As the rate of inflation continues its record-setting trend of increase, rent costs are beginning to crush most Americans, causing them to fall behind and seek smaller homes and new towns, while Biden’s $15 per hour minimum wage falls far short of a living wage.
Since President Biden took his place in the Oval Office, the wages in America have risen, but the cost of living has risen far faster, as Biden’s economics spiral out of control.
For anyone making $15 per hour, Biden’s great promise to make hourly earnings a living wage, the cost of living has long passed the point where the pay increase is no longer helpful. For those who work 45 hours per week, earning $15 an hour, after taxes and insurance, the average monthly bring-home pay equals about $1890 per month. Most working-class Americans can’t keep a home, buy gas, buy food and create savings.
Even in a household with two income-earning adults, the average monthly bring home equals less than $4000.
Here’s why that no longer allows most Americans to maintain a simple life.
The cost of rent has risen in the United States between 30% and 60% since the beginning of 2022. In January, The Washington Post detailed the cost of rent in cities like Henderson, Nevada, a suburb of the Las Vegas region. In that city, rent had jumped more than 30%, with the average monthly rent reaching $1,600 per month.
In cities like Miami, rents increased by 57% in the past year, with a median price of $2,988, a Realtor.com report says. In lesser markets like Memphis, rents shot up by 24.6%, with an overall median of $1,403.
With the cost of rent alone, a single-earner household likely cannot cover the cost of rent alone with their bring home pay.
Add to this, the cost of energy has risen sharply in the previous year. According to a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, energy bills increased in 2021 at the fastest pace on record, and in 2022 that number has continued to rise. Some states have seen a rise in rates between 19% and 40% in the last year, making the average electric bill for most homes about $130 per month. This reflects a 12% increase in the average electric bill from one year ago.
Let’s talk about the increase of the average consumer prices nationwide.
Gas prices are reaching a record high of $5 per gallon. The average American uses about 650 gallons of gas annually for basic driving needs. Which now translates to about $270 per month in the cost of gas.
Food costs have risen by as much as 38% nationwide in the last year. Items such as cereal, fruits, meat, and more have nearly doubled in price. In 2021, the average American spent about $271 per month on groceries. However, in 2022 that number has reached an average of about $411 per month.
Let’s consider that, even under the Affordable Connectivity Program, most Americans spend between $35 and $80 per month on internet access. Internet access has become a cornerstone of function in the U.S., to empower kids to participate in education and adults to work or telecommute.
The average debt of Americans has dramatically increased in the last year, with credit card debt soaring as the average working-class American leans into credit to cover the costs of living. Most Americans carry a minimum monthly debt payment of about $200, which you consider average revolving credit debt reaching $5500 per person. This amount is not paying down the principal. As the Fed raises interest rates faster than ever, making the minimum payment is only throwing individuals into much deeper debt.
Here’s how it all works out for the average American. If the average rent is about $1600 per month, gas is $270; electricity costs $130, groceries cost $411; the internet is an average of $50; and debt payments equal $200, the total monthly average cost of living reaches about $2660 per month.
For a single earner, making $15 per hour means at the end of the month, that person has accrued a deficit of $771 per month, just shy of $10,000 per year.
For a family of two earners, who might have children, the cost of groceries, gas, incidentals, and more continues to add up. Items such as cell phone service, clothing, medical care, and vehicle maintenance continue to rise with inflation.
The result is that most Americans can no longer pay their essential bills, maintain a home, afford incidentals, and certainly not one ounce of savings.
America is headed for a financial crisis like it has never seen before.