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Has The Next Recession Already Begun For America’s Middle Class?

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RecessionHas the next major economic downturn already started?  The way that you would answer that question would probably depend on where you live.  If you live in New York City, or the suburbs of Washington D.C., or you work for one of the big tech firms in the San Francisco area, you would probably respond to such a question by saying of course not.  In those areas, the economy is doing great and prices for high end homes are still booming.  But in most of the rest of the nation, evidence continues to mount that the next recession has already begun for the poor and the middle class.  As you will read about below, major retailers had an absolutely dreadful start to 2014 and home sales are declining just as they did back in 2007 before the last financial crisis.  Meanwhile, the U.S. economy continues to lose more good jobs and 20 percent of all U.S. families do not have a single member that is employed at this point.  2014 is turning out to be eerily similar to 2007 in so many ways, but most people are not paying attention.

During the first quarter of 2014, earnings by major U.S. retailers missed estimates by the biggest margin in 13 years.  The “retail apocalypse” continues to escalate, and the biggest reason for this is the fact that middle class consumers in the U.S. are tapped out.  And this is not just happening to a few retailers – this is something that is happening across the board.  The following is a summary of how major U.S. retailers performed in the first quarter of 2014 that was put together by Jim Quinn

Wal-Mart Profit Plunges By $220 Million as US Store Traffic Declines by 1.4%

Target Profit Plunges by $80 Million, 16% Lower Than 2013, as Store Traffic Declines by 2.3%

Sears Loses $358 Million in First Quarter as Comparable Store Sales at Sears Plunge by 7.8% and Sales at Kmart Plunge by 5.1%

JC Penney Thrilled With Loss of Only $358 Million For the Quarter

Kohl’s Operating Income Plunges by 17% as Comparable Sales Decline by 3.4%

Costco Profit Declines by $84 Million as Comp Store Sales Only Increase by 2%

Staples Profit Plunges by 44% as Sales Collapse and Closing Hundreds of Stores

Gap Income Drops 22% as Same Store Sales Fall

American Eagle Profits Tumble 86%, Will Close 150 Stores

Aeropostale Losses $77 Million as Sales Collapse by 12%

Best Buy Sales Decline by $300 Million as Margins Decline and Comparable Store Sales Decline by 1.3%

Macy’s Profit Flat as Comparable Store Sales decline by 1.4%

Dollar General Profit Plummets by 40% as Comp Store Sales Decline by 3.8%

Urban Outfitters Earnings Collapse by 20% as Sales Stagnate

McDonalds Earnings Fall by $66 Million as US Comp Sales Fall by 1.7%

Darden Profit Collapses by 30% as Same Restaurant Sales Plunge by 5.6% and Company Selling Red Lobster

TJX Misses Earnings Expectations as Sales & Earnings Flat

Dick’s Misses Earnings Expectations as Golf Store Sales Plummet

Home Depot Misses Earnings Expectations as Customer Traffic Only Rises by 2.2%

Lowes Misses Earnings Expectations as Customer Traffic was Flat

That is quite a startling list.

But plummeting retail sales are not the only sign that the U.S. middle class is really struggling right now.  Home sales have also been extremely disappointing for quite a few months.  This is how Wolf Richter described what we have been witnessing…

This is precisely what shouldn’t have happened but was destined to happen: Sales of existing homes have gotten clobbered since last fall. At first, the Fiscal Cliff and the threat of a US government default – remember those zany times? – were blamed, then polar vortices were blamed even while home sales in California, where the weather had been gorgeous all winter, plunged more than elsewhere.

Then it spread to new-home sales: in April, they dropped 4.7% from a year ago, after March’s year-over-year decline of 4.9%, and February’s 2.8%. Not a good sign: the April hit was worse than February’s, when it was the weather’s fault. Yet April should be the busiest month of the year (excellent brief video by Lee Adler on this debacle).

We have already seen that in some markets, in California for example, sales have collapsed at the lower two-thirds of the price range, with the upper third thriving. People who earn median incomes are increasingly priced out of the market, and many potential first-time buyers have little chance of getting in. In San Diego, for example, sales of homes below $200,000 plunged 46% while the upper end is doing just fine.

As Richter noted, sales of upper end homes are still doing fine in many areas.

But how long will that be able to continue if things continue to get even worse for the poor and the middle class?  Traditionally, the U.S. economy has greatly depended upon consumer spending by the middle class.  If that continues to dry up, how long can we avoid falling into a recession?  For even more numbers that seem to indicate economic trouble for the middle class, please see my previous article entitled “27 Huge Red Flags For The U.S. Economy“.

Other analysts are expressing similar concerns.  For example, check out what John Williams of shadowstats.com had to say during one recent interview

We’re turning down anew. The first quarter should revise into negative territory… and I believe the second quarter will report negative as well.

That will all happen by July 30 when you have the annual revisions to the GDP. In reality the economy is much weaker than that. Economic growth is overstated with the GDP because they understate inflation, which is used in deflating the number…

What we’re seeing now is just… we’ve been barely stagnant and bottomed out… but we’re turning down again.

The reason for this is that the consumer is strapped… doesn’t have the liquidity to fuel the growth in consumption.

Income… the median household income, net of inflation, is as low as it was in 1967. The average guy is not staying ahead of inflation…

This has been a problem now for decades… You were able to buy consumption from the future by borrowing more money, expanding your debt. Greenspan saw the problem was income, so he encouraged debt expansion.

That all blew apart in 2007/2008… the income problems have continued, but now you don’t have the ability to borrow money the way you used to. Without that and the income problems remaining, there’s no way that consumption can grow faster than inflation if income isn’t.

As a result – personal consumption is more than two thirds of the economy – there’s no way you can have positive sustainable growth in the U.S. economy without the consumer being healthy.

The key to the health of the middle class is having plenty of good jobs.

But the U.S. economy continues to lose more good paying jobs.

For example, Hewlett-Packard has just announced that it plans to eliminate 16,000 more jobs in addition to the 34,000 job cuts that have already been announced.

Today, there are 27 million more working age Americans that do not have a job than there were in 2000, and the quality of our jobs continues to decline.

This is absolutely destroying the middle class.  Unless the employment situation in this country starts to turn around, there does not seem to be much hope that the middle class will recover any time soon.

Meanwhile, there are emerging signs of trouble for the wealthy as well.

For instance, just like we witnessed back in 2007, things are starting to look a bit shaky at the “too big to fail” banks.  The following is an excerpt from a recent CNBC report

Citigroup has joined the ranks of those with trading troubles, as a high-ranking official told the Deutsche Bank 2014 Global Financial Services Investor Conference Tuesday that adjusted trading revenue probably will decline 20 percent to 25 percent in the second quarter on an annualized basis.

“People are uncertain,” Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach said of investor behavior, according to an account from the Wall Street Journal. “There just isn’t a lot of movement.”

In recent weeks, officials at JPMorgan Chase and Barclays also both reported likely drops in trading revenue. JPMorgan said it expected a decline of 20 percent of the quarter, while Barclays anticipates a 41 percent drop, prompting it to announce mass layoffs that will pare 19,000 jobs by the end of 2016.

Remember, very few people expected a recession the last time around either.  In fact, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke repeatedly promised us that we would not have a recession and then we went on to experience the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

It will be the same this time as well.  Just like in 2007, we will continue to get an endless supply of “hopetimism” from our politicians and the mainstream media, and they will continue to fill our heads with visions of rainbows, unicorns and economic prosperity for as far as the eyes can see.

But then the next recession will strike and most Americans will be completely blindsided by it.

  • jakartaman

    YES – It has not started it never stopped!

  • Rodster

    I recently went to a local Walmart Supercenter looking to pickup several 5 Gallon BPA water containers and the store was virtually empty. I mentioned that to the cashier who came from a busy Walmart and she remarked that the store is somewhat slow.

    The problem with all of the stores that Michael noted is that they have all replaced mom and pop stores. You no longer have the local hardware, stationary, clothing, electronics stores. They have all been replaced by Big Box stores who decide what inventory moves best. The selection tends to be mediocre with little variety. Back when I was growing up all the mom and pop electronic stores usually had what the other stores in the area didn’t carry. So that’s how they differentiated themselves from their competition.

    • Mondobeyondo

      That’s true.
      Mom and pop stores sell what you need – what your community needs. They know you and your family, they know what you need, and so forth. WalMart sells to the nation.

      WalMart may sell air conditioners to people in North Dakota in January. Or heaters to people in Arizona in July. They don’t care. Profit. It’s all about PROFIT, and the bottom line on their Excel screens.

    • Gay Veteran

      very true.
      btw, you need BPA-free water containers

  • Dawes

    It seems to me that we are headed for a long, slow economic decline more than a collapse, at least for the time being.
    The retail situation described in this article is partially explainable by online purchasing. Not just places like Amazon, ebay etc. but people buying used items from their neighbors on local sites via craigslist, facebook, etc. We buy and sell an awful lot of things without going to a store these days.
    All that said, I think America’s long term economic prospects are pretty grim. Here in Nebraska the economy is still pretty solid, but nationwide our ship is slowly taking on water…

    • Mike Smithy

      Iv’e been thinking about opening a cyber store that only sells brick and mortar.

    • neal

      Unless the sale of used goods via garage sales and other unmeasured outlets is poaching turnover at pawnbrokers and other economically measured dealers then there should be no effect on the recorded GDP and other metrics.
      Online shopping at Amazon and at bricks and mortar retailers online outlets etc is factored into the overall retail scene.
      A big part of Americas retail industry problems is over capacity. I’m in Australia and our lifestyle, economy and shop till you drop attitude is as strong as yours. We have big, spacious retailers yet per capita we only need a sixth of the retail space as you. So until you close 5 in 6 of your retailers (whilst maintaining a strong Western economy) you will have over supply and pressure on your retailers.
      Either way (continued overcapacity or drastic pruning) your retailing is damned for decades.

      • K2

        Another good point, but thats not only thing wrong with retail.

      • Binko

        Very true. One bad aspect of all the retail closing is that massive numbers of abandoned buildings now litter even fairly healthy towns.

        I live in a small city in Calif that is still doing OK because there is a large Air Force base nearby and we are the County Seat so government offices are here. But we now have abandoned big-box stores and empty mini-malls all over the place.

        • Priszilla

          Air Force and government- all run by taxmoney.

          But who pays those taxes in the first place?

          War is consumption.
          You shan’t consume more than you create.

          If war machinery and government become the biggest “business” in a country, there is no way but down.

          And financial services don’t create any wealth either.

          Hence these three sectors need to be cut down rigorously.

          And put more emphasis on agriculture, mining and construction.

          Recycling is actually a form of mining. Electronics contain a higher percentage of metals than many ores. We shouldn’t just put them on landfills.

          We should start digging up old landfills.

          • GSOB

            Mankind has been in a state of ‘war’ since Cain slew Abel.

            Mankind has been in a state of rebellion to the Creator even before that.

            It should be of no great mystery as why war machinery is required by all national and state governments of this world we live in.

            A necessary evil because of evil.

            God has granted the authority none other than to the ‘state’ to execute capital punishment for evil doers.

    • laura m.

      Online buying like e bay and hitting the stores when they have seasonal clearance only way to go.
      Watching grocery sales and bogos weekly, and buying cheaper cuts of meat. This country is without hope or a future, having kids is useless as they will have to struggle as adults when no amount of work will produce a just reward. Both man and wife have to work just to survive in blue collar jobs like we did. Kids are expensive and best suited for the wealthier classes: it’s always been that way even back three decades ago when the econ. was bad and we had to relocate out of state for better pay.

      • Hammerstrike

        No amount of work inside the grid. Outside, however…

        Children are expensive because parents have to spoil them with useless, uneeded things.

    • GSOB

      ‘…nationwide our ship is slowly taking on water…’

      (debt)

      You said it.

  • Tim

    A revised estimate of 1st quarter GDP will be released tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. I think it will confirm what we already know–that the economy contracted in the 1st quarter.

    • Rodster

      Kyle Bass, said that China’s economy contracted as well in the 4th qtr and is actually in the 4% range and not in the upper 7% which the MSM likes to spout.

      • Priszilla

        4% growth doesn’t look like a contraction.
        It looks like slower expansion.

        But still more than former industrialised countries which are happy with 1% growth.

    • Mike Smithy

      They will find a way to spin it by manipulating the metrics. Perhaps they will decide to now include proceeds from prostitution and illicit drug sales into the GDP calculations, just like Italy is doing now.

      • Tim

        LOL.

      • K2

        If you think about it, that is economic activity too.

        Everything should be included in the GDP.

        Similarly everything should be included in inflation…food,fuel etc. Only then will we get the complete picture.

        This should happen not just in the states, but in other countries too.

        • Mike Smithy

          I understand your point. However, there is no way to accurately calculate underworld activities. Once we allow the politicians to swag such estimates, they can declare the rate of economic growth to be anything they want it to be.

          • K2

            Maybe not politicians. But a proper way (that is atleast as good the way that is used to calculate the upperworld as opposed to the underworld) economy, needs to be developed by economists. They should atleast try.

            We will get an even closer picture.

    • liberalsnazisarethesame

      -.2%

      • Hammerstrike

        Who is to Blame? Bush! Blame Bush! Syria, NSA, VA, Benghazi, Putin, it is all Bush´s fault! He personally gave birth to Osama Bin Laden!

        All the problems with liberalism is because of opposition to them that is being lead behind the scenes by the evil Bush/Koch Conspiracy to dominate the entire world under White-owned Corporations….
        Yes, blame Bush! Blame the Koch brothers! Blame the GOP! Blame Whitney! Seize that race card, comrade, for it is the key to victory in any debate!

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      I think that there is definitely a decent chance of that happening if they are honest with us.

      Michael

    • Rodster

      According to Zerohedge this morning, the US economy contracted by -1% Q1 2014. That’s the largest drop since 2011 in any quarter.

      • Rodster

        Here’s the chart

      • Tim

        I think TPTB are getting desperate. They can no longer hide the fact that the economy is dying.

        • Rodster

          It’s now been revised to -2%

    • Rodster

      Actually according to Zero Hedge the US economy contracted by -2% on the 1st Qtr.

  • marco

    I’m in Silicon Valley. For those who are working in high-tech, it’s all fine and dandy – but, these workers are well aware of the offshoring and aggressive H1-B hiring which saves money for the company. A good place to see the growing divide is at any VTA light rail station where “Google buses” stop by to pick up their workers. Look at those folks. Now look at everyone else who takes the public bus. It’s very obvious. If I were them, I’d start dressing more low key lest the have-nots start rioting against the haves. And it’s going to happen.

    The sad thing is that even those who work in high tech are not exactly swimming in money. Husband and wife have masters degrees and both work in high tech, make let’s say $300k a year combined. But they pay $7k for _each_ child going to private school and pay mortgage on a $1.1 million home, (which is a tract home that can be easily bought for $100k if it was in an Idaho suburb), run around like crazy to pick kids up afterwards, attend meetings at night, VPN from home, and do it all over again five days a week. Is that middle class? I don’t know, but they’re certainly not rich.

    In the meantime, food inflation is here and no mainstream media outlet will dare talk about rising _real_ costs. Sometimes I wish this whole thing would crash already….it can’t come soon enough.

    • Zak

      Tuition of 7K a year is not a lot if you earn 300K.

      • Rodster

        It certainly is if a little more than half that 300K goes towards Local, State and Federal taxes! 😉

        Add a mortagage, Obamacare, gasoline, food and just the basic necessities and that 300K in reality begins to look insignificant after all those expenses off the top.

        • Rodster

          Global debt levels are now at 435% to Global GDP. To put that in perspective. Global debt levels were sitting at around 407% of GDP. So nothing has been fixed and the snowball has gotten much bigger.

          • StefanaRapsondeu

            my classmate’s aunt makes $68 every hour on the
            computer . She has been fired for 7 months but last month her paycheck was
            $15495 just working on the computer for a few hours. visit the site R­e­x­1­0­.­C­O­M­

        • Rodster

          Remove the spaces

          http : // kingworldnews . com / kingworldnews/KWN_DailyWeb/Entries/2014/5/29_Global_Debt_Levels_Have_Soared_To_435_Of_GDP%21 . html

      • Mondobeyondo

        That’s true. And the vast majority of us earn at least 300K a year.

        Where’s the toilet? Excuse me while I vomit

        • Loog Moog

          I live in the midwest. With my income and wife’s income, we make about 25K. And we are doing better than many of our friends. The economy is still in the toilet and Barak has done nothing to fix it. There is low unemployment by the government’s figures, but the real numbers are far worse. We need full-time jobs, not 2 part-time jobs.

          • alan

            My wife was making 20k at Walmart, So I can see easy 40k dual income in the south, maybe less. Don’t both retiring in the Philippines just come to Florida no visa requirements yet.

    • Julia

      Are absolutely correct! I used to work at Cisco until last July and everything is exactly as you describe.

    • Beaker

      If $300k is not rich, I must be dirt poor at less than a third of that. I mean for real, you have got to be joking. I will never see $300k in my lifetime, and I AM in tech. Granted, not the super cool Google type of tech…
      If I were them I’d start saving extrememly aggressively. When they get outsourced that Idaho tract house is going to look extremely good to them.
      Also, I can list several issues with your hypothetical family. The first and most obvious being the “s” at the end of “kids”. REAL bad move there. But after that, are you telling me there are no $650k homes in Silicon Valley? There have to be, that’s already astronomical.
      And how is it you can’t find a non-religiously affiliated private school for $3-4k? I’ve done it before. I know public is a non-starter, and in that type of environment, so is home schooling (as one parent watches their resume rot silently away for 15 years)…
      But for real, if you cant make it comfortably and with a huge buffer on $300k, you really need to think pretty seriously about what you’re doing. If I had $300k a year all my problems would be over VERY quickly, I assure you.

    • K2

      Do all of them who make 300k or more live in million dollar homes? I dont know, i really want to find out.

      • Diogenes1949

        Just returned from Palo Alto, California The average residence there is over $1300 per square foot.
        That means a standard 2000 sq. ft home will set you back about $2.6 million.

        A million gets you a tiny condo – if you can find it.

        My daughter and son-in-law and their baby live in a one bedroom apt. Both are Stanford grads with great jobs.

        They could buy a home farther out but the trade-off is a much longer daily commute.

        But, to respond to your question, people like my daughter and son-in-law cannot yet afford a million dollar home and if they could, in Palo Alto that would be a small two bedroom condo.

        And a recent article pointed out that 15% of residential sales in Palo Alto are now made to wealthy mainland Chinese who are looking for an acceptable way to keep some of their assets outside of China. This is a bit like the overheated London real estate market where new home purchasers are increasingly from China, Russia and the Middle East.

        And California is totally controlled by liberal Democrats so the taxes of all types are excessive and the public debt is unsustainable and getting worse.

        Also California taxpayers pay billions for welfare benefits and incarceration costs for illegal aliens.

        • Beaker

          Then they’d have a few options. Option 1: get a house in the sticks AND rent a craptastical one bedroom close to work. This only works if they have no kids (practically speaking), and they don’t have to perpetually work weekends (doubtful that they don’t). But financially I bet this works out a lot cheaper than a 2.6 million dollar mortgage.
          Option 2: … how is this worth it? I mean… really. At $100k salary, I’d never consider buying a house that cost more than $400k, and $400k is REALLY. Really. Pushing it. Painfully. Ideally I’m more at like $300k. So I mean… those jobs? With a cost of living like that it’s a losing proposition. Why even do it? Please don’t tell me “because you love the work”… it’s work. You work to live, not the other way around.
          They’d be better off in Rural Idaho, working as IT guys for Kaiser or something.

          • marco

            @Beaker – if you know the cost of living in _any_ part of Silicon Valley, then you know that it is IMPOSSIBLE to buy a single family home for $400k. That is a bonafide pipe dream. You will have to do a 2+ hour commute each way, five days a week and those homes will be $500k+.

            That’s the crux of my post – that “middle-class” cannot and should not be measured by salary ALONE. You MUST view salary in context of cost of living in the region where one lives. Then there’s quality of life.

            I myself make well over $130k. I am happily married and have two kids. My wife doesn’t work (well, she works a lot as a stay-at-home mom, which is a heck of a job). My older kid goes to private school. We live in Silicon Valley. We have two cars (one is a nice German car). And I’m happy to say that we have no debt – none. How is that possible? We live in a “manufactured home” aka mobile home. BTW, we paid our home in cash for $250k. We did that because we don’t want to be debt slaves. We focused on quality of life. We have enough saved so we can buy a couple of acres in Idaho with a single story home in cash, but it’s hard to just pick up and move because having and holding on to a job that also has good health benefits is not something you just walk away from – especially in these times. There are family obligations as well.

            All I’m saying is that even people who make good money won’t have as good a quality of life compared to others making 50% less. It really is all relative. Do you know what happens in my original post when one person in the household gets laid off and can’t find a job? Their quality of life goes downhill _real_ fast…

  • Stezie

    It has been going on for quite a while now.

  • DJohn1

    Signs that a store is going under:
    1. All the sales involve mail in rebates from the manufacturer.
    2. You have to order a lot of stuff from their online store. It is no longer in the stores.
    3. The online store will not tell you the product is available in the local store.
    4. The sales items are out of stock.
    5. When you research a model that is good, the store doesn’t carry that model. Instead they have one that is defective.
    6. Propriatory goods. Only the house brand fits when you go to replace batteries, etc. The item only uses their parts. Olympus cameras almost put themselves out of business doing this. Their own memory cards, their own rechargeable batteries. Inconvenience all over the place.

    7. The store doesn’t want to take a defective item back. Several stores after Christmas did not want returns period.
    8. The store management changes every 3-4 years.
    9. Older employees are kicked out. These people know the business and can see a poor manager a mile away.

    More than half of the list of stores having a hard time violate the above list. This has nothing to do with economy. It has a lot to do with how they treated their customers in the past. Bad customer relations means the customer does not come back. But the managers that pulled this trick or two have since moved on.
    At least one of the above named stores have went to no cashiers, self checkout registers, and the customer has no choice if they want to deal with them. Most don’t.

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      Those mail in rebates are a pet peeve of mine. The promised checks never seem to arrive and then you just forget about them.

      Michael

      • Rodster

        I’ve never been shafted with any rebate checks, ever. I always double read the fine print because what they do is make it so that they get out of it on a technicality. I make sure the info is placed just where they want it including the sales receipt and UPC barcode. That I find is the one where they try and get out of. They sometimes want you to place a label a certain way on the rebate form.

      • DJohn1

        My personal policy is that once a store by association with the rebate company has cheated me once, I never do business with that store again. Most of the stores that have done this cheating are now well on their way to going out of business.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Two words: Best Buy.

      • DJohn1

        I was in a Best Buy a few months ago looking for an item. The entire setup has changed.
        They impressed me as being worse than Radio Shack for prices. I have dealt with Radio Shack and Best Buy. I bought a dishwasher from Best Buy about a year ago.
        I look to see them on the list of companies going bankrupt, not because of anything they have done, but because the prices are now not compatible with the market.
        I also own an Olympus (550UZ.} I won’t own another one. It has given me good service. The problem is the company went to hell in a handbasket. They have even got in trouble with the Japanese government for criminal activities.
        A lot of the other Japanese Brands have gotten the disease of making things only for their product like batteries and memory cards.

        Mine was one of the last to use standard AA batteries and standard memory.

        • Priszilla

          Since I do not want to take battery chargers on vacation I made it a point to buy a camera with AA batteries. Nikon.

          Works well. Uses a standard SD card. My next digital camera will be a smartphone. Chargers don’t weigh as much today.

  • K

    Just got back from a little trip to the Daytona area. As expected, west side of town, had more vacant stores. Also many businesses holding on by their fingertips. On the beach side, just the opposite. A lot of projects underway, and the place was packed for the Memorial Day weekend. Rooms in secondary resorts going for $150.00 a night. People looking at timeshares in the $16,000.00 range, and at least a few buying. There are two very different Americas out there. And it seems the gap between them continues to get wider.

    • RealityCheck

      Just like Vero Beach 2 hours south down I-95.

  • Kent Harris

    It is funny I use to make less but at least had money that was right before the financial crisis and now 7 years later I am pretty much don’t have any money even though I make more. I hate when they mention inflation saying it is mild I call BS. The cost of gas, healthcare and food is putting me in the poor house.

    • Rodster

      I was reading an article the other day which said that US gas consumption so far has been down a whopping 75%. That tells you that people are tapped out and the economy is on life support.

      • gwanaambi

        Interesting indeed….where was this article?

        • Rodster

          Remove all the spaces

          http : // www bullionbullscanada . com /us-commentary/26530-us-gasoline-consumption-plummets-by-nearly-75

        • Rodster

          If the link doesn’t work just do a search for:

          US gasoline consumption down 75%

          • gwanaambi

            Thanks, Rodster….found it. Riveting

        • Yahno

          Just went into our local smaller-town Kmart. More workers than customers. And the bare shelves. I asked about it. They were “downsizing” stock, I was told…it did not look good.

          • alan

            Please don’t down size the ammo!!!

    • GSOB

      Then add the cost of putting some kind of a roof over your head, water, heat & electric, garbage pick up and you’ll soon understand that the only reason for you to check your credit report is to make sure your social security number is worthy of being invested in by the lender, who wants you to spend money that you don’t already
      have in order to enslave you as their cash cow, as a benefit, at a going rate – just for you.

  • Semiore Butts

    Thought the collapse would have taken place by now but we just keep circling the drain. The MRE’s I bought in 2008 are about to expire.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Circling the drain, yes. About to be flushed.
      The smell will be the least of our problems.

    • Priszilla

      You need to cycle your rations. So buy stuff that you actually like to eat.

  • cateye

    Ditto to your last sentence. We need more of us to do the same.

  • Bosnian Serb

    Just several years ago in early March or in early September airline tickets for Europe were in $850-900 range. Now you can’t find any tickets under 1300. I would say that just about anything else went up this much in percentages. My annual pay increase is 2-2.5%. Unless you find a better paying job don’t count on more money in your current position.

  • http://www.booksbyoliver.com/ Delaware River

    Rural America is probably hit the hardest compared to medium/large cities.

    Forget the poverty in the ghettos…..just drive through rural America and see real poverty, but no one is doing drive by shootings or mass murders. These people just suffer in silence.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Those of you old enough to remember (NO, I am NOT one of them, only saw it in films and documentaries) might recall when Robert F. Kennedy travelled to Appalachia and pledged to end this curse of illiteracy and poverty in rural America.

      So, what happened?

      If you seriously don’t know, your school board needs to fire that history teacher.

      • Yahno

        Instead of ending it, democrats and republicans have made illiteracy and poverty the norm, real American ideals, you could say….standards all Americans can look forward to for many decades to come. It took China almost 300 years to make its way back to the top of the heap. I can’t imagine the timeframe it is going to take us.

        • Richard O. Mann

          May get to the point that if you can read and wright with understanding, the gov may send you off to a reeducation camp. Eh?

          • That’s Right !

            Write with understanding ?
            You won’t have to worry
            about re-ed camp.

    • Scared Economist

      I hear Obamaphones don’t work out in Rural America.
      And I hear they have to drive a long way to find stores that will take EBT cards.
      Those poor people. How do they survive?

      • laura m.

        They need to move to larger cities, this way they can get free birth control since they breed like rats, also the EBT and food bank hand outs, etc. and maybe a job somewhere. They are slackers and need to get a life.

        • Priszilla

          They listen to FounderChurch and make children.
          That’s good in the eye of god, isn’t it?

        • Captain Beyond

          Why should they work Laura M. so they can give their money to their ugly wives? The veil been lifted we see the game from the NWO all the way down to the wicked spirit of Jezabel.

      • Priszilla

        But in rural areas you’d have more land to grow food on?
        The problem is probably legislation that prohibits people to utilise rainwater that falls on their land for irrigation.

        • Captain Beyond

          Bullsh1et tell anyone in rural America that you cant grow this or that or use rainwater and youll get a backside fulla rock salt.

  • Mondobeyondo

    The Great Recession never truly ended. We’re experiencing a break, so to speak. Just like passing through the eye of a hurricane.

    The current economic crisis has more similarities to the Great Depression than any previous recession. Yes, the stock market rallied in late 1936-early ’37. By the autumn of ’37, the bottom started to fall out. The same thing may be happening later this year.

    • Youareanidiot

      Wasn’t the depression in 1929? For someone who claims to be a history seeker you sure are an idiot.

      • Mondobeyondo

        Yes, it was. The Great Depression generally speaking, began with the stock market crash in 1929. The underlying causes of it go beyond just a big drop in the Dow though.

        What we are going through is not a great depression. Not yet….

        • Youareanidiot

          Many people feel what happened in 2008ish was a depression. I wonder if the Great Depression was called such right away or termed that later on? It will be interesting what this era will really be termed. There is always going to be periods of pull back in the economy or a recession. Michaels articles are pretty dumb considering it’s well known that typically it will pull back about every 5-6 years. The economy didn’t tank again in the late 1930s. Could the WW have prevented that who knows. Would a war now prevent anything no. There will always be people struggling. But many people have landed themselves in financial strain by their own doing. We are at a point where there will be major changes but what is pointed out in many if these articles is industries that are beginning/have already flopped. There are other industries that are ready to boom if people would realize not everyone should go to school to be an attorney, doctor, ect. Many jobs don’t require college training.

        • Drud

          You bring up a very good and often misunderstood (or completely ignored) point: The Great Depression was not caused by the stock market crash, and the market did not crash because of a “Black Swan” event. The market crashed (which merely signaled the beginning of the depression) was caused by loose money policies and decadent wastefulness of the Roaring 20’s. The point is this: the collapse of a bubble is NOT the disease, it is the (painful) cure. Put another way, the 20’s was the party, the 30’s was the hangover. The problem is that all these “brilliant” economists we got actually believe that they can stay up all night doing endless tequila shooters and snorting 8-balls and never, ever get a hangover.

      • Jodie Lynn Gaeta

        The worst of the Great Depression was in the early 1930’s, but the economy grew up until 1937. Then another recession hit, and unemployment once again spiked.

      • Mondobeyondo

        FYI:
        October 15-29, 1929 – Initial crash
        Winter 1930 – Farmers struggling
        Winter 1931 – Farmers in dire shape
        1932 – U.S. in dire shape
        1933 – FDR implements “alphabet soup” of federal programs
        1934-36 – Things get slightly better
        1937-38 – Another economic setback
        Sept. 1939 – WWII begins

      • Yahno

        This is directed to YouAreAnIdiot:

        Exactly what purpose do you think you served by calling Mondo a derogatory name? Did it make you feel more important???…if that is the case, at least one of us (that being you and only you) thinks so.

        Anybody and everybody knows that the Great Depression began in late October 1929 and LASTED 10 years until the world went to war beginning in 1939….just as Mondo pointed out in his response to your rudeness.

        YOU never bothered to actually read his initial post…you just saw “1936-early ’37” and your fingers started tapping away, leaving your good manners behind.

        You really need to apologize to Mondo for your rudeness. It
        was unconscionable.

        • heil hitler

          Well said. But folks like this don’t apologize. They just carry on their drivel elsewhere, and learn nothing.

          • Yahno

            I understand your point and totally appreciate the frustration, but at what point do we finally say, “Knock it off”? Americans are just plain rude…they say French are the rudest, but I think being rude is now America’s greatest export behind war. What a sad commentary on this country. Obama and his ilk’s greatest weapon is rudeness. They verbally crucify whomever they are combating with and NOBODY says, “KNOCK IT OFF!!” Time to stand, folks.

          • El Pollo de Oro

            Yahno: I especially like this part: “being rude is now America’s greatest export behind war.” It’s so true. And one need only read the hateful comments people post online to get an idea of how bloody things are going to get here in the BRA when our economy goes from bad to much worse.

            As for France…..I’ve been there and found the people from the south of France to be very helpful, especially if you make an effort to speak some French. A lot of the anti-France nonsense of recent comes from neocons (who aren’t really conservatives, they’re fascists).

      • Orange Jean

        Actually this morning on my local country music radio station they mentioned that in 1929 the unemployment rate in the US was 0%. I hadn’t ever heard that before, but since Yahno mentioned the Great Depression didn’t start until the end of October of that year, it kind of makes sense. I seem to recall (albeit I haven’t been in a US history class in about 40 years)… that many people were living high off the hog in ’29 and one big reason for the suicides escalating had to do with their shock at how quickly the economic collapse happened.

      • El Pollo de Oro

        Youreanidiot: you need to learn a few things about history before you shoot your mouth off, cabrón. The Great Depression started in 1929 but didn’t end in 1929. It lasted throughout the 1930s and didn’t end until World War 2. So Mondo was right about the events of 1936 and 1937.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Many people would be surprised that the giant bastion of middle class wealth. Wal-Mart, isn’t doing that well either.

    Too early to say it’s time to say goodbye to Sears and KMart, but, it’s not looking good for them. They do have the legacy factor in their favor though. You know, “My grandpa shopped at Sears. My mom shopped at Sears. When I have kids, they’ll shop at Sears”,

    No they won’t. Your kids will shop online at Amazon, or (pick your tween’s favorite store) website. Very likely some place like Aeropostale or Old Navy. Can’t count the number of Aeropostale shirts and skirts the under-14 girls are wearing.

  • Mondobeyondo

    The U.S. is in serious trouble. None of the higher-ups, and even middle-ups, are about to admit it, of course.

    Why not?

    They’d lose public support (i.e. votes)
    Election, or re-election is what these people want, and it’s very hard to get elected if no one votes for you. Duhhh!

    Public officials will do just about anything to get elected or re-elected.

    What did Barack Obama do to get re-elected? Apparently, enough to get most of you to vote for him.

    Do these political candidates have the nation’s best interest in mind? No, of course not. Read up two paragraphs. The vast majority – easy cheesy. “He’s so cute!” “What a nice hairstyle!” “She lives in moose country!” Easy vote.

    It’s more “American Idol” than anything about what they promise to do.

  • Mondobeyondo

    “History, despite its unwrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced in courage, need not be lived again” — Maya Angelou

  • toadsticker

    Just lost my job of 19 years. The owner sold the company that had been losing money the last 3 years and had struggled for 5 or 6 years before that. The owner tried to keep us working, I don’t blame him. This is the plight of small business in this country. Just scraping along hoping next year it will turn around. Small businesses used to be the backbone of a community. Now, the backbone is retirees (pensions and social security) and ebt cards. Each successive group of retirees will be a little less off than the previous and the steady decline will continue.

    • Mondobeyondo

      I’m sorry to hear you lost your job. Praying it won’t take you long to find another one.

      • toadsticker

        Thanks for the thought.

    • Jimbo

      I work for a company that is on the brink. We live contract to contract. We take on contracts at break even money just to keep the business going and people employed. I am 53 and I will struggle to find work if my employer goes under. The sad thing is that this scenario is playing out in all the small companies that I know of. Our suppliers are desperate for sales and it is heartbreaking to talk to a steel sales company rep who is begging you for a sale. These guys used to be able to name their price and we would pay it for the quality of their goods. We used to be able to buy from them because we had profit in our end product. Now, we buy the cheapest steel we can get so that we can break even on our finished job.
      I have never seen times like this before and they get worse with each passing day.

      • toadsticker

        I know what you mean. I’m 58 and I’ve been looking for 3 weeks now. Gotta straighten your back, ignore that hip that aches and walk strong when walking up to that employer.

        • joblessInNM

          56, unemployed four months, and yesterday ended a three month drought without any interviews. Unfortunately, both positions pay about 25% less than my last position, which was underpaid. Ouch.

    • laura m.

      We are into retirement ten years, and I’m amazed at how many people int heir late 60’s and up are still working. Some are doctors and several are in late 70’s several others are in 70’s also. Other jobs incl teaching and retail. They have not planned for retirement and are living too high or have debt. Other retirees are struggling w. inflation because banks aren’t paying any interest and people have to buy annuities for income with their savings. Reverse mortgages are a rip off, yet people are suckered into it.

      • Yahno

        I know two people, one 75 and one 82, who just got jobs…one in retail sales and the other in welding…crazy world.

        • GSOB

          And you are young, still.

      • Gay Veteran

        low interest rates benefit the Big Banks, not the people

  • MrPissonyourgrave .

    Im hurting right now.

  • Geoffrey Zeger

    I had a conversation with someone the other day where we pondered whether the ‘middle class’ is actually a post world war II anomaly and that the norm is inequality – that in the macro over time a double camel hump graph is actually more of the norm (one hump lower income, a dip in the middle, and the other hump upper income) rather than a standard bell curve (a large population of middle income). Does anyone have retro data on income distributions?

    • TruthIsAll

      Rome had the Equestrian (or equites) class of citizenry, but they’d be more comparable to the highest tier of land and business owners of today that aren’t quite part of the oligarchy. So maybe not the best example.

      There have been tradesmen, bourgeoisie, and people who are more educated and well off than the poor. But I agree, the post ww2 American middle class of cheap goods, nice cars, perfect lawns, and nuclear families was an anomaly we’re not likely going to see again for a long time.

    • Priszilla

      Just forget about that “Middle Class” stuff. That was just a smoke screen to muddle your mind.

      In capitalism you have two major classes – the owners of production means, and the working class.

      The working class only has their life-time to sell to make money. They rent themselves out to those who own the capital.

      And since the system is called capitalism, capital is always at the centre of attention of everybody. People are only useful if they can be used to multiply the capital.

      The Middle Class is useful as henchmen. They can be told that one day they may belong to the upper class, if they keep the lower class down.
      And the middle class happily takes the 30 pieces of silver to betray their fellow members of the working class.

  • RealityCheck

    As I was walking through our local shopping mall, I saw a retailer, Aeropostale, with an “All merchandise 50% off sign in the window.” Last Friday, their stock dived 24% after a very dismal earnings report. Today, it gained 17% after an announcement that the company has secured a $150 million financing deal and strategic partnership with Sycamore Partners. I’m pretty sure the 50% sign will now be taken down. Let’s see if our mall location survives the next round of store closings that will probably be announced this year. Those private equity deals usually come with many strings attached.

  • RealityCheck

    In my Florida town, the beach front condo and home sales are doing very well. They are mainly being sold to high income retirees and foreign investors from places like Russia and Brazil. We are not quite Miami, but probably will be in the next decade. Meanwhile, the other side of the tracks is not doing well at all. They are the low paid white and blue collar working stiffs. We are seeing an uptick in construction. In my apartment complex, several new families from California have moved in due to the demand for skilled construction labor. The problem is that they don’t speak English. Most of the skilled American born construction workers have all gone away after being displaced by cheap labor.

    • XSANDIEGOCA

      You are witnessing the disenfranchisement of the people in their own country. It will get worse.

    • El Pollo de Oro

      Reality: The people who are in denial about the problems in the BRA economy would visit a really pricey area of Miami (for example, Coconut Grove) and assume that everyone in Florida is doing really well. But the fact that “the low paid white and blue collar working stiffs” that you describe are struggling tells you how bad things are on Main Street.

  • Jimbo

    I live in Australia and we were lucky enough to escape most of the impact of the GFC in 07/08. Property prices flatlined instead of nosediving, unemployment saw a slight increase and stores stayed open. What I have noticed though, is a decline in my standard of living due to inflation.
    Since 2007 my pay has increased by 30% and official inflation has been running at 2% or 3% per year. I should be way better off.
    The fact is though that the things I buy have not been increasing by 2% a year. The hot roasted chicken that used to cost $5 in 2007 now costs $13.99. The pint of beer that cost $6 now costs $13.
    My utilities costs have more than doubled.
    In 2007, we bought steak and free range eggs. Now we buy barn raised eggs and beef mince.
    I am not complaining, my life is still very good, but I wonder how we would manage if my salary had just kept pace with official inflation?
    All of my friends are in the same situation. They all earn more but have noticed a marked decrease in their standards of living.
    We live in a society where the numbers are rigged to take away a little bit of our standard of living with each passing day.
    We don’t notice it on a daily basis, bread goes up by a cent, cooked chickens go up by 2 cents. We don’t notice that we get older either.
    Look at a picture of yourself taken 20 years ago. You will see a fresher faced, healthier and happier version of you.
    Can you look at a snapshot of your financial wellbeing from 20 years ago? You probably can’t because government numbers and MSM propaganda are telling you that you never had it so good.
    If you believe that the world was a better place 20 or 40 years ago, it is not just because you are old. It is because the world really was a better place back then.

    • Alan

      Very well said. All of your observations are absolutely true. We are being deceived by the “official inflation numbers.” They are a fraud.

      • Joshua Manevitz

        America has chosen to live a life of lies look who runs the country the master of all deception ;I could go on but I decided to give everbody a break !

        • Priszilla

          If your presidents are all idiots, why do you keep electing new ones?

          Just cancel that position.

          Make the white house into a museum, employ a few museums guides and charge entrance fee.

          .

  • davidmpark

    Okay, I’m setting up appointments to meet with the local powers-that-be to talk of support for the disabled. Number one of the points is to keep in the direction they’re heading now with federal land acquisitions and more citizen-based legislation. Utah is rebelling against the recession and the social decay. The LDS Church, of whom I am a happy member, is reorganizing their humanitarian aid and welfare departments to maximize their reach. The local Christian Churches, Jewish Synagogues, and State Welfare are more readily accepting Church assistance, and who are all opening their once exclusive resources to the general public, too.

    The wife and I also toured one of the Church’s welfare production centers. Yes; I said welfare production center: the LDS Church owns millions of acres of farmland, orchards, ranches, and processing plants with the intent of carrying out the commandment of Jesus Christ’s to care for the poor and afflicted. I had no idea that so much is created and shipped via the Church’s own shipping company worldwide to fulfill the needs of so many; both members and non-members alike. I also learned that our tithing dollars goes to supplying wheelchairs, vaccinations, and medical supplies worldwide and domestically.

    The next tour will be with the Church’s Humanitarian Aid Center. Supposedly meant to sort, pack, and ship out humanitarian aid worldwide. And it’s a constantly working warehouse and production line to prevent any time lags.

    And amazingly, all this is done without credit nor debt. All paid for ahead of time by us members and the Church’s for-profit businesses.

    The only way to survive this is through the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We have the full Gospel, the people, the organization, the facilities, and the abilities needed to more than survive, but to also thrive! If everything collapses, we are able and ready to immediately step in and rebuild.

    Things will work out and lives will be saved.

  • Mondobeyondo

    We’re in the eye of the storm. Prepare for the back side of the storm to hit. When it will happen specifically is anyone’s guess. I’m out of the “predicting the future” business for now. But it is inevitable…

    U.S. national debt approaching $16.5 trillion
    China and Russia debating whether to use other currencies besides the dollar
    The VA scandal. The government can’t even care for its own war veterans adequately. How will Obamacare take care of the rest of us?!?
    And on and on.

    The signs are all over the place.

    • XSANDIEGOCA

      30 trillions by 2020!

      • Drud

        I don’t (can’t) believe we will get that far with our current system. Something’s gotta give.

        • FirstGarden

          You’re right. On one hand, these crooks will borrow their butts up to 30 trill if they can, then loot the system just before letting it fall, i.e. manipulation.

          — OR —

          We will reach “economic entropy” somewhere along the way, or the law of diminished returns to the point of no return(s).

          • GSOB

            debt will bankrupt this nation

  • sss

    Guys, believe me. Everything is fine, nothing is wrong. The economy is stable.
    Ignore this insane idiot named Michael who believes in end of world

    • heil hitler

      “Everything is fine, nothing is wrong. The economy is stable.”

      That’s what I sound like when I’ve overdosed on my zoloft. :-)

  • MeMadMax

    Every year, my rent goes up, it is relentless, I feel like killing the landlord…

  • Kate

    i thought tapering would lead to 3% then 4% + on the 10 year?
    nope down to 2.44. If the collapse was coming, it would have came. Add in Belgium. Add in new mystery buyer. TPTB can keep this crap going for long long time. in 2010 it was “within 6 months we collapse” now its 2014 “collapse by mid 2015.
    And im not negative person. But i do wish for reset, but not sure if it will ever happen if it hasnt. good luck all.
    stocks to silver has cost me lots of $, nice prepping by me,lol!
    yes i am responsible. be well

    • Too Much Information

      No, things go in cycles, it’s just that hype makes people jump the gun on when it happens. People where warning about sub prime bubble as early as 2002, did that mean it was scare mongering? No, it did happen in 2008. If people could predict the exact time of societal collapse it would not happen.

  • XSANDIEGOCA

    I like Mom’s Chocolate Chip Cookie at work. I buy it from the Canteen for 50 cents. Over the last couple of years I have noticed a phenomenon. The cookie is half the size it used to be but the price is the same?! Seems to be happening all over. My Better Half informs me grocery shopping is becoming frightful. Life at the top and bottom seems to be OK. The poor Middle, however, is being squeezed out of existence. Who would have thought Obama would be the Greatest President the 1% Has Ever Had?! People react with Horror at the Robber Baron Era!! How awful it must have been!! Look around…

    • Scared Economist

      Come down to our Government supported Food Bank. We’ll fix you up with some great free food:
      Partial list of what we gave away this week—
      Tyson whole chickens
      Oreos
      Townhouse Crackers
      Kellog’s Frosted Flakes
      Bushes’ Baked Beans
      USDA Choice New York Strip steaks
      Slabs of St Louis style ribs
      Frozen blueberries (makes great smoothies)
      3 LB blocks of cheese (100% real cheese not that cut-with-soybean-oil cheese they sell Middle Class shoppers in the grocery stores.)

      • Mike Smithy

        I’m on my way. What is the address?

        • Scared Economist

          We happen to be in Hamilton, Ohio but every city/town has these free food pantrys. They post income guidelines that you are supposed to be within but that is not checked. The income guidelines are very liberal anyway— a family of 4 with income of $44,000 a year is considered within the government’s poverty level to recieve free USDA food.
          I wish I made less so I could eat Strip Steaks and ribs :(

    • Harold

      It’s called inflation by reducing package size. It’s very deceptive. Nowadays, you have to look at volume labels. They give you a large box of cereal with less contents.

      What’s really bad is when the reduce the package size AND raise the price.

      Inflation is going to get out of control. We have not seen ANYTHING yet.

      • Joshua Manevitz

        Corporate America they are sucking our blood we need to make better choices then they will play a fair game .

  • XSANDIEGOCA

    The Fed is not Tapering. Stories to the contrary are for the Bobos. They are pumping like mad to ensure the election of Hillary in 2016. What we have is an economy that caters to the 1% (they have the money. Witness how Obama bends over for the Steyers who have promised 100MM in campaign funds in exchange for nixing the XL pipeline) and the bottom 47%, who comprise the votes!! The Middle Class is being thrown under the bus. What you see with immigration is the replacement of the Native Class with a far more pliant 3rd World class which will work longer, harder and for less. Who is the Bogeyman in American Politics today? The White Middle Class. Next on the chopping block with be SS and Medicare. Listen for pious sermons from on high about the duty to die. Obama Care, at the end of the day, is nothing but a scam to eliminate Old Whites by rationing or denying them care. Paranoid? Check out the VA scandal. Obama Care write large.

    • Fred

      Amen. Absolutely correct!

    • Joshua Manevitz

      Hillary is a weak character ; the U.S. needs a strong leader one who can make extremely hard decisions the real question is do we have a real candidate so sad the state of affairs seems america is in a losing streak because america has lost favor has turned away from G-d ; we need to get back what we have lost with traditional american values otherwise we are dead in the water !

  • Joe Kleinkamp

    First quarter GDP was just revised downward to a full 1% contraction from the 0.01% growth reported on April 30. These figures tell us 3 things:
    1) The projected +3% growth for the year is a joke.
    2) Government GDP figures like unemployment figures, job creation figures, CPI figures and the rest can’t be trusted.
    3) Another quarter of negative growth will officially show we’re in recession though for many of us the great recession of 2008 never ended.

  • Stephanie S

    One thing that puzzles me is celebrity-worship. They show the lifestyles of the rich and famous but no jealousy from the herd about the over-the-top consumption? Hasn’t it occurred to some of these twits (Bieber, Cyrus, Paltrow, et al) that donating a year’s groceries to a struggling family would be a cool thing to do and get you great PR too?

  • squashpants

    I was reading the economic news and see that the 1st Qtr GDP has been revised to -1%. However, the economists are trumpeting all the positive signs currently in the economy, and project a second quarter GDP of +3.5%(!).

    Is anybody believing this?!? Can they really be this deluded?

    I am saving this projection to compare it with the actual GDP report after the quarter ends. I am NOT expecting anywhere near +3.5%. in fact, I am expecting another negative number.

    Does anyone here think I am off-base on that expectation?

    • gwanaambi

      No I don’t. The numbers don’t fool me much…just more smoke & mirrors.

    • Tim

      “Does anyone here think I am off-base on that expectation?”

      Not at all.

    • Randy Townsend

      Heard the same report on the radio, followed IMMEDIATELY by some nameless “economic expert” that promised happy days are just around the corner… People refuse to believe that after all the $ Obama and the government spent, things are just as bad (if not worse) and aren’t getting better. The people are going to get really mad when the truth is made clear – hence, the ammo and gun buying frenzy by the feds… I know, I’m crazy…

  • Trailer Park Investor

    All “HELL” is about to break loose.
    IF you end up in a cardboard box down by the river you will be one of the lucky ones.
    And IF you have a rat on a stick cooking over a camp fire you will be REALLY lucky.
    You can thank our Professional Politicians for your fine prosperous future. The best politicians money can buy.
    “They shipped your jobs off to China, borrowed and spent your kids, grand kids, and their grand kids money, FOR WHAT.
    TO DESTROY AMERICA.
    Why do so many people around the world HATE America?
    Well they get their wish, America WILL be totally destroyed.
    GOOD LUCK AFTER THAT.

  • RapidRay01 .

    It is all the fault of the individuals for not being born a member of the” Chosen ! “

  • Donald Wilson

    What’s been going on for the last 20 to 30 years is the planned destruction of the middle class, once complete and millions are destitute and starving along comes the worlds savior. The New World Order, with its one world government one world currency. The only thing that you have to do in order to be saved is to give up all your god given rights, throw the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence into the waste bin and swear allegiance to the New World Order and Agenda 21 cabal…game over you lose…The End.

    Good luck and Good night.

    Bravo Two Zero out

  • Arizona

    ALL you girlymen and peterpans,START practicing sucking on a broom,so that when your POLICE GANGS and MILITARY come to DO A KATRINA on you ,YOU’LL do better then the 5,000 veterans did,WHO CAME INTO THE MORGUE,that had been shot in the HEAD at close range(OH,the TV forgot to tell you?)well don’t worry,I’am sure OBOOZO will warn you next time of the RAPING and murder of your families,like they did in katrina,WHEN THEY CAME FOR EVERYONES GUNS…….ITS CALLED “TREASON” .I know most of you don’t know what that means cause the majority of americans can’t read..BUT YOUR OUT OF TIME TO “WAKEUP” NOW,there won’t be a second chance for you this time,…………………..

    • heil hitler

      Not that I disagree.. but I was wondering, have you taken your meds lately?

    • Captain Beyond

      It will come when the mark of the beast is implemented. Men with bawls don’t worry about the carnal we fight through prayer. You can keep back the global 666 forces through prayer. Nothing else will work except a machete to the head or perhaps a hammer or a sawed off shotgun. Prayer then none of that other stuff will be necessary.

  • wilson

    Nobody likes pessimism, that’s why the people will be blindsided. If somebody predicts a recession, nobody will believe it, because everybody likes to be an “optimist.” People have wanted to believe a lie since the beginning of time.

    “Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.”- Isaiah 30:10

  • Yahno

    Hence, the Department of Agriculture’s request for quotes for .40 cal submachine guns….?

    • Mike Smithy

      Yes, I heard about that a couple of weeks ago.

  • JJ

    I lost my job last week, the company has decided to put that line of business up for sale as it was “not profitable enough”. They had already been steadily downsizing their staff for almost 10 months now. When they initially started to downsize 10 months ago, I had started to look for work that very month.

    Zero luck despite sending hundreds of resumes. I think my issue is pretty clear, employers simply don’t want anyone in their late 40’s.

    • FirstGarden

      Sorry about your dilemma. The insurance companies are behind that.

      They go to corporations and say “We’ll keep your premiums down if you hire young. BTW, we didn’t have this conversation, right?”

      I lost my job four years ago. All I’ve found, thus far, is a smattering of part time work.
      Try the age-friendly employment websites, such as retiredjobs dot com, There are several of them. Both my PT jobs I got through Craigslist, go figure. Best of luck to you.

      • anonymous

        Also, AARP has a t.v. commercial about how to make a career change. Perhaps try giving them a call?

  • aghast

    Gay Vet Wuss Puss Snagglepuss Troll suffers from PTSD.
    Too much action in the barracks.

  • Binko

    The executives at large corporations, for the most part, no longer give any focus to expanding their business. Instead they are single-mindedly fixated on propping up the stock price by any available means in order to maintain their personal wage and benefit package.

    What kills the American economy is that when an American company cuts production, the slack will be picked up by a foreign company not by another growing American company.

    Outside of tech we no longer have growing businesses. Only businesses that are shrinking and contracting as the executive class loots everything they can before exiting with their golden parachutes.

  • RedPillPlease

    I had read a few years back that this country’s largest export business is trash. Yes, paper trash, compacted and shipped off to China where it is then recycled and used to box up all those trinkets on the shelves at Wally World and sorts. If consumerism is the primary gamut which fuels our economy, what does that say of the nation itself?

    And as for consumerism, I’m willing to bet the old cliche, “buying things they don’t need with money they don’t have,” may soon come to a screeching halt!

    • Captain Beyond

      Im never gonna quit buying what makes me happy. Stamps, coins, antiques etc. Fun times. Enjoy them while they last. Ebay is a super stamp collectors supermarket. Plenty of old stamps and new too at good prices.

  • Mondobeyondo

    You’re correct.
    Nixon concentrated more on the war in Vietnam. I think RFK would have concentrated more on the war on poverty, and would have worked hard to get us out of Vietnam. Just my opinon though, and it’s total speculation.. Ultimately, we lost both wars.

    • K

      You are correct on both counts. I know how Bobby felt on both topics. JFK never intended going much beyond advisors in VietnamThat was one of the things that got him killed. Bobby intended having us out, within a year of taking office. That was the main thing that got him killed.

      • 3%

        No, what #1 got him killed is that he had the US governement print its own dollars instead of relying on the federal reserve.

  • Mondobeyondo

    If you look at the list of retailers mentioned in the article – there are some serious retailers that aren’t exactly “rolling in the dough.

    Staples. Aeropostale. Lowe’s. Home Depot. McDonald’s. WalMart.

    Makes you wonder if Coca-Cola is struggling as well. Who knows? (not likely, they have a heavy global presence and influence.)

    It’s not as well out there as you’re being led to believe.
    McDonald’s? Really? There’s a McDonalds in practically every place on earth. Maybe not in Antarctica…but still..

  • Priszilla

    “Misses Earning Expectations”

    yeah. Fire those first who put out those expectations. I always had a hard time to reduce expectations of my management regarding future sales.

    They just used last years dream and added 30%, without regard for the market, current earnings, political development, etc.

    And next year they were surprised when they missed expectations and the company only grew by 10%.

    And then they drove everybody to overtime, then the experienced people left, and new university graduates were employed. Salary and wages fell. “Oh great, we reduced costs!”
    But the new guys had no idea how to satisfy the customers, more customers left, and followed the experienced guys to the competition.

    And next year the same game again.

  • Priszilla

    So callled Monetary controls are just snake oil.

    When you are sweating, a shower will wash off the sweat, but will not help your body. What your body needs is lots of water to drink. Not only to replace the water lost through sweating but also to build up heat storage that can absorb heat generated in the body without causing the body to sweat to avoid overheating.

    People too need to have buffers, or storage. Stored food, stored water, stored medicine, stored tools, stored money. That storage will take them through times of reduced supply.

    And you can only build up that storage when you are well. So, when the times get better, first fill your storage, reduce your debt. And avoid interest payments. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it.

    Monetary controls only help if you use low interest loans to pay off high interest loans, and at the same time save money to make as little new loans (at whatever interest rate) as possible.

    On the other hand you can buy gold and booze from cheap money and hope that the state (government) will use taxmoney to pay off your debts, if you are just too big to fail.
    This, however bears the risk of some very angry taxpayers.
    You’d need to use some of that cheap money to buy yourself some mercenaries.

  • Richard O. Mann

    It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.

  • Richard O. Mann

    The war on poverty is like the war on drugs. No matter how much money you throw at it, it will never end. If you look at history, I think you will find that the poor have out numbered the rich in large numbers. The few with every thing, vers the many with nothing has been the norm pretty much for all of civilization.

  • Captain Beyond

    All of those eggheads are now in the lake of fire for serving the Beast 666 system.

  • Mary Brown

    We never left the last recession, in fact we are in a depression if you look at the true unemployment numbers.

    • El Pollo de Oro

      Mary Brown: Bingo. We’ve been in a depression since 2008. Steve Cordasco, who hosts a financial talk show here in Philly, has called it a “managed depression.” I agree. But the depression is going to become very UNmanageable when a too-big-to-fail is too big to bail out. That’s when all hell breaks loose.

      • Mary Brown

        They try a bail out, a Cyprus style bail in and DC will face a civil war. People are fed up with the crime coming from these banks and the lack of prosecution or if prosecuted fines that are 1/10 the profit gained from the illegal dealings.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Bobby was the smartest one of the Kennedy brothers (again, personal opinion). As Attorney General during his brother’s administration, he would have put the hammer down on organized crime, and other crime as well. I really do think this world would have been a better place had he lived. And yes, he most likely would have defeated Nixon in ’68.

  • alan

    I just got to Korea a couple months ago and its expensive here. I found most things here are made in Red China. A lot of it looks like rejected junk from the US. Natural gas rates doubled this spring, some guy told me his heating bill was $800 a month. Looks like gas is about $7 a gallon. But I see cranes all over the place building high rise apartment building.
    I guess the bust hasn’t quiet arrived here yet.

  • bert

    recession?? we’ve been in a depression for months! real unemployment not the phony nonsense spewed out by the “state” is well over 20% and has been for a very long time. how many millions on food stamps?? fraudulent disability?? yet, the vast majority of you will STILL vote for dems or repubs and you will continue to ride this baby down as our freedoms disappear…thanks a lot dummies!!

  • arizonadiane

    I have been saying all along. We have been in a depression, but it isn’t about soup lines anymore. It is about the amount of people on food stamps and standing in line at food banks for food boxes.

    The government just wants to call it a recession. Oh, not just a recession….. the great recession. Really?

    • http://bizarrotheater.blogspot.com/ SmackMacDougal

      It’s true. True GDP has been falling since peak credit 2008. Google Bizarro Theater major deflation.

  • Gay Veteran

    I think Obama is actually worse than Bush. Obama has given the bipartisan seal of approval to everything Bush did and worse

    • bugler1

      Obama has no power at all. Neither had Bush. They are just teleprompters readers.
      They work for the insternational jewish banksters. They are the problem.

  • TheBigOne

    Why are the people at Capital Weather Gang blog so ignorant to the truth? If you posted any of this there they would barely read past the first paragraph before launching attacks there if they ever talk about the economy or globull warming.

    You will be name called and put down with *white lies* about Republicans. I was TOTALLY shocked at their treatment of people who disagree with the views of the blog owner.

  • bobcat

    There will be no recovery. This is the new normal. America is being cannibalized for profit.

  • GSOB

    The MSM has more optimism than most Christians.

  • Zinsky

    BOHICA!

  • Zinsky

    Bend over- here it comes again!

  • Hammerstrike

    Step 9: Blame Bush.

    Everything going wrong is Bush´s fault. Bush, the Kosh Brothers, the GOP. Gotta blame them all!

  • Hammerstrike

    Blame Bush, this is all Bush´s fault! Bush is the reason Obamacare failed!

    biasbreakdown.files.wordpress. c o m /2012/11/two-minutes-hate-with-bush.j pg?w=878

    • FirstGarden

      It’s Bush’s fault. Katrina, Nam, WW2, WW1, The Civil War, Revolutionary War, the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. *Everything* is Bush’s fault. And if it wasn’t, it should’ve been.

  • Hammerstrike

    I wish that was actually the case but the exact opposite is true.

    youtube.c om /watch?v=icmRCixQrx8

    Retarded and stupid, weak-minded people have been reproducing more and faster than the intelligent, strong-minded people. Laws protects these masses that in turn selects the profoundly inept and contemptible “leaders” of society.

    Post-modern western “man” has not only betrayed his ancestors but the future generations too.

  • abinico

    The next recession – ha, ha, ha; the previous one hasn’t ended yet.

  • http://lentech.us brent@lentech.us

    I have owned a small composites design & manufacturing business for 20 years, catering to other manufacturers. Over the past decade I have watched the systematic decimation of over 95% of all the customers I have ever had. The ones large enough just packed-up and moved to another country, but most just shut their doors. Every time I asked the reason for their demise, and without exception; “Because you can’t do business in this country anymore”. As a business owner, you are encumbered with an ever increasing quantity of government agencies that show up to tell you what to do & how to do it, and then fine you for not doing it right. The regulatory compliance issues contradict other ageny’s rules, so you get punished by both. The fees that they charge for telling you how to do things have risen from (for example) from $500 when I started, to $50,000 today (for a single environmental quality permit). Plus $5000 annually. And I do nothing differently, except use one-tenth of the materials I used to use, all as a responible & concscientious citizen. And there are dozens of ever-increasing agencies, whose sole actual purpose is the extraction of cash, under the guise of regulatory compliance.
    At one time, the purpose of our government was for the benefit and protection of its citizens. Now the purpose has become to extract as much cash, in as many ways as possible, from as many as possible. And now, I too will abandon this country that obviously does not want manufacturing to remain.
    Manufacturing is what originally built this country into the dominant world power it once was.
    Please don’t try to justify how all of these foreign auto companies are building “all these new 1.3 billion dollar facilities”. In reality, these rely on $100-$200 million in infrastructure, and $1.1 billion in now tariff-free imports of robotics, presses & machinery from other countries, which were all originally developed here, but now almost none are. In exchange for a token 1000 or so American workers, they recieve hundred of millions of dollars per year in import tariff exceptions since the products are “manufactured” in this country. Most of the actual engineering, development, tooling and sub-assemblies come from other countries, as well as where the profits go. We are doomed by our own governement. Those poor idiots are oblivious that once they have eliminated all of those they have regulated into non-existence, that they will longer be necessary either.

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