Are the American people losing faith in the U.S. economy? The statistics that you are about to read might surprise you. Not everyone believes that the U.S. economy is dying (there are still millions out there that will swallow anything that the mainstream media tells them), but the reality is that there is a growing chunk of the population that has completely lost faith in our leaders and in our economic system. A brand new Gallup poll has found that the number of Americans that believe that we are in a depression is actually larger than the number of Americans that believe that the economy is growing.
That is absolutely shocking because according to official government figures, the U.S. economy is growing right now and virtually nobody in the mainstream media or the government has used the term depression to describe the economic downturn that we went through recently. In fact, according to Gallup a total of 55% of the American people believe that we are either in a recession or a depression right now. This is clear evidence that the American people are losing faith in U.S. government economic statistics and instead they are basing their opinions on what they see in their own communities. Despite the pablum about an economic recovery constantly being spewed by Ben Bernanke and Barack Obama, faith in our economic system continues to decline. The truth is that the American people are not stupid. They can see what is happening to the economy.
Back when I was a teenager, one day I walked over to the local McDonald's and filled out an application and was immediately hired.
But that is not how it works today.
Recently, McDonald's made headlines when they held a National Hiring Day. Some commentators pointed to that event as evidence that the economy was recovering.
Well, you know what? McDonald's ended up receiving approximately one million applications.
So how many of those people did McDonald's hire?
They hired about 62,000 people.
That means that somewhere around 938,000 eager job applicants were turned away.
Just think about that.
Only about 6.2 percent of those that applied for a job at McDonald's were accepted.
As Joe Weisenthal of Business Insider recently pointed out, that means that Harvard now has a higher acceptance rate than McDonald's does.
Harvard accepts about 7% of those that apply to go to school there.
Who ever thought we would see the day when a higher percentage of applicants get accepted into Harvard than get hired at McDonald's?
Sadly, the number of jobs continues to shrink. The competition for good jobs has become absolutely crazy.
Only 66.8% of American men had a job last year. That was the lowest level that has ever been recorded in all of U.S. history.
So why is this happening? Well, there are a lot of reasons, but as I have written about previously, the fact that millions of our jobs are being shipped overseas is a huge factor.
Without good jobs, an increasing number of Americans are being forced to turn to government assistance in order to survive.
Today, more than 44 million Americans are on food stamps. In addition, government transfer payments now make up 18 percent of all personal income in the United States.
That is frightening.
Things have gotten so bad that now even Wal-Mart is warning that their customers are running out of money.
A large percentage of Wal-Mart customers are just surviving month to month and Wal-Mart has been noticing a huge drop off in sales towards the end of the month when their customers run out of cash. The following is what the CEO of Wal-Mart had to say about this phenomenon recently....
Purchases are really dropping off by the end of the month even more than last year.
People are starting to get desperate. When economic times get tough, crime tends to increase. Sadly, as a report in USA Today recently noted, thefts of gasoline are increasing all over the nation.
We never had this kind of a problem back when a gallon of gas only was about a dollar a gallon.
Do you remember those days?
They weren't that long ago.
Now it takes some people over a hundred dollars to fill up their gas tanks.
Our leaders keep promising that they know what is happening and that they are going to fix things, but most Americans are not buying it. Many Americans are completely losing faith in the system altogether.
Our economic decline has been one of the things that has fueled the growth of the prepper movement. Millions of Americans have decided that they want to start becoming independent of the system. One recent article described what some residents of Colorado are doing to prepare, but the truth is that this phenomenon is happening all over the nation....
A Black Forest resident has erected a geodesic dome on her 5-acre spread to grow vegetables, keeps horses for emergency transportation, in case she can't get gasoline for her car, and plans to acquire chickens and goats as food sources.
A husband and wife who have a cabin on 100 acres of secluded land in Park County have weaned their property from the electric grid, acquired a three-year food supply and taken other measures to become self-sufficient.
Of course the mainstream media loves to portray preppers as crazies, but as the U.S. economy continues to die it would be a bit crazy not to prepare.
No job is completely safe today. Millions of Americans that assumed that their good jobs would always be there have had their lives shattered over the past couple of years.
There is nothing wrong with trying to become more self-sufficient.
Everyone should be thinking about either starting up a business or developing alternative sources of income. Yes, it can be exhausting to work on a side business during evening and weekends, but the time for loafing is over. Those that are going to make it through the times ahead are those that are going to be willing to work really hard.
People need to start thinking about becoming less dependent on the system however they can. One way to insulate yourself against rising food prices is to learn how to grow your own food.
Even if you only have a very small amount of room you can still grow your own food. For example, there is one family that is actually producing 6000 pounds of produce on just 1/10th of an acre right in the middle of Pasadena, California.
Just because we have lost some of the basic skills that previous generations possessed doesn't mean that we can't get them back. Back during World War II, victory gardens enabled Americans to grow 40 percent of all the vegetables that they needed. Those gardens greatly contributed to the war effort and helped Americans get through some very difficult times.
There are a lot of preppers out there that are totally out of debt, that own their own land, that are entirely off the electrical grid and that grow most of their own food. Many Americans would look at such people as crazies but those preppers will be in a much better position than most people when the economy totally collapses.
Don't wait until it is too late to prepare. Millions of Americans are completely losing faith in our economic system. People are smart. They can see that we are living in the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world. They can see that the guts of our economic infrastructure are being ripped out and shredded. They can see that the number of people living in poverty continues to increase year after year. They can see the the number of good jobs continues to decrease year after year.
When you see a horrible storm coming the rational thing to do is to prepare. Just think about all of those tornadoes that ravaged the southeast U.S. the other day. Most of the people directly in the path of those tornadoes did whatever they could to survive when they realized the twisters were about to hit.
Well, a horrific economic storm is coming. Every American will be affected by this economic storm at least to some extent. We all need to prepare while we still can.
Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia and has two law degrees from the University of Florida. He is an attorney that has worked for some of the largest and most prominent law firms in Washington D.C. and who now resides outside of Seattle, Washington. He is a very active blogger and is also a respected researcher, writer, speaker and activist. You can follow him on The Economic Collapse blog: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/