The US economy ended as people once knew it in 2007. For those who were older Millennials and up (approximately 30 and up), there was a clear difference between what was and what it became. Younger Millennials and especially Zoomers have less of a frame of reference, but even they can see through the lens of recent history the difference of what was and they never had versus what is their reality.
The US economy has been in a state of decline since the 1990s, which was artificially supported by the expansion of debt leveraged onto the public that enabled them to continue to live at a certain standard with the condition of paying back said debt in the future. This came to a head in 2007 with the economic troubles that lead to the TARP bailouts and the subsequent recession that began at the end of that year and, in spite of some declaring that it lasted only two years, still exists as a practical reality amid stagnation coupled with inflation through price increases or decreases in product or services offered. Likewise, the so-called “economic gains” have been noted by most observers in the job market to be low-paying, insecure positions that make more demands with no sure future in them.
Now according to a recent study, this observation about the state of the job market was proven true, since it found that 63% of all jobs “created” since 1990 were in this category, paying a collective average of $18,000 USD per year.
…there is now a growing number of low-paying jobs relative to employment with above-average pay.
“In 1990, the jobs were pretty much evenly divided,” said Daniel Alpert, a founder of Westwood Capital and one of the creators of the index. In the process of running the numbers, he said, “We discovered that 63% of all jobs that were created since 1990 were low-wage, low-hour jobs. That was a pretty stunning statistic.”
To calculate the index’s value, the researchers split up the jobs created every month into those that pay above average and those that pay below average, and then divide one figure into the other. An index value below 100 means there are more lower-paying jobs relative to higher-paying jobs; a value above 100 means the opposite.
Other entities involved in the creation of the index are the Cornell University Law School, the University of Missouri at Kansas City, the Coalition for a Prosperous America and the Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity.
This month, the index is just over 80, meaning there are 80 high-paying jobs for every 100 low-paying jobs. That’s a stark drop from 1990, when there were 94 high-paying jobs for every 100 low-paying jobs.
“There aren’t enough ‘good jobs’ to go around,” the Brookings Institution proclaimed earlier this month, when it released a report that found 44% of all workers are low-wage workers. These workers make a median pay of just $18,000 a year.
Looking at the job landscape this way shows an aspect that isn’t demonstrated by the headline numbers often touted by the press and the White House — such as the unemployment rate, which is near a 50-year low, or the number of job openings, which has been higher than the number of unemployed people for a year and a half. (source)
This study’s result is not a surprise to anybody in the job market, but a confirmation of what people already know. Unfortunately, the idea that the median salary is about $60,000 now is not a reflection of reality, especially considering that less that 75% of people earn that or more. Rather, there is a small highly elite class that has emerged with tremendous assets next to a burgeoning poor class that lives mired in debt and misery with no way to discharge a lot of it, especially that which comes from the infamous student loans.
The current work environment has become much more difficult too. Whereas in the past a man could work two jobs if he was poor, this is rapidly becoming impossible as employers are demanding very flexible schedules with no consistency and while giving days off, will unofficially criticize and employee for taking them that could lead to him being laid off or fired in the future.
People have talked about the American dream as being a fantasy, and it very much always has been this, and might be argued to be a “Jewish dream” in that the phrase “American dream” and the ideas associated with it have a curious overlap between major Jewish film producers, entertainers, and marketers and seem to be the producers and main promulgators of it, and with little evidence that such a direct concept existed prior to the mass Jewish migrations to the US from Germany and Eastern Europe during the late 19th and early 20th century.
The reality is that for most people, there is no dream, but a nightmare, and people were forced to wake up from that dream to the nightmare in 2007. The full effects of that year were mitigated by government financialization of private debts, but the full effects could easily be realized again, as most people are poor, the quality of work and qualit of life continues to decline, and all it needs is a natural downturn in the business cycle to revive all that happened in 2007 and even worse than before.
For those who have been paying attention, now is not the time to rest, but to work very hard, to persist in one’s efforts, and to prepare for what is coming, as when the next recession strikes, it will likely deal a permanent and fatal blow to most people’s finances, their futures, and that of their progeny, as one can barely support oneself, let alone a wife or two children, on not what the majority of the “new” jobs pay, which it scarcely $20,000 per year and with few to no benefits offered, let along time off or the ability to live a semblance of a normal life, as this is the new norm.