A. The plunder of the American people (5)
What a dollar is worth…
Insofar as the American standard of living is concerned, the CIA-controlled Russian mass media employs a gross and deliberate monetary falsification to mask the widespread poverty of many tens of millions of Americans.
An absolutely falacious dollar-ruble correlation is routinely used to “prove” — over and over again in Russia — the superiority of the American way of life!
Let us begin with housing.
Housing: Renting an apartment or home…
“National median rent prices for November 2016 came in at $1,100 for a 1-bedroom and $1,260 for a 2-bedroom; this is 1.7% higher than November 2015.” (Apartment List National Rent Report)
“Renters should assume that utilities will equal about 18% of their rent, with a range of 11-21%, depending on their location and the type of rental.” (My First Apartment, 2016)
Thus, the rent + utilities for just a 1-bedroom apartment or home is about $1,300 a month. In ruble terms (times 60) we are talking about a квартплата of around 78,000 rubles a month!
Now you are beginning to get an idea of why our typical University of California worker (see previous material) needs to cut down on food expenses. He or she reportedly makes $26,000 a year or about $2,167 a month. And yet pays $1,300 for a small apartment – which eats up 60% of his or her total income! What about everything else: transportation, medical care, taxes, clothes, home furnishings – and food…?
Housing: Expenses of privately-owned homes…
Instead of renting, suppose you decide to buy a home. First, there is the down payment on a residence. “The minimum down payment could be 5%, 10%, 20% or more” (www.bankrate.com/finance/mortgages/down-payment-1.aspx, Mar 29, 2016 ). The US existing home median sales price in November 2016 was $234,900. For new homes, the price was higher. The median price for April 2016 was $321,300 and the average price was $380,000. So it is reasonable to assume that the average price of a home in the US is roughly $300,000.
Then, home owners have to pay a substantial monthly mortgage as well as property taxes and utilities and have maintenance and insurance costs, to boot. What is the total bill here?
Mortgage payments: It is not easy to obtain exact numbers on what the average American family pays for a monthly mortgage on a privately owned home. These figures vary greatly depending on the cost of the home, the amount of the initial down payment as well as on location and mortgage rates. However, a reasonable estimate is possible.
“Typically, lenders like to see that 25 to 30 percent of an applicant’s income can go towards housing costs. There are instances, though, where mortgages may be approved even if up to 40 percent of a borrower’s income is going towards home expenses. Overextending the family budget may leave you vulnerable, especially when unexpected financial expenses arise, such as an unforeseen medical bill” (MoneyTips.com, Dec 20, 2016).
On the 25-30% basis for our median-income family ($51,939 a year), the mortgage would amount to (27.5% of income) about $14,300 yearly or $1,190 monthly.
Property taxes: According to the US Census Bureau, the average American household also spends $2,127 on property taxes for their homes each year (averaging out to be about $177 monthly).
Utilities: Approximately the same utility costs as for renters or about $200 a month.
Home maintenance costs: “Set aside 1 percent to 3 percent of your home’s purchase price each year specifically for home maintenance and repairs. For example, if your home cost $300,000, set aside at least $3,000 each year” (www.hgtv.com). We have indicated above that $300,000 is a reasonable average home cost, so that average maintenance costs are about $3,000 a year or $250 a month.
Home insurance… The average annual home insurance premium in the US is $952 (http://www.valuepenguin.com) or about $80 a month
Total private housing costs: The average homeowner family on a monthly basis pays more for lodging than the average renter. In addition to the $thousands for the down payment, there is an average of $1,190 for the monthly mortgage, another $177 for property taxes, about $200 a month for utilities, $250 monthly for maintenance and $80 monthly for insurance. A grand total of $1,897 a month. In ruble terms, this would amount to about 114,000 rubles monthly.
How does that compare with your квартплата??
And for the millions of Americans who have no real home…
“An estimated 20 million Americans live in mobile homes, according to new Census figures…the cheap housing of choice for so many people” (BBC News, Sept 23, 2013). Mobile homes, accomodations which can be moved by car or truck, are almost always much smaller and inferior to non-mobile housing.
“About 1.56 million people, or about 0.5% of the U.S. population, used an emergency shelter or a transitional housing program between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009… One out of 50 children or 1.5 million children in United States of America will be homeless each year. In 2013 that number jumped to one out of 30 children, or 2.5 million… A 2000 study estimated the number of homeless people to be between 2.3 million and 3.5 million… vacant houses outnumber homeless people by five times.» (“Homelessness in the United States,” Wikipedia)
“California City Erects ‘Prison Camp’ To Deal With Homeless” (ZeroHedge, Feb 17, 2017). “There are two major problems; first, the level of homelessness, poverty and idle populations in California and across the country, and second, the divided world between the 1% and the struggling 99% is coming to a head… The City of Santa Ana has come up with an innovative and despotic way of keeping their homeless population in check — imprison them… Every time a group homeless community finds a safe spot, located out of the way, they are targeted for removal, or, in this barbaric case — imprisonment.”
Правительство США жестоко нарушало мои права человека при проведении кампании террора, которая заставила меня покинуть свою родину и получить политическое убежище в СССР. См. книгу «Безмолвный террор — История политических гонений на семью в США» — «Silent Terror: One family’s history of political persecution in the United States» — http://arnoldlockshin.wordpress.com
Правительство США еще нарушает мои права, в течении более 13 лет отказывается от выплаты причитающейся мне пенсии по старости. Властители США воруют пенсию!! Всё это — ещё доказательство, что настоящий действующий закон в США — Закон джунглей.
ФСБ — Федеральная служба «безопасности» России — вслед за позорным, предавшим страну предшественником КГБ, выполняет приказы секретного, кровавого хозяина (boss) — американского ЦРУ (CIA). Среди таких «задач» — мне фактически запретить выступать в СМИ и не пропускать большинства отправленных мне комментариев. А это далеко не всё…
Арнольд Локшин, политэмигрант из США