We are living in unprecedented times. The economy has bottomed out in an epic collapse even as stocks soar to record highs. The reality for the vast majority of Americans is daunting. Financial ruin, food insecurity, and poverty loom ever closer, and standards of living across the country have dropped precipitously to the worst point in decades, if not in all of US history.
In a recent report, Bank of America found that even considering all of the havoc that has been wrought on the economy this year, we were headed for a collapse well before the health crisis hit headlines.
Sure, 2020 has seen tens of millions of Americans forced from their jobs–many of them for good–as well as the normalization of citizens living off of government payments in order to survive. But for most US workers, those that make up the country’s large middle class, things were dangerously unstable even before we started hearing words like “pandemic” or “recession.”
This is particularly evident in the Cost of Thriving Index, which takes into account four categories that play a large role in maintaining a comfortable middle class life–housing, health care, transportation, and education.
In 1985, the average middle class American was able to pay for significant fixed expenses such as their housing, health care, car, and education with just 30 weeks of median wage earnings. Now, however, it would take a staggering 53 weeks to do the same. If this figure sounds off to you, that’s because there are only 52 weeks in a year. This means that even a full year of median income is not enough to cover annual costs of living for the average American.
In other words, “thriving” in the United States’ middle class has become mathematically impossible for the average worker. As experts continue to puzzle over heightened uncertainty about future economic growth, it’s clear that this is the answer. Countless Americans are no longer confident that the wages they earn will be able to support them. Of course, that’s if they’re earning any at all this year beyond federal and state assistance checks…
In this video, we are going to discuss the latest data that shows how standards of living for ordinary Americans are rapidly sinking. We’ll look at indicators tied to consumer confidence, housing, real estate, bankruptcy, and foreclosure in order to paint a realistic picture of the United States’ financial future.
The LegalShield Law Index for July 2020 revealed a worsening picture of the country. This study, which includes a range of important indicators that offer a glimpse into the economic and financial statuses of US households and small businesses, showed that the Consumer Financial Stress Index remained high in July.
More than halfway through the year, at a point when many experts claimed earlier on that we would see a recovery, Americans are not feeling much more financially secure than they were during the worst months of the collapse.
The LegalShield Law Index is considered to be predictive, as it anticipates deeper economic trends before the crises are reflected in official data releases or other indicators. According to their analysis, low consumer confidence is likely to persist throughout the rest of this year, further stagnating a US recovery.
Clearly, despite occasional bits of more positive news, the US will head deeper into this economic collapse before we see any bit of light at the end of the tunnel. In the gap between initial emergency measures and renewed federal aid, countless Americans will have to say goodbye to the comfortable middle class lives they once lived.
As we warned in this video, the median annual income of the average American can no longer cover a year’s worth of basic expenses. It’s no wonder we’re seeing such a dramatic spike in food shortages, hunger, evictions, and the like. And at this rate, without federal unemployment benefits to plug the gap between basic quality of life and serious financial insecurity, things are going to get even uglier. Be wise and prepare now, while you still can.