Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/07/13/2021-half-america-facing-poverty
This problem has been forecast for quite some time. Technology and off shoring continues to displace jobs within the nation. People are left with no work or at best less dignified work, in their opinion. Yet, we have significant work to be done in the rebuilding of infrastructure, environmental restoration, education, genuine health care, good governance, etc. With proper leadership, such as that that would have been provided by Bernie we could climb out of this morass.
Capitalism will inevitably lead to staggering inequality with very few winners and millions struggling to survive. All attempts to reign in capitalism have been futile. Want to get rid of poverty and racism?
Get rid of capitalism. End stage capitalism.
The quiet desperation of low-income America will soon become the loudest cry in U.S. history. This is such a wealthy nation, and so many are impoverished. The U.S. Census has started a weekly flash survey called Household Pulse Survey, and the question “Frequency of not being able to stop or control worrying” received 37% “not at all”, they don’t worry at all.
But 54% report “several” “more than half the days” and “nearly every day”, and about 8% do not report. See Table 2A. How many experienced a loss of regular employment income? 48% of respondents. 121 million out of 249 million. And that 48% changes to 57% when you take out the 38 million “retired” adults in the survey.
“Their median hourly wage is $10.22, and their median annual earnings are $17,950.” – about the 53 million or 44% of the “private sector” workforce who earn “low income”. Let’s put this into context: in 2018 the median worker, the middle earner out of 166 million, had an annual income of $32,838 says the Social Security Administration (I did just check that). This 53 million who are low-earners is wrong, it leaves out 27 million who earn less than $7,500 a year. Add the lowest 27 million to the 53 million, you get half of working America. The average for all 82 million is less than $14,500, or less than a minimum wage worker who works full-time and year-round. The 82 million who constitute the lower-earning half earn less than 8% of the national income. They are under-paid. Raising the minimum wage would be great, establishing true bargaining power with a new Fair Labor Standards Act, also great. Unfortunately we need a hurricane to alert us to the dangers of inequality and unfair wage labor remuneration.
I’m waiting for the 25 million households to be evicted. And the unemployment ‘bonus’ to run out. I know people who are dealing with both and there isn’t a damn thing they can do to change it because they are too far behind already. Even if they got their jobs back they’ll never catch up, and a huge number have seen their old work close up for good. I wonder when the first refugee (family or friend) will show up…
And the next dinky ‘stimy-less’ check that doesn’t cover a month’s worth of anybody’s bills will come out with all sorts of juicy pork attached for the wealthy just like always. Millions to hate groups, millions to cruise ship lines that aren’t even registered in the US and don’t pay taxes, stuff like that. Again. People will squeal but nothing will ever change. It never has before so based on that history… And hey, how come I didn’t get the first one when I did get a jury duty notice, my census form, and a sample ballot so the government knows where I am.
May we live in interesting times certainly is a curse, isn’t it? Sure is getting ‘interesting.’
As most government forecasts almost always predict their most optimistic and often unrealistic view of the future, I then wonder what the current prediction of " The World Bank expects extreme poverty levels to persist throughout the coming year", means, if this is an optimistic view.
The French Revolution is looking pretty good about now…
OK, I’m in. But before we roll I wanna have my cake…
good writing, Paul.
The headline used here at CD misleads because the story is about right now, today.
Not six months from now.
All the soon to be empty apartments in cities where rent controls were in place will
flip to gentrifications. $1,000 per month jumps to $1,600 with the touch on the nose.