from The Burning Platform:
Two recent surveys, along with numerous other studies and data, reveal most American households to be living on the brink of catastrophe, but continuing to act in a reckless and delusionary manner. There have certainly been economic factors beyond the control of average Americans that have resulted in real median household incomes remaining stagnant for the last 36 years. The unholy alliance of mega-corporations, Wall Street and bought off corrupt politicians have gutted the nation of millions of good paying jobs under the guise of globalization, while utilizing debt, derivatives and financial schemes to enrich themselves. The malfeasance of the sociopathic privileged class does not discharge the personal responsibility of citizens for living within their means. A lack of discipline, inability to delay gratification, failure to understand basic mathematical concepts, materialistic envy, absence of critical thinking skills, and a delusionary view of the world have left the majority of Americans broke and in debt.
The data that captured my attention was how little the average American household has in savings. Roughly 62% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings and 21% don’t even have a savings account, according to a new survey of more than 5,000 adults conducted this month by Google Consumer Survey for personal finance website GOBankingRates.com. This dreadful data is reinforced by a similar survey of 1,000 adults carried out earlier this year by personal finance site Bankrate.com, which also found that 62% of Americans have no emergency savings for a medical crisis, car repair, or unanticipated household expenditure.
The fact is these are not highly unlikely scenarios. They happen every day as part of our routine existence. Everyone gets sick. Every car eventually needs new tires or an engine repair. Every home will need a new hot water heater or roof at some point. It is foolish and short sighted to not expect “unexpected” expenditures. Living in the moment and fulfilling your immediate desires may feel good today, but leaves you susceptible to disaster tomorrow. Gradually building a rainy day fund over time is what adults should do. Only immature children operate with no safety net. Everyone has an excuse for why they end up living on the edge, but the data exposes us to be an infantile nation of spendthrifts incapable of distinguishing between wants and needs. It might be understandable for young adults who are burdened by student loan debt and entry level jobs to have little or no savings, but the data for older Americans is most disturbing.
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