dawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Thu Aug-25-11 10:09 AM
All of this is totally unnecessary.
Times are tough, they tell us. We've all got to cut back. Accept less. Um, eat our peas.
They tell us we can no longer afford to fund Medicare or Medicaid at current levels. Maybe we need to raise the Medicare age to 67, they say. As for Social Security, they suggest something called a "chained CPI". A chained CPI means that benefits would lag far behind the true cost of living, growing more and more inadequate over time. But they tell us we *have* to do something. We can no longer afford the benefits our parents enjoyed.
They tell us we can't afford to spend as much on the state level as we used to. Schools must postpone needed repairs. Class sizes must be increased. Infrastructure must continue to deteriorate. The money's just not there and we all need to "tighten our belts".
Well, here are some numbers.
US Real GDP Per Capita (in constant 2005 dollars):
Those numbers come from here:
The best number I could find for 2010 was $47,140 (although there could be some computational differences)
The point is this: THE UNITED STATES IS RICHER THAN IT HAS EVER BEEN!
Sure, we're in the midst of an economic pullback. But the country as a whole has plenty of money. If individuals are suffering, it is because their slice of the pie is insufficient. It's a big-ass pie, we are just dividing it up into pieces that are more and more unequal.
There is an attitude afoot, even around here sometimes, that says we must be willing to accept less from our government, our jobs, our society. There is no compelling reason for that.
If someone is asking you to settle for less, it is not a call for prudence and frugality. He is asking you to settle for less so that someone else can have more. Don't be fooled.