One of the best ways to determine where things are heading is to look back at how much has changed over the past 12 months.
2019 has been one of the most memorable years in our history, and it has certainly set the stage for the critical events of the decade to come. However, not everyone views this moment in our history the same way. For example, one "expert" that is being heavily quoted by the mainstream media is claiming that 2019 was the culmination of "the best decade in human history". His main argument seems to be that since "the ecological footprint of human activity" appears to be shrinking, the world must be a better place than it was before as a result. And certainly there are many other voices out there that are boldly proclaiming that we have entered a golden new era of peace and prosperity and that the best is yet to come. You can buy that argument if you want, but there are other voices that believe that everything that is wrong with our society is reaching a very dangerous crescendo. For those with that perspective, it appears that we are very close to a societal tipping point and that the years ahead are when we will finally pay the price for decades of exceedingly bad decisions.
So what do you think?
Will the 2020s be the best of times or the worst of times?
As you ponder that question, here are 50 numbers from 2019 that are almost too crazy to believe…
#1 According to a Gallup poll that was just released, Barack Obama and Donald Trump came in tied for "the most admired man in America" this year. They both got 18 percent in the survey, and no other man had more than 2 percent.
#2 At 10 percent, Michelle Obama topped the list in the Gallup poll for "the most admired woman in America" this year.
#3 Global stocks have increased in value by more than 25 trillion dollars over the past 10 years.
#4 In the United States, 84 percent of all stocks are owned by the wealthiest 10 percent of all Americans.
#5 The U.S. government is now more than 23 trillion dollars in debt.
#6 During the Obama and Trump administrations, we have added more than 12 trillion dollars to the national debt.
#7 Over the past 12 months alone, we have added another 1.1 trillion dollars to the national debt.
#8 Every single hour of every single day, we are stealing more than 100 million dollars from future generations of Americans.
#9 According to the IMF, total global debt has now reached the 188 trillion dollar mark.
#10 U.S. corporations are now close to 10 trillion dollars in debt.
#11 Total corporate debt has now reached 47 percent of U.S. GDP. That is the highest level in our history.
#12 Total U.S. household debt is about to cross the 14 trillion dollar mark.
#13 A study that was recently released found that 70 percent of all Americans are struggling financially right now.
#14 The average family in the United States cannot afford to buy a home in 71 percent of the country.
#15 58 million jobs in the United States pay less than $793 a week.
#16 According to the Social Security Administration, 50 percent of all Americans make less than $33,000 a year.
#17 63 percent of the jobs that have been created in the United States since 1990 have been low wage jobs.
#18 Roughly 40 million Americans struggle with food insecurity.
#19 70 percent of Americans "have cried about money".
#20 A recent survey found that more than two-thirds of all U.S. households "are preparing for a possible recession".
#21 According to the most recent government figures, 24.6 million Americans have used an illegal drug within the last 30 days.
#22 If you can believe it, 46 percent of all Americans have taken at least one legal pharmaceutical drug within the last 30 days. That is almost half the country.
#23 A New York woman named Alexa Kasdan recently went to see her doctor because she had a cold and a sore throat. Her insurance company was billed $25,865.24 for the visit.
#24 Americans spend more than 140 billion dollars a year treating cancer.
#25 If you are an American woman, there is a 1 in 3 chance that you will get cancer at some point in your life.
#26 If you are an American man, there is a 1 in 2 chance that you will get cancer at some point in your life.
#27 Over the past decade, the suicide rate among young Americans has risen by 56 percent.
#28 The suicide rate for the overall population increased by 41 percent between 1999 and 2016.
#29 One survey has discovered that 15-year-old students in China are almost four full grade levels ahead of 15-year-old students in the United States in mathematics.
#30 A different survey discovered that one-third of all American teenagers haven't read a single book in the past year.