The U.S. Government Is Preparing For An 18 Month Pandemic And “Critical Shortages”

Are you prepared for the nationwide shutdown that is happening now to last for the next 18 months?  You may not believe that such a thing will happen, but the federal government apparently does.  A 100 page government plan marked “For Official Use Only // Not For Public Distribution or Release” was obtained by the New York Times, and it paints a very bleak picture of what is coming.  If the projections in this document are anywhere close to accurate, large numbers of Americans will die, the U.S. economy will completely implode, and we will see widespread civil unrest.  So let us pray that the assessments in this government plan turn out to be dead wrong.

According to the document, this coronavirus pandemic “will last 18 months or longer”

A federal government plan to combat the coronavirus warned policymakers last week that a pandemic “will last 18 months or longer” and could include “multiple waves,” resulting in widespread shortages that would strain consumers and the nation’s health care system.

The 100-page plan, dated Friday, the same day President Trump declared a national emergency, laid out a grim prognosis for the spread of the virus and outlined a response that would activate agencies across the government and potentially employ special presidential powers to mobilize the private sector.

I can’t even imagine what our country would look like if current conditions stretched into the middle of 2021.

As a nation, I don’t believe that we would be able to handle it.

The document also envisions that there will be “critical shortages”

“Shortages of products may occur, impacting health care, emergency services, and other elements of critical infrastructure,” the plan warned. “This includes potentially critical shortages of diagnostics, medical supplies (including PPE and pharmaceuticals), and staffing in some locations.” P.P.E. refers to personal protective equipment.

Of course there are already shortages of some drugs and of many basic consumer products such as toilet paper.

Sadly, things could soon get much worse.

Meanwhile, the overall economy continues to collapse at a staggering pace.  A former economic adviser to President Trump is now warning us that the U.S. economy could lose up to a million jobs this month alone

Kevin Hassett, who served as a top economic adviser to President Trump until last summer, said Monday that the United States economy could shed as many as one million jobs in March alone because of layoffs and hiring freezes related to the coronavirus.

“If you have normal job disruption, and hiring just stops,” Mr. Hassett said, “you’ll have the worst jobs number ever.”

But if this pandemic continues to escalate, a million jobs lost will just be a drop in the bucket.

In fact, the National Restaurant Association is now projecting that their industry will lose “between five and seven million jobs”

The National Restaurant Association is predicting the unprecedented carnage is only just beginning, on Wednesday writing a letter to the White House and Congress detailing an estimated $225 billion in sales will be wiped out over the next three months, crucially prompting the loss of between five and seven million jobs.

Remember, that is just one industry.

The retail industry is also being completely devastated as well, and we just learned that the largest operator of shopping malls in the United States is shutting them all down

Simon Property Group, the largest owner of shopping malls in the nation, is closing all of its malls and retail properties because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The closings start at 7 p.m. local time Wednesday and the malls are expected to end March 29, the Indianapolis-based company said in a news release.

Of course they won’t actually open back up on March 29th if this pandemic continues to get worse.

So far, COVID-19 has killed less than 200 Americans.

If our society is being this disrupted now, what will things be like if the death toll becomes 1,000 times larger?

For years, I have warned that our economy was extremely vulnerable, and now that is becoming exceedingly obvious to everyone.  It certainly didn’t take too much of a push to burst all the bubbles and send everyone into a severe panic, and now the economy is collapsing at a pace that is absolutely breathtaking.

According to NBC News, state unemployment websites all over the nation are crashing because so many people are suddenly applying for unemployment benefits…

Workers who have suddenly found themselves without a paycheck because of the growing coronavirus pandemic in the United States are now dealing with another frustration — state unemployment websites crashing because of high traffic.

From Oregon to New York and Washington, D.C., officials and Twitter users have highlighted the problem after the mass closing of restaurants, retail stores and other businesses as part of the effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Tomorrow morning most Americans will wake up assuming that their jobs are safe.  But right now an increasing number of people are being let go without any advance warning whatsoever.  Here is one example

Eileen Hanley was wrapping up her weekend and getting ready for the week ahead on Sunday evening when an email popped up in her inbox with the subject line “COVID-19 uncertainty.” It was from her boss at the small Manhattan law firm where she worked part time as a receptionist.

“We hope you are feeling well during this time,” the email began. Then it cut to the chase: The firm was losing revenue because of the outbreak, and it would have to eliminate “a number of positions,” including hers, “effective immediately.”

We have never seen anything like this before.

Things were tough during World War II, but it was actually a time when the country geared up and worked extremely hard to defeat the enemy.

But now economic activity all over America is being brought to a screeching halt.  In fact, we just learned that the three largest automakers have shut down all of their U.S. factories

Detroit’s Big Three automakers plan to temporarily close all U.S. factories as the coronavirus sweeps across the country.

The companies bowed to pressure from union leaders and employees who called for protection from the pandemic that’s spread to more than 212,000 people in nearly every country across the globe.

As a nation, we would survive a 30 day shutdown.

But if life doesn’t get back to normal for “18 months”, we are going to witness a societal meltdown of epic proportions.

This week, investor Bill Ackman told CNBC that “hell is coming”, and he warned that unless the entire country is shut down simultaneously for an extended period of time “America will end as we know it”…

“What’s scaring the American people and corporate America now is the gradual rollout,” Ackman told Scott Wapner on “Halftime Report” on Wednesday. “We need to shut it down now. … This is the only answer.”

“America will end as we know it. I’m sorry to say so, unless we take this option,” he said. Ackman added that if Trump saves the country from the coronavirus, he will get reelected in November.

I believe that he makes an excellent point, but I would take it one step further.

If the entire world shut down for 30 days, this pandemic would quickly be brought under control.  If only the U.S. shuts down, it is inevitable that the virus would keep coming back into the country as the pandemic continues raging elsewhere on the globe.

Of course we aren’t going to get the entire globe to agree to shut down simultaneously for 30 days.

So this outbreak will continue to spread and the case numbers will continue to grow.

For a long time I have been warning that something would come along that would burst all the bubbles and trigger a horrifying economic meltdown.

Now it is upon us, but now is not a time for fear.

With God’s help, we will get through this.

But life is not going to go back to the way it was before.

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. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. 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.

For The 3rd Time This Month, We Just Witnessed The Largest Single Day Point Crash In Stock Market History

We are literally witnessing history in the making.  For the third time in the last six trading sessions, we have witnessed the largest single day point crash in stock market history.  Let that sink in for a moment.  On March 9th, the Dow set a new record by falling 2,013 points.  Then on March 12th, the Dow set a new record again by falling 2,352 points.  Of course what happened on Monday was the biggest whopper of them all.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2,997 points, and words like “carnage” and “devastation” don’t seem to be strong enough to convey that horror that took place.  To put all of this into perspective, the largest single day point crash during the last financial crisis was just 777 points.  That means that the crash that we witnessed on Monday was nearly four times as large as the worst single day point crash in 2008.

Of course all of this volatility is being driven by fear of the coronavirus.  Even though less than 100 Americans have died so far, investors are completely freaking out.

So what will happen if thousands or even millions of us start dying?

On a percentage basis, the nightmare that we watched unfold on Monday was the worst day for stocks since “Black Monday” in 1987

Stocks fell sharply Monday — with the Dow suffering its worst day since the “Black Monday” market crash in 1987 and its third-worst day ever — even after the Federal Reserve embarked on a massive monetary stimulus campaign to curb slower economic growth amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 2,997.10 points lower, or 12.9%, at 20,188.52. The 30-stock Dow was briefly down more than 3,000 points in the final minutes of trading. The S&P 500 dropped 12% to 2,386.13 — hitting its lowest level since December 2018 — while the Nasdaq Composite closed 12.3% lower at 6,904.59 in its worst day ever.

Overall, the Dow is now down more than 31 percent from the all-time high set earlier this year.

If you can believe it, all of the tremendous stock market gains that we have witnessed over the last three years have been completely wiped out in just 18 trading days.

Ouch.

Banking stocks were hit particularly hard once again on Monday.  Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase were each down more than 14 percent, Morgan Stanley was down more than 15 percent, and Citigroup was down more than 19 percent.

Remember, those are not figures for the entire year.

Those are figures for one day.

Of course the utter carnage was not just limited to stocks.  The following is how Zero Hedge summarized some of the other losses that we witnessed…

  • STOXX EUROPE 600 ENDS DOWN 4.9%, LOWEST CLOSE SINCE MID-2013
  • SOUTH AFRICA’S FTSE/JSE INDEX FALLS AS MUCH AS 12.2%, MOST EVER
  • MUNI BONDS EXTEND WORST ROUT SINCE 1987
  • COPPER SLUMPS AS MUCH AS 5.2% AMID WEAKENING RISK APPETITE
  • BRENT CRUDE OIL PLUNGES BELOW $30 FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2016
  • SILVER PLUNGES TO 2011 LOWS
  • U.S. WHOLESALE GASOLINE PRICES PLUNGE 21%
  • HYG WORST DROP SINCE 2008
  • LQD WORST DROP SINCE 2008

The good news is that there is often a hefty rebound after a historic decline of this magnitude.  It appears that stock prices will likely shoot back up a good bit on Tuesday, and that will temporarily soothe a lot of frazzled nerves.

But this coronavirus pandemic is not going away any time soon.  Over the past couple of days, restaurants and bars have been shut down across the nation, schools have been shuttered for the foreseeable future, and it has been announced that the entire city of San Francisco will be locked down.

As virtually all forms of activity come to a standstill all over America, our economic numbers are going to absolutely collapse.

In fact, on Monday we got a sneak preview of what is coming

The New York Fed’s Empire State business conditions index plunged a record 34.4 points to -21.5 in March, the regional Fed bank said Monday. Economists had expected a reading of 4.8, according to a survey by Econoday. This is the lowest level since the financial crisis in 2009.

As we plunge into a truly horrifying economic downturn, businesses all over the country are already crying out for bailouts.

We are now being told that many airlines could be bankrupt by May, and a 50 billion dollar aid package for the industry has already been requested

US airlines slammed by the coronavirus are requesting an aid package from the federal government that could amount to about $50 billion, according to industry group Airlines for America.

The requested aid would be in the form of loans, grants and tax relief. The airlines are looking for up to $25 billion in grants for passenger air carriers and $4 billion in grants to cargo carriers, and the same amounts in loans or loan guarantees, Airlines for America outlined in a briefing document.

Meanwhile, thousands upon thousands of ordinary U.S. citizens are already losing their jobs.  For example, just check out what is currently transpiring in New York

New York’s unemployment website was overwhelmed Monday as the coronavirus pandemic put tens of thousands of people across the state out of work.

A drastic move by Gov. Cuomo to close all of the state’s restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gyms and casinos by 8 p.m. Monday to contain the outbreak had suddenly jobless workers flooding the Department of Labor with applications for unemployment benefits.

This will soon be happening all over the nation.

So how many jobs could ultimately be lost if this pandemic stretches on for quite a while?

According to Moody’s Analytics, millions of jobs are potentially at risk…

Nearly 80 million jobs in the US economy are at high or moderate risk today, according to analysis in the last week from Moody’s Analytics. That’s more than half of the 153 million jobs in the economy overall.

That doesn’t mean that all those jobs will be lost. But it’s probable that as many as 10 million of those workers could see some impact to their paychecks — either layoffs, furloughs, fewer hours or wage cuts, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.

Needless to say, there is going to be enormous pressure for the federal government to “do something”, and U.S. Senator Mitt Romney has “joined a growing chorus of liberal and conservative economists” in calling for $1,000 to be given to every adult in America

On Monday, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) joined a growing chorus of liberal and conservative economists are lining up behind a proposal published in the Wall Street Journal by Harvard professor Jason Furman, who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) under President Obama, that calls for direct government payments of $1,000 to every American adult.

Why not make it $10,000?

We could all use some extra cash.

Of course once this sort of thing starts happening, it won’t be too long before a loaf of bread costs ten dollars and a gallon of milk costs 20 dollars.

Flooding the system with money at a time when economic activity is contracting very sharply will inevitably cause very painful inflation.

Unfortunately, at a moment like this short-term considerations are all that policy makers are really concerned about, and the American people will be demanding “relief”.

So we should fully expect lots of free money to be thrown around.  In fact, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced on Monday that her city will provide “$5 million in grocery vouchers to help families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic”.

But I must once again stress the fact that less than 100 Americans have died during this pandemic so far.

If things are getting this crazy already, what is our society going to look like a few months down the road?

According to the New York Times, nearly 7 million Americans could die in a “worst-case scenario”…

So far, the illness – known as COVID-19 – has sickened more than 4,200 people and killed 74.

But as a graphic from The New York Times shows, things could be much bleaker should overall infection rates and fatality rates rise.

In the worst-case scenario 6.99 million Americans would die from coronavirus – 2.74 million of them being those aged 80 and above.

We are just in the very early chapters of this “perfect storm”, and what we have experienced so far is nothing compared to what is coming.

If we can’t even handle the leading edge of this storm, what are we going to do when it really starts raging?

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. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. 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.

Get Ready For Your Lifestyle To Change Indefinitely Because Of This Coronavirus Pandemic

Fear of the coronavirus is causing shutdowns on a global scale like we have never seen before.  Just about every major sporting event that you can think of has been either canceled or postponed, schools and universities are keeping students away, global tourism is absolutely collapsing, churches are being shuttered, conferences and festivals are being taken off the calendar, businesses are asking workers to work from home, and even Disneyland is being closed down.  Over the past several days the wave of closings and cancellations has become an avalanche, and all of our lifestyles are going to be dramatically altered for the foreseeable future.

For the first few days, a lot of people are actually going to enjoy this “free vacation”.  After all, what kid doesn’t enjoy time off from school, and there are lots of Americans that relish the opportunity to work from home.

But as the weeks drag on and the economy grinds to a standstill, this “free vacation” will start evolving into a horror show.

The more this coronavirus spreads, the more restrictions we will see on human interaction throughout the western world, and that has very serious implications.

Yes, there is much that we can do through the Internet today, but most economic activity still requires at least some actual human interaction.  So when authorities restrict human interaction they are actually choking off trade.

I can’t think of too many other things that could trigger an economic collapse faster than a global pandemic could.  We had better pray that life will get back to normal in a few weeks, because a complete and utter economic nightmare is ahead if that does not happen.

Unfortunately, life is not likely to get back to normal any time soon.  The number of confirmed cases continues to grow at an exponential rate, and those that are getting infected now will be able to infect others for weeks to come

Researchers looking at cases in China say patients could spread the virus for up to 37 days after they start showing symptoms, according to the study published in the British medical journal The Lancet.

On average, survivors still had the virus in their respiratory system for about 20 days and could presumably continue to spread the disease, researchers found.

So how long will it be before this pandemic is finally over?

Will it be months?

Could it be years?

Don’t forget, the Spanish Flu pandemic lasted from January 1918 to December 1920.

I think that Wall Street is starting to grasp the reality of what we are potentially facing.  On Thursday, we witnessed the largest single day stock market point crash in American history.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2,352 points, and that shattered the “old record” of 2,013 points that was just set on Monday.  Overall, the Dow was down 9.99 percent, and that was the biggest percentage decline since the nightmarish stock market crash of 1987.

Incredibly, European stocks did even worse on Thursday.  In fact, it was the worst day ever for stock markets in Europe.

We have never seen a time when the entire western world has been in the process of literally shutting down simultaneously.  The following is how a Slate article described what we are currently witnessing…

Virtually every activity that entails or facilitates in-person human interaction seems to be in the midst of a total meltdown as the coronavirus outbreak erases Americans’ desire to travel. The NBA, NHL, and MLB have suspended their seasons. Austin’s South by Southwest canceled this year’s festival and laid off a third of its staff. Amtrak says bookings are down 50 percent and cancelations are up 300 percent; its CEO is asking workers to take unpaid time off. Hotels in San Francisco are experiencing vacancy rates between 70 and 80 percent. Broadway goes dark on Thursday night. The CEOs of Southwest and JetBlue have both compared the impact of COVID-19 on air travel to 9/11. (That was before President Trump banned air travel from Europe on Wednesday night.) Universities, now emptying their campuses, have never tried online learning on this scale. White-collar companies like Amazon, Apple, and the New York Times (and Slate!) are asking employees to work from home for the foreseeable future.

On top of everything else, March Madness has been canceled for the first time ever

The NCAA will not crown a men’s or women’s basketball champion in 2020.

Conceding defeat to the COVID-19 virus and a cascade of uncertainty about how bad its ongoing spread might impact public health across the United States, the NCAA announced Thursday all its winter and spring championships have been canceled after a series of moves across multiple sports leagues that foreshadowed the eventual arrival at this decision.

I can’t even imagine the heartbreak that many of those athletes are feeling right now.

They have been training all of their lives to fight for a championship, and now that opportunity has been taken away.

Sadly, just about every major sporting event has either been canceled or will be canceled shortly.

Of course the business world has been thrown into chaos as well.  Companies all across America are going to great lengths to minimize human interaction, and all sorts of non-essential activities are being eliminated.

Even a New York seminar entitled “Doing Business Under Coronavirus” has been canceled because of the coronavirus.

In the days ahead, the list of public gatherings that are still happening will probably be much shorter than the list of public gatherings that have been canceled.

All of this is being done to save lives.

But in the process, it is going to absolutely kill the economy.

At this point, President Trump is even thinking about imposing “travel restrictions within the United States”

REPORTER: Are you considering travel restrictions within the United States, such as to Washington State or California? [Emphasis added]

TRUMP: We haven’t discussed that yet. Is it a possibility? Yes. If somebody gets a little bit out of control, if an area gets too hot. You see what they’re doing in New Rochelle, which is — which is good, frankly. It’s the right thing. But then it’s not enforced, it’s not very strong but people know that they’re being watched … New Rochelle, that’s a hotspot.

Can you imagine the giant temper tantrum that we would see if that actually happened?

Earlier today, the top headline on CNN was “America’s way of life changes indefinitely”, and for once they got it exactly right.

As long as this virus is spreading out of control, decision makers all over the western world are going to be afraid to resume normal activities.

Just think about it.  If you are a decision maker and you resume normal operations too quickly, someone could get sick and die.  Not only could that cost you your job, but it could also get you sued into oblivion.

In our overly litigious society, the threat of lawsuits is going to play a major factor in this crisis.  In fact, I am sure that some people are already in contact with their lawyers.

Hopefully the measures that are being taken will help to reduce the spread of this virus.  But as one of my good friends has pointed out, even if the U.S. was totally locked down for 30 days, this virus would just keep coming back into the U.S. from other countries that are not locked down.

So the truth is that we would need the entire globe to be completely locked down for an extended period of time to really defeat this pandemic, and that simply is not going to happen.

Many among the elite can see what is happening, and they are taking off in their private jets to their “holiday homes or specially prepared disaster bunkers”

Like hundreds of thousands of people across the world, the super-rich are preparing to self-isolate in the face of an escalation in the coronavirus crisis. But their plans extend far beyond stocking up on hand sanitiser and TV boxsets.

The world’s richest people are chartering private jets to set off for holiday homes or specially prepared disaster bunkers in countries that, so far, appear to have avoided the worst of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Of course most of us do not have that option.

Most of us are going to have to ride this thing out right where we are, and that reality is causing a lot of people to completely panic.  Just check out what is happening in New York

Panicked New Yorkers rushed to stock up on essentials forming long lines and clearing shelves of produce as Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency in the city due the coronavirus outbreak.

He made the decision on Thursday afternoon saying the last 24 hours had been ‘very, very sobering’ and that the world had been turned ‘upside down’ in just a day.

The announcement immediately sparked furious panic shopping from New Yorkers as grocery stores across the city saw chaos and frantic stockpiling with residents fearing the worst.

Sadly, this is just the beginning.

As things go from bad to worse, we are likely to see fear and panic on a scale that is absolutely unprecedented.

But as I discussed yesterday, now is not a time for fear.

During any major crisis, cool heads and calm hearts are needed.  The days ahead are going to be full of challenges, and by God’s grace we shall do our very best to meet those challenges.

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. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. 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.

Fear Of The Coronavirus Is Causing A Stock Market Apocalypse

In all of U.S. history, we have never seen the Dow Jones Industrial Average go from an all-time high to a bear market as quickly as we just did.  As I keep reminding my readers, the stock market is all about how investors view the future.  Early this year, extremely irrational optimism about the future pushed stock prices to the most overvalued levels that we have ever seen, but now things have completely changed.  Fear of the coronavirus has many investors fearing an imminent economic crisis, and we have seen volatility on Wall Street that is absolutely insane.  On Monday we witnessed the largest single day point decline in the history of the Dow, on Tuesday stocks came roaring back, and then on Wednesday we witnessed the second largest single day point decline in the history of the Dow.  As I have previously explained numerous times, we see huge waves of momentum during any stock market crash, and I am sure we will see many more as this current implosion continues to play out.

On Wednesday, the Dow closed at 23553.22, which represented a 20.3 percent decline from the peak on February 12th.

The bull market that began on March 9th, 2009 has finally ended, and U.S. stocks are off to their worst start for a year since the last financial crisis.

But less than 5,000 people around the globe have died from this virus so far.

If we are seeing this much fear now, what is going to happen if millions of people start dying?

Thankfully, the World Health Organization finally decided to officially label this outbreak a “pandemic” on Wednesday

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic as the global death toll rose above 4,500 and the number of confirmed cases neared 125,000.

“We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” Tedros said at a news conference. “We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: All countries can still change the course of this pandemic.”

Of course that announcement really rattled investors and the Dow ended up falling 1,464 points.  Banking stocks were hit particularly hard.

But then later in the day we learned that President Trump would be addressing the nation at 9 PM eastern time, and investors were temporarily encouraged.

Unfortunately, investors didn’t seem to like what Trump had to say, and Dow futures immediately plummeted about 1,000 points afterwards.

On top of everything else, two major stories broke late Wednesday that shocked the entire nation.  We learned that Tom Hanks and his wife have tested positive for the coronavirus, and the entire NBA season was suspended because a Utah Jazz player now has the virus.

Needless to say, every horrifying headline is just going to cause even more chaos for the markets.

At this point, one Goldman Sachs analyst is projecting that the S&P 500 will likely fall quite a bit more in the days ahead

Goldman Sachs chief equity analyst David Kostin said Wednesday he expects the S&P 500 to hit a low of 2,450, more than 10% below its current closing level of 2,741. Kostin based his new view on a reduced expectation for S&P 500 earnings.

And another analyst believes that we are “only about halfway” to the bottom of the market…

“We can see the panic in the equity market,” said Jerry Braakman, chief investment officer of First American Trust. “The big question for most people is, are we at the bottom yet? I think we’re only about halfway there.”

Of course both of them are assuming that this coronavirus pandemic will not last for too much longer.

But what if they are wrong?

What if this pandemic lasts into next year or even longer?

As stocks fall, people are gobbling up gold and silver coins like crazy.  In fact, millions of Silver Eagles have been sold in recent days…

With the spread of the Global Contagion, the demand for physical precious metals has increased significantly.  According to the U.S. Mint’s newest update, another million Silver Eagles were sold over the past two days.  This brings to total Silver Eagle sales in March at 2.3 million, more than three times the previous month.

So if you have been waiting all this time for your silver coins to start appreciating in value, it may finally start paying off.

Meanwhile, we are already starting to see workers being laid off as much of the U.S. literally begins to shut down because of this virus.  The following comes from the Washington Post

At the Port of Los Angeles, 145 drivers have been laid off and others have been sent home without pay as massive ships from China stopped arriving and work dried up. At travel agencies in Atlanta and Los Angeles, several workers lost their jobs as bookings evaporated. Christie Lites, a stage-lighting company in Orlando, laid off more than 100 of its 500 workers nationwide this past week and likely will lay off 150 more, according to chief executive Huntly Christie. Meanwhile a hotel in Seattle is closing an entire department, a former employee said, and as many as 50 people lost their jobs after the South by Southwest festival in Austin got canceled.

Sadly, this is just the beginning.  If this crisis lasts long enough, eventually we will see layoffs that are absolutely unprecedented.

And the civil unrest that I keep warning about appears to be already starting as well.  Just check out what just happened at the University of Dayton

University of Dayton students took to the streets after the school canceled classes, on-campus events, and gatherings, and closed UD student housing. Over 1,000 students gathered on Lowes Street by late Tuesday, jumping on cars and throwing bottles at police the University of Dayton said in a written statement.

You can see a news report about this incident right here.  Of course if this pandemic continues to escalate the civil unrest will become much, much, much worse in the months ahead.

On Wednesday night, President Trump announced that travel from Europe would be suspended for 30 days.

That is certainly a step in the right direction, but at this point it isn’t going to make too much of a difference.

The virus is now in over 100 countries, and it is now spreading in almost every U.S. state.

And what most people don’t realize is that this pandemic is far from the only crisis we will be facing.  We have entered a time when we will be hit by one thing after another, and most Americans will not be able to handle it.

We are seeing so much fear out there right now, but this is not a time for fear.

This is a time for faith, and it is absolutely critical for you and your family to believe that you can get through this.

Anyone can shine during the best of times, but it is during the worst of times that we discover who we really are.

The days ahead are going to be extremely challenging, but they will also be a great opportunity to make a tremendous difference in a society that has been gripped by fear and that is starting to spin completely out of control.

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. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. 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.

A ‘High-Level Exercise’ Conducted 3 Months Ago Showed That A Coronavirus Pandemic Could Kill 65 Million People

Just over three months ago, a “high-level pandemic exercise” entitled “Event 201” was held in New York City.  On October 18th the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in conjunction with the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, brought together “15 leaders of business, government, and public health” to simulate a scenario in which a coronavirus pandemic was ravaging the planet.  The current coronavirus outbreak that originated in China did not begin until December, and so at that time it was supposedly just a hypothetical exercise.  The following comes from the official page for this event

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY. The exercise illustrated areas where public/private partnerships will be necessary during the response to a severe pandemic in order to diminish large-scale economic and societal consequences.

I find it quite interesting that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was involved, because they are also financial backers of the institute that was granted a U.S. patent for “an attenuated coronavirus” in November 2018.

It appears that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been quite interested in the threat posed by coronaviruses for quite some time.

Eric Toner, a researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, spearheaded putting “Event 201” together.  In his scenario, a coronavirus outbreak had begun on Brazil’s pig farms

Toner’s simulation imagined a fictional virus called CAPS. The analysis, part of a collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, looked at what would happen if a pandemic originated in Brazil’s pig farms.

Even though the outbreak was quite limited at first, Toner’s scenario ultimately showed that a coronavirus pandemic could kill 65 million people

The pretend outbreak started small: Farmers began coming down with symptoms that resembled the flu or pneumonia. From there, the virus spread to crowded and impoverished urban neighborhoods in South America.

Flights were canceled, and travel bookings dipped by 45%. People disseminated false information on social media.

After six months, the virus had spread around the globe. A year later, it had killed 65 million people.

Let us certainly hope that this current outbreak does not evolve into that sort of a nightmare.

According to Reuters, there are now more than 800 confirmed cases, and the death toll has shot up to 25…

China confirmed 830 cases of patients infected with the new coronavirus as of Jan. 23, while the death toll from the virus has risen to 25, the National Health Commission said on Friday.

But many are skeptical that the official figures are accurate.  Because the images coming out of Wuhan are extremely alarming

Disturbing images of Wuhan residents dropping unresponsive to the floor have emerged on Instagram following the diseased Chinese city’s coronavirus lockdown.

Wuhan has been branded a “zombieland” by frantic locals after Chinese authorities told residents they are not allowed to leave yesterday morning.

Pictures from inside the city paint an apocalyptic picture as medics patrol in hazmat suits and gas masks.

Over the past 48 hours, numerous videos have been posted on social media that supposedly show violently sick people that have literally collapsed in the streets of Wuhan.  Here is just one example.

And in another video, hundreds of mask-wearing Chinese citizens are crammed into the hallways of a hospital in Wuhan as they wait to see a doctor.

This is something that I wrote about yesterday, and even though I documented my claims, I don’t think that a lot of people believed me.

In fact, when I told my wife what was happening at the hospitals even she didn’t believe me at first.

But this is actually happening, and one video from a Wuhan hospital even shows a patient that collapsed on the ground as he waited to see a doctor…

If people are literally dropping where they stand, that would seem to indicate that we aren’t being told the full truth about this virus.

Chinese authorities are trying to keep everyone calm, but they are definitely treating this like it is no ordinary outbreak.  For example, one airline passenger that was suspected of having the virus was actually “wheeled out of an airport in a quarantine box”

Footage has emerged showing an airline passenger with suspected SARS-like coronavirus being wheeled out of an airport in a quarantine box.

The man inside the box is wearing a protective suit, a mask and gloves after he reportedly showed possible symptoms, including a fever, during screening and was isolated from other travellers.

The box is surrounded by staff wearing blue masks as it is wheeled to a waiting ambulance outside a terminal at the airport in Fuzhou in south-eastern China.

The whole world was stunned when it was announced that the entire city of Wuhan would be facing a quarantine, but now seven other Chinese cities are also being locked down.

In addition, big cities all over China are canceling festivities for the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday…

Major Chinese cities, including Beijing and quarantine-blocked Wuhan, banned all large gatherings over the coming Lunar New Year festival, the most important holiday on the Chinese calendar, in an expanding effort to contain a rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak.

The announcement Thursday came as authorities expanded travel restrictions imposed on Wuhan to surrounding municipalities, shutting down travel networks and attempting to quarantine about 25 million people – more than the population of Florida.

We have never seen anything like this before in the entire modern history of China.

Would Chinese officials really take such dramatic measures if the threat was not real?

Of course here in the United States the CDC is assuring us that we don’t have anything to be concerned about

“We don’t want the American public to be worried about this because their risk is low,” says Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “On the other hand, we are taking this very seriously and are dealing very closely with Chinese authorities.”

Hopefully they are correct, and hopefully this outbreak will blow over sooner rather than later.

But a virologist that played a key role in identifying SARS in 2003 insists that what we have seen so far is just the beginning

“A bigger outbreak is certain,” said Guan Yi, a virologist who helped identify severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. He estimated – “conservatively,” he said – that this outbreak could be 10 times bigger than the SARS epidemic because that virus was transmitted by only a few “super spreaders” in a more defined part of the country.

“We have passed through the ‘golden period’ for prevention and control,” he told Caixin magazine from self-imposed quarantine after visiting Wuhan. “What’s more, we’ve got the holiday traffic rush and a dereliction of duty from certain officials.”

And if that wasn’t enough to send a chill down your spine, just check out what else he had to say

“I’ve seen it all: bird flu, SARS, influenza A, swine fever and the rest. But the Wuhan pneumonia makes me feel extremely powerless,” he told Caixin. “Most of the past epidemics were controllable, but this time, I’m petrified.”

The next week or two will be an absolutely critical time.

If authorities are able to stop the number of cases from rising at an exponential rate, and if there are able to keep it mostly confined to just a few areas of China, we may have a chance to prevent a global pandemic.

But if not, we may be facing a worst case scenario.

And according to “Event 201”, a worst case scenario could potentially mean tens of millions of dead people.

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 Blog, End 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 End, Get 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. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. 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.

10 Things That Just Happened In America During The Holiday Season That Will Make You Cringe

Everything is great in America, isn’t it?  After all, the new Star Wars movie just came out, stock prices just hit another all-time record high, and Americans spent more money on Christmas gifts this year than ever before.  According to some people, this is the greatest time to be alive in all of American history, and the years that are ahead of us are going to be even better.  Of course if you are gullible enough to believe that there is a giant bridge in California that I would like to sell to you.  We live at a time when our society is literally falling apart all around us, and throwing even more money at our problems is not going to fix them.  As I noted the other day, “the suicide rate is at an all-time high, we are fighting the worst drug crisis in our history, according to the CDC more than 110 million Americans have an STD, and we have the highest percentage of children living with a single parent of any nation in the entire world.”  In other words, anyone that is attempting to argue that this is a golden era in America history is being more than just a little bit delusional.

Yes, the stock market has been soaring in recent days, and that is a good thing.

But investors are pouring their money into stocks because they believe that America has an exceedingly bright future.

When that optimism disappears, stock prices will collapse, and then what will we have to brag about?

Everywhere around us, the fabric of our society is deteriorating, and our decline seems to be accelerating with each passing month.

In this article, I am going to share yet more examples of our stunning societal decline with you.  The following are 10 things that just happened in America during the holiday season that will make you cringe…

#1 Two real life grinches were trying to ruin the holidays for as many people in Roseville, California as possible before the police caught up with them.  According to one media report, they were caught “with approximately 100 stolen packages” in their van: Two men are behind bars after they were found with approximately 100 stolen packages in Roseville, according to the Roseville Police Department.

#2 This is known as “the season of giving”, but one 65-year-old guy in Colorado decided it would be more fun to do it with other people’s money: Just after noon on Monday, a 65-year-old man walked into a downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado bank and stole thousands of dollars before running outside and tossing the cash up into the air while yelling “Merry Christmas!”

#3 Speaking of Colorado, one group of high school students was recently forced to recite poetry that contained worship of Moloch.  Apparently that whole “separation of church and state” thing does not apply to pagan deities: A school in Steamboat Springs is under scrutiny after a parent reported an assignment in which students were required to recite sexually explicit and/or distasteful poetry that includes worship of the pagan deity Moloch as well as conveying the topic of “sexting” in society – which was assigned to eleventh grade students without parental consent.

#4 Considering the fact that the streets of San Francisco are constantly littered with human waste, one homeless man decided that it must be okay to defecate in the middle of a grocery store too: The picture shows a disheveled gentleman in a man-bun with his pants around his knees, feces clearly visible on the floor near a chip display as he prepared to wipe.

#5 Don’t let your kids hear about this or you will be sorry.  This holiday season, “fart launchers” became one of the most popular toys in America: The Fart Launcher’s reek, “while incredibly accurate … is organic, plant-based, doesn’t get caught in fabric and dissipates in minutes,” WowWee brand manager Andrew Yanofsky tells The Post.

#6 It just wouldn’t be the holidays unless “Florida man” did something really crazy.  In this instance, a Florida man was trying to bust down a bathroom door with a hatchet: A Shalimar man is charged with trying to attack another man with a hatchet after using the weapon and his feet to bust down a bathroom door. The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office arrested 39-year old Jason Godwin Christmas Day for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill and culpable negligence.

#7 You may have been safe, warm and well fed this holiday season, but more than half a million Americans didn’t have a home at all: While millions of Americans celebrate Christmas this year with loved ones, carving turkey and sharing gifts, others are not so fortunate. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, over half a million of us will spend Christmas on the streets. The government agency estimates that on any given day, around 553,000 Americans are homeless. A third of those are families with young children. African Americans and those with disabilities are particularly likely to become homeless.

#8 One rapper in Los Angeles decided that the best way to address the problem of homelessness was to climb on top of a tall building and throw cash down on to the homeless people living on Skid Row so they could fight over it: The 22-year-old rapper known as Blueface climbed onboard a black Mercedes SUV in Skid Row before throwing money out of a bag while dozens of people below scramble to catch the flying cash and pick it up from the ground. The artist, whose real name is Jonathan Michael Porteris, is known for the Benjamin Franklin tattoo on his cheek and a handful of hit tracks that reached viral status in recent years.

#9 Providing daycare for working parents is apparently quite lucrative if you pack them in like sardines.  When police investigated a suspicious residence in Colorado Springs recently, they found 26 children and two adult workers hidden behind “a false wall”: Not finding any children, officers spoke with Faith, who, according to Sokolik, “refused to cooperate.” While still in the home, officers said they heard the sound of children, Sokolik said. Eventually, they found “a false wall” leading to a finished basement, where they discovered 26 children — 20 more than the license allowed — all under the age of 3, and two adults, police said.

#10 This last item on the list should definitely break your heart.  For many Americans, this is one of the most difficult times of the year.  And when the pressure becomes too much, unfortunately some people completely snap.  On Christmas Day, a 40-year-old mother in Boston threw her two young children off of the roof of a nine-story parking garage before killing herself as well: A Boston woman who pushed her two young children from the top of a parking garage and then killed herself in a double murder suicide has been identified. Erin Pascal, 40, was named on Thursday as the woman whose body was found on the sidewalk next to those of her two young children; four-year-old daughter Allison and 16-month-old Andrew.

It is such a tragic thing when someone commits suicide, because that is never, ever the solution to anything.  There is so much to live for, but our society trains us to relentlessly chase things that don’t really matter.

Sadly, even though the suicide rate is already at a record high, it is likely to go even higher as our society continues to deteriorate in 2020 and beyond.

What we need is not more money.

What Americans really need is more faith, more hope and more love, and those three are in very short supply in our society today.

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 Blog, End 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 End, Get 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. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. 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.

Goodbye Middle Class: The Percentage Of Wealth Owned By The Top 10% Just Got Even BIGGER

The middle class in America is being systematically eviscerated, and it is getting worse with each passing year.  As you will see below, one new study has found that 10 percent of Americans now own 70 percent of all the wealth.  Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most vibrant middle class in the history of the world, but pretty soon we are just going to have the ultra-wealthy and everyone else.  Our system has been designed to funnel as much wealth as possible to the very top of the financial pyramid, and that means that most of the rest of us are deeply struggling.  And when you are just barely getting by from month to month, all it takes is one bad break to knock you completely out of the middle class and into poverty.

I have been chronicling the demise of the middle class for many years, but I didn’t know that the numbers had gotten this bad.  According to a study that was recently conducted by the Federal Reserve, the percentage of wealth controlled by the top 10 percent of U.S. households has shot up from 60 percent in 1989 to 70 percent today

Deutsche Bank’s Torsten Sløk says that the distribution of household wealth in America has become even more disproportionate over the past decade, with the richest 10% of U.S. households representing 70% of all U.S. wealth in 2018, compared with 60% in 1989, according to a recent study by researchers at the Federal Reserve.

The study finds that the share of wealth among the richest 1% increased to 32% from 23% over the same period.

The ironic thing is that the Federal Reserve has actually done much to cause this high concentration of wealth among the elite.  In response to the last financial crisis, the Federal Reserve pumped unprecedented amounts of money into the financial system, and this has created the greatest stock market bubble in our history

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +2.06% has climbed nearly 300% since its closing low in March 2009, the S&P 500 index SPX, +2.14% has climbed 325%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +2.65% has soared 535% over the same period.

Meanwhile, wages have stagnated for ordinary Americans.  According to the Social Security Administration, the median yearly wage in the United States is currently just $30,533.  In other words, 50 percent of all American workers make at least that much per year, and 50 percent of all American workers make that much or less per year.

$30,533 a year breaks down to approximately $2,500 per month, and you simply can’t support a middle class lifestyle for a typical American family on $2,500 a month.

Meanwhile, the cost of living for middle class families has exploded higher over the past few decades…

Everyday expenses continue to rise, and as the shadow inflation increases, it also threatens to wipe out the middle class – what’s left of it anyway. In fact, middle-class life is now 30% more expensive than it was 20 years ago, according to a separate report by CNBC. The cost of things such as college, housing, and child care has risen precipitously: Tuition at public universities doubled between 1996 and 2016 and housing prices in popular cities have quadrupled, Alissa Quart, author and executive director of the Economic Hardship Reporting Projecttells CNBC Make It.

As the cost of living has risen faster than our incomes have, more Americans have been squeezed out of the middle class with each passing month.

As a result, an increasing number of Americans have become financially dependent on the government, and our rapidly expanding welfare state is a big reason why the federal government is now 22 trillion dollars in debt.

Of course many Americans are no longer able to make it at all, and the ranks of the homeless are swelling all over the nation.  In fact, we just got some brand new numbers about the growth of homelessness in the Los Angeles area that are absolutely eye-popping

The number of homeless people counted across Los Angeles County jumped 12% over the past year to nearly 59,000, with more young and old residents and families on the streets, officials said Tuesday.

The majority of the homeless were found within the city of Los Angeles, which saw a 16% increase to 36,300, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority said in presenting January’s annual count to the county Board of Supervisors.

Yes, it is true that we have a record number of millionaires on the west coast in 2019, but meanwhile our major west coast cities are being transformed into rotting, decaying nightmares right in front of our eyes.

During a recent interview with Laura Ingraham, Dr. Drew Pinsky admitted that there is “a complete breakdown of the basic needs of civilization in Los Angeles right now”

“We have a complete breakdown of the basic needs of civilization in Los Angeles right now,” Pinsky told host Laura Ingraham. “We have the three prongs of airborne disease, tuberculosis is exploding, (and) rodent-borne. We are one of the only cities in the country that doesn’t have a rodent control program, and sanitation has broken down.”

Pinsky’s comments followed news that Los Angeles police officer had contracted typhoid fever, a rare and life-threatening illness that fewer than 350 Americans contract each year.

Los Angeles had a typhus outbreak last summer and will likely have another this summer, Pinsky said. Meanwhile, bubonic plague – a pandemic that killed tens of millions of people during the 14th century – is “likely” already present in Los Angeles, Pinsky added.

Despite all of our great wealth and despite all of our advanced technology, this is what life is like in our second largest city right now.

And if things are degenerating this badly during stable times, what are things going to look like once our society plunges into chaos?

Ultimately, the American Dream is about being self-sufficient.  Most people want to be able to work hard and provide a nice life for their families, but that is becoming harder and harder to do.

No matter which political party has been in power in Washington, the middle class has continued to shrink and more wealth and power has become concentrated in the hands of the elite.

Now we stand on the precipice of the next major economic downturn, and many are deeply concerned about what that is going to mean for the future of our society.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

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