21 Ways To End The Phrase “Americans Are So Broke…”

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

Did you know that 77 million Americans have unpaid debts that are “in collections” and that Congress is actually thinking about letting post offices offer payday loans?  We live in a country where almost everyone is drowning in debt and where most people are either flat broke or very close to flat broke.  Years ago, “your Mama is so broke” jokes were all the rage, and at the rate we are going they could make a big comeback.  Some of my favorites were “your Mama is so broke she went to McDonald’s and put a milkshake on layaway” and “your Mama is so broke your family ate cereal with a fork to save milk”.  Unfortunately, the facts that I am about to share with you are not funny at all.  In fact, they are quite sobering.  Yes, things are going fairly well for the elitists that live in the good areas of New York City, Washington D.C. and San Francisco right now, but most of the country is deeply struggling as our economic fundamentals continue to crumble.

Please share these numbers with as many people as you can, because we need people to understand that there has not been an “economic recovery” for most of America.  In fact, in many ways things just continue to get even worse.  The following are 21 ways to end the phrase “Americans are so broke”…

1. Americans are so broke that about a third of them have debt collectors on their heels.  One recent study discovered that more than one out of every three adults in the United States has an unpaid debt that is “in collections“.  That is a total of 77 million people.  In other words, the debt collection business in America is absolutely booming.

2. Americans are so broke that Congress is now actually considering allowing post offices to provide payday loans and check cashing services.

3. Americans are so broke that they are keeping their vehicles longer than ever.  The average age of vehicles on America’s roads recently set a new all-time high of 11.4 years.

4. Americans are so broke that car dealers are having to go to extreme lengths to get new customers.  Last year, one out of every four auto loans in the United States was made to someone with subprime credit.

5. Americans are so broke that 52 percent of them cannot even afford the homes that they are living in right now.

6. Americans are so broke that they are falling farther behind on their student loans than ever.  The total amount of student loan debt in the U.S. has now reached a whopping 1.2 trillion dollars, and approximately seven million Americans are in default on their student loans at this point.

7. Young Americans are so broke that half of all college graduates are still relying on their parents financially when they are two years out of school.

8. Young Americans are so broke that only 36 percent of American adults under the age of 35 currently own a home.  That is the lowest level that has ever been recorded.

9. Americans are so broke that many of them can’t even afford to shop at Wal-Mart and dollar stores anymore

Discount stores are slowly dying.


Yesterday, Dollar Tree announced it would buy Family Dollar, a chain that is in the process of closing hundreds of stores and firing workers.


Other discount stores have been struggling as well, writes Heidi Moore at The Guardian. Fashion discounter Loehmann’s filed for bankruptcy, while Wal-Mart’s sales have declined for the past five quarters.


“There’s just not enough money deployed by American families to keep all the discount chains in business,” Moore writes.

10. Americans are so broke that they are running up record levels of debt.  Overall, U.S. households are 11.68 trillion dollars in debt right now.

11. Americans are so broke that the wealth of the “typical American household” has fallen by 36 percent over the past decade.

12. Americans are so broke that one out of every four part-time workers in America is living below the poverty line.

13. Americans are so broke that more than 37 million Americans are now being served by food pantries and soup kitchens.

14. Americans are so broke that there are 49 million Americans that are dealing with food insecurity.

15. Americans are so broke that the number of people on food stamps has increased by about 14 million while Obama has been in the White House.  Ten years ago, the number of women in the U.S. that had jobs outnumbered the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin.  But now the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps actually exceeds the number of women that have jobs.

16. Americans are so broke that the U.S. government has had to spend an astounding 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs over the past five years.

17. Americans are so broke that more than 20 percent of all children in the U.S. are living in poverty.

18. Americans are so broke that we have a record number of kids sleeping in the streets.  In fact, we have more than a million public school children that are homeless at this point.

19. Americans are so broke that 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

20. Americans are so broke that 26 percent of Americans have absolutely no emergency savings whatsoever.

21. Americans are so broke that approximately two-thirds of all Americans do not have enough money saved up to cover six months of expenses if an emergency arose.

If things are this bad now, during the so-called “economic recovery”, how bad will things get during the next major economic downturn?

Unfortunately, most Americans have been lulled into a false sense of security.  The financial crisis of 2008 seems like ancient history to most of them now, and most people appear to believe that our leaders have “fixed” whatever was wrong the last time.

Of course that is not the case at all.  In fact, our long-term problems have just continued to grow since then.

The truth is that what we are experiencing right now is about as good as things are going to get for the U.S. economy.  When the next crisis arrives, all of the numbers in the list above are going to rapidly get a lot worse.

So enjoy the rest of this “bubble” while you still can.  It certainly will not last for too much longer.

26 thoughts on “21 Ways To End The Phrase “Americans Are So Broke…””

  1. Americans are so broke…

    More than half of American consumers Gallup polled say in the past four weeks they purchased generic or store brand goods (83%), shopped at more than one store for similar items to get the best deal (61%), gone online to compare prices and find the best deal (59%), used coupons when shopping (58%), and followed a strict budget (55%). But, perhaps surprisingly, a majority also say they purchased more at the store than they originally intended to (58%).


  2. Americans are so poor, that they are look forwarding to the next round of layoffs so they can quit (trying to) paying for insurance, food, rent and heat.

  3. This economic snowball is turning into an avalanche. Looks like the 4T winter winds are blowing stronger.

    Headlines said economy was up 4%, yet the market drops 300+ points on poor earnings reports? You’d think the market would zoom up, not down, on that 4%. Hell if I care, I got out of the markets years ago.

  4. I’m in Denver , Co right now at a FedEx Terminal which is one of my go to job sites and job openings are plentiful. FedEx , UPS , Conway , R +L and Road Runner are some of the companies hiring. They need Line Management , Brokers , Agents , Mechanics , Drivers and Contract Personnel .Most of these jobs start out between 20 to 30 dollars an hour plus benefits. UPS has a great benefit and retirement plan.Hell , if your breathing you could probably land a job. I travel to FedEx Terminals over most of the country and these companies need people.
    Same thing with the oil and energy companies. Every where I go these companies in these fields are hiring. When people say they are broke and can’t find a job I know they are not looking for work . If you are broke and need a job these companies are hiring.You have to go to them ,their not coming to you.

  5. bb – young folks expect their business degrees from Dumbfuck U qualifies them for upper management. Driving a truck is beneath them.

  6. Americans are so Broke they cannot afford to pay attention….my bad, Americans mostly couldn’t afford to pay attention when they were rich…sorry.

  7. Now let’s do other countries – UK, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada,France, Germany,Spain,Portugal, Africa etc.
    Nice to see the BIG picture not the center of the universe USA…

  8. Americans are so broke that only 93% of households pay for TV. I’ll consider Americans broke when Starbucks goes out of business, no one buys bottled water and nine year olds don’t have smart phones.

  9. Americans are so broke they can’t afford to pay attention to who or what is making them broke.

    Americans are so broke that some places won’t even accept their cash.

  10. If the trillions that were printed by order of the Fed Res Bunco had been distributed to the 90% instead of the 10%, these debts could have been paid down.

    Instead, the perps who created these financial crimes against humanity were REWARDED by the feral gubbermint.

    String ’em all up and start over, ASAP!

  11. Your family is so broke, the kids failed school because your family couldn’t afford to pay attention.

    Your family’s house is so small, when I put the key in the door, I stabbed everyone.

    Your family is so poor, I walked in the house & saw a lit cigarette. I stamped it out & your Dad said, “Who turned off the heat?”

    bb is so dumb, he asked me what letter comes after X. I said Y. He said, “Because I want to know!”

    bb is so dumb, when I told him my girlfriend failed a pregnancy test, he said, “Well next time she better study!”

  12. Quote:
    “Hell , if your breathing you could probably land a job.”

    That explains the tough hiring requirements for bb’s job?

  13. honestly, the gloom and doom is getting so old. we’re decades away from a complete collapse. TPTB have the situation under control and will not let society dissolve into complete anarchy because it would nullify their power and riches. the countries of the EU have been in on it with the US since the end of WWII. China is in on it now. Russia is basically financially committed despite their bluster of late.

    after years of hearing about the “imminent” collapse, it may be time to alter the word “imminent” to “inevitable”.

  14. There may be lots of jobs in other states but most people are a slave to their debt, they can’t afford to sell, they can’t afford to buy, so they sit and vote for more of the same expecting a different result.

    All the while they become the butt of these Americans are so poor lines. More like, Americans are so fucking stupid that they can’t get in their car without federal permission and guidelines so how can they ever survive without government guiding the way their entire lives.

    How did we become this way? We fawn over politicians and wait to see what right they will grant us next, or what right they will take away.
    Who the fuck are they anyway and when did we become a nation of namby pamby pussys?

  15. Excellent points by card802. The US government is set up to get in the way of normal people doing well. They want you to work for some bug corporation or the govt.

    Self sufficiency? Small business? Those are threats.

  16. Shamika in Chicago is so poor…she had to put a Big Mac on Lay-Away .

    Skeeter in Alabama is so poor he took his kids to KFC and let them lick everyone’s fingers .

  17. @dunce, just keep on telling yourself that.

    “under control” “decades away” “nullify their power and riches”

    I don’t want to laugh at you, but can’t help myself.

    Tell me, how would 100 million of us plebes dying by starvation or killing each other nullify one dime of Gates, or Dimons, or the Clintons, fortunes?

    It wouldn’t. Not one iota.

    Just more thinking of us little people that we be important to these bastards.

    We aren’t. We once were, when we still have wealth production, but the big guys paid the government to take that away from us and gift it to the third world and themselves.

    Keep in mind dunce that “inevitable” doesn’t necessarily mean decades away. First this goes slowly, as we are living, the all at once is what is going to catch many of “aware” off base. It’s called Cognitive Dissonance, you might want to do some research on how this state of mind help Hitler kill millions.

    Hubris is

  18. Iska wrote:

    “I’ll consider Americans broke when…”

    Now we’re talking…I could really get going on that one!

    They stop building casinos
    Nearly every female I see *doesn’t* have a professional manicure and/or pedicure
    Most of the gyms/fitness centers have a “For Rent” sign out front
    You can show me a family that hasn’t eaten out, in any fashion, in the past two weeks

    I could go on…..

    We have a ways to go yet.

  19. “I’ll consider Americans broke when…Nearly every female I see *doesn’t* have a professional manicure and/or pedicure”

    breast implants, butt implants…

  20. ..eyelash extensions, fake tans, “designer” handbags and sunglasses…

    bling, bling, and more bling!

    Americans broke?!?

    I don’t think so.


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