12 Things That We Can Learn From Hurricane Irene About How To Prepare For Disasters And Emergencies

Whenever a major disaster or emergency strikes, millions of lives can be turned upside down in an instant.  Fortunately Hurricane Irene was not as catastrophic as originally projected, but millions of people did lose power and at least 35 people lost their lives.  Large numbers of homes were destroyed and the economic damage from Hurricane Irene is going to be in the billions of dollars.  Now that Hurricane Irene has passed, this is a good opportunity for all of us to look back and learn some important lessons about how to prepare for disasters and emergencies.  The reality is that a major disaster or emergency has happened somewhere in the United States almost every single month so far this year, and it is only a matter of time before you and your family will be faced with another disaster or emergency.

No plan is perfect, but if you have a plan you are going to be far better off than if you do not have a plan.  September is “National Preparedness Month“, so now is a great time to focus on preparing your family for the future disasters and emergencies that are inevitably coming.

The following are 12 things that we can learn from Hurricane Irene about how to prepare for disasters and emergencies….

#1 Disasters And Emergencies Are Inherently Unpredictable

When a disaster or an emergency strikes, you never know what is going to happen.  Even a storm such as Hurricane Irene that was tracked for weeks can end up being highly unpredictable.

For example, while a tremendous amount of attention was paid to New York City, the reality is that some of the worst damage ended up being caused in Vermont.  Hurricane Irene actually caused the worst flooding that Vermont has seen since 1927.

The following is how the governor of Vermont described the devastation that was caused in his state by this storm….

“It’s just devastating,” Gov. Peter Shumlin said Monday. “Whole communities under water, businesses, homes, obviously roads and bridges, rail transportation infrastructure. We’ve lost farmers’ crops,” he said. “We’re tough folks up here but Irene … really hit us hard.”

#2 During A Major Disaster Store Shelves Become Empty Very Rapidly

What do we see happen every single time there is even a minor disaster or emergency?

Every single time, food and other emergency supplies disappear from store shelves in a matter of hours.

If you do not have at least a couple weeks of food stored up you are being totally foolish.

In fact, considering how unstable the world has become, it is amazing that only a small percentage of the population has enough food stored up to be able to last for at least six months.

If an economic apocalypse happens, a major war breaks out, an EMP attack takes place, a huge comet strikes the planet or weapons of mass destruction are used in this country, you may not have access to mass quantities of very cheap food any longer.

Get prepared while you still can.

#3 Always Have A “Go Bag” Ready

When disaster strikes, you may only have a couple of minutes before you have to race out the door.

Your “go bag” should contain some food, some water, a flashlight, a battery-powered radio, some cash, copies of your most important documents and any medicine that you may need.

#4 Know Your Escape Routes And Always Have Maps Of The Area In Your Vehicle

Have a plan and know where you are going to be heading in the event of an emergency.

If you don’t have a plan or if you don’t give yourself enough time, you could end up dead.  A number of people died during Hurricane Irene while they were in their cars.  The following is one example that was noted in a recent CNN article….

A 64-year-old woman was found dead Sunday by Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania, police after her family grew concerned when she did not show up for work. Her body was found a half-mile from where her car was abandoned in a deluged creek, police said.

#5 During A Major Disaster Or Emergency There Is A Good Chance That You Will Lose Power For An Extended Period Of Time

During Hurricane Irene, more than 5 million people lost power.  That is why it is crucial to have a battery-powered radio, a battery-powered (or solar) flashlight and extra batteries in your home.

Know what you are going to do once the power goes out.  Anyone that has been through an extended power outage knows how life can change almost instantly once the power goes down.

#6 Have Enough Water Stored Up

What was one of the biggest problems in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina?

It turned out that one of the most critical problems was a very serious shortage of bottled water.

Yes, even after Katrina dumped unprecedented amounts of water on New Orleans one of the biggest problems was still a lack of water.

If you do not have clean water to drink, you can die within just a few days.

So when planning for disasters and emergencies, please be sure to store up enough water.

#7 During A Natural Disaster, Major Transportation Routes May Be Shut Down

A lot of people were horrified to find roads closed or washed out during Hurricane Irene.  Just because you are used to traveling on certain roads it is not safe to assume that they will always be available during disasters and emergencies.

#8 Have Respect For The Sheer Power Of Natural Disasters

We live at a time when people like to make a joke out of anything, but major natural disasters are not to be trifled with.

If you do not respect nature, you can end up dead.  Amazingly, some people were actually out boating and canoeing during Hurricane Irene.  According to one CNN article, one 53-year-old man that tried boating during Hurricane Irene was later found dead….

One man in Croton, New York, died Sunday while boating along with four others down the Croton River, said Lt. Russell Haper, a spokesman for the Croton police. The boat overturned in the strong rapids. The 53-year-old man was found dead after a three-hour rescue effort. The other men were pulled safely from the water.

#9 Living Near Water Can Be Very Dangerous

If you live near the ocean or near a major river, you need to understand that the potential for danger is always there.

Even if you live a good bit in from the coast, the danger for substantial flooding is always there.  The following is how one CNN article described the situation in Philadelphia at the height of Hurricane Irene….

Outside Philadelphia, waters had already climbed to street-sign levels in Darby, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said, with the water sending “couches, furniture, all kinds of stuff floating down the street.”

#10 During A Major Disaster Bring In All Objects From Outside

During any disaster that involves high winds, anything that is left outside can quickly become a very dangerous projectile.  The last thing that you want is for the wind to pick up heavy objects and send them crashing into your home or the home of a neighbor.  If you know that a major storm is coming, please bring in everything that you can from outside.

#11 Have A Plan But Be Flexible

Your best chance of making it through a disaster or emergency is to have a plan.  But that doesn’t mean that you should always stick with that plan.  Disasters and emergencies are inherently unpredictable, so it will be very important to be as flexible as possible.

#12 If You Wait Until Disaster Strikes To Prepare It Is Too Late

Right now is the time to prepare for the next disaster or emergency.  If you wait until an emergency happens, you will be out of luck.  You need to develop a disaster plan for yourself and your family if you do not have one already.

If you plan on storing up food, water, medicine and other emergency supplies, you need to do it ahead of time.  Victory belongs to the prepared, and if you think that you will never wind up in the middle of a major disaster you are just being foolish.

Hurricane Irene was a terrible storm, but fortunately it was not nearly as bad as it could have been.

Hopefully this storm will serve as a wake up call for many of us.

The next time that a disaster strikes, we may not be let off the hook so easily.

Taxed Into Oblivion

In the United States today, we are being taxed into oblivion, yet it is being done so stealthily that most Americans don’t even realize what is happening.  Most people are fixated on federal income tax rates, but the federal income tax is only one of the dozens of different taxes that each of us pay each year.  The politicians have learned that people get really upset when income tax rates are raised, so they have found hundreds of other ways to raise taxes on us.  What most taxpayers in the United States today are facing is “death by a thousand cuts”.  When you add up all forms of taxation from all levels of government, approximately 40 percent of all the income in the country is taken in as taxes by government.  Large numbers of Americans end up paying well over 50 percent of their income in taxes, and many of them don’t even realize that it is happening.  We truly are being taxed into oblivion, and yet the politicians just keep coming back for more.

On all levels, government just keeps growing, and all of this government has got to be paid for somehow.  Politicians have become masters at finding ways to tax us so that we won’t even feel it.  They have an endless hunger to spend more money, and they depend on us to feed that addiction.  Today, the combination of federal government spending, state government spending and local government spending now accounts for a larger share of U.S. GDP than at any other time in our history.

Yes, federal income tax rates were significantly higher 30 or 40 years ago.  But virtually every other tax you can think of has gone way up since then or did not exist back then.

Federal income taxes definitely still hurt, but the reality is that where we really get hit is in all of the other taxes that we pay.  American families pay Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, state income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, death taxes, various excise taxes, gasoline taxes, tire taxes, utility taxes, liquor taxes, telephone taxes and cigarette taxes just to name a few.  The truth is that there are dozens and dozens of different taxes that most Americans pay each year, and there are a whole bunch of others that get passed on to us through businesses that we deal with.

Speaking of cigarette taxes, there is legislation in Congress right now that would send taxes on tobacco products absolutely skyrocketing yet again.

I don’t smoke and I never will smoke, but I find the attack on smokers by our politicians to be seriously offensive.  If smoking is legal, then leave them alone.  Don’t tax them into oblivion just because you don’t like what they are doing.

An excerpt from S. 1403 (The IDEA Full Funding Act) is posted below.  You will notice that a portion of this legislation even refers to itself as the “Saving Lives by Lowering Tobacco Use Act”.  They are openly admitting that they want to make tobacco so expensive that people cannot afford to use it….

SEC. 3. TOBACCO TAX INCREASE AND PARITY.

(a) Short Title- This section may be cited as the ‘Saving Lives by Lowering Tobacco Use Act’.

(b) Increase in Excise Tax on Small Cigars and Cigarettes-

(1) SMALL CIGARS- Section 5701(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by striking ‘$50.33’ and inserting ‘$100.50’.

(2) CIGARETTES- Section 5701(b) of such Code is amended–

(A) by striking ‘$50.33’ in paragraph (1) and inserting ‘$100.50’, and

(B) by striking ‘$105.69’ in paragraph (2) and inserting ‘$211.04’.

(c) Tax Parity for Pipe Tobacco and Roll-Your-Own Tobacco-

(1) PIPE TOBACCO- Section 5701(f) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by striking ‘$2.8311 cents’ and inserting ‘$49.55’.

(2) ROLL-YOUR-OWN TOBACCO- Section 5701(g) of such Code is amended by striking ‘$24.78’ and inserting ‘$49.55’.

(d) Clarification of Definition of Small Cigars- Paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 5701(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 are each amended by striking ‘three pounds per thousand’ and inserting ‘four and one-half pounds per thousand’.

(e) Clarification of Definition of Cigarette- Paragraph (2) of section 5702(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by inserting before the final period the following: ‘, which includes any roll for smoking containing tobacco that weighs no more than four and a half pounds per thousand, unless it is wrapped in whole tobacco leaf and does not have a cellulose acetate or other cigarette-style filter’.

(f) Tax Parity for Smokeless Tobacco-

(1) IN GENERAL- Section 5701(e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended–

(A) in paragraph (1), by striking ‘$1.51’ and inserting ‘$26.79’;

(B) in paragraph (2), by striking ‘50.33 cents’ and inserting ‘$10.72’; and

(C) by adding at the end the following:

‘(3) SMOKELESS TOBACCO SOLD IN DISCRETE SINGLE-USE UNITS- On discrete single-use units, $100.50 per each 1,000 single-use units.’.

You can view the full text of this legislation right here.  Please notice that some of the tax increases are absolutely mind blowing.  For example, the tax rate on pipe tobacco is going from 2.8311 cents to $49.55.

Now that is a tax increase you can really sink your teeth into.

We are seeing “quiet” tax increases like this happen on every level of government all over the United States.

Of course I haven’t even mentioned all of the fines and fees and “registration” charges that state and local governments are hitting us with.

Have you gone to renew your car registration lately?  In some states (such as California) the fees have gotten absolutely ridiculous.

Speaking of California, it looks like they are getting ready to target cellphone users once again.

According to USA Today, California is getting ready to seriously jack up the fines for talking on a cellphone while driving….

The state Senate has sent a bill to Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. raising the basic fine for a first automotive offense from $20 to $50, the Sacramento Bee reports. For subsequent offenses, the fine would rise from $50 to $100. That’s not the worst of it: by the time state and local assessments are added on, the total for a first offense rises to between $208 to $328. For additional tickets, make that $328 to $528.

Yes, talking on a cellphone while driving is dangerous.  But hitting people with tickets of $300, $400 or even $500 is not about safety.  It is all about revenue generation.

Right now we are seeing an epidemic of speed traps all over the country.  State and local governments are desperate for money, and they see speeders as an easy source of revenue. You can read more about this phenomenon right here.

Speaking of “revenue”, that seems to have become Barack Obama’s new favorite word lately.  He seems absolutely obsessed with raising more money for the federal government.  The Obamacare law was absolutely packed to the gills with new taxes, but now he wants even more.

Yes, it is true that the wealthy are getting away with murder under our current tax system.  I find it highly offensive that many people that make millions of dollars each year are able to find ways to pay much, much smaller percentages of their incomes in taxes than I do.

But raising tax rates isn’t going to solve the problem.  Those that are masters at avoiding taxes are going to continue to do so.  Meanwhile, middle class Americans and small businesses will continue to get bled to death.

Our current tax system is fundamentally broken and needs to be completely thrown out and replaced.

However, no system is going to work until the federal government gets a handle on its spending addiction.

In the past couple of years, spending by the federal government as a share of GDP has been the highest that it has been since World War II.

You would think that there should be plenty of fat to trim, but as the recent debt ceiling deal clearly demonstrated, our politicians do not intend to significantly reduce government spending.

They are just going to keep borrowing, spending and finding more ways to tax us.

All of this nonsense in Washington D.C. is part of the reason why Americans are so displeased with Congress at this point.  According to Gallup, 84 percent of Americans now disapprove of the way Congress is doing its job, which is a brand new all-time high.

The truth is that sending more money to Washington D.C. is not going to “fix” things.

The federal government has multiplied in size over the past several decades, and yet the number of poor people just continues to increase.

Giving the poor more handouts may ease their suffering for a little while, but it is not the solution to their problems.  What they really need are good jobs, but our politicians have very busy setting up unfair trade agreements that allow millions of our jobs to be shipped overseas, and they continue to suffocate businesses in this country with mountains of ridiculous regulations.

No, the people that truly benefit when more money flows to the federal government are the fatcats that live and work around Washington D.C.

The past few decades have been a bonanza for government contractors, lobbyists and lawyers in the D.C. area.

According to the Washington Post, those living in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area now have a higher median household income than anyone else in the country….

Washingtonians now enjoy the highest median household income of any metropolitan area in the country, and five of the top 10 jurisdictions in America — Loudoun, Howard and Fairfax counties, and Falls Church and Fairfax City — are here, census data shows.

The signs of that wealth are on display all over, from the string of luxury boutiques such as Gucci and Tory Burch opening at Tysons Galleria to the $15 cocktails served over artisanal ice at the W Hotel in the District to the ever-larger houses rising off River Road in Potomac.

There is a ton of money in the D.C. area.  I know.  I used to work there.  Approximately one third of the GDP of the region comes from spending by the federal government.  Even during this recent economic downturn, the Washington D.C. region continues to do really, really well.

So, no, raising taxes is not going to fix what ails us.  It would just feed the monster that we have created in Washington.

We are already being taxed into oblivion.  Middle class America can’t take much more of this.

We need to change our entire approach to taxation in this country, because right now our tax system is fundamentally unfair and it is not working.

So what do all of you think about our tax system?  Please feel free to post a comment with your opinion below….

 

10 Signs That Economic Riots And Civil Unrest Inside The United States Are Now More Likely Than Ever

You should let the video footage of the wild violence that just took place in London burn into your memory because the same things are going to be happening all over the United States as the economy continues to crumble.  We have raised an entire generation of young people with an “entitlement mentality”, but now the economy is producing very few good jobs that will actually enable our young people to work for what they feel they are entitled to.  If you are under 30 in America today, things look really bleak.  The vast majority of the good jobs are held by people that are older, and they aren’t about to give them up if they can help it.  It is easy for the rest of us to tell young Americans to “take whatever they can”, but the reality is that there is intense competition for even the most basic jobs.  For instance, McDonald’s recently held a “National Hiring Day” during which a million Americans applied for jobs.  Only 6.2% of the applicants were hired.  In the old days you could walk down to McDonald’s and get a job whenever you wanted to, but now any job is precious.  The frustration among our young people is palpable.  Most of them feel entitled to “the American Dream” and they feel like the system has failed them.  Unfortunately, many of them are already turning to violence.  But the economic riots and the civil unrest that we have already seen are nothing compared to what is coming.  Americans are angry, and as the economy continues to collapse that anger is going to reach unprecedented heights.

In recent days, even many in the mainstream media have been openly wondering if the riots that happened in London could happen here too.  There is a growing acknowledgement that this country is headed down a very dark path.

The sad thing is that these riots accomplish absolutely nothing.  The recent London riots did not create any jobs and they certainly did not solve any economic problems.  Instead, they actually hurt the economy even more because a huge am0unt of property was destroyed and people are even more afraid to continue with business as usual.

But when people get to the end of their ropes, most of the time they are not thinking rationally.  When frustration erupts, the results can be very, very messy.

All over the United States we are already seeing some very troubling signs of the violence that is coming.  The following are 10 signs that economic riots and civil unrest inside United States are now more likely then ever….

#1 Going to the state fair used to be such a fun thing for American families to do.  But now no place is safe.  The following is how one local ABC News affiliate described the “flash mob” attacks that took place at the Wisconsin state fair recently….

Milwaukee police said that around 11:10 p.m., squads were sent to the area for reports of battery, fighting and property damage being caused by an unruly crowd of “hundreds” of people. One officer described it as a “mob beating.”

Police said the group of young people attacked fair goers who were leaving the fair grounds. Police said that some victims were attacked while walking. They said others were pulled out of cars and off of motorcycles before being beaten.

One eyewitness said that the flash mob attacks at the Wisconsin state fair absolutely overwhelmed the limited police presence that was there….

When I saw the amount of kids coming down the road, all I kept thinking was, ‘There’s not enough cops to handle this.’  There’s no way.  It would have taken the National Guard to control the number of kids that were coming off the road.  They were knocking people off their motorcycles.

#2 According to a new Rasmussen survey, 48% of Americans believe that reductions in government spending are “at least somewhat likely” to result in civil unrest inside the United States.  Unfortunately, perception often greatly influences reality.

#3 U.S. consumer confidence is now at its lowest level in 30 years.

#4 Joblessness among young Americans is at an epidemic level, and when rioting does break out it is usually young people that are leading the way.  That is why the following statistics from an article in The Atlantic are so troubling….

One in five Americans are between 15 and 29-years old. And one in five of those Americans are unemployed. For minorities and the under-educated, the picture is much worse. Black teenagers have an unemployment rate of 44 percent, twice the rate for white teens.

#5 We are starting to see mindless violence in a lot of areas that used to be considered safe.  In Kansas City on Saturday night, three young people were hit with bullets as they walked the streets of the Country Club Plaza.  Mayor Sly James was about 50 yards away when the gunfire erupted.  Authorities in Kansas City are considering a stricter curfew for that area.

#6 “Flash mobs” have become such a problem in Philadelphia that the mayor has imposed a strict curfew on young people.  Now all teens between the ages of 13 and 18 must be indoors by 9 o’clock at night.  The mayor also says that teens need to start pulling up their pants….

“Pull your pants up and buy a belt ’cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt.”

#7 All over the United States we are seeing that many struggling Americans will do just about anything for money.  For example, in Detroit recently three masked men crashed a vehicle through the entrance of a gas station and took off with an entire ATM machine.

#8 Desperate people do desperate things.  Many of America’s “forgotten poor” are trying to survive any way that they can.  For instance, a group of vagrants recently set up “a makeshift camp” near Prospect Park lake in Brooklyn.  According to the New York Post, many nearby residents have been disturbed by what these “drifters” are doing to survive….

The drifters have been illegally trapping and cooking up the critters that call the park home, including squirrels, ducks and swan-like cygnets.

They used crude tactics to hunt their prey, including barbed fishing hooks that ripped off the top half of one poor gosling’s beak. They then cooked the meat over illegal fires. Some of the animals were eaten raw.

#9 According to CNN, sales of safes and vaults are absolutely soaring right now.  One store owner told CNN that she believes that she is selling a lot more safes now because people are scared that civil unrest could be coming….

“Folks are worried about the decreasing value of the dollar, burglaries on the rise in their neighborhoods … and even the possibility that the unrest we are seeing in other parts of the world slipping over to our country.”

#10 Over the past 100 years, the American population has moved steadily into our big cities and the surrounding suburbs.  This has created virtual “ghost towns” in our rural areas from coast to coast.  Back in 1910, 72 percent of Americans lived in rural areas.  Today, only 16 percent of Americans live in rural areas.  But when you crowd huge masses of people close together that makes riots and civil unrest much more likely.

Most Americans are already fed up, and the economy is not even that bad yet.  One recent survey found that 73 percent of Americans believe that the nation is “on the wrong track”.  Another recent poll found that only 17 percent of Americans now believe that the U.S. government has the consent of the governed.

Millions of very frustrated young people believe that the economic system has failed them and that the political system no longer holds any answers.

America is rapidly approaching a breaking point.  I have written previously about the collapse of society that we are already witnessing all over the United States.  When the economy totally breaks down, most Americans are not going to be able to handle it.

Sadly, instead of coming together and trying to do something productive, many Americans will resort to rioting, looting and civil unrest.  We have already seen this during local emergencies such as Hurricane Katrina.

But mindless violence accomplishes absolutely nothing positive.  It just always makes things worse.

Unfortunately, logic and reason are not going to be enough to stop the gigantic wave of frustration that is coming.  For most of the rest of us, it will be hard enough to get out of the way and protect our own families from the economic riots and the civil unrest that are coming.

The thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is starting to disappear.  Hatred and anger are growing by the day.  The United States is becoming a very frightening place.

So get ready.  Our politicians certainly don’t have any answers for us.  The debt ceiling deal was a complete and total joke, and corruption is absolutely rampant in Washington right now.  Barack Obama is getting ready to leave for yet another vacation, and most of our politicians are only focused on the next election.

So don’t expect a “miracle” from those that are supposed to be leading us.

They don’t care about you.

You need to take care of yourself and your family and your friends.

A massive economic collapse is coming, and most Americans are going to be totally blindsided by it.

Don’t let that happen to you.

Stress!

Has anyone else noticed that the level of stress in this country appears to be extremely high right now?  Today, it seems like our federal government, our state governments and most American families live in a constant state of crisis.  Everywhere you look there are major problems.  Right now everyone is stressed out because of the “debt ceiling deadline”.  Earlier this year everyone was freaked out about the possibility of a “government shutdown”.  If by some miracle Barack Obama and the Republicans are able to reach a deal in the next few days that will not help the national stress level for long.  Another gut-wrenching “national crisis” will almost certainly come along very quickly.  Meanwhile, average American families are feeling more stress than ever.  There are millions of ordinary Americans that either cannot find jobs or are working as hard as they can and yet cannot seem to pay their mortgages and provide the basics for their families.  We are a nation that is really stressed out right now, and as things continue to unravel the level of stress is only going to increase.

Compared to much of the rest of the world, we have an insanely high standard of living, and yet we appear to be some of the most unhappy people on the face of the earth.

Wherever you turn today, someone is popping a pill.  The percentage of women taking antidepressants in America is higher than in any other country in the world.  Children in the United States are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants than children in Europe are.

What in the world is wrong with us?

America is a country that desperately needs to chill out.

Washington D.C. sure is a stressful place right now.  Most of our politicians seem to be focused on the 2012 elections rather than on trying to solve our problems.

Most of our leaders are prancing around trying to make themselves look good.  Meanwhile, our national financial situation continues to go down the toilet.

One way or another this “debt ceiling crisis” will probably get solved.  Our politicians will come up with some sort of a “deal” and it will almost certainly be a bad one.

The sad truth is that the U.S. national debt problem should have been addressed decades ago.

But it wasn’t.

So now we are sitting on a 14 trillion dollar timebomb.

Yes, the ultra-wealthy have become absolute masters at avoiding taxation, but even if some way to tap into their offshore wealth could be found, it still would only put a small dent in the problem.

The truth is that the U.S. government spends way too much money.

U.S. government spending is now above 25 percent of U.S. GDP.  That is way above what has been normal during the post-World War II era.

But cutting government spending is not going to fix our system either.

The reality is that our debt-based financial system is designed to trap our federal government in a constantly expanding spiral of debt indefinitely.

As I have written about previously, the U.S. government debt problem will never be fixed as long as the Federal Reserve is running our financial system.

Under our current system, the debt is going to continue to grow no matter who we elect.

As our debt grows, our economy will suffer and the national stress level will continue to rise.

But for most American households, government debt is not the thing causing the most stress these days.

Most Americans are much more concerned about their own personal financial situations.

Most people just want to work hard, pay the bills and raise their families.  But that is becoming extremely difficult to to.

According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 90 percent of Americans believe that the economy is performing poorly.

The same poll found that 80 percent of Americans believe that it is “difficult” to find a job these days.

In the United States today, there are 14 million unemployed people.  Tonight there are huge numbers of Americans that are sitting at home desperately hoping that someone will give them a job.  A significant percentage of our population that should be productive is just sitting on the sidelines.  Just check out the following quote from a recent CNN article….

Has anyone in Washington noticed that 20% of American men are not working? That’s right. One out of five men in this country are collecting unemployment, in prison, on disability, operating in the underground economy, or getting by on the paychecks of wives or girlfriends or parents. The equivalent number in 1970, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, was 7%.

With numbers like that, how in the world can anyone claim that our economy is healthy?

Sadly, it looks like things may get even worse.  As I have written about previously, we are now starting to see another huge wave of layoffs all over the nation.

The employment crisis has a ripple effect throughout the rest of the economy as well.

Without good jobs, Americans cannot buy homes.  The housing crash is not going to be fixed until there the employment situation gets fixed.

With lending standards tighter than ever, it takes someone with a good income and a solid employment history to be able to qualify for a home loan.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a whole lot of people like that in the marketplace right now.

So, the housing industry continues to suffer.

Last year was the worst year for new home sales in modern U.S. history.  So far, this year is even worse.

Ouch.

It would be really nice if we actually would have an economic recovery, but it just isn’t happening.

Prices are rising and incomes are not.  American families are feeling more squeezed than ever.

A lot of Americans live in a constant state of stress because of debt.

According to one new poll, about 20 percent of American adults worry about debt “most or all of the time”.

If you have ever been there, then you know how financial stress can rob sleep from you night after night after night.

Today, total credit card debt in the U.S. is more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.

Some Americans can handle credit cards, but a lot of them can’t.  A staggering 46 percent of Americans do not pay their credit card bills in full each month.

But credit card debt is only one form of debt that is causing stress for American families.  The truth is that the total amount of student loan debt is even greater than the total amount of credit card debt.  Medical debt is another huge problem.  The vast majority of American families are dealing with a debt problem of one form or another.  The decades of “easy credit” that we enjoyed are really starting to catch up with us.

Today, the average American household is carrying $75,600 in debt.

That is not a good thing.  American consumers are tapped out and the economy is suffering.

As the economy crumbles, many hard working Americans are finding that their lives have radically changed.  Just check out the following excerpt from an article posted on a local Connecticut news source….

For 28 years, Cathy Hartley of Glastonbury brought home a good paycheck from her job at Aetna.

But last Tuesday, she was in line with her two young granddaughters for free produce from Mobile Foodshare at the First Church of Christ Congregational on Main Street.

For Hartley, who said she was laid off from her job as a project manager about six years ago and then laid off from a subsequent job two years ago, every little bit helps. Her eligibility for unemployment ran out two months ago.

Could you imagine standing in line at a food bank?

Don’t laugh.

It just might happen to you.

Millions of Americans that have lost their jobs and their homes never thought that it would happen to them.

Wealth and possessions are here today and gone tomorrow.  People that base their lives on the things that they own are always going to have a high level of stress.  We didn’t bring any of these things into the world with us, and we can’t take any of them with us when we leave.

So try not to stress out too much.  We should all learn to be content whether we have a lot or whether we have a little.

So what do all of you think about the stress level in America right now?  Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below….

Madness: 39 Things That Are Driving Ordinary Americans Absolutely Crazy

Have you noticed that almost everyone seems really angry these days?  Frustration with the government and with most of the other major institutions in our society seems to grow by the day.  According to a brand new ABC News/Washington Post poll, 80 percent of Americans say that they are either dissatisfied or angry with the government.  Americans are deeply divided about what the solutions to our problems are, but what almost everyone can agree on is that our problems are getting worse.  Watching all of the madness that is going on in Washington D.C. and in our state capitals is almost enough to drive anyone absolutely crazy.  Our nation is drowning in an ocean of debt, jobs are being shipped overseas at an alarming rate, thousands of stores are closing, poverty is exploding, greed has become a national pastime and corruption is seemingly everywhere.  The American people are incredibly frustrated because the vast majority of our “leaders” appear to be too incompetent or too corrupt to deal with our problems.

If you visit just about any website on the Internet that deals with politics or the economy and spend some time reading the comments that people leave you will quickly see how angry people are becoming.  A lot of times people have no other outlets for the intense frustration that they are feeling and so they just let it all come out online.  Yes, Americans have always complained about the government, but the madness that we are seeing today is really unprecedented in modern U.S. history.  Something has fundamentally changed.

The U.S. government and most of our other major societal institutions are rapidly losing the faith of the American people.  But society cannot function without trust.

So what is going to happen once all of the trust is gone?

The following are 39 things that are driving ordinary Americans absolutely crazy right now….

#1 According to Newsweek, close to one out of every five American men between the ages of 25 and 54 does not have a job at the moment.  So why is the “greatest economy on earth” unable to provide jobs for nearly 20 percent of the men that are in their prime working years?

#2 Last year, over a million homes were repossessed by financial institutions.  This year a similar number of repossessions is expected.  Sometimes these evictions are absolutely heartbreaking.  Just check out the following excerpt from a recent Newsweek article….

To understand American anger, that roiling storm sometimes dubbed our national “mood,” spend a day with Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. Since 2006 the unlikely lawman—a tea drinker who listens to Bobby Kennedy speeches on his way to work—has overseen all foreclosures and evictions in the Chicago area, one of the hardest hit nationwide. The process does not always go well. One evictee shot himself in the head, remained conscious, and calmly tried to raise the pistol again as deputies battered the front door.

#3 Companies like Netflix and Chipotle are significantly raising prices.  Meanwhile, Ben Bernanke claims that there is hardly any inflation.  He must not go grocery shopping much.

#4 The government keeps telling us that the economy is improving, and yet more stores keep closing.  The Gap has announced that up to 200 stores will be closed over the next two years.  Perkins has announced that they will be closing 58 restaurants.  Borders has announced that they will be shutting down their remaining 399 stores and that 10,700 employees will lose their jobs.  Yes, the economy is really buzzing right now.

#5 Government services all over the nation are being cut back.  An atmosphere of austerity has descended on the entire country.  For example, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says that we may soon have to say goodbye to Saturday mail delivery.

#6 Many broke public school systems are now charging parents lots of money for things that used to be free.  The Wall Street Journal says that one family in Ohio has to shell out over $4,000 a year for basic school activities….

Budget shortfalls have prompted Medina Senior High to impose fees on students who enroll in many academic classes and extracurricular activities. The Dombis had to pay to register their children for basic courses such as Spanish I and Earth Sciences, to get them into graded electives such as band, and to allow them to run cross-country and track. The family’s total tab for a year of public education: $4,446.50.

#7 The Federal Reserve gets to give out tens of billions of dollars of nearly interest-free loans to their bankster friends while tens of millions of American families desperately try to survive an economic downturn that was caused by those same banksters.

#8 We have gotten ourselves into a position where we are in so much debt to China that we have to constantly be concerned about how they feel about our financial status.  Earlier this week, one top Chinese official urged the U.S. government to do something to boost confidence in the U.S. dollar and in U.S. government debt….

“We hope the U.S. government will take responsible policies and measures to boost global financial market confidence and respect and protect the interests of investors.”

#9 The national debt continues to spiral out of control and our politicians seem unwilling to do anything serious about it.  If you combine all sources of income, it is estimated that LeBron James makes about 42 million dollars a year.  If he continued to make money at that rate, it would take him 23,809 years to make a trillion dollars.  Yet our politicians see no problem with running trillion dollar deficits year after year.

#10 Unless our politicians do something dramatic, the federal government is headed straight toward financial hell.  It is being projected that the U.S. national debt will hit 344% of GDP by the year 2050 if we continue on our current course.

#11 It is not just the federal government that is broke.  Right now, there are a lot of state and local governments that are teetering on the brink of financial disaster.  Moody’s has announced that it will be reviewing, and possibly downgrading, the credit ratings of Maryland, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.  The city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is such a financial mess that nobody really has any idea how to fix their problems.

#12 All over the United States, highways, water treatment plants, libraries, parking meters, airports and power plants are being sold off (much of the time to foreigners) in order to plug short-term holes in state and local budgets.

#13 The combination of federal government spending, state government spending and local government spending now accounts for a larger share of U.S. GDP than at any other time in our history.

#14 Police all over America have been shutting down lemonade stands run by little children.  At least one police chief in Wisconsin was good enough to apologize when it happened in his area.  It is too bad that there aren’t more police out there that have a little common sense.

#15 The U.S. housing crash shows no signs of abating.  Real estate construction is absolutely dead.  In fact, right now we are on track for the lowest number of total housing completions that the U.S. government has ever recorded in a single year.

#16 In June, sales of previously-owned homes in the United States declined to a seven month low.  Without good jobs, the American people cannot afford to buy homes.  Many of those that do have good incomes are being turned down by mortgage lenders.

#17 The supply of existing homes for sale continues to go up.  That means that it is going to get even harder for average Americans to sell their homes.

#18 The value of U.S. homes has fallen by a total of approximately 6.6 trillion dollars since the peak of the housing market.

#19 It isn’t just banks that are kicking people out of their homes.  All over the country, homeowners’ associations are aggressively using their powers to boot American families out on to the streets.

#20 Instead of being used by families, all over the country thousands of foreclosed homes are rapidly filling up with mold.

#21 Really bizarre thefts are being reported all over the United States right now.  For example, it was just reported that some crooks in Pennsylvania ripped up and hauled away about 100,000 pounds of train track.

#22 Authorities continue to insist that violent crime is going down, and yet the number of police officers killed by gunfire is on pace to easily set another all-time record for the second year in a row.

#23 One recent study found that approximately 47 percent of all meat and poultry in the United States “is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant Staph“.

#24 The health insurance companies keep jacking up rates on all of us, and yet they also continue to report record breaking profits.

#25 The Obama administration is now using “mystery shoppers” to spy on doctors.  The following is from a report in the New York Times….

Alarmed by a shortage of primary care doctors, Obama administration officials are recruiting a team of “mystery shoppers” to pose as patients, call doctors’ offices and request appointments to see how difficult it is for people to get care when they need it.

#26 Corruption appears to be rampant on every level of American society today.  For example, one NYU professor recently discovered that 20 percent of his students were blatantly cheating on assignments.

#27 Thanks to insane tax loopholes, a substantial percentage of the billions of dollars of income that hedge fund managers make is only taxed at a maximum rate of 15 percent.  Meanwhile, middle class American families are being absolutely hammered with taxes.

#28 The “too big to fail” banks now control 77 percent of all of the banking assets in the country.

#29 In 2010, the United States had the worst current account balance in the world.  The U.S. had a current account balance of negative 561 billion dollars for 2010.  No other nation had a negative current account balance that even exceeded 70 billion dollars.  The amount of wealth leaving our country and being transferred to the rest of the world is absolutely mind blowing.

#30 One recent poll found that 72 percent of Americans believe that we are involved in too many wars.  But the Obama administration seems to think that we should be “the police of the world” and they just keep getting the U.S. military involved in more conflicts.

#31 Startling revelations are starting to come out about a scandal so big that it could shake up Washington D.C. for years to come.  Apparently, ATF agents were ordered to get thousands of guns into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels and they were also apparently ordered not to follow those guns to see where they ended up.

#32 The top 5 percent of all income earners in America account for almost as much consumer spending as the bottom 80 percent of all income earners.

#33 The number of Americans that are going to food pantries and soup kitchens has increased by 46% since 2006.  But instead of being treated with kindness, many communities are treating the growing ranks of the poor as “outcasts” or criminals.

#34 Despite the promises of our politicians, globalism is absolutely shredding the American economy.  According to Forbes, the United States has been losing an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

#35 There are no signs that our rampant unemployment problem is going to end any time soon.  In fact, right now it takes the average unemployed worker about 40 weeks to find a new job.

#36 The vast majority of U.S. consumers are tapped out at this point.  Just consider the following quote from the New York Times….

The auto industry is on pace to sell 28 percent fewer new vehicles this year than it did 10 years ago — and 10 years ago was 2001, when the country was in recession. Sales of ovens and stoves are on pace to be at their lowest level since 1992. Home sales over the past year have fallen back to their lowest point since the crisis began.

#37 Right now in Congress there is a proposal to change the way that inflation is calculated.  According to The Senior Citizens League, this change would cause the average retiree to lose out on $18,000 in Social Security benefits over a 25 year period.

#38 Our tax system is fundamentally unjust.  Just look at the example of General Electric.  G.E. is a favorite of the Obama administration and somehow they get away with not paying taxes year after year. Just check out what the New York Times claims G.E. got away with in 2010….

The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.

Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

#39 The TSA continues to abuse U.S. travelers in some of the most bizarre ways imaginable.  For example, one 95-year-old grandmother in a wheelchair that is dying from cancer was asked to remove her adult diaper so that TSA “officials” could feel her up properly.  In what kind of a society does this type of thing go on?

No wonder the American people are losing faith.  It is hard to keep believing when you see rampant corruption and decay everywhere you look.

But mostly, the American people want to be able to take care of their families.

The American people are not going to start feeling better about things until there are plenty of good jobs to go around.  If people cannot pay their mortgages and provide for their families then they are not going to be content no matter what our politicians tell them.

Unfortunately, the “new normal” is going to be a lot different from what the “old normal” was.  The United States is a declining power.  Every month our nation is bleeding more jobs, more factories and more wealth.  Every month our debt problems on the federal, state and local levels get even worse.  We have been living far beyond our means for decades, and we are rapidly getting to the point where that simply will not be possible anymore.

The long-term trends that have gotten us to this point have taken decades to develop.  There is no “quick fix” that some politician is going to bring in that is going to create some kind of miracle.

We are now starting to pay the price for decades of bad decisions.  As the consequences of our decisions become more apparent, the American people are going to get angrier and angrier.

Unless something very dramatic happens, we are heading for a very ugly chapter in American history.

Let us hope for the best, but let us also prepare for the worst.

Drought Of 2011: The Southern United States Is Desperate For Rain As The Middle Part Of The Country Continues To Get Scorched

2011 sure has been a wild year for America so far.  First we had unprecedented tornado outbreaks, then we had horrific flooding along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, then we had record setting wildfires and now we are facing a crippling drought all over the southern United States.  From Arizona all the way to Georgia there are vast areas that have been declared to be experiencing “exceptional drought” by the National Weather Service.  Crop failures are widespread and ranchers are having a very difficult time trying to feed their cattle.  If the southern United States does not receive a significant amount of rain soon, the drought of 2011 is going to be one of biggest natural disasters that we have seen in a long, long time.

Right now, approximately 29 percent of the country is experiencing some level of drought.  About 12 percent of the U.S. is experiencing “exceptional drought”, which is the highest level of drought.  The combination of very little rain and scorching heat over much of the nation has been absolutely devastating.  Many areas have been dealing with high temperatures in the 90s and the low triple digits for weeks.

Between October and June, the state of Texas experienced one of the driest stretches ever recorded.  Already, the drought of 2011 is considered to be the third-worst drought ever experienced in Texas.

Currently, approximately 72 percent of the state of Texas is dealing with “exceptional drought” conditions.  It has been estimated that 30 percent of the wheat fields in Texas will be lost.  Agricultural losses from the drought of 2011 are projected to be $3 billion in the state of Texas alone.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has already designated all 254 counties in the state of Texas as natural disaster areas.  The farmers and ranchers down there are going through hell right now.

But Texas is not alone.  Most of Arizona, all of New Mexico, all of Oklahoma, most of Arkansas, all of Louisiana, most of Mississippi, most of Alabama, most of Georgia, most of Florida, most of South Carolina and most of North Carolina are also dealing with drought conditions.

This drought is hitting many of our most significant agricultural areas.  If we don’t get a significant amount of rain in some of these areas soon the losses are going to be catastrophic.

At this point, Oklahoma has just had 28 percent of the rainfall that it normally gets during the summer.  Many other areas are experiencing similar problems.

Just check out the map below.  The areas that are the darkest are the areas that are experiencing “exceptional drought”….

Needless to say, the drought of 2011 is absolutely devastating a lot of hard working farmers and ranchers.

A recent article posted on CNBC described some of the effects that this drought is having on farmers….

“The heat and the drought are so bad in this southwest corner of Georgia that hogs can barely eat. Corn, a lucrative crop with a notorious thirst, is burning up in fields. Cotton plants are too weak to punch through soil so dry it might as well be pavement.”

So what is going to happen if this drought continues for the rest of the summer?

Ranchers are also having a very hard time right now.  All over Texas, as pastures die off ranchers are selling their herds because soon they will not be able to feed them any longer.

Right now cattle are being slaughtered in record numbers due to the drought.  But after all of these cattle are gone will we be facing a cattle shortage?

Thanks to the recent wildfires and the tremendous drought, it is getting very difficult for ranchers to feed their cattle.  Just check out the following statistics from a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor….

Most Texas pasture and range lands – 86 percent – are currently “poor” or “very poor,” according to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The same rating applied to 69 percent of Oklahoma and 40 percent of Kansas.

During this month, high temperatures of over 110 degrees have been very common in cattle country.  There is not enough for these cattle to eat and there is not enough for these cattle to drink.  If things do not turn around soon, even more ranchers will be racing to sell off their herds while they still can.

But it is not just cattle that are being devastated by this drought.  Just check out what this drought is doing to deer….

Pregnant does are having problems carrying fawns to term, and most of them born prematurely aren’t surviving, according to the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Other does are abandoning their newborns because drought-induced malnutrition has robbed them of their ability to produce milk.

Abandoned fawns found all over the Panhandle and South Plains have been brought to the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Ten had been brought to the Lubbock wildlife center by the end of last week.

This drought has also had some other dramatic effects.

For example, a gigantic “wall of dust” recently rolled through Phoenix, Arizona.  Take a moment and watch the video posted below.  Does this remind anyone else of the “Dust Bowl” of the 1930s?….

In economic terms, the drought of 2011 could end up having a huge impact on average American families.

Ultimately, American consumers are likely going to feel some significant pain from this crisis as a recent CNBC article noted….

That means grocery shoppers will feel the effects of the drought at the dinner table, where the cost of staples like meat and bread will most likely rise, said Michael J. Roberts, an associate professor of agricultural and resource economics at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. “The biggest losers are consumers,” he said.

All of this wouldn’t be so alarming if we were not already on the verge of a global food crisis.  Global food prices continue to hover around record highs.  Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are experiencing the worst drought conditions that they have seen in 60 years.  Tonight there are 10 million people living in the Horn of Africa that are facing severe food shortages.  Hunger and starvation are spreading again in east Africa and in many other areas of the world as well.

That is one reason why so many Americans are working so hard to prepare for disaster right now.  All over the United States (and around the world), “preppers” are storing up food and supplies in case things go really bad.

Some Americans are taking things to extreme levels.  For example, a man named Steven Huff is constructing a 72,000 square foot “home” (some call it a fortress) in Missouri.  Huff is the chairman of Wisconsin-based TF Concrete Forming Systems.  Apparently the goal is to show off what his firm is capable of.  It is claimed that this will be “a home that uses very low energy, as well as having strong resistance to tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, fire, flood and insect damage”.

It kind of looks like a castle to me.  You can see a picture of this remarkable “home” right here.

Unfortunately, most of us cannot afford to build 72,000 square foot fortresses.  So we will just have to do the best that we can with what we already have.

The world is becoming more unstable every single day.  Global financial markets are getting extremely nervous and jumpy.  More chaos or more war could erupt in the Middle East at any time.  Natural disasters continue to get more frequent and more intense.  We certainly do live in interesting times.

It is imperative that we all watch carefully as these global events unfold.  None of us knows for sure what is going to happen next.  But those that are prepared are going to have the best chance to make it through when disaster does strike.

18 Signs That Global Financial Markets Smell Blood In The Water

Can you smell it?  There is blood in the water.  Global financial markets are in turmoil.  Banking stocks are getting slaughtered right now.  European bond yields are absolutely soaring.  Major corporations are announcing huge layoffs.  The entire global financial system appears to be racing toward another major crisis.  So could we potentially see a repeat of 2008?  Sadly, when the next big financial crisis happens it might be worse than 2008.  Back in the middle of 2008, the U.S. national debt was less than 10 trillion dollars.  Today it is over 14 trillion dollars. Back in 2008, none of the countries in the EU were on the verge of financial collapse.  Today, several of them are.  This time if the global financial system starts falling apart the big governments around the world are not going to be able to do nearly as much to support it.  That is why what is happening right now is so alarming.  As signs of weakness spread, the short sellers and the speculators are starting to circle.  They can smell the money.

Back in 2008, bank stocks led the decline.  Today, that appears to be happening again.  The “too big to fail” banks are getting absolutely pummeled right now.  Most people don’t have much sympathy for the banksters, but if we do see a repeat of 2008 they are going to be cutting off credit and begging for massive bailouts once again, and that would not be good news for the economy.

In Europe, the EU sovereign debt crisis just seems to get worse by the day.  Bond yields for the PIIGS are going haywire.  The higher the yields go, the worse the crisis is going to get.

Meanwhile, as I have written about previously, a bad mood has descended on world financial markets. Pessimism is everywhere and fear is spreading.  The short sellers and the speculators are eager to jump on any sign of weakness.  Investors all over the globe are extremely nervous right now.

So what happens next?

Well, nobody knows for sure.

But things certainly do not look good.

The following are 18 signs that global financial markets smell blood in the water….

#1 Banks stocks are absolutely getting hammered right now.  Bank of America hit a 52 week low on Monday.  Bank of America shares declined 4 percent to $9.61.

#2 So far this year, Bank of America stock is down about 27 percent.

#3 Bloomberg is reporting that Bank of America may be forced to increase its capital cushion by 50 billion dollars.

#4 Shares of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are near two year lows.

#5 Shares in Citigroup fell 2.5 percent on Monday.

#6 Moody’s recently warned that it may be forced to downgrade the debt ratings of Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo.

#7 Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley are all either considering staff cuts or are already laying workers off.

#8 The deputy European director of the International Monetary Fund says that the Greek debt crisis is “on a knife’s edge“.

#9 Moody’s has slashed Ireland’s bond rating all the way to junk status.

#10 The yield on 2 year Portuguese bonds is now over 20 percent, the yield on 2 year Irish bonds is now over 23 percent and the yield on 2 year Greek bonds is now over 35 percent.

#11 Shares of Italy’s largest bank dropped by a whopping 6.4% on Monday.

#12 On Monday, the yield on 10 year Italian bonds was the highest it has been since the euro was adopted.

#13 On Monday, the yield on 10 year Spanish bonds was also the highest it has been since the euro was adopted.

#14 Shares of Germany’s largest bank fell by a staggering 7% on Monday and are down a total of 22% so far this month.

#15 Citigroup’s chief economist, William Buiter, says that without direct intervention by the ECB there is going to be a wave of sovereign defaults across Europe….

“Nothing stands in the way of multiple sovereign defaults except the ECB: they are the only game in town, there is nothing else”

#16 Cisco has announced plans to axe 16 percent of its workers.

#17 Borders Group has announced that it will be liquidating all remaining assets.  That means that 399 stores will be closed and 10,700 workers will lose their jobs.

#18 During times of great crisis, many investors seek safe havens for their money.  On Monday, the price of gold shot past $1600 an ounce.

These are not normal financial times.  The worldwide debt bubble is starting to burst and nobody is quite sure what is going to happen next.  Certainly we are going to continue to see financial authorities all over the world do their best to keep the system going.  But as we saw in 2008, things can spiral out of control very quickly.

Just remember, back at the beginning of 2008 very few people would have ever imagined that the biggest financial institutions in America would be begging for hundreds of billions of dollars in bailouts by the end of that year.

When confidence disappears, the game can change very quickly.  To the vast majority of economists it would have been unimaginable that the yield on 2 year Greek bonds would be over 35 percent in mid-2011.

But here we are.

The entire global financial system is a house of cards built on a foundation of sand.  It is more vulnerable today than it has been at any other time since World War II.  When a couple of major dominoes fall, it is likely to set off a massive chain reaction.

The global financial system of today was not designed with safety and security in mind.  It was designed for greedy people to be able to make as much money as possible as quickly as possible.  The banksters don’t care about the greater good of mankind.  What they care about is making huge piles of cash.

There is way too much risk, way too much debt and way too much leverage in the global financial marketplace.  You would have thought that 2008 should have been a major wake up call for financial authorities around the world, but very few significant changes have been made since that time.

The financial news is just going to keep getting worse.  This financial system is simply unsustainable.  It is fundamentally unsound.  The reality is that financial bubbles cannot keep expanding forever.  Eventually they must burst.

Over the next few weeks, keep a close eye on banking stocks and keep a close eye on European bond yields.

Hopefully things will stabilize.

Hopefully the next wave of the financial collapse is not about to hit us.

Hopefully the entire global financial system is not on the verge of a major implosion.

But you might want to get prepared just in case.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!