When The Middle Class Prospered – Gold Goliath

Posted on :Apr 25, 2016

Unfortunately, there has been a continuous and concerted effort on behalf of Washington and its financiers to destroy the working class. Even more unfortunate, it’s working to perfection. America’s working class is the last line of defense against tyrannical rule and once the middle class is wiped out, America will die.

It’s surreal to think that our own government has intentionally destroyed US manufacturing for the purpose of enslaving the masses. Washington hates anyone who refuses to bow before it, unwilling to stand in its free cheese lines, only it’s never free.

Make no mistake about it, the US economy has been destroyed and the worst is yet to come if we don’t rise up against Washington as it exists today.

Mauldin Economics

My college-aged kids love him. I’m not talking about Stephen Curry or Justin Bieber (although they love them too); I’m talking about Bernie Sanders.

Whether you support him or not, my guess is that most Americans my age are very surprised about his popularity. However, it shouldn’t be a surprise given the economic stress many Americans face.

The four charts below capture the essence of what I’m talking about…

A shrinking middle class and a growing lower class

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Sadly, roughly 50 million Americans live below the poverty line—the largest number in our nation’s history—and the poorest 40% of all Americans now spend more than 50% of their incomes just on food and housing. Consumer sentiment is plummeting.

No wonder that consumer sentiment has been sinking fast, which is a very troubling sign for our consumer-driven economy.

These_4_Charts_Give_a_Bird’s-Eye_View_of_How_the_US_Economy_Is_Falling_Apart

Spending is slowing

That consumer angst translates into a drop in spending. The Commerce Department reported that retail sales dropped by 0.3% in March, well below the +0.1% gain Wall Street was expecting.

These_4_Charts_Give_a_Bird’s-Eye_View_of_How_the_US_Economy_Is_Falling_Apart

The biggest drop was in auto spending, which was down 2.1%.  One of the weakest sectors, however, was restaurants.

These_4_Charts_Give_a_Bird’s-Eye_View_of_How_the_US_Economy_Is_Falling_Apart

Wages are shrinking

I suspect the root of the issue is wages… or lack thereof. The reality is that inflation-adjusted wages—despite the recent minimum wage increase in several states—have been shrinking.

A recent report concluded, “In real terms, the average wage peaked more than 40 years ago.”

These_4_Charts_Give_a_Bird’s-Eye_View_of_How_the_US_Economy_Is_Falling_Apart

Check out these discouraging numbers:
•    39% of American workers make less than $20,000 a year.
•    52% of American workers make less than $30,000 a year.
•    63% of American workers make less than $40,000 a year.
•    72% of American workers make less than $50,000 a year.

Debt is piling up

And it doesn’t help that Americans continue to rack up debt.

Example: Outstanding auto loans have hit more than a trillion dollars. With an average balance of $12,000 per person, that consumes nearly 8% of the average borrower’s disposable income!

No wonder that an estimated 62% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

And all of us—low, medium, and high income combined—are working longer than ever to pay a growing tax bill. Tax freedom day (the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough to pay the state and federal tax bill for the year) arrived on April 24, according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.

That means all the money we made in the first 114 days of 2016 went to taxes.

Actionable investment strategies

So… what do you think all this American angst means for the stock market? Of course, the Wall Street crowd is more concerned about every syllable that comes out of Janet Yellen’s mouth than any economic or corporate statistic.

These_4_Charts_Give_a_Bird’s-Eye_View_of_How_the_US_Economy_Is_Falling_Apart

Jan 1, 2016 marked the year that the US went over the fiscal cliff and we are headed for a brutal landing.

Are you prepared?

 

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