Wealth in­equal­ity & min­i­mum wage

The News-Times - - OPINION - By Paul Adi­nolfi Paul Adi­nolfi is a res­i­dent of Sandy Hook.

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 costof-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.

Where I STAND

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