Law scholar Elizabeth Warren is an outspoken critic of America's credit economy, which she has linked to the continuing rise in bankruptcy among the middle-class.
As Warren discusses a possible collapse of the middle-class, this AlterNet article, written by former economist David Korten for YES! Magazine, discusses the rise of Wall Street, which has its roots in the institutions of Empire that began some 5,000 years ago.
Replacing Wall Street with a New Economy, based on locally owned businesses devoted to serving their communities, may be one of the only solutions to stop impending social and environmental collapse.
The notion of a strong U.S. middle class is as American as apple pie, but as Elizabeth Warren aptly puts it in the video above, that may soon become a thing of the past.
Americans earn roughly the same amount they did a generation ago, yet core expenses for housing, health insurance, food, and transportation have steadily increased. The only way for many families to survive was to put a second person into the workforce.
But the shift to a two-income household did not bring on the wealth that you would initially think it would, as it brings with it increased expenses for taxes, transportation and child care -- and the second income is often just enough for families to continue to scrape by.
Nowadays, it's become difficult for people to find a job in the first place, making the issue of a two-income household an increasingly moot point because the jobs just aren't available.
To cope, many American families have stopped saving and turned to credit cards to get by, and this has lead to increased debt and no nest egg to fall back on.
Millions of Middle Class Falling Into Poverty
Elizabeth Warren is not the only one who sees this downward trend. Many now believe we're living in a house of cards that could topple at any moment, and the notion of the "American Dream" may turn into a nightmare as people struggle to put increasingly expensive food on the table while competing for jobs with a dirt-cheap overseas' labor force.
According to Pakalert, some 4 million middle-class Americans have recently joined the ranks of the poor … signaling a steep downward trend in the standard of living that includes:
- The number of Americans enrolled in the food stamp program has set a new all-time record for 20 consecutive months.
- In July 2010, 41.8 million Americans were on food stamps.
- The number of Americans in the food stamp program skyrocketed more than 55 percent between December 2007 and July 2010.
- One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one anti-poverty program run by the U.S. government.
Unfortunately, there are virtually NO signs whatsoever indicating we'll be able to turn this trend around anytime soon.
Remember Your Health is Your Most Valuable Asset
If events play out as some experts predict, the U.S. economy will face even more challenges and if you are unprepared, your ability to purchase quality food – a crucial part of staying healthy -- may become even more limited.
Most families in the United States are already only one bad diagnosis away from a financial catastrophe, and with the looming collapse of the U.S. economy and middle-class, many more people are at risk of abject ruin should their health fail.
To me this is yet another compelling argument to stay as healthy as you can, by following the recommendations on this site, many of which cost next to nothing. All you need to do is give your body the raw materials like healthy unprocessed food, sleep, exercise, appropriate amounts of sunshine to optimize your vitamin D levels, love, emotional balancing and staying away from toxins and poisons and you won't need to set foot in a doctor's office or hospital, barring an accident.
Even in a healthy economy, it is wise to follow ideal health guidelines, as all the money in the world will not protect you from disease if you fail to follow a healthy lifestyle. However, in this troubled economy, poor health has the potential to ruin you financially -- which will only make everything worse.