Poverty is increasing in the United States, and much of that increase is among people who work. Today, about one-third of workers in the United States are unable to afford basic like sufficient food. More than 46 million people, including 22 million children, live in poverty.
Toward the end of the Great Depression Congress took action to fight poverty and stimulate the nation’s economic growth by, among other things, enacting minimum wage requirements in 1938. But, for decades, the minimum wage has failed to keep up with inflation. And most minimum wage workers are adults trying to support themselves and their families.
At today’s federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, an employee working a 40 hour week, 52 weeks a year, earns just $15,080, obviously not enough to support anyone who has to pay for housing, food, utilities, transportation and other necessities. In fact, $15,080 is below the official poverty line for a family of two people, which is currently benchmarked at $15,130.
We have to ask, does it make sense, and does it serve America, to set a minimum wage that leaves working families living below the poverty line?
Supporting workers seeking fair wages and working conditions can increase economic opportunity for those workers. That’s why we have supported hotel workers seeking wage increases, and fighting to retain their health insurance and improve safety on the job. Helping to pass a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in New York and California are other examples of increasing economic justice. So is the Caring Across Generations campaign.
While we are proud to support these efforts to increase economic opportunity, we also believe there are systemic solutions to these problems. That’s why we are building a movement to engage more Americans in addressing the most pressing problems we face as a nation, including economic inequality that has risen to historic proportions. Join us.
Caring Across Generations
Caring Across Generations is a national grassroots movement to improve how we care for elders and people with disabilities in the United States, and to improve conditions for the workers who provide that care. Bend the Arc is part of the campaign leadership team.
Bend the Arc is proud to be part of the domestic worker movement which is embracing the interdependence of caregivers and employers. High quality care, respectful communication, and livable wages are important for those receiving care, for caregivers, and for our country as a whole.
Progressive Taxation in CA
California is in the middle of a budget crisis that is devastating our communities, compromising health and safety, and blocking the path to opportunity for young adults and low-income communities. Join us to create a just and equitable society that provides flexible pathways to self-sufficiency and self-actualization, supported by a community dedicated to the health, well-being, and success of all its inhabitants.