There seems to be a growing divide in the current U.S. economy. On the one hand, you have the financial sector swimming in their bailout-induced profits like a modern day Scrooge Mcduck. In their circles, it appears as if the recession is over. On the other hand, you have average Americans seeing access to credit cards shut down, equity in their homes vanishing, and their stock portfolios looking a little too much like 1999. Then you have 35.8 million Americans, roughly 11 percent of our population, on food stamps. To this group the recession is still very much alive.
At a recent Alliance for Family Entertainment of the Association of National Advertisers, Wal-Mart gave a sobering look at the current economy:
“(NY Times) There are families not eating at the end of the month,” said Stephen Quinn, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Wal-Mart Stores, and “literally lining up at midnight” at Wal-Mart stores waiting to buy food when paychecks or government checks land in their accounts.”
Now this is important since Wal-Mart is in every corner of every American metro area:
The fact that you have people lining up at midnight just waiting to have their paychecks or government checks clear for food is probably something you are not going to see on CNBC but it is happening. This recession is really creating a split and is also flaming the fires of class warfare. Average Americans and working class Americans are still dealing with what is known as the Great Recession.
Wal-Mart is looking to meet the new market reality by offering items that meet the new austerity demanded by millions of American families:
“Among the steps Wal-Mart is taking to address the changes in shopping habits, Mr. Quinn listed an overhaul of the retailer’s private-label brand, Great Value, which is promoted in commercials describing how families can fix dinners with Great Value products “for less than $2 a serving.”
For less than $2 a serving means millions of families are now needing to stretch their dollar. So as you might have guessed, having the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve go on a path of dollar weakness actually hurts those at the bottom and middle class the most. Yet they are concerned more about the financial sector and the chips may fall where they may for the remaining group of Americans.