Money. Power. Politics.
Three words that control our country. In a capitalist economy run by some of the wealthiest elite in the world, what kind of balance of power does that create?
Living in close proximity to D.C., I have learned several facts:
- No one in DC is actually from DC
- Cops are everywhere
- And so are politicians
- People here suffer from taxation without representation
- Even our capitol is not exempt from poverty
Money makes the world go ’round, that idea has been around for a very long time and it’s just as true now as it was when it was first stated. Only now, this country is seeing an ever-increasing gap between the rich and the poor. Costs are going up, but wages are not. Private sector wages have increased by approximately 10% in the last five years, but federal minimum wage hasn’t increased once. And now all the “representatives of the people” are sitting in their high and mighty chairs and preaching about how those living on minimum wages don’t need more money.
Former Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio recently participated in the Live the Wage challenge, taking just $77 to live on for one week. And as he so eloquently states, he failed. He ran out of money on Thursday. In his self-written article in Politico magazine, Strickland discusses what he was eating and how he managed his transportation during this brief experiment. And he goes on to say one of the most resounding statements I have heard from a politician in a long time.
“Washington is in a bubble that keeps our representatives away from the experiences of those they actually represent. We need to understand the challenges faced by Americans who are being left behind in our economy.”
Strickland definitely hit the nail on the head. Those who are supposed to be representing our states with their people in mind are often missing the point of what it means to truly represent someone. They are not acting with our best interests at heart and most have probably never gone hungry a day in their lives or had to walk because they couldn’t afford to ride the metro or get a cab.
So let’s try an experiment, shall we? Anyone who reads this, and the embedded articles about who is really earning minimum wage, I want you to open up your email or grab a pen and paper and write your thoughts on this issue to your state representative or congressman and ask them to participate in the Live the Wage challenge. I don’t care if you are a Democrat, a Republican, an Independent, or didn’t even vote, write it down and send it out. We deserve to be heard, to have a voice, to affect change in our futures.
We can’t afford to live in a “trickle-down economy” anymore. It isn’t working. Our workers are also our consumers. And the sooner that all the businesses who like making money figure that out, the better off everyone will be.