Thursday, November 25, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving! Are You Better Off Today Than You Were Four Years Ago?
As you gather around the table with your family this Thanksgiving, ask yourself this question: are you better off today than you were four years ago? Unfortunately, most Americans are not. Both political parties have controlled the White House during the last four years - Barack Obama has been in office for nearly two years and before him it was George W. Bush - and yet no matter what politicians we send to Washington D.C. things just seem to keep getting worse. We buy more than we produce, we spend more than we bring in, we have 18 times as many "problem banks" as we did 4 years ago, the number of Americans on food stamps continues to set a new all-time record every month and we are living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world. But at least the majority of Americans are still prosperous enough to enjoy a happy Thanksgiving inside a warm, comfortable home. Unfortunately, if things keep going the way they are going, we are going to experience a national economic nightmare that nobody will be thankful for.
If you watch the economic statistics from week to week and month to month, it will seem like sometimes they are getting worse and sometimes they are getting better. However, once you take a longer-term view of things, exactly what is happening to us starts to come clearly into focus. The truth is that the United States is in the midst of a long-term economic collapse, and many economic statistics just keep getting worse every single year.
The following are 11 statistics that reveal just how far the U.S. economy has fallen over the past four years....
#1 In November 2006, the "official" U.S. unemployment rate was 4.5 percent. Today, the "official" U.S. unemployment rate has been at 9.5 percent or greater for more than a year.
#2 At Thanksgiving back in 2006, 26 million Americans were on food stamps. Today, there are over 42 million Americans on food stamps and that number is climbing rapidly.
#3 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the United States fell from $51,726 in 2008 to $50,221 in 2009. Median household income declined the year before that too. Meanwhile, prices have continued to rise throughout that period.
#4 At the end of the third quarter in 2006, 47 banks were on the FDIC "problem list". At the end of the third quarter in 2010, 860 banks were on the FDIC "problem list".
#5 California home builders began construction on 1,811 homes during the month of August, which was down 77% from August 2006.