The Beginning Of The End
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34 Pieces Of Evidence That Prove That The Middle Class In America Is Rapidly Shrinking

Do you ever get the feeling that the middle class in America is shrinking?  Well, you are not imagining things.  A confluence of very troubling long-term economic trends has created an environment in which the middle class in America is being absolutely shredded.  Today, most American families would be absolutely thrilled if they could live as well as past generations did.  The dream of receiving a solid education, getting a good job, owning a beautiful home and enjoying the good things that America has to offer is increasingly becoming out of reach for a growing number of Americans.  The reality is that even though our population has grown, there are less jobs than there used to be.  A much higher percentage of the jobs that remain are low income jobs.  Millions of middle class American families are desperately trying to hang on as inflation far outpaces the growth of their paychecks.  Millions of others have fallen completely out of the middle class and are now totally dependent on the government for survival.  We once had the largest, most vibrant middle class in the history of the world, but now way too much unemployment, way too much inflation, way too much greed and way too much debt are all starting to catch up with us.  America is changing, and not for the better.

When most of us were growing up, we understood that there was an unspoken promise that if we got good grades, stayed out of trouble, worked really hard and did everything we were told to do, the system would reward us.

Well, today there are millions of Americans that have done all of those things but don’t have anything to show for it.

As large numbers of hard working people continue to fall out of the middle class, there is a growing sense that “the system” has betrayed us all.

Sadly, the truth is that the U.S. economy is dying.  The endless prosperity that we all enjoyed in the past is gone and it is never going to come back.

The following are 34 pieces of evidence that prove that the middle class in America is rapidly shrinking….

#1 In 1980, 52 percent of all jobs in the United States were middle income jobs.  Today, only 42 percent of all jobs are middle income jobs.

#2 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.

#3 Only 63.5 percent of all men in the United States had a job last month.  According to Bloomberg, that figure is “just slightly above the December 2009 nadir of 63.3%. These are the lowest numbers since 1948.”

#4 In 1969, 95 percent of all men between the ages of 25 and 54 had a job.  Last month, only 81.2 percent of men in that age group had a job.

#5 According to one recent survey, 64 percent of Americans would be forced to borrow money if they had an unexpected expense of $1000.

#6 The wealthiest 1% of all Americans now control 40 percent of all the wealth in this country.

#7 The poorest 50% of all Americans now control just 2.5% of all the wealth in this country.

#8 The wealthiest 1% of all Americans now own over 50% of all the stocks and bonds.

#9 According to the Washington Post, the average yearly income of the bottom 90 percent of all U.S. income earners is just $31,244.

#10 The average yearly income of the top 0.1% of all U.S. income earners is 5.6 million dollars.

#11 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.

#12 Only the top 5 percent of all U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.

#13 During this economic downturn, employee compensation in the United States has been the lowest that it has been relative to gross domestic product in over 50 years.

#14 According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, health care costs accounted for just 9.5% of all personal consumption back in 1980.  Today they account for approximately 16.3%.

#15 Total credit card debt in the United States is now more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.

#16 There are fewer payroll jobs in the United States today than there were back in 2000 even though we have added 30 million people to the population since then.

#17 Since the year 2000, we have lost approximately 10% of our 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.

#18 The competition for even the most basic jobs has become absolutely brutal.  Approximately 7 percent of all those that apply to get into Harvard are accepted.  At a recent “National Hiring Day” held by McDonald’s only about 6.2 percent of the one million Americans that applied for a job were hired.

#19 It now takes the average unemployed worker in America about 40 weeks to find a new job.

#20 According to a report released in February from the National Employment Law Project, higher wage industries are accounting for 40 percent of the job losses in America but only 14 percent of the job growth.  Lower wage industries are accounting for just 23 percent of the job losses but 49 percent of the job growth.

#21 Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.

#22 The cost of college tuition in the United States has gone up by over 900 percent since 1978.

#23 In the United States today, there are more than 100,000 janitors and more than 317,000 waiters and waitresses that have college degrees.

#24 17 million college graduates are doing jobs that do not even require a college degree.

#25 According to one recent survey, 36 percent of Americans say that they don’t contribute anything at all to retirement savings.

#26 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.

#27 As 2007 began, there were 26 million Americans on food stamps.  Today, there are more than 45 million Americans on food stamps, which is a new all-time record.

#28 The number of Americans on food stamps has increased 74% since 2007.

#29 Today, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

#30 In 1980, just 11.7% of all personal income came from government transfer payments.  Today, 18.4% of all personal income comes from government transfer payments.

#31 The number of Americans that are going to food pantries and soup kitchens has increased by 46% since 2006.

#32 One out of every six elderly Americans now lives below the federal poverty line.

#33 In the United States, over 20 percent of all children are now living in poverty.  In the UK and in France that figure is well under 10 percent.

#34 According to the Federal Reserve, the richest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

As the middle class continues to shrivel up and die, the number of desperate people is going to continue to grow.

In the past, I have written extensively about how many Americans are already becoming so desperate that they will do just about anything for money.

Well, here are a couple more examples….

One unemployed man down in the Phoenix area that had reportedly robbed 12 banks told police the following about why he did it….

“I rob to survive.”

As millions more Americans fall into poverty, we are going to see a lot more crime.

Most of these people are not going to commit crimes because they enjoy them.  Rather, they will be doing what they feel they need to do in order to survive.

Not all of the shady activity will be so violent.  Desperation comes out in different ways.  For example, there are now actually websites where women advertise their “services” to potential “sugar daddies” that will help them with college expenses or support them financially.

Hopefully those reading this article will never resort to those kinds of things.

Yes, things are going to be tough, but there are always good alternatives if you are willing to look hard enough for them.

If you really need a job right now, pay close attention to the next couple of points.  Good jobs are very hard to come by in most areas at the moment, so you may have to be willing to make some sacrifices if you are desperate.

According to Bloomberg, there is a substantial shortage of truck drivers across the nation right now.

Driving a truck is really hard work, and it would take you away from home for extended periods of time, but the pay is pretty good.

If you are desperate for a job, this is something that you may want to look into.  There really is a shortage of truck drivers, and a paycheck is a paycheck.

Also, there are reportedly lots of jobs up in North Dakota right now.  Thanks to the oil boom up there, money is flowing and job opportunities are plentiful.

Just check out the following excerpt from a recent CNBC article about the employment boom going on in North Dakota right now….

Unemployment is a national problem in the U.S., but you wouldn’t know that if you travel through North Dakota.

The state’s unemployment rate hovers around 3 percent, and “Help Wanted” signs litter the landscape of cities such as Williston in the same way “For Sale” signs populate the streets of Las Vegas.

“It’s a zoo,” said Terry Ayers, who drove into town from Spokane, Wash., slept in his truck, and found a job within hours of arrival, tripling his salary. “It’s crazy what’s going on out here.”

Yes, it is really, really cold up in North Dakota.  There is very little housing available in the boom areas and for most of you it would require some significant sacrifices to take a job up there.

But there really are lots of jobs available up in North Dakota.  If you are desperate, you may want to really consider looking into it.

Now for the bad news.  Unfortunately, it is looking increasingly likely that we could have another major financial crisis some time fairly soon.

As I wrote about yesterday, Europe is a financial nightmare right now.  I honestly do not see any way that they are going to be able to fix things.

Fear is seemingly everywhere in Europe right now.  A recent article in The Telegraph entitled “Market crash ‘could hit within weeks’, warn bankers” postulated that we could be on the verge of a horrifying repeat of the financial crisis of 2008….

“The problem is a shortage of liquidity – that is what is causing the problems with the banks. It feels exactly as it felt in 2008,” said one senior London-based bank executive.

“I think we are heading for a market shock in September or October that will match anything we have ever seen before,” said a senior credit banker at a major European bank.

So you might want to try to get whatever kind of a job that you can right now before the next wave of the financial crisis hits.

Dark clouds are gathering on the horizon and things do not look promising.  The coming economic storms are going to be very hard on the middle class in America.

The number of good jobs is going to continue to decline and our paychecks are going to get stretched tighter and tighter.

The “system” is not going to save you.

The “system” is failing.

You better get ready.

  • Steve

    Personal liberty and political freedom is always associated with a strong middle class….destroying this sector of society is crucial in Obama’s and the Progressive/Fascist’s goal of “…fundamentally transforming America…”.

    • D

      You are absolutely right. Without the middle class, it is easier to herd us in a controllable manner. This has been a plan in the making ever since WWII ended. Now we’re finally here.

      In regards to political sides, none of it matters. Obama, Bush, Clinton and most presidents before them were all puppets to the Elite (JFK wasn’t so much – which resulted in his assassinated). The Dems vs. Repubs fight is nothing more than a tactic to make citizens battle against each other. It distracts us from the real problems and puts blame solely on different political parties. It weakens the population – it is what they want.

    • Helix

      Obama? You think this started with Obama?

      And perhaps you should stop to meditate on the fact that before the Progressives came the Robber Barons. Think there’s any connection?

    • Helix

      Also, let’s see… fascism is the wedding of corporate and government structures in order to further advance the interests of corporations and their government allies to the detriment of the legitimate interests of the citizenry. Progressivism, on the other hand, advocates the use of government to affect reform, usually in protecting the rights of individuals or groups against the depredations of corporations. I guess I’m having touble seeing how progressivisn and fascism can go hand-in-hand, given that their view on the proper role of government is pretty much diametrically opposite.

      Or am I thinking too much?

      • 007

        Progressives …are just a rebrand of communist\socialists. They somehow believe that people can not even decide what type of tooth paste to use without governments help. They want government to intrude into every area of your life. They want to take away from everyone who dares to succeed in life and give to those that want to sit on their butts. The progressive philosophy is based on jealousy and covetousness which is why it is basically evil. The progressive will never admit that lack and want and poverty are often due, to some extent, caused by poor judgement, poor decisions, immoral behavior or a bad work ethic.

        Where are the progressives and facists the same? They both totally disrespect the individuals ability to run their own life. They both promise if one gives all of their freedoms to the government they will solve all their problems in life. They both try to create a scape goat to blame for everyone’s problems. With the Nazis it was the Jews. With the progressives it is the rich and the Tea Party. Both are an illusion and breed corruption based on false promises to cling to powrer. Both inevitably lead to disaster for those who consent to be governed by them.

        • bobbobbobbob

          u get a tooth ache. go to doctor who writes a perscription for medicine that costs $96 U dont have the money so u delay and get septis -blood poisoning- and die. u r a failed state. CHINA RULES U

        • Helix

          Gee, the only people who have ever tried to tell me what kind of toothpaste to use are the corporations who are selling it! But, hey, don’t let slow you down.

          Actually, most progressive policies that I’m aware of are designed to organize people so they can muster enough political clout to protect themselves from the corporati, who organize naturally around the profit motive. The sad fact of the matter is that individual rights have to be protected, and the most civilized way to do that is through political organization. The other way is through militant organization, but we’d usually rather resolve issues in a way that doesn’t invlove bloodshed.

          You and I agree that fascism is rife in America today. We just don’t agree on who’s in on it. Fascism is the melding of corporate and state power to further the interests of both. Gee, who’s left out of this equation? Oh, yeah! Me and you!

          You complain about money thrownb at society’s losers. Well, I agree that there’s a lot of abuse there. But I also recognize that the money wasted there is insignificant digits when compared to the siphoned off by the rich, the powerful, and the well-connected, who by some estimates have gouged the American public by perhaps $20 trillion dollars since September 2008. And you’re worried about unemployment benefits and food stamps?

          We have a society in which greed, corruption, and sloth are rife at nearly all levels. So while it might be convenient to blame “progressives”, the fact is that there’s plenty of blame to go ’round. And don’t call them fascists. Fascists, as you say, truly do disrespect individuals. From the fascist point of view, individuals are either factors of production or morks to separate from their money. Progressives, on the other hand, recognize that, without political power, the rights of individuals will be crushed by corporate and financial interests, and therefore understand that political organization is essential to protecting those rights.

      • McKinley Morganfield

        ‘Progressives’ and totalitarianism are and have always been bosom buddies. If you can name one right wing dictatorship other than Franco since 1800 I’ll give you $1,000 in silver. Hint: Hitler/Nazi were of the ‘left’ and do not qualify.

        • Gary2

          General Pinochet in Chile. How do you want to get my address to pay up?

          The perfect example of a right-wing dictatorship is any of those that once ruled in South America. Those regimes were predominantly military juntas and most of them collapsed in the 1980s.

          On 11 September 1973, Pinochet led a coup d’état which overthrew Allende’s democratically elected socialist government.

          The new government also implemented economic reforms, including the privatization of several state-controlled industries and the rollback of many state welfare institutions. These policies produced what has been referred to as the “miracle of Chile”, but the government policies dramatically increased economic inequality.

          Time to put your money where your mouth is.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusto_Pinochet

          • McKinley Morganfield

            Pinochet was definitely a strong man, but relative personal liberty (compared to say present day Venezuela) remained in Chile after his coup. There were no death squads, no mass imprisonments, no state control of the press, wikipedia or no wikipedia. Allende was leading the country into the one size fits all poverty of communism and his regime while not a dictatorship was as ‘repressive’ as Pinochet’s was ‘repressive’.

          • Gary2

            you are wrong. Pay up…How do you want to send me the money??/Or are you another fox news parrot.

          • Gary2

            Typical right wing libertarian-all talk, no action.

        • Gary2

          Hey-where is my money. You are a typical right wing nut. Big hat, no cattle…

          Lying sack of ***

    • http://lastdayrapture.blogspot.com/ TK

      Good Point Steve!

  • chancery

    I blame unions for a lot of our problems. These greedy bums demanded so much money per hour for their labor, that all the steel, car, and other manufacturers just moved the hell away. Now, they still have the gall to force more companies to the wall. What a bunch of spoiled, dumb losers. They killed the goose that laid the golden egg!

    • Nexus789

      There are so many stupid people in the US like you. Did you not read the article where it outlines the fact that a small percentage of the population owns the vast majority of wealth. Who do you think is shipping all the jobs and manufacturing facilities off shore? It is not Unions. Labour rates per hour do not matter if capital is investing in new equipment and products – this is why Germans still earn high rates per hour in manufacturing roles and many people in the US are distributing other countries products and flipping burgers. US transnationals have decided to trash the US population and take away your living standards.

      • Prepping for the Future

        I have a real good memory when the NAFTA and GATT Billy Bob Clinton plan to destroy America that allow US transnationals TO get tax breaks moving overseas the useless UNIONS support him in getting NAFTA and GATT passed. But as said many times neither side in the District of Criminals is helping Americans.

    • McKinley Morganfield

      chancery,

      Except for public service workers and employees of small businesses, it is fine in my opinion for labor to seek (not necessarily obtain) collective bargaining. Has the process been abused? Yes. Have some unions become extremely corrupt? Yes. Have some unions ended up as you say killing the golden goose? Yes. But that does not mean the concept is entirely wrong even if we have examples of the damage some unions have wrecked. Like almost everything under the sun, collective bargaining can be terribly abused and can also provide fairness in the relationships between labor and management.

  • Kevin2

    I started in the industrialized workforce in the mid 1970s and from that point on the layoff man chased me around until I retired thirty years later. He never caught me but a lot of my friends were not as fortunate. The evisceration of the middle class might have accelerated in the past decade but it damn sure started several decades ago and picked up speed along the way. The decline dampened and masked with debt only to increase in rate at a later date.

  • Darren

    As we approach the next financial nightmare a prophetic quote comes to mind. Abe Lincoln said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
    Our system has become corrupt (Goverment, Banks, Collage System, Medical, etc.)from top to bottom. Greed has done us in.
    Thank you summarizing what has happen to our once great nation.

    • liberranter

      Abe Lincoln said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

      Indeed, and it was Dishonest Abe that kicked off the trend by making himself Amerika’s first dictator president, setting the precedent for all of the abuse we see coming out of Rome-on-the-Potomac today.

  • http://myadventuresinselfreliance.blogspot.com/ Jamie

    Life is going to get hard. All you can do is the best you can. If you have woken up, it will be harder for you as you can see what’s comming and can’t ignore it. The sheep will ignore anything outside the reality they have created.It’s not to late to get prepared. It maybe a bit more expesive. Hell if it was easy everyone would do it.

  • Kevin2

    Chancery

    You said, “I blame unions for a lot of our problems. These greedy bums demanded so much money per hour for their labor, that all the steel, car, and other manufacturers just moved the hell away.”

    Personally I’m happy unions like the US Steelworkers made top wages. Their jobs we’re going to third world slave labor regardless. How do I know this? Because the traditionally non union low paying US textile industry went to Asia to employ 50 cent / hr slave labor. If you made $10 /hr or $50 / hr it made no difference when you can be replaced with 50 cent per hour labor devoid of any civilized safety regulations.

    • 007

      And what happened to all those steel companies? Bankrupt. They just sucked the life out of them. The parasite will never accept it is killing the host.

  • Mark

    Alot of this problem is caused by personal and government debt. The way that you gain wealth is to live below your means. This is a sucessful formula for the government or yourself. I am not patting myself on the back or any such thing. Living below our means has worked for us over the years. We do not have credit card debt that is not paid off each month in full. If we can’t pay for it we do not buy it.
    Real wages have not increased for many years. Most middle class wages have to compete with wages paid over seas, so there is not going to be much growth there. In #12 shows where the best investment over time was, real estate. I have always felt that this is where the common joe could come out ahead over the long term. With stocks the rich take theirs first and you get what’s left. In #16 health care costs have gone up with more tech and a lot more greed on the part of all involved in the field. From product makers to lawyers, the greed is there. #15 is so true. #22 is true and the left runs the education system. All they ever say is not enough is spent on education. Most of the cash goes to their over paid wages and pensions. I guess it has been great to be in the government class. In #23 you need to know which subject all of these folks have their degrees in. How many are in art,social services, anthropology or other hobbies. In #24 many of our employers want to see if you can complete something. It used to be something to complete high school. The left has made high school a joke since we have to be fair and let everyone win , even if they do not earn it. In #25 what did I say about living below your means. In #26 -#30 shows that socialism does not work. We have trained folks to demand more without woking for it. In #32 is the result of depending the government for your retirement. Social Security was just to buy some extra food and not meant to be your sole support. Also families need to step up to the plate and take care of their own parents and not dump them off onto the taxpayers backs. Many are just selfish with their time and money. In #34 I feel that all the bailouts have helped out the rich that took too much risk. They should have lost their wealth and not put their poor choices on the backs of the taxpayers. The banksters should have gone away, instead they were saved to screw us all again.

    • Gary2

      This is spelled a lot, it is 2 words and not one word. I can not believe how many top level people do not know this.

      Mark I in no way am taking away from wehat you say, however, it is a pet peeve of mine when people make this grammitivcal error.

      it is A LOT,2 WORDS AND NOT ALOT ONE WORD

      • Gary2

        And look at me, I misspelled grammatical. I guess I should not throw stones in a glass house. :)

  • McKinley Morganfield

    I can not see a clear way forward. Its going to be messy, frightening, and brutal. The political class is clueless, the movers and shakers are living in a fantasy world believing that they are somehow above the fray (they are not), and somewhere around 80+% of the people are uninformed and unprepared to deal with a catastrophic depression. Times will get much worse before they will slowly begin to improve. All improvement will be on a local basis. Get to know your neighbors because you can not survive on your own unless you live hundreds of miles from the nearest cell phone tower.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/zedgehero Zedge Hero

    The Federal Reserve just gave 16 trillion in loans, 3 trillion to foreign banks. Here is a video detailing.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/zedgehero?feature=mhee

  • pranah

    The planet has passed Peak Oil (in 2006) and we will have less oil available every year, which will sooner or later translate into more expensive gasoline and much higher costs of moving goods and people from one side of the country to the other. Air travel and trucking will be sure to take serious hits. Given these likely developments, I’d think hard before laying out money and time to become a trucker…just saying.

  • http://theeconomiccollapseblog Leonard

    My grandparents were immigrants. If they woke up from the grave and I showed them this article about the collapse of the middle class, among many other articles, they would have thought that I was insane.
    Amazingly enough my living parents who are retired don’t believe this either! They don’t look into it that much, and they refuse to listen to bad news.
    The collapse of the middle class isn’t just bad news, it’s unbelievable!

    • D

      Bread and circus keep us docile.

  • Michael

    I’m a former IT guy and lost my full time job years ago. I found consulting work, but the contract kept getting fewer and farther between. Then I heard the health care field was booming, so I got my EMT (emergency medical technician) certificate last May. I had a few interviews, but no job as there are hundreds of applicants for the few positions being offered and you basically have to wait in line.

    I’m 38 and live with my mom. It’s depressing, but I know things could be a lot worse. Maybe I’ll take your advise and check out trucking or SD.

    • Michael

      North Dakota is really, really, really cold but there are jobs up there.

      Michael

      • Brandy

        That is true I have friends moving to ND from Colorado because they have a lot of jobs there. If you can stand the cold then I would say go…

    • McKinley Morganfield

      Beyond Michael’s point about ND; there are job in SD, WYO, NE, and IA. We’re holding our heads above water in this region.

    • Jeremy

      Hey Michael, I am praying for you. Don’t think you are the only one. Remember, in most situations in history the children who would go to school and find jobs would have to return home because of an illness in the family, trouble in the business, etc. Also, 85% of 2009-2011 college graduates are now living with their parents.

      • Michael

        Thank you for your prayers. Life has been so hectic for me lately, but I have nothing to complain about. My little problems are absolutely nothing compared to the very deep suffering that tens of millions of Americans are going through right now.

        Michael

  • beccon

    Be careful whom you believe! Texts like this are always written by socialists. The socialist agenda is to make believe that the “middle class” is dried out while the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

    So “Big Daddy Government”(*) should step in in a Robin Hood manner – take it from the rich – give it to the poor (while keeping a growing share for its own mushrooming bureaucracy, controlling more and more of our daily lives)

    Happy America! Until now you could resist – at least partially. In Europe, tax rates for a middle class household can easily reach 50% and more. From January till end of June you work for the government – the rest of the year for yourself and your family. (I think, for me, it’s end of July – better not calculate to avoid terrorist thoughts)

    Government propaganda through state media made people believe that this is the way it is and the cost for not living in “American circumstances” (really – thats what they say – according tho them, in the USA where there is rampant shooting by the disadvantaged all over every day. :-) Thats partially because 50% of the TV here in Germany is state run – you have to be a party member to get a job there. Many newspapers are owned by a political party. So they write what the party wants them to.

    And (*) many Germans refer to their state as “Vater Staat” = “Big daddy state/government”. Dont’t expect initiative to change their own lives from them. If the number of people dependent on government subsidies grows > 50%, democracy is lost. Some german cities – including our capital Berlin have reached this point long ago. This is The End.

    So who are the “rich” who control all the wealth:
    – industrials: people and families who have companies. They have intrinsic value (know how, market access, machinery, real estate) – the government can take it from them and nationalize it, give it to the poor, provide jobs for the disadvantaged. What happens then? I have seen it in the Workers and Peasants paradiese – Eastern Germany where I had the pleasure to live for my first 20 years.They had to fence it in with automatic shooting devices and land mines in to prevent people leaving their Paradise.

    – investors – hey – they buy all the bonds the government is paying projects for to distribute the money among its voters. (who says anything against the carricature of a Latin American candidate in the 80ies – distributing money in shanty towns to by votes – use Tax payers money for it by welfare cheques is the sofisticated version of it. )

    You can argue that more people depending on “social= government” redistribution programs because poverty increases. More likely government spending had increased and access to these programs is easier than it used to be… If you define poverty by “earning less than 50% of average” (as our government does) – it can never be overcome – just by mathematical definition.

    America will survive – and so its middle class – despite of all patholes and bumbs ahead. As long as you manage to stay away from the government drug/dole dealers.

    Greetings from Germany
    beccon.

    • Michael

      Beccon:

      I am absolutely not a socialist.

      Michael

      • 007

        I know you are not a socialist and you were just pointing out a fact. The question is why is their such a wealth disparity? A symptom of something else wrong or the problem? A critical issue for debate.

        However, as I read your article. All I could think is that this will be Gary2’s favorite article of the year.

        • Michael

          What we really need to do is to decentralize economic power by moving from “corporatism” back to a much purer form of real “capitalism”.

          Michael

          • liberranter

            Thank you, Michael. The distinction between “[state] corporatism” and “capitalism,” the former so often mistaken for the latter, cannot be overemphasized or too often repeated.

          • Fed Up

            Yes, this is what Ron Paul keeps saying: What we have IS NOT capitalism, but corporatism.

      • Gary2

        Mike-welcome to the club. I always knew you were one of us socialists.

        Socialist and a proud American.

        Bernie Sanders for President.

    • 007

      Great points. I wondered how Germany continued to function given it’s strong socialist programs. I wondered why its economy had not ground to a halt and drowned in debt. Then i read today their economy is stalled. Bet it’s going down for the count this time.

      Socialist governments always try to convince everyone that they can not live their lives and make adult decisions without it’s help. That they can not be safe without government to protect them from everything. For the governments service they will only require virtually everything you make. What a scam.

      Truth is life will naturally moves along as a grand parade. The socialists just try to run in front of the parade and convince everyone it couldn’t happen without them. Eventually, their corruption and incompetence ruins the parade.

      What a pathetic philosophy!

      • Gary2

        Norway, Sweden, Denmark???socialist and doing better than the USA by far.

    • 99er

      Snyder a socialist? You must be new here. Try to keep up.

    • zedgehero

      Albert Einstein wrote the following article that was originally published in the first issue of Monthly Review (May 1949)

      Is it advisable for one who is not an expert on economic and social issues to express views on the subject of socialism? I believe for a number of reasons that it is.

      Let us first consider the question from the point of view of scientific knowledge. It might appear that there are no essential methodological differences between astronomy and economics: scientists in both fields attempt to discover laws of general acceptability for a circumscribed group of phenomena in order to make the interconnection of these phenomena as clearly understandable as possible. But in reality such methodological differences do exist. The discovery of general laws in the field of economics is made difficult by the circumstance that observed economic phenomena are often affected by many factors which are very hard to evaluate separately. In addition, the experience which has accumulated since the beginning of the so-called civilized period of human history has—as is well known—been largely influenced and limited by causes which are by no means exclusively economic in nature. For example, most of the major states of history owed their existence to conquest. The conquering peoples established themselves, legally and economically, as the privileged class of the conquered country. They seized for themselves a monopoly of the land ownership and appointed a priesthood from among their own ranks. The priests, in control of education, made the class division of society into a permanent institution and created a system of values by which the people were thenceforth, to a large extent unconsciously, guided in their social behavior.

      But historic tradition is, so to speak, of yesterday; nowhere have we really overcome what Thorstein Veblen called “the predatory phase” of human development. The observable economic facts belong to that phase and even such laws as we can derive from them are not applicable to other phases. Since the real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development, economic science in its present state can throw little light on the socialist society of the future.

      Second, socialism is directed towards a social-ethical end. Science, however, cannot create ends and, even less, instill them in human beings; science, at most, can supply the means by which to attain certain ends. But the ends themselves are conceived by personalities with lofty ethical ideals and—if these ends are not stillborn, but vital and vigorous—are adopted and carried forward by those many human beings who, half unconsciously, determine the slow evolution of society.

      For these reasons, we should be on our guard not to overestimate science and scientific methods when it is a question of human problems; and we should not assume that experts are the only ones who have a right to express themselves on questions affecting the organization of society.

      Innumerable voices have been asserting for some time now that human society is passing through a crisis, that its stability has been gravely shattered. It is characteristic of such a situation that individuals feel indifferent or even hostile toward the group, small or large, to which they belong. In order to illustrate my meaning, let me record here a personal experience. I recently discussed with an intelligent and well-disposed man the threat of another war, which in my opinion would seriously endanger the existence of mankind, and I remarked that only a supra-national organization would offer protection from that danger. Thereupon my visitor, very calmly and coolly, said to me: “Why are you so deeply opposed to the disappearance of the human race?”

      I am sure that as little as a century ago no one would have so lightly made a statement of this kind. It is the statement of a man who has striven in vain to attain an equilibrium within himself and has more or less lost hope of succeeding. It is the expression of a painful solitude and isolation from which so many people are suffering in these days. What is the cause? Is there a way out?

      It is easy to raise such questions, but difficult to answer them with any degree of assurance. I must try, however, as best I can, although I am very conscious of the fact that our feelings and strivings are often contradictory and obscure and that they cannot be expressed in easy and simple formulas.

      Man is, at one and the same time, a solitary being and a social being. As a solitary being, he attempts to protect his own existence and that of those who are closest to him, to satisfy his personal desires, and to develop his innate abilities. As a social being, he seeks to gain the recognition and affection of his fellow human beings, to share in their pleasures, to comfort them in their sorrows, and to improve their conditions of life. Only the existence of these varied, frequently conflicting, strivings accounts for the special character of a man, and their specific combination determines the extent to which an individual can achieve an inner equilibrium and can contribute to the well-being of society. It is quite possible that the relative strength of these two drives is, in the main, fixed by inheritance. But the personality that finally emerges is largely formed by the environment in which a man happens to find himself during his development, by the structure of the society in which he grows up, by the tradition of that society, and by its appraisal of particular types of behavior. The abstract concept “society” means to the individual human being the sum total of his direct and indirect relations to his contemporaries and to all the people of earlier generations. The individual is able to think, feel, strive, and work by himself; but he depends so much upon society—in his physical, intellectual, and emotional existence—that it is impossible to think of him, or to understand him, outside the framework of society. It is “society” which provides man with food, clothing, a home, the tools of work, language, the forms of thought, and most of the content of thought; his life is made possible through the labor and the accomplishments of the many millions past and present who are all hidden behind the small word “society.”

      It is evident, therefore, that the dependence of the individual upon society is a fact of nature which cannot be abolished—just as in the case of ants and bees. However, while the whole life process of ants and bees is fixed down to the smallest detail by rigid, hereditary instincts, the social pattern and interrelationships of human beings are very variable and susceptible to change. Memory, the capacity to make new combinations, the gift of oral communication have made possible developments among human being which are not dictated by biological necessities. Such developments manifest themselves in traditions, institutions, and organizations; in literature; in scientific and engineering accomplishments; in works of art. This explains how it happens that, in a certain sense, man can influence his life through his own conduct, and that in this process conscious thinking and wanting can play a part.

      Man acquires at birth, through heredity, a biological constitution which we must consider fixed and unalterable, including the natural urges which are characteristic of the human species. In addition, during his lifetime, he acquires a cultural constitution which he adopts from society through communication and through many other types of influences. It is this cultural constitution which, with the passage of time, is subject to change and which determines to a very large extent the relationship between the individual and society. Modern anthropology has taught us, through comparative investigation of so-called primitive cultures, that the social behavior of human beings may differ greatly, depending upon prevailing cultural patterns and the types of organization which predominate in society. It is on this that those who are striving to improve the lot of man may ground their hopes: human beings are not condemned, because of their biological constitution, to annihilate each other or to be at the mercy of a cruel, self-inflicted fate.

      If we ask ourselves how the structure of society and the cultural attitude of man should be changed in order to make human life as satisfying as possible, we should constantly be conscious of the fact that there are certain conditions which we are unable to modify. As mentioned before, the biological nature of man is, for all practical purposes, not subject to change. Furthermore, technological and demographic developments of the last few centuries have created conditions which are here to stay. In relatively densely settled populations with the goods which are indispensable to their continued existence, an extreme division of labor and a highly-centralized productive apparatus are absolutely necessary. The time—which, looking back, seems so idyllic—is gone forever when individuals or relatively small groups could be completely self-sufficient. It is only a slight exaggeration to say that mankind constitutes even now a planetary community of production and consumption.

      I have now reached the point where I may indicate briefly what to me constitutes the essence of the crisis of our time. It concerns the relationship of the individual to society. The individual has become more conscious than ever of his dependence upon society. But he does not experience this dependence as a positive asset, as an organic tie, as a protective force, but rather as a threat to his natural rights, or even to his economic existence. Moreover, his position in society is such that the egotistical drives of his make-up are constantly being accentuated, while his social drives, which are by nature weaker, progressively deteriorate. All human beings, whatever their position in society, are suffering from this process of deterioration. Unknowingly prisoners of their own egotism, they feel insecure, lonely, and deprived of the naive, simple, and unsophisticated enjoyment of life. Man can find meaning in life, short and perilous as it is, only through devoting himself to society.

      The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor—not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules. In this respect, it is important to realize that the means of production—that is to say, the entire productive capacity that is needed for producing consumer goods as well as additional capital goods—may legally be, and for the most part are, the private property of individuals.

      For the sake of simplicity, in the discussion that follows I shall call “workers” all those who do not share in the ownership of the means of production—although this does not quite correspond to the customary use of the term. The owner of the means of production is in a position to purchase the labor power of the worker. By using the means of production, the worker produces new goods which become the property of the capitalist. The essential point about this process is the relation between what the worker produces and what he is paid, both measured in terms of real value. Insofar as the labor contract is “free,” what the worker receives is determined not by the real value of the goods he produces, but by his minimum needs and by the capitalists’ requirements for labor power in relation to the number of workers competing for jobs. It is important to understand that even in theory the payment of the worker is not determined by the value of his product.

      Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.

      The situation prevailing in an economy based on the private ownership of capital is thus characterized by two main principles: first, means of production (capital) are privately owned and the owners dispose of them as they see fit; second, the labor contract is free. Of course, there is no such thing as a pure capitalist society in this sense. In particular, it should be noted that the workers, through long and bitter political struggles, have succeeded in securing a somewhat improved form of the “free labor contract” for certain categories of workers. But taken as a whole, the present day economy does not differ much from “pure” capitalism.

      Production is carried on for profit, not for use. There is no provision that all those able and willing to work will always be in a position to find employment; an “army of unemployed” almost always exists. The worker is constantly in fear of losing his job. Since unemployed and poorly paid workers do not provide a profitable market, the production of consumers’ goods is restricted, and great hardship is the consequence. Technological progress frequently results in more unemployment rather than in an easing of the burden of work for all. The profit motive, in conjunction with competition among capitalists, is responsible for an instability in the accumulation and utilization of capital which leads to increasingly severe depressions. Unlimited competition leads to a huge waste of labor, and to that crippling of the social consciousness of individuals which I mentioned before.

      This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.

      I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child. The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society.

      Nevertheless, it is necessary to remember that a planned economy is not yet socialism. A planned economy as such may be accompanied by the complete enslavement of the individual. The achievement of socialism requires the solution of some extremely difficult socio-political problems: how is it possible, in view of the far-reaching centralization of political and economic power, to prevent bureaucracy from becoming all-powerful and overweening? How can the rights of the individual be protected and therewith a democratic counterweight to the power of bureaucracy be assured?

      Clarity about the aims and problems of socialism is of greatest significance in our age of transition. Since, under present circumstances, free and unhindered discussion of these problems has come under a powerful taboo, I consider the foundation of this magazine to be an important public service.

      Albert Einstein

      I’m a socialist. Why? because it’s either socialism for us or socialism for the rich. Just ask Bernie Sanders (I-VT) quote

      “”As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world,” said Sanders. “This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.”

      I never thought I would be a socialist, but then I realized it’s us or them.
      So anyone who says they don’t want socialism, no problem, the rich will be happy to take that from you, whoops they already have. WAKE UP!

      Sorry for such a long post, but you really can’t argue against Einstein.

      http://www.youtube.com/user/zedgehero

  • DM

    There are 3 ways that God judges the wicked–famine, pestilence and the sword. When the 1% start dying from incurable diseases or are destroyed financially, or are attacked and killed in strange acts of violence, then justice will be done.

    God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. However, God is not mocked. God will plunder those who plunder the poor. The reason the middle class is disappearing is plundering by the top 1%. God will judge that plundering.

    The argument posed by those in power is that as the rick get richer then middle and lower classes prosper or “trickle down” economics which is true if the wealthy use their wealth responsibly by hiring more workers. However, if the wealthy use their wealth to hire more workers in other countries, bribe or coerce politicians to allow predatory business practices then trickle down economics does not work.

    The warning to the top 1% is to stop the madness by changing their behavior. How much money is enough? How much does a dividend have to increase before it becomes excessive? How much does the price of a stock have to increase before it becomes evil? 100%, 500%, 10,000% increase?

    When does anyone in government, media, business, education, or religion say the profits of these companies is too much? Their profitability is destroying lives, families, cities, states and our nation. There has to be balance.

  • http://lnx-bsp.net/ Tel

    The “system” is not going to save you.
    The “system” is failing.

    There was a song called “Power and Freedom” by Iggy Pop, and it went a bit like:

    The loneliness will craze you.

    No one cool will save you.

    The system is built to waste you.

    You want power?

    You want freedom?

    That song is about 20 years old now, and nothing has changed. We have just marched a bit closer to the edge, but the band keeps playing the same tune. The punks explained what was wrong, and no one listened.

  • karen

    I don’t like to say this but after Irene has finished and has gone there will be lots of work as clean-up and rebuliding. Guys around here in Florida wait for hurricans because they know there will be work.

    • McKinley Morganfield

      Destruction does not produce a net gain in the economy. It simply transfers wealth from one pocket to another pocket.

      • Highspeed

        True, but there are a lot of empty pockets out there. There is a guy here in NC who has a whole fleet of trucks he sends to disaster areas. He made a killing after Katrina. Not only does he haul away the aftermath, much of the metal is sold for scrap.

    • liberranter

      AAARRGH! Yet another benighted soul regurgitating the broken window fallacy.

  • http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/02/real-revolution.html Anon

    Naming Names: Your Real Government (When dark deeds unfold, point the finger in this direction).
    by Tony Cartalucci
    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/03/naming-names-your-real-government.html

    The Real Revolution
    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/02/real-revolution.html
    “Boycott the globalists, cut off their support, undermine their system, and they lose their ability to commit these atrocities. That will be a real revolution and it can start today. Not burning cities and masked rebels waving flags, but communities no longer dependent and fueling a corrupt system we all know must come to an end.”

  • http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/02/real-revolution.html Anon

    What can Americans do to fight the New World Order?

    1. Turn off your T.V. (Better yet,throw it away)
    2. Think for yourself.
    3. Question all so-called ‘Authority’(Especially big banks,big oil,big weapons manufacturers,big government,multinational corporate interests,big media,and anything you were taught in school)!
    4. Get out,and/or stay out,of debt! (Try to not charge for things that you can just as easily pay for,with cash)
    5. Use cash as much as possible,rather than debit cards and/or credit cards,which allow companies to track what you are buying,and where you are buying.
    6. Get rid of grocery store ‘discount’cards –grocery stores provide this information to insurance companies.
    7. Bank at a Credit Union,or any alternative to the ‘Too-Big-To-Fail’Banks,that participated in the 2008 Banker Bailout. Don’t do business with ‘the Beast’.
    8. Invest as much as you reasonably can in precious metals –especially silver,and gold.
    9. You have the right to own a firearm,to protect yourself,and your family. Read the 2nd Amendment.
    10. Buy products that indicate “Made in America”–whenever possible. You’d be surprised to find out how many necessary,practical,every day products are still “Made in America”!
    11. Buy food at a local Farmer’s Market
    12. Start your own garden
    13. Meditate –reduce your stress!
    14. Get exercise!
    15. Read a book (here is an excellent book to read:Psychological Warfare and the New World Order:The Secret War Against the American People
    http://www.amazon.com/Psychological-Warfare-New-World-Order/dp/0932367232/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310394551&sr=8-1 )
    16. Listen to soothing classical,jazz,ambient,or alternative music
    17. Watch ‘Freedom to Fascism’–a film by Aaron Russo (can be found here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUpZhhbKUBo)
    18. Watch ‘Why We Fight’–a film by Eugene Jarecki
    (can be found here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…r_embedded)
    19. Watch ‘Endgame’–a film by Alex Jones (can be found here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-CrNlilZho)
    20. Below is advice from John Perkins’book,entitled THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE (The Truth About Economic Hit Men,Jackals,And How To Change The World),pp. 322-329.

    “AVOID SHOPPING AS ‘RETAIL THERAPY’
    (Instead,jog,meditate,read,or find some other solution).
    SHOP CONSCIOUSLY –if there is something you must have,purchase items whose packaging,ingredients,and methods of production are sustainable and support life.
    MAKE EVERYTHING YOU OWN LAST AS LONG AS POSSIBLE PURCHASE AT CONSIGNMENT AND THRIFT STORES –where everything is recycled.
    Write letters telling Monsanto,De Beers,ExxonMobil,Adidas,Ford,GE,Coca-Cola,WALMART,and other labor exploiters and environment destroyers
    why you refuse to purchase from them.
    CUT BACK ON OIL AND GAS CONSUMPTION!
    DOWNSIZE (your car,home,wardrobe) –everything in your life (and don’t buy what you don’t need) SUPPORT/SEND MONEY only to non-profits,radio stations,and other organizations that promote JUST causes.
    VOLUNTEER your time and energy to such organizations.
    SUPPORT LOCAL MERCHANTS
    ENCOURAGE stores to buy from local growers,producers,and suppliers.
    Shop at your LOCAL FARMERS’MARKET
    AVOID DRINKING WATER THAT IS FLUORIDATED (only your toothpaste should have non-industrial fluoride)
    INSIST that those who use your money –banks,pensions,mutual funds,companies –make socially and environmentally responsible investments.”
    21. Better yet –invest in precious metals (silver/gold).
    22. Research every company whose products or services you buy
    23. Research every organization to which you donate your hard-earned money
    24. Vote with your dollars!
    25. Watch ‘The Secret of Oz’–a film by William T. Still (can be found here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swkq2E8mswI)
    26. Get prepared for when the U.S. dollar TOTALLY COLLAPSES,and loses it’s place,as the world’s sole reserve currency. The ‘globalists’(European Central Bankers,like the Rothschilds,and the Rockefellers,as well) are planning to reduce the American Middle Class to the status of the Third World poor. That is,they are going to wipe out the American ‘Middle Class’. That is why they shipped our jobs overseas. That is why they engineered the current economic ‘downturn’. That is why no bankers have gone to jail,over their financial crimes –they are immune. There is no ‘justice’in this system. It is owned,and operated by European Central Bankers,and their Allies in London,in Frankfurt,and on Wall St.
    27. Did I mention invest in silver (and gold)?
    28. Global,non-violent,NON-COMPLIANCE is the answer,of We the Plebs,to the ‘elite’New World Order!
    29. Find alternatives to EVERYTHING that they’ve set up,to entrap you in THEIR system. (Become a serious ‘prepper’)
    30. What would happen if 200 MILLION AMERICANS refused to pay their taxes,in 2012? (Just a hypothetical question)
    31. Familiarize yourself with the concept of BOYCOTT
    32. Corporate Membership in the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations):
    http://www.cfr.org/about/corporate/roster.html
    33. Don’t ever join a ‘secret’society.

    Expand the above list,and share it with everyone you know!

    • McKinley Morganfield

      I like your list. Basically, think and act locally; that is the new wave.

  • http://www.placeofrefuge2012.com Sheila

    Destroying the middle class is their plan and it seems to be working real well.

    Even here in the wilderness of New Mexico when we go to town ( a 50 mile ride) we see things are not what they use to be. People are suffering, could be karma.

    I guess if you don’t cry foul when the government decides to invade Iraq with a pack lies or invade Afghanistan with lies or Libya or Yemen etc etc etc etc etc etc and rationalize that its for cheap oil and our way of life you have debts to be paid!

    If they (our government) will kill and murder innocent children for MONEY then thinking that they won’t do that to you is very naive!

    Its sorta like being surprised that your wife cheated on you went you met her she was cheating on her last husband.

    http://www.placeofrefuge2012.com

  • http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/02/real-revolution.html Anon

    [Central] Bankers Destroy Global Economy by Design to Consolidate Power
    http://www.truthistreason.net/bankers-destroy-global-economy-by-design-to-consolidate-power

  • http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/02/real-revolution.html Anon

    SURVIVAL CHECKLIST
    Think: “No electricity, no running water”
    Think: “Made in USA”
    Think: “Solar powered” or “Hand-crank” (for cloudy days)
    Think: “Prepared for any weather, any environment, any situation”

    I’ve included some links, just as EXAMPLES – I think it’s good to do
    a little research, find the best quality and price – and Buy American-
    made, as much as possible…

    1) Food is second to water, and never forget it. WATER. Rationing is a
    must for both Water and Food.
    – Make sure you have one pot dedicated to boiling water.
    – Water purification tablets will work, but be sure to follow directions.
    – A small water purification unit works as well as boiling does.
    – If in your home, and have no running water – there are “Dolphin air2water” devices (http://www.air2water.net/products.html) that extract drinking water right out of the air. As a last resort – you can drink water right out of the toilet “tank”. Be careful of mold around fixtures. One tank of water should last for approx. 2 days for 2 people. In the greater outdoors – find a way to collect (and purify?) rainwater…
    – “Air2water” devices need to be kept sanitary/clean, before use, as well, to avoid ingesting any mold!

    2) FOOD. Dry or Freeze Dried food is best.
    – Mountain House is a popular brand for storeable canned food items.
    – Get a couple boxes of MREs. They are great sources of calories and
    one meal can last for 2-3 days. (A person CAN survive for 3-4 weeks
    without food – not recommended – but, no two people are exactly, the same.) Ration as or where possible.
    – Get a good book on edible plants (native to the region you’ll be ‘exploring’).
    – Some foods may be eaten raw, however, cooking is always preferred.
    Refrain from eating pork, chicken, or ground beef, raw. Some suggest
    using a small Coleman stove/grill that is powered by a small propane
    tank. My only question is – what will you do, when you run out of small
    propane tanks? (http://www.solarovens.net/) No fuel needed, except Sun-light! Remember, it won’t be bright and sunny every day, so have an alternative for those days. Insects and larvae are a source of protein. One rule of thumb: if you can’t identify it – don’t eat it. Some insects can make you very sick, and/or kill you.
    – If you are the game-hunter-type: Get a book on field-dressing animals.
    – Salt.

    3) First Aid Kit. Be sure to have a ‘top notch’ first aid kit.
    – It should contain sterile bandages, anti-biotic cream, burn cream, anti-bacterial wipes, insect repellant (citronella is a good, natural anti-wood-tick/deer-tick item), or NEEM oil repellant, insect bite (and/or snake bite) kit, aspirin or non-aspirin (acetominophen), sewing kit/thread/needles, sharp scissors, etc. Get a knife/scissors blade-sharpener.
    – Make sure you have at least 60 days of vital, necessary medicines (such
    as insulin, or aspirin, etc.), and/or vitamin supplements.
    – Get a good book on home remedies.

    4) Toiletries: toothpaste, toothbrush, shaver, shave cream/soap, anti-bacterial soap, deoderant, shampoo, haircut scissors, comb, skin lotion, lip balm, sunscreen, etc.
    __________
    Also: Think hearing protection, safety/sun glasses, N95 or similar (respiratory) masks.

    5) Clothing.
    – Be sure to have both warm, and cold weather gear.
    – Be sure to have rain-waterproof gear. (Boots, gloves, rain-suit w/hoodie, etc.)
    – Durable, and long-lasting clothing is best, especially in terms of work boots, jeans, shirts. (I like Duluth Trading Co. – most of their stuff is imported, though :~(
    http://www.duluthtrading.com/store/clothes-workwear/mens/mens-pants/86125.aspx
    http://www.duluthtrading.com/store/clothes-workwear/mens/mens-pants/work-pants-for-men/work-pants-for-men.aspx?feature=P9395-C78057-L2&processor=content
    – Sewing kit, 35mm film case, with extra boot/shoe laces.
    – Waterproof/rain-proof poncho(s).

    6) Shelter.
    – Obviously, a durable water/rain-proof tent, large enough to house the
    required number of people, and sturdy enough to withstand high winds, rain. ‘Bath-tub’ bottom, separate ‘rainfly’, aluminum poles.

    7) Bedding and linen.
    – Make sure your bed is OFF the ground (ie, cot with mat, and sleeping bag, or air mattress, bed-stand, or hammock, etc.)
    – make sure you have a safe, effective way to clean your clothes and
    bedding/linen. This prevents ‘bed-bugs’, insect infestation and/or disease.

    8) Lighting.
    – Some say propane lanterns are best. I say solar-powered or hand-crank lanterns are best.
    The more self-reliant you can be, the better. I wouldn’t rely on propane…
    – Flashlight(s). An absolute necessity, when there’s a power failure, during
    a storm, or electrical outage. A durable, aircraft-grade aluminum LED flash- light, with long-lasting (common-sized) batteries, is recommended. Also, a hand-crank flashlight, or a shake-light flashlight is handy. With all
    battery-powered tools, re-chargeable batteries are the key. You have to
    have an alternate source of power, to re-charge your re-chargeable batteries. (Solar-powered battery-chargers, is one example: http://www.ccrane.com/more-categories/batteries-chargers/solar-powered-battery-charger.aspx). Also, a ‘tactical’ flash-light, that has a dis-orienting ‘strobe’ effect feature, is good for self-defense.
    http://www.opticsplanet.net/beamshot-td4-led-240-lumen-led-torch-strobe-and-dimmer.html
    http://beamshot.com/tactical_light_pd3.html
    – Having said all of that (about flashlights) – a ‘head-lamp’ is even better – because putting the light, on your forehead, frees your hands for other necessary work.
    – The most reliable source of light (and cooking) is fire (candles, fireplace), if you have a place to find wood, or fuel for a fire, and a place to safely burn.
    – Fire needs a source of ignition, such as a Brunton Waterproof Stormproof Lighter.
    (http://www.opticsplanet.net/brunton-windproof-sealable-lighter-storm.html)
    It operates on butane, however, but is small, durable, good up to 30,000
    ignitions)(1,000 before needing a refill)… Otherwise, keep water-proof matches and some bic lighters in abundance. Bic lighters work for about 4 months, but break easily. Be sure to blow out candles when not in use, or there’s no one around to monitor them, or before falling asleep. There is a solar-powered fire-starter, however – go to: http://www.solarovens.net/ and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Of course, there are other, less expensive ways to start a fire, without matches or a lighter: http://www.ehow.com/how_6218457_start-fire-wilderness-matches.html – you’ll just need a magnifying glass.

    9) Power. Generators are good, but not necessary.
    – A DC power-inverter will (supposedly) power just about anything in your house. It will work, but only as long as you have ‘juice’ in the car battery. Remember, the old-time pioneers lived by fireplace-light, and/or candle-light. We can, too. For warmth in the winter – there’s always warm (fleece) clothing and bedding, absent electricity. Solar-powered generators that are compatible with and operate vital, necessary equipment, such as an “air2water” device – may be the best option, for power outages. Store enough water for cloudy days…

    10) Personal defense accessories/self-protection.
    – Non-lethal – pepper spray. For women – you can get it, in a lipstick-like container. http://www.guardian-self-defense.com/lipstickpepperspray.htm
    (This is a clever way for women to protect themselves – by not alerting the
    potential attacker to a more obvious cannister of pepper spray)
    – Non-lethal – stun gun. Is another option.
    – A hand-crank NOAA weather radio is a must, for power outages, due to storm conditions. http://www.hurricanestore.com/communication.html
    – Knives. A person should consider having minimum of 3 durable, and very sharp knives in their possession, at all times (during a camping or survival situation). Buck knives are very popular, and likely the best. Also, have a knife-sharpener, that doesn’t take a lot of the metal off the blade. You’ll want the knife to last as long as possible (even after the camping outing or survival situation is over).
    http://www.buckknives.com/index.cfm?event=product.wall&end_use=E#{end_use:%27O%27}
    http://www.knife-depot.com/
    http://www.duluthtrading.com/search/searchresults/sitesearchresults.aspx?pg=1&p_keyword=knives&p_origin=Tool_Aug11&processor=content
    – Warm clothing/bedding is vital, especially in cold environments, with no power.
    Fleece (undershirts and bed-covers) retains warmth, extremely well.
    – Consider small two-way radios with at least a two-mile range, for communicating with family members (not sure if they have these with rechargeable batteries).
    – If you opt for firearm(s) – for hunting or self-protection – make sure that you know how to fire, clean and store the firearm correctly and safely. Also, keep plenty of ammo for your weapon.

    11) Remember, take it easy on your-self. Don’t overwork for anything – ie, make sure the benefit outweighs the cost, as hiking/running requires A LOT of energy. Energy = Food. Avoid dangerous situations – trust your ‘gut’/instinct – it’s usually right.

    12) Tansportation. A 4×4 vehicle is obviously preferable to a conventional car.
    – A 4×4 can get you around/over debris, much more readily than a car, and
    is better, in more remote terrain. Or, a moped? Something electric? Bicycle? Hoof it?

    13) Get a good, durable, quality watch. (I like Timex, they ‘take a licking – and keep on ticking’!)
    http://www.timex.com/Timex-Rugged-Field-Metal/dp/B00304L732
    http://www.timex.com/s?searchKeywords=expedition+timex&Action=submit

    14) What to do, if there’s no running water, in order to use the ‘rest-room’?
    – If outdoors, you can always have a small, folding, compact shovel, such as are used by the military: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=military+folding+shovel&qpvt=military+folding+shovel&FORM=IGRE
    – In an urban environment, without access to an outdoor ‘port-o-potty’ or ‘port-o-let’ you’d absolutely, for sanitary and other reasons, have to find an alternative…such as sealable containers to stop bacteria or the buildup of bacteria…
    – X-tra TP…

    15) Other tools: Kershaw Camp Axe: http://www.kershaw-knives.net/Kershaw-Camp-Axe-KS1018.htm
    Camp Saw (even better than an axe)
    http://backpackingsaw.com/folding-saw/bahco-laplander-folding-saw-review/
    Magnesium Fire Starter
    http://www.campingsurvival.com/maflsufistst.html
    Duct tape: http://www.duluthtrading.com/search/searchresults/sitesearchresults.aspx?pg=1&p_keyword=duct+tape&p_origin=Tool_Aug11&processor=content (made in usa)
    Trauma Pak w/QuickClot: http://www.duluthtrading.com/search/searchresults/sitesearchresults.aspx?pg=1&p_keyword=duct+tape&p_origin=Tool_Aug11&processor=content
    Multi-tool
    http://www.jomashop.com/leatherman-charge-tti-multitool-830684.html
    Work gloves.

    16) Additionally, you’ll need to think about having:
    – identification
    – important documents (& something waterproof to keep them in)
    – minimum of $100 cash (small denominations – less change)
    – “smuggler’s belt” http://www.duluthtrading.com/store/clothes-workwear/mens/mens-belts-mens-suspenders/75071.aspx (made in usa)
    – large zip-lock (slider-lock) type “freezer” bags/disposable
    – thumb-drive in a small, waterproof container
    – chewing gum – no aspartame
    – pet?: emergency kit, water, food for your pet
    – entertainment: cards, book(s), puzzles, small, portable chess set…
    ____________
    Survival websites:
    http://www.survivalequipment.net/light.html
    http://www.air2water.net/products.html
    http://www.solarovens.net/
    http://www.duluthtrading.com/store/clothes-workwear/mens/mens-pants/86125.aspx
    http://www.ccrane.com/more-categories/batteries-chargers/solar-powered-battery-charger.aspx)
    http://www.opticsplanet.net/beamshot-td4-led-240-lumen-led-torch-strobe-and-dimmer.html
    http://beamshot.com/tactical_light_pd3.html
    http://www.opticsplanet.net/brunton-windproof-sealable-lighter-storm.html
    http://www.hurricanestore.com/communication.html
    http://www.buckknives.com/index.cfm?event=product.wall&end_use=E#{end_use:%27O%27}
    http://www.knife-depot.com/
    http://www.coldsteel.com/gurkhakukri.html
    http://www.duluthtrading.com/search/searchresults/sitesearchresults.aspx?pg=1&p_keyword=knives&p_origin=Tool_Aug11&processor=content
    http://www.timex.com/Timex-Rugged-Field-Metal/dp/B00304L732
    http://www.timex.com/s?searchKeywords=expedition+timex&Action=submit
    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=military+folding+shovel&qpvt=military+folding+shovel&FORM=IGRE

    • 007

      Very generous of you to organize and provide all of this valuable advice and resources. Probably one of the best things you can do to help people now. I hope we won’t need it for a litte longer. But when the only sure investments are gold (GLD) and gun & ammunition manufacturers (RGR), you know it is not too long.

      It’s funny, have you noticed no one is laughing any more at the gold bugs. Fewer and fewer are laughing at survival advice. I made a copy of your advice. Thanks

  • JackieR

    The american govt knows what is going to happen but won’t share it. We have to take control of our life and stop waiting for the handouts/rescue.

  • http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/02/real-revolution.html Anon

    Oh! And a (Berkey, or similar) Water Filter/Filtration System is an EXTREMELY WISE CHOICE! Drinking water comes before food considerations.

  • http://www.maxkeiser.com/ Ben Dover (America)

    Look, Wall St. (ie, EU/US Central Bankers) are waging a war of attrition on the average American, just as governments around the world are doing to their own populations. It’s average Citizen’s vs. ‘Elites’, everywhere around the world.

  • C

    Whoever blames unions, for the destruction of the middle class, FYI, you are one brain washed fool. I am a union member, and believe me, EVERYONE makes more money than I do in non-union jobs! Having/keeping a union job only locks you into a 5-10 year old wage these days!, and a stagnant career, the only plus is that you might actually have some benefits, like employer sponsored health care, some vacation time, maybe a couple of paid sick days to take care of your kid.

  • Gary2

    The GOP Demand for Higher Middle-Class Taxes Reveals They Want Tax Breaks Only for the Rich.

    You can not make this shit up, these immoral scum want to make sure everyone pays federal income taxes even if you are so poor you can barley afford to live indoors and eat. They are against taxing the rich however, when it comes to the poor tax away.

    Anyone dumb enough to vote republican needs to have their heads checked.

    The same tea baggers that are fooled into voting right wing scum into office will be hurt by their policies. It would be funny if it just effected the tea baggers but it also effects the rest of the sane folks too.

    • 007

      Gary come on. It’s only fair that you be “taxed hard”. There are many people that have less than you. Why are you unwilling to pay “your fair share”?

      • Tripseven

        As usual gary is incapable of answering any questions. He simply berates and namecalls others who disagree with him.

        ya know, I’ve never been mugged by someone in a Bentley, or Mercedes, or even a Domestic pickup truck.But I’m sure gary has by his attitude.
        Nor has a homeless person ever hired me. But thats who gary works for he has admitted as much, he delivers their groceries.

        gary’s ideology is quite clear from his avatar: use violence to take what you want.

        He further has a fundamantal inability to acknowledge the truth of where wealth comes from. It isn’t the government.

        gary is a frightened little man who needs big brother to feed him and house him and clothe him and tell him when and where to work when to go to his govenment house and turn off his govt lights cuz its bed time. G’nite sweetpea!

        He will of course deny all of this for himself, but the rest of the U.S. population clearly needs it but we are just too stupid to realize it.

        gary is just so much more intelligent than the rest of us… why can’t you understand that?

        btw 007, I agree: tax his socks off, he has too many pairs, take his house, give it to someone more needy, take half his food give it to someone to keep them healthy.

        777

        • Gary2

          Trip 7 I must have missed your questions. Thank you for asking. Here goes: answers in caps to make it more easily read from your questions.

          ya know, I’ve never been mugged by someone in a Bentley, or Mercedes, or even a Domestic pickup truck.—I BET THE WALL STREET PEOPLE DRIVE THESE AND THEY MOST ASSUREDLY MUGGED YOU AND THE REST OF US. THERE IS A TON OF WHITE COLLAR CRIME THAT IS MUCH MORE DAMAGING THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE.

          Nor has a homeless person ever hired me. EVERY-TIME A POOR PERSON PURCHASES THINGS THEY ARE PROVIDING JOBS. ITS CALLED DEMAND.

          gary’s ideology is quite clear from his avatar: use violence to take what you want. NO IT IS NOT, I CAN UNDERSTAND AND AM WORRIED THAT THE WEALTH AND INCOME INEQUALITY WILL CAUSE VIOLENCE.

          He further has a fundamantal inability to acknowledge the truth of where wealth comes from. It isn’t the government. YOU ARE CORRECT ABOUT WHERE WEALTH COMES FROM, HOWEVER, THE GOVERNMENT CAN FACILITATE WEALTH BY HAVING GOOD INFRASTRUCTURE, SCHOOLS HEALTHCARE ETC.

          It seems to be that you are simply parroting fox news/rush because if you did even the slightest amount of critical thinking you would see how absurd you sound.

  • Gary2

    Tax the greedy to help the needy, tax the wealthy to keep us healthy!

    Tax the rich and spread the wealth.

    You all know I am correct. This level of wealth and income inequity will destroy this country.

    • Highspeed

      I’ll believe you are poor when you’ve lost the ability to constantly write messages on this blog. Then I will know you couldn’t make payment to your internet provider. Until then just cry me a river.

  • Gary2

    #6 The wealthiest 1% of all Americans now control 40 percent of all the wealth in this country.

    #7 The poorest 50% of all Americans now control just 2.5% of all the wealth in this country.

    #8 The wealthiest 1% of all Americans now own over 50% of all the stocks and bonds.

    #9 According to the Washington Post, the average yearly income of the bottom 90 percent of all U.S. income earners is just $31,244.

    #10 The average yearly income of the top 0.1% of all U.S. income earners is 5.6 million dollars.

    HOW CAN ANY SANE PERSON NOT AGREE THAT WE NEED WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION?

    • Tripseven

      I agree we need wealth re-distribution.
      I whole heartedly disagree with your methods.
      I want my share of wealth, so I’ve created a business model to earn it. I provide high end construction service to people WITH money, not poor people.

      Taking from the rich at gunpoint or by taxation is stealing. Period.

      777

  • Gary2

    A much higher percentage of the jobs that remain are low income jobs.

    Thank you Michael thank you for not forgetting the underemployment problem. Unemployment is obviously the most important issue, however, I think the underemployment issue is the 800 pound gorilla in the room.

    I am underemployed to the max and while I am really grateful for a job it SUCKS to make 1/2 of what I used to make. To not be able to purchase things for the kids etc that I used to buy without a second thought. I am going to the salvation army to see if they have any free used work slacks.

    True story-I was at the local food pantry last year and an old lady was bringing in the clothes her recently deceased husband would no longer be needing and I was happy to get the clothes and did not even give a second thought to the man who just died. I remember thinking that I wish he was not so overweight and that I would have to go buy a belt. What are we becoming??? I was not the only person getting his clothes and I heard people making similar comments to what I was thinking (not in front of his widow, she had already left). WOW I am ashamed to admit I thought this way. I would have never in the past thought this way.

  • Gary2

    North Dakota was not a whole lot different than WI. More flat and less water. Not a lot of people which is nice.

    The worst thing I remember is all the stupid signs for WALL Drugs every mile. I thought WALL Drugs is way over-hyped and was disappointed that that was all their was after all those signs. (Wall Drugs is in South Dakota but the signs advertising it were everywhere).

    • Tripseven

      did ya stop in and say hi?

      777

      • Gary2

        yes-it is WAY over hyped.

  • jerry O

    The middle class is continuing to get smaller and smaller.

    Our country continues to go on the downward spiral.

    The stock market continues to be very volatile.

    I am so glad I came across a web site put together by a millionaire that is helping me
    through this crazy roller coaster ride.

    It was put together by a millionaire.

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    How to Profit like the Ultra-Rich in Times of Economic Chaos

    http://theelevationgroup.net/presentation/register.php?a_aid=160667&a_bid=290b868b&chan=y

    I know this info will help you

  • http://www.herobooks.com Hell Survivor

    Need an answer about the observations by a world travellor:

    Even though the American middle class is being flushed, why are its residential garbage cans several times larger than their counterparts in in Europe that have a large middle class?

  • William

    Large financial institutions and corporate entities have purchased the US Congress. The members of the US Congress only live to be reelected. This takes MONEY. Middle class America is NOT important to one who only exists to be reelected. Being reelected in today’s America takes big money. Add in the Republican drive to crush Medicare and Social Security while waging unnecessary wars of choice for the benefit of a foreign country, and BINGO, the “middle class” dies. You only have yourself to blame. You continue to reelect the same MORONS who caused this nightmare. WAKE UP!

  • rick55

    “Losers” blame the Unions. The fall of wages (ergo the Middle Class) is directly proportional to the decline of union membership. Stop drinking the corporate koolaid. Turn off Fox News. The upper elite benefits from our fight to the bottom for crumbs.

  • Jake

    Each week that goes by brings more people across my path who are now starting to get it. They are overcoming the “normalcy bias” and are seeing the reality of the changes that are already happening. One elderly neighbor was discussing the condition of gardens in our area and how much canning he did. We all canned lots of beans, tomatoes and corn. When the discussion turned to the hard times ahead he smiled and said we may need to shoot a deer to can as well. It was all in stride for him. He lived thru the great depression and knew what was always possible. Being prepared was a way of life. Our discussion did not get him at all excited or worried. When I talk with younger folks they are either worried to death or look at me like I’m from another planet. The ones that do “get it” all say its hard to believe these things are happening in our country.

    Welcome to the new normal.

    • Jeremy

      Correct. Most of my friends are panicking right now, and are unable to cope with what is happening.

      One thing I do disagree with Michael, though, is that none of us know what will happen in the next 2-5 years. While I do agree that if the federal government maintains its current spending course, that matter will get worse.

      I am learning how to survive this period, and have survived many more difficult periods, I do know that things can get better, and that God does deliver, even when it does not seem possible. Our family, for example, lost our house 9 years ago. I was in college in NY at the time, and came home to care for them, and help work for the family. There were times were we had no money, and had to survive on $5 for 10 days (the rest went to rent). We would find pennies in the couch, etc.

      There were times when I thought it would never end. I entirely funded my way through college and law school (parents helped a little — I lived with them), and even in this market feel equipped to handle the difficulties. This is possible because of God and family. Many young people are so quick to leave their families, and I really do not understand it. Even now I get interviews, and am coming very close to getting a job.

      It is difficult right now, but you must keep your chin up. I counsel my colleagues every day. I have been offered, and because of the economy, have lost three jobs since February. If I can survive, they can too. My dad said it best, and it is simple but true: life is hard. No way around it. The rich some of you criticize are suffering too. Only God knows the true heart of a man, and it is foolish to just look at a person, and assume their life is wonderful.

      In short, none of us know what will happen. We could come back, we could not.

  • Piglet

    “For example, there are now actually websites where women advertise their “services” to potential “sugar daddies” that will help them with college expenses or support them financially.”

    – This has been going on for decades, perhaps longer, although I’m sure even more young women are doing it these days. In the DC area, even “nice” girls from well-known universities are making money this way. You don’t think those well-paid lobbyists, congressmen, senators, State Department employees, senior Pentagon officers, etc., are cruising streets in the DC slums in search of skanks, do you?

    – Even guys are doing this. I well remember one during my own college days 30 years ago who was “servicing” older, well-heeled, “respectable” men in DC, and he seemed to be enjoying himself. He was very effeminate and made enough money to be dressed very nicely in suits and ties all the time instead of the usual casual student appearance.

  • Gay Veteran

    Steve: “Personal liberty and political freedom is always associated with a strong middle class….destroying this sector of society is crucial in Obama’s and the Progressive/Fascist’s goal of “…fundamentally transforming America…”.”

    It has been going on for decades now. Obama is just Bush’s third term.

    chancery: “I blame unions for a lot of our problems. These greedy bums demanded so much money per hour for their labor, that all the steel, car, and other manufacturers just moved the hell away. Now, they still have the gall to force more companies to the wall. What a bunch of spoiled, dumb losers. They killed the goose that laid the golden egg!”

    Yeah, those bums, why did they have to push for a 40 hour work week? overtime? medical benefits? safe labor conditions?

    Unions are now weak, corporations are strong. Corporations are sociopathic, they will do anything for profits. If that means moving American jobs to China to take advantage of near slave labor wages and no environmental laws then they will do so. They do not care about America or Americans.

  • half full

    Blah blah blah… on and on all negative. Anything good happening in America? Anyone out there get a good job? I have heard of many people getting great jobs. Be careful how negative y’all are getting. That attitude will bring you down quicker and more certain than your predicted collaspe. God has promised to take care of His people. He swore by an oath and God cannot lie. Any Christian is included in the promise that was made to father Abraham. I think it is so awesome that God cannot lie. The liar is Satan- in fact he is called the father of lies in the bible. So, let’s put aside earthly things, worry and neagtive thinking and fix our eyes on Jesus the autheor and finisher of our faith! Yes!!!!!

    • Highspeed

      Good thoughts Half full.
      Yesterday I went shopping at a Lowes for a bathtub faucet. All I could find was cheap chinese junk for 80.00 bucks. I told the store manager I would not come back till they started selling american made goods. He smiled and told me good luck in finding one. Well, I did. The Gerber company makes a great faucet (all brass) innards. This faucet will last for at least 10 years, whereas the junk from China/Lowes will maybe last 2 years before it needs replacing. It may not be much to most folks, but I count it as a small victory.

      • Save the Republic

        Great job! Where would someone find the Gerber faucet? You are right about the breakdown factor too. I think when companies first started going to China they were forced to make a fairly reliable product, but once they got us where they thought we had no choice but to buy their crap, they dropped any quality control in favor of more profits. Most items that used to last 10 years or more now only last 2.

  • jaspertwo

    The unions have nothing to do with this it is the union leaders who have raped the union men.
    Hoffa gets a million dollar pension from union dues. We took a 20% pay cut from the company Yellow Freight. They hired a guy $82,000.00 a month to take away our money. It is corporate pigs that want to suppress wages and make everyone poor. The banks have raped this country. Try George Soros and the politicians. They have the best healthcare in the world. We have none. We were forced out because of age. No one wants to hire us.The politicians spend millions of dollars on vacations. They have their own gasoline to draw out of right of the whitehouse. Just keep electing $250,000.00 politicians who get millions of dollars for one term. Wake up and smell the coffee. You don’t know what you are talking about. Who will buy cars? The elite the illuminati.www.stevequayle.com

    • MarkD

      funny statement. The unions have nothing to do with it its their leaders. So the American people have nothing to do with this collapse its our leaders. Bull****, Unions suck because of their total corruption. Greed has destroyed the unions just like greed has destroyed our country. That my friend is your fault it is my fault it is even Gary2’s fault. As long as we point to others we feel good. WE HAVE DONE THIS!!!

  • http://lastdayrapture.blogspot.com/ TK

    Another great post declaring the true state of our economy!

    Steve is right about all of this being part of a bigger plan to undermine America. A plan that will not be undermined or altered at any cost.

    It is time to awake as many friends and family as possible to the truth.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    Michael T. Snyder writes: “As millions more Americans fall into poverty, we are going to see a lot more crime. Most of these people are not going to commit crimes because they enjoy them. Rather, they will be doing what they feel they need to do in order to survive.” Yes, that’s exactly right. For years, I’ve been saying that Third World countries where you have a filthy rich minority and a dirt-poor majority tend to be violent, dangerous and unstable—whereas countries that, historically, have had a robust middle class tend to be much, much safer. I’d feel safer walking around in Oslo, Zurich or Munich late at night than I would walking around in Caracas in broad daylight. Hardcore poverty breeds hardcore violence, and there is plenty of hardcore violence in Caracas, Lima and other places where the poor and the desperate do desperate things and resort to kidnapping, carjacking, and violent home invasions. I call this the Desperate People Doing Desperate Things Tax (DPDDTT).

    Does anyone honestly believe that as The Banana Republic of America (formerly the USA) becomes more and more of a miserable Third World hellhole, it won’t have Third World crime? Of course it will. When The White Shoe Boys (as Gerald Celente calls them) and the corporatists decided to kill off the American middle class and replace capitalism with corporatism, they opened a very nasty can of worms. When faced with hunger and homelessness, yesterday’s construction worker or yesterday’s software developer will become tomorrow’s kidnapper or carjacker. Things are going get very bloody in The Banana Republic of America, decaying hellhole of the Third World.

  • mondobeyondo

    After surviving another 117 degree day in Phoenix, maybe North Dakota isn’t such a bad place to look for work after all…

  • tommcd

    To make the unemployment situation even worse, the federal government’s policies are causing even more jobs to be lost.
    For example, the phasing out of the incandescent light bulbs and replacing them with the “eco friendly” CFL bulbs has caused the last incandescent light bulb factory to close down: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/07/AR2010090706933.html
    And the federal government has been harassing the Gibson guitar company about the woods they use for their instruments: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904787404576530520471223268.html
    I guess the feds will not be happy until Gibson guitars are made in China.

    • Highspeed

      There will be a great black market for incandescent light bulbs, trust me on that.

  • Okie Dan

    A lot of the shrinking middle class can be traced to fiat currency. The banksters print money that goes first to the connected in the financial industry and the large corporations. They reap great profits because they get the money when the remainder of the economic markets haven’t adjusted wages and prices for the flood of currency entering the market
    With excess currency as prices and wages increase near the place where the money is printed, the money goes outward in search of cheaper prices and wages. In recent years, the money has gone to Asia. Middle Class jobs are being systematically exported further from the money floodeing printing presses. The results are obvious – a very small incredibly wealthy class made wealthier even as a large middle class is destroyed systematically.

  • Motherof5

    I saw a lot of people back in the 90’s decide that two incomes was a good choice for their families. I know that some families, like a single dad or single mom, need to work and leave the children in day care or with friends or relatives. However, MOST of the mothers I knew, they chose to work at the expense of their children. What I saw was all about keeping up with the Jones’s. I knew woman with little children in toe who made the decision to leave her children for a pay check. With this movement, two family incomes were the norm. With two incomes couples decided to purchase homes that were not worth the $500,000.00 ticket price they were asking, but they qualified for a mortgage and became saddled with a huge, huge monthly expense. They worked like dogs each day, running the rat race, dropping off the babies at day care, working, and picking them up at the end of a busy work day. Week in and week out. Bitter, un-happy, miserable they became, but now they were also affording themselves a nicer car or two, lots of costly state of the art stuff, up-dated kitchens and bathrooms, and they justified the expensive all inclusive vacations for the family twice a year because they earned it. Before long, everyone was doing this!!!!!!!!!!!
    Credit card debt was accumulating, but they paid down the debt by only paying the minimum due, but because they paid it every month, a few hundred dollars here and there against the double digit debt to the card company, the card company issued them a larger line of credit. These people used this larger line of credit and purchased more debt. So long as two incomes were coming in, with cost of living increases and bonus’s and raises expected, they thought they were going to pay it all back eventually.
    They didn’t save, they spent until they dropped, and after all they earned it, right?
    I watched families fall apart, I saw greed take over, kids raised to be spoiled beyond normal. Children so dull that they were void of compassion and void of morality. No one was home to teach them or too tired at the end of the day to teach them. Kids never went to church, because parents didn’t go to church. Children that were in religious ed class were empty little souls, not knowing a stitch of religion from home. I know because I have been teaching religion in my parish for 20 years.
    It’s the same thing each time, the little ones are so thirsty for this information and the parents aren’t willing to encourage it, or bring them to church, or follow through with anything outside of just bringing them to religious instruction.
    Most parents seem annoyed that in order for their children to move forward in their sacrements that they have to bring them to religious instruction in the first place.
    My parents greatest gift to me and my eleven siblings has got to be our faith in G-d, hands down!
    Anyway, leaving the family nest empty so that the system can take care of your offspring is sooooo wrong and shouldn’t be done unless it’s absolutely necessary!!! Hillary wrote her dumb book “It takes a village”, well she’s a village idiot. She had just one child, no one should have listened to her EVER! It takes two parents and one has to be there to make sure that the family unit and the family value system and all the things happening in your world each day are NOTICED! One parent working, while the other is holding down the fort, doing the things that run a tight ship, paying attention to the stuff that might not be in focus for the other spouse, while he/she is working. Most importantly, taking care of the children and meeting their needs.
    The public school system is a place where kids are now being indoctrinated. Yes that is correct. You teach your kids at home one thing, and the public school system tries like hell to undo all the work you have done to teach them the family values that are tried and true and handed down for generations. They try to insert their immoral, social perspectives in place of your morally constructed system that you were raised with. They tried with my kids, but my kids were in tune to their tactics and in typical fashion, by following the attitudes that we possess, they easily shot them down each time. The lib teachers have always made some comment to my children, referencing that our family must watch Fox news or something. It makes them so angry to think that they don’t have the power to corrupt everyone. Bottom line here is that a large segment of the American people walked straight into this terrible web created by those who lied and tricked and tried to make vice, greed, power, and STUFF, seem more important than raising children, being a family for good or for bad, whether in poverty or in wealth. By the way, our family lived within our means and my children had a mom home every day, with all that implies. We have savings, we have the things we need and we have NO DEBT. Most importantly we have our faith in G-d and we have a strong patriotism to this country, reflecting on the founding fathers and the sacrfices they each made to our nation.
    I wonder about the damage hurricane Irene is going to make, and my prayer is that those with little, lose little, and those who spent their entire life, ripping off the public, who live along the water in their lofty million dollar McMansions face the music since we all know that none of them paid the price, no one went to prison, no one paid their dues to society, no one was taken to court, no justice was served. I pray that this storm serves to them the justice they so richly deserve! Toples those lofty McMansions and destroys their vice and their greed and smug ruthless ego’s!

    • Michael

      Motherof5:

      That was a really good comment.

      Michael

      • Motherof5

        Why, thank you Michael, coming from you that is a really nice compliment!

        • Michael

          It sounds like you have a tremendous amount of wisdom. I hope that you will leave more great comments like that in the future.

          Michael

    • D

      Your statement regarding dual-income households has some validity, but keep in mind most families now days cannot be supported without two incomes. Salaries went down. You can’t raise a family making 30k per year (this article is talking about the fall of the middle class, after all).

      Some parents are addicted to greed and these people should not have kids if they treat them as pet dogs. You are correct on that part, but keep in mind not all dual-income households are as you described in your generalization. Many are fighting day-to-day and truly want the best for the child.

      I take it you are a mother of five who stayed at home and raised all your children. Even if you live frugally, raising five kids is relatively costly. Your husband must have a stable and financially adequate job in order for you to stay home and raise five children over the years. Most don’t have that opportunity or financial resources to do such a thing.

    • Jeremy

      You pretty much described my generation to a “t”. It also articulates the frustrations I have had. Good job.

    • Nostradamus

      Your story is the story of America’s runaway culture of reckless debt and wars. Those in charge in governments and those in the middle class have been doing these same two thing. Both run on extreme debt. The government run wars while the people celebrate the real life video game of ‘shock & awe’ destruction and death.

      Those running Wall Street have been unleashed by dogma and corruption to pump the debt drug to society to the max, and loving it every second because as more debt they pump more profits arrived. Those running business have also been unleashed to maximize profit and minimize labor, and succeeded wildly.

      Such an insane culture would not be possible unless people believe they deserve to get the American Dream for free. There’s the funny part: everybody celebrate the fantastic American capitalist system of ‘innovation and wealth’, while at the same time conduct themselves as the bigger socialist fools on Earth – they believe in utopian money machine and free lunches.

      What will this end up?

      a) The much-taunted American global empire is finished. This actually is good for everybody.
      b) The days of free-lunch money is over. You want a McMansion and fancy cars, you actually have to have the money in the saving account. Yes, saving account – it is a new concept. People discover that when you have a healthy saving account, you don’t care about FICO score.
      c) Severe downsizing of all aspects of society.
      d) Lost of the US dollar as the dominant global reserve currency.
      e) Younger generations moving overseas to build their futures. The American Dream replaced by a more practical global-inspired work ethics.

  • Laszlo Csemege

    Here it started: 1904 John D. Rockefeller issues “Occasional Letter No.1″ detailing plans to mold the people, reduce national intelligence to the lowest common denominator, destroy parental influence, traditional and customs, and eliminate science and real learning, “in order to perfect human nature”.

    1917 Carnegie’s schooling system is brought to New York by William Wirt and tried in twelve schools that were predominently Jewish. Jewish immigrants, realizing what was being perpetrated, riot for three weeks. Over 200 school children were jailed.” !!!

    http://www.disclose.tv/forum/1900-1929-t25953.html
    http://www.apfn.org/apfn/conspirators.htm

  • Lennie Pike

    Kevin 2,

    Exactly right.

    The other excuse they like to use is government over-regulation of business.

    There is way too much regulation true, but slave wages were the big attraction, and the liars who use these two excuses but never mention their slaves, know it.

    I used the word “were” because I don’t think there are any more good jobs to export, or any to give to the foreigners they import.

    If they could, the American Worker work under the conditions that Andrew Carnegie loved to provide for his workers – what an asshole and pussie he was.

    In the end the ones who profited from it will suffer the most. It will be physically painful likely resulting in death.

  • Lennie Pike

    And when the American Middle Class no longer exists there will be a change in who runs this country – for a short while.

    There are countless examples in World History that shows what happens when less than 1% is totally abusing the other 99%, and it is never pretty.

    My prediction may be completely incorrect, but to me it sounds like what could easily happen:

    In the case of the U.S., the ones abusing it now are not Americans, they are the rothschilds who reside in Europe (I never capitalize that name, not that it helps the situation any) and when their agents are finally kicked out of the U.S. by the ex-Middle Class, they will probably retaliate by destroying the United States as stated in Revelation.

    Not only will they want revenge, but they can not allow the U.S. to return to how it was before they themselves provided all of the tools over the last 40 years to destroy the character and morality of it’s people.

    The rothschilds are allies of China now, and it will probably be Chinese nuclear weapons that do the job on the U.S.

    Americans themselves are to blame because of their disobedience to God and decline into immorality and materialism.

    The rothschilds were only able to destroy this country because we drank the many different poisons they made easily available.

    When they see us fighting back and attempting to return to the way we used to be – there will be no other choice – they will probably just go ahead and put us out of our misery because they are going to have their one world government if only for just a short while – until Jesus Christ comes back along with the many believers and kicks their asses.

    So enjoy it now dick-heads, you don’t have much time left.

  • Lennie Pike

    “dick-heads” was directed at the rothschilds and not the American People.

    You should have been able to tell that anyway since it was not capitalized.

    • Highspeed

      You could call them Richard Cranium’s instead.

  • Lennie Pike

    “dick-heads” was also directed at the rothschild’s many agents.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    “The Greatest Depression is underway, and all they’re doing is trying to make it look as though they have a plan to stave it off. They’re not going to.”—Gerald Celente

    “The entire global financial system is collapsing, and only the little children believe it’s going to be saved.”—Gerald Celente

    “Every now and then, I get these e-mails from people: ‘hey listen, Celente, if you don’t like it here, leave.’ And I got news for them: YOU leave. You’re the guys that are screwing the joint up. You’re the ones that are changing the constitution. Don’t tell me to leave, jackson. YOU pack up your gear with the rest of your fascist buddies and go someplace else where you’ll feel at home.”—Gerald Celente

    “We need to kick the globalists out of here.” —Alex Jones

    “A choice between the Republicans and the Democrats is like a choice between the Gambinos and the Bonanos.”—Gerald Celente

    • Otown Right Guy

      Great quotes. I have to disagree with Celente’s comparison of the two major political parties with mafia families. The mafia are much more respectable… they don’t kill civilians.

      • comnenus

        Only Italian mafias. New “russian”, Vietnamese, Laotian and other mafias don’t think twice before killing civs.

    • bobbobbobbob

      i beg to differ with u. google “tax credits for exporting jobs”. u see u have it wrong. the us corps are now 110% for oursourcing the good jobs. and every pebuplicanterrorisst votes for outsourceing. u have a cancer within and are doomed to poverty. thankthegods!! the biggest murdurous state after stalin and mao is the good ole usa — keep the troops in IRaq and please invade iran — but keep out of central and south america

      • bobbobbobbob

        and yes the stock market will rally but your readers will not participate. Unfortunately for your readers. Remember CHINA RULES U.and votes for all those inane rebuplican policies as warren buffet increases his holding in chinese stocks but tells u to buy amerikkan!!!!

  • Lennie Pike

    Mark,

    Middle Class wages do not have to compete with wages overseas.

    • Mark

      Lennie, It depends on what product or service you are providing. If you are making a product that can be imported or is to be exported and the same product can be made for a lower cost over seas then your wages will not be going up. We already can’t compete against countries that do not have all of the government overhead that we have. I was a plumber before I retired. That service could not be produced in another country so those wages were able to go up. Some pressure to lower wages couild be imported by increasing the labor pool beyond it’s needs and over time training more plumbers than the market would need. Look at the I.T. services that has gone to India. Unless you have a nich that can’t be imported or exported, your wages will be under pressure to stay lower.

  • Rev. Mariah Adams

    I agree with most of what “Anon” has to say. The exception being Fluoridated Tooth Paste. Fluoride is a by product of the Aluminum Industry. Because of it’s toxicity, Corps were having trouble, and expense disposing of it. So, they convinced the public that fluoride in their drinking water and in their toothpaste would eliminate cavities. In fact, just the opposite happens. Ihave often wondered if the American Dental Society was possibly a party to this subterfuge.
    To those folks saying: “Stop all the negativity”, my answer is: “Be prepared! Stay awake! Inform others!” All that is happening today has been clearly defined, anticipated, and expected, by the Bible, by Educators, by Alternative News Services, and yes even by the Conspiracy Theorists. Most of their theories are now proving to be true.
    Folks! It’s not just America being targeted…it’s the entire world. Read the signs!

  • The Unicorn

    El Pollo de Oro, I just took a look at the loss report where I work and its up 66% over average this year so far.Guess whats at the top of the list?….its cosmetics,lip stick,nail polish,stuff like that,next is health and beauty stuff like hair dye,face creams,body wash after that is jewelry, this accounts for about 70% of the total loss.4th is electronics,then clothes like panty hose,socks, shirts and pants.Toward the end is toys.Then what amounts to less than 1% is food,tools,automotive,light bulbs,and kitchen items.The only way I can explain this would be that you can’t buy nail polish and hair dye with food stamps and people feel that can’t live without these items.

    • Gary2

      Maybe you are being hit by boosters who resell? I am guessing food has little resale value. When I was in retail food never got stolen but razors and OTC meds were hot items. I do not believe food stamps has anything to do with your theft issue.

  • FriskiesRevenge

    Again, missing the elephant in the corner.

    As long as you continue to produce wage slaves and future consumers, you’re in the clutches of the banksters and the top 1% (http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph – median income for top .01% – $27m/year).

    Live below your means, and don’t have children. If you just absolutely must be a parent because you can’t control your hormones, ensure both parents have full time paying jobs. No one can afford on stay-at-home parent anymore.

    Consider adoption. There are a lot of great kids out there looking for a home, and it’s only going to get worse for them as the Republicons and DemoRats ‘austerize’ us in order to keep their real constituents in Maseratis and Gulfstreams.

    • Motherof5

      This is probably one of the most wrong headed comments I have ever read! So I wonder, were you were being facetious? I am a stay at home mom, still raising my tribe. Two in college, one in law school, and two home, high school and elementary school. My husband works hard, sometimes two jobs. We live within our means. We take modest vacations, we don’t buy anything that we don’t need. We don’t own new leased cars, we paid cash for used cars for each of our driving age children, my husband and my own. He drives a crappy car he takes into the city. I drive a pretty decent car, a 2003 and my kids drive used cars that cost no more than 5000.00 each. We have no debt. My children have to work once they reach 16 and can get working papers, but a few had jobs younger. Our home is nice and we live in a really great area of Long Island. Everything we own was paid for and we don’t buy stuff on credit that we don’t pay back right away, at the end of the month.
      We have even survived a terrible law suit against us. My husband hustled like an animal to keep our family financially afloat. We won our case, but we were never made whole, yet we spent over 100,000.00 of our own money to fight it. That was for legal fees and such. Our children are great, my husband is an amazing, amazing man!
      I am a traditional mom, like my mom, like my husbands mother was too. If you were serious, please, don’t give advice. It’s easy if people live a simple life. You can have nice things, and you can have a savings account with money in it too. You can make yourself happy living that way, but it’s all about attitude and perspective. We have a strong faith in G-d and that faith has seen us through some horrible events. But because of it, we survived and believe it or not, those times of struggle, when we were glued to our faith like crazy, those days were definitely special in so many ways, even the children agree! That really says a lot!
      You sure can adopt, if that is your path in life, because it’s a great annointing to be a parent of an adopted child. However the gift of child bearing is hardly about not being able to control your hormones, that comment was just unbelievable! My advice to you is, don’t give advice, you aren’t presenting the truth. There is hope and there is a good life even after finding yourself down on your luck, out of a job, selling your prized possessions, and finally awake at the wheel of our life. Now is the time to pull yourself up, don’t be defeated, don’t be bitter, become motivated and take control. Simplify, reach out to others in your same circumstance. I would even suggest that you thank the good Lord that you were allowed to be free of the bonds of your previous life. Pray for a new path, a newer perspective and to be guided by the hand of G-d.
      If you do those simple things, like my mother has always reminded me, solid faith can move mountains. Mom has 12 children and her life has been exemplary. My father died leaving her a widow of 10 children, three in diapers, back in 1964. She is alive and well and strong as heck!
      Her wisdom is profound! Here is a chance to build up your own treasures in heaven, rather than on earth. Good deeds and good works flourish and cause positive things to happen.
      Good always conquers evil! Be a force for good and first take care of you and your own, then reach out and help others. Don’t look back, look forward and learn from past mistakes! NEVER FORGET!

      • Old Man

        Don’t think FriskiesRevenge comment refer to you specifically. I think he talks society at-large.

        Mo5, you certainly live an honest respectable life. Within your means.

        If US society follows your kind of life style, the GDP will drop like stone from $15 trillion to $7 trillion. Well, maybe it will drop to $7 trillion anyway by 2020 the way things are going.

    • Gary2

      How about all those us who were formerly middle class and did have good incomes, had kids, and now the republican recession knocked us into working poor status???

      There is nothing wrong with what you said but things are usually not so black and white.

      • Procinctu

        i am an independent conservative and dont align myself with republicrats or demicans….. but are you referring to the recession in 2008? because in america, the democrats controlled congress and wrote the budget. and while bush did a lot of things i did not like, especially the bailout, the deindustrialization was well under way under clinton. calling it a republican recession implies that democrats had no part in it…… and that is false….. both parties failed america.

    • RootCauses

      This is the dumbest fecking thing I’ve heard in a long time. Live below your means, yes, but DON’T stop having children. The native-born population has already done that and as a result it’s slowly disappearing and being replaced by immigrants who look around at the new totalitarian government that’s been slowly gaining power for years and feel right at home. What we need to do is stop importing Third World ignorants who think a 6th-grade education is advanced study and have 5 kids by the time they’re 30.

      This blog almost NEVER mentions immigration. It likes to mention all the new low-wage jobs cropping up but doesn’t mention all the immigrants streaming over the border who are taking these jobs while more and more of the native-born choose the dole.

      No the worst thing you can do is stop having children, into whom you can choose to input traditional concepts of liberty, morality, education, and work ethic. It’s up to you and I to spend a little bit less time bitching about the future on the Internet all day and a little bit more time building it. The future is not set in stone.

      • Fed Up

        Root Causes, your post is exactly what I was going to write only you said it first and probably better than I could have articulated it.

        We are being over-run and taken over by Mexico’s poorest, uneducated, and unskilled immigrants who are having tons of babies at our tax expense and then getting free citizenship. We are basically a welfare state for much of Mexico’s poor and criminal element.

        In California, Anglos (whites) are already a minority. And I just saw on the news tonight that in most major large cities Anglos are now a minority, and under the age of 10 we are a minority now in the whole country!

  • Common Sense

    Gary:
    First of all, what you suggest has been tried throughout history and has never worked. “Giving” wealth to someone does not propel them to prosperity. It only makes them more dependent. We have “re-distributed” over 4 trillon dollars to fight poverty since the great society and the poor are still with us.

    Also, you speak of wealth as though it is a static sum. If someone has more than you
    that does not equate to you having less. Wealth is created. You need to learn that. You sound like someone who has made bad decisions in life and needs someone else to blame besides yourself.

    • Gary2

      We have been funneling wealth to the top at such a fast pace that I do not see any way to fix except to redistribute the wealth.

      When the top 400 people have more wealth and income than the bottom 155 million people drastic action needs to be done now and that drastic action involves heavily tax int the rich and spreading the wealth.

      Tax the greedy to help the needy!

    • bobbobbobbob

      the itals japs sweeds frenchies danes and now even the poor jamacians have health care u have cadavers. please invade iran– keep out of south america.

    • RootCauses

      What needs to stop is morons who accept money created out of thin air as digits in a computer so they can buy things they can’t afford, and pay their real money they earn as wages to these banking interests in order to service the debt.

      People talk about “income inequality” as though it’s some spontaneously created circumstance that we just woke up one day and there it was.
      The truth of the greedy rich and their bank accounts is the coldest fact of all: YOU GAVE IT TO THEM!

      They didn’t hold a gun to your head. YOU took out that mortgage. YOU bought the Cadillac. YOU traded the fruits of your labor for funny money. And now you can’t figure out why it is that bankers are flush and you’re standing there with no savings, your shoestrings holding your pants up, looking at cars and boats that will never again be worth as much as they were yesterday.

      If you’ve EVER used credit, you can claim a little bit of the responsibility for the current state of affairs.

    • Old Man

      Common Sense,
      Are you suggesting the gang in-charge at Goldman Sachs, Lehman Bros, Merrill Lynch, etc etc *created* their well-deserved $500 billion bonus wealth between 2003-2008?

      Between 1995-2005, China received foreign direct investment (FDI) averaging $150 billion per year every year from the USA alone. This in effect is the sum of money American corporate CEOs extracted by downsizing the labor force of their companies in the US, took the money and invested in China such as factories, R&D centers, infrastructure. Now, any dumb CEO can do this simple trick: downsize in US and upsize over there and overnight, your bonus goes up 500%. Are you suggesting these great CEOs have *created* their fantastic wealth?

  • Lennie Pike

    tommcd,

    And also because they hate Gary Rossington.

    He’s the last one remaining, and because of that fact, like the predators that they are, sense that they may be strong enough to take him down and demoralize millions of their principal enemies – good luck.

  • Alan MacDonald

    “Globalization” is the soft, polite, and fun-sounding term of PR/propaganda used instead of the harsh truth term: “Global Empire”

    What the American people should be asking Obama about his speech tonight and about the policy of unending wars of Empire in North Africa, the Middle-east, and mainland Asia:

    I’d like to ask the president to explain to the American people what the global Empire is planning to do (and already doing) in the MiddleEast with respect to Thomas Barnett’s 2004 Naval War College strategy and book, “The Pentagon’s New Map” — which lays out a PNAC-like preemptive war plan to take-over all these “GAP” countries along the 5000 mile swath from across N. Africa, the greater Middel-East, and south central Asia, from Mauritania to the very boarders of India and China??

    Barnett’s strategy is already being deceptively ‘played out’ secretly and behind the American peoples back by what he accurately terms the “Leviathan” military forces of the “Old Core” (western ‘global Empire’) to insure that a “New Core” (of BRIC countries) can not operate and secure the massive natural resources (oil) and geostrategic position in the “GAP” territories.

    I would like Obama to explain and level with the American citizens as to why the actual maps in Barnett’s “Pentagon’s New Map” exactly match the military control maps of the Pentagon itself and its global imperial force structures for global war and global control, as pictured here:

    http://eaves.ca/2008/06/16/firefox-3-pledge-map-vs-barnetts-the-pentagons-new-map/

    http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2009/0109_unifiedcommand/

    http://thomaspmbarnett.com/globlogization/2010/5/17/marine-corps-gazette-the-gap-as-arc-of-instability.html

    Lastly, I (and the American public) should be asking our supposedly elected, and supposedly president (faux-Emperor) how he can describe our former democratic country as anything other than a global corporate/financial/militarist EMPIRE? And whether he is being honest with us, or whether he is just a political pawn of this global Empire fooling us into the final World War of the Empire that he is captive to?

    Obama, how is “globalization” anything but your Obama branded advertising term for “global Empire”??

    Alan MacDonald
    Sanford, Maine
    Liberty & democracy over violent empire — New America People’s Party 2012

  • http://EconomicCollapse Pat Horvath

    didn’t have to read the artice to know first hand how terrible our ecomony is for Middle Class. True recent story. well respected family : dad has ins (pays his co pay) which raises . Can not afford for the wife or adult children at home. Son drives to college daily. In borrow car. Son got ill with hives went to walk-in clinic. Doctor was with him less than 10 min. did not touch him. Sent him to local Hospital for tests. the bill came $780.00 . Never in my many years known this going on . Hosptial bill almost $500.00 but at least they gave son a shot and blood test. This family has many needs but nothing they can do. Somewhere there must be help for people like this. I am a senior and have needs but nothing like this. Know many sad happenings .

  • GOM

    The U.S. is one giant PONZI. Indoctrination starts in pre-school. Learn how to be the ultimate consuming idiot. Get a debt plan that will follow you thru life. Adhere to a tax code that leaves you little to live on. Keep up with the Jones family in that shiny new car/truck/suv that you can’t afford. Be depressed because everyone has more than you. What? You don’t go out to restaurants? You must be weird. Brag about what you owe in school loans. All while the upper crust refer to you as the have- nots or imbiciles[recently by a congressman] Promise of a life in the U.S.? Show me the way out honey………

    • Old Man

      Yes, well said. But isn’t it a little late to realize the great American Dream was transformed to become the great American Ponzi, bit by bit, over the past 15 years, by the Master of the Universe?

      Like, yes Madolf is in jail, but the idiots who trusted him are all still broke.

  • bobbobbobbob

    EVERY BLUE DOG AND REBUPLICANTERRORISST ARE AGAINST UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE! U R DOOMED TO POVERTY—CHINA RULES U. THIS BLOG SUPPORTS THE BLUE DOGS AND HATES O-CARE BUT PROPOSES NO ALTERNATIVE — SEE U AS A CADAVER IN MED SCHOOL

  • Colin

    Common Sense,

    We have had poverty for thousands of years. The importance of the Great Society and the New Deal is that we had leaders who were willing to find solutions on reducing poverty in our society. Nowadays, our leaders aren’t interested in fighting poverty, and aren’t interested in solutions for Main Street. To many of them, as well as the people of our country, believe in myths and urban legends. Governor Scott believed that a large portion of people applying for general assistance were drug addicts, and a law was created which required new applicants to take a drug test. The results were published last week – of those who applied for g.a., just over 2% were drug addicts. The poor don’t want to be dependent on the government. I can speak from experience here; I am poor and I am of the underclass. What we want is a helping hand. If a man is drowning and another man pulls him out of the water, then this doesn’t necessary create a dependency relationship. The man who faced drowning thanks his savior, and goes on with his life.

    I read this commentary on Daily Kos, and it reflects much of what I feel.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/28/1011477/-Open-thread-for-night-owls:-A-few-pointless-grumblings?via=blog_1

    For the first time in my life, I am actually contemplating not voting in the next presidential election. I need to find within myself a reason to vote, and I am finding for myself that it it becoming harder to find such a reason.

    • Mark

      Colin, Common Sense is correct. The great society and the new deal on it’s face might have had good intentions. The end result is one more government program rewarding many lazy people. I am not saying all are lazy, but many are. In the US there should not the amount of less educated young. The left has run the government schools for years and things are worse. We dump huge amounts of money into public schools. If you give many a free lunch, they don’t try to work to buy a better dinner. Charity should not be in the government domain, but done with contributions distributed by free labor. When the government puts in place progresive programs, the short and long term overhead is huge and drains much of the money away from it’s purpose. It just goes to pay for bigger government with all of the huge pensions and office space rents and etc. I would hope that you socialists or progresives could be objective enough to see this. Look at where we are at with size of our government today. This does not work and it never will.

      • Colin

        I am objective enough to see that there are flaws in the programs. They don’t do enough, and there is corruption in the system. This is to be expected as these programs were created by humans.

        The problem with our education system is that it is one of the first items to be cut in a budget. The conservatives, and the corporations, want to privatize the school system. Privatization discriminates against the poor. They help create the conditions which favor their agenda, and people like you buy the myth. If you demand that I re-evaluate my position, may be you should do the same for your position.

        • Mark

          Colin, I did not demand anything from you. I had only hoped that you would see that you progresives have run most of the big cities into the ground. Well, maybe there isn’t any hope for you. Good luck.

  • 007

    Come on Bernanke print some more money for me. Then lie and tell me that you didn’t. Drive up my gold investments.

  • Siberian

    Dear American friends, you wrote a simple guy from Siberia. You painted themselves into a dead end. Your government disinformation and washed your brain and your TV sops. You are proud of democracy and accuse Russia, that we do not have it, but let notice that the same infamous “free speech” we have more highly developed. In the U.S. moderated site does not allow adequate human voice, that he would have told you what really goes on in the U.S.. Fed. Res. owns 80% of America’s debt. It turns out that the U.S. gives itself money. this is the greatest financial scam in history.
    Soon this bubble will burst and the dollar will be cheaper than the paper on which it is printed. You are trying to reduce budget spending by cutting social security, but no word on military expenditures (which you have almost the same as the rest of the world). Because this place okorruptsii gunsmiths of the orders they give a lot of bribes.
    and it will not end until the American people as one realizes that it “led by the nose.” U.S. is now reminiscent of the Soviet Union (who said the objective of the things it immediately comes to black pativan. Your rights and freedoms interfered, explaining that “the threat of terrorism.”
    I wonder if 9 / 11 organized by the FBI or the CIA in order to limit your right and enter the total control of everyone, without his knowledge. Is not it very reminiscent of Soviet times 60-70 years? all in your hands. and I sincerely wish the American people see the light and not let a bunch of immoral people turn you into a herd that blindly following the shepherd.

    • Old Man

      Thank you comrade Siberian.

      A small percentage of Americans are only now realized that their brains have been washed. They discovered that the washing was (and is) performed by the Republican politicians (the same ones who falsely took full credit for defeating the USSR) who have made friends with banks and corporate big money. Together, they washed the brains of the public and collected huge profits. This is the real American ‘capitalism’ in action.

      But it may be too late to save the country. Because the rich people who collected such big profits refused to contribute a single dollar to solution. Because giving a dollar to society is ‘socialism’. So the country just have to give itself money forever. Until society itself defaults.

  • Christine in NoDak

    North Dakota has been more or less spared by the financial crises of the past several years. There are plenty of jobs if you don’t mind rolling up your sleeves. North Dakota isn’t such a bad place to be — the oil boom areas (western North Dakota) have much more mild winters than the Fargo/Grand Forks half of the state.

    • Mesa

      Christine, my wife and I are interested in relocating up there to the oil boom areas, or anywhere in North Dakota for that matter, for work. We have nothing to lose at this point. Cold winter but sheltered is better than being with no control and homeless. Can you offer any leads or possibly even referrals to get our foot in the door for jobs up there? Thank you!!

  • http://www.nazisociopaths.org rossbcan

    We live in an action leads to inevitable consequence reality. Consider well who did the actions spawning the consequence of social / economic collapse.

    The grim reaper of “Mathematics of Rule” (reality) proves WHY:

    http://www.nazisociopaths.org/modules/article/view.article.php/c1/32

    It is completely up to YOU what actions you choose, in consequence…

  • SMASH THE CONTROL MACHINE

    Instead of creating some sort of overarching institution to protect debtors, they create these grandiose, world-scale institutions like the IMF or S&P to protect creditors. They essentially declare (in defiance of all traditional economic logic) that no debtor should ever be allowed to default. Needless to say the result is catastrophic. We are experiencing something that to me, at least, looks exactly like what the ancients were most afraid of: a population of debtors skating at the edge of disaster.

    And, I might add, if Aristotle were around today, I very much doubt he would think that the distinction between renting yourself or members of your family out to work and selling yourself or members of your family to work was more than a legal nicety. He’d probably conclude that most Americans were, for all intents and purposes, slaves.

  • Colin

    “Ruler: One who does not participate in productive economic activities or do any work that directly contributes to creation of social wealth. For instance, government, people on social services, police, military, lawyers …”

    WTF!? I am a person on social services, and I am consider a ruler. Who writes this garbage? You are not a ruler if you are dependent on social services. You are a victim subject to the tides of political and budgetary pressures. Disgusting.

  • Lennie Pike

    Mark,

    I agree with you. You are correct as the laws and import taxes now stand.

    When I say that Middle Class wages do not have to compete with wages overseas, I’m saying that we do not have to retain the present laws and import duties that we now have. These Trade Representatives have not been representing Americans – they are bought and paid for pimps.

    At one time, just about all things that were sold and consumed in the U.S. were produced in the U.S., and all of the natural resources required to produce them were produced in the U.S..

    All we have to do is change and enforce some laws. And that “we” is the American People, not the Richard Craniums that run the whole country now.

    How many imported American cars do you think you would see in the streets of Japan, Korea, China, India? There will be nothing but those cars on the streets of the U.S. soon, that is if there is a Middle Class remaining to by them.

    The fact that so much of our food is imported now is shameful. A lot of California’s farmland was shut down because of some insignificant fish on the endangered list. The same people for whom the Trade Representatives work for, probably came up with this fish sob story – it makes me so sad.

    It is God’s plan for species to go extinct I think. Just imagine if no animals had ever gone extinct – would there be enough room for us to take a step without tripping? Would you be able to walk outside without an umbrella due to all the bird shit falling on top of your head? How about having to ward off the dinosaurs as you try to get into your car on the way to work?

    Have I started to ramble and get off subject?

    Yes, so I will end here.

    • Mark

      Lennie, do you really think tha american consumer will go back to days when it took months to save up for a TV made here? Today they can buy one with part of a weeks wages.I agree with you that we need different trade policies, but if you take away the their ability to buy a bunch of junk we will have riots in the streets. Crazy world is it not? Well what the heck, we are going to have riots anyway when the welfare checks stop or that the amount of the check when cashed will not buy much.

  • Lennie Pike

    Their cars I meant.

  • http://laRouchepac.com Elsine

    Truth vs. Popular Opinion

    The society we live in today is inundated with beliefs and ideas that are thought to be true, and accepted as true, merely on the basis that they are popular, or they have been repeated so many times that most people have come to accept them as true. For example; most Americans believe that the Constitution of the United States is based on the principle of democracy. In spite of the fact that all American children recite the pledge of allegiance to the American flag every day in schools all across the nation, which clearly describes the nation as a Republic. The problem is that this is promoted in the media every day, and now has become popular opinion, and worst of all is accepted as truth by the majority of American citizens. But the truth is that the supreme law of the land is “the Constitution,” not popular opinion, which is what democracy is.

    Therefore, it does not matter if the majority of the citizens of the nation want something, if that thing is not in line with the Constitution, it is not permitted. For example, if the majority of the citizens want to enact a law allowing slavery it would not be permitted under the Constitution, even if it did have popular support.

    On the other hand, if you have a situation where a law needs to be enacted that is in line with the Constitution, and is a necessity to save the nation, and through ignorance, most of the citizens are unaware of how important it is to have it adopted, it is the duty of those who are aware, though they may be the minority, to educate the population and push to get it enacted as soon as possible.

    The United States Republic is uniquely different than any other government in the world. It is a system that was conceived for the benefit of the people. That aspect is where it differs from other governments, which are conceived to be a system that benefits the leaders. The people of the Republic are, “citizens,” not “subjects.” The leaders of the Republic are supposed to be “servants of the people.” The people are not “servants of the leaders.” This is the principle which was referred to under the general welfare clause in the preamble to the Constitution. The U.S.Republic was designed to preserve the general welfare of the citizens. And, it was this principle which inspired Alexander Hamilton to give the warnings he did in the federalist papers. (See federalist 1). He foresaw the day when it would become popular opinion that the government of the United States should be reduced. Hamilton foresaw the peril of this kind of thinking taking hold in the United States, in the name of so called support of the Constitution. He warned that this would be one of the biggest dangers that would put the freedom of the people in jeopardy. He stated that the vigor of the govornment is essential to the security of liberty. In addition, that “in the contemplation of a sound well-informed judgment the states’ interest can never be separated, that a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of people, than under the forbidden zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government.”

    The problem with our nation today that has led to the crisis we now face is NOT that the government is too big, but that the Constitution has not been followed. We have allowed our leaders to go against the Constitution, either by commission or by omission. We have allowed banks to gamble with depositors’ money, and then get bailed out of their gambling debts with US public money. (We need a strong government to regulate things such as this). We are now suffering the price for allowing unconstitutional practices such as this to go on unchecked by our government.

    We have allowed our nation to become so enslaved trying to pay for these unconstitutional bank gambling debs that we don’t have enough money to take care of our citizens, and now people are talking about budget cuts that will kill people in order to save the banks. The Constitution was designed to preserve the general welfare of “the people,” not allow banks to create gambling debs and then put the burden of them on the people. Yet, this is exactly what the newly elected Congress, and the tea part plans on supporting, in the name of supporting the Constitution. This is the exact thing that Alexander Hamilton warned against in the Federalist Papers. The direction of the popular opinion that is so prevalent in our nation today, to reduce the government, and the insane zeal for budget cuts, that is, save the banks at the expense of the people is not only leading to further damaging the economy and wiping out the middle class, but is destroying our nation. Unless we turn away from popular opinion and turn to supporting the principles of our Rupublic, our nation is doomed. The first thing that needs to be done is to enact the Glass-Steagall law, or HR1489, and wipe out the gambling debts that have been put on the backs of the American people. Unless we enact this law, our nation is doomed. Barack OBama will veto this bill, so, to save our nation, he needs to be removed from office.

    A word of caution for those who choose to do further study on their own: One needs to take into account that there is much dis-information on the web and other sources in our society. You cannot blindly put your trust in what is being promoted as truth. For example, take the Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia on the web. Though you can often find useful information here, remember that much of this content is just someone’s opinion. Individuals contribute to this encyclopedia as they see the issues. Another example, look at the media, see how Obama is portrayed. Notice that you don’t see him portrayed as being hated by most of the American citizens. That’s because the British Empire controls the media. Most of what is in the American media is British propaganda. Americans used to put their trust in it, but they are realizing that they are being lied to, and they don’t trust it any more.

    There is much British propaganda being promoted in many areas of society, in our institutions, such as schools, colleges, universities, foundations, and others. There is an attempt by the British Empire to mold the thinking of Americans to accept ideas, policies, laws, wars, etc. that are a threat to our nation, and if we continue to go down this path it will bring our nation down. We already can see the disintegration of our nation in process, because we have allowed ourselves to accept British mis-information and policies. It is critical now, if our nation is to survive that Americans make an abrupt change in the direction we are going, to see through the British propaganda, and get their thinking and policies out of our country.

    This British (old Venician) system is once again trying to bring about the conditions in the world to cause a new dark age. They have deployed their stooges and mis-information to brainwash the population to be duped into letting them have their way. We must not let ourselves quarrel over trivialities and become divided against each other over differences in our religious beliefs. Instead, we need each other if we want to survive. We need to stand together against our common enemy. That goes not just for Americans, but for everyone in the world.

  • Colin

    Elsine

    The authors of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights understood their limitations, and understood that societies will change. In an act of anticipation, they voted into the Constitution the Ninth Amendment, along with the other Bill of Rights amendments. This amendment says,

    “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

    The Constitution is not an extensive list of rights, and this amendment recognizes this limitation in the document.

    Now, as for the British Empire, you do realize that this Empire was destroyed by World War II and doesn’t exist anymore. Right?

  • Common Sense

    Washington warned us of the two party system. Corruption is rampant in both. As Alexander Tyler wrote “Democracies last only to the point that citizens know they can vote themselves money from the public treasury.” We have let…in fact demanded that government become our parents and guarantee we have no risk or personal responsibility in our lives. Medicare,Medicaid, SS all taken from us at the point of gun with the “promise” we would be taken care of. Look where these schemes have gotten us. And the voters still fall for the same old tired mantra. And I say again, show me in history where re-distribution of wealth i.e. socialism has EVER worked. We have come to the point that the producers are willing to stop producing since so much of it is taken away and squandered. It’s going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better…..

  • Peter

    “there is a substantial shortage of truck drivers”
    As somone who got out of trucking,(and Im not alone) maybe there is a reason there are shortages of drivers. If you pay a decent wage and treat people right, “they will do anything.” This is not the case and I would discurage anyone going into it until things change. Driving used to be a great job so there is a lot of disinformation out there, from the government and media, who never drove and the retired drivers who remember how it was.

    • Colin

      I looked into truck driving as a career choice. The hours are horrendous – I could be driving fourteen hours a day. The pay is horrendous – $10 per hour with a certain amount set for each mile traveled. The benefits are vanishing as the unions lose leverage. Like so many strong union jobs in the past, for example grocery workers and butchers, are being destroyed as the corporate sphere of influence increases.

  • Lennie Pike

    Mark,

    That last sentence you wrote – that’s what I’m talking about. It is better to have to save for that T.V.

  • SMASH THE CONTROL MACHINE

    Even the hopium dealers are starting to come out of their QE induced green haze.

  • Lennie Pike

    Not that there’s anything worth watching on it because all the programming is designed to control us into oblivion – the bankers control t.v. along with everything else – they control the money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    “I want you to get up and scream out your window – I’m not going to take it anymore – scream it out you window.” – the movie “Television” I think it was named that came out in the nineteen seventies – had a lot of truth going for it.

  • SMASH THE CONTROL MACHINE

    45 million on foodstamps, balance sheet collapse, 20% real unemployment, steadily declining real wages — I’d say “difficult” is here.

  • SMASH THE CONTROL MACHINE

    You can be ready for these great careers….

    – Drug Mule

    – Fluffer

    – Step’n’fetchit

    – Shoeshine boy

    – Beggar

    – Buffet scrubber

  • SMASH THE CONTROL MACHINE

    Charles Ponzi would be proud of how the market is behaving. Donuts anyone.

  • clarence swinney

    America ranks 25th of 28 OECD nations on Equality
    No one no one wants to discuss it
    America ranks 27th of 28 OECD nations on Least Taxed
    6 Simple Numbers tell the story

    5% own 62% Net Wealth
    80% own 15% 62/15
    20% own 93% Financial Wealth
    80% own 7% 93/7
    25% take 67% all Individual Income
    70,000,000 workers take 13% 87/13

    SCORE=222/35=INEQUALITY

    It is like $100 with 20 having $86 and 80 having $14

    Each luckie duckie has $4.36 and po old Les Miserables’ have $0.17 each

    Now Greg that is indisputable INEQUALITY
    use of math lil rusty but range is wide wide

    Thanks for Main Street Of America
    Since 1980 Rape of 130 million workers by three so called Conservative Presidents and a Conservative Congress
    Let those take power and kill Safety Nets will result in

    70,000,000 workers marching and yelling
    BURN BABY BURN
    Those 70,000,000 luckie duckies get 13% of individual income
    In a Christian Nation. Jesus Christ would be upset
    If America is a true Christ-Like nation I am Bernie Sanders
    clarence swinney
    olduglymeanhonest political Historian Lifeaholics of America
    author-Lifeaholics-Success by working for a Life not just a Living

  • clarence swinney

    FANTASTIC ARTICLE WITH NUMBERS.
    BUT NO ONE WILL TELL THE PEOPLE THAT BAD NEWS
    TOO BUSY TAKING 10 HOURS ON ONE TV STATION TIME TELLING US ABOUT CHENEY BOOK.

    WHERE ARE ARE REPORTERS TO TELL FACTS AND COVER PRIORITIES FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS.

    WAITING FOR BURN BABY BURB???

  • Zombee K Tikki

    hey american woman
    YOUR EMPLOYEE TIME CLOCK STOPS NOW!

  • John Steinsvold

    An Alternative to Capitalism (where everyone is middle class)

    Several decades ago, Margaret Thatcher claimed: “There is no alternative”. She was referring to capitalism. Today, this negative attitude still persists.

    I would like to offer an alternative to capitalism for the American people to consider. Please click on the following link. It will take you to an essay titled: “Home of the Brave?” which was published by the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:

    http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/steinsvold.htm

    John Steinsvold

    Perhaps in time the so-called dark ages will be thought of as including our own.
    –Georg C. Lichtenberg

  • A.S.

    When the price of gold per once is greater than the Dow Jones (which could happen in two years), that is the ultimate end of the U.S. economy.

  • cesnaR

    One in three Americans are losing middle-class status. This is according to a recently unveiled study by the Pew Charitable Trusts that tells an upsetting story of wealth variation in America. Witness this poem to downward mobility: nearly one out of every three Americans who were raised in middle-class families have fallen down the income hierarchy. This would now serves as proof which shows the effect of the economic crisis to American citizens.

  • Julian Macias

    I say America should become a communist environment. All this suffering troubles me. We should create peace in the world and later strive for a global commune and unite together as humans. There should be one religeon, one government, one leader, no currency but probably a virtual credit system so there is no fight over currency. The more freedom we have, there will be more confusion. We need to do our best to create a Utopian environment where there might only be one leader. No one should have a say and should follow orders so there is no confusion, protesting.

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