Monthly Archives: July 2015

A Few Facts and Figures

Tips When Borrowing Money From Not-So-Great Sources Of Credit

    1. The U.S. borrows $2.1 billion everyday to pay its debt, and the average American household is carrying more than 9,000 in credit card debt. Today’s so-called middle-class families, with two-working spouses are in worse shape financially—they save less and owe more— than a single-income and middle-class family of 30 years ago (pg 30).
    1. Real income for the bottom 50 percent of the U.S. populace over the last 25 years has remained relatively flat and the bottom 20 percent has experienced a slight decline. The top one percent experienced a sevenfold increase of income during the same period (pg 31).
    1. As many as 69 percent of American (92 million people) earned less than $50,000 in 2003. The average adjusted income, after expenses and line-item deductions, for this group was $19,512— not very much money left to pay for food, transportation, and clothing (pg 78).

      savings and budget

    1. Tuition at community colleges averaged $2,191 in 2005-06, and they enrolled 46 percent of all undergraduate students attending college. Tuition at private colleges, including room and board, averaged more than 31,000. The community college is becoming the forced-choice among students of moderate-income; nonetheless, their fundraising ability accounts for less than one half of one percent of all private funds donated to colleges. One likely reason is that a class bias exists in the business and philanthropic community helping to perpetuate a two-tier system of higher education (pg 81-82).
    1. U.S. production is peaking. China and India each graduate four to one more scientists and engineers than the United States, indicating where tomorrow’s innovation, and inventions will come from: Even worse, there is now reverse “brain drain” from the West to the East, as foreign science/math students graduate from college and leave the U.S. and follow the lure of economic opportunity back to the East (pg 95-96).
    1. In 1980, the top one percent in the U.S. owned 21 percent of the nation’s wealth. By 2005, they owned 35 percent, equivalent to what the bottom 95 percent owned. In 1980, the same top one percent earned 8.2 percent of the U.S. income; in 2005, they earned 22 percent, equivalent to what the bottom 50 percent (150 million Americans) earned (pg 140).

These facts came from my book Class Counts which you can find here: http://www.allanornsteinbooks.com

Like and comment what you think which is the most interesting (or eye-opening) figure.

When the American Dream is just a Dream

Unemployment Report

A recent article focusing on the odds of employment after graduating in Nevada put a close-up perspective on a nationwide issue. There’s a growing number of graduating students, and all are hoping to achieve some sort of well-paying job that correlates to their major. But what jobs await them? The answer is startlingly bleak.

Underemployment is nothing new in the last couple years. Its something America’s been struggling with since the recession and collapsing of industries (like the housing market). But now, during what can be considered the ‘reconstruction’, there’s a high number of unemployed workers (with education) that either lack experience to get the job they want or are overqualified for entry-level positions elsewhere.

Over the past couple months, there’s been an addition of 280,000 jobs to the US job market, and yet unemployment rose ever so slightly from 5.4 to 5.5. According to HuffingtonPost, the bulk of these jobs are driven by construction and health care: and this could be one of the reasons why college graduates struggle in finding appropriate work in their field. And even though our economy is consumer based, our consumers are acting more cautiously than in the past. This makes jobs, wages, and wage-increases the most viable way to get them spending again.

Education vs Experience

It sounds like a relatively simple plan: graduate, get a job, contribute to capitalism. But what usually ends up happening is students are often forced to work while earning their education in order to help avoid crippling student loan debt. While struggling to get on your feet after and even in college used to be a sort of ‘rite of passage’ to becoming an adult, the period of time to do so is increasing. And the longer it takes to get “comfortable” in the professional/working world, the more difficult it is to do so. Many end up living at home to try to curtail expenses.

In my book, I talk about how

Our economic system is partially based on a culture that thrives on independence and individualism, not on the collective good… It is fueled by the spirit of work hard, and inner-directed behavior. If I work hard, and with a little luck, I’ll get what I need, and I don’t have to be concerned nor worry about the person who cannot or will not work as hard… it corresponds with the notion of Social Darwinism.
Wealth vs. Work (pg 36)

So what are the currently unemployed supposed to do? And what of those just graduating and future graduates that are going to be entering an over-saturated market?