Is the level of economic inequality in the United States a problem, and if so, what should the federal government do to address it?
Elder: Economic inequality is a criminal American enterprise, brought to us by a political system that allows corporate dollars to call the tune. Many wealthy nations are able to provide universal health care, day care, and college to their citizens, but they have lawmakers who typically serve just one master — their constituents. Here, it’s another story. My opponent has raised $6.6 million from corporate donors so far this cycle. It’s the reason we don’t have single-payer health care, universal daycare and college. It is also the reason we do have several ongoing wars and looming climate disaster. My opponent’s contributions come from corporations who give tens of thousands of dollars and whose main focus is profit. They help shape policy. This nexus creates economic disparity. These companies may be grouped into four types: Health, Energy, Finance, and Military contractors. Most give in equal shares to both Democrats and Republicans: Health contributors: AFLAC, Abbott Laboratories, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Humana Inc, Medstar Health, Novo Nordisk, Bayer AG, Eli Lilly & Co, and UnitedHealth Group. Energy contributors: BP, Edison, Southern, Entergy, Exelon, P G & E, Sempra Finance contributors: Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway, Capital One, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Master Card, PricewaterhouseCoopers Military contractors: Blackrock, Gen Dynamics, BAE, Honeywell, Lockheed, Boeing, Northrup Grumman. Hospital visits may run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Forty million students owe an average of 40 thousand dollars in student debt. Daycare expenses make life unmanageable for millions. It doesn’t have to be this way!