Ron Birnbaum for Assembly | Income Inequality
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Income Inequality

I am committed to economic justice. I believe that just economics is smart economics.

I will expand the California Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to help supplement the incomes of hard-working Californians. And I’ll reform EITC to include people who are currently (and unfairly) left out of the system, including sole proprietors, street vendors, freelancers, artists, Lyft and Uber drivers, and other participants in the “gig economy,” while protecting against fraud and abuse.

I will ensure that California’s $15 per hour minimum wage gets indexed to inflation so that your money does not lose value as the economy grows. At the same time, I will introduce incentives to help small businesses meet the new minimum wage and hire additional employees.

I am committed to solutions that spur growth of the economy in a balanced way. We have an economy that is out of balance, rewarding capital too much and work not enough. This is one of the main reasons we have had sluggish growth for decades, flat incomes, and worsening income inequality.

We need to take a hard look at how we support retirees and seniors in this state. The move from defined benefit pensions to self-administered retirement funds has resulted in a massive shift of money from people who work their whole lives to the financial service industry. We need to do a better job educating our kids on the basics of personal finances, and we also need to hold people who are supposed to help with personal finances to high ethical standards. A car that doesn’t work is called a lemon. A financial adviser who enriches himself and not you is also basically a lemon.

I will make sure you have a voice no matter how much or how little money you have. And I will work as hard as you do every day to ensure your financial security—and to build broad-based prosperity.

The problem of income inequality is not just a matter of economic justice. A great American said it best:

“We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

– U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, 1856-1941