Tougher Talking Points

“As president, I would describe the good and the bad, and offer prescriptions for how to fix what’s broken. Instead of an exercise in patting the back of my administration…”

John K Delaney The Right Answer: How We Can Unify Our Divided Nation

In addition, I will not boast of vague predictions in order to only bring a rallying cry for a slight resolution.

Our Nation In Crisis

As a nation we are definitely polarized on the same issue. On the issue of employment, one rallying cry is to enforce a business friendly environment to continue job growth and presence within the United States. The other side state an emphasis on the worker and the environment, for better wages and conducive living, in order to contribute to a growing economy. Both sides are pitted against the other as being more correct on how to better solve our crisis with political parties and politicians aligning instead of collaborating likely thoughts. Both sides are wanting the same outcome, or a productive society with citizens employed and contributing towards growth.

Most U.S. Americans are wanting for a change, a collaboration of some kind on similar issues greatly affecting this nation. On issues of healthcare, employment, and education are all major political and social issues constantly picked and peeled to specific details given to bickering voters. Those voters then pick a side, only to bemoan the result of one political party against the other. The U.S. American voters are definitely part of the cause and the solution to those major issues. By means of alleviating the shared pains of nothing getting done, how about we address our faults in order to better our shared complaints.

Moving forward on the topic of homelessness: on my last post I have supported the cause towards addressing homelessness within Gwinnett County, GA. To not only better quantify the number of those homeless or precariously housed, but to address how and why homelessness occur. As well, what measures to take within my state that’ll then revolve our nation. The issue of homelessness is one of the direct results of our employment crises. An issue blamed on individual lack of responsibility, though actually the fault of our current housing, living and employment crisis.

One topic called to address one of the symptoms of our crises is rising unemployment. From local governments to the federal level, unemployment is one of those key talking points to seek confidence in the constitutes and voters. As well to give a job well done to the current political party in office whenever unemployment rates are lowered, and especially lowered by racial demographics. More Americans possessing some kind of legal, verifiable income is a job done. Though not a job well done considering how those jobs created, reinstated, or made available by opening are not specified as being full-time expected living wage jobs according to the current cost of living per locality of the individual.

This means if the cost of living including: housing costing $850+ per month, groceries $150 per week, utilities $250+ per month, car notes $400+ per month and maintenance $150+ or all equal to nearly $2,000+ month. Then the starting federal living wage should be at or slightly above $15 per hour for a full time worker.

Currently the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. A full time worker at the present minimum wage ($7.25), between or near the expected minimum wage ($15) still are unable to afford a two bedroom apartment alone or as a single family across the United States. This is an often stated, alarming fact that wages are too low to simply afford the essential, and most expensive, unit of all-shelter.

What measures that are being taken is currently divided. Between those advocating for more business friendly environments versus social and economic welfare of those disadvantaged, neither have come close to resolving millions of Americans currently homeless or precariously housed. This means lowered taxes and regulations to help encourage business owners to remain, or to remain within the country. On the other side activist for social welfare to add to low wages, or to advocate for higher wages and regulations from business owners. Neither side seen as a single issue that can be compromised, rather an unhelpful disagreement of how to fix a nation, a state, or city one way.

This is why I have chosen my current county, Gwinnett County, GA as it is a representative of the nation. A nation chosen in particular by foreigners as prosperous new beginning and one natives depend on first for economic and social growth. A county, chosen by outsiders and foreigners as a prosperous beginning for education, economic and social success. Both having a first impression of success and that success is achievable for the majority. From the materials to the basic units of living-food, clothing and shelter are mirrored from the county to the nation as being a sign of prosperity. However for those many workers that help to make the economy run: as service workers and as consumers, this impression is not achievable.

Higher employment is not a sign of success unless nearly all individuals can be supported on the basics at least. And with Gwinnett County, GA being similar to our national averages with home values near $195,000, median house income being $67,000, and the average housing costing at least $1,035 the basics are unreachable for the thousands of citizens relying on incomes between current federal minimum wage and expected minimum wage. As well, lowered unemployment is not a success if underemployment is not discussed alongside, or as it is a contributing factor as to why more people are unable to afford the basics.

But how can one justify a burger flipper at $15 wage?

A common rebuttal is that our economy is based on what we produce and how productive we are in terms of growth. Or is it justified to give Sally, a high school dropout or college interrupted, a wage of $15 for flipping a burger patty on top a hot grill. If what she as a worker, most likely part of a team, has one specific unskilled task then she is being overly compensated for what she produces and the result of her productivity. In our current economic state yes this is not justified and likely Sally will be replaced by automation to lower the cost of her unrealistic wage.

Still, where is the humanity?

Homelessness is caused by first low wage, job insecurity and/or unexpectedness. If the average low wage earner-a single guardian or parent, an elderly worker, or young student or graduate-cannot make a livable wage to offset the cost of living despite what each may produce then they are without a home.