When will Americans’ Wealth Return to Normal

U.S. wealth is dropping:

The nation’s households have now seen their net worth shrink for seven straight quarters. Family net worth had hit an all-time high of $64.4 trillion in the second quarter of 2007, thanks to the housing bubble and a strong stock market.

Paul Volker believes our recovery will be a long and slow one:

Paul Volcker, Chairman of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, said Thursday it is reasonable to expect that economic growth will resume in the U.S. late this year, but warned that a strong recovery is unlikely.

Addressing a financial forum in Beijing, the former Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve said that the U.S. faces “a long slog, with continuing high levels of unemployment.”

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11 Responses to “When will Americans’ Wealth Return to Normal”


  1. 1 michellesampson09 June 12, 2009 at 7:40 AM

    My best advice to get our country out of unemployment would be for those seeking work to go after the new jobs being created by Obama’s stimulus program. There are supposed to be at least 3 million jobs created; specifically, a huge amount of temporary and permanent positions are being created for the 2010 census. A non-profit organization is giving out scholarships to the first 1 millions users to sign up for their course packages, which are specifically tailored to these new stimulus jobs. I signed up last week for the census package and I only had to pay 25 dollars, with my scholarship covering the other $775. I plan on finishing my course within the next month so that I can add to my resume that I have completed a census training package… I feel like this would put me above most other applicants.
    The website is http://www.nefuniversity.org/scholarship and I think it’s definitely worth checking out.

  2. 2 Amanda Smith June 20, 2009 at 12:22 PM

    I am a bit worried about America’s actions as we continue to try to get out of this financial hole we dug for ourselves. In the past, when things started to look good again and when our nation started to turn towards the positive dollar sign, we began to feel too good about the situation. We started spending even more money because we thought we could. When Paul Volcker said it will not be a strong recovery for America, he meant it. We need to learn to save and not spend.

  3. 3 Dave Stevenson June 21, 2009 at 7:55 PM

    What about Econ 100…literally. The more we as a country “save”, the more money we take out of circulation, the less wealth can be generated and the deeper we fall into the recession. In my opinion, the major swings in our economy are always emotionally driven, either by fear or over confidence, and can be curtailed by remembering the general concepts of Economics.

    By spending, not saving, during a recession, we help to create the need for goods, which turns into the need for jobs, puts folks to work who in turn spend what they earn, etc. etc. until we pull ourselves up from the recession. If we continue to fear the market, and stock away our money, then we will continue to slow the recovery time in this recession.

  4. 4 Carolyne Abrams June 23, 2009 at 7:19 AM

    What is normal? Are the last 10 years really normal? Americans spend too much money that they don’t have, which has led to the average american credit card debt of around $8,000. So, if $200 jeans and $40,000 cars are normal for a $60,000 income, I can’t imagine (and I hope we won’t) be there again anytime in the future.

    Hopefully Americans will learn quite a bit about this recession and realize that debt is bad and a cushion in the bank is good. Seems like simple guidelines, so why does it seem like nobody is following it?

    Dave, I do completely agree that spending money will help boost our economy, but one big problem… WHAT MONEY? People (including myself) are so upside down on their home loans that it makes you sick. It costs a fortune just to drive anywhere due to gas prices, energy prices continue to rise, and these are just minor issues compared to the people that don’t even have a job. I do understand that there is still money out there and people are fearful of spending, but rightly so. Hopefully additional job opportunities are in the near future so that we go down the path of healthy spending rather than get our country deeper in debt.

  5. 5 KENDALL HOXSEY July 2, 2009 at 10:06 PM

    I completely agree with you Carolyne that we are using money to stimulate the economy that we do not have! In the 90s Americans had far too much fun but coming down off that cloud we should remember what the true value of saving and working hard can achieve. The attitude of ‘I should have what I want’ will no longer last. So much of the want attitude is believing that possessing more items makes us happy. Our grandparents lived on far less than we do of course it was a different world. But there is something to be said for paying for what you can afford rather than charging it.

  6. 6 Presley July 7, 2009 at 1:11 PM

    I just don’t under stand how economic growth will resume in the U.S. late this year, if the unemployment rate is still going up every month. People that are unemployed are going to have to take jobs under their pay grade to get the economy back on track.

  7. 7 Tanisha/ Econ 100 July 9, 2009 at 12:06 PM

    I can see that a strong recovery is not likely. The unemployment rate keeps rising, so how can we feed money into the economy? It’s no longer about what we want or what we should have. It’s more about staying above water. And purchasing the necessary items we need to survive. I beleive in Obama, but I do not see too much change happening this year. Most likely it will take more than 4 years. But we need to find some kind of solution and keep working towards it. One issue at a time…

  8. 8 Kit t Kat July 24, 2009 at 5:26 PM

    I am not surprised U.S. faces “a long slog, with continuing high levels of unemployment.” To expect President Barack Obama to bring change quickly is kinda of unreasonable. When he was preaching about change, most people put their hopes in this man and expected once he became president all the problems in America would disappear. I never got my hopes up about his proposals. When all is said and done and I look back, than I can say he was or was not a good president.

  9. 9 wongt August 5, 2009 at 9:32 AM

    I’m not too worried because America has been in this situation before. The change is slow because it took some time for us to get into this mess. So, it will take almost the same amount of time for us to get out. While it is certain that America will be able to recover from this, unfortunately, America will be back in this predicament in the future.

  10. 10 Maricar De Los Reyes August 6, 2009 at 5:05 PM

    I agree with Wongt. We have been in a recession before, albeit I don’t think it was this bad. But we did get ourselves out of it. If we spend the money that we can, wisely, then the money will circulate. We need to spend the money, to give people jobs, and so they can spend money as well. I think going for the stimulus program would be a great way to get into the work force. There is also a high demand for green jobs, so that could be something to consider. However, those jobs need certain education, so going back to school might have to apply.

  11. 11 Nick Rood December 17, 2009 at 9:08 PM

    An economic recovery may depend on several factors, some of which are out of the general populations control. While government regulations, international policies and other aspects effect our nation’s situation, they are not the sole basis for our recession. As we hopefully begin to climb out of the hole we dug, we have the ability to effect the rate at which we do so. Many people are cautious and worried, with good reason. However, the less we invest in our own economy, the slower the growth will be. I believe that if people, with the means to do so, continue to spend as they have done in the past, we will see a faster recovery than the current hesitance we are seeing currently. We are not a passive recipient of our current situation.


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