Marianne Williamson: Refusal to hike minimum wage is part of ‘rigged economy’

Former Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson told Hill.TV that excluding a minimum wage hike from the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill is a reflection of more moderate Democrats.

She said that while many components of the package will help struggling Americans, it’s still limited in scope.

“It’s like rescuing people who are drowning in the center of the ocean, but you put them back on the shore and they’re still living as little more than serfs in their own land,” she said.

“The real devil here is not in the details, it’s in the big picture. The big picture is that we have transitioned to a rigged economy, an economy in which still a very few people are able to win. And this does nothing,” Williamson added, referring to the relief bill.

The Senate parliamentarian ruled late last month that the $15 minimum wage increase could not remain in the relief bill because it violated the Byrd Rule, which prevents the Senate from including extraneous matters in legislation advancing through the budget reconciliation process, which allows bills to pass with a simple majority. Senators have the ability to overrule the parliamentarian, but Democratic leaders have indicated they won’t pursue that option.

Williamson said low- and medium-wage workers have had to sacrifice much while the wealthiest individuals like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos have not had to sacrifice “at all.” She said lawmakers should be considering a wealth tax so the “burden” is not placed just on the poor.

“This is what centrist Democrats do,” she said. “They do not challenge the underlying forces that make the continuation of trajectories of great suffering inevitable for millions and millions and millions of people.”


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