commentary Wealth inequality & minimum wage
The problem with Wealth Inequality is not that the rich have too much, or earn too much — it is that the poor have too little, and earn too little.
The Democrats in Connecticut just won a battle against the Republicans for a minimum wage hike for the lowest paid citizens that will rise to $15 an hour in four years. While they may have won a battle for wage increases, they still are losing the war for cost-of-living minimum wages.
A minimum wage is not a true minimum wage if it is not a cost-of-living wage, unless a person who works a full-time job will be able to support a spouse and child with the basic necessities to live.
Millions who work at giant corporations for minimum wages are surviving because they are being subsidized by our government with food stamps, housing and Medicaid — much of this being paid for by taxes from the middle-class.
In many ways it was easier and better to have lived during the Depression. I grew up in a family of five, and my father made only about $25 a week — which was a minimum wage then.
However, we lived in freshly painted apartments and while we may not have had rugs on the floor, I never felt poor nor went to bed hungry.
And if one of us ever got sick with a fever, our doctor would come to our home with his black medical bag, and my father would pay him $3 or $5 for his visit.
Wealth Inequality has greatly increased over the years because the Republicans, who represent wealthy corporate interests, have successfully prevented minimum wage increases to keep up with cost-of-living increases.
The only way we can stop the poor from becoming poorer is for the minimum wage of employees of giant corporations to be increased to cost-of-living wages immediately — not four years from now! Employees will be able to buy the products of the giant corporations, and dollars will go back into our economy rather than just lying in the banks of the super rich.
And minimum wage earners will have more income to buy health insurance — since doctors don’t come to our home anymore for $5.
Paul Adinolfi is a resident of Sandy Hook.