Resources For Practice Reading Like A Robo-Grader: How to Save the Middle Class When Jobs Don’t Pay

Essay: How To Save The Middle Class When Jobs Don’t Pay

How to Save the Middle Class When Jobs Don’t Pay

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How To Save the Middle Class When Jobs Don’t Pay

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There’s long been a notion that, because money is a prerequisite for survival and security, everyone should be assured some income just for being alive. The notion has been advanced by liberals such as James Tobin, John Kenneth Galbraith, and George McGovern, and by conservatives like Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Richard Nixon. It’s embedded in the board game Monopoly, in which all players get equal payments when they pass Go.

And yet, with one exception, Americans have been unable to agree on any plan that guarantees some income to everyone. The reasons lie mostly in the stories that surround such income. Is it welfare? Is it redistribution? Does it require higher taxes and bigger government? Americans think dimly of all these things.

But then, there’s the exception. Jay Hammond, the Republican governor of Alaska from 1974 to 1982, was an independent thinker who conceived of, and then persuaded Alaska’s legislators to adopt, the world’s first system for paying equal dividends to everyone. In Hammond’s model, the money comes not from taxes but from a common resource: North Slope oil. Using proceeds from that gift of nature, the Alaska Permanent Fund has paid equal yearly dividends to every resident, including children, ranging from about $1,000 to over $3,000. (Bear in mind that a family of four collects four same-sized dividends.) While this isn’t enough to live on, it nicely supplements Alaskans’ other earnings. And paying such dividends regularly for more than thirty years has bolstered the state’s economy, reduced poverty, and made Alaska one of the least unequal states in America.

The question Americans in the lower 48 should now ask is: Did Alaska find the right formula? If it can convert part of its common wealth into equal dividends for everyone, can the rest of America do the same?

There are many good reasons to ask this question. One is that America’s middle class is in steady decline. In the heyday of our middle class, jobs at IBM and General Motors were often jobs for life. Employers offered decent wages, health insurance, paid vacations and defined pensions. Nowadays, such jobs are rare.

 

How To Save the Middle Class When Jobs Don’t Pay

Sentence by Sentence Without Punctuation

Theres long been a notion that because money is a prerequisite for survival and security everyone should be assured some income just for being alive

The notion has been advanced by liberals such as James Tobin John Kenneth Galbraith and George McGovern and by conservatives like Friedrich Hayek Milton Friedman and Richard Nixon

Its embedded in the board game Monopoly in which all players get equal payments when they pass Go

And yet with one exception Americans have been unable to agree on any plan that guarantees some income to everyone

The reasons lie mostly in the stories that surround such income

Is it welfare

Is it redistribution

Does it require higher taxes and bigger government

Americans think dimly of all these things

But then there’s the exception

Jay Hammond the Republican governor of Alaska from 1974 to 1982 was an independent thinker who conceived of and then persuaded Alaskas legislators to adopt the world’s first system for paying equal dividends to everyone

In Hammond’s model, the money comes not from taxes but from a common resource North Slope oil

Using proceeds from that gift of nature the Alaska Permanent Fund has paid equal yearly dividends to every resident including children ranging from about $1000 to over $3000

Bear in mind that a family of four collects four same-sized dividends

While this isnt enough to live on it nicely supplements Alaskans other earnings

And paying such dividends regularly for more than thirty years has bolstered the states economy reduced poverty and made Alaska one of the least unequal states in America

The question Americans in the lower 48 should now ask is did Alaska find the right formula

If it can convert part of its common wealth into equal dividends for everyone can the rest of America do the same

There are many good reasons to ask this question

One is that Americas middle class is in steady decline

In the heyday of our middle class jobs at IBM and General Motors were often jobs for life

Employers offered decent wages health insurance paid vacations and defined pensions

Nowadays such jobs are rare