Whether providing care at someone’s home or in hospitals, underpaid care workers experience the consequences of economic inequality every day. We see it in our paychecks, with low wages leaving us to struggle to make ends meet. We feel it at the end of a long shift, thinking back to the last time we were actually able to take a day off. We hear from our loved ones, our clients, and our neighbors how hard it is to access critical services and resources.
It’s clear our communities are struggling. Meanwhile, corporations across the country are raking in profits – all while avoiding paying billions in taxes.
Here in Colorado, recently released state data revealed that 71% of corporations have a track record of paying zero dollars in taxes, all while continuing to profit at the expense of working people. Over the past ten years, health corporations like HCA have made nearly $50 billion in profits, yet they continuously paid well below the federal statutory tax rate. That means the public did not receive $2.9 billion in tax revenue over that same period.
Since hearing these numbers, I’ve thought often about what nearly three billion dollars in funding would mean. I think about infrastructure like well-maintained roads and parks for our children and families to enjoy. More funding would help create a safer work environment for care workers, providing adequate staffing and resources to support our clients. It could mean better wages, increased investment in child care and in elder care.
Knowing that this is what our communities deserve is what keeps me fighting to hold corporations like HCA accountable. That’s why, last week, I participated in the National Tax Day protest, where I came together with other workers and community partners to deliver HCA an “Overdue Tax Bill.” Together, we demanded that corporations pay their fair share and fund community needs. We urged state leaders to ensure there is more transparency around corporate taxes, because working people deserve to know which companies are not paying their fair share.
As a member of CCWU, I’ve found my voice as a care worker and a community member. I am proud to stand with other CCWU members fighting for better working conditions and wages, and I’m not afraid to use my voice to hold corporations accountable. To me, economic justice means that all of our communities have what we need to live healthy and fulfilling lives. That can only be achieved if we come together to fight for it.