Today, we brought you some numbers that may be hard to digest. Even though most of us know by now that America is in trouble, many people out there don’t have any idea of how deep in trouble we really are. Offense rates are shooting up tremendously right now. As the cost of basic necessities escalates, more people are stealing to feed themselves today than in any other period in the past decade. Gas theft rates are skyrocketing, as prices rise above the $5-dollar-mark. Since January, the number of carjackings has gone up by over 300% in some cities. Officers say that it’s not just a few gallons being siphoned from vehicles. Now, thieves are pumping thousands of dollars’ worth of fuel from gas stations and selling it for a profit. CNN reported that, in Orlando, Florida, authorities are looking for two people who they say stole more than 1,000 gallons of fuel from a gas station. In Las Vegas, Nevada, highly modified vehicles are being used to steal tens of thousands of gallons from local gas stations. And in Greenville, South Carolina, several arrests for gas thefts have been made since January. Last week, in North Carolina last week, almost 400 gallons of gas were stolen by thieves who were able to bypass the payment system. The list goes on and on, and given that gas prices are expected to continue to rise, we’re going to see many more similar cases happening until the end of the year.
Meanwhile, on dividedness, the U.S. ranks No. 1. A Pew Research Center Survey of 20 developed nations found that Americans were the most likely to say their society was split along partisan, racial, and ethnic lines. The U.S. also reported more religious division than almost any other country surveyed. The truth is that our country is rapidly falling apart. Since the 1970s, economic inequality in the U.S. has skyrocketed, leaving many Americans living paycheck to paycheck while the nation’s top earners hoard all the gains from economic growth.
It’s actually been 11 years since the last federal minimum wage hike, the longest span the baseline wage has gone without an increase since it began in 1938. Since the last federal minimum wage hike — to $7.25 an hour, starting July 24, 2009 — the cost of living has shot up by 20%, while the price of essentials such as housing and health care have increased even faster. The average rent back in 2009 was about $1,132, adjusted for inflation.
On top of all that, the U.S. manufacturing sector is facing a historic slowdown right now, which is quite alarming given that about 12% of the nation’s total output comes from manufacturing. And the supply chain disruptions we’ve seen so far are just a hint of the chaos we are going to witness this year. As we enter peak shipping season, shipping information company Frieghtos estimates that by August the price to ship one 40-ft container from China to the US East Coast will shoot up to more than $20,000, almost twice as high as shipping rates were in January, and a 500% increase from 2019 levels.
Our living standards are decaying and, at this point, we all can see our quality of life evaporating right before our eyes. That’s why we compiled some sobering statistics that reveal that the crises we’re facing are far more severe than most of us imagine.
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