Household debt, including credit card debt, mortgages, and car loans, is growing rapidly in the United States. A new study by Nerdwallet says, “Last year, the average American household owed about $222,000 in mortgage debt, $17,000 in credit card debt, and $29,000 in car loan debt.”
According to the survey:
• Prices are rising faster than incomes. Over the past year, median household income increased by just 4%, while overall living costs increased by 8%.
According to the survey, nearly half of working Americans(45%) say their wages have not increased enough to keep up with inflation in the past 12 months.
• Purchase now and pay later services can mean millions more in debt. Nearly one in five Americans (18%) say they have used a “buy now, pay later” service in the past 12 months.
• Consumers are worried about next year’s economy. Nearly seven in 10 Americans (69%) will have money worries in the next 12 months. Going into debt or adding to debt to cover your needs is the number one concern (31%), followed by having to pay higher interest on your debt (27%).
• The average amount of credit card interest paid by households increased due to recent Federal Reserve rate hikes and an increase in revolving credit card debt. American households with credit card debt will pay an average of $1,380 in interest this year. And that’s assuming interest rates don’t rise.
• Consumers are doing everything they can to fight price increases. According to the survey, nearly four in five Americans (79%) said they had taken anti-inflation measures in the past six months:42% of Americans said they drove less, and 39% said they shopped more. marks and rough staples. Nearly one in five Americans (19%) say they took on more debt in the past six months because of inflation.
Some data sources to turn to:
- Household Debt and Credit, September 2022, from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data.
- Commercial Bank Interest Rate on Credit Card Plans, Accounts Assessed Interest, August 2022, from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
- Consumer Price Index January 2022 https://www.bls.gov/cpi/
Rising Child Care Costs: Deep Concern for Rural Americans
A new study by the Save the Children Action Network shows that rural Americans are concerned about how they can afford essential food and child care throughout the year. Most rural voters said they may not be able to support their families this year. A quarter of them said they were “very worried.”
The study also uncovers:
Rural Americans believe they have access to less expensive, pleasant childcare and early adolescent schooling, which is increasingly out of reach for many families. In a couple of questions, rural citizens inform us that “take care of your children” is missing from their community, that prices are too high, and that getting access to pleasant, less expensive care has gotten worse within the previous few years because of the pandemic.
• 55% believe the supply of excellent and affordable childcare has dwindled as a result of the pandemic, while 31% believe it has increased or remained constant, and 13% are unsure.
• A majority say there are only a few or only a few excessively pleasant and less expensive early schooling applications in their area; 20% say all or the maximum are terrific and less expensive, 26% say half are, 32% say a few, and 22% say only a few.
The National Conference of State Legislatures warned a year ago that the pandemic would expose flaws in our childcare system. Childcare facilities do now no longer pay sufficient, so that they can’t locate sufficient employees, so that they rent those who aren’t certified to do the paintings. The Bureau of Labor Statistics mentioned that during November, the U.S. had 8% fewer childcare employees than earlier in the pandemic.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people out of work as a result of childcare issues has reached an all-time high not seen since the peak of the pandemic.
Look closely at the chart, and you’ll see that the number of people missing work due to childcare issues is a fraction of a percent.
During the observation week in November, 59,000 Americans reported missing work due to childcare issues. But during the whole month, the amount can be several times higher. For a full year, a rough estimate of parental disability may be 1.3-2.4 million working parents. This figure also excludes part-time workers and workers who work more than 35 hours per week.
These figures should also make us wonder what happens to parents of sick children who cannot afford time off. About one in four self-employed people in the United States do not have paid sick days, and workers can be fired for missing hours caring for a sick child. This could mean shifting the childcare burden to friends and family or simply leaving the workforce.
The US labor force participation rate has not yet recovered to pre-pandemic levels and is currently at approximately 1977 levels. Labor market and inequality economist Kathryn Ann Edwards says, “How many parents are we pushing out of the workforce?”
Scenario if China invades TaiwanIf or when China takes over Taiwan, new estimates suggest that a full-scale attack would cause “huge losses” to all parties likely to be involved, including the US and Japan. Estimates from the Center for Strategic and International Studies looked at an attack scenario in 2026 in which Japan and the United States support Taiwan.
The big “war game” of the attack ends basically the same every time with the loss of ships, planes, and tens of thousands of military personnel.
Analysts warn that there is no similar model for Taiwan, similar to the US intervention in Ukraine, i.e., to send equipment but not troops. where the US sends equipment but not troops.
In peacetime, the United States and Taiwan must work together to provide Taiwan with the weapons it needs; during war, if the US chooses to defend Taiwan, US forces must quickly engage in direct combat.
In the war in Ukraine, the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) did not directly send troops into battle but sent huge amounts of equipment and supplies to Ukraine. Russia could not prevent this land flow. However, the “Ukrainian model” cannot be replicated in Taiwan because China could isolate the island for weeks or even months. Taiwan must start a war with whatever it takes. In addition, US delays and half-measures would complicate defenses, increase US casualties, allow China to build stronger settlements, and increase the risk of escalation.
The study makes a few more points:
An attack is not imminent or even certain.
An attack is not inevitable if all parties seek a diplomatic solution.
China may opt for a blockade rather than an attack, increasing economic pressure. as a military force.