BLOG: It’s That Time of Year Again

KATIE PICKRELL

October begins in three days, and the spookiest day of the year comes 30 days after. To get into the fall holiday spirit, I’ve decided to start a few October exclusives.

For the next four weeks, Tuesdays are officially deemed Trump Tuesdays and Friday will feature some of the best news of Fox that you can feast your eyes on.

Really, nothing is going to be too out of the ordinary– there’s just going to be a few more jaw dropping moments than usual.

To kick things off, though, let’s talk about something that’s truly scary: the amount of United States citizens living at or below the poverty line.

Without accounting for government social programs, over 45 million Americans, nearly 15 percent of the total population, were living on incomes that place them below the poverty line in 2014.

Of the general white population, about every one in ten individuals is living in poverty. Among black Americans, over one in four is living in the same, poor conditions. Racial disparities didn’t end there, either. The median income of white households in the past year was just over $60 thousand while hispanic households saw an average of $42 thousand and black households made just $35 thousand.

The gender pay difference has yet to improve, either, as the average money a woman makes per every dollar a man does increased only from 78 cents to 79. At this rate, it’s been projected that gender pay equality won’t be achieved until 2059.

Still, despite the obvious nature of the income gaps and poverty levels, the correct actions are not being taken to combat poverty. The provision of health care, the installation of paid leave and the raising of minimum wage.

The Affordable Care Act passed in 2010 began the expansion of Medicaid for many low income individuals and families, but many states didn’t allow for the complete expansion of such benefits. If all states did agree to the benefits of the program, more than half of all uninsured Americans would be granted greater access to healthcare.

President Barack Obama has now passed an executive order to extend paid sick leave for working Americans. He recently spoke on the deal of paid maternity leave. “Nearly one in four working moms return to work within two weeks of childbirth. Only 12 percent of our private sector workers have access to paid leave,” Obama said. He also urged Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act, which would require small businesses with more than 14 employees to allow for at least seven days of paid sick leave.

As for the minimum wage predicament, many individuals and politicians refuse to support the push to raise the minimum salary to $15 an hour due to the implications they believe it may place on small businesses. The higher required paycheck, many believe, may make it impossible for companies to employ the amount of people they currently do at  the $7 or $8 dollars they currently dish out to minimum wage employees.

On the other side of the argument, living on $7.25 an hour isn’t seen as feasible in modern day America. Many liberal presidential candidates of the upcoming 2016 election, particularly Bernie Sanders, have called for the minimum wage to be instituted as a living wage.

For a better idea of what this may mean, click here to view what a living wage is in various different parts of the country.

Aside from increasing the quality of living conditions and potentially decreasing poverty, raising the minimum wage is also thought by many to increase consumer spending and allow for all over economic prosperity.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry that the daily blog hasn’t been up and running in a while, homecoming week was swamped for Mountain Vista Media!

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