— by Brian Stewart
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich proposes solutions to some of our nation’s toughest challenges.
These 10 ideas could save our economy for the many—not just the wealthy few. We are offering common-sense solutions to the problems we face today and explaining why they are necessary and important. It’s a bold agenda—from raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, to expanding rather than cutting Social Security, to making public higher education free, to raising taxes on the wealthiest members of our society to pay for it.
He hopes to “change the national conversation and put these ideas on Congress’ agenda as well as to make sure these ideas are addressed on the campaign trail for the 2016 presidential election.”
The first video in the series, on increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, comes just hours after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in a New York Times op-ed that he would task the state’s labor commissioner with convening a panel focused on raising wages for 180,000 fast-food workers in the state. Organizers pushing for minimum wage hikes praised the move. “Fast-food workers going on strike and speaking out for $15 and union rights have sparked a global Fight for $15 movement that is leading cities, states and elected officials to raise wages,” said Flavia Cabral, a 53-year-old mother of two from the Bronx who works at McDonald’s and is a leader in the Fight for $15 movement.
People thought we had no chance to win when we first started calling for $15 here in New York City. But today $15 is the new baseline for service jobs all in all kinds of industries all over the United States. Seattle passed $15, San Francisco passed $15 and now New York City is going to be next. Elected leaders realize that helping workers win $15 an hour is a winning political issue. Helping people improve their lives and move into the middle class is and always has been a winning political issue.
The second video in the series features Reich outlining key policies that will help working families succeed economically, including universal child care, paid family leave, and ensuring equal pay for equal work.
According to MomsRising Executive Director and CEO Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner:
The sad fact is right now having a baby is a leading cause of poverty spells in the United States. Every day we hear stories from our more than one million MomsRising members about their struggles with unequal pay, lack of paid family leave and paid sick leave, and lack of access to affordable child care. These are fundamental issues that need to be addressed so our families and our economy can thrive. The fact of the matter is that our labor force is 50% women for the first time in history, but our public policies are still stuck in the Stone Ages. It’s time to catch up.