84 Statistics That Prove That The Decline Of The Middle Class Is Real And That It Is Getting Worse

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The middle class in America is being systematically destroyed.  Once upon a time the United States had the largest and most vibrant middle class in the history of the world.  The rest of the globe looked at us in envy and wondered what we were doing right.  But now everything seems to be going wrong for the middle class.  Millions of our jobs have been shipped out of the country and competition for the remaining jobs is keeping wages at depressed levels.  Meanwhile, the cost of living just keeps going up and up and middle class budgets are being stretched and strained like never before.  Millions more Americans fall out of the middle class and into poverty every single year, and government dependence is at an all-time high.  Finding a solution to the decline of the middle class is absolutely central to fixing the economic problems in this country.  Without a large, thriving middle class this would not be America.  The truth is that people from all over the world want to come here because they want to work hard, buy a house, raise a family and provide a better future for their children.  This has traditionally been “the land of opportunity”, but now the middle class is rapidly declining and none of our politicians seem to have any solutions.  With each passing day, the American Dream is slipping through the fingers of millions of hard working American families.  We owe it to them to get this thing fixed.

The following are 84 statistics that prove that the decline of the middle class is real and that it is getting worse….

1. According to the Pew Research Center, 61 percent of all Americans were “middle income” back in 1971.  Today, only 51 percent of all Americans are.

2. The Pew Research Center has also found that 85 percent of middle class Americans say that it is harder to maintain a middle class standard of living today compared with 10 years ago.

3. 62 percent of middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.

4. The average net worth of a middle class family in America was $129,582 in 2001.  By 2010 that figure had dropped to $93,150.

5. According to the Federal Reserve, the median net worth of all families in the United States declined “from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010“.

6. Back in 1970, middle income Americans brought home 62 percent of all income in the United States.  In 2010, middle income Americans only brought home 45 percent of all income.

7. After you adjust for inflation, median family income in the United States has fallen by about 6 percent since the year 2000.

8. Real median household income has decreased by more than 4000 dollars since Barack Obama entered the White House.

9. Amazingly, more than half of all Americans are now at least partially financially dependent on the government.

10. In 1970, 65 percent of all Americans lived in “middle class neighborhoods”.  By 2007, only 44 percent of all Americans lived in “middle class neighborhoods”.

11. If you can believe it, one recent survey found that 28 percent of all Americans do not have a single penny saved for emergencies.

12. The United States was once ranked #1 in the world in GDP per capita.  Today we have slipped to #12.

13. The total value of household real estate in the U.S. has declined from $22.7 trillion in 2006 to $16.2 trillion today.  Most of that wealth has been lost by the middle class.

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

15. 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 adjust for inflation.

16. 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.

17. Corporate profits as a percentage of GDP are at an all-time high.  Meanwhile, wages as a percentage of GDP are near an all-time low.

18. 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.

19. The average American household spent approximately $4,155 on gasoline during 2011, and electricity bills in the U.S. have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.

20. Over the past decade, health insurance premiums have risen three times faster than wages have in the United States.

21. Health insurance costs have risen by 23 percent since Barack Obama became president. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, health care costs accounted for just 9.5% of all personal consumption back in 1980.  Today they account for approximately 16.3%.

22. Back in 1983, the bottom 95 percent of all income earners had 62 cents of debt for every dollar that they earned.  By 2007, that figure had soared to $1.48.

23. Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.

24. Total consumer debt in the United States has risen by 1700 percent since 1971.

25. Recently it was announced that total student loan debt in the United States has passed the one trillion dollar mark.

26. One study found that approximately 41 percent of all working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt.

27. According to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine, medical bills are a major factor in more than 60 percent of the personal bankruptcies in the United States.  Of those bankruptcies that were caused by medical bills, approximately 75 percent of them involved individuals that actually did have health insurance.

28. According to a report released in 2010, Americans spend approximately twice as much as residents of other developed countries do on health care.

29. According to one recent survey, approximately 10 percent of all employers in the United States plan to drop health coverage when key provisions of the new health care law kick in less than two years from now.

30. According to one recent survey, approximately one-third of all Americans are not paying their bills on time at this point.

31. The wealthiest 20 percent of all Americans now control 84 percent of all the wealth in America.

32. Right now, over 50 percent of all stocks and bonds are owned by just 1 percent of the U.S. population.

33. Back in the 1970s, the top 1 percent of all income earners brought in about 8 percent of all income.  Today, they bring in about 21 percent of all income.

34. 40 years ago, the top 1/10,000th of all U.S. households brought in about 1 percent of all income.  Today, they bring in about 5 percent of all income.

35. Today, the wealthiest 1 percent of all Americans own more wealth than the bottom 95 percent combined.

36. The wealthiest 400 families in the United States have about as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent of all Americans do combined.

37. The six heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have a net worth that is roughly equal to the bottom 30 percent of all Americans combined.

38. At this point, the poorest 50 percent of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.

39. The following is how income gains in the United States were distributed during 2010….

-37 percent of all income gains went to the top 0.01 percent of all income earners

-56 percent of all income gains went to the rest of the top 1 percent

-7 percent of all income gains went to the bottom 99 percent

40. The U.S. economy lost more than 220,000 small businesses during the recent recession.

41. The percentage of Americans that are self-employed fell by more than 20 percent between 1991 and 2010.

42. Overall, the number of “new entrepreneurs and business owners” dropped by a staggering 53 percent between 1977 and 2010.

43. In 2010, the number of jobs created at new businesses in the United States was less than half of what it was back in the year 2000.

44. The average pay for self-employed Americans fell by $3,721 between 2006 and 2010.

45. In the United States today, there are 240 million working age people.  Only about 140 million of them are working.

46. Since the year 2000, the United States has lost 10% of its middle class jobs.  In the year 2000 there were about 72 million middle class jobs in the United States but today there are only about 65 million middle class jobs.

47. Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

48. Right now, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents.

49. According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 dropped by 27 percent after you account for inflation.

50. According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, America has lost an average of 15 manufacturing facilities a day over the last 10 years.  During 2010 it got even worse.  That year, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day shut down in the United States.

51. At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less.

52. Today, about one out of every four workers in the United States brings home wages that are at or below the poverty level.

53. If you can believe it, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.

54. Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs.  Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.

55. At this point, only 24.6 percent of all jobs in the United States are considered to be good jobs.

56. Right now, approximately 48 percent of all Americans are either considered to be “low income” or are living in poverty.

57. Approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered to be either “low income” or impoverished.

58. In the United States today, somewhere around 100 million Americans are considered to be either “poor” or “near poor”.

59. In 2010, 2.6 million more Americans descended into poverty.  That was the largest increase that we have seen since the U.S. government began keeping statistics on this back in 1959.

60. It is being projected that when the final numbers come out later this year that the U.S. poverty rate will be the highest that it has been in almost 50 years.

61. It is also being projected that about half of all American adults will spend at least some time living below the poverty line before they turn 65.

62. Today, one out of every six elderly Americans lives below the federal poverty line.

63. It was recently reported that 1.5 million American families live on less than two dollars a day (before counting government benefits).

64. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of “very poor” rose in 300 out of the 360 largest metropolitan areas during 2010.

65. According to one recent poll, 18.2 percent of all Americans have not been able to buy enough food to eat at some point during this past year.

66. Households that are led by a single mother have a 31.6% poverty rate.

67. In 2010, 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States were on food stamps.

68. At this point, approximately 22 percent of all American children are living in poverty.

69. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 36.4 percent of all children that live in Philadelphia are living in poverty, 40.1 percent of all children that live in Atlanta are living in poverty, 52.6 percent of all children that live in Cleveland are living in poverty and 53.6 percent of all children that live in Detroit are living in poverty.

70. Since 2007, the number of children living in poverty in the state of California has increased by 30 percent.

71. Child homelessness in the United States has risen by 33 percent since 2007.

72. There are 314 counties in the United States where at least 30% of the children are facing food insecurity.

73. Approximately one-fourth of all American children are enrolled in the food stamp program.

74. It is projected that half of all American children will be on food stamps at least once before they turn 18 years of age.

75. Since Barack Obama became president, the number of Americans living in poverty has risen by 6 million and the number of Americans on food stamps has risen by 14 million.

76. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home where at least one person receives benefits from the federal government.  Back in 1983, that number was below 30 percent.

77. Federal housing assistance outlays increased by a whopping 42 percent between 2006 and 2010.

78. Approximately 50 million Americans do not have any health insurance at all right now.

79. Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, approximately one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.

80. It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

81. Overall, the amount of money that the federal government gives directly to the American people has risen by 32 percent since Barack Obama entered the White House.

82. According to a recent report produced by Pew Charitable Trusts, approximately one out of every three Americans that grew up in a middle class household has slipped down the income ladder.

83. If you can believe it, more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government at this point.

84. In the United States today, 77 percent of all Americans are living to paycheck to paycheck at least some of the time.

In compiling the information above, I relied heavily on research that I had previously done for The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream Blog.

So what do all of you think about the decline of the middle class?

Feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

The Beginning Of The End - The New Novel About The Future Of America By Michael T. Snyder
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  • Gary2

    Michael-is that your house??

    This site seems to be a rehash of the others…

    • Rodster

      I gotta agree with Gary2, Michael. All three of your sites are basically the same. It might be better just to feed 1 site so it’s easier to keep up with, i.e. articles and comments.

      But you are probably generating enough ad revenue to help pay the bills. And in that case I give Gary2 the go ahead to tax you at 75% just like they do in France. 🙂

    • k

      Why single out only him??…every journalist of every news/opinion website does the same. Atleast he provides links, in an acknowledgemnt of his sources….and values readers opinion unlike other arrogant SOBs.

    • CinnamonGirl

      That looks strangely like my forclosure house I bought with cash last year.

  • OldPhart OutIn TheDesert

    I am the Corporate Controller for a number of companies in mining, concrete, steel and steel fabrication. My salary is less than $70k per year…modest but not nowhere near poverty line, so far.

    I am still middle class, though by the standards of today, I would be considered upper middle class. I still have a decent job, I get paid about four times the average hourly wage (though my salary has been frozen since 2007), I don’t have any direct government assistance coming in, my bills are paid two months in advance, my mortgage is paid until October, my sons have jobs and live pretty much independently, and I have a relatively small store of canned foods and silver set aside.

    In 2007 I recommended a freeze on wages, salaries and bonuses along with a reduction in the standard workweek from 40 hours to 35 hours for employees. No one, not even the corporate president (and he is of the family that owns this business), has had a wage increase since 2007.

    During the heady days of the housing bubble our house (purchased in 1998 for 75k at 7.5% fixed 30 year mortgage) had a value in the neighborhood of $350k. During those days I got literally hundreds of offers to pull equity out of my home and/or refinance. My wife was intrigued by the idea of getting extra money that we could use for emergencies. Me, being the stodgy, debt hating, piece of work that I am, concentrated on paying a little extra each month to the mortgage to pay the house off faster.

    Not being conditioned to using personal debt, my wife and I marveled at all the people that had all the toys, fancy cars, boats, cars, ATV’s, pools and major home renovations that included massive expansions. I wondered how someone less than 30 years old could afford to buy mini-castles that were springing up all over with price tags that were multiples of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    I never built up personal credit, I think my actual credit score ranks around the 200 mark, I always paid in cash. Though I’m an accountant I was ignorant of personal credit: I didn’t want it, didn’t need it and avoided it as much as possible.

    I watched my neighborhood build houses that sold for $400k to ‘youngsters’. I had no plausible explanation to my wife on how they were able to make the house payments, yet still buy all the toys. It was a source of significant strife.

    When the crisis hit I watched as my neighborhood was decimated. Homeowners left in the middle of the night, houses suddenly stood empty. The only ones left in the area were me, four government worker families and the, reputedly, drug dealer two houses down. (A LOT of traffic at that house between 11PM and 3AM!)

    Since 2008 our *cough* esteemed government has rolled out a raft of schemes to enrich their buddies assist those that took advantage of the payola poured out between 2002 and 2008.

    I saw cash for clunkers, which removed low cost, second hand cars from the market; TARP, the Stimulous, the Auto Bail Outs, the Banks Bail Out, the next Bank Bail Out, the hushed up Bank Bail Out, the quasi-sorta-secret Bank Bail Out, the MERS-nothing-happening-here-move-along Bail Out, the almost ultra-secret Stock Market Bail Out via the federal reserve, the ‘oops’ secret Bail Out of foreign banks, and the ongoing, unmentioned, Bail Out of Stupid States like, mine, California (still the land of fruits and nuts) via federal grants.

    I’ve stayed out of this mess as much as I can. My continued extra payment on my mortgage has me paid into Sept 2019 according to the amortization schedule. And I now owe less than $45k on the house. But I still have a 7.5% interest rate. With the rumor that people were now getting 3 to 4% interest rates on their home loans, I wanted to lower my interest and accelerate my payoff. After a number of calls from outfits that offered refinancing via HAMP (in spite of being on the DO NOT CALL registry) I decided to listen to one back in May.

    I was asked what my interest rate was. I said 7.5% and the guy got all excited. He asked me where I was paid through. I said October. He asked if I was seven months behind to clarify and I explained ‘No, I’m paid to November 2012.’ He stammered and asked what my balance was. I said it was around $45k.

    I was told that because my mortgage balance was less than $100k I would not be eligible for any sort of mortgage relief.

    That confirmed everything in my mind. If you squandered your equity, money, and debt, you will be assisted.

    If you played by the old rules, paid your debt, conserved your money, and avoided debt you are to be hosed.

    To my mind, those that took advantage of the open cash taps between 2002 and 2008, deserve everything that has happened.

    If they lost their castle because they bought too pricey a house; if they had no savings because everything was spent on toys, boats, pools, boobs, hair plugs, and/or penile implants; if they’re living in their youngest sons’ ’79 Pinto because the Audi, BMW, and Mercedes were repossessed; if they are on food stamps and welfare because they spent every single asset available, along with multiples of debt, and have become a slave to the State…they deserve it.

    Those bankrupted by unforeseen medical expenses are my only exception.

    That doesn’t mean I’m not sympathetic to those on hard times. My wife and I have done random acts of mercy countless times. From putting $40 on someone elses fuel pump to personally taking people and families into restaurants and paying their tabs. As a smoker, I’ve given hundreds of packs of cigarettes away (non-smokers, you have no idea…so shut up!)

    We’re not heartless, but if you engaged in any of the stuff described above…you’re in Karma Hell. You’re reaping what you sowed, and it ain’t fun. In the meantime, people like me are doing small, personal assists, and simultaneously paying your six year bar tab. On top of that, we’re having to cover the cost of all the bank/politician shenanigans over the last decade or two.

    I don’t usually post purposefully mean stuff, but I’m feeling rather cranky tonight after reading this and about fifty other sites that are never reported on the news that you never paid attention to, other than sports and gossip. I’m especially cranky because I realized back in the 80’s, when there was another major crisis going on, that I would never see a Social Security check. I would never retire, that I would be working to pay my, and society’s, bills until I drop dead. We are facing complete, total, financial and institutional collapse within the next few years. The sooner others realize this fact, and face up to it, the better it will be.

    Maybe my corpse will get moved off the side of the road.

    • OldPhart, Thank you so much for your thoughtful posting.

      • Larry

        So right on! Well written and contains my sentiments too!

    • Randy

      Unfortunately, you have to be as old as we are to understand your excellent representation. I lost about $100k in the downturn and now I’m getting nibbled to death by a duck in cash. Fortunately I have a hobby as a consultant to recoup some of my losses.

      Best Regards,

    • jaxon64

      Excellent OldPhart..and I understand completely.

      I remeber when my wife and I were looking to purchase a home. We only looked at homes that the mortgage payment would be no greater than 20% of our monthly income.

      The bank and realtor were obviously puzzled and aggravated with us because they had “approved” us for a loan of $300K more than we would even consider looking at. It was then that it dawned on me that the majority of folks probably do endebt themselves for the maximum amount they can.

      If the bank “approves” someone to go into debt for $500,000 they probably only look at homes for $450-500k..it would never even occur to so many of these debt slaves to buy a modest home for $200K ( which is a very modest home in my area)and pay double payments or invest/save the difference.

      It burns me up to no end to see and hear about the government bailing out homeowners who live in homes that are 50+% of their income or who used their entire savings at closing costs. Spending your entire savings at closing and then not even having 3 to 6 months worth of mortgage payments in the bank is simply insane ( not to mention irresponsible.)

      It took us years and years to get where we are. Years of scrimping and living frugally…taking turns (my wife and I) getting our advanced degrees so that we wouldn’t accrue student debt and one of us was always working full time and the other in school and working part time. Taking every side job on a weekend for cash. My wife got her masters in nursing and I finally got my license as a doctor of rehabilitative medicine ( I work with neuro-muscular pathologies primarily, CVA’s, parkinson’s, ALS, TBI’s etc)..and I had less than $10k in debt upon finishing although it took me several years longer.

      I believe one of the biggest issues with our society is the “instant gratification” mentality. People want that big house NOW..and don’t establish a solid and secure financial position first…it probably doesn’t even occur to youngsters that they can get that “4-year degree” in 8 years and work to pay for it at the same time.

      My daughter got her batchellors from a smaller in-state school cheaper then accepted a position with “Teach America” to contract to work with challenging students in inner city Philly. In return she was granted the privilege of attending the University of Penn. So by sacrificing 2 additional years of her life in service to under-priviliged children in troubled neighborhoods, she now has her Masters from an Ivy League school–because she sacrificed, waited, and worked for it. She could have taken the fun and easy road–racked up tens of thousands in student loans and enjoyed campus life and dorm parties–but instead she took the wise road, bided her time and looked to the future instead of instant gratification.

      The point is, we who have scrimped and saved, plodded along and slowly, slowly gotten where we are after years of work, toil, nasty food and less than optimal homes are now feeling a greater and greater burden with pay freezes, increased health care costs, inflationary gas, electric and food costs..and in the meantime the govt just increases federal, state and local taxes ( along with dozens of hidden taxes) to bail out those who lived and spent irresponsibly…absolutely frustrating.

    • CinnamonGirl

      You forget those that bought the house they could easily afford, didnt squander their money, yet were put out of a job in 2008 and the next job paid substantially less than the old one, suddenly that affordable home is no longer affordable. Welcome to the newly underemployed.

      Not everyone is a deadbeat.

      • pmiller

        You are right, there are the inocent people that lost so many jobs due to this busted housing bubble which we should have known was coming… I also got layed off and have never ever in 30 years been unemployed. I was lucky to find a job 5 months after and still manage to make it because we did not live to our full income prior to that event. We took pay cut but made it due to that reason. Always live below your means and it is less stressful also…..Take care, hope we can all handle what is coming after the election no matter who gets elected. nobody can fix this…

    • pmiller

      I totally agree with your frustration. Our government so called leaders on both sides of the isle do not care to save this country from total ruin. But what can you say, this is what prophecy says will and is now happening. Divided government, read book of Daniel and see the iron and the clay, which represents the government. These two things can never adhere to one another. We are closer than you think, clean up your personal business with God and get ready…..

  • K

    As the unions gained, the middle class grew. Now with the unions all but destroyed, so is the middle class. People through envy, and manipulation. Have learned to hate the idea, of a union. Have unions at times crossed the line? Yes, and have been attacked for it. Do the rich and powerful cross the line? Yes, everyday and many admire them for it. Man has always been, his own worse enemy. When words like justice, decency,mercy loose any true meaning. That society is done. As God was removed from this culture. So was the idea of striving to be a better person. Now given over to our most base instincts, you see the results. Evils greatest tool, is to convince man, he is answerable to no one. History is full of examples, of how that works out. Take God out of the equation, and what is left is worthless.

  • William

    I do not understand WHY the “middle class” is complaining. This is what Americans wanted. They wanted unending wars based on LIES and EMPIRE!! I’ll bet that most now regret those choices. The standard of living will continue to drop for most Americans. The oligarchs of the military industries will do fine, as will the criminal banksters of Wall ST. Sadly, there is no good choice for righting the ship of state in the USA. The choices will be the failed and phoney Obummer, or Mutt Romney, totally controlled by America’s enemies. Freedom is dying, a day at the time. This is what YOU voted for in 2000 and 2004. Once the genie is let out of the bottle, it is TOO late.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      “This is what YOU voted for in 2000 and 2004”

      lol. You conveniently forgot 1992, 1996 and 2008. Unless of course you’re one of those lefty hacks that like to say ‘warmonger republicans’, in which case I’d be more than happy to quote you all the wars all the way back to the civil war that Democrats got us into. Pssst, just between you and me, its the vast majority…

      • Gay Veteran

        yeah, because it is only the Democrats that are warmongers


        • Mal R

          Uhh yea, hello.

          I’ll do a comparison with you if you want. You give me one and I’ll give you two in return.

          You should see a Dr about your eye troubles. It prolly has something to do with your astonishing ignorance of the facts. Oooh ooh, we can do your ‘all republicans are racist’ too if you’d like.

          • Gay Veteran

            you’re the one pretending there are no racists in the MODERN Republican Party

            waiting for the “Wilson was a racist” lecture in 3…2…1…

            and of course Republicans opposed ALL the wars too

      • k

        everybody…right from obama to romney, bush,clinton, sr.bush, carter, reagan ,took turns screwing the economy.

        The economy was like a ping pong ball with republicans and democrats the players.

    • jaxon64

      Spanish American War?–democrat president
      WWI——————–democrat president
      WW2——————–democrat president
      Korean War————-democrat president
      Vietnam War————democrat president

      Bush ( who sucked as president) was dropping bombs on Iraq and Afghanistan
      Obama ( who sucks probably worse) has bombed Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Libya and if he can get his wishes will be killing people in Syria and/or Iran also.

      I’m an Independent so don’t confuse me with kool-aid drinking repubs…but you appear to be a little short on facts and perspective.

      PS: you might also want to look up the word “Empire”. I do not think it means what you think it means……

      • Gay Veteran

        well you start out with a lie, McKinley (Spanish American war) was a Republican

        WW2 – we were attacked, or didn’t you learn that in elementary school?

        and yes, with well over 700 military bases around the world we are indeed an empire

      • McMankee

        Nixon – escalated Vietnam War to include Cambodia
        Reagan – Invaded Grenada
        Bush I – Gulf War
        Bush I – Invaded Panama
        Bush II – Afgahnistan
        Bush II – Iraq War

  • i’vegivenup

    America is rotting from the inside out. Politicians are soaking up resources (money) coming from the Banksters and other lobbyists. Corrupt to the core…ALL OF THEM! I used to be a solid middle class citizen. Now I’m on the edge of poverty. I blame our broken government and it’s wasteful spending on things like wars, DEA, IRS, TSA while at the same time they want to dismantle SS and Medicare. The end is coming fast and by the time most Americans wake up it will much too late…

    • k

      couldnt agree more.

    • Mal R

      excellent post.

  • NorthernCanuck

    I happened upon this interesting analysis on ActionForex.Com.

    Will the dollar, like the Titantic, rise up briefly before it finally plunges down?

    “Dollar To Gain By Default

    Weekly Forex Fundamentals,
    Written by Investica,
    Aug 27 12 02:06 GMT

    With the last week of reduced Summer activity, tensions will ratchet higher ahead of a critical month in September. Fears surrounding the global economy will be a persistent theme, maintaining the threat of further losses for commodity currencies and allowing the US dollar to resist losses, especially as the US economy despite its obvious vulnerabilities is still set to out-perform key global rivals. It will be possible to find a successful route through the Euro-zone debt crisis, but serial policy mistakes, allied with political retrenchment, has already made the task exceptionally difficult and ensured that fair value for the Euro is substantially weaker. The Euro needs to rally from a much lower base. The weight of negative press briefings in defence of vested interests is likely to weaken the Euro over the week, especially as the real German agenda is to push Greece out of the Euro as a price for agreeing radical measures to prevent a complete Euro collapse.

    Comments from Euro-zone political and economic leaders will be watched extremely closely as official and unofficial deadlines become closer. The ECB is determined to put together a credible plan to intervene in peripheral bond markets, but has very limited manoeuvre in trying to find a consensus. Ideas floated during the past week bordered on the ludicrous with rumours of secret targets for bond yields. Central banks and government s will continue to investigate policy options in a desperate attempt to find a consensus and will have to give them a public airing to assess potential market reaction which will trigger further Euro spikes.

    Comments from Spanish and Italian politicians will also be extremely important. Conditionality is a key problem as the ECB will not act unless potential beneficiary countries apply for aid and meet strict conditions. National governments are already under severe stress and will want ECB guarantees before committing to even more austerity measures which increases the threat of deadlock and eventually a decision to exit the Euro-zone. Germany also faces a pivotal week with the coalition government riddled with tensions and disagreements. Even if German Chancellor Merkel is committed to saving the Euro, there will be major uncertainty whether she can face-down domestic opposition and what price will have to be paid. The Italian bond auctions on Thursday will also be an extremely important focus amid fears that Italy is moving close to being shut out of capital markets.

    Greece will be an important focus following Prime Minister Samaras’s plea for more time to meet austerity commitments. German Chancellor Merkel did her best to keep the issue open at the press conference on Friday, but the Finance Ministry report only an hour later that Greece could temporarily withdraw from the Euro area was extraordinary. Either the briefing was announced with Merkel’s knowledge which would illustrate breathtaking hypocrisy or it illustrates that a fierce battle is being waged within the German government. Neither option is encouraging for short-term Euro-zone stability.

    Fed Chairman Bernanke’s speech at the Jackson Hole conference on Friday will certainly be extremely important for market sentiment, especially with the Fed holding a critical meeting on September 12-13th. The latest set of FOMC minutes were more dovish than expected and certainly fuelled market expectations over additional action at September’s meeting. There was, however, still an important element of doubt in the minutes, especially as they were written in early August before a run of slightly more encouraging data. In essence, the minutes stated that further easing would be considered unless economic conditions have improved significantly.

    There are, therefore, two critical questions for the markets. Firstly have conditions improved enough since early August to discourage the Fed from further easing in September. Secondly, if the Fed is likely to take further action, then would they opt for further quantitative easing or will they look at alternative measures. The most likely outcome looks to be for limited Fed action which falls short of full-blown quantitative easing.

    As well as Bernanke’s speech, markets will also be nervously watching ECB President Draghi who is due to participate in a panel discussion on Saturday. The ECB is also holding a critical meeting on September 6th and any fresh comments from Draghi will be extremely important amid doubts that he will be able to carry the ECB council and override Bundesbank objections. Markets will be closed when we speaks and this will inevitably contribute to volatile trading during Friday’s session with any reaction to Bernanke compounded by aggressive position adjustment given the fear of opening gaps when markets re-open the following Monday.

    The most important US economic is likely to be the latest jobless claims data on Thursday given that it is the only one which is likely to provide any real insight. The Federal Reserve in its meetings this year has constantly referred to the labour-market trends as being crucial for policy thinking and there is no doubt that the week set of payroll releases in the April-July period were crucial in pushing the Fed towards additional stimulus. In this context, any further evidence on labour-market conditions could have a very important impact on the Fed’s thinking in September.

    The only major Euro-zone release on offer if the German IFO index on Monday and any sharper than expected decline would reinforce fears that Germany is sliding towards recession. Any figure below the 100 level would reinforce fears surrounding the Euro-zone outlook. There are no significant UK releases during the week and the key question for markets is whether Treasury Secretary Osborne will lose his job first or whether the AAA credit rating will be lost first.”

  • Mel

    I totally agree with everything here, the middle and lower class, is going down the drain, and fast. I knew someone who worked at a warehouse for about 5 years. One day she went to work and there was no one there. No explanation just found out in the days to come that the warehouse was shut down. That was a couple years ago, so it just proves the point even more, especially for those uneducated/ scared americans who either don’t believe it, or are too afraid to admit it. America IS going to shit, this IS real, and if we don’t do something soon it will be too late. Also, this is most definitely part of a bigger “plan” for America. They want us to be poor and dependent, that way we will do whatever they say. After all, how would you live if they decided to stop helping you for not doing what they say? Where I live there are so many small businesses shutting down every day. I’m relatively young (early 20’s] and I have even noticed a change. I remember when there were tons of small businesses and little shops everywhere, now just ‘for sale’ signs on the windows where they used to thrive. If you walk down the street in the small town I live in, there are at least 5 crumbling vacant houses or apartment complexes within a 2 block radius, it wasn’t like this a few years ago. All over, there are tons of abandoned houses and apartment complexes crumbling to the ground. This place used to be amazing, but lately, leaving the US all together seems to look better and better each day. I really hope people start waking up. It’s affecting all of us right now although many don’t see it, or will just wait until they are the one that is in poverty and can’t feed their family. Don’t wait until it’s too late, start asking questions, and stop following every command by the government. They are corrupt, bought out!

  • Lolly

    At one time women normally did not work if married. So that meant 50 % of working age adults were not working at that time either, but life was good. My mother is one of those. She cooked, sewed, cleaned house, took care of us kids and Dad. My Dad gave her an allowance. She liked going shopping on Mondays downtown, plus she would treat herself to a meal out. We at home got to eat leftovers.
    Machines are taking away many jobs.
    There are more things to keep up with today bill wise that did not exist before: Cable, computers, insurance, online service, more then one family car, extra cost of bigger houses, more then one phone/cellphone, more then one computer, more then one TV, many extra technical gadgets.
    The meaning of Middle Class has moved on up. At one time one car per family was Middle Class. One phone per family was middle class. One television per family was middle class. One fridge per family was middle class. Plus the price of things always goes up. That is normal. The price of coffee at 5 cents will not return till after a crash. Plus I remember when 5 % unemployed was normal.
    In California and New York states, many people sold and resold houses causing the price of houses to go up there. My $110,000 Iowa house would be worth a cool million in California.
    Billionaires are sucking up the air by taking most of the cash out there. Then they stash it away, so there is less cash floating around for non-billionaires to do business, buy things, hire people, buy food etc.
    CEO’s are also sucking up available cash with their outrageous enormous salaries. Does not leave much money to hire a regular working class Joe.
    CEO’s have jobs to figure out how to hire less people for less money for more work. Fire the CEO’s and hire more Americans.
    There is a glut of cars in the USA, so the big companies are looking for new frontiers of countries where each family does not have even one car !
    A lot of jobs have been outsourced by great guys like Romney to other countries.
    People are being taught to be greedy. This is what greed looks like.

    • sevanclaig

      You started off well when you were pointing out how society creates it’s own debt (and subsequent bills) burdens. But then you fell away, and fail yourself to see what greed really looks like.

      Actually, your problem isn’t greed, but rather: Envy. There’s a reason it is called one of the seven deadly sins, and this should illustrate why.

      Tomorrow at work your boss comes over to you with an envelope and says “Here’s two hundred thousand dollars, taxes already deducted, free and clear 200 large for you because you are my trusted employee.”

      You’re ecstatic. You might even thank God. You start imagining all the things you are going to do with such wealth- pay off the house, buy your wife a new car, fund the kid’s college tuition, all sorts of things. You can’t contain the excitement and you poke your head above the cubicle to tell your coworker but he blurts out how he got a check too- in fact the whole office did- everyone got five hundred thousand dollars.

      Everyone got 500K, except you who got 200.

      You’re shocked. You’re offended. You might even ask God “what the …?!”

      because how come that idiot who blew every account he’s ever been given gets more than double what you got, not to mention that tart at the front desk who has never got a message right since she’s been here- which has only been 3 days….

      Yep. Nothing has changed in your life since you received your envelope, nobody did anything to you or took anything from you or kept you from getting anything you had worked for- yet in an instant you simultaneously started cursing the good fortune of others and ceased to count your own blessings.

      That is envy and greed all wrapped into one, and it is a very serious and deeply rooted evil lurking in too many people these days.

      • NonAmerican User

        Does this have anything to do with the matter at hand ?

      • AnotherFaux EmailAddy

        Fantastic example of envy!

  • Marshall Davis

    You all are Obama Haters!

    He Obama has said he has improved all these concerns. Why don’t you believe and trust in him. He turned our country around – see the change! He is an advocate of the middle class. VOTE for OBAMA and vote for CHANG!

    • AnotherFaux EmailAddy

      Who is Chang? Jason Chang?