Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Income Inequality Is Never A Good Thing.

Trickle down economic policies never work. It's been proven time and again. It's what lead to the recession in the 90's. It's what has lead to the shrinking of the middle class and it's just another way for the GOP to justify tax cuts for the rich and for corporations.  However in this letter to the editor on the website NorthJersey.com, Mr. Rodolfo Till from River Vale New Jersey seems to think that Income Inequality is a good thing. He is in fact wrong, and offers very little in supporting proof for the point he is trying to make. So I felt it was important to show why income inequality is a bad thing.

So let's take his first point, the median household income for someone in River Vale, New Jersey. According to The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $120,820 (with a margin of error of ± $7,009) and the median family income was $135,612 (± $8,972). Males had a median income of $100,594 (± $8,458) versus $61,516 (± $11,658) for females. The per capita income for the township was $49,586 (± $4,018). About 0.7% of families and 2.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 2.4% of those age 65 or over.

The population of the area tends to lead towards from middle to upper middle class. Also another thing to note men make more annually than women, also for the township the per capita income was just under $50,000 per year, and that only 2.1% of people living in the area were below the poverty line. As opposed to Lewiston, Idaho where according to The Census Bureau, the median household income is $47,947 with a poverty rate of 13.5%. Whereas nationwide the poverty level is currently at 12.5%.

Here is what eliminating Income Inequality would mean for those people that live in at or below the poverty level. It would mean that they could afford things like heating oil, and Electricity. Things like healthy food, and being able to pay for affordable health insurance for themselves and their children. They would be able to have the option of taking a day off of work for important events, or if they came down with the flu. Income Inequality is not the good thing that Mr. Till says it is. Income Inequality is the symptom of a larger issue that the GOP controlled congress failed to address with the recent Tax Bill that was just passed. That issue is one that could be solved with a basic income program.

The idea behind everyone having a Basic Income is this, everyone would get a set amount of cash regardless of their ability to work, or what their current situation might be. So if you have a single mother working two jobs, with a basic income she could quit one of those jobs and spend more time with her kids. Because the basic needs are covered with the monthly deposit of her share of the Basic Income. So now she doesn't have to choose between feeding her kids or paying the power bill, or paying the rent. It's covered by the Basic Income.

A basic income would allow a student going to school full time to focus on their studies, and not have to stay up until 1 am, because after their classes they had to also go work a full time job. Now they could go to school without having to work fulltime.

With the current national poverty rate at 13.5% down 0.8% from 14.3%. We still have a lot of work to do to reduce and eliminate poverty. The GOP would have you think that hard work and "Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps." is a cure all for poverty. When in fact hard work is only part of the solution. There isn't a single successful person who didn't get help from someone while they were building their business, or their careers. So think about that the next time a GOP talking head starts talking about how the poor families and individuals need to start pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.