Reply to "Low-Wage Nation: Poverty and Inequality Are Threatening Our Democracy"

Laziness and "living within your means" are two of the myths that have been repeatedly debunked yet continue to be a major part of commentary no matter where this subject comes up.

 

The idea of living within your means is very attractive to those who stress the need for self responsibility and accountability.  The problem is that social economic conditions are just that---social.  When we are told to 'live within our means' what is almost always ignored is the declining value of "your means".  Living within 30K a year is much more difficult when the cost of living, healthcare, education, food, gas etc is rising.

 

So while its true that many of our grandparents valued and depended on thrift, the context of their thrift was different.  IF prices are falling along with wages- your struggle takes on a different dynamic.  This was what happened during the Great Depression.  Wages fell, but prices fell faster than wages.

Its true that education is a problem among the Black community, but not for some of the reasons many of us may think.  There's this idea that manufacturing and production based jobs are "old school" and outdated, as if everything in your home, car, office or pocket doesn't get produced somewhere using those same outdated or "low skilled" jobs.  That is yet another frame that deflects from the De-industrialistion of the U.S.

 

Even those who are educated are seeing their jobs retooled into contract based "painting by numbers".  Teaching is one field where this is rampant.

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