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12 Years In A Row And Counting: The U.S. Has Not Had A Year Of 3 Percent Economic Growth In More Than A Decade

Michael Snyder
March 2nd, 2018
The Economic Collapse
Comments (32)
Read by 1,908 people

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse

If the U.S. economy is in good shape, then why has economic growth been so anemic for more than a decade? It has been 12 long years since the economy grew by at least 3 percent, and for most of that time my website has been one of the leading voices chronicling America’s long-term economic problems. In 2017, U.S. GDP increased by just 2.3 percent, but at least that was better than the pathetic 1.5 percent figure that was posted for 2016. With Donald Trump in the White House, we have taken some steps in the right direction, but we must never forget that our long-term economic and financial problems continue to steadily get worse.

As I travel around Idaho’s first congressional district, I often tell voters that we have not had a year of 3 percent economic growth since the middle of the Bush administration, and a lot of people have a really hard time believing that this is accurate. But of course it is 100 percent true, and earlier today CNS News published an article highlighting this fact…

The United States has gone a record 12 straight years without 3-percent growth in real Gross Domestic Product, according to data released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

This drought is highly, highly unusual. In fact, before this 12 year stretch the previous record was just four years

Before the current period, when the nation has seen twelve straight years without 3 percent growth in real GDP, the longest stretch of years in which real GDP did not grow by at least 3 percent was during the Great Depression—when there were four straight years (1930-1933) when real GDP did not grow that much.

Have we entered a new era of low economic growth?

Is 3 percent the best that we can hope for from now on?

I have pointed out many times that Barack Obama was the only president in all of U.S. history never to have a single year of 3 percent economic growth, and he had two terms to try to achieve that.

Of course the U.S. economy began struggling far before Obama entered the White House. As the U.S. has increasingly embraced socialism, our once vibrant economy has really had a tough time. In fact, since the end of the Reagan administration our economic growth numbers have not been good at all

The last time it grew by more than 7 percent was 1984, when Ronald Reagan was president. That year, it grew by 7.3 percent.

In the years after 1984, the highest level of economic growth achieved by the United States was in 1999, when real GDP grew by 4.7 percent.

Hopefully things can turn around under President Trump, and that it is why it is so imperative that we send pro-Trump candidates for Congress to Washington.

The U.S. economy is way overdue for a recession, and many believe that the next major economic downturn is right around the corner. We just witnessed the worst February for stocks in 9 years, and the Dow ended the month on a huge down note. Hopefully things will rebound in March, but there is absolutely no guarantee that will happen.

The following are some more facts about what transpired in February from Zero Hedge

  • Trannies worst month since Jan 2016
  • Small Caps worst month since Oct 2016
  • VIX biggest monthly jump since Aug 2015
  • 30Y TSY Yield biggest monthly jump since Nov 2016
  • 2Y TSY Yield up 6 straight months
  • HY Credit (HYG) worst month since Jan 2016
  • HY Spreads worst month since Sept 2015
  • USD Index up most since Feb 2017
  • WTI worst month since Aug 2017
  • Gold worst month since Sept 2017
  • Silver worst month since Nov 2016

I know that I didn’t write very much this month, and that is because I have been relentlessly working to win my race for Congress.

We are less than 80 days away from May 15th, and it is an exceedingly close race between me and three other major candidates.

If you live in Idaho’s first congressional district, please mark May 15th on your calendar. Our numbers are surging and we feel very good about the race, but without a doubt we are going to need every single vote that we can get.

Michael Snyder is a pro-Trump candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District. If you would like to help him win on May 15th, you can donate online, by Paypal or by sending a check made out to “Michael Snyder for Congress” to P.O. Box 1136 – Bonners Ferry, ID 83805.  To learn more, please visit

GetPreparedNow-MichaelSnyderBarbaraFixMichael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream

If you want to know what is coming and what you can do to prepare, read his latest book Get Prepared Now!: Why A Great Crisis Is Coming.

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Author: Michael Snyder
Views: Read by 1,908 people
Date: March 2nd, 2018

Copyright Information: This content has been contributed to SHTFplan by a third-party or has been republished with permission from the author. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.


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  1. Grunty McPhereson says:

    I used to read Snyder’s two blogs a lot in past times. Now that he’s running for congress, he can’t spend as much time editing and contributing to them.

    Plus, the Economic Collapse Blog has been absolutely overrun by trolls. Can’t get a word in edgewise.

    The Gruntster

    • the blame-e says:

      No 3-percent growth in a decade? I am Shocked! Shocked! Use to be that anything less than a GDP of2.8-percent and you were going backwards. Since when did 3-percent become the new 2.8-percent? But that was before all MSM was captured by just six (6) corporations. Now reality is whatever they say it is.

      Did you hear? CNN is saying how all the backlash Dick’s Sporting Goods was supposed to have expected for banning the sale of AR-15s, all “assault style weapons,” and semi-autos has come in the form of flowers from a grateful America.

      Essentially, Dick’s just ended the 2ND Amendment by removing all the weapons legally available to Americans since 1937.

      So, how come that hasn’t been reported in SHTF?

      As trolls go, the SHTF site is run by them.

      SHTF has a really bad case of irritable bowel syndrome (EBS) when it comes to fomenting fear, but not action. What with the diarrhea of crap flowing out of SHTF a** about aliens, asteroids, earthquakes, super volcanos, and other assorted bogeymen, this site is all about this “big one” (that never comes), and that “big one” that never comes. I’m surprised these people have to work at all. Just kick back and collect their check from George Soros.

      SHTF is like a proof that Hillary Clinton, the Democrats, the corporate oligarchs, the MSM, the libturds, are running the show. It either doesn’t matter or “resistance is futile.”

      So, like when the censorship axe finally falls, who will really care? What will it really matter? In a year, alternative sites will have all been censored, shadow-banned, Facebooked, Googled, or just plain banned. But they won’t. Not really. Phony news about phony news.

      • TharSheBlows says:

        Its been said that China needs at least 6 to 7% annual growth or they collapse economically, and why they need to steal and hack our technology so they can keep their economy afloat. They can produce the technology fast enough so they have to steal it.

  2. Bill says:

    The most precious resources any nation can possess after its ground water and soil is a large, modern, efficient manufacturing and production base. In the simplest way to say it, wealth can only be produced by making things. For a modern economy to flourish it must have manufacturing/production, mining, fishing and farming, construction, and operation/maintenance of infrastructure (water, sewage, communications, electrical generation, dams, bridges, roads, airports, docks, shipyards, factories, and so on). Yes, we need doctors, and trash collectors, and cops, whatever, to make society function, but they don’t generate wealth, rather, they drain wealth. Things have to be produced.
    In reality, the strength of a nation is its economy, not its military. A world class military is permissible when a nation has a great economy. In our case, we are borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars each year to have a big military, but no nation can maintain power forever by borrowing.
    A large manufacturing base easily permits an economy to achieve annual 3% growth. Look at China, they have up to 10% annually! Of course they do manufacturing on an incredible scale. Contrasted with us, we get 1%, we don’t make much. A permanent strong service-based economy cannot be sustained for long because it depends on debt, borrowing, and inflation. And in turn creates mostly lower-paying jobs. It also cause the skills of our people to greatly diminish. In reality there is not an unemployment rate below 5% as the gov’t says, it’s not mathematically possible, there are are 95 million people between the ages of 18 to 65 who are not employed. It’s true many are retired, but still tens of millions not working who should. The gov’t can get away with this great lie because of the way it qualifies what is called unemployment, and how it compiles statistics. Numerically, based on the population, unemployment is about 20%.
    I am a baby-boomer, like many if not most of my generation, can do a great many things, even well. Now, skill levels are much lower. Mayb it’s due in part to a lot of automation. China uses a huge amount of automation, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Someone might say it’s because they are an autocratic nation but that is not much of a factor, economic laws are more powerful than any gov’t, they can be manipulated, but not for long. Our economic and finance system is totally manipulated, look what we have: massive unpayable debt at fed., state, and local levels, incomprehensible foreign debt, trillions in consumer debt, dropping standards of living and quality of life, the creation of jobs almost entirely part-time and low paying. Don’t hold your breath, it’s not going to change much any time soon.

    • The Deplorable Braveheart says:

      Bill, that’s a great post you made. I doubt if we see any more economic growth, period. Stick a fork in us; we’re done.

      • TharSheBlows says:

        To be honest, the years I made the most money was when Bill Clinton Was Pres in the late 90’s, 97& 98 especially. It was the Internet and e-commerce that kick started the new technology driven companies, and there was a lot of money to be made. Now we are taxed to death, many having to pay extremely high health insurance premiums. Its drained the middle classes ability to expand and open up new companies when we are hit with so many expenses. College kids today are starting in the hole. They now give 30 year mortgages on Student Loans, so how can they ever buy a house? And its all guaranteed by the Government. College in most cases is a trap these days, unless you are specializing in medicine or a Lawyer. Get a few sets of trade schools. Be a car mechanic, cars are always breaking down, throw the car’s brain on the diagnostics computer and it tells you exactly what is wrong. No genius there. Just get the tools to fix it. Take up welding. Buy a tractor to do work digging or grading. Heavy machine operator. WalMart killed the small retail store, along with the Internet, when you can buy everything online. Now the Big guys can do mass marketing on the internet and good luck trying to find your little business amongst the Massive algorithms that shove you in the corner, if you refuse to pay their extortion fees for search placement. Postage is so high now its hard to direct market with post cards. Maybe DJ Trump can lower post card stamps down to 10 cents for companies less than 10 people for advertising. The little guy is having a hard time competing with large scale retailers. Something has to give or we just work till we drop then die.

    • Anonymous says:

      Since this society has raped its water (to drill and pipe for big oil so it can be burnt to satisfy murderous expectations of self-driving expedience and make everything from plastic; and its soil (built on it and depended on “big-agra” to microfarm their food in just a few monocrop locations, dependent on big oil for fertilizer since the soil has been depleted many times over long ago, and long-distance mass transport of everything we need in big cities where we have to pay whatever big price the big businesses demand of us while laying us off, discriminating from hiring us unless we agree to Communist Chinese labor standards, and contracting with the Communist Chinese Government to be big business’s personnel management–complete with their execution squads for failure to perform?), no wonder the rest of this society is falling.

    • rabbitone says:


      I totally agree with what you said. And for the last 50 years I have watched the government and the unions destroy manufacturing with their wage demands, regulations and taxation. Our biggest industry, that produces nothing, is now government with 40% of the economy. To build new plants today you need a stable government. We no longer have that. We are a banana republic. That is evident from the idiotic Mueller investigations.

      People think this all just started just a few years back. Wrong! We have been going down hill for the last 100 years (in 1913 the federal income tax and federal reserve started it). During this time we have adopted one socialist system after another. Until finally we went broke (see Kotlikoff senate testimony 02/15/15) .

      We will never have high “real” growth GDP again. The government structure of our economy will suck up via taxes capital that small businesses need to expand to create jobs. We may have an occasional year that looks good but that will be an anomaly

    • Old Guy says:

      I agree with bill to many takers and too few makers is not long term sustainable.

      • Elkhound says:

        OG,you are right,we have way too many takers and not nearly enough makers..I can understand why that is considering the overwhelming majority of jobs available are minimum wage,part-time,no benefits,and Americans are required to pay taxes on those jobs.. I’ve heard numerous people say their better off staying home,drawing food stamps,getting reduced rent,vouchers for electrical bill,free phone,and working on the side for straight cash.Bottom line is,the minimum wage jobs available don’t provide a liveable wage and are best suited for HS kids and college students.We might as well face the facts that As long as Cheap Labor is worshipped by Corporate America and their motto is “Quantity over Quality “,nothing is changing for the better.. I’ve often wondered how long we can continue raiding the fridge without restocking and by the way things are looking we’re about to find out..

  3. Per Michael Snyder’s for congress website —


    The Bible says that those that bless Israel will be blessed and those that curse Israel will be cursed. I will always stand with Israel, and if I am elected the Jewish people will have no greater ally in the United States Congress than me. I am 100% against a “two state solution”, and I would use the full power of my office to fight against the establishment of a Palestinian state.

    Last thing America needs … is another “CON-gress” critter that is 100% devoted to Israel. It appears Snyder would rather join the “swamp” rather than clean it up.

  4. The Deplorable Braveheart says:

    Bush Jr. started killing the economy with all the money he was wasting on those stupid wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He gave Wall Street a bailout while the 2008 campaign was still in full swing. Then in 2009 Obamanation gave Wall Street another bailout. Millions and millions of people were put out of work and either found other jobs that paid less money, got on the public dole, or just gave up altogether during Obola’s first term. College graduates during those years couldn’t find what they were hoping to get and had to settle for something less and still had those damn student loans to pay back. Things finally settled down during Obola’s second term but the die was cast. Even with Trump in the WH I don’t see this economy improving. I think it’s beyond saving. Keep stacking because it’s rough sailing ahead.

  5. Marie in Upstate says:

    I live in fear of the Hokey Pokey being that’s what it’s all about.

  6. Heartless says:

    There just cannot be real economic growth when the government itself keeps growing. It is a fact that to grow the private sector, the public sector must shrink. We need to never support any government input or take-over of infra-structure, media, transportation… lest we scuttle any hopes of an economic boom. Every time we read of the government is going to ‘create’ jobs, the exact opposite will be the case when all is said and done.

  7. Frank Thoughts says:

    We are at war. It is that simple. Wars are very expensive, they waste human and other resources. And unless the wars are about outright theft of others resources, then war is a money loser.

    While America has been wasting its time and resources on wars, China has been buying up resources, doing business and making things. And Americans? Worrying about men who want to be women, whether the lives of ignorant, black men matter (they don’t), taking Chinese-made opioids, and if white men, who commit the lowest rate of sex crimes in the world today, are touching too many women’s knees or brushing their asses on a subway train.

    China is going to have America for dim sum.

    • Concerned Citizen says:

      Frank: You are 100% Correct. This country is so screwed 25 ways from Sunday. So many of the population are worthless takers, give nothing back but take, take, take. We hardly make crap anymore. Nothing but Debt and even more debt. This damn place is a massive sinking ship, there is NO doubt about it. The Gov’t has failed us miserably and every damn way possible…get ready folks, the train is coming to a town near you much sooner than later.

  8. OH OH OH, I know the answer: PEAK OIL. It’s just biding it’s time and slowly allowing entropy to defeat the silly shortsighted humans.

  9. Anonymous says:

    You have to allow natural decline in order to have re-generative “growth”. “Recession-proofing” stifles economic reality, causing a real, permanent decline in the whole society. A “too-big-to-fail” and big-business-only legal culture have destroyed the “American dream” of individual liberty and prosperity.

  10. Old Guy says:

    Americans used to invent build and grow things. We where after WWII the worlds Producers. If someone needed or wanted anything . The Came to the USA to get that job done. Sadly its all but disappeared. Trumps Steel tariff is a step in the right direction. At present we are a nation in decline. with too many parasites who are enabled by the too big government.

  11. Yuri says:

    The more we spend to service the debt, the more we ADD to GDP.

    Every year, the national government must pay the interest accrued on the national debt. This is NON-discretionary Government Spending.

    The (now) four components of GDP are: 1)Consumption, 2) Investment, 3) Exports-Imports, and … da, da, da, DA! … 4)Government Spending.

    More spending = more defecits = more debt = more to service the debt = … da, da, da, DA! … MORE (not less) GDP.

    Of course, I’ve left out some crucial things (guess what they are); but the above is still true.

    • Old Guy says:

      Yuri your wrong all government spending is a tax. GDP stands for gross domestic product. Just what product does the parasite government produce?

      • Yuri says:

        Old Guy, google “four components of GDP”.

        All government spending is counted toward GDP.

        I didn’t say this was a good idea. I agree with you that government spending (with very few and limited exceptions) is a drain on the economy. As such, it should be subtracted from the sum of the other three components.

        Nevertheless, when calculating the GDP, government spending is NOT subtracted from production, investment, and trade. Instead, it is counted as an ADDITION. That is, a debit is treated as a credit when figuring out the nation’s GDP … a liability is treated as an asset … expenses are treated as production (i.e., “revenue”).

        My larger point is that (because of the above) GDP is a ridiculous and meaningless statistic.

        Specifically, the ridiculous and meaningless nature of it can be seen when one realizes that payments to service the interest on the national debt are counted as ADDITIONS to GDP.

        If you max out your credit card, then send the bank a check for the minimum payment, do you count that payment as “income”? What would happen if the IRS treated all of your expenses as “income”? What if that “income” included the check you then had to write to the IRS?

        • cranerigger says:

          Yuri, thanks for pointing out some of the deficiencies used in today’s accounting. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) uses the same type of tricks to make meaningless financial statements. Those of us that have managed enterprises know that inaccurate management tools like meaningless BALANCE SHEETS & INCOME AND EXPENSES sheets make us weaker managers. Small wonder that Congress is so ineffective. GARBAGE IN leads to GARBAGE OUT.

  12. Marie in Upstate says:

    I think our “shadow government”, the invisible secretive upper crust, is the place where all the missing money goes, like a mistress siphoning off the breadwinner’s accounts so his real family gets so little.

    All this missing money creates unnecessary chaos in every part of our lives and it doesn’t have to be this way. The Right VS. Left is a phony distraction, neither side is in charge. They are all puppets.

    I get very discouraged by the complacency and I wish every person in the US would refuse to file their tax returns, but being realistic know that won’t work unless everyone does it, not just a percentage or even half, which will never happen in our lifetime.

    We are working our asses off to pay for people to party all day at our expense and to get massive pensions. Trump pretended to be a Republican who was on our side when he was never a Republican until he decided to run for President. And he is obviously not on our side.

    I’m so pissed at both parties and the puppets they are, while they fill their pockets and live like kings and perform like actors on a stage, laughing behind the scenes at the masses of idiots who look up to them.

    The elections and voting process is just a show, a big popularity contest, designed to see who should have won. In reality they are selected, not elected.

  13. Old Guy says:

    I agree Its simply liars figuring. the same as the unemployment numbers. All government spending is a tax. Its a tax on the Producing Makers and the borrowed money is a Tax on some future producing maker.

  14. 2018 Is Now says:

    2.5% GDP growth is actually good compared to what is coming.

  15. vocalpatriot says:

    12 Years ago, 2006, who was president?
    what party was in control?
    Bush and the democrats…
    A bunch of liberals and progressives
    set the stage for the lack of economic growth.
    While we wasted precious blood, wealth and time with the Iraq diversion, they raped our way of life and our liberty.

  16. 2018 Is Now says:

    Abolish the Federal Reserve. Lets organize a 10 million Patriot march.
    Leave the pitchforks and squirrel guns at home. The first time.

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