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Stimulus Addiction Disorder: The Debt-Disposable Earnings Pyramid

This article was originally published by Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds Blog. 

One glance at this chart explains why the status quo is locked on “run to fail” and will implode in a spectacular collapse of the unsustainable debt super-nova.

For those who suspect the status quo is unsustainable but aren’t quite sure why I’ve prepared a simple chart that explains the financial precariousness many sense. The chart depicts the two core elements of a debt-based, consumerist economy: disposable earnings, defined as the earnings left after paying for essentials which can then be used to service debt and debt.

In other words, if all the household earnings are spent on non-discretionary expenses (rent or mortgage, taxes, food, utilities, healthcare, etc.) then there is no money left to pay the interest and principal on a loan. Lenders consider this household uncreditworthy for the simple reason that their earnings cannot support the monthly nut of debt service (interest and principal).

Note the word earnings as opposed to income. Social entitlements such as Social Security are income but they are funded by taxes paid by those with earnings. (All of America’s social entitlements are pay as you go–the trust funds are PR fiction.) The investment income (interest) paid to owners of Treasury bonds is also paid by taxes on earnings.

All the interest and principal of the debt is ultimately paid out of earnings, either private-sector debt paid directly out of wages or public-sector debt paid out of taxes which are paid out of earnings.

The problem with servicing debt out of income is two-fold: one, earnings of the bottom 95% have been stagnant for decades, which means earnings aren’t actually rising in terms of the goods and services they can buy, and two, the cost of non-discretionary expenses (essentials) has been rising, especially the big-ticket costs such as housing, healthcare and higher education.

You see the problem: since earnings are flat and the cost of essentials is steadily rising, there are fewer disposable earnings left every month to service debt. This is a problem in an economy like America’s that depends on debt-funded consumption to fuel “growth.” No increase in debt means no increase in consumption which means no “growth.”

In response, the status quo–the Federal Reserve and the federal government–have played two financial tricks to maintain the illusion that earnings can support more debt: one, the Fed has lowered interest rates to near-zero, reducing the costs of mortgages (but not the sky-high interest rates charged on student loans or credit cards, of course) so the same stagnant earnings can support a much larger mortgage, and two, the federal government has increased its own borrowing to fund various stimulus programs, most of which are corporate welfare to monopolies and cartels in the form of subsidies, tax breaks, government contracts, etc. But as the consumerist economy weakens, the government is increasing its stimulus to households as well–all with borrowed money that is theoretically serviced by taxes on earnings.

Alas, these tricks are not sustainable. Interest rates can’t go lower than zero without bankrupting the banking sector, and federal spending is completely untethered from tax revenues.

The “solution” is obvious: borrow the money needed to service new and existing debt. This is the definition of a zombie economy comprised of zombie companies and zombie consumers that need to borrow more to sustain the illusion of solvency, i.e. that their disposable earnings are sufficient to service all their debts.

Notice that the debt-disposable pyramid is inverted: an ever-larger amount of debt is being piled on an ever-shrinking amount of disposable earnings. The trick of borrowing more to make the payments on the existing debt and fund new consumption results in a compounding of debt, not an arithmetic (linear) increase in debt: debt grows geometrically while the disposable earnings needed to service the debt remain stagnant.

The only “solution” left is Stimulus Addiction Disorder (SAD): the Fed must create trillions of dollars out of thin air to buy the Treasury bonds that are sold to fund trillions of dollars in stimulus–not once or twice, but from now on until the entire travesty of a mockery of a sham collapses under its own weight of flimflammery and fraud.

Artifice, illusion and simulacra are not real, and what’s not real vanishes back into the air whence it came. One glance at this chart explains why the status quo is locked on run to fail and will implode in a spectacular collapse of the unsustainable debt super-nova. SAD, to be sure.

The post Stimulus Addiction Disorder: The Debt-Disposable Earnings Pyramid first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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We Are Witnessing A Last Minute Mass Exodus Before The Final Collapse Of Our Major Cities

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog. 

Americans fled the big cities “in droves” in 2020, and one recent survey discovered that even more Americans are planning to move in 2021.  The corporate media is attempting to frame this mass exodus as a temporary phenomenon, but there is nothing temporary about it.

Millions upon millions of people can see that our society is literally melting down all around us, and they want to get somewhere safe while they still can.  In recent weeks, I have written articles about the specific problems that we are witnessing in Chicago and San Francisco, but the truth is that virtually all of our major cities are coming apart at the seams, and this is motivating more people than ever to seek greener pastures.

With so many Americans looking to move, this has pushed up home prices in desirable suburban and rural areas to insane heights.

In fact, in some parts of the country, it is difficult to find a decent home for sale at all.  In Bozeman, Montana one man has actually resorted to walking around with a cardboard sign asking for someone to sell him a house…

“I’m just asking for someone to sell us a home. My sign says please sell me a home,” said Sean Hawksford, a Bozeman resident.

You may have seen Hawksford strolling down Main Street with a cardboard sign, asking for leads on a house for sale.

This is not a homeless man that we are talking about.

Sean Hawksford is a family man that owns a successful business, and he has been approved for a mortgage.

He just can’t find a house to buy.

According to Hawksford, he has made 18 offers over the past 6 months, but none of them have been accepted

“It’s been about 6 months, we’ve made I think 18 offers now on different properties and haven’t had one accepted yet,” said Hawksford.

“It’s been a little bit tough with them, and all of my first-time homebuyers to be honest with you,” said Jeff Bent, the Hawksfords’ realtor in Bozeman.

I warned that this would happen.

I warned that when things started to get crazy many Americans wouldn’t be able to move because there would be a crushing amount of demand for available housing as hordes of Americans suddenly sought to relocate.  NBC News has used the term “droves” to describe the mass exodus that we witnessed last year…

Americans fled big cities in droves to escape the coronavirus pandemic — and many of them are staying, permanently or indefinitely. But escape means something different depending on whom you ask.

We have never seen anything like this before in U.S. history.  According to the Pew Research Center, about one-fifth of all Americans either moved or know someone who moved in 2020…

A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center while the pandemic was in full swing in June 2020 found that approximately a fifth of Americans moved or know someone who moved as a result of COVID-19. The reasons they gave for people moving were extremely varied — ranging from being called into active military duty to college housing being closed down to, of course, sudden financial constraints.

The corporate media keeps trying to blame COVID for the mass migration, but now the COVID pandemic is fading and Americans are still moving in large numbers.

In fact, one recent survey actually found that “20% more people are planning to move in 2021 than moved in 2020”.

If I was currently living in a major city on the east or west coast, I would be highly motivated to move too.

For example, just check out what is happening in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, the state’s largest city and arguably the most populous now in the United States, has become a byword for violent crime and especially the stronghold of the enormous, ultraviolent and rapidly growing MS 13 organization, routinely mislabeled as a mere “gang” in media reports. MS 13 has up to 50,000 members worldwide of whom at least 10,000, officially, and probably twice as many according to the private assessments of many police officers are in LA.

Jeremiah Babe recently went into the wealthy areas of downtown Los Angeles, and the footage that he captured was mind-blowing.

L.A. has never looked like this, and it is getting worse with each passing day.

Of course many would argue that San Francisco is in even worse shape

San Francisco – America’s “anything goes” city – is in even worse shape. Its most famous, historically popular and beautiful stylish locations are now swamped with aggressive, unsanitary street people who openly urinate and defecate in the streets. Public services, long superb, are now appalling.

For much more on the tragedy that is playing out in that once beautiful city, please see my previous article entitled “The Reason Why A Lot Of People Are Leaving San Francisco Might Surprise You”.

Of course, it isn’t just individuals that are moving.  In recent months we have seen large numbers of businesses choose to relocate.  At one point, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made headlines all over the globe when even he decided that it was time to leave California for good

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has left California and is now a resident of Texas.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Musk said that the move made sense, amid plans underway for a new Tesla factory in the Austin area.

I certainly can’t blame him.

What rational person would choose California over Texas at this point?

On the east coast, hordes of businesses have left New York as well.  If you can believe it, even the New York Stock Exchange is thinking of leaving…

The head of the world’s largest financial market, Stacey Cunningham, floated the idea of leaving New York in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal to avoid taxes.

When people think of Florida, they often picture restaurants and shopping, the kind of business you do on vacation. But more and more, people are choosing to move down to the sunshine state because there’s no income tax, and the cost of living is low.

Perhaps they will need to rename it “the Florida Stock Exchange” if they actually pull the trigger on such a move.

Sadly, when things get really bad in this nation, no part of the country will be fully immune.

We will all feel the pain, and the suffering will be off the charts.

But if you do feel motivated to relocate, I would do it as soon as possible, because later this year global events will start accelerating at a very rapid pace.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Parler, and anyway that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

The post We Are Witnessing A Last Minute Mass Exodus Before The Final Collapse Of Our Major Cities first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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