Have we failed this generation of young adults by not equipping them to be able to handle the harsh realities of the real world? According to the Wall Street Journal, the percentage of Americans in the 18 to 34-year-old age bracket that are currently living with their parents hasn’t been this high in 75 years. At this point nearly 40 percent of our young adults in that age range are living at home, and many are concerned that this could have some alarming implications for the future of our nation.
In the United States today, more than 60 million people live in multi-generational households, and it is a good thing to have a tight family. But at some point young adults need to learn how to live their own independent lives, and in millions of cases this independence is being delayed or is never happening at all.
There are many factors involved in this trend. First of all, there is truly a lack of good jobs despite what we are being told about an “economic recovery”. Millions of young adults are graduating from college only to discover that there is a very limited number of good jobs available for our college graduates. So some college graduates are able to secure the types of jobs that they were hoping for, but millions of others are not.
Normally when a recession ends, the percentage of young adults living with their parents starts to go back down. But this has not happened this time around. Instead, the percentage of young adults that live at home has just continued to rise…
The trend runs counter to that of previous economic cycles, when after a recession-related spike, the number of younger Americans living with relatives declined as the economy improved.
The result is that there is far less demand for housing than would be expected for the millennial generation, now the largest in U.S. history. The number of adults under age 30 has increased by 5 million over the last decade, but the number of households for that age group grew by just 200,000 over the same period, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.
Another major factor in all of this is the fact that Americans are getting married later in life than ever before and they are having fewer kids than previous generations.
In the old days, people got married young and they set up their own households even if they were dirt poor. But these days we have hordes of single young adults that are perfectly content to sit at home and sponge off of Mommy and Daddy.
There seems to be a real lack of toughness to this generation of young adults, and many that have perceived this lack of toughness have resorted to referring to them as “Generation Snowflake”. Over the past 12 months this term has become so common that the Guardian has dubbed it “the defining insult of 2016″…
Until very recently, to call someone a snowflake would have involved the word “generation”, too, as it was typically used to describe, or insult, a person in their late teens or early 20s. At the start of November, the Collins English Dictionary added “snowflake generation” to its words of the year list, where it sits alongside other vogue-ish new additions such as “Brexit” and “hygge”. The Collins definition is as follows: “The young adults of the 2010s, viewed as being less resilient and more prone to taking offence than previous generations”. Depending on what you read, being part of the “snowflake generation” may be as benign as taking selfies or talking about feelings too much, or it may infer a sense of entitlement, an untamed narcissism, or a form of identity politics that is resistant to free speech.
The phrase came to prominence in the UK at the beginning of 2016, after Claire Fox, director of the thinktank Institute of Ideas, used it in her book I Find That Offensive to address a generation of young people whom she calls “easily offended and thin-skinned”.
Of course there are exceptions. I have some close friends that are young adults in this age range, and they are extraordinary people.
But overall, we seem to have dramatically failed this generation. Maybe it is because we tend to baby our children from a very early age, and we want to protect them from danger so much that we never allow them to be exposed to the challenges that they need to face in order to toughen up and mature.
And it certainly doesn’t help that many of our young adults enter “the real world” already drowning in tens of thousands of dollars of debt. According to CNN, about 70 percent of all college graduates in the U.S. will leave school with student loan debt, and the average loan balance for those college graduates is approximately $28,950. Paying off student loan debt can be extremely painful, and it can be financially crippling for young people that are just trying to start their new lives.
When our high school kids are looking toward the future, we very much encourage them to go to the very best schools that they can possibly get into, and we tell them to not even worry about the cost. We promise them that there will be plenty of good jobs once they graduate, and we push them into these loans without even warning them to consider the future implications.
According to a stunning article in the Wall Street Journal, many Baby Boomers are actually having money taken out of their Social Security checks because of unpaid student loans. So when you go into student loan debt, it can literally haunt you for the rest of your life…
The government has collected about $1.1 billion from Social Security recipients of all ages to go toward unpaid student loans since 2001, including $171 million last year, the Government Accountability Office said Tuesday. Most affected recipients in fiscal year 2015—114,000—were age 50 or older and receiving disability benefits, with the typical borrower losing about $140 a month. About 38,000 were above age 64.
The report highlights the sharp growth in baby boomers entering retirement with student debt, most of it borrowed years ago to cover their own educations but some used to pay for their children’s schooling. Overall, about seven million Americans age 50 and older owed about $205 billion in federal student debt last year. About 1 in 3 were in default, raising the likelihood that garnishments will increase as more boomers retire.
What we are doing is clearly not working, but I am not particularly optimistic that this system will be fixed any time soon.
If you are a young person, you need to have a solid plan before pursuing an expensive college education. Many young people just major in anything that they want without even considering if it will lead to a good career. And instead of working hard to graduate in four years, many decide that they want to stretch the “college experience” out for five or six years so that they can party as much as possible before entering the real world.
The real world is a cold, cruel place, and if you start your new life drowning in debt that is just going to make things even more difficult for you.
On a personal note, I want to thank everyone that has supported the growth of The Most Important News. It is a central news hub where you can find all of my articles, posts by incredible guest authors and many of the key news stories from all over the globe all gathered in one place. Some technical issues have forced the site to be down for extended periods of time lately, but now it is being migrated to a much more powerful server. I will not be updating it during the migration, but I should resume a normal posting schedule again very soon.
And I would like to thank all of my readers for making 2016 an absolutely amazing year. I love you all, and I wish you all the very best as we head into what should prove to be a very “interesting” 2017.
An epidemic of creepy clown sightings is sweeping America, and authorities don’t know who or what is behind it. In some instances, clowns with horrific expressions painted on their faces have been spotted standing on the side of the road, lurking near the edge of the woods or just roaming about town staring at random people. But in other instances there have been reports of clowns actually attempting to lure children with gifts, and there have even been some reports of children running away from creepy clowns that were chasing after them. While doing research for this article, I came across recent creepy clown sightings from South Carolina, North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, California, Alabama, Georgia and West Virginia. This is truly a nationwide phenomenon, and many believe that it will get even worse as Halloween approaches.
This creepy clown trend appears to have begun with a very disturbing case at an apartment complex in South Carolina…
Donna Arnold, one of the people residing at the complex who received the letter, said she called the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office to come out to Fleetwood Manor after her son and others reported seeing clowns behind the basketball court.
“I thought my child was seeing things,” Arnold said. “And then the next day I had about 30 kids come up to me and say, ‘Did you see the clown in the woods?”
Community activist Bruce Wilson said he is getting involved at the apartments to make sure children are safe, even if the sightings turn out to be harmless.
Whether people are dressed as clowns or not, attempting to abduct children in no joke.
Unsurprisingly, this case made national headlines, and at that point it appears that a whole host of copycats started to come out of the woodwork. The following is how an article in the Week summarized what happened next…
A week later, a boy at an apartment ten miles away reported seeing a man in a clown mask in the woods near his home. Later that night, a boy at an apartment just three miles from Fleetwood Manor reported seeing another clown. That apartment also sits on the edge of a wooded area. There was another local sighting the next day. The following day, a woman told police she saw a clown standing outside a Greenville laundromat, simply staring at her.
By then, the clowns had begun to mobilize. The previous day, a 14-year-old boy in Columbus, Ohio, said that a man wearing a clown mask chased him with a knife while the boy was walking to his school bus stop. Less than a week later, on Sept. 5, two children in Winston-Salem, N.C., claimed a clown was offering candy, as long as they would follow him into the woods. Later that night, a woman in the area claimed that a clown tried to coax her into the woods, except this one was carrying a machete. He wore black gloves and a black tie. The next morning, in the nearby town of Greensboro, a man said he saw a clown in the woods behind his apartment. Yellow polka-dotted shirt, blue pants.
Since that time the creepy clown sightings have not stopped, and one of the most alarming incidents of all just took place in McDuffie County, Georgia…
“It was this morning at 6:30 when we were leaving at the house,” said Cameron Frails, who saw the clown.
But as Frails and his neighbor, Hannah Rice, started walking, they noticed something.
“I was standing over there,” said Rice. “And I was like, ‘who’s that guy following Cameron?'”
“We saw a man with all black on, clown mask and a red wig,” said Frails.
They said they saw at least two men dressed in all black coming toward them between two trailers, so they started running.
According to the police report, the woman said the children told her they were leaving the community center as it was getting dark Monday evening when five people dressed as clowns and wearing masks emerged from a white panel van and began chasing them.
The 48-year-old woman also told police she saw a white panel van slowly driving past her home prior to the supposed incident at the community center around the corner, on McKinley Drive.
A lot of the copycats out there may be doing this sort of thing as a prank, but law enforcement authorities are beginning to take this threat very seriously.
In fact, Time Magazine is reporting that two schools in Alabama “were put on lockdown” on Friday due to threats from a group known as “Flomo Clowns”…
Two southern Alabama schools were put on lockdown Friday because of threatening Facebook messages and emojis posted on the now-deleted page of a group called the ‘Flomo Klowns.’
The sinister Facebook messages said “It’s going down tonight,” followed by revolver emojis, and “I love kids.” A parent also contacted the Flomaton Police Department to say her child had been sent threatening messages by the group.
The entrances to Flomaton High School, which has around 400 students, and Flomaton Elementary School, which has about 300, were locked, as well as internal doors. Local officers and sheriff deputies secured the school grounds and searched the area, AL reports.
I think that this is another example of how sick and twisted our society has become. There are a lot of unbalanced people out there that get a thrill from spreading terror, and the initial clown stories have inspired them to capitalize on this trend.
If you are able to take a photograph or some video of these creepy clowns, please feel free to contact me. “Killer clown” costumes are always extremely popular during the Halloween season, and I have a feeling that this wave of terror is only going to intensify as we approach the end of October.
One photograph of a creepy clown that was taken on Simmons River Road near Duhring, West Virginia has gotten a lot of attention on social media. It was originally posted by Karen Mann Hicks on Facebook, and you can view it right here…
Hopefully this creepy clown craze will soon fade, but it is a quick way for deeply disturbed individuals to “get on the news”, and so it seems likely that there will be even more copycats.
But those that are tempted to dress up like creepy clowns and terrorize children should be aware that police all over the nation are taking this very seriously, and arrests will likely be made at the first sign of trouble.
Would you allow microchips to be surgically implanted in your children if that would keep them safer? This is already being done to pets on a widespread basis, and a shocking local NBC News report is promoting the idea that if it is good for our pets, then we should be doing it to our children as well. As you will see below, the report even puts a guilt trip on parents by asking them this question: “How far would you go to keep your children secure?” Of course most parents very much want to keep their children safe, and a microchip would enable authorities to track them down if they were lost or stolen. But is this really a good idea? And where is all of this technology eventually leading? If you have not seen this very disturbing local NBC News report yet, you can view it right here…
In the video, the reporter says that our children could be implanted with microchips “the size of a grain of rice” and that there would be “little to no health risks” involved.
And near the end of the report, she insists that “we could see those microchips in everyone” eventually.
The piece flips back to pushing the idea when it quotes electronics expert Stuart Lipoff, who asserts that microchipping children is safe and inevitable.
“People should be aware that testing is being done right now. The military is not only testing this out, but already utilizes its properties. It’s not a matter of if it will happen, but when,” states Lipoff.
Of course if widespread microchipping of the population does start happening, at first it will likely be purely voluntary. But once enough of the population starts adopting the idea, it will be really easy for the government to make it mandatory.
Just imagine a world where physical cash was a thing of the past and you could not buy, sell, get a job or open a bank account without your government-issued microchip identification.
Will you allow yourself and your family to be chipped when that day arrives?
If not, how will you eat?
How will you survive?
What will you do when your children come crying to you for food?
I am certainly not saying that you should allow yourself to be chipped. I know that nobody is ever chipping me. But what I am saying is that people are going to be faced with some absolutely heart-breaking choices.
Just recently, I wrote about a new form of digital currency that is intended to replace the physical dollars that we use now and also replace alternative currencies such as Bitcoin. It was unveiled in front of about 100 top Wall Street executives recently during a secret meeting in New York City. To give you an idea of just how rapidly the concept of a cashless society is advancing, I want to share with you a brief excerpt from an article that I recently wrote about this new technology…
Last month, a “secret meeting” that involved more than 100 executives from some of the biggest financial institutions in the United States was held in New York City. During this “secret meeting“, a company known as “Chain” unveiled a technology that transforms U.S. dollars into “pure digital assets”. Reportedly, there were representatives from Nasdaq, Citigroup, Visa, Fidelity, Fiserv and Pfizer in the room, and Chain also claims to be partnering with Capital One, State Street, and First Data. This “revolutionary” technology is intended to completely change the way that we use money, and it would represent a major step toward a cashless society. But if this new digital cash system is going to be so good for society, why was it unveiled during a secret meeting for Wall Street bankers? Is there something more going on here than we are being told?
On a recent Monday in April, more than 100 executives from some of the world’s largest financial institutions gathered for a private meeting at the Times Square office of Nasdaq Inc. They weren’t there to just talk about blockchain, the new technology some predict will transform finance, but to build and experiment with the software.
By the end of the day, they had seen something revolutionary: U.S. dollars transformed into pure digital assets, able to be used to execute and settle a trade instantly. That’s the promise of a blockchain, where the cumbersome and error-prone system that takes days to move money across town or around the world is replaced with almost instant certainty.
So it is not just Michael Snyder from The Economic Collapse Blog that is referring to this gathering as a “secret meeting”. This is actually how it was described by Bloomberg. And I think that there is a very good reason why this meeting was held in secret, because many in the general public would definitely be alarmed by this giant step toward a cashless society.
Right now, more than 400 billion cashless transactions are conducted around the world each year, and that number is growing very quickly.
And when our system becomes entirely cashless, there will be no more stuffing your mattress with cash and we will all be forced to deal with the banks.
What that day arrives, all of a sudden the government will be able to serve as the gatekeeper for who is allowed to access the system and who is not.
It would be very easy to impose a tax, require some sort of loyalty oath, or mandate some form of microchip identification as a condition for participating in the cashless system.
When we get to that point, what will you do?
In the end, that is something that we all need to be considering very carefully…
*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.*
Why would the government want to punish people that are just trying to work hard, become more self-sufficient and take care of their families? There are approximately 3 million preppers in the United States today, and often they appear to be singled out for punishment by bureaucratic control freaks that are horrified at the thought that there are families out there that actually want to try to become less dependent on the system. So if you use alternative methods to heat your home, or if you are not connected to the utility grid, or if you collect rainwater on your property, or if you believe that parents should have the ultimate say when it comes to health decisions for their children, you could become a target for overzealous government enforcers. Once upon a time, America was the land of the free and the home of the brave, but now we are being transformed into a socialist police state where control freak bureaucrats use millions of laws, rules and regulations to crack down on anyone that dares to think for themselves.
For example, people have been burning wood to heat their homes since this country began. And this is still very common in rural areas. But the Obama administration does not like this at all. The Obama bureaucrats at the EPA fear that our little wood stoves may be contributing to “global warming”, so they have outlawed the production and sale of 80 percent of the wood stoves that are currently in use. The following comes from a recent Forbes article…
It seems that even wood isn’t green or renewable enough anymore. The EPA has recently banned the production and sale of 80 percent of America’s current wood-burning stoves, the oldest heating method known to mankind and mainstay of rural homes and many of our nation’s poorest residents. The agency’s stringent one-size-fits-all rules apply equally to heavily air-polluted cities and far cleaner plus typically colder off-grid wilderness areas such as large regions of Alaska and the American West.
While EPA’s most recent regulations aren’t altogether new, their impacts will nonetheless be severe. Whereas restrictions had previously banned wood-burning stoves that didn’t limit fine airborne particulate emissions to 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air, the change will impose a maximum 12 microgram limit. To put this amount in context, EPA estimates that secondhand tobacco smoke in a closed car can expose a person to 3,000-4,000 micrograms of particulates per cubic meter.
Most wood stoves that warm cabin and home residents from coast-to-coast can’t meet that standard. Older stoves that don’t cannot be traded in for updated types, but instead must be rendered inoperable, destroyed, or recycled as scrap metal.
Does that make you angry?
There are other preppers that try to use very “clean” methods to power their homes, but that is still not good enough for some government control freaks.
For example, one prepper down in south Florida that had gone “off the grid” was recently ordered by a court to connect back to the grid or face eviction from his home. The following is an excerpt from a recent article by Guiles Hendrik…
Think you are still free to make choices in your life? Do you think the government will allow you to live independent of their utility monopolies? If you think so, try opting for renewable non-grid tied power and utilize environmentally friendly composting toilets and your own self-sufficient water supply. Today, those life choices could land you in jail if you live in South Florida. Take the case of Robin Speronis.
Robin Speronis has lived off the grid, independent of the city’s water and electric system. A Florida court ruled this off-the-grid living illegal last week and has given Robin until March to connect her home to a municipal water line or face possible eviction. Further, officials in the city of Cape Coral have justified this by deeming Robin’s home “unsanitary,” citing the International Property Maintenance Code. First of all, since when did we begin to locally recognize “international codes?” Where in the US Constitution does it provide for international jurisdiction over local codes? Ironically, this “international” code mandates that homes be connected to an electricity grid and a running water source, even though most of the world lives without reliable electricity and municipal water and sewer. Further, the code is outdated and obsolete because it was written without consideration to both old and new technologies that relegate the need for grid tied power and municipal water as unnecessary and expensive; especially, in locations where it simply isn’t feasible to have grid tied utilities. Nonetheless, Speronis’ home does in fact have power and water through far cheaper and more environmentally friendly means — solar panels and rainwater, but that reality is ignored by the local government.
Incredibly, most Americans still seem to believe that we live in a “free country”. But we don’t. Our lives are very tightly constrained by literally millions of laws, rules and regulations, and more are being added every single day.
Even some of our most basic fundamental rights have been seriously eroded. One of these is the right to make basic health decisions for our own children. In New York state, children that have not received all of the designated vaccines can now be banned from attending public school, and this requirement was recently upheld by a federal appeals court…
New York state’s requirement that children be vaccinated before attending public school does not violate their constitutional rights, a federal appeals court in Manhattan said on Wednesday.
In affirming the requirement’s constitutionality, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also upheld a previous ruling by a federal judge that students exempted from the requirement for religious reasons can be barred from school when another child has a disease preventable by a vaccine.
The decision was the latest to go against three parents from New York City who say their religious rights were violated when their children were kept out of school as a result of the immunization policies. The parents’ lawyer, Patricia Finn, said her clients planned to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
So what are we free to do without government interference these days?
In fact, in some states we can’t even sit on our own land and collect the rain as it falls from the sky for our own personal use.
Gary Harrington, the Oregon man convicted of collecting rainwater and snow runoff on his rural property surrendered Wednesday morning to begin serving his 30-day, jail sentence in Medford, Ore.
“I’m sacrificing my liberty so we can stand up as a country and stand for our liberty,” Harrington told a small crowd of people gathered outside of the Jackson County (Ore.) Jail.
Several people held signs that showed support for Harrington as he was taken inside the jail.
And of course these are just a few examples. Almost every single day there are more stories in the news about government bureaucrats cracking down on preppers. They almost seem to relish the opportunity to go after the “non-conformists”.
But the good news is that the number of Americans that are seeking to become less dependent on the system just continues to grow.
Why are so many young adults in America living with their parents? According to a stunning Gallup survey that was recently released, nearly three out of every ten adults in the United States under the age of 35 are still living at home with Mom and Dad. This closely lines up with a Pew Research Center analysis of Census data that looked at a younger sample of Americans which found that 36 percent of Americans 18 to 31 years old were still living with their parents. That was the highest level that had ever been recorded. Overall, approximately 25 million U.S. adults are currently living at home with their parents according to Time Magazine. So what is causing all of this? Well, there are certainly a lot of factors. Overwhelming student loan debt, a depressing lack of jobs and the high cost of living are all definitely playing a role. But many would argue that what we are witnessing goes far beyond temporary economic conditions. There are many that believe that we have fundamentally failed our young people and have neglected to equip them with the skills and values that they need to be successful in the real world.
More Americans than ever before seem to be living in a state of “perpetual adolescence”. As Gallup noted, one of the keys to adulthood is to be able to establish independence from your parents…
An important milestone in adulthood is establishing independence from one’s parents, including finding a job, a place to live and, for most, a spouse or partner, and starting one’s own family. However, there are potential roadblocks on the path to independence that may force young adults to live with their parents longer, including a weak job market, the high cost of living, significant college debt, and helping care for an elderly or disabled parent.
Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly difficult for young people to become financially independent. While they are in high school, we endlessly pound into their heads the need to go to college. Then we urge them to take out whatever loans that they will need to pay for it, ensuring them that they will be able to get “good jobs” which will enable them to pay off those loans when they graduate.
Of course a very large percentage of them find that there aren’t any “good jobs” waiting for them when they graduate. But because of the crippling loans that they have accumulated, they quickly realize that they have decades of debt slavery ahead of them.
Just consider the following numbers about the growth of student loan debt in the United States…
-The total amount of student loan debt in the United States has risen to a brand new all-time record of 1.08 trillion dollars.
-Student loan debt accounted for 3.1 percent of all consumer debt in 2003. Today, it accounts for 9.4 percent of all consumer debt.
This is a student loan debt bubble unlike anything that we have ever seen before, and it seems to get worse with each passing year.
So when is the bubble going to finally burst?
Meanwhile, our young adults are still really struggling to find jobs.
For those in the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket, it is getting even harder to find full-time employment. In June 2012, 47 percent of those in that entire age group had a full-time job. One year later, in June 2013, only 43.6 percent of that entire age group had a full-time job.
And in many ways, things are far tougher for those that didn’t finish college than for those that did. In fact, the unemployment rate for 27-year-old college dropouts is nearly three times as high as the unemployment rate for those that finished college.
In addition, since Barack Obama has been president close to 40 percent of all 27-year-olds have spent at least some time unemployed.
So it should be no surprise that 27-year-olds are really struggling financially. Only about one out of every five 27-year-olds owns a home at this point, and an astounding 80 percent of all 27-year-olds are in debt.
Even if a young adult is able to find a job, that does not mean that it will be enough to survive on. The quality of jobs in America continues to go downhill and so do wages.
The ratio of what men in the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket are earning compared to what the general population is earning is at an all-time low, and American families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.
No wonder so many young people are living at home. Trying to survive in the real world is not easy.
Many of those that are trying to make it on their own are really struggling to do so. Just consider the case of Kevin Burgos. He earns $10.50 an hour working as an assistant manager at a Dunkin Donuts location in Hartford, Connecticut. According to CNN, he can’t seem to make enough to support his family no matter how hard he works…
He works 35 hours each week to support his family of three young children. All told, Burgos makes about $1,800 each month.
But his bills for basic necessities, including rent for his two-bedroom apartment, gas for his car, diapers and visits to the doctor, add up to $2,400. To cover these expenses without falling short, Burgos would need to make at least $17 per hour.
“I am always worried about what I’m going to do for tomorrow,” Burgos said.
There are millions of young people out there that are pounding their heads against the wall month after month trying to work hard and do the right thing. Sometimes they get so frustrated that they snap. Just consider the following example…
Health officials have temporarily shut down a southern West Virginia pizza restaurant after a district manager was caught on surveillance video urinating into a sink.
Local media reported that the Mingo County health department ordered the Pizza Hut in Kermit, about 85 miles southwest of Charleston, to shut down.
But as I mentioned earlier, instead of blaming young people for their failures, perhaps we need to take a good, long look at how we have raised them.
The truth is that our public schools are a joke, SAT scores are at an all-time low, and we have pushed nearly all discussion of morality, values and faith out of the public square.
No wonder most of our young people are dumb as a rock and seem to have no moral compass.
Or could it be possible that I am being too hard on them?
Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…
In America tonight, tens of millions of men and women will struggle to get to sleep because they are stressed out about not making enough money even though they are working as hard as they possibly can. They are called “the working poor”, and their numbers are absolutely exploding. As a recent Gallup poll showed, Americans are more concerned about the economy than they are about anything else. But why are Americans so stressed out about our economic situation if things are supposedly getting better? Well, the truth is that unemployment is not actually going down, and the real unemployment numbers are actually much worse than what is officially being reported by the government. But unemployment is only part of the story. Most American workers are still able to find jobs, but an increasing proportion of them are not able to make ends meet at the end of the month. Our economy continues to bleed good paying middle class jobs, and to a large degree those jobs are being replaced by low income jobs. Approximately one-fourth of all American workers make 10 dollars an hour or less at this point, and we see them all around us every day. They flip our burgers, they cut our hair and they take our money at the supermarket. In many homes, both parents are working multiple jobs, and yet when a child gets sick or a car breaks down they find that they don’t have enough money to pay the bill. Many of these families have gone into tremendous amounts of debt in order to try to stay afloat, but once you get caught in a cycle of debt it can be incredibly difficult to break out of that.
So what is the solution? Well, the easy answer would be that we need the U.S. economy to start producing more good paying jobs, but that is easier said than done. Our big corporations continue to ship huge numbers of good paying manufacturing jobs out of the country, and millions of Americans have been forced to scramble to find whatever work is available. Today, there are so many very talented American workers that are trapped in low wage work. According to the Working Poor Families Project, “about one-fourth of adults in low-income working families were employed in just eight occupations, as cashiers, cooks, health aids, janitors, maids, retail salespersons, waiters and waitresses, or drivers.” A lot of those people could do so much more for society, but they don’t have the opportunity.
Sadly, the percentage of low paying jobs in our economy continues to increase with each passing year, so this is a problem that is only going to get worse. So don’t look down on the working poor. The good paying job that you have right now could disappear at any time and you could end up joining their ranks very soon.
The following are 35 statistics about the working poor in America that will blow your mind…
#2 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 57 percent of all American children live in a home that is either “poor” or “low income”.
#3 Back in 2007, about 28 percent of all working families were considered to be among “the working poor”. Today, that number is up to 32 percent even though our politicians tell us that the economy is supposedly recovering.
#4 Back in 2007, 21 million U.S. children lived in “working poor” homes. Today, that number is up to 23.5 million.
#5 In Arkansas, Mississippi and New Mexico, more than 40 percent all of working families are considered to be “low income”.
#6 Families that have a head of household under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.
#11 Median household income for families with children dropped by a whopping $6,300 between 2001 and 2011.
#12 The U.S. economy continues to trade good paying jobs for low paying jobs. 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 Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs. Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.
#14 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.
#15 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.
#16 Low income families spend about 8.6 percent of their incomes on gasoline. Other families spend about 2.1 percent.
#17 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.
#18 According to one survey, 77 percent of all Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time.
#19 Millions of working poor families in America end up taking on debt in a desperate attempt to stay afloat, but before too long they find themselves in a debt trap that they can never escape. According to a recent article in the New York Times, the average debt burden for U.S. households that earn $20,000 a year or less “more than doubled to $26,000 between 2001 and 2010“.
#20 In 1989, the debt to income ratio of the average American family was about 58 percent. Today it is up to 154 percent.
#21 According to the Economic Policy Institute, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans households on average have 288 times the amount of wealth that the average middle class American family does.
I know, there really isn’t any good news in that headline. Americans are steadily getting poorer, fatter and sicker and yet most people continue to operate under the delusion that things are somehow going to get better. Sadly, not only are we not better off than we were four years ago, the truth is that things have been getting worse for a very long time. Median household income in the United States has declined for four years in a row, and it has fallen by more than $4000 overall since Barack Obama has been in the White House. Yet the media insists that we are in the midst of an “economic recovery”. A higher percentage of Americans are obese or severely obese than ever before, and Baby Boomers are much sicker than their parents were at the same age. Yet we are supposedly a “health conscious” nation. Technology is advancing faster than we have ever seen before in human history, but the life expectancy of poor Americans has dropped significantly in recent years. So exactly what in the world is going on here?
It seems like there is a health food store or a vitamin store on almost every corner, and yet as a whole we are in much worse condition than our parents were. The following is from a recent news story by the CBS News affiliate in Washington D.C.….
Obesity among baby boomers is more than double the rate of their parents at the same age, and boomers with three or more chronic conditions was 700 percent greater than the previous generation.
But it isn’t just the Baby Boomers that are obese. Sadly, obesity has become a raging epidemic in America and all of the numbers show this.
For example, a study by the RAND corporation discovered that the percentage of Americans that are severely obese rose from 3.9 percent in the year 2000 to 6.6 percent in 2010.
That is a huge increase in just a decade.
And the numbers are even more sobering when you look at the percentage of Americans that are just obese (rather than being severely obese).
To put that in perspective, it is important to note that only 13 percent of all Americans were obese back in 1962.
Sadly, not only are we getting fatter, many of us are also living shorter lives.
In a previous article, I quoted a CBS News story that discussed recent research which shows that the lifespans of poor Americans have been dropping rapidly in recent years….
Overall life expectancy has dropped for white Americans who have less than a high school diploma to rates similar to those of the 1950s and 1960s, new research finds.
The study found non-Hispanic white men without a diploma lived on average until 67.5 in 2008, three years less than they did in 1990. The drop in lifespan was even bigger for non-Hispanic white women with low education: They live five years shorter than 1990 rates, from 78 years old to just 73.5.
Why are people not living as long?
Well, our lifestyles certainly are not helping things. The average American watches 28 hours of television every single week. That is not conducive to a long and happy life.
But of course a lot of other factors are at play as well.
When you don’t have a lot of money, you can’t afford to eat healthy and you can’t afford to go see the doctor much.
Unfortunately, average Americans have steadily seen their incomes drop even as the cost of living has continued to go up. The following is from a recent article posted on Investors.com….
Since 2009, the middle 20% of American households saw their average incomes drop 4%. In 2011 alone, they fell 1.7%. The poorest 20% have fared even worse under Obama, Census data show. Their incomes have dropped more than 7% since 2009, and are now lower than they’ve been at any time since 1985, after adjusting for inflation.
Median household income (adjusted for inflation) fell in 41 U.S. states between 2000 and 2011.
So which state saw the worst decline in median household income during that time period?
Would you be surprised to hear that it was Michigan?
Between 2000 and 2011, median household income in Michigan dropped by a whopping 18.9 percent.
I have written extensively about how Detroit is a perfect example of where most of the rest of the country is headed. The manufacturing facilities are being torn down and Detroit has become a rotting shell of what it once was.
You can see 30 pictures of the ruins of Detroit right here, and you can view a great video of a homeless man giving a very creepy tour of Detroit’s abandoned Michigan Central Station right here.
So what part of the country do you think has done the best over the past decade?
If you guessed Washington D.C. you would be correct.
Median household income in Washington D.C. increased by 18.1 percent between 2000 and 2011.
Of course this “prosperity” for the D.C. area can be directly attributed to the explosion in the growth of the federal government.
You would be absolutely shocked to learn what goes on at some of these federal agencies. For example, the following was revealed by a former Social Security Administration employee recently in the Baltimore Sun….
It is not uncommon to see employees taking lunches lasting up to two hours. Often, a day at the office is nothing more than seeing people sleep at their desks or watch movies on their computers. With a few exceptions, employees with goals and expectations of some sort are nowhere to be found inside the walls of SSA.
I once saw an older employee take 10 smoke breaks in one afternoon and do absolutely no work when he was at his desk. He told me he was just waiting it out until he could get more retirement money. Several elderly individuals literally died right at their desks because they refused to retire. A lack of professionalism was obvious in the way the employees dressed and most apparently in their juvenile, non-professional language.
Would you like to have a job where you can sleep at your desk, take two hour lunches and watch movies on your computer all day?
If so, then working for the federal government might be for you.
Of course this does not happen at all federal agencies. At some agencies the employees actually are very professional. However, there are other agencies that are even worse than the Social Security Administration.
The sad truth is that what is wrong with our society is not limited to the White House and Congress. They are simply a reflection of who we have become. Our problems are very wide and very deep.
So why do you think Americans are getting poorer, fatter and sicker?
Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….
Sometimes it can be easy to forget that behind all of the horrible economic numbers that we hear about are millions of real people that have had their lives absolutely devastated by this economy. Elderly couples are being brutally evicted from their homes, young families are living in their cars, terminally ill people are dying because they cannot afford medication that they need and millions of parents can’t sleep at night as they wrestle with anxiety over not being able to provide for their children. Often those that lose their jobs or their homes discover that people start looking at them very differently and that there is very little compassion out there these days. As you will read about below, one major U.S. bank is even kicking an elderly woman with stage 4 breast cancer out of her home because she cannot make her full mortgage payment each month. When the next major global financial catastrophe happens, we are going to see a whole lot more economic despair. Will society respond to that crisis by becoming warmer and more compassionate, or will the world around us become even more cold and even more cruel? As bad as things are right now, it truly is frightening to think about what the world is going to look like after the next major economic downturn.
Many of the stories that you are about to read are truly heartbreaking. Unfortunately, they represent thousands upon thousands of other stories that never make it into the news….
Foreclosing On An Elderly Woman With Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Wells Fargo is threatening to evict an elderly woman with stage 4 breast cancer named Cindi Davis from her family home in North Carolina….
“They want us to make a house payment of almost $900 a month,” Cindi told the station of their lender, Wells Fargo bank. “We can afford maybe half that. I pay $1,100 a month in prescription medications.”
The couple says they have tried to work with Wells Fargo, even sending notes from Cindi’s doctors explaining her condition, but haven’t been able to come to a workable solution.
“They’re just going to put us out and it’s like, we are willing to pay what we can pay, but it’s not enough,” Cindi said.
Her cancer is in her lungs, lymph nodes and on her liver and she’s gone through a double mastectomy and multiple chemotherapy treatments, but Cindi has handled her disease like a fighter.
Cindi and her husband say that if they are evicted they may have to move in to their pickup truck.
Can you imagine living your last days in a truck as you try desperately to battle stage 4 breast cancer?
There is a severe shortage of medicine in Greece right now, and many doctors are essentially volunteers at this point because so few people can actually afford to pay their bills. The following description of the chaos in the Greek healthcare system comes from a recent Natural News article….
The economic situation in Greece is only continuing to worsen, as reports indicate that hospitals and care centers throughout the nation are running completely out of medicines, and many healthcare workers are now voluntarily providing care services without pay.
Strapped with spiraling debt, the Greek healthcare, which is government-run, has had to receive gobs of international financial aid just to keep operating with some semblance of normalcy. There has also been plenty of IOUs issued, and desperate patients quietly forking over cash “gifts” to doctors to receive treatments. All in all, the healthcare situation is in utter chaos, save for those that have sacrificed their own time, often free of charge, just to help those in need.
But it is not just the healthcare system that is deeply troubled.
Economic conditions have gotten so bad in Greece that some parents are actually abandoning their children in the streets according to the Daily Mail….
Children are being abandoned on Greece’s streets by their poverty-stricken families who cannot afford to look after them any more.
Youngsters are being dumped by their parents who are struggling to make ends meet in what is fast becoming the most tragic human consequence of the Euro crisis.
Could you ever do that to your children?
Sadly, it looks like things are going to get even worse in Greece. It is being projected that the unemployment rate in Greece will reach 30 percent by the end of the year.
Economic Shutdown In Portugal
Greece is not the only European nation that is going through an economic nightmare right now. The truth is that much of southern Europe is virtually shutting down right now.
Excluding the city’s still-bustling tourist areas, it’s very quiet around the city.
Street-level retail shops and restaurants are either devoid of customers or have been vacated. On many blocks I’ve seen more “for lease” signs than operating businesses.
Officially, the unemployment rate is 15.2% in Portugal, and the economy will contract 3% this year… yet the clear lack of economic activity suggests the real figures are much greater.
Without doubt, reality has set in. Locals have capitulated ‘hope’ that the good times will magically re-appear and have adjusted their habits accordingly.
American Families Living In Their Cars
In some areas of the United States you would never even know that an economic crisis is happening, but in other areas things are clearly falling apart very rapidly. There is a very serious shortage of decent jobs in most parts of the country, and we are seeing clear signs of societal breakdown in many of our major cities.
During the last recession, millions of Americans lost their jobs. Because a lot of them did not have much money saved up, many of those unemployed Americans also quickly lost their homes.
In the end, some of them ended up living in their vehicles.
And living in a car can be absolute hell. The following is from an ABC News report….
Three children — one suffering second-degree burns — were taken into protective custody Monday after they were discovered living with their parents in a “filthy” car in a Walmart parking lot.
Police were called to the parking lot Monday morning in Mount Dora, Fla., where they found the family of five living in a 1987 Cadillac Coupe de Ville full of clothes and garbage. Police told the Orlando Sentinel that days-old chicken bones were strewn about the car, along with a spoiled carton of milk and a bottle of tequila.
Other families try to make the best of it that they can. The following is one touching example from a recent 60 Minutes report….
This is the home of the Metzger family. Arielle, 15. Her brother Austin, 13. Their mother died when they were very young. Their dad, Tom, is a carpenter. And, he’s been looking for work ever since Florida’s construction industry collapsed. When foreclosure took their house, he bought the truck on Craigslist with his last thousand dollars. Tom’s a little camera shy – thought we ought to talk to the kids – and it didn’t take long to see why.
Pelley: How long have you been living in this truck?
Arielle Metzger: About five months.
Pelley: What’s that like?
Arielle Metzger: It’s an adventure.
Austin Metzger: That’s how we see it.
Pelley: When kids at school ask you where you live, what do you tell ’em?
Austin Metzger: When they see the truck they ask me if I live in it, and when I hesitate they kinda realize. And they say they won’t tell anybody.
Arielle Metzger: Yeah it’s not really that much an embarrassment. I mean, it’s only life. You do what you need to do, right?
Could you imagine being 13 years old or 15 years old and living in a truck?
Unfortunately, during the next major economic downturn a whole lot more families are going to end up living like this.
For most Americans, this will just mean higher prices at the grocery store.
But for corn farmers, a lack of rain can be absolutely devastating. The following are some recent comments from farmers about this crippling drought on agweb.com….
I am a small farmer, but my crops in Wayne County, Ill., are the worst I have had sine 1952-53. Corn will be lucky to make 10 bu. and beans are going downhill. It’s been over 100 degrees for 11 straight days. Bad crop.
Dryland corn is done! Some people in denial need to walk in field. Later corn tasseled and pollinating with no silks! No rain in seven days or low humidity 90 degrees and warmer by weekend. Yield range for corn on our farms…0 to 0 bpa. Soybeans…if it rains which is a big if may have some hope, not holding my breath!!
This is my 50th year of grain farming, so I think that I can say that I’ve seen it all. This is worse than 1988-Much worse for corn. Beans could still be fair if it starts to rain soon. Sat.-Sun. rains totaled only 1/4 inch.
This is worse than 1983 and 1988. Corn yield will be 30 to 40% of last year’s yield. The jury is still out on the beans. $10 corn is likely, because there will be so little of it relative to demand. Very sad…
You can see some incredible pictures of the drought in the middle part of the country right here.
When the economy falls to pieces, the politicians and the big banks get all the air time, but it is average hard working people that feel the most pain.
As the economy gets a lot worse (and it will) there is going to be a huge need for more love and compassion. The government is not going to be able “to save” everyone, and even now way too many people are falling through the cracks in the “safety net”.
Instead of looking down on the homeless and the unemployed, don’t be afraid to give them a helping hand up.
You never know, you might be the one in need of some assistance someday.