The Massive Tidal Wave Of Illegal Immigration That Threatens To Destroy The United States Economy

According to some estimates, there are as many as 30 million illegal aliens in the United States today.  The vast majority of them pay absolutely no federal or state income taxes.  And yet they seem more than happy to take advantage of the free social services and benefits offered to them.  In fact, stories of how “good” life in America is just encourages more and more immigrants to come to the United States illegally.  Not that all immigration is bad.  The United States will always be able to use immigrants who come in the “front door” legally.  In fact, my wife is originally from Canada.  But those who would break the law by entering the U.S. illegally also are the same kind of people who are serial criminals, join gangs, deal drugs, bring diseases and are economic parasites.  So can the U.S. economy ever fully recover if we continue to carry tens of millions of illegal aliens on our backs?  If Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress open the door for illegal aliens even further, will it create a social and economic nightmare that none of us would even dare to imagine? 

Today, there are approximately 20 million American workers who are unemployed or who are underemployed. More than 36 million Americans are on food stamps and that number continues to increase each month. Over 13 million American children now live in poverty. We cannot provide for the people that are already here, and yet the U.S. government is making virtually no effort to stem the flood of illegal immigrants that are streaming into this nation.  

In fact, it is projected that the United States will add another 100 million people over the next 25 years. Where in the world will they get jobs? How in the world will we take care of them all?

With the U.S. economy already on the verge of complete and total collapse, can we afford to continue to allow the problem citizens of other nations to pour into ours?  Already, drug violence has turned many areas of northern Mexico into absolute war zones.  Juarez, Mexico (which is just across the U.S. border) has become the murder capital of the western hemisphere.  Much of that violence has begun to spill over into areas of the southwestern United States. 

For example, NPR recently described one incident in the Juarez Valley that involved American citizens….

A couple of weeks ago, gunmen in the Juarez Valley killed the Mexican relative of a Fort Hancock high school student. When the student’s family in Fort Hancock heard about it, they crossed the border at 10 a.m. to see the body, and took the student with them.

“By 10:30, they had stabbed the relatives that went with him, which included his grandparents, with an ice pick,” says school superintendent Jose Franco. “My understanding is that the gentleman is like 90 years old, and they poked his eyes out with an ice pick. I believe those people are still in intensive care here in a hospital in the U.S.”

Is this how we want to live?

To illustrate how draining illegal immigration is on the U.S. economy, an anonymous piece that has been floating around the Internet entitled “Joe versus Jose” is reproduced below.  Try not to get too angry as you read this….

*****

Here is an example of why hiring illegal aliens is not economically
productive for the State of California…or any other state for that matter.

You have 2 families…”Joe Legal” and “Jose Illegal”. Both families have
2 parents, 2 children and live in California . “Joe Legal” works in
construction, has a Social Security Number, and makes $25.00 per hour
with payroll taxes deducted…. “Jose Illegal” also works in construction,
has “NO” Social Security Number, and gets paid $15.00 cash per hour
“under the table”.

Joe Legal…

$25.00 per hour x 40 hours $1000.00 per week, $52,000 per year…
Now take 30% away for state & federal tax…
Joe Legal now has $31,231.00

Jose Illegal…

$15.00 per hour x 40 hours $600.00 per week, $31,200.00 per year…
Jose Illegal pays no taxes…
Jose Illegal now has $31,200.00

Joe Legal pays Medical and Dental Insurance with limited coverage
$1000.00 per month $12,000.00 per year
Joe Legal now has $19,231.00

Jose Illegal has full Medical and Dental coverage through the state and local clinics at a cost of $0.00 per year
Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00

Joe Legal makes too much money to be eligible for Food Stamps or welfare – Joe Legal pays for food $1,000.00 per month $12,000.00
per year – Joe Legal now has $ 7,231.00

Jose Illegal has no documented income, so he is eligible for Food Stamps and Welfare – Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00

Joe Legal pays rent $1,000.00 per month – $12,000.00 per year
Joe Legal is now in the hole minus (-) $4,769.00

Jose Illegal receives a $500 per month Federal rent subsidy…
Jose Illegal pays rent $500.00 per month (section 8 housing)
$6,000.00 per year – Jose Illegal still has $25,200.00

Joe Legal now works overtime on Saturdays or gets a part time job
after work or his wife must work. Jose Illegal has nights and
weekends off to enjoy with his family (and eat out!).

Joe Legal’s and Jose Illegal’s children both attend the same school.
Joe Legal pays for his children’s lunches
Jose Illegal’s children get a government sponsored breakfast & lunch,
and they also qualify to be bused to school at taxpayer expense.

Jose Illegal’s children have an after school ESL program.
Joe Legal’s children have to find a way to get to school and go home
after school as, “latch-key kids” with no adult supervision.

Joe Legal and Jose Illegal both enjoy the same police and fire services,
but Joe paid for them and Jose did not pay.

Jose Illegal can send most of his money back home to Mexico to build a
new home for retirement, and have money to buy a new truck
(and still have Medi-Cal benefits while living in a foreign country;
until someone turns him in to authorities….if they ever find out)

Joe Legal is still in the hole.

Any questions?

*****

But an even bigger problem may be the rampant lawlessness that many of these illegal aliens bring.  Crime, gangs and drug dealing are dramatically exploding all the way from Texas to southern California. 

There are fewer and fewer areas that you can call “safe” in the southwestern United States.

But now Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress want to give illegal aliens amnesty. 

If Barack Obama’s amnesty for illegal aliens gets passed, will more ranchers like Rob Krentz get murdered?

Trying to make an honest and safe living anywhere near the Mexican border is becoming a very difficult thing to do.

In fact, one sheriff recently told the residents of one Texas border town that they better “arm themselves”.  As he warned them of the dangers that they are now facing, he delivered this sobering warning….

“As they say the old story is, it’s better to be tried by 12 than carried by six. Damn it, I don’t want to see six people carrying you.”

Immigrants that are going to be productive members of society are going to come in legally.  But we have made the legal process for immigrating extremely complex and very expensive.  So we have actually discouraged legal immigration while at the same time highly rewarding those who come in illegally.  What kind of sense does that make?

Of course it seems like very little of what our political leaders do these days makes sense.  As the number of illegal aliens increases to 40 million or even 50 million, what in the world is that going to do to America?

And once the damage is done, is there any chance that it can ever be reversed?

Was The Economic Nightmare We Are About To Experience Foreseeable By Anyone With Half A Brain?

Has the economic nightmare that America is now entering been completely and totally foreseeable to anyone who was willing to look at the facts objectively?  Has the generation now running the United States recklessly destroyed the financial future of us all?  Will future generations look back and curse those who lived at this time for saddling them with so much debt?  When it comes to the financial condition of this country, most people want to make it into a Republican/Democrat thing, but the truth is that both parties have done a miserable job of managing the nation’s finances.  It would have been very helpful if at least one of the political parties had been the least bit interested in getting America’s financial house in order, but that was not the case.  Instead, both Republicans and Democrats worked together to pile up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world.  They worked together to build a “global economy” that shipped a huge percentage of our manufacturing overseas.  They worked together to build a system that highly favors the biggest corporations and the international banking elite.  Now American stands on the precipice of a devastating economic collapse, and many of our politicians seem actually shocked about what is happening.

But they shouldn’t be.  All of this has been building for a long, long time.  All of this was avoidable.  The fact that the economic problems of the United States have been so clearly foreseeable and yet nothing was done to stop them has a lot of people very, very upset.  Among those who are extremely upset are some of our readers…..

Suetonious:

How long has this been obvious? Certainly was obvious to me even in the 80’s. The demographics just weren’t there to support my generation. But I knew implicitly that we would be the ones stuck with the bill – with the scumbags in DC turning around, right about now, to tell us with feigned shock – “Gee, there’s no money for you guys! How did that happen?”

I could lay all the blame on these criminals, and most of it DOES lay with them. However, I have also directly and constantly experienced wilful obtuseness and ignorance on the part of Americans, with their fingers in their ears and their tongues flapping about with “LaLaLaLaLa” – every time anyone tries to point out the blatantly obvious regarding the financial End Game.

Americans are about to get what they have denied as impossible because it was not pleasant. Now there’s some real good thinkin’. Hope they get a clue in a hurry. Americans may be decent people – but that don’t count for much when it’s coupled with voluntary pig-ignorance.

Steve:

So many people missing the point…

There are no GOOD jobs out there. People work for money not for jelly beans. Young people are “lazy” because they don’t want to flip burgers for minimum wage or less? Are you Kidding? What percentage of people over 35 are willing to do this? The kid that made my BigMac today looked to be all of 14 so I’m guessing not too many. It’s about the money people! The generation that came before us is the one responsible for rampant inflation, the trade deficit, and the general dismantling of a once great nation and the so called family unit. YOU have left us with NOTHING! YOU have sold our birth right to the highest bidder. YOU have made us the future slaves of Chinese overlords. YOU are the people unwilling to hire the young at a wage they can actually live on.

If you are over 50 and you are reading this have the decency to feel shame for what you’ve done to your children and grandchildren. We are certainly ashamed of YOU!

DavidB:

Wake up – it’s not bloody marxists – it’s your own financial, industrial and political leaders that have caused this mess and you all sat back and revelled in it. For years, America has lived high on the benefits of globalisation (heaps of cheap imports) while not realising that there is a price to pay. That price is the wholesale export of your manufacturing to Asia and Mexico – along with the jobs. These have largely been replaced by low wage service jobs. The only alternative in order to maintain your standard of living has been to resort to debt – hence the credit crunch. The credit crunch is only a symptom.

As a non American – I can only wonder at how you spend more than the rest of the world combined on defence while your economy and financial stability collapses around you.

Dan:

It is clear that it is a combination of many things that have brought us to this point in US. Illegal immigration, huge government intrusion, over-regulation, health care costs, frivolous litigation, etc., I can understand why companies move overseas. Ridiculous taxation, regulation, intrusion, health care mandates, loss of freedom, etc. Just some of the things contributing to US economic trouble.

Get govt. out of the way and private sector would fix most of the problem and most Americans would benefit from the fix. Those left out of the prosperity of America, usually want to be left out. There are exceptions, and injustice it out there. But it isn’t Govt. that should deal with the social ills of our world. Where is the Church?

Lunatic Fringe:

From the edge, a brief explanation…

Anyway that’s the problem. USA debt has the same problem. At 100% debt to GDP, the Fed manufactures money out of debt. The problem is supply. When the world’s greatest economy starts to crater it takes the collective action of every nation in the world to prop us up. So far, Japan, China, and Great Britain have done so. If their economies continue to deteriorate, they won’t be able to. Japan and China are in a death dance with us. To save their existing treasury investments they must continue to invest in us or lose what is on deposit. The USA has an ungodly pipeline debt of 60 trillion coming due and payable in the form of Social Security and Medicare payments. California it seems, is a petri dish, a sneak preview of our coming collapse.

That’s why expressing debt to GDP is really a pretty antiquated way of seeing the problem, although that has been a universally accepted practice. Can we survive at 125% or 150% debt to GDP? Sure. As long as the Fed isn’t audited.

If that audit ever occurs, and TRUST ME IT NEVER WILL, the world will suffer a complete and total collapse. What we don’t know, it seems, isn’t hurting us yet.

Cat Callahan:

One thing that is not allowed is for people to wipe the slate clean and begin again. The republican congress enacted DRACONIAN bankruptcy legislation so that if you declare bankruptcy, your creditors can still come after you indefinitely for collect! Check it out! My husband and I are physically disabled and my husband has a fatal illness. My parents had left a small inheritance for our medical expenses. It is now confiscated before I have even ‘inherited’ it! They want us to have a good life? Bolderdash! Or they wouldn’t allow medical bills that bankrupt the average working person./ Try finding a could where the husband works 2 jobs and the wife three, who live frugally, and still can not pay off medical bills. If I get sick again, I think I will just welcome death.

Rick:

I’m back in school myself working on an associates degree because my “hard-working” and “genius” parents knew exactly what career I was going into. Then, when that didn’t pan out and I wouldn’t continue taking their marching orders, they threw me out on the street to fend for myself. I did that successfully for three years and put up with all their bitching and abuse about not working “hard enough” or “expecting other people to take care of me.”

Fortunately, I discovered that I have a great aunt and uncle who have been letting me live with them and go back to school. I’ve got a decent part time job at the school, but I am barely making enough money to pay rent to them. My advice is don’t give up and don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends. I would probably be living in a card board box if not for my aunt and uncle helping me.

For all those people saying why can’t you get 3 or 4 jobs to support yourself, I hate to break it to you, but employers are not going to hire someone who is working at another place and plan their schedule around them. They are only going to hire employees that are available 24/7 and not have to pay them above minimum wage.

This is the major crisis of our times right now. Instead of blaming and bickering, let’s do what we can to help everyone out.

JM Bullion

The Silent Entitlements Monster: Social Security, Medicare And Interest On The Debt Will Gobble Up Every Single Tax Dollar By 2020

There is a silent monster that looms menacingly over U.S. government finances.  Every politician knows about it, but very few of them ever want to talk about it.  This silent monster grows larger every year, and yet nobody seems to know quite what to do about it.  Those who have closely analyzed this monster all seem to agree that one day it will create a financial tsunami of a magnitude that is absolutely unprecedented, but there is vast disagreement about how to escape this financial tsunami or if it is even possible to escape it.  The name of this monster is “entitlements” – Social Security, Medicare and other social Ponzi schemes that the U.S. government has locked itself into funding.  It would be hard to understate the seriousness of the problem that entitlements present.  In fact, according to an official U.S. government report, rapidly growing interest costs on the national debt together with spending on major entitlement programs will absorb approximately 92 cents of every dollar of federal revenue by the year 2019.  By 2020, that figure will be up around 100 cents of every dollar of federal revenue.  So that means that interest on the debt and spending on entitlement programs will eat up everything the U.S. government takes in before a penny is spent on anything else.  That is a recipe for national financial suicide.

And unfortunately, the problem is only going to get far, far worse when you project things out beyond the year 2020.  Right now, interest on the debt and spending on entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare eat up only about 10 percent of GDP.  By 2080, they are projected to eat up approximately 50 percent of GDP.  In fact, things are even more dire than the chart below indicates.  This chart is based on previous government figures that projected that mandatory spending will exceed government revenues at some point between 2030 and 2040, but the latest government figures now project that this will happen right around 2020.  So as mind blowing as this chart is, keep in mind that it actually understates the problem we are facing….

This week, there was news that the Social Security system is in much worse shape than previously projected.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, this year the Social Security system will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes.  This was not supposed to happen until at least 2016.

Now it is happening in 2010.

It turns out that the “recession” that we have just been through has hit Social Security revenues really hard.

And unfortunately, as waves of Baby Boomers start retiring, these “Social Security deficits” are going to get even worse.

So where will the money come from to pay the benefits that are owed?

For now, the money will come from the $2.5 trillion Social Security Trust Fund that has been accumulated.

But keep in mind that the $2.5 trillion figure is extremely misleading.

There are not $2.5 trillion dollars sitting around in a bank account somewhere to pay these benefits.

The truth is that the Social Security Trust Fund does not contain any actual assets.

The only assets the Social Security Trust Fund has are IOUs from the U.S. government.

So basically the U.S. government owes the Social Security Trust Fund $2.5 trillion dollars, and now it turns out that the Social Security system is going to start needing that money.

So where will the U.S. government get that money?

Well, they will borrow it of course.

The reality is that the Social Security program is simply not sustainable.

Back in 1950 each retiree’s Social Security benefit was paid for by 16 workers.  Today, each retiree’s Social Security benefit is paid for by approximately 3.3 workers.  By 2025 it is projected that there will be about two workers for each retiree.

As a society, we simply have not been producing enough new workers to sustain the current system.

Of course the politicians all say the right things to make us think that they are going to do something about this crisis.  For example, Barack Obama recently had the following to say about the massive deficits the U.S. government keeps piling up: “It keeps me awake at night, looking at all that red ink”.

But the truth is that neither political party would dare propose a dramatic restructuring of Social Security or Medicare that would significantly reduce benefits.

Why?

Because it would be political suicide.

Say what you want about old people – the truth is that they vote more than the rest of us do.

Anyone who would dare “take away” their Social Security or Medicare would suddenly find hordes of old people voting against them in the next election.

But something has to be done.

The 2009 Financial Report of the U.S. Government was recently released, and it basically says that the U.S. government is facing financial Armageddon if something drastic is not done….

Absent a change in policy, under this scenario, the interest costs on the growing debt together with spending on major entitlement programs could absorb 92 cents of every dollar of federal revenue in 2019.

Keep in mind that this is before anything is spent on defense, health care, education, homeland security, job creation or anything else.

The following chart was pulled right out of the report.  These aren’t the projections of some Internet wacko.  These projections are in an official U.S. government report.  The implications of the chart below are absolutely mind blowing….

Keep in mind that the U.S. government and the U.S. economy are already on the verge of financial oblivion in 2010.  So what is going to happen if these projections are anywhere close to accurate?

In addition, the report also admitted that the present value of projected scheduled benefits exceeds earmarked revenues for entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare by about $46 trillion over the next 75 years.

$46 trillion!

Either the U.S. government is going to have to radically slash Social Security and Medicare benefits or they will have to come up with tens of trillions of extra dollars from somewhere.

And remember, the $46 trillion figure is just the “present value” of those future payments.

Because of inflation, the “actual value” of those future payments will be far greater.

In a section about Social Security and Medicare, the authors of the report confessed that “it is apparent that these programs are on a fiscally unsustainable path”.

Obviously something has got to give.

These programs cannot keep on paying the same level of benefits.

It is financially impossible.

But what are we going to do?  Millions upon millions of elderly Americans rely on these programs.

Are we going to reduce payments to a level where they can only afford dog food to eat and a shack to live in?

As a society, we are really between a rock and hard place.

If we continue on the same path, the United States government is going to go bankrupt.

But any politician who tries to cut benefits or raise taxes will likely face the wrath of the voters at the ballot box.

So for now the U.S. government just continues to spend even more money and continues to go into increasing amounts of debt – apparently hoping that somehow everything will just turn out okay.

But things are not going to turn out okay.  We are headed for a financial mess of horrifying proportions.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter how much the U.S. government cuts spending in other areas if it does not get entitlement spending and interest on the national debt under control.  If those expenditures are not addressed, it is absolutely guaranteed that the U.S. government will be swamped in red ink for many years to come.

But until severe financial pain starts happening, a large percentage of the American people are not going to be motivated to do anything about this problem.

But by then it will be too late.

The Mystery Of The Shemitah

79 Percent Of American Voters Say They Think The U.S. Economy Could Collapse – And They Are Absolutely Right

An overwhelming majority of American voters now believe that the United States could experience a total economic collapse.  According to the latest Fox News poll, 79 percent of U.S. voters believe “it’s possible the nation’s economy could collapse”, and the poll found that this belief in the fragility of the American economy cuts across the entire political spectrum.  The truth is that the American people, at least on some level, know that a day of reckoning is at hand.  For decades, America has been enjoying the biggest party in the history of the world, but unfortunately that party was fueled by a gigantic mountain of debt, and now the bills are starting to come due.  Unfortunately for those trying to do something about this economic mess, the American people are starting to realize that the U.S. economy is now basically a house of cards, and that could lead to massive financial panic when things really start to fall apart.

Normally when a poll is taken, you can see big differences in the responses based on the party affiliation of those being surveyed.  But in this poll everyone seems to agree – the U.S. economy could experience a complete and total collapse.

Not only did the poll find that 84 percent of Republicans believe the U.S. economy could fall apart, 80 percent of Independents did as well, as did 72 percent of Democrats.

Only 18 percent of the respondents to the survey believed that the economy is “so big and strong it could never collapse.”

It is very rare these days when a large majority of the American people will agree on something.

But unfortunately, they are completely and totally correct.

The U.S. economy is in a death spiral.

So how in the world did we get here?

The answer can be summed up in one word.

Debt.

The United States has piled up household, corporate and government debt at a pace that is mind blowing.

Once upon a time, the United States was the wealthiest nation in the history of the world.

But that was not enough for us.

We had to have more.

So we went out and squandered the wealth of this nation but that wasn’t enough either.

So we started spending hundreds of billions and then trillions of dollars that belong to future generations.

All of this to fuel the greatest party the world has ever seen.

And it has been a great party.

But you can turn out the lights because the party is almost over.

It is very easy to blame the U.S. government for getting into so much debt, but they are not the only ones who have been piling up debt at an insane pace.

In fact, millions of individual Americans have been living beyond their means for decades.  Just check out the chart below which shows the growth of household debt since the mid-1960s….

Now tens of millions of Americans are massively overextended and are crying to the U.S. government for help.  But nobody forced them to get mortgages that they couldn’t afford.  Nobody forced them to max out their credit cards.  Nobody forced them to fill up their garages with luxury vehicles.

In large part, we did this to ourselves.  U.S. credit card debt per household only crossed the $1,000 threshold in the mid-1980s.  Now it is over $8,000 per household….

But the corporate world should shoulder plenty of the blame as well.  Corporate debt has been exploding at an exponential rate while profits have remained relatively flat.  There is no way that this ratio of corporate debt to profits is sustainable….

And of course the biggest culprit of all is the U.S. government.  They have piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world, but are we not at fault for continuing to elect leaders who keep putting us into so much debt?  However, there are some signs that the American people are starting to wake up about this.  According to the Fox News poll, by a nearly three-to-one margin, voters believe that the national debt (65 percent) is a greater threat to America’s future than terrorism is (23 percent).

So will this change anything when the next elections come around?

We will see.

Meanwhile, the damage has already been done.  The U.S. Congress recently approved an increase in the federal government debt cap to 14.3 trillion dollars.  In 2010, the United States government is projected to issue almost as much new debt as the rest of the governments of the world combined.  Thanks to the horrifyingly bad management of our finances by our nation’s leaders, the legacy that we are leaving to future generations is the biggest mountain of debt that humanity has ever seen….

Unfortunately, instead of learning from the past and trying to reduce debt, the U.S. government just keeps spending money and piling up debt faster and faster.

But if they stop all of this reckless spending the U.S. economy could plunge right into a depression of unprecedented magnitude and pretty much everyone would be voted out of office.

But if they keep on with all of this reckless spending the long-term consequences will be catastrophic beyond anything that any of us can even imagine.

Either way, this thing is going to end really, really badly.

Whether you want to face it or not, there is no economic future for the United States under the current system.

Enjoy things while they are still relatively good, because this is as good as things are going to get.  Incredibly hard times are coming and we all need to start getting ready.

If The Money Supply Is Exploding Why Are We Not Seeing Rampant Inflation?

The U.S. money supply has been expanding at an absolutely unprecedented rate.  So why are we not experiencing rampant inflation?  Why is the U.S. dollar not falling through the floor?  Well, the truth is that all of this new money has gotten into the U.S. financial system but it is not getting into the hands of U.S. businesses and consumers.  In fact, even though the money supply is exploding, U.S. banks have dramatically decreased lending.  This has brought us to a very bizarre financial situation as a nation.

What we have seen is the U.S. government shovel massive amounts of cash into the U.S. financial system and then watch as the big banks sit on that cash and refuse to lend it. The biggest banks in the U.S. reduced their collective small business lending balance by another 1 billion dollars in November 2009.  That drop was the seventh monthly decline in a row.  In fact, in 2009 as a whole U.S. banks posted their sharpest decline in lending since 1942.

So all of this money that the U.S. government pumped into the financial system has been doing American businesses and consumers very little good.  That is why we can have a vastly increased money supply (as you can see from the chart below) and very little inflation.

So if the banks are not lending the money to the American people, what are they doing with it?  One of the things they are doing with it is buying U.S. government debt.  As you can see from the chart below, U.S. banks have cut business lending by approximately 350 billion dollars since early 2009 and they have purchased approximately 300 billion dollars worth of U.S. Treasury securities.

So instead of loaning money to American businesses and consumers who desperately need it, a ton of this new money is being used to pump up yet another bubble.  This time the bubble is in U.S. Treasuries.  Asia Times recently described how this trillion-dollar carry trade in U.S. government securities works….

Remarkably, the most aggressive buyers of US government debt during the past several months have been global banks domiciled in London and the Cayman Islands. They borrow at 20 basis points (a fifth of a percentage point) and buy Treasury securities paying 1% to 3%, depending on maturity.

This is the famous “carry trade”, by which banks or hedge funds borrow short-term at a very low rate and lend medium- or long-term at a higher rate. This works as long as short-tem rates remain extremely low. The moment that borrowing costs begin to rise, the trillion-dollar carry trade in US government securities will collapse.

So what happens when this bubble collapses?

Nobody knows for sure.  But anyone who has dealt with carry trades in the past knows that when carry trades unwind they can do so very, very quickly and the results can be nightmarish.

The truth is that the U.S. financial system is a house of cards that could fall at any time.  A lot of economic pain is on the horizon – it is only a matter of when it comes and how bad it is going to get.  Trends forecaster Gerald Celente is predicting that it could be as soon as this year….

Has The State Of California Become The Epicenter Of The Economic Collapse Of America?

Once upon a time, California was the state that everyone wanted to move to.  The endless sunshine, the gorgeous weather, the beaches, the lure of Hollywood and a booming economy made it extremely attractive to millions of Americans who wanted to fulfill their “California dreams”.  But those days are long gone.  Now, the state of California has become an economic nightmare.  In fact, many would argue that California has now become the epicenter of the economic collapse of the United States.  Everything that once made California great is now being swamped by a tidal wave of unemployment, foreclosures, crime, budget cuts, traffic, taxes and natural disasters.  There is a reason why every year now many more people leave the state of California than move into it.  The state of California is suffering a slow economic death, and if something is not done it could end up being one of the biggest financial disasters in history.

The economic crisis of the past several years has hit California so incredibly hard that it is hard to describe.  According to the U.S. Labor Department, the unemployment picture in the state continues to deteriorate, with an overall unemployment rate of 12.5 percent in January.

12.5 percent may not sound that bad, but the truth is that the situation in many of the urban areas is much worse.  There are now 8 counties in the state of California that have unemployment rates of over 20 percent.

In this economic environment, not even teachers are safe.  Just last week, the state of California handed pink slips to nearly 22,000 teachers across the state.

It is hard to even convey how bad things are in California right now.  California has always been a “boom or bust” state, but what is happening now is really unprecedented.

In fact, the number of people now unemployed in California is equivalent to the populations of Nevada, New Hampshire and Vermont combined.

Businesses are shutting down at an alarming rate.  For example, in the area around Sacramento, California there is one closed business for every six that are still open.

Just think about that.

One out of every seven businesses has already shut down.

And unfortunately things are going to get even worse.

But that is the last thing that people in California want to hear about now.

All of these economic problems are playing havoc with the state budget as well.  At this point the state of California is essentially dead broke.  Yet they have to keep borrowing more and more money because revenues have fallen off so sharply.  Basically what California is doing is they are piling up the biggest mountain of debt that any U.S. state has ever accumulated, and there is no hope that they will be able to do anything about it any time soon.

The following is how Ralph E. Stone of the Fog City Journal recently described the California government’s colossal financial problems….

How bad is the problem? Consider that California has a $20.7 billion deficit in the general fund budget over the next 16 months. California owes $8.8 billion in short-term loans that have to be paid off by June, and over $120 billion in outstanding bonds and interest that will be paid over decades. The state’s pension fund, CalPers, has $16.3 billion more in liabilities than assets, plus California also faces a $51.8 billion expense for the health and dental benefits of state retirees and future retirees.

So what can the state of California do?  Well, they can either raise taxes or they can cut spending.  Considering the fact that taxes are already at an incredibly oppressive level in the state, that is not a great option.  Not that they won’t try to suck more money out of the taxpayers anyway.

What California should be trying to do is to cut spending, but the very deep cuts that have been made already have not made that much progress.

Bob Herbert of the New York Times recently described California’s massive budget problems this way….

California has cut billions of dollars from its education system, including its renowned network of public colleges and universities. Many thousands of teachers have been let go. Budget officials travel the state with a glazed look in their eyes, having tried everything they can think of to balance the state budget. And still the deficits persist.

But it is not just California’s government that is experiencing a financial crisis of unprecedented magnitude.

California’s overstretched health care system is also on the verge of collapse.  Dozens of California hospitals and emergency rooms have shut down over the last decade.

Why?

The reality is that many hospitals and emergency rooms simply could not afford to stay open as they were endlessly swamped with immigrants and poor and homeless who were not able to pay for the services they were getting.

As a result of these hospital and emergency room closings, the remainder of the health care system in the state of California is now beyond overloaded.  This had led to brutally long waits, diverted ambulances and even unnecessary patient deaths.

And the number of Californians who are unable to pay for their emergency care is only increasing.

According to one new study, approximately 1 in 4 Californians under the age 65 had absolutely no health insurance last year.

But perhaps now that Barack Obama’s health care scheme has passed, maybe the cost of caring for everyone in California will be taken care of by the American taxpayers.

Thanks Obama.

The high unemployment rate and the cuts to the budget in California have also created an environment where crime and gang activity can flourish.  Not that crime and gangs were not gigantic problems before.  But now thousands upon thousands of young men who can’t or won’t find jobs have nothing better to do than sell drugs and terrorize entire neighborhoods.

In fact, there are many areas of California where you just do not go out of your home at night.

Then there are the devastating droughts, the thousands of wildfires, the endless earthquakes, and the crippling mudslides which California now experiences almost every single year.

No wonder so many people are flocking to leave the state.

But what happens in California eventually spreads to the rest of the United States.

Keep in mind that 13 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product comes from the state of California.

Counted by itself, California would be the 5th largest economy in the entire world.

So to think that these problems can be isolated to California is complete fantasy.

In fact, there are some areas in the United States, such as Detroit, that are just as bad as anything that is going on in California.

So the reality is that this is a national economic cancer that is spreading rapidly.

The economic nightmare that people in California and Michigan are experiencing will be coming to your area sooner or later.

Are you ready for that?

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Not Everyone Is Hurting – The Rich Get Richer As The Income Inequality Gap Explodes

Not everyone in America is hurting during this economic downturn. In fact, the wealthiest Americans are doing just fine. At a time when millions of Americans are losing their jobs and their homes, the folks at the top end of the income scale are actually seeing their incomes go up. In 2009, the number of millionaires in the United States rose 16 percent to 7.8 million at a time when tens of millions of other Americans were experiencing gut-wrenching economic despair. The truth is that the statistics and the data do not lie. Wealth and income are increasingly becoming concentrated in the hands of the wealthiest Americans. So just what in the world is going on?

Well, the reality is that the game is rigged to take wealth away from middle class and working class Americans and to give it to the elite. There is a reason why they push credit cards on you so hard. That $6000 balance that you keep carrying will end up costing you over $30,000 to pay off if you are not careful. We were told that owning a home was “the American Dream” and yet predatory mortgages have destroyed the financial lives of millions of Americans. The majority of Americans now live “month to month” and barely save any money at all. In fact, Americans are programmed to be slaves of the system. We are taught that we need to go get a job (“just over broke”) and work ourselves silly all day, and then at night we are taught to collapse in front of the television where we are bombarded with messages telling us to be good consumers and to go out and get into even more debt so that we will have to endlessly work to pay it off.

Today more wealth is in the hands of the wealthiest Americans than at any other time in modern U.S. history. An analysis of income-tax data by the Congressional Budget Office a couple of years ago found that the top 1% of households own nearly twice as much of the corporate wealth in the United States as they did just 15 years ago. While the average income for the poorest Americans has barely grown over the past several decades, the incomes of the wealthiest Americans have absolutely exploded as the following chart demonstrates….

So why is this happening? Well, automation and “offshoring” are typically offered as two key reasons. Millions of hard working American manufacturing workers have been replaced by robots and by outsourcing, and this has enabled many very wealthy Americans to get even more wealthy. But these reasons alone do not explain the increasing disparities.

The truth is that over the past couple of decades, the “rules of the game” have been tilted even more in favor of the rich. Centralization and globalization have been two keys trend which have contributed to this. For example, in the old days you could make a good living by opening up a store in your local town if you worked really, really hard. But today you will be crushed by Wal-Mart and other “big box” stores.

So where do all the big profits that Wal-Mart and the other “big box” stores make go?

They get shipped out of your community to a bunch of rich fat cats.

But apologists for the current system will cry that Wal-Mart and the other “big box” stores create jobs.

Well, yeah, if you like to work for minimum wage.

Have you tried to support a family on minimum wage?

It’s basically impossible.

The entire economy is becoming completely dominated by giant global corporations. These giant corporations are more than happy to put American consumers into debt by selling them substandard junk manufactured in China, India and Mexico.

And it is a great time to be wealthy – especially if you are at the very top. For example, New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recently announced that Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008. In fact, incomes for the top 1% of wage earners in the U.S. are shooting into the stratosphere as you can see from the following chart….

Unfortunately, all of this globalization, centralization and greed is fundamentally changing society. The gap between the rich and the poor is growing at an exponential rate. Is it a good thing for a society to have this kind of income inequality?….

Even the current economic collapse is hitting the poor much harder than the rich. Take a moment to examine the chart below. The ten percent of Americans that have the lowest household incomes have an unemployment rate of over 30 percent, while the ten percent of Americans that have the highest household incomes have an unemployment rate of just about 3 percent….

And if the wealthy do get into trouble what happens? Well, they get government bailouts of course.

The U.S. government is more than happy to rush in with billions (and even trillions) of dollars at the drop of a hat when their friends on Wall Street are in trouble.

But if you get into trouble do you think the U.S. government is going to bail you out?

No, the truth is that millions upon millions of Americans are losing their jobs and their homes and the U.S. government seems perfectly fine with that.

We live in a society where individual Americans find themselves with a rapidly diminishing share of the power. Instead, power is concentrated in the hands of massive international corporations and elite power brokers who are more than happy to use globalization to crush anyone who gets in their way.

After all, how can a hard working American compete with someone willing to do the same job for $1.25 an hour in another country?

We have allowed the U.S. economy to become globalized, and so now those who are dependent on a job will increasingly find themselves competing for wages in a global marketplace.

Can someone in China or India do your job?

You better hope not, because there are people there who would be more than happy to do it for a fraction of what you make.

As labor continues to become seen as a globalized commodity, the power and earning ability of the average American worker will continue to decline. The gap between the rich and the poor will continue to expand. The giant international corporations and the elite power brokers of the world will continue to win and the rest of us will continue to lose.

Meanwhile, the vast middle class that once made the United States the envy of the world will continue to rapidly disappear. But instead of doing something to fix the problems, one big group of Americans want to cheer on the wealthy as they plunder the rest of us and another big group of Americans just wants to give everyone a handout.

Wouldn’t it be great if someone actually decided to fix the great economic machine that produced the biggest middle class in the history of the world? Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen. The truth is that the U.S. economy is basically impossible to fix at this point – but that is the subject for another article.

Austin Coins

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