So why have relatively few formerly middle-class Americans become actively outraged by Wall Street frauds and job-destroying corporate raiders such as Mitt Romney? One answer is that many of us, despite lost jobs or lowered wages, have managed to maintain fairly good living standards, thanks to savings and other monetary cushions. But piggy banks across the country are close to tapped out:
From Reuters via Truthdig:
More than four years after the United States fell into recession, many Americans have resorted to raiding their savings to get them through the stop-start economic recovery. In an ominous sign for America’s economic growth prospects, workers are paring back contributions to college funds and growing numbers are borrowing from their retirement accounts.
Some policymakers worry that a recent spike in credit card usage could mean that people, many of whom are struggling on incomes that have lagged inflation, are taking out new debt just to meet the costs of day-to-day living. American households “have been spending recently in a way that did not seem in line with income growth. So somehow they’ve been doing that through perhaps additional credit card usage,” Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans said on Friday.
“If they saw future income and employment increasing strongly then that would be reasonable. But I don’t see that. So I’ve been puzzled by this,” he said…