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19 Reasons Why You Can Laugh When Anyone Tells You That The Economy Is In Good Shape

Laughing Woman - Photo by Peter van der SluijsHave you heard the one about the “economic recovery” in the United States?  It’s quite funny, but it is not actually true.  Every day, the establishment media points to the fact that global stock markets have soared to unprecedented heights as evidence that the economy is improving.  But just because a bunch of wealthy people have gotten temporarily even richer on paper does not mean that the real economy is in good shape.  In fact, as you will see below, things just continue to get even tougher for the poor and the middle class.  Retail stores are closing at the fastest pace since the fall of Lehman Brothers, the rate of homeownership in this country is the lowest that it has been in 19 years, one out of every five families do not have a single member that is employed, and one out of every five children is living in poverty.  We are working harder, earning less and going into more debt.  With each passing day, the middle class gets a little bit smaller and the ranks of the poor get a little bit larger.  But at least the stock market is doing great, eh?

If the U.S. economy really was doing well, government dependence would not be at epidemic levels.

If the U.S. economy really was doing well, we wouldn’t have more than a million public school children that are homeless.

If the U.S. economy really was doing well, the percentage of Americans that have a job would not be lower than it was when the last recession supposedly “ended”.

Nobody that takes an honest look at the numbers can honestly say that the U.S. economy has recovered.  The following are 19 reasons why you can laugh when anyone tells you that the economy is in good shape…

#1 RadioShack just announced that it is going to close an additional 200 stores on top of what it was already planning to close.

#2 During the first quarter of this year, reported earnings by major U.S. retailers missed estimates by the largest margin in 13 years.

#3 One out of every three grocery store workers in the state of California is on some form of public assistance.

#4 The percentage of Americans that believe that it is a “good time to buy a home” is the lowest that it has been in four years.

#5 According to one recent survey, 52 percent of Americans cannot even afford the house that they are living in right now.

#6 Sadly, only 36 percent of American adults under the age of 35 currently own a home.  That is the lowest level that has ever been recorded.

#7 According to one new study, half of all college graduates are still relying on their parents financially when they are two years out of school.

#8 The number of planned job cuts by U.S. employers is on the rise again

Job cuts climbed to the highest level in more than a year, as U.S.-based employers announced plans to reduce payrolls by 52,961 in May, according to a report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

#9 Right now, one out of every six men in their prime working years (25 to 54) do not have a job.

#10 The percentage of Americans not in the labor force is still at a 36 year high.

#11 53 percent of wage earners in the United States make less than $30,000 a year.

#12 The average age of vehicles on America’s roads has hit an all-time high of 11.4 years.  Are we making them better or is it just that people simply cannot afford to buy new vehicles anymore?

#13 According to Pulitzer prize-winning reporter David Cay Johnston, the economic recovery following the depths of the Great Depression was far superior to what we are experiencing today

The most eye-opening measure of how poorly the vast majority are faring these days comes from comparing the periods after the Great Recession and the Great Depression.

The 90 percent, the vast majority, saw their income decline in 2012 compared with 2009, the year the Great Recession officially ended. Average annual income was down $556, or almost 2 percent, adjusted for inflation, to $30,997.

But in 1936, three years after the Great Depression ended, the vast majority enjoyed 31 percent more income than in 1933. The average increase, in today’s dollars, was $2,146 per household.

#14 The U.S. economy did not experience any economic growth during the first quarter of 2014.  In fact, it actually contracted.

#15 The growth of furniture spending has just gone negative for the first time in about two years.

#16 More than 20 percent of all children in the U.S. are living in poverty, and 49 million Americans are dealing with food insecurity.

#17 As I have written about previously, approximately 20 percent of all American families do not have a single member that is employed at this point.

#18 According to a recent Gallup survey, “Unemployment/Jobs” represents the number one concern for U.S. voters.

#19 After adjusting for inflation, median household income in the U.S. is now about 7 percent lower than it was in the year 2000.

  • K

    Yep, the economy is improving. The earth is flat. And the moon is made out of green cheese. How do all these folks breath, with their heads buried so deep in the sand? Another great article Michael.

    • kfilly

      The heads are not in the sand. Their heads are stuck straight up their posterior. What interesting times we live in?

      • Sasha Lau

        I personally know at least 20 skilled tradesmen who were electricians, carpenters, plumbers and cement finishers, who all were working making decent living wages with health insurance until the end of 2011. Today they all have one of these min wage economic recovery unskilled part time no health benefit jobs, their unemployment has run out.. Yep the labor market is firming alright, the cheap labor unskilled part time McDonalds, Taco Bell, Wall Mart shelve stocking, auto parts driver jobs are booming. The problem is they can’t afford to buy gasoline and food let alone pay their rent today.

        I, myself, have been struggling. I’m employed (temp work) but can’t afford health insurance. I don’t drive much either cause I can’t afford gas. My bare minimum $19 car insurance from Insurance Panda (god bless it) might not be the best coverage. I cut cable and internet and I haven’t been out to eat or to the movies in god knows how long.

        We need to seriously re-think America and our economy. Excessive regulation, lawsuits, billion dollar fines by the government, gigantic health care payments, no growth policies like no keystone pipeline, and millions of illegal immigrants aren’t going to be the answer.

    • Richard

      I’ll second that wholeheartedly. When you take out the silly questions and the tear-jerkers, you consistently have very fine, effective articles. Keep up the good work. Great job, Michael.

      • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

        Thank you Richard. :)

        Michael

    • nekksys

      Mmmm… Cheese…

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      Thank you for the compliment. Normally I write about economics on The Economic Collapse Blog, but sometimes I write about it here too.

      Michael

  • MIchael in Chicago

    Wal-Mart store closings will be a pretty big wake up call. I doubt it will get much attention in the mainstream. Maybe for a day or two.

  • DJohn1

    Deflation? Radio Shack has been in trouble for years. It is only a matter of time when we will see Best Buy leading the pack towards store closings. Sears is right behind them in line. They all have one big thing in common. They are over pricing their merchandise and no one is buying it.

    Wal-Mart not so much. Too many people, not enough cash registers.
    It is a pig feeding of extra ordinary proportions.
    Even in the worst economic times, the restaurants are doing a thriving business. No money? How come the roads are crowded everywhere?
    Somehow they all can afford cars, and they all can afford cigarettes.
    You wait in line to get into Cracker Barrol on a Sunday Afternoon.
    All those nice people straight out of church keep things going.
    Even churches ae closing. Buildings up for sale. A lot of congregations are old. As they die off, the church has to close its doors.
    Sears Outlets are doing just fine! They are priced to sell things.
    As for Real Estate Sales, if I were going into buying Real Estate there are huge bankruptcy bargains out there.
    The key is the depreciation of Real Estate because the wages do not conform to what people can buy or maintain.
    The market place is the ultimate pricer of real estate.
    If I were going in right now, I would deal in foreclosed homes. I would make everything work. Water Heaters, Electrical, Plumbing and floors would be prime targets. Anything with a bad roof, I would avoid. Personally checking out any property is the key. Make sure there are no major problems and that it is in a good location.
    Who are the neighbors? That is another key. How much hidden problems are involved? Like not taking care of things like lawns. Zoning violations that cost money and fines.

    Estate Sales are a prime market right now. They cannot get the money out of them so there are properties out there at real bargain prices.

    Doing your homework is the only way to make money in Real Estate.
    It is going to get worst. Right now Real Estate in all parts of this country is deflating faster than a leaking balloon. You have to keep that in mind when buying anything. Properties that cost $100,000 5 to 7 years ago are running $80,000 now or less.
    So offering less is the rule not the exception.
    Taxes have not deflated with the price of property in a lot of areas. They are 4 to 6 years behind the times. So challenging their accessment is the rule not the exception. Their reality check has not happened and I doubt it will until it is challenged in court.
    The governments are cheating people on Real Estate Taxes with good motivation and a lot of time work hand in glove doing that with the courts. It is something to be careful about.
    A lot of times it bares no resemblance to market prices.
    And that is the real bottom line no only with Real Estate, but any merchandise purchased. Stores either discount prices or they do not sell.
    The economic factor that is causing a lot of this deflation is people simply do not have the excess funds to buy anything right now.
    What caused it? Obamacare just zapped a lot of people’s income right out from under them even if they are employed full time.
    A third of the country is on Social Security and Pensions. When the next big one hits, a lot of those pensions are going to be gone.
    A good portion of the unemployed live with their parents on those pensions.
    So the government gives minimum raises to the people on Social Security for 6 years. That is money out of the pockets of the retailers. The pensions people are on go broke. Then a whole new scene occurs. That ancient greeter at the local store is a victim of this. They should have been giving at least a 4% raise for the last 6 years. It didn’t happen thanks to the current bunch in D.C.
    Meantime Utilities have gone through the roof.
    Usually it is the Democrats, first in line to give the raises to the middle class. This time around, not so much. And that in a few lines is WHY we are going to see a depression within the next year. It has all ready been going on for a few years now.

    Most of what I have said is standard Finance and Appraisel and is manditory in the State of Ohio Real Estate after 5 years in practice.
    I haven’t practiced Real Estate since the mid 80s. My license is probably long gone and I would have to start over if I decided to get back into it.
    City government is really getting bad about sticking their hand out and picking people’s wallets anytime anyone buys or sells Real Estate in today’s world.

  • Jeff

    Rich bankers want to be rich. Now they get free money and have no incentive to do anything else. The money is just piling up at the banks and the Bank CEOs are getting great bonuses too.

    • omg1172012

      Thats funny, under Obama Wall Street has seen the greatest profits in history, 7 out of 10 richest in Congress are Dems and the Auto and Insurance industries are sitting on record profits and cash. Government involvement only creates corruption.
      Go TEA Party

  • http://www.blog2.tshirt-doctor.com/ Pissed Off

    It’s all because of the elites desire us to be economically ignorant. Why else would the Republicans have more than one socialist laws that they wanted to vote on and have the Republican voters clamoring for it?

  • Nys Parkie

    Spend it all before it becomes worthless…. Spend it on those things you will need in the “NEW AGE”…just to live. Prepper stuff…

  • BrooklynChickLovesLiberty

    All thanks to our self-proclaimed masters and their blind cultish belief in Keynesian economics and the Federal Reserve System.

    Save yourself – buy gold.

  • Erik Bergum

    The number of college graduates as listed in number 7 is higher than the percentage than it was, although I do not know the exact percentage rate. We sure are living in a time where more jobs would be lost, debt would be higher than it was, and more people becoming more homeless. Is this how America should operate?

  • krinks

    In my wife’s whole family, she is the only one with a job.
    I make a little less than $18/hour and even at that I have family members who match my take home by sitting at home on the dole. I would never do such a thing but I fully understand why the over 65 crowd does it. Why work past the years that it is physically difficult if the younger crowd does so nicely doing nothing?

  • Steve Beckle

    Hope and change.

  • BigAl D

    What a sad state of affairs. I wish there was a bottom in sight, but I feel as if I’m on a sinking ship trying to find the high place and stay out of the water as long as possible. The world is getting pretty tired of our reckless monetary policy and there is more and more talk about moving away from the US dollar. Russia and China just signed a 30 year, $450 billion dollar, energy deal. We seem to be doing everything we can to destroy the fundamental principles that this country was built on. There are huge debt bubbles everywhere, and our people are not equipped morally, or ethically to deal with what I fear is coming.
    When hurricane Sandy hit we in the northeast were without power for a long time and it was a mess. What would happen if the power grid collapsed, if people could not get food, fuel, or other basic needs? Would we turn on each other?
    I notice how people lash out at each other these days on the roads, on TV shows, in posted comments, etc. When this thing really collapses, each other may be all we are going to have. May God have mercy on us.

    • Kristen Marie Embler

      This is all being done on purpose. There is no other explanation.

  • jon rogers

    you forgot to mention the debt is now over $17.5 Trillion

  • AssHat900

    So does that mean we are on the road to universal basic income? No let me guess I’m a commutarded?

  • D.B

    This my friend is some fine work. I love that you put it all in one neat package so I can just send a link to all my friends that swear “Oh it’s gonna be great, it’s better already.”

  • D.B

    Not my children. They were not raised with those gadgets. They were raised old fashioned.

    • http://frontlineofdefense.com j.veritas

      I am happy to hear that, D.B