Elizabeth Warren on the Inhumanely Low Minimum Wage, Russia, and Talking to Our 'Crazy Brother-in-Law'


If you’re like us, the past week of political news has felt like approximately six months. Russia! Comey! Flynn! Impeachment! Pee tape! But even throughout the insane news cycle, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has managed to stay focused on attempting to improve economic opportunities for people who have been left behind—middle class Americans.

On this week’s episode of Big Time Dicks, we speak with Sen. Warren about Russia and Donald Trump (she would “absolutely” support impeachment if obstruction of justice allegations are proven), but largely about her new book, This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class. The book highlights a number of people—some named, others identified by pseudonym—who seemingly did everything right. They worked hard, saved money, avoided any major natural catastrophes, yet they still are struggling to make ends meet, thanks to a system that privileges the unregulated corporation over the rights of the individual to earn a fair wage.

Warren tells us the story, also featured in her book, of how her mother is able to get a minimum wage job after her father has a heart attack, and how that minimum wage job saved “our family, it saved our home, it saved our lives.”

Today, people better educated and with more experience than her mother are unable to do the same for their families, because minimum wage is too low, and schedules are too unpredictable.

“Today, a minimum wage job won’t support a momma and a baby. It won’t help a family get ahead,” she said. And because minimum wage can legally be so low, she argued, the taxpayer ends up footing the rest of the bill through food stamps, Medicaid, and other government subsidies.

Warren also expresses the need for better progressive grassroots organizing:

“We live in a world where we need to be organized on the progressive side to make sure that every voice gets heard, and the only way that happens is if we actually have the grassroots connection, the people to people connections, across this country. Both at election time, and in the times in between, I actually think the infrastructure is important right now today, with Donald Trump in the White House, and tomorrow, and the next day…”

About reaching out across the invisible aisle:

“We can’t just talk to each other. We gotta reach out. We gotta talk to our crazy brother-in-law, and we gotta talk to our uncle, and we gotta talk to our neighbors, we gotta talk to the people behind us in line at the grocery store, and pumping gas next to us at the gas station, and not in a creepy way.”

And on the values the Democratic party cannot and will not compromise on:

“I wanna start where we will never compromise, and that’s over questions of bigotry, over questions of prejudice. We are the party that believes that everyone counts. We are the party that believes in building economic opportunity and social opportunity for everyone. That’s where we start this—basic respect for human beings. And when people say, will you compromise on issues like that, the answer is no.”

Big Time Dicks can be found on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, and on the NPR One app.

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