Poverty should be one of the top concerns for any elected leader, it has a negative effect on almost everything we as society entrust our government to do, but it seems that those in the Republican Party find it is more politically viable to fight a war on the people in poverty than it is to fight a war to end poverty in this country.
Study after study shows that states that have a high poverty rate also have lower test scores in education, while having higher rates of drug use and crime. Unfortunately, this is one of the many issues that the Republican Party refuses to address; instead, they support policies that conflict and make the problem worse.
We need to raise the minimum wage.
You cannot be against a raise in the minimum wage and for cutting government assistance, and still say that you are worried about the people living in poverty.
The two are in direct conflict.
If you do not insure that people are being paid a living wage then you are going to have people who rely on government assistance. It is that simple.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, Raising the minimum wage would reduce government expenditures on current income-support programs by $7.6 billion per year—and possibly more, given the conservative nature of this estimate.
The study shows that 54% of minimum wage workers receive some form of means-tested public assistance, and that raising the minimum wage to a respectable level would cut that number in half. There would be more than 2 million people who would no longer rely on government assistance.
In Alabama, 45% of single parent families are living in poverty, there are 392,000 children receiving food stamps and 95,636 Alabama households are receiving federal rental assistance. Alabama is well above the national average in every one of these categories. Therefore, we would be among those who benefit the most, yet it is our current leaders who are the largest critics of this necessary reform.
As a percentage of the GDP, corporate profits are the highest they have been in the last 86 years, and worker pay is the lowest it has been in the last 66 years. The two primary causes of this inequity are the failure of wages to grow with increases in worker productivity, and failure of the minimum wage to match inflation.
What should the minimum wage be?
If you look at the minimum wage based strictly on inflation, an accurate representation of the minimum wage would be$10.89 an hour. If you look at inflation and increases in worker productivity, an accurate representation would be about $18. If you average the two it comes out to $14.45 per hour.
I support an initial raise to $12 per hour with annual increases of $1 per year over the next 3 years, which will bring the minimum wage to $15 per hour, with future bi-annual increases based on the rate of inflation.
The simple fact is that an economy cannot grow if no one has money to spend, and allowing the purchasing power of the minimum wage to diminish reduces the money flowing in and out of the economy and increases the consolidation of wealth in the upper class.
It is a form of modern day feudalism that allows government and the business elite to control the general public, while pushing as much of the cost of doing business to the middle class tax-payer.
Raising the minimum wage would be a positive step in reducing poverty, the humiliation of living in poverty and dependence on public assistance. That is why I would sponsor legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
Eleven part series on my 9-point economic plan:
We need your support!
For this campaign to be successful it will require a strong and organized grassroots campaign, starting today, I will be traveling the state speaking to groups and organizations, attending festivals and local events as I bring new progressive ideas to the public. With brochures and flyers to print, event fees to pay and advertising to place, I cannot do it alone.
Thanks in advance for your support.