UnNews:Every American gets a raise

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Every American gets a raise

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13 March 2014

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Barack Obama announced that the Department of Labor would rewrite the rules on which employees are exempt from overtime.

Thus, technical professionals will join Rosie the Riveter and get time-and-a-half for staying late, and double-time on weekends. Warren Buffett expressed relief at the rule change, which will finally let him compensate his executive secretary, fairly.

During a ceremony that Ms. Fairly attended, Mr. Obama said, “Unfortunately, millions weren’t getting the extra pay they deserve.” Ms. Fairly is the national poster child against mistreatment of workers; and Mr. Buffett is the poster child in favor. Adviser Betsey Stevenson said the threshold pay rate had not been adjusted since 2004; in other words, this is nothing Bush would not have done, if he had only gotten his numbers straight.

Advocates say millions of workers could benefit. They expect time clocks and punch cards to begin appearing in thousands of office parks where software writers and web designers gather. Producing the equipment should be a boon to the struggling manufacturing sector. And hiring new people in Personnel to learn the new rules should make a handy dent in the unemployment rate as well, as most existing Personnel reps are spending all their time on the health care mandate, and to see if one of the waivers covers them, and to study how many departments will have to be closed if they guess wrong. Corporate executives anxious to publish by a deadline will no longer be able to exploit their techies, who will be relieved never to have to stay past 5 p.m. Gone, too, are the days when sales managers came in early just to “catch up.” There is no way at all around this rule, except to ship more skilled jobs to Mexico alongside all the unskilled ones, a gambit the Council on Economic Advisers called “unworkable.”

So, making the safe assumption that everyone continues to put in the same number of hours, the President's decree should hand a 20% raise to everyone. But Ms. Stevenson said the higher pay might make overtime more attractive and result in a larger pay increase. She warned supermarkets and gas stations against raising their prices 20% to compensate, as “gouging” is just as serious a crime as working hard — which aggravates inequality of incomes.

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