Very sobering article about the impact of the global recession on the American middle classes. The stats are downright frightening:
• Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 – the highest rate in 20 years.
• 61 percent of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
• 36 percent of Americans say that they don’t contribute anything to retirement savings.
• 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.
• Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.
• For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.
• The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
• The average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.
• More than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.
• Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.
• The top 10 percent of Americans now earn around 50 percent of our national income.
If these stats emerged from an African country, we’d hear nothing about poverty and starving kids.