Issues

The American people must make a fundamental decision. Do we continue the 40-year decline of our middle class and the growing gap between the very rich and everyone else, or do we fight for a progressive economic agenda that creates jobs, raises wages, protects the environment and provides health care for all? Are we prepared to take on the enormous power of the billionaire class, or do we continue to slide into economic and political oligarchy? These are the most important questions of our time, and how we answer them will determine the future of our country.

 

Healthcare for All

Every wealthy nation in the world except the United States uses its resources to provide healthcare for all. Only in the United States are citizens forced to accept a “for profit” system by healthcare executives and shareholders who are grower richer and richer by providing abysmal healthcare for outrageous amounts of money. Worse, because the GOP refuses to regulate our pharmaceutical industry (which funds their political campaigns), Americans subsidize the cost of drugs for the rest of the world. The problem, however, isn’t merely that our system is the most expensive. It’s that we also have the worst healthcare system in the industrialized world. Read more…

Jobs & Education

Jobs are plentiful. Workers are not. As Baby Boomers retire, and less and less young people enter the skilled trades due to the high cost of training and certification, the U.S. is suffering from a growing “skills gap.” The Kentucky Lexington Herald Leader recently blew the whistle with its front-page story, “Labor Shortage in Construction [and] Trades is Dire.”1 Advocates around the country are also sounding the alarm. Mike Rowe, star of the hit CNN show “Dirty Jobs” and founder of www.MikeRoweWorks.com, a non-profit organization which promotes the skilled trades, pointed to the six million open jobs, adding, “Two years ago, that number was 5.4 million. Back in 2008…the number was 2.3 million.”2 Here in South Carolina, corporations like Boeing—who took $110 million in corporate welfare from working families in 2015—are forced to recruit out of state. Read more…

GOP Assault on Education. Education creates equal opportunity for all. It allows everyone to qualify for and maintain good jobs, find suitable housing and raise a family. This, in turn, bolsters our economy. But in recent years, education has changed dramatically. Until the 1970s, our booming manufacturing sector and strong unions offered high school graduates ample opportunities for jobs with living wages and good benefits. But since then, the GOP anti-union assault, combined with the loss of tens of thousands of factory jobs, has created a crisis in our employment sector. Millennials are finding it increasingly difficult to find suitable housing, much less raise a family and thrive. And those who need to retrain are finding the cost too high to bear. Read more…

Criminal Justice Reform

Incarceration Nation. America leads the world for the number of people incarcerated. Currently, we have 2.2 million in jail or prison, and most them are, overwhelmingly, people of color. Blacks are imprisoned at seven times the rate as whites, and one out of every 15 African-American men are incarcerated, compared to one out of every 106 white males. Even African-American women are three times more likely to be incarcerated then Caucasian women. This large-scale incarceration operation costs taxpayers $80 billion a year. Shouldn’t we be funding education and jobs to combat this problem, rather than spending our resources on prisons? Read more…

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