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Should Empower the Working People of Alabama

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Alabama should empower the Working People of Alabama

All things are possible in the state of Alabama and I believe we can create an environment where the entrepreneurial spirit of the poor, working, and middle classes can thrive. I believe we must provide everyone an opportunity to prosper, not just those "too big to fail."

Alabama must reject the policies and programs which have created a growing concentration of economic power and control for the wealthy. In the words of the Christian essayist, G.K. Chesterton, the problem with the modern, deformed, version of capitalism is that it creates too few capitalists. What passes for "capitalism" today hardly resembles the principles advanced by Adam Smith, the father of free markets. It is better described as cronyism

Since World War II, we have converted from a country owned by many to a county owned by a few. The top 1% of Americans own over 50% of all private assets in the United States while the bottom 50% of Americans have less that 5%. The average CEO of an American corporation in 1978 made 37 times more than wage of an average worker; today it is 349 times more than the average person. However, in Japan today, the average CEO only makes 17 times the average worker. The top 1% of America takes home 20% of the national GNP while the bottom 50% takes home only 12.8%.

America's poor and working people are struggling to keep their heads above water. Too many Americans owe far more than what they own. One out of every six people have NO equity. In fact, one out of every three American households have less than $10,000 in net assets. Even worse, the average weekly real wage has fallen over the past forty years. In 1964, it was $686; by 2008, it had fallen to $612 per week, a pay cut. One in eight Americans, or over 50 million people, fell below the poverty line in 2007. This percentage represents the highest level of poverty of any developed nation in the world. How can we be the most advanced nation in the world when almost half of our own people live in poverty?

As part of government's calling to pursue public justice, it is our duty to work for, not against, those in need. There are some concrete things we can do that would help the average working Alabamian:

* First, we should remove inequitable taxes, such as any grocery sales tax, off the poor and working people of Alabama, without raising taxes on small businesses.

* We should be more proactive in our lending to micro-sized business ventures for the poor and working classes. Lending is a key component of small business growth, and if big corporations like AIG can still get loans, there's people wanting to open a small business shouldn't be denied.

"The fundamental criteria by which all political and economic institutions and practices must be tested is just this: 'What do they do to the poor?'



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