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Americans May Be Getting Poorer, But At Least We Are Getting Fatter And Sicker

I know, there really isn’t any good news in that headline.  Americans are steadily getting poorer, fatter and sicker and yet most people continue to operate under the delusion that things are somehow going to get better.  Sadly, not only are we not better off than we were four years ago, the truth is that things have been getting worse for a very long time.  Median household income in the United States has declined for four years in a row, and it has fallen by more than $4000 overall since Barack Obama has been in the White House.  Yet the media insists that we are in the midst of an “economic recovery”.  A higher percentage of Americans are obese or severely obese than ever before, and Baby Boomers are much sicker than their parents were at the same age.  Yet we are supposedly a “health conscious” nation.  Technology is advancing faster than we have ever seen before in human history, but the life expectancy of poor Americans has dropped significantly in recent years.  So exactly what in the world is going on here?

It seems like there is a health food store or a vitamin store on almost every corner, and yet as a whole we are in much worse condition than our parents were.  The following is from a recent news story by the CBS News affiliate in Washington D.C.….

Obesity among baby boomers is more than double the rate of their parents at the same age, and boomers with three or more chronic conditions was 700 percent greater than the previous generation.

But it isn’t just the Baby Boomers that are obese.  Sadly, obesity has become a raging epidemic in America and all of the numbers show this.

For example, a study by the RAND corporation discovered that the percentage of Americans that are severely obese rose from 3.9 percent in the year 2000 to 6.6 percent in 2010.

That is a huge increase in just a decade.

And the numbers are even more sobering when you look at the percentage of Americans that are just obese (rather than being severely obese).

As I wrote about the other day, 36 percent of all Americans are considered to be obese, and it is being projected that by 2030 that number will rise to 42 percent.

To put that in perspective, it is important to note that only 13 percent of all Americans were obese back in 1962.

Sadly, not only are we getting fatter, many of us are also living shorter lives.

In a previous article, I quoted a CBS News story that discussed recent research which shows that the lifespans of poor Americans have been dropping rapidly in recent years….

Overall life expectancy has dropped for white Americans who have less than a high school diploma to rates similar to those of the 1950s and 1960s, new research finds.

The study found non-Hispanic white men without a diploma lived on average until 67.5 in 2008, three years less than they did in 1990. The drop in lifespan was even bigger for non-Hispanic white women with low education: They live five years shorter than 1990 rates, from 78 years old to just 73.5.

Why are people not living as long?

Well, our lifestyles certainly are not helping things.  The average American watches 28 hours of television every single week.  That is not conducive to a long and happy life.

But of course a lot of other factors are at play as well.

When you don’t have a lot of money, you can’t afford to eat healthy and you can’t afford to go see the doctor much.

Unfortunately, average Americans have steadily seen their incomes drop even as the cost of living has continued to go up.  The following is from a recent article posted on Investors.com….

Since 2009, the middle 20% of American households saw their average incomes drop 4%. In 2011 alone, they fell 1.7%. The poorest 20% have fared even worse under Obama, Census data show. Their incomes have dropped more than 7% since 2009, and are now lower than they’ve been at any time since 1985, after adjusting for inflation.

Median household income (adjusted for inflation) fell in 41 U.S. states between 2000 and 2011.

So which state saw the worst decline in median household income during that time period?

Would you be surprised to hear that it was Michigan?

Between 2000 and 2011, median household income in Michigan dropped by a whopping 18.9 percent.

I have written extensively about how Detroit is a perfect example of where most of the rest of the country is headed.  The manufacturing facilities are being torn down and Detroit has become a rotting shell of what it once was.

You can see 30 pictures of the ruins of Detroit right here, and you can view a great video of a homeless man giving a very creepy tour of Detroit’s abandoned Michigan Central Station right here.

So what part of the country do you think has done the best over the past decade?

If you guessed Washington D.C. you would be correct.

Median household income in Washington D.C. increased by 18.1 percent between 2000 and 2011.

Of course this “prosperity” for the D.C. area can be directly attributed to the explosion in the growth of the federal government.

Members of Congress and government workers are living the high life at your expense, and much of it is being done with borrowed money that we expect our children and our grandchildren to repay.

You would be absolutely shocked to learn what goes on at some of these federal agencies.  For example, the following was revealed by a former Social Security Administration employee recently in the Baltimore Sun….

It is not uncommon to see employees taking lunches lasting up to two hours. Often, a day at the office is nothing more than seeing people sleep at their desks or watch movies on their computers. With a few exceptions, employees with goals and expectations of some sort are nowhere to be found inside the walls of SSA.

I once saw an older employee take 10 smoke breaks in one afternoon and do absolutely no work when he was at his desk. He told me he was just waiting it out until he could get more retirement money. Several elderly individuals literally died right at their desks because they refused to retire. A lack of professionalism was obvious in the way the employees dressed and most apparently in their juvenile, non-professional language.

Would you like to have a job where you can sleep at your desk, take two hour lunches and watch movies on your computer all day?

If so, then working for the federal government might be for you.

Of course this does not happen at all federal agencies.  At some agencies the employees actually are very professional.  However, there are other agencies that are even worse than the Social Security Administration.

The sad truth is that what is wrong with our society is not limited to the White House and Congress.  They are simply a reflection of who we have become.  Our problems are very wide and very deep.

So why do you think Americans are getting poorer, fatter and sicker?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

  • John

    To into perspective just how bad things are in the USA I’m going to break down certain facts. The median individual income in the USA in 2003 was approximately $33,000 (only counting individuals older then 25, or else it would be even lower).

    That equals to approximately $15.86/hour. So the average American made around $15/hr back in 2003. Flash-forward to 2010 the median income has fallen to $26,197 or $22,094 by 2003 standards (after adjusting for inflation). This means presently the average person in the USA only makes $10.62/hour!!

  • Sofia

    Brown rice, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, mangos, bananas, avocados, cheddar cheese, fish, green beans, plain yogurt, roast turkey leftovers made into soup with onions and celery, bean tacos with cabbage slaw, water with lemon lime or orange squeezed in, whole wheat oatmeal raisin cookies, trail mix, sprouted grain toast with fruit preserves, oatmeal with honey and blueberries, washed lettuce with tuna, olives, olive oil and apple cider vinegar. WE LOVE OUR DIET and we are not fat. And we don’t spend a fortune.

    • DownWithLibs

      Thanks for the tasty listing!

  • Scott

    Eating healthy and exercising are very challenging, but possible. The reason we have such high medical costs can be attributed to the sicknesses and diseases of the obese. My wife and I regularly take her elderly (mostly healthy) mother to our local Kaiser Perm facility for checkups. While they are inside, I observe the folks (young and old) going in and out the front door. Most of them are extremely obese, very few thin people. Fast food may be convenient, but it’s deadly. Remember the guy from “30 Days”? He alomost died from eating fast food for only one month. Not only did he gain weight, the food was damaging his kidneys and liver, and most certainly his heart. To the person who said that God could zap away Hell. Not possible. God created Hell for Satan and his followers. People go there because they they refuse God’s merciful offer to spend eternity in Paradise with Him. He gave His son Jesus to die for YOUR sins. And, you are a sinner, if you’re willing to admit it. If you are willing, why not take His free gift of SALVATION through Jesus’ death on the cross? One day, YOUR life will end. You have the power to choose your eternal destiny. Choose life, eternal life for yourself. Choose Jesus, choose heaven, choose to live. There’s is only one other place for you to go. And it’s not “party time” with Satan.

    • DownWithLibs

      Well said!

  • linda

    American’s income has been in decline for nearly 30 years, long before Obama took office, so blaming him is just silly.
    The thing about measuring a “median” of anything is that the figures can be way off if the figures at each end are extremely high or low, as they are today. If you take 1 person making 20 million/year, and three making 20 thousand/year add them together, the halfway point would be at about 10 million, obviously not a true reflection of income distribution.
    I realize that formula was extremely simplistic, and more goes into the calculation, but I offer it as an example of how carefully we should approach statistics.
    Perhaps a better example would be to use the old “flat tax” argument. A lot of people think this would be THE answer. And it DOES seem fair on the surface…everyone pays 20%, rich, poor and in between, no exceptions.
    But what they fail to consider is that a percentage of something is unknowable unless you take into account the size of the entity you are taking 20% OF…
    Take 20% of 20 million, and all that happens is a zero or two gets knocked off a bank balance. Life does not change at all.
    Take 20% of a 22,000 income, and you have just thrown a working family onto welfare.
    Obviously these two are NOT shouldering the same tax burden, even though the actual numbers seem as fair as they can be.

  • http://feedingjimmy.com Denise K

    I don’t think it’s lack of funds for healthy food that is causing obesity. It’s easy to eat healthy on a budget. My family and I do it every day.
    I think it’s the so-called ” ‘health’ ‘food’ ” that’s causing obesity. How often have you been in the checkout line and seen fat people stocking up on “diet” foods? Are they working? Clearly not!
    Americans have forgotten how to eat healthy, thanks to government propaganda saying that fat, salt, and cholesterol are bad for you.
    Eat whatever you want and don’t feel guilty about it. Don’t overeat. Obey your hunger. It’s as simple as that.
    http://feedingjimmy.com/the-livet/

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