America is the greatest country in the world… or is it?

I often hear that America is the greatest country in the world from feel good politicians, spin-doctors and on the 4th of July but the fact is that the U.S. doesn’t even rank among the Top 10 countries to live in around the world according to a recent Newsweek article.  Perhaps if we hear it often enough we’ll be less resistant to our next round of tax increases?  Among notable countries, Australia ranks 4th and Canada 8th

Continuing my string of recent blogs on the longer term decline in consumer sentiment, let’s take a look at the trends in personal income growth.  President Reagan famously asked during a debate with then President Jimmy Carter, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”  Looking at the chart below, the answer is clearly no; not for four years, not 10 or even 50.  Wages are declining on a year over year basis since 2008 and despite efforts by the Federal Reserve to mend the economy and with the stock market at new record highs, the average soul on main street is suffering.  Wages are in a deflationary spiral which makes servicing consumer debt all that more difficult.

Are you earning more now than you did five years ago?  If you are, count yourself lucky.  If home prices turn lower later this year and throughout 2014 and with no improvement in personal incomes, the future holds little optimism for personal balance sheets and America will fall further from its current number 11 ranking among the greatest countries in the world in which to live.  Can you say ‘put another shrimp on the barbie’?

If you find my market insights beneficial and would like assistance with your accounting and investment activities, please contact me, Christine Meder at Christine Meder’s Accounting Advisory Services.  My email is and you can tweet me at @christinemeder1.  I’m offering a free 30 minute consultation through the end of August.  #unrbrand


About Christine Meder
Leveraging my insights and professional experience of 25 years in the accounting profession, I and my firm Christine Meder's Accounting Advisory Services provide our high net worth clients expert advice on their business activities and investments. In addition to performing traditional accounting functions in a confidential manner, I pride myself in giving clients a competitive edge whether it be in running their businesses or managing their investment portfolio. My studies leading up to completion of the EMBA program at the University of Nevada, Reno this August provide me with latest skills and techniques utilized across a broad spectrum of business functions. This breadth of education is complemented with experience as an accountant in the construction, mining, real estate and technology fields during my career. If you are looking for a trusted adviser or consultant in addition to someone you can rely on to properly keep your books, please contact me.

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