Posts tagged poverty
Wow – The Holiday Shopping Season Is Off To A Horrible Start
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent an average of 4 percent less over the four day Thanksgiving weekend than they did last year. Overall, that means that approximately $1.7 billion less was spent at U.S. retailers compared to last year. It had already been projected that this holiday shopping season would be the worst for retailers since 2009, but if these numbers are any indication it may be even worse than expected. So why is this happening? Well, basically the American consumer is tapped out. The unemployment crisis in this country is actually getting worse, poverty is absolutely exploding and the middle class is being systematically eviscerated. In other words, you can’t get blood out of a stone. Many retailers are offering extreme discounts in a desperate attempt to lure more shoppers, but the money simply isn’t there.
According to Yahoo News, the decline in shopping over the four day Thanksgiving weekend was the first decline that we have seen since the last recession…
Shoppers, on average, were expected to spend $407.02 during the four days, down 3.9 percent from last year. That would be the first decline since the 2009 holiday shopping season when the economy was just coming out of the recession.
The survey underscores the challenges stores have faced since the recession began in late 2007. Retailers had to offer deeper discounts to get people to shop during the downturn, but Americans still expect those “70 percent off” signs now during the recovery.
And according to the New York Times, Americans spent a total of 1.7 billion dollars less than they did last year…
Over the course of the weekend, consumers spent about $1.7 billion less on holiday shopping than they did the year before, according to the National Retail Federation, a retail trade organization.
“There are some economic challenges that many Americans still face,” said Matthew Shay, the chief executive of the retail federation. “So in general terms, many are intending to be a little bit more conservative with their budgets.”
But this downturn for retailers did not just begin this past weekend. There have been signs of trouble for quite a while now.
For example, posted below is a photo that one of my readers sent to me. This is a photo of the Beverly Center Mall in Beverly Hills, California that was taken in the middle of the day on Tuesday, November 19th. She said that there “wasn’t a soul in that mall and the employees were all standing, staring into space with nothing to do”…
So where are all of the shoppers?
Why aren’t people out buying stuff?
Sadly, this is just the continuation of a trend that has been developing for more than a decade. The truth is that Americans are simply not spending money as rapidly as they used to.
Posted below is a chart that shows that the velocity of M2 in the United States is at an all-time low. In other words, the rate at which money circulates through our economy is frighteningly low and it continues to drop…
As you can see from the chart above, this decline in the velocity of money has been going on since the late 1990s. This is a sign of a very unhealthy economy.
Most Americans know that the U.S. economy is very heavily dependent on consumer spending. But consumers have to make money first in order to spend it. And right now we have a major employment crisis in this country.
Meanwhile, the quality of our jobs continues to decline as well. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the United States has fallen for five years in a row, and right now the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.
So should it really be such a surprise that consumers are totally tapped out?
The money simply is not there.
After accounting for inflation, 40 percent of all U.S. workers are currently making less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968.
A recent CNN article profiled one of these workers. Carman Iverson is a 28-year-old mother of four that makes minimum wage at McDonald’s. If it was not for government assistance, her and her four children would not be able to survive…
Iverson said she started working in 2012 at $7.25 an hour, and makes $7.35 an hour now after Missouri adjusted the minimum wage. She makes between $400 and $600 a month. Her rent is $650 a month.
When asked how she could pay her rent on those wages, she said she had a landlord who works with her. “I’m kind of on my last little leg, because I’ve been late on rent. I’m actually behind three months in rent.
“Sometimes I can pay it, sometimes I can’t. I get paid twice a month, and both checks go to rent and the rest of it goes to utilities to the point where I don’t have any money left to buy anything for my kids — to buy them clothes, shoes or anything they need.”
She said she manages to feed her four children on $543 worth of food stamps a month.
But instead of fixing things, Barack Obama continues to pursue policies that will kill millions more good jobs. It is absolutely amazing that there are any Americans that still support this guy. For a long list of statistics that show how badly the economy has tanked since Obama entered the White House, please see this article.
You know that things are bad when increasing the number of Americans on food stamps by 15 million is regarded as an “economic accomplishment”. In fact, a message recently posted on the official White House website says that “SNAP is boosting the economy right now” and that high food stamp enrollment is creating lots of jobs…
“SNAP’s effect extends beyond the food on a family’s table–to the grocery stores, truck drivers, warehouses, processing plants and farmers that helped get it there.”
So why don’t we just enroll all Americans in every welfare program?
Wouldn’t that produce an extreme economic boom?
And actually under Obama we are already well on our way. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49.2 percent of all Americans are currently receiving benefits from at least one government program, and the federal government has spent an astounding 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs over the past five years.
Yes, there will always be poor people that cannot help themselves that will need our assistance.
But most Americans are capable of working if they could just find jobs.
Unfortunately, our jobs are being killed off and wages are going down. The middle class is being systematically destroyed and U.S. consumer spending is drying up.
The horrible start to this holiday shopping season is just the beginning.
Things are going to get much worse than this.
This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
By Daisy Luther
How to Survive a Personal Economic Collapse
With all that is being written about the national economic collapse, people seem to be waiting for some huge event.
However, for many North Americans, the collapse is here. This isn’t relegated to only lower income neighborhoods. As an article from a Cinncinnati new station stated, “Hunger doesn’t know a zipcode.”
For many people who were formerly financially comfortable, the economic collapse has already happened, in the form of a job loss, hours that have been cut back due to Obamacare requirements for employers, an exorbitant medical bill or other crushing debt, or simply an inflation rate that has outstripped your pay increases. Despite all of the warnings, many people are still going to be absolutely blindsided.
For many families, personal finances have reached a catastrophic level – they are left to make terrible choices:
- Which utility can I live without?
- Should I walk away from my mortgage?
- Should I eat something so I can work harder or should I skip meals so my kids have food?
- Should I use the grocery money to take my child to the doctor or should I wait and hope he/she improves without medical intervention?
- Do I risk the IRS-enforced penalties by forgoing enrollment in Obamacare or should I skip that whole grocery shopping thing so I can pay the monthly premiums and enormous deductibles in order to stay in the government’s good graces?
These are the kind of decisions that people across the nation are grappling with every day.
I’m talking about good people, hardworking men and women who have always been employed and paid their bills. A personal financial crisis does not just strike those stereotypical “welfare queens” with the long manicured nails, Gucci knock-off purse, and a grocery cart full of EBT-funded lobster.
I’m talking about the person next door, who seems to have it all together. I’m talking about that quiet family that sits two rows in front of you at church. I’m talking about that two-income family with two children and a car in the driveway that takes them to work and school 5 days a week. I’m talking about people just like you and me.
What is a personal economic collapse?
A personal economic collapse is a little different than the major crises you see all over Europe right now, where huge segments of the population can’t feed their children or stay employed. It is a crisis that just hits your family due to a given set of circumstances. (In actuality North Americans are on the brink of the kind of collapse that is occurring in Europe, but because of easy access to credit and a buy-now, pay-later society, many of us still have the appearance of prosperity.)
Here are some signs that you may be in the midst of a personal economic collapse:
- You can only afford to pay the minimum payment on most of your bills.
- The same dollar amount you used to spend on groceries doesn’t buy enough food to feed your family for the week.
- You can’t afford to go to the doctor when you’re sick.
- You are taking dangerous steps to “stretch” needed medications because you can’t afford the prescriptions.
- Your utility bills are past due and your power is in danger of being cut off.
- You skip meals in order to save money or to have enough food for your kids.
- You’ve lost your job or had your hours cut.
- You have lost property due to foreclosure or repossession (such as your home or your vehicle).
Surviving the crisis
Times are tough but you can survive this.
1.) First you have to see exactly where you are.
It’s time for a brutally honest assessment of your finances. If you use your debit card or credit card for most expenditures, you’ll easily be able to see what you’re spending and bringing in.
Print off your bank account statements for the past 2 months. On a piece of paper, track where your money is going. List the following
- Car payments
- Vehicle operating expenses (fuel, repairs)
- Credit card and other debt payments
- Telephone/Cell phone
- Extracurricular activities for the kids
- Extracurricular activities for the adults
- Dining out
- School expenses
- Recreational spending
- Miscellaneous (anything that doesn’t fall into the above categories gets it’s own category or goes here)
Don’t say to yourself, “Well, I usually don’t spend $400 on clothing so that isn’t realistic.” If you spent it, then it’s realistic. You are averaging together two months, which should account for those less common expenses. Brutal honesty isn’t fun, but it’s vital for this exercise.
So….what do you see when you look at your piece of paper with your average monthly expenditures for the past two months? Are there any surprises? Did you actually realize how much you’ve been spending? Most of us will immediately see places that we can trim the budget. Those $1-$5 purchases can really add up. Reining them in may just allow you to take care of an important need that you thought you could not meet.
It can’t continue like this. The economy will not withstand it. Step one is to see where you can cut things out right now from the above expenditures. Can you reduce your grocery bill? Slash meals out? Budget more carefully for gift-giving and school clothes?
2.) Rethink necessities.
If your finances are out of control, the best possible reality check is a stark look at what necessities really are. It is not necessary to life to have an iPhone, a vehicle in both stalls of your two-car garage, or for your children to all have separate bedrooms. People in Southern and Eastern Europe right now will tell you, as they scramble for food, basic over the counter medications like aspirin, and shelter, that necessities are those things essential to life:
- Food (and the ability to cook it)
- Medicine and medical supplies
- Basic hygiene supplies
- Shelter (including sanitation, lights, heat)
- Simple tools
- Defense Items
Absolutely everything above those basic necessities is a luxury.
So, by this definition, what luxuries do you have?
3.) Reduce your monthly output
Reduce your monthly payments by cutting frivolous expenses. Look at every single monthly payment that comes out of your bank account and slash relentlessly. Consider cutting the following:
- Cell phones
- Home phones
- Gym memberships
- Restaurant meals
- Unnecessary driving
- Entertainment such as trips to the movies, the skating rink, or the mall
4.) Waste not, want not.
We live in a disposable society. Food comes in throw-away containers. People replace things instead of repairing them. If you throw out more than a couple of bags of garbage each week, that’s a very good sign that you may be wasting resources.
Before throwing anything away, pause and think about how it might be able to be reused.
- Food: Many times small amounts of leftovers can be recycled into a brand new meal. Meat bones can be used to make broth or stock. Small amounts of veggies or grains can be frozen and added to a future soup or casserole. Leftovers can be frozen in meal-sized portions to take to work for a brown-bag lunch. (Learn more about repurposing leftovers HERE.)
- Clothing: Clothing that is torn or damaged can often be repaired with only rudimentary sewing skills. If it has been outgrown or cannot be repaired, often the fabric or yarn can be reused for other purposes, from cleaning rags to fashionable accessories like scarves and headbands, or home items like throw pillows, potholders or rag rugs. When all else fails, the fabric can be used for cleaning rags or patches to repair other items. Keep jars full of buttons, elastic, and other notions that can easily be removed before you throw a clothing item away or relegate it to the rag bag.
- Electronics: Obviously, initially you should attempt to repair (or have repaired) electronic items that are not working. If this is not feasible, are there components of the item that can be reused, either now or in the future? What about hardware such as screws or fasteners?
- Containers: Most food comes in a container of some sort. Before throwing the container away, consider whether or not it might be useful. Glass jars, plastic tubs, and plastic bags can often be reused to store food in your refrigerator or to contain food in brown bag lunches. Clean aluminum cans can hold all manner of items, from hardware and tools in a workshop to sewing and craft supplies. Use your imagination.
5.) Take control of your food budget.
The price of food is skyrocketing. Who hasn’t been to the grocery store recently and been shocked at the high price of that cart full of groceries or at the mysterious shrinking food packages that are the same price as yesterday’s larger ones?
- Stockpile: Create a stockpile of nutritious, healthy staples at today’s prices to enjoy when the cost goes even higher tomorrow. (Learn how to create a frugal food stockpile HERE.)
- Preserve: Learn to preserve food yourself when you come across a windfall. Pressure canning, waterbath canning, freezing, and dehydrating can allow you to take advantage of great sales or end-of-season scores.
- Eat less: This suggestion isn’t for everyone, but many of us could stand to shed a few pounds. Perhaps now would be a good time to cut back a little and shrink both your waistline and your weekly food bill. Lots of people eat for the sheer entertainment of it or out of habit. Next time you’re watching TV, grab some mending or a crossword puzzle instead of a bag of potato chips. Dish out slightly smaller servings at dinnertime to leave enough to stretch the leftovers for a brown bag meal the next day.
- Drink water: Skip the beverages and drink water instead. At less than $1 per gallon for purchased water you simply can’t beat the price. It’s better for you, also, than sugar-y drinks. If you are lucky enough to have well water or access to spring water, your drinks don’t have to cost you a penny.
- Focus on nutrition instead of convenience: Buy the best quality of food you can, and skip the processed, nutritionless convenience foods.
- Grow your own. In the summer, grow the biggest garden you can. In the winter, or if you are an apartment dweller, put some sprouts and greens in a sunny windowsill to add some fresh produce for pennies.
6.) Reduce your dependence on utilities.
Energy rates are skyrocketing. As the prices begin to rise, more and more people will be unable to pay their bills and eventually their power will be shut off. Check your bill each month and as prices increase, use less power. Try some of these ideas to reduce your reliance and drop your bills.
- Hand wash your clothing
- Hang clothes to dry
- Cook on a woodstove or outdoor grill
- Can foods to preserve them instead of relying on a large chest freezer
- Turn the heat down a few degrees and use non-grid methods to keep warm
- Use rain barrels to collect water
- Direct the gray water from your washing machines to reservoirs
- Turn off the lights and open the blinds
- Use solar lighting whenever possible
How do you intend to weather the storm?
There are bleak days ahead. Have you planned for this? What strategies do you intend to use to weather the financial crisis that is coming for all of us?
Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at email@example.com
Image credit: http://www.theorganicprepper.ca
McDonalds Latest Advice to its Peasant Employees: “Quit Complaining” and “Sing a Song”
Back in July, I highlighted a ridiculous and insulting campaign that McDonalds ran with Visa in which the company tried to help its impoverished employees plan a budget. The only thing the campaign did was embarrass the company by proving that you can’t survive working there.
Well the company is right back at it in time for the holidays, with several pieces of advice for its legions of serf employees through its ”McResource” website. Three of the more insulting pieces of wisdom include:
“Sing away stress: Singing along to your favorite songs can lower your blood pressure.”
“Break it up: Breaking food into pieces often results in eating less and still feeling full.”
I saved the best for last…
“Quit complaining: Stress hormone levels rise by 15% after ten minutes of complaining.”
Are you “lovin’ it” yet? Video below:
Follow Mike on Twitter.
Video capture added to Mike’s original post.
One Lawmaker Is Literally Smashing The Belongings Of The Homeless With A Sledgehammer
There is a war on compassion in America today. You are about to read about a Hawaii lawmaker that has used a sledgehammer to smash up at least 30 shopping carts that homeless people were using. Yes, you read that correctly. He is actually carrying a sledgehammer around so that he can destroy the belongings of homeless people. He claims that it is his intention “to do something practical that will really clean up the streets”. But as crazy as that sounds, the truth is that he is not alone. As you will read about below, there are dozens of major cities all over the country where feeding the homeless has been banned. In many of these instances, public officials are very open about the fact that the goal is to make their cities “cleaner” and “safer” places to live. They simply do not want the homeless around. In fact, there are some cities such as San Diego and San Francisco where social workers are actually giving homeless people one-way bus tickets out of town. If you doubt this, just keep reading. The United States is becoming a very cold, heartless place, and homeless people are increasingly being treated like human garbage in this country. So how bad will the treatment of the homeless become when the economy gets really bad?
When I first heard about a state representative out in Hawaii that was using a sledgehammer to go after homeless people, I could hardly believe it. But it is actually true. The following is a short excerpt from an RT article that was published earlier this week…
In the past two weeks residents in Hawaii noticed what appeared to be a crazed individual carrying a sledgehammer through the streets of Honolulu, a state lawmaker looking to rid the city of homeless people by targeting their belongings.
State Representative Tom Brower (D) is currently dedicated to dealing out his own personal brand of “justice” by seeking out homeless people and destroying their possessions. Brower estimates that he has used the sledgehammer to smash at least 30 shopping carts, rendering them useless by bashing in the front wheels.
“I got tired of telling people I’m trying to pass laws. I want to do something practical that will really clean up the streets,” he told Hawaii News Now. “I find abandoned junk, specifically shopping carts, and I remove them.”
How cold and heartless can one person possibly be?
The truth is that almost all of us are just a few bad breaks from being out on the street.
Hasn’t he ever needed a helping hand at some point in his life?
Unfortunately, government control freaks are cracking down on those that are trying to provide that “helping hand” all over the nation. For example, one Christian ministry in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has recently been threatened with jail time for feeding the homeless…
Every week for more than five years, staff and volunteers associated with Isaiah 61 Ministries have provided meals, toiletries, clothing and other forms of assistance to the homeless men and women of Harrisburg, as well as to the poor and elderly. Because of the recent threats made by the Dauphin County commission, Isaiah 61 Ministries and several other ministries engaged in similar religious exercises throughout the rest of the week have been unable to serve those most in need of help at this time of year.
And in a previous article I wrote about an organization called Love Wins Ministries that made national headlines when police in Raleigh, North Carolina threatened to arrest them if they continued to distribute sausage biscuits and coffee to homeless people living in the heart of the city. The following is from a first-hand account from someone who actually witnessed the police threats…
On the morning of Saturday, August, 24, Love Wins showed up at Moore Square at 9:00 a.m., just like we have done virtually every Saturday and Sunday for the last six years. We provide, without cost or obligation, hot coffee and a breakfast sandwich to anyone who wants one. We keep this promise to our community in cooperation with five different, large suburban churches that help us with manpower and funding.
On that morning three officers from Raleigh Police Department prevented us from doing our work, for the first time ever. An officer said, quite bluntly, that if we attempted to distribute food, we would be arrested.
Our partnering church brought 100 sausage biscuits and large amounts of coffee. We asked the officers for permission to disperse the biscuits to the over 70 people who had lined up, waiting to eat. They said no. I had to face those who were waiting and tell them that I could not feed them, or I would be arrested.
Sadly, these are not isolated incidents. This kind of thing is happening all over the nation.
In fact, according to USA Today more than 50 other cities have passed laws against feeding the homeless…
Atlanta, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, Oklahoma City and more than 50 other cities have previously adopted some kind of anti-camping or anti-food-sharing laws, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.
And as I mentioned at the top of this article, some major cities are so disgusted by the homeless that they are actually giving them one-way bus tickets to other cities…
When her Greyhound bus pulled into town 6 months ago, Maria Castillo got off with two bags and dream.
“Start over, start a new life,” said the 42-year-old.
Castillo had been homeless in San Diego when a social worker offered her a one-way bus ticket to Portland.
“They said come here because all the opportunities in Portland, Oregon,” she said.
But Castillo said life isn’t much better in her new town. She’s still homeless. A Unit 8 investigation found several cities from San Diego to San Francisco are providing one-way bus tickets to the homeless.
When I saw that San Francisco was doing this, I just had to chuckle. San Francisco holds itself out as a “progressive” city that is a “model” for the rest of the nation to follow, and yet they are so disgusted by homeless people that they are giving them one-way tickets up to Portland.
What in the world is happening to America?
And this crisis is only going to get even worse in the years ahead. I write frequently about how the level of poverty in this country is growing very rapidly. If you doubt this, please see my previous article entitled “29 Incredible Facts Which Prove That Poverty In America Is Absolutely Exploding“.
When people think of the homeless, they often think of drunk bums sleeping on benches in our public parks. But the truth is that the ranks of the homeless include vast numbers of adults that would gladly work if they could, and the ranks of the homeless also include vast numbers of children.
Right now, there are 1.2 million public school students in America that are homeless. That is a new all-time record, and that number has grown by 72 percent since the start of the last recession.
There are so many people out there that are deeply hurting right now, but the control freaks that are running things don’t want us to help our neighbors.
The control freaks that are running things just want the homeless to go away so that their cities can be shiny and clean and pleasant for visitors that actually have money.
Well, I don’t care what those control freaks say. If I see someone that needs food or water, I am going to help that person out no matter what the “regulations” say.
And all of the cities that are banning feeding the homeless are literally cursing themselves. As a society, we will be judged on how we treat our most vulnerable members, and right now America is failing badly in this regard on a whole host of fronts.
The United States is steadily becoming a very cold-hearted place. Do not let that happen to you personally. Please remember to do what you can to love your less fortunate neighbors this winter.
Our society is literally starting to come apart at the seams right in front of our eyes.
In this kind of an environment, we are going to need a whole lot more love and compassion than we are seeing right now.
This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Meet One Of The Victims Of Obama’s “Economic Recovery”
Have you ever cried yourself to sleep because you had no idea how you were going to pay the bills even though you were working as hard as you possibly could? You are about to hear from a single mother that has been there. Her name is Yolanda Vestal and she is another victim of Obama’s “economic recovery”. Yes, things have never been better for the top 0.01 percent of ultra-wealthy Americans that have got millions of dollars invested in the stock market. But for most of the rest of the country, things are very hard right now. At this point, more than 102 million working age Americans do not have a job, and 40 percent of those that are actually working earn less than $20,000 a year in wages. If we actually are experiencing an “economic recovery”, then why is the federal government spending nearly a trillion dollars a year on welfare? And that does not even include entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. We live in a nation where poverty is exploding and the middle class is shrinking with each passing day. But nothing is ever going to get fixed if we all stick our heads in the sand and pretend that everything is “just fine”.
What you are about to read is an open letter to Barack Obama that has gone absolutely viral on the Internet in recent days. It is a letter that a single mother named Yolanda Vestal posted on her Facebook page, and it has really struck a nerve because countless other young parents can clearly identify with what she is going through. The following is the text of her letter…
Dear President Obama,
I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for all you have done and are doing. You see I am a single Mom located in the very small town of Palmer, Texas. I live in a small rental house with my two children. I drive an older car that I pray daily runs just a little longer. I work at a mediocre job bringing home a much lower paycheck than you or your wife could even imagine living on. I have a lot of concerns about the new “Obamacare” along with the taxes being forced on us Americans and debts you are adding to our country. I have a few questions for you Mr. President.
Have you ever struggled to pay your bills? I have.
Have you ever sat and watched your children eat and you eat what was left on their plates when they were done, because there wasn’t enough for you to eat to? I have.
Have you ever had to rob Peter to pay Paul, and it still not be enough? I have.
Have you ever been so sick that you needed to see a doctor and get medicine, but had no health insurance because it was too expensive? I have.
Have you ever had to tell your children no, when they asked for something they needed? I have.
Have you ever patched holes in pants, glued shoes, replaced zippers, because it was cheaper than buying new? I have.
Have you ever had to put an item or two back at the grocery store, because you didn’t have enough money? I have.
Have you ever cried yourself to sleep, because you had no clue how you were going to make ends meet? I have.
My questions could go on and on. I don’t believe you have a clue what Americans are actually going through and honestly, I don’t believe you care. Not everyone lives extravagantly. While your family takes expensive trips that cost more than most of us make in two-four years, there are so many of us that suffer. Yet, you are doing all you can to add to the suffering. I think you are a very selfish and cold hearted man, who does not care what is best for the people he was elected by (not by me) to represent, but more so out for the glory of your name attached to history. So thank you Mr. President, thank you for pushing those of us that are barely staying afloat completely under water and driving America into the ground. You have made your mark in history, as the absolute worst and most hated president of the United States. God have mercy on your soul!
These are the kinds of emotions that millions of American parents are wrestling with on a daily basis. Many of them are working as hard as they possibly can and yet still find themselves unable to adequately provide for their families.
And now that food stamps are being cut back, more of them than ever are going to be forced to turn to food banks for help. The following is what the head of a large food bank in Casper, Wyoming told one local newspaper about the increase in demand that he is witnessing in his area…
Across the state, food banks and other related programs aiming to feed the needy are worried the supply to meet the uptick in need during the holiday season won’t meet the growing demand for food caused by the expiration of SNAP benefits.
“People are scared to death of the lack of food availability,” Martin said.
Martin called Joshua’s Storehouse a reliable barometer for measuring the rate of need in Casper. The number of people using the food bank skyrocketed before the reduction in SNAP, he said.
Fewer than 2,000 people used the food bank in October 2012. Last month 2,500 people went there for help.
And of course this is not just happening in rural areas either. Margarette Purvis, the head of the largest food bank organization in New York City, says that she is anticipating a huge surge in demand and that veterans are being hit particularly hard…
“On this Veterans Day, when we’re waving our flags — I need every New Yorker to know — 40 percent of New York City veterans are relying on soup kitchens and pantries.”
Purvis says that there are 95,000 vets relying on food banks in New York City alone.
That is a lot of people.
And while Barack Obama may trot out a few vets on national holidays and promise that “we will never forget” them, the truth is that most of the time the federal government treats our military veterans like human garbage. If you doubt this, please see my previous article entitled “25 Signs That Military Veterans Are Being Treated Like Absolute Trash Under The Obama Administration“.
Meanwhile, anger and frustration with the economy are starting to rise to very dangerous levels in this nation.
In a previous article, I noted that violent crime in America rose by 15 percent last year. One of the primary reasons for this is the economic despair that we see in our streets.
As the economy gets even worse, people will become even more desperate. We will start to see even more flash mob crimes like we saw in Chicago recently. Posted below is a video news report that shows footage of a flash mob in Chicago dragging entire racks of merchandise out of a Sports Authority store…
When you watch stuff like this, it helps to explain why demand for armored vehicles among the ultra-wealthy in America is skyrocketing.
Unfortunately, most Americans cannot afford armored vehicles and walled vacation homes in the middle of nowhere.
Most Americans are going to have to live right in the middle of all of this as it happens.
A volcano of anger, frustration and despair is simmering just below the surface in America.
When that volcano finally erupts, it is going to be a very frightening thing to behold.
This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
10 Facts About The Growing Unemployment Crisis In America That Will Blow Your Mind
Did you know that there are more than 102 million working age Americans that do not have a job? Yes, I know that number sounds absolutely crazy, but it is true. Right now, there are more than 11 million Americans that are considered to be “officially unemployed”, and there are more than 91 million Americans that are not employed and that are considered to be “not in the labor force”. When you add those two numbers together, the total is more than 102 million. Overall, the number of working age Americans that do not have a job has increased by about 27 million since the year 2000. But aren’t things getting better? After all, the mainstream media is full of headlines about how “good” the jobs numbers for October were. Sadly, the truth is that the mainstream media is not being straight with the American people. As you will see below, we are in the midst of a long-term unemployment crisis in America, and things got even worse last month.
In this day and age, it is absolutely imperative that people start thinking for themselves. Just because the media tells you that something is true does not mean that it actually is. If unemployment was actually going down, the percentage of the working age population that has a job should actually be going up. As you are about to see, that is simply not the case. The following are 10 facts about the growing unemployment crisis in America that will blow your mind…
#1 The percentage of working age Americans with a job fell to 58.3 percent in October. The lowest that number has been at any point since the year 2000 is 58.2 percent. In other words, there has been absolutely no “jobs recovery”. During the last recession, the civilian employment-population ratio dropped from about 63 percent to below 59 percent and it has stayed there for 50 months in a row. Will the percentage of working age Americans with a job soon drop below the 58 percent mark?…
#2 The U.S. economy lost 623,000 full-time jobs last month. But we are being told to believe that the economy is actually getting “better”.
#3 The number of American women with a job fell by 357,000 during the month of October.
#4 The average duration of unemployment in October 2013 was nearly three times as long as it was in October 2000.
#5 The number of Americans “not in the labor force” increased by an astounding 932,000 during October. In other words, the Obama administration would have us believe that nearly a million people “disappeared” from the U.S. labor force in a single month.
#6 The number of Americans “not in the labor force” has grown by more than 11 million since Barack Obama first entered the White House.
#7 In October, the U.S. labor force participation rate fell from 63.2 percent to 62.8 percent. It is now the lowest that it has been since 1978. Below is a chart which shows how the labor force participation rate has been steadily declining since the year 2000. How can the economy be “healthy” if the percentage of Americans that are participating in the labor force is continually declining?…
#8 If the labor force participation rate was still at the same level it was at when Barack Obama was elected in 2008, the official unemployment rate would be about 11 percent right now.
#9 Even if you are working, that does not mean that you are able to take care of yourself and your family without any help. In fact, approximately one out of every four part-time workers in America is living below the poverty line.
#10 In January 2000, there were 75 million working age Americans that did not have a job. Today, there are 102 million working age Americans that do not have a job.
So what are our politicians doing to fix this?
Shouldn’t they be working night and day to solve this crisis?
After all, Barack Obama once made the following promise to the American people…
“But I want you all to know, I will not rest until anybody who’s looking for a job can find one — and I’m not talking about just any job, but good jobs that give every American decent wages and decent benefits and a fair shot at the American Dream.”
Unfortunately, things have not improved since Obama made that promise, but he has found the time to play 150 rounds of golf since he has been president.
Meanwhile, because there aren’t enough jobs, the number of Americans living in poverty continues to grow.
And right now 1.2 million public school students in the United States are homeless. For many more statistics like this, please see my previous article entitled “29 Incredible Facts Which Prove That Poverty In America Is Absolutely Exploding“.
The only thing that most Americans have to offer in the marketplace is their labor. If they can’t find a job, they don’t have any other way to take care of themselves and their families.
The future of the middle class in America depends upon the creation of good jobs. It really doesn’t matter how far the quantitative easing that the Federal Reserve has been doing pumps up the current stock market bubble. The American people were told that “economic stimulus” was the reason for doing all of this reckless money printing, but the percentage of working age Americans with a job is now actually lower than it was four years ago. Quantitative easing has been a complete and total failure in the job creation department, and it is doing a tremendous amount of long-term damage to our financial system.
The really frightening thing is that the Federal Reserve and the federal government have supposedly been doing all they can to try to “create jobs” and they have utterly failed. In fact, this is the first time in the post-World War II era that we have not seen an employment recovery following a recession.
And now the next wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching. What that hits us, millions more Americans will lose their jobs.
So the truth is that this is just the beginning of the unemployment crisis in America.
Yes, things are bad now, but soon they will get much worse.
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Tide Thefts, Cargo Hijacking And Cattle Rustling: Why Is An Epidemic Of Thievery Sweeping America?
Desperate people do desperate things, and it appears that Americans are rapidly becoming a lot more desperate. An epidemic of thievery is sweeping across America, and authorities are not quite sure what to make of it. Down in Texas, cattle thieves can get up to $1,500 per head of cattle, and cattle rustling was up nearly 40 percent last year. As you will read about below, cargo hijacking is becoming much more sophisticated, and it is being estimated that losses from cargo thefts will total about $216 million this year alone. And for some reason, Tide laundry detergent has become a very hot commodity among common criminals all across America. In fact, it is being reported that some grocery stores are “losing $10,000 to $15,000 a month” as a result of Tide thefts. So why is all of this happening? Well, as I have written about previously, crime is on the rise in the United States, and poverty is absolutely exploding. In fact, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, 49.2 percent of all Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program each month. Over the past five years, we have seen an unprecedented rise in the number of people that cannot take care of themselves without help from the government. Millions upon millions of Americans that have been forced into poverty are becoming increasingly angry, frustrated and desperate. And what we are watching right now is only just the beginning – all of this is going to get a whole lot worse.
When people think of the “social decay” that is happening to America, most of the time Texas and Oklahoma would not be the first places that come to mind. But according to NPR, there was nearly a 40 percent rise in the theft of cows and horses down in that area of the country last year…
Ranchers saw a sharp jump in cattle rustling last year in Texas and Oklahoma. Over 10,000 cows and horses were reported missing or stolen. That’s an almost 40 percent increase from the year before. It’s a trend that’s surprised some in law enforcement.
And this is happening even though the penalties for cattle rustling have gotten much stronger…
Penalties against rustlers were toughened by Texas lawmakers in 2009. Now, the crime could put you in prison for up to 10 years. But ironically more and more cattle have gone missing or stolen since that law was passed.
Another trend that is baffling law enforcement authorities is the huge wave of cargo hijackings that they have been seeing. According to a recent CBS News article, cargo thefts are becoming a lot more elaborate these days…
To steal huge shipments of valuable cargo, thieves are turning to a deceptively simple tactic: They pose as truckers, load the freight onto their own tractor-trailers and drive away with it.
It’s an increasingly common form of commercial identity theft that has allowed con men to make off each year with millions of dollars in merchandise, often food and beverages. And experts say the practice is growing so rapidly that it will soon become the most common way to steal freight.
You may not think that stealing truckloads of walnuts or cheese is a big deal, but the truth is that the dollar values of some of these thefts are absolutely staggering…
News reports from across the country recount just a few of the thefts: 80,000 pounds of walnuts worth $300,000 in California, $200,000 of Muenster cheese in Wisconsin, rib-eye steaks valued at $82,000 in Texas, $25,000 pounds of king crab worth $400,000 in California.
And this is not just happening in a few isolated locations. We are literally seeing an epidemic of cargo theft that stretches from coast to coast…
Although cargo thieves prey on companies across the nation, the hot spots are places with shipping ports or rail hubs. California leads the nation. Large numbers of thefts have also been reported in Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
Perhaps most fascinating of all is the wave of Tide thefts that is sweeping the nation. The following is an excerpt from a New York Magazine article from earlier this year…
The call that came in from a local Safeway one day in March 2011 was unlike any the Organized Retail Crime Unit of the Prince George’s County Police Department had fielded before. The grocery store, located in suburban Bowie, Maryland, had been robbed repeatedly. But in every incident the only products taken were bottles—many, many bottles—of the liquid laundry detergent Tide. “They were losing $10,000 to $15,000 a month, with people just taking it off the shelves,” recalls Sergeant Aubrey Thompson, who heads the team. When Thompson and his officers arrived to investigate, they stumbled onto another apparent Tide theft in progress and busted two men who’d piled 100 or so of the bright-orange jugs into their Honda. The next day, Thompson returned to the store’s parking lot to tape a television interview about the crimes. A different robber took advantage of the distraction to make off with twenty more bottles.
So why are criminals so interested in Tide detergent?
Well, apparently it is heavily used as currency in the drug trade…
Southern California authorities say it’s a dirty business and a bizarre trend – drug users trading Tide detergent for crack.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise says it’s a nationwide problem – people are stealing the popular but expensive detergent and trading it for marijuana and crack cocaine.
San Bernardino police Sgt. Travis Walker says detectives raiding dope houses in recent years were puzzled when they found lots of Tide. Turns out it wasn’t being used to make drugs but to buy them.
We live at a time when an increasing number of Americans will do just about anything for money.
Down in Florida, one mother was so desperate for money that she was actually prostituting her three teenage daughters. Two of them were under the age of 18…
A St. Cloud mother was picked up Thursday on charges of serving as her three teenage daughters’ madam in a West U.S. Highway 192 prostitution ring, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.
At 2:30 p.m., Paula Howard flagged down an undercover detective acting as a “John” in front of a bus stop and arranged for him to have sex with one of her girls, ages 16, 17, and 18, an arrest record states.
The daughter agreed to perform the act for $20 and hopped into the car, telling the detective, “Oh yea. That’s my family, but don’t even worry about it. They know what I do,” the report states.
But haven’t you heard?
Everything is just fine in America. Barack Obama and the mainstream media keep telling us that over and over, so it must be true.
I think that we got a glimpse into the true condition of America last month when a “technical glitch” caused the system that processes food stamp card payments to malfunction for a couple of hours. A Time Magazine article described what happened at one Wal-Mart in Louisiana…
Customers cleared shelves and police were called in to control crowds taking advantage of suddenly unlimited spending allowed on their Electronic Benefits Transfer cards, which are issued to recipients of government food stamps. Spending limits on the cards were reportedly disabled for about two hours.
When a store in Springhill, La., announced over the loudspeaker that the glitch was fixed, shoppers simply abandoned loaded carts, according to Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd.
And similar “mini-riots” happened in a bunch of other locations as well.
For example, customers at one Wal-Mart in Mississippi just started taking groceries out of the store that they hadn’t paid for when their food stamp cards were not accepted…
Customers staged a disturbance then walked out of a Mississippi Walmart store with groceries that hadn’t been paid for Saturday night after a computer glitch left them unable to use their food stamp cards.
People in 17 states found themselves unable to buy groceries with their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cards after a routine check by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a temporary system failure.
Shortly after the mini-riot, managers decided to temporarily close the store, citing customer safety.
Keep in mind that all of this was caused by a “technical glitch” that only lasted for a few hours.
What would happen if there was a problem that lasted for much longer?
That is a sobering thing to think about.
And as I wrote about recently, all 47 million Americans on food stamps just had their benefits reduced on November 1st. This is causing food banks all across the country to brace for a huge influx of needy people…
Food banks across the country, stretched thin in the aftermath of the recession, are bracing for more people coming through their doors in the wake of cuts to the federal food stamp program.
Food stamp benefits to 47 million Americans were cut starting Friday as a temporary boost to the federal program comes to an end without new funding from a deadlocked Congress.
Under the program, known formally as the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program, or SNAP, a family of four that gets $668 per month in benefits will find that amount cut by $36.
In fact, the president of the Food Bank for New York City says that members of her organization “are panicking”…
As president of the Food Bank for New York City, Margaret Purvis expects those cuts will draw even more people to organizations that already provide 400,000 meals a day to hungry city folks.
“Our members are panicking,” she said as time wound down before the benefit decreases go into effect. “We’re telling everyone to make sure that you are prepared for longer lines.”
Purvis also told Salon.com that “when people cannot afford to eat food” it has the potential to start “riots”…
“If you look across the world, riots always begin typically the same way: when people cannot afford to eat food,” Margarette Purvis, the president and CEO of the Food Bank for New York City, told Salon Monday. Purvis said that the looming cut would mean about 76 million meals “that will no longer be on the plates of the poorest families” in NYC alone – a figure that outstrips the total number of meals distributed each year by the Food Bank for New York City, the largest food bank in the country. “There will be an immediate impact,” she said.
So will we see riots as a result of these food stamp cuts?
No, I do not believe that we will see riots yet.
But the volcano of anger, frustration and desperation that is simmering just below the surface of this country continues to get hotter.
Someday it will explode.
What will you do when that happens?
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
By: Peter Schiff
Monday, October 28, 2013
The Website is Fixable, Obamacare Isn’t
Since Obamacare made its debut, discussions have focused on Ted Cruz’ efforts to defund the law and the shockingly bad functionality of the Website itself. Fortunately for Obama, polling indicates that Senator Cruz has lost, at least for now, the battle for hearts and minds. The President has not been nearly so lucky on the technological front. If current trends continue, the rollout may go down as the worst major product launch in history. But given the government’s enormous resources, it’s safe to say that the site itself will ultimately be fixed. But when it is finally up and running, the plan’s many deeper, and more intractable, flaws will come into focus. That’s when the fun will really begin.
Put simply the program is built on a mountain of false assumptions and is covered by a terrain of unanticipated incentives. Any cleared-eyed observer should conclude that it is perfectly designed to raise the costs of care and wreck the federal budget. However, like just about every other complicated problem that bedevils the nation, the public has become far too caught up in the politics and has ignored the horrific details.
Most people agree that the plan can only remain solvent if enough young and healthy people (“the invincibles”) agree to sign up. They are the ones who are likely to pay more into the system than they take out. But now that insurance coverage is guaranteed to anyone at any time (at the same price — even after they have gotten sick or injured), the only incentive for the invincibles to sign up will be to avoid the penalty (I think we can dismiss “civic duty” as an effective motivator). But as I detailed in a column last year, Justice John Roberts declared the law to be constitutional only because the penalties are far too low to actually compel behavior. Once young healthy people understand that they can save money by dropping insurance, they will. No amount of slick, cheerful TV ads will change that.
The good news for Obama is that the plan will get a large percentage of young people covered. The bad news is that many of those that do sign up will not help the bottom line. The youngest and healthiest of the group are under 26 and will now be able to stay on their parents’ plans. This group will add nothing to the pool of premiums (but will use services). Among those older than 26, the ones who qualify for the largest subsidies will be more inclined to sign up. The way the plan is structured, individuals and families earning between 1.38 and 4 times the Federal poverty level will qualify for a subsidy. The government subsidy covers almost the entire premium for those near the bottom of that spectrum. These individuals will definitely sign up. But just like those under 26, they will be a net drain on the system.
From my estimations, private premium contributions don’t surpass the government contributions until an individual or a family makes about 2.5 times the poverty level (which equates to about $28,000 for an individual and $55,000 for a family of 4). Since a very large percentage of young people earn less than that, many will sign up to get the benefit. But these people will likely be net drains to the system as well. Their total premiums paid may be more than the services they receive, but that may not be true when you look only at what they actually pay in.
Young women, who plan on using maternity care, may also be motivated. But they can cost more than they bring in. The real cash cows are the young men, not covered by parents, who make more than 4 times the poverty level. But their only incentive to sign up is to avoid the penalty. But at just one percent of income, the penalty just won’t be a deciding factor. Most young men will save money by dropping insurance, paying the tax and incidental doctor visits out of pocket, and then only adding the insurance if and when something really bad happens.
The subsidies in Obamacare kick in and kick out very abruptly. People finding themselves on the wrong side of a dividing line will face difficult choices that hurt the plan’s finances. The San Francisco Chronicle recently profiled a California couple in their early 60s making about $64,000 per year who would be able to qualify for a $14,000 annual subsidy by reducing their income by $2,000 dollars per year. It’s easy to imagine such individuals reducing their hours or their pay to qualify. Of course this type of behavior modification has not been anticipated by preparing premium and budget projections. It is no accident that the government has offered no serious projections about how much in healthcare subsidies it should expect to pay out over the coming years
In truth, the premium levels themselves are based on nothing but assumptions. It is true that those lucky enough to actually get through the website’s technological maze have seen (unsubsidized) premiums that are lower than similarly constituted plans in the private market. But those low prices are only possible because no one knows what the new pool of insurance holders will look like. They assume it will look like the pools that already exist. But they won’t.
Of course, the incentives for the young and healthy to drop out, and for the sick, old and the heavily subsidized to drop in will mean that the post-Obamacare pool will have very different actuarial arithmetic than the current pools. But all of that is as yet unknown. The numbers we see now were put there just to make us feel good. But once the economics kicks in, look for them to rise quickly.
It is also ironic that high-deductible, catastrophic plans are precisely what young people should be buying in the first place. They are inexpensive because they provide coverage for unlikely, but expensive, events. Routine care is best paid for out-of-pocket by value conscious consumers. But Obamacare outlaws these plans, in favor of what amounts to prepaid medical treatment that shifts the cost of services to taxpayers. In such a system, patients have no incentive to contain costs. Since the biggest factor driving health care costs higher in the first place has been the over use of insurance that results from government-provided tax incentives, and the lack of cost accountability that results from a third-party payer system, Obamacare will bend the cost curve even higher. The fact that Obamacare does nothing to rein in costs while providing an open-ended insurance subsidy may be good news for hospitals and insurance companies, but it’s bad news for taxpayers, on whom this increased burden will ultimately fall.
The real shock of Obamacare is not the unbelievable ineptitude in which it was launched, but the naiveté in which it was designed. The only thing worse than the product launch may be the product itself. But unlike other major entitlements, like Social Security and Medicare, that took years to produce red ink that was far in excess of original assumptions, the financial shortfalls in Obamacare should show up very quickly. Republicans should not miss that opportunity to destroy this monster that threatens us all.
Peter Schiff is the CEO and Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital, best-selling author and host of syndicated Peter Schiff Show.
29 Incredible Facts Which Prove That Poverty In America Is Absolutely Exploding
Did you know that the number of Americans on welfare is higher than the number of Americans that have full-time jobs? Did you know that 1.2 million public school students in the U.S. are currently homeless? Anyone that uses the term “economic recovery” to describe what is happening in the United States today is being deeply insulting to the nearly 150 million Americans that are considered to be either “poor” or “low income” at this point. Yes, things are great in New York City, Washington D.C. and San Francisco, but almost everywhere else economic conditions continue to steadily get worse. The gap between the wealthy and the poor is at a level that America has never seen before, and this is beginning to create a “Robin Hood mentality” that could cause a tremendous amount of social chaos in the years ahead. Anger at the “haves” in America continues to rise at a very alarming pace, and the “have nots” are becoming increasingly desperate. At some point all of this anger is going to boil over, and you won’t want to be anywhere around major population centers when that happens. Despite unprecedented borrowing by the federal government in recent years, and despite unprecedented money printing by the Federal Reserve, poverty in the United States keeps getting worse with each passing year. The following are 29 incredible facts which prove that poverty in America is absolutely exploding…
1. What can you say about a nation that has more people getting handouts from the federal government than working full-time? According to the latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people receiving means-tested welfare benefits is greater than the number of full-time workers in the United States.
2. New numbers have just been released, and they show that the number of public school students in this country that are homeless is at an all-time record high. It is hard to believe, but right now 1.2 million students that attend public schools in America are homeless. That number has risen by 72 percent since the start of the last recession.
3. When I was growing up, it seemed like almost everyone was from a middle class home. But now that has all changed. One recent study discovered that nearly half of all public students in the United States come from low income homes.
4. How can anyone deny that we are a socialist nation when half the people are getting money from the federal government each month? According to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, 49.2 percent of all Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program.
5. Signs of increasing poverty are even showing up in the wealthiest areas of the nation. According to the New York Post, New York subways are being “overrun with homeless“.
6. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately one out of every six Americans is now living in poverty. The number of Americans living in poverty is now at a level not seen since the 1960s.
7. The gap between the rich and the poor in the United States is at an all-time record high. The wealthy may not consider this to be much of a problem, but those at the other end of the spectrum are very aware of this.
9. According to numbers provided by Wal-Mart, more than half of their hourly workers make less than $25,000 a year.
10. A recent Businessweek article mentioned a study that discovered that 300 employees at one Wal-Mart in Wisconsin receive a combined total of nearly a million dollars a year in public assistance…
“A decent wage is their demand—a livable wage, of all things,” said Representative George Miller (D-Calif.). The problem with companies like Wal-Mart is their “unwillingness, not their inability, to pay that wage,” he said. “They hand off the difference to taxpayers.” Miller was referring to a congressional report (PDF) released in May that calculated how much Walmart workers rely on public assistance. The study found that the 300 employees at one Supercenter in Wisconsin required some $900,000 worth of public assistance a year.
11. The stock market may be doing great (for the moment), but incomes for average Americans continue to decline. In fact, median household income in the United States has fallen for five years in a row.
13. According to a Gallup poll that was recently released, 20.0% of all Americans did not have enough money to buy food that they or their families needed at some point over the past year. That is just under the record of 20.4% that was set back in November 2008.
14. Young adults are particularly feeling the sting of poverty these days. American families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.
16. The number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the entire population of Spain.
17. According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”
18. We are told that we live in the “wealthiest nation” on the planet, and yet more than one out of every four children in the United States is enrolled in the food stamp program.
19. The average food stamp benefit breaks down to approximately $4 per person per day.
20. It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps before they reach the age of 18.
21. Today, approximately 17 million children in the United States are facing food insecurity. In other words, that means that “one in four children in the country is living without consistent access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy life.”
22. It may be hard to believe, but approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are currently living in homes that are considered to be either “low income” or impoverished.
23. The number of children living on $2.00 a day or less in the United States has grown to 2.8 million. That number has increased by 130 percent since 1996.
24. In Miami, 45 percent of all children are living in poverty.
25. In Cleveland, more than 50 percent of all children are living in poverty.
26. According to a recently released report, 60 percent of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.
27. According to a Feeding America hunger study, more than 37 million Americans are now being served by food pantries and soup kitchens.
28. The U.S. government has spent an astounding 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs over the past five years.
29. It has been reported that 4 out of every 5 adults in the United States “struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives”.
These poverty numbers keep getting worse year after year no matter what our politicians do.
So is there anyone out there that would still like to argue that we are in an “economic recovery”?
And as I mentioned above, the “have nots” are becoming increasingly angry at the “haves”. For example, just check out the following excerpt from a recent New York Post article…
The maniac who butchered a Brooklyn mom and her four young kids confessed that he did it because he was jealous of their way of life, a police source told The Post on Sunday.
“The family had too much. Their income (and) lifestyle was better than his,” the source said.
The bloody suspect was caught holding the kitchen knife he used during the Saturday night rampage inside the Sunset Park apartment where he had been staying with the victims, the source added.
Sadly, this was not an isolated incident. All over the western world, a “Robin Hood mentality” is growing. This is something that I am so concerned about that I made it a big part of my new book. At this point, even wealthy Hollywood-types such as actor Russell Brand are calling for a socialist-style “revolution” and a “massive redistribution of wealth“.
Perhaps Brand does not understand that what he is calling for would mean redistributing most of his own wealth away from him.
When the next major wave of the economic collapse strikes, I fear that all of this anger and frustration that are growing among the poor will boil over in some very frightening ways. I believe that we will see a huge spike in crime and that we will eventually see communities all over America looted and burning.
But I am not the only one that is thinking along these lines. A new National Geographic Channel movie entitled “American Blackout” attempts to portray the social chaos that could erupt in the event of an extended national power failure…
American Blackout, National Geographic Channel’s two-hour, edge-of-your-seat movie event imagines the story of a national power failure in the United States caused by a cyberattack — told in real time, over 10 days, by those who kept filming on cameras and phones. You’ll learn what it means to be absolutely powerless.
What would you do if something like that happened to you?
How would you handle desperate, hungry people at your fence asking for food?
And what if those people were armed and were not “asking nicely” for your food?
Don’t ignore what is happening in America right now. It is setting the stage for some very chaotic times.
Get ready while you still can.
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
22 Reasons To Be Concerned About The U.S. Economy As We Head Into The Holiday Season
Are we on the verge of another major economic downturn? In recent weeks, most of the focus has been on our politicians in Washington, but there are lots of other reasons to be deeply alarmed about the economy as well. Economic confidence is down, retail sales figures are disappointing, job cuts are up, and American consumers are deeply struggling. Even if our politicians do everything right, there would still be a significant chance that we could be heading into tough economic times in the coming months. Our economy has been in decline for a very long time, and that decline appears to be accelerating. There aren’t enough jobs, the quality of our jobs continues to decline, our economic infrastructure is being systematically gutted, and poverty has been absolutely exploding. Things have gotten so bad that former President Jimmy Carter says that the middle class of today resembles those that were living in poverty when he was in the White House. But this process has been happening so gradually that most Americans don’t even realize what has happened. Our economy is being fundamentally transformed, and the pace of our decline is picking up speed. The following are 22 reasons to be concerned about the U.S. economy as we head into the holiday season…
#1 According to Gallup, we have just seen the largest drop in U.S. economic confidence since 2008.
#2 Retailers all over America are reporting disappointing sales figures, and many analysts are very concerned about what the holiday season will bring. The following is an excerpt from a recent Zero Hedge article…
Chico’s FAS [CHS] Earnings Call 8/28/13:
“Traffic was our issue in quarter two. In a highly promotional and challenging environment, comparable sales result was a negative 2.6 percent on top of a positive 5.6 percent last year and a positive 12.8 percent in 2011.”
William-Sonoma [WSM] Earnings Call 8/28/13:
“The retail environment, it seems to indicate there’s still a lot of uncertainty out there, that the promotional environment has not gone away and that the retail environment in general continues to be choppy, especially with the recent earnings releases and this global unrest, and we just don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.”
Zale Corp [ZLC] Earnings Call 8/28/13:
“Overall, we continue to take a conservative view of market conditions in both the U.S. and in Canada. That being said, we do expect to continue to achieve positive top line growth. We expect store closures will impact our overall revenue growth for the year by about 250 basis points. It represents net closures of approximately 50 to 55 retail locations.”
DSW Inc. [DSW] Earnings Call 8/27/13:
“We did have a traffic decline in Q2, sort of similar to what just about every other retailer in America has reported.”
Guess? [GES] Earnings Call 8/28/13:
“The Korean business continued to be strong as revenue grew in the high single digits in local currency during the quarter. This was offset with the weakness from China, where we are seeing clear evidence of a pullback in consumer spending behavior because of the slowdown in the economy.”
Aeropostale [ARO] Earnings Call 8/22/13:
“Our business trends in the second quarter did not change materially from earlier in the year, which was disappointing given the level of change we registered with the brand. This performance in the third quarter outlook is being influenced by a challenging retail environment, with weak traffic trends and high levels of promotional activity.”
#3 Domestic vehicle sales just experienced their largest “miss” relative to expectations since January 2009.
#4 One of the largest furniture manufacturers in America was recently forced into bankruptcy.
#5 According to the Wall Street Journal, the 2013 holiday shopping season is already being projected to be the worst that we have seen since 2009.
#6 The Baltic Dry Index recently experienced the largest 4 day drop that we have seen in 11 months.
#7 Merck, one of the largest drug makers in the nation, has announced the elimination of 8,500 jobs.
#8 Overall, corporations announced the elimination of 387,384 jobs through the first nine months of this year.
#9 The number of announced job cuts in September 2013 was 19 percent higher than the number of announced job cuts in September 2012.
#10 The labor force participation rate is the lowest that it has been in 35 years.
#12 Approximately one out of every four part-time workers in America is living below the poverty line.
#13 Incredibly, only 47 percent of all adults in America have a full-time job at this point.
#14 U.S. consumer delinquencies are starting to rise again.
#15 The Postal Service recently defaulted on a 5.6 billion dollar retiree health benefit payment.
#16 The national debt has increased more than twice as fast as U.S. GDP has grown over the past two years.
#17 Obamacare is causing health insurance premiums to skyrocket and this is reducing the disposable income that consumers have available.
#18 Median household income in the United States has fallen for five years in a row.
#19 The gap between the rich and the poor in the United States is at an all-time record high.
#20 Former President Jimmy Carter says that the middle class in America has declined so dramatically that the middle class of today resembles those that were living in poverty when he was in the White House.
#21 According to a Gallup poll that was recently released, 20.0% of all Americans did not have enough money to buy food that they or their families needed at some point over the past year. That is just under the record of 20.4% that was set back in November 2008.
#22 Right now, one out of every five households in the United States is on food stamps. There are going to be a lot of struggling families out there this winter, so please be generous with organizations that help the poor. A lot of people are really going to need their help during the cold months ahead.
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