The Beginning Of The End
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30 Statistics That Show That The Middle Class Is Dying Right In Front Of Our Eyes As We Enter 2012

Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most vibrant middle class that the world has ever seen.  Unfortunately, that is rapidly changing.  The statistics that you are about to read prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the U.S. middle class is dying right in front of our eyes as we enter 2012.  The decline of the middle class is not something that has happened all of a sudden.  Rather, there has been a relentless grinding down of the middle class over the last several decades.  Millions of our jobs have been shipped overseas, the rate of inflation has far outpaced the rate that our wages have grown, and overwhelming debt has choked the financial life out of millions of American families.  Every single day, more Americans fall out of the middle class and into poverty.  In fact, more Americans fell into poverty last year than has ever been recorded before.  The number of middle class jobs and middle class neighborhoods continues to decline at a staggering pace.  As I have written about previously, America as a whole is getting poorer as a nation, and as this happens wealth is becoming increasingly concentrated at the very top of the income scale.  This is not how capitalism is supposed to work, and it is not good for America.

Today I went over to Safeway and I was absolutely appalled at the prices.  I honestly don’t know how most families make it these days.  I ended up paying over 140 dollars for about two-thirds of a cart of food.  That was after I “saved” 67 dollars on sale items.

When the cost of the basic things that we need – housing, food, gas, electricity – go up faster than our incomes do, that means that we are getting poorer.

Sadly, if you look at the long-term numbers, some very clear negative trends emerge….

-The number of good jobs continues to decrease.

-The rate of inflation continues to outpace the rate that our wages are going up.

-American consumers are going into almost unbelievable amounts of debt.

-The number of Americans that are considered to be “poor” continues to grow.

-The number of Americans that are forced to turn to the government for financial assistance continues to go up.

After you read the information below, it should become abundantly clear that the U.S. middle class is in a whole heap of trouble.

The following are 30 statistics that show that the middle class is dying right in front of our eyes as we enter 2012….

#1 Today, only 55.3 percent of all Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 have jobs.

#2 In the United States today, there are 240 million working age people.  Only about 140 million of them are working.

#3 According to CareerBuilder, only 23 percent of American companies plan to hire more employees in 2012.

#4 Since the year 2000, the United States has lost 10% of its middle class jobs.  In the year 2000 there were about 72 million middle class jobs in the United States but today there are only about 65 million middle class jobs.

#5 According to the New York Times, approximately 100 million Americans are either living in poverty or in “the fretful zone just above it”.

#6 According to that same article in the New York Times, 34 percent of all elderly Americans are living in poverty or “near poverty”, and 39 percent of all children in America are living in poverty or “near poverty”.

#7 In 1984, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older was 10 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger.  Today, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older is 47 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger.

#8 Since the year 2000, incomes for U.S. households led by someone between the ages of 25 and 34 have fallen by about 12 percent after you adjust for inflation.

#9 The total value of household real estate in the U.S. has declined from $22.7 trillion in 2006 to $16.2 trillion today.  Most of that wealth has been lost by the middle class.

#10 Many formerly great manufacturing cities are turning into ghost towns.  Since 1950, the population of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has declined by more than 50 percent.  In Dayton, Ohio 18.9 percent of all houses now stand empty.

#11 Since 1971, consumer debt in the United States has increased by a whopping 1700%.

#12 The number of pages of federal tax rules and regulations has increased by 18,000% since 1913.  The wealthy know how to avoid taxes, but most of those in the middle class do not.

#13 The number of Americans that fell into poverty (2.6 million) set a new all-time record last year and extreme poverty (6.7%) is at the highest level ever measured in the United States.

#14 According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 dropped by 27 percent after you account for inflation.

#15 According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, America has lost an average of 15 manufacturing facilities a day over the last 10 years.  During 2010 it got even worse.  Last year, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day shut down in the United States.

#16 Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs.  Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.

#17 Most Americans are scratching and clawing and doing whatever they can to make a living these days.  Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.

#18 Food prices continue to rise at a very brisk pace.  The price of beef is up 9.8% over the past year, the price of eggs is up 10.2% over the past year and the price of potatoes is up 12% over the past year.

#19 Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.

#20 The average American household will have spent a staggering $4,155 on gasoline by the end of 2011.

#21 If inflation was measured the exact same way that it was measured back in 1980, the rate of inflation in the United States would be well over 10 percent.

#22 If the number of Americans considered to be “looking for work” was the same today as it was back in 2007, the “official” unemployment rate put out by the U.S. government would be up to 11 percent.

#23 According to the Student Loan Debt Clock, total student loan debt in the United States will surpass the 1 trillion dollar mark at some point in 2012.  Most of that debt is owed by members of the middle class.

#24 Incredibly, more than one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps and one out of every four American children is on food stamps at this point.

#25 Since Barack Obama took office, the number of Americans on food stamps has increased by 14.3 million.

#26 In 2010, 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States were on food stamps.

#27 In 1970, 65 percent of all Americans lived in “middle class neighborhoods”.  By 2007, only 44 percent of all Americans lived in “middle class neighborhoods”.

#28 According to a recent report produced by Pew Charitable Trusts, approximately one out of every three Americans that grew up in a middle class household has slipped down the income ladder.

#29 In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

#30 The poorest 50 percent of all Americans now collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.

Sadly, this article could have been much, much longer.  There are so many other statistics about the middle class that could have been included.

For even more insane economic numbers that show just how dramatically the U.S. economy is declining, just check out this article: “50 Economic Numbers From 2011 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe“.

What is even more frightening is that this is about as good as things are going to get.

We have already had “the economic recovery”, such as it was.

Now we are heading for another major financial crisis.  Just like back in 2008, the entire world is going to feel the pain.

But we never recovered from the last financial crisis.  We are like a boxer that is not ready to handle another blow.

And who is going to get hurt the most?  It will be those at the bottom of the food chain of course.  Tens of millions of Americans that are living in poverty will experience a massive amount of pain, and millions more Americans will fall out of the middle class and will join them.

If you have a good job, do your best to hang on to it.  If you don’t have a job, do your best to get one while you still can.  Jobs will become very precious in the years ahead.

But also try to do what you can to become less dependent on the system.  Almost anyone can find ways to make some extra money on the side.  Yes, it will likely cut into your television time.  If someday you were to lose your job you don’t want to be left with zero income.

Right now, the U.S. economy is slowly dying and as time goes by the number of middle class Americans it will be able to support will continue to decrease.

Yes, it is like a perverse game of musical chairs, but this is where we are at.

I encourage all of you to think about how you plan to make it through the collapse that is ahead.

Sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that everything is going to be okay is not going to help anyone.

But if we all start planning for the storm that is ahead, and if we get others around us to wake up as well, that is going to do a great deal of good in the long run.

  • Gary2

    Tax the rich and spread the wealth. I have set oput a solution that will fix the immoral wealth and income inequality in this couontry.

    I would think that even Christians would be appaled at the level of wealth and income inequality. Oh I forget Christians worship the rich!

    • r.bitting

      Please define rich. The American on welfare is richer than 90% of the worlds population and it’s either one third or two thirds of the worlds population that makes less than two dollars a day. Some don’t have air conditioning ,running water or electricity. Thats in THIS country. Factor in also that you have internet access, which they could never afford, never mind access to a computer, which which makes YOU ultra rich from their perspective. So, it’s only right that you pay more in taxes Gary, afterall the Government according to your own logic ( not mine ) made you the success that you are, so it’s only fair that you share the wealth by letting uncle Sam tax you a lot more…. unless of course you are a hypocrite, and you have a double standard. You see, while you look up at others who have more than you with contempt, there are others who are doing far worse than you who could be looking up at you with contempt. But it’s probably closer to the truth that they are facing it with more grace than you are. Quit praying to God for money and start praying for mercy.

      • Gary2

        “Bill Clinton raised tax rates in 1993, and Republicans insisted it would cripple the economy. Instead, the economy boomed. In 2001 and 2003, George W. Bush lowered taxes and Republicans insisted the economy would flourish. Instead, we got the weakest expansion of the past century. Republicans are simply wrong about taxes: Within reason, high tax rates don’t hinder growth, and low tax rates don’t stimulate it. “

      • Gary2

        you need to Google absolute vs. relative poverty. This is so obvious it is hard to believe I have to keep telling low information right wingers this.

    • Tim

      I’m afraid prosperity preachers have given Christianity a bad name.

    • Dude77

      Gary, it doesn’t work that way. The “rich” include people who have earned their money, so it is not an “immoral” wealth disparity. A doctor who goes to school for 4 extra years and works 16 hour days should expect make more than a highschool dropout who works at Kwiky Mart. It’s not immoral to be successful.

      The problem is with the rich that steal from the rest of us. The only ones that have the power to steal our wealth are the politicians. The CEOs? No, whether we do business with thier companies is up to us. But the government will take and take and take…all in the name of “spreading ther wealth.”

      And you know nothing of true Christians.

      :)

    • Shane

      Poor Gary, he will be one of those people who blame everyone else for something and will take no responsibility to help himself. These are the people who will be in real trouble when things go south!

    • http://stevequayle.com James

      Gary….

      You worship the Devil

    • http://theeconomiccollapseblog Leonard

      Gary2 : The rich won’t be taxed more!Forget it.
      They will continue to siphon off the people’s money when they get sick, go to college, and many other ways. Do you know why?
      The majority of the people want it that way. This is what they will get.
      America is a very pragmatic country, people get what they ask for.
      You mention that people worship the rich. The rich are their idols. Well, idols require human sacrifices.

    • Concerned person

      Gary2, you are aware that Michael is a devout Christian by this point, right?:)

      I too cannot believe what groceries cost these days. Wages have not changed at all in the last 15 years but prices for everything have gone way way up. We cannot continue this way indefinitely.

      • Gary2

        Gary2, you are aware that Michael is a devout Christian by this point, right?:)

        Yes-I try not to hold that against him :)

        • Michael

          Actually I am very much hoping that Gary will soon become a very strong Bible-believing Christian.

          Instead of endlessly promoting socialism, perhaps soon Gary will be endlessly promoting Jesus. :)

          Michael

          • gary2

            but michael-Jesus was a socialist. He welcomed the poor and took care of their sickness, “demon possession”, and feed them many times.

            I can surely say he would have nothing to do with capitalism. Did he not toss the money changers out of the temple?

          • Michael

            Jesus was not a socialist. He did not advocate having the government take all our money and give it to others.

            Rather, he instructed us to take care of the poor.

            Big difference.

            And yes, He threw the money changers out of the Temple.

            But not because they were capitalists.

            Rather, He threw them out because they were violating the Law of God.

            Michael

          • Gary2

            give unto Ceaser…to me that sounds like taxing the rich and spreading the wealth. How many times did Jesus tell people who asked him what they need to do to be saved was to GIVE EVERYTHING

          • Gary2

            give unto Ceaser…to me that sounds like taxing the rich and spreading the wealth. How many times did Jesus tell people who asked him what they need to do to be saved was to GIVE EVERYTHING TO THE POOR

          • Gary2

            Rather, he instructed us to take care of the poor.

            We are the gov.

          • Gary2

            But not because they were capitalists.

            Rather, He threw them out because they were violating the Law of God.

            I do not see the distinction?

    • Colin

      You’re clueless and should move to Belarus!

    • highspeedloafer

      For crying out loud Gary, you are the one begging for money all the time. Christians are the ones who by and large keep the food kitchens and pantry’s going. You would probably starve to death without the christians, yet you continuously mock and deride them.

      Maybe you should re-read the 10 Commandments, does “Thou shalt not covet” ring a bell?

    • Joe

      “Oh I forget Christians worship the rich!”

      Now thats just plain old fashion trolling there. Try harder.

    • Erin

      @Gary2
      Tax the rich and spread the wealth.
      That is not a solution, such demands usually end up as more taxes for the middle class. Looting the middle class in order to “spread the wealth” does not work – wiki cuba.

      I have set oput a solution that will fix the immoral wealth and income inequality in this couontry.
      Let me guess: Step 1. – learn how to spell.

      I would think that even Christians would be appaled at the level of wealth and income inequality. Oh I forget Christians worship the rich!
      All I see is a well indoctrinated product of a failed public education system. A member of the secular politically correct cult.

    • ScoutMotto

      Gary, you apparently have some bible reading to do. After that, go earn your income like the rest of us.

    • WM

      Sorry Gary, your presuppositions are incorrect. No True Believer in Jesus Christ aka “Christian” is happy to see the wealth inequality. The sad truth is that it has always been this way and always will be. It does not surprise me at all. Jesus said that we will always have the poor. It would be nice if people who had an adundance of wealth would share their wealth and help those whop really have a need. We can all do this though, because there is always someone worse off than us.

    • nowwthen

      Do you really think you persuaded anyone with that comment? Do you think congress is going to do a 180 because there is a parrot named Gary who squawks “tax the rich” several times a day on the Economic Collapse blog? They’re far more likely (like the rest of the world) to wish someone would throw a blanket over your cage to shut you up.

      Face it, if this congress can’t even come to an agreement over a $1.2 trillion deficit reduction over 10 years or a 12 month extension of the payroll tax cuts you will never see the kind of tax increase you keep harping about.

      Yes, we need tax reform. We also need spending cuts. What we need to make those things possible in a humane and CHRISTIAN way are lots and lots of good jobs. If companies leave the U.S. due to overly strict emissions laws they’ll set up shop where there are few or no regulations. How does that benefit the planet? If OSHA overdoes it in trying to idiot proof the workplace business always has the option of relocating to countries where the well being of the worker isn’t even a minor consideration.

      What we need is a more business friendly environment with incentives to keep companies here or bring them back. People running companies do not respond well i.e. hire socialists who accuse them of being evil and greedy, and yes, I know unfortunately some are. I’m pretty sure if you took a poll to see who’d rather be hired at a good job – picture a reopened Janesville GM plant – or given an extra $50 of food stamps and a $20/week raise in their unemployment benefits the results would favor those wanting the jobs.

      • Gary2

        Probably no one will be persuaded by me alone, however, I am not alone. OWS/99% pretty much agree that we need to MAKE the rich pay their fair share which they most assuredly do not know.

        Before some dolt says the rich pay (insert number here) of the fed taxes gallop shows when all taxes are considered the rich pay 29% and the rest of us 24%. The rich have way more than 29% of the wealth therefore they do not pay their fair share.

        • knightowl77

          Gallup polls measure “opinions” not facts….

          That you think you are smarter than us “right wingers” is an opinion….you constantly assume your opinion is better than the opinion of everyone else….your arrogance is typical of those morons in DC…You should run for office, you’d fit right in…

          • Gary2

            That you think you are smarter than us “right wingers” is an opinion…

            No sorry that’s a fact, however, I will grant you that being smarter than right wingers is a pretty low bar to get over.

            you constantly assume your opinion is better than the opinion of everyone else.

            Not better but WAY more informed. You see I can think and do not need to parrot Fox and Rush. All the things you right wingers say I can hear verbatim on Fox/Rush/Oral Roberts or whatever the preacher of the day is.

            I do not mean to be rude but that’s the facts. There was also a recent poll that proved Fox news viewers were stupider than the general population. The only people who watch FOX are right wingers ergo right wingers are more stupid than the general population. (as if a poll was needed to get this info)

            Simply look at the stunningly stupid things right wingers on this blog say: The rich create jobs. The poor are rich compared to Africa. business is over regulated, calling everything they do not get socialism or better yet North Korea communism. I could go on and on. This is a gross lack of any critical thinking skills.

          • Gary2

            You should run for office, you’d fit right in…

            You won’t believe this but I have been encouraged by many to do just that. Who knows…

        • nowwthen

          Gary, First of all the poll that you attribute your bogus figures to is Gallup not Gallop. And the next time you invent a whopper in your feeble attempts at proselytizing ask someone to help you with your arithmetic. 29% + 24% does not add up to 100% which is what you would need if “all taxes are considered”. You are careless with the facts and consistently post figures without documentation. This is why nobody will ever respect your opinion.

          • Gary2

            you need to factor in corporate etc taxes. I was simply comparing 2 groups. As I said prior right wingers can not think.

    • http://www.youtube.com/safearmsreview SafeArmsReview

      Tax the rich and spread the wealth?

      So you believe in a corrupt govt that steals money from it citizens and gives it to those who dont work.

      Communists tried that and it FAILED miserably.

      Instead of advocating something that has failed in the past, how about just enforcing the constitution, the bill of rights & get rid of the fraud, waste & abuse? Your plan, has no checks & balances and has been shown to go against what our founding fathers set up. Your plan actually creates inequality by taking from citizens like the english did to our forefathers & the early settlers.

      You comment about christians is off too – real christians dont worship the rich and if they do, they are in fact not the believers the bible talks about.

      The REAL plan is to end the federal reserve, end the IRS, clean out the govt, downsize & get ppl in that have integrity & honor. Those that will not bow to foreign powers, wont enslave its citizens via debt or pass any legislation that goes against the constitution, the rights of citizens & the sovereignty of this nation.

      That works so much better than stealing from others & giving it away.

      • Gary2

        Personally I am not hung up on the founding fathers who have been dead for over 200 years want or think, nor do I get hung up on the constitution. It already has many amendments so it too can be changed.

        Note to low info right wingers-no one said communism. The fact that you dolts call everything you do not understand communism or socialism simply proves my point that you are low information people.

    • Rancher

      I think the stats say taxing the rich and even taking it all away will run the entitlement heavy Federal govt for a couple few months then it will be broke again…. The what Gary2?

      • Gary2

        false-relook at the numbers.

        • rancher

          How long will it last? Not long enough to do anything other than patch a problem with other peoples money. Money runs out period.

    • http://www.youtube.com/safearmsreview SafeArmsReview

      BTW what if your “plan” is enacted & the enforces come after your wealth because they deem your rich? What if “they” decide that your being paid too much & take from you or your family?

      I bet you would be the first to sing a different tune & you would be pleading for that govt to go back to the Constitution & the equality it speaks about.

      ;)

      • gary2

        I would love to be rich and facing a big tax bill. That would mean I am doing quite well. What a “problem” to have.

    • knightowl77

      We don’t worship the rich Gary,
      though we do admire some of their skill sets that earned them the money…
      So Gary how much of their wealth would you allow the rich to keep?
      How much of Lebron James $47million a year should he be allowed to keep for playing basketball? How much of the $100million should Albert Pujols be allowed to keep for his work on the baseball field?
      Before he died, Steve Jobs made billions bringing stuff to the market like iPods, iPhones and iPads that even young socialists in the Occupy movement seem to have. How much should he have been allowed to keep?
      Tom Cruise makes about $40million a movie, so how much would you let him keep?????

      Bill Clinton was worth about a million before entering the WH…he is worth considerably more now, how much would you take from him????
      Nancy Pelosi’s net worth has increased quite a bit recently while most were losing money. Her net worth is somewhere north of $100 million so much should Queen Nancy (champion of the little guy) keep????

      • Gary2

        right left actor whatever-70% tax rate over 1 million dollars per year, no deductions for anything and capital gains taxed as the regular income they are.

        Anyone making this amount is rich anyway you define it.

        Also want single payer healthcare so the insurance death panels go away.

        • knightowl77

          Well at least it is an answer…Not a good one….Why are you or anyone else entitleed to more than half of what someone earns? Because you were born, you deserve more than half of what someone else makes? Bull Manure…

          Good luck with that /sarc

          • gary2

            wait until Obama reelection-the rich will be taxed very hard in 2012.

            You forget the rich were taxed under republican Eisenhower at 91% and things were just fine. Also keep in mind that the 70% is on income above 1 million so it is not the half you say will be taxed.

            Simply history proves you wrong.

      • Gary2

        You should run for office, you’d fit right in…

        Uh, yes you do!

    • Gay Veteran

      well Gary2, we have a lot of “Christians” out there

    • Dr. Chicago

      Gary – I have come around and agree with you – French Revolution style. Off with their heads. Kill the rich, share the wealth. Who is rich? Anyone who owns a house or has a mortgage? Anyone with a business? Or will we just kill the top 1% every year. Whomever is unlukiest to make the most that year gets it! I want my piece of the pie.

    • tak

      gary you sir are dead wrong we already give to many handouts and people and they are just getting more lazy, I install furnaces for a living and we work for low income people,80% are on disabilty and there able to work but chose to lay around most do drugs while Iam there and it just keeps on getting worse so lets tax me more so lazy bums can work less and pay no taxes

      • Gary2

        there are always jerks who play any system. Look at corporate america if you want to see the real dead beats!

    • Yrag2

      TAX THE RICH AND BRING JOBS BACK TO AMERICA

      For the past 30 years, tax cuts have been a complete failure so it is now time to make offshore operations less profitable (higher taxes) rather than making domestic operations more profitable (lower taxes).

      (1) Increase taxes (tariffs) on imports. These taxes need to be increased gradually starting with luxury goods and ending with basic necessities after the US economy improves. These taxes should offset tax cuts for domestic business operations after the deficit is eliminated.

      (2) Increase taxes on offshore operations. When businesses have both domestic and offshore operations, income from offshore operations should be taxed at a higher rate than domestic operations.

      (3) Tax rates of foreign businesses with domestic operations should be higher than tax rates of American businesses with domestic operations. Profits of foreign businesses usually benefit other nations more than the USA.

      (4) Foreign ownership of American industry should be limited to 33 percent.

      (5) Increase taxes on higher income individuals. Many of these individuals do not create jobs.

      (6) Increase the capital gains tax rate on offshore investments to 90 percent.

      (7) End the Bush tax cuts. These have not created jobs in the USA but have increased the national debt.

      (8) Eliminate all tax loopholes (business and individual). A flat tax, sales tax or some combination should be considered.

      (9) Cut spending where unemployment would increase the least. This needs to be done over a long period of time due to the large number of Americans dependent on government spending which does create jobs. Government spending, however, can no longer be based on debt expansion.

      (10) Offshore jobs need to be replaced with domestic jobs. This will only happen if it is more profitable to operate in the USA rather than offshore.

      (11) Public sector (government) jobs need to be replaced with private sector jobs. Most of these new private sector jobs need to be in industries that create wealth (agriculture, construction, energy, manufacturing, and mining). Wealth creating jobs also support additional employment in the service sector (public and private).

      (12) Regulations should be minimized since regulation management jobs do not create wealth. Fewer regulations, however, may not increase total employment since regulation management jobs would be eliminated.

      Happy New Year Gary2 – work on your definition of “the rich”

      • Gary2

        Happy new year to you also.

        My definition of rich is the census/IRS data. It is not “MY” definition. numbers are numbers.

    • Ozmo

      http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/argentina/

      You should read this article. This is one reason taxing the rich wouldn’t work. We as a society forget or just don’t care we are all in this together.

      Just a thought.

  • mondobeyondo

    Happy New Year, everyone!! Seriously, I mean it.

    I hope it isn’t that bad, but unfortunately, I think Michael’s right on the mark. Enjoy the champagne, because it’s about to go flat very, very fast.

  • mondobeyondo

    Item #2…”In the United States today, there are 240 million working age people. Only about 140 million of them are working.”

    That is sad. Judging from that statistic, and from the education I received from my high school algebra class, I concluded that there are actually about 100 million working age people who are not working right now (I am one of them.)

    These are not “slackers”, or lazy opportunists. These are strong, proud, able bodied men and women who are willing to work, and yet can’t find a job. These folks do not sit on a couch eating bon-bons and watching Dr. Phil and Judge Whomever on TV (Oprah’s retired). Perhaps that’s the public perception, but it’s far from the truth. They do that because there isn’t much else left to do. There’s only so many sweaters a guy can knit.

    “When I look back at all the crap I learned in high school
    It’s a wonder I can think at all….”

    – “Kodachrome”, Paul Simon

    • Michael

      By the way, that was a really great song.

      I wish that they would make songs like that today.

      Michael

      • highspeedloafer

        Me too! Happy New Year Michael and all. I am presently watching “Rocking New Year’s Eve, with lady gaggag, with the sound OFF.

        • Michael

          I really do not understand why so many people love Lady Gaga.

          Perhaps it is another sign of how far our society has decayed.

          Michael

      • Lennie Pike

        Sorry to be a wet rag once more (truthfully) but Paul Simon was not talking about Kodak’s brand of film – “gives me nice bright colors, shows me the greens of summer, makes the whole world look like it’s a sunny day” – marijuana. That’s why he was afraid his Momma was going to take his Kodachrome away. It’s also how he knew that everything he learned in High School was crap.

    • rancher

      People survived the great depression without most any of the current tax payer funded and borrowed money from over seas funded hand outs. Our society has grown weak and pathetic.

      The govt takes my earned money to take care of you… they take it by force if you did not know that. If I refuse to pay up i will be broke and homeless. If they waste on other things instead it is more of a concern for you than me.

      Everyday I find myself more and more resenting the bums I see hiding in the bushes here at intersections eating chips and drinking beer while their buddies are panhandling by my vehicle at the stop light.

      • gary2

        The govt takes my earned money to take care of you… they take it by force if you did not know that.

        Who cares how they get your taxes as long as they get them. Move to another country if you do not want to pay your fair share. I hear the view of the Indian Ocean is quite nice off the Somalia coast this time of year. You will have no government taxes, however, you will most likely pay the desperate people doing desperate things tax-El Pollo sums this up better than I can.

        Stop wining and pay up!

    • Gary2

      Love the song “Allergies” by Paul Simon-otherwise he like Elton John are way overrated.

  • r.bitting

    All of life comes down to how you answer one question, ” Is Jesus Christ lord of your life? “… If the answer is yes the all that is about to happen will not be able to shake you, because you have made the most important preparation first. If the answer is no, then it will not matter how well prepared you are in the other areas. You will be like the man who built his house on the sand. ” On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand “… Only Christ supplies an adequate sacrifice for your sins, reject his attoning death on the cross and treat his shed blood on the cross with contempt, and you will surely die in your sins….

    • rancher

      I plan on staying alive for sometime. Already have Jesus in my life. Accepting Him does not mean giving up either. I prepare so I live to serve and protect my wife. Life and living does not stop after accepting Him.

  • Alasha

    Bloomberg: BofA Posts Worst Showing in Dow Average By Hugh Son – Dec 30, 2011 4:35 PM ET

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-30/bank-of-america-s-three-ring-circus-tops-dow-jones-list-of-2011-laggards.html

    Yet the stock goes UP 2day? Am I in LaLa land or what? Unreal!!!!

    • BenjiK

      In that the “Big Banks” have the unequivocal support of our federal government and basically guaranteed not too fail, it’s no surprise they can play fast and loose and still hold their value. After all, if things get too hairy, OUR tax dollars will surely prop them back up…..AGAIN. From a shareholder point-of-view, that’s a pretty sound investment.

  • mondobeyondo

    #10…. Remember the days when someone mentioned Pittsburgh, PA, and immediately thought of Steel City? The Pittsburgh Steelers? The Steel Curtain? Terry Bradshaw??

    These days, it’s known for… um, er… that river on fire? Um, no. That was Cleveland in the 1970’s. The Deep Purple song “Smoke on the Water” comes to mind, but that was actually about Boston.

    Those were the days…..

  • Cyrus

    WELL HERE IS ANOTHER LIST OF THINGS YOU MAY HAVE TO CONSIDER IN 2012.
    http://codgerville.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/15-decisions-you-may-have-to-make-in-2012/

    GOD’S SPEED TO EVERYONE. 2012 WILL BE A “MAKE OR BREAK” YEAR.
    GOD BLESS THE REPUBLIC, DEATH TO THE NEW WORLD ORDER

  • Otown Right Guy

    This can’t be right. I just heard Dave Ramsey say that depressed housing prices were due to peoples’ “bad attitudes”. And people like Michael are “whining” when they talk about joblessness and the declining state of the economy. I guess all of those in the 20% of unemployed/underemployed are just imagining that they don’t have a good job. Its all in your heads people! Think and grow rich!

    • highspeedloafer

      I read that book too! lol

    • Gary2

      Napoleon Hill wrote a great book called “Think and grow rich”

      Apparently a lot of religious folks had a cow.

    • Lennie Pike

      Dave Ramsey is an idiot and and asshole.

      His arrogant tone of voice, speech patterns, and what he has to say proves it.

  • http://google sommers

    The Obama agenda is proceeding as planned.

  • drago

    gary- you are too ignorant to even argue with…your pic really fits you, i truly beleive all you do all day is affirm your idiocy via blogging here and watch sesame street. moron

  • http://YAHOO RICHARD

    MICHAEL I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW FAST YOU PUMP OUT ALL THIS INFO. YOUR A REAL DINAMO. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

    • Michael

      Richard:

      Thanks for the kind words.

      I do spend many, many, many hours in front of the computer.

      But many of you seem to really enjoy the articles, and it is really good to know that all of the hard work is appreciated.

      Michael

  • Guy

    Since 1950 America has gone from 5% of the population having a college degree to almost 50% having a degree-yet the standard of living has been in decline all the way. Despite what the politicians and the educrats tell Americans, higher education is not the way to economic prosperity. What provided economic prosperity was a large manufacturing base the provided a way for the average IQ to obtain a middle class lifestyle. The only people that are succeeding in America anymore are the high IQ. Unfortunately they believe their success is primarily due to their hard work when most the time their success is due to winning the genetic lottery. When politicians say “we don’t have enough people graduating with engineering degrees” they aren’t realizing the reality that only about 5% of the population have the IQ to handle the coursework in an engineering profession. Even with engineers, why should a US corporation hire them when US companies can hire engineers from China for $10 per hour?

    http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/jun2007/gb20070605_780984.htm

  • horhey

    Go shopping for.food.and break you bank. I have to agree, we live in rural America and I shop at Costco once in a while to stock up for a couple months at a time. Usually it rolls for about $800 or so. Last run cost us $1400.00 FOR THE SAME AMOUNT. Pay attention to the trend. Before you know it.that will be double, esp. If a war breaks out and oil goes nuts. If you still have a roof over your head, buy enough gear to live outside. If things keep going, most people won’t have a roof, or a pot to pee in(so to speak). Lame……

  • Big Dave

    None of us should give up just yet.

  • tappedops

    ‘We can never know about the days to come
    But we think about them anyway, yay
    And I wonder if I’m really with you now
    Or just chasin’ after some finer day’
    Carly Simon

    And if you dont think these are the “Good-ol-days’… think again…

    • Michael

      I gotta give a thumbs up for anyone that quotes Carly Simon.

      They just don’t make music the way that they used to.

      Michael

    • rancher

      I got one….

      If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break, [X2]
      When The Levee Breaks I’ll have no place to stay…..

      Cryin’ won’t help you, prayin’ won’t do you no good,
      Now, cryin’ won’t help you, prayin’ won’t do you no good,
      When the levee breaks, mama, you got to move.

      All last night sat on the levee and moaned, [X2]

      /// I often think of that song by Led Zeppelin. It inspires me to keep prepping even more and not to become a victim due to my ignoring the rains, rising flood water levels, the results illusions and lies and the levee (normalcy bias) protecting us from ourselves bursting open and all we have willfully ignored for all these years come pouring out. Drowning most…. Will it drown you?

      • mondobeyondo

        The levee is definitely going to break, and it may not be long from now.

        Crying won’t do you no good, but prayer and preparation definitely will help.

  • http://EconomicCollapse Already Gone

    robin hood {obama} and his band of theives{congress} want people to be in this current situation because what is a better way to control them? if you do not conform to there demands off the welfare roll you go.But with some careful planning and some self education on how you can release yourself from there grip
    would be a victory in itself.then give them the
    universal salute and tell them to take a flying
    %&#@ off a rolling donut.yes,it can be done,alot
    of people have already taken this course of action,buy durable clothing for the climate you are in,buy as many heirloom or organic seeds that you can afford,sleepng bags,tents,candles,
    fishing tackle, whatever you feel you need to survive.talk to people that are willing to listen,it is not that hard to do.it just takes
    confidence in yourself that you can do this.
    even living like a hermit in the woods would be better yhan having king obama and his court ruling over you controlling your life and constantly reminding you of how weak and worthless you are because they have to take care of you, we can restore pride,dignity and respect to this country if we all band together
    and take back what is ours,and it can be done if everybody is willing to do so.”United we stand-Divided we fall” The choice is yours.

  • wilson

    I quit shopping at Safeway years ago as I have always found their prices high, and their sale prices comparable to our Kroger and slightly more than Wal Mart. Then there are Sam’s and COSTCO.

  • Nickelthrower

    Greetings,

    It isn’t all that bad.

    This Godzilla Debt Bubble that we are currently in has given us the additional three years we’ve enjoyed since the collapse of Bear Stearns. The Hail falling out of the sky that was 2008 has given many warning of the tornado that is about to touch down.

    Many of the people that were mocking the naysayers are now sitting in the front row and taking notes. People in my community are becoming more independent minded. I see them making subtle preparations. They are voluntarily downsizing, getting out of debt and removing themselves from the grid.

    A whole bunch of people are ready to pick up their marbles and go home.

  • http://www.planorperish.com Gutter Economist

    I encourage all of you to think about how you plan to make it through the collapse that is ahead.

    But if we all start planning for the storm that is ahead, and if we get others around us to wake up as well, that is going to do a great deal of good in the long run.

    The real issue here is what comes after the collapse or storm.

    If you survive the collapse or storm, you may have to deal with civil war.

    If you survive the civil war, you may have to deal with global war.

    This is not just another recession or depression. This is the end of America and freedom.

  • Joseph Parker

    The rise in food stamp enrollments over the last few years (both Bush and Obama administrations) is partly because of the economy but it is also partly because the government has raised the income limit that makes a household eligible.

    • BenjiK

      You are correct, however, the income limit was raised in direct retaliation to skyrocketing commodity prices. No matter what way we spin it, the truth of the matter is our dollar is losing more and more of it’s value everyday.

  • RSteiner

    The reason why we have more and more “social spending” and experience at the same time ever bigger differences in wealth is actually quite simple.

    More taxes means more money for the super-rich, a good example is the Solyndra-scandal:

    http://in-other-news.com/2011/Short-Summary-of-Solyndra-scandal

  • Me

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxi7JRJrod4

    Number one: That’s terror…

  • shypuffadder

    More and more people are beginning to realize that financially, something is going very wrong. But then they give out an immediate sigh of relief because they know it will never happen to them. If they lose their job (and that’s a big “if” to them), then they will just get another. When they do lose their job to a person being paid much less, its like a knockout punch because they never saw it coming (thought they were too valuable of an employee to ever be laid off) and had no idea that getting another job is almost non-existant. The workers that still have jobs are too busy kissing feet to be able to do anything else. This country is a very s.l.o.w. learner. By the time we realize that we need to get together and find a way to stop this, everything will already have been lost.

    Food prices are soaring. But most people can’t cook or won’t cook – besides, who’s going to -ugh- wash the dishes? All the fast food is killing their health and they refuse refuse refuse to see it.

    Will enough people rebel against having to pay a fee to pay their bills? Sure – after its too late. The news is full of happy talk, feel good talk, everything is coming up roses talk. This always happens before the bottom drops further. Gas prices have gone down 5 cents a gallon – celebrate this trend. But remember, that 5 cent drop is going to cost a whole lot more than 5 cents.

  • joe

    There is nothing that will stop the economic decline and “taxing the rich” won’t even put a bandaid on the problem. People in the USA have lived in a fantasy world brought on by almost unlimited credit. Many (and our government) have lived beyond their means for too long. Now that the obvious has happened (that is they cannot pay now for what they enjoyed before) they expect someone else to solve the problems they created. In many parts of the world, you cannot get a mortgage for a home or buy a car on credit (much less lease one). People in these countries may have less, but at least they own what they have. Why are many industries leaving-because we have one of the highest tax rates in the world and we are, to the best of my knowledge, the only country that imposes a tax on worldwide income. Someone reading this will respond that “we should buy only products made in the USA”. Good point-but how many of us go online to get the best price? We have gone down the European Socialist road where politicians have bought votes with high taxes and our (borrowed) money and in the process enslaved a large potion of the population with entitlement programs. This is the reality-taxes and entitlement programs have driven businesses out of the USA and there is not the political or social will to reverse course. Just look at Greece as an example of the social unrest that occurs when “benefits” are reduced. While I realize many of the readers of this blog sincerely want to reverse course, how many of us would be willing to pay more taxes or give up benefits? And more importantly, even if we were willing, is there anyone who believes that the government wouldn’t just waste the money? Our founding fathers (as good a term as any) were justly afraid of big government. Yes, things are bad (relative to the credit induced fantasy we are use to) and yes, things will continue to decline. Wishing it otherwise, taxing the rich, or standing around waiting for some politician to fix it is also a fantasy. The only person that can help you, is you. On a closing note, whether we agree or disagree on any given point, this blog provides a great clearing house of ideas and I enjoyed the blog and the comments.

    • Michael

      Joe:

      You are exactly right about your last point. I am glad that we do have such a variety of opinions expressed on this site.

      Michael

    • Gary2

      you need to look at the tax rates AND how much is collected. Other countries have lower rates but collect more % wise.

      • quick

        Gary2

        You’re a real piece of work.

        This one statement negates all your other statements !

        What a moron !!

  • Chris

    Well you don’t actually have capitalism do you? When you bail out the bankers and corporations using taxpayer money I would say that that was fascism and that is indeed consistent with the growing police state that you guys in the USA are seeing.
    I wonder was it really such a good idea for you guys to import and employ all those Nazi scientists at the end of WW2 under operation paperclip? Or for your Wall street to have funded Hitler as is claimed by some?
    Everything that is happening like the outsourcing of jobs to China etc and the loss of manufacturing in the USA is a deliberate policy got through using your corrupt politicians.
    This is a planned destruction from the inside to enable, I suspect, China to become THE world power. I think even one of your own presidents said that ‘America would only be destroyed from the inside and not by external enemies’ . Looks like that’s happened too.
    In the Bible the descendants of the first murderer (Cain) are presumeably the Canaanites and if I am correct the ground was cursed to yield nothing for them. I suspect they got round this by going into banking.

    • Owen

      These are some nice observations which I am in complete agreement. Gotta love the image of Canaanite bankers! I have posted this comment before, but more me, it has always best summed up what we are seeing today: “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” (Proverbs 29:2). It is our own fault, we have been outmaneuvered by the NWO crowd and the consequence is America will be leveled. I believe they win for a very short period, but the cost they pay for that victory will be much too much and the penalty will be eternal separation from the Great God of all creation. These destroyers of the earth will have traded their everlasting souls for that which is perishing. Endeavor not to be numbered with the proud who are resisted by God.

  • William

    Why can not Americans figure out the truth?? The current destruction of the middle class means NOTHING to the fools in the US Congress. These cretins know that the 85% who want to run for office again will be reelected. If you want change, then vote against all incumbents. Just vote them OUT.

  • richard breveglieri

    Your website is needed…still too many Americans believe we can be great again…not with our character standards we promote today..Food stamps 43% in 2010 46% in start of 2011 49.8 % end of 2011 Welcome to the party …stated in the movie Die Hard..that will be our slogan for 2012 and after RCB

  • Big Dave

    Much of our debt problem is personal. We have been conditioned to consume rather than produce. My wife is doing well selling homemade bread to fellow employees for 5 bucks a loaf. However, one very educated woman (she had a masters degree) complained that the bread fell apart when she cut it. I asked her if she used a serrated bread knife and she had no idea what I was talking about. Her children had never seen homemade bread before. Can you imagine what life will be like for her and her family when “bread in a bag” is no longer available at any price?

  • Nexus789

    The issue is a profound philosophical one about how the US creates wealth. Merely taxing the ‘rich’ without changing the way things are currently done will not do much.

    The point being that under the current ‘system’ if the rich elites know that they might be taxed more they will move more assets of off-shore.

    For the US to survive and its people prosper the US economy has to become productive/innovative to so as train people and create new productive capabilities.

    The US needs to get off the drug of war and the never ending drip feed of funds to non value adding production.

  • Ben Dover

    A lot of the cost of college is room and board. I hear so much about people getting student loans and using the money for other things. Student loans often get treated like credit cards in that it looks like free money.

    If you go to a college you can commute to, the cost is greatly reduced. I refuse to pay for a multi-year party for my daughter. Walk around a college campus. They look like country clubs. It is no wonder they are so expensive. No serious effort at cost control is made.

  • Pastor Donald Eskine

    Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come?

    13The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. 14I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once. 15I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools. 16And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. 17They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods. 18Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. 19Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the LORD’s servant? 20Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not. 21The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable. 22But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore. 23Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come? 24Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law. 25Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart. IS.42:13-25
    Look Up People Jesus Is Coming!

  • ken

    How can this be? Why only yesterday[Friday Dec30] I heard Mr. Walter Williams [Sitting in for Rush Limbaugh] interview Thomas Sowell [Who incidentally appears to have been taking voice inflection lessons so he can sound like just like William F Buckley] expounding upon the fact that being “poor” in the US is just not like it used to be. The poor have color tv’s and cars and trucks. Many of them also live in a house of some sort. Maybe they are all just lazy. The Government takes care of all of their needs which is keeping them lazy and unmotivated to find work. [my opinion, not necessarily Sowells] The problem with the newly minted lazy poor can’t possibly be that they lost their manufacturing job, fell off the lowest rung of the economic ladder and now have nowhere to go. Globalism, the new God of corporate CEO’s who [and with the support of a corrupt US Congress and President] got Nafta signed into law against the screaming no of the unions and the majority of the American workforce. This was the beginning of the end for the United States of America having a vibrant middle class. Sending our manufacturing jobs to the Communist Chinese where the workforce is much more compliant [desperate] was a brilliant corporate move. Borrowing enormous amounts of money from a Communist Government that wants to replace your country as the dominant world power maybe not so smart. Doesn’t anyone remember the Communist Chinese Finance Minister telling Congress what they are and are not going to do earlier this summer? The American people are now reaping the hell our leaders have allowed to happen. Learn to live with MUCH less. It is all coming down and it is going to be indescribably bad.

  • Victor

    Taxing the “rich” won’t cut it, not nearly enough money there to make a difference and the government gets it, not the people who need a helping hand. When you hand over dough to the political class they redistribute it not to those who need it, but to those the politician needs to assure the votes he or she wants to win the next election. We need to flip off the clowns who thought, “gee wouldn’t it be great if we outsourced all our high paying jobs and switched to a service economy instead?” The manufacturing is now done out of country and we see a loss of quality as well as an immoral view that workers should be exploited in the name of higher profit margins for manufacturing corporations.

    “Made in America” still means something’ it translates into high quality, high paying jobs, reliability and good customer service. Don’t buy into the lie that we need to tax the rich and all will be good. That’s just a politically expedient band-aid solution.

    After we start the process of bringing good jobs back to America, we should then make room in our prisons for the scofflaws that got us in this mess in the first place, the smarmy politicians, Democrat and Republican, who worked hard to make it happen and the idiots on Wall Street and the banking boardrooms to worked behind the scenes to rob this nation of her wealth. Make room in Bernie Madoff’s cell for Jon Corzine, that would be a good start. SAfter that, we should take a hard look at the Senate and Congress. Make it illegal for the ruling politicos to use their power to enrich themselves with insider trading and secret deals that place their wealt and power above that of this nation.

    Without a healthy middle class, the rule of law and a strong economy this nation is destined to go down in flames.

    • Gary2

      Nothing wrong with band aids when you are bleeding. Stop the bleeding then we can look at your other ideas.

  • http://www,Back2theLand.com Old Timer

    So where do all these people from the ghost towns go?

    The shifting social demographics are astounding; clearly pointing to a marked and increasingly rapid decline that will just “fall us off the edge” at such a rapid rate it will become mind boggling and dumbfunding for the elite as well as the less fortunate.

    In the mean time we cling to old values and obsolete models of economic prosperity, currently calling for massive new science to solve us, albeit in the far future.

    My science lies in growing a garden…We have to develop skills to take care of ourselves. Stock up!

    Old Timer

  • Insane

    Have been studying the economy, Fed. Reserve, and U.S policys etc. And have finally figured it out. The only thing that makes sense is we have without a doubt gone insane.

  • OMG!

    “Sadly, this article could have been much, much longer. There are so many other statistics about the middle class that could have been included.”

    I’m sure suicide rates are climbing, similar to what you mentioned in your article on Greece. Of course the worthless media will keep plugging football scores and what a big threat Iran is to freedom loving shoppers.

  • Patriot Alice

    Sure, tax the rich, it’s the same mentallity that drove the jobs overseas. Squeeze the companies until the are out of business and out of the country…Tax the rich until they too leave the country…Freaking stupid communists…

    • Gary2

      again another low information ditto head. No one ever said communism. That is what the ditto heads call anything they do not understand.

  • Game Over

    Look at it this way:

    The boomer-created crass culture of the past 30/40 years is crashing. The sick “he/she who dies with the most toys” mentality is backfiring on that vapid generation.

    The Great Reset is Coming.

    Good riddance to climbing up the soulless corporate ladder.

    Good riddance to your useless 60 hour work weeks just so you can buy more crap like a heap of metal called a lexus or mbz.

    Good riddance to your colossal monument to waste and lost resources called your mcmansion.

    Most of all, good riddance to your perverted, oversexed, baseless, ministry of propaganda known as mainstream media.

    If the garbage that passed for middle class over the past 30/40 years is fading, good riddance.

    A new, simpler, more grounded and holistic way of life is coming.

    Out with the old and in with the new.

  • http://bob.us/ bob

    Spread the wealth? How about you get a job and earn a living instead of expecting a handout. The police ought to start executing this stupid occupy hippies.

    • Lennie Pike

      The hardworking compulsive gambling paranoid money worshiping gangster masters of the universe at Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, BOA, European banks and the rest of the too big to fail banks (individuals) receive massive handouts to the tune of trillions of dollars – let the police begin with them.

      Oh I forgot – they receive the handouts from themselves since they retain the right to create fiat money by threat of death to anyone trying to take that “right” away, and the police and military of almost the entire world work for them.

  • a cruel accountant

    Most people put their savings in the bank and earn very little interest. That interest is taxed as income for most people that is higher than 15%

    Most rich people have money in the stock market. The pay 15% on long term capital and dividends.

    So we have working people paying higher taxes than rich people on their savings.

    The system is rigged for the rich people.

  • a cruel accountant

    I do not believe the rich should pay more taxes.

    I believe the working class should pay less taxes.

    The sales tax is a punishing tax for the poor. It is designed strip poor people of their hard earned income.

    Real estate tax is a punishing tax for the poor.

    You pay these taxes no matter how poor you are.
    Even renters. These taxes are designed to make the gov’t rich and the poor even more poor.

    Gary2 has it wrong. We do not need to tax the rich more. We need to tax the poor less.

    • rancher

      Nope… we need a fair tax so everyone is a player in supporting the country. We all must contribute something. Otherwise whats happens is what has happened to us right now.

      • a cruel accountant

        Sooo Rancher.

        I guess you didn’t read what I posted or you are obtuse.

        Which one?

        I guess you believe the rich should be taxed less and the poor more?

        Yes everyone should pay tax, but when the rich are taxed less than the poor there is a problem.

        • knightowl77

          How about a flat tax? Isn’t that fair?
          A 15% flat tax…
          An income of a Million dollars would pay $150,000.00 in tax. An income of $100,000.00 would pay $15,000.00. An income of $50,000.00 would pay $7,500.00….etc…the more you earn, the more you pay, the less you earn the less you pay….Even socialist Gary ought to approve.

          So the rich pay more than the poor and everyone has a hand in the game…

        • Gary2

          right wingers are not too smart. They can’t help it, must be genetics. Also do not assume they can read and comprehend anything.

  • Tatiana Covington

    Rich people should use deadly force against those who wish to steal their **PRIVATE PROPERTY**.

    My property is worth more to me than his life. End of story.

    • Gary2

      you can try-numbers will overwhelm you easily.

      • Senator Ozmo

        you forget about the red mist effect. nough said.

  • a cruel accountant

    Think you can get rich starting your own business. Think again.

    self-employed people pay (15.6% self-employment + 25% Federal tax on all income above about $34,000 = 40.6%)

    Again rich people cap gains and qualified divs only 15%

    The rich do not need to pay more tax!

    The poor need to pay LESS!

  • getreal

    Keep doing what your doing. This ex-Democrat pol appreciates your info. I copy,paste, and send your articles often….to those in power, and in DENIAL.

    • Michael

      Thank you so much.

      It only takes a few moments to share these articles on Email, Facebook, StumbleUpon or Twitter or to vote for these articles using Google Plus, but it makes a HUGE difference.

      I want to greatly thank everyone that has chosen to bless this site this year.

      Michael

  • getreal

    Great Job Michael!

  • brek

    He cries ‘tax the rich.’ Humm, well if I were “rich” a relative term, and Gary wanted to hit me too hard I would consider leaving. Or why work or invest if I could coast on what I have?
    Gary doesn’t understand that our gov is corrupt. The super rich have and do buy off our legislatures. The tax code is the size it is for a reason, so the super rich don’t pay or pay their “fair share.” It is the average working guy who pays and doesn’t get a break. Joe the plumber doesn’t get free health care, but he pays for others health care. He pays to put food on his and others.
    It is clear to me I have no control of our system. All I can do is look out for our family. The system will continue until in can’t and collapse. We are getting as self sufficient as we can and do all we can to keep gov out of our lives.

  • Tapper P.

    That people are still celebrating NYE in 2011 is proof that the banksters/Euro elite families will determine when SHTF. They obviously want the Ponzi to continue. As long as we are willing to be their billy club around the globe.

    It took decades for them to form cultures of deluded, non-thinking zombies. Perhaps they are not ready to flush us down the toilet just yet.

  • Jeff

    Thank you God bless

  • callmecordelia1

    #11 Since 1971, consumer debt in the United States has increased by a whopping 1700%.

    Wow. That is really amazing.

    When I read that groceries have gone up 9, 10 or 11% (depending on the item), it doesn’t surprise me in the least. It actually seems low. I buy pretty much the same things every time I go to the store. What used to cost me around $100 is astoundingly close to $200 these days. Things are going up at a very rapid pace.

    I wish everyone a very happy new year. I hope we can remember that happiness can be found in any situation. Prepare for the future, but live life today. The best to you and your wife, Michael!

    • Michael

      Thank you very much.

      And may everyone that reads this have the most blessed year that they have ever had in 2012.

      Michael

  • mondobeyondo

    The best description I can find of my fellow unemployed countrymen as we enter 2012 is…

    American Idle.

    *sigh*

  • Hangdog

    Yep, we were a middle class family until 2008. The only investment I have now is a big stack of MRE’s.

    • REED RICHARDS

      Hangdog,

      MREs are delicious and nutritious. Had them a lot myself over the years. Those and plenty of gatorade. Eat up!

  • Nostradamus

    “This is not how capitalism is supposed to work, and it is not good for America.”

    That depends on what is meant by ‘capitalism’. America has practiced its unique form of capitalism since after the War. Some called it Anglo-Saxon, but I rather call it jungle fundamentalism.

    The laws of the Congo jungle (or Serengeti plain) is very simple, governed by a few basic rules. All animals survived by following them without exception. The strong survive for the day, the weak perish in an instant, everybody is on their own, but each has maximum freedom. This is called fundamentalism.

    American economic fundamentalism started around the Vietnam war era in weak form (kicked started by Nixon firing longshoremen), then progressed into extreme take-no-prisoner form by the 2000s. This trend occurred irrespective of politics and who’s in power. Because this is what society wanted. Despite all the anger towards the government, in reality the government has been an obedient servant of the public. It delivers what the public wanted – no matter the cost, the contradiction, the waste, the screw-ups, and the corruption.

    So there you are – today’s America is an accurate reflection of capitalism the American way. Where everything is life and society is distilled into a single ‘bottomline’. The 99% like to blame the 1%, because the 1% is the winner. The question is why do we have 99% losers. The answer the simple: in the jungle, the losers constitute 99%. The only difference is the jungle losers died and never heard from again. While we have 99% making noises but offering no solution. Let this be a confirmation of America chose the wrong model. See if fundamentalist capitalism works, much of the 99% should have died too. But now they not only not died but make all sorts of impossible demands. What they really want is a repeal of fundamentalism in economics and politics.

    Well, the solution is simple: If the 99% wants to be winners, then they must abandon fundamentalist capitalism. And replace it with capitalism the good old fashion way.

    What will America chose? Will it chose in 2012? Well, the federal election will give a strong hint. Chose well, chose wisely.

    Happen New Year.

    • Lennie Pike

      the 1% also does all of the choosing – obviously.

      • RL

        And the 1% chose obama last time. Biggest recipient of campaign money from hedge funds, banks, Fannie Mae and British Petroleum.

    • Lennie Pike

      And if money were precious metal coin, the choices and actions of the 1% would be on the same level with as those of the 99%.

      It was also the 1% who chose that money would be paper and that they would be in 100% control of it. That choice requires killing anyone if necessary who threatens taking that power just like the predators in Africa, so we could chose Ron Paul, but their choice would trump ours.

      Speaking of Trump, I’m beginning to smell the opportunity to claim a big “I told you so” from many months ago.

      • knightowl77

        Then let us choose him (RP) and force the so-called “elites” to acknowledge our choice..

    • Tony

      Total Bull***********!!!
      You don’t even understand what capitalism is.
      Under real capitalism, SUCCESS is rewarded and failure is punished. How it is practiced here in America is different i.e. special interests (banks, car companies etc) have kept their profits when they made it and their losses are bailed out with public monies thanks to your shills in CONgress.
      Every bailout is a transfer of public wealth into private coffers under the guise of lending a helping hand. Homeowner loans are really made to help the banks get funded on bad loans that would otherwise default.
      The basis of the entire eCONomy is a fraud i.e. we have a DEBT based FIAT currency that is leveraged via fractional reserve lending. Given that it is debt based means it is money borrowed from the FUTURE. Our dollar denominated debt has a petroleum backing because we protect the oil cartels in the mideast.
      It is only after a debt collapse, the system can restart because currently the debt is gargantuan. We have run out of options.

  • igotadose

    141 million xboxes, ps2&3 and Nintendo sold since intro in the us. What does poverty mean in the us? Food insecurity is bad but is it historically worse than in the past? At work there’s a “giving tree” where folks from charities send in their wants and workers donate them. I’ve watched it over the years and its always gizmos,games,toys,makeup or high end clothing… So to me poverty is not so clear.

    And of course, if you fear ending up in poverty don’t bring children into it.

    Happy new years!

    • Golden Child

      Being poor really sucks in America if you are a little kid living in the barrio, ghetto or trailer park. Imagine you are a little kid who goes to bed hungry every night because your single parent mother spends all her money on booze/drugs. This is the reason why there are ten year old crack dealers in every ghetto in America. Imagine you live in a dilapidated high crime area surrounded by prostitutes, crack heads and teenagers running the streets carrying military issue rifles. That is what ghetto living is like in America. A place where some one can, and will, murder you for your brand new Air Jordans that ironically cost $5 to make yet sell for over $1000 an eBay. American ghettos often have homicide rates that mirror some of the most dangerous places on the planet like Ciudad Juarez. Although many third world ghettos are undeniably poorer than American ghettos, American inner city areas are extraordinarily violent. The bulk of every big city’s crime rate occurs in the impoverished ghetto areas.

      Certain ghetto areas like Hunter’s Point in San Francisco are definitely quasi-third world. Many projects in places like Oakdale in SF have broken plumbing with lagoons of feces and excrement pouring out from run-down boarded up project barracks built in the 40’s. Hunter’s Point in SF has the highest infant mortality rate in California. Hunter’s Point is also sitting on the most toxic waste dump on the entire west coast. Some years, Hunter’s Point accounts for 50% of all SF’s homicides although only being 5% of the city.

      http://www.sfbg.com/40/03/news_despair.html

      http://21stcenturyurbansolutions.wordpress.com/2009/06/21/a-history-of-bayview-hunters-point-part-2-crime-contamination-and-crisis/

      Hunter’s Point San Francisco is far from alone. DC has a higher AIDS rate than most places in West Africa. DC has been statistically proven to be more violent than Iraq.

      http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/5/29/132706.shtml

      http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-03-17-DC-AIDS_N.htm

      Detroit and New Orleans have been rated in the top ten most dangerous cities in the world in an analysis strictly based on numbers. So yes, poverty in America can be REALLY bad to say the least.

      • Michael

        I did not know that about San Fransicso – thanks for sharing that.

        Michael

        • Rancher

          Michael,

          Do not be miss led on SF. I grew up in that region in the 60’s. Hunters Point was a human waste land of entitlement mentality back then. Drugs, murder and all of it was a well known thing to those who cared to look that way.

          All the feel good money and clinics failed. I do not have the answer for other people and they also do not want to hear it if I did. Ever ask a hooker or crack head how they felt about living in the countryside of Idaho and spilling your own firewood?

          Good way to get killed if you want to know the truth. I hitch hiked away from that region after HS and never looked back. I was broke as a young adult, everything I owned in a back pack. I could have easily been standing at the highway edge with any one of those people mentioned above and they could have left the area like I did….

          Walking down the pathway in the forest of life we all come to a fork in the trail. One loops back around to the beginning and the other heads into the unknown. I choose the one into the unknown. It made all the difference. I knew what was on the other trail. In truth we all do… so I have only pity for those who keep doing the same failed things over and over expecting it to pan out.

          I do not regret my choice. Sometimes I wonder about what would have happened if I stayed back there…. I shiver and throw another log on the wood stove fire.

  • HeartofShadows

    The middle class never existed.
    Living on credit, underwater houses and cars that take years to pay off and you could lose at any time. Just the illusion of a middle class is dying.

    • AUSSIE

      No that was peasants pretending to be middle class!

  • Cinderella Man

    I can totally relate with you on food prices concerning your Safeway trip. I paid over $65 for 4 corned beef that we ate for our Christmas dinner. I can remember back in ’05 paying around $4 to $5 dollars apiece. Now theyre around $15 apiece! Regarding #21 about inflation I can remember when I was a kid in the 80s, my parents bringing home massive bags of groceries at least 2 shopping carts filled to the max, and I asked my Daddy “how much is all those worth?” He replied, “Oh about $200 worth.” ******** cow! $200 these days barely gets you 4 bags worth! I can remember seeing all those bags, *********** there must have been at least 40 paper bags full of them! I used to think spending $200 on groceries was a major deal. Not now. As for beef prices, I told you all that if you think that its bad now wait until later this year when the slaughtered cow inventory goes waaay down! The droughts from last summer, and high beef prices have led ranchers to liquidate massive numbers of cows, so the beef inventory is high right now. Just wait ol’ Mickey Ds forklift cow burger arent gonna be no dollar menu anymore, more like the $2 dollar menu. Michael asks how are people making it the truth is they arent. People arent going to be able to afford to buy meat anymore. I notice the stores grind up steak meat into burger, so people will buy it. Only the rich elite will be eating meat in the future. If they have their way, we walk, they drive, they have unlimited electricity, yopu are rationed by your smart meters, they eat steak, you eat GMO gruel. No middle class only wage slavery. 3 years ago when Barry the tyrant was elected, my Dad remarked that he wants us all making only $8.00 an hour. Seems like he was right. The middle class is being dismantled, like Gutter was saying the other day a steong American economy with a vibrant middle class dosent fit well with the globalist agenda. They want us all to be like Gary2, dependent on them for our survival. As a result we will have destroyed the incentive to work hard, start a business, and take care of our families ourselves. Barry wants to be our great father, where we will allow the government to do whatever they want to us, out of fear that we might lose our entitlements if we resist. Try to become independent of the system? Easier said than done.

    • Matty

      I grew up in the 1970’s. You could buy a lot of things with 20.00. 20 bucks was a lot of money. I

      • Matty

        You could also make money with interest at your bank. My folks made bucks with their savings acounts. I think the interest rate was 10%

        • http://lnx-bsp.net/ Tel

          Capital gains tax sorted that one out.

      • BenjiK

        Heck, $20 was a nice chunk of change in the late 90’s…….

      • luis

        truth man

    • Amen

      You are so right about grocery prices! I just spent $200 on groceries at Aldi, which is a budget grocer increasingly expanding in the U.S. They carry “off-brand” food items, but they are generally very good and decent quality. In fact, I’ve always been frugal and shopped there, in addition to the usual chains like Publix for our family’s food. Over the past year or so, the prices at Aldi have increased to the point where I spend practically as much there as I used to spend at Publix! But the same amount at Publix is now almost $300.

  • Cinderella Man

    Oh, I almost forgot if anyone here is still buying the BS MSM story that Ron Paul is a racist, I urge you to go to INFOWARS.com and check out the video of a BLACK man’s testamonial about Dr. Paul as the only doctor that would treat his WHITE pregnant wife. It seem that alot of the doctors back then disaproved of interracial couples but Dr. Paul only see two human beings in need of help. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Ron Paul haters!

    • Tapper P.

      Since the banksters own our media and determine/select what puppet is put in office, Dr Paul has no chance. He is one hell of a man though.

      He operates within a sea of liars (Congress) and there is only so much he can ever do. All politicians are bought and our political progress is nothing more than stage actors doing their thing.

      At this point, the best course is to dismiss the entire political process, don’t vote, don’t respect the process in any way. To do so is to be a tool.

    • REED RICHARDS

      Cinderella Man,

      FRANKLY, I CAN’T IMAGINE WHY ANY SANE, LOGICAL THINKING PERSON WOULD WATCHE MSNBC, FAUX NEWS, CNN, CBS, ABC, ETC., ETC.

      Ron Paul and the Green Party candidate are the only logical candidates to vote for in 2012. That nonsense about Dr. Paul being racist is garbage and nothing else…….

  • http://www.laperlecode.com IceRayn

    There will always be rich and poor. no way to avoid it. take away currency and it will be vanity or physical riches…heck in certain periods of time the bigger family you had the richer you were…gonna tax that?

    tucson web design

  • tappedops

    Well he signed it… tonight (ndaa) while the world toasted, and now with no rule of law here in the NAU (north american union)… you can burst through those bar-room swinging doors right out into the … “Wild West”

    Theres your next piece Mr. M— like you didnt have anything else going tonight…lol

  • tappedops

    Caution… just dont go near the beast—- provision— (http://cnsnews.com/news/article/senate-approves-bill-legalizes-sodomy-and-bestiality-us-military —the sheep are scared enough…

    • Local Yokel

      So long as it’s not made compulsory, I am not worried. ;)

  • rockclimber

    Hi Michael,

    I wish all concerned citizens in the US would read your great, informative and accurate analysis of the our economic conditions as I believe that it would help awaken the silent masses who are confused and are looking for answers. Furthermore the awakened would eventually lose their fear and confront ‘our leaders’ and demand that they represent us rather than their cronies. The sooner they awaken the better and I intend to promote sites like yours like never before next year–it will be one of my goals because our ship is sinking fast. Thanks for year of hard work and great research as you really have opened my eyes and you have a way or reaching people like myself, a laymen to economics. Happy New Year and God bless,

    Scott in Colorado

    • Michael

      Scott:

      Thank you for those very generous words. It means a great deal that so many people consider this site to be a very valuable resource.

      I truly do believe that 2012 is going to represent a huge turning point for this nation. Hopefully the “turn” will be in the correct direction.

      Michael

  • mondobeyondo

    Why am I on this blog when it’s 11:16 pm on December 31st, 2011?

    • Michael

      LOL – because you want to get a head start on your 2012 doom! :)

      Michael

  • Sid Davis

    If you rig a football game by allowing one team 20 players and the other just 5, it is obvious which team will consistently win.

    If you rig the economy with laws that favor those pushing for those laws at the expense of the many, those granted advantage will consistently win. When the few consistently win and the many consistently lose, distribution of wealth becomes skewed. The middle class is driven down the road toward poverty, and then there are demands for government to be compassionate and help the poor. Government creates the poverty and then pretends to solve it with more picking of our pockets to buy the votes of those poor souls they pretend to help.

    When banks can create money our of thin air and loan it out at interest, it is no wonder that they wind up with a great share of the wealth; when drug companies get licenses to sell their drugs while others are excluded and made illegal, those with the licenses get monopoly prices and the public pays; when medical professionals are licensed by states to the exclusion of competition, the public pays union rates for their services; the list of laws that favor one group over another is huge.

    When the distribution of wealth makes a nation look like one big government controlled slave plantation, then that nation is a slave state, and this is what has become of the USA. Thinking we are free because we can vote is delusional.

    To inflame the effect of the rigged economy is the effect of the shrinking economy. Energy drives modern economies. Less energy results for a number of reasons. (1)Increasingly more energy must be expended to acquire energy as each year passes, leaving less to fuel the economy. In 1930 it took the expenditure of just 1% of a barrel of oil to get back 100, a 1% energy cost factor. This 1% doubles every 25 years (1%, 2%, 4%, 8%, 16% etc, but can’t go over 100%) and we are not at about 13%, leaving only 87% to fuel the economy. This progression kills the oil industry by mid century for all practical purposes. Each source of energy has its own cost curve, similar to oil’s. (2)The quality of oil (coal too) is deteriorating and we get less energy from the oil we have left to produce than what we produced in the past; this is because we produced the best, most profitable stuff first, and (3)we are reaching the point where most of the world’s oil fields are in decline and we have not been finding big enough new ones to make up depletion of old fields; peak oil production is here or just around the corner.

    Without sufficient net energy (that left after deducting the energy used up to acquire it) the economy will produce less and less as each year passes, and this is probably the single biggest stumbling block to sufficient economic output to support the 7 billion world population. Consider that even a modest decline rate of 5% cuts the economy in half every 14 years; rinse and repeat.

    So what can we expect as the economy enters this long term decline that lack of energy brings? One thing for sure is that those in power will insist on a larger share of the shrinking pie to maintain their standards of living. The masses will be forced to accept a progressively disproportionate contracting standard of living, which is what this article is pointing out.

    Baring the miracle of discovering a revolutionary unheard of energy source, things will just get worse and worse for the majority. Conservation will be touted as an answer, and this might postpone the inevitable for a very, very short while, but conservation will morph into scarcity, and scarcity will morph into deprivation, followed by death.

    Will revolution to restore freedom help? It certainly would change who will have the best chance of weathering this storm, and if we had free markets, what capital we do have left would be directed into the most promising paths. At least the majority would not have to carry the elite rulers on their backs and could use their energies to find their own paths.

    • 007

      I like the football analogy. It’s also like the roulette wheel. The zero is only one number out of 37 but it gives the house a huge advantage. The more you play the more you lose. That about sums it up for small businesses.

  • Cinderella Man

    Since when did ******* and ******* become banned words Michael?

    • Michael

      I guess I am very sensitive to certain things. I believe that any names for God or words that relate to God should be used only in a reverent way.

      Yes, today our society throws around the names of God like they are cusswords, but that it not a good thing.

      Michael

      • uncurable wound

        You are a great testimony Michael.
        May God bless you and generations of your family.

        • Michael

          Thank you for saying that.

          And may God make this upcoming year the best year that you and your family have ever experienced.

          I also want to send a huge blessing to everyone out there that has taken time to help share these articles on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Email and that has voted for these articles using Google +1. When you take a few moments to do those types of things, you truly do partner with me in helping get the message out.

          Michael

      • Kw

        Amen!
        I agree, Michael

  • Andrew Bulles

    Lots of great comments! I was thinking about my own family… I have three brothers and a sister. IN the last three years, each has lost a job. I own a bookshop that’s lost my “cash” savings for the last two years meaning I haven’t earned a nickel’s profit since 2009. Being the eldest child, I do have some wealth from 26 years of saving and investment and I don’t carry any debt. None of my siblings can say the same. My brother who the next child, 5 years my junior, lost his house and lost a retail management position he held for 8 years only to find a new job after a two month search and see that one vanish due to the new company’s bankruptcy in less than 3 months of starting then he took a “barely allowed to eat wage” job at the “GOLD BUYING SHOP!” That lasted 5 months until the “owner” of the shop was indicted for receiving stolen property. Now, he training to sell life insurance and also working for a company that sells “security” systems for commercial properties. (CONTINUED)

  • Andrew Bulles

    My sister, the middle child, has two sweet children who she supports on her own… her ex is a mental case with severe medical issues. From 2000 through mid 2008, she worked as an “admin officer” in a real estate firm… the company consolidate to regional officers and let her go… since then she’s gone on numerous job interviews for salaried positions and sent out over 1,300 job applications but has yet to land a job. She worked “off the books” doing office organizing and light bookkeeping for various small businesses to make ends meet but that usually hasn’t panned out either so our parents are spending their retirement money to help her out. (Continued)

    • Denise

      Is your sister White? She will not be considered for employment, if so.

  • Andrew Bulles

    My next brother (age 30) is like me an “angler” meaning we always have multiple lines in the water… He has worked “officially” in the restaurant and printing field but has also run his own business — a mobile party DJ service – for years. He also does E-BAYing and other odd jobs. He lost a good paying job he held for several years with a printing company two years ago… since then he’s supported his family by increasing his DJ dates… he’s taken several retail postions has long as the “temporary” job will last and has waited tables in various restaurants. He recently took a job working in a liquor store that is own by a retired COP. Luckily, he and his wife have a strong marriage and her job working for a lighting manufacturer seems to have been steady so they get by living with her mother in her “paid-off” ancestral family home which they will eventually inherit.
    (CONTINUED)

    • 007

      And the sad part, if he ever gets caught with this unreported income as a DJ by the IRS he will be financially destroyed. The IRS says he is not paying his “fair share” even if he can’t feed his children.

  • Andrew Bulles

    My youngest brother is “DEEPLY IN STUDENT DEBT.” He has a job that pays in the 30’s and works nights monitoring respiratory/cardiovascular life machines via remote internet connections… his job is to call the doctor when an issue arises with the patients or to watch for protocal changes or interruptions of the equipment… at least, that’s how I follow it. Well, he attending three separate colleges and two careers fields before taking this position (because it was the only job he could find after an 15 month search.) His student debt payments are I’m guessing roughly 20% of his net take home pay… he lives in a “rented room” of a home owned by a friend so the friend can pay his mortgage and he says it will take around three more years to clear up his debts. (of course, assuming his job or prospect remain stable.) Was he able to finish his degree? NO! THE MONEY FINALLY RAN OUT!

    • Tapper P.

      College and student debt is one of the banksters greatest money scams since the debt can never be dismissed via bankruptcy.

      Using money created out of thin air the banksters ensnare their victim for life.

      Check out the various ‘College scam’ videos on You Tube. College ‘ain’t’ what it used to be.

      • Steve

        Didn’t the Emperor federalize student loans….expect the Emperor to forgive these loans (if you are not White).

    • 007

      The liberals would say he is not paying his fair share for those that have decided not to work. How progressive!

  • Andrew Bulles

    Well, that’s my family… we were once the proudest American family you’ve ever seen… I owned a Big house which I luckily sold as the market was falling and was able to “bank” a profit… my next brother lost his house to foreclosure… my sister never had a chance to “own”… my next brother with luck married well… and my littlest brother scrapes by hoping he’ll be able to pay his DEBT and still have something left to be able to EAT! AS for me, I’ve always been a very frugal person, never garnered any debt I couldn’t repay immediately, I always saved. My wife and I divorced in 2009 at the same time I was opening my book shop. I have enough funds to maintain my lifestyle for the next few years then I will most likely “have” to buy a home in cash SOMEWHERE in AMERICA where I can restart my life… after waiting for my children to grow up and go off to college or whatever they decide to do. I currently live in California but will have to most likely relocate to another state as the housing here is massively over-priced and the cost of living is way to expensive.

    • Tapper P.

      Hopefully those ‘funds’ are not in cash/savings/IRA or you will witness them evaporate before your very eyes along with the dollar.

    • digger

      sorry but college seems to be a waste unless medical or retirement age related fields.
      No jobs left that require college except Mc d’s shortly to sling burgers?

  • Shabby Looking Middle class

    I think the Middle class is pretty much dead all over, Whenever i watch the news and they interview everyday middle class working people, especially in the Midwest, people are looking and sounding more shabby and lower class then ever before.

    I know the baby boomers are aging and with that comes casual attire, relaxed looks, but living in the New York area I notice a lot of people are dressing down, T shirts and sweat pants are very common and very shabby looking,
    many are overweight, many women’s hair is messy looking and with no makeup.

    It is almost as though Middle class Americans lost their pride in recent years and it is becoming more obvious in the way they dress and act.

    Michael’s article is spot on, soon many of the middle class, especially “white America” will be appearing and acting more ghetto in the coming years as the jobs, credit and money supply dries up for most of the middle class…what a shame.

  • Drew from Oz

    $140 for 2/3 of a cart of food?
    If I can’t overfill a big cart for about that amount of money with enough to feed my family of five nutritiously for a fortnight,( plus a bit for the lean times ahead); then I consider that I have not done well.

    • Kris

      It depends on where you live. If you are anywhere near a large city (myself), $140 is only a few bags of food…even at Aldi (discount food store).

      I’m only here because that’s where the jobs are.

      That’s why it bothers me so much when I hear how the middle class is “soooooooo materialistic” and how they blow their money on “things”. Not so. We are barely making it. Spending all our money on food, rent, health care, taxes, etc.

      Credit card debt? I have no credit cards, but I have friends who cannot eat unless they charge it. Big mistake, but I believe that’s what makes up the middle class credit debt….necessities.

  • Rowell

    I heard this interesting article on NPR last week that really got me thinking. Many people that visit this site consider themselves to be “Middle Class”. In order to more clearly define your class, just ask yourself one question: If you were to lose your job today and be unable to find work for a year, would you have enough money tucked away to survive that year without any other income?

    If you answered “Yes” to that question, you are in the middle class. However, if you answer “No”, you are a member of the Working Class.

  • Kevin2

    I witnessed the Chemical and much to everyones shock the Oil Refining industries dramatically reduce or worse yet close in the north east. Previously the steel, manufacturing and auto industries took such a beating but of all things, oil was above it all. Fortunately I invested and got out of the market in 07. This area has a lot of old blue collar money maintaining the standard of living. This will not last to infinity and I suspect without any “collapse” it’s good for another decade. Given a catalyst to speed up the decline a few years less then that can be maintained from the “old money”.

    Camden NJ just got a 50 year jump on the manufacturing decline and I think if one looks at them you can see the future. Like the song Allentown the tomorrow it’s everyones town.

  • luis

    Every one listen up buy gold & silver buy suv if u have to scape from your city an save food an water have a weapon an prepared for economy collapse cause i live in vegas all my live an things here are chaging fast like the gas station are running out off fuels more an more this used to happend but now is like almost every day an store are closing mall are going empty contruction work here is dead car sale are down some casinos are empty crazy stuff people ima start buying gold & silver because things here dont look right god bless the people of AMERICA…

    • rancher

      Luis,

      Escaping the city… to where. You think for one minute us out here in the countryside are going to take you in? You must be nuts. Just running away with no firm set up to go to is one tank of gas away from death.

      • luis

        No im not nuts if the economy collapse people are going to braek in your house u may shoot then but there going to be more people then bullet if u stay in your house this may happend first the martial law goverment take your guns plus if where u live people are not preapared they may break into your house an im preapared v8 4×4 dogde ram extra fuel tank in the back aka47 9mm lots of food an water like for 3 years survival plus my mini trailer an where to scape well here in vegas i may go to the mountains or were there grass plus i got lots of fuel i got 3 fuel tank 2 in my truck an one big one in my mini trailer but think about it if i stay in the city an the goverment call for new word order there going to kill me so if i see the economy collapse an the goverment call for new word order ima leave the city if i stay im death man so if i fight back i can win because they can just call in the UNITED nation they got bigger guns so ima just save my family by scaping the city u see DETROIT DOES HOW U.S.A MAY LOOK IF THINGS DONT GET FIX AN IM TIRED OF VOTING FOR DUMM PRESIDENTS THEY NEVER DO NOTHING ALL THEY DO IS TAKE VACATIONS STARTS WARS ALL THIS GOVERMENT CRAP IS FAKE GEORGE BUSH PLANNED THE ATTACKS ON 9/11 THE MAN SHOULD GET KILL AN TELL ME WHY DOES UR MONEY HAVE SATANIC SYMBOLS DOES WHY I DONT TRUTH THE GOVERMENT I TRUTH GOD. PLUS READ THE BIBLE MAYBE THE WILL HELP AN LAST THING THE US HAS THIS THINGS CALL HAARPS IT CAN CAUSE EARTHQUAKES SO GOD BLESS U AN PREPARED MY FRIEND.buy gold & silver money is just a piece of paper backed by nothing gold an silver are..

    • Kevin2

      SUV and GLD are a leverged fund. They sell more shares then they have assets. That is obviously a recipe for disaster.

      PHYS out of Canada is not.

      • rancher

        Not if you buy gold and silver coins.

      • luis

        So your planning to stay in your house when all hell breaks loose your goverment is not going to help u stores are going to be close no food no water an money is not going to help u when the economy collapse there going to be criminals trying to break into your house an plus u may shoot then but there more criminal then the bullet in your guns if u have any so good luck try to stay in your house me im ready for anything i i got fuel for like 5 months 3 years food an water now im just working out so good luck

  • digger

    Please remember all those close to or in poverty dont have internet.
    it looks like the illuminists are cutting us off to the internet via no money to pay for it.
    Obama has big plans before the 2012 elections if I am right.
    Especially if he isnt winning in the polls.
    If the above is true there wont be any elections due to martial law being in effect.
    It sound preposterous but so now does the NDAA but it just became law.
    I said 2 yrs ago obama would try to take over dictatorship and scary as that sounded then…well tell me I am 100% wrong now!
    Oh GOD do I wish I was wrong!

  • El Pollo de Oro

    For a long time, Gerald Celente has been saying that the more this country rots, decays and falls apart economically, the more that formerly middle class Americans will turn to crime in the hope of returning to the middle class. Well, Mother Jones recently ran an excellente article on Americans who became marijuana dealers after falling into poverty:

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/12/tony-dsouza-marijuana-growers

    But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Many Americans who have been raped economically by The White Shoe Boys will resort to doing things much worse than selling weed. Today’s unemployed IT specialist will become tomorrow’s hit man; today’s unemployed construction worker will become tomorrow’s professional kidnapper or extortionist. The underground economy will grow exponentially in The Banana Republic of America, formerly the USA.

    • Kevin2

      El Pollo

      Watch for first time offenders in major crimes. Previously the bank robber graduates to that level starting their “life of crime” in their early teens. This will change and we will see the educated former middle class pull off some stuff that movies are made from. The authorities will be having their hands full with this new breed of criminal with a high IQ and education.

      • El Pollo de Oro

        Kevin2: You make a very good point. I predict that as the BRA’s economy goes from bad to much, much worse, we’ll see desperate Americans with masters degrees working with l’Andrangheta, la Familia Michoacana, the Sinaloa Cartel or La Camorra di Napoli. If it comes down to working part-time for minimum wage at the dollar store or working for El Chapo Guzman or la Familia Michoacana, there will be a lot of MBAs singing narcocorridos.

        “Son valientes, muy valientes
        Y no se andan por las ramas,
        A cualquiera le hacen frente
        Son expertos con las armas
        Dondequiera tiene gente
        La Familia Michoacana”—Los Tucanes de Tijuana

        • luis

          u are right hey im from michoacan good luck amigo prepared.

  • Mad Max

    Many of us in this nation have already accepted defeat. That’s only because we don’t know we have a choice. Cheer up!

    Read “Common Sense 3.1” at (http://www.revolution2.osixs.org )
    FIGHT THE CAUSE – NOT THE SYMPTOM

    Free people shouldn’t live or act like slaves. It’s just not American. Now get up!

  • mondobeyondo

    Places to see in San Francisco:
    The Golden Gate bridge… Fisherman’s Wharf…
    Haight-Ashbury… Alcatraz… oh yeah, Hunter’s Point.

    Shocking, but Hunter’s Point doesn’t appear in any of those glossy travel brochures. Wonder why?

  • Cinderella Man

    You’re cool Rancher. You sound like my Dad also a rancher. America needs more guys like you and my Dad and I hope I can be half the man he is.

  • Denise

    So – how is gutting the manufacturing base (the BASIS of the Middle Class. You have to make your own things, folks) and “outsourcing” manufacturing to China and India, installing a racial and social alien, who HATES Whites as POTUS, and bringing in MILLIONS of low- IQ Welfare devouring non-Whites (again – racial and social hostile aliens), and allowing a grotesquely greedy, selfish ethnocentric Tribe of Vampires, who have been kicked out of every Nation they’ve infested, for centuries, to run the money supply – how’s it all workng out for ya Whitey? How IS the feel-good lunacy, of “tolerance” and “globalism” and “I am a Citizen of the World” insanity working out?

    • Kevin2

      Denise

      It’s working out about as well as the WASP, Ivy League, Wall Street people planned on it to work out. I’m not defending Democrats because they turned their backs upon their hard core labor supporters with an 80% yea vote for China Free Trade while pointing a finger at the bad Republicans that supported it with an 83% yea vote.

      The sad choice is we have no choice. The power elite stack the deck of both party’s and regardless where you sit be it right or left you end up with the same thing.

      Both horses are bought in the two horse race. Self government is an illusion.

  • http://endzone.fortunecity.com/ Craig

    A prophetic vision a fellow shared on Sermon Index that is very relevant to the discussion:

    In March, 2003, six years ago , I was in the spirit in a vision.

    I saw a most beautiful company of men and women preparing for an event. They were Christians, and fearfully holy, and beautiful. They were dressed in simple and humble attire.

    They were not young, nor old. It reminded me of the military days when I and my fellow soldiers would prepare for a mission, gathering material and supplies and strategy. These were the holiest people I have ever imagined. They glowed with Heaven’s Presence, and their eyes were like lamps; emitting light and love. They were frightening.

    The scene changed and I saw a multitude of American people , trudging along like the bomb-out of Dresden Germany….refugees..men with dirty suits, with heads down , homeless, in a crowd that poked along for miles and miles. Children held the hands of parents, trudging along, with a general air of depression and despair. They had lost everything.

    Every molecule of the sky and the Earth and the substance of that vision spoke a word….”THE END OF THE AMERICAN DREAM.” I also knew it would center around a “mortgage greed craze.”

    The scene changed again, and I was there, watching as another mass of people were trudging along. They were all minorities, mostly black and Hispanics. I then realized that the first group were all white. The difference being that they, the minorities were very, very angry…..riot motivated angry. These crowds stretched for miles. “The End of the American Dream.” was over them all. These too, had lost everything…homes, cars, and all luxuries and possessions: they were in the street.

    I can only guess at the numbers…..maybe a total of about 3 million split between both groups. I saw signs of traditional ministries following this group…but without much impact.

    The vision ended.

    Implications and thoughts.

    Firstly, I think the fall of the American economy and dream is permanent. I do not think that we will ever see America rise to the prosperity levels that we saw previous to October 2008. It is over. I could say, “never to rise again.”

    Secondly, it is going to get much, much worse. If 3 million people are homeless, then it means that many more were displaced, perhaps 20 to 25 million. The 3 million are just those who have no friends or family to take them in.

    Thirdly, the economy will not recover…ever

    • Michael

      Craig:

      Thank you very much for sharing that one.

      Michael

  • Occupy

    A deficit consists of two parts, income and spending.

    As the deficit increases, and people suffer, the corporations are simply hoarding money that if it were spent would stimulate the economy, create jobs, and increase tax revenues to help resolve this mess.

    Tax the rich, tax the corporations that are hoarding the cash, and put a surcharge on financial transactions.

    Problem solved.

    • Kevin2

      Explain the stimulation part.

      1. American gets money from corporate tax
      2. American purchases product
      3. US salesman has job selling product
      4. Salesmen’s supervisor orders more product
      5. More product made in developing world and shipped to the US
      6. Continue the above until money is exhausted
      7. Print more money

      Problem not solved, problem getting larger.

  • mondobeyondo

    The Dollar Trap is Sprung:

    http://www.thetrumpet.com/?q=8987.7756.0.0

  • de

    but what should we do? he says prepare? but in what manner? how?

    • luis

      prepared any way u can first save water an food then buy weapons last have a bug out car or truck or suv an plus have extra tank of fuel like go to the junkyard buy a cheap fuel tank or new one its up to u then preapared your family friend an you are going to be okey an last thing buy some golden coins or silver get rip of money have some but not to much because if the economy collapse your paper money is not going to help u good lucky

  • Steve

    Any chance thirty million illegals are having any impact on the economic nightmare currently engulfing the Republic? In California most jobs go only to Mexicans!

  • http://yahoo scout

    Wifey and I paid and supported many politicians and senseless wars with our tax dollars. Now we are part of the lowest class.The feds retired rich, I retired broke. Not from poor planning but from the feds moving the target for retirement/over taxing. If your young, you’ll see what I mean. You don’t get a second chance. Vote Ron Paul for a better tomorrow…

  • Amerikagulag

    Steve,
    No taxpaying American has ANY room to complain about Native Americans moving north across borders of land that ONCE BELONGED TO THEM, when there are AT LEAST 3 countries half-way around the world, INVADED and OCCUPIED by ILLEGAL AMERICAN ALIENS!

    Of course the middle class is being wiped out. You mean you didn’t see this coming? You must have been asleep for 20 years. It is and always HAS been – the PLAN!

  • Mark

    Maybe the middle class should all stop paying their mortages all on the same day and use that money to short their bank. There is power in numbers. Bankers would cry crocidial tears for real. Maybe the middle class needs to organize think right and vote right. Maybe they need to man up and help their good neighbors who are losing their homes. The middle class needs a shepherd to guide them. They are lost. They are very good, stupid people. The man in the suit has just bought a new car from the prophet he made off your dreams. Again. It is hard to teach the stupid. 5 cars later you might get it, then it’s too late. you realize you got screwed in every orifice of your body and never even realized at the time. Wake up you idiots.

  • Lenny

    “Trickle down theory: The notion that the poor, who survive on table scraps from the rich, would be better served by giving the rich larger meals.”

    You should check out the price of groceries in Hawaii. Unbelievable. Thank God for local farmers.

  • Sandy the Swede

    Michael, how do you define “middle class jobs,specifically, what income range?” You also state that there are 240 million working-age Americans and only 140 million of these are employed. Of the difference (100 million), how many are physically or mentally unable to work or are retired?

    While I don’t dispute the decline of the American middle class, in some sense this was inevitable. America could not stay top dog forever. It also seems inevitable that the country’s elite would grab the remaining goodies as the ship goes down. Not saying that as an excuse for their crimes. Only when America’s undereducated masses no longer have access to Air Jordans and Dancing with the Stars will a few (maybe more than a few) necks get stretched.

    Great article. Well documented.

  • liberalmann

    Stop your asinine lies! The GOP have done nothing but try to subvert Obama’s efforts to improve the economy he inherited from incompetent Republicans. The GOP would rather hurt the middle class than see the economy improve under Obama.

  • luis

    why some people blame there problem on ILLEGAL ALIENS grow up people im sick of hearing SOME PEOPLE SAY I CAN FIND A JOB I LOST MY HOUSE BECAUSE THE MEXICA IM FAT BECAUSE THE ASIAN I CAN DO THIS PLEASE PEOPLE MAN UP IM ONLY 21 AN MY DREAM JOB WAS TO SALE CARS AN BE MY BOSS AN LOOK AT ME NOWWW IM THE BOSS IN 2008 DOES WHEN I STARTER MY CARS SALES AN NOW IM ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN I WAS POOR BUT NOW IM RICH I NEVER GIVE UP I NEVER BLAME MY PROBLEMS ON ANY ONE ONLY LITTLES GIRLS DO THE SO PLEASE MAN UP

  • Disciple

    Give up trying to make sense of the economic times. Turn to Jesus Christ, He will sustain in this life and the next.

  • sad sack

    most of you sound like a bunch of whining slackers!!! get off your butts and do something besides play on your computer in your parents basement!!! if you don’t like the way things are change them. that has always been the middle class mantra. middle class/working class, where i am from they are the same. if you are looking for an alternative, check out justiceparty.com this here UNITED STATES IS WORTH SAVING!!!

  • Ray

    I care about America so I need you to ask with me:
    The American Prayer 2012
    Father you gave to us a free will to bring glory to your creation and improve the human condition, It has been a long and bloody history as we learned to use that free will for your intended purposes. Soon the American People will exercise their free will in mass, to chart the future path of this great nation, one that you have guided and inspired at other critical times from its founding fathers until today. As America has shown the power of your governing principals of Life, liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness for nations, and has stood with Israel. You have blessed this great nation far more then others. Through our free will we have more often then not chosen the path you have laid out for a free people to build a great and good nation.
    Now in this time, many of our people have fallen way from your virtues and lost interest in good governance, both within our families and our great institutions. Soon we will be on a irreversible path of self decline and national destruction. A great fork in the road of our nation looms and we must choose the hard road back to good governance using your Godly principals of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness or continue down the road to self destruction and national decline. Where Liberty will dim throughout the world with evil on the march.
    Dear God! The Father Almighty we ask in the Name of Your Son Jesus Christ for your Divine Inspiration and Guidance in the exercise of our Free Will to choose leaders who understand your principals of good governance and instill in our hearts the courage and fortitude to stand with those who will return this nation to a state worthy of your blessings.
    The Americans

    • Ray

      Hope your moderation is fair, There are no bad words, vulger phrases or slurs. I just want to save our nation like millions of others.
      Sincerly Ray

  • Evelin Olívia Fróes

    Once again, few people realise emmigrating can be an option. Brazil is already the 6th economy of the world. Of course there’s still much to do to get a developed country, but Brazil is simply one of the BRICS! There are plenty of jobs opportunities for high skilled professionals such as engineers and IT experts in general for instance. Infrastructure work is needed mainly due to brand new oil fields discovered, 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Of course Portuguese is a must! I know USA was formed by settlers immigrants, so when life is a matter of survival I don’t see why being an expat where there’s plenty of opportunity wouldn’t be a great solution.

  • http://dermodernist.wordpress.com Simon

    It’s a miracle to me as a non-american, how middle or even working class americans can still vote republican.Maybe one has to be an american to understand why.

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