by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:
There is nothing wrong with being optimistic, but blind optimism can be a very dangerous thing. The reason why so many of the “experts” were shocked by the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009 is because they didn’t want to believe that such a thing could happen. Unfortunately, we are witnessing a similar pattern now. Even though we are absolutely drowning in debt, inflation is wildly out of control, our currency is being transformed into toilet paper, the housing market has started to crash and mass layoffs are being conducted all over the nation, a lot of the “experts” continue to insist that everything is going to be just fine. For example, the following comes from a CNN article entitled “The case for a 2023 US recession is crumbling”…
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Many CEOs, investors and economists had penciled in 2023 as the year when a recession would hit the American economy.
The thinking was that the US economy would grind to a halt because the Federal Reserve was effectively slamming the brakes to squash inflation. Businesses would lay off workers and inflation-weary Americans would slash spending.
Umm, I hate to interrupt CNN’s wishful thinking, but the reality is that businesses really are laying off workers.
In fact, the number of job cuts that have been announced through the first five months of this year is 315 percent higher than the number of job cuts that were announced through the first five months of last year.
And more workers are being laid off with each passing day. Earlier today, I was saddened to learn that Spotify has just decided that yet another round of layoffs has become necessary…
Just a few months after announcing a significant wave of layoffs, Spotify plans to conduct another round of layoffs. This time, the job cuts will affect the podcast division as part of a corporate reorganization. In particular, the company plans to merge Parcast and Gimlet Studios.
In an internal memo, Sahar Elhabashi, Spotify’s head of the podcast division, announced that the company was making changes that would lead to a workforce reduction of 2%. This change will affect around 200 jobs and those who are impacted have already received an invitation to talk with someone from the HR department.
Just like in 2008 and 2009, a lot of people that are losing their jobs are falling out of the middle class because they don’t have any sort of a cushion to fall back on.
The ranks of the hungry and the homeless are rapidly growing, and this has created an unprecedented crisis in many of our largest cities.
The homeless that are truly destitute tend to live in tents, but those that have at least a little bit of money often live in RVs. At this point, it is being estimated that over 11,000 homeless people are living in RVs in Los Angeles County alone…
There are, by the latest count, more than 11,000 people living in RVs across Los Angeles County. And that number has been rising. The Covid-19 pandemic forced more people into poverty. Some of the RV dwellers have jobs but either don’t want to pay apartment rent, or can’t afford to pay it, in a city where the average one-bedroom apartment costs around $2,500 a month.
Of course wherever there is a homelessness crisis there is almost always a drug crisis.
Open air drug markets now operate freely in communities all over the country, and there are some cities where drug abuse is so bad that authorities have completely given up on trying to control it.
The value of residential real estate in crime-ridden San Francisco has dropped significantly in recent years, with prices dropping by around 16.7%. This contrasts with a more moderate decline of 3.3% in the rest of the country, resulting in a difference of about 13.4 percentage points.
The decline in the housing market in San Francisco has resulted in an additional loss of approximately $260 billion in the value of residential real estate compared to what would have occurred if the city had followed the pattern shown nationally, according to the research center Hoover Institution.
Zillow, a real-estate marketplace company, projected that the value of San Francisco’s housing stock was close to $2 trillion before the price drop.
Needless to say, many addicts must steal stuff in order to fund their addictions, and so we have seen crime rates soar over the past several years.
In Chicago, things have gotten so bad that one Walgreens store has actually decided to put almost all of their merchandise “behind staffed counters”…
A Walgreens store in Chicago reportedly has been redesigned to allow customers to browse only two aisles of products – after they pass through anti-theft detectors.
The changes at the store on 2 E. Roosevelt Road in the South Loop area put most of the merchandise in aisles behind staffed counters, which customers can shop digitally through kiosks, according to Block Club Chicago.
Many other retailers are shutting down stores in cities such as Chicago, San Francisco and Portland permanently.