In today’s economy, too little of each worker’s productivity is returned as income to that worker. In fact, 95% of all new wealth created in this country goes to those at the very top. This is not only bad for the workers, it is bad for the economy as a whole. Working class people are much more likely to put that money right back into the economy than those at the top. In short, higher-paid workers means higher-spending consumers. Everyone wins in a world where workers get a higher portion of a company’s revenue.
Unfortunately, this is not happening naturally, as the decline of unions and rampant underemployment has allowed corporations to get away with underpaying their workers for decades. Wages for the middle and working classes have remained stagnant for years, even as income for those at the top has risen to unprecedented highs.
One way to correct this injustice is to raise the federal minimum wage, which has been stuck at $7.25 per hour since 2009. Even if a minimum-wage employee works full-time, they’d only receive an annual income of about $15,000. I support raising the minimum wage to $15 and indexing it to inflation. That will allow it to increase naturally along with the cost of living. We also need to raise the tipped minimum wage, which sits at a paltry $2.13, and institute a law capping corporate salaries at ten times the company’s lowest paid employee.
These measures will drastically improve the share of the economy owned by the middle class, which will bolster the economy overall.
Paid for and Authorized by Ryan Huffman for Congress