The War on The Quality of Life

The President, Barack Obama wants the minimum wage to be $10.10 and hour. In reality there is no longer a 40 work week. Most jobs go from 32 to 25 hours. Calculating this wage increase would mean people would get paid: $323.20 a week or  $252.50 a week. 40 hours would have paid $404.00. A living wage of  $25 and hour would pay $1,000, 32 hours = $800 and 25=$625. Considering cost of living expenses for the week, the minimum wage is a cheat.

Most of the growth has been between the middle class and top earners, with the disparity becoming more extreme the further one goes up in the income distribution. A 2011 study by found that the top earning 1 percent of households increased their income by about 275% after federal taxes and income transfers over a period between 1979 and 2007, compared to a gain of just under 40% for the 60 percent in the middle of America’s income distribution. Other sources find that the trend has continued since then. In spite of this data, only 42% of Americans think inequality has increased in the past ten years In 2012, the gap between the richest 1 percent and the remaining 99 percent was the widest it’s been since the 1920s. Incomes of the wealthiest 1 percent rose nearly 20 percent, whereas the income of the remaining 99 percent rose 1 percent in comparison.

To the causes, solutions, and the significance of the trend, which in 2011 helped ignite the Occupy” protest movement. Education and increased demand for skilled labor are often cited as causes, some have emphasized the importance of public policy; others believe the cause(s) of inequality’s rise are not well understood.

From 1973 to 2005, real hourly wages of those in the 90th percentile – where most people have college or advanced degrees – rose by 30% or more… among this top 10 percent, the growth was heavily concentrated at the very tip of the top, that is, the top 1 percent. This includes the people who earn the very highest salaries in the U.S. economy, like sports and entertainment stars, investment bankers and venture capitalists, corporate attorneys, and CEO’s. In contrast, at the 50th percentile and below – where many people have at most a high school diploma – real wages rose by only 5 to 10% .

The era of inequality growth has coincided with a dramatic decline in labor union membership from 20% of the labor force in 1983 to about 12% in 2007.

One women stated, in 1970 I could keep 75% o my income, now I have almost nothing left. Since 2006 to 2014 child poverty has increased 75%. There are 50,000,000 people in poverty, 1/3 are working families.  150,000 are war vets. War vets, when wounded, are immediately discharged and cannot collect on education or health.

The 99% were falling ever further behind the top 1%. The latter’s exploding luxury consumption shaped tastes and standards defining the “American dream.” With real wages stagnant in the US since the 1970s, the 99% tried to reach or keep the dream by sending more family members out to work more hours, and borrowing ever larger amounts, over the last 25 years. Eventually, their exhaustion and stress from increased work, coupled with unsustainable levels of accumulated household debt (for homes, college expenses, automobiles and credit cards), brought the economy to the brink of crisis.

The war on Seniors: Many professionals where robbed of their 401K in a Wall Street scam. Needy Seniors must have Doctors distribute samples of much needed medication. Seniors and Children make for high poverty rates. Businesses feel since seniors are old they are disposable and cannot get fair rulings on accident suits.

Jail and PrisonThe US has the largest reported incarcerated population in the world, and by far the highest rate of imprisonment, holding 2.2 million people in adult prisons or jails as of year-end 2011. 2000 saw 1-500 family members going to jail, now it is 1-85.

Mass incarceration reflects three decades of harsh state and federal sentencing regimes, including increased use of life and life without parole sentences, high mandatory minimum sentences, and “three strikes” laws. The Sentencing Project reported that one in nine US prisoners are serving a life sentence.

The growing number of elderly prisoners poses a serious challenge to correctional authorities: as of 2011, the latest year for which complete numbers are available, 26,136 persons aged 65 and older were incarcerated in state and federal prisons, up 62 percent in five years.

The War on Workers: Workers have no rights in the work place, no sick days, and workers can be fired at anytime for any reason.

The Department of Labor is a toothless tiger with out much protection power, and no worker has rights with out a Union. Human Rights for workers means absolutely nothing to the Wall Street Coalition Parties.

Republicans in Congress are taking aim at the National Labor Relations Board, which issued a relatively minor rule change allowing workers to vote on whether to unionize soon after a union has been proposed, rather than allowing employers to delay the vote for years. Many employers have used the delaying tactics to retaliate against workers who try to organize, and intimidate others into rejecting a union.

This war on workers’ rights is an assault on the middle class, and it is undermining the American economy.

One could remember a time when Americans dreamed of less work and more leisure, a living wage and high living standards.

Education for children and a disposable income. An enlightened world with all the socials amenities and no one would want from

anything. Since Reagan, visions of a positive future have been dashed.



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