With the passage of the $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan Act, the Biden Administration is making good on some of their promises of cash infusions to destitute Americans whom were forgotten by the Trump Administration. And while the legislation signals, de minimis, an acknowledgement of the true pain experienced across the Nation, it comes nowhere near the trillions of dollars showered upon corporations. There are some highlights, though, in the Act. First, it appears that there will be a $1,400 stimulus check. Second, it looks like there will be a $3,000 child tax credit — part of which could be delivered in $250 increments beginning in July.
The rental housing assistance includes $21.55 billion for emergency rental assistance, $5 billion in emergency housing vouchers, $750 million for tribal housing needs and $100 million for rural housing. The legislation also includes $5 billion to assist people experiencing homelessness. The bill includes $1,400 individual stimulus checks and $300 weekly unemployment insurance payments through Sept. 6.
The deeper problem, though, is that COVID simply popped a festering bubble of inequality in the US. For over twelve years, the minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour. Now, the math on that is pretty simple. If you worked a 40 week — which less than a few percent of minimum wage workers do — that is $290 a week before taxes and $1,160 a month. I have been pretty hard pressed to find a single example of where you could rent a house at that price, let alone pay rent, pay utilities, buy food, and obtain transportation to and from a job. No one wants to think about that, though. We have come to expect that the worker manning the drive through window will always be there with a smile. We demand that the Grubhub delivery driver shows up with napkins and a fork. And when the Amazon warehouse mispacks even the most trivial item we threaten all manner of abuse. Incidentally, those twenty five cent apples and ten pounds of potatoes aren’t that cheap because they plant, tend, and harvest themselves.
Here is how Time Magazine described the pillaging of $50 Trillion from the hard working, average American,
According to a groundbreaking new working paper by Carter C. Price and Kathryn Edwards of the RAND Corporation, had the more equitable income distributions of the three decades following World War II (1945 through 1974) merely held steady, the aggregate annual income of Americans earning below the 90th percentile would have been $2.5 trillion higher in the year 2018 alone. That is an amount equal to nearly 12 percent of GDP—enough to more than double median income—enough to pay every single working American in the bottom nine deciles an additional $1,144 a month. Every month. Every single year.
Price and Edwards calculate that the cumulative tab for our four-decade-long experiment in radical inequality had grown to over $47 trillion from 1975 through 2018. At a recent pace of about $2.5 trillion a year, that number we estimate crossed the $50 trillion mark by early 2020. That’s $50 trillion that would have gone into the paychecks of working Americans had inequality held constant—$50 trillion that would have built a far larger and more prosperous economy—$50 trillion that would have enabled the vast majority of Americans to enter this pandemic far more healthy, resilient, and financially secure.
And here is the staggering statement that is indicative of how National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) members keep Minority Females and Labor suppressed while they pocket hundreds of millions of dollars,
Low-wage workers and their families, disproportionately people of color, suffer from far higher rates of asthma, hypertension, diabetes, and other COVID-19 comorbidities; yet they are also far less likely to have health insurance, and far more likely to work in “essential” industries with the highest rates of coronavirus exposure and transmission.
That is the key, you know? Everyone in the Mortgage Field Services Industry was labelled essential and then when it came to paying them for the danger they were thrust into, not a single penny was paid by either NAMFS or the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Even more heinous was the simple and salient fact that those same essential workers were told to piss up a rope when it came to vaccinations.
In January 1914, Henry Ford started paying his auto workers a remarkable $5 a day. Doubling the average wage helped ensure a stable workforce and likely boosted sales since the workers could now afford to buy the cars they were making. It laid the foundation for an economy driven by consumer demand.
It has been well demonstrated, in multiple reports, over the past 50 years trickle down economics do not work — not just in the US, but globally! Tax cuts for the wealthy have long drawn support from conservative lawmakers and economists who argue that such measures will “trickle down” and eventually boost jobs and incomes for everyone else. But a new study from the London School of Economics says 50 years of such tax cuts have only helped one group — the rich.
So, while I am sure that many will applaud Uncle Joe’s rolling out of the table scraps for the very same people whom prepared the food he left scraps from, the reality is that it is too little, too late. And in fairness, it is neither Uncle Joe or Bat Shit Crazy Trump. The problem has been far too many octogenarians whom have made Congressional appointment a full time job.