Following politics is a head spinning activity. Everyone is trying to get their way no matter how harmful it is, even to themselves. In the meantime most Americans are struggling. Average Americans, which is most of us, earn about $56,000 per year, while 48% of Americans earn less than $30,000 per year. This is not a respectable income for citizens of the greatest and wealthiest country in the world. All work is valuable and deserves a livable wage which is by my estimation $25 per hour (40 hours per week 50 weeks per year) with an extra $5 per hour for healthcare and another $5 for pension. That is $70,000 per working person per year for a total of $11 trillion. It is doable.
Somehow over the last 40 years, workers have become devalued and stockholders have become overvalued. It’s like you hold a buffet style dinner party and the first people who arrive take all the food, far more than they need, stuffing it in their purses and pockets to take it home leaving everyone else with the scraps to share. And, its as if the rules of decency have been deregulated or ignored. What is really frightening is, the early hoarders don’t recognize that they’ve done anything wrong and they blame those who arrived after them for their own state of lack.
Both sides ( Democrats and Republicans) need to find common ground so that average Americans can live comfortably not extravagantly. Our democracy cannot survive this level of income inequality. The top 1% (those earning $400,000 and above per year) are out of touch with the experiences of the majority of Americans. In response I offer the following observations. If your wealth hurts fellow Americans, stop! If your integrity is diminished by dealing with unscrupulous business people or Oligarchs, stop! If your patriotism is dwindling so you can make deals with hostile foreign governments, Stop!
A successful society provides livable wages and comfortable living conditions for all workers and supports the arts and sciences that move humans forward. It provides training/education/healthcare opportunities for all, not free but affordable. And, it helps those with challenges. The new and growing “gig” economy does not provide livable wages and benefits. It is going to create a class who is in debt without healthcare and pension and in 40 years will become a class of senior citizens who live in poverty. We need to find common ground for the common good through fair legislation that includes all Americans.