Wealth inequality is the biggest problem facing our society today. The cost of living continues to rise, while wages have stagnated. The market has proven incapable or unwilling to pay a living wage, so I support a state mandated minimum wage of $15 an hour. I will work to raise the minimum wage for all Pennsylvanians, and we will work to ensure that workers who wish to form or join a union can do so.
Large companies like Walmart, that underpay and then encourage or force by economic circumstance their employees on government programs are fueling poverty. This is corporate welfare it needs to stop.
Parents who are under financial stress, are more prone to divorce, mortgage default and addiction issues. This not only affects them but also their children's chances at success and education. This issue affects us all as a functioning democracy requires educated and involved citizens. We do not believe in handouts but we do believe that people need hope in their future not a system rigged against the vast majority.
As a business owner, I am aware of how these costs can add up, but I believe that a person, who is paid a decent wage is a better citizen and employee. No full time working adult deserves to be paid less than a living wage, which I believe is $15 an hour as a W2 employee. We are a communal society and we need to realize that we are only doing as well as our neighbors.
Creating a living wage alone is not a silver bullet to defeat poverty, global factors effect this also. Housing prices have been driven up by speculation in the area, taxes have increased and inflation has effected the prices of food, materials and transportation. I am open to systemic changes beyond just raising the minimum wage.
What I can do as a Senator:
Support any legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15.
Expose and stop any company that pays low wages and encourages its employees to get on state assistance; this is corporate welfare.
Work with and strike with workers and unions who are fighting for fair wages and benefits.