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Monday, January 26, 2015

Just Get Over That Income Inequality Thing

We should all get over this "income inequality thing" as soon as we can alter our perceptions. What we are really talking about is "income deficiency." During the Bill Clinton Presidential Administration when Congress last raised the Federal Minimum Wage, everything cost a whole lot less that it does today. Some things that we consider essentials, such as Cellphone service, didn't even exist then. Cable TV was merely video signals to watch. There was no interactivity.

The argument that the 1% earn way too much compared to the other 99% gets us nowhere in the inequality argument. It does however go far in the equitable taxation debate. There will always be those individuals who earn millions of dollars per year for physical efforts that are far less than the common laborer, coal miner, etc. That fact should just be set aside. Let them earn that money. What is needed is a raising of the lowest wages paid because there are only two ways to make an annual income pay all the bills and costs of living a year in the USA. One is to lower the cost of everything so the existing income will cover the costs. The other is to increase the hourly pay so that more money is available.

The lowering of costs is not like giving up a $2500 per month rent for a $1000 per month rent. People earning wages at the bottom of the strata are more likely living on one rent subsidy plan or another in the $400 to $600 per month range. It is not like trading down from a 2-year old Lexus to a 4-year old Chevy. Most people who are earning at the minimum wage level have never been very far above it.

While Conservatives and Progressives argue over whether or not Global Climate Change is real or not and whether or not human are responsible, Entropy is tearing down every edifice we have built in this once proud nation of ours. Someone has to pay for the repairs that are needed to just keep our heads above water (and I don't mean sea-level in this sentence.) In a nation of $15,000 jobs, the middle class is ill prepared to foot the bill for the trillion dollar maintenance and repair bill that is being allowed to rack up through our bickering and stonewalling. No amount of taxation at the middle class level will be sufficient to pay for the job at hand and leave enough funds left over for them to pay for the essentials. That is unless that middle class working population receives an across the board pay raise.

The Republican-favored private enterprise corporations who see $$$ in every part of human existence won't be able to assess their fees on toll road users, pay their water utility rates, educate their children in privatized public school when they have no money to pay with. Today's public institutions are publicly funded with tax dollars. The Republican legislatures are hamstringing that public sector so as to justify privatization. But they seem to be forgetting that it takes tax dollars to fund those private businesses. A person with 3 or 4 children would be hard pressed to pay the education costs of elementary school and high school. This is especially true when a person has no children to put through school and ought not to be required to pay that cost at all.

Any person working a $15,000 job has no discretionary funds to invest for retirement. This person is not responsible for merely himself or herself. This worker is responsible for from 2 to 8 people either through direct payment or through government instituted program. Statistically, half of the US population does not work to eat, be clothed and sheltered.
"I was digging deeply into the US population statistics to fact check a Republican assertion that we really have 92 million jobless people in the US. I found that to probably be true. The numbers show 61.04 million children younger than 15 and 41.40 million people 65 and older. Since Congress limited child labor in the 1920s children don't work a significant of official jobs. People generally retire from employment around age 65 and apply for Social Security. This means 103.34 million Americans are not 'of working age'. This leaves 206.19 million people of working age. If that Republican was saying that the 92 million people without a job were all of working age, we would have an effective unemployment rate of 44%."
There are a lot of children and retired adults who need to be supported by the working population. At $15,000 this paradigm fail. Since employees and shareholders vie for the same business income dollar, the businesses view higher wages as being no different than yet another tax. What they need to come to understand is that the wages paid fuel the robust economic activity that they have come to rely upon for their income derives at a few percent on annual sales. If the workers do not have the funds they will cannot spend them in the company stores.