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Things Are Getting Worse: Median Household Income Has Fallen 4 Years In A Row

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New numbers that have just been released show that things are getting worse for American families.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income declined to $50,054 in 2011.  That is a 1.5 percent decline from the previous year, and median household income has now fallen for 4 years in a row.  In fact, after adjusting for inflation median household income has not been this low since 1995.  These new numbers once again confirm what so many of us have been talking about for so long – American families are steadily getting poorer.  Incomes are going down and the cost of living just keeps going up.  This dynamic is squeezing more Americans out of the middle class every single month.  Others just keep going into more debt in an attempt to maintain their previous lifestyles.  As Americans, we really don’t like to hear that things are getting worse and that we are in decline, but unfortunately that is exactly what is happening.  Our economy does not produce nearly enough jobs for everyone anymore, the proportion of low wage jobs in our economy continues to grow, and the middle class is shrinking at an alarming rate.  Our politicians can deliver speeches about how great we all are until the cows come home, but it isn’t going to change the reality of our situation.  If we want different results we have got to start taking different actions.

When you take the median household income of $50,054 and divide it up over 12 months, it comes to about $4000 a month.

About half of all American households are making more than that and about half of all American households are making less than that.

So can an average family of four people make it on just $4000 a month?

Well, first of all you have got to take out taxes.  After accounting for all forms of taxation you will be lucky if you have $3000 remaining.

With that $3000, you have to pay for all of the following.







*At Least One Vehicle


*Vehicle Repairs

*Car Insurance

*Health Insurance

*Dental Bills

*Home Or Rental Insurance

*Life Insurance

*Student Loan Debt Payments

*Credit Card Payments




*Entertainment (although it is hard to imagine any money will be left for that)

Have I left anything out?

The truth is that $3000 does not go as far as it used to.

No wonder American families are feeling so stretched financially these days.

Most families can’t even afford to think about retirement or investments because most of them are just trying to figure out a way to survive from month to month.

Unfortunately, economic conditions for middle income Americans continue to deteriorate.  Being in the middle class in America is like playing a perverse game of musical chairs.  More chairs are constantly being pulled out of the game and the middle class just continues to shrivel up.

The following are some more statistics that show that things are getting worse….

-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.

-Health insurance premiums rose faster than the overall rate of inflation in 2011 and that is happening once again in 2012.  In fact, it is been happening for a very long time.

-In the United States today, there are close to 10 million households that do not have a single bank account.  That number has increased by about a million since 2009.

-Back in 1962, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans had 125 times the net worth of the median household.  Today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans has 288 times the net worth of the median household.

-Back in 2007, 19.2 percent of all American families had a net worth of zero or less than zero.  By 2010, that figure had soared to 32.5 percent.

-According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 32 percent of all Americans now identify themselves as “lower class”.  In 2008, that figure was only at 25 percent.

-As I have written about previously, 61 percent of all Americans were “middle income” back in 1971 according to the Pew Research Center.  Today, only 51 percent of all Americans are “middle income”.

-62 percent of all middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.

-Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.

-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.

-According to the Federal Reserve, the median net worth of American families dropped “from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010“.

-Sadly, 60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.

-At this point, less than 25 percent of all jobs in the United States are “good jobs”, and that number continues to shrink.

-The percentage of working age Americans that are employed is smaller now than it was two years ago.

-The number of Americans that are financially dependent on the government is sitting at an all-time record, and it just keeps going up.

-If the labor force participation rate was the same today as it was back when Barack Obama first took office, the unemployment rate in the United States would be 11.2 percent.

That last statistic deserves some special attention.

If the exact same percentage of Americans were considered to be “in the work force” today as when Barack Obama became president, the unemployment rate in this country would be well over 11 percent.

But the federal government has pretended that millions upon millions of Americans have “left the work force” over the past few years and that allows them to tell the fib that the unemployment rate has actually declined to 8.1 percent.

Of course we all know that is a bunch of nonsense.  About the same percentage of Americans want a job today as was the case back in 2008.

But 8.1 percent looks way better than 11.2 percent does.

What makes all of this even more distressing is that this is the recovery.

Things are not going to be getting much better than this.  We are rapidly approaching the next wave of the economic collapse and all of the numbers posted above are going to be getting a lot worse.

So even though things may be tight for your family right now, you should enjoy these times while you still have them.

Someday we will look back on these years as “the good old days”.

  • Rodster

    This is why Odummer will get reelected. He and his liberal minions have successfully created a LOSER CLASS large enough to ask for more government nipples to suck from so as exist. 😛

    “One-Third Of Americans In ‘Lower Classes’ Since Obama Took Office”

    “Median income lowest since 1995…”

    • k

      one sided view.

      This the problem with most americans these days.

      Some of them think its completely liberals fault and some of them think its completely conservatives fault.

      And some noobs think even buying one little piece of gold is completely unnecessary yet buying gadgets worth hundreds of dollars, which will only get outdated in six months is necessary.

      Very few have a balanced and complete view of why the economy is in such a state.

      • Alvin

        As they use to say

        There are too many Democrat congressman
        There are too many Republican congressman

        and not enough United States Congressman

        • Brent

          HEAR, HEAR, Alvin. Well said!

    • Jimmy

      I really believe there are not that many dumb Americans to give the President another term. One of the great things about living in Texas 75% Rep, no political commercials, the President knows he cannot win here. That’s why he hates Texans, oil and NASA.

      • Alvin

        Lived in Texas and Loved it but must disagree on one point, BO does not hate big oil,
        he uses them and PAYS them handsomely. No one loves President Barry more than Big Oil.
        The Liberal myth of Bush being in the pocket of big oil lives on but remember when Bush left office gas was $ 1.80 a gallon, it’s now over $ 4.00 and Big Oil Loves it.
        Barry the Muslim has done nothing but lie to Americans. Can’t drill for oil, can’t mine coal, sorry no pipe line from Canada, etc, etc, – Barry the Muslim is doing every thing he can to force America to buy even more oil from the Muslims, it make them richer, allows them to buy more arms from the Russians, transfers more wealth from Americans, and puts it right into Barry the Muslim friends. Even big oil loves it, they don’t have to search for oil, or drill for oil, just BUY it from Barry’s buddies, refine it, MARK IT UP, and shove it down Americas throat. SUCKERS

        • Zedge Hero

          Do Muslims drink or smoke- nope, then why is this Muslim taking every photo op with him chugging some beer and even sneeking a smoke, oh that’s right, he’s not a muslim. A Bankster loving, oil licking, military industrial complex cock#@#%*&, yes! but he is not muslim, communist, nor socialist. An oligarichist at best and corporate fascist at worst. Anyone who thinks otherwise has been brainwashed by the internet conservative trolls. Comments like Alvin are quickly dismissed and skipped by anyone with a cognitive thought process. This whole mess rest in a square by square mile radius in the London named the city of London that has controlled world markets forever and the goal is to get all of us to hate each other and never put the blame where it belongs. I used to hate George W with a passion, then I realized that thats exactly what they wanted. Anytime you put hate and anger towards these politcal parties that are worthless then you become so yourself. The real hate throughout the world can and should be concentrated on that one square mile radius in London. 90% of the world’s problems would be solved if that place went down.

  • markthetruth

    we have become a entertainment , luxury , automated , gadget , junk food , Do Nothing Society with no morals toward faith, human,animal, and all the earth has given us. We will destroy anyone, anything for our own selfish reasons. How can we possibly succeed when no one really wants to work (good old fashion sweat work) they want to just get paid.

    The Truth Period…..

    If Fish where like us they would be driving boats by now.

    the end.

    • Kathy Smith

      Mark a very sad but true statement. The dumbing down of Americans.

  • Imaplaneiac

    Added to the standard monthly bills listed in this article which we all have are the periodic maintenance of our air conditioning and / or heating equipment; plumbing repairs; repairing or replacing ” big ticket ” appliances such as refridgerator, washer or dryer. In my case, the starter chord on my ( push ) lawn mower finally broke … after 27+ years of service.( The first issue I’ve had with my mower since I bought it in 1985 ). I also must take my pressure washer – used on the vinyl siding of my home – for repair.( Mechanical repairs are ” above my pay grade ” – I have two left thumbs, as it was once said!

    • Jimmy

      My made in China mower cord broke after 3 years, who made your mower, I’m in the market.

  • DaytoDay

    “The end is near, the end is here, all run around and hide for fear”

    Have a drink for me, and keep one in the chamber…

    Those who can, move to the country, pay off your debt, prep a little, and if you’re financially able, get the hell out of the country!

    As for me, I’m a survivor, so don’t worry about me… Just play your favorite CD, have a drink, have a smoke, have a laugh, and go to sleep and when you wake up, hopefully all you see is white, mansions, peace.

    But don’t give up, those who are near, keep going strong, for in the Lord we hath not fear.

  • Imaplaneiac

    I also pay for my dental care; pero-cleanings, fillings; crowns, etc.

    • Gary2

      do you still have teeth?

  • Bill

    Seems like 25% for taxes of all varities is low. Just after you adjust your budget for increased taxes along comes Gary to tax a little more to pay for another social give a way.

    Sorry Gary, couldn’t resist.

    Michael, good point about more debt for same lifestyle. Obummer just went to Vegas–here goes the Fed deficit up and away.

    How about discussing the actions needed for different results!

    • sharonsj

      Hey Bill, why aren’t you complaining about the corporations that pay no taxes at all? ExxonMobil makes $5 billion in profit, pays zero taxes, and we give it a refund to boot. And they are just one of the top 20 companies that pay little or nothing. If those bozos were forced to pay their fair share, your taxes would go down.

      Unless, of course, you want to elect Romney, cause his budget would reduce his tax from 14% to 1%. So if you vote for him, I expect you to shut up for the next four years and stop bitching about the poor, the old, and the unemployed.

      • jaxon64

        Your presumption that if those big corps paid taxes on their profits ( which I believe they should at a fair rate) would mean lessening taxes for the rest of us is ridiculous and at best just plain naive.

        Let’s look at this example you used and maybe give you a tiny bit of education and perspective::::

        ExxonMobil made $5 billion in profit–let’s get greedy and take HALF of everything they earned–50%. That would be a nice $2.5 billion extra for our government to help cover the annual budget-What A Windfall for us !!…OOPS, Sorry..Obama’s 4 years in office have spent 2009 $1.4 TRILLION more than they received in taxes, $1.3 TRILLION in 2010, $1.13 TRILLION in 2011 and on pace for over $1.3 TRILLION again this year.. This is how he has added $5.3 Trillion Dollars….$5,300,000,000,000.00 in less than 4 years and our economy is actually worse off even with all of this cash added, stimulus, quantitative easing and deficit spending.

        To put your quest to tax the Mega Corps higher ( and again they need to pay their fair share) we would essentially be subtracting a dime out of every $100 spent in deficit spending!! Your rant is way out of focus and scale. It would barely be a drop in the bucket and wouldn’t even cover the annual cost of the government’s “free cell phone” program for the poor( $3.2 billion annually).

        Another factor that those who are so quick to say “tax, tax, tax the providers” is that if those MegaCorps-of which almost all of the oil companies are on the list–are taxed half of their profits, they will simply make up the lost revenue by laying off the middle management down to laborers. Not only that they will also recoup their lost revenue by simply raising costs which means a doubling of gas prices. Do you want $8 a gallon gas? How many millions of people would that tip into poverty that are now middle class when they have a few hundred dollars a month more in costs to just get to work?

        Nobody is espousing any pro-Romney crud..this a huge and erroneous presumption on your part. You are so deep into your Obama koolaid that when anyone mentions how bad he sucks and how completely inept and unqualified he is you get a knee jerk response to attack them and defend your guy.

        The truth is we could take 100% OF ALL OF THE PROFIT of the top 20 Corporations and it would not even cover the OVER spending our “leaders” do every year. We are in deep doo doo…we are screwed if we keep spending like drunken sailors and now we will have riots in our inner citties, civil unrest and children actually starving if we stopped this ridiculous spending……..we live on borrowed time before it implodes.

        PS: sorry to sound so harsh but you gotta drop the defense of Obama and realize that if he is not intentionally trying to “fundementally change” the USA into a second tier nation, then that would mean that he is the most inept leader this nation has ever had…

        • Gary2

          typical right wing crap–take 100% and its a drop in the bucket so why try. It would be way more then a drop in the bucket. Stop believing the right wing crap.

          Tax the wealthy to keep us healthy

          • modern patriot

            Go back to school and this time around, PAY ATTENTION IN MATH CLASS

            this isn’t brain surgery. it’s long past time you drop the left wing crap and separate fact from fiction. I no longer associate with the republican party after their betrayal of conservatism and neocon policies, and I urn for the day a third party will come on the scene. That being said, I can still sort through the lies and propaganda, and the tool that most simplifies this task is good old fashioned mathematics. Long story short, you and your buddies must first learn some MATH before you can understand any sound policy. You can’t spend what you don’t have, try as they might in the federal government, and when you start raping the producers more than you are already, then look out. Now, anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear already understands what I’m about to say, but I’m guessing, gary, you probably don’t. The big mega-corporations you want to tax so badly, well they own your boy obama. They own about 95 percent of the politicians, hence their continued free range on the tax issue. All those programs you and your handlers proclaim as necessary to “making the rich pay their fair share” and all that crap, well they actually end up hurting the REAL producers; IE the small businesses across this country who do the bulk of the hiring and are the core of our economy. Since the big boys own your politicians they make sure that any new legislation or tax code won’t bother them, but instead further ties the hands of their competitors, IE the “mom and pops” of the USA. Any little bit they might have to give in order to cement the whole facade, they get back (and then some) whenever the fed jumps into action with something like their new QE3, and the cycle simply continues.
            Wake up gary, you are a shining example of all that is wrong with society

          • linda

            Exactly! They say that taxing the ones with 80% of the wealth at 100% wouldn’t be a drop in the bucket…
            But cutting school lunches and PBS, making everyone “pay something so they have skin in the game” and eliminating mortgage deductions for the rest of us on the lousy 20% WE have is gonna do the trick.
            Is there no one amongst them or their believers with basic math skills?

          • linda

            Just read the post by modern patriot, and no “reply” tab on replies, so I have to post mine here.
            Wow modern patriot! You’re going to have to change that name buddy…it sounds a lot like you’re saying the mega corporations shouldn’t be taxed more because they are holding a gun to the economy’s head. So we should stop tempting fate and just cut what we need from those further down the food chain.
            Nothing modern or patriotic about that. Sounds like a policy of appeasement to me.

      • Alvin

        Yea but don’t forget GE, the biggest Obama lovers of them all ( owned the Obama channel MSNBC) and pays no taxes plus will get to sell the new $ 50 light bulb

        Put everyone on the same footing. NO deductions of any kind. Everyone person or corporation pays 10% off the top. If you make $ 1000 a year you pay $ 100.
        If you gross $ 10 billion as a corporation then you pay $ 1 billion.

        Raising tax rates is a scam. Pelosi and Reid and Mc Cain will always make sure that THEY and their masters will always have tax loop holes so they don’t pay and the middle class gets stuck.

    • Gary2

      When corporate welfare is addressed then we can look at welfare that helps people. Corporate welfare in magnitudes higher than any welfare for people. Its not even close. Look at all the low wage jobs at wal mart etc we subsidize in the form of medical care and food stamps because scum bag walmart pays so low.

  • bowlan

    the U.S. Census Bureau, is full of bull ***********.
    how many housholds do you know who are pulling in 4 grand a month.
    thats completely bull ************.
    there are just iover 300 million people in the u.s.and 100+million are living in poverty with over 50 million on food stamps.
    these **************** put this *************** out there expecting people to be stupid enough to beleive it.
    it takes 2 people working full time now just to keep the bills paid.

  • Michael,

    You forgot monthly insurance premiums for the dogs (plural) health insurance! No seriously….it has saved us quite a bit of money over the long haul, with all the checkups and dental cleanings and examinations. What, they are dogs, practically people too!

    But you are correct, I feel like we are being forced into a lifestyle of less and less. Not so much as being able to own a stupid H2 Hummer (I don’t own one) or a 5,000 Sq ft home (with no kids), but simply squeezing the last drop out of our daily living expenses. I know we have friends who are in much more dire straights than us with absolutely no chance of digging out. I shudder every time I see them pull out credit cards to finance a life they simply cannot afford.

    I would encourage all of your readers to prepare for times when even the basic necessities might be hard to come by. I know my family still has some work to do…

    Thanks again for the great article.


  • so long arry,we hardly knew u

    it’s over for barak, the collapsing economy has all but killed his reelection chances. hope mitt’seady, he will walking into a perfect storm of a collapsing economy, skyrocketing unemployment,soaring welfare rolls, massive dept, and few options

  • Dirty Dave

    Anybody notice how products at the grocery store are getting smaller and smaller and selling for the same price. just recently I have noticed all sorts of packaging changes.

    • jaxon64

      I noticed this a while ago with an ounce or two here and there with a box of crackers or coffee creamer. The one that I saw the other day that just made me shake my head was hotdogs were on “sale” but I looked a bit closer and realized that a few of the brands actually only have 7 hot dogs per package. It has always been 8 per pack my whole life. Amazing…..

    • Gary2

      yes its called the grocery shrink ray. See the consumerist web site for more examples of the grocery shrink ray in action.

  • Note from Idaho

    Inflation stats from the government are totally bogus.

    Be it groceries or household products, we are paying more and getting less product.

    Maybe it would sink in if $4.00 gasoline only bought you three quarts.

    I have a small farm and all agriculture related products and parts have increased in price far beyond the numbers we see published.

  • Mad Max

    People, this is nothing. It’s just the beginning of the beginning of the end. Some of us are smart enough to know that our problems can’t be solved by politicians and bankers.
    It’s going to continue to get worse because we the people act like sheep. We gather online and talk while they rob us blind. Ask yourself, what have I done to change the inevitable? Wake up before it’s too late. It’s easy to be an idiot and complain. It’s insane to act like a spectator when your house is on fire.

    We have to think and act differently are most of us will lose everything that we take for granted (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness).

    Serious problems in serious times, demand serious solutions.

    The problems we face today are not black and white like the Vietnam war or civil rights. Protesting is not enough to solve the problems we face today:

    Sky rocketing debt, unemployment, underemployment, deficits, government failure, Economic systems failure, Financial systems failure, Market systems failure, Monetary systems failure, Social systems failure, Environmental systems failure, Ecosystems failure, corruption, greed, chronic recessions etc… etc… etc….

    Hiding or ignoring our problems won’t work either. Our problems won’t go away just because we refuse to deal with them. They’ll just get worse. That’s how we got here.

    “You can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.”
    – Ian rand

    “Be Smart!” –

    U.S. Citizens
    Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( )

    Non U.S. Citizens
    Read “Common Sense 3.2” at ( )

    If you know the world around you is collapsing and you do nothing about it, then who’s really at fault when you stood by and did nothing? We have to stop whining and do something about it. We don’t have to live like this.

  • You have penned another great article. Politicians will not save us. I don’t know what will. In the meantime: Be Smart, Be Safe, and Be Prepared.

  • Kevin2

    Far too many families in the US wish they had a $4000 / month gross income.

  • K

    32% of Americans consider themselves poor. I suspect, the number is a bit higher. With the level of denial, we have in this Country. I would put the number, closer to 40%. I know, I am one of them. The only reason I can maintain some level of comfort, is no debt. More and more, that is going to be the secret. Stay out of debt.

  • Dezmo

    In Indonesia, you only need 300 dollars/month to live well. Just move in here…we could use your creativity here 🙂

  • It’s all that debt that is the killer. I’m single and bring in about $1650 per month and my living expenses are $1208.00 per month. The biggest thing I think is no debt but the house payment and a small loan I’m paying off to my parents. (no gov. assistance).
    I have most of the cheapest versions of the basics like a cheap cell phone, Sat.TV, Internet, but I don’t go into debt to buy stuff, I save or it goes on layaway. It was hard to get and stay out of debt and sometimes I’m tempted to get a credit card. But I usually get over it fast everytime I get a little more long-term food, a water barrel, some silver or ammo….
    It’s funny but I usually have a better cash flow to spend on preps than folks making three times or more a month.

    I’m a disabled vet and I figured a couple years back that I should plan on at least a 30% cut in benefits either a straight cut or loss of buying power due to inflation. This seems to have worked for me. If the cut happens or inflation stays low I just add to my preps. If it does happen I’m ready for it.

  • Thanks Michael for the link to gravatar. I signed up, and I’m wondering if this picture will pop up as my avatar.


  • Matthew

    The question is what is the median number of wage earners per household to 2 decimal points? 50,000 a year seemed unusually high until I realized it was household, not individual income, and that many households are dual income. In fact, I make about 20,000 a year now, so if I were to marry a girl making that or a bit more, we would be creeping up on that 50,000 mark.

  • Nickelthrower

    When the Berlin Wall fell and I could finally travel East, I took a bicycle ride through several of the former Soviet Bloc countries to have a look around. While in Poland, I stopped off at Auschwitz and paid 6 months Polish wages for a private tour. I had the guide take me to Birkenau as I wanted to see the actual death camp and not just the work camp. There was no one there but a single security guard and he wanted to go home so the guide showed me how to lock the gate when I was finished as they were going to leave me all by myself in the death camp.

    I took the same path as all incoming prisoners took. I stood on the platform where Mengele stood to make the selection and I walked past the dilapidated sheds that housed those that would be worked to death and I made my way down to the gas chambers and crematoriums.

    I stood where thousands of others stood with their families waiting to be poisoned and cremated and I wondered why those people did not fight back? Seriously, it could not have been more clearly obvious to these people as to what was about to happen – people were going into a building and leaving through the smokestack. You just couldn’t hide that part of it.

    I’m older now and I see that same behavior with my countrymen. It is very clear to anyone that wishes to look that we’ve been lied to. Now it is our turn to stand outside of the slaughter house. Do we walk in calmly with our family in tow or do we rush the guards?

    • NW Prepper

      Nickelthrower..I think most of us just aren’t sure what CAN be done. We want to act, we want to “rush the guards”, but until we also are in the camps..who can even tell who the guards are?
      This is an actual question..not being a smartass!

  • Testing 123, Please don’t post this entry. Just checking avatar.

    • DownWithLibs

      Avatar: Check!

  • Gil

    Romancing the good ol’ days too much, really? Half of what’s on your list wouldn’t have been on peoples’ list around 1950, especially a car. By the same token the golden era of around 1950 to 1979 was thanks to half the world being ruled by Communists. In other words, Westerners workers had little in the way of world competition keeping wages high. As soon as the Commies pretty much gave up and a global cheap labour market appeared it’s not surprising that companies started offshoring in the ’80s and a degree leading to a cushy job ceased to be an option. Nowadays it’s a free market workplace where the world’s cheapest labour force gets the menial jobs. What’s worse is that rising living standards in China is actually spurring complex robotic research leading to the serious possibility that all menial work may be done by robots.

  • ScoutMotto

    If this is the recovery, I don’t want to see what the next downturn looks like.

    • Mondobeyondo

      No, you don’t.

  • chiller

    My wife went to school some 20 years ago and she received no grants or gov. funding whatsoever. Now back in school, she told me she is getting 2 grants and perhaps some scholarship money. I asked how this was possible and she said it was because we were now considered “low income”….even though we’ve continued to work and pay bills as usual. I was caught off guard but not totally by surprise. My pay has gone up since then but the cost of living in the US has overcome us and left us like this. Thanks to our inept and bumbling guberment for our sentence into poverty. Perhaps someday we will return the favor.

  • Donald Wilson

    Michael the goal is to destroy the middle class and ultimately destroy the sovereignty of the U.S. End game third world narion. Once this occurs people will be forced to accept whatever the government offers or face starvation. Interesting that the MSM sits idle while millions lose therjobs and homes while the great king Obama proclaims to be our saviour.

    Good luck and god bless.

  • Dave

    I said it before and I will say it again. When Bush was elected again in 2004….Amerika would NEVER BE THE SAME. And it is NOT. Obama never had a chance to overcome the Bush Depression.

    Welcome to the NEW NORMAL.

    • Gay Veteran

      Dave, Obama is merely Bush’s third term

  • Xander cross

    You forgot about high taxes, child support payments, state indpections, toliet paper.

  • Xander cross

    I don’t see nothing wrong with having an bank account, in fact, it is a good thing to not have your money in a bank in the first place.

  • Nolan

    I’m sorry, but you “have” to pay for pets, credit cards, furniture, & internet every month? Not a single one of those is a critical need. If you are making monthly payments on furniture or buying pets you can’t afford to take care of then you probably don’t deserve to live a “middle class” lifestyle.

    • NW Prepper

      Ya, I lost my job and my pet is too expensive now, so I’ll get rid of the dog…and while I’m at it, those kids are damned expensive too…I’ll ditch them the same time I ditch the dog. Thats ********. Your animals can eat the same food you do, believe it or not doggie chow is not a necessity.

  • Rodster

    “Jobless claims rise to 382,000 in latest week”

    “Inflation jumps, wholesale gas up most in 3 years”

  • Tim

    Jim Sinclair featured your previous article on his website ( I think that’s pretty remarkable.

    • Michael

      Very cool. 🙂 Thanks for letting me know about that.


  • DownWithLibs

    Off Topic:

    Cut off ALL aid the the Middle East and let them eat sand and oil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Gary2

      I agree with you. I could care less about this area.

  • AssHat

    Did anyone ever think that capitalism had failed us and we need a new model?

    • Gary2

      Yes capitalism has failed and yes we need a new more socialist model similar to countries like Sweden and Norway who routinely beat the USA on most quality of life measures.

      They do have capitalism but it is much more regulated for the good of all.

  • erheault

    Hey you elected them so enjoy them, But you might give a little thought next time you vote that is if you vote.

  • William

    $1200/mth grocery bill for my family of six. We rarely eat out and avoid junk food (mostly).

  • Malcolm Reynolds

    bernanke turns on the pumps again

    Looks like it’s gonna get worse too.

    • Gary2

      and Obama is gonna cream mittens. America-time to go left big time!

      • Michael

        And you believe that Obama is going to save America?


        • Gary2

          At least the decline will be much slower under obama than mittens and lyin ryan. I pray the Obama goes more towards socialism and less towards capitalism in his secind term. I think he has learned that the conservatives are crazy and only want to make him fail as per bitch mconnel said.

          Until we address the wealth and income dispariety nothing will change and that means to tax the heck out of the rich and corp and spread the wealth. This needs to be done by any means necessary. I would simply take the rich money and redistribute it to the poor. The rich have enough and they can pay us all back for the productivity theft they have engaged in these last 30 years

  • No worries everybody, QE3 is Here!! or should i say QE to infinity. no end date on this one! Michael this wave might be the big one. i don’t know if there is time and space for QE4 before the dollar collapse really takes hold. what do you think?

    • Mondobeyondo

      You can never create too much money….

  • Andrew Bulles

    After, my divorce in 2009… I’ve averaged an income of $36,000 per year for myself — about $3,000 per month. I live in Ventura County, California but I don’t feel as I can reside here as I’m unable to afford the rent nor do I feel as though it is worth renting an apartment here only to be sandwiched between extremely poor people – some who are illegal aliens quadrupled up to split the rent. Not my style of living. I run a bookshop that deals in mostly used book for the average reader… some rare and antique. I keep my business expenses to about $12,000 per year… and for the last three year the shop has not returned a profit – losing about $400 per month. So, to afford staying in business and a moderate life I have spent nights in the back of my store on a cot or slept over with family and friends. By doing this and keeping my expenses to a bare minimum, I’ve able to save roughly $800 – $1,000 per month. My goal is to buy a home somewhere in this America of ours where I can own my home free and clear of mortgage/debt. So, I have divided my income in thirds… A third for the bookshop, a third savings and a third to live on. Once I see my personal checking account balance fall below $250.00 each month then I turn on a mental check to rein in spending. Sometimes this hits me about the 18 day of the month or around the 24th day of the month. Once the money gets low… I start to take my “break from the world days” – just stick around the shop or spend the day with the kids at their Mom’s home or hit tennis balls in the park. Since 2008, life has really changed for me. So, what do I do without… just about everything except for my cellphone which I’ve deemed a necessity to keep tabs on my children and business. I don’t have rent, home electric/gas/water bill, gym membership, health insurance (NOT AFFORDABLE even with OBAMACARE HOCUS POCUS!)- Car repairs… let’s just say… I’ve been very lucky. I own several cars and drive them very little and combine trips when I do go out. I try to keep my driving to $10 or less in gas per day. SO, There you have it… a little snippet of life of one former wealthy American.

  • Kathy Smith

    Micheal love the comment ” If we want different results we have got to start taking different actions. I pray everyday that people wake up & start to realize what is happening to our country before it is to late. Thank You far all you do. GOD help us all

  • the important stuff that matters

    The preezy of the steezy is so cool though. This other stuff is TLDR (Too Long Didn’t Read) plus it isn’t in twitter speak so I don’t understand it. Gotta run American Idle is on.

    • Mondobeyondo

      I hope the guy who makes those sand paintings wins.

      Oh wait, that’s America’s Got Talent.

  • the ragged trousered philanthropist

    As per usual another well researched, well written and considered article.
    Like you I have been researching what’s happening and more alarmingly what the likely outcome will be.
    My advice to anyone who cares to listen is to “THINK ON”.
    Think On was an expression my mother always used and it would be a very wise prepper who thought on.
    Think just where this is going.
    Don’t just think, analise your lifestyle and seriously re-assess it.
    Make no mistake if you don’t the odds are you’re doomed.

  • Gary2

    The fall in income is directly linked to the horrible conservative policies of funneling all the wealth to the top. These retarded MF are now doubling down on trickle down.

    The whole selfish and disgusting focus on the individual needs to stop. We are all in this together and yes YOU DID NOT BUILD IT! PERIOD.

    There is no such thing as a self made man or woman. Get a clue repubes.

  • GA

    Well the Fed is printing, stocks are soaring, gold is skyrocketting, war drums in the Middle East are getting louder and louder, gas and food spiking. Hang on folks. Its coming. If you are not prepping you should start NOW. If you are preparing, expedite! Visit for some basics

  • Ben

    I have a family of 4 and make 100K per year (before taxes) AND dont take expense vacation, AND dont buy new cars each year AND dont send my kids to private schools, etc…

    With all the regular bills coming in each month plus putting a way a bit for emergencies, college, etc…(and and we dont have employer sponsored health care either like my City/State buddies do) we run out each month. Dont feel sorry for me but know that $100K with a family doesnt go very far these days either. I simply could not do it on $50K a year and feel for the families that do.

    • NW Prepper

      I hate to tell you..but when I stop and look around at my mid-size town, and our “middle class” families…we are all taking care of our families on less than 30,000 a year HOUSEHOLD income!


    Print, borrow and spend is all they know…

  • Gay Veteran

    “Back in 1962, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans had 125 times the net worth of the median household. Today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans has 288 times the net worth of the median household.”

    pretty much sums up why the middle class is being destroyed by the neo-aristocrats

    • Gary2

      Tax the rich and spread the wealth!

  • Mondobeyondo

    And down the rabbit hole we gooooooo…!!

    Here, have the purple pill. It’s a cross between the red and blue pills. Guaranteed to make you more anxious and hyper.

    In light of Ben Bernanke’s recent announcement, now is a good time to do the following:

    * Gold and silver coins (silver coins: weekend swap meets. Wink, wink)
    * Cash out of any bank CD accounts (take the tax hit from Uncle Sammy) – they aren’t earning interest anyway, and use the money to purchase gold and silver coins (silver coins: weekend swap meets. Wink, wink)
    * Alcoholic beverages made by Jack Daniel’s and Co.

    Now is a good time to have another cup of Nescafe instant coffee. Yeah, I’ve been up all night, again.

  • Oh,Well! Soon we will see what hell is all about. Also make sure you vote for
    Obummer it will help us get there quicker.

  • Washington

    This is the goal of the FED! Unemployment hits record 23.6% 13 Sep 2012

  • James


    If the prices of everything go up, doesn’t that make most things expensive and resulting in people buying less? So, if people can’t buy these things, wouldn’t that make the companies lower their prices? This should result in deflation wouldn’t it?

    • Michael

      There will be more dollars chasing roughly the same number of good and services.

      So prices will tend to go up. If you want to maintain your current standard of living, you better figure out how to bring in more dollars than you were before.


  • Gary2

    Michael–you need to take out the top 1-2% as that squews the results big time. example–if you and me are in a room and bill gates walks in wwe all now have an average income of way more than we actually do as gates squews the numbers.

    I would suspect the average income to be closer to 42,000 per year after the top 1-2% are taken out.

    With the huge income dispariety this is the only way to look at it as I see it.

    Does this make sense??? I do not know if I am articulating this very well.

    Maybe check into this Michael and see what you come up with.

    • Esta

      I think “median” household income of approximately $50,000 means that one half of all households have incomes below this amount, and one half have incomes above it. In contrast, I believe “mean” income would be the sum of all household incomes divided by the number of households. The latter would actually be a higher figure, since so much wealth is concentrated at the top.

  • Bill

    Great article–

    Fantastic discussion–

    Very interesting new article above yet to read–

    Biggest problem, only 24 hrs in a day..

  • Washington

    FREEDOM HITS THE ROAD: Matt Kibbe is the President and CEO of FreedomWorks. …………………. Citizens are putting policy first, not personality or political party. It’s not about finding the perfect candidate; it’s about growing a constituency of engaged citizens who will create the incentives for politicians to make the right votes. This means holding politicians accountable when they’re wrong, but also supporting them when they’re right…………..

  • dubsak20

    Good thing Ben Bernanske said there is no inflation.Arent the increasing gas prices directly related to inflation and a week dollar.What is QE 3 going to do for us.Nothing!

  • Islandgirl


    You left out one big expense- child care, which is a big portion and can be as much as housing if you have more than one child. I don’t know how families with small children can make it…I know I sure can’t.

    • Michael

      Yes, that is a very, very good point.


    • Mondobeyondo

      Thumbs up on your comment 🙂

  • brandon

    This contains only my opinions.

    Based upon what some ecomists have claimed, the government has greatly understated what the true rate of inflation has been in recent decades, and so the true picture of declining standards of living in the united states has been far worse than most people realize. The government does this because it serves the interests of businesses who may tend to get away with increasing salaries in the aggreate roughly in line with the government’s consumer price index, while their revenues in the aggregate may tend to rise more in line with the true rate of inflation. This also helps the government in satisfying investors with relatively lower rates of return on government debt than they might otherwise expect, and helps the government get away with paying unfairly low increases in cost of living for entitlement programs. Also, it is worth considering that people rarely note that college jobs are typically salaried positions that often require far more than 40 hours per week to be worked, so the true hourly rate is often far below what people think.. And the college premium that one thinks they receive is thus far lower than it may initially appear if you are comparing a 40 hour per week hourly paying high school position to a possibly 60 – 80 hour per week salaried position. Also, the government, using the gdp deflator, wants to make the u.s. economy appear to be larger and more prosperous than it actually is.. Since the gdp deflator, based upon my understanding, adjusts the current year gdp down to account for inflation over the previous year’s gdp – using the consumer price index that the government themselves reports, one can see the conflict of interest in this. So, how has the u.s. gdp truly performed relative to the past? Has the u.s. gdp actually sharply declined over the past 3 or 4 decades when adjusted for the true rate of inflation? I believe that government statistics are routinely immensely manipulated to serve the political interests of those in power.

  • Washington

    Apr 21, 2011 In 2006 the Democrats and the media screamed bloody murder over the high price of gas. When Barack Obama was inaugurated, the average gas price was $1.87 a gallon. Now that the price has more than doubled, what are the Democrats and the administration saying now? If you guessed that high gas prices under Obama are somehow a good thing, give yourself a pat on the back. The liberal mindset is always an amazing thing to behold.

    • NW Prepper

      Funny how they creep the prices up on us, in a way that makes it seem “not so bad”. I get happy now when its under 3.50 a gal! I forgot that it was under 2.00 when he was brought in to the white house. Creepy Bastards!
      I was just thinking the other day at the store that a 4-roll of toilet paper was only about 1.50..and then looked at the prices. I paid 5.00!
      I am guilty like most of us americans, we need something-we buy it, and don’t always notice the actual cost.
      I’m going to write down prices of several things today that I use on a regular basis, and then keep track over the next couple of months. Much better way to stay aware!

    • dancerboots

      There was quite a bit of screaming when gas prices were $4.00 a gallon, the six months before President Obama took office.

  • hidflect

    America is importing poverty with its H1-B visa strategy.

  • hadaway

    Buy what you need, buy American when you can, and when you can’t support companies that treat their employees right

  • dancerboots

    The way the unemployment rate is calculated has not changed….pretending that the government lies about the employment rate is a lie.

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