Have working class people enjoyed the benefits of increased productivity in the last century? AOC doesn't think so.

in #aoc4 years ago

AOC says working class people have not enjoyed the benefits of increased productivity in the last century. She is, to be blunt, an ignorant fool.

AOC reiterated JM Keynes' prediction that we would only need to work about 15 hours a week today..

Ask yourself this, would you prefer to be a working class person in the 1920s or the 2020s. Think carefully about what you would and wouldn't have if you were transplanted back in time.

Consider how few consumer goods and services there were in 1930, when Keynes wrote that. I don't mean during the Depression - I mean during the good economic times that preceded the Depression. Do you want to limit yourself to what they had? No television, internet, cell phone (most people didn't even have a landline), possibly no car, no video gaming, few to no appliances in your home, no trips to Disneyland or Six Flags, no air conditioning in your home, few pairs of shoes, only enough clothes to fill a small closet. No massages, no delivered food, little dining out, no Starbucks frappacinos.

You could live a 1920s lifestyle quite cheaply (except, perhaps, for housing, but your city's constraints on building residential units probably is your problem there, not the market). But you don't want to. And so you have to work more than Keynes predicted.

I once did a back of the envelope calculation that you could live a 1950s middle class life on about 30 hours of work per week pretty easily. But you don't want to live a 1950s middle class life. You want a 2020s middle class life. So you stretch to afford it, just as people in the 20s and 50s stretched to afford their middle class life.

And you're angry because it's a stretch to live much better than your grandparents and great-grandparents, who were also stretching. How often does it occur to you to be grateful, and to think how amazed your great-grandparents would be at the life you lead?

Another factor to be considered (often overlooked) is that Americans pay a substantial portion of their income in taxes nowadays (not just income taxes). I believe that total amount has increased since the 1930s.

Last I heard (which I think was the 1990s), I believe the average U.S. household paid around 40% of its household income in various taxes (again, not just income taxes). (Admittedly, I am finding it very difficult to Google the correct % for the current time, so I apologize if this is off.) In a two-income household, that means one person is effectively working mostly to pay the taxes. The more taxes increase over time, the more people have to work to stay ahead.