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'Tip of the Iceberg': Record 3.28 Million Jobless Claims Could Signal Coming Depression

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/03/26/tip-iceberg-record-328-million-jobless-claims-could-signal-coming-depression

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USA experienced the Great Depression, then WWII, the cold war, eternal global domination, and so on. This context implies a similar role in history for our impending Depression – from which there will likely be nothing like a recovery this time, however.

I know it sounds hyperbolic to suggest USA could topple from “world’s sole superpower” to permanent third-rate basketcase (like Russia) as quickly as this little bug rises up. It sounds hyperbolic to suggest this little bug, thanks to exceptional USAmerican thickheadedness, will likely kill more of us than fell in all previous wars combined. That would be around 3 million dead – when COVID-19 will still be rampant in our institutional swiss-cheese of the number-one shithole country in history.

What’s immediately ahead for us (over the next week, even) sounds hyperbolic. Also exponential.

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Check your cardboard for extra soup bowls. Born into southern poverty in the 30’s, far removed from Hoover’s chicken in every pot and a car in every garage. My family eked out a bare existence for years. The few dollars in the family was held by my grandfather at a local bank. The bank closed and the banker family kept the money (nothing ever changes).

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“Markets” up over 800 points today. Cretin Mnuchin smiling with that (what looks like) sprayed on black hair, hovering behind trump----where is his wife with her lovely black leather gloves posing with sheets of dollar bills?

CO2 over 415 today, Coral reefs dying. Methane seeping out of ESIS. (I could go on and on)

The last ditch scramble to save the human race will decimate any environmental regulations that have remained in place during this time of unfettered, narcissistic fueled capitalism.

Those of us who see this need to figure out what to do.

Where is Chris Hedges when we need him (lol)? As many know truthdig is no more.

I digress.

Seriously, I and many others here at CD are grappling with Bernie voting for that horrific “stimulus” package.

The election is on hold . . but not really (crazy making) . . . which most likely means we get more trump.

No more ads for Bernie on local TV (Wisconsin). And people are voting now, most not even knowing who/what they are voting for. This is beyond bizarre! Voting is literally taking place now and it is like a phantom election. But perhaps that was always the case.

And in keeping with this article . . . . most people I know are in MAJOR denial.
They are living with the belief that “things will bounce back”. And all will be . . .sort of . . .ok again.

And these are “democrats” and some who call themselves liberal/progressive.

What “things”?

What to do . . . what the f to do now???

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Not hyperbolic, but scientifically possible. We just don’t know and have to do as much as we can in the moment to help each other. Helping each other survive the crisis will show us the best ways forward. One-day-at-a-time and all that. Don’t over-estimate our power(s), but nurture and build them however and wherever we can.

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We are already entering a depression.

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C:

As always, your words are clear, heartfelt and thoughtful. So they are part of what you have already DONE today. There is never THE ANSWER for anything. But there is always an answer (especially when you are clear, heartfelt and thoughtful):

DO WHAT YOU CAN.

A footnote to that is: Take Alot of Deep Breaths and clear your head, heart and soul as often as needed.

Now we all know :-)))))

T

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Thank you.

Could the Empire be crushed by a 60 nano-meter microbe? A nano can be described
thusly: There are more nano-seconds in a second than seconds in thirty years.

Exponential: A penny doubled every day for thirty days. Folks taking shelter, get a pencil
and paper and find the answer to Aleph_Null’s supposition.

So long as we keep the pitchforks thoroughly sanitized, good friend. Your comment brings to mind Obamaesque historical-amnesia looking forward, not back. If that’s the forceful or gentle suggestion of the ruling class after the massacre coming down on us, there will have to be some push-back, imho.

While helping each other (I’m doing all the grocery shopping for my elderly nextdoor neighbor) we can’t lose sight of the historical crime perpetrated before our eyes, upon our communities by historical criminals.

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I’m sure everyone here has seen this, but for those that haven’t, here is a link to the legislative update Bernie did yesterday:

ttps://youtu.be/tVm5d7nRaPo?t=1026

This virtual town hall, from the previous day, was excellent:

ttps://youtu.be/UEPj04OzYng?t=2178

I’m sure you and others have already been doing this, but I hope other people here will volunteer and make calls for Bernie. Calls are being made to voters in upcoming states, everyday, to update and inform them. It’s helpful, and most people listen.

ttps://berniesanders.com/volunteer/

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“We are about to experience something we cannot really imagine,” tweeted HuffPost reporter Zach Carter in response to the numbers.

Like I have posted before, folks do not be fooled! From my perspective, the reason the Stimulus package was approved so fast; especially by the Republicans, is not about the pittance of a few $ to us but about saving millions of $$$ for them!

The oligarchs are well aware of what is coming and I would argue that this stimulus is a way to prop up the market until Wall Street can find a way to shelter their funds before the next depression.

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Thanks One World! Yes, my daughter (quarantined here with me from her closed college) have signed up to make calls in between walking the dog and getting creative with cooking from our stash of pre-social distancing foods I purchased.

We watch all of his town halls, highly recommend them and for people to pass on the links to as many people as you can.

TV ads seem to get the older voters who (% wise) are wanting to vote for status quo biden. I was hoping that with this crisis unfolding which is revealing the massive difference between Bernie and Biden, Bernie’s consistent, powerful, compassionate, rational voice (which includes strategies to face our problems) would sway older voters who are feeling the terror of C-19 and the economic catastrophe that is unfolding.

I watch the local news----- was hoping to see ads for Sanders prior to the end of Wisconsin vote that is taking place now---- for most in the form of absentee ballots.

This underscores why volunteering to call is SO important. Thank you!

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Here’s a signal: Today USA pulls ahead of Italy, tomorrow (I mean Friday) ahead of China into first place: the most infected country on Earth. Global cases exceed half a million, with USA at 15% of global cases.

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Sure looks like it to me.

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It needs to be noted – and as far as I can tell, nobody in the media, including the author of this otherwise excellent article, is mentioning – that the jobless claims only represent those people who know or think that they are eligible for unemployment compensation checks. In reality, unemployment compensation insurance only covers an average of 27 percent of the salaried and hourly workforce. It actually is a matter of policies set by the states, with Massachusetts coverin about 50 percent of its workers, and North Carolina only 10%. Other states fall somewhere in the middle of that range, with so-called Red States clustering down near NC and Blue States clustering closer to MA. Assuming that employers who don’t have to pay unemployment are usually less concerned about the welfare of their employees, don’t have unions, and are likely located more often in Red States, and then adjusting for the likelihood that some people will be filing for unemployment compensation not knowing that they aren’t covered, I would guess that if for every one person who filed for unemployment two more were sacked and didn’t bother to try and collect checks. That would mean that last week some 10 million people lost their jobs because of closures or cutbacks in operations by American businesses and government operations. And clearly it’s just the beginning. I have read projections that unemployment by summer could reach 25-30%. For comparison, the peak unemployment reached during the Great Depression in the 1930s was 24.7%. So hold on to your hats!

I should add that if this goes on for more than a couple of weeks – and it will – it is not going to be something that the economy will just bounce back from if and when self quarantining and mandatory closings of “non-essential” operations is ended. There is a negative version of the virtuous circle of economic growth, increased hiring, greater spending and more economic growth. It’s called a death spiral, where layoffs and fear of more layoffs lead to decreased spending, which leads to lower revenues and to more layoffs. We’re entering that now. And that is without factoring in the reality of a pandemic overlaid on this situation. That makes a major, deep recession, and quite possibly a serious depression likely. Moreover, such a situation is likely to be global, not just a US phenomenon.
I should add that if this goes on for more than a couple of weeks – and it will – it is not going to be something that the economy will just bounce back from if and when self quarantining and mandatory closings of “non-essential” operations is ended. There is a negative version of the virtuous circle of economic growth, increased hiring, greater spending and more economic growth. It’s called a death spiral, where layoffs and fear of more layoffs lead to decreased spending, which leads to lower revenues and to more layoffs. We’re entering that now. And that is without factoring in the reality of a pandemic overlaid on this situation. That makes a major, deep recession, and quite possibly a serious depression likely. Moreover, such a situation is likely to be global, not just a US phenomenon.

Dave Lindorff
founding editor of ThisCantBeHappening(dot)net

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Not hyperbolic but maybe similar to War of the Worlds (the film)?
NYC is poised to becoming Italy.
~https://www.democracynow.org/2020/3/26/nyc_hospitals_coronavirus

How true and thanks. I have done a little distributing of food to some neighbors, etc.

I am thinking it might be good to withdraw, close all commercial bank accounts, tax refusal, etc.

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[Sarcasm]

Millions of jobless and an impending depressions. Seems like a need for socialism Captain Trickle-Down: ^https://cheezburger.com/1955084544

Cause the value of a person’s life is equal to their wealth

His motto: From those with need, to those with wealth.

Well now, imagine that - 3 million unemployed with no health care in the middle of a pandemic. Thank goodness for Joe Biden, he has the solution for that - Obama care.

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