Aug 9, 2010

Middle Class: just getting by

The harsh reality for today's middle class is that many of them go to work just to get by. Arianna Huffington's new book, "Third World America", sheds light on many of the crucial ways in which it has been short-changed. From our failing education system to the runaway greed of the financial services sector, America's middle class is facing on onslaught from all sides.
  • Income Inequality
  • States cutting vital services vs gov't bailouts of large multinational corps
  • The largest multinational corps had an effective tax rate of just 2.3%
    • Individual taxpayers bear a larger tax burden
  • Our crucial infrastructure (highways/roads, sewers, water supply distribution) are not being adequately maintained.
    • Poor highway maintenance results in traffic fatalities
  • Education system under performing. In response, we cut its budget further
  • Redistribution of Wealth into fewer hands
  • "The share of our economy devoted to making things of value is shrinking, while the share devoted to valuing made-up things (credit-swap derivatives, anyone?) is expanding. It’s the financialization of our economy."
  • Majority of personal bankruptcies are triggered by job loss and serious medical illness. 
Honolulu's need for Affordable / Workforce Housing
    1. Who needs Workforce/Affordable Housing: Police Officers, Firefighters, Nurses, Teachers, Hotel Workers, Retail Clerks, Plumbers, Retirees. 
    2. Accessory Dwellings promote housing affordability and neighborhood diversity