MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison would like to see greater redistribution of wealth in the United States, voicing approval for a universal basic income and a maximum wage.
In an appearance on “Interviews for Resistance,” Ellison, Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee, called for a maximum wage, saying executives making far more than their employees should be taxed more to make up for the inequality.
“No, no, no, I didn’t make a joke about maximum wage, I made a statement about maximum wage,” Ellison said in the interview. “What I’m saying is … if you make more than 20 times more than the people who actually make the products and do the services of your company, then we’re going to tax you more. We’re going to tax you at all.”
In effort to justify his point, Ellison incorrectly asserted that McDonald’s CEO Stephen Easterbrook makes $9000 an hour, saying executives are “bad actors” that are “screwing over workers.” Easterbrook makes over $3,800 per hour.
“But this idea that you can leave people in poverty as you are stacking up dead presidents like nobody’s business has got to come to an end,” Ellison continued. “I mean, the CEO of McDonald’s makes $9,000 an hour and they’re fighting people getting $15 an hour.”
“We get to be called communists when we say that about them. The truth is, why don’t we call them what they are, which is avaricious and greedy? And not tolerate it?” Ellison added. “You can open up your company, you can even make a profit, but why do you have to make more than 21 times your average worker? The CEO of McDonald’s. You’re telling me they can’t make it on … I don’t know, if the workers are making $15 an hour–you notice I said if. Why can’t the CEO make $300 an hour?”
Following the controversial interview, Ellison continued to raise eyebrows last week when he praised the idea of a universal basic income.
At a forum event in Minneapolis, an audience member asked Ellison how the government could help people losing their jobs due to technological advancements. Ellison was quick to offer a universal basic income as a solution, saying the concept “has a lot of merit.”
“I personally do think that universal basic income is a [sic] idea that has a lot merit,” Ellison said. “I don’t think that universal basic income means that people sit around; I think it means do other things that are necessary.”
The implementation of a universal basic income program can vary, but the general idea involves the government giving money to people who do not have a job or make lower than a certain amount of money per year.
“There are things that are valuable and important that don’t necessarily have a market value that we should have people doing,” Ellison said. “You know, like in the 1930s, we paid artists to basically document the Depression. We went out and had writers document rural life in America.”
Watch the video, obtained by GOP War Room, of Ellison talking about a universal basic income program below: