12 Shocking Clues For What America Will Look Like When The Next Great Economic Crisis Strikes

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

The collapse of American society is accelerating.  For the moment, much of our social decay is being masked by the tremendous level of affluence that we are experiencing in aggregate.  It has been reported that 4 out of every 5 adults in the United States "struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives", but in general Americans still enjoy a debt-fueled standard of living that is far beyond what most of the rest of the world enjoys.  When that debt-fueled standard of living permanently disappears, it is going to unleash chaos unlike anything that America has ever seen before. 

Right now, economic conditions in this country are not anywhere close to where they were before 2008, but this is just the beginning.  We are in the midst of an ongoing economic collapse which is going to get much, much worse in the years ahead.  When the next major wave of the economic crisis strikes, millions of people are going to become extremely desperate.  And desperate people do desperate things.  We are already starting to see this play out all over the nation, but this is only a preview of coming attractions.  What we are going to witness in future years is going to be almost too horrible for words.

So how can I be so sure that this is going to happen?  After all, the United States didn't descend into complete and utter chaos during the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Wouldn't an economic depression unfold in a similar manner today?

Unfortunately, a lot has changed since then.  A lot more Americans were self-sufficient back in those days, and the truth is that the character of our nation has been rotting and decaying for decades.  In a previous article, I described it this way...

"We are simply not the same country that we used to be.  Americans are proud, selfish, greedy, arrogant, ungrateful, treacherous and completely addicted to entertainment and pleasure.  Our country is literally falling apart all around us, but most Americans are so plugged into entertainment that they can't even be bothered to notice what is happening."

Just last weekend, there were "mini-riots" in several U.S. states when "technical issues" caused the food stamp system to go haywire for a few hours.

What would have happened if there had been an extended outage or if the political crisis in D.C. had caused food stamps to be completely cut off at some point in November?

Let's be thankful that we did not have to find out.

But even though major food stamps riots may have been averted (at least for now), there are a whole host of other signs that America is going to become a very unstable place during the next major economic downturn.  The following are 12 shocking clues about what America will look like when the next great economic crisis strikes...

#1 Would you continue to work as a bus driver if you were stabbed while driving or if a passenger poured urine all over you?  Just check out what has been going on in Detroit lately...

After two drivers were recently stabbed and another had urine poured on her by an angry rider, union officials representing bus drivers for the city of Detroit are set to protest in front of city hall at 10 a.m. on Monday.

#2 We are starting to see a lot of "group crimes" happen all over America.  For example, just the other day in Brooklyn, New York a gang of 10 young thugs dragged a young couple out of their vehicle and brutally beat them...

Ronald Russo was dragged to the ground. Then he was punched and kicked in the head. He felt more blows all over his body, investigators said. He suffered a fractured nose, a broken septum, a blood clot and abrasions to his shoulder. He was treated and released from Beth Israel Medical Center.


In the midst of the attack, there was a steady chorus of epithets. “White motherf-----!” screamed the attackers, who ranged in age from 12 to 18.


Alanna Russo, 30, was calling 911 when the 12-year-old girl pulled the woman’s hair and threw her to the ground. The victim’s head slammed into the concrete. She suffered a black eye, bleeding and difficulty breathing, prosecutors said, but she refused medical attention.

#3 A lot of people assume that they are perfectly safe inside their own vehicles but that is not the case at all.  A story in the New York Post about a gang of bikers that ruthlessly hunted down a young family that was driving an SUV made national headlines a few weeks ago...

A gang of bikers terrorized a dad driving with his wife and baby daughter on the West Side Highway — chasing after their SUV and then dragging the man out and beating him to a pulp in front of his horrified family, authorities said.

When the bikers caught up with this family they showed the father of the baby daughter absolutely no mercy...

One biker can be seen on the video ripping off his helmet and using it to bash in Lien’s driver’s-side window.


The crew pummeled Lien on the pavement in front of his wife, Rosalyn Ng, and their 2-year-old daughter, police sources said.


Lien, who also was slashed during the melee, was rushed to Columbia University Medical Center. He needed stitches to his face and chest and had two black eyes.

#4 We are living at a time when hearts are becoming very cold.  Some Americans are becoming so desperate for money that they will do almost anything to get it.  In fact, one couple in Tennessee has actually been charged with selling their four daughters for use in sex films...

An East Tennessee couple is facing a list of charges, accused of selling their children to take part in sex films.


Connie Sue McCall, 40, and her husband, Ronnie Lee McCall, 61, of Johnson City have been charged by a federal grand jury.


Paperwork shows the couple was selling their four daughters.


Prosecutors say the four girls were between the ages of 5 and 16 when this happened.

Could you imagine such a thing happening in your neighborhood?

Perhaps it is happening, but you just don't know that it is going on.

#5 And it is not only older people that are having their hearts grow cold.  It is happening to young people too.  Last week, a 17-year-old girl was caught carrying around a dead baby (which she probably gave birth to) in a shopping bag in a Victoria's Secret store right in the heart of Manhattan...

The dead baby found in the teen’s shopping bag at a Victoria’s Secret store in Manhattan was born alive and then asphyxiated, police said Friday, as the macabre discovery turned toward a possible homicide case.


Police believe 17-year-old Tiana Rodriguez gave birth to the baby at a friend’s house and that the infant was later asphyxiated. However, the city medical examiner’s office said an autopsy was inconclusive, and more tests were needed.

Who does something like that?

#6 Sadly, a lot of mothers appear to be losing the natural affection that they should have for their children.  Just check out another incident that happened in New York City recently...

So much for no child left behind.


A stroller-toting mom who used her 1-year-old son as cover during a massive candy shoplifting spree at a downtown Duane Reade used the tot's pram as a battering ram when workers confronted her — and then ran away without the baby, the NYPD said.

#7 One of the clearest signs that American society is decaying is the fact that groups of kids are banding together and agreeing to commit absolutely horrible crimes.  We have seen this with the "flash mob" robberies that are plaguing many cities, but what is even worse is when groups of kids band together to commit violent acts.  In Pennsylvania recently, a group of teens cheered on attackers as they beat up a 15-year-old girl...

Speaking exclusively to CBS 3, a 15-year-old high school student, whose identity we are concealing, described a terrifying attack by a gang of at least nine teenage boys as she was leaving an Interboro High School football game Monday night.


The teenage victim described first being taunted by the attackers, who followed her down a neighborhood street, cursing and spitting at her, before she was repeatedly kicked and punched, suffering at least one blow to her head.

The attackers even tried to throw her in front of a passing vehicle and nobody tried to stop them...

The victim says as at least two of the teenagers pummeled her, the others cheered them on shouting, “Come on, let’s get her!” At one point, the victim says, the gang tried to throw her under the wheels of a passing car, which swerved, narrowly missing her.

What is happening to this country?

#8 We have also been hearing about a lot of "gang rapes" lately as well.  The following is an excerpt from a first-hand account from a 14-year-old girl in Missouri that experienced this type of horrible ordeal...

About five shots tall, I drank it. I guess I didn't know how badly it would mess me up. But the boys who gave it to me did.

Then it was like I fell into a dark abyss. No light anywhere. Just dark, dense silence -- and cold. That's all I could ever remember from that night. Apparently, I was there for not even an entire hour before they discarded me in the snow.

You can read the rest of her sobering story right here.

Are you starting to understand why I am so convinced that we have a major problem with our young men in America today?

Instead of raising young gentlemen, we are raising wild animals that seem to have very little self-control.

#9 And sometimes the public does not do anything to stop sexual assaults even when they happen on public streets.  In a recent incident in Athens, Ohio, not only did the public not stop a sexual assault, many actually took photos of the assault and posted them on social media websites...

Horrific photos of an alleged rape in progress have been shared on social media after crowds at a college homecoming celebration chose to take pictures and videos of the sex act rather than stopping it.

Would such a thing have happened in our country 50 years ago?

Of course not.

We need to come to grips with how far we have fallen.

#10 In America today, young kids can beat a homeless man to death and it barely even makes a blip on the news.  I'll bet hardly any of you have heard about what happened recently to a homeless man in New Jersey...

Three teenagers were in custody Saturday morning, on charges of beating a homeless man to his death in Hoboken, N.J.


As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported, Hudson County Acting Prosecutor Gaetano T. Gregory said two 13-year-olds and a 14-year-old were charged in the Sept. 10 death of Ralph Eric Santiago, 46.

What would cause 13-year-olds and 14-year-olds to behave so savagely?

Could it be because we are raising them in a society where basic morality is not taught any longer?

#11 Our young people certainly do not have much respect for the very elderly anymore either.  Instead, the elderly are looked at as "weak" and "easy prey".  Just check out what recently happened to a 70-year-old man in upstate New York...

A 70-year-old man was seriously injured early Saturday morning after being attacked outside of a 7-Eleven in Syracuse.


Police say James Gifford had just left the store at the intersection of Valley Drive and South Street just after 6:00 a.m. and was attacked by a group of five or six black males, according to Syracuse Police.


Police also said this appears to be an unprovoked incident with an innocent victim.

#12 In this day and age, it is very hard to tell who you can trust.  You might meet someone on the street and they might smile and seem very nice, but inside they may be full of all kinds of garbage.  For example, just check out what one man in the Boston area planned to do

A Boston-area man, who was planning to kidnap children, lock them in a basement dungeon, rape and eat them, should be imprisoned for at least 27 years, federal authorities said in court documents filed this week.


Geoffrey Portway pleaded guilty in May to distribution and possession of child pornography and solicitation to commit a crime of violence, according to court documents. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 17.


“Portway has pled guilty to some of the most vile and heinous crimes known to our society,” federal prosecutors wrote in a sentencing recommendation.

This is how twisted and perverted our society has become.

A lot of Americans believe that if we could just elect "the right politicians" or if we could just change our economic system or if we could just fix one particular issue that everything would be right in America again.

Unfortunately, what we are facing is not so simple.  Our problems are not just in Washington D.C. or on Wall Street.  The truth is that our biggest problem is what is going on inside of us.

America is rotting and decaying on the inside, and the next great economic crisis is going to reveal just how bad things have gotten.

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BudFox2012's picture

I'm really going to have to get in shape if I hope to be a rickshaw driver when we turn all 3rd world...


darteaus's picture

Silver coins, ammo, liquor, cigarette lighters, water purification, hygeine supplies.

Cult_of_Reason's picture

Yep, you can never have too much of ammo stored in your basement.

All those 10 young thugs would have at least a bullet in their stupid heads if they tried to pull me out of my car.

darteaus's picture

The feral do learn quickly.  After hearing fire and seeing one or two drop screaming, you'd be hard pressed to find other targets.

Stackers's picture

Any biker smashing in the window of my F150 with his helmet will be having a short conversation with Mr. Ceska Zebrojoka 75

James_Cole's picture

What a ridiculous article, there's how many millions of people in the US? Of course you're going to have some incidents of various crime, beatings, daughters being sold etc.!

Y'all that are buying this shit as the end of the world need to get out of your houses, onto a plane and into a 3rd world country 'merica doesn't even register. Particularly to countries which have been invaded by the US. Take Iraq for instance, 30mil people, 1220 killed last month. And that's just killed, lots of other violence. 

A time machine would be even better, go back to 'merica 1915 - 1945 - by all accounts a real shitfest for most, but I can't confirm frst hand.  

America is rotting and decaying on the inside, and the next great economic crisis is going to reveal just how bad things have gotten.

America is facing sefl-inflicted wounds from allowing a small bunch of assholes to dominate the country. Nothing major. 

TheReplacement's picture

I was going to call you out then I realized who you are.  Nevermind.  You are funny.

markmotive's picture

Come on now. They're tracking us for our own good.

If you haven't done anything wrong you don't have anything to worry about, right?


Abi Normal's picture

YAY!!! Cheers to the big govt.  Big Brother I love you, put some more cameras up, maybe you can install HD stuff, so you can see the hair on my ass when I moon ya.

TheRedScourge's picture

It's no wonder that recording crimes is all that people are willing to do now, because the legal system is a farce. You can be jailed for giving someone CPR and saving their life now. Or be found not guilty of murder while defending yourself from a vicious thug only to be taken to the supreme court for another try, and then used to promote political and racial tension by the media to temporarily boost viewership.

Acet's picture

He is, however, right.

It's the law of large numbers in action: with a large enough number of individuals and individual actions, at any one time there is always somebody commiting some act of extreme vileness somewhere.

While the point of of the main article might or not be correct, the method of describing 12 examples of vileness is a falacy and proves nothing.


drendebe10's picture

Gimme a break. Are these rotten turds any different than the turds and their bank and corporate cronies lining their pockets at the public trough and their cravings for power over the serfs and peasants. A sociopathic turd is a sociopath regardless of their methods. 

Urban Redneck's picture

A turd may be a turd, but there is a long and clear distinction between crimes against property, crimes against people, and crimes against the State. The sociopathic turd who uses the State to commit crimes against the people should be struck down with the same vengeance as the sociopathic turd who commits a crime against the person of his neighbor.

So the proper delineation of sociopathic turds would place bankers and flash mob thieves in an outer circle of hell, while placing politicians and murders in an inner circle of hell.

Probably not the answer you had in mind.

And for a truly unappealing thought, large scale social and national salvation is most usually achieved a sociopathic turd or turds committing the highest crimes against the State... so if you think there were too many sociopathic turds amongst the founding fathers of the United States, look at what their stand-ins are likely to be on the next go-round of the big Rinse, Repeat Wheel of History...

TheMeatTrapper's picture

Unlike you James, I don't judge the actions of my fellow countrymen in comparison to Muslim savages. The fact that you do speaks volumes about your brand of moral relativism. 

We are not "buying this shit as the end of the world" (but that's a nice strawman by the way) - we are simply observing reality and commenting on the fact that as the United States has become more "progressive", our moral standards and our quality of life have declined in a corresponding manner. 

America is facing self inflicted wounds because our people have traded their liberty for temporary security and abandoned the principles that this country was founded upon. 

James_Cole's picture

we are simply observing reality and commenting on the fact that as the United States has become more "progressive", our moral standards and our quality of life have declined in a corresponding manner. 

What time period are you referring to? Cause in the last 30 yrs it went something like this:

- Reagan doubled the deficit fighting 'communism' & other dangerous ills while simultaneously gutting social programs and working with Greenspan to restructure social security in order to drain the funds

- speaking of Greenspan, he went on an epic 'wealth creation' spree debasing the dollar at a wild rate to make people with financial ties very rich (this has gone on continuously since his reign and continue unabetted) 

- payroll taxes have skyrocketted while dividend taxes have been slashed



- WTO, NAFTA (and soon TPP) helped destroy the domestic labour market


- Freidman's neoliberalism has long been, and continues to be, the gospel of the economic planners

- Bush Jr. invaded two countries while simultaneously cutting income tax rates  (mostly for the rich)

- US courts decided the geneva conventions don't really matter

- Clinton worked with his economic advisors to totally deregulate the finance industry, eventually leading to trillions in losses for average Americans (somehow the banks did OK)

- $1 trillion dollar giveaway to the banks after they tanked the economy

- the 'liberal' Democrats created a giant giveaway to the insurance industry (ACA) rather than attempt anything close to a single payer system

- Obama continues the highly 'progressive' drone program, including signature strikes

- Supreme court ruled in favour of no-limit politican buying $

The list goes on... but there IS gay marriage (sort of)!

TrumpXVI's picture

I gave you an "up arrow", because I agree completely that there are real dangers in citing anecdotal incidents as "proofs".  It's very true that in a country of 300+ million people there are going to be a relatively large number of sociopaths and serial killers.  Add to that, round the clock media coverage with a petchent for the sensational, and it's easy to track down the kinds of stories that the author of the above article cited.

However, I'm 62 years old and cannot get rid of the intuitive feeling that things ARE getting worse and worse on a social level.  My personal belief is that things ARE getting worse.  But I'm not sure exactly how I would go about illustrating that to others in any way that would be convincing on the merit of the facts.

The best argument I could make wouldn't be anecdotal, but theoretical and goes like this.

1) Our society is dysfunctional (observation).

2) One of the diagnostic characteristics of dysfunction is a marked proclavity for worsening over time (clinical observation in individual relationships).

Whether or not this pertains to societies as a whole, I really don't know for sure.

But I know where my suspicions lie.

TheReplacement's picture

Books, books have knowledge.  You can trade knowlege without giving it up.

philipat's picture

WHen TSHTF, will they seal off Lower Manhattan, The Upper East side and Long Island? That might be difficult, if you get my drift..

darteaus's picture

Especially Spiderman or Hulk.

OutLookingIn's picture


Land of the Thieves, Home of the Slaves.

old naughty's picture

Den of the fearmongering elites.

are we there yet's picture

Ok, you have Zombies covered, but Vampires are better armed, they only fear the light of the free press, and not much of that left.

Bárðarbunga's picture

Yes, Mr. Chan. That's a mighty fine display of...

Lightsabers you have there.

midtowng's picture

Most of the stuff in this article has always happened. Man's inhumanity to man isn't a new thing.

Thoth's picture

I'll take that big boy on the bottom, please.

darteaus's picture

I saw guys in Haiti moving cargo when I was there, but it wasn't like the kind of rickshaw you see in the movies.

Two guys with a dead pickup truck frame-no motor, no tranny, no cab-just the frame, wheels and tires.  They put boards across the frame and load it with cargo.  One guy pulls a harness in front while his buddy pushes in the back.  The harness is hooked to the front wheels such that the wheels turn according to the harness input.  When they get to the top of a hill, the guy in the back holds it back while the guy in the front just guides it down the hill.  Obviously, they avoid steep hills or go with a light load.  Once they get to another hill, the guys change positions.  These guys-young and fit-were moving cargo all over Port au Prince.

Tough way to make a living.

BTW, they also had a public transit-w/o the government.  Small pickup trucks with camper cabs had benches along the sides-"tap-taps".  You stand on a boulevard and flag one down to get on.  Give the driver a quarter, and you can ride as far as you want.  When you want to get off, you tap the driver's cab, he pulls over and you get out.  No government buses, unions, pensions, raises, health care, racism awareness counselors, etc.  And, [gasp!] somehow it worked!

Hulk's picture

Its a little known fact that a pickup truck sans motor and transmission can haul a much greater load...

infinity8's picture

Thanks for the story. Reminds me of when I went to Big Bend National Park in (late?) '90's w/a friend. Place called Boquillas Del Carmen on the Rio Grande where you just whistle or yell it was so shallow and narrow there (probably could have waded across) and some one of many Mexican dudes would paddle over their rowboat that looked like it was mostly hammered-out, welded-together Chevy hoods, you give them 2 bucks, and they row you across. On the other side, you could cough up another 2 bucks to rent/ride a burro into their hamlet that was only maybe a mile away. We walked. I bought an ugly leather belt that I never wore, my friend bought a hat, and then we spent a lot of money (to them) on beers (Corona was all they had) - :( - and crazy delicious tacos.

TeamDepends's picture

Damn Tyler, is there any good news?

golfrattt's picture

The pen name of the guy who authored this article wouldn't be Graham Summers, would it...??


Gloom, boom, doom, boom, doom, gloomy, broom...enuff already

knukles's picture

But at least we can rest easy that after the speech the ACWhateveritis is all fixed
The Messiah come through again

Thank Him

akak's picture

Hell, this wasn't even a reasonable prediction of gloom and doom --- merely a list of a string of anecdotal crimes attempting to demonstrate where this nation is heading.  While it has some thin semblance of relevance to our nation's current state of decay, one could just as easily have dredged up a similar list from any of the last several decades in any major city in the USA.

I rate this 'article' as poor, just as I rated as poor Kuntler's hate-filled and racist rant of earlier today here on ZH.

Shit, what is happening to this site?

fonzannoon's picture

Take a look at a 5 year chart of the S&P and u will see what is happening.

All that is left to do is sell fear. some of it is legit. this economic collapse garbage is the worst of the worst. There is always awful shit happening somewhere. to peddle it like this is beyond lame.

Dr Benway's picture

And conveniently packaged in easily digested numbered lists ala cracked.com. Share with your loved ones today lol

Oldwood's picture

There have always been bad people doing bad things. I do however think it IS differnet this time. Humans have always been able to rationalise doing bad things, but today we have a society that does it for us. Our failings are seldom our own. If we haven't a job its the economy or a shitty boss but never the shitty employee. If we can't afford healthcare or the car or home of our dreams, it society's fault or some rich white guy. It always been someone else's fault but now we have our popularly elected government blaming others for us. Yes we have always had rot but we never fertilized to the extent we do today, and it it is growing.

NoTTD's picture

The plural of "anecdote" is "data".

Winston Smith 2009's picture

"Damn Tyler, is there any good news?"

Plenty, but the Internet now allows news that would have remained local to go national.  I suspect the sort of stuff mentioned has been going on in the largest US cities since at least the 1960s.

max2205's picture

How's this guy wake up in the morning without blowing out his brains

Bro of the Sorrowful Figure's picture

i got laid saturday night...high five!


nah i didnt. no good news.

Hulk's picture

You're going to have to move outta Japan, the odds for having sex there are pretty low....

Bro of the Sorrowful Figure's picture

im in shanghai. odds here are quite good.

wisehiney's picture

The list of places for that asswipe kunstler to run to when the shtf is getting shorter!


Totentänzerlied's picture

I guess the author isn't familiar with mean reversion. Last I checked we're still at an all-time low for violent crime.

LetThemEatRand's picture

But we're at an all time high (by miles) for hearing or reading about it thanks to 24 cable news (most of which is devoted to the shocking crime of the day, week, etc) and the internets.   So naturally people assume that it is much worse now.   Kind of like when people go to Europe for the first time and realize that public transportation doesn't have to suck and that wall maps don't all have the United States in the middle.  Good public transportation existed there before you knew about.

buyingsterling's picture

There does seem to be a lot of mobbish attacks on lone whites or white couples these days, often 5-10 black attackers kicking and stomping a prone victim. And the 'knockout' game is only a few years old.

What's really scary to me is this: 1. if you see videos of these incidents, there are often onlookers who are hooting and cheering. No one comes to the defense of the innocents, and the onlookers couldn't be more pleased than to see totally innocent victim(s) mercilessly brutalized. 2. It seems like just the slightest crack in the sense of order - even just a notion that mayhem can be gotten away with - is enough to tip groups of young blacks into senseless violence. What will they do when a real breakdown of order happens?

This is all very bad for blacks in general. In a breakdown situation I can see millions of people shooting first and asking questions later.

LetThemEatRand's picture

I don't know if there is really an uptick in this kind of violence or not (I've heard of a few examples in a country with hundreds of millions of people), but a few decades ago it was quite commonplace that gangs of whites would lynch black people to cheering and/or "do nothing about it" crowds of onlookers.  There is no doubt that many ignorant people hate people of other races and that has been going on since tribes formed in caves.   

max2205's picture

That bath salt crime trend seems to have gone away...thank god