The Beginning Of The End
The Beginning Of The End By Michael T. Snyder - Kindle Version

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27 Signs That The Standard Of Living For America’s Middle Class Is Dropping Like A Rock

If you still have a job and you can put food on the table and you still have a warm house to come home to, then you should consider yourself to be very fortunate.  The truth is that every single month hundreds of thousands more Americans fall out of the middle class and into poverty.  The statistics that you are about to read are incredibly sobering.  Household incomes are down from coast to coast.  Enrollment in government anti-poverty programs sets new records month after month after month.  Home ownership is down, personal bankruptcies are way up and there are not nearly enough jobs to go around.  Meanwhile, the price of basics such as food and health care continue to skyrocket.  Don't be fooled by a rising stock market or by record bonuses on Wall Street.  The U.S. economy is not getting better.  After World War II, the great American economic machine built the largest and most vigorous middle class in the history of the world, but now America's middle class is disintegrating at a blinding pace.

Most of those who write about the plight of the American middle class believe that things can be turned around and that the middle class will eventually be stronger than it ever has been.  But unfortunately, that is just not the case.  As a society, we have lived far, far beyond our means for decades.  Now the bills are coming due and none of our leaders seem to know what to do.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is being rapidly assimilated into the emerging one world economy.  Middle class American workers now find themselves in direct competition for jobs with the cheapest labor on the other side of the globe.  Of course many multinational corporations have taken advantage of this by moving factories and jobs to countries like China where blue collar workers make about a dollar an hour.  This has helped raise the standard of living for workers in those nations by a nominal amount, but it has been absolutely devastating for the standard of living of America's middle class.

So what does all of this mean?

It means that the U.S. economy is headed for collapse and middle class Americans are in for some really, really hard times.

The following are  27 signs that the standard of living for America's middle class is dropping like a rock....

#1 Household spending for the middle fifth of all U.S. income earners was down 3.5% in 2009.  That was the steepest one year decline since records began being kept back in 1984.

#2 Median household income in the United States fell from $51,726 in 2008 to $50,221 in 2009.

#3 According to one new report, in 2009 residents of New York state experienced their first full-year decline in income in more than 70 years.

#4 Of the 52 largest metro areas in the United States, only the city of San Antonio did not see a decline in median household income in 2009.

#5 Home ownership in the United States declined for the third year in a row in 2009.

#6 In 2009, approximately 4 million Americans fell out of the middle class and now live below the federal poverty line.

#7 The number of Americans enrolled in the food stamp program has set a new all-time record for 20 consecutive months

#8 In July (the last month for which data is available), 41.8 million Americans were on food stamps.

#9 The number of Americans in the food stamp program skyrocketed more than 55 percent between December 2007 and July 2010.

#10 In 2009, more than 48 million Americans were enrolled in the Medicaid program.

#11 One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one anti-poverty program run by the U.S. government.

#12 According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010.

#13 According to the Cato Institute, anti-poverty spending by the U.S. government has increased 89 percent over the past decade.

#14 The cost of health care increased a staggering 9.6% for all U.S. households from 2007 to 2009.

#15 It turns out that only the top 5 percent of all U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.

#16 35 percent of all U.S. households now live on $35,000 or less.

#17 New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says that Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.

#18 According to a poll taken in 2009, 61 percent of Americans "always or usually" live paycheck to paycheck.  That was up substantially from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.

#19 Today, 28% of all American households have at least one member that is searching for a full-time job.

#20 Nearly 10 million Americans now receive unemployment insurance, which is almost four times as many that were receiving it back in 2007.

#21 A recent Pew Research survey found that 55 percent of the U.S. labor force has experienced either unemployment, a pay decrease, a reduction in hours or an involuntary move to part-time work since the recession began.

#22 In 2009, 43.6 million Americans were living in poverty.  Sadly, the number of Americans living in poverty has increased for three consecutive years, and the 43.6 million poor Americans in 2009 was the highest number that the U.S. Census Bureau has ever recorded in 51 years of record-keeping.

#23 A staggering 25 percent of all American adults now have a credit score below 599.

#24 It is estimated that nearly a third of all Americans cannot qualify for a mortgage because of low credit scores.

#25 For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all American households put together.

#26 Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a stunning 32 percent increase over 2008.

#27 According to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau, the bottom fifth of all U.S. income earners brought in just 3.4 percent of all income in 2009 while the top fifth brought in a whopping 49.4 percent of all income.

So is there any hope that things will turn around soon?

No, not really.

At this point, even some of the top economic authorities in the nation are admitting that we are headed for very difficult times.

Goldman Sachs recently announced that the U.S. economy is likely to be either "fairly bad" or "very bad" over the next 6 to 9 months.

Not only that, but Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke now says that the U.S. economy is in a situation that is dire and "unsustainable".

Not that Goldman Sachs or Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke should be trusted when it comes to the economy.

When it comes to the problems we are facing, the truth can be found in the long-term trends.  If you have not done so already, please read "11 Long-Term Trends That Are Absolutely Destroying The U.S. Economy".  It will open your eyes to the true horrors that our economy is now facing.

But statistics alone do not tell the real story.

Sometimes what gets lost in the endless economic statistics is the very real pain of the millions of Americans who are trying to live through this.  The following story from the Unemployed Friends website is from a woman named Leetah who is desperately hoping to be able to get through this upcoming winter....

The place I live in right now has no jobs and no places to live. My fiance, Lloyd, and I have been looking for anything but he lost his job from McDonald's and the factories (the only jobs to make a living off of) consider him an insurance liability. I can't get hired to a factory because of I was fired from our major factory for attendance (I had to miss 3 days of work because I was sick). So we are moving to the Edmond/OKC region where we are hoping to find a job and a place with running water and heating. We've spent the last few years without heat and running water and so having a place with water and heat would be heaven.

Winter is coming up fast and I am so afraid. Last winter we almost died from the cold and now the thought of cold makes my throat close up and my heart pound. But it isn't just ourselves we are looking out for, we have our dog too. Our wonderful APBT Maggie who is 2-years-old and has been with us since she was 5-months-old. She's our baby girl and we can't lose her. We almost lost her to the cold too and it scared me so much. We are going to be living in our car soon with our dog.

I am hoping to be able to keep our food stamps in the new city so we can still eat. I have already applied for ten+ jobs and nothing yet but I am keeping my hopes up. Hopefully it will get easier to find a job once we get there. Then we just have to save up and then we can afford an apartment. Now finding an apartment with my awesome dog is another story.

Please say a prayer for those who are out of work and on the verge of being forced out on the street.

You never know, you might be next.

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  • Gary

    I am so underemployed and poor this is no concern to me. I wish this was a concern as that would mean I am somewhat above the poverty line and maybe clawing my way back into the middle class.

    I guess there is one nice thing about being poor-taxes are the farthest thing from your mind.

    Now if they would simply tax the rich HARD and spread the wealth…

    It really gets tiring eating stale food from the food pantry while there are tons of folks eating at the fancy restaurants as I drive home from work. I have never made this little money and you know what? There are a lot of pissed off formerly middle class who are getting very upset at the rigged game here in the BRA (formerly USA). I was talking with a black friend of mine and she said its not really about race or black vs. white but the poor against the rich. She said the repubes simply use race conflict as a distraction for the gross unequal dist of wealth and income.

  • Gary

    There is way too much wealth in way too few hands. Simply look at the poverty stats.

    These greedy CEO’s are cutting wages. first Harley and now Kohler. Both are still very profitable but they are greedy.

    I am really thinking that this country needs to emulate Scandinavia/Western European type of economy that put people b4 profits.

    I really hate capitalism…

    We need to tax the rich HARD and spread the wealth.

  • Fred

    Everyone screams higher taxes for the “rich” when it doesn’t affect them. Meanwhile the definition of “rich” gets lower every year. These evil rich people are the ones who create jobs and wealth. How many jobs have you created?

    The problem isn’t the rich, the problem is the entitlement attitude in this country where everyone thinks it’s OK to take from the system and never contribute.

  • http://saucyusa.blogspot.com Lisa G in NZ

    It doesn’t matter if you “hate” capitalism, Gary. What matters is “the rich” and entrepeneurs provide jobs that make the American and western/free market economies work.

    John Stossel explains it very well here: http://www.creators.com/opinion/john-stossel/taxing-the-rich.html

  • MR360

    Technically I am not Middle Class….I work 3 jobs for a total of 59 hours per week. I do volunteer work and a lot of it on weekends. I am considered impoverished. I don’t feel that I am. Why? Because I don’t owe anyone a dime. I live within my means. If my luck and my health hold I can still pursue my vision or version of The American Dream. If the f-ing Government will stay out of my way. No one does anything or invents anything without the profit motive. Tax the rich? Why? Trust me,they’ve already paid taxes on what they have earned. Two and three times over. The free market is our friend. Embrace it! Wealth redistribution?!?! Yes,it worked so well for Russia…grow up people. Go out there and rely on yourselves,not Uncle Sam.

  • http://WBDM Joe in JT

    Just when you think it can’t get worse, it does. People can’t find a decent job, they are late on thier mortgage, utilities are threatening to shut you off and then when you think it can’t get any worse you get a speeding ticket and a photo red light violation in one day, can’t make the outragous payment, the courts suspend your licence, fine you more and then throw you in jail. All because your local municipality needs “revenue enhancement”.

  • orsobubu

    Gary, your friend told you the basic truth discovered by the most prominent scientist of XIX century, Karl Marx. 50 years after Marx, during World War I, in Russia, Lenin leaded the Bolschevik revolution, took the power, ended the war and defeated the international capitalists hurried from all over the world in Russia trying (with terrorism) to stop the revolution to spread abroad. Then another state capitalist, Stalin, killed all the Bolschevik and teamed up with US to divide the world in two empires, “distracting” people with ideologies like free-market and socialism. But Lenin’ teaching will never end to show us the way: organize an international communist party to fight back world capitalists that will throw respective proletarian classes to clash one against the others in coming global conflicts.

  • lar

    Gary,
    Your not that poor staying up late(3:53 Am) on the internet making comments. You have electricity, shelter, internet, computer etc.That makes you rich compared to the rest of the World. Why don’t you get off your duff, stop wanting a hand-out, and find anything to make some money. I did, by hard work , persistence, and grace, not from ‘taxing the rich hard’.Nor did I use Government programs.If I can ,so can you. STOP WHINING AND GET WITH IT!

  • Steve

    Gary, you need to wake up, man. I’m sorry that you’re underemployed, but blaming capitalism isn’t the answer.

    If a company isn’t selling it’s products, it must cut it’s expenses. Would you prefer employees be laid off rather than have wages cut?

    The problem isn’t capitalism but the corrupt system we have, where corporations are in bed with the government.

    Taxing the “rich,” whoever they might be, isn’t the answer. You’ve been listening to to much Obama.

  • http://moneyedpoliticians.net Jack E Lohman

    No amount of replacing incumbents with newbies is going to fix the system. The Fat Cats just put a different name on the check and remain in control. Only the elimination of our moneyed political system will reverse the trend, and only public funding of campaigns will do that. At $5 per taxpayer per year it would be a great bargain. Badger your representatives to support the Fair Elections Now Act by Dick Durbin.

    Jack Lohman …
    http://MoneyedPoliticians.net

  • Jaeoen

    You’ve got it wrong, Gary. Capitalism is not the problem. It is the people at the top right now. Capitalism allows for ANYONE to succeed with risk.

    I will not deny that there is a major, major gap in where the money is, and who is earning it. In comparison to where the US was in the 50′s, where the average CEO made at most, nine times what the lowest paid worker made, there is now a huge gap. Upwards of 50 to 100 times.

    The folks at the top ARE greedy, yes. That does NOT mean that Capitalism is bad. It just means that absolute power and wealth corrupt absolutely. Everyone wants to be wealthy and powerful. Even you. Or maybe not? I mean you want to tax the wealthy hard and spread their wealth around. In other words, YOU want it. You don’t want to earn it.

    If you really want to blame somebody, blame congress. Blame the Federal Reserve. Blame the “for the people government.” Look at the last three years. How can you not see that this is planned? They WANT this country to collapse, because then they can buy EVERYTHING with FAKE PRINTED WORTHLESSS MONEY for NOTHING but its PERCEIVED VALUE. Its like what happened during the great depression.

    Also, most of the people who are doing this are already insanely wealthy, themselves. So you are touting what they are saying “bleed the rich to feed the poor”, but they’re tax cheats, liars, and are really only talking about the middle class earners–people who GROSS $250,000 year or more.

    Here’s a dose of reality:

    Monthly Liability insurance (rough) $1000-$1500
    Credit Card machines another rough $1000-$2000 a month
    Business Lease (property) $800-$2000/mo
    minimum wage workers (assuming 6.50/hr) another $25000/year based on two workers at full time

    Depending on the weights of those costs, you’re already looking at nearly 100,000/year. That is NOT counting the utilities, equipment for the business, floating costs, or miscellaneous.

    The owner still needs to pay for HIS home. HIS mortgage. HIS utilities. HIS car. He’s lucky if he takes home an average $50k year! But HES BEING TAXED LIKE HES A WALL STREET BANKER.

    WAKE UP. He’s NOT WEALTHY! Just because he has upwards of a quarter million going through his hands does not make him rich!

    But you know what? If he wasn’t REQUIRED to have liability insurance by the government, or REQUIRED to pay for health benefits for his employees, or REQUIRED to make sure that “dumb mass clauses” were enforced on his property (read: idiots who slip and sue), then he would be able to hire more people. And SPREAD THE WEALTH.

  • Mark Payne

    Both political parties are exceedingly corrupt. Just follow the money, so many politicians have 2 or 3 homes. They would just love to have MORE tax money to spend.

  • sharonsj

    If this is isn’t taking us closer to a revolution, I don’t know what will. The banksters have recovered quite nicely with the help of the government while the rest of us go down the tubes. The economic sites talk about credit and money deflation but for real people the problem is rising prices and too little cash. The government lies about everything, particularly statistics, in order to rig the game further. Unless we get rid of most incumbents and change the rules in Washington, we are doomed.

  • Mr Carpenter

    Yes, Gary, after all it worked SO WELL for the Soviet Russians, didn’t it?

    How about a third way?

    Localized control amongst small groups which can hold one another personally responsible; localized businesses amongst people you know; localized politics sending public SERVANTS to the Federal government (which could be cut down to the role for which the Founders intended for it); real money instead of fiat currency under the control of the few.

    Quite the opposite of what you propose, and quite the opposite of what is now in place.

    Because the plans to TAKE money from the wealthy is no different than them TAKING money from everyone and hoarding it.

    BTW, be thankful that you HAVE a food pantry to help you. This is not always the case.

    Just think what pickle you might be in without it. And be thankful that there are people willing to SHARE on a local level, with monies not stolen from them by the government rat-bastards in order to redistribute it.

  • Keith

    If the current administration elites running the country would stop destroying the middle class and this country it would help. Vote them out! The current suffering is being laid upon us on purpose, they must be voted out before this country can revive.

  • Robert

    You wrote “After World War II, the great American economic machine built the largest and most vigorous middle class in the history of the world, but now America’s middle class is disintegrating at a blinding pace.”, but why did the government start this middle class at this time and not before in our history when we just had rich and poor (i.e. railroad barons and the rabble). The elite of this country at that time were very scared of Communism, so a middle class had to be created as a counterweight to the USSR and because everything was balanced, like black and white, salt and pepper, yin and yang and capitalism and communism, the middle class around the world flourished, although for the USA it would of been better if this balancing act was interior (the House of Representatives and the Senate) instead of exterior. Now that there is no USSR why do the elites need the middle class anymore. In 1990 when the USSR ceased to exist, I told myself there goes the middle class in the USA, there was no foresight involved, it was just political reasoning.

  • Anna

    The author of the article is right.
    YOU may be next.
    My household was “next” two days ago. The military “RIF” (reduction in force) just hit us and now my husband is out of a job.
    The articles here inspired me to prepare early. Because someone was willing to warn the rest of us years ago…I don’t have to worry about food as I’ve been putting some away for months. Same with silver. When things get really bad, at least we will have something to fall back on/sell off. My only worry is I know we may not be able to outlast this downturn. But at least, we have the basics.
    Do you?

  • Michael

    So Gary thinks the rich owe him a living. Guess he forgets that the rich are one of the primary sources of the jobs he complains he can’t get. News flash Gary, keep on taxing the rich HARD and they will take their business overseas and stop hiring and you will have an even harder time finding a job. Guess you are an advocate of the trickle up poor economic model.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    If you want a glimpse into what the grim, ugly future of The Banana Republic of America (BRA) is going to be like, I suggest watching “Secuestro Express”–a very disturbing film that was made in Caracas, Venezuela in 2005 (it’s the film that Hugh Chavez doesn’t want you to see). “Secuestro” means “kidnapping” in both Spanish and Italian, and “Secuestro Express” is about a yuppie couple who are spontaneously kidnapped on the streets of Caracas and held for ransom by a group of thugs from the slums (the great salsa singer Rubén Blades plays the father of one of the kidnap victims). The movie has plenty of flaws and some corny dialogue (it’s no “City of God,” that’s for sure), but flaws and all, “Secuestro Express” still sheds some light on the kidnapping epidemic in Latin America and reminds us just how nasty things can get in a society where the haves are a minority and the have-nots are the vast majority. And that is how the BRA will end up thanks to the destruction of the American middle class.

    Get ready to live in a Third World country where the uber-rich fatcat minority keep getting richer and richer while the vast majority of Americans struggle to feed themselves. Get ready for American cities to be full of the sort of shantytown slums that surround Caracas and Rio de Janeiro and Kingston–slums that are breeding grounds for all sorts of criminality. If you think American cities are dangerous now, just wait–they’re going to get a hell of a lot MORE violent when Americans who used to be middle class grow increasingly resentful and increasingly desperate and turn to violent crime. Get ready for the sort of horrors depicted in “Secuestro Express” to plague the BRA.

    Of course, the same globalist neocon devils who have turned the once-great USA into the BRA would love to make Western Europe part of the Third World as well. But the European mega-riots of 2010 indicate that Europeans won’t go down without a fight. France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway and Sweden don’t want to become banana republics. And if the French decide to bring back their guillotines, I say, “Oui, oui, viva la France. C’est un guillotine tres belle, n’est ce-pas?”

    You know times are apocalyptically bad when Americans who used to be middle class are now living without electricity and heat during the winter. There is a lot of hardcore desperation in this cesspool of corruption called The Banana Republic of America, and it’s going to get much, much worse. Che dios nos ayude.

  • Kristinah

    Hey Gary, why don’t you move to Scandinavia?
    Instead of hating people who work their asses off, maybe you should give it a try. No one owes you anything!!

    The USA would be much better off without you-

  • http://dailysanitycheck.blogspot.com Jefferson

    Just for your information: very similar thing is just happening to the middle class in Germany and other EU countries. Germany is just lucky enough to be an exporting country, but this is only a temporary circumstance. Besides, Germans are more “wealthy” partially because they simply don’t have children. While it works for now, in a few years it will become a killer problem.

    Greets from good old Germany.

  • Matt

    The greediest corporation is the US Govt!!! The make (take, steal) alot of (our) money and keep asking for more all the time. Tax the hell out of the US Govt!!!!!

  • Death Spiral

    Gary is right again!! Before you slam him about taxing the rich here’s some history to ponder.

    The last time this much wealth was concentrated in so few hands was the 1920′s right before we entered into the Great Depression. Gulp!

    During the Great Depression they hit the rich hard with taxes like 70%, 90%. NO ONE wants to pay the government a bunch of money in taxes. So they will earn less or pour a lot of this money into the economy making jobs instead of hoarding it for themselves.

    It gets rid of the billionaire hoarders and all of those CEO’s which make $100,000,000 per year while their average employees scrape by on $50,000 per year.

    All of this slam on taxes is nonsense because the little guys save $500 a year while the Elite Big Fish save $30,000,000. The system is wacked.

    The problem is they try to define rich at $250,000 which everyone knows is joke.

  • Exile

    The issue, with the false belief that the wealthy create jobs, is that currently, huge multi-national corporations are sitting on MOUNTAINS of cash. The wealthy only do what makes them more wealthy. Quoting John Stossell, is buying into the belief that the wealthy care more about society at large, than their own personal gain. In reality, hoarding cash is too common these days. The wealthy elite, and multi-national corporations need to be “incentivized” into supporting economic growth. If they are unwilling to invest in the general population, tax their cash hoards, and use that to invest in social systems that are actually focusing on revitalizing their communities.

    In truth, our economy has been strip-mined. The wealthy are only looking out for themselves.

  • Saammyone

    Pollo de excremento

    You and the dupe Marxoids are so full of self
    -loathing and historical ignorance that you cannot recognize that the US will emerge from its current predicament stronger than ever. And South America will still and forever be- well, South America.

    Nice try, fricassee. RRR-RRR-RRR-RRR-RRRRRRR!!!

  • http://erectuswalksamongstus.com Max Hardwood

    For most of my life, I have passed by the steakhouses, smelled the sizzling beef in the air, and wished, that I, too, could partake. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy an OCCASIONAL steak, but the fact is, I have always lived within my means, and that meant passing up a few steak meals. I’m out of debt, now, however, and so it was all worth the sacrifice. You won’t hear ME whining about missing out on the good life. Life’s what you make it.

  • Big Meech

    Gary, you picked the wrong day to post. Apparently, most of your fellow Americans on this blog already have what they deem a comfortable life. The almost redundant comments such as “get a job” or “stop whining” are prevalent on this thread. Unfortunately, what most of the baby boomers in the BRA don’t understand, or purposefully ignore, is the complete absence of jobs in most of their beloved country.

    Another problem for you is that you’re in a mortgage – because that’s what Americans were told comprises part of the “dream.” On the job search front, you’ve probably sent out hundreds of resumes, networked; done all that the media tells you is critical in a job search. But – nothing – probably not even a courtesy “F You.” Gotta love the land of opportunity. Skip across the pond to the same company’s job website for let’s say in Malaysia – wow – look at all of those postings. That’s happening, now. Don’t believe me, check it out.

    Hate to break it to all of you optimists, but Gary is faced with a tough road – try to have some empathy.

  • Pangea

    As Americans, as long as football is a playing and the beer is a flowing, it’s all good. Now if the football is not playing, and the beer stops flowing… then we got ourselves a serious problem!

  • El Pollo de Oro

    I’m sure that some globalist neocon bastards will look at Leetah’s hardships and say, “Aha! She can afford a dog! So maybe she isn’t so poor after all, is she? Let that bitch pull herself up by the bootstraps. Let her share the dog food with her pets. Serves her right.” In other words, blame the victim–kick the crap out of the victims when they’re down. Denigrate them. Mock and ridicule them. Humiliate them. Help that bastard Rush “Pillhead” Limbaugh give the neo-poor advice on ways to go dumpster diving. Have a good laugh at people’s pain and misery–hungry children are just so funny, aren’t they? Ha ha ha, hee hee hee. But see, the problem with that approach (aside from the fact that it’s just plain inhuman) is that, to quote Gerald Celente……when people have lost everything and have nothing left to lose, they lose it. And folks who lose it sometimes do really nasty things. They lash out. That’s why Guatemala, El Salvador, Jamaica, Brazil and Venezuela are so dangerous: too many have-nots, not enough haves. It’s why the kidnapping epidemic is so bad in some Latin American and Caribbean countries and why the financially well-off in those places can’t even go to the local supermarket in broad daylight without a stinking bodyguard.

    Cuba, on the other hand, violently overthrew the banana republic/oligarchy model now favored by neocons (whose early leaders, ironically, were former Trotskyists) and embraced the dysfunctional Soviet Union/Leninist/Stalinist model, but that was also a colossal failure because communism doesn’t work. It’s unproductive. Communism will keep you from starving (just barely), but it has the same problem as banana republics: lack of upward mobility. Commandante Castro will promise you a job, but it’s usually a low-paying dead-end job–and you don’t get to turn it down. Unfortunately, the BRA is full of brain-dead Limbaugh followers who can’t grasp the fact that there is an entrepreneurial middle ground somewhere between the Soviet/Castro approach and the banana republic/oligarchy/rigged game approach favored by the neocon globalist scum who turned the former USA into a Third World banana republic. And by the way, Gerald Celente is absolutely right when he says that back when the USA was great, it was the most egalitarian country in the world.

    Of course, there are plenty of dirt-poor folks in the shantytown slums of Mexico City, Kingston and Caracas who DO pull themselves up by the bootstraps. Unfortunately, many of them do it through kidnapping, armed robbery, home invasions, muggings and drug trafficking. And to the neocon Dittoheads who love to laugh at the suffering of the neo-poor, I say this: karma’s a bitch, and you just might get a taste of karma if, God forbid, a neo-poor person kidnaps you for ransom Chilango style and you’re looking down the barrel of a loaded gun. Sound like fun? No, I didn’t think so.

  • Mike

    TRICKLE-DOWN DOES NOT WORK! Rich people are not sitting around thinking, “wow, I can’t wait for that big tax cut so I can create more jobs for poor people”. They are thinking of ever more ways to reduce their costs and increase their profits, which means shipping more jobs overseas. In previous generations the wealthy paid more taxes AND we had a middle class because the jobs were still in the USA. Now, business seeks profit at all costs, so the rich get richer as their bought-off politicians help them export jobs to increase profits, the middle class disappears. An unsustainable course.

  • emma

    Have a look at this FREE report below that was released a few days ago. A banking insider / whistleblower spills the beans and exposes what the banking elite have in store for us. This is down right scary!!!

    http://www.forecastfortomorrow.com/files/bank_insider_US-Collapse.pdf

  • Paul Barbot

    A flat tax rate is the answer here folks. This way there is no one person that can avoid paying their taxes. With a flat tax rate you could even have the rate set very low which wouldn’t take as much from those who make less and the rich cannot whine about paying more. It eliminates class warfare, at least on the taxation front. We need to wake up and get control of things and the one way to do this is with common sense laws and rules. We need a serious redo.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    Saammyone: Why, if it isn’t my favorite neocon useful idiot. It’s Mr. “Reckunn Ah Don’t Need Me No Schoolin’” Himself. Oh, by the way, I see that the American flag you were waving around your trailer park (the one you bought at the dollar store) has a small label attached; it says “Made in China.” Oops!

    Now, better get back in your dog cage, Shoeshine Boy. Your corporate globalist slavemaster wants to have some more fun degrading you.

  • Gary

    I guess I have to say the obvious-I HAVE sent out resumes/interviewed/attended job fairs etc. I have worked hard all my life from 12 years old on (now 44). I started to achieve the American dream but I see it crumbling under me and I guess that makes me bitter at times. I did play by the rules but am now seeing that the game is rigged.

    I made $25 per hour once so I know I can do it again. The problem is that in the mean time my family and I need to eat and live indoors-especially here in Wisconsin it gets cold in the winter. These are 2 luxuries we have sorta kinda got used to. I am looking into selling plasma. There is a place in Milwaukee.

    I am grateful that I am at least underemployed as opposed to unemployed (like I was for a lot of 2009). Its sad that all the available jobs are low wage dead end service jobs. I am a good worker and have the performance reviews to prove it. Hell I even saved a persons life at my workplace just 4 months before I was laid off. Got a nice big plak and thanked by the company for saving this persons life and then was turned out 4 months later.

    If ripping on me makes you feel better that’s OK, I have broad shoulders.

    BTW-The time I post is 830pm here in WI. I do not know why the time on the post is so off…

    I really believe that trying to save capitalism is sort of like polishing a turd. You can try all day but all you accomplish is getting dirty and smelly and its still just a turd. If I knew someone who was as unstable as capitalism is (boom/bust repeat) I would suggest therapy.

    Also please look up absolute vs relative poverty. I do not have time to explain but a lot of folks seem to get these confused.

    Newsflash: Poor people provide jobs every time they purchase things.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    Big Meech: Excellent comments. Some people are in denial about what is going on around them because they don’t want to believe that they could end up on the globalist NWO chopping block. So, they resort to “blame the victim” crap when they come across folks who are understandably angry about what has happened to them through no fault of their own. And they’ll spew silly rhetoric like, “Oh, you’re just a leftist. America, love it or leave it. Bla bla bla.” Whether the neocons like it or not, the fact is that many of these warnings about the BRA’s dire predicament aren’t just coming from the left. There are plenty of libertarian/paleoconservatives warning us that the BRA is in deep, deep trouble—including Gerald Celente, Alex Jones, Ron Paul and Justin Raimondo. Matter of fact, I would say that Michael Snyder has a libertarian/paleoconservative bent, which is fine because I welcome insightful commentary whether it’s coming from the left or the right. It’s no coincidence that you have a liberal San Francisco feminist like Naomi Wolf networking with right-wing Texan Alex Jones: both of them are smart enough to realize that NWO globalism is a cancer that imperils all of us.

    I have a good friend in NYC who is an attorney with a strong background in business affairs (used to make 90K), and he hasn’t had a full-time job since 2007. He has survived with sporadic freelance work. Last time I talked to him, he was seriously considering applying for entry-level grunt work at a new Target that was opening up. “Oh, he must not be trying hard enough.” Please! That guy is the biggest workaholic I know, and smart as hell. The reality is that the BRA is not in a recession—this is a depression, and anyone who denies that is seriously delusional.

    God help The Banana Republic of America.

  • Henry

    Gary is right. It’s crazy to say that the multi-billionaires who enjoy obscene tax cuts and loopholes while exporting our jobs to slave wage countries deserve their breaks and create our jobs. We’re not talking about a small business person who makes around $250K/year
    and produces local jobs. We’re talking about CEOs who make that much or more in a week and enjoy obscene tax cuts while destroying our
    manufacturing base.

  • Sammyone

    fricassee de excremento

    The more you blather the more you confuse yourself. Times change. Some are good and some are bad. Some people will always fail. Some will always succeed. In good times more succeed. In hard times fewer succeed. Simple.

    You are trying too hard to keep your ideological and eschatological plates spinning that you forget what you are talking about in the first place. Hysteria and hyperventilation are never convincing arguments.

    Stop trying to project your leftist self-loathing and Latin America squalor on the US. Catch your breath. When the stars clear you will see the only ones buying were in line at that cash register to begin with.

    People and things go on despite the ups and downs of life and everyone with a little common sense knows people and things adjust with the times.

    The doomster nonsense that draws you to this site does not provide you with any cover. Ignorance is ignorance any way you paint it.
    Now explain how you’re so earnest and it’s all so bad. That way we can all confirm the chef’s diagnosis:

    Overdone pullet.

  • Bruce

    Gary so you have nothing better to with your life but spread Communism proaganda? Tax the rich yep that will work help to send more jobs overseas. Your 44 and you don’t own your home free and Clear and you were making $25 an hour. That is your fault. It is call person responibilty. You played over spend now your hurting. Be honest if you would have been better with your money you would have been in much better shape.

    orsobubu LOL the gullible. Why don’t you finished the story about Lenin? Maybe you are just too gullible. Lenin in final years admitted that communism is a failure. Marx have you read his work or are just lazy thinking his ideas work? Marx died a poor man why communism is a failure anywhere it has ever been tried. Maybe if you can break away from your brain washed simple mind set you would look up John Stossel story on the first Thanksgiving in America. Yes the communism system has already been tried and America and guess what big surprise it failed and people were starving. Try reading real history before you post lies about Marx and Lenin.

  • Bruce

    El Pollo de Oro You make many good points and then your veer off in the neverlands. If I recalled in South America the Corp take over of the water supplies a Demand from the IMF the people called it Neo Liberalism. So if you are going pretend to have the inside knowledge at least get your wording correct.

    Bashing Rush is really helping people?? then you veer off into your Bigot comment about trailer trash normal of an over educated liberal that hates anyone that isn’t like them. Try to keep your narrow minded bigot comment to your self it makes you look like a fool.

    The liberals blame Bush which is really funny. Watch Frontline report called “The Warning” Oh yes the warning was issued loud and clear during Clinton time frame about the wall street scam called Derivative that caused the 2008 burn down. Watch the report very interesting.

    I found this gem accumulating in my mailbox. It came from a Conservative but if that tempts the Liberals among you to call it a pack of lies, I hope you’ll prove it.
    Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social Security (FICA) Program. He promised:

    1.) That participation in the Program would be completely voluntary,

    2.) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual incomes into the Program,

    3.) That the money the participants elected to put into the Program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year.

    4.) That the money the participants put into the independent “Trust Fund” rather than into the General operating fund, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other Government program, and,

    5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income.

    Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are now receiving a Social Security check every month — and then finding that we are getting taxed on 85% of the money we paid to the Federal Government to “put away,” you may be interested in the following:

    Q: Which Political Party took Social Security from the independent “Trust” fund and put it into the General fund so that Congress could spend it?

    A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the Democratically-controlled House and Senate.

    Q: Which Political Party eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?

    A: The Democratic Party.

    Q: Which Political Party started taxing Social Security annuities?

    A: The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the “tie-breaking” deciding vote as President of the Senate, while he was Vice President of the U.S.

    Q: Which Political Party decided to start giving annuity payments to immigrants?

    A: That’s right! Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party.

    Immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65, began to receive SSI Social Security payments! The Democratic Party gave these payments to them, even though they never paid a dime into it!

    Then, after doing all this lying and thieving and violation of the original contract (FICA), the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away!

    And the worst part about it is, uninformed citizens believe it! Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during this 2004 election year! If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe good changes will evolve.

    Try doing some research before you post.

    The Neo Con with the 2 wars are not free and clear either. But if you are going to pretend you have clue try looking at all the facts.

  • monetary enema

    Get out of the ‘branches’ folks. Strike at the ‘root’ of the beast. The ‘beast’ is the fiat money franchise which is owned by the most evil, greedy SOB’s who ever lived. We will never have peace of any sort, nor freedom until we humans wake up to the fact that the ‘money system’ is totally corrupt and designed to imprison all gov’ts and humans in endless debt bondage. Those who create the money live as Kings of old and are just as brutal as the own those who run governments world wide. Those super rich corporatists are those who snuggle up to the asses of those running the system. You either join up or you are destroyed. Guys like Buffett, Gates, Perot, Paulson etc., are prime examples of those who sell their souls to this evil system. If national leaders get out of line they get “Sadaamized’, just ask those in Libya, Panama, Serbia, Lebanon, Argentina,Cuba and a host of others who suffered from economic terrorism at the hands of the ‘money’ who used the US Taxpayer as backing and US Banks as the tools to despoil millions of lives in the third world. Read John Perkins, “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”. Google Adrian Salabuchi and let him tell you what ‘they’ did to Argentina and are planning to do to America. We are at WAR and most who comment here don’t even know who the enemy is. We are guaranteed to lose this war unless people pull their heads out of their asses and drop their silly differences and understand the fundamental problem we face. Those of you that can, get your money out of the banks, convert it to gold and silver, teach others who the enemy is…plenty of information on the net that has been hidden for a hundred years. It takes work and effort to educated YOURSELF. Most Americans are the most illiterate humans on the planet when it comes to money and economics…this includes every MBA and PhD graduate in the last 50 years with few exceptions. Don’t listen to what they say…they are only parroting what some other uniformed, partisan asshole said when they had the ‘role’ as professor. Think people! You who are down on your ass and luck, you are just as smart as the smug prick that just drove by in his new BMW….he’s either lucky or corrupt or..he is a little closer to the ‘money spigot’ and he doesn’t have a clue of how it all ‘works’. Have faith in your own intelligence and remember…some of the brightest minds in the history of the world suffered poverty, ostracism and imprisonment to pass on truth to future generations. We are the beneficiaries of those sacrifices and try to avoid the responsibility of embracing them without getting a ‘cookie’ in return.
    That ‘cookie’ is handed out by ‘your’ enemy…the money system!

    One last point…Gary is ‘half’ right. Capitalism as practiced today is the antithesis of FREE ENTERPRISE! We cannot and will not have free enterprise unless we destroy the fiat money franchise system, simple as that. Huxley tried to warn us, we didn’t listen. Ludwig von Mises told us, we refused to hear. Minsky said we will have his ‘moment’….it is overdue.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    Sammyone: I hate to break it to you, Illiterate One, but your globalist neocon slavemaster has no respect for you. Matter of fact, he’s been saying insulting things about you behind your back. He calls you things like “backwoods hick,” “toothless hillbilly” and “uneducated trailer trash,” he makes fun of the silly, awkward way you talk, and he will never invite you into his penthouse no matter how much you kiss his tuchas and tongue-clean his boots. Oh, and he can’t wait to export your crappy minimum-wage job to a sweatshop in that hellhole known as Communist China. Now, get back in your dog cage…….you traitorous, good-for-nothing hippie pinko commie Ron Paul-hating Trotskyist neocon stooge.

  • marla

    Abolish the FED. The whole system is corrupt because the money (debt based, fractional reserve fiat created out of thin air…ie a ponzi scheme extraordinaire) is corrupt. Abolish the FED and create a monetary system that is asset based instead of debt based, and society as a whole would be infinitely better. Listen to Ron Paul sometime. He may not be perfect, but he’s a damned sight better than the rest of the captured Congress. Abolish the FED, or be a slave to the banksters. Your choice.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    Bruce: I’m neither a Demo-Crap nor a Republi-Con. Both parties have sold out the former USA and turned it into a decaying Third World banana republic (major exception: Ron Paul). Not everyone in the BRA is a Demo-Crap or a Republi-Con. So when get into “Republican vs. Democrat” AM talk radio talking points, you’re barking up the wrong tree with me because I don’t subscribe to that two-party view of the world. I’m a political atheist, to borrow a term from Gerald Celente. The two-party system is a colossal failure, and Rush “Pillhead” Limbaugh has long been the leading cheerleader for the worst abuses of the Republi-Con Party. He is a disgusting globalist party hack who once called Ross Perot an anti-Latino racist for opposing NAFTA (No American Factories Taking Applications). And he is also an apologist for the prison/industrial complex that libertarian Alex Jones warns us about—truly ironic in light of the fact that Pillhead violated the same unconstitutional drug laws he supports. Plus, he is the sick bastard who recently joked about how the neo-poor can go dumpster diving. Yeah, ha ha ha—very funny. Human suffering is a barrel of laughs, isn’t it? But see, when folks who are truly desperate start doing really desperate things like they do in Third World countries, it won’t be Pillhead they go after. He can afford round-the-clock bodyguards. It will be small business owners like myself who get robbed or stabbed by those who used to be middle class but are now struggling to survive—and we really don’t need jackasses like Pillhead pouring gasoline on the flames of social unrest.

    If you want to hear what is really going on, I suggest turning off Pillhead, Hannity and the rest of the globalist NWO peanut gallery and checking out what Gerald Celente, Alex Jones, Justin Raimondo and Katherine Albrecht have to say. Signore Celente has more knowledge in his pinky than Pillhead has in his entire OxyContin-ravaged body (if you can call that thing a body). The wretched two-party system will not save us from the mess it created.

  • CJFYuma

    What is truly sad is the fact that the federal government is required to borrow (beg)communist China to feed the welfare recipients, and the middle class who’ve lost their jobs, through no fault of their own. The feds don’t even have their own money to feed poverty-stricken America!

    As for the generational welfare recipients, they’ve been stripped of their work ethic, skills, and dignity by the government, so they wouldn’t be qualified to work again, even if the manufacturing jobs miraculously returned to America!

  • Sammyone

    KFC

    Delusions of conspiracy are not evidence.
    Personal attacks are not arguments.
    Misunderstanding of US national character is indication of Latin envy and self-loathing.

    The more you rave and rant the more you betray yourself.

    The US calling the shots and its people will be freer and more prosperous than ever long after you and I are gone.

    You can rage and squeal till the cows come home but the rooster is cooked.

  • Mike

    El Pollo Guano, that very description you threw up fits quite a huge number of liberal elitists. It would befit you not to throw stones living in a house made of glass before you heap mounds of praise upon the radical progressives seeking to destroy the very country that allows you to insult people on the internet.

  • Rned

    You stupid people that think Obama’s redistribution of wealth is going to steal from the rich and give it to you. In fact he is only spreading the wealth and jobs to other nations. Just like shutting down American oil rigs in the gulf at the same time he is paying out millions in stimulus money to Mexico and Brazil to drill in the same area! Killing American jobs and destroying another American industry. Obama’s Regulatory Czar calls you all stupid Homer Simpsons that are easy to manipulate! WAKE UP AMERICA!!!

  • William L. Cimino

    85 & Worried

  • El Pollo de Oro

    Mike: So in other words, pendejito, the folks I’ve cited (Ron Paul, Gerald Celente, Alex Jones, Rollye James, Gary Johnson, Justin Raimondo, Ross Perot) are all “radical progressives?” Yeah, nice try, Mr. Neocon RNC Culture War Globalist. Have fun working in a sweatshop in Communist China–and no, you can’t take a break.

  • Pappadave

    Can’t imagine who these knucklehead are that think communism is a workable system. It’s failed EVERYWHERE it’s been tried. If you think it’s great, I invite you to move your butts to Cuba, North Korea or Venezuela…but be sure to take a lifetime supply of FOOD with you, ’cause you probably won’t be getting any in any of THOSE countries–unless you think you can exist on sugar cane alone in Cuba or a cup of “nightsoil-fertilized Rice per day in North Korea.

  • Bilbo Baggins

    All,
    I am sad to read all of the hate in the above post’s. Bottom line, is the corruption throughout the system is the problem. From the fat cat banksters to the greedy politicians, the common man stands little chance right now as the “game” is rigged. The big picture is much sadder, as we are on the path of severe pain and suffering for everyone, rich, poor, young and old. It’s hard now and the next 2-10 years will see the entire planet’s population in “reset mode” it’s simple math. 2+2=4 or e=mc2 this planet only can support so many should, and over the last 200 years we have pretty much used it up. I recommend everyone watch http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse It really is simple. We are on the downhill side of history, and I recommend everyone start to plan for a simpler life with less. God bless and stay strong.

  • Tom

    Ron Paul and Alex Jones are religous righters out to take personal freedom by spreading fear.

    I would rather live in a poor broken country than give up freedom to religous right fascist like Ron Paul and Alex Jones.

  • JP

    I guess the nobily also thought the serfs were surviving because they “gave” them land for them to plow at. Now these guys think the working people are surviving because the financiers “give” them jobs for them to work at.

    How much more deluded these people can be?! Capital is (has always been) a scarce commodity, produced by hard-working generations of people. The more these delusional guys think fiat assets are true capital, the more the economy is trashed. Hard work that produces real capital has little value, for them. Henry Ford with be appaled if he were to talk with these supposed defenders of “capitalism”…

  • orsobubu

    @ Bruce:

    You say I’m writing lies about Lenin. You say Lenin admitted communism was a failure. This is impossible, as every marxist knows communism never existed. Communism is the doctrine (rigorous theory) on conditions for workers’ liberation. Lenin in the beginning succeeded trying to materialize these conditions in Russia with the revolution, but failed in spreading internationally the application of these conditions to achieve world workers’ liberation. As Lenin said, communism couldn’t ever start in an underdeveloped country like Russia, so the only system to go was state capitalism. Lenin wrote he made the state capitalism. So you will surely fail to write HERE the exact book, page and line where Lenin said communism failed!!!

    About Marx, your theory about Thanksgiving is absurd. Communism could be the production system AFTER capitalism full development and death, so a communism attempt in 1600 it’s risible.

  • Jerry

    This is a great discussion between those who think the government should organize things to distribute wealth amongst all levels of society and those who still think that wealth is generated by personal initiative and character (hence taxes suppresses personal initiative). Someone said that all wealth has its roots in some great crime. I say rather all wealth is based on some kind of monopoly, a patent, a copyright, possession of a natural resource, a unique talent, crowding out competition, etc. (not all of these examples are necessarily criminal by nature) I lean to the governmental solution – the reason being that there are extremely few who actually accomplish something major with their lives – the vast majority, including the lazy poor and the lazy rich, find a niche for themselves and defend their niche with tooth and nail. There is no connection between personal wealth and personal character-intelligence. It´s mostly a question of which family you were born into. The great myth of the US is that we are all entrepreneurs and geniuses just waiting for the right pep-talk to us to burst out our shells with in creativity and energy. Those who believe personal initiative should be rewarded by NOT returning any of their goodies to society may be genuine Einsteins, Fords and Gandhis (I hope the irony is obvious) but I suspect they just want the status quo to continue as it is, arbitrarily benefiting some and not benefiting others.

    ¨Robert¨ in a previous comment hit the nail on the head – the middle class was necessary propaganda – well-to-do ignorant americans traveling around the world spending dollars was the best possible free promotion of american business interests – imagine that soft-drink purveyors make more profits abroad than here – but now that there is no nuclear powered country proposing an alternative economic model – there´s no more necessity to prop up a middle class through government taxation and distribution.

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