by: Daisy Luther
July 7, 2013
The Economic Collapse….people envision bank runs, life WROL (without rule of law), piles of worthless currency, rampant homelessness, and breathless news reports on CNN and the network channels (if you happen to still have access to a television, that is). They imagine a grim, gray world, devoid of entertainment, with unwashed citizens digging desperately through the trash.
Because of this apocalyptic image, the idea of an economic collapse seems pretty far-fetched to most people. After all, we still see cars in every driveway, lights in every window at night, children going to school and parents going to work. Everything’s fine, right? The economic collapse is only a conspiracy theory, cooked up by those crazy libertarians and right-wingers, right?
Sadly, no. It’s a fact and it’s all around us, right now. The economic collapse has occurred quietly and stealthily. In fact, many people probably think that it has only happened to them, as job losses occur, utilities get cut off, and the pantry gets more sparse. They don’t talk about it because poverty is a humiliating state – they suffer quietly, not realizing that the next-door neighbor is probably in the exact same situation. They don’t realize that they aren’t alone.
Less than half of America is employed right now.
Despite the deceptively whitewashed claims of the Job Report that say that things are looking up, Breitbart released an article on July 5 refuting their optimistic assertions. While there are technically “more” jobs, this is because positions that used to be full time are now part time – meaning that two or more people hold what used to be one job.
According to the article, only 47% of Americans are employed full time. In an age where most families require two parents to work full time in order to make ends meet, this is a devastating economic blow.
The administration is careful not to divulge the entire story, instead playing with numbers and percentages to portray growth instead of dismal decline.
If today the same proportion of Americans worked as just a decade ago, there would be almost 9 million more people working. Just in the last year, almost 2 million Americans have left the labor force. With a majority of the population not holding a full-time job, it isn’t surprising that economic growth has been so weak.
In June, the number of Americans who wanted to work full-time, but were forced into part-time jobs because of the economy, jumped 352,000 to over 8 million.
The Jobs’ Report is increasingly measuring only a part of the American economy. While Friday’s report was better than expected, it only measures those who are working or actively looking for work. There is a growing number of Americans slipping through the cracks of the job market. (source)
Meanwhile, as income drops, expenses increase.
Consumer spending is on the uptick, a sign that the government likes to say is positive. However, people are forced to pay more to get less, just to maintain a basic standard of living with food, utilities, and gasoline. People aren’t spending money on goods – they are spending it on essential items and services.
Fuel: The price of transportation has gone up dramatically. The price of gasoline has risen a staggering 294% over the past 10 years. That’s right – 294%!!!! This, of course, affects anything that must be transported, which is, well….pretty much anything. If your food comes from another country or continent, you can add high fuel prices to the cost of that item. If your television was made in a factory on the other side of the globe, tack on some extra transit charges. This one item – the price of fuel, is the catalyst that is making the price of everything else increase.
Food: Furthermore, if you are a commuter, the price of getting back and forth to work is higher. So again – you are paying more for the basic essential supplies you need to live your life in your current fashion.