Sanders Has the Right Goal, Wrong Target in the Fight to Help Low-Wage Workers

Robert D. Atkinson February 23, 2021
February 23, 2021

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is set to gavel a hearing to order this week to ask a pointed question: “Why should taxpayers subsidize poverty wages at large profitable corporations?” It is a reference to the fact that many low-wage workers in America qualify for public benefits—and thousands of them are indeed employees of large corporations.

But as Rob Atkinson writes in The Hill, while Chairman Sanders is absolutely right to focus on the challenge of raising wages for America’s lowest-paid workers, holding the spotlight on large corporations risks missing the bigger picture: Many more of the low-wage workers who receive government benefits are in small companies than in large ones.

If the goal is to improve the working conditions and benefits of lower-wage workers, then instead of targeting the big firms that actually treat their employees better than small firms, Chairman Sanders would be best advised to focus on pursuing his goal of a $15 minimum wage.