The phrase “economic collapse” usually causes associations with the economic crisis that occurs in countries such as Venezuela or Greece. We think of hunger, the complete absence of the health care system and the waves of suicides committed in despair by those who cannot survive in such conditions.
Is a similar economic collapse possible in developed countries, for example, in the USA? Daisy Luther writes on The Organic Prepper that an economic catastrophe in the United States will not happen overnight, but will increase gradually.
Usually, the media tell us about the results of a whole chain of events that took place in a certain state over the course of several years and eventually led to an economic collapse. For example, Venezuela was one of the richest countries in the world thanks to its oil reserves until the mid-1980s. Then oil prices collapsed, which provoked the fall of the Venezuelan economy, but it took several decades to understand the depth of the crisis.
In the US, talk of an impending crisis began to take place since 2008, when there was a recession in the US economy. The United States managed to find a way out of the crisis, creating the illusion of economic prosperity. However, it remains doubtful to what extent the propaganda of the American authorities reflects the real state of affairs in the American economy. Of course, the Americans will not be able to identify for themselves any particular event, after which they will definitely say: ‘Our economy collapsed.’
Instead, ordinary people will still see signs of an economic downturn, such as the lack of permanent jobs with benefits, increasing student and consumer debts, an ever-increasing number of citizens who cannot afford rent and food, and one after another closing large chain retail stores.
Currently, most Americans can still use their credit cards and bank loans. At first glance it may seem that everything is not so bad. People continue to buy things they do not need, go to restaurants and spend billions of dollars on Christmas presents. However, despite the fact that people spend money, it does not mean that they can boast of financial well-being. It seems that just individual American families are experiencing difficulties.
The current state of affairs in the American economy does not mean that the country is facing a national crisis. Consumers consume. People work, have a barbecue with their neighbors and gather for festive parties.
But the American dream is gradually disappearing, because under the tinsel of a carefree life, people actually live on the brink of crisis.
Forty percent of Americans could not cope with the need to urgently spend only $ 400 without selling anything for this from their belongings. 78% of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck. This means that only one lost wage will be a financial catastrophe for most Americans.
When the time comes for unpaid wages or sudden expenses, people will blame themselves for this. They will silently feel like complete losers, not realizing that the whole system is crumbling around them. They will firmly believe that it is only their family that suffers, and only because of their own wrong decisions.
Of course, we all need to learn how to make rational decisions. You can, for example, not go on vacation this year, not spend a lot of money on gifts and children, or reduce the cost of food, abandoning expensive ones. You can refuse credit cards, live within your means and lead a spartan lifestyle.
But we are not responsible for what happens with the money. What if, God forbid, anyone in the family gets sick with a serious illness? Even with medical insurance, which, by the way, more and more middle-class families in the US cannot afford, the costs will be astronomical, even without taking into account the long-term loss of income of the sick person.
Every time you encounter a family that is in financial difficulties, you should understand that very few of us are protected from such problems. We all deal with our financial problems in different ways. Some people are more lucky than others – such people can find second and third jobs. Some can drastically cut costs.
Many single mothers in America have to get a second job just to cover the cost of kindergarten. Such women have to work seven days a week, since kindergarten fees may be equal to rent. People do not have the opportunity to spend time with their children.
In the United States, one can observe a gradual disappearance of the middle class. Most recently, it was thought that the average American family should have several children, a house of their own, two cars, a large garage and a backyard swimming pool. For so many middle-class families, it is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve this level of living. It’s not just that Americans are lazy and used to spending money, which they do not have.
According to the author, the biggest blow that was inflicted on the middle class in the USA was the law on affordable medical care, known as Obamacare. Although the law helped many people who could not afford any medical care before, for many others it was a financial disaster. In America, there were many stories about families who paid thousands of dollars a month for doctors who did not do anything for them until their expenses reached 10 thousand dollars. Their monthly insurance payments were not written off; they could not receive subsidies. It turned out that the authorities forced the people to pay and did not cover the costs of their healthcare.
In the end, normal things will become luxuries. Despite the fact that things in the US are not easy, even the poorest citizens of the country still have what they do not have more than 2/3 of the world’s population: a roof over their heads, heating in the winter, water supply, food and electricity. All this may change.
As the US economy falls, the country’s national debt grows. What if electricity, heating and piped water only become rich?
Scientists say that one superpowerful solar flare can destroy all the electricity on Earth and throw us back 200 years. There will be no refrigerators, no transport, no lighting. But in this situation, we all find ourselves in the same boat. What if the economic collapse looks about the same? What if prices rise to the point that people have to choose between food, piped water and electricity? Several years ago, in Jefferson County, Alabama, the price of water quadrupled, and monthly water bills exceeded $ 300.
Jefferson County in Alabama is the most populous county in the state, as well as the poorest. In Birmingham, Jefferson County’s largest city, water and sewage bills have quadrupled in the last 15 years, and total costs for sewers and water are about $ 300 a month. People decided to buy barrels of water at gas stations, and not pay their ever-growing bills. They use these barrels of water for drinking, washing and for their toilets, which can be seen in the backyards of homes throughout the area. They pay the health service for the removal of sewage — it’s cheaper than letting the city authorities take care of the same thing.
What if people have to get rich to have electricity and tap water? Ordinary people will not be able to find a clear explanation of their problems, point the finger at it and say: ‘That’s why the American economy collapsed.’ Instead, it becomes harder for them to pay bills. People get into debt to pay health care costs and so on. Work, if it still exists, does not provide a wage increase that would compensate for the increase in the cost of living, because the employer is also trying to survive.
Then the person tries to understand what he needs to spend money on, and what he doesn’t. What is more important, medicine or kindergarten? Tap water or electricity? Rent or food?
This is the future that many Americans should be preparing for today.