Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Remember When a Family Could Make It on One Income?

Remember when dads could work at the local hardware store and make enough money to raise a family decently? Remember when mom was a nurse or teacher and could keep a roof over her kids' heads, even if she was a widow? I'm old enough to remember when a one income household did just fine, and a two income home was comparatively affluent. What happened?

I was recently having a Twitter back-and-forth with someone who insisted that income inequality was not a problem and that deregulation of the financial world was a desirable thing. He was wrong, and here's why:


And many people still don't understand how income inequality has surged in the past few decades. See here:


I'm not pretending to have all the answers, but I do know that what we're doing is not working, and slashing the regulations that protect lower earners is not the answer. Trickle down does NOT work.

What does work is a large, stable middle class. A large, comfortable middle class is the engine that drives a strong economy. Without that, you have a small pool of ridiculously wealthy people at one end of the spectrum and an ever-larger mass of poor people at the other. The small, wealthy group wield an inordinate and disproportionate amount of influence over government and media. Not only can they influence politics, but they can influence how people vote, which ultimately influences what laws get passed (and repealed).

We as a society need to really think about what matters. I am FAR from being a communist or a socialist; I think capitalism is just fine, thank you. But I also believe in enlightened self-interest. When more of us prosper, then... more of us prosper. I think that's a pretty good deal.

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