We’ve mentioned before that there is a trend toward eliminating the middle class in America, and our view is that a decade from now, there will be no middle class. We’ll simply have the rich oligarchs and corporatists who will run the political and economic machine, and the working class who’ll do their bidding – kind of like the population make-up of the former East Block countries under socialism/communism.
It’s hard to believe, especially because a systematic destruction of the middle class is not going to occur overnight (unless of course we have a collapse-event like hyperinflation play out). We are slowly watching the middle class be decimated with higher tax rates, wage cuts, debt and the loss of future job opportunities to outsourcing.
The proof is in the pudding. The following 22 statistics prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that the middle class in America is being destroyed, seemingly by design.
- 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
- 61 percent of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
- 66% of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
- 36 percent of Americans say that they don’t contribute anything to retirement savings.
- A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.
- 24% of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.
- Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.
- Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
- For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.
- In 1950, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.
- As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.
- The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nationâ€™s wealth.
- Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.
- In the United States, the average federal worker now earns 60% MORE than the average worker in the private sector.
- The top 1% of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America’s corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.
- In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.
- More than 40% of Americans who actually are employed are now working in service jobs, which are often very low paying.
- For the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.
- This is what American workers now must compete against: in China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour.
- Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.
- Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 – the highest rate in 20 years.
- The top 10% of Americans now earn around 50% of our national income.
We’d like to believe that we will come out of this economic slump and see renewed growth through innovation and competition. The direction of our government, however, suggests that this is not the goal. Rather, we are being constantly herded into a nanny state mentality of having to depend on our government for income, food, housing, bank loans, and retirement.
The shift from free market capitalism to cradle-to-grave socialism will require trillions of dollars of wealth and it’s going to come out of the pocket of the middle class, until they are no more.