Three decades of Reaganomics has left half of our entire nation in poverty. Thanks to economic policies that only benefit the one percent, nearly one fifth of all Americans live below the federal poverty line, and another 32 percent are officially low-income. And, those statistics would be even worse if we weren't using an economic measure that is stuck in the 1950s. The federal poverty live was originally calculated based on the price of food six decades ago, but it hasn't kept up with real costs.
Just since Reagan took office, food prices have doubled, housing prices have gone up three-fold, medical expenses are six times higher, and college tuition costs eleven times what it did in the 1950s. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of three has to take in at least $48,000 dollars a year just to break even, but half of our country struggles to get by on far less than that. While those at the top rake in an ever-expanding share of all income, more than one third of our nation is working harder for less money. And, our out-dated poverty measure means that they aren't even eligible for a little financial assistance.
When we talk about making the rich pay their fair share, the right-wing screams of socialism and class warfare. Yet, they have no logical defense for an economic system that provides billions in tax breaks for the wealthy, but denies a living wage and a little help to the average working American. Reaganomics has devastated our middle class, stolen our retirements, and saddled our children with a trillion dollars in student loan debt. The only class warfare here is the one being waged by the rich against everyday Americans. The myth of trickle-down has been debunked, and the truth is that we need a new era of shared prosperity. It's time to take back our economy and reboot the American Dream.