Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Short-hand explanation for $50K minimum needs (poverty) line for a family of three
My short-hand, shore up of $50K minimum needs (poverty) line for a family of three -- detailed in chart 3-2, on p.44 of the MS Foundation book Raise the Floor.
(You may want an inflation calculator -- I possess the 2001 book: http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl)
My quick look:
$11,000 Obamacare for a family of four (not three), $498 a month (after $541 subsidy) + $4900 deductible (from Brill, p. 346, close enough);
$4,000 payroll taxes (not even counting all those regressive taxes that we take for granted in consumer prices);
$15,000 rent and utilities for any place decent;
leaving a big $400 a week to feed, cloth, transport (entertain?; MS does not allow a cent for entertainment) four people. I would call that minimum needs.
Meanwhile the median income is $26,000.
3.5% shift in income would pay for a $15 minimum wage (half the workforce is seriously treading water between $300 a week (assuming min wagers get 40 hours; most may not) and $500. If the 16% of income that shifted to the top 1% after the mid-seventies had instead shifted to the bottom 90% (the top 10% mostly held on to their income share until recent years) the latter would be swimming in money (and FICA collections would be going through the roof -- would stop diverting funds to over bloated TF at some point).