As the Senate passed yet another round of tax cuts (which would largely go to wealthy people and companies), proponents tried to claim that past tax slashing has fixed our economic wagon. Not so fast. Hard numbers and lived experience tell us that several years of tax cuts have not addressed North Carolina’s most pressing economic problems.
A job does not guarantee escape from poverty or that people can afford the basic necessities.
- One in three North Carolina workers are paid poverty wages. Workers in North Carolina are more likely to be paid poverty wages than in every other state except Arkansas. The story is similar in small cities and towns, where almost 1/3rd of workers in North Carolina’s smaller cities (10,000-50,000 in population) earn poverty wages.
- One fifth of North Carolina families don’t earn enough to pay for the basics: One in five families in North Carolina don’t earn enough to pay for basic necessities like food, housing, and medicine. In Wake County for example, minimum wage workers barley take home 1/3rd of what it take to cover the basic necessities of life.
- Vital professions don’t pay living wages: In North Carolina, more than half of the professionals who teach (and wrangle) young children can’t afford the basic costs of living in their community.
- Hunger is pervasive in North Carolina: North Carolina ranks as the 8th hungriest place in the country. People living in almost 630,000 North Carolina households are not getting enough to eat.