Published: 10/31/2021 9:00:11 AM
Billionaires made $3.9 trillion during the pandemic while workers collectively lost $3.7 trillion in earnings. Let that difference sink in.
According to a Business Insider report, wealth inequality dramatically worsened since the pandemic began with women and young Americans facing the greatest impact. In New Hampshire, the largest loss in our workforce has been young mothers. This has been called the ‘she-cession’ because so many mothers left the workforce due to skyrocketing child care costs.
As the owner of a local restaurant in Franklin, I’ve seen the dramatically worsening wealth inequality first hand. Billionaires and multinational corporations did just fine while small businesses and everyday people struggled to make ends meet. As a small business owner, I was up against multinational corporations in the search to get everyday materials — takeout boxes, napkins, ingredients — you name it and I had a problem finding it.
Anyone who has opened a small business or seen friends or family members start one knows that it’s a lot of work. Successful business owners love it. They love the good days and bad, they love growing their business and being part of the community. All that comes with starting a business.
The only thing we ask for is a fair shake, just a fair shot at success.
Right now, for far too many people, that fair shake doesn’t exist. Congress is currently debating President Biden’s economic plan, the Build Back Better Act, which would invest in our workers and small businesses through child care, home health care, and lowering energy costs through investments in clean energy. The Build Back Better Act would cut taxes for small businesses and fund these programs by ensuring those at the top pay their fair share.
To fund these services and address wealth inequality, Congress is considering updating our tax system to ensure the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share. This is a big deal and the first step in making our tax system work for everyday people and small business owners.
I urge Congress to make these needed investments in our communities and close loopholes for those at the top. We can make these necessary investments while small business owners and people making less than $400,000 don’t see a dime in new taxes.
As we continue to update our tax code in the future, hopefully we start to treat the wealth gained by billionaires just like income. Right now, workers are taxed on their income and small business owners are taxed on their revenue and profit, but those at the very top who make their money through investments like stocks and mutual funds, don’t pay anything on their gains. That’s not right. I’m not looking to punish anyone who does well, but if Main Street businesses and workers like me have to pay their fair share then there’s no good reason why billionaires get off with nothing.
Senator Hassan, Senator Shaheen, Congressman Pappas and Congresswoman Kuster have always looked out for small business owners and Granite State workers. I have faith that with them fighting for us we will get this done and I strongly urge them to make these necessary investments by leveling the playing field and making sure billionaires pay their fair share.
(Miriam Kovacs is chef/owner of Broken Spoon restaurant in Franklin.)