We believe corporations, and those with whom wealth is concentrated, have too much control and we are organizing to reduce the dominance of these forces in Hawaii, the United States and around the world, including the Democratic Party.
Since 2000, the productivity of American workers has increased by 20 percent, while the wages of the average worker have grown by less than one percent. Was the savings made by employers from paying lower wages passed on to the consumers in order to strengthen the competitiveness of American produced goods and services? The answer is no.
But there was a remarkable bonanza in the income of businesses and high-income individuals during this period. Between 2000 and 2006, corporate profits grew at an average rate more than 10 percent a year–more than five times the average rate of growth during the previous 50 years. Corporate profits a a percentage of national income has skyrocketed from around nine percent to more than 15 percent during the same period–higher than at any point in the past half-century.
Protecting the right of workers to form and join unions in the U.S. is essential to preserving the middle class, as is federal investment in job creation such as the Apollo Alliance for renewable energy, investment in wireless Internet networks. We need fair trade deals with other countries that protect workers’ rights and the environment, not wage-reducing “free trade” agreements that only protect corporate rights to globally exploit unprotected labor.
We support policies that stimulate the economy through public investment in job creation, that build a sustainable economy and renders economic justice. The Bush Administration’s enormous tax breaks for the wealth, which were allowed to be extended by the Obama Administration, must be rolled back on the richest one percent of our population. Tax burdens on the middle class can be eased if the wealthy pay their share and the tax structure is made to be less regressive. More than 37 million people currently live in poverty in the U.S. today. These immoral levels of poverty, which disproportionately impact communities of color and women, can be significantly reduced through a concentrated effort including a living wage for workers, expanded earned income tax credits, childcare assistance, and housing vouchers.