There is a very basic truth that we seem to be overlooking as a society: In order for us to have a healthy economy, we need to have a population that can afford to purchase goods and services.
Now, the figures are staggering when it comes to just how poor Americans really are these days. We are a country that can no longer afford to consume goods and services. This compromises our ability to create and grow new businesses (no one has the capital to start something) and it takes away the chances of existing businesses to survive (unless they are a multi-national conglomerate.)
All our economy is made up of these days is a series of chain stores offering the cheapest crap possible; all made in China. These are the only businesses that can still survive in a country where everyone is disgustingly poor.
The obvious answer is to raise wages. Not just a little; but drastically. I think if we could make the minimum wage $20 per hour, we could start to see some real growth.
Right now, companies are just funneling money into CEO pay and perks for top executives. Unfortunately, those people tend to invest overseas and not consume good and services in the USA to help our economy grow.
However, even if the top one percent did consume American products and services, there simply aren’t enough of them to consume the volume needed for a healthy economy.
It is imperative that we raise the minimum wage drastically, so that we can re-direct $5,000 per hour a CEO is making. It needs to go to the workers instead. They need to be making at least $20. That way they can consume enough to keep the economy healthy.
But more than that, we should realize that the minimum wage would be $21 per hour right now, if it had gone up with inflation. Workers actually make less now than they did in the 1970’s and 1980’s after you adjust for inflation. So now, when things are more expensive than they were, people are making less money.
This problem should have been addressed as it was being created, but in both the Bush and Obama Administrations, they have kept wages artificially low. The minimum wage has not been raised in far too long. It’s about time we address this!