There is a restless and unhappiness in America today! Although things are better than they were nearly 7 years ago, the American people feel that we are headed in the wrong direction.
Democrats tout the issue of income inequality and the demise of the Middle Class. Republicans want to blame people for their financial condition.
In point of fact neither party really totally gets it. Let’s take the year of my graduation from college in 1968. The minimum wage was $1.50. The median income for an individual was $5500 and for a family $8,600. Rent was totally affordable with an apartment running around $150. My tuition had been affordable. Health Insurance, I could afford and with gas costing around .32 cents at the pump, I had money left over to take a vacation to Europe, if I could just afford the airfare.
Today it is quite different. The median income for an individual is $26,695 and a family earns $50,500 but 66% earn less than $41,212. Forbes in 2013 stated that for a family of 4, health insurance averaged $22,030 dollars a year. Let’s look at the cost of an apartment. If you live in an apartment in Kansas City that is 800 square feet the average cost is $1000 per month. If you live in San Diego, for the same size apartment it costs $1700 per month,
Well, my fellow Americans, the American consumer is tapped out. We need a raise. Our incomes have in no way kept up with the costs to live each and every day. Wages have not kept up with inflation. Just to have a roof over your head the cost has gone up conservatively around 10 times what it was in 1968. If my income had kept up just with the cost of renting a place my income should be for an individual around $55,000 a year. I could get by quite well if that were the case. The price at the pump has gone up from a very cheap .31 cents a gallon to between $3 and $4 dollars a gallon. Health care costs take up a hefty percentage of ones income. And we haven’t even considered the cost of food, electricity, you know the basic necessities. And forget tuition, we have saddled our children with enormous debt with an interest rate far above what you would pay on a house if you could afford to buy one.
Our political system is bogged down in ineptitude, partisan wrangling and too many of our politicians owe too much to their benefactors. You know the ones who spent the money to put them in office.
Democracy has gone the way of the Oligarchs. Our politicians are the best politicians money can buy. God help them if they should actually do something for the Middle Class in deference to the wealthiest getting more and more wealthy.
This week we will see the first Republican debate. Instead of talking about the real problems that Americans face each day, financially, my bet is that none of them except for maybe one, will talk about the suffering of the American people financially. They will have their dog and pony show, blaming all of our problems on illegal immigrants, or the evils of abortion. Or maybe even, they will talk about reducing taxes and the size of government. But frankly none of that has any effect on how we, the people can pay our bills.
And we wonder why the American people don’t like the direction we are going in? America needs a raise and a sizable one. Don’t believe for one moment that our getting a raise will do more harm to the economy than help it. The more we make, the more we will spend, and the more taxes we will pay. Don’t feel sorry for our largest corporations, they are making record profits. They now depend on selling what we make to other countries. They decided to sell us out long ago. Even the American consumer, who was the goose that laid the golden egg, has been outsourced to a foreign country.