Stop and think about that for a second. That figure blows me away, and the truly frightening point that needs to be considered is that it will probably get worse.
The United States has been a manufacturing giant since the turn of the 19th Century. Now we see manufacturing jobs going overseas, and there is nothing to replace them. Former plant workers are now taking jobs that pay less; however, their debt, which was based on a higher paying job, just keeps growing. It is a lose-lose proposition and something has to be done. But what?
The government says that we need to re-train the working force and prepare them for the service industry and the high tech industry. All well and good, but I have pointed out in the past, that it is practically impossible to re-train a single parent with two kids. Where is the time? How is that done exactly? I’m still waiting for an answer to that question!
For those already at the poverty level, the answers are few and far between. In fact, short of selling your home or declaring bankruptcy, there may not be an answer.
For some, the answer is to adopt a frugal living lifestyle, one based on need rather than want. Bev and I are at the poverty level, and yet we live a comfortable lifestyle. We want for nothing; we have our needs covered. No, we do not have extras; we have used furniture and we do not splurge on extras. We have whittled our debt down to nothing, and we budget religiously. For us, there is no other way to live.
If you are struggling, you have my sympathy. These are tough times, and the holidays just make them tougher.
May God bless all of you! Bev and I send our best wishes to you!