Outlaw investigates the possibility of the average American living debt free in today’s economy. Through use of figures published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the author breaks down the cost of affording the bare necessities in America: namely transportation, food, clothing, internet, gas, electricity, taxes, and insurance. From the Bureau’s estimation of an average yearly income of $42,693 per person, after subtracting these necessities the average American is afforded $15/day ($5,500/year) of savings. The author comes to this conclusion using “fair” estimates by rounding down yearly costs. He assumes a frugal citizen would make such attempts to save. Is $15 per day sufficient enough to escape debt in America?
The author’s assertion is that it is not enough. Accepting that the majority of Americans need management and direction leads to the conclusion that the majority will expend wealth rather than generate it. For example, if the average citizen wishes to eat out with friends, or perform any other “luxury” expenditure, their $15 per day is quickly diminished. At this point, the author’s argument that $15 per day makes it impossible to escape debt may seem clearer. In relation to IMT, however, it is necessary to consider the mindset of the average American. While $15 per day might appear to be a low figure, when considering the average American it is possible to neglect the standard of living in other parts of the world. Not everyone makes a “luxury” purchase each day, and thus living frugally one may continually save their $15 for future times. It also proves difficult to ignore the fact that $15 a day in another part of the world could make the average individual wealthy compared to their population. The issue is therefore a product of the mentality of the average American. It is certainly possible for the average citizen to escape debt, but the inability to exert fiscal discipline may very well make it improbable.
Is Debt a Choice in America – Isaac Simpson – Outlaw – October 22, 2013 – Retrieved from http://outlaw.la/?p=345