we must turn the nearly 60 million low-wage service jobs in food preparation, retail, and childcare into higher-wage, family-supporting jobs. This is analogous to what we did during the New Deal, when we turned low-wage factory jobs into high-paid middle-class jobs. If we were willing to pay a little more for our cars and appliances to create a middle class in the last century, surely we can afford to pay more in this one to the people who serve us food and care for our kids and aging parents.

children born in 1940 in California had a roughly 90 percent chance of making more money than their parents did around the age of 30 ... Californians born in 1980 stand less than a 50 percent chance of making more than their parents ... California mirrors the national pattern in income mobility very closely.Nationwide, only 50 percent of Americans born in 1980 were out-earning their parents at the age of 30. That percentage has ticked up a bit in subsequent years, but not by much.

Cities and states across the country have raised their wage floors, in some cases to $10 an hour or more. But even in states that have raised their minimum wages, tipped workers are often still stuck earning $2 or $3 an hour. Nebraska, for example, last year raised its minimum wage to $9 an hour while leaving the tipped wage at the federal minimum of $2.13. The gap is even wider in Massachusetts, where the minimum wage is $11 an hour and the tipped wage is only $3.75.

a campaign to raise the Massachusetts minimum wage to $15 an hour could put more money in the pockets of low-income workers and create a path to self-sufficiency. But for some families, the boost in pay could mean a drop of hundreds of dollars a month in government benefits. Food stamps, child care vouchers, and rent subsidies could be cut before families can afford to cover those expenses on their own, leaving some households, particularly single parents with young children, worse off...a phenomenon known as the “cliff effect.”

Even as the nation's productivity has improved 22 percent since 2000, median wages have risen only 1.8 percent, adjusted for inflation. Wages have actually fallen by 3 percent since the recession. Meanwhile, productivity gains are going to CEOs who earn, on average, about 300 times more than typical workers, compared with 71.2 times in 1990

In the past decade, as tech jobs have boomed in Silicon Valley, so has rent. Average monthly rents for a one-bedroom apartment are $2,186 in San Jose, $2,469 in Oakland and $3,361 in San Francisco ... Salaries for tech shuttle drivers start at around $2,900 a month — making even modest nearby apartments unaffordable. Instead of moving somewhere cheaper on the outskirts of the Bay Area — hours from their jobs ... tech bus drivers live in their cars.