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"The Number Of Americans Living In Their Vehicle
Explodes As The Middle Class Continues To Disappear"
by Epic Economist
"As the gap between the rich and the poor gets wider and wider, the U.S. middle class continues to erode. Americans are currently witnessing the biggest surge in the cost of living in a generation. The dramatic increase seen in the cost of daily essentials over the past few years is pushing millions of families to the brink. Now, new numbers show that more and more people are falling out of the middle class and into poverty with each passing day, and this is one of the big reasons why homelessness is steadily growing. At this point, the number of families living in their vehicles is already exploding all across the country, and this worrying trend is expected to worsen as we enter another devastating recession.
We all can tell by now that things are going from bad to worse in our nation. The number of people who can no longer afford housing is rising extremely rapidly, and now many Americans are resorting to living in their vehicles, even though the practice is considered illegal in many U.S. cities. According to local reports, the number of unsheltered people living in Los Angeles has shot up by a staggering 75 percent over the last five years. But of course, L.A. is far from alone. Many major cities on the West Coast are seeing a rise in the number of homeless people. Seattle is one of them. An article published by Government magazine exposed that the Emerald City has seen a 46 percent rise in the number of people residing in campers and other vehicles in the past year alone.
We have to start coming up with better solutions to provide shelter for millions of people that are putting their lives at risk every night, Monroe adds. But instead, local governments have been passing laws that make it illegal for people to sleep in their vehicles in many communities across the country. A recent survey conducted by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, which tracks policies in 187 cities, has shown that the number of prohibitions against vehicle residency has more than doubled during the last decade.
Americans are living at a time when the cost of living is going through the roof, but their living standards and their paychecks are not keeping up with the soaring prices of everything. Middle-class families are now experiencing unprecedented levels of financial distress. Over the past five decades, the share of adults who live in middle-class households fell by almost 15%, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. On top of that, the share of aggregate household income held by the middle class has fallen steadily since 1970. Back then, adults in middle-income households accounted for 62% of aggregate income, a figure that dropped to 42% in 2020.
Housing is the main asset of most middle-class families. But with home prices completely out of control even after the recent burst of the housing bubble, building wealth has never been more difficult. In the past, the U.S. middle-class had the ability to save money and protect their finances. This ability is being washed away as prices increase and wages drop. That has led consumer debt in the United States to jump to an all-time high. But the consequences of taking on so much debt eventually arrive and put these people in an even worse financial situation. The truth is that from now on, we are all going to have to work harder, smarter and more efficiently, and we are definitely going to have to tighten our belts because the U.S. economy is not going to be getting any better than it is right now. Now it is time to be a lean, mean saving machine because we all will need to have a financial cushion for the hard times that are already upon us."
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