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Moving Forward: Lifting More Americans Into the Middle Class by Modernizing our Transportation System

By Ed Wytkind

Note: We’re kicking off this series, which explores the connection between a strong middle class and robust transportation system, during the week of Labor Day — a holiday that celebrates the American worker. While the economy has seen steady improvement — job numbers are up — the slow recovery has disproportionately favored the wealthy and left too many people behind. We believe smart policies and strong investments in transportation can help restore balance to our economy and put America’s middle class back on a trajectory of growth.

Decades of wrong-headed ideology and public policies backed by the corporate lobby and extremists have dramatically altered America’s economic landscape. Advancements made by generations of workers — including fair wages and decent benefits, safe working conditions and the right to form unions and bargain collectively — have been beaten down in favor of dangerous austerity policies, a tax code that coddles the rich, rigged trade deals that send good jobs overseas and what seems like free rein by employers to break unions.

These backward policies have led to an intolerable wage gap, the lowest union density since the 1930s and 35 years of wage stagnation for working Americans. By removing union representation, arguably, the most reliable way for working people to demand better, from the equation, upward mobility and economic stability — characteristics that define the American Dream — have become increasingly difficult to achieve.

Despite these challenges, there is a smart strategy that can boost our economy and help rebuild the middle class: investing in our failing infrastructure and transportation systems.

Read more on The Huffington Post.

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