We Are Experiencing Economic Devastation On A Scale That America Has Never Seen Before

For a very long time we have been warned that a U.S. economic collapse was inevitably coming, and now it is here.  Fear of COVID-19 and unprecedented civil unrest in our major cities have combined to plunge us into a historic economic downturn, and nobody is exactly sure what is going to happen next.  On Thursday, we learned that U.S. GDP was down 32.9 percent on an annualized basis last quarter.  That officially makes last quarter the worst quarter in all of U.S. history, and many people believe that this new economic depression is just getting started.  But of course not all areas of the country are being affected equally.  According to USA Today, states such as Hawaii, Nevada, Michigan and New York were hit particularly hard last quarter…

Every state was walloped last quarter, though ones that rely heavily on travel and tourism, such as Hawaii and Nevada, were hit hardest by the downturn, according to employment figures analyzed by economist Adam Kamins of Moody’s Analytics. Michigan, the heart of the nation’s auto industry, was slammed as consumers put off car purchases. And densely populated Northeast states struck by the most severe virus outbreaks – like New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts – absorbed among the heaviest economic losses as governors shut down earlier and residents stayed home.

Originally, the mainstream media was telling us that the U.S. economy would come surging back to life during the third quarter, but we continue to get more signs that indicate that the economy is starting to slow down again.

For example, the Labor Department just released some new numbers that were more than just a little bit startling.  If you can believe it, another 1.434 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week.  That was an increase over last week’s revised number, and it represents the second week in a row that initial claims have risen.

Overall, new claims for unemployment benefits have now been above one million for 19 weeks in a row.

Personally, I don’t know how this is even possible.  Prior to this year, the all-time record for a single week was just 695,000.  The numbers that we have been getting week after week are so obscene that they are truly difficult to believe.

Overall, a grand total of more than 54 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits during the last 19 weeks.

But there were only 152 million Americans working when employment peaked back in February.  So how is it possible that 54 million workers have filed initial claims for unemployment benefits so far this year?

Have things really gotten that bad?

Maybe they have.  Bloomberg just reported on a recent Census Bureau survey that found that 30 million Americans claim that they did not have enough food to eat during the week that ended on July 21st…

Food insecurity for U.S. households last week reached its highest reported level since the Census Bureau started tracking the data in May, with almost 30 million Americans reporting that they’d not had enough to eat at some point in the seven days through July 21.

In the bureau’s weekly Household Pulse Survey, roughly 23.9 million of 249 million respondents indicated they had “sometimes not enough to eat” for the week ended July 21, while about 5.42 million indicated they had “often not enough to eat.”

Once again, those numbers are so shocking that they are hard for me to believe.

Are there really tens of millions of Americans that cannot afford three meals a day right now?

Maybe there are, but it is still difficult to grasp the fact that we have fallen so far in such a short period of time.

Meanwhile, we just got more bad news about the restaurant industry.  According to the National Restaurant Association, at least 15 percent of all restaurants in the entire country will be shutting down.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

The National Restaurant Association has determined that at least 15% of all restaurants will close. This number could be a lot higher at the end of the year as Goldman Sachs reports the economic recovery is now reversing.

Small restaurant operators, who fear a double-dip recession, have now resorted to liquidating their eateries on Facebook Marketplace.

A simple search of “restaurant” on Facebook Marketplace, within 80 miles of Trenton, New Jersey, comes up with dozens and dozens and dozens of mom and pop eateries that are trying to get out of the game.

Actually, if we only lose 15 percent of our restaurants we should hold a massive celebration, because that will be a rip-roaring victory.

As fear of COVID-19 stretches on month after month, and as civil unrest becomes even worse, it will become increasingly difficult for restaurants, bars, movie theaters and other establishments where the public gathers to survive.

In the end, I think that we are going to lose hundreds of thousands of restaurants, and it deeply grieves me to say that.

Of course every industry is going to be devastated by this new economic depression, and even the biggest names are going to get hit really hard.

In fact, you know that things are starting to get really bad when even Walmart starts laying off workers

Walmart Inc. is joining the ranks of Macy’s and L Brands in eliminating hundreds of corporate jobs in order to cut costs.

Employees in the mega-retailer’s store planning, logistics, and real estate units have reportedly received pink slips, reported Bloomberg Thursday

If Walmart executives truly believed that the U.S. economy was going to be returning to normal, they would not have made such a move.

But at this point it should be clear to everyone that there isn’t going to be a return to normal.

Very challenging times are on the horizon, and what we have experienced so far is just the tip of the iceberg.

More big corporations are going to go bankrupt, more businesses are going to fail, more workers are going to be laid off, and the financial dominoes are going to start to fall at a pace that is absolutely breathtaking.

So many of the things that myself and so many other economic writers have been warning about are starting to happen.

A great unraveling has begun, and it is imperative for all of us to find a way to survive the severe economic pain that is ahead of us.

***It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  By purchasing the book you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

Economic Nightmare: Nearly 50 Percent Of All The Jobs Lost During The COVID-19 Pandemic “May Be Gone Permanently”

When millions of Americans were losing their jobs at the beginning of this pandemic, we were told not to worry because the lockdowns were just temporary and virtually all of those workers would be going back to their old jobs once the lockdowns ended.  Well, now we are finding out that was not even close to true.  Over the last 18 weeks, more than 52 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits, and a very large percentage of them are dealing with a permanent job loss.  In fact, one brand new survey discovered that 47 percent of all unemployed workers now believe that their “job loss is likely to be permanent”.  The following comes from a USA Today article entitled “Almost half of all jobs lost during pandemic may be gone permanently”

In April, 78% of those in households experiencing job loss felt that that situation would be temporarily. But now, 47% think that job loss is likely to be permanent, according to The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

What that number tells us is that we are facing the worst employment crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

All of those permanently unemployed workers are eventually going to need new jobs, but meanwhile the U.S. economy as a whole is in a free fall that is absolutely stunning.  On Thursday, we are scheduled to get the GDP number for the second quarter, and everyone is expecting that it will be really bad

Data due Thursday are forecast to show U.S. gross domestic product plummeted an annualized 34.8% in the second quarter, the most in records dating back to the 1940s, after the spread of Covid-19 prompted Americans to stay home and states to order widespread lockdowns.

This downturn has been particularly hard on small businesses.  Just check out these numbers

• Yelp reported 71,500 businesses that were listed on their site have closed for good since March 1.

• 80% of independent restaurants aren’t sure they’ll survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Nearly half of all small-business members of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce lost 100% of their sales or closed down completely.

What a nightmare.

But the third quarter was when the U.S. economy was supposed to come roaring back to life.

We were told that it would be the greatest economic comeback in our history, but instead the numbers are telling us that the economy is actually starting to slow down once again.

In fact, U.S. consumer confidence in July is much lower than it was in June…

U.S. CONSUMER confidence fell in July to a reading of 92.6 as coronavirus cases surged around the country, shuttering some bars and other businesses and raising concerns about the future of the economy.

The Conference Board reported Tuesday that the index fell in July from a reading of 98.3 in June. The drop is more significant than economists predicted, and is due mainly to a decrease in consumers’ economic expectations for the short-term future.

In addition, we just witnessed the largest decline in wholesale inventories since the peak of the last financial crisis

June was supposed to be the month of second-derivative beats in economic data, reaffirming the manic bid in stocks. For Wholesale Inventories it was not.

Against expectations of a rebound from a 1.2% drop in May to a 0.5% drop in June, wholesale inventories actually tumbled 2.0% MoM, the worst since the peak of the great financial crisis…

So it doesn’t look like any sort of a “recovery” is happening.

Instead, it appears that we are sliding into the next chapter of this new economic depression.

In June, 19 percent of all U.S. small businesses were closed, but now that number is up to 24.5 percent.

That certainly isn’t progress.

With each passing day, more companies are announcing layoffs.  And every worker that gets laid off is another American that doesn’t have a paycheck to spend.  During the last recession, millions of Americans slid out of the middle class, and we are watching it happen again.

Our elected leaders in Washington are desperate to do something about this, and almost all of them seem to agree that more socialist programs are the answer.  A fifth “stimulus bill” is being put together, and the Urban Institute is warning that if Congress does not hurry we could see the poverty rate in this country rise substantially

Millions more Americans will be thrown into poverty if Congress fails to enact three policies meant to help families get through economic hardships related to the pandemic, according to a new study by the Urban Institute.

The report finds that the poverty rate for the last five months of 2020 will rise to 11.9% if expanded unemployment-insurance benefits, a second round of stimulus checks, and increased SNAP allotments are not approved, a significant increase over the projected annual rate of 8.9%.

If the Urban Institute thinks that an 11.9 percent poverty rate is bad, just wait until they see what things will be like in this country a few years from now.

Our entire system is in the process of melting down, but it will take some time for the drama that we are watching to fully play out.  Our leaders in Washington and the bureaucrats over at the Federal Reserve will keep flooding the system with money in a misguided attempt to fix things, and this will result in exceedingly painful inflation.

The cost of everything (including essentials such as food) will be going way up, and that means that your money will increasingly become less and less valuable.

If you could print your way to prosperity, Venezuela and Zimbabwe would be the wealthiest nations on the entire planet today.

At this point, almost everyone in Venezuela is a “millionaire”, but almost everyone is also living in extreme poverty.

History has shown that wildly printing money doesn’t work, but the U.S. is going down the exact same path, and it isn’t going to be pretty.

Even though things are quite crazy out there right now, this is our window of opportunity to get prepared for the troubled times that are ahead, because things are not going to be getting any easier from here on out.

*It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  By purchasing the book you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

Now Americans Are Rioting Over Mini-Golf And Bagels

Have you noticed that people all over the country are starting to completely flip out for little to no reason?  People are becoming violently angry even over very trivial matters, and you never know when someone might erupt.  One moment you could be talking to a seemingly mild-mannered middle-aged woman, and the next moment she could transform into a raging “Karen”.  And of course I am not singling out women in particular, because most of the people that have been involved in the violent riots that we have seen around the nation in recent weeks have been men.  People of all ages and backgrounds are suddenly going completely nuts, and what we have experienced so far is just the beginning.

The mainstream media deserves a lot of the blame for this.  Over and over they keep telling us that the riots that are happening in our major cities each night are “peaceful”, but everyone can see that they are not.  In Portland, protesters have been regularly firing projectiles, vandalizing buildings and setting fires, and they keep getting away with it.  Other than Fox News, the major news outlets in this country have put their full stamp of approval on what these rioters are doing, and that sends a very dangerous signal to everyone else.

If it is perfectly acceptable for rioters to attack police officers, destroy buildings and commit other acts of violence because they are “offended” by the system, then a lot of other young people out there are going to give themselves permission to violently erupt when they are “offended” by something as well.

For example, there was just an incident in Tennessee where hundreds of teens started going on a violent rampage at a mini-golf center because “the game machines ate their cash”

A Tennessee mini-golf center erupted in chaos Saturday night when 300 to 400 teenagers began terrorizing staffers and smashing up the premises because the game machines ate their cash, Jam Press reported.

The riotous scene at Putt-Putt Fun Center, at Golf and Games Family Park in Memphis, was caught on camera by an alarmed bystander and shows the violent teens go berserk and throw various heavy objects at staff because they didn’t issue the kids a refund.

To really get a feel for this incident you need to see some video footage, and someone posted a short clip of the chaos on Twitter right here.

100 years ago, young people in America never would have conducted themselves in such a manner, and this is yet more evidence of how dramatically our culture has decayed.

Over on the east coast, three male “Karens” completely freaked out and caused 13,000 dollars in damage to a bagel shop when they were told that they had arrived too late to get food

Footage released by police shows the suspects smashing up The Brothers Deli & Bagel in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn at around 5.30pm on Friday after workers had packed up and were waiting for their deliver man to bring the bikes inside.

The video shared Tuesday shows the would-be customers knocking drinks off a shelf, flipping over snacks, and turning tables after seemingly realizing they were too late to buy food.

In a civilized society, people resolve their differences calmly and peacefully, but the truth is that we are becoming less civilized with each passing day.

For many people, resorting to violence is becoming option number one and talking things out rationally is way down the list.

Down in South Florida, nobody is quite sure why a bunch of people in bathing suits started “pummeling each other” at a local casino, but it ended up making headlines all over the globe…

Three people were arrested and several more were banned from a South Florida casino after they were filmed in a violent brawl.

Video on social media shows several individuals, wearing bathing suits, while pummeling each other inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood on Friday.

At this point, video of the brawl has been seen more than four million times, and I suppose that should not come as a surprise to any of us.

As I was writing this article, several lines penned by the Apostle Paul in the New Testament came to mind…

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Everywhere you look, people are exceedingly angry, and we are starting to see Americans take out their anger on one another with frightening regularity.

And if things are this bad already, what is the U.S. going to look like when events really start to spiral out of control?

The way that we raise and educate our children really matters.  For decades, most of the country has completely thrown out all traditional forms of morality, and we have raised our children to believe that they can define “right” and “wrong” however they wish.

Our education system is a complete and total joke, most children have been raised without any real moral foundation, and our culture relentlessly pounds a “victim mentality” into the heads of our young people.

A society is only as strong as the sum of the individuals that make up that society, and right now the lack of character in the United States is absolutely frightening.

Yes, there are certainly lots of exceptions.  I know some truly wonderful people, but I just wish that there were a whole lot more of them.

Unfortunately, the social decay that is eating away at our society like a cancer is getting worse with each passing year.  Decades of incredibly bad decisions have brought us to this point, and there are no indications that our nation is going to choose a different course any time soon.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

The Price Of Gold And The Price Of Silver Are Both Soaring Into The Stratosphere As The Global Economy Collapses

For years, some of the brightest minds in the precious metals industry warned that the price of gold and the price of silver would both rise dramatically once the global economy inevitably collapsed, and it turns out that they were right on target.  What we have been witnessing over the last several weeks has been nothing short of stunning, and many experts believe that this is just the beginning.  But I was actually going to write about something completely different today.  A major skirmish between Israel and Hezbollah along the Lebanese border put the entire region on edge for a few hours, but things appear to have cooled off for the moment.  So it doesn’t look like a huge regional war in the Middle East will start today, but as I discuss in my brand new book, it is just a matter of time before a massive conflict does erupt and I will be watching developments very closely.

There are so many elements of “the perfect storm” that is now upon us, and global events are happening so fast that it is hard to keep up with them all.  But one thing that you can pretty much count on is that almost every piece of bad news is going to be good news for the price of gold and for the price of silver.

All over the world, national governments have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by recklessly spending money, and central banks have responded by engaging in a money creation spree that is unlike anything we have ever seen before.

As currencies all over the globe are being devalued at a staggering rate, it was inevitable that we would see gold and silver rise, and that is exactly what we have witnessed.  In fact, on Monday the price of gold set a brand new record high

Gold touched record prices as worries over issues such as the coronavirus pandemic as well as U.S.-China tensions weighed on investor sentiment.

Spot gold traded up 1.9% at about $1,938.11 per ounce after earlier trading as high as $1,943.9275 per ounce. Those levels eclipsed the previous record high price set in September 2011.

On a percentage basis, the price of silver is actually moving even faster than the price of gold, and on Monday we witnessed a move which surprised just about everyone

At the close of trading today, the silver price surged by nearly $2. According to Kitco.com, silver closed at $24.72, up $1.91 for the day. I can’t remember the last time silver jumped nearly $2 in one day. Of course, last Tuesday and Wednesday were big days for silver, but not $2.

What is interesting about the last few minutes of trading, silver closed right at the highs. So, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens in early Asian trading if silver BREAKS above its new short-term resistance level.

As I write this article, the price of silver has now risen above 26 dollars an ounce, and overall it is up more than 90 percent since the middle of March…

Since mid-March, the price of silver is up more than 90%, making it one of the top-performing asset classes since the bear market low earlier this year. It’s also up more than 22% just during the month of July alone.

The rapid decline in the dollar, negative real yields, ballooning deficits and additional government stimulus likely on the way are all fueling the current precious metals rally. All of these factors support a further rally in commodities, but it’s also becoming one of the more crowded trades in the financial markets.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy continues to deteriorate.  For a while, many in the mainstream media were touting the possibility of a “V-shaped recovery”, but now they are openly admitting that this is not going to happen.  For example, the following comes from a CBS News story that was just posted…

The economic recovery that began in May is sputtering. Recent data show Americans cutting their spending and many businesses re-closing their doors as the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. crosses 4 million, raising concerns about another slowdown in growth.

“The foundations to this recovery are cracking under the weight of a mismanaged health crisis,” Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, told investors in a report.

What this means is that even more businesses are going to fail and even more workers are going to get laid off.

In fact, MGM Resorts and other large casino operators in the Las Vegas area just sent out legal notices indicating that mass firings are coming

Shares of MGM Resorts were falling over 6% in afternoon trading Monday after Las Vegas casinos notified their staff that if they weren’t recalled from furlough by August 31, they would subsequently be fired.

Major employers are required under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) to notify their workers when there are expected to be mass firings. MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts, Tropicana and other casino operators sent out such notifications.

It is being reported that a “large majority” of MGM employees in the entertainment and sports division will lose their positions, and considering the fact that Las Vegas already has one of the highest unemployment rates in the entire nation it will certainly not be easy for them to find new jobs.

Elsewhere, United Airlines has announced that it may have to lay off as many as 36,000 workers.  That represents almost half of the U.S. workforce for the airline, and other major airlines are expected to make similar cuts.

Without jobs, a lot of unemployed workers are simply not going to be able to pay their bills, and CNBC is telling us that the U.S. may soon be facing “an unprecedented eviction crisis”

An unprecedented eviction crisis will soon hit the U.S.

On Friday, the federal moratorium on evictions in properties with federally backed mortgages and for tenants who receive government-assisted housing expired. The Urban Institute estimated that provision covered nearly 30% of the country’s rental units.

Many states had instituted their own eviction moratoriums, but most of those are expiring as well.

Unless new moratoriums are established, millions of Americans will soon be facing eviction, and according to one estimate a grand total of 40 million Americans could potentially be evicted over the course of this entire pandemic…

The proceedings have resumed in more than 30 states.The moratorium in Hawaii and Illinois end this week, and in August, evictions will pick up in New York and Nevada.

By one estimate, some 40 million Americans could be evicted during the public health crisis.

Just think about that.

What is this country going to look like if 40 million people are thrown out into the street?

As I have always warned, this economic downturn is going to make the last recession look like a Sunday picnic.  The economic suffering is going to be off the charts, and at this point there isn’t too much that can be done to stop it.

Yes, Congress will pass more “stimulus bills” and the Federal Reserve will continue to create money at a staggering pace.

Those measures will only provide temporary relief for the real economy, but they will also be music to the ears of every gold and silver investor.

Things have gotten crazy, and they are only going to get crazier.  Hold on tight, because the rest of 2020 is definitely going to be quite “interesting”.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

When It Comes To Economic Suffering, Some Parts Of The U.S. Are Feeling It Far More Than Others

2020 has been a very tough year for the U.S. as a whole, but some portions of the country have been hit much harder than others.  For example, if you live in a rural area that hasn’t seen any civil unrest and that hasn’t been hit very hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, the way that you are living your life now may seem nearly unchanged from the way you were living your life in 2019.  But if you live in an urban area that has experienced endless protests and rioting and that has seen COVID-19 sweep through local neighborhoods like wildfire, your life in 2020 may look radically different from the way it looked in 2019.  Unfortunately, conditions in our largest cities are not likely to improve dramatically any time soon.

But many people that live in rural communities are feeling pretty good about things right now.  Even though more than 52 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the last 18 weeks, the official unemployment rate in many rural counties is still in the single digits.

I know that may be difficult to believe, but that is what the numbers tell us.

Sadly, in many of our largest cities it is a completely different story.  New York City was one of the early epicenters of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, and many of us will never forget watching video footage of the looting that took place in the heart of Manhattan earlier this year.  As a result of all of this chaos, the unemployment rate in the state as a whole is nearly twice the national average

New York’s unemployment rate rose to 20.4% last month, according to state-level data issued Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that detailed figures for some large metro areas. That’s up from 18.3% in May and 15% in April.

We see a very similar story when we look at the city of Los Angeles.

Thanks to COVID-19 and endless civil unrest, the official unemployment rate in the city is hovering near 20 percent

Los Angeles, the second-largest U.S. city, has seen a similar level of joblessness.

Its unemployment rate recovered slightly in June but remains startlingly high — at 19.5%, versus 20.6% in May, according to data published Friday by California’s Employment Development Department.

Unfortunately, it appears that the COVID-19 pandemic and the violence in our major cities are both going to be with us for the foreseeable future.

Some people think that the civil unrest will disappear if Joe Biden wins in November, but I do not believe that is the case.  Nearly all of the major cities where the violence is happening are controlled by radical Democrats, and those radical Democrats have been completely unable to control the riots.  To the protesters, Republicans and Democrats are both two sides of the same coin and are both responsible for the injustices in our society, and they are not going to give up on their goals just because a moderate Democrat like Joe Biden wins the election.

At this point, millions upon millions of Americans are sticking closer to home these days because of COVID-19 and all the unrest, and this has been particularly devastating for the leisure and hospitality industries

The unemployment rate in the leisure and hospitality industries, including restaurants, soared from 5.7% in February to 39.3% in April, and in June was still at an unprecedented 28.9%. By comparison, the overall unemployment rate is 11.1%, and no other industry comes close to restaurants’ level.

The restaurant industry employed nearly 9.2 million people in June, almost 3 million more than in April but still 25% below where it was in February. Anecdotally, though, restaurant workers—even those who’ve spent decades in the industry—say they’re looking to get out. The line of work that had been stable, geographically flexible, reliable and largely safe for generations is no more, they say.

As I discussed the other day, we have already lost thousands upon thousands of small and independent restaurants, and this “restaurant apocalypse” is only going to get worse with each passing month.

Moving forward, some cities may never be the same again.  In Las Vegas, the official unemployment rate recently hit 29 percent, and everyone agrees that tourism will never recover until the pandemic ends.

If this pandemic stretches on for several years, many of those unemployed workers will be forced to abandon the city entirely in order to find work elsewhere.

Sadly, competition for the few good jobs that are available will become increasingly fierce, and this will result in millions of Americans falling out of the middle class.

And we are starting to see some numbers that indicate that this process is already moving along very quickly.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “24 million Americans say they have little to no chance of being able to pay next month’s rent”.

Just think about that.

We never saw anything like this during the last recession, and the Census Bureau says that things are particular dire for Black and Hispanic renters

This month, nearly 28% of Black renters say they haven’t paid last month’s rent, and about 46% say they have slight or no confidence they’ll be able to pay next month’s rent, according to figures from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey. Hispanic renters face similar economic strain: 22% say they missed last month’s rent and 46% fear they won’t make rent next month.

Those numbers are simply eye-popping.  As people increasingly get behind on their bills, the cries for more direct government assistance will become deafening, and it appears that Republicans and Democrats in Congress both want to pass yet another stimulus bill.

Of course that will mean borrowing and spending more gigantic piles of money that we do not currently have, but at this point most Americans do not seem to care that we are literally completely destroying our financial future.

For such a long time, I warned that the next economic downturn would be worse than the last recession, and that has turned out to be precisely correct.

And what we are experiencing right now will pale in comparison to what is eventually coming.

But for most people, the only thing that seems to matter is what is happening here and now.

And at this moment we are seeing tremendous economic suffering in major cities all over the nation, and in an election year very few of our politicians want to be the “bad guy” that says that we can’t hand out “free money” to everyone.

So our currency will continue to be rapidly devalued, our debt levels will continue to explode, and we shall get to see where this relentless march toward socialism takes us.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

The Numbers Tell Us That The ‘Economic Recovery’ Is Dead And Businesses Are Failing At A Staggering Pace

Even though economic conditions were absolutely awful, during the month of June the mainstream media kept insisting that the U.S. economy was “recovering” and the stock market kept surging on every hint of good news.  But now the “economic recovery” narrative is completely dead, because the numbers clearly show that the U.S. economy is rapidly moving in the wrong direction.  On Thursday, the Labor Department announced that another 1.416 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week.  Prior to this year, the all-time record for a single week was just 695,000, and so we are talking about a level of unemployment that is absolutely catastrophic.  But what is really alarming many analysts is that the number for last week was quite a bit higher than the number for the week before.  Many states are rolling out new restrictions as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to surge, and this is having a huge impact on economic activity.  For months I have been warning that fear of COVID-19 would prevent economic activity from returning to normal levels for the foreseeable future, and that is precisely what has happened.

Overall, more than 52 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the past 18 weeks, and that makes this the biggest spike in unemployment in U.S. history by a very wide margin.

In fact, this dwarfs all previous spikes by so much that the others are not even worth mentioning.

Of course it isn’t just the employment numbers that are depressingly bad.  According to Jefferies, in late June 19 percent of all U.S. small businesses were closed, but now that number has risen to 24.5 percent

As of Sunday, 24.5% of small businesses in the United States were closed, according to Jefferies. That is worse than late June, when only 19% were closed. Jefferies pointed to “particular weakness in COVID hot spots” and noted that small business employment had dropped to levels unseen since the end of May.

Just think about that number for a minute.

Nearly a quarter of all small businesses in the entire country are closed.

And the really bad news is that many of them will never end up reopening.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I received a lot of criticism for stating that many of the small businesses that were shutting down at that time would never open again, but over the long-term the numbers have shown that I was correct.

In fact, Yelp says that a whopping 60 percent of the restaurants that were initially listed as “temporarily closed” on their site are now classified as permanently closed…

It’s tough out there for restaurants and other small businesses.

Yelp’s Economic Average report out Wednesday shows exactly how tough: 60 percent of the 26,160 temporarily closed restaurants on the business review site as of July are now permanently shut. Temporary closures are dropping, and permanent shutdowns are increasing.

Fear of COVID-19 is going to cause a large portion of the population to continue to avoid restaurants for as long as this pandemic persists, and it is becoming clear that it is likely to persist for a long time to come.

We are going to lose so many small and independent places to eat.  Many of the big corporate chains that have very deep pockets will survive, at least for a while, but there is simply no replacing what small and independent restaurants mean to our communities.

Bars and clubs are being hit extremely hard as well.  According to Yelp, 44 percent of the bars and clubs on their site that were initially listed as “temporarily closed” have now been shut down on a permanent basis…

Bars and clubs are also closing forever at high rates: 44 percent (as of July) of 5,454 temporarily shuttered bars and other nightlife establishments are shut for good.

Other sectors of the economy are doing relatively better, but the overall outlook for small businesses in America is exceedingly bleak.

In New York City, it is being projected that one-third of all small businesses will never be able to open again…

As many as 76,000 small businesses in New York City – a third of the 230,000 citywide – may never reopen after forced to close during the COVID-19 lockdown, business leaders have warned.

The Partnership for New York City, a not-for-profit organization that connects business leaders with local government, predicted that 76,000 small businesses will never be able to reopen in a report produced by 14 consulting firms.

I know that number is hard to believe, but this is actually happening.

Our politicians want to encourage people “to go back to work”, but for millions upon millions of Americans the jobs that they once had are gone forever.

Air travel is another industry that is being absolutely devastated by this pandemic.  After a modest bounce in June, the number of air passengers is starting to fall again

The resurgence of coronavirus infections is derailing the travel industry’s modest recovery. The number of air passengers processed through TSA security lines fell during the week ended July 20, compared with the prior week, according to Bank of America. This metric is down more than 70% from a year ago.

United (UAL) CEO Scott Kirby told CNBC on Wednesday that the airline doesn’t “expect to get anywhere close to normal until there’s a vaccine that’s been widely distributed to a large portion of the population.”

All of the numbers that I have shared in this article tell us that we are in an economic depression.

Many had hoped that this economic downturn would be short-lived and that a “V-shaped recovery” would commence once the coronavirus lockdowns were lifted.

But instead a resurgence of cases has caused new restrictions to be implemented, and economic activity is slowing down again.

The bottom line is that all of us need to get prepared to weather a long-term economic storm that is going to be incredibly painful.

The last recession was bad, but it isn’t even worth comparing to the times that we are entering now.  All of our lives are being turned upside down, and a lot of people are not going to be able to handle what comes next.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

A List Of 50 Things You Should Get Right Now To Prepare For The Chaotic Events Of The Next 12 Months

People have been asking me to do an article like this for quite some time.  In all the years that I have been writing, I have never seen so many of my readers so alarmed about our immediate future.  Over and over again, I have been getting emails from people asking for advice about how to prepare for what is ahead, and so many of them are using the word “urgency” to describe what they are feeling.  And I can definitely identify with that, because around the middle of last year that is a word that I started using constantly.  I felt an urgency about 2020 that I had never felt about any other upcoming year, and there were certain things that I knew that I had to get done.  One of those things that I had to get done was my new book, and it is now finished.  The plan is to release it this month, and after reading it there will be no doubt about why I have been feeling such a sense of urgency in recent months.

I want to warn you in advance that the list below is not an exhaustive list.

Instead, it is meant to be a very basic starting guide.  There are many other things that could (and probably should) be added to this list, and I very much encourage readers to leave comments after this article with their own suggestions and recommendations.  We should always be willing to learn from one another, because nobody is an expert on everything.

To me, the four primary priorities for preparing for an emergency scenario are food, water, energy and shelter.  Once you have got those four basic areas covered, you can certainly build on that foundation by addressing other considerations.

In the title of this article I use the phrase “the next 12 months”, but I do not mean to imply that everything will be fine after those 12 months are over.  In fact, I am convinced that our problems are only going to intensify as time rolls along.

And I certainly hope that you will not need everything on this list during the next 12 months.  Hopefully, you will not need to use some of these items for a few years.  But this is definitely a great opportunity to purchase many of these things, because a lot of them are only going to become more expensive and more difficult to acquire the worse conditions get.

In putting this list together, I was envisioning a scenario in which most of you will be sheltering at home rather than “bugging out” to an alternative location.  In a “bugging out” scenario, this list would look quite a bit different.

Also, I didn’t address self-defense in this list, but without a doubt it is very important.  In fact, if you live in or near a major city, it is imperative to have a plan for defending yourself and your family.  For years, I have been encouraging readers to move away from the major cities, but for a lot of people that simply isn’t possible at this moment.  More than 51 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment so far this year, and so a good stable job is an extremely valuable thing to have at this moment.  If your job is keeping you in a potentially dangerous area right now, you will also want to have a plan for “bugging out” to a more remote location if the need arises.

With all of that being said, the following are 50 things that I am encouraging everyone to stock up on in order to prepare for the chaotic times that are coming…

#1 A Generator

#2 A Berkey Water Filter

#3 A Rainwater Collection System If You Do Not Have A Natural Supply Of Water Near Your Home

#4 An Emergency Medical Kit

#5 Rice

#6 Pasta

#7 Canned Soup

#8 Canned Vegetables

#9 Canned Fruit

#10 Canned Chicken

#11 Jars Of Peanut Butter

#12 Salt

#13 Sugar

#14 Powdered Milk

#15 Bags Of Flour

#16 Yeast

#17 Lots Of Extra Coffee (If You Drink It)

#18 Buckets Of Long-Term Storable Food

#19 Extra Vitamins

#20 Lighters Or Matches

#21 Candles

#22 Flashlights Or Lanterns

#23 Plenty Of Wood To Burn

#24 Extra Blankets

#25 Extra Sleeping Bags

#26 A Sun Oven

#27 An Extra Fan If You Live In A Hot Climate

#28 Hand Sanitizer

#29 Toilet Paper

#30 Extra Soap And Shampoo

#31 Extra Toothpaste

#32 Extra Razors

#33 Bottles Of Bleach

#34 A Battery-Powered Radio

#35 Extra Batteries

#36 Solar Chargers

#37 Trash Bags

#38 Tarps

#39 A Pocket Knife

#40 A Hammer

#41 An Axe

#42 A Shovel

#43 Work Gloves

#44 N95 Masks

#45 Seeds For A Garden

#46 Canning Jars

#47 Extra Supplies For Your Pets

#48 An Emergency Supply Of Cash

#49 Bibles For Every Member Of Your Family

#50 A “Bug Out Bag” For Every Member Of Your Family

Are there certain key items that you would add to this list?  If so, please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below.

I understand that there are a lot of people out there that are feeling extreme financial stress during this severe economic downturn, and acquiring all of the items on this list may not be possible.

And that is okay.  Our job is to do the very best that we can with what we have, and we shall trust God with the rest.

I know that a lot of people out there don’t like it when I write such “negative” articles.  But I wouldn’t be doing my duty if I didn’t warn people about what was coming, and I actually believe that articles like this give people a lot of hope.

There is hope in understanding what is coming, there is hope in getting prepared, and there is hope in connecting with others that are also preparing.

Just like we witnessed during the early stages of this COVID-19 pandemic, the people that will be freaking out when things get really crazy will be those that do not understand what is happening and haven’t made any preparations in advance.

Millions upon millions of Americans will not be able to handle the times that are coming, but we prepare because we believe that with God’s help we can make it through all of the storms that are ahead.

If you wish to mock us for being preppers, please feel free to do so, but you also need to be prepared to issue one whopper of an apology when you are forced to turn to one of us for help one day.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

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