We need to do better

Historical examples and perspective can help us to paint with some credible optimism, that there will be success in making positive changes post COVID-19. Crises whether immediate or sustained cause all size group cultures to adjust, integrate and adapt. With just a few days in office, President Joseph Biden today signed executive orders to affect positive change for many in the US: one focused on expanding food assistance and delivering stimulus checks to very low-income Americans, and the other on raising the minimum wage to $15 for the federal workforce. Having basic needs met quickly is imperative for the well being of the large percentage of families, who in recent week did not have enough food. A range of projections of hunger and inadequate food supplies speak to upward of 54 million people affected during the pandemic.

Most families have limited reserves–an effect of the American worker’s income not keeping pace with the rising economy. A full-time worker whose taxable income is at the median—with half the population making more and half making less—now pulls in about $50,000 a year. Yet had the fruits of the nation’s economic output been shared over the past 45 years as broadly as they were from the end of World War II until the early 1970s, that worker would instead be making $92,000 to $102,000. (The exact figures vary slightly depending on how inflation is calculated.)