Culture

U.S. Poverty on Track to Rise to Highest Levels Since 1960s

Fri., Aug. 3, 2012 5:39 PM EST
by Torrance Stephens

For the past five years, I have been writing about factors that may drag down the U.S. economy to near ruin, and here are just a few of them. In simple terms, data suggests that like the global system, the U.S. financial system is severely top heavy with debt and our economy is dragging, stagnate and getting worse with each passing day. The sad thing is that the U.S. government seems not to be telling the truth and wants to paint a rosy picture of all things getting better. But no matter what they are saying and no matter what the Federal Reserve Bank does, it won’t be enough to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, or void another major economic downturn. And even sadder is that these issues persist no matter which political party is in power.

My reason for thinking this has nothing to do with likes or dislikes of Obama or the GOP, or my purview of the Federal reserve, but rather that the specter of a tenable future of a “hyper-inflationary depression” is real for the U.S. economy. Mine is the sort of logic that is more like mathematics or chess, and presented merely to explain what I mean.

Just last week, the associate Press, based on census figures for 2009 reported that the number of folk living in poverty, under President Obama’s leadership is approaching 1960s levels. Currently, more than 45 million Americans (1 in 7) were living at or below the poverty line. This represents an increase from 13.2 percent to 15 percent — the highest single year increase since 1959 when the government first started keeping such statistics.

One reason for stalled U.S. economic growth. Although president Obama is saying things are getting better, facts are that there has been a complete collapse of the U.S. retail sector in the world’s largest economy. Both republicans and democrats, via their plutocratic policies, have obviated wage-levels for U.S. workers on behalf of large corporations so they will be able to “compete” with the wages of cheap labor in Asia all in the name of globalization. With reduced wages, in an age in which our economy was based on consumer spending and house buying, financed via foreign debt from banks who as we have learned were way undercapitalized and shady (LIBOR, MF Global, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and others).

As of 2007, U.S. household debt was 133 percent of household income. Maybe this is why according to AARP, 600,000 American homeowners that are 50 years of age or older are currently in foreclosure. Why, because the average American consumer today is poor, under-employed or unemployed. In fact, over the past 40 years, wages for the average U.S. worker have fallen by more than 50 percent (levels equal to the Great Depression).

Appears that present US fiscal and economic policy is converting the Middle Class into the Working Poor although they orate otherwise. How can we be in a a”recovery” when as a nation, we continue to sell less goods to consumers with lower incomes and increasingly more debt? This for me is an indication that we are living in a time of incessant high inflation.

America’s econmy will continue to get worse if our only solution is to print more paper money while food prices continue to increase and more people become under-employed, unemployed as our disability rolls grow exponentially. Ours is a nation that is not only burdened with substantial debt, but also at the mercy of Wall Street, banks and corporations who would rather profit on the backs of the average consumer via fraudulent complex financial instruments, money making schemes and risky gambling practices that the federal government sanctions.