Saturday, November 12, 2011
I was reading the paper today and they ran a guest column by an economist who argues that Americans are rich when compared to the rest of the world even when the standard of living is taken into account. This is the conservatives argument about how we should be thankful. Basically what they are advocating is a race to the bottom for everyone except the top 1%. This is just the wrong way to look at things. You can't compare the US to Sudan, we should be making comparisons to Denmark or Germany. If you do want to compare to the third world we are rapidly heading there in terms of income disparity, personal mobility, lack of health care, wage depression,... Sure we make more money but many are earning less and less and the cost to maintain the current standard of living is not going down with income. If we are going to make a correction everything should come down in cost with wages. This is not going to happen, most business leaders don't see that less money equals less sales. But, this what is happening, that is why the economy is tanking. More and more people can't afford to buy. We need to change the argument from how well off we are compared to the rest of the world to well off the previous generation of Americans were when compared to the current generation.