If you are a business owner or entrepreneur is FEAR a permissible emotion?
By virtue of the fact that you started your own business, are running a business or are in the process of bringing a new product or service to market, can fear of current and near-future economic conditions stand in your way as an impediment to reaching for your goal?
In other words whether you are a cockeyed optimist, pessimist, pragmatist or some combination of the three, how much credence should you give to economic data and forecasts?
The truth is, as any strategic planner will tell you, a look towards the future whether to try and gauge economic conditions, consumer preferences or a changing product or industry environment is always a necessity.
What will often separate one firm from another, among other things, might be how proficient they are at one or more of these categories.
A perfect example would be Blackberry, was once an industry segment leader and now, not so much!
In any event the following 17 somewhat less-than stellar facts about the current condition of the US economy should at the very least serve as food for thought.
17 Facts Concerning The US Economy
#1 After accounting for inflation, median household income in the United States is 8 percent lower than it was when the last recession started in 2007.
#2 The number of part-time workers in America has increased by 54 percent since the last recession began in December 2007. Meanwhile, the number of full-time jobs has dropped by more than a million over that same time period.
#3 More than 7 million Americans that are currently working part-time jobs would actually like to have full-time jobs.
#4 The jobs gained during this “recovery” pay an average of 23 percent less than the jobs that were lost during the last recession.
#5 The number of unemployed workers that have completely given up looking for work is twice as high now as it was when the last recession began in December 2007.
#6 When the last recession began, about 17 percent of all unemployed workers had been out of work for six months or longer. Today, that number sits at just above 34 percent.
#7 Due to a lack of decent jobs, half of all college graduates are still relying on their parents financially when they are two years out of school.
#8 According to a new method of calculating poverty devised by the U.S. Census Bureau, the state of California currently has a poverty rate of 23.4 percent.
#9 According to the New York Times, the “typical American household” is now worth36 percent less than it was worth a decade ago.
#10 In 2007, the average household in the top 5 percent had 16.5 times as much wealth as the average household overall. But now the average household in the top 5 percent has 24 times as much wealth as the average household overall.
#11 In an absolutely stunning development, the rate of small business ownership in the United States has plunged to an all-time low.
#12 Subprime loans now make up 31 percent of all auto loans in America. Didn’t that end up really badly when the housing industry tried the same thing?
#13 The average cost of producing a barrel of shale oil in the United States is approximately 85 dollars. Now that the price of oil is starting to slip under that number, the “shale boom” in America could turn into a bust very rapidly.
#14 On a purchasing power basis, China now actually has a larger economy than the United States does.
#15 It is hard to believe, but there are 49 million people that are dealing with food insecurity in America today.
#16 There are six banks in the United States that pretty much everyone agrees fit into the “too big to fail” category. Five of them have more than 40 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives.
Written by Michael Haltman, President of Hallmark Abstract Service, New York.
HAS is a provider of title insurance in New York State for residential and commercial real estate transactions specializing in the areas of New York City, Long Island and Westchester.
And remember that although your attorney will likely recommend a title insurance provider, you always have the right to choose your own title company (click here to learn more)!
If you have any questions you can reach Michael by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.