While big corporations are using their record profits to buy favors in Washington, D.C., many working Americans are struggling in low-paid jobs without benefits, and many others are on inadequate Social Security, all facing high housing costs and rising food and other expenses.

We need to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, now, to relieve poverty for workers. They also need to receive fair benefits under federal law. As well, we should establish a minimum Social Security payment of $2,275 a month ($15 times 35 hours per week, or $525 per week).

Both minimum-wage workers and those on Social Security should receive a mandated annual cost-of-living adjustment.

More people, with more money to spend, will put more money into the economy. This will create more jobs for those who are still unemployed.

Providing jobs rather than cutting them is a major role of corporations in our economy – not avoiding their corporate responsibilities and taxes, and not avoiding decent wages and benefits for their employees.

Corporations and banks are making record profits, but that money is not “trickling down” to average Americans.

It is time for businesses and wealthy individuals, who have benefited from the opportunities this country gave them, to pay their fair share through taxes in order to give others a chance to achieve their own dreams.

Melinda Gale