“An imbalance between the rich and the poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.”
~ Plutarch (46-119 AD)
The Economic Equity Foundation (“EEF”) is a nonprofit organization devoted to ending the economic anguish of our 106 million lower-income and poor Americans and in the process save this nation. We will begin our efforts by demanding that our U.S. Congress increase the current $7.25 an hour national minimum wage of poverty to $22.00 an hour/$880.00 a week. This wage increase will provide 95 million working Americans with salaries that are six times less than is the $132.88 an hour wage we taxpayers pay U.S. Congresspeople.
This will be this nation’s first step in assuaging the OECD’s findings that the U.S. is the richest developed nation with: (a) the highest rates of income and wealth inequality, (b) the highest rates of poverty, and (c) the least opportunities for a child to rise above the circumstances into which they are born. Jesus told Congress, “As you do unto the least of your people, so you do unto me.” Politically, this means that this nation’s success and ultimate survival is never measured by how well it treats its wealthy, but only by how well it treats its poor. History agrees with Jesus as well as Plutarch.
“We cannot suffer with the poor when we are unwilling to confront those persons and systems that cause poverty. We cannot set the captives free when we do not want to confront those who carry the keys. We cannot profess our solidarity with those who are oppressed when we are unwilling to confront the oppressor. Compassion without confrontation fades quickly to fruitless sentimental commiseration.” ~ Nouwen, McNeill, and Morrison: Compassion: A Reflection on the Christian Life
The reason we have poor people in America is because our U.S. Congress and U.S. President refuses to eliminate this problem. This is one reason we say some of the most absurdly overpaid U.S. employees are the 535 voting members of the U.S. Congress. These people have a median net worth of a million dollars. On top of this, our U.S. Congresspeople, with a salary and total benefits of $285,000 a year, are effectively paid $132.88 an hour, i.e., $5,296 a week. This is 5.6 times more than the average U.S. hourly wage of $23.73, i.e., $950 a week, and 18.32 times more than the $7.25 an hour national minimum wage of $290.00 a week. And if this is not bad enough, by law, minimum wage earners are required to help pay the salary of U.S. Congresspeople. Moreover, since Congresspeople spend 75% of their time raising money for their reelection and 25% ignoring the problems of our nation’s 106 million Americans living in the clutches of poverty, some wonder why we should pay Congresspeople at all.
Poverty expert Peter Edelman tells us: “The first thing needed if we’re to get people out of poverty is more jobs that pay decent wages.” The persons and systems that are the cause poverty in the U.S. are our U.S. Congresspeople. For instance, if the U.S. Congress were to raise the national minimum wage to $22.00 an hour this would eliminate 95% of the poverty in the U.S.
At $18.28 an hour, Denmark has one of the world’s highest national minimum wages. Which raises the question: If the U.S. is the greatest nation in the world, why is our national minimum wage less than half that of the happiest nation in the world?
To set this problem right, the EEF will urge our 95 million Americans who will benefit from a $22.00 an hour/$880 a week minimum wage, and their 200 million family members and friends, to join us in an effort to change the lives of all of our people, and in reality save this nation. The EEF will reach out to them via some 202 creative one-minute stories, delivered by every media outlet possible. Our goal is to inspire these 295 million Americans to find that “Something Inside So Strong,” that will give them no choice but to join the EEF in a 25 million Americans strong Occupation of Washington, DC, where we will demand that Congress either establishes a $22.00 an hour/$880 a week national minimum wage, or resign en masse.
“The best way to boost the economy is to redistribute wealth downward, as poorer people tend to spend a higher proportion of their income.” ~ Ha-Joon Chang, 23 Things They Don’t Tell YouAbout Capitalism
This one simple act will lift 95% of our 106 million Americans now living below the poverty line onto the first rung of the American middle class ladder. This will also increase the annual taxable and available spending revenue of these 95 million workers from $2.776 trillion to $4.347 trillion. And because these Americans need to buy consumer goods even more than our rich need to buy politicians, this will boost our nation’s economic growth, of which 70% depends on consumer spending, to celestial heights. This will also reduce the unemployment and underemployment of 29 million Americans, and drastically reduce Unemployment Benefits, Food Stamps (SNAP), the Earned Income Credit, and Medicaid costs.
Most importantly, this plan will be structured so that our 7.4 million businesses with employees, especially our small and new businesses that generate 65% of the new jobs, will not pay a single penny of this wage increase. Under the EEF plan, employers will receive an instantaneous tax rebate for the difference between an employee’s current wage and the new $22.00 minimum wage. These rebates will be paid for by the increased tax revenue and reduced entitlement costs generated by these improved wages. This will enrich our workers and our economy, as well as significantly reduce our budget deficits.
Over the past decade, our oblivious politicians have flushed $5 trillion down “black holes” of economic absurdity via two useless wars. If instead, they had listened to President Eisenhower, and had invested this $5 trillion in American workers, American infrastructure, and other American needs; we who love to read as much as we love this country, would not have to shelve our books and take up the cause of inspiring our people to rise up and force our U.S. Congress and our U.S. President, to do what is necessary to eliminate poverty in this country so we can insure that the U.S. is not a Failed Empire in 2025, like myriad Historians predict it will be.
“Never depend upon institutions or government to solve major problem. Such problems can only be understood and effectively remedied by the passions of individuals.” ~ Margaret Mead
The EEF was founded by Ron Jarrett, a Columbia University Law School graduate and former Professor of Entrepreneurship at Florida A &M University, and Martha Warriner Jarrett, a Loyola University Law School graduate and business bankruptcy attorney.
Like all new ventures whose founders think they can truly change the world but that are not owned by a bigger organization with “deep pockets,” the EEF needs all of the “start-up” help and support that we can get from visionary individuals, foundations, labor unions, religious organizations of all faith, educational institutions, as well as businesses and corporations that are committed to an America where the income and wealth distribution is fair to all Americans.
After we are up and running all of our funds will come from $22.00 contributions from our 80 million American innovators and early adopters, who believe that a $22.00 an hour/$880 per week national minimum wage, as well as a U.S. National Economic Equity Agenda, are absolutely necessary if this nation is to survive as a First World nation past the year 2025.
“We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.” ~ Buckminster Fuller
Our vision of a perfect America is a nation where everyone puts national and community needs above their selfish needs, and where everyone who is willing to work will have a good job or a successful business that provides them and their family with a livable income and a fulfilling life. However, if someone cannot work, for reasons beyond their control, then the government will provide them with 101 ways to still make a meaningful contribution to our society.