f income inequality had not skyrocketed over the past four decades and had simply stayed static, the average worker in America would be earning $42,000 more in income each year. Instead, as corporate chief executives now make over 300 times more than their average employees, the average American worker now earns $32 a week less than he or she did 48 years ago – after adjusting for inflation. In other words, despite huge increases in technology and productivity, ordinary workers are actually losing ground.
Addressing income and wealth and inequality will not be easy, because we will be taking on some of the most powerful and well-financed entities in the country, including Wall Street, the health insurance industry, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry and the military-industrial-complex. But it must be done. Here is some of what Congress and the president can do in the very near future.
We must raise the minimum wage from the current starvation wage of $7.25 an hour to a living wage of at least $15 an hour. A job should lift workers out of poverty, not keep them in it.
We need to make it easier, not harder, for workers to join unions. The massive increase in wealth and income inequality can be directly linked to the decline in union membership in America.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction