Politicians Let Down the Working Class—Again

Another bill was shot down by arguably the most inefficient group of individuals to ever exist. The U.S senate ruled against a bill proposed by Bernie Sanders, which entails raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. It would be a much-needed change for this country, considering the fact that the current minimum wage is a measly $7.25 and hasn’t been raised in about fourteen years. However, the bill fell short with a vote of 42-58, including an independent and seven Democrats that sided with all of the Republicans that voted against the bill. 

It is more than clear that most of Congress concerns themselves with bills and reforms that benefit their selfish interests. When asked to vote in favor of a bill that will benefit the majority of the U.S population, suddenly there are rebuttals such as “there will be inflation” or “an increase in minimum wage will hurt businesses.” However, the right side did not seem to have an issue with the passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which enriched them. In short, this included tax breaks for assets such as partnerships, real estate businesses, stocks, stock mutual funds, and other investments that many Republicans hold. The current state of America is definitely reminiscent of a kleptocratic system. Addressing the recurrent concerns against increasing the minimum wage has been done by several experts, such as Ben Zipperer, an economist who states that “the weight of recent evidence shows that minimum wage increases have worked exactly as intended, by raising wages without substantial negative consequences on employment.” 

Aside from the lack of action and interest from the Republicans, the left side didn’t vote unanimously, and one of the senators, Krysten Sinema, displayed embarrassing behavior when she physically gave the floor a thumbs down—the same way a child would. Instances such as these make The People question if their elected officials truly have their best interest in mind. Just as Bernie Sanders said in a recent speech, “I know that here in Washington anytime we bring forth serious and important legislation for working people, the big money interests get to work and all of their lobbyists who make their six figures or seven figures a year, they get to work on congress and tell you [senators] why you can’t do anything to protect the most vulnerable and hard-hit people in this country.” 

Despite this setback, Sanders also assured the people, "We are developing a strategy and if anyone thinks that the vote that we had the other day on the minimum wage is the last vote that is taking place this session, they are very, very wrong. We are going to pass that bill."