How in the world can anyone claim that things are getting better? Sometimes the numbers are so clear that they simply cannot be denied. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the United States fell from $51,726 in 2008 to $50,221 in 2009. That was the second yearly decline in median household income in a row. In other words, America is getting poorer. Just let that statistic above sink in for a little bit. In 2009, American families had roughly $1,500 less coming in than the year before. Not that the cost of living has gone down either. Have you been to the supermarket lately? Things are getting ridiculous out there. In fact, middle class American families are being squeezed as never before. More mothers and fathers are scrambling to find second and third jobs just to pay the mortgage and to keep the lights on and to put food on the table. This is not a time of prosperity in America. We are in a state of serious decline and it is time to wake up and admit it.
When you stop and analyze the new Census data, something jumps out at you right away. You quickly realize that these income declines are not limited to just a few regions of the country - they are literally happening from coast to coast.
The U.S. economy is in deep, deep trouble and the proof is in the numbers. The following are 12 statistics that reveal just how far the standard of living in America is declining....
1 - According to the Census Bureau, median household income dropped in 34 U.S. states in 2009, and the only state where median household income actually increased was in North Dakota.
2 - The Census Bureau data also revealed that of the 52 largest metro areas in America, only the city of San Antonio did not see a decline in median household income in 2009.
3 - 35 percent of all U.S. households now live on $35,000 or less.
4 - According to the Census Bureau, the percentage of Americans living below the poverty line is the highest it has been in 15 years.
5 - The number of Americans enrolled in the food stamp program passed the 41 million mark for the first time ever in June.
6 - The number of Americans in the food stamp program increased a staggering 55 percent from December 2007 to June 2010.
7 - One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one anti-poverty program run by the federal government.
8 - Nearly 10 million Americans now receive unemployment insurance, which is almost four times as many that were receiving it back in 2007.
9 - In 2009, U.S. consumer spending experienced the biggest decline since 1942.
10 - As millions of young Americans struggled just to survive, marriages fell to a record low in 2009. Today, only 52% of Americans 18 years or older are married.
11 - The only group that saw their household income increase in 2009 was those making $180,000 or more.
12- According to the Huffington Post, the gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew in 2009 to its largest margin ever....
The top-earning 20 percent of Americans – those making more than $100,000 each year – received 49.4 percent of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4 percent made by the bottom 20 percent of earners, those who fell below the poverty line, according to the new figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968.
Not that it is a bad thing to make money.
Contrary to what our socialist friends may think, it is actually a very good thing to work hard and make money.
The point is that the game is rigged and the bottom 80 percent of us are being left behind.
The middle class is being systematically destroyed. At the rate we are going, we will eventually have a very small group of ultra-wealthy Americans and a gigantic mountain of very poor Americans that are barely able to survive.
The answer to this is not a "redistribution of wealth".
What middle class Americans actually need are good jobs with good benefits.
You know, the kind of jobs that the U.S. economy used to produce.
For the vast majority of Americans, all they have to offer in the marketplace is their labor. If they cannot get someone to hire them for a wage that will enable them to take care of their families then they simply cannot make it without government assistance.
But what our leaders have done in the name of "globalism" is that they have essentially merged our economy with the economies of nations such as China where blue collar workers are paid about a dollar an hour to do the same jobs that American workers get paid 15 to 20 dollars an hour to do.
As a result, jobs and factories are fleeing the United States so rapidly it is hard to even describe. The deindustrialization of America is happening right in front of our eyes, but the American people have become so dumbed down that most of them don't even seem to have the capacity to understand what is going on.
Quite a few advocates of "free trade" (which is not "free" or "fair" at all under our current system) have left comments on my columns telling me that the American people better just suck it up because this is how it is now and the world isn't going back. These advocates of the globalist system say that the American people just need to toughen up and learn to compete and need to just accept that the standard of living for workers across the globe is going to be equalized and that is all there is to it.
So are you ready to have the same standard of living as a Chinese sweatshop worker who works 12 hours a day for one dollar an hour?
That is where we are headed.
But things did not have to be this way. We did not have to merge our economy with communist China and allow them to keep their currency devalued 40 percent lower than it should be so that they could dump massive amounts of cheap goods on our shores. We did not have to elect politicians that believe that "globalism" is the answer to all of our problems. We did not have to sign on to the WTO, NAFTA and all the other "free trade" agreements that are destroying the American middle class.
Labor is now a global commodity. American workers are now part of the global labor force. The bargaining power of the average American worker has dropped through the floor. Now the monolithic predator corporations that dominate our economy don't even have to deal with American workers if they don't want to.
Very few of our politicians admitted that merging us into a one world economy would mean a dramatic decline in the standard of living of middle class Americans.
But that is exactly what is happening.
Meanwhile, the federal government, our state governments and our local governments keep going into massive amounts of new debt in an effort to keep paying the bills.
There are some state governments, like Illinois, that are basically flat broke. In fact, Illinois doesn't even bother to pay many of their bills anymore.
Of course the federal government is the worst offender of them all. The U.S. national debt is rapidly approaching 14 trillion dollars, and most of us have gotten so accustomed to it that we don't even talk about it much anymore.
That is how bizarre things have gotten.
As America keeps getting poorer, and as U.S. taxpayers see their incomes continue to decline, how in the world are U.S. government finances going to turn around?
The truth is that our leaders should be in full blown crisis mode in an attempt to fix this thing. Pieces of the U.S. economy are literally falling off all around us and our leaders are pushing the debt accelerator to the floor as we head toward a giant cliff.
But instead our politicians are prancing about the countryside telling us that everything is going to be just great as long as we cast our votes for them in the fall.
And the mainstream media keeps telling us that the "recession" is over and that soon the U.S. economy will be better than ever.
Is it any wonder that faith in the mainstream media is now at an all-time low?
According to a new poll just released by Gallup, the number of Americans that have little to no trust in the mass media (57%) is at an all-time high.
A significant percentage of the American people is starting to wake up.
What about you?
Are you awake yet?
updated Sep 30, 2010
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