Little By Little, The Economy Has Declined To A Point Where Almost Everyone Is Struggling

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It happened so gradually that a lot of people didn’t even realize what was happening.  The cost of living just kept rising faster than paychecks were, and little by little our standard of living just kept going down.  Now we have reached a stage where the ultra-wealthy are thriving but almost everyone else is struggling.  For most people, it is a real fight just to pay the bills from month to month.  The majority of the population is deep in debt, and meanwhile the cost of just about everything is going up and up.  Millions of Americans feel like they are drowning financially, and there is no easy way out.  Sadly, many of them don’t even realize that the game was designed to get them on to a hamster wheel and keep them running for as long as possible.

When I was a kid, the United States had a very large and very prosperous middle class.

Life certainly wasn’t perfect in those days, but just about everyone that I knew could afford to live a comfortable middle class lifestyle.

Sadly, now everything has changed.

According to a survey that was just conducted by Seven Letter Insight, 65 percent of Americans “who earn more than 200% of the federal poverty level” admit that they are struggling financially…

In the large poll of 2,500 adults, 65% of people who earn more than 200% of the federal poverty level — that’s at least $60,000 for a family of four, often considered middle class — said they are struggling financially.

If 65 percent of those that “earn more than 200% of the federal poverty level” are struggling, what about those that earn less than that?

Needless to say, almost all of them are struggling.

That same survey discovered that 46 percent of Americans don’t even have 500 dollars saved up…

About 40% of respondents were unable to plan beyond their next paycheck, and 46% didn’t have $500 saved. The February poll found that more than half said it’s at least somewhat difficult to manage current levels of debt.

Over the past couple of years, the stock market has been “booming” and the ultra-wealthy have been getting richer and richer.

But things have been getting worse for virtually all the rest of us.

According to Zillow, over the past four years “the monthly mortgage payment on a typical U.S. home has nearly doubled”…

The real estate firm Zillow reports that since January 2020, the monthly mortgage payment on a typical U.S. home has nearly doubled. It’s up 96% in just four years.

According to Zillow, a typical buyer will now pay nearly $2,200 a month, with a 10% down payment. Meaning, homeownership now costs well above the 30% of median income that was once thought to equate to “affordable” housing cost in America.

Has your income doubled over the past four years?

If not, you are falling behind.

The American people absolutely hate what is being done to their standard of living.

In fact, during a recent interview Neel Kashkari astutely observed that Americans “really, viscerally hate high inflation”

Neel Kashkari, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, says one of the things he has learned in the past few years is that consumers would rather see the economy fall into a recession than to continue to suffer the pain of soaring prices.

“The American people – and maybe people in Europe, equally – really hate high inflation,” Kashkari told the Financial Times podcast “The Economics Show with Soumaya Keynes” last week. “I mean, really, viscerally hate high inflation.”

He is right.

I really detest inflation.

I am sure that you do too.

But what he didn’t mention is that the Federal Reserve and our politicians in Washington are responsible for creating the epic cost of living crisis that we are currently facing.

They caused this mess, and now they don’t seem to have any solutions for cleaning it up.

Meanwhile, economic activity just continues to slow down.

On Tuesday, we learned that the number of job openings in the U.S. has fallen to the lowest level in more than 3 years

Job openings fell more than forecast in April, signaling a potential weakening in the labor market that could provide the Federal Reserve with more impetus to start lowering interest rates.

The Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey released Tuesday showed that the level of employment vacancies slipped to 8.06 million for the month, down by nearly 300,000 from March and close to 19% lower than a year ago.

Moreover, the total marked the lowest since February 2021.

And more workers are being dumped into the streets with each passing day.

For example, Rubio’s Coastal Grill just announced that it will be permanently closing 48 locations in the state of California

California’s $20-an-hour fast food minimum wage has its first casualty.

Mexican chain Rubio’s Coastal Grill is shuttering 48 restaurants in the state – because of the ‘rising cost of doing business in California’.

‘While painful, the store closures are a necessary step in our strategic long-term plan to position Rubio’s for success for years to come,’ a Rubio’s spokesperson added.

As this year rolls along, we will see a lot more stories like this.

For a long time, our leaders were able to keep the party going by flooding the system with money.

But now inflation is out of control and we have reached the terminal phase of the “greatest credit bubble in human history”

Mark Spitznagel, chief investment officer of Universa Investments, is known for being a “permabear” when it comes to the stock market outlook.

Spitznagel told Bloomberg in an earlier interview that we’re witnessing the “greatest credit bubble in human history.”

“Credit bubbles end. They pop. There’s no way to stop them from popping,” he said, adding that the Fed has brought the economy to a place “where there’s no turning back.”

Spitznagel is right on target.

There really is no turning back now.

Our leaders have wrecked the greatest economic machine in the history of the world.

What is ahead of us is a tremendous amount of pain.

So if you think that things are bad now, just wait until you see what is coming next.

For years, little by little our standard of living has been collapsing.

But now we are entering a time when our economic slide will become an economic avalanche.

Decades of absolutely disastrous decisions have brought us to this point, and now we shall truly reap what we have sown.

Michael’s new book entitled “Chaos” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com, and you can subscribe to his Substack newsletter at michaeltsnyder.substack.com.

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