Food Banks Warn They Will Soon Run Out Of Food As Economic Suffering Explodes All Over America

What are hungry Americans going to do when the food banks don’t have any more food for them?  Over the past couple of weeks, we have witnessed the largest spike in unemployment in all of U.S. history.  Since most of those workers did not have any sort of a cushion to fall bank on, a lot of of them have been forced to seek out emergency assistance for themselves and their families almost immediately.  Of course our national network of food banks was not built to handle this sort of a scenario, and as you will see below, many of them are already starting to run out of food.  But if things are this bad at the very beginning of this new economic downturn, what are things going to look like a few months from now?

It is imperative for people to understand that we are now in uncharted territory.  At this point, even the head of the IMF is warning that this new economic crisis will be “way worse” that the last recession…

The coronavirus pandemic has created an economic crisis “like no other” — one that is “way worse” than the 2008 global financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund’s top official said Friday.

“Never in the history of the IMF have we witnessed the world economy come to a standstill,” Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, said at a news conference.

And of course we are already seeing economic numbers in the United States that absolutely blow away anything that we witnessed back in 2008 and 2009.  I don’t know that any of us ever anticipated seeing a single week when 6.6. million Americans would file new claims for unemployment benefits.

As this “coronavirus shutdown” continues all over the nation, U.S. economic numbers will continue to be nightmarish for the foreseeable future.  In fact, what Morgan Stanley is projecting for the second quarter is nothing short of terrifying

Following Friday’s report, Ellen Zentner, chief U.S. economist at the New York-based investment bank Morgan Stanley, lowered her growth forecast for second-quarter gross domestic product to -38 percent on an annualized basis. She says the U.S. economy will lose 21 million jobs, running the unemployment rate up to 15.7 percent, a level not seen since the Great Depression.

Of course the people that are going to feel the most pain are those on the lowest rungs of the economic food chain.

According to Bloomberg, “bread lines are forming” even in some of the wealthiest areas of the country…

With more than 10 million people across the nation suddenly unemployed, bread lines are forming in the shadows of privileged enclaves like this one in Florida.

For the past two weeks, the kitchen staff at Howley’s has been cooking up free meals—the other day it was smoked barbecue chicken with rice and beans, and salad—for thousands of laid off workers from Palm Beach’s shuttered restaurants and resorts. The rows of brown-bag lunches and dinners are an early warning that the country’s income gap is about to be wrenched wider as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, and the deep recession it has brought with it.

Elsewhere, vehicles are lining up at the crack of dawn at food banks all across the United states.

Feeding America is the largest food bank network in the nation, and the demand that they are seeing right now is unprecedented

Millions of people newly unemployed mean food banks, food pantries and soup kitchens are seeing a flood of new clients appearing at their doors, just as supplies are dwindling because of growing demand from consumers stuck at home.

Food banks are reporting a 40% increase in demand, on average, said Katie Fitzgerald, chief operating officer at Feeding America, a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs nationwide. Some say they are seeing double to quadruple the number of people asking for help.

Unfortunately, this is happening at the same time that donations to food banks are way, way down.  Feeding America locations are usually heavily supplied by major retailers, and right now those retailers are having a really difficult time keeping their own shelves stocked.

As a result, Fitzgerald is warning that some Feeding America locations may soon “not have enough food to distribute”

“Food banks could very well get so low on their inventories that they would not have enough food to distribute,” she said.

Louisiana has become one of the national hotspots of the coronavirus outbreak, and things there are particularly dire.

In fact, the head of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank says that his facility only has “a few weeks left of food”

Mike Manning, president of the food bank, said its usual sources of food for the needy in 11 parishes are drying up, as residents stock up their refrigerators and shelves at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our inventory is down significantly,” Manning said Thursday. “We’re looking at a few weeks left of food, unless we can find relief from the federal government and Feeding America,” a national network of more than 200 food banks.

But at least they haven’t had to turn anyone away yet.

At the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, hundreds of vehicles have been turned away in recent days…

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank provided food to about 4,000 vehicles at three recent events, but had to turn hundreds away. Traffic was backed up for miles, said Lisa Scales, the agency’s CEO.

On Monday, 40 cars had already lined up by 9 am ET, even though distribution didn’t start until noon. More than 800 vehicles ended up receiving boxes of groceries.

The longer this “coronavirus shutdown” lasts, the deeper the desperation is going to become.

And even once the “shelter-in-place” orders have finally been lifted, one recent survey found that most Americans plan to continue to hunker down

A majority of Americans are hunkering down and say they will continue to social distance or stay at home even if lockdown orders are lifted, according to a new poll.

While 87% of the American public is staying home — regardless of whether or not it’s mandated by state or local municipalities — most plan on continuing to do so for all of April, according to the poll taken by the Huffington Post/YouGov survey.

So the truth is that there will not be a return to “normal” any time soon.

As long as a substantial portion of the population is afraid of the coronavirus, economic behavior is simply not going to go back to old patterns.

And the same survey that I just quoted found that a staggering 62 percent of all Americans believe that this pandemic will have “lasting effects on the nation”

“Only about one-quarter of Americans say they expect things will soon go back to normal in the country, with 62% foreseeing lasting effects on the nation. The rest are unsure what will happen.”

In the days ahead, there will be economic ups and downs, and financial markets will continue to fluctuate wildly, but the truth is that the “good times” are gone for good.

And remember, this coronavirus is just the beginning, and a lot more challenges are on the way.

As “the perfect storm” unfolds, please don’t forget those that warned you about all of these things in advance.

These are truly unprecedented times, and the level of economic suffering that we are already witnessing is off the charts.

Sadly, the pain for ordinary Americans in only just getting started, and that is going to have enormous implications for our society as a whole.

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 all many people as we possibly can.

49 Percent Of U.S. Companies Expect Layoffs “In The Next Three Months” As Unemployment Heads To Great Depression Levels

If the U.S. economy remains in shutdown mode for the next several months, we are going to witness layoffs like we have never seen before in U.S. history.  Of course what we have already witnessed is difficult to believe.  Last week more than 3.2 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits, and that was more than four times higher than the previous all-time record.  This week another massive surge is expected, and we will continue to see lots more layoffs for as long as this pandemic persists.  It is going to be a very challenging time for the country as a whole, because we haven’t seen anything like this since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Yes, shutting down most of the nation is saving lives, but it is also absolutely crippling our economy.  According to a survey that was conducted from March 20th to March 26th by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, almost half of all U.S. companies say that it is likely that they will be conducting layoffs at some point “in the next three months”

Forty-nine percent of companies told Challenger, Gray & Christmas they are very or somewhat likely to conduct layoffs in the next three months, while 11% reported they have conducted permanent layoffs; another 7% have conducted temporary layoffs.

If that actually happens, can you imagine what that will do to our unemployment rate?

I know that this may sound really crazy, but at this point the St. Louis Fed is projecting that we will soon see a 32 percent unemployment rate

Millions of Americans already have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus crisis and the worst of the damage is yet to come, according to a Federal Reserve estimate.

Economists at the Fed’s St. Louis district project total employment reductions of 47 million, which would translate to a 32.1% unemployment rate, according to a recent analysis of how bad things could get.

Could things really get that bad so quickly?

If we do see a number that high, it would surpass even the highest unemployment rates that we witnessed during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The only way to avoid this sort of a nightmare scenario would be to put America back to work as quickly as possible, but that is simply not going to happen.  President Trump just extended the federal coronavirus guidelines until at least April 30th, and that means that it is exceedingly unlikely that any state will end their lockdowns before then.

And actually more states continue to join the “shelter-in-place” party.  For example, check out what just happened in Arizona

Gov. Doug Ducey is ordering all Arizona residents to remain in their homes for the next month except for essential needs to limit the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 1,000 people in the state.

The “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” executive order is set to take effect Tuesday at 5 p.m. and remain in place at least until April 30.

It would be wonderful if the pandemic had subsided so much by April 30th that most Americans would be able to get back to work, but many states are already anticipating that this crisis will run much longer than that.

Officials in New York City are warning that the city may stay closed down for the next two months, and in Virginia the current “shelter-in-place” order doesn’t expire until June 10th

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a statewide stay-at-home order that’s effective immediately and will remain in place until June 10, unless the governor amends or rescinds it.

In the end, officials will be watching the raw numbers in order to determine when it is finally safe to resume normal activity.

Right now, the number of confirmed cases and the number of deaths is still increasing, but at least the rate at which they are rising is starting to slow down.

Hopefully that means that the “shelter-in-place” orders are having a positive effect.

But if everyone is allowed to resume normal activity a couple of months from now, we could see a “second wave” erupt as the number of cases starts to explode once again.

The only way to truly defeat this virus would be to conduct a complete and total nationwide lockdown for at least 28 days at the same time that the rest of the world is also conducting simultaneous lockdowns, and there is no way that is going to happen.

So it looks like we will be dealing with this virus for a long, long time to come.

As Americans brace for the economic collapse that is now unfolding all around us, they are hoarding cash “at the fastest pace since Y2K”, and retailers are boarding up their stores all over the country

High-end stores across the country have been boarding up their stores in anticipation of civil unrest due to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

In Beverly Hills, the Pottery Barn and West Elm stores near Rodeo Drive were spotted with boards across the windows according to TMZ.

Meanwhile, stores in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Paris, Vancouver and elsewhere were similarly boarded up.

If I was in their shoes, I would probably be doing the same thing.  As unemployment soars and people get sick and tired of being confined to their own homes, it is probably only a matter of time before we see civil unrest, rioting, looting, and an unprecedented spike in the crime rate.

Of course there are still a lot of people out there that are hoping for a “V shaped recovery” once this pandemic begins to fade, but I wouldn’t count on that happening.

Scientists are warning that there could be multiple “waves” during this pandemic, and fear of this coronavirus is going to persist for a very long time to come.  And now that all of the economic bubbles are starting to burst, experts such as Egon von Greyerz are convinced that “there will be no recovery at all”

No one should believe for one moment that once CV is gone we will experience a V shaped recovery. There will be no V, there will be no U and nor will we see a hockey stick recovery. What few people understand, including the so called experts, is that there will be no recovery at all. An extremely rapid decline of the world economy has just started and will be devastating in the next 6-12 months, whether CV ends soon or not.

Personally, I do believe that there will be ups and downs throughout this process, but overall we are facing a “great unraveling” that will be more painful than most Americans would dare to imagine.

This coronavirus is not going to be the only challenge that we will have to face.  We have entered a time when there will be one crisis after another, and there will be no way to reinflate the bubbles this time.

Sadly, so many Americans today have come to take such great pride in our debt-fueled “national prosperity”, and now that prosperity is going to be smashed into a thousand pieces.

Our day of reckoning has finally arrived, and it is going to be really, really painful for the American people.

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 all many people as we possibly can.

The U.S. Government Is Preparing For An 18 Month Pandemic And “Critical Shortages”

Are you prepared for the nationwide shutdown that is happening now to last for the next 18 months?  You may not believe that such a thing will happen, but the federal government apparently does.  A 100 page government plan marked “For Official Use Only // Not For Public Distribution or Release” was obtained by the New York Times, and it paints a very bleak picture of what is coming.  If the projections in this document are anywhere close to accurate, large numbers of Americans will die, the U.S. economy will completely implode, and we will see widespread civil unrest.  So let us pray that the assessments in this government plan turn out to be dead wrong.

According to the document, this coronavirus pandemic “will last 18 months or longer”

A federal government plan to combat the coronavirus warned policymakers last week that a pandemic “will last 18 months or longer” and could include “multiple waves,” resulting in widespread shortages that would strain consumers and the nation’s health care system.

The 100-page plan, dated Friday, the same day President Trump declared a national emergency, laid out a grim prognosis for the spread of the virus and outlined a response that would activate agencies across the government and potentially employ special presidential powers to mobilize the private sector.

I can’t even imagine what our country would look like if current conditions stretched into the middle of 2021.

As a nation, I don’t believe that we would be able to handle it.

The document also envisions that there will be “critical shortages”

“Shortages of products may occur, impacting health care, emergency services, and other elements of critical infrastructure,” the plan warned. “This includes potentially critical shortages of diagnostics, medical supplies (including PPE and pharmaceuticals), and staffing in some locations.” P.P.E. refers to personal protective equipment.

Of course there are already shortages of some drugs and of many basic consumer products such as toilet paper.

Sadly, things could soon get much worse.

Meanwhile, the overall economy continues to collapse at a staggering pace.  A former economic adviser to President Trump is now warning us that the U.S. economy could lose up to a million jobs this month alone

Kevin Hassett, who served as a top economic adviser to President Trump until last summer, said Monday that the United States economy could shed as many as one million jobs in March alone because of layoffs and hiring freezes related to the coronavirus.

“If you have normal job disruption, and hiring just stops,” Mr. Hassett said, “you’ll have the worst jobs number ever.”

But if this pandemic continues to escalate, a million jobs lost will just be a drop in the bucket.

In fact, the National Restaurant Association is now projecting that their industry will lose “between five and seven million jobs”

The National Restaurant Association is predicting the unprecedented carnage is only just beginning, on Wednesday writing a letter to the White House and Congress detailing an estimated $225 billion in sales will be wiped out over the next three months, crucially prompting the loss of between five and seven million jobs.

Remember, that is just one industry.

The retail industry is also being completely devastated as well, and we just learned that the largest operator of shopping malls in the United States is shutting them all down

Simon Property Group, the largest owner of shopping malls in the nation, is closing all of its malls and retail properties because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The closings start at 7 p.m. local time Wednesday and the malls are expected to end March 29, the Indianapolis-based company said in a news release.

Of course they won’t actually open back up on March 29th if this pandemic continues to get worse.

So far, COVID-19 has killed less than 200 Americans.

If our society is being this disrupted now, what will things be like if the death toll becomes 1,000 times larger?

For years, I have warned that our economy was extremely vulnerable, and now that is becoming exceedingly obvious to everyone.  It certainly didn’t take too much of a push to burst all the bubbles and send everyone into a severe panic, and now the economy is collapsing at a pace that is absolutely breathtaking.

According to NBC News, state unemployment websites all over the nation are crashing because so many people are suddenly applying for unemployment benefits…

Workers who have suddenly found themselves without a paycheck because of the growing coronavirus pandemic in the United States are now dealing with another frustration — state unemployment websites crashing because of high traffic.

From Oregon to New York and Washington, D.C., officials and Twitter users have highlighted the problem after the mass closing of restaurants, retail stores and other businesses as part of the effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Tomorrow morning most Americans will wake up assuming that their jobs are safe.  But right now an increasing number of people are being let go without any advance warning whatsoever.  Here is one example

Eileen Hanley was wrapping up her weekend and getting ready for the week ahead on Sunday evening when an email popped up in her inbox with the subject line “COVID-19 uncertainty.” It was from her boss at the small Manhattan law firm where she worked part time as a receptionist.

“We hope you are feeling well during this time,” the email began. Then it cut to the chase: The firm was losing revenue because of the outbreak, and it would have to eliminate “a number of positions,” including hers, “effective immediately.”

We have never seen anything like this before.

Things were tough during World War II, but it was actually a time when the country geared up and worked extremely hard to defeat the enemy.

But now economic activity all over America is being brought to a screeching halt.  In fact, we just learned that the three largest automakers have shut down all of their U.S. factories

Detroit’s Big Three automakers plan to temporarily close all U.S. factories as the coronavirus sweeps across the country.

The companies bowed to pressure from union leaders and employees who called for protection from the pandemic that’s spread to more than 212,000 people in nearly every country across the globe.

As a nation, we would survive a 30 day shutdown.

But if life doesn’t get back to normal for “18 months”, we are going to witness a societal meltdown of epic proportions.

This week, investor Bill Ackman told CNBC that “hell is coming”, and he warned that unless the entire country is shut down simultaneously for an extended period of time “America will end as we know it”…

“What’s scaring the American people and corporate America now is the gradual rollout,” Ackman told Scott Wapner on “Halftime Report” on Wednesday. “We need to shut it down now. … This is the only answer.”

“America will end as we know it. I’m sorry to say so, unless we take this option,” he said. Ackman added that if Trump saves the country from the coronavirus, he will get reelected in November.

I believe that he makes an excellent point, but I would take it one step further.

If the entire world shut down for 30 days, this pandemic would quickly be brought under control.  If only the U.S. shuts down, it is inevitable that the virus would keep coming back into the country as the pandemic continues raging elsewhere on the globe.

Of course we aren’t going to get the entire globe to agree to shut down simultaneously for 30 days.

So this outbreak will continue to spread and the case numbers will continue to grow.

For a long time I have been warning that something would come along that would burst all the bubbles and trigger a horrifying economic meltdown.

Now it is upon us, but now is not a time for fear.

With God’s help, we will get through this.

But life is not going to go back to the way it was before.

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. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. 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.

The Cold, Hard Facts Which Prove That The Past Decade Was Actually Quite Awful For The U.S. Economy

If this is what “the good times” look like, how nightmarish are “the bad times” going to be?  In America today, more than 500,000 of us are homeless, about 40 million of us are living in poverty, 50 percent of all workers make less than $33,000 a year, and 70 percent of us have cried about money.  But at least the economy has been “growing”, right?  Well, in this article I would like to address that.  Even if you believe that the highly manipulated economic growth numbers that the government puts out are legitimate, they still show that we are in one of the worst economic stretches in all of U.S. history.

From 1930 to 1933, the U.S. economy experienced four years in a row during which GDP growth each year was under 3 percent.

Up until this current stretch, that was the longest streak in our entire history.

Of course we have absolutely shattered that old record, and now that 2019 is over we can add one more year to our growing total.  At this point, you have to go back to 2005 to find the last year in which the U.S. economy grew by at least 3 percent.

That means that the U.S. economy has not actually had a “good year” since the middle of the Bush administration.

14 years in a row of economic growth below 3 percent is not anything to cheer about.  In fact, it is downright abysmal.

But the good news is that stock prices have been steadily rising over the past decade.  Just check out the numbers that David Wessel recently shared with PBS

So, look, the stock market had a terrific decade. The S&P 500 rose nine out of 10 years. The S&P 500 is up nearly 30 percent this year, just this year alone. And half the stock market wealth in America is held by the top 1 percent of people.

The Federal Reserve created trillions of dollars out of thin air and pumped that money into the financial markets, and of course that was going to be good for stock prices.  And pushing interest rates to the floor also helped inflate the massive bubble that we now see on Wall Street.  The following bit of analysis comes from CNBC

The Fed has kept borrowing rates low throughout the decade, gradually raising them from the end of 2015 through 2018, only to cut quickly again in 2019 to try to fend off any uncertainty in the economy. The central bank’s balance sheet sits at roughly $4 trillion, quadruple its size in 2008.

Needless to say, there is going to be a great price to pay in the long-term for such manipulation, but as long as stock prices keep rising most people don’t seem to care.

Unfortunately, these high stock prices do not represent any sort of permanent wealth.  They are simply a snapshot of what people are willing to pay at this moment in time, and a major disaster could come along which could cut those prices in half by next month.

Economic optimists also like to point to the employment numbers as evidence that the economy is doing well, but those numbers are so manipulated that they are essentially meaningless at this point.

In fact, most of the people that are transitioning from not having a job to having a job each month did not even count as “unemployed” the month previously

This year, the portion of people who got jobs each month who wouldn’t even have been counted among the unemployed the month before reached 75 percent. That’s by far the highest it’s been in the last three decades. The percentage of working-age Americans who have jobs only returned to its pre-Great Recession peak in the last few months. (It still has a ways to go before it returns to its previous peak, just before the 2001 recession.)

Today, more than 100 million working age Americans do not have a job, and John Williams has calculated that if honest numbers were being used that the real unemployment rate would be above 20 percent.

The truth is that we still have an employment crisis in this country, and anyone that suggests otherwise is not being straight with you.

Meanwhile, productivity growth has been absolutely terrible over the past decade, an increasing share of the economy has become concentrated in corporate hands, and small business creation has continued to collapse.  The following comes from an excellent article by Annie Lowrey

In many ways, the American economy became more sclerotic. Corporate concentration increased, with more industry sectors dominated by a small handful of firms. All the stories about the furious innovation coming from Silicon Valley and other tech-dominated regions aside, the start-up economy continued its long, slow collapse. The number of IPOs has fallen, and there are now half as many publicly listed businesses as there were in the late 1990s. Our cultural obsession with start-ups peaked at a time when companies under a year old were half as common as they were 40 years ago.

At the same time, the cost of living for average American families has been skyrocketing but our paychecks have not.  As a result, more Americans are being squeezed out of the middle class with each passing month.  Here is more from Lowrey

Millions of young families who tried to save for a home were unable to purchase one, sapped by the toxic combination of high rents and a lack of stock. Throw in sky-high child-care prices, spiraling out-of-pocket health-care fees, and heavy educational-debt loads, and the 2010s crushed a whole generation as it entered its prime earning years. The Millennials are on track to be the first generation in contemporary history to end up poorer than their parents—unless Gen X beats them to it.

The only thing that has saved our economy from plunging into a horrific depression has been the greatest debt binge in all of human history.

Over the last ten years we have added more than 10 trillion dollars to the national debt, state and local government debt has soared to record highs all over the nation, corporate debt has risen more than 50 percent, student loan debt has more than doubled and the total amount of U.S. household debt is now nearing 14 trillion dollars.

By stealing from the future, we have been able to stabilize the present, but the long-term cost will be more than we can bear.

It is only a matter of time before our mistakes catch up with us, and the clock is ticking.

So please don’t try to tell me that the U.S. economy is in good shape.

The last decade was one of the worst stretches for economic growth in our history, and a day of reckoning awaits us during the decade that is directly ahead.

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 Blog, End 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 End, Get 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. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. 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.

Black Friday Is Coming, And 48 Million Americans Still Have Holiday Debt From Last Year

The biggest shopping day of the year is almost here, and marketers are working hard trying to extract as much money from U.S. consumers as possible.  Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get consumers to open up their wallets, because many of them are already drowning in debt.  As a society, we have been trained to think of this as “the happiest time of the year”, and for many Americans the most important part of the holiday season is opening presents on Christmas morning.  So there is a tremendous amount of pressure to spend a lot of money on presents, but this often leads to high levels of credit card debt.  In fact, a survey that was just released discovered that 48 million Americans “are still paying off credit card debt from last holiday season”

The holidays can be hard: cooking elaborate meals, facing frigid temperatures, making travel plans that please everyone.

Overspending, however, is too easy. In fact, about 48 million Americans are still paying off credit card debt from last holiday season, according to a NerdWallet survey conducted by The Harris Poll.

Sadly, some of those consumers will end up paying the credit card companies more than twice what those Christmas presents originally cost, and it can be exceedingly difficult to ever get ahead when you are trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of debt.

So why do people do it?

Well, according to one financial therapist many Americans are chasing an “emotional experience” this time of the year…

Gift-buying requires money, time and energy when you may already feel overwhelmed, says Los Angeles-based financial therapist Amanda Clayman. During the holidays, “we’re chasing a sort of emotional experience,” she says. Think: the love and happiness of a Hallmark movie.

But feelings of grief or longing may be more realistic. “This is a sad and lonely time for many people,” says Sarah Newcomb, behavioral economist for Morningstar. Shopping (for anything or everything) can be a convenient coping mechanism.

We want what we see on television, but what we see on television is not real.

In the end, many Americans leave the holiday season feeling deeply disappointed, because what they were chasing was just an illusion.

Yes, some wealthy families will literally have hundreds of presents under their Christmas trees this holiday season, but most American families are deeply struggling these days.

In fact, over two million of us are actually living without basic necessities such as “running water or indoor plumbing”.  The following comes from Daisy Luther

A new report says that more than 2 million Americans in West Virginia, Alabama, Texas and the Navajo Nation Reservation in the Southwest are living without clean running water or indoor plumbing. They’re drinking from polluted streams. They’re carrying buckets of the same water home for washing. They’re urinating and defecating outside with no wastewater treatment.

The gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow, and at this point the wealthiest 0.1 percent of all Americans now have as much wealth as the poorest 90 percent of all Americans combined.

Let that sink in for a moment.

That is a recipe for societal disaster, and it is getting worse with each passing year.

A big reason for this is because the Federal Reserve has been artificially pumping up the financial markets, and on Monday stocks hit yet another all-time high

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite hit all-time closing highs as they rose 0.8% to 3,133.64 and 1.3% to 8,632.49, respectively. Both indexes also notched intraday records. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also had a record close, gaining 190.85 points, or 0.5% to 28,066.47.

President Donald Trump tweeted about the record, saying: “Enjoy!”

But what most Americans don’t understand is that 84 percent of all stock market wealth is owned by the wealthiest 10 percent of all Americans.

Of course the stock market bubble won’t last indefinitely.  We are already in an earnings recession, and that earnings recession is expected to continue in the fourth quarter

Earnings in the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.75%  are now projected to decline 1.51% in the fourth quarter from the year before, according to a FactSet computation of analysts’ average forecasts for individual companies. An earnings recession is defined as two quarters or more of consecutive year-over-year declines, and earnings for S&P 500 components dipped in the first two quarters of 2019 and are all but certain to do so again in the third quarter — with nearly 95% of calendar third-quarter reports posted, earnings have dropped 2.34%, the biggest decline so far this year.

And about 75 percent of the time, an earnings recession leads into a full-blown recession for the economy as a whole

Three-fourths (75%) of earnings recessions since World War II have morphed into economic recessions, said CFRA Chief Investment Strategist Sam Stovall, who told Market Watch that he has been “scratching his head” trying to reconcile analyst pessimism around earnings with continued stock-market rallies.

So the truth is that those that are celebrating what the stock market is doing are not likely to be celebrating for too much longer.

And every day we continue to get more bad news from the real economy.  For example, we just learned that the largest maker of truck engines in the United States will be laying off about 2,000 workers

Those market trends are now impacting Cummins, a Columbus, Ind., manufacturer of heavy equipment. It’s the largest manufacturer of Class 8 truck engines, claiming a 38.3% market share in 2018 over competitors like Daimler and Volvo/Mack.

Cummins spokesperson Jon Mills confirmed to Business Insider that the company, which employs some 62,610 globally, will reduce its global workforce by about 2,000. Those layoffs will be complete by the first quarter of 2020, he said.

As a “perfect storm” overtakes America, many believe that this will be the last “normal” holiday season that Americans will be able to enjoy.

It has become exceedingly clear that very hard times are coming, and quite a few experts believe that the crisis that is ahead will be even worse than what we experienced in 2008.

So enjoy the time that you are able to spend with your family and friends over the coming weeks, because major changes are already starting to happen, and our nation will soon be dealing with one major headache after another.

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 Blog, End 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 End, Get 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. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. 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.

For Millions Of Americans In The Middle Of The Country, It Feels Like An Economic Depression Right Now

What do you do when you have lost all hope that things will ever turn around?  It may still feel like “the economy is booming” for those at the top end of the economic food chain in big coastal cities such as New York and San Francisco, but for millions of hard working Americans in the middle of the country, talk of a “coming recession” is absolutely ludicrous because it already feels like a severe economic depression is happening right now.  In America’s heartland, bankruptcies are surging, debt burdens are becoming overwhelming, and suicide rates are spiking to unprecedented levels.  We have not seen economic despair this extreme since the last recession, and I am about to share a story with you that will absolutely break your heart.

At one time, South Dakota farmers Chris and Amber Dykshorn looked toward the future with great optimism.  But mounting debts and several years of disastrous weather changed all that, and in June their community was shocked when Chris took his own life

Amber Dykshorn stood at her kitchen window and watched the storm come in.

It was a very dark Saturday night in the middle of the summer in the middle of a year that is on track to be the wettest in more than a century. The wind blew over the farm, the rain came down and she heard the ominous pings on her roof – pea-sized hail, striking the still-fragile stalks of the only corn her husband, Chris Dykshorn, was able to plant before he took his own life in June.

Chris had lost all hope.

The couple was absolutely drowning in debt, and they desperately needed a good year just to keep the farm going.

But then the rain just kept on coming, and now Amber has to deal with three young kids and $300,000 in farm debt all by herself

Did their crop insurance cover hail damage? She had no idea. That was something Chris would have taken care of, if he were here. Instead she was alone, with nearly $300,000 in farm debt, three kids ages 5 to 13 and a host of grief-fueled questions. Why hadn’t she been able to save him? What would happen to them now?

Sadly, the Dykshorns are not an isolated case.

All across the Midwest, farms are going under at a staggering rate.  According to the vice president of the National Farmers Union, the state of Wisconsin is “losing two farms a day” at this point…

“You look at the weather, you look at the crops you can’t get off the field, you look at the bills you can’t pay,” Patty Edelburg, vice president of the National Farmers Union, told Yahoo Finance. “Bankruptcies are up. Wisconsin is attributed as the No. 1 bankruptcy in the nation right now, when it comes to dairy farmers. That number is up, I think, 24% from last year already. We’re losing two farms a day.”

If you can believe it, the state of Wisconsin “lost almost 1,200 dairy farms” between 2016 and 2018.

Overall, the number of dairy farms in the state has fallen by 49 percent during the last 15 years.

Just think about that.

Half of all the dairy farms in our most important dairy producing state are completely gone.

And instead of tapering off, this “farm apocalypse” just continues to pick up speed.  Sadly, the bankers are contributing to this crisis in a major way by denying loans to many of these troubled farmers

“Farming is such a stressful occupation by itself,” Edelburg said. “When you start adding financial stress on top of it, it’s just going to add more stress. Farmers can’t pay their bills, they have no extra money, they have people honing down their neck looking to pay bills. They’re going to banks and they can’t get loans. They’re literally being denied loans.”

When you are already drowning in debt and your crops are failing and the banks won’t give you any more money, it can seem like there is no way out.

This is the position that Chris Dykshorn found himself in, and we can get an idea of what his emotional state was like just before he committed suicide from the final texts that he sent to his wife

“I’m struggling so bad today. I don’t know what to do anymore,” he texted on May 31. “I seriously don’t know how we r gonna make it.”

On June 1: “I just want to sit in the house and cry.”

And then: “What am I supposed to do. I am failing and feel like I’m gonna lose everything I’ve worked for the past how many years.”

As I have stressed over and over, suicide is never the answer.  But when someone loses all hope that there will ever be an opportunity to turn things around, it can be very difficult to keep going.

Meanwhile, money is flowing like wine on Wall Street thanks to the Federal Reserve.  The unelected Fed has been pumping billions upon billions of dollars into the financial markets, and this has resulted in a higher concentration of wealth among the top one percent than ever before.  The following comes from Bloomberg

The top 1% of American households have enjoyed huge returns in the stock market in the past decade, to the point that they now control more than half of the equity in U.S. public and private companies, according to data from the Federal Reserve. Those fat portfolios have America’s elite gobbling up an ever-bigger piece of the pie.

The very richest had assets of about $35.4 trillion in the second quarter, or just shy of the $36.9 trillion held by the tens of millions of people who make up the 50th percentile to the 90th percentile of Americans — much of the middle and upper-middle classes.

In essence, Wall Street is being showered by “welfare money” from the Federal Reserve, and nobody is holding the Fed accountable.

At the same time, tens of millions of American families are working low paying jobs and are just barely getting by from month to month.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

For instance, a new report sheds light on 53 million Americans, or about 44% of all US workers, aged 18 to 64, are considered low-wage and low-skilled.

Many of these folks are stuck in the gig economy, making approximately $10.22 per hour, and they bring home less than $20,000 per year, according to a Brookings Institution report.

Today, half of all American workers make less than $33,000 a year.  As the cost of living continues to rise much faster than wages do, hard working Americans are increasingly turning to debt in order to make ends meet, and during the next recession many families will not be able to service those debts.

All over the nation, we are watching a tragedy play out in slow motion.

America’s heartland is being gutted, and the “next recession” hasn’t even officially started yet.  But soon enough it will, and the deep depression that we are already witnessing in many parts of the middle of the country will get a lot worse.

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 Blog, End 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 End, Get 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. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. 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.

Goodbye Middle Class: 50 Percent Of American Workers Make Less Than 33,000 Dollars A Year

The truth is that most American families are deeply struggling, but you hardly ever hear this from the mainstream media.  Yes, about 10 percent of all American workers are making $100,000 or more a year, but most of those high paying jobs are concentrated in the major cities along the east and west coasts.  For much of the rest of the country, these are very challenging times as the cost of living soars but their paychecks do not.  According to the Social Security Administration, the median income in the United States last year was just $32,838.05.  In other words, 50 percent of American workers made more than $32,838.05 and 50 percent of American workers made less than $32,838.05 in 2018.  Let’s be generous and round that number up to $33,000, and when you break it down on a monthly basis it comes to just $2,750 a month.  Of course nobody can support a middle class lifestyle for a family of four on $2,750 a month before taxes, and so in most families more than one person is working these days.  In fact, in many families today more than one person is working multiple jobs in a desperate attempt to make ends meet, and it still is often not quite enough.

If you want to look at the Social Security wage statistics for yourself, you can find them right here.  As you will see, I am not making these numbers up.

These days many would have us feel bad if we are not making at least $100,000 a year, but according to the report only about 10 percent of all American workers make that much money.

Instead, most Americans are in what I would call “the barely getting by” category.  Here are some key facts that I pulled out of the report…

-33 percent of all American workers made less than $20,000 last year.

-46 percent of all American workers made less than $30,000 last year.

-58 percent of all American workers made less than $40,000 last year.

-67 percent of all American workers made less than $50,000 last year.

That means that approximately two-thirds of all American workers are making $4,000 or less a month before taxes.

Ouch.

But these numbers help us to understand why survey after survey has shown that most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.  After paying the bills, there just isn’t much money left for most of us.

And for an increasing number of Americans, even paying the bills has become exceedingly difficult.  In fact, a brand new report from UBS says that 44 percent of all U.S. consumers “don’t make enough money to cover their expenses”…

Low-income consumers are struggling to make ends meet despite the “greatest economy ever,” and if a recession strikes or the employment cycle continues to decelerate — this could mean the average American with insurmountable debts will likely fall behind on their debt servicing payments, according to a UBS report, first reported by Bloomberg.

UBS analyst Matthew Mish wrote in a recent report that 44% of consumers don’t make enough money to cover their expenses.

That means that about half the country is flat broke and struggling just to survive financially.

Of course those at the top of the economic food chain often don’t have a lot of sympathy for those that are hurting.  Many of them have the attitude that those that are struggling should just go out and get one of the “good jobs” that the mainstream media is endlessly touting.

But most jobs in the United States are not “good jobs”.

Today, the poverty level for a household of four in the United States is $25,750.  More than 40 percent of the workers in this country make less than that each year.

Starting a business is always an option, but that takes money, and thanks to government regulations it is harder than ever to run a small business successfully.

Just look at what is happening to our dairy farmers.  There are few occupations that are more quintessentially “American” than being a dairy farmer, and since most people drink milk and eat cheese, you would think that it would be a pretty safe profession.

But instead, dairy farms are shutting down at a pace that is absolutely chilling all over the nation.  For example, just check out what has been going on in Wisconsin

Wisconsin lost another 42 dairy farms in July, and since January 1, has lost 491 farms, reports the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

At this rate, the Dairy State could lose 735 dairy farms this year, which would be a decline of 9%. In 2018, the state lost 691 farms, a rate of decline of 7.9%.

Over the last decade the state has lost more than 5,000 farms, or 40% of its licensed dairy farms. To state the obvious, the current rate of exits is more than double that of the last decade.

So why is this happening?

Government.

In profession after profession, government control freaks have made it nearly impossible to make a living, and this has pushed the percentage of Americans that are self-employed to historic lows.

If you are struggling right now, I want you to know that you are not alone.  There are tens of millions of other Americans that are really hurting in this economy, and the bad news is that economic conditions will soon get a lot worse.

But you can make it through whatever is ahead.  You just have to keep believing.

A lot of people accuse me of spreading “doom and gloom”, but that is not true at all.  There is hope in understand what is happening, and there is hope in getting prepared for the hard times that are ahead.  When you take steps to prepare, you are telling yourself and everyone around you that you believe that you can make it through the storm that is coming.

Or you could just have blind faith in the system, even though it is exceedingly obvious that the system is crumbling all around us.  Those that are blindly trusting the system to take care of them are building their dreams on a foundation of sand, and when the waves come crashing in those dreams are going to get washed away very quickly.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep.  I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End 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 End, Get 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 can only allow this to happen if this “About the Author” section is included 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.  This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate.  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.

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