Is the recession over or is the economic downturn just beginning? Barack Obama and the Federal Reserve have been busy proclaiming that the U.S. economy is back on track, but the sad truth is that our economic problems look like they are about to get a whole lot worse. Without oil, our entire economy would shut down cold. Thanks to the chaos in the Middle East, oil is absolutely exploding in price. In fact, the price of oil in the United States went up more than seven dollars today. The global price of food has risen to record levels over the past 12 months and it is projected to continue to rapidly increase throughout all of 2011. This is going to hit struggling families all over the globe very hard. Meanwhile, thousands of manufacturing facilities and millions of good jobs continue to flee the United States. The gap between the wealth that we consume as a nation and the wealth that we produce as a nation continues to grow. We have attempted to fill this gap with asset sales and with massive amounts of debt, but that is a game that cannot last forever. When we come to the end of every single month, we are poorer as a nation and we are deeper in debt as a nation. From “sea to shining sea” we have become a nation that is flooded with red ink.
But most Americans still buy in to the whole “American exceptionalism” thing. While it is true that there is something really special about the nation that our founding fathers originally established, the truth is that we are not guaranteed to be “the greatest nation on earth” forever. Over the last couple of generations we have really been abusing the great legacy that was passed down to us. America was once the greatest economic machine on the face of the planet. The American people were once strong and brave and of noble character. At one time, America was first in almost every major category that mattered.
Are any of those things still true today? Of course not. The once great American economic powerhouse is being gutted and ripped to shreds right in front of our eyes. A large percentage of our population has become fat, lazy and obsessed with things like American Idol and Justin Bieber. We have become so dumbed-down that most of us don’t even realize that something is seriously, seriously wrong with this country.
The U.S. economy is on the verge of major problems. That also means that the entire global economy is on the verge of major problems. These next couple of years are going to be very interesting to watch. We truly are in unprecedented economic territory.
The truth is that things are not nearly as good as the talking heads on television say that they are.
The following are 21 “Oh Crap!” statistics about the U.S. economy….
#1 U.S. light sweet crude for March delivery closed at $93.57 on Tuesday. That was up $7.37 in just a single day. Brent crude rose to $108.57 a barrel before settling back to $105.78.
#2 In the years since 1975, the United States had run a total trade deficit of 7.5 trillion dollars with the rest of the world.
#3 According to the World Bank, global food prices have soared 29% over the last 12 months.
#4 The United Nations is projecting that the global price of food will increase by another 30 percent by the end of 2011.
#5 Michigan has approved a plan to shut down nearly half of the public schools in Detroit. Under the plan, 70 schools will be closed and 72 will continue operating.
#6 If the U.S. government adopted a balanced budget today, approximately 12 percent of U.S. GDP would be wiped out. Can anyone say “instant depression”?
#7 Two years ago, the average U.S. homeowner that is being foreclosed upon had not made a mortgage payment in 11 months. Today, the average U.S. homeowner that is being foreclosed upon has not made a mortgage payment in 17 months.
#8 Single family home prices in the United States declined for the sixth month in a row during the month of December.
#9 According to CNN, in 2009 the wealthiest 10% of all Americans controlled half of all the wealth in America. CNN is also reporting that back in 2009 the wealthiest 0.1% of all Americans controlled approximately 10% of all the wealth in the country all by themselves.
#10 According to Moody’s Analytics, the wealthiest 5% of households in the United States account for approximately 37% of all consumer spending.
#11 The CredAbility Consumer Distress Index, which measures the average financial condition of U.S. households, declined in every single quarter in 2010.
#12 The average CEO now makes approximately 185 times more money than the average American worker.
#13 In 2010, more than a million U.S. families lost their homes to foreclosure for the first time ever, and that number is expected to go even higher in 2011.
#14 When you adjust wages for inflation, middle class workers in the United States make less money today than they did back in 1971.
#15 China now controls about 97 percent of the total global production of “rare earth elements”. China is using this monopoly power to persuade foreign high technology firms to relocate to China.
#16 Average household debt in the United States has now reached a level of 136% of average household income. In China, average household debt is only 17% of average household income.
#17 In Canada, 117 out of every 100,000 people are in prison. In Japan, 59 out of every 100,000 people are in prison. In the United States, 743 out of every 100,000 people are in prison which is the highest rate by far in the world.
#18 There are currently more than 4 million Americans that have been unemployed for more than a year.
#19 The Social Security trust fund will run a deficit of 56 billion dollars this year. Just a couple of years ago government planners were promising that we would not have any Social Security deficits until at least 2016 or 2017.
#20 The U.S. national debt is over 14 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.
#21 During Barack Obama’s first two years in office, the U.S. government added more to the U.S. national debt than the first 100 U.S. Congresses combined.
U.S. government debt is spinning wildly out of control and our politicians seem powerless to even slow it down. The globalization of the world economy is ripping millions of jobs away from middle class Americans and most of our politicians appear unwilling to lift a finger to stop it. Barack Obama, the Democrats, the Republicans and the Federal Reserve are all running our economy into the ground, and yet the mainstream media keeps telling us that these are the “heroes” that are going to turn this whole thing around.
The problems with the U.S. economy are not that difficult to figure out but they are going to be incredibly difficult to solve.
Because there are some very powerful people that are making obscene amounts of money off of our economic suffering.
There is a ton of money to be made lending hundreds of billions of dollars to our federal government, our state governments and our local governments every year.
There are huge profits to be made by getting rid of American workers and setting up new manufacturing facilities in countries where they allow workers to be paid slave labor wages.
Do you think that the ultra-wealthy people making tons of money from the current economic system are just going to roll over and give up because we ask them nicely?
No, the truth is that the ultra-wealthy have no intention of changing things. In fact, they pretty much control both political parties in America. Why do you think they give so much money to political campaigns?
It isn’t because they are trying to be nice.
The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Those at the top of the pyramid love the current system because it makes them massive amounts of money.
Unfortunately, the road that we are currently on is going to end in complete and total economic disaster for the entire world.
That won’t be good for anybody.