FauxNews “critical thinker” Steve Toback (don’t take his self-description too seriously, this is Fox after all) has it all figured out. The economy sucks and we’re all broke because we spend all our money on – and this is his word, too – “crap”.
Want to know why the gap between the haves and the have-nots keeps growing? Because the haves live within their means. They don’t waste their hard-earned money on all the crap that Americans spend billions, maybe even trillions, on each year.
American consumers seem to have an almost insatiable appetite for just about any type of useless garbage that anyone decides to make in China for a few bucks and sell here for a few hundred. Which is probably why nobody has any savings and everyone complains they don’t have enough money to live on.
Rent, food, heat, medicine – useless “crap”. Why, if we could just stick to living on the minimum-minus wages American “haves” are willing to pay, we’d all be rich. Or at least solvent. And the economy would be gangbusters. Except…
There’s that little problem that the “haves” won’t sell us the food, shelter, medicine, etc we need at prices we can afford to pay out of their cheesy minimum-minus wages. Health insurance corps, for example want $1600/month out of the $800/month you take home if they’re going to “insure” you against huge medical bills. The arithmetic doesn’t exactly work.
The same is true with every aspect of 21st century budgeting. Food, housing, heating costs – every single living expense continues to rise in order to feed the greed of the “haves” who are never satisfied no matter how much they’re raking in, while incomes remain flat or shrink. Fifty years ago housing ate up an average of 20-25% of the average income. Now it’s in excess of 60%. Food used up 10-15%. Now it’s about 40%. And so on.
IOW, it’s virtually impossible, given the pricing and wage systems as operated by the “haves”, to pay a normal set of bills without going into debt.
But that, Toback claims, isn’t what he’s talking about. He’s talking about non-necessities like cars.
Cars for every purpose. We have minivans, SUVs of every size, crossovers of every shape, convertibles, pickups, and options and gadgets for everything but driving.
Have you tried to buy a car without “gadgets” lately? I don’t think they exist and if they do, they’re probably more expensive, not less. And we have all these cars because everybody in the family is most likely working relatively low-wage jobs to make ends meet, and they all have different employers in different directions and work different hours since employers, facing a glut in the labor market of their own creation, have become fabulously unwilling to be flexible when it comes the private lives of their employees.
There’s more “crap” for Toback to go off on, ranging from weight loss programs to pets, but I won’t bore you with it. You’ve heard it all before. Whenever a conservative sees people buying things he doesn’t need or want himself, it’s a “waste”. In order to keep the rich floating in their yachts, we should all be willing to sacrifice everything up to and including full bellies and roofs over our heads but especially whatever he thinks is “crap” even if that “crap” makes life easier for the rest of us.
What we need, after all, doesn’t matter. And the rich can afford all the “crap” they want, thus helping the economy while we are bringing it to its knees with our unnecessary “crap”.
Or something. Anyway, if we don’t have enough to live on, it isn’t because of Corporate Scrooges doling out wages like they were giving up testicles. No, it’s because we spend too much of the pittance we make on useless cars and pointless pets.
Everybody got that?