The Beginning Of The End
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Wow – The Holiday Shopping Season Is Off To A Horrible Start

Beverley Center Mall in Beverly HillsAccording to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent an average of 4 percent less over the four day Thanksgiving weekend than they did last year.  Overall, that means that approximately $1.7 billion less was spent at U.S. retailers compared to last year.  It had already been projected that this holiday shopping season would be the worst for retailers since 2009, but if these numbers are any indication it may be even worse than expected.  So why is this happening?  Well, basically the American consumer is tapped out.  The unemployment crisis in this country is actually getting worse, poverty is absolutely exploding and the middle class is being systematically eviscerated.  In other words, you can’t get blood out of a stone.  Many retailers are offering extreme discounts in a desperate attempt to lure more shoppers, but the money simply isn’t there.

According to Yahoo News, the decline in shopping over the four day Thanksgiving weekend was the first decline that we have seen since the last recession…

Shoppers, on average, were expected to spend $407.02 during the four days, down 3.9 percent from last year. That would be the first decline since the 2009 holiday shopping season when the economy was just coming out of the recession.

The survey underscores the challenges stores have faced since the recession began in late 2007. Retailers had to offer deeper discounts to get people to shop during the downturn, but Americans still expect those “70 percent off” signs now during the recovery.

And according to the New York Times, Americans spent a total of 1.7 billion dollars less than they did last year…

Over the course of the weekend, consumers spent about $1.7 billion less on holiday shopping than they did the year before, according to the National Retail Federation, a retail trade organization.

“There are some economic challenges that many Americans still face,” said Matthew Shay, the chief executive of the retail federation. “So in general terms, many are intending to be a little bit more conservative with their budgets.”

But this downturn for retailers did not just begin this past weekend.  There have been signs of trouble for quite a while now.

For example, posted below is a photo that one of my readers sent to me.  This is a photo of the Beverly Center Mall in Beverly Hills, California that was taken in the middle of the day on Tuesday, November 19th.  She said that there “wasn’t a soul in that mall and the employees were all standing, staring into space with nothing to do”…

Beverley Center Mall in Beverly Hills

So where are all of the shoppers?

Why aren’t people out buying stuff?

Sadly, this is just the continuation of a trend that has been developing for more than a decade.  The truth is that Americans are simply not spending money as rapidly as they used to.

Posted below is a chart that shows that the velocity of M2 in the United States is at an all-time low.  In other words, the rate at which money circulates through our economy is frighteningly low and it continues to drop…

Velocity Of Money

As you can see from the chart above, this decline in the velocity of money has been going on since the late 1990s.  This is a sign of a very unhealthy economy.

Most Americans know that the U.S. economy is very heavily dependent on consumer spending.  But consumers have to make money first in order to spend it.  And right now we have a major employment crisis in this country.

At this point, the labor force participation rate in the United States is at a 35 year low, and an all-time record 102 million working age Americans do not have a job.

Meanwhile, the quality of our jobs continues to decline as well.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the United States has fallen for five years in a row, and right now the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.

So should it really be such a surprise that consumers are totally tapped out?

The money simply is not there.

After accounting for inflation, 40 percent of all U.S. workers are currently making less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968.

A recent CNN article profiled one of these workers.  Carman Iverson is a 28-year-old mother of four that makes minimum wage at McDonald’s.  If it was not for government assistance, her and her four children would not be able to survive…

Iverson said she started working in 2012 at $7.25 an hour, and makes $7.35 an hour now after Missouri adjusted the minimum wage. She makes between $400 and $600 a month. Her rent is $650 a month.

When asked how she could pay her rent on those wages, she said she had a landlord who works with her. “I’m kind of on my last little leg, because I’ve been late on rent. I’m actually behind three months in rent.

“Sometimes I can pay it, sometimes I can’t. I get paid twice a month, and both checks go to rent and the rest of it goes to utilities to the point where I don’t have any money left to buy anything for my kids — to buy them clothes, shoes or anything they need.”

She said she manages to feed her four children on $543 worth of food stamps a month.

But instead of fixing things, Barack Obama continues to pursue policies that will kill millions more good jobs.  It is absolutely amazing that there are any Americans that still support this guy.  For a long list of statistics that show how badly the economy has tanked since Obama entered the White House, please see this article.

You know that things are bad when increasing the number of Americans on food stamps by 15 million is regarded as an “economic accomplishment”.  In fact, a message recently posted on the official White House website says that “SNAP is boosting the economy right now” and that high food stamp enrollment is creating lots of jobs…

“SNAP’s effect extends beyond the food on a family’s table–to the grocery stores, truck drivers, warehouses, processing plants and farmers that helped get it there.”

So why don’t we just enroll all Americans in every welfare program?

Wouldn’t that produce an extreme economic boom?

And actually under Obama we are already well on our way.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49.2 percent of all Americans are currently receiving benefits from at least one government program, and the federal government has spent an astounding 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs over the past five years.

Yes, there will always be poor people that cannot help themselves that will need our assistance.

But most Americans are capable of working if they could just find jobs.

Unfortunately, our jobs are being killed off and wages are going down.  The middle class is being systematically destroyed and U.S. consumer spending is drying up.

The horrible start to this holiday shopping season is just the beginning.

Things are going to get much worse than this.

  • Rodster

    No surprise as many of the analysts and trends “Celente” forecasters said this would be one of the worst holiday seasons for retail sales. They are proving to be spot.

    And not to beat the ‘proverbial dead horse’ but Obamacare is NOT helping the situation.

    • Tim

      Right on. Higher health insurance premiums and deductibles = less discretionary income.

    • Rodster

      Has anyone else noticed how early Holiday store sales started this year? It was much earlier than last year and the discounts have been larger as well. That’s because retailers saw the writing on the wall.

      • Tom

        We’ll see once a month “Black Fridays” at the rate we’re going. The American consumer is tapped out

        • XSANDIEGOCA

          Play taps for the American Consumer. Stick a fork in him!

      • Jodi

        Yes, I have noticed. Discounts started way before Black Friday.

        • Kim

          Have u noticed that things are evermore cheaply made? Nothing is built to last anymore. And these so-called discounts are built in and reflect the evermore cheap materials used to make them. Even the quality of food has gone downhill in some of my favorite local restaurants. To the point that my husband and I refer to it as “dog food”.

          • Mondobeyondo

            Correct – they are made cheaply so that when they break, you can go out and plop down more money to buy a new gizmo, which breaks and then you go out and plop down even more money to …. rinse and repeat.

      • laura m.

        I noticed sales/clearance back in Oct. Any thing we wanted then, we got marked way down. Many shop online w/free s&h and no sales tax and lower prices.

    • A D

      Obongocare is FREE for all, except for the 20% increase in living expenses…

    • PamelaHaley

      Oh no! My cat got into the fried chicken and she’s pooping all over the place. Thanks Obama!

  • LifeLongLearner71

    Thanks again Michael for your quick analysis of the Black Friday weekend. I figured it would be bad, but once again, I am surprised at how bad.

    I’m still waiting for the ultimate welfare program: print every household $1M and be done with it. In the end it would be cheaper than what’s going on today. And of course the system would still crash. Hooray for fiat.

  • robert burns

    Buy what? Another electronic gadget? A string of Xmas lights? What? We live in the land of crap. How much crap does anyone want? Are people finally getting the message that crap buying doesn’t equate to happiness? Are they saving money? Or, are they filling up their gas tanks with way over priced fuel? Are they worried about paying their heating bills?

    Personally, I think the difference between last years sales is this years shoplifting.

    • Nicnak

      X box one is not crap, OK? :-)

      • MeMadMax

        Ps4 is better.

        • RA

          Nuh uh!

          One is!

          ;)

        • Alasha

          really. this discussion is occuring on the theeconmiccollapse blog site? u got to luv it!!!

        • guest

          Its crap too

      • jimmy

        No, but in a year or two it will be.

      • nekksys

        No matter how much you polish a turd, it’s still a turd.

      • Alasha

        lol

      • A D

        Video games are for mindless minions.

      • PamelaHaley

        Please. Give me one solid argument on why I should throw out my old xbox and buy this pointless piece of crap?

  • Phinehas

    I think part of this was exasperated by some companies doing ‘black fried-day’ sales earlier than they ever have. Retailers know consumers are broke and are vying for every penny they can.

  • K

    There are several items that have contributed to this. 1. Obamacare it is turning out to be more expensive, than most thought. 2. Wages in general are in a downward trend. 3. Within the last thirty days, many have put out a grand or more on heating fuel. In todays economy that leaves most peoples pockets pretty empty.

    • DownWithLibs

      I’m guessing next year will be much worse. At this point, I’m just wondering when the stock market is going to take a fatal tumble!

      • XSANDIEGOCA

        A final desperate money print will be made by Yellen before we begin the hyper inflation death spiral. I advise everyone to buy a light weight wheel barrow to hold all your devalued dollars a la Weimar.

        • Nicnak

          Better to buy a coffin!

          • XSANDIEGOCA

            That to…

        • esqualido

          There won’t be cash to carry in your wheelbarrow, just inflation (at least the Germans in 1923 could burn their marks for fuel)

      • K

        While I do not know the date the market will crash. I am sure a timeframe has already been selected. One possible indicator that it is getting close. Most of the Feds I know, have retired to fairly remote locations.

        • Kim

          That fact is, it’s inevitable that it will crash. The whole thing. I live my life knowing that and it guides my everyday decision making.

  • Hammerstrike

    During the civil war in the former Russian Empire, a large part of the city populations moved to the countryside.

    A possible solution back then.

  • Daniel

    So what are some solutions? I’d be interested in hearing about what can be done to fix these problems instead of the doom and gloom of failed government and their policies.

    • Tim

      Not much. Barring a Deus ex machina, it’s all downhill from here.

    • davidmpark

      There’s plenty that can be done to fix this. Just, not many want to do the hard work and some folks really want a collapse.

      I’ve posted a lot of ideas already.

      Got any? Love to hear it!

    • Grandpa

      Start converting the US auto fleet to natural gas. Put construction workers back to work building natural gas filling stations and infrastructure. Put our scientists to work designing small thorium reactors to replace the coal/uranium based electrical generation system. Other countries would buy the small reactors if we got the design right. The US would then be energy independent.

      • SpunkyBunks

        Not going to happen. Why? Our tax structure. Middle class voters need to wake up and demand that the tax laws be changed.

        When I was completing my accounting degree, we actually spent time studying how to deduct expenses when shutting down a business within the USA and moving it overseas. Eliminate that deduction.

        We also need to pass tax credits to establish R&D centers in the USA instead of overseas in China/India. Back in the 90s, there were tons of entry level Fortune 500 engineering jobs in the US for its college graduates. Now all of those jobs have been sent overseas. Other than Silicon Valley, engineering work has dried up.

        • Gay Veteran

          R&D follows manufacturing. Yet again the corporations give us the shaft

      • Kim

        Nah, Massachusetts just banned fracking and Texas is next. Fracking doesn’t even have a decent return on investment. The depletion rate is astounding. Nope, that will not run a fleet of hundreds of millions of cars, and other transport vehicles. Well, maybe for a month or two.

    • Ralfine

      Rather study engineering and science or have an apprenticeship learning a proper craft when leaving school. We have too many accountants and lawyers.

      Invest more in infrastructure, buy less arms, bombs and ammo.

      Dump the “financial investments” like derivatives. Speculation is gambling. So it should be taxed like gambling.

      Investing in infrastructure creates jobs. Local jobs. And people will have less motivation for shoplifting and robbery.

      Do not overinvest in just one thing that is in fashion now. Get a balance.

      What’s the point having now five bakers but no butcher, and next year have 4 unemployed bakers but still no butcher. The year after 4 butchers and one bankrupt baker because his business diddn’t survive.

      etc.

      • SpunkyBunks

        I work in hi tech. There are no STEM jobs outside of Silicon Valley. Everything else has been transferred to India/China.

        I work for Intel. We recently hired a Chemistry PhD for an entry level engineering job. She stated that she couldn’t find any work at all and was lucky to find this job which only requires a BS degree.

        I work as a technician with an AAS degree (16+ years experience) and make more than her.

        • Ralfine

          Yes, your economy is run by accountants and lawyers.

          You can make more money with betting on the weather than by making things.

          Because the only guys that still have some money are fellow betters.

          If you want to change this, you need to bypass the establishment. Sort of like those in communist countries have done and as immigrants are doing, when the natives don’t want to integrate them.

      • Gay Veteran

        Re-regulate the banks.
        Destroy the Federal Reserve.
        Repeal all “fair trade” laws.

        • Ralfine

          What do you understand under “de-regulation”?

          • Gay Veteran

            deregulation (repeal of Glass-Stegall) led to the banksters nearly destroying our economy

    • 1johnconnor1

      First thing we need is a big govt reset. All the current doc parasites, and I do mean all of them, must be kicked out of office, if not tried for high crimes. Until we start at the top, with a clean slate, ain’t nutting gonna change the direction of this crazy train. In other words, our country as we know it is COOKED

  • James

    I am happy to just have my family all together at home, go to Christmas church services, and eat a good Christmas dinner. Presents aren’t necessary.

  • El mico

    The USA and really the rest of the western world has rolled a gigantic ball of crap to the top of a hill, the harder they push the bigger it gets. It only takes one little slip and that ball of crap has nowhere else to go but crashing down on all of us at the bottom.
    Well done!

    • XSANDIEGOCA

      This was all by design…

  • Saintmatty

    I think the healthcare act is going to cause many families to go bankrupt. I know that I cannot afford 1200.00 a month for a decent policy. Nor can I afford 450.00 a month and pay 6500.00 before I can use the benefits. I’m very concerned about this and I’m thinking that actions are going to be taken when people start to suffer directly from these new policies.

    • JJ

      It’s simple if you like Obamcare vote Democrat-on the otherhand if you don’t vote REPUBLICAN on every governmental level (at least we have a ~few~ fighters)~!

    • XSANDIEGOCA

      Bingo

    • ScaredEconomist

      The whole healthcare system is being set up so insurance doesn’t have to pay for the health-maintenance of the chronicly ill……
      EX. Someone with diabetes still has to pay hundreds per month for medication and testing equiptment until they get to that magical deductable limit.
      But this has been extensively researched and insurers know what the average costs are for such chronicly ill people and the deductables just happen to be that high for each year.

      • Kim

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- time to take your health into your own hands. Sometimes diabetes can be reversed with healthy eating (no meat, dairy) and exercise. Some cancers can be stopped by activating apoptosis using diet and exercise. It’s worth a try when there is no other alternative.

        • Ascetik

          Yep! Healthy eating and healthy habits. Proper nutrition and fat. All 90 essential vitamins and minerals and fats and you’ll have no health problems whatsoever. ;)

          • Kim

            That’s a little extreme. Plus it doesn’t account for injuries. As someone who went without health insurance for years, I do take good eating and healthy lifestyle habits seriously. It’s been proven and lifestyle does contribute to many health problems.

          • Ascetik

            Well obviously having good nutrition isn’t going to prevent you from breaking your leg. Check out Dr. Joel Wallach. I haven’t had health insurance for 10 years, no issues here. If I get a broken arm, oh well, I’ll just go to a cheap doctor.

          • Kim

            I will. I highly recommend MindBodyGreen.com — some very useful tips! And remember the real Hippocratic oath is: Nature itself is the best physician!

            :-)))

          • PamelaHaley

            Think of all the $ you’ve saved in that time.

        • k

          Pre- diabetes can be reversed, not diabetes. And sugar in diet should be avoided too for that.

          • Kim

            Not true. Type two diabetes can most definitely be reversed. Read the Campbell China Study. My own brother in law reverse type two diabets.

        • PamelaHaley

          Also, it can be cheaper to pay out of pocket without insurance. Anybody ever think of that? Me… I’ll take the $400 penalty since It’s cheaper than health insurance for a year. Do you have any Idea how much doctor’s cost without insurance? Hint: A regular annual physical exam without insurance costs about the same as 1 month’s premium… assuming you are healthy and seeing a general practitioner.

      • nekksys

        I have diabetes and I don’t spend anything over $40-60 a month. Of course, I use natural treatment such as a low-carb diet, exercise, vitamin supplements, etc… The only real “medical” expense I have is my test strips which run me about $50/month.

        Either way, Obamacare is a friggin’ DISASTER…

  • Wally

    As a family we discussed that no presents are necessary. My wife is from Mexico. She grew up with nothing and materialism is never an issue. Family is what is important to her. My parents didn’t have much money so materialism is not an issue with me either. I get joy in giving what I can to people I know that have very little. We have adopted a couple Mexican families that we take care of. Things are getting scary here we are thinking that getting out of the US may be the best move.

    • Ralfine

      With my parents getting older, I do not wait for special occasions to give to them. I give a present whenever I see them.

      Usually it is a book for my mom. Now that she can’t read as well as before, it is an audiobook.

      And I don’t need gifts. I am happy with the presence of friends and family. Went to a nice concert in the cathedral with a close friend a few weeks back.
      And played games with my nephew and niece.

      What else do you need to be happy?

    • XSANDIEGOCA

      Back to the Basics and it can not come too soon.

    • Nicnak

      I moved out of Europe(eu or usa=same s… t) in 2008 and never came back.

      would you stay on a sinking boat?

      • Wally

        Where did you move to?

  • pryman

    Well, if America is going to continue to bite her nose with racism to spite her face, then they can’t complain. Plain and simple.

    • MiniBooger

      There aren’t as many racists in America as Oprah would like for you to believe.

  • erheault

    Gee I feel so sorry for all of those Chinese workers that have been dumping cheap Plastic crap with poison paints on Uncle Stupid for all of these years. Perhaps A Few Americans will wise up and quit sleeping in front of the Stores to buy this crap and return it to a family celebration instead of a buying frenzy.

  • A D

    60%+ on public handouts, 40% or so working. Does not take long for the system to implode.

    • Kim

      Amazon, the largest cyber retailer, wants to employ drones to deliver packages in the next four years or so. So add another few percentage points to those receiving govt hand outs and take some more away from the working percentage.

      • DiscouragedOne

        Drones…may be target practice for some.

        • Kim

          Hahah, I wouldn’t mind me a drone of my own to dismantle when I’m bored!

          • nekksys

            I can has DRONE???

  • A D

    Mr Oboma spreading the wealth is equal MISERY for all, just like Communism.

  • Sev

    I am proud to admit I did not buy one thing all weekend. Not even petrol or groceries. I am absolutely boycotting the seasonal madness. I could actually afford to Christmas shop on a very small budget, but I choose not to because the gross commercialization of Christmas and Thanksgiving really chaps my hide.

    • jaxon64

      Well you beat me. I filled up my gas tank on the way home from church on Sunday so to make Monday morning smoother for my drive to work–and I splurged on a pizza for Sunday evening dinner ( everyone is tired of turkey leftovers after 4 days.)

    • Goldfinger

      I purchased a new radiator on Cyber Monday for my 13 year old mini-van. It’s paid for and still runs good.

    • Ciera

      Keep on mind however that many of us work these retail jobs and actually maintaining employment is dependent on the shopping people do the last three months of the year. It’s how we are able to keep our stores open and our employees employed. I get where you’re coming from but people refusing to spend money is affecting the welfare of these stores.

      • PamelaHaley

        Screw corporate welfare. Get a better job somewhere that doesn’t abuse you 3-12 months a year.

  • Nicnak

    now that you have to pay for Obama care, what will you give up? (Lavoisier law, have you heard about it?)

    1.car, fuel and insurance
    2.food
    3.housing
    4.gun, TV and computer gadgets

    now answer…

    • Ralfine

      Never owned a car in my life.

      Neither a gun.

      Put all the savings into the house and garden, now paying very little for heating.

      Trees are growing, giving fruits and shade, pulling their water from deep in the ground.

      Which leaves food.

      And computers. But they are 5 years old and still doing their job.

      • Gay Veteran

        if you don’t have a gun then you WILL be a victim when the SHTF

        • Ralfine

          Yes, in America. But I live in Europe. The economy in Germany is doing just fine.

          And according to the news, the factories in England are producing more than in the last 20 years.

      • DiscouragedOne

        You are going to have to at least upgrade and replace some things, you are nearing end of life for things like hard drive, motherboard, video card.

        • Ralfine

          Oh, my desktop is now about 10 years old. But I don’t use it because of the bulk. Going to sell the parts, donate them to charity or dump them to make space.

          • DiscouragedOne

            I just built a new desktop, not intentionally, but by the time I was done replacing things there was nothing left of the old one but one of the dvd drives and the hard drive (that I replaced a year ago in the old one), even the case is new. My laptop is still doing great.

    • DiscouragedOne

      Computer stuff can be upgraded, no need to buy brand new crap.

  • Rene Girrard

    Our politicians shipping millions of middle class jobs to China & Mexico to enrich themselves and their CEO campaign contributors is the hardest part to take IMHO. You take Christianity out of capitalism and the greed at the top takes over. I don’t think there is any going back now, but I hope I’m wrong. The question is what will we become?

    • Nicnak

      do like many…. pack and move to Asia.
      You will become 15 times richer after landing and plenty of jobs for people speaking English…

      no one forces you to say in your banana Republic….

  • liu

    I just about to take a picture of the shopping mall at pembroke pines fl this past days . even the big discounts people are not spending money , this come to my attention. also I have seen entire families at the street asking for money to eat. is there a massive lay off going on?

    • DJDOG

      Had to help our daughter this past weekend and the Costco is on the way home so my bride asked me to treat her to lunch.. at Costco. cost me $3.38 for two of hotdogs and a refillable drink. It is not that we couldn’t go somewhere else for a nicer lunch but we both refuse to flush $25 on a couple hamburgers and fries… just are not doing that any more. As for the whole Christmas shopping thing, yeah, i’ll shop… for wood to make presents for the grandkids and some White Mountain Cedar Closet Crosses for the adults. (We have a place in the White Mountains of AZ and I cut wood all the time up there which brings me in a good supply of cedar…) anyway, that’s Christmas from the Folks to the Family…

      • DJDOG

        Forgot to add while we were having lunch I was checking out the carts to see what folks were buying. I used to work at this Costco so I know what a typical Saturday is like but I assure you out of 25 carts MAYBE 1 was full to the gunnels…. Most were of necessities and that’s it…

        • A Maven

          Was in Mickeyland, Orlando Fl. for those of you out of town.
          Place was a zoo. Pissing away their $$ on fairy tales.
          So sad Everyone there is in lala land. Greed.

      • Kim

        Gotta love that Costco special!!! Plus they give u free saurekraut! :-))))

        • Sandbagger

          I like their Chicken Caesar Salad. Way better than most restaurants give out.

  • SpunkyBunks

    I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of buying this worthless Chinese made junk. It all breaks or falls apart within 6 months. It’s just helping me realize, and maybe the rest of the population, that we really don’t need any of it.

    I spent my free time this weekend taking my dog out for hikes in the mountains and near the rivers. We both had a blast and got a good workout. As I drove home, I saw the mall parking lots. They were only half full, but I felt sorry for those people. They would rather spend their time looking for useless junk in a mall that they don’t need than being at home or outside with their families.

    Consumerism makes no sense. Get a life instead!

    • A D

      Wall-CHINA-Mart can’t get enough idiots to buy the garbage. I would say 60% of the Wall-Mart income is from TAX payers…

      • Alasha

        I cant seem to post a comment – just replies, Michael… lol grumble, grumble…

        “SNAP’s effect extends beyond the food on a family’s table–to the grocery stores, truck drivers, warehouses, processing plants and farmers that helped get it there.”

        So why don’t we just enroll all Americans in every welfare program?

        Wouldn’t that produce an extreme economic boom?

        hello theeconomiccollapseblog family. miss u. i have a 60k job and would take foodstamps in a heartbeat. food prices are skyrocketing!

        • PamelaHaley

          You have a $60k job and aren’t comfortable buying your own food? Budget much? I make 2/3s what you do and it’s more than enough.

          • Alasha

            not sure where you live …here…the cost of living is High… Oh well, Godspeed! Galatians 6:4

          • PamelaHaley

            I figured state programs account for that. I live in Atlanta. It’s no SanFrancisco.

    • laura m.

      Spunky: Many retirees on fixed inc. with gran kids are buying only one gift for each . Adult children get gift cards for dining out or cash. I stay away from the craziness of crowded malls. Some give homemade cakes, etc. or don’t gift at all.

  • sonofseawolf

    Hi micheal and ec bloggers,
    If im expected to spend $400 theyre going to have to import about 25 new consumers.
    What i did spend $700 new truck insurance for 6 months
    $500 new truck payment.
    $200 4 my share rent.
    Next month truck registration $350
    Than taxes which w/the end of my itemized deduction jumped $1300 last year.
    I bought a umbrella at target tonight $15.
    I did give some cash gifts. Easier.
    Happy holidays white humans and protect yourself at all times 14/5

  • DJDOG

    Well, I for one head of the household for going on 43 years can tell you that your assessment of the situation of the middle class is spot on. Worked as a professional for 30+ years, retired 8 years ago with a very healthy nest egg as far as a monthly income and now it is so tight that if things keep going (and I cannot see any light in this tunnel but a frickin freight train) then in another year (if we have that long) i’ll be forced to stand on the side of the freeways with a cardboard sign begging for food… I shi* you not. This is the end and when it finally blows up for the paper hangers then the nightmare unfolds all around us and I mean all around us…. Lord how could people be so ignorant and insist on staying that way???? go figure that one out and you get the next nobel prize…..

    • Gay Veteran

      you can thank the Federal Reserve’s zero interest rates (that benefit the banksters)

      • RA

        Don’t forget the stock market is at an all time high. Thanks to Obama and his QE crap. Its all smoke and mirrors folks. Printing unlimited dollars and pouring it into the market will of course inflate it. There is no where else to go other than Gold and they are artificially deflating that market on purpose. We are in the death throws here in America. Sadly I think its only a matter of time before the house of cards comes crashing down.

    • RA

      Man that just sucks. You work all your life to enjoy retirement. Now we really have nothing to look foreward to anymore except a dirt nap. Maybe then we will get some peace

  • Ralfine

    When you are unemployed you have more time on your hand to walk around and search for the cheapest offer.

    And you won’t be needing to go shopping at thanksgiving, when the prices are hiked.

  • Karel Kok

    It turns my stomach seeing people work on Thanksgiving day. I refuse to shop at any store that’s open on Thanksgiving. It’s a shame, I really like Walmart’s low prices. Soon stores will be open on Christmas day. I love America, but sometimes this place just makes me sick.

    • RA

      If you love America then please stop shopping at Wall Mart.

  • Matt

    In 2008 America joined Japan sitting on the edge of a cliff. America is joined by the EU, and soon to be joined by China. All of us sitting on the edge of a cliff waiting to be pushed over.

    • jonno

      You’re right Matt, and notice it’s the overpopulated nations which are suffering the most. With Australia’s population just 21 million and having the largest in ground mineral worth in the world things here are getting better every day. I’m in construction and the work is pouring in . Everyone seems to have more than enough money. Sure, some people will always be poor and here they are looked after by a benevolent welfare system. Australia is the wealthiest country in the world with only Scandinavia close to our quality of life. Good luck to you all and I hope you get out of the mess that the Bushes put you in.

      • Jim

        Matt, Not quiet sure what planet you are on but the Australian economy is going down the same way as the USA, Jobs and more Jobs are being lost, food prices UP UP and more people are on Handouts. I think you need to take a close LOOK Mr

  • Harold

    If you figure in inflation, if we don’t spend 10% MORE than last year, we don’t even “break even”. (Unless you want to claim that this year everything is marked down 10% more than last year).

  • Orange Jean

    I am not Christian, so I don’t get into the religious aspects but I still hate the materialism and hype surrounding Christmas shopping in this country.

    I think my mom did our family a big favor back when my son turned 18 and she announced no more family Christmas presents now that the last of the kids was grown (I had the only grandchild). We tend to save the money otherwise spent to do family visits, but for me I do it other times of the year to avoid crazy travel crowds and bad weather. I don’t live anywhere near family so it can get lonely, but I’ll get over it! It helps my dad was a firefighter, so I grew up celebrating “holidays” on other days… since he almost always had to work Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    I avoid the malls like the plague from about the weekend before Thanksgiving through end of January. Don’t do Christmas presents except for a gift card (small amount) each for my step-grandgirl and teenage son of close friends. I do buy groceries and gas though.

    • Sandbagger

      Our family is similar in how we approach gift-giving. We only buy for the kids.
      At Christmas, everyone instead brings a wrapped gift of something they already own (under $5 value) and we put numbers on all the gifts and then draw numbers out of a hat. When everyone gets a gift, and opens them, we swap around until nearly everyone gets something useful to them.
      One year I wrapped a postage stamp!
      We all laugh at some of the “gifts”. A walnut; a button; etc.

  • XSANDIEGOCA

    Michael, Obama Care is beginning to “bite”. I’ll throw out figures say OC is going to cost the average middle class family 600-700 a month in additional costs. The magnitude of this horror is beginning to impress itself on the Middle Class and they are pulling back Big Time. Frankly, OC will not leave much for Xmas gifting. Can you say “take the oxygen out of the room”?

    • ian

      hmmm…..it is costing me nothing. I am low income so i get coverage for 15 dollars a month. I’ll take this system over the last one any day.

      • XSANDIEGOCA

        For you, no problem, but Middle Class and above have a problem.

        • MiniBooger

          BIG problem.

        • ian

          oh well…we are supposedly a christian nation and supposed to be helping out the poor according to christian values, not helping those who are wealthy and have had it all for the longest time. Jesus wont weep for the wealthy and middle class. he has a heart for the poor, so hence, we should become like Christ.

          • XSANDIEGOCA

            Ian, we could have helped the poor by opening up Medicare and Medicaid. This could have been done overnight. Was it really necessary to upend the entire health care delivery system to achieve that? The government will soon control your medical care from soup to nuts. Are you comfortable with that? Not me.

          • Autobot Grimlock

            Umm, that sounds like an excuse not to help yourself….and not in the sense of being selfish. I came from rather modest means, put myself through college, and establish a good career. As a Christian, we help others in the name of Christ Jesus and out of our own volition. The government has absolutely no business forcing those of us that have worked hard to pay for everybody else.

  • Colin

    Why do we place the full burden of this job crisis on the President? What about Congress? We have the least productive Congress in American history. Next year, the House will be working 113 days. What about the corporations? At orientation meetings for new associates at Walmart, they are instructed on how to apply for government assistance. The combined total worth of the Walton family is $150 billion. Stop treating the President as if he is the only one with the power to change things. He has to work with Congress and the corporations on policies. If one or both are unwilling to work with him, he is limited to the powers enumerated in the Constitution and to Executive Orders.

    I am angry and frustrated at the job crisis. I don’t see it getting better; I see it getting worse. There is now talk of a transition from retail jobs to care jobs. A care job is where you take care of someone, like a hospital worker or a hotel worker. Many of these jobs don’t pay better than a retail job.

    Some of the wealthy are idiots. There is a guy in North Carolina who threw his money around and got his benefactors elected. Those benefactors enacted laws that hurt the poor by cutting economic assistance to them. These same poor shop at this guy’s stores (he owns several chains), so his stores are seeing less customers.

    • C.L. Strasburg

      Obama knows no limits on his powers. He pretends, he complains to handpicked audiences of fools that he is limited, but he circumvents Congress at every turn, rewrites laws all by himself and says NO to everything that would get America’s economic engine started. Retail jobs, fast food jobs are NOT a destination. You may whine about fat cats all day, all night .. but that gets you nothing more than a dribble bib.

      • Colin

        I don’t need a President to tell me what his powers are. I can read the Constitution for myself, thank you. I can read about the history of this country and learn what a President can and can’t do.

        It’s hard to find a source that is not motivated by conservative dogma that explains what President Obama did with the ACA. Frankly, the amount of animosity directed toward this President extends past the office and goes after the man himself. So, it’s hard for someone like myself who looks for facts to seperate the chaff from the wheat, so to speak.

        As for driving the economic engine, President Obama has proposed programs that would address the job crisis. However, these are proposals only, as it is the Congress that writes the laws and allocates where money where go in a budget. The President has the ability to approve or veto a budget. The current Speaker of the House has stated in an interview that the measure of his job is not in how many laws they pass, but in how many they repeal. (And there was the stimulus package, which was smaller than many economists thought was necessary to restart the economy and faced stiff opposition from the right wing. This package expired this year.)

        • C.L. Strasburg

          Obama has proposed MORE SPENDING. Are you familiar with the definition of insanity? The STIMULUS PACKAGE WASN’T BIG ENOUGH? Have you paid the least little bit of attention to WHERE THAT MONEY WENT? It was supposed to be about JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! that were SHOVEL READY. You’re still “FIRED UP, READY TO GO!” …. “FORWARD” .. and having to make lame excuses for the worst President ever. Sad.

          • Colin

            I am not making excuses for this President. I am describing what has been happening on the political stage. The Republican Party came together to defeat this President’s agenda even before he was in office. They attempted to make him a one-term president. When that failed, they attempted to delegimatize this President.

            There have been presidents who were worse than President Obama. In one decade, the 1850s, there were two presidents rated as among the worse: Fillmore and Buchanan.

          • C.L. Strasburg

            So from your perspective, the right is picking on Obama for no good reason. Awww …. Shame on those who can’t see their way past his radical beliefs and actions to excuse him for tearing the guts out of the country he swore an oath to protect.

            You feel that people on the right who tried to educate others about Obama’s true agenda – based on his past performance – before they walked into a voting booth – is wrong? Were they lying about him when they copy/pasted his voting record for all to see? And now that he is Activist-In-Chief, he’s sacrosanct .. because? Because he’s black?

            He is the worst president ever. Obama thinks the job is beneath him. Apparently, you agree.

          • Gay Veteran

            oh I don’t know, I think the race between Obama and Bush the Stoopid for worst president is still pretty close

    • Joe Shmo

      I think it IS the president mostly. Consider this: he appoints people to run agencies such as EPA. Then, through regulation, they go as far as actually shutting down businesses due to costs that are unmanageable. It’s despicable.

  • grumpyhillbilly

    The silver lining in all this is people aren’t spending with money they don’t have. Its like the little people are awakening to the reality despite being bombarded with BS. That has to be a positive. Now lets hope they soon realize that government and the Fed is making them poor.

  • Kim

    In the words of one of my favorite authors, Richard Heinberg, “the party’s over”.

    Time to get serious about life.

    • Jodi

      Absolutely.

  • Jodi

    My son was sick on Black Friday & I had to go to Target to get some medicine after his doctor appt, I was amazed that a lot of the items in the Black Friday ad were still available. In the past, most of those items are gone in only a few minutes but this year they still had plenty to go around & it was already Noon. Just another sign times are tough & the economy is slowing down.

    I do want to point out that last year after Christmas, stores had racks of cloths & shelves full of left over items from Christmas for almost 70% off. I’m sure that the same will happen this year.

    • Kim

      Yeah,, there are some good deals after Christmas – but I wonder what the retail picture will look like in, say, late January, February. Pretty bleak I’d say. I hope ur son feels better.

  • Cooter Bug

    Hi Mike again thank you for your informative column. As I read it I am watching a 2010 movie entitled Detroitopia. This movie exemplifies our basic problem i.e. comomically and financially unsophistocated citizens that should be no excuse for being and continuing to be blindly unrealistic, but obviously this 2010 pre Detriot Bankruptcy movie exemplifies the new American standard of “normal” to which you allude.

  • Paul

    My advice to everyone is to boycott wal-mart, hold onto your wallet and stay home. Buy the bare necessitates. I’m a very practical and logical person, with that said, I also suggest placing as many good rations, medical supplies, water and candles in your home that you can afford. Why? Someone commented that the reason these retailers began discounting so early was because they read the writing on the wall. Just the man who writes these articles, we are all seeing the writing on the wall. And let me point out the most important factor here: The GOD of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, I firmly believe, is judging this corrupt country. Joesph had seven year of good to prepare for the seven years of plague–our time to prepare has almost come to an end. All you have to do is open your Bible and then look at the state mankind and this world has fallen into. Someone said it right when they wrote that if you think people fighting over stupid deals on a pathetic black Friday is bad, wait until the food runs out. Where will you be?

    • Gay Veteran

      let’s take the money we send to Israel and help AMERICANS

      • MiniBooger

        Better yet, let’s take the money we sent to Syria and help Americans. At least Israel is an ally.

        • Boo-urns

          A so-called “ally” to whom we send BILLIONS of dollars and untold amounts of weapons and equipment… and in return, we get dragged into the quagmire of the middle east and receive absolutely nothing positive for our support.

          Screw the entire region, including Israel. We need to keep that money HERE.

          • MiniBooger

            Our world is no longer too huge to ignore what’s going on over there. We need an ally in that region and Israel has been a loyal ally. I’d rather give them billions in dollars and weapons instead of dumping it into ObamaScare. We can’t leave the region – that would not be wise. We need to think beyond the here and now. We’re still the big boys on the block (for now) and what we do still has an effect on the rest of the world. The day we abandon Israel is the day all hell breaks loose. And if you think for one minute that you would be safe because you’re across the ocean, think again.

          • Gay Veteran

            We have increasing misery in this country. NO MORE foreign aid

        • Gay Veteran

          guess you forgot about the USS Liberty

          • MiniBooger

            No, I have not. But the reality is that if we turn our back on Israel, it will get real ugly for us. To deny that is to plow your head into the sand.

          • Gay Veteran

            and how exactly will it get ugly for us?
            If the Israeli government wants to continue stealing Palestinian land then they can do it without our money and weapons.

          • MiniBooger

            The only thing that is stopping that area from nuking itself into oblivion is that Israel still has Western allies. Once those allies are gone, it will be a free-for-all and they’ll unleash the weapons that they have worked so hard to develop. Now since we are considered infidels, and they’ve already demonstrated their hatred for us, do you honestly believe that it won’t spill over here?

          • Gay Veteran

            oh, I guess they’ll use their aircraft carrier Saddam Hussein to attack us

          • MiniBooger

            They’re already in the country. I’m bored now. You have the last word.

  • Kim

    I went into a bargain store (Nordstrom Rck) out here in Oregon on Saturday to make a return and I noticed they had hired extra employees to help corral people in line, but there was no line. Or should I say, no people in line. The employees hired to do the corralling had nothing to do, it was sad and embarrassing. I walked up to the cashier to make my return, and I asked her where all the people were. She told me to whisper when saying that, as if I were jinxing the sales day. They even cordoned off a section of parking lot for employees, yet the main area of parking lot for “customers only” was empty so it wouldn’t have mattered much. All that preparation and anticipation, for what

    I hate malls to, but I still have to dress myself. Lately, I’ve found some good deals at Value Village and Red Light, both used clothing stores. I don’t mind that at all.

    • Abel

      What a bummer, I’m glad though I spent my Thanksgiving with my family and friends. That’s all I need.

  • Citizen X19

    About 1/3 of the floor space in Dollar General and Family Dollar stores is now food. People are buying more necessities and less Chinese junk.

    • DiscouragedOne

      Unless the food at the dollar store has improved in the past couple of years, couldn’t pay me to eat that stuff.

      • Joe V

        If you get hungry enough you will eat anything. In Russia during WW2 they were peeling wallpaper off the walls to eat the paste. The horse, dog and cat populations were falling as well.

        • DiscouragedOne

          Since I am about as far as I can possibly be from starving to death, I am really not worried about it. I do have food stored, but it is not that crap. I am also a good hunter and a good shot as is my husband, guarantee you we will survive. I find no need to stock up at the dollar store, and unless something drastically changes, it is not happening.

      • worried

        If u have issues about the quality of food you better stock up on your special brands. Some time in this world we live on is going to find no food in your special food store.. Then I bet whatever you find you’ll eat. Cause you r starving. You Bess get with reality, the world as you know it will change. And guess who won’t be there to help you? Your govt.

        • DiscouragedOne

          What is your issue? You don’t like that I don’t like dollar store food? Too bad…you eat it if you like it so much.

  • Ascetik

    That is why I buy everything online, it’s cheaper, usually free shipping, you get the same return policies most of the time and you don’t even have to leave your house and spend money or waste gas. With gas prices on average above 3$ a gallon, I cannot justify driving 10 miles to the mall to look at a bunch of over-priced trash I don’t want. The only time I shop retail is usually when I go to Costco to get groceries.

    Here is another example, went shopping for my fiance’s wedding band at Jared Jewelers, a 6mm 14k comfort fit yellow gold band, they were asking 799$ for it at the store. I found one online for 275$ with engraving! Retail can suck it.

    • DiscouragedOne

      Although I agree, remember part of the overhead brick and mortar has is employee expenses, online stores don’t need as much staff.

  • MIDWEST

    OK. I’ve said it before and I don’t mean to belittle anyone but regarding your reference to Carmen Iverson as an example here’s an idea; STOP HAVING KIDS! Yes I agree that no one can survive on a McDonald’s wage but come on people, atleast make some sort of effort on your own. Why are you having FOUR kids if you can’t even feed yourself? You can’t survive yourself yet you can procreate and inflict harm on others. Yes, that’s right, YOU are creating a destructive situation for your children. Why aren’t YOU held at least partially responsible???

    • Ascetik

      I know a family who has 8 kids and the dad makes 50k a year and his wife stays at home, they’re doing great. It’s all about being frugal. Children are a blessing not a curse you fool.

      • Boo-urns

        What’s wrong with contraception?

      • JoeD

        Do they routinely dine on cat food?

    • quercus454

      I think that there are a lot of stereotypes going around. First off the average American family has just over 2-3 children. Secondly many of those people who are now on assistance or working at low income wages (Wal-Mart, fast food etc) were once working in other better paying occupations. They wouldn’t have had that 3rd or 4th child if they hadn’t been able to afford it.

      If you worked in construction or manufacturing, the chance of you getting another job in the same industry is slim. It is either work at what ever job you can find or go on total welfare. Now if you have a family, how are you going to make ends meet?

      Of course the family with3-4 kids isn’t what the media likes to report about. It is usually the single welfare mom with 8-15 kids.

      • Joe V

        Excellent reply and very insightful. I agree completely.

        Unfortunately, been there, done that.

        And I hate it when people point and say, “It’s your fault, you lived beyond your means.” Yeah, well I wasn’t living beyond my means until the bottom dropped out. And who caused the bottom to drop out?

  • Mondobeyondo

    (in faux Gomer Pyle voice)
    “Weeelllll – gooooolllll-leeeeeee!”
    Just when you thought Black Friday was going to save the American retail economy. One thing the head honchos in their ivory towers don’t seem to get is – the American consumer is tapped out. Maxed. Mortgaged to the hilt. We are broke, but to paraphrase the infamous words of Will Rogers, “driving to the poor house in a Rolls-Royce”.
    We can’t pay for this madness much longer.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Gotta love that economic velocity chart. Actually, that chart looks scary. That does not look like a recovering economy. It looks more like a whale turned belly-up in the ocean.

  • Sandbagger

    Chart after chart that Michael brings up in his articles show the year 2000 as a pivital point. So many bad things have occurred since then.

    I wonder why?

    As an aside thought, has anyone wondered why Agenda 21 is called that and not Agenda 22, or whatever?

    Perhaps the year 2021 is going to be an doozie?

    • guest

      It’s called Agenda 21 because it’s the agenda for the 21st century.

  • Frank Bell

    Why has the Gold price been falling for 3 years?

    That behaviour contradicts the assumption that there is a huge crisis!

    It REALLY confuses me.

    • goldminer

      Frank.
      I have posted this before. But The price of Pms are falling because the FED and Central banks are beating up on it. They are forcing the price down to make the worthless dollar look good.
      They are not selling phsyical gold. They are selling ETFs and other paper gold to bring the price down. They bought paper gold when prices were cheap. They are selling now and flooding the market with cheap ETFs to take profits and manipulate the price of gold to bring it down.
      Meanwhile they are buying real gold and pileing it up as fast as they can. The demand for physical gold has never been higher. Try buying real gold it will cost you 80-100 dollars over spot price and take weeks to get delivered.
      The central banks know what is coming down the pipes. They are getting ready for it.
      Do not! Asume, because the price of gold is low things are ok. Gold is one of the most manipulated commodities on the market. get yours now while it is cheap.
      Paper will soon be worthless. It is an illusion

      • Joe V

        @ goldminer – What are Pms and ETF’s? When using less well known acronyms please give the full name that the acronym was derived from at the beginning of the post. It’s an interesting post and an important explanation but somewhat hard to understand due to the non- descriptive acronyms. Thanks.

  • Tatiana Covington

    I’ve often wondered how all these sales and bargains can possibly be sustained. Why? Isn’t everyone fed to the teeth on HDTVs, jewelry, sweaters, sports gear, cars, tablets, etc. etc.etc. by now?

    Saturated and then some! That’s the reason why…. everyone has all that stuff by now (apart from technical advances, such as the shift from BW to color and then to HD.)

  • FortuneSeek3rz

    People have more revolving bills then they used to have. Now everyone has a cell phone plan, many have a gym membership, a Netflix account, a broadband internet connection, and an increased frequency of eating out. There has to be some cut backs somewhere and it’s not surprising that it’s hitting retail outlets.

  • freethedacks

    The entire “holiday season” is a scam, a mind game that seduces the masses into hyper spending so that corporate profits expand and the pillage can continue. Christmas gifts used to be home crafted. People were producers. Now it’s all consume, consume, consume, and buy things you don’t need to impress people you don’t know

  • Joe V

    My father grew up in the 1930’s. He always used to talk about “the depression”. One day I asked him, “Dad, you are always talking about the depression. So what exactly is a depression?” He replied simply, “There’s no money around.”

    • DiscouragedOne

      Yep, I heard lots of stories from my Mom about the Great Depression.

  • JailBanksters

    Do these corporations actually need customers to Increase profits for shareholders?
    You could have a corporation that makes absolutely nothing, it just needs a ticker and people will buy it if they knew they could sell it for more in the afternoon.
    Just like Bitcoin.

    Wall St has proven time and time again, they can create as much digital currency as they want and boost any stock price to what ever they want, thus increasing profits for shareholders.

  • jrex918

    capitalism is failing us everyone; it doesnt work anymore; as technology improves, more and more of our jobs will be replaced by machines and the human population wont have jobs anymore, thus they cant buy anymore, thus the end of capitalism; support the venus project everyone! the venus project can bring an end to poverty, hunger, and suffering!

  • Alasha

    “So why don’t we just enroll all Americans in every welfare program”

    hello theeconomiccollapseblog family. miss u!!

    i have a $60k job and would sign up for food stamps and welfare in a heart beat. lol. i could use the help! prices are skyrocketing! sigh.

    Heaven help us

  • robert rogers

    Live better, shop Walmart LMAO

    You wanted Socialism, you got it! Works great until you run out of other peoples money. Look at Detroit – city ran out of other peoples money. Detroit is the bellweather for the USA as a whole. Better get used to it!

    Shopping for XMass?

    Stuff made for Walmart is made more crappily, in order to save manufacturing costs. Many manufacturers run two lines: one line produces the items to good standards – made to last – and are shipped to quality stores. The other line is headed to Walmart – made with less attention to detail and liable to fall apart after a couple of uses.

    The public goes straight for the cheapass goods. LOL – AND get what they pay for!

    The American public is getting exactly what they are asking for:

    “Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual
    ignorance. No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have researched
    the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost
    money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the
    plain people.” – H.L. Mencken

    • DiscouragedOne

      To the good stores? I think the quality of electronics and appliances is pretty much the same across the board. There is nothing that lasts the way American made used to…nothing.

  • quercus454

    It’s not just shopping either. What you don’t see in the media is the connection between the loss of income and the tax base. As people loose their jobs, have hours cut or wages depressed, so goes down their earnings. Their income tax liability is reduced or eliminated. Because they have fewer dollars to spend so goes down sales tax revenues. The loss of those revenues leads to higher taxes.

    To add to the problem, those that lost their jobs or are working for min wage/part time then qualify for assistance. So not only do you have a loss of revenue, but the numbers for welfare assistance increase. Another reason for government to raise taxes.

    The loss of spending dollars then hurts the retailers which in turn lay off employees and the cycle starts again.

  • GregS

    Wait till next year, when Obamacare will leave people REALLY strapped!

  • 2Gary2

    no one has any money. All the wealth is horded and stolen by the rich. Tax the rich and spread the wealth and you will see full stores.

  • How Not To Play The Game

    They’re sucking the equity out of this nation, investing it anywhere but here. And, it aint coming back.

  • A D

    Look at the bright side we got OBONGOCARE!!!

  • JoeD

    Is it because no one has any money, or because retailers have nothing compelling to sell?

    No hot fashion trends this year, no must-have toys, everyone’s already got a flat screen TV. Only thing new is the Xbox and PS4 and those are only going to appeal to a limited market, especially when they’re asking full retail.

    Hate to break it to the retailers but people aren’t going to go out and spend money just because it’s December if there’s no good reason.

  • atwill

    If employers want to pay people below a fair living wage, the employer should have to pay a penalty equal to the amount of government assistance that the employee is eligible to receive. Don’t force taxpayers to foot the bill for McDonald’s and others inability or unwillingness to pay their help enought to live on, and Don’t blame the President for Republican supported low wages.

  • Richard T.

    $543 worth of food stamps can feed my whole family of 7 (5 children) with surplus. We only spend on average between $400 to $500. And we receive no food stamps help from the government.

    • Stephanie S

      Her oldest children probably eat at least one free meal per day at school. At McD’s does she get a free meal during her shift or a discount? I agree that with coupons and shopping at dollar stores $543 should be enough to feed her family. If she has childcare, she should look for a second job to bring in a little more. And yes, she needs legal help to make the father(s) pay child support. That is probably available for her as pro bono legal aid somewhere.

  • Stuey

    she has 4 children? i don’t have any because i can not afford them. And where is the father(or fathers) to her kids? They should be supporting the humans they made, not the taxpayers.

  • Alasha

    i thought i put this comment in but didnt see it.

    Hello theeconomiccollapseblog family. missed u.

    “”SNAP’s effect extends beyond the food on a family’s table–to the grocery stores, truck drivers, warehouses, processing plants and farmers that helped get it there.”

    So why don’t we just enroll all Americans in every welfare program?

    Wouldn’t that produce an extreme economic boom?”

    Where do I sign up? lol I make $60k a year and would take foodstamps in a heartbeart – prices are skyrocketing!

  • Alasha

    “SNAP’s effect extends beyond the food on a family’s table–to the grocery stores, truck drivers, warehouses, processing plants and farmers that helped get it there.”

    So why don’t we just enroll all Americans in every welfare program?

    Wouldn’t that produce an extreme economic boom?

  • Matt

    You know they (govt.) knew it was going to be bad when they had already prepared a staged event for the President of the US to be filmed shopping on Black Friday.

  • dd

    I am tired of buying super cheap crap at Home Depot packaged as Christmas deals, like flashlights, that have broken literally within minutes of turning them on.

  • TomThumb

    Michael, Do you think that this may just be the demise of the mall as more people refuse to take part in the madness, and move to purchasing their gifts from the online marketplace?

  • PamelaHaley

    The cat just pissed in my shoes. Thanks Obama. Regardless of how many people are not working; I’m glad people are not spending as much money like mindless sheep. Consider that in the past, people just spent money they didn’t have to begin with.

  • Arizona

    WHEN I was 16,a friend was running a little chrome shop in his garage,in central valley, california,THE STATE shut him down,the 15 kids who worked there were to young to be working they claimed,I made 20 bucks a week,part time,gasoline was .19 cents a gallon,THEN in 1993,a friend who made small applances,in sacramento,california,was shut down by the state,he had 175 employees,THEY told him they didn’t want that kind of business in california,SO HE MOVED TO NEVADA,and everyone lost their job,THIS has been happening nation wide,SO STARVE TO DEATH, ALL YOU GOOD LAW ABIDDING MORONS,its what you really wanted anyway..AND when your children realize how bad you screwed them,MAYBE they’ll cut your throat..AND YOU CAN GO TO HELL WHERE YOU BELONG……………………………

  • randy

    …and y’all think Romney would’ve done better?

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