$15+/hour minimum wage. End tip minimum wage. End tax cuts for the rich.
A recent study by the London School of Economics found that 50 years of tax cuts for the rich failed to deliver its promises. The recent Trump Administration’s policies to replicate the “successes” of the Reagan Administration (read, the stock market explodes and the wealthy become wealthier), has had the expected results for those of us not in the 1%: more workers experienced pay cuts than in the last recession, wages continued to stay stagnant, and the rate of automation accelerated. All of these factors are reversing hard-fought progress for women of color, LGBTQ+ community, and Native Americans. As our families and communities gradually transition out of the pandemic, we need to make sure everyone can afford to meet their basic needs — food, housing, healthcare. Establishing a $15/hr minimum is a good first step and needs to happen, but it’s not enough. Due primarily to skyrocketing housing costs, the cost of living in many urban areas means $15/hr is not a living wage. In Fairfax County, for example, the cost of living is 150% higher than in the rest of Virginia. To address this crucial issue, we must:
- Implement a living wage correlated to cost of living
- Pass legislation that guarantees everyone the right to housing, healthcare, and food access
- Provide a salary or Universal Basic Income to help people retrain for new careers
- Eliminate tipped worker minimum wage, which is just $2.13/hour in Virginia