Less than two weeks ago I wrote "Crash Warning." It outlined the current economic parameters of the global economy and explained that we were careening toward a particular form of economic Armageddon which I believe was first described by John Williams of Shadowstats.com, when he coined the phrase "hyperinflationary depression" nearly a decade ago.
The debt-laden, fraud-saturated paper Ponzi-schemes of Western bankers are now all about to implode in a deflationary (debt-default) collapse – most notably all their fraud-bonds. Simultaneously, the rabidly excessive money-printing of these reckless gamblers is causing (and will cause) the prices for hard assets (i.e. assets which actually have value) to spiral upward, with the most likely final destination being hyperinflation.
Because that previous commentary was describing a global economic paradigm, my analysis was necessarily abbreviated with respect to the apex of all economic ills: the United States. In particular, I spent less than a paragraph discussing the collapse of the retail sector in the world’s largest economy -- a consumer economy.
Before we examine this train-wreck directly, let’s take a moment to define the backbone of this consumer economy: the American consumer. The two charts below should be very familiar to regular readers, and describe the American consumer in stark but precise terms: poor and/or unemployed.
[chart above courtesy of http://nowandfutures.com/index.html]
We see two things in the chart above on average American wages. First we see how (in real dollars) wages for the average U.S. worker have been falling steadily for more than 40 years. Those wages have now fallen by more than 50%, all the way down to the same levels as during the Great Depression. And we see how the U.S. government’s lies about inflation have almost entirely concealed this relentless collapse in wages. How convenient.
Meanwhile, we see the percentage of Americans who are actually working also plummeting downward, to a 30-year low. The collapse in wages has been accompanied by a collapse in employment levels. Combined, it translates into a collapse in consumer purchasing power of well in excess of 50%.
The great Economic Myth (naturally perpetuated by the U.S. government) is that "the world can’t live without" the American Consumer. The truth is that the rest of the world has been gradually learning how to live without the American consumer for the past 40 years, as the American consumer is literally less than half what he used to be. The real-and-obvious question instead is how will the U.S.’s consumer economy be able to survive the Death of the U.S. Consumer?
The relentless campaign by the U.S. government to transform its own Middle Class into the Working Poor has been an unmitigated success. Using the numbers of the Corporate Media itself, only about 10% of the U.S. population presently qualify as "middle class", now actually a smaller segment of the total population than the wealthy Americans who tower oppressively above them.The purpose of destroying wage-levels for U.S. workers has been to drive those wages so low that American serfs will be able to "compete" with the wages of