In an op-ed piece for the Washington Post, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) discuss the so-called American Dream, wealth inequality, and “cronyism … that works only for those at the top.”
Warren and de Blasio wrote,
“Across generations, Americans shared the belief that hard work would bring opportunity and a better life. America wasn’t perfect, but we invested in our kids and put in place policies to build a strong middle class.
We don’t do that anymore, and the result is clear: The rich get richer, while everyone else falls behind. The game is rigged, and the people who rigged it want it to stay that way. They claim that if we act to improve the economic well-being of hard-working Americans — whether by increasing the minimum wage, reining in lawbreakers on Wall Street or doing practically anything else — we will threaten economic growth.”
“They’re wrong,” the pair added, noting that those in power’s thinking is “backwards.”
“A growing body of research — including work done by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and the Roosevelt Institute,” said the senator and mayor, “shows clearly that an increasing disparity between rich and poor, cronyism and an economic system that works only for those at the top are bad for the middle class and bad for our economy.”
They then lay out a plan to fix America’s middle class and economy as a whole, which includes raising the minimum wage, strengthening unions’ collective bargaining powers, passing equal pay legislation, a paid family leave requirement, repairing the flawed student loan system, focusing on technological “research and innovation,” fixing our crumbling infrastructure, passing trade policies that benefit American workers, strengthening Social Security, and reforming the tax code to end tax breaks to billionaires and their corporations.
“Rebuilding our middle class won’t be easy, but real change rarely is,” Warren and de Blasio concluded. “It’s time to be bold. The American Dream depends on it.”