I Feel Like I Am Living In Crazytown

We haven’t had an extended bout of painful inflation like this since the days of the Carter administration, and our leaders in Washington have decided that the best way forward is to rapidly create even more inflation.  They keep using words like “transitory” to describe the current inflation crisis, but then they turn right around and talk about the need to create, borrow and spend even more money.  It is utter madness, but at this point there is nobody that is going to stop them.  We are all passengers on a “highway to Weimar”, and those that have their hands on the wheel have gone completely nuts.

On Wednesday, we learned that on a year-over-year basis inflation continues to rise at the fastest pace that we have seen since the last financial crisis

Federal data released on Wednesday showed that for the 12 months through July, the consumer price index rose 5.4 percent, unchanged from June and at the highest level since the Great Recession in 2008.

But since the way that the rate of inflation is calculated has literally been changed dozens of times over the decades, the only way to get an apples for apples comparison is to calculate what the rate of inflation would be if it was still calculated the same way it was at some previous moment in our history.

John Williams of shadowstats.com has done just that.  According to Williams, if inflation was still calculated the same way it was back in 1990, we would be at about 9 percent at this moment.

And if inflation was still calculated the same way it was back in 1980, we would be way into double digits right now.

Many Americans had assumed that we would never again see the sort of crazy inflation that we witnessed during the Carter years, but now it is here.

In particular, food prices, gas prices and vehicle prices are rapidly becoming quite painful

New vehicle prices rose 6.4 percent on the year, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending January 1982. Gasoline was also up 42 percent.

The prices of many everyday items have jumped sharply in the past year. Bacon was up 11 percent and whole milk and beef roast were both 8 percent higher on the year.

Travel expenses jumped hugely from last summer’s depressed base level, with hotels up 24 percent and airfare up 19 percent.

Needless to say, this is having a substantial impact on our standard of living.

Even though wages are rising, they aren’t rising nearly as fast as the cost of living is…

It is getting harder and harder for American workers to make ends meet as rising inflation outpaces pay gains, pushing down inflation-adjusted compensation at a pace almost never seen before.

Adjusted for inflation, hourly compensation fell 2.7 percent in the second quarter, data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the nonfarm business sector showed Tuesday.

Inflation is a tax on all of us, and it is going to whittle down the size of the middle class with each passing month.

And this is just the beginning.  In recent days, many corporate executives have been very vocal about the fact that more price hikes are ahead.

For example, Shake Shack has publicly announced that another round of price increases is incoming

The popular burger chain Shake Shack announced it will be implementing yet another price hike in 2021 to fight inflation.

During a conference call with analysts last week, Shake Shack’s chief financial officer Katherine Fogerty said customers will be paying three to 3.5 percent more for their food in the fourth quarter of 2021.

And the CEO of Tyson Foods is warning that costs keep rising even more quickly than his company can raise prices for consumers…

Tyson Foods Inc., the top chicken producer in the U.S., confirmed in an earnings call that food inflation continues to push prices higher.

Tyson’s CEO Donnie King said higher costs are hitting the firm faster than the company can lift prices, and retail prices are set to rise on Sept. 5.

My friends, this is going to get bad.

Really bad.

So what are our leaders doing in response?

Well, they have decided to create, borrow and spend even more money.

In fact, the Senate just passed a 1.2 trillion dollar infrastructure package and then immediately began working on a 3.5 trillion dollar spending package

The Senate on Tuesday passed a $1 trillion infrastructure package and sent it to the House for consideration. The upper chamber then started work on a second $3.5 trillion package of further government spending. President Joe Biden will have to knit his party together to pass the larger measure. Already moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, have voiced concern about the impact of the $3.5 trillion measure on the $29 trillion national debt.

I feel like I am living in Crazytown.

They know that they are causing inflation, but they just can’t help themselves.

At this point, even a top Democrat is warning that there will be “grave consequences”

U.S. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin on Wednesday said he had “serious concerns” about Senate Democrats’ planned $3.5 trillion spending plan, potentially gumming up efforts to move ahead with President Joe Biden’s top priorities.

Manchin, in a statement, said that although he voted to move ahead and debate the plan, he was worried about the “grave consequences” of such spending on the nation’s debt as well as the country’s ability to respond to other potential crises.

But even though some of our politicians may pay lip service to fiscal responsibility once in a while, in the end most of them just keep voting for these insane spending packages.

So what can we do?

I often say that we should “hope for the best and prepare for the worst”, but in this case there is no hoping for the best.

We know what they are going to do, and we know where this road leads.

So my recommendation is to prepare for the worst, and then do some more preparing, because things will eventually get really, really bad.

Congress is going to pass wild spending package after wild spending package, and the Fed is just going to continue to pump billions upon billions of fresh dollars into the financial system.

This is the greatest financial bubble in the history of the world, and it will be fascinating to watch how long it can last before it finally implodes.

***It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” 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 “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book I have written five others that are available on Amazon.com including  “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America”“The Beginning Of The End”“Get 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.

More Cowbell! Federal Reserve Officials Decide That More Inflation Is The Answer

Someone please make the madness stop.  Many years ago, when Saturday Night Live was still actually funny, comedian Will Ferrell starred in a skit that was entitled “More Cowbell”.  To this day, it remains one of the most famous skits in comedy history, and that is because it was absolutely hilarious.  If you have never seen it, you can find it right here.  Unfortunately for all of us, the Federal Reserve is now doing their own version of “More Cowbell”, but it isn’t funny at all.  At this point, Fed officials sound like a broken record, because month after month they just keep telling us that the answer to our growing economic problems is even more inflation.  They have completely gone off the deep end, but since most Americans are illiterate when it comes to economics hardly anyone is objecting.

Earlier today, I received an alarming email from one of my readers.  This particular reader was quite alarmed that the price of her favorite juice just went up three dollars, and I would have loved to tell her that these price increases are just “temporary” and that everything will go back to normal soon.

But I couldn’t do that, because that isn’t the truth.

On Wednesday, Fed officials once again voted to continue flooding the financial system with giant mountains of fresh cash

The Federal Reserve open market committee has voted unanimously to continue the central bank’s easy money policies, again dismissing soaring inflation as ‘transitory’ and saying COVID-19 still poses risks to the economy.

The 11-member committee voted on Wednesday to keep the federal funds rate near zero and continue flooding the market with money through massive bond purchases ‘until substantial further progress’ is made on boosting employment.

“$120 billion a month in bond purchases” may sound boring to most Americans, but if people really understood what this was doing to our standard of living they would be protesting in the streets tomorrow morning.

On average, the Federal Reserve is pumping more than a billion dollars into our financial system every single hour.

This sort of thing is only supposed to be done during a major emergency.  The very first time that “quantitative easing” was used on a large scale was during the last financial crisis, and now it has basically become something that the Fed just does all the time.

As I discussed yesterday, the size of the Fed balance sheet has roughly doubled during this pandemic.  Of course this was going to cause inflation to spike.

On Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell openly admitted that “inflation could turn out to be higher and more persistent than we expected”.

Ya think?

But Powell also continued to insist that in the long-term inflation would go back down to 2 percent

Indicators of long-term inflation expectations appear broadly consistent with our longer-run inflation goal of 2%. If we saw signs that the path of inflation or longer-term inflation expectations were moving materially and persistently beyond levels consistent with our goal, we’d be prepared to adjust the stance of policy.

What in the world is he smoking?

Does he actually believe that we can flood the system with trillions and trillions of fresh dollars and keep inflation down to about 2 percent at the same time?

If so, he should see a mental health professional immediately.

Right now, prices are skyrocketing all around us.  Earlier today, I came across an article that discussed how farmers are hurting because the price of hay has gone up by about 20 percent

Local prices for large bales of hay — small bales are significantly more expensive — are shaping up to be around $210 a ton, DeRuwe said, around 20% more than the average year.

Yesterday, I discussed the fact that home prices are up 23 percent over the past year.

Apparently home prices are not yet high enough, because Fed officials want to flood the system with even more money.

Used car prices are up more than 45 percent over the past year.  In many cases, used cars are now selling for more than they were when they were brand new.

What we are now witnessing is completely and utterly insane, but the Fed is not the only one to blame.

Our politicians in Washington have been spending money like mad, and now another gigantic spending package is being discussed.

Fortunately, there is at least one Democrat in the Senate that thinks that Joe Biden’s 3.5 trillion dollar infrastructure package is just too big…

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona on Wednesday came out in opposition to Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending blueprint, virtually ensuring her party would be forced to make substantial cuts to get her on board.

In a statement to The Arizona Republic, the moderate Democrat said while she supported efforts to bolster the country’s economic competitiveness in an infrastructure plan, she believed the bill was too large.

In the end, we may see a package that is only about a trillion dollars in size.

But that is still utter madness.

Since the start of the pandemic, we have increased the size of our national debt by five trillion dollars, and now our politicians in Washington want to borrow and spend more giant mountains of money.

Earlier today, I came across an article about a “two-headed snake”

An incredible video captures the moment a two-headed snake called Ben and Jerry devours two mice in each of is fanged mouths.

Reptile enthusiast Brian Barczyk shared the clip to his Instagram account, which shows each of the heads slowly chomping down on a pair of dead mice.

The two-headed reptile is the result of a phenomenon known as bicephaly, which occurs from the incomplete splitting of an embryo.

When I read that, I immediately thought about our current situation.

These days, the Federal Reserve and our politicians in Washington have become a “two-headed snake” that is relentlessly devouring our financial future.

If we stay on the path that we are on, there is no future for our country.

But it has become obvious that our leaders are not going to change.

Every time a new crisis erupts, their “solution” will be to create, borrow and spend even more money.

This “More Cowbell” approach to managing the economy is literally insane, but there will be no turning back now.

***It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” 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 “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book I have written five others that are available on Amazon.com including  “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America”“The Beginning Of The End”“Get 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.

Let’s Compare The U.S. Economy Before The Pandemic To The U.S. Economy Today

Throughout the first half of 2021, there was a tremendous amount of optimism about the U.S. economy.  Many believed that the pandemic would soon be behind us and that a new era of great prosperity would soon be upon us.  But now the optimism that we witnessed is fading as Americans become increasingly concerned about inflation, shortages and rising debt levels.  Our leaders created, borrowed and spent trillions upon trillions of dollars in a desperate attempt to get our economy back on track, and it turns out that all of that money didn’t really have the enormous impact that they had hoped.  On the other hand, inflation is now beginning to spiral out of control, and many are comparing this time in our history to the Jimmy Carter era of the 1970s.

In this article, I would like to compare the state of the economy today to the state of the economy just before the pandemic started sweeping across the country.

As you will see, it appears that a tremendous amount of long-term damage has been done.

Let’s start by talking about employment.  Just before the pandemic hit, 152 million Americans were employed, but today only 145 million Americans are currently employed.

Many economists are telling us that it will probably take a number of years for employment to return to pre-pandemic levels, but that also assumes that we will not be facing another major economic downturn in the near future.

Needless to say, I do not share that rosy assessment.

The number of Americans that are considered to be “not in the labor force” has also not returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Just before the pandemic, 95 million Americans were considered to be “not in the labor force”, but now that number is up to more than 100 million.

We are being told that unemployment is “low” in this country even though more than 100 million people do not have jobs right now.

But according to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if honest numbers were being used the unemployment rate would currently be above 25 percent.

The good news is that at least we are not at 35 percent like we were during the peak of the pandemic.

Our politicians realized that things were really, really bad in 2020, and so they started spending money at a rate that we have never seen before.

All of this spending pushed our national debt from 23 trillion dollars prior to the pandemic to more than 28 trillion dollars today.

This is complete and utter insanity, but at least our politicians have been more restrained than the Federal Reserve has been.

During this pandemic, the size of the Fed balance sheet has nearly doubled.  It was sitting at about four trillion dollars just before the pandemic, and it has grown to more than eight trillion dollars today.

“Economic malpractice” is way too soft a term to describe what the Fed has been doing.

If the American people truly understood the Fed and what it has been doing to our currency, there would be wild protests in the streets tomorrow morning.

Collectively, our politicians and the Federal Reserve have pushed the size of our money supply to dizzying heights.  Just before the pandemic, M2 was sitting at about 15 trillion dollars, and now it has crossed the 20 trillion dollar threshold.

Anyone that believed that we could do this without causing rip-roaring inflation was just being delusional.

Just look at what has been happening to home prices.  They have been rising at the fastest pace ever recorded, and families all over America are feeling the pain.

A few days ago, I published an article in which I explained that home prices are 23 percent higher than they were at this time one year ago…

The median price for an existing home in June hit an all-time high of $363,300, up 23% over last year. That marks 112 straight months of year-over-year gains.

Needless to say, the vast majority of Americans have not had their paychecks increase by 23 percent over the past year.

The gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and the middle class is shrinking a little bit more with each passing month.

These days, we also have widespread shortages to deal with.  Prior to the pandemic, I don’t remember ever hearing about any major shortages, but now they are all around us.

In particular, the chip shortage has been incredibly painful for a lot of Americans, and the CEO of Intel is now telling us that it could last into 2023

One of the leading voices in the semiconductor industry sees the chip-supply problems stretching as far as 2023.

It could take one or two years to get back to a reasonable supply-and-demand balance in the semiconductor industry, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal after the company posted second-quarter earnings on Thursday. “We have a long way to go yet,” he said. “It just takes a long time to build [manufacturing] capacity.”

At first, a lot of Americans believed our leaders when they were told that wonderful days were just around the corner.

But now reality is starting to set in.

Faith in “the recovery” is fading, and at this point more than half of all Americans believe that the economy is in poor shape…

Fewer than half of Americans, 45 percent, judge the economy to be in good shape, while 54 percent say it’s in poor shape, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Views are similar to what they were in AP-NORC polls in June and in March, despite increases in vaccinations and the flow of aid from Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

If most Americans are dissatisfied with the economy today, how will they be feeling if economic conditions are even worse six months from now?

In my opinion, we should be very thankful that economic conditions have been relatively stable in recent months, because the long-term outlook for our economy is not good at all.

Our leaders are literally in the process of committing national financial suicide, and the whole world will be affected since we produce the reserve currency that the entire planet depends upon.

So enjoy these relatively good times while you still can, because eventually they will be gone for good.

***It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” 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 “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book I have written five others that are available on Amazon.com including  “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America”“The Beginning Of The End”“Get 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.

Millions Of Low Paying “Jobs” Are Available, But Most Americans Can’t Afford To Take Them

There are more job openings in the United States than ever before, but the vast majority of the available “jobs” pay so little that most Americans don’t want them.  If working extremely long hours for some employer is not even going to lift you out of poverty, then you are probably better off taking whatever government assistance that you can get until a decent paying job eventually comes along.  For example, if you get a job that pays 10 dollars an hour and you work full-time hours every week, you will earn somewhere around $1,600 a month before taxes.  Needless to say, you can’t survive in most U.S. cities on $1,600 a month these days.  It would have been tough to make it on $1,600 a month before the pandemic, but now we are in a highly inflationary environment.  Housing costs are absolutely skyrocketing, health insurance premiums are at extremely ridiculous levels and food prices have been rising aggressively.  The higher the cost of living gets, the less attractive low paying jobs are going to become.

Having said that, it is still good news that the number of job openings is sitting at a record high right now…

Job openings in the U.S. rose slightly in May to a record 9.21 million, reflecting an insatiable demand for labor as the economy fully reopens and businesses scramble to keep up with soaring sales for their goods and services.

The number of available jobs has set a record for three straight months. Job openings had fallen to as low as 4.6 million last year after the coronavirus pandemic briefly shut down much of the economy.

Having lots of jobs available is better than not having a lot of jobs available, but of course the vast majority of those “jobs” could not support a middle class lifestyle for an average American family.

Some have been using the term “labor shortage” to describe what is going on out there, but in reality what we are really facing is a shortage of jobs that people are actually willing to work.

Even though there are supposedly so many “jobs” available at this moment, the unemployment rate in this country actually went up last month…

“There’s simply no labor shortage when you’re talking about finding house cleaners for a hotel — there is a shortage of workers who want to work at what you’re offering,” said Sylvia Allegretto, a UC Berkeley labor economist. She said the country is experiencing a “wage and benefits shortage.”

A labor shortage implies there aren’t enough available workers to fill open jobs, but this is not the case nationally, or in California. National unemployment in June was 5.9%, up from 5.8% in May, in part because the number of people looking for jobs grew, according to data from the Labor Department on Friday. California’s unemployment is tracking higher, at 7.9% in May.

Of course it doesn’t help that being unemployed pays quite handsomely in many states these days.

If you can make more money doing nothing, it simply doesn’t make sense to work.

In order to encourage more people to work, many large chains in the restaurant industry are now raising wages substantially

Job openings in the accommodation and food services sector increased from 1.16 million in April to 1.25 million in May.

To entice workers to stay — and to hire more people — restaurants have been raising wages. Darden Restaurants (DRI), which owns Olive Garden, announced in March that it is hiking pay. McDonald’s (MCD), too, announced wage hikes for employees at corporate-owned stores in May. Others have done the same.

Large corporate chains can do this because they have deep pockets.

But millions of small businesses all over the country that deeply struggled during the pandemic are not in the same position.

Ultimately, a lot of small business owners find themselves doing more and more of the work themselves because they simply can’t find enough people to work for the wages that they are offering.  Here is just one example

Jarvis Young, who owns a Papa John’s in Los Angeles with his wife, is struggling to staff up at all levels, from managers to delivery drivers. He employs 16 workers and said he needs closer to 23.

He has started borrowing employees from other Papa John’s franchises to keep up with demand. Until they hire one, his wife is acting as the general manager. The two of them sometimes deliver pizzas — not quite what they envisioned for themselves as franchise owners. “At the end of the day, this is our business,” he said.

Today, there are tens of millions of Americans that are considered to be among the “working poor”, and that number is growing with each passing day.

The cost of living is rising far faster than our paychecks are, and an increasing number of Americans are not even able to afford the basics.

For instance, everyone needs a place to live.  Unfortunately, home prices have surged so dramatically this year that the percentage of Americans that say that it is a “bad time to buy a home” has risen to the highest level ever recorded

The percentage who said that it was a “bad time to buy a home” spiked over the past three months from record to record and in June hit 64%. Consumers cited home prices as the predominant reason.

A record low 32% of the respondents said that it was still a good time to buy a home, while the percentage of fence-sitters who didn’t know dropped to 4%.

And just trying to buy enough food to eat is becoming a challenge for a lot of people.

When I went to the grocery store this week, I was stunned to see how high prices had become.  Of course some manufacturers are trying to hide price increases by shrinking the sizes of their packages, and this is something that NPR did an article on the other day

A couple of weeks ago, Edgar Dworsky walked into a Stop & Shop grocery store in Somerville, Mass., like a detective entering a murder scene.

He stepped into the cereal aisle, where he hoped to find the smoking gun. He scanned the shelves. Oh no, he thought. He was too late. The store had already replaced old General Mills cereal boxes — such as Cheerios and Cocoa Puffs — with newer ones. It was as though the suspect’s fingerprints had been wiped clean.

But Dworsky’s story didn’t end there.  He decided to check out the back of the store, and it was there that he discovered what he was searching for...

Then Dworsky headed toward the back of the store. Sure enough, old boxes of Cocoa Puffs and Apple Cinnamon Cheerios were stacked at the end of one of the aisles. He grabbed an old box of Cocoa Puffs and put it side by side with the new one. Aha! The tip he had received was right on the money. General Mills had downsized the contents of its “family size” boxes from 19.3 ounces to 18.1 ounces.

Dworsky went to the checkout aisle, and both boxes — gasp! — were the same price. It was an open-and-shut case: General Mills is yet another perpetrator of “shrinkflation.”

As I discussed a few days ago, we are going to be in a high inflation environment for the foreseeable future.

That means that low paying jobs will just become less and less attractive.

So employers can boast that they have as many “job openings” as they want, but if wage growth continues to lag way behind the real rate of inflation most of those jobs will continue to remain empty.

***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.

8 Million More Living In Poverty, 9 Million Small Businesses In Danger Of Closing, 10 Million Behind On Rent…

The economic downturn that we are currently experiencing is making the last recession look like a Sunday picnic.  Yes, 2008 and 2009 were bad, but they weren’t anything like this.  Unprecedented intervention by the Federal Reserve has allowed the rich to get even richer during this crisis, but meanwhile millions upon millions of ordinary Americans are deeply suffering.  Unfortunately, what we have gone through so far is just the beginning.

As a child, I was a big fan of Sesame Street, and one of the characters that really stood out to me was Count von Count.  I loved the fact that he was always counting things, and that is what I am going to do in this article in order to illustrate how bad economic conditions have now become.

Let’s start with the number 7.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, approximately 7 million more Americans would have jobs right now if the COVID pandemic had never happened

But in fact, what the CBO is projecting is dire: around 7 million people out of work in 2021 whom CBO thought before the pandemic would be working. That’s dire – and a call to immediate action, not calm, not wait-and-see.

Personally, I think that estimate is way too low.

In fact, the Federal Reserve says that 152 million Americans were working before the pandemic started, and only 142 million Americans are working now.

So the CBO estimate appears to be off by about 3 million.

Count von Count would not be happy.

Let’s try another number.  According to Bloomberg, the number of Americans living in poverty has risen by 8 million during this crisis…

Support is rising among policy makers to address America’s child-poverty crisis, which is getting worse as the pandemic drags on.

More than 8 million Americans — including many children — fell into poverty during the second half of last year, exacerbating the racial and income inequalities that are holding back the U.S. economy.

In this case, I think that this is a reasonable estimate, but that number will inevitably keep growing in the months ahead.

One of the big reasons why it will continue to rise is because hordes of small businesses will be collapsing, and that brings us to our next number.

According to a study that was recently released by the Fed, 9 million small businesses in the U.S. say that they “won’t survive” in 2021 without more government assistance

Three in ten small businesses — or 9 million out of the estimated 30 million in the United States — fear they won’t survive in the coming year without additional government assistance, according to a survey recently published by the Federal Reserve.

The Small Business Credit Survey, which was conducted last September and October and released last week, showcased the incredible burden the coronavirus pandemic has placed on America’s small businesses, as 88% of the businesses surveyed reported that sales had not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Can you imagine what our country would look like if almost a third of all small businesses permanently disappeared?

If you watched the Super Bowl, you were bombarded with messaging about the plight of our small businesses.  We have never seen anything like this before, and that is because our small businesses have never had to face a crisis of this magnitude.

With each passing day, more small businesses are folding, and nothing that the federal government is going to do will completely stop this trend.

Our next number is 10.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 10 million renters were behind on their rent payments in January, and many more people anticipated not paying rent in February…

An estimated 10 million renters were behind on their rent and at risk of eviction in the middle of January, according to a Census Bureau survey. And an estimated 16 million renters had little to no confidence they could pay rent in February.

Overall, U.S. renters now owe at least 30 billion dollars in back rent.

This has created extreme financial pain for America’s landlords, and when the rent moratoriums are finally lifted we are going to see the largest tsunami of evictions in all of U.S. history by a very wide margin.

Before I wrap up this article, let me leave you with just one more number.  So far in 2021, the number of passengers at U.S. airports is down by more than 60 percent compared to 2019…

Over the past seven days, not quite 707,000 passengers per day on average passed TSA checkpoints at US airports, a measure of how many passengers in the US are flying somewhere. This was down by 61.6% from the same period in 2019, the last full year of the Good Times. At the end of January, the drop from 2019 was over 65%.

I honestly do not know how the airline industry is going to survive this without government help.

Speaking of not surviving, Democrats have introduced a bill in Congress that would essentially deal a death blow to the gig economy

The legislation at the core of their agenda is the PRO Act, which Democrats just re-introduced with sponsors including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer. Among many other things, the bill would severely restrict the legal definition of independent contractors in a way that would largely end the gig economy as we know it.

The legislators’ stated intention is to protect workers and bolster their rights under law. Through the reclassification of independent contractors, Democrats hope to force gig economy companies to hire workers as full employees and thus provide them the accompanying salaries and benefits.

If this bill passes, it would absolutely devastate Uber, Lyft and countless other companies that rely on gig workers.

Basically, millions of jobs would go “poof” with one stroke of Joe Biden’s pen.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 50 million Americans are currently employed by the gig economy.  It is great to want those workers to have higher pay and more benefits, but if those companies go out of existence there won’t be any jobs at all.

These are very dark times for the U.S. economy, and the outlook for the future is exceedingly bleak.

However, in the short-term economic conditions should stabilize somewhat thanks to the huge stimulus payments that the government will be sending out.

But that bubble of hope will be very brief, and everyone should be able to see that much more pain is on the horizon.

***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.

Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop…

Do you feel like another major crisis could erupt at any moment?  If so, you are certainly not alone.  Here in 2020, it has just been one thing after another, and we have come to expect the unexpected.  Right now, so many people that I am hearing from are anticipating that more big trouble is just around the corner, but as we wait for “the other shoe to drop”, economic conditions all over the United States continue to rapidly deteriorate.  For example, on Thursday we learned that the number of initial claims for unemployment benefits last week was the highest in four months

The US job market continues to suffer, and Thursday brought more bad news. Another 885,000 people filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week — an increase from the week prior and higher than the 800,000 claims that economists were expecting.

The latest figures, which are adjusted for seasonal factors and reported by the Labor Department, are particularly grim since last week’s numbers were revised up to 862,000. And even before the revision, that week had been the highest level since mid-September.

This isn’t how the numbers were supposed to be trending.

For four of the past five weeks we have seen the number of new unemployment claims go up, and experts are warning that we should expect things to get even worse as we head into winter

‘US weekly jobless claims continue to head in the wrong direction,” Edward Moya, an analyst at the currency trading firm OANDA, wrote in a research note.

‘The labor market outlook is bleak as the winter wave of the virus is going to lead to more shutdowns.”

Could we soon see more than a million Americans filing new claims for unemployment each week like we did earlier in the pandemic?

To put this in perspective, the previous all-time record prior to 2020 was just 695,000, and that old record was set all the way back in 1982.

We absolutely shattered that record once COVID-19 started spreading widely in the United States, and we have been above that old record every single week throughout this entire pandemic.

Just think about that.

We are seeing numbers that we have never seen before in all of U.S. history every single week, and now they are starting to climb higher once again thanks to the new lockdowns.

In addition, the number of Americans that are collecting unemployment aid from two major federal programs is also on the rise again

The number of jobless people who are collecting aid from one of the two federal extended-benefit programs – the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which offers coverage to gig workers and others who don´t qualify for traditional benefits – surged to 9.2 million from 8.6 million for the week that ended Nov. 28.

But the number of people receiving aid under the second program – the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which provides 13 weeks of federal benefits to people who have exhausted their state aid – also rose from 4.5 million to 4.8 million.

By now, the “recovery” was supposed to be in full gear, but instead major companies keep laying off more workers at an astounding pace.

For example, on Thursday we learned that Coca-Cola will be eliminating 12 percent of their entire U.S. workforce…

Coca-Cola is planning to cut 2,200 jobs, including 1,200 in the United States, as it faces declining sales during the pandemic.

In the United States, where there were about 10,400 employees at the end of last year, the cuts represent roughly 12% of the workforce. In Atlanta, where the company is headquartered, about 500 jobs are being eliminated, the company said Thursday.

Coca-Cola wouldn’t be doing this if the U.S. economy was about “to turn a corner”.

All of these big corporations that are letting workers go can see what is about to happen, and they are slimming their payrolls in an attempt to make it through the coming storm.

Meanwhile, Congress is getting close to approving yet another “stimulus package”, and the Federal Reserve is promising to do whatever it takes to support the financial markets.

Trillions upon trillions of dollars are being slammed into the system, and as a result M2 is up more than 60 percent so far this year.

In other words, our money supply has been increasing at an almost vertical rate in 2020.

Back in November I included a chart in an article that I wrote which shows exactly what I am talking about.  If you are not one of my regular readers, you can find that article right here.

For many years, many of us have been warning that hyperinflation would arrive someday.

But now we can stop warning, because the process has actually started.

Other industrialized nations have also been flooding their systems with new money, and this is really starting to drive up food prices all over the globe.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

The reason this has suddenly become a hot topic is because while overall inflation remains subdued (we will spare a discussion here of why the CPI is purposefully distorted to stay as low as possible – readers can catch up herehere and here), food inflation has been on a tear in recent months. In fact, it has gotten so high that earlier this week Goldman published a report looking at “The Recent Spike In Food Inflation”, in which it noted that “in recent months, inflation has risen and surprised to the upside across a number of major EM economies (e.g. Turkey, South Africa, India, Brazil andRussia).” According to Goldman, one of the main drivers of these increases has been higher food inflation, which has coincided with a sharp increase in the price of some key agricultural commodities (e.g. grains, oils and soybeans).”

Sadly, this is just the beginning.  Eventually, the food riots which have already started on the other side of the planet will start happening in the western world too.

And as hungry people become increasingly desperate, I believe that eventually companies will start putting armed guards on food trucks.

We aren’t quite there yet, thankfully, but things are really starting to get crazy out there.

A few days ago I went to the supermarket again, and I really tried to economize and get things that were on sale, but I still spent more than 260 dollars on one cart of food.

Just one cart!

As the cost of living continues to soar into the stratosphere, many American families are going to discover that they are no longer able to afford enough food for the week.

And once millions upon millions of Americans get desperately hungry, that is when we will see absolutely insane economic riots in this country.

All of these things are coming, and we definitely will not have to wait very long at all for “the other shoe to drop”.

***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 Collapse