Mathematically Eliminated from the American Dream
AmericanDreamFor a worker to cover their own cost of living and the cost of one child, they will need to make roughly $45k a year. Only 22% of the working age population and 15% of the overall population currently generate enough income to support one child. For every one person that can generate enough income to sustain the cost of basic necessities for themselves and one child, there are 4.5 working age people.
Now, think back to the American dream that prevailed from the 1950s – 70s. Each family had one wage-earner supporting three children and one other adult who would care for the children. While this was considered the “American dream,” it is also the basis of a healthy society.
How healthy is our society and how many people can afford to live the American dream in today’s economy?
With today’s cost of living, just to cover basic necessities it will cost $80k per year to pull this off in the median family area, Topeka, Kansas. In the current economy, only 5.8% of the population can currently generate enough income to live the traditional American dream in Topeka. Clearly, we are not in Kansas anymore.
Levittown, New York was the first suburb that gave birth to the American dream. Try pulling off the American dream in its birthplace and it will cost $125k a year. Only 2% of the population can pull that off.
Once again, these baseline costs do not take college or retirement costs into account. With the reduced costs in childcare, due to one person in the family focused on taking care of the children, they can at least put some money away for college, as long as they don’t go away for vacation and none of their children go to a private school.
Beyond these baseline costs, looking at moderate costs for a family of four owning a home in a median family area, with one car, education and retirement costs factored in, it will cost $130k a year. Add a third child and a second car into the mix and it will cost roughly $150k a year. Only 1.46% of the overall population makes over $150k per year. In other words, in the current economy, the average traditional American Dream is only attainable for the 1%. The 99% has been mathematically eliminated from the traditional American Dream. If they want to have a family and own a home, they are now sentenced to a lifetime of economic insecurity and ever-increasing debt.
As for retirement, if you American dreamers think you are going to retire at 65, it’s time to wake up."
Peak Inequality: The .01% And The Impoverishment Of Society | David DeGraw (via questionall)