The dangers of “patchwork” wage increases

The minimum wage has been a major topic of local conversation recently. The District and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties are poised to increase their minimum wages considerably. At the same time, efforts in Congress to increase the federal minimum wage above a puny $7.25 an hour have been unsuccessful.

The Post takes a look at efforts to increase the minimum wage, both locally and nationally, and identifies a potentially significant problem – especially for a region like ours with so many jurisdictions (WaPo, 11/28):

The efforts, while supported by many unions, threaten to create a patchwork of wage rates that could mean workers in some areas will be entitled to vastly less than those working similar jobs nearby. The campaigns reach from coast to coast.

Editorial: The Post’s editorial board goes into more detail about what the “patchwork” of wages could mean locally. (WaPo, 11/28)

– What’s the relationship between satisfaction and wealth? The results of a new study might surprise you. And possibly make you laugh uncontrollably in disagreement. (Atlantic, 11/27)

COMMUNITY | The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has announced its 2013 Citizens Awards, which recognize “some of the most accomplished social and community initiatives within the business community.” We’re excited that three WRAG members received awards!

– The Citi Foundation was recognized with both the Best Economic Empowerment Program Award and the Best Partnership Award.

IBM received the Best Disaster Response and Community Resilience Program Award.

Hilton Worldwide earned the Best Environmental Stewardship Program Award

CHARITY | I’m sure we all consider ourselves well informed about the work of nonprofits, but the Post’s Vanessa Small has some helpful tips at the ground level – seven ways not to give to charity. (WaPo, 12/2)

HOUSING | After its previous leader was placed on administrative leave earlier in November, the D.C. Housing Finance Agency has named Maria Day-Marshall as its new head. (CP, 11/27)

HUNGER | With food stamp allocations having been cut, local food pantries are (not surprisingly) seeing an increased demand. (WaPo, 11/27)

TRANSIT | Metro has announced its desire to raise fares by 3 percent next year. Last month, the system’s train service caused so many problems for riders that its CEO, Richard Sarles, publicly apologized to riders. (WaPo, 11/2)

POLITICS | Considering how influential Northern Virginia has been in recent elections, this article might be of some interest. The Atlantic’s Richard Florida writes about how the suburbs are the new swing states. (Atlantic, 11/29)

Hope you all enjoyed Thanksgiving! I can’t believe it’s already December. I couldn’t find anything particularly amusing to put here today, but here’s something interesting and controversial – Amazon’s proposed drone delivery system. It seems like an April Fool’s joke, but apparently it isn’t one. What do you think? Good idea? Bad idea? Impossible idea? Secret ploy by the NSA?