Friday, February 8, 2013

Economic Fun Facts

Because who doesn't love numbered lists?:
1) the majority of new jobs are bad.

2) the economy has still not recovered all lost jobs, either in absolute #s or as a percentage of the population

3) so there are fewer jobs, and what new jobs have been created are worse. They pay worse.

4) The upper middle class job market has recovered, which is why those folks are no longer panicking and are telling you that the economy isn’t so bad as all that.

5) the failure to force the rich to take their losses and to break up the banks means that the same people who caused the 2007/8 financial crisis still control the economy and the government.

6) failure to restructure the economy to get off oil and over to an electrical economy means that the US (and the world) are caught in the oil price dilemna: any real recovery increases oil price and will be derailed by those high oil prices.

7) Europe, ex. Germany, is in recession.

8 ) the developed world is in depression, it never left depression.  During depressions there are recoveries (such as they are) and recessions, but the overall economy is in depression.

9) China’s economy is slowing down.  Since China is the main engine of the world economy, followed by the US, this is really bad.  If it goes into an actual recession, bend over and kiss your butt goodbye.

10) Austerity is a means by which the rich can buy up assets which are not normally on the market for cheap.

11) the wealth of the rich and major corporations has recovered and in many countries exceeded its prior highs.  They are doing fine. Austerity is not hurting them. They control your politicians.  The depression will not end until it is in their interest for it to do so, or their wealth and power is broken.

12) The US play is as follows: frack. Frack some more.  Frack even more.  They are trying the Reagan play, temporize while new supplies of hydrocarbons come on line.  Their bet is that they’ll get another boom out of that.  If they’re right, it’ll be a lousy boom.  If they’re wrong (and the Saudis think they are, and the Saudis have been eating their lunch since 2001) then you won’t even get that.  Either way, though, they’ll devastate the environment, by which I mean the water you drink and grow crops with.

13) For people earning less than about 80K, the economy never really recovered.

14) If you’re out of work more than 2 months your odds of getting another job drop through the floor.  If you do get one, odds are it will pay much less than your previous job.
Ian Welsh: Some Basics On The Economy (Naked Capitalism)
1. One recent survey discovered that 40 percent of all Americans have $500 or less in savings.

2. A different recent survey found that 28 percent of all Americans do not have a single penny saved for emergencies.

3. In the United States today, there are close to 10 million households that do not have a single bank account.  That number has increased by about a million since 2009.

4. Family homelessness in the Washington D.C. region (one of the wealthiest regions in the entire country) has risen 23 percent since the last recession began.

5. The number of Americans living in poverty has increased by about 6 million over the past four years.

6. Median household income has fallen for four years in a row.  Overall, it has declined by more than $4000 over the past four years.

7. 62 percent of middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.

8. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 85 percent of middle class Americans say that it is more difficult to maintain a middle class standard of living today than it was 10 years ago.

9. In the United States today, 77 percent of all Americans are living to paycheck to paycheck at least some of the time.

10. In the United States today, more than 41 percent of all working age Americans are not working.

11. Since January 2009, the “labor force” in the United States has increased by 827,000, but “those not in the labor force” has increased by 8,208,000.  This is how they have gotten the unemployment numbers to “come down”.

12. Sadly, 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.

13. Today, about one out of every four workers in the United States brings home wages that are at or below the federal poverty level.

14. Right now, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.

15. At this point, less than 25 percent of all jobs in the United States are “good jobs”, and that number continues to shrink.

16. There are now 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing.  That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.

17. According to USA Today, many Americans have actually seen their water bills triple over the past 12 years.

18. Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.

19. In 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance.  Today, only 55.1 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.

20. Health insurance premiums rose faster than the overall rate of inflation in 2011 and that is happening once againin 2012.  In fact, it has been happening for a very long time.

21. According to one recent survey, approximately 10 percent of all employers in the United States plan to drop health coverage when key provisions of the new health care law kick in less than two years from now.

22. Back in 1983, the bottom 95 percent of all income earners had 62 cents of debt for every dollar that they earned.  By 2007, that figure had soared to $1.48.

23. Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.

24. Total consumer debt in the United States has risen by 1700 percent since 1971.

25. Recently it was announced that total student loan debt in the United States has passed the one trillion dollar mark.

26. According to one recent survey, approximately one-third of all Americans are not paying their bills on time at this point.

27. Right now, approximately 25 million American adults are living at home with their parents.

28. The percentage of Americans that find that they are able to retire when they reach retirement age continues to decline.  According to one new survey, 70 percent of middle class Americans plan to work during retirement and 30 percent plan to work until they are at least 80 years old.

29. The U.S. economy lost more than 220,000 small businesses during the recent recession.

30. In 2010, the number of jobs created at new businesses in the United States was less than half of what it was back in the year 2000.

31. Back in 2007, 19.2 percent of all American families had a net worth of zero or less than zero.  By 2010, that figure had soared to 32.5 percent.

32. Approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered to be either “low income” or impoverished.

33. In the United States today, somewhere around 100 million Americans are considered to be either “poor” or “near poor”.

34. In October 2008, 30.8 million Americans were on food stamps.  Today, 46.7 million Americans are on food stamps.

35. Approximately one-fourth of all children in the United States are enrolled in the food stamp program.

36. Right now, more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.  And that does not even count Social Security or Medicare.

37. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an all-time record 49 percent of all Americans live in a home where at least one person receives financial assistance from the federal government.  Back in 1983, that number was less than 30 percent.
37 Frightening Facts About Our Economy (ETF News)
1. As of January 2013, there are 16 people left in the world who were born in the 1800s, according to the Gerontology Research Group. With dividends reinvested, U.S. stocks have increased 28,000-fold during their lifetimes.

2. If you divide their net worths by their age, Carlos Slim and Bill Gates have each accumulated more than $100,000 in net worth for every hour they've been alive.

5. According to a study by Harvard professor David Wise and two colleagues, 46.1% of Americans die with less than $10,000 in assets.

6. There are 3.8 million fewer Americans aged 30 to 44 today than there were a decade ago.

9. "U.S. oil production grew more in 2012 than in any year in the history of the domestic industry, which began in 1859," writes Tom Fowler of The Wall Street Journal.

11. Start with a dollar. Double it every day. In 48 days you'll own every financial asset that exists on the planet -- about $200 trillion.

12. There were fewer state and local education jobs in 2012 than there were in 2005, even though the number of 5- to 18-year-olds has increased by 600,000.

15. "97% of the world's population now lives in countries where the fertility rate is falling," writes author Jonathan Last.

20. The International Labour Organization estimates a record 200 million people will be unemployed around the world in 2013. If you gave them their own country, it would be the fifth-largest in the world.

21. Despite the overall population doubling, more babies were born in the U.S. in 1956 than were born in 2009, 2010, or 2011.

23. Apple's cash and investments are now equal to the GDP of Hungary and more than those of Vietnam and Iraq.

26. U.S. charitable giving was $298 billion in 2011, according to the Giving USA Foundation. That's more than the GDP of all but 33 countries in the world.

29. Thanks in large part to cellphone cameras, "Ten percent of all of the photographs made in the entire history of photography were made last year," according to Time.

33. From 2005 to 2012, total student loans outstanding increased by $539 billion, according to the Federal Reserve.

34. According to a study by Environics Analytics WealthScapes, the average Canadian household is now richer than an average American household for the first time ever.

35. The 100 largest public pension funds alone have $1.2 trillion of unfunded liabilities, according to actuarial firm Milliman.

37. The average new American home was 1,535 square feet in 1975 and 2,169 square feet in 2010, according to the Census Bureau.

39. Growth in America's energy output since 2008 has surpassed that of any other country in the world, according to energy analyst Daniel Yergin.

40. Two news headlines published on the same day last September summed up the U.S. economy perfectly: "U.S. Median Income Lowest Since 1995, " and "Ferrari sales surge to record highs."

42. If you add up annual profits of the entire airline industry going back to 1948, you get -$32 billion.

44. According to California Common Sense, "Over the last 30 years, the number of people California incarcerates grew more than eight times faster than the general population."

45. One in seven crimes committed in New York City now involves an Apple product being stolen, according to NYPD records cited by ABC News.

48. According to economist Glen Weyl, "Of Harvard students graduating in early '90s and pursuing careers in finance, 1/3 were making over $1 million a year by 2005."

49. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, 44% of those working for minimum wage in 2010 had attended at least some college, up from 25% in 1979.

51. According to a study by two Yale economists, if state and local governments acted like they had in the last five recessions, they would have added at least 1.4 million jobs since 2007. Instead, they cut more than 700,000.

53. In 2011, Asia had more millionaires than North America for the first time ever, according to RBC Wealth Management.

54. According to Enerdata, the U.S. consumed less total energy in 2011 than it did in 2000.

55. The IRS estimates that illegal tax-evasion reduced government tax revenue by $450 billion in 2006 (the most recent year calculated). That's roughly equal to what the government spends annually on Medicare.

57. According to a study by Edward Wolff published in the Bureau of Economic Research, the inflation-adjusted median net worth of American families in 2010 hit the lowest level since 1969.

58. "Household debt is now 163.4% of disposable income in Canada, close to the U.S. level at the height of the subprime crisis," writes The Wall Street Journal.

59. In 2012, the Greek stock market (ATHEX Index) outperformed the Chinese stock market (Shanghai Composite) by 48 percentage points.

61. According to CNBC wealth reporter Robert Frank, the population of millionaires in America is now at or above its 2007 high.

66. Since U.S. markets bottomed in March 2009, more than $8 trillion of lost wealth has been recouped.

69. The share of an average U.S. household budget going toward gas in 2012 was nearly 4%, tying for the highest level in almost three decades, according to Energy Information Administration figures cited by The Guardian.

71. According to a survey by Paola Sapienza and Luigi Zingales, effectively all economists agreed that stock prices are hard to predict. Only 59% of average Americans felt the same way.

74. The Energy Information Administration predicts that U.S. oil imports will fall to 6 million barrels a day next year -- their lowest level in 25 years.

75. According to economist Stephen Bronars, the new 39.6% federal tax bracket will only affect 0.7% of taxpayers but will hit 9.5% of aggregate personal income, as top earners earn a disproportionate share of the national income.

76. From 2001 to 2007, new-home construction outpaced household formation by more than 3 million homes.

77. According to Gallup, 51.3% of Americans consider themselves "thriving," 45.1% say they are "struggling," and 3.6% say they're "suffering."

80. According to The Wall Street Journal, 49.1% of Americans live in a household "where at least one member received some type of government benefit in the first quarter of 2011."

83. "By 2050, workers' median age in China and Japan will be about 50, a decade higher than in America," writes Robert Samuelson.

85. The U.S. birthrate declined 8% from 2007 to 2010, according to Pew. At 63.2 per 1,000 women of childbearing age, the 2011 U.S. birthrate was the lowest since records began in 1920.

87. According to David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal, Americans "spend about half of their food budgets at restaurants now, compared to a third in the 1970s."

88. We are used to hearing how much faster the earnings of the top 1% grow compared with everyone else's, but we often forget that it used to be the other way around. From 1943 to 1980, the annual incomes of the bottom 90% of Americans doubled in real terms, while the average income of the top 1% grew just 23%, according to Robert Frank.

90. According to David Leonhardt, median family incomes have fallen substantially over a decade for the first time since the Great Depression. "By [2011], family income was 8 percent lower than it had been 11 years earlier, at its peak in 2000."

92. Federal nondefense discretionary spending -- all spending minus defense and entitlements -- is on track to hit its lowest level as a share of GDP in more than 50 years, according to data from the Congressional Budget Office.

96. In the 1960s, wages and salary income made up more than 50% of GDP. By 2011, it was less than 44%, as dividends, interest, and capital gains made up a growing share of the nation's income.

97. S&P 500 companies held $900 billion in cash at the end of June, according to Thomson Reuters. That was up 40% since 2008.

98. "More than 50 million Americans couldn't afford to buy food at some point in 2011," writes CNNMoney, citing U.S. Department of Agriculture data. In June 2012, 46.7 million Americans received food stamps.
100 Startling Facts About The Economy (Motley Fool)

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