Saturday, December 26, 2020

"For 55 Percent Of Americans, 2020 Has Been 'A Personal Financial Disaster'”

"For 55 Percent Of Americans, 
2020 Has Been 'A Personal Financial Disaster'”
by Epic Economist

"To keep up with appearances and pretend that the final stretch of 2020 hasn't been as disastrous as the rest of the year, Congress has passed a new stimulus package as "damage control". But it's safe to say, the last thing they're interested in doing for us is controlling any damages. Our economy has been suffering for such a long time. Business owners have been literally begging for help. They have left us hanging for months, pushing millions upon millions to poverty and despair. And then, only when we were about to hit our lowest level, when everything around us was dramatically crumbling and people were starting to react to the absurd inaction of our authorities, they came up with $600 dollar checks as if it would solve anything. 

The worst part of it is that the biggest share of the $900 billion relief bill will stay in the hands of those who already have plenty of money. Meanwhile, over fifty percent of our entire population reported to be in the middle of a personal financial disaster. Families are deep in debt and, eventually, it won't be possible to keep extending moratoriums anymore, which means that over the next months we will inevitably see a tsunami of evictions. Although politicians and policymakers might want to shift our focus away from the mess they have created by handing us some petty cash, that won't change the fact they have enabled and fueled this economic catastrophe. That's what we discuss in this video. 

The U.S. has fallen into a brutal economic depression and the measures taken to keep things from spiraling out of control are just as effective as putting a Band-aid over an open wound. Issuing $900 billion dollars on top of the whopping 27.5 trillion dollars accumulated in national debt will certainly put us on a highway to hyperinflation since it goes without saying that we do not have this money. Apart from a small fraction of the total bill, which will be used to temporarily boost federal assistance programs, the remaining billions will be cashed into the pockets of the wealthy. 

Our citizens have been facing coup after coup since the burst of the crisis. So far, we documented over 70 million unemployment claims, and as lockdowns continue and more businesses are shuttered, this figure won't stop climbing. Right now, the economic pain has become so acute, a recent survey revealed that over half of all Americans have fallen into a personal financial disaster this year. 

According to OnePoll, 55 percent of the population reported to be facing financial hardships brought by the consequences of the health crisis. Sixty-two percent disclosed plans to take on a second job next year, but considering the dire situation of the labor market and the hundreds of thousands of businesses that closed permanently, of course, there won't be that many jobs to go around during 2021.

Never in history, we have collectively undergone so many financial strains as we are doing now. For nearly 37% - or four in 10 - that includes making dramatic cutbacks on their budgets. Keeping in mind that people are already trimming their spendings to manage to pay their rent and keep a roof over their heads, that signalizes they'll have to sacrifice themselves even more to live with some dignity. 

The staggering levels of debt in addition to impaired credit scores are likely to impact on people's housing security. Not only low-wage workers, but the American middle-class is about to be threatened by the coming tsunami of evictions. A recent report indicated that even though Congress has set aside $25 billion in rental assistance to state and local governments, this is not even half of the money that renters are projected to owe in back rent and utilities by the end of January. Moody’s forecasts that 12 million renters will owe an average of $5,850 for a total of $70 billion or almost three times as much as the current bill includes.

Soon, debt payments will come due, burdening families that still suffer from long-term unemployment and added health care costs. This could mean rising credit default rates as well as spillovers of economic pain to other households, from who people borrowed to pay their bills. As millions of Americans are financially hurting, it's pretty evident that we will need way more than a one-time relief bill with limited financial assistance to get back on our feet. But as authorities keep failing to properly evaluate and address the economic fallout of the crisis, our population keeps being pushed towards debt hysteria and austerity. In other words, the next chapters of the collapse will likely be the darkest America has ever faced, but still many do not understand the true nature of the crisis that is now unfolding all around us."

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