The Real Economy

Good News; The Dow has exceeded 29000, a new record, the S&P 500 rose to over 3000 and the Nasdaq rose to more than 8400, also setting a new record. Even Better News; The U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 3.5, the lowest level since 1961.

Trump goes on Twitter and tweets about how good the economy is and how great he is. The stock market isn’t the economy, it just shows how well a bunch of suits who probably never worked a day in their lives are doing and how great he is.

The unemployment rate surveys 60,000 households each month to arrive at its figure. It may or may not be accurate. While it counts both people who are still drawing benefits and those whose benefits have run out it still is not an accurate count.

According to The National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) there were

  • Overall Totals – 552,830
  • Individuals – 372,417
  • People in Families – 289,413
  • Chronically Homeless Individuals – 96,913
  • Veterans – 37,878
  • Youth – 36,361

And these numbers are approximate, there is no way to accurately count the homeless.

It doesn’t count those living on minimum wage, struggling to raise families. In 2018 about 2.7 million people were paid at or below minimum wage. Some cities and states have raised the minimum wage, such as California and Arizona, with $13.00 and $12.00 an hour respectively. Most minimum wage laws have several exclusions, like Arizona

  • Anyone employed by the Arizona or Federal government is exempt from the minimum wage. Notably, this exempts students who work for their universities (which are classified as government institutions)
  • Businesses grossing under $500,000 a year may pay employees under the minimum wage, provided the business is not covered by the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act). Since most small businesses are covered by FLSA, this is a very limited exemption.
  • Tipped employees are also exempt.

Many cities have raised the minimum wage, with Emeryville California being the highest at $15.69 an hour, That still isn’t enough. If the minimum wage had actually kept up with inflation it would be $12.00 an hour, and even that would not buy as much as the minimum wage would buy 50 years ago.

Mind you, the way they adjust inflation is another article for another time.

You want the real economy, this is it.

Author: Michael Hoyt

Worked as a conductor on the Railroad until 1988, worked as a machinist until 2007 and then retired. Earned a creative writing certificate from Rio Salado Community College in 2014. Became concerned when GW Bush was elected, even more, concerned when Republicans began trying to block everything Obama tried to do and now totally p**sed off at what trump and the Republicans are trying to do to our country. I started my own blog in 2009 and now write for The Blue Route.

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