This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog.
If you wanted to destroy the middle class, one way that you could accomplish that goal would be to flood the system with money. Of course that is precisely what we have witnessed over the past few years.
Our leaders have pumped trillions of new dollars into the system, and the wealthy have gotten much, much wealthier. But meanwhile, the rest of us have seen the cost of living rise much faster than our paychecks have. As a result, we are getting poorer and the middle class is shrinking.
Over time, our capitalist economy has steadily evolved into a system where almost all of the wealth and almost all of the power are concentrated in the hands of giant institutions.
Collectively, big government and big corporations run virtually everything, and this system of “corporate socialism” funnels a tremendous amount of wealth into the pockets of a very small minority of the population.
If you are in that club, life is good.
But if you are not in that club, life can be a struggle.
The gap between the rich and the poor has steadily grown, and now it is larger than it has ever been before. Even U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders acknowledges that we have a massive problem on our hands…
Today, half of our people are living paycheck to paycheck, 500,000 of the very poorest among us are homeless, millions are worried about evictions, 92 million are uninsured or underinsured, and families all across the country are worried about how they are going to feed their kids. Today, an entire generation of young people carry an outrageous level of student debt and face the reality that their standard of living will be lower than their parents’. And, most obscenely, low-income Americans now have a life expectancy that is about 15 years lower than the wealthy. Poverty in America has become a death sentence.
Meanwhile, the people on top have never had it so good. The top 1% now own more wealth than the bottom 92%, and the 50 wealthiest Americans own more wealth than the bottom half of American society – 165 million people.
Of course, Sanders believes that even more socialism is the answer, but more socialism is never the answer.
Centralizing wealth and power leads to widespread poverty. We have seen this same pattern over and over again all over the globe.
Decentralizing wealth and power leads to boundless prosperity as we saw in early America.
Unfortunately, our current system is what it is, and the middle class is being absolutely crushed.
Earlier today, I came across a tweet from Mike Cernovich that really resonated with me…
I made $10 an hour as a part timer worker in Home Depot style store. $12.50 on weekends. This was 1990’s in small town. Would be $19 an hour today and $24 on weekends.
I checked and same job TODAY is $12.50 an hour.
This is what inflation has done to the working class.
This is what so many of the “working poor” are facing today.
Wages for many jobs have not moved much at all over the years, but the cost of living has been absolutely soaring.
Cernovich also pointed out that a couple of decades ago hardly anything that we bought on a regular basis “felt expensive”…
Gas was often 99 cents / gallon. Gallon milk was 99 cents to $1.29.
This was in 1997-2000 era.
Nothing felt expensive other than “nice stuff,” luxuries.
Daily living, groceries, sure you had to budget but it didn’t feel like it does now.
Isn’t that so true?
I remember that time well. I could fill up an entire grocery cart for just 25 dollars, and that even included an entire cake.
Yes, I really liked to eat cake in those days.
But now if you fill up an entire cart with food, you will feel like you are making a house payment when you get to the register.
Needless to say, house payments are also much higher than they used to be. In fact, it is being reported that the average existing home actually costs approximately 93,000 dollars more than it did in 2020…
You read that right—existing homes cost around $93,000 more than they did in 2020. No wonder so many people feel like they can’t afford a house!
And newly built homes are even more expensive. In fact, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) estimates new homes will cost around $425,786 in 2023. Out of 132.5 million American households, 96.5 million of them won’t be able to afford that median price.6 So even if we see a ton of new houses being built, 7 out of 10 households will have a tough time paying for one.
In the old days, you could get a really nice home for 93,000 dollars.
But now the American Dream is out of reach for millions upon millions of families.
At this stage, many hard-working families don’t even make enough money “to cover their most basic needs”…
More than a third of US families that work full-time do not earn enough money to cover their most basic needs, including housing, food and child care, a new study shows.
Researchers at Brandeis University found 35% of American families do not meet the “basic family needs budget” — the amount needed to afford rent, food, transportation, medical care and minimal household expenses — despite working full-time year-round.
And thanks to inflation, it is getting worse with each passing month.
According to one recent survey, approximately 70 percent of all Americans openly admit “to being stressed about their personal finances”…
Some 70% of Americans admit to being stressed about their personal finances these days and a majority — 52% — of U.S. adults said their financial stress has increased since before the Covid-19 pandemic began in March 2020, according to a new CNBC Your Money Financial Confidence Survey conducted in partnership with Momentive.
A lot of you out there are in the same boat.
You are working as hard as you can, but it seems like there is never enough money at the end of the month.
That is because the game is rigged.
Our system has been so corrupted that now almost all of the economic rewards are being funneled to those at the very top of the food chain.
Meanwhile, the middle class is being absolutely eviscerated, and poverty is spreading like wildfire all over the nation.
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