Everything Is Not Fine - The Cold, Hard Economic Reality Can't Be Hidden
By Michael Snyder/Economic Collapse BlogNovember 02, 2022
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They are trying really hard to convince all of us that everything is just fine. But close to one-fifth of the U.S. population is skipping meals because food prices are too high. And nearly 40 percent of our small businesses couldn't pay rent in October.
Our leaders are trying to put a positive spin on things, but the truth is that we are witnessing a tremendous amount of economic suffering all over the United States right now.
The core consumer price index just surged to "the highest level since 1982", and this is putting an enormous amount of financial stress on American families and businesses.
This week, I was stunned to learn that a survey that was just released found that 37 percent of all small businesses in the United States could not pay rent last month...
The survey of 4,789 randomly selected small business owners saw more than half of respondents say their rent is at least 10 percent higher than six months ago.
If you go back seven months, the majority said their rents had increased by at least 20 percent.
Moreover, the study found that roughly 37 percent of small businesses - almost half of all Americans working in the private sector - were left unable to pay rent in October.
Prior to getting this news, if someone had asked me to guess the percentage of small businesses that are currently unable to pay rent, I would have responded with a figure that was far lower.
So often, things turn out to be even worse than I thought they were.
If those small businesses continue to be unable to pay rent, they will eventually be forced to shut down.
So what will our communities look like if millions of small businesses suddenly close up shop on a permanent basis?
Meanwhile, a different survey has discovered that 18 percent of Americans are now skipping meals because food prices have become so crazy...
Over the last 12 months, nearly two in five American households (40%) received food or goods from a food bank (22% for Millennials), and the same amount (17%) stopped buying healthier foods (organic or high-priced healthy foods).
Nearly one in five Americans (18%) say they skipped meals or didn't buy groceries due to high inflation (including 28% of Gen Z and 23% of millennials).
Skipping meals can be a positive thing, because fasting is actually really good for your health.
But most of these Americans are not skipping meals for the health benefits.
In addition, the same survey found that many Americans are not taking medications or seeing their doctors because prices have gone up so much...
Many have cancelled or postponed plans in the past 12 months to see a specialist (14%), take a prescribed medication (10%) or get an annual physical (11%) due to high inflation.
If things are this bad already, what will those numbers look like next year at this time when economic conditions are significantly worse?
The American people are going to become increasingly frustrated as our standard of living continues to plunge.
All of us have to eat, and so many of the products that so many of us buy on a regular basis have gone up dramatically in price...
A year ago, a bag of potato chips at the grocery store cost an average of $5.05. These days, that bag costs $6.05. A dozen eggs that could have been picked up for $1.83 now average $2.90. A two-liter bottle of soda that cost $1.78 will now set you back $2.17.
Sadly, this is just the beginning.
Even though the Federal Reserve has declared war on inflation, food prices are going to continue to rise for a variety of reasons.
And as the cost of living keeps becoming more oppressive, more American families are going to struggle to make it from month to month.
Even now, nearly two-thirds of the entire country is currently living paycheck to paycheck...
As rising prices continue to outpace wage gains, families are finding less cushion in their monthly budget.
As of September, 63% of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck, according to a recent LendingClub report -- near the 64% historic high hit in March. A year ago, the number of adults who felt strained was closer to 57%.
"Consumers are not able to keep up with the pace that inflation is increasing," said Anuj Nayar, LendingClub's financial health officer.
The worse things get, the more we will see people clamoring for the federal government to help them.
In fact, one recent survey actually discovered that 63 percent of all U.S. voters are in favor of "inflation stimulus payments"...
A recent poll found that almost two-thirds of Americans are proponents of the federal government sending out inflation stimulus payments.
About 63% of eligible U.S. voters expressed some degree of support for federal inflation relief checks being distributed, the Newsweek poll conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies showed. Of those who agreed the federal government should do so, 42% indicated they "strongly agree" while 21% said "agree," according to the poll.
Sadly, most voters don't seem to understand that sending out more stimulus checks would create even more inflation.
There is always a cost when the government gives out "free money".
If our politicians would have exercised discipline over the past several years, we would not be in the mess that we are in today.
But now years of very bad decisions are catching up with us in a major way, and economic conditions are rapidly deteriorating.
At this point, the vast majority of the U.S. population can see this. According to one recent Gallup survey, a whopping two-thirds of all Americans believe that economic conditions in this nation are getting worse.
So many people are talking about the possibility of a recession in 2023.
If all we have is a recession next year, we would be extremely fortunate.
Because right now the economy is starting to crack and crumble all around us, and the outlook for the months ahead is exceedingly bleak indeed.