Standing proudly with hardworking Yoopers and Northern Michiganders, I'm committed to championing working-class values, not just because I'm a product of them, but because building the middle class is a moral imperative.
$51 trillion. This staggering amount of money has been transferred from hard-working Americans since 1975.
Let me be very clear: Democrats are working to grow the middle class but to overcome half a century of divestment in the American worker, we have a lot of work to do federally, and I need your help getting to Congress to change the tide for rural Americans.
Can you imagine what it would mean for 90% of Americans if income for the everyday worker kept up with productivity? It would've been an additional $1,144 every single month. Month after month. Year after year. If wages kept up with CEO compensation, corporate profits and productivity, every worker would earn over a half a million dollars more throughout their working careers.
What is redistribution from the working class?
This transfer of wealth, often referred to as a redistribution from the working class, occurs when economic policies devalue the American worker through income inequality, wage stagnation, and policies that disproportionately benefit the ultra-wealthy and giant corporations.
As a result, a significant portion of the wealth that the working class generates has been redirected to other sectors, contributing to the alarming wealth gap we face today.
Ways the American Worker Faced Economic Disadvantage over the last 50 years
Stagnant wages: Since the 1970s, the real wages of American workers have barely increased, with only minimal growth compared to rising productivity.
Inflation-adjusted hourly wages for the average American worker have risen by only around 11% since 1973, while productivity has increased by over 70%.
Income inequality: The gap between the wealthy and the average worker has significantly widened. In 1978, CEOs earned roughly 30 times more than the average worker, but by 2018, this gap had increased to over 278 times.
Compensation growth: Ultra-wealthy CEOs have seen substantial increases in their compensation. CEO compensation soared by almost 1,000% between 1978 and 2018, while worker compensation increased by only around 12%.
Declining unionization: Union membership has sharply declined, limiting workers' collective bargaining power. Union membership dropped from about 20% in 1983 to just 10.3% in 2019, reducing negotiation power for better wages and benefits.
Erosion of worker benefits: Employer-provided benefits, such as healthcare and retirement plans, have become less comprehensive.. The percentage of private-sector workers with employer-sponsored pensions has plummeted from around 35% in the early 1990s to only 15% in 2019.
Job insecurity: The rise of precarious employment, including part-time, temporary, and gig work, has led to increased job insecurity. As of 2020, around 10.6% of the U.S. workforce was engaged in alternative work arrangements.
Outsourcing and offshoring: Many American jobs have been relocated overseas, causing a decline in domestic employment opportunities. From 2000 to 2010, the U.S. lost approximately 5.6 million manufacturing jobs, mainly due to outsourcing and offshoring.
Disproportionate profits to compensation: Corporate profits have been soaring while workers have faced economic challenges. Corporate profits after tax reached a record high of over $2.2 trillion in 2019, more than double the amount in the early 1990s, but trickle-down economics is a myth, and it hasn't benefited everyday workers.
Automation and technological displacement: Advancements in technology have replaced certain jobs and reduced employment opportunities. According to an Oxford University study, around 47% of U.S. jobs are at risk of being automated in the next few decades.
Rising healthcare costs: Healthcare expenses have increasingly shifted to workers. Since 2000, average family healthcare premiums have increased by 355%, significantly outpacing wage growth.
It's time for a change...
I'm running for Congress because I firmly believe hardworking Americans have been robbed for far too long. We must advocate for policies that support workers, unions, and the American family.
It's crucial we stand with those who have been neglected. I take great pride in my ongoing efforts to support working-class families in rural areas. This has been the central focus of my career and remains a mission to which I am deeply committed.
I grew up in a union home with five siblings. My father was a railroad worker. My mother was a union nurse. Growing up, I wanted to be a sanitation worker because they help people and work hard. It was simple for me. That's part of the American dream, too.
My family overcame many obstacles with grit and tenacity living the lower end of the working class. I found success serving economically disadvantaged patients.
But, my story is improbable in today's economy.
My opponent, Rep. Jack Bergman, has consistently voted against the people and always favored the ultra-wealthy and giant corporations. It's time for a working-class champion. Help me unseat the person standing in the way of our district's success. Together, we can again rewrite the story and ensure a brighter future for all.
Thank you for your loyalty, generosity, and support.
Candidate for US Congress
Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula