Americans are getting married later and later in life these days. So precisely why is this happening? As you will see below, the average age when men and women first get married in the United States is getting perilously close to 30, but in the middle of the last century is was close to 20. There has been a dramatic cultural shift, and this has resulted in a whole host of unintended consequences. Because even though people are getting married later, they are still engaging in behaviors that in previous generations were considered reserved for those that had made a permanent commitment. The family has always been one of the foundational institutions in society, but now it is breaking down at a very alarming pace. Our young people have been trained to think that getting married, having children and raising a family are not important priorities, and this is showing up in a myriad of various ways.
In America today, the average woman is getting married 7.0 years later than she did in 1956, and the average man is getting married 6.7 years later than he did back then. The following comes from CNBC…
The typical U.S. woman now marries at 27.1 years old, the typical man at 29.2, according to census data. That’s up from record lows of 20.1 for women and 22.5 for men in 1956.
“They’re concentrating more on school, careers and work and less focused on forming new families, spouses or partners and children,” said Richard Fry, lead author of the report and a senior economist at the Pew Research Center. Fry said of the millennials.
At one time, a woman was considered to be an “Old Maid” if she had not married by the age of 25, but in this day and age that is about the time that many women are just getting started seriously looking for a mate.
One of the big reasons why men and women are both delaying marriage so much these days is because our young people are constantly being inundated with messages that tell them that it is much more fun to be single. If you aren’t doing so already, start paying attention to how marriage and parenthood are being portrayed to our young adults on television and in the movies. In most cases, getting married at a young age is portrayed as being a “mistake”, and having children is often depicted as a good way to ruin your future.
And of course a lifestyle that involves sexual promiscuity is almost always portrayed as more desirable than a lifetime commitment to a single person. Just watch any television show or movie that is targeted to young males in particular. Being able to “score” often and with as many women as possible is what they are told they should do, and very rarely are they encouraged to value marriage and fatherhood.
This dramatic cultural shift that we have seen over the past several decades is having some very serious unintended consequences.
For one thing, an increasing number of our young people are choosing to never leave the nest. In fact, the percentage of our young adults that are living at home now exceeds the percentage of our young adults that are married or are living with a partner…
Nearly a third of millennials live with their parents, slightly more than the share of their age group who live with a spouse or partner. For this age group, the researchers say, this is the first time that living at home has overtaken living with a spouse since the U.S. Census began keeping track in 1880.
As recently as 2000, nearly 43 percent of young adults, ages 18 to 34, were married or living with a partner. By 2014, that proportion was just 31.6 percent.
In 2000, only 23 percent of young adults were living with parents. In 2014, the figure reached 32.1 percent.
Another unintended consequence has been a huge rise in the number of unmarried women giving birth to children.
When the average age of first marriage was at a record low in 1956, about 5 percent of all babies in America were born to unmarried parents. Today, more than 40 percent of all babies in America are born to unmarried parents.
In addition, just because young adults are not getting married does not mean that they are not looking for outlets for their sexual desires.
Of course lots and lots of people are sleeping around, but others are seeking alternative ways to fill what is missing in their lives. Right now, there are more than four million adult websites on the Internet, and they get more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined. This plague has become so widespread that it has been estimated that even 68 percent of all Christian men watch pornography on a regular basis.
Clearly we have a major problem.
And I haven’t even mentioned the millions of abortions and millions of STD cases that have resulted from the “sexual revolution” that we have witnessed.
As the institution of the family has broken down, we have become lonelier, more isolated, less healthy and more prone to addictive behaviors as a society.
Could it be possible that previous generations of Americans actually knew what they were doing?
Could it be possible that it would be a good thing to teach our young people to value marriage and family?
Could it be possible that we are actually designed to get married and have children at a relatively younger age?
What we are doing right now is definitely not working. We have one of the highest divorce rates on the entire planet, the CDC says that there are about 20 million new STD cases each calendar year, we have tens of millions of men that are addicted to pornography, and somewhere around a third of all children in the United States are currently being raised in a home without a father.
So is there a solution to this mess?
If so, what would that look like?
Please feel free to tell us what you think by posting a comment below…
*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*
If nobody is working in one out of every five U.S. families, then how in the world can the unemployment rate be close to 5 percent as the Obama administration keeps insisting? The truth, of course, is that the U.S. economy is in far worse condition than we are being told. Last week, I discussed the fact that the Federal Reserve has found that 47 percent of all Americans would not be able to come up with $400 for an unexpected visit to the emergency room without borrowing it or selling something. But Barack Obama and his minions never bring up that number. Nor do they ever bring up the fact that 20 percent of all families in America are completely unemployed. The following comes directly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics…
In 2015, the share of families with an employed member was 80.3 percent, up by 0.2 percentage point from 2014. The likelihood of having an employed family member rose in 2015 for Black families (from 76.4 percent to 77.7 percent) and for Hispanic families (from 85.9 percent to 86.4 percent). The likelihood for White and Asian families showed little or no change (80.1 percent and 88.6 percent, respectively).
For purposes of this study, families “are classified either as married-couple families or as families maintained by women or men without spouses present” and they include households without children as well as children under the age of 18.
Digging into the numbers, we find that there were a total of 81,410,000 families in America during the 2015 calendar year.
Of that total, 16,060,000 families did not have a single member employed.
So that means that in 19.7 percent of all families in the United States, nobody has a job.
And of course there are lots more families that are “partially employed”. In other words, maybe the wife has a job but the husband does not.
So based on these numbers, it would appear to me that the true rate of unemployment in this country is vastly higher than 5 percent, and John Williams of shadowstats.com agrees with me. According to his calculations, the broadest measure of unemployment in the U.S. would actually be sitting at 22.9 percent if honest numbers were being used.
But let’s not just focus on where we are.
Let’s take a look at where we are going.
According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, job cut announcements by big companies in the United States were up 32 percent during the first quarter of 2016 compared to the first quarter of 2015, and it appears that the job losses are going to continue to mount as we roll into the second quarter. For instance, late last week Intel announced that it is going to be laying off 12,000 workers…
As it navigates its path into the future, Intel, the 47-year-old corporation best known for making microprocessor chips that power personal computers, has announced significant changes to its business.
On Tuesday, Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich said in a letter to employees that the company over the next year will cut its 107,300-person global workforce by 12,000 people, or 11 percent.
Those are good middle class jobs, and they are exactly the kind of jobs that we cannot afford to be losing.
Meanwhile, the “retail apocalypse” appears to be accelerating once again.
Bloomberg is reporting that teen clothing chain Aeropostale is preparing to file for bankruptcy. Aeropostale currently operates more than 800 stores across the nation, and it is unclear if any of them will be able to stay open as this process plays out. But of course it isn’t just Aeropostale that has gone bankrupt lately. Here are a few more examples of major retailers that have recently filed for bankruptcy…
April 16, 2016: Vestis Retail Group, the operator of sporting goods retailers Eastern Mountain Sports (camping, hiking, skiing, adventure sports), Bob’s Stores (family clothing and shoes), and Sport Chalet (general sporting goods), filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It will close all 56 stores and stop online sales.
In the filing, it blamed the going-out-of-business sales at “certain Sports Authority locations,” plus the weather, which had been too warm, and trouble with switching to a new software platform. It’s owned by private equity firm Versa Capital Management LLC.
April 7, 2016: Pacific Sunwear of California, clothing retailer with nearly 600 stores and derailed ambitions of skate-and-surf cool, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. PE firm Golden Gate Capital, a lender to the company, agreed to convert over 65% of its loan into equity of the reorganized company and add another $20 million in financing. Wells Fargo agreed to provide $100 million of debtor-in-possession financing.
March 2, 2016: Sports Authority filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It said it would close 140 of its 450 stores, including all stores in Texas.
Just because the stock market has been doing well in recent weeks does not mean that the crisis has passed.
In fact, many experts believe that the crisis of 2016 is just getting started. Albert Edwards of Societe Generale is one of them…
But what I do know is when in the last few weeks I have heard that Janet Yellen sees no bubble in the US, when Ben Bernanke hones and restates his helicopter money speech, and when Mario Draghi says that the ECB’s policy of printing money and negative interest rates was working, I feel utterly depressed (I could also quote similar nonsense from Japan, the UK and China). I have not one scintilla of doubt that these central bankers will destroy the enfeebled world economy with their clumsy interventions and that political chaos will be the ugly result. The only people who will benefit are not investors, but anarchists who will embrace with delight the resulting chaos these policies will bring!
All over the world, the underlying economic fundamentals continue to deteriorate. Here in the U.S., retail sales have been extremely disappointing, total business sales have been steadily falling, corporate revenues and corporate profits continue to plunge, and corporate debt defaults have soared to their highest level since the last financial crisis.
All of these numbers are screaming that a major economic downturn is here, and with each passing week things look even more ominous for the second half of 2016.
*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*
Have you ever come away discouraged after trying to talk about prepping with friends or family members that just don’t seem to be interested? Over the years, I have heard countless excuses from people for why they aren’t getting prepared for what is about to happen to America. Some of the excuses, like a lack of money, are definitely legitimate. But in many other instances, the objections don’t seem to make a lot of sense. In America today, most people let others do most of their thinking for them. And in general, our political, religious and cultural leaders are telling Americans that there really is no reason to be overly concerned about the future. They assure us that they have everything under control, and that life is only going to get better in the years ahead. Bad beliefs lead to bad decisions which in turn lead to bad actions, and most Americans have chosen to believe what the elite are telling them at this point. As a result, only a small fraction of society is getting physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually prepared for the exceedingly hard times that are rapidly approaching. The following are 53 common excuses that people like to use for not prepping…
1. “Obama fixed everything that was wrong with America”
2. “When Hillary Clinton is elected she will put this nation back on the right track”
3. “Donald Trump will make America great again”
4. “I don’t have to prepare because the rapture is going to happen before anything really bad happens to this country”
5. “Everybody told me that the world was going to end in September and that didn’t happen”
6. “I don’t have enough money to buy emergency food and supplies”
7. “I’m too exhausted after working hard all day to do anything else”
8. “There is never enough time, and I would rather spend my precious free time doing something else”
9. “The U.S. economy is the greatest economy in the history of the world – there is no way that it could ever possibly collapse”
10. “Whenever we have had a major economic downturn in the past we have always recovered”
11. “Things are never going to get THAT bad”
12. “When things fall apart the federal government will take care of us”
13. “I am going to spend my extra money on fun rather than on fear”
14. “While you guys are sitting on stockpiles of expired food, I will be counting all of the money that I made in the stock market”
15. “When disaster strikes I will simply steal food from everyone else that has been prepping”
16. “The people at the Federal Reserve are very highly educated and they know precisely what they are doing”
17. “Wal-Mart will always be there when I need it”
18. “I’m too lazy to get prepared”
19. “Preppers don’t have a positive mental attitude”
20. “It is anti-faith to get prepared for an economic collapse”
21. “If the economy does collapse, I will just go on welfare”
22. “Nobody can get prepared for every possible scenario, so why bother?”
23. “I would rather save money for retirement”
24. “Obama told me that anyone that says the economy is heading for hard times is just peddling fiction”
25. “The stock market always rebounds to new highs after every crash, so why worry?”
26. “I don’t have room to store anything at my place”
27. “Prepping is something that crazy people do”
28. “I’m not a conspiracy theorist”
29. “I am afraid that all of the food that I store is going to go bad”
30. “All of the people that got freaked out about Y2K look really foolish right about now, don’t they?”
31. “Instead of being ultra-paranoid, I would rather just enjoy my life”
32. “If things get really bad, the people in my community will just band together to take care of everyone”
33. “If society did completely collapse, I would not want to go on living anyway”
34. “I’m too lazy to learn how to grow a garden”
35. “If you assume that the worst is eventually going to happen, then you don’t really believe in America”
36. “If something happens I will just run out to the store and grab what I need”
37. “If all of my debts are wiped out during an economic collapse I might as well live it up now”
38. “When things hit the fan I will just go live with my relatives that have been prepping”
39. “My spouse does not believe that prepping is a good idea”
40. “Prepping seems so complicated and I don’t know where to start”
41. “I don’t have to worry about preparing for a major disaster because that is what FEMA is for”
42. “There is no way that the supermarkets could ever possibly run out of food”
43. “Once I get my student loans and credit card debt paid off then maybe I will start thinking about prepping”
44. “My relatives are already convinced that I am a nutjob – I don’t need to make it worse by stockpiling buckets of food in my garage”
45. “What would the people at work think?”
46. “If there really was a reason to get prepared they would have told us about it on the news”
47. “People have been predicting doom and gloom for years, and yet nothing has happened”
48. “If I do prepare, angry mobs will just come and steal it all at some point anyway”
49. “Look at how fast technology is advancing – there is no way that things could completely fall apart now that humanity has so much advanced knowledge”
50. “We live in the greatest country on the entire planet during the greatest time for humanity in the history of the world”
51. “I have no intention of becoming a card carrying member of the Tin Foil Hat Brigade”
52. “If we are all going to die anyway, what is the point of prepping?”
53. “There is always more time – if I don’t get prepared today I can always get prepared tomorrow”
If you would like to learn more about how you can get prepared for what is immediately ahead of us, you may want to check out an article that I recently did entitled “70 Tips That Will Help You Survive What Is Going To Happen To America“. It contains quite a few little “nuggets” that many people don’t commonly think about when it comes to prepping.
Personally, I think that it would be very nice if normal life were to just continue indefinitely in America. That way I could just sit up on my mountain and enjoy a nice quiet life with my family.
But the truth is that we are moving into the greatest time of chaos that any of us have ever experienced, and those of us that have been preparing are going to need to step forward as leaders. It is during times of great darkness that light is needed the most, and during the hard years ahead there is going to be a crying need for people that have great strength, great courage and great love.
So do you have any excuses that you have heard that you think would make good additions to this list? Please feel free to share them with the rest of us by leaving a comment below…
Can you imagine going to work each day knowing that there are lots of people out there that would love to see you dead? Despite what a lot of Americans may think, it takes real courage to be a police officer in this country today. Every time you put on that uniform and walk out the front door, it might be the very last time that you ever see your spouse and family. Yes, there is a whole lot of needless police brutality in the United States in 2015, and I am going to address that later in this article. But most police officers are just regular people that are trying to do their jobs and serve their communities. And on Wednesday, we got a reminder of just how dangerous those jobs can be. At around midnight on Wednesday, two Ferguson police officers were ambushed. A 32-year-old officer named Webster Groves was shot just beneath his right eye, and another 41-year-old officer was hit in the shoulder. Sadly, this is probably only just the beginning. Racial tensions continue to escalate, and we are on the verge of a great financial crisis which will cause economic conditions in our cities to deteriorate rapidly. By the end of this decade, I fully expect civil unrest, rioting, looting and mindless violence to become commonplace in large cities all across America. In such an environment, it will be extremely dangerous to be a police officer.
The good news for the two police officers that got shot in Ferguson is that it looks like they are going to be okay.
But the same cannot be said for many other police officers that have been ambushed over the past year.
According to CNN, the number of police officers that were shot to death increased by more than 50 percent in 2014…
The number of law enforcement officers shot to death in the line of duty is up by more than 50% this year, and the leading method of those shootings was ambush-style attack.
That’s according to the nonprofit Washington-based National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which released its findings Tuesday.
And like I said, this is probably only just the beginning.
Sadly, a whole lot more police are going to die before this is all over.
You can try to blame this latest incident in Ferguson on a “deranged individual” if you want, but I think that the reactions that we saw on social media to these police shootings say a whole lot about where we are as a country.
In the immediate aftermath of the shootings, a lot of people were actually celebrating. The following is a sampling of comments from Twitter…
-#ChiefJackson steps down and two pigs get shot? Best day #Ferguson has had in years
-im glad 2 pigs wounded in #Ferguson lol
-#Ferguson kill the pigs
-serves those two pigs right, i hope organized public militancy continues #ferguson
-#Ferguson pigs shouldnt grab ppl; thugs deserved it. Wish it was #DarrenWilson. Sound familiar? #MichaelBrown #VonderittMyers #AntonioMartin
-Racist cops shot not gonna cry 4 pigs #Ferguson
-I heard two pigs in #Ferguson got shot? We’re they left on the ground bleeding out and dead like Mike Brown?
-hopefully they’ll be off the street for a long time. two less pigs out harassing & kidnapping people. #Ferguson
Could you imagine trying to be a police officer in Ferguson in this kind of environment?
And it isn’t as if we didn’t see this coming. Just consider an excerpt from an article that I authored a while back entitled “It’s WAR On The Streets Of America“…
The mainstream media and many national leaders on the left end of the spectrum have been stirring up strife and division for months on end. So now a toxic environment has been created which is inevitably going to lead to even more violence. At some recent “protest marches”, we have heard demonstrators enthusiastically chant extremely threatening slogans such as this: “What do we want? Dead cops!” And when news broke that Ismaaiyl Brinsley had brutally murdered two NYPD police officers, lots of very twisted people on Twitter were actually celebrating.
The sick thing is that there are a lot of people out there that actually want to turn this into a full-blown war. Some want a race war, some want a “war on cops”, and others just seem to want a general excuse for crime, looting and mayhem.
Unfortunately, if I am right, this is just a small preview of what we can expect in the years ahead. Just like we have witnessed in Ferguson, I anticipate that we will eventually see a number of our larger cities burn.
And it never had to be this way.
Why can’t we all just love, respect and honor one another?
Yes, police brutality in the United States is wildly out of control. In many areas of the nation, police officers are actually trained to bark orders, act like thugs and physically abuse people at the drop of a hat. Our entire culture of policing needs to change.
I think that John W. Whitehead put it very aptly in one of his recent commentaries…
For those of us who have managed to survive 2014 with our lives intact and our freedoms hanging by a thread, it has been a year of crackdowns, clampdowns, shutdowns, showdowns, shootdowns, standdowns, knockdowns, putdowns, breakdowns, lockdowns, takedowns, slowdowns, meltdowns, and never-ending letdowns.
We’ve been held up, stripped down, faked out, photographed, frisked, fracked, hacked, tracked, cracked, intercepted, accessed, spied on, zapped, mapped, searched, shot at, tasered, tortured, tackled, trussed up, tricked, lied to, labeled, libeled, leered at, shoved aside, saddled with debt not of our own making, sold a bill of goods about national security, tuned out by those representing us, tossed aside, and taken to the cleaners.
As I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, we’ve had our freedoms turned inside out, our democratic structure flipped upside down, and our house of cards left in a shambles.
We’ve had our children burned by flashbang grenades, our dogs shot, and our old folks hospitalized after “accidental” encounters with marauding SWAT teams. We’ve been told that as citizens we have no rights within 100 miles of our own border, now considered “Constitution-free zones.” We’ve had our faces filed in government databases, our biometrics crosschecked against criminal databanks, and our consumerist tendencies catalogued for future marketing overtures.
Now a large segment of our population either detests the police or is extremely fearful of ever dealing with them.
Is that a recipe for a healthy society?
Police brutality has become a permanent part of our culture, and that has got to change. If it doesn’t, protests against the police are going to get worse and worse.
But what most protesters don’t seem to understand is that we actually need the police.
Without the police, our society would descend into utter chaos very rapidly. Thanks to unchecked illegal immigration, there are approximately 1.4 million gang members roaming our cities now. And the moral decay that we see all around us is getting worse with each passing year. We are a nation that is absolutely teeming with addicts, sickos, perverts and psychopaths. I don’t even want to imagine what our society would look like without police.
Like I said, most police officers are just average people that are trying to do their jobs and serve their communities.
Unfortunately for them, their jobs are becoming a lot more difficult and a lot more dangerous.
So what do you think? Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…
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…