60% of the US national debt matures in three years or less. It isn't rational to expose yourself to that much interest rate risk, but the people taking on this risky debt on behalf of the rest of us won't be the ones responsible for paying it if interest rates spike.
Robocars with shower, kitchenette, and bedroom would not be within the means of many homeless people.
Edit for response: a robocar with all of these amenities would be an RV costing much more than $10,000; the land cost would just be shifted to the public as these vehicles take up all available parking. Not to mention that a shower and kitchenette would require utility hookups, meaning they would really need an RV camp...
Even in slums in India people are capable of affording low cost cars like tata nano's. And with the great efficiencies brought about by robo-cars, they would be even cheaper to manufacture and sell.
And the above doesn't factor in the value of land. Much of rent/mortgage goes into paying off the actual land-owner (usually a bank). Take away that exorbitant cost and robo-cars would actually be much cheaper than even a small apartment. At $700/month, $8,400 per year VS $10,000 one-time cost robo-car.
There is a part of the homeless population that will not stay in free housing, damages it when it's given to them, or is severely disruptive to neighbors, and refuses addiction treatment or returns to drugs immediately after leaving treatment. Improving the circumstances of these people is an unsolved problem, and one many consider not worth solving when these people actively resist all "solutions" offered to them.
Some people are not currently worth hiring at any wage due to their attitudes, ability, addictions, or mental illness, let alone at a wage that would put them above the poverty line. Eradicating poverty is far from simple, increasingly expensive the further down the tail you go, and almost certainly not a good investment.
Do you honestly believe that these people were in some way 'thrown out'? Like they were doing fine, and someone came along and said "time to live outside, trash!"
Lets have an adult attitude here. In general, this means accepting that:
- you don't have all the solutions, and if people just did it your way it probably wouldn't help much and would probably make things worse, since your armchair understanding of the problem is probably mostly assumptions and other bullshit.
- all the worlds problems are not caused because the people who disagree with you are evil and prefer a world where people suffer, or intentionally want to make things worse. In reality, almost no one is this way, if they propose a different solution or course of action it's because they see the world differently from different experiences and understanding.
- if there is a solution, it is very unlikely to be any of the things currently proposed or attempted, and will likely require innovative thinking and new solutions. If someone somewhere had figured out an effective and affordable solution, you could point to it and say "look, they figured out a great solution that we can afford and works well", and everyone would say "YEA!", and that's the end of it, assuming there isn't some non-obvious side effect that crops up later and makes the solution actually more harmful than doing nothing, which there usually is.
This isn't entirely accurate. The shrinking of the middle class is accounted for entirely by movement into the upper-middle (and higher) income classes, and what you say about the lower class ignores per capita data.
Our society is structured that way, except for the "without going on welfare" stipulation. A sole breadwinner with a spouse and two children making $20k will receive another $10k in EBT and EITC, free healthcare, and pay a tax rate close to 10%. Effectively his or her income will be above $30k, which isn't bad considering per capita GDP is only about $45k.
How could society be structured to guarantee higher wages to unskilled workers?
>The median household income in the United States was $44,389 as of 2004.[dead link] The median income divides households in the US evenly in the middle with half of all household earning more than the median income and half of all households earning less than the median household income. According to the US Census Bureau, the median is "considerably lower than the average, and provides a more accurate representation."
As it happens, the _median_ household income is about the same as the _mean_ GDP per capita in the US right now. That's because incomes typically have distributions in which the mean is a lot higher than the median, as your link notes. Note that GDP per capita is also higher than mean per-capita income for people because there are non-household components of GDP (e.g. you would need to count unrealized capital gains as income to get closer to "income" approximating GDP).
I agree that household income is a more interesting thing to compare to for this case, though, but even more interesting would be comparing to similar households. Otherwise you're comparing the income of our hypothetical family of 4 to the incomes of 1-person households, incomes of households containing just a student, incomes of households containing one or two retirees, and so forth.
Nearly a quarter of the US population was officially in poverty in the 1950s. Doing unskilled work as a sole breadwinner with multiple children has always pretty much meant you would live in "poverty."
On a side note, a family of four making $20,000 will qualify for an additional $10,000 in EBT and EITC as well as free healthcare (Medicaid), bringing the wages paid by Walmart and Costco much closer together.