Sunday, May 29, 2011

why is the economy so bad?

and 44 million Americans are on food stamps.  This is causing an increasing number of Americans to ask this question: "Why is the economy so bad?"  There are some Americans that are old enough to remember the Great Depression, but the vast majority of us have never known hard times.  All our lives we were told that America was the greatest economy on the planet and that we would always experience endless prosperity in this nation.  That was easy to believe because even though we had a recession once in a while, things always bounced back and got even better than ever.  But now something seems different.  The current economic downturn began back in 2007 and yet here we are in 2011 and there seems to be no end in sight for this economic crisis.

- in 2006 an average of 5 million Americans hired each month

- unemployment claims have been above 400k for 7 weeks in a row
only 66.8% American men had a job last year, the lowest level ever recorded

- U.S. has outsourced overseas 50k manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the WTO

while 49% of new jobs are in "low wage" fields

- 1/8 Americans is on food stamps

- in 2010, for the first time in history, over 1 million homes were repossessed
today over 6.4 million  homes are delinquent or in foreclosure
contracts to buy new homes are at a 7-month low
there's 120 million more people in the U.S. now then in 1963
yet home purchases are about half the level they were at that time

- in 1980, health care costs accounted for 9.5% of personal consumption
now they account for an average of 16.3%
41% are in some form of medical debt or are continuing to make payments

- 54% of Americans plan to continue working after they retire
Americans are $6.6 trillion short of what they need to comfortably retire in the future

- 26% of workers hired in 2010 were for temporary jobs

- between 1979 & 2007 average incomes of the top 1% soared from $346,600 to $1.3 million
during the same period, average income for the middle class increased only slightly
the poorest 50% jointly own only 2.5% of the wealth in the US

- of those that make less than $30,000 only 46% believe we are in a depression
of those making $75 million or more, only 23% believe the same

- 58% of the members of Congress are millionaires

- the US National debt is 14 times larger then when Ronald Reagan took office
59% of Americans receive government assistance of some form
US households are receiving more money from the government then they are paying in taxes
in 1980, government payments accounted for 11.7% of all income, now 18.4%

- State & local debt has reached an all-time high of 22% of US GDP

- $2 trillion estimated to bring national infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc)up to acceptable standards

- small business (less than 500 employees) accounts for 50% of US employment
creating 60-80% of new jobs
strict regulations & taxes make running a small business unprofitable, thus terminating job growth

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