THE MISLEADING CLAIM: When did “if you work full-time, you should be able to comfortably afford shelter, food, and utilities” become an extreme leftist belief?
THE REALITY: The assertion is an example of both the strawman fallacy (misrepresenting an opponent’s argument to make it easier to attack) and the appeal to emotion fallacy (using emotional appeals over established facts). No decent human being, either conservative, liberal, libertarian, etc wishes to impede someone from being able to live comfortably and afford basic necessities.
Let’s address the first part of this claim: that of “if you work full-time, you shouldn’t be living in poverty.” The fact of the matter is, according to the US Census Bureau, approximately 98% of full-time workers (year round) are not in poverty. [a] To suggest that living in poverty while working full time is a huge problem in America demonstrates either ignorance or a complete malfeasance of facts.
Regarding housing costs, it is true that those have increased over time. A study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2005 found that since 1950, housing prices have increased by approximately 2% a year. [b]
There appears to be many factors for this, but two in particular are 1) – the median size and amenities of houses have increased, and 2) – land use regulations that drive the cost of housing up.
Per the Wall Street Journal, the median size of a new single-family home was 2,467 square feet last year, which was the biggest on record as of 2016. [c] Homes are 61% larger than the median size 40 years ago, and 11% larger than a decade prior. The WSJ further states that “American homes have not only been getting larger, they’re also including more bathrooms and amenities such as air conditioning. Some 93% of new houses had air conditioning in 2015 compared with 46% in 1975. About 96% of new homes last year had at least two bathrooms versus 60% four decades earlier.” Obviou...