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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Some economic statistics

Yes, I realize that statistics have lost their renown with good reason: anyone who knows how can make them say what they want to say - kind of like our news media makes the news by what they report and what they don't report.

That said, here are some economic statistics from the dude over at The Economic Collapse Blog. Yes, he is dramatic about our impending doom most of the time, but there is still truth at the core of what he's talking about: our government is set upon an unsustainable path economically and it's going to blow up in our faces some day. Anyway, today he stuck up a long list of statistics indicating the decline of the United States economically. I will repeat some of them:
#2 The United States was once ranked #1 in the world in GDP per capita.  Today we have slipped to #14.
#4 Since the year 2000, the size of the U.S. national debt has grown by more than 11 trillion dollars.
#5 Back in the year 2000, our trade deficit with China was 83 billion dollars.  Last year, it was 315 billion dollars.
#13 The number of full-time workers in the United States is nearly 6 million below the old record that was set back in 2007.
#14 The average duration of unemployment in the United States isnearly three times as long as it was back in the year 2000.
#15 Throughout the year 2000, more than 64 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  Today, only 58.7 percent of all working age Americans have a job.
#16 The official unemployment rate has been at 7.5 percent or higher for 54 months in a row.  That is the longest stretch in U.S. history.
#17 The U.S. government says that the number of Americans "not in the labor force" rose by 17.9 million between 2000 and 2011.  During the entire decade of the 1980s, the number of Americans "not in the labor force" rose by only 1.7 million. 
#19 The U.S. economy continues to trade good paying jobs for low paying jobs.  60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.
#25 Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States has risen from $1.85 to $3.64.
#36 According to the Federal Reserve, the median net worth of families in the United States declined "from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010".
#39 During Obama's first term, the federal government accumulated more debt than it did under the first 42 U.S presidents combined. 
There you have it. The economy is still in trouble. Our government increased spending exponentially - by as much as 10% per department per year. And it compounds. This has been going on since the 70's. It's blown up government so big that tax revenue can't keep pace and we get enormous deficits. A debt bubble is just as dangerous as a housing bubble and it does impact the economy even now, though it will do so more painfully when it pops. The end.

Only, it's really not the end. The end will be determined by whether or not the average voter figures out that we need to do something about it. Of course politicians (on both sides for the most part) have no interest in cutting spending - they have the power of the purse and they're not paying - we are. It's like they have an enormous credit card for which we have to pay the bill and interest. This is NOT "by the people, for the people, or of the people" any longer.

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