The tipped wage battle is a reminder that concentrated wealth can buy power – even on the local level.
This week, my colleagues down in Washington witnessed the latest step down a deeply disturbing anti-democratic road. The District of Columbia’s city council held a 16-hour hearing over whether to repeal a minimum wage increase for tipped workers that D.C. voters had overwhelmingly approved in balloting this past June.

Why ignore the will of the voters? As Dia King, a hotel valet who testified on Monday told the Washington Post, Chocolate City has now turned into Money City, and the city’s powerful restaurant industry has blitzed the District with a well-funded misinformation campaign.

If D.C. elected officials do choose to reverse the tipped-worker vote, D.C. will join Maine and Michigan, two states that have both opted to circumvent the democratic process to keep workers from getting much-needed raises. Concentrated wealth, the D.C. doings remind us, can buy power – even at the local level.

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies team
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McDonald’s Workers Say ‘#MeToo’ With a Strike
McDonald’s workers in several states around America went on strike last week to demand the company address sexual harassment at the workplace. Employees say the company hasn’t dealt with complaints of sexual abuse – a problem across the fast-food industry – that workers flagged earlier this year. Now with this walkout, Phil Mattera writes, the Fight for $15 movement is making the resistance against workplace harassment more a collective than individual struggle.
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He Can Always Do Anything Better Than We Can
The fabled arrogance of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon may have some redeeming social value after all. Dimon’s latest antics are reminding Americans that plenty of rich people have deep narcissistic streaks, not just Donald Trump. Earlier this month Dimon boasted he could “beat Trump” in a Presidential election because “I’m smarter than he is.” Added a sanctimonious Dimon, whose New York bank has had to plead guilty to three criminal felony counts: “This wealthy New Yorker actually earned his money.” And this wealthy New Yorker also never tires of showing off just how wealthy he has become. Dimon once sent out a Christmas card with photos that showed his family playing tennis “in their lavishly appointed living room.” For newscaster Chris Hayes, the images carried a simple message: “Hey, we’re so rich we can destroy our own stuff.”
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Our Rising Inequality’s ‘Unintended Consequences’
What happens when a bold new idea for making America more equal hits our political center stage? Those comfortable with our unequal status quo — and those worried about discomforting those comfortable with our current inequality — invariably shout out two sage-sounding words: “Unintended consequences!” Do they have a point? Or are they just trying to score debating points? co-editor Sam Pizzigati, author of the just-published The Case for a Maximum Wage, has more.
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This week on 

Jessicah Pierre, Nike Says ‘Believe In Something.’ Can It Sacrifice Something, Too? The company has made millions off Colin Kaepernick’s message. That money should go right back to the cause that message supports.

John Feffer, Get Ready for Another Crash. Wall Street deregulation, a fraying social safety net, and skyrocketing debt and inequality could soon leave the United States looking like Greece.

Elsewhere on the web 

Dawn Foster, Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson: ‘Inequality strikes at our health and happiness,’ Guardian. More unequal societies intensify the social demarcations of class, everything from what we eat to the culture we consume, making discrimination easier and mobility harder.

Matt Taibbi, Bernie Sanders’ Anti-Amazon Bill Is an Indictment of the Media, Too, Rolling Stone. In going after Jeff Bezos, Sanders is trying to shame the press into seeing a core inequality hiding in plain sight.

Leo Gerard, Plutocrats Are Planning a Stealth Coup, Common Dreams. Their goal: a one-dollar, one-vote plutocracy.

Chantal Da Silva, Has Occupy Wall Street Changed America? Newsweek. The quick answer: yes.

Mark Reiff, Setting a maximum wage for CEOs would be good for everyone, Quartz. A former Harvard ethicist busts the rationales for limitless pay.
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