“Mad Max” Conditions Are Coming: Desperation Is Rising As The Economy Rapidly Deteriorates And Food Costs Soar

by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:

How far would you go to feed your family?  Hopefully that is a question that you will not have to answer any time soon, but right now we are seeing millions upon millions of people become more desperate as economic conditions rapidly deteriorate and food costs soar.  At this point, most Americans are just barely scraping by from month to month, and in poorer countries on the other side of the world there are people that are literally starving to death.  As I have detailed previously, the UN has reported that 2.4 billion people did not have enough food to eat last year, and 900 million of them were facing severe food insecurity.  Sadly, those numbers will inevitably be even higher for 2023.  A global rice crisis has erupted, and the collapse of the Black Sea grain deal has greatly restricted the flow of agricultural goods from that part of the globe.  Food costs are spiking all over the planet, and that is really bad news for all of us.

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For those of us that live in the United States, the good news is that nobody is starving at this stage.

But food prices have become extremely oppressive, and economic conditions are quickly moving in the wrong direction.

670,000 full-time jobs have been lost in just the past two months, and on Friday we witnessed the worst unadjusted payrolls report for the month of August since the Great Recession.

Yes, things really are that bad.

One recent survey discovered that 61 percent of Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck, but I expect this number to go even higher in the months ahead…

Inflation, mortgage rates over 7% and credit card APR’s north of 20% have pushed all income brackets into living paycheck to paycheck, according to a new survey from Lending Club Bank.

“In July 2023, 61% of U.S. consumers live paycheck to paycheck, unchanged from June 2023, but 2 percentage points higher than July 2022. Generally, more consumers of all income brackets reported living paycheck to paycheck in July 2023 than last year,” Alia Dudum, a money expert at LendingClub told FOX Business.

Things are particularly dire for low income workers.  That same survey discovered that a whopping 78 percent of those that earn less than $50,000 a year are living paycheck to paycheck at this point…

Lower-income workers have been the hardest hit by higher prices, particularly for food and other necessities, since those expenses account for a bigger share of the budget, studies show.

Now, 78% of consumers earning less than $50,000 a year and 65% of those earning between $50,000 and $100,000 were living paycheck to paycheck in July, both up from a year ago, LendingClub found. Of those earning $100,000 or more, only 44% reported living paycheck to paycheck.

As I discussed last week, U.S. households that are feeling financial strain are increasingly turning to debt to make ends meet, and this has pushed debt levels to unprecedented heights

Total household debt climbed to a new high in the second quarter of 2023, reaching $17.06 trillion, with credit card debt exceeding $1 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. As interest rates stay high, costs continue to rise for expenses like housing and cars, and student loan payments resume, the amount of debt may rise, according to economists who spoke to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“The amount of debt outstanding, and in particular the surpassing of the $1 trillion mark, is significant and worrisome,” Peter Earle, an economist at the American Institute for Economic Research, told the DCNF. “It owes to a combination of several factors. The initial response to the pandemic, which prominently included the Fed setting policy (interest) rates at essentially zero for several years, made the amount of credit and the price of taking on debt extraordinarily cheap.”

As economic conditions get worse, people are becoming more desperate.

This is helping to fuel a crime wave all over the nation, and retailers are being forced to implement extreme measures.

According to the Wahington Post, a Giant Food store in Washington D.C. is actually going to be taking all Tide, Colgate and Advil products off the shelves completely because theft has become such a problem…

In the coming weeks, a Giant Food market in D.C. will clear its beauty and health aisles of all national labels. No more Tide, Colgate or Advil, only store brands. Shoppers also will have to present their receipts to an employee before exiting the store.

It’s the regional supermarket chain’s most overt gambit against the rampant theft that’s plaguing retailers of all sizes. It’s also a potential last-ditch effort to avoid shutting down the unprofitable store on Alabama Avenue — the only major grocer east of the Anacostia River in Ward 8.

An executive for the chain told the Washington Post that the company has “no other choice” and she noted that other stores in the area have done similar things…

“We have no other choice,” Diane Hicks, senior vice president of operations said Thursday during a walk-through with officials from the D.C. mayor’s office, the Metropolitan police and fire departments, and Chamber of Commerce. She added that other nearby stores have locked up all their product on those aisles or removed them altogether. “I’ve been leaving it out for our customers and unfortunately it just forces all the crime to come to us.”

This is where our entire society is heading.

It is just a matter of time before we see armed guards stationed in grocery stores and on food trucks all over America.

Desperate people do desperate things, and right now we are seeing things happen that are absolutely nuts.

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Originally Posted at www.sgtreport.com