America Needs a Raise

Viddy of the day: Bernie Sanders.  The man, the myth, the legend.  Watch Bernie give’em hell. 


The 400 of us pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you’re in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.

Warren Buffett


I was reading a news story on firedoglake that was talking about the tax cuts that the Republicans and the President are so keen to pass.  I saw a line that gave me pause, and one that is at the heart of the real economic problem in this nation.  50,000,000 workers in this nation, around 1/3 rd of the workforce, makes less than $20,000.  That was mentioned because people making that little will receive less in the way of tax cuts than under the making work pay tax credit this time around then they did last year. 

I think the problem lies much more in the fact that 1 in 3 American workers make less than $20,000 a year.  Think about it like this.  I am from New York State.  The average cost of Auto insurance in New York is over $1000.  The average New Yorker spends over $3500 a year in groceries. Travelling in New York with the Metrocard, using it twice a day 5 times a week (like you would going to work) for 50 weeks a year would cost $1125 a year. According to  the average cost of utilities in NYC for a year is over $3300 a year.  Tax total for that much money is over $2700.  Let’s do the math, and remember all these numbers are rounded below the average costs.

$1000 + $3500 + $1125 + $3300 + $2700 = $11,625 a year in expenses.

Note I did not add the Following.

Costs of maintaining a car, including gas. 


Dental expenses.

Medical expenses.

Vision care.

There are other things I am probably not putting in that I just am not thinking of.  Tell me, even if the prices I mention are high for where you live, how close are those numbers?  Even if you lop off $2000 a year, you are still just getting by by the skin of your teeth. 

The problem isn’t just that poor people are paying too much in taxes, or that the rich aren’t paying enough, it’s that companies are simply not paying enough to the people who do the actual work that keeps this nation running.  With expenses like that, how is anyone supposed to live on that kind of money?

The real problems in this nation cannot be fixed with taxation in any way shape or form, whether raising it, or lowering it.  That will not get rid of the basic poverty of 1/3 of the residents of this nation.  The expenses are too expensive and the pay is too short, we are simply being charged too much for the services we receive, and not getting paid enough for the work we do.

When you are one of the unfortunate 1/3rd in this nation, one root canal could put you in the poor house making that small amount of money.   A fender bender could have you looking for a second job, when the first one wears you out.  A rent increase could put you out on the street.

We deserve better, as a nation, from those who hire and pay us for the work we do. 



That’s all for me, America.  Go grab a few Z’s, I’ll write to you tomorrow.


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