The top quarter of American income earners can expect to live a decade longer than the bottom quarter, medical research shows. This health disparity seems downright cruel. Not only do those in poverty have to pay more for things like credit and insurance, they also pay more years to the Grim Reaper.
Unlike income inequality, transferring years of life from the rich to the poor is not a feasible option. To find a real solution, we must know what drives the inequity.
As COVID-19, violent conflicts, and natural disasters persist around the world, an increasing number of people face an additional crisis: food insecurity. Although food insecurity existed in many low- and middle-income countries prior to 2020, it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has escalated this global challenge.
Today, according to the United Nations World Food Program Live Hunger Map, an estimated 870 million people live on insufficient food consumption. This figure has increased since 2019, when an estimated 821 million people did not get enough food to eat.
Within the 79 countries in which the World Food Program operates, the number of people suffering from acute malnutrition or worse has doubled to 270 million people since 2019.
If Joe Biden gets his way, the federal minimum wage will soon more than double, from the current $7.25 to $15 per hour. To quote our commander in chief, “if you work for less than $15 an hour and work 40 hours a week, you’re living in poverty.”
To rehash the minimum wage debate would be redundant. Anyone with business experience should see what’s going to happen. Many small independent businesses, retail stores, and restaurants that pay minimum wage will go under.
Meanwhile, major corporate chains will automate, shedding workers and raising prices, consolidating their grip on every market sector where they’re active. Unionized government workers will automatically get raises because their wages are indexed to the minimum wage—putting even more pressure on government budgets and taxpayers. People in the private sector who have spent decades learning a skill—and as a result can command wages upwards of $25 or $30 an hour—will become justifiably disgruntled, because they will no longer be making much more than minimum wage. The underground economy will explode.
The U.S. poverty rate saw its sharpest increase since the 1960s as the coronavirus pandemic devastated the economy in 2020, according to a recent study.
The poverty rate increased 2.5 percentage points from 9.3% in June to 11.8% in December, according to the study released Monday by economists Bruce Meyer, of the University of Chicago, and James Sullivan, of the University of Notre Dame, Bloomberg reported. In total, 8.1 million Americans were added to ranks of the poor, according to the researchers.