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A Keynesian Nightmare: When mean expense on food & shelter was 76% of blue collar (nonsupervisory) pay The Arab Spring was a string of uprisings in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region which had a proximate cause of food insecurity (eg, Algeria, Kenya, and Pakistan people spending over 40% of disposable income on food alone). Really bad (Keynesian) economics from countries like the USA had caused world food prices to rise, and this pushed the people -- already disgruntled by brutal tyrants -- into revolts. In 2006, the bad economic policies of the USA were creating a similar situation here at home, as the average expenditure on food and shelter for a 2.5 person "consumer unit" reached 76% of the blue collar wage.* US politicians should be prevented from enacting bad (Keynesian) economic policies -- because those policies lower the affordability of a given living standard (raise the cost of living all of the way up to the blue collar wage rate). If the cost of living reaches the wage rate, there is no discretionary spending -- ie., people employed at a full-time job cannot even afford a candy bar from the corner store. People employed part-time cannot even sustain themselves without a compounding debt burden. -------- *In 2006, mean expense on food + housing ($6111 + $16,366), was 76% of the blue collar annual wage of $29,475.68. In 1984, mean expense on food & housing, $9964, was only 64% of the blue collar wage of $15,496. Workers in 1984 could afford a higher lifestyle than could US workers of 2006, because even after covering average expense on food and shelter, they still had 36% of their paycheck remaining. In terms of labor hours required to obtain life's necessities, workers in 1984 paid for all of their necessities with just 25.6 hours of labor per week, but workers in 2006 paid for necessities with 30.4 hours of labor. Things were so bad in 2006 that those working less than 30 hours could not even sustain themselves without going into some kind of debt (selling out their own future). -------- The government which governs least governs best, and to prevent things from getting as bad as 2006 -- or, God forbid, even worse -- we must shrink the size and scope of federal government. Otherwise, we can only look forward to a stagnant nightmare where even those employed full-time cannot afford vacations, luxuries, presents for their children, etc. That is the current path we are on. Sources U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Average Weekly Earnings of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees, Total Private [CEU0500000030], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CEU0500000030 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Multiyear Tables. Historical Tables. Available: www.bls.gov/cex/csxmulti.htm
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