“Worst Year Ever”: The Chinese Ban On U.S. Agricultural Products Will Be A Death Blow For Countless U.S. Farms

U.S. farmers have never experienced a year quite like this.  During the first half of 2019, endless rain and unprecedented flooding were the major problems.  As a result of the incredibly wet conditions, millions of acres of prime farmland didn’t get planted at all, and tens of millions of other acres are going to yield a lot less than usual.  Even without anything else happening, we were going to see farm bankruptcies soar to absolutely crazy levels, but now the Chinese government is essentially cutting off U.S. agricultural imports.  This will greatly depress the prices that U.S. farmers get for their crops, and so many farmers that were still hoping to squeeze out a profit for this year will be hit with a loss instead.  Ultimately, the truth is that 2019 is going to be a death blow for countless U.S. farmers that were barely hanging on financially after a string of really tough years.  Many will leave the industry entirely and never go back to farming again, and our nation will be worse off because of it.

When the Chinese announced that they were going to completely stop buying U.S. agricultural products, it sent shockwaves across the middle portion of the country.  According to the executive vice president of the American Farm Bureau, our farmers and ranchers will now be facing “just a really tough, tough time”

“This is a body blow to farmers and ranchers all across the country,” Dale Moore, executive vice president of the American Farm Bureau, told FOX Business. “That’s one of the things that we are feeling the effects of, and this is on top of a year when mother nature has been a terrible business partner in many parts of the country. It’s just a really tough, tough time for farmers and ranchers in this country.”

Shares of industrial, farming, oil and transportation companies have plummeted, a direct result of the increased tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

Of course President Trump is trying to be upbeat and he is promising that the Chinese will not be able to hurt our farmers, but the truth is that they already have.

Chinese imports of U.S. agricultural products fell by more than half from 2017 to 2018, and now they are going to zero.  The following comes from Fox Business

Despite Trump’s tweet, American farmers now stand to lose all of what was a $9.1 billion market in 2018, which was down sharply from the $19.5 billion U.S. farmers exported to China in 2017.

Unfortunately for U.S. farmers, they are caught right in the middle of a tug of war between the Chinese government and President Trump, and China specifically went after U.S. farmers in order to hurt Trump politically

China’s new agricultural ban has an additional benefit to the Chinese of maximizing negative political impact to Trump.

Important presidential election swing states in the Midwest grain belt such as Iowa and Wisconsin were vital to his 2016 election victory. Cutting this particular area of bilateral trade at a time when American farmers are recovering from the after-effects of this year’s floods is a potent way for Beijing to punch back against President Trump’s new tariffs.

If the presidential election was held this November, it would be really difficult for Trump to win in Iowa in Wisconsin.  Of course much can change between now and November 2020, but right now Trump is definitely losing support in the middle of the country.

Speaking of Wisconsin, it just happens to be one of the states that currently has the highest number of farm bankruptcy filings

Since last June, there have been a staggering 535 Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings, a 13 percent increase. Kansas, Minnesota and Wisconsin had the highest number of filings.

As a result, Congress passed the Family Farmer Relief Act to update the eligibility requirements for Chapter 12 bankruptcy, raising the debt limit from $4.1 million to $10 million — giving more farmers the chance to declare bankruptcy, thereby offering their producers and creditors a better chance to recognize and avoid mass liquidation.

President Trump will try to keep as many farms going as possible with his massive aid packages, but the truth is that even with those aid packages it is inevitable that farm bankruptcies will continue to surge.

In fact, they are already at the highest level that we have seen since the last recession.

What U.S. farmers really need is an end to the trade war and for the Chinese to start buying from them again.

Sadly, that is just not going to happen.  At this point, even Goldman Sachs is admitting that there will not be a trade deal with China before the 2020 presidential election…

Analysts at Goldman Sachs no longer think the U.S. and China will manage to negotiate a trade deal ahead of the 2020 presidential election — which is more than 15 months away.

“We had expected a final round of tariffs targeting remaining Chinese imports at a 10 percent rate,” the analysts, led by chief U.S. economist Jan Hatzius, wrote in a note to clients. “But news since President Trump’s tariff announcement last Thursday indicates that U.S. and Chinese policymakers are taking a harder line, and we no longer expect a trade deal before the 2020 election.”

This means that things will continue to go from bad to worse for U.S. farmers, and this will take a major toll on the U.S. economy as a whole.

We have entered the time of “the perfect storm”, and things are definitely not going to get any easier in the months ahead.

I wish that I had better news for you, but I don’t.  Global events are starting to greatly accelerate, and so many of the things that we have been warned about are starting to happen right in front of our eyes.

About 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.

New Tariffs, Stocks Plunge, Manufacturing Falls Again And More Layoffs – But Everything Is “Fine”?

Things are starting to go downhill rather quickly now.  A day after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time in more than a decade, we received a whole bunch more bad economic news.  Most Americans don’t realize it yet, but our economy is in serious trouble.  We haven’t seen anything like this since the last recession, but most people seem to think that since stock prices are still very high that everything must be fine.  No, everything is definitely not “fine”, and as I noted yesterday, a lot of prominent names are loudly sounding the alarm.  Many analysts are expecting things to really start breaking loose as we get deeper into the second half of this year, and what we witnessed on Thursday certainly didn’t make the outlook any brighter.

President Trump completely shocked Wall Street when he announced that yet another round of tariffs will be imposed upon Chinese goods.  According to CNBC, these new tariffs will go into effect on September 1st…

Trump said in a series of tweets the tariff will be imposed on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods. The levy will take effect Sept. 1.

He said later in the day those levies could go up to 25%. Trump’s comments came after a U.S. delegation met with Chinese trade officials earlier this week. Those were the first in-person trade talks between China and the U.S. since both countries reached a truce on the situation.

This is essentially the equivalent of a “gut punch”, and it definitely takes our trade war with China to an entirely new level.

And Trump told the press that the tariffs will remain in place until the U.S. and China agree to a deal.  The following comes from Fox Business

President Trump said on Thursday the U.S. will continue to tax China until the world’s two largest economies reach a trade agreement .

“When my people came home they said we were talking. We have another meeting in September. Until such time as there is a deal we will be taxing them,” he said from the White House’s south lawn.

But as I have repeatedly explained to my readers, there isn’t going to be an agreement any time soon.  In fact, it is extremely doubtful that we will see one before the 2020 presidential election.  Trump is not going to back down from his core demands, the Chinese will never accept them, and China would much prefer to negotiate with whoever follows Trump in the Oval Office.

So these tariffs are here to stay, China will inevitably retaliate once again, and global economic activity will suffer.

But Trump doesn’t seem alarmed.  On Thursday, he also told reporters that if China doesn’t want to trade with the United States anymore “that would be fine with me”

“For many years China has been taking money out by the hundreds billions of dollars a year. We have rebuilt China so now it is time that we changed things around. If they didn’t want to trade with us anymore that would be fine with me. It would save us a lot of money,” Trump told reporters Thursday.

Those are very strong words, and Trump actually has a point.

In the short-term, decoupling from the Chinese economy is going to be extremely painful for us.  But the truth is that we should have never integrated our economy so deeply with China’s economy in the first place.  The Chinese government is one of the most tyrannical regimes on the entire planet, and they have no respect for basic human rights.  Trade agreements that were extremely unfavorable for the United States allowed China to become exceedingly wealthy at our expense, and the Chinese would like to continue taking advantage of us indefinitely if they could.

So something definitely needed to be done about China, but it is going to be a really, really painful period of adjustment for the U.S. economy.

After Wall Street learned of the new tariffs on Thursday, stock prices immediately began to plummet

When President Donald Trump announced a new round of tariffs on Chinese imports on Thursday, the Dow was up 311 points. Then it was down nearly 300 points.

That was the biggest swing since early January.

And it certainly would not be a surprise if stock prices continued to go down.  As I noted the other day, the stock market is more primed for a crash than it has ever been before.

At this point, stock prices are completely and totally disconnected from economic reality.  As stocks hit record high after record high in July, bad economic news just kept pouring in.

Of course August certainly just started off with a bang.  On Thursday, we learned that a key measure of U.S. manufacturing activity has fallen to the lowest level since September 2009

The IHS Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 50.4 in July, down from 50.6 in June, driven by a weaker demand. The firm also noted managers’ signaled slower hiring.

In addition, Lowe’s just announced that they will be “laying off thousands of workers”

Lowe’s is laying off thousands of workers.

Layoffs will include assemblers, who put together items like grills and patio furniture. The company will also cut maintenance and facility-service jobs, such as janitors. The company said it is outsourcing those positions to third-party companies.

Lowe’s (LOW) declined to say exactly how many workers will be laid off. It said that workers whose jobs are being eliminated will be given transition pay and have the opportunity to apply for open roles at Lowe’s. The Wall Street Journal first reported Lowe’s plan.

This is the continuation of a trend that I have been tracking for months.  Big companies have been laying off workers at a level that we haven’t seen since the last recession, and many believe that what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

Also, the “trucking apocalypse” just continues to accelerate.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

Yet another trucking company has fallen victim to the recession in freight this year, according to FreightWaves. Terrill Transportation of Livermore, California shut its doors unexpectedly on July 30. The company had been in business 25 years.

Customer Manny Bhandal, president of Bhandal Bros. Inc., said that three of his trucks arrived at Terrill on July 30 to drop off a shipment and were turned away. Kevin Terrill, president of Terrill Transportation, did not respond to FreightWaves.

If the U.S. economy really was in “fine” shape, trucking company after trucking company would not be shutting their doors.

Sadly, instead of heeding the warning signs and using this time to get prepared for rough times ahead, most Americans are choosing to use this time to party.

And there is certainly not anything wrong with enjoying life, but we have gotten to the point where it is crystal clear that a new crisis is upon us, and most Americans are completely and utterly unprepared for what is about to happen.

I will continue to track these developments as they unfold.  We are truly in unprecedented territory, and I have a feeling that the second half of 2019 is going to be far more “interesting” than the first half was.

About 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.

An “Earnings Recession” Is Here – Big Companies All Over America Are Reporting Disastrous Financial Results

If the U.S. economy really was “booming”, then corporate earnings would be rising.  But that isn’t happening.  In fact, we haven’t seen corporate earnings fall like this since the last recession.  They fell during the first quarter of this year, and based on the results we have so far, it appears that corporate earnings will be down substantially once again in the second quarter.  When corporate earnings drop for two quarters in a row, that is officially considered to be an “earnings recession”, and that normally occurs just before the overall economy plunges into recession territory.  As things get tighter for our corporate giants, we should expect a lot more layoffs in the months ahead, and the unemployment rate should rise quite briskly.  In other words, it looks like our economic problems are about to accelerate substantially.

This week, some of the largest companies in the entire country reported results for the second quarter, and we witnessed disappointment after disappointment.

Let’s start with Boeing

The 737 Max is already more than four months into an unprecedented global grounding, which authorities ordered after two fatal crashes. The manufacturer provided hints of the strain on its resources, starting with a US$1.01 billion burn of free cash flow in the second quarter — a US$5 billion swing from last year’s gain during the same period.

Of course Boeing made a bad plane, and so their disastrous results could certainly be blamed on that.

But what about Netflix?  Once one of the darlings of Wall Street, Netflix has been absolutely monkeyhammered in recent days…

Netflix’s disappointing quarter reported last Wednesday has caused the streaming darling of Wall Street to shed more than $24 billion in value in six days as the stock has sunk 15 percent.

Shares of Netflix have now fallen each of the last nine trading days, as the stock began its downfall even before it released its quarterly financial report, which indicated it lost subscribers in the U.S. for the first time since launching its streaming service nearly a decade ago.

Yes, Netflix could be considered a special case because they are facing a lot of new competition.  Last December I wrote an entire article predicting that this would happen, and this is just the beginning of the company’s problems.

On the other hand, the future was supposed to be exceedingly bright for Tesla, but the firm is hemorrhaging money like crazy and over the past 24 hours the stock price has crashed hard

Even after delivering a record number of cars in its second quarter, Tesla (TSLA) is still bleeding money. Tesla said Wednesday that it lost $408 million during the three months ending in June, far worse than Wall Street had expected. Shares of Tesla fell more than 10% in after hours trading following the earnings report.

The loss was slightly less painful than the previous quarter, in which Tesla lost $702 million.

But Elon Musk has a gift for getting investors to hand over giant piles of money, and so Tesla is going to survive for now.

Meanwhile, the rest of the auto industry is really struggling as well.  In fact, Ford just reported very disappointing results and reduced the forecast for the remainder of 2019 significantly

Ford shares plunged Wednesday after the automaker reported second-quarter earnings that were short of expectations and issued a disappointing forecast for the year.

Ford, which has slashed thousands of jobs this year, is also investing $11 billion by 2022 in electric and hybrid vehicles to try to keep pace in a changing industry.

Are you starting to see a pattern?

Even Paypal is falling short of expectations.  The following comes from CNBC

Shares of PayPal fell as much as 6% in after-hours trading after the payments giant missed Wall Street’s estimates for second-quarter revenue and lowered its full-year guidance.

Everything that I have just shared with you makes complete and total sense if the U.S. economy is in the process of plunging into a new recession.

And other economic numbers continue to tell us the exact same thing.  For example, we just got the worst U.S. manufacturing PMI number in 118 months.  That is absolutely terrible news, but Europe’s manufacturing sector is doing even worse.

Manufacturing activity is slowing down all over the globe, and a big reason for that is because global trade is shrinking at the fastest pace that we have seen since the last financial crisis.

Meanwhile, we just learned that existing home sales in the United States have now fallen on a year over year basis for sixteen months in a row.

After something happens 16 times in a row, you would think that the experts would be able to spot a “trend” by now, but so many of them continue to be optimistic about the real estate industry.

In addition, store closing announcements just continue to roll in at a stunning rate.  This week, we learned that GNC is planning to close up to 900 stores by the end of 2020.

We were already on pace to absolutely shatter the all-time record for store closings in a single year even before that announcement, and the phrase “retail apocalypse” almost doesn’t seem strong enough to describe what we are witnessing any longer.

Just as I have warned, America’s landscape is being littered by boarded up stores and abandoned malls, and this is particularly true in our poorest areas.

Unprecedented money printing by the Federal Reserve and an unprecedented debt binge by the federal government may have bought us a very brief reprieve, but none of the fundamental economic problems that were identified during the last recession were ever fixed.

Now a new crisis has arrived, and we are just in the very early chapters of it.

About 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.

Elizabeth Warren Is Warning That An “Economic Crash” Is Coming

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is sounding the alarm.  In an opinion piece that she put out on Monday, she boldly warned that an “economic crash” is coming.  Actually, much of her article sounds like it could have come directly from the pages of the Economic Collapse Blog, and her analysis of the current state of the U.S. economy was right on the money.  Of course her proposed “solutions” are completely and totally nuts, and we will discuss that later in the article.  But it is quite remarkable that a woman that has a really, really good chance of becoming the next president of the United States is saying so many of the exact same things that I have been saying.  For example, just consider this paragraph

When I look at the economy today, I see a lot to worry about again. I see a manufacturing sector in recession. I see a precarious economy that is built on debt — both household debt and corporate debt — and that is vulnerable to shocks. And I see a number of serious shocks on the horizon that could cause our economy’s shaky foundation to crumble.

Everything that she said there is true.  The manufacturing sector is definitely slowing down, and without a doubt U.S. households are drowning in debt.

In another paragraph, Warren elaborated on the unprecedented debt problems that U.S. families are currently facing

A generation of stagnant wages and rising costs for basics like housing, child care, and education have forced American families to take on more debt than ever before. The student debt load has “more than doubled since the financial crisis.” American credit card debt matches its 2008 peak. Auto loan debt is the highest it has ever been since we started tracking it nearly 20 years ago, and a record 7 million Americans are behind on their auto loans — many of which have similar abusive characteristics as pre-crash subprime mortgages. 71 million American adults — more than 30% of the adults in the country — already have debts in collection. Families may be able to afford these debt payments now, but an increase in interest rates or a slowdown in income could plunge families over a cliff.

That is a fantastic paragraph, and once again everything that she said there is completely accurate.

Today, 59 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and even a mild recession would be absolutely disastrous for tens of millions of American families.  During the coming recession we are likely to see debt defaults go through the roof, and Warren has correctly identified how vulnerable we are right now.

And she also accurately detailed the problems that the U.S. manufacturing sector is facing

Despite Trump’s promises of a manufacturing “renaissance,” the country is now in a manufacturing recession. The Federal Reserve just reported that the manufacturing sector had a second straight quarter of decline, falling below Wall Street’s expectations. And for the first time ever, the average hourly wage for manufacturing workers has dropped below the national average.

Of course it isn’t just U.S. manufacturing that is struggling right now.  We haven’t seen global manufacturing numbers this bad since the last financial crisis, and this is something that I detailed in a previous article.

In addition, it appears that we are about to get confirmation that we have now entered an “earnings recession”.  The following comes from USA Today

Yet with second-quarter earnings season underway, analysts are nervously waiting to see if the final results will deliver a second straight quarterly drop in corporate profits. Those surveyed by FactSet reckon the earnings of  S&P 500 companies declined 1.9% in the April-June period from a year earlier. That’s based on a blend of their pre-earnings season estimate and actual results of the 16% of companies reporting so far.

Why the concern over back-to-back declines?

Two consecutive quarterly decreases would represent an earnings recession, which typically – but not always – foreshadows an economic recession within a year or two. Companies whose profits are squeezed tend to pull back hiring and investment.

Clearly we are facing some very serious economic challenges.

So what does Warren want to do to fix things?

Well, apparently she believes that everything will be just fine if we raise the minimum wage, spend a lot more money, and give away lots of free stuff

We can raise incomes by increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, strengthening unions, ensuring that women of color get the wages they deserve, and empowering workers to elect at least 40% of board members at big American corporations. We can reduce costs and slash household debt by cancelling up to $50,000 in student loan debt for 95% of people who have it, bringing down the cost of rent, providing universal affordable child care and early education for all our kids ages 0–5, and making tuition free at every public technical school, two-year college, and four-year college.

Is she insane?

Seriously, where does she plan to get the money to fund her wacky proposals?  At this point we are already 22 trillion dollars in debt, and a “compromise” deal was just reached in Washington that will greatly accelerate the pace at which our national debt is increasing.

The national debt is already an existential threat to the future of our nation, and Warren’s proposals would cost us trillions more.

So where does she plan to get that kind of cash?  Is she going to tax all of us into oblivion?

Spending money that we do not have and the socialist economic policies of both major political parties are two of the biggest reasons why we are currently in such a horrible mess.  Warren’s “solutions” would only greatly compound our problems.

Sadly, our leaders are a reflection of who we are as a nation, and at this moment a big chunk of the population wants Elizabeth Warren.

A CBS News poll that was just released found that Joe Biden is still leading the race for the Democratic nomination, but the race has greatly tightened.  Biden was at 25 percent in the survey, but Warren was a close second at 20 percent.  Biden’s campaign has been faltering in recent weeks, while Warren’s campaign has been really surging.  In the end, it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if Elizabeth Warren wins the Democratic nomination.

And if she wins the nomination, there is a really good chance that she will be the next president of the United States.

By the time the 2020 election arrives, the “economic crash” that Elizabeth Warren is warning about is likely to be here.  But no amount of “free stuff” is going to fix things, and the truth is that socialism never works on a long-term basis.

About 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.

“I don’t know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people’s garbage”

Despite all the bragging that the mainstream media is constantly doing about the U.S. economy, the truth is that most Americans are deeply struggling right now.  59 percent of us are living paycheck to paycheck, and nearly 50 million Americans are living in poverty.  Sadly, most of those that are living in poverty actually come from a home where at least one person is currently employed.  Millions upon millions of Americans are working as hard as they can, but it simply is not enough to pull them above the poverty line, and it is a very serious national crisis.  Even though employment levels have been relatively stable for the last couple of years, the middle class has continued to disintegrate, and the ranks of the homeless have continued to grow.  Every year the cost of living rises faster than wages are growing, and as a result more U.S. families are being booted out of the middle class on a continual basis.  Many Americans are working two or three jobs in a desperate attempt to make ends meet, but often that isn’t even enough.  And if things are this bad right now, what will things look like once we get deep into the next recession?

Abigail Disney is the granddaughter of the late Roy Disney, and she is exceedingly wealthy, but she does not have any active role with the company her father founded today.

Recently, she heard that employees at Disneyland were having a really rough time making ends meet, and so “she went to Disneyland to see it for herself”

Abigail Disney told the Yahoo News show “Through Her Eyes” that a worker sent her a Facebook message expressing how tragic being employed at the Magic Kingdom has become. So she went to Disneyland to see it for herself.

“Every single one of these people I talked to were saying, ‘I don’t know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people’s garbage,’” Disney, 59, told Yahoo News host and human rights activist Zainab Salbi in an interview posted Monday.

Could you imagine Mickey Mouse and Snow White foraging for food in the dumpster behind an apartment building after a full day of entertaining children?

Apparently this sort of thing is actually happening, and a recent survey of Disney employees discovered that 73 percent of them didn’t make enough money “to pay for basic expenses each month”…

A 2018 survey conducted by on behalf of a group of unions found that nearly three-quarters of full- and part-time employees (73%) said that they didn’t earn enough money working at Disneyland Resort to pay for basic expenses each month. More than half were worried about being evicted, and about one-tenth reported being homeless in the previous two years.

But actually the truth is that the average Disney employee is better off than the average American worker.

Today, the median yearly salary of a Disney employee is $46,127.

According to the Social Security Administration, 50 percent of all American workers make less than $30,533 a year.

Of course the cost of living is much higher in southern California than it is in most of the rest of the nation, and so that must be factored in as well.

Ultimately, anyone that is making less than $50,000 a year is likely to be struggling in this economy, because you simply cannot support a middle class lifestyle for a family of four or more on $50,000 a year at this point.

What makes things so much worse is the fact that most of us are absolutely drowning in debt.  Today, U.S. consumers are nearly 14 trillion dollars in debt, and many of us have already signed up for a lifetime of debt payments before we even leave school.

For example, I recently read about one woman that still owed nearly half a million dollars on her student loans…

Elisha Bokman has been out of school for eight years. Still, her student loan balance is half a million dollars.

Today, for her doctorate degree in naturopathic medicine and master’s in acupuncture from Bastyr University, she owes $499,322.69.

She and her husband struggled to buy a house because of her debt. Eventually, the financial stress led them to a divorce.

Not even bankruptcy will erase those loans, and they will haunt her for decades to come.

Millions upon millions of Americans are silently suffering as they wrestle with their desperate financial circumstances, and this is happening while things are still relatively good.

But now we are heading into a new economic downturn, and much of the country can see what is happening

Middle-class Americans are less optimistic about their economic prospects than they were just six months ago, according to a new report from CUNA Mutual Group.

Although the majority of those polled said they feel relatively stable overall, they graded their chances of achieving the American dream as a “C,” down from a “B-minus” in the fall, the insurance provider found. Close to half were increasingly concerned about an upcoming recession.

Economic conditions are not going to get any better than they are right now, and what we are heading for is going to be very painful.

I can definitely understand that people are very frustrated that they cannot make a decent living even though they are working extremely hard, but how much more frustrated will they be when they don’t have any jobs at all?

For decades we have been painting ourselves into a corner, and we have wrecked the great economic machine that was handed down to us by previous generations.

Now a day of reckoning is at hand, and it will eventually result in the greatest economic temper tantrum that our nation has ever seen.

About 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.

As Wall Street Celebrates Rising Stock Prices, Companies Are Literally Shutting Down All Over America

How long can the stock market possibly stay completely disconnected from economic reality?  On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose just 27 points, but that was good enough to push it to yet another new all-time record high.  Investors have been absolutely thrilled by the extremely impressive bull run that we have witnessed so far in 2019, but there is no way that this is sustainable.  Wall Street may be celebrating for the moment, but meanwhile all of the hard economic numbers are telling us that we have now entered a new economic slowdown.  Just like in 2008, it appears to be inevitable that the party on Wall Street is about to hit a brick wall, but nobody should be surprised when it happens.  Everywhere around us there are signs of economic trouble, and right now companies are literally shutting down all over America.

For example, just take a look at what is happening to the trucking industry.  I recently warned about the trucking “bloodbath” that was unfolding, and over the past week it has greatly accelerated.

On the 12th of July, we learned that trucking giant LME had abruptly shut down.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

Less-than-truckload carrier LME has reportedly “suddenly and abruptly” shut down its operations, according to FreightWaves.

The company is a regional carrier based in Minnesota that operated throughout the Midwest. The company had terminals in 30 locations across the U.S. and through interline agreements services all of North America. It also worked with major companies like 3M, John Deere and Toro.

The company reportedly included “over 600 men and women” and has been listed as having 382 power units and 1,228 trailers, with 424 truck drivers.

Then today we learned that Timmerman Starlite Trucking suddenly shut down without any notice

40 year old California trucking outlet Timmerman Starlite Trucking, Inc. is the latest victim in the “trucking apocalypse” and announced that it would be shutting down effective immediately, according to FreightWaves.

30 employees are expected to lose their jobs as a result. The company is based in a mid sized city about 100 miles east of San Francisco and had a fleet of 30 trucks, 150 trailers and 28 drivers.

The company’s owner cited “a tough freight market and environmental regulations” as reasons for the shut down. The company announced the shutdown on its Facebook page.

Of course those two trucking companies are definitely not the only victims of this “bloodbath”.  According to Business Insider, ALA Trucking, Williams Trucking, Falcon Transport and New England Motor Freight have also completely ceased operations in 2019.

If the U.S. economy really was “booming”, this would not be happening.

Meanwhile, major retailers continue to fall like dominoes.  Charming Charlie is headed for bankruptcy and will be closing all of their stores

Fashion accessory retailer Charming Charlie will close all its stores after going bankrupt for the second time in less than two years. More than 3,000 full- and part-time employees could lose their jobs.

Charming Charlie Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection in Delaware with plans for going-out-of-business sales at about 261 stores, according to court documents. The chain expects the liquidation to take about two months.

In addition, we just learned that Fred’s will be shuttering another 129 stores as it desperately attempts to stay alive…

Troubled discount merchandiser Fred’s has announced another round of store closures.

The chain will shutter 129 stores, leaving it with about 80 locations, USA Today reported. Going-out-of business sales have already begun.

Not too long ago, I went to a going out of business sale at a local store that was closing down, and it was definitely depressing.  At one time the shelves had been packed full of products, but by the time I got there people were clawing through the small handfuls of deeply discounted merchandise that still remained.

Sadly, such scenes are being repeated over and over again all around the country.  In fact, things are already so bad that even Manhattan retailing legend Barneys is likely headed for bankruptcy

Barneys may be on the cusp of filing for bankruptcy protection as the luxury Manhattan retailer contends with high rents and shoppers going online, according to two media reports.

Reuters, citing unnamed sources, reported Saturday that Barneys has tapped law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP and is weighing a potential bankruptcy filing among other options that could occur in the coming weeks.

The all-time record for store closings in a single year was set in 2017 when 8,139 stores shut down.

According to a brand new report that was just released, we are on pace to absolutely shatter that old record.

In fact, Coresight says that the number of store closings in the U.S. could hit 12,000 by the end of this year…

The “going-out-of-business” sales and liquidation of other brands is expected to continue. Coresight estimates closures could reach 12,000 by the end of the year, the report said.

In The Beginning Of The End, I painted a picture of a future in which America’s communities would be littered by boarded up stores that had been abandoned by major retailers.

Now it is happening right in front of our eyes.

Everything that is taking place in the “real economy” makes perfect sense, and unfortunately our economic problems are likely to accelerate significantly in the months ahead.

What doesn’t make sense is what we are witnessing on Wall Street.

There is no way that stock prices should be rising like this, but financial bubbles don’t typically follow rational patterns.

Instead, they usually just keep going until something comes along to end them.

And considering everything that is going on in the world right now, that “something” could definitely arrive sooner rather than later.

About 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.

Hard Working Americans Sure Do See The Economy A Lot Differently Than The “Experts” Do

Right now the entire nation is buzzing about the very first debates for Democratic presidential contenders in 2019, and much of the focus of those debates will be on the economy.  A total of 20 candidates will participate in those debates, and the vast majority of them don’t have a prayer of actually winning the nomination.  Of course all of them will have “plans” for “fixing” the economy, but the truth is that most of those plans really aren’t that radically different from what has been tried in the past.  No matter who has been in the White House, our insatiable appetite for debt has allowed us to enjoy a tremendously bloated standard of living that was far beyond what we actually deserved.  We have been consuming far more wealth than we have been producing for so long that most Americans have come to accept this state of affairs as “normal”.  And under no circumstance will Americans elect any presidential candidate that would suggest that we should be willing to accept a lower standard of living and quit going into so much debt.  Everyone wants to hear that we will be able to have an even higher standard of living in the future, and of course that is what a lot of our politicians eagerly tell them.

But it isn’t true.

Sadly, the reality of the matter is that we are at the very end of the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world, and the way we live is about to dramatically change no matter who we send to Washington.

As I discussed yesterday, the evidence that the U.S. economy has already entered a significant downturn continues to grow.  All of the economic numbers that we have been getting lately have been bad, and yet so many of the “experts” continue to claim that the U.S. economy is in great shape.

In fact, a survey that was just released had some rather starting results.  100 percent of the “experts” that were surveyed rated the performance of the U.S. economy as either “excellent” or “good”, but average hard working Americans were a lot more evenly split

A new survey from financial information website Bankrate.com found that everyday Americans have a less favorable view of the economy than experts do. All the experts rated the economy as being “excellent” or “good,” compared to just 59 percent of others. And 39 percent of everyday Americans said the economy was “not so good” or “poor.”

Bankrate surveyed around 1,000 people and nine economic experts for the study.

The survey also included a question about when the next recession would begin.  Approximately 40 percent of average hard working Americans felt that a recession had either already begun or would begin very soon, but none of the “experts” felt that way

Everyday Americans also said they expect a recession to hit sooner than the experts predict. A fifth of Americans polled said they believe the recession has already begun, and 21 percent said they expected it to begin within six months or a year. However, all the experts said they don’t expect a recession to begin for either one to two years or more than two years.

Perhaps we should stop calling them “experts”, because they appear to be completely and utterly clueless.

And we had better hope that the economy can hold up, because a different survey has found that 71 percent of all Americans say that they “are unprepared for another financial crisis”…

Meanwhile, 43% of Americans say they feel financially insecure and 71% are unprepared for another financial crisis, such as going bankrupt or losing their home, a survey of 24,070 adults released this week by market researcher YouGov found. Some 55% of those who feel unprepared say they’re not confident that they will be able to afford retirement; they’re more likely than those who feel financially secure to say the government should make sure everyone has health insurance.

Today, 59 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and U.S. consumer debt just soared to another brand new record high.  People are partying when they should be preparing, and this new economic downturn is going to catch most of us completely off guard.

And day after day we continue to get more numbers that are telling us that the economic outlook is very bleak.  For example, it is now being projected that U.S. auto sales will drop substantially over the next two years

The U.S. auto market hit a record for new cars, with 17.5 million in sales, in 2015. Sales the following year were flat then dipped to 17.2 million in 2017 and rebounded in 2018, rising to 17.3 million. But the first half of this year has plunged into negative territory. Edmunds anticipates sales for all of 2019 will drop to 16.9 million. That’s the same estimate from AlixPartners, which is forecasting a further dip to 16.3 million in 2020 and just 15.1 million in 2021.

Now we are in election season, and all sorts of different candidates will be touted as the one “that can turn the economy around” and restore “the promise of America’s future”.

Every election cycle they spout the same nonsense, and it is amazing that anyone still falls for it anymore.

Right now, America is on a highly self-destructive path that only leads to economic oblivion.  We are 22 trillion dollars in debt, we have been adding more than a trillion dollars a year to the national debt for more than a decade, state and local governments are drowning in record levels of debt, corporate debt has more than doubled since the last financial crisis, U.S. consumers are almost 14 trillion dollars in debt, and the world as a whole is now 244 trillion dollars in debt.

If we keep doing the same things over and over again, we are going to keep getting the same results.

Under our current system, there is no way that this game is going to end well for any of us.  The only thing left to do is to extend the party for as long as possible, and that is precisely what our politicians have been doing for a long time.

But at some point “extend and pretend” simply won’t work anymore, and a day of reckoning for America will finally arrive.

About 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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