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There's a much better story

Donald Trump bragged during his State of the Union address that our country is "considered far and away the hottest economy in the world."

From one standpoint, he's right. Our stock market is strong. Profit margins are rising. Those who have done very well already are doing better and better every single day.

But many others tell a very different story. I heard it as I traveled around the country this election cycle, from Arizona to Pennsylvania to West Virginia, Minnesota, Texas, and a whole lot of places in between:

Where people know: stock prices don't tell a country's full economic story. Medical bankruptcies and foreclosures and stagnant paychecks do, too. Student loans. The cost of daycare and doctors. Wages that won't budge. Jobs displaced. Retirements on edge.

Despite the rosy news from Wall Street, there's a deepening unease among Americans that they're working harder and harder for less and less.

And they're right.

For nearly half a century, our government has slowly but deliberately recalibrated the American economy away from workers, families, and communities, and toward capital, profit, and shareholders.

Decades of deregulation – in everything from workplace safety to pension funding to stock manipulation – have allowed corporations to abandon their most basic moral and economic commitments to workers.

All the while, the Right has pushed a cruel prosperity-as-virtue story. As they preached the gospel of trickle-down economics, they shamed and blamed the poorest among us as their economic futures trickled up to the powerful.

And the average American family was left on its own, facing an economy they can't access, a government they can't depend on, and a system they can't possibly afford.

This is the challenge of our time. This is the injustice we have to solve not just because of some political map but because we will not survive if we don't.

I'm building a movement to fight for a new system. A moral capitalism, judged not just by how much it produces, but how widely it empowers. By how many people it lifts out of poverty, not how many of the rich it makes richer. By how it cares for families at their most desperate, not how it lionizes corporations at their most powerful.

Expect to hear a lot about this from me in the coming months. I'll be in touch with updates and plans and ways that you can help.

It's a long road, and it'll be a hard fight – wrestling away entrenched power always is. But we're strong, we're tough, and we're committed – and together, we will tell a fractured country a better story.

As always, I am honored to fight by your side.


Posted on February 20, 2019.

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Joe Kennedy III represents Massachusetts' 4th District in Congress. A principled and passionate advocate for economic, social, and racial justice, Joe is working to improve access to quality, affordable health care, and is determined to fight for all who call this country home.

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