Striving for Economic Independence

Economic independence is about increasing the ability of people to make true decisions about their lives by participating fully and equally in all aspects of society. It is about recognizing the value of labor, both paid and unpaid, in terms of both social and economic outcomes.

Wealth is not only the desired outcome, but it is also a required input in the pursuit of success. Creating progressive matched accounts, which are entirely funded by re-routing existing tax breaks that favor the wealthy, is the central policy and practice, as well as the most significant market innovation, that can ensure that everyone has enough wealth to put a down payment.

Savings, education, business, and homeownership are the four basic paths to achieving economic independence. Matched accounts may assist with each of these paths.  Let’s start with the concept of saving. The majority of people are just one sickness or accident away from being a victim of a predatory lender, placing them on the verge of entering a downward financial cycle. Low-income individuals need a savings reserve more than anybody else, and we have confidence that they will save not because it is easy, but because it is the price of security and hope for their families.

In exchange for matching the first of savings on a sliding scale, Universal Savings Accounts, which would be funded by the money we currently spend to subsidize the saving and investment returns of the wealthiest, would provide a new, stable platform as well as a launching pad for upward mobility.

Now is not the time to give up on prosperity. In every century of our history, this country has made extensive investments in the common genius, giving education, land, business loans, home loans and student loans to thousands of low-income families.

Businesses produce employment, but individuals are the ones who start them. All of the net new employment produced in the previous 30 years were created by new enterprises, the majority of which were started by persons who were not already in the company at the time. Matched Business Accounts, funded by spreading out our existing savings and investment incentives to provide essential personal savings, have the potential to bring millions of would-be entrepreneurs out of the shadows and into the light of a revivified mainstream economy, according to the World Bank.

The following project ideas can be suggested:

  • Skills in salary negotiation should be taught at university.
  • There should be an inquiry into work value examining why is it that the care

industries are viewed as ‘unskilled’ and consider the value of part-time and

flexible work.

  • Pay equity clauses should be included in work agreements.
  • Increase minimum wages and conditions and make sure they are enforced.
  • Aim to close the gender pay gap for Average Hourly (Non-managerial) Earnings.
  • Service industries should be provided with guidelines, possibly enforceable, for

how employees should be paid, depending on experience, and on training requirements

for staff. These industries employ many women, often as casual employees, and may not

increase the pay of employees as they gain experience nor provide training for

better-paid positions.