President Barack Obama has spent much of his presidency getting our nation out of a deep economic crisis. Now we have an economy where the GDP is up and the stock market is up, but wages remain flat — and this has happened again and again since the 1970s. Once again, America is emerging from an economic crisis, but those of us who count on paychecks are not. And that’s not an accident. Workers are being held down on purpose.
Since the 1980s, the growing political power of the wealthiest among us has rewritten our labor laws, our trade laws, our tax laws, our monetary policies, our fiscal policies, our financial regulations — all to push wages down and to increase corporate profits, to put speculation over private investment and tax cuts over public investment.
The problem of income inequality and stagnant wages is so clear, so abundant, that only direct, sweeping action to change the rules will put our nation on a fresh path of progress. We are hungry for a path to a prosperous 21st century. And America’s workers know that the first step on that path is raising wages.