THE STANDARD OF LIVING OF THE TYPICAL MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICAN IS COLLAPSING
THE FIGURES ARE FRIGHTENING—AND ARE GOING TO GET WORSE
This is my eleventh year monitoring this country’s decline in reasonable detail—and the most remarkable thing about it is the fact that, although it is happening in plain sight—and is hurting the majority of the population, there is no serious sustained discussion about it—and no political movement to put things right.
If I hadn’t witnessed it for myself, I would never have believed that Americans would have behaved this way—as victims waiting for the economic slaughter—while being slaughtered.
Even more surprising is the happy habit of many Americans of voting against their own interests—especially in the Midterms—or not voting at all. All too many Americans have lost faith in American democracy—and for very good reason. We don’t have democracy any more.
I get my information from many sources—because cross-checking is the name of the game—but let me draw your attention to a consistently useful one www.mybudget360.com This is written by Edward Jones, author of 10 Day Money Boot Camp and claims to reach 7,000,000 readers—no mean achievement, if true.
I know absolutely nothing about him—except that he covers issues concerning the basic business of economic survival with some clarity—which is more than most politicians do.
Let me quote from a recent piece.
What is important is to look at income in relation to the cost of living. A new home was about twice the annual average income. Today, with the median household income being $50,000 and your typical new home costing $298,000 we are definitely on the more expensive side (6 times annual income versus 2 back in 1938). Look at the new car costs. A new car cost about $860 or half of annual income. Today, a regular car can cost $32,000 and most will need to finance it. Tuition to Harvard was $420 per year and today Harvard tuition is nearly $62,000 with room and board:
This decline has been taking place since the Seventies. Initially, it was less apparent because a second (or additional) household member went to work. Much later, the most common practice was to borrow against the supposed ever-rising value of one’s house. Both temporary solutions delayed the reality that household income—which was virtually static in real terms for decades—was not keeping place with inflation.
Then came the Great Depression. That officially ended in 2009 (believe it or not) but a significant percentage of the population is scarcely aware of that fact—except through the media.
Currently, we are back to ever increasing debt, the Middle Class continuing to lose ground regardless—and the rich getting ever richer. Meanwhile, crucial costs continue to rise—while the Fed continue to state that inflation is not a problem.
How do they get away with this absurd claim? First, they are the Fed—so have enormous power. Secondly, the way they define inflation does not include certain costs, like housing, which are rising rapidly.
This is intellectual dishonesty on an epic scale. It is just one tiny example of how the system is rigged to favor the rich—and bleed the typical American.
Will the next presidential election in 2016 change all this? I doubt it very much. The issues are scarcely being discussed—and almost no politicians are raising the issues.
It is mind-boggling.
Could anything be done about it? A very great deal. This situation is primarily a consequence of political decisions—not unstoppable economic forces.
The worrying thing is that, at a certain point, sheer momentum takes 0ver—and the speed of the collapse accelerates.
The economy won’t collapse in the matter of a house. Superficially, life will continue much as normal. However, the quality of life of an ever increasing number of people will be grim—and become grimmer.
That process is well underway. The darker the color of your skin—the grimmer the situation.
It upsets me greatly to have to write this way. Why do I do so? Because it is the job of writers like myself to illuminate the human condition—whether we like it or not.
As the military would say—it’s our mission. Sometimes, it is a depressing one.
VOR words c. 600.