80 percent of Americans struggling against a truly rigged system

Jun 2013
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Earth
1. The following are excerpts from Jack Holmes' February 13, 2019 article headlined "Trump Promised to Blow Up the Rigged System. It’s Just Screwing People More Efficiently." with the subheading "There's new evidence that Trump's economy is hurting the very people he courted in 2016."

(Begin excerpts)
...A record 7 million Americans are 90 days or more behind on their auto loan payments, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported Tuesday, even more than during the wake of the financial crisis. Economists warn that this is a red flag. Despite the strong economy and low unemployment rate, many Americans are struggling to pay their bills. “The substantial and growing number of distressed borrowers suggests that not all Americans have benefited from the strong labor market,” economists at the New York Fed wrote in a blog post.

The economy of the Dow Jones Industrial Average is not the economy many Americans experience. Only around half of Americans own stocks and have seen the benefits of the bull market. That is, half of Americans have no retirement account. Many communities across the United States have not truly recovered from The Great Recession. That recovery has been remarkably uneven, as a huge share of the employment gains went to already prosperous areas and made the inequality and imbalance of the economy worse than ever. In many communities, "real wages"—that is, pay when you account for the rising price of goods—have been stagnant for decades.

Because people aren't making much more than they need to spend on essentials every week, they can't save money or build wealth. This is made all the worse by the unholy albatross of student loan debt, a $1.5 trillion anchor preventing many Americans from making any socioeconomic moves. The recent government shutdown exposed just how common it is—even among federal employees—for Americans to be living paycheck to paycheck. 4 in 10 Americans cannot cover a one-time $400 emergency expense. The Post report is an alarming sign that these chickens may be coming home to roost.

A car loan is typically the first payment people make because a vehicle is critical to getting to work, and someone can live in a car if all else fails. When car loan delinquencies rise, it is usually a sign of significant duress among low-income and working-class Americans...

People who are three months or more behind on their car payments often lose their vehicle, making it even more difficult to get to work, the doctor’s office or other critical places. The New York Fed said that there were over a million more “troubled borrowers” at the end of 2018 than there were in 2010, when unemployment hit 10 percent and the auto loan delinquency rate peaked. Today, unemployment is 4 percent and job openings are at an all-time high, yet a significant number of people cannot pay their car loan.

So the auto loan situation is worse now than during the Great Recession, despite low unemployment and a very strong labor market.

This is, first of all, a sign of a bubble—and economists have warned of an auto-loan bubble for a while now. Conveniently, as Bloomberg explained, it follows the exact model of the subprime mortgage industry that sunk the world economy in 2007-2008.....

In this, as in so many things, the Trump administration has been no help at all. Our big boy president's most recent action on auto loans was to sign a bill repealing a rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that attempted to curb racial bias in lending and protect minority customers from predatory practices. Black Americans were disproportionately targeted with subprime mortgages as well—even when they had good credit—which is part of why those families lost half their wealth in the Great Recession. In 2017, the median wealth of white households was $171,000. For black households, it was $17,100....

All this is to say that the system is badly broken, and the man elected on a platform of blowing it up has only worked to crank up the gears of economic injustice. There was no greater fraud than the Trumpian pledge to Drain the Swamp, a feat he promised to accomplish with his superpower: Being Rich. Instead, what we've got is The Great American Heist. But all the while, as 20 percent of Americans control 90 percent of the country's wealth, the bottom 80 percent of folks are struggling mightily against what they now know is a truly rigged system. They tried electing the Tangerine Generalissimo to fix it, and all they got was snake oil. After all, real wages sunk 2 cents in the 2017 boom economy.

For the rich folks screaming about a 70 percent top marginal tax rate or a billionaire tax or a Green New Deal: there are thousands of ordinary people out in the country whose labor makes the economy run, and who did not go to any Trump rallies and probably found him disgraceful. But they ended up voting for an insane reality TV racist because he at least grasped their visceral anger at the status quo. If we don't find a solution together, who will they turn to next? And can you really blame them? (End excerpts)

Source: 7 Million Americans Are 3 Months Behind on Auto Loans in Sign of Severe Economic Distress

2. Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday (12 February 2019) after his Cabinet meeting at the White House: "We are bringing billions and billions of dollars into our Treasury right now. We’ll see what happens, but they very much want to make a deal. Their economy has been hurt by the tariffs. And our economy is thriving like, really, never before. I mean, we’re doing incredibly well."

While bragging that the US has "one of the best performing stock markets", is he aware that "only around half of Americans own stocks and have seen the benefits of the bull market"? Does he know that "half of Americans have no retirement account"? Is he aware of "4 in 10 Americans cannot cover a one-time $400 emergency expense"? Does he know that 80 percent of Americans are "struggling mightily against what they now know is a truly rigged system"?

Source: China wants a deal with U.S. very badly: Donald Trump
 
Dec 2016
5,696
2,887
Canada
What goes up, must come down! And most of the stock market boom is from stocks that don't pay dividends and grow because investors coming from somewhere think they will produce big earnings in the future. As I'm told...in the case of Tesla for example, it's been bleeding red ink for almost 10 years now, and yet there are investors willing to shovel in more money....same goes for oil and gas frackers who can't turn profits from their existing operations, but again claim future growth potential to pull in more money when needed!
Eventually, all this and other private debt and federal debt over 22 Trillion, is going to set off a round of profit-taking, when people rush out the doors before all their money has vanished into thin air!
 
Dec 2015
17,901
16,999
Arizona
AND this continues to be the BIG Kahuna of conundrums: The very voters who put Trump in office---who bought his snake oil---who believed his ridiculous arguments---who supported his bigoted cliches---who applauded his sexual assault---who ignored his fraud---THESE VOTERS are being cut off at the knees.
THESE are the voters who don't have a savings account, health insurance, affordable housing, and rising wages. These are the RED HAT MAGA PEOPLE who don't and won't have a pension or a retirement package--who live hand to mouth.
AND you can bet SOME OF those people are public servants who were not paid after the government shut down--contractors who weren't paid--women who STILL remain chattel.

I will never understand that kind of willful ignorance.
 
Jul 2014
15,255
9,355
massachusetts
AND this continues to be the BIG Kahuna of conundrums: The very voters who put Trump in office---who bought his snake oil---who believed his ridiculous arguments---who supported his bigoted cliches---who applauded his sexual assault---who ignored his fraud---THESE VOTERS are being cut off at the knees.
THESE are the voters who don't have a savings account, health insurance, affordable housing, and rising wages. These are the RED HAT MAGA PEOPLE who don't and won't have a pension or a retirement package--who live hand to mouth.
AND you can bet SOME OF those people are public servants who were not paid after the government shut down--contractors who weren't paid--women who STILL remain chattel.

I will never understand that kind of willful ignorance.
And those MAGA Hats will vote for Trump again.
Like a person who has sent their life savings to a "Nigerian Prince" and keeps waiting for the 10 million dollars to show up in their bank account, all they can think of is that someone must be holding up the Prince on his way to make the wire transfer, the idea that they got scammed isn't allowed in their heads....
 
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Dec 2015
17,901
16,999
Arizona
And those MAGA Hats will vote for Trump again.
Like a person who has sent their life savings to a "Nigerian Prince" and keeps waiting for the 10 million dollars to show up in their bank account, all they can think of is that someone must be holding up the Prince on his way to make the wire transfer, the idea that they got scammed isn't allowed in their heads....

WAIT!! You didn't send money to the Nigerian Prince?? WHOAAAA, babe. I guess you missed out on the chance of a lifetime. Sad face. )-: