Chicago Has Become A Rotting, Decaying, Crime-Ridden Hellhole – And The Rest Of America Will Soon Follow

I don’t know why anyone would want to live in Chicago at this point.  According to the latest estimate that I could find, “over 117,000 gang members” currently live in the city, and there is so much violence that it regularly makes headlines all over the globe.  Some of the wealthy areas of Chicago still look nice, but many communities have been transformed into something straight out of a war zone.  Large churches, hospitals and factories that were once so beautiful are now rotting and decaying all over the city, and a vibrant open air drug market scares customers away from local businesses.  Sadly, the truth is that the entire country is going down the exact same path that Chicago has gone.

Coming into last year, Chicago was known as one of the murder capitals of the world, but nobody expected the murder rate to spike “by more than 50% in 2020”

Chicago police also released the final crime number for 2020 Friday which showed that shootings and murders jumped up by more than 50% in 2020.

In 2020, there were 769 murders, up considerably compared to the 495 murders tallied in 2019.

As for shootings, the city logged 3,261 last year, a big jump from 2,140 shootings in 2019. The number of shooting victims climbed to 4,033 in 2020, up from 2,598 in 2019.

But even though last year was so horrific, some officials are expressing optimism about the future.

For example, Dr. Faran Bokhari believes that the COVID vaccine is going to make a tremendous difference

“I think our savior is going to be the COVID vaccination,” Dr. Faran Bokhari, Chief of Trauma at Cook County Hospital. “I think people are so tired of being indoors and not being able to do what they usually do.”

Yes, gang members and drug addicts will feel so much better about life and will become a lot less violent once they are vaccinated and can get out into the streets a lot more.

Good luck with all that.

State Representative Marcus Evans has a different strategy in mind.  He believes that banning “Grand Theft Auto” will solve this crisis

It’s no secret that crime is out of control in Illinois and one lawmaker has a solution. In response to an increase in carjackings in Chicago, State Representative Marcus Evans Jr. wants a law passed making it illegal for retailers to sell violent video games to minors. “Grand Theft Auto” is not mentioned in the bill but Evans pointed to that specific game during a press conference on Monday.

Meanwhile, people continue to flee the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois at a staggering pace.

In fact, the exodus that we witnessed in 2020 is being described as “historic”

Illinois recorded a seventh straight year of population loss from July 2019 to July 2020, but the year’s drop was historic – 79,487 residents, the most since World War II and the second largest of any state in raw numbers or percentage of population. Larger declines year over year have also caused Illinois to suffer the largest raw decline in population, and second largest on a percentage basis since 2010, shedding 253,015 people – triple any other state’s losses.

I can understand why so many residents are leaving for greener pastures, but other major cities are also seeing dramatic spikes in crime too.

One study that was recently released found that murder rates in 34 major U.S. cities rose by an average of 30 percent last year

THE HOMICIDE RATE across 34 American cities increased by 30% on average during 2020, according to experts, as the U.S. reeled from the coronavirus pandemic and widespread protests against police brutality.

The newly released report from the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice found that homicides rose in 29 of the 34 cities studied and that the three largest cities in the sample – New York, Los Angeles and Chicago – accounted for 40% of the additional homicide victims in 2020.

At this point, nearly all of our big cities are becoming unsafe.

If you want to avoid all of the violence, you could try moving to a small town, but that might not work either.

For example, the small town of Chickasha, Oklahoma sounds like it would be a nice place to live, but look at what just happened there

A repeat felon has confessed to killing his neighbor, cutting out her heart and feeding it to his family before murdering his uncle and a four-year-old girl, Oklahoma authorities say.

Lawrence Paul Anderson, 42, allegedly stabbed the neighbor, Andrea Lynn Blankenship, to death at her home in Chickasha on February 9.

Unfortunately, the truth is that our entire society is in the process of melting down all around us, and this process is only going to accelerate during the very difficult years ahead.

The worse economic conditions become, the more desperate people are going to get, and right now more businesses are shutting down with each passing day.

For instance, we just learned that Fry’s Electronics will be permanently shutting down all of their stores

Consumer electronics retailer Fry’s Electronics is going out of business after nearly 36 years.

Fry’s “has made the difficult decision to shut down its operations and close its business permanently as a result of changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the company said in a statement on its website. The company said it has begun the “wind-down” process as of Wednesday and has stopped its normal operations.

As I have discussed in numerous recent articles, poverty is exploding all over America and this economic downturn is hitting those at the bottom of the economic food chain particularly hard.

As this economic crisis grows, those at the bottom of the economic food chain will increasingly be venturing into wealthy neighborhoods to take our their frustrations.

Those with a “Robin Hood mentality” will try to claim that there is “justice” in taking from the rich and giving to the poor, but in reality it will just be a way to justify the rampant lawlessness in our streets.

The rioting, looting and violence that we have seen so far is just the beginning.

Much worse is coming, and it won’t be too long before the entire country looks like the streets in the worst parts of Chicago.

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

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

We Must Have MOAR: Almost Everyone In Washington Seems To Agree That More Free Money Will Fix The Economy

There seems to be a growing consensus in Washington that the only way to fix the worst economic downturn in more than 70 years is by giving out much more free money.  Joe Biden wants more “stimulus”, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wants more “stimulus”, and most members of Congress from both parties want more “stimulus”.  Of course none of the previous “stimulus packages” that we spent trillions of dollars on fixed the economy, but they insist that this latest one will finally do the job.  In addition to the 1.9 trillion dollar package that Biden has already proposed, Democrats in Congress are now pushing monthly direct payments to parents that have children under the age of 18.  Needless to say, that proposal has overwhelming support among the American people, because direct socialist payments have become wildly popular since they were first introduced last year.  But by borrowing and spending so much money, we are literally committing national suicide, but very few people are concerned about that at this point.

Even though the previous round of “stimulus payments” is still being sent out, Biden and his minions can’t wait to start sending out another round.

In fact, Biden insists that we literally “don’t have a second to waste”

“We don’t have a second to waste when it comes to delivering the American people the relief they desperately need. I’m calling on Congress to act quickly and pass the American Rescue Plan.”

Quite a few independent economists are alarmed by the inflation that previous “stimulus payments” have created, but Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is dismissing those fears.

Instead of focusing on inflation, she says that not sending out more free money would be an even greater risk

“As treasury secretary, I have to worry about all of the risks to the economy, and the most important risk is that we leave workers and communities scarred by the pandemic and the economic toll that it’s taken, that we don’t do enough to address the pandemic,” Yellen told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.

“I’ve spent many years studying inflation and worrying about inflation, and I can tell you, we have the tools to deal with that risk if it materializes,” she continued. “But we face a huge economic challenge here and tremendous suffering in the country. We’ve got to address that. That’s the biggest risk.”

She is assuring us that inflation is not an imminent threat, and perhaps we should believe her.

After all, if we can just completely ignore the hard numbers and the extremely shocking charts the Federal Reserve keeps putting out, what she is saying sounds pretty good.

I know that it is not “normal” for M1 to nearly double over the course of 12 months, but this is the “new normal” where the laws of economics are suspended and we can do whatever we want.

So let’s borrow and spend trillions more, because this party is just getting started.

A while back, “Republican” Senator Mitt Romney proposed thousands of dollars in direct payments to parents with children, and Democrats liked that idea so much that they plagiarized it

Under the proposal, the Internal Revenue Service would provide $3,600 over the course of the year per child under the age of 6, as well as $3,000 per child of ages 6 to 17. The size of the benefit would diminish for Americans earning more than $75,000 per year, as well as for couples jointly earning more than $150,000 per year. The payments would be sent monthly beginning in July.

The benefits would not be deducted off taxpayers’ existing tax liability, meaning American parents would still receive $250 per month per child — or $300 per month per young children — even if they have an existing tax obligation with the IRS.

I think that this proposal will have a 90 percent approval rating with U.S. parents.

Of course a minority will strongly object.  They will insist that these are “socialist welfare payments” and that the federal government should not be doing this.

If you are one of those objectors, you are 100 percent correct.

But take the money anyway.

Let me be 100 percent serious for a moment.  Since the entire ship is going down anyway, take anything that they send to you and use it for yourself and your family.  At this point, survival is the priority.

There is no going back to the way that things once were.  We are literally committing national financial suicide, and at this point even most Republicans in Washington have completely discarded any pretense of fiscal responsibility.

In the old days, Republicans in Congress at least made minimal attempts to slow down the wild spending that the Obama administration was pushing.  But now almost all resistance is gone, and the left is greatly rejoicing that “the path to a fast recovery and an era of prosperity is now open for Biden”…

The left has stewed for a dozen years over Obama’s inability to secure more fiscal stimulus. And while he might perhaps have gotten a bit more out of Congress with more clever design, ultimately the most important constraints came from outside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Obama’s economic-recovery push came in an atmosphere of pure hysteria, in which media and business elites joined by many members of his own party believed the United States stood on the precipice of hyperinflation and a public-debt crisis, the resolution of which had willing partners across the aisle. All those myths now lay in tatters. After hard experience, the path to a fast recovery and an era of prosperity is now open for Biden.

Yeah, we’ll see about that.

But what we do know is that all of the insane borrowing and spending that has been going on is already causing inflation to show up in countless ways.

In 2020, silver performed even better than the stock market did, and it continues to climb higher.

Gold has been surging too, and the outlook for precious metals is going to continue to be bright as long as our leaders continue to flood the system with more money.

Meanwhile, the real economy continues to steadily deteriorate

Without a fresh round of COVID-19 aid from the federal government, about a third of the nation’s pandemic-stricken small businesses are warning they won’t be able to survive.

That’s according to a new report published by the Federal Reserve, which found that sales for 88% of small businesses have not yet returned to pre-crisis levels. About one in three — roughly 30% — of businesses said they expected they could not stay afloat without further assistance from the government, according to the report from the U.S. central bank’s 12 regional offices.

No amount of complaining from the rest of us will prevent a new round of stimulus payments from going out.

The good news is that all of this new money is likely to improve short-term economic conditions for a very brief period of time.

But the bad news is that our long-term problems continue to get much, much worse.

We are literally in the process of completely destroying our money, and since the U.S. dollar is the de facto reserve currency of the whole world, the economic fate of the entire globe is in our hands.

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

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

For Millions Of Americans, No Money = No Christmas In 2020

In modern times, there has never been a Christmas like this in America.  Millions are freshly unemployed, another wave of lockdowns is forcing countless businesses to close their doors, and people are waiting in line for hours at food banks all over the nation just to get a little bit of food for their families.  Of course those at the bottom end of the economic food chain are being hit the hardest.  It is being reported that employment among those that make $27,000 a year or less is down 20 percent from pre-pandemic levels.  That is an extremely shocking number, and it helps to explain why the number of Americans living in poverty rose to 52 million during the month of November.

But it isn’t just the unemployed that are suffering.  Many of those that are still working have had their hours cut or they aren’t able to make as much in tips, commissions or bonuses as they did prior to the pandemic.

Tens of millions of households are bringing home less income these days, and this has become a major national crisis.  In fact, one brand new survey discovered that a whopping 42 percent of U.S. households are currently making less money than they did prior to the pandemic…

Nine months into the pandemic, 42% of Americans say their household income is still below what it was before the coronavirus outbreak began, according to a new survey from Bankrate.com.

And that same survey found that 85 percent of Americans are concerned about how their incomes will be affected by this pandemic moving forward…

As the financial fallout from the pandemic continues and with expanded unemployment benefits and eviction moratoriums set to expire at the end of the year, 85% of adults are worried about a lasting negative impact to their income. That’s an increase from the percentage of people who reported that same concern in June.

With less money to go around, this is not a “normal Christmas” for millions of U.S. families.

And in some cases, there simply will not be any presents at all.  For example, an unemployed nurse in Kansas named Sierra Schauvilegee says that her children “will not open a single gift” on Christmas morning this year…

There will be no presents under the Christmas tree this year for Sierra Schauvilegee and her children. Schauvilegee lost her job as a nurse when the residential care facility she worked for permanently closed down at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Finding new work has proved impossible.

“This is the first year my children will not open a single gift, nothing under our tree,” said Schauvilegee, who lives in Ingalls, Kansas. “I used all my savings to survive and I begged my mother to move in until I received rental assistance and food stamps, that is all I literally have.”

Sadly, her case is not an isolated one.

There are so many others that are in the same boat, and that includes 60-year-old Melinda Cawthorne Shannon of Tampa, Florida

“Since July 26, 2020, we have been surviving on an unemployment income of $900 a month after taxes which is Florida’s maximum unemployment payment. This amount does not even cover the cost of rent for our tiny apartment,” Cawthorne Shannon said. “We have sold all personal items, except for a car, that had any value just to pay a bill. So now we sleep on palettes or lawn chairs.” She is unsure whether they will be able to stay in their apartment after New Year.

For Thanksgiving, Cawthorne Shannon and her daughter were only able to afford to have stuffing and cranberry sauce sandwiches. This year for Christmas, they can’t afford to celebrate it at all. They are hoping next year will be better.

Could you imagine sleeping on a lawn chair?

But at least she still has a roof over her head, and that is more than 57-year-old Randy Chase has

Randy Chase has lived in his pickup truck for months.

Luckily, the tiny cab of his 1996 Nissan is easy to heat and that’s a life saver in the sub-freezing winter chill outside of Denver.

Randy normally works as a construction worker, but work in his area has really dried up during this pandemic.

Now he spends his nights trying not to freeze to death in his truck, and that was made more difficult after his truck was “partially wrecked by a hit-and-run driver”

Chase has suffered misfortune after misfortune since the spring: Unemployment benefits have been stuck in limbo. Work opportunities have been sporadic. Now, the cold makes it hard to find jobs in his trade, as a mason on construction crews. His savings depleted and his truck partially wrecked by a hit-and-run driver, Chase can’t move somewhere where jobs are more plentiful.

Have you ever spent a night sleeping in a vehicle in a strange location?

If not, you should try it some time.

I promise you that it will be an experience that you will never forget.

Unfortunately, millions more Americans could soon find themselves thrown out into the streets.

According to CNBC, over 11 million U.S. households have piled up $70,000,000,000 in unpaid rent…

By January, more than 11 million households will owe more than $6,000 in back rent, utilities and late fees, on average — about four months’ worth, according to an estimate from Moody’s Analytics. That’s a collective deficit of $70 billion.

In past articles, I have warned about the unprecedented wave of evictions that we could see in 2021.  Unless something dramatic happens, the suffering that we are going to witness is going to be off the charts.

Of course what we really need is for the lockdowns to end so that the economy can start getting back to normal, but instead a new round of lockdowns is depressing economic activity all over the nation.

Today, I was stunned to learn that Apple is temporarily closing all of their stores in the entire state of California.  The good news is that those stores will eventually open back up again, but countless other businesses that are shutting down right now won’t be so fortunate.

This is what an economic depression looks like, and what we have experienced so far is just the beginning.

If you still have a warm home, plenty of food on the table and money for some of the luxuries in life, you should consider yourself to be extremely blessed.

Because for tens of millions of Americans, this Christmas is going to be an exceptionally bitter one, and the year ahead is not looking very promising at all.

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

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

We Haven’t Seen A Manufacturing Slowdown Like This Since The Last Financial Crisis

This isn’t what was supposed to happen.  According to the economic optimists, there was going to be a great “manufacturing renaissance” as America entered a wonderful new golden age of boundless prosperity.  But of course that is not what has happened.  Manufacturing activity has been declining for the past three months, and all across the country we are seeing economic conditions rapidly deteriorate.  Over and over, we are seeing economic numbers that are worse than anything we have seen since the last recession, but the economic optimists keep assuring us that these are just temporary blips on the way to America’s glorious economic renewal.  Well, they can keep believing in a mirage of future prosperity if they want, but the hard numbers keep telling us another story.  For example, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index has now fallen to a level that was “last sustained during the financial crisis”

Manufacturing activity across the country has contracted for three months, according to closely watched ISM data. In the Midwest, the slowdown has been more severe. The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index shows backlogs dropping to a level touched briefly four years ago but last sustained during the financial crisis.

In the middle of the country, it already feels like a manufacturing recession for many business owners.  Manufacturing facilities are being closed down, machines are being idled and thousands of workers are being let go.  The following comes from a CNBC article about our current manufacturing slowdown

At Ameri-Source Metals’ machine shop outside Pittsburgh, stacks of graphite stubs have begun to pile up in a quiet corner.

Founder Ajay Goel said the customer who typically buys the stubs – a multinational chemicals company – now only needs one-fourth of the amount he used to produce. As a result, the machines have been idled and the workers who serviced them, laid off.

That sure doesn’t sound like a “booming economy” to me.

So far this year, thousands upon thousands of manufacturing workers have been laid off in the Upper Midwest.  By now, we were supposed to be adding large numbers of these good paying jobs, but instead we are losing them at a frightening pace.

In fact, it is being reported that more than 8,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the key state of Pennsylvania alone…

From January to September, the states bordering the Great Lakes have lost more than 25,000 manufacturing jobs: Pennsylvania lost 8,100; Ohio lost 6,000; Michigan lost 6,500; and Wisconsin lost 4,700.

Of course it isn’t just the manufacturing industry where employment is cooling off.  At this point, the number of job openings in the U.S. has fallen to an 18 month low, and it is expected to fall ever further in the months ahead.

Things have already gotten so bad that the mainstream media is running articles about how ordinary Americans can prepare for the coming recession.  For instance, the following comes from a CNN article entitled “What can you do now to financially prepare for a layoff later?”

Sometimes, there are warning signs that you are in danger of being laid off — a buyout of your company, a merger or a strategic change in direction. Other times, the cuts come without warning. But while being laid off is not in your control, being financially prepared for such an event is.

“Companies evolve, change and fail and employees, and even business owners, need to be prepared for the unexpected,” said Mike Silane, a chartered financial analyst with 21 West Wealth Management.

And remember, all of this is happening even though the federal government is running trillion dollar deficits and the Federal Reserve is using up all the ammunition that they should be saving for the depths of the next recession.

In essence, the authorities are already implementing emergency measures in a desperate attempt to support the faltering U.S. economy, but it isn’t working.

This week, we learned that orders for Class-8 trucks in the month of October were down 51 percent from a year ago.

Can anyone explain to me how that is consistent with the “booming economy” narrative that the economic optimists are endlessly pushing?

Unfortunately, the truth is that we can see signs of a major slowdown all around us.  U.S. business hiring has fallen to a 7 year low, the Cass Freight Index has declined for 10 months in a row, and manufacturing is now the smallest share of the United States economy that it has been in 72 years.

But despite all of the evidence that is staring them right in the face, the economic optimists continue to insist that everything is probably going to be okay.  In fact, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon is telling us that “the chance of a U.S. recession between now and the election is small”

“I’ve said that I still think the chance of a U.S. recession between now and the election is small — in the distributions of outcomes, it’s a smaller outcome — I said roughly 25%,” Solomon told Bloomberg Television in Berlin on Tuesday. “Nine months ago I probably would have told you it was very small, kind of 15%,” he said. “So I do think the uncertainty has increased a little bit some of the risk,” but economic data and earnings momentum have held up well and American consumers are “still very healthy,” he said.

Of course the truth is that American consumers are actually not “very healthy” at this moment.  Consumer confidence has fallen for 3 months in a row, and 44 percent of all Americans currently do not make enough money to cover their monthly expenses.

That is one of the reasons why consumers are piling up staggering amounts of debt, and that consumer debt bubble is starting to burst.

Unfortunately, the economic optimists will continue to push their false narrative up until the very end, and lots of people will believe them.

You can believe them too if you want, but it won’t change what is about to happen.

The crisis that so many have been anticipating is starting to play out, and our problems are likely to greatly accelerate in the months 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.

More Bad Economic Numbers Put A Huge Dent In The Case Of The Economic Optimists

For a long time, people have been trying to tell me that the U.S. economy is headed for a new golden era.  They insist that the U.S. will be more powerful and more respected than ever before, and that we will see unprecedented prosperity in this nation.  But despite extremely wild spending by the U.S. government and exceedingly irresponsible intervention by the Federal Reserve, the U.S. economy has not even had a “good” year in ages.  As I have pointed out numerous times, we have not had a year when U.S. GDP grew by at least 3 percent since the middle of the Bush administration, and that makes this the longest stretch of low growth in all of U.S. history by a very wide margin.  Many believe that brighter days may still be ahead, but all of the economic numbers that we have been getting in recent months make it abundantly clear that a new economic slowdown has begun.  I shared 14 of those numbers earlier this week, and I will share some brand new ones with you today.

Let’s start by taking a look at how U.S. consumers are faring.  U.S. consumer confidence has now fallen for 3 months in a row, and this week we learned that the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index has just fallen at the fastest pace in more than 8 years

U.S. consumer comfort suffered its biggest weekly decline in more than eight years on a pullback in Americans’ assessments of the economy, personal finances and the buying climate, possibly signaling more moderate household spending approaching the holiday-shopping season.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell 2.4 points, the most since March 2011, to 61 in the week ended Oct. 27.

How in the world can anyone possibly claim that we have a “booming economy” after reading that?

We also just got another depressingly bad manufacturing number.  Experts were expecting a reading of 48.3 for the Chicago Purchasing Management Index, but instead it came in at just 43.2

The Chicago Purchasing Management Index sank to 43.2 in October from 47.1 in the prior month. This is the lowest level since December 2015. Economists has expected a reading of 48.3, according to Econoday.

Any reading below 50 indicates deteriorating conditions.

We were promised a “manufacturing renaissance”, but instead manufacturing is now the smallest share of the U.S. economy that it has been in 72 years.

That is terrible.

Manufacturing traditionally provides good paying jobs, and as I pointed out the other day, U.S. business hiring has now declined to the lowest level in 7 years.

But at least we have plenty of government jobs, eh?

In the private sector, things are getting really tough, and we are starting to see lots of big companies lay off workers.

For example, Molson Coors just announced that they will be laying off up to 500 workers as they desperately search for a way to survive in this difficult economic environment…

To further drive efficiency and enable growth, Molson Coors is consolidating and reorganizing office locations. The Denver office will be closed and Chicago will be designated as the North American operational headquarters. Functional support roles currently housed in several offices around the country will now be based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

As a result, we expect to reduce employment levels by approximately 400 to 500 employees as part of this restructuring, primarily in our existing United States, Canada and International reporting segments, as well as Corporate.

You know that things are getting tough when even beer companies start laying people off.

Of course the “retail apocalypse” continues to escalate, and we just learned that Forever 21 will be closing most of their stores and laying off most of their employees

More than 100 Forever 21 stores are slated to close as part of the fashion retailer’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection case, according to court documents filed this week.

The family-owned company, which has about 32,800 employees, said it would close “most” of its stores in Asia and Europe and up to 178 stores in the U.S. when it filed for protection Sept. 29.

A similar scenario is playing out for Dressbarn.  According to USA Today, all of their 544 stores “will close no later than Dec. 26″…

Liquidation sales at the remaining Dressbarn stores will start Friday, the struggling retailer announced Wednesday.

While the 544 stores will close no later than Dec. 26, the women’s clothing website is expected to relaunch in 2020 with a new owner, the company said in a news release.

It has been hoped that a limited trade agreement with China might bolster the economy at least temporarily, but now we are learning that Chinese officials expect “phase one” of the deal to “soon fall apart”.  According to CNN, the Chinese are pessimistic that our two countries will ever be able to “reach a full trade deal”…

Chinese officials have expressed doubts about whether the world’s two largest economies can reach a full trade deal, Bloomberg reported. That is casting a long shadow over the “phase one” agreement that the countries reached earlier in October.

This is consistent with my warnings from previous articles.  The Chinese wanted the Trump administration to stop the implementation of any more tariffs, and they were able to achieve that with “phase one”.  But in order to move forward with “phase two”, the Chinese are going to insist on the removal of all tariffs

According to BBG’s sources, this is the bare minimum that Beijing would accept to move ahead with Phase 1: a commitment from the Americans to removing tariffs in Phase 2, and agreeing to cancel the next round of tariffs, set to take effect in December.

This is something that the Trump administration will never agree to, and so that puts us back where we originally started.

The Chinese will continue to “negotiate”, but only for stalling purposes.

There is only about a year left until the 2020 elections, and the Chinese are hoping to run out the clock on the Trump administration with as little disruption to their own economy as possible.

Unfortunately for the Chinese, Trump could possibly win another term, and if either Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders win they could potentially be even tougher on trade with China.

In any event, we should not expect a comprehensive trade deal with China any time soon, and that is really bad news for the economic optimists.

Of course the truth is that everything that I have just shared is bad news for all of us.  The U.S. economy is seriously deteriorating, and things are only going to get worse in the months 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 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.

The Boom Turns Into A Bust – Here are 14 Signs That The U.S. Economy Is Steadily Weakening

There should no longer be any doubt that the U.S. economy is slowing down, but most Americans still don’t realize what is happening because the major news networks are completely focused on the endless impeachment drama that is currently playing out in Washington.  And without a doubt that is important, because it threatens to literally rip our entire nation in two.  But meanwhile, economic activity has taken a very ominous turn.  Hiring is slowing, consumer confidence is plunging, defaults on auto loans are rapidly escalating, the “transportation recession” continues to get deeper and it appears that the housing bubble is popping.  Everywhere we turn, there are signs of economic trouble, and many are deeply concerned about what this will mean for us as we head into a pivotal election year in 2020.

Not since the last recession have we seen numbers this bad.  The “mini-boom” that we witnessed for several years has now turned into a “bust”, and very tough times are ahead.

The following are 14 signs that the U.S. economy is steadily weakening…

#1 U.S. business hiring has fallen to a 7 year low.

#2 Consumer confidence in the United States has now declined for 3 months in a row.

#3 Defaults on “subprime” auto loans are happening at the fastest pace that we have seen since 2008.

#4 The percentage of “subprime” auto loans that are at least 60 days delinquent is now higher than it was at any point during the last recession.

#5 Vacancies at U.S. shopping malls have hit the highest level since the last recession.

#6 Destination Maternity has announced that they will be closing 183 stores as the worst year for store closings in U.S. history just continues to get worse.

#7 The Cass Freight Index has now fallen for 10 months in a row.

#8 U.S. rail carload volumes have plunged to the lowest level in 3 years.

#9 In September, orders for class 8 heavy duty trucks were down 71 percent.

#10 Tesla’s U.S. sales were down a whopping 39 percent during the third quarter of 2019.

#11 The bad news just keeps rolling in for the real estate industry.  Last month, existing home sales in the United States declined by another 2.2 percent.

#12 New home prices have fallen to the lowest level in almost 3 years.

#13 According to one recent report, 44 percent of all Americans don’t make enough money to cover their monthly expenses.

#14 A recent survey found that more than two-thirds of all U.S. households “are preparing for a possible recession”.

All over the country, economic activity is slowing down, and this is hitting many small businesses particularly hard.

In Wisconsin, one aluminum firm “has seen bookings plunge by 40 percent” and was forced to lay off workers as a result…

Sachin Shivaram, the chief executive of Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry, started to worry this summer when orders for his brake housings and conveyor belt motors first grew scarce. Within weeks, what began as mild concern snowballed into a business drought that has seen bookings plunge by 40 percent.

In August, Shivaram, 38, reluctantly laid off two dozen workers, hoping to recall them when the outlook improved. It hasn’t.

“Things are not good. We didn’t anticipate this level of deterioration,” he said. “Orders are down across the board.”

Of course there are hundreds of other examples just like this one.

As times get tougher, many U.S. consumers are increasingly turning to debt to help make ends meet.

For those at the low end of the economic food chain, getting approved for credit cards and other conventional forms of debt can be quite difficult.  This has opened up a door for online financial predators, and they are making a killing by making loans to people that really can’t afford them.

In fact, it is being reported that online lending has become a $50 billion industry, and sometimes these “loans” carry annual interest rates of more than 100 percent

It’s called the online installment loan, a form of debt with much longer maturities but often the same sort of crippling, triple-digit interest rates. If the payday loan’s target audience is the nation’s poor, then the installment loan is geared to all those working-class Americans who have seen their wages stagnate and unpaid bills pile up in the years since the Great Recession.

In just a span of five years, online installment loans have gone from being a relatively niche offering to a red-hot industry. Non-prime borrowers now collectively owe about $50 billion on installment products, according to credit reporting firm TransUnion. In the process, they’re helping transform the way that a large swathe of the country accesses debt. And they have done so without attracting the kind of public and regulatory backlash that hounded the payday loan.

Just like the “payday loan” industry flourished during the last recession, now predatory lending is flourishing during this present era.

Unfortunately, as “the everything bubble” bursts, times are going to be very tough for all of us during the years ahead.

I think that Michael Pento of Pento Portfolio Strategies summed things up very well when he made the following statement during a recent interview…

‘When this thing implodes, we are all screwed. On a global scale, we have never before created such a magnificent bubble. These central bankers are clueless, and they have proven that beyond a doubt. All they can do is to try to keep the bubble going.’

We should give the central bankers credit for keeping the bubble going for as long as it has.  It should have never lasted this long, but thanks to unprecedented intervention they have been able to keep it alive.

But no financial bubble lasts forever, and now things have started to shift in a major way.

2020 is rapidly approaching, and the time of “the perfect storm” is now upon us.

I encourage you to do what you need to do to weather the coming economic storm, because it is not going to be pleasant.

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 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.

They Are Telling Us That The Next Recession “Won’t Be As Bad As 2008”. They Are Wrong.

Are we really supposed to believe them?  As the next recession rapidly approaches, the mainstream media is assuring us that there isn’t really that much to be concerned about.  In fact, as you will see below, CNN is assuring us that “the next one won’t be as bad as 2008”.  But how do they know?  After all, we didn’t have a president that was in danger of being impeached in 2008.  As this impeachment process moves forward, the mood of this nation is going to become increasingly sour.  Over in Europe, they are dealing with endless Brexit drama, and over in China the Hong Kong protests have created instability unlike anything we have seen in the modern history of that country.  Meanwhile, the Middle East has become an endless source of “wars and rumors of wars”.  At some point missiles will start flying back and forth and a major war will erupt over there, and that will immediately throw the entire global economy into chaos.  On top of everything else, our planet is shaking like a leaf, global weather patterns are becoming increasingly unstable and crops are failing all over the world.  The truth is that the environment that the global economy operates within is far more unstable today than it was back in 2008, and it wouldn’t take much at all to push us into a complete and utter economic nightmare.

But if you listen to the mainstream media, you would be tempted to assume that everything is going to be just fine.

In fact, CNN just published an article entitled “Not all recessions are a crisis, and the next one won’t be as bad as 2008”

Recession fears are on the rise in the United States. Memories of the last downturn are exacerbating these worries: The last time America faced a recession was in 2008, as the financial crisis was unfolding. Millions of people lost their jobs, GDP growth plummeted and businesses shut down.

But not all recessions are like that. Sometimes the economy can grow all the way through a recession. In fact, some economists believe the world is in a recession now and most people don’t even realize it.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could go all the way through the next recession without even realizing it?

I would love that.

Perhaps they should invent a way for us to eat Brussels sprouts without realizing it as well.

According to CNN, it is likely that we are headed for a “growth recession” rather than a recession in which we would have “millions of lost jobs like the last recession”…

For the United States, a global growth recession will probably mean sluggish growth, rather than millions of lost jobs like the last recession 10 years ago did. A growth recession would be nothing like 2008, when America entered a so-called technical recession: at least two consecutive quarters of a shrinking economy. The US economy is far away from that.

They can be optimistic if they want, but the thing about sticking your head in the sand is that your rear end is still exposed.

Look, I am not opposed to wishful thinking, but at some point you have to deal with reality.  Personally, I would like to be able to dunk a basketball like Michael Jordan does, but it just isn’t going to happen.

And our reality is telling us that we are far more vulnerable economically today than we were back in 2008.  Even though we have never had a full year of 3 percent economic growth since the last recession, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is nearly twice as high as it was at the peak of the bubble that burst during the last financial crisis.

In other words, stock prices are absurdly overinflated, and at some point there is going to be a dramatic implosion.

Much of the growth in stock prices has been driven by companies that are supposedly worth billions of dollars but that don’t actually make any profits.

WeWork is an example of the type of company that I am talking about.  It is constantly hemorrhaging money, but back in January it was supposedly worth 47 billion dollars.

Of course that number was always completely and utterly ridiculous, and after all the trouble that the company has had in recent months the valuation of the company has changed dramatically.

In fact, at this point it is being reported that WeWork is only worth about 8 billion dollars

As WeWork runs out of money, SoftBank Group is orchestrating the company’s “rescue financing plan” that could value it below $8 billion, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: $8 billion is a slim fraction of the $47 billion valuation WeWork gleaned in January from SoftBank. The rescue plan also comes after the office-sharing business slammed the brakes on its IPO, causing company bonds to tumble.

So how does a company lose 39 billion dollars in value in less than a year?

Well, it was never actually worth 47 billion dollars in the first place, and the truth is that WeWork is eventually going to zero.

But similar things could be said about company after company.  Wall Street has become a theater for the absurd, and eventually this whole freak show is going to implode in spectacular fashion.

And so what happens if a historic stock market crash is one of the triggers that plunges us into an extended economic depression like we experienced in the 1930s?

Our society is not equipped to handle something like that.  We are soft, lazy, self-obsessed and completely dependent on the system.  If we had to suddenly become a lot more self-sufficient, most of us would fall flat on our faces.

Earlier today, I came across a Time Magazine article which explained that 71 percent of all 17-to-24-year-olds in the United States do not even meet the most basic qualifications for military service…

Approximately 71% of the 34 million 17-to-24-year-olds in the U.S. would not qualify for military service because of reasons related to health, physical appearance and educational background, according to the Pentagon.

The ineligible typically includes those who are obese, those who lack a high school diploma or a GED, convicted felons, those taking prescription drugs for ADHD and those with certain tattoos and ear gauges, the Wall Street Journal reports, though some requirements can be waived.

Only 1% of young people are both “eligible and inclined to have conversation with” the military about possible service, according to the Defense Department.

This is just one example of how badly our society has declined.

There are thousands more, and I write about them all the time.

So we better hope that things don’t get really, really bad in this country, because it would be a colossal mess unlike anything the world has ever seen before.

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 in written form on their own websites, but only if this “About the Author” section is included.  In order to comply with 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.  You can follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter.  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 this website.

69 Percent Of U.S. Households “Are Preparing For A Possible Recession”

Do you believe that a recession is coming?  If so, you certainly have a lot of company.  It turns out that more than two-thirds of all U.S. households “are preparing for a possible recession” right now.  There is a growing national consensus that that U.S. economy is heading for big trouble, and this is causing a lot of people to cut back on spending.  In fact, we just witnessed the first drop in retail sales in seven months.  If this slowdown in retail spending extends into the holiday season, that could potentially be absolutely disastrous for the entire retail industry.  We are already in the midst of the worst “retail apocalypse” in U.S. history, and we are learning of more store closings with each passing day.  But of course it isn’t just the retail industry that is in very serious trouble, and I have some brand new numbers from a couple of other sectors that I will share with you below.

But first let’s talk about this new survey that just came out that says that 69 percent of all U.S. households “are preparing for a possible recession”

More than two-thirds of U.S. households say they are preparing for a possible recession.

Some 69% of participants in a recent poll said they were taking steps to shore up their finances ahead of a possible downturn, including 44% who said they were spending less money. Some 10%, including 13% of college graduates, are looking for a better or more stable job.

Considering what I do, it makes perfect sense to me that more than two-thirds of the country would be preparing for a recession.

But it would be very interesting to see this number broken down by political affiliation.  In general, Democrats tend to be far more pessimistic about the economy than Republicans are right now, and that is just because Donald Trump is in the White House.

I would suspect that the percentage of Trump supporters that are “preparing for a possible recession” would be well under 50 percent, but that is just a guess on my part.

In any event, the truth is that 100 percent of Americans should be preparing for a recession, because the warning signs are all around us.

And on Wednesday another economic red flag emerged.  For months, the economic optimists have been touting “the strength of the consumer” as one of the bright spots for the economy, but last month retail sales dropped for the first time in seven months

U.S. retail sales fell for the first time in seven months in September, raising fears that a slowdown in the American manufacturing sector could be starting to bleed into the consumer side of the economy.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that retail sales dropped 0.3% last month as households slashed spending on building materials, online purchases and especially automobiles.

That is certainly not the end of the world, but it does indicate that consumers are starting to scale back their spending.

Of course that is the last thing that retailers want to see happen.  We are already on pace to absolutely shatter the all-time record for store closings in a single year, and we just learned that Sears and Kmart will soon be closing more stores

Sears and Kmart store closings are expected to continue into early 2020.

While more than 100 Sears and Kmart stores will shutter in the coming months, additional closures will stretch into January.

Company officials did not release an official list of the locations that will close. But news outlets across the nation, as well as documents filed with state governments, show some of the closings will happen in January 2020.

Sears has essentially been in the process of liquidating for a very long time, and we can only hope that eventually this incredibly painful liquidation will mercifully come to an end.

For many other retailers, this holiday season will be a “make or break moment”, and we should probably expect another huge wave of store closing announcements early in 2020.

And as I noted above, it isn’t just the retail industry that is really struggling.  We are already in a “transportation recession”, and we just learned that the Cass Freight Index has now declined for ten months in a row.  The following comes from Wolf Richter

Freight shipments by all modes of transportation – truck, rail, air, and barge – within the US fell 3.4% in September 2019, compared to September last year, according to the Cass Freight Index for Shipments. For the index – which tracks shipment volume of consumer and industrial goods but not of bulk commodities – it was the 10th month in a row of relentless year-over-year declines

Another sector that is facing very tough times is the auto industry, and according to Reuters over 7 million Americans are seriously delinquent on their auto loans…

More than 7 million Americans are already 90 or more days behind on their car loans, according to the New York Federal Reserve, and serious delinquency rates among borrowers with the lowest credit scores have by far seen the fastest acceleration.

If all these numbers remind you of the last recession, that would make perfect sense, because we haven’t seen anything like this in more than a decade.

And all of this is happening even though the federal government is adding a trillion dollars to the national debt each year and the Federal Reserve has begun flooding the financial system with fresh cash.

In terms of “economic stimulus”, our leaders are already pushing the accelerator all the way to the floor, and it is simply not working.

This truly is the beginning of the end (#ad) for the U.S. economy, and most Americans can now see that very tough times are ahead.

But what most Americans don’t understand is that what we will be facing won’t be anything like 2008.

Instead, it will be much, much worse.

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 in written form on their own websites as long as this “About the Author” section is included.  In order to comply with 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.  You can follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter.  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 this website.

 

The Economic Collapse