Tuesday, July 21, 2015

July, 2015, Part 3, By The Numbers: More Depressing Economic Numbers, Courtesy of The Washington Political Class

On a semi-regular basis we revisit the theme "by the numbers" just to check in on the state of the country and political class using actual realities and their underlying numbers, not the spin or lies from our politicians. You see, politicians usually have nothing to gain by looking at reality and the numbers since they are more than likely to have screwed up reality and our lives in the first place.

That is why they would rather lie and deceive than tell the truth. But that approach can be destroyed by looking at the hard numbers behind the mess they have created. I once worked for a boss whose favorite saying was: "There is nothing more devastating to an opinion than the right number.” And that is what we try to do with this theme, devastate politicians’ opinions by looking at the right numbers.

So let’s take a look at the numbers that have recently cropped up and again prove that the political class in America continues to be one of the worst set of people to ever hold office, given the state of the country, the many ways they screw up our wealth and government functions, and their inability or non-desire to step up and tell the truth.

The past two days we looked at the depressing economic numbers from two different perspectives:

  • Two days ago we reviewed the hardcore numbers on the economy from the 45 million Americans that are still receiving monthly food assistance to the 640,000 Americans who dropped out of the work force last month.
  • Yesterday we looked at the economic attitude numbers which showed that Americans are getting less optimistic about the economy, as measured by the University Of Michigan's consumer sentiment index.
Today we will take a deeper look at the economic attitude numbers as measured by a recent Harris poll and analyses from the American Institute of CPAs. The original source of the following information came from the Affluent Investor website:

  • A record 72% of Americans fear a near term economic crash.
  • While the stock market has tripled since the lows in 2009 and the Great Recession, much of America is not feeling that wealth effect.
  • This has resulted in many, many American families putting their lives on hold.
  • More than 50% of Americans have delayed a major life decision in the past 12 months for financial reasons.
  • This is up twenty percentage points from a similar survey that was done in 2007.
  • 24% delayed a higher education decision due to financial reasons, up from 11% in 2007.
  • 22% delayed buying a home due to financial reasons, up from 14% in 2007.
  • 19% delayed a medical decision due to financial reasons, despite Obama Care, up from 9% in 2007.
  • 18% delayed retirement due to financial reasons, up from 9% in 2007.
  • 13% delayed having children due to financial reasons, up from 5% in 2007.
  • 12% delayed getting married due to financial decisions, up from 6% in 2007.
Thus, in just eight years, despite after five years of "economic recovery," Americans are having to make hard decisions regarding life altering situations, delaying major milestones in their life due to financial concerns and limitations. Hardly the numbers and the sign of a robust economic recovery. In some cases, the amount of negativity has more than doubled in just eight years.

One underlying set of numbers that may be driving the negativity and confidence crisis is the reality that Americans are still carrying $60 TRILLION in debt. While credit card debt overall is slightly down over time, student loan debt continues to mount, offsetting the drop in credit card debt. Massive student debt forces college graduates to postpone their life's objectives and purchasing habits just to pay off the crushing debt load.

The numbers do not lie. Whether we are looking at hard statistic information or soft attitude information, the numbers are trending negatively. Despite the fact that with an $800 billion economic stimulus package, an energy revolution that created high paying jobs and dropped energy prices, and several TRILLION dollars of paper money pumped into the economy by the Fed, the Washington political class still could not generate a robust economic recovery or economic growth record. The numbers do not lie.

Final "by the numbers" episode tomorrow, a post that will actually concentrate on positive numbers, which, not surprisingly, have nothing to do with politicians or their inane actions.

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