Goodbye Middle Class: 50 Percent Of American Workers Make Less Than 33,000 Dollars A Year

The truth is that most American families are deeply struggling, but you hardly ever hear this from the mainstream media.  Yes, about 10 percent of all American workers are making $100,000 or more a year, but most of those high paying jobs are concentrated in the major cities along the east and west coasts.  For much of the rest of the country, these are very challenging times as the cost of living soars but their paychecks do not.  According to the Social Security Administration, the median income in the United States last year was just $32,838.05.  In other words, 50 percent of American workers made more than $32,838.05 and 50 percent of American workers made less than $32,838.05 in 2018.  Let’s be generous and round that number up to $33,000, and when you break it down on a monthly basis it comes to just $2,750 a month.  Of course nobody can support a middle class lifestyle for a family of four on $2,750 a month before taxes, and so in most families more than one person is working these days.  In fact, in many families today more than one person is working multiple jobs in a desperate attempt to make ends meet, and it still is often not quite enough.

If you want to look at the Social Security wage statistics for yourself, you can find them right here.  As you will see, I am not making these numbers up.

These days many would have us feel bad if we are not making at least $100,000 a year, but according to the report only about 10 percent of all American workers make that much money.

Instead, most Americans are in what I would call “the barely getting by” category.  Here are some key facts that I pulled out of the report…

-33 percent of all American workers made less than $20,000 last year.

-46 percent of all American workers made less than $30,000 last year.

-58 percent of all American workers made less than $40,000 last year.

-67 percent of all American workers made less than $50,000 last year.

That means that approximately two-thirds of all American workers are making $4,000 or less a month before taxes.

Ouch.

But these numbers help us to understand why survey after survey has shown that most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.  After paying the bills, there just isn’t much money left for most of us.

And for an increasing number of Americans, even paying the bills has become exceedingly difficult.  In fact, a brand new report from UBS says that 44 percent of all U.S. consumers “don’t make enough money to cover their expenses”…

Low-income consumers are struggling to make ends meet despite the “greatest economy ever,” and if a recession strikes or the employment cycle continues to decelerate — this could mean the average American with insurmountable debts will likely fall behind on their debt servicing payments, according to a UBS report, first reported by Bloomberg.

UBS analyst Matthew Mish wrote in a recent report that 44% of consumers don’t make enough money to cover their expenses.

That means that about half the country is flat broke and struggling just to survive financially.

Of course those at the top of the economic food chain often don’t have a lot of sympathy for those that are hurting.  Many of them have the attitude that those that are struggling should just go out and get one of the “good jobs” that the mainstream media is endlessly touting.

But most jobs in the United States are not “good jobs”.

Today, the poverty level for a household of four in the United States is $25,750.  More than 40 percent of the workers in this country make less than that each year.

Starting a business is always an option, but that takes money, and thanks to government regulations it is harder than ever to run a small business successfully.

Just look at what is happening to our dairy farmers.  There are few occupations that are more quintessentially “American” than being a dairy farmer, and since most people drink milk and eat cheese, you would think that it would be a pretty safe profession.

But instead, dairy farms are shutting down at a pace that is absolutely chilling all over the nation.  For example, just check out what has been going on in Wisconsin

Wisconsin lost another 42 dairy farms in July, and since January 1, has lost 491 farms, reports the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

At this rate, the Dairy State could lose 735 dairy farms this year, which would be a decline of 9%. In 2018, the state lost 691 farms, a rate of decline of 7.9%.

Over the last decade the state has lost more than 5,000 farms, or 40% of its licensed dairy farms. To state the obvious, the current rate of exits is more than double that of the last decade.

So why is this happening?

Government.

In profession after profession, government control freaks have made it nearly impossible to make a living, and this has pushed the percentage of Americans that are self-employed to historic lows.

If you are struggling right now, I want you to know that you are not alone.  There are tens of millions of other Americans that are really hurting in this economy, and the bad news is that economic conditions will soon get a lot worse.

But you can make it through whatever is ahead.  You just have to keep believing.

A lot of people accuse me of spreading “doom and gloom”, but that is not true at all.  There is hope in understand what is happening, and there is hope in getting prepared for the hard times that are ahead.  When you take steps to prepare, you are telling yourself and everyone around you that you believe that you can make it through the storm that is coming.

Or you could just have blind faith in the system, even though it is exceedingly obvious that the system is crumbling all around us.  Those that are blindly trusting the system to take care of them are building their dreams on a foundation of sand, and when the waves come crashing in those dreams are going to get washed away very quickly.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep.  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 can only allow this to happen if this “About the Author” section is included 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.

They Are Telling Us That The Next Recession “Won’t Be As Bad As 2008”. They Are Wrong.

Are we really supposed to believe them?  As the next recession rapidly approaches, the mainstream media is assuring us that there isn’t really that much to be concerned about.  In fact, as you will see below, CNN is assuring us that “the next one won’t be as bad as 2008”.  But how do they know?  After all, we didn’t have a president that was in danger of being impeached in 2008.  As this impeachment process moves forward, the mood of this nation is going to become increasingly sour.  Over in Europe, they are dealing with endless Brexit drama, and over in China the Hong Kong protests have created instability unlike anything we have seen in the modern history of that country.  Meanwhile, the Middle East has become an endless source of “wars and rumors of wars”.  At some point missiles will start flying back and forth and a major war will erupt over there, and that will immediately throw the entire global economy into chaos.  On top of everything else, our planet is shaking like a leaf, global weather patterns are becoming increasingly unstable and crops are failing all over the world.  The truth is that the environment that the global economy operates within is far more unstable today than it was back in 2008, and it wouldn’t take much at all to push us into a complete and utter economic nightmare.

But if you listen to the mainstream media, you would be tempted to assume that everything is going to be just fine.

In fact, CNN just published an article entitled “Not all recessions are a crisis, and the next one won’t be as bad as 2008”

Recession fears are on the rise in the United States. Memories of the last downturn are exacerbating these worries: The last time America faced a recession was in 2008, as the financial crisis was unfolding. Millions of people lost their jobs, GDP growth plummeted and businesses shut down.

But not all recessions are like that. Sometimes the economy can grow all the way through a recession. In fact, some economists believe the world is in a recession now and most people don’t even realize it.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could go all the way through the next recession without even realizing it?

I would love that.

Perhaps they should invent a way for us to eat Brussels sprouts without realizing it as well.

According to CNN, it is likely that we are headed for a “growth recession” rather than a recession in which we would have “millions of lost jobs like the last recession”…

For the United States, a global growth recession will probably mean sluggish growth, rather than millions of lost jobs like the last recession 10 years ago did. A growth recession would be nothing like 2008, when America entered a so-called technical recession: at least two consecutive quarters of a shrinking economy. The US economy is far away from that.

They can be optimistic if they want, but the thing about sticking your head in the sand is that your rear end is still exposed.

Look, I am not opposed to wishful thinking, but at some point you have to deal with reality.  Personally, I would like to be able to dunk a basketball like Michael Jordan does, but it just isn’t going to happen.

And our reality is telling us that we are far more vulnerable economically today than we were back in 2008.  Even though we have never had a full year of 3 percent economic growth since the last recession, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is nearly twice as high as it was at the peak of the bubble that burst during the last financial crisis.

In other words, stock prices are absurdly overinflated, and at some point there is going to be a dramatic implosion.

Much of the growth in stock prices has been driven by companies that are supposedly worth billions of dollars but that don’t actually make any profits.

WeWork is an example of the type of company that I am talking about.  It is constantly hemorrhaging money, but back in January it was supposedly worth 47 billion dollars.

Of course that number was always completely and utterly ridiculous, and after all the trouble that the company has had in recent months the valuation of the company has changed dramatically.

In fact, at this point it is being reported that WeWork is only worth about 8 billion dollars

As WeWork runs out of money, SoftBank Group is orchestrating the company’s “rescue financing plan” that could value it below $8 billion, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: $8 billion is a slim fraction of the $47 billion valuation WeWork gleaned in January from SoftBank. The rescue plan also comes after the office-sharing business slammed the brakes on its IPO, causing company bonds to tumble.

So how does a company lose 39 billion dollars in value in less than a year?

Well, it was never actually worth 47 billion dollars in the first place, and the truth is that WeWork is eventually going to zero.

But similar things could be said about company after company.  Wall Street has become a theater for the absurd, and eventually this whole freak show is going to implode in spectacular fashion.

And so what happens if a historic stock market crash is one of the triggers that plunges us into an extended economic depression like we experienced in the 1930s?

Our society is not equipped to handle something like that.  We are soft, lazy, self-obsessed and completely dependent on the system.  If we had to suddenly become a lot more self-sufficient, most of us would fall flat on our faces.

Earlier today, I came across a Time Magazine article which explained that 71 percent of all 17-to-24-year-olds in the United States do not even meet the most basic qualifications for military service…

Approximately 71% of the 34 million 17-to-24-year-olds in the U.S. would not qualify for military service because of reasons related to health, physical appearance and educational background, according to the Pentagon.

The ineligible typically includes those who are obese, those who lack a high school diploma or a GED, convicted felons, those taking prescription drugs for ADHD and those with certain tattoos and ear gauges, the Wall Street Journal reports, though some requirements can be waived.

Only 1% of young people are both “eligible and inclined to have conversation with” the military about possible service, according to the Defense Department.

This is just one example of how badly our society has declined.

There are thousands more, and I write about them all the time.

So we better hope that things don’t get really, really bad in this country, because it would be a colossal mess unlike anything the world has ever seen before.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep.  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 in written form on their own websites, but only if this “About the Author” section is included.  In order to comply with 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.  You can follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter.  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 this website.

69 Percent Of U.S. Households “Are Preparing For A Possible Recession”

Do you believe that a recession is coming?  If so, you certainly have a lot of company.  It turns out that more than two-thirds of all U.S. households “are preparing for a possible recession” right now.  There is a growing national consensus that that U.S. economy is heading for big trouble, and this is causing a lot of people to cut back on spending.  In fact, we just witnessed the first drop in retail sales in seven months.  If this slowdown in retail spending extends into the holiday season, that could potentially be absolutely disastrous for the entire retail industry.  We are already in the midst of the worst “retail apocalypse” in U.S. history, and we are learning of more store closings with each passing day.  But of course it isn’t just the retail industry that is in very serious trouble, and I have some brand new numbers from a couple of other sectors that I will share with you below.

But first let’s talk about this new survey that just came out that says that 69 percent of all U.S. households “are preparing for a possible recession”

More than two-thirds of U.S. households say they are preparing for a possible recession.

Some 69% of participants in a recent poll said they were taking steps to shore up their finances ahead of a possible downturn, including 44% who said they were spending less money. Some 10%, including 13% of college graduates, are looking for a better or more stable job.

Considering what I do, it makes perfect sense to me that more than two-thirds of the country would be preparing for a recession.

But it would be very interesting to see this number broken down by political affiliation.  In general, Democrats tend to be far more pessimistic about the economy than Republicans are right now, and that is just because Donald Trump is in the White House.

I would suspect that the percentage of Trump supporters that are “preparing for a possible recession” would be well under 50 percent, but that is just a guess on my part.

In any event, the truth is that 100 percent of Americans should be preparing for a recession, because the warning signs are all around us.

And on Wednesday another economic red flag emerged.  For months, the economic optimists have been touting “the strength of the consumer” as one of the bright spots for the economy, but last month retail sales dropped for the first time in seven months

U.S. retail sales fell for the first time in seven months in September, raising fears that a slowdown in the American manufacturing sector could be starting to bleed into the consumer side of the economy.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that retail sales dropped 0.3% last month as households slashed spending on building materials, online purchases and especially automobiles.

That is certainly not the end of the world, but it does indicate that consumers are starting to scale back their spending.

Of course that is the last thing that retailers want to see happen.  We are already on pace to absolutely shatter the all-time record for store closings in a single year, and we just learned that Sears and Kmart will soon be closing more stores

Sears and Kmart store closings are expected to continue into early 2020.

While more than 100 Sears and Kmart stores will shutter in the coming months, additional closures will stretch into January.

Company officials did not release an official list of the locations that will close. But news outlets across the nation, as well as documents filed with state governments, show some of the closings will happen in January 2020.

Sears has essentially been in the process of liquidating for a very long time, and we can only hope that eventually this incredibly painful liquidation will mercifully come to an end.

For many other retailers, this holiday season will be a “make or break moment”, and we should probably expect another huge wave of store closing announcements early in 2020.

And as I noted above, it isn’t just the retail industry that is really struggling.  We are already in a “transportation recession”, and we just learned that the Cass Freight Index has now declined for ten months in a row.  The following comes from Wolf Richter

Freight shipments by all modes of transportation – truck, rail, air, and barge – within the US fell 3.4% in September 2019, compared to September last year, according to the Cass Freight Index for Shipments. For the index – which tracks shipment volume of consumer and industrial goods but not of bulk commodities – it was the 10th month in a row of relentless year-over-year declines

Another sector that is facing very tough times is the auto industry, and according to Reuters over 7 million Americans are seriously delinquent on their auto loans…

More than 7 million Americans are already 90 or more days behind on their car loans, according to the New York Federal Reserve, and serious delinquency rates among borrowers with the lowest credit scores have by far seen the fastest acceleration.

If all these numbers remind you of the last recession, that would make perfect sense, because we haven’t seen anything like this in more than a decade.

And all of this is happening even though the federal government is adding a trillion dollars to the national debt each year and the Federal Reserve has begun flooding the financial system with fresh cash.

In terms of “economic stimulus”, our leaders are already pushing the accelerator all the way to the floor, and it is simply not working.

This truly is the beginning of the end (#ad) for the U.S. economy, and most Americans can now see that very tough times are ahead.

But what most Americans don’t understand is that what we will be facing won’t be anything like 2008.

Instead, it will be much, much worse.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep.  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 in written form on their own websites as long as this “About the Author” section is included.  In order to comply with 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.  You can follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter.  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 this website.

 

This Is What A Recession Looks Like – Here Are 12 Big Companies That Are Conducting Major Layoffs

Do you remember what it was like in 2008 when it literally felt like no job was truly safe?  It was a terrible time, and many fear that we could soon be facing a similar scenario.  In recent days, big companies all across America have been laying off workers at a frightening pace.  As economic activity has slowed down, a lot of firms are feeling compelled to slash their payrolls, and if a deep recession is ahead of us then what we have seen so far could be just the tip of the iceberg.  In 2008 and 2009, millions of Americans lost their jobs very rapidly, and it could very easily happen again.

As I have been conducting research over the past few days, I have been struck by the stunning number of layoff announcements that are suddenly popping up in the news.  Here are 12 of the most prominent examples…

#1 HP Inc: “U.S. personal computer maker HP Inc said on Thursday it will cut up to 16% of its workforce as part of a restructuring plan aimed at cutting costs. The company will cut about 7,000 to 9,000 jobs through a combination of employee exits and voluntary early retirement, it said in a statement.”

#2 WeWork: “WeWork, the co-working business once valued at $47 billion, is expected to announce significant layoffs this month, Bloomberg reports. This follows reports the company was looking to slash as many as 5,000 roles, or one-third of its workforce.”

#3 Kroger: “Kroger is laying off hundreds of employees across the family of grocery stores it owns, a person familiar with the situation tells CNBC.”

#4 Sports Illustrated:  “The revered 65-year-old Sports Illustrated magazine is in a state of bedlam. In meetings Thursday afternoon, managers told staff members that about half the newsroom would be laid off, according to two people present at the meetings.”

#5 Uber: “The 435 employees cut from Uber include members from its product team and engineering team.”

#6 John Deere: “John Deere is set to layoff more than 150 workers at two of its plants in the Quad-Cities.”

#7 Bayou Steel Group: “According to Market Realist, Bayou Steel Group filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday and the company laid off 376 workers. U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal also curtailed some of their facilities. U.S. Steel idled two of its US blast furnaces earlier this year and the company expects those blast furnaces to be idle until at least the end of the year.”

#8 Elanco: “Elanco Animal Health Inc. which went public a year ago, on Monday said it plans to lay off 250 workers to save $12 million in 2020.”

#9 Lazard Asset Management: “Lazard Ltd. is cutting up to 7% of its employees in its asset-management division and closing some investment funds by year’s end, people familiar with the matter said, amid a tougher climate for money managers.”

#10 Advance Engineering Corporation: “Advance Engineering Corporation, Elgin, permanent closing due to relocation affecting 114 employees. First layoff date is Nov. 4, with layoffs to be completed by Dec. 31.”

#11 Daimler Trucks North America: “The company is laying off 450 workers at its Mount Holly plant and about the same number at its plant in Cleveland.”

#12 Genesis Healthcare: “Genesis Healthcare, in a statement to McKnight’s on Wednesday said it has reorganized its therapy gyms in response to PDPM and other industry changes. The company laid off 585 out of about 10,000 Genesis Rehab employees.”

This isn’t what a “booming economy” looks like.

In fact, this is precisely what we would expect to see as the U.S. economy plunges into a major economic downturn.

Of course a lot of people out there don’t want to believe that this is actually happening.  There are many that have absolutely convinced themselves that the good times will keep rolling indefinitely, even though all of the evidence is pointing to the contrary.

On Wall Street, investors are trying to make sense of all the negative data that we have been receiving lately, and many of them are starting to become quite nervous

Lagging or leading, macro or micro, global or domestic. For investors, all that matters to keep the bull market intact is whether this week’s torrent of data is flashing a recession ahead or just a few local shocks.

In a market so divided on the outlook, every piece of data holds the prospect of vindication or rebuttal — and numbers on Thursday just handed fresh ammo to the bears. A U.S. services gauge dropped to a three-year low in September and jobless claims rose more than expected, shortly after a euro-zone report showing a factory slump has spread to services.

Needless to say, all of the chaos in Washington is certainly not going to help matters.  The federal government will be paralyzed while this impeachment inquiry plays out, and Democrats are hoping to have articles of impeachment ready for a vote around Thanksgiving.

And I know that a lot of people don’t want to hear this, but Nancy Pelosi believes that she already has the votes that she needs.

That means that President Trump could be headed for impeachment, and a Senate trial would unleash chaos all over America.  We are already a deeply, deeply divided nation, and their entire saga is going to make things much worse.

You see, the truth is that our economic problems are not just happening in a vacuum.  There are many different elements to the emerging “perfect storm”, and they are all going to feed into one another.

So buckle your seat belts and get prepared for rougher times, because this drama is only in the very early chapters.

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. Of course the most important thing that we can share with people is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if you would like to learn more about how you can become a Christian I would encourage you to read this article.

A U.S. Economic Slowdown Has Been Confirmed, And We Are Being Warned That “More Damage” Is Ahead

We just witnessed the worst month for U.S. manufacturers in more than 10 years, and nobody seems optimistic that things are going to get much better any time soon.  In fact, one expert is warning that “more damage” is coming if the trade war is not resolved, and unfortunately it does not appear that a resolution will be possible for the foreseeable future.  As I have been detailing for months, the entire global economy has been steadily slowing down, but some shocking new numbers that we just got indicate that our economic problems are really starting to accelerate.  So hold on to your hats, because it looks like things are about to get really crazy.  According to CNBC, September was the worst month for U.S. factories in more than a decade

The U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers’ index from the Institute for Supply Management came in at 47.8% in September, the lowest since June 2009, marking the second consecutive month of contraction. Any figure below 50% signals a contraction.

The new export orders index was only 41%, the lowest level since March 2009, down from the August reading of 43.3%, ISM data showed.

Those numbers are absolutely abysmal, and they were far worse than analysts were expecting.

Since December 2009, I have published more than 2,000 articles on The Economic Collapse Blog, and in all that time we have never seen manufacturing numbers this bad.

According to Peter Boockvar, the chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, we have “now tariffed our way into a manufacturing recession in the U.S. and globally”.  So those that have been waiting for a “manufacturing recession” to arrive can now stop waiting.  It is here, and it is going to be very painful.

All over America factories are starting to close down at an alarming pace.  This week, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards blamed the “sudden shutdown” of a steel plant in his state on the ongoing trade war

In Louisiana, meanwhile, Gov. John Bel Edwards on Tuesday blamed the sudden shutdown of a steel plant on tariffs. “While Bayou Steel has not given any specific reason for the closure, we know that this company, which uses recycled scrap metal that is largely imported, is particularly vulnerable to tariffs,” he said.

The closure of LaPlace, Louisiana-based of Bayou Steel will cost 376 employees their jobs.

All over the globe, manufacturing numbers are plunging at an alarming pace thanks to the trade war.  For a long time I warned my readers that the level of economic pain that this trade war would inflict upon all of us would steadily rise as long as this trade war persisted, and now the experts being quoted by the mainstream media are saying the exact same thing.  Here is just one example

“The manufacturing side is telling us something. It’s a combination of global growth and we’ve got a trade war that’s been going on for a year and a half,” said Christian Fromhertz, CEO of The Tribeca Trade Group. “That’s been freezing things up. The longer this trade war keeps going, the more damage it does.

Of course it isn’t just the U.S. that is being hit extremely hard.

Overall, we haven’t seen a slowdown in global trade like this since the last recession, and at this point container shipping rates are down a whopping 34 percent since the beginning of 2019…

Container shipping rates continue to move lower into the fourth quarter of 2019, according to FreightWaves. The drop in price comes as a result of the most recent round of tariffs discouraging U.S. importers from front loading orders. As a result, ocean carriers are looking to cut even more shipping capacity in hopes of meeting tepid demand into the back end of the year.

Spot rates on the Freightos Baltic Daily Index for China-North America West Coast were down 8% from last week, falling to $1,327 per forty-foot equivalent unit. Container rates are down 34% since the beginning of the year, despite the industry now being in peak season. 

For months, I have been sharing numbers that indicate that the entire global economy is heading into a recession.  But now the numbers are absolutely screaming that major trouble is imminent.

Winter is coming, and it will not be pleasant.

After the horrifying U.S. manufacturing numbers were released on Tuesday, U.S. stock prices immediately began falling, and the Dow ended the day down more than 340 points

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 343.79 points lower, or 1.3% at 26,573.04 after rallying more than 100 points earlier in the day. The S&P 500 slid 1.2% close at 2,940.25. The Nasdaq Composite was down 1.1% at 7,908.68.

Tuesday marked the worst one-day performance for the Dow and S&P 500 since Aug. 23.

Meanwhile, as is usually the case when economic doom erupts, the price of gold is soaring once again

Gloom for the economy is a boom for safe havens. A 10-year-low in a reading of U.S. manufacturing activity sent investors flocking back to the safety of gold on Tuesday, just after they let the yellow metal flounder to two-month lows.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled up $16.10, or 1%, at $1,489 per ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The threat of impeachment looms over Washington, and it could potentially unleash political chaos like we haven’t seen in the United States in decades.

And at the same time, the global economy is deteriorating to a degree that we have not seen since the last recession, and many believe that what is coming will be even worse than what we experienced a decade ago.

Dark storm clouds have gathered over America, and we stand on the precipice of one of the most critical moments in the history of our nation.

Unfortunately, most Americans are still dead asleep, and many of them have absolutely no idea what is about to happen.

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. Of course the most important thing that we can share with people is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if you would like to learn more about how you can become a Christian I would encourage you to read this article.

A Shocking New Survey Finds That Most Americans Are Completely Unprepared For The Next Recession

Just like in 2008, most Americans are living right on the edge financially, and so any sort of an economic downturn is going to be extremely painful for tens of millions of American families.  When you have not built up a financial cushion, any sort of a setback can be absolutely disastrous.  During the last recession, millions of Americans suddenly lost their jobs, and because most of them were living paycheck to paycheck a lot of them suddenly couldn’t pay their mortgages.  In the end, millions of Americans lost their homes during the “subprime mortgage meltdown”, and today the housing bubble is even larger than it was back then.  Sadly, the reality of the matter is that many of us are just barely scraping by from month to month, and that is a very dangerous position to be in.

A new survey that was just released shows just how vulnerable American consumers have become at this point in time.  According to the survey, the top financial priority for 38 percent of all Americans is just trying to pay the bills, and for 19 percent of all Americans it is dealing with credit card debt.  The following comes from Fox Business

Among survey respondents in the nationally representative poll, 38 percent said their top financial priority is “just staying current on living expenses or getting caught up on all the bills.” Almost 3 in 10 respondents (29 percent) said their chief priority was “saving more money,” and 19 percent indicated they were mainly working on paying down debt from products like credit cards and student loans.

So that means that for nearly 60 percent of all Americans, the top financial priority each month is either finding a way to pay the bills or dealing with credit card debt.

And if you are struggling to pay the bills each month or you are drowning in credit card debt, the truth is that you are definitely not ready for the next recession.

The same survey also discovered that a very large percentage of Americans are not following any sort of a financial budget

More than a decade into the longest economic expansion on record, almost two-fifths of people said in a new Bankrate poll that their main financial priority was just keeping their heads above water on living expenses rather than saving money.

Nearly as many of those surveyed said that they’re not following financial budgets, according to Bankrate’s September Financial Security Poll.

So many people out there spend money whenever they feel like it and they don’t have any sort of a plan for their finances.

And then when they get deep into debt they wonder how that could have possibly happened.

It is so important to take charge of your money and to have a plan for where you want to go financially.  Because if you don’t have a plan for your money, I promise you that somebody else does.  As many of us have learned the hard way, it is all too easy to fall victim to all of the financial predators that are constantly circling these days.  The big financial institutions want to get Americans into as much debt as possible, because the deeper we are in debt the more money they make.

In our society, everything has become all about extracting as much money out of you as possible.  Even when we are at the checkout counter at the supermarket we are asked if we want to get some “cash back” so that they can charge us a “convenience fee” and make even more money.  And of course most of the money that is extracted out of us ultimately ends up at the very top of the financial pyramid, and as a result the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” continues to grow.

In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau is telling us that the gap between the rich and the poor is now “greater than it has ever been”

In the midst of the longest economic expansion the United States has ever seen, with poverty and unemployment rates at historic lows, the separation between rich and poor from 2017 and 2018 was greater than it has ever been, federal data show.

To be fair, the U.S. Census Bureau has only been measuring this since 1967, and so it is entirely possible that things could have been even worse earlier in our history.

But the numbers do clearly show that the gap has been steadily widening for years, and at this point wealth inequality in the U.S. is far greater than it is in any country in Europe

The Gini index measures wealth distribution across a population, with zero representing total equality and 1 representing total inequality, where all wealth is concentrated in a single household. The indicator has been rising steadily during the past several decades. When the Census Bureau began studying income inequality more than 50 years ago, the Gini index was 0.397. In 2018, the Gini index rose to 0.485.

By comparison, no European country had a Gini index greater than 0.38 between 2017 and 2018.

So what this means is that we have a small group of people at the top of the pyramid doing really, really well, but meanwhile most of the rest of us are deeply struggling.

In fact, survey after survey has shown that the vast majority of Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck.

The way that our entire system is structured greatly favors Wall Street, the big banks, the largest corporations and those with enormous amounts of money.  And they are able to maintain control of the system by literally buying elections and controlling public opinion through their control of the mainstream media.  Our founders were deeply suspicious of large concentrations of power, and we need to return to the values that our nation was founded upon if we ever hope to turn things around.

Unfortunately, more Americans that ever are convinced that socialism is the answer to the problems that I just discussed, and this is fueling the rise of politicians such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

But socialist experiments have failed all throughout human history, and socialism would fail here too.

Big government is never the answer.  Sadly, we already have the biggest government in the history of the world, and many Americans seem absolutely determined to make it even bigger.

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. Of course the most important thing that we can share with people is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if you would like to learn more about how you can become a Christian I would encourage you to read this article.

The Latest Numbers Tell Us That The Global Economic Slowdown Is Accelerating Dramatically

Economists are already predicting “the world’s lowest growth in a decade”, but it is beginning to look like what we will be facing will be much worse than that.  In recent days, numbers have been coming in from all over the planet that are absolutely abysmal.  The “global economic slowdown” is rapidly transitioning into a new global economic crisis, and central banks seem powerless to stop what is happening.  They have already pushed interest rates to the floor (actually below the floor in many cases), and over the past decade they have absolutely flooded the global economy with new money.  But despite all of this unprecedented intervention, economic conditions are deteriorating at a pace that is breathtaking.

Let’s start by taking a look at what is happening in India.  According to CNN, vehicle sales in India fell a whopping 31 percent in July…

Just two years ago, India’s huge car market was booming and global players were rushing to invest. Now it’s been slammed into reverse.

Sales of passenger vehicles plunged 31% in July, according to figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Tuesday. It’s the ninth straight month of declines and the sharpest one-month drop in more than 18 years, SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told CNN Business.

Those are numbers you would expect to see if we were in the middle of a full-blown economic depression, and it is being projected that this downturn “could result in a million people being laid off”

The slump has prompted companies to slash over 330,000 jobs through the closing of car dealerships and cutbacks at component manufacturers, Mathur said, citing data from industry associations that govern those two sectors.

The Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India warned in a statement last month that its “crisis-like situation” could result in a million people being laid off.

A million jobs is very serious.

And we are talking about just one industry in one country.

How many jobs will ultimately be lost all over the world in the months ahead?

Over in China, the auto industry is also deeply struggling

China’s Geely (GELYF) revealed this week that its net profit probably plunged by 40% in the first half of the year as the world’s second largest economy slowed. In June alone, its car sales fell 29%.

That isn’t supposed to happen in China.

For decades, China has been one of the primary engines of global economic growth, but now things have changed dramatically.

Perhaps you can blame the trade war for what is happening in China, but the auto industry is also in big trouble in Europe.  In fact, some of the biggest automakers in the world are closing European factories and ruthlessly slashing jobs

Ford is cutting 12,000 jobs and closing six plants in Europe, including an engine factory in the United Kingdom. Jaguar Land Rover, which is owned by India’s Tata Motors (TTM), is slashing 4,500 jobs. Honda is also closing a plant in the United Kingdom.

If those companies expected the European economy to bounce back in the foreseeable future, they would not be making such moves.

But just like you and I, they can see what is happening to Europe’s economy, and on Monday we just received some more deeply troubling news.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

Weakness in euro-area manufacturing hit a climax this morning as German private sector activity plunged to a seven-year low. The Germany Manufacturing PMI slumped in September, dropping to 41.4, down from 44.7 in August, printing below the lowest sellside estimate (consensus of 44.4); worse, the German manufacturing recession is now spreading to the services sector, where the formerly resilient services PMI also slumped from 54.8 to 52.5, also missing the lowest analyst estimate, and collectively, resulting in the first composite PMI print below 50, or 49.1 to be precise, since April 2013. The rate of decline was one of the sharpest in seven years.

It appears that the German economy has already entered recession territory, and these new numbers are not causing anyone to be optimistic.

In fact, “abysmal” is hardly strong enough to describe these absolutely horrible figures

  • Flash Germany PMI Composite Output Index (1) at 49.1 (Aug: 51.7). 83-month low.
  • Flash Germany Services PMI Activity Index(2) at 52.5 (Aug: 54.8). 9-month low.
  • Flash Germany Manufacturing PMI(3) at 41.4 (Aug: 43.5). 123-month low.
  • Flash Germany Manufacturing Output Index(4) at 42.7 (Aug: 45.8). 86-month low.

Of course the U.S. economy has been slowing down for quite some time now, and if you doubt this, I encourage you to read this list of 28 alarming facts about our economy that I posted earlier this month.

We haven’t seen economic conditions like this in the United States since the depths of the Great Recession, and many believe that what is coming will be far worse than the last time around.

And we may be deep into the coming crisis far sooner than many were expecting.  In fact, David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff is adamant that there is “a recession coming in the next 12 months”

David Rosenberg, the Gluskin Sheff chief economist and strategist, is warning that a recession is coming. Rosenberg says economic growth in the United States will turn negative sooner than most investors anticipate and the Federal Reserve is powerless.

Even if the central bank lowers interest rates to zero, a recession will still grip the U.S. within 12 months, Rosenberg predicts. “There’s a recession coming in the next 12 months,” he stated with fact last Thursday on CNBC’s “Futures Now. The Fed just lowered its benchmark interest rate last Wednesday by a quarter-point and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signaled rates would only be cut again if there’s new evidence the economy is softening.

If things really start to deteriorate in the months ahead, we could be in the midst of a horrible economic downturn by the time the U.S. presidential election rolls around.

Let us hope that is not the case, but right now things certainly do not look good for the U.S. economy or for the global economy as a whole.

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. Of course the most important thing that we can share with people is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if you would like to learn more about how you can become a Christian I would encourage you to read this article.

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