A depressionary perfect storm continues to crush households as tens of millions of Americans are reporting they didn't have enough to eat last week (the seven days through July 21).
Bloomberg cites the Census Bureau's latest weekly Household Pulse Survey, revealing almost 30 million Americans went hungry last week. About 23.9 million of 249 million respondents said they had "sometimes not enough to eat." Around 5.42 million indicated they had "often not enough to eat." This is the highest total of hungry Americans in the survey since early May, which was around the time when food bank lines across the country were swamped with jobless and hungry folks.
Last Sunday, we noted food bank lines reemerged in Baltimore as the crisis in households persists.
behind the scenes: food bank line in Baltimore just getting started - a lot of hungry and broke families as fiscal cliff begins pic.twitter.com/30C1OBJDSP— Alastair Williamson (@StockBoardAsset) July 26, 2020
Tens of millions of folks are going hungry in mid-July as the recovery stalled in late June. At the same time, a fiscal cliff is hitting where $600-a-week federal unemployment benefits are now expiring. Another stimulus bill is set to be rolled out in the near term, but Republicans and Democrats are at odds over how large the next round should be.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said both parties are "nowhere close to a deal," one day before the fiscal cliff hits. This would undoubtedly lead to a decline in overall consumption.
"This follows a deep recession resulting from the pandemic, which put millions of Americans out of work. Unemployed Americans have been receiving an extra $600 per week benefit, which is set to expire at the end of July as Congress debates a new relief package," Bloomberg said.
To make matters worse, millions of Americans behind on rent payments, now face imminent eviction as an eviction moratorium expired last Friday. The disagreement on Capitol Hill about another round of stimulus means no imminent moratorium extension which could lead to an eviction wave, more massive than 2008.
The Trump administration can pretend all they want that the economy is on the verge of re-booming for reelection purposes, pointing to the stock market of how great everything is, but everyday Americans are suffering amid the worst depression since the 1930s.
More concerning still is the fact that, as permanent job losses affect millions, the Republican establishment may be forced (politically - in an election year) to embrace leftist doctrine (universal basic income and all its socialist overtones), just to avoid social unrest among yet another section of America (and a landslide loss in November). This has already angered Tea Party conservatives, and is perhaps among the reasons why gold is soaring to record highs as the dollar sinks.