Like it or not, we as Americans are living in hard times.
When 2 % of our population has 85 % of our wealth, the great framework of American structure and culture is in a place only seen twice before in our history. The first time, 1900 through 1920, at the height of the Age of Robber Barons was wealth acquired in such great treasures of private corporations and their leaders.
A second time was in the depths of the Great Depression during the 1930s. Again, great wealth moved fast to the centers of great corporations who took advantage of the economic collapse, that they had in part, created.
Now a third age of economic feudalism is rapidly emerging upon the American landscape. This is the Age of the Great Wealth Restructuring. From 2008 up through 2014, there has been a steady economic restructuring of the American middle class consumer ability to stay in the middle class.
The American middle class consumer, since the 1950s has been famous for one major fact: they shop. The modern American economy is a result of millions of middle class individuals shopping to the tune of 70% for our commerce.
However, in 2008, this engine of commerce was spooked by the money crisis of the great banks in America. The typical American was hit at one time with the convergence of (1) America losing two wars (2) banks declared themselves too big to fail and their fore had to be saved and (3) the start of major inflation for daily lives.
The wars have stopped. Now they are only operations for leaving the battlefields. The big banks have been saved. Now, Americans only worry about futures.
During the Great Bank Melt Down in 2008, one single ugly fact was that about 5 million people lost their homes to bank foreclosures. Five million homes works out to about four people per home (father, mother, son, daughter) or some 20 million individuals. Add to this a support network of grandparents and you have another 20 million Americans caught up in this economic tragedy.
It’s 2014 and the next chapters of American Economy 101 is being written. The chapters will be named (1) Impact of Food Price Inflation and (2) Impact Energy Costs.
Basic food cost for the average American family has gone up 100 % from 2008 prices.
Basic energy costs on an average American home has gone up from $ 200 to $ 300 dollars in 2008 to $500 to $ 1,000 dollars in 2014.
For many Americans, their monthly economic decisions are made on energy first, in order to survive extreme winters or extreme summers. Their second choice is food or medicine.
If this type of struggle continues for much longer, what is left of the American middle class will be spooked enough that they change their shopping experiences from one of wants to that of basic needs.
This type of restructuring of shopping patterns could see a move downward to where American consumers only make up 40% of the economy.