75 Economic Numbers From 2012 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe

Tyler Durden's picture

Compiled by Michael of Investment Watch blog,

What a year 2012 has been!  The mainstream media continues to tell us what a “great job” the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve are doing of managing the economy, but meanwhile things just continue to get even worse for the poor and the middle class.  It is imperative that we educate the American people about the true condition of our economy and about why all of this is happening.  If nothing is done, our debt problems will continue to get worse, millions of jobs will continue to leave the country, small businesses will continue to be suffocated, the middle class will continue to collapse, and poverty in the United States will continue to explode.  Just “tweaking” things slightly is not going to fix our economy.  We need a fundamental change in direction.  Right now we are living in a bubble of debt-fueled false prosperity that allows us to continue to consume far more wealth than we produce, but when that bubble bursts we are going to experience the most painful economic “adjustment” that America has ever gone through.  We need to be able to explain to our fellow Americans what is coming, why it is coming and what needs to be done.  Hopefully the crazy economic numbers that I have included in this article will be shocking enough to wake some people up.

The end of the year is a time when people tend to gather with family and friends more than they do during the rest of the year.  Hopefully many of you will use the list below as a tool to help start some conversations about the coming economic collapse with your loved ones.  Sadly, most Americans still tend to doubt that we are heading into economic oblivion.  So if you have someone among your family and friends that believes that everything is going to be “just fine”, just show them these numbers.  They are a good summary of the problems that the U.S. economy is currently facing.

The following are 75 economic numbers from 2012 that are almost too crazy to believe...

#1 In December 2008, 31.6 million Americans were on food stamps.  Today, a new all-time record of 47.7 million Americans are on food stamps.  That number has increased by more than 50 percent over the past four years, and yet the mainstream media still has the gall to insist that “things are getting better”.

#2 Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.  Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps.

#3 According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

#4 According to one recent survey, 55 percent of all Americans have received money from a safety net program run by the federal government at some point in their lives.

#5 For the first time ever, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless.  That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.

#6 Median household income in the U.S. has fallen for four consecutive years.  Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.

#7 Families that have a head of household under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.

#8 The percentage of working age Americans with a job has been under 59 percent for 39 months in a row.

#9 In September 2009, during the depths of the last economic crisis, 58.7 percent of all working age Americans were employed.  In November 2012, 58.7 percent of all working age Americans were employed.  It is more then 3 years later, and we are in the exact same place.

#10 When you total up all working age Americans that do not have a job in America today, it comes to more than 100 million.

#11 According to one recent survey, 55 percent of all small business owners in America “say they would not start a business today given what they know now and in the current environment.”

#12 The number of jobs at new small businesses continues to decline.  According to economist Tim Kane, the following is how the decline in the number of startup jobs per 1000 Americans breaks down by presidential administration

Bush Sr.: 11.3

Clinton: 11.2

Bush Jr.: 10.8

Obama: 7.8

#13 The U.S. share of global GDP has fallen from 31.8 percent in 2001 to 21.6 percent in 2011.

#14 The United States has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.

#15 There are four major U.S. banks that each have more than 40 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives.

#16 In 2000, there were more than 17 million Americans working in manufacturing, but now there are less than 12 million.

#17 According to the Pew Research Center, 61 percent of all Americans were “middle income” back in 1971.  Today, only 51 percent of all Americans are.

#18 The Pew Research Center has also found that 85 percent of all middle class Americans say that it is harder to maintain a middle class standard of living today than it was 10 years ago.

#19 62 percent of all middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.

#20 Right now, approximately 48 percent of all Americans are either considered to be “low income” or are living in poverty.

#21 Approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered to be either “low income” or impoverished.

#22 According to one survey, 77 percent of all Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time.

#23 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Today, less than 65 percentof all men in the United States have jobs.

#24 The average amount of time that an unemployed worker stays out of work in the United States is 40 weeks.

#25 If you can believe it, approximately one out of every four American workers makes 10 dollars an hour or less.

#26 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an all-time record 49 percent of all Americans live in a home where at least one person receives financial assistance from the federal government.  Back in 1983, that number was less than 30 percent.

#27 Right now, more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.  And that does not even count Social Security or Medicare.  Overall, there are almost 80 different “means-tested welfare programs” that the federal government is currently running.

#28 When you account for all government transfer payments and all forms of government employment, more than half of all Americans are now at least partially financially dependent on the government.

#29 Barack Obama has been president for less than four years, and during that time the number of Americans “not in the labor force” has increased by nearly 8.5 million.  Something seems really “off” about that number, because during the entire decade of the 1980s the number of Americans “not in the labor force” only rose by about 2.5 million.

#30 Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.

#31 According to USA Today, many Americans have actually seen their water bills triple over the past 12 years.

#32 There are now 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing.  That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.

#33 Right now, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents.

#34 As the economy has slowed down, so has the number of marriages.  According to a Pew Research Center analysis, only 51 percent of all Americans that are at least 18 years old are currently married.  Back in 1960, 72 percent of all U.S. adults were married.

#35 At this point, only 24.6 percent of all jobs in the United States are good jobs.

#36 In 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance.  Today, only 55.1 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.

#37 Recently it was announced that total student loan debt in the United States has passed the one trillion dollar mark.

#38 If you can believe it, one out of every seven Americans has at least 10 credit cards.

#39 One survey of business executives has ranked California as the worst state in America to do business for 8 years in a row.

#40 In the city of Detroit today, more than 50 percent of all children are living in poverty, and close to 50 percent of all adults are functionally illiterate.

#41 It is being projected that half of all American children will be on food stamps at least once before they turn 18 years of age.

#42 More than three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as will be sold in 2012.

#43 If you can believe it, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed last year.

#44 The U.S. economy continues to trade good paying jobs for low paying jobs.  60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.

#45 Our trade deficit with China in 2011 was $295.5 billion.  That was the largest trade deficit that one country has had with another country in the history of the planet.

#46 The United States has lost an average of approximately 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

#47 According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.

#48 The U.S. tax code is now more than 3.8 million words long.  If you took all of William Shakespeare’s works and collected them together, the entire collection would only be about 900,000 words long.

#49 According to the IMF, the global elite are holding a total of 18 trillion dollars in offshore banking havens such as the Cayman Islands.

#50 The value of the U.S. dollar has declined by more than 96 percent since the Federal Reserve was first created.

#51 2012 was the third year in a row that the yield for corn has declined in the United States.

#52 Experts are telling us that global food reserves have reached their lowest level in almost 40 years.

#53 One recent survey discovered that 40 percent of all Americans have $500 or less in savings.

#54 If you can believe it, one recent survey found that 28 percent of all Americans do not have a single penny saved for emergencies.

#55 Medical costs related to obesity in the United States are estimated to be approximately $147 billion a year.

#56 Corporate profits as a percentage of GDP are at an all-time high.  Meanwhile, wages as a percentage of GDP are near an all-time low.

#57 Today, the wealthiest 1 percent of all Americans own more wealth than the bottom 95 percent combined.

#58 The wealthiest 400 families in the United States have about as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent of all Americans combined.

#59 The six heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have a net worth that is roughly equal to the bottom 30 percentof all Americans combined.

#60 At this point, the poorest 50 percent of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.

#61 Nearly 500,000 federal employees now make at least $100,000 a year.

#62 In 2006, only 12 percent of all federal workers made $100,000 or more per year.  Now, approximately 22 percent of all federal workers do.

#63 If you can believe it, there are 77,000 federal workers that make more than the governors of their own states do.

#64 Nearly 15,000 retired federal workers are collecting federal pensions for life worth at least $100,000 annually.  The list includes such names as Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, Trent Lott, Dick Gephardt and Dick Cheney.

#65 U.S. taxpayers spend more than 20 times as much on the Obamas as British taxpayers spend on the royal family.

#66 Family homelessness in the Washington D.C. region (one of the wealthiest regions in the entire country) has risen 23 percent since the last recession began.

#67 If Bill Gates gave every single penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for about 15 days.

#68 During fiscal year 2012, 62 percent of the federal budget was spent on entitlements.

#69 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, approximately one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.

#70 It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

#71 Medicare is also growing by leaps and bounds.  As I wrote about recently, it is being projected that the number of Americans on Medicare will grow from 50.7 million in 2012 to 73.2 million in 2025.

#72 Thanks to our foolish politicians (including Obama), Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion dollars over the next 75 years.  That comes to approximately $328,404 for each and every household in the United States.

#73 Amazingly, the U.S. national debt is now up to 16.3 trillion dollars.  When Barack Obama first took office the national debt was just 10.6 trillion dollars.

#74 During the first four years of the Obama administration, the U.S. government accumulated about as much debt as it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that George W. Bush took office.

#75 Today, the U.S. national debt is more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was originally created back in 1913.

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XOFnews's picture

Obama just told us things are improving. He almost laughed, but "even housing" is improving. Why dwell on 75 problems caused by Bush tax cuts and unfunded wars when we are making progress. Forward. Slaves. Forward.

JR's picture

Some SS facts today from Jason Fichtner on MarketWatch.

·     65% of all beneficiaries rely on Social Security to provide 50% or more of their incomes.

·     36% rely on benefits for 90% or more of their incomes.

·       For non-married beneficiaries, including widows, the reliance is higher with 74% relying on benefits for 50% or more of their incomes and 46% relying for 90% or more of their incomes.

ugmug's picture

I have some more SS facts.....

80% of slot machines in casinos are played by retirees on social security.

60% of instant lottery ticket sales are brought by widows on social security.

100% of dumb ass liberals think social security is used strictly for survival and nothing else.



JR's picture

IOW, make up some facts about the elderly and starve ‘em. Nuke the Muslims and starve the baby boomers and the world will be better.

Except the people who are left will have to walk around in leg irons. And you, my friend, are the perfect candidate for leg irons.

Zap Powerz's picture

A very small percentage of the human population cause a lot of problems for the vast majority.

This will never change.

Frozen IcQb's picture

For me, America was the land of entrepreneurship, freedom of speech, expression, self defence against government tyranny (2nd amendment), libertarianism and justice. America is no longer. We are now just US citizens.

I had to stop reading in disgust, digest and read the rest later.


EARLPEARL's picture

2 more years and obama gets control of congress back.....then dems come up with somet ype of JUBILEE or debt forgiveness program..........all poor people and middle class get fresh start...new car...new furniture..etc. etc... gdp grows like wild...new president comes in and inflation is 15 % prime rate is 12% and volker gets facelift and viagra and we do again...

dolph9's picture

America is a crash and burn society.  The experiment that encapsulates and defines at its end the experiment of humanity itself.

In the long run most around the world may very well be better off, but in the short run America's demise will mean all bets are off on what happens.

There's nobody else around that can police the oil flows and provide a currency backed by it.  Nobody else is foolish enough to try it.

The last time something like this happened was 1914.

I am Jobe's picture

No Amerika is a inbred fuck society.

I am Jobe's picture

Yes we can, More fucking Hope and Change from the Lords Bitchezz. Amerikan are truly inbred fuck heads. It's over. Go fuck your with yourself Amerika and bend over with no vaseline. Yeah Great fucking U's and minds they say.

I am Jobe's picture

#54 If you can believe it, one recent survey found that 28 percent of all Americans do not have a single penny saved for emergencies

Buy more fucking shit u inbred fuck Amerikans


I am Jobe's picture

#17 According to the Pew Research Center, 61 percent of all Americans were “middle income” back in 1971. Today, only 51 percent of all Americans are.

Fucking big deal. Most of them are whores anyway.


IridiumRebel's picture

Good News is that when our economy goes nuclear meltdown, it will roll your fagtastic banana republic of cuntry's economy with it....and then we will get to work and rebuild it back. We got these shits called resources....MORE THAN ALMOST ANYWHERE ELSE. We just got some fuckheads in charge now, but that will change. Americans are not stupid for the most part. Do not think we all are like those fuckheads from Joisey Shoire. Cheers!

IridiumRebel's picture

I downvoted me too cuz this whole thing fuckin sucks.



Yen Cross's picture

Fuck those marxist douchebags!  We know who you are! +1

AnAnonymous's picture

and then we will get to work and rebuild it back. We got these shits called resources....MORE THAN ALMOST ANYWHERE ELSE.

Newsflash for you: no matter how much resource the US has, it still has less than the world.

And US Americans have secured their life style by tapping in the world's resources.

There is something like a US world order, you know...

Yen Cross's picture

You are a poor excuse for Chinism, you jism faced asshat. Head back to your reverse repos and rivers full of suds! BITCH!

Bubble trouble: 50ft tsunami of foam sweeps through village following chemical spill | Mail Online

akak's picture

Newsflash for YOU, Chinese hypocritizen: no matter how much world resources China blobs-up (and they do more than any other nation, INCLUDING the USA), it still is never enough, because rapacious Chinese blobbing-up nature is eternal.

When it comes to unsustainable consumption, Chinese hypocrisy is as Chinese blobbing-up does ...

IridiumRebel's picture

Pax Americana: Courtesy of enough nukes to turn us all into orange afro wearing cancer-bots. 

Parrotile's picture

When the US Economy "goes Nuclear meltdown" (as you put it), you will find that there are a LOT of Countries that have been on the receiving end of American interference, who have long memories, and quite a thirst for revenge when the opportunity presents itself - being mindful of the old adage "revenge is a dish best had cold".

You'll be rebuilding, but the rebuilding will be under the direction of, and for the benefit of, your new masters - and they won't be American.


WTFx10's picture

Our Masters now aren't American. Most likely niether are yours where ever you reside. Follow the money it leads to the masters everything else is deception.

Which works quite well.

"The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks." John Dalberg Lord Acton

Guns don't kill Banksters, Debt Slaves Kill Banksters

IridiumRebel's picture

Our military will still be in tact and many of those people are just like us here. I am talking economically, not militarilly. You are not talking about the pakistani military. Not with a bang but a whisper.....keep dreaming.

Monedas's picture

The End of the World .... Monedian Calendar .... written down on a shoe box lid in crayon ! :    1913 (Fed)... 1914 (WWI) ... 1929 (Depression) ... 1939 (WWII) .... 1949 (Korea) .... 1959 (Cuba) .... 1969 (Viet Nam) .... 1979 (Carter) .... 1989 (Read my lips !) .... 1999 (WTC 1st attempt !)  .... 2009 (Obama) .... 2013 (Fed Centennial) .... 2014 (WWIII) .... 2029 Monedas dies .... world sinks into death spiral of grief, despair, hopelessness and Haliotosis Pandemic) !

Yen Cross's picture

 Hey/ Ya you. You have had some good posts lately. I knew your noodle wasn't over cooked. ;-)

CunnyFunt's picture

YC=ZH unofficial (official) screener

Rock on amigo, +1 for the HuffPost bullshit, fuck them bitches

Bottoms up for the New Year, quit trading for the year and whip it up, cash! bitch.

Yen Cross's picture

 Cunny you keep kicking ass/ I wish you posted more? I love learning from you. 

  WTF is up with Tyler? That's Sacrilege!  I'm looking for light markets next week. I love to trade, like Vikings loved to pillage!

  Now we get some volatility, so I can get technical on short term charts. Merry Christmas (someone made the universe)

CunnyFunt's picture

I love to trade, too. But in 2012 I got hammered on oil longs and barely made up for it on silver shorts. I'm at my wit's end with this bullshit. Ffs, when will reality return? I'm holding until a "sure thing" comes along. Maybe when silver is at 26.66 and oil is at 76.66 I'll buy in. For the mean time, I'm out. MERRY CHRISTMAS (I DON'T feel guilty to say so) and a happy New Year to you and yours!

Yen Cross's picture

I got hammered a few times to.  You aren't alone/ anyone that says they walked out of the quagmire of 2012, is a BOLD FACE LIAR!

   This has been one of the most ponzi/Monkey Hammered years on record! You should never feel bad about sharing your faith!

  I believe in evolution.  The big bang wasn't evolution.

AnAnonymous's picture

One big line is missing

1776 (American declaration of Independence)

akak's picture

One big line of crap is missing:

1935 (Mousy Tongue's Long March of Insanitation)

Never forget that your supposed cultural hero, Mousy Tongue, was the GREATEST mass-murderer in all of human history.

But when dealing with antlike Chinese subhumans, "half-man half-thing", what's a few tens of million dead here and a few tens of million dead there?  Only the inscrutable Chinaman really knows ...

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Easy tryptic:

Your desire

The result

The end game ... not really, I think this was the last.


Interestingly, the last iconic performance by Freddie Mercury, on Top of the Pops, I cannot find. Such is the memory hole.

Yen Cross's picture

 You are an Idiot! I could care less if you're gay. You are just plain stupid! You know nothing about finance/ Do you realize how foolish your links make you look?

 Back to the flower shop/bird cage!

Kreditanstalt's picture

#36 In 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance. Today, only 55.1 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.

This is still too good...hard to believe...I'd have thought 40%


blunderdog's picture

I dunno, I don't feel so warm and fuzzy about #73.

      "When Barack Obama first took office the national debt was just 10.6 trillion dollars."

JUST $10.6T?  WTF?!?!

Is this INTENDED to make it sound like everything was A-OK then?

If $10.6T is OK with you, consider that we were living in PARADISE back in 2000, when it was a PUNY $5.6T.

(Really?  I mean...REALLY?)

IridiumRebel's picture

"#13 The U.S. share of global GDP has fallen from 31.8 percent in 2001 to 21.6 percent in 2011."


Yes, there has been a succession of dumbasses, but that has obviously been by design.

Seer's picture

By Mother Nature's design...

The GDP is a joke.  And when the financial and other virtual-making sectors are your go-to GDP makers, well...  You need to catch that BBC documentary on Spain's economic situation to understand how tenuous all this economic shit is.

NOTE (commenting on a previous posting of yours above): I agree that the US does have lots of resources; the problem is US consumption dwarfs them (would burn through them in no time).  Real wealth only seems to come from resource exports and clear value-add manufacturing (exports).  US debt levels would/will demand that resources are exported rather than consumed internally (which does nothing for the trade deficit).

IridiumRebel's picture

We use resources quicker and faster than everyone. Me and the other American posters here are sickened because the basic premise of America is being decimated. This thread just provides a place for all of the America haters to spout off. Most Americans are kind decent people, but we have a political class who do not have the will or intelligence to turn the boat around. We even have ways of doing this, but they are so afraid of losing voters that they are basically strip mining the country of assets for personal gain. My family has been in this country for almost 400 years. I take our decline personally. I respect people's freedom to post what they want and if kicking us while we are down is comforting to them so be it, but I will use my freedom to call them names. AnAnonymous and Jobe....I'm looking at you. BTW, you too should feel free to tell us all where you are from so we can at least have some fun with it all. 

falak pema's picture

you are only down, you stupid clown, because the 1% of the US hubris brigade decided to change the power meme under Ronald Reagan; to pathological short term capitalism based on unlimited debt and "massive military supremacy" star wars game. It had a price tag to it : which led to the 2008 steroid pumped inevitable deflate; not recognised by desperate oligarchy Caymanista lords; then as ever more so now; those very same that had already sold YOU down the drain.

'Cos THEY, those avowed SCIONS of USA, USA; that you so badly yearn for again like a hooked addict in deprivation; did not differentiate beween sheeple in USA and sheeple elsewhere. All sheeple are toast to them. That's the unkindest cut for delusional Rambos like you; lost in Nam victory and Afghan surge dreams concocted by Hollywood of "we want it all and we want it now" greed. Terminatorista shit storm as real as the Californian cornucopian surplus wealth pile he left his countrymen! Dream on.

Its your own elite that has kicked your moronic ass to pieces. SO don't bite like a pit-bull hot with rabies. Think first and learn to understand the world. Every empire has died from hubris and abandonment of people by the Oligarchs; its a repeat its no big feat. 

So you are experiencing nothing new. Remember those original Indians who have all disappeared?  Whats so special about your "new american" creed. If it only has self pity and delusional proto-fascism to feed on, it will end like all those other mad dog rages : In the gutter of history. 

Your enemy is the Same as that of Spartacus. At least he died with dignity, alike the american indian. Capische gringo?

Humility and learning from past mistakes never killed anybody as fast as feeling rage and more uncontrolable knee jerk.

The country you call your own can turn this round; and it will but thru true grit and sacrifice; not more hubris. 

are we there yet's picture

At end of Obama term now if projected it will be over 24 trillion dollar deficit. If no inflation and economy does not get worse, baby boomers atop aging, and food stamps and entitlements don't get worse. Hmmmmm....... Buy big silver ingots and wrap in stretch wrap for later.

blunderdog's picture

He has to do better than the last guy, so he has to go a comfortable margin beyond...that's how we know we're making progress.

Given that the last guy started at 5.6T, if he came in and it was 10.6T or whatever, if he *doesn't* go higher than 21.2T, he's a total loser by historic standards.

IridiumRebel's picture

AnAnusnonymous has a huge hard on right now.....like four inches and shit. 

Seer's picture

That kind of places you...

Oh, and we don't need to hear any more of what the two of you are doing together.

IridiumRebel's picture

Yes we are together in his little hut having Apocalypse sex as we spout off economic numbers......it's very financial. BTW I am a female.

Seer's picture

Thanks for being a good sport.  Just an attempt at humor... (And, for god's sake- RUN! ha ha!)

orangegeek's picture

And the SP500 climbed over 1% this week.




Still bearish on the outlook.

Yen Cross's picture

 The Huffington Post is showing up in Z/H addscreen? WTF?  Excuse me while I barf up a lung!