15 Signs of the (Depressing) Times

Depression soup line

I stumbled upon a new blog that’s appropriate for a chronicler of downfalls like yours truly: The Economic Collapse. It’s written by an Idahoan with a finance degree and a law degree, Michael Snyder, who isn’t a doomsayer in any immediate sense, but focuses on a sort-of rolling, momentum-building doom that will play out over “a number of  years.”

Snyder came up with a list of 15 signs that the American economy is “going downhill really fast.” As I read the post last night, a well-worn phrase kept jumping into my mind: “As California goes, so goes the nation.”  It seems many of these U.S. stats have a solid foundation in California, a state that can really lead – as long as the direction is downward.

Here are Snyder’s 15 points:

#1 The number of part-time workers in the United States has just hit a brand new all-time high, but the number of full-time workers is still nearly 6 million below the old record that was set back in 2007.

#2 In America today, only 47 percent of adults have a full-time job.

#3 Even though the U.S. economy created nearly 200,000 jobs in June, the number of full-time jobs actually decreased.

#4 There are now 2.7 million temp workers in the United States – a new all-time high.

#5 One out of every ten jobs in the United States is now filled through a temp agency.

#6 The U.S. economy has actually lost manufacturing jobs for four consecutive months.

#7 The official unemployment rate has been at 7.5 percent or higher for 54 months in a row.  That is the longest stretch in U.S. history.

#8 According to one recent survey, 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

#9 At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less.

#10 High paying manufacturing jobs continue to be shipped overseas.  Sadly, there are fewer Americans employed in manufacturing now than there was in 1950 even though the population of the country has more than doubled since then.

#11 Today, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.

#12 The U.S. economy continues to trade good paying jobs for low paying jobs.  60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.

#13 Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs.  Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.

#14 At this point, an astounding 53 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.

#15 According to a study that was released by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, only 24.6 percent of all jobs in the United States qualify as “good jobs” at this point. (In this definition, a good job pays at least $18.50 an hour, provides access to health insurance that’s partially employer-funded, and access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan.)

Progressives don’t take this kind of thing lying down. You can find – if you’re so inclined – a response for each of these points and a companion list of 15 signs that everything just keeps getting better and better under the California/Obama model. Maybe if they spent less time rebutting and more time getting their heads out of their butts, we could avoid an economic collapse.

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