For Americans Wishing To Leave The United States, What Is The Best Country In The World To Move To?

For those seeking to move outside of the United States, figuring out the best country to move to can be a very daunting task.  There are a ton of social, cultural, economic and safety issues to be considered.  In addition, those who have never been outside of North America should not underestimate the severe “culture shock” that can take place when moving to another nation.  While moving outside of the United States may seem like an attractive alternative, the truth is that it is not easy and it is not something to be done lightly.  But there have been many Americans who have done it successfully and are now loving life.  Our recent article, “Is Moving Out Of The United States A Way To Escape The Coming Economic Collapse?”, generated some really great comments about what various areas of the world are like for Americans who move there.  Today we wanted to share with you some of those comments.  These commenters have some very strong opinions about where the best places for Americans to move to are, but the reality is that each person and each situation is different so keep that in mind as you read these…. 

Saigonbrian:

I’ve lived in China, Vietnam, and am currently living in Malaysia for the last few years. I’ve also traveled extensively during that time. Given the likely future problems in the US it’s certainly prudent to at least evaluate an alternative.

Our top two choices would be New Zealand (NZ) and Costa Rica (CR) with Malaysia coming in 3rd. NZ and CR are both beautiful countries and pretty much self-sufficient in needed resources. English, of course, is the language of NZ and it is widely spoken in CR. Though if you choose a country where English is not the native language; you’d be way better off learning the local language.

Some other options would be: Thailand; a beautiful very expat friendly country. Indonesia, in particular Bali. Vietnam and Cambodia would be OK for the more adventurous and they are cheap, cheap. Australia is fine, though the prices are pretty much US level. Singapore is nice if you want to live in one big city. Malaysia is interesting. It tries very hard to get expats to retire there. They have a formal program called “Malaysia My Second Home” (MM2H). You apply for it, and if you meet the criteria, you get a 10 yr, unlimited entry visa. There should be no trouble renewing it. You need to keep about $30,000 USD in a local bank account, buy a home that costs at least $175,000 USD, and have an income of $3,000 a month. I suspect these requirements will lessen. The program is relatively new and the government hasn’t seem to have chosen which expat group they’re really targeting: rich foreigners, well off investors, or retirees with more modest moola. The country is beautiful and fairly cheap to live in. We have a gorgeous 5,000 sf apartment with great, modern security features. Did I mention it’s on the beach with amazing views. The cost? About $2,400 USD a month!! Our electric bill, and we run the aircon a lot; is $25 bucks. We haven’t used our health insurance yet, as we’d not hit the deductible limit and the prices are very cheap. And the quality of care is 1st rate. My daughter twisted her ankle recently so we put the system to the test. The initial exam by an orthopedic surgeon, xrays, and a soft cast cost about $35 USD! Follow-up visits with the orthopedic surgeon cost $9 USD! Pretty darn good. My primary concern? The worry that the country will become too islamic. It is the official state religion though now it does treat the Chinese and Indian minorities relatively fairly. I’m just not sure it can resist the tendency for islam to become more intrusive and radical. Hopefully not, but the jury is still out.

Overall I’d suggest doing some research and find a few contenders. Then go to these places for a vacation. That will give you some 1st hand data. One thing you notice living overseas is that Americans are the least adventurous, 1st world; folks. We need to get over that.

Bon voyage!

Gringo in Brazil:

I recently made the move to Brazil with my family based primarily on the social and economic factors I witnessed and experienced. In Michigan, I found my business drying up, my home value plummeting, the job market disappearing, etc. More importantly, if the youth I saw at the malls and high schools are any indication of the future leadership of our country; we are in serious trouble. With less than 50% of our youth even graduating from High School, how do we stand a chance.

Fortunately I speak fluent Portuguese so I am able to adapt. I am earning about $1,300/mo plus commissions which is enough for a simple apartment and living expenses. My wife is looking for the right job and should be able to earn about the same which will afford us a modest lifestyle.

Most Americans couldn’t cope with the heat, mosquitoes, open sewers, long lines, hellish traffic, and other cultural issues, unless they could afford to live in a luxury neighborhood and have a maid and personal assistant. However, the outlook here in Brazil is very positive. Most young people are investing in their education and advancement. I liken it to stepping back 70 years in our country and being on the verge of a great industrial revolution that I can be a part of. I have decided it is better to be starting at the bottom of the hill, climbing towards the top, then to be at the top and sliding out of control towards the bottom.

If you can afford it, do what my wife and I did, we took a two month “vacation” a couple of years ago, rented a furnished apartment and did a trial “residency” in which we had time to evaluate the pros and cons. When we moved here last month, we were well prepared, knowing what we were getting into, bringing along the necessary items and resources to be able to live relatively comfortably.

If you can master the native language sufficiently (or take an immersion course when you arrive for 6 months), you can often get a job at a language school, or company needing bi-lingual workers or professionals. Best bet is to scour the classifieds online ahead of time so you have something guaranteed when you arrive.

Kenneth:

Australia is the best country in the world to live in. This is the statement of Australians who have been to USA and other countries. It is what USA used to be years ago. It will be a few years before Australia becomes like USA. USA has left its Christian roots and I am afraid there are those who will make sure it never goes back.

AsiaExpat:

Singapore is the best place to live and work. It has a real future and very reasonable taxes. Peaceful, modern, they even speak English (kind of). Bring your best attitude and a necktie, because you have to work and you have to be kind to your neighbors. Who wants to be cloistered nervously behind a wall, anyway?

Bill:

Best places as far as quality of life? Social Democratic countries like Scandanavia- Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark.

If language is a problem Canada would be the closest best choice, then Australia, New Zealand, and for Central America, Costa Rica would be the number one choice for climate, civility, medical care and a beautiful environment.

For most places that provide good quality of life, expect to pay high taxes, which most civilized countries, yours excepted, equate with civilization. I’m afraid you folks are letting your inherent selfishness, ignorance of other cultures, militarism and a “screw you Jack, I’ve got mine” mentality destroy you.

Better than moving, stay there and try to turn things around. You have too much that is still good to lose it all. We’re all hoping-well, your firends are anyway- that you’ll pull out of this before its too late.
Time is running out folks.

Mongoos:

Not all Americans are “ugly Americans.” We are guests in the host country and most expats act as such. I retired in Sept 2009 and plan on living, teaching, and writing in Thailand. I have lived and worked overseas before, so this is nothing new for me. You make do and blend in and stay out of trouble. Leave your attitudes and preconceptions at the door when you check in. Otherwise, you will be creating problems for those of us who wish to live in peace and enjoy the pleasures of a different culture.

James:

There are over 100,000 Americans living in Costa Rica and loving it. Things are getting stronger here everyday and in most schools they teach English for half the day and Spanish for the other. The majority of the people like Americans and if you want to have it shipped here you can get everything here that you can get there. WalMart is the largest retail chain here as well as there.

This week Costa Rica moved ahead of the US in medical care. A huge % of the national income is from Medical Tourism. They are using adult stem cell treatment here to cure MS, Heart Decease, diabetes, Spinal Cord Injuries, Cancer and many other conditions. A good source for getting information on Costa Rica is the Association of Residents of Costa Rica.

http://www.arcr.net

They have a seminar once a month that brings in Doctors, Lawyers, Dentist, Shippers, Realtors, Investment Councilors and many other experts to brief you on the pros and cons of moving to Costa Rica. There are many communities here that are all American and the “Culture Shock” is nonexistent. The weather is perfect and they have never had a hurricane.

Bruce:

We moved to the French Riviera 10 years ago when we retired. Cost of living here in Nice is much less than New York or any other major American city. We’re on the sea, a big plus, near Italy, also a big plus, and we enjoy terrific food that we can afford. The medical system in France is incomparable and truly inexpensive compared to the U.S. We calculated our fixed living expenses for the year: it came to 11,000 Euros, or about $15,000 for all our taxes, medical coverage, utilities, condo fees, dentistry, etc. We live in a 2 bedroom top floor condo with a very large terrace and 2 balconies. There’s plenty of money left for travel, dining out, movies, and quick jaunts up to London and Paris for culture and ethnic food (especially London). Don’t regret the move at all.

John:

I moved to Ensenada Mexico in 2000. It was the best thing I ever did for my future because there is no future in America. I now enjoy more freedom than I ever had in the US. Spanish is easy to learn and the people are much more friendly here. There are lots of ex-pats here also. In the coming years the US is going to be the worst place to be. Escape now while you still can.

AmericanInOz:

I am an American that immigrated to Australia in 2001 (after Bush took office). My wife and I didn’t like what we saw coming. Politically, culturally, financially and socially.

When Big Media first started covering the US’s economic problems here in 2008 they drug out the old phrase “When America catches a cold Australia gets a flu”. Two plus years on and this couldn’t be further from the truth. The economy here is going great guns, and demand from Asia and a better government are a good part of the reason.

House prices are having solid gains every year, unemployment is reasonably steady, and the federal reserve is trying to raise interest rates to cool the economy (.25% again today)

To that point, the government here doesn’t subsidise 30 year fixed mortgages the way they do in the US, so they can still manage the economy by slightly manipulating interest rates. The longest you can fix a mortgage for is 5 years, at a very high premium, so most people don’t.

America has become an after thought, if not the laughing stock, of many Australians. It saddens me to see how far everything has fallen over there. I no longer try to defend the US or the American people. The time for real public outrage passed many years ago, and I have not only given up on the government, but also on the people themselves. So many dear family and friends spend their lives watching TV while their freedoms, lifestyle, culture and wealth were/are being destroyed around them. Ignorant and apathetic to the realities of the real world. Living with some strange notion of the past as if it represents the present.

Not all is doom and gloom here. And although it could still come, if it does it will have little, if nothing at all, to do with the problems in America.

The Health Care Reform Bill: Welcome To The Biggest Tax Increase In U.S. History

Will the health care reform bill that the Democrats are trying to figure out a way to ram through Congress end up being the biggest tax increase in U.S. history?  Unfortunately, a close reading of the bill leads to the inescapable conclusion that it will be.  You see, the crafters of this legislation were smart.  They realized that if they included one huge tax increase in the health care bill it would make headlines all over the country, so they chopped up the taxes into a bunch of smaller pieces in order to make them easier to swallow.  In fact, one review of the Senate version of the health care bill identified at least 19 tax increases.  When you put all of the tax increases together they add up to the biggest tax increase in the history of the United States.  Considering the fact that the U.S. economy is already on the verge of economic collapse, the last thing that the American people need is a massive tax increase.  But that is exactly what they are about to get.

So let’s take a closer look at some of these taxes….

*In Section 5000(A) of the Senate version of the bill (which can be found here), there is a requirement for all Americans to purchase health insurance. Those who do not obtain health coverage will be hit with an annual tax penalty of $750.

*Barack Obama is trying to sneak a large Medicare tax increase for wealthy Americans into the final version of the health care bill.  Under Obama’s proposal, individuals who earn more than $200,000 and couples who earn over $250,000 would pay an additional 2.9% surtax on unearned income from interest, dividends, annuities, royalties and rents. Up until now, employers and employees have each contributed 1.45% of each paycheck to Medicare.  But if Obama’s proposal makes it into the final bill, wealthy Americans will see their Medicare taxes absolutely skyrocket.

*In Section 9008 of the Senate version of the health care bill,  a $2.3 billion excise tax would be imposed on the pharmaceutical industry.  This tax would not be based on income.  It would solely be based on market share.  So even if a company was losing hundreds of millions of dollars it would still have to pay.

*Section 9009 of the Senate version of the health care bill imposes an “annual fee” on medical device manufacturers and importers.  Once again, this $2 billion “excise tax” would be based on market share and not on income.

*Section 9010 of the Senate version of the health care bill would also impose an “annual fee” on health insurance providers.  This $6.7 billion tax would also be allocated based on market share.

So how much of these new taxes on health insurance companies, drugmakers and medical device manufacturers do you think will be passed on to consumers?

Anyone want to take a guess?

Just because a particular tax increase is not directed at you does not mean that it won’t take money out of your pocket.

Let’s look at some more (yes, there are more) of the tax increases….

*Section 9001 of the Senate version of the health care bill contains an excise tax on “Cadillac” health plans.  In other words, if you have provided your family with the very best in health coverage you get to be taxed extra.  This tax is particularly harsh.  Section 9001 imposes a 40 percent tax on the portion of insurance premiums exceeding $8,500 a year for individuals and $23,000 a year for family plans.  In order to hide the tax, it will be imposed on the health insurance companies who issue the policies.  But do you think that they will not pass that cost on to their customers?

So now the American people will be highly penalized for getting really good health care plans.

*Section 9017 of the Senate version of the health care bill imposes an excise tax on elective cosmetic medical procedures.  Any voluntary cosmetic procedures will now be subjected to a 5 percent tax.  All of those boob jobs are about to get a lot more expensive.

*The House version of the health care bill would impose a 5.4 percent income tax increase on individuals making more than $500,000 and on couples making more than $1 million.

So if you are living the American Dream you are about to pay a lot more for it if the House version of the health care bill gets adopted.

Let’s break this down a little bit.

Currently, the top income tax rate in the United States is 35 percent.

If existing Bush tax cuts expire in 2011 as Barack Obama wants them to, the top tax rate will go back up to 39.6 percent.

But this new “health care tax” would jack things up even higher.

Another 5.4 percent would take the highest tax rate in America to 45 percent.  That is before any state, local or property taxes are even paid.

Pretty soon it won’t even be worth it to work hard in America anymore.

But that is not the end of the tax increases.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers’ analysis for America’s Health Insurance Plans found that family health insurance premiums would be approximately $4,000 a year higher if the health care reform bill is passed.

Can you afford to pay over $300 a month more for health insurance for your family?

Are you starting to get the idea?

This health care reform bill will be an absolute financial disaster for America.  But considering the fact that the Senate version of the bill is 2409 pages long, hardly anyone will ever take the time to read the whole thing.

And yes, the Democrats are likely to tweak things a little more as they try to figure out how to sneak a final version through, but there is now one thing that seems virtually certain.

This is going to be the biggest tax increase in U.S. history.

Isn’t that exciting?

Virginia Hands Out 6996 Traffic Tickets In One Weekend In An Effort To Raise Revenue For The State Government

In the old days, police officers wrote traffic tickers primarily to keep people safe and to prevent citizens from breaking the traffic laws.  But in the new Amerika, all of that has changed.  Now traffic tickets are primarily viewed as a revenue raising tool for state and local governments.  For example, a federally funded ticketing blitz in the state of Virginia resulted in a total of 6996 traffic tickets being handed out this past weekend.  This most recent ticketing blitz is part of a campaign code-named “Operation Air, Land & Speed”.  Last Saturday and Sunday state troopers were ordered to absolutely saturate Interstate 95 and Interstate 81 and to issue as many traffic tickets as humanly possible during those two days.  Why?  Well, it turns out that the state of Virginia has a 2.2 billion dollar budget deficit that they are trying to deal with, and so they need to find some quick sources of cash. 

You see, state and local governments all over the nation are massively jacking up traffic fines and are starting to write a lot more tickets in an attempt to “enhance” their streams of revenue.

In other words, state and local governments across the U.S. are broke and so they need some suckers to prey on.

Not that it was ever a good idea to break the traffic laws.  But now even a minor violation can put a massive hole in your wallet.  For instance, driving as little as 15 miles an hour over the speed limit in Virginia can get you a reckless driving charge that can carry a fine of up to $2500.

So why the hefty fines?

Well, the law increasing the traffic fines in Virginia clearly admitted why they are so high….

“The purpose of the civil remedial fees imposed in this section is to generate revenue.” (Virginia Code 46.2-206.1)

Are you starting to get the picture?

But this kind of thing is not just happening in Virginia.

“Sobriety checkpoints” in the state of California are increasingly bring used as revenue raising operations.  It turns out that these sobriety checkpoints are far more likely to seize cars from unlicensed motorists than they are to catch drunk drivers.

So how profitable are these “sobriety” checkpoints?

Well, research done by the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley with California Watch discovered that impounds at “sobriety” checkpoints in 2009 alone generated approximately 40 million dollars in towing fees and police fines.

That is what you call a source of revenue.

In Detroit, even the police admit that the fundamental nature of police work is changing.  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.”

Sgt. Richard Lyons of Trenton, Michigan is even more blunt about what is happening in his community….

“They’re trying to use police officers to balance the budget on the backs of drivers, and it’s too bad. The people we count on to support us and help us when we’re on the road are the ones who end up paying the bills, and they’re ticked off about it. We might as well just go door to door and tell people, ‘Slide us $100 now since your 16-year-old is going to end up paying us anyway when he starts driving.’ You can’t blame people for getting upset.”

But some localities are converting to even more automated ways of making money from drivers.

For example, “red-light cameras” have become huge revenue raising tools in many areas of the country.  In Los Angeles, revenue from red-light cameras has doubled from $200,000 a month in 2007 to $400,000 a month at the end of 2009.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wants cities and counties in his state to take things even farther.  He wants them to install speed sensors on existing red-light cameras.  Speeders caught by these sensors would face fines ranging from $225 to $325.

Don’t all of us wish we could start a business that could make so much money from each customer?

California state officials believe that these speed sensors would raise more than 300 million dollars for the state of California by the end of 2011.

All of this is enough to make one want to drive like a grandmother.

Except then they would get you for going too slow.

Seriously.

The reality is that you have to be very, very careful out there now because the nature of driving in America has fundamentally changed.

Whether it is rapidly increasing traffic fines or all of the toll roads going in everywhere, American drivers are increasingly being viewed as a big fat revenue source.

And as the current economic collapse gets even worse, drivers are going to be preyed upon even more by state and local governments.

If you have not already done so, now is the time to change the way that you drive.  Don’t give state and local governments an excuse to take even more of your hard-earned money from you than they are already.

The Move Your Money Campaign – Is Taking Our Money Away From The Big Banks The Answer?

Is taking all of our money out of the big banks part of the solution to America’s financial problems?  The truth is that people across the United States are angrier about financial and economic issues than they ever have been in modern history.  It did not sit well with millions upon millions of hard working Americans to watch their tax dollars being used to fund multi-million dollar bonuses at big financial institutions that were just bailed out by the U.S. government.  It made Americans even angrier when these big banks that got the bailouts actually decreased their lending.  It has been the big banks who got the massive government-funded bailouts who have been hoarding their cash, while the local community banks and credit unions that have been serving their customers loyally for generations have been left to die by the feds.  Now the banking industry in the United States is more centralized than ever.  At the end of 2007, the “Big Four” U.S. banks – Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo – held 32 percent of all deposits in FDIC-insured institutions. As of June 30th of last year it was 39 percent.

So are we going to let the big banks swallow the whole pie or are we going to do something about it?

Well, there are some people who are doing something about it. Arianna Huffington and Rob Johnson of the Huffington Post have started “The Move Your Money Campaign” which calls on all Americans to take their money out of these big banks and put it into smaller community banks and credit unions.

So is it working?  A recent Zogby Interactive poll found that 9% of all U.S. adults have already taken some of their business away from big banks as a protest.

The reality is that it is impossible to vote the bankers out of their positions.  So if we want to change the banking system, perhaps the best way is to take our cash away from the bankers.

But will it work?

Are the big banks simply too big and too powerful to even be bothered by a protest of this nature?

Perhaps, but nothing great was ever accomplished by not trying.

When they began this campaign at the end of last year, Arianna Huffington and Rob Johnson described their reasoning this way….

The big banks on Wall Street, propped up by taxpayer money and government guarantees, have had a record year, making record profits while returning to the highly leveraged activities that brought our economy to the brink of disaster. In a slap in the face to taxpayers, they have also cut back on the money they are lending, even though the need to get credit flowing again was one of the main points used in selling the public the bank bailout. But since April, JP Morgan/Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo — all of which took billions in taxpayer money — have cut lending to businesses by $100 billion.

Meanwhile, America’s Main Street community banks — the vast majority of which avoided the banquet of greed and corruption that created the toxic economic swamp we are still fighting to get ourselves out of — are struggling. Many of them have closed down (or been taken over by the FDIC) over the last 12 months. The government policy of protecting the Too Big and Politically Connected to Fail is badly hurting the small banks, which are having a much harder time competing in the financial marketplace. As a result, a system which was already dangerously concentrated at the top has only become more so.

How else are we going to hold these bankers accountable?  They have abused us and have abused the entire financial system, so they do not deserve our business any longer.

To promote The Move Your Money Campaign, filmmaker/author Eugene Jarecki produced the stirring YouTube video posted below.  This video makes it exceedingly clear why we all need to start boycotting the big banks immediately…..

Please share this video with all of your friends and family.  The reality is that the U.S. government has made it abundantly clear that the big banks are “too big to fail” and will always get bailed out, while all of the small banks and credit unions will be allowed to die and their assets will be divided up by the sharks.

If that does not sound like a good plan to you, then do something about it.

Pull your money out of the big banks.

Encourage your friends and family to do the same.

Otherwise the banking system of the United States will soon be concentrated in the hands of just a few and then we will all pay the price.

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Is Moving Out Of The United States A Way To Escape The Coming Economic Collapse?

With the U.S. economy in a death spiral, many Americans have been wondering if moving out of the United States is a way to escape the coming economic collapse.  While it is true that the U.S. economy will drag down the rest of the economies around the globe at least to an extent, the reality is that someone living on an island in the middle of nowhere will be able to weather the coming economic storm a whole lot better than someone in New York or Los Angeles.  But is moving out of the United States a practical alternative?  First of all, it is very important to realize that moving some to another country can cause a massive culture shock.  Even a nation that you would think would be somewhat similar such as the U.K. can be radically different from what most Americans are accustomed to.  In addition, in some cases there can be huge taxes and fees imposed on those moving to a new country.

But if you are looking for a change and are ready for something different, moving to another country may work out for you.  In particular, moving to another country tends to work out for those who already have money and do not have to work.  The dollar is still strong in many areas of the world (especially the third world), so if you have a sufficient bankroll saved up there are areas of the world where you can literally live like a king.

However, if you still need to work, moving to another country can present a huge challenge.  The truth is that wages in many areas of the world (especially in the third world) are much lower than in the United States.  On the flip side, the cost of living is often much lower in other areas of the world.

So is moving to another country the right answer for everyone?  No, of course not.  But for some people it may be a wonderful alternative.

To give you more of a perspective on moving out of the United States, we have posted two comments from our readers below.  The first is from a reader named Chris who is very excited about moving his family to the Philippines.  The second is from a reader named John who provides an alternative viewpoint on what living in the Philippines is like….

Chris:

Well I feel the same way as Mae does. I can see what is the possible outcome; a deflationary depression, an inflationary depression, dollar devaluation, confiscation of our money, confiscation of gold, a “freeze” on our savings accounts, etc…

Well so what is our solution? Well my wife is a Filipino American. She was born here. But she has very close ties to her ancestral homeland. So we are going to move in April 2010. We are going to move to a remote town/village. We already bought some land under her father’s name who lives there now and had a beautiful 3000 square foot Spanish villa built two years ago. Plus we bought lots and lots of land where we can grow our own organic food and raise chickens.

Even though as a whole the Philippines is a poor society, they are moving forward. If you have about $150,000 or more, you can live like a king with all of the Western accommodations. If you are living in the U.S.A. then move. Our country won’t be the same in the next coming years. I will wait for this storm to pass. Then I can either choose to stay in the Philippines or come back to America.

Remember, whatever you do, prepare yourself. “Prepare for the worst and hope for the best”.

John:

I was talking to a friend here in the Philippines this afternoon who has two young adult children who are both working full time jobs. He is worried that they will NEVER be able to have a home of their own or even ever an apartment. They both work for Call centers and their jobs USED to based in the USA. They are happy to have a job but they are only earning 13,000 pesos a month. That is about $300 !!!

The same exact job in the states is paying over $400 a week! The of living is less in the Philippines BUT things are NOT so cheap that you could have a home of your own. $300 a month is NOT very much money NO MATTER where in the world you live. The cost of gasoline is MORE here, about $4.00 a gallon. Going out to eat at McDonalds appears to cost less BUT the serving sizes are less so in the long run you pay the same. The wages for a McDonalds employee is about $7 a day so the employees can not even afford to eat at McDonalds!

The employers are making MILLIONS off of the cheap labor. The jobs that used to be in the states are NOW here but the BOSS MAN is making even MORE PROFIT. The employers do not have the misc. taxes to pay like they would in the states. The wages are obviously several hundred dollars or more LESS than the same job in the states. These employers have NOT reduced the cost of their products or services so they are really raking in the bucks.

The american people have lost their jobs and they will NOT see them return. And the people here who are now doing those same jobs are not much better off. The filipino employees are wise enough to understand they are being taken advantage of but there is nothing they can do. They need a job also, so complaining about the low wages does nothing. There are thousands that will take the job you do not want.

Many areas in the Philippines are incredibly wealthy. You see housing developments that the average american could not afford to live in. I see cars that cost tens of thousands of dollars on the road everyday. They have huge shopping malls that are bursting at the seams with stores in EVERY retail location. Unlike the mall in my home town of Cedar Rapids Iowa. The mall there looks like a GHOST TOWN.

The only people that are winning are the CORPORATIONS that are raking in huge profits while the little guy suffers.

Has The United States Become A Nation With No Economic Spine?

What are hard working Americans who have scrimped and saved and have done everything “right” financially for decades supposed to think about all of these “bailouts” and of the massive financial mess in Washington?  How are people who have handled their own finances admirably supposed to feel now that the foolishness of others is leading us all towards a horrific economic collapse?  Well, a reader named “Mae” recently left a comment that I think does a good job of communicating what a lot of hard working Americans are feeling right now: My situation is this – we have lived our lives playing by the rules: never carried debt on a credit card that we couldn’t pay off by the due date. If we couldn’t afford the item, we didn’t buy it. We always had a Christmas Club which enabled us to pay cash for the holiday. We payed ourselves first after every paycheck whether it was $10 or $100, whatever we could afford. We made double payments on our mortgage when we could which helped us to pay off our modest home 10 years early. We knew that we couldn’t afford to “have it all” so we made our choices early on and stuck with it. We sacrificed the fancy vacations in order to do large home repairs (like a new roof) ourselves. We didn’t buy expensive cars and now own one outright and carry a small loan on another. That’s our only debt besides monthly bills. We chose jobs that provided health care benefits. We did everything right…we saved and saved and saved to have a decent retirement but of course last year took half the value of our 401k.

Now, I’m expected to sit back and watch Bush, Congress and Obama bail everyone out because they didn’t have the fiscal discipline to manage their money?? I’m supposed to feel bad for people who bought homes they couldn’t afford? or cars they couldn’t pay for? or $1000 cell phone bills? or $20,000 in credit card debt? HELL NO! I’m livid! If I ran my checkbook the way Washington is running the national checkbook, I’d be thrown in jail!

All we can do now is educate as many people as possible about what is happening and hopefully vote all these s.o.b.’s out of office and replace them with fiscally conservative candidates who will vote for term limits. The days of a career politician are over. I don’t know if we can turn any of this around – it will take a lot of hard work to make the tough decisions, but they have to be made if we’re to survive. How many people have the guts to work through this? Not many…we’ve become a spoiled, selfish, arrogant and hypocritical nation with no spine.

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke Warns Congress That The Federal Reserve Will Not “Print Money” To Pay For The Exploding U.S. National Debt

On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned Congress that the Federal Reserve does not plan to “print money” to help Congress finance the exploding U.S. national debt.  In fact, Bernanke told Congress that the U.S. could soon face a debt crisis as bad as the one in Greece if the U.S. government does not get things in order financially.  This represents a fundamental change in policy for the Federal Reserve, because they have been enabling the massive borrowing by the U.S. government over the past couple of years by “buying” the majority of new U.S. government debt that has been issued.  But now the fat cats over at the Federal Reserve have apparently changed their minds.  Using uncharacteristic bluntness, Bernanke told Congress that the Federal Reserve is “not going to monetize the debt”.

So why is the Federal Reserve changing course?

Well, there are a couple of possibilities.  One is that the Federal Reserve could legitimately be concerned that the exploding U.S. debt could actually collapse the U.S. economy and ultimately the U.S. government.

You see, the Federal Reserve is a parasite.  They make money for their owners by sucking money out of the U.S. government and out of U.S. taxpayers.  So, just like any parasite, they must strike a delicate balance.  They have to keep feeding off the host without killing off the host completely.  If the host dies it could end up killing the parasite.  So the Federal Reserve actually needs to try to keep the U.S. economy alive so that it can slowly keep draining it.

In fact, during his remarks to Congress, it certainly sounded like Bernanke honestly desires that the U.S. government will come up with a sustainable financial plan for the future….

“It is very, very important for Congress and administration to come to some kind of program, some kind of plan that will credibly show how the United States government is going to bring itself back to a sustainable position.”

The second possibility is a bit more insidious.  As we have written previously, it looks like “the financial powers that be” have decided to reduce the money supply, tighten credit and hoard cash.  All of those things reduce economic activity. 

This new public stance by Bernanke is right in line with that.  If the Federal Reserve will not finance the exploding U.S. government debt, then either the U.S. government will have to dramatically cut back on spending (which would seriously slow down the U.S. economy) or the U.S. government will have to borrow from other sources at much higher interest rates (which will have very serious negative effects on the U.S.. economy).  Either way, this new stance by the Federal Reserve is not good news for those hoping for U.S. economic growth.     

The truth is that someday the exponential growth of the U.S. national debt will basically force the Federal Reserve to “print money”, but for now it looks like the financial powers have another agenda. 

From all indications, it look like that agenda is seriously going to slow down the U.S. economy.

That is likely to seriously anger American voters.  Already, millions of Americans have lost their homes and their jobs, and things are probably only going to get worse.

The result is that there is likely to be an overwhelmingly strong anti-incumbent mood in the nation as we approach the election season of 2010.  Even now, only 10% of American voters say that Congress is doing a good or excellent job.

That is not good news for the fat cats in Washington.

Not that we should feel sorry for them when they get voted out.

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