Monday, May 19, 2014

A Way Out

Last Thursday, a number of local fast food workers took to the streets with community allies as a part of #FastFoodGlobal. These workers either make minimum wage or just above minimum wage. And they're struggling just to survive.

These low wage workers are merely asking for this: #MakeWorkPay. That's all. They're already working hard just to feed the kids and pay the bills. How are we really hurting anyone by ensuring people can actually work for a living?

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) has yet to answer this question. He opposes increasing the minimum wage. And he opposes even sustaining social safety programs that actually work at reducing poverty. But now, we're supposed to believe that Rep. Paul Ryan wants to "fight poverty"?

How exactly does Rep. Ryan plan to "fight poverty" if he's constantly fighting against letting millions of workers work for a living wage? And how does he "fight poverty" by fighting to rip to shreds the social safety net that prevents millions of Americans from falling into deeper poverty? We can only wonder if any of the hedge fund executives who Ryan met at Bellagio. Did anyone address the glaring disparity between Ryan's rhetoric and his real policies during the pool side party or the Champagne mixer?

Economic inequality is not merely some philosophical conundrum in need of abstract concepts. It's a very real problem in America today. Real people are suffering. And they're not helped by empty rhetoric and counterproductive policies.

Here in Nevada and elsewhere throughout the nation, millions of Americans are merely asking for a way out. They don't want a handout. They just want a way out of the poverty cycle. Is this really too difficult for Paul Ryan and other Republican "leaders" to understand?

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