The New Normal

Many of the things that Americans have been able to take for granted for decades are rapidly coming to an end.  The truth is that a growing economy that produces an ever-increasing amount of good jobs for a thriving middle class is not guaranteed to last forever.  In fact, there are lots of signs that the middle class in America is already being ripped to shreds.  The number of Americans on long-term unemployment benefits is exploding, personal bankruptcies are setting new records, foreclosures are at an all-time high and one out of every eight Americans is now on food stamps.  Meanwhile, the U.S. government is absolutely drowning in debt and America is facing a pension crisis that is so immense that it is almost indescribable.  Most Americans still assume that even if we do have hard times for a while things will always turn around and eventually get better than ever.  But sadly, that is just not the case.  The truth is that the United States is in the early stages of a devastating economic collapse, and the “new normal” is going to be incredibly difficult for a lot of Americans to adjust to. 

The New Normal: Millions Of Chronically Unemployed Americans And Not Nearly Enough Jobs For Everyone

*According to one recent survey, 28% of U.S. households have at least one member that is looking for a full-time job.

*A recent Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 81 percent of American adults know someone who is looking for a job.

*Despite the fact that the U.S. population has exploded, less Americans are employed in manufacturing today than in 1950.

*Today it takes the average unemployed American over 8 months to find a job.

*The number of Americans receiving long-term unemployment benefits has risen over 60 percent in just the past year.

*Since 2007, unemployment has spread across American like a plague….

The New Normal: Americans Going Broke In Staggering Numbers

*Nationwide, bankruptcy filings rose 20 percent in the 12 month period ending June 30th.

*There were 422,061 bankruptcy filings between April and June of this year.  That was an increase of 9 percent from 388,148 in the prior three-month period, and was up 11 percent from 381,073 a year earlier.

The New Normal: A Dead Housing Market And Millions Of Americans Losing Their Homes

*During the month of May sales of new homes in the U.S. declined to the lowest level ever recorded.

*The Mortgage Bankers Association recently announced that demand for loans to purchase U.S. homes has sunk to a 13-year low.

*Construction of new homes in the U.S. and applications to build new homes in the U.S. both fell to their lowest levels in more than a year during the month of July.

*One out of every seven mortgages were either delinquent or in foreclosure during the first quarter of 2010.

*According to RealtyTrac, a total of 1.65 million U.S. properties received foreclosure filings during the first half of 2010.

*U.S. Banks repossessed 269,962 U.S. homes during the second quarter of 2010, which was a new all-time record.

The New Normal: Tens Of Millions Of Americans Living In Poverty And Dependent On The Government For Food

*The U.S. poverty rate is the third worst among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

*Approximately 50 million Americans could not afford to buy enough food to stay healthy at some point during the last year.

*The number of Americans who are receiving food stamps rose to a new all-time record of 40.8 million in May.

*The number of Americans on food stamps has set a new all-time record for 18 consecutive months.

The New Normal: A Pension Crisis And A Social Security Nightmare That Will Fundamentally Change What Retirement Means In America

*3 out of every 5 Baby Boomers do not have enough money saved for retirement.

*Unfunded pension benefit liabilities at the state government level – the amount state governments owe in promised retirement benefits beyond what they have collected – exceed $3 trillion.

*In 1950, each retiree’s Social Security benefit was paid for by 16 U.S. workers.  In 2010, each retiree’s Social Security benefit is paid for by approximately 3.3 U.S. workers.  By 2025, it is projected that there will be approximately two U.S. workers for each retiree.

*According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Social Security system will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes in 2010.  That was not supposed to happen until at least 2016.

*The present value of projected scheduled benefits surpasses earmarked revenues for entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare by approximately 46 trillion dollars over the next 75 years.

The New Normal: The U.S. Government Absolutely Drowning In Debt

*If you started spending one million dollars every single day when Jesus was born, you still would not have spent one trillion dollars by now.

*The U.S. government has accumulated a national debt that is rapidly approaching the 14 trillion dollar mark.

*The IMF says that in order to fix the U.S. government budget deficit, taxes need to be doubled on every single U.S. citizen.

*The U.S. government will spend an amount of money equivalent to approximately 25.4 percent of GDP this year.

*If the U.S. government does not change course, it will be paying 2 trillion dollars just in interest on the national debt by the year 2020.

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