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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I always thought that was where the rich people shopped.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It would actually be wonderful if they were right.

But they aren’t.

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

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

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

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

Initially, I thought that this was good news.

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

Unfortunately, there is more to the story.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Worst Financial Nightmare In Illinois History Erupts As State Comptroller Declares ‘We Are In Massive Crisis Mode’

Margaret Thatcher once said that the big problem with socialist governments is that “they always run out of other people’s money”, and unfortunately we are witnessing this play out in a major way in the state of Illinois right now. At this point, the Illinois state government has more than 15 billion dollars of unpaid bills. Yes, you read that correctly. They are already 15 billion dollars behind on their bills, and they are on pace to take in 6 billion dollars less than they are scheduled to spend in 2017. It is the worst financial crisis in the history of Illinois, and State Comptroller Susana Mendoza sounds like she is about ready to tear her hair out in frustration

“I don’t know what part of ‘We are in massive crisis mode’ the General Assembly and the governor don’t understand. This is not a false alarm,” said Mendoza, a Chicago Democrat. “The magic tricks run out after a while, and that’s where we’re at.”

It’s a new low, even for a state that’s seen its financial situation grow increasingly desperate amid a standoff between the Democrat-led Legislature and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. Illinois already has $15 billion in overdue bills and the lowest credit rating of any state, and some ratings agencies have warned they will downgrade the rating to “junk” if there’s no budget before the next fiscal year begins July 1.

Would you continue to do work for the Illinois state government if you knew that they were this far behind on their bills and that it is doubtful that you would be paid any time in the foreseeable future?

Of course the answer to that question is quite obvious. As contractual relationships break down, social services are starting to suffer, and there is not much hope that things will take a turn for the better any time soon.

At this point things have gotten so bad that the Illinois Department of Transportation is planning to cease all roadwork starting on July 1st, and even the Powerball lottery is threatening to cut all ties with the state

As reported previously, the state Transportation Department said it would stop roadwork by July 1 if Illinois entered its third consecutive fiscal year without a budget – the longest such stretch of any US state – while the Powerball lottery said it may be forced to dump Illinois over its lack of budget. For now, state workers have continued to receive pay because of court orders, but school districts, colleges and medical and social service providers are under increasing strain.

So what has caused this unprecedented crisis?

At the core, the problem is political. A tense standoff between a Republican governor and a Democratic legislature has resulted in the state going 700 days without a budget

On May 31, Illinois will have gone 700 days without a budget, an unprecedented political failure. Also on May 31, if a budget is not passed, it could mean that the state could go until 2019—an unimaginable idea, except that senators have already imagined it.

How does a state, led by a successful businessman as governor, a brilliant political strategist in the House, and a consummate dealmaker in the Senate, end up in this kind of political disorganization? Bad political errors led to bad political incentives, and as the problem worsened, so did the political risk of solutions—and what politicians had to ask of their constituents.

This is another example of how deeply divided we are as a nation right now. Democrats hate Republicans and Republicans hate Democrats, and it is getting to the point where the two parties cannot work together on even the most basic things.

In the end, the state of Illinois is either going to have to cut spending dramatically, raise taxes substantially or some combination of both. And since the Democrats have very large majorities in both chambers of the state legislature, I wouldn’t count on spending being cut that much.

This is the thing with big government – it always has a tendency to get even bigger. And the bigger government gets, the more of our money and the more of our freedom it takes away.

That is why I am a huge advocate of dramatically shrinking the size of government on the federal, state and local levels. Like Rand Paul has often said, I want a government so small that I can barely see it.

When you let government get out of control, what you end up with is a ravenous beast that has an endless appetite for more of your money. In Illinois, the money is all gone and the beast is desperately hungry for more.

Sadly, what is happening in Illinois is just the tip of the iceberg. If stock prices start declining from these massively inflated levels, state pension funds all over America are going to be in crisis mode very rapidly. And a new recession would greatly accelerate the financial problems of a whole bunch of states that are already dealing with huge budget shortfalls.

Unfortunately, experts all over the country are warning that the next major downturn is coming very quickly. For example, just consider what Bernard Arnault just told CNBC

A financial crisis could be just around the corner, according to the chief executive of LVMH, who has described the global economic outlook as “scary”.

“For the economic climate, the present situation is…mid-term scary,” Bernard Arnault told CNBC Thursday.

“I don’t think we will be able to globally avoid a crisis when I see the interest rates so low, when I see the amounts of money flowing into the world, when I see the stock prices which are much too high, I think a bubble is building and this bubble, one day, will explode.”

There is always a price to pay for going into too much debt.

A financial day of reckoning can be delayed for a while, but eventually bad financial decisions are going to catch up with you. The state of Illinois is learning this lesson in a very harsh manner right now, and the country as a whole is on the exact same path as Illinois.

I am often criticized for endlessly warning about America’s coming day of reckoning, but you can’t pile up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world without paying a price.

Just like the state of Illinois, we will pay for decades of exceedingly foolish decisions, and unfortunately this is going to cause severe economic pain throughout our entire society.

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

Radical Leftists Are Warning That The Trump Years Will Be ‘Apocalyptic’ – And They Just Might Be Right

Is the United States about to plunge into an apocalyptic nightmare from which it may never recover?  During the Obama era conservatives often warned of such scenarios, but now things have completely shifted.  At the moment, conservatives are generally more optimistic than they have been in many years, but quite a few liberals are warning that the Trump years could have absolutely disastrous consequences for this country.  They are concerned that Trump’s policies could burst the giant debt bubble that we have been living in and trigger economic collapse, they are concerned that widespread civil unrest could soon erupt in our cities, they are concerned that our rapidly deteriorating environment and major natural disasters could soon kill millions, and they are also concerned that faltering relationships with other nations could lead us into World War III.

Of course leftists are generally wrong about just about everything, but in this case they might be exactly correct.

The truth is that our world is becoming increasingly unstable with each passing week, and this time around it is conservatives that are guilty of reckless optimism.

Just because Donald Trump has been elected does not mean that everything around us is going to be transformed into some sort of utopia.  Anyone that is guilty of this kind of thinking is simply delusional.

So as much as it pains me to say it, these days it is often liberals that have a more accurate assessment of what the times immediately ahead of us are going to be like.  And while many conservatives have totally given up on preparing for the difficult times that are coming, many liberals have suddenly become extraordinarily interested in emergency food, water filters and guns.  They are extremely concerned about what America is going to look like in a few years, and the mainstream media is starting to do stories about their rising anxiety.  The following is an excerpt from a Christian Science Monitor article entitled “In age of Trump, apocalyptic rhetoric becomes mainstream“…

The longer President Trump is in office, the more Cat Deakins worries about the future – for herself and her children.

With every executive order and cabinet appointment, she envisions another scenario: an America that rejects immigrants, that succumbs to climate change, that erupts in war.

“It’s scary to me that [people within the administration] are promoting this idea of, ‘We are at war with Islam.’ That’s the kind of thinking that leads to World War III,” says Ms. Deakins, a cinematographer in Los Angeles. “I don’t think we can be alarmed enough.”

To many conservatives that may sound like nonsense, but the truth is that we are on a road that could potentially lead us to World War III.  Anti-Russian hysteria has reached a fever pitch in Washington, and our relationship with China is the worst that it has been in decades.  Of course the Middle East continues to be a tinderbox, and one false move could cause a major war to erupt in the region.

Meanwhile, the ground under our feet continues to shake with increasing regularity.  In fact, an enormous magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck along the “Ring of Fire” just this weekend

A HUGE earthquake measuring 6.9 magnitude struck off the coast of New Britain island in Papua New Guinea this morning, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The quake was so powerful that it was felt as far away as the capital Port Moresby, 750 km (460 miles) away on the country’s south coast.

Papua New Guinea is on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” which has frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

And our environment continues to deteriorate all around us as well.  According to one recent study, half of the species on our entire planet could be facing extinction by the end of this century unless something is done…

One in five species on Earth now faces extinction, and that will rise to 50% by the end of the century unless urgent action is taken. That is the stark view of the world’s leading biologists, ecologists and economists who will gather on Monday to determine the social and economic changes needed to save the planet’s biosphere.

“The living fabric of the world is slipping through our fingers without our showing much sign of caring,” say the organisers of the Biological Extinction conference held at the Vatican this week.

But of more immediate concern is our very serious economic problems.  For much more on this, please see the article that I published on Sunday entitled “Retail Apocalypse Gains Momentum As David Stockman Warns ‘Everything Will Grind To A Halt’ After March 15th“.

We have already seen very angry protests and riots from coast to coast during the first month of Trump’s presidency, and it wouldn’t take much to push the millions upon millions of Americans that completely hate Trump entirely over the edge.  If we do see a severe economic downturn or a major natural disaster (remember Katrina?) or the U.S. enters a new war, any of those things could potentially be enough to spark widespread civil unrest in cities all over America.

A lot of people can see what is coming, and many wealthy elitsts are securing adequate accommodations to ride out the “Trumpocalypse” while they still can.  For example, a former nuclear missile silo in Kansas has been transformed into a series of luxury survival condos

The door to the Survival Condo closes slowly, sending a resounding thud through the concrete parking garage.

Those inside have surrounded themselves with walls up to 9 feet thick, ready to withstand a nuclear explosion, the eruption of Yellowstone’s supervolcano or an outbreak of avian flu.

Larry Hall, project manager and owner of the Luxury Survival Condo Project, says he feels safer with the doors closed.

He says he’s sold all 12 luxury condos in the former Atlas missile silo — which once housed a nuclear warhead — not far from Concordia, about two hours north of Wichita. He’s working on a second silo.

The condos are all sold out at this point, but the vast majority of us could have never afforded one anyway.  According to the article quoted above, an 1,820 square foot unit costs three million dollars.

Ouch.

In the end, the truth is that America was headed for disaster whether Trump or Clinton won the election.  And actually, many of the apocalyptic scenarios that I lay out in my novel are much more likely to happen with a Republican in the White House.  For instance, radical leftists are far more likely to go wild in the streets if someone that they hate with all of their might is leading the nation.

And instead of trying to bring peace, the top Democrats in Washington are now calling for “total war” against Donald Trump.  The following comes from the Daily Caller

Democrat Party leaders are planning to agree on a strategy of all-out war against President Donald Trump at meetings this weekend, rather than work to achieve their policy goals through compromise.

Following the election that devastated the party’s power at every level of government, some in the party were considering a strategy of working with the Trump administration to get things done. Indeed, Trump has signaled he would be willing to cross the aisle to achieve some less-than-conservative policy changes he has taken up. But senior party officials told The New York Times that option is likely off the table, and those inside the party who favor an aggressively confrontational strategy will win out.

The left is not just going to lay down and die just because Donald Trump won the election.

They are absolutely determined to fight Trump every step of the way, even if that means causing more division in a nation that is more deeply divided than it has been in decades.

I know that there is a lot of optimism out there among conservatives right now, but the truth is that the elements for a “perfect storm” are coming together very rapidly, and it is very easy to see how all of this could end very, very badly.

So when liberals say that the coming years could be “apocalyptic”, they may not actually understand what they are talking about, but they might end up being precisely correct.

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

Canadian Flag - Public Domain

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.

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