Inquiring minds are reading an important post “20 Signs That The Economic Collapse Has Already Begun…” over at theeconomiccollapseblog. In it the authors set up a compelling scenario:
For most Americans, the economic collapse is something that is happening to someone else. Most of us have become so isolated from each other and so self-involved that unless something is directly affecting us or a close family member than we really don’t feel it. But even though most of us enjoy a much closer relationship with our television sets than we do with our neighbors at this point, it is quickly becoming undeniable that a fundamental shift is taking place in society. Perhaps you noticed it when two or three foreclosure signs went up on your street. Or perhaps it got your attention when that nice fellow down the street lost his job, and he and his family seemingly just disappeared from the neighborhood one day. The Census Bureau made front page headlines all over the nation this week when they announced that one out of every seven Americans was living in poverty in 2009. Every single day more Americans are getting sucked out of the middle class and into soul-crushing poverty.
And maybe the real problem is this point makes:
Unfortunately, most Americans don’t really care because it has not affected them yet.
But this year, millions more Americans will discover that the music has stopped playing and they are left without a seat at the table.
Meanwhile, neither political party has a workable solution. They just like to point fingers and blame each other.
Maybe the the universe ends with narcissism as the real culprit. Or narcissism and greed (the other side of the same coin) to be more exact.
The post is well written and worth the time to read in its entirety.
The 20 Signs?
#1 The Census Bureau says that 43.6 million Americans are now living in poverty and according to them that is the highest number of poor Americans in 51 years of record-keeping.
#2 In the year 2000, 11.3 percent of Americans were living in poverty. In 2008, 13.2 percent of Americans were living in poverty. In 2009, 14.3 percent of Americans were living in poverty. Needless to say the trend is moving in the wrong direction.
#3 In 2009 alone, approximately 4 million more Americans joined the ranks of the poor.
#4 According to the Associated Press, experts believe that 2009 saw the largest single year increase in the U.S. poverty rate since the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures back in 1959.
#5 The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
#6 Today the United States has approximately 4 million fewer wage earners than it did in 2007.
#7 Nearly 10 million Americans now receive unemployment insurance, which is almost four times as many as were receiving it in 2007.
#8 U.S. banks repossessed 25 percent more homes in August 2010 than they did in August 2009.
#9 One out of every seven mortgages in the United States was either delinquent or in foreclosure during the first quarter of 2010.
#10 There are now 50.7 million Americans who do not have health insurance. One trip to the emergency room would be all it would take to bankrupt a significant percentage of them.
#11 More than 50 million Americans are now on Medicaid, the U.S. government health care program designed principally to help the poor.
#12 There are now over 41 million Americans on food stamps.
#13 The number of Americans enrolled in the food stamp program increased a whopping 55 percent from December 2007 to June 2010.
#14 One out of every six Americans is now being served by at least one government anti-poverty program.
#15 California’s poverty rate soared to 15.3 percent in 2009, which was the highest in 11 years.
#16 According to an analysis by Isabel Sawhill and Emily Monea of the Brookings Institution, 10 million more Americans (including 6 million more children) will slip into poverty over the next decade.
#17 According to a recently released Federal Reserve report, Americans experienced a $1.5 trillion loss in combined household net worth in the second quarter of 2010.
#18 Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.
#19 Median U.S. household income is down 5 percent from its peak of more than $52,000 in 1999.
#20 A study recently released by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College University found that Americans are $6.6 trillion short of what they need for retirement.
Pretty bleak. Especially considering the demographics of this country. This blog has stated before that there is a huge difference between this economic ‘recession’ and the one that happened in the early 90’s. The baby boomers are 20 years older and don’t have the time to start their lives over again.
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