Three weeks ago I told you about the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act filed by Senator Bernie Sanders. Also known as the Stop Bezos Act it was written so that if passed it would require employers like Amazon and Walmart to pay taxes to offset the amount of federal assistance their full time employees collect due to the low wages they and similar employers pay. The federal assistance provided to employees effectively subsidizes highly profitable companies like Amazon and Walmart. This week Jeff Bezos the CEO of Amazon announced that the company has raised its minimum wage to $15 per hour and publicly thanked Sen. Sanders and thousands of activists for pushing his company to make that decision.
The news about Amazon raising wages to a livable level is timely
since we’re just over two weeks away from the start of early
voting and there are too many Texans especially in towns like
Seguin who don’t vote especially in mid-term elections. If
you’re a regular reader of this column you are probably known
among your family and friends as politically knowledgeable and
aware; not because you read this column but because you’re
interested in the topic and this column among others in the
Friday editorial section is an indicator of your interest.
Studies show the fact that your family and friends respect your
knowledge means on average you have more power to persuade 10
people to vote and who to vote for. That makes you much more
effective than some stranger knocking on their door or calling
them on the phone.
When someone you’re talking to about voting says voting doesn’t
matter or all politicians are alike you can point to Sen.
Sanders impact on the decision wage increase as evidence that
not all politicians are alike. If the family member or friend
you’re talking to says their vote doesn’t matter remind them
that in 2017 a state legislature seat in Virginia was decided by
a coin toss because the vote was tied. Or you can point to the
2010 race for Texas House District 48 in Austin which Donna
Howard won by just 12 votes. Or Lisa Jackson’s 5 vote margin of
victory in the race for Mayor of Cibolo in the 2013 election.
Amazon isn’t the only highly profitable company that needs to
raise wages, Senator Sanders isn’t going to fix the country by
himself even if he is elected president in 2020, and your vote
alone isn’t likely to swing an election but if all of us work
together to raise awareness and we each do our part to bring out
those 10 voters we have influence with, we can make a
Early voting starts Monday October 22 put that date on your
calendar and get to the polls early, if you do you might save
yourself a lot of candidate phone calls as they try to spend
their limited time on people who haven’t voted yet. Remind those
family members and friends to get to the polls early too.
Published in the Seguin Gazette - October 5, 2018
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