“Land of the Free, Home of the Poor”


“Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains.” Rousseau, The Social Contract 

America is known for many things, such as being the country with the most complicated tax system, or being the country with the most amount of obese people. But what probably stands out the most for the United States is that there is so much debt that they have accumulated. Not only is the government dealing with debt, but also college students and adults with a median salary who own a car or a house.

Even though America is known for being the “land of the free,” most Americans are being held back by chains of debt and barely getting paid, partially because of the government. America is one of the poorest countries in the world. It has a poverty rate of about 17% and it’s ranked 3rd out of 30 OECD member nations.

Probably the most common group of people to pay the most debt is the college student. College students not only have to pay for their APPLICATION TO A COLLEGE(with a chance of getting rejected) but also an entrance fee and tuition fees. Tuition fees at UC Berkeley is around $22,800 per year. Most college students don’t even have enough money to buy a proper meal every night, why should they have to pay around 20 grand to go to school? Also, even if the students graduate with a degree, it’s not guaranteed that they will receive a high-paying job that will satisfy the debt that has accumulated from college fees.

Another one of the possible reasons why America is so poor is because of the minimum wage. The United States’ minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour. Even though this may seem sufficient for a person, it’s better to have a higher minimum wage. A higher minimum wage “would raise the incomes of 28 million Americans”, which can help the rate of poverty slowly decrease. With a higher minimum wage, people are also able to pay off their debt much faster.


The growth of real wages largely tracked productivity growth, which meant that as the productive capacity of the system expanded, the capacity of the workers to maintain consumption standards out of wages also grew in proportion.

So how come the government didn’t try raising the minimum wage or help people with their debt?

Well probably because America is also in debt right now, but the government still has enough money to at least help the people a little. They can attempt to assist their fellow Americans by helping them pay off debt easier. Maybe the government can follow some good examples, like how Australia has their minimum wage at around $16. America can be wise by trying to improve their government, but “wisdom is not communicable.”


I’m no politician or expert on these subjects, but I think that the government can do a better job in helping their people with their finances. Maybe Congress can pass a vote for lower taxes or higher minimum wage.

Thanks for reading my post! If I have written something incorrectly about something then I apologize. I’m not really familiar with the subject.



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