The corporate recovery.
Wednesday the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 14,270 – completely erasing its 54 percent loss between 2007 and 2009.
The stock market is basically back to where it was in 2000, while corporate earnings have doubled since then.
Yet the real median wage is now 8 percent below what it was in 2000, and unemployment remains sky-high.
Why is the stock market doing so well, while most Americans are doing so poorly?
- Dow Jones Industrial Average: Then 14164.5; Now 14164.5
- Regular Gas Price: Then $2.75; Now $3.73
- GDP Growth: Then +2.5%; Now +1.6%
- Americans Unemployed (in Labor Force): Then 6.7 million; Now 13.2 million
- Americans On Food Stamps: Then 26.9 million; Now 47.69 million
- Size of Fed’s Balance Sheet: Then $0.89 trillion; Now $3.01 trillion
- US Debt as a Percentage of GDP: Then ~38%; Now 74.2%
- US Deficit (LTM): Then $97 billion; Now $975.6 billion
- Total US Debt Oustanding: Then $9.008 trillion; Now $16.43 trillion
- US Household Debt: Then $13.5 trillion; Now 12.87 trillion
- Labor Force Particpation Rate: Then 65.8%; Now 63.6%
- Consumer Confidence: Then 99.5; Now 69.6
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser said the central bank should slow the pace of its bond purchases because the potential costs from more stimulus outweigh the benefits.
“We should begin to taper our asset purchases with an aim of ending them before year-end,” Plosser said in a speech prepared for delivery in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. “With interest rates already extremely low and the Fed’s balance sheet large and growing, monetary policy is posing risks to the economy in terms of financial stability, market functioning and price stability.”
The Federal Open Market Committee is debating how long it should continue $85 billion in monthly purchases of Treasurys and mortgage bonds aimed at boosting economic growth and reducing 7.9 percent unemployment. Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Vice Chairman Janet Yellen in speeches this month affirmed a commitment to record stimulus pushing the central bank’s balance sheet beyond $3 trillion.
When Debbie Bruister buys a gallon of milk at her local Kroger supermarket, she pays $3.69, up 70 cents from what she paid last year.
Getting to the store costs more, too. Gas in Corinth, Miss., her hometown, costs $3.51 a gallon now, compared to less than three bucks in 2012. That really hurts, considering her husband’s 112-mile daily round-trip commute to his job as a pharmacist.
Bruister, a mother of four, received a $1,160 raise this school year at her job as an eighth-grade computer teacher. The extra cash — about $97 a month, before taxes and other deductions — isn’t enough for her and her husband to keep up with their rising costs, especially after the elimination of the payroll tax break. Its loss shrunk their paychecks by more than $270 a month.
“If you look at how much prices are going up, you get in the hole really quick,” Bruister said. “It’s a constant squeeze.”
In the wake of the Great Recession, millions of middle-class people are being pinched by stagnating incomes and the increased cost of living. America’s median household income has dropped by more than $4,000 since 2000, after adjusting for inflation, and the typical trappings of middle-class life are slipping out of financial reach for many families.
Video Showing the Huge Gap Between Super Rich and Everyone Else Goes Viral – 9 Out Of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing Fact
DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A new national study shows that too many of us are cashing out 401(k) accounts to pay bills. If that retirement account is calling your name, a financial expert advises you to stop listening.
When the bills pile up and money is tight, many people turn to their 401(k) accounts to help ease the bind.
Downingtown, Pa. CPA Jacquelyn Basso says it’s not a good idea to raid your retirement; you’re getting money now that you’ll need to live on when you’re older.
State and local governments nationwide have struggled to accommodate a homeless population that has changed in recent years – now including large numbers of families with young children. As the WSJ reports, more than 21,000 children – an unprecedented 1% of the city’s youth – slept each night in a city shelter in January, an increase of 22% in the past year; as homeless families now spend more than a year in a shelter, on average, for the first time since 1987. New York City has seen one of the steepest increases in homeless families in the past decade, advocates said, growing 73% since 2002, and “is facing a homeless crisis worse than any time since the Great Depression.”
Homeless advocates said the Obama administration has focused on more visible problems, such as those sleeping on the streets, taking resources away from families. The steep rise has reignited questions about whether New York’s economic turnaround of the past two decades has helped the city’s poorest residents as they note (despite today’s Dow record highs), “the economy is nowhere near where it was.”
The blame apparently lies at the cessation of ‘entitlements’ as the DHS adds, since the end – in Spring 2011 – of a state-funded program that subsidized rent for people leaving shelters; homeless families have gone up 35%; but they also added that the city was working to find employment for the homeless, “a long-term solution.” Boston and Washington DC are also seeing homeless numbers surge.