19 Signs That The U.S. Consumer Is Tapped Out

Source: theeconomiccollapseblog.com

Spare ChangeYou can’t get blood out of a rock.  Traditionally the United States has had a consumer-driven economy, but now years of declining incomes and rising debts are really starting to catch up with us.  In order to have an economy that is dependent on consumer spending, you need to have a large middle class.  Unfortunately, the U.S. middle class is steadily shrinking, and unless that trend is reversed we are going to see massive economic changes in this country.  For example, in poor neighborhoods all over America we are seeing bank branches, car dealerships and retail stores close down at an alarming rate.  If you didn’t know better, you might be tempted to think that “Space Available” was the hottest new retailer in some areas of the nation.  On the other hand, if you live in San Francisco, New York City or Washington D.C., things are pretty good for the moment.  But as a whole, the condition of the U.S. consumer continues to decline.  Incomes are going down, the cost of living is going up, and debts are skyrocketing.  The following are 19 signs that the U.S. consumer is tapped out…

#1 Real disposable income per capita continues to fall.  In the fourth quarter of 2012, it was sitting at $37,265.  By the time that the fourth quarter of 2013 had come around, it had dropped to $36,941.  That means that average Americans have less money to go shopping with than they did previously.
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10 Stories From The Cold, Hard Streets Of America That Will Break Your Heart

Source: theeconomiccollapseblog.com

Depressed - Photo by Sander van der WelIf the economy is really “getting better”, then why have millions upon millions of formerly middle class Americans been pushed to the point of utter despair?  The stories that you are about to read are absolutely heartbreaking.  I don’t know how anyone can read them without getting chills.  In America today, if you lose a good job, there is a good chance that you will get back on your feet before too long.  But there is also a good chance that you won’t be able to find a decent job and will plunge into the abyss of depression and desperation that so many millions of other Americans have fallen into.  As I wrote about earlier this month, the U.S. economy is definitely not getting any better.  For example, if you assume that the percentage of Americans that want to work is about at the long term average, then the official unemployment rate in the United States would be above 11 percent.  And compared to six years ago, 1,154,000 fewer Americans are working today even though our population has gotten significantly larger since then.  Behind all of these numbers are real flesh and blood people, and you are about to hear from some of them.  The following are 10 stories from the cold, hard streets of America that will break your heart…

#1 A 34-year-old man named Rocco
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Hungry For The Holidays: 20 Facts About Hunger In America That Will Blow Your Mind

Source: theeconomiccollapseblog.com

All over America there are millions of people that will be missing meals and going hungry this holiday season.  Even as much of the country indulges in the yearly ritual of unbridled consumerism that we refer to as “the holiday season”, more families in the United States than ever before will be dealing with not having enough food to eat.  Food stamp use is at an all-time high.  Demand at food banks is at an all-time high.  They keep telling us that we are in an “economic recovery” and yet the middle class continues to shrink and the number of Americans living in poverty just continues to grow.  We are witnessing unprecedented hunger in America, and this especially seems tragic during the holidays.  Much of the country is partying as if the good times will never stop, but families that are living from one meal to the next are facing a completely different reality.  How do you tell your children that there isn’t going to be any food to eat for dinner?  How do you explain to them that other families have plenty to eat but you don’t?  Sadly, many food banks are overstretched at this point.  All over the nation, food pantries have actually had to turn people away because of the overwhelming demand.  And more Americans used food stamps to buy their Thanksgiving dinners this year than ever before.  This is a problem that is not going away any time soon, and when the next major economic downturn strikes the problem of hunger in America is going to get even worse.
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Global Food Reserves Have Reached Their Lowest Level In Almost 40 Years

Source: thetruthwins.com

For six of the last eleven years the world has consumed more food than it has produced.  This year, drought in the United States and elsewhere has put even more pressure on global food supplies than usual.  As a result, global food reserves have reached their lowest level in almost 40 years.  Experts are warning that if next summer is similar to this summer that it could be enough to trigger a major global food crisis.  At this point, the world is literally living from one year to the next.  There is simply not much of a buffer left.  In the western world, the first place where we are going to notice the impact of this crisis is in the price of food.  It is being projected that overall food prices will rise between 5 and 20 percentby the end of this year.  It is becoming increasingly clear that the world has reached a tipping point.  We aren’t producing enough food for everyone anymore, and food reserves will continue to get lower and lower.  Eventually they will be totally gone.
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100 Million Poor People In America And 39 Other Facts About Poverty That Will Blow Your Mind

Source: theeconomiccololapseblog.com

Every single day more Americans fall into poverty.  This should deeply alarm you no matter what political party you belong to and no matter what your personal economic philosophy is.  Right now, approximately 100 million Americans are either “poor” or “near poor”.  For a lot of people “poverty” can be a nebulous concept, so let’s define it.  The poverty level as defined by the federal government in 2010 was $11,139 for an individual and $22,314 for a family of four.  Could you take care of a family of four on less than $2000 a month?  Millions upon millions of families are experiencing a tremendous amount of pain in this economy, and no matter what “solutions” we think are correct, the reality is that we all should have compassion on them.  Sadly, things are about to get even worse.  The next major economic downturn is rapidly approaching, and when it hits the statistics posted below are going to look even more horrendous.
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US poverty to hit highest level since 1965

Source: rt.com

Poverty in the US is projected to spread at record levels unseen since the 1960s, affecting many groups including underemployed workers, suburban families and the poorest of America’s poor.

­As unemployment aid dwindles and workers grow increasingly discouraged, poverty is reaching every corner of the US. In 2010, a family of four with a pre-tax income of  $22,314 was considered below the poverty line, while an individual with a pre-tax income of $11,139 would have the same status.
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Woman put in jail for being poor

Source: rt.com

The recession ruined Linda Ruggles’ business and she has been selling plasma twice a week since to make ends meet. The blood bank couldn’t bail her out from behind bars though, which is where she ended up after she couldn’t pay a $480 fine.

That fine, say cops in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, came about because Linda Ruggles had a messy yard.
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White House Proposes Half-percent Pay Raise for Federal Workers

Source: thenewamerican.com

While U.S. unemployment remains well above eight percent, the Obama administration is proposing a half-percent pay raise for federal employees as part of its 2013 budget plan, an Office of Management and Budget official announced Friday.

The modest, but rather untimely, pay increase will mark the first uptick since before the two-year federal pay freeze enacted in 2010, which was branded by the White House as a joint effort in which federal workers would share in the “sacrifice” with the private sector, as the economy remained persistently stale.
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Obama administration favors new tax on the poor with Internet gambling opinion

Source: naturalnews.com

It’s been a pretty typical modus operandi for President Obama: Tell any reporter or camera microphone within earshot that you are a champion of the poor, but then implement, support or adopt policies that hurt or punish them economically.

There was that time in October, when the president took that swing through western electoral battleground states to tout his “We Can’t Wait” campaign to help Americans still struggling from the recession, before departing for Hollywood, where he courted big names with big dollars for his reelection campaign.
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30 Statistics That Show That The Middle Class Is Dying Right In Front Of Our Eyes As We Enter 2012

Source: theeconomiccollapseblog.com


Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most vibrant middle class that the world has ever seen.  Unfortunately, that is rapidly changing.  The statistics that you are about to read prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the U.S. middle class is dying right in front of our eyes as we enter 2012.  The decline of the middle class is not something that has happened all of a sudden.  Rather, there has been a relentless grinding down of the middle class over the last several decades.  Millions of our jobs have been shipped overseas, the rate of inflation has far outpaced the rate that our wages have grown, and overwhelming debt has choked the financial life out of millions of American families.  Every single day, more Americans fall out of the middle class and into poverty.
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