Thursday, May 12, 2016

Half Of Americans Worry About Their Financial Situation

This chart was made from a recent Gallup Poll -- done between April 6th and 10th of a random national sample of 1,015 adults, with a 4 point margin of error.

Respondents were asked to rate their own financial situation. It turns out that 50% said their financial situation was either excellent or good -- and that's how Gallup titled their poll. I would have titled it different. While it's nice that the 50% are happy with their financial situation, the real story (real tragedy) is that 49% of Americans rate their financial situation as only fair or poor.

Is that an acceptable situation in the richest country on Earth? NO. It's not even close to being acceptable!

But it is true. Other surveys have shown that while the median income is $45k-$50k a year in this country, that doesn't tell the real economic story of Americans. That figure is skewed upwards by the obscenely rich. The truth is that half of American families live on an income that is 150% of the poverty level or less. In other words, they are only a paycheck or two from dropping down into poverty (if not already there).

It didn't use to be this way in this country. There have always been those who are poor or struggling to stay above the poverty level, but it is ridiculous that half of the people in this country can now be described this way. What caused it? The "trickle-down" economic policies instituted by Republicans in the Reagan administration, and doubled down by them in the Bush II administration.

That policy has weakened labor unions, encouraged the off-shoring of good jobs, stifled wages by encouraging companies to not share rising productivity, and kept the minimum wage at a poverty level. It has tilted the economic playing field to favor the rich, and to punish all other Americans.

This economic policy must be changed so it is fair for all Americans (and not just the rich). But that can't happen until the Republicans are voted out of power. As long as they control either House of Congress, they will block any effort to institute a fairer economic policy.

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