Richard (Rick) Mills
Ahead of the Herd
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As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information
Ironic isn’t it? A record number of people on food stamps yet new highs for stock indices. Below is an interesting question posed by Michael Snyder. The answer is very important to your future.
“If the economy is getting better, then why does poverty in America continue to grow so rapidly? Yes, the stock market has been hitting all-time highs recently, but also the number of Americans living in poverty has now reached a level not seen since the 1960s. Yes, corporate profits are at levels never seen before, but so is the number of Americans on food stamps. Yes, housing prices have started to rebound a little bit (especially in wealthy areas), but there are also more than a million public school students in America that are homeless...should we measure our economic progress by the false stock market bubble that has been inflated by Ben Bernanke’s reckless money printing, or should we measure our economic progress by how the poor and the middle class are doing?” Michael Snyder, infowars.com
- U.S. labor force participation is now down to where it was in 1979 – 63.3 percent.
- Adjusted for inflation household incomes are now back to levels last seen in the 1990s - average per capita wage is around $26,000, household median income is at $50,000.
- Adjusted for inflation markets are lower than they were in 2000.
- U.S. national debt is $16+ trillion.
- The banking system backs $7.4 trillion in insured deposits with $32 billion, that’s just .43 percent – when the U.S. was on the gold standard your dollar was backed 40% with gold. In 1987 there were over 13,000 banks, today there are 6,000. There are 50 banks with assets totaling over $20 billion.
- Student debt totals over $1 trillion. Medical care is the second fastest inflating sector after first place college tuition. Since 1985, college tuition has soared nearly 600 percent and medical care is fast approaching 400 percent. The overall Consumers Price Index (CPI) is at 200 percent.
- The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet is plus $3.2 trillion and the Fed is continuing to purchase assets at a rate of $85 billion a month.
- Consumer sentiment is at crisis levels last seen in 2008. In August 2012, in A Pew Research survey of middle-class Americans done in August 2012, reported 42 percent of those surveyed said they were worse off than they were in 2008.
A Rasmussen survey showed that only 39 percent believed the U.S. economy would be stronger in five years - the first time that figure has ever dipped below 40 percent.
The John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University’s survey showed that more than half of those surveyed believe the U.S. economy will not fully recover for another six years, and nearly one-third said the U.S. economy will never fully recover.
- Estimates put a return to “normal” employment deep into 2019 – and that’s a best case recovery with no hiccups.
- The largest city bankruptcy in US history was just announced for Stockton, California - population 300,000.
- People aren’t buying cars because they can afford them – U.S. cars, on average, are almost 11 years old, that’s the oldest the fleets been since record keeping began. When cars get old they breakdown, costly repairs happen all too often. Unfortunately for a consumer driven economy already swirling around the bowl every dollar spent on a car purchase is one not being replaced for purchases elsewhere.
- In the final quarter of 2012, the US economy expanded at an annual rate of 0.4 percent. The 0.4 percent growth rate for the gross domestic product (GDP) was the weakest quarterly performance in almost two years.
- For all of 2012, the economy grew 2.2 percent, that’s after a 1.8 percent increase in 2011 and a 2.4 percent advance in 2010. Since the recession ended in the summer of 2009 the economy has been expanding at sub-par rates.
- The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the combination of tax increases and spending cuts (the much talked about fiscal cliff) could trim economic growth this year by 1.5 percentage points leaving just 1.5 percentage points for growth in 2013.
- The just released (April 10th) Presidential budget calls for $580 billion in new taxes, $400 billion in health savings plus an additional $200 billion in savings from farm subsidy reductions and reforms to Federal retirement plans.
Food stamp participation increased from about 17.2 million in fiscal year 2000 to 26 million people in July 2006. By August 2008, participation had reached an all-time (non-disaster) high of 29 million people per month.
Today roughly 15 percent (47.3 million) of Americans are on food stamps - the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Half of current SNAP recipients are children, and half of these ten million children live in extreme poverty, meaning family income is less than half the official poverty level.
In the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps. One in six Americans receives food stamps today.
Last year’s average monthly benefit was $133 per person – Republican’s are seeking $16 billion worth of cuts to the SNAP program over 10 years.
Three out of four households receiving SNAP benefits include at least one person who is working.
The ranks of America's poor have climbed to 50 million.