We live in the wealthiest nation on earth, yet most of that wealth is in the hands of a very small number of powerful individuals. Today, the top one-tenth of one percent own as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. There is nothing wrong with rewarding hard work and ingenuity with wealth and prosperity but our system is undeniably broken when the vast majority of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck while the rich accrue wealth far beyond what anyone can spend in a lifetime.
Wealth and income inequality is one of the greatest moral challenges of our time. This is not a conversation about capitalism versus socialism; the old economic rules and labels no longer apply. We need to find the right way forward, preserving the ability of anyone’s right to achieve great economic success, while ensuring everyone has a chance at the American dream no matter the circumstances of their birth. Not very long ago in America, that was possible. Today, it is nearly impossible.
There are many ways we can address income inequality, but one of the best ways is to fight to restrengthen our American labor unions and make it easier for workers to join these unions by fighting for the Employee Free Choice Act.
One of the most significant reasons for the 40-year decline in the middle class is that the rights of workers to collectively bargain for better wages and benefits have been severely undermined. When I get to Congress, I will fight to protect the rights of the working class and their right to collectively bargain. I promise to always stand for our public school teachers, nurses, and firefighters and to protect their livelihood. Additionally, I will promote Project Labor Agreements in the construction industry and work against the poorly named “Right To Work” laws, which undermine labor unions and cause workers’ wages to drop. I will fight the trend of the current administration to privatize public services and will work to create jobs here at home that provide livable wages and safe working conditions. No one who works 40 hours/week should have to struggle to pay their bills. When we support our labor unions, we support the backbone of our country.