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#1 We are bleeding middle class jobs at a pace that is staggering. Since the year 2000, the United States has lost 10% of its middle class jobs. In the year 2000 there were about 72 million middle class jobs in the United States but today there are only about 65 million middle class jobs.
#2 In particular, the United States is absolutely hemorrhaging manufacturing jobs. Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.
#3 The decline of manufacturing in America has only accelerated over the past decade. The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
#4 Deindustrialization is creating ghost towns in some areas of the United States. Even some of America’s biggest cities are now only a shadow of what they used to be. Since 1950, the population of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has declined by more than 50 percent. In Dayton, Ohio 18.9 percent of all houses now stand empty.
#5 We have literally seen tens of thousands of American factories close down permanently over the past decade. Since 2001, over 42,000 U.S. factories have closed down for good. \
#6 U.S. companies now create more jobs overseas than they do in the United States. Over the past year, American companies have created 1.4 million jobs overseas but less than a million jobs here at home.
#7 When Americans lose their jobs these days they typically end up having to take new jobs that do not pay as much. According to one recent study, the majority of unemployed Americans that have been able to find new jobs during this economic downturn have been forced to accept a cut in pay.
#8 The overwhelming majority of the jobs that the U.S. economy is creating now are low paying jobs. In fact, more than 40% of Americans who actually are employed are now working in service jobs, which are often very low paying.
#9 The number of long-term unemployed continues to skyrocket in this country. As 2007 began, there were just over 1 million Americans that had been unemployed for half a year or longer. Today, there are over 6 million Americans that have been unemployed for half a year or longer.
#10 For those who are out of work, the wait can be excruciating. It now takes the average unemployed American over 33 weeks to find a job.
#11 Millions of Americans have become extremely depressed as they have discovered that they simply cannot find any work at all. In August 2009, only 10 percent of the unemployed had been out of work for 2 years or longer. Today that number is up to 35 percent.
#12 Meanwhile, the gap between the wealthy and the poor continues to grow. According to one recent report, the wealthiest one percent of all U.S. households have an average of approximately $14 million in assets, while the average U.S. household has assets that total about $62,000.
#13 In fact, those at the very top of the income scale seem to be doing better than ever. Between 1950 and 1989, the top 1% usually earned around 7 or 8 percent of all national income. Today that figure is getting very close to 20 percent.
#14 Some of the income inequality statistics are almost too outrageous to believe. For example, the top 20 percent of U.S. working families take home approximately 47 percent of all income and earn about 10 times the amount that low-income working families bring in.
#15 Sadly, most American families are now living week to week. According to a survey released very close to the end of 2010, 55 percent of all Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck.
#16 The U.S. real estate market continues to stagnate. During the third quarter of 2010, 67 percent of all mortgages in Nevada were “underwater”, 49 percent of all mortgages in Arizona were “underwater” and 46 percent of all mortgages in Florida were “underwater”. So what happens if home prices go down even more? #17 For millions upon millions of middle class families, their number one financial asset is their house. Unfortunately, many analysts are now projecting that U.S. housing prices will fall much lower than they are now. For example, Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital says that home prices in the United States are going to decline at least 20 percent and possibly even more.
#18 But even though home prices have declined significantly, the truth is that they are still too high for most American families. Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
#19 Most American families have found that their economic situations have significantly deteriorated over the last several years. In fact, 55 percent of the U.S. labor force has “suffered a spell of unemployment, a cut in pay, a reduction in hours or have become involuntary part-time workers” since December 2007.
#20 As tens of millions of Americans barely scrape by, saving for retirement has become an afterthought. Today, 36 percent of Americans say that they don’t contribute anything to retirement savings.
#21 The truth is that incomes all across America are going down. In 2009, total wages, median wages, and average wages all declined in the United States.
#22 So is anyone doing better? Well, one group is. In 2009, the only group that saw their household incomes increase was those making $180,000 or more.
#23 Most Americans are scratching and clawing and doing whatever they can to make a living these days. Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.
#24 Millions of Americans have been forced to take part-time jobs because that is all that they could get. The number of Americans working part-time jobs “for economic reasons” is now the highest it has been in at least five decades.
#25 Some of the people that have been hit the hardest by all this have been children. According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 - the highest rate in 20 years.
#26 If all of the above was not bad enough, now we are not even living as long. According to one recent report, the United States has dropped to 49th place in the world in overall life expectancy.
#27 The sad truth is that our country is in decline and it is getting poorer. Ten years ago, the United States was ranked number one in average wealth per adult. In 2010, the United States has fallen to seventh.
#28 Our young people are supposed to be the hope of the future, but most of them are up to their eyeballs in student loan debt. Americans now owe more than $875 billion on student loans, which is more than the total amount that Americans owe on their credit cards.
#29 Life is getting harder and harder for those on the low end of the income scale. The bottom 40 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
#30 On top of everything else, the price of oil is skyrocketing again. John Hofmeister, the former president of Shell Oil, believes that American consumers could be shelling out 5 dollars for a gallon of gas by 2012. If that actually happens, it is going to absolutely devastate millions of middle class American families. So are you depressed yet?