Why Biden’s agenda of fixing America is extra formidable than making America nice once more
I’ve found myself talking to my children and others about topics like the $ 15 minimum wage, property tax, a universal basic income, and other wealth redistribution measures to ensure that all people have enough income to meet their most basic needs To fulfill, I say to them, referring to the richest among us, who might give a little more and have a little less, “I think they will be fine.”
The richest will be fine.
Many Americans are just not okay, which means they cannot meet, or find it difficult to meet, their most basic human needs, even when working.
Seventy percent of the 21 million Americans who benefit from federal aid work full-time.
Is that a sign of greatness?
When it comes to workers at McDonald’s and other such jobs who earn minimum wages or a little more, there is a lot to talk about with my children so that they can think critically about the world.
These workers produce a great deal of value, a great deal of wealth for these companies that could not be produced without them. So how is it determined that they earn less than what is considered a living wage in the US?
Is their wages simply the determination of indifferent market forces?
Is the CEO who makes millions work exponentially harder than these employees working, turning burgers and occupying the drive-thru and really generating more value, more wealth? Has this CEO made the millions he makes, health care, housing, and dignified retirement so much more than the average minimum wage worker who cannot afford rent for a simple apartment and struggles to meet basic daily needs to live on? To stay alive? ?
These enormous differences in remuneration cannot be explained as a valuation by an indifferent market mechanism.
We speak of our system as “political economy” because political forces and considerations play a role in deciding and articulating our national values, both socially, morally and economically. That is, determinations of economic value are linked to the values of our prevailing social morality.
We just have to look at Trump’s tax cuts. They benefited the rich and corporations who campaigned for these tax cuts, claiming they would reinvest the money in their businesses and workers. Companies like AT&T, Wells Fargo and General Motors made robust tax cuts and then continued to carry out massive layoffs and plant closings.
Or we can look at the CARES bill, the first coronavirus bailout package passed by a Republican-led Senate under Trump’s presidency. Billions of dollars went to businesses and people who were already making millions of dollars.
In short, politics was already deciding whose life was more important, more valuable, and who was making money.
And of course, Congress also has the power to raise the minimum wage.
Whether people earn enough to live does not only depend on market conditions.
This question of life and death is a conscious political choice.
Trump and Republicans showed little to no concern to ensure that the most and many at-risk Americans – before, especially during, and after the coronavirus pandemic – are just fine in the policies they passed.
To make America great again did not need to ensure that Americans could meet their basic human needs and enjoy basic human dignity.
However Trump defined size for America, the agenda didn’t include making sure Americans are okay.
And do you remember the opposition to Elizabeth Warren’s proposed property tax? That tax would have increased the tax burden for only 0.1 percent of American households, and the tax only applied to incomes over $ 50 million. And even then, the tax on every dollar over $ 50 million was two cents.
In short, repeat my mantra again: These people who make at least $ 50 million, I am confident, will be fine.
I think we can stop worrying about them and put them at the center of our political attention when it comes to the distribution of grants. You are ok.
And that tax revenue, according to Warren’s plan, would have been used to provide universal childcare, offer free higher education in public institutions, and reduce the student debt burden that weighs on the economy. In short, it would have helped people meet their basic needs so that they could contribute more effectively and fully to our society and economy.
Joe Biden’s agenda, backed by the American Rescue Plan Act Congressional Democrats for $ 1.9 trillion, passed without a Republican vote, shows that he has stopped worrying about wealthy Americans and businesses close.
His plan not only calls for immediate checks to help the struggling Americans, but he also promises to reduce child poverty by 50% or more, save pensions for many American workers, provide rent relief to keep Americans in their homes and helping Americans pay their health premiums and more.
It is aimed at Americans in need. Americans who are not doing well.
It might not sound like that plausible to say, “Let’s fix the Americans.” In reality, however, it is an incredibly ambitious and humane goal, and it is utterly visionary in that it requires the political and social vision to actually see and recognize those who are usually most invisible to our political leaders, in fact to our culture are.
So many in America, the richest nation in the world, are wrong.
It is an ambitious humanitarian political agenda for this national moment to make sure that is the case.
Tim Libretti is a professor of American literature and culture at a Chicago state university. A longtime progressive voice, he has published numerous academic and journalistic articles on culture, class, race, gender, and politics for which he has received awards from the Working Class Studies Association, the International Labor Communications Association, and the National Federation of Press Women and the Illinois Woman’s Press Association.