't afford to build for themselves.

                Next up, Pear explains why insurance is a ripoff because everyone has to pay into the system, but only those few lucky ones that get sick or die ever get their money's worth!


                • JohnInDenver says:

                  Government spending — even spending for "military" purposes — can be a drain or a boon to economic growth.

                  As of now, both major parties have some people worried about the increase in spending, rising deficits, and spiraling debt. Unfortunately, neither side's "worried" people are enough to set policy within their own party and thus far, there are few indeed willing to develop a bi-partisan grand bargain, as that "cooperation" element of politics has been repeatedly walloped in primaries. (Neither Simpson OR Bowles are invited to speak to many political party dinners these days.)

    • Powerful Pear says:

      ProgressNow Colorado doesn’t care about Melissa. Melissa is a tool to advance a socialist, communist economic model that puts powerful elites in charge of a subservient population. There is no freedom or liberty in their world but hey, everyone gets to wear a ribbon that shows they care.

      The economy is booming, yes it is, I know it first hand. Thank you President Trump, if this is “V’s” version of stink, I like it! It doesn’t matter if it’s the wind or pot industries, or maybe that there are multiple 10 plus story office building going up every week in the area, people are working, the operative word, working. 

      Are you saying that an extra $2 per hour will lift a homeless person out of being homeless? So 2 dollars is the cure for mental illness, drug addiction, alcoholism, criminal activity?

      No I don’t really care/concern for Melissa, because Melissa doesn’t care or have concern for Melissa. If Melissa cared about Melissa she would find a way not to have to ask government for a raise. The Government is not our friend, unless you are the government. I care about the union tradesmen, the software engineer, the truck drivers, the construction worker, the healthcare worker, the accountants, the public employees, communication workers, farmers, sales people of all types, machinists, painters, manufacturing workers, engineers, railroad workers and many others who make America work in a Capitalist society.

      And I don’t spend every moment being angry.

      • mamajama55 says:

         I don't even know where to start. Too many facts wrong (Melissa didn't "ask government for a raise," for starters). But I suspect that you understand my points perfectly well – bottom line being that Amendment 70, which raised CO's minimum wage , was overwhelmingly approved by voters who were smarter than you, apparently, because their sneaky socialist ploy worked to help make Colorado the boom state that it is. In spite of your beloved Trump.

        And at this point, you're just trolling for comments on your diary – which I certainly understand.

        The not-skinny cook is in charge of putting together the next Pols meetup on the 14th at some Capitol Hill place – if Bowman can make it, you’ll have a chance to see for yourself if he is Willie’s avatar. (I suspect Willie has more important things to do…)

        You're a pleasant enough person in real life. I think you probably have enough sense and heart to see around your party line blinders. 

        • Powerful Pear says:

          You are right, I was trolling. So much of this site is just an echo chamber of group think. It has lost my attention. Trump stink, Trump is Hitler, Republicans are Nazi’s, Obama was God on earth, hate everything not like me, hate 24/7/365, resist.

          It’s not good to read or write this stuff every day. It’s much more fun and useful to get out and meet people. That’s where the true connection is made. Won’t be able to make a 14th, give my regards to the group.

          • RepealAndReplace says:

            Republicans are Nazi’s

            Not ALL of them. Just most.

            In fact, I said something nice about B.J. Nikkel just yesterday on this site. Can you identify a Democrat about whom you've said something favorable?

          • mamajama55 says:

            On Pols, we have enough political differences in strategy and tactics that  it isn't only an echo chamber. We can get heated about  even our small differences of opinion on policy, strategy and tactics.

            Even Colorado's little $2 boost to the minimum wage has meant people being able to afford a car, or housing, or to be able to quit that 2nd or 3rd job and spend time with their families, which I'd guess that you would support.

            It is difficult to dispassionately discuss issues when people's lives are on the line. So I'm never going to apologize for caring about, writing about, and talking politics.

            Even though we probably disagree about most things, I believe that it's important to see and acknowledge different points of view, and to keep listening to people with whom you disagree. It's also hard to do well.

            I appreciate that you have been willing to  present a different perspective on here, and yes, it was nice to meet face to face and to socialize as human beings, not just Kabuki masks of "liberal" and "conservative" .

      • MichaelBowman says:

        Even ‘beet red’ Nebraska jumped on that train four years ago. 

        PS: Trump has had practically zero to do with our booming economy. Our current fortunes are due to a number of progressive issues put in place over the last decade-plus.

      • MichaelBowman says:

        Melissa isn’t a beggar, although they exist. What’s different this time around is the growing gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ is constructed. 

        "The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other.  It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich.  Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied…but written off as trash.  The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which the beggar is a reminder of nothing."
        ~John Berger

      • taterheaptom says:

        First its a minimum wage. Then its "healthcare." Next thing you know, we have a higher quality-of-life and longer life expectancy! I

        ts a libprog (aka commie socialist) plot and all of you are either complicit, or merely useful idiots, being manipulated by the likes of Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and Pol Pot! One need only cherry-pick totally irrelevant examples from history THE HORROR THE HORROR to see what I say is true. Everybody says so. Believe me. 

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