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19 Reasons Why You Can Laugh When Anyone Tells You That The Economy Is In Good Shape

June 11, 2014
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Source: Michael Snyder, Op-ED

Have you heard the one about the “economic recovery” in the United States?  It’s quite funny, but it is not actually true.  Every day, the establishment media points to the fact that global stock markets have soared to unprecedented heights as evidence that the economy is improving.  But just because a bunch of wealthy people have gotten temporarily even richer on paper does not mean that the real economy is in good shape.  In fact, as you will see below, things just continue to get even tougher for the poor and the middle class.  Retail stores are closing at the fastest pace since the fall of Lehman Brothers, the rate of homeownership in this country is the lowest that it has been in 19 years, one out of every five families do not have a single member that is employed, and one out of every five children is living in poverty.  We are working harder, earning less and going into more debt.  With each passing day, the middle class gets a little bit smaller and the ranks of the poor get a little bit larger.  But at least the stock market is doing great, eh?

If the U.S. economy really was doing well, government dependence would not beat epidemic levels.

If the U.S. economy really was doing well, we wouldn’t have more than a million public school children that are homeless.

If the U.S. economy really was doing well, the percentage of Americans that have a job would not be lower than it was when the last recession supposedly “ended”.

Nobody that takes an honest look at the numbers can honestly say that the U.S. economy has recovered.  The following are 19 reasons why you can laugh when anyone tells you that the economy is in good shape…

#1 RadioShack just announced that it is going to close an additional 200 stores on top of what it was already planning to close.

#2 During the first quarter of this year, reported earnings by major U.S. retailers missed estimates by the largest margin in 13 years.

#3 One out of every three grocery store workers in the state of California is on some form of public assistance.

#4 The percentage of Americans that believe that it is a “good time to buy a home” is the lowest that it has been in four years.

#5 According to one recent survey, 52 percent of Americans cannot even afford the house that they are living in right now.

#6 Sadly, only 36 percent of American adults under the age of 35 currently own a home.  That is the lowest level that has ever been recorded.

#7 According to one new study, half of all college graduates are still relying on their parents financially when they are two years out of school.

#8 The number of planned job cuts by U.S. employers is on the rise again

Job cuts climbed to the highest level in more than a year, as U.S.-based employers announced plans to reduce payrolls by 52,961 in May, according to a report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

#9 Right now, one out of every six men in their prime working years (25 to 54) do not have a job.

#10 The percentage of Americans not in the labor force is still at a 36 year high.

#11 53 percent of wage earners in the United States make less than $30,000 a year.

#12 The average age of vehicles on America’s roads has hit an all-time high of11.4 years.  Are we making them better or is it just that people simply cannot afford to buy new vehicles anymore?

#13 According to Pulitzer prize-winning reporter David Cay Johnston, the economic recovery following the depths of the Great Depression was far superior to what we are experiencing today

The most eye-opening measure of how poorly the vast majority are faring these days comes from comparing the periods after the Great Recession and the Great Depression.

The 90 percent, the vast majority, saw their income decline in 2012 compared with 2009, the year the Great Recession officially ended. Average annual income was down $556, or almost 2 percent, adjusted for inflation, to $30,997.

But in 1936, three years after the Great Depression ended, the vast majority enjoyed 31 percent more income than in 1933. The average increase, in today’s dollars, was $2,146 per household.

#14 The U.S. economy did not experience any economic growth during the first quarter of 2014.  In fact, it actually contracted.

#15 The growth of furniture spending has just gone negative for the first time in about two years.

#16 More than 20 percent of all children in the U.S. are living in poverty, and49 million Americans are dealing with food insecurity.

#17 As I have written about previously, approximately 20 percent of all American families do not have a single member that is employed at this point.

#18 According to a recent Gallup survey, “Unemployment/Jobs” represents the number one concern for U.S. voters.

#19 After adjusting for inflation, median household income in the U.S. is nowabout 7 percent lower than it was in the year 2000.

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