From the Progress Report
HOUSING FORECLOSURES INCREASING: As a result of the subprime lending crisis, "housing foreclosures nationwide were up 50% in June compared with the same month in 2007." In California alone, foreclosures have reached an average of 500 per day.
HOMELESSNESS INCREASING: The number of homeless people in America over the age of 50 is "steadily increasing."
HEALTHCARE COSTS RISING: According to a report by the Government Accountability Office, "health-care costs are growing much faster than the economy." Costs are rising so significantly, some Americans are delaying retirement.
GAS PRICES RISING: The national average gas price is $4.09, up 33 percent from this time last year. Gas prices are now expected to hit "$4.25 by the fall and then stay at more than $4 a gallon until the end of 2009."
JOB LOSSES INCREASING: In the first six months of this year, a total of 438,000 jobs have been lost, bringing unemployment to 5.5 percent. The CEO of Bank of America commented, if unemployment continues to rise, "all bets are off."
FOOD COSTS RISING: "U.S. food prices rose 4 percent in 2007" -- the fastest rise in 17 years -- and as a result, food stamps have considerably less buying power.
HEATING AND ELECTRICITY COSTS RISING: Heating oil costs across the North are expected to be "up 60 percent from last year," and utilities across the country are "raising power prices up to 29%."
REAL WAGES DECLINING: "Slower wage growth and faster inflation has led to falling real hourly and weekly earnings for most workers."
LEISURE SPENDING DECLINING: As a result of the rising cost of living, Americans are "tightening their belts and thinking twice about spending extra bucks on entertainment and leisure products."
VALUE OF DOLLAR DECLINING: The dollar "has been declining steadily for six years against other major currencies, undercutting its role as the leading international banking currency."