Here’s What an American Economic Collapse Could Actually Look Like (And How It May Be a Lot Different Than Folks Expect)

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

by Daisy Luther

When we think of “economic collapse” our imaginations usually lead us immediately to the desperation we’ve witnessed in places like Venezuela or Greece. We think of starvation, a complete lack of medical care, and waves of suicide by people who simply can’t survive. We imagine an apocalyptic societal breakdown that is immediately visible.

Here in America, I suspect the collapse is going to look a lot different than it has in these other countries…at least, at first. And in my description, it’s entirely likely you’ll see that many of these signs have been happening all around us for years.

It will be gradual.

The thing with collapses that we see in the media is that we are seeing the end results of events that have been slowly declining for years. Venezuela was one of the wealthiest countries in the world back until the mid-1980s, due to their rich oil reserves. Then oil prices collapsed and their fall began. It was actually several decades though before it was truly evident that the country was in trouble.

Preparedness bloggers here have been sounding the warning bell since 2008 (at least) when our economy went into a recession. While the US managed to dig its way out of that to at least an illusion of renewed prosperity, it’s questionable how much of that return was real and how much of it was propaganda.

It’s unlikely that we’ll see just one event that says clearly to everyone, “Hey, our economy has collapsed. The Great Depression 2.0 has arrived, today, January 14, 2019, due to X event.”

Instead, we’ll continue to see signs like a lack of full-time jobs with benefits, growing student and consumer debt, more people who can’t afford rent and food, and more stores closing their doors forever in an ongoing retail apocalypse.

Because of the ready availability of credit cards and loans, things don’t seem that bad. People are still shopping for frivolous things. They’re still spending billions on Christmas. They’re still eating out at restaurants.

But just because that “money” is being spent does not mean that people are okay financially.

It will seem like it’s just individual families having a hard time.

The way things are going down in America, it doesn’t seem like we’re facing a national crisis. Consumers are consuming. People are working – just look at those “jobs” numbers. Folks are still having barbecues with the neighbors, hosting extravagant holiday get-togethers, and avidly following the football season.

But the American dream isn’t actually that dreamy. Because beneath all the trappings of our pleasant lives, people are right on the verge of a crisis.

40% of Americans could not handle an unexpected expense of only $400 without having to sell something they own. 78% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. That means that only one missed paycheck will be a financial disaster for the majority of Americans.

And when that missed paycheck or unexpected expense comes, people will completely blame themselves. They’ll silently feel like failures and not realize that the entire system is crumbling all around them. They will believe it is only their family, due to their own bad decisions, that is suffering.

Sure, we could all make better choices from time to time. We could skip those vacations or spend less on the kids at Christmas or go on the beans-and-rice-and-apples diet. We could eschew credit cards, live beneath our means, and go full-Spartan with our lifestyles.

Sometimes the money problems are out of our hands.

But even with the very best personal economic decisions, a lot of things are out of our hands. What if a family member becomes seriously ill, with heaven forbid, a heart attack or cancer? Even with health insurance (which a growing number of middle-class families, mine included, cannot afford), the out of pocket costs will be astronomical. And that’s not even factoring in the long-term loss of the sick person’s income. Total financial disaster and it’s not something that can be avoided.

Or what if your vehicle is totaled by an uninsured driver? Even when your own insurance covers what you’ve paid off on your vehicle, what if you just break even and then can’t afford another vehicle? Then you can’t get to work…then you can’t pay your bills…then, again, a disaster not of your own making has struck.

Any time you see a family suffering financially, you must understand that very few of us are immune to money problems. We all handle these financial catastrophes differently and we all use the skills and talents we have to deal with them. Some of us are more fortunate than others – we’re able to pick up second and third jobs. We’re able to slash our expenses more relentlessly. Maybe we live in areas that are ripe with employment opportunities, instead of economically depressed small towns. We may not have poor health or sick children who require 24-hour care and supervision.

Heck – once you add in children at all, you’re paying for daycare every time you go to work. I know that when my kids were little and I was a single mom, I had to take a second job just to cover my daycare costs, which, in the summer, were as much as my rent. I worked seven days a week for years and lost so much time with my children that it broke my heart.

It’s really easy to look down on others who are having a hard time with money but always remember that just one crisis could put each of us in that place. We’re living in a system that is designed to put us in that place.

The divide will get bigger.

In the United States, we’re watching a disappearing act that unfortunately is no illusion. We’re watching the middle class vanish. Remember when it was common for just about everyone to have trappings like houses, two cars in the driveway, and kids who play baseball in the summer and take gymnastics lessons in the winter? Lifestyles that used to put us firmly right in the middle class are harder and harder to achieve. And it isn’t just that Americans are lazy and addicted to spending money they don’t have.

The biggest blow I can think of to the middle class was the inappropriately named Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  While that helped a lot of people who couldn’t afford any healthcare at all, with subsidies and low-to-no deductibles, for the rest of us who had a reasonable plan before, it was financially apocalyptic. There was story after story of families paying thousands of dollars per month for shoddy care that didn’t kick in until $10,000 had been spent out of pocket. This took formerly middle-class families and pushed them into the poverty level. But because their ridiculous monthly insurance payments weren’t write-offs, they couldn’t get subsidized. Talk about irony – the ACA impoverished people and then wouldn’t cover their healthcare.

When I talk about the divide, I’m not referring to so-called “income inequality.” That will always exist because we all have different skills, and different skills are worth differing amounts of money.

I’m talking about a divide in lifestyle. I’m talking about how people who work often two and three jobs can barely manage to survive. It’s a real problem when all we do is work and we can’t spend time raising our children to be good and productive members of society.

Don’t get me wrong – rich folks can spend their money however they want. But at some point, their glaring frivolity is going to paint a Marie-Antoinette-style target on their backs. Regular people who could pay for a year of living comfortably with one of the Birkin bags in their collections of $20,000 purses are getting increasingly ticked off of the way things are going in this country.

Eventually, things that are normal will become luxuries.

While things are tough, even some of our poorest citizens still have it better than 2/3 of the world’s population. Most of us have roofs over our heads, heat in the winter, running water, food, and electricity to run our refrigerators.

But that could change.

As our economy plummets and our national debt soars, we could see the things that we all take for granted today could become luxuries tomorrow. Imagine if the ordinary trappings that we’ve always had became as out of reach for most of us as a Lamborghini in the driveway.

What if only rich people could afford electricity? What about heat? What about running water?  What if that divide between the rich and the poor could be delineated by who had the ability to turn on a light at the flick of a switch and who did not?

Many people worry about an event like a solar flare that would wipe out electrical power, casting us back about 200 years.  We’d have no refrigeration, no transportation, no climate control, and no lights. But in that situation, we’d all be in the same boat. No matter how wealthy you are, any unprotected electrical items would still be useless.

What if that’s what the economic collapse looks like?

What if the real threat was simply that no one could afford to pay the electric bill?  What if prices escalated to the point that it was a choice between food and electricity?  What if, home by home, the lights went out across America?

And what about running water? A few years back, in Jefferson County, Alabama, the price of water quadrupled, making monthly water bills over $300.

Jefferson County in Alabama is the state’s most populous county and also its poorest. One of the poorest of those poor areas is Birmingham, Jefferson County’s largest city. Here water and sewerage bills have quadrupled in the last 15 years and with combined sewerage and water bills coming in at around $300 a month, this leaves the same amount out of the average social security cheque of $600 a month to cover everything else, food, clothing, and all other utilities. Low paid workers, of which there are many fare no better.

Many people have opted to buy drums of water from petrol stations rather than pay their ever increasing bills. They use these drums of water for drinking, washing and in their portable toilets which can be seen dotting back yards across the area, the modern version of the outhouse. They pay a fee to a sanitation company to remove the waste. It’s cheaper than letting the city take care of it. (source)

So imagine if this kind of thing became even more widespread. What if you had to be rich to have electricity and running water?

This is how it could happen.

What if it’s just an incremental crumbling of our way of life, one household at a time?

No bank runs. No government confiscation of resources. No dramatic event that we can all point to and say, “This is how the American economy was destroyed on (pick a date).”

Instead, it becomes harder and harder to pay your necessary bills. You go deeper and deeper into debt trying to pay for things like medical bills and food. Your job, if you keep it, doesn’t provide increases in pay to match the increases in the costs of living because the person running the business is just trying to survive too.

Then you re-evaluate what necessities are. You think about what you can work around. Which is more important? Medicine or childcare? Running water or electricity? Rent or food?

This is the future for which we should be preparing.

Stop expecting some huge event and look at the decline that’s already happening all around you. Think about your options in a world where only rich people can afford electricity and running water and food all at the same time.

Maybe the epic disaster everyone has been preparing for is slowing happening right now. It isn’t really that farfetched, is it?

Maybe the disaster is the crumbling of our First World lifestyle due to unsustainable debt and consumerism. Maybe it’s how they roll out the socialist utopia that control freaks all seem to desire. If everyone is desperate to survive or to regain their former luxuries, how hard would it be to manipulate them into a comfortable control grid?

If you want to maintain your independence, then self-reliance is survival.

What do you think?

How could you see an economic collapse in the United States of America actually going down? Is this something you’d like to see more articles (or even a book) about?

Here\'s What an American Economic Collapse Could Actually Look Like (And How It May Be a Lot Different Than Folks Expect)
Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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62 Responses

  1. I feel fortunate that, thanks to sites like yours, we now own free & clear a house in town and an off-grid cabin on six acres. We are nearing retirement age, and our plan is to live in the cabin & rent out the house for income. Our biggest worry is, thanks to Obamacare, our yearly out of pocket has skyrocketed to over $7,000 EACH.

  2. Daisy, this the most important article I’ve read in forever. I have said this for quite sometime. I’m 73 years old so I remember some very different times in America. I take care of a disabled son & his 17-year-old high schooler (who thankfully has a part-time job) & we live on my Social Security. My son gets disability but by the time he pays insurance, student loans, back child support for the time from when he was injured (his ex had the kids then) til the time he was awarded disability payments, he barely has enough to pay his phone bill. You write that book, sister, and I will buy a copy for every family member I have! Has to be a real book though, none of this on-line stuff. Lol

  3. I think you are spot-on in your observations and analysis, Daisy. This is definitely something I’d like to read more about on your site. I appreciate the articles on how to help yourself and your family!

  4. I don’t know how people can think that our economy is stable and safe. Even if all they watch is CNN there are enough attention-getting articles to convince people the USA is on a downward spiral. Yet they do nothing to prepare. When people are so in debt for frivolous things it is hard to talk to them about putting away emergency food, water, and money for that “what-if” occasion.

    I know folks who live frugally and have a no frills life style but are still struggling to get by; mostly because of Obamacare. They practice what Daisy preaches and are trying to pay off what I call the emergency bills like car repairs and appliance repair. They try to put a little away every month but sometimes it seems unachievable to them. But it is possible; while painfully slow, many of us have paid off debts and live on less than we make and are now out of debt.

    I know other people who live paycheck-to paycheck who make twice the income I do, yet they are continuously in debt. These are good people but because they refuse to give up the $1200 I-phones and I-pads and the $500/per month phone/data bill, the new cars every two or three years with over $1000/mo payments plus expensive insurance that goes with new cars, plus eating out once a week; when the “event” happens they will lose everything in foreclosure. They spend 80% of their income on debt service. If they stopped doing just these three things, they could probably be out of debt in two years. It is really sad.

  5. The information in this post is important and necessary. People need to know this stuff as it helps in moving deeper into a preparedness life style. Keep up the good work. Glad you are in the Virginia mountains, so are we. Sharing this on my blog.

  6. I think you are on to something here Daisy. Sadly, most people have no idea the gradual collapse is coming. It’s like putting a frog into lukewarm water and then turning up the heat. I agree whole-heartedly with you. I would love to read more articles with practical application. All in all, it is the prepper mindset that we share. But if the narrative was geared specifically toward this, I believe non-preppers would benefit from it greatly. And isn’t that what we are all about? Linking arms and being prepared for the unexpected…whatever it may be? Great job girlfriend! Keep up the awesome work. You are greatly appreciated!

  7. Well, Daisy, aren’t you the optimist! I mean that sincerely, and here’s why: if you have no power to your house, the local laws and their collective authorities will declare your property a nuisance and a fire trap, and condemn it and evict you. That’s how it is in almost all municipalities of any consequence. If city water is shut off for lack of payment, the eviction might come even quicker, for obvious reasons.

    Country people may be overlooked in such a crisis, and, I suspect that city dwellers would EVENTUALLY be overlooked as well; but not at first. Then the desperate would begin to do desperate things. I really don’t see any kind of order being maintained once you get to the point where average, working-class people can no longer afford electricity. It’s too large of a societal step backwards to take lying down, and the 1%ers will feel the wrath of the down-trodden very quickly. It won’t be pretty.

  8. To paraphrase a writer “Empires end with a whimper, not a bang.” The citizens of Rome never saw it coming. It happened so gradually, the ones in the midst of it didn’t see. If you want to see the slide, go back 10 years, 20, 30, 40- what could we do then that we can’t now? What was different about life? Then extrapolate the data/memories. From “we can play all day in the woods with our friends” to “we can’t go in the woods” to “we don’t go out at night” to “stay off the Internet.” I had White Knight Syndrome something fierce. First I tried to save the world from the evils of communism during the Cold War. But the world didn’t want to be saved. Then I tried to save Society from crime and corruption, but too many make too much. So I tried to save the people in my life but no-one is brave enough to look in the mirror and see the issue. No, I just keep my own corner safe. I’m not perfect, but my corner is safe, I have popcorn, and I can watch the world burn. I think I understand why Nero fiddled.

    1. I thought I was the only one with a recliner and waiting for the show????
      Just “A Side-Show To The Big Show”

  9. We talked about this just last night!

    Daughter’s husband worked for a small company that kept screwing with health care benefits. It had nothing to do with the ACA, but their deductible and co-pays were nearly impossible. He also had not had a pay raise in over 10 years, so along with that bad health care they went backwards. Finally, after 20 years with the company, and new management, he is at parity with others in the industry – but he lost money for nearly two decades so they have a lot to make up – no backup or retirement funds. They are not solvent in any way.

    I noticed that our children had a much more modest Christmas this year, too.

    For us, Hubby worked and had built a portfolio that should be worth over $1M. We invested in real estate, and lost it in 2008. Now, we are on Social Security. What happens if that disappears? Or inflations hits even stronger? Nothing left!

    For us, We have no health insurance except Medicare. Social Security is our only income now. We met late in life and purchased a home 8 years ago that still has over $120k due. However, we have no car payments and no credit card. One month of money backed-up. (Full pantry, however.) There is not much to eliminate except means of communication – cell phone and internet, plus, satellite tv; our only vices.

    We already live in the country with a well, we garden and can, heat with wood, hang laundry in the summer. What else can we cut? We meet the average income for seniors, about $35,000 per year. If we are being frugal, not needing anything new except food, electricity, propane for heat, gasoline, and meds, and are still finding it a challenge…then what are others feeling? It will not take much for us to fall into a hole, medical expenses or anything else, etc., we cannot emerge from. We do not need a failing economy to spur us along.

    We are watching. We are reading everything you post – and taking it to heart. Plus watching over our family and praying that things turn around. Soon.

    1. Drop yhe satellite tv and buy a Roku for dreebee movies and stuff. Hulu with commercials under 10$ netflix also around the same. Each has a free month to check them out. If you are really a cnn needy person try the playstation vue on roku or other 20 or 30$ a month services that are uch cheaper ghan yours. The $ 40 investment is the start. Most big stores have a q0 day ir 30 day return policy if it is not for you. Additionally there are intrrnet phone programs you might want to check out. Ask people on facebook here what they recommend.maybe a change to natural gas might ve cheaper than propane.

    2. Remember to coupon, bogo”buy one get one free” discount houses yard sale, collect rain water remember the Dollartree store for everything. See if aarp has cheaper insurance for you…health insurance auto, home owners. See if hud has chaper mortgage rates and govwithvyhem. There are all sorts of hud programs for grants and mortgages. Maybe a foster child program or a veteran care orovram for you to make some extra bucks for a while. Deliver newspapers in yhe mornibg.

      1. Loving/parenting a foster child to make money (!?). Umm, no.
        The incentive needs to be to serve.
        And I can tell you that the monthly $ stipend (Michigan) does not cover the expenses of raising the child anyway. Additionally, you will not want the governmental oversight & intrusiveness that accompanies serving as a foster parent. Do we need foster parents? Heck ya, please sign up; but just not if you think it’ll reward you financially…

  10. Demographics will play a huge part when the boomers start dropping like flies. There won’t be enough people to keep this shit show going.

    1. Yeah,we are already past the Break-Even Point….More sucking at the teat than there are paying in….Won’t be long now????

  11. Great line-of-thought!..At least a couple more articles to flesh out the individual consequences…Book would probably do well????

  12. I’d like to add, buy tissue and other toiletries in massive bulk while it’s still affordable. And know what kinds of natural diseases were prevalent in your area before mass mosquito spraying to prepare for…..

  13. HEY Daisy, you hit the nail on the head. What about all of these malls just shutting down, nothing there anymore but cobwebs and locked doors? JC PENNY, and SEARS, and just today the kids clothing store GYBOREE is going out of business.. So many are joining together and not standing alone anymore.
    Now this government shutdown and it seems like the Democrats and the Republicans can’t see eye to eye on ANYTHING !!! Yes, slowly but surely it’s all happening, like the frog in the water.
    Most people don’t prepare and most are just asleep at the wheel not paying attention.
    We’ve had the warnings actually since 2008. So that was 11 years ago. ALL this time things have been merging together, companies going out of business even as of today so it’s happening but we aren’t seeing it, so we don’t realize it’s affecting us.
    THANKS, keep up the good work and keep them informed, chances are they really need to heed the warnings before it’s just to late.

  14. It’s going to be a big mess. Even the prepared are going to suffer; just not quite as badly as the rest.
    That being said, it goes beyond bullets, beans and bandaids.
    Now is the time, (actually, past time) to get prepared to ride it out.
    And keep the faith, literally.

  15. The crisis of 2008 had some indications beforehand of trouble brewing and there were warnings from people like Peter Schiff. But the actual emergency did rather fall out of the sky on top of us. Lehmann’s went under and GM was about to go bankrupt. Then there were the other too big to fail banks and insurance companies. That mess appeared rather suddenly to most. Nothing has been fixed. Trouble and instability is already occurring and I suspect it will continue with more severity until the system just stops. If it would end the hegemonic wars of the Anglo-American empire I could wish for it to come. But I’m afraid it may be used as an excuse for more war and the loss of large parts of civilization.

  16. Daisy,
    I have been reading your website for years and this, this article? Sent chills right down my spine. My fiance just came home an hour ago saying he may be out of a job come February/March. He works in machining within the housing market. I am almost completely done with a degree which I will certainly have a job in when I am done, but I do not graduate until May. This is a scary time in our country. I would love to see more articles about this and a book as well! Keep doing what you’re doing. Your articles are great and full of common sense. Keep them coming 🙂

  17. In book form would be great! I could buy some for family members. I am still trying to get to a point where I am self sufficient. Learning something new everyday!

  18. Hi Daisy…Almost:) always read your posts…Always! good. Thank You. Feel like a Kindred Spirit, though from a completely different life-plan. Our situation was Happily Married, unable to conceive, 4 years and multiple surgeries and then adoption, add water, 3 babies in 6 mos. Then another a while later. All turned out to have massive unknown special needs, the most severe, Vaccine-Injured to the Worst Degree. Homeschooling 20 years, non-stop interventions, medications, alternative, bio-medical, yada-yada, almost 60 and getting ready for my 3rd act. Background in Military, 1st Female Drill Instructor in all Presidential Honor Guards under Reagan!, tons of other equally odd jobs, prepper, Urban Farmer, and Vaccine Injury Activist now that I graduated my last kiddo. We are killing our kids in so many ways…Value your insight and the fact that no one, and I mean, no one I know has a clue about anything. Granted, I lost almost all my friends with the onset of our situation due to it’s intensity, but the few family and friends I do know are in such fear of the kinds of things that are discussed on your blog or in my mind(!) that I find it so sad that most people are paralyzed by the possibility that things could go awry…in light of the spiritual aspect of this particular time as well as the nuts and bolts of where we are altogether…adds to the scary factor. Carry On!

  19. Daisy, I think your assessment is right on the mark. I agree, I too think the “collapse” will be the slow degradation of our 1st world lifestyle until we are living a 3rd world lifestyle, where everyone is either rich or poor. Where all the blessings of a 1st world civilization remain available, but only the rich can afford them.

    I further agree that Obamacare was the tipping point. It is a wealth transfer scheme in which money is removed from the middle class, in the form of taxes, and given to the poor, in the form of subsidies and free/extremely cheap health plans. I do not personally know any middle-class people who have benefited from Obamacare.

    Daisy, I appreciate and applaud you for always focusing on what is within the ability of the average person to do in response. The advice you give helps readers maintain a positive attitude and a feeling of control.

    Keep an eye on what businesses open and close in your neighborhood. In the past year in my neighborhood, a dismaying number of long-established legitimate businesses have closed, to be replaced by junky businesses (nail salons, etc.) that drag the neighborhood down. Strange that the junky businesses can afford the rents, but the legitimate businesses cannot. I will know the doom is nigh if I see pawn shops, check cashing shops and payday loan shop open here.

  20. “How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.

    “Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”

    The dialogue above is from Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel, The Sun Also Rises.

    I’ve used this analogy before, and I believe this is what you are on to, Daisy. We are in the “gradually” phase now. One day, or maybe over the course of one week, credit will dry up, banks will run out of cash because everyone decided to get while the getting is good, and the suddenly will be upon us. All it will take to hit that tipping point is for one of our international creditors (read Russia or China or Saudi Arabia) to decide to not renew their Treasury Bills. These are very short credit instruments of four to fifty-two weeks. Our international creditors have already been moving from long term bonds to shorter notes and bills. They are reducing their exposure to loss. When this happens, the whole game of musical chairs will stop. Gradually, then suddenly.

  21. I agree that we are definitely in a downward spiral. We used to live in Houston, TX and our power bill in July would run around $400.00. And that is with the AC set at 83 and ceiling fans running. The AC was turned off at night. Our house payment was only $600. We didn’t have any extra money in the summer- it all went for electricity. And lots of people would have the check for the power company taped to the front door so that when they came to shut off the power, you had the money there for them. Very common in my neighborhood and this was over 20 years ago.

  22. Nailed It Daisy – I have been telling my wife & others that people are hurting out there. We are comfortable ‘for now’. But if your readers will only look around them as they go to work or shopping, I mean ‘really look’ OUT OF THE WINDOW – they will see more Americans setting up in mobile homes, even used mobile homes, instead of houses. Mobile home lots are loaded, no spaces available within 45 minutes of any community with any type of decent work. Look at not one, or two, but three RV parks as you go about your business. They are full – ‘Wow, lots of folks traveling, seeing the country side, enjoying the great freedom of the road’ – Look closer, notice how many have portable sheds up next to the RV or temporary storage piled next to them. Look closer, for the SAME RV that has been there for months, tarps on the roofs, broken down cars, porches added on to the front door – this is them doing the best they can, making do with what they have. This is HOME for them, for now. City Folks, strangers, are sharing rent – piling 3 or 4 individual lives into a house, sharing rent, utilities and the like just to make it. Service workers like waiters, bartenders, etc. because of the 39 hour full time employee penalty of Obamacare, can now work 40 hours at one job – instead of having to travel to and break their day into 2 or 3 parts because employers were not going to pay the high cost of OB Care. But they are still working in areas that far surpass their ability to afford a home on that income. So, they live 30 miles out just to find a roof over their heads. People ARE hurting out there, and sadly, it has been going on a long time, real subtle, to the point a lot of them think it is normal. They are being played with promises of a better future, not from what their potential may be, or what a different direction might bring – But by promises of ‘FREE’ everything if they only give up everything of themselves and worship the government master..And why not, what do they have to lose, just EVERYTHING, including their dreams and hopes for a better life… Sad to watch, but when History is not taught, when it is erased and changed as no one is watching – these people have grown to think this is normal…. THIS IS NOT NORMAL FOLKS – WAKE UP!!!

  23. YES it seems that individual couples or persons or families are having a hard time.
    When we had a job loss at two different times, months went by with careful and excellent resumes sent in response to actual jobs calling for actual submissions.
    Job requirements were astonishingly specific, with preference given to any number of small variables that the resume just didn’t quite match perfectly.
    Interviews, several layers, a long wait between, could end with a simple email, sorry, but no. Many applicants with similar credentials competing.
    No one knew how incredibly difficult the process was, and we even heard advice about factors they thought could affect or had affected the process including not trying properly or well enough.
    None of which were true, since with the successful job ‘fit’ there was tremendous rapport and joy joy between employer employee.
    As soon as anyone we knew heard a job came thru for us (i say us because one job affects a couple) it was with a sigh of relief that finally success and effort paid off.

    No, there are simply very specific jobs and much unemployment, people who miss a job changing their fields of interest or expertise. Meaning everyone is on the brink, house, life on the line.

  24. yes, very good article with the facts that are happening now. the most important priority is get out of debt at all costs so you can afford to live under your means. my wife and i just built a 965 sq.ft. house after we retired in the middle of nowhere among the blue ridge mountains. we have no debt and live entirely off SS income after cashing in all retirement,pension and selling out back east. we show no income other than SS and pay minimum taxes since we live in poverty and have no other income. we have a garden, chickens, well water and rainwater system and still save part of our SS. we heat our small home with wood,have a small backup solar system,raise chickens and can food all summer and winter and prepare for whatever comes our way. we are very happy, we stay busy and get much satisfaction out of being for the most part self sufficient and very assured of staying that way for well over a year should the need arise. we can and will if needed protect ourselves to assure things stay close to our desired lifestyle. we detest what DC has done to this great nation but still believe Gods will be done according to his mercy and grace.

    1. “get out of debt at all costs so you can afford to live under your means.”

      won’t work. even if you have no debt, the government is running up debt that will be assigned to you. and they will come to collect.

  25. Daisy, Great article, well thought out…However, you don’t mention that the tipping point could come a lot sooner do to the EU and IMF creating a world currency which they will trade in, internationally, leaving the current dollar which is the World Reserve currency at this time, in the dustbin of time gone by. People’s 401Ks, IRA will immediately be reduced as estimated by 2/3rds…it will take time for the US who will be alone, to come out of it. The decimation of the dollar as a world reserve currency will topple other nation’s economies as well. Gold and silver are about the only things that will protect what you have. Silver for everyday transactions, gold to protect your savings. The globalists have been working on rolling this out for years and they are close. Some say end of March this year…We will see, but globalists are not going to “allow” the US to strengthen economically much longer whether it is real or perceived. Also, you do not mention the chaos, civil unrest that will exist. FEMA has a saying…in any disaster and perceived economic hardship is as viable as a natural disaster with a run on the banks etc….”We are 72 hours to anarchy”…Certainly, if you are fortunate to not live in a populated area and have the ability to be self-sufficient you and your family may fare better than those who live in populated areas. Plus, it is the domino theory…one thing collapses, another thing will collapse and so on and so on. Everyone, should see the documentary…”After Armageddon” which was produced after studying multiple disasters and creating a production scenario that exemplified people’s reactions, timeframe for multiple services to go down and escaping an urban setting and what that would entail. I have taught Emergency Preparedness/Self Reliance for 40 years and there is one truism that has spanned 40 years, even with the “signs” that you have given. It is called “neutrality denial”…people cannot conceive that their world will change, that it will happen to them and because it is a “scary” thought what you are talking about, they dismiss it as it is a matter of their emotional survival. I have not given up, still teach and work with out Emergency Management services in our town but it is frustrating. A few simple things and skills will increase people’s survival for themselves and their families, no matter what the event.

  26. Daisy, thank you for your daily posts, they are always informative. However, I feel that you are missing a big opportunity by giving a pass/excuse to your readers who are not where they should be economically. Yes, people fall on hard times, and yes, people have bad luck.

    But in this age of information, where everyone (in America at least) has access to unlimited free information (library for books and internet) at some point you have to stop making excuses and start turning your financial life around.

    Don’t have the funds to cover a $400 expense? Save it, day by day, cutting whatever you have to in order to get there. Even saving $1 a day gets you there in just over a year, and then next year you don’t have that problem anymore.

    Don’t have a good job? Apply for another? In an economically depressed area? Move. What if I like it here? Thats your choice to stay, but don’t let that be an excuse for your situation.

    If you don’t have health insurance, join a health care cooperative or Christian health ministry (or something similar).

    My point is not to make anyone feel bad about their financial position. Rather, I want people to stop making excuses and start making their lives better starting today.

    Daisy has a few posts about this and another good starting point is Dave Ramsey’s book The Total Money Makeover.

  27. Daisy I think you are spot on in that the U. S. collapse into becoming 3rd world will be incremental. I suspect that within 10 years things will look much worse here with regards to poverty. The most important thing we can do is not look down our noses at people who acquire their food, water, medicine, clothing and shelter honestly in accordance to Nature’s God. We are under attack on all levels so don’t laugh at the family that carries their water from the pump into the house. Or uses an outdoor outhouse. We must retain our rights as humans.

  28. Excellent post, but one more thing to mention… Any property you so call own is due taxes by county. What happens when the worse the economy gets the more taxes are raised by your county until most can no longer afford the taxes? The home you think you own is suddenly bought out from under you for pennies owed in back taxes. You are now homeless.. Better come up with a plan for that possibility.

  29. Maybe take a drive along any pre interstate highway that winds through small town America and you will see first had the collapse of the American dream.?

  30. This is an amazing piece of world building. I feel like I could live in this world – i would suggest having more details that bring the reader into the post-apocalyptic. I would add more about the political consequences of the movement of the educated people out of the rural areas and the mechanization of farming – what about some new development in technology and maybe these rich people do move off world leaving the rest of the world to sort of stew in a toxic miasma. This would be the perfect place for a new religion to emerge you could flesh this out with a talk about how Christianity is morphing into a multi level marketing scheme and the Republican party is disintegrating because of a loss of core values – the new politics of a kind of new totalitarianism based on constant surveillance and Grievance Scholarship- you could have heroes who strive for anonymity – you could continue this cosplay with the prepper stuff too for a total life LARP game.

  31. It was not the move lower in the price of oil that precipitated the demise of Venezuela, it was the introduction of socialism. It always ends the same way; with total corruption and total destruction of the economy. It will happen here in America if the Democrats ( and some Republicans) keep moving us to a socialist system. We are a good way there already.

  32. Start laying in a supply of old-fashioned hand tools – stuff like hand saws, hammers, assorted nails, hatchets, hand drills w/bits, screwdrivers & assorted screws, assorted nuts & bolts – and get so you can work with them. Do your own repairs and by doing so, train yourself to provide repair services to your helpless neighbors, who can pay you with canned food, ammunition and reciprocal manual services based on their skills. Buy every tool “by two’s”, i.e., one to use, and one as a spare (they won’t be available after SHTF).

  33. While you are in the general area of the target, you have completely missed the target itself.

    Yes, the collapse happens gradually until it reaches a tipping point where it suddenly snowballs an everyone looks around and says: What the heck happened?

    But your specific analyses are way, way, way, way off.

    Item one: The 2008 recession was not the beginning of the end. The current recovery from it is very real. Wage growth and job growth are real. Your problem is, it doesn’t fit with your prepper pre-conceptions. But the reality is an economy is a living thing in many ways. When it dies, it does so in spurts and gasps. There will be times of real recovery in an overall downward spiral.

    Item two: Venezuela’s problems were not caused by a collapse in oil prices. The price collapse simply exacerbated an already existing problem.

    Item three: The two-car home with gymnastic lessons for the kids is a recent development. For much of what was considered the height of American economic prosperity (post WWII 1940s and the 1950s), most homes had no or ONE car. You have fallen for the classic fallacy of assuming history began with your memory.

    Item four: You can’t in one breath claim that current signs of prosperity are not real, but earlier signs of prosperity were real. That’s just confirmation bias at work supporting your prepper pre-suppositions.

    Item five: For most of human history, including the time in America when you claim prosperity was real, most Americans lived paycheck to paycheck. The 78% number is neither new nor unique.

    Now, the above having been said, your basic premise is correct. As the U.S. continues toward socialism, including the green agenda, costs will continue to rise, real wages will continue to drop, and it will be gradual to the point where it will surprise people when we hit the tipping point and become Venezuela.

  34. Eye opener of an article. I have to agree with the premise. Prices are going up. Groceries and medical care are the two that seem to have no ceiling. I can believe we are already in the downward spiral. Add to the economy spiraling down and the politics seeming to get crazier by the minute, yes, I can see things heading down. Too bad.

  35. I’m self employed and have had my own shtf events 4 or 5 times now. It was caused by an injurys, the crash of 2008 . Each time it felt like it was only me who was going through it, thankfully my preps got us through each time. I had to down size twice and it was hard. I am thankful I prepared and never went hungry of spent a night homeless. I agree when it comes and your scrambling your neighbor will be eating steak on the grill and nobody will even know. Put supplies away now folks and live on a budget, be smart and get out of debt. I had to move accross the country but I own my own house debit free and I’m starting to build my supplies back up. You can do it if you try.

  36. hm. no. there may be a long decline – in fact there is – but some americans (especially those getting free stuff like ebt/snap/afdc et al) have very high views of themselves and very high expectations of what they deserve, and at some point certain people will react and simply begin mass looting. then it will all break. highwaymen looting all commercial traffic in the name of “reparations”, gangs capturing water/power plants and demanding ransom and then destroying the equipment to get back at “the man”, etc.

    watch those videos of black friday at walmart. now throw in 300 million guns. sure there may not be much to loot by the time it happens, but they’ll try, and they’ll leave no stone unturned and no door not busted in.

  37. The U.S. is wealthier than ever, fabulously wealthy, the problem being all of the wealth is concentrated in a very few hands. We were at a similar point at the end of the 19th Century until the Federal Government began breaking up the worst of the giant Trusts, and individual workers joined together in the union movement to fight for a share of the wealth that came from their labor. And fight is the correct word, they fought with and were murdered by security guards, by local police forces, even by the United States Army under orders from Presidents. American workers achieved a victory never equaled in the world that led to our economic golden years in the 1950’s and 60’s. Then Government turned on us, the Unions were castrated and real wages throughout the economy began to fall to where they are today while all the money that should be going to the workers and to capital expansion goes into the Stock Markets and Corporate CEOs are rewarded with millions of $$$$ every time they manipulate another boost in their company’s share price. People on these sites all cry waa! waa! the government is evil, but unless the government at some point acts to change the current system we won’t have an economic collapse, we will just be transformed into a society of peasants and Lords and that old evil Socialism will have played no part in it.

  38. 3 decades ago, my daughter was 2, and I had two jobs as a single mother in order to make ends meet and get ahead a bit. I saw my child about an hour a day. One day, she was pushing a baby stroller with a dolly in it. Was she the doll’s mother? “No,” she replied in a terribly matter-of-fact voice.” “I’m her baby sitter. Her mother’s at work.”

    That got me thinking and calculating. The extra babysitting for two jobs cost a lot. Eating some white-bread prepared sandwich that I could find on a short lunch break cost 3 times what my own cooking would. When I added it up, I was sacrificing my child for a pittance like $60 a week!

    I quit one of the jobs. The one I kept was a commission sales job, and my performance went up so much that I actually had an increase in income.

    I have wondered ever since how much of the complaints like this were due to women being suckered by anti-woman “feminism” into going out, leaving the home and taking a crap-paid job to kid themselves that they were better than men.

    I was better off with one job. Many, many families would also be better off with one job outside the home.

  39. Read Atlas Shrugged again, from the point of view that it was a book, written in metaphor, for the cabal, the insiders, the illuminated ones to read so they wd know the plan and what was to come. The overall plan is for SHTF, a kinda Helter Skelter scenario, and folks in the cities will not survive.
    Who is John Galt?

    1. “written in metaphor”

      not much metaphor about alisa rosenbaum’s book. it presumes a tiny elite of individuals who, in and of themselves, are the source of all that is good in human life. meanwhile the entire remainder of humanity is divided into two camps – the ones who wish to live but who cannot generate that life themselves and who therefore serve the sources of life (“I’m a serf of taggert transcontinental!”) – and those who do not wish to live but who wish to commit suicide by persecuting and killing the sources of life.

      now. what religion does that remind you of?

  40. Odd that you fell through some ACA crack. I’ve heard there are some, which need to be fixed. So far, the ACA has been a godsend to my single friends over 26 (most are 28-45) and many families I know. Then there are those with pre-existing conditions. Those will bankrupt you faster than anything.
    Reaganimics started crushing the middle class, and it’s bedn downhill from there. The GOP loves to be against deficits until they get power and break deficit records.
    As automation and AI advance, there will be even more issues about what to do with the “surplus” people who just want to live in a stable and secure way.

    1. “the gop … break deficit records”

      it’s not the gop, or the democrats. it’s a feature of the dollar system. the dollar is a fiat debt pyramid scheme. stopping debt accumulation will collapse the dollar. of course this means the dollar will collapse some day, and this will result in asset confiscations and repossessions of everything within reach by the private owners of the private banks behind the so-called federal reserve.

      which is and was always the plan.

  41. Dear Daisy, I almost agree with your prognosis regarding the collapse, though I think it may be also a clear visible crash.
    Your explanation of the cause of the economical downfalldue to Obama care is in my opinion completely off.
    There are several reasons for the downfall of the US empire. Inn order to analyse it, some thoughtsahead, for those who are interested ….
    1. Triffin dilemma – means, that a country, which provides for the world the main reserve currency, has a dilemma: On the one hand its needs a strong economy, but on the other hand its economy becomes year after year weaker and weaker, due to export of production!
    Why the US$ is a world reserve currency now? There are three historical reasons.

    Phase 1: At first it was the WWII. In this war UK and USA have set up Hitler to fight USSR. But Hitler went after the western allies first, which lead to major destruction of European industries. UK lost it’s empire to USA. Europe paid USA with it’s gold for weapons. After WWII 80% of all world gold reserves landed in US – Dollar became backed by gold. (Bretten-Woods agreement, 1946)

    Phase 2: In 1971 was the Nixon shock. He stopped the gold standard, and replaced it 1974 with the crude oil standard – means OPEC agreed to sell it’s crude oil in US$ only, for receiving military protection from USA (Saudis, and all other Arab dictators).

    Phase 3: Since then all the wars US lead in Middle East (80% of all crude oil reserves are located there) to secure the trade of crude oil in US$ only.

    Saddam Hussein began to trade Iraq’s crude oil in Euro, that’s why Iraq was invaded, he was removed from power, same to Lybia’s Gaddafi.

    After almost 50 years of this scheme, several factors have developed to a degree, that makes it impossible to continue.

    The US’s economy changed dramatically structurally – much less production, more consumption.
    The nation is deeply indebted due to 9.11.2001 attack, subsequent economical crisis 2008/9.
    NATO expansion towards Russia, which provoked Russia, and lead it to develop weapon systems, which obliterated the US military machine. All the billions spent in anti ballistic missile defense, all the fleet, including air carriers, which are the main power projection tools to force the trade in US Dollars (Petrodollar) are spent in vain, and more important, US has lost the ability to protect it’s allies. Now, these allies will begin to revolt.

    This developments spill the end of the US empire.
    It will lead to economical crash, similar as it was in USSR in the 1990’s.

    After the severe crisis US will become to a strong country among others, similar to Brazil. The political system will change. There will be more political parties, better media, since there won’t be a reason to hide the truth that US is conducting wars to drive bigger cars.
    Economy will produce more, made in China will be more expensive.

    Check out myfutureamerica.org.

  42. I think I may be speechless. This posting is one of the best things I’ve read in ages. You nailed it Miss Prepper.

    Whatever we think, in theory, is going to come in the future, I’m pretty sure you just nailed the most likely thing to happen. Maybe, we will still have to deal with fighting zombies, EMP’s, plagues, earthquakes, etc., but there is little doubt that we will for sure see this economy redefine the middle class.

    When we were younger, my husband and I had a financial figure in mind that if reached would assure us a secure future. It was more money than our parents could dream of, and we have more than surpassed it, but guess what? We are not doing so well. The reasons are all you listed and more.

    Inflation, our National debt, the medical joke, and politicians playing with our lives are going to kill us a long time before we see crazed zombies coming over the hill. Thank you for writing this article.

  43. Hey!

    Almost 40 years ago now my husband and I left city jobs and took off on our own to become self sufficient. Back to the land was not “THE” fashionable thing to do at that time. We had no money even to start with but took a leap of faith because it was what each of us had always wanted to do. I was a stay at home mother of 4 children. We moved quite a bit and even had to live in a tent with two babies in some cold weather. I taught myself how to preserve food by canning and drying, how to sew, how to grow food and cook on a wood burning stove. I did my laundry on my grandmothers old scrub board. We had no refrigeration and certainly no health care. I saved money when I could for any doctors visits. Eventually my husband got a better job and when the kids were all in school I took part time jobs. To make this long story short, (too late!) we survived very well, learned a great deal and are glad we did things the way we did. Our kids are very self sufficient, creative and have a strong sense of family unity.

  44. I think this has been happening for a while. In many places, even the employed are finding that housing is increasingly being redefined from a human necessity to a luxury. Food may be next on that list. I think there will be another big date or two that people will be able to point to. The debt shenanigans of 2007 are being repeated and may be even worse. There will be another crash and another round of bailouts to make sure the transfer of wealth is more complete. Another round at the feeding trough is just something the big boys can’t resist. It worked out too well the first time.

  45. Thank you very much for the article on the American economic collapse . Anyone who lives on the lower rungs can tell you this is already happening. It is very frightening because nothing is being done about it . I want to support President Trump but he keeps talking about how great the economy is and is cutting down the supports that people are clinging to , we here at the bottom wonder what is he doing ? What great economy is he talking about ? It does seem like it’s being allowed to happen just letting people fall through the cracks taking the safety nets away . Sad for us .

  46. Couple of points…..ObamaCare was funded by Obama with $7.1 billion that he took from Medicare to fund ObamaCare. This money came from those who were working and paying a tax from their paychecks. It reduced the care that those on Social Security received. And reduced the amount doctors were paid by Medicare. Premiums for Medicare were, and still are, continuing to rise. This was happening at the same time that Obama did not give a COLA to Social Security recipients (he did this for 5 out of the 8 years he was in office). This also reduced the number of docs willing to take Medicare. . Now, if you aren’t getting the full implications of what happens when a politician uses funds for something these funds were not intended for (what happens if you or I dipped our hands in the cash register???). thereby robbing all of us, Americans were out of work at the time this occurred. The 2008 recession had happened. Americans were out of work. Instead of awarding the job an American tech company to develop a program to handle Obamacare, therefore helping Americans with jobs at a time that they needed this, a Canadian company was hired for the job. And they did a horrible job. I don’t know how much more $$ was needed to clean up their mess. The real zombies are the politicians running this country.
    Two years ago, I was injured by a local grocery store employee. To date it has cost me one hip, and the other is now having trouble (it has been holding ny musculoskelatal structure for 2 years). In addition I had a spinal cord injury, and am still receiving PT for that. Trying to avoid having part of my spine removed and a rod put in, and the removal of spurs at the base of the spine which are rubbing on the nerves. The spurs removal will have to happen regardless so that I can walk without dragging my right foot. To date the money I have had to put out that wasn’t covered or are my copays, paying for help after a surgery, and more charges than I want to even go into, have taken every dime I have (well over $20,000). I, unfortunately, hired an attorney who is only looking out for his own best interest, and now I have to find an honest atty, but to do this, I have to pay the dishonest one for all his expenses and charges – $10,000 to $15,000. In additional Medicare started to refuse to pay on any claims related to this injury when they found out it was a third party liability. Which left me either without medical care (from my doc and hospitals), or having to get some providers to agree to put a lien against anything I might get from my lawsuit. I have, hopefully, gotten this resolved with Medicare and providers are now billing correctly for the Medicare Recovery Center. But if Medicare does pay these claims, now the providers will want their 20% – and this goes back 5 months worth of claims. I am in the process of taking out a mortgage on my previously paid for house to pay for all these things, and the credit card which paid for the 20% or 100% in some cases of copays. If all this fails to take care of everything medically, before I recover from this injury and the 3rd party finally settles the lawsuit, I don’t know what will happen. I could lose my house. I have no more magic tricks left .And yes, any of this could happen to you.
    BTW, I used to can (can’t right now but will start again once I can stand or walk for more than a few minutes at a time), and I garden to supplement the increasing food costs. It has come in handy during this medical crisis. I knit and know how to weave, spin, dye and felt. I have read and practiced permaculture. We need to be more self reliant in many ways. In the end, the way society is now, we can only rely on ourselves.
    Wake up World.

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