Saturday, November 26, 2011

Signs of an Economic Collapse

Black Friday at many stores became Freaky Friday.  People are so desperate to get there deal at the Big Box stores that they are willing to pepper spray and punch others in line to get a competitive edge.  Is this what the Christmas/Holiday season is all about or is this a sign of worse to come?

I decided to google "Signs of an Economic Collapse" and I got 17,900,000 results.  More and more violence is being reported in the news and on blogs.  Will it get worse?  How much worse?  Are there signs?  Let's see what some of the results of my search uncovered for signs of an economic collapse.  This is just a very small percentage of the "signs" but seems to be pretty consistent on several websites.

  1. More Americans are looking for temporary jobs in Canada.  Temporary visa applications have doubled since 2008.  I'm studying French myself.  Never know when you made need a second or third language. 
  2. Real unemployment is somewhere around 23% when you include part-time workers who can't find full-time jobs and when you add in short-term and long-term discouraged workers.  Compare that to 25% during the Great Depression.
  3. Student loan defaults have risen sharply last year.  Well of course they have.  How many graduates have found meaningful work related to their education since 2008?
  4. The number of households doubling up has increased 10.7% since 2007. 
  5. Flash mobs are robbing stores.  A mob of people, usually young, are going into stores, grabbing whatever they can and leaving.
  6. Alcohol consumption is at a 25 year high.  People tend to check out when things get really bad. 
  7. 1 in 10 Americans is on anti-depressants.  Same reason as number 6.
  8. Government tyranny is increasing including raids on organic farms, natural supplement companies, raw milk companies, arrest of people not vaccinating their children, etc.
  9. Gangs have increase 40% since 2009.  Currently there are approximately 1.4 million gang members.
  10. More than 50 million Americans are on Medicaid (health insurance for the poor), the highest on record and 17% higher than in 2007.
  11. The middle class is disappearing.  People are getting either richer or poorer, unfortunately more are falling into the "poorer" class.
  12. Bankruptcy rates are increasing. 
  13. The real estate market is still sluggish and is expected to be until at least 2014.  In most areas of the U.S., house values decreased during 2011 so far and is expected to keep dropping well into 2012. 
Does the above mean there will be an economic collapse or that we are already in one?  Many aspects of the economy do not look good so how do we explain the record sales on Black Friday?  Are people just tired of not spending and are throwing caution to the wind by running up their credit cards?  It is amazing how many people will stand for hours to get a $200 32" TV.   Are there really that many people desperate for a TV or is it just the deal they are after?  If I had no TVs, I still wouldn't stand in a line for hours at Walmart to get one. Maybe it's good practice for when they will be standing in bread lines should we have an economic collapse. Any thoughts on this craziness?   

See Elizabeth Warren on YouTube for her commentaries on the disappearing middle class and bankruptcy rates.

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