We have reached a very interesting turning point in American history. More than at any other point in modern times, Americans are deeply angry about the state of the economy. In fact, it is no stretch to say that millions of U.S. citizens are hopping mad about the economic situation. Most of them don't know exactly what is wrong, and even fewer of them have any idea about how to go about fixing things, but they do know one thing. They know that they are mad. As Americans, we were raised with the belief that our overwhelmingly powerful economic machine would always provide good jobs and prosperity for all of us as long as we worked hard. But we have come to learn that is not true. We have come to learn that our politicians and our leaders have squandered the great inheritance that our forefathers left for us. We have come to learn that the financial future of our nation is beyond bleak. We have come to learn that our government has piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world. Now the foolish decisions of the past several decades are catching up with us. The U.S. economy is experiencing structural failure, and the American people are angry. They want answers. They want someone to fix things. They want things to go back to the way they used to be.
But that isn't going to happen. Once the American people truly start realizing that, the anger that will erupt will dwarf what we are seeing now.
Not that they are aren't already incredibly steamed. The following are 12 reasons why many Americans are absolutely furious about the state of the U.S. economy....
#1) There simply are not enough jobs for everyone. The number of unemployed Americans per job opening has started to increase again, hitting 5.5 in February. Even many of those who are able to get some work find themselves only able to obtain part-time employment. Gallup's underemployment measure hit 20.0% on March 15th. This was up from 19.7% two weeks earlier and 19.5% at the start of the year.
#2) More Americans than ever find themselves having to rely on the U.S. government just to survive. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 39.4 million Americans, a new all-time record, received food stamps in January. This was up 22% from a year earlier. In fact, the number of Americans on food stamps has hit all-time records for 14 consecutive months.
#3) Foreclosures continue to set records across the United States. RealtyTrac, the California-based authority on property trends and valuations, projects that there will be 4.5 million home foreclosures before the end of this year. If you figure 4 people per household, that is another 18 million people that will be forced out of their homes.
#4) As unemployment and foreclosures continue to soar, "tent slums" have started popping up all over the United States. Is this why our founding fathers fought and died? So we could all live in "tent slums" as the big fat cats on Wall Street roll around in their bailout cash?
#5) But even with all of these economic problems, the price of food is going up. Rising demand and reduced supply drove supermarket prices for 16 basic foods up 6.2% in the first quarter of 2010.
#6) Due to the exploding government debt, the American people are going to be confronted with some tough choices. According to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, the United States will soon have to make difficult choices between higher taxes and reduced social spending. Either alternative will slow down the U.S. economy.
#7) Meanwhile, corruption in the financial system is running rampant. The CEOs of bailed-out regional banks are actually getting big raises. The guy who helped bring down AIG is going to get off scott-free and will be able to keep the millions in profits that he made in the process.
#8) But the biggest fraud is being committed by the boys at the top of the food chain. A whistle blower has come forward with "smoking gun" evidence of price manipulation by major financial institutions in the precious metals markets. The scope of this fraud is in the trillions of dollars. The American people can't stomach much more of this type of thing.
#9) Almost all financial experts agree that the era of super cheap money is over and that interest rates are about to rise significantly. This is going to make it much more expensive for most Americans to borrow money to buy a home, to buy a car, to buy things with their credit cards or to borrow money for education. Those who already have adjustable loans are going to find a much larger portion of their income going to pay interest. Needless to say, this is going to cause the U.S. economy to experience a significant slowdown.
#10) One of the biggest things that the American people are upset about is the "health care reform" bill that was just rammed down their throats. It turns out that "health care reform" is actually going to be the biggest tax increase in American history. Not only that, but because of taxes and mandates imposed upon health insurance companies by the legislation, health insurance premiums are also about to increase substantially. So where will the average American family get the money to pay for these increases?
#11) In addition, the new health care law that was supposed to give all of us much better health care is actually going to force the cancellation of at least 60 doctor-owned hospitals that were scheduled to be opened according to the executive director of Physician Hospitals of America. Why? Well, it turns out that the new law singles out physician-owned hospitals, making new physician-owned projects ineligible to receive payments for Medicare and Medicaid patients.
#12) The reality is that Americans are increasingly becoming disenchanted with the lack of leadership in both political parties. Approval ratings for leaders in both parties are extremely low, and anger at politicians is at an all-time high. The Tea Party movement is just one symptom of the seething anger many Americans are feeling. While many Americans are gathering together at large protest rallies to demonstrate against the policies of the government, others are expressing their displeasure on blogs and websites. There has never been a moment in modern times when Americans have been so disenchanted with their political leadership.
This anger is not going to go away. It could be soothed a bit if the U.S. economy was fully fixed and things went back to the way they used to be. But as noted previously, that just is not going to happen. Harder times are ahead. Americans are going to get angrier and angrier.
But there is not much that can be done to prevent that anger. The politicians who are in office when things really hit the fan are going to take the brunt of the anger, but it won't be their fault. The truth is that this economic collapse has been building for decades. The American people are just not going to understand that the financial system cannot be fixed overnight.
Dark times are coming. It is not going to be pretty. There is going to be a lot of anger and a lot of hate. But all of these economic problems could be seen well ahead of time and there have been those who have been screaming and yelling about them for decades.
But very few people wanted to listen.