End of the American Dream – November 1, 2011
Do you want to feel optimistic about the U.S. economy? If so, you might not want to read the rest of this article. In many areas of the United States today, you can almost smell the fear and the anxiety in the air. Survey after survey has found that the American people are extremely pessimistic about the direction the economy is headed. In fact, many recent surveys have found that economic pessimism is at the highest levels ever recorded. There has been an astonishing loss of faith in the system. In general, people are extremely dissatisfied with how things are going right now, and they do not believe that things will get better any time soon. When the majority of the population starts losing hope like that, it creates a very unstable economic environment. Once people are gripped by desperation, they start behaving much differently. Desperate people do desperate things, and we are already starting to see this in many parts of the country.
It would be great if there was some reason to be optimistic about things, but our leaders continue to pursue the same failed policies that got us into this mess in the first place.
The statistics that you are about to read should alarm you. The American people have gotten it into their heads that things are bad and that they are going to get even worse.
Unfortunately, the American people are correct about that.
The following are 12 reasons to be extremely pessimistic about the direction that the economy is headed right now….
#1 A big chunk of the American people are flat broke. According to one recent survey, one-third of all Americans say that they have absolutely no spare cash.
#2 The budgets of American families are being stretched incredibly thin and the savings rate is going down again. In fact, the savings rate in September was the lowest that it has been since December 2007.
#3 Back in 2001, Gallup began asking Americans about how they feel about the state of their own personal finances. In October, Gallup once again asked this question, and 22 percent of the respondents rated their personal financial situations as “poor”. That is the highest number that Gallup has ever seen. In addition, the gap between the number of Americans that said that their finances were “getting worse” and the number of Americans that said their finances were “getting better” was also the largest that Gallup has ever seen.
#4 Overall, Americans are very depressed about the state of the U.S. economy. According to a recent Associated Press-GfK poll, 43 percent of all Americans believe that the economy is in “very poor” shape.
#5 Big corporations continue to lay off more American workers. For example, Whirlpool has just announced that it will be slashing 5,000 more jobs in the United States and Europe.
#6 Americans seem to have an incredibly dim view of the job market. One recent survey discovered the following….
This month, just 9% of Americans would rate the job market of their region of the nation as good while 67% would rate it as bad and one-quarter (24%) say it is neither good nor bad.
#7 If nearly all Americans believe that something bad is going to happen, does that make it more likely that it actually will happen? A recent IBOPE Zogby Interactive Poll found that 95 percent of all Americans are “somewhat concerned” or “very concerned” that we are headed for a double-dip recession.
#8 The American people are also overwhelmingly pessimistic about the housing market. In fact, the same IBOPE Zogby Interactive Poll referenced above found that 89 percent of all Americans are “somewhat concerned” or “very concerned” that there will be an increase in foreclosures over the next two years.
#9 Older Americans tend to be cranky in general, but the amount of pessimism that they are exhibiting about the economy right now is absolutely stunning. The following comes from a recent article in the Huffington Post….
Older workers are gloomier about the economy now than they were last year.
Nearly two thirds of workers older than 50 first surveyed by AARP’s Public Policy Institute in 2010 said things had gotten worse by the time the senior lobbying powerhouse followed up in August. Fewer than one in 10 said their view of the economy had improved. The rest said things had stayed the same.
#10 The consensus among the American people seems to be that the economy will get even worse leading up to the election in 2012. The following is what one recent telephone survey discovered….
By a 49%-35% margin, Americans say they expect the U.S. economy to worsen between now and the November 2012 presidential election.
#11 The U.S. national debt is an anchor around our necks that just gets heavier and heavier as time goes by. The U.S. government is now about 15 trillion dollars in debt, and a recent Allstate-National Journal poll discovered that 79 percent of all Americans “believe the federal debt and deficit have a meaningful impact on their personal finances.”
#12 The financial crisis in Europe just seems to get worse by the day. The United States is already teetering on the edge of an economic disaster, and if Europe experiences a big time financial crash it seems extremely unlikely that we would be able to avoid another major recession.
Things simply do not look very promising for the economy right now.
As I wrote about recently, there are a lot of signs that the American people are already extremely angry and frustrated by what is happening to the economy.
So what is going to happen if things get significantly worse?
Unfortunately, there simply are not any “quick fixes” which are going to put us back “on course”. The consequences that we are experiencing now are the result of decades of bad decisions. The American people kept sending incompetents, con men and charlatans back to Washington D.C. over and over and over and now we are going to pay the price.
The prosperity of the last 30 years was a false prosperity. We squandered our national inheritance and we lived the “high life” by piling up mountains of debt unlike anything that the world has ever seen before.
In the end, there is always a very high price for “living for today” at the expense of the future. Tomorrow always ends up arriving way too soon, and future generations will curse us for being so foolish.
The party was great while it lasted, but it is coming to an end.
A whole lot of economic trouble is on the horizon, and it is going to be very, very painful.