The Worst Mississippi River Flood Ever?

Please pray for those living along the Mississippi River.  They are going to need it.  The tornadoes that just ripped through the southeast U.S. are being called one of the worst natural disasters in American history, and now the flooding along the Mississippi River may top the damage done by those tornadoes.  In fact, some are now projecting that this will be the worst Mississippi River flood ever recorded since the United States became a nation.  You don’t believe that?  Well, Bob Anderson, an Army Corps of Engineers spokesman based in Vicksburg, Mississippi says that there has “never been a flood of this magnitude on the upper Mississippi“.  And you know what they say – “never” is a really, really long time.  Hopefully everyone in the region has really good flood insurance.  The flood that this is being compared to is the great 1937 Mississippi River flood.  That flood was so nightmarish that it changed the whole way that the U.S. government approaches floods, but now this flood is surpassing the record levels set back in 1937 in many areas.  This truly is a historic flood.

This is not a disaster that happens over one or two days and then is over.  This disaster is going to literally take weeks to unfold.  Residents of 8 states are bracing for the worst.

Many are rapidly filling sandbags and are trying to keep the flood waters at bay.  Others are packing up and getting ready to evacuate.

The flood is so massive that it actually has caused some of the tributaries along the Mississippi River to actually start flowing backwards.

So how long is this flooding going to last?

At this point, the Mississippi River is expected to crest at 48 feet around May 11th.

But this disaster will last much longer than that.

Authorities are saying that the Mississippi River could stay at flood stage for more than a month.

The economic damage, the property damage and the loss of crops is going to be incalculable.

It is important to understand that this is just not another flood.  This is literally a history changing nightmare.

Just check out this quote from Gene Rench of the National Weather Service….

“Right now the Mississippi river is in the process of going through what we call an epic flood, meaning it’s more than historic, it’s more than a 100 year flood, it’s more like a 500 year flood.”

A “500 year flood”?

That is some pretty strong language.

Part of the problem is that the Ohio River and the Mississippi River are both flooding at the same time.  In a recent article on CNN, local farmer Bob Byrne described the damage and noted that this is the first time he has ever seen both of those mighty rivers flood at the same time….

“We’ve seen the Ohio River rampage, water right up to the top of the levee. We’ve seen this one (Mississippi) on the rampage, but never the two together.”

Byrne also said that the loss of wheat crops that he has already suffered comes to about $40,000.

Sadly, this flooding is going to cost the region billions upon billions of dollars.

But didn’t we just see another disaster that is going to cost billions upon billions of dollars?

Yes we did.

The “tornadoes of 2011” absolutely destroyed big chunks of the southeast United States.

There was one mile-wide tornado with winds over 200 MPH that basically ripped Tuscaloosa, Alabama to shreds.  There are parts of Tuscaloosa that look like they have been through a nuclear war.

What in the world is going on?

In just one 24 hour period last week, there were a whopping 226 active tornadoes in the United States.

Overall, there were approximately 600 tornadoes in the United States during April.  That is the most tornadoes that have ever been recorded in a single month in all of American history.

Usually, there are only about 1,200 tornadoes in the U.S. during an entire year.

Meanwhile, the state of Texas is being ravaged by drought and wildfires.  So far the wildfires down in Texas have scorched more than 2 million acres.

Why is all of this happening to us?

Could it be just a coincidence that so many “historic” natural disasters are happening all at once or is something else going on here?

Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below, and please remember to pray for the millions of Americans that are suffering through these disasters right now.

A Dollar Collapse? No Way – The U.S. Dollar Rocks! (Propaganda)

Are we on the verge of a dollar collapse?  Don’t believe the skeptics.  The truth is that there is no currency in the world that is stronger than the old greenback.  The U.S. dollar is the reserve currency of the world.  Virtually all of the nations on the face of the earth use it for trading and they always will.  Why?  Because the U.S. dollar is awesome.  No currency on earth can compete with our awesomeness.  So what that the dollar hit a new all-time record low against the Swiss franc today?  Do you really want to move over with the Swissies and eat chocolate and make watches?  No, you want to live in the land of American Idol, the NFL and apple pie – the good old USA.  Who cares if it takes about a dollar and a half to buy a single euro now?  Do you really want to go live with the Frenchies and eat a bunch of French bread while you wear a beret every day?  Of course not.  There isn’t going to be a dollar collapse.  As long as the USA is still number one the rest of the world is still going to need U.S. dollars.  So quit your worrying.

The other day all of the “doom and gloomers” were crying that the sky was falling because the U.S. dollar had fallen for 8 trading days in a row.  They were proclaiming that the “end of the dollar” was near because the dollar index was approaching a new record low.

The following is how an article from yesterday in the Washington Post described the recent slide of the dollar….

The dollar has fallen against a basket of six major currencies — the euro, Japanese yen, British pound, Canadian dollar, Swiss franc and Swedish krona — for the past eight trading days. That measure struck its lowest point since July 2008 on Monday, at 72.72. It hit bottom in April 2008 at 71.33. Its highest point since the euro’s creation was 120.92 in July 2001.

Well guess what?

The dollar index moved back up today.

That is what happens – currencies go up and currencies go down.

There is no need to get your pants in a twist over it.

When the U.S. dollar goes down, it makes our products more affordable overseas.  When other nations buy more of our stuff that helps our businesses.

So when the dollar declines a little bit that is nothing to be alarmed about.

So far in 2011, the U.S. dollar has only lost about 6.5 percent of its value.

Should we be freaking out about a measly 6.5 percent?

I don’t think so.

Do you want an even “scarier” number?

The dollar has fallen by 17 percent compared to other major national currencies since 2009.

Oooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh – are you frightened out of your mind yet?

You better run outside Chicken Little – the sky might be falling.

The problem is that there are so many tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorists running around declaring that the U.S. dollar is dying that some people are actually starting to believe it.

Do you want proof that the U.S. dollar is going to be just fine?

Here you go….

Just check out what U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner recently told the Council on Foreign Relations….

“Our policy has been and will always be, as long as I will be in office, that a strong dollar is in the interest of the country.”

Bam!

You have the very words of the U.S. Treasury Secretary right there.

He has promised the we “will always” have a strong dollar policy.

Geithner has said it and that settles it.

Any questions?

Who are you going to believe?  Are you going to believe the U.S. Treasury Secretary or are you going to believe a bunch of crazy Internet bloggers with blogs with titles such as “Economic Disaster” and “The American Dream Has Been Flushed Down The Toilet”?

Let’s get real.

The U.S. dollar is just fine and there is not going to be some mythical “dollar collapse”.

But isn’t the price of gasoline going up?

Sure it is.

But that isn’t the fault of the Federal Reserve.  They don’t set prices for gasoline.

The reality is that prices for different things go up and down.  That is what a free market economy looks like.

Right now the price of gasoline is actually lower than it was back in 2008….

So shouldn’t we actually be talking about falling gasoline prices?

I don’t know about you, but I sure am glad to be paying less for gasoline than I was back in mid-2008.

But the tinfoil hat crowd will “cherry pick” statistics to make it seem like things are worse than they really are.  They will break out scary sounding statistics such as the fact that over the past 12 months the average price of gasoline in the United States has gone up by about 30%.

LOL – cry me a river.  Life is tough.  People will cry over just about anything these days.

Who really cares that the average American driver will spend somewhere around $750 more for gasoline in 2011?

That is just a sign that the economic recovery is in full swing.

Do you know how much all of that money is going to help our oil companies?

They are going to be swimming in cash, and all of that wealth will “trickle down” and help out the folks on main street.

You would think that the half-crazed economic bloggers out there would be thrilled by all of this, but no – they just keep trotting out the “inflation boogeyman” over and over and over.

Well, you know what?

According to no less of an authority than Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, we basically have close to zero inflation in the United State right now.

You believe the Federal Reserve, don’t you?

If not, there is probably something wrong with you.

Unfortunately, we have got a whole bunch of these self-proclaimed “experts” (who are really just legends in their own minds) running around proclaiming that inflation is not calculated the same way that it used to be.

Well, you know what?  They are right.  But it isn’t some great conspiracy.  The truth is that we have “improved” the way that inflation is calculated 24 times since 1978.

The government is always trying to become more accurate.

What is wrong with that?

But today we have a bunch of amateurs running around trying to tell us what the “real” rate of inflation actually is.

For example, a New York post analysis claims that the rate of inflation in New York City has been about 14 percent over the past year.

So how many prices did they measure?

A dozen?

Two dozen?

Who are you going to trust more – the Federal Reserve or the New York Post?

Perhaps the New York Post should just stick to reporting on the latest Elvis sighting and leave economics to the big boys.

If hack reporting by publications like the New York Post wasn’t bad enough, we’ve also got numbskulls like John Williams from a website called “Shadow Government Statistics” running around proclaiming that the sky is going to fall because of U.S. government debt.

The following is a sampling of the smelly stuff that Williams is spreading around….

S&P is noting the U.S. government’s long-range fiscal problems. Generally, you’ll find that the accounting for unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare and other programs on a net-present-value (NPV) basis indicates total federal debt and obligations of about $75 trillion. That’s 15 times the gross domestic product (GDP). The debt and obligations are increasing at a pace of about $5 trillion a year, which is neither sustainable nor containable. If the U.S. was a corporation on a parallel basis, it would be headed into bankruptcy rather quickly.

Does anyone actually believe any of that nonsense?

How long has Williams been predicting that U.S. government finances are going to collapse?

Yes, he has been doing it for a very, very long time.

Has the sky fallen yet?

Are we living in an economic wasteland?

Has there been a U.S. dollar collapse?

No.

Look around you – everything is just fine.

Every time the U.S. economy has had a recession in the past, what has happened?

The economy has recovered and has gotten larger than ever.

And that is exactly what is happening again.

But sadly, there are more Americans than ever that actually believe that we are headed for economic disaster.  In fact, there are some websites where they actually debate what the best place to live in the United States will be when the “economic collapse” happens.

Can you believe that?

People need to grow up.

Yes, the U.S. government is in debt.  That should be no surprise.  U.S. government debt is normal.  The truth is that our financial system is designed to have U.S. government debt constantly expand and for there to always be a little bit of inflation in the system.

When the U.S. government goes into more debt, more money is created.  If there was no debt in our society there would be no money.

So all of these bozos that claim that they want to get rid of all government debt don’t know what they are talking about.

We need to trust that the experts over at the Federal Reserve know what they are doing.  The prudent moves by Ben Bernanke have helped the economy to recover after the horrible financial crisis of 2008.  Instead of being criticized, he should be commended.  There is a reason why he was named “Person of the Year” by Time Magazine in 2009.

The Federal Reserve is watching inflation.  If it starts spiking up a little bit they will stomp it out.  They know what they are doing.

This is 2011 – the people running things were produced by some of the greatest academic institutions on the planet.  Nothing is going to catch them by surprise.  They know exactly what our problems are and how to solve them.

So quit listening to the tinfoil hat crowd.  Yes, the U.S. dollar will fluctuate a little bit relative to other major currencies.  That is nothing to be alarmed about.

There is not going to be a dollar collapse so stop waiting for one.  The U.S. dollar is always going to be the greatest currency on earth.  Why?  Because the United States is the greatest nation on earth.

After all, what other nation on earth could produce Justin Bieber, Jim Carrey, Simon Cowell, Pamela Anderson, Catherine Middleton, Michael J. Fox, Seth Rogen, Brendan Fraser, Jason Priestly, Tom Green, Ryan Reynolds, Mike Myers, Kiefer Sutherland, Howie Mandel, Keanu Reeves and William Shatner?

——————–

Hopefully by now you have figured out that this is a satirical piece demonstrating how ridiculous much of the propaganda in the mainstream media really is.  Thank you for taking the time to read my twisted attempt at humor.

The Coming Doctor Shortage

The United States is going to experience an absolutely devastating doctor shortage in the coming years.  Even now it can be difficult to see a doctor in many areas, and if you are fortunate enough to see one you will probably pay through the nose.  Medical bills have gotten absolutely insane in this country.  Many Americans have gone to the hospital for a few hours, perhaps got to see a doctor for half an hour, and ended up being billed thousands of dollars.  Unfortunately, it is not the doctors that are getting rich from these nightmarish medical bills.  Rather, “the system” is set up so that “the middle men” are the ones raking in most of the cash.  In fact, thousands upon thousands of doctors are being chased out of the profession because being a doctor just isn’t worth the trouble anymore.  According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, we were already going to be facing a shortage of more than 150,000 doctors over the next 15 years even before Obamacare was passed. Obamacare is just going to make the doctor shortage even worse.  In fact, one poll found that 40 percent of all U.S. doctors plan to get out of the profession over the next 3 years.  Of course not all of those disgruntled doctors will end up leaving the profession, but even if 10 percent of them quit it is going to create a medical crisis of unprecedented magnitude in this country.

Look, it is no secret that I am not a big fan of the health care industry in the United States.  But if I get into a car accident or someone shoots me then I very much want someone to take me to the hospital and I don’t want to wait a couple of hours to see a doctor.

Unfortunately, the way that the health care industry is set up today is absolutely suffocating for doctors.  The government is trying to tell them how to treat patients, lawyers are constantly looking to sue them and most of the money ends up going to health insurance companies, big pharma and huge health care corporations.

In the old days, all you needed was a bed, a patient, a doctor and maybe a nurse.

After all, how much does it really cost for a doctor to look you over, ask you a few questions and patch you up?

Unfortunately, a whole host of bad guys have gotten between the doctor and the patient these days.  They have all carved out a little bit of “territory” and they all have to be paid.

The health care industry used to be about helping people.

Today it is all about greed, and the system is coming apart.

As the economy collapses, an increasing number of Americans are being forced to rely on programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

For example, back in 1965 only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.

This is putting our doctors in a very difficult position.  According to The New York Post, treating Medicare and Medicaid patients is a huge financial strain on U.S. doctors…

Estimates suggest that on average physicians are reimbursed at roughly 78% of costs under Medicare, and just 70% of costs under Medicaid. Physicians must either make up for this shortfall by shifting costs to those patients with insurance — meaning those of us with insurance pay more — or treat patients at a loss.

You understand what all that means, right?

Medical bills have to be jacked up on all the rest of us to make up for the Medicare and Medicaid patients.

But that is just one example of how the system is failing.

Today, it is quite common for medical school students to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt as they go through school.  Then it takes a number of years of really hard work before they become established and at a point where they can start making good money.  Meanwhile, lawyers are constantly circling them like vultures.  Malpractice insurance premiums are absolutely insane at this point and one really bad lawsuit can ruin a career that took decades to build.

In addition, now thanks to Obamacare and other ridiculous regulations that have been passed in recent years, the government has a tremendous amount of control over how medicine is practiced in the United States.  Doctors no longer have the complete freedom to treat their patients as they see fit.

Sadly, a significant percentage of U.S. doctors have had enough and now want to get out.

According to a Merritt Hawkins survey of 2,379 doctors for the Physicians Foundation that was conducted in August of last year, 40 percent of all U.S. doctors plan to “retire, seek a nonclinical job in health care, or seek a job or business unrelated to health care” at some point over the next three years.

When Obamacare was originally being debated perhaps we should have taken some time to ask our doctors what they thought about it first.

Now we could end up with a massive doctor shortage as our doctors vote with their feet.

Right now there are approximately 960,000 doctors in the United States.

What do you think our medical system will look like if even 100,000 of them bail out of the profession?

According to the same survey noted above, 74 percent of U.S. doctors plan to make “one or more significant changes in their practices in the next one to three years, a time when many provisions of health reform will be phased in.”

One big trend that we are seeing right now is the refusal to see certain kinds of patients.  Under our current system, some patients are much more “profitable” than others.  Many doctors have decided that they simply cannot afford to see many of the “unprofitable” patients any longer.

Our health care system is messed up beyond all recognition.  In America, we pay much more for health care than anyone else in the world and what we get in return is a system that is literally falling to pieces.

It would have been nice if we would have gotten some real health care reform, but instead what we got was Obamacare – one of the worst pieces of legislation that has ever been passed in all of modern American history.

An IBD/TIPP poll taken back in August 2009 found that 4 out of every 9 American doctors said that they “would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement” if Congress passed Obamacare.

Well, it passed anyway.

Now the doctor shortage is about to get a whole lot worse.

Survey after survey shows similar results.

According to a survey published in the New England Journal of Medicine, approximately one-third of all practicing physicians in the United States indicated that they may leave the medical profession because of the new health care law.

Are you starting to become alarmed yet?

We have a system that is broken and large numbers of doctors are now saying that they simply want to give up.

Sadly, Obamacare is also causing the cancellation of a lot of new hospitals.

According to the executive director of Physician Hospitals of America, the new health care law has already forced the cancellation of at least 60 doctor-owned hospitals that were scheduled to open soon.

Not that I am just getting on Obama and the Democrats.  Bush and the Republicans were a complete disaster when it came to health care as well.  Thanks to both political parties we have a health care system that is a joke.

Today, approximately 40% of all U.S. doctors are age 55 or older.  All of those old doctors are thinking about retirement.  They are too old to be putting up with all of this garbage.

It is an open secret that our health care industry has become a giant money making scam and that it is not favorable for either doctors or patients.

According to one doctor interviewed by Fox News, “a gunshot wound to the head, chest or abdomen” will cost $13,000 at his hospital the moment the victim comes in the door, and then there will be significant additional charges depending on how bad the wound is.

So how much of that $13,000 do you think the doctor gets?

Not a whole lot.

There certainly are some wealthy doctors out there, but the truth is that “the system” gets most of the money.

I am sure almost everyone reading this has a medical bill horror story to tell.

In America today, if you have an illness that requires intensive care for an extended period of time, it can be really easy to rack up medical bills that total over 1 million dollars.

In fact, most Americans are scared to even spend a single night in the hospital these days.

It is estimated that hospitals overcharge Americans by about 10 billion dollars every single year.  In fact, one trained medical billing advocate says that over 90 percent of the medical bills that she has audited contain “gross overcharges“.

Basically, hospitals charge whatever they think they can get away with.  Unlike most transactions, you don’t get to see a “price list” first when you go into the hospital.  You just ask them to take care of you and you trust them to bill you fairly later.

Why should it cost a half million dollars for a simple operation?

It’s not that complicated – the doctor cuts you open, carves something out and then sews you back up.

So why should it cost so much?

Am I missing something?

Sadly, it is those that don’t know how things work that get the worst of it.

It is not uncommon for insurance companies to get hospitals to knock their bills down by up to 95 percent, but if you are uninsured or you don’t know how the system works then you are out of luck.

You should always, always have health insurance if you can afford it.  If you do not have a health insurance company fighting the hospital then it can be really hard to have your medical bills knocked down to a reasonable level.

In any event, as doctors start leaving the profession in droves it may become difficult to find quality medical care at all.

Perhaps even more of us will start going out of the country for medical care.  According to numbers released by Deloitte Consulting, a whopping 875,000 Americans were “medical tourists” in 2010.

So what do all of you think about the state of the health care industry in the United States?  Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below….

What Is The Best Place To Live In The United States To Prepare For The Coming Economic Collapse?

What is the best place to live in the United States?  I get asked that question all the time.  My answer can be summed up in two words: it depends.  The truth is that the answer is going to be different for each person.  All of us have different goals and different needs.  If you have a very strong network of family and friends where you live right now, you might want to think twice before moving hundreds or thousands of miles away.  If you have a great job where you live right now, you might want to hold on to it.  You should not just assume that you are going to be able to pick up and move to another part of the country and be able to get a similar job right away.  The United States is in the midst of a very serious economic decline right now, and wherever you live you are going to have to provide for your family.  Just because you move somewhere new does not mean that you are going to leave your problems behind.  In fact, you might find that they moved right along with you.  With all that being said, the reality is that there are some places in the U.S. that are going to be much more desirable than others when the economy totally falls apart.  For example, during a total economic collapse it will not be good to be living in a large city or in a densely populated area.  Just think about what happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  If the entire nation is going through something like that, you don’t want to have hundreds of thousands of close neighbors at that point.  So when thinking about where you want to be when everything falls apart, population density should be a major factor.  But there are other factors as well and no area of the United States is perfect.

If you live in or near a major city right now, that is okay.  Most Americans do.  Even if you have limited financial resources at the moment, you can start developing a plan that will get you where you eventually want to go.  If you want to move to another part of the country you can start applying for jobs out there.  You can also be working hard to develop a business that would enable you to move.  Perhaps you have friends or family in more isolated areas that would allow you to stay with them during an economic collapse.

Those that possess more financial resources could start thinking about getting a second home in a location that is more rural.

The key is to come up with a plan and to be working towards accomplishing that plan.

If you don’t have a plan yet, hopefully the following information will give you something to think about.  Not all areas of the United States are equal, and all of them do have problems.

The following are some thoughts about the best place to live in the United States….

The Northeast

A major problem with the Northeast is that it is just so darn crowded.  Yes, there are some rural areas, but the overall population density of the region is so high that it would be really hard to go unnoticed for long in the event of a major economic collapse.

Another thing that is not great about the Northeast is that so much of the population lives near the coast.  As we saw in Japan recently, living near a coastline is not necessarily a good thing.  While it is likely safer to live along the east coast then the west coast, the truth is that there is an inherent level of insecurity when it comes to living in coastal areas.  You never know when the next hurricane, oil spill or tsunami is going to strike.

Also, the Northeast is really quite cold.  So staying warm and growing your own food would be more difficult than in some other areas of the country.

The Mid-Atlantic

The Mid-Atlantic is one of the most beautiful areas of the nation.  Unfortunately, it suffers from many of the same problems that the Northeast does.

The Mid-Atlantic has a very high population density.  For example, the area around Washington D.C. is pretty much all suburbs for 50 miles in all directions.

The weather is nicer than in the Northeast and there are some less dense areas once you get south of Washington D.C.

If you think that the Mid-Atlantic might be for you, you might want to check out North Carolina or South Carolina.  The people tend to get friendlier the further south you go and there are definitely some areas that could potentially work.

Florida

Florida is generally not going to be a place that you want to be during an economic collapse.  The housing market has absolutely collapsed down there and the crime rate is already very high.  It is also very densely populated.

The weather is very nice down in Florida, but one big thing that you need to consider when it comes to Florida is the fact that it is very flat and most of Florida is just barely above sea level.  In fact, quite a bit of Florida is actually below sea level.

In addition, hurricanes are always a major threat in Florida.  It is a beautiful state, but there is a lot of risk to living down there.

The Southeast

The Southeast has really taken a pounding over the last few years.  First it was Hurricane Katrina, and then it was the BP oil spill and then it was the tornadoes of 2011.

There is a lot of poverty in that area of the country.  There is also a lot of crime.

There are a lot of great people who live down in the Southeast, but if you do not know your way around it can be a very difficult place to move to.

The Mid-South

One of my favorite places east of the Mississippi River are the mountains along the Tennessee/North Carolina border.  If you must be in the eastern half of the United States, that is not a bad choice.

Where you do not want to be is anywhere near the New Madrid fault zone.  The New Madrid fault zone covers portions of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.  The biggest earthquakes in the history of the United States were caused by the New Madrid fault. Many are convinced that we are going to see an absolutely catastrophic earthquake along the New Madrid fault at some point.

So if you want to live in the Mid-South, it is highly recommended that you stay far away from the New Madrid fault zone.

The Upper Midwest

The Upper Midwest was once one of the great manufacturing regions of the world, but now much of it is known as the “rust belt”.

Formerly great manufacturing cities such as Detroit are now absolute hellholes.  Tens of thousands of our factories and millions of our jobs have been shipped overseas.

There are some really great people (including some good friends of this column) that live up there, but the truth is that the region is really cold and unemployment is rampant.

The Upper Midwest is an area that people want to get out of.  It is probably not a great place to move to.

However, if you do need a job, one place to look is a little bit west of there.  Thanks to an abundance of natural resources, unemployment in North Dakota and South Dakota is very low.  If you really need a job you might want to look into those two states.

The Southwest

In the Southwest there are a whole lot of freedom-loving Americans, the weather is very warm and there is a lot of space to get lost.

However, the Southwest is also very dry and in many areas there is not a lot of water.  Drought and wildfires are quite common.

In addition, illegal immigration is rampant and is a constant security threat.

If you are familiar with that area of the country it is not a bad choice, but if you do not know what you are doing it could end up being disastrous for you.

The Great Plains

As long as you are far enough away from the New Madrid fault, the Great Plains is not a bad choice.

It is very, very flat out there, and it can be quite windy, but the good news is that you should be able to grow your own food.

In addition, the population density is generally very low in most areas.

One big negative, as we have seen recently, is tornadoes.  The United States experiences more tornadoes that anywhere else in the world, and “tornado alley” generally gets the worst of it.

The West Coast

During an economic collapse, the West Coast is not a place that you will really want to be.  Just take a look at the state of California already.  It is an economic nightmare.

Millions of people have left California over the past couple of decades.  The millions of people that have left have been replaced mostly with illegal aliens.

Oregon is better, although they have very high taxes and they are experiencing huge economic problems right now as well.

The best area along the West Coast is the Seattle area, but you won’t want to be anywhere near a major population center when things totally fall apart.

Also, the West Coast lies along the “Ring of Fire“.  Considering what just happened in Japan and what has been happening in other areas along the Ring of Fire lately, the West Coast is not an area that a lot of people are recommending.

The Northwest

Large numbers of freedom-loving Americans have been moving to the states of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.  You can also throw eastern Washington and eastern Oregon into this category as well.

It gets cold up in the Northwest, but not as cold as the Upper Midwest.  There are lots of rivers, streams and lakes and in certain areas there is plenty of rain.

The population density is very low in most areas and there is an abundance of wildlife.  Housing prices are reasonable and in many areas you can grow your own food.

The Northwest is one of the favorite areas of the United States for preppers.  It is far from perfect, but it does have a lot of advantages.

Alaska And Hawaii

Neither Alaska or Hawaii is recommended.  Alaska lies along the “Ring of Fire” and it is very, very cold.  Also, almost everything has to be either shipped or flown into Alaska.  In the event of a real economic collapse, supplies to Alaska could be cut off and shortages could develop very quickly.

Hawaii has a huge population and it does not have a lot of room.  Like Alaska, most supplies have to be either shipped in or flown in.  And one really bad tsunami could pretty much wipe Hawaii out.

But once again, there is no “right answer”.  There are areas of just about every U.S. state that could potentially work well during a major economic collapse.

When assessing where “the best place to live in the United States” is, it is important to examine your own personal factors.  What will work for me and for my family will not necessarily work for you and your family.

So what do all of you think about this list?  Which area of the country do you think is best for those Americans who are seeking to prepare themselves for the coming economic collapse?

The Tornadoes Of 2011: The Worst Natural Disaster In The United States Since Hurricane Katrina

The worst natural disaster in the United States since Hurricane Katrina just happened, and many in the mainstream media are already treating it like back page news.  It can be really tempting to want to talk about whatever the next “news cycle” brings us, but right now we really need to pray for those affected by “the tornadoes of 2011”.  There are parts of Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia that will never, ever be the same again.  Entire towns have been wiped off the map.  Hundreds are dead and thousands have been seriously injured.  Over a million people lost power.  One of the tornadoes that ripped through the region was reported to be a mile wide.  How in the world are you supposed to get away from something like that once it is on top of you?  Many in the mainstream media have already acknowledged that this was the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since Hurricane Katrina took 1,800 lives back in 2005.  Over and over and over, those living in the region are describing the devastation by saying that they have “never seen anything like it”.  This truly was one for the history books.

The F5 tornado that ripped through the Tuscaloosa, Alabama area was reportedly so monstrous that it is still kind of difficult to believe that it was actually real.  The thing was a mile wide and scientists are estimating that it had winds that exceeded 260 miles an hour.

According to National Geographic, this monster tornado may have traveled a whopping 300 miles across Alabama and Georgia.

Can you even imagine the kind of devastation that we are talking about?

It is hard to even conceive of how much damage a mile-wide F5 tornado with winds of up to 260 MPH would do as it traveled across 300 miles.

Dozens are dead and close to a thousand people are injured in the city of Tuscaloosa alone.

At this point, the city looks like a war zone.  In fact, Tuscaloosa mayor Walter Maddox says that his city has been “obliterated”.

A stunned Maddox was quoted by The Telegraph as saying the following about the devastation….

“I don’t know how anyone survived,” said Mr Maddox. “It’s an amazing scene.

A state of emergency has been declared in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

But this disaster will not be “cleaned up” in a few days or a few weeks.

This was literally a history changing event for millions of people.

The last time the death toll from a tornado outbreak was this high was back in March 1932.

If you have the time, try to watch some videos of the devastation caused by these tornadoes.  It is incredibly difficult to try to do the damage caused by these tornadoes justice using only words.

The following is how an article posted on USA Today describes the devastation in the town of Smithville, Mississippi….

Powerful tornadoes swept through this northeastern Mississippi hamlet and across much of the South on Wednesday, splintering homes, shearing roofs and destroying lives. Smithville’s Town Hall was destroyed, as were the local high school, four churches and each of the town’s 14 businesses. Mattresses hung from tree branches, cars were flattened as if stepped on by giant feet, and rows of three-story pine trees snapped in half.

Do you think that Smithville will ever be the same?

Yes, the tornadoes of 2011 will be remembered for a very, very long time.

The people living in these areas deserve our prayers.

Thousands of lives have been permanently altered forever.  The following is just one example that CNN reported on….

Janet Puckett stands outside what’s left of her home on 30th Avenue in Alberta. Its walls crumbled under the force of the storm. Her living room and a front bedroom disappeared. The roof of the house got sucked up, too.

“A war zone,” she says of the mountains of broken 2-by-4s and other debris all around.

How would you feel if your roof and half your house were suddenly missing?

Would you rebuild?

Would you feel safe living in the same area?

Would your life ever be the same again?

Sadly, massive tornado outbreaks seem to be happening with increasing frequency in the South.

Back on April 16th, a similar wave of very violent thunderstorms spawned approximately 140 tornadoes.  During that event, 22 people were killed in the state of North Carolina.

Overall, there have been approximately 600 tornadoes in the United States during April.  That is the most tornadoes that have ever been recorded in a single month.

Usually, the U.S. only experiences about 1,200 tornadoes for the entire year.  So what we are seeing right now is highly unusual.

The tornadoes that just ripped through the South also had a massive impact on the economy down there.

It has been estimated that up to 25 percent of all of the poultry houses in Alabama were either significantly damaged or destroyed.  It is also believed that millions of birds were killed.

Alabama produces more chicken than anywhere else in the United States except for Georgia and Arkansas.

So get ready to pay more for chicken.

Meanwhile, many key agricultural areas of Texas are experiencing their worst drought in decades.  According to CNBC, climate experts are becoming extremely concerned about the lack of rainfall….

Data issued Thursday by a consortium of national climate experts said 95 percent of Texas was suffering “severe drought,” or worse, up from 92 percent a week earlier. More than 70 percent of the state was in the worse conditions of “extreme drought” or “exceptional drought.” That is up from 68 percent a week ago in extreme and exceptional drought.

Not only that, some areas along the Mississippi River are having to deal with “historic flooding” right now.  The following is from a recent article on Accuweather.com….

As if tornadoes and damaging thunderstorms were not enough, historic flooding is also threatening the Mississippi River, below St. Louis, as well as the lower part of the Ohio River.

The rising waters are expected to top levels set during February 1937. This mark is the middle Mississippi Valley’s equivalent to the 1993 event farther north along Old Man River.

Things are really crazy out there right now.

Please pray for those that lost family and friends during these recent tornadoes.  There are thousands upon thousands of good people down in the South that are really hurting right now.  They could really use our prayers.

As I have written about previously, our world is seemingly going crazy right now and nothing is stable anymore.  The earth is shaking, natural disasters are becoming worse, the economy is falling apart and America appears to be coming apart at the seams.

Unfortunately, I believe that things are going to become even more unstable in the months and years ahead.

So what do all of you believe?  Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below….

Student Loan Debt Hell: 21 Statistics That Will Make You Think Twice About Going To College

Is going to college a worthwhile investment?  Is the education that our young people are receiving at our colleges and universities really worth all of the time, money and effort that is required?  Decades ago, a college education was quite inexpensive and it was almost an automatic ticket to the middle class.  But today all of that has changed.  At this point, college education is a big business.  There are currently more than 18 million students enrolled at the nearly 5,000 colleges and universities currently in operation throughout the United States.  There are quite a few “institutions of higher learning” that now charge $40,000 or even $50,000 a year for tuition.  That does not even count room and board and other living expenses.  Meanwhile, as you will see from the statistics posted below, the quality of education at our colleges and universities has deteriorated badly.  When graduation finally arrives, many of our college students have actually learned very little, they find themselves unable to get good jobs and yet they end up trapped in student loan debt hell for essentially the rest of their lives.

Across America today, “guidance counselors” are pushing millions of high school students to go to the very best colleges that they can get into, but they rarely warn them about how much it is going to cost or about the sad reality that they could end up being burdened by massive debt loads for decades to come.

Yes, college is a ton of fun and it is a really unique experience.  If you can get someone else to pay for it then you should definitely consider going.

There are also many careers which absolutely require a college degree.  Depending on your career goals, you may not have much of a choice of whether to go to college or not.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to go to student loan debt hell.

You don’t have to go to the most expensive school that you can get into.

You don’t have to take out huge student loans.

There is no shame in picking a school based on affordability.

The truth is that pretty much wherever you go to school the quality of the education is going to be rather pathetic.  A highly trained cat could pass most college courses in the United States today.

Personally, I have had the chance to spend quite a number of years on college campuses.  I enjoyed my time and I have some pretty pieces of parchment to put up on the wall.  I have seen with my own eyes what goes on at our institutions of higher learning.  In a previous article, I described what life is like for most “average students” enrolled in our colleges and universities today….

The vast majority of college students in America spend two to four hours a day in the classroom and maybe an hour or two outside the classroom studying. The remainder of the time these “students” are out drinking beer, partying, chasing after sex partners, going to sporting events, playing video games, hanging out with friends, chatting on Facebook or getting into trouble. When they say that college is the most fun that most people will ever have in their lives they mean it. It is basically one huge party.

If you are a parent and you are shelling out tens of thousands of dollars every year to pay for college you need to know the truth.

You are being ripped off.

Sadly, a college education just is not that good of an investment anymore.  Tuition costs have absolutely skyrocketed even as the quality of education has plummeted.

A college education is not worth getting locked into crippling student loan payments for the next 30 years.

Even many university professors are now acknowledging that student loan debt has become a horrific societal problem. Just check out what one professor was quoted as saying in a recent article in The Huffington Post….

“Thirty years ago, college was a wise, modest investment,” says Fabio Rojas, a professor of sociology at Indiana University. He studies the politics of higher education. “Now, it’s a lifetime lock-in, an albatross you can’t escape.”

Anyone that is thinking of going to college needs to do a cost/benefit analysis.

Is it really going to be worth it?

For some people the answer will be “yes” and for some people the answer will be “no”.

But sadly, hardly anyone that goes to college these days gets a “good” education.

To get an idea of just how “dumbed down” we have become as a nation, just check out this Harvard entrance exam from 1869.

I wouldn’t have a prayer of passing that exam.

What about you?

We really do need to rethink our approach to higher education in this country.

Posted below are 21 statistics about college tuition, student loan debt and the quality of college education in the United States….

#1 Since 1978, the cost of college tuition in the United States has gone up by over 900 percent.

#2 In 2010, the average college graduate had accumulated approximately $25,000 in student loan debt by graduation day.

#3 Approximately two-thirds of all college students graduate with student loans.

#4 Americans have accumulated well over $900 billion in student loan debt. That figure is higher than the total amount of credit card debt in the United States.

#5 The typical U.S. college student spends less than 30 hours a week on academics.

#6 According to very extensive research detailed in a new book entitled “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses”, 45 percent of U.S. college students exhibit “no significant gains in learning” after two years in college.

#7 Today, college students spend approximately 50% less time studying than U.S. college students did just a few decades ago.

#8 35% of U.S. college students spend 5 hours or less studying per week.

#9 50% of U.S. college students have never taken a class where they had to write more than 20 pages.

#10 32% of U.S. college students have never taken a class where they had to read more than 40 pages in a week.

#11 U.S. college students spend 24% of their time sleeping, 51% of their time socializing and 7% of their time studying.

#12 Federal statistics reveal that only 36 percent of the full-time students who began college in 2001 received a bachelor’s degree within four years.

#13 Nearly half of all the graduate science students enrolled at colleges and universities in the United States are foreigners.

#14 According to the Economic Policy Institute, the unemployment rate for college graduates younger than 25 years old was 9.3 percent in 2010.

#15 One-third of all college graduates end up taking jobs that don’t even require college degrees.

#16 In the United States today, over 18,000 parking lot attendants have college degrees.

#17 In the United States today, 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees.

#18 In the United States today, approximately 365,000 cashiers have college degrees.

#19 In the United States today, 24.5 percent of all retail salespersons have a college degree.

#20 Once they get out into the “real world”, 70% of college graduates wish that they had spent more time preparing for the “real world” while they were still in school.

#21 Approximately 14 percent of all students that graduate with student loan debt end up defaulting within 3 years of making their first student loan payment.

There are millions of young college graduates running around out there that are wondering where all of the “good jobs” are.  All of their lives they were promised that if they worked really hard and got good grades that the system would reward them.

Sometimes when you do everything right you still can’t get a job. A while back The Huffington Post featured the story of Kyle Daley – a highly qualified UCLA graduate who had been unemployed for 19 months at the time….

I spent my time at UCLA preparing for the outside world. I had internships in congressional offices, political action committees, non-profits and even as a personal intern to a successful venture capitalist. These weren’t the run-of-the-mill office internships; I worked in marketing, press relations, research and analysis. Additionally, the mayor and city council of my hometown appointed me to serve on two citywide governing bodies, the planning commission and the open government commission. I used to think that given my experience, finding work after graduation would be easy.

At this point, however, looking for a job is my job. I recently counted the number of job applications I have sent out over the past year — it amounts to several hundred. I have tried to find part-time work at local stores or restaurants, only to be turned away. Apparently, having a college degree implies that I might bail out quickly when a better opportunity comes along.

The sad truth is that a college degree is not an automatic ticket to the middle class any longer.

But for millions of young Americans a college degree is an automatic ticket to student loan debt hell.

Student loan debt is one of the most insidious forms of debt.  You can’t get away from student loan debt no matter what you do.  Federal bankruptcy law makes it nearly impossible to discharge student loan debts, and many recent grads end up with loan payments that absolutely devastate them financially at a time when they are struggling to get on their feet and make something of themselves.

So are you still sure that you want to go to college?

Another open secret is that most of our colleges and universities are little more than indoctrination centers.  Most people would be absolutely shocked at how much unfiltered propaganda is being pounded into the heads of our young people.

At most colleges and universities, when it comes to the “big questions” there is a “right answer” and there is virtually no discussion of any other alternatives.

In most fields there is an “orthodoxy” that you had better adhere to if you want to get good grades.

Let’s just say that “independent thought” and “critical thinking” are not really encouraged at most of our institutions of higher learning.

Am I bitter because I didn’t do well?  No, I actually did extremely well in school.  I have seen the system from the inside.  I know how it works.

It is a giant fraud.

If you want to go to college because you want to have a good time or because it will help you get your career started then by all means go for it.

Just realize what you are signing up for.

65 Ways That Everything That You Think That You Own Is Being Systematically Taken Away From You

Everything that you own is slowly being taken away from you.  It is being done purposely and it is being done by design.  Many Americans like to think of themselves as “well off”, but as will be demonstrated below, we don’t “own” nearly as much as we think that we do.  The truth is that most of us have to frantically run around accumulating wealth as rapidly as we can so that we can somehow stay ahead of the rate that wealth is being taken away from us.  The entire system is designed to take what you have away from you.  There are many ways that this is accomplished – taxation, inflation, debt, interest, fines, fees, tickets, government seizures and good old-fashioned corporate greed.  If you tried to just sit back and do nothing but hold on to the wealth that you already have you would find out that it would disappear rather quickly.  When you take the time to really analyze our system the conclusion is undeniable – everything that you think that you own is being systematically taken away from you.

There is a reason why the wealthiest one percent of all Americans control 40 percent of all the wealth in the United States.  The system is designed to funnel all of the wealth to them and to the government.  Average Americans are experiencing a declining standard of living and it is not by accident.

Just check out some of the ways that our wealth is being taken from us….

#1 Do you think that you own your house?  You might want to think again.  Most Americans that “own a home” are paying a mortgage.  If you stop paying that mortgage you will lose that home.  Over a million American families were kicked out of their homes last year.  This year a million more American families will get the boot.

But when those families get booted out onto the street they don’t get their down payments back.  They don’t get all the mortgage payments that they have made back.  The banks get to keep all of the money and all of the houses.

Perhaps you don’t have a mortgage.  Does that mean that you “own your home”?

No, not really.  Just refuse to pay your property taxes and watch what happens.  At best you can say that you have the right to rent your home from the government.

In any event, the reality is that the banks now own more of “our homes” than we do.  During the most recent recession, the total amount of U.S. home equity owned by the banks surpassed the total amount of U.S. home equity owned by the rest of us for the first time ever.

Things used to be far different in this country.  Once upon a time American families owned most of the houses and most of the land in this nation.

But now the banks own most of it.  Sadly, most American families that believe that they “own homes” are actually enslaved to 20 or 30 year debt contracts.

#2 Do you think that you own your car?  You don’t own it if you are still making payments on it.  If you stop making payments you will rapidly lose that car.

But even if your car is paid off, you can only operate that car if you do the following….

*You must pay the license fee

*You must pay the car registration fee

*You must pay the emissions inspection fee

*You must pay the property taxes on that car (if that applies in your area)

*You must pay the tire taxes

*You must pay the gas taxes

If you have paid all of those taxes, then you are permitted to drive only where the government allows you to drive and only under the rules that the government sets for you.

But at least you “own” your car, right?

#3 What about your possessions?  Do you own them?

Well, yes, you probably own some possessions.

But that doesn’t mean that they are not enslaving you.

After all, did you use a credit card to pay for any of them?

If so, you could end up paying much more for your possessions than you originally thought that they cost.

For example, if you only make the minimum payment on your credit card each month, a $6,000 credit card bill could end up costing you over $30,000 (depending on the interest rate).

#4 Do you own your education?  Well, it is undeniable that nobody can ever take it away from you.  But if you took out student loans that debt may end up enslaving you for decades.

The borrower is the servant of the lender and student loan debt is more of a financial drain on Americans than ever before.  Americans now owe more on student loans than they do on credit cards.  As hard as that is to believe, that is actually true.  Americans now owe more than $903 billion on student loans, which is a new all-time record.

#5 Will you protect your wealth if you put your money in the bank?

No, in fact your wealth will be systematically destroyed in the bank.

Inflation is a hidden tax on every single dollar that you own.  It destroys the value of all dollars in existence.  There are some Americans that have been saving money for decades, but those savings are being taxed into oblivion by inflation.  Many experts are now projecting that the average price of a gallon of gasoline will hit $5 by the end of the year.  So the next time you go to the gas pump just take a moment to think about how your wealth is being drained away by inflation.

#6 Insurance costs continue to soar.  After insuring everything in our lives many of us barely have any money left over to actually live our lives with.  In particular, health insurance premiums have become completely and totally ridiculous.  According to the Los Angeles Times, Blue Shield of California plans to raise rates an average of 30% to 35%, and some individual policy holders could see their health insurance premiums rise by a whopping 59 percent this year alone.  So how are American families supposed to survive if they keep on handing over bigger and bigger chunks of their income to the health care industry?

#7 State and local governments all over the nation have turned to ticket writing as a primary revenue source.  In fact, in some areas of the country traffic citations are soaring at a crazy rate.  For example, 110,000 more traffic citations were written in Los Angeles County last fiscal year than were written in the fiscal year immediately prior to the last recession.

The truth is that the police even realize what is going on.  Just consider the following quote from from Police Chief Michael Reaves of Utica, Michigan….

“When I first started in this job 30 years ago, police work was never about revenue enhancement, but if you’re a chief now, you have to look at whether your department produces revenues.”

#8 Some states have decided to simply confiscate wealth even if nothing has been done wrong.  For example, the state of California is aggressively seizing “unclaimed” safe deposit boxes.  If you have a safe deposit box that you have not checked on in a while you might want to make sure that it is still there.

#9 You might end up losing your valuables when you cross the border.  It is being reported that U.S. border agents are now regularly seizing laptops and other electronic devices as people cross the border.  In many cases those items are never returned.

#10 If you don’t pay your property taxes, you will lose your house and it will likely be a big Wall Street bank that will be taking it from you.  As I have written about previously, the big Wall Street banks are buying up thousands upon thousands of tax liens and are making a killing by socking distressed homeowners with predatory interest, outrageous penalties and almost unbelievable legal fees.

#11 Of course the biggest way that our wealth is being drained is through federal income taxes.  The reason that the Federal Reserve and the IRS were established back in 1913 was to redistribute wealth.  Wealth is transferred from the American people to the U.S. government and then ultimately to the elite and to the causes that the elite favor.

But federal taxes are only one of the taxes that we pay.  The truth is that the average American pays dozens of different taxes each year.  Just check out a few examples of the different taxes that drain our wealth….

#12 Accounts Receivable Taxes

#13 Building Permit Taxes

#14 Capital Gains Taxes

#15 CDL License Taxes

#16 Cigarette Taxes

#17 Corporate Income Taxes

#18 Court Fines (indirect taxes)

#19 Dog License Taxes

#20 Federal Unemployment Taxes (FUTA)

#21 Fishing License Taxes

#22 Food License Taxes

#23 Gasoline Taxes

#24 Gift Taxes

#25 Hunting License Taxes

#26 Inheritance Taxes

#27 Inventory Taxes

#28 IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)

#29 IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)

#30 Liquor Taxes

#31 Local Income Taxes

#32 Luxury Taxes

#33 Marriage License Taxes

#34 Medicare Taxes

#35 Payroll Taxes

#36 Property Taxes

#37 Real Estate Taxes

#38 Recreational Vehicle Taxes

#39 Road Toll Booth Taxes

#40 Road Usage Taxes (Truckers)

#41 Sales Taxes

#42 Self-Employment Taxes

#43 School Taxes

#44 Septic Permit Taxes

#45 Service Charge Taxes

#46 Social Security Taxes

#47 State Income Taxes

#48 State Unemployment Taxes (SUTA)

#49 Telephone federal excise taxes

#50 Telephone federal universal service fee taxes

#51 Telephone federal, state and local surcharge taxes

#52 Telephone minimum usage surcharge taxes

#53 Telephone recurring and non-recurring taxes

#54 Telephone state and local taxes

#55 Telephone usage charge taxes

#56 Toll Bridge Taxes

#57 Toll Tunnel Taxes

#58 Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)

#59 Trailer Registration Taxes

#60 Utility Taxes

#61 Vehicle License Registration Taxes

#62 Vehicle Sales Taxes

#63 Watercraft Registration Taxes

#64 Well Permit Taxes

#65 Workers Compensation Taxes

Even the future is being taken away from us.  The future is literally being stolen from our children and our grandchildren.  They will be inheriting the 14 trillion dollar (and still rising) national debt that we have accumulated.  What we have done to future generations is unthinkable, and yet we continue to endlessly borrow more money.  The Congressional Research Service estimates that the U.S. government will need to borrow $738 billion between April 1st and September 30th.  Faith in U.S. Treasuries is falling so rapidly that now the biggest bond fund in the world, PIMCO, is actually shorting U.S. Treasuries.

When you base an entire economy on debt, eventually you end up with money problems that never seem to end.  As a nation we are now enslaved to a vicious spiral of debt that is going to destroy everything that our forefathers worked so hard to build.

As the debt loads of our federal, state and local governments become even more burdensome, they are going to want even more money from us.  For decades we gave in to new tax after new tax thinking that it would finally satisfy them.  But it never seems to be enough.  They always want more.

It is the same thing with the banksters.  They are never satisfied either.  They always want more assets and they always want more Americans to be enslaved to debt.

Unfortunately, most Americans are so caught up in the “rat race” that they never take much time to think about who designed the race or why they are running it.

Hopefully more Americans will wake up and will realize that our entire economy and our entire financial system need to be reformed.  Our current system is inherently flawed and it will eventually impoverish the vast majority of us if we allow it to.

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