Politics Magazine

Too Many Families Are Living On Too Little Income In U.S.

Posted on the 01 February 2019 by Jobsanger
Too Many Families Are Living On Too Little Income In U.S.
Too Many Families Are Living On Too Little Income In U.S.
The charts above are from The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. They were contained in a May 2018 report titled Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2017. It shows far too many U.S. families struggle to keep their heads above water in this country.
The top chart shows the percentages of families that make certain income levels. Note that 27% of all families make less than $25,000 a year. That's more than a quarter of all families. And anyone who thinks that $25,000 is an adequate income for a family doesn't have to live on that amount. That income would put a family of four below the official poverty level.
And it gets worse. About 38% of families make less than $40,000 a year, and 46% make less than $50,000 a year. That's nearly half of all families. And the median family income is slightly over $59,000 a year. That's $9,000 more than 46% of American families make.
The second chart shows 41% of families could not pay for a $400 emergency without borrowing or selling some possessions. They are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and wouldn't have the money to meet that $400 emergency. And $400 is not an excessive amount, since many emergencies (car repair, home repair, medical emergency, etc.) can easily surpass $400.
When the Republicans passed their tax cut, they promised workers would get an average raise of $4,000 a year, and a massive number of good-paying jobs would be created. Neither happened. Wages remained basically stagnant while the rich fattened their bank accounts substantially. It was another in a long line of failures for the Republican's "trickle-down" economic theory. Giving more to the rich does not benefit everyone (and never has).
It's time to stop worrying about the rich. They are doing very well. It's time to take action that will help the workers in this country. There are many things that could be done (once the Republicans are voted out of power). I suggest we could start by:
1. Raise the minimum wage substantially. This would lift many families out of poverty. It would also put upward pressure on the wages of those making more, And it would even benefit businesses, since millions of people would have more money to spend on their products.
2. Make it easier for workers to join unions. And work to eliminate "right-to-work" laws (which are just really anti-union laws).
3. Stop rewarding companies that export good American jobs with tax cuts.
Wages should not be so low that they force families to struggle. Those willing to work should be fairly reimbursed. Anything less is immoral -- and it's bad economic policy.

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