10 Numbers That Prove That America’s Current Financial Condition Is A Horror Show
America’s long-term “balance sheet numbers” just continue to get progressively worse. Unfortunately, since the stock market has been soaring and the GDP numbers look okay, most Americans assume that the U.S. economy is doing just fine. But the stock market was soaring and the GDP numbers looked okay just prior to the great financial crisis of 2008 as well, and we saw how that turned out. The truth is that GDP is not the best measure for the health of the economy. Judging the U.S. economy by GDP is basically like measuring the financial health of an individual by how much money he or she spends, and I will attempt to illustrate that in this article.
If I went out right now and got a whole bunch of new credit cards and started spending money like there was no tomorrow, would that mean that my financial condition had improved?
No, in fact it would mean that my long-term financial condition just got a whole lot worse.
GDP is a measurement of how much economic activity is happening in our society, and it is basically an indication of how much money is changing hands.
But just because more money is changing hands does not mean that things are going well. What really matters is what is happening to assets and liabilities. In other words, is wealth being built or is more debt just being accumulated?
Sadly, there are only a handful of bright spots in our economy. A couple of very large tech companies such as Apple are accumulating wealth, but just about everywhere else you look debt is growing at an unprecedented pace. Household debt has never been higher, corporate debt has doubled since the last financial crisis, state and local government debt is at record highs, and the U.S. national debt is wildly out of control.
If I went out tomorrow and spent $20,000 with a bunch of new credit cards, I could claim that my “personal GDP” was soaring because I was spending a lot more money then before. But my boasting would be pointless because in reality I would just be putting my family in an extremely precarious financial position.
Economic growth that is produced by continually increasing amounts of debt is not a positive thing. I wish that more people understood this very basic concept.
The following are 10 numbers that prove that America’s current financial condition is a horror show…
#1 U.S. consumer credit just hit another all-time record high. In the second quarter of 2008, total consumer credit reached a grand total of 2.63 trillion dollars, and now eleven years later that number has soared to 4.06 trillion dollars. Since the peak before the Financial crisis in 2008, they have surged 54%.
#2 Student loans rose by 4.9% in Q2 compared to Q2 last year, or by $75 billion, to a new horrifying record of $1.605 trillion (not seasonally adjusted), having skyrocketed by 125% in the 10 years since Q2 2009.
#3 Credit card delinquency rates hit a seven-year high in 2019 because many borrowers in their 20s are struggling to keep up with their minimum payments, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
#4 70% of Americans with credit card debt admit they can’t pay it off this year.
#5 Low-wage workers are suffering from a decline in the real value of the federal minimum wage
#6 According to one recent study, the “rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991”.
#7 Retail Apocalypse: 2019 Store Closures Already Surpass 2018
As the economy cycles down through fall, there is new, alarming data that indicates retail bankruptcies continue to rise as store closures have already outpaced all of 2018.
#8 The federal budget deficit is growing faster than expected as President Trump’s spending and tax cut policies force the United States to borrow increasing sums of money.
#9 It is being projected that interest on the national debt will surpass 604 billions of dollars for the first time ever this year.
#10 Goldman Sachs is projecting that the yearly U.S. budget deficit will surpass 2 trillion dollars by 2028.
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