According to a brand new Gallup poll, 80 percent of Americans believe that we are in a recession right now. Of course the government insists that the recession ended quite some time ago, but apparently the message is not sinking in. Not only that, most Americans also do not believe that things are going to get better any time soon. According to the Gallup poll, 61 percent of Americans believe that the economy will be the same as it is right now or will be even worse one year from now. Two years ago, only 35 percent of Americans felt that way. Talk about pessimism! So are we depressed as a nation? Have too many people been reading the Economic Collapse Blog? How do we account for such strange numbers?
Certainly there are some areas of the country that are still doing quite well. If you live in an area that is closely tied to the federal government (Washington D.C.), the big Wall Street banks (New York) or corporate America (Silicon Valley, etc.), then you can go out on the weekends and find packed restaurants and mall parking lots that are overflowing.
But most of the rest of the country is really hurting.
Tonight, there are millions upon millions of Americans that won't sleep well at all because they are trying to figure out how to get back on their feet. It can be really tough to keep going when you have been searching for work for years and still nobody will hire you. If you have a family, it is easy to feel like a failure when you have to look your spouse and your children in the eyes day after day knowing that they are depending on you.
If you have never been through it, then you should not mock those that are depressed because they cannot find work. Losing a good job and not being able to find another one can be an absolutely soul-crushing experience.
So why do 80 percent of Americans believe that we are in a recession right now?
Well, it is because that is what it feels like for most people.
For example, a reader identified as Carol recently shared the following with us....
My unemployment ends the end of December, yes, I will be one of the 99′ers, one that did not sit at home and eat potato chips, drink soda and watch TV. I have no health insurance, I support myself and cannot afford it. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis last fall. Not to mention, degenerative disc disease, and osteoporosis. But I have continued to pursue work and regain employment, despite my health. I have no other choice but to fight and PRAY!
It amazes me at the stupidity of the general population, who still have their heads in the sand. The majority have no idea what is actually going on in our country on the political or economic side.
What would you do if you found out you were sick, you had no job, no health insurance and you were rapidly running out of money?
Please pray for those that are out of work. You never know when it will be you that needs some assistance.
For those that still believe that the economy is doing "great", let's review some of the cold, hard facts....
*46.2 million Americans were living in poverty in 2010.
*14 million Americans are officially unemployed.
*6 million Americans have been unemployed for at least half a year.
*8.8 million Americans are working part-time because they cannot find full-time jobs.
*Only 63.5 percent of all men in the United States had a job during the month of July.
*Zero jobs were created in the United States during the month of August.
*Median household income has fallen for three years in a row.
*49.9 million Americans do not have any health insurance at all.
*The percentage of Americans covered by employer-based health plans has fallen for 11 years in a row.
*More than 45 million Americans (a new all-time record) are on food stamps.
If you are still doing really well, be thankful for that. Don't use the fact that you are on top of the hill as an opportunity to look down on others.
Unfortunately, as I talked about in a recent article, the U.S. economy continues to get even worse.
It certainly does not help that we continue to see millions of jobs shipped overseas. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are proposing anything that will stop the bleeding.
A lot of very skilled Americans are being put out of work by all of this offshoring. For example, a reader identified as GlennA recently shared the following with us....
Yes, lurking in the shadows, that’s been me. A professional man with a master’s degree in a technical who has not worked at a full-time job with benefits since mid 2009. Spent my last 2 years with the company offshoring to India all my team’s work. I hear through the grapevine that quality there has gone completely off a cliff, but profits are OK.
Have had only sporadic benefitless contract work ever since, and am now down to my last few bucks.
All of the horrible natural disasters that we have experienced this year are not helping things either. As I have written about previously, in many ways this has been the worst year for natural disasters in modern U.S. history.
In a recent article for Newsday, Jennifer Wheary described the impact these horrible natural disasters have had on many areas of the country that were already facing tough economic times....
But after decades of disappearing jobs, declining wages and increasing expenses, this is no longer the case. As a result, people across New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maryland, the Carolinas, Texas and elsewhere lack the savings needed to weather these unexpected economic shocks. Well before the spate of recent bad weather, or the recent recession, millions of middle- and working-class families were already under water.
Right now, even the vast majority of American families that still do have jobs are barely scraping by. At this point, "financial security" is just a far off dream for most Americans.
So what are our leaders doing about this?
Well, as I have written about previously, the Obama jobs plan is a complete joke. It is really quite sad if that was his best shot. His plan would spend a lot of money, but just like the last "stimulus plan", it would not create many jobs at all.
The Federal Reserve has decided that it better jump into action again. The Federal Reserve has just announced that it is going to sell $400 billion of its short-term U.S. Treasuries and will use that money to buy $400 billion of long-term U.S. Treasuries. The Fed is hoping that this will lower interest rates on mortgages and home loans and will help to spur the economy.
So will this fix our economic problems? No, it will have even less of an impact than QE2 did. But the Fed wants to at least appear as if it is trying to do something.
The Federal Reserve has also pledged an "unlimited" amount of dollars to help bail out big European banks in October, November and December.
It is quite frustrating that virtually nobody in the mainstream media seems upset that the Federal Reserve is going to be showering European banks with cheap loans. Apparently they must all think that this is a wonderful idea, or perhaps they are just too preoccupied with talking about "The X Factor".
In any event, it does look like the global financial system may need some propping up very soon. Yesterday, I shared 21 signs that the financial world is on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
Well, here are a couple more....
Right now, corporate insiders are selling 7 dollars of stock for every 1 dollar of stock that they are buying.
That is a very troubling sign.
Another troubling sign is that Moody's has just downgraded the credit ratings of Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America.
The last time we saw so much financial chaos was back in 2008.
We all remember what happened back then.
At this point, things are still so bad that 80 percent of Americans believe that we are still in a recession.
So what are things going to look like if there is another major financial crash in the coming months?
Will we soon see millions more Americans going dumpster diving as they hunt for something to eat?
Will we see even more tent cities start popping up all over the nation?
Will we see even more elderly people freeze in their own homes because they can't afford to heat them?
Already, more than one out of every five children in the United States is living in poverty.
How much worse can things get?
Unfortunately, they can get a lot worse.
If you think that Americans are depressed now, just wait and see what happens after the next financial crisis.
This country is going to become unglued in a major way.
Buckle up and hold on tight because it is going to be a bumpy ride.