27 Signs that America is DOOMED!
If you still have a job and you can put food on the table and you still have a warm house to come home to, then you should consider yourself to be very fortunate. The truth is that every single month hundreds of thousands more Americans fall out of the middle class and into poverty. The statistics that you are about to read are incredibly sobering. Household incomes are down from coast to coast. Enrollment in government anti-poverty programs sets new records month after month after month. Home ownership is down, personal bankruptcies are way up and there are not nearly enough jobs to go around. Meanwhile, the price of basics such as food and health care continue to skyrocket. Don't be fooled by a rising stock market or by record bonuses on Wall Street. The U.S. economy is not getting better. After World War II, the great American economic machine built the largest and most vigorous middle class in the history of the world, but now America's middle class is disintegrating at a blinding pace.
Most of those who write about the plight of the American middle class believe that things can be turned around and that the middle class will eventually be stronger than it ever has been. But unfortunately, that is just not the case. As a society, we have lived far, far beyond our means for decades. Now the bills are coming due and none of our leaders seem to know what to do.
Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is being rapidly assimilated into the emerging one world economy. Middle class American workers now find themselves in direct competition for jobs with the cheapest labor on the other side of the globe. Of course many multinational corporations have taken advantage of this by moving factories and jobs to countries like China where blue collar workers make about a dollar an hour. This has helped raise the standard of living for workers in those nations by a nominal amount, but it has been absolutely devastating for the standard of living of America's middle class.
So what does all of this mean?
It means that the U.S. economy is headed for collapse and middle class Americans are in for some really, really hard times.
The following are 27 signs that the standard of living for Americas middle class is dropping like a rock .
#1 Household spending for the middle fifth of all U.S. income earners was down 3.5% in 2009. That was the steepest one year decline since records began being kept back in 1984.
#2 Median household income in the United States fell from $51,726 in 2008 to $50,221 in 2009.
#3 According to one new report, in 2009 residents of New York state experienced their first full-year decline in income in more than 70 years.
#4 Of the 52 largest metro areas in the United States, only the city of San Antonio did not see a decline in median household income in 2009.
#5 Home ownership in the United States declined for the third year in a row in 2009.
#6 In 2009, approximately 4 million Americans fell out of the middle class and now live below the federal poverty line.
#7 The number of Americans enrolled in the food stamp program has set a new all-time record for 20 consecutive months.
#8 In July (the last month for which data is available), 41.8 million Americans were on food stamps.
#9 The number of Americans in the food stamp program skyrocketed more than 55 percent between December 2007 and July 2010.
#10 In 2009, more than 48 million Americans were enrolled in the Medicaid program.
#11 One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one anti-poverty program run by the U.S. government.
#12 According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010.
#13 According to the Cato Institute, anti-poverty spending by the U.S. government has increased 89 percent over the past decade.
#14 The cost of health care increased a staggering 9.6% for all U.S. households from 2007 to 2009.
#15 It turns out that only the top 5 percent of all U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
#16 35 percent of all U.S. households now live on $35,000 or less.
#17 New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says that Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.
#18 According to a poll taken in 2009, 61 percent of Americans always or usually live paycheck to paycheck. That was up substantially from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
#19 Today, 28% of all American households have at least one member that is searching for a full-time job.
#20 Nearly 10 million Americans now receive unemployment insurance, which is almost four times as many that were receiving it back in 2007.
#21 A recent Pew Research survey found that 55 percent of the U.S. labor force has experienced either unemployment, a pay decrease, a reduction in hours or an involuntary move to part-time work since the recession began.
#22 In 2009, 43.6 million Americans were living in poverty. Sadly, the number of Americans living in poverty has increased for three consecutive years, and the 43.6 million poor Americans in 2009 was the highest number that the U.S. Census Bureau has ever recorded in 51 years of record-keeping.
#23 A staggering 25 percent of all American adults now have a credit score below 599.
#24 It is estimated that nearly a third of all Americans cannot qualify for a mortgage because of low credit scores.
#25 For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all American households put together.
#26 Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a stunning 32 percent increase over 2008.
#27 According to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau, the bottom fifth of all U.S. income earners brought in just 3.4 percent of all income in 2009 while the top fifth brought in a whopping 49.4 percent of all income.
When it comes to the problems we are facing, the truth can be found in the long-term trends. If you have not done so already, please read 11 Long-Term Trends That Are Absolutely Destroying The U.S. Economy. It will open your eyes to the true horrors that our economy is now facing.
11 Long-Term Trends That Are Absolutely Destroying The U.S. Economy
The U.S. economy is being slowly but surely destroyed and many Americans have no idea that it is happening. That is at least partially due to the fact that most financial news is entirely focused on the short-term. Whenever a key economic statistic goes up the financial markets surge and analysts rejoice. Whenever a key economic statistic goes down the financial markets decline and analysts speak of the potential for a "double-dip" recession. You could literally get whiplash as you watch the financial ping pong ball bounce back and forth between good news and bad news. But focusing on short-term statistics is not the correct way to analyze the U.S. economy. It is the long-term trends that reveal the truth. The reality is that there are certain underlying foundational problems that are destroying the U.S. economy a little bit more every single day.
11 of those foundational problems are discussed below. They are undeniable and they are constantly getting worse. If they are not corrected (and there is no indication that they will be) they will destroy not only our economy but also our entire way of life. The sad truth is that it would be hard to understate just how desperate the situation is for the U.S. economy.
Long-Term Trend #1: The Deindustrialization Of America
The United States is being deindustrialized at a pace that is almost impossible to believe. But now that millions upon millions of people have lost their jobs, more Americans than ever are starting to wake up and believe it.
A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 69 percent of Americans now believe that free trade agreements have cost America jobs. Ten years ago the majority of Americans had great faith in the new "global economy" that we were all being merged into, but now the tide has turned.
So why have Americans lost faith in "free trade"?
Well, it turns out that the current system is neither "free trade" nor "fair trade". Many other nations impose extremely high tariffs on U.S. goods and put up ridiculous barriers to American products and yet the United States has generally let everyone else openly manipulate currency rates and flood our shores with whatever cheap products they want.
The results have been disastrous. Jobs and factories have been leaving the United States at a blinding pace.
The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001. Approximately 75 percent of those factories employed over 500 workers while they were still in operation.
An economy without a manufacturing base does not have a bright long-term future. Yet our politicians have allowed our manufacturing base to be systematically dismantled.
As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing. The last time that less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.
How is the United States supposed to have a bright economic future if it consumes everything in sight and yet makes very little?
Something needs to be done.
In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of all U.S. economic output. In 2008, it represented only 11.5 percent and it continues to fall.
Needless to say, millions of blue collar workers now find themselves unable to find jobs. Today, 28% of all U.S. households have at least one person that is looking for a full-time job and there is no sign that things are going to improve much any time soon.
Long-Term Trend #2: The Exploding U.S. Trade Deficit
Each month, tens of billions more dollars go out of the United States than come into it. In other words, every single month the United States gets poorer.
Recently, the U.S. trade deficit has been coming in at around 40 to 50 billion dollars a month. About half of that is with communist China.
Between 2000 and 2009, America's trade deficit with China increased nearly 300 percent.
Sadly, things are getting even worse.
As of the end of July, the U.S. trade deficit with China had risen 18 percent compared to the same time period a year ago.
There is a reason why China has been able to loan the U.S. government nearly a trillion dollars. They have literally been bleeding us dry.
The United States spends approximately $3.90 on Chinese goods for every $1 that the Chinese spend on goods from the United States.
Does that sound like "fair trade" to you?
According to a new study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, if the U.S. trade deficit with China continues to increase at its current rate, the U.S. economy will lose over half a million jobs this year alone.
Half a million jobs in just one year?
And that doesn't even take into account the trade deficit that we have with all the other nations around the world.
We have literally built China into a superpower.
One prominent economist is now projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.
But it isn't just China that is a problem.
Since the implementation of NAFTA in 1994, 300,000 U.S. farms have gone out of business.
Globalism has forced U.S. workers to directly compete with the cheapest labor in the world for jobs. That is not good for American workers and it is not good for America.
Long-Term Trend #3: The Shrinking Middle Class
As jobs continue to flee the United States and as wages continue to be depressed, America's middle class is shrinking at an alarming rate.
According to a poll taken in 2009, 61 percent of Americans "always or usually" live paycheck to paycheck. That was up substantially from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
Unfortunately, a growing number of Americans have found it impossible to make it from month to month without direct financial assistance from the federal government.
41 million Americans are now on food stamps. One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one anti-poverty program run by the federal government. Economic pain is everywhere.
Tens of millions of Americans now live in poverty. The U.S. Census Bureau says that 43.6 million Americans are now living in poverty and according to them that is the highest number of poor Americans that they have ever recorded in 51 years of record-keeping.
Long-Term Trend #4: The Growing Size Of The U.S. Government
No matter whether it is a Republican or a Democrat in the White House, the size of the U.S. government has continued to grow by leaps and bounds in recent years.
This is a tremendous drain on the U.S. economy. The government produces very little value for the economy and yet costs a colossal amount to maintain.
In addition, multiplying government regulations have caused the United States to be a very difficult environment to operate a business in.
The Federal Register is the main source of regulations for U.S. government agencies. In 1936, the number of pages in the Federal Register was about 2,600. Today, the Federal Register is over 80,000 pages long.
Long-Term Trend #5: The Constantly Growing U.S. National Debt
The United States has accumulated the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world and every single month it gets worse.
According to an official U.S. Treasury Department report to Congress, the U.S. national debt will top $13.6 trillion this year and will climb to an estimated $19.6 trillion by 2015.
Do we really want to pass on a 20 trillion dollar debt to our children and grandchildren?
But the truth is that the situation is actually a lot worse than that.
If the U.S. government was forced to use GAAP accounting principles (like all publicly-traded corporations must), the U.S. government budget deficit would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 trillion to $5 trillion each and every year.
Needless to say, that is not anywhere close to sustainable. We are literally destroying our economic future with all of this debt.
Long-Term Trend #6: The Ongoing Devaluation Of The U.S. Dollar
The Federal Reserve constantly destroys the value of the U.S. dollar. Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, the U.S. dollar has lost over 95 percent of its purchasing power.
An item that cost $20.00 in 1970 would cost you $112.35 today. An item that cost $20.00 in 1913 would cost you $440.33 today.
Inflation is like a hidden tax. The value of the dollars you are holding right now will decline a little bit more each and every month.
And now that the Federal Reserve is threatening to unleash another round of quantitative easing, it appears that the value of our dollars will soon be declining even more rapidly.
Long-Term Trend #7: The Derivatives Bubble
The one thing that the "Wall Street reform bill" should have done was that it should have done something about the horrific abuses in the derivatives markets. Instead, the Wall Street reform bill did next to nothing about derivatives and instead imposed hundreds of other useless regulations on Wall Street.
Most Americans don't even know what derivatives are. Basically, they are side bets. They have no underlying value of their own. But today derivatives have taken center stage on Wall Street. Our financial markets have become a gigantic casino.
The total value of all derivatives worldwide is estimated to be somewhere between 600 trillion and 1.5 quadrillion dollars. And thanks to the U.S. Congress, the derivatives bubble is still growing.
It would be hard to understate the danger that the derivatives bubble represents. The danger from derivatives is so great that Warren Buffet once called them "financial weapons of mass destruction".
When the derivatives bubble finally pops, there will not be enough money in the entire world to fix it.
Long-Term Trend #8: The Health Care Industry
The United States health care system is completely and totally broken. It has become a gigantic money making machine for health insurance companies, pharmaceutical corporations and greedy lawyers.
Americans pay more for health care than anyone else in the world and yet they get shockingly little in return.
Health care expenses are the number one reason why people file for personal bankrupty in the United States. Surprisingly, most of those who get bankrupted by health care expenses actually have health insurance.
The health insurance system in the United States is a complete and total mess. Health insurance premiums are busting the budgets of tens of millions of American families and yet they are getting ready to go up yet once again.
Already, large numbers of health insurance companies across the United States have announced that they plan to increase health insurance premiums in response to the new health care law.
But do health insurance companies actually need more money? Even as the rest of the U.S. economy deeply struggles, America's health insurance companies increased their profits by 56 percent in 2009.
At least someone is doing well in this economy.
The truth is that the U.S. health care system needs to be totally and completely reinvented. The system we had before did not work. Barack Obama's new health care system will be far worse. Meanwhile, the health care industry is literally choking the life out of the U.S. economy.
Long-Term Trend #9: Financial Power Is Becoming Concentrated In Fewer And Fewer Hands
Once upon a time, the United States had a very diverse financial system. But today financial power is becoming concentrated in fewer and fewer hands with each passing year.
More U.S. banks fail every single week. In fact, the number of bank failures is on pace to far surpass the total of 140 U.S. banks that failed last year.
There are now nearly 900 banks (well over 10 percent of all U.S. banks) on the FDIC list of problem banks.
Meanwhile, the "too big to fail" banks continue to pick up market share. The "big four" U.S. banks (Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo) had approximately 22 percent of all deposits in FDIC-insured institutions back in 2000. As of June 30th of last year that figure was up to 39 percent.
Putting an increasing amount of financial power into the hands of just a few elite banks is a recipe for disaster any way you want to cut it.
Long-Term Trend #10: Rampant Corruption On Wall Street
Our financial system has become an absolute cesspool of corruption. In the past I have written extensively about all of the corruption that Goldman Sachs has been involved in, but they are far from alone.
In fact, it seems like new stories of financial corruption emerge almost daily now.
For example, just recently Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and GMAC Mortgage have all suspended foreclosures in many U.S. states due to serious concerns about foreclosure procedures.
But there is a lot of corruption that is a lot worse than that. The rampant manipulation of the gold and silver markets was completely blown open by an industry insider earlier this year, but the U.S. government had to be publicly shamed before they would even agree to look into it.
The truth is that corruption on Wall Street has become so common that it is almost impossible to keep up with it all. It seems like no matter what stone you turn over on Wall Street these days you find yet more corruption.
But if the core of our financial system is so incredibly corrupt, how long will it be before it collapses in on itself?
Long-Term Trend #11: The Growing Retirement Crisis That Threatens To Bankrupt America
The Baby Boomers may end up bankrupting America after all. A retirement tsunami is coming that threatens to drown our nation in a sea of red ink.
The truth is that Americans have not been preparing for retirement on their own. One shocking new study indicates that Americans are $6.6 trillion short of what they need to retire comfortably.
In fact, approximately half of all workers in the United States have less than $2000 saved up for retirement.
So what about corporate pension plans?
Are they in good shape?
One recent study found that America's 100 largest corporate pension plans were underfunded by $217 billion as of the end of 2008.
But sadly, the pension plans run by U.S. state governments are in even worse shape.
Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Chicago and Joshua D. Rauh of Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management recently calculated the combined pension liability of all 50 U.S. states. What they found was that the 50 states are collectively facing $5.17 trillion in pension obligations, but they only have $1.94 trillion set aside in state pension funds. That means that collectively, the 50 U.S. state governments are 3.2 trillion dollars short of what they need to meet their pension obligations.
But the biggest mess of all may be the U.S. Social Security system.
The sad reality is that anyone that has studied it closely knows that it is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme, and the scam has just about run its course.
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.
But things get really hairy when you start looking down the road.
The present value of projected scheduled benefits surpasses earmarked revenues for entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare by about 46 trillion dollars over the next 75 years.
It is time to face facts people.
We are in deep, deep, deep trouble.
An increasing number of Americans are starting to realize this. They may not always know the specifics of what is going wrong, but more people than ever realize that something is broken. According to one recent survey, 63 percent of Americans believe that the United States is on the wrong track.
And we are very much on the wrong track. We have squandered the great wealth that our parents and grandparents left us and we are wrecking the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen.
If we do not get our act together, someday people will look back and will curse this generation for how incredibly stupid we were
"To Achieve World
Government it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism,
their loyalty to family traditions and national identification" Brock Chisholm - Director of the World Health Organization
"A society whose citizens refuse to see and investigate the facts, who refuse to believe that their government and their media will routinely lie to them and fabricate a reality contrary to verifiable facts, is a society that chooses and deserves the Police State Dictatorship it's going to get." Ian Williams Goddard
The fact is that "political correctness" is all about creating uniformity. Individualism is one of the biggest obstacles in the way of the New World Order. They want a public that is predictable and conditioned to do as it's told without asking questions.
"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." Thomas Jefferson