Rocky Vega

This week, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) asserted the US has been out of recession since June 2009 despite the fact that, in its own words, the economy has not “returned to operating at normal capacity.” Given this statement, and the slew of other caveats offered alongside the verdict, it hardly seems worth the NBER’s effort to release the lukewarm statement.

Today, the Economic Collapse Blog, playing the role of properly investigative skeptic, dug up 12 terrible data points that suggest the NBER should have probably arrived at a less rosy-sounding conclusion:

#1 The Census Bureau says that 43.6 million Americans are now living in poverty and according to them that is the highest number of poor Americans in 51 years of record-keeping.

#2 In the year 2000, 11.3 percent of Americans were living in poverty.  In 2008, 13.2 percent of Americans were living in poverty.  In 2009, 14.3 percent of Americans were living in poverty.  Needless to say the trend is moving in the wrong direction.

#3 In 2009 alone, approximately 4 million more Americans joined the ranks of the poor.

#4 According to the Associated Press, experts believe that 2009 saw the largest single year increase in the U.S. poverty rate since the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures back in 1959.

#5 The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

#6 Today the United States has approximately 4 million fewer wage earners than it did in 2007.

#7 Nearly 10 million Americans now receive unemployment insurance, which is almost four times as many as were receiving it in 2007.

#8 U.S. banks repossessed 25 percent more homes in August 2010 than they did in August 2009.

#9 One out of every seven mortgages in the United States was either delinquent or in foreclosure during the first quarter of 2010.

#10 There are now 50.7 million Americans who do not have health insurance.  One trip to the emergency room would be all it would take to bankrupt a significant percentage of them.

#11 More than 50 million Americans are now on Medicaid, the U.S. government health care program designed principally to help the poor.

#12 There are now over 41 million Americans on food stamps.

The economy has indeed expanded since the low point marked by the NBER. However, as Addison Wiggin points out, the growth was driven almost entirely by government spending and increasing transfer payments… remedies that have a short life span and are already out of stock.

You can read the full coverage, including eight more data points, in the Economic Collapse Blog’s post on 20 signs the economic collapse has already begun for one out of every seven Americans.


Rocky Vega,
The Daily Reckoning

Rocky Vega

Rocky Vega is publisher of Agora Financial International, where he advances the growth of Agora Financial publishing enterprises outside of the US. Previously, he was publisher of The Daily Reckoning, and founding publisher of both UrbanTurf and RFID Update -- which he ran from Brazil, Chile, and Puerto Rico -- as well as associate publisher of FierceFinance. Rocky has an honors MS from the Stockholm School of Economics and an honors BA from Harvard University, where he served on the board of directors for Let?s Go Publications, Harvard Student Agencies, and The Harvard Advocate.

  • jason

    These trabecular spinicules of data don’t prove anything, whereas the NBER has done statistically weighted running algorhytmically enhanced data analysis and projection of future certainties. The recession has been over for more than a year. Obama, Summers, Geithner, Bernank, Rom Emmanuel, et al have saved the day.

  • Bernardo Quintanilla

    I think Jason works for the NBER! or, maybe he doesnt live in the US. What country do you live in? I bet your still an employee or your bussines hasnt broke. You would be saying different otherwise…

  • Dave

    At this point, alot of relevant questions aren’t being addressed. Why is unemployment a lagging indicator? It should at least be coincidant(sic). And why is an economy based on expanding credit a good thing? Can somebody answer? Thanx

  • http://dailyreckoning mike

    …what “jason said” meant was…ahem…” These trabecular spinicules of data don’t prove anything, whereas the NBER has done statistically weighted running,jumping o lou lou skip to my lou algorhytmically enhanced data analysis and proj
    ection of future certainties. The recession has been over for more than a year. Obama, Summers, Geithner, Bernank, Rom Emmanuel, et al have saved the day, my darling…”…HAHAHAHAHAHA….

  • no country for old men

    The fundamental elements of our economy (or any economy for that matter) simply don’t exist anymore. The foundation of our economy and civilization is the family (among other elements, but I think it can be argued this is the most important), and families have been destroyed by decades of feminism and government intervention and criminalization of men and fathers. Most of the money in the US is tied up among people who lied, cheated and stole to get it (ie CEO’s who violated antitrust regulations, the Divorce Industry, women who make more money on child-support than they do working for a living). The rest who are honest and work hard to support the economy and civilization (and at one time their families) have nothing. The only way our economy will recover is if the US turns completely into a fascist post feminist dystopian police state, which it almost has become anyway. So, saving the economy will cost men their freedom. I don’t think that is a good trade. Koolaid anyone?

    Yeah, I couldn’t help but laugh at Jason’s comment, too. I’m still picking myself off the floor. I’d like to believe him, but years of analysis myself that has proven far more reliable than the NBER and years of watching the gov’t destroy people’s lives with its lies doesn’t encourage belief.

  • The Happy Prepper

    No Country for Old Men, I take it you are divorced, paying child support and your “ex” is not working. Gee – you sound bitter. Maybe it’s not your broker you should be mad at but the cheap divorce attorney you hired.

  • Pingback:

  • Pingback: Trackback()

  • Pingback: Trackback()

  • Pingback: Trackback()

Recent Articles