Many Americans are cutting back on basic necessities thanks to current economic conditions. Healthy nutrition and medical practices are declining; stress and anxiety are on the rise. Overall, the economy is affecting our quality of life mentally, physically and financially.
Over the last year, more Americans are giving up on healthy lifestyles. There is a 2% decrease in Americans who say they eat healthy every day, a 1.9% decrease in those who eat a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables 4 days a week, and a .7% decrease in those who exercise for at least 30 minutes 3 days a week. However, according to a recent Forbes report, smoking is on the decline because of the cost.
Unhealthy Habits by the Number
Women decreased their fruit and vegetable intake by 2.2% while men saw a smaller decline of 1.6%. People ages 18-29 represent the greatest low, with 2.6% fewer eating fruits and vegetables regularly. The ethnic group with the largest decline is Hispanic. They saw a 2.9% decrease in fruit and vegetable consumption over one year.
Decreased pay and job availability have affected workers on an emotional level. Over 3/4 of workers–77%–say they constantly feel “burned out” at work, and 43% report their on-the-job stress level has increased in the last half year. This also costs the economy an estimated $300 billion a year in no-shows, accidents, insurance and medical claims.
Economy Affecting Patients
Medical patients also believe that the economy has affected their health. 35% of people with heart disease, 21% of cancer patients and 39% of diabetics have reported the state of the economy to be impactful on their wellbeing. 19% of diabetics have skipped or put off medical appointments for financial reasons, while 15% have postponed tests. 18% have said they can’t follow the prescribed diets for their condition, either.
Credit cards can be a useful way to manage money. However, credit cards can be dangerous when used to pay costs people can’t afford, especially if they are used to pay medical bills. Almost ¼ of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes patients have incurred credit card debt in order to pay for their care!
Psychological Effects of the Poor Economy
Almost 33% of Americans say the economy has affected their sleep. These economic woes account for nearly 30% of calls made to suicide hotlines. This is not surprising considering one of the main psychological impacts of job loss and pay cuts is depression. 71% of recently unemployed people, and 51% of workers who had their pay reduced experience depression. One in six Americans can’t afford the food they need–there are 49 million Americans without enough food, and 16 million of those are children.
Economy Effects Everything
Clearly, the economy affects not just our wallets, but every aspect of our lives. It’s important to monitor how financial matters affect friends and family, and ensure everyone gets through these tough economic times safely.
Too Big to Fail: Inside America's Economic Downfall
One of the largest financial crises in living memory, also called one great big Ponzi scheme, may be over, but the repercussions linger to this day. Whatever you want to call it, many people lost a considerable amount of wealth, forever changing the global economic landscape. But don’t worry – that doesn’t mean that all these problems are fixed or that the people responsible will not be punished. It just means that next time you can’t get a loan or increase your credit limit, the banks will have an excuse to charge more.
Who Started The 2008 Financial Crisis?
At the top of the “most unwanted” list is Martin Feldstein. He was an economics professor at Harvard University (maybe you’ve heard of it) and served as Ronald Reagan’s Chief Economic adviser. As a major architect in Reagan’s deregulation scheme, he certainly had a hand in designing the way the economy functioned. The may be the best thing or the worst thing ever, depending on individual political persuasion.
Some believe Alan Greenspan is also responsible, seeing that he was paid $40,000 to testify on behalf of extreme bank looter Charles Keating. Greenspan spoke of his “sound business plans” and “expertise.” Kind words that don’t typically come for free.
Robert Rubin, the Treasury Secretary and a former CEO of Goldman Sachs teamed up with Larry Summers to encourage Congress to pass the “Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.” Afterward, he went and made $126 million as Vice Chairman of Citigroup.
Last up is Larry Summers, another former Treasury Secretary and Harvard economics professor(So what does this say about that place)? He was a key player in deregulation and helped create derivatives for trading on the open market. This derivative trading was a major contributing factor to the financial collapse of several companies
Companies and Their (Illegal) Activities
Giant financial corporations are perceived to spend many hours perfecting shady and downright illegal forms of business. It is a wonder these companies have any time left to do whatever they are actually supposed to do. The following are a few highlights of these actions:
JP Morgan: Allegedly bribed top government officials
Riggs: Laundered money for Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet (a military leader – for those who don’t know – who led a coup in Chile and was said to have brutally crushed, killed or jailed all who opposed his illegal regime).
Credit Suisse: Laundered money for Iran in violation of US sanctions.
Freddie Mac: Accounting fraud related to collateralized mortgage obligations and other financial instruments.
Fannie Mae: Accounting fraud, including overstating their earnings by $10 billion over 10 years. Not exactly the same as slightly exaggerating your salary to impress someone at the bar.
ENRON: Fraud that they conspired to cover-up with the help of Citibank, JP Morgan and Merrill Lynch.
Of course, this is just the beginning. Review the infographic to see exactly how the economic crisis of 2008 occurred and you be the judge: who’s to blame? Are we out of the dark yet? And are we making the right choices now?Could this have been prevented?
Six Things That Could Still Send the Economy Down the Tubes
Some analysts say that the worst is over and the end of the recession is in sight, while others are predicting that we haven't seen the half of it. The following infographic shows a few things that could realistically still go wrong, postponing the return to the economy's previous state for a little while longer.