There are millions of American families that once lived very comfortable middle class lifestyles that have lost it all. When you are unemployed and you can’t find a decent job, it can crush your soul. Every day you can see the disappointment or the disapproval in the eyes of your family and friends, and it can be really easy to want to give up completely. And then there are always those that choose to actively vocalize their disdain for those that are down on their luck. But telling people “to get a job” or shaming them for being on welfare isn’t going to solve anything in an economy where there simply are not enough jobs for everyone. Only a small minority of welfare recipients are actually trying to abuse the system. Most people just want to work hard and take care of their families. Unfortunately, that is much harder to do than it was before the last financial crisis.
At this point, our economy has stabilized at a much lower level than it was at before. For example, 32 million Americans were on food stamps when Barack Obama took office, and subsequently that number shot up to about 47 million. Fortunately, that number has been relatively stable for the last couple of years, but there has been no recovery. This can be seen in lots of other economic statistics as well.
If we were going to have an “economic recovery”, it should have happened by now.
Unfortunately, it has not materialized, and now the next downturn is coming.
Since I run a website called “The Economic Collapse”, a lot of people seem to assume that I actually want an economic collapse to happen. But that is not the truth at all. I love this country, and just like most other people I really enjoy life in modern America. I wish that the party could go on forever. But I know that it cannot.
And every day I hear from people that are deeply suffering in this economy. Anyone that has a heart that hears of such suffering would want things to get better. Why would anyone want to see even more pain?
But I know that more pain is coming.
In the years ahead, a tremendous amount of love and compassion are going to be needed. When people lose their jobs, their entire lives can be turned upside down. Just consider the case of one formerly middle class woman named Abby Henson…
Last winter I ran into a friend pushing his two youngest children in a stroller. When I asked how he was doing, he told me he’d recently lost his job. I walked away thinking, “Thank God that’s not us.” Fast-forward seven months and now we’re the family people walk away from with a sigh of relief.
One day this summer, my husband came home early from work with the news he’d lost his job. Since then, we’ve gone through all the stages of grief, with a few additions of our own. I’ve gone into what I’ve dubbed “Mama Bear mode,” wanting to do everything with my husband and our two small children, maybe because I just don’t want to face anyone alone. “How are you doing?” is a hard question to answer in the rush of school pickup. So I keep my mate and cubs close, or we hibernate at home, trying to avoid scrutiny.
Sadly, this kind of thing has happened to millions of families. Those that doubt this just need to look at the survey numbers.
Back in 2008, 53 percent of all Americans considered themselves to be “middle class”.
In 2014, only 44 percent of all Americans still consider themselves to be “middle class”.
This next story that I want to share with you is from a reader named Joe. Please look past the lack of punctuation, and consider what he is saying. This is a man that has had his heart broken…
im not sure whats worse. never having a career and family or losing them both. i know that when i got the honor of handing 20 years of hard work to the chinese it plunged me in to despair and a horrible spin. 3 years later and a college degree and ive lost my home and my family over it. and all i got was, you could have, you should have. so its all my fault that someone elses greed caused all this. by the way the corporate CEO that did this makes 7 million bucks a year. she caused 2 divorces. a dozen early forced retirements, countless career losses and multiple wrecked families. im lucky i still have my RV which is home now. i used to have a nice 4 bedroom house with all the middle class trimmings. now i consider myself lucky to have a job where i barely make the space rent and no hope of recovering my former career or my family. i had it all and lost it so i dont know whats worse having or never having it at all and pining for it. either way it hurts knowing that no one wants you after you fall apart youre just a hot potato. all i know is that im lost with no hope with a clean 30 year work history thats now moot. in retrospect i wish i had stayed in the saddle and kept riding my motorcycle till i was no more.
And it is not just older Americans that are suffering in this economy.
Many young people that worked incredibly hard through school and that did everything “right” now find the door to the middle class completely shut. The following is testimony from a recent college graduate that is incredibly sad…
I’m a college graduate. I live at home. I am on food stamps. I graduated about two years ago and the only work I’ve been able to get is sign waving. Temp agencies are all so flooded with applicants they are almost useless. I’ve sent out hundreds of resumes, filled out dozens of applications, and nothing ever happens. Everyone acts like it’s YOUR fault. That used to be hurtful, but now I’m past caring, because I realize what life holds for me: nothing. I will never have a family or career. I will never own a home or even live on my own again. I will never be able to have a social life again. I will never be financially independent, like I was for a brief period of time at an age younger than most because I worked so hard for it. And all of it was for this nothing. A lifetime of hard work, completely wasted. I wish I had just partied and screwed around my whole life – the outcome probably would have been better.
The despair that our young adults are feeling right now shows up very clearly in the survey numbers.
Back in 2008, 25 percent of all Americans in the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket considered themselves to be “lower class”.
In 2014, 49 percent of them do.
That is an astounding shift in just six years.
Anyone that believes that the U.S. economy is “just fine” is crazy.
When you lose everything, it can plunge you into a spiral of depression and desperation that can be incredibly difficult to break free from.
Some people get tempted to give up completely, but that is never a good answer.
I hope that some people will take hope from a comment that a reader named Paul left on one of my recent articles…
Due to a lack of job security and all the bad economic news I have lapsed into a clinical depression. I have been susceptible to anxiety and depression in the past. However, I did not have to deal with a bout of depression for about 5 years. I am writing this as a wakeup call to other people who may be feeling what I am feeling right now. I am extremely angry about the rampant corruption, laziness, hubris, and ignorance that is permeating through society today. I have shifted between anger, apathy, and sadness. However, I have family that I must protect. One of my purposes in life is to give people hope. Also, below is a list of actions I took to combat my depression.
· Take up a new hobby. Dancing helped me.
· Take stock of how your life impacts others.
· Prepare for harder times ahead. This is extremely empowering.
· Engage in acts of kindness. I found a twenty dollar bill on the floor at a store. Instead of keeping it I gave it to lost and found at customer service. I also removed a sharp piece of wood from the middle of a residential street.
· I remember the saying “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem” Feelings of sadness, anger, hopelessness are transitory. If you have thoughts about taking your life please get help.
· Typing this has made me feel better.
I will continue to fight my depression. I am in a dark place right now. However, I am searching for the light.
Please pray for Paul and others just like him as they struggle with their pain.
The truth is that there is always hope.
If you are reading this and you are hurting, I want you to know that almost everyone hits a very deep low at some point. But if you keep fighting, there is always a way for things to be turned around.
Personally, God took the broken pieces of my life and turned them into a beautiful thing, and He can do the same for you.
So never, ever, ever give up.
Yes, very challenging economic times are coming.
But our lives should not be defined by our material possessions anyway.
Personally, I am very glad to be alive during this time of human history. When times are the darkest, that is when light is needed the most. And times of great crisis also often bring great opportunity as well.
The years ahead are going to present an awesome opportunity to make a difference in this world.
Don’t miss out.
The unelected central planners at the Federal Reserve have decided that the time has come to slightly taper the amount of quantitative easing that it has been doing. On Wednesday, the Fed announced that monthly purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds will be reduced from $45 billion to $40 billion, and monthly purchases of mortgage-backed securities will be reduced from $35 billion to $30 billion. When this news came out, it sent shockwaves through financial markets all over the planet. But the truth is that not that much has really changed. The Federal Reserve will still be recklessly creating gigantic mountains of new money out of thin air and massively intervening in the financial marketplace. It will just be slightly less than before. However, this very well could represent a very important psychological turning point for investors. It is a signal that “the party is starting to end” and that the great bull market of the past four years is drawing to a close. So what is all of this going to mean for average Americans? The following are 8 ways that “the taper” is going to affect you and your family…
1. Interest Rates Are Going To Go Up
Following the announcement on Wednesday, the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries went up to 2.89% and even CNBC admitted that the taper is a “bad omen for bonds“. Thousands of other interest rates in our economy are directly affected by the 10 year rate, and so if that number climbs above 3 percent and stays there, that is going to be a sign that a significant slowdown of economic activity is ahead.
2. Home Sales Are Likely Going To Go Down
Mortgage rates are heavily influenced by the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries. Because the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries is now substantially higher than it was earlier this year, mortgage rates have also gone up. That is one of the reasons why the number of mortgage applications just hit a new 13 year low. And now if rates go even higher that is going to tighten things up even more. If your job is related to the housing industry in any way, you should be extremely concerned about what is coming in 2014.
3. Your Stocks Are Going To Go Down
Yes, I know that stocks skyrocketed today. The Dow closed at a new all-time record high, and I can’t really provide any rational explanation for why that happened. When the announcement was originally made, stocks initially sold off. But then they rebounded in a huge way and the Dow ended up close to 300 points.
A few months ago, when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke just hinted that a taper might be coming soon, stocks fell like a rock. I have a feeling that the Fed orchestrated things this time around to make sure that the stock market would have a positive reaction to their news. But of course I absolutely cannot prove this at all. I hope someday we learn the truth about what actually happened on Wednesday afternoon. I have a feeling that there was some direct intervention in the markets shortly after the announcement was made and then the momentum algorithms took over from there.
In any event, what we do know is that when QE1 ended stocks fell dramatically and the same thing happened when QE2 ended. If you doubt this, just check out this chart.
Of course QE3 is not being ended, but this tapering sends a signal to investors that the days of “easy money” are over and that we have reached the peak of the market.
And if you are at the peak of the market, what is the logical thing to do?
Sell, sell, sell.
But in order to sell, you are going to need to have buyers.
And who is going to want to buy stocks when there is no upside left?
4. The Money In Your Bank Account Is Constantly Being Devalued
When a new dollar is created, the value of each existing dollar that you hold goes down. And thanks to the Federal Reserve, the pace of money creation in this country has gone exponential in recent years. Just check out what has been happening to M1. It has nearly doubled since the financial crisis of 2008…
The Federal Reserve has been behaving like the Weimar Republic, and this tapering does not change that very much. Even with this tapering, the Fed is still going to be creating money out of thin air at an absolutely insane rate.
And for those that insist that what the Federal Reserve is doing is “working”, it is important to remember that the crazy money printing that the Weimar Republic did worked for them for a little while too before ending in complete and utter disaster.
5. Quantitative Easing Has Been Causing The Cost Of Living To Rise
The Federal Reserve insists that we are in a time of “low inflation”, but anyone that goes to the grocery store or that pays bills on a regular basis knows what a lie that is. The truth is that if the inflation rate was still calculated the same way that it was back when Jimmy Carter was president, the official rate of inflation would be somewhere between 8 and 10 percent today.
Most of the new money created by quantitative easing has ended up in the hands of the very wealthy, and it is in the things that the very wealthy buy that we are seeing the most inflation. As one CNBC article recently stated, we are seeing absolutely rampant inflation in “stocks and bonds and art and Ferraris and farmland“.
6. Quantitative Easing Did Not Reduce Unemployment And Tapering Won’t Either
The Federal Reserve actually first began engaging in quantitative easing back in late 2008. As you can see from the chart below, the percentage of Americans that are actually working is lower today than it was back then…
The mainstream media continues to insist that quantitative easing was all about “stimulating the economy” and that it is now okay to cut back on quantitative easing because “unemployment has gone down”. Hopefully you can see that what the mainstream media has been telling you has been a massive lie. According to the government’s own numbers, the percentage of Americans with a job has stayed at a remarkably depressed level since the end of 2010. Anyone that tries to tell you that we have had an “employment recovery” is either very ignorant or is flat out lying to you.
7. The Rest Of The World Is Going To Continue To Lose Faith In Our Financial System
Everyone else around the world has been watching the Federal Reserve recklessly create hundreds of billions of dollars out of thin air and use it to monetize staggering amounts of government debt. They have been warning us to stop doing this, but the Fed has been slow to listen.
The greatest damage that quantitative easing has been causing to our economy does not involve the short-term effects that most people focus on. Rather, the greatest damage that quantitative easing has been causing to our economy is the fact that it is destroying worldwide faith in the U.S. dollar and in U.S. debt.
Right now, far more U.S. dollars are used outside the country than inside the country. The rest of the world uses U.S. dollars to trade with one another, and major exporting nations stockpile massive amounts of our dollars and our debt.
We desperately need the rest of the world to keep playing our game, because we have become very dependent on getting super cheap exports from them and we have become very dependent on them lending us trillions of our own dollars back to us.
If the rest of the world decides to move away from the U.S. dollar and U.S. debt because of the incredibly reckless behavior of the Federal Reserve, we are going to be in a massive amount of trouble. Our current economic prosperity greatly depends upon everyone else using our dollars as the reserve currency of the world and lending trillions of dollars back to us at ultra-low interest rates.
And there are signs that this is already starting to happen. In fact, China recently announced that they are going to quit stockpiling more U.S. dollars. This is one of the reasons why the Fed felt forced to do something on Wednesday.
But what the Fed did was not nearly enough. It is still going to be creating $75 billion out of thin air every single month, and the rest of the world is going to continue to lose more faith in our system the longer this continues.
8. The Economy As A Whole Is Going To Continue To Get Even Worse
Despite more than four years of unprecedented money printing by the Federal Reserve, the overall U.S. economy has continued to decline. If you doubt this, please see my previous article entitled “37 Reasons Why ‘The Economic Recovery Of 2013′ Is A Giant Lie“.
And no matter what the Fed does now, our decline will continue. The tragic downfall of small cities such as Salisbury, North Carolina are perfect examples of what is happening to our country as a whole…
During the three-year period ending in 2009, Salisbury’s poverty rate of 16% was about 3% higher than the national rate. In the following three-year period between 2010 and 2012, the city’s poverty rate was approaching 30%. Salisbury has traditionally relied heavily on the manufacturing sector, particularly textiles and fabrics. In recent decades, however, manufacturing activity has declined significantly and continues to do so. Between 2010 and 2012, manufacturing jobs in Salisbury — as a percent of the workforce — shrank from 15.5% to 8.3%.
But the truth is that you don’t have to travel far to see evidence of our economic demise for yourself. All you have to do is to go down to the local shopping mall. Sears has experienced sales declines for 27 quarters in a row, and at this point Sears is a dead man walking. The following is from a recent article by Wolf Richter…
The market share of Sears – including K-Mart – has dropped to 2% in 2013 from 2.9% in 2005. Sales have declined for years. The company lost money in fiscal 2012 and 2013. Unless a miracle happens, and they don’t happen very often in retail, it will lose a ton in fiscal 2014, ending in January: for the first three quarters, it’s $1 billion in the hole.
Despite that glorious track record, and no discernible turnaround, the junk-rated company has had no trouble hoodwinking lenders into handing it a $1 billion loan that matures in 2018, to pay off an older loan that would have matured two years earlier.
And J.C. Penney is suffering a similar fate. According to Richter, the company has lost a staggering 1.6 billion dollars over the course of the last year…
Then there’s J.C. Penney. Sales plunged 27% over the last three years. It lost over $1.6 billion over the last four quarters. It installed a revolving door for CEOs. It desperately needed to raise capital; it was bleeding cash, and its suppliers and landlords had already bitten their fingernails to the quick. So the latest new CEO, namely its former old CEO Myron Ullman, set out to extract more money from the system, borrowing $1.75 billion and raising $785 million in a stock sale at the end of September that became infamous the day he pulled it off.
So don’t believe the hype.
The economy is getting worse, not better.
Quantitative easing did not “rescue the economy”, but it sure has made our long-term problems a whole lot worse.
And this “tapering” is not a sign of better things to come. Rather, it is a sign that the bubble of false prosperity that we have been enjoying for the past few years is beginning to end.
The family is one of the fundamental building blocks of society. If you do not have strong families, you are not going to have a strong society. Unfortunately, the state of the family in America continues to deteriorate. The marriage rate has fallen to an all-time low, we lead the world in divorce, and about a third of all children live in a home without a father. Our young people have been taught that getting married and having a family is not a priority, and many of those that would like to get married and have children are not able to get the kinds of jobs that they need to support a family. The statistics that you are about to see should absolutely shock you. American families have never been this weak, and this is an incredibly troubling sign for the future of our nation. What will future generations of Americans be like if they do not have stable homes to grow up in? Will they be even more messed up than we are right now? That is a frightening thought. The following are 27 facts that prove that the family in America is in the worst shape ever…
#1 The marriage rate in the United States has fallen to an all-time low. Right now it is sitting at a yearly rate of 6.8 marriages per 1000 people.
#2 Today, an all-time low 44.2 percent of Americans in the 25 to 34 year old age bracket are married.
#3 According to the Pew Research Center, only 51 percent of all adults in the United States are currently married. Back in 1960, 72 percent of all adults in the United States were married.
#4 Back in 1950, 78 percent of all households in the United States contained a married couple. Today, that number has declined to 48 percent.
#5 100 years ago, 4.52 were living in the average U.S. household, but now the average U.S. household only consists of 2.59 people.
#6 The United States has the highest percentage of one person households on the entire planet.
#7 In the United States today, more than half of all couples “move in together” before they get married.
#8 The divorce rate for couples that live together first is significantly higher than for those that do not.
#9 For women under the age of 30 in the United States, more than half of all babies are being born out of wedlock.
#10 In 1970, the average woman had her first child when she was 21.4 years old. Now the average woman has her first child when she is 25.6 years old.
#11 According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were 69.3 births per 1,000 women in the 15 to 44 year old age bracket in 2007. Now the rate has fallen to 63.2 births per 1,000 women.
#12 The birth rate for American women in the 20 to 24 year old age bracket has fallen to 85.3 births per 1,000 women. That is a new all-time record low.
#13 The United States has the highest divorce rate in the entire world.
#14 At this point, approximately one out of every three children in the United States lives in a home without a father.
#15 Without a father around, many single mothers in this country are really struggling to survive. Sadly, approximately 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States are on food stamps.
#16 It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point before they reach the age of 18.
#17 Today, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless. This is the first time that has ever happened in our history.
#18 The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the entire world. In fact, the United States has a teen pregnancy rate that is more than twice as high as Canada, more than three times as high as France and more than seven times as high as Japan.
#19 In the United States today, approximately 47 percent of all high school students have had sex.
#20 Approximately one out of every four teen girls in the United States has at least one sexually transmitted disease.
#21 According to one survey, 24 percent of all U.S. teens that have at least one sexually transmitted disease say that they still have unprotected sex.
#22 Instead of being raised by parents, an increasing number of children in America are being raised by movies, television and video games. For example, the average young American will spend 10,000 hours playing video games before the age of 21.
#23 Americans are tied with the British for the highest average number of hours spent watching television each week.
#24 There are more than 3 million reports of child abuse in the United States every single year.
#25 The United States actually has the highest child abuse death rate in the developed world.
#26 Approximately 20 percent of all child sexual abuse victims in the United States are under the age of 8.
#27 It is estimated that one out of every four girls will be sexually abused before they become adults.
Unfortunately, this is a problem that is not going to be fixed overnight. Getting the “right politicians” into office will not solve our problems and neither will spending a bunch of money.
The change that we need is a change of the heart. We need to change how we treat one another and we need to get our priorities straight.
Our families are really messed up, and this is hurting our kids the most. There is no way that this country is going to have any hope for a bright future unless our families start getting stronger.
Or could it be possible that I am overreacting?
What do you think?
Please feel free to share your thoughts about the state of the family in America by posting a comment below…
Do you think that is an alarmist headline? Well, I am not the one saying this. Law enforcement authorities all over the country are telling citizens that they can no longer deal with all the crime and that people need to lock their doors and prepare to defend their families. Just recently, the city attorney of San Bernardino, California told citizens to “lock their doors and load their guns” because there is not enough money to pay for adequate police protection any longer. The murder rate in San Bernardino is up 50 percent this year, but the city is dealing with bankruptcy and has been forced to lay off 80 police officers. But San Bernardino is not the only city dealing with this kind of a thing. In Oakland, burglaries are up 43 percent so far this year, and to say that there is a “crime wave” going on in Oakland would be a massive understatement. If you can believe it, in Oakland “more than 11,000 homes, cars or businesses have been broken into so far this year – translating to about 33 burglaries a day.” Sadly, there simply are not enough police to keep up with it all. Due to budget cuts, it is being projected that by February the size of the police force in Oakland will be about 25 percent smaller than it was back in 2008. But what is happening in Detroit is perhaps even more frightening. Today there are about 1,000 fewer police officers in Detroit than there was a decade ago. But crime just continues to rise. So now even the police are telling people to “enter Detroit at your own risk“. With very little police protection, an increasing number of citizens are taking matters into their own hands. As I noted in a previous article, justifiable homicide in the city of Detroit increased by 79 percent in 2011, and the rate of self-defense killings in Detroit is approximately 2200 percent above the national average. But don’t laugh at what is happening in cities like San Bernardino, Oakland and Detroit. What is happening in those cities will be coming to your community soon enough.
From coast to coast, criminals are becoming increasingly bold and increasingly desperate. My sister lives near a large city in the middle part of the country, and a house across the street from the one her family just moved into was recently vandalized. The criminals took all of the exposed copper pipe and copper wire that could be accessed easily.
Other criminals have become very focused on gold because it has soared in value and it is easy to resell. For example, there have been more than 250 gold chain robberies in Stockton, California just since the month of April. According to the CBS News affiliate in Sacramento, criminals are just ripping these chains right off of the necks of unsuspecting citizens, and many of the victims that have tried to resist have ended up getting hurt. Normally the criminals sell off the jewelry within 24 hours, so solving these crimes is a real challenge…
Most victims of the robberies are female (65 percent), and 44 percent of victims are age 50 or older, the data showed. The most common time of day for the crimes were between 12 and 5 p.m., though this only accounts for about a third of the crime.
Parino said robbers took even police by surprise initially.
“When [criminals] do these crimes, they normally get rid of the items within 24 hours,” he said.
That’s why police are now checking up on secondhand stores and pawn shops on a weekly basis.
Many dismiss reports such as these as “anomalies”, but how many “anomalies” do we need before we finally admit that we have a widespread problem in our society?
Personally, there are many major U.S. cities that I would not want to be living right in the middle of right now.
Just take a look at Chicago. It has become one of the deadliest major cities on the entire globe. In recent years we have seen massive cuts to the police budget coupled with a dramatic increase in gang activity in Chicago.
The murder rate in Chicago is way up this year and the police force is massively outnumbered.
As I have written about previously, there are only about 200 police officers assigned to Chicago’s Gang Enforcement Unit. It is their job to handle the estimated 100,000 gang members living in the city.
How would you like to be outnumbered 100,000 to 200?
When things really hit the fan, Chicago is going to be a complete and utter nightmare.
And sometimes we get a peek into how people will behave when things break down. Just look at what happened during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
If you can believe it, some criminals actually took advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday to loot homes in the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens. That was the neighborhood where approximately 100 homes burned down. The suffering of the residents of that neighborhood made headlines all over the nation. But that has not stopped criminals from moving in and taking advantage of their vulnerability…
Cops told the victims burglaries are on the rise in Breezy Point.
There were 14 home break-ins from Nov. 12 to Nov. 18, compared with none a year before.
And in the 28 days before that, there were 48 burglaries. Only four break-ins were reported in that time period the year before.
In the days after Sandy, some of the hardest-hit areas were plagued with store looting, home burglaries, street muggings and other crimes.
There are some very sick people out there. These days you simply do not know who you can trust. The person you meet on the street may be perfectly fine or they may be a total sicko. It is so hard to tell. But without a doubt there are a lot of sickos out there. Just check out what authorities in Pennsylvania found recently…
Animal welfare workers say 11 puppies were found dead and skinned near an eastern Pennsylvania park.
Sadly, authorities in that area had come across another similar incident recently…
The discovery is second disturbing incident in the county in less than a week. About 20 miles away in Lynn Township police say a dog was discovered skinned and cooked.
Who would do such things?
What in the world is happening to this country?
Things are changing, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. As conditions shift, we are all going to have to carefully evaluate what is necessary to protect our families. Don’t ignore all of the warning signs. Sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that everything is going to be okay is not going to help anything.
So what do all of you think about all of this? Please feel free to post a comment with your opinion below…
Have you ever laid in bed awake at night with a knot in your stomach because you didn’t know how your family was possibly going to make it through the next month financially? Have you ever felt the desperation of not being able to provide the basic necessities for your family even though you tried as hard as you could? All over America tonight, there are millions of desperate families that are being ripped apart by this economy. There aren’t nearly enough jobs, and millions of Americans that actually do have jobs aren’t making enough to even provide the basics for their families. When you have tried everything that you can think of and nothing works, it can be absolutely soul crushing. Today, one of my regular readers explained that he was not going to be online for a while because his power had been turned off. He has been out of work for quite a while, and eventually the money runs out. Have you ever been there? If you have ever experienced that moment, you know that it stays with you for the rest of your life. If you are single that is bad enough, but when you have to look into the eyes of your children and explain to them why there won’t be any dinner tonight or why they have to move into a homeless shelter it can feel like someone has driven a stake into your heart. In this article you will find a lot of very shocking economic statistics. But please remember that behind each statistic are the tragic stories of millions of desperately hurting American families.
Over the past decade, things have steadily gotten worse for American families no matter what our politicians have tried. Poverty and government dependence continue to rise. The cost of living continues to go up and incomes continue to go down. It is truly frightening to think about what this country is going to look like if current trends continue.
The following are 37 facts that show how cruel this economy has been to millions of desperate American families…
1. One recent survey discovered that 40 percent of all Americans have $500 or less in savings.
2. A different recent survey found that 28 percent of all Americans do not have a single penny saved for emergencies.
3. In the United States today, there are close to 10 million households that do not have a single bank account. That number has increased by about a million since 2009.
4. Family homelessness in the Washington D.C. region (one of the wealthiest regions in the entire country) has risen 23 percent since the last recession began.
5. The number of Americans living in poverty has increased by about 6 million over the past four years.
6. Median household income has fallen for four years in a row. Overall, it has declined by more than $4000 over the past four years.
7. 62 percent of middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.
8. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 85 percent of middle class Americans say that it is more difficult to maintain a middle class standard of living today than it was 10 years ago.
9. In the United States today, 77 percent of all Americans are living to paycheck to paycheck at least some of the time.
10. In the United States today, more than 41 percent of all working age Americans are not working.
11. Since January 2009, the “labor force” in the United States has increased by 827,000, but “those not in the labor force” has increased by 8,208,000. This is how they have gotten the unemployment numbers to “come down”.
12. Sadly, 60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.
13. Today, about one out of every four workers in the United States brings home wages that are at or below the federal poverty level.
14. Right now, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.
15. At this point, less than 25 percent of all jobs in the United States are “good jobs”, and that number continues to shrink.
16. There are now 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing. That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.
17. According to USA Today, many Americans have actually seen their water bills triple over the past 12 years.
18. Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.
19. In 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance. Today, only 55.1 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.
20. Health insurance premiums rose faster than the overall rate of inflation in 2011 and that is happening once again in 2012. In fact, it has been happening for a very long time.
21. According to one recent survey, approximately 10 percent of all employers in the United States plan to drop health coverage when key provisions of the new health care law kick in less than two years from now.
22. Back in 1983, the bottom 95 percent of all income earners had 62 cents of debt for every dollar that they earned. By 2007, that figure had soared to $1.48.
23. Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.
24. Total consumer debt in the United States has risen by 1700 percent since 1971.
25. Recently it was announced that total student loan debt in the United States has passed the one trillion dollar mark.
26. According to one recent survey, approximately one-third of all Americans are not paying their bills on time at this point.
27. Right now, approximately 25 million American adults are living at home with their parents.
28. The percentage of Americans that find that they are able to retire when they reach retirement age continues to decline. According to one new survey, 70 percent of middle class Americans plan to work during retirement and 30 percent plan to work until they are at least 80 years old.
29. The U.S. economy lost more than 220,000 small businesses during the recent recession.
30. In 2010, the number of jobs created at new businesses in the United States was less than half of what it was back in the year 2000.
31. Back in 2007, 19.2 percent of all American families had a net worth of zero or less than zero. By 2010, that figure had soared to 32.5 percent.
32. Approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered to be either “low income” or impoverished.
33. In the United States today, somewhere around 100 million Americans are considered to be either “poor” or “near poor”.
34. In October 2008, 30.8 million Americans were on food stamps. Today, 46.7 million Americans are on food stamps.
35. Approximately one-fourth of all children in the United States are enrolled in the food stamp program.
36. Right now, more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government. And that does not even count Social Security or Medicare.
37. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an all-time record 49 percent of all Americans live in a home where at least one person receives financial assistance from the federal government. Back in 1983, that number was less than 30 percent.
What makes all of this even more frightening is that many homeless shelters and food banks around the nation are so overloaded at this point that they are already over capacity. Just consider this example…
When Janice Coe, a homeless advocate in Loudoun County, learned through her prayer group that a young woman was sleeping in the New Carrollton Metro station with a toddler and a 2-month-old, she sprang into action.
Coe contacted the young woman and arranged for her to take the train to Virginia, where she put the little family up in a Comfort Suites hotel. Then Coe began calling shelters to see who could take them.
Despite several phone calls, she came up empty. Coe was shocked to learn that many of the local shelters that cater to families were full, including Good Shepherd Alliance, where Coe was once director of social services.
“I don’t know why nobody will take this girl in,” Coe said. “The baby still had a hospital bracelet on her wrist.”
Keep in mind that Loudoun Country is smack dab in the middle of one of the wealthiest areas of Virginia.
So if things are that bad in the wealthy areas, exactly how bad are things getting in many of the poorer areas?
Unfortunately, things continue to get worse for this economy. DuPont has just announced plans to eliminate 1,500 jobs. There are more major layoff announcements almost every single day. So how bad will things get when our crumbling economic system finally collapses? When kind of chaos will be unleashed all over the nation when millions upon millions of Americans finally lose all hope?
In the introduction to this article, I mentioned that one of my regular readers has had his lights turned off. The following is how he described his situation…
No gas, no water, no electricity at my house. Couldn’t pay the bills. I’m broke. Desperately searching for any means of income, or at least enough cash to get the juice (electricity) restored.
Typing this missive in a dark house using the battery on my laptop. Feels like I’m camping out at home. Hope to get this situation fixed tomorrow… somehow. Needless to say, I *…. hate this.
I was ready for this, but it is still a major league inconvenience. For those of you who DO have power, etc. – and are not ready… oh brother. You need to get ready. Seriously, you do. Because what I’m going through is just an inconvenience. It may someday be a normal occurence. Ugh. (expletives deleted)
Hopefully a way can be found to get his situation turned around, but the truth is that there are tens of millions of other similar stories out there in America today.
What about you? What are things like in your neck of the woods? Please feel free to share your thoughts below…
If you are unemployed for an extended period of time, people are going to look at you differently. Unfortunately, this is especially true if you are a man. In our society, men are primarily defined by “what they do”. If you have been unemployed for a long period of time, that can make social interactions even more awkward than normal. Most people will instantly become more uncomfortable around you when they find out that you are unemployed. Many will look at you with pity, and others will actually look at you with disdain. Women will not want to date you, and if you are in a relationship unemployment will put a tremendous amount of strain on it. Once you “don’t have a job”, you will not get the same level of respect from former co-workers, friends, members of your own family and possibly even your own wife. So why does our society look down on unemployed men so much? Well, it is generally expected that men are supposed to be the “breadwinners” for their families. If a woman stays home with the kids nobody has any problems with that, but if men do the same thing it tends to raise eyebrows. But there is a big problem. Our economy is not producing enough jobs for everyone. In fact, there are millions upon millions more workers than there are jobs. It would be great if this was just a temporary situation, but as I have written about previously, there will never be enough jobs in America ever again. So there will continually be millions upon millions of men that are looked down upon by society because they can’t get jobs, and as a result we are going to have millions upon millions of men that are constantly battling against soul-crushing despair.
It can be really hard to “feel like a man” when you aren’t making any money.
And most women simply are not interested in becoming romantically involved with an unemployed man. Just check out what one recent survey found….
Of the 925 single women surveyed, 75 percent said they’d have a problem with dating someone without a job. Only 4 percent of respondents asked whether they would go out with an unemployed man answered “of course.”
“Not having a job will definitely make it harder for men to date someone they don’t already know,” Irene LaCota, a spokesperson for It’s Just Lunch, said in a press release. “This is the rare area, compared to other topics we’ve done surveys on, where women’s old-fashioned beliefs about sex roles seem to apply.”
Those are some pretty overwhelming numbers.
So is it the same way when the roles are reversed?
Not even close.
When men were asked the same question, the difference was absolutely shocking….
On the other hand, the prospect of dating an unemployed woman was not a problem for nearly two-thirds of men. In fact, 19 percent of men said they had no reservations and 46 percent of men said they were positive they would date an unemployed woman.
Admittedly, men are often thinking about other things when they are evaluating whether they want to date a women or not. Yes, there are some men these days that are concerned about how much money a woman makes, but the truth is that men tend to be much less concerned about income levels than women are.
In fact, a UK study that was released last year discovered that British women are even more concerned about the education and income of a potential mate than they were back in the 1940s.
So if you are unemployed you are probably not going to find much success in the romance department either.
If you are married, being unemployed is likely to put a huge strain on your marriage. The following is a short excerpt from a recent Business Insider article entitled “TRUE CONFESSION: I’m Sick Of My Unemployed Husband“….
I can’t even remember when my husband stopped working.
And frankly, I don’t have time to think about it, between my full-time job and my fledgling business, volunteering at an after-school program to help teenagers prepare for the professional world and mothering two children.
But when I do think about it–when I think about all the times I come home to see evidence of his entire day’s activities cluttering the coffee table, or when I have to take our shared car to work and strand him at home because he doesn’t feel like getting up to drive me–I’m angry.
If a husband is unemployed for an extended period of time, there is a very good chance that the wife is going to start feeling very resentful.
If things get bad enough, many women will pull the plug on their marriages and will get rid of their “unproductive” husbands.
Last year, Time Magazine reported on a study that indicated that unemployed men were significantly more likely to get divorced than employed men were.
My goal in writing this is not to “bash women”. I am just pointing out how hard things are for unemployed men in our society. Many wives (and their extended families) simply do not understand that our economy has fundamentally changed. In the old days just about any hard working man that wanted a job could go out and get one. That is most definitely NOT the case today.
Hopefully we can get more women to understand this. I know that it can be hard to be patient when your husband is unemployed for month after month after month.
But at a time when husbands need their support the most, many wives withdraw emotionally and become very angry.
For example, how many women have you ever heard declare how proud they are of their unemployed husbands?
Of course there are definitely situations where these roles are reversed and employed husbands are badgering their unemployed wives about getting a job, but in general our society tends to have a greater degree of tolerance for unemployed women than it does for unemployed men.
Sadly, most people simply do not understand how dramatically things have changed in our economy.
The following chart shows the stunning decline in the percentage of working age men with a job over the past 60 years….
Back in the 1950s, there were times when nearly 85 percent of all working age men had jobs.
We will never get back to anything close to that ever again.
Prior to the last recession, about 70 percent of all working age men were employed.
Since the end of the recession, that number has not gotten back to 65 percent at any point.
That means somewhere around 5 percent of all working age American men have been displaced from the workforce permanently.
The mainstream media would have us believe that we are experiencing an “economic recovery” but that is a massive lie. The real unemployment numbers are much worse than we have been told.
If you take a look at all working age Americans (men and women), there are actually more than 100 million of them that do not have jobs right now.
I know that statistic can be hard to believe. I had a hard time believing it at first. But it is actually true.
Meanwhile, the incomes of those who are working continue to fall. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the United States has fallen for four years in a row.
But this is not a trend that just started recently. According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 dropped by 27 percent after you account for inflation.
We are in the midst of a long-term economic decline and it is time for all of us to admit how bad things have really gotten.
So what are all of the men who are not working doing these days?
Well, there are some that have chosen to stay at home with the kids. In a previous article, I discussed how the number of “stay at home dads” has doubled over the past decade.
But the overall percentage of “Mr. Moms” is still very, very low according to Fox News….
There were only about 81,000 Mr. Moms in 2001, or about 1.6 percent of all stay-at-home parents. By last year, the number had climbed to 176,000, or 3.4 percent of stay-at-home parents, according to U.S. Census data.
The vast majority of working age men still want to work outside of the home and earn a living for their families.
Unfortunately, most families need more than one income to make it these days. In fact, in many cases both parents are working multiple jobs in an attempt to make ends meet.
Meanwhile, the number of good jobs continues to decline and the middle class in America continues to shrink.
This is hitting our young people that are just starting out particularly hard. For example, during 2011 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.
And as I have written about previously, this is resulting in huge numbers of our young people moving back home with Mom and Dad.
This is particularly true when it comes to young men. According to CNN, American men in the 25 to 34 age bracket are nearly twice as likely to live with their parents as women the same age are….
The number of adult children who live with their parents, especially young males, has soared since the economy started heading south. Among males age 25 to 34, 19% live with their parents today, a 5 percentage point increase from 2005, according to Census data released Thursday. Meanwhile, 10% of women in that age group live at home, up from 8% six years ago.
How are our young men going to be able to get married and start families if they can’t find jobs and they are living in our basements?
Sadly, things are really hard for everyone right now. Since June 2009, we have supposedly been in “the Obama recovery”, but median household income in America has fallen during that time period by $3040.
People keep waiting for things to “get better”, but it just isn’t happening. This was beautifully illustrated the other night during a Saturday Night Live skit that had “Barack Obama” speaking in front of a rally of unemployed and underemployed workers. You can find video of that skit right here.
There are millions upon millions of men (and women) all over America that are ready and willing to go back to work.
Sadly, there will never be enough jobs for all of them ever again, and that is not going to change no matter who wins the election.
In fact, when the next wave of the economic collapse hits the United States it is likely that unemployment is going to get a whole lot worse.
What will our society look like when that happens?