Wage growth, worker fairness at heart of Davidson’s economic plan

Dr. Rob Davidson is an emergency physician and Democratic candidate for congress in Michigan’s 2nd congressional district

SPRING LAKE, Michigan — Emergency physician and Congressional candidate Rob Davidson today announced a blueprint to grow wages, reduce income inequality and support working families. Davidson will introduce the multifaceted proposals, “An economic blueprint for shared prosperity,” shortly after he joins the 116th Congress in 2019. (Details of Davidson’s blueprint are in the fact sheet at the end of this release.)

“West Michigan workers who put in long hard hours at their jobs deserve to be treated with dignity and share in an economy that truly works for everyone, not just Wall Street billionaires,” Davidson said. “Too many folks are struggling from paycheck to paycheck because their wages have been stagnant for 40 years while big banks get tax handouts. Small mom-and-pop businesses are being held back because of an unfair tax structure that benefits large corporations and the very wealthy. Small businesses and communities are losing out on opportunities because Congress won’t invest in the roads, bridges, water infrastructure and manufacturing plants of the future that will benefit all of us. For too long, large corporations have been allowed, with the help of their political cronies, to push the misguided idea that businesses’ sole priority is profit maximization, when a more sustainable priority should be caring for its customers and its employees. The time has come when Americans demand an economy that puts people first.”

Davidson’s economic plan focuses on five general areas:

  • Good wages for workers
  • Fairness at the workplace
  • Support for working families
  • Infrastructure and technology
  • Trade and tariffs

Davidson’s blueprint aims to address one of the most vexing problems in today’s economy: stagnant wages despite what appears to be a strong economy that began around 2014 and continues through today. Despite low unemployment, today’s workers’ wages have barely increased relative to the cost of living, and workers’ inflation-adjusted buying power remains unchanged from the late 1970s. During the same period, worker productivity has gone up more than 70 percent, making companies more profitable, yet worker wages have been kept low, growing only around 12 percent. In the long term, income inequality and low wages will reduce demand and crimp productivity, ultimately hurting the economy.

“We must do everything we can to restore fairness and dignity for the folks doing the real work in jobs all across West Michigan after more than a generation of corporate welfare that rewards wealthy CEOs and Wall Street banks on the backs of everyday hardworking Americans,” Davidson said. “Folks from workers on the floor to middle managers and supervisors have been asked to sacrifice while wealthy CEOs continue to get huge rewards regardless of performance. The time has come for billionaires who have gotten the bulk of the benefits to pay their fair share. The people caring for our parents and grandparents, the people serving our dinner and delivering our food, the people who build our roads and schools, the people who teach our kids, the people behind registers and the wheel of our school buses, nurses and firefighters and workers in so many diverse fields, the ordinary workers who have been squeezed for too long deserve a share of an economy that truly works for everyone.”

Davidson’s blueprint was announced two weeks after he unveiled a healthcare-for-all plan that would protect families, reduce prescription drug costs and ensure patients with preexisting conditions get treatment, while helping businesses eliminate expensive healthcare premiums.

AN ECONOMIC BLUEPRINT FOR SHARED PROSPERITY

Good wages for workers

  • The federal minimum wage will be increased to $15 an hour.
  • Employers must ensure that differences in pay between a male and female worker doing the same job are based on factors other than their sex.
  • When top executives are paid 100 times or more of a company’s median salary, the company must pay a 10-percent business surcharge. Executives paid at 250 times or more will see their companies pay a 20 percent surcharge.
  • Prevailing wages will be required for federal projects.

Workplace fairness

  • Companies with more than $500 million in revenue must apply for a charter from the federal government (as opposed to a state) that requires the company’s board to include at least 40 percent workers.
  • The National Labor Relations Board must be allowed to certify a union when 50 percent plus one of workers at a company consent to form a union.
  • A federal law will repeal so-called “right to work” laws passed at the state level to protect and encourage collective bargaining.

Supporting working families

  • Companies that provide 6 months of paid maternity and family leave will be eligible for financial rewards for supporting their employees.
  • Companies that provide at least five paid sick days will be eligible for credits and other benefits.
  • Workers should have the right to make scheduling requests without retaliation and to see their schedules ahead of time, with on-call workers eligible for extra pay.

Technology and infrastructure

  • Businesses, public schools and institutions of continuing education will partner, through grants and tax incentives, on technical, skilled trades and apprenticeship education and programs to accelerate infrastructure projects from roads and bridges to drinking water supplies and critical buildings.
  • Workers must be given advanced notice of a company’s technological plans; the right to participate in the early stage design processes that influence how their work will change; training to ensure they are well-prepared before the technologies are implemented; and fair compensation and adjustment policies for those whose jobs might be eliminated.

Trade and tariffs

  • To prevent reckless unilateral executive tariffs from sparking devastating trade wars, Congress must be allowed to review and approve tariffs imposed by executive actions, as recommended by a bipartisan bill pending in the House and in keeping with Congress’ Constitutional authority.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/08/07/for-most-us-workers-real-wages-have-barely-budged-for-decades/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2018/07/26/how-to-fix-stagnant-wages-dump-the-worlds-dumbest-idea/#1678d8c1abc1

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/08/07/for-most-us-workers-real-wages-have-barely-budged-for-decades/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/13/american-economy-wage-suppression-how-it-works

https://www.epi.org/productivity-pay-gap/

https://hbr.org/2018/02/the-u-s-economy-is-suffering-from-low-demand-higher-wages-would-help

https://thehill.com/policy/finance/408628-house-lawmakers-introduce-bill-to-ensure-congress-plays-central-role-in-tariff

https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2018/09/05/mccloskey

https://www.forbes.com/sites/sheilamarcelo/2018/07/10/paid-family-leave-senate-hearing/

https://www.mercatus.org/bridge/commentary/its-time-congress-act-trade

https://www.epi.org/publication/first-day-fairness-an-agenda-to-build-worker-power-and-ensure-job-quality/

Committee to Elect Rob Davidson, 518 West Savidge Street, Suite 3, Spring Lake, Michigan 49456.

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