The headlines tell us that the economy is doing well and that things are rebounding. However, when you look around, many people are struggling. Furthermore, some things just look so bleak.
Here are 12 reasons why things look so bad these days, regardless of the supposed economic boom.
Government Isn’t Working as it Should
The government is supposed to work for its citizens. Unfortunately, that simply doesn’t seem to be the case. The House is in shambles, and neither side seems to want to work with the other.
Gone, or at least they seem to be, are the days of bipartisanship. One can hope it will return in the future.
One-Wan Kenobi called Mos Eisley a “wretched hive of scum and villainy.” Much of the same can be said of social media today.
Once meant to connect friends and be a place to socialize, it’s full of keyboard warriors that take pride in screaming and cancelling people they don’t know.
Lack of Equality
America is the land of opportunity, but it’s lacking for most. As of the fourth quarter of 2021, the richest one percent held over 32 percent of the country’s wealth.
The bottom 50 percent held slightly over two percent. Redistribution isn’t the answer, but it does beg the question of when is too much too much?
Household Debt is Up
Consumer debt can suffocate a budget. A recent study shows that 40 percent of Americans are experiencing an increase in their total household debt.
Thirty percent reveal they have dipped into savings to pay bills. That’s a recipe for problems.
Household Savings is Down
Combined with growing debt, Americans are saving less. In fact, studies show the personal savings rate is down for most Americans.
This presents a long-term problem that often results in more debt.
The Lower Class is Making Zero Headway
Increased debt and dwindling savings impact many Americans, but it hits working-class individuals the worst. Reports show lower-income Americans struggle mightily, driving them to further economic troubles.
Worse yet, more family members developed addiction problems.
Prices Continue to Rise
The economy is growing, but many Americans don’t feel it. One only needs to go to the grocery store to see how painful it is for most.
Growth of Artificial Intelligence
There is no doubt artificial intelligence continues to grow mightily. The Washington Post reports only nine percent of Americans feel it will do more good than harm.
Time will tell its impact, but many people fear losing their jobs to AI. And, that’s merely the tip of the iceberg.
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Household Prices Continue to Rise
Owning a home is a key part of the American Dream. Sadly, housing prices continue to increase with Zillow anticipating another six percent increase over the next year.
Paired with increasing borrowing costs, this makes it exceedingly difficult for many to get into a house.
More People Need More Work
Growing prices that outpace earnings means one thing for many Americans – they need to earn more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports over 500,000 million Americans work two full-time jobs.
That doesn’t even touch the people who need a side hustle to make ends meet.
Growth in Food Insecurity
The Urban Institute reports that nearly 25 percent of Americans are food insecure. That means people don’t get enough to eat in a day, or lack access to nutritious meals at an affordable cost.
In 2023, we have to do better.
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I’m John Schmoll, a former stockbroker, MBA-grad, published finance writer, and founder of Frugal Rules.
As a veteran of the financial services industry, I’ve worked as a mutual fund administrator, banker, and stockbroker and was Series 7 and 63-licensed, but I left all that behind in 2012 to help people learn how to manage their money.
My goal is to help you gain the knowledge you need to become financially independent with personally-tested financial tools and money-saving solutions.