Hoffman / Warburton Governor / Lieutenant Governor Statement on Income Inequality in New Jersey

Many have to count on an increase in income from the rudimentary social safety net even after working full time. New Jersey has the tenth worst income inequality in the nation, and inequality (measured by the GINI coefficient) actually increased during Murphy’s reign. – Statement by Governor / Lieutenant Governor Hoffman / Warburton on Income Inequality in New Jersey


September 10, 2021

Workers are the most essential component of our society. Without the organized actions of the workers, there would be no food, no production, no society as we know it. After decades of workers’ action, the bosses have offered some concessions. It is the organization, the unionization and the demonstrations that created this day.

Today, society employs many essential workers, yet so few are paid a living wage. Their sacrifice has saved millions of dollars and millions of lives, but many are barely paid. The cost of living has increased dramatically during the pandemic, and many of our essential workers are struggling to survive.

For decades the rich have gotten richer while the poor remain poor and the middle class shrinks. Across the country, people are working full time and cannot afford basic expenses such as rent, food, gas and insurance. Some even have multiple jobs and still don’t earn enough to put food on the table. Many have to count on an increase in income from the rudimentary social safety net even after working full time. New Jersey has the tenth worst income inequality in the nation, and inequality (measured by the GINI coefficient) actually increased during Murphy’s reign.

Many, after becoming unemployed during the pandemic, have realized that by being paid by unemployment, they earn more than they work. For many people, for the first time in their lives, they were given enough money to survive. People were able to gain more work than many of the essential workers our society needed to survive. Sadly, many have also lost their health insurance, a glaring problem in the United States and New Jersey that needs to be addressed.

Recently, we have seen a shortage in the low-wage labor market. With the decline in the value of the US dollar, it is more expensive to live anywhere, especially in the state of New Jersey. The reason there is such a shortage of jobs is that people cannot afford to live on their wages. During the country’s proclaimed economic golden age (mid to late 19th century), the minimum wage increased with the productivity of workers. The truth is, if the minimum wage continued to be linked to the productivity of workers, it would be $ 22 an hour. In order for you to rent a one bedroom apartment in this state, you need about that income, 40 hours a week, 12 months a year. The solution to the shortage in the low-wage labor market is to increase the minimum wage. The best solution is to pay a living wage.

Our campaign would like to immediately raise the minimum wage to a living wage – from $ 22 / hour. Essential workers should be treated as essential and receive a living wage so that they do not struggle to survive.

Now I know you are wondering about the impact on small business. Would they collapse with this increase in workers’ compensation? The answer is no. If small businesses enjoyed this payment until the economy balanced out, they would experience no net losses and would be able to operate more efficiently with an energetic and enthusiastic workforce.

Over the years billions of dollars in grants have flowed to large corporations. Let’s change that and start supporting the little guy. Instead, let’s start supporting our working class.

Our research shows that it is possible for the state to subsidize this pay rise to small businesses. It would cost about $ 8 billion that could be paid by big business if we even raised corporate taxes slightly. This money would not only protect the jobs of workers, it would strengthen the small businesses in our economy. Everyone benefits from it.

Moreover, unemployment is something that does not need to exist. The federal government has the capacity and the financial means to provide well-paying unionized employment to all unemployed workers. In truth, the state government does it too. With this massive increase in the workforce, the government can tackle modern problems. A new green deal is not just about fixing the environment, but about creating economic change that is reminiscent of FDR’s original new deal. As a state that has been hit very hard by a recent hurricane, we certainly cannot ignore the looming crisis.

Raising unemployment and increasing the minimum wage would lift so many people out of poverty. It would save so many lives. It is the right and moral thing to do. Madelyn Hoffman supports these policies while her opponents do not. Basic workers and the working class are the backbone of our society and these policies are what they deserve.

The governor is wrong to suspend additional unemployment benefits now – we should extend them until no longer necessary.

“As a student at Rutgers New Brunswick seeing so many roads underwater made me think of how many roads will be permanently flooded if something is not done immediately,” Dustin said. Young, campaign manager for Hoffman / Warburton. “We have the resources in our company to solve this problem, but we are appropriating them improperly. If we took a closer look at our tax structure and unnecessary budget items, we might find a way to increase state revenues and reallocate those resources to ensure a job with a living wage. These works will give priority to repairing the environment. We would need about $ 14 billion to do that, an amount that is a fraction of the state’s GDP. If we do not make this investment quickly, we could end up with a lot more loss of life, property and infrastructure than we saw last week.

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