The Truth About The Economy That The Mainstream Media Is Not Telling You

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, Dec 18, 2023 - 08:05 PM

Authored by Michael Snyder via,

If it seems to you that the economic headlines that we are being fed by the mainstream media are completely and utterly disconnected from reality, you are definitely not alone. 

They tell us that inflation is under control, but I was just at the grocery store today and I could hardly believe the prices.  They tell us that unemployment is “low”, but large companies are laying off workers in droves.  And they tell us that things are getting better for the middle class, but the truth is that by mid-2024 the vast majority of Americans will have less money than they did in 2019

The majority of Americans have burned through their excess savings piled up during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the coming months, JPMorgan says it is likely that almost everyone will be worse off financially than they were in 2019.

In a Thursday note, the bank’s top stock strategist Marko Kolanovic said 80% of consumers, a group that accounts for nearly two-thirds of consumption, has already depleted any savings cushion they may have built during lockdowns.

“It is likely that only the top 1% of consumers by income will be better off than before the pandemic,” Kolanovic wrote, pointing to the growing signs of credit card and auto loan delinquencies, as well as Chapter 11 filings.

If almost all of us are getting poorer, how is that good news?

Of course the money that we still have in our bank accounts continues to lose even more value with each passing day.

An absolutely outstanding article that was just posted on Schiff Gold analyzes how much a basket of groceries that Kevin bought in the 1990 movie “Home Alone” would cost today…

Kevin bought a basket full of groceries including a half-gallon of milk, orange juice, Wonder Bread, a Stouffer’s frozen turkey dinner, toilet paper, Snuggle dryer sheets, Tide liquid laundry detergent, plastic wrap, Kraft macaroni and cheese, and a bag of army men. He paid a grand total of $19.83 with a $1 off coupon for the orange juice.

In 2022, that same basket of groceries would have cost around $44.40 based on a shopping trip by a West Virginia mother. That’s a 123.9% increase. (Keep in mind prices vary somewhat depending on the store and location.)

This year, Kevin would have to fork out a whopping $72.28 for his provisions at a Chicago store. That’s another 62.8% increase in just one year. Since 1990, the price of Kevin’s groceries has gone up over 264%.

So how in the world can they possibly claim that inflation is “low”?

It is almost as if we are living in Bizarro World.

At this point, it would cost the typical U.S. household 3.4 million dollars to live the American Dream over the course of a lifetime…

The “American Dream” costs about $3.4 million to achieve over the course of a lifetime, from getting married to saving for retirement, according to a recent analysis from financial site Investopedia.

Meanwhile, median lifetime earnings for the typical U.S. worker stand at $1.7 million, earlier research from the Georgetown University has found.

Such figures underline the financial pressures that many families face trying to afford a middle-class life as expenses like child care, college tuition and buying a home continue to climb. The Investopedia analysis tallies the average cost of achieving other aspects traditionally associated with the American Dream, such as owning a house and raising two children to age 18.

If you are like most Americans, you are never even going to come close to earning enough money to live a middle class lifestyle.

That is why so many people out there have given up.

In this economic environment, just hanging on to a decent job is an accomplishment.

This week, we learned that General Motors will be laying off approximately 900 employees

General Motors’ Cruise on Thursday announced internally that it will lay off 900 employees, or 24% of its workforce, the company confirmed to CNBC.

The layoffs, which primarily affected commercial operations and related corporate functions, are the latest turmoil for the robotaxi startup and come one day after Cruise dismissed nine “key leaders” for the company’s response to an Oct. 2 accident in which a pedestrian was dragged 20 feet by a Cruise self-driving car after being struck by another vehicle.

Meanwhile, Ford is cutting production of the F-150 Lightning pickup in half

Ford Motor will cut planned production of its all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup roughly in half next year, marking a major reversal after the automaker significantly increased plant capacity for the electric vehicle in 2023.

The new production plans call for average volume of around 1,600 F-150 Lightnings a week at Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, starting in January, according to a source familiar with the decision. The automaker most recently planned to produce roughly 3,200 of the vehicles on average per week.

They want us to purchase electric vehicles, but what they don’t tell us is that maintenance and repairs are insanely expensive

Lucas Turner was driving his 2014 Infiniti hybrid when its check engine light made its annoying appearance on the scene, according to KPHO-TV.

Not good, but with fewer than 70,000 miles on the vehicle, he was not expecting the bill would be a whopper.


“They called me and said, ‘Oh, I’ve got bad news, Mr. Turner. You need a new hybrid battery and it’s going to cost $18,000 for the battery and another $2,000 to have it installed.’

No thank you.

I could never see myself buying an electric vehicle, and there are tens of millions of other Americans that feel the exact same way.

Switching to another industry, Hasbro just announced that it will be laying off more than a thousand workers

Toy giant Hasbro is laying off more than a thousand workers and closing its office in Providence, Rhode Island.

Why would a toy company be laying off so many workers just before Christmas? Shouldn’t this be a boom time for them? Some people suspect it is directly due to their partnership with Disney, a brand which has become toxic for many Americans in recent years.

People aren’t exactly lining up to buy toys linked to the last Indiana Jones movie or the latest offering of the Marvels, both of which were total duds at the box office.

When a major toy company is laying off workers even before the holiday season is over, that is a really bad sign for the economy.

Of course things in Europe are even worse.

At this point, it appears that Europeans are facing “a continent-wide recession”

The latest GDP figures show that the eurozone contracted in the third quarter and looks like it will do the same in the last three months of the year falling into a continent-wide recession, Oxford Economics said in a note on December 8.

“Final figures confirmed eurozone GDP contracted 0.1% in the third quarter. What’s more, the detailed breakdown showed the European economy has no engines of growth at the moment. Although private consumption posted a small gain over the previous quarter, the near-term outlook still looks dire, and with both investment and exports unlikely to provide much momentum, the economy looks set to slide into recession in the fourth quarter,” Oxford Economics said.

And on the other side of the globe, we are being told that “China’s banking system is collapsing”

China’s banking system is collapsing, and the real estate crisis in the country could end up wiping out $4 trillion from its financial system, according to veteran investor Kyle Bass.

In an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin on CNBC on Monday , the Hayman Capital Management CIO pointed to China’s property sector, which has been reeling in recent years as debts from major property owners sour and some firms default on their bonds. The real estate crisis has left enough empty homes in China to house 3 billion people, a former top Chinese official said, and the flood of unused supply will generation huge financial losses in the real estate sector.

So don’t believe the hype.

The mainstream media would like us to believe that 2024 will be a wonderful year for the economy.

But the truth is that economic conditions have already been deteriorating all around us, and I am extremely concerned about what is coming during the year ahead.  I would encourage you to check out my brand new book entitled “Chaos” for a detailed analysis of what is coming in 2024.

We have been propping up our standard of living for years by engaging in the greatest debt binge in the history of the world, but now that bubble has started to burst.

A tremendous amount of discomfort is ahead of us, but the mainstream media will continue to insist that every jolt of pain is simply a bump on the road to endless prosperity.

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Michael’s new book entitled “Chaos” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on, and you can check out his new Substack newsletter right here.