In the America that most of us grew up in, most Americans considered themselves to be part of the “upper middle class”, the “middle class” or “the lower middle class”. Yes, there have always been poor people and homeless people, but they were thought to be a very small sliver of the population. Well, today all of that is dramatically changing. America’s emerging “poverty class” is exploding in size at the same time that America’s middle class is rapidly disappearing. You won’t hear it on the mainstream news, but the truth is that the United States has lost ten percent of its middle class jobs over the past decade. Only the top 5 percent of income earners in the U.S. has had their incomes increase enough to keep up with the rising cost of living over the past 40 years. The truth is that today there are a whole lot of people aggressively jostling for the small number of good jobs that are actually available and each year millions more Americans are being squeezed out of the middle class. The number of Americans that are financially dependent on the U.S. government continues to set new records month after month. The number of Americans that are participating in the labor force continues to go down. The sad reality is that the “American Dream” that so many Americans used to take for granted is being ripped away from us. If you still believe that the United States is guaranteed to always have a very large, very prosperous middle class then you really need to read the statistics listed below.
If you told most Americans ten years ago that in 2011 over 43 million Americans would be on food stamps hardly anyone would have believed you.
But yet here we are.
The U.S. economy simply is not producing enough good jobs anymore. Most of those that are able to acquire one of these jobs have been able to cling to middle class status, but for millions upon millions of others economic desperation has become “the new normal”.
In fact, more Americans than ever seem to have just given up. The number of working age Americans that are not even looking for work anymore is at a record high. The number of Americans that endlessly receive government “anti-poverty” benefits continues to go up and up.
Once upon a time America was a nation packed with hopelessly optimistic “go-getters” that were brimming with entrepreneurial spirit. But now we have tens of millions of docile sheep that seemingly have no hope, no future and that apparently have no problem with permanently being dependent on the government.
But of course it must be noted that thanks to “globalism” and thanks to the greed of the gigantic predator corporations that now dominate our economy that it has become extremely difficult to “make it” in today’s economy.
It really is incredible to see what has happened to America. Once upon a time we were the greatest economic machine in the history of the world, but now we are literally being dismantled piece by piece. The poverty that we are witnessing today is only going to become even worse as the U.S. economy continues to decline.
The following are 27 signs that America’s poverty class is rapidly becoming larger than America’s middle class….
#1 Only 47 percent of working-age Americans have a full-time job at this point.
#2 One out of every six elderly Americans now lives below the federal poverty line.
#3 In America today, 8.9 million people are working part-time jobs for “economic reasons”.
#4 During the last school year, almost half of all school children in the state of Illinois came from families that were considered to be “low-income”.
#5 In 2010, more Americans than ever before were living below the official federal poverty line.
#6 The number of net jobs gained by the U.S. economy during this past decade was smaller than during any other decade since World War 2.
#7 The Bureau of Labor Statistics originally predicted that the U.S. economy would create approximately 22 million jobs during the decade of the 2000s, but it turns out that the U.S. economy only produced about 7 million jobs during that time period.
#8 108.6 million Americans are either unemployed, underemployed or considered to be “not in the labor force”.
#9 The United States now has 10 percent fewer “middle class jobs” than it did just ten years ago.
#10 The number of Americans that have become so discouraged that they have given up searching for work completely now stands at an all-time high.
#11 Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.
#12 According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, visits to soup kitchens are up 24 percent over the past year.
#13 Approximately 5 million U.S. homeowners are now at least two months behind on their mortgage payments.
#14 The number of Americans filing for bankruptcy rose another 9 percent in 2010.
#15 In 2009, total wages, median wages, and average wages all declined in the United States.
#16 According to a survey released very close to the end of 2010, 55 percent of all Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck.
#17 Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.
#18 The number of Americans on food stamps set a new all-time record every single month during 2010, and now well over 43 million Americans are enrolled in the program.
#19 Even in our nation’s capital stunningly large numbers of Americans are suffering in desperate poverty. Today, 21.5 percent of the population of Washington D.C. is on food stamps.
#20 It now takes the average unemployed American over 33 weeks to find a job.
#21 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
#22 The number of American families that were booted out of their homes and into the streets set a new all-time record in 2010.
#23 Some formerly great industrial cities are rapidly turning into ghost towns. For example, in Dayton, Ohio today 18.9 percent of all houses are now standing empty.
#24 Ten years ago, the “employment rate” in the United States was about 64%. Since then it has been constantly declining and now the “employment rate” in the United States is only about 58%. So where did all of those jobs go?
#25 A recent study by a law professor from the University of Michigan found that Americans that are 55 years of age or older now account for 20 percent of all bankruptcies in the United States. Back in 2001, they only accounted for 12 percent of all bankruptcies. It is getting really, really hard to live on a fixed income in the United States.
#26 In the United States today, there are over 6 million Americans that have been unemployed for half a year or longer.
#27 One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one anti-poverty program run by the federal government.
In 2011, even more Americans are going to fall out of the middle class and into the poverty class.
The dynamics of the game have changed. Once upon a time if you got a college education and you worked really hard you were virtually guaranteed a ticket to the middle class.
Well, no matter what you may have been promised, those days are now long gone. Now those in the U.S. middle class are trapped inside a really twisted, really bizarre game of musical chairs. If you still have your seat you should be very thankful, because chairs are being pulled out of the game constantly as the middle class rapidly shrinks.
Sadly, the economic decline of America is only going to accelerate as government debt continues to mount and as our jobs and our industries are shipped overseas as part of the new “global economy”.
Our politicians are doing nothing to stop all of the long-term trends that are ripping the middle class to shreds so the poverty class is going to continue to explode in size in the months and years to come.
So if you are still part of the middle class, enjoy it while you can, because the party is ending and they are starting to turn out the lights.