I keep reading articles and watching the news about how Americans are falling behind financially every day. The Trump Administration keeps trying to assure us that we need to be patient for the economy to turn around. I still see the stories of all Americans are sliding more into debt. How poor is America?
Why Is The Wealthiest Country in the World Growing Poorer?
How is it that a United States citizen’s median income is $60,000, and they still aren’t able to afford the basic needs for survival? Most American’s aren’t able to save for a rainy day? They would be in serious trouble if they had to come up with $500 in an emergency. And a new report states that a third of the population can’t afford food, housing, and health insurance.
It’s a mystery: Here in America people have comparatively high incomes, consumable goods are low-cost as compared to other countries, and we are more impoverished and in debt more than other well-off countries.
The biggest reason is the Trump Administration has deregulated the basic needs for human survival. Specifically, deregulation rollbacks in housing, education, transportation, finance, healthcare. They are turning them over to unconstrained resources to increase the private sector’s share of existing wealth without creating new wealth. These profiteers consume most of your take-home income, putting you more in debt and creating a more problematic situation.
Example of how deregulation affects us all let us look at how hedge funds control over drugs, or speculators control over housing, healthcare, and education — they will, of course, maximize profits, whereas investing in these things socially, or at least regulating them, minimizes real costs, and maximizes accessibility, affordability, and quality.
How Does American’s Compare
When we compare the United States to other countries with similar incomes and living standards, our counterparts are doing better than Americans even though they pay more for consumer goods. And more importantly, are saving more money than Americans.
What it amounts to is America has created a new kind of poverty. Poverty where high incomes and reasonable prices still leave citizens in debt and insecurity. We are in a crisis because 43% of American households are in a status called “Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed” or ALICE.
This new invention of poverty is called A-L-I-C-E. Or, Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. The acronym, A-L-I-C-E is the way we define and try to understand how American households are dealing with the hardships of earning income to go above the Federal Poverty Level, but still, wages are insufficient to afford a simple household budget.
To break this down, even more, it means when funds run short, people are forced to make hard decisions of what they are going to pay. An example of this dilemma is deciding to pay for food or filling the gas tank. Paying the mortgage or rent and not getting the car fixed. The problem with being put into a situation like this is these quick decisions have long-term ramifications not only for A-L-I-C-E families but for all Americans.
A typical ALICE family doesn’t always have the funds to pay the bills. Americans are forced into making those hard decisions of whom to pay and really becomes problematic when an unpredictable medical bill or house repair drives the fragile family budgets over the edge.
It is imperative that we act to ensure the future success of all of us as a society. And help the ALICE households to get financially stable. We need to strive to improve all American’s quality of life. So they don’t have to borrow money to maintain their lifestyle. And not be left high and dry as their quality of life slowly slips away. It is a daunting task ahead of us all with inflation skyrocketing and incomes remaining the same.
To put this in perspective, take healthcare, it didn’t cost half the median income ten years ago, but now it does. And as healthcare increases, as time goes on, what is it going to be like in another ten or twenty years? How will the economy or anyone survive that way?
The repercussions of a person missing a mortgage payment, or can’t pay for health insurance would be devastating to any household. Their credit rating suffers and severely punished for not making the payment. Or worse, they lose everything and are put out on the street homeless. And they are financially ruined, they find themselves without recourse or support. Moreover, they are abandoned, scorned, and blackballed. And without an address, they are not going to get hired for a job.
All of us need to step up and support these families that feel that they are no longer part of society. These families will fall into the cracks and make it almost impossible for them to find their way back into the social community. The disproportional chance doesn’t fall on corporations and lobbies and, of course, banks bear no risk at all, precisely because the average American bears it all for now.
When you work hard all your life and die with no assets, little to no savings, and more in debt, that’s not employment. America’s middle class are slowly losing the ability to earn a decent living. Because of stagnant wages, more debt, and practically no assets. It affects the home and retirement pensions etc. American’s are finding themselves asset poor and struggling to survive.
Americans aren’t poverty-stricken because they don’t work hard enough: they’re broke no matter how hard they work.
ALICE which denotes employed people who can’t afford housing, food, childcare, healthcare, transportation, and a cellphone — the basics of modern living.
My belief and opinion are that Americans should not be struggling to make ends meet. We live in the greatest country in the world. Americans are the lucky 7 percent. The United States use to be a place where no matter what your dreams are, by working hard, you can make them a reality. Is that attitude changing? Are we moving away from the goals our forefathers had for the people who came to this great nation of ours?
I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination concerning economics. The one thing I do know is that the only security anyone has is the security in themselves. It is the inner confidence of whatever happens to us we can get through it.
We as Americans shouldn’t be in a situation like this. All of us need to stand up and be accountable to help fellow Americans. I wrote this post for anyone facing this new crisis of ALICE. Is the American dream gone? I don’t think so. It is hidden from view and a little harder to see.
Below you are going to see an infographic of two free tickets to start your own business with no money down. You will have the opportunity to check it out for seven days. After the seven-days, you can decide if working for yourself is something you wish to pursue. No matter what you decide though I want to wish you the best of success in any business venture you choose.
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