Truth be told, the United States is far from seeing any economic growth. Americans are struggling. The middle class is slowly dissipating. While the stock market is at record highs, the reality is that only four out of every 10 adult Americans have any exposure to the stock market. The majority of Americans are not in the stock market, and thus their wealth has not increased with the rally in stock prices. (Source: “Why so few millennials invest in the stock market,” Business Insider, July 6, 2016.)
Bad Signs for the U.S. Economy
Here are the cold, hard facts of the U.S. economy:
According to an annual survey by New York City’s Department of Homeless Services, street homelessness in New York is up by 39% year-over-year (as of February 6). This was the highest annual increase in homelessness in the city since 2005! (Source: “Street Homelessness in NYC Increased by Almost 40 Percent: Report,” NBC New York, July 5, 2017.)
A recent report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University said that, in 2015, there were 18.75 million households (be it renters or owners) who were “severely burdened.” This is when a household pays 50% or more of their income toward housing in the form of rent or mortgage payments. (Source: “The State Of The Nation’s Housing 2017,” Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, last accessed July 14, 2017.)
A total of 20.1 million households were moderately burdened in 2015. This is when a household spends 30% of their income on shelter. Overall, there were close to 39 million households that were burdened in the U.S.―be it moderately or severely. In 2001, this figure was just 31.5 million. (Source: Ibid.)
Many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. They don’t have much in savings for a rainy day. According to a poll by Bankrate, 24% of Americans have no emergency savings. (Source: “More Americans are getting better about saving. No, really!” Bankrate, June 20, 2017.)
And that’s not all.
The use of food stamps in the U.S. economy is staggering. According to the most recent data, 42.6 million Americans are using some form of food stamps. Bringing in some perspective, the number of Americans using food stamps is much greater than the entire population of Canada! (Source: “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,” U.S. Department of Agriculture, last accessed July 11, 2017.)
There’s Just No Economic Growth
Dear reader; I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news. Nor am I trying to cherry-pick data to make dire predictions on the U.S. economy. The data are very clear: there is no real economic growth.
Don’t get too distracted by the stock market; it’s soaring for all the wrong reasons. The economy is in such bad shape, with so many Americans struggling, that the repercussions from the coming stock market crash will be overwhelming.