Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Bottom 40%

This is from a Jon Taplin post at Talking Point Memo Cafe:

So here is the reality of life for the bottom 40% of America's families. After they pay for food, housing and transportation they have $1200 per year to spend on "discretionary items" like clothing, medicine and doctors. Never mind telephone, Internet or cable TV which are supposed to be middle class entitlements.

He is writing about families with an income of $22,000 before taxes. This is $10.57 an hour. Many jobs pay less than this and have no benefits, certainly no health insurance.

Two out of five American families have $100 a month for health care, clothing, toys, education. Pencils and notebooks for kids to take to school, a TV, the cost of taking a sick kid to an emergency room. Doctor's offices are clearly not possible. I suspect dentists are not possible.

Think of working parents trying to keep their jobs, care for their children, get to food shelves, deal with car breakdowns, find free health care, find a few lousy gifts for their kids in the holiday season.

These are Great Depression lives.


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