Republicans complain that the Democratic tax proposals amount to class warfare. I say wage earners in this country need to fight back. We need this war. We have been trodden upon by the 1% long enough.
The workforce today is more experienced, much better educated, and working with more –and better– capital. Largely as a result, GDP per capita was 63 percent higher in 2010 than it was in 1979.
But, over the same period, the bargaining power of US workers has eroded considerably. Only about 7 percent of private-sector workers are in unions today, compared with almost 25 percent in the 1970s. The inflation-adjusted value of the minimum wage is down more than 15 percent compared to 1979 (and down even more compared to its historical high point in 1968). We’ve deregulated previously well-paying industries (trucking, airlines, telecommunications); privatized many state and local government jobs (school bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and many others); signed trade agreements that put US workers in direct competition with low-wage workers overseas; created an immigration system that deprives immigrants of even the most basic protections while simultaneously putting the squeeze on US-born workers; tolerated a boom in wage theft and related bad behavior by employers; and, almost without exception, pursued macroeconomic policies that have kept unemployment high and jobs scarce.
Make no mistake about it. Republican policies are designed to suppress wages and benefits while undermining unions. The Republican tax policy benefits the wealthy by shifting the tax burden of the country onto the backs of working families. It is unmistakably class warfare against wage earners. Any wage earner in this country who votes for a Republican is voting against their own financial interests.