Economy & Jobs
As the party that brought the first New Deal and fostered the largest and longest peacetime economic expansion in American history, it’s time for a bold, new and sustainable approach to the modernization of our economy. From 21st century jobs in renewable energy, to establishing small businesses via incentives like tax reform for the middle and lower class, securing a living wage for all our workers and maintaining our status as the world’s strongest economy must be at the highest of our priorities.
A forgotten core tenet of economics is “workers are consumers," which holds true in the United States, where spending is 70% of all economic activity. When the middle class and poor are stronger, they have more discretionary income to spend, which vitalizes the local economy. The wealthiest Americans benefit more from a smaller percentage of a fast-moving economy, than the large share of a slow-moving economy they currently possess. We can help the middle class and poor with a bigger Earned Income Tax Credit, by lowering the tax liability they face and establishing a livable wage.
Reinstating the Glass–Steagall Act to separate commercial and investment banks will protect consumers from predatory corporations. If these companies are separate, they’ll be forced to work for people and we can strengthen the protections for the working family provided under Dodd-Frank. Along the way, we can work to make sure the SEC requires companies to disclose CEO-to-Worker pay ratios and repeal “Right-to-Work” laws, which make it harder for people to join unions where they can collectively negotiate for living wages, tangible benefits, and better working conditions. 12 of the 15 states with the worst pay gaps between men and women are “Right-to-Work” states and there’s a higher poverty rate in those states compared to non-right-to-work states. It’s clear that the “Right-to-Work” isn’t right for anyone.
The best way American workers are guaranteed a living wage is through unions. Collective bargaining and the benefits of organized labor are truly beyond measure. Unions are the backbones of the Democratic Party and created the original middle class. We need larger and stronger Unions, not smaller and weaker ones. When workers are well-represented, when they are taken care of and their rights are assured, they are more productive. Everyone wins with Unions capable of protecting workers and advancing their rights.
Trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) create jobs, help small businesses and export American values. Canada and Mexico are valued allies and our largest trade partners; it makes sense to work with them on fair trade deals. NAFTA opened larger markets for America’s farmers and workers when it was signed in 1994. We need new trade deals that open new foreign markets for our products and pave the way for the next wave of American economic expansion. Our district is reliant on a free and fair exchange of goods with other nations. As a country, the United States exports over $1 trillion a year of domestic goods. If we can find trade partners that will buy our goods at market value, it helps us expand our production and manufacturing efforts - which then creates jobs and boosts our economy.