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Consumers aren’t Consuming, they’re Worried

September 16, 2011, by Ken Jorgustin

circle-the-wagons-consumers-are-worried

A recent CNBC headline, Consumer Hope for Future Hits Lowest Level Since 1980, reflects the sentiment noticed here at Modern Survival Blog through our recent polling which reveals that the majority of folks are mostly concerned about the economy, they are reducing their debt and being more frugal, while at the same time preparing for harder times ahead.

“Consumers have become increasingly pessimistic about the strength of the recovery this year amid worries the U.S. economy could fall back into recession. A recent Reuters poll of economists put the odds at one in three.” (Here at MSB, we believe that we’ve been in recession all along)

The New York Daily News just said that Mayor Bloomberg predicts riots in the streets if the economy doesn’t create more jobs. “We have a lot of kids graduating college, can’t find jobs,” “That’s what happened in Cairo. That’s what happened in Madrid.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that California’s unemployment rate just rose to 12.1%. In Illinois it is reported that the unemployment rate shot up to 9.9 percent for the fourth straight month of increasing job losses. Even in Texas, the unemployment rate has risen to 8.5 percent.

Reports of copper thieves are everywhere in the news while the desperate (and the criminal element) rip apart systems to steal copper wiring which they sell at scrap yards to take advantage of higher commodity prices.

We hardly go a day without news reports of mob attacks, mini riots, racial attacks, and unruly youths with nothing better to do than to mug or steal from others or to ransack businesses. The tensions are increasing.

Increasing numbers of people, even those with their heads formerly in the sand, are realizing that something is terribly wrong. They are sensing that the can will not be kicked down the road that much longer… because we’re running out of road. Debts will come due, the money is gone, and this is a global problem, one that the world has never faced before.

As the wheels continue to come off, so to speak, many people have stopped their frivolous spending and have been paying down debt and even increasing their cash savings – all defensive maneuvers, mostly to do with the uncertainty ahead.

We don’t know how bad it will be, when the dominoes begin tipping over in earnest, but we sense that it could be truly bad. Because things have been going ‘so well’ for ‘so long’ (even though it has been mostly false – a great bubble), most people today know no other way. They assume that things can’t ever get ‘that bad’. They’ve never experienced true economic pain – which leads to other pains.

While we sincerely hope that some miracle will happen and the world will be saved from the great unwinding, our sense of logic tells us that there is no other way, and that we all will be going through it – perhaps soon. It’s time to baton down the hatches, circle the wagons, finish your preparations and stay a step or two ahead of the crowd. Be willing to think outside the box and adapt to your new situation. We will get through it after all, but the idea is to make it through with less bruises than otherwise…

 

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