Kitchen Table Topics - Poverty

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A Living Wage Standard

Do you support a living wage standard; such that a person working 40 hours a week, with no additional income, should be able to afford the basics for a modest but decent life, such as, food, shelter, clothing, utilities, transport, health care, and child care, and other basic necessities for living in a modern society for themselves and their family?


  • Americans are now living in a time of great economic inequality; 
  • Minimum wage policy can support sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all, including equal pay for work of equal value, while protecting labor rights;
  • Fair wage/income policy helps ordinary Americans hurt by globalization who have seen job losses due to automation, and technological shifts.


Wage Inequality

Do you support legislation designed to reduce inordinate pay gaps which reflect class, gender and racial inequities?


  • The average US CEO currently earns 287 times as much as the median worker in the same company;
  • This difference has grown by 940% since 1978 and left millions of US workers subsisting below a living wage;
  • The average wage for a full-time working woman remains at 80% that of a full-time working man;
  • Black and Latino men earn roughly 70% of that of white men, controlling for education and age;
  • Black and Latino women earn between 58-65% of that of white men.


  • Kayla Fontenot, Jessica Semega and Melissa Kollar, US Census Bureau. “Income and Poverty in the United States: 2017. 
  • Deb Lifshey and Pearl Meyer, Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation. October 14, 2018. 
  • Nicolas Eberstadt. “Our Miserable 21st Century.” Commentary Magazine, February 2017.