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Harold Meyerson

...And the South will lead them

July 20, 2015

Deep South's lack will drive low wage economy but are we ready?

In a recently published article, "How the American South Drives Low Wage Economy," The American Prospect editor-at-large Harold Meyerson writes about how just as in the 1850s (with the Fugitive Slave Act), the Southern labor system (with low pay and no unions) is wending its way north.

"Now as then, white Southern elites and their powerful allies among non-Southern business interests seek to expand to the rest of the nation the South’s subjugation of workers and its suppression of the voting rights of those who might oppose their policies," writes Meyerson. 

So what is happening now?"...The South’s efforts to spread its values across America are advancing, as Northern Republicans adopt their Southern counterparts’ antipathy to unions and support for voter suppression, and as workers’ earnings in the North fall toward Southern levels," writes Meyerson.

Why and Where? "One reason wages continued to fall throughout the Deep South, despite the influx of jobs, is the region’s distinctive absence of legislation and institutions that protect workers’ interests. The five states that have no minimum-wage laws are Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, and South Carolina."

What does this mean to us? Meyerson's article gives voice to what SRABC knows to be true: "As the South goes, so does the Nation". It becomes the charge of advocates in wealth building, financial security, and income equality to remain vigilant in our work. This article shows that the lack of public policy intervention continues to keep our coalition states vulnerable and in despair.

Now what? Get ready! Take action and collaborate with one of SRABC partners to make deliberate change today.

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