Bill Clinton summed it up with, “Its the economy, stupid.”, and it still is. A safe and beautiful state is not much use if you can’t afford to live in it. And affordability has two sides to it: Money in your pocket and money going out.
That is why I continue to be an advocate for raising the minimum wages. The fact is that when people living paycheck to paycheck have more money – they spend it. It goes right back into the local economy for food, car repair, childcare, and rent. And it keeps on circulating. When you give that money to the wealthy in the form of tax breaks, it goes into savings. Or maybe invested in businesses whose goal is to make money for their investors (i.e. pay low wages).
The other pocket, the one that pays out, can see reduced expenses by paying a little more in taxes and a lot less in medical premiums and co-pays with a single payer health care system that doesn’t need to carve a profit off the top for investors.
Housing costs are out of reach for many, which is why I have supported affordable housing projects, weatherization to make our old houses more usable, and policies to ensure that the polluters pay for PFOA groundwater contamination, not the unlucky homeowner.