Monday, October 31, 2016
Change your Think into a Thunk: The Big Middle Class Squeeze
I recently found out that our health insurance premiums are going up by $400.00 per month this year to keep the same coverage. Many people I have talked to are having their coverage go up by $200.00, $300.00, $400.00....even $1000.00 a month!
I thought it might be helpful to talk a little bit about the economic state of the middle class today BEFORE this huge rate hike in insurance premiums for middle class Americans. A lot of people don't know much about economics. (I developed a personal interest about 10 years ago and have read a lot on the economy plus taken a class for good measure). The middle class has been slowly gutted. Liberals like to blame this on corporations and Conservatives like to blame it on big government. It's my personal opinion they are in bed with each other. Many people move from Wall Street positions into government positions and vice versa. It's my opinion that the government and corporations use the idea of community and compassion to continue to gut us out. Americans saw their wealth plummet by **40%** from 2007 to 2010.
Much of this was in housing equity so it didn't all affect the monthly bottom line. These losses had to get mopped up somewhere. Companies scrambled to make up losses by putting more and more work on less and less people. There is a consistent squeeze on the middle class like frogs in a pot. 50% of Americans don't have $500 to cover a car repair.
Americans who save have a median retirement savings of less than $60,000.
The average student loan debt for 2016 is $37,172.
So, you take the fact that people have lost equity in their homes, many don't have $500 at their disposal, the median retirement savings is $60,000 and the average student loan debt for 2016 is $37,172, jacking up health care costs for all those middle class people on top of everything else is disastrous. The picture is not rosy. We need to stop relying on the government to save us and start getting smart with our own money. We need to change our think into a thunk.