No Where to Sleep
Ted Folkert – July 2, 2020
As we know so well, the rich and powerful own the gold and make the rules in this country. We enabled this at the polls and we assure its continuance when we go to the polls to vote without being properly informed and without fully understanding the intent of the candidates. This seems to happen much too often as our political system enables the vultures to control the country due to a failure of our electoral process to assure the voters knowledge of the background and intent of the candidates. And it happens by the lack of controlling the financial moguls who amass fortunes while the workers are discriminated against. And it happens due to the lack of legislation to protect the populous – legislation such as that which occurred during the Obama presidency, with the Dodd-Frank Act which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Unfortunately, this act has been weakened from its intent by Republicans whose intent is to enhance and protect the wealth of their campaign contributors while ignoring the plight of the working-class in the country.
For far too many of us the average wage no longer will cover housing, groceries, auto expenses, insurance, healthcare, education, recreation and other basic necessities of living a comfortable life.
Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in the fourth quarter of 2019 the median income for a full-time wage or salary worker on a weekly basis was about $950, which would amount to a yearly income of nearly $50,000.
The website: https://dqydj.com (i.e. “Don’t Quit Your Day Job”) tells us that in the United States in 2019 the median individual income was about $40,000, the average individual income was nearly $60,000, and that the top 1% average was more than $300,000. (https://dqydj.com/average-median-top-individual-income-percentiles/)
A study by Statistica.com 6/28/2019 tells us that someone in San Jose, California requires nearly $100,000 per year to live comfortably, while someone in San Antonio, Texas requires nearly $60,000 per year.
What this tells us is that someone making a median income or less will be either unlikely or unable to live a comfortable life in this country. It tells us that, if San Antonio represents one of the lowest costs of living in the country, anyone making less than $60,000, the average income, cannot live comfortably in this country. This, of course includes an unfortunate percentage of US workers.
So, this explains why the total of credit continues to rise out of control. The valuepequin.com website tells us that: (https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-credit-card-debt)
- The average American Household Debt is $5,700.
- The average credit balance for households is $9,300.
- Total Outstanding U.S. Consumer Debt is $3.9 trillion.
- Total revolving debt is $1.03 trillion.
- 2% of all households carry some sort of credit card debt.
- Households with the lowest net worth (zero or less) hold an average of $10,000 in credit card debt.
Of course, this debt problem is worsened due to the generosity of our irresponsible leaders who enable the financial vultures by allowing them to dangle “easy-credit” to lure in victims, then charge egregious fees, interest rates, and late fees to those unfortunate victims who have nowhere else to turn, no place to go, no place to sleep, no place to live.
And this explains why the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that there are 553,000 people experiencing homelessness in America, more than half a million people, some in the streets and some in homeless shelters. This is in the so-called richest country in the world. It’s hard to imagine how much worse it could be in all the poorer countries of the world. If you live in a part of the country such as California, where you can live outdoors all year, it becomes apparent every time you drive down the street in Los Angeles and other major cities. There are numerous homeless encampments all over Los Angeles and all over Southern California and they seem to be growing on a daily basis.
Discussing this isn’t meant to complain about the presence of homeless encampments, it is meant to emphasize the critical nature of the problem and the continuous struggle of those who have no place to go, no place to sleep, no place to live.
The amazing part of all this for some of us is the number of egregious lenders that are so willing, so anxious, such vultures, as to lure the helpless victims into their net like a hungry spider. How can they sleep at night thinking about driving their victims into insurmountable burdens of debt with which they are trapped for life because the interest rates increase the debt balance faster than they are able to reduce the balance due, which ultimately forces them into bankruptcy, leaving them with a lack of financial worthiness to qualify for any future availability of credit. They lure their victims with the offering of low interest or no interest teaser rates for loans, after an initial period or on one late payment the interest rate increases to levels which make the loan virtually permanent due to the inability of many borrowers to reduce the loan amount.
The term debt-trap has become a common term now, a term which explains the plight of too many working-class individuals who are trying to provide a comfortable lifestyle for their families and ending up in a hole without a way to climb out. This is exacerbated of course because wages have not kept pace with inflation, which is due in large part to the gutting of right-to-work laws, enacted by Republicans beginning in the 1980s, which rendered labor organizations powerless to protect the workers they represented.
The question is how bad can it get, how far can it go, how long can it endure? It’s like a merry-go-round cliché – round and round and round it goes and where it stops nobody knows.
Recognizing this dilemma of all dilemmas underscores the value and importance of changing the leadership in this country which can be initially accomplished at the polls in November of this year. If we lose this opportunity to initiate critical change in leadership we may not get such an opportunity again for some time.
The need for change is imminent for improving the plight of working people and setting the stage for economic prosperity for everyone. If the working-class have no money in their pockets, we have no economy. That is a fact, pure and simple.