Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

Under Attack: Washington’s Middle Class and the Jobs Crisis

The American Dream used to mean that if you put in a hard day’s work, you could expect good wages, benefits, and a better life for your kids. But the kinds of jobs that can provide a solid middle-class life in return for hard work are in short supply—unemployment is up, hard-won benefits are being lost, and opportunity and hope are diminishing for ourselves and our children.  The future of the middle class, which has been the backbone of Washington’s economy for more than half a century, is at risk.

Washington’s strong and vibrant middle class didn’t just happen. It was built brick by brick in the decades after World War II—by the hard work of our parents and grandparents and the strength in numbers that came from the unions that represented them. Unions made sure that as our nation’s wealth and productivity grew, so too did the income and benefits of the people who worked hard to create that wealth. For decades, our nation’s prosperity was widely shared—wages increased and more employers provided their workers with health insurance, pensions, and paid time off. The middle class was also built by government policies that invested in infrastructure and basic science, built up and expanded social insurance and safety net programs, and supported homeownership and made a college education accessible to a new generation.

  • Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More To Read

May 24, 2024

Report: First Findings from the Legislature’s Wealth Tax Study

What the Department of Revenue has learned exploring wealth tax proposals from other states and countries

May 24, 2024

Why Seattle’s City Council is Considering Delivering Poverty Wages to Gig Workers

Due to corporate pressure, Seattle’s new PayUp ordinance might be rolled back just 6 months after taking effect

May 2, 2024

Baby Bonds: A Step Toward Racial and Economic Equity

The Washington Future Fund would bring this innovative, anti-racist policy to the Evergreen State