Workers Deserve to Not Just Survive—They Deserve to Thrive

Comedian and regular rabble-rouser Sarah Silverman released a video this past Monday explaining why she is campaigning for Bernie Sanders this election year instead of Hillary Clinton. The endorsement aside, Silverman touched on many issues affecting American voters, including falling wages.

Specifically, she targets Senate Majority Leader and, as Jon Stewart would say, Toby Turtle look-alike, Mitch McConnell, who has repeatedly refused to bring a federal minimum wage increase vote to Congress. What has he done, though? Continuously voted to increase his own and his fellow Congress buddies’ salaries, of course!

Mitch himself makes close to $200,000 a year, but for some reason, he sees workers making a minimum of $15 an hour, which amounts to roughly $30,000 a year, as absurd.

Mitch has stated that America’s biggest problem isn’t income inequality, but overregulation.

Really, Mitch?

Because in 2015, the wage gap between working men saw its largest single-year increase ever. Wages for the average male worker dropped 4.6 percent while on the other end of the scale, those in the top 5 percent pay bracket got an increase of 9.9 percent.

Since 1979, this disturbing trend in income inequality has only gotten worse as the top 1 percent have grabbed 120 percent more in income while those in the bottom 20 percent have experienced a 30 percent loss.

And as for women? They’re not doing much better than men. In fact, they’re doing far worse.

Even though women’s wages have increased throughout the past few decades, they still make approximately only 77 percent of what men make doing the same work.

And none of this is sure as hell being stopped by Congress.

The 10 richest Congress members voted in 2009 to extend the Bush tax cuts to the already mega-rich.

So who is Congress really working for?

Maybe Mitch has spent so much time in his turtle shell that he can’t see outside of it. But guess what? There’s a whole world out there, a whole world of workers who wake up early in the morning and stay up late into the night to earn whatever wages they can make at their low-wage jobs.

They choose between paying for food and paying their children’s medical bills. They hustle day after day to keep themselves and their families afloat, while their legislative “representatives” drift easily above everyone who put them there.

But workers deserve more. They deserve to not just survive, but thrive.

Congress is supposed to serve the people. It’s not the other way around.

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