Keeping A Roof Over Your Head At Minimum Wage
The above chart is based on a report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, which report can be downloaded from their web site. Note that is says, "In no state can a minimum wage worker afford a two-bedroom unit at Fair Market Rent working a standard 40 hour week."
Meanwhile, Business Week happily reports that average household wealth, or net worth, increased 4.7 percent last quarter.
"Most of the gain came from a 12 percent jump in the Standard & Poor's 500 index in the January-March quarter," Business Week says. In other words, the rich are getting richer. The trend in which record profits go to the rich, while wages and living standards for the 99 percent are in decline, continues.
I have been reporting that the gap between the 1 percent and the rest of us is back where it was in the 1920s, during the so-called "Gilded Age." That was when, as now, a few at the top controlled the economy and government. That was before unions gained a foothold in the United States, a foothold they have lost thanks to thirty years of Reaganomics.
I've also reported that Reaganomics, or supply side economics, has been adopted by Democrats as well as Republicans, and by the European and Asian economies, and by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. If you doubt that, read what's going on in places like Greece or Spain, or anyplace else, where any money the IMF or World Bank loans a country is now conditioned on its government adopting harsh "austerity" measures -- cuts to social programs, wages and pensions -- and tax cuts for the rich, and then see this attack yesterday by World Bank chief Robert Zellnick on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Chavez' crime, and the reason he is vilified, is that he has brought health care, housing and education to millions of poor Venezuelans, and uses Venezuela's oil wealth to assist other countries, like Cuba, Bolivia, and many others, that are trying to do the same. Since first being elected in 1998, Chavez has been repeatedly re-elected by wide margins in elections that all independent observers including the Carter Center have called free and fair, but Zellnick, like the mainstream media and the US government, paints him as a dictator.
Chavez' crime, and why he can never be forgiven by Capitalism and its news outlets, is that he has led efforts by Socialists in Venezuela to transform that country's historically oligarchic economy into one that is more fair and where those whose labor creates wealth get more of it.
Meanwhile, the ongoing transformation in the opposite direction, in Europe and Asia and in the US, under Democrats and Republicans alike, continues. If you vote for somebody who hasn't explicitly pointed all this out, who hasn't been alerting people and mobilizing them to fight against it, who hasn't been doing something concrete to stop it, you're helping the process along yourself. You're hastening the return to a time in American history you probably don't even know about. You're ensuring that more Americans fall into the category of those whose plight is highlighted by the chart above. You're helping realize the original goal of Reaganomics, which was to see we all end up where a worker was in the 1920s, who often worked so many hours he had to sleep next to his machine at the factory and still didn't make enough to feed his family, and forget about providing them with a decent place to live.