Housing affordability shows that most Americans are too broke to buy a home: The American Dream moves further out of reach.
More Americans are finding it harder to afford a home. In fact, a closely followed housing affordability index is now back to where it was in 2008. Not exactly a prime time for buying homes. Most Americans are too broke to afford a home. Which is somewhat contrary to the narrative that is pumped out via pro housing propaganda. Buying a home is always a good deal! Real estate never falls! Only fools rent! So goes the story about buying real estate. Yet given current prices, many families find the dream of owning a home more of a far flung aspiration than a reasonable financial reality. We can see this trend unfolding with the vast number of new renter households over the last decade. Younger Americans are saddled with mountains of student debt and many are making lower wages. Taking on a large mortgage simply isn’t appealing or feasible when an albatross of debt is already being carried.
The manufacturing base has completely eroded in this country and one chart dramatically highlights this (shown later in the article). It is deeply disturbing that we now have as many people working in restaurants as waiters and bartenders as we do in manufacturing. This of course is for good reason given that you can’t export (yet) the ability to order a meal and have a stiff drink served to you to drown away your economic sorrows. As a nation we have enjoyed spending on a lax credit card for an entire generation. And now that money is coming back rushing in buying up real estate, studios, hotels, franchises, and everything else you can imagine. For every debt there is a collector. That is basic accounting (assets and liabilities). In a simplified equation you want to have more assets and fewer liabilities. However when you look at our export and import data, a troubling picture emerges.
U.S. Dollar Store empire: Making $20 billion a year one dollar at a time on broke Americans. 8,000+ dollar stores blanket the U.S.
Most people have been to a Starbucks and readily admit it, even if they never go back. Many people have been to dollar stores but rarely admit this. Dollar stores are doing exceptionally well with over 8,000 stores in the United States with revenues well above $20 billion a year. Their target audience is working class Americans. Dollar stores also cater to the massive number of Americans on food stamps. At last count there were 43 million Americans on food stamps. This at a time when the economy is supposedly robust and creating jobs left and right. The reality is that many Americans are now fully left behind by the new economic forces changing the world. The grand rift in our country is stemming from this unrelenting change but one thing is certain. Broke Americans and dollar stores go hand and hand.
The standard wage for an American is $29,000: Social Security data reveals raw figures for the wealthiest country in the world.
All Americans pay Social Security taxes. So looking at Social Security for income data is fairly reliable. The new Social Security figures show that Americans continue to make a lot less than what the public tends to believe. For example, you may have seen mainstream shows with talking heads saying that someone making $200,000 a year is somehow middle class. First, if your family is making that much you are in the top five percent of all U.S. households. Not exactly the middle. The median figure is the best measure here. This is the point where half of workers make less or more (the true middle). The latest Social Security data shows that the median worker income earned by an American is much less than what most expect.
The 4 Horsemen of the US Debt Apocalypse: 80 percent of federal government operation costs go to four areas in Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Veterans Affairs, and Department of Defense.
Here is a question you probably won’t find on Jeopardy: what is the actual risk of a U.S. default on its debt? The answer to that is none because the Federal Reserve has the magical power to create new debt to pay off old maturing debt. Must be nice to operate beyond the normal rules of accounting. Yet there is a problem where the debt to GDP ratio is now at a level only surpassed by that brought on by World War II where the industrial powers were literally in full scale war. It is probably worth noting that we have mountains of debt and a large portion of this is being held by China, a nation that is being politically unsettled by words of the incoming administration. We are essentially in a situation where our tax receipts are not keeping up with our spending. So the debt only grows. And four departments eat up 80 percent of all federal government spending: The Department of Health and Human Services, the Social Security Administration, Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Defense.
Millennials are worse off than their parents: Millennials earn 20% less than baby boomers at same stage in life.
It is now official that Millennials are worse off than their parents. The Federal Reserve released a study showing that Millennials are as broke as we suspected. According to the figures released Millennials earn 20% less than baby boomers did at the same stage in life. This is a major reason why so many Millennials are living at home but are also unable to save for retirement. What compounds this issue even more is that the Millennial generation is the most educated ever in the United States. What we also know is that Millennials carry the vast majority of the $1.4 trillion in student debt outstanding. This information puts our society at a fundamental crossroads in addressing the challenges faced by the young. Do we care if the next generation is worse off than the previous one?
Record 95.1 million Americans not in the labor force. The challenge of having an army of non-working adults.
The year definitely ended with a bang and the number of Americans not in the labor force is now at a record high as well. 95.1 million Americans are now floating in the “not in the labor force” category that finally got some mainstream attention in 2016. This is a big deal because you have an enormous proportion of your adult population off the charts. This convenient math has also allowed the unemployment rate to look lower than it probably should be. After all, if you are simply dismissing millions from your overall calculation then things can look better. We end the year with an enormous number of adults that have fallen off the labor force bandwagon and in many cases, you have old adults who wish to retire but realize their new retirement plan is working until they die.