The Systemic Crises of 2020

“In the week ending March 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 6,648,000, an increase of 3,341,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series.”
-United States Department of Labor

Let me walk you through what this latest jobless claim report means:

There are 130 million full time workers in the United States. 5% of them lost their jobs last week. Five percent… in one week. With unemployment benefits, they might survive for a few weeks while we get through this, right? But… Those 130 million people, directly or through taxes, support themselves and the rest of the 327 million people in the United States. Therefore, a single wage earner supports on average 2.5 people, including themselves.

All of a sudden, now that 5% of new unemployed Americans last week is really 12.5% of the population that just lost their income… That’s 12.5% of the population who just lost their health insurance, if they had it in the first place…

That’s in one week. The following week is likely to match or exceed that. The week before was half of that (3% of the workers, or 7.5% of the population, lost their income source). Moving forward, you can expect more of the same.

Worryingly, this is without acknowledging the very real probability that the statistic is kept artificially low due to technical malpractice on behalf of certain state governments. Consider, for example, Florida, where mismanagement of resources intended for the development of the states’ digital infrastructure has lead to a complete breakdown in people’s ability to even file their claims.

We are rapidly trending for 20 to 25% NEW unemployment within a few weeks. With the 1:2.5 ratio of wage earners to people in this country, that’s as high as 50 to 62.5% of our population losing their income…

62.5% of the population losing their health insurance…

62.5% of the population losing their homes…

Most have no savings….

Many have massive student debt….

All needing new social services like unemployment or SNAP benefits….

With as many as 25% of these newly uninsured and previously uninsured are about to need massively expensive COVID-19 related healthcare services… Services for which they cannot pay.

In six months, we’ll see bankruptcies at new record levels, due to healthcare bills. We’ll see the the $1.5 trillion bubble of student loan debt in the United States skyrocket in defaults. The student loan industry will collapse. Soon, as much as half of the population of the United States will no longer be credit worthy enough to buy a home, start a small business, buy a new car, or get a student loan to educate themselves. The domestic automakers will start failing. Healthcare providers will start going bankrupt due to unpaid bills. Insurance companies will fail due to their drop in subscribers coupled with their massive rise in payouts that were actuarially unforeseen. The new mortgage bubble we rebuilt since the 2008 bubble that burst, will now burst. New housing starts will drop to near zero, taking the construction industry with it. Credit card payments by at least 25% of the population will cease, because those are the easiest bills not to pay. College enrollment will fall off a cliff.

Think about 2009. The economy almost collapsed because of the subprime mortgage crisis. In six months, we’ll repeat that crisis, while simultaneously facing; a massive financial crisis in healthcare, a massive insurance industry crisis, a massive domestic manufacturing sector crisis, a real estate crisis, a college enrollment crisis, and a student loan debt crisis that will dwarf the subprime mortgage crisis! US Treasury bonds will become unsalable because executives and politicians expanded our deficit to the point that foreign investors will lose confidence in our ability to repay it… and US investors will not have the money to buy them. Our monetary system will collapse. Inflation will be massive. New, uniquely oligarch form of Modern Monetary Theory will be tested, and these actions will precipitate a banking crisis the likes of which the world markets have never dared contemplate.

My point is not to bring everyone down. No… my point is this:

Unchecked capitalism, and voting for people who put business before humanity created half a dozen unstable economic bubbles. COVID-19 will burst them all simultaneously. A pathogen collapsed the fragile economy the oligarchs created for us, with our ignorant or apathetic consent. Today’s job report makes that very, very clear. We own what’s about to happen, because we never got money out of politics. Voters didn’t listen to the Bernie Sanders’ of the world telling us this was going to happen.

We’re all, every one of us, about to become socialists. We have no choice. Our unchecked capitalism failed. Massive expansion of social welfare, and placing direct economic control in the hands of the workers these economies have so failed to protect… policies such as these are the only mechanism by which to survive now. The situation has become, without hyperbole, life or death.

But… this should be inspiring!

We have, in this moment, a chance to mobilize true systemic change upon these structures. If in this moment we can begin to band together, and reach out to the farthest corners of the working class, we could truly be at a crossroads in which we could allow these dangerous practices may come to an end. People can not overlook that which is directly and catastrophically effecting their lives. Reach out to your neighbors, coworkers, friends and family, and tell them that now is not the time to wait for these flaws to cascade out of control. Make them aware that this is not a time for despair, that the night is always darkest before the dawn, and that this is time for inspiration, hope, and above all else – teamwork.

You aren’t alone. Don’t act alone.

Contact us now to get help or get involved!

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