Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Elijah Cummings announced in a USAToday op-ed a project aimed at improving conditions for the middle class.
The Middle Class Prosperity, described as an opportunity “to give a voice in Washington to those who need it most,” will begin with a forum on Tuesday featuring a panel of economists that include Beth Ann Bovino, Jared Bernstein, Joseph Stiglitz and Gerald Jaynes.
“Beginning in the late 1970s, corporate executives and stockholders began taking greater shares of the gains. Productivity kept going up, but workers were left behind as wages stagnated,” Warren and Cummings said in the op-ed. "Families might have survived as their incomes flattened, except for one hard fact: the costs of basic needs like housing, education and child care exploded. Millions took on mountains of debt and young people began struggling to cling to the same economic rung as their parents.”
The op-ed described the gradual decline of the middle class, and called for a change to the system.
“After the Great Depression, Congress enacted progressive policies to build and expand the middle class. But Washington became captive to powerful interests that game the system at the expense of the middle class,” the op-ed read. “It's time to change that system. We must free our government from the grip of armies of lobbyists and the corruption of corporate influence. This is one of the most urgent issues this generation faces. So we'll work together to do what Congress should be doing — promoting policies to ensure that the best days of America's middle class are still ahead.”