Minimum wage is about $1100 a month. Health insurance can easily cost over $700 a month. Kindly tell the poor how they should afford rent, food, insurance co-pays, medication, and utility bills on $400 a month. Or just keep blaming them for their own situation. One thing I find myself repeating that nobody ever seems to address: even if you blessed everyone with an awesome education and fantastic ambition, we still have tens of millions of service sector jobs that need to be done. Do the people working these jobs not deserve a living wage? Should they all live by the standards of the medieval poor just so a CEO's check can be that much fatter and your burger can be 5 cents cheaper? Is that your ideal world?
First off, wean yourself off the kool-ade...
People don't _deserve_ anything, but to be left alone without people interfering in how they live their lives.
What price do you put on that 'living wage'? How many hours? What should they do for that?
Suppose we keep raising the minimum wage? How does that help anything? You raise the wages, a company's operating expenses go up. As a result, the product/service's price needs to be adjusted to reflect the current operating expense. Add to that the constant inflation caused by money bring created out of thin air year after year.
This is a never ending cycle this way.
Dig deeper into what those operating expenses really are, and besides the raw material costs, energy costs, equipment costs, labor costs, and you find taxes.
You don't see them on a daily basis but they are there.
Every time taxes get raised or set upon the companies and the rich, disproportional to the general public, where do you think those tax revenues come from? Does the company just magically pull the extra taxes out of their >coughs< and send them to the government?
No. We pay for them. To a company, taxes are just another operating expense, and gets factored into the price of that packet of kool-ade you buy at the store.
More taxes, higher prices... higher prices, need more money to pay for them... so, you need higher wages to do so... so you get that raise in the minimum wage... which increases the operating expenses for the product... so the product's price gets adjusted to reflect the additional expense, leading to higher prices... higher prices, need more money to pay for them... so, you need higher wages to do so... so you get that raise in the minimum wage... which increases the operating expenses for the product... so the product's price gets adjusted to reflect the additional expense, leading to higher prices... oh look! one of the politicians just came up with "A Plan"... scary... but they need more money to administer this spiffy new Plan that we got along just fine without, so, more taxes... but, we have an election coming up in 4 years and they don't wanna lose their jobs by getting voted out of office, so, they sell this Plan by setting things up so they tax the corporations and the rich so we don't have to pay for it... and lets buy up more votes as a buffer by raising the poverty rate so more of the voters we want can pay less taxes, and thank us for it.
Taxes are what is killing us.
Big government is sucking the life out of our economy, and our country.
When we become adults, we get kicked out of the nest to succeed or fail on our own merits.
The government is not my keeper.
As for those CEO's you like to demonize... They worked hard for their money, experience, and position. Playboy figurehead CEO's don't last long and their companies die out.
I don't blame "the rich" one bit for holding onto their money. For one, it is THEIR money.
If I was in their position, facing the regulatory and taxation climate we're in now? With the only certainty, being that they are going to get mugged and bled even drier than they have been already? Hell yeah, I'd have a VERY hard time investing now too. I'd be a fool to even try.
You wanna keep looking at other cultures for their examples, here's a few. Look at Hong Kong... Dubai... perhaps even Singapore (not sure about the last one, but I think they fit with the other two).
Look into how they treat business interests there. Their tax burden, how much an investor has to go through to start a business and continue to do business there. Then look at the result in their economies.
Money moves a lot faster there, and taxes work best with lower rates, and faster moving money.
A dollar that stays clutched in your fist, in a business-hostile, heavy-tax, environment is worth zero.
A dollar that changes hands rapidly, in a business-friendly, light-tax, environment is worth thousands.
As for education... we have a few threats that insure our educational system will stay in decline.
No community involvement. (the current environment actually hinders this)
Unions. (as in most cases it seems, proficiency is irrelevant when it comes to employment. I always hated the union jobs I had. I was not allowed to earn more money than someone who was there longer than me, even tho I worked my ass off, and the person next to me gossiped more than her job. When you can't pay an employee according to their worth, or fire someone who isn't pulling their weight, or someone who is just plain incompetent? Because of a union? Then yeah... the union stops being the positive influence they were supposed to be.)
People who place more emphasis on ideology than reality. (if you're going to teach history, then teach history. not just the parts that further your ideology.)
Teaching to the lowest common denominator. (Schools are not made to make people feel good. They are made to challenge, and educate, and students will sink or swim on their own merits. I can't tell you how pissed off I was in high school english classes when the bulk of the class kept getting passed to the next grade when they could barely read, while I could read out loud fluently without hesitation, tested well, but would not get passed simply because I got fed up and would not do the daily 'make-work' anymore. When the #1 measure of what a child is learning, which are tests, count for so little, that straight A+'s on every single test and final exam, and absolutely zero make-work submitted, doesn't even let you pass with a D-? Then what possible value could the grade itself have in the first place.)
Education has a lot of problems, but it isn't going to get fixed on the federal level. I'm not even sure it can be fixed on the state level.
Schools are a local issue, and the local communities are the ones who need to handle it, without interference from the nanny state, as they are the ones who are closest to the situation, and have the most at stake.
(btw, I am all for a voucher program, and let them give their voucher to whatever public or private school they wish to, with everything above that voucher amount, paid by the families themselves.)