At the root

$1 in 1980 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $3.63 today, an increase of $2.63 over 43 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 3.04% per year between 1980 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 263.07%.

This means that today’s prices are 3.63 times as high as average prices since 1980, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index. A dollar today only buys 27.5¢ of what it could buy in 1980.

Perhaps this may be the key issue underlying all the unrest and agitation in the citizenry today. For example, the knotty family issue of not being able to pay for childcare so one parent is forced to stay home rather than work or at most work parttime. This phenomenon undercuts the Federal Government’s statistics suggesting low unemployment  and undercuts the high employment rate because of job-hopping – looking for a job that yields more than 27¢ an hour versus an inflated $1.00.

Another troublesome issue is the cynical term ‘woke’. It is a vague term that had its beginning in the Black Lives Matter movement, suggesting that a black person had become aware of the exclusive social system in America; Currently, the activist conservatives use it to represent the opposite: Woke now represents an out-of-date cultural position on race and homosexuality that needs to be controlled. Representing opposites make woke a confusing term.

Taking a broader view, woke by any definition suggests that the working classes are not motivated as much by sociological concepts as they are about financial security and, subconsciously, representing a respected element of the national ethos. The collapse of the democratic party in this century was caused by the assumption that being respected means one has a college degree – the party forgot its roots. To add insult to injury, College tuition has outpaced general inflation by 2.5% – no wonder the Federal Government tries to add college indebtedness to the political fray.

Indirectly, the indebtedness of the Federal Government has made it impossible for government to consider discretionary programs to ease the salary issue. This is because Donald Trump raised the debt ceiling by 25% during his presidency and sweetened tax breaks for the wealthy. Indirectly, the lack of enforcing antitrust laws has added to the salary deficiency as well.

Now let’s talk about housing, health and retirement . . .

Ancient Mariner

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