Sunday, April 24, 2016

More on the Troubles of the 'Middle Class,' Including the Required Income for Membership (as Defined by Government), 'Free' College and Debt ... Why Politics Sucks

In my most recent post concerning an article titled "The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans," the following paragraph was included from the referenced publication:

"In a 2010 report titled “Middle Class in America,” the U.S. Commerce Department defined that class less by its position on the economic scale than by its aspirations: homeownership, a car for each adult, health security, a college education for each child, retirement security, and a family vacation each year. By that standard, my wife and I do not live anywhere near a middle-class life, even though I earn what would generally be considered a middle-class income or better. A 2014 analysis by USA Today concluded that the American dream, defined by factors that generally corresponded to the Commerce Department’s middle-class benchmarks, would require an income of just more than $130,000 a year for an average family of four. Median family income in 2014 was roughly half that."

Here's the deal. Only one out of eight American households earns $130,000 annually. Thus, according to the government, only 12.5% of American households have incomes high enough to include them in the middle class.

Some things bear repeating ---- in simple language, it takes that amount to be able to afford 'homeownership, a car for each adult, health security, a college education for each child, retirement security, and a family vacation each year' --- the guidelines used by the government for middle class membership.

So how does one out of eight equate to middle class membership? It doesn't, of course.

Just like free college isn't free. Room and board, transportation, spending money and the lost income associated with not working instead of going to college aren't free, even if the politicians say otherwise. The simple fact is that 'free' tuition represents a relatively small part of the total cost of going to college, especially for a public sponsored institution.

And by the way, college employees, professors and administrators aren't going to work for free. Somebody always pays for the 'free' stuff given by government. That's where We the People enter the picture.

The conclusion is simple --- what is represented by politicians as 'free' is never free. 

And debt, no matter who ends up having to pay for it, is never 'free' either.

Politics sucks. So does unnecessary indebtedness.

That's my take.

Thanks. Bob.

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