So how's that economic recovery workin out for ya?
Yea, you've got change all right. For the worse...
The american dream. Alive and well - in Canada:
Half The Country Makes Less Than $27,520 A Year And 15 Other Signs The
Middle Class Is Dying
If you make more than $27,520 a year at your job, you are doing better
than half the country is. But you don't have to take my word for it,
you can check out the latest wage statistics from the Social Security
administration right here.
But of course $27,520 a year will not allow you to live "the American
Dream" in this day and age. After taxes, that breaks down to a good bit
less than $2,000 a month. You can't realistically pay a mortgage, make
a car payment, afford health insurance and provide food, clothing and
everything else your family needs for that much money. That is one of
the reasons why both parents are working in most families today. In
fact, sometimes both parents are working multiple jobs in a desperate
attempt to make ends meet.
Over the years, the cost of living has risen steadily but our paychecks
have not. This has resulted in a steady erosion of the middle class.
Once upon a time, most American families could afford a nice home, a
couple of cars and a nice vacation every year. When I was growing up,
it seemed like almost everyone was middle class. But now "the American
Dream" is out of reach for more Americans than ever, and the middle
class is dying right in front of our eyes.
One of the things that was great about America in the post-World War II
era was that we developed a large, thriving middle class. Until recent
times, it always seemed like there were plenty of good jobs for people
that were willing to be responsible and work hard. That was one of the
big reasons why people wanted to come here from all over the world.
They wanted to have a chance to live "the American Dream" too.
But now the American Dream is becoming a mirage for most people. No
matter how hard they try, they just can't seem to achieve it.
And here are some hard numbers to back that assertion up. The following
are 15 more signs that the american middle class is dying...
#1 According to a brand new CNN poll, 59 percent of americans believe
that it has become impossible for most people to achieve the American
The American Dream is impossible to achieve in this country.
So say nearly 6 in 10 people who responded to CNNMoney's American
Dream Poll, conducted by ORC International. They feel the dream --
however they define it -- is out of reach.
Young adults, age 18 to 34, are most likely to feel the dream
is unattainable, with 63% saying it's impossible. This age
group has suffered in the wake of the Great Recession, finding
it hard to get good jobs.
#2 More americans than ever believe that homeownership is not a key to
long-term wealth and prosperity...
The great American Dream is dying. Even though many americans
still desire to own a home, they are losing faith in
homeownership as a key to prosperity.
Nearly two-thirds of americans, or 64%, believe they are less
likely to build wealth by buying a home today than they were
20 or 30 years ago, according to a survey sponsored by non-
profit MacArthur Foundation. And nearly 43% said buying a home
is no longer a good long-term investment.
#3 Overall, the rate of homeownership in the United States has fallen
for eight years in a row, and it has now dropped to the lowest level in
#4 52 percent of americans cannot even afford the house that they are
living in right now...
"Over half of americans (52%) have had to make at least one major
sacrifice in order to cover their rent or mortgage over the last
three years, according to the How Housing Matters Survey,
which was commissioned by the nonprofit John D. and Catherine
T. MacArthur Foundation and carried out by Hart Research
Associates. These sacrifices include getting a second job,
deferring saving for retirement, cutting back on health care,
running up credit card debt, or even moving to a less safe
neighborhood or one with worse schools."
#5 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 36 percent of americans
under the age of 35 own a home. That is the lowest level that has ever
#6 Right now, approximately one out of every six men in the United
States that are in their prime working years (25 to 54) do not have a
#7 The labor force participation rate for americans from the age of 25
to the age of 29 has fallen to an all-time record low.
#8 The number of working age americans that are not employed has
increased by 27 million since the year 2000.
#9 According to the government's own numbers, about 20 percent of the
families in the entire country do not have a single member that is
employed at this point.
#10 This may sound crazy, but 25 percent of all american adults do not
even have a single penny saved up for retirement.
#11 As I noted in one recent article, total consumer credit in the
United States has increased by 22 percent over the past three years, and
56 percent of all americans have "subprime credit" at this point.
#12 Major retailers are shutting down stores at the fastest pace that we
have seen since the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
#13 It is hard to believe, but more than one out of every five children
in the United States is living in poverty in 2014.
#14 According to one recent report, there are 49 million americans that
are dealing with food insecurity right now.
#15 Overall, the U.S. poverty rate is up more than 30 percent since
1966. It looks like LBJ's war on poverty didn't work out too well after
Sadly, it does not appear that there is much hope on the horizon for the
american middle class. More good jobs are being shipped out of the
country and are being lost to technology every single day, and our
politicians seem convinced that "business as usual" is the right course
of action for our nation.
Unless something dramatic happens, it is going to become increasingly
difficult to eke out a middle class existence as a "worker bee" in
American society. The truth is that most big companies these days do
not have any loyalty to their workers and really do not care what ends
up happening to them.
To thrive in this kind of environment, new and different thinking is
required. The paradigm of "go to college, get a job, stay loyal and
retire after 30 years" has been shattered. The business world is more
unstable now than it has been during any point in the post-World War II
era, and we are all going to have to adjust.