The River

Thursday, January 22, 2004

We are the Majority

by Bernie Sanders

How do we build a political movement in this country that represents all of the people and not a handful of millionaires?
The middle class is collapsing, the people on top are making out like bandits, and the poorest people are struggling just to keep their heads above water.

Today, the concentration of wealth and income in this country is not only greater than at any time since the 1920s, but it is far greater than in any other major country on Earth.

It is not acceptable that the wealthiest 1 percent of the population owns more wealth than the bottom 95 percent.

That's not America.

It is not acceptable that the 13,000 wealthiest families in this country earn more income than the bottom twenty million families.

It is not acceptable that the greed of corporate America has resulted in the CEOs of large corporations earning over 500 times what their average worker makes.

That's not America, and we're going to change that.

Today, the largest employer in America is not General Motors. It is Wal-Mart, which pays people subsistence wages and minimal benefits. It is now being sued by workers in twenty-eight states because the company is not even paying the overtime it should be paying.

But it's not just Wal-Mart. It is the transformation of the American economy that Congress is not talking about, that the President certainly is not talking about, and that the media is not talking about.

In the last three years alone, we have lost over two-and-a-half-million manufacturing jobs that were paying people decent middle class wages. And when you talk about patriotism, and when you talk about the American flag, what is corporate America doing by throwing American workers out on the street, moving to China, moving to countries where people can't even form a union or stand up for their rights? Let's talk about patriotism. Let's talk about investing in America and expanding the middle class.

Corporate America essentially is saying the hell with the American worker, the hell with the United States of America. We will do anything we want in order to make more and more profits.

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