Good paying jobs are critical to Somerset’s vitality. I know folks who are working 2 jobs (and some that are working 3!) and still can barely make their monthly bills. They have little or no money for “dinner out” or extra dollars to spend on themselves. On the other hand, people with union jobs or state jobs do have income left over after their bills are paid. And they spend that money and spread it out around their community to small businesses.
Statistics say people working today (adjusted for inflation) are making about the same amount as folks made in the 1970’s. This is due to stagnant wage increases. We’ve been stuck on $7.25/per hour for way too long.
Just since the beginning of the year, 100 U.S. corporations who received a windfall in tax cuts announced more than 178 billion in share buybacks –-choosing NOT to give their employees pay raises that had been promised.
I have a strong belief that “Medicare for all” or a “single payer” health insurance program is not too much to ask from one of the richest countries on the planet. We already do it with the CHIP program for all children and for everyone over the age of 65. So why not apply it to the middle? What can be worse then getting a cancer diagnosis and having to sell everything you own to pay for treatment. How many people in our County worry themselves sick over co-pays, deductibles and monthly premiums that continue to skyrocket for the middle class.
Our current cost for Medicare & Health is only 6% of the ENTIRE Federal budget!
We need good paying jobs in Somerset. We also need to re-educate our displaced employees that are coming out of mines or losing their jobs to automation. We need training programs for 21st century job opportunities. From writing code and software to 3D printing with plastics and metals.
But it’s hard to bring or start a business when almost our entire county has sub-par or even no Internet service. There are just a few common sense solutions to these problems.
Somerset County has a great “blueprint.” From our location along the turnpike to the “almost” completion of 219, we have incredible ski resorts, golf courses and exceptional hunting and fishing. More then being able to attract people to move to our beautiful county, we need to be able to KEEP our kids here when they finish schooling!