We Need Continued Support for Our Working Class and the Unemployed

Jake Ephros
Published: 07/31/2020

Since the pandemic began, Governor Murphy has prided himself on being data-driven and at least minimally empathetic, the opposite of Trump. With the White House’s opposition to extending the federal boost of $600 per week, unemployed folks across the country are going to suffer even more than we have been. The economic crisis will deepen, and working class people will risk their health just to get a job. Murphy should be Trump’s foil and have New Jersey commit to another $600 per person per week for the remainder of the pandemic.

This needs to be done in tandem with the ongoing demand that undocumented immigrants in our state receive that $600 per week boost. Our federal government has once again turned its back on them, so our state needs to step up.

Unemployed, underemployed, and overworked New Jerseyans deserve the full support of our government, full stop. How could anyone deny the working class the basic financial support mandated by an unprecedented global health crisis, one which won’t be going away any time soon?

Aside from having a basic right to such financial support, we’ve also earned it. The working class in New Jersey has labored to create the wealth that fuels our economy and fills our state coffers. Regardless of documentation status or country of origin, it is the working people who build the wealth that financiers and speculators shuffle around. It’s the working people who pay taxes—again, documented or not—into our local, state, and federal government, as legislators drool over the tax breaks they hand to Amazon.

Trump clearly refuses to accept this basic equation: that working people are why we have our wealth. But shouldn’t Murphy should be able to crunch those numbers? And if the budget seems too tight for a guaranteed $600 per week, Governor, our state is replete with massive corporations whose astronomical profits and CEO salaries could surely be dipped into—you know, to make sure we can prevent further economic and social collapse during a pandemic.

Topics: UnemploymentWorking ClassDonald TrumpFederal FundingCOVID-19Amazon