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Charting The Extinction Of American Disposable Income

Tyler Durden's picture


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Given today's excitement at a rallying equity market, we are already hearing chatter on raising GDP estimates even though macro data is benefiting from standard seasonal improvements. However, while these good times are rolling for some (who, we are not sure), Sean Corrigan (of Diapason Commodities) points to our real disposable income. The man on the street's spend-ability has seen the worst five years' growth in half a century.


For four decades, US real per capita disposable income has risen at ~20% a decade. For the average working man, that is a doubling of disposable income in a typical working life. The last 5 1/2 years, however, have seen no change whatsoever - the worst performance in at least half a century.


Chart: Bloomberg


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Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:10 | 2028818 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

'The man on the street's spend-ability has seen the worst five years' growth in half a century.'

That "man" needs to starting asking some questions in my opinion.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:14 | 2028833 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

The "man" is too stupid. As long as the "man ' has chips and a six pack of beer he is happy.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:16 | 2028843 American34
American34's picture

Durden, could you plot Household Credit on this chart for comparison???

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:16 | 2028844 spiral_eyes
spiral_eyes's picture

huge transfer of wealth from middle to rich in tax burden, too:

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:32 | 2028888 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

from the link you posted: "Well, far less of the money is coming from corporations, and far more from payroll taxes. That means that a lot of the burden has been switched from corporations to their workers. I’m broadly against that, because it puts the power to invest into increasingly fewer hands"

This type of thinking drives me crazy. Not necessarily because I don't agree with it; but because it takes the exact wrong approach to how we should examine taxation.

Corporations should bear 100% of the income tax burden, and natural human beings should bear 0% of it. Why?

Corporations are creatures of the state; they cannot exist without state sanction or without the legal support of the state. Being creatures of the state, they are obliged to serve their creator, and  consequently owe part of their livelihood to the state which created them..

Natural human beings, on the other hand, were created by God. Forcing natural human beings to pay an income tax to the state is equivalent to slavery to the state, as mandatory income tax is by definition a form of involuntary servitude... which allegedly was outlawed by the 14th Amendment. This is self-evident and cannot be disputed.

Are we so brainwashed and ignorant that we cannot recognize this simple, logical truth?

It shocks and depresses me to know that apparently this is the case.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:44 | 2028960 economics1996
economics1996's picture

Corporate taxes should be zero. 

Corporations do not pay taxes. 

They collect money and pass the cost onto the people in the form of higher prices, lower wages, less benefits, less research and development, less dividends, less profits, depending on the elasticity of the product.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:48 | 2028985 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

wait - small corporations pay worldwide lots of taxes - it's the big boys that can avoid them

so yes, I agree, scrap all corporate taxes and end this tax-benefit for multinational corps

do you have a job for the zillion tax lawyers that big biz does not need anymore?

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 13:29 | 2029185 sqz
sqz's picture

That chart is quite useless. It shows the mean real gdp per capita spanning decades in a country with among the highest and fastest growing wealth inequality in the world.

If you remove even just the top 1% of the population from the statistics, real income growth has barely risen overall and is likely flat now or lower for the median worker relative to the highs of the 70s.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 16:08 | 2030053 eureka
eureka's picture

sqz - you are exactly correct - Corrigan's chart is smoke (like GDP is; REVENUE is what matters).

TYLER - you posted a far superior chart only a week ago - by Stanberry Research, showing GDP Per Capita adjusted into real purchasing power - evidencing that average US spending power today is lower than ever before 1965 (chart start date) - and probably since the early 1950s.

Would you kindly re-post - for your readers convenience and elucidation of comparison?


And for those who don't understand current consumer spending's relative "strength": when 10 million households - i.e. 20 million workers - don't pay their mortgages, they can buy quite a few more heavily discounted (courtesy of squeezed manufacturers, vendors, retail chain employees & layoffs) consumer goods.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 18:20 | 2030625 LouisHill
LouisHill's picture

Eureka - you are quite correct - Corrigan's chart is just plan wrong.  The real per capita income of the average american has declined since the early 70's.  source FRED


Tue, 01/03/2012 - 14:29 | 2029489 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

...and, you completely missed the point.

Maybe I need to work on my communications skills.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 18:23 | 2030632 LouisHill
LouisHill's picture

Hi Buckaroo

We are slaves to the state anyway and maybe soon slaves to China.  Individuals should pay the taxes.  That way they know how to vote. Corporations can only vote with their feet.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 18:23 | 2030633 LouisHill
LouisHill's picture

Hi Buckaroo

We are slaves to the state anyway and maybe soon slaves to China.  Individuals should pay the taxes.  That way they know how to vote. Corporations can only vote with their feet.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 16:26 | 2030144 Nels
Nels's picture

So you think that if me and my friends form a corporation, funded by our pooled savings, we should then then be free of income tax?

The bit about 'passing on taxes' works for everybody who pays taxes, whether or not they form a corporation.  It's relatively easy for the butcher, the baker, the doctor or lawyer to pass on taxes.  It's much harder for the working man, but it happens as they abandon job areas that don't pay enough.

Your argument assumes total price elasticity.  That doesn't exist.  More tax means less R&D, etc.

If you meant this as sarcasm, you need to take lessons from MillionDollarBonus.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 13:05 | 2029056 Spacemoose
Spacemoose's picture

hey buck, i own a corporation.  guess what?  my corporation doesn't pay taxes.  my customers do, in the form of higher prices, my employees do, in the form of smaller bonuses and layoffs and i do, in the form of less take home pay.  every time guys like you take a swing at GE or ATT you end up planting a left hook right on my jaw instead.  GE and ATT can lobby for tax breaks. i can't and you, and people like you, are tools of TPTB at my expense.  

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 13:21 | 2029168 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Nice rebuttal. It seems that some people focus only on the legal fiction of corporate personhood while ignoring the ramifications of the plunder they see as a form of revenge, all in order to make things fair (that four-letter F-word).

Taxation is theft. That there are ways for some to avoid it via the legal facade, but not others, is no reason to ignore this fact.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 14:49 | 2029604 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Exactly.  The entities should be taxed via registration fees, franchise fees, etc.  That's it...  you want to start a company or corporation?  Fine, but we'll charge you $150 for having to fill out all the paper work for registration...  past that, no tax.

Because of these biases in perception of the wealth gap, "corporations" get the blame...  which is ridiculous...  there is always someone behind those corporations pulling the strings...  and collecting the money.  This is the target.  [this same perception is also the reason behind large jury awards...]

Of course, if I had my druthers, we'd only have sole proprietorships, partnerships, and limited partnerships, thus eliminating this problem, as well as rescinding the judicially mandated right to vote separately and apart from their owners, but I digress.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 14:35 | 2029503 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

...and, you completely missed the point.

OF COURSE your customers pay the taxes in the end...if they buy your products. The point is, they can CHOOSE not to pay the tax by simply not buying your product.

When it comes to income taxes on personal income, THEY HAVE NO CHOICE.

CHOICE versus NO CHOICE. Get it?


Tue, 01/03/2012 - 15:16 | 2029786 economics1996
economics1996's picture

Sounds like you like the Fair Tax.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 17:01 | 2030322 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

NO, not if the "Fair Tax" includes a tax on personal incomes!

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 13:36 | 2029237 pods
pods's picture

Agree in theory BB, but in reality corporations pass on tax liability to people too, so that wont work.
Only tax that will meet all the requirements is excise, ie sales taxes.

Agree with your reasoning about how a creation of ours has first crack at our lifeblood.  I have argued in real life to others about the exact premise that tax on labor is slavery.

Crazy assed world.


Tue, 01/03/2012 - 14:34 | 2029520 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

...and, you missed my point.

Corporations can certainly pass the tax liability on to their customers. But at least their customers will now have the CHOICE not to pay the tax by choosing not to buy the corporation's products.

But with personal income taxes, people have NO CHOICE but to pay.

CHOICE versus NO CHOICE. Get it?

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 15:12 | 2029761 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

So when all of the producers of an inelastic product are subject to the tax, then consumers can choose not to purchase? 

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 15:55 | 2030007 Are you kidding
Are you kidding's picture

I think you're missing their live, you MUST buy...from a corporation...therefore, you ARE paying the tax. Sure, you choose whom you will buy from, but you still have to buy it...therefore, you pay the tax anyway. Does it matter HOW the money comes to them? They still collect the same amount...or raise tax rates...or borrow it.

I do however agree...directly taxing my labor is wrong.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 16:58 | 2030309 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Really? So you are saying that before corporations were invented, that nobody could buy anything? Really?

What if you buy products made by partnerships, or sole proprietors? There would be no taxes on those because those entities, not being corporations, would not be subject to income tax.

Or, what if you become self-sufficient-- grow your own food, make your own furniture, make your own fuel? That would dramatically lower your tax burden also.

Think this all the way through!

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 18:01 | 2030563 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Your point ignores the supply chain...  unless you have perfect vertical integration as a pass-through entity, you're going to be subject to corporate taxation somewhere along the line...  gasoline?

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 18:46 | 2030676 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

That's fine. This isn't necessarily about tax AVOIDANCE, rather it's about where, exactly, in the value chain you CHOOSE to pay taxes. Note that the lower on the value chain you go, the less total tax you are going to pay.

At the end of the day, it's about CHOICE. You CHOOSE where you want to pay the tax, and to a certain extent, you also CHOOSE how much tax you want to pay depending on where in the value chain you buy.

Furthermore, you make these choices in such a way that it won't reduce your income. In a personal income tax regime, a percentage of your income will be confiscated, no matter what, and the only way to reduce or avoid your tax is to make less money. THat kind of choice really isn't much of a choice.

Wed, 01/04/2012 - 11:33 | 2032722 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Ok, we got the first retreat and retrench, let's try again.

Practically speaking, I think you vastly over estimate "choice" in the market.  The wealth gap essentially dictates where the tax will be paid.  In a more diverse and redundant economy, there might be more flexibility in determining where to pay the tax...  not so much in the present environment.  When a larger and larger portion of income goes to necessities (biflation), the choice becomes starve, be immobile, or incredibly decrease your standard of living OR pay the tax.

Your argument is more fit for an academic vacuum and really has no place in the present economic environment...

If you really want to advocate the notion of liberty, then you need to skip the half hearted measures and middle men and go straight to the abolishment of taxation.  Reminds me of "situational ethics." 

Wed, 01/04/2012 - 14:54 | 2033321 Dr. Acula
Dr. Acula's picture

>skip the half hearted measures and middle men and go straight to the abolishment of taxation

Yes. Theft is wrong, bad, inhuman, beastly, immoral, unjustifiable (per argumentation ethics), and economically destructive (per Austrian Economics).


Tue, 01/03/2012 - 17:36 | 2030458 Richard Weed
Richard Weed's picture


Tyler... seven plentiful years are followed by 7 years of famine... always has been that way since the beginning of time, always will be that way until the end of time.

That is the way it is.

Get used to it and stop whining.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:26 | 2028871 economics1996
economics1996's picture

The "man" should be getting paid in gold and silver so the central bank cannot rip him off.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 13:22 | 2029171 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

'The "man" is too stupid.'

Once upon a time I might have taken exception to your statement, responding that due to the so-called "media" being controlled by only a handful of corporations (as opposed to over 1,000 in my youth, and regulated as well), but after 40 years of volunteer political activism, warning my fellow Ameritards about the outcomes from offshoring of their jobs, and still meeting adult Ameritards who are either completely oblivious to the exponentially growing jobs offshoring, or who are aware of it and and think it harmless, I thoroughly agree with you, Doc.

Ameritards are simply bloody stupid, and being unaware and completely oblivious to one's environment is the chief indicator of intelligence!


Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:27 | 2028872 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Too late to ask questions GeneMarch....while everyone was asleep and complacent due to stock price 'stability' operations and normalcy bias reinforcement, Obama signs 'indefinite detention' bill, and over the next couple weeks 'enemy combatant expatriation bill' along with SOPA. Ask any questions, get vanished to Guantanamo Bay. Isn't that NEAT!

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 13:07 | 2029110 Vaiman
Vaiman's picture

And some more men on the street....that is wallstreet just got there walking papers.  Over 100 to be exact.

WJB Capital Halts Brokerage Operations

Wed, 01/04/2012 - 01:28 | 2031865 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture


Let them eat cake and rot on the street.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:22 | 2028819 economics1996
economics1996's picture


There are three main components to income inequality.

1.  The Federal Reserve and inflation.  The middle class and poor do not have the education to deal with inflation.  The Fed creating money out of thin air and giving it to Wall Street and indirectly to Washington is complete BS.

2.  Transfer payments robbing the working class of their paycheck to buy votes.  The percentage has increased from 5% in the 60s to 15.3% today.

3.  In 1970 foreign born workers were 4.7% of the population, today 12.3%.  The vast majority blue collar workers who depress blue collar wages helping the rich get richer.

If the Federal Reserve and federal government stopped ripping off workers we could eliminate income inequality.



Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:11 | 2028821 LouisDega
LouisDega's picture

So is this why the market is up or was it that other theory. Does it really matter?

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:19 | 2028848 Cdad
Cdad's picture

Correct.  The theory of the day is irrelevant, as within 24 hours, a new theory is asserted and parroted on the BlowHorn [CNBC] and Bloomberg, sadly.  The market has long since disconnected from investing theories, and it will remain disconnected from any and all reality as long as TBTF banks are co located in the room next to where Duncan Niederauer takes his afternoon constitutional.

Even now, the DOW's key rally component, MCD, is in a full on reversal off of all time highs...with DIS about to replace that component as the issue pumped to hold the index.  It is about pumping the index...not investing in forward looking earnings.

There is no market...only crooked market makers. 

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:14 | 2028827 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

As far as I'm concerned, 100% of Americans income is "DISPOSABLE" (assuming it's being received in the form of fiat)...

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:13 | 2028830 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

And god forbid you start paying down debt.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 13:29 | 2029201 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Don't worry, they've got a credit-card time-bomb set up to make sure that can't happen. All they have to do is to juice up the Prime Rate a bit, and everyone who carries a CC balance is going to watch their interest payments skyrocket. Revenue will shift from principal reduction to debt service. Those who can't keep up, well, you get principal growth instead. TADA!

Just another flavor of Credit Crunch. Consume at your own risk.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:14 | 2028834 FoieGras
FoieGras's picture

Americans are underqualified, undereducated and too lazy to earn more. Global labor competition draws real income away from the U.S. labor force and it goes where people have better education, more productivity and are willing (or forced) to work longer hours.

Once the obese and lazy U.S. middle class wakes up from their credit-financed-McMansion-owning-and-retired-at-45-pipedream and gets back to a 1950s style work ethic you may see a turn around in the trend. But not before that.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:17 | 2028846 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

FoieGras... Lecturing on obesity & laziness...

Couldn't help but notice the irony...

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:25 | 2028865 FoieGras
FoieGras's picture

The French - the world's biggest importer of duck liver - compare how to the average American on the obesity index?

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:39 | 2028936 Bolweevil
Bolweevil's picture

Freedom Fries mother fucker!

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 13:35 | 2029231 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I wasn't aware duck liver was a Muslim dish.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 14:33 | 2029518 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

That is funny. But seriously, the French are even lazier than Americans. The place where the French really win is with female libidos. We'll take your French women; you can have the 50 hour work week for the crony capitalist machine.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:47 | 2028979 pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

right let me see if I understand this? The solution is to work like slaves 70-80 hrs a week for the corporate boss and be good little servants and then we will all be richer!!


Thanks but no thanks!

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 13:50 | 2029311 FoieGras
FoieGras's picture

Eat or be eaten. Evolve or perish. Your choice buddy.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 14:37 | 2029542 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

The immediate future is about surviving. I can skin a buck, can you?

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 13:27 | 2029196 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

You're right, of course, fookerGras, as those people in China and India actually invented and created virtually everything, including the entire computer industry, digital electronics, biopharmaceuticals, aviation and marine electronics, everything, dood.....just how is it you know so much, dood?

[end sarcasm/]

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 14:30 | 2029502 obthedgehog
obthedgehog's picture

Some loss of skills has happened and too many people do have distorted expectations about the future, but another part of the problem is that a lot of the companies they could have worked for have disappeared.  Our steel mills have all closed their R&D shops.  Inflation turned over the depreciation schedules and made it uneconomic to reinvest in new capital equipment (killed industries in the 70s) and similarly stupid and onerous regulations continue to kill (not connected and favored) companies now.  Did engineers suddenly get stupid overnight or in the battle between the engineer/product guys and the MBA/bean-counter guys did the bean counters win?  Is it reasonable that the best job opportunity for most folks with physics degrees is in making radars for the military?

There are a *lot* of distortions out there.  We have eaten our seed corn.  It is all consume consume consume and no save save save leading to grow grow grow.  All of this is caused by people at all levels seeking and (supposedly) obtaining special privileges from the government at the expese of their fellow citizens.  Bastiat was right when he observed that "Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."

No special privileges, far fewer lazy people.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:15 | 2028835 homer8043
homer8043's picture

Overly optimistic. When view as median or excluding the top percent instead of average, i.e. per capita, it's much worse.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:15 | 2028839 American34
American34's picture

I would like to see Household Credit plotted on this same chart for comparison.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:19 | 2028849 km4
km4's picture

But but but Bama is paying the mortgage for 40% of mericans

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:22 | 2028852 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

In order to keep the sheeple quiet, while v-below-v was all passed over the holidays.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:21 | 2028851 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

No problem, Obama just signed the NDAA Indefinite Detention for dissenters bill, SOPA internet lockdown bill and the 'expatriation act' next to be signed. 

While everyone was mesmerized at stock prices they didnt notice america just got turned into East Germany.

Good luck in the indefinite detention centers, all you dissenters and govt critics, dont forget to bring a towel!

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:56 | 2029042 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

Sheep Dog,

What is it with the Towel?  I read another of you posts about what you need for a melt down and the one item you said you needed was a towel.

Not sure why the towel is so important?  Please enlighten me.


Tue, 01/03/2012 - 14:30 | 2029501 smiler03
smiler03's picture

He managed to get hold of hundreds of towels at $1.28 each ;O)

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 17:41 | 2030481 peekcrackers
peekcrackers's picture


LOL +1

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 14:41 | 2029540 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

You poor, sheltered soul...

Now, read the book and truly live before the Mayan DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMM!

This seems like as good a place as any to throw up this cache of goods(28C3 videos):

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 16:29 | 2030159 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

Thank you, did not want to be so nieve but just did not put 2+2 together.  I did watch that but did not know that his post was refering to the riot over towels.

Thanks for the explanation.  At least now I get the joke.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:29 | 2028855 Zadok
Zadok's picture

Try adjusting it for inflation.  Keeping value constant from 1992 give a bit of a different story...

Adjusting for inflation, we have about 1/3 or the real spending value the per capita individual had in 1992.  

Inflation...taking a little bite, a little bit every year.

Edit: This is total income for the entire US divided by the total population of the US.  Therefore this takes into account enployment, wages, elderly, population growth, infants, the productive, unproductive, talent under utilized, etc.  This chart wraps all of it up into one chart that represents the constant value that each individual rates across the entire US.  This is the tide we fight.  One may beat the average for a time but it is really tough to beat the tide.  Good luck with that!

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:25 | 2028860 bernorange
bernorange's picture

We're riding the surface of a credit/debt bubble that can't be sustained.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:25 | 2028861 vegas
vegas's picture

It doesn't matter. It's all Bush's fault.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:26 | 2028870 peekcrackers
peekcrackers's picture

The man on the street Loves walmart  and $1.98 towels on black friday

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 13:31 | 2029214 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

peekcrackers, an obvious plant or too damn stupid to realize that, gives us the same, tired talking point propaganda from the US Chamber of Commerce --- Americans want their GDP, jobs, and strategic assets all offshored so they can continue shopping at Wal-Mart (which demographics clearly illustrate have a majority conservative/neocon/republican shopping base --- and any moron who voted repupub (once upon a time as it has long since not mattered) who makes around minimum wage, demonstrates just how stupid ameritards actually are --- which may validate other points posted which I railed against!

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 14:32 | 2029513 smiler03
Tue, 01/03/2012 - 17:36 | 2030462 peekcrackers
peekcrackers's picture

LOL.... Thanks smiler03 atleast you get my wit .,


Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:29 | 2028877 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

If $102 WTI is bullish, wait til $120 WTI.  Spending sprees all around.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:34 | 2028902 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

doomers be damned. market is going through the roof, housing recovery on the way, need to focus on important things like making sure healthcare bill gets enacted, domestic terrorists (half the people on this site) are detained, people are working (in rice fields), prices are stable (stocks and bonds going up averaging out deflating wages)

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:34 | 2028905 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

The only people I know with real disposable income are those working for the government.  They don't need to save for retirement.  They have incredible pension plans.  What they have in their pockets they get to spend.  That's real disposable income.  For the rest of us every penny we spend we do so with a guilty conscience because we'll have less to retire on or perhaps less to use when we're laid off for the umpteenth time.   

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:39 | 2028937 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

they think they have incredible pensions plans waiting for them.......just as homeowners thought they were wealthy with home equity.......just taking the public pigs a little longer to find out that its also a LIE

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 13:38 | 2029247 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Numbers on paper.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 13:19 | 2029162 weinerdog43
weinerdog43's picture

The only people I know with real disposable income are those working for the government.

Really?  I thought that Jamie Dimon made a couple of bucks.  Oh well,

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 14:34 | 2029524 smiler03
smiler03's picture

Unlike you he probably doesn't know Jamie Dimon?

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:52 | 2029021 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

We are all just getting killed with inflation.

My Property taxes went up 150% in 3 years. 

Just a 100 Gallons of Oil is $255.  Usually enough for one month.

Every time I go to the store the prices are higher for everything.  Especially Beef and fresh vegtables.  The stores are having fewer things on sale and even then the sales are not that good.

The cost of Cable and Internet is up.

The cost of Cars are up, plus the cost of Gasoline.

The cost of Car repairs are up.

The cost of plumbers and general property repairs are thru the roof.  Like replacing a water heater or appliance.

Credit card interest was doubled.  I was lucky as I was paying 9% and their raised it to 18.9% so I paid it off.  They then let me write a check at 0% interest for 12 monts with a 3% up front fee.

Taxes on Telephone, water and sewer bills, cabel and internet up.  Even in some states sales tax.

Health Insurance costs up 30%.

Plus, many other "COSTS" just to live.  Yet, most people are not increasing their income nearly enough to keep even with all of the increased costs.

The only thing for most people to do is to dramatically reduce their spending, run up their credit or even tap their 401K and savings.  Maybe a combination of all of the above.

For Seniors it just may be getting a Reverse Mortgage just to make it thru and then there goes the Inheritance for their Children to buy them out of Debt.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 14:02 | 2029362 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Good thing I finally got a raise this year (first time in three). Without that extra $.25 an hour, I'd be screwed.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 14:19 | 2029444 bilbao
bilbao's picture

However, inflation is closely linked to disposable income. The reality is that if Americans don't have enough disposable income, inflation cannot be sustained.

See this chart:

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 14:19 | 2029450 aerojet
aerojet's picture

I still contend that Americans are basically idiots when it comes to managing their finances. 

Everything you said is true.  BUT--you have to learn to live less expensively in the first place.  You can't manager higher gasoline prices except to operate a vehicle that is as fuel efficient as possible.  Drive less, if you can.

Car repairs?  Learn how your car works and learn to fix it.  Everything.  That may not be possible for some people, so find someone who sidelines as a mechanic, they do exist.  People buy such shitty, expensive cars.  They don't have to bear that burden except they are vain.  Learn to not be so fucking vain!

Ditch cable, ditch Internt (I have to have Internet because of my job, it's a cost of doing business).  Cable is gone from my life and my family's lives--they don't hardly miss it.  Television is all just garbage thrown into your life to distract you from doing anything meaningful.  It is a drug.  So are video games--it makes me sick how many so-called adults while away their lives with video games.  I'm not saying zero video games, I'm just suggesting that they are another kind of drug to keep the population soft and easier to manipulate.

Credit cards--you don't need a credit card to live.  It's a convenience only.

Taxes--yeah, they are fucking us on taxes. Welcome to the USA.

Food--I hear a lot of complaints about food, but I don't think people understand how to grocery shop, quite frankly.  Yes, prices are definitely up.  Here's some advice--learn to make everything yourself.  Eat less.  Don't buy overpriced convenience items.  I used to buy the snack crackers like Ritz, but now they are $3 a box.  You know what?  Fuck them.   They can eat all of their fucking crackers at the price.  See how they like that.

All in all, the only thing you can do is react.  Vote with your feet. 




Tue, 01/03/2012 - 17:39 | 2030470 peekcrackers
peekcrackers's picture



I used to buy the snack crackers like Ritz, but now they are $3 a box."

Hence my nic :-)

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 13:32 | 2029205 chistletoe
chistletoe's picture

These are very good times for tobacco farmers and cigarette makers.

Undertakers are doing well and beer sales are foaming.

Gun and ammo sales are shooting up.

SWAT teams are much in demand despite another record growth year.

The TSA cannot hire touchy-feely airport guards fast enough.

Oncology is still growing malignantly,

and small businesses which teach people how to start a small business and

collect their tuition from uncle Sam are very interesting as well.


Thjere's a silver lining in every cloud, eh?

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 14:23 | 2029466 aerojet
aerojet's picture

I really don't know what to make of the gun and ammo sales supposedly being up.  It seems like all the major US gun manufacturers are barely keeping the lights on.  I sense there is something wrong with the picture and that the wrong conclusions have been drawn from it.  Ammo prices are up.  Seems like there is gigantic glut of firearms, though.  Also, nobody is actually out shooting.  The ranges are no busier than they ever were.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 15:26 | 2029846 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

I agree.  I know quite a few salesmen and I watch a lot of auctions online and I don't see a lot of real sales activity.  I'm sure there was a christmas/black friday spurt, but it seems like a lot of glut.  There is going to be a lot more glut as inventory comes back on the market when the apocalypse doesn't happen before a liquidity event for the gun owners.  That 30 gun collection ends up being an easy target for liquidation in a pinch.  Basically keeps a ceiling on future civilian sales.

This is the same mall ninja alert that came when obama was elected...  all those black rifles are going to get liquidated in deleveraging episodes.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 16:45 | 2030250 augmister
augmister's picture

But, gee, Mista Paulie Krugnutts....  How can we be bleeding "disposal income" when the gubbermint is printing all that money and spending it like drunkin' sailors?   We should be bazillionaires!   And I DIDN'T get that fucking PONY for Christmas!   .... you Nobel asswipe!

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