Jobs, Minimum Wage & Unions
The industry is changing and so is the demand. We need to focus on the REAL unemployment rate and equip people with better training in technology. Employees shouldn't face immediate termination in the face of new technology, but should be given a chance to learn how to operate it. I will also work hard to make it difficult for employers to terminate employees at certain times of the year and under certain circumstances.
It has been proclaimed since before the pandemic that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created jobs and significantly reduced the unemployment rate. For the purposes of this section, I will now address the unemployment rate, its impact and what it meant for American jobs. The unemployment rate dropped because the Trump administration was aggressive about making tax deals that would benefit corporations in exchange for hiring more workers who would also become tax paying individuals. The hope was that if corporations are taxed less they have more of an incentive to hire more workers. The problem with this model is that it places a band aid on a much bigger problem. The bigger problem is that we don’t focus enough attention on the REAL unemployment rate which includes millions of individuals who could be working but are not for various reasons. It doesn’t include people who have been discriminated against for whatever reason, ones who are in search of full-time work but can’t find it, discouraged workers, etc. The general unemployment rate only includes people that are “so-called” able to work and are actively searching for a job. It is absolutely ludicrous to continue focusing on this number when it doesn’t reflect the real situation.
When we understand the REAL unemployment rate then we can begin putting together a plan that addresses the nation’s potential workforce in an efficient way; one that prepares a new generation of workers for an increasingly technologically advanced society. One of the things I promise to work with the President on is not only job creation, but new jobs creation. Which brings me to my next point: It should absolutely be against the law to immediately fire workers and leave them out in the cold solely because of new technology. Our workers who make up the middle class deserve better treatment. This is why upon my election to the U.S. Senate, I promise to work on legislation that protects workers whose companies use and abuse them, and then cast them off and replace them with robots. I understand companies are trying to save money and reduce tax expenditure, but I also understand greed, and that when it comes to it, there’s no satisfying anybody, only exploitation and control. Automation isn’t the enemy, greed is. Our country is absolutely dependent on the middle class because these are the ones who download music, take temporary vacations, buy goods and services, etc. The development and maintenance of a large middle class is what sets America aside from countries plagued by poverty. I don’t have any interest in supporting or providing compassion to companies, especially foreign ones, that come to the United States to exploit its workers only to fire them and leave them destitute. If foreign companies and businesses can’t value our culture and tradition, and how we treat our workers then they need to get the hell out of here right now and make-way for those who will. In America, we value our workers. We treat them with dignity and respect. They have freedoms and livelihoods that employers must take into consideration; and if they’re not going to do that willingly, then they will be forced to, which brings me to my next point in support of unions.
To give up on the American dream would be un-American. All workers have it. As a member of Congress, I promise to support unions because they make it easier to acquire the dream. Unions are in the fight of the century and they are going to need someone strong and bold to lead them because the fight is about automation. Employers across this country believe they are going to get rid of human workers. Not on my watch. It will not be easy under my tenure because every machine they intend to replace you with will now be met with a list of criteria to meet, along with a list of rules and regulations. No other candidate has promised to do that. Now, it’s been estimated that up to 375 million people globally will need to find entirely new kinds of jobs by 2030 due to automation and being replaced by machines. Says who? Employers must be held accountable for keeping with automation so that workers can be prepared to take on new roles instead of being terminated. Now, I will demand they get started on this right now because if they think they’re going to just kick employees to the curb they’ve got another thing coming. It was the labor movement and working people that built this country. We must never forget. Non-union members just don’t understand and many don’t appreciate they have a blood right that’s been bought and paid for by people long before them, decades ago, who fought with their blood, sweat, and tears for fairness and safety in the workplace who aren’t thanked nearly enough for what they did! They wanted to make sure that the supervisors, the managers, and the owners of companies didn’t get to choose how to boss workers around. American companies and industries should already know better than to mess with American workers and their pensions, but I’m afraid greed continues to stand in the way and must be continually subdued. Nothing has changed as far as Americans working hard. What has changed is the diversity of the 1% rich rising to the occasion every time to take advantage of American workers so they have to put up with things like small wages, working in hazardous conditions without hazardous pay, and less time to spend with family and friends. Unions have attempted to do nothing more than to make a way for companies to make money and still be fair to their employees. I’m calling on all unions, especially those in Indiana to support my campaign. Because it’s time we work together and build fairer termination policies for all. I want to work with unions to create legislation that protects workers from being terminated at certain times of the year and those who are faced with certain life circumstances.
My stepfather was a proud union member. As a worker for United States Steel for over 20 years, I witnessed as a child how the union came to his aid when he had troubles along the way. I remember hearing about it at the dinner table. I want those who read this policy to know that, as a future member of the U.S. Senate, unions have a friend in me. I will be there with them from beginning to end in this fight against automation replacement every step of the way and together, we will win!
Quality of Jobs, Quality Pay and Paid Family and Medical Leave.
Finally, I wish to address job-quality, quality of pay and paid family medical leave. The Brookings Institution, a non-partisan research foundation reported back in December 2019 that although America’s unemployment rate was at a half-century low, it had a job-quality problem affecting nearly half the population with a study finding that 44% of U.S. workers were employed in low-wage jobs. This makes it impossible for Americans to get ahead and improve their quality of life as members of the middle class. We must work with companies and employers across the nation to produce legislation that institutes mandatory increases in pay. My opponent, Senator Todd Young remains strongly opposed to minimum wage increases as he works to protect his friends on Wall Street. That’s easy for him to defend when he’s bringing in close to $200K a year as a member of Congress and millions in campaign contributions. I am beyond minimum wage, as I am a strong advocate for livable wages. I am a hard-working individual with two jobs: one full-time and one part-time. Additionally, I am a business owner and operator of my own social service. Upon my election to Congress, I have every intention of keeping my jobs and I hope my employers will agree, not just because I love my jobs, but because that way, I understand the everyday struggles of hard-working Americans and what they go through just to put food on their tables.
Paid Family and Medical Leave. I am in full support of automatic paid family and medical leave. People shouldn’t have to choose between their job, their health, and their family. I support paid family medical leave when individuals are able to meet the existing legal requirements for up to four months. This can be paid through payroll taxes funded by the employee and the employer. Additionally, I am in support of states who have already implemented their own paid family and medical leave programs.