The American Dream
March 18, 2011
The 22 facts that you are about to read are all real, although admittedly they are hard to believe. The sad truth is that millions of middle class families in the United States today are being savagely crushed by this economy. Most American families would like to be saving money, paying the mortgage and living the American Dream, but with each passing month those things are becoming more difficult. Rapidly rising prices for basic necessities such as food and gas are absolutely crippling the finances of millions of middle class American families right now. How is a family even supposed to make a budget when the average price of gasoline goes up 42 cents a gallon in a single month? What are we all supposed to do when we walk into our supermarkets and find that the old “regular prices” have become the new “sale prices”? Should we all not be deeply concerned that the price of food in the United States went up at the fastest rate in 36 years last month? How are we all supposed to keep our families above the poverty line when the number of good paying jobs keeps shrinking? In America today, being a member of the middle class is like playing a game of musical chairs. You know that they are going to keep pulling chairs out of the game, and you just hope that it is not going to be your turn next.
Sadly, large numbers of Americans do keep falling out of the middle class. The number of Americans on food stamps just keeps increasing every single month. The number of Americans on Medicaid just keeps increasing every single month. The number of American children living in poverty just keeps increasing every single month.
If the U.S. economy is actually getting “better”, then why does the middle class keep on shrinking? Everywhere you turn there are families in deep economic pain. Unemployment is rampant and even those families that do have jobs are really struggling to make ends meet as prices rise rapidly.
Unfortunately, the global economy looks like it is going to get even worse. The recent crisis in Japan is going to have a ripple effect across the entire globe. The chaos in the Middle East is certainly not helping things either. It certainly appears that we could be on the verge of another major economic downturn.
And that would not be good news for the U.S. middle class. The truth is that the U.S. middle class has already been hurt enough.
The following are 22 facts that prove that middle class families across America are being savagely crushed by this economy….
#1 Last month food prices in the United States rose at the fastest rate in 36 years.
#2 The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States is now $3.55. That represents an increase of 42 cents a gallon in just one month.
#3 According to the Oil Price Information Service, U.S. drivers spent an average of $347 on gasoline during the month of February, which was 30 percent more than a year earlier.
#4 According to the U.S. Energy Department, the average U.S. household will spend approximately $700 more on gasoline in 2011 than it did during 2010.
#5 According to the U.S. Labor Department, the cost of living in the United States is higher than it ever has been before. The “Chained Consumer Price Index” hit a new all-time high during the month of February.
#6 During this most recent economic downturn, employee compensation in the United States has been the lowest that it has been relative to gross domestic product in over 50 years.
#7 When you adjust wages for inflation, middle class workers in the United States make less money today than they did back in 1971.
#8 For most middle class American families, their homes are their most valuable financial assets. Since the real estate peak, U.S. home values have fallen by a staggering 6.3 trillion dollars.
#9 In 2010, for the first time ever more than a million U.S. families lost their homes to foreclosure, and that number is expected to go even higher in 2011.
#10 Two years ago, the average U.S. homeowner that was being foreclosed upon had not made a mortgage payment in 11 months. Today, the average U.S. homeowner that is being foreclosed upon has not made a mortgage payment in 17 months.
#11 Approximately half of all American workers make $25,000 a year or less.
#12 Approximately one-third of all Americans have no savings and no retirement funds.
#13 As 2007 began, only about 26 million Americans were on food stamps, but today over 44 million Americans are now on food stamps.
#14 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today,one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.
#15 Only 47 percent of working-age Americans have a full-time job at this point.
#16 Many American families would love to be saving money, but the reality is that a huge percentage of them are drowning in credit card debt. Total U.S. credit card debt is more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.
#17 The CredAbility Consumer Distress Index, which measures the average financial condition of U.S. households, declined in every single quarter in 2010.
#18 Average household debt in the United States has now reached a level of 136% of average household income. In China, average household debt is only 17% of average household income.
#19 There are currently more than 4 million Americans that have been unemployed for more than a year.
#20 The U.S. economy now has 10 percent fewer “middle class jobs” than it did just ten years ago.
#21 The average CEO now makes approximately 185 times more money than the average American worker.
#22 According to the U.S. Census, the number of children living in poverty has gone up by about 2 million in just the past 2 years.
Do you need any more evidence that the middle class in the United States is being ripped apart?
The days of wine and roses are over. The foolish economic policies of the last several decades are now starting to catch up with us and that is going to mean even more economic pain for the middle class.
If you are still part of the middle class, you should be very thankful, because more middle class Americans are falling into poverty every single day.
So what do all of you think about what is happening to the middle class in America? Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below….
This article was posted: Friday, March 18, 2011 at 5:08 am