Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone is not enough to produce widely shared prosperity.
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The Self-Sufficiency Standard Questions


  1. Why does a preschool child add $20,000 to the costs of a single parent in some parts of California, and far less in many other places?
  2. Why are rents so high in California and New York City? Are the apartments much fancier at the 40th percentile?
  3. Why are rents so low in Philadelphia?
  4. Why are rents higher in places where population density is high?
  5. Does the song "New York, New York" talk about life in a high rent area? ("If you can make it here, you'll make it anywhere.")
  6. Who gets the rent money?
  7. Why do renters at the just-getting-by level pay such high taxes? They aren't paying property taxes themselves; those are embedded in their rent. How much of it is payroll taxes?
  8. Only in the least expensive counties are people getting much in the way of tax credit money.
  9. How many of us lack sufficient income to meet our most simply defined needs?
  10. What does the rising price of gas do?
  11. What will happen to rents in the low-cost counties when retiring baby boomers with little home equity to live on move in? Who will benefit from this? Who will be negatively affected?
  12. Why are women willing to have a baby, even though their cost of living rises by $10,000, but reluctant to marry, even though their cost of living only rises it by about $7,000, and a husband is likely to bring income of more than that? (Maybe it is easier to manage on a tight budget with only one adult, rather than negotiating out the vicissitudes of tight-budget living with another adult.)
  13. Might the large share of people whose incomes are below or near the Self-Sufficiency Standard — the just-getting-by level — have some bearing on divorce rates and the number of single parent families?


Some answers and links — and probably some more questions — will be added as time goes on.


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cost of living

young people


poverty's causes

abolishing poverty

housing affordability

barriers to entry

absentee ownership

in one's sleep

paying twice


all benefits ...

burdening the poor


is democracy enough?

illusion of freedom

land monopoly capitalism


economic justice

effects of not collecting site rent

effects of taxing land value

equity for the landless


equal opportunity

created equal

fences and small bandages

I was there first!

FIRE sector

God's eldest sons?

industrial slavery




intergenerational equity

jobs chasing people

land prices

lowering the price of land


a society with no victims

not passed on

our daily bread

patchwork remedies

protecting the poor


real estate fortunes

red and blue

regressivie and progressive

rent control



rich get rich

right to life


shining city




small towns

small business

social problems

social surplus

unearned increment


starve government

stakeholder society



subtle alchemy

widow's skirts

supporting a family


the least of these

the cat



wage slaves

Robinson Crusoe

the remedy


well-provisioned ship

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Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone hasn't yet led to a society in which all can prosper