All the talking heads are giving their takes. All of the propagandists and shills are adding to the mix. The business news writers and commentators are trotting out their charts and graphs. Seems everybody has opinions stated as facts, no matter how incredibly stupid or enlightening they may be. Then there are our useless politicians and their spokespeople. It is enough to just get through the day without pulling your hair out.
You do not have to understand macro and micro economics, Keynesian versus Monetarism versus hybrids, the S&P versus the NASDAQ, world history and the various economic systems. Observation and logic tells the story. If you add in Biblical principles to understand what you see and hear, you will know what you know and have peace.
So allow me time out of your day to provide a few of our observations on the ground currently as examples, along with a BIMD heads up near the end.
As I posted in a recent daily, we are on our annual fall frolic to a SC beach destination known around the world, Hilton Head Island. Which means that typically there is a diverse bunch of tourists from around the globe and the place is bursting at the seams with empty nesters and homeschooling families enjoying one last blast of warm weather fun before the winter doldrums hit. We have been doing this post retirement getaway for about 15 years now. Add in family vacations and we have been visiting here since the late 80s. In essence we are the equivalent of part time residents. We have seen it go from a sleepy beach, golf and tennis resort for families to a bustling place for permanent residents as well as tourists. The population of the county has more than doubled in that period to over 190,000.
Yet, it is still where we try to rest and recharge. It is also the place where I have made valuable observations about our country and economy through the years. It seems as Hilton Head goes, so goes the country overall.
It is much, much different this year. Even more so than in COVID 2020. It is a blast from the distant past. That cannot possibly mean good things for this local or our national economy even if it makes for more restful times for us.
Granted, it seems Canadians have been set free by Trudope long enough to hit the interstates for the south as in the past, which did not occur the previous two years with COVID terrorism. For those unfamiliar, the rite of snowbird passage occurs in late October/early November. I-95, I-75 and I-65 south to Florida become parking lots with the additions of RV’s, recreational trailers and vehicles with Quebec and Ontario license plates to go with the usual heavy commercial trucking and American tourists.
But that is it this year. Tractor trailer traffic and the usual travelers have dropped by over half since our last trip here in June. We had a mostly tranquil day’s drive over, the exact opposite of how it was just 4.5 months previous to this as well as in past years.
So far, the vast majority of the license plates in parking lots around here are what we would consider to be locals or regional shoppers from SC or GA. Yeah, that’s just anecdotal. I am dumb like that, I walk and drive through parking areas looking at license plates while Wifey shops. Call it a carry over from my days as a small business banker.
It is very different around here. More like what we enjoyed back 25+ years ago that we thought was lost forever. As an example, something is big time different about the average age of servers in restaurants and clerks in stores. Older people rule. Most of the younger folks, say 20-40 years of age are a small minority in those workforces. If a restaurant has any, they are nearly always hosts or hostesses.That has never been the case here. What has caused that? Wages and tips in restaurants have never been higher. Help wanted signs are everywhere at much higher pay. I watched a restaurant manager at one of our favorite spots basically hire a walk-in female applicant on the spot who had no restaurant experience. Gave the lady an application and asked her if she could start that afternoon if her app checked out. Starting her as a hostess and would teach her the ropes as a server. All of that in the space of a couple of minutes while we waited to be seated. There was one server out of a half dozen working there who appeared under 40 to go with the hostess. Our server that day was around 70 years old, male, Asian, with braces on his arthritic knees. Probably making extra money to pay for gas and food to go with his SS and/or retirement check.
Another development post COVID is the presence of a large number of empty dining tables, yet, there are major delays in seating to those tables. Again demonstrating a lack of servers, chefs, and quite possibly, food. This is present in a destination resort area that has an University of South Carolina campus extension dedicated to the hospitality industry within the town itself. It can be infuriating to potential customers to see empty tables and not be seated immediately. We have seen them throw fits and stomp off often. It has to be frustrating to restaurant owners, management and staff as well. Less customers, less money.
As a result, wages and benefits have skyrocketed in the search for warm bodies to fill the roles. Menu pricing has increased to compensate, which reduces the numbers of people eating at the restaurants. It becomes a vicious cycle. For full service dining, table turns per day no longer applies as a trusted metric for restaurant performance. It is now revenue per seat as I instituted as an underwriting principle over 15 years ago in our national small business banking operation prior to retirement. Our underwriters could not grasp why I insisted on it back then. Then the 2008 debt markets collapse occurred and with it the economy. They know why now, because we are seeing the identical thing happen only this time it has nothing to do with a debt or equity market bubble. For the uninitiated in business principles I will keep it simple. It’s about tails in seats in full service restaurants, just like it is tails in beds for lodging. If they are empty there is expense with no revenue. If as a restaurant owner you build a facility with excess seating, there is a cash drain on your business. So big is not better much of the time.
Another observation relates to menu choices and product availability at restaurants and retail outlets. Menu options have decreased significantly except at farm to table and other restaurants using local producers, such as seafood restaurants with access to or ownership of their own commercial fishing operations. Those are sustaining their operations even if there has been a small dip. Those more dependent on national suppliers needed to adapt to shortages, which they have done by eliminating marginally profitable menu items. There is an obvious risk associated with that. The retail outlets with ample inventories are flooded with shoppers, the others are ignored with virtually no foot traffic. Take heed owners and managers, consumers are getting smarter and are holding onto disposable income more.
One final restaurant observation I noticed for the first time. The largest employer on the island operates a chain of full service dining establishments. They are discounting meal costs by 5% if the customer pays in cash. This is happening even though they have handheld credit card processors used by servers that can instantly transact the bill with a credit or debit card. What gives? The following is taken from a financial analyst’s blog who wished to remain anonymous. The cash discount he used for the example is higher at 10%.
“They are “factoring” their credit card receipts, a.k.a. they have obtained a “merchant cash advance”.
This means that they borrowed some money, using their anticipated credit card receivables as collateral.
When you pay them $100 by credit card, a credit card processing fee is deducted, and then they have to share the rest with the lender. The amount that is held out for the lender will vary. Some sources claim it wouldn’t exceed 20%, but there’s no law that restricts this. Even at 20%, the merchant would get to keep about $75, with $20 going to pay down the loan. Since these agreements are usually structured with a fixed amount of interest that is unaffected by how long it takes before the loan is paid off, they don’t care that it will take longer to pay off.
When you pay by cash, they get to keep $90 instead of $75. This gives them some extra cash, though they are giving up some of the profit. The customer may decide to dine there more often because of this discount, which could result in improved profits.
Of course, the merchant will have to pay off that loan in full eventually.”
What that says is the ownership of this chain is in a cash crunch. The downturn in revenues is not helping them pay their high overhead costs related to costly locations and facilities. This is yet another strong indicator of the downturn in the economy. Of course I am taking advantage of their offer as the 5% helps pay the server tip and messes with the algorithms and AI of the cabal. More on this is in a link further down in the body, but businesses in cash crunches better hope their political masters in DC change soon.
The full service cashier lines at Kroger, Walmart, Sam’s, etc. are almost non-existent as there are very few cashiers. The long lines to check out are in the self check out areas. People are adapting to non-service availability by doing it themselves. There are very few workers at retailers other than surly clerks stocking shelves that seemingly are never fully stocked despite boxes and boxes of products in the way in the aisles. Product prices are ridiculous unless they have an overstock of various products, in which case they drop the prices significantly so as not to have the funds tied up. Pay attention for deals, they are out there.
Masked to unmasked ratio for all people is 1 in 20 approximately. I really don’t want to stereotype, but I will anyway. Of that small percentage of people masking, most are female with some that are clearly beta males. Hispanics and Asians are almost totally ignoring masks. Social distancing is non-existent. It still cracks me up to see the Karens and Kens wearing their masks in restaurants while being seated next to people at other tables who are talking, laughing, coughing and sneezing without them. Maskers are the idiot sheeple who truly are the useless eaters.
No new developments are underway in this area that has been scorching hot with them for the past decade. New construction is disappearing. A lot of service, remodeling and maintenance type people for homes and rental properties are on the roads and working. It seems there are more of their vehicles than residents and tourists on the roads at times. They are everywhere all day long.
A walk or drive through our resort’s area reveals a major reduction in tourists. In years past we went home questioning whether it was worth fighting the traffic and crowds to “relax” in this area in the future. Not this year, many of the lesser number of “visitors” who are here are actually property owners staying in their rental homes that were formerly rented to tourists most of the year. I know because they have owner decals on their vehicles to grant them access through the security gate entrances. What is clearly happening is the tourists have been cancelling their reservations in large numbers. So, property owners are using this time to make repairs, remodel and stay in their properties.
That led me to check the MLS listings of properties for same in the county. That was an eye opener. For perspective, just a few years ago before COVID, listings typically were around 1000 properties. There are over 2600 today, along with a reduction in per square foot pricing on sales comps this year. Another strong downturn indicator.
The cost of housing and high long term rental rates to go with a lack of availability of lower priced housing is undoubtedly biting local governments and businesses in their arses. Younger workers simply cannot afford to live anywhere nearby to justify the commute, much less live in town. Ample land and infrastructure are available to do so nearby that is canceled by a regulatory environment that stifles any shot at it. Ideal locations are available for lower cost apartment complexes or even tiny house developments. Nah, that would make too much sense. in their minds being environmentally restrictive is far more important than low cost housing for average working people even if it means the employers and economy goes under. They whine about needing worker housing, then do nothing about it year after year. Sound familiar?
Something is happening that is more complex and intimidating. If owning income producing property in this world renowned area with its historically great property appreciation upside is not attractive to investors; it speaks volumes about where real estate is heading as an industry throughout the nation. In my opinion, investors are sitting on their cash and waiting to bottom feed after the shiz hits the fan. They may temporarily play the equities and bond markets to make a little money, but will be quick to exit as it trends down to take advantage of the real estate crash. Again, it feels like ’08.
That prompted us (Wifey even became curious), to canvas the larger property rental companies that handle tourism. Many of the properties we considered on our short list of condos and villas were already booked for our dates when we were making arrangements back in the spring. We were shocked at the vacancies of many of the units that were previously already booked and unavailable. Rental rates have also dropped as a result. Typically the rental companies require a 50% deposit upon booking. For most it is refundable if cancelled over 30 days from arrival date with condos and villas, 60 days for single family homes. The management company’s booking fee is non-refundable, which usually ranges from $250-750.
The significant increase in vacancies of previously booked units, who generally have mid to upper income renters based on the high rental rates they were paying, decided not to make the trip sometime during the summer so that they could recapture most of their deposits. What would normally be 80+% occupancy in most every year except COVID 2020 and was last year, is well under 50% this year based on all of our anecdotal observations. That is highly unusual for this area.
Yet, hotel rates have remained crazy high even with low occupancy rates. Again, that tells me they are short staffed, which is verified by just visiting them and walking around. Large full service hotels make money based on people renting rooms – people in beds is key. If the owners rent less rooms intentionally by leaving the rates high, it means they do not have the staff to clean, maintain, work in the restaurants/gift shop/salon, etc. It also may mean they do not want to refurbish rooms this year to hold the line on costs.
This later point is self defeating longer term. If a major hotel has decor that is aging along with beds that are soft and lumpy with worsening dining and service options, customers mark them off the list even when rates are lower. People check the reviews before booking now. I submit that now is the best time to upgrade the facilities, to invest in the future while contractors are needing work, while there is less hassle to customers during the upgrades, and to send a positive message. Like the Field of Dreams, they will come if you do. However, to do so owners have to prepare financially and with their project planning in advance of the downturn. Unfortunately, most do not.
Add in that in previous years, there would be a huge influx of tourists in this area when hurricanes hit the gulf. Folks would simply move to a different vacation spot and this area benefited. It would be reasonable to expect that to occur again with Ian laying waste to the southwest Florida gulf coast. Nope. The opposite has happened.
The current situation is not normal based on several decades of observations. It cannot be sustained long term without a great number of businesses going under with resulting job losses. So is it the new normal?
It’s The Economy, Stupid
I could link a bunch of these type reports and commentaries. This one is simple, there are more detailed reports out there. I’m going to leave that exercise up to you. I just wish they would all state that they know that all of this economic and scamdemic pain has been planned and implemented by foreign and domestic enemies of We the People for years. I wish more people I knew would wake up as many on here have.
Practically, everybody needs to adjust their 401(k)’s and stock holdings for economic depression, get out of debt, increase cash reserves, prepare mentally and emotionally, stock up on necessities, inform your family and friends, start home schooling, own/buy/rent land for food production, and so on. There is no excuse to be caught unaware of the crumbling of the economy and society. Rationalization and procrastination are not your friends. In the unlikely event things recover quickly or even rock along for a time, you will be out absolutely nothing anyway since those actions are right to do even in better times.
There is a time…Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
The debt level of this nation’s economy is simply too high and growing with each Fed meeting that adds to the interest burden to stem artificially created NWO cabal dictated inflation as treasuries tick up. PDT was able to turn the ship, however, he was far from having it fixed. That will take decades even after the structure and system are corrected.
Real World Economics
The people who come here have disposable income because it is not an inexpensive place to vacation. They made the reservations at some point in the spring or before. Many are not coming now and have received most of their money back. The lack of traffic, lack of vehicles in parking areas, low customer traffic in restaurants and stores, etc. confirm that observation.
They are obviously concerned with their current and future economic well being where they live. That says volumes. First, they typically come here in high volume from northeastern and midwestern states, so there is a geographic aspect to their concerns. Second, the hospitality industry locally has already responded to the lower occupancy by reducing staffing. That means they knew and anticipated a downturn. Third, the ripple effect will strongly impact the region as it is tourism dependent. The permanent residents here are older in general. There are not a lot of younger workers to fill in the gaps to support the businesses and needs of this aging population. Fourth, what happens to the area when many of the transplanted retirees, who caused the population of the county to double over 30 years, decide to move back to family locations from where they came or to other family members who can help them as they age? If there are insufficient workers to support the needs and desires of the majority of residents, many will sell out and leave. That will depress the local economy further.
Now multiply this situation exponentially by many more areas all around the country for these as well as numerous other reasons (like depopulation) that were created by the NWO cabal. What effects will this have on migration within the nation? What about employment opportunities and housing? What abou access to quality medical care? It goes on and on.
The quantitative easing (QE) national economic policy of recovery in 2008 was stupid beyond words if one uses traditional economic theory and practices as the basis for the statement. It undermined the very economic foundation of this country. The politicians and DS knew it would, it always has everywhere it has been utilized. They did it anyway because it was obviously a part of a greater plan, The Great Reset.
It violates this important Biblical principle – Proverbs 22:7. “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” (NASB)
Our elected leaders have been more than willing to make our nation more poor by increasing unsustainable debt. They have enriched themselves and enslaved us. They knew the vast majority of citizens would have no idea what they were doing or the real reasons why. The average folks just wanted to make sure they had enough income for their families to live. I am constantly amazed at how financially and economically illiterate most Americans are. How narrowly focused on self preservation at the exclusion of the greater good that works better for all of us over the long term. We whine about things and do nothing except point fingers.
The NWO cabal know that is true. Think about it. Your enemy knows the vast majority of citizens will do nothing of substance while they are screwing them, their families, their friends, their communities and the nation over. Does that pizz you off? It should.
The white hats began the reversal process during PDT’s time, which was enhanced by his trade pact team’s great work. That has now been largely undermined and they are using the same flawed system for planned failure. It has returned to their original 16 year plan to fundamentally change our nation to usher in the Soros vision of the NWO. What has PDT repeated over and over, “Our country is going to hell.”
One of the several ways we know this is because the uniparty chose to do things in the 2008 debt markets collapse that have never been done in our country. It has continued today. They sold to the American public that it was the only way out of the crisis, that we were headed for economic collapse as a nation when all along it was the only way in to their Great Reset power grab and plans. Our nation would have long since recovered had they handled it as our economic system and laws were designed to handle it. To recover as the system provided and move on was never their intent.
I am not going to add a part to the BIMD series and just give you this one observation from Goober Gump that connects to it. For those who have read it, there will be a part up next covering the following the money aspect with names revealed tied to the Arkansas political mafia back in that day. The Clintons are still powerful representatives for them and the NWO cabal.
But for this point I want to take you back to the House of Haslam/Pilot Travel Ventures part. Do you remember who I told you Jimmy Haslam’s college roommate was and that he has been a Haslam family friend for many decades? Former Sen. Bob Corker. The same guy who got sideways with PDT – bigly. You can still access the stories online. He is RINO to the core, played fake conservative for the 12 years he was in office. He was in deep with QE and selling it as the only answer back at the height of the crisis. Combine his “leadership” as chair of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee. When he ran for reelection for the second term he then acted like he wanted QE to slow down in Obama’s second term while having voted for continuing resolutions and business as usual for years. His statements were just pandering to Tennessee voters.
The guy is a snake. He was in business in his native Chattanooga and as their mayor before running for Senate. He is a close friend of a snake in Jimmy Haslam who is in tight with Buffett, having taken billions from his company in the sellout of Pilot after nearly tanking it with institutionalized fraud. Buffet is tight with Gates and Obama and all of them are NWO cabal. You will see Buffett and Gates names surface in the next BIMD part. I could spend days with many of the connections and implications. The good news is PDT destroyed Corker’s Senate career. Which is one of the reasons why the wealthy Haslam family and its former governor son did not like or support PDT. Their associations with the NWO cabal killed their image and ability to significantly influence anything in the state again. PDT killed more than one snake thankfully.
Just know that what the NWO cabal always does is use and abuse the American people and resources for their personal desires. Their MO is to extend media publicized charity and good works to the public while raping and undermining We the People in their business and government dealings behind closed doors. Trust not one thing they do or say – ever.
As an individual, you instinctively know you can never borrow your way out of debt. You will never be able to reduce your expenses enough to do it either. You have to grow the revenue (income) base in addition to holding expenses level or lower. The same principle applies to businesses and in this case, a country. It will never happen without opening the oil and natural gas fields and pipelines. That increases revenues for business and industry as well as government (through reasonable taxation) as it is in international demand. The effect of doing so actually lowers its pricing to the purchasers, which frees more capital for other uses as we saw. PDT knew this and immediately took steps to make it happen. Biden/Soetoro also knew this and did everything to shut it off. Biden/Soetoro then moved to push the green agenda, which is also a deception to kill the economy as it moves available capital away from increasing essential manufacturing, distribution and useful innovation to more stuff that undermines our country that is whimsical nonsense. It drives the deficit up, enslaves us even more with debt, while they steal the cash.
Once BRICS-S pulls the plug on supporting American and European fake economies as they become a more independent trade and security group, we lose the ability to shore up our treasonous government’s deficit spending. We do not have the manufacturing base to sustain our needs, we are totally dependent on China and others nations. PDT knew this. Add in the NWO cabal grabbing control of our agriculture for their foreign cronies – not to sustain us. With the illegals invasion across the borders to replace us after the COVID related depopulation takes hold; what else will the average American need to see before they realize they are screwed? If it gets to that final stage and realization there will be panic and unfortunately, bloodshed.
Be a part of the solution in whatever ways you can. I listed some of the things you need to do and there are many more that could be added. However the choice is yours, so own whatever choice you make. As for me and my house, we will pray, prepare and work the vote. We will do whatever it takes for election security and protecting our Constitutional rights. Our children and grandchildren are depending on us.
Be safe and be blessed.