U.S. House­hold Debt Worse Than in 2008

Trillions - - In This Issue -

Ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey re­port by the U.S. Fed­eral Re­serve Bank, house­hold debt in the U.S. has risen to a level higher than the worst peak of the fi­nan­cial cri­sis in 2008.

Of the 6,600 adults sur­veyed, 23% did not ex­pect to be able to pay all of their cur­rent month's bills in full and 25% re­ported skip­ping med­i­cal treat­ments due to cost in the prior year

How­ever, the Fed­eral Re­serve also claims that 70% of Amer­i­cans said they were ei­ther "liv­ing com­fort­ably" or "do­ing okay," which is up 1% from 2015 and up 8% from the first sur­vey re­sults in 2013.

The im­prove­ments in well-be­ing as re­ported by the sur­vey re­spon­dents are con­cen­trated among adults with at least some col­lege ed­u­ca­tion. Amer­i­cans without a col­lege ed­u­ca­tion are do­ing worse than be­fore.

Poor Amer­i­cans con­tinue to be squeezed be­tween the ris­ing cost of liv­ing and stag­nant wages.

Ac­cord­ing to Fed­eral Re­serve Board Gov­er­nor Lael Brainard, "the sur­vey find­ings re­mind us that many Amer­i­can house­holds are strug­gling fi­nan­cially, in­clud­ing fully 40% of those with a high school diploma or less. More broadly, 44% of all re­spon­dents could not cover an un­ex­pected $400 emer­gency ex­pense or would rely on bor­row­ing or sell­ing some­thing to do so. The sur­vey also shows that many adults have no sav­ings for re­tire­ment."

One of the big fac­tors in keep­ing the poor down is em­ployer's abu­sive prac­tice of not pro­vided a con­sis­tent sched­ule or al­low­ing work­ers full-time po­si­tions. 17% of work­ers re­port that their sched­ule varies from week to week based on em­ploy­ers' needs. This makes it dif­fi­cult or im­pos­si­ble for them to get a sec­ond job or ob­tain more ed­u­ca­tion to im­prove their em­ploy­ment prospects.

Many Amer­i­cans can ex­pect to be­come poorer and sicker un­der the Trump regime as so­cial safety nets are pulled out from un­der them, health care and in­surance costs in­crease, min­i­mum wage re­mains at the same low level and the cost of food and housing con­tin­ues to climb.

The Fed­eral Re­serve Bank is a pri­vate bank owned by other banks, most of which have long crim­i­nal his­to­ries and are preda­tory in na­ture. So, the re­port should be taken with a grain of salt.

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