Comment: You're catching on

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You're catching on

Your math is correct in its direction but you could have gone much farther, if time permitted. I'll take a macro viewpoint here just to give you an idea of how big the picture gets.

An average household (the smallest unit that can be independent) has a lifespan of 40 years of working years and some number of retirement years. In those working years, the average salary is $40k so that comes to a $1.6M lifetime income. Where does that money go?

Off the top, 25% goes to the government in some form or another.

Of the take-home, 25% (20% of the original) goes directly to banks. A typical $100k mortgage costs $260k to pay off unless the mortgage is transferred to a different home or the loan is refinanced. Then it goes up farther.

Another 20% (of gross) goes to insurances. On average, we spend $450k in lifetime total insurances and we only get $28k in claims benefits. Including 'emergency' things like fire and medical, 1/20th of us has an average expense of $80k, so that averages another $4k.

Another 15-20% goes to inefficiency, waste, planned obsolescence, impulse decisions and misinformation.

So all total, we spend as much as 80% on things that don't benefit us. This means we "could" have an identical life on just 20-25% of current wages. We just would need it early in life (before we earned it) so we could avoid interest, late charges and insurance premiums. Sounds utopian, and not in a totally good way, doesn't it? Well, to approach that goal, we must look at what needs to change for it to happen.

Side bar: Your last link was wonderful in its futuristic info. The other links had either 'competing currency' or 'more of what's wrong' themes, but this one had a link on the Utopias menu which led to another article that I found very interesting. Here's the link:

This short one addresses the fact that tech advancement should lead us toward utopia but for it to happen, we need to go all socialist to fix unemployment. That is where we differ.

Following from the above discussion, we definitely can fix this problem when we see all that 'income' wasted in the system. We just need to channel it down the right path. What I've been suggesting is to first eliminate as much of that waste as possible (at the business), then offer products that make it easier and cheaper to eliminate the waste at the personal level. Then take those profits and increase wages and then encourage shorter careers (aka earlier retirements). The details are much deeper but I'm sure you're getting the concept that we're both keeping our "power" and sharing the wealth by not earning quite so much overall, even though our purchasing power will quadruple.

Regarding your actual numbers, here are the ones I came up with for my research a couple years ago. 107M families. $117k average home price. 265% average 'traditional' payoff per mortgage. So the "waste" or stolen portion in just your data ($20.6T) tops your total spent (now up to $33.1T) for homes. This amounts to 2.2 years of our GDP and still doesn't even count inflation or any other bank derived expenses in life.