One slight correction: the minimum wage is not even HALF of $15./hr.
Secondly: In whose world do folks earning $75,000./yr qualify for government assistance. For years I’ve read articles referencing people who are struggling to get by on “ONLY” $60,000./yr. This screams that even those well-meaning ‘liberal’ journalists are completely out of touch with the world of working folk.
After earning a scientific graduate degree, I spent over 35 yrs working in medical research. performing highly technical biochemical, microscopic, and surgical procedures. i’ve been in charge of analysis, quality control, data generation, and data management for national FDA qualifying studies, involving dozens of clinical centers, as well as hundreds of other NIH funded studies. I’ve been involved in writing and editing many well-regarded scientific papers. My spouse has a medical degree and as the sole provider in a rural area is still struggling to keep afloat a practice where many rely on medicaid. Our COMBINED incomes have never approached either of the figures referenced above. When our kid graduated near the top of the class from an Ivy league school, with degrees in chemistry and physics, she got a job running a mass-spectroscopy / gas chromatography facility at a major research university. After 2 years she had to accept that her $26.000./yr salary would never provide even a modest living wage. This was only 7 yrs ago, and In this world we still count ourselves among the most fortunate.
In this country, the ‘American Dream’ has morphed into wishing to become an NBA superstar, a reality TV show celebrity, or winning the lottery. It is that PERVASIVE LEVEL OF DESPERATION that projectile vomited the current vile scourge upon us. It is that level of desperation that truly populist leaders need to understand, empathize with and tap into.
The EITC is a good thing, a useful tool to help smooth out income disparities caused by the power imbalance of capital vs. labor. However it does NOT replace the requirement to restore the rights of labor in our economy. The widespread MYTH of a free market, the insanity of expecting the magical “invisible hand of the market” to cure all of our ills, the willful blindness to the destructive force of unregulated capitalism, can lead to nothing except accelerating the death spiral in which we now find ourselves.