I have a protest shirt that reads, “Millennials against capitalist worldviews.” Some would argue I hate capitalism; others would argue I’m a communist. I disagree with both. America’s issues don’t stem from capitalism itself, but rather it’s the capitalists who would see this nation crumble before they gave up their wealth.

Capitalism is an economic and political system when individuals may strive to reap the most reward for their labor – money. A capitalist is someone who uses, or abuses, capitalism to make more profit for themselves, even if that means oppressing the working-class person to achieve their goals.

For example, when a mass group of employees gets laid off, they’re often replaced with mostly immigrant workers who will take the lesser paying salary simply because their families need food on the table. Should anyone blame the immigrants for taking the money offered to them, or should the people focus on who has the money and power to disregard employees in favor of profit?

America’s economic issues can’t be blamed on a single group of people, not immigrants or liberals or anyone else politicians would have the nation believe is the root of all issues. Rather, the economic issues America is addressing circles back to big companies, their owners, and their investors. These are the capitalists who use American people, and international people, to profit from their labor while paying them less than they could earn.

Consider the mining towns and mining strikes that took place almost a century ago. When the mine owners refused to pay the employees a fair salary, they went on strike, and multiple laws fell into place to insure the protection of employees’ rights. Now it’s 2018, and somehow we can’t raise minimum wage?

By not paying people the amount of money it takes to simply survive – pay the bills, eat a decent meal and provide for their children – the capitalist mindset decreases human value and the quality of life anyone could have if the companies would focus less on the profits and more on the people. Doing so would not only aid the public, but it would better the economy. If the people are stimulated, the economy is stimulated. That’s the gist of high school economics, and in my opinion, if the system works, then people deserve to be paid fairly instead of being paid what society deems “practical.”

It’s high time companies start paying attention to this nation, but even if they won’t, it’s time our politicians start working the capitalist system in favor of everyone, not just the one percent. Policy should be made to support the people, not the big companies’ tax returns. As midterms approach, please choose the candidate you believe will truly promote workers’ rights and equality rather than the ones who simply say they will.