Things Have Gotten So Bad That A Million New Claims For Unemployment Benefits In One Week Is Considered “Good News”

The Labor Department announced on Thursday that another 1.006 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week.  Prior to this year, the all-time record for a single week was just 695,000, and so the number of Americans that are losing their jobs each week continues to remain at a catastrophic level.  But this latest figure is actually being spun as “good news” because at least it was lower than the week before.  And I am willing to concede that point, because we should definitely welcome any sign that the numbers are starting to move in the right direction.  However, there is no doubt that what we have experienced up to this point in 2020 is nothing short of an economic cataclysm.  Over the last 23 weeks, more than 58 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits.  Even if zero workers filed for unemployment for the rest of 2020, this would still be the worst year for unemployment claims in all of U.S. history by a gigantic margin.  Vast hordes of workers have been losing their jobs week after week as the U.S. economy melts down right in front of our eyes.  This has truly been an economic horror show, and the most nightmarish chapters are still ahead of us.

When economic numbers start getting really bad, the government often decides to “modify” how they are calculated, and on Thursday the Labor Department announced that it will be “changing how it adjusts weekly jobless-claims figures for seasonal swings”.

Presumably, that should help the numbers look a bit better starting next week.

But no matter how much they massage the numbers, they can’t erase the fact that tens of millions of people are deeply hurting right now.  According to one new survey, 61 percent of Americans need “another relief bill”, and about two-thirds of Americans from the age of 24 to the age of 54 say that they are currently in financial distress

The latest survey by MagnifyMoney reveals 61 percent of the country needs another relief bill to pay for expenses. Over 80 percent of workers who have been laid off or furloughed due to COVID-19 are counting on more assistance. The poll of 1,010 Americans adds 71 percent of Generation X (ages 40 to 54) and 65 percent of millennials (ages 24 to 39) say they are currently in financial distress.

If you are not in financial distress at this moment, you should be very thankful for your blessings, because you are definitely in the minority.

And more layoff announcements just keep on coming with each passing day.  On Thursday, we learned that Lord & Taylor will be laying off all their workers and closing every single store

Lord & Taylor, the first department store established in the United States, is officially going out of business, ending a nearly 200-year run.

The bankrupt company announced Thursday that all of its 38 remaining stores and website have begun liquidation sales — a reversal from last week’s decision to keep 14 locations open.

When I was a kid, I was always so intimidated by Lord & Taylor when my mother would take me to the mall.

I always thought that was where the rich people shopped.

I never imagined that someday I would see it go out of business forever.

Of course countless other retailers are going belly up as the worst “retail apocalypse” in U.S. history rolls on.  According to Coresight Research, approximately 25 percent of all malls in the United States “will close over the next three to five years”

Another new report out this week from Coresight Research estimates 25% of America’s roughly 1,000 malls will close over the next three to five years, with the pandemic accelerating a demise that was already underway before the new virus emerged.

Can you imagine what our country is going to look like if that actually happens?

Already, communities all over America are being blighted by one boarded up property after another, and this is especially true in many impoverished areas.

Of course our economic problems have been accelerated by a series of very unusual events that have been beyond our control.  It has been one thing after another here in 2020, and the latest major disaster to hit us was Hurricane Laura.  We were extremely fortunate that neither New Orleans or Houston took a direct hit from this storm, because it was enormously destructive.  Just consider what one survivor told the press about the devastation in his community…

“It looks like 1,000 tornadoes went through here. It’s just destruction everywhere,” said Brett Geymann, who rode out the storm with three family members in Moss Bluff, near Lake Charles, Louisiana. He described Laura passing over his house with the roar of a jet engine around 2 a.m.

Let us hope that we will have at least a little bit of time before the next major crisis comes along.  Many had been hoping that August would be a quiet month, but that didn’t turn out to be the case, and now September is just a few days away.

And as we approach the fall season, it is being reported that wealthy investors have been “hoarding cash”

A group of multimillionaire investors in the U.S. are hoarding cash at unprecedented levels.

Tiger 21, a club of more than 800 investors, reported Thursday that its members have raised their cash holdings to 19% of their total assets on concerns over the economic consequences of the covid pandemic in the U.S. That’s up from about 12% since the start of the outbreak. About a quarter now expect the crisis to continue until the end of next June, the group said.

Is this a sign that many of them believe that trouble is ahead for the financial markets?

Of course it isn’t just the wealthy that are deeply concerned about the months ahead.  Our nation has been gripped by endless turmoil for most of this year, and now a very hotly contested presidential election is just over two months away.  Meanwhile, economic conditions will continue to deteriorate, and that means that tens of millions of Americans will become even more angry and even more frustrated.  If you believe that the U.S. is just going to snap out of all of this somehow and everything will turn out just fine in the end, then you simply do not understand the times in which we are living.

For so long we were warned that a “perfect storm” was coming, and now it is here.

And if you think that 2020 has been bad, just wait until you see what else is ahead.

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

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.  By purchasing the book 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.  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)  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.

17 Facts That Prove The U.S. Economy Is A Complete And Total Disaster Zone At This Point

If you know people that actually believe that the U.S. economy is moving in a positive direction, just show them this article.  In all the years that I have been writing about the economy, I have never seen anything that even comes close to what we are experiencing now.  More than 100,000 businesses have permanently failed, and tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs.  If you still have a good job you should cling to it with all of your might, because there are so many families that have no idea how they are going to pay the bills next month, or the month after that, or that month after that.  When it gets to the point where you can’t even pay the rent or the mortgage, financial worries can absolutely consume your life.  If you have been there, you know exactly what I am talking about.  And if you have children, that just makes things even worse.  How do you explain to them that “home” is no longer “home”?

Another group of people that I feel really badly for are all the business owners that have had their dreams absolutely shattered.  Starting a small business from nothing and building it into a success takes a massive amount of work, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for anyone that is able to do that.

Unfortunately, so many once thriving small businesses have now been destroyed by the events of 2020.  For a lot of those small business owners, it isn’t just time and energy that have been lost.  When you make your small business your passion, it becomes a part of who you are, and a lot of small business owners will never be the same again after this.

So please keep in mind that there are real people and real dreams behind each of the numbers that I am about to share with you.  The following are 17 facts that prove the U.S. economy is a complete and total disaster zone at this point…

#1 According to the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, more than half of all the storefronts in the entire city of San Francisco are no longer in business.

#2 Just a few hours ago, New York City reported that it had an unemployment rate of almost 20 percent during the month of July.

#3 Speaking of New York, 83 percent of all restaurants in the city were unable to pay their full rent last month.

#4 In 2020, the state of Louisiana has lost twice as many jobs as it did after Hurricane Katrina.  By the way, many are concerned that Hurricane Laura could soon become a similar monster storm.

#5 In the state of South Carolina, an eye-popping 52 percent of all renters “are at risk of eviction”.

#6 Americans now owe more than 21 billion dollars in unpaid rent.

#7 Overall, 27 percent of all Americans did not make their rent or mortgage payment last month.

#8 According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the delinquency rate on residential mortgages increased by 386 basis points last quarter.  That was the most rapid rise that we have ever seen by a very wide margin.

#9 U.S. bankruptcies are already at their highest level in 10 years and they are expected to surge dramatically as we approach the end of this calendar year.

#10 For companies with more than 1 billion dollars in assets, it is being projected that there will be a record number of bankruptcies in 2020.

#11 World trade plunged to the “lowest levels on record” during the month of June.

#12 The percentage of hotel mortgages that are 30 or more days delinquent soared to a whopping 23.4 percent last month.

#13 American Airlines just announced that they will be eliminating 19,000 jobs next month.

#14 31 percent of U.S. workers that were brought back to work after being laid off during the early stages of this pandemic have been laid off a second time, and another 26 percent have been told that layoffs may be coming soon.

#15 According to one recent survey, about half of all U.S. workers that have been laid off during this pandemic believe that their jobs losses are permanent.

#16 The IRS is projecting that it will receive 37 million fewer W-2 forms for this year than originally anticipated.

#17 Over the last 22 weeks, more than 57 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits.  In all of U.S. history, we have never seen anything that is even worth comparing to this.

Many of the numbers in that list are so catastrophic that it is difficult to believe that they are actually true.

What we experienced back in 2008 and 2009 was a “deep recession”, but what we are experiencing now is so much worse.

And at this point even the mainstream media is admitting that this new downturn will be with us for a long time.  For example, the following comes from a CNN article entitled “We’ll be stuck in this economic slump for years, economists say”

America remains in a deep downturn and is running a serious risk of a worsening recession that will last at least another year, economists warned Monday.

About half of the National Association of Business Economics members expect US gross domestic product — the broadest measure of the economy — won’t return to its pre-pandemic level until 2022. A majority of those experts also say the US job market will be back to its February level in 2022 at the earliest.

Unfortunately, those projections are actually way too optimistic.  Industry after industry is in the process of unraveling, major economic bubbles are bursting all around us, and the economic pain that is on the horizon is going to dwarf what we are going through at this moment.

The mainstream media admits that a “collapse” has happened, but they still believe that eventually things will turn around and get back to where they were before.

And there are some people out there that actually believe that America’s greatest days of economic prosperity are still ahead of us.

You can go ahead and believe that if you want, and I definitely understand that many people would prefer to be optimistic about the future.

But sticking our heads in the sand won’t make the facts go away.  It has taken decades of catastrophic decisions to get us to this point, and anyone that thinks we can just snap our fingers and turn things around is just being delusional.

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

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.  By purchasing the book 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.  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)  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.

2020 Is An Economic Nightmare – And Things Just Got Even Worse

More than a million Americans were not supposed to be losing their jobs every week by the time we got to the middle of August.  By now, vast hordes of unemployed Americans were supposed to be returning to their old jobs and economic activity was supposed to be returning to normal levels.  But it hasn’t happened that way.  Instead, the U.S. economy continues to unravel at a steady pace.  Every week more businesses go under, more layoffs are announced and more people get behind on their bills.  What we have already been through has been far worse than anything that we experienced during the last recession, and it appears that this new economic downturn is entering yet another new phase.  On Thursday, we learned that another 1.106 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week…

The number of people filing for unemployment benefits last week was greater than expected, raising concern about the state of the economy as lawmakers struggle to move forward on a new pandemic stimulus package.

The Labor Department said Thursday that initial jobless claims for the week ended Aug. 15 came in at 1.106 million. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a total of 923,000. Initial claims for the previous week were also revised higher by 8,000 to 971,000.

Instead of going down as most analysts were anticipating, the number of initial claims shot way back above a million.

And this means that we have now gotten a number that is above a million for 21 of the last 22 weeks.

Prior to 2020, the worst weekly number in all of U.S. history was 695,000.  To absolutely dwarf that old record for 22 weeks in a row should be almost theoretically impossible.  If you would have asked me last year what it would take to have the kind of unemployment numbers that we are seeing now, I would have probably suggested that it would take something like a world war or a major asteroid strike to produce such figures.  The numbers that we keep getting week after week are simply absurd, but they just keep coming.

After all this time, the number of Americans filing for unemployment should be falling back below record levels, but instead last week we got a number that was more than twice as high as anything that we witnessed during the last recession…

“However, the number of individuals claiming benefits remains extraordinarily high – more than twice the peak of the great recession – underscoring that the labor market is a long way from being healthy,” economist Nancy Vanden Houten wrote in a note to clients.

It would be difficult to overstate the scale of the economic devastation that we are witnessing.

Do you remember Hurricane Katrina?  It was the worst natural disaster in the history of Louisiana, but in 2020 the state has lost twice as many jobs as it did after Hurricane Katrina.

Just think about how crazy that is.

Overall, 57.3 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the past 22 weeks.

57 million.

We’ve never seen anything like this in our history.  For a while, our unemployed workers were being kept afloat by a 600 dollar a week federal supplement, but now those extra benefits have expired

Those recipients who are receiving unemployment on an ongoing basis are now getting far less aid because a $600-a-week federal benefit has expired, which means the unemployed must now get by solely on much smaller aid from their states.

The loss of the federal benefit has deepened the struggles for many, including a higher risk of eviction from their homes.

President Trump has signed an executive order that would provide payments of 300 dollars a week to unemployed workers, but many states have chosen not to participate in that program.

So we should expect the level of economic suffering in this country to go up even more.  At this point, tens of millions of Americans are unable to pay their bills, and that number will almost certainly increase in the months ahead.

Meanwhile, we are seeing businesses fail at a rate that is absolutely unprecedented.  For example, the hotel industry is warning that close to a quarter of all hotels in the United States “are at risk of foreclosure”

In a desperate plea for help, the hotel industry said it faces a default disaster, in which 25% of hotels are at risk of foreclosure.

The report, sent to Congress this week and compiled by Trepp, shows that the percentage of hotel loans 30 or more days delinquent is 23.4% as of last month — the highest percentage on record. By comparison, the percentage of hotel loans that were 30 or more days delinquent at the end of 2019 was just 1.3%.

The hotel industry wants a federal bailout, but of course just about every other major industry wants one as well.

In the end, Congress is going to decide where the money goes, and not everyone will come out a winner.

The overall global economy is deeply struggling as well.  In fact, the level of merchandise trade around the world just fell to the lowest level on record

“This reading – the lowest on record in data going back to 2007, and on par with the nadir of the 2008-09 financial crisis – is broadly consistent with WTO statistics issued in June, which estimated an 18.5% decline in merchandise trade in the second quarter of 2020 as compared to the same period last year,” the WTO said.

This is what an economic collapse looks like, and the entire planet is being hit extremely hard.

But at least the U.S. stock market is doing well.  Stock prices have been absolutely soaring in recent weeks, and according to Forbes the market is now “about 77.0% overvalued”

According to the popular market cap to GDP ratio, the U.S. stock market, collectively, is about 77.0% overvalued. Despite the worst economic backdrop since the Great Depression, stocks have held up reasonably well since the March 23 bottom. While it’s true that the stock market has disconnected from the underlying economy, it has also done so in the past. With such an extreme level of overvaluation, it does beg the question, “Are we witnessing the formation of another bubble?”

So for the moment, America’s financial idol is safe.

Unfortunately, this stock market bubble is going to be a whole lot shorter than the last one.

Thanks to unprecedented intervention by the Federal Reserve, stock prices have been pumped up to record levels, but we are only in the early chapters of this economic storm.

Much worse is coming, and without a doubt the Fed will try to keep asset prices inflated, but in the end it will be a losing battle.

As we keep getting hit by one crisis after another, eventually investors are going to figure out that the future ahead of us is not a positive one, and when confidence about the future disappears so will the bubble.

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

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.  By purchasing the book 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.  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)  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.

Does America Worship “A God Of Money”?

The one that you serve the most is the one that you really worship.  In America today, we don’t actually get down on our knees and pray to our stock market portfolios and the money in our bank accounts, but has our wealth become more important to us than anything else?  It is well known that material comfort greatly motivates most Americans.  We tend to vote for the politicians that we perceive will be the best for our economy, we religiously track the performance of our investments, and for many of us our financial goals are more important to us than any of our other goals.  We desperately want to “do well”, and we tend to exalt others that are “doing well”.  Of course “doing well” is defined primarily in financial terms in our society, and that is extremely unfortunate.  A poor man that has greatly loved his family and those around him his entire life is generally not considered to be “successful”, while a billionaire that may actually be living in emotional misery every day of his life is lifted up as an example for all of us to follow.  Our priorities are all messed up, and I believe that we will ultimately deeply regret the great love that we have developed for the debt-fueled “prosperity” that we have been enjoying for so many years.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned us that we cannot serve two masters…

“No one can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

Unfortunately, most Americans gave up on trying to serve God long ago.  Today, most of us are primarily interested in pursuing money, and this has created a society that is filled with endless greed.

In such an environment, it is easy to understand how the stock market has become such a national idol.  We take great pride in the performance of the stock market, and on Tuesday headlines all over the nation gleefully trumpeted the fact that the S&P 500 closed at an all-time record high

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 3,389.78, eclipsing its previous Feb. 19 high to finish at the highest closing level on record. That means this year’s bear market, or a drop of more than 20% from a peak, from the February high to the lows on March 23 was the shortest in history, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Of course it doesn’t actually make any sense at all that stock prices are hitting all-time highs right now.

We are in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and 56.2 million workers have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the last 21 weeks.

But the Federal Reserve was absolutely determined to rescue the financial markets when they started to implode during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Fed has been successful in accomplishing that mission.

In particular, the big tech stocks have really benefitted from this latest rally, and on Wednesday Apple actually became the first 2 trillion dollar company in U.S. history

High-flying stocks like Apple, Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet have powered this year’s rally, far outpacing the rest of the market as investors bet heavily they could prevail in a stay-at-home economy. On Wednesday, tech giant Apple was the first publicly traded company to top a $2 trillion valuation.

As stock prices have soared, this has sent the net worths of America’s tech billionaires into the stratosphere.

In fact, if you add up the wealth of America’s 12 wealthiest billionaires, it now comes to a total of more than 1 trillion dollars

New research published Monday by the Institute for Policy Studies shows that the dozen richest American billionaires now collectively own more than $1 trillion in wealth, a finding one analyst described as “a disturbing milestone in the U.S. history of concentrated wealth and power.”

According to IPS, a progressive think tank, the 12 top U.S. billionaires have seen their combined wealth soar by 40%—or $283 billion—since the coronavirus began spreading rapidly across the U.S. in mid-March, sparking widespread economic shutdowns and mass job loss.

To most people in our society, these billionaires are people to be greatly admired.

In fact, most of them are treated like celebrities.

These days, names like Gates, Musk and Zuckerberg make national headlines even more frequently than our most cherished Hollywood stars.

Meanwhile, tens of millions of “ordinary” Americans are deeply suffering.  We have never had a year when more than 56 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits, and more Americans are losing their jobs with each passing day.

Mortgage delinquencies are rising at a very frightening pace, tens of millions of Americans can no longer pay their bills, food prices are starting to get totally out of control, and hordes of people are moving away from the major cities on both coasts.

For decades, the U.S. middle class has been eroding, and now that process is rapidly accelerating.  In fact, one new study has found that the average American now needs 53 weeks of income per year just to pay for the basics

As Bank of America points out, while the recent covid shutdowns has thrown the economy into disarray with millions laid off and living on government stimulus checks, life for the vast majority of workers – i.e., those who comprise the country’s middle class – was already precarious before the pandemic, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Cost of Thriving Index.

Consider that in 1985 it took 30 weeks at the median wage to pay for big fixed costs like housing, health care, a car, and education; fast forward to today when it takes a mathematically impossible 53 weeks of a 52-week year to buy those things.

Needing 53 weeks of income just to pay for the basics is a huge problem, because there are only 52 weeks in a year.

Unfortunately, this new economic crisis is just getting started.  Conditions are going to get much, much worse in the years ahead, and the economic pain is going to be off the charts.

So what do you think is going to happen to our society when our “god of money” finally crumbles?

When Americans realize that the thing that they have been living for more than anything else has been taken from them, we are going to see a nationwide temper tantrum that will be unlike anything that we have ever seen before.

In the end, life is not about how much stuff we can acquire or about how much money we can stash in our accounts.

Unfortunately, we have raised several generations of Americans that don’t understand what really matters in life, and our entire society will pay a very great price for our negligence.

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

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.  By purchasing the book 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.  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)  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.

The Economic Depression Of 2020 Is Becoming An Endless Nightmare For Millions Of Americans

You may have noticed that a lot of people get offended by what I write.  It is not something that I am purposely setting out to do, and I actually endeavor to get along with everyone as much as I can.  But it is undeniable that my articles about our ongoing economic collapse directly contradict a lot of the narratives that are constantly being pushed by the mainstream media and many of our political, business and religious leaders.  There are so many people out there that want to believe that the future is going to be exceedingly bright, and even though 2020 has been a horrific economic catastrophe so far, there are a lot of optimists that believe that it is just a temporary blip on the road to tremendous prosperity.

It would actually be wonderful if they were right.

But they aren’t.

At this point, everyone should be able to clearly see that we have entered a new economic depression.  And I wish that I could tell you that a “recovery” was right around the corner, but I can’t.

On Thursday, we got yet another sign that this downturn is here for the long haul.  According to the Labor Department, approximately 1.2 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week…

Four months after the COVID-19 pandemic largely shut down the economy and left millions of Americans out of work, employers continue to lay off workers at a historic pace.

About 1.2 million people last week filed initial applications for unemployment insurance – a rough measure of layoffs – the Labor Department said Thursday, down substantially from 1.4 million the previous week and the lowest level since March.

Initially, I thought that this was good news.

1.2 million is still a catastrophic number, but at least it appeared to be an improvement over last week’s level of 1.4 million.

Unfortunately, there is more to the story.

As Wolf Richter has pointed out, when you look at the unadjusted numbers and you include all state and federal programs, the number of continuing unemployment claims increased by a whopping 1.3 million last week…

The total number of people who continued to claim unemployment insurance under all state and federal unemployment programs jumped by 1.3 million from the prior week to 32.12 million (not seasonally adjusted), the Department of Labor reported this morning. It was the second highest ever.

That would seem to indicate that unemployment is dramatically surging, and that is really bad news for an economy that is already deeply suffering.

Overall, more than 55 million Americans have now filed initial claims for unemployment benefits over the past 20 weeks.  That is a number that should be almost theoretically impossible, but this is actually happening.

Prior to this year, the all-time record for new unemployment claims in a single week was just 695,000, and now we have been above a million for 20 consecutive weeks.

Up until recently, a weekly $600 unemployment supplement from the federal government had been helping tens of millions of unemployed Americans pay their bills, but now that supplement has expired and Congress has not yet agreed to another one.

As a result, the economic suffering of countless American families just got a whole lot deeper

An unemployed makeup artist with two toddlers and a disabled husband needs help with food and rent. A hotel manager says his unemployment has deepened his anxiety and kept him awake at night. A dental hygienist, pregnant with her second child, is struggling to afford diapers and formula.

Around the country, across industries and occupations, millions of Americans thrown out of work because of the coronavirus are straining to afford the basics now that an extra $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits has expired.

Over the past couple of months, I have been hearing from a lot of people that believe that all of those unemployed workers should just get off their couches and go get new jobs.

I wish that it was that easy.  Good jobs are becoming increasingly scarce, and the competition for those jobs is only going to get more fierce because a “second wave of layoffs” has now begun.  The following comes from Fox Business

A second wave of layoffs is hitting American workers during a surge in coronavirus cases nationwide, and a Congressional stalemate over stimulus relief, according to a new survey by Cornell University and RIWI.

The researchers conducted the survey between July 23 and Aug. 1, and found that 31% of workers who had been placed back on payrolls after initially being laid off have now been laid off for a second time. Additionally, 26% of rehired workers say they’ve been told that they may be laid off again.

I know that I included that quote in yesterday’s article, but I wanted to share it again because it is so important for people to understand what is really going on out there.

Millions of jobs that were lost in the first wave of layoffs are never coming back, and now millions of jobs that actually came back are being lost again.

In other words, instead of witnessing a “recovery” we are witnessing an “unraveling”.

I know that a lot of people don’t like when I talk like this.

But I am not here to make you feel good.  I am here to tell you the truth.

We are in the midst of an economic nightmare, and even Bloomberg is admitting that conditions in the U.S. are becoming a lot more miserable

The US is projected to undergo the biggest increase in economic misery across 60 countries as the nation grapples with heightened unemployment and fresh coronavirus hotspots.

Bloomberg’s Misery Index, which ranks major economies by inflation and unemployment expectations, shows the country sinking to rank 25 from rank 50 in 2020. Venezuela, Argentina, and South Africa held their spots as the world’s most miserable economies.

And every day more businesses are shutting down, more workers are being laid off and more dreams are being shattered.

The consequences of literally decades of incredibly foolish decisions are catching up with our nation, and this economic depression will ultimately get a whole lot worse.

So instead of sticking your head in the sand and hanging on to the delusion that everything is going to be just fine somehow, I would very much encourage you to work very hard to get prepared for the nightmarish years that are ahead of us.

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

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.  By purchasing the book 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.  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)  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.

Destruction Of The Family: The U.S. Has The Highest Rate Of Children Living With A Single Parent In The Entire World

The family unit is one of the fundamental pillars of any society, and so the weaker our family units become the weaker our entire nation is going to become.  For decades, the traditional family unit has been under assault in America, and the consequences have been absolutely catastrophic.  Today, the marriage rate has dropped to levels that we have never seen before, we continue to have one of the highest divorce rates in the entire world, and more couples than ever are choosing not to get married at all.  As a result, the number of single parents has been steadily rising, and at this point the United States actually has the highest rate of children living with a single parent of any country on the entire planet.  The following comes from Pew Research

For decades, the share of U.S. children living with a single parent has been rising, accompanied by a decline in marriage rates and a rise in births outside of marriage. A new Pew Research Center study of 130 countries and territories shows that the U.S. has the world’s highest rate of children living in single-parent households.

Almost a quarter of U.S. children under the age of 18 live with one parent and no other adults (23%), more than three times the share of children around the world who do so (7%).

You would think that with how rapidly modern notions of “morality” are spreading around the globe that someone out there would be worse than us, but sadly we are dead last on the list.

In fact, our rate is more than four times higher than India and more than seven times higher than China

In comparison, 3% of children in China, 4% of children in Nigeria and 5% of children in India live in single-parent households. In neighboring Canada, the share is 15%.

Should we really be lecturing anyone else about how they should be conducting themselves when we are such a complete and utter mess?

We like to think of ourselves as a light to the rest of the world and a great example that they should follow, but the truth is that we are a nation of complete and utter degenerates.

Of course it wasn’t always this way.  If you go back to 1960, less than 10 percent of all American children lived with a single parent…

America’s top spot has been a long time coming, data from the U.S. Census Bureau show. In 1960, just 9 percent of U.S. children lived with one parent, and just 3 percent lived with either a non-parent relative or a non-relative. By 2019, the Census Bureau estimated that 26 percent of children lived with single parents (a figure that varies from Pew’s due to methodological differences), while just 4 percent lived with non-parent relatives or non-relatives.

So what happened?

Well, the truth is that there has been a concerted effort to radically change American culture, and this has especially been true when it comes to sexual morality.

Our televisions, our movies, our education system and most of our politicians endlessly assure us that it is perfectly fine to run around like wild animals doing whatever we feel like doing.  As a result, more than 110 million Americans now have a sexually transmitted disease, we have the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the industrialized world, and about 40 percent of all U.S. babies are born to unmarried women

In 1960, nonmarital births were quite rare. Today, about two-fifths of all births are to unmarried women. This resulted from a complicated combination of moral and behavioral changes, and a new report from Senator Mike Lee’s Social Capital Project disentangles them.

If we want to turn America around, this is a great place to start.

Just like virtually everything else, our families are collapsing, and the path that we are on clearly leads to national suicide.

If we don’t want to do it for ourselves, we should at least do it for future generations.  Because if we don’t get things turned around, our children will continue to suffer greatly

The results for children are often grim. Although academics debate about causality, single parenting is strongly related to risk for poverty and lower educational attainment on the part of the child, as well as incarceration among boys and teenage pregnancy among girls. As the share of single-parent households increases, the risk of these adverse outcomes also rises.

Of course these days a lot of young adults don’t want to have children at all.

Our society has trained our young people to view parenthood and family life as undesirable, and so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the U.S. fertility rate has fallen to the lowest level ever recorded

The US fertility rate dropped for the fourth straight year in 2018, and has fallen approximately 15% since 2007, according to the National Center for Health Statistics – which reports that there were 59.1 births for every 1,000 women of childbearing age.

In total, 3,791,712 births were recorded across the country last year – extending a steep decline that began during the 2008 Recession, according to the New York Times.

As one user in Reddit’s “Childfree” forum notes: “Babies are expensive, and we’re all broke,” to which another user replied “Also, pregnancy and its effects on the body are gross and not worth it.”

Incredibly, our fertility rate is now actually below replacement level.

That means that we aren’t even producing enough babies to replace ourselves at this point.

There is no future for any society that does not value children, marriage and family.  You can’t show me one example in human history of any society that has ever thrived for an extended period of time without cherishing those institutions.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what we need to do.  Unfortunately, most of the country is running completely in the opposite direction as fast as they can.

If we continue to go down this road, the institution of the family is going to continue to collapse in the United States, and there is no possible way that America will ever be great again as long as that is happening.

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.

Americans Are Lonely, Miserable And Depressed – The Legacy Of A Society That Has Rejected Family, Faith And Patriotism

What in the world has happened to us?  Once upon a time, America was made up of tightly-knit communities that were united by family, faith and patriotism, but now we are more isolated than ever before.  Of course one of the biggest reasons for this is the fact that we are all spending countless hours staring at screens instead of interacting with real people, and this is something that I covered in a previous article.  However, our fundamental beliefs are also significantly shaping how we behave.  For the past couple of generations, we have de-emphasized family, faith and patriotism as a nation, and instead we have become an extremely “me-centered” society that is primarily focused on doing whatever makes ourselves happy in the moment.  But this single-minded pursuit of individual happiness has resulted in much of the country being perpetually mired in loneliness, depression and/or addiction.

When you look at the numbers, they truly are startling.  For example, a recent survey that was conducted by Cigna found that almost half of all Americans feel lonely

Nearly half of Americans are lonely, according to a survey of 20,000 people across America by Cigna, which used the well-regarded UCLA Loneliness Scale to measure responses. Indeed 46% said they sometimes or always feel alone and 47% say they sometimes or always feel left out.

And other surveys have produced numbers that are even more alarming.  A Harris Poll that was conducted a few years ago actually discovered that 72 percent of all Americans “experience loneliness”…

The survey of more than 2,000 Americans conducted by the Harris Poll last month on behalf of the American Osteopathic Association, showed that almost three-quarters (72 percent) of Americans experience loneliness. And for many, it’s not just a once-in-a-while occurrence — one-third said they feel lonely at least once a week.

Of course this is commonly known as “the happiest time of the year”, but for many it just magnifies their loneliness.

People see love, warmth and community modeled in television commercials and in Hallmark movies, and they assume that most people out there must be living lives like that.

Sadly, that is not true at all.  What we see on our televisions are echoes of the way that America used to be, and many of us would love to see that type of culture make a roaring comeback.

But for now, America is a very, very lonely place, and this reality is reflected in a song that was just released by one of our most popular pop singers

Mabel, the singer behind the hit “Don’t Call Me Up,” has a new track for those who struggle with loneliness during the holidays.

Titled “Loneliest Time of Year,” Mabel captured how for some people, the holidays can heighten feelings like loneliness, loss and depression. In the song, released Friday, she sings lines like, “Sorry I’m not so merry/But I feel like this yearly/Christmas time isn’t my vibe/Brings no joy into my life” and “If I’m feeling lonely/I can’t be the only one.”

Yes, millions of American families will gather during the holidays, but way too many of those gatherings are filled with bitterness, resentment, strife and discord.

In fact, another new survey has found that the average American only needs 3 hours and 54 minutes “before they start to feel sick of their families”

The holidays are supposed to be a time to come together with family and celebrate, but a new survey finds that most Americans can barely get through an evening with their family before needing a break. A total of 2,000 Americans who usually travel to visit family during the holidays took part in the research, and 75% say they will inevitably need to get away from their relatives and indulge in some much needed “me time.”

In fact, it only takes respondents an average of three hours and 54 minutes before they start to feel sick of their families.

This isn’t how it is supposed to be.

We were created to love and to be loved.  And when you remove love from the equation, people become very miserable quite rapidly.

In America today, “deaths of despair” are happening at the highest rate in all of U.S. history.  The following information comes directly from the United States Congress Joint Economic Committee

Anne Case and Angus Deaton famously chronicled a dramatic rise among middle-aged non-Hispanic whites since 1999 in “deaths of despair”—deaths by suicide, drug and alcohol poisoning, and alcoholic liver disease and cirrhosis.1 The Social Capital Project has extended Case and Deaton’s research to cover the full American population as far back as available data permit: to 1900 in some cases, and to 1959 or 1968 in others. We present here a snapshot of the long-term trends in deaths of despair. We also attach our full dataset for use in future research, including results broken down by age, sex, and race.

Mortality from deaths of despair far surpasses anything seen in America since the dawn of the 20th century. (The trend for middle-aged whites reveals a more dramatic rise but only goes back continuously to 1959.) The recent increase has primarily been driven by an unprecedented epidemic of drug overdoses, but even excluding those deaths, the combined mortality rate from suicides and alcohol-related deaths is higher than at any point in more than 100 years.

So it would appear that our very unhappy nation is rapidly becoming even unhappier.

And it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what this is happening.

As a society, we decided that marriage wasn’t important.  So now we have one of the lowest marriage rates and one of the highest divorce rates in the entire world.

As a society, we decided that children weren’t important.  So now our birth rate has dropped below replacement level and a third of all U.S. children live in a home without a father.

As a society, we decided that patriotism wasn’t important.  So now the American flag is being banned by some schools as a “divisive symbol” and most of our young people have never even read the entire U.S. Constitution.

As a society, we decided that God wasn’t important.  So now just about every form of evil that you can possibly imagine is exploding in our society, and we are literally on a path that leads to national suicide.

If you feel lonely, miserable or depressed this holiday season, I would definitely encourage you to get my latest book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters”.  It is filled with very practical advice that will enable you to start turning things around immediately.  But even more importantly, reach out to those that you love during this holiday season.

Life is way too short to live it alone.

Society would have us believe that those that have the most money are the most “successful”.  But that is not true at all.  In reality, those that love the most are really the most “successful”, and so let us endeavor to be people of great love.

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.

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