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Our leaders and the mainstream media keep insisting on the idea that the economy is experiencing some sort of recovery. But even though profits are mounting for the top 1% of the US society, the American working poor are plunging even deeper into economic distress. Since the recession began, tens of millions of working Americans have been struggling to stay afloat despite still having a source of income. To stay employed, many of them had to cope with declining wages and reduced working hours. As result, they have been bringing increasingly less money to their households – but living costs haven’t stopped climbing. That, for its part, is a direct consequence of the current monetary policies.
As we previously discussed, after the sanitary outbreak burst, politicians and policymakers found the perfect excuse to engage in reckless borrowing and spending, and the effects of it can already be seen in soaring prices all over the economy. Sadly, as several experts have warned, all of the “stimulus money” that seemed of great help during these tough times have ended up making life much tougher for those on the very bottom of the economic food chain. At this point, having a job doesn’t mean you will be able to afford to pay your bills and your debt. Economic conditions for most people across the country have greatly deteriorated over the past year, with more and more middle-class Americans being pushed out of their comfortable lifestyles straight into poverty.
Although several eviction moratoriums were enacted to protect those who have been suffering the most from the impacts of the economic downturn and to avert a potential eviction tsunami as well as a homelessness crisis, in many cases, those moratoriums don’t truly prevent tenants from being evicted. According to Princeton University Eviction Lab, at least 318,091 households were evicted despite the CDC’s moratorium. But projections show a much larger figure for potentially vulnerable households that may soon experience eviction and possibly homelessness. By May, more than 7 million Americans will be at risk of being pushed into the streets as they collectively owe $40 billion in back rent, according to Moody’s Analytics.
Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, the Federal Trade Commission’s acting chairwoman, stated in an interview that “bad conduct by large multistate landlords and private equity firms has an enormous impact on renters across the country”. We grew up being told that if we worked hard enough we would have all that was necessary to ensure a prosperous life, but that doesn’t correspond to reality anymore. In fact, the current monetary policies managed to expand the gap between those at the top of the economic chain and those at the bottom. Day after day, we watch news reporting how big corporations have continued to thrive during the recession, whereas at least 10 million Americans are still unemployed and even those still working aren’t immune from facing steep financial setbacks. One clear example of such staggering wealth disparities can be seen in California, the state that has the most billionaires in the country – but also has the largest poverty rate in the U.S.
According to the Census Bureau, California has the highest level of ‘functional poverty’ of any state, meaning that several employed residents do not have enough means to afford the state’s extraordinarily high cost of living. On average, 18.2% of its 40 million residents have fallen into poverty over the past few years. California’s rate is almost identical to the national rate, with more than 35% of Californians, totaling 15 million people, living in severe economic distress. As living costs skyrocketed, particularly for housing, their modest incomes could not keep up, creating a huge group that has been dubbed the “working poor.”
Needless to say, the main culprits behind these enormous imbalances in the markets and the tragic deterioration of our purchasing power are the Federal Reserve and our desperate leaders. In twelve months, our money supply was expanded to levels it had never crossed throughout the entire U.S. history. And now, we’re literally paying the price of such reckless monetary policies, as living costs surge – and, perhaps more concerningly, food prices are going through the roof.
Consequently, this will add extra stress on tens of millions of “working poor” Americans that are barely making ends meet month to month. Lamentably, we didn’t get to this point without a series of warnings that this is what happens when an economy lets inflation run wild. We’re entering a time when devastating famines will emerge across the country and across the globe. So get prepared because this relative calm the economy is experiencing right now will not last for much longer.
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