The website has some shocking statistics on how bad things really are and maybe they will shock YOU out of your lethargy. As they say on the site, “If we do not educate the American people about how deathly ill the U.S. economy has become, then they will just keep falling for the same old lies that our politicians keep telling them.

This is not my normal kind of post, but I saw these statistics and they speak to themes of productivity and performance, to people who should be involved and engaged in workplace improvement. But it is hard to focus on success when you are focused on survival and so many of these statistics are just depressing when it comes to improveing things in America.

I will share some of the statistics below, not wanting to violate anyone’s intellectual property rights for the assembly of this information but also to share some of the numbers to get you to consider the reality of where we are at as a country. I suggest you read the entire list at:

The article shares the sources of the numbers. And I hope that you will read them and get motivated to do something differently to help make improvements — this means a lot to all of us.  (My comments are in italics)

 #1: A staggering 48 percent of all Americans are either considered to be “low income” or are living in poverty. 

#2: Approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered to be “low income” or impoverished. (This is the average — in some cities, it is much worse. That meal at school may be the only meal that child eats.)

#3: If the number of Americans that “wanted jobs” was the same today as it was back in 2007, the “official” unemployment rate put out by the U.S. government would be up to 11%. (We do not define things the same way, now, so that the numbers look better…)

#4: The average amount of time that a worker stays unemployed in the United States is now over 40 weeks. (Not that long ago, it was 30 days!)

#5: One recent survey found that 77 percent of all U.S. small businesses do not plan to hire any more workers. (Small businesses like mine are also not doing really well, going down with the rest of the economy. Taxable income is decreasing.)

#6: There are fewer payroll jobs in the United States today than there were back in 2000 even though we have added 30 million extra people to the population since then.

#8: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.6 million Americans were self-employed back in December 2006. By 2011, that number has shrunk to 14.5 million. (See my comments in #5, above)

#10: According to author Paul Osterman, about 20% of all U.S. adults are currently working jobs that pay poverty-level wages. (This is for WORKING Americans!!! They work and do not make enough money to get out of poverty. Many many millions have no jobs.)

#12: Back in 1969, 95% of all men between the ages of 25 and 54 had a job. In July, only 81.2% of men in that age group had a job. (From 19 in 20 to 4 of 5 — and men are the traditional wage earners in the family, The psychological impact on men is devastating when they cannot provide for their families – combine this with # 10 above and it is truly awful.)

 #13: One recent survey found that one out of every three Americans would not be able to make a mortgage or rent payment next month if they suddenly lost their current job. (This is why so many Americans are not taking their earned vacation time. They are afraid of leaving their jobs and losing their jobs because they took a vacation.)

#22: New home construction in the United States is on pace to set a brand new all-time record low in 2011.

#23: As I have written about previously, 19 percent of all American men between the ages of 25 and 34 are now living with their parents. (Well over half of all college graduates went home after graduation, unable to find a good job that would allow them to live on their own.)

But all is not bad. The 1% seem to be doing quite nicely:

 #32: According to a study that was just released, CEO pay at America’s biggest companies rose by 36.5% in just one recent 12 month period.

#34: The six heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have a net worth that is roughly equal to the bottom 30 percent of all Americans combined. (From what I remember, none are great philanthropists supporting the people of the country.)

#41: Today, one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps and one out of every four American children is on food stamps. (They are not on food stamps because they want to be – the level of food “insecurity” is at all time high levels in this country. Families NEED this assistance to buy food, even though the parents are working. Food stamps are not a luxury and this is should be an embarrassment to all Americans who supposedly “lead” this country as our elected politicians.)

 And on and on and on.

Do you think that this can continue without us doing something differently? Does it really seem that cutting government benefits is a logical thing to do with so many people suffering. Doesn’t it seem like our government should be creating jobs and building infrastructure in The United States rather than fighting supposed “wars on terror” in other countries. Do you really think that our stand on social issues like abortion or on drug consumption or any of those other aspects of choices people make will solve any of these problems? Will our spending on the militarization of our police departments, with huge spending for equipment but not much for hiring,  cure any of these problems listed above.

Why not ask for some real change on the part of the elected leaders of this country (and other countries, too!)

This written and produced during my business trip to Mumbai and Bangalore, India, where we are focused on improving business productivity by increasing employee engagement and teamwork.

Read more:

We need to make some very basic readjustments to our economy and bring back higher-paid workers, improve management salaries and make this country more fair to all workers. It CAN be done. But we need more innovation, better leadership, more employee involvement and better organizational collaboration.

Scott Debrief

Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant. 
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