If you add together all of the money owned by the poorest 3.8 billion people living on this planet, it would roughly equal the wealth controlled by the 26 wealthiest men in the world. Oxfam has just issued a brand new report on global inequality, and what they have discovered is making headlines all over the globe. The rich just keep getting richer, and meanwhile the slice of the pie owned by the poor just keeps getting smaller. Today, almost half the world lives on less than $5.50 a day, and approximately 795 million people “do not have enough food”. And even in a “wealthy country” like the United States, the gap between the rich and the poor is the largest that it has been since the 1920s, and more than half a million Americans are homeless right now. This growing inequality is a ticking time bomb, and at some point it is going to explode.
Have you ever had a day when your children were crying due to hunger but the cupboards were completely bare and your bank account was empty? If you haven’t, you should consider yourself to be extremely blessed, because this is what real life feels like for millions upon millions of Americans in 2018. As you will see below, a third of all Americans cannot even afford “the basics” each month, and 13 million households are officially considered to be “food insecure”. In other words, they don’t have enough to eat. Many parents out there choose to skip a meal (or two) each day just so that their kids can have full stomachs. But sometimes the money runs out completely, and that is when it gets really tough.
We have repeatedly been told that the U.S. economy is “booming”, but meanwhile the middle class in the United States continues to be hollowed out. The financial bubbles that the Federal Reserve has created have been a great blessing for those at the very top of the economic pyramid, but most of the country is still deeply struggling. According to one survey, 78 percent of all full-time workers in the U.S. live paycheck to paycheck, and that doesn’t even include part-time workers or those that are unemployed. We have also been told that unemployment is “low”, but the real numbers tell us that there are more working age Americans without a job in 2018 than there was at any point during the last recession. Most of the people that my wife and I know are struggling, and I continually get emails from readers all over the country that are struggling. The sad truth is that the middle class is slowly but surely dying, and more people are falling into poverty with each passing day.
Over the past decade, an unprecedented stock market boom has created thousands upon thousands of new millionaires, and yet the middle class in America has continued to shrink. How is that even possible? At one time the United States had the largest and most vibrant middle class in the history of the planet, but now the gap between the wealthy and the poor is the largest that it has been since the 1920s. Our economy has been creating lots of new millionaires, but at the exact same time we have seen homelessness spiral out of control in our major cities. Today, being part of the middle class is like playing a really bizarre game of musical chairs. Each month when the music stops playing, those of us still in the middle class desperately hope that we are not among the ones that slip out of the middle class and into poverty. Well over 100 million Americans receive money or benefits from the federal government each month, and that includes approximately 40 percent of all families with children. We are losing our ability to take care of ourselves, and that has frightening implications for the future of our society.
If the U.S. economy is really doing so well, then why is homelessness rising so rapidly? As the gap between the rich and the poor continues to increase, the middle class is steadily eroding. In fact, I recently gave my readers 15 signs that the middle class in America is being systematically destroyed. More Americans are falling out of the middle class and into poverty with each passing day, and this is one of the big reasons why the number of homeless is surging. For example, the number of people living on the street in L.A. has shot up 75 percent over the last 6 years. But of course L.A. is far from alone. Other major cities on the west coast are facing similar problems, and that includes Seattle. It turns out that the Emerald City has seen a 46 percent rise in the number of people sleeping in their vehicles in just the past year…
The rich have been getting richer and the poor have been getting poorer for so long in America that it seems like it has always been this way. But it hasn’t. In fact, between the late 1920s and the early 1970s the gap between the wealthy and the poor actually steadily got smaller. And when I was growing up in the 1980s, it seemed like everyone was middle class, but now those days are long gone. A very small sliver of society at the very top of the food chain truly is “living the high life”, while most of the rest of us are deeply struggling. According to a brand new study just released by the Economic Policy Institute, the average American family in the top 1 percent brought home 26.3 times as much income in 2015 as an average family in the bottom 99 percent. The following comes from CNBC…
The amount of individuals that hold more than $30 million in assets has climbed to a new record in 2014, according to a global survey on Wednesday, which also warned that a lack of diversification meant that this wealth is not protected from shocks to the financial system. 12,040 of these new ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals were minted in the year ending June 2014, said the Wealth-X and UBS World Ultra Wealth Report released on Wednesday. This meant a 6 percent increase from last year which pushed the global population of these millionaires to a record 211,275.