If you feel like you’re highly taxed, you’re probably right – if you’re working class or middle class. If you’re wealthy, you’re benefitting from some of the lowest taxes in the nation. It may be tough for a lot of people, but high taxes on the middle class are a small price to pay to keep our millionaires and billionaires flush with cash. In a few years, we may even realize our dream of Jeff Bezos diving head-first into a Scrooge McDuck-size pile of gold doubloons.
The #MeToo movement has emboldened women to speak out about sexual harassment and other roadblocks to economic opportunity. After a full year of resisting actions and protesting comments from a racist, sexist President, many people are newly engaged in advocacy and committed to fighting for every bit of progress possible.
Across Washington state, the workers serving our salad, stocking our groceries, or checking our blood pressure have a little paid sick leave in their bank. Hopefully, if they’re sick, they’re at home, and not spreading their germs to us. Our new paid sick leave law protects us all.
Without the protection of paid leave laws, workers in restaurants, retail and construction have been the least likely to have access to sick days, putting not only their own health at risk, but customers and coworkers as well.
While millennials feel the gutting of the social contract in their inability to buy homes, older Americans are feeling it in their inability to retire. You have probably heard the outdated slogan that to retire, you need Social Security, personal savings and a pension. But now, most workers in our country don’t have much in savings, and traditional pensions have disappeared.
Unions make a difference. When university employers fall short, unions give academic researchers a tool to address sexual misconduct and unequal treatment. An empowered workforce can deter arbitrary treatment, and this can help ensure long-term career stability—particularly for women and non-binary employees.
Rather than just sit and watch Airbus put together its new C Series assembly in Alabama, our elected officials, the machinists union and the engineers union, SPEEA, could figure out a package for Airbus in our state.
Fewer than half of families have any kind of retirement plans. In Washington, that’s more than 2 million workers out of about 3.5 million. Fifty percent of workers aged 55 to 64 don’t have a retirement plan. About 3 out of 5 African-American workers don’t have a retirement plan.
It’s no surprise that higher education is getting more expensive in this country. But it might be a surprise that it doesn’t have to, if we’d fund education properly. Instead, we encourage students to make up for funding shortfalls with student loans, impeding their ability to buy a home, have children or save for their retirement.
This segregated system of private and public schools undermines the sense of common purpose and common commitment to education. People who pay more than $30,000 a year for their kid’s private school have no interest in funding public education for the masses.
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