Sen. Bernie Sanders outlined the economic disparities between wealthy and working-class Americans in a speech on Tuesday night, warning of the dangers of what he calls an emerging oligarchy.
Vermont’s senior senator is the incoming chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
In Tuesday’s speech at the U.S. Capitol, he stressed the importance of raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour. He also says he supports the growing union movement because unions provide better pay, benefits, and working conditions for their members.
“So you tell me, my friends, tell me how is anyone able to survive when your basic needs cost more than your income? And that is the reality that millions of working-class Americans experience every single day. These are people who go out to work. They work hard, they work in dangerous environments, and yet they fall further and further behind. All the people on top get richer and richer,” Sanders said.
Sanders says the American middle class has been shrinking for decades long before the Biden or Trump administrations.