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Letter to the Editor: Help Iowa’s working families

BY DI READERS | FEBRUARY 19, 2009 7:44 AM

We have a Democratic majority in the Iowa Legislature and a Democratic governor. Yet, they’ve not passed legislation that helps working Iowa families, except a minimum-wage increase. It’s time the Legislature and governor started helping working Iowans with legislation to bring fair share, prevailing wage, and worker-choice of their own doctor when hurt on the job.

A thriving middle class is what makes America strong. Corporate CEOs did not just give up child labor, weekends, overtime pay, and better wages and benefits. Workers have had to struggle to get those things. Unions are the means by which workers got these things. Unions built our middle class. We’ll eliminate the middle class if we continue to allow unions to be weakened.

U.S. census data show that for more than 20 years, we’ve become increasingly a country of rich and poor. Those defending this wealth-polarization criticize those seeking more for the middle class as waging “class warfare.” In fact, the rich get so many tax breaks that they use an extraordinarily large amount of our public resources (publicly educated workers, roads, bridges, subsidies) without paying their share. Middle-class people pay a higher percentage of their income, when one accounts for the tax breaks.

It’s time we stop letting our middle class slip away. It’s time Iowa’s government starts helping working Iowans.

Paul McAndrew
Iowa City


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