The American standard of living is under threat as the cost of living continues to rise and the purchasing power of our money diminishes. This slow erosion of our economic well-being has gone unnoticed by many for years, but now it has reached a point where it is impossible to ignore.
Recently, a woman discovered a Burger King receipt from 1986 that listed the price of a Whopper burger at $1.54. Today, that same burger costs $6.79, illustrating the drastic inflation we have experienced over the past few decades. This inflation destroys our purchasing power and makes it increasingly difficult for the average American to afford basic necessities.
For example, a woman named Melanie, who earns $34 an hour, struggles to make ends meet and tries to stretch a loaf of bread to last her a whole week. In the past, earning $34 an hour would have provided a comfortable lifestyle, but now it is barely enough to scrape by. The rising cost of living has made it increasingly challenging for the middle class to maintain a decent standard of living and has pushed many into poverty.
Housing affordability has reached unprecedented levels, with homes in the U.S. more unaffordable than ever. Inflation-adjusted home prices are now 85% higher than the historical average, and the median home price is 530% of the median annual income. Rent prices have also skyrocketed, forcing many people out of their homes and contributing to a surge in homelessness.
Furthermore, the average rate of interest on credit card balances has risen significantly, making it harder for Americans to keep up with their payments. Credit card losses are increasing at a rate not seen since the last financial crisis, and bankruptcy cases have risen by 18% in just one year.
The tightening of lending standards by financial institutions means that it is becoming more difficult for Americans to take on new debt, further exacerbating the financial struggles faced by many. This combination of rising costs, stagnant wages, and limited access to credit is a recipe for disaster.
Additionally, the rising price of oil poses further challenges to our economy. The bullish trend in oil prices suggests that nothing will hinder the rally, and some experts predict that the price could reach $150 per barrel. Such a steep increase in oil prices would have a profound impact on our economy, leading to even higher inflation and a significant jump in the cost of goods and services.
In conclusion, the American standard of living is being eroded by the rapidly rising cost of living and diminishing purchasing power. If we do not reverse these trends, we will face severe societal turmoil. The middle class is being pushed towards poverty, and an increasing number of Americans are struggling to make ends meet. Housing affordability is at an all-time low, credit card losses are on the rise, and accessing new credit is becoming more challenging. The looming threat of elevated oil prices adds further strain to our economy. It is imperative that we address these issues and find solutions to ensure a better future for all Americans.