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Poll Finds Two-Thirds of Americans Teetering on Financial Edge


#1


#2

The conservatives want to conserve poverty at any cost.
The desperate and downtrodden are their treasure trove.


#3

This is unsurprising. According to the National Employment Law Project using Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2012 - 2014, 42.4% of all workers earn less than $15 per hour. The Alliance for a Just Society estimates a living wage for a single adult to be $16.87 per hours.

How are these working class members supposed to live if they don't ear a living wage? Usually it's through reliance on government assistance programs. According to articles by Clare O'Conner at Forbes (yes, Forbes), workers at Walmart and fast food restaurants like McDonald's. US taxpayers subsidize McDonald's and other fast food capitalists to the tune of $7B annually in benefits claimed by their workers. Walmart capitalists cost US taxpayers $6.2B annually in the public assistance needed by their workers. Is this the proper role for government? Meanwhile four of the top 10 wealthiest US citizens are Walton family members.


#4

Debt: n. "An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slave driver." A. Bierce


#5

Pretty stunning statistics. Most of the apparent poverty and insecurity is coming from inadequate income, but a lot of it must be due to over-consumption of plastic crap. This can be the only explanation for a majority of households with a $50-100K and 38% of those making over $100k not even having $1000 in savings to cover an unexpected expense. This is crazy!


#6

Yup, Marx made this clear - backed by impeccable analysis a long time ago.


#7

This morning we took our friend to the vets to pick up her cat's thyroid medicine. She hasn't been able to pick it up for 10 days and now the cat is throwing up. She has a ride to her first job (they fire everybody just before they have to pay any benefits), but my wife is taking her to her second job at 5:30 today. It would be easier if our friend's 24 year old car was still working but it isn't. That's why we drive.

Our friend spent 12 days living in her car with her pets last June. She couldn't afford the rent. The shelter doesn't take pets. This happens to people when they're female, when they're in their early 60s and when they latched onto a man earlier in life who it turned out was no good. This happens to a lot of women.

No, she doesn't have an alcohol or drug problem, and she's highly intelligent. Yes, she votes and has worked for a lobbying organization. Our elected officials simply don't care about people's lives.


#9

You are allowed to write "shit" and any other profanity on this site - they censor for other reasons here.


#10

I lived and worked in Mexico and was overwhelmed with the poverty there, but then I realized America is also in wealth delusion because except for a small % the vast majority of the Mexican people have no credit, no bills, no electricity, no vehicles, no insurance, no mail, no mortgage, and of course little or no income.

America's wealth is a faux wealth for America's middle class and the majority of Americans, because if one eliminated all credit millions would be living like the poor Mexicans.

But one thing that I have noticed, it seems to me, is the Mexicans have very little stress because of having no bills. They are dirt poor, but they know no difference, so have very few desires, because of their culture, and enjoy living simply, unlike so many Americans that are debt slaves who are living way beyond their means, many living one paycheck away from being homeless.


#12

I was struck by the rhyme and the random course history takes, who would have thought the Age of Aquarius would lead to the Age of Precarious. I didn't see it coming during those heady days of "let the sun shine."


#17

Unless you're in the system- collecting Unemployment, for example- you don't count as unemployed, either.


#18

Yes, the true pleasures in life are culture, kinship, community, family, and the beauty of nature (that can be found practically anywhere - not just in a distant national park). None of these things cost money. In contrast, in the USA all these things have been destroyed under this weird "culture" where consuming plastic polluting crap has replaced what humans really need to avoid going crazy.


#19

Capitalism is still great for a few but it sure sucks for the rest of us.
I like what Richard Wolf said to those that think socialism doesn't work, "look at the Soviet Union" they say. Wolff's response [I paraphrase] was that "the first attempts at capitalism needed changes, so do we throw out socialism because some of the first attempts weren't utopia?"


#20

So true!

And can you even imagine songs with lyrics like that - not to mention far more overtly political songs that were Big Hits. Recall Bruce Cockburn's songs "Nicaragua" and "If I had a Rocket Launcher" - can you even imagine such songs being even allowed to be broadcast on radio today?


#21

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Empire_of_Lies%3A_How_the_US_Continues_to_Deceive_the_World_About_Puerto_Rico/51271/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Read it and weep. The people of Puerto Rico, through laws passed by the US Government and through the deceptions and outright theft of wealth by the hedge fund industry are little more then a slave class . The US Government is now pushing a bill to lower the minimum wage in Puerto Rico to 4.25 per hour even as the costs of living there is 12 percent higher than in the USA.

Lobby groups from the US Hedge fund industries are pressuring the US Government into forbidding Puerto Rico to declare bankruptcy which would alleviate all of that debt. They are instead insisting that the entire populations labor force and all if its resources be used to pay off the wealthy which would mean generation after generation of debt slaves.


#24

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#26

What an odd inclusion that "a dip in the stock market" might contribute to financial instability for a majority of Americans. Long-term stability perhaps, but in the short term, hardly anyone living paycheck to paycheck has any eggs in that basket. Medical bills are more likely to be unpaid than to actually threaten family budgets, since they usually don't affect credit and are the most easily settled debts.

What really stings is the ubiquity of temp and low-paying, no-benefit jobs, that are increasingly competitive to obtain as companies continue to restructure, shed veteran workers and rehire. The competitive imperative of Capitalism, unchecked and even abetted by lack of government restraints and decreasing access to social supports to weather periods of unemployment are to blame.

I'm glad the Progressive Caucus keeps pushing for a more family-friendly regulatory climate, but we need a movement to refocus our culture to respect people over business.


#27

The best line I've read all day!


#28

Thanks.


#29

Perhaps the Puerto Ricans will remember their past and declare their independence once again as so many now are in the same desperate situation brought on by the US.