Families Go Deep in Debt to Stay in the Middle Class
The American middle class is falling deeper into debt to maintain a middle-class lifestyle.
Cars, college, houses and medical care have become steadily more costly, but incomes have been largely stagnant for two decades, despite a recent uptick. Filling the gap between earning and spending is an explosion of finance into nearly every corner of the consumer economy.
Consumer debt, not counting mortgages, has climbed to $4 trillionâ€”higher than it has ever been even after adjusting for inflation. Mortgage debt slid after the financial crisis a decade ago but is rebounding....
Jim Lincoln wrote: Yes, Scott, I'm not a subscriber to the wsj. Play I finally figured that out so that's probably why I can't get into it. This article there is no pay wall Pew Research had an interesting article on this topic excerpts from and not in the order given, "For most U.S. workers, real wages have barely budged in decades" https://tinyurl.com/y2ok8x9z Go read the whole article it's interesting and isn't that longđź‘Ť
Please note that Jimbo sites an article from over a year ago.
Even the ultra-liberal NYT headline reads
Why Wages Are Finally Rising, 10Years After the Recession
Way back in November of last year PBS noted that wages are finally ticking up
CNN business news acknowledges wages are up 2.9% and the increase is the most in a decade
â€śAbout 31% of small businesses reported paying employees more, the highest since 2000.â€ť.
Richard Fry and Rakesh Kochhar wrote: About half of American adults lived in middle-income households in 2016, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. In percentage terms, 52% of adults lived in middle-income households, 29% in lower-income households and 19% in upper-income households....
--"Are you in the American middle class? Find out with our income calculator"
Debt is unheard of in our part of Mississippi. We don't need gas guzzling cars cuz our horses graze their own fuel for the monthly ride to town. Some of our more advanced folks have high speed goat carts, but they eat all our tin cans which we save for scrapping. We don't get home loans on account of our homes being made from pine logs and southern red clay. And of course, we supplement our diet of soft vegetables (on account of low tooth density) with 'possum, coon, armadillo, and the occasional cranky rooster. I hear conditions are similar for Christopher the Rhode Island rabbit herder and his neighbors. Never knew there was a middle class until I read this hete article. The simple life indeed.
Yes, Scott, I'm not a subscriber to the wsj. Play I finally figured that out so that's probably why I can't get into it. This article there is no pay wall
Pew Research had an interesting article on this topic
Drew Desilver wrote: Sluggish and uneven wage growth has been cited as a key factor behind widening income inequality in the United States.... ....Other factors that have been suggested include the continuing decline of labor unions; lagging educational attainment relative to other countries; noncompete clauses and other restrictions on job-switching; a large pool of potential workers who are outside the formally defined labor force, neither employed nor seeking work; and broad employment declines in manufacturing and production sectors and a consequent shift toward job growth in low-wage industries....
excerpts from and not in the order given, "For most U.S. workers, real wages have barely budged in decades"
Go read the whole article it's interesting and isn't that longđź‘Ť
For the middle class to have to go deep into debt to stay middle class, than one would think they aren't there anyway...
The issue here is that Americans are constantly wanting the bigger and the better. Just because Chevy changes the Tahoe design doesn't mean you need to bring in your 8 year old car to get it. The reason this is happening is because we have been taught and told to be slaves to the lender. Work your body and life into ruin and in exchange you get to drive a car that has cooler lights than the last model...
I personally don't see it as worth it...
Give me a paid off, used car, and clothes I can call my own (and not be paying for them 20 years later) and that is where you find contentment...
Being content with your belongings doesn't mean let them fall apart either. Keep the car clean, even give it a new paint job if it needs it. Don't let the old house fall apart. Give all the care it needs, and to me, that is actually part of being content. Appreciating what God has given you and taking delight in caring for it. That is where true contentment is found...
1Ti 6:6-16 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of ...to v.16
There are solutions to the want of godliness in this nation, that would make men's hearts content. A study of these verses is helpful, as well as a study of the meaning of godliness.
Unprofitable Servant wrote: Much is more than likely due to lack of contentment with the things we already have (Hebrews 13:5)
Perfectly said brother and 13:5 is a verse that we should all embrace. The below on one of my favorite verses and fits well with yours:
Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
I have personally failed miserably in the area of trusting and being satisfied with the things we have. And then I remember the poor Christians who live in poverty. Or a man who was being burned at the stake looking out in the crowd and seeing his wife and children now without a provider. But, still praising his Lord and Savior.
Sad news indeed! It reminds me of that verse of Proverbs 32: Not all that glitters is gold. The US society is still running on 'Keep up with the Joneses' Haven't you noticed the amount of advertising for new cars? And they have extended those loans to much longer than the 3 yrs they used to be given for. Another article on this subject said that most people in the US could not afford a sudden $500 expense without having to use a credit card. Of course, with the Fed reducing their rates, banks will not be offering much in savings accounts, but what we are talking about with $500 is an emergency fund that everyone should have. Still, Christian financial adviser Dave Ramsey's radio program and podcast are rated in the top 5 of all radio talk shows, but that could be that people like to hear others' misery and are not taking his advice to heart.
Yet, once again, I am reminded of Paul's teaching to Timothy in his first letter, chapter five, about dealing with widows. He sets out a series of conditions for them to meet in order to be 'put on the list' for aid from the church. Such things are doing good works, 'washing the feet of the saints,' being over 60 (in a day when the average life expectancy was just about that, if not less), and more. Have you heard anyone preach this
Our parents, parents lived through the worse economic crisis to have hit the US during the 30â€™s. On top of that, for all the scientists and governmental efforts to address â€ś climate derangeâ€ť, what would be the government solution during the dust bowl war? Harold Ickes sr. wanted Roosevelt to abandon the midwestern and Oklahoma and panhandle of Texas and declare it a no go zone. But then during a oil crisis he recommended all gas stations be closed M-F on the east coast M,W,F and west coast gas stations be closed T,Th, Sat and Sun. Since then , the US government has always appeared to be all about ,â€ťno on smart and yes on stupidâ€ť.