Suicide, Crime, Unemployment And Poverty All Soar As The Economic Crisis In Alberta Accelerates

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The nightmare that is currently unfolding up in Canada will soon be coming to the United States.  When the price of oil first started crashing, most Americans and most Canadians applauded.  Most people thought that lower gas prices would be really good for the economy.  Well, it turns out that the exact opposite is true.  Just like in the United States, the energy industry has been the primary engine for the growth of good paying jobs in Canada since the last recession.  Up in Alberta, there was such a need for oil patch workers that even someone that had just recently graduated from high school could find an oil patch job that paid six figures during the boom times.  Now the “boom” is turning into a “bust”, and huge numbers of those good paying jobs are being lost.  As a result, suicide, crime, unemployment and poverty are all skyrocketing, and the mainstream media is telling us that “the worst is yet to come“.

It saddens me to watch what is happening to Alberta, because I have family up there.  Whenever I have visited Alberta, I have been very impressed by how clean and orderly the communities are and by how very polite most people seem to be.  As Americans, there is much that we could learn from our neighbors to the north.

But now that the oil bubble has burst, things are changing up in Alberta very rapidly.  The following comes from a recent Bloomberg article

Crime is rising, home prices are falling and food banks are overwhelmed in Calgary as job losses spread. And the worst isn’t yet over in the heart of Canada’s oil patch.

Some of the city’s largest employers are poised to cut more jobs in 2016 as they reduce spending for a second straight year, adding to an estimated 40,000 oil and natural gas positions lost across the nation since the crude price rout began 18 months ago.

We all know someone who has lost a job,” Naheed Nenshi, the city’s mayor, said in a speech this month, lamenting the “funeral”-like atmosphere in the business community.

When we start digging into some of the hard numbers, things get even bleaker.  Just check out these statistics

-A total of more than 63,000 jobs were lost in Alberta during the first eight months of 2015 alone.

-Over the past 12 months, the official unemployment rate in Calgary has shot up from 4.6 percent to 6.9 percent.

-Home sales in Calgary have plummeted 21 percent so far in 2015.

-Just since September, the number of school lunches for poor children provided by Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids has risen by 16 percent.

-Food bank use in the province of Alberta overall has jumped by a whopping 23 percent according to the most recent numbers.

-In Calgary, the number of commercial break-ins has nearly doubled over the past year.

-The number of bank robberies in Calgary has increased by 65 percent in 2015.

-The number of home invasions in Calgary has risen by 52 percent in 2015.

-Every time there is an economic downturn in Alberta, the suicide rate shoots up, and this year is no exception.  It is being projected that the suicide rate will be about 30 percent higher this year than it was last year.

This is what happens when a “boom cycle” turns into a “bust cycle”, and the same thing is coming to the United States.

Even in the midst of our so-called “economic recovery”, poverty in America has continued to explode, suicide rates have continued to rise, and in many of our largest cities violent crime rates are up by double digit percentages in 2015.

If these things have been happening during the “good times”, what in the world are the “bad times” going to look like?

Just because the U.S. stock market is doing okay for the moment does not mean that the underlying economy is in good shape.  The truth is that we are in the midst of a long-term economic collapse that is now starting to accelerate once again.  For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “Sayonara Middle Class: 22 Stunning Pieces Of Evidence That Show The Middle Class In America Is Dying“.

What is happening up in Alberta right now gives us some important clues about what we can expect to happen shortly in our own communities.

First of all, we are going to see large numbers of people start to lose their jobs just like we saw back in 2008.  And because 62 percent of the country is living paycheck to paycheck, that means that most people do not have a cushion to fall back upon.  Just like in 2008, millions upon millions of Americans will go from living a very comfortable middle class lifestyle to facing hard times and desperation very, very rapidly.

As fear and poverty spread, people will become desperate, and desperate people do desperate things.

Some will decide that their lives are no longer worth living and will turn to suicide.  Others will turn to drugs, alcohol or pills.  When things get tough, addictive behavior tends to rise, and this time around will probably be no exception.

Other Americans will turn to crime and violent behavior in their desperation.  Just like we are seeing in Canada right now, home invasions, bank robberies and other forms of violent crime will increase.

But if you are prepared ahead of time, you and your family will have a chance to make it through the storm.  That is why I am constantly urging my readers to prepare.  If you wait until the storm is right on top of us, that will be too late to start preparing.

Right at this moment, things seem relatively quiet.  Most of us have become trained to think in terms of 48 hour news cycles, and so we can be fooled by temporary lulls in the action.

Don’t be fooled.  This period of relative quiet is about to come to an abrupt end, and 2016 is going to be far more chaotic than most people would dare to imagine.

So please get prepared for what is ahead now, while you still can.

  • bill smith

    Just to elaborate…. In May of 2015, Alberta elected a hard-left NDP government, something along the lines of Obama’s administration… this has turned a bad situation in to a terrible situation.. added fuel to the fire.

  • hunkE

    The impact that the NDP government has had, relative to plummeting oil prices, is insignificant. Imagine throwing a twig on bonfire.

  • bill smith

    not at all true…. ALL O&G areas are facing the same situation as oil prices are global…. Alberta has been reduced from the 16th best oil producing area for investment, to 38th… in less than 1 year… the reason cited is NDP mismanagement, out of control spending and general hostility towards business.

  • hunkE

    Can you back that up with more specific data?

    16th in best oil producing area for investment” what does that mean?

    Did you know that there are many factors impacting investment dollars, outside gov’t policy? Things like developing infrastructure, human capital, cost of living, labour force characteristics, etc.?

    Do you have any data showing exactly what impact NDP policies have had on investment, separated from other relevant factors?

  • bill smith

    Sure… read the financial times…. Alabama scored first… the report clearly states the ndp follies that contributed to the big drop in ratings… feel free to do your own research.

  • hunkE

    Contributed? Sure. Only reason? Yeah right.

  • hunkE

    We all agree that NDP policies have contributed – but by how much?

    Based on rhetoric like yours, we should assume that they are mostly responsible (over 50%).

    But I have yet to see a shred of data that backs that up.