Thursday, July 9, 2015

Jeb Bush Says Americans Should Work Longer Hours to Fix Economy

Some rights reserved by World Affairs Council of Philadelphia
Jeb Bush did an interview a few days ago in which he argued that Americans need to work more hours for the country's economy to improve. From ABC News, quoting him, emphasis mine:
“My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it, is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That's the only way we're going to get out of this rut that we're in.”
Less than half of Americans report working 40 hours a week. Half or more report working 50 hours a week. The weekly work hours for the average American is 46.7 hours per week. If people are already working MORE than full time, and many poor Americans are working extra jobs, how can working class Americans possibly do more to pull the country out of a rut?

I get that people don't want to unfairly tax the rich. Some people feel that rich people earned that money, and that it would be unfair to take that money away from them to help lazy people that aren't willing to work.

But that's not going on here. What we have here are politicians keeping wages low then demanding Americans work longer hours to pick up the slack. The brunt of this country's well-being is being heaped on the backs of those with the least amount of money. 

If kept up for inflation, minimum wage should be around $22 per hour. It's currently $7.25 per hour. According to this map, there is not a state in the country that someone can live by themselves and rent a 2-bedroom apartment on that wage.

Americans are not a lazy people, in spite of the stereotypes. We work harder than any other industrialized country, but appear to be reaping fewer of the rewards. 1% of the nation's people are taking in 25% of the nation's income. And yet...working class Americans are expected to work more hours?

Historically, in situations where so much of the wealth is held by so few people, the situation does not end well for those among the "haves."

It's hilarious that the Jebster says Americans need to work MORE to keep the country afloat while he makes more for one speech than I made at my job in a year.

This is why, when I hear "fiscal conservatives" talk about personal responsibility, I want to tear my hair out.