#1 As the economy has declined, the number of Americans living month to month has soared. At this point, millions upon millions of Americans are living without any financial cushion whatsoever. If you can believe it, one recent survey found that 28 percent of all Americans do not have a single penny saved for emergencies. Another survey found that 42 percent of all American workers are currently living paycheck to paycheck.
#2 Thanks to horribly oppressive regulations, red tape and taxes, it is incredibly difficult to run a successful small business in America today. According to the Christian Science Monitor, more than half of all small business owners in America cannot even afford to put food on the table from their small business earnings….
“A shocking figure from the Wave survey relates to how well the business owners were able to meet their basic needs through their business. An incredible 52% of American small business owners can’t put food on the table through the earnings from their business over the past twelve months.”
Another recent survey found that 23 percent of all small business owners have gone an entire year without pay.
#3 In recent years U.S. families have experienced an astounding decline in wealth. According to the Federal Reserve, the median net worth of families in the United States declined “from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010”.
#4 The U.S. economy is not producing nearly enough jobs for all of us at this point. For example, it was reported that 20,000 people applied for just 877 jobs at a Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Alabama earlier this year. Sadly, the official U.S. unemployment rate has been above 8 percent for 40 months in a row, and this is supposed to be “the recovery”.
#5 Eight million Americans have “left the labor force” since the recession supposedly ended. If those Americans were added back into the unemployment figures, the unemployment rate would be somewhere up around 12 percent.
#6 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.
#7 The United States was once ranked #1 in the world in GDP per capita. Today we have slipped to #12.
#8 Just paying for the basics is becoming increasingly difficult for many Americans. For example, 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.
#9 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.
#10 Health insurance continues to become more expensive. 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%.
#11 As the cost of living goes up, wages continue to stagnate or even fall in many areas of the country. Sadly, this is part of a long-term trend. According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 declined by 27 percent after you account for inflation.
#12 The percentage of low paying jobs just continues to increase. At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less. If that sounds like a high figure, that is because it is. Today, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.
#13 Over the last several decades, the debt burdens being taken on by average Americans have absolutely exploded. All of this debt is making things incredibly difficult on American families. The following is from a recent CNN article….
“In 1983, the bottom 95% had 62 cents of debt for every dollar they earned, according to research by two International Monetary Fund economists. But by 2007, the ratio had soared to $1.48 of debt for every $1 in earnings.”