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36 Statistics Which Prove That The American Dream Is Turning Into An Absolute Nightmare For The Middle Class

The U.S. middle class is being shredded, ripped apart and systematically wiped out.  If you doubt this, just check out the statistics below.  The American Dream is being transformed into an absolute nightmare.  Once upon a time, the rest of the world knew that most Americans were able to live a middle class lifestyle.  Most American families had nice homes, most American families had a car or two, most American families had nice clothes, most American families had an overabundance of food and most American families could even look forward to sending their children to college if that is what the kids wanted to do.  There was an implicit promise that this was the way that it was always going to be.  Most of us grew up believing that if we worked really hard in school and that if we stayed out of trouble and that if we did everything that “the system” told us to do that there would be a place for us in the middle class too.  Well, it turns out that “the system” is breaking down.  There aren’t enough good jobs for all of us anymore.  In fact, there aren’t very many crappy jobs either.  Millions are out of work, millions have lost their homes and nearly all of the long-term economic trends just keep getting worse and worse.  So is there any hope for the U.S. middle class?

No, there is not.

Unless fundamental changes are made economically, financially and politically, the long-term trends that are destroying the U.S. middle class will continue to do so.

The number of good jobs has been declining for a long time.  The good jobs that have been lost are being replaced by a smaller number of low paying “service jobs”.

Meanwhile, the cost of everything is going up.  It is getting really hard for American families to be able to afford to put food on the table and to put gas in the tank.  Health care costs are absolutely outrageous and college tuition is now out of reach for millions of American families.

Every single month more American families fall out of the middle class.  Today there are 18 million more Americans on food stamps than there were just four years ago.  More than one out of every five U.S. children is living in poverty.  Things are getting really, really bad out there.

The following are 36 statistics which prove that the American Dream is turning into an absolute nightmare for the middle class….

#1 The competition for decent jobs in America has gotten absolutely insane.  There have been reports of people actually getting down on their knees and begging for jobs.  Many Americans are starting to wonder if they will ever get a decent job again.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average duration of unemployment in the United States is now an all-time record 39 weeks….

#2 According to the Wall Street Journal, there are 5.5 million Americans that are unemployed and yet are not receiving unemployment benefits.

#3 The number of “low income jobs” in the U.S. has risen steadily over the past 30 years and they now account for 41 percent of all jobs in the United States.

#4 Only 66.8% of American men had a job last year.  That was the lowest level that has ever been recorded in all of U.S. history.

#5 Once upon a time, anyone could get hired at McDonald’s.  But today McDonald’s turns away a higher percentage of applicants than Harvard does.  Approximately 7 percent of all those that apply to get into Harvard are accepted.  At a recent “National Hiring Day” held by McDonald’s only about 6.2 percent of the one million Americans that applied for a job were hired.

#6 There are now about 7.25 million fewer jobs in America than when the recession began back in 2007.

#7 The United States has lost an average of about 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

#8 A New York post analysis has found that the rate of inflation in New York City has been about 14 percent over the past year.

#9 The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States is now up to $3.91 a gallon.

#10 Over the past 12 months the average price of gasoline in the United States has gone up by about 30%.

#11 Spending on energy now accounts for more than 6 percent of all consumer spending.  Every time this has happened since 1970 we have also had a recession that followed.

#12 The average American driver will spend somewhere around $750 more for gasoline in 2011.  Unfortunately, it seems likely that the price of oil is going to go up even higher.  Already the price of oil is closing in on the all-time record….

#13 In the United States, over 20 percent of all children are living in poverty.  In the UK and in France that figure is well under 10 percent.

#14 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.

#15 The wealthiest 1% of all Americans now own more than a third of all the wealth in the United States.

#16 The poorest 50% collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.

#17 The wealthiest 1% of all Americans own over 50% of all the stocks and bonds.

#18 According to a new report from the AFL-CIO, the average CEO made 343 times more money than the average American did last year.

#19 In 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7% of all income.  Today, government transfer payments account for 18.4% of all income.

#20 U.S. households are now receiving more income from the U.S. government than they are paying to the government in taxes.

#21 59 percent of all Americans now receive money from the federal government in one form or another.

#22 The average cost of tuition, room and board at America’s public universities is now $16,000 a year.  For America’s private universities, that figure is $37,000 a year.

#23 The cost of college tuition in the United States has gone up by over 900 percent since 1978.

#24 Approximately two-thirds of all college students graduate with student loan debt.

#25 17 million college graduates are doing jobs that do not even require a college degree.

#26 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%.

#27 One study found that approximately 41 percent of working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt.

#28 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.

#29 Total credit card debt in the United States is now more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.

#30 During the first three months of this year, less new homes were sold in the U.S. than in any three month period ever recorded.

#31 Now home sales in the United States are now down 80% from the peak in July 2005.

#32 U.S. home prices have now declined 32% from the peak of the housing bubble.

#33 For most middle class families, the family home is the number one financial asset.  Unfortunately, U.S. home values have declined an astounding 6.3 trillion dollars since the housing crisis first began.

#34 According to a recent census report, 13% of all homes in the United States are currently sitting empty.

#35 The housing crisis just seems to keep on getting worse. 31 percent of the homeowners that responded to a recent Rasmussen Reports survey indicated that they are “underwater” on their mortgages.

#36 Unfortunately, it looks like millions more middle class Americans could soon be in danger of losing their homes.  According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, at least 8 million Americans are at least one month behind on their mortgage payments at this point.

  • mondobeyondo

    As long as things stay the same, and the status quo becomes the norm, we are doomed.

    Nothing’s changing. So, it’s kinda looking like we’re doomed.

    Remember, if you don’t change course, you may end up where you are headed.

  • mondobeyondo

    Shut up. Stop the bickering.
    We’ve got real issues to settle, and yet our partisan politics just seem to make matters worse.

    Democrats: “It’s an apple pie! And we’ll promis you Chevrolets and hot dogs too!”
    Republicans: “It’s lemon! It’s a lemon pie!”
    Donald Trump: “Blueberry pie! Blueberry, I tell you!”
    Sarah Palin: “3.1415965, or whatever it’s called?”

    As divided as we are, if we don’t come together, we will all be singing, “Bye, bye American pie”.

  • VegasBob

    Unfortunately, no matter who is elected President in 2012, economic conditions will continue to grow worse for the remnants of the middle class.

    Socialism for the rich is now the official economic policy of both major political parties.

    The masses in this country are destined to become Soylent Green for the ruling class.

  • Gary

    Until and Unless this huge wealth and income inequality is addressed and fixed (tax the rich and spread the wealth) the middle class will continue to shrink. I can speak from personal experience. I used to be middle class until the recession and am now working for 1/2 my former wage and it really sucks to make this little.

    We need politicians who truly represent us, and not the corporate republican take from the poor and give to the rich scum and the only slightly better democrats.

    Why are we subsidizing companies like Walmart? How many of their employees kids get free lunch at school and are on state health insurance? Think of the money that would be saved if the 3mployee free choice act is passed and walmart and their ilk are heavily unionized? When is the race to the bottom going to stop? How much money does walmart/waltons need?

    • Brian

      That’s right, blame the Republicans, and not look at Congress as a whole. That’s a good talking point except that until this last election cycle, Democrats ruled Congress, and even before that, when the Republicans tried to make real reform, the Dems used scare-tactics (“they’re gonna kill granny”, “they’re gonna kill the kids”)and filibusters to get these bills and votes killed. Let’s also not forget that the vast majority of those voting to keep us energy dependent on the Middle East are Democrats. Let’s also not forget that Bill Clinton currently owns three times the oil stocks that Bush ever did – not only that, he did while in office. What we need to do is get rid of the party system and let’s put people in Congress with no party ties that actually represent their constituents as spelled out in the Constitution instead of their party.

  • emma

    This whole Osama dead Stuff really gets to me.

    The guy from FFT summed it up perfectly.

    http://www.forecastfortomorrow.com/news/2011/05/osama-bin-laden-dead/

    Never before has this country embraced Empire so willingly. Never before have we given up, wholesale, our precious liberties won with the blood of our countrymen. For what?? Some lame ass guy in a cave somewhere that represents some of the best thinking of the 13th Century? This is beyond ridiculous, it is totally absurd.

  • Terry

    How mch do YOU need, Gary?

  • http://www.wenublog.com Guran Walker

    The final answer to these economic problems is war. Not the Reality TV garbage we see today, where troops are treated like Public Servants available for random shooting by ‘innocent civilians’ but War. The kind of reality which uses the full manufacturing might of a nation to extinguish its enemies, regardless of race, religion or gender. That historically resolves the matter to a point where the survivors desire to peacefully re-grow their Society on the basis of the real cultural values upon which it was originally founded.

  • William

    The American middle class agreed to tis destruction when it believed the government’s BIG LIE about the events of 911. This turned loose huge spending which, along with the two Bush tax cuts, ensured the financial disaster that followed. And now, we are told that Bin Laden has been killed. Body quickly buried at sea??????……just another lie. But, it was needed to start the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, which is bankrupting America.

  • http://dakey2eternity.com Daniyel

    The total worldwide destruction of the middle class is an essential component for the agenda of the Global elite, their simply is too much traffic out there for the sake of the planet’s sustainability according to their twisted reasoning. UN-fortunately the U.S.S. Middle Class has been hit both above, and below deck and is beginning to accelerate it’s plunge to the bottom. Meanwhile ample known oil and natural gas reserves sufficient for the next 200+ years could recharge American Industry beyond her former glory sit idle by globalist design. All part of the UN Agenda 21 Depopulation program. While 2 Billion plus fawn over Wills, and Kate Prince Phillip’s desire is to be reincarnated into a virus that would decimate human populations on a planetary scale.
    And while Fukushima is spewing radiation worldwide, the globalists have already UN-leashed another massive Depleated Uranium War in Libya. While the Obama’s and Royals dine on organic produce, the rest of humanity is paying higher food prices for the Time Bomb of GMO crops, and now even GMO Salmon by design of those whose stated desire is to reduce human populations to under 500 Million people!

  • http://endoftheamericandream JackieR

    Here in Colorado we just got our home assessements. People I have spoken to say that theirs have gone up also.
    Tell me, how can the states justify this increase when we are in a total homevalue collapse? Oh I forgot, they need the additional revenue. (THEFT)

  • Guido

    (I’m sorry I’m always long-winded. I just can’t make this stuff short! I’m not a windbag in real life.)

    Yeah, because unions have done such wonders for the other industries.
    Gary-your statements don’t make a lot of sense. How, exactly, will stealing wealth from the wealth creators give you your middle class job back? Exactly how will that work?

    It sounds like you want the fedgov to take money from the folks who earned it and just give it to everyone else. That doesn’t sound like a recipe for success. Is it supposed to just be a single lump sum divided equally between everyone?

    Even if you gave everyone a $100K each, it wouldn’t change anything. Well, it might warp the economy briefly. The same differences in education, common sense, wisdom, etc that leads some to invest in their future, while others buy lottery tickets or spinner rims or beer or drugs would still be there and would be reflected in their choices. Otis the drunk isn’t going to suddenly get a pile of cash and build a successful business overnight. Life doesn’t work that way.

    You can’t just hand people free money and expect them to be prosperous. If you’re not ready for success, cash will do you no good. Even wealthy people learn that-ever hear someone say, “from rags to riches and back to rags in 3 generations,” before? Take a look at the lotto winners who go on a deranged spending spree and end up broke just as fast as they got wealthy.

    Now, I think making the system fair for all is one thing. I don’t believe business or the wealthy or green business or even the poor should be singled out for special attention. Everyone should be paying taxes and no one should get special treatment. Gov’t shouldn’t be playing favorites and picking winners and losers as they do now. My personal favorite would be the Fair Tax, which taxes all equally based on spending, rewarding savings.

    I don’t think you can expect jobs to just appear if you raid the wealth of the people who create the jobs in the first place. That’s unreasonable and insane. Equality of opportunity, not equality of results. Noone can guaranty your results will be good, nor should they, but they should guaranty you will have a fair shot.

    Know this- if you target the wealthy, they’ll leave. Wonder why all those companies and jobs left the last 20 years under globalism? Because it’s cheaper and you can go to a business-friendly nation where taxes are low to nonexistent. There’s no reason to keep a business or jobs in the USA when it can be done more profitably elsewhere.

    That’s why ships are all licensed from Panama and Liberia now. There are no US-flagged civilian merchant or cruise ships anymore and have not been any for many years. It’s why companies incorporate in Panama, too. Hell, how many businesses currently incorporate in Nevada thanks to their business-friendly climate?

    If you target the wealthy for confiscatory taxation, they will leave. I won’t blame them, either. I wouldn’t hang around a nation that didn’t respect me and what I do. They’re not criminals, they’re successful business owners. They’re the ones who create the jobs others work for their living. It’s like nailing Jell-O to the wall. You would cause these people and businesses to leave, set up overseas, and return to sell Americans their products, causing more wealth to depart the country. You can see that in cars and parts manufactured just over the border in Mexico.

    And why do you believe you have a right to someone else’s private property? That’s really disturbing. You want to flip thousands of years of legal thinking that what’s mine is mine on its head and say what’s mine is actually yours if you think I have too much of it. Where do you get to draw the line on that one? Who decides? I don’t like to see the gov with the power to decide who owns too much stuff.

    Sure, it starts with mere billionaires. We got 400 of them. (Buffet has about 40 on deck to dump at least half their wealth in charity, so they will actually disappear.) Then we go after millionaires. We got about 8 million of them. Then we go after the mass affluent 100k-999k. That’s about 33 million. I don’t know if I consider 100K a year wealthy-you can do that with a 2 parent family working union jobs. Hell, there are union stagehands working in Carnegie Hall making over 100K a year. Do they count as wealthy, too? Crane operators in Iraq with KBR make that kind of money. Are they targeted, too?

    They’ll leave before they let you confiscate their wealth. Most of them, anyway. They’ll hide their assets, too. They might even bribe the fedgov to leave them alone. Look at how GE got off with no taxes on billions after cozying up to Obama. Or look at how the health insurance companies got into bed with Obama over Obamacare. If I had a few hundred thousand or more and a successful business, I would go before I let you raid my bank account. Any nation in the world would be happy to take me with a few hundred thousand in my pocket.

    So what are you going to do then? Socialists will have killed the goose that laid the golden egg, driving the most creative, successful, wealthy people from the nation that was founded on the principle of freedom. Will you establish some sort of coercive law to keep the wealthy from leaving? How about an Atlas Shrugged-style law stating no one will be permitted to quit their job or be unemployed? Will the wealthy become slaves or sheep to be fleeced to support the rest? I couldn’t imagine wanting to live in an Amerika like that. I would go, wealthy or not. Your middle class job isn’t coming back that way.

    By the way-did anyone know the fedgov has already tried to prevent this movement? They’re already trying to prevent this capital flight by stating they have the right to tax your income for up to 10 years after you relinquish your citizenship! I learned this while researching tax havens and I was shocked. Uncle Sam believes he can tax you even if you’re not a citizen. Do yourself a favor and read The Mother Hive by Kipling. It’s short, but it makes a great allegory for present day.

  • paulie

    This is the “change” obahma talked about.

  • http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/10-facts-about-corporate-taxes-that-will-make-your-blood-boil Haallen

    We vote for the people who are doing this to us. So, voting isn’t helping, neither is the T-party rebellion. The God of the Bible said “I set before you this day a blessing and a curse. A blessing if you keep the commandments and a curse if you don’t”. People we are under a curse. Until we understand that and deal with it from that perspective things will get worse.

    When our corporate masters began the out-sourcing, and off-shoring of manufacturing jobs, Americans didn’t complain because most Americans at the time had a job or could get a job. Americans just don’t look too far in the future and now we are paying the price for it.

    I am not in favor of taxing the rich any more than taxing me. These politicians just whipsaw us. Over the years I have taken a bashing from my friends for being a carpenters union member. Well, my carpenters union did everything it said it would do. After 30 years I am retired with a pension while my non-union friends don’t have one. I find that it is these non-union guys that bitch and complain the most. Another thing, all my contractor employers were all millionaires, so, my union didn’t put them out of business. My carpenters union didn’t do anything more or less than wall-mart did—negotiation and contract.

  • Mike

    Why do we even bother talking about it anymore? It’s gonna happen no matter what we do. Welcome to America

  • http://www.atlibertyatleisure@wordpress.com NickyG

    Osama isn’t dead, he’s planning a vaction to Naples with Michelle and the kids. Psst Psst fat stupid ugly Americans!

  • Karen Ducums

    i guess i have given up. i now live in my car literally, i wash in public bathrooms, i use a computer at the local library and make money by begging on street corners.
    this is my American dream, thank you all!

  • http://buzzflash.com michael cleveland

    Tis is above the president, try wall street and those who run it.

  • Elaine

    Guido – You are a republican dream. How many jobs were created by these guys with their tax breaks in the past 12 years? Globalization is the problem – no one has any loyalty to their country any longer. They could care less about America if they are not willing to pay taxes here. Gary just meant they should be taxed at a higher rate, say the same rate as when Clinton was in office. Gee, things were really bad back then, weren’t they? Then he put through NAFTA and that was the end of the middle class. So, while all you geniuses are capable of making your fortune, those of us who are “not ready for success”, whatever that means, have to suffer because those millionaires and billionaires don’t want any of their money touched. Those who create wealth are lost without labor – unless, of course, they just push paper around and doom the economy from their hedge fund desks. It is absolutely ridiculous to think that someone who makes $15 million a year can’t contribute to society. No matter where they move, eventually those governments will tax them too. Right now states are fighting over companies by giving them tax benefits – so that’s less and less money coming into the states and what do they cut? Benefits for the poor. Nice. You people make me sick. I am upper middle class, but I understand why we’re not all wealthy. It’s not as easy as you people make it out to be.

  • ME

    Guido-

    We’ve been trying the lowering taxes and regulations on corporations since Reagan and look where it’s gotten us. Your view gets us declining wages and deteriorating environment as we compete with China and Mexico for wages and regulations in an ever sinking spiral. Are we supposed to sell our lives to corporations for $8 an hour and no benefits?

    As for job creators, they’re not creating jobs with the record profits they’re earning – why give them more tax cuts? So they can sit on MORE money?

    Why should Americans consent to this kind of financial inequality that exists in no other industrialized nation?

    We are American citizens. We were not born to be economic fodder to corporations. We were born to make this a more perfect union – not to stand by while it sinks into greater inequality and we have people dying in the streets.

    Until we change the campaign finance system nothing else will change. More and more the governing power goes to the highest bidder in this nation in direct opposition to what our founders intended. Public financing of campaigns seems the logical way to me but I am open to anything that increases transparency and lessens corporate influence in elections.

  • OH

    The worthless rich had their chance, they have un-precedented wealth – they didnt create un-precedented jobs. Now, the worthless rich want more time, another chance, yet more un-precedented wealth, give us a couple more years, we will create the jobs, dont tax us.

  • http://prattleonboyo.wordpress.com Prattle On, Boyo

    @Guido

    LMAO. You have no freakin’ clue what you’re spewin’, man. It sounds to me like you not only worship tax dodging corporations, but you actually swallow the splooge that says the wealthy are creating jobs! Dude, that trickling theory you’re so fond of is not the trickle of tides rising, it is the sound of piss coming down on our heads by the corporations & Wall street criminals. You’re just another naive tool since you have clearly bought the propaganda & the lies. Pull your head out of your ass.

    PS: You will never be a millionaire or a trust fund baby.

  • ernieson

    When profits trump the welfare of people and the planet, the future is bleak.
    The movement of money (economy) has been disproportionately upward out of the hands of the many and into the hands of a few.

  • Gary

    Guido-I will take my chances and vote to tax the rich HARD and spread the wealth. Rising income and wealth inequality=less opportunity for all.

    Fortunately MANY more people agree with me that its time to TAX THE RICH HARD!!!

  • Chris Herz

    The USA is finished, and so is its middle class — the reason, a distressed middle class always votes fascist. That was the lesson learned by Europe in the 1920′s and 30′s. It is a lesson well understood by your elitist leaders, who do study these things, even if you do not wish to.
    This has been going on since the USA went into both balance of payment deficit and public budget deficit during the Vietnam War. This middle class has always been ready to believe their problems were due to black power and affirmative action in the 70′s, black welfare moms in the 80′s and brown immigrants today.
    The chauvinistic militarism and racism of the US middle class is reaping its just reward. And I for one could not wish it on a more deserving people.
    The best I can hope for in the USA is that like Russia, you will lose the ability to torment other nations and peoples, and be compelled to exhaust your rancorousness on yourselves.

  • http://www.planorperish.com Gutter Economist

    The US industrial base is no longer large enough to support the US population.

    For many years, politicians responsible for this disaster have been passing out free money to cover up the problem.

    When excessive debt and inflation ends the free money game, politicians will most likely start a major war to reduce the size of the US population or use some other method.

    The middle class can only survive by purchasing, owning, and managing the businesses they work for.

  • met00

    Guido, let’s have some fun.

    Family of four making the median income. Husband works and wife works (she is a hairdresser) have a kid in HS and one in Elementary school. Live in a 3 bed 2 bath apartment in CA. Husband has to travel to work, wife works closer to home.

    Ready?

    $50K in income (median income)

    Solana Ridge Apartments
    ****************************************
    3 bedroom apartment for $1555/mo

    $18660 for rent
    $5400 for utilities (water, elect, gas, phone, tv)
    $4100 (gas to/from work for him)
    $2000 (gas for her car)
    $1300 auto insurance
    $4000 (childcare – afterschool and summer for elementary school child)
    $3600 co-insurance payment for health insurance
    $3000 (temple/church)

    So, before we get to food and taxes we have already spent $42060 from our budget. Now, lets say we have $5000 in taxes. That brings us to $47,000 spent with $3,000 to save… as long as NONE OF US EAT. Now let’s say that each of us eats at $10/person/day or $14,600/yr for the family. That leaves our family budget at only $11,600 short by the end of the year.

    Want to have fun. Since dad is under stress he has heart disease (has a stent) and type II diabetes. Since he has insurance he still has a payment he has to make for his meds. That’s another $2,200 per year. His teenager has braces, another $1,200 per year. He has medical co-pays from the HMO portion of his insurance as well as dental co-pays, another $2,000 per year. Once every two years he has a stress test, which after 80/20 and deductibles leaves him with a $2500 cost every two years ($1250/yr). Total medical is $6,450/yr (and that is with insurance).

    That leaves this family of four about $17K in the hole at the end of every year. And I am being nice. His car will break down. need service, need new tires (there is a $400 charge) etc. There will be a need for clothes. Household items will wear and tear and need replacement. His teenager may decide to be involved in an extra curricular activity (Public HS Choir for my daughter ran $2,600 this year).

    So, at $17,000 in the hole, I’m being real nice to this family of four, it should be closer to $25K. [I should note that the health costs are accurate, I used mine, and I do have insurance].

    So, in simple terms, this media income family can NOT survive in CA. Yes, you can play “let’s cut costs” and get a lot close to the actual $50K that they make, but even forcing the kids (opposite gender) to share a room doesn’t come close to reducing the costs enough.

    Now Guido, let’s see if we can help these people out. Let’s start with a simple change and say that the tax code is adjusted so that anyone making below the median income pays no tax. That taxes are then 25% on the next amount of median income, 35% on the next amount of median income, 45% on the next amount of median income, 55% on the next amount of median income, 65% on the next amount of median income, 75% on the next amount of median income, 85% on the next amount of median income, and 85% on everything over that.

    With a $50K median income the tax would be $0
    $100K income: $12.5K (net: $87,500)
    $150K income: $30K (net: $120,000)
    $200K income: $52.5K (net: $147,500)
    $250K income: $80K (net: $170,000)

    As you can see, with this progressive tax system the guys at the top are paying more, but then again, they have more disposable income.

    Now, since we have this revenue, the government will offer a single payer health system that anyone can join. Since this has lower overhead than the current systems, the employer will be able to pick up that cost without requiring a co-pay from the husband, and all those silly other medical expenses (except for the braces) go away from our costs.

    So, with these costs covered now, just how much does that save the median income family?

    $3600+$5650+5000 = $14,250.
    Well, that leaves the family only $2750 in the hole. They may not be making any savings yet, but this is at least a workable number to start cutting cost from (a bit less to the temple/church, etc. and they might just be able to survive).

    Maybe with all that new income the government can do stuff like research (you know,like NASA putting a man on the moon, that gave us things like angioplasty, cell phones, flat screen tv, computers). Imagine an R&D effort to have the government auto fleet 100% on sustainable green fuels within five years, or 100% sustainable green power for every government building in five years. Imagine all the new jobs and technology that will come from that, and the lower costs that will be passed on to consumers… [I think our family of four just went into the black with lower costs for utilities and going to and from work!].

    Guido, have you learned the lesson yet?

  • http://www.pathtoasia.com rhea

    #25 17 million college graduates are doing jobs that do not even require a college degree.

    If tuition and spending increases at the same rate or higher than the aid, the only “dramatic increase in educational opportunities” is the increase in the rents extracted by the educational industry. If the college educations don’t really add that much human capital, then encouraging everyone to go to college (and legally forbidding employers from using other methods of testing people’s aptitude) only locks people out of jobs if they don’t have the proper credential.

    Hate applying to jobs? Let us do it for you. Human job search assistant – http://www.jobwaltz.com

  • John Henry

    Guido,

    If I sell 10s of thousands of people investment packages that I know to be worthless while telling them that it is absolutely risk free and I earn billions of dollars doing so, would you say I “earned” that money?

    If I earn billions producing products that pollute the environmnent leading to the deaths of millions (cigarettes anyone?) while denying any harmful effects and the government, i.e. taxpayers then have to pay to clean up the mess,

    do you think I “earned” the money?

    Nearly ALL of the fundamental scientific discoveries of the last century and a half upon which our modern capitalist system is based is the result of GOVERNMENT subsidized research scientists and institutions.

    Even the “free market capitalism” which you seem to so admire has its roots in GOVERNMENT subsidized universities (Shumpeter, Hayek, Friedman et al).

    Of course, I realize I’m wasting my breath even responding to you. Ideologues such as yourself do not question their assumptions. They instead use their intelligence to work out convoluted rationalizations to bolster their failed ideologies.

  • Guido

    Elaine-can you tell me how many jobs poor people have created in this country? Because it isn’t happening. I’m not a rich guy myself, I just don’t envy and hate them for their prosperity. They’re already taxed at %35, the top bracket. How much do you think they should have stolen from them. It’s not a contribution, by the way-it’s taken at gunpoint. If you don’t believe me, stop paying your taxes and see who comes knocking. Who gets to decide what the fair share is?

    Under Carter, the top rate was %70. Were we better under Carter? If you say yes, you’re a fool. It took Reagan to cut it to %35 and our economy bloomed.

    What about you? If you’re upper middle, you’re making more than I am. Why don’t you contribute more? Uncle Sam is open year-round, just send it on in. You and I know you don’t think you need to, nor do you want to, and I don’t blame you. I want to pay as little as possible, too. It’s my money, I earned it, and they already take too much from me everywhere.

    The problem is, you’re on a slippery slope. Poverty rate is 22K, so what’s to stop the fedgov from squeezing everyone else, too? After they destroy or scare off the billionaires and the millionaires, why not you and then on down to me and below? If we follow this idiotic class warfare stuff, it won’t be fair until we’re all poor comrades. The wealthy will flee this nation before they let it bleed them dry. You can’t blame them for that.

    Read your Constitution-aside from the fact that the fedgov has no authority to do most of the stuff it currently does, there’s this 14th Amendment that is construed to say we’re all equal before the law. If that’s the case, is if right to have an unequal, unfair tax rate for different people? I think it should be flat, and fair, across the board for everyone.

    Look up the Fair Tax some time. It genuinely treats all people fair by taxing a flat percentage of their spending, not their income. Since wealthy people spend more, they pay more. Isn’t that better? Everyone gets taxed, but they even get a tax prebate for the basic cost of life, i.e. food and daipers. Look it up and consider living with a tax system you can understand. The current one is so complex, even the IRS doesn’t know it!

    I’m not here to front for wealthy interests-God knows, they have their share of crooks, but so do all income levels. I’m saying this because a lot of people here seem ready to jump onto an ignorant, angry class-warfare mob bandwagon without understanding just what they’re supporting. This Marxist crap doesn’t stop until we’re all prisoners. I have close personal friends and family who grew up under Communist oppression. They had the breadlines and dogma and soldiers.

    We can not scrap our nation and our constitution for a few socialist malcontents when times get tough. Our system, when we follow it, works because it guarantees everyone the right to live their life the way they want and an equal shot at success and you don’t get to seize by force from the ones who succeed whenever you feel like it.

  • Gary

    Elaine-thanks-you said it better than me

  • Gary

    So I was reading somewhere in the bible about God tossing the goats (selfish rich) into this lake of fire and when the rich asked why God said “when I was hungry you did not feed me etc etc etc)

    It seems to me that by taxing the rich HARD and spreading their wealth this may be actually doing them a favor and making their entry into Heaven easier. You know the whole eye of a needle/camel/rich/love of money root of evil. The fact that the rich do not want to pay their fair share must mean they love their money and are therefore the root of all evil and will be tossed into the lake of fire.

    I am really doing the rich a huge favor by keeping on advocating they be taxed hard and their ill gotten wealth spread.

    I need to read the bible more often.

    • Admin

      It is true Gary – reading the Bible more often is good advice for all of us.

      Michael

  • Sean

    Food prices (which continue to rise about 1% every month with no end in sight) and fuel prices are NOT figured into the Consumer Price Index. Think about that: the two major expenses (other than housing) that most families have are not included in the “method” that our government uses to calculate Inflation (and Social Security COLA adjustments, which haven’t increased in the past 2 years). Move along, no inflation to see here folks, everything’s fine….

  • Alan8

    It should be obvious now the Democrats are working for the corporations, and only pretend to represent citizens’ interests.

    Voting for either corporate party allows them to continue ripping us off, AND MAKES YOU PART OF THE PROBLEM!

    The Green Party represents citizens’ interests, and doesn’t accept corporate money. The Green Party has backed single-payer health care from the beginning, and has been calling for pulling out of corporate trade deals like NAFTA.

    The Green Party has a set of Ten Key Values (http://www.gp.org/tenkey.shtml) that are shared by Green-Party members and politicians. When you vote for a Green, you’re voting for those Ten Key Values.

    There’s a Green Party in virtually every country on Earth, and they all share the Ten Key Values. The Green Party is the only party with the international reach and unity of purpose to stand up to the multinational corporations.

    The Green Party is the third-largest party in the US, so stands the best chance of getting 5% of the vote, and matching Federal funds.

    In the US, the Green Party has done the hard work to be recognized in every state, and is ready to take on the corporate parties. The corporate parties only have the power YOU give them with your votes.

    Vote Green and start to take power back from the corporations.

  • chuck

    Obama said you could hope he would give you some cahnge.

  • rayinseattle

    I really don’t understand the class warfare divide and conquer that some posters seem to be raging on Guido. Did you guys not read the article on taxing the rich?

    Here is the thing. I KNOW lowering corporate taxes will not automatically create booms and spur jobs. Just about every public company’s 10Q and 10K right now shows cash hording instead of re-investment in PPE(plant/property/equipment) or hiring booms.

    HOWEVER, it has been proven time after time that raising taxes are the WORST idea during times of recession (or eventual depression in this case). Lowering taxes won’t force the job/wealth/value creator to hire… but raising them through the roof will most definitely for them to leave along with their tax revenue and job creating companies.

    Example: I lived in North Virginia for about 2 years and the exodus of business into the area was very visible when most of the “rich” in the DC/Maryland area ran away from their former area of incorporation as a result of high taxes.

    Tax the rich… lose the rich.

    P.S. No I am not rich in any sense of the word. Not even by Brick Obummer’s perverse definition of rich, which he first established at 250k/yr and then changed to 200k/yr.

  • rayinseattle

    @met00.

    With all due respect… when your combined income is only 50k a year (in pricey California, no less)… you probably shouldn’t be having 2 kids.

  • Gary

    New study debunked the tax the rich and they leave BS right wing theory. I will post a link when I come across it, however, you could probably Google it.

    Guido-Poor people create jobs when they have purchasing power and buy things. Its called demand. Also taxes are ones dues for living in a society and country that enables you to get rich by having good schools/infrastructure etc.

    This is so obvious I can not really believe you don’t get this.

    Where are all the good jobs from the Bush tax cuts? They have had 10 years?

    Rainy in seatle-Yes I did read the article and with all due respect for our author he is dead wrong on that one as he was when he misquoted Michael Moore in a prior article.

    Unless we address the wealth and income inequality we are sunk. I heard a right wing nut mary matilin (another stupid right wing hack) say that income from doing nothing capital gains should not be taxed while income from working can be taxed. This was in response to the liberal asking why hedge funds should only pay 15% while medicaid is turned into a voucher.

    For the right it is a cause as paul ryan said. They do not care about facts.

  • http://obbop.wordpress.com/ Obbop

    And there is NO WAY that USA citizen working-poor competing with multi-millions of illegal aliens for jobs, housing, medical care, social services, etc. can be harmed in ANY way.

  • Owen

    Say! Wouldn’t it be nice if wages was treated just as fairly as investment income? Let’s don’t give all the credit to the rich for creating jobs. I would argue that each of us as consumers are also responsible for job creation. Would the rich or anybody else waste money creating goods or services that no one wanted? Ok, other than the government…

  • Colin

    I think Guido is a follower of Ayn Rand and her philosophy of objectivism. (See article [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivism_%28Ayn_Rand%29|here]].) Her philosophy is openly supported by many on the right.

    I believe that we are evolving, or devolving, into a modern-day Confederate States of America. Like that failed nation, we have a society dominated by aristocrats/plutocrats/slaveocrats ruling over a population of poor workers/share-holders/slaves. We have off-shored many of our industries to other countries (before the war, the Southern States had off-shored food production to the Midwest and industrial production to the Northwest). Many of our citizens are poorly educated. As a consequence of our government’s actions, or lack therefore, more and more of our citizens are becoming more dependent on government assistance, the value of our money is decreasing, and we are facing the menace of hyperinflation. We are involved in a long war. We have individuals in our government who believe in a weak Federal government and strong state governments. They vehemently confront those who believe in the opposite. These were the conditions faced by the Confederate States of America. As the CSA fought for its existence, its citizens become more and more despondent as the value of their lives decreased, the government dithered, and eventually there were uprisings against the government. The major difference between these two nations is that the USA is not an emerging nation and is not having its lands ravaged by a military army. However, when considers the economic war being waged by the elite on our country, is there any difference between what Sherman did to Atlanta and what our corporations have done to our major cities (ex. Detroit).

    I know that this isn’t a straight-on analogy, but I do believe that there lessons to be learned from the history of the CSA. If our country doesn’t change, I don’t believe our government will survive. (I am not saying that our country will be destroyed. Country and government are two separate entities, as has been proven elsewhere in the world, and if a government falls, the country may continue to exist until the next government rises.)

    I know that I wouldn’t have wanted to live in the CSA, and I hope that I am wrong that we are evolving into a 21st century CSA. One of the aims of the founders of the CSA was to create the first true slave nation in the history of the world. When I consider the words of Proverbs 22:7, “The borrower becomes the lender’s slave.”, I have to believe that our leaders are actively attempting to create a slave nation beholden to the corporations and to the elite.

  • http://idevelop.tv idevelop

    And with no free health care on top of that to….. incredible really! In Australia, UK, Canada and most civilised countries we get FREE HEALTH CARE and unemployment benefits for as long as needed. We also get help with accommodation and even the government helps pay for you to move states for a better chance for finding work..

  • Justin

    Pumped Up Kicks.

  • Frank Jones

    And yet no mention of the fact that in the time it took to read this entry another three foreign workers will come into the country to displace those here already.

  • Richard

    “If all the bank loans were paid, no one could have a bank deposit,
    and there would not be a dollar of coin or currency in circulation.
    This is a staggering thought. We are completely dependent on the
    commercial Banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in
    circulation, cash or credit. If the Banks create ample synthetic money
    we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a
    permanent money system. When one gets a complete grasp of the picture,
    the tragic absurdity of our hopeless position is almost incredible, but
    there it is. It is the most important subject intelligent persons can
    investigate and reflect upon. It is so important that our present
    civilization may collapse unless it becomes widely understood and the
    defects remedied very soon.” – Robert Hemphill, In the foreword to a book by Irving Fisher, entitled 100% Money (1935)

  • Virginia

    Expoential growth does not for sustainability make. When populations continue to grow, the impact of growth becomes increasingly significant over time. In other words, because of the nature of exponential growth, “when things get bad, they get bad in a hurry”.

  • Guido

    Sorry, Gary, but poor people do not create jobs. They may create demand, but they’re not creating businesses to satisfy demand and employing others in those businesses.

    IF wealth doesn’t flee taxes, then why do we have a government obsessed with off-shore banking? Look up tax havens some time. A lot of American wealth goes overseas to the Caribbean and Panama. I read Switzerland has lost some of its cachet after they rolled over for the Feds on releaseing account holder information.

    I read the WSJ articles about wealth flight and the response articles from NewTruth, or whatever that site was called and the NYT discussion of it. They point out that at %2.5, the NY tax was still relatively small. We haven’t touched on the massive kind of taxation or outright theft you’re endorsing.

    Interestingly, I read an article that stated wealthy folks were, in fact, avoiding MD from a former MD resident. One tactic they use to avoid taxes, especially estate taxes, is to establish residency in other states. You may not remember Bush Sr. maintained a small TX apartment to maintain his residency in a non-income tax state.

    According to the estate counselor in the articles below, folks are buying in FL to avoid estate taxes elsewhere.
    http://wills.about.com/b/2009/05/30/update-do-the-rich-move-to-avoid-income-taxes-and-estate-taxes.htm
    http://wills.about.com/b/2009/03/23/do-the-rich-move-to-avoid-income-taxes-and-estate-taxes.htm “Because in my 14 years of experience as an estate planning attorney, I’m going to estimate that at least 50% of my clients have changed their domicile from a state that collects an income tax and/or an estate tax – such as Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio or Pennsylvania – to a state such as Florida that doesn’t collect an income tax or an estate tax (Florida is where I happen to now live and work, having moved from Maryland 5 years ago).”

    Listen to Limbaugh some time talking about how he left NYC for FL and how the city gov carefully tracks his time in NYC to see if they can tax him for residency. I know an accountant who works for a company with offices in NYC and NJ. Their taxes are ridiculous. The company he did accounting for moved their HQ to the South from NJ based on high taxes and hired a new lower-wage team to work there while cutting positions. I wonder how many other businesses moved from up there based on those taxes?

    Now, the current fed rate is %35 at the top. Were we to go to the Carter-era %70, do you think that might cause folk with the means to consider moving to a less confiscatory location or consider methods to hide their wealth off-shore?

    I figure I’ve asked enough questions about these issues here already. I would love to see your answers to them. You’ve been offering us the solution on every posting here for a while. So how about some specifics on your rape-the-rich plan? HOW does it make a better nation for the government to somehow dispossess the wealthy of their possessions? Let’s hear something beyond rhetoric, because I’ve asked a lot of questions and raised a lot of points and seen no answers. None of what you’ve stated would return the middle class position you lost.

  • http://freefood2gocoop.com Free Food 2Go

    People can reduce their spending on consumer goods and drive less, but higher food prices are going to squeeze the middle class.

    Prepare now for higher prices and potential financial crisis, with long term food storage, because you don’t want to compete at the grocery store when a crisis hits.

    Free Food 2Go

  • anton

    Guido got it right!
    Amazing. So many replies, only a few who sees things clearly and evidently the majority is at par with lumpen proletariat.
    I grew up in a communist dictatorship and left in the final years, just before the wall came down. Back then, it was a bipolar world. Two major systems balancing each other. Once the opposite force was gone, things degraded fast for America and after 20+ years this is what you are left with. Sorry to say, America did not win the cold war. If it had, it would be a winner today. Yet, it reminds me more and more of the same Marxist system I left long ago.
    The answer is in your past. The founding fathers got it right. There is a saying, when you have lost yourself, you have to look within and return to your roots.

  • Chris

    While these stats are good as an indicator for all people to see how crappy things have become after awhile its like “okay, what now?”

    We know things are bad but why are we waiting for someone else to fix the problem. Thinking the system just needs to right itself or that someone new president will fix it is naive thinking.

    Unplug from the system. Get yourself out of debt. Simply your life. Learn how to grow your own food, can it and store it. Learn how to repair and fix things. Move into a smaller home. Become friends with your neighbours and become an asset to your community.

    I live in an urban centre in an apartment and am able to do all of these things. You can too!

    Yes, things are bad, we know that. Move onto step 2. Turn off the tv and do something about it. If you wait for someone else, it will be too late. Regardless of politics and religion we ALL need to come together. These divisions are created illusions manufactured to keep you docile and uninvolved. At the end of the day, we only have ourselves to blame.

  • Harry Johnson

    Guido, New York was blessed when rush limpblob left, now if the slob would jsut leave the rest of us alone. If laws were enforced the blowhard would be in prison doing hard time for his oxycontin and viagra doctor shopping crimes.

    You still haven’t amswered the real question, which is: We have been giving the rich every thing they have asked for for thirty years, tax breaks, deregulation, deunionization; why is our unemployment still so high? Why are we not enjoying a huge economic boom? Also how is shuffling money from one paper “investment” to another, currency speculation or inflating the cos tof real estate creating wealth? And the crap that limpblob puts out does not create wealth either, his bullshit is so toxic it does not even work as fertilizer.

    Time to give it up boyo, your fancy spun theories have failed and failed again disastrously. You wrong wingers need to apologize, shut up and let the adults fix the mess you have caused.

  • George Ritz

    There is an answer to our economic problems but it won’t come from either the government or Wall Street. The true wealth of America is its people and it is “We the people” who will have to be the driving forces in the changes that most need to be made. I am a regular essayist with the End the Fed Network and I would like to share some of my ideas with you all. Some of these are being implemented successfully already But forget everything you’ve been hearing about economics.
    First off, the Federal Reserve is a private bank that is of the bankers, by the bankers, and for the bankers – it’s a private club, and you don’t belong. This Ponzi scheme has been looting the wealth of this nation for over a hundred years and must be abolished. The US Congress has the power to do this, but don’t seem to have the will to do it. So we can do it ourselves. But our thinking has to change.
    For one thing let’s understand that every economic system is a barter system, because every transaction culminates in an exchange of goods and/or services. Understanding this simple point makes it clear that there is a difference between money and currency.
    Take a simple barter; you have fish, I have potatoes, and we make a deal to trade some of your fish for some of my potatoes. Where’s the money? Guess what: the commodities are the money.
    Money is anything that has value, an intrinsic value that makes it necessary or desirable. Currency on the other hand has no intrinsic value, and never should have. Currency has a practical value as a facilitator of commerce, but there are commentators who decry the use of unbacked paper currency, urging a return to the Gold Standard – a sure disaster in the making. The Federal Reserve prints currency based on debt, and the national debt is astronomical. What we need is a currency that is debt-free, issued by the treasury, and regulated by the Congress according to Article 1, Section 8, of the US Constitution. President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 11110 almost fifty years ago that ordered the Treasury Department to start issuing US Government Notes; he was assassinated, the bill EO was reversed (though it has never been repealed)and the Federal Reserve continued printing its toxic Notes.
    There are at least 30 places in this country that have developed local currencies; time dollars, Berkshire Notes, and other forms of paper currency that have revived the local economies where they are employed. Google the Endthefed website and learn what you can do to fix the problems we face. There is hope but it will take action, lots of it, and with the support of all the people not too brainwashed to understand.

  • http://ENDOFTHEAMERIANDREAM.COM GWEN VANLANDINGHAM

    HEAR!HEAR! GEORGE RITZ YOU ROCK! I AM AFRAID, HOWEVER, IF THOSE STATISTICS ARE TRUE THAT SAY 59% OF AMERICANS ARE NOW ON SOME SORT OF GOVT. AID, THAT MOST OF THEM, IF NOT ALL, ARE ALREADY BRAINWASHED. FORTUNATELY, I DO BELIEVE THAT WHEN THE CHECKS STOP COMING, AND THEY WILL, THAT EVERYONE WILL SUDDENLY WAKE UP AND SAY “WHAT HAPPENED????”….CALIFORNIA WILL BE THE STATE THAT WILL FALL FIRST. IF WE THINK IT IS BAD NOW, JUST DO NOTHING, AND EXPERIENCE WHAT IT IS LIKE TO LIVE IN A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY!

  • emily haversham

    i would like to scare off the rich. they use scare tactics and media campaigns to convince the ‘middle man’ and woman and the ‘regular joe’ or josephine to give them the power, and then use the power to feather their own nests, and the nests of their friends.
    if the rich left america, what would actually happen? why are we so afraid to lose them? the soil will still be here. the houses will still be here. in fact, rich people kicked us out of our houses for their own gain: they run the banks which sold people home loans they could not afford; because some rich little sh*t wanted to collect the insurance money when the loan on the expensive house foreclosed. so it is rich people telling the homeless people they cannot live in the masses of empty houses. what kind of society are we living in when there are houses sitting empty when people are living in their cars? you know when a person sets fire to their asset to collect the insurance money? well, america’s economy was the asset and the wealthiest of the wealthy had insurance on it if it failed. now there are no houses, and no jobs.

  • Kendall Svengalis

    Excellent analysis, George. The FED must be abolished. It performs no useful purpose except to defraud the harworking people of the United States, most of whom don’t comprehend how their money and savings are being debased and their economic system is being undermined. Yet, these “little people” are starting to catch on. Whether enough do so before too much damage is done is another question. Civic and economic literacy being as low ad they are presents some real challenges, however. Have you seen the ISI surveys that show that graduates of Harvard and Yale, for example, graduate knowing less about their government than when they entered? For this, their parents pay $200,000. I still believe that many of those on food stamps and collecting unemployment insurance do not necessarily vote that way, but a sufficient number do that the situation is becoming grave. There are still poor people with honor, a sense of pride, and independence.
    The photo above could be Gary, IN, where I grew up. Gary, like Detroit, is a basketcase because of destructive government policies.

  • Paul Jimenez

    The one thing we need to do is stop voting liberal,there is an add on here about free government phones,with free monthly minutes.These are not free and everything the government “gives” as free are not,someone has to pay and thats us in the form of more taxes.The madness has to stop.

  • Garry Mazza

    Liberal progressives are the scourge of free thinking people. We have got to quit electing liberals in office. If its the disadvantaged who habitually elect democrats ( liberals ) based on campaign promises…how come they are still disadvantaged ?

  • http://bluemels.com Landscapeing Milwaukee

    It is absolutely absurd to think it is okay to take money from the rich and give it to the poor. You have lost all common sense and reasoning if you believe that. Its not a crime to make money. In America anyone of you have the right to try to start your own business and make all kinds of money. My Dad started a home improvement business when I was young…we were not rich in Americas eyes but in the rest of the worlds eyes we were. His little construction company provided jobs for people for over 28 years before he retired this year. Point is 5-10 other Americans where able to punch in and punch out and make a pay check. He never punched out because if a customer had a problem he was responsible. I thankful that he always made time for us and we ate dinner as a family every night. I m just tired of the entitlement attitude of this nation. People think they should get to live a certain way because they are American but don’t think they should have to work for it. We are lost! Wake up America. Hard work is and free market is what made America great. Learn to adapt to the changes and stop complaining. We have been the most greatly blessed country for over 200 years…stop complaining and do something about it. Start a business and create jobs. I started my own business with only a high school diploma. I’m no genius but I know one thing…America is LAZYYYYYYYYYYY! Your not entitled to a 30 year job and then retirement with a big pension. If you are bless to have that kind of position thank the person that took the initiative to start the company that hired you.

    I know what we can do…we should take all the jobs and money and distribute them out evenly. Oh wait that is communism. : )

  • a

    I’ve got no problem with a multi-billion dollar company so long as they are using some of their cash flow to better the society from which they were able to earn their fields of money