Economic Nightmare: Nearly 50 Percent Of All The Jobs Lost During The COVID-19 Pandemic “May Be Gone Permanently”

When millions of Americans were losing their jobs at the beginning of this pandemic, we were told not to worry because the lockdowns were just temporary and virtually all of those workers would be going back to their old jobs once the lockdowns ended.  Well, now we are finding out that was not even close to true.  Over the last 18 weeks, more than 52 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits, and a very large percentage of them are dealing with a permanent job loss.  In fact, one brand new survey discovered that 47 percent of all unemployed workers now believe that their “job loss is likely to be permanent”.  The following comes from a USA Today article entitled “Almost half of all jobs lost during pandemic may be gone permanently”

In April, 78% of those in households experiencing job loss felt that that situation would be temporarily. But now, 47% think that job loss is likely to be permanent, according to The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

What that number tells us is that we are facing the worst employment crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

All of those permanently unemployed workers are eventually going to need new jobs, but meanwhile the U.S. economy as a whole is in a free fall that is absolutely stunning.  On Thursday, we are scheduled to get the GDP number for the second quarter, and everyone is expecting that it will be really bad

Data due Thursday are forecast to show U.S. gross domestic product plummeted an annualized 34.8% in the second quarter, the most in records dating back to the 1940s, after the spread of Covid-19 prompted Americans to stay home and states to order widespread lockdowns.

This downturn has been particularly hard on small businesses.  Just check out these numbers

• Yelp reported 71,500 businesses that were listed on their site have closed for good since March 1.

• 80% of independent restaurants aren’t sure they’ll survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Nearly half of all small-business members of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce lost 100% of their sales or closed down completely.

What a nightmare.

But the third quarter was when the U.S. economy was supposed to come roaring back to life.

We were told that it would be the greatest economic comeback in our history, but instead the numbers are telling us that the economy is actually starting to slow down once again.

In fact, U.S. consumer confidence in July is much lower than it was in June…

U.S. CONSUMER confidence fell in July to a reading of 92.6 as coronavirus cases surged around the country, shuttering some bars and other businesses and raising concerns about the future of the economy.

The Conference Board reported Tuesday that the index fell in July from a reading of 98.3 in June. The drop is more significant than economists predicted, and is due mainly to a decrease in consumers’ economic expectations for the short-term future.

In addition, we just witnessed the largest decline in wholesale inventories since the peak of the last financial crisis

June was supposed to be the month of second-derivative beats in economic data, reaffirming the manic bid in stocks. For Wholesale Inventories it was not.

Against expectations of a rebound from a 1.2% drop in May to a 0.5% drop in June, wholesale inventories actually tumbled 2.0% MoM, the worst since the peak of the great financial crisis…

So it doesn’t look like any sort of a “recovery” is happening.

Instead, it appears that we are sliding into the next chapter of this new economic depression.

In June, 19 percent of all U.S. small businesses were closed, but now that number is up to 24.5 percent.

That certainly isn’t progress.

With each passing day, more companies are announcing layoffs.  And every worker that gets laid off is another American that doesn’t have a paycheck to spend.  During the last recession, millions of Americans slid out of the middle class, and we are watching it happen again.

Our elected leaders in Washington are desperate to do something about this, and almost all of them seem to agree that more socialist programs are the answer.  A fifth “stimulus bill” is being put together, and the Urban Institute is warning that if Congress does not hurry we could see the poverty rate in this country rise substantially

Millions more Americans will be thrown into poverty if Congress fails to enact three policies meant to help families get through economic hardships related to the pandemic, according to a new study by the Urban Institute.

The report finds that the poverty rate for the last five months of 2020 will rise to 11.9% if expanded unemployment-insurance benefits, a second round of stimulus checks, and increased SNAP allotments are not approved, a significant increase over the projected annual rate of 8.9%.

If the Urban Institute thinks that an 11.9 percent poverty rate is bad, just wait until they see what things will be like in this country a few years from now.

Our entire system is in the process of melting down, but it will take some time for the drama that we are watching to fully play out.  Our leaders in Washington and the bureaucrats over at the Federal Reserve will keep flooding the system with money in a misguided attempt to fix things, and this will result in exceedingly painful inflation.

The cost of everything (including essentials such as food) will be going way up, and that means that your money will increasingly become less and less valuable.

If you could print your way to prosperity, Venezuela and Zimbabwe would be the wealthiest nations on the entire planet today.

At this point, almost everyone in Venezuela is a “millionaire”, but almost everyone is also living in extreme poverty.

History has shown that wildly printing money doesn’t work, but the U.S. is going down the exact same path, and it isn’t going to be pretty.

Even though things are quite crazy out there right now, this is our window of opportunity to get prepared for the troubled times that are ahead, because things are not going to be getting any easier from here on out.

*It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  By purchasing the book you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

When It Comes To Economic Suffering, Some Parts Of The U.S. Are Feeling It Far More Than Others

2020 has been a very tough year for the U.S. as a whole, but some portions of the country have been hit much harder than others.  For example, if you live in a rural area that hasn’t seen any civil unrest and that hasn’t been hit very hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, the way that you are living your life now may seem nearly unchanged from the way you were living your life in 2019.  But if you live in an urban area that has experienced endless protests and rioting and that has seen COVID-19 sweep through local neighborhoods like wildfire, your life in 2020 may look radically different from the way it looked in 2019.  Unfortunately, conditions in our largest cities are not likely to improve dramatically any time soon.

But many people that live in rural communities are feeling pretty good about things right now.  Even though more than 52 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the last 18 weeks, the official unemployment rate in many rural counties is still in the single digits.

I know that may be difficult to believe, but that is what the numbers tell us.

Sadly, in many of our largest cities it is a completely different story.  New York City was one of the early epicenters of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, and many of us will never forget watching video footage of the looting that took place in the heart of Manhattan earlier this year.  As a result of all of this chaos, the unemployment rate in the state as a whole is nearly twice the national average

New York’s unemployment rate rose to 20.4% last month, according to state-level data issued Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that detailed figures for some large metro areas. That’s up from 18.3% in May and 15% in April.

We see a very similar story when we look at the city of Los Angeles.

Thanks to COVID-19 and endless civil unrest, the official unemployment rate in the city is hovering near 20 percent

Los Angeles, the second-largest U.S. city, has seen a similar level of joblessness.

Its unemployment rate recovered slightly in June but remains startlingly high — at 19.5%, versus 20.6% in May, according to data published Friday by California’s Employment Development Department.

Unfortunately, it appears that the COVID-19 pandemic and the violence in our major cities are both going to be with us for the foreseeable future.

Some people think that the civil unrest will disappear if Joe Biden wins in November, but I do not believe that is the case.  Nearly all of the major cities where the violence is happening are controlled by radical Democrats, and those radical Democrats have been completely unable to control the riots.  To the protesters, Republicans and Democrats are both two sides of the same coin and are both responsible for the injustices in our society, and they are not going to give up on their goals just because a moderate Democrat like Joe Biden wins the election.

At this point, millions upon millions of Americans are sticking closer to home these days because of COVID-19 and all the unrest, and this has been particularly devastating for the leisure and hospitality industries

The unemployment rate in the leisure and hospitality industries, including restaurants, soared from 5.7% in February to 39.3% in April, and in June was still at an unprecedented 28.9%. By comparison, the overall unemployment rate is 11.1%, and no other industry comes close to restaurants’ level.

The restaurant industry employed nearly 9.2 million people in June, almost 3 million more than in April but still 25% below where it was in February. Anecdotally, though, restaurant workers—even those who’ve spent decades in the industry—say they’re looking to get out. The line of work that had been stable, geographically flexible, reliable and largely safe for generations is no more, they say.

As I discussed the other day, we have already lost thousands upon thousands of small and independent restaurants, and this “restaurant apocalypse” is only going to get worse with each passing month.

Moving forward, some cities may never be the same again.  In Las Vegas, the official unemployment rate recently hit 29 percent, and everyone agrees that tourism will never recover until the pandemic ends.

If this pandemic stretches on for several years, many of those unemployed workers will be forced to abandon the city entirely in order to find work elsewhere.

Sadly, competition for the few good jobs that are available will become increasingly fierce, and this will result in millions of Americans falling out of the middle class.

And we are starting to see some numbers that indicate that this process is already moving along very quickly.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “24 million Americans say they have little to no chance of being able to pay next month’s rent”.

Just think about that.

We never saw anything like this during the last recession, and the Census Bureau says that things are particular dire for Black and Hispanic renters

This month, nearly 28% of Black renters say they haven’t paid last month’s rent, and about 46% say they have slight or no confidence they’ll be able to pay next month’s rent, according to figures from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey. Hispanic renters face similar economic strain: 22% say they missed last month’s rent and 46% fear they won’t make rent next month.

Those numbers are simply eye-popping.  As people increasingly get behind on their bills, the cries for more direct government assistance will become deafening, and it appears that Republicans and Democrats in Congress both want to pass yet another stimulus bill.

Of course that will mean borrowing and spending more gigantic piles of money that we do not currently have, but at this point most Americans do not seem to care that we are literally completely destroying our financial future.

For such a long time, I warned that the next economic downturn would be worse than the last recession, and that has turned out to be precisely correct.

And what we are experiencing right now will pale in comparison to what is eventually coming.

But for most people, the only thing that seems to matter is what is happening here and now.

And at this moment we are seeing tremendous economic suffering in major cities all over the nation, and in an election year very few of our politicians want to be the “bad guy” that says that we can’t hand out “free money” to everyone.

So our currency will continue to be rapidly devalued, our debt levels will continue to explode, and we shall get to see where this relentless march toward socialism takes us.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

Soon, You Will Need To Wear A Mask To Enter Virtually Every Major Retail Store In America

If you are adamant about not wearing a mask, you are not going to like this news one bit.  Coming into this week, Costco, Starbucks, Best Buy and Panera Bread were requiring customers to wear masks to come into their stores, but most other major retailers were still giving people the freedom to choose whether they wanted to wear a mask or not.  I know that a lot of people appreciated this freedom to choose, but it is about to come to an abrupt end.  On Wednesday, Walmart and Kroger announced that they will be starting to require consumers to wear masks in all of their stores, and the National Retail Federation is pushing all of the rest of their members to do the same thing.  In the days ahead it is expected that most of them will follow suit, and that means that soon there will be very few major retail stores that you are able to enter without wearing a mask.

Walmart says that they decided to make this change in order to “bring consistency” across all of their stores.  The following comes from the official Walmart website

As the number of confirmed cases has spiked in communities across the country recently, so too have the number and types of face covering mandates being implemented. Currently about 65 percent of our more than 5,000 stores and clubs are located in areas where there is some form of government mandate on face coverings. To help bring consistency across stores and clubs, we will require all shoppers to wear a face covering starting Monday, July 20. This will give us time to inform customers and members of the changes, post signage and train associates on the new protocols.

In the region of the country where I live, there are a ton of people that feel very strongly about not wearing masks, and this announcement is going to hit them really hard.

There is only one Walmart within a 90 minute drive of where I live, and virtually everyone in the region pops in there at some point.  But now those that do not want to wear masks will be excluded, and there will be some very hard feelings over this.

If you try to enter a Walmart without a mask next week, you will be greeted at the door by a “Health Ambassador” wearing a black shirt.  I find it very interesting that they specifically chose the color black, and I think that it would have been helpful if they had chosen a more friendly color.  In any event, these new positions are being created in order to ensure that only people wearing masks are able to get into the stores.  Of course Walmart is trying to make this sound as non-threatening as possible

In addition to posting clear signage at the front of our stores, Walmart has created the role of Health Ambassador and will station them near the entrance to remind those without a mask of our new requirements. Our ambassadors will receive special training to help make the process as smooth as possible for customers. The ambassadors, identifiable by their black polo shirts, will work with customers who show up at a store without a face covering to try and find a solution. We are currently considering different solutions for customers when this requirement takes effect on July 20.

Needless to say, this announcement by Walmart is likely to spark an avalanche of other announcements by major retailers.

In fact, Kroger made an announcement just hours after Walmart did

Within hours, Kroger — the largest U.S. supermarket chain — said it will also require shoppers to wear masks starting July 22.

And as I mentioned above, the National Retail Federation is already pushing all of their members to fall in line

The president of the  National Retail Federation trade group wants retailers to adopt a nationwide policy that requires customers to wear masks, and hopes Walmart’s decision to do so would galvanize other companies to take similar action, reports Reuters.

“Shopping in a store is a privilege, not a right. If a customer refuses to adhere to store policies, they are putting employees and other customers at undue risk,” the NRF says.

We will be told that this is just a “temporary” thing, but at what point will we be able to start shopping without masks again?

It certainly won’t be any time in 2020.  This week, CDC director Robert Redfield said that he anticipated that this fall and winter “are probably going to be one of the most difficult times that we’ve experienced in American public health”…

I am worried. I do think the fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 are probably going to be one of the most difficult times that we’ve experienced in American public health because of what you said — the co-occurrence of Covid and influenza, and this is where I’d like to continue to work with you to get the American public to embrace the influenza vaccine so we can try to minimize the impact of inluenza, because I think those two respiratory pathogens hitting us at the same time do have the potential to stress our health system.

Ultimately, we will probably be forced to wear masks until the pandemic ends.

But what if this pandemic lasts for years?

A couple days ago, I authored an article in which I discussed three separate scientific studies which all showed that COVID-19 antibodies disappear very, very rapidly.  In fact, some patients no longer had detectable antibodies just weeks after originally testing positive for antibodies.

What this means is that it appears that COVID-19 is very similar to many other less dangerous coronaviruses that are floating around out there.  Just like there is no lasting immunity to “the common cold”, there also appears to be no lasting immunity to COVID-19.

That means that no “vaccine” is going to save us, we will never get to the point of “herd immunity”, and this virus will circulate all over the globe year after year.

So does this mean that wearing masks will now become a permanent requirement in our society?

We should certainly hope that won’t be the case, but unfortunately we aren’t the ones making the decisions.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

There Are Nationwide Shortages Of Aluminum Cans, Soda, Flour, Canned Soup, Pasta And Rice

I had no idea that things had gotten so bad.  Earlier today, my wife spoke with the manager of a local grocery store because she wanted to place a large order for some canned goods.  What she was told surprised her, and it certainly surprised me.  The manager of this local grocery store told her that there are numerous nationwide shortages going on at this moment, and he indicated that there are lots of products that he simply cannot get right now.  When my wife told me what he had said, I decided that I had to look into this, because I hadn’t heard that canned goods were in short supply.  Well, it turns out that the manager that my wife spoke with was right on target, and that should deeply alarm all of us.

One thing that my wife was specifically told was that there is a nationwide shortage of aluminum cans, and this is having a tremendous impact on the soda industry.

In fact, things have gotten so bad that Coca-Cola has been forced to publicly address the situation

Coke Life, Mello Yellow, Sprite Zero, Fresca and more. These are among some of the products you may have had trouble locating on store shelves in recent weeks.

And you’re not alone.

When asked about the situation, Coca-Cola told one Twitter follower: “We are seeing greater demand for products consumed at home & taking measures to adapt, working to mitigate the challenge during this unprecedented time. We appreciate your loyalty to our beverages; please know that we’re working hard to keep the products you love on the shelves.”

Apparently the big reason why there is a shortage is because people are consuming far more beverages at home than usual, and this has created a huge demand for canned drinks.

Right now, Coca-Cola and Pepsi are primarily focusing on using their limited supplies of aluminum cans to produce their core products, and this has made less popular flavors very difficult to find

Both Coca Cola and Pepsi have reportedly been forced to focus on their most popular flavors in order to keep them in stock, making the less popular flavors harder to find for the time being.

Unfortunately, we aren’t just facing a shortage of aluminum cans.

According to the Wall Street Journal, some of the biggest food manufacturers in America are admitting that there are nationwide shortages of “flour, canned soup, pasta and rice”…

Grocers are having trouble staying stocked with goods from flour to soups as climbing coronavirus case numbers and continued lockdowns pressure production and bolster customer demand.

Manufacturers including General Mills Inc., Campbell Soup Co. and Conagra Brands Inc. say they are pumping out food as fast as they can, but can’t replenish inventories. Popular items such as flour, canned soup, pasta and rice remain in short supply.

Of course those are precisely some of the key items that preppers tend to stock up on.

I think that millions of Americans can sense what is coming, and they are gathering supplies while they still can.

Meanwhile, the nationwide coin shortage continues to get even worse.

This week, I was stunned to learn that Kroger has announced that it will “no longer return coin change to customers”

If you pay with cash at one of Kroger’s cashier checkouts, you won’t be getting coin change for a while, and it’s indirectly due to the coronavirus.

Kroger spokesperson Erin Rofles confirmed Friday the grocer will no longer return coin change to customers. Instead, the remainders from cash transactions will be applied to customers’ loyalty cards and automatically used on their next purchase.

That is serious.

This coin shortage is being caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is likely to last for as long as this pandemic persists.

If we have already gotten to the point where the federal government is unable to produce enough coins for all of our businesses, how long will it be before we start witnessing a shortage of dollar bills?

At this point, even Walmart is acknowledging the stress that the nationwide coin shortage is putting on their operations

Walmart has also been impacted been the shortage. In a statement to WMAZ, Walmart spokesperson Avani Dudhia, “Like most retailers, we’re experiencing the affects of the nation-wide coin shortage. We’re asking customers to pay with card or use correct change when possible if they need to pay with cash.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has also deeply affected the meat processing industry.  Numerous meat processing facilities all over the nation have been shut down in recent weeks, and this has limited supplies and pushed up prices.

In fact, we saw some pretty dramatic price increases during the month of June

Once again, meat prices went up.

Overall, beef and veal prices rose 4.8%. Pork prices grew 3.3% and bacon got 8.1% more expensive. Hot dog prices grew 4.9%.

I have repeatedly warned my readers that meat prices were going to go up substantially, and so hopefully a lot of you out there stocked up before the price increases hit.

What we have been witnessing over the first half of 2020 should be a major league wake up call for all of us, because it has become clear that our system is far more vulnerable to shocks than most people ever imagined.

If COVID-19 can cause this much chaos, what is going to happen when a crisis that is far more severe comes along?

Even though I write about this stuff on a constant basis, I was stunned when my wife told me that we couldn’t get the canned goods that we wanted because a nationwide shortage was happening.

It has become very difficult to keep up with how fast things are changing, and I expect events to accelerate even more as we head toward the end of 2020 and beyond.

If you still need to get stocked up for all the chaos that is coming, I would do so quickly, because supplies are only going to get tighter the worse things get.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

“Lockdown 2.0”: This New Wave Of Lockdowns Will Ensure The U.S. Remains In An Economic Depression Through The 2020 Election

Another wave of lockdowns has begun, and that is really bad news for the U.S. economy.  The first wave of lockdowns resulted in the permanent closing of more than 100,000 U.S. businesses, colossal lines at food banks around the nation, and the loss of tens of millions of jobs.  Needless to say, this new wave of lockdowns will make things even worse, and some are speculating that this is precisely what Democrats want.  If the U.S. economy continues to fall apart as we approach the election in November, the thinking is that this will make President Trump look bad and will make it more likely that people will cast votes for Democrats.  But there is also the possibility that this could backfire in a huge way for the left.  If millions of Americans start to identify the Democrats as “the party of the lockdowns”, that could actually greatly help President Trump in November.

At this point, the battle lines are becoming quite clear.  President Trump and other top Republicans are strongly against more lockdowns, but Democratic politicians in many areas of the country are starting to institute them anyway.  In fact, we just learned that all schools in Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta and Nashville will be closed at the beginning of the new school year…

Resisting pressure from President Donald Trump, three of the nation’s largest school districts said Monday that they will begin the new school year with all students learning from home.

Schools in Los Angeles, San Diego and Atlanta will begin entirely online, officials said Monday. Schools in Nashville plan to do the same, at least through Labor Day.

Other major cities are expected to follow suit.  Of course considering the quality of the education in most of our public schools, most of those kids won’t exactly be missing too much.

Ultimately, closing the schools won’t have too much of an economic impact, but shutting down most of the businesses in our largest state certainly will.  On Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a comprehensive lockdown for 30 California counties which account for “about 80 percent of California’s population”

Newsom, a Democrat, announced during a press briefing that all bars across the state must close up shop and that restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and card rooms must suspend indoor activities.

The governor also announced that all gyms, places of worship, malls, personal care services, barbershops, salons, and non-critical offices in counties on the state’s “monitoring list” had to shut down under the new order. The order affects more than 30 counties which are home to about 80 percent of California’s population.

Newsom is a political opportunist, and I guarantee you that he wouldn’t be doing this unless he truly believed that it would help Democrats in November.

But I think that Newsom and other top Democrats have greatly underestimated how much the American people detest COVID-19 restrictions at this point.  We have been witnessing a huge backlash all over the country, and even though California is far more liberal than most other states, a backlash has been brewing there as well.

If the Democrats are not very careful, they are going to lose an election that they could have very easily won.

First of all, they should have never nominated Joe Biden.  It is obvious to everyone that he is physically and mentally declining at a very rapid pace, and videos of him “acting creepy” will be viewed millions upon millions of times over the coming months.  Democrats have known about Biden’s creepy behavior for many years, but they decided to give the nomination to him anyway.

Secondly, most top Democrats have refused to strongly denounce the rioting, looting and violence that have happened around the nation, and this is going to push a whole lot of people toward the Republicans.

Thirdly, the backlash against these new lockdowns is going to be directed primarily toward Democrats.  If Democratic politicians push too far, this will be an issue that deeply hurts them in November.

But despite all of these mistakes, it is possible that the Democrats could still come out on top, because Trump and the Republicans are making lots of political mistakes as well.

If Trump wants to make a comeback in the polls, he really needs to fully embrace an anti-lockdown message, because that would strongly resonate with tens of millions of voters.

The first wave of lockdowns certainly didn’t stop the spread of the virus, and more lockdowns will not stop it from spreading either.  And now three separate scientific studies have shown that COVID-19 antibodies disappear very, very rapidly, and that means that a vaccine is not going to end this crisis and we will never reach a point of “herd immunity”.  So we are going to have to find a way to function effectively as this virus circulates around the globe year after year, because it isn’t going to go away.

We simply cannot shut down the economy every time the number of cases starts to surge again.  The damage that we have already done to the U.S. economy has been incalculable, and now these new lockdowns will do even more damage.

But the WHO continues to insist that more restrictions are needed

“Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains public enemy number one,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from the U.N. agency’s headquarters in Geneva.

“If basics are not followed, the only way this pandemic is going to go – it is going to get worse and worse and worse.”

What would the WHO have us do?

Would they like us to all lock ourselves in our homes indefinitely?

The WHO keeps touting a future vaccine, but if COVID-19 antibodies disappear after just a few months, there is no way that a vaccine is going to end this pandemic.

And many Americans will never, ever take any COVID-19 vaccine under any circumstances.

As I discussed in an article that I posted earlier, it looks like we are just going to have to accept the fact that COVID-19 is going to be around year after year.

It is easy for the “experts” to tell us that everyone should just stay home, but the price tag for the first wave of lockdowns was astronomical.  Thanks to all of the emergency measures that Congress passed, the U.S. government ran a budget deficit of 864 billion dollars in the month of June…

The US budget deficit surged to a record-breaking $864 billion in June, the Treasury Department said on Monday. The increase is the product of the federal government’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout.

The government collected about $240 billion in tax revenue in June, the Treasury said, and federal spending overall reached $1.1 trillion.

To put that in perspective, it took from the founding of our nation until 1980 for the U.S. government to accumulate a total of 864 billion dollars of debt.

And now we have added that much to the national debt in just one month.

We simply cannot keep doing this.

No matter what we do, COVID-19 is going to keep spreading, and we are going to have to learn how to deal with this virus for a very long time to come.

More lockdowns are definitely not the answer, but unfortunately many of our politicians are convinced otherwise.

So U.S. economic conditions will continue to deteriorate, and the economic depression that began earlier this year will continue through the end of 2020 and beyond.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

Record Temperatures, Long Lines And Increasing Scarcity Will Greatly Test The Patience Of Americans This Summer

This is going to be a long, hot summer that none of us is likely to forget any time soon.  Coming into this year, we knew that societal tensions would be running high because 2020 is an election year.  Many are convinced that this is the most important election in modern American history, and I expect for there to be some extremely shocking surprises as we draw closer to November.  Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to surge to new heights, and the restrictions that authorities have instituted to fight this pandemic have created a huge backlash.  So many people have such extreme emotions about COVID-19, and unfortunately it appears that this crisis is not going away any time soon.  Of course the civil unrest that erupted in the aftermath of the tragic death of George Floyd took societal tensions to an entirely new level that we have never seen before.  There was rioting, looting and violence all over the nation, and more chaos could literally break out at any moment.

So to say that our national mood is “fragile” right now would be a major understatement.  I have never seen so much anger and frustration in this country in my entire lifetime, tens of millions of Americans have already lost their jobs, and a lot of people are not even able to pay their most basic bills at this point.  In fact, one recent survey found that nearly a third of all Americans have not even made “their full housing payments for July”

As the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues, almost one-third of U.S. households, 32%, have not made their full housing payments for July yet, according to a survey by Apartment List, an online rental platform.

And now, on top of everything else, here comes the heat.

On Sunday, high temperatures were above 100 degrees all over the western half of the country

Heat alerts are in effect from California to Alabama as high temperatures will be 10-15 degrees above average on Sunday.

Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tucson will all see high temperatures of at least 110 degrees, and all three are likely to tie or break their daily record high temperatures. In Texas, cities including Dallas, San Antonio, and Lubbock will all exceed 100 degrees.

Unfortunately, Sunday is just the beginning.  A “heat dome” has formed over the middle of the country, and that is likely to mean high temperatures of 90 degrees or greater for approximately 80 percent of the nation “for the next few weeks”

A PERFECT STORM of crises is forming across the United States. Above our heads, a “heat dome” of high pressure could blast 80 percent of the continental US with temperatures over 90 degrees for the next few weeks. This coming in a summer when the Covid-19 lockdown has trapped people indoors, many without air-conditioning—and mass unemployment may mean that residents with AC units can’t afford to run them.

Needless to say, this is not coming at a good time.  Crime rates are absolutely soaring and the streets of many of our major cities already resemble war zones.

And during these very hot summer months, many Americans will have to wait in exceedingly long lines for one reason or another.  I have written numerous articles about the massive lines that we have seen at food banks around the country, and lines at COVID-19 testing sites have gotten extremely long as well

Food banks in Vermont and Arizona have miles-long queues of cars. At testing sites in Florida, motorists show up with full gas tanks to keep air conditioning pumping all day. Travel to Europe is off, with America waiting behind other nations to re-enter someday. Even the electronic realm is tied up: Amid 11% unemployment, people applying for benefits report frozen computer screens and abrupt phone disconnections. Sometimes, the reward waiting at the end is simply a chance to try again tomorrow.

I couldn’t imagine waiting “all day” to get tested for COVID-19, but apparently there are a lot of people that are so desperate to get tested that they are willing to do this.

On top of everything else, a wide variety of products are becoming increasingly scarce at our local grocery stores.

This isn’t a major national crisis yet, but you may have noticed that your local grocery store is having a much more difficult time keeping certain products in stock than usual.  This is happening because COVID-19 and the accompanying economic slowdown have created serious problems for many key supply chains.

Tony Koretz is the host of “A Minute To Midnite”, and he is also a really good guy that I know personally.  Just a few days ago he received an email from “a supply chain analyst for a large grocery chain”, and what this supply chain analyst had to share was extremely chilling.  The following is a short excerpt from that email

— the meeting of store demand — which is a proxy for actual consumer demand — from company-owned central warehouses has steadily declined over the last 4 months; from a 98% pre-COVID fulfillment rate to 58% as of yesterday.  Key point:  STEADY decline; yes some blips upward from time to time, but overall steady decline to be sure

— what this impacts is the presentation on the shelves; for example:  do we have some or no toilet paper, tomato paste, rice and noodles, etc., etc.; you will also see new and unknown brands coming in to substitute for a product, but that is only going to be a temporary stop-gap as these are from 2nd and 3rd tier vendors who may not carry as much clout in getting their own raw-material supply chains filled…these too will dry up and go away over the next 3-6 months (not to mention the effect of absenteeism in their own ranks, leading to an inability to produce said 2nd/3rd tier products)…

— there is also a trend to see less variations on products; for example, we only have 3 variations on tomato paste to put on shelves as-opposed to the 15 we had pre-COVID

— to the folks in the industry, this is known as the presentation and the service level at the shelf in the store; service levels on some harder-hit commodities are near 10% at-best, averaging in the 70% level on an aggregate across all stores/commodities when you carve-out bath tissue, paper towels, baby wipes, disinfectant wipes;  comparatively during pre-COVID service levels were in the very high 90’s for all products (sans SEASONAL)…

— Additional contributing factors:  in addition to waning vendor fulfilment, we are also seeing more-and-more absenteeism in our warehouses due to COVID cases, fear, exhaustion.

You can read the rest of the email right here.  Of course none of this information should surprise us, because it is obvious that grocery stores are having a very difficult time keeping their shelves stocked.  But getting this sort of inside information does help us to understand exactly why it is happening.

If you are anticipating that the end of this year and the beginning of next year will be chaotic, the next couple of months will be your best chance to get stocked up.

My suggestion would be to take advantage of this window of opportunity while we have it.

America has entered a time of great upheaval, and much of the country is simply not going to be able to handle the major national nightmares that are ahead of us.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

Job Losses, Bankruptcies And Store Closings Are All At Apocalyptic Levels As The U.S. Economic Collapse Rolls On

The last four months have been an unending nightmare for the U.S. economy.  Businesses are shutting down at a pace that we have never seen before in American history, the “retail apocalypse” has reached an entirely new level that none of the experts were anticipating prior to this pandemic, and we are in the midst of the greatest spike in unemployment that the United States has ever experienced.  On Thursday, we learned that another 1.3 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, and that number has now been above one million for 16 consecutive weeks.  Things were supposed to be “getting back to normal” by now, buy that hasn’t happened.  Instead, we continue to see a tsunami of job losses that is absolutely unprecedented in American history.

When we look back at the old peaks for unemployment claims, they almost seem laughable compared to what we are experiencing now…

The highest prior weekly total for new unemployment claims was 695,000, in October 1982, according to Labor Department data. During the Great Recession, the country’s last downturn, weekly claims peaked at 665,000, in March 2009.

For those that aren’t old enough to remember, the recession of the early 1980s and the recession of 2008 and 2009 were both really, really painful.

But of course they weren’t anything like this.

Sometimes it is hard to believe that the numbers have gotten so bad.  According to Wolf Richter, the number of continuing claims that were filed last week under all state and federal unemployment programs is the highest that we have ever seen…

The total number of people who continued to claim unemployment compensation in the week ended July 4 under all state and federal unemployment insurance programs, including gig workers, jumped by 1.41 million people, to 32.92 million (not seasonally adjusted), the Department of Labor reported this morning. It was the highest and most gut-wrenching level ever.

The number of people who continue to receive state unemployment insurance (blue columns) has been ticking down, as more people got their jobs back than newly unemployed flooded the state unemployment systems. But the number of people claiming federal unemployment insurance, including gig workers under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, continues to surge (red columns), which causes the total number of people claiming unemployment benefits under all programs to rise

Up to this point, the emergency measures that Congress put in place to help unemployed workers have definitely eased the pain for millions upon millions of people that have lost their jobs, but a number of those emergency measures are about to expire

Several benefits were developed in March to help ease the financial strains on Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. Those are set to come to an end before July 31, which could impact 20 million Americans, MarketWatch reports. The CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27 by President Donald Trump, provided benefits like enhanced unemployment payments to supplement lost income from layoffs. It also includes a clause to delay evictions for 120 days.

Of course Congress could choose to extend some or all of the elements in the CARES Act, but that would mean borrowing and spending more giant mountains of money that we do not currently have.

Meanwhile, we are seeing businesses fail at a rate that is absolutely staggering.

According to the Washington Post, more than 100,000 businesses have permanently closed their doors during this pandemic, and Bloomberg just posted an article about 110 major companies that have declared bankruptcy here in 2020…

Retailers, airlines, restaurants. But also sports leagues, a cannabis company and an archdiocese plagued by sex-abuse allegations. These are some of the more than 110 companies that declared bankruptcy in the U.S. this year and blamed Covid-19 in part for their demise.

Sadly, the bankruptcy announcements just keep on coming.

This week, we learned that Brooks Brothers has filed for bankruptcy protection

The coronavirus pandemic has now claimed one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious retailers.

Brooks Brothers — pioneer of the polo and uniform of the polished prepster — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection from creditors on Wednesday, as it continues to search for a buyer.

That hit me particularly hard, because I have had Brooks Brothers shirts in my closet ever since I was a young man.

They have always made great products, and I just assumed that they would always be around.

Of course lots of other iconic retailers are failing as well.  Before too long, naming the major retailers that are still operating successfully may be easier than trying to name the vast number of major retailers that have gone belly up.

Store closings are happening fast and furious these days, and that isn’t likely to change any time soon.  Starbucks just announced that they will be closing 400 locations, Dunkin’ Donuts just announced that they will be closing 450 locations, and Bed Bath & Beyond has increased the number of stores that they will be closing to approximately 200

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) announced Wednesday that it plans to close roughly 200 stores in the next two years.

The retail chain — which also operates Buybuy Baby, Christmas Tree Shops and Harmon Face Values — said it would be mainly closing Bed Bath & Beyond stores, starting later this year. The announcement came as the company released its quarterly earnings report on Wednesday.

If you are still not convinced that the retail industry is facing an unprecedented cataclysm, I think that the following list will do the trick.

Forbes has been tracking the major store closing announcements of 2020, and their list was recently shared by Zero Hedge

Forbes’ Store Closure List In 2020

Chuck E Cheese: 54 U.S. stores (bankruptcy)

Destination Maternity: 90 stores (bankruptcy)

GNC: 1,200 stores (bankruptcy)

J. Crew: 54 stores (bankruptcy)

JCPenney JCP: 154 stores (bankruptcy)

K-Mart: 45 stores (bankruptcy)

Modell’s Sporting Goods: 153 stores (bankruptcy)

Neiman Marcus (Last Call): 20 stores (bankruptcy)

Papyrus: 254 stores (bankruptcy)

Pier 1 Imports PIR: 936 stores (bankruptcy)

Sears: 51 stores (bankruptcy)

Signet Jewelers SIG: 232 stores

Stage Stores: 738 stores (liquidating)

Tuesday Morning: 230 stores (bankruptcy)

***

AC Moore: 145 stores

Art Van Furniture: 190 stores

AT&T: 250 stores

Bath & Body Works: 50 stores

Bed Bath & Beyond: 44 stores

Bloomingdale’s: 1 store

Bose: 11 stores

Chico: 100 stores (estimated)

Children’s Place: 200 stores

Christopher Banks: 30-40 stores

CVS Pharmacy: 22 stores

Earth Fare: 50 stores

Express: 66 stories

Forever 21: 15 stores (estimated)

GameStop GME: 320 stores

Gap: 230 stores

Guess: 100 stores

Hallmark: 16 stores

Lord & Taylor: 30 or 40 stores

Lowe’s Canada: 34 stores

Lucky Market: 32 stores

Macy’s M: 125 stores (over 3 years)

Microsoft: 77 stores

New York & Co: 27 stores

Nordstrom: 16 stores

Office Depot: 90 stores

Olympia Sports: 76 stores

Party City: 21 stores

Starbucks SBUX: 400 stores (over 18 months)

Victoria’s Secret: 250 stores

Walgreen: 100 stores (estimated)

Walmart: 2 stores

Wilson Leather & G.H. Bass: 199 stores

Zara: 1,000 stores worldwide (over 2 years)

This week, the number of newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 has surged to the highest level that we have seen yet, and that means that fear of COVID-19 is going to continue to paralyze economic activity in the United States for the foreseeable future.

That means that many more businesses will be shutting their doors, there will be many more bankruptcies, and millions more Americans will be losing their jobs.

This is what an economic collapse looks like, and it is just getting started.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

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