Few average Americans are likely celebrating the recent two-year anniversary of the period when economists and other experts say the Great Recession ended. This is especially true given that the subsequent recovery has been called “the weakest and most lopsided of any since the 1930s.”
But what’s the real reason so many are feeling less-than-jovial about the couple of years since the end of the downturn? For one, the new economy is hardly spreading the wealth.
According to a new report by the Associated Press, “After previous recessions, people in all income groups tended to benefit. This time, ordinary Americans are struggling with job insecurity, too much debt and pay raises that haven't kept up with prices at the grocery store and gas station. The economy's meager gains are going mostly to the wealthiest. Workers' wages and benefits make up 57.5 percent of the economy, an all-time low. Until the mid-2000s, that figure had been remarkably stable—about 64 percent through boom and bust alike.”
While executive pay is included in this figure—following a couple of years marking shocking raises for America’s chief executives—an even larger piece of the economy’s pie in the past 24 months has clearly gone to investors in the form of higher corporate profits. "The spoils have really gone to capital, to the shareholders," David Rosenberg, chief economist at Gluskin Sheff + Associates in Toronto, told the AP.
Corporations have been the primary winners of this post-recessionary period, reaping in approximately 88 percent of the national income growth since the economic recovery began. And the proof is in the pudding: an Associated Press analysis found that the typical CEO of a major company earned $9 million last year, up a quarter from two years ago. According to the AP, “Driven by higher profits, the Dow Jones industrial average has staged a breathtaking 90 percent rally since bottoming at 6,547 on March 9, 2009. Those stock market gains go disproportionately to the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans, who own more than 80 percent of outstanding stock, according to an analysis by Edward Wolff, an economist at Bard College.”
But as much as the years after the Recession has done Wall Street right, it has done many on Main Street wrong. For example, according to the Associated Press:
-- “Unemployment has never been so high -- 9.1 percent -- this long after any recession since World War II. At the same point after the previous three recessions, unemployment averaged just 6.8 percent.
-- The average worker's hourly wages, after accounting for inflation, were 1.6 percent lower in May than a year earlier. Rising gasoline and food prices have devoured any pay raises for most Americans.
-- The jobs that are being created pay less than the ones that vanished in the recession. Higher-paying jobs in the private sector, the ones that pay roughly $19 to $31 an hour, made up 40 percent of the jobs lost from January 2008 to February 2010 but only 27 percent of the jobs created since then.”
To mark this American economic anniversary, maybe its time to consider all of the things you could gain from joining the millions of beleaguered debtors who have already sought the safe havens of bankruptcy. If you’re not one of those aforementioned wealthy executives, you could likely stand to dispense with the symptoms of high post-recessionary unemployment or underemployment: unwieldy debt, basic unsecured bills, and mounting mortgage expenses.
So, now more than ever, getting to know a qualified bankruptcy attorney can be the first best step to help you conquer their creditors and face their financial fears, yielding the right kinds of support, information and insights—to get you out of your own Great Recession. The bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.