The government keeps trying to sell Americans on how well the economy is doing.
The Labor Department reported Friday that for the sixth straight month, more than 200,000 jobs were added in July to the economy. Auto sales are up, and so is new housing construction.
The stock market had advanced into record territory, and the Federal Reserve is continuing to scale back its efforts to keep the economy afloat. But while things appear to be booming on Wall Street, people are still stumbling on Main Street.
Hourly wages remain stagnant, and a new study shows that one in three adult Americans have a past-due debt that’s been turned over to a collection agency. In the Kansas City area, the rate was 35 percent of credit files in collections, McClatchy News Service reports.
Heavy borrowing without the means for repayment is what helped push the country into the Great Recession in 2007-2008. That trend must not be repeated.
However, living on credit is how many people are able to stay above water. Even Kansas City area casinos are reporting an overall 4.3 percent drop in revenue from a year ago, The Kansas City Star reports.
The Hollywood Reporter also notes “summer box-office revenue was down 15 percent in North America from last year, one of the worst declines in recent memory. Now it's behind by 19.3 percent, or $2.3 billion vs. $2.8 billion, a difference of $500 million, according to Rentrak.”
Blame it on unemployment, underemployment, crappy wages and less money overall for entertainment. It is a sign of the times that the country can’t seem to shake, and Congress remains frozen in even minimum efforts to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10, which is what President Barack Obama has been seeking.
Unless something gives, the U.S. could see its future in the economic distress that continues to grip Europe.