19 Surprising Facts About The Messed Up State Of The US Economy

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

Barack Obama and the Federal Reserve are lying to you.  The "economic recovery" that we all keep hearing about is mostly just a mirage.  The percentage of Americans that are employed has barely budged since the depths of the last recession, the labor force participation rate is at a 36 year low, the overall rate of homeownership is the lowest that it has been in nearly 20 years and approximately 49 percent of all Americans are financially dependent on the government at this point.  In a recent article, I shared 12 charts that clearly demonstrate the permanent damage that has been done to our economy over the last decade.  The response to that article was very strong.  Many people were quite upset to learn that they were not being told the truth by our politicians and by the mainstream media.  Sadly, the vast majority of Americans still have absolutely no idea what is being done to our economy.  For those out there that still believe that we are doing "just fine", here are 19 more facts about the messed up state of the U.S. economy...

#1 After accounting for inflation, median household income in the United States is 8 percent lower than it was when the last recession started in 2007.

#2 The number of part-time workers in America has increased by 54 percent since the last recession began in December 2007.  Meanwhile, the number of full-time jobs has dropped by more than a million over that same time period.

#3 More than 7 million Americans that are currently working part-time jobs would actually like to have full-time jobs.

#4 The jobs gained during this "recovery" pay an average of 23 percent less than the jobs that were lost during the last recession.

#5 The number of unemployed workers that have completely given up looking for work is twice as high now as it was when the last recession began in December 2007.

#6 When the last recession began, about 17 percent of all unemployed workers had been out of work for six months or longer.  Today, that number sits at just above 34 percent.

#7 Due to a lack of decent jobs, half of all college graduates are still relying on their parents financially when they are two years out of school.

#8 According to a new method of calculating poverty devised by the U.S. Census Bureau, the state of California currently has a poverty rate of 23.4 percent.

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

#10 In 2007, the average household in the top 5 percent had 16.5 times as much wealth as the average household overall.  But now the average household in the top 5 percent has 24 times as much wealth as the average household overall.

#11 In an absolutely stunning development, the rate of small business ownership in the United States has plunged to an all-time low.

#12 Subprime loans now make up 31 percent of all auto loans in America.  Didn't that end up really badly when the housing industry tried the same thing?

#13 The average cost of producing a barrel of shale oil in the United States is approximately 85 dollars.  Now that the price of oil is starting to slip under that number, the "shale boom" in America could turn into a bust very rapidly.

#14 On a purchasing power basis, China now actually has a larger economy than the United States does.

#15 It is hard to believe, but there are 49 million people that are dealing with food insecurity in America today.

#16 There are six banks in the United States that pretty much everyone agrees fit into the "too big to fail" category.  Five of them have more than 40 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives.

#17 The 113 top earning employees at the Federal Reserve headquarters in Washington D.C. make an average of $246,506 a year.  It turns out that ruining the U.S. economy is a very lucrative profession.

#18 We are told that the federal deficit is under control, but the truth is that the U.S. national debt increased by more than a trillion dollars during fiscal year 2014.

#19 An astounding 40 million dollars has been spent just on vacations for Barack Obama and his family.  Perhaps he figures that if we are going down as a nation anyway, he might as well enjoy the ride.

If our economy truly was "recovering", there would be lots of good paying middle class jobs available.

But that is not the case at all.

I know so many people in their prime working years that spend day after day searching for a job.  Most of them never seem to get anywhere.  It isn't because they don't have anything to offer.  It is just that the labor market is absolutely saturated with qualified job seekers.

For example, USA Today recently shared the story of 42-year-old Alex Gomez...

"I've had to seriously downgrade my living situation," said Alex Gomez, a 42-year-old with a master's degree in entrepreneurship. Gomez lost his last full-time job in 2009 and has been looking for work since a short-term contract position ended in 2012.


Gomez's home was foreclosed on, so the Tampa resident lives with three roommates in a college neighborhood. He drained his 401(k) trying to save his house, and he has around $150,000 in student loans. His mother is tapping her 401(k) to pay his rent. Gomez subsists on that and about $200 a month in food stamps.


"I have been applying and looking for pretty much anything at this stage," he said. Although he's looking for work in engineering or data management, "I applied to a supermarket as a deli clerk because I used to be a deli clerk as a teenager," he said. He was told he was overqualified and turned down.

Does Alex Gomez have gifts and abilities to share with our society?

Of course he does.

So why can't he find a job?

It is because we have a broken economy.

We are in the midst of a long-term economic decline and the system simply does not work properly anymore.

And thanks to decades of very foolish decisions, this is only the start of our problems.

Things are only going to get worse from here.

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Rakshas's picture

Finally some good news.......




knukles's picture

Please stop saying these horrible things, maligning the finest leadership a sinking ship ever had.

Took Red Pill's picture

"#11 In an absolutely stunning development, the rate of small business ownership in the United States has plunged to an all-time low."

But Janet said starting your own business was how poor people could become rich!

The9thDoctor's picture

"I've had to seriously downgrade my living situation," said Alex Gomez, a 42-year-old with a master's degree in entrepreneurship. Gomez lost his last full-time job in 2009 and has been looking for work since a short-term contract position ended in 2012.

Gomez's home was foreclosed on, so the Tampa resident lives with three roommates in a college neighborhood. He drained his 401(k) trying to save his house, and he has around $150,000 in student loans. His mother is tapping her 401(k) to pay his rent. Gomez subsists on that and about $200 a month in food stamps.

"I have been applying and looking for pretty much anything at this stage," he said. Although he's looking for work in engineering or data management, "I applied to a supermarket as a deli clerk because I used to be a deli clerk as a teenager," he said. He was told he was overqualified and turned down.


He obviously hasn't put his degree to good use!  Dude, start a business!  Isn't that what you wasted that $150,000 on?  He should have used that $150,000 as his seedcorn, instead of on useless debt that cannot be discharged.  Why look for a job, when you can create one.  But then again I remembered that small business ownership is at an all time low earlier in the article.  Thank you O-shitty-care!



bunzbunzbunz's picture

Why are we ignoring the fact the the labor participation rate SHOULD be getting lower as the population ages?

Keyser's picture

Because the next generation replaces the older generation as they retire... Or at least they used to... Now with H1B visa holders and immigrants taking the jobs, Americans are left holding their privates... 

The black community is just starting to figure out that Obama has turned into Benedict Arnold with his executive amnesty plan... 

bunzbunzbunz's picture

So I'm curious. What do you think happens with the money an immigrant makes? I'm going to hazard a guess and say on average it gets spent rather quickly. Do you know what happens when money gets spent little boy?! It goes to someone else who has a job!!!!! And if that person is young and irresponsible, he/she spends all that money at another place!!!!

So quit crying and sell immigrants something they want. Lazy ass.

bunzbunzbunz's picture

And no, the next generation DOES NOT replace the last one. Because the last one did not reproduce enough. Look at some demographic stats dolt. Even with all your scary immigration, the population is rapidly aging. This all happened before too. Before WWII. Then they made lots of babies and things got better....SHOCKING. Young people spending money makes a good economy!@#!@# NO WAY1!!@#!@#


FredFlintstone's picture

I thought they sent a lion's share back to their homeland?

90's Child's picture

Yeah bunz your comment on how money gets spend from immigrants is a fallacy.

I've worked with Hispanics from El Salvador, and Mexico.

Everyone of them I knew sent at least 30%+ back to their country for their family (parents, siblings, and children)

FRN spend a lot further there then they do in Amerika.

FredFlintstone's picture

Plus they live 12 to 15 people per house, ride bikes and walk everywhere.

FredFlintstone's picture

Little money, even less velocity.

FredFlintstone's picture

Are you attempting to insult me?

boattrash's picture

"My brain just exploded."

And NOBODY, not even in the same room, heard a sound! Just sayin...

bunzbunzbunz's picture

And as I commented below, that money comes back....getting spent on someone else's job. It is a zero sum game. It's all about velocity within the country/state you care about.

So the question becomes, does allowing immigrants to come here increase or decrease the velocity of money here? 

TheReplacement's picture

Yeah, someone else's job in another country...  since you prefer to enrich them why don't you just move there and spare us your bullshit.

FredFlintstone's picture

Be careful, you might explode his brain.

bunzbunzbunz's picture

And then it either gets spent there, helping that economy. Preventing some of those evil immigrants from coming this way. Or it comes back here in the form of exports. It's a damn circle no matter how many countries are involved. Tell me sir - have the living standards gone up or down since 1950?

Just curious...when should we have shut off immigration? 1700? 1800? 1900? 2000? Somewhere in between? I'm sure there's an optimal point you can come up with for some reason or another.

FredFlintstone's picture

IMO they shouldn't have messed with the formulas back in 1965.

TeamDepends's picture

When should we have shut off immigration? When we allowed your sorry ass in.

goldsaver's picture

Bunz, Bunz, bunz, you really should not speak out of your arse, put down that magazines from the California Peoples Party and join reality. I live in a small farming community. Most of the local, legal population is one or two generations from Mexico. Here is how it works: In the early summer migrants flow accross the border and either shack up at a family member's house or find some realtor that will rent them a cheap house. If they rent, they pack 5-6 families in the rental. They place a deposit for water/electricity witht the full intent of walking away from the bill. Then, they get a job in the fields, picking onions first and chile or watermelon later. Once the season closes, they move on to work at the distributor packing the onions in 50Lbs sacks or to the processing plant, canning the chiles for distribution. This all ends around October. For those 6 months the kids went to summer school, paid by the property taxes of the local homeowners. They used the emergency rooms for free. Received additional vouchers and government rent/utilities assistance and sent 90% of the funds to Mexico. At the end of the season, they run off on the rent and utilities bills (unless the realtor is familiy) and return to Mexico to start all over again next season.

BTW, I have no problem with immigration. I would like open borders. I just dont see the point of govenrment asistance for anyone. Why steal my money to pay for someone elses needs? I dont care if the person receiving the assistance is native born or not.

LikeyMikey's picture

Atually, immigration was pretty much shut down for decades to give time for assimilartion from the 20's.  In addition, virtually ALL the past immigration was LEGAL AND they did not get an entire booklet of welfare housing, medical, food stamps, phones, cars, and a dozen other things they currently get.  AND they were screened for diseases and sent back if they were found to have diseases like TB.


And if you think they spend all the money they illegally make, you should educate yourself better....  I have known illegals and they use other social security numbers and SS #'s like 000-00-0000 which does nothing but lines the Feds..... 

Illegal Immigration is just creating a second class slave class that pieces of shit like you turn your nose from......



goldsaver's picture

Actually no. Most of the money that the immigrants spend locally is government assistance money (Food Stamps, WIC, etc). The money that they earn under the table is sent to Mexico as soon as it is earned.

Oquities's picture

dumbfuck!   check the repatriations to Mexico and the barrels of food stamp purchases shipped to the Caribbean by your beloved "immigrants."  and do you think a dollar GIVEN to an immigrant is the same as a dollar earned?  have you no fucking brains at all?

Shipwrecked's picture

Money goes to someone else all right, someone else in Mexico or other hellhole they came from. Very little is spent in US. The minute they cross the border, they are eligible to join the FSA. What not to like.

TheReplacement's picture

Do not insult General Arnold that way.  He was, by far, the best battlefield commander on either side during the war.  He led and he led from the front.  He started as a small businessman himself.  He had to contest with so called patriots like Ethan Allen and battle Congress for reimbursement of his expenses even after he saved them twice in consecutive years after capturing Fort Ticonderoga, possibly coming close to taking Quebec (is debatable), and turning back an army with just the words of a "special person".  If he had only died after Saratoga he might have been considered the most exhulted war hero in this nation's history.

Our current President (government in general really) seems to have turned on us after far, far less sacrifice and difficulty.

griffey247's picture

If this amnesty plan happens, the black community is finshed... I mean they are completely obselete.... They will be forgotten about and disregarded... For their sake, I hope this amnesty plan doesnt happen. 

Promethus's picture

Because it's not the old leaving the work force to enjoy retirement (thank you ZIRP) that's the reason for the decline.  It the fact that the young can't get jobs and millions more are scamming for disability.

LikeyMikey's picture

Bunzbunzbunz - can you answer a question for all of us here?

Why are you so against LEGAL Immigration and so much FOR Illegal immigration that creates human trafficking, drug smuggling, corporate slavory and non assimilation?  Why do you promote the hurting of so many poor immigrants through illegal means that kill thousands of babies and women every year?

Why don't you do what we all do and advocate for LEGAL Immigration and help these people do things LEGALLY and be a PART OF AMERICA?

Maybe you are one of the fatcats exploiting children and illegal migrants and actually human trafficking these people?

griffey247's picture

Who said they were for Illegal immigration???? Troll.


Personally, I think illegal immigration and the rush to defend it is one of the worst most vile, disgusting, acts anyone can take... Rewarding people who are clearly violating the law and hurting your fellow country in broad daylight... No honor, no morals...

cajun robear's picture

That might be true in a free market but when the game is rigged nothing is normal. Old people have to eat too.

JustUsChickensHere's picture

I do not know why you all say that the student loan debt can not be 'discharged'... ok that is true if you stay in the USA .... but think outside the box... if the situation is that bad - LEAVE.  (and just ignore that odious 'debt' forever).

Make some money elsewhere - accumulate assets .... then if you want, return to the US - still have little or no income - retire -  and you are not liable for that 'debt'.

Assets to accumulate? PM's, real life skills in other countries, world wide contacts for the future... maybe real estate outside the USA

Oh ... and even Bitcoin in part - especially on a temporary basis while crossing borders manned by the TSA and others.  Convert back to PM's at your destination.... 

You might even find that there are much nicer places on the planet than what the USA has become.


griffey247's picture

Really nice places outside of the USA? Where ?... You mean europe with a and average 40% tax on anything over 32,000 Euros? Next. What about south america? Youd would be shived and robbed before you got out of the airport.. Next. What about Africa.... Next... Middle east? Beheaded.. Next... I guess Asia.. Good luck getting in or living past 35 due to pollution... Do you see the common theme? At least in the USA, i can die standing on my feet.... 

Bay Area Guy's picture

Um, you been to Asia?  Asia isn't all China, where the worst pollution is, or Indonesia, with their incessant burning of the forests.  Think places like Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Korea.  Those countries put the US to shame in terms of how modern they are.  Singapore is probably the cleanest country in the world.  Plus, generally speaking, the people are a hell of a lot friendlier, particularly to Westerners, so long as you show them some level of courtesy.  I have, in fact, thought long and hard about relocating to Malaysia.

Razor_Edge's picture

A Masters in Entrepreneurship and living as a deadbeat? Do I see a disconnect there somewhere? Ah, the US education system is a sight to behold. Then again, who was it said "those who can, do, those who can't, teach" I know that's not really fair to teachers, but c'mon, a Masters in Entrepreneurship?

bunzbunzbunz's picture

Sorry kids. The old people stopped making babies. Then they expected their social security to last longer when they lived longer.

Fewer kids to pay more benefits. What could go wrong. Thanks old people. You did a great job with that one. Now blame the lazy kids.

FreedomGuy's picture

I actually partially agree with you. The "greatest generation" which seems to come from surviving the Great Depression and WWII put socialism firmly in place with things like the alphabet agencies and Socialism Security. It has never been modified except to make it worse.

I give them a partial pass because who really knew how this collectivist garbage would actually turn out in the 1930's and 40's. So, every generation deserves some blame along the way for continuing the BS despite the evidence it will break. That is why the SS tax went from 1.5% to over 12% and is still due for bankruptcy...not to mention precious characteristics like no property right in it and no fiduciary responsibility on the part of the government.

So, they should support the kids in the sense of evening things up a bit. However, the fact they need to support the kids says a lot about the economy.

TheReplacement's picture

So after looking at the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany nobody could figure out just how this collectivist garbage would turn out?  500,000 Americans died fighting the Axis and they didn't know?  Wow, they were absolute, verified, stamped, and approved, friggin' morons in that case.

And why should "they" support the kids?  Do you mean the oldsters who are clinging to old people welfare or do you mean government which was the tool used to break everything by supporting people in the first place?

What I'm trying to say is that you don't seem to be very consistent with your dualing themes of "collectivist garbage" and "they should support the kids in the sense of evening things up a bit." 


FreedomGuy's picture

Social Security passed in 1938, I believe. WWII had not started. Apart from that the resulsts from the USSR and National Socialist Germany were not in, yet. In fact, WWII would delay many of the economic lessons and consequences.

What I mean by "evening things up" is that the kids pay for SSec and a Medicare tax from grandma and pa. So it may come back to them in the form of being supported by the same.

Families and cooperative economic arrangements are not the same as collectivism. Apart from that i would say that you and I are on the same side of things as to opinions of and on the Left.

Raaaaaaaaady's picture

100% why the immigration deal never happens and borders are loose...Need more consumers and tax payers for corperate America and Gov....why don't the just admit it


bunzbunzbunz's picture

That is correct. But small businesses can take advantage of those consumers too. Shitty car dealerships are learning how. You can too!

All_Your_Base's picture

race to the bottom

diminishing returns

vicious cycle

circling the drain


TheReplacement's picture

No.  They need more people who are ready and willing to accept full blown, in your face socialism ala fascism or communism (pick your poison, it doesn't really matter does it?).

Hispanics are like that.  Catholics tend to be like that.  Catholic hispanics... look out Venezuela by route of some other even worse off place here we come.

LikeyMikey's picture

yes but this type of immigration just creates legalized slavory, human trafficking and puts Americans at risk.


Why not create a LEGAL immigration program.  Then we would get the tax payors and consumers!


Why are so many AGAINST LEGAL Immigration?

LikeyMikey's picture

Doesn't matter if there are fewer babies...   Use some of the studies about monkey farts to make up the short fall in SS payments....


There is enough spending fraud in the US Federal Government to make Barney Madoff look honest..... 

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Aha, a new business venture I am going to market a DVD with the music played on the Titanic as it sunk.

nmewn's picture

I'm sick of the tombstone mentality personally.

No sarc ;-)



NidStyles's picture

Since we are being honest, I find humor lacking in most of this.



nmewn's picture

Read further down, an elitist media hack trades her Hippocratic Oath in for a bowl of soup...lol.

Its amazing what self important snobbery will do to a persons mind ;-)