Contrary to Claims, Couch Sitting Not Cause of Maine’s Economic Malaise

Chart from Joel Johnson, “Working Harder, Falling Farther Behind,” on the MECEP blog, “Line Items.”

Reflections for Labor Day:  Maine families work 500 more hours than they did 30 years ago, according to Joel Johnson at the Maine Center for Economic Policy.

Which supports what we knew all along.  Maine people are hard workers. Most of us work very hard.  Many of us are working harder than ever — and don’t have much to show for it.

This doesn’t fit the Republican narrative, however.  The narrative that holds that if you are poor or struggling to get by, it is your own fault. (If you are wealthy or want to be wealthy and want to avoid having any social responsibility, this narrative justifies your approach).

As the chart (above) shows, during the last 30 years, the real wages of lower and middle income wage earners have remained essentially flat.  Yet, as Johnson states, and as we know all too well, the costs of housing, health care, and education have all increased dramatically.

Given the facts above, one would think that boosting the standard of living of the working poor would be a reasonable priority.  However, as we also know all too well, our governor  has instead chosen to focus on the small percentage of people who take advantage of the social safety net rather than the majority of people who are working very hard to get by and still don’t have enough.

1.000 people are thirsty, and Paul LePage wants us all to focus on the one person who took two bottles of free water when he was supposed to take only one.

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