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Saving Money? Not In This Economy – 22 Facts That Prove Middle Class Families Are Being Savagely Crushed

The 22 facts that you are about to read are all real, although admittedly they are hard to believe.  The sad truth is that millions of middle class families in the United States today are being savagely crushed by this economy.  Most American families would like to be saving money, paying the mortgage and living the American Dream, but with each passing month those things are becoming more difficult.  Rapidly rising prices for basic necessities such as food and gas are absolutely crippling the finances of millions of middle class American families right now.  How is a family even supposed to make a budget when the average price of gasoline goes up 42 cents a gallon in a single month?  What are we all supposed to do when we walk into our supermarkets and find that the old “regular prices” have become the new “sale prices”?  Should we all not be deeply concerned that the price of food in the United States went up at the fastest rate in 36 years last month?  How are we all supposed to keep our families above the poverty line when the number of good paying jobs keeps shrinking?  In America today, being a member of the middle class is like playing a game of musical chairs.  You know that they are going to keep pulling chairs out of the game, and you just hope that it is not going to be your turn next.

Sadly, large numbers of Americans do keep falling out of the middle class.  The number of Americans on food stamps just keeps increasing every single month.  The number of Americans on Medicaid just keeps increasing every single month.  The number of American children living in poverty just keeps increasing every single month.

If the U.S. economy is actually getting “better”, then why does the middle class keep on shrinking?  Everywhere you turn there are families in deep economic pain.  Unemployment is rampant and even those families that do have jobs are really struggling to make ends meet as prices rise rapidly.

Unfortunately, the global economy looks like it is going to get even worse.  The recent crisis in Japan is going to have a ripple effect across the entire globe.  The chaos in the Middle East is certainly not helping things either.  It certainly appears that we could be on the verge of another major economic downturn.

And that would not be good news for the U.S. middle class.  The truth is that the U.S. middle class has already been hurt enough.

The following are 22 facts that prove that middle class families across America are being savagely crushed by this economy….

#1 Last month food prices in the United States rose at the fastest rate in 36 years.

#2 The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States is now $3.55.  That represents an increase of 42 cents a gallon in just one month.

#3 According to the Oil Price Information Service, U.S. drivers spent an average of $347 on gasoline during the month of February, which was 30 percent more than a year earlier.

#4 According to the U.S. Energy Department, the average U.S. household will spend approximately $700 more on gasoline in 2011 than it did during 2010.

#5 According to the U.S. Labor Department, the cost of living in the United States is higher than it ever has been before.  The “Chained Consumer Price Index” hit a new all-time high during the month of February.

#6 During this most recent economic downturn, employee compensation in the United States has been the lowest that it has been relative to gross domestic product in over 50 years.

#7 When you adjust wages for inflation, middle class workers in the United States make less money today than they did back in 1971.

#8 For most middle class American families, their homes are their most valuable financial assets.  Since the real estate peak, U.S. home values have fallen by a staggering 6.3 trillion dollars.

#9 In 2010, for the first time ever more than a million U.S. families lost their homes to foreclosure, and that number is expected to go even higher in 2011.

#10 Two years ago, the average U.S. homeowner that was 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.

#11 Approximately half of all American workers make $25,000 a year or less.

#12 Approximately one-third of all Americans have no savings and no retirement funds.

#13 As 2007 began, only about 26 million Americans were on food stamps, but today over 44 million Americans are now on food stamps.

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

#15 Only 47 percent of working-age Americans have a full-time job at this point.

#16 Many American families would love to be saving money, but the reality is that a huge percentage of them are drowning in credit card debt.  Total U.S. credit card debt is more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.

#17 The CredAbility Consumer Distress Index, which measures the average financial condition of U.S. households, declined in every single quarter in 2010.

#18 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.

#19 There are currently more than 4 million Americans that have been unemployed for more than a year.

#20 The U.S. economy now has 10 percent fewer “middle class jobs” than it did just ten years ago.

#21 The average CEO now makes approximately 185 times more money than the average American worker.

#22 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.

Do you need any more evidence that the middle class in the United States is being ripped apart?

The days of wine and roses are over.  The foolish economic policies of the last several decades are now starting to catch up with us and that is going to mean even more economic pain for the middle class.

If you are still part of the middle class, you should be very thankful, because more middle class Americans are falling into poverty every single day.

So what do all of you think about what is happening to the middle class in America?  Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below….

The Beginning Of The End - The New Novel About The Future Of America By Michael T. Snyder
  • http://www.planorperish.com Gutter Economist

    Here are 7 Ways to Save Money on Groceries:

    http://www.planorperish.com/?p=4049

    #21 The average CEO now makes approximately 185 times more money than the average American worker.

    There are only 2 ways redistribute the above wealth.

    (1) Demand that the government redistribute wealth by communism, socialism, or taxes.

    (2) Help employees purchase, own, and manage the businesses the work for.

  • Gary

    Until we solve the problem with income and wealth inequality nothing will change. When the richest 400 people have more wealth and income than the bottom 155 million something is wrong with our country.

    Tax the rich HARD and spread the wealth.

  • Gary

    There is something wrong with a nation that cuts food for women and infants, also cuts health care for the poor and cuts free school lunch for poor kids, cuts head start etc. while at the same time giving tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires. This is disgusting!

    It seems like tax cuts for the rich and budget cuts (meaning tax increases) for the poor.

  • RUMMAN RESWAN

    WHAT CAN I SAY?1ITS THE VERY SAME POLICY OF CAPITALISUM….WHAT USA AND THE WESTERN COUNTRIES DID WITH THE HOLE WORLD HAS SLOWLY MIXED IN THEIR OWN BLOOD…AND NOW THEY ARE RIPPING THEIR OWN PEOPLE APART…WHERE THE OTHER WORLD STARTED TO PICK UP THE SAME POLICY..NOT NOTICING WHAT THE WASTE IT CREATS STILL THE RESULT IS IN FRONT OF THEM….HOPE THE USA LEADERS GIVE MUCH IMPORTANCE TO THEM…WHAT MAKES ME SAD IS THAT MOST OF THE AMERICANS FEEL PROUD OF THEIR NATIONS POWER AND TRIMPTH OVER OTHER NATIONS WHOM THEY THINK EVIL…BT THEY FORGET USA HAS MADE THOSE EVILS…AND THEIR POWERFUL LEADERS ARE THE VERY SAME EVIL WHO ARE SUCKING THEIR BLOOD….

  • Jack Nichols

    The problem is our economy is based on debt to create money. When our economy is based on money backed by gold or silver we will start to come out of the problem. Bottom line Fractional reserve banking, the Federal reserve, and Casino Banking, must be stopped. The current system is unsustainable therefore we will need a total collapse before the criminal investment bankers and debt based money is eliminated. I have prepared myself by stocking up on necessary things to preserve my wealth and got out of debt so I am ready, bring it one. If you know what is good for you you better do what I did and you better start now!!! The collapse is near!!

  • William

    This is the result of those citizens who VOTED for the idiots in the US Congress over the past 30 years. Yes, YOU voted for the morons who crafted the demise of America. From Republican to Democrat, from Sessions to Reid, from Boxer to Hastert, the voters got what they asked for. Maybe your local Congressman or US Senator is not really the kind of person who should be in the Congress……

  • nick

    Sounds like Russia, 1915. Not quite Russia 1917 yet. Prices dont go up. The purchasing power of the dollar is falling from the massive printing by the reserve bank. The real enemy is the teserve

  • nick

    Ugh I hate my phone sometimes. The real enemy is the reserve bank.

  • Gary

    This is so true. I fell out of the middle class through no fault of my own. I know many others in the same boat who are working 2-3 low wage survival jobs to cobble together some semblance of a living.

    I now get to make 1/2 my former wage and get to be on all the programs talked about above. Until people like me, formerly middle class, start getting money in their pockets to spend no amount of tax cuts for the rich and corporations will do anything. This is simply a fact regardless of your political leanings.

    I have a friend who installs septic systems and he said he can get all the tax cuts in the world he will not hire anyone if their is no demand.

    As I see it this is such a simple concept even those on the right should be able to understand this. I am sure they do. The fact that they are ignoring reality and giving tax cuts to the rich and cutting the government programs that the working poor sadly need to survive shows their true oligarch agenda. How many homes are too much for the rich 5,6,10? How many cars does a rich person need? 10, 20, 100? Where does it end?

    For the most part we do not have a spending problem we have a revenue problem. We are taxing the rich at historically low rates and one needs to simply look around to see the results or read Michael s article above. I think he underestimates as I go to the food pantries etc and see it first hand.

  • gforce

    The monetary system sucks.

  • mondobeyondo

    How can you save money, when you don’t even have money to spend?

  • Timo44

    I read this and I do understand why this is happening. People are so focused on tv, music,sports and so many other things that’s not productive to our life. Most people don’t know or understand anything about the Fed Reserve and our banking system. They don’t understand how they are truly effecting our life. People have to stop and get educated about what’s really going on. And once they learn they have to fight to remove the problem.

  • http://www.outofpockethealthcarecosts.com/ Jekyll Isle

    The issue is not what what we tax the rich, the deeper secret is the CAFR that Griffin touched on in the Creature and most people on this post should be able to interpret.
    You have an issue being taxed look at cafrman.com, wake up and do something about it.
    Stop your whining, the rich got there how ever they got there, let them be. Our government is the one who is screwing the middle class and it’s doing it only for its benefit and not for a group of rich people.

    YOU GOVERNMENT HAS TOTAL CONTROL OF WALL ST, THE FED, THE IRS & THE MILITARY and yet you blame each other

  • Tatiana Covington

    The long-term reality is that human labor is slowly becoming utterly obsolete.

    One word: robots. Those are now *real* and are becoming more so daily.

    I have seen this coming for 50 years. It does not surprise me one bit.

  • Billy Boy

    The “Rich” are cutting their own throats. All the lobbying to get their way and they are getting it. All the worlds wealth.

    When everyone else is poor they will soon find out we can no longer buy their foreign made products, afford to buy the millions of empty homes, put gas in our cars, buy food etc etc etc

    Only then, they will realize money can not be eaten because no-one will be around or consider it worth it to work for $1.00 an hour to say “Do you want fries with that?” America, the next 3rd world country. Coming soon!

  • Golden Child

    Are all powerful faceless corporations trying to force Americans to work for $2 a day like starving child workers assembling Nike shoes that sell for $150-400 in the states? In a way, most Americans are already working for much, much less than we used to because $8 an hour doesn’t go as far as it used to a few short months ago, let alone years ago. The children being born today in the United States might never know what prosperity looks like when they grow up. Americans have always lived better than the billion plus people around the world who don’t have clean drinking water, go to bed malnourished every night and don’t have running water or toilets. I hope we as Americans revolt against our greedy oppressors before we are forced to live in a complete diseased Third World sh*thole like everyone else around the world. Sadly, I don’t think Americans will revolt until millions and millions more of us are literally starving and homeless.

  • ken
  • http://www.youtube.com/user/bubba007ss Mel

    The NAFTA agreements is leading Americans down the path of Socialism
    Home Depot closed its last store in Beijing, one of several outlets shut down since 2009. The world’s biggest home improvement retailer has retained outlets in some key provincial cities, where costs are presumably lower and competition perhaps less intense.

    I wonder why!!!”" Could it be that China’s Government owns most things any how and that the workers are paid such low wages that there isn’t enough money left over to spend.. Is the U.S. headed in the same direction as China’s standard of living ??”" Remember Hillary Clinton made the statement that she admired China’s way of doing business?”" The Progressives desire to get rid of the constitution and half of them really don’t fully understand the damages that would result from scrapping the constitution… This means as citizens our rights would be stripped away from us and we then would become like China and live in dormitories being fed by these large corporations most likely supported by our new socialist Government when it can finally take full control of America..

    Do you see our politicians saying we should switch course on NAFTA?? “”NO”" Chances are you wont either

    The time will come that they will say to you and I that they have to take complete control of everything to compete with the rest of the world; When the truth of the matter is they sacrificed the American worker for world peace; They believe if we stay connected to the rest of the world through free trade that we most likely will not go to war with one another…

  • mondobeyondo

    Oh yeah, robots. They promised to make work more efficient and productive. Indeed they have. Their work is so efficient and productive, that you are no longer needed.

    Robots are rapidly changing the makeup of our work force when it comes to industry and electronics. They do the same work you do, um, USED to do, and robots do not ask for pay raises. They don’t even ask for pay. They never take vacations. They don’t require medical or dental insurance (although when one breaks down or blows a fuse or something, it can be a bit of a problem).

    Robots can work nonstop for hours. No lunch breaks. And they are not unionized. And robots don’t care if they’re unemployed.

    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention those industrial jobs already sent offshore, done by humans that are paid low wages compared to American workers.

    Goodbye, auto worker. Goodbye, industrial manufacturer. See you in the unemployment line, along with the rest of us.

  • pogue

    Socialism is not the answer. Getting the government to stop screwing around with the economy is the answer. Who created all these problems? The government did with their meddling.
    Want some ideas?
    For one, the tax system is immensely flawed. Aside from being so complex that even the IRS doesn’t understand it completely, the fact that Congress can manipulate the tax system whenever they wish to reward some and screw others creates an incredibly unfair and loaded system. I forget who stated the power to tax is the power to destroy, but it is absolutely true. Since we claim that our laws are supposed to apply equally to all, reform the tax system to reflect that. Try the Fair Tax, where EVERYONE pays a consumption tax of 23%+/-. This fair and simple tax occurs on all transactions, but does not penalize savings, meaning you can save your cash and live frugally to avoid paying taxes or you can buy gold-plated sports cars and get soaked. There’s even a rebate worked in to cover the first 1000-1500$ a month in expenditures for basic necessities. It is much better than letting government pick winners and losers, i.e. new car buyers or folks who put in storm windows.
    Another problem is the fact that our government interferes with our economy. I’m not convinced the government should have its finger on the scales on a daily basis to insure we never have a downturn. According to folks like Peter Schiff, the more you manipulate the system in an effort to stall disaster, the worse the crisis will be when it comes. Sometimes markets just need to readjust, no matter how painful it is. After all, what goes up must come down eventually.
    An interesting issue is our founding fathers floated the idea of controlling the banks and preventing them from issuing credit. The idea was that credit created by banks across the countryside insured a vast gap between production versus demand, and would lead to periodic depressions/recessions. Interestingly, I read an alarmed British newspaper from the period, commenting on this dangerous idea, which stated the American economy, free of the established credit system, would rival every other nation in the world. (This was circa 1800.)
    Yet another issue is our money, which the Constitution requires the Congress to coin. Currently, Congress has abdicated this responsibility and turned our money over to a secretive private bank with a board composed at least partially of foreigners who manipulate our currency for their own advantage. The results of this great plan can be seen all around us today.
    Speaking of the Constitution, if you read it, you’ll see the list of things the government is permitted to do at the federal level is fairly short. Roughly speaking, their job is essentially to defend us, represent us overseas, keep the post roads straight and the post office open, coin our money, and count us once in a while. They’ve shown they’re not good at sticking to this original list, but now they try to do a massive list of other stuff they’re not legally permitted, Constitutionally speaking. Issuing loans, feeding kids, welfare, healthcare, taxing the states and then holding those taxes over the states’ heads in the form of highway grants and whatnot; all this is outside their jurisdiction. They’re also not very good at any of that other stuff, either. Were the government to get off our backs, close all those useless and Constitutionally unjustifiable agencies, return power to the states, where it belongs, and permit the states to set their own agendas, perhaps we would not be in the sick situation we are today.
    The lesson I draw from our system today is that centralization of power and decision making is never a really good thing. Currently, our government is like the Soviet model, and moving closer and closer to the Soviet model every day. Under Obama, as well as decades of other legislators, we’ve seen the growth of federal power and control to the point where we’re becoming a command economy. Command economies don’t work very well and ours is in the doldrums. I can only imagine what it would be like if the government were 50-75% smaller and forced to go around with hat in hand to the states for what it wanted.
    For those of you who think the wealthy have far too much power, with an all-mighty federal government calling all the shots, the opportunity for corruption and manipulation are far higher than with power held at the state level and below. While the states have plenty of corruption, as well, power is also much closer to the people and it is easier for them to make their voices heard. I would much rather have to fight with my governor and state house over a bad decision than sit back while the President appoints tax cheats and big money lobbiests to unelected, un-checked Czar positions.
    Also, allow me to point out the sheer insanity of the current government, which is so large and so powerful, that its employees make nearly 2 times the national average. These people, who generally can’t be fired for even the most absurd behavior, have become another wealthy class in America. They’re the new Mandarins. They’re untouchable, many don’t even pay their taxes, and they have the power of bureaucracy. Take note-these days when Obama talks about the need to sacrifice, we’ve already done sacrifice, while these folks have bulletproof pensions, healthcare, vacation time, permissive work schedules, “tenure,” and special job placement and preference in hiring for other government positions. If you’re a government worker and for some insane reason your job actually goes away, they’ll find you a new place to sit and keep you employed.
    I wonder what the middle class would think if they knew just how sweet government workers get it while creating the rules and regulations to make the middle class’ life a living hell. It’s like a 4 pound tick on a 3 pound dog.

    These are the issues that are dragging down this economy. Want to start a business that could enrich you, provide income for employees, and expand the economy? You better get a good lawyer and a good accountant and some friends in high places, because you’re about to begin navigating a sick, corrupt, insane system of rules and regulations and taxes. You’ll need to insure OSHA can’t gig you for having a wheelchair ramp at the wrong angle or no warnings on your cleaning supplies. You better be prepared for insane taxes on the most absurd things, i.e. NYC’s infamous generator tax. (If you have a power generator in NYC, where the power does sometimes go out, you have to pay a massive tax on it.) At the Nashville Airport in TN, the taxes are so bad, you could end up paying nearly the same amount in taxes you did for the car rental. Then, there are permits and whatnot you have to deal with. And you might have to deal with unions interfering with your business. This government is extremely union-friendly, so don’t expect to play hardbal with them. You saw how Obama waded in when unions faced off with Wisconsin. Before you ever get a chance to offer the public anything, you have to go through the bureaucratic maze.

    Then there’s also the loaded free trade system we’re stuck with. Globalization and free trade have been watchwords since Bush Sr. and Clinton got us into things like GATT and NAFTA. If you’ll remember, we were promised it would make us all rich. And you’ll also remember Ross Perot telling us it would send all our jobs to Mexico. Well, we’ve seen the results. Big business made a killing and all our jobs were sent to the cheapest workers in the world. It’s interesting to see us swear off tariffs on foreign goods, which were once the sole source of Federal revenue. Good luck with your business if you’re competing with workers in China who can do what you do for pennies on the dollar.

    I’m done rambling but take note. Government is the problem. Socialism won’t cure the problem. Don’t expect a solution from the same folks who created the problem in the first place.

  • Libertearian

    Government is the problem–always has been, always will be. I believe that Thomas Jefferson was right–if liberty is to be preserved, a revolution will be required every generation. I am not advocating violence; I also do not believe that the current Boobus Americanus would know liberty if it hit him the face.

    Government is a cancer that grows. So, taxes must grow and liberties must be taken away to allow it’s growth.

    Tax the rich? Sure. Go ahead. And where does the rich man get the money he pays for taxes? Does the landlord not raise his rent? Does the one who owns a major food supplier not raise the price of foods.

    Taxes are ALWAYS paid by the poor, if not initially, than ultimately. The graduated income tax is a ruse to convince the working man that he is not paying, but the government is “sticking it to the rich man”. Ha. Stick it to the rich man and he just rolls the shat down hill.

  • http://www.pathtoasia.com rhea

    As long as Americans have food stamps, unemployment, tax credits, social security, medicare, easy bankruptcy, section 8, etc, then things will not explode here. Hmmm. But pray tell what happens when the free money dries up? (which is most certainly will) What happens then?…

    We help Americans find jobs and prosperity in Asia. For details, visit http://www.pathtoasia.com/jobs/

  • Tao Jones

    “Tax the rich? Sure. Go ahead. And where does the rich man get the money he pays for taxes? Does the landlord not raise his rent? Does the one who owns a major food supplier not raise the price of foods.

    Taxes are ALWAYS paid by the poor, if not initially, than ultimately. The graduated income tax is a ruse to convince the working man that he is not paying, but the government is “sticking it to the rich man”. Ha. Stick it to the rich man and he just rolls the shat down hill.”

    Are you listening, Gary?

    Please print these words out and hang them on your refridgerator. repeat them every day, at all times and seasons.

    Allow them to permeate your mind, and you will understand why your “Tax the rich!” mantra is no solution to government corruption.

  • Steve

    Create more.
    Consume(alot) less.

  • pogue

    Folks with the attitude that we can just soak the rich are kind of silly. What do you do when you run out of rich? Soak the middle? It’s like that pic I saw of the guy with the sign that read, “Who cares if oil goes up? I ride the bus!”

  • Me too

    Welcome to the machine!!!! We are the generation who are witnessing the collapse of America as a nation. We were all brainwashed in grade school to believe that America is the best nation in the world and that it will never fall, but you are going to have to change that mindset and sooner than you want. Within just a few short years from now, you are going to see America completely fail. The money will become unspendable (worthless) and the government will fall as a whole. They already have policing forces set in place to control the crowds of people who will be protesting across the nation, but protesting will do no good because it will all be too late (its actually already too late). There is going to be mass starvation especially in the cities. Mostly no one has any knowledge any more of how to grow food. As soon as the semi trucks stop delivering food, the food in the grocery stores will last a few hours. Then whatever you can keep criminals out of in your home will only last you a few months at the very best. Electricity will be out nationwide for good – or until a new government comes into play. So are you ready? Are you really ready? You read this and think, this is just some crazy guy or gal who does not know what they are talking about. REALLY??? Did you ever think you would see the reality of right now? If you are wise, you will either prepare a place with lots of food and such, or you will leave this country now while they are still allowing you to – well that is if you have a passport. They have already began the process of holding people hostage in America – just try and go to Canada or Mexico… NO WAY…. not without a passport. You are a prisoner already and did not even realize it. Have fun in the next 10 years!!!!

  • http://outbacksteakhousecoupons.co Matthew C. Kriner

    I went to University to study economics for 2 years, and I swear I learned more from 1 week of reading your blog then I did the whole time there.

    • Michael

      Matthew:

      Thank you – I didn’t learn much when I had economics courses as an undergraduate either.

      Michael

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