Todd (psydude) wrote,
Todd
psydude

Income inequality and the expectation of marriage.

In america, it is not possible for a single person to live on minimum wage alone, comfortably. If this wasn't true, we wouldn't be admist a multi-year long debate about the minimum wage being too low. It is. #incomeinequality is real. For now, most couples don't have too many problems making ends meet. Even when both work low hourly wage jobs, and have a kid or two.

In 1960 shows like Leave it to Beaver, All in the Family, and even Andy Griffith showed us that a single income family working a low-skill job was more than enough to live comfortably, even in the big city.  Even Seinfeld (90s) portrayed himself living in new york, alone, in a fancy high rise, working as a local comedian without residency, travel, or long tours.  In Friends, the perception was that all of them could live alone (and did at various points) but that they preferred living together, even with a basic waitress job, in the heart of New York City.

Australia has a minimum wage twice ours, almost US$16/hr.  "Oh, but that would raise living expenses expotentially!"  Not true.  Their cost of living is about 25% more on average.  Which means they have 75% more disposable income on average than you or I do.  But this argument is silly, we all know its way too low, it's only for students still living with their parents anyway.

The real problem is that what the government promotes to help with living expenses.  You might think "those lowlife jobless losers living off my tax dollars" exists, but it doesn't.  Even unemployment is extremely limited in scope these days; basically the only way to get free money from them is to have babies.  Having babies requires a proper tango, which can never be performed solo.  Essentially, the government is promoting marriage as a solution to income inequality.

"The government is promoting marriage as a solution to poverty" would be totally impossible and as likely as the rapture in 1960.  But today?  It's more prominent than ever.
"Why do welfare funds go to marriage counseling?" http://www.marketplace.org/2016/05/31/world/twenty-years-after-welfare-reform-how-are-states-spending-funds


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