Sunday, January 6, 2013

60 Facts That Prove The American Middle Class is Being Wiped Out

Michael Snyder, Contributor
Activist Post

The middle class in the United States is being systematically destroyed, and nobody is doing much of anything to stop it.  Our incomes are shrinking, our share of the income pie is at an all-time low, our jobs are being sent overseas, debt burdens have soared to unprecedented heights and millions of formerly middle class Americans have fallen into poverty.

America once had the largest and most vibrant middle class that the world has ever seen, but now it is rapidly being shredded.  Unfortunately, this is particularly true for younger Americans.  Today, families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.  That is astounding.  The truth is that there are not enough decent jobs for the hordes of young people that are entering the marketplace each year.

Once upon a time, a college degree was just about a guaranteed ticket to the middle class, but in 2011 more than half of all college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.  Sadly, statistics tell us that the younger you are, the less likely you are to have a chance to live "the American Dream". Nearly half the country already lives in a household that receives direct financial assistance from the federal government, and that percentage grows with each passing day.

We are rapidly being transformed from a country of middle class citizens into a country of impoverished government dependents.  If dramatic changes are not made, the middle class in America will continue to decline every single year.  What would our society look like if the middle class disappeared entirely at some point?

The following are 60 facts that prove that the middle class in America is being wiped out...

#1 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.

#2 As the middle class shrinks, more Americans than ever have been forced to become dependent on the federal government.  Federal spending on welfare programs has reached nearly a trillion dollars a year, and that does not even count Social Security or Medicare.  Welfare spending is now 16 times larger than when the "war on poverty" began.

#3 Median household income in the U.S. has fallen for four consecutive years.  Overall, it has declined by over $4,000 during that time span.

#4 The U.S. economy continues to trade good paying jobs for low paying jobs. 60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.

#5 The number of Americans living in poverty has increased by more than 15 million since the turn of the century.

#6 The number of Americans on food stamps has grown from 17 million in the year 2000 to more than 47 million today.

#7 Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.  Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps.

#8 According to the Pew Research Center, 61 percent of all American households were "middle class" back in 1971.  Today, that figure has fallen to 51 percent.

#9 In the United States today, 35 percent of all households live on $35,000 or less each year.

#10 One recent survey discovered that 85 percent of all middle class Americans believe that it is harder to maintain a middle class standard of living today than it was 10 years ago.

#11 62 percent of all middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.

#12 According to one survey, 77 percent of all Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time.

#13 In 1989, the debt to income ratio of the average American family was about 58 percent.  Today it is up to 154 percent.

#14 Total U.S. household debt grew from just 1.4 trillion dollars in 1980 to a whopping 13.7 trillion dollars in 2007.  This played a huge role in the financial crisis of 2008, and the problem has still not been solved.

#15 While debt loads for middle class families are going up, the net worth of those same families is going down.  According to the Federal Reserve, the median net worth of families in the United States declined "from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010".

#16 The percentage of working age Americans with a job has been below 59 percent for 40 months in a row.

#17 Today there are about 3.25 million Americans that say that they want a job but that have not searched for a job in more than a year because they believe that it is so hopeless.

#18 When you total up all working age Americans that do not have a job in America today, it comes to more than 100 million.

#19 The unemployment rate for African-Americans rose dramatically from 13.2 percent in November to 14.0 percent in December.

#20 The unemployment rate for Americans in the 18 to 29 year-old age bracket is 11.5 percent overall.  For African-Americans in that age group, the unemployment rate is now up to 22.1 percent.  Millions of young people believe that the system has totally failed them.

#21 Families that have a head of household under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.
#22 Last year, an astounding 53 percent of all U.S. college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.

#23 Today, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents.

#24 According to the Tax Policy Center, the recent fiscal cliff deal will raise taxes more for those making between $30,000 and $200,000 a year than it will for those making between $200,000 and $500,000 a year.

#25 According to a Gallup survey, only 60 percent of all Americans say that they have enough money to live comfortably.

#26 One recent survey found that 63 percent of all Americans believe that the U.S. economic model is broken.

#27 Each year, the average American must work 107 days just to make enough money to pay local, state and federal taxes.

#28 Consumer debt in America has risen by a whopping 1700 percent since 1971.

#29 There are now 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing.  That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.

#30 The average American household spent approximately $4,155 on gasoline during 2011, and electricity bills in the U.S. have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.

#31 According to USA Today, many Americans have actually seen their water bills triple over the past 12 years.

#32 Health insurance costs have risen by 23 percent since Barack Obama became president. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, health care costs accounted for just 9.5% of all personal consumption back in 1980.  Today they account for approximately 16.3%.

#33 In 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance.  Today, only 55.1 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.

#34 According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 46 percent of all American workers have less than $10,000 saved for retirement, and 29 percent of all American workers have less than $1,000 saved for retirement.

#35 The United States has lost an average of approximately 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

#36 The United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

#37 According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.

#38 In 2000, there were more than 17 million Americans working in manufacturing, but now there are less than 12 million.

#39 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

#40 Since 2000, U.S. multinational corporations have eliminated 2.9 million jobs in the United States and have added 2.4 million jobs overseas.

#41 According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades if current trends continue.

#42 According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 declined by 27 percent after you account for inflation.

#43 At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less.  If that sounds like a high figure, that is because it is.  Today, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.

#44 According to the Pew Research Center, only 23 percent of all American workers believe that they have enough money to get them through retirement.

#45 According to the Economic Policy Institute, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans households on average have 288 times the amount of wealth that the average middle class American family does.

#46 In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

1 Troy Ounce Silver Medallion
#47 According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined.

#48 The six heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have a net worth that is roughly equal to the bottom 30 percent of all Americans combined.

#49 At this point, the poorest 50 percent of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.

#50 The United States now ranks 93rd in the world in income inequality.

#51 The average CEO now makes approximately 350 times as much as the average American worker makes.

#52 Corporate profits as a percentage of GDP are at an all-time high.  Meanwhile, wages as a percentage of GDP are near an all-time low.

#53 Today, 40 percent of all Americans have $500 or less in savings.

#54 One recent survey found that 28 percent of all Americans do not have a single penny saved for emergencies.

#55 Shockingly, at this point 48 percent of all Americans are either considered to be "low income" or are living in poverty.

#56 According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of "Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming."

#57 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an all-time record 49 percent of all Americans live in a home where at least one person receives financial assistance from the federal government.  Back in 1983, that number was less than 30 percent.

#58 According to U.S. Census data, 57 percent of all American children live in a home that is either considered to be "poor" or "low income".

#59 For the first time ever, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless.

#60 According to a stunning new Gallup survey, 65 percent of all Americans believe that 2013 will be a year of "economic difficulty".

This article first appeared here at the The Truth.  Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.


This article may be re-posted in full with attribution.


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Paul Panza said...

I agree that the info on the shrinking middle class is accurate except for #2 which should include the military. The military is a welfare state in itself as it produces no usable product or quality for society - not even the elusive "Freedom" that weapons and warfare are suppose to generate according to their "might makes right logic". A real irony here is that we are supposed to be a classless society.

Anonymous said...

Look up how many people work inside the federal & private prison system at a pay rate of $1 hour for fed inmates & $6 a hour of the private prisions. The USA war on drugs provived this cheap labor force the big corps expoit for huge profits while millions of people busted for Pot work for peanuts a day!Your a slave one way or another if you are born in the USA, your SS number is your slave number & the court system & war on drugs is just a part to slave labor while milions remain jobless!

Anonymous said...

If you're on the ropes, consider joining/starting a community agrarian based venture and thumb your noses at the tortured, regimented population striving for gewgaws and living a physically and psychologically unhealthy life.

When I was a kid in New England there were "Poor Farms", where the impecunious in the community would live, work and survive on the fruits and profits of their labor. I often wonder what obsoleted them!

The Anabaptists have been successful with essentially the same formula for 500 years. It appears as a democratic structure that might be worth imitating.

Sincerely, have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

Sixty facts? Just sixty? Why not just point people to the protocols instead?

Anonymous said...

And who do we have to thank for this, Obama and others? And what about the government program of organized bullying called gangstalking and they have police, firemen, city hall, etc doing the bullying of innocent people.

Anonymous said...

This article clearly proves the unemployment rate in America is 50%. Our propaganda government report of 8% only includes white people collecting unemployment checks.
This can be verified by people working in unemployment offices.

Anonymous said...

agree with anonymous #2. agrarian societies are surely what will save our sanity and stave off hunger until things turn around. the less working class paying taxes the less we can fund the bs fed plague, right? maybe this can be a good thing.
sadly tptb do not want that. that is why they are actively and systematically putting working farms out of business. but that is also why communities need to build around their agrarian cores. power in #'s being poor doesn't have to mean being hopeless, destitute. just ask a farmer!

Anonymous said...

All i can say is keep voting democrat

Anonymous said...

If you add in all the people who clock in and get a goverment paycheck. I bet the rate rises closer to 83 % of all americans getting some form of goverment money.

Anonymous said...

Keep Voting? ROTFLMAO Best post ever!

Anonymous said...

People who depend on the government to exist are slaves; what happens when the government can no longer support welfare? Would you think people would stop buying from Walmart when they support the chinese not americans? Is there a reason why these millions of destitute Americans cannot band together and change this? There's only so much the gov and military can do against an angry nation. I notice football, basketball, hockey players and golfers aren't suffering. Where does their salary come from? These are evil times we live in and solutions seem so far away.

Lisa Wilbourne said...

The time for two spaces between sentences has passed. Please break the habit! It makes it difficult to read something that needs to be read.

Anonymous said...

No wonder everybody is so depressed these days. The confidence level in our people went down the drain and we just don't have enough time to keep focussed on making things positive because of the constant negativity all around us. I close my eyes and think of humanity in the future seeing skinny little cowards scratching their heads being like "I wonder how it was like 100 years ago". Money has poisoned happiness in people because we can never get enough of it, struggling against those that want us to bend over for it, and never even worked hard for it either. Biggest scammers of all time.

Anonymous said...

"A middle class is nothing more than a lower class with big debts"... Ponce

I could be a "millionair" by being in debt by ten million dollars.

I am rich by what I don't have debts.........


Dave Mowers said...

#43 is wrong the number of Americans making less than $500.00 a week is now half the country and closer to 70% of working age adults. In fact, half of all new jobs created are now minimum wage.

Anonymous said...

its a shame , and the man in office is only promoting homosexuality . what a big shame . the people need to head into the streets , 100 million of them and demand real changes . demand that all the goods we use be made in usa

Anonymous said...

Surely that's a good thing - why do we need classes anyway?

Anonymous said...

DO YOU remember that special security team that was in iraq that one that was private YOU KNOW WHO THEY PROTECT NOW

Anonymous said...

Well, giving the DREAM ACT (in state college tuition to ILLEGAL ALIENS) plus financial aide isn't helping anything either.

Of course, I tried to point this out numerous times in the state of CA and Gov Brown bragged about passing this (plus I pointed out the millions of dollars that were hidden in the PARKS System-while our state threatened to close 70 parks) which makes me suspect this is also going on other areas and that the Politicians of CA were like irresponsible drunken sailors and completely unworthy of any more money sent their way, but dummies of CA passed some more taxes onto themselves anyway.

No wonder our state is in such a mess. It's over-run by ILLEGAL ALIENS and the people (even though there's Silicon Valley) lack total common sense or are apathetic or too distracted and care only about their latest gadgets, sports or some form of entertainment such as Lady Gaga, American Idol, etc.

Well, the strategy of Bread-Circus distraction worked like a charm in CA. I'm afraid the only people who are active in that state are the ILLEGAL ALIENS and pro ILLEGAL ALIENS.

And oh yea, if I complain about ILLEGAL ALIENS, I'm a racist Xenophobe Nazi while simultaneously, they ignore LA RAZA, MEChA and others teaching RECONQUISTA-AZTLAN (to reclaim the former Mexican territory ranging from the state of CA to CO-TX) and there's the NICAN TLACA and the Mexica Movement as well that go beyond RECONQUISTA-AZTLAN. They want to reclaim the entire Americas.

Well, certainly ILLEGAL ALIENS are not the only source of fiscal woes. There's also the Banksters and FED Reserve. There's the Chambers of Commerces and other non profits and NGO's (like CARL GUARDINO of the SILICON VALLEY LEADERSHIP GROUP) and Russel Hancock fo Inside Joint Venture who collaborates with Carl Guardino who are constantly heard on KLIV RADIO saying, "IMMIGRATION REFORM." "IMMIGRATION REFORM" really means: GLOBALISM-Open Borders-No USA Borders, MORE VISA-GREEN CARD Workers and ILLEGAL ALIENS.

It makes me sick to hear any radio station (in this case, KLIV RADIO) and the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS carry the likes of CARL GUARDINO (who also promotes AGENSA 21-ICLEI (which his constant talk about GLOBAL WARMING-CLIMATE CHANGE, bullet trains, trains and bikes as well as SMART GRIDS-METERS but I listen and read anyway and I try to pass out my warnings about them anyway and I'm very busy continually writing to our "Representatives" iin the hopes that they would actually "represent"(which I never vote for twice) us but as we can see, our "representatives" have made it crystal clear over the decades that they have a loyalty to an upcoming GLOBAL GOVERNMENT and have been betraying their own citizens for decades, but trying to explain that to anybody seems like trying to explain how to turn a doorknob to a cow.

Anonymous said...

Authors -- We know the problems. Rehashing them helps to remind us of the problems, but what solutions do you offer?

Anonymous said...

If you want someone to blame for this financial and economic crisis, blame the 2/3rds majority in congress that voted for NAFTA and GATT and to deregulate the banks. Your own represenatives in congress have sold you out to special interest.

The U.S. government is not a democacy where the majority rules. It is an oligarchy ruled by plutocrats. Both parties republican and democrat are 2 sides to the same coin.

What is needed is a complete house cleaning. Kick the political hacks out along with their cronies. The whole system is badly broken and needs to be reformed from top to bottom.

The U.S. is technically bankrupt. How are you going to pay a national debt off that is over 16 trillion dollars with the unemployed, people working part time and for less money. The figures just don't add up.

If you think things are bad now, wait until the inerest rates go up in 2014 and the bond market crashes along with the bursting of the derivitives bubble. This will be the final death stroke of the economy. The U.S. will be in a full blown depression.

The isiders at the top of the financial pyramid will bail out with their golden parachutes with a silver lining and make a soft landing while the debt surf slaves crash to the bottom bearing the full brunt of the blow.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? Your post adds nothing to this discussion about middle class reduction. Post pet peeves elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

More proof union busting by RepubliCONS over the past 30 years has completely destroyed the decent wages and benefits. We are being forced into wage slaves so the CEO's can reap massive profits off our ever increasing productivity.

Currently Right to Work Laws are being passed to bring former union states into the same decline the South is in. All states who vote Right to Work end up making less money with less benefits. No one making less money can afford to buy the products the once well off middle class could afford.

Our decline is well underway and so is our infrustructure, public education, etc.

Anonymous said...

The title of this article is rather dishonest. You claim to have 60 facts, but some of those are just the same fact being stated more than once. Perhaps a more appropriate title would be "50 facts..."? I realize you have more than one source for some of the facts, but these should be cited at the end of the article.

Brendan R

Paul Rowlandson said...

America was created as a middle class experimemt. The experiment is now over and TPTB are implementing neofeudalism. They prefer the feudal system. They will never get their way; it's over for them.

Anonymous said...

So, eventually the slob slaves will be incentivized to rise up against the overlord pigs.

Hide Behind said...

The holiest of the holy the much talked about but least defined grouping in US social strata,"The American Middle Class", just what is it and who are they.
We like to use numbers and break them down into averages number of people/numbers of dollars and then say they who earn this are middle class and then to breakdown the middle class we throw in poverty level; and yet you see in article above that almost 50% of population must divide a meager 2.5 % or slightly more of that. Total amount of available not wealth but money supply.
An old truism applys as to real seperation of economy; Money attracts money.
50% of populace have little if any expendable incomes and not to belittle some but fact is what they do spend is not always in a prudent manner or to increase their wealth.
It is inactuality around 35 to 40% who have expendable incomes but perhaps more importantly is that they have "Access" to the means of improving upon their holdings.
Every tax,war on poverty,education, health insurance and even military spending bill increases the 30%'s wealth and further seperates them from 50% of americans.
The real income power between this mythical middle class and 50%'ers is far wider a gap than between them and the top 5%'ers.
If today more of those 30% are dropping into the impoverished ranks thenaybe they did not spend any more wisely than do 50% of
The occupy movement especially the Wall Street was not of the poor or lower middle class. No they came from areas where 350k was average income and they were po'd because they seen their chances slipping away from not just joining the 30% 350k parenys but a chance to join the 15%'ers.

Anonymous said...

And the primary cause of all this is the failure to adhere to the law of the land, the US Constitution for the last 100 years, starting with the illegal creation of the Federal Reserve.

Hide Behind said...

To try and find a singular cause for why this nation reached the seemingly chaotic level of today is no more than laziness of thought and a denial of just how drastic the situation realy is.
All that went on in the past makes us what we are today and it is as if we are at a funeral where nice things are said about some sob; the sob in this case being the middle class.
We who have lived long years and seen the many changes in american lifestyles of living are; or rather shouldbe living memories of those times, but most are only cognizant of no more than lies told then and ones they tell now.
The middle class did not exist until its beginnings in the war years 40-45. Hit its peak in 69 but had almost completely burned itself out by mid 70's; A period of time when you could be dumb as a rock with the only real skill needed was making your lunch or howto run amachine that was likely in operation in 30's.
Without massive spending projects for military we had still some 1.5 active with double that in NG and Reserves and drafted the dumb and poor along with massive amounts of guaranteed gi bill homeowner and educational loans there would of been a far worse depression than those recessions of 50's-60's became.
Farmers had to have hundreds of millions in loans and guaranteed duy up of their surplus for commodity distribution to over 2 million in the 50s.
Contrary to popular memes oil company's did need taxbreaks in order to compete world wide and keep domestic prices low as well.
Banks did need protection especially in less populated states and FDIC insured their deposits with defaults inthe 10's of millions yearly even in 70s.
CHRSLER got bailed out huge grainn and dairy and beef as well and regional state groupings to this day determine your price of milk in their areas.
Fishing boats and their owners got bought out. Fom maine to gulf coat across it and then clear to Alaska.
The first national land bank scandals were under Nixon and later when our national heroes John Glenn and Sen Mc Clain and 4 others got busted US paid up. Clintonbailed out Wall Street for bad Mexican loans but so had Kennedy made up losses to Cuba investors.
THE BCI SCANDLE and reorganization of banks and Credit Unions was far larger than even bailout of AMTRAK.
No other financial system in world could of been able to print its way if not out of danger at least it lessened the danger.
Without that early financial change one could argue that we would of seen more yhan one revolution happen.
That easy money press paid off the BLacks so they would not riot and join the federal behoden list; Good for Whites but maybe not so good for the Black race.
WHO knows.
No one can do more than surmise what condition of nation would be like today without that easy money supply but IMHO we would have even more dumb as rocks walking our streets
Yet it is very very few who today do not benefit from that easy money supply but once again there is a lot more to history than just it alone.

Anonymous said...

The government sees this but really doesn't care all they care abt is them selfs and how there pockets is doing. I heard a congress.member say he can't make it on 100,000 a year with 2 kids and a mortgage hmm how do all the other people afford to make 50,000 a make it by.when that day comes I can't wait to see the big man up stairs ask obama and all the other goonies that take advantage of us middle class and ask why did you take advantage of them.the.way its going ill be working till I die and I'm 25 now finding a good hob is hard I've been looking for the past 5 yrs to better my self but havnt had anything good come up

Anonymous said...

What can the Average American DO, starting TODAY, to EMPOWER him, or herself?


Removing your money out of any TBTF Bank is ONE thing that you can do. However, there are many, many other things that we can all do, too!

Here are just a few:

1) BOYCOTT – learn this concept well, and EMPLOY IT – against those enslaving (or poisoning) you!
3) QUESTION all ‘authority’ (Big Business/Government, Big Religion, Big Media, etc.)
4) Get out, and/or stay out, of DEBT!
5) USE CASH AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Avoid using credit, debit, and customer loyalty cards, that track your every purchase, and compromise your privacy.
6) Bank at a local credit union! Or, at a small, unaffiliated local bank.
7) VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS! (What do you support, with your time, attention, energy, and money?)(Buy true ORGANIC, & MADE IN USA! Let's put AMERICANS back to work!)
Contact your Representatives on CRITICAL issues: such as "END THE FED!"
9) Re-read the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It isn’t about hunting. It's about government tyranny, and protecting yourself from it!
10)Buy (products) Made in U.S.A.
11)Invest in precious metals, primarily SILVER (and gold) bullion, and anything of necessity that can be used as BARTER. Think Greece.
12)Buy ORGANIC food! Support your local Organic Farmer, food store or Co-op!
Support the true HEROES of organic food production (on the right side, of the following poster:
13)Start your own garden using NON-GMO, non-hybrid seeds!
14)Pray or meditate – reduce your stress! Stress is the silent killer, that opens your body to bacterial, viral, and free radical attack!
15)Read a book, you know, an actual book! Open your mind!
16)Exercise your brain muscle!
17)Listen to soothing classical, jazz, ambient or other music you thoroughly enjoy!
19)Take a high-quality daily multi-vitamin

Anonymous said...

It appears that there are 3 big culprits from my interaction with people in trouble.

1. NAFTA - Ross Perot was 100% correct (youtube Ross Perot NAFTA)
2. Community Reinvestment Act which started "Subprime" and creative lending (google federal register CRA)
3. US reduction of real Science Degrees (google NSF US Science graduates)

These 3 things are the root cause of most of the ailments suffered by the US

Anonymous said...

The Obama economy in full swing

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