FIGHTING WAGE & WEALTH INEQUALITY

 
It is not great wealth in a few individuals that proves a country is prosperous, but great general wealth evenly distributed among the people . . . It is the struggling masses who are the foundation [of this country]; and if the foundation be rotten or insecure, the rest of the structure must eventually crumble.
— Victoria Woodhull, first woman to run for president of the United States, 1872
 

The Raise Up Agenda of increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour is just the beginning. Economic justice means increasing wages and providing a path for all to  build wealth and enjoy a prosperous future.

 

I am not new to this fight. I have made income and wealth inequality a central issue on the campaign trail from the beginning.  My commitment to economic and racial equality goes back more than 30 years, including writing, teaching, and building national and international organizations to advance just and sustainable economies. Alone among the candidates for governor, I testified for the Raise Up Agenda at State House hearings.

 America’s strength and security are faltering because the gap between the poor and the wealthy is growing wider by the year. As our workers have become more and more productive over the decades, those gains have been captured by the 1% rather than being distributed back to us in higher wages and benefits. Only by addressing these structural flaws – and by promoting higher wages, union strength, and new models for business and ownership –  can we achieve the levels of equality and prosperity that Americans deserve.

Our democracy has been corrupted by money from wealthy elites.  Our old economy shifts money from working and middle-class families to those who already have more than they can spend.  

Inequality is not only about wages - it is also about equity. According to the Federal Reserve Bank’s Color of Wealth in Boston study: While most white households (56 %) own retirement accounts, only 20% of U.S and Caribbean blacks have them. 79 % of whites own a home, whereas only 33% of U.S. blacks, less than 20% of Dominicans do. Most shockingly, the average White family has $247,500 in net worth, while the average Black family has only $8.  Black and Hispanic households were disproportionately harmed by the recession and have taken longer to recover and in part because of different rates of home ownership and wealth accumulation.

 

 

As Governor I will:

  • Support the $15 minimum wage, paid family and medical leave. And continue to push for higher pay and greater equity.

  • Increase the minimum tipped wage.

  • Index the minimum wage to inflation to prevent diminishing its value over time.

  • Fight inequality of wealth, support access to capital and savings.

  • Promote housing solutions that build wealth for households and communities, including owner-occupied multifamily housing and housing trusts.

  • Use the tools of the New Economy: cooperatives, community-owned businesses, land trusts and more to spread ownership across our communities.

  • Support small, local, and cooperative business enterprises with preferences, regulatory review and technical assistance.

  • Assure that banks are lending fairly and capital is available in low-income communities and communities of color.

  • Create a Commonwealth Bank to back up loans by small local banks.

  • Support unions and stop privatizing government functions.