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Goodbye Middle Class: Half Of All American Workers Made Less Than $34,248.45 Last Year

Michael Snyder
October 16th, 2020
The Economic Collapse Blog
Comments (4)

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

If you are making less than $3,000 a month, you have plenty of company, because about half of the country is in the exact same boat.  The Social Security Administration just released new wage statistics for 2019, and they are pretty startling.

To me, the most alarming thing in the entire report is the fact that the median yearly wage was just $34,248.45 last year.  In other words, half of all American workers made less than $34,248.45 in 2019, and half of all American workers made more than $34,248.45.  That isn’t a whole lot of money.  In fact, when you divide $34,248.45 by 12 you get just $2,854.05.  Needless to say, it is not easy to survive in America today on just $2,854.05 a month, and this may help to explain why we have been seeing so many people fall out of the middle class in recent years.

And of course, all of the figures that I am sharing with you in this article are just for 2019.  This year, we have seen more than 63 million Americans file new claims for unemployment benefits as the U.S. economy has imploded during this pandemic, and so the final wage numbers for 2020 could be quite a bit worse than the numbers for 2019 were.  Please keep that in mind as you go through the rest of this article.

Once upon a time in America, a single income could easily support a middle-class household in most cases, but those days are long gone.

The cost of living has been rising far faster than our paychecks have, and as a result, many Americans have been working themselves to the bone just to survive financially from month to month.

To give you an idea of just how bad things have gotten, I would like to share with you some key numbers from the report that the Social Security Administration just released

-32.26 percent of American workers made less than $20,000 last year.

-44.79 percent of American workers made less than $30,000 last year.

-56.46 percent of American workers made less than $40,000 last year.

-65.91 percent of American workers made less than $50,000 last year.

Today, the poverty level for a household of five in the United States is $30,680.

That means that close to half of all workers in this country do not even make enough to get a family of five above the poverty level.

Wow.

There are tens of millions of Americans that are referred to as “the working poor” because they are living in poverty even though they are employed and are working extremely hard.  Many of you that are reading this article know exactly what I am talking about.  Some of you are working way more than 40 hours a week, and yet there never seems to be enough money at the end of the month.

Sadly, the truth is that our system has evolved in a manner that makes it almost impossible for most Americans to ever build up much wealth.

If you are making the median monthly wage of just $2,854.05, there simply is not going to be much leftover after all of the bills are paid.  First of all, you are going to need someplace to live.  In the middle of the country, you may be able to find something habitable for under $1,000 a month but in most of our major metropolitan areas that simply is not going to be realistic.

Secondly, you are going to need to pay your utility bills.   If you can keep the combined cost of your power, water, phone, television, and Internet bills to about $250 a month, you are doing quite well.

Thirdly, you will need a vehicle in order to get around, and these days it is hard to buy or lease a vehicle for less than $300 a month.  In addition, you will also need insurance, and that will set you back even more.

Fourthly, you will need health insurance.  If you are young and single, maybe you can find a plan for just a few hundred dollars a month, but most Americans pay far more.

Fifthly, you will probably want to eat, and that will cost you several hundred dollars a month as well.

At this point, almost all of your money is already gone, and there are so many expenses that I haven’t even mentioned yet.

And of course you never even started with $2,854.05 in the first place, because all sorts of taxes were taken out of your paycheck before you even got it.

Are you starting to understand why so many families in America are deeply, deeply struggling today?

We have an economy that works for those at the very top of the food chain, but pretty much everyone else is desperately trying to stay afloat.

And now we have entered an economic downturn during which tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs.  According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if honest numbers were being used the real unemployment rate in the U.S. would be 26.9 percent right now, and that would rival the worst levels that we witnessed during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Others have come up with similar numbers.  For example, Axios is reporting that the “true unemployment rate” in the United States is currently 26.1 percent

A person who is looking for a full-time job that pays a living wage — but who can’t find one — is unemployed. If you accept that definition, the true unemployment rate in the U.S. is a stunning 26.1%, according to an important new dataset shared exclusively with “Axios on HBO.”

No matter how you want to crunch the numbers, everyone should be able to agree that millions upon millions of Americans are really hurting financially and are deeply concerned about the future.

And they have good reason to be concerned about the future because our economic system is in the process of imploding.

For decades, the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world allowed us to enjoy a level of debt-fueled prosperity that was far greater than we actually deserved.

Now the party is ending, and our society is going to experience an enormous amount of pain as everything changes.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and anyway that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

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    Author: Michael Snyder
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    Date: October 16th, 2020
    Website: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/

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    4 Comments...

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    1. Anonymous says:

      Wow wow wow woweee

    2. SlackMavo says:

      censored on a previous thread for using the “h” word.
      H-Y-P-E-R-I-N-F-L-A-T-I-O-N
      sorry if it doesn’t fit the red kingdoms narrative

      like it or not , class warfare is on the horizon and it aint gonna be pretty

      For you Michael ,

      They cast their silver into the streets, and their gold is like an unclean thing. Their silver and gold are not able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord. They cannot satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it.

    3. AnnonII says:

      Sadly, what most Americans don’t realize is that they are the cause of this by their own voting record.

    4. Bill says:

      Wealth concentration is at one of the highest levels ever in the US. It’s not just concentrated, it’s hyper concentrated, with some families that have more wealth than entire countries. England is the same. The combined wealth of four particular families in the US have more wealth than the bottom half of the population (160 million).
      There is nothing wrong with being wealthy. The middle class though is really suffering, their wealth is quickly disappearing. Here’s how and why:
      FIRST, inflation diminishes incomes by decreasing the purchasing power of the dollar. However, cost of living allowances (COLAs) rarely match the inflation rate. Same goes for pensions, Social Security, and so on. Therefore, purchasing power over time continuously drops, and with it standards of living unless one is willing to keep working more and more to merely keep lifestyle where it is. This helps explain some why Americans have more debt than ever, even though it may have more dollars. What a lot of people don’t know is that inflation is only created by the gov’t, and it’s in their interest to do so, they get to pay back their debt in devalued dollars. There is a lot more that can be said about this.
      SECOND, quantitative easing (QE), the creation of money from literally nothing has abundantly helped the bankers and Wall Street. Little to almost nothing has gotten into Main Street. Some are worried about the extra inflation all this money flooding will create. It isn’t happening yet, because the velocity of money is so slow, that is, it’s not being distributed. Sure taxpayers have received some stimulus money of a few hundred dollars, and some a thousand or so, but the banks and their cohorts have received TRILLIONS. They can absorb inflation because the fraction of the money supply they possess keeps increasing, but you cannot. The dirtiest part of this deal is that the taxpayers are the ones on the hook for the increase of public debt due to QE.
      THIRD, the interest rates are too low (they are artificially locked to near zero to benefit the big money, and to help limit growth of public debt) for people to gain interest on their money, many can no longer grow to provide income for the middle classes, especially retirees, this source of income is gone. The detrimental effect for the non-wealthy was not considered. By the way, why are interest rates so low, yet credit card rates keep going up?
      FOURTH, the offshoring of jobs over the past decades eliminated millions and millions of high paying jobs. Sure, DT is bringing some of them back, but accounting for inflation, they don’t pay anything like they once did. Most service sector jobs don’t pay like manufacturing jobs do. But he gets credits for doing all he can to help the working man, unlike previous Presidents.
      FIFTH, there was a time in our parents generation when a man as the only income earner could buy a home, a new car every 4 to 6 years, take annual family vacations, send a kid to college, and still even manage to save some money. That is basically no longer possible. Now, both the husband and wife usually have to work to have a solid standard of living. This is because gov’t and big business colluded to get women in the work place (no, this is not a rant against working women). Now they got two people to work for the price of one. There are more women working now than men. Big business benefits because they have reduced wages over the years due to extra available manpower, gov’t benefits because there is another taxpayer.
      SIXTH, though federal taxes have declined recently, this will dramatically change should Democrats reclaim the House and Presidency, they’ve already said so. However, even as federal taxes have declined only a bit, state and local taxes for the most part continue to increase, a lot. There has been basically no net recovery of income from taxation.
      There are more, but once the comment gets too long, most people lose interest or comprehension.
      All these have resulted in a gigantic transfer of wealth for the working people up to the super wealthy or super powerful. These conditions cannot exist without the initiation and approval of lightest levels of gov’t and big business. They do not act in the interest of the people, they act for their own interests.

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