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The New Economy: Why the American Worker Can’t Get Ahead
Every day there is more and more talk about how the economy is on the path to recovery. The recession is over and good times are ahead. This is great news, except that for the typical American worker, the future is not so bright. The truth is that while the DOW is at an all-time high, the average American paycheck is reaching a new low. New numbers that have come out show that the American worker’s paycheck in relation to the total economy is the lowest they have been since 1966. This isn’t surprising when you consider that the minimum wage in California is only $8.00 an hour. When you compare this to the federal minimum wage back in 1968 of $1.60 an hour, you can see that minimum wage hasn’t increased enough to match inflation or the cost of living. $1.60 in 1968 equals about $10.27 in today’s dollars. This means that today, Americans are making less than they did over 40 years ago.
What is the reason for this disparity? Well, even though today Corporations are making huge profits, unemployment is still high. A recent report by The Atlantic shows that the long-term unemployment rate is higher than it’s been at any point since 1948. This high unemployment rate allows employers to wield more power, as they know their employees will have a hard time finding work elsewhere. This power dynamic permits employers to hire people at lower starting wages and withhold raises in the future. Moreover, this trend doesn’t look like it will end anytime soon. Experts estimate that at the current United States 3 month average of adding around 190,000 jobs back to the economy a month, it is going to take us 8 years to get back to full employment.
It is no wonder that even though the economic recovery is being touted as having begun, more than one million people are still filing for bankruptcy yearly. Because so many people are unemployed, the most common type of bankruptcy being filed is chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges debt and does not require the debtor to make any payments to their creditors. In order to be eligible for a chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must be able to pass the means test, a test that compares your income to the average median income based on your state’s family size. For people unemployed or under employed, passing this test is relatively easy.
If you are one of the lucky Americans who makes more than your state’s average median income and cannot pass the means test, but still have more debt than you can afford, a chapter 13 bankruptcy might be a good option. In a chapter 13 you are required to pay back a portion of your debt, depending on what you can afford. Often times this amounts to only pennies on the dollar.
With American paychecks being what they are today, every penny counts. If you are finding that too much of your hard earned money is going towards paying down credit card debt, do yourself a favor and contact a reputable bankruptcy attorney. By receiving a fresh start through bankruptcy, you will be giving yourself a chance for a better future regardless of what your pay is today.
The Law Offices of Melanie Tavare is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code
"Melanie is the best she very responsive and helpful throughout the process everything was taken care of smoothly. If you are thinking of going through bankruptcy she is the best attorney for you. I will forever be grateful having the chance to work with her. She is very honest too."
"I can't thank Melanie enough for helping me through a challenging process and doing so with incredible knowledge, professionalism and tenacity! She went to great lengths to keep me informed, she responded quickly to my questions, and communicated in terms that I could understand. I highly recommend getting in touch with Melanie should you have the need."
"Choosing to work with Atty. Melanie has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. She was a very patient professional to work with and attentive while providing valuable solutions to all of my concerns. If you are searching for of an Attorney who is knowledgeable, transparent, and diligent - well that's Atty. Melanie."
"What I liked about working with Melanie was how prompt and easy to work with she was. She made the process clear and understandable with as little stress as possible. I would work with her again and recommend her to others."