The Slow Death of America By Charles Taylor

     America is slowly dying and I see it here every day in my home city of Tallahassee, Florida. I cannot imagine what it would be like living in a city such as Baltimore, which is essentially a warzone. Yet, leaving crime to one side, it is economic decline, contrary to Trump, which is evident, everywhere:

“You know all those reports about how lots of Americans can’t afford a $1000 surprise expense like a medical bill or a car repair? Well, forget additional expenses. It turns out that nearly half of the families in America are struggling to pay for food and rent. And that means that the economic collapse isn’t just “coming.” It’s HERE. United Way has done a study on a group of Americans they call ALICE: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. The study found that this group does not make the money needed “to survive in the modern economy.” ALICE is your child care worker, your parent on Social Security, the cashier at your supermarket, the gas attendant, the salesperson at your big box store, your waitress, a home health aide, an office clerk. ALICE cannot always pay the bills, has little or nothing in savings, and is forced to make tough choices such as deciding between quality child care or paying the rent. One unexpected car repair or medical bill can push these financially strapped families over the edge.

ALICE is a hardworking member of the community who is employed yet does not earn enough to afford the basic necessities of life. ALICE earns above the federal poverty level but does not earn enough to afford a bare-bones household budget of housing, child care, food, transportation, and healthcare. (source) Between families living below the poverty line due to unemployment or disability and ALICEs, the study discovered that 43% of Americans were struggling to cover basic necessities like rent and food. Where are families struggling the most? Some states have more families living in ALICE levels than others. The 3 states with the most families barely surviving paycheck to paycheck are California, New Mexico, and Hawaii. Each of these states saw 49% of families struggling. North Dakota had the lowest ALICE percentage with 32%. You can check how your state fares right here. Despite the lowest unemployment rate since 2000, families all over the country are barely getting by.

The media page of the ALICE website is jammed with headlines that are all too familiar for many Americans:

•    Report: Michigan makes little progress in lifting working poor to financial stability
•    After a decade of tax cuts — Ohioans in financial hardship
•    Louisiana families work hard, but still can’t cover necessities
•    44 percent of Florida households, mostly working poor, struggling to meet basic needs
•    Third of New Jersey households can’t afford basic necessities
•    42 percent of Wisconsin households struggle to pay bills.”

     This is very much the same story I believe that you are experiencing in Australia, where ordinary working families are struggling to keep their heads above the flood waters of debt, and many are already drowning, as Australia’s personal debt is now close to being the highest in the world:

     The long-term solution is change  the entire financial system in accordance with social credit principles. But, until we get that, there will be a time of great suffering, and it is already happening. The homeless rate continues to grow. It will be necessary for people to move away from a consumer lifestyle and focus on minimalism, although most are already there at that point now. Still, there are always new ways of saving, and many things one can give up. Clothes from op shops, basic food, even, perish the thought, abandoning alcohol, which is now ridiculously expensive. A man cannot drown his sorrows any more, but is constantly faced with cruel hard reality. I don’t know how people who are truly alcoholics, like James Reed, keep their sanity, or is that just a rhetorical question?



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Tuesday, 27 October 2020
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