Booming Economy…. for all????

The President is reporting that the GDP is up,  unemployment is historically low, and the economy is the best it’s ever been.  Sadly, it is not great for 60% of American households who are not earning a livable wage for full-time work.

Many jobs are undervalued in our country, but for this blog entry I am going to focus on Special Education Para-professionals.  As a Special Education Teacher of high school students with autism, I am dependent on para-professionals to carry out each student’s highly individualized educational program that requires one-to-one interaction.

These para-professionals are expected to professionally facilitate and implement intensive teaching sessions based in applied behavior analysis, discrete trial and verbal behavior techniques.  They are expected to follow complex behavior plans and collect data in this evidence-based program.  They also help students care for all their personal needs and at times sustain injuries when students become upset.  Most importantly they bring love and understanding to these students everyday.

The implemented skills of these para-professionals can mean the difference between life in an institution or a life of self-determination and independence to one’s highest potential.  WOW!

And these amazing people do NOT earn a LIVABLE WAGE!  This is WRONG!  Many have college degrees and most have to work two and three other part-time jobs to make ends meet.  These are not slackers looking for a handout.  These are caring and hard working people that deserve a livable wage.

Essential jobs, like these, need to pay a livable wage and our country needs to invest in education and training to help others fill job openings that need greater expertise.  The booming economy should work for all Americans!

Published by


Concerned Citizen

2 thoughts on “Booming Economy…. for all????”

  1. I would like to discuss the Seattle minimum wage law as a model for progressive pay policy . According to the Seattle Office of Labor and Standards “the 2019 minimum wage for company’s which employs over 500 employees will be $16.00 an hour”.
    The Seattle decision to increase the minimum wage seems to me both progressive and prudent. In today employment climate large companies pay rates are trending upward, to meet demand to hold on to good people. Sooner or later employee wages will approach 15.00 dollars an hour. The O.L.S decision guarantees the rate increase will be sooner. In addition beginning on 2019 company’s with less than 500 people will have to pay employees $15.00 an hour. Companies who contribute $3 dollars an hour to health insurance can pay employees $12.00 an hour.
    This new minimum wage ruling has its detractors. An important research study done by the University of Washington says a increase in the minimum wage will negatively effect hiring an encourage letting workers go by companies who can’t afford the increase. Critics of the study point out that large companies with facilities in and outside of Seattle were not included in the statistical population, which means to me, that Washington’s most stalwart companies were not included in the study. Further a 1994 study in Pennsylvania contradicts the latest Washington study. Minimum wage was increased in the state of New Jersey and this study found in fast food restaurants demand had increased. Since the evidence on minimum wage increase is contradictory the city should implement the $16 an hour wage and if need be then adjust it downward later.
    The most novel ordinance Seattle has put into place is the Secure Scheduling Ordinance. The ordinance protects workers from last minute changes in their work schedules. Schedules must be set two weeks out otherwise employees need not comply to requests to come to work at the last minute There is also penalties . Companies who suddenly cut an employees hours must pay the employee half the wage amount for their time lost. Employees who is working a shift and must take up for a employee who suddenly calls out out must be compensated.
    This provision and the minimum wage increase helps to protect low wage employees from situations where they lack child care or cannot meet their monthly bills. These are fair ordinances.


    1. Thanks for the information, Ken. Companies are not providing employees with guaranteed hours causing the employee to absorb the risk of fluctuations in business instead of the company. This creates undo stress for the employees. Also, companies no longer feel they have an obligation to the well being of their employees or the community in which they are based.


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