Rebuilding the American Workforce

In the 1980s, an average worker could pay the cost of food, housing, health care, transportation, and higher education for a family of four with 40 weeks of wages. Today, it would take more than 60 weeks of wages to do the same. In other words, the American Dream is now unattainable for millions of citizens.
How is this possible when our country seems so wealthy? How has per capita GDP risen over 100 percent since the 1980s while the average hourly wage for production and nonsupervisory workers has risen less than 1 percent?
Senator Rubio meeting with local residents and community leaders
Senator Rubio speaking at U.S. Senate
The answer is that the U.S. government allowed it to happen by giving Wall Street free reign to offshore manufacturing jobs to China, exploit cheap labor from illegal immigrants, and prioritize short-term financial profits over long-term physical investment. Meanwhile, working-class Americans were left with nothing but broken, biased labor unions to advocate on their behalf.
If we want to keep the American Dream alive for future generations – if we want to restore dignity to once-vibrant communities now driven to despair – if we want to give young couples the resources they need to settle down and start a family – we need to find new ways to empower the American worker.
That means incentivizing companies to hire and build American. It means expanding the availability and quality of technical education in place of the increasingly expensive four-year degree. And it means legalizing fresh alternatives to an outdated model of labor unions. This is a tall order for Washington, but it’s what America’s hardest working deserve.
Senator Rubio meeting with local residents and community leaders

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