The American Promise is that if we go to school, work hard and become a productive and faithful employee, we can then expect to support a family, raise and educate our children and enjoy a healthy and fulfilling life, retiring with dignity.
We weren’t supposed to have to win the lottery, or be a corporate executive to enjoy the American dream. That was the vision of middle class America. The middle class is disappearing in direct proportion to the demise of the American union movement.
After World War II, nearly 30 percent of our workforce belonged to unions. Today, barely half are organized. A few own the world’s resources while most live in poverty. Wages of $8 per hour are common. For most workers there is no health insurance or retirement plans.
The result? Taxpayers across the United States are making up for what employers should be paying with public assistance programs. That’s corporate welfare. Why are wages so low? Because that’s the easiest way to increase profitability. The result? Today, the wealthiest 1 percent own as much of our nation as ninety percent of the rest of us. Corporate CEO’s can earn 500 times the wages paid to their workers.