We Are Suffering Through The Most Painful Economic Crisis Since The Great Depression Of The 1930s

I warned that an economic collapse was coming, and an economic collapse is exactly what we got.  2020 was a “personal financial disaster” for 55 percent of all Americans, approximately 12 million U.S. renters are “at least $5,850 behind in rent and utilities payments”, the Aspen Institute is projecting that up to 40 million people could be facing eviction when the rent and mortgage moratoriums finally end, and more than 70 million new claims for unemployment benefits have been filed since the COVID pandemic began.

Nobody can point to a time since the Great Depression of the 1930s when the U.S. economy was in worse shape than it is right now.

Unfortunately, there are no indications that this nightmare is going to end.  Last week, another 900,000 Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits

Another 900,000 people filed new unemployment claims last week, President Donald Trump’s last in office, a snapshot of the significant labor market challenges facing President Joe Biden.

An additional 423,000 people in 47 states filed new claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the program created to help gig and self-employed workers.

Prior to 2020, the all-time record for new unemployment claims in a single week was just 695,000, and that old record was set all the way back in 1982.

We shattered that old record early in 2020, but the bigger story is what has happened since we broke it.

At this point, the number of new claims for unemployment benefits has been above 695,000 for 44 weeks in a row.

That is starting to come close to a full year.

If that does not qualify as a “collapse”, then you are probably using a completely different definition of the word than I am using.

This unemployment crisis has hit low wage workers particularly hard.  At this point, even Fed officials are being forced to admit that the unemployment rate for low wage workers “is above 20%”.

Many of those low wage workers used to be employed in the restaurant industry, but the restaurant industry continues to be mired in the worst stretch that it has ever encountered

The number of “seated diners,” a daily measure with which OpenTable tracks walk-ins and diners with reservations, in the week through January 20 in the US was down on average by 57% from the same period last year.

The hospitality industry also typically employs large numbers of low wage workers, and we are being told that last year was the “worst year on record” for that industry…

According to STR, Inc, a hotel industry market data firm, 2020 was absolutely the worst year on record for hotels as industrywide profits fell to zero, as the virus pandemic and resulting government-enforced social distancing measures kept travelers at home.

STR’s latest report said the US hotel occupancy rate was 44% for the year, down from 66% in 2019. This was the lowest occupancy rate on record. In an earlier STR report, we noted weeks ago that the industry had one billion unsold room nights for the first time, surpassing the record of 786 million in 2009.

Countless numbers of small business owners have also been absolutely devastated by this economic downturn.

Each month, thousands of small businesses die a permanent death, and the outlook for the months ahead is not good at all.

The Epoch Times recently interviewed one small business owner in Minnesota who admitted that “the fallout by this time next year will be shocking”…

The ramifications of the forced shutdowns on thousands of small businesses in Minnesota is going to be huge, says Julie Schroeder, who owns two craft stores in the Minneapolis metro area.

“The fallout by this time next year will be shocking,” she told The Epoch Times on Dec. 30, 2020.

Meanwhile, north of the border small businesses are being destroyed at a staggering rate as well

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is warning that more than 220,000 businesses across the country are at risk of permanently closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CFIB, a lobby group that represents small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Canada, released a new report on Thursday that surveyed 4,129 members about business prospects through the pandemic. The survey found that 181,000 businesses – or one in six – are seriously contemplating permanently closing. That’s up from a similar survey conducted in July, which found that 158,000 businesses were at risk of closing.

In the end, if we can keep the amount of small businesses in the U.S. and Canada that go under to less than 20 percent that should be considered a major victory.

Because I have a feeling that the final number is going to be well above that threshold.

And the Biden administration does not seem too sympathetic to the needs of small businesses at this point.  For example, one new law that Biden is likely to sign would absolutely cripple small truckers

Trucking industry experts expect Joe Biden’s presidency to seriously jeopardize many small American trucking companies, and the prospects of truck drivers who work as independent contractors.

Biden is poised to sign a transportation law passed in the Democratic House and stalled in the then-Republican Senate in 2019. The Moving Forward Act had required commercial motor vehicles to maintain more than $2 million in insurance liability, more than doubling the existing $750,000.

Wouldn’t it be nice if our representatives in Washington were forced to take a basic course in economics before they were allowed to serve?

The blind are leading the blind, and the economic nightmare that we are currently experiencing is eventually going to get a whole lot worse.

But hopefully we can at least have a short period of time where things will plateau a bit before the next major trigger event happens.

So many people out there are really hurting right now, and it is not just financial pain that they are dealing with.

The past several months have been excruciatingly painful for tens of millions of Americans, and the truth is that there are countless people out there that are emotionally shattered at this moment.

If you are one of those people, just keep hanging in there.

It will take some time, but you will get through this and you will recover.

And I will continue to be here pumping out articles as I do my very best to try to help everyone make sense of a world that is going completely mad.

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

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

“655 people have $4 trillion in wealth. 200 million can’t cover a $1000 expense.”

The COVID pandemic has caused the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us to grow larger than it ever has been before.  Thanks to the hyperinflationary policies of the Federal Reserve and our politicians in Washington, stock prices have soared to unprecedented heights in recent months.  This pushed the wealth of the uber-rich to dizzying heights, but for the rest of the country 2020 was an unmitigated nightmare.  As I have discussed previously, one survey found that 2020 was a “personal financial disaster” for 55 percent of all Americans.  More than 110,000 restaurants shut down permanently last year, Americans filed more than 70 million claims for unemployment benefits, and tens of millions are potentially facing eviction in 2021.  But even though we are mired in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, those at the very top of the economic pyramid are laughing all the way to the bank.

Earlier today, I came across a tweet from Sven Heinrich that really struck an emotional chord with me…

655 people have $4 trillion in wealth.

200 million can’t cover a $1000 expense.

I certainly don’t have any problem with people gaining wealth by working extremely hard and making society a better place in the process.

But most of the people at the very top of the economic pyramid only increased their wealth in 2020 because the powers that be decided to open up the firehoses and rain obscene amounts of money on them.

That isn’t right.

As a result of the deeply flawed policies that were implemented because of the COVID pandemic, the gap between “gains in financial assets and the health of the economy” was the largest ever recorded last year…

But as stock market indexes staged a huge rebound from the lows seen in March when the pandemic first hit, the gap between the wealthy and the poor extended an already widening trend to historic proportions.

A report via BofA Global Research published on Friday notes that a measure of the differential between gains in financial assets and the health of the economy hit a record at 6.3X in 2020.

My regular readers are probably sick and tired of hearing me say that the stock market has become completely divorced from economic reality, and now we have a hard number which backs up what I have been saying all along.

As I write this article, the Dow is sitting just above 31,000, and that is utterly absurd.

If the Dow were to fall to 15,000 it would still be overvalued.

Meanwhile, a brand new survey has discovered that only 39 percent of all Americans “would be able to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense”

Just 39% of Americans would be able to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense, according to a new report from Bankrate.com.

That’s down from 2020, when 41% of people said they could cover a $1,000 cost with their savings.

If only 39 percent of Americans currently have enough money for such an unexpected expense, that means that 61 percent of Americans do not.

According to Google, the current population of the U.S. is 328 million, and 61 percent of 328 million is just over 200 million.

So that is where Sven Heinrich got that figure from.

200 million of us have so little money that we are just barely scraping by from month to month.

And according to one of Walmart’s top executives, many of their customers do not expect “any kind of speedy recovery”

Walmart Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside said Tuesday that many of its shoppers don’t expect the economy to quickly bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.

Almost half of customers surveyed in November told Walmart that they were worried about the current health of the economy, she said when speaking at the virtual National Retail Federation conference. She said 40% said they didn’t expect “any kind of speedy recovery.”

Unfortunately, those that are pessimistic about how the U.S. economy will perform in 2021 are right on target.

It is going to be a very painful year.

Of course it isn’t just consumers that are concerned about the year ahead.  Small business optimism is falling as well

A popular gauge of small-business confidence in the US sank to a seven-month low in December as stricter lockdown measures and climbing daily case counts cut into economic activity.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses’ index of small-business optimism fell 5.5 points last month to 95.9, according to a Tuesday release. The reading lands below the average index value since 1978 of 98 and marks the lowest level since May. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected the gauge to dip slightly to 100.2.

Americans generally tend to be quite optimistic about the future, but looking ahead there just aren’t any reasons to be optimistic about the U.S. economy in 2021.

The COVID pandemic continues to get even worse, new lockdowns have been instituted all over the country, our federal government is in a state of chaos, and there will inevitably be more rioting, looting and civil unrest in the months ahead.

Plus, there will undoubtedly be some additional unexpected surprises that most people are not anticipating.

Before I wrap up this article, there is just one more thing that I wanted to mention.  A programmer in San Francisco named Stefan Thomas is the proud owner of 7,002 Bitcoin, but he can’t access his fortune because he forgot the password, and he only has two more tries before he is locked out permanently…

Take Stefan Thomas, a programmer in San Francisco, who told The New York Times that he has 7,002 Bitcoin tucked away — currently worth about $236 million, nearly a quarter billion dollars — but that he has no idea how to access it and can only guess two more passwords before being locked out forever.

Even setting aside the long term prospects for crypto, the key message of these horror stories is that taking digital finances into your own hands is a huge risk if you can’t manage your passwords.

Can you imagine how you would feel if that happened to you?

Sadly, it could be argued that essentially the same thing is happening to the nation as a whole.

America has “forgotten the password” to what once made us so great, and we are running out of chances.

Let us hope that we wake up before it is too late, because time is not on our side at this point.

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

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

48% Of U.S. Small Businesses Fear That They May Be Forced To “Shut Down Permanently” Soon

What would the United States look like if we lost half of our small businesses?  The reason I ask that question is because approximately half of all small business owners in the entire country believe that they may soon be forced to close down for good.  Not even during the Great Depression of the 1930s did we see anything like this.  The big corporate giants with extremely deep pockets will be able to easily weather another round of lockdowns, but for countless small businesses this is literally a matter of life and death.  Every day we are seeing new restrictions being implemented somewhere in the nation, and the politicians that are doing this are killing the hopes and dreams of countless small business owners.  According to a recent Alignable survey, 48 percent of U.S. small business owners fear that they could be forced to “shut down permanently” in the very near future…

Based on this week’s Alignable Q4 Revenue Poll of 9,201 small business owners, 48% could shut down permanently before year’s end.

In fact, this number jumped from 42% just two months ago, demonstrating how several factors have converged to devastate small businesses: COVID resurgences, forced government reclosures, elevated customer fears, and a surge in online shopping at Amazon and other national ecommerce giants.

When a small business with only a few employees closes down forever, it never makes any national headlines.

But the truth is that small businesses are the heart and soul of our economy, and we are losing more of them with each passing day.

Here are some quotes from actual small business owners that took part in the Alignable survey…

  • COVID has raised its ugly head again. I’m a caterer and I’ve had no work in November and my clients are cancelling for Dec. This is so sad. I have worked so hard to build my business the last 14 years. My business has gone from half a million to not even 200,000. This is devastating for any business.”
  • “COVID closings are killing this country! My business is on hold — no art walks or gallery openings, and I can’t even open my studio. Everything’s online.”
  • “Because therapeutic massage is so ‘up close and personal,’ I have only come back to about 40% of my previous clientele. I am afraid that the governor will shut us down again, which will be the end of my business. I also believe the ‘ruling elite’ does not care about small businesses.”

How would you feel if you spent years putting everything you had into a small business in order to make it successful, only to have the politicians come along and completely destroy it?

And every time a small business has to let workers go, it just makes the unemployment crisis in this country even worse.

On Thursday, we learned that another 853,000 Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week

First-time claims for unemployment insurance totaled 853,000, an increase from the upwardly revised 716,000 total a week before, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting 730,000.

I have been warning that the new lockdowns would make the numbers worse, and that is precisely what is happening.

And one expert that was interviewed by CNBC says that this is just the beginning…

“It looks like the unemployment losses are starting to stack up for the economy. It’s not going to be a good month,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank. “You’re starting the first week of the month on a bad note, and it’s probably going to be all downhill from here. It feels like the lockdowns are intensifying. It’s closer to reality for those forecasts that look for the economy to go negative in the first quarter.”

It is also important to remember that there are many Americans that have been unemployed for so long that they are no longer eligible to receive benefits.

One of those long-term unemployed workers is 35-year-old Sarah Groome

For six months, she received unemployment benefits from the government – but those payments shrank as the programmes wound down this summer. Since October, she’s received nothing.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do financially,” she says. “I’m applying to jobs and I’ve probably applied to over 100 at this point and I’ve had one interview.”

“It’s scary,” she says. “I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

What do you say to someone in her position?

It’s heartbreaking to hear stories like that, and more people are being laid off with each passing day.

And as our new economic depression gets progressively deeper, an increasing number of Americans are becoming very desperate.

In fact, many have already become so desperate that they are turning to shoplifting

Shoplifting is up markedly since the pandemic began in the spring and at higher levels than in past economic downturns, according to interviews with more than a dozen retailers, security experts and police departments across the country. But what’s distinctive about this trend, experts say, is what’s being taken – more staples like bread, pasta and baby formula.

“We’re seeing an increase in low-impact crimes,” said Jeff Zisner, chief executive of workplace security firm Aegis. “It’s not a whole lot of people going in, grabbing TVs and running out the front door. It’s a very different kind of crime – it’s people stealing consumables and items associated with children and babies.”

Everywhere we look, our society is starting to break down all around us.  Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits more than 70 million times this year, the number of homeless in New York City has reached an all-time record high, and civil unrest continues to erupt all over America.

No matter what happens politically, conditions are going to continue to deteriorate as we head into 2021.

Of course the mainstream media is boldly proclaiming that the new vaccines will pull us out of this tailspin and that life in America will soon return to normal.

You can believe the mainstream media if you want, but in the end the “hope” that they are promising will turn out to be a complete mirage.

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

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

Bracing For A Very Painful Year: 38% Of Americans Say That They Will Spend 2021 In “Survival Mode”

If nearly 40 percent of the entire nation anticipates spending the next 12 months in “survival mode”, that is not a good sign for what the coming year will bring.  Traditionally, Americans have looked forward to the turn of the year with tremendous optimism, but this time around things are very, very different.  2020 brought us the COVID pandemic, tremendous violence and civil unrest in our major cities, and the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Sadly, a large chunk of the country is anticipating more difficulties in the coming months, because one recent survey found that 38 percent of all Americans plan to spend 2021 in “survival mode”

Of the 3,011 surveyed adults, over 38% said they will spend the year in “survival mode,” meaning they’ll focus on the day-to-day rather than long-term goals to try to get themselves and their families through 2021.

The biggest reason why so many anticipate being in “survival mode” is because of the financial problems that they experienced this year.  According to that same survey, a whopping 68 percent of all Americans say that they experienced some sort of “financial setback” in 2020…

Although some respondents maintained their usual income over the past year, 68% had setbacks. Of those, 23% lost a job or household income; 20% had an unexpected non-health emergency; 18% had to provide unexpected financial aid to family or friends; and 16% had a health emergency in their family.

As I keep reminding my readers, Americans have filed more than 70 million new claims for unemployment benefits this year, but even many of those that have been able to keep their jobs have fallen on very hard times.

Another new survey found that approximately one-third of all full-time workers in the U.S. “have experienced a pay cut” in 2020…

Roughly 1 in 3 full-time workers have experienced a pay cut due to the coronavirus pandemic this year, according to a recent MagnifyMoney survey of 984 professionals surveyed Nov. 6 to 11.

If you were employed throughout all of 2020 and you are still able to pay all of your bills on time, you should be very thankful for your blessings, because you are now in the minority.

For most Americans, the past 12 months have been exceedingly painful, and this new round of lockdowns promises to extend the economic suffering long into 2021.

Some industries that were absolutely devastated by the first round of lockdowns are officially in panic mode at this point.  For example, we have already permanently lost approximately 17 percent of all of the restaurants in the entire country, and the National Restaurant Association is warning that 10,000 more could permanently shut down “in the next three weeks”

About 17% of America’s restaurants have already permanently closed this year, with thousands more on the brink according to a new report.

The National Restaurant Association is publicly pleading with Congress to pass new stimulus to help the industry that has been damaged by the pandemic. The group said Monday that 10,000 restaurants could close in the next three weeks, in addition to the 110,000 that have already shuttered in 2020.

Even during the best of times, running a successful restaurant is exceedingly difficult.  The margins are razor thin, new competition is always popping up, and employees are constantly coming and going.

When you add a global pandemic on top of all of that, it has become almost impossible for many eateries to keep going, and we are being told that the future for the industry looks quite “bleak”

  • 87% of full-service restaurants (independent, chain, and franchise) report an average 36% drop in sales revenue. For an industry with an average profit margin of 5%-6%, this is simply unsustainable83% of full-service operators expect sales to be even worse over the next three months.
  • Although sales are significantly lower for most independent and franchise owners, their costs have not fallen by a proportional level. 59% of operators say their total labor costs (as a percentage of sales) are higher than they were pre-pandemic. 
  • The future remains bleak. 58% of chain and independent full-service operators expect continued furloughs and layoffs for at least the next three months.

Of course it isn’t just the restaurant industry that is laying off workers in large numbers.

Just about every day there are more major layoff announcements in the news, and many experts are expecting the job loss numbers to accelerate as we make the transition into 2021.

Without paychecks coming in, millions of unemployed Americans are unable to pay the bills, and we are being warned that we could be facing a historic tsunami of evictions starting just after the holiday season…

The day after Christmas, the extended unemployment benefits that have kept 12 million people and their families afloat are scheduled to expire. Then, mere days after that cliff, on New Year’s Day, a national ban on renter evictions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also set to lapse.

Overnight, an unprecedented bill of $70 billion in unpaid back rent and utilities will come due, according to estimates by Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi. In all, up to 40 million people could be threatened with eviction over the coming months, research from the Aspen Institute says.

The politicians insist that they are keeping us caged up for our own good, but the truth is that they are absolutely destroying millions upon millions of lives in the process.

There is a lot of debate about whether or not the lockdowns have helped to prevent the spread of the virus, but what we do know is that thousands of businesses have been permanently destroyed, millions of jobs have been lost, more people are committing suicide, and Americans are increasingly engaging in self-destructive behaviors

Overall, one in three Americans report binge drinking during the coronavirus pandemic. The average person also reports spending about four weeks in lockdown this year; spending 21 hours a day at home. More than seven in 10 people in the survey did not even leave their home for work.

If we cannot even handle the COVID pandemic, how in the world is our society going to be able to handle what else is coming?

As things continue to unravel all around us, people are going to be in great need of hope.

Millions of Americans are already in “survival mode”, and the road ahead is certainly not going to get any easier.

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

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

The economic implosion of 2020: Job losses ramp up again as millions of Americans continue to slide into poverty

The mainstream media keeps trying to convince us that things are about to get a whole lot better for the U.S. economy, but instead they just keep getting worse.  On Thursday, we learned that another 898,000 Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week.  That was the highest number that we have seen since August, and it is yet more evidence that a new wave of layoffs has begun.  But according to the experts that the mainstream media relies upon, this wasn’t supposed to happen.  According to them, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits was supposed to be steadily tapering off as the U.S. economy shifted into recovery mode.  Unfortunately for all of us, those experts have been dead wrong.

Yesterday, I wrote about the decline of the middle class in our country, and here in 2020 this pandemic has greatly accelerated that process.

In fact, one new study has found that almost 8 million more Americans have plunged into poverty just since May

Nearly 8 million Americans have slid into poverty since May, according to a Columbia University study reported by the New York Times.

Why it matters:The researchers found that the monthly poverty rate for September was higher than rates during April or May, and it also topped pre-crisis levels, “[d]ue to the expiration of the CARES Act’s stimulus checks and $600 per week supplement to unemployment benefits.”

And another study discovered that 6 million more Americans fell into poverty in just the last three months

A separate study by researchers at Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, found that 6 million people have slipped into poverty in the last three months, per the Times.

Our hearts should be breaking because of what is going on all over the country right now.

Millions upon millions of hard working people have lost their jobs and can’t find new ones.  As a result, they have lost the comfortable middle class lifestyles that they once enjoyed and have now joined the ranks of the poor.

But the official government numbers don’t look that bad because millions of those people are not even categorized as “unemployed”.  Instead, many of the workers that have lost their jobs during this pandemic have been thrown into a category that is called “not in the labor force”.

In order to have faith in the official government numbers, you have got to believe that more than 100 million working age Americans are “not in the labor force” because they don’t want to work.

It is such a sham.  Why don’t we just put every single American that is not working into the “not in the labor force” category so that we can have 0.0 percent unemployment?

Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Of course the truth is that more Americans are being laid off with each passing day.  Over the past few weeks, some of the most iconic companies in the entire nation have been letting workers go

Further, companies have begun initiating layoffs on a trajectory similar to traditional recessions, economists said, as slowdowns in consumer demand (rather than state-mandated shutdowns) lead them to cut jobs or close for good.

Companies such as AllstateAmerican AirlinesDisneyRoyal Dutch Shell and United Airlines have each announced plans to cut thousands of workers in recent weeks.

Some parts of the country have been hit much harder than others by this economic downturn.

For instance, tourism has dried up almost completely in Las Vegas, and this week there have been more layoff announcements

The Tropicana Las Vegas has given notice to 828 employees that they are being laid off beginning Thursday, Oct. 15.

And layoffs at two Paris Las Vegas restaurants are coming soon as notices have been filed with the state. Mon Ami Gabi intends to lay off 96 employees, and the Eiffel Tower Restaurant will lay off 53 employees. Both moves are scheduled to happen on Dec. 16, and the layoffs will be permanent.

In the end, most of the jobs that have been lost in Las Vegas will never come back until the tourists return, and that is simply not going to be happening for the foreseeable future.

Next door, the state of California has been absolutely devastated by this crisis as well.

If you can believe it, one out of every four Californians received unemployment benefits between March and July.  The state may have more billionaires than anywhere else in the country, but according to the U.S. Census Bureau it also has the highest poverty rate

Home to 166 billionaires, who made over $235 billion since the beginning of the pandemic, the Golden State also has the highest poverty rate: 17.2% when adjusted for the cost of living, according to a recent Census Bureau analysis.

That means that almost one out of every five people in the entire state of California is living in poverty right now.

If this is what a “recovery” looks like, I would hate to see what the “bad times” are going to look like.

And without a doubt, economic conditions are definitely going to get worse than they are now.

So many families in California are just barely scraping by from month to month, and more of them are falling into poverty every day.  In fact, even USA Today is admitting that “California’s middle class isn’t done shrinking”…

To many, the streets of the Bay Area are renowned for the enduring homelessness crisis as much as for the renowned tech giants of Silicon Valley. In-between, California’s middle class isn’t done shrinking; teachers, artists, waiters and gig workers are awaiting their fate, often one government program away from having to take a minimum-wage job — or lose their homes.

It is kind of ironic.  Many of those that live in California like to lecture the rest of us about “wealthy inequality”, but it is worse in their state than anywhere else.

Those at the very, very top of the pyramid are thriving (for now), but meanwhile countless others are falling out of the middle class.

It is like a really perverse game of musical chairs.  Every time the music stops, more people lose their seats and the middle class shrinks some more.

Sadly, I think that this process is going to accelerate even more in 2021, and that is really bad news for millions upon millions of middle class American families that are deeply struggling right now.

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

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

Goodbye Middle Class: Half Of All American Workers Made Less Than $34,248.45 Last Year

If you are making less than $3,000 a month, you have plenty of company, because about half of the country is in the exact same boat.  The Social Security Administration just released new wage statistics for 2019, and they are pretty startling.  To me, the most alarming thing in the entire report is the fact that the median yearly wage was just $34,248.45 last year.  In other words, half of all American workers made less than $34,248.45 in 2019, and half of all American workers made more than $34,248.45.  That isn’t a whole lot of money.  In fact, when you divide $34,248.45 by 12 you get just $2,854.05.  Needless to say, it is not easy to survive in America today on just $2,854.05 a month, and this may help to explain why we have been seeing so many people fall out of the middle class in recent years.

And of course all of the figures that I am sharing with you in this article are just for 2019.  This year, we have seen more than 63 million Americans file new claims for unemployment benefits as the U.S. economy has imploded during this pandemic, and so the final wage numbers for 2020 could be quite a bit worse than the numbers for 2019 were.  Please keep that in mind as you go through the rest of this article.

Once upon a time in America, a single income could easily support a middle class household in most cases, but those days are long gone.

The cost of living has been rising far faster than our paychecks have, and as a result many Americans have been working themselves to the bone just to survive financially from month to month.

To give you an idea of just how bad things have gotten, I would like to share with you some key numbers from the report that the Social Security Administration just released

-32.26 percent of American workers made less than $20,000 last year.

-44.79 percent of American workers made less than $30,000 last year.

-56.46 percent of American workers made less than $40,000 last year.

-65.91 percent of American workers made less than $50,000 last year.

Today, the poverty level for a household of five in the United States is $30,680.

That means that close to half of all workers in this country do not even make enough to get a family of five above the poverty level.

Wow.

There are tens of millions of Americans that are referred to as “the working poor” because they are living in poverty even though they are employed and are working extremely hard.  Many of you that are reading this article know exactly what I am talking about.  Some of you are working way more than 40 hours a week, and yet there never seems to be enough money at the end of the month.

Sadly, the truth is that our system has evolved in a manner that makes it almost impossible for most Americans to ever build up much wealth.

If you are making the median monthly wage of just $2,854.05, there simply is not going to be much left over after all of the bills are paid.  First of all, you are going to need some place to live.  In the middle of the country you may be able to find something habitable for under $1,000 a month, but in most of our major metropolitan areas that simply is not going to be realistic.

Secondly, you are going to need to pay your utility bills.   If you can keep the combined cost of your power, water, phone, television and Internet bills to about $250 a month, you are doing quite well.

Thirdly, you will need a vehicle in order to get around, and these days it is hard to buy or lease a vehicle for less than $300 a month.  In addition, you will also need insurance, and that will set you back even more.

Fourthly, you will need health insurance.  If you are young and single, maybe you can find a plan for just a few hundred dollars a month, but most Americans pay far more.

Fifthly, you will probably want to eat, and that will cost you several hundred dollars a month as well.

At this point almost all of your money is already gone, and there are so many expenses that I haven’t even mentioned yet.

And of course you never even started with $2,854.05 in the first place, because all sorts of taxes were taken out of your paycheck before you even got it.

Are you starting to understand why so many families in America are deeply, deeply struggling today?

We have an economy that works for those at the very top of the food chain, but pretty much everyone else is desperately trying to stay afloat.

And now we have entered an economic downturn during which tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs.  According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if honest numbers were being used the real unemployment rate in the U.S. would be 26.9 percent right now, and that would rival the worst levels that we witnessed during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Others have come up with similar numbers.  For example, Axios is reporting that the “true unemployment rate” in the United States is currently 26.1 percent

A person who is looking for a full-time job that pays a living wage — but who can’t find one — is unemployed. If you accept that definition, the true unemployment rate in the U.S. is a stunning 26.1%, according to an important new dataset shared exclusively with “Axios on HBO.”

No matter how you want to crunch the numbers, everyone should be able to agree that millions upon millions of Americans are really hurting financially and are deeply concerned about the future.

And they have good reason to be concerned about the future, because our economic system is in the process of imploding.

For decades, the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world allowed us to enjoy a level of debt-fueled prosperity that was far greater than we actually deserved.

Now the party is ending, and our society is going to experience an enormous amount of pain as everything changes.

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

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

Americans Have Already Skipped Payments On More Than 100 Million Loans, And Job Losses Continue To Escalate

Those that have been hoping for some sort of a “V-shaped recovery” have had their hopes completely dashed.  U.S. workers continue to lose jobs at a staggering rate, and economic activity continues to remain at deeply suppressed levels all over the nation.  Of course this wasn’t supposed to happen now that states have been “reopening” their economies.  We were told that things would soon be getting back to normal and that the economic numbers would rebound dramatically.  But that is not happening.  In fact, the number of Americans that filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week was much higher than expected

Weekly jobless claims stayed above 1 million for the 13th consecutive week as the coronavirus pandemic continued to hammer the U.S. economy.

First-time claims totaled 1.5 million last week, higher than the 1.3 million that economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting. The government report’s total was 58,000 lower than the previous week’s 1.566 million, which was revised up by 24,000.

To put this in perspective, let me once again remind my readers that prior to this year the all-time record for a single week was just 695,000.  So even though more than 44 million Americans had already filed initial claims for unemployment benefits before this latest report, there were still enough new people losing jobs to more than double that old record from 1982.

That is just astounding.  We were told that the economy would be regaining huge amounts of jobs by now, but instead job losses remain at a catastrophic level that is unlike anything that we have ever seen before in all of U.S. history.

With the addition of this latest number, a grand total of nearly 46 million Americans have now filed initial claims for unemployment benefits since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

If you can read that statement and still believe that the U.S. economy is not imploding, I would like to know what you are smoking, because it must be pretty powerful.

Some of the things that we are seeing happen around the country right now are absolutely nuts.  For example, earlier this week in Kentucky it was being reported that people were waiting in line for up to 8 hours to talk with a state official face to face about their unprocessed unemployment claims…

This wasn’t supposed to happen.

By now, the U.S. economy was supposed to be roaring back to life and we were supposed to be entering a new golden age of American prosperity.

Unfortunately, the truth is that more bad economic news is hitting us on a continual basis, and that isn’t going to change any time soon.

Over the past few days, we have learned that Hilton is laying off 22 percent of its corporate staff, and AT&T has announced that it will be eliminating 3,400 jobs and closing 250 stores…

The wireless carrier AT&T is cutting 3,400 jobs and shutting down 250 stores over the next few weeks, according to a statement from the Communications Workers of America, a union representing AT&T workers.

The AT&T Mobility and Cricket Wireless retail closures will affect 1,300 jobs, while the other layoffs are said to be affecting technical and clerical workers.

Needless to say, all of these job losses are having a tremendous ripple effect throughout the economy.

Without paychecks coming in, a lot of Americans are having a really tough time paying their bills, and the Wall Street Journal is reporting that payments have already been skipped on more than 100 million loans…

Americans have skipped payments on more than 100 million student loans, auto loans and other forms of debt since the coronavirus hit the U.S., the latest sign of the toll the pandemic is taking on people’s finances.

The number of accounts that enrolled in deferment, forbearance or some other type of relief since March 1 and remain in such a state rose to 106 million at the end of May, triple the number at the end of April, according to credit-reporting firm TransUnion.

Wow.

To me, that is an almost unimaginable number, and it has become clear that a tremendous amount of pain is ahead for the financial institutions that are holding these loans.

A lot of people out there are going to keep hoping that there will be some sort of an economic rebound, but the cold, hard reality of the matter is that fear of COVID-19 is going to keep a large segment of the population from resuming normal economic activities for the foreseeable future.  And it certainly doesn’t help that the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has been steadily rising over the past couple of weeks and that the mainstream media has been endlessly warning that a “second wave” is coming.

If you doubt what I am saying, just look at what is happening to the restaurant industry.  We had started to see a small bit of improvement in the numbers, but now fear of a “second wave” has caused restaurant traffic to start cratering again

After three months of slow but consistent improvement in restaurant dining data in the US and across the globe, in its latest update on “the state of the restaurant industry”, OpenTable today reported the biggest drop in seated restaurant diners (from online, phone and walk-in reservations) since the depth of the global shutdown in March.

As shown in the OpenTable graphic below, on Sunday, June 14, restaurant traffic suddenly tumbled, sliding from a -66.5% y/y decline as of June 13 to -78.8% globally.

This was mostly due to a sharp drop in US restaurant diners, which plunged by 13% – from -65% to -78% – the biggest one day drop since the start of the shutdown in the US, and the second biggest one day drop on record.

Business travel is another area where we are seeing signs of big trouble ahead.  The following comes from Yves Smith

Business travel is not coming back any time soon. People are getting accustomed to Zoom. And word may also get out that domestic flying is much worse than it used to be, which will be a deterrent to those who might be so bold as to want to get on a plane. That is a fundamental blow to airlines, airport vendors, hotels, restaurants, and convention centers. Hotel occupancy in April was 24.5% which if anything seems high based on my personal datapoints. The pricings I see say that hotel operators are not expecting much if any improvement through the summer.

Like many of you, I wish that economic conditions would go back to the way they used to be, but that simply is not going to happen.

Yes, we will see economic numbers go up and down over the coming months, but a return to “the good times” is not in the cards.

And what hardly anyone realizes is that this is just the beginning of our problems, and I am working on a new project right now which will explain why this is true in great detail.

So stay tuned, because things are about to get really, really “interesting”.

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