Though the stock market ended the year on a resurgent note, it is becoming clearer all the time that Wall Street is not Main Street.
Nearly four years after the official end of the Great Recession, numerous indicators point to the difficulties that many people continue to have in the current economy.
In this post, we will take note of some of those indicators and relate them to the need many Americans have for debt relief.
In historical terms, income inequality has been increasing since the 1970s. Initially, working people responded to this on several fronts.
For one thing, more women joined the workforce. In two-income families, this offset the flat wages that many men were experiencing.
Until the real estate crisis hit in 2007, many people also used home equity loans to maintain a middle-class standard of living.
Unfortunately, in 2013 these responses are not very effective anymore.
Women’s labor-force participation can no longer offset the overall weakness of the job market. Jobs are hard to come by and paychecks for those who are employed are often paltry.
Paychecks seem particularly paltry for people who, before losing their jobs in the Recession, once earned much better wages. Many of these people have had to accept service-industry jobs that pay a pittance compared to the more highly skilled jobs they once had.
The news is not good on the housing front either. Following the real-estate meltdown, millions of people around the country are underwater on their mortgages. And huge numbers of people have already lost their homes to foreclosure or are fighting foreclosure.
In short, if you are struggling in today’s economy, you are not alone. And there may be very good reasons to consider bankruptcy as a way to achieve debt relief.
Source: Bloomberg, “Americans on Wrong Side of Pay Gap Run Out of Means to Cope,” Rich Miller and Micelle Jamrisko, Dec. 30, 2013