We may consider the Judeo-Christian scripture condemning those who “oppress the hireling in his wages” as Congress considers increasing the minimum wage. The Rand Corp, a nonpartisan think tank, found that economic changes have resulted in deep inequality in the United States. Someone in 2018 earning $36,000 yearly should earn $57,000 if wages reflected economic gains in our country; those earning $65,000 would be earning $100,000. Rand’s “Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018,” suggests that each year $2.5 trillion which would go to 90% of workers instead goes to the top 1%. In just over four decades $47 trillion was diverted thanks to misnamed “trickle-down” economic policies. Too many Americans now work longer hours for lower pay and fewer benefits.

A living wage, along with a revision of tax policies so they no longer favor the wealthiest, would work toward helping middle-class Americans enjoy the fruits of their labor. I encourage our lawmakers to support wage and tax policies to benefit all Americans, not just those at the top.

Brenda Petersen


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