There is nothing wrong with being optimistic, but there is something wrong with having blind faith that things are going to get better when all of the evidence is screaming at you that things are going to get worse. According to a brand new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, 71 percent of all Americans consider economic conditions in the United States to be poor right now, but an astounding 58 percent of them believe that economic conditions in the United States will be good a year from now.
So what can account for this? Are they insane? Are they hopelessly optimistic? Do they not want to believe the facts that are staring them right in the face? Well, a lot of it probably has to do with the upcoming election. Most Republicans are convinced that things will be “better” somehow if Romney wins in November. Most Democrats are convinced that things will “continue to improve” if Obama wins in November. But the truth is that the economy has been declining steadily in recent years no matter which party has been in power. Today, the American Dream is out of reach for huge numbers of formerly middle class families. Millions of jobs continue to leave the United States, poverty is absolutely exploding and our nation is absolutely drowning in debt. Sadly, nothing is being done to reverse the long-term economic trends that are destroying us. So, a year from now things are not going to be any better. In fact, many analysts are absolutely convinced that things are going to be a whole lot worse by then.
For example, just check out the following excerpt from a report that was just released by LEAP/E2020….
Thus, according to LEAP/E2020, the 2012 election year, which opens against the backdrop of economic and social depression, complete paralysis of the federal system (3), strong rejection of the traditional two-party system and a growing questioning of the relevance of the Constitution, inaugurates a crucial period in the history of the United States. Over the next four years, the country will be subjected to political, economic, financial and social upheaval such as it has not known since the end of the Civil War which, by an accident of history, started exactly 150 years ago in 1861. During this period, the US will be simultaneously insolvent and ungovernable, turning that which was the “flagship” of the world in recent decades into a “drunken boat”.
Wow, that paints a far different picture of the future than most Americans are imagining, eh?
The U.S. “will be simultaneously insolvent and ungovernable”?
That doesn’t sound very optimistic.
Gerald Celente, the head of the Trends Research Institute, is also very pessimistic about the rest of 2012. Just consider the following quotes from a recent USA Today article….
“2012 is when many of the long-simmering socioeconomic and political trends that we have been forecasting and tracking will climax,” Celente noted in his Top 12 Trends 2012 newsletter. In an interview he added: “When money stops flowing to the man on the street, blood starts flowing in the street.”
So who is right and who is wrong?
Only time will tell.
But I think it will be very interesting to pull this article back up a year from now.
At the moment, things do not look promising for the U.S. economy….
-The percentage of Americans planning to buy a home within the next six months continues to hover near a record low.
-The U.S. trade deficit with China continues to get even larger.
-Jobs for blue collar workers continue to disappear. In 1962, 28 percent of all jobs in America were manufacturing jobs. In 2011, only 9 percent of all jobs in America were manufacturing jobs. Overall, America has lost a total ofmore than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.
-There are not nearly enough white collar jobs for the hordes of fresh college graduates entering the marketplace. At this point, 53 percent of all U.S. college graduates under the age of 25 are either unemployed or underemployed.
-The percentage of working age Americans that are employed continues to go down. The following are the figures for the past three months….
February 2012: 58.6%
March 2012: 58.5%
April 2012: 58.4%
-Due to the lack of jobs, the middle class in the United States continues to shrink rapidly.
-A shocking number of Americans cannot even pay their bills at this point. According to one recent survey, approximately one-third of all Americans are not paying their bills on time right now.
-Incomes for middle class families continue to shrink. After adjusting for inflation, median household income in America has declined by 7.8 percent since December 2007.
-Meanwhile, the prices of the things we all buy month after month continue to go up. In fact, if inflation was measured the exact same way that it was back in 1980, the annual rate of inflation would be more than 10 percentright now.
-Millions of American families are experiencing a massive amount of pain at the pump. Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the price of gasoline has risen by more than 100 percent.
-As the middle class shrinks, the number of Americans on welfare continues to explode. Back in November 2008, 30.8 million Americans were on food stamps. Today, more than 46 million Americans are on food stamps.
-But this is not just a short-term trend. The truth is that dependence on the federal government has been rising for decades. But in recent years it has accelerated dramatically. In a previous article, I detailed the incredible growth of social welfare benefits that we have seen under both Republicans and Democrats….
Back in 1960, social welfare benefits made up approximately 10 percent of all salaries and wages. In the year 2000, social welfare benefits made up approximately 21 percent of all salaries and wages. Today, social welfare benefits make up approximately 35 percent of all salaries and wages.
-The federal government is propping up the economy with unprecedented amounts of government debt. Sadly, the U.S. national debt has risen by more than 5 trillion dollars since the day that Barack Obama first took office. In a little more than 3 years Obama has added more to the national debt than the first 41 presidents combined.
-In many ways, the U.S. is already in worse shape than Europe is. At this point, the United States has more government debt per capita than Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland or Spain.
So remind me again why things are going to get better?
The only reason why the economy has not collapsed already is because of unprecedented borrowing by the federal government and unprecedented money printing by the Federal Reserve. But those emergency measures cannot last indefinitely.
So it is absolutely insane to expect economic conditions in the United States to improve.
The truth is that they are a lot better right now than they should be. Once the federal government quits injecting more than a trillion borrowed dollars into the economy every single year things are going to look a lot different.
Instead of preparing for things to get better, the American people should be preparing for things to get worse.