We’re Broke…So Is The American Way Of Life

Good point here, but there is a bit of a fine line our Government controls (State or Federal). Company owners want more (capitalist/socialist), so they pay less to their bottom line employees. This leads to those employees needing certain things to stay healthy, pay rent or put food on the table, leading to reaching out to the government for handouts (socialism). They then begin to think they are entitled to these benefits, and never try to move on or up from their dead-end employer as their needs are met by the government. It’s free money to them, but not free to the middle (working) class, which accounts for a large majority of Americans.
 
Too many new workers today have become socialist, but this is easily correctable. Raise the wage standard, which hasn’t been adjusted to match inflation in decades. Also put a cap, or increase the taxes, on the upper crust; although with legal and congressional support, this becomes virtually impossible to achieve. A better solution would be to raise the taxes they pay, or a flat tax across the board, and then give them (or everyone) tax breaks for giving back. For example if a millionaire raises wages for his employees to match the real cost of living, then he might get a break on his taxes; but only on a corporate level. Really hard to put in terms, but I think you get the idea. Individuals such as you and I, could donate to non-profits either in time or money, to get breaks. Gifting it forward.
 
Now those who actually earn a somewhat livable wage, it’s hard to make ends meet and they aren’t eligible for government handouts. Penalties are imposed (Obamacare), and many of the taxes paid on daily transactions (state taxes) are going to the people who don’t earn a decent wage or even work at all. Thus feeding the entitlement engine even more. Those who earn a good wage therefore feel cheated, especially when they hear “oh, yeah my cousin is getting $400 a month in food stamps, and $800 a month towards their housing” and then “yeah, their Mercedes is having engine problems, they need some money to get it fixed”. Yet the hard worker is driving a 6+ year old car, and sometimes has a hard time paying the over inflated car insurance – which is mainly due to so many uninsured drivers and the claims the agencies have to pay out.
 
Basically the system is broken, and it starts with the income to inflation gap. Get the wages increased to reflect that of inflation, employers would learn real fast those increases to the price only lead to increasing their employees wages. The upper crust would quickly see the profit to wage output ratio change, or they would literally go out of business. Do they need another billion in profits, definitely not. Most have more than enough money to care for themselves and their next 3-4 generations.
 
Before you start posting, but why do they need $15/hour to work at McDonald’s comments, think for a minute. If you give them an increase in wage, it would eliminate the government handouts they are receiving. Meaning their “entitlements” would no longer be there as they will be above the income threshold. This in turn would free up government funding for other programs, like better roads, newer hospitals, better public services (police, fire, courts, etc). This benefits everyone, not just the entitled. Sure prices may go up a bit, but you know what…wages have not increased in years, but prices have. So while the upper crust gets more, we earn the same or a tiny bit more, but are forced to pay more for life essentials.
 
Considering minimum wage hasn’t increased since 2012…says a lot. Believe it or not, there is a Big Mac cost index, although I have included other cost comparisons from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 
[table caption=”Average in US Dollars” colwidth=”150″ colalign=”left|left|left|left|left”]
Item,2016,2006,1996,1986
Min Wage,7.25 (2012),5.15,4.75,3.35
Big Mac,4.20,3.10,2.36,1.60
Gallon Gas,2.14,2.59,1.23,0.93
Bread (1 lb loaf),1.37,1.08,0.88,0.57
Milk (1 gal),3.20,3.08,2.62,no data
Ground Chuck (1 lb),3.85,2.55,1.80,1.64
Chicken (1 lb),1.46,1.05,0.97,0.84
Eggs (dozen),1.68,1.31,1.11,0.87
Coffee (1 lb),4.39,3.20,3.43,3.43
Bananas (1 lb),0.57,0.50,0.49,0.39
Electricity (per KWH),0.135,0.112,0.094,0.077
Natural Gas (per therm),0.921,1.281,0.646,0.599
[/table]   
 
The table above does not count for variable changes due to foreign politics, nor does it take into account the changes in how food is produced. Fillers are more common in bread and beef, gasoline has “additives”, chicken is “injected with a solution”. So although prices may look minimal on some items, the quality of the food has changed.
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