Amy Traub

Amy Traub is Senior Policy Analyst at Demos. She is the author of "The Plastic Safety Net: Findings from the 2012 National Survey on Credit Card Debt of Low- And Middle-Income Households," and "Discrediting America: The Urgent Need To Reform The Nation's Credit Reporting Industry," among other reports and research. 

Recent Articles

Food Stamps Don’t Keep Wal-Mart’s Prices Low, They Keep Its Profits High

The same company that brings in the most food stamp dollars in revenue—an estimated $13 billion last year—also likely has the most employees using food stamps.”

The name of the mammoth food stamp-reliant company is no secret: Wal-Mart.

As journalist Krissy Clark notes in Marketplace’s valuable new series “The Secret Life of the Food Stamp,” Wal-Mart benefits from food stamps in multiple ways, as taxpayers both underwrite the company’s food sales and also subsidize its payroll costs.

Responsible Contractors Only

For hundreds of thousands of low-paid employees of federal contractors, the executive order President Obama announced in his State of the Union address will make a important difference in their incomes and lives. While the president cannot unilaterally raise the minimum wage for all working Americans (only Congress can take that action—and they should) he is exercising the executive power he has to mandate that federal contractors pay employees doing the public’s business at least $10.10 an hour as new contracts are negotiated and old ones come up for renewal.

President Obama Takes Action to Raise the Pay of Low-Wage Federal Contract Workers

Sometimes in America, when low-paid workers stand up and speak out, even the President of the United States takes notice. This is one of those moments.

This morning, the White House announced that President Obama will sign a “Good Jobs” Executive Order requiring government contractors to raise the minimum wage for their lowest-paid workers to $10.10 for all new and renegotiated contracts. The president will include this announcement in his State of the Union Address tonight.

Why Obama Must Announce a Good Jobs Executive Order in the State of the Union

I fear that John Boehner is not going to raise the minimum wage.

It doesn’t matter that 76 percent of Americans support a wage hike, or that studies indicate that the minimum wage reduces poverty and that raising it would boost our economy and create jobs. And I’m worried that if, in his State of the Union Address next week, President Obama again calls on Congress to raise the minimum wage, even in the most powerful and evocative terms, that won’t move Boehner to act either.

It's Not Just New York: The New Era of Progressive Urban Politics

Staging imaginary competitions between cities and their elected leaders certainly makes for catchy headlines: “Step Aside, New York City. Los Angeles's Populism Is for Real” asserts the title of Nancy L. Cohen’s recent piece in The New Republic. “Later this month,” Cohen explains, “two [Los Angeles] City Council members will introduce a motion to raise the minimum wage to a nation-leading $15.37 an hour for hotel workers—nearly double the California minimum wage of $8.” Very welcome—but that’s just hotel workers. In Seattle, meanwhile, Mayor Ed Murray is vowing to start paying all municipal employees at least $15 an hour, and told Salon’s Josh Eidelson that “I think that we are gonna get to $15” for all of Seattle’s private sector workers as well.