Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Economic Policy Institute, a D.C.-based think tank with the slogan, "Research for Broadly Shared Prosperity," issues "Economic Snapshots" on a regular basis that provide a quick look at some aspects of the nation's economy. The July 23 snapshot noted that the federal minimum wage, due to increase on July 24 from $5.85 an hour to $6.55, is still less than the minimum in 23 states and the District, and that a full-time worker at that wage still earns below the poverty line for a household of two.

Hm. Should wages, for some jobs, be tied to household size? Probably not. Wages should reflect the value of the work.

Still, it does seem that almost any job worth doing should be worth more than $6.55 an hour. That's only $13,624 a year.

Life at that income level is so painful. Every little thing is a problem.

I went to Chicago last week for Unity. There was much attention given to blogging and other aspects of digital-age journalism. Before the conference, there was a workshop on "Diversity in the Digital Age," which I would have liked to have attended.

Oh, well. Can't have everything. Yet.

Poynter Online has an interview with Barbara Cochran, president of the Radio-TV News Directors Association (RTNDA) in response to their report that both radio and television have seen increases in their percentage of minorities in staff and management. One of the questions was, "What advice do you have for the print side?" Part of Ms. Cochran's answer:

"One avenue for newspapers as well as radio and television stations to pursue is the increased participation of citizen journalists through Web sites and interactive media. This represents a new source of talent that comes from the community and that could bring in a much greater diversity of voices."

Some folks in the business fear that citizen journalists might sully their brand; I fear that they might be exploited by media outlets that are all too happy to have them work for free.

During the centennial meeting of the National Governors Association last week, the nation's governors sent a letter to Congress urging them to extend renewable energy credits for at least another five years. In the past, the credit has lasted only two or three years, causing companies to shy away from building create large-scale projects such as wind farms, that take a long time to complete.

Will the governors' letter get Congress off the dime? We'll see.

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