Article 43

 

Monday, November 21, 2022

America In Collapse 7 - More Suffering

image: class warfare

Over the past several decades a “global elite” has emerged whose connections to each other have become more significant than their ties to their home nations and governments
- Rise of the Superclass, 2008
 
For the most part, American bankers whose rash pursuit of profit brought on the 2008 global financial collapse didn’t get indicted. They got bonuses.
- Vietnam’s Solution to Corrupt Bankers, 2014
 
“The TRANSITION FROM DEMOCRACY to oligarchy usually starts with the very wealthy acquiring political power by buying influence with elected officials,” Hartmann wrote in his book, explaining that their influence grows until they “completely CONTROL THE MECHANISMS OF INFORMATION” and “their agenda overwhelms the governing agenda.”
 
“In the final stages, Hartmann said, “the oligarchs RISE UP through seemingly democratic processes and take complete or near complete control of government, smashing the programs that give economic and democratic power to the people and cruelly punishing dissent.
- Return of the Oligarchs
 
In periods of acute crisis for the bourgeoisie, Fascism resorts to anti-capitalist phraseology, but after it has established itself at the helm of State, it casts aside its anti-capitalist rattle and discloses itself as a terrorist dictatorship of big capital.
- Growth of Socio-Fascism in Britain
 
The only thing that can possibly transform the U.S. government to one that cares for the voters who elect it, rather than for the plutocracy that controls it, is a UNIFIED OPPOSITION BY ALL OF THE PEOPLE, irrespective of their social class or political beliefs. The energy driving such a mass movement must flow from the personal actions taken by each of its individual participants.
- Challenging America’s Plutocracy

AFTER newly-elected Democrat President Biden screwed the working class by NOT SENDING OUT promised covid stimulus checks a year and a half ago, things here keep getting so bad for the 99%, THAT:

Shoplifting is up markedly since the pandemic began in the spring what’s distinctive about this trend, experts say, is whats being taken - more staples like bread, pasta and baby formula… Those who are stealing to survive are not out there talking to the Washington Post about it They’re ashamed to be in the position in which they have to steal.

For the 18 years this website’s been on the internet, inequality keeps getting worse.

Don’t expect any help from politicians masquerading as LAW MAKERS who manage to remain in power, and blame us for everything, while capitalism’s inequality and blood sucking rich run the country. Will “we the people” ever FIGHT BACK?

To show us how out of touch, and insulting our elected officials are with the suffering people they claim to represent, Business Insider quotes SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL:

“You’ve got a whole lot of people sitting on the sidelines because, frankly, they’re flush for the moment,” the Kentucky Republican said. “What we’ve got to hope is once they run out of money, they’ll start concluding it’s better to work than not to work.”

This year AT AT&T:

CEO John Stankey said that customers are “starting to put off paying their phone bills”

Even the Federal Reserve NOTED IN JUNE people can’t afford a gallon of milk anymore:

“They are also doing things such as purchasing half a gallon of milk instead of a gallon.” Contacts broadly expected to continue to push up their prices over the next 12 months to keep up with rising costs.

Our BRAINWASHED KIDS are being led to think unionizing a couple of Starbucks’ and Amazon warehouses are going to miraculously end a decades old era of corporate America’s outsourcing, offshoring, and replacing of American workers with foreigners and robots.  Uunless they, boomers, young, old, black, white, latinx, etc, rally together in a general strike of all workers everywhere, and grind this country’s production to a halt - they’re going to be in for a rude awakening.

Starbucks and the powerful corporations will just CLOSE THE UNIONIZED STORES, and laugh at us, while government protects them.

Starbucks will tell you it’s all about safety. But a lot of workers are second-guessing that, as are customers who frequent the shops. They say it seems to be more about squashing union activity. About one-third of the stores that are about to close are involved in union efforts.  This is what piqued the curiosity of a lot of workers and customers. These are busy spots, including one on 23rd and Jackson in Seattle, and the beloved Gaybucks, as the kids call it, on Capitol Hill. People are very curious about whether safety is the real reason.

Over at our southern border, battling Covid isn’t the big thing.

THIS IS:

“The record number of illegal migrants coming to the US southern border is OUT OF CONTROL and President Joe Biden appears to be doing nothing to help local law enforcement deal with the crisis,” Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber said.

And President Biden is sending billions to a war that may make this all moot.

How’s the GREAT RESIGNATION doing?

Supposedly - every talking head on mainstream news and politician on TV is talking about a “worker shortage” leang to everything from CUTTING UNEMPOLYMENT in the middle of Covid, to the raising of interest rates on our credit cards, to INFLATION and price gouging from corporate America.

The millenials are so broke that they’re BLAMING BOOMERS for their lousy lives:

“As millennials are now the poorest generation ever, we at Hunter Design Company will no longer be offering a senior discount,” a text overlay on the video reads. Because let’s face it, if you get to retire, you don’t really need it. So, Hunter Design Company is proud to offer, for the first time ever, the millennial discount. A discount for millennials by millennials because you’re entitled to it.

Over at GALLUP:

Lower-income Americans are about as likely now as last fall to say they are experiencing either severe or moderate hardship - 74%, compared with 70% in November.

Footware News REPORTS:

As consumers pivot to mainly non-discretionary categories, big-box and department store retailers have seen excesses in discretionary categories like apparel.

In the last week, retailers like Target, Walmart and Kohls have mentioned cancelling or cutting down on orders to stay ahead of their higher-than-usual inventories. Meanwhile, brands that partner with wholesale retailers have noted the impact of these cancellations.

Kohl’s has also pulled back on order receipts and increased promotions to get through an inventory glut.

Even FACEBOOK is laying off:

Meta Platforms is planning to cut expenses by at least 10% in the coming months, in part through staff reductions

MSNBC last month talked to a bunch of regular people:

EVERYBODY IN CONGRESS, almost everybody in congress is certainly wealthy, independently wealthy, more money than they would be making from their congressional salaries, even if they came from poverty,” said Chris. “And I don’t think they understand how expensive it is to live right now. I don’t think they understand how expensive rent is, the number of houses signed for less than $300,000 has dwindled to almost nothing in the last five years, just the fact that nobody can access, not even building wealth, but just getting stability.”

When asked by Luntz “to describe” in one word “conditions in America right now,” respondents did not hold back.

“Poor,” said Tiffany of New York.

“Disparity,” said Jen of Washington, D.C.

“Struggling,” said Sal of Florida.

“Confusing,” said Kirsten of Illinois.

“Uncertain,” said Paul of New York.

“Depressing,” said Brian of Michigan.

“Miserable,” said John of South Carolina.

“Divided,” said Susan of California.

“Shaky,” said Jana of Nevada.

“Unstable,” said Rich of Idaho.

“Polarized,” said Chris of Pennsylvania.

“Dire,” said Valerie of California.

“Dismal,” said Debra of Wyoming.

“Division,” said Bob of Texas.

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Walmart says shoppers are swapping lunch meat for beans in the latest sign that inflation is roiling low income households

By Aine Cain
Business Insider
August 16, 2022

Walmart shoppers are reaching for beans over lunch meats, the company said Tuesday, in the latest sign that INFLATION is hitting low-income consumers the hardest.

While Walmart’s average customer is an EDUCATED SUBURBAN WOMAN, the chain has also historically catered to LOWER INCOME SHOPPERS. When inflation first began to spike, the company even saw a BOOST in sales, owing to its penchant for steep discounts. But as prices continued to skyrocket, Walmart began to deal with its own CUSTOMERS erasing items from their shopping lists or swapping certain purchases for cheaper substitutes.

“Instead of buying maybe deli meats or beef, they’re trading down to things like canned tuna, chicken and, even, beans,” Walmart CFO John Rainey told investors. “We’re seeing the same thing in the quantity, where they’re trading down for smaller pack sizes that are more affordable. So instead of buying 12 items to buy six items in a pack.”

Rainey said the big box giant’s shoppers are also generally buying fewer items and foregoing general merchandise for cheap food options like Walmart’s private label offerings.

In June, the inflation rate hit 9.1%, a 40-YEAR-HIGH. Since then, prices have begun to cool down somewhat. In July, PRICES only rose 8.5% year over year, marking an end of the trend of month-over-month spikes. Still, ongoing inflation has made many Americans feel substantially poorer whenever they hit the grocery store or the gas pump.

Fuel proved to be an increasingly-expensive necessity over the summer. Staples like eggs, beef, and pork have also seen surging costs. In June, the price of beef jumped 4.5%% month-to-month, while eggs increased 3% and pork leaped 3.1%.

But these high prices aren’t borne equally by everyone. Rising prices have especially harmed low-income to middle-class individuals, as opposed to their wealthy counterparts. Thousands of citizens fell below the poverty line in 2020, and experts have expressed concern that ongoing inflation could make matters worse by sparking a recession.

SOURCE

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Parents are buying fewer baby clothes, a sign of deep financial distress

By Parija Kavilanz
CNN Business
November 21, 2022

Customers are pulling back on spending at Gap and Old Navy - particularly in one specific category that shows just how much families are feeling inflations pinch.

In tough times, parents typically skimp on themselves and focus on meeting the needs of their growing children. But Gap and Old Navy said Thursday theyҒre now seeing less spending on babies and kidsҒ items.

“Spending on kids is one of the last areas most parents cut back on, so softness at Gap and Old Navy suggests that some households are under significant financial strain, said Neil Saunders, retail industry analyst and managing director of Globaldata.

Because these brands cater to mid-to-low income shoppers, this decline in spending is a very real indicator of how deeply budget-conscious households are feeling the pain of higher prices. They’ve been forced to go to their last resort.

Overall inflation is up 7.7% compared to 2021, even as the latest reading on prices that households pay for necessities and discretionary purchases showed a SLIGHT SHUTDOWN.

The cutback in kids’ clothing spend at Gap Inc. (GPS) - which operates its namesake Gap stores, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta divisions under its corporate umbrella - was part of the companys third-quarter earnings release Thursday.

While overall company sales were up 2% from last year to $4 billion for the quarter ended October 29, the retailer noted that sales growth at both Gap and Old Navy were offset by weaker sales in kids and baby categories.

“Old Navy customers still have a propensity to buy. That being said, it continues to experience softness in spending and shopping frequency from its lowest-income consumers,” Bobby L. Martin, Gap Inc.Ғs interim CEO, told analysts during the earnings call Thursday.

It’s not just Gap. According to market research firm NPD, purchases of infant and toddler clothing are down this year: From January through October, sales of clothing for infants and toddlers declined by 3% in revenue and 6% in units sold versus the same period last year.

“This is a huge indicator of financial strain,” said Marshal Cohen, chief retail industry analyst with NPD. “One has to look at the total picture. Are families just trading down to less expensive products and stores or is it a pullback in general?”

“The other thing to watch is how long the pullback lasts,” he said. “Parents can go just so long in clothes that are getting a bit small, but not for long. So a quarter slide is one thing - multiple quarters [of decline] send a strong message.”

Turning to resale

As parents purchase fewer new items, theyre turning to resale platforms instead to buy kids clothing and other necessities for less.

Resale platform Mercari said a survey of more than 2,000 parents in March by Globaldata found that 62% said they bought secondhand items for children sometime in the past year. More than a quarter said inflation motivated those purchases, and half of parents surveyed sold a secondhand item in the kids’ and baby items category.

Mercari said parents of kids 2 and under are the most active secondhand shoppers, according to its survey.

“This shift [to reuse] is gaining momentum in 2022 as consumer prices rise amid inflation and ongoing uncertainty,” Mercari US CEO John Lagerling, said in Mercari’s 2022 REUSE REPORT: FAMILY EDITITION.

“Americans spent a total of $143 billion on kids and baby items alone in 2021. By 2030, this figure is expected to grow to $182 billion. In our opinion, that’s simply too much,” he said.

“Secondhand shopping is becoming a lifeline for budget-strapped households,” said Burt Flickinger, retail expert and managing director of retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group.

“Families are relying heavily on CREDIT CARDS to pay their rent, food and gas bills and everything else. “Household wealth is down, while cost of food has surged,” said Flickinger. “If they didn’t plan for it earlier, parents are shopping at resale and taking hand-me-downs from family and friends.”

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 11/21/22 •
Section Revelations • Section NWO • Section Dying America • Section Next Recession, Next Depression • Section Austerity American Style
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