Macro economic data suggest the great recession is over. But the gap between the haves and the have-nots is growing, thanks, in large part, to a jobless recovery. Wall Street Cheat Sheet’s Damien Hoffman says the growing underclass now accounts for about 10% of the U.S. population.
America's Underclass: The Growing Gap Between the Rich and PoorPosted May 18, 2010 09:00am EDT by Peter Gorenstein in Recession
In this clip, he and his brother Derek, who jointly run the Wall Street Cheat Sheet website, point to several signs America is turning into a two-class society:
- -The foreclosure problem. 2.8 million homes were foreclosed in 2009. RealyTrac expects that number to increase to 3-3.5 million in 2010. Damien Hoffman thinks it could be even higher if "strategic foreclosures" become a more accepted practice.
- - Unemployment. The official rate is 9.9% but the wider measure of under employed and those who have given up on their job search is more like 17%. That's more than 24 million Americans out of work.
- - Record numbers using food stamps. The Agriculture Department said a record 40 million Americans, or 1 in 8 Americans, may not be able to eat without government assistance. “This is the ultimate sign of an under class,” the Hoffman Brothers say.
- - Take a look at Dollar Tree Stores. The discounter's stock is near an all-time high while revenues are up 12.5% this year. In other words, more Americans are chasing cheaper goods.