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The “Economic Recovery” Continues: Businesses Are Being Destroyed Faster Than They Are Being Created

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The Death Of Small Business - Photo by Tina McKimmieWhat would you say about an economy where businesses are shutting down faster than they are opening?  Well, a shocking new study released by the Brookings Institution indicates that this is exactly what is happening in the United States.  We are absolutely killing small businesses and the entrepreneurial spirit in this country, and as you will see below, the number of self-employed Americans has been on a downward trend for a decade even though our population has been steadily growing.  Traditionally, small businesses have been the primary engine of job growth in this nation, so the fact that study after study has found that small business creation is being crippled in the United States is a really bad sign for our economic future.

Personally, I write about our long-term economic decline nearly every day, but even I had no idea that businesses were being destroyed faster than they were being created.  According to the Brookings Institution, this first started happening in 2009

The American economy is less entrepreneurial now than at any point in the last three decades. That’s the conclusion of a new study out from the Brookings Institution, which looks at the rates of new business creation and destruction since 1978.

Not only that, but during the most recent three years of the study — 2009, 2010 and 2011 — businesses were collapsing faster than they were being formed, a first.

And this mirrors an earlier study conducted by economist Tim Kane.  According to his analysis of U.S. Department of Labor data, the following is how the decline in the number of new business jobs per one thousand Americans breaks down by presidential administration

Bush Sr.: 11.3

Clinton: 11.2

Bush Jr.: 10.8

Obama: 7.8

As you can see, this is a problem that has been building for decades and that has accelerated under the Obama administration.

We are strangling small business creation to death, and as a result the number of Americans that are self-employed just keeps going down.  Just check out this chart…

Self-Employed 2014

And keep in mind that throughout this entire time the U.S. population has been growing.  So the numbers in the chart above should be going up steadily as the population grows.  But instead they have just kept going down.

Meanwhile, the “economic recovery” is continuing in the corporate world as well.

On Tuesday, we learned that Office Depot is going to be closing 400 stores.

Why would that happen if the economy was actually getting better?

When this was announced, shares of Office Depot rose about 20 percent.

I can never understand why that happens.  You would think that when a business makes an announcement that essentially says “our business is failing” that it would cause people to dump the stock.

In any event, this comes on the heels of an announcement by Staples back in March that it was going to shut down 225 stores in the United States and Canada.

So where will we buy our pens and paper from now on?

If the economy really was “recovering”, you would think that demand for office supplies would actually be on the rise.

But the only places where the economy is “recovering” is in places such as Washington D.C., New York City and San Francisco.

Those at the top of the pyramid are doing well, but almost everyone else in the country is really suffering right now.

When you kill off small businesses and the entrepreneurial spirit, it tends to increasingly funnel money to the very top of the food chain.  And this is precisely what is happening in America at this point.  In a recent article, Charles Hugh Smith included a chart that shows how average household net worth in the U.S. breaks down by quartile…

Bottom 25%: $4,600
From 25% to 50%: $21,700
From 50% to 75%: $78,900
From 75% to 90%: $242,800
Top 10%: $1,606,600

As you can see, the bottom 50 percent are really not that much above zero at all.  In the old days, it seemed like almost everyone was “middle class” in America, but now that is rapidly changing.

We can see this increasing divide in the real estate market as well.  According to Bloomberg, sales of million dollar homes are booming, but sales of homes at the low end are plunging…

“Million-dollar homes in the U.S. are selling at double their historical average while middle-class property demand stumbles, showing that the housing recovery is mirroring America’s wealth divide.

Purchases costing $1 million or more rose 7.8 percent in March from a year earlier, according to data released last week by the National Association of Realtors. Transactions for $250,000 or less, which represent almost two-thirds of the market, plunged 12 percent in the period”

So this explains why it is almost impossible to find an affordable home in San Francisco, but the overall homeownership rate in the United States has dropped to the lowest level in 19 years.

But even in our wealthy enclaves there are signs of deep economic trouble.  For example, in New York City the number of homeless children has soared to a new all-time high…

They’re just like other kids except they have a secret. They are homeless.  Children are living hidden lives in plain sight. They are part a growing number of low income families who find themselves with no way out but they are working hard to find a solution.

It’s a big issue. And it’s growing. More than 23,000 children sleep in homeless shelters every night, an all-time high, according to the Coalition for the Homeless.

The only “recovery” being experienced in America is the one that is happening on Wall Street, in boardrooms in Silicon Valley and in the halls of power in Washington.

In the rest of the country, retail stores are closing at the fastest pace that we have seen since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, 20 percent of all families do not have a single member that is employed and 49 million Americans are dealing with food insecurity.

There is no way that we are ever going to have a broad-based economic recovery in this nation if we continue to destroy small businesses.  They are the lifeblood of any economy and they are the primary engine of job creation.

Sadly, our politicians seem completely clueless about all of this.  So they will continue to do the same things that they have always been doing and then wonder why the economy never seems to turn around.

  • wubwubwub

    thank you gary2

  • VegasBob

    Unfortunately, technology has progressed to the point that it now destroys more jobs than it creates.

    Until we address this simple truth, economic conditions for everyday Americans will continue to decline.

    Large corporations protect themselves from competition with regulations, patents, trademarks, licensing and so on. They use robots and third world slave labor to produce tangible products and pay their executives exorbitant salaries while American workers are left to wither away.

    In terms of manufacturing tangible products, it is nearly impossible for a small business to assemble the capital required to buy machinery and equipment and hire engineers to set up an efficient production process.

    Most of the “services” that cost big bucks leave us with nothing to show for the money we’ve spent – finance, insurance, government, education, sickcare, gambling.

    I don’t know how to even start to turn this all around.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Technology creates some jobs, and destroys others. But some things will never change.

      The “mom and pop” businesses for example. The ones who put quality above technology. Domino’s Pizza may rely on techology. The 3rd or 4th Italian generation pizzeria up the road? They’ve been there for a reason.

      • Theresa Lepiane

        Mom and Pop businesses are failing at record rates since Obama

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      “technology has progressed to the point that it now destroys more jobs than it creates.”
      Isn’t that what was said about the automobile?

      • K2

        It was said at the time, and they were wrong then but are right now. Technological predictions are like economic predictions. They are often wrong, but sooner or later they become right.

      • Hammerstrike

        “technology has progressed to the point that it now destroys more jobs than it creates.”

        Is, as of 2014, a statement that is as false as it is simplistic.

    • Drud

      It cannot be turned around. We needed a real crash in 2007-8, but the Fed, all the central banks, stopped the real market correction and banking system failure that were both due and necessary. If we had taken our (and it would have been very bitter) medicine then, we would be climbing our way out (really) of a depression now. Instead, we doubled down on losing bets and while we have had 6 peaceful, if not entirely prosperous years, we have been doomed to a truly epic collapse. Ultimately, it is our societal values and paradigms that must change. Money must, once again, be a medium of exchange for items and services of value, not a goal in and of itself. More importantly, we must stop worshiping at the altar of growth. We are at an inflection point of many exponential growth curves (there is a great video on Peak Prosperity . com showing some of these)–despite what thousands of “Doctors” of economics say, growth is the disease not the cure.

      • Hammerstrike

        The fed is a parasite on world trade.

        On the short-term, US dollar as a World trade currency allowed it to raise US living standards at the expense of world trade but over several decades, this made manufacture and productive economic activity in general less and less profitable, leading to deindustrialization.
        That, because high consumption continued, in turn lead to the accumulation of debt and the current economic crisis.

        To maintain high standards of living despite deindustrialization, you gotta turn up the money supply even more and make the problem even worst.

        • Drud

          All the world’s central banks are parasitic. They steal from every man, woman and child who uses currency (so everyone). The fiat currency scam is so simple, so fundamental and so well hidden that few ever really wake up to it until its too late. As far the US goes, specifically, the analogy I heard was that of a trust fund kid living a lavish lifestyle on the hard work of his grandparents, while producing nothing of value. We have spent the energy, industry and innovation like drunken sailors on leave, and what’s worse, when the surpluses of the past glory days ran out, we started to borrow and spend against the very idea of future productivity. Only heavy manipulation of debt-based currency makes such horrific crimes against the people possible.

          • Hammerstrike

            Thank you, truefax.

    • Hammerstrike

      Don´t blame technology for this.

    • K2

      ”Technology has reached a point where it is destroying more jobs than it is creating’!

      Another good point! This trend is contributing too…to the american and global economic slowdown.

  • James

    Good article,
    Also there has been more talk about how incomes are falling for even people with advanced degrees. Lawyers are a big target making salaries even lower than the average 75k or so. Doctors are making less with Obamacare or soon will be. People are getting poorer even professionals. Any thoughts Michael with you having a law degree how is it for more experienced lawyers like you?

  • Tim

    “Sadly, our politicians seem completely clueless about all of this. So they will continue to do the same things that they have always been doing and then wonder why the economy never seems to turn around.”

    I agree that most of them are clueless, but I don’t think they spend much time thinking about the economy. They’re too busy living the good life. Did you know Congress is scheduled to be in session for only 113 days in 2014? Most members of Congress have a salary of $174,000 a year. The House and Senate majority and minority leaders are paid $193,400! But the esteemed Speaker of the House tops them all at $223,500! Dang, I want one of those jobs. (Not really.)

    • Bruce

      That’s $192.00 an hour at minimum. (113days X 8hrs = 904 hrs) (174,000/904 = 192.47) 1,576 bucks a day or 7,680 a week. Sounds like a real good deal to me!

    • Priszilla

      you elect them, and if you dont, at least you dont participate and let things run as they are.

      election participation in the us is what? 30%?

      • Hammerstrike

        But i don´t care about no politics! If I did, I would have to think hard and think about scary thoughts too….

        My explanation? Power corrupts and absolut power corrupts absolutely.
        Such a slogan is not only fashionable, it allows me to feel good doing nothing except whinning, complain about the situation and live in willfull ignorance.

        • Guest

          Educate yourself about how the political system in America really works, and then come back here. The more you comment, the more you show how ignorant you are.

  • Bill

    “They tell us everything is fine. We know better. They lie. If small business is declining we are in deep do do.

  • none

    Well thank god for your last article(the one before this).
    It talks about hos the Chinese are buying all of Detroit

    So in answer to your question, “So where will we buy our pens and paper from now on”?
    American workers, who are unemployed. And desperate enough to want to work 12 hour days. Just like the Chinese factory workers do.

    • chilller

      Just wait till those Chinese get a taste of Detriot gang etiquette…they’ll leave faster than they got there.

    • Adrian

      You identify the problem. The owners of capital love a desperate workfo0rce, which means no unions, low wages and one person doing the work of 2-3, and told to be thankful, even grateful. They can always sell overseas.

  • AzDesertRat

    I usually try to not get caught up in every “the sky is falling!” article about the economy, but this one is pretty bad news. It also ties in with an interesting conversation I had with one of my employees today. (Backstory: I recently (within the last 6 months) left a major Aerospace manufacturing corporation to take a job in a much smaller, privately owned, Aerospace Distribution company.) We were discussing why the last few weeks orders and quote requests had dropped precipitously. This employee has been in the business longer than I have been alive and started making some phone calls and asking the “right” questions. Everyone he talked with who is a customer of ours, and even some of our vendors, pretty much said the same thing: “It’s really slow over here and has been for at least the last two weeks”.
    It seems like everyone is waiting for “the other guy” to be the one that takes the gamble and starts producing… and no one wants to BE that guy.
    In 20 years of aerospace experience I’ve noticed that this industry tends to be a pretty good canary-in-the-coal-mine in regards to where the economy is headed. The big aerospace corporation I left was laying people off by the boatload before the economy imploded in 2008 (the one facility I was at lost more than 50% of it’s workforce in a 6 week span back in late 2007/early 2008). That usually works the other way as well, before the rest of the economy starts to pick up momentum aerospace has already started humming again (I’m sure the trucking and maritime freight industries likely see similar trends).
    Long story short, it looks like things in the aerospace market have taken a sudden (and for most of us) unexpected turn for the worse. That old major aerospace corporation I used to work for… just heard today they had another round of layoffs (letting go of the few people they hired in the last 12 months plus some old timers) and everyone is on 32 hour work weeks. If you want to get paid for 40 you better start using up vacation and personal time.

    • VegasBob

      Well, AzDesertRat, the people in charge have done absolutely nothing over the past 6 years to actually fix any of the problems that caused the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

      All of the alleged “solutions” – including the bailouts and the trillion$ in money-printing – have been akin to keeping a brain-dead patient alive with advanced life support.

      Unfortunately, when the life support is withdrawn, the brain-dead patient always dies.

      If there is any good news, it is that even in a massive depression, a significant portion of economic activity will continue. Perhaps a healthy economy will arise out of the ashes of the failed policies of bailouts and money-printing.

      • smallergovnow

        Vegas, nothing will arise out of the ashes as long as we continue to be strapped to the chains of central planning and regulation that DC has become…

    • Rodster

      The economy is uneven in different parts of the Country. If you live in DC things are great. Go to another city and things maybe just the opposite. Even in an economic collapse which we are in the midst of. There will be some places doing well and other places doing badly.

    • K

      I heard something about Russian rocket engines, may be blocked from being imported into the US. Could be an opportunity for an American company. If the could make a similar engine, at the right price point.

      • Hammerstrike

        There is no opportunity for US companies.
        You do not understand how the scheme works. The federal reserve is printing money (causing inflation) creates far greater profits than manufacture could hope for in the near future.
        US companies could make rocket Engines but doing so would never bring the profits that having access to the Federal Reserve

    • Esta

      Thank you for your informative and well written post.

    • sharonsj

      There are no orders for your stuff or anyone else’s stuff because the average American has no money. After paying bills (if you can manage to pay the ever-increasing costs) there is very little money left. We’ve seen tremendous price inflation (which the government says doesn’t exist), and prices are going still higher while almost half the country is in a depression. And there are very few well-paying jobs–if you can still find a job–so people living in their parents’ basement aren’t flying or buying planes. Something’s got to give, whether it’s another stock market crash, or rioting in the streets.

      • Adrian

        “the average American has no money.” This is right, and the problem, in a nutshell. Combine that observation with the one in the article about the increase in million dollar home sales, and you see where the money is going. Then we have our GOP and Libertarian friends extolling the virtues of low wages and blocking a minimum wage hike, and everyone wonders why businesses are failing left and right. I’ll tell you all why: no money in people’s pockets means no consumption. It’s simple. Now watch them go blame the “socialist” in the White House…lol.

        • Gene Baugh BBA

          If we had a law that politicians could not vote themselves a raise without raising the minimum wage by the same percentage…

          • Adrian

            Yes, or by simply pegging the minimum wage to inflation, like they should have done in the late 60s.

        • Hammerstrike

          I gotta agree it is self-defeating and ignorant of them to complain about minimum wages, given that circa 40% of US workers today makes less than the 1968 minimum wage when official inflation numbers are taken into account.

          Should those Nigerian jihadists have the right to sell their latest catch?

        • Theresa Lepiane

          The problem is NOT consumption. It is production. Name one thing made in the USA. I can’t think of anything, can you?

  • Rodster

    The more you read about this kind of stuff you just have to shake your head. I truly believe TPTB are collapsing the system on purpose. There is no other explanation.

    • Mike Smithy

      No doubt about it. The primary purpose of Obama and his puppet masters was to destroy the economy. Obama knows that the only way the low information citizenry will embrace Socialism is to destroy Capitalism. There is no other way to rationalize President Zero’s economic policy. When he threatened to fundamentally transform America, nobody bothered to ask him to specifically define his nefarious intentions. Don’t get me started with the media sell outs.

      • Hammerstrike

        “There is no other way to rationalize President Zero’s economic policy.”

        Actually there is.


        *_Ineptocracy_****(in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) – a system of government where the least

        capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the

        members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded

        with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number

      • Adrian

        Oh, wow, I was wondering when I’d run across a yahoo who was screaming socialism. You have no idea what socialism is, do you? IF we had socialism, then we wouldn’t have:
        1) Wall Street making out like bandits
        2) private insurance companies writing helalthcare laws, making out like bandits
        3) income inequality comparable to the likes of the Gilded Age
        4) Tax rates lower than we’ve seen since the 1920s…
        5) Multibillion dollar blue chip corporations that pay ZERO income taxes.
        6) Costs of tuition going up every semester
        7) The absence of unions
        But, go ahead…tell us more about this socialism fantasy that you seem to think we’re living in…

        • Mike Smithy

          OK Numbnuts, school is in session so pay attention. Merriam Webster defines socialism as “Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or government ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods”. President Zero’s policies confirm it implicitly and his stated agenda answers the question undeniably.
          1) Obama took money out TARP to purchase 60% ownership in GM. TARP was appropriated to buy toxic assets from financial institutions not manufacturers. 2) Obamacare is a classic example of Socialism because it is based upon redistribution of wealth. 3) Welfare has now reached staggering levels under Obama’s watch. The key to Socialism is “redistribution of wealth,” which is Obama’s constant mantra (check). His administration has assumed an elitist mentality and ignore the will of the majority of the citizenry (check). His administration circumvents the Constitution and blurs the checks and balances between the executive & legislative branches I.E. Obama reminds us that he has a phone & a pen (check). Freedom of speech is threatened when the FCC & IRS target groups that speak out against the repressive regime. (check). Put that in you PMSNBC pipe and smoke it dipshit.

          • Adrian

            LOL, there’s nothing more amazing than a condescending idiot. 1) the gvt did that to prevent the total bankruptcy of GM. After salvaging it, the government sold its shares of GM stock, so nothing was nationalized. In fact, this action as more akin to fascism than socialism, as the former is the merger of the corporate and the state, whereas the latter is characteristic of nationalization of key industry. Do you know the difference, and why the government did what it did? Nope.
            2) Obamacare was a plan hatched at the right-wing Heritage foundation, and was once called Romneycare in Mass. It essentially uses the coercive power of the state to mandate people buy PRIVATE health insurance (and nope, that ain’t socialism, but closer to corporate fascism). The only redistribution of wealth is that going from the people forced to buy insurance to the PRIVATE insurance companies, who wrote the bill to begin with. In a socialist system, private companies do not write legislation to benefit themselves, as they are nationalized by the state.
            3) Welfare was eliminated under Clinton in 1996, and turned over to be administered by the states. It was called the Welfare Reform Act…look it up you utterly moronic cocksucker.

          • Mike Smithy

            Wow, your ignorance is astounding. Now here this everyone! Adrian, our resident buffoon will have you believe that welfare ended with Bill Clinton. Do you even know what the Personal Responsibility & Work Reconciliation Act of 1996 was about? Apparently not. Let’s fast forward to the reign of President Zero. Since he took office, 13 million more Americans have become dependent on SNAP/Food Stamps with numbers now hitting a record 47 million. That is about a third more than when he was sworn in. In 2011, census bureau data released last year showed that the number of Americans receiving means tested federal welfare benefits outnumbered those with year round full time jobs. Almost $1 trillion annually goes to the programs with over 100 million Americans receiving some sort of benefit not including Social Security. Nevertheless, facts don’t matter with pompous elitist ass-wipes such as yourself. Now if you are suggesting that Obama has a penchant for Fascism to mask his Socialist beliefs, then I believe you are correct.

          • K2

            So your entire argument that obama is a socialist is based on one point…..him expanding welfare?

          • Mike Smithy

            Obama has admitted on several occasions that he believes in income redistribution. That is codetalk for “Socialism”. I don’t understand why you wiill not take Obama at his word.

          • K2

            I wont take anybody at their word, not obama not bush before looking at their actions first. People’s real nature comes out better, by looking at their actions.

          • K2

            And he has done a lot of actions that are ‘anti socialism’.

          • K2

            I will tell you a little secret. You know why he expanded welfare?

            Its not because he cares about them or he because he believes in socialism. Its because a) walmart is one big contributor to the democratic party and walmart benefits hugely from it.

            b) Most welfare recipients are poor, and a lot of minorities are welfare recipients and more often than not they vote democrat than republican. And obama was protecting his and the democratic votebank.

          • Adrian

            Welfare ended at the federal level with Clinton, and was turned over to be administered by the states, like I said. Your citing increases in welfare benefits under Obama’s administration, and trying to imply correlation between his presidency and the increased number of people on welfare is absurd, and ignores so many other factors, such as: 1) the long term economic trends at work, and 2) the fact that the economy collapsed under Bush’s watch. Has Obama done much to help the American people? Of course not, which makes your claim that he is a socialist all the more laughable. If one looks at the data on groups that have prospered since the 2008 crisis, one sees the rich have grown richer, corporations are now even bigger than they were before the crash. Given that fact, explain why the “socialist” in office has allowed this to happen. Either he’s the worst socialist in the history of socialism, or you have no idea what you’re talking about, and are as ignorant of what socialism is as you are about everything else you write about. I’m going with the latter assumption. Lastly, try refuting the posts I made in my initial response to your post instead of ignoring them.

          • Mike Smithy

            Where do you think the states get funding to administer the SNAP/EBT/Food Stamp program? It is appropriated via the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). When Reagan inherited a devastated economy from Carter, he implemented real pro-growth policies that expanded the economy and put people back to work. President Zero has done the opposite which has been the worst recovery in modern history. Last quarter the economy grew by 1/10 of 1%. Where are the living wage jobs Obama promised? What did the American people get in return for the $8 trillion dollars of deficit spending under Obama’s watch? There are numerous examples of how Obama has leveraged his crony socialist principles with crony capitalism/fascism. Have you ever heard of Solyndra? Soon after the government checks which were backed by the taxpayers cleared the bank, they went bankrupt. Ever heard of Abengoa Solar Inc., dba Mojave Solar.

          • K2

            Just because a person talks about ‘redistribution’ to please the poor and the lower middle class voters, doesnt mean he/ she is a socialist. He was just telling them what they wanted to hear.

            A person real nature is known by his actions and his actions indicate he loves big corporations,govt and banks.

          • Hammerstrike

            Sanity. ^

          • sharonsj

            The government does not own all our means of production. Farmers own their own farms. Manufacturers own their own companies. The government doesn’t own Obamacare because health care is run by doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies. We are not a Socialist country. If we were, we’d all have health care and free colleges.

          • Theresa Lepiane

            My Uncle worked for GM. Obama gave the money to the CEO’s who pocketed it giving nothing back to the workers of 30 years….My uncle lost his entire pension….He’s dead now. You keep thinking because Obama is black he is for the poor. He is NOT>

      • Gene Baugh BBA

        Under that theory the same puppet masters would have controlled Romney to do the same thing.

      • K2

        Capitalism was already beginning to be destroyed long before obama came to power… through outsourcing of jobs. Not saying obama is a good president, but this trend i talked about started long before he came.

        • Theresa Lepiane

          What we now have is NOT capitalism.

    • Syrin

      Absolutely. Plus, it helps that most people are economically illiterate to the point that all they can do is shout “raise taxes” without any concept of what that means of implies. These are the people who ask you the number to 911.

      • Adam Weiss

        Americans still believe in the paradigm that they are free, when the
        reality is the opposite and the US Constitution implicitly define them
        as subservients.

        Remember that this document is a summarized compendium of British Common Law,
        Admiralty Law and Canon Law (under the express guidelines and orders of
        the Vatican – read the communications between Pope Pius VI and Benjamin
        Franklin); the framers wanted to make sure that the ignorant masses
        living within the circumscribed territories called the United States of
        America remain under such condition – their ulterior and ultimate goal.

        Additionally the Act of 1871, made possible for the Vatican to manage more
        efficiently the Corporation called THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA –
        According to the Constitution, all individuals born within the
        territories in which this corporation exerts an effective jurisdiction
        are cataloged as less than human beings, they automatically lose their
        quality of natural persons by birth; instead, these people become
        financial instruments until the day they cease to exists. The lawful
        stockholders of this corporation called THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
        are located at Buckingham Palace and St. Peter’s Basilica.

        In brief, ordinary Americans are indeed less than subjects of the British Crown
        and dependants of the wishes of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II;
        simultaneously, the Sancta Romana Catholica Ecclesia is their absolute
        Sovereign and dictates all aspects of their daily lives.

        • emma852

          my Aunty Grace got a nearly new blue Kia by
          working part time from the internet. look at this now C­a­s­h­D­u­t­i­e­s­.­ℂ­o­m

          • Hammerstrike

            Bot much?

        • Adrian

          Canadians seem to be doing ok.

          • Maneb

            Yes. We Canadians will need to build a 4000+ mile fence to keep the US migrants out. Not so far fetched it seems.

          • Adrian

            Hey, we’ll work for healthcare!

          • ShaneEasterigg321

            just before I saw the draft ov $5039 , I be certain
            that…my… cousin woz truley bringing home money in there spare time on their
            apple labtop. . there sisters neighbour started doing this for under eighteen
            months and resently took care of the mortgage on there condo and bought a great
            Mercedes . have a peek at this web-site F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

      • Adrian

        Well, taxes are at the lowest rate since the 1920s, and that doesn’t seem to be getting us anywhere but more towards Argentina in terms of income inequality. On the other hand, everyone seemed to be doing quite well under Eisenhower when the top tax rates were at 90%…

      • K2

        They shout raise taxes on the super rich….people who are enjoying most of economic benefits….this very article above the comment section says that.

      • Hammerstrike

        Journalist: What colour was Henry IV white horse?
        Student: Uh…. How I am supposed to know?

    • grumpyhillbilly

      I don’t think TPTB are clever enough to pull anything off successfully. This has been coming for over a century. The Fed was the creation of the real masterminds behind this current mess. Then add in John Maynard Keynes’ stupidity, about 70 years of tenure, and lots of wars. What we are living thru is the end of the charade.

    • El mico

      Too right. Any economist worth his/her salt could see the facts, the numbers, the math just doesn’t add up. It’s just so unsustainable how could they all not see it. We can!

    • Hammerstrike

      Nope, what is happening is than they are running out of other people´s money.

    • LeslieNewYork2

      Rodster, you are right it is on purpose. It is intentional. Their agenda is not to serve the American people who hired them, but rather to destroy the very same people who voted for them.

      Don’t be fooled by both major parties because they both are in on the joke. At the end of the day, they slap each other high five and go out for drinks. The joke is on us, the American people.

  • steve

    Office Depot closing 450 stores. Lottsa retail space to fill there.

    • Mondobeyondo

      By whom?

      • Esta

        We are getting something called Home Goods in San Luis Obispo, CA, but Linens and Things failed in that same shopping center a few years back. We also have a Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and a World Market, and I’m surprised they are hanging on. I can’t see how another store of this type can make it.

  • K

    Well no big surprise, I agree with Rodster. This is all part of a plan that started many years ago. So there is no way there can be a recovery, when TPTB are working against it. Especially when they have our politicians in their pocket. Is there any better indication of the state of the economy? Than stores that supply business, closing their doors at the current rate.

  • Trialboy

    I often check on this site to confirm the never ending flow of misinformation and misleading statistics provided in the commentary. These businesses are closing because of the internet not because of an “economic collapse”. Office supplies as with many other types of goods simply can be ordered from the internet and brick and mortar stores are not necessary. Yes the jobs are gone but that is a result of innovation. Nobody buys cassette tapes today because it has been relegated to buggy whip status by CD’s and now streaming or MP3 music. Best Buy, Radio Shack, Office Max and Staples provide items that you can buy on line. Retail stores as we know them are over for the most part. It is going to happen to grocery stores too in the near future

    • Jodie Lynn Gaeta

      I doubt it will happen to grocery stores. Some of them do have a delivery service, but most people like to examine produce and meat before they buy it.

    • smallergovnow

      Boy, your reasoning is only part of it, certainly not all. Our economy and dollar are tanking…

  • Wakulla Prepper

    2014 Q1 growth reported at 0.1%,,,expect revision in weeks to come to below 0%. Q2 not looking good. Two consecutive quarters of negative growth defines a recession. When the news reports this (accompanied by a poor farm yield report, and surging food prices) in early Fall then the folks retrench, spending shrinks precipitously, layoffs explode, and the true crisis begins. Gonna be a long hard Winter.

    • Mike Smithy

      Not to worry, they will just change the metrics and continuously manipulate the data so the media whores can continue their cheerleading efforts.

      • Wakulla Prepper

        I expect the 0.1% “growth” was manipulation to prevent admitting the recession is already underway, bearing in mind the political desire to avoid a recession just prior to an election. If it is not revised downward the Dems can say “we’re not in recession” with a fig leaf of “truth”.

        • Hammerstrike


  • Syrin

    2006, Nazzi Pelosi handed the gavel, 2008, the American Fuhrer takes over. Remember those years when looking at those graphs.

  • selaretus

    Our ‘politicians’ keep touting…regurgitating… the lie about a ‘manufacturing renaissance’ due to fracking of natural gas and ‘energy independence.’

  • LazyIke

    As a former small business I can say that when we made no money we ran the business out of savings. Once they raise the minimum wage I would have to close the door at that point. The fallacy that increased consumption would cover the raise does not work in the short run. Of course the state minimum wage would cover small business as the federal minimum wage just applies to the larger concerns. The regulations that drive small businesses crazy arise mainly on the local and state level, not the federal level.

  • DJohn1

    You want to change things, change the rules.
    Most of the reason that small business fails in this country can be laid at the feet of the IRS and its complicated way of doing things. It takes an accounting department to stay ahead of the rules of the IRS.
    So in order for a small business to exist it must exist in the shadow of a bigger business. Makes sense to me.
    The entire system is set up to encourage the big corporations and keep small business competition from existing.

    That is no accident. Lawyers exist because big corporations keep them on retainer.
    Congress exists for the same reason.



  • davidmpark

    Every time Mike does a story on how many businesses are being closed; I’m just not surprised or shocked.

    Here’s how it works:
    1. Mining, farming, raw materials
    2. Primary manufacturing, refining
    3. Secondary manufacturing
    4. Retail/support industries
    * Transportation and utilities from start to finish

    It’s quite simplified, I know, but look at the first step. That’s what’s missing in all this. Manufacturing and retail are destined to shut down if they can’t get the raw materials at a good price. When the mines, farms, and reclamations are regulated to inactivity or locked up, then of course prices go up, and those down the line must pay more. And with high taxes at every step of the way, the price goes higher and staying in business more difficult with the artificial shortages and high taxes. And when the businesses close, less taxes and fees are collected, and more make demands on public programs originally not meant for those able and skilled people – then, yes; this is a massive problem. And it can be solved: the minority of power-lustful must be voted out of office with no compensations afterwards and decent, wise individuals installed to make the fixes on their end. The people must fight for this, and be ready to take control of a freed economy once more.

    • K2

      You forgot one more thing.

      5) Consumers having a job and hence cash to buy them!

  • ddd

    retail stores are closing and will continue to do so as online sales become more popular. this is not really a symptom of the bad economy although clearly it is having an adverse effect. Many jobs are going to become automated in the next decade I wonder what we are going to do with 30% unemployment

    • Spy#1

      There are certain items I will buy online. and certain items I will only buy in person. I recently went clothes shopping at a local Dillard’s store. All I saw was a poor selection, high prices, and average quality. I can do better shopping online. As far as the 30% unemployment having an adverse effect, I personally believe we will have a civil war in this country prior to that happening. Unchecked immigration combined with a much lower standard of living will create several ethnic territories. As a result, a smaller population.

  • Bruce

    Contrary to the article I don’t see a chance in hell of an economic recovery no matter what! Our dollar is losing value faster than can be calculated. Factories are closing at a rate previously thought to be impossible. Opportunities are fewer and fewer by the day. We are so screwed it defies description. The saddest part is their isn’t a darn thing we can do about it. NOTHING, except prepare one’s own house.
    Recently, I lost a good friend and his wife to a house fire. He was 46 and she 38. They were good people and I have had many a sleepless night over this. The reality is I question, are they not better off? For they will not have to witness their children going hungry. Seeing their friends losing everything to this crumbling nation nor will ANY hardships or heartaches come their way.That is sad!

  • Priszilla

    As you can see in the graph, the curve is flattening since 2012.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Flattening, and about to be flat-lined.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      LOL. best defense of rock bottom I’ve ever seen.

  • rozwell

    It is a grim situation indeed !

  • Mondobeyondo

    Critics will say that Office Depot is closing their brick and mortar stores because “more customers are purchasing our products online”, etc, yada yada. Okay, I’ll give them that much credit.

    However, how many flesh and blood human beings who work in these brick and mortar stores are going to be replaced by some anonymous app or QC code or whatever? A lot.

    The paradigm shift is well underway…

  • Mondobeyondo

    The legacy retailers will often say, “We have a proud history – in 1886, Mr. Sears and Mr. Roebuck got together and formed a company, and in 1905 we owned half the stores in the U.S.”, etc. etc.


    It’s 2014.

  • gsiamne

    I love everything of what you have written here. I am on year 3 of doing/trying permaculture yet I have many family members who are/think they are Christians, who think I am crazy for doing it (I tried xianity for many years and also graduated from a xian college yet like many clergy project pastors never got anything from it.) I can give many things from those expastors and my study of science I have a xian brother who I fear and is currently part of the state/federal prosecution area of government that will take my things for itself. I also know a geologist (I minored in geography at the xian university I attended), he has refrained on his talk on theology, who is prepping for a collapse yet I let him know of a few of the things I think he has done wrong. He is also scared of one of the things I have given him and that is dihydrogen monoxide. I am more horrified of what supposed law people and xians will doe with me versus what history and knowledge will,

    • Rick

      From your post, it doesn’t appear that you are a Christx. A Christx would not be ashamed of the name of Christ.


    So, you want to go into business. Bear in mind that the failure rate is 80% in the first five years for small businesses. The time required to get a business off the ground is about 100 hrs/wk for years. As an entrepreneur, you must pay double payroll tax. Then, there is the Schedule C where you list your expenses. This form is ruthlessly scrutinized by you know who. My hat goes off to anyone who even tries, Common sense would dictate that government do everything in its power to encourage the starting and growth of small business. If you are interested in job creation, this is where it comes from. A five year tax holiday should be declared for all new startups to allow them to incubate. Obama Care is certainly not helping things. Alas, Washington is completely in the thrall of Big Business and Wall Street. My advice to the young, get a government job.

  • Piglet

    RE: “When this was announced, shares of Office Depot rose about 20 percent.

    I can never understand why that happens. You would think that when a business makes an announcement that essentially says “our business is failing” that it would cause people to dump the stock.”

    The reason for this is that investors believe that cutting payrolls increases a company’s profitability, at least in the short term. The rest of us see it for what it is: a company in a downward spiral. So much of what such stores sell is now purchased online and that’s not going to change, except to accelerate. Another article indicated that half of this country’s malls would probably close within the decade. Big box stores like these are going to follow that example.

  • krinks

    Well why not? The more the economy collapses, the more people out of work, the more people dependent upon gov’t and the Demonrat party for their day to day lives. A Democrat’s wet dream. This has been the trend for quite some time and no one seems to care. We are a nation of drones not capable of thinking a thing until a blow dried degenerate first speaks it in a TV News program.

  • jm

    While I agree with most of what in this article, I feel that physical stores like Office Depot and Staples are becoming irrelevant. Why waste hours of my day fighting traffic and heading to Office Depot when I can order what I need from online retailers in a matter of minutes?
    On the matter of small Business, it is obvious that the Government has passed way to many laws and restrictions that make it extremely difficult for small business to take root. While on the other had allows large corporations to thrive. This is bad for America and bad for capitalism. Too much rules and regulations uneven the playing field and while this is a form of social and corporate control, most unwitting subjects will blame capitalism… an unfortunate turn of events.

  • DJohn1

    I just bought a black toner cartridge. I bought it on line. It was here in less than 5 days. The current price for that toner cartridge was $70 plus tax. OF course they use the .99 system. As if one cent makes a difference. My total cost on line was $55. I also saw where there was price fixing all over the place. That is where you can go any where, any place, and discover the same price for the same product no matter who you go to. That now almost includes on line purchases.
    Same goes for gasoline. Any where, any place, any time, the price goes up to a certain number and stays there a couple of days. Then the prices go into a feeding frenzy and come down a few cents a day, until the fuel companies that supply the fuel reset the price. It is flagrant price fixing with the consent of the states allowing it. This is done on a weekly basis.

    There is something called the Interstate Commerce Act that generally at one time worked. It allowed businesses without a brick and mortar building in a state to avoid double taxation. I can go anywhere in a 100 mile circle of this place and not all but most of the gas stations will have the identical price for regular gas.

    It took some good research to find that price because price fixing is now the rule rather than the exception.

    I use that product only to demonstrate just how stupid things have gotten. How criminal activity in business is ignored by all government agencies in the current situation even though it is fine-able with massive fines.
    We are in a socialist state right now with the full cooperation of every big business in the country. The name of the game is I can fix the price of any one item you have to buy on a weekly basis.

    • sharonsj

      Socialism: A political and economic theory of social organization that
      advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange
      should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. If you think the state or a particular community owns individual gas stations or Office Depot or Walmart, you are confused about the meaning of the word. All those businesses are owned by corporations (or Mitt Romney, whose group owns Office Depot–so much for him being a job creator).

      • DJohn1

        When I referred to Socialism, I was referring to the welfare state and the tight grip that various corporations have on our lives. It takes about 5 years for an individual to get a business off the ground in this environment. When most of us die, if illness is involved, we no longer will have the money of a lifetime to pass on to our children. It has been stolen by the medical industry to treat the very diseases that kill us.
        The republican party had no intention of winning the white house in the last election. Mitt Romney was not aware of that to my knowledge. He was set up.
        When both Office Depot, Staples, Walmart, and just about anywhere else you go has the identical price on an item, something in the marketplace of competition is really wrong.

        • Gay Veteran

          the word you seek is fascism (the merger of state and corporate powers)

          • DJohn1

            I believe you are right.
            Thank You.

  • Houtex77

    Pre-war prices will never be better so sell your home while you can.

  • Safwat Zahry


  • Yisrael

    Brother Michael keeps saying : ” The politician are clueless”. Well I know, not believe that they know exactly what’s going
    on And they’re doing it to thier own demise. Thier pockets has
    Become to fat to even care about the country or its
    Citizen… In the end they will be destroyed by thier own games.
    Well America get ready there’s some troubling times ahead.:-(

  • wally

    Buy supplies and what ever you can with the money you have right now. A huge dollar devaluation is coming. 6-10:1. Imagine this you owe 120,000 on your house all of sudden overnight you now owe 1,000,000. Your 3k a month job if you are lucky enough to have one is now worth $500 a month or less. Your rent was 1k a month, it is now 7k. Gas is $25 a gallon. $500 a month is not even enough for rent. Bad things are coming. You read Michael’s last article on the Chinese taking over Detroit. Go to the commonsenseshow website read Dave’s writeup on the interview he had with former CIA official Dr. Jim Garrow. It will send chills down your spine but it is right in line with Michael’s last article.

    • Orange Jean

      I’d be curious to know where you’ve been living Wally. I haven’t seen a rental in the $500 since around 1975.

      • wally

        I was saying when deflation hits your 3k a month job will only be worth $500 a month where your rent is 1k will now cost 7k a month.

  • Richard O. Mann

    America. It was fun while it lasted.

    • Drud

      I feel like I missed all the really fun stuff. The beginning of the 20th century in America was probably the greatest time in human history to be alive. If I could pick any 80 year span to live I would probably be born around 1900.

      • Mondobeyondo

        I would agree, except for the world wars, depression, polio, racism.. Every era has had its issues.

        • Yasha7

          And the Spanish flu pandemic nightmare.

          • Circa53

            And don’t forget syphilis..

        • Circa53

          We’re in a depression and polio and racism are back in a big way..

    • Spy#1

      I am glad to see somebody had fun. I can honestly say that all but maybe 9 years of my working life were not fun at all.

  • jakartaman

    I have had it regarding these reports.
    5 years and we still are puttering along.
    Yellen is going to up the pumping – with further can kicking down the road. Something has to break and soon.

  • Tim

    Where will you go, Eric?

    • Eric Quintero

      I have family in Mexico and a friend in Turkey.

      I really want to go back to the middle east. Crazy, I know. But its really nice there actually. I know Michael talks about Turkey going down w the sinking ship, but realistically speaking, Turkey’s current currency crisis is just one of 6 in the past 14 years 😛 SSDD. Turkey is also making bilateral trades and is working closer with Iran for trade. Their central bank also seems pretty well versed in dealing with currency fluctuation; I think once the global markets eventually stabilize with the Yuan, things should straighten out and the Lira will find its long term value.

      Mexico is okay, but the cartels pretty much run the show and it gets a bit scary when you leave your local village.

      Im getting my TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) to keep my options open and flexible.

      Chile looks pretty nice, too.

  • Priszilla

    www fao org/worldfoodsituation/foodpricesindex/en/

  • Mondobeyondo

    “We never hear of head lines about breadlines anymore” *

    No, we don’t. We hear about EBT cards. which are really the 20-teens substitutes for the 1930s soup kitchens for many Americans
    The only reason “we’re in the money” is because Visa and Mastercard have extended our credit lines. It’s all an illusion. False prosperity, such as it is. Go ahead, buy that HDTV television You’ll pay for it. Oh yes, you’ll pay for it. Not just monetarily, either.
    True prosperity – gold, corn, wheat, etc – comes from the ground, not from the bank or Federal Reserve. That’s one thing we’ve forgot. Nobody has the desire to re-learn it.
    * Ginger Rogers, “Gold Diggers of 1933″

  • Joe Blow

    Can’t say I blame you for getting out of here. Just make sure you pick the right place to escape to.

  • frank1569

    Who ever said ‘small business’ creation is perpetual?

    Especially in a world where Big Corporations fulfill virtually every need and desire for most us with free overnight delivery.

    Also: according to the Small Business Administration, 22 million of the 28 million American ‘small businesses’ are non-employer – in other words, you have a blog, or sell t-shirts, or whatever. And only 7% of Americans ever even attempt to go into business for themselves, small or not.

    The era of ‘small businesses being the backbone of America’ is over. Evolve accordingly.

  • Donald Wilson

    Rodster you are absolutely correct. The game plan is to intentionally collapse the economy, this will be done by destroying the ability to create decent jobs that pay a decent salary. Furthermore, as we all know the TPTB goal is to ultimately create a NWO this can only be accomplished by taking down the US and other sovereign nations. Once this has happened and chaos runs rampant with millions starving they will be on bended knee pleading for the chaos and starvation to end. With that the New World Order and one world government will be rolled. This will be the end of humanity…The End

    Bravo Two Zero out

  • Maneb

    The transformation of America. Once it becomes FULLY third world, maybe the terrorists will go elsewhere. But then, probably not.

  • Adrian

    I thought you were catching on, then you ask where our leaders are? They’re causing the mess!

    • Mike Smithy

      Were catching on to your little game. By “leaders” you are insinuating anyone except President Zero and the Democrat Party.

  • Adrian

    Where will you go? Costa Rica…Canada…Mexico, maybe? Australian?

  • slybackstabber

    “and as a result the number of Americans that are self-employed just keeps going down.”

    I doubt that’s correct. People are working off the books in the informal economy — people have to survive, after all. I expect the informal economy to keep increasing in size. This is what happens in third world countries.

  • LeslieNewYork2

    Please wake-up. In my opinion, the politicians (Corporate Captains & Financial Institutions) are not clueless. They are the problem with killing the American Dream from excess paperwork to start and stay in business, taxing small businesses to death (fees on top of fees), and making sure that the American people cry out to them for help so that they can throw us some crumbs.

    It is about POWER, CONTROL and seizing land (after the debacle of the mortgage crisis) to gathering the WEALTH of this country and other small nations until we have become hopeless. Don’t let them steal your Spirit!~I love Humanity

    • MellyDanielsisf321

      til I saw the paycheck saying $5367 , I be certain
      …that…my brother woz like they say actualey receiving money in there spare
      time at there labtop. . there dads buddy haz done this for only fourteen months
      and at present paid the mortgage on their condo and purchased a great Saab 99
      Turbo . read F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

  • K2

    Add to this list, businessmen too.

  • Randy Townsend

    Hey, the bubbas have their flat screens and their booze – THEY DON’T CARE and the pols know it. Our government hasn’t been stolen as much as it has been given away due to apathy. Ask the average Joe to name the three branches of government – listen to the crickets…

    • Bruce

      You are right most people do ot know the 3 branches of Gubbernet. They also don’t know.
      1. How much money is a Trillion bucks.
      2. Difference between the deficit and the debt.
      3. How much is our debt.
      4. Who and what is the entity called the “Federal Reserve”.
      The list of things they don’t know and should is endless.

  • Koltumbas

    amerika can no longer bear the burden of the world superpower – amerika is tired

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