#1 Only 45.4% of Americans had a job during 2010. The last time the employment level was that low was back in 1983.
#2 Only 66.8% of American men had a job last year. That was the lowest level that has ever been recorded in U.S. history.
#3 In the United States, one-fourth of all the income is brought in by 1 percent of the people.
#4 Rising prices are putting an incredible amount of stress on American family budgets. According to John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics, if the U.S. government measured inflation the way that it did before 1980 the inflation rate would be much different. For example, Williams says that inflation rose at a 9.6 annual rate during the month of February using the old measurement.
#5 In a recent survey conducted by Deloitte Consulting, 74 percent of Americans said that they planned to slow down their spending in coming months due to rising prices.
#6 The price of U.S. crude oil has risen $20 a barrel over the last two months, and the average price of a gallon of gasoline in America is now about $3.79. At this point, the average price of gasoline is about one dollar higher than it was one year ago. Since the average American household goes through about 750 gallons of gas a year, that means that in 2011 American families will spend somewhere around $750 more for gas. So just what is the average American family supposed to do if a gallon of gasoline soon costs 4 or even 5 dollars a gallon?
#7 The average American now spends approximately 23 percent of his or her income on food and gas.
#8 Incredibly, 60 percent of all the students attending California public schools now qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches.
#9 The number of people on food stamps in the state of North Carolina has almost doubled over the past four years.
#10 Thanks to the globalization of the economy, U.S. workers now must directly compete for jobs with workers in places such as Indonesia. In Indonesia, full-time workers make as little as two dollars a day. So how are American workers supposed to compete with that?
#11 U.S. home values have fallen an astounding 6.3 trillion dollars since the peak of the real estate market in 2005.
#12 Back in 2005 at the peak of the housing bubble, the median property tax on a home in the United States was $1614. Today, even though home values have sunk like a rock, that figure has risen to $1917.
#13 According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, at least 8 million Americans are at least one month behind on their mortgage payments at this point.
#14 31 percent of the homeowners that responded to a recent Rasmussen Reports survey indicated that they are "underwater" on their mortgages.
#15 Two years ago, the average U.S. homeowner that was being foreclosed upon had not made a mortgage payment in 11 months. Today, the average U.S. homeowner that is being foreclosed upon has not made a mortgage payment in 17 months.
#16 The number of homes that were actually repossessed reached the 1 million mark for the first time ever during 2010.
#17 According to a recent census report, 13% of all the homes in the United States are sitting empty.
#18 According to the U.S. Census, the number of children living in poverty has gone up by about 2 million in just the past 2 years.
#19 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average length of unemployment in the U.S. is now an all-time record 39 weeks.
#20 There are 10% fewer "middle class jobs" in the United States today than there were a decade ago.
#21 The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
#22 Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.
#23 Total U.S. credit card debt is more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.
#24 Americans now owe more than $904 billion on student loans, which is a new all-time record high.
#25 Average household debt in the United States has now reached a level of 136% of average household income. In China, average household debt is only 17% of average household income.
#26 A staggering 25 percent of all American adults now have a credit score below 599.
#27 1.5 million Americans filed for bankruptcy in 2010. That represented the fourth yearly increase in bankruptcy filings in a row.
#28 Over the last decade, the number of Americans without health insurance has risen from about 38 million to about 52 million.
#29 One study found that approximately 41 percent of working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt.
#30 According to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine, medical bills are a major factor in more than 60 percent of all personal bankruptcies in the United States. Of those bankruptcies that were caused by medical bills, approximately 75 percent of them involved individuals that actually did have health insurance.
#31 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.
#32 According to the Federal Reserve, between 2007 and 2009 median household net worth in the United States fell by 23 percent.
#33 The Federal Reserve also says that median household debt in the United States has risen to $75,600.
#34 According to the Economic Policy Institute, almost 25 percent of all U.S. households now have zero net worth or negative net worth. Back in 2007, that number was just 18.6 percent.
#35 During this most recent economic downturn, employee compensation in the United States has been the lowest that it has been relative to gross domestic product in over 50 years. **
* Reprint from an article at End of The American Dream By Michael, on April 15th, 2011 (all references to 'last year' are 2010)