Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Welfare - Follow the money

A Berkeley study, “The High Public Cost of Low Wages” found that besides stagnant and poverty-level wages, the dearth of employer-provided benefits mean that minimum-wage workers in the United States are even more reliant on federal and state-run public assistance programs than we have been told.

FedGov spends $125+ billion, and states collectively spend $25+ billion on assistance programs just for working families each year. That $150+ billion is not only being spent to help working Americans live, it is yet another instance of taxpayer-funded corporate welfare.  Taxpayers subsidize businesses that are reaping record profits on their highly-productive and low-paid workers.  We pay their prices and we pay taxes to assist their underpaid workforce.  Corporate welfare.

Our tax dollars are taking up the slack and subsidizing highly-profitable corporate employers who refuse to pay a living wage.  That specific reason is why there is a need for a federal minimum wage.  Many employers, particularly large corporate employers will never pay decent wages unless they are forced to.  Since Congress has failed to maintain the initiative, the minimum wage is now a poverty wage, and it is left to taxpayers to “bear a significant portion of the hidden costs of low-wage work in America.”  The failure was visible long before the turn of the century.

Follow the money.  Do your own inquiry.  The extraordinary flow of wealth from the bottom of the economic ladder to the top has accelerated over recent decades.  Persistent poverty, economic and political disenfranchisement, discrimination and inequality, all are visible and generally understood, but not addressed.  The trend is now global.
What if it were all about just one child who didn't get enough to eat, who was stunted and undernourished before age five, who couldn't finish school because of poverty caused by prejudice or class or tribal discrimination.  Or died from starvation.  Now, what if it were your child who faced such unjust exclusion from a good life.  How might you respond?
Can you perhaps imagine how a billion people spread across the world who live in that unjust circumstance today might feel.
You can't fix the world, but you can make a difference.  Extricate yourself from the herd, shed the nonsense of irrelevant style and luxury and unnecessary possessions.  The typical middle-class family in the developed world can easily provide effective assistance for three or more families and their children.  Ask me how.  Or Go See for Yourself.

Or take a look at Change Makers and Help Bringers.

Did you know that college in Kenya (University of Nairobi) costs about $1500 per year.  If you could come up with $125/month, you could help a young person through college.  And graduate school.  Or trade school.  You'd give them a chance, a life.  That's perhaps a worthwhile project for you and your family, and it's deductible.

Elementary school in coastal Africa costs about $40/semester for uniforms and supplies and fees, and they usually get a meal at school.  You could sponsor schooling for 10 kids for about $35/month.

Take care of your family first, of course.  If you get to where you're doing well, could you lend a hand to a few others?  Or many?

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