In a recent presentation on Youtube by economists Richard D Wolff he discussed a new Amazon warehouse that opened in Northern Massachusetts with financing and tax breaks from the state and with great fanfare. The warehouse mostly automated had openings for jobs paying from $12 an hour to $14.75 an hour. All of the jobs were 30 hours or less a week (presumably to avoid providing healthcare.)
The jobs on the upper end were team leader jobs that required a college degree. So the college graduate likely with thousands in student loan and credit card debt was looking at about $23K a year. Needless to say this would likely prohibit independent living unless there was a spouse making at least that if not more.
Unfortunately the jobs at the Amazon warehouse are representational of most jobs today. Let's say we have two college graduates either living together or married working at Amazon. Out of their $46K a year they will pay FICA, state taxes and possibly a local tax. They will have rent (in Northern MA it runs about $1K a month for a one bedroom apartment), utilities, at least one car payment, student loan and credit card debt incurred while going to school and healthcare insurance not provided by Amazon. Add into the mix gas, food and other expenses and you quickly see two people that probably don't have $100 sitting in a savings account. One incident away from financial disaster.
If you want to understand our economy here is a hypothetical example based on a real world job. Mr. Bezos made of billions and collects companies like some people collect antiques. What's he going to do for customers when the bulk of Americans are finally squeezed into his type of employment? Will the robots at Amazon Prime sit rusting waiting for orders that are now longer coming?
When I graduated from college in 1981 I started in banking a princely sum of $11K a year, probably adjusted for inflation close to $23K a year now. Of course I had fully paid medical, dental vision, pension, paid time off and short term disability which would cover a full paycheck for up to 60 days. Within 3 years with the same employer I was up to $25K a year. Do you think Mr. Bezo's $14.75 an hour employees will more than double their pay within three years? Likely not.
This is the new American economy. Low wages, no benefits, little job security, no career mobility, long on desperation and hope short on results. Get used to it.