In Pennsylvania, the cost of the American dream is out of reach | The Gateway expert

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pennsylvania_quarter,_reverse_side,_1999.jpg

This story was originally published by Real bright wire

By Athan Koutsiouroumbas

Real bright wire

The American Dream in Pennsylvania comes with a price tag: $230,464.

That's the cost for a family of four to live “comfortably” in The Keystone State.

The count is based on the “50/30/20 rule”, which requires half of a household's income to be spent on housing and necessities, a third on non-essentials such as dining out and entertainment, and the rest on savings and debt.

Here's the problem: the median household income in Pennsylvania is $100,837which is more than a factor of two lower than the American Dream sticker price.

In fact, only 10% of Pennsylvania households have incomes greater than $200,000. Nine out of ten people are nowhere near living a comfortable life, by the standards of financial planners.

To make ends meet, Pennsylvanians are pulling out all the stops.

Live together has skyrocketed. Children and grandchildren of baby boomers are moving in with their parents to serve as caregivers in exchange for living rent-free and tapping into their elders' retirement savings. Culturally, it has never been part of the American Dream to move back in with your parents in your mid-40s.

Pennsylvania credit card debt is at a record high. Almost 10% of accounts are overdue. For many, credit cards serve as temporary supplemental income.

The number of recipients of SNAP federal food benefits has grown 75% despite flat population growth in the Commonwealth. With unemployment at record lows, more Pennsylvanians than ever need help paying for groceries.

Now that home ownership is almost out of reach nine tenants competing for every available apartment unit across the state. Rents in Pennsylvania are growing faster than the national average, especially in tertiary markets such as Scranton and Reading.

It's no surprise why Pennsylvania lottery jackpots And revenue from games have never been this high. Our luck has to change somewhere, right?

Comfort is a central tenet of the American Dream. In the past, smart leaders understood that comfort is in the eye of the beholder.

From the right, Ronald Reagan defended the American Dream as the freedom to become who God designed you to be. With personal responsibility and self-reliance as first principles, comfort is living life on your terms.

From the left, Barack Obama portrayed the American Dream through the 'Julia's life”, who enjoys the government's helping hand from cradle to grave. With social equality and egalitarianism as core values, comfort means a life without risk.

What both views have in common is that they consciously avoid kitchen table politics. They do this for two reasons.

Firstly, for a long time there was no difference between expectation and reality Awesome. Voters accepted the status quo.

Second, voting is, in a sense, a negotiation. Political parties are organized solely to win. In a negotiation, the political party that determines the price first loses.

Pennsylvanians know they are losing. Bootstrapping your way to success seems like a fantasy when everyday life is riskier than ever. The gap between expectation and reality becomes palpable resentment and anger.

Times have changed. Talking is cheap. Comfort costs $230,464.

For today's policymakers, the math is simple but daunting: double family income, or halve family spending.

Pennsylvania State House Democrats have pushed for corporate tax cuts, record funding for public education, increases in property tax credits for seniors and more support for public transportation.

Pennsylvania Senate Republicans have passed the largest income tax cut in state history, repealing a century-old tax on electricity and school choice for families trapped in failing schools.

These are the current table stakes for the annual budget negotiations taking place in Harrisburg. All of these proposals could get enough votes to become law. But would they double incomes or halve costs for Pennsylvania families?

Maybe, but probably not fast enough to save many Pennsylvanians from drowning. Policymakers in Harrisburg are at least trying to use the tools at their disposal. But the state government can only do so much.

There is little evidence that voters pay a lot of attention to it anyway. For now, Pennsylvanians are more focused on immediate survival.

They will start working again this fall. Until then, we hope a scratch card is on its way.

This article was originally published by RealClearPennsylvania and made available through RealClearWire.

Related Posts

  • Politics
  • June 15, 2024
  • 3 views
  • 4 minutes Read
Biden campaign says it raised more than $28 million ahead of Hollywood fundraiser with Obama and dozens of celebrity supporters

Within 24 hours, President Joe Biden will have gone from the G7 summit to George Clooney. Mr Biden left Italy late on Friday evening after meeting with world leaders and…

  • Politics
  • June 15, 2024
  • 4 views
  • 6 minutes Read
The US supports 'a just and lasting peace' for Ukraine, Harris tells Zelenskyy at Swiss summit

Vice President Kamala Harris on Saturday pledged America's full support in supporting Ukraine and global efforts to achieve “a just and lasting peace” in light of the The Russian Invasion…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You Missed

The lines for CNN's June 27 presidential debate

  • June 15, 2024
The lines for CNN's June 27 presidential debate

Chocolate that utilizes the full potential of the cocoa fruit

  • June 15, 2024
Chocolate that utilizes the full potential of the cocoa fruit

We lower our price target for Salesforce after disappointing guidance

  • June 15, 2024
We lower our price target for Salesforce after disappointing guidance

Apple is joining the race to find an AI icon that makes sense

  • June 15, 2024
Apple is joining the race to find an AI icon that makes sense

Hidden costs of homeownership average $18,000 per year

  • June 15, 2024
Hidden costs of homeownership average $18,000 per year

I canceled a group trip. Do I still have to pay for the hotel?

  • June 15, 2024
I canceled a group trip.  Do I still have to pay for the hotel?

Gene could provide large wheat yields for a growing population

  • June 15, 2024
Gene could provide large wheat yields for a growing population

Former SpaceX employees are suing after they were fired after complaining of sexual harassment

  • June 15, 2024
Former SpaceX employees are suing after they were fired after complaining of sexual harassment

Biden campaign says it raised more than $28 million ahead of Hollywood fundraiser with Obama and dozens of celebrity supporters

  • June 15, 2024
Biden campaign says it raised more than $28 million ahead of Hollywood fundraiser with Obama and dozens of celebrity supporters

Honey bees can detect lung cancer, researchers say

  • June 15, 2024
Honey bees can detect lung cancer, researchers say

Financial fraud targets older adults. How to recognize it

  • June 15, 2024
Financial fraud targets older adults.  How to recognize it