Almost Half of U.S. Families Can't Afford Basics Like Rent and Food

badlatitude

Super Anarchist
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That is a rip-roaring economy you got there Mr. Trump. Unemployment at the lowest level in nineteen years, wage growth is at the highest level in ten years, yet half of America is hungry.

"Nearly 51 million households don't earn enough to afford a monthly budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation, and a cell phone, according to a study released Thursday by the United Way ALICE Project. That's 43% of households in the United States.

The figure includes the 16.1 million households living in poverty, as well as the 34.7 million families that the United Way has dubbed ALICE -- Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. This group makes less than what's needed "to survive in the modern economy."

"Despite seemingly positive economic signs, the ALICE data shows that financial hardship is still a pervasive problem," said Stephanie Hoopes, the project's director.

California, New Mexico, and Hawaii have the largest share of struggling families, at 49% each. North Dakota has the lowest at 32%.

Many of these folks are the nation's childcare workers, home health aides, office assistants and store clerks, who work low-paying jobs and have little savings, the study noted. Some 66% of jobs in the US pay less than $20 an hour.

The study also drilled down to the county level.

For instance, in Seattle's King County, the annual household survival budget for a family of four (including one infant and one preschooler) in 2016 was nearly $85,000. This would require an hourly wage of $42.46. But in Washington State, only 14% of jobs pay more than $40 an hour.

Seattle's City Council just passed a controversial tax on big businesses to help alleviate the city's growing homelessness and affordable housing problems.

https://money.cnn.com/2018/05/17/news/economy/us-middle-class-basics-study/index.html

 
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The figure includes the 16.1 million households living in poverty, as well as the 34.7 million families that the United Way has dubbed ALICE -- Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. This group makes less than what's needed "to survive in the modern economy."

"Despite seemingly positive economic signs, the ALICE data shows that financial hardship is still a pervasive problem," said Stephanie Hoopes, the project's director.
Please define "the modern economy" and what's need to survive in it.  I wonder how many of these ALICE's have flat screen TVs, an XBox, cable TV with HBO, an iPhone 8 or 10 and such other "necessities"?  

 

phillysailor

Super Anarchist
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Staking out a horrible position means stifling rational approaches by forcing any participants to first justify there is a problem. It’s disingenuous bullshit, but probably somewhat effective.

increasing the min wage is probably a good start, since part of the definition of the problem is that these workers jobs don’t pay enough to get by, but there are legal barriers as well.

Theres got to be systemic reform of fines & penalties such as suspending the license of those unable to pay fines:  >40% of those who lose their license also lose their job, so they spiral further into debt.

 

badlatitude

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Please define "the modern economy" and what's need to survive in it.  I wonder how many of these ALICE's have flat screen TVs, an XBox, cable TV with HBO, an iPhone 8 or 10 and such other "necessities"?  
It's a sad mindset when you have to criticize poor people for wanting things everyone else has, or else they deserve the poverty they are in. Dramatically better governments have been around before, perhaps it's time to give a critical look at ours.

 
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It's a sad mindset when you have to criticize poor people for wanting things everyone else has, or else they deserve the poverty they are in. Dramatically better governments have been around before, perhaps it's time to give a critical look at ours.
I'm not criticizing poor people for wanting what everyone else has.  I'm criticizing them for prioritizing that over feeding their kids.

And I'm not talking about the "poor".  I"m talking about the ALICE's mentioned in your article.  Care to answer my question?  What is needed to survive in the modern economy?  And how many of those ALICE's have made poor choices in how they spend their constrained income?  I will need to know that before my sympathy needle moves one way or the other.  Thanks.  

 
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Mismoyled Jiblet. said:
it'll never, never, never get old watching old farts rant about smartphones
I'm not "ranting" about anything.  But the fact of the matter is if you're poor and are making choices between eating and buying an iphone 10 when you can have an adequate "smartphone" for a 1/3 of the cost - I'm going to call you on your shitty choices.

 

MR.CLEAN

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if you're poor and are making choices between eating and buying an iphone 10 when you can have an adequate "smartphone" for a 1/3 of the cost - I'm going to call you on your shitty choices.
'cause that's super common, right Jeff?

Here's an idea: Keep your 'calling people out' to yourself.  No one cares, and it's not like you're some kind of model for anything.

 

badlatitude

Super Anarchist
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I'm not criticizing poor people for wanting what everyone else has.  I'm criticizing them for prioritizing that over feeding their kids.

And I'm not talking about the "poor".  I"m talking about the ALICE's mentioned in your article.  Care to answer my question?  What is needed to survive in the modern economy?  And how many of those ALICE's have made poor choices in how they spend their constrained income?  I will need to know that before my sympathy needle moves one way or the other.  Thanks.  
Well, you are criticizing poor people for wanting what everyone else has. A second generation iPhone can be had for less than $100, but in your mindset, you must look poor to reinforce your own world view.

 
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Well, you are criticizing poor people for wanting what everyone else has. A second generation iPhone can be had for less than $100, but in your mindset, you must look poor to reinforce your own world view.
I see you and your sidekicks - Alan and Jizzlet - are continuing to avoid my question.  Again, I'm not talking about the Poor.  The poverty line is well defined and that group is not who I'm talking about.  I'm asking, YOU in particular since you posted the article BL - what is necessary for these ALICE's to survive in the modern economy.  Did it require something different to survive in the previous economy  (whatever that was) prior to this "modern" one?  

 
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Raz'r

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Troglodytarum said:
Seriously?

Do you buy your own groceries in the supermarket or does your personal shopper do that for you?

It's hard to talk and text on your Iphone10 and swipe your EBT card at the same time.
Bullshit, I can call, talk and pay all from the smartphone at the same time. idiot.

 

badlatitude

Super Anarchist
31,374
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I see you and your sidekicks - Alan and Jizzlet - are continuing to avoid my question.  Again, I'm not talking about the Poor.  The poverty line is well defined and that group is not who I'm talking about.  I'm asking, YOU in particular since you posted the article BL - what is necessary for these ALICE's to survive in the modern economy.  Did it require something different to survive in the previous economy  (whatever that was) prior to this "modern" one?  
I wish I had the answer to that question Jeff, how do you make housing or rent affordable again? how do you buy a car with minimum wage when you are spending $1300 on a one bedroom apartment. What happens when you go to your boss and ask for a raise because you do the work of three people and he answers "we already pay you too much" while waving bye from his new Porsche.

 


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