Low wage recovery highlighted by 7 out of 10 jobs added in January coming from minimum wage waiters and temporary retail workers.
The unemployment rate fell below the 5 percent mark for the first time since the Great Recession wrecked havoc on the economy. This is good news right? Well the stock market didn’t think so for a couple of reasons. First, this adds more fuel to pushing interest rates higher (a big expense on the $19 trillion we already owe). Second and probably more importantly, it highlights the growing trend of low wage employment. 7 out of 10 jobs added in January came in the form of low wage jobs. We added 58,000 in retail and trade (i.e., Wal-Mart and Target work), and 47,000 in the food trades (i.e., waiters and bartenders). With states pushing minimum wages up, this is where the income gains came from but we are talking about a weak jump brought on by the low range of the curve. This is why the casino known as the stock market took a dive despite this seemingly good news. Is this a problem that most of our job growth came in the form of low wage work?
Total U.S. debt breaks $19 trillion mark: Total debt rises by $8.4 trillion in last 8 years and is on pace to hit $22 trillion by 2020.
When the party is getting ready to end, you might as well ramp up the spending and put it on the nationwide credit card. Total U.S. debt blew right through the $19 trillion mark and has expanded by $8.4 trillion only in the last 8 years. There are countless obligations in the form of Social Security, Medicare, military, education, and other expenses that almost guarantee that total U.S. debt is going to expand further. This brings up an interesting situation in the respect that we will never pay this debt off. I think people get this, right? In fact, the entire debt foundation is built merely on the servicing of debt, not the actual payoff. Yet the amount of interest we owe is now also ridiculous. In December alone we paid $86 billion in interest for one month. The pace of debt growth is unsustainable and has created a world where central banks are chasing negative interest rates just to keep servicing costs low assuming they can find a borrower.
Unsocial Insecurity: Social Security Fund loses money for the first time since 1983. The new retirement model will have you working until you fall over from a heart attack.
Social Security was never designed as a long-term pension. It was implemented in 1935 during the Great Depression to assist families from falling into absolute poverty. The large work force dominated by men usually meant that many would die and leave a large family behind with no financial resources. Social Security was there to protect this group. But over the generations, Social Security is now seen as a retirement fund and many depend on it for their livelihood. Recent figures highlight that 44 percent of retirees on Social Security would be in abject poverty without this support. More to the point, the number one source of income for retirees in America is Social Security funds. So it might come as a troubling surprise that the Social Security fund ran a deficit last year for the first time since 1983.
Americans are going to have their wallets rocked in 2016: 7.5 year global business cycle trumps central bank money printing.
Americans are already in the process of having their wallets devoured by shadow inflation and a system that is gutting the middle class like a turkey being stuffed for the oven. We’ve been in recovery according to various money oracles since 2009 but all we got was a drop in the homeownership rate, stagnant incomes, and a middle class that is now a minority. The central banking experiment has simply funneled more money into the non-productive financier class. Regular working families continue on a downward spiral of working poverty and living on the edge of a paycheck to paycheck existence. While central banks feel they are successful all they have done is fueled the flames of low wage capitalism and predatory crony welfare for the connected. What is interesting is that despite all of this intervention into what is suppose to be a “free market” the business cycle is rearing its ugly head. The 7.5 year business cycle is here and it is going to rock your bank account.
The neo-Gilded Age: 62 richest people in the world have the same wealth as half the world. An economy for the 1 per cent.
The Gilded Age was a period in American history where the few had so much while the majority toiled away in pauper like conditions. One of the reasons often cited for the Great Depression was massive wealth inequality. Well today wealth inequality is at levels that rival the pre-Depression era. And for those of you that watched The Big Short, you now realize that Hollywood is even understanding that a large part of the financial sector is designed to fleece the working public. So it is no surprise that wealth inequality continues to grow. A recent report highlights that the 62 richest people in the world have the same wealth as the bottom half of humanity. In other words 62 people have the same wealth as 3.6 billion people living on this planet. Part of the current system is designed to accelerate this wealth inequality. In fact, in the United States the middle class is now a full fledged minority. Welcome to the neo-Gilded Age.
What is a middle class income in America? A lot less than you think and Americans are getting poorer by the day.
Questions around being middle class are coming up a lot in the last few years. This inquiry is coming up because people are grasping at straws trying to maintain a quality of life that reflects a middle class lifestyle but many have incomes that simply do not support their spending. Americans are set to become poorer this year. As we penned an article talking about the destruction of the middle class economy, for the first time in a generation the middle class is now a minority. The economic engine that made us the envy of the world is now rare. In the US we have a small upper-class that is only getting wealthier while the ranks of the poor and working class is expanding. What is a middle class income in America? The answer may surprise you.
The rise of the part-time and disposable employment army: Record number of people now employed in transient labor positions while good paying jobs remain stuck in the mud.
The headline employment numbers present a glamorous picture of the economy but one that is not based on reality. After all, you have over 94 million Americans not in the labor force and this growing army of people is helping to keep the unemployment rate low. And for a growing number of Americans those in the actual workforce, many are being stuck in part-time jobs or are part of the low wage service sector economy. A large number of young Americans graduating with back breaking levels of debt and degrees are finding jobs such as baristas at Starbucks or working the checkout lines at Target. The wages earned here are simply not going to go far enough to cover the massive $1.3 trillion in student debt outstanding. We have traded good paying jobs for bread and circus jobs. Why bread and circus jobs? Because the current economy is largely designed to distract people into mindless consumption while the middle class slowly disappears through the fingers of Americans.