Many Americans Are Living In A Financial/Economic Nightmare

The following is guest post from a Mining Stock Journal subscriber who runs a family business in the northeast part of the country:

Our family has been in business here for over 100 years. Presently we run a collection of consumer-based businesses, including a hotel, restaurant and an apartment complex. We have very well run businesses with tight controls. All my top managers have been with the company for well over two decades.

Because of the nature of our businesses and related customer base, I have a first-hand, “front row view” of the economic condition of the average household. I can say with direct knowledge that the average American has entered an income and debt nightmare.

I’m writing you because the entire area where I live and work has finally hit a wall of debt. It’s gutted our customers, our businesses, and the entire economy in my area…Everybody including small and mid-size businesses use debt to maintain their daily existence.

Businesses that are owed a debt by other businesses may want to know how to collect business debt; being paid for your work and in a timely manner is something most customers have an appreciation of but sometimes seeking legal assistance might be the only option in instances where getting paid is proving a difficulty.

It finally showed up in ALL of our business starting this spring…our customers are BROKE and not coming thru the doors. Everyone up here lives by increasing their credit card balance each month, except for the very few that have their entire life savings in overvalued stocks. Before I wrote this, I asked my managers about their friends, family, and our employees. All are broke, living paycheck to paycheck.

Even in the alt-media, there is plenty written about the consumer being tapped out, but few are mentioning small and mid size businesses. Most are in the EXACT shape as the general public – just the numbers are bigger.

The drug use…heroin/meth is OUT OF CONTROL, a huge percentage of people up here can only survive with State and Federal assistance.

Dave, I’m not a gloom and doom’er, but starting the spring of this year…something changed…it’s like a wall was hit. You can bet your ass this area of the county is a mirror image of what I see in my businesses and the surrounding communities. Something is close Dave, very close. I have never seen anything like it in my 60 years. We both know what’s coming, and it’s not good.

Sorry I don’t have positive news……but it’s the truth!!

16 thoughts on “Many Americans Are Living In A Financial/Economic Nightmare

  1. Northeast?? It can’t be anywhere near NYC. Things are still booming here. Restaurants are packed, buildings are going up faster than ever even in the outer boroughs.

    1. Commercial r/e getting hit pretty hard in NYC. Rent is dropping quickly. I was just there at the end of June and have good friend who is in commercial r/e. yes, buildings are still going up but they’ll crush the price structure.

  2. I do not doubt what this guy says, but I see restaurants jammed packed all the time around here (SW OHIO). People sure seem to have money to blow.

    I am tight with my money and frequent ‘cheap’ eateries when I do eat out. The other evening I stop at this really good hole-in-wall greek joint after work. I order a Gyro and a tap water ($6.50 w/ tax). I am a fairly large guy and this filled me up. Baby boomer couple in front of me order one of everything on the menu and didn’t bat an eye at their $38 Tab. People just seem to have money to piss away.

    Keep in mind this is in a shitty section of town and people have money to burn.

  3. Rule by criminals and their henchman (politicians, bureaucrats, and media), and their usefull idiots (academia and think tanks). Their is no doubt about this. The coup occurred when Kennedy was murdered, and it is reaching it’s inevitable conclusion. – soon.

  4. Good reads and thanks for the comments. I appreciate that pockets of prosperity are still out there. It’s also apparent that the underclass is growing much faster and as pointed out the supply of gubmint doe-ray-me is still allowing for many restaurants to stay in biz grocery stores too with their qualifying heating it up at home subsidized meals. Its not as apparent who is using snap cards or its equivalent most places so it disguises the transaction hints we used to get. Do see more elderly and some of those that look a bit downtrodden using cash. Either they don’t have credit cards or have learned the hard way how it bites. The population still looks way overfed and diabetes is most likely the fastest growning disease in the county if not drug addiction.

    The government sector is still the one giving the appearance all is well….well they need to downsize IMO. They keep plying the all is better than well card. Why not they are creaming off the money at record rates. What the hell is not taxed anymore? The real estate inflation alone is ginning massive amounts of property tax windfall for them. Mine went up another 15% this year as the idiot next to me paid full list for his house last year. The state still has not paid me my refund and a check of their website indicates you shouldn’t expect a refund for a minimum of 120 days. I attended a recent retirement for a friend that worked for the city government. The place was packed with city and county employees. My guess is the number of city employees has more than doubled most likely tripled in the last 10 years. A new southwestern style fire station is under construction with its attendant 4 acre green space. We now have two fire stations plus a county fire station at the edge of town. ( I think we had maybe 4 residential fires last year) Must have been a huge increase in cats trapped in trees. A new first class city venue for weddings and events was recently opened $6K a night to rent. A new rec center (city owned is on the drawing board even though the current one is under utilized). Talk is of another sales tax increase to support MORE government services…. plus a new building for school district administration. We already have a built in increase for next year school levy increase ( very cleverly disguised by the fact we were supposed to get a drop as we just paid off the last one) I think we would be a pretty typical bedroom community of 35K. The continued CONfiscation of our money thru taxes for services we have no vote on is troubling. Adding it all up the taxes seem to get closer by the day to +50% of every marginal dollar when you add them all up. As I am now making the transitions of being 62 and possible retirement. How long until we are inflated and taxed into oblivion?

    1. Yep, same stuff here: tearing down old school buildings, fire stations, and even our county jail is gonna be torn down and replaced. The county is raising our sales taxes by 1/2 of a percent for the new jail at a cost of about $400,000 a bed! Can you believe that? I quoted this figure to a former CO I work with and he said, “oh, yea. Jails wear out.” Maybe if we didn’t lock people up for all these drug crimes the jails would get a rest.

      Guy above asked about how those people in the Greek Restaraunt paid. They paid w/ plastic.

  5. Well he isn’t describing Atlanta. Good luck getting into a decent restaurant anywhere near the weekend. While I was told I didn’t know my own market and housing was going bust in Atl more then 5 years ago they are still selling faster then crack. Granted the boom has gone on a long time and a recession is overdue but let’s admit the dooms and gloomers have missed a generational run in housing and stocks

    1. Data I’ve seen suggests that apartment inventory is soaring in Atlanta. Houses are likely moving still
      because the Govt just made is A LOT easier for subprime borrowers to take down a conforming mortgage.
      Atlanta was hot spot in the last bubble and it was also a big casualty of the last pop. Stay tuned.

      Also, anecdotally going to a restaurant to and deciding the economy is hot is not a good source of data-gathering.
      Black Box, which tracks over 35,000 restaurants monthly has been reporting a monthly decline in restaurant
      traffic (i.e. # of checks) for nearly 24 straight months. Go eat at some places in lower income areas and tell me
      what you see. I can tell you that, other certain really popular spots in Denver, in general restaurant traffic
      is declining (I eat out almost every night).

    2. Hugh,
      What he describes is what I am seeing in my small business 30 miles Northeast of Atlanta.
      Single people may eat out because cooking for one is inefficient, or they want to be around other people. Couples & families people go out to eat out becasue they are on the go…and to forget about their problems. So the restaurant business may not be as good a gauge as other businesses.

  6. A subdivision next to ours (far Chicago suburb) went bust in 2008. Last spring a builder took over and to date only built on 25% of the remaining lots. The last 6 were either built on spec or the people backed out cause they have For Sale signs. Right now there’s hardly any construction activity going on.

  7. Just like people are going to go out to eat to forget their [financial] problems, they are going to go to the movies.. I just came across an article on how well AMC entertainment is doing. Maybe they should be saving that money…to go out to eat.
    My point is restaurants, movies companies, and liquor stores may not be the most accurate gauge of how the economy is doing.

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