The combination of Reaganomics’ Trickle Down’ theory, the “Don’t Tax The Job Creators” mantra, and the concept that increasing the minimum wage results in fewer jobs, has convinced many of us to think that vast income differences between classes are normal and necessary. The way to save our economy, we are told, would be to take more money from the middle and poor class and direct it to the upper class. Just look at the Republican approved Paul Ryan’s Budget.
A CNBC poll of Millionaires tells us something different. A slight majority (51%) of the millionaires polled believe that Inequality is a Major Problem. Almost two-thirds of them support raising taxes and the wealthy (64%) and support a Minimum Wage increase (63%), including Mitt Romney.
“Unless the Middle Class and the Poor have more purchasing power, they will not be customers for all the things American corporations have to sell. That means a lot at the top would do better with a smaller share of a rapidly growing economy than what they have now, a large share of an economy that is barely growing at all because there is not enough of a demand for their goods and services.”
We really didn’t need a poll of millionaires to confirm that workers’ purchasing power has experienced a long brown-out. Unions, including the Western New York Area Labor Federation (AFL-CIO) which has three Councils in the NY 23rd (Cattaragus/Allegany; Dunkirk; and Jamestown), understand that there is a need for co-operation between corporations and laborers. The AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, in a 50 second video you can see on the WNY Area Labor Federation website, said:
“An increase in the minimum wage creates jobs, it grows the economy, it shares the wealth, it is economically right, it is morally right, it a civil right issue, and it’s a woman’s issue. Most of minimum wage earners are women. It’s workers helping other workers to do better in life. “
Congressional Candidate Martha Robertson fully agrees with the Union on the need for a higher minimum wage. The following quote is posted on her website:
“I guess my opponent thinks earning $15,000 a year for full-time work is enough. We’re not talking about teenagers: the vast majority of these wage earners are adult women. It’s great that New York State is increasing the minimum wage, but all Americans need this protection. So I will fight for an increase in the federal minimum wage to give workers a better chance to support their families. These folks will spend the money for basic needs, so we’ll get more dollars circulating and stimulate the economy. I’ll fight for fairness and opportunity; it’s not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do for our economy.”
The problem is that the people in power, the Republican leadership (aka the Tea Party), believe in the Trickle Down Theory, the Don’t Tax the Job Creators mantra, and in keeping the minimum wage minimum.
Rep. Tom Reed proudly agrees with the Ryan Budget. In it middle class families, on average, will pay $2000 more in federal taxes in order to pay tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals and corporations. In New York State alone, over 38,000 millionaires will each receive an $87,000 tax break.