18 Sobering Facts Which Prove That the Middle Class Is Not Being
Included in This 'Economic Recovery'
Have you heard
the news? The stock market is absolutely soaring and according to
the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve we are in the beginning
stages of a robust economic recovery. Yippee! The S&P 500 is
up 6.8 percent so
far in 2011, and the stock market recently hit a two and a half
year high. So shouldn't we all be celebrating? Well, if stock market
performance was an accurate measure of economic health, then Zimbabwe
would have had one of the healthiest economies on the entire globe
during the last decade. But just like Zimbabwe's stock market was
artificially pumped up with "funny money" that was rapidly being
devalued, so is ours. All of the "quantitative easing" that the
Federal Reserve has been doing is pumping plenty of money into the
financial markets and is helping to inflate a false stock market
bubble, but it is doing very little to alleviate the suffering of
the U.S. middle class. In fact, when you take a closer look at the
numbers you quickly find out that the suffering of the middle class
is getting even worse.
to Gallup, the unemployment rate is now over 10%. The number
of Americans that have given up looking for work recently set a
new all-time record. The number of mortgages in foreclosure tied
a record high during the fourth quarter of 2010. Gas and food prices
are rising rapidly. The number of Americans on food stamps continues
to increase every single month.
now the economic situation is not in free fall like it was a couple
years ago. We should be thankful for that. Periods of relative stability
such as we are enjoying now will be few and far between in the years
ahead. This "bubble" of economic calm is a great opportunity that
we should all be taking advantage of.
that are hoping that this is an economic "turning point" and that
things will soon be back to "normal" are going to be greatly disappointed.
This is about as "normal" as things are going to be ever again.
this time of relative economic stability, the U.S. middle class
is still being ripped to shreds. If there are those among your family
and friends that are somehow convinced that the U.S. economy is
recovering nicely, you might want want to show them the following
18 very sobering facts....
According to Gallup, the U.S. unemployment rate is
currently 10.3 percent. When you add in part-time American workers
that want full-time employment, that number rises to
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of
job openings in the United States declined for
a second straight month during December.
There are currently more
than 4 million Americans that have been unemployed for more
than a year.
The number of Americans that have become so discouraged that they
have given up searching for work completely now stands at
an all-time high.
Gasoline prices in the United States recently hit a
During the 4th quarter of 2010, 4.63
percent of all U.S. home loans were in foreclosure. That matched
the all-time high, and it was up significantly from 4.39 percent
in the 3rd quarter.
It is estimated that there are about 5 million homeowners in the
United States that are
at least two months behind on their mortgages, and it is being
projected that over a million American families will be booted out
of their homes this year alone.
14 percent of all credit card accounts in the United States
are currently 90 days or more delinquent.
The average credit card rate in the United States had increased
a whopping 13.44 percent at the end of 2010.
Americans now owe more
than $890 billion on student loans, which is even more than
they owe on credit cards.
Average household debt in the United States has now reached a level
136% of average household income. In China, average household
debt is only 17% of average household income.
U.S. life expectancy at birth is now three years less than Canada
years less than Japan.
New home sales in the state of California were at the
lowest level ever recorded in the month of January.
43 percent of all mortgages in south Florida are
Prior to the most recent economic downturn, there were usually somewhere
around four to five million job openings in America. Today there
are about 3 million.
When you adjust wages for inflation, middle class workers in the
United States make less money today than
they did back in 1971.
out of every seven Americans is now on food stamps.
out of every six elderly Americans now lives below the federal
You know things
are bad when articles start popping up in the mainstream news instructing
us how to interact socially with the hordes of unemployed Americans
that are out there today. A recent USA Today article entitled "What
not to say to someone who is unemployed" listed some of the
things that you should not say to someone that does not have a job.
The following are some of their suggestions on what NOT
you found anything yet?"
"You just have
to pound the pavement."
will turn up."
are going through the same thing."
asking for too much money."
should go back to school."
plenty of jobs out there."
I am sure most
of us have heard things like this at one time or another. It can
be a soul-crushing thing to have others like at you in pity because
you don't have a job and you can't pay the mortgage and feed your
Americans are not lazy. The vast majority of them desperately want
jobs. But the U.S. economy is not producing nearly enough jobs today.
As noted above, the U.S. economy currently has about 3 million job
openings, but approximately 20 percent of the workforce wants to
find a full-time job. The demand for jobs is far, far, far greater
than the supply.
this is the legacy of decades of bad economic decision-making. The
U.S. economy should be able to provide work for every single person
that wants it, but because of the choices that have been made that
will never be the case again.
class in America is being ripped to shreds right in front of our
eyes and very little is being done to stop it. Desperation is rising
across the nation. More Americans slip into poverty every single
day. It is almost as if a cloud of gloom and despair has descended
upon the U.S. economy and every single month the situation only
seems to get darker.
with permission from the Economic
© 2011 Economic