More than half of Americans are flat broke.

More than half of Americans are flat broke.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four needs an income of at least $60,000 dollars a year to reach a “adequate but modest living standard.” But, fifty percent of all Americans make less than half that amount.

Paul Buchheit over at Alternet reports that new Social Security Administration data shows that one out of every two Americans is living in – or damn near close – to flat out poverty.

Half of all Americans have no savings at all, and nearly three out of four people who have saved have less than $1,000 dollars on hand to cover emergency expenses. And, according to the Wall Street Journal, more than 60 percent of our fellow Americans couldn’t afford to repair their car if it needed a brake job.

Many on the Right claim that earning more is all about working harder, and that those who struggle simply haven’t pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. But, the fact of the matter is that there aren’t enough bootstraps to go around.

According to the Alliance for a Just Society, there are seven job applicants for every job opening that pays more than $15 dollars an hour. And, for those who take a job paying less, it’s almost impossible to make ends meet – even with two people working full time in one household.

There simply aren’t enough good-paying jobs to go around, and Republicans in Congress refuse to raise wages or invest in the type of education and infrastructure that could make those jobs available.

The middle class has been destroyed by the billionaires, and more Americans fall out of that category every day. In other words, for many people in our country, the American Dream has become the American nightmare.

This is not the country our grandparents worked to create. And, this is not the country that we should leave our grandchildren. We can do better.

In this election cycle, we must fight harder than ever to elect those who will fight for us. We need lawmakers who want to restore the middle class and rebuild the American Dream.

Democracy begins with each of us, so let’s get busy. Tag you’re it!

(c) Thom Hartmann, used with permission

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