The mainstream media continues to insist that the economy is “getting better”, but the poverty numbers for children and young people just continue to explode. For example, did you know that the poverty rate for families with a head of household under the age of 30 is a whopping 37 percent? Children and young people sure didn’t cause our recent economic downturn, but they sure are getting hit the hardest by it. According to the U.S. Department of Education, for the first time ever more than a million U.S. public school students are homeless. That seems like an impossible number, but it is actually true. How in the world could the “wealthiest nation on earth” get to the point where more than a million children can’t count on a warm bed to sleep in at night? Sadly, a huge number of American children can’t count on a warm dinner either. About a fourth of them are enrolled in the food stamp program. What do you do if you are a parent in that kind of situation? How do you explain to your kids that you can’t afford a nice home like everybody else has or that you can’t afford to go to the grocery store and buy them some dinner?
Young people are experiencing very rough times right now as well. If you are under the age of 30, it is really, really difficult to get a job in America today. The competition for the few decent jobs that seem to be available is absolutely crazy. Unemployment among young people is at a level that we have not seen since World War II, and this is causing major problems.
Even if you do have a college degree, there is no guarantee that you will be able to get any type of a job. In fact, more than half of all college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed last year. There are millions of very talented college graduates that are waiting tables, making sandwiches or stocking shelves down at the local branch of a global retail conglomerate. Meanwhile, they are saddled with record breaking amounts of student loan debt.
This is easily the worst economic environment that we have seen for young people since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The number of good jobs continues to decline. Many young people are faced with the choice of taking a bad job or having no job at all.
If you are under 30 in America today, you better hope that you come from a wealthy family or that you have some really good connections, because otherwise the future looks pretty bleak for you.
The following are 20 signs that the U.S. poverty explosion is hitting children and young people the hardest…
1. If you can believe it, a higher percentage of children is living in poverty in America today than was the case back in 1975.
2. More than one out of every five children in the United States is currently living in poverty.
3. According to U.S. Census data, 57 percent of all American children live in a home that is either considered to be “poor” or “low income”.
4. Median household income for families with children dropped by a whopping $6,300 between 2001 and 2011.
5. For the first time ever, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless. That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.
6. It is being projected that half of all American children will be on food stamps at least once before they turn 18 years of age.
7. One university study estimates that child poverty costs the U.S. economy 500 billion dollars each year.
8. The 18 to 24 age group has a higher unemployment rate than any other age group in the United States.
9. Young adult employment is now at the lowest level that we have seen since World War II.
10. In 2007, the unemployment rate for the 20 to 29 age bracket was about 6.5 percent. Today, the unemployment rate for that same age group is about 13 percent.
11. Families that have a head of household under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.
12. Family homelessness in the Washington D.C. region (one of the wealthiest regions in the entire country) has risen 23 percent since the last recession began.
13. Since the year 2000, incomes for U.S. households led by someone between the ages of 25 and 34 have fallen by about 12 percent after you account for inflation.
14. In 1984, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older was 10 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger. Today, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older is 47 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger.
15. During 2011, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.
16. Many young people are finding that they cannot afford to get married these days. Sadly, an all-time low 44.2 percent of all Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 are married right now.
17. Right now, approximately 53 percent of all Americans in the 18 to 24 age group are living at home.
18. The number of Americans in the 25 to 34 age group that live with their parents has grown by 25 percent since 2007.
19. One survey discovered that 85 percent of all college seniors plan on moving back in with their parents after graduation.
20. Overall, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents in the United States right now according to Time Magazine.
After reading all of those statistics, do you still doubt that America is in decline? If so, you can find some more shocking statistics right here.
The truth is that it should be painfully evident to anyone with a brain that our economy is not working correctly anymore. We have lots of talented people, but there are not nearly enough jobs and a lot of those very talented people end up sleeping out in the streets.
A recent New York Times article told the story of a young man named Duane Taylor. Sadly, there are way too many young people out there today that are experiencing the same kind of things that he is…
Duane Taylor was studying the humanities in community college and living in his own place when he lost his job in a round of layoffs. Then he found, and lost, a second job. And a third.
Now, with what he calls “lowered standards” and a tenuous new position at a Jack in the Box restaurant, Mr. Taylor, 24, does not make enough to rent an apartment or share one. He sleeps on a mat in a homeless shelter, except when his sister lets him crash on her couch.
“At any time I could lose my job, my security,” said Mr. Taylor, explaining how he was always the last hired and the first fired. “I’d like to be able to support myself. That’s my only goal.”
There are millions upon millions of young people in America today that feel totally lost because they cannot find their places in the world.
They are angry, frustrated, depressed, desperate and disillusioned. They felt like they did everything that the system told them to do, and now they feel like the system is failing them.
An unemployed 2010 graduate of the University of Florida named Lance Fuller expresses similar sentiments on his blog entitled “Voices Of A Lost Generation“…
They are the countless young men and women eager for an opportunity but have found few, if any. They have desirable skills, are highly educated, and are more than willing to work.
Sadly, crippled by college debt and graduated into a struggling economy, they stand little chance to find gainful employment in their chosen fields and take temporary jobs they are overqualified for. They lie waiting for the dream job they went to school for — but it probably doesn’t exist.
My name is Lance and sadly, I share in this story. Like my twentysomething peers, I am one of the thousands of faces of America’s Generation U — Unfortunate, Unlucky, and Unemployed.
I am fortunate that I have never been without money to buy food and have never had to spend a night on the street. But tonight millions upon millions of Americans under the age of 30 will be faced with those kinds of circumstances.
Please say a prayer for them. They didn’t cause the economic mess that we are in, but they are certainly paying the price for the mistakes that were made.
Does anyone out there have a similar story to the ones that were shared in this article? If so, please feel free to share it below. Perhaps your story will encourage someone else out there who is going through a really hard time right now.
When are we finally going to admit that we have a very serious problem with this generation of young men in America? We have failed them so dramatically that it is hard to put it into words. We have raised an entire generation of young males that don’t know how to be men, and many of them feel completely lost. Sometimes they feel so lost that they “snap” in very destructive ways. Adam Lanza and James Holmes are two names that come to mind. Why is it that mass murderers are almost always young men? Why don’t young women behave the same way? Sadly, Adam Lanza and James Holmes are just the tip of the iceberg of a much larger problem in our society. Our young women vastly outperform our young men in almost every important statistical category. Young men are much more likely to perform poorly in school, they are much more likely to have disciplinary problems and they are much more likely to commit suicide. In the old days, our young men would gather in the streets or in the parks to play with one another after school, but today most of them are content to spend countless hours feeding their addictions to video games, movies and other forms of entertainment. When our young men grow up, many of them are extremely averse to taking on responsibility. They want to have lots of sex, but they aren’t interested in marriage. They enjoy the comforts of living at home, but they don’t want to go out and pursue career goals so that they can provide those things for themselves. Our young men are supposed to be “the leaders of tomorrow”, but instead many of them are a major burden on society. When are we finally going to admit that something has gone horribly wrong?
There is even a name for this generation of young men that does not want to grow up. It is called the “Peter Pan generation”. They want to enjoy the benefits of being grown up without ever taking on the responsibilities. A member of this “Peter Pan generation” recent wrote an article for the Daily Mail in which he discussed what he and his friends are going through…
I haven’t yet had to grow up so, well, I haven’t.
Reckless, irresponsible and immature? Yes. But at least I can take comfort in the fact I am not alone.
Last week, I read that there is even a name for people such as me. We are the ‘Peter Pan generation’; a sizeable group of 25 to 40-year-olds who exist in a state of extended adolescence, avoiding the trappings of responsibility — marriage, mortgage, children — for as long as possible.
‘Our society is full of lost boys and girls hanging out at the edge of adulthood,’ says Professor Frank Furedi, a sociologist who has been studying this phenomenon, at the University of Kent.
‘Another word sometimes used to describe these people is “adultescent” — generally defined as someone who refuses to settle down and make commitments, and who would rather go on partying into middle age.’
Young men in America didn’t always behave this way. Several decades ago, men in America moved away from home, got married and had children much earlier than they do now. But the young men of today seem to want to put off the “markers of adulthood” for as long as possible. The following is from an outstanding article by Sandy Hingston…
Sociologists cite five “markers” or “milestones” that have traditionally defined our notion of adulthood: finishing school, moving away from the parental home, becoming financially independent, getting married, and having a child. In 1960, 65 percent of men had ticked off all five by age 30; by 2000, only a third had. The experts have plenty of explanations for what’s come to be called “extended adolescence” or “emerging adulthood”—or what New York Times columnist David Brooks calls the “Odyssey Years.” They blame helicopter parents, the burden of student loan debt, much higher poverty rates among young people (nearly half of all Americans ages 25 to 34 live below the national level), and a dearth of vo-tech training and manufacturing jobs. Almost 60 percent of parents are now giving money to their grown kids—an average of $38,340 per child in the years between ages 18 and 34. Whatever happened to the son looking after his mom?
So why is all of this happening?
Well, there are a whole host of reasons. But certainly parents and our education system have to bear much of the blame. In the old days, young men were taught what it means to “be a man”, and morality was taught to young men both by their parents and in the schools. But today, most young men have very little understanding of what “manhood” is, and our society has taught them that morality doesn’t really matter. Instead, television and movies constantly portray young men as sex-obsessed slackers that just want to party all the time, so that is what many of our young men have become.
How much better off would our society be if we had trained this generation of young men to love, honor, protect and take care of others?
How much better off would our society be if we had nurtured the manhood of our young men instead of teaching them to be ashamed of it?
How much better off would our society be if we had disciplined our young men and taught them morality when they were getting off track instead of just letting them do whatever they wanted?
The following are 22 stats that prove that there is something seriously wrong with young men in America today…
#1 Males account for approximately 70 percent of all Ds and Fs in U.S. public schools.
#2 About two-thirds of all students in “special education programs” are boys.
#3 The average American girl spends 5 hours a week playing video games. The average American boy spends 13 hours a week playing video games.
#4 The average young American will spend 10,000 hours playing video games before the age of 21.
#5 One study discovered that 88 percent of all Americans between the ages of 8 and 18 play video games, and that video game addiction is approximately four times as common among boys as it is among girls.
#6 At this point, 15-year-olds that attend U.S. public schools do not even rank in the top half of all industrialized nations when it comes to math or science literacy.
#7 In 2011, SAT scores for young men were the worst that they had been in 40 years.
#8 According to a survey conducted by the National Geographic Society, only 37 percent of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 can find the nation of Iraq on a map.
#9 According to the New York Times, approximately 57 percent of all young people enrolled at U.S. colleges are women.
#10 It is being projected that women will earn 60 percent of all Bachelor’s degrees from U.S. universities by the year 2016.
#11 Even if they do graduate from college, most of our young men still can’t find a decent job. An astounding 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed during 2011.
#12 Pornography addiction is a major problem among our young men. An astounding 30 percent of all Internet traffic now goes to pornography websites, and one survey found that 25 percent of all employees that have Internet access in the United States even visit sex websites while they are at work.
#13 In the United States today, 47 percent of all high school students have had sex.
#14 The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate on the entire planet. If our young men behaved differently this would not be happening.
#15 In the United States today, one out of every four teen girls has at least one sexually transmitted disease. If our young men were not sex-obsessed idiots running around constantly looking to “score” these diseases would not be spreading like this.
#16 Right now, approximately 53 percent of all Americans in the 18 to 24 year old age bracket are living at home with their parents.
#17 According to one survey, 29 percent of all Americans in the 25 to 34 year old age bracket are still living with their parents.
#18 Young men are nearly twice as likely to live with their parents as young women the same age are.
#19 Overall, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents in the United States right now according to Time Magazine.
#20 Today, an all-time low 44.2% of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 are married.
#21 Back in 1950, 78 percent of all households in the United States contained a married couple. Today, that number has declined to 48 percent.
#22 Young men are about four times more likely to commit suicide as young women are.
So what do you think about this generation of young men in America? Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…
What in the world is happening to America? I have written many articles about how society is crumbling right in front of our eyes, but now it is getting to the point where people are going to be afraid to go to school or go shopping at the mall. Just consider what has happened over the past week. Adam Lanza savagely murdered 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. 42-year-old Marcus Gurrola threatened to shoot innocent shoppers and fired off more than 50 rounds in the parking lot of Fashion Island Mall in Newport Beach, California. After police apprehended him, he told them that he “was unhappy with life”. Earlier in the week, a crazy man wearing a hockey mask and armed with a semi-automatic rifle opened fire on the second floor of a mall in Happy Valley, Oregon. He killed two people and injured a third. On Saturday morning, a lone gunman walked into a hospital in Alabama and opened fire. He killed one police officer and two hospital employees before being gunned down by another police officer. So have we now reached the point where every school, every mall and every hospital is going to need armed security? How will society function efficiently if everyone is constantly worried about mass murderers?
In response to the horrible tragedy in Connecticut, many in the mainstream media are suggesting that much stricter gun laws are the obvious solution.
After all, if we get rid of all the guns these crazy people won’t be able to commit these kinds of crimes, right?
Unfortunately, that is not how it works. The criminals don’t obey gun control laws. Banning guns will just take them out of the hands of law-abiding American citizens that just want to protect their own families.
Adam Lanza didn’t let the strict gun control laws up in Connecticut stop him from what he wanted to do. Connecticut already has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, and Adam Lanza broke at least three of them.
However, if there had been some armed security officers or some armed teachers at that school, they may have had a chance to protect those dear little children from being brutally gunned down.
If gun control was really the solution to our problems, then cities that have implemented strict gun control laws should be some of the safest in the entire country.
But sadly, just the opposite is true.
For example, Chicago has very strict gun laws. But 10 people were shot in the city of Chicago on Friday alone. Chicago is now considered to be “the deadliest global city“, and the murder rate in Chicago is about 25 percent higher than it was last year.
So has gun control turned Chicago into a utopia?
Of course not.
And it won’t solve our problems on a national level either.
You can find more statistics about the futility of gun control right here.
Well, how would things be if we did just the opposite and everyone had a gun?
Would gun crime go through the roof?
That is what liberals were warning of when the city of Kennesaw, Georgia passed a law requiring every home to have a gun. But instead of disaster, the results turned out to be very impressive…
In March 1982, 25 years ago, the small town of Kennesaw – responding to a handgun ban in Morton Grove, Ill. – unanimously passed an ordinance requiring each head of household to own and maintain a gun. Since then, despite dire predictions of “Wild West” showdowns and increased violence and accidents, not a single resident has been involved in a fatal shooting – as a victim, attacker or defender.
The crime rate initially plummeted for several years after the passage of the ordinance, with the 2005 per capita crime rate actually significantly lower than it was in 1981, the year before passage of the law.
Prior to enactment of the law, Kennesaw had a population of just 5,242 but a crime rate significantly higher (4,332 per 100,000) than the national average (3,899 per 100,000). The latest statistics available – for the year 2005 – show the rate at 2,027 per 100,000. Meanwhile, the population has skyrocketed to 28,189.
When criminals know that everyone has guns, they are much less likely to try something. And often armed citizens are able to prevent potential mass murderers from doing more damage. You can find several examples of this right here.
But of course most of our politicians are not interested in common sense. Instead, they are obsessed with the idea that gun control will make our country “safe” again.
Senator Diane Feinstein says that she is ready to introduce a strict gun control bill in January that will “ban the sale, the transfer, the importation and the possession” of many types of firearms.
Will such a law keep the criminals from getting guns?
No way. Just look at what is happening with the cartels down in Mexico. The criminals are always able to get guns.
If our “leaders” were really interested in stopping these mass murders, they would take a look at the role that mind-altering pharmaceutical drugs play in these incidents. If you look at the mass murders that have occurred over the past several decades, in the vast majority of them the murderer had been using mind-altering pharmaceutical drugs…
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has raised concerns about severe acts of violence as side effects of anti-psychotic and antidepressant drugs not only on individuals but on society as well.
Just a month ago PRWeb described drug induced violence as “medicine’s best kept secret.”
And the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHRI) is calling for a federal investigation on its web page which links no less than 14 mass killings to the use of psychiatric drugs such as Prozac and Paxil.
And guess what?
According to the Washington Post, one neighbor says that Adam Lanza was “on medication”.
But will our politicians ever consider a law against such drugs?
Of course not. The big corporations that produce those drugs give mountains of money to the campaign funds of our politicians.
So the focus of the debate will remain on guns.
And a lot of liberals would have us believe that our society could be transformed into some type of “utopia” if we could just get rid of all the guns.
Unfortunately, that is simply not true. Our society is in an advanced state of moral decay, and this moral decay is manifesting in our society in thousands of different ways. The corruption runs from the highest levels of society all the way down to the lowest.
For those that believe that gun control would somehow “fix America”, I have some questions for you…
Down in Texas, one set of parents kept their 10-year-old son locked in a bedroom and only fed him bread and water for months. Eventually he died of starvation and they dumped his body in a creek.
Would banning guns have kept that from happening?
A pastor in north Texas was recently assaulted by an enraged man who beat him to death with an electric guitar.
Would banning guns have kept that from happening?
Police up in New Jersey say that a man kept his girlfriend padlocked in a bedroom for most of the last 10 years.
Would banning guns have kept that from happening?
A 31-year-old man up in Canada was found guilty of raping an 8-year-old girl, breaking 16 of her bones and smashing her in the face with a hammer.
Would banning guns have kept that from happening?
According to the FBI, a New York City police officer is being accused of “planning the kidnap, rape, torture and cannibilization of a number of women”.
Would banning guns have kept that from happening?
A Secret Service officer that had been assigned to protect Joe Biden’s residence has been charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.
Would banning guns have kept that from happening?
Over in Texas, a very sick 29-year-old man stabbed his girlfriend to death and then burned his one-year-old baby alive because she had gone to court and filed for child support.
Would banning guns have kept that from happening?
Over in Utah, a 21-year-old man is accused of stabbing his grandmother 111 times and then removing her organs with a knife.
Would banning guns have kept that from happening?
There are more than 3 million reports of child abuse in the United States every single year.
Would banning guns keep that from happening?
An average of five children die as a result of child abuse in the United States every single day.
Would banning guns keep that from happening?
The United States has the highest child abuse death rate on the entire globe.
Would banning guns keep that from happening?
It is estimated that 500,000 Americans that will be born this year will be sexually abused before they turn 18.
Would banning guns keep that from happening?
In the United States today, it is estimated that one out of every four girls is sexually abused before they become adults.
Would banning guns keep that from happening?
If there was a way to take all of the guns away from all of the criminals, I would be all in favor of it. Unfortunately, no government on the planet has been able to do that.
Instead, we have seen that criminals thrive whenever gun bans are instituted and the guns are taken away from law-abiding citizens.
But the bottom line is that our social decay will not be solved either by more guns or less guns.
Our social decay is the result of decades of bad decisions. We have pushed morality out of our schools, out of government and out of almost every aspect of public life. Now we are experiencing the bitter fruit of those decisions.
And this is not a problem that our government is going to be able to fix. Violent crime increased by 18 percent in 2011, and this is just the beginning.
As our economy gets even worse, the rot and decay that have been eating away the foundations of America are going to become even more evident. The number of Americans living in poverty grows with each passing day, and millions upon millions of people are becoming very desperate.
Desperate people do desperate things, and crime, rioting and looting are going to become commonplace in the United States in the years ahead.
So you can pretend that the government is going to be able to keep our society from crumbling all you want, but that is not going to help you when a gang of desperate criminals has invaded your home and is attacking your family.
We definitely should mourn for the victims in Connecticut. It was a horrible national tragedy.
But this is just the beginning. The fabric of our society is coming apart at the seams. The feeling of safety and security that we all used to take for granted has been shattered, and the streets of America are going to steadily become much more dangerous.
I hope that you are ready.
If you are in college right now, you will most likely either be unemployed or working a job that only requires a high school degree when you graduate. The truth is that the U.S. economy is not coming anywhere close to producing enough jobs for the hordes of new college graduates that are entering the workforce every year. In 2011, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed. Millions upon millions of young college graduates feel like the system has totally failed them. They worked hard in school all their lives, they went into huge amounts of debt in order to get the college education that they were told they “must have” in order to get a good job, but after graduation they found that there were only a handful of good jobs for the huge waves of college graduates that were entering the “real world”. All over America, college graduates can be found waiting tables, flipping burgers and working behind the register at retail stores. Unfortunately, the employment picture in America is not going to get significantly better any time soon.
All over the United States, “middle class jobs” are being replaced by “low income jobs” and young college graduates are being hurt by this transition more than almost anyone else. Massive numbers of young college graduates are now working jobs that do not even require a high school degree. Some of the statistics about young college graduates are absolutely astounding. The following is from a recent CNBC article….
In the last year, they were more likely to be employed as waiters, waitresses, bartenders and food-service helpers than as engineers, physicists, chemists and mathematicians combined (100,000 versus 90,000). There were more working in office-related jobs such as receptionist or payroll clerk than in all computer professional jobs (163,000 versus 100,000). More also were employed as cashiers, retail clerks and customer representatives than engineers (125,000 versus 80,000).
Can you imagine working really hard all throughout high school and college and always getting good grades and then ending up as a bartender?
Sadly, many hard working college graduates cannot seem to find a decent job no matter how hard they try. The following is one example from the CNBC article mentioned above….
“I don’t even know what I’m looking for,” says Michael Bledsoe, who described months of fruitless job searches as he served customers at a Seattle coffeehouse. The 23-year-old graduated in 2010 with a creative writing degree.
Initially hopeful that his college education would create opportunities, Bledsoe languished for three months before finally taking a job as a barista, a position he has held for the last two years. In the beginning he sent three or four resumes day. But, Bledsoe said, employers questioned his lack of experience or the practical worth of his major. Now he sends a resume once every two weeks or so.
Have you ever been there?
Have you ever sent out resumes week after week, month after month, only to get absolutely nowhere?
Many recent college graduates are being advised by “career counselors” that they should go back and “get more education”.
But is that really the answer? The truth is that there are lots and lots of unemployed and underemployed Americans with advanced degrees too. For example, a recent Business Insider article profiled a law school graduate named Erin that is actually on food stamps….
She remains on food stamps so her social life suffers. She can’t afford a car, so she has to rely on the bus to get around Austin, Texas, where she lives. And currently unable to pay back her growing pile of law school debt, Gilmer says she wonders if she will ever be able to pay it back.
“That has been really hard for me,” she says. “I have absolutely no credit anymore. I haven’t been able to pay loans. It’s scary, and it’s a hard thing to think you’re a lawyer but you’re impoverished. People don’t understand that most lawyers actually aren’t making the big money.”
But what “more education” will do is that it will get you into even more debt. Student loan debt can be one of the cruelest forms of debt, because it cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
As I wrote about a few days ago, total student loan debt in the United States recently surpassed the one trillion dollar mark. Students keep on racking up student loan debt in the hope that they will find “the American Dream” at the end of the rainbow.
Sadly, many students do everything “right” and still end up in the middle of a nightmare.
But it is not just young college graduates that are suffering in this economy.
As I wrote about a while back, the U.S. economy is not producing enough jobs for anyone at this point.
The mainstream media keeps telling us that unemployment is going down, but the truth is that the percentage of working age Americans that are employed is not increasing. In March 2010, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans had a job. In March 2012, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans had a job.
Does that sounds like improvement?
Of course not.
Unlike what we have seen after every other recession in the post-World War II era, the employment to population ratio is not bouncing back, and that is really bad news.
The main reason for this is because of the bad economy, but also it is important to understand that we are transitioning away from an “employment economy”.
Today, most large corporations view employees as very expensive “liabilities”. The goal for most large corporations is to minimize those “liabilities” as much as possible. In fact, these days some large corporations lay off huge numbers of workers even while they are making huge profits at the same time.
Once upon a time, Henry Ford made a conscious decision to pay his workers enough money so that they could afford to buy the cars that they were making.
Today, most corporations simply do not care about the living standards of their workers. They simply want to maximize profits to the fullest extent possible.
Many small businesses would like to hire more workers, but the federal government has made hiring workers so complicated and so expensive that it has become exceedingly difficult to make a profit on a worker. Most of the time it is simply easier to try to do more with what you already have.
The number of Americans that can work a job (“just over broke”) and still live “the American Dream” is steadily shrinking. Increasingly, the financial rewards in our economy are being funneled to the very top of organizations and workers are finding that their living standards continue to slowly go down.
At corporations that belong to the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index, CEOs earn 380 times what the average worker makes at those companies. In 1980, CEOs only earned 42 times what the average worker made at those companies.
A fundamental shift is happening in our economy and it is not going to be reversed any time soon. Workers are not valued at most companies anymore. No matter how much of yourself you give to your company, when the day comes that you become “disposable”, you will be cast aside as so much rubbish.
That is why I try to encourage people to start their own businesses and to be their own bosses. There is no job security anymore. The job that you have today could be gone tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the federal government is actually spending your money to train foreign workers to take our jobs. The following is from a recent Daily Caller article….
While the president has been urging “insourcing,” the government has been sending money to the Philippines to train foreign workers for jobs in English-speaking call centers.
According to New York Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop and North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones, this is unacceptable and “shocking.”
The pair are calling on the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to immediately suspend what is known as the Job Enabling English Proficiency (JEEP) program.
Can you believe that?
Over and over again, our politicians talk about the need to keep jobs in the United States and then they go out and do things that have the exact opposite effect.
It is truly maddening.
So what are the hordes of American workers that cannot find jobs supposed to do?
Well, one thing we are definitely seeing is a huge rise in the number of Americans that are dependent on the government.
For example, at the end of the Reagan administration the ratio of workers on Social Security disability to active workers was about 2 percent.
Today, it is over 6 percent.
During the first four months of 2012 alone, 539,000 more Americans were added to the Social Security disability rolls and another 725,000 submitted new applications.
Another federal program that is experiencing explosive growth is food stamps.
Last year, one out of every seven Americans was on food stamps, and the Congressional Budget Office is projecting that the number of people on food stamps will continue to grow through 2014.
It is so sad to see what is happening to America. Our economy is being dismantled all around us and the future looks incredibly bleak.
Right now there are millions upon millions of Americans that are sitting at home wallowing in despair. They don’t understand why nobody will hire them and they are rapidly running out of options.
The following is a comment that a reader left on one of my recent articles about the middle class….
I cannot believe my present situation…
I worked hard in school and college so that I could escape the low income uneducated mess I grew up in.
I made all the correct decisions with my career, finances, etc. I cannot figure out how I got to where I am at now.
In late 2008 I was laid off in the IT field. I was a go-getter, and I didn’t let anyone tell me the economy would make it difficult to find a job. I had another within 4 weeks.
Was laid off from that job last year. I qualified for unemployment, but then my employer decides to bring a bunch of lawyers and fight my eligibility. After I won again, they appealed again. I finally couldn’t afford to keep paying attorney fees. I finally lost the appeal. I had to pay all that money back.
I’m still trying to find a job in my field. Being the go-getting I am, I immediately took a job waiting tables which amounted to a 75% pay-cut.
I had saved 6 months of expenses and that is completely dry. I have completely drained my retirement and savings. Still cannot find a livable wage job after almost a decade in my field.
Things are slowly going into default and it feels utterly hopeless and stressful. My pristine credit rating is gone, my savings and everything I worked for is gone. I haven’t missed a payment on my mortgage, but it is coming. I can’t cut anything more than I already have.
I just can’t figure out how this could have happened to me. I played by the rules and made all the right choices. I skipped vacations and time off to prove I was a good worker and had what it took to be a valuable employee.
I really am just at a loss at this point. I’m single and have no family. This is really make-or-break for me. I have no fallback plan. The feeling of failure is just gut-wrenching.
Please say a prayer for that reader and for all of the other hard working Americans out there that are desperate to find a job.
If you are at the end of your rope, please do not give up. Even in the darkest moments, there is always a way to turn things around if you will just keep on fighting.
Sadly, way too many people are giving up on life because of the economy. In Europe, economic conditions have deteriorated so badly that there has been a dramatic increase in suicides. The following is from a recent article in the New York Times….
The economic downturn that has shaken Europe for the last three years has also swept away the foundations of once-sturdy lives, leading to an alarming spike in suicide rates. Especially in the most fragile nations like Greece, Ireland and Italy, small-business owners and entrepreneurs are increasingly taking their own lives in a phenomenon some European newspapers have started calling “suicide by economic crisis.”
When the next major economic downturn happens in the United States, we will probably see a similar thing happen here too.
But people need to realize that our lives are not about how much stuff we own.
Even if every single thing is taken away from you and you are left with nothing that does not mean that your life is over.
Even if you have not been able to find a job for years, that does not mean that you should give up.
In life, everyone gets knocked down.
But unless you are dead, there is always a way to get things turned around in a more positive direction.
One thing that I have learned in life is that you must never, ever, ever, ever give up.
The years ahead are going to be really hard for the global economy, but that doesn’t mean that they have to be horrible years for you.
The years ahead can be the very best years of your entire life, but that will never happen if you decide to simply give up.
The economy is not the only thing that is wrong with America. In order for a society to function smoothly, people need to be able to trust one another and be able to expect that most of their fellow citizens will behave in a somewhat civilized manner. Unfortunately, we are starting to see the very fabric of our society slowly unravel all over the nation. The truth is that America is becoming a very heartless place. People simply do not care about one another the way that they used to in this country. Of course there are many exceptions, but the reality is that millions of hearts are going cold from coast to coast. In America today, we are more self-absorbed than ever, more self-centered than ever, and we are more isolated from others than ever. Just think about the number of people that you personally interact with on a regular basis. Unless you are involved with a very large organization such as a school or a church, it is probably a very limited number. Our addiction to entertainment gives us the illusion of being connected to society, but the truth is that Americans spend less time personally interacting with one another than ever before. Meanwhile, Americans are seemingly becoming more arrogant, more prideful, more angry, more brutal, more greedy and more addicted to pleasure than ever before. When you combine millions of very cold hearts with an economy that is rapidly crumbling, that adds up to a whole lot of trouble in the years ahead.
Even government authorities are becoming heartless. TSA agents and police officers are actually trained to “act tough” and to bark orders at us. In the old days, you could reason with a police officer, but these days if you try to talk common sense with some of these thugs you will get tasered before you even realize what is happening.
The American people can see the deep corruption in Washington D.C. and throughout most of our other major institutions and they wonder why they should keep trying to do “the right thing”.
If our leaders are selfish and heartless, then it is only natural that millions of average Americans will follow their examples.
In America today, we are taught to hate one another. Democrats are taught to hate Republicans and Republicans are taught to hate Democrats. We are a deeply divided nation and our hearts are getting colder with each passing year.
Parents are becoming more cruel, thieves are becoming more bold and thugs are becoming more brutal. Hate, anger and frustration are fueling some really twisted behavior all over the country. America is changing, and not for the better.
The following are 19 signs that America is becoming a very heartless place….
#1 At one airport in Hawaii, TSA agents recently required one new mother to go to a public restroom and fill up the empty baby bottles she was carrying with breast milk before they would allow her to get on to her flight. The following is how one local news station described the incident….
She claims agents told her she couldn’t take the pump on the plane because the bottles in her carry-on were empty.
“I asked him if there was a private place I could pump and he said no, you can go in the women’s bathroom. I had to stand in front of the mirrors and the sinks and pump my breast in front of every tourist that walked into that bathroom. I was embarrassed and humiliated and then angry that I was treated this way.
When the bottles were full, she was allowed back on the plane.
#2 One way that a society is judged is by how it treats children. Unfortunately, stories such as the following one from Texas are becoming increasingly common in America today….
Texas authorities said Tuesday they removed 11 children from a crowded home where a registered sex offender lives after they found eight confined in a small, dark bedroom with restraints tying some to their beds.
Along with the children, 10 adults were living in the one-story, 1,700-square-foot home in Dayton, about 30 miles northeast of Houston, Child Protective Services spokeswoman Gwen Carter said. One month after a raid on the house, authorities are still trying to determine how the children are related and why they were there, she said.
#3 Across the United States, there have been an increasing number of reports of teens randomly attacking people on the street for no apparent reason whatsoever. In some cases, the victims are actually being pulled out of their vehicles. The following recent example comes from Philadelphia….
IN A HORRIFIC assault in Center City on Saturday night, three teenagers who were spouting racial slurs pulled a man out of a cab to beat him. And when the cabdriver intervened to stop the assault, the teens turned their rage on him, police said yesterday.
#4 One man down in Arizona was recently charged with skinning and eating a cat. He told authorities that he did it because he was “hungry”.
#5 In the Detroit area, an 86-year-old World War II veteran was recently brutally carjacked in the middle of the day at a gas station. His leg was broken during the assault, and as he slowly crawled across the concrete parking lot many people walked by him and drove by him as if he was not even there.
#6 One 69-year-old woman down in Texas recently went without running water for six years and nobody ever helped her out until just recently.
#7 In Ohio, one man has been charged with raping three children that he adopted and with allowing other men to have sex with them as well.
#8 One man down in Texas was recently fined by the city government for not mowing the lawn of a house that he had already lost to foreclosure.
#9 These days thieves will steal anything that is metal that they think that they can resell. In the Philadelphia area recently, there has been a rash of brass door knocker thefts. Thieves have been going up and pulling them right off of the front doors of private homes.
#10 As the price of gasoline rises, gasoline thieves are becoming more creative. The following is a recent example from the Tampa Bay area….
As gas thefts go, this one was deceptively elaborate.
Inside a blue Chevrolet Venture minivan, criminals had cut out a large hole in the floorboard and set up a portable pumping station, complete with power source, pump and plastic container.
The goal: to steal hundreds of gallons of gas pulled directly from the gas station’s underground storage tank and funneled into a plastic tank inside the van.
Gasoline thefts have become so common in Detroit that one city councilman wants to force gas station owners to hire security guards.
#11 One 29-year-old female tutor was recently arrested for having a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old boy that she was supposed to be tutoring.
#12 The ACLU is trying to force one library district in Washington state to allow full public access to pornography on library computers – even if children will be walking by and able to see what is going on.
#13 In America today, a lot of parents are becoming extremely cruel. Down in Alabama, one 9-year-old girl recently died after being forced by her mother and grandmother to run for three hours straight as punishment for lying about having eaten some candy bars.
#14 Some Americans have become so desperate that they are trying to get sent to prison on purpose. For example, one ex-police officer in Georgia recently robbed a bank and allowed authorities to catch him so that he could get food, shelter and free medical care in jail.
#15 What can account for the rash of seemingly random violent crimes that we have been seeing lately? Over near Seattle, an 88-year-old man and an 83-year-old woman were brutally attacked by a 31-year-old man armed with a crossbow and a hatchet for no apparent reason whatsoever….
Prosecutors say 31-year-old John Chase was walking down the highway when he saw Ralph Aldrich, 88, in his back yard. Detectives say Chase shot and killed Aldrich with a crossbow and then went inside the home and repeatedly hit 83-year-old June Aldrich with a hatchet.
#16 In America today, many people are so angry and so frustrated that even the slightest provocation can push them over the edge. For example, one man in Georgia actually firebombed a Taco Bell because they did not put enough meat in his Chalupa.
#17 These days Americans are having a hard time feeling safe in their own homes. Down in Maryland, one very sick home invader was recently sentenced to 100 years in prison for doing some very twisted things….
In one case, authorities said, he sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl after breaking into her family’s Fort Washington home with a cinder block and forced her to pose nude on a bed as he took photographs and videos of her. Authorities said in another case, Scott and an accomplice, Marcus Dermanellian Hunter – who has already pleaded guilty to federal firearms charges – held up a Bowie family at gunpoint in April 2009, used their debit cards to steal money from ATM machines and then stole a luxury car.
#18 In America today you never know who is going to come driving up to you on the street. Most of the time people that you meet will be at least somewhat “normal”, but there is also a chance that the next strangers that you run into will be crack-fueled perverts. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened to a Montana teacher named Sherry Arnold…
Spell and Waters had left Colorado days before the crime claiming they wanted work in eastern Montana and western North Dakota’s oil fields.
After smoking crack cocaine over the entire trip, Waters allegedly told Spell the drug ‘brought the devil out in him’ and began talking about kidnapping and killing a female, AP reports.
After they spotted Arnold, Spell claims that Waters told him to ‘grab the lady’ and pull her into their Ford Explorer as she jogged by.
After they got her into the Ford Explorer, they choked the life out of her and then buried her body in a shallow grave in North Dakota.
#19 In the Boston area, the FBI recently used a chainshaw to cut through the front door of one apartment during a raid. They quickly subdued the woman living inside and had her on the floor for 35 minutes as her young daughter cried out to her. Eventually they figured out that they had the wrong apartment and they issued a “routine apology” to the woman.
As our country falls apart all around us, there is going to be a greater need for love and compassion than ever before.
Don’t count on the government to help those in need. The government always does a miserable job of that.
As I have written about previously, already more than 40 percent of all children in Atlanta and more than 50 percent of all children in Detroit are living in poverty.
In the years ahead those numbers are going to get even worse.
But it isn’t just in the major cities where poverty is exploding. Sadly, today one out of every four children in the United States is on food stamps.
As times get tough, you have two choices.
You can allow your heart to grow cold like so many other people are doing.
Or you can decide that you are going to become more loving and more compassionate than ever before.
America is becoming a very heartless place, and unfortunately there is no sign that trend is going to turn around any time soon.
But you don’t have to become heartless.
Be a light that shines in the darkness.
In the end, you will be glad that you were.
Once upon a time in America, virtually anyone with a high school education and the willingness to work hard could get a good job. Fifty years ago a “good job” would enable someone to own a home, buy a car, take a couple of vacations a year and retire with a decent pension. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. Every single year the number of “good jobs” in the United States actually shrinks even as our population continues to grow. Where in the world did all of those good jobs go? Economists toss around terms such as “outsourcing” and “offshoring” to describe what is happening, but most ordinary Americans don’t really grasp what those terms mean. So what is outsourcing? Well, it essentially means sending work somewhere else. In the context of this article I will be using those terms to describe the thousands of manufacturing facilities and the millions of jobs that have been sent overseas. Over the past several decades, the U.S. economy has become increasingly merged into the emerging “one world economy”. Thanks to the WTO, NAFTA and a whole host of other “free trade” agreements, the internationalist dream of a truly “global marketplace” is closer than ever before.
But for American workers, a “global marketplace” is really bad news. In the United States, businesses are subject to a vast array of very complex laws, rules and regulations that make it very difficult to operate in this country. That makes it very tempting for corporations to simply move out of the U.S. in order to avoid all of the hassle.
In addition, the United States now has the highest corporate tax rate in the entire world. This also provides great motivation for corporations to move operations outside of the country.
The biggest thing affecting American workers, however, is the fact that labor has now become a global commodity. U.S. workers have now been merged into a global labor pool. Americans must now directly compete for jobs with hundreds of millions of desperate people willing to work for slave labor wages on the other side of the globe.
So exactly how is an American worker supposed to compete with a highly motivated person on the other side of the planet that makes $1.50 an hour with essentially no benefits?
Just think about it.
If you were a big global corporation, would you want to hire American workers which would cost you 10 or 20 times more after everything is factored in?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why millions of jobs have been leaving the United States.
Corporations love to make more money. Many of them will not hesitate for an instant to pay slave labor wages if they can get away with it. The bottom line for most corporations is to maximize shareholder wealth.
Slowly but surely the number of good jobs in the United States is shrinking and those jobs are being sent to places where labor is cheaper.
According to the U.S. Commerce Department, U.S. multinational corporations added 2.4 million new jobs overseas during the first decade of this century. But during that same time frame U.S. multinational corporations cut a total of 2.9 million jobs inside the United States.
So where are all of our jobs going?
They are going to places like China.
The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
In addition, over 40,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been closed permanently during the past decade.
What do you think is eventually going to happen if the U.S. economy continues to bleed jobs and factories so badly?
As the U.S. has faltered, China has become an absolute economic powerhouse.
Ten years ago, the U.S. economy was three times as large as the Chinese economy. At the turn of the century the United States accounted for well over 20 percent of global GDP and China accounted for significantly less than 10 percent of global GDP. But since that time our share of global GDP has been steadily declining and China’s share has been steadily rising.
According to the IMF, China will pass the United States and will become the largest economy in the world in 2016.
Should we all celebrate when that happens?
Should we all chant “We’re Number 2″?
Our economy is falling to pieces and the competition for the few remaining good jobs has become super intense.
The average American family is having a really tough time right now. Only 45.4% of Americans had a job during 2010. The last time the employment level was that low was back in 1983.
Not only that, only 66.8% of American men had a job last year. That was the lowest level that has ever been recorded in all of U.S. history.
Just think about that.
33.2% of American men do not have jobs.
And that figure is going to continue to rise unless something is done about these economic trends.
Today, there are 10% fewer “middle class jobs” in the United States than there were a decade ago. Tens of millions of Americans have been forced to take “whatever they can get”. A lot of very hard working people are basically working for peanuts at this point. In fact, half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.
Things have gotten so bad that tens of thousands of people showed up for the National Hiring Day that McDonald’s just held. With the economy such a mess, flipping burgers or welcoming people to Wal-Mart are jobs that suddenly don’t look so bad.
Right now America is rapidly losing high paying jobs and they are being replaced by low paying jobs. According to a recent report from the National Employment Law Project, higher wage industries accounted for 40 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months but only 14 percent of the job growth. Lower wage industries accounted for just 23 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months and a whopping 49 percent of the job growth.
Thanks to the emerging one world economy, the U.S. is “transitioning” from a manufacturing economy to a service economy.
But it certainly doesn’t help that China is using every trick in the book to steal our industries. China openly subsidizes domestic industries, they brazenly steal technology and they manipulate currency rates.
A recent article on Economy In Crisis described how the Chinese paper industry has been able to grow by threefold over the past decade while the U.S. paper industry has fallen apart….
From 2002 to 2009, the Chinese government poured $33.1 billion into what should be an unproductive industry. But, with the help of government subsidies, China was able to ride export-driven growth to become the world’s leading producer of paper products.
In the same time frame that China pumped $33 billion into its paper industry, U.S. employment in the industry fell 29 percent, from 557,000 workers to just 398,000.
So why should we be concerned about all of this?
Well, just open up your eyes. As I have written about previously, our formerly great cities are being transformed into post-apocalyptic hellholes.
In a comment to a recent article, Trucker Mark described what he has seen happen to the “rust belt” over the past several decades….
I am a product of Detroit’s northwest suburbs and the Cleveland, OH area, where together I lived almost 2/3rds of my 54 years. As a 30-year semi driver, I am intimately familiar with large areas of the industrial Midwest, the Northeast, and even much of central and southern California, and everything in-between. I am also college-educated, in Urban Planning and Economics. What has happened to not just Detroit, but to virtually every city in the southern half of Lower Michigan and northern Ohio is mind-boggling. When I was 18, it was quite common to head over to a car plant and get hired immediately into a middle-class job. At one time I had dozens of friends from school working at car plants, dozens more in other large factories, dozens more in major grocery warehousing and distribution, and me, I was a semi driver delivering to all of those places. Between 1979, when I started driving semis, and now, I must have seen 10s of thousands of factories across just the southern Great Lakes region close their doors. Some of them were small, and some of them employed 10,000 workers or more.
The former Packard plant from your photo closed in 1957, and at one time it employed 12,000 workers, and my roommate in 1982 in Birmingham, MI had been laid-off from the old Dodge Main plant in Hamtramck, which once employed over 20,000 workers, which closed in 1981. In 1970 just Chrysler had over 40 plants in the Detroit-area, and now there are just 11 left open. The Willow Run plant, which at one time turned-out a brand-new B-29 bomber every 40 minutes, and employed 50,000 workers, is long dead too, as is the tank plant north of town too. Even fairly new car plants like Novi Assembly are closed, Pontiac’s ultra-modern robotic car assembly plant too. In Cleveland 100 or more huge old plants stand empty, car plants, steel mills, and machine tool builders, in Akron dozens of rubber plants are long gone, Sharon, Warren, and Youngstown have all lost huge numbers of industrial jobs, Canton and Massillon too, where the NFL started, have been reduced to mere shells of their former selves. Along with the plant closings have gone the hopes and dreams of many thousands of retail operators, restaurant owners, and thousands of other small businesses too. Hundreds of entire major shopping malls stand vacant, as seas of potholes consume local roads. The city of Hamtramck, MI a Detroit suburb of 40,000 people, is bankrupt and has had to layoff all but two employees, one of whom works part-time. The traffic lights are shut-off and stop signs now appear at those intersections instead, as the city can’t even pay its power bill. I could go on & on & on for days but I don’t have the time.
I haven’t driven a semi in almost 2 years as my eyesight has begun giving out early. My last 10 years in the industry was spent delivering fresh and frozen meat on a regular multi-stop route through the Chicago-area and throughout southern Michigan. Between 2001 and 2009, my boss lost 14 of 19 major weekly customers in Michigan to bankruptcy, including three major grocery chains, plus numerous less-frequent customers. The Detroit News reported before Christmas of 2007 a 29% unemployment rate within the city limits of Detroit, with an estimated 44% of the total adult population not working, and another news story reported a 1 in 200 chance of selling a house across the entire metropolitan area, which still has 4 million people total. Since 2003, home prices within the city limits of Detroit have fallen by 90%, and today there are thousands of houses in move-in condition on the market there for $5K to $10K. The suburbs are not immune either.
You know what? Detroit and Cleveland used to be two of the greatest cities in the entire world.
Today very few people would call them great. They are just shells of their former glory.
Sadly, this cruel economy is causing “ghost towns” to appear all across the United States. There are quite a few counties across the nation that now have home vacancy rates of over 50%.
Another reader, Flubadub, also remembers how things used to be….
I am also a product of that generation and remember well the opportunities that existed for anyone with even a high school diploma in those days. Just within a reasonable commute to where I grew up we had US Steel, 3M, General Motors Fisher Body, Nabisco, The Budd Co., Strick Trailer and others providing thousands of jobs that enabled you to provide a decent living for your family. There were also plenty of part time jobs to keep high school students busy enough to avoid the pratfalls of idle youth and afford the 28 cent/ gallon gas for their used cars. Most of it is gone now and I don’t blame the Mexicans or the Chinese for stealing it. I blame the greed of the globalists and their flunkies, the phony free trade advocates in office, who’ve spent the last twenty years giving it all away.
Our jobs are being shipped overseas so that greedy corporate executives can pad their bonuses and our politicians are allowing them to get away with it.
According to a new report from the AFL-CIO, the average CEO made 343 times more money than the average American did last year.
Life is great if you are a CEO.
Life is not so great if you are an average American worker trying to raise a family.
Another reader, Itsjustme, says that things are also quite depressing In New Jersey….
I live in northern NJ in a suburb a very short ride from NYC.
Our region was hit very hard — we once had a very prosperous and booming industrial area; mixed use with many warehouses and commercial buildings, hirise and lowrise.
The majority of companies that were in those buildings are gone. Long vacant; the signage is left and nobody is inside them.
One large commercical building with 15 floors now is home to 2 tenants: a law firm and a Korean shipping company.
It’s very sad what’s happened out here.
The only “companies” moving into these buildings are small change tenants that that are usually Chinese or Middle Eastern; you’ll see them subletting out 2 or 3 offices in these buildings and they operate out of those offices. They’re mostly importers of apparel or soft goods.
My guess is that they are there on very short term leases.
This will benefit our local and state economy not. These groups usually send the money home.
If this is the shape of things to come, we can hang it up right now. No viable companies are moving into our area; if anything new is being built it is retail and service industry garbage, like crummy fast food chain restaurants. No livable wage jobs are entering our local economy.
As I have written about previously, the standard of living of the middle class is being pushed down to third world levels. We have been merged into a “global labor pool”, and what that means is that the standard of living of all workers all over the world is going to be slowly equalized over time.
Our politicians never told us that all of these “free trade” agreements would mean that soon we would be living like the rest of the world.
America used to be the greatest economic machine on the planet. But now we are just another region of the one world economy that has workers that are too expensive to be useful.
In the end, there is not some great mystery as to why we are experiencing economic decline as a nation.
If millions of our jobs are being shipped overseas, it was basically inevitable that we were going to experience a housing crisis. Without good jobs the American people simply cannot afford high mortgage payments.
Today we consume far more wealth as a nation than we produce. We have tried to make up the difference by indulging in the greatest debt binge that the world has ever seen.
We have lived like kings and queens, but our debt-fueled prosperity is not sustainable. In fact, the collapse of our financial system is a lot closer than most people would like to believe.
Things did not have to turn out like this, but we bought into the lies and the propaganda that our leaders were feeding us.
Now our economy lies in tatters and our children have no economic future.
Today budget cutters are on the rampage from coast to coast and often one of their first targets is public school teachers. What we have witnessed recently in Wisconsin is just one example of this. The truth is that you do not want to become a teacher if you want to have financial security in America today. Teacher salaries are being slashed from sea to shining sea. But to a certain extent the teachers that are having their wages cut are the fortunate ones. There are thousands upon thousands of teachers that have already been laid off, and there are tens of thousands more that are about to be laid off. It is absolutely brutal out there right now. So if you are thinking about becoming a teacher you might want to think twice. Not that there are a whole lot of other jobs that are more secure right now. The truth is that there is no such thing as a “safe job” in America today.
It is very unfortunate that what is going on right now is going to scare so many young people away from becoming a teacher because the next generation could definitely use some quality teachers.
But the truth is that it is getting really hard to honestly recommend that anyone become a teacher at this point. Just consider some of the following news stories that we have seen around the nation recently….
#1 In Providence, Rhode Island the school district plans to send out dismissal notices to every single one of its 1,926 teachers.
#2 Michigan has just approved a plan to shut down nearly half of the public schools in Detroit. Under the plan, 70 schools will be closed and 72 will continue operating.
#3 In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie has laid off thousands of teachers and he cut a billion dollars from the state education budget.
#4 Bills in Wisconsin, Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana and Idaho would either significantly alter or completely take away the collective bargaining rights of public school teachers.
#5 The eyes of the whole country are on Wisconsin right now. Teachers there are very alarmed about the $900 million in cuts to school funding over the next two years that are being proposed.
#6 Clay Robison, a spokesman for the Texas State Teachers Association, recently said that his organization is projecting that 100,000 school employees in the state of Texas could lose their jobs.
#7 The current plan is for more than 4,500 New York City school teachers to be laid off after this current school years ends. This will be the most significant teacher layoffs in New York since the 1970s.
#8 In Los Angeles, more than 5,000 teachers will be receiving preliminary layoff notices due to budget cuts.
#9 Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval is being deeply criticized for the teacher pay cuts that he is proposing.
#10 StudentsFirst.org is projecting that 161,000 teachers across the United States are in danger of losing their jobs this year alone.
So in light of the facts above, should we advise any of our young people to try to become a teacher?
The worst thing about all this for young teachers is that in many areas of the country there is a rule that says the last teachers hired are the first ones that get laid off.
That is another huge incentive for young people not to choose teaching as a profession.
So why are so many teacher layoffs happening?
Well, the truth is that most of our state and local governments are very deep in debt and have run out of money.
State and local government debt has reached at an all-time high of 22 percent of U.S. GDP, and hordes of state and local governments are teetering on the brink of insolvency at this point.
When there is no more money, the cuts have to come from somewhere. It is just really unfortunate that so many teachers are going to be put out onto the street.
People that have gone into the teaching profession have all spent a lot of time and money to get the education that they need to teach. If they are told that they can’t do that anymore, what are they supposed to do?
Most of the time when teachers are forced out of the profession they end up having to take jobs that pay much less. In this economy, many ex-teachers will not be able to find jobs at all. Today, one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps, and sadly many teachers may soon be joining them.
So why don’t we just raise taxes so that all of these teachers can keep their jobs? Well, the truth is that middle class Americans are already being taxed into oblivion. When you add up the dozens and dozens of different taxes that Americans pay each year the overall tax burden is absolutely frightening. There is only so much that you can squeeze out of the American people.
No, the truth is that the American people are taxed way too much already, and the big corporations and the ultra-wealthy have become experts at avoiding taxation. Our current tax system needs to be completely scrapped and replaced with something entirely new.
If our state and local governments had not been so addicted to debt, and if our economy had been managed correctly and if about a hundred other things had been done differently we would not be having these problems.
But here we are.
Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any easy answers.
Or are there some solutions that most of us have been overlooking? What do you all think? What should be done about all of the teacher layoffs that are taking place all over the country? Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below….
Sometimes it isn’t necessary to quote facts and figures about government debt, unemployment and the trade deficit in order to convey how badly America is decaying. The truth is that millions of Americans can watch America rotting right in front of their eyes by stepping out on their front porches. Record numbers of homes have been foreclosed on and in some of the most run down cities as many as a third of all houses have been abandoned. Unemployment remains at depressingly high levels and the number of Americans on food stamps continues to set new records month after month. Due to severe budget cuts, class sizes are exploding and school programs are being eliminated. In some areas of the U.S. schools are even going to four day weeks. With little to no funding available, bridges are crumbling and street lights are being turned off in many communities. In some areas, asphalt roads are actually being ground up and turned back into gravel roads because they are less expensive to maintain. There aren’t even as many police available to patrol America’s decaying cities because budget problems have forced local communities across the U.S. to lay off tens of thousands of officers.
Once upon a time, the American people worked feverishly to construct beautiful, shining communities from coast to coast. But now we get to watch those communities literally crumble and decay in slow motion. Nothing lasts forever, but for those of us who truly love America it is an incredibly sad thing to witness what is now happening to the great nation that our forefathers built.
The following are 18 signs that America is rotting right in front of our eyes….
1 – Due to extreme budget cuts, school systems across the United States are requiring their students to bring more supplies with them than ever this year. In Moody, Alabama elementary school students are being told to bring paper towels, garbage bags and liquid soap with them to school. At Pauoa Elementary School in Honolulu, Hawaii all students are being required to show up with a four-pack of toilet paper.
2 – According to the American Association of School Administrators, 48 percent of all U.S. school districts are reporting budget cuts of 10 percent or less for the upcoming school year, and 30 percent of all U.S. school districts are reporting cuts of 11 to 25 percent.
3 – In Chicago, drastic budget cuts could result in an average class size of 37 students.
4 – The governor of Hawaii has completely shut down that state’s schools on Fridays – moving teachers and students to a four day week.
5 – According to the Federal Highway Administration, approximately a third of America’s major roadways are already in substandard condition.
6 – All over the United States, asphalt roads are being ground up and are being replaced with gravel because it is cheaper to maintain. The state of South Dakota has transformed over 100 miles of asphalt road into gravel over the past year, and 38 out of the 83 counties in the state of Michigan have now turned some of their asphalt roads into gravel roads.
7 – According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 25 percent of America’s nearly 600,000 bridges need significant repairs or are burdened with more traffic than they were designed to carry.
8 – In a desperate attempt to save money, the city of Colorado Springs turned off a third of its streetlights and put its police helicopters up for auction.
9 – The state of Arizona has eliminated funding for full-day kindergarten and has shut down a number of state parks.
10 – Over the past year, approximately 100 of New York’s state parks and historic sites have had to cut services and reduce hours.
11 – In Georgia, the county of Clayton recently eliminated its entire public bus system in order to save 8 million dollars.
12 – Elsewhere in Georgia, 30,000 people recently turned out to pick up only 13,000 applications for government-subsidized housing. A near-riot ensued and 62 people were left injured. The amazing thing is that all of this commotion was just to get on a waiting list. There are no aid vouchers even available at this time.
13– In the city of Philadelphia, rolling fire station “brown outs” recently cost a 12 year old autistic boy named Frank Marasco his life.
14– Oakland, California Police Chief Anthony Batts says that due to severe budget cuts there are a number of crimes that his department will simply not be able to respond to any longer. The crimes that the Oakland police will no longer be responding to include grand theft, burglary, car wrecks, identity theft and vandalism.
15– The sheriff’s department in Ashtabula County, Ohio has been slashed from 112 to 49 deputies, and there is now just one vehicle remaining to patrol all 720 square miles of the county.
16 – Of 315 municipalities the New Jersey State Policemen’s union recently canvassed, more than half indicated that they were planning to lay off police officers.
17 – Not that the criminals are doing that much better. Things have gotten so bad in Camden, New Jersey that not even the drug dealers are spending their money anymore.
18 – Almost everyone knows someone who has been severely impacted by this economic downturn. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey has found that 81 percent of American adults know someone who is out of work and looking for a job.
So can’t the states just step up and start spending more money and fix these things?
Well, no. The truth is that the states are absolutely broke. Quite a few of the states are actually on the verge of default, and there is no getting around the fact that budget cuts that are much more severe are going to be required in the years ahead.
So can’t the U.S. government step in and bail out the states?
Well, yes, but as we have detailed previously, the U.S. government is literally drowning in a sea of red ink. The U.S. government is already spending an amount of money equivalent to approximately 25.4 percent of GDP this year.
How much more money can the U.S. government possibly spend?
To get an idea of just how bad things are already, the IMF says that in order to fix the U.S. government budget deficit, taxes need to be doubled on every single U.S. citizen.
Are you ready to pay double the taxes?
No matter how you slice it, the U.S. is in a massive amount of financial trouble and the American people are starting to realize this fact. In fact, one new poll found that nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that the U.S. economy will get worse before it gets better.
But unfortunately things are not going to get “better” – at least in the long-term. The decay and the rot that have already set in are only going to get worse.
These problems did not appear overnight and they are not going to be solved overnight. Our leaders have been making very bad decisions for decades, and all of those bad decisions are starting to catch up with us.
But perhaps you disagree. Feel free to tell us what you think in the comments section below….