There has been a long-held illusion of prosperity in America, but that image is fast disappearing as the truth of debt, depression, and poverty is showing herself. I have been clear that this trend is going to become much more obvious in the future, and people need to prepare for it lest they are caught unexpected and find themselves in a worse situation.
According to a recent survey, 70% of Americans say that they are in financial trouble, and 40% have trouble paying for basic needs.
Many Americans remain in precarious financial shape even as the economy continues to grow, with 7 of 10 saying they struggling with at least one aspect of financial stability, such as paying bills or saving money.
The findings come from a survey of more than 5,400 Americans from the Financial Health Network, a nonprofit financial services consultancy. The project, which started a year ago, is aimed at assessing people’s financial health by asking about debt, savings, bills and wages, among other issues.
Despite solid U.S. economic growth this year, the share of Americans who are struggling financially remains statistically unchanged from a year ago, said Rob Levy, vice president of research and measurement with Financial Health Network.
The study adds to a body of research indicating that millions of American families have trouble making ends meet even a decade after the Great Recession and as unemployment has sunk to its lowest level in decades.
For instance, centrist think tank the Urban Institute has found that 4 in 10 Americans struggle to pay for basic needs such as groceries or housing. And a Zillow report released Thursday found that roughly a quarter of renters say that affording their payments is difficult or very difficult.
Not only the poor face financial pressure, the new study suggests. Almost 20% of people earning between $30,000 and $100,000 said they spent more than they earned — an increase of more than 4 percentage points from last year. (source)
The reasons for this are not difficult to understand. Declining wages (due to stagnancy and inflation), increased responsibilities, reduced benefits, the end of overtime, the divison of labor into multiple part-time jobs, the outright forced expansion of the labor pool, the use of advanced technologies, and increased fixes costs are forcing people into poverty because they are not able to pay for basic bills, let alone additional expenses. Right now, it has been noted that almost 25% of people use credit to pay for essential fixed costs such as electricity or food, and this is highly dangerous because they are essential to survival.
There is going to come a time when the economic problems will be forcibly dealt with, most likely in the event of a major economic downturn, which I have predicted will likely happen for political reasons around 2023, although it certainly could happen earlier. Whenever it does, as the economic reports show a terrifying semblance to those leading up to the crash of 2008, it will put many people out of work and likely be far worse than what happened in 2008, for the recession of 2008 never ended but was just extended through a period of economic stagnancy combined with massive inflation and financialization.
Prepare yourselves accordingly because those who do not, like the grasshopper in the story “The Grasshopper and The Ant”, there is a strong winter coming, and many will find themselves in a very hard position.