This is an appalling statistic, and it also means 20 years of prosperity have been wiped out.
The self-proclaimed home of capitalism is doing a lousy job of managing itself. Maniacal costs are very much part of this picture.
The New York Times
The survey also found a shift in the reasons that families set aside money, illustrating the lack of confidence that is weighing on the pace of economic growth. More families said they were saving as a precautionary measure, to make sure they had sufficient liquidity to meet short-term needs. Fewer said they were saving for retirement, education or for a down payment on a home.
And the report highlighted the fact that households had made limited progress in reducing the amount that they owed to lenders. The share of households reporting any debt declined by 2.1 percentage points over the last three years, but 74.9 percent of households still owe something and the median amount of the debt did not change.
This is more of an obituary than a report. Compared to some other countries, the US is literally off the prosperity map. The net worth of Australian families, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics
This is capitalism?
Between America’s slave labor wages and utterly insane prices for health and education, there’s no way to make money if you’re an American wage earner. Main Street is a disaster zone. World War Three might have done more damage, but not a lot more in terms of dollar damage.
So where are all the heroes? Where are all these ideals?
To listen to American politicians, you’d think that someone was going to turn on a magic tap and the milk and honey would start flowing again. To listen to rednecks like Rash Limburger and Glum Buck, you’d think prosperity, if it existed, was threatened by socialism. The US is a basket case, on these figures, and the basket is looking pretty shabby.
This economic catastrophe effectively means that the US has been going nowhere but backwards since 2007. The mortgage securities crash took Main Street down, and it hasn’t got up again. The ineffectual nut jobs in Congress since that time have done exactly nothing in theory, but much less in fact. Doing nothing has exacerbated a general decline in standards of living across the board.
Even the rich aren’t quite as rich as they think. The 1% may be living well now, but from the obvious real shrinkage in the domestic economy these figures represent, they’re on the cusp of seeing the effects of the destruction of real private capital in their own little cocoons as the huge amounts of liquid capital which Main Street pumps through the economy every day slowly but mercilessly dries up inside America.
You can’t sell things to people who don’t have any money. Nor can you lend them money when you’re charging them a fortune for everything and dollars don’t go as far as they did. Nor can you expect much change while you’re paying wages which would be actually illegal in other countries. (And, ridiculously, bitching about labor costs at the same time.)
50 years ago, the general aim of America was prosperity. It was, to large extent, successful. Americans were prosperous, much more so than today in real terms, and far more prosperous compared to the rest of the world. The American standard of living was the highest in human history.
The slum mentality of Wall Street and the deformed mindsets of inferior intellects has turned the most successful capitalist society in history into a Pay As You Go hell for Americans. The result is true national humiliation on a colossal scale.
The “public debate” is arguably the final insult to the American Dream. Libertarians, like senile, deranged chickens, cluck about their own interests. Conservative politicians represent nothing at all. Academics are as bad or worse. The public’s best interests are the last thing on anyone’s minds. Most of these subhuman “experts” and “thought leaders” don’t even know enough about economics, or anything else, to understand why the public’s interests are even relevant.
Where are the Great Liberal Institutions?
Also lost in some worthless daze of self-righteousness are the “liberals”, particularly the institutionalized versions. The Democrats are at best ineffectual, at worst the most grotesque hypocrites in American history. Solutions don’t come from rhetoric and saying how awful it all is. They come from finding practical solutions. These are people who can comment on one word at a time and seriously think they’re “progressive-minded”, while achieving absolutely nothing. They’re supposed to be the opponents of this wholesale destruction, and in fact, they’re enablers, as bad as the US media in glossing over anything and everything.
America has imploded on itself. The Fed’s figures are the death certificate. Until somebody realizes that money puts food in people’s mouths and that having a roof over your head isn’t a form of communism, the lesson will remain unlearned.
Henry Ford was misquoted. What he actually said was, “To say people don’t learn from history is bunk.” Unfortunately, it appears he was very wrong. Those who don’t learn from history will not only repeat mistakes, they’ll repeat them on a colossal scale. This is the price of failure, and it’s a very high price indeed.