We learned today that inflation increased 3.5% over the last year, higher than expected. I think there are two reasons for this: ineffective interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and stagnant wages over the last forty years.

The Federal Reserve was established in 1913 to help curtail panicked banking sprees from consumers. The overall idea is to use a central, non-partisan group of experts to guide the economy to success and avoid financial turmoil for Americans. While we have seen the Great Depression of the 1920’s and the Recession of the 2000’s, the Fed has been generally very successful.

Perhaps, though, until now.

In the past several years, we have seen inflation soar. To offset this, the Fed established a higher interest rate, which typically encourages people to save money, not borrow from banks, and spend less. This has negatively impacted the housing market, which was already short on supply, and it has not reversed inflation growth.

Did the Federal Reserve significantly overestimated just how many people could afford to save money?

With approximately 60% of the country living paycheck to paycheck, there just isn’t enough money for Americans to save after typical monthly expenses. Redfin released a study this week where it was reported that almost half of Americans struggle to make rent or mortgage payments and forgo medical care and even meals to make their payments.

Real wages have not kept up with inflation. There is a difference of 237.7% between the increase in wages and the increase in price of homes over the last forty years. The last increase in minimum wage to $7.25 was implemented in 2009. We are currently in the longest period without a raise in the minimum wage since it was implemented in 1938.

Meanwhile, executive pay has increased over 1200% since 1980.

What can we do?

  • increase real wages across the country with $15/hour minimum wage
  • establish a fairer tax system, increasing effective rates on the ultra-wealthy and closing corporate loopholes
  • establish a plan to allow minimum wage to increase gradually over time
  • develop programs like universal healthcare and public pre-k to help families retain more of their paychecks

When I am elected, I will tackle income inequality by supporting increased wages and implementing fairer taxes across the country.

Believe in change. Believe in the possible.

Believe in me.

Lindsay