by April Balough
Hendrick Smith put on an absolutely incredible speech about the deterioration of the middle class in America over the last 40-60 years. He is a very intelligent man who appears brutally honest at times, but still has a bipartisan air about him. He emphasized the corrupting power of Citizens United and the shift from ethical CEO’s to those who alter financial reports to make more money for themselves. He was very adamant about the necessity of a higher minimum wage, with one specific fact sticking out in my mind. “If you adjust for inflation, today’s minimum wage workers make 33% less than they did in 1970.”
Smith stated that higher wages make for higher demand, which makes for higher growth. He also pointed out that many people vote on taxes and make financial decisions based on what seems best for themselves and their families, but that’s not what is necessarily best in the long-run for them, the economy, and the country. America had a higher rate of growth when taxes were high. After his speech, he took thoughtful questions from audience members, and answered them quickly and spot-on. I am very glad to have had the opportunity to attend this event.
photos by Chris Demmons