Charles Koch: $34,000 puts you in the top 1%
The billionaire businessman airs ads slamming the minimum wage and insisting that people on it are still relatively wealthy.
In its continued bid to leave its liberal counterparts as red-faced, flustered and hyperventilated as George Soros leaves his conservative detractors, the Charles Koch Foundation recently released a commercial that suggests an annual income of $34,000 puts a worker among the wealthiest 1% -- in the world.
The basic premise is that Americans don't need things like food stamps or the minimum wage to help them, because they're already so much better off than poor people in the world around them. The Economic Policy Institute can't help but disagree. Its Family Budget Calculator notes that a family of three would require an income of $45,000 a year to cover basic needs in Simpson County, Miss., the U.S. region with the lowest cost of living for a family of that size.
That need changes drastically by location and still dwarfs the $30,000 a year two parents working full time would make from the $7.25 minimum wage. In Wichita, Kan., where Think Progress notes Koch's $200,000 commercial campaign has begun, the amount of income needed to cover basic costs jumps to nearly $54,000.
Bloomberg puts Charles Koch's wealth alone at $43.4 billion. His brother and Koch Industries partner, David, is worth just as much. While that might jaundice their view of what a person on minimum wage needs to survive, Charles Koch insisted to the Wichita Eagle last week that the minimum wage is just one of the items that need to be removed:
We want to do a better job of raising up the disadvantaged and the poorest in this country, rather than saying, "Oh, we're just fine now." We're not saying that at all. What we're saying is we need to analyze all these additional policies, these subsidies, this cronyism, this avalanche of regulations, all these things that are creating a culture of dependency. And like permitting, to start a business, in many cities, to drive a taxicab, to become a hairdresser. Anything that people with limited capital can do to raise themselves up, they keep throwing obstacles in their way. And so we've got to clear those out. Or the minimum wage. Or anything that reduces the mobility of labor.
In Koch's view, these factors put the hurt on "economic freedom." His ad cites a report from the Koch-funded Fraser Institute showing that the "United States used to be a world leader in economic freedom but our ranking fell. And it's projected to decline even further."
Granted, the same report ranks Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland and Chile ahead of the U.S., despite the fact that they all have the government-run health care systems that Koch also loathes. When you're baiting your opponents into a lather, however, do those little details matter as much as the results?
The article says 1% in the world. That is a big difference than 1% in America. We all know we make more than most do in the world. That shouldn't mean we have to give up and live like the rest of the world.
There are many people that live beyond their means here, no doubt. Some think that is the only way we can live due to how the economy works. Not so.
I would rather think similar to Dave Ramsey and tell all Americans to not buy anything not needed to survive and pay cash for the luxury items most people go in debt for. Get out of debt if you are in and stay out of debt if you are not in.
If you are out of monetary debt in America, you have a freedom seldom felt by the general public. It is one of the most satisfying feelings one can ever have. Go for it!!
these guys are simply disconnected greedy jerks...making the statement about relative
wealth in the US to the rest of the world is obnoxious because it is totally irrelevant...other
nations have different monetary systems, different standards of living, different governments
some oppressive etc....we are the wealthiest nation on earth and 34,000 a year is an income
that just barely would allow a family of four to get bye if that....the koch brothers ought to
be ashamed of themselves and remember SEDAKAH...and stop proving how wealthy and
powerful you are by continually supporting nut jobs for elective office..
My position is any working person needs to make a "LIVING" wage. A working couple both making the minimum wage or a little better depending on where they live have a hard time just surviving.
Most of these type of jobs offer no type of benefits and are not 40 hours per week.
I'd like to see any of these CEO's survive on what some of their companies pay their workers, They Could not do it.
Places like Costco, Wegman's pay their employees a better than living wage with benefits, possibility of advancement and have an "EXTREMELY" low employee turnover.
There are many people out there who are more than willing to give their employers a good days work for a good days pay. Too many employers expect to receive a good days work for a poor days wages and some how don't understand why it doesn't happen this way.
My wife is retired and works at our local CVS as a pharmacist technician basically to keep busy.
She gives 110% all of the time. She is constantly being called in on her day off or asked to work longer after her shift is up because she is such a good, dependable employee.
Yet after 7 years she could get a job at a local large chain convenience store and start at over a $1,00 more per hour than she currently receives ???
The CEO of CVS recently received a huge bonus ( in the millions of dollars )
53% of americans want the loop holes closed to the top 1% firing the last remaining 47% out of their jobs and forcing them to have to resort to safety net programs to survive. 53% want laws created to penalize the top 1% that close those businesses and reopen them in foreign countries in order to pay laborers as little as $0.12 cents an hour wages and then hide their profits they make off their slave laborers in offshore accounts hoping for another republican led senate, house and president to make those profits tax free and retroactive.
47% of the remaining americans want those loop holes closed and penalties put in place to protect their jobs from being outsourced. Close the loop holes and place a 95% tax on all profits made from selling businesses to foreign soils and especially off the profits they make from foreign labor. On the other hand, keep in place the subsidies given to companies that play fair and keep their businesses in the states and maybe even offer them more incentives to create jobs here at home.
$34,000 is plenty if you don't blow it on crap that the world says you need.
Perdition, you throw out percentages and statements about peoples' attitudes, can you prove them, or are you just being a typical dipstick on these threads? 53% loafers? I thought it was 47%. Have you told Romney of the change?
Although I would agree there are lazy people in this country, as well as those who want to freeload off of government programs that are so poorly run (the DEMs fault primarily, by the way, I am not a libtard and have complained about this for years), I sincerely doubt that the whole 53% you complain about would fall into those categories, and so you demean a lot of Americans who do not deserve it. Rather, I'll bet many of those 53% would love to have decent paying jobs, but of course, so many of those have been outsourced to make wealthy people wealthier (kind of like the Koch brothers), that these people are just out of luck right now.
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A basic income policy can actually ensure a decent standard of living for everyone.
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