2020 Has Been A “Nightmare Year” For America, And The Economic Fallout Is Just Getting Started

Most of us have never experienced a year that has been as tough as 2020 has been for our nation.  It has just been one major crisis after another, and the month of September has brought us even more trouble.  The worst wildfire season in the history of the state of California has been making headlines day after day, and now the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg threatens to escalate the political turmoil in this nation to an entirely new level.  Many had such high hopes for 2020, but at this point this year has been such a disaster that USA Today is calling it “an American nightmare”, and it is difficult to argue with their reasoning…

First the pandemic, which divided us, economically devastated us, and has killed nearly 200,000 of us. Then the racial unrest, erupting at the deaths of more Black Americans at the hands of police: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Daniel Prude.

Now the extreme weather. For only the second time in history, the National Hurricane Center has moved into the Greek alphabet for storm names. This season’s wildfires are bigger, deadlier and more frequent than in years past. In the West, people can’t breathe.

And now a member of the U.S. Supreme Court has died with about a month and a half to go until we get to election day.

The shocking death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has stunned the entire country, and I will share my analysis on where things could go from here on The Most Important News later tonight.

In this article, I want to focus on the economic impact that all of this chaos is having.

Since the pandemic first started, more than 60 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits, and that is a threshold that has never been crossed before in all of our history.

And we have also seen businesses shut down at a pace that is hard to fully grasp.  If you can believe it, more than 160,000 businesses listed on Yelp say “that they have closed”

Yelp on Wednesday released its latest Economic Impact Report, revealing business closures across the U.S. are increasing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic’s economic toll.

As of Aug, 31, 163,735 businesses have indicated on Yelp that they have closed. That’s down from the 180,000 that closed at the very beginning of the pandemic. However, it actually shows a 23% increase in the number of closures since mid-July.

I was most alarmed by that last sentence.

Things were supposed to be getting a lot better by now, but instead we have seen “a 23% increase in the number of closures since mid-July”.

That is not good.

And the percentage of businesses on Yelp that are indicating that their closures are “permanent” just keeps rising

In addition to monitoring closed businesses, Yelp also takes into account the businesses whose closures have become permanent. That number has steadily increased throughout the past six months, now reaching 97,966, representing 60% of closed businesses that won’t be reopening.

So what this means is that none of us should be expecting a return to what we considered to be “normal” prior to 2020.

In fact, it is likely that we will see large numbers of businesses continue to fail in the months ahead.  According to Fox Business, a whopping 40 percent of all U.S. restaurants “could go under within the next six months”…

At least 40% of restaurant operators struggling to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic believe their businesses could go under within the next six months if there is no additional stimulus package from the federal government, according to a new survey by the National Restaurant Association.

With one in every six restaurants closed permanently or for the “long term,” the industry is on track to lose $240 billion in sales by the end of the year, according to the National Restaurant Association’s findings on the impact COVID-19 has on the restaurant business.

So what do you think?

Should we bail out the restaurant industry?

By the way, the airline industry really wants a bailout too.

And just about every other industry is looking for government help as well.

The reason why almost everyone has their hands out is because we have plunged into a crippling economic depression, and everyone is starting to realize that there is no end in sight to this downturn.

Of course most average citizens also want another round of “stimulus checks” from the federal government, and we are being told that there is a really good chance that “the economy backslides” if that does not happen…

Lawmakers remain deadlocked over a measure to provide another round of $1,200 checks to most households and more aid to struggling small businesses and unemployed Americans. Most saw the money they received from Congress’s $2.2 trillion CARES Act run dry over the summer.

“If they don’t” approve another stimulus, “they’re taking a huge risk, says Mark Zandi chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. “The odds are better than even the economy backslides.”

We have already stolen several trillion dollars from future generations of Americans so far this year to fund “stimulus packages”, and so a lot of people figure that it probably wouldn’t make that much of a difference if we stole several trillion more to fund another one.

And the Federal Reserve has been flooding the financial system with so much new money that it makes everything that they have ever done in the past look completely insignificant.

In the process, our authorities are systematically destroying the reserve currency that the entire globe depends upon, but at this point very few people seem to care.

So we continue to steamroll toward economic oblivion, and nobody is even thinking about hitting the brakes.

In the USA Today article that I quoted at the start of this piece, the author stated that it is “impossible to know if the worst is behind us or still lies ahead”…

Many of us are vacillating between horror and disbelief at what can only be described as an American nightmare. Devastation doesn’t cover it. It’s impossible to know if the worst is behind us or still lies ahead.

Of course that is not true at all.  In fact, it is exceeding clear that what is ahead of us is going to be much, much worse than what we have already experienced.

But most Americans don’t want to hear that.

Most of us just want to cling to the belief that someday we will wake up and everything will have returned to normal.

That may happen in fairy tales, but this is real life, and real life simply does not work that way.

***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.

Over Half Of All Young Adults Are Living With Their Parents – Highest Level In Modern American History

As the chaotic events of 2020 have unfolded, large numbers of young people have moved back in with their parents, and this has pushed the percentage of Americans in the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket that live with their parents to the highest level ever recorded.  Without a doubt, the collapse of the economy has hit young adults particularly hard.  About 59 million Americans have filed for unemployment over the past 24 weeks, and low wage workers have been disproportionally affected by this tsunami of job losses.  Needless to say, young adults traditionally make up a large chunk of our low wage workers, and now that really tough times have hit a lot of them are being forced to fall back on their mothers and their fathers for support.  According to a brand new report that was just put out by the Pew Research Center, 52 percent of all young adults in this country are now living with their parents

A new report by the Pew Research Center found that a majority of young adults — 52% — lived with one or both of their parents in July. Pew’s analysis of monthly Census Bureau data notes that this is higher than any previous measurement.

For purposes of this report, Pew defined a “young adult” as anyone that is in the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket.

At this point, 26.6 million young people are living with their parents.  We have never seen a number this high, although Pew suspects that the level may have been higher during the Great Depression of the 1930s

“Before 2020, the highest measured value was in the 1940 census at the end of the Great Depression, when 48% of young adults lived with their parents,” says the report, published Friday. “The peak may have been higher during the worst of the Great Depression in the 1930s, but there is no data for that period.”

In any event, what we are witnessing right now is extremely alarming.

Many tend to think of young people that live with their parents as lazy or unproductive, but that is not necessarily the case.  Many of them were working extremely hard to make it on their own, and as Jeremy Sopko has pointed out, “nobody wants to be living at home with mom and dad”…

‘For the most part, nobody wants to be living at home with mom and dad,’ Jeremy Sopko, CEO of Nations Lending Corporation, a mortgage lender told the Huffington Post.

 ‘It’s a difficult situation that’s been exacerbated by the pandemic and it may take years, if not the better part of a decade, for younger demographics to recover and be financially stable enough to leave home.’

And many parents may not be too thrilled to have their adult children living at home either.

But at this point we need to realize that times have fundamentally changed.

As economic conditions become even rougher, we are going to increasingly see situations where multiple generations are living under one roof, and there is nothing wrong with that.  Having each generation live separately in different homes is a relatively modern phenomenon, and it has been made possible by our incredible affluence.  But as the economy continues to collapse, survival is going to take precedence over convenience.

All over the nation, family is going to have to take care of family.  None of us can possibly take care of everyone out there that is hurting, but if we all take care of our family members that will make a tremendous difference.

If you have a home, you are going to need to be prepared to take in members of your family and extended family that fall on rough times.

If you don’t have a home, you will need to be humble enough to ask other members of your family or extended family for help if you need it.

I know that a lot of people may not like what I am suggesting, but we have to realize that the old rules don’t apply anymore.

We are in the middle of the worst economic collapse in modern times, and things are going to get much, much worse.

Already, some of the economic numbers that we are seeing are hard to believe because they are so bad.

For example, it is now being projected that 63 percent of all restaurants in New York are “likely to close by the end of the year”

On Thursday, the New York State Restaurant Association published the results of a survey that found the state’s restaurants are in need of financial support from the government after months of closures during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the survey, 63.6% of restaurants in New York said they are “likely to close by the end of the year” without a relief package and only 36.4 percent said they are “likely or somewhat likely to remain open.”

63 percent.

How bad do things have to get before the economic optimists will admit that we have a complete and utter economic disaster on our hands?

And the civil unrest that is plaguing major cities all over the country just continues to roll on.

On Sunday, President Trump tweeted out a video of a rioter in Portland that accidentally set himself on fire with a Molotov cocktail

President Donald Trump ridiculed ongoing protests in Portland by tweeting a video of an activist accidentally setting himself on fire with a Molotov cocktail.

‘These are the Democrats “peaceful protests”. Sick!’ Trump panned on Sunday as he retweeted a clip of the activist and fellow protesters desperately trying to extinguish the blaze engulfing his pants.

This is the kind of civil unrest that I have been warning about for years, and now it is here.

There have been violent protests in Portland for 100 nights in a row, and that streak isn’t going to end any time soon.

And now the presidential election is less than two months away, and many fear that this will take things to an entirely new level.  If you would like to read my analysis of what is potentially ahead, please see my recent article entitled “Why We Are Facing The Biggest Election Nightmare In Modern American History No Matter Who Ends Up Winning”.

Things are going to get really nuts in the months ahead, and there will be no going back to the way that things were before.

When things get really difficult for you personally, you may need to move in with your parents or other members of your extended family.

On other other hand, if you are in good shape financially you may need to be the one that takes in members of your family or extended family.

Making it through what is ahead is not going to be easy, and we are all going to need someone to lean on at some point.

***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.

2020 Is An Economic Nightmare – And Things Just Got Even Worse

More than a million Americans were not supposed to be losing their jobs every week by the time we got to the middle of August.  By now, vast hordes of unemployed Americans were supposed to be returning to their old jobs and economic activity was supposed to be returning to normal levels.  But it hasn’t happened that way.  Instead, the U.S. economy continues to unravel at a steady pace.  Every week more businesses go under, more layoffs are announced and more people get behind on their bills.  What we have already been through has been far worse than anything that we experienced during the last recession, and it appears that this new economic downturn is entering yet another new phase.  On Thursday, we learned that another 1.106 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week…

The number of people filing for unemployment benefits last week was greater than expected, raising concern about the state of the economy as lawmakers struggle to move forward on a new pandemic stimulus package.

The Labor Department said Thursday that initial jobless claims for the week ended Aug. 15 came in at 1.106 million. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a total of 923,000. Initial claims for the previous week were also revised higher by 8,000 to 971,000.

Instead of going down as most analysts were anticipating, the number of initial claims shot way back above a million.

And this means that we have now gotten a number that is above a million for 21 of the last 22 weeks.

Prior to 2020, the worst weekly number in all of U.S. history was 695,000.  To absolutely dwarf that old record for 22 weeks in a row should be almost theoretically impossible.  If you would have asked me last year what it would take to have the kind of unemployment numbers that we are seeing now, I would have probably suggested that it would take something like a world war or a major asteroid strike to produce such figures.  The numbers that we keep getting week after week are simply absurd, but they just keep coming.

After all this time, the number of Americans filing for unemployment should be falling back below record levels, but instead last week we got a number that was more than twice as high as anything that we witnessed during the last recession…

“However, the number of individuals claiming benefits remains extraordinarily high – more than twice the peak of the great recession – underscoring that the labor market is a long way from being healthy,” economist Nancy Vanden Houten wrote in a note to clients.

It would be difficult to overstate the scale of the economic devastation that we are witnessing.

Do you remember Hurricane Katrina?  It was the worst natural disaster in the history of Louisiana, but in 2020 the state has lost twice as many jobs as it did after Hurricane Katrina.

Just think about how crazy that is.

Overall, 57.3 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the past 22 weeks.

57 million.

We’ve never seen anything like this in our history.  For a while, our unemployed workers were being kept afloat by a 600 dollar a week federal supplement, but now those extra benefits have expired

Those recipients who are receiving unemployment on an ongoing basis are now getting far less aid because a $600-a-week federal benefit has expired, which means the unemployed must now get by solely on much smaller aid from their states.

The loss of the federal benefit has deepened the struggles for many, including a higher risk of eviction from their homes.

President Trump has signed an executive order that would provide payments of 300 dollars a week to unemployed workers, but many states have chosen not to participate in that program.

So we should expect the level of economic suffering in this country to go up even more.  At this point, tens of millions of Americans are unable to pay their bills, and that number will almost certainly increase in the months ahead.

Meanwhile, we are seeing businesses fail at a rate that is absolutely unprecedented.  For example, the hotel industry is warning that close to a quarter of all hotels in the United States “are at risk of foreclosure”

In a desperate plea for help, the hotel industry said it faces a default disaster, in which 25% of hotels are at risk of foreclosure.

The report, sent to Congress this week and compiled by Trepp, shows that the percentage of hotel loans 30 or more days delinquent is 23.4% as of last month — the highest percentage on record. By comparison, the percentage of hotel loans that were 30 or more days delinquent at the end of 2019 was just 1.3%.

The hotel industry wants a federal bailout, but of course just about every other major industry wants one as well.

In the end, Congress is going to decide where the money goes, and not everyone will come out a winner.

The overall global economy is deeply struggling as well.  In fact, the level of merchandise trade around the world just fell to the lowest level on record

“This reading – the lowest on record in data going back to 2007, and on par with the nadir of the 2008-09 financial crisis – is broadly consistent with WTO statistics issued in June, which estimated an 18.5% decline in merchandise trade in the second quarter of 2020 as compared to the same period last year,” the WTO said.

This is what an economic collapse looks like, and the entire planet is being hit extremely hard.

But at least the U.S. stock market is doing well.  Stock prices have been absolutely soaring in recent weeks, and according to Forbes the market is now “about 77.0% overvalued”

According to the popular market cap to GDP ratio, the U.S. stock market, collectively, is about 77.0% overvalued. Despite the worst economic backdrop since the Great Depression, stocks have held up reasonably well since the March 23 bottom. While it’s true that the stock market has disconnected from the underlying economy, it has also done so in the past. With such an extreme level of overvaluation, it does beg the question, “Are we witnessing the formation of another bubble?”

So for the moment, America’s financial idol is safe.

Unfortunately, this stock market bubble is going to be a whole lot shorter than the last one.

Thanks to unprecedented intervention by the Federal Reserve, stock prices have been pumped up to record levels, but we are only in the early chapters of this economic storm.

Much worse is coming, and without a doubt the Fed will try to keep asset prices inflated, but in the end it will be a losing battle.

As we keep getting hit by one crisis after another, eventually investors are going to figure out that the future ahead of us is not a positive one, and when confidence about the future disappears so will the bubble.

***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.

Does America Worship “A God Of Money”?

The one that you serve the most is the one that you really worship.  In America today, we don’t actually get down on our knees and pray to our stock market portfolios and the money in our bank accounts, but has our wealth become more important to us than anything else?  It is well known that material comfort greatly motivates most Americans.  We tend to vote for the politicians that we perceive will be the best for our economy, we religiously track the performance of our investments, and for many of us our financial goals are more important to us than any of our other goals.  We desperately want to “do well”, and we tend to exalt others that are “doing well”.  Of course “doing well” is defined primarily in financial terms in our society, and that is extremely unfortunate.  A poor man that has greatly loved his family and those around him his entire life is generally not considered to be “successful”, while a billionaire that may actually be living in emotional misery every day of his life is lifted up as an example for all of us to follow.  Our priorities are all messed up, and I believe that we will ultimately deeply regret the great love that we have developed for the debt-fueled “prosperity” that we have been enjoying for so many years.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned us that we cannot serve two masters…

“No one can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

Unfortunately, most Americans gave up on trying to serve God long ago.  Today, most of us are primarily interested in pursuing money, and this has created a society that is filled with endless greed.

In such an environment, it is easy to understand how the stock market has become such a national idol.  We take great pride in the performance of the stock market, and on Tuesday headlines all over the nation gleefully trumpeted the fact that the S&P 500 closed at an all-time record high

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 3,389.78, eclipsing its previous Feb. 19 high to finish at the highest closing level on record. That means this year’s bear market, or a drop of more than 20% from a peak, from the February high to the lows on March 23 was the shortest in history, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Of course it doesn’t actually make any sense at all that stock prices are hitting all-time highs right now.

We are in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and 56.2 million workers have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the last 21 weeks.

But the Federal Reserve was absolutely determined to rescue the financial markets when they started to implode during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Fed has been successful in accomplishing that mission.

In particular, the big tech stocks have really benefitted from this latest rally, and on Wednesday Apple actually became the first 2 trillion dollar company in U.S. history

High-flying stocks like Apple, Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet have powered this year’s rally, far outpacing the rest of the market as investors bet heavily they could prevail in a stay-at-home economy. On Wednesday, tech giant Apple was the first publicly traded company to top a $2 trillion valuation.

As stock prices have soared, this has sent the net worths of America’s tech billionaires into the stratosphere.

In fact, if you add up the wealth of America’s 12 wealthiest billionaires, it now comes to a total of more than 1 trillion dollars

New research published Monday by the Institute for Policy Studies shows that the dozen richest American billionaires now collectively own more than $1 trillion in wealth, a finding one analyst described as “a disturbing milestone in the U.S. history of concentrated wealth and power.”

According to IPS, a progressive think tank, the 12 top U.S. billionaires have seen their combined wealth soar by 40%—or $283 billion—since the coronavirus began spreading rapidly across the U.S. in mid-March, sparking widespread economic shutdowns and mass job loss.

To most people in our society, these billionaires are people to be greatly admired.

In fact, most of them are treated like celebrities.

These days, names like Gates, Musk and Zuckerberg make national headlines even more frequently than our most cherished Hollywood stars.

Meanwhile, tens of millions of “ordinary” Americans are deeply suffering.  We have never had a year when more than 56 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits, and more Americans are losing their jobs with each passing day.

Mortgage delinquencies are rising at a very frightening pace, tens of millions of Americans can no longer pay their bills, food prices are starting to get totally out of control, and hordes of people are moving away from the major cities on both coasts.

For decades, the U.S. middle class has been eroding, and now that process is rapidly accelerating.  In fact, one new study has found that the average American now needs 53 weeks of income per year just to pay for the basics

As Bank of America points out, while the recent covid shutdowns has thrown the economy into disarray with millions laid off and living on government stimulus checks, life for the vast majority of workers – i.e., those who comprise the country’s middle class – was already precarious before the pandemic, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Cost of Thriving Index.

Consider that in 1985 it took 30 weeks at the median wage to pay for big fixed costs like housing, health care, a car, and education; fast forward to today when it takes a mathematically impossible 53 weeks of a 52-week year to buy those things.

Needing 53 weeks of income just to pay for the basics is a huge problem, because there are only 52 weeks in a year.

Unfortunately, this new economic crisis is just getting started.  Conditions are going to get much, much worse in the years ahead, and the economic pain is going to be off the charts.

So what do you think is going to happen to our society when our “god of money” finally crumbles?

When Americans realize that the thing that they have been living for more than anything else has been taken from them, we are going to see a nationwide temper tantrum that will be unlike anything that we have ever seen before.

In the end, life is not about how much stuff we can acquire or about how much money we can stash in our accounts.

Unfortunately, we have raised several generations of Americans that don’t understand what really matters in life, and our entire society will pay a very great price for our negligence.

***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.

This Global Depression Will Be Brutal – Tens Of Millions Of Americans Can’t Pay Their Bills And Are In Danger Of Eviction

Most of us have never experienced anything like this in our entire lifetimes.  Fear of COVID-19, endless civil unrest in major U.S. cities and a whole host of other factors have combined to plunge us into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  On Friday, the Labor Department announced that the unemployment rate in the U.S. fell to just 10.2 percent last month, and if that number was actually accurate that would be pretty good news.  Unfortunately, it simply does not square with all of the other numbers that we have been seeing.  According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if honest numbers were being used the unemployment rate would actually be 30 percent right now, and I believe that figure is much closer to the reality that we are facing.  In February, 152 million Americans were working, and since that time more than 55 million have filed new claims for unemployment benefits.  Unless tens of millions of those people have been filing fraudulent claims, there is no way in the world that the unemployment rate should be about 10 percent right now.

Other numbers tell a similar story.  According to one recent study, 24 percent of all Americans have missed at least one bill payment since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic…

Indeed, paying off bills are an unavoidable part of life, even during a pandemic. Unfortunately, a new survey of 2,000 Americans finds that one in four (24%) have already missed at least one payment since the pandemic began.

Among that group, 26% say they haven’t paid their cell phone or cable bills. Another 25% failed to pay for streaming services, and perhaps more worryingly, some of their electricity or utilities bills.

That doesn’t sound like a recovery.

What that sounds like is an economic depression.

Americans are also missing their rent and mortgage payments at a staggering rate as well.  In fact, more than one-fourth of the entire country did not pay their rent or mortgage payment during the month of July…

An estimated 27% of adults in the U.S. missed their rent or mortgage payment for July, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau weekly over the last three months. Among renters alone, just over one-third (34%) said during the waning days of July that they had little to no confidence that they could make their August rent payment, a stark measure of the ongoing economic devastation for households stretched to the brink by coronavirus pandemic.

But we are supposed to believe that the unemployment rate is only about 10 percent right now.

Right…

In some states, the looming eviction crisis threatens to be absolutely catastrophic.

For example, we are being told that in South Carolina a whopping 52 percent of all renters “are at risk of eviction”

In South Carolina alone, 52 percent of renter households can’t pay their rent and are at risk of eviction, according to an analysis of census data by the consulting firm Stout Risius Ross. About 185,000 evictions could be filed in the state over the next four months.

That doesn’t sound like a recovery.

What that sounds like is an economic depression.

And we see similar numbers when we look at businesses owners around the country.  If you can believe it, 83 percent of all New York City restaurant owners did not pay all of their rent in July…

The state of the New York City restaurant industry is in dire straits. July proved to be another disastrous month for restaurants, bars, and nightlife establishments across the city with a majority unable to pay rent in July, a new survey found.

NYC Hospitality Alliance surveyed about 500 owners and operators of eateries in the city, with 83% of respondents indicating they couldn’t pay the entire rent in July while 37% paid no rent at all.

83 percent.

Let that number sink in for a moment.

That doesn’t sound like a recovery.

What that sounds like is an economic depression.

And I am certainly not the only one using the “d-word”.  The following originally comes from a Time Magazine article entitled “The Next Global Depression Is Coming and Optimism Won’t Slow It Down”

First, the current slowdown is without doubt global. Most postwar U.S. recessions have limited their worst effects to the domestic economy. But most were the result of domestic inflation or a tightening of national credit markets. That is not the case with COVID-19 and the current global slowdown. This is a synchronized crisis, and just as the relentless rise of China over the past four decades has lifted many boats in richer and poorer countries alike, so slowdowns in China, the U.S. and Europe will have global impact on our globalized world. This coronavirus has ravaged every major economy in the world. Its impact is felt everywhere.

You have probably noticed that things are really starting to get crazy out there.

People are getting very desperate, and very desperate people do very desperate things.

In one community in Texas, it is being reported that someone is actually killing horses and eating them…

At least five horses have been killed around Pearland, Texas since late May — but it’s the way they’re being killed and what’s being done to their carcasses that’s particularly disturbing to locals.

Pearland police made their first discovery June 10. Responding to an animal cruelty call along the 14000 block of Kirby Drive, they found a horse, dead and butchered.

You would have to be incredibly twisted to do such a thing, but as I have been warning for a very long time, we are going to see much crazier things in the years ahead.

Of course countless other Americans can also see that society is starting to come apart at the seams, and this has helped to fuel an unprecedented spike in gun sales

Gun sales surged 135% year-over-year in July to about 2 million and have already matched all of last year, according to a report released earlier this week by research consultancy Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting. Sales were up 145% in June, 80% in May and 71% in April.

We live at a time when rioting, looting and violence are becoming commonplace, and crime rates are absolutely skyrocketing in our major cities.

And the worse economic conditions become, the worse the chaos is going to get.

So I would very much encourage you to set your affairs in order and to get prepared for what is ahead, because the time remaining to do such things is very limited.

***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.

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.

The U.S. Economy Hasn’t Experienced Anything Like This Since The Great Depression Of The 1930s

The recession of 2008 and 2009 was bad, but it was nothing like this.  Even though this new economic downturn is only a few months old, we are already seeing numbers that we haven’t seen since the worst parts of the Great Depression of the 1930s.  More than 48 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the past 15 weeks, well over 100,000 businesses have permanently closed their doors, and civil unrest has turned quite a few of our major cities into war zones.  But not all areas of the country are being affected equally.  For example, there are rural areas that haven’t really seen a lot of COVID-19 cases where life seems to have changed very little from six months ago.  On the other hand, some urban areas that have been hit really hard by COVID-19 have been absolutely devastated economically.  For example, the New York Times is reporting that a million jobs have been lost in New York City, and the unemployment rate for NYC “is hovering near 20 percent”

The city is staggering toward reopening with some workers back at their desks or behind cash registers, and on Monday, it began a new phase, allowing personal-care services like nail salons and some outdoor recreation to resume. Even so, the city’s unemployment rate is hovering near 20 percent — a figure not seen since the Great Depression.

We are going to be using the phrase “since the Great Depression” a lot in the coming months.

Fear of COVID-19 is going to paralyze our economy for the foreseeable future, and all of this fear is hitting some companies more severely than others.  On Tuesday, Levi Strauss announced that sales were down a whopping 62 percent during the second quarter

The denim maker Levi Strauss & Co.’s sales fell 62% during its fiscal second quarter, the company announced Tuesday, as its online sales weren’t enough to make up for its stores being temporarily shut for roughly 10 weeks during the Covid-19 crisis.

If Levi Strauss expected this to be just a temporary setback, they would probably try to keep all of their employees on board.

But instead, they apparently believe that hard times are here to stay and they have just decided to eliminate “about 700 jobs”

Levi’s also announced it will be slashing about 15% of its global corporate workforce, impacting about 700 jobs, in a bid to cut costs during the coronavirus pandemic. It said the move should generate annualized savings for Levi’s of $100 million.

Of course a whole lot of other companies are laying off workers right now too.  Another 1.427 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, and that is an absolutely catastrophic number.  Prior to 2020, the worst week in all of U.S. history for new unemployment claims was in 1982 when 695,000 unemployed workers filed in a single week.  So what we are witnessing right now is nothing short of a “tsunami of job losses”, and even CNN is admitting that millions of the jobs that have been lost “are never coming back”…

The American economy’s unprecedented jobs rebound masks a difficult truth: For millions of people, the jobs they lost are never coming back.

“It’s clear that the pandemic is doing some fundamental damage to the job market,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics. “A lot of the jobs lost aren’t coming back any time soon. The idea that the economy is going to snap back to where it was before the pandemic is clearly not going to happen.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Since most Americans were living paycheck to paycheck before this pandemic erupted, millions of unemployed workers have found themselves in desperate need very suddenly.  I have written numerous articles about the massive lines that we have been witnessing at food banks around the nation, and we just witnessed another two mile long line at a food bank in Florida

More than 700 cars were seen waiting in a two-mile long food bank line in Florida as the US grapples with nearly half of Americans being unemployed amid a spike in new coronavirus cases that has sparked fears of more shut downs and lay-offs.

Sunrise Assistant Leisure Services Director Maria Little, who was put in charge of food distribution for the city when the coronavirus hit the US in March, said her group served about 720 cars in Miami on Wednesday.

This is not what a “recovery” looks like.

In fact, for certain sectors of the economy the numbers are rapidly getting a lot worse.  For instance, just check out what CNBC is reporting

Delinquencies in commercial mortgage-backed securities last month had their largest one-month surge since Fitch Ratings began tracking the metric nearly 16 years ago.

The delinquency rate hit 3.59% in June, an increase from 1.46% in May. New delinquencies totaled $10.8 billion in June, raising the total delinquent pool to $17.2 billion.

And Fitch Ratings is warning that these numbers are going to get far worse in the months ahead.

And this is just the beginning. Fitch analysts are projecting that the impact from the coronavirus pandemic will drive the delinquency rate to between 8.25% and 8.75% by the end of the third quarter of this year.

I have said this before, and I will say it again.

We are on the verge of the biggest commercial mortgage meltdown in the history of the United States.

Countless restaurants and retailers are getting way behind on their rent payments, and as a result many owners of commercial property are finding it increasingly difficult to make their mortgage payments.

The dominoes are starting to fall, and this is going to get really, really messy as we head into 2021 and beyond.

Of course the same thing could be said for the U.S. economy as a whole.

I know that I haven’t been posting quite as often the last couple of weeks, and that is because I have been finishing my new book.  It is not too far from being completed, and it is going to be the most important thing that I have written so far.

We are right on the precipice of the most chaotic chapter in all of American history, and a collapsing economy is just going to be one element of “the perfect storm” that we are facing.

So please use the summer months to get prepared for what is ahead, because even though things are bad right now, the truth is that we have only experienced the leading edge of “the perfect storm” so far.

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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