Income in the US

I’ve become a casual ‘researcher’ of topics of interest. That is, I type in my best effort at a search term, then scan through the first page of a results list. I’m surprised how rarely my interests are directly addressed. How many people feel emotionally satisfied and comfortable? – can’t tell. How many people can afford their own lifestyle? – not easy to say.  Is everybody OK? – maybe not.

Here’s a quick sketch. Half the families in the country live on less than fifty thousand dollars a year. Seventy percent of the people in the country are in those families. You can’t fund a meaningful retirement on fifty thousand dollars a year, so seventy percent of us have no retirement account. Sixty percent of illnesses are directly or indirectly caused by stress, today. Half of us will live past eight-five, almost all subjected to constant financial stress.

This is not news. If I search ‘financial stress’ what I find is advice on how to deal with it: stay outgoing, keep up your friendships, exercise, take positive action. Nobody publishes the headline: ‘3 out of 4 Americans are suffering right now.’

Back in sociology class, one of the wonders explained was how to take a large group of people, subject them to constant discomfort, and persuade them to put up with it. An excellent way is: get them to blame it on themselves.

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