"This Is About As Good As Things Are Going To Get For The Middle Class"

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

The U.S. economy has had six full years to bounce back since the financial collapse of 2008, and it simply has not happened.  Median household income has declined substantially since then, total household wealth for middle class families is way down, the percentage of the population that is employed is still about where it was at the end of the last recession, and the number of Americans that are dependent on the government has absolutely exploded.  Even those that claim that the economy is "recovering" admit that we are not even close to where we used to be economically.  Many hope that someday we will eventually get back to that level, but the truth is that this is about as good as things are ever going to get for the middle class.  And we should enjoy this period of relative stability while we still can, because when the next great financial crisis strikes things are going to fall apart very rapidly.

The U.S. Census Bureau has just released some brand new numbers, and they are quite sobering.  For example, after accounting for inflation median household income in the United States has declined a total of 8 percent from where it was back in 2007.

That means that middle class families have significantly less purchasing power than they did just prior to the last major financial crisis.

And one research firm is projecting that it is going to take until 2019 for median household income to return to the level that we witnessed in 2007...

For everybody wondering why the economic recovery feels like a recession, here’s the answer: We’re still at least five years away from regaining everything lost during the 2007-2009 downturn.


Forecasting firm IHS Global Insight predicts that real median household income — perhaps the best proxy for middle-class living standards — won’t reach the prior peak from 2007 until 2019. Since the numbers are adjusted for inflation, that means the typical family will wait 12 years until their purchasing power is as strong as it was before the recession. That would be the longest period of stagnation, by far, since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Of course that projection assumes that the economy will continue to "recover", which is a very questionable assumption at best.

Meanwhile, total household wealth has been declining for middle class families as well.

According to the New York Times, the "typical American household" is now worth 36 percent less than it was worth a decade ago.

That is a pretty substantial drop.  But you never hear our politicians (especially the Democrats) bring up numbers like that because they want us to feel good about things.

So why is all of this happening?

The biggest reason why the middle class is struggling so much is the lack of good jobs.

As the chart posted below demonstrates, the percentage of the working age population that is actually employed is still way, way below where it was prior to the last recession...

Employment Population Ratio

The "employment recovery" (the tiny little bump at the end of the chart) has been so miniscule that it is hardly even worth mentioning.

At the moment, we still have 1.4 million fewer full-time jobs than we did in 2008 even though more than 100,000 people are added to the U.S. population each month.

And a lot of the workers that have lost jobs since the start of the last recession have never been able to find a new one.

According to a brand new survey conducted by Rutgers University, more than 20 percent of all workers that have been laid off in the past five years still have not found a new job.

Meanwhile, the control freak bureaucrats that run this country continue to kill off small businesses.

In recent years we have seen large numbers of small businesses fail, and at this point the rate of small business ownership in the United States is at an all-time low.

As a result of everything that you have just read, the middle class is shrinking and dependence on the government is soaring.

Today, there are 49 million Americans that are dealing with food insecurity, and Americans received more than 2 trillion dollars in benefits from the federal government last year alone.

For many more statistics just like this, please see my previous article entitled "30 stats to show to anyone that does not believe the middle class is being destroyed".

Without a doubt, things are not that good for the middle class in America these days.

Unfortunately, the next great wave of financial trouble is rapidly approaching, and once it strikes things are going to get substantially worse for the middle class.

Yes, the stock market set record high after record high this summer.  But what we have observed is classic bubble behavior.  So many of the exact same patterns that occurred just prior to previous stock market crashes are happening once again.

And it is interesting to note that September 22nd has marked important market peaks at various times throughout history...

For traders, September 22 is one of those days with a notorious history. UBS's Art Cashin notes that September 22 marked various market highs in 1873, 1929, 1980, and even as recent as 2008.

Could the coming months be the beginning of the next major stock market decline?

Small-cap stocks are already starting to show signs of real weakness.  In fact, the Russell 2000 just hit a "death cross" for the first time in more than 2 years...

The Russell 2000 has been diverging from the broader market over the last several weeks, and now technicians point out it has flashed a bearish signal. For the first time in more than two years, the small-cap index has hit a so-called death cross.


A death cross occurs when a nearer-term 50-day moving average falls below a longer-term, 200-day moving average. Technicians argue that a death cross can be a bearish sign.

None of us knows what the market is going to do tomorrow, but a lot of the "smart money" is getting out of the market right now while the getting is good.

So where is the "smart money" putting their assets?

In a previous article, I discussed how sales of gold bars to wealthy clients is way up so far this year.

And CNBC has just reported that the ultra-wealthy "are holding mountains of cash" right now...

Billionaires are holding mountains of cash, offering the latest sign that the ultra-wealthy are nervous about putting more money into today's markets.


According to the new Billionaire Census from Wealth-X and UBS, the world's billionaires are holding an average of $600 million in cash each—greater than the gross domestic product of Dominica.

Why are they doing this?

Are they concerned about the potential of a market crash?

And if we do see another market crash like we witnessed back in 2008, what is that going to mean for the rest of us?

2008 certainly did not destroy our economy.

But it did cause an immense amount of damage that we have never recovered from.

Now the next wave is approaching, and most people don't even see it coming.

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goldhedge's picture



The9thDoctor's picture

Good luck millennials!

A house that went for $80,000 in 1998 is now magically worth a quarter mil, despite 16 moar years of wear and tear. That once nice suburban area that house is in, is now turning ghetto, so enjoy your meth dealing neighbors.

Tuition and books have tripled since then too, So you will need student loans that you'll never be able to repay or extinguish.

Gas has tripled, food has tripled, and now you will be forced to buy health insurance which is like yet another mortgage payment.

Virtually every new Government Motors car in post bailout era has had a recall, but you'll get a 84 month loan, so you'll be making full monthly payments in year 6 and 7 on a car that is junkyard-worthy.

All you will get with your college degree is a 28 hour a week service job that pays $10 an hour, and you will need 2 of those just to skate by.

Since these jobs don't pay squat. You'll need to go through hoops and hurdles to qualify for various government assistance programs.

But hey, "the good news" is at least you can check your fantasy football stats on your cell phone while on the clock, because your boss is busy checking his too!

Shocker's picture

Only the middle / lower class are the ones still waiting on the recovery.

Going from Full Time / Benefits to Part Time / No Benefits

Layoff / Business Closing List:



Ward cleaver's picture

Forget college. Tell your kids
to learn a trade. Guy put in a new hot water
tank tells me " oh I live in Scarsdale. That'll be
$800 (cash if you have it".

sleigher's picture

Learn a trade and be good at it.  Gunsmithing comes to mind...

Mad Max's picture

In all seriousness gunsmithing is primarily a luxury market, much like working on golf clubs or tennis rackets.  The kind of guns that people will want for bad times don't break much, and when they do break it's either a $5 part you can replace yourself (anything on a Glock, and many parts on AR15s and AKs), or the gun's not fixable.

Plumbing, HVAC and broad-range-of-skills carpentry would be excellent choices, IMHO.

arby63's picture

Too much truth in this post to digest. This is sad facts.

TinF0ilHat's picture

Not a wrong word in this remark.

freewolf7's picture

It needs to collapse to be rebuilt.

Monty Burns's picture

An inescapable conclusion.  A rough few years are ahead as the reset takes place. 

TuPhat's picture

It won't be a reset.  This collapse will be big enough that things will never get back to where they are now.  The world will be a different place in many ways.  Governments will still play games with us but they will be different games not a reset of the current game.  You are exactly right about the rough years ahead but I think it will be more than a few.

centerline's picture

Yup.  Game changer.  Period.  There is no return to where we came from.  Half of that (if not more) was an illusion anyhow.

Freddie's picture

True.  Back when the zio-elites installed you know who, I realized that the US will fall apart like the old Soviet Union.  Old people will lose pensions and social security will get cut.

The Russians had lots of crime and blood letting but this will be nothing like what will happen in the USSA.   People voted for this and idiots who watch TV and hollywood vote for every day when they watch.

stacking12321's picture

yup, exactly, freddie, the joos did it! it has nothing to do with what we did to ourselves. always good to have someone around to point a finger at...

TeethVillage88s's picture

Maybe I'll bring the Govt down on me for saying this, but there are larger issues in play:

- Integrity in Government, Original Regulation was in response to Robber-Baron Monopolies, Regulation Capture is where people with money, power & influence pay, bribe, or offer career advancement to government officials for their influence and support for documents

- Jobs are down, Wages are down, Savings are Down, Wealth of US Middle Class is down, it is a break down in the education system to have young people say that education is too expensive, Culture has broken down to equal just corporate culture as parents must work, parents just manage their kids like human resources, ... we no longer get to know our kids & don't help to see that they have normal relationships and don't look to see how they respect themselves OR Understand Themselves OR How they relate to other kids and adults and learning...

- Today marks the high point in US Middle Class Wealth and the Top for their Strength, this means this is the last chance for Revolutionary changes in Federal Government, In Simplifying Income Taxes, In simplifying Accounting, In simplifying Financial Instruments, and in ending the crazy stuff that caused the 2008 Global Financial Crisis

- The US Ideal is gone, The Vision is Gone, the basis of USA's Unique Freedom & Liberty & Equality is gone as the US Constitution is pushed aside by Presidential Signing Orders and Everything that the US Congress Does or signs

- Militarism is up, Violence is accepted, Women are now part of the Male Culture of Tough and Violent


- Everyone Agrees that the USA Joining World War I was a big mistake and possibly a huge PR Campaign, I agree with this... War doesn't pay off for anyone even if you claim the high ground by saying your smart bombs reduce Civilian Casualties

- facts seem to indicate that Bankers operate behind the scenes to promote war, war loans, war debts, payments to Defense Contractors of which they are investing, and today we have Contractor Logisticians, Contractor Mercenaries, Contractor Armies, and it is big Business


- You gotta talk about the loss of small businesses, there is even federal legislation to favor small businesses, but the system is working against the small business

- Systemic Analysis does help greatly in understanding the USA, it seems that you can't understand the media or rumors and grasp the USA's Problems... You see that the US Government is made up of many systems... and many systems can be called "Broke" as they fail for their intended purpose,... this is very important as this means we need "Federal Commission or Inspections" to bring out the facts,... after all we Tax payers are footing the bill for systems that don't work and actually support corporate Subsidies, awards to giant corporations, and... well a kind of Fascism

centerline's picture

Yeah, it looks more and more like an epic breakup.  Most pensions, social systems, etc. will be vaporized.  The era of big banking will be toast as well.  States just wont have a choice.  Economies will get real local real fast.

Before that though, we are looking at pain like never before.  The system is going to consume itself.

Bloppy's picture

Since the middle class is dead, it makes sense they can't get any better than that.


Elsewhere: Fox News Channel contributor finds himself on terror watch list!

starman's picture

Murika is at a junction where Japan was in 1989! 

Yup mark my word the usa is fucking done! 

Hedge accordingly. 

WhackoWarner's picture

It is all OK.  Until you look at reality.

Then the whole thing melts.  Most Middle income folks are busy looking at how much their incomes are collapsing. IF they still have a job.


So as much as all the commentators have to say regarding "socialism" and soup lines.  That is where we are are right now.  And it is only going to get more dire.


USA is dead and only in disguise of 3rd world economics.  The society is on the cliff top and about to fall.


ONLY THING  I see is the powers to be trying to preserve themelves until they can 'BUG OUT'  When the collapse comes nobody will be prepared and the shite will hit.


Wish I could see a better outcome but I do  not.  Some of us have seen the future.  99% have not.  And YES hang the 1%. I agree with China on that.  Hang the cheating bastards.

q99x2's picture

I don't know about you but I keep doing better when compared to everyone else.

Up my FAFSA Yellen M'Fer.

Winston Churchill's picture

When you see you see your suppliers closng up shop,one by one, it does make you

wonder if your turn is coming.

I just thank dog I got out of engineering/manufacturing back in the 1980's.

No stock and minimal overhead is the only way to be in this economy.

Helps when most of my clients now, are stinking rich as well, but even drunken sailors

can stop spending money.

CheapBastard's picture

Deeper recession and Destruction of the private sector Middle Class with moar gubmint regulations, taxes, food costs, postal rate increases, crippling health insurance costs, and moar and moar. 

It's Bad.

centerline's picture

Redistribution that is becoming more totalitarian every day.  The last leg of expansion.  Enjoy the little things now.  Life is going to get a lot harder for most in the near future.

DOGGONE's picture

We the USA were "living off the future", BIG TIME. Look here:
Journalism DID sell its soul. AND it's soul is still gone.
YOU the people NEED to get your heads out into the light.

Bell's 2 hearted's picture

can't wait till the latest update on Soros short fund ...

paul steinert's picture

Snyder is probably right.....the first half of this decade will be referred to as "the good old days".  Parents still had basements for their kids to live in, at least 80% of those willing and able to work did work, the wars were fought by volunteers, and those wars were relatively small skirmishes in the Middle East and North Africa, hyperinflation had yet to hit, and medicare and social security checks still arrived in the mail.

NoDebt's picture

In my old office we hung a sign that said "Today is as good as it gets."  It replaced the old sign which read "Do the right thing only after all other options have been exhausted."  You can maybe understand why I don't work there any more (and neither does anyone else).


WhackoWarner's picture

ONLY  way I can see the USA idiots is to manufacture a war and do conscription.


2 ways.  #1  Manufacture nationalism enough to have people enrol to be killed for nothing...NOTHING?  OR WHATVER THE FLAVOUR OF THE MONTH IS.


#2  Make all "jobs" nonexistent.  Society has no way for a family to support....so take the young men and women  and they will enlist just to have some career choice.  This is what the US is doing. 


So next time you converse with any gov. rep.  ask them how many of their kids are going to Mr. Peace Prize wars.  Not today but WTF it will be coming.  And I gaurantee no Senator's sons will serve in any combat role.



Number 156's picture

Its the middle class that makes the wheels go round for the USA, or any advanced economy.
Ergo, the wheels are coming off of the cart, and the politicians and bureaucrats are too stupid to realize it.

WillyGroper's picture

Disagree. P's & B's know full well the wheels are coming off. There's at least 2 if not 3 here that think Dec. will be the time frame. Bix Weir is the latest (today) to say the same. I'm beginning to think that is the timing for a big kaboom & not just the financial sector. GGS-2014

I highly recommend part 1. This allowed me to connect a few more dots today.  Much I already knew. He references the tunnels TPTB have built in the hopes of riding out their madness below ground. This was in a Russian Video I posted several weeks back with Ben Fulford. I didn't know what caused the massive cattle kill last winter. He's aware of the HAARP weather manipulation & referenced the same radar screen shots that I've seen. Sandy the perfect example. This man has REALLY done his homework. The only hope I have was listening to an x-mil that said all his comrades were aware of what's happening. The hollywierd march yesterday shows just how sheep can be herded. With Rottenfellars pulling out of oil, I believe they're going to make that very scarce too. 

Everyone here knows the agenda. I honestly believe it's directed energy weapons next. Be it through your smart meter or the cell tower infrastructure. We are swimming in aluminum nano being sprayed on us that crosses the BBB. They probably won't even need coffins for a directed energy cremation. 

Make sure your tin foil hats are grounded.


Why does my tinfoil hat need grounding if I'm going to get hit with a

directed energy weapon, W.G? Does grounding my tinfoil hat increase my chances of survival?

WillyGroper's picture

Well MoU, it wouldn't do you any good. There's nothing there to protect.

Freddie's picture



This might be one of the entrances in the Ark and Missouri area.  Jesse Ventura did a story on this.  Look at all the trucks coming and going. 


WillyGroper's picture

Thank you Freddie. I've heard a loud rumbling of the earth before the earthquakes here. Some have been by injection wells. That's understandable. What I hear and where I'm located is not the case. It always comes from the same direction & the USGS info does not support the direction of origination. It sounds ominous. I know one other awakened person x-mil that's aware of it too. I have not heard or felt the earth shake from this in a few months. If I understood this video correctly, someone blew up some of these tunnels??? After viewing the video of the jerk scientist that made a joke about thinning the population, I had to note not what he said, but the screen behind him. It was about water. Namely the largest aquifer in the USSA. I live by that aquifer. 

I don't care to live in a post apocolyptic world. PCR has intimated numerous times that Obola is hell bent on nukleee-r war. One could never dream of collective insanity of this magnitude, but here we are. 

stacking12321's picture

yes, you're right of course - it's all a conspiracy by the rockefellers to make oil vanish - has nothing to do with the fact that we've overconsumed and used up all the cheap oil already, and now have to go after the marginal stuff like tar sands, shale, fracking, deepwater drilling...

peak oil is a myth, because, you know, jesus wants us to have oil and makes it just burst out of the ground all the time, it's just those evil rockefellers that are taking our god-given oil away from us. that and the evil towelheads that have the audacity to live in countries that sit on top of our oil....

WillyGroper's picture

I believe EarlofFlorida posted a Rottenfellar interactive. It might get you up to speed. Highly recommended. 

I know numerous people in the oil biz & probably have a lot better insight than you.

You glommed on to 1 point in the whole post for your lame ass pissing contest.

Stacking, are a fucking idiot. 

stacking12321's picture

1 point? which point is that, that you're a looney who references bix weir and ben fulford? don't forget to quote alex jones and glen beck, while you're at it, lololol!

yes, yes, and congratulations on your masterful insight into "the oil biz", because, well, you KNOW PEOPLE! ahahahahahah!

too funny.


He knows people in 'the oil biz' because he lives by snake oil sales

pitches that he gets from USA ARMY PSYOPS websites. W.G is a troll.

WillyGroper's picture

Best you can do 16 weeks?

Who's the troll?

WhackoWarner's picture

Middle class is no longer there.  Jobs are gone.  Any savings are being used to subsist.


North America (US and Canada)  are busy being raped and this will not end well.  Unless you are aware.

Bumbu Sauce's picture

Didn't Walter Duranty's boo say something about taxation and inflation being bad for the middle class.

corporatewhore's picture

most of us are too broke to even care that it's coming

Seasmoke's picture

when jumping out of a tall building, its much better for those on the ground level......this is what pisses me off the most about 2008.....it should of all collapsed and i doubt most of us would have even felt it !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brokenarrow's picture

Wait!? Doesnt cnbc pontificate that the "retail investor is coming back" Evryone is sitting on trillions wait to pounce?


In the 1970 there was a newspaper called the Penny Stock News. They talked up a few .10 stocks. The publishers went to prison for "lying and cheating the public."


A man stepped in to buy the pieces left of the publication. Jonathon Steinberg. Maria Bartarom's husband, who is ceo of wisdom tree along with chairman Jeremy Siegel.


My point? They are all scum. And cnbc does stuff that would have got you ten years in prison not that long-ago.


I wish them all the very worst.

Bell's 2 hearted's picture

don't know if ever substantiated


but remember about 4 or 5 years ago a story came out that CNBC was charging guest portfolio managers $50K for on air time to tout their positions.


If true ...

Freddie's picture

To get on the TV business news - it is pay for play unless you are a major person that the public or investing public knows.

stacking12321's picture

your point? no idea, it is a badly made one,  if it even exists.

how do you even get from: someone bought out a failed company that was doing bad things, to: the people who came in after the wrongdoing are therefore scum themselves?

i'm not familiar with the story so maybe there's more to it than that, but, your ability to relate the facts intelligibly is an issue.


giggler321's picture

I'm waiting for the printed cheques in the post to every tax paying critter - arrrh they already done that??  USPS not in biz to send'em out?