I believe that jobs, and by extension, economic growth, are created by the consumer demand of a strong and vibrant middle class. But the middle class needs good-paying jobs, with the opportunity for upward mobility, for everyone to prosper.
Over the last thirty years, income inequality has skyrocketed. The middle class has shrunk, and this has strongly correlated with the decline of unions and the expansion of free trade. 95% of all income gains since 2009 have gone to the richest 1%, with most of that income coming from capital gains, not from work.
There are many ways to make the economy work for everyone. I believe in strong communities anchored by small businesses on our main streets and in our downtowns. The right of unions to organize and collectively bargain must be protected to elevate and expand the middle class. Ending free trade and negotiating for fair trade will protect jobs here at home and bring some back from overseas. Rebuilding our infrastructure and investing in new projects like bridges, roads, and wind farms will create jobs as well.