Living wages. Affordable housing and education. Decent and accessible healthcare.

This is all asking too much in modern America.

Chart: @voxdotcom on Instagram; Statistics: Federal Reserve

I know you’re struggling, but please, stop being so greedy with your demands to improve your quality of life — it’s annoying to me.

Such is the attitude all too common in the U.S. Senate — a body comprised of 100 narcissists in Washington whose main function is to hold hundreds of millions of Americans hostage over basic necessities.

In fact, these necessities— housing, education, healthcare — aren’t just basic; in America, they’re ticking time bombs, ready to bankrupt and uproot the average person at any moment.

Did you know 40 percent of Americans can’t cover a surprise $400 expense? Or that more than two-thirds of Americans would experience financial difficulty if their paychecks were delayed for just one week?

Let me simplify the issue: The large majority of Americans can’t afford jack shit and are one bad stroke of luck away from being absolutely doomed.

The Senate doesn’t want your income to increase, so they voted no on a proposal to increase to the minimum wage and, in turn, lift millions out of poverty. Not to mention, most employee salaries have remained stagnant for decades:

From Pew Research:

Meanwhile, wage gains have gone largely to the highest earners. Since 2000, usual weekly wages have risen 3% (in real terms) among workers in the lowest tenth of the earnings distribution and 4.3% among the lowest quarter. But among people in the top tenth of the distribution, real wages have risen a cumulative 15.7%, to $2,112 a week — nearly five times the usual weekly earnings of the bottom tenth ($426).

If your personal income won’t increase, can your cost of living at least decrease? No, that won’t happen either.

So the average American is pigeonholed between being unable to afford rising costs but also unable to increase their income to meet those costs, a perfect Catch 22 for the bastards at the top who want to keep you right in your place — beneath them.

It’s not just that they don’t want your life to improve, it’s that they get high on your suffering.

Just see Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who enthusiastically chose to keep hundreds of thousands of her her constituents in poverty by voting ‘no’ on increasing the minimum wage.

The disconnect stems from the ruling elite thinking if they give you more that they themselves will have less. But think of wealth equity much like a concert; wealth distribution doesn’t mean taking the mic from the rich and giving it to the poor; instead, we can form a choir so we all have a chance to sing.

And we’re not even asking for wealth equality — we’re just asking for a little more balance.

For another poor analogy, picture the American economy as a pizza. At some point in time, this pizza was divvied up — the most slices went to the top, of course, with less for the middle class and crumbs for the bottom. But the size of the pizza has massively expanded over time, and most of us are still starving. How is that?

Because in America, the wealth only trickles up— I profit on your labor — not down, despite the fallacious ‘trickle-down economics’ theory that’s been pushed for decades. It’s that exact school of thinking that is essential to America; it’s the very glue that keeps the bullshit together.

You’re led to believe that if you work really hard and try really hard, the rich wealth will gradually trickle down and, eventually, the elite will one day let you into their exclusive club.

But we know that’s not true. The only reason they’re in the club is because they were born there or someone inside put them on the VIP list. They didn’t persevere and patiently wait their turn in line. Nonetheless, millions of common idiots fall for this trope, otherwise known as the ‘American dream.’

So the common idiot spends their entire lives voting against their own interests. No to work unions. No to raising the minimum wage. No to more affordable education and housing. After all, those are poor people problems, and they won’t be of concern to the common idiot once they’ve ‘made it.’

But it’s all a mirage, all bullshit. The reality is the ruling elite have pitted millions of desperate and starved American against themselves like some sick, modern form of Gladiator.

The majority of the older generations don’t understand this thinking, and, unfortunately, they’re largely the decision-makers. After all, they grew up in an America where they had no problem affording an education or purchasing a home — because they earned livable wages reciprocated by the work they contributed.

And I applaud that. That’s exactly how the whole concept of work/income should function: You get out what you put in, relative cost to living.

Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way in America. The minimum wage in 2021 is $7.25, a whopping increase of $2.10 per hour from $5.15 in 1997.

But hey, maybe I’m just a bitchy young person lacking life experience. Maybe I should quit complaining, pull my bootstraps up and get to work.

Or maybe this country really is just bullshit.

-ZM