The SHTF Is Happening RIGHT NOW.

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We’ve posted articles before on this website about the slow-burning SHTF that we’re witnessing here and here. Years ago, in 2016, I wrote about the economic crisis like this:

The bottom line is, income will remain the same, decrease, or even disappear entirely for many of us. Meanwhile, the price of darn near everything will go up. Expect to pay more for things like keeping your utilities on, feeding and clothing your family, and keeping a roof over your heads.

Aside from that, those dollars you are carefully saving? They are only providing you with the illusion of security. The economic collapse will hit nearly everyone, and they’ll feel like they did something wrong with their finances. It will be hard to see that the flaw is not with their money management but the management of the country itself.

I wish I’d been wrong.

Here are some of the situations people are finding themselves in right now. Do any of them look familiar? Do all of them look like your current experiences? Be aware that if it hasn’t happened to you yet, that doesn’t mean it won’t. Don’t be smug because we all know that pride comes before a fall. Be humble and know that while different decisions could have been made, this economic disaster is creeping across nearly all socioeconomic groups, and it may only be a matter of time before it happens to you, too.

Wages are staying the same, and it isn’t easy to find work.

A lot of folks think that jobs are easy to find right now. They cite the signs that are up everywhere, announcing that businesses are hiring. As the mom of someone in her early 20s who is out there looking for a second job to increase her household income, I can tell you that just because there’s a sign out doesn’t mean the business is actually hiring.

A lot of places are required by their corporate headquarters to put these signs out to make it look like they’re thriving, but they aren’t actually hiring. Go in with a resume, and you’ll soon find out this is true. Obviously, it’s not the case with all businesses posting such signs, but it’s very much the situation in urban North Carolina right now.

Places that hire minimum wage workers are operating with skeleton crews, leaving too few frazzled employees to handle long lines and unhappy patrons. Have you been someplace like Walmart or Target lately? At least at our local stores, there’s generally one register with a human operating, and quite often, the line winds down the front aisle with dozens of customers.

Wages haven’t matched the increase of inflation. If you’re still making what you made a year or two or three years ago, you’re able to pay for far less with it. This leads me to the next situation.

Inflation means you are paying more for essentials like food, utilities, gasoline, and rent.


shtf is happeningOur esteemed leader, President Biden, managed to read the teleprompter and tell us that inflation is all in our heads and doesn’t actually exist. He claimed proudly that in July, inflation was at 0%.

Speaking from the White House, Biden said:

“I want to say a word about news that came out today relative to the economy. Actually, I just want to say a number: zero.” He continued, “Today we received news that our economy had zero percent inflation in the month of July.” (source)

While that is the official statistic for July, it doesn’t reveal the true economic suffering. Over the past year, the official numbers for inflation are at 8.5%. And in the real world, we know that there’s actually more to the picture than the statistics show.

People are skipping a lot of things that they used to be able to pay for with ease due to the high prices. For example, a friend pointed out to me that on her last trip to the grocery store, a jar of mayonnaise was $5 on sale. A pot roast that used to be around 12 bucks is now more than $20.

A gallon of milk that was $3.04 in 2019 is now $3.55 (if you’re lucky.) At my local Publix, a gallon of generic milk is actually $4.41 as of the writing of this article. If you’re still making the same thing you were in 2019, things like that certainly belie the 8.5% bandied about.

And don’t even get me started on the high price of gasoline. My Jeep now takes almost $100 to fill up, whereas it took $60 just a year ago. Rent is out of control. The official numbers for the year are .5%, but around the country, people are reporting increases of anywhere from 25% to a whopping 70%. (See this article from the AP and this one from ABC.) Electricity costs are also skyrocketing. In Pennsylvania, the Public Utilities Commission reports increases of as much as 19%.

How on earth are you supposed to pay for food, gas, accommodations, and power on the same pay you got a few years ago, especially if things were tight then? People are getting evicted, getting their power shut off, and losing vehicles to repossession because they are unable to make ends meet.

Credit cards are maxed.

shtf is happening

Speaking of being unable to make ends meet, Americans’ credit card debt has leaped from 846 billion to $887 billion between the first and second quarter of this year. In August, that number was reported to be $930 billion.

You may be saying, “Just don’t use your credit cards.” And that’s easy to say when you can pay your bills, purchase fuel to get back and forth to work, and have a paid-off mortgage.

But if you are a person who was living paycheck to paycheck before all this, what choice do you have? You can’t get to work without gas for your vehicle. You have to pay your rent. You need to keep your power on. If you’ve got an empty credit card sitting there, you’re probably going to use it for gas and food while you use your paycheck to cover rent and utilities.

And then, there will come a time, particularly if prices keep going up, that you can’t even make your minimum payment. There’s simply not enough income to meet the necessary output. So the first thing you’ll stop paying is your credit card bill as you struggle to keep a roof over your head and food in your refrigerator. And on and on it goes until you feel like you’ve completely made a disaster of your finances.

But was that disaster really one of your own making? If you’re in a lease, in a car loan agreement, and have this bizarre urge to…you know…eat food? The whole situation spiraled out of control before you knew it.

And then it gets worse.

Fees are piling up.

As I wrote in America’s Poverty Trap: How A Small Financial Setback Can Spiral Into an Inescapable Disaster:

If you bounce a payment by so much as a penny, then you are hit with a charge from your bank and, most times, a charge from the business that was taking the payment from your account. Most banks charge anywhere from $25-$38.50 when you have non-sufficient funds for a payment. Businesses charge in the same range, so that means that if one payment goes awry, you can lose $50-$77 in the blink of an eye.

Banks love NSF and overdraft fees. Why? Because in 2017, Americans paid $34 billion in fees for not having enough money to cover a payment.

But that’s not all. Some folks are paying literally 17,000% in overdraft fees annually.

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report that raises concerns about the impact of opting into overdraft services for debit card and ATM transactions. The study found that the majority of debit card overdraft fees are incurred on transactions of $24 or less and that the majority of overdrafts are repaid within three days. Put in lending terms, if a consumer borrowed $24 for three days and paid the median overdraft fee of $34, such a loan would carry a 17,000 percent annual percentage rate (APR).

“Today’s report shows that consumers who opt into overdraft coverage put themselves at serious risk when they use their debit card,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Despite recent regulatory and industry changes, overdrafts continue to impose heavy costs on consumers who have low account balances and no cushion for error. Overdraft fees should not be ‘gotchas’ when people use their debit cards.” (source)

And then there are the other late fees.

If one of the payments that went awry in your overdraft avalanche happens to be a utility bill, things get even worse for a person who is struggling. Particularly if you aren’t able to cover the bill in sufficient time to keep your utilities from getting shut off. How much you’ll be charged varies by company, but if they really feel like you’ll have trouble paying in the future, they stick it to you, making it nearly impossible to get your power or heat turned back on. Here are some examples

  • PG&E: “To restore service, you must pay the full amount due. You may also be required to pay a deposit twice your average monthly bill to re-establish credit.”
  • Coast Electric: $35-50 fee to reconnect service, $6.50 late fee, $35 NSF fee, and potentially even a $35 collection fee
  • Talgov: $28.50 each for gas, water, and electric

They can be charged late fees by all sorts of businesses. Now they’re really in trouble.

How in the world can you bail yourself out when every payment you make to catch up comes with an extra $12 “convenience fee,” a reconnect fee, and a late fee, along with an overdraft fee from the bank itself? It just takes one overdraft to unleash financial quicksand from which there’s no escape.

The SHTF is NOW.

How on earth are people in this situation going to survive?

shtf is happening

That’s a great question with no easy or socially acceptable answers. There isn’t anything you can do about decisions you made in the past. You can’t undo the lease you signed on a place that skyrocketed in price, and then you couldn’t afford to move. If you’ve already used your credit card to buy groceries until you maxed it out, what’s done is done. You can’t change the price of gas, groceries, and utilities.

In retrospect, it may seem like you made a host of terrible decisions. But when you made them, the situation wasn’t like it is now. Your bills hadn’t skyrocketed. You hadn’t lost your job or had your hours cut. Beating yourself up for those decisions will not help you survive this.

If you feel isolated and completely at fault, of course, you do. That’s part of the insidious racket. Those responsible for this disaster don’t want to be held accountable for just how bad things have gotten for so many. So like an abusive spouse, they make you feel alone, like everything is terrible only because of your personal mistakes or stupidity.

You cannot see yourself as a victim of the economy – that mentality doesn’t help anyone. But you should quite clearly know that you are not alone and some of these things were out of your hands. This is what a financial collapse looks like in many cases. Millions of people suffering from humiliation when they can’t pay their bills, embarrassed, bruised, and feeling isolated.

You can’t control the economy, but you can adapt, even now, when things seem beyond repair.

(What do you do for food when your power is shut off? Read our free QUICKSTART Guide to find out.)

What can you do if you’re in the midst of your own personal financial collapse?

The situation may not be completely “fixable” if you are one of the millions of people struggling financially. You may emerge with your credit razed, your self-respect beaten and bruised, and a brand new ulcer from worrying about it all. But please remember that people have faced extreme financial hardship many times in the past, and while they may not have come out unscathed, they did come out.

Some of these tips may help.

Talk to your creditors.

If you owe money that you cannot pay to credit card companies, call them. They won’t be able to waive it completely, but many companies will close your credit account, thus halting any additional fees and interest, and set you up with a payment plan. It won’t do your personal credit rating any favors, but then again, neither will defaulting, and that’s where you’re headed. Here’s more advice on contacting your creditors.

Cut your expenses radically.

Making radical changes to your monthly expenses may help you get through this difficult time and pay off your debt. Getting a roommate, cutting down to just one car for the family, and other strategies could be enough to get you through it. Check out this article.

Learn new ways to feed your family.

Check out our new product, a PDF of more than 500 pages that will provide you with strategies to feed your family, no matter what your situation is like. It’s currently listed as a “name your price” item, so you can pay very little to get this valuable book if money is tight. How to Feed Your Family No Matter What is a guide to producing, acquiring, preserving, and preparing food when it isn’t as easy as just going to the store to get more.

You may have to walk away.

If things are really bad, the advice above may not be enough to save you financially. There comes a time at which you simply cannot pay your bills. You may have to default, get evicted or foreclosed on, hand back your vehicle, and start over again. You can’t make money come from thin air. If you’ve done everything possible and you still can’t catch up, then read this article.

Find gratitude.

This may sound ridiculous when you are in the midst of losing everything, but finding a way to be grateful for some blessing will help you dramatically. Here’s a look at radical gratitude, a practice that has personally helped me beyond belief in improving my attitude, which in turn helps me to be more creative and more determined to overcome my difficulties.

Only people who have experienced true hardship can understand.

Sometimes it seems like nobody gets it when you find yourself in utter financial destitution. Others seem to think it’s your fault, and they often make this very obvious. Those people clearly haven’t had the same experiences. If they had, they would have more empathy.

We’re in a situation right now in our country – and actually the western world – where more and more people are finding out just what it’s like to hit financial rock bottom. It’s a horrible feeling, but it will not last forever. Please keep putting one foot in front of the other. Be willing to accept a hand up. One day you may be able to help another person going through this.

And if things are still looking good in your world, please be kind. Not everyone who is struggling “deserves” it. Remember that, except for grace, it could be your family who is struggling right now. If you can, help someone without strings. You cannot attach yourself to the outcome of what happens with the assistance you have given. Just know that you have done a good and kind thing, and let go of your attachment to it.

Has the economic SHTF hit your household?

Have you been affected by the increase in prices or other economic struggles? Are you on the verge of losing the lifestyle you have worked for to the economic collapse? Do you have advice for others facing the same problems? Share your stories and thoughts in the comments section. And please, be kind.

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About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, 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; 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. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.

Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand 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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  • The transportation industry has 360,000 position open, 60,000 more than last year. This includes truck drivers, loaders/unloaders, mechanics, manufacturing, road/bridge building and maintenance, railway, EV charging stations, etc. Too many people are looking for a job, instead of looking for work.
    Bob Dylan said it, “The times they are a changing.”
    People must upgrade their skills and/or learn new skills; and be willing to work in order to survive.

    • Large Carl, you raise a good point, and while I agree, it doesn’t always work in practice. I personally know more than a few people who are life long learners, highly educated, have great experience with all the latest high tech skills, and are unable to get jobs…..many of them have resorted to taking any job they can get to ensure they have some money coming in… design, this is a widely orchestrated event many years in the making. Intentional wage suppression is also wide spread, and has been part of this process for decades.

      • So, they’re loaded with unpayable student loan debt to get highly “educated” and they can’t find work to support them paying back their student loan debt? That’s the fault of the government in collusion with the “higher education” institutions to rake in the dough through inflated tuition fees and easy-to-get student loans. Now the former students are paying the price. Many of those jobs promised to students were shipped overseas where cheap labor is in abundance. Heap blame on the globalist corporations. For decades, Americans have been hood-winked and lied to. NO ONE is for the American citizen anymore. People are going to have to get tough and mean if they are going to survive the quickly coming SHTF.

        • Jeff Martin,
          That is an interesting observation.
          Students take out loans for tens of thousands of dollars if not hundreds, for higher education in things like underwater basket weaving, then cry when no one will hire them and they continue their career as baristas at Starbucks.
          They promise to make good on these loans and then expect the taxpayers to pay for their loans in student debt forgiveness.
          Here is an idea, you took out the loan. Suck it up buttercup.

          They never seem to ask why does higher education costs rise higher than inflation. It never occurs to them to ask if that professors $250k or more salary really justifies a six figure tuition.
          Especially in useless degrees like underwater basket weaving, Joan of Arc transgender studies, Applying 16th century English pronouns in a modern 21st century pronoun world.

          Why would anyone hire these people?
          And pay them anything above $7.50hr?

          • Because if they fit certain other criteria, I get to tick off certain check boxes on the federal ‘diversity’ forms and don’t get fined for being too ‘homogenous’ of a business. I may even get a grant or two out of it too !

            • Agree 100% on that and I’m proof. Been with my employer (financial firm) for 12 yrs, more than 20 yrs in the industry. Tons of experience and knowledge. They changed my job and basically demoted me so I’m now working with entry level people and therefore have been looking for other positions. I’ve been looked over for several that I’m way over qualified for. These are jobs that I should be considered a “shoe in” but I don’t meet their diversity criteria and yes the hiring managers actually are incentivized on the diversity of their team. This is actually posted on our internal diversity and inclusion information.

              • I don´t know if I want to know about that “diversity criteria” means for people outside our borders. Down here means that they have to hire unprepared, unskilled and underqualified people, even if they end by adding dead weight to the company.

              • You are correct. The last company I worked for was pretty much all female leadership, from managers on up the chain, with the exception of one or two department heads (and one of them was Hispanic).

          • Wow. I agree that college costs have gotten extremely high. And, thank God we had our son take the Dave Ramsey finance course in his homeschooling because he refuses to get into debt. With all that said, though, it seems you made it out that every college student is getting useless degrees; that they are all whiney and want someone else to pay off all of their debt. That is just untrue. I know many people who got degrees, using them and working to pay off their debt or already paid it off. I know several young kids that are just starting college who worked their butts of to get full scholarships. They are not woke and are extremely good kids with incredible morals. It is not fair to put everyone into one basket when you don’t know them.

            I have read many of your comments in the past and have agreed with a lot but this comment was just wrong.

            • Dee,
              If you comment is directed at me, allow me to clarify.
              The ones I am referencing are the ones whom took out large loans for degrees like underwater basket weaving.
              Many as you noted, got degrees in things like engineering, IT, medical, etc. And are doing reasonably well especially in this inflationary environment.
              My daughter would be one of them.
              However, what we seem to be seeing is a divergence in society. Past values that were once encouraged even celebrated are now being demonized.

              • Okay, I understand. And you are correct. Values have changed and not for the better. Even manners have gone out the door with many and why I have instilled them in my children. Thank you for clarifying and being kind. Have a good day!

              • Those that got those useless degrees probably shouldn’t have been in college to start with. Many parents have bought into the lie that your kids have to go to college and get a degree to be successful, so they push their kids into college. There are a lot of good paying jobs out there that don’t require a college degree. Many of those students would be better off going to a trade school and learning a trade instead of acquiring tens of thousands of dollars in student loans.
                We had vocational schools when I was in High School that taught trades such as auto mechanics, diesel mechanics, welding, etc. We need to bring those back, as well as bring back shop classes. I took four years of shop and auto mechanics my senior year (it was a tough choice between calculus or auto mechanics). Then I went into the Navy, went to several trade schools, and came out with an M.S. degree with no debt. Unfortunately, with the current state of the military and its lack of leadership, that isn’t a viable option for many these days.

                • IKR, it used to be you had to qualify to get into college with some sort of aptitude already, today its like all they look for is you got some gullible fool going to pay your way, and your willingness to be brainwashed and stay the course so they get the FULL money from you.

          • 1stMarineJarhead – my thoughts exactly. There are lots of careers that pay very well and don’t require a 4 year (or more) college degree. The HVAC, electrical and plumbing industries PAY for folks to learn as interns and attain higher levels of certification (and pay). It is not unheard of, here in the mid-Atlantic (Maryland) for a person with a skill set of “Master” in any of these trades to be pulling in $100,000 per year. With frugal living, retirement at age 50 with several million in retirement funds is attainable. Automobile (and especially diesel) techs might spend 2 years and $20,000 to gain entry into a career that pays even more. My SIL was the Parts and Service director at an (unnamed) auto dealership. Four out of his 8 techs were bringing home over $125,000 per year. The oldest was about 30. “Fight smarter, not harder.” Francis X. Kelley retired Commandant of the Corps. I had the pleasure of meeting him in person at Meade.

            • My husband works for a tech company doing marketing for the automotive industry. He knows many guys who are making $200,000+ Per year selling cars the past couple years. A few around the 350,000 mark. Our financial advisor said of his clients, the most wealthy at retirement are those who own their own businesses in auto repair, HVAC, plumbing etc.

          • “Especially in useless degrees like underwater basket weaving, Joan of Arc transgender studies, Applying 16th century English pronouns in a modern 21st century pronoun world.”

            !!! So true. They would be much better off with a trade (carpentry, auto shop, sewing) learned while still in high school that these fluffy, worthless subjects.

            Another scam going around is the fleecing of the boomer generation who are retiring at the rate of 10,000 people a day. I constantly see commercials for Medicare Advantage crap on TV. You are much better off with just Medicare. Just google ‘Medicare Advantage scam’ to see what I mean. Nothing like targeting those who are losing their faculties. Get them before they start working and after they are eligible for their SS benefits. The gov needs it ALL.

            P.S. Thanks for the feedback about rifle slings. I tried to post but it didn’t go through.

          • I get so very tired of the “suck it up” crowd. Almost to an individual, they forget there is a second party to the transaction – the Lender. When the inability to discharge student debt came along the Lenders no longer had to care about the 4 C’s of lending. Loans were now going to be a perpetual annuity for the lenders. The inability for borrowers to get rid of this debt has created a generation of indentured servants who can never get out from under this debt. A bad financial decision shouldn’t be a yoke forever. Absent these becoming dischargeable again, my Pollyannaish solution is to take a percentage of ALL schools endowments sufficient to wipe out all student debt. Moving forward, schools would be co-signers to the loans.

        • It’s been going for DECADES… really?? wow !!!
          You’d think that at one point during ALL those decades, someone would stand up and say, HEY, this is a SCAM !!! But they all buy into the game, it’s like some MLM garbage. You think the parents who got schmucked with that 200k bill, and are still renting 20 years later, would tell THEIR kids, umm no sweetie, let me tell you the truth about college and the prices.. but NOPE ! Misery loves company, so knowing personally how it ruined their lives, they gleefully send their kids down the same sewer pipe. Yet in true D form, lets blame the guvmint !!

          YOU made the choice, YOU sneered at the ‘dirty kids’ who were not part of your starbuxxx drinking klan, who went on to be ewwWWW plumbers, and carpenters, and all THOSE icky things. WHO BTW is the one who’s company you are trying to get a job with 20 years later but that’s not important is it?

          They made the decision, they need to suck it up, can’t get a job, then learn a trade that pays. THAT has been told to them from day 1, but those people were just ‘jealous haters’ whatever cupcake, now go redo my latte, this one is too runny.

          You are correct about one thing though, they better get real tough real quick because what’s coming at them, they won’t be able to handle. Not going to feel sorry one bit for them either. Everyone has to grow up sometime.

          What YOU think you are worth, is inconsequential, what *I* think you are worth, is what you are getting paid. Don’t like it, then go get another job, or make yourself WORTH what you want to be worth.

      • Correct! Didn’t MATTER what’s done properly and correctly-the gov’t CRUSHES individualism, and until we crush back, we’re slated FOR extinction of the highest order.

    • Upgrading skills: the trades for technicians is mostly done thru employer while getting paid. Boys 16 and up at home need to be earning money like when I was growing up, brothers mowed lawns,worked at golf course, also learned trade in last two yrs high school worked for major company one in aircraft industry. Kids today are lazy and want parents to pay for stuff, that didn’t happen in my generation. Older sons and daughters living at home need to help w/ expenses (food, also for living there help w/ utilities) Teen girls can work in restarants or babysit as they pay more than 50 cents hr now days. Can’t figure out why anyone informed would start a family today. Women need to stay in the workforce. This isn’t the June Cleaver or Richie Cunningham’s parents era w/ stay at home moms- happy days of the ’50’s. America is not likely to ever “become normal again”.

      • Women can have kids and be in the workforce. It’s not that kids are lazy, many I know aren’t. My parents refused to let me work in high school even though money was tight. In the summer, I could, but in the school year, they were very clear that school was my job and needed to come first.
        I am now a single parent of a 5 year old. Many parents have decided to be one income families simply because daycare was so expensive. However, a society needs to have kids to be able to continue to be productive, especially since things such as social security, education, roads, etc. depends on taxes so rely on a constant stream of young adults entering into the workforce to pay for these services.
        I love the sexism of your post… note the sarcasm please. Females and males can do any job the opposite sex can. I was a Combat Engineer in the Marine Corps so I know. Stop always blaming the kids, its really the parents who set those expectations up. Many refuse to actually be the parent and expect teachers to do the parenting of the child (I used to work for a school and saw this).

      • I am a stay-at-home homeschooling mother and proud of it! My kids absolutely benefited from it. We sacrificed for it but was absolutely worth it and wouldn’t change it at all. I, also, know a minimum of 10 stay-at-home moms and they know several. Also, my kids are not lazy. Please do not put everyone in a group with insulting blanket comments.

      • If you think normal is June Cleaver, I don’t. The US manufactures almost nothing these days. There is barely a middle class and I’m glad to see signs of Unions coming back.
        You either need a skill or an education is a field where it is needed. And if working with non-heterosexual, non-Caucasian (citizen or not), females (especially if your manger), chances of getting, much less keeping, a good paying job isn’t likely going to happen.
        Parents need to do their job too – don’t have them if you aren’t going to put in the time and effort to raise them to be productive members of society. We never let our kids work (outside the home) during the school year – school was priority. Same with extracurricular activities – two was the maximum. Both helped around the house once they got old enough.

        • Dont get excited about unions coming back.
          Got a good friend and neighbor who is seeing the union is more on the side of the company and not the union members.
          And they are embracing leftist ideology. He says they are lowering the standards to the point being a “Master” electrician or mechanic no longer means anything.

          • At one time in my county, you had to “know” someone to get your electrical license. Someone sued and now I could go down and become a licensed electrician. This country needs to stop being on the outer edges and get back in the center.

            I do think Unions will return – Corporate America cannot function – read profits which = bonus and dividends. Millennials are a different breed and Gen Z will be no different. What will differ between the Unions of the past with the Unions of today is work/life balance. There will be a living wage earned by more employees as overtime is not going to be a driving factor. Overtime was the downfall of many until Ray-gun killed the “r” party. Base your budget on 40 hours (or maybe even 32 hours) a week, not 10 hours of overtime a week.

            • Unions may return.
              But if they embrace leftist ideologies, promoting equality over meritocracy, those companies will fail.
              My friend is already seeing it. Since his company, and the union have gone on the diversity check box policy, he gets called in early to do the job those so-called “Master” mechanics (or as he calls them, “Master check box hires”) cannot do. He is seeing people get hired or promoted that do not have the skills. Everyone else sees it too. It is affecting morale and productivity.

      • Wow! So anyone who wants to start a family today just might be uninformed? Families are the joy of our existence and the joy of God’s heart. He created families! Some women like myself, did have the joy and the privilege of staying home with my child. I was blessed. Many women aren’t so blessed to do so, or are not inclined to do so. That doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be happy to have children. I cannot imagine not having my one child that I was able to have. Knowing how wonderful she has grown up to be, I cannot imagine life without her. Maybe you need to think about children – they really are worth it.

    • And what does one do when they’re physically incapable of working those jobs anymore? You tried to learn new skills, but it just wasn’t good enough, fast enough, told you’re too old or whatever, so one’s let go?
      Yes, there are jobs out there, but that isn’t what’s driving this economic decline we’re experiencing. It’s one of the Symptoms.

      • They are not going to tell you are too old, even if you ARE, in America, that’s a lawsuit right there and they are smarter than that. As a person who is getting older, you should be aware of your ‘health’ and KNOW that day is coming one day where you can no longer do what you used to when you were 18, and hopefully have planned and been responsible. Savings, Retirement, Learn a skill that’s easier on the back, maybe in management .vs. hard labor now etc etc.

        Life has been like this for a few centuries now, it’s nothing new.

        Also, let me make this plain as piss right now for all the ‘kids’ out there. NOBODY is going to take care of you. E V E R. So if you think you are going to retire on social security, or oh I’ll have medicare when I hit XX age, you better wake up real darned fast. YOU NEED TO TAKE CARE OF YOU !! Whether you want to invest in physical metals, property or whatever, you better wake up real fast and realize there is not going to be a safety net soon, and NO NOBODY CARES that you worked for the last 45 years and paid into the system. When the system dies, so does your ‘investment’. THIS is part of their plan.

        MY prediction, next thing in short supply is going to be medication. They want the population reduced, here is how they do it.
        How many out of shape fat asses in America are going to die within a year when they can’t get their Metformin, their Lisinopril, their Statins, their Coumadin etc etc??? Half these cupcakes are probably going to commit suicide when fakebook goes offline for a week and they can’t get their daily affirmations from the 4k fake friends they amassed.

        • I agree with everything you’ve said, but the reality is that watching one’s “Nest Egg” get eaten away by Medical Bills can go through your savings faster than schitt through the Christmas Turkey, when your job loss due to health issues strikes. By the time you’re finally declared “Disabled,” the Statutes of Limitations prevents you from sueing your former Insurance Provider for the Disability Insurance you paid into for decades, and you’re forced to accept the SSDI pittance as your only income.

          The system is rigged to screw you over Nine ways to Sunday.

          I’ve never been very computer savvy, and this site is one of three I engage in.

        • “MY prediction, next thing in short supply is going to be medication. They want the population reduced, here is how they do it. How many out of shape fat asses in America are going to die within a year when they can’t get their Metformin, their Lisinopril, their Statins, their Coumadin etc etc???”

          They will probably be healthier than they were. Every one of those drugs has serious side effects. Just google the name of a drug and add the words ‘class action lawsuit’ to learn how well they really (don’t) work. People rely way too much on orthodox medicine to keep them alive. What do you think your great grandma, the Indians or people who couldn’t afford doctors used to do?

          Death Rate Drops During Doctor Strike

          • Agreed!!
            Anyone on statins is an uneducated fool. They do nothing but cause further issues requiring additional medication, for instance.
            Its all about nutrition n natural products, imo.

          • TPTB are already messing around with the cost of insulin for diabetics. How many millions of diabetics will be deliberately killed off because insulin will be made unavailable and/ or priced out of reach? These people arre EVIL, period.

    • Yes, being a life-long learner is important. But good luck getting a job when you’re over 50. The person interviewing you is often someone in their late 20s/early 30s, and they are not inclined to hire someone who reminds them of their parents (or heaven forbid, their grandparents). I learned programming in my early 50s and switched careers was – I successful finding a job only because the hiring manager was older than me.

  • I’ve found financial independence by watching the politicians play the voters (which I’m neither) & putting the opposite into practice with the help of sites like Daisy’s.

  • Back in the day I managed a couple of banks and it is staggering to watch some people, usually the same ones, racking up overdraft fees to the tune of hundreds of dollars. Fee income has replaced the spread between interest charged and interest paid as the cash cow for banking.

    • That is not even a fair comparison anymore. I’ll charge you 15 percent interest on a credit card, yet pay you half a percent on money you have saved, IF you promise to let me use it for 3 years. How is that even remotely fair anymore? Fees for the privilege’s of using MY money, how… benevolent. of you. The problem is, people can’t just take their money out of the banks, most people don’t even have money to do so with, like money is backed by anything anymore anyways right?

    • And fee income has reached its peak – I too have worked in the financial sector and watched fee income make up an increasingly higher percentage of profits. Talk about making money doing nothing.

  • We are better off than most. Our land is paid for and since we are building our home as we go, there is no mortgage. We have old, paid for automobiles with only liability insurance (no house insurance). Our water well is on solar, so no monthly utility bill there. Gas is our greatest expense and animal feed. We did not “opt in” for banking overdraft. Meaning if there is no money in our bank account, then the purchase is not paid for. The bank cannot charge us overdraft fees. We are off grid so if there is no power then it is on us. No worrying about reconnecting charges for unpaid bills. I have no debit or credit cards, but my husband does. The two cards are for the 5% off, but are paid in full come payday. Otherwise we would pay cash for those purchases.

      • Dryden, Texas! Our population in town is five people. I live outside of town. The entire county has less than 735 people. We live on 455 acres. We have the lowest property tax rate in the state, but we don’t pay property taxes. Texas has a law where 100% disable veterans (my husband is 100%, while I am only 50%) don’t pay property tax. The only other town in our county is Sanderson. It is the county seat with about 600 people in it. There is a need out here for labor in the county. Not to mention for small businesses. Most people want the big cities.

  • I live on SSDI and foodstamps. I’m waiting for the banks to fail until I won’t get either one of those. In the meantime I buy food and other preps. Christmas and birthdays will be thin this year, not as in years past. I feel bad for my granddaughter, she didn’t ask for any of this. Fortunately, her father has a great job making good money (for now) until the bottom falls out of cell phone service. My youngest son just got a great job in transportation. Hopefully it will last. ⁰

  • This is a very accurate and sympathetic article! In the crash of of 2008 we thought we had been doing something wrong, why weren’t we getting into a mcmansion, why were we struggling? We were spared! As everyone around us was struggling to pick up the pieces of the crash, and because we had scaled back dramatically to pay the bills, we came through it all with better jobs, no debt, bought a house when it bottomed out in 2012 and came out victorious selling at the high! We won’t get those back because of the state of world but this is wonderful advice for people…scale back, scale down, and keep working! You can do this if this advice is followed!

  • Excellent article, Daisy. Excellent! My family was there in the 1980s. My husband was in the tech industry and was laid off in ’82, ’85 (twice, both plant closures), unemployed at regular work (we both had odd jobs only) for 2 1/2 years; relocated in ’92 to keep a job he’d had for 2 years, laid off from that job in ’93, laid off again in ’98; again in 2002 (because of 9/11 fallout).

    He applied for many, many jobs and was told he was over-qualified. He washed windows, did construction cleanup, substitute teaching, temp agency work. I cleaned houses, babysat, substituted, cleaned a church, etc. We survived, but there are some sad memories, like when I had to hot glue our son’s shoes for the first day of school, and it didn’t hold. We learned how to cook with almost nothing and start a car with no battery (park on a slope and pop the clutch). Our ’71 VW beetle literally had no battery in the car.

    A kind couple we knew gave us the $225 for our mobile home payment so we wouldn’t miss the 3rd one in a row. (I didn’t ask them). My family helped when they could. We were able to hold onto the mobile home, and I was thankful that we hadn’t bought a house in the good times. We would’ve lost a house.

    If anyone can’t help those in trouble and they don’t have anything supportive to say, they need to keep their mouths shut. I certainly had my share of “concerned” people calling me for updates. “Does he have a job yet? Has he been looking? Is there some sin in your life that is causing this?”

    At one point, I called to make an appointment to apply for food stamps. It went like this:

    Government Employee: Bring proof of income.
    Me: We don’t have any.
    G.E.: You have to have. How are you paying your housing?
    Me: We’re two months behind.
    G.E.: There’s no point of you coming in if you don’t bring proof of income.

    No food stamps.

    We made it. Brought the paid off trailer out in the country where we now live on our own paid off land. And I wouldn’t trade it for a nice brick house in town with a mortgage, or even without. We could have cattle if we wanted or a huge garden. We do have chickens and peace.

    I’m thankful.

    • CARLA sounds good and I love the country. Would like to be out from any town. YOU might wanna consider a garden. YOU will need the food when it’s gets sooo expensive at the store than you can’t afford to buy it. And chickens may be giving you some nice eggs and that’s always good for protein as long as you don’t eat all the yokes (full of cholesterol) which clogged my ex-husbands arteries. I boil 3 and throw away one of the yokes or fry 3 and do the same. GOOD LUCK! Sounds like Ya’ll are happy enough and are counting your blessings.

      • I’m planning a fall container garden. Also I study foraging and what we can eat that grows wild on our land. Even if I’d planted a spring garden, the summer heat would’ve killed it this year. Gardens don’t do well in temperatures consistently over 100 degrees for 2 months.

      • Did you know ancient natives ate the yolks and threw away the whites? You are doing it the opposite. Something else caused his clogged arteries.

        Indians gave the muscle meat to their dogs and ate the organs. We do the opposite.

        • For once the medical folks admitted they erred on how much “bad” cholesterol is in egg yolks (and some seafood, go figure). While I wouldn’t recommend eating 3 eggs every day unless you are EXTREMELY active, a yolk or two won’t kill you IMHO. My Grandpa drank whole milk and ate eggs 3 days a week, lived to be 95. Yes, he was active up until the last few months of his life.

      • Hello wandakate
        You may want to do further research on the subject of eating eggs causing high cholesterol. It is my understanding that more recent studies have shown that eggs do not raise cholesterol levels as once believed.

    • I hear a lot about the 80’s depression/recession, but I never saw it. I was a young female soldier in the army and lived for the most part in the barracks and ate at the mess hall (I was also an army brat, my father was in for 35 years). Back then I did not follow news or trends. I lived in a small world on our post, even when I was stationed in Korea. Later when I was married, I had full medical care at the military facilities and it cost nothing for giving birth to my three children in the military hospitals. I would not recommend the military today. The forced Covid shots, women being told they have to shower with men who claim female status. The woke culture killed the military. Before chaplains where encouraged, now they are vilified.

      • I have a quick fix for this. You all are ADULTS. You know the RULES. Get rid of any gender anything. Everyone showers together, sleeps together, EVERYTHING together. If you misbehave you get court martialed. If you rape then you get thrown overboard type of discipline will keep those serious problems to a bare minimum. I stand you squat, but at the end of the day BOTH of us will be cleaning the facilities we use, no matter HOW we use them.

        There are going to be the ones with, well how do you expect an 18yo to behave in front of naked ladies? The same way all the closeted gay’s did ! Stop making excuses and START holding people accountable when they screw up.

        There, gender problems solved ! now get back to work !!

  • No joke, it is happening for sure. My budget gets adjusted monthly. That “zero inflation” is a lie.
    I m driving less.
    I m buying less.
    I m eating less.
    I m drinking less coffee.
    I m using less n not replacing used items.
    I got rid if Netflix.
    I m growing some stuff but have very little space
    I m downsizing my storage by giving away n donating to a unit 1/3 the size to get back to the payment I had before.
    I m making it through but barely keeping up.
    It just keeps getting harder.
    Thanks for this article.
    Just putting this in writing gives me hope of continuing.
    Blessing to all of you!!

    • K8,
      Right there with you.
      Driving less.
      Buying less.
      Growing more.
      Down sizing where we can.
      Know what is important to us? The ability to laugh.
      Keep writing!
      Hold Fast!

    • That is a huge part of the problem right there. America has become a throw away, over indulged society. I WANT an I phone 12, I have this crappy year old I phone 11.5 and it’s OBSOLTEE, and I want my new one NOW!!!

      People forgot how to fix things, people forgot what hand me downs are, where to get the best deals on used things, how to re use things, re purpose and recycle things, and im not talking the virtue signaling BS you do with your blue can at the curb on fridays recycling either, but turning old shirts into wash cloths, type recycle. Learn to sew, patch that blown out knee on the jeans type thing.

      Many things can be grown right in the house, when I was living in an apartment, gallon buckets and 5 gallon buckets were my FRIEND. You can grow a butt ton of cherry tomato’s in a 5 gal bucket right on your porch. Believe it or not, with a bit of fertilizer (pee works), you can even get a banana plant to reach fruiting stage in a 5 or 10 gallon pot on your porch. Herbs and spices, and romaine lettuce, which is filling and nutritionally good for you, grows fine in a gallon milk jug with the top cut off. They go for a while too, so do many varieties of spinach. Okinawan spinach, longevity spinach, just to name two, taste good, grow continually, do very well indoors AND have medicinal values, plants like this can help control blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.

      Don’t give up, get creative. Oh, a gallon bag and some boiled newspaper and you got yourself a nice crop or 2 of oyster mushrooms growing under your bed, in a closet or somewhere out of the way.

      Be a survivor !!

      • I had to laugh st your reply. Forgive me if I m concluding that you were referring to me as being an over consumer with excess unnecessary items.
        10 years ago, I got priced out of an area n moved. 5 years later it happened again so I did a room mate situation. That also went to pricing me out. I put everything but furniture in storage.
        I m now down to living in my van with my dog n downsizing to only seasonal clothing, minimal kitchen items, some useful items for sewing, knitting, gardening n repairs plus my preps. I m going from a 10 X 15 storage unit to a 5X10.
        I have always done all of the “Rs”, donated, shopped thrift stores n lived frugally.
        I m growing microgreens, lettuces n herbs in my van even to assist with my budgeting.
        You might think that a person living in a van doesnt have bills but remember, the van has to be registered, licensed, insured, maintained n repaired n needs gas plusI have AAA coz its over 10 years old.
        I also have to pay for my phone n Internet, my medical, vitamins n minerals, mail box, storage, dog food, dog dental cleaning, nail trims, vet visits, vaccines, heartworm, flea n tick n deworming as well as dog licensing. Before you start thinking that the dog needs to go, please think about the exercise we get together everyday going to parks twice a day, the companionship she provides n please do not discount the security she provides.
        Then theres food n drink, laundry, cleaning products etc.
        It all adds up.
        I refuse to do things like beg for money etc like some alternately housed do to assist their living day to day.
        Every single thing in my life has increased by a minimum of 25% plus.
        The shit hitting my fan is continuous, especially the van repairs; n parts for those repairs have gone up dramatically.
        I dont see this getting any better.
        Thank you for taking the time to read this. Its probably more than you wanted to know, lol
        Again, blessing to all of you n the best of luck with everything,

        • K8,
          The wife and I are dog people.
          So are you. You are a good person in my opinion.
          “The shit hitting my fan is continuous”
          Unfortunately, you fit the S is HTF for some that we have been discussing.
          It is not some weird narrow definition. It is reality that not just you, but more than a few Americans are experiencing right now.
          Seriously, K8, keep writing as I will keep reading.
          And hold fast.

          • True all that!!
            Thats why I m giving so much away instead of going through trying to sell stuff before considering donating. Many people need those items.
            The numbers are growing in the places that I park. When children are involved, it breaks my heart.
            My lil precious Baby Girl Hellen may be a mutt with unknown lineage n a bad ass red neck attitude should anyone attempt to approach her van, but she has my whole heart n her loyalty to me is priceless.
            I know you understand all of that.
            Tomorrow is another day n I go to sleep thinking that to start out on a better track when I wake up.
            Thank you fir your encouraging words.
            Blessings be….

  • We can’t stop the evil that’s coming, to survive we will have to abandon the cities, buy food, store water and if able store precious metals, guns and ammo. In the end it will be only hope and prayer that will sustain us…all the preps are just temporary security and survival. The prophets said it would be Biblical…I don’t doubt them.

    • Many cannot leave cities: jobs, extended family like elderly parents, retirees in retirement communities like in Fla. and elsewhere who put down roots, medical issues, specialty dr’s, hospitals near, etc. The y2k thing was hyped, some moved out from cities, prepped,then afew monthls later bug out property was sold people moved back most kept residences anyway. Much was donated and tossed in city dumps like long term food storage. Others had wood stoves/heaters they donated, other preps. Some people I know will not prep second time (I told one to buy what you eat when shopping, not that awful tasting long term food in #10cans or large buckets.). They prep for hurricanes. Their priority is their social life. I will not answer the door when things go down hill. It will be everyone for themselves. Husband (medical issues) and I have no family nearby, we are retirees.

  • My wife and I faced personal economic meltdown in the 1980’s and learned to live on limited income. We have been married for 46 years and until the government had its great mis-placed money give-a-way, we had never made over $30,000 per year since the 1980’s. During most of the 1990’s we made around $10,000 per year. Here are some suggestions for people that are facing loss of income. The secret that we found is growing most of our own food, canning, dehydrating, and preserving as much as possible. We have traded some of our produce for things we cannot grow. We forage for natural foods to suppliment what we grow. We have gotten blackberries, plums, and crab apples that way. For several years we spent weekends picking peaches for a local producer to earn a bushel or two of #3 peaches or seconds for our efforts. We now grow figs, pears, peaches, and pecans for our own consumption. We buy only meat that is marked down for quick sale, taking note of when each store puts out that meat. When we are able, we have bought extra cans of food for the past 20 years and now have a nice food stockpile. Since we had no credit and little money back in 1981, we bought our land by negotiating with the owner (whose husband had just been sent to prison) and then paid for most of it by having the timber cut. We found another person with a moble home that was in financial difficulty and bought it from him, assuming his payments that were at 12% interest at the time. I cashed in my 401K and paid it off a couple of years later. We found someone who gave us a few chickens and another person who donated a breeding pair of dairy goats, and then acquired some breeding rabbits to start providing us with long term sustainability. We have since then always eaten two or three deer per year. When I can’t hunt them, I find hunters to help me out or buy the deer. During our financial crisis, we had no cable TV, no phone, no entertainment expenses, and did without many luxuries for several years until we could afford them.

    The economic problems today are perhaps more serious than those of 1980 but the lessons we learned are still valid. People need to be creative in finding property. 1. Look for situations where people have to sell because of their own desperation. 2. Grow and preserve as much food as possible. 3. Only buy sale items or marked down items. 4. Use as little gasoline as possible by combining shopping and work travel. 5. Be creative and learn to live within your means.
    It is not easy and people today are really struggling, but there are ways to survive this and thrive like my wife and I have done for the past 40 years.

    We now live on Social Security with no other retirement income and we travel as little as possible. We still shop only once per month and make a list of things we need to buy before a shopping trip. Because of the meat shortages and cost rising, we purchased a calf for $300 and are having it raised by a local farmer friend. It is being grass fed, so there has been no additional cost to us so far. We will butcher it next December or January. Along with a couple of deer this fall, that should give us enough meat for the year.

    • We have a 401k ,SS and military pension (him) and some gov. bonds paying interest also drug co- pays, but good med. coverage, we watch sales grocery and dept stores (65% off clothing mark downs) also shop ebay. Recent computer was 40% off sale. Some in this retirement community opt for title 3 meals/meals on wheels Mon-Fri they many don’t save enough when working w/ employer matching, ornot enough med. insurance covered and high medical bills. Meals not based on income.

  • and then the trade unions are formed and strikes organised by them to increase wages – then the whole thing goes to pot!

  • Salvage grocery stores are becoming the norm right now, and I hope they stick around, look up the area you live in, but only buy what you will use. Help out those you can. We are being very careful with our money, hard to in some areas of our lives but we do try. Dropped cable tv for an antenna, hang our clothes up to dry, dehydrate what I can. Don’t make any big purchases right now. Just wish we lived somewhere else than central Florida, so we could have a nice garden, but we are planning to move in the next 6 months or so. Time to be closer to family.

    • I wish there was a salvage grocery store near me. I can’t garden because we live in a townhouse and have no yard. We are in a community garden that we need to drive to though… Look into hydroponics, especially the kratky method.
      I am hoping for a larger purchase in the next year (not the house) but to upgrade my car. I have a small sedan and would really prefer something that is a little larger, gets good gas mileage, and can hold/carry more items… especially since I live in a suburb of Minneapolis.

      • Many places won’t do that anymore because of liability, but, if you go into the regular stores and ask nicely many times the managers will sell you damaged stuff for a good deal rather than throwing it away, especially once they get to know you. Offer to sweep the parking lot or some ‘effort’ to show you are willing to earn it, if you don’t have the means at the time to outright buy it.

        Produce is a BIG one. A fruit gets dented, into the trash it goes, because most people won’t buy a tomato with a smoosh on the side when the one next to it is perfectly good. Cut that piece out and you have a perfectly good piece of food. Farmers markets if you are blessed to have one nearby you can find this kind of stuff all the time. Offer to help them put away crates and boxes at the end of the day and many times they will give you sooo much food, simply because they don’t want to have to lug it back and forth another time.

        Goto your local salvation army and see if you can get one of those food dryers for a few bucks and dehydrate it to help keep that stuff longer on the shelves too, or if you can it, that works too.

        Just because there is not a salvage food inc around does not mean you can not get salvage food !

        Don’t give up on this, while you may not be getting top of the line food, you absolutely CAN find enough food for next to nothing to keep you very nourished this way !

        • I hate replying to my own posts, that looks narcissistic as hell but, let me add to this one.

          IF managers won’t give you food for yourself, and cite liability issues, which IS a valid excuse, then say it’s for a pet. I used to have an Iguana and once a week on Wednesdays my dad would goto the food lion and the produce guy would give him the stuff they were tossing to take home to feed the lizard. Often dad would say, screw that lizard this stuff is still good I am eating this or that !!! See, this lets the manager actually give the stuff to you but also releases him from a liability issue, so he’s technically not violating corporate rules either. A win / win for all 🙂

          Survive !! BE the Answer you seek !

  • While we wait in long lines to get through a purchase because there are skeleton crews the corporations are posting record profits.

    • What is wrong w/ most stores? not enough help,best to go early when they open get in and out fast, avoid weekends. Poor cust. svc also. Restaurants have issues too. We stopped going to several, too high priced, swapped stuff on menu (cheaper). Cook more at home.

  • I am sorry to say, that this in NOT SHTF.
    A real SHTF will be 10,000 times worse.(no I am not kidding or exaggerating).
    Let that sink in!

    Originally, before people watered down the meaning: SHTF included the complete absence of Government or government services(no Police, Fire, EMS, National Guard, Water or Sewer services, Garbage pickup, Etc.), it was not just a political, economic disturbance or a social inconvenience.

    If you understood what a real SHTF scenario will trigger among the Street Gangs, Cartels, Arsonists, Serial killers, Various Militias and certain Religious groups, ( let alone the low income non preppers), you would not be using the term so lightly.

    When the situation gets so bad with Rioting, Looting, Arson, Murder. and Death, to be inconceivable and there is no Government to step in and to ever set it right again, then it is SHTF.

    You might consider SHTF, as an “Every person for themselves, scenario”, because that is the closest to what most people can fathom.
    Sort of a “Sinking of the Titanic”, but not the romantic movie version.
    Just: Confusion, Panic, Immobilizing Fear, Impending Death, Struggling to
    find a way to Survive, The screams and crying over the separated families and lost individuals, the dead and the injured, etc.

    No, we are nowhere near this point yet.
    This is just a minor pothole, a bump in the road. We have not nearly driven off the cliff yet. No one has really experienced this, as it will be a World wide Event. It might start in one major Nation, like the USA or China, but Globalism has guaranteed it will not end there.
    Which is why Selco has a lot of good info on what part of it might be like, as a civil war or similar society breakdown scenario, is likely to be a big part of SHTF at some point in its lifecycle. But they had help come in from the rest of the World. We won’t be getting any of that. So it will be much, much worse.

    So hang on and prepare for a lot more bad stuff to come your way.

    • The issue is there are different scales of SHTF.

      Right now, many people are dealing with personal SHTF because their budgets are being stretched and they don’t have enough coming in to match what needs to go out.

      If this continues, it will continue to grow from personal to local to regional to country and then possibly and likely to global. Many countries are dealing with high inflation, so while we may all be in personal SHTF, it likely will get worse as majority of the world seem to be in personal/regional SHTF and we have a global economy now.

    • Whew… thanks for painting a definitive picture with flawless clarity what it will look like when the SH’sTF!

      I was about to break open my emergency preps of diet Cheetos and throw the bars across the doors..then I read your post. You, sir, are a true patriot!

      Keep the definitions coming!

      • ~Jim,
        As always, awesome post.
        Yeah, Cheetos. When they are no longer on the shelves, than that is the real definition of SHTF.

        • when it does hit the fan, those cheetos are carbs, and can be used for fire starters too, so don’t diss the cougar !!

          • Uh,.. A A Ron, it may identify as a cougar (lord, control my fingers right now..) but, originally, HE, said he was a cheetah.

    • Did any one think SHTF was coming when the first person died of the black plague in 1346. Nothing like nearly 60 percent of Europe’s population dying and one third of the Middle Eastern population, everything that went along with it.

      How about when in 1845 a little known mold called Phytophthora infestans showed up in Ireland. That year one half of the crops failed. Three fourths of potato crops failed in the next seven years. When it ended in 1852, over 1 million died of starvation. Another 1 million left as refugees.

      Did anyone ever think the assassination of a archduke could lead to the first modern World War? One in which we saw the use of fully automatic weapons, air warfare, chemical weapons employed?

      While for you, the S is NOT HTF. But for many Americans it is. Just because it does not fit your extremely limited definition does not mean it is not happening for someone else. For that matter, it is happening to you, but you are too myopic to see it every time you fill up at the pump, or pay out at the grocery store.

      The real question that can only be answered in hindsight is what started the SHTF? As the listed examples above, they all had a seemingly benign start.
      As Selco has noted, by the time you realize the S has in fact HTF by your limited definition, it is too late. It started months perhaps years before hand.
      What will historians look back and say was the one event that started it all? 9/11? Obama? Trump? Biden? The 08-09′ recession? The disastrous withdraw from Afghanistan? COVID or the response to COVID? Nixon closing the gold standard window? The Ukraine/Russian war and the emerging multi-polar world? The internet? Wokeism?

      If you had been paying attention, you might of noted that there are countries experiencing real civil unrest right now. Sir Lanka comes to mind. 47 countries are dependent on crops from the Ukraine and Russia, that the war has disrupted. The UN estimates 344 million people world wide face real food security this year.
      That number is expected to go up in the next year.

      US food banks are seeing record usage that is not usually seen until the winter months. Ten percent are new/first time users. Those people are experiencing food insecurity. Here. In the US. And food banks have noted that no small degree of them running out of food is due to inflation impacting their purchasing power.

      Farmers have been sounding the alarm about crop failures here in the US since last spring. Ranchers are selling their livestock herds off in record numbers. Prices of beef is expected to go to go up next year and as far as 2024. It will take at least two years for ranchers to recover from this years sell off. Agriculture insurance agencies are expecting crop losses as high as eighty percent. In some areas, farmers are not expecting to plant for next years crops due to drought.

      The SHTF is happening all around you.
      You just have to be bright enough to see it.

    • In TWO years everybody will feel the FOOL effect. I give it TWO YEARS!!
      They say things happen suddenly. Partly true. It happens first slowly then it GIVES away SUDDENLY.

  • The zero inflation that the politicians are toting are them saying that compared to previous months the prices haven’t increased since the last time period. It doesn’t mean that prices have come down, which is what they are essentially saying. Banks and credit unions are thriving because they charge NSF fees. Instead of blocking payments being made on debit cards, they allow the charge to go through to get the additional fees, allowing the person who is currently struggling to get deeper and deeper into the hole (something I know all to well).

    I can’t currently work, despite the desire to do so. I also know many families that are struggling depend on one income simply because the cost of having one child in daycare can be more than a mortgage payment… when I was working, my entire paycheck went to daycare so they could watch my son so I could work to put my son in daycare.

    People love to compare our society to what it was like in the fifties. It can’t be done really. More of us live in cities. The requirements to live have shifted, such as the need for internet and a cellphone, especially if someone works or has students that attend school. Things aren’t built to be longlasting anymore, so they frequently need to be replaced. Cities are more expensive to live in but they provide more amenities such as public transit. In the suburbs or rurally, you would be required to commute, so the cheaper house is replaced by the increase of fuel, car upkeep, and the time it takes to commute.

    I’ve been struggling because I depend on VA Disability, being unable to work due to injury and the resulting effects. I wish I had the ability to simply pick up shifts to help pay the bills, pay off debt, and add to savings for a rainy day fund. Things like bankruptcy also cost money… I would need to pay a lawyer and then either pay to keep my car or sell it and try to afford another one… which I can’t (due to the higher prices of used cars now because of low supply on the market). People who depend on things like VA disability (I get IU because I can’t work) or social security, frequently want to work. However working can jeopardize their benefits so while they are struggling now, they could be struggling more once they cross the threshold where they may lose their benefits and not every illness/injury is static. They may have a couple months where they could work normally but then they may go through a couple months or more where they can only do limited hours or none at all. Not to mention the cost of insurance and the limitations of taking time off work to attend the many appointments one may have.

    This winter, the plan is teaming up with the neighbors, they both work 2 jobs, and I am home and also homeschool my son. Because of this, I could easily make a few meals, so that when they get home, we could easily share. It would help both of us, because shopping for 4 is cheaper than shopping for 2, because the smaller packages usually cost the same (or near it) as the larger packages. Additionally, we drive less in the winter than the summer, as we try to get out of the house more in the summer (we live in townhouses with no yards). I have also been working on getting hydroponics set up so that we can grow food and greens inside year round, which would help drop our food costs.

  • Husband and I are both retired. We live very modestly. We can, dehydrate, only buy sale items. Yesterday I started a part time job. Gas and food prices are crazy. Heard a cable “news” channel say we all got a $100.00 raise because gas prices have dropped! We have to have oil for winter here in rural central Maine, that’s why I got a job. Place is only one and a half miles from our house so if push comes to shove I can always walk to work.
    Thankful we’ve prepped for years and have a good stockpile of food and other necessities. I just don’t see things getting better any time soon.

    • Without getting into the whole bio diesel thing as that is not really necessary. Heating oil does NOT have to be the stuff they ‘sell’ you. They make you think it has to be ‘so they can sell it to you’,but plenty of oils will work as well. Even used ones if filtered properly ,and you don’t need a huge fancy filtration thingie either. Even if you mix 100 gallons of ‘repurposed’ oil with 400 gallons of bought oil to fill your 500 gallon oil tank, you still saved the money on 100 gallons of oil. Stuff all over the internet, take a look around.

  • The roots of our current Crisis Situation really go back farther than many think, like a 100+ years ago, when Woodrow Wilson was President (incidently, Wilson used the FBI against his political opponents too). So our current collapse (I believe it’s already collapsing), has been a long time coming. The worst though, is yet to come, as we’re only at the beginning of this Fustercluck.
    Seriously, I don’t think we can vote our way out of this mess. That moment we missed a long time ago, before most of us were even born. Most of our fellow citizens are just too stupid to see what’s happening, and what’s still to come (I say that without rancor or hatred for the stupid, just an observable fact that they’re mislead and ignorant as they quixotically pursue their personal windmills).

    I also believe we’re on the brink of Civil War. The government believes it too, as it’s the only logical reason for hiring and arming 87,000 IRS agents, though they claim otherwise.
    I dread it coming to that point, as it will make the last Civil War seem like a skirmish. Millions will die, either directly or indirectly, but I see no clear path to averting Civil War either.

    Mayhaps I’m wrong. I make no claim of prophetic legitimacy other than as a student of history. But careful study of that history and the sad fact that humanity repeats its idiocy over and over again, as if it’s a geas we’re doomed to myopically repeat ad lib.
    Pick your side well, because sitting this out may not be an option available when Tyranny beats on your door.

    • Bemused Berserker,
      Great post!
      “. . . when Woodrow Wilson was President (incidently, Wilson used the FBI against his political opponents too). So our current collapse (I believe it’s already collapsing), has been a long time coming.”
      That is a great observation!

    • The problem this time is going to be, once Americans start fighting amongst themselves, NOBODY is watching the front door, and all the other countries who hate us, and even our allies. If you think the EU really gives a flying cluck about us, think again! they are so jealous of us it’s sickening are going to join in to take us down once and for all.

      China has been around for 5000 years, NOT by being stupid. People need to think on that for a moment. Once it does start, we are going to be getting it from all sides, inside and out as well ! No matter which ‘American’ side wins, it’s still over because the external forces will push events past where Americans will be able to recover from it.

      If Americans want any chance of saving what little they have left, they need to #$$##$ and get off the pot sooner rather than their current wait and see what happens. Much more waiting and that frog is boiling.

  • I paid $125 dollars to fill up my tank the other day. I have NEVER EVER paid this much before. Under Trump it was about half that. If this keeps going nobody will spend like they use to and our economy will go under a severe recession, then depression, then oppression, then WAR.

    You know the drill……

    • Under Clinton, it was $.99 a gallon. I don’t care who is in office, s/he has little control over the price of fuel.

  • I’m retired on a modest income. One thing I’ve noticed is not working has greatly lowered my expenses. It costs a lot of money to work – gas for commuting, etc. I’ve done all the traveling I want to do. I have no desire to party or go out to eat. Drive-thru is fine. I’ve been surprised at how much my cost of living has gone down. It was harder when I was young, needed to work, and the economy was bad in the late seventies/early eighties.

  • Some family transitioning out of the military got caught in the housing crunch. We’ve taken 6 people into our home! Because of the downturn in the stock market another person remotely attached to our family committed suicide which has devastated a family member just at the start of her new job. Yes. I agree the SHTF game is on. We have to keep in mind that the Evils play dirty.

  • My local community bank has been changing lately. Lobby hours have been cut. No more drive-thru banking on Saturday. If you want to visit with somebody in the bank, call an 800 number. I go to the bank twice a month and rarely see the same tellers. All new people.
    Biden signed EO 14067 to create a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) effective December 13, 2022. Cash is going to go away. Instead, you will be issued a super-duper plastic card in which the bank decides what transactions you make are allowed or not. Be a bad boy or girl and your card will be shut off. Just like in China. If the bank or government gets a little low on funds, they will just dip into YOUR bank account. It’s called a BAIL-IN. It happened in Cypress a few years ago. There’s NOTHING you can do about…

  • You are saying it’s hard to find work. For a 20’s something with kid in tow, I bet it is. How many kids are going in to look for work but show up with an attitude, can’t look up from their stupid phones to answer an interviewers questions, or, well I can work tuesdays from 10 am to 2 pm, but I need to be off wednesday and thursdays if I feel like it, I will come in to work but if I don’t then don’t expect me to fill your schedule, etc etc. When one of the first questions essentially asked by a potential hiree is, where’s the HR office and how easy is it to file a grievance, no thanks I think Ill pass on YOU. The plandemic did not help either, with many people being able to work from home and now expect the world to revolve around ‘their’ schedule, and the thought of actually ‘going in’ somewhere to work and on a time schedule? Oh how gen – z HORRIBLE is your life !!!!

    I also see younger people crying their eyes out, how horrible life is, how poor they are, they can’t afford food, they can’t afford the car payment, the electric bill bla bla, yet they sure manage to get that 6 to 7 dollar, mocha uper dooper douchbaggalagga frappudappucino from starbucks every morning! How about that 300 dollars a month you spend at THAT place, don’t you think that might pay your car insurance AND maybe even your electric bill too? You get a blank stare if you dare mention to them about SELF sacrifices like that. You can’t get a bag of ‘that’ coffee, some fake cream in a can, some fake flavored glop and brew and make your own gloop at home for a small fraction of the price? Oh but that’s not ‘cool’. What would my friends think if they seen me doing that? Well what will your friends think when they see you living under a bridge?

    Being poor sucks, I remember my days of dumpster diving, looking for things to recycle for food money. Walking thru the drive thru’s at the local fast food joints a few times a day, hoping to find chance someone dropped and were too lazy to get out and pick up etc. Going to car washes and emptying the vaccuum canisters out hoping to find change people sucked up etc. Point being, starvation is a POWERFUL motivator to make things work! How hard it has to be is up to YOU. Don’t expect the world to come to your rescue either, those days are OVER, you are a grown ass adult now.

    I personally think every single person NEEDS to hit rock bottom and be absolutely desperate for about a year or so. It will build character and let them see how well of they actually DO have it, and quit being so self absorbed. The strong will survive. You want to survive, then you better get strong real quick.

    Oh, and don’t be afraid to room up with someone too. I don’t mean sleeping with someone for rent money but getting a room mate. Someone to help with expenses, help with the mandatory things you NEED to do around the house. Open up a few hours of your week so you CAN work those tuesdays for that job that requires it, and actually be qualified to get that job now. Your roomie will also find themselves more able to ‘get by’ as well, and together you two can learn and grow stronger for the ordeal.

    I think an entire lazy pampered generation is going to be in for a VERY rude awakening here very soon. It’ll be good for them too.

    • A A Ron,
      Great post.
      Yeah, I slept on the floor, on a bed roll for more than a few months.
      Having $46 dollars for food to last me two weeks.
      Turning the temp down to 55 degrees as we could not afford the electric bill. Working a third shift job, and our “Friday” nights was watching Saturday morning cartoons, drinking a 12 pack of PBR.
      I, learned, the value of money.
      To be honest, being poor, valuing things like food, friends, were some of the best times of my life.

      • I honestly to say, that first year I got out of the military, the economy took a dump, I was in the fix I discussed, A small group of us, would hit the garbage dumpsters every Thursday AND the beginning of every month. That is when rents were due and people were skipping out in the middle of the night, and throwing away TONS of stuff they couldn’t take with them…. or the maintenance crews would throw it away when they cleaned the unit apartment unit out. Me having an electronics / mechanical background, we would get washing machines / dryers, often times with just minor dumb stuff wrong with them, spend 30 dollars to fix it then flip it for 150 dollars type thing. The apartment had a free vaccuum for your car, and once every few weeks we’d get lucky and find a ring, or necklace someone hoovered up and be able to get the gold value for that. Lots of drugs got sucked too but I never got into any of that and to this day do NOT do any of that crap. Not saying one of the other individuals didn’t tho, just not my thing. Pots / pans / stuff otherwise just got taken to the junk yard and recycled. I don’t want to say it was a care free time of my life, but, not a hell of a lot of responsibilities, and yah, I think that was one of the best times I had. Thing is though, I grew up poor. A mayonnaise sandwich on the heel, because my older brother got the real slice of bread, sometimes with a slice of cheese on it, would be lunch on some days. I was used to living like this, so it wasn’t a huge deal to me, but watching so many other people around wailing, it’s like dude, this is NOT that bad, just… learn to work it !!

        People are so spoiled today, they had it too good, no im not jealous but they have NO IDEA what living tough is like and being brought up in a cupcake little everyone gets a trophy world, is going to stomp them hard here. I love being able to give someone a hand up, I do it often, but am NOT your ATM machine so don’t even begin to ask for a hand OUT !!

    • Thank you.
      Middle-aged female, raised by my grandparents born in the 1920s after my mother passed. Many years of hearing what they went through. Learned so many valuable life lessons from them.
      I am disgusted by my generation and the younger generations bitching about how bad they have it, while holding their $1K phone and wearing their LeBrons. I’m not looking forward to having hard times, but I think you are correct. A big wake-up call is needed.

  • Denizens of The Organic Prepper,
    I regret to inform you some MSNBC yahoo has declared,

    “It’s not like the civil war is coming, it feels like the civil war is here.”

    You read that right.
    Civil war is here.
    Sure, we have hear or read previous such rhetoric over the past few years. Personally I think such speech is reckless. Uncle Billy Bob ranting after a dozen or so PBRs is one thing. MSM pundits? I dont think they should be using that kind of inflammatory language for ratings.
    As preppers, most of us abhor the idea of civil war, or we should. In the past I have posit the idea of the possibility of Balkanization could happen here in America as a mental exercise.
    I still find the idea revolting (no play on words intended). I know there would be hundreds of thousands if not millions who would suffer without so much as being anywhere near a shot taken in anger.
    I guess what I am saying is we need to lessen the extreme rhetoric, keep our heads and hope cooler heads prevail.
    At the same time, civil strife is something we do not rule out and prep for accordingly.

    May you live in interesting times.

  • Bought 1.5 acres with several buildings, creek and a pond two years ago. Paid $12,000. Living in a 24 by 24 cabin with wood heat. No debt. Four kids. Monthly household income: $2,500. Most important: Strong small-town relationships

    We’re doing just fine. But you have to give up that “civilized” high life and live in the Midwest sticks. We did it–and probably will never again visit our West Coast. Definitely worth it. (Did I mention very low crime and great neighbors? Oh, and we don’t do building permits, either).

    • No permits is not good – may your neighbor’s septic not contaminate your well. May your neighbor’s building not be on your property. Yes, permits can be overdone but the wild, wild west ain’t good either. I do live in the Midwest BTW.

  • I have 6 sons …. 11yrs on up to 23 yrs. All have been home schooled living on a 10 acre piece of land. We’ve had a combination of horses, goats, sheep and chickens. We have a couple pretty nice size gardens and forage for berries. This spring we started learning about what wild “weeds” we could harvest for medicine and have dried a bunch and made a three different tinctures. Our family hunts and fishes; harvesting moose within 30 km of our house and deer right on the property. We just went fishing an hour and a half away and brought home 42 Sockeye salmon and some wild growing hazelnuts! Two of my boys went back to the same spot today with some friends and brought home 9 more fish. I really believe in giving children the opportunity to contribute to the family’s food. Once they caught their limit fishing they were handing their rods off to complete strangers (this is legal where we live) so others could take fish home as well! Yes, we have spent a pretty penny buying fishing gear all these years, but now my sons are all incredible fishermen. They all help with the gutting, cleaning, filleting, canning, smoking and vacuum sealing and the clean up! My oldest just got married this spring …. we bought them a pressure canner for a wedding gift. He called tonight wanting the recipe for canned salmon!!! Don’t hesitate to get your kids involved and keep them involved… they will learn skills that they will have for their whole lives.

    I think one of the most frugal things we did when the kids were younger, aside from always buying all the rice, beans, lentils, oats etc in bulk, was putting out an add for unwanted old laying hens. We’d go pick them up from people and bring them home and butcher and can them. About 6 or 7 years ago we were heading into winter with very little meat and we ended up getting 100 old hens from an organic farm!!! For free! We ate canned chicken all winter… it was amazing! It was ALOT of work, but so worth it!!!

  • What do you do when you have no extra money to prepare for the coming inflation that is going to be worse than it is now? I called about a propane fill up in July and the rate was $1.35 higher than it was last summer. I can only imagine what the rate will be when it is actually cold outside. We have a small business and are losing clients left and right with their renewals coming up because they are cutting back on advertising. Today was the first time in over 20 years that I had to dip into my savings to pay a credit card bill. Time to start supplementing my business working for someone else. I will miss the freedom to come and go and not be tethered to a desk 8 hours a day.

  • Jobs are around if you’re willing to get dirty. I just spent the day in a horse stable setting fence posts and pounding down the fill around them. Get paid for core strength training, hanging with the gang, and learning a skill in the process!

  • I’ve finally gotten around to putting in a propane furnace and second AC unit, the price was right and it allows me to go off peak with my electric forced air furnace. Plus there is the wood furnace. Three sources of heat is a good thing.

    Right in the middle of that the daily driver went in for repairs, gas line leak that requires the tank to be dropped. The mechanic called and said it would probably be $1500, dropping the tank would cause a cascade on the lines and worst case was $1500. I don’t have the time to do it myself and ot needs other work. Looked around and found a replacement, same make, model and year for $2500. It was in much better shape for a 1995.

    Also found out the shimmy in the diesel plow truck is most likely the transmisson, but could be the engine. I’m leaning towards transmisson so it’s going into the transmission shop after Labor Day.

    Fortunately my preps are about as good as I can get and I have a stable, decent paying job. I still add food as I find things on sale like honey powder and butter powder.

    I still have to get the propane tank installed and filled. The propane furnace requires less electrical to run and I’ll have my generator hooked up to it.

    It’s a hit to the wallet, but I’ll be better prepared for it. It does make it a it of a personal SHTF situation.

    I’ve been busy planting trees and getting things done around the property, the non winter part of the year always seems to have less time than there are things to be done.

    It’s time to plant the turnips at the bug out location so the deer have more food over the winter. Fencing needs to be fixed and a gate needs to be out in. The garden there will probably need some work too. Guess I’ll be busy there this weekend.

  • Mind you, our collapse in Venezuela was almost in slow motion, and the uniforms had a crucial part in the repressive actions.
    This happened mostly in the major cities. If you´re thinking on downsizing and/or retiring to the countryside, do it before it´s too late.

  • I really enjoyed this article and especially the compassion the author shows towards people who are suffering because of forces beyond their control. Having said that, so many people have been living beyond their means for years by accumulating large amounts of debt. How many people have taken out second mortgages and HELOCS in order to pay for expensive vacations, toys and home remodels over the last decade or two? Of course, this was made possible by artificially low interest rates and the ridiculous housing bubbles that we have witnessed, but that doesn’t excuse the greed and financial imprudence shown by so many. These are the people that will be most likely to scream for the government’s help when things get really bad in this country.

  • It is true that things are a changing! But the largest change being the amount of deaths and injuries from these so called vaccines! The last percentage I heard was from 4 major insurance companies. They all agreed on the 419% increase in deaths across the board in all sexes, ages 18 to 64…working age people dying in droves! The last data reports issued that I know of were in the several million range for injuries of unknown causes??? All since the 2020 roll outs of the covid19 so called vaccines! So in the main scheme of things, jobs and what they pay is not of importance at all! People continue to get these insane kill shots! And wonder why there are no workers, no industry, no transportation, no food or food production! Wake up world! Before you can’t wake up. This is only the beginning. SHTF! It’s way worse than that! And there’s no coming back, or building back better! Only moving forward. So make a plan, don’t look to politicians or bigger government to do anything, that’s absurd! Pray and look up!???????? I’m really not a doomsday predictor, but I can read the signs of the times!

  • Why is it that if you do a search for SHTF, not one article explains what it means? I would guess that there must be shame involved, but people would rather go along with everybody else no matter the consequences.

    • David B,
      I think that is an excellent question.
      Some will have a very narrow definition of what SHTF is (see above various comments).
      Other definitions could be of a more personal nature vs a society, like stage 4 unoperable brain cancer.
      Most would agree for Selco during his time in the Balkan war was SHTF, just like those in the Ukraine are experiencing their own SHTF.
      There are people here in the America that are experiencing food insecurity. The jobs report in July showed a huge increase. But when you dig down into the data, it was not because more people were working. It was the same number of people taking on a second job to make ends meet in this inflationary environment. When the fridge and cabinets are bare, your savings account is less than $100, that is your own personal SHTF. Going to bed, hungry, cold and worrying if you are going to make it through the month. And there are more than a few Americans experiencing exactly that right now. Just read an article about how the number of Americans are depending on food banks right now. In 2019 it was 40 million. In 2021 it rose by 13 million to 53 million.
      Another definition rarely addressed is what or when did SHTF start?
      I made a few historical points, like the Black Plague, Irish potato famine, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand leading to WWI where an estimated 9 million died in combat, and another 5 million civilians died.
      Is the SHTF occurring now? What and when did it start?
      Questions to ponder with no clear cut answers to find.
      Sorry, not much help, eh?

  • The “why” isn’t difficult to discover. We, as employees, are being completely screwed by our employers. Minimum wage is much cheaper than slavery for a business. If minimum wage kept up with productivity it would be about $26 per hour. The elite are making much, much more now when compared to you and I when compared to some decades ago. This could be helped with Executive compensation caps, CEO to lowest worker ratio compensation caps, ending corporate stock buy backs, giving real power to the consumer protection agency, ending corporate mergers and breaking up “to big to fail” corporations, strengthen Unions, end ALL non compete contracts and mandatory arbitration clauses, excise tax on all corporations who currently import their products that used to be made in America within the last 40 years and tax incentives to being production jobs back to America. As a start.

    “More than half of the companies surveyed by the small business services reviews website reported raising prices beyond what was required to offset rising input costs. In other words, businesses are inflating already inflated prices in order to turn a bigger profit amid people’s fears over uncertain times,” the sites small business expert, Dennis Consorte, said in a statement.”

    “Still, gains in US corporate profits over the past year (37%) has vastly outstripped both inflation (6.2%) and compensation increases (12%), leading Morgan Stanley to recommend a return to a more equitable arrangement.”

    “The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) estimates that CEO compensation has grown 1,322% since 1978, while typical worker compensation has risen just 18%. In 2020, CEOs of the top 350 firms in the U.S. made $24.2 million, on average — 351 times more than a typical worker.”

    “A 2019 Institute for Policy Studies report estimates that 80% of S&P 500 companies pay their CEO over 100 times more than they pay their median worker. That means it would take 100 years for the average employee at one of these companies to earn what their CEO makes in a year.”

    “It used to be that in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, CEOs made 3.3 times what a top 0.1% earner made. Now, it’s more than six times,” says Mishel. “CEOs now are making 351 times that of a typical worker, but back in 1978, it was only 31 times. In 1989, it was 61 times.”

    “Mishel also mentions six potential reasons for why typical worker wages have not increased as quickly as typical CEO compensation: high unemployment (which forces workers into accepting the lowest wages possible), globalization (which allows companies to find the cheapest workers in the world), the erosion of unions (which makes it harder for workers to collectively bargain), low labor standards (including a low minimum wage), the increase in non-compete clauses (which makes it hard for workers to find better wages in their industry) and domestic outsourcing (like shifting to a workforce of freelancers). ”

    “Wages and benefits have not grown very much in the last 40 years. It has grown far less than what the economy produced,” he says, referencing research that found worker productivity has increased 3.5 times faster than average worker pay since the late 1970s.”

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