Consumer credit owed hits record, permanently high gas prices, and feeding empty promises with food stamp outlays up 600% from 2000.
Americans are now fully engaged, once again, in their consumption ways financed by debt. To continue pretending that the middle class is not shrinking, massive amounts of debt are being pumped into the system once again. Total consumer debt has reached another peak but the reason this has peaked is very troubling. Over the last decade the fastest growing sector of debt has come from student loans. The Fed has injected easy money into member banks and from our 2009 financial lows, debt is now trickling throughout the economy. Yet, old habits seem to be a stubborn thing. A few items now seem to be permanent fixtures of our economy. Gas prices are stubbornly high, food stamp outlays are at record levels, and consumer debt rages on the fires of student loan growth. In other words, the expansion is being driven by debt yet again.
Gas Prices: Those that say no inflation is present simply do not look at what is truly impacting the American consumer. Take a look at gas prices:
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