Last few days I've talked with a number of people who've been unemployed so long they've exhausted unemployment benefits. According to government statistics, these people don't exist.
Some guys are are only getting by because their wives are still working. Not that many years ago, these very same women were only working so they could get some nice extras: a camp, a big RV, snowmobiles, a boat, or to send the kids to college. Now they work to put food on the table. The ones I've met personally have stepped into the breach without much complaint, but let me tell you, they are getting sick of being the primary bread winner.
People who are still working are reporting reduced hours, pay cuts, and deteriorating working conditions. Companies are quick to tell workers they can easily be replaced.
Companies are much less willing to work with people. Late on a utility payment? Pay up or be cut off. At one time it was possible to work out agreements with some of these guys. No longer. Electric companies have cut off power to people with essential medical equipment. There are instances where people have died because of it. In America, no once cares if people are freezing in the dark.
So far few have made a fuss. The sleeping citizens just take it and endure.
However, that may be coming to an end. There are stirrings of people who've gone all the way from sad to mad. Some of that energy was diverted into the recent election. Time is short. If real relief isn't on the way soon, the sleeping sheep may turn into wolves.
Should conditions for the average Joe get even worse, he's going to strike out, and it won't be pretty.