Economic Justice: Fight for $15, Equal Pay, End Corporate Welfare


IMAGINE being able to afford life…

As the 6th largest economy in the world, California should not have the 3rd highest homeless rate in the country. As the the richest country in the world, the U.S. should not be one of the most unequal. The effect this has on our schools, hospitals, prisons, roads, and families is crushing. This economic inequality leads to social and political polarization that we see happening before our very eyes. We are pointing fingers in the wrong direction. Your neighbor is not to blame. The working class is not to blame. Communities of color are not to blame. Undocumented Americans are not to blame.

Due to massive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, with crumbs passed on to the working classes just enough to keep us complacent, the top one percent of individuals continue to gain an increasing amount of the economic pie. Yet, they often pay lower tax rates than working families due to loopholes and other unfair tax benefits. Meanwhile, real wages among working families remain largely stagnant, the income gap continues to widen, and the middle class continues to shrink. And the establishment media, Democrats, and Republicans allow us to believe that it is our fault, causing us to fight one other and remain distracted.

It is time for us to rise up together, to stand strong together, to recognize our worth as a bonded community. This country was built on the backs of the working class. Managers and CEO’s have jobs because of us, not the other way around. It’s now time that they know it. We don’t just deserve to be able to pay our bills. We deserve to live happy, healthy, prosperous lives. Anyone who works 40 hours a week should not be struggling to make ends meet.

We need $15 minimum wage tied to inflation. We need to close tax loopholes that allow corporations to get away with not paying their taxes. We need equal pay for equal work, no racial or gender disparities. We need a more progressive tax code that gives the working class more money to save and spend. We need to protect renter rights and work together to end homelessness. We need public banks that provide for more local community control and accountability; incentivize cooperative business models; strengthen union membership and fight back against the decades-long legal, political, psychological attack on our unions.

It’s time to give our communities hope. It’s time to help one another up when we are down. That is how you use love to conquer fear. That is how you put community over competition. And that is how you increase economic prosperity for a country. Imagine.

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Ricardo Gonzalez