For some Americans this past Christmas represented the best of times. They drove their imported cars out to the big box stores where they bought cheap plastic imported goods from China to give to their family members as they huddled in the spacious family rooms of their McMansions. But for millions of other Americans this was not a happy Christmas. For those Americans, the holiday season has been filled with frustration and despair as they try to pick up the pieces of their lives after being hit by an economic tsunami. You see, the deep recession of 2008/2009 is not just about numbers and figures – it is about real people with very real problems. Boneheaded policies developed in Washington and in the corporate boardrooms of America have had devastating consequences for millions of people out there. So if you are having a “happy” holiday season, perhaps you could take a few moments to consider what the other side of Christmas is like for the large numbers of Americans who are really hurting out there right now.
In 2009, millions of Americans lost their jobs. It may seem really easy to tell someone to “get a job”, but when there are simply no jobs out there it can literally suck the life out of the unemployed. In fact, some areas of the United States now more closely resemble a war zone than a modern industrialized nation. For example, the city of Detroit is a complete disaster area. The “official” unemployment rate in Detroit is 27 percent, but the mayor of Detroit says that it should really be about 45 percent using a broader definition of unemployment.
Almost half of the people in one of America’s biggest cities out of work?
Can you even imagine?
And yet it is a reality.
People there are desperate.
People there are turning to crime.
Forget about figuring out what to buy for Christmas – people in Detroit are figuring out how to put a roof over their heads and are wondering where their next meal is going to come from.
But it is not just Detroit.
Unemployment is ravaging the entire nation.
For example, 1400 truckers based in Oklahoma who worked for Arrow Trucking suddenly found themselves unemployed and found their paychecks bouncing when their employer suddenly went out of business. Some of them even found themselves stranded in the middle of their routes when their gas cards simply stopped working. Just check out the video news report below….
Now many of those truckers are wondering how they are going to feed their families.
That was their Christmas.
So how was yours?
If you do not understand how explosive the growth of unemployment has been the past two years, then please go take a look at this startling animated map which graphically shows the mind blowing growth of unemployment in the United States. It will simply take your breath away.
Millions of other Americans have lost their homes in 2009.
How would you feel if you lost your home and had to move into a motel or move in with your relatives or even move into a tent city?
Yes, tent cities are popping up all over the United States. People who once lived in beautiful homes and who celebrated Christmas with their families around the ole Christmas tree are now relegated to trying to survive in tent cities….
Millions of other Americans who may still have jobs and who may even still have their homes cannot sleep at night because they are up to their eyeballs in debt. Credit card debt has become a national nightmare as Americans have indulged in the greatest consumer debt binge of all time over the past decade.
Now those chickens are coming home to roost. Just check out the following video….
The truth is that the average American household is drowning in debt. In 1980, the average U.S. household held $670 in credit card debt. That number today is up to $7,800.
As the economy crumbles, many people would love to get out of debt but they simply can’t. In fact, millions of Americans find themselves unable to make ends meet at the end of the month.
More Americans than ever are allowing frustration to slowly become despair. People know things are bad and they are not optimistic that things will get any better any time soon.
In fact, one new poll has revealed that eight in ten Americans say that the economy is in poor shape.
The American middle class is simply tapped out. Millions of people are going broke. The total number of bankruptcies filed in the third quarter in the United States surged 33%.
So how are you doing?
If you had a wonderful Christmas without any financial worries consider yourself fortunate.
But as the U.S. economic collapse continues it may come and claim you as a victim as well.
You better get ready.