Another migration crisis is brewing. Unlike the one on the southern border, this one will be throughout the country.

A recent Harvard study found that half of the country’s renters are spend a third or more of your income about housing. Those are the people lucky enough to find housing when there is a shortage of affordable housing across the country. Combine the rent bill with the rising cost of child care, and don’t forget food, and… well, you can understand why. evictions have skyrocketed and Homelessness has reached a record level.

Stipple style portrait illustration of LZ Granderson

opinion columnist

LZ Granderson

LZ Granderson writes about culture, politics, sports, and living life in America.

We live in an era of contradictions. The United States is the strongest economy in the world and Americans’ credit card debt has never been higher. The unemployment rate has been below 5% throughout President Biden’s first term and voters disapprove of his handling of the economy. Wall Street predicted that last year’s gross domestic product grow less than 2%, and instead it was 2.5% – still The economy feels weak for many people..

This is because, for many people, the economy is weak.

Right now The top 1% has more money than the entire middle class in the country.. For lower-income Americans, rent is just the beginning of worries.

Unaffordable rent is a continuation of the wealth redistribution that accompanied President Reagan’s economic policies.

Before disco, the richest 10% shared 30% of the country’s income, while the remaining 90% lived off the rest. Today, the poorest 90% get by on less than 60% of income. The top 1% received 14.6% in 2021, double their share of 7.3% in 1979. according to the Economic Policy Institute.

After 1979, Reagan convinced voters to make capital more important than people. If more is given to the rich, the extra will “trickle down,” remember that? Greed is part of capitalism, but it is not part of patriotism. Reagan’s characterization of our economy combined those two concepts, and many Americans accepted that fallacy as truth. Those who struggled to achieve prosperity were seen as lazy and unworthy of help. It was thought that something had to be wrong with them, because there was nothing wrong in this “land of opportunity.”

This was the era when well-paying manufacturing jobs went elsewhere. That’s when large, successful companies were able to make record profits, while hard-working employees began to rely on food stamps to feed their families.

And now Congress is trying to solve the housing crisis. offering housing developers more tax credits. So much for the invisible hand of the free market, right? Although there is a desperate need for more affordable housing, developers apparently don’t make enough money to want to do it, so the government has to offer a carrot to ensure that prosperous corporations prosper even more.

Conservatives often talk about the country’s unsustainable spending. However, it is not the federal debt that should worry them most. How much longer will 22 million people be able to spend a third or more of their income on rent?

In 2023, some states saw eviction filings jump more than 50% compared to pre-pandemic levels, and back then, the unemployment rate was higher. That’s not sustainable either.

Whether living off loans to avoid taxable income or legally declaring losses while still making money, The Various Ways Billionaire Homeowners End Up Paying a Lower Tax Rate that many of its employees are well documented. When rising costs are passed on to consumers (rent, baby formula, bacon — we are conditioned to blame the government and not the price gougers. When gas prices rise, many point the finger at the White House, although, of course, Presidents do not control gasoline prices..

This sorry state of the American economy is not entirely attributable to either party or any presidential administration. This redistribution has continued under everyone’s watch. However, we are reaching a point where many people are fed up with their hard work not paying off and are going to take action. That’s why the Wall Street Journal called 2023 “the year of the strike.” The workers saw prosperity at the top and demanded their fair share.

Now more than ever, we need Congress to close the tax loopholes that have allowed trillions of dollars to be diverted from the many and hoarded by the few. Because the rental crisis is not a new problem: it is the latest incarnation of the one that began when authorities started pretending that greed is good.

@LZGranderson

By Sam