#occupywallstreet
arielnietzsche:

U.S. Has Highest % of Low Wage Workers - America #1!
Income inequality is the nation’s #1 issue.  Period.  End of story.  I started IACWE because it was apparent to me that the system is rigged; it’s not about equal outcomes…but equal opportunity.  The United States simply isn’t set up to give everyone an equal opportunity…an opportunity for prosperity if you really work hard.  There are so many people working two jobs trying to put food on the table and dreaming of a better future for their kids; unfortunately – we live in a country where a parent’s income is the best predictor of what their child’s income will be.
Or does that make me envious for pointing that out?  And after living through the nightmare that is “trickle down economics” – Americans can safely say that we hold the dubious honor of having the largest % of low wage workers in the industrialized world.    You can not have a stable economy with this type of income inequality; you can not have a stable political system with this type of income inequality.  Income inequality literally could be the end of our democracy if we don’t get the train back on the right tracks.  America – we’re #1….
The Conversable Economist writes:

The issue here can be summed up with this question: If someone in the U.S. economy is a law-abiding citizen who works full-time for a period of years, can they earn a level of wages that let them afford a slice of middle-class standard of living? If you are earning $10/hour and working 2,000 hours per year, your annual earnings of $20,000 would put you below the poverty line of $22,891 for a single parent with three children.
And the problems of low-wage work aren’t limited to low wages. Schmitt writes: “Not only are low-wage workers likely to stay in low-wage jobs from one year to the next, they are also more likely than workers in higher-wage jobs to fall into unemployment or to leave the labor force altogether. … U.S. labor law offers workers remarkably few protections. U.S. workers, for example, have the lowest level of employment security in the OECD and no legal right to paid vacations, paid sick days, or paid parental leave. … [M]ore than half (54 percent) of workers in the bottom wage quintile did not have employer-provided health insurance and more than one-third (37 percent) had no health insurance of any kind, private or public.”

The NY Times explains what President Obama must illustrate:

Unfairness in the tax burden is one important example and driver of that divide. The White House released tax data showing that the average federal tax rate of the wealthiest 0.1 percent of Americans has fallen from 51 percent to 26 percent over the last 50 years. At the same time, the middle-class tax burden was basically unchanged or slightly higher, with those taxpayers paying 16 percent of their income in federal taxes in 2010, versus 14 percent 50 years ago.
What Mr. Obama did not say, but which must be part of a serious tax debate, is that the main reason for the low tax rates on the wealthy is the preferential treatment of investment income. It is taxed at a top rate of 15 percent, versus top rates between 25 percent and 35 percent on wages and salary for many working Americans. Applying the same tax rates to all forms of income would be a more direct way to address tax inequality.

arielnietzsche:

U.S. Has Highest % of Low Wage Workers - America #1!

Income inequality is the nation’s #1 issue.  Period.  End of story.  I started IACWE because it was apparent to me that the system is rigged; it’s not about equal outcomes…but equal opportunity.  The United States simply isn’t set up to give everyone an equal opportunity…an opportunity for prosperity if you really work hard.  There are so many people working two jobs trying to put food on the table and dreaming of a better future for their kids; unfortunately – we live in a country where a parent’s income is the best predictor of what their child’s income will be.

Or does that make me envious for pointing that out?  And after living through the nightmare that is “trickle down economics” – Americans can safely say that we hold the dubious honor of having the largest % of low wage workers in the industrialized world.    You can not have a stable economy with this type of income inequality; you can not have a stable political system with this type of income inequality.  Income inequality literally could be the end of our democracy if we don’t get the train back on the right tracks.  America – we’re #1….

The Conversable Economist writes:

The issue here can be summed up with this question: If someone in the U.S. economy is a law-abiding citizen who works full-time for a period of years, can they earn a level of wages that let them afford a slice of middle-class standard of living? If you are earning $10/hour and working 2,000 hours per year, your annual earnings of $20,000 would put you below the poverty line of $22,891 for a single parent with three children.

And the problems of low-wage work aren’t limited to low wages. Schmitt writes: “Not only are low-wage workers likely to stay in low-wage jobs from one year to the next, they are also more likely than workers in higher-wage jobs to fall into unemployment or to leave the labor force altogether. … U.S. labor law offers workers remarkably few protections. U.S. workers, for example, have the lowest level of employment security in the OECD and no legal right to paid vacations, paid sick days, or paid parental leave. … [M]ore than half (54 percent) of workers in the bottom wage quintile did not have employer-provided health insurance and more than one-third (37 percent) had no health insurance of any kind, private or public.”

The NY Times explains what President Obama must illustrate:

Unfairness in the tax burden is one important example and driver of that divide. The White House released tax data showing that the average federal tax rate of the wealthiest 0.1 percent of Americans has fallen from 51 percent to 26 percent over the last 50 years. At the same time, the middle-class tax burden was basically unchanged or slightly higher, with those taxpayers paying 16 percent of their income in federal taxes in 2010, versus 14 percent 50 years ago.

What Mr. Obama did not say, but which must be part of a serious tax debate, is that the main reason for the low tax rates on the wealthy is the preferential treatment of investment income. It is taxed at a top rate of 15 percent, versus top rates between 25 percent and 35 percent on wages and salary for many working Americans. Applying the same tax rates to all forms of income would be a more direct way to address tax inequality.

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