You know, I really don’t understand how all these “pundits” are so stupid when it comes to economics.
Everything they say or suggest is absolutely counter intuitive. The middle class is starving because we lost our living-wage jobs and yet the politicians want to take away every safety net in our government because we’re “lazy”. Where Wall Street executives lost all of our savings and retirement, we were pressured to bail them out just so they could go back to what they were doing in the first place that caused the Great Recessions with absolutely no criminal indictments. Because the top 1% is benefiting from the “recovery”, they think everyone is.
I freely admit I’m not an economist, but from my non-professional standpoint it seems that when the middle-class made a living wage (i.e., enough to pay for housing, food, transportation, insurance, college, even vacations) then everyone prospered. Because so many people were paying their taxes, because they actually made a wage that could be taxed, then the government had enough money to pay for infrastructure (roads, bridges), education, social services, and war/defense.
In the 80s and 90s our consumer culture fed so many businesses that they hired more workers because they needed to produce more product. So I’m completely confused when businesses don’t want to pay their workers, who are ultimately their consumers, a living wage. How are businesses going to make a profit if no one can afford their products? In the Wal-Mart “race-to-the-bottom” method of business, they use the taxpayers to provide benefits for their employees because they refuse to pay a living wage. That means the ever-shrinking pool of taxpayers (remember, people making poverty wages don’t pay taxes) are now responsible not only for the most helpless of our society but for working members of our society. And conservatives have the gall to call these workers “lazy” because they don’t make enough to pay for food for their families so they rely on food assistance. The hypocrisy is mind-boggling.
Here’s how I see the model working successfully, in my non-professional opinion:
– Workers get paid a living wage.
– This wage gives them purchasing power.
– Business sell more products/services because of the power of the consumer.
– Business make more profit that allows them to hire more workers.
– More workers making a living-wage are lifted out of poverty and can pay taxes.
– More taxes being collected helps pay down our deficit, fund social programs and defense.
– More taxes gives the government more money to upgrade roads, bridges, dams, levies, etc.
– Businesses (who never built it themselves if they used interstate roads, public water, sewers, police/fire protection) can expand due to a better infrastructure.
The austerity and sequester supporters are not living in the real word. Cutting back only hurts everyone; even the Great Depression was overcome with government borrowing to step into World War II. We may be “exceptional”, but all we’re exceptional at these days is beating a path for us to become a Third World Nation. On a global scale we do less for our people than other countries, and the sad part is that many are proud of that.
But I’m just and middle-aged, unemployed person, so what would I know.