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The Hard Cold Reality

With media attention now focusing on mid term elections where incumbent legislators are poised to capitalize on the recent unemployment figures just shows how figures can be manipulated to ensure that the status quo remains intact. Deceptive in every way are these reported figures for they really don't show the true nature of how depressed our current economic climate really is. Reporting to be a bright spot where unemployment figures have fallen is so tantalizing to so many legislators and the Administration to capitalize on these distorted facts and figures for this mid term election. They keep touting that the worst economic crisis since the 1930's is finally over. Ah Contraire, Not so fast, Don't be beguiled by all this apparent so called good news. Underreported and unreported facts and figures are like an iceberg most of which lies beneath the surface waiting to wreck more misery on our unsuspecting populace. In actuality we are being duped into thinking employment opportunities are re surging. Just recently articles in newspapers are indicating that their are jobs already available. But, they failed to mention that American workers are right near the bottom of all industrialized nations when it comes to overall workers rights.

When it comes to those who are still unemployed too many are perceived as unwilling to join the ranks of the employed. Sure there are jobs now becoming available. But contrary to what is being reported these are just lower end service and retail related industries that are hiring. And, there also are those individuals who for what ever reason are content to live on unemployment and welfare. But, the vast majority of the under employed and unemployed would rather be handed a living wage pay check than subsist of what income comes from of those measly unemployment benefits and government subsidies. What happens when those benefits run out they are caught in that inescapable circle of poverty and despair. With no apparent extension of unemployment benefits and what ever jobs are available there still remains a very high degree of anxiety and frustration as to where one is going to find enough income to stave off foreclosure, pay rent, obtain food and pay cost of living bills that are always increasing.

The economic uncertainty of today is going to continue to grow more serious. A recent report just shows how serious it is for men and women of all ages. Take for instance men's median incomes, they have been on the decline ever since the early 1970's. According to the latest Census information men between the ages of 25 to 64 are earning much less than they did 40 years ago. The report also shows that all American men ages 16 and over their median income peaked in 2000, at about $37,000. After adjusting for inflation, men's medium income have fallen by over 12%. Today, medium income is under $32,000. A living wage for 2014 means that one has to earn more than $55,000. Now when one only makes around the medium wage today at $32,000 there is no way in hell that they will ever have enough disposable income to cover the rising costs of inflation. While a 12% drop in income is bad enough it actually gets much worse when we break it down by age groups. A closer look reveals that men ages 25-34 incomes are down by almost 30%. The peak year was 1973. Men ages 35-44 medium incomes are down by over 20%. Again their incomes peaked in 1973. Men ages 45-54 incomes declined by over 18%. their incomes peaked in 1999. Pre retirement age group men ages 55-64 their incomes dropped by more than 14% while their incomes peaked back in 2003. To put these figures in perspective man ages 25 to 34 their incomes fell from $46,000 in 1973 to under $34,000 today. In each age group saw a drastic decline in their medium incomes. For women the figures show a very sobering trend on a scale much greater than the men in their declining medium incomes. When we look deeper into these figures the medium wage scales don't reflect the true nature of the majority of those workers. They are earning far less than the reported medium incomes.

What these figures show is that the United States economy while showing job growth is doing nothing to solve the economic crisis that has only continued to shove more people into the poor house. The reality is that the United States economy continues to have a very adverse affect on not only the citizens of the United States but it affects every other nation around the world. What our elected officials fail to grasp is that the Recovery Act of 2009 and other policy decisions even the Affordable Health Care Act has actually done virtually nothing for the majority of people here in the United States to gain any semblance of financial security. Sure the big Corporations, major financial institutions and Wall Street made out like bandits but, nothing was done to help Main Street. The time has come to recognize the facts. Sobering though they may be, but none the less incomes all across the country continue to decline more rapidly in each ensuing year. The majority of US citizens are falling through the cracks of those safety nets that were supposed to be in place to catch the increasing number of people who are now forced into that vicious cycle of poverty. If we are to salvage our economy and return the American Dream to the American public we first must understand the facts that are contributing to the increasing numbers of Americans now in a state of perpetual economic distress. Then we can implement solutions that will resolve the most devastating economic inequality crisis of our times.

Even when the Fed through QE 2 pumped hordes of freshly printed cash into the bailout of 2009 currently the United States money supply hasn't risen enough to fuel strong economic growth. Today, what we are seeing is that so many Americans have so little disposable incomes they can't possibly be able to stimulate overall economic growth. This is despite the fact that the Federal Government continues to borrow and spend trillions of dollars. Meanwhile the amount of money in personal accounts has actually declined by a rate of over 20% per year since 2007. The reason for this is quite obvious. When the financial and auto industries received massive amounts of bail-out funding they failed to create any real job growth anywhere in the country. This funding actually contributed to our current escalation of unemployment and our already catastrophic national debt. The Hoisington Investment Company reported that the money in bank accounts, money markets, etc has only grown by less than 1.2% since 2007. This is the slowest recorded growth in over 30 years. Without sufficient funds in bank accounts money market funds and any other places where individuals save money or invest funding our financial institutions and the government will be compelled to borrow more money compounding the escalation of our national debt.

What ever jobs there are the market now is dominated by temporary and contract workers. Temporary workers are rising at over 25% while private payrolls minus temporary jobs are declining at a rate of over 10%. This means that permanent jobs are still vanishing at a rate of over 30%. This is more quickly and in greater numbers that have not been seen since the Great Depression. Another factor to consider is the fact that the continuing escalation of Health Care costs also contribute to the decisions pertaining to job creation. Even with the Affordable health Care Act in place. The current energy policies that have been passed recently has only added more individuals to the unemployment rolls. The national unemployment rate is much larger than is being reported. It is actually closer to 22% and if nothing is done to turn the tide of this rising crisis the United States national security and stability is in very serious jeopardy.

Today, what we are seeing is increased financial insecurity for far too many. It is as real as the nose on your face. More Americans today are facing very difficult and tough decisions that 40 years ago nobody even dreamed of. Who ever is still working wage stagnation and wage reduction have replaced monetary incentives. This means that those fortunate to still have jobs are working harder and longer for far less money. The latest census report substantiates this fact. To compound the misery today the cost of living has shown no signs of leveling off and instead has only continued to rise by more than 12% in each consecutive year. The Pew Research Group reveals that the average household incomes have dropped by over 25% from 2007-2010. Another sobering factor contributing to the escalating financial insecurity so many Americans are faced with today.

When it comes to affordable housing we continue to see more and more foreclosures. House prices have continued to soar. Even rentals like Apartments have seen a drastic rise in the price of rents. So many are faced with higher rents, not able to save enough for that down payment, and are really caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to their financial security. The housing market has not seen this massive amount of foreclosures since the 1930's. Today's inflationary trends continue to only exasperate the housing crisis. When people still can't keep their homes even with the new re modification efforts by government backed initiatives more and more citizens are being victims of policies that were supposed to help people from losing their homes in the first place. We have all herd that if some one is late with a mortgage payment or any other bill their credit score automatically drops by over 100 points. The banks that offer loan modification loans will refuse to grant anyone whose credit score does not meet the banks standards. Typically a score of over 700 is good enough to qualify for these types of loans. The real problem today is not many people who need loan modification loans can no longer qualify because of their lower credit scores and lack of sufficient income. This is still occurring more frequently even though many banks say that no credit scores are needed. In reality though banks continue to deny more people whose credit does not meet their strict requirements.

With all these factors involved cities and towns all across the United States will still be forced to raise taxes to help offset the mounting shortfalls in local and state budgets. This will greatly reduce households ability to spend for just the necessities. A domino effect is already being felt in practically every city in America. Local services are cut, layoffs continue to mount, wages frozen, and the whole economy suffers. Eventually if this trend continues unabated our whole system will implode.

Practically every American is faced with mounting anxiety and apprehension every single day. There has to be a major shift in governmental policies that deal directly in eliminating the social and economic crisis that is plaguing our societies basic core. What we have seen in just the past few years is a government paralyzed by the discord of distention where any semblance of cooperation is nonexistent. This has only led to a greater fracturing of our country. Years of ineffectual and most often misguided attempts by Congress, shrugging off their responsibility to the American public in actually trying to pass legislation that would unite instead of divide has lead this country down a path toward oblivion.

In recognizing what has happened in the past 40 years and apply the lessons of history to today's major issues many of our current crisis could be resolved. What is needed today are governmental officials who are not obliged to the financiers of either political party. When so much money is involved in political campaigns today makes the democratic process impossible to achieve. We are seeing the after effects of a political process that has become too corrupt. We must have a national unified plan of direction that spells out exactly what is needed to restore the American Dream to the majority of Americans. A unified combined effort by Democrats, and Republicans alike coming together for the greater good to a country that has lost it's way.

When President Kennedy spoke of a national plan of action by challenging us to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade of the 1960's he invoked a sense of national unity and pride in a country that had weathered a close encounter with Armageddon. Today, a National Economic Reform with Ten Articles of Confederation is the challenge for the 21st century. A unified plan of direction that not only points the way toward economic reconciliation but unifies a fractured country where the American Dream can be fulfilled by not just a few but for all Americans.