How the Covid Response Has DESTROYED the Personal Finances of Americans

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Author of Be Ready for Anything and Build a Better Pantry on a Budget online course.

Back when the virus that would soon be known as Covid-19 was just a blip on the radar, Selco wrote an article called, It’s Not the Virus You Need to Worry About. It’s the System. And like much of what Selco writes, it was prophetic.

Here we are, coming up on a year after the virus first began making itself apparent and the world is dramatically different. Not only are there the inevitable arguments about masks, lockdowns, vaccines, and hypocritical politicians using the whole thing as a power grab, but there are very real effects on everyday families all over the world.

In the United States, our personal finances have taken blow after blow. Eight million more Americans than last year are now living in poverty as millions of jobs have disappeared, never to return. Data from the review site Yelp shows that 60% of the businesses that shut down due to Covid have permanently closed. People who were formerly struggling are sinking, and many of those who were comfortably middle class are desperately trying to stay afloat.

It isn’t so much the virus that has caused our financial woes – it’s the response to the virus. Federal, state, and local governments have deemed what businesses are allowed to operate and how they must do so. This has resulted in the loss of businesses themselves, loss of sales, and loss of jobs. Nearly every family is feeling the effects to some degree. Please check out our new frugality website for practical solutions if you are dealing with financial issues.

Here are some of the ways American families are suffering financially due to the response to the virus.

More people are living paycheck to paycheck.

Back in February of this year, a report was released that showed 40% of American workers were living paycheck to paycheck.

Willis Towers Watson’s Global Benefits Attitudes Survey discovered that although 58 percent of workers think their finances are heading in the right direction, 38 percent of employees are living paycheck to paycheck…

…Almost one-fifth of those making more than $100,000 are living paycheck to paycheck, and about one-third say their financial problems negatively affect their lives. The survey polled 8,000 American workers.  (source)

That early 2020, pre-lockdown report looks like a glimpse of nostalgia from the good old days. A more recent report has found, due to the Covid response, that now almost two-thirds of Americans are living the paycheck to paycheck life.

With government shutdowns forcing countless businesses to close and then lay off workers, one in four respondents now feel their income is not stable. Nearly two in three (63%) say they’re going paycheck-to-paycheck since March 2020. Millennials seem to be the hardest hit, with 64 percent saying they’re living off their paychecks.

“After the unemployment rate spiked to more than 14% in April, Americans continue to be wary about their job security and income,” writes Highland President Jon Berbaum in a media release. (source)

Anyone who has ever lived through this situation knows that paycheck-to-paycheck is a delicate dance and it only takes one small thing to go wrong to cause your house of cards to come tumbling down.

NSF fees, late fees, reconnection fees, extra deposits, overdraft interest, and payday loans can all destroy the financially fragile, leaving them in a downward spiral designed to keep them trapped. There’s a reason that broke people tend to stay broke, and it’s not because they’re simply lazy and irresponsible. It’s because the system is set up in a way that it earns more money by charging poor people extra.

Hardly anyone has an emergency fund left.

Back in 2019, Bankrate released a survey that said only 40% of Americans would be able to pay for an emergency costing a thousand dollars out of their savings. Yet again, those were the good old days.

A more recent survey said that an astounding EIGHTY TWO PERCENT of Americans could no longer handle an emergency costing $500. Zero Hedge reports:

But perhaps the most alarming number from the entire survey: a whopping 82% of respondents said they wouldn’t be able to cover an emergency $500 expense without borrowing money.

For context, prior to the pandemic, surveys showed that roughly half of Americans couldn’t afford a $500 emergency expense, which means the number of people who say they couldn’t cover a small emergency has risen by 60%.  (source)

An emergency fund is the most important financial prep you can make.

When your finances are tight, sometimes your first impulse is to spend every dime.  Many people focus on things like paying off debts, stocking up on food and supplies, or paying more than the minimum payments on bills.

However, that may not be your best bet.  Don’t get me wrong – paying off debt is absolutely vital,  but most experts recommend establishing an emergency fund as the first step back to financial security.  (source)

Many people report making up the difference between their income and output with credit cards and other forms of personal debt.  Unfortunately, with our somber economic forecast, this is just delaying the inevitable implosion of their personal finances.

People are unable to find work.

An October jobs report showed that millions of the positions lost back in March have not returned, and that millions of people have now reached the classification of “long-term unemployment.” The New York Times reported:

The Labor Department said on Friday that 2.4 million people had been out of work for 27 weeks or more, the threshold it uses to define long-term joblessness. An even bigger surge is on the way: Nearly five million people are approaching long-term joblessness over the next two months. The same report showed that even as temporary layoffs were on the decline, permanent job losses were rising sharply.

Those two problems — rising long-term unemployment and permanent job losses — are separate but intertwined and, together, could foreshadow a period of prolonged economic damage and financial pain for American families.

Companies that are limping along below capacity this far into the crisis may be increasingly unlikely to ever recall their employees. History also suggests the longer that people are out of work, the harder it is for them to get back into a job. (source)

In September and October, many large corporations made the decision to end even more jobs.

Disney announced this past week that it would lay off 28,000 U.S. employees as its theme parks struggle. Layoff notices filed with state authorities show that hospitality and service companies across the country, from P.F. Chang’s restaurant branches to Gap stores, are making thousands of long-term staff reductions. Airport bookstores in Pennsylvania and Tennessee are cutting jobs as travel dwindles. So are wineries and upscale sports clubs in California.

Airline job cuts run to the tens of thousands. American Airlines started to send furlough notices to 19,000 workers and United Airlines to 13,000 after a federal moratorium expired on Thursday. Those are on top of reductions at other carriers, and existing firings across the industry.

Altogether, nearly 3.8 million people had lost their jobs permanently in September, according to the Labor Department’s latest monthly survey, almost twice as many as at the height of the pandemic job losses, in April. (source)
And then, things had just begun to look up just a little bit for those in service industries when the second round of lockdowns hit crushing the hopes of many of those who were just beginning to get back to work.

The closure of schools has kept many parents from returning to work or caused financial hardship.

It isn’t just the unavailability of jobs that has made things difficult. The erratic 2020 school year has also caused financial hardship and in many cases, made it impossible for parents to return to work.

Now, I know a lot of homeschool parents will say that people shouldn’t be using public school as a free babysitter. But the fact remains that many families require two incomes to survive. In my case, as a single mom, the school year allowed me to make a living. During the summer, my children had wonderful vacations with both sets of grandparents, mercifully, because paying for full-time childcare for both of them would have taken almost every dime I was earning, leaving nothing for housing, food, and other costs.

If you aren’t familiar with current childcare costs, a person quoted in the article cited below reported that she and her husband were spending an eye-watering $5300 per month for their three children.

While wealthier parents can afford to “get creative,” lower income and many single parents have far fewer options, said Caitlyn Collins, a professor of sociology at Washington University in St. Louis who studies women and families. Some are leaning on family members or just doing the best they can on their own. Others have been laid off, or have had to quit their jobs to take care of their kids…

…The United States has been an outlier on child care long before the coronavirus, Collins said, with price tags far exceeding those in other high-income countries. The average cost of child care for a child under 4 is $9,589 per year, according to New America’s Care Report — more than the average cost of in-state college tuition. It’s much more expensive in big cities: In Washington, D.C., the average cost of care for an infant is more than $24,000.

Rising child care costs are particularly “terrifying” for U.S. families, Collins said, because child care already accounts for an enormous part of their budget, often second only to a family’s rent or mortgage. (source)

Financially speaking, women are suffering the most with regard to pandemic related job losses. Hundreds of thousands of women left the workforce in September – approximately 849,000 – in comparison to 216,000 men. Betsey Stevenson, a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan, explained in an interview why women have been unevenly affected.

…the age group that had the biggest decline was thirty-five to forty-four. And it’s not at all surprising to me, in the sense that the people who are really struggling are people with young kids and multiple kids at home. It’s the parents who have a four-year-old, a six-year-old, and a nine-year-old, and those kids are at home, and they’re trying to do Zoom school. It’s really difficult. Even if both parents had the opportunity to work from home, that’s a really hard thing to manage. I want to make sure that I emphasize that that’s one kind of hardship, and then there’s another kind of hardship, which is parents or single moms who had an in-person job and no child care.  (source)

I have more than one friend who has been attempting to oversee “distance learning” while keeping her job remotely and the stress levels are through the roof. If you can’t afford a nanny or you don’t have a family member willing to take on the task, quite simply, someone is going to have to stop working at a time when we can least afford to have our incomes drop any further.

The price of food has increased dramatically.

Food prices increased for the fifth month in a row, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. People around the world are seeing a 6.5% increase in their costs of commodities such as cereals, dairy, vegetable oil, meat, and sugar.

But your trip to the local grocery store may look like a much greater increase than six and a half percent. There’s a variety of reasons that prices have gone up. Everything from supply chain shortages to production issues has caused costs to increase. There are other Covid-related reasons that  explain why you may be experiencing sticker shock:

Shift to eating at home: In a matter of two months, approximately $23 billion in consumer spending away from home was redirected toward grocery stores as restaurants were forced to close due to COVID-19, according to FMI – The Food Industry Association.

Loss of foodservice demand: When restaurants closed, farmers and ranchers lost a key channel for their product. With fewer buyers, it is costly or impractical to harvest, preserve or store some food and beverage products.Increasing production and processing costs: During COVID-19, companies have made investments and adjustments to safeguard their products and employees. This means costs for food production are higher. Some manufacturers have been able to innovate and find new markets for their products, but these changes often entail added costs.

Increasing operating costs for grocery stores: Compared to 2019, supermarket operating costs were up 7.9% in April 2020 and 6.7% in May 2020, according to USDA Economic Research Service.

Grocery stores have remained open during the pandemic and have had to quickly adjust to new regulations, safety and sanitation practices and enhanced customer education – all requiring resources. In addition, some areas of the grocery store, including salad bars and hot bars, have had to shut down, meaning a loss of revenue. (source)

There are also fewer sales:

Usually, 31.4% of grocery store items are purchased on some sort of sale, but at the end of September the share was 26%, according to market research firm Nielsen. The biggest impact was in the household care department, where just 15% of items were sold on promotion, half the usual amount. Heightened consumer demand and strained supply are giving stores little reason to mark down prices, Nielsen said. (source)

While the statistics only note a few percentage points, the real picture looks a lot different.

Eva Rosol was stunned during the summer when a rotisserie chicken that she could normally find on sale for $6 suddenly set her back $15…

….Ariel Neal, owner of Leira Knows Cocktails and Events, has been opting for more potatoes and starches and fewer fruits and vegetables…She didn’t qualify for unemployment benefits or small business relief, and has been subsisting on her savings and the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.

“Before, $20 would have gotten me at least two to three meals,” said Neal, 42, who lives in Calumet City. “Twenty dollars doesn’t do that anymore.”

…Yvernia Wilson, who is on a fixed income and vigilant about grocery prices, was taken aback early in the summer when a large package of hamburger meat she’d normally pay $8.99 for was listed at $14 at the Jewel-Osco she shops at on Chicago’s South Side.

A nice-sized pot roast for Sunday dinner was almost $20, $6 more than she’d usually spend. Even a package of chicken wings cost $3 more…

…Wilson restricts herself to two meats and for some items has resorted to buying cheaper brands she doesn’t necessarily like. She bypasses the organic aisle and sometimes forgoes fruit altogether if it isn’t on sale. (source)

Don’t look for food prices to decrease any time soon. Our supply chain is still broken and getting worse. Another lockdown means that store owners will be trying to get the most money possible from customers in order to keep afloat for as long as possible. The current price increases could be permanent.

The eviction moratorium runs out soon.

And finally, to make matters even more difficult for struggling families, a federal moratorium on evictions will be running out on December 31, leaving as many as 19 million people at risk of being homeless as 2021 begins. A few states will continue eviction bans but most will follow the federal guidelines.

It’s important to note that people who were not paying rent based on the moratorium will now have to catch up immediately or risk being evicted.

The federal mandate doesn’t prohibit late fees (although some local ordinances do), nor does it let tenants off the hook for any back rent they owe. It also doesn’t establish any kind of financial assistance fund to help renters get caught up, a safeguard some say is critical to preventing a massive wave of evictions when the ban eventually lifts…be aware that you may still be held responsible for any back rent you currently owe as well as any rent that accrues between now and the end of your lease (if you have one), whether or not you vacate. (source)

It’s projected that 6.7 million households could be affected by the end of the moratorium.

This is, of course, a double-edged sword. Not all rental property owners are massive corporate entities with teams of lawyers diligently searching for loopholes. This has been a tremendous hit for Mom and Pop landlords, many of whom invested in real estate to have a bit of income during their retirement. They have been unable to evict tenants who aren’t paying their rent but still had to maintain the property in a manner according to the local bylaws, pay their mortgage payments, and make timely property tax payments.

2021 isn’t going to be a magical solution.

A lot of folks have just written off 2020 as “a bad year” and seem to believe that the moment this year is over, the curse will be lifted and we’ll all be able to go on with our lives having survived it and gotten through it.

Unfortunately, the changes that I’ve written about aren’t going to disappear when you put that new calendar on the wall. Businesses that hung on through Christmas to try and sell their remaining inventory could be closing right after the holiday, leaving even more jobs in the dust. Lockdowns could very well become even more stringent after the inauguration, which would keep all the same problems going. It’s time to redouble your preparedness efforts and really examine your situation.

This has been more than a pandemic. It’s been a major economic catastrophe, just as predicted, and we’re in it for the long haul.

How has the pandemic response affected you and those close to you? Share your stories in the comments.

About Daisy

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), 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.

Picture of 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), 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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  • For people that own their house , its not so bad. They dont have to pay rent. They dont have to worry about getting kicked out.

    • genesis 47:20-21 “So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for every Egyptian sold his field, because the famine was severe upon them. Thus the land became Pharaoh’s. As for the people, he removed them to the cities from one end of Egypt’s border to the other.”

      (“hey, let’s do that again!”)

  • We put ourselves on a strict budget to reduce debt, increase savings.
    Did take some adjustment.

    Cooking: Found that a lot of French, German, English, Polish and more, cookbooks (unless they are specifically made with fine dinning in mind) are actually old world or “peasant” food.
    Take a cheap cut of meat, requires some degree of cooking technique (follow the recipe, it is easy). But the end result is a great meal.
    And, leftovers. I am eating leftover soup from last night for breakfast as I type.

    Buy quality. Sure. Might cost more. But if it lasts more than a year or 5, you came out ahead. E.g. I used to buy a certain brand of jeans. Then they changed to a lower quality, thinner material. They did not last a single season before they ripped, to the point they looked like something out of a 80s hair band video.
    The age of the disposable consumer is ending. Learn how to fix, repair things rather then throw them out and buy a new one. Look for items that are made to be serviced by you and not disposable.

    Used book stores/swaps. Or trade with friends and family.

    Put on a fleece/sweater, and lower the thermostat a few degrees.

    Wants vs Needs. Dont convince yourself that ACME Salad Shooter is a Need. It is not. Be brutally honest with yourself if you really Need that item, or is it a Want.

      • In this economic environment, best to avoid ultra-processed food stuff, and make meals from scratch.
        Organic is a nice option for those who can afford to shop at Whole Paycheck (Foods).
        For the rest of us make do with what you have. Be practical, but be prudent.

        I currently have 10lbs of bacon curing in the fridge.
        Be ready Thursday.

        • “Whole Paycheck”

          (laugh) yeah ….

          went organic some years ago just to try it. decided it was too expensive, tried to go back, couldn’t. the non-organic food tastes like paper or corrupted or both, and restaurant food outright sickens me. so now organic is all I can eat.

          • Good on ya.

            I tend towards the locally produced (CSAs) when I can, but not certified “organic.”
            Tends to taste as good, without the price.

            But also having roughly 106 producing apple trees (that I know of), and blackberry cane that I get 4 to 8 quarts of berries from every year (we leave a bunch for the grouse and the deer), my own eggs, and hogs, tends to change ones perspective on commercial organic.

            Tomorrow I am going to a local farm to put down a lamb and then process it myself.

          • Well, you could try growing some of your own. Quality is higher than organic because fresher. Start with sprouts.

            • “Well, you could try growing some of your own”

              yeah, been trying for years. the terrain and season out here is just plain impossible. finally had a good crop of tomatoes this year, went out one day and all the tomatoes were gone, zero, nothing, not even a scrap on the ground, not one clue what happened. not looking good.

          • “Whole Paycheck” isn’t what it used to be. Prices on organic foods are on an even keel with everyone else now – at least around here.

            We shop weekly at a Farmer’s Market, although I realize not everyone in the country has access to one. We’ve gotten to know the growers – maybe not by name but certainly by face – and look forward to saying HI and purchase goods from them. It cuts out the middle man, too (i.e., the groceries). You’re out in the fresh air, sunshine, etc. etc.

            If you are an Amazon Prime Member you receive an additional 10% of any item that’s on sale at Whole Foods.

            Bottom line is I plan a menu for the week, then comparison shop online to see who’s running the best sales on items.

            One more thing, we try to purchase the best and freshest (in season) food we can and we really stay away from overly-processed foods. Well, except for alcohol…I love my Apothic Dark.

            I figure an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (fuck the medical industrial complex) and this goes for my cat, too.

        • Check out misfits market. I’m am very impressed with the amount of food (all organic) that I can get for very little money.

    • Hey Jarhead, I ve noticed that “some” people like paper plates, etc because they dont have to wash them. Thats laziness. But in the event everybody lost power and water, paper plates would be great,

      • @JW In The Thunder,
        They have their uses.
        But, as with anything one use only, once the paper plates are gone, then what?
        Good point about how to wash the dishes if the power is down or water is not coming out of the tap.

  • “But your trip to the local grocery store may look like a much greater increase than six and a half percent”

    my store does it differently. everything stays the same for long periods, except every week a few items go up .3 to .5. one day something is 2.69, the next it’s 3.99.

  • “Don’t look for food prices to decrease any time soon”

    most of the newly printed money is going into the stock market, but with 20 million mexicans receiving freshly printed ebt and spending that at the grocery store, yeah, prices are not coming down again until deflation sets in and the stores collapse.

  • All our savings are gone. We will probably lose our only vehicle this week. Our house will be foreclosed on in January. We have done everything we can to stop the bleeding, most of our bills are 3-6 months behind. I’ve applied everywhere I can, fast food, everything and I haven’t been hired. Our kids have asked for socks for Christmas and basically only that, because they know how bad it is and they all need socks. I sew and I tried to create an Etsy shop, sell things on Facebook marketplace and I sold nothing. So much wasted time. We’ve sold quite a few of our belongings. I don’t even know what to do anymore. We’ve asked for help, but there isn’t any charity with money left. So being homeless with 5 kids is going to be excellent. If anything major were to happen right now, I don’t know what we would do. Major stuff is coming.

      • @Daisy, I got your email, thank you so much. I actually had requested the book from you earlier this year hoping there was something I wasn’t already doing in it. It was very helpful to hear about how you got through it and I know we will get through this eventually. I know there are so many people experiencing the same thing. We had savings, we were doing the “right” things, had goals and plans. Just had too many surprises happen in 8 months.

    • Glnok,

      If you don’t mind me asking, what region of the country do you live in? What work did you and your spouse do for a living?

      • @quasprimas We are central US. My husband is an electrician and I did deliveries. I made more than half our income, but another driver totaled my car early this year and we were unable to replace it. I am limited in what I am supposed do per my doctors, I broke my back 10 years ago, have lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. I do much more physical labor than I’m supposed to, but jobs that I could do, I don’t get hired for because I don’t have the education experience they want. I have managed an office for a commercial electrician, worked retail, worked fast food, cleaned houses, taken care of kids, ran a housing ministry for single moms, taken in ironing and sewing, and worked in a warehouse filling orders for a large company (not Amazon). I also homeschool our kids, and was in the process of setting up a consultation company. No one wants to pay for that right now though. No one in my area can pay for childcare, ironing or house cleaning. I have not stopped applying for jobs, and my husband delivers food at night after he finishes his work. We aren’t giving up, but because of how many weird things have happened to us this year (and if I’m honest, we’ve had really weird things happen our entire 21 years of marriage!), it feels like we aren’t going to make it through this one.

        • @Glnok I work for a large hospital system & they are desperate for help right now (both clinical & non-clinical). Your local hospital may be looking for help too. One of the roles they are most desperate to fill right now is a (non-clinical) screener person at the door that takes people’s temperatures. They also need pharmacy runners, people to deliver supplies to the floors, cleaning staff, food service, etc.

          In light of Covid, many people might not be willing to apply at a hospital but I do know ours are very safety conscious and train every role.

          My system is so desperate that they send a couple of emails every day to non-clinical staff asking if anyone can step away from their current job occasionally, in order to take a shift doing these types of tasks.

          I know you have a lot going on–the car, the house, etc.–but I wanted to mention it. Best wishes for getting through this.

  • The effect on single parents is no joke. I am divorced with three kids, but am lucky enough to have an ex that doesn’t fight me over child support. He is willing to pay me to homeschool. But one of my best friends is a true single mom, no child support and a family that is a little helpful but not a ton, and she was up sh*t creek without a paddle. Her daughter stayed with us 3-4 days a week, homeschooling, for six months. She was able to find a school that was open 4 days a week in September but they just closed again. So we’ll see what happens next. Any time I hear a teacher talk about dedicating their lives “to the children” I’m about ready to pull my hair out.

    • @Joanna,
      Good on you for taking in your friends daughter for that time to help out and home school her too.
      Been seeing more and more articles about how children in lower socio-economic levels and minority students are failing in distance learning classes, and falling behind in their academics.
      This continues, in a few years even a decade we may see more income inequality, poverty, food insecurity.

  • My wife and I are fortunate. We own our own place and are totally debt free. However we are on a semi fixed income which means one of us works at least part time part of the year. We have chicken and a cow and garden and a freezer full of food. We are working towards being able to take in as many people as possible when things get bad. We have considered having someone live with us rent free in exchange for labor as we are getting older but no one seems interested and probably won’t be until the SHTF. Folks need to learn that none of us are going to be able to get through this alone. We all need each other to make it somehow….

    • “We are working towards being able to take in as many people as possible when things get bad”

      well now. never before heard any other “preppers” take that view. tried advocating that on a few boards and got banned. outstanding.

      “We have considered having someone live with us rent free in exchange for labor as we are getting older”

      careful who you take in, hard to know what people under stress are thinking …

      • Dont know what prepper boards you have been frequenting, but if I needed it, and had a well vetted person, like a known local Amish young man, willing to help out in exchange for room and board, I would take him on.
        More so if I can take him on as a apprentice, and teach him a few skills.

        More than a few have thought of the old West bunk house, separate from the main house, where the young men would sleep, but have supper with the land owners in the main house. Usually these would be local men, with families in the area.
        Additional ways to expand ones circles, enhance community, and security.

  • No mention of the energy industry and the hits, plus the increasing prices of fuel. Several energy companies in our area have gone bankrupt and hundreds of workers laid off. No one talks about what this does to the economy of the towns, counties and states when those huge companies don’t pay their property taxes — which most counties depend on to fund their budgets to pay employees and keep the infrastructure in decent repair. Plus there are now hundreds of workers with no income and they seldom have job skills that can be used in other industries. We’re already seeing home in foreclosure or on the market for way less than what the family paid for them. If a Democratic Administration is found to be the winner, then they have vowed to shut down energy and raise taxes — how do you raise taxes on people who have no income but unemployment? Another issue with the shortages — as the price of fuel rises, the price of getting goods to grocery stores, etc. is going to rise — which will make food even more expensive. Many areas of our country have no other way to get goods than trucking. People need to find ways to get food locally or grow it themselves along with prepping. Another thing that I’ve been doing is reading books about how people survived during the Depression — there are many good ideas in those books that have been lost in the years since.

    • “how do you raise taxes on people who have no income but unemployment?”

      the goal isn’t to gain revenue, but to drive property confiscations.

      ” books about how people survived during the Depression”

      care to share any names for those?

    • Saw on a political site that the independent truckers will be going on strike , refusing to deliver to states and cities involved in election fraud. Atlanta area is one of the first on the target list, starting Dec 12th.

  • The virus caused almost none of this. This is the coronapanic effect.

    Nor is it just governors and mayors turned lawless dictators. By June, the world’s Billionaires were 30% richer than February because their competition was shut down. That is not merely greed, that is flat out theft.

    2021 is likely to make 2020 look like freedom and wealth. Until the sheeple finally grow a brain and figure out who their real friends and enemies are.

    Support your local businesses all you can because your life may depend on them soon.

  • “ A lot of folks have just written off 2020 as “a bad year” and seem to believe that the moment this year is over, the curse will be lifted and we’ll all be able to go on with our lives having survived it and gotten through it.”

    That! Things aren’t as bad as they can (and probably will) get, and already so many are having such a hard time coping with it. Everyone is so eager for everything to go back to normal or to improve somehow… Expectations are high, very high. But the higher you go… A big disappointment in such a volatile context can end in revolution. Let’s keep working hard and our eyes open.

    I find it hard that 2021 will be any better than 2020.

  • Well what passes for the republican party would say get rid of your iPhone, get another job, blah blah blah. They didn’t care about those barely making it before COVID and certainly don’t care about the increase due to COVID. I have no sympathy or empathy for those who continue to vote against their best interest. We doubled our charitable contributions this year – local only and only to those who don’t discriminate in hiring or who they serve.
    Face the facts – the republican party doesn’t care about the poor and/or minorities.

    • “the republican party doesn’t care about the poor and/or minorities”

      well if you mean they won’t hand out their money so the recipients don’t have to work, yeah, they don’t much care.

      now if you really want to see uncaring people just wait until grid down.

      • The republican party does not care about the poor and/or minorities. I am flat out tired of the BS of finding ONE person who doesn’t want to work or ONE person who abused an assistance program thus THE ENTIRE PROGRAM MUST BE DISCARDED. And the party isn’t handing out their money – never was their money and never will be their money. The majority of those needing help during the pandemic have been working and paying taxes. They just aren’t suckers who fall for the white men are victims propaganda.
        So I’ll put file your post in the my you can’t fix stupid and can’t stop someone who votes against their own self-interests (but at least you vote). I will do fine in the white minority US but YMMV.

        • Selena, this is a point you and I agree on completely. Poverty and hard times can happen to anyone. Now, as a libertarian, I’d much rather give generously to charity than pay taxes. But if I must pay taxes, I’d greatly prefer those taxes go to feed, house, and clothe people instead of sending soldiers overseas to fight in wars they should never be in, only to come home emotionally broken, or to drone families in countries with brown-skinned people and consider the dead innocents “collateral damage.”

          I’m all for my tax dollars going to help people. I wish our tax returns came with a check-a-box so we could choose where our money goes.

        • Before you are too quick to attack Republicans – consider that the Democrats want to ‘normalize’ about 21 million illegal immigrants – and open the borders wide to even more.

          Do you think that with 15+ Million AMERICANS out of work – we need a massive influx of more people – most without high school education – to compete for the scarce welfare dollars, the scare health care dollars – and they are willing to work under the table for reduced wages – putting more Americans out of work??

          It seems to me secure boards and no massive influx will help all AMERICANS.

    • Selena:

      Too bad you injected party politics into this discussion. When I was in San Francisco and Dianne “DiFi” Feinstein was mayor, her actions taught me that the Democrat party is the party of the rich and special interests. The same with Pelosi. The working people, union workers and minorities are not those special interests. Super rich crony capitalists are among their special interests. They talk a big talk, but enact policies that throw a pittance to the poor while benefiting the super rich. Don’t look at their words, look at their actions, for actions speak louder than words.

      This is not to defend the Republican party. It has its share of RINOs and insiders who share the same goals as Democrats.

      Right now it looks as if we have been abandoned by both parties. Don’t look to politicians and Washington DC for help. See what we can do to help our local communities.

  • Oh and I plum forgot that deficits matter again. Never mind the giveaways to the rich, tis time for austerity again – where is my hand-wringing emoji of sore losers?

      • LMAO.. I can’t abide by hypocrites, hypochristians, and/or lightweight military members. My family has served in every war since the Revolutionary War – hence I have no tolerance for “service” members of whom my family or I would not want in the foxhole with us. Thank god your mentality was not prevalent during WWII else we’d all be speaking German.

        My family is doing well during the pandemic and unlike some in my financial situation, I have more than doubled what I donate to local organizations helping those less fortunate. I call a spade a spade.

  • ***How the Covid Response Has DESTROYED the Personal Finances of Americans***
    Many people, myself included, are of the opinion that that was the plan from the beginning. The destruction of western economies, in particular the United States.

  • If you follow anything economic other than the stock market the fiscal fundamentals have shown the country as a whole and the working 80% have been enjoying a decline in level of lifestyle for quite while now.

    The crash has been baked in since 2008. The process to propagate it just hasnt been available until Covid.

  • Okay, now I get to vent. My frustration is through the roof with this Covid-Crisis.
    There is a lot of selfishness on both sides of the political aisle. We are in a tough spot politically. The Republicscams are wishy washy when it comes to winning and following through on so-called promises. As long as they can stuff their suitcases with cash, take the wife and kids to France for photo opportunities, and stop off in China for a reboot on their MasterCard, they are good. The Demonrats will talk a good game but frankly, they are Republicscams in another suit. The big difference is that they also stop in Thailand on the way back to the US to visit underage boys & girls. Do not put your future on someone winning! They do not care about you. This election has seen more “crisis management” than any previous 100 years.
    The selfishness of the general public. NO-I am not talking about “hoarders”. I am talking about people who only think of themselves. I take care of an elderly neighbor-88-and her disabled son-58, after my regular job. The news readers were yakking on about business failing, people being evicted, etc. I said what a mess this country is in. How sad that all of these people have lost their hopes, aspirations, and dreams due to this “crisis management”. Very indignantly, this 88 yro proceeds to say, well too bad. “But it is better than dying. And people just need to understand that we will probably never be able to live normally again.” Say What? Mind you, this woman gets $6000 a month to care for the son, who has grand mal seizures: plus her ss, her late husband’s ss, her teacher pension, and….wait for it……her “investments”. I am putting her income at least $10-12,000 a month. So I guess if you have that much rolling in every month, the great unwashed don’t matter much. She has the day lady, another caregiver in the afternoon, and me. I bet some single moms would do anything to have ONE person to help out. I had to walk away or say too much.
    Many other elderly are suffering immensely as even their part time jobs have been cut off. I doubt that meant shopping at the local mall. More like hitting the aisle at Walmart.
    I think that Covid is something-if you are immune compromised, if you are over 90, if you are doing drugs or living a risky lifestyle. Those folks do want to be extremely careful. But the healthy are paying a tremendous price for a lot of speculation. Because, most medical doctors talk in generalities. It is time for this country to get back to work. Period.

    • “It is time for this country to get back to work”

      that’s what the left has been saying for generations. it’s just that what they mean is “work for what we want, not for what you want.” so they’ll enforce the lockdowns and whatever else they need to do until everyone is working for them.

    • The republicscams like the underage, not the dems. Epstein, Craig, and Limbaugh (or limpballs) to name a few – admissible evidence wise that is. As far as getting back to work, remember the republiscams made it tax advantageous to offshore labor in their war to eradicate the middle class (including union workers). I’ve refused to allow this to happen to me and have ensured my kids will remain middle class. I’m proudly middle class and NOT union and NOT a 4 year college grad. I’m female and can stand on my own two feet. In other words one of those scary people to the white, male, conservative “victims”.

    • I hope you are getting paid to take care of this woman and her son. Many people only care when bad things hapoen to them. That’s why we can’t get the majority to take a stand against pandemic tyranny.

  • My wife is originally from Venezuela. If you want to learn about prepping and survival when the shelves are bare, talk to them. The opposite of government is not anarchy, but community. She has lived through hyperinflation, drought, civil war, and street crime that makes south Chicago seem like Disneyland. For those unaware, Venezuela used to be the highest per capita country in South America. Their oil reserves are larger than the Middle East. Unfortunately, many decades of corruption and now 22 years of “socialism” have ceded all their natural wealth to countries like Russia and China. Is there an historical precedent for a failed state returning to its former prosperity and freedom?

    • “The opposite of government is not anarchy, but community”

      communities express themselves in governments. the opposite of a captured and subverted and corrupted government is community.

  • The people in charge have been planning this for years, they got their wish. They do not care who they destroy as long as they have their stuff.

    • “the silver is mine and the gold is mine.” “the kings of the earth shall bow with their faces to the ground and lick the dust of your feet.” “the nation that will not serve you shall be destroyed.”

  • h5mind,
    history is my passion.
    in reply to your question of any country ever returning to their former prosperity.. sadly NOPE.
    some of the countries of former USSR appear to be heading upwards..
    pray they can keep improving while so many other countries seem on their way down.

  • I know, late to the party again. However…

    [When your finances are tight, sometimes your first impulse is to spend every dime. Many people focus on things like paying off debts, stocking up on food and supplies, or paying more than the minimum payments on bills.
    However, that may not be your best bet.]

    I believe that, and I’m practicing it. I quit a job in May of 2020 after they went schizo on the covid nonsense. Didn’t work for the rest of 2020. Earlier this year, I took a job as a tax preparer that I ended up quitting as well (not just covid nonsense, but other things as well). No unemployment checks for me. But it didn’t matter, I had over a year’s worth of bills in the bank. Still do. Now I’m doing the Instacart thing so I can bring in at least some money until I find a place that isn’t stupid about covid (or until I get tired of doing the grocery shopping thing, whichever comes first).

    Apart from regular monthly bills, I have only one debt remaining – student loans. Been working on getting those paid off, and doing a decent job of getting it done. Now, if I have the money to pay it off already in the bank (I do), then why don’t I just pay it off? Just as was mentioned in the article – that’s not my best bet. It would take most of my savings to do that. So what happens if my car gets wrecked or gives up the ghost? Right now I could go out and replace it with a decent used car for cash (two or three times, actually). I can still service the loans and pay some extra to them every month, even if I didn’t work, so why would I eat up my emergency fund all at once? I’m bringing in enough every month to pay it off slowly, so that’s the plan for the time being. And continuing to prep.

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