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.
Check out the signs here >
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 labour 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.
Household spending for the middle fifth of all U.S. income earners was down 3.5% in 2009, the steepest decline on record
In 2009 residents of New York state experienced their first full-year decline in income in more than 70 years
Of the 52 largest metro areas in the US, only the city of San Antonio did not see a decline in median household income in 2009
In 2009, approximately 4 million Americans fell out of the middle class and now live below the federal poverty line
The number of Americans enrolled in the food stamp program has set a new all-time record for 20 consecutive months
The number of Americans in the food stamp program skyrocketed more than 55 per cent between December 2007 and July 2010
One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one anti-poverty program run by the U.S. government
Only the top 5% of all households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975
Today, 28% of all American households have at least one member that is searching for a full-time job
Nearly 10 million Americans now receive unemployment insurance, which is almost four times as many that were receiving it back in 2007
55% of the U.S. labour force has experienced either unemployment, a pay decrease, a reduction in hours or an involuntary move to part-time work since the recession began
It is estimated that nearly a third of all Americans cannot qualify for a mortgage because of low credit scores
For the first time in history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all American households put together.
The bottom fifth of all U.S. income earners brought in just 3.4% of all income in 2009, while the top fifth brought in a whopping 49.4% of all income
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