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Consumer Spending Drought: 16 Signs That The Middle Class Is Running Out Of Money

Drought - Photo by Bert KaufmannIs "discretionary income" rapidly becoming a thing of the past for most American families?  Right now, there are a lot of signs that we are on the verge of a nightmarish consumer spending drought.  Incomes are down, taxes are up, many large retail chains are deeply struggling because of the lack of customers, and at this point nearly a quarter of all Americans have more credit card debt than money in the bank.  Considering the fact that consumer spending is such a large percentage of the U.S. economy, that is very bad news.  How will we ever have a sustained economic recovery if consumers don't have much money to spend?  Well, the truth is that we aren't ever going to have a sustained economic recovery.  In fact, this debt-fueled bubble of false hope that we are experiencing right now is as good as things are going to get.  Things are going to go downhill from here, and if you think that consumer spending is bad now, just wait until you see what happens over the next several years.

Even though the Dow is surging toward a record high right now, everyone knows that things are not good for the middle class.  A recent quote from CPA Howard Dvorkin kind of summarizes our current state of affairs very nicely...

"The fact of the matter is that America is broke — whether it's mortgages, student loans or credit cards, we are broke. The old rule of thumb is that people should have six months' of savings," Dvorkin says."If you talk to people, most don't have two pennies."

These days most Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck, and thanks to rising prices and rising taxes, those paychecks are getting squeezed tighter and tighter.  Many families have had to cut back on unnecessary expenses, and some families no longer have any discretionary income at all.

The following are 16 signs that the middle class is rapidly running out of money...

#1 According to one brand new survey, 24 percent of all Americans have more credit card debt than money in the bank.

#2 J.C. Penney was once an unstoppable retail powerhouse, but now J.C. Penney has just posted its lowest annual retail sales in more than 20 years...

J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) slid the most in more than three decades after the department-store chain lost $4.3 billion in sales in the first year of Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson’s turnaround plan.

The shares fell 18 percent to $17.40 at 11:28 a.m. in New York after earlier declining 22 percent, the biggest intraday drop since at least 1980, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. J.C. Penney yesterday said its net loss in the quarter ended Feb. 2 widened to $552 million from $87 million a year earlier. The Plano, Texas-based retailer’s annual revenue slid 25 percent to $13 billion, the lowest since at least 1987.

How much worse can things get?  At this point the decline has become so steep for J.C. Penney that Jim Cramer of CNBC is declaring that they are in "a true tailspin".

#3 In the United States today, a new car has become out of reach for most middle class Americans according to the 2013 Car Affordability Study...

Looking to buy a new car, truck or crossover? You may find it more difficult to stretch the household budget than you expected, according to a new study that finds median-income families in only one major U.S. city actually can afford the typical new vehicle.

The typical new vehicle is now more expensive than ever, averaging $30,500 in 2012, according to TrueCar.com data, and heading up again as makers curb the incentives that helped make their products more affordable during the recession when they were desperate for sales. According to the 2013 Car Affordability Study by Interest.com, only in Washington could the typical household swing the payments, the median income there running $86,680 a year.

#4 The founder of Subway Restaurants, Fred Deluca, says that the recent tax increases are having a noticeable impact on his business...

"The payroll tax is affecting sales. It's causing sales declines," he said, estimating a decline of about 2 percentage points off sales at his restaurants. "There are a lot of pressures on consumers," Deluca said, adding "I think this is on the permanent side, but I think business will adjust to it."

#5 Many other large restaurant chains are also struggling in this tough economic environment...

Darden Restaurants, which owns the casual dining chains Oliver Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and Red Lobster, said blended same-store sales at its three eateries would be 4.5 percent lower during its fiscal third quarter.

Clarence Otis, Darden's chairman and chief executive, said that "while results midway through the third quarter were encouraging, there were difficult macro-economic headwinds during the last month of the quarter."

"Two of the most prominent were increased payroll taxes and rising gasoline prices, which together put meaningful pressure on the discretionary purchasing power of our guests," he added.

#6 The CFO of Family Dollar recently admitted to CNBC that this is a "challenging time" because of reduced consumer spending...

At Family Dollar where the average customer makes less than $40,000 a year, the combination of a two-percent hike in the payroll tax, rising gas prices and delayed tax refunds has created a "challenging time and an uncertain time for the consumer right now," said Mary Winston, the company's chief financial officer.

"In our case, anything that takes money out of our customer's wallet gives them less money to spend in our stores," she told CNBC. "So I think all of those things create nervousness for the consumer, and I think there are sometimes political dynamics going on that they might not even fully understand the details, but they know it's not good."

#7 Even Wal-Mart is really struggling right now.  According to a recent Bloomberg article, Wal-Mart is struggling "to restock store shelves as U.S. sales slump"...

Evelin Cruz, a department manager at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Pico Rivera, California, said Simon’s comments from the officers’ meeting were “dead on.”

“There are gaps where merchandise is missing,” Cruz said in a telephone interview. “We are not talking about a couple of empty shelves. This is throughout the store in every store. Some places look like they’re going out of business.”

This all comes on the heels of an internal Wal-Mart memo that was leaked to the press earlier this month that described February sales as a "total disaster".

#8 Electronics retailer Best Buy continues to struggle mightily.  Best Buy just announced that it will be eliminating 400 jobs at its headquarters in Richfield, Minnesota.

#9 It is being projected that many of the largest retail chains in America, including Best Buy, will close down hundreds of stores during 2013.  The following is a list of projected store closings for 2013 that I included in a previous article...

Best Buy

Forecast store closings: 200 to 250

Sears Holding Corp.

Forecast store closings: Kmart 175 to 225, Sears 100 to 125

J.C. Penney

Forecast store closings: 300 to 350

Office Depot

Forecast store closings: 125 to 150

Barnes & Noble

Forecast store closings: 190 to 240, per company comments

Gamestop

Forecast store closings: 500 to 600

OfficeMax

Forecast store closings: 150 to 175

RadioShack

Forecast store closings: 450 to 550

#10 Another sign that consumer spending is slowing down is the fact that less stuff is being moved around in our economy.   As I have mentioned previously, freight shipment volumes have hit their lowest level in two years, and freight expenditures have gone negative for the first time since the last recession.

#11 Many young adults have no discretionary income to spend because they are absolutely drowning in student loan debt.  According to the New York Federal Reserve, student loan debt nearly tripled between 2004 and 2012.

#12 The student loan delinquency rate in the United States is now at an all-time high.  It is only a matter of time before the student loan debt bubble bursts.

#13 Due to a lack of jobs and high levels of debt, poverty among young adults in America is absolutely exploding.  Today, U.S. families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.

#14 According to one recent survey, 62 percent of all middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.

#15 Median household income in the United States has fallen for four consecutive years.  Overall, it has declined by more than $4000 during that time span.

#16 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is currently taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.

Are you starting to get the picture?

Retailers are desperate for sales, but you can't squeeze blood out of a rock.

For much more on how the middle class is absolutely drowning in debt, please see this article: "Money Is A Form Of Social Control And Most Americans Are Debt Slaves".

But if you listen to the mainstream media, they would have you believe that happy days are here again.

Right now, everyone seems to be quite giddy about the fact that the Dow is marching toward an all-time high.  And I actually do believe that the Dow will blow right past it.  In fact, it is even possible that we could see the Dow hit 15,000 before everything starts falling apart.

But at some point, the financial markets will catch up with economic reality.  It is just a matter of time.

In the meanwhile, those that are wise are taking advantage of these times of plenty to prepare for the great economic drought that is coming.

Don't be caught living paycheck to paycheck and totally unprepared when the next wave of the economic collapse strikes.  Anyone that believes that this debt-fueled bubble of false hope can last indefinitely is just being delusional.

During The Years Of Plenty, Prepare For The Years Of Drought - Photo Taken By Tomas Castelazo

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  • markthetruth

    “The Stab in the Back Middle Class Illusion”

    We are Watching and Being Taken by the Biggest ILLUSION we will ever see in our life time. And the Fact is most people are DELUSIONAL at the same time.

    the end…

    • Syrin

      Well, at least we can save our money in the bank right? Oh wait, interest rates are less than the inflation rate.

  • DownWithLibs

    Way off topic:

    I fear that we will have Sharia Law in this country AND it will be by the vote of the people.

    • Gay Veteran

      If we get “Sharia Law” it will be the fundamentalist “Christian” variety

      • pbcmusicguy

        Christians are more accommodating than the Muslims. They will chop off both of your heads

        • jaxon

          you 3 stooges are really ridiculous ( so is the sharia comment though). Christians and christianity have been the vast majority of this country since its inception and they have not been chopping off heads or mandating people convert–your hate speech and intolerance of Christians because of their higher morals just gets old.
          There is no need to reply to silly comments by fearful haters by turning around and replying with the same level of ignorance.

          • Bad Kitty Cat

            Agree :-)

          • Gay Veteran

            “and they have not been chopping off heads”
            well, except for those “Christian” slaveowners

      • Bad Kitty Cat

        Do your research first. It was Christian values that brought seperation of church and state, and the belief of allowing others to follow their beliefs. Individuals may act otherwise, but the church does not endorse hate or forced beliefs.

        • Lisa

          To clarify, it was PROTESTANT Christian values. Ever heard of the Roman Catholic ‘Church’ and how they joined with various European monarchs and/or governments to enforce their beliefs during the Dark Ages? That’s why they were called the Dark Ages. I think the people who lives during that time would disagree with you.

          • Lisa

            Grrr, should’ve checked my spelling, I meant ‘lived’.

          • Bad Kitty Cat

            I repeat, do your research–I challenge you. But let us not fight over denominational differences… that was not my point. I was trying to state that I highly doubt there would be a Christian version of Shira (excuse spelling) law, based on core Christian values.

          • Gay Veteran

            considering how “Christians” treated Blacks and Gays you need to do some research yourself

          • Bad Kitty Cat

            Correction: All christian denominations, catholic and protestant have had their times of persecuting (based on my research!), but the Biblical value is freedom of choice. And the Dark Ages was partially a result of the Roman Empire crumblinh (which brings us back to the point of this blog).

        • Gay Veteran

          “but the church does not endorse hate or forced beliefs”
          really, ever hear of Jim Crow?

      • Mark

        Why in the world are you worried about Christian values. It seems to me that the world is going the other way which would make you a happy camper.

    • Ayn Rand

      Umm… I would be more scared of radical Christian law… I fear that Muslims will be targeted by rascist bastards. Don’t be a rascist. There are few Muslims in this country, and way too many Christians who do NOT follow Christ. Christ preached peace love and acceptance. Follow his example and don’t judge the Muslims. Most are good people.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mark.caldwell.90857 Mark Caldwell

        The black Muslim groups and the inner city gangs seem to be great chums. And the Black Panthers are close to both of them.

        I wonder if the DHS will give a large portion of the 1.4 billion rounds they have purchased to their radicalized black supremacy friends? I wouldn’t put it past them.

        Especially after the Obama admin sent out 372,000 letters declaring veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam to be disqualified from purchasing guns and permanently added to the ‘no buy’ lists.

        But I could be wrong about Obama, he is sorta Christian..(albeit of the paranoid, neo-segregationist, Afro-nationalist branch).

        • smallergovnow

          372,000 letters declaring veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam to be disqualified from purchasing guns … do you have a link to this story/source? thanks….

        • Ayn Rand

          I only see two “groups” of people: Those who support tyranny, and those who accept liberty. I believe that people can always change sides. Besides, not all Muslims and blacks are like that. Don’t make generalizations. I could call you a bible thumping, gay hating, white supremacist, christian. BUT I DONT BELIEVE YOU ARE!!!!! I believe you are simply confused and misled by hatred. The government WANTS you to hate Muslims. THey are a good scapegoat. LIKE THE JEWS!

      • smallergovnow

        Ayn, you are a loser…

    • EdM01

      Except it won’t go by the name “Sharia Law” it will go by the name “Biblical Law” or some other “Christian” name the right-wing totalitarian rich “Christian” fundamentalists would hatch up.

  • Rodster

    My business has slowed down this year especially in Feb. I’ve had to cutback by reducing inventory and eliminating all my print media advertising. I’m strictly going with Google this year.

    • Jodi

      Rodster: I work in the print media advertising business & everybody to cutting back. Advertising is always the first thing people cut. I often wonder how long my new job will last.

      • Rodster

        Both print media companies (Verizon Supermedia and DEX ONE) I advertise with are looking to merge or they will declare bankruptcy. My advertising ends this year which will cost me 10.3K and that’s it, i’m going Google.

      • Jam

        Im in printing too, we just cut back to a 30 hour week…..things were projecting to be good then feb came thru and reality bit really hard

  • Hambone

    This stock market is a head scratcher. If it’s on the rise, then people are buying into it now. If it makes a tumble, those people are going to lose their shirts.

    I honestly fear for this country.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Uh-huh. The stock market is a trap for the wealthy. What goes up must come down, and when it does, the people who bought in the market will be poor like the rest of us.

    • Jaxon

      it’s a ruse…it’s not really “going up”. The QE3 essentially is dumping the 35 billion dollars printed by the Fed each and every month directly into the TBTF banks and hence-Wall Street. Factor in the inherant devaluation of the dollar each and every month by increasing the monetary supply and ..tada !!…there is your stock market surge.
      Most people, because of ignorance and a complicit MSM, equate a rising stock market with a healthy national financial system. If they hear, ” stocks are approaching a record high”..their little trained minds think, ” wow, the econonmy is sure booming!” –even as their food bills and gas costs have gone up by 120% in the past 4+ years, their pays are frozen, their taxes are higher and their health insurance costs jumped through the roof.
      Want more evidence of pure manipulation of the financial industry? Simply look at gold and silver prices. They have been slowly sliding since the beginning of the New Year. This makes absolutely no sense when you consider the US Mint announced silver bullion sales in January surpassed the entire year of 2012-in one month! Also when you look at India dumping US dollar holdings and increasing gold reserves, China and Russia adding to their gold holdings in monumental amounts, well then the charade becomes obvious.
      Welcome to the Grand Illusion……

      • Wally

        Nice Styx pull Jaxon. It is all a Potemkin
        village isn’t it? It is built to deceive. Everything we are experiencing is a facade. There is no Gold in Fort Knox to back our currency. Reminds me of an old Andy Griffith episode when Barney is put into the back of an armored truck to protect the gold shipment only to find out it was sand inside gold colored bricks. There is no recovery. Home sales and still being fueled by Fannie Mae who will sell a house to anyone with a pulse. Soon…Very soon the money will stop flowing, the welfare checks will not go out, the EBT cards will not be reloaded, Medicare patients will be told they are out of luck because there is no money for treatment. Hospitals will close, banks too big to fail will fail, your savings accounts will be gone, your 401k retirement gone, no one to answer your 911 call, no police to protect you, all super market shelves bare. Then what? Riots, gangs ruling the streets, violence, rape, murders…Marshal Law…The military (Not ours) enforcing Marshal Law. Then as MarkTheTruth always writes The End.

        • Jeanette

          Martial, dammit!

          • Westcoastliberal

            Thanks, Jeanette! Bugs the s**t out of me too!

    • hillbillyhustle

      The stock market is up because the bankers sitting on all that cash don’t have to pay taxes on it if it’s invested. Where else are they gonna put their money? Plus, They invest into a stock and then place a bet on that same stock to fail. it’s a win win for them. they never take a big hit.

    • Syrin

      I have read it is due for a correction of up to (hold on), NINETY PERCENT !!

      Furthermore, insiders are selling their stocks and betting millions on it crashing before the end of April. Military insiders are saying something big like martial law is coming in March. Watch for the black flag event.

    • JAH666

      Stock market numbers are a total sham! The FED is propping that one up with QE and the purchases are primarily companies buying their OWN stocks back with off-book assets. Volume is at historic lows. Bond markets are also propped up with 65 to 85 bn$ from the FED each month. Saw Charles Biderman say in his latest vid that corporate insiders are selling at a rate of 50-1 over purchases. What do they know that they won’t tell us, hmmm?

  • DownWithLibs

    Ok, so I’m reading this article and my stomach is totally roiling, but I am grateful to Michael for not just feeding us Koolaid like the MSM!

  • K

    Michael, great article. I agree some of the middle class is running out of money. Also there is huge spending in non-traditional areas. Firearms in 2012 the figure is 11 million sold. Most years sale figures are closer to 5 million. Now let’s say the average price for a firearm with ammo, and other accessories is 1 thousand dollars. Yes some paid more, some paid less, but that is a good average. Now 6 million firearms more than usual, times 1 thousand dollars. 6 billion dollars that may have gone into the general economy. Let’s say the same amount, in more than usual gold and silver sales. Another 6 billion missing from the general economy. Last but not least, a similar amount, more than usual spent on survival supplies. Freeze dried food, water filters, etc. Another 6 billion missing from the general economy. All of these are very conservative figures. So 18 billion out of the general economy, plus the middle class running out of money. Is it surprising that stores are going under?

    • jaded

      Great point, people are only buying the bare necessities. Becoming a minimalist isn’t a bad choice, either. Consume less and live within your means.

      • jaded

        I also meant to say buy local! Support the little guy and what you believe in. Not the junk they tell you to spend your money on.

  • Mondobeyondo

    About 70 percent of the U.S. economy is consumer driven. Many businesses such as restaurants, electronics and clothing stores, theaters, auto dealerships, etc. are almost entirely based on consumer spending.

    The U.S. consumer has no money.

    Without money, you can’t go out to a restaurant, see a movie, buy a Blu-Ray DVD player, etc. So naturally, these businesses are going to suffer.

    What’s REALLY shocking is that even the dollar stores (!!!) are suffering! What does that say? People are struggling to even find a buck to buy the bare necessities! That’s troubling. The next step down would be the homeless shelter or the food bank.

    Things are getting Very Bad.

    • DownWithLibs

      Exactly. Like I say “So goes Wal-mart, so goes the country!”

      Nice to see you posting again. How are things with you these days?

      • http://www.facebook.com/mark.caldwell.90857 Mark Caldwell

        And the in-house memo within Walmart Stores Inc for the month of FEBRUARY was simple and to the point “February sales are a F’ng disaster!”

      • Mondobeyondo

        Not great, unfortunately. But I’ll manage, one way or another. I may post about my current circumstances later, but now is not the time. Too busy trying to fight the latest challenges.

        • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

          What is going on Mondo?

          Are you okay?

          Michael

          • Mondobeyondo

            No Michael, things aren’t going all that great right now .I don’t know if I will make it till April. Electric and gas is paid for March – beyond that, who knows? The Mondomobile has broken down (solenoid or alternator problems, don’t know which), and I don’t have the cash to fix it, so..

        • PALADIN

          I will say a prayer for you my friend.
          I don’t mean to be nosy, but where do you live ?
          Ever thought of making a move to Texas or North Dakota ?
          There are jobs there and who knows maybe a new life and a new start.
          You are a smart man and i learn from your commnets .
          God Bless you .

          • Mondobeyondo

            Thanks Paladin!
            I live in Phoenix, Arizona. The heart of the Sonoran Desert… heh. North Dakota is a bit harsh… but if I can survive 115 degree summers, maybe I can handle 40 below zero winters…

    • Nexusfast123

      Consumer = Debt. A lot of people it appears are at ‘peak debt’ where that can’t or are unwilling to carry more debt. The link between debt and the consumer has been broken so demand is collapsing.

      Also the link between US workers and the means of earning a decent income is broken. In the dim and distant past workers earned money from jobs where they produced products they purchased or they were exported and earned foreign exchange.

      • DiscouragedOne

        Most I know including me are trying to get out of debt.

        • 2Gary2

          me also–I am getting closer to getting out from under the credit card debt. Had to use them to live while unemployed.

          • Syrin

            Who did you steal them from? Oh wait, Obama and your corporate overlords gave them to you so you could become even more dependent on them while spreading falsehoods.

          • Rhett Cutshaver

            Did know there was a limit on your EBT card, Gary.

        • Orange Jean

          I recently did it… and am thankful I was able to. How did I do it? I found the slow and steady approach worked best… it took me 8 years, but I stopped using credit cards entirely (I use my debit card as if… but be sure I write down what I took out). It’s sobering to realize how much you spend, when you know the minute you hit the “enter” key… its gone.

          I also prioritized, paid off the smallest debt first so I’d feel like I was getting somewhere… and I had my credit union automatically pay a certain amount every month.

          I would have paid it off a lot sooner, but my old truck died.

          • K

            Congrats. Understand about old trucks.

      • Mondobeyondo

        Get out of debt, as fast as you can. I say that to everyone on this blog..

        Some of us can’t. Most of us in debt, have learned that lesson far too late (count me in among those folks.) It’s not your fault though. They don’t teach this stuff in high school. Mom and Dad were too busy earning money to tell you about that. I get it. .
        Again…

        Get out of debt, as fast as you can.

        • greg scott

          Yeah they taught you to obey and worship the state. To follow orders and never challenge “authority” or they would punish you. And you wonder why this country is in such sorry shape.

      • greg scott

        Voting and debt are two of the best tools the ruling elite have and use to make you their slave and exploit you for their own gain.

    • Drumming Videos

      Interesting story. I bet all the brick and mortar stores are suffering because it is just cheaper to get stuff on amazon!

      Check out

    • markthetruth

      Your right they have no money But That doesn’t stop the train yet .. WHY WELL THE BIG TICKET ITEMS BACKED BY THE GOVERNMENT ARE HOLDING UP THE PONZI SCHEME.

      Autos: they threw out the credit scores and just about anyone can get one even if they can’t afford it. Sign and Drive.

      Furniture: buy now no payment’s for 6 months, no interest for a year. Sign and deliver.

      Houses: Jumbo Loans are back, along with lower credit scores for first time buyers.

      So the little guys a starting to hurt, so they start to BRAG about Homes and Auto sales because they are given them out again. Until that bust again.

      REAL Housing and Auto are not in Recovery, They are put on life Support until the plug is pulled..

      the end…

      • Mondobeyondo

        That’s part of the trap. “Buy now, pay later”. That phrase originated in the 1920′s, and never really went away.

        Yeah, so you get a brand new sofa tomorrow. Buy it now, no payments until March of 2014. Woo-hooo! (Come on, buy it, buy it! You know you want it!!)

        But hold on.

        Where will you be in March of 2014? Will you be at the same job you have now? Have you ever thought about that? (There are no guarantees in life. None.)

        Lots of things to factor in here. Are you a millionaire? Maybe an electrician earning $60K a year? Are you unemployed? Are you a real estate magnate like Donald Trump? Or perhaps you’re an evicted homeowner? Are you married? Do you have children? How secure is your current employment? Are you even currently employed?!! Before you rush out to buy your brand new bedroom furniture set, you should think about that first.

        Think carefully….before you sign the line that is dotted…the savings today may be irrestible, but bankruptcy tomorrow may be unavoidable.

        Think carefully….

        • Orange Jean

          Good points, Mondo …but you forgot the other one:

          “Buy now… LIMITED TIME ONLY!!”

    • Syrin

      Yeah, well it’s what they voted for. Higher taxes, more regulations, full economy decimating Obamacare, etc. Glad to see them get what they had coming to them.

      • DiscouragedOne

        Except it is happening to ALL of us, and I can’t say I am glad about it.

      • 2Gary2

        deregulation=decriminalization. Need proof? look at the horse meat scandal. Scum corporations calling horse beef. Corporations will never do the right thing and will lie and cheat unless government MAKES them do the right thing.

        We need MORE regulation not less.

        • markthetruth

          Have to agree. Look at the Banks, their Motto is :

          “There’s More Then One Way To Skin A Cat”

          the end…

          • kathy k

            The banks own the politicians we DO NOT need more regulations!

          • Ayn Rand

            That is what a lot of people like to ignore for more regulations: The government is in on it. The super rich corporations, banks, and government are all on the same side. Regulations just kill small business while the big ones buy their way out of it all.

        • Robert (qslv)

          Corporations and the wealthy have already left the country with all their assets intact and out of the reach of the government. Too late, Gary. They read your posts and took defensive action. Their wealth is forever lost to you. Now what will you have to post about?

          • sharonsj

            Really? Is that why the government just gave $70 billion to the Disney Corp, NASCAR, Goldman Sachs and AmGen? Is that why it gives tax breaks to the oil and gas industries–who also pay no federal income tax? Is that why it ships money to big agriculture and big pharma? And I bet you think global warming is a hoax too.

        • libsarescum

          Hey dumbass, this happened UNDER FDA REGULATIONS!!!

          • 2Gary2

            her dumber ass–the conservatives have been underfunding these agencies for years, Like your hero of the right grover dumbquest said to drown in a tub. This is what happens when you cut cut cut.

          • libsarescum

            Hey maggot!!! Your kenyan communist POS idol, has wasted 6 TRILLION $$$!!! more than all the past presidents COMBINED. What the f… have you liberal maggots “funded” with that money?

        • Charlotte

          Ummm, there were regulations against putting horse meat with the beef and clearly it didn’t help.

      • Jeanette

        I’m not glad to see people suffer, even if they’re idiots. Decimate means to take away 10 (ten, X) percent, and I bet the rate will be much higher than that. We give to our local food pantry, but don’t know how much longer we can do so.

    • markthetruth

      READ!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Personal income decreased $505.5 billion, or 3.6 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI)decreased $491.4 billion, or 4.0 percent, in January, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $18.2 billion, or 0.2 percent.

      Middle Class lost 1/2 Trillion in income, and lost 1/2 trillion in the bank accounts out the windows.expenses Up $18 Billion So.

      “Expenses up, Lower income, no bank account”

      Doesn’t look like Good economics to Me…

      the end…

    • WarriorClass3

      The economy is no longer consumer driven and that 70% figure is about 10 years old, or more. The Federal government now accounts for 40% of the US economy. The US economy is directed by the Federal Reserve and driven by the government – right into the toilet.

      • Mondobeyondo

        If it isn’t consumer driven, what’s driving it?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/RIFONMZRDT3C4IAR7X6CMCDFOA Benny

      The sad thing is that many of those people voted against Romney, who at least had a clue about how the economy works.

    • Vserp

      What did people think was going to happen when we screwed over the 70% to pander to the ultra rich and the mega banks? They won, they have all our money now.

      The student loan thing is the funniest of all. The Boomers were busy laughing at all the young adults, calling them thugs if they didn’t go to school, then mocking them for being in debt and being underemployed because they’re clearly “lazy and entitled.”

      Don’t let facts or macroeconomics get in the way of a good condescending insult, eh?

      Well higher education, the banks, the lenders, they not only have all the money in the present, they went and got it from the future too. At least in the past they were satisfied growing fat on loans for a house, now they didn’t even want to wait for these kids to get married and buy a house, they wanted free money.

  • Ralfine

    I reduced household spending for years now. First i cut the restaurant dinners, the books, then the beers, the cigars, the cigarettes, the overseas holidays, hotels, rental cars, chocolate, train, now the bus. I walk to downtown now. Takes 2 hours return and saves me almost £4.

    • A Dodgy Bloke

      I got rid of cable I have a pay as you go cell phone. I’ve cut my housing costs, and now that I work some of the week at home I’m saving on gas.

      • Hellfire1968

        same, got rid of Cable(just internet), Pay-as-you-go phone, and ride a motorcycle to work when the weather is nice.

        • Roger Smith

          Hey, I did the same just this week…cut cable off and switched to a $15/mo phone. Ditching cable may be the best thing I ever did. I feel a little smarter every day now that I don’t hear and see those same morons drone on and on. Started reading “Nation of Sheep” by William J. Lederer

          • kenfrombayside

            Use to love History Channel, Fox News, A & E etc but lost interest due to endless commercials. Get most of my entertainment from Netflix. BTW, to save money, I take my lunch to work every day. When I forget my drink, I go to the water fountain to fill a water bottle instead paying $1.25. When I get gas, I give the bewildered clerk all the change in my pocket.

      • Mondobeyondo

        I got rid of cable 3 years ago when I was laid off. Didn’t need it. I can survive watching PBS, which is over the air and free, just like the major networks.

    • Syrin

      I cut out $7500 worth of expenses took everything I had out of the market, and converted all liquid assets to physical precious metals. We could live on our property for 5 years. Prepare people. Martial law is coming soon.

      • Ralfine

        Where is your property? Looks like a good target for attack & occupation.

      • Hambone

        I bought into metal also, and I’m taking a bath on it right now… I do think it will go back up, but it’s discouraging to see its value go up while the DOW surges.

        • kathy k

          Buy physical metals

          • Mondobeyondo

            If you have the capability or resources to to so – YES!! Buy physical gold and silver! Coins or buillion that you can feel in your hands.

  • A Dodgy Bloke

    Wages have ben flat for well over ten years. The last so called boom was fueled by rising house prices people where using their homes as ATM machines. The stock market is galloping along but that’s being fueled by endless QE from the fed. As the author said at the start of the article there is no recovery. Any regular reader of Zero Hedge, Carl Denninger and others know the only thing keeping the US and the world for that matter out of the drink is government spending and even that is reaching the point of diminishing returns. My advice is if you don’t have extra money put aside do it, if you don’t have extra food put aside do it. Start thinking about putting up relations, and your kids. If you are over weight you need to get into shape. Get a bike if gas gets to high it may come down to heating your home or eating or gas guess how you are getting to work or the store. If you don’t have at least a shotgun and a concealable hand gun you better think about getting one and ignore the anti gun drum beat in the MSN. These people will lie to you when the truth will do. Things are not going to get better despite what BHO and the MSN tells you.

    • Dan

      You are spot on about the ATM from home equity. That is what fueled a lot of the expansion, now its negative equity time when you want to sell your house. Sad time for all of us, and it will be worse for our grandchildren.

  • Imaplaneiac

    I recently spoke with a manager of the main Barnes & Noble ( B&N ) I shop & buy at ; inquiring about the reported closures of around 1 / 3 of B&N stores over the reported 10 year period. He told me that it’s NORMAL for them to close 10>15 stores a year: those which are underperforming stores. Barnes and Noble has been in business for around 140 years!

    • http://www.facebook.com/mark.caldwell.90857 Mark Caldwell

      The East Indies Company was 274 years old when it was dissolved. Age has no bearing when it comes to currency debasement, market manipulation, corruption and the societal and generational demise that ‘advanced’ western civilization undoubtedly falls into given enough time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.caldwell.90857 Mark Caldwell

    I was in a Burger King in Lexington, KY today, and there were two customers at 1PM. The workers were very friendly and eager to please. I believe they made an effort to contain their joy of another customer walking through the door. I wonder if they have recently been told that under performance at their restaurant will soon result in their doors being closed for good? I am not a psychic and cannot read minds but for those of us who pay close attention you can sometimes see beyond the surface of things a bit.

    I have had that on my mind all afternoon. And then I check here and lo and behold the first paragraph rings true.

    I must have heard the remark “ain’t nobody got any money..” five times this week(please excuse the poor language skills but country folk don’t speak to impress). And it is true, no one has any extra money, every penny is allotted and has been preordained for the shoe-string budget which shows no sign of loosening.

    I borrowed money for car insurance this month and tomorrow will pay that back plus interest.

    There are thieves stealing the little tag on the license plates of automobiles, it’s a regular occurrence now.

    More people are asking for spare change, not your regular homeless types, but people on the way to work who run the gas pump over a dollar and don’t have it. Or someone who hasn’t enough change for the toll booth so they stand outside the gas station in their work uniform and ask for a dollar for the toll. And you can watch them go onto the toll road and actually use the change you give them. People are on the razors edge. I’m surprised actually at how well people are dealing with it… for now. But as this progresses and deteriorates…well, we all know it will be worse. No use dwelling on the details.

    I will say a prayer for the people I met today. And those who don’t have the money for gas to get to work and find themselves pawning something sentimental that perhaps a recently deceased family member or friend left to them. I know exactly how that feels.

    • 2Gary2

      again–tax the MF rich and spread the wealth–No one needs to be a billionaire or even a multimillionaire. take that money and redistribute it,

      Say it with me now–”tax the greedy to help the needy”

      • Syrin

        I’VE ASKED GARY NO LESS THAN 25 TIMES TO SHOW US JUST ONE STUDY THAT SHOWS US TAXING THE RICH MAKES THE POOR WEALTHIER. It DOESN’T EXIST because reality tells us the OPPOSITE is true.

        Explain it to everyone how taxing me make you wealthier. Please, show us the depth of your thinking and grasp of basic economics.

        • 2Gary2

          I have explained to you so many times. Others have called out your stupidity. You will just have to look back at earlier posts. You have majorly been called out by others in the past.

          • smallergovnow

            you can’t be called out for telling the truth Gary. I get it, you’re a loser and you are angry and want someone else to make it all better for you. Sorry…

        • RealityBetraysUs

          No but they taxed the wealthy at 97% during the last depression and we all survived the 1939 depression. The rich can afford it!

        • Barry

          When the wealthiest among us do not pay the same rate the burden is put on the middle class. Which means less expendable income being spent in the retail sector. Even the slightest dip in retail means fewer retail salespositions,fewer trucks and trains and planes moving goods,fewer people making those goods…and on and on . And the poor and the middle class aren’t trying to become wealthy off the rich,they just want fairness. We are too busy trying to pay our mortgage and feed our kids.

          • LifeandLiberty

            It is the Fed’s relentless printing of money that causes inflation – the hidden tax – that has degraded the standard of living of middle-class’s ability to make a living – not the Rich.

      • Ralfine

        Force the greedy to pay the needy.

        Without the government middlemen.

        Have a penalty, if the lowest pay in a company is less than 1% of the highest pay.
        Lets say, if the cleaner earns less than 1% of the CEO.

        • Bad Kitty Cat

          This might be better in theory than tax the rich…

          • Ralfine

            No more excuses he cant afford this.

      • Robert (qslv)

        How would you do this, Gary?
        If you tax the rich, the money just goes to the other rich in the government. Ralfine says without the government middleman. How would you do that? John Dillinger and Bonnie and Clyde tried that in the 30′s and we know what happened to them.

      • Jeanette

        Start with your people. Hollywood, any and all politicians, bankers, Wall Street types.

        • 2Gary2

          yes tax them all

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002974801900 David Lee

        Why Tax the rich?

        • RealityBetraysUs

          They are the only ones left with any money and the really smart ones already have their wealth hidden in off shore tax havens! Why else would banks in the bahammas or those indep. island nations have Trillions of dollars on deposit and they do not deny it?

        • 2Gary2

          because theyhave all the money.

    • 2Gary2

      better make sure that whopper is not horse meat…

      • RealityBetraysUs

        I think jack in the Box admitted they had unwittingly done the horsemeat thing some 10 years earlier the surprising thing is none of their customers even complained! That is why 50 yrs ago we came up with the food and drug administration and laws to protect us, because they would put crap in our food if we did not have those laws and gov instittions. Read Sinclair Lewis’s book about the subject.

  • Colin

    There was an article released today which was about the inability of the average American to afford a new car. The average new car cost $30,500 in 2012. Out of the twenty-five cities sampled, only one, Washington DC, had citizens who were able to pay for a new car without stretching their budget The median income in that area was $86,680. (“New Cars Increasingly Out of Reach for Many Americans”, CNBC)

    • Hellfire1968

      wished I made 86,680 a year.

      • Hambone

        Your avatar has me mezmerized.

  • 2Gary2

    Time to increase corporate taxes and really raise the minimum wage to a living wage-at least 12 per hour to start. Time to spread the wealth.

    Corporations are making record profits, and are
    either sitting on them or using them to buyout other corporations. These “funds
    could be used in a way businesses are not even considering: giving their
    employees a raise. Wages today constitute the lowest share of both corporate
    revenue and the nation’s economy since World War II, while profits make up the
    highest share of gross domestic product in decades.” This has got to change.

    • Syrin

      EVERY time minimum wage is raised, unemployment goes up. You are so factually devoid, it’s scary.

      MEGA corporations are sitting on record profits, but that is a small percentage. Have you EVER considered WHY they are hoarding their money? I mean even for a millisecond? It’s because of douche bags like YOU who want to take everything they have, so they go into ultra defense mode. They KNOW you have slapped a target on their back, and they aren’t going to share until they sense a far less hostile environment, and that won’t happen until after the collapse, the great ;liberal and parasite purge which will include you, the removal of every official in gov’t, the imprisonment of the banksters, then the re-building. You won’t be around to see the re-building, I can promise you that. You won’t make it past the collapse and purge phase.

      • 2Gary2

        totally untrue as usual..You do not disappoint. That old false right wing mantra has been proven wrong many times. Unless government forces business to do the right thing they will not do it. We would still have child labor if it were up to scum corporations. as ignorance is bliss you must be a pretty happy camper!

        • Syrin

          Gary, everyone here knows I am right. Studies are easily found. You are little more than a hollow shell here to spread mis-information. You are a tool for the banksters. Post after post here is further proof that you are little more than a useful sounding board for those armed with facts, I mean look at your refutation above. It’s below the level found on a kindergarten play ground. Three year olds do a better job than you, and simultaneously have a better grasp of economic principles than you, LITERALLY. I could teach them micro-economics with crayons and milk cartons, and they could understand what the logical outcome would be of an action. You couldn’t even with decades of history showing you the outcome. You are nothing more than a greedy corporate tool for our fascist nation. You don’t want recovery. You want to steal from your neighbor to keep it for you and to grow a totalitarian state. You will be purged. It’s inevitable. Only your fleas will mourn your passing.

        • bwoboe1

          I worked for one of those corporations and we were urged to push tenured folks out the door and replace with part time or lower paid newbies. Meanwhile profit climbed and us salaried employees had to take a 5% pay cut.

          I am pretty conservative, but the way we have allowed our system to turn into a corporatist one that funnels money to the wealthy is absurd.

          I advocate for a 0% corporate tax rate but a progressive mandated profit sharing to employees. Maximum of 20% of net profits returned to employees, 80% kept for the corp.

          Walmart would see each worker get an extra $5K Apple would see each worker get an extra $248K

          That is where tax revenue would come from.

      • Gay Veteran

        “EVERY time minimum wage is raised, unemployment goes up”
        PROOF please

    • Mark

      If we were to take your advise and raise up the minimum wage every last job that could be exported will go elsewhere. Wages might be low in the US, but wages are a lot lower in China.

  • CitizenS

    This downturn, or continuation of the last, is starting to show even in WV. Usually our unemployment will jump a little and spending will taper off a touch. Now I’m seeing folks living in campers (entire family’s) parked on relatives lawns, less and less people in lines @ movies resteraunts and such. However, I’m also seeing more plots being prepped for the oncoming summer growing season, more unused land being converted into pasture for livestock, and many more neighbors are starting to be “neighborly”. I hope all that read your articles are prepared because its even starting to get rough in areas that are used to being less fortunate.

    • EdM01

      Lucky you live in West Virginia, you guys (that’s Northern for y’all) out in the country are knowledgeable enough and have the resources enough to fall back on your old country folkways. People in the cities and suburbs don’t have the knowledge or the resources to do this and if the cities are bigger than a certain size or are not in a strategic place they will all go the way of Detroit.

    • Syrin

      Wait until the gov’t official comes along and dumps clorox on all their meat and vegetables because they don’t meet corporate endorsed codes used to keep us from growing our own food so we can keep paying for theirs. Even a ton of venison that you cannot buy is donated for a homeless shelter isn’t safe.

      • 2Gary2

        venison is gross!

    • K

      Yes seeing much the same in E. Tenn. Travel trailer parks, that used to be empty during the Winter, now remain 1/2 to 3/4 full during the winter. Not a good sign at all.

  • Cl;yde Ankle

    This is your best post this year Michael.

    • Syrin

      No, the one where he revealed our overlords, namely the Bank of International Settlements, was the best. We now KNOW, I mean absolutely KNOW who the evil bankster overlords of the world are now thanks to his work.

      • JAH666

        Agree with you, Syrin, that BIS story opened a lot of eyes. Great writing! The word is getting around about the banksters and their pyramid of greed.

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      You really think so?

      Michael

      • Roger Smith

        Michael, It is interesting how many of these vectors of control seem to stem from Switzerland. You already wrote about the BIS. Excellent article BTW. Isn’t it strange that Switzerland seems to dodge every major conflict, yet be available to provide banking services and gold storage to all sides? Isn’t it also curious that the first pope in modern history just up and quit…and who’s acted as the Vatican’s private army since the 15th century?…The Swiss guard.

        Nearly every Swiss male between 20 and 30 years of age is in the National militia. In case of invasion, they are required to maintain in their home or at a nearby armory, a SIG-550 combat rifle. This is a fully automatic, military rifle. So actually, Man for man, they are far better armed that the U.S.

        Taken as a whole, don’t these facts set off some alarm bells?

  • 2Gary2

    no one has any money to buy anything. The rich have been stealing our productivity increases since the 1970′s which is why wages have stagnated. Tax the rich and spread the wealth! Most Americans agree with me–tax the rich hard!

    • Syrin

      No, poll after poll shows America disagrees with you 100%. A poll taken last week showed us that the majority of Amercia believes NO ONE should be forced to pay over 30% of income taxes, and our rich already WELL surpass that. You’re a mis-information Obamabot out on the internet spreading lies and propaganda in order to continue the decline of America.

      Still waiting for you to produce ONE study showing us that taxing me somehow makes you richer. It makes me poorer, the gov’t bigger, and I fire you. Pretty basic.

      We’ve spent $20 TRILLION on the war on poverty moron. That’s $20 TRILLION in taxes, and we are more broke than virtually any point before. Our ENTIRE AMERICAN HISTORY is testimony to the fact that you are nothing more than a corporate liar, wrong on every point, , sent here to spread misinformation to maintain the wealthiest county in America, Washington County DC.

      • 2Gary2

        again you are wrong. 77% of Americans say–tax the rich hard. I love your posts as they show why conservatives will keep on loosing elections as they live in the bubble and are not in reality.

        Clearly the war on poverty has made a big difference. Just think of how much worse things would be without it. also the population was smaller when it started so you do not compare apples to apples when you compare when it started to now.

        Syrin–do you really believe the nonsense you post or do you just post it to see how many low info dolts you can fool?

        • Syrin

          See, this is why you all keep destroying the country. You make things awful, then tell us it would have been even worse if you didn’t screw it up to start with.

          ALL your liberal wars are mega failures:

          War on Drugs
          War on Poverty
          War on Crime

          The only war you’ve won is the war on truth, the war on prosperity, the war on unity.

          Again, FACTS are not on YOUR side, so yeah, I believe in reality. Again, you are a corporate fascist tool here to spread disinformation. People openly mock you here, yet you tell me America agrees with you. Gary, people see reality. They lose their jobs and hours and benefits as you tax their bosses. Our rich pay the highest percentage of ANY nation’s tax burden on the planet, and the poverty keeps on growing as you fascists keep on destroying.

          Like I said, the purge is INEVITABLE Gary. We past the point of no return. There is no mathematical way to recover. It will be burned to the ground, the parasites will be removed, and the new fertile soil will allow for re-growth, but you will not be there to see it. Accept your fate or not, it is still your fate.

          • 2Gary2

            read my post again as you obviously did not get it.

            The rich have never had such low tax rates as now. This can be easily checked. The % of gov corporate taxes funds is at an all time low. This can be easily checked.

            The rich are taxed at a much higher rate in many other countries.

            You said “Our rich pay the highest percentage of ANY nation’s tax burden on the planet,”

            That is because there are so few people with way too much money and so many with very little. I see u said highest % and not simply highest tax.

            The poor and the rich all pay about the same when ALL taxes are looked at instead of the favorite conservative trick of cherry picking out stuff.

            There are poll after poll showing that the vast 77%-82% of Americans say tax the rich before cutting anything.

            You need to come out of the conservative bubble and join reality.

          • Gay Veteran

            EYEROLL, “war on drugs” and “war on crime” are right-wing

      • Gay Veteran

        “NO ONE should be forced to pay over 30% of income taxes, and our rich already WELL surpass that”
        you are IGNORANT, most of the rich make their money off capital gains, NOT ordinary income which has a higher tax rate

  • 2Gary2

    it really matters little what conservatives think (I use the term “think” very lightly here).

    Demographics is destroying you. My advise is that the goofy right wingers IE conservatives need to come to grips with living in a center left nation. It does not matter if you like it or not.

    • Syrin

      Gary, again, reality is not on your side. America is now according to polls more conservative than ever. The GOP buys into YOUR narrative and keeps trotting out liberals to run for office, and conservatives don’t vote for them. Again, you are a well greased corporate tool doing your best to spread disinformation for the 0.01% er’s. I am sure you believe the garbage you spread. You’ve never seen a study in your life. Gary, the purge IS coming. Tyranny is coming. The response is coming, and you WILL NOT MAKE it to see the recovery phase.

    • Rodster

      Gary2 it’s “advice” not advise. I guess you can’t expect much from a no information voter like Gary2. At least he’s good to laugh at. :-D

      • Gay Veteran

        grammar police

  • l. g.

    This is what happens when you have a service economy. A country cannot be just a service economy; it will eventually fail. A country needs to also produce goods in order to survive.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Someone out there gets it!! :)

    • Kayser Sosa

      Caught cha.

  • JoeD

    Gotta love all the retailers and national restaurant chains wondering where the money is after they’ve spent decades undermining the very consumers they depend on for survival.

  • Steve

    #4 Subway item above

    Excuse me this payroll tax you and others are whining about is the Social Security Tax ! Duh!!!!!

    Stop whining and ask yourself why the U.S. Gov’t temporarily lowered the FICA Tax to give you more money now only to SCREW you over later in life on your Social Security Payment (if it is even there then) INSTEAD OF CUTTING YOUR FEDERAL INCOME TAX??????

    #7 WalMart

    Screw WalMart. They were all behind, full support of, ObamaCare and now a leaked memo shows they were intentionally behind it so they can do exactly what they are doing now AND PLANNED TO DO, reduce workers to less than 28 hours a week and part time to AVOID paying any health care at all.

    You WalMart workers and shoppers are stupid. For God Sake it is a leaked memo from WalMart Corp Headquarters !!! What more do you want before you “Get It?”

    While many of the issues in the article are spot on the article also shows just how gullible and uninformed the American People are. Sad, truly sad.

  • istokov

    Происходит давление на средний класс и новую элиту со стороны старой элиты.Цель снизить богатство этих слоев населения для уменьшения количества новой элиты.Старая элита обеспокоена увеличением количества новой элиты поэтому она будет препятствовать всеми доступными ей средствами росту новой элиты.Основная часть новой элиты это выходцы из среднего класса поэтому потолок богатства среднего класса будет снижен.Олимп давно и прочно занят старой элитой представителям новой там места нет.

    • K

      Translation:There is pressure on the middle class and a new elite of the old elite.The aim of reducing the wealth these segments of the population to reduce the number of new elites.The old elite is concerned about the increasing number of a new elite, therefore it will not prevent all of the available it means growth in a new elite.The main part of the new elites come from middle-class ceiling, therefore wealth middle class will be reduced.Olympus has long and well established busy old elite representatives of new there.

  • Jodi

    We must be in trouble if Family Dollar is struggling. You’d think stores like that would be thriving. Get ready peeps, SHTF soon!

  • Jodi

    Let’s be honest, JC Penney sells junk. The last couple of times tried to shop there the clothing was crap. There is no quality in our clothing anymore. Has anybody noticed that? I used to shop there all the time, not so much since the clothing has gotten crappy. It sounds weird but I shop for t-shirts at Costco. They sell a two pack of t-shirts that are made in America. Imagine that…somebody still sells made in America clothing.

    • Jodi

      To be fair, JCP is not the only company that sells crap. Everybody else is doing it too. It sure would be nice to see the return of quality again. I guess that’s what happens when everything is made in China.

    • Orange Jean

      Oddly enough… the quality of clothes in the “old days” may not have been as good as you think.

      About 40 years ago, I used to work as a seamstress and alterations lady for a upscale department store in a big city. About 1/2 the time when we got new items in… I would have to sew the stitches up before we could put them out on the floor… because they were sewn with stitches that were too large (almost basting) and would rip if a customer tried them on. These were not cheap items, either!

  • maby123

    thanks michael to keep us in touch with reality ,lot of people are depress because do not understand why they are unemployed or working as slaves meanwhile the media keep telling us that thing are getting better and everything is fine.

  • maby123

    I call the process” a cleaning” ,leave behond ur mind don’t try to imitate the rich people ,cut ur unnecesaries and trough away the credit cards and life will be better.

  • Thracian Maximinus

    people smartened up . no ones making money off of ours. so we aint giving or spending it to anyone we dont know their whole family. which means yes were snubbing the candle out and getting ready for night games

  • David

    The figures here are for the working class, not middle class. The middle class doesn’t deserve pity either way, seeing as how they sold us out at every turn for a few more years of comfort.

    • Orange Jean

      Oh hush! …now you’ll have Gary telling us “tax the middle class – tax them hard!” a couple of times a day…

      (I currently pay about 30% of my income in combined Federal and state income tax; enough already!)

  • WG3

    Every week 401 k contributions have to be invested,Pension funds such as calpers need returns over 6/8 % so they fund hedge funds.private equity uses leverage to destroy valid companies, ergo stock market bubble.You ger a 10.00 raise because the cost of living went up 10.00 but keep 6.00 so you are still 4 short (half the distance to the goal)..The future multi-generational households,plutocracy and very little difference between middle class working and lower class government non-working (hence Atlas Shrugged

  • NoNameWorker

    The system they are rapidly moving to, Nations governments will not economically protect their people. But they “Governments” aggressively protect and promote the “corporations” that control them. they support corporations desires for “cheap labor” and new customers to “in debt” to the banks.. outside the nation that chartered the corporation to benefit its own people in the first place… harm the nations standard of living through removing jobs factories and capital form the nation. to as the say they are “level the playing field” global corporations rule the day. Their owners well aware of limited global resources… busy transferring wealth from the 99% to themselves as they prepare to lower global population to a “”sustainable” level ….Sustainability… for their standard of living NOT YOURS…. you ga go….!

  • wolkenpass

    “The University of Michigan-Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment gauge rose to a final February reading of 77.6 — the highest level since November
    — from a final January reading of 73.8, reports said Friday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a final February reading of 76.4, compared with a preliminary estimate for the month of 76.3.”

    No worries Lads, all is fine….lol. Complete joke!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000633875894 Randy Townsend

    And Obama demands even more taxes on top of those instituted on January 1. Keep supporting him, folks. At some point, all those on public assistance will collapse the system. Then, all that ammo our government has been buying will be put to use.

  • Days of Broken Arrows

    I agree with every point in this article. I’m just not getting why the info is deemed as bad. This is clearly what the elites wanted, so this article should praise them for a job well done. In the wake of NAFTA and deregulation, they have turned us into a Third Wold country, with an ignorant, poor populace that’s easy to exploit. Bravo!

  • afchief

    “I have seen things floating in toilets smarter than you”. RATFLMAO!!!! So, so true of liberals.

  • Westcoastliberal

    I read something the other day that explains it all. In a nutshell, Greenspan and now Bernanke share the vision that the economy follows the market, not the other way around. That’s why the money is flowing the the TBTF banks instead of a “wpa” style jobs program as in the 30′s. Plus the politicians today including Obama are on the dole (his 2nd largest contributor, Goldman Sachs). It’s the biggest rip-off wealth transfer scam in history and this goes all the way back to 911, guys it’s all connected and I can see it clear as day now. And they’ll keep pumping up the market when TSHTF. Another thing, when TSHTF you won’t see it reported that way on the news. It will be spun as “local riots” not “general insurrection”. I hope it never occurs but if it does remember what I just said….and good luck!

  • Tony Glynn

    in the “Global Economy” the country with the lowest wages paid has the edge on any and every “1st.world” country where unions have pressured businesses into giving higher wages, shorter hours and increased benefits….GM paying life-long medical expenses for “former employees”..until they went bankrupt…..!

    • Gay Veteran

      yeah, we would be better off with Chinese slave wages

  • doug

    It would seem that trickle down economics has turned into trickle up poverty. In my case, the first couple years of the recession were pretty good, was actually making more money. But as it kept going, my customers stopped buying and I closed my store. Which means I have less income to spend now. Don’t get me wrong, I am not going hungry, but am not making any big purchases unless I really need to, also cut some discretionary spending. Like, not buying a new vehicle, I could and under ordinary circumstances would purchase one at this point, both vehicles paid off, get rid of the oldest one. I am not willing to take on the obligation. I could afford it, but still not dong it. I am pretty sure I am not the only one. I suspect it will not be long before people that depended on the middle class are hurting. But the rich will still be rich, if the stock market tanks, gold tanks, etc. someone that is worth 10 times more than me today will still be worth 10 times more than me, wealth is relative. I am sure there are people in third world countries that would love to live in my shed.

  • saintmatty

    We may also be running out of Silver. I went to my local shop to pick up some coins and was told that their broker cannot get any 90% U.S. coins anymore. All my dealer’s half dollars were gone and only a few dollars left. Brokers are having a tough time getting the old coins to the public. That is something that is happening in my neck of the woods.

    • Iceman

      Same problem here. I was also told that my coin dealer wouldn’t take anyone`s credit card anymore! I have been buying there for years now1

    • Iceman

      I can only find the 40% silver Kennedy half’s in my local coin store. I was told that he is no longer accepting credit cards for payment from anybody! Any gold bullion coins that come in have a waiting list of people who want to buy them. I am sure glad that I started saving silver years ago! Good luck to everyone!

  • Ahhhhhhhhhh

    Well… when the economy does tank and all laws are put aside for the time being, it will finally be declared open season on all politicians, bankers, lobbyists, CEOs, etc…

  • Bobby

    Of course the middle class is running out of money. They support the whole U.S. Come on!! The rich have their tax shelters. The poor and permanent welfare crowd don’t pay taxes. So you’ve got those people that get up, in the cold mornings, in the rain, fog, snow, to go to their boring, soul killing jobs, and for their effort have their money “redistributed” to support “illegal foreign nationals in every way imaginable, and the rest of the people above, including worthless government cubicle workers, who always get mandatory raises, and pension increases. Question: When was the last time a private company employee got a raise from his or her company? Shoot, I’ll bet those companies haven’t even paid those employees back the 401k”s they allowed Wall Street and the administration to steal from them. NEW MANTRA FOR AMERICAN WORKING CLASS: STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES. GOODNIGHT!!

  • FreeMan

    I`ve been waiting for this house of cards to fall down for over a decade now. There have been many times when the collapse was immanent and just around the corner, yet here we are. I think most people underestimate the control these banksters have over the whole system and just how long they can keep the band playing. I think a long slow crushing decline is most likely, rather than waking up one day and TSHTF. TS is HTF every day.

  • http://www.theboydcapitalgroups.info/ The Boyd Capital Group

    Just found your blog, great read.

  • Noob

    Were all doomed. The next recession is coming. Even if it dosen’t the economy still sucks. Terrible economics in America, millions starving in Europe, and economic trouble coming to Asia. It’s the end of the world I tell you.

  • Mustard Seed

    Mondobeyondo is absolutely right. Don’t do anything to create more DEBT for yourself right now, because there are no guarantees that you will be able to pay for it months or years down the road. Circumstances change, but bill collectors don’t care.

    Another thing….what do you do if you lose your job and your home, and you have no way of taking all your preps with you to your new location? It’s all a loss, except what little you get out of a garage sale. We have thought about spending the last of our savings on food, but we don’t have the means to move it all if circumstances require it down the road….especially long distance.

    • Michelle

      Save the last of your savings for your mortgage. That way at least you won’t have to worry about moving and moving all the preps.

  • Gay Veteran

    “even the banking realm is over regulated to the point that gov’t regulations CAUSED the real estate bubble”
    PURE GARBAGE

  • SMASH THE CONTROL MACHINE

    Government Subsidizes and Bankrupt Companies

    There are many forms of government subsidies. Ambitious politicians ingeniously design schemes to expand their power and repay their donor patrons. Opportunist corporate enterprises beg for favor to fund projects or guaranteed loans. The role of government venture capitalism has produced a much-sordid record for the taxpayer. The sheer concept of picking winners and losers is a pure political play that defies pragmatic prudence. In spite of this, actuality, the rush to squander public money is one of the few growth industries. The pitiful results of the predictable bankruptcy are the common fate of this flawed business model.The latest outrage has Buyers Circle Around Ailing Fisker Automotive. Yet, some critics of this assessment would have you believe that Fisker Automotive is in a sharp contrast to competitor Tesla Motors.”But the fact that potential buyers are from China is already raising alarms about Fisker, which raised $1.2 billion in venture capital and spent about $192 million in federal loans to build a factory. “Technology developed with American taxpayer subsidies should not be sold off to China,” Republican senator Charles Grassley told Bloomberg. He compared it to the acquisition of A123 Systems by China-based auto parts company Wanxiang Group.

    By contrast, Tesla Motors, which also received a DOE loan to build its factory, is crossing into higher volume production. Yesterday, Tesla announced that it expects to be profitable this quarter and is making its Model S at a rate of 400 a month, which will allow it to hit its annual target and meet demand for the electric sedan. (See, Tesla’s Explosive Revenue Suggests a Bright Future.)

    One crucial difference between Tesla and Fisker, which is well known for its bold designs, has been Tesla’s manufacturing expertise. Fisker may well still go public and be a successful EV supplier. But for energy-related startups to go the route of Tesla rather than Fisker, they’ll need innovative technology, access to capital, supportive policies, and great business execution.”

    The Obama environmental cult would argue that it is largely appropriate to spend public resources to fund private technological businesses. Some will be successful while others will fail. However, the partnership role with government in this new state/capitalist prototype is necessary to achieve the greater good of a fossil free ecosystem. Expensive cars, not designed for the commuter, are now joint venture public finance missions, in order to curtail gas fumes.

    Henry Ford is rolling in his grave and Enzo Ferrari is searching for the electric switch.

    The notorious “Green” sector has vivid examples of bribery, theft, incompetence and high-priced inefficient technology. The Foundry publishes a most informative list ofPresident Obama’s Taxpayer-Backed Green Energy Failures. “So far, 34 companies that were offered federal support from taxpayers are faltering — either having gone bankrupt or laying off workers or heading for bankruptcy.” Examine the specific site links for expanded details.

    1. Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*12. Abound Solar ($400 million)*23. Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)*2. SpectraWatt ($500,000)*13. A123 Systems ($279 million)*24. Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*3. Solyndra ($535 million)*14. Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*25. Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)*4. Beacon Power ($43 million)*15. Johnson Controls ($299 million)26. GreenVolts ($500,000)5. Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)16. Brightsource ($1.6 billion)27. Vestas ($50 million)6. SunPower ($1.2 billion)17. ECOtality ($126.2 million)28. LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)7. First Solar ($1.46 billion)18. Raser Technologies ($33 million)*29. Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*8. Babcock and Brown ($178 million)19. Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)30. Navistar ($39 million)9. EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*20. Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*31. Satcon ($3 million)*10. Amonix ($5.9 million)21. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*32. Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*11. Fisker Automotive ($529 million)22. Range Fuels ($80 million)*33. Mascoma Corp. ($100 million)

    Now expand the creativity of the subsidy culture to the bankruptcy constituency. The report, Union That Bankrupted Hostess to Receive Generous Government Subsidies, will push you over the edge.”Last year, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union refused to accept concessions that would have kept Hostess in business. The company had tried to cut costs as it faced high labor expenses, rising ingredient costs, and decreasing sales. The Teamsters union accepted the concessions, but the Bakery union would not, choosing to strike. Unable to continue operating, Hostess filed for bankruptcy.

    Now those who helped bring down an American icon will receive generous, taxpayer-funded benefits from the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. These generous benefits come in addition to existing unemployment insurance, job placement, and job training programs. TAA benefits include:• Up to two years of job training in an approved training program,

    • Up to 52 weeks of Trade Readjustment Allowances for workers in job training,

    • Job search and relocation allowances,

    • A refundable “health care tax credit” that covers 65 percent of a worker’s health insurance premiums in qualifying health plans, and

    • A two-year wage insurance program that partly replaces workers’ earnings if they accept lower-paying jobs.”

    The civic grant philosophy is not just for corporatists. Union goons prefer that their rank in file lose their livelihood, so that they can enjoy the welfare stipends of the state-run insolvent society. The prospects of a Mandarin logo on a Fisker vehicle are hardly on the same scale of transferring innovative technology to Cantonese creditors. However, the common practice of squandering national treasure for dubious purposes seems to be the primary product of the political careerists.Leave it to the progressives over at The American Prospect, for an unintended analogy, in the essay The Twinkie Defense – the unions made us do it. “Hostess Brands is classic case of private equity engineers and executives looting a viable company, loading it up with debt, and then asking the employees to make up the difference.”

    Regretfully, but with no remorse; the political class plays the role of private equity engineers, as the government plunders our economy, through crony spending and swelling of the debt, while saddling the taxpayer with the bill.

    James Hall – February 27, 2013

  • juridicus

    Nobody has disposable income yet they have a continuing need for food, shelter and healthcare. Is it any wonder that when a politician promises all of these things for free, that people will flock to those promises? Sadly those promises are hollow.

  • Rixar13

    These days most Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck, and thanks to rising prices and rising taxes, those paychecks are getting squeezed tighter and tighter.

  • Anna44

    Not only can we NOT afford a car, we can’t even repair the one we have. At least it’s driveable. That is enough. It will have to be since I’ve lost my job at JCPenney & the husband may be losing his at Office Max. We have been beat down like dogs for 3 years now.

  • Don_in_Odessa

    There was a home in Seffner , Florida. It is gone. Now, a hole opened up in the middle of the floor and sucked the insides down into a deep dark pit. Including the landowner. Too look at the outside of the home you would have known nothing had happened. Got that picture in your head. Now, for the safety of the neighborhood the they razed the home.
    This all took place in the space of five days.

    Oh! That picture in your head? That’s our country. The only thing left is for the neighbors to push down the walls. We have already lost it folks. You keep voting for the very folks who have stolen it from us. STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!!! It’s been said
    that insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome. I live in a country of the insane.

    If you want to save your country, then get out of debt by any means possible. Don’t shop at too big to fail business and don’t bank with too big to fail banks. Don’t keep voting for one of the two major parties. Don’t expect the tax paying public to pay your way through life. Face the fact that we have already lost the country to a greed for money and power. It is time we start fighting back with our vote and our pocketbook.

    Half the country voted for a free ride on the backs of the other half in the last election. And, the other half voted for the same old, same old stupid, lying crap. We deserve what we have received. Perhaps, just perhaps when survival becomes a struggle on an individual basis for the majority of us we will put down our Obama-phones long enough to realize that someone needs to work the garden if we are going to eat. Perhaps that someone should be you.

  • http://xeeme.com/MrEnergyCzar MrEnergyCzar

    This is supposed to happen in a contracting post peak cheap oil era….

    MrEnergyCzar

  • gdaym8

    Luckily, thankfully, I still have a good job. But, I do see the writing on the wall. We DO NOT buy anything unless we absolutely NEED it. Yes, we still go out to eat once in awhile (coupons), and a movie now and then (matinee only). BUT, we tightly hold on to our money because we know what is coming. We recently made a LARGE withdrawal from one of our bank accounts because it is not doing anything but just sitting there………….doing nothing! Half of it was converted into junk silver coins, silver bars, and a little gold also. The rest, small and medium bills, securely, tightly, and discreetly put away not to see the llight of day, unless needed. Because, not only do I see some medium sized banks and credit unions failing. We also have noticed an increase in cyber attacks. “They can’t take it if it’s not there.”

    BTW: Luxuries are OUT, period. You don’t actually still go to Starbucks anymore do you? Really, four bucks for a cup of coffee? I make my own from home and take it with me in an insulated travel cup, just as good and a LOT cheaper. Starbucks is for suckers, as well as any other luxuries, even if you still can afford it. Hold tight to your money, and convert at least SOME into precious metals…………..you’ll be glad you did!

  • Southern__Hoosier

    Let’s not forget the amount of money the middle class is spending on guns and ammo, hording gold and food. I think the middle class is alarmed at what is happening to our country and are hunkering down in the survival mode.

  • Michelle

    I do not doubt things are bad. But here are a few thoughts:

    Maybe it’s possible Walmart’s revenue is down because they sell junk and people are catching on.

    Maybe automobiles are overpriced at $30K. Of course they cannot afford 30K, who has that kind of cash laying around except the super rich?

    In my town good luck getting a table at Olive Garden or Red Lobster (they are next to each other) ANY day of the week after 6:00p.m. There is always a line outside the door waiting for a table at both places.

    Student loan debt / default is at an all-time high because colleges are getting really greedy and they charge too much for tuition.

  • MajorDrama

    Gotta love Capitalism!!. Only trouble is it doesn’t work.. Except for the internationalist elites who simply shift their investments/bets from one pony to the next as the fortunes change.. Lets not starve and crush our children before we wake up to this monster..

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