Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Broke! 10 Facts About The Financial Condition Of American Families That Will Blow Your Mind

July 26, 2011

By Michael Snyder - BLN Contributing Writer

The crumbling U.S. economy is putting an extraordinary amount of financial stress on American families.  For many Americans, "flat broke" has become a permanent condition.  Today, over half of all American families live paycheck to paycheck.  Unemployment is rampant and those that do actually have jobs are finding that their wages are rising much more slowly than prices are.  The financial condition of average American families continues to decline and this is showing up in all of the recent surveys.  For example, according to a new Gallup poll, "lack of money/low wages" is the number one financial concern for American families.  To make ends meet, many American families are going into even more debt and more American families than ever are turning to government assistance.  Right now, more Americans than at any other point since World War II are flat broke and have lost hope.  Until this changes, the frustration level in this country is going to continue to grow.
The following are 10 facts about the financial condition of American families that will blow your mind.....
#1 Only 58 percent of Americans have a job right now.
#2 Only 56 percent of Americans are currently covered by employer-provided health insurance.
#3 The median yearly wage in the United States is $26,261.
#4 The average American household is carrying $75,600 in debt.
#5 Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
#6 At this point, American families are approximately 7.7 trillion dollars poorer than they were back in early 2007.
#7 The poorest 50% of all Americans now own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.
#8 According to one study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States were living below the poverty line in 2010.
#9 Today, there are more than 44 million Americans on food stamps, and nearly half of them are children.
#10 According to Newsweek, close to 20 percent of all American men between the ages of 25 and 54 do not have a job at the moment.
So what is causing all of this?
Where in the world did all of the good jobs go?
Well, the truth is that millions of them have been shipped overseas.
Our politicians promised us that merging our economy with the economies of other nations where it is legal to pay slave labor wages to workers would not create more unemployment inside America.
They were dead wrong.
Now we are being told that we just need to accept a lower standard of living.
For example, billionaire Howard Marks says that it is time for all of us to just accept that the standard of living of American workers is inevitably going to decline to the level of the rest of the world....
"In addition to balancing the budget and growing the economy, I think we have to accept that the coming decades are likely to see U.S. standards of living decline relative to the rest of the world. Unless our goods offer a better cost/benefit bargain, there’s no reason why American workers should continue to enjoy the same lifestyle advantage over workers in other countries. I just don’t expect to hear many politicians own up to this reality on the stump."
Are you willing to accept that?
Well, most Americans appear to be willing to accept this "new reality" because they keep sending most of the exact same bozos back to Washington D.C.
Meanwhile, the job losses continue to get worse.  As I wrote about the other day, as the U.S. economy has started to slow down again we are starting to see another huge wave of layoffs all over America.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out where all of our jobs are going.  But unfortunately, most Americans don't understand what is happening because neither the mainstream media nor our politicians are telling them the truth.
For much more on how millions of our good jobs are being shipped out of the country, please see another article I recently published entitled "How Globalism Has Destroyed Our Jobs, Businesses And National Wealth In 10 Easy Steps".
But it is not just the globalization of the economy that is destroying our jobs.
The federal government bureaucracy has become so oppressive that it is amazing that anyone is still willing to hire workers in this day and age.
Hiring workers has become so complicated and so expensive that many small business owners want to avoid it at all cost.
For example, a small business owner identified as "007" recently left the following comment on one of my recent articles....
Speaking as a small employer, I would rather have a root canal than another employee. Let’s see. You first have to hire someone you trust without some labor lawyer suing you for some type of discrimination. Then you have OSHA to make sure your work place is safe. Then you have workmans compensation insurance, unemployment taxes, health insurance, liability insurance, now Obamacare. Oh be careful not to be deemed to have a “hostile work environment”. Then you have to negotiate the labor laws. The Department of Labor is constantly cranking out regulation.
Then you get the pleasure of paying payroll taxes both state and federal along with the required filing of a multitude of payroll forms. Miss filing or paying these taxes and you will be crushed with interest and penalties.
Of course, you are competing with businesses that can hire at a fraction of the cost of American Labor and with very little regulations. In this economy, no one in their right mind is hiring into this unstable and declining economy.
If business turns down all you have to worry about is laying off workers. Of course your unemployment insurance tax will go up 200% for years. Then you only have to then worry about a wrongful termination law suit.
The entire system is stacked against American workers.
If you are a blue collar worker, you should give up hope that things are going to get better.  The system has failed you.
You can stop waiting for the "good jobs" to come back.
They aren't coming back.
That is one reason why I try to encourage everyone to become more independent of the system.
As our economic system continues to degenerate, Americans are going to become increasingly desperate.
Sadly, desperate people do desperate things.  Already we are starting to see signs that the fabric of American society is starting to be ripped to shreds.
So what is going to happen if the economy gets even worse?
There is a limit to how many people we can actually put in prison.  The reality is that the number of Americans in prison has nearly tripled since 1987.
Our prisons are already dangerously overcrowded.  As society falls apart, many communities will simply not be able to shove more people behind bars.
Even with our prisons stuffed to the gills, many of our largest cities continue to be transformed into absolute hellholes.
Detroit is now the 3rd most dangerous city on the entire planet and New Orleans is now the 9th most dangerous city on the entire planet.
So what are our leaders doing about all of this?
Well, they appear to be too busy fighting with each other and cheating on their wives to do much about our problems.
According to Politico, U.S. Representative David Wu is the latest member of Congress to be accused of a sex scandal....
Rep. David Wu has been accused of an “unwanted sexual encounter” with the teenage daughter of a longtime friend, the latest scandal to engulf the troubled Oregon Democrat.
This country is a complete and total mess.  Tens of millions of American families are flat broke and are about to slip into poverty.  Meanwhile, our politicians continue to prove that they are some of the most corrupt on the planet.
There are many out there that still believe that America has a bright future ahead.
It is getting really hard to see why anyone could possibly believe that.


  1. Pretty depressing stuff, but it's nice to see someone who might have some influence saying things like "I encourage everyone to become more independent of the system." It's what I and a lot of other folks (including you, SciFi ;) have been saying for years. I just hope it catches on - sooner rather than later - because if we're all a little more independent, then, perhaps all of America won't degenerate into the "most dangerous place in the world to live."

    We can still hope, right?

  2. That is certainly a bleak picture! Unfortunately, as long as the politicians are in denial, nothing will change the downward spiral. It's too bad the writer didn't offer some solutions.

  3. I stopped reading after fact #1 because it is a misnomer. Yes, ONLY 58% of Americans have jobs, but it makes it sound like unemployment is higher than it is - what it doesn't say is they are including retirees [baby boomers!], disabled and CHILDREN in their statistics. 58% of 350 million people is a lot of folks employed especially when a large part of the population can't work due to age or disability. Not a fair representation of the employment in America in my opinion.

    Anyone can slant statistics to get their point across if they try hard enough.

    Sorry SFC - but I couldn't read farther when I saw where he was going. Can't drink his kool aid. Hope you don't mind.

  4. It is very depressing indeed. What is it going to take to solve this? Fire most all of congress, put term limits up, raise awareness to becoming more independent at least as far as food goes, teach people to appreciate what they have and that having everything is not the answer(this one put us in the spot we are in, we want more and more for as little as possible), and lastly people need to learn we will more than likely not be returning to the "American Dream" that we all know and love, at least not any time soon. Good blog by the way!
    Coley http://thewanderingkfarm.blogspot.com/

  5. And yet people continue to vote against their own self interests.....

  6. Wendy, if we don't have hope what in the world are we doing? I struggle with that one sometimes. Even when I want to just give it all up and stop the "spreading the news" because no one even seems to care anymore, I just cannot give into the idea that all hope is lost. Maybe it is just that I keep remembering that once there were only about 3% who truly believed that America was still worth fighting for...They were able to make a difference. I hope and pray that there are that many today who would be willing to give all for freedom.

    Skippy, I understand what you are saying about the numbers but if you will click over and look at the link, these numbers are drawn from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and do not include anyone under 16 or disabled. These are numbers provided by our government. All in all they are pretty staggering statistics. I respect your opinion. It is what once made this country great. These days it seems that being able to express our opinions puts us at great risk of becoming "domestic terrorists". I am afraid that our once great nation is crumbling beneath us and that we, generally, don't even seem to be able to see it. I grant you that writers tend to "skew" things in the direction that their hearts and minds take them, especially when it comes. They can be read in any direction that the viewer wants to see them. Perspective is (I think) a personal thing. The right to agree or disagree is one I will fight for until the end.

    Ian, Personally I don't think that the politician's are the only ones in denial. It is us, as a nation, who continue the downward spiral by refusing to see what is right there in front of us. As for not offering solution's, sometimes it's hard enough just to write at all.

    Coley, I so agree that term limits could help the situation in DC. I've been a big proponent for years. As for raising awareness in self-sufficiency, it is and has always been a project near and dear to me and others who hang out around here! It just seems that at times we preach to the choir. As Wendy said, We can only hope. We can hope that by learning self sufficiency we can lead by example. As for the "American Dream" I think the old ways are gone, things have become so skewered that a new American Dream will have to rise from the mess we have created. We can only hope and plan and work on our future and the future of America.

    Anon, it's a sad thing and unfortunately true. Why is it we can overlook the actions of those we placed in office and vote for them over and over again?

  7. I think you pretty well nailed it.I work in New Orleans and have a 45 at my side at ALL times until I'm in the building.BOB bag & 12 gauge in the car.I know it probably sounds extreme but I grew up here and know my surroundings.Unfortunately I can't find work close to my house but this job is stable despite the economy And I need the money to pay the mortgage. Lucky that I moved about 40 miles away 20 years ago and I am in a country setting in the woods.The chickens and rabbits help cut meat cost and the garden that the Mrs has helps as well.I am also dabbling with solar power so I can cut expenses there.As long as she can hold down the fort with the dogs and artillery till I get back every day we will make it. I hate my Rep's in congress but our votes won't override the sheeple so I have to play the hand I got.

  8. There are some jobs out there. Maybe not in the high salary bracket,but would put food on the table. There are too many people who don't want to work. Just want a handout. That's how their parents did it, so why change. Way too much of that in this country.

  9. There is some hope I live in Louisiana and we are fighting the teachers to get our kids a real education an for the first time ever we might just win