More Government—Less American Dream

https://grantcoulson.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/incentiveseverywherepicturecorrect1.jpg?w=444&h=288

   Do not think about, write about or deal with  human behavior without determining the effects of incentives.

   This is a frightening report. It shows  libertarian predictions coming true. Increasing costs of government both in taxes and regulation have decreased the standard of living. More of the same will make it worse. There is small satisfaction in being right about such things.

Can you afford the ‘American Dream?’ Study shows the ideal lifestyle costs $130,357 per year
By Peter Rugg

A new analysis shows that only 1 in 8 families could afford the cost of living what’s commonly known as the American Dream in 2014.

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   The government mantra of “giving everyone everything” always ends giving few people anything. “Affordable house” resulted in unaffordable housing by driving prices up.

Inspired by the new book ‘Chasing the American Dream,’ about the cost of the financial crisis, housing bubble, and Great Recession, reporters at USA Today calculated the cost of all those elements that make up the American Dream.

For the project they included the costs of home ownership, moderate-cost groceries, a car, health insurance, taxes, educational expenses for your children, and retirement planning.

A new study shows only one family in eight can afford home ownership, children, retirement savings, and all the other things typically promised in the American Dream

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  Funding government programs out of current tax income is monumentally stupid and could only result in the mess we now see. There is no free lunch. A lot of government dependence means a lowered standard of living.

A new study shows only one family in eight can afford home ownership, children, retirement savings, and all the other things typically promised in the American Dream

They reached an average total of $130,357 per year in household income.

Here’s how USA Today broke down the average expenses to live comfortably and raise children:

Home ownership – $17,062 per year

Groceries – $12,659 for a family of four

Transportation – $11,039 a year for a four-wheel-drive SUV

Health Care – An average of $9,144 for out-of-pocket costs and premiums

Total taxes – Roughly 30 per cent of all income

Education – $4,000 per year for two children plus approximately $2,500 per child for college savings

Retirement – The maximum pretax contribution to a retirement plan for people under 50 in this income level is approximately $17,500

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    Plus the dozen of hidden taxes in all these expenses.

In a country where the median household income is roughly $51,000, that’s a dream well out of reach for most people.

In fact only 16 million households in America earned that much last year.

Thomas Hirschl, a professor at Cornell University who co-authored the book, noted that most people surveyed did not desire to become one of the 1 per cent of earners, only to have a decent life.

‘It’s not about getting rich and making a lot of money. It’s about security,’ he said. He added that they also wanted to see their children succeed.

‘They want to feel that their children are going to have a better life than they do,’ Hirschl added.
There are however massive variables depending on where one lives, with cities like Indianapolis and Tulsa being far more affordable than New York or San Francisco when you take taxes and housing costs into account.

They also noted that some groups – immigrants for instance – often lived with extended families that helped share the load.

Some business owners are even beginning to publicly speak out.

Recently, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced a policy to help provide a college education for his employees.

‘In the last few years, we have seen the fracturing of the American dream,’ he told reporters.

And studies show more Americans understand their situations.

A 2008 Brookings Institution poll showed roughly three-quarters of Americans said that the American Dream was harder to attain.

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     It will only get worse.

Government Job or Respect–Which’ll It Be?
Cheerio and ttfn,
Grant Coulson, Ph.D.
Author, “Days of Songs and Mirrors: A Jacobite in the ‘45.”
Cui Bono–Cherchez les Contingencies

 

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