Is This Really What Economic Growth Looks Like?While the mainstream media claims that the U.S. economy is witnessing economic growth, I see the complete opposite.
When economic growth takes place, the lives of individuals get better—they are able to afford food and property, they are able to find jobs that pay well, and they are able to save. Right now, I don’t see any of that happening in the U.S. economy.
The average American Joe is under severe stress.
He can’t afford to buy food. More Americans are resorting to food stamps than the entire population of Spain—46.22 million in 2012. (Source: World Bank web site, last accessed July 3, 2013.) As of March of this year, there were 47.7 million individuals, or 23.1 million households, in the U.S. economy who used food stamps. Contrary to any economic growth, the food stamp usage in the U.S. economy continues to increase. Since March of 2011, food stamp usage has increased more than seven percent. (Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, June 7, 2013.)
Average Joe’s not getting a job that pays him well, either. The official jobs numbers are just an illusion that is hiding the real situation. The jobs market in the U.S. economy is fundamentally unsound. The so-called “jobs growth” we have seen has been limited to sectors that pay poorly. A massive number of Americans are still unemployed—a significant portion of them have been unemployed for longer than six months, and a large number of them are working part-time jobs because they aren’t able to find full-time jobs.
And Mr. Joe’s not saving. Unlike periods of economic growth, the rich are getting richer and the poor are continuing to struggle. A report from Pew Research cited that the bottom 93% of households in the U.S. economy saw their net worth plummet by four percent between 2009 and 2011. On the contrary, the top seven percent witnessed their net worth climb 28% over the same period. (Source: Pew Research Center, April 23, 2013.)
Those in the U.S. economy who are close to retiring face even more troubling statistics. According to a report from the National Institute of Retirement Security (NIRS), there are as many as 38 million working-age households in the U.S. economy who don’t have a penny in retirement savings. (Source: National Institute of Retirement Security, June 2013.)
When examining the U.S. economy and the prospect of economic growth, it’s very important to look at consumers and their spending. That’s because consumer spending is what drives the U.S. economy towards economic growth—it’s hands down the biggest factor influencing the gross domestic product (GDP) of the U.S. economy.
By no surprise, economic growth in the U.S. economy can only take place when consumers are feeling good about spending. Sadly, they are currently feeling a pinch and are unable to spend. I wish I could say printing money brought economic growth to the U.S. economy—but it clearly didn’t.
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