My Thoughts On The Economics Of Americas Slave Systems Past And Present

 

My Thoughts On The Economics Of Americas Slave Systems Past And Present

 

Here in the U.S. if you have gone through the education system and paid any attention to the History of the ‘Americas’ then you should know of our ‘Slave History’. When the Europeans started coming across the Atlantic Ocean looking for land and natural resources they knew they would have to have physical human help to harvest these resources. For the purpose of this letter to you today I am only going to speak of events I know more about so I am only going to be referring to events here in the U.S..

 

When the ‘Settlers’ started coming to North America (U.S.) there were those who sought more than a new start and a couple of Acres of land. Some of these folks had some money along with some big dreams of becoming even richer. Think about it for a moment, you or I are in possession of a thousand acres of prime land in the “New World” in the early 1500’s. We have money or we can get the money to create mass wealth for ourself, if we can find the people needed to do all of the physical labor for us. We would also want to get this labor as cheaply as is possible so that our initial outlay of cash is as low as possible. (This is a basic business reality that still exists today.) So, now, who can we get to do this work for us? Who is going to build our houses and stores for us, who is going to maintain them for us?

 

Our History Books tell us that first the wealthy white men who came to the New World to start their Plantations and the such tried to hire poorer white folks to do their bidding but they couldn’t get anywhere near enough whites who would agree to work for them. So, next they attempted enslavement of the Native Indian Folks, trouble was the ‘Indian Folks’ knew the land well and were always escaping, mostly never to be seen again. Next came ‘indentured’ White people. This system was set up to where if you were a poor white person in Europe and you wanted to leave there and go to the ‘New World’ you still needed to be able to get a ship to take you. If you had no money you tended to be out of luck, unless you would agree to be an indentured slave for a period of seven years. If I was rich and you were poor you would agree to work for me for the first seven years to work off your cost of the ‘passage.’

 

The reality of the situation on the ground was that the land owners couldn’t get enough White folks to accept this ‘indentured’ program. The land owners needed more workers and they needed workers more ‘acclimated’ to that type of hot hard work. So, their logical choice was to kidnap Africans as slave labor. Was this ethical or ‘right’ to do this, my opinion is absolutely not. The wealthy of the time obviously disagreed.

 

Modern day slavery: In the U.S. slavery is not a legal enterprise but it still does exist as an ‘underground’ reality especially in some of our biggest cities. Think about it for a moment, why would ‘Business people’ today still want slavery or at least as close to slavery as possible? The answer is simple, the less overhead you have, the more money you get to put into your own pocket. If I own a business here in the States the less I have to pay to get my product out the door, the better for me. Businesses are supposed to pay at least the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25 per hour, which has not increased in the past 10 years. Companies want higher profits, employees want to be able to make a ‘livable’ wage. Why do you think that companies hire illegals? Simple they don’t want to pay the minimum wage so they hire or bring in ‘illegals’, pay them even less with no overtime pay, no benefits and if they gripe they get turned over to the authorities to be deported. To me, I personally believe that the world’s Stock Exchanges are the biggest single tool of businesses that is in its design made to starve the ‘lowest caste’ of people around the industrialized world.

 

I am going to finish this letter to you with why I believe it is best for the world’s businesses if they were all forced to pay livable wages to their employees. If a country has no middle class then they are not buying anyone’s products, not even basic things. If the workers don’t get paid enough to supply food and basic housing for their families or themselves they are not buying any other products either. If you are working full-time jobs, and in many cases more than one job and you don’t make enough for the existence of a minimal living you are not buying cars, furniture, clothes, medicine, or anything else. This is why Jesus said that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter into Heaven.” It is called greed folks, pure greed cares about no one but themselves.

 

Brazil: Former President Lula Remembers When The Poor Got Pay Raises

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BRAZIL’S 24/7 NEWS)

 

Out-liars: And The ‘Savage Theory Of Equality’

Out-liars: And The ‘Savage Theory Of Equality’

 

This post is basically a question to you, my effort to get you to think about this subject yourself, so that you will ask yourself exactly what your opinion is, this post is my opinion. I didn’t learn of the word out-liars until college, maybe I was conflicting it with the term out right liars, are they actually the same thing? No, I don’t think so, but could it be lodged in with the fact or fallacy of what ‘the truth’ is. Is it a fact that if people can honestly say that one percent of what they are saying is true, then they have spoken the truth? As we all know our politicians are well schooled in never really answering any question.

 

For those who are not familiar with the term as I wasn’t, here is my definition through and example that I will be able to get back to later. Today in our world we know that everything is analyzed for data including all of the Federal Governments stats that they use to tell us how our lives and the lives of other Americans is going. This is true whether it is about what the average income is to the average home cost to the average cost of gas and toilet paper. The problem with all of these stats are skewed because of the use of out-lairs.

 

If you own/run a company that has 1,000 employees you are entitled to a nice office and a real nice wage, but how well are the 1,000 households of the employees under you doing? That is a broad question because there are different levels of skills in the office and in the factory that are required to do their jobs so they should be paid different from the non-skilled jobs. But, how about those employees doing their jobs every day for the bottom end of your pay scale? Are they making a livable wage? Do you, do we, give a damn? $10.00 per hour/or less, that the bottom 80% make if calculated in with company Presidents and CEO’s total earnings packages, this tends to skew the average workers wages. If we don’t calculate in the short and long-term laid off and the “day workers” that makes the averages look better but if you do count in that other bottom ten percent of the population the ‘averages’ get skewed the other direction. Out-liars are what helps create the adage that “you can make figures say anything you want them to”.

 

Here is a theory that I think could/should be used, you could call it the “Savage Theory of Equality”. I as a lifelong working class, now broken-down person have never related to what the media and D.C. have always told us are “the averages”. Think about it for a moment, what are the average wages in America, how about price of cars, of homes, what is the real unemployed rate? (Part-time work should not be counted as being employed) About ten years ago I was living in eastern Tennessee and the City had its own radio station where a couple of different times I heard them say that the average wage in the area was seventeen dollars and about fifty cents per hour. My wife and I checked around a little bit with our friends and neighbors to come up with the conclusion that we didn’t know anyone personally there in our community that even made ten dollars per hour and they were just everyday working folks, just barely keeping their dignity month to month. (Dignity: working a full-time job, keeping a clean place to live, food, bills paid, transportation) If a person is working a full-time job that person should always be at the very least then financially able to have the aforementioned minimum level of dignity. If the figures we are given have the “out-liars” within them it is the people on the low-end that get squeezed the hardest and the ones at the very top that get ridiculous ‘bonus’ wages. Folks, we need to find adjustment spots on what we can call as being fair and on what basic dignity is.

 

Savage Theory of Equality: For a more true version of equal or average we should only use the middle eighty percent when looking for a more true average of what the middle is. The bottom ten percent should have their own category one through ten just as the top ten percent will have their bragging rights, one through ten. This theory in my opinion would give us all a more true center on just exactly what “the average American is”. In schools this theory would remove the exceptional students at both ends of the grading scale, just using the middle eighty percent to get a more true answer to what average truly is. Some may say that this would be a direct slam on the poorest of the poor especially on poor minorities but I look at this event in a different light. Yes it would point a light straight at certain parts of each city and county but that is what most of these people want. Dollars are limited so they need to go to the places most in need. Need for housing, food, clothing, education, job training and quality day care as well as quality full-time jobs in these ‘yes targeted’ areas of our populations are what is needed, it is where more targeted dollars need to go. If a household finds out that this past year they were in the bottom ten percent of income earners in your town a person would hopefully strive the best they can to come up out of this ten percent grouping the next year. The reality is that more aid such as training, jobs, and transportation are huge issues in this income bracket. What do you think Mr. Donald Trump?

 

For a moment think about the cost of housing. If the government stats say that in your city, lets us Lexington Kentucky as an example, where the average price of a home is a little over $250,000 and average rent for an apartment is a little over $1,200 per month, how does a person making anywhere near the minimum wage on their full-time job afford any place to live? What I am saying should be mandatory of all government agencies, this example in housing cost, is to remove the ‘out-liars’. The top 10% and the bottom 10% of people still matter but they should have their own separate categories. In the case of Lexington Kentucky, if the housing cost stats only used the middle 80% when looking for the ‘average’ cost of housing this would mean the stats would clip off houses that are only valued at 30, 40 or 50 thousand dollars. Also, it would clip out that houses that are at the top end of the scale, the ones that are 1,2,3,5 or 10 million dollar homes. I believe that both 10% clubs should have their own grid but it should not be counted as part of the ‘average’ home price simply because they have nothing in common with the real ‘center point’. Okay, that’s my gripe for the evening, now, what is your opinion on this? Do you believe that I am way off base here?

 

 

 

 

$15 Minimum Wage Is Not The Real Issue: $3 Per Hour Could Be Okay If…

 

This article today is going to be about humanity, and the political situation here in the U.S., yet this same discussion is true within all Nations on Earth. As the World economic picture becomes more and more automated and global, this situation becomes more true of every Nation. Last month when the U.S. held their Presidential election I voted for a “3rd Party” Candidate, not for Ms. Hillary or for Mr. Trump. This article is simply my opinions and beliefs and I am well aware that many of you folks reading this article will not agree with parts of, or maybe even with any of what I am going to say in it.  I know, as you do, that there is no such thing as pleasing any of the people all of the time so quite honestly, I don’t even bother trying to. I have one goal in my articles and that is in saying what I believe to be %100 truthful with my readers. The reason that I could not vote for Ms. Hillery is because she has proven herself over and over again to be an habitual liar. The reason I could not vote for Mr. Trump is because he is a total egomaniac and quite frankly, I don’t trust either of them to be honest with the people of this Country, at all. I believe that both are very dangerous to not only this Country, but to every Country on Earth. Also being that I am a fundamentalists believer of the Christian faith, I do believe what the Scriptures say about Demons possessing humans who do not have the Holy Spirit residing within them. Quite simply I do not believe that either of those two folks “Temples” are occupied by the Spirit of God.

 

I had the same issue as millions of other people last month when it came down to whom to vote for. I knew that one of the “big two” would win the election and that both of them were saying some good things about what they wanted to do to/for the Country and yet worried about what each would do to the Country. I believe that with Ms. Hillary that the minimum wage would go up and that with Mr. Trump having a Republican Congress and Senate, that the minimum wage may actually go down. There are many other issues that are worthy of discussion but today, this article is going to be about the $15.00 per hour minimum wage that Democrats have been pushing for the past year or so. Now remember (for those of you who know me) that I am a registered Independent and I do vote that way, I am closer to neither party.

 

Now let’s begin with my form of  “logic”. Do I believe that the minimum wage should be $15.00 per hour, or more? My answer to this question is basically, no, but it depends on a few other factors. Do I believe that flipping burgers for a living is worth a $15.00 per hour minimum wage, my answer is no, but then neither are thousands of other jobs here in this Country. If a your wage is $8.00 per hour, $15.00 per hour or $100.00 per hour yet it will only buy the same amount of things that you are able to buy with your current income right now, what does it matter what that minimum wage is? If your Country’s economy goes to ‘hell’ like it has in Countries like Zimbabwe and the inflation rate is in the thousands of percent per month, your currency is worthless. What my two parents could afford in 1965 with both of them working minimum wage factory jobs, I could not afford working two minimum wage jobs, one in a factory and the other an unarmed Security job in 1975. By 1981 when I moved to North Texas I witnessed many places where people working minimum wage jobs had rented three bedroom apartments where each apartment had three couples working just so they could afford a roof over their heads. What I also noticed was that in most cases between the three couples they never had more than one vehicle that they were sharing but in most cases, all six people were having to walk to work because they could not afford transportation.

 

There used to be a television show called “The Jefferson’s”  where a man named William Sherman was the lead Actor as Mr. Jefferson. I believe that many of you folks know this program, it was a rather good comedy. In one of the programs Mr. Jefferson dreamed that he had died and came back 25 years later so he checked in on his wife to see how she was doing. In one part of the skit a small girl came into their apartment and asked her Grandpa if she could have $5.00 so that she could get an ice cream, Grandpa’s response was “what, only $5.00” and you could hear the studio audience laugh. At the time you could buy and ice cream off of one of those portable ice cream trucks for a dollar of less. The joke was about the inflation rate during those 25 years Mr. Jefferson was dead and gone. Today, many of those ice creams will cost a person $3-4.00, it is not so humorous any more.

 

Inflation is pushed Nation wide by local politicians. The reason I say this is simple, all politicians at all levels want two things from the people, your vote and more of your money. Basically all local, County, and State Governments can never manage the tax revenues they get well enough so they are always wanting increases so that they can meet their obligations. How do they do this? Homeowner’s know, people want equity in their homes, the way you get this equity is to make your payments which gives you a tiny bit that goes on your principal each year, but the biggest fastest way is when the local politicians raise the value of your home. The kicker is that you had to pay more taxes, but hey, your home is worth more, meaning that you are worth more. But are you really? As the home values goes up each year the rest of the Nation’s economic cost factors build on the housing “boom” and everything goes up, except the wages of the working class people. Think about this issue, I am 60 yrs old and not once in my lifetime has the Federal minimum wage gone up when there has been a Republican in the White House and with Mr. Trump this worker’s wage may well go down.

 

This suggestion will never happen, I have no doubt about the fact, but please consider the concept for a moment. If I am making $15,080 per year before all the taxes I have to pay out of that salary and I have to pay rent and usually some of the utilities, mainly the power bills this can very easily in most markets be at least $800.00 per month. The $15,080 figure is what a minimum wage worker can earn per year if they do not miss one single day of work all year-long for any reason. After taxes if you are lucky you may clear $13,000, housing $9,600. This leaves $3,400 for things like required insurances, food, clothing, medical care, furniture, transportation cost like payments, gas, repairs, insurance and the list goes on and on. Yet the average CEO here in the U.S. makes 791 times more than their employees make.

 

If you or I could buy a new car for  $2,500-3,000 like we could in 1965, if you could still buy an 8 Acre farm for $8,500 dollars like you could in 1965 or rent a 3 bedroom house for $50 per month like you could then and you could go to the grocery store and buy food to feed a family of 5 for $20 per week, a $3 per hour minimum wage would have looked good because it would have been a “livable wage”. By the way, in 1965 the minimum wage was $1.25 per hour. What I am saying is that it does not matter if the minimum wage is $7.25 or $15.00 per hour if that wage is not a “livable wage”. The issue is that here in the U.S. the problem is greed at the very top levels, the top 1/10 of 1%. In Congress and in the Senate you have all of these multi millionaires and now all these billionaires in the White House (also most of the Cabinet) telling the working class that they can’t afford to pay the people a livable wage. Folks, it is the working class who actually does all the work that makes these greedy A-holes their millions and billions. They sit in their mansions being chauffeured to their offices while having other people going to the grocery stores for them and cooking their meals and cleaning their houses and doing their laundry for them complaining about how much they are having to pay “these people” who are walking to work and living in a slum or a pay by the week motel room. If you are making a million dollars a week clear money but you can’t afford to live any better than you are today at $15,000 per year what does it matter what the minimum wage number is? If a person is working a 40 per week job that person must be compensated at a “livable” rate! I do have one idea, it is one of those ideas that will never happen because the folks who have all the money, ie all the power, will never ever agree to it. The average CEO makes 791 times the amount of their workers. Make it a federal law that no one in a company can be compensated more than 50 times what their bottom wage earner makes. Why isn’t 50 times more, more than fair? I am sure many “top end ” folks would choke on their lobster tails and Caviar at the mere thought of having to survive on such a pittance!

 

Trump Has Already Betrayed The Working Class: He Has Proven He Is A Fraud And A Con

(This Article Is Courtesy Of The Huffington Post)

Trump Has Already Betrayed The Working Class

Donald Trump has betrayed the American working class. He is a fraud and a con.

12/08/2016 01:58 pm ET | Updated 1 hour ago

DREW ANGERER VIA GETTY IMAGES

They voted for him in droves. In a remarkable political shift, the white working class who have seen their wages decline over decades thanks to shameless pandering to Wall Street and big business by both political parties, finally gave up on the Democrats and threw their lot in with billionaire businessman Donald Trump.

Some have tried to argue that the switch didn’t really have to do with economics but the numbers say otherwise. According to CNN exit polling, voters earning under $30K shifted towards Trump by 16 percent. Trump won 79 percent of those who said the economy was poor. Even Trump’s embrace of white nationalism is after all a form of economic protectionism. If you feel there’s a limited pie, then you’ve got a better shot at your slice if you don’t have to compete against those “other” people. With his pick for Labor Secretary though Trump revealed exactly what kind of President he’s going to be for those who had any doubts. Trump is not going to save the working class, he’s going to destroy it.

Meet your next Labor Secretary Andrew Puzder. He is the CEO of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. He thinks to Make America Great Again, we need to pay workers less or ideally, give their jobs to robots. I’m not kidding. In an interview with Business Insider, Puzder explained that he thought getting the workers out of the restaurant biz would be a great thing because robots are:  “…always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case.”

Oh human beings and their unreasonable desire to earn enough to live AND not be discriminated against. It’s all so inconvenient for corporate CEO’s like Puzder. We should just relegate these service jobs to the dustbin of history the way we already did with so-called “old economy” jobs. You know, the kind that actually allowed you to eat, buy a house, and pay the bills all at the same time. #MAGA.

By choosing Puzder for Labor Secretary, Trump has thrown his lot in with those who view workers as commodities to be used and discarded when they are inconvenient

 Now virtually no one aspires to a fast food job. Folks like Puzder who want to keep wages at their current level of roughly $18K per year like to pretend fast food jobs are just starter jobs for teenagers. I mean, these aren’t the sort of jobs that you are expected to raise a family on, right? Well, this is as much of a fantasy as the idea that Trump is a working class hero. Seventy percent of fast food workers are older than 20. The average age of a fast food worker is 29.

The reason for this is simple: low-paying service jobs are what our economy creates now even as middle class jobs decline. A majority of jobs lost during the Great Recession were middle-income jobs. A majority of those gained were low wage. Food service prep, cashier, and sales clerk are the three most common jobs in the country employing some 10 million plus American workers. If you automate those three jobs, what will replace them? Low-paying service work may not be ideal but it beats the heck out of no jobs at all. People who view the loss of these 10 million jobs as a great thing are the same type of people who drive through the derisively named “Rust Belt” and see “creative destruction” and “progress” instead of destroyed communities and destroyed lives.

Lest you think Puzder’s worker contempt is out of step with Trump’s supposed populism, Trump himself begs to differ. In a typically whiny and petty reaction to criticism, Trump tweeted this week that Carrier’s union workers themselves were responsible for the company deciding to ship jobs overseas.

He tweeted: “If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana. Spend more time working-less time talking. Reduce dues.” Puzder shares Trump’s “blame the worker” mentality and has no sympathy for workers seeking to earn a higher wage. Speaking with Business Insider, he blamed his own push towards automation on wage growth.  In Puzder’s world, it’s not his fault if Hardee’s workers are replaced with robots even though as CEO of the company he is in fact the one making exactly that decision.

Of course, Trump’s working class hero schtick was always a complete sham.

 The fault really lies with all of those high on the hog living workers with their $18K per year incomes and the advocates who would outrageously push to make those wages higher. You will not be surprised to learn then that one of Puzder’s favorite pastimes is penning Wall Street Journal op-eds on why lifting the minimum wage would just be dreadful. Typical line: “Does it really help if Sally makes $3 more an hour if Suzie has no job?” Exactly. So why not get rid of the minimum wage altogether and pay Sally the 50 cents per hour that you apparently think she’s worth?

I’ll tell you why. Because once long ago, we decided as a nation that we valued our workers.  We believed that we would all prosper if American workers earned enough to buy the goods and services they produce. We decided that workers shouldn’t toil for 40 hours a week and still live in poverty. Visionaries like Henry Ford understood this, and FDR, and the labor leaders who fought to birth the great American middle class which used to be the envy of the world. You want to make America great again? Try connecting with that American past.

By choosing Puzder for Labor Secretary, Trump has thrown his lot in with those who view workers as commodities to be used and discarded when they are inconvenient or when those workers become a penny more costly than a touch screen computer. He has thrown his lot in with those who view a future of endless Gilded Age inequality as inevitable. By choosing Andy Puzder as Labor Secretary, Donald Trump has betrayed the American working class. He is a fraud and a con.

Of course, Trump’s working class hero schtick was always a complete sham. The man rails against companies shipping jobs overseas while he makes his own schlocky crap in Mexico and Bangladesh for God’s sake. He stiffs contractors. He buys his steel from China. He illegally busts unions at his gaudy casinos! It is time for those of us who actually care about workers and see them as human beings rather than an expense item on the balance sheet, to stop licking our wounds and start fighting for those who will suffer the most under President Trump.

Out-liars: And The ‘Savage Theory Of Equality’

Out-liars: And The ‘Savage Theory Of Equality’

 

This post is basically a question to you, my effort to get you to think about this subject yourself, so that you will ask yourself exactly what your opinion is, this post is my opinion. I didn’t learn of the word out-liars until college, maybe I was conflicting it with the term out right liars, are they actually the same thing? No, I don’t think so, but could it be lodged in with the fact or fallacy of what ‘the truth’ is. Is it a fact that if people can honestly say that one percent of what they are saying is true, then they have spoken the truth? As we all know our politicians are well schooled in never really answering any question.

 

For those who are not familiar with the term as I wasn’t, here is my definition through and example that I will be able to get back to later. Today in our world we know that everything is analyzed for data including all of the Federal Governments stats that they use to tell us how our lives and the lives of other Americans is going. This is true whether it is about what the average income is to the average home cost to the average cost of gas and toilet paper. The problem with all of these stats are skewed because of the use of out-lairs.

 

If you own/run a company that has 1,000 employees you are entitled to a nice office and a real nice wage, but how well are the 1,000 households of the employees under you doing? That is a broad question because there are different levels of skills in the office and in the factory that are required to do their jobs so they should be paid different from the non-skilled jobs. But, how about those employees doing their jobs every day for the bottom end of your pay scale? Are they making a livable wage? Do you, do we, give a damn? $10.00 per hour/or less, that the bottom 80% make if calculated in with company Presidents and CEO’s total earnings packages, this tends to skew the average workers wages. If we don’t calculate in the short and long-term laid off and the “day workers” that makes the averages look better but if you do count in that other bottom ten percent of the population the ‘averages’ get skewed the other direction. Out-liars are what helps create the adage that “you can make figures say anything you want them to”.

 

Here is a theory that I think could/should be used, you could call it the “Savage Theory of Equality”. I as a lifelong working class, now broken-down person have never related to what the media and D.C. have always told us are “the averages”. Think about it for a moment, what are the average wages in America, how about price of cars, of homes, what is the real unemployed rate? (Part-time work should not be counted as being employed) About ten years ago I was living in eastern Tennessee and the City had its own radio station where a couple of different times I heard them say that the average wage in the area was seventeen dollars and about fifty cents per hour. My wife and I checked around a little bit with our friends and neighbors to come up with the conclusion that we didn’t know anyone personally there in our community that even made ten dollars per hour and they were just everyday working folks, just barely keeping their dignity month to month. (Dignity: working a full-time job, keeping a clean place to live, food, bills paid, transportation) If a person is working a full-time job that person should always be at the very least then financially able to have the aforementioned minimum level of dignity. If the figures we are given have the “out-liars” within them it is the people on the low-end that get squeezed the hardest and the ones at the very top that get ridiculous ‘bonus’ wages. Folks, we need to find adjustment spots on what we can call as being fair and on what basic dignity is.

 

Savage Theory of Equality: For a more true version of equal or average we should only use the middle eighty percent when looking for a more true average of what the middle is. The bottom ten percent should have their own category one through ten just as the top ten percent will have their bragging rights, one through ten. This theory in my opinion would give us all a more true center on just exactly what “the average American is”. In schools this theory would remove the exceptional students at both ends of the grading scale, just using the middle eighty percent to get a more true answer to what average truly is. Some may say that this would be a direct slam on the poorest of the poor especially on poor minorities but I look at this event in a different light. Yes it would point a light straight at certain parts of each city and county but that is what most of these people want. Dollars are limited so they need to go to the places most in need. Need for housing, food, clothing, education, job training and quality day care as well as quality full-time jobs in these ‘yes targeted’ areas of our populations are what is needed, it is where more targeted dollars need to go. If a household finds out that this past year they were in the bottom ten percent of income earners in your town a person would hopefully strive the best they can to come up out of this ten percent grouping the next year. The reality is that more aid such as training, jobs, and transportation are huge issues in this income bracket. What do you think Mr. Donald Trump?

 

For a moment think about the cost of housing. If the government stats say that in your city, lets us Lexington Kentucky as an example, where the average price of a home is a little over $250,000 and average rent for an apartment is a little over $1,200 per month, how does a person making anywhere near the minimum wage on their full time job afford any place to live? What I am saying should be mandatory of all government agencies, this example in housing cost, is to remove the ‘out-liars’. The top 10% and the bottom 10% of people still matter but they should have their own separate categories. In the case of Lexington Kentucky, if the housing cost stats only used the middle 80% when looking for the ‘average’ cost of housing this would mean the stats would clip off houses that are only valued at 30, 40 or 50 thousand dollars. Also, it would clip out that houses that are at the top end of the scale, the ones that are 1,2,3,5 or 10 million dollar homes. I believe that both 10% clubs should have their own grid but it should not be counted as part of the ‘average’ home price simply because they have nothing in common with the real ‘center point’. Okay, that’s my gripe for the evening, now, what is your opinion on this? Do you believe that I am way off base here?