29 Oct Saturday Broadcast 22
✔️ ICYMI news, 10/23 – 10/28.
✔️ The Dollar Tree is the $1.25 tree with some items now $3, $5 & $7. Even the discount stores are not very discount anymore.
✔️More and more neighborhoods showing economic distress. I drove by a neighborhood that was built around 2006 or 2007 during the 125% loans + no money down fiasco, and some of the houses are falling apart.
✔️ Lots of articles going up against remote work – will they be fired first, remote work is disappearing, out of sight out of mind, etc. It’s not a buried thesis. They want you back.
Links I mention:
Transcription by Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos!
Today it is October 23, I wanted to hop on and talk about what I’m seeing in my part of the Midwest in real time, as well as to encourage you as best as I can to please stay alert and stay aware, not hyper vigilant or paranoid or scared to death. But just simply aware, there are so many tricks and shenanigans and chicanery going on in these markets, as well as in the job markets and in corporate America. That as I’ve said many times before, I feel like naivete is coming at too high of a price. I do not want anyone listening to this broadcast to be caught off guard by these shenanigans and tricks and underhanded deeds. Yet, it always surprises me the number of people who are surprised when the rug gets pulled out from underneath them. And I’m like, well, where have you been? What have you been doing? Are you not watching the news at all? Are you playing on social media? Are you playing games on your phone? Like, what are you doing? That you’re that unaware of the world around you? I don’t get it. But we don’t have to fall into that category of person. Earlier today on medium.com, I published an article titled How can this be surprising? And I really talk about traps, what’s in a name, right? Training repayment agreement provisions where it’s essentially like, if you leave if you quit, or get fired, before we really wanted that to happen, then you have to pay us back for whatever we spent in training you. The only thing that surprises me about any of that is the number of people who seem to be surprised by it. And I’m like, Yeah, but you know, the house always wins. I mean, did you really think that corporate America would not retaliate against the general working class of people for the great resignation? I mean, did you think that was going to go on unimpeded forever? I guess some people did. I am never going to stop talking about the leaked memo that was on the intercept.com, where Bank of America revealed, we hope conditions for American workers will get worse. If you saw a headline like that, and you just brain dumped it. Or you thought, well, maybe that’s not true. Well, maybe it’s true for the guy down the road. But it won’t be true for me. I really don’t know what to tell you. But this is not the time to play, pretend and go into a state of denial. In my opinion. It’s just not. I read a post earlier today where this guy was talking about how he feels like he’s living in two different worlds right now. He didn’t divulge the name of the company that he works for. I think we can all probably use our best guesses. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in Silicon Valley, for example. But he was talking about how he works with people who really and truly are quite affluent, they have money to burn. And they’re not terribly worried right now about the inflation. I figure based on his description. They’re probably like the people that we’ve heard about in some of the headlines that are continuing to go to Gucci and Irma’s and Louie Vuitton and they’re spending money on fancy dresses and shoes and purses and luxury goods and they’re not terribly worried about it are like those people who have gone ahead and made their downpayment on the $413,000 electric luxury car, for God’s sakes. Anyway, I figured they’re probably like that, okay. So based on his description, they’re affluent, they have money to burn, and they’re just not worried about the economy. Right now. They’re not particularly feeling pinched, and they’re just going on living their lives. But then there’s a sort of strata underneath those people who really are not affluent, they really don’t have money to burn, but they want to try to keep up with the Joneses. It’s like, they want so badly to be in that class of affluent people and to rub shoulders with them and schmooze with them, that they are going into credit card debt or taking out second mortgages just doing whatever it is they have to do to try to keep up with those Joneses that actually are affluent that actually do have money to burn. So he’s talking about seeing these people at work, but then in his private life with his friends and his family like they’re getting prepared for an economic crap storm. They’re saving their money they’re trying to pay down any personal debt that they still have. They’re stocking up on bottled water and canned goods and just trying to get ready for Come What May whether it’s world war three, or some other type of military issue, whether it’s a complete freefall the economy and other great recession slash global financial crisis 2.0 or whatever another depression, we really don’t know what is on the horizon. We just know that it’s not looking particularly good. So we talked about like, a tale a tale of two realities. At work. You have people that are spending money and they’re partying and they’re buying luxury goods, and even the individuals that can’t really afford Word if they’re trying to keep up with the Joneses and appear that they’re wealthy, but then in his private life, people are like, I wouldn’t even think about making an unnecessary purchase right now, I wouldn’t even think about taking out a loan. And I really feel like that’s the kind of dichotomy that’s popping up people who are blithely unaware, they just don’t care about what’s going on, they’re not paying any attention. Or people who, maybe deep down in their gut instinct, they really do have a sense that a poop storm is coming. But they want so badly to continue keeping up with the Joneses. They want so badly to continue to keep up an image of wealth, and prestige. Now I drive this particular type of car, and we live in this gated community. And we do this when we do around and you know, you can just picture him with their nose stuck up in the air. I can’t give you advice, and I cannot tell you what to do. I feel like to some degree, a lot of us are in that that reality, those dual realities, just like that guy that posted. I mean, you have the people that are trying to chase wealth or pretend to chase wealth, and then you have people that are like, no, it’s time for me to gray man out, it’s time for me to have some canned goods and bottled water and just hunker down for whatever in the world is about to happen. Again, I can’t tell you what to do. I just know that for me, personally, there’s no way that I would go out partying, go out, taking expensive vacations, run out a bunch of credit card debt. I’m just trying to hunker down and do whatever I feel is necessary to survive this because we just don’t know if the rise before that I think we may be headed into what if the 1982 recession had a baby with the 2008 Great Recession? I think that’s very possible. Yet we’re also in throwing some in the 70s, right, throw in a smattering of hyperinflation and the absolute train wreck that was the Carter administration. Again, I’m politically agnostic. So don’t think that because I’m ragging on the Carter administration, that that means anything else. I’m just saying, we’re kind of in an economic mess right now. We can point the finger of blame about who did it and who’s supposedly going to fix it, yada, yada, but the can has been kicked down the road a little bit too long. I’ve heard commentators say that essentially, we’re just now getting the bill, we deferred all of this maintenance, we deferred fixing anything back in Oh, eight, no nine, and the bill is coming due now. Maybe that’s true. But I would say that, it is very important to have your mind right, to be paying attention to things that matter. I do not give a toss about what some celebrity is doing. This guy cheated on his wife, and it’s a scandal and then this lady wants a divorce. And then this one is losing weight. And it’s like, I don’t care. That is not going to help me at all. If somebody decides they wanted to lose 20 pounds, or this guy decides he wants to go divorce this one to marry that one. That’s not going to help me pay my bills. That’s not going to help me keep a roof over my head. It’s not going to do anything for my animals. I mean, come on. That’s I just I just don’t get it. The level of bread and circus really stay over here. Look over here at this bullcrap on your cell phone and pay attention to Hollywood and look at what these people are doing so that we can continue these shenanigans and chicanery hopefully without you paying any attention. Well, that doesn’t have to be you. That’s the thing. It does not have to be you. Over on Yahoo Finance. There’s a headline today which reads here’s what’s really hurting the economy. Oh, well, let’s find out. So in this article we read. I went out for pizza the other night that had to eat it in my car. That’s because the Frank Pepys in Manchester, Connecticut had this sign on its door. Attention dining room closed after 4pm. Today due to staffing shortages, of course. So I ate in my SUV no problem. The pizza was fantastic. But it made me think one This can’t be good for Frank Pepys and to the note on the door is literally a sign of the times a sign we’re living in a world where supply shortages, employees oil semiconductors are commonplace and impacting the economy to a degree we haven’t seen for decades. The implications on inflation Fed policy, a possible recession and our global well being are immeasurable. supply constraints are everywhere these days, some Captain Obvious others more opaque. In some instances, economic downturns are caused by drops in demand. That might be the result of a stock market crash like after 1987 or 2000 as consumers have less money to spend, or it could be an event like the February to April 2020 COVID recession when people didn’t venture out to buy Things supply shocks can cause downturns or recessions too. In the 1970s, there were two mega supply shocks. Economist Nouriel Roubini told me during the recent Yahoo Finance all market Summit. One was the war between Israel and the Arab states, which led to a spike in oil prices in 73. And the second one was the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which also caused a spike of oil prices. This time around the spike is not just in an oil crisis. It is natural gas, food, fertilizer, industrial products and semiconductors. Yeah, gestures broadly, it’s freaking everything. There’s also under this a dystopian kind of picture of a store in Clifton, Virginia, which was actually from last year it’s not it’s not this year, the date on it is December 30 2021. And it shows like a Christmas wreath and then a sign that says closed due to staffing issues. We are closed for the rest of the week sorry for any inconvenience and inconvenience is woefully butchered. Just saying on continue to read. Since the onset of COVID, the global economy has been battered by both supply and demand shocks which have vexed leaders around the globe. Rumor communist this vexes me I invest the roughly $5 trillion of stimulus, the roughly $5 trillion of stimulus our government put into the economy, jacked up demand for cars, homes and meme stocks, etc. Oh, I’m sorry, I’m getting a headache. God, this is dobro pajama with VA Medical, right? cars, homes and mean stocks. This is what people spent stimming money on. Just long pause because I am seriously I’m getting a headache. Given those Affer mentioned supply constraints, it’s hard to recall a time with such pronounced supply and demand mismatches. One effect has been inflation currently running at 8.2% and bullshit, still hovering near the 40 year high of 9.1%. We saw in June. Can we discern how much of that comes from the demand side? And how much from supply? Okay, so I feel like we’re still getting this narrative of nobody wants to work, staffing shortages, we’re going to have to have a reset of the labor market because people like old the old turtle Mitch McConnell, people are sitting at home in grandma’s basement with their 2020 STEMI money. They’re flush with cash, so they don’t want to go back to work. And you have people in these metropolitan areas saying it’s time for you to go back and cross pollinate. We want you in the restaurants, we want you in the shops, like everybody just needs to come on back. Let’s pretend that we didn’t have two years to flatten the curve. Let’s just all go back to like 2018 2019. And it’s like, right, right, but who has the money for that? Who can who can cope with this inflation who can go downtown and sit in a restaurant and have lunch when it’s twice as expensive? The quality might be complete crap, that’s something else that I’m hearing people going to places they really enjoyed, but the quality of the food sucks, or they go in and half the menus unavailable, they go in and they can’t afford to eat there anymore. Or the restaurant has done shrink flexion okay, you can still get this plate of food for 1299 But you’re only going to be getting half as much. Who wants to do that? I mean, to me this totally is like the political slogan it’s the economy stupid. Meanwhile, in other labor market news that I think it’s important for you not to ignore. On Barron’s dot com, we find there’s a worrying sign for the job market in this company’s earnings. Robert Half international quarterly results disappointed investors but the staffing firm had more concerning news than its earnings. New hiring is cooling. No duh. The Accounting and Finance talent provider reported $1.53 per share in earnings for the third quarter after markets closed on Thursday. This is lower than the consensus Call of $1.62 per share among analysts tracked by FactSet and indicates no growth and profit from a year ago, revenue of $1.8 billion dollars was below expectations of $1.92 billion. Okay, we don’t have to care about that. The main thing that I would want you to take away from that is new hiring is cooling. They’re having to admit it finally, because it’s out there in the stock market. Apparently. I’ve told you before that, in my opinion, I would not want to put all my eggs into one basket. Whenever I was roughing out a job loss survival plan. I wouldn’t want to assume well, I’ll just call somebody a staffing agency. I’ll just call back the 10,000 recruiters who call me during the Great resignation now I ignored them and treated them like they were trash and second class citizens. But I’ll go ahead and call them back whenever I get laid off and surely they’ll help me they may not have anything to offer you even if they wanted to help you. So that is not a basket that I personally would want to put all of my eggs Sin. Okay, speaking of which, I’m not going to use some terrible pun here. But I will segue over into what I’m seeing in my corner of the Midwest, which is food shortages. Now, could that improve? Yes, it could. But right now, in my local supercenter, it looks like a hot mess. Bottled water is in very short supply. Now I have heard that part of that is due to a lot of bottled water being sent to Florida in the aftermath of hurricane in. That could be true, I don’t know. But I needed to find a jug of distilled water for all this sinus wash stuff that I’m doing. And it was very difficult indeed, I had to ask a clerk. And that was a little bit like, okay, let’s track down this distilled water that we supposedly have in the mouse and the house. And with the rat and the hat and the cat that Jack built. Finally, I was able to find a jug of distilled water, but it was in the baby hair section. So you may have to get creative, you may have to put your patient hat on and be willing to ask some questions, if there’s something that you really need to find, because it may not be on the shelf at all. Or it may be that you have to look for it in a less conventional place in the store than you’re expecting. But water was wiped out. And the section where they keep like the eggs and the bacon and stuff that looks pretty terrible. Peanut butter is still fairly obliterated. There are some smaller jars, like the large family size. So if you had like a daycare, you have a large family that large, like family supplies, family supply jar of peanut butter, none of those. Not a lot of bread. The meat section looks absolutely awful. There was very, very little, very little on the shelves. And the stuff that was there didn’t look particularly appetizing, let’s say. So I just wound up going to the frozen section to get some things that I thought, you know, hopefully wouldn’t give us food poisoning for the week. But that that’s really what I want to hone in on. It’s not so much about Oh, isn’t this terrible? Let’s cry in our coffee. It’s more like this has been going on for a while now. So getting to the store and being like, well, I didn’t know there were supply chain issues. Well, I didn’t know there were food shortages. Wake up seriously, even when you go down the canned goods aisle. Like if you’re looking for canned meat, like canned ham or canned chicken, you’re probably going to be out of luck. There were, I don’t know, maybe a handful of cans of chicken left on the shelf. And they were the more expensive kind like namebrand where it’s two or $3 for a small jar of chicken or a small Can I mean of chicken. I don’t think there was there may have been like one one of those tins of like, kind of off brand canned ham, trying to think of a nice way to say it. But there was none. Unlike the smaller things of canned ham, those were all gone. I wound up for like a thing of dog food for the dog having to pay almost $30 And it was small. It’s just like this small little cube of little single size dog foods, but she loves those and I’m like, Ah, god, it’s just the pinch of inflation is getting harder and harder to ignore. Even if you’re budget conscious. And you can really sort of turn water into wine and be very judicious with your spending mean everything is so freakin expensive. You can have green beans that used to be 49 cents is 88 cents now. And I understand that that on the face of it doesn’t sound like a lot. But when you go through the store and every single item that you pick up and put in your shopping cart is more expensive than it was the time before it starts to wear on you. It does do something to you psychologically. And seeing areas of a store that used to be fully stocked with really good looking items. Whether it was good looking produce or good looking meat and dairy and fish now it looks like a warzone. It looks like every man for himself, Lord of the Flies. Just something to keep in mind. I’m not telling you to get scared. I’m not telling you to hoard anything. I’m just telling you. I don’t want you to be caught off guard. I don’t want you to be one of these people that’s like, Well, I had never heard of an employment trap. I had never heard of a rescinded job offer. Well, I had no idea that hiring is cooling off. I had no idea that the Fed wanted to crash the labor market. I had no idea that unemployment was getting ready to go up because trust and belief. Okay, some of those people may be your friends and family. They may be people that come knocking on your door because they don’t have any food in the house. They may be people that come knocking on your door because they want you to loan him some money. I hope that that’s not the case. I really do. But I think we need to be highly realistic here. Today it is Monday, October 24. on CNBC we have headlines such as down rises more than 400 points as Wall Street As to add to last week’s rally. Inflation is dominating the conversation on earnings calls. I imagine Biden student loan forgiveness plan is on hold. Apple raises prices on its TV and music streaming services. Good luck with that. Who has the money for it? US denounces Russia’s Dirty Bomb claim more than 1 million Ukrainian homes have lost power. Rishi Sunak to be Britain’s new prime minister, as rivals quit race. The new iPad got a major makeover and it’s worth the extra $120. Again, I say good luck with that because who has that money right now? Whether it’s worth it or not, you know? Okay. Also, today we find 63% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, including nearly half of six figure earners. But please don’t forget that at the end of August, they told us that fewer people were living paycheck to paycheck and that inflation was starting to ease. I’m not gonna forget Pepperidge Farm remembers and so do I. I’m going to be writing a blog post about that this week, because I think we need to call it out. When we see media outlets talking out of both sides of their mouth, we’re getting weird hot air hopium things that don’t even make sense. We need to talk about it. In the TLDR key points we find with persistent inflation eroding wage gains. The number of Americans living paycheck to paycheck is near historic high. According to a recent report, almost half of those earning more than $100,000 say they are just getting by. As of September 63% of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck. According to a recent Lending Club report near the 64% historic high hit in March. A year ago the number of adults who felt estranged was closer to 57%. Consumers are not able to keep up with the pace of inflation that is increasing, said unusually high are lending clubs financial health officer being employed is no longer enough for the everyday American Nayar said wage growth has been inadequate, leaving more consumers than ever, with little to nothing leftover after managing monthly expenses and quote, yeah, exactly. being employed is no longer enough. One of the things I’ll be talking about in that blog post is when you look at manufactured insecurity. So we see it not only in the housing market, we see it not only in the rental market, but now we’re also seeing it in the job market. Like how many of these places of manufactured insecurity do we have to mount up before we realize it’s not just workplace feudalism? It’s not just housing market feudalism. It’s feudalism full stop. I’m just saying. Over on Yahoo Finance, we find not the time to get greedy. Home flippers are now getting burned by the US housing downturn slashing prices to cut losses. Here are two big reasons why. In that we find home flippers who pounced on recent drops in home prices now face some major hurdles and potentially major losses. It’s a story few could have foreseen really, really. After home flipping reached record heights as 2022 kicked off the bubble seems to have burst. The one in 10 home flipping slash conventional sales ratio has dropped as the overall real estate market hits the brakes. Home sales fell off a cliff between August and September 2022 and dipped an astounding 25% From September 2021. According to the National Association of Realtors, it’s now causing many property investors to dump their inventory and fast anybody that’s flipping right now needs to be looking closely at pricing of property price it to sell today is not the time to get greedy and quote. Hmm, it’s a story few could have foreseen What a laugh really few could have foreseen it. But here’s the thing, they will tell you the same thing about the labor market. Okay, even though the Fed has come out and said that they want to see unemployment go up. They want to cool off the job market. You’re gonna get the same kind of BS when the labor market takes a nosedive. Wait and see. It’s a story few could have foreseen Well, after the great resignation and all the job hopping and people going from pillar to post getting more money. We just couldn’t have foreseen that it was going to crash like this and unemployment was going to be so bad. Yeah, you could. Anybody with more than two brain cells could rub together could figure it out. Just saying. Yeah. Okay, but then let’s let’s shimmy on over for a second to medium published under the heading of the making of a millionaire which that kind of In and of itself tells me a little something. We find a headline, housing prices will hit record highs again by 2024. And I’m like, Oh my God. Yeah, I’ve said it before. And we’ll say it again. I feel like it is an auspicious time to be strategic. Where are you getting your information from? Who are you listening to? Do their predictions? Bear out? Correct? Are they giving you pump and dump information? You know, think about the meme stocks? Did you buy something in the heat of the moment because someone online or someone on social media said that it was going to be a hot tip, and then you were left holding the bag? Be very careful. I myself would not bet the farm pun intended, pun intended, that home prices are going to go back through the roof as soon as 2024 I’m sorry, I don’t believe that. One of the reasons why is because I’ve already lived through the insanity that was oh eight to about 2010. Things did not heal overnight. And depending upon how bad and how deep the situation goes, I would find it hard to believe that home prices are going to skyrocket again, in 2024. I could be wrong. It’s just my opinion. And I could be wrong. But I would want to really be careful and really be strategic about what I decided to do or not to do what I decided to buy or not to buy, especially as the rates continue to go up. I would not want to pay some exorbitant overpriced amount of money at like a seven and a half percent interest rate on some hopium that will maybe the prices are going to rebound really, really well as soon as 2024 Hmm, what if that person’s wrong? Today it is Tuesday, October 25. On the side panel for LinkedIn, we find curbside dining a boon to New York City restaurants. Revenge travel extends into the fall. Housing prices slumped the most since 2009. Oh, hmm. Remember the people that said this is not a bubble. We would never have another 2008 or 2009. These loans are solid. Housing prices will only appreciate this is the last chance Express. You keep on with that. FOMO and that YOLO huh? Right. Sure. Colleges jump on direct admissions, the lasting effects of remote work, Joule reportedly discussing bailout that makes my stomach churn. When we click on this we find jewel is in talks over a bailout with two of its largest investors. The e cigarette company saw sales slow after the Food and Drug Administration issued and then paused a ban on its products over health concerns. The potential ban as well as 1000s of lawsuits over alleged marketing to underage people has seen the company struggle to attract financing. It has since consider filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Well, two restructuring experts have been added to its board. If it wants to go to private investors with their private money and ask for a bailout you do you boo. But don’t you come and ask the taxpayers for a bailout don’t freaking do it. I don’t smoke, I don’t vape that’s not a choice that I choose in my life. And I don’t want to give a dime of taxpayer money to bail out an e cig company. I have spoken. Okay, now when we click on the lasting effects of remote work, we find, as office occupancy rates across the country continue to remain well below pre COVID levels. It’s clear that hybrid work is here for the long haul. I got one of those like LinkedIn spam solicitation type emails earlier. And the woman was like, Oh, our company is expert in hybrid work. And if your workforce is not sure about it, we can help you sell it to them. And I’m like delete ban block Do not contact again, that is of no interest to me whatsoever. I’ve made my prediction. I think that hybrid being used as the hell of half measures, I really think that’s being done deliberately. And I think that it will go from two or three days in the office to four to five. And that’s how it will be, at some point the bulk of corporate America not every company to be emphatically clear, but the bulk of corporate America will say three days is not enough. Four days is not enough. What hell just come all back. Monday through Friday, just come on back. Wait and see. Companies have set out their remote plans requiring employees to come in just two or three times a week. Where does that leave the landlords? Won’t someone think of the landlord bears Good grief? Where does that leave the landlords and businesses behind those empty offices? It’s a concern many are grappling with as they weigh how to proceed moving forward. Hmm. Indeed. I think a lot of remote workers are not worried about the landlords and the businesses behind the corporate real estate It also today if you’re curious about this whole Liz truss all of a sudden out Prime Minister thing going on in Great Britain, Russell Brand has an awesome video about Rishi Sunak this is what they’re not telling you. He really gets into the thick of hey, this guy is worth a boatload of cash. And they show this video I don’t know where they got it from, but it is so telling to me. It was a show him years ago talking about oh, I have friends that are rich. And then I have friends from the working class and then he’s like, Oh, well, I mean now probably not the working class. And they show his father whoever it is sitting next to him with his real smug smile on his face as if to say like, Well, no, no, we wouldn’t associate with working class folk. To me, that speaks volumes. Today it is Wednesday, October 26. on CNBC, we have headlines such as Metis shares plummet 12% on weak fourth quarter forecast and earnings miss is Mehta a broken stock. NASDAQ snaps three day winning streak as big tech ways down index. Ford reveals third quarter net loss weighed down by supply chain problems and Argo AI investment. Powell again, is facing political pressure as worries mount over the economy. Who can be surprised by that? I would say if someone doesn’t feel a sense of worry, they’re probably not paying attention right now. Alphabet just had its worst day since March 2020. When COVID shutdowns started in the US. Putin says risk of world conflict is high, I would say so it seems to be like a powder keg, Moscow official calls for de Satanization in the Ukraine. Now that’s one to try to say five times fast or maybe it would be six times fast. De-Satanization… I don’t even know what the hell that means no pun intended. Another interesting headline on CNBC though considerably less dramatic than dropping the s bomb. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t make light of it. It’s just like sometimes you are better off to laugh rather than cry. We read the war for talent is over. Talent one says PwC us Chairman Tim Ryan, I am actually going to devote an entire future episode to this, especially in relation to the Gallup survey about the state of the workforce, and how so many people actually say that they’re miserable and disengaged? I’m like, On what planet? Can we really realistically say that talent one? If that were true, would the economy be in the shape that it’s in right now? Would the Fed be talking about crashing the job market and watching unemployment go up? Would they be talking about seeing wages stagnate for the people who managed to hang on to their jobs? I’m gonna have to go ahead and say I am skeptical of that. Over on Yahoo Finance, most of the headlines are exactly the same except we do find another one. Atlanta homebuilder. Pulte group walks from land deals as demand wanes, rapidly rising mortgage rates sparked by the US Federal Reserve’s attempt to wrangle rampant inflation or to blame for the falling demand. Pulte executive set Yes. And also I would say people waking up from the FOMO and the Yolo and saying, you know, I think I would rather wait. Getting a doodoo poop house at a 7% interest rate is just a big no thank you. Over on the side panel for LinkedIn we find COVID fears add to work force woes. Twitter staff flee before must take over Zillow cuts 300 staff in sales and loans, Spotify moles price hike, YouTube ad decline burns alphabet more Oracle layoffs hit cloud unit. If we go over to layoffs dot FYI today some of the companies that we find are Zillow, fundbox, Callisto media convoy, cerebral volta loom and story. So the people who said that we just won’t have layoffs in q4. Have they been proven right or have they been proven wrong? I’m just saying. There was a post that popped up on LinkedIn spotlight today, and I want to read it for you because it definitely hit home to me. These people that act like we’ll just start a side hustle, you can do something you can do anything, anything will help you make money. Well look at this lady over here that does underwater basket weaving and makes half a million dollars a year. Oh, look at this guy who picks his lint out of his navel and sells On eBay, I mean, people will come up with some of the most preposterous things and act like, well, how come you can’t become an overnight millionaire doing this? It’s bizarre to me and it’s, it’s stupid there. I’m gonna say it. It’s stupid. A lot of these people also, by the way, are selling some type of course, there. They have a vested interest in parting you from your money. So they want to make it like well, you can sell anything, you can create anything and then make buku bucks from it. And it’s like, but can you though, huh? I’m doing the Thor face can you though. So I want to read this. And it’s by Michael MIG Nano, and it is titled is the creator economy debt. The Creator economy promised to deliver not only tools to help creators make money, but ultimately the potential for true economic independence. But as 99% of creators discovered, it hasn’t lived up to sky high expectations. The reality, most creators can’t break through platform algorithms. Most are not marketing gurus. Most are not making content relevant to more than a dozen people and know most aren’t going to benefit from their work being ownable via web three. All of this is completely okay. There is nothing at all wrong with creating for the sake of creativity. After all, human beings are inherently creative. And for the few creators who can find 1000 fans, they can no longer reliably count on their economic support in a market downturn. After all, if you lose your job and your paycheck, which expense will you choose to eliminate first groceries or your monthly donation to your favorite YouTuber. In hindsight, the reasons for the failed promise seem somewhat obvious. The Creator economy was never really meant to be a solution for 99% of the hundreds of millions or quite possibly billions of creators that exist today. Instead, it was designed to operationalize the financial infrastructure for the top 1%. The creators who have already broken through and found demand for their work, the creator economy was never about democratization. It was about elitism isn’t everything. But here’s the good news. Creativity is universal and the 99% matter. There’s nothing more democratic than everyone on the planet being able to create and share their work with the world. And there’s arguably far more value being created by the aggregate of the 99% than there is by the 1%. What if the promise of the Creator economy failed? Because we collectively, myself included defined the opportunity for creativity as far too small? What if we were thinking about one small piece of the market for creativity? Surely, there is much more to creativity than the tools that enable the top 1% of creators to make money? What if the opportunity for creativity is much bigger than what we’ve all been calling the Creator economy? And quote? Yeah, I get it. I definitely do. I feel like I’ve seen too many articles about these weird niches and somebody who beat the odds to make millions of dollars, but they’re presented with hot air and hopium. Like, guess what, you can do the same thing, too. I talked very candidly about this, and why I chose to quit the free and low cost platforms. I was teaching on a platform, offering my courses for free. And I really felt aggravated, quite frankly, by people who would consume awesome content free of charge, and try to find something to whine about. I’m like, I don’t have time for this. My time is too valuable. Life is too short. I’m not going to put content out that has to constantly be refreshed and updated, and have people have whine and moan with me about little nitpicky things. It’s free. You know how much money you have invested in it? How much skin you have in the game? Zero, is it. So zip it? Same thing with Patreon? I thought, you know, for somebody to put a few bucks in the tip jar. And then sometimes you have a crowd, sometimes you don’t these people come in, they bend your content, and then they leave. It was just too much. So I really get what he’s saying. This idea that for 99% of people making a bazillion dollars off of creating something, whether it’s a channel, a series of videos, a blog, whatever, that’s not going to be reality. And I think as we move further into this economic poopoo storm, this is good food for thought. Are you going to be able to rely on all these various side hustles? Are you going to be that one in a million or one in a billion people who gets to make a million dollars doing underwater basket weaving? I don’t know. I’m willing to say that the odds are probably against that. I don’t know for sure. But that’s not something that I would want to rely on as a source of income to provide for myself and my family. If it were me Today it is Thursday, October 27. Before I get into today’s headlines further information about the Fed and interest rates and the job market and the housing market and remote workers probably going to be targeted for layoffs, and other things that will give us a headache, I’m sure. I want to talk about something that I have really been sensing over the past few days. standard disclaimer here. As Dennis Miller always says, this is just my opinion, and I could be wrong. I cannot give you advice. I cannot tell you, what’s the best thing to do for you and your family. You have to make those decisions for yourself. And label this whatever you want. Instinct, gut instinct, spiritual insight, feeling the heebie jeebies, whatever you want to call it, I’m very open. But over the past few days, I have noticed a real ramping up of my gut instinct, that the slow roll down a bad Hill is about to get less slow, and a lot more obvious. And that as more people wake up to reality, they’re going to be looking around with a sense of wonder and not in a good way and a sense of anger. Even though you’ve had plenty of warnings, there have been plenty of people going online, whether it’s on podcasts, on YouTube, on blog posts, on social media, wherever they can get a voice to be heard. They’ve been on saying, Hey, we’re already in a recession, layoffs are coming. Things are not looking good. We’re in for a long, cold, brutal winter Hello, wake up even though these voices, including myself have been on the airwaves, you will still have people that have lived in a bubble this year, looking around going well, I had no idea that layoffs were coming. I had no idea that companies were going to close down. I had no idea that we were in geopolitical turmoil. There’s not much that I can do for those people other than tell you that, in my opinion, that’s coming. Now I’m not on here trying to be Nostradamus writing some bizarre quatrain. I don’t know exactly how this is going to manifest. And I hate those garish clickbait titles. You only have one more day, you only have one more week, we’ve only got 30 days left. I hate that. I do. And it does not matter to me what excuses that the content creators use to justify fanning the flames. And some of them at least are honest about why they’re doing it. They will go on the airwaves and say, Hey, I have to do that to get the message out. I have to do that to try to beat the algorithm, I have to do that to get eyes and ears to come to the message. I get it. I just don’t agree with it. So I am not going to sit here and tell you I know chapter and verse what’s about to happen? I know when it’s going to happen. I know precisely how it’s going to play out. Indeed, I do not. What my spidey senses have been telling me is more of that feeling that things are escalating. And that whatever this slow roll down a bad Hill is the snowball that’s been rolling down the hill at a relatively slow speed is about to pick up momentum. How will this manifest? I don’t know. Will it be warfare? Will it be conflict? Will it be economic disaster? I don’t know. And I really don’t even want to speculate on that. All I can tell you is that I have been feeling that this is really, really, really the time to get your house in order. I can’t tell you what to do and what that looks like for you and your family. I’m just trying to figure out as best as I can, what it looks like for me and my family. I would liken it to that impulse that an expectant mother gets when she wants to nest. She knows that the baby is coming soon. And she wants to make sure that everything in the house is situated the supplies and then the necessary supplies for the baby are there. Everything is safe. There’s no way that once the baby starts to crawl, it could get into anything. It’s not supposed to that I’ve been feeling a lot of that like okay, something is brewing up. And the slow roll down a bad Hill is about to be a lot faster and a lot clearer. You know, I think that Putin is telling the truth when he says that we’re pretty much in a powder keg right now geopolitically, and the least little could spark it off. I don’t think that that’s an untrue statement. I hope to God that nothing bad happens in terms of warfare, is something bad going to happen economically. I would say that’s almost a certainty because we’re already in bad economic conditions, in my opinion, but I hope to God we don’t have to go through warfare. That’s horrifying to me to even think about it. But I’ve been feeling that get your house in order. Be ready to hunker down, be ready for whatever is about to happen. Next, make sure that you and your family have what you need to get through whatever. I can’t tell you what to do. All I am I really doing in this segment is just relaying the information. And letting you know that if you’ve been having that same spidey sense, if you’ve been feeling a little bit like there’s a disturbance in the Force, something is not quite right. Something has shifted, I can feel it. You’re not alone. I’m feeling it, too. I have not increased my intake of caffeine, or sugar or anything like that. I really can’t pinpoint any kind of biological response. I do have a Fitbit. Whenever I checked my heart rate, it’s good. So it’s not like it’s not like a biological thing. It’s more of a spiritual gut instinct mental thing where I’m like, I think that slow roll is about to not be so slow anymore. I can’t tell you what to do. The most that I can really say about this is do you feel prepared? Do you have a sense of what you would do in the event of a job loss? Do you have a sense of what you would do if we had to go through another lockdown? mean do you feel like you have your arms around what would be important for basic safety for yourself and your family? Over on CNBC, we have headlines today such as Amazon quietly gave $400,000 to conservative nonprofit that opposed new antitrust legislation. Well, I just can’t imagine such a thing. Wow. Dow rises 200 points after stronger than forecast GDP. NASDAQ weighed down by meta plunge. Meta shares plunged 24% to the lowest price since 2016. Searches for seasonal jobs are up 33%. But stores like Walmart and Macy’s are pulling back on hiring more linguistic gymnastics, they’re pulling back on hiring. You know, I will be releasing a bonus episode on Monday about a very sad story in Buzzfeed. about a woman who bought a house against her better judgment. She felt like she was misled by her realtor. And one of the things that the realtor said was Well, you can always cut expenses and try to find a part time job. And one of the points that I want to really drive home in that episode, no pun intended, is what are you going to do? If you can’t pick up a part time job? If you can’t go out and find a side hustle because these companies are not hiring? I feel like this is important food for thought. Over on the side panel for LinkedIn, we find US economy returns to growth. I’m not sure who believes that but okay. remote work ads are disappearing. Hmm. Yep. Millennials are behind the wealth eight ball. How can they not be? How could really anybody be ahead of the wealth eight bowl right now. Credit Suisse to cut 9000 jobs. Big tech sees tough times ahead. Mortgages soar past 7% and a 20 year high. software firm Mind Body cuts staff, more students more college in Europe. When we click on remote work, ads are disappearing we learn the allure of remote work is rising even as opportunities fade. The number of remote job listings on LinkedIn hit an all time high in February, with a fifth of us postings being for off site or work from home positions. These drew a total of 50% of applications on the site. By last month. However, remote postings that shrunk to 14% of us jobs, yet Drew 52% of applications. Data from 14 countries including the UK, Germany and India show that interest in remote work arrangements globally is roughly twice the available positions. While remote work opportunities existed before the pandemic. They need to socially distance or the need to socially distance during it has accelerated the trend by 30 years estimates. Stanford economist Nick Blum and quote, okay, let’s dust him off and bring him back out. Sarah was right yet again. If we go all the way back to Saturday, broadcast number five, which was published on July 2, and then also to the bonus episode that I recorded on July 25, about roughing out a job loss survival plan. I told you this was coming. Whatever jobs are available, especially the highly desirable ones where you get to work from home. There will be a lot of competition for those jobs and it will be very difficult to stand out not impossible, but difficult. I also published a blog post about this very thing called, I told you so, on August 23, I saw this coming before it ever even hit the airwaves before mainstream media ever reported on it. I told you, I’m going to read from that blog post now. Ultimately, I think corporate America will make it as inhospitable as possible for you to work from home in the long run. Some companies will remain remote. Yes. And the competition for those jobs will be fierce. But will the majority of companies stay remote or mostly remote forever? I doubt it. Yep. And here we go. I will tell you, I will pull the curtain back somewhat. And tell you that the hiring managers that I have spoken with over the past few weeks, a lot of them are saying we’re kind of over the remote thing. Now, we’re not going to put that on the website. We’re not going to put that in our marketing materials. But you know, truth be told and bribe it. We’re pretty much over it. We want people back. We want people in the office more than they’re not in the office, we’re kind of over the whole work from home thing. We’re ready for things to be the way that they were before COVID. Ignore that information at your own risk. On a closely related note, here’s some additional information that I think you would do wise not to ignore. Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times published an article titled remote workers could be the first to go in the next round of recession, layoffs. So the thesis is not very there. They’re already saying the next round of recession layoffs, like it’s a fait accompli, the only part they’re really being a little bit equivocal on as well, remote workers could be the first to go I mean, I would say let’s not hedge any bets here. Let’s just be real. I will read from the article for you know, or Nanda White’s layoff was sudden and swift. Eight months of steady work ended in a 15 minute zoom call, no office goodbyes, no desk to clean out, not for White, who, like millions of others across the country had been working from home, as recession winds blow and the prospect of layoffs grow. What some poetry there, many remote workers are beginning to worry about a potential downside to the Add home arrangement that took hold during the pandemic and has continued even as the crisis recedes, are those who seldom visit the office and have little direct physical contact with their supervisors, more likely to be fired than those who work at desks just a few feet away? Out of sight? Out of Mind? Question, Mark? Yes, I’ll go ahead and answer that question for you. Yes. As you know, I’m not afraid of bold statements and bold predictions. I don’t think that we need to be like mealy mouthed about this. Let’s just pull it out into the light and call a thing a thing? Yes. The question has taken on new urgency as employers nationwide cut back and policymakers strategy for fighting inflation, pushing interest rates ever higher, looks more and more like it will push the economy into a recession. Okay, we’re in a recession right now, in my opinion, even though they change the technical definition. Let’s be real. We’re in one right now. Whatever poopoo storm is coming next, I think will be worse than a recession. And that’s just my opinion. And I could be wrong, but that’s what I see coming. Data on the issue are almost non existent. The next downturn will be the first to occur with so many remote workers in play. But in one large scale survey by beautiful.ai What’s in a name, a maker of business presentation software. 60% of managers said that remote workers would probably be laid off first, workplace proximity bias could prove to be a troubling issue that managers deal with during the current economic uncertainty, said Jason lap beautiful.ai is chief executive. prejudice against remote workers is obviously not a manager’s intention, he said, but sometimes it’s difficult to imagine fair treatment and trust when a batch of employees are working next to you in an office and another group of employees are working at home in whitespace. Her firmer her former employer get it out her former employer Momentive in San Mateo, California would not say whether remote employees were hit harder than those working on site. Wide who lives in Dallas said she had no reason to think so but added I really can’t say the question began to arise early in the COVID 19 pandemic when working from home, came close to being the norm. Some executives and management experts caution that it would be easier for bosses to let go of individuals they seldom saw than those they encountered every day. I will button long enough to say if they’re going to let you go. If they have decided that you need to go for whatever reason or it’s better for the bottom line. Make no mistake about it they will do so. It doesn’t matter whether your old buddy old pal that they see in the office every day or they hardly ever see you except on one of the was garish zoom meetings, it doesn’t matter. If they’ve decided, yeah, gone, then you’re gone. So let’s don’t have any delusions of grandeur about face to face proximity. At the end of the day, corporate America cares about themselves and they’re going to do what’s best for their bottom line. Let’s just be real about that. Other said that even if bias could be avoided those who are not present and would miss out on opportunities to demonstrate their abilities, when new and unexpected situations arose in the office, what is certain is that many workers themselves are worried all but in again to say, I’m not convinced that that’s the case, either. That’s why when I talked earlier in the segment about having the spidey sense, having the nesting mentality like, I actually don’t think a lot of people are worried. I think some are, but I don’t think a lot of people are. And I think when those people wake up, it’s going to be a really highly unpleasant experience. Good hire and employment screening firm in Redwood City, California found in a survey that eight in 10, workers felt working from home would make them more vulnerable in a layoff, many fretted that their bosses would view them as lazier or that they would be excluded from important meetings or projects. A few experts caution that it’s too soon to know whether the brunt of job cutbacks will fall on remote workers noting that companies have an inherent self interest in keeping high performing employees, whether they’re in the office or not. Yeah, no. I’ve told you before I had a manager years ago, who told me some people value control more than they value anything else, including money. and a high performing employee can sure as hell be let go, if they don’t tow the line. They can be let go. If they don’t obey the feudal lord. Don’t believe me? Just watch. It’s common. During the pandemic, many employers found remote workers were just as productive and sometimes even more so. Hmm. So why did they want you back so damn bad, probably because it’s about obedience. It’s about obedience and compliance. It’s not about productivity. It never has been. What’s more, offering people the ability to work from home has been a valuable tool in attracting and retaining talent. remote workers can be cheaper because many live in lower cost areas. And companies often pay less based on geographical differences. Well, of course, because you know, we have to spin it to whatever’s best for corporate America, because we really want to make sure that they are paying you as little as possible. Won’t somebody please think of the billionaires now continue to read. During the pandemic, when everyone was working at home, you didn’t have a sense of missing out everyone was in the same boat said Linda Schaffer Chief People Officer at checker, good hires parent firm. It’s different now. She said with people working at the office, some at home and more in hybrid situations. You know, I have also predicted that I think the hybrid hell of half measures will be used as a stepping stone. Because look at what this person is saying right there. It’s different now because some are at home, some are in the office, and we’re in hybrid. I feel like at some point, corporate America is just going to make this unilateral decision of this beast is too unwieldy. Some of you are here summer, they’re like, let’s just come on back collectively. Prediction alert. I see that happening. I don’t feel companies have figured out how to adjust for human behavior to address human bias. She said referring to how managers will decide which workers to let go. That bias will be that much stronger if it’s coming from top executives said Andy challenger, Senior Vice President at Challenger gray and Christmas, an outplacement firm that tracks layoffs. For CEOs who have a strong preference for having people back in the office. He said letting go of remote workers could be a way of killing two birds with one stone. HR leaders know that it’s a bad policy, that it would be a blunt tool, Challenger said but I think some CEOs are following that path. Imagine there wouldn’t be a legal blowback for companies laying off many more employees who work from home versus other employees. remote workers as a class aren’t protected from employment discrimination, unlike those filing claims on the basis of for example, race, gender or age, let’s be real. Some of those people are not protected either not adequately on paper. They’re protected against discrimination, but I think we all freaking know better in reality. remote workers also may not have the same legal right to notice of a layoff under federal and state laws. The so called Warren Act requires employers to give 60 days notice of a mass layoff or a plant closing. Although there are exceptions. remote workers fall in a gray area, and neither the courts nor the Department of Labor have made things crystal clear attorney birdie said. Meanwhile, even as the labor market has held up remarkably well, layoffs. are increasing the firm challenge are counted almost 30,000 job cuts announced in September by US employers, a 68% increase from the same month in 2021. layoffs have surged among tech firms, especially young ones in the San Francisco Bay area. In some cases where practically everyone is working from home, it’s easy to know that remote workers weren’t targeted. Also complicating the picture is the fact that often teleworkers are the most recent hires. And those are typically the first to go. First one last one hired first one fired, that’s not always true. But in some cases it is and a lot of people know that rhyme. And that’s one reason why people are not willy nilly changing jobs like they were this time last year, it is a different reality that we’re in Carolyn Raymer, a senior recruiter for DocuSign said her entire 10 person team that focused on senior level hiring was laid off last month and everyone had worked from home. Raymer, who lives in Fullerton had joined the San Francisco company about 18 months ago, she was hired via zoom and was laid off in the same way. God I hate zoom. I really do. DocuSign said through his spokesperson that all its employees are considered remote until the company’s currently planned office reopening in February. But the picture wasn’t so clear with many other companies that had cut jobs. Recently, Microsoft, for example, confirmed it laid off almost 1000 workers but the company wouldn’t comment. When asked whether people working remotely were affected more than those who worked in the office. Interesting. Many workers have come to value working from home so much so that 45% said they would take a pay cut to keep working remotely. And they may have to I’ve predicted that too. If you want to continue working from home you can but it’ll cost you and about one in three said they would actually quit or start a remote job search if they were forced to return to the office full time according to good hire survey. I believe that will be a much smaller number as we careen into whatever the hell this is. Because if you have to choose between starving or getting evicted, or going back to the office, probably going to go back to the office. I’m not saying it’s right. I don’t support feudalism 2.0 that we have going on. I’m on the airwaves telling you what’s happening. Even if teleworking may be less secure in times of a down economy. Many say they would still rather work from home because of the work life balance and the save time and expenses for not commuting, aware of the need for greater personal connection. Why and some of her fellow remote workers in the Dallas area had been planning to get together to support one another. But they were all laid off before they had the chance. White who studied civil engineering in education still doesn’t see an inherent disadvantage in job security for remote workers. She is searching for a new job, another fully remote one. Don’t be caught off guard. Don’t be naive. Don’t be caught off guard. Do not listen to hot air and hopium. In my opinion, I feel like now is the time to wargame out your strategy in the event that you’re working for a company and you want to stay there. You don’t have bad blood, you’re not miserable. But you know deep down in your gut, they’re probably going to call you back to the office. Have you wargame out your strategy. Are you going to quit? Are you going to stay? Do you have childcare in place or eldercare pet care if that’s a necessity? Can you go back in your mind to what you were doing pre pandemic? And then if you still have access to those resources, I mean, a lot of childcare facilities are out of business. So if you still have access to those resources or to some trustworthy resource, what is it going to cost you because inflation has hit everything wargame these things out ahead of time. Don’t be the person that lives in denial. have a game plan ahead of time so that you know what you would do in a worst case scenario. Today it is Friday, October 28. Yesterday, Orlando miner published a post on YouTube I’ll drop a link to it so that you can see it for yourself. As the old saying goes Seeing is believing and this collage that he has created a sort of collage of Hell, if you will, kind of drives it all home. His caption is all in the last 24 hours. We find Seagate cuts 3000 employees while Phillips slashes 4000. Here are the biggest US layoffs this year. Many employees told to put in 200% effort to protect jobs as layoffs loom. San Francisco Twitter headquarters staffers urge to say hi to Elon Musk as threat of layoffs looms. Walmart received $23 million in Georgia tax incentives. Now it’s laying off 1400 workers. Zillow lays off 300 employees in latest workforce shift. CNN signals layoffs and budget cuts before the end of the year. As I’ll be talking about in the bonus episode on Monday, anyone telling you just pick up an extra job, get you another job, get your side hustle up. All right? What will happen to you if that’s not an option? I went into the Dollar Tree earlier, which of course, as I’m sure most of you know, it’s the dollar 25 tree now. And they do have some items that are even more expensive than that. On some of the shelves, you will see things marked 357. So it’s honestly getting to be more like Dollar General, which I thought was funny, because I actually went there to see if they had any better discounts, or any better bargains ban Dollar General. I like Dollar General. But they’re raising prices. So often, they’re not even trying to conceal it anymore. You just go in and it’s sticker on top of sticker on top of sticker and everything is more expensive than it was the time before trying to find a true discount store is becoming more and more difficult. I really bring this up to say that one of the things, I think that’s positive about going in an unfamiliar store, not only you have the possibility of finding things that you aren’t finding in your normal haunts. But there’s a real value in at least occasionally going to a place that’s unfamiliar. Because you have to walk down every aisle you’re not familiar with the layout of the store, you don’t know what they have in stock and what they don’t. So you have to walk down every aisle and you have to really intentionally look at every item. And that may help you identify areas where you’re short. If there’s a medication, you haven’t thought of a household tool or a supply of some kind. If nothing else, even if you don’t believe in emergency preparedness. If nothing else, it’s a hedge against inflation. Because every time you go in, it’s more expensive than it was before. mean for example, one of the things that I noticed in the medicine aisle was calamine lotion, and I was like, we don’t have any of that. But yet, that’s the kind of medication that if you get into poison oak or poison ivy, you will be really glad that you had calamine lotion on the shelf and ready, it sucks to get into a plant like that, and then realize we don’t have anything for each control. On the way back, I just noticed more and more neighborhoods showing economic decay. It is depressing, honestly, it is. It’s frustrating. And it’s depressing to go in the stores and you may find what you need. You may not there may be fronting so there may be two or three items, but it’s everything shoved sideways or it’s shoved to the front to make it look like there’s more there than there actually is. It used to be that you could go in $1 tree with 20 bucks and get 16 or 17 items. Of course you always have to the tax man is gonna get what he wants. So you always have to factor in the sales tax. But once you did that, a $20 bill would get you 16 or 17 things from the Dollar Tree. And now it’s just depressing. Same thing with these neighborhoods that have just gone so downhill and show so many signs of economic distress. There was one that I drove by on the way back, and it’s a neighborhood where some of the swells and small town somebody’s used to live. I doubt they still do. It was sobering. There were windows that had been knocked out and just had plywood over them. There were places where it looked like people had taken cars or trucks apart and then just said screw it and left everything to rot. There were places where brick was coming apart. And it looked like the masonry wasn’t holding up and nobody cared that that was just the the vibe that I got driving by of everything is so expensive. Everybody feels so hamstrung right now, who cares? There was one of those neighborhoods too, that was built right around the 125% financing No Money Down craze that happened like Oh 50607 kind of leading into the bubble that popped and the disaster that happened during the Great Recession. It was a neighborhood that was built around that time. You cannot imagine how bad those houses look. Now, some of them are caving in. It’s It is a sad state of affairs. And I think for those of us who know it doesn’t have to be that way. For those of us who really feel passionately that this has been orchestrated and engineered, not that Oh, oops a daisy, it just happened who could see it coming. You know that the cycles happen and they’re intentionally produced. It is it’s frustrating to say the least. I also want to mention that Brian over at clear value tax on YouTube has a great video up right now titled How to prepare for the next great depression. Now Even if you don’t think another Great Depression is brewing up, he has some tips here that are useful for economic recessions of any kind. And one of the things that he points out that has gotten some of the people in the emergency preparedness as well as the homesteading communities with their panties in a bunch is that if you’re relying on a garden to save you, that’s probably not the best strategy. And I will tell you, as someone who gardens as someone who has a farm and ranch, I agree 100% I think some of these people, it’s easy for them. If they have 500 tomato plants and you only have five, it’s easy for them to say, well, you should be able to grow all of this food, you should be able to just produce all of this food. My garden this year sucked. I mean, it sucked, horribly. If we had been dependent on that, as our only or our main source of food, we would have starved to death. I think to give you some perspective here and why I think some of these people are on another planet. I think we got four or five yellow summer squash. Three or four eggplant, a handful of tomatoes. Four or five pumpkins. That’s it. No greens, no beans, no peas. The corn burned. It looked absolutely desiccated. It looked like someone had burned it with a blowtorch. No cucumbers, no zucchini, no watermelon, no cantaloupe. It was pitiful. And if we had had to rely on that as our source of food, we would have been dunzo. But you cannot control extreme drought. We had these terrible heat waves where it was like all of a sudden living in Death Valley. We had water rationing. There were points in time when the ground was so dry, it was cracked. We had a hard freeze a hard killing freeze that came earlier than normal this year. So if the garden hadn’t already been fairly burned up and pitiful, it would have been dunzo anyway, because of the hard killing freeze that we had. So I’m just looking at that going right, right. Okay, as someone myself who is involved in agriculture and has a pedigree to back it up, I don’t know what planet somebody is on. If they’re thinking, Well, you just plant a garden. And that’s going to be all you need. Could you use it as a supplement for fresh food and something healthy, of course, you could, I’m not going to sit here and tell you don’t garden don’t even try. The little indoor herb and spice garden that I had on the kitchen counter did much better than my outdoor garden because it was in a climate controlled environment. And so there are some people that have really made an art and a science out of things like aquaponics and vertical tear gardening. There are people that have like lettuce and microgreens, growing in vertical tears basically from the floor to the ceiling, and they’re really good at it. And my thing is, if you have the ability to do that, and it works well for you and your family, I think that is awesome. So I’m not going to sit here and tell you don’t plant a garden, don’t attempt to grow some of your own food don’t attempt to be more self sufficient. That’s not what I’m saying at all. What I am saying is that, in my opinion, if you are relying on a garden as your primary or only source of food and you think that in a famine or a food shortage, that’s going to be enough to get you by. That’s not the choice that I would make. Now again, if you’re talking about somebody who has an amazing green thumb, they live in a more temperate climate, they’re not subject to flash floods or droughts or tornadoes or hurricanes that could come through and ruin the whole shebang in one night. Cool. Based on what I’ve seen, a lot of those people have huge amounts of plants and they have someone who is full time responsible for that garden, they do not work inside or outside the home, the garden and tending that garden is their only job. You know what Mazel tov? That’s great. That’s not the situation that a lot of people are in. Me personally, the way I look at it is I would rather focus on working and making money. I would rather be able to have some canned goods put away in case of an emergency. One of the things that I told the family was when we looked at the amount of time and energy and money spent on trying to keep that garden going. If I had invested that same amount of time, energy and money into canned goods, I would be better off right now than I am and I’m just being real with you. Because there are plenty of BS artists that will get on social media and tell you oh Well, you should be able to have 500 tomato plants. And it’s so easy to grow this and it’s so easy to do that no, the hell it isn’t? No, it isn’t. And we have so many different factors outside of our control, present in nature. I know this is going to sound tinfoil hat. But here we go. In my opinion, growing conditions are different now than they were for like my great grandparents and definitely the great great grandparents. They weren’t out there with genetically modified organisms. And I also don’t think that the weather was quite as intense. Now, whatever you choose to believe about climate change, and whether it’s manmade, from oil companies, whether it’s manmade from something else, that’s up to you. But I personally do not think that the greats and the great greats had the same type of growing conditions that we had now. Some of them lived through the Dust Bowl, some of them had to go through some very difficult times with their farms. So I’m not saying that everybody’s garden was a bed full of roses. Pardon the pun, I don’t think that at all. But I do think that some of the people that had some acreage and they had a big victory garden that produced all of these fruits and vegetables, I just think they had different growing conditions than we do today. I also think a lot of them had people, usually more than one person because at that point in time, there was more multigenerational family housing. So I also think that they had more people around the homestead to help me personally, I agree with Brian, I think that if you are hoping that growing a garden, you’re just going to have a victory garden and you’re going to make it like great granddad did in 1931. I can’t tell you what to do. All I can say is that’s not something that I would want to bet my life on. A couple of other headlines, I will need to do a separate episode about this exact topic, because for me this is going right in the pocket of not only workplace feudalism, but feudalism gestures broadly feudalism feudalism, one comes from bankrate.com and it’s titled A not so great resignation question mark. Workers who found a better paying role feel less job security as recession fears rise. Another quite similar headline if you asked me on go banking rates.com reads 80% of employees have a problematic level of debt according to a new survey. Again, I could be here all night, and I don’t want to be home ready to go to bed. I could be here all night. If I get onto this topic. It is worthy of its own separate episode. But in my opinion, again, okay, tinfoil hat doo doo doo doo. I think that those things are related. We have problematic levels of debt. And then we have people saying we job hopped and Oopsy daisy, we regret it now. Doesn’t it feel a little bit like certain scenarios were orchestrated to bring people to their knees? Doesn’t it feel like certain situations maybe might have been manipulated to make working class people even poorer? Hmm. Kind of kind of maybe seems that way doesn’t I mean, I’m sure that’s not the case. But you know, over on CNBC, we have headlines today such as big tech falters on dreary earnings and forecasts Mehta has worst week ever. Amazon tumbles 13%. To me, this goes back to the homes that show obvious signs of economic distress, who has money to go spend at these places? I mean, my God, when you can’t even go in Dollar Tree or Dollar General, and really feel like you’ve gotten good bargains anymore. What’s left? What is left? You know, I think about how my best friend Johnny at a period of time, when he had no money, he would go dumpster diving. And he would also sometimes use the clothing bank at the local mission. I mean, it may be coming to that more of us may have to turn into Freegans and dumpster dive. And I’m not saying that tongue in cheek. I’m like I’m literally saying I remember Johnny telling me about what he had to do to survive when he had like no money. It’s feeling more and more like that. Meanwhile, Dow closes 800 points higher on Friday registers fourth straight week of gains. Hmm, well, who cares? That’s not helping my bottom line any that’s not improving my grocery store trips. GM temporarily suspends advertising on Twitter following Elon Musk take over. I feel like that is another sort of shiny toy. Look over here. Look at what’s going on with Elon and Twitter. Look at what’s happening with the Kardashians and the new diet plan. It’s kind of like, okay, what is actually going on that we’re being distracted from? Like, do I care all that much about Elon Musk taking over Twitter? No, no, I don’t. It’s really of no consequence to my daily life. Also in another sort of frightening oh boy type of headline we have Chrysler and Jeep parent, still Lantis offering buyouts to some US salaried employees. When we click on that we find Jeep and Chrysler parent company still antas is offering buyouts to some of its 13,000 us salaried employees. The automaker cited the buyouts as a way to assist in its pivot to focus more on electric vehicles and software services. Still Lantis declined to say how many domestic salaried employees are eligible for the program or whether it has a target for how many workers would like to take the packages? No, boy, when we get into the thick of the article, we find to be eligible employees must be at least 55 years old, and have been with the company for 10 years or have 30 years of service and have a pension. Mm hmm. Interesting. Yeah, I’m gonna have to be careful how I comment on this. But I mean, let’s just read that, again, employees must be at least 55 years old, and have been with the company for 10 years or 30 years of service and a pension. Hmm. I mean, it kind of doesn’t seem random. If that’s the criteria, you get what I’m saying. Over on MarketWatch, we find another jumbo Fed rate hike is expected next week. And then life gets difficult for Powell. All eyes are on what the Fed chair says about a possible downshift in rate rise size in December. I don’t know how I said that rate rise size. First, the easy part as economists widely expect the Federal Reserve monetary policy makers to approve a fourth straight jumbo interest rate rise at its meeting next week. A hike of three quarters of a percentage point would bring the central bank’s benchmark rate to a level of 3.75 or 4%. The November decision is a walk well, I would be floored if they didn’t go 75 basis points, said Jonathan Pingle. Chief us economist at UBS what happens at Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s press conference a half hour later will be more fraught. The focus will be on whether Powell gives a signal to the market about plans for a smaller rise in its benchmark interest rate in December. Wow. I feel like if mortgage rates for the average person with decent credit are like 8.3%. I think I heard today that’s what the average was for somebody with decent credit. How bad is it going to get? Here’s the thing you got some young pups running around that are like, Oh, this is the sky is falling. And it just oh, this is as bad as it’s gonna get? And I’m like you weren’t alive in the 80s? No, no, no, no, my parents had to relocate in 83. And that’s the thing you know, I’ve said before, some of these commentators want to act like everybody is just buying a home for frivolous reasons. And without a doubt last year, and FOMO and Yolo. There were people who bought and sold for frivolous reasons, no question in my mind, but not everyone. And some of the people that are on the market now are on the market for very legitimate important reasons. So my folks had to relocate back in 83. And I think the mortgage that they had, at that point in time was either 16 or 18%. I mean, it feels unfathomable to people now, that’s the thing, but to say, Oh, well, the rates were just massive, or they have they have within my lifetime. They have. So I don’t think it’s impossible to imagine a scenario like that. We’re in such a weird, bizarre toxic stew of junk. Here. Let’s throw in some hyperinflation and some bad decisions from the 1970s. Oh, let’s put in some 1980 to 1983. Let’s do that. Okay, let’s put in some.com boom and bust let’s put in some housing bubble boom and bust and see what happens. It’s like, instead of looking at the lesser of two evils, it’s almost like let’s just put in a lot of evils and see how it goes for people. I mean, no wonder no wonder I drive by these places and see clear signs of economic distress. No wonder you go in a discount store and it’s not a discount store anymore. It’s it’s scary times out there, I would love to tell you otherwise, I would love to get on here and give you a lot of hot air and hopium week after week, I just can’t do it. In my mind, I cannot tell you what to do. I cannot give you advice. I feel like if we were sitting around having a pint at the pub, I would say, you know, in my opinion, you better get your house in order and you better get your mind right. Not gloom and doom and being an ER and never doing anything fun. Just do you have some emergency food and water? Do you have a job loss survival plan? Do you know how you would handle it? If one of the many potential nightmare scenarios were to play out? I don’t personally think it’s coincidental that some of these major cities have said hey, you need to have a bug out bag Put together. Now they may call it by a more cutesy name like to go back. And then they may walk it back and say, Oh, well, I mean, you know, it’s not for like a nuclear attack or anything. It’s just, you know, a good idea to have one. Oh, no, no, I’m not saying that. I agree with his politics. I’m not saying I agree with what he is doing. I emphatically do not. What I will say is that I believe when Putin says it’s like a powder keg, and at any point, there’s so much trauma and drama happening geopolitically that at any point, any one thing could be the thing that sparks it off. I think that’s true. And you know, I said in the segment I recorded yesterday, I really feel that the slow roll down a bad Hill, it’s accelerating. I feel it to me, it’s palpable. I don’t know how to explain it to you logically, I don’t. All I can tell you is that my spidey senses are tingling, and they’re telling me it’s time to nest. It’s time time to get things in order of time to be prepared so that wherever you are when this thing happens, you can be prepared, not scared, and you can hunker down and just be ready to ride it out. Stay safe, stay sane. I will see you in the next episode.