If you don’t already follow it, Michael Snyder’s website – The Economic Collapse – is must-read material. Some might dismiss the conclusions he reaches as overly alarmist, but Snyder’s pieces are always chock full of solid data to justify his points.

This week Snyder explores the implosion of America’s retail sales industry – one of the primary engines of job creation and economic growth in this country.┬áSpecifically, Snyder debunks the notion that the rash of closed physical storefronts across the country is a simple recalibration toward web-based sales.

“Internet shopping alone does not account for the great retail apocalypse that we are witnessing,” he writes. “In fact, some retail experts estimate that the Internet has accounted for only about 20 percent of the decline that we are seeing. Most of the rest of it can be accounted for by the slow, steady death of the middle class U.S. consumer. Median household income has declined for five years in a row, but all of our bills just keep going up. That means that the amount of disposable income that average Americans have continues to shrink, and that is really bad news for retailers.”

Indeed … and according to Snyder “this is just the beginning.”

“Retail experts are projecting that the pace of store closings will actually accelerate over the course of the next decade,” he notes.

And therein lies the fundamental problem with command economic ideology and the perpetual, mindless expansion of government:┬áThe center cannot hold. Eventually, the people relied upon to grow the economy with their purchases simply stop making purchases – which hastens the decline.

For the economy to grow, there must be job growth and income growth to support its expansion … and that’s never going to happen as long as an unjustifiably large central government is bleeding consumers dry.

Consider America’s shriveling retail industry as Exhibit A …