As a capitalist nation, our economy is fueled by people who want to start something of their own. New products and industries are created by those with an idea and the courage to start a fresh venture. Small business owners strengthen our economy by creating new jobs and sparking innovations that keep our country on the cutting edge.
It's not enough for our politicians to say they support job growth and small businesses without actually doing anything to make it easier, especially for people of color. Savanna believes Americans face three large barriers that keep our economy from thriving.
Jobs & the Economy
Barrier 1: Lack of Universal Healthcare
Leaving your job to start a new business means leaving your health care behind, since your health care is tied to your employer. Even with the Affordable Care Act, most market plans are not affordable for the average American and these plans still don't cover large deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. This is a huge barrier for a person who wants to start a business, but also needs to provide health care for themselves or their family.
When trying to start a small business and purchase insurance for your employees, it can be upwards of $50k to $100k annually just for a business with 10 people or fewer. Attracting high-value employees is especially challenging when you can't afford to offer them health insurance.
Barrier 2: Lack of Savings
American households have a median savings balance of $7,000. This means $7,000 for anything from unexpected medical bills, to a car accident, to saving for college. If you are endeavoring to start a new business, a lack of start-up capital may prevent you from being able to do so. Decades of stagnant wages, rising costs of living (health care, rent, shrinkflation), and student loan debt can all be attributed to declining median savings across America. And if people cannot set aside enough money to feel secure about their household expenses, then they definitely can't set aside enough to start a business.
Barrier 3: Illicit Practices from Mega-corporations
One way that mega corporations – the types that are "too big to fail" – benefit from their size is by refusing to pay their employees livable wages, while employing the majority of individuals receiving federal aid from programs like Medicaid and SNAP benefits. These practices allow them to increase company profits at the cost of their employees and American taxpayers, because (unlike a small business would) they treat their employees as dispensable.
Mega-corporations also oust their small business competitors by using bully tactics to stifle competition into submission – a method that has been perfected by Amazon. When a new business enters the market, Amazon will copy their idea or product and resell it at a slightly (or sometimes significantly) lower price. That, paired with a refusal to allow the new business's product to be sold on Amazon.com, gives Amazon an unfair advantage even if the original product is superior. Amazon is willing to take a loss on the product until their competitor is snuffed out. With the competition gone, Amazon can then have the market to themselves.
Amazon also stifles competition for existing products by recreating them under its own private line AmazonBasics. Using its knowledge of its powerful marketplace machine — from optimizing word-search algorithms to analyzing competitors’ sales data to using its customer-review networks — Amazon steers shoppers toward its in-house brands and away from its competitors. As consumers increasingly shop using voice technology, the playing field becomes even more tilted. For instance, consumers asking Amazon’s Alexa to “buy batteries” get only one option: AmazonBasics. The emerging private label threat from Amazon presents a quandary for small vendors and big, national brands alike.
Lastly, mega-corporations purposely employ cheap labor abroad and at home. Many companies such as Apple, Nestle, and Nike use slave labor abroad to create products as cheaply as possible. Here in the US, companies employ undocumented immigrants to avoid taxes and allow them to pay lower wages under the table. These practices are simply un-American and go against our ideals, and corporations that employ them should be cracked down on to the hardest extent of the law.
Vote for Medicare for All and encourage my fellow members of Congress to do the same
Support a $15 federal minimum wage and reducing the nation's overall student loan debt
Enact policies that fine companies employing undocumented workers and criminally charge individuals who repeatedly hire undocumented workers
Require companies to pay the government back the difference in their subsidies if they 1) do not pay their employees a Net Disposable Income (NDI) above a pre-established rate, 2) have employees receiving welfare, and 3) made profits
Require publicly traded entities to publicly report the number of employees they have receiving welfare and average amounts of aid received across the company
As Your Congresswoman Savanna will:
About Savanna's Platform
"I am fighting for every American to have access to affordable, quality health care; to advance criminal justice reform; to demand equality for LGBTQ+ and Black communities; to support our aging population; to lower taxes for working families and small businesses; to raise taxes on the ultra-rich and large corporations; to accelerate pathways to citizenship for immigrants; to address our climate crisis; to bring new jobs and industries to the economy; to make affordable housing a right; to provide higher education to all; to give the public a louder voice than special interests."