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What would you like our government to do about:

• The concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few?

• Protection for small businesses?

• Workers’ ability to negotiate?

• Promoting job growth?

• Promoting the growth of jobs with good pay for those without college degrees?

• Lower costs for drugs and medical equipment?

In 2019, three Americans had more wealth than the bottom 50%. Since 1989, the bottom 50% experienced no net wealth growth while the top 1 percent have seen their wealth grow by almost 300%. While the average tax rate paid by the richest 400 families was 23%, the bottom half of American households was 24.2%.

The Biden administration is reversing the 1980s policy of ignoring the impact of mergers and stopping this concentration of wealth and power. In July 2021, President Biden signed an executive order to promote competition for small businesses, workers and consumers. 

Workers are gaining more ability to negotiate wages, and median weekly earnings rose 7.4% last year (faster than inflation). 

The country added 223,000 jobs in December, and the unemployment rate went down to 3.5 percent. In the past two years 10.7 million jobs were created and a record 10.5 million small businesses’ applications were filed. The Biden administration’s CHIPS (as in microchips) and Science Act is bringing good paying jobs to those without college degrees.

And for consumers, since big pharmaceutical companies have manipulated patents and strangled start-up competitors to raise the costs of prescriptions and equipment like hearing aids, the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act gave Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices with Big Pharma and capped the cost of insulin for those on Medicare at $35 a month. It also made hearing aids dramatically cheaper and available over the counter.

Surprised? Perhaps you have been influenced by news sources and acquaintances who are biased.

Phill Laursen

Gilroy

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