Yesterday, President Obama put before Americans the “defining challenge of our times: “redressing a “dangerous and growing inequality” and “making sure our economy works for every working American.”
This was a bold step for a president presiding over a recovery marked by rising inequality, in which the top 1 percent are capturing staggering 95 percent of the rewards of growth while most Americans struggle to stay afloat.
To address that challenge, the president laid out an agenda that Democrats should drive into the political debate, and make the center of the 2014 election. He teed up what will be furious fight to raise the minimum wage. He called for moving on pay equity for women. He put making college affordable and providing pre-school for every child as next steps in insuring a good education to every child. He challenged Congress to sustain unemployment benefits. He opened a discussion on how to strengthen Social Security and replace disappearing pension plans. He even made empowering workers — defending the right to organize and bargain collectively — a centerpiece of the reform agenda. (more…)