Police Union President Laments That Portland Has Become A “Cesspool” As West Coast Cities Struggle With An Unprecedented Surge In Homelessness

Even though it has always been kind of crazy, at one time Portland, Oregon was quite an attractive place to live, but now those days are long gone.  Today, the city streets are strewn with garbage, drug paraphernalia and human feces.  Mentally ill homeless people and drug addicts wander about like zombies, and there are certain areas of the city that you absolutely do not want to visit at night.  In essence, the city is slowly becoming a post-apocalyptic version of its former self, and those that love the city are seething with frustration.  Of course Portland is simply experiencing the same surge in homelessness that so many other west coast cities are struggling to deal with.  As housing prices have risen dramatically, many on the lower end of the income scale have been priced out of the market entirely, and an increasing number of people are being forced to sleep in vehicles, in shelters or on the streets.

The president of the police union in Portland has had enough.  His officers are overwhelmed by the needs of the homeless on a nightly basis, and he is calling on the mayor to finally do something to resolve this crisis.  The following is the first paragraph from a statement that PPA President Daryl Turner just released

Our City has become a cesspool. Livability that once made Portland a unique and vibrant city is now replaced with human feces in businesses doorways, in our parks, and on our streets. Aggressive panhandlers block the sidewalks, storefronts, and landmarks like Pioneer Square, discouraging people from enjoying our City. Garbage-filled RVs and vehicles are strewn throughout our neighborhoods. Used needles, drug paraphernalia, and trash are common sights lining the streets and sidewalks of the downtown core area, under our bridges, and freeway overpasses. That’s not what our families, business owners, and tourists deserve.

If that sounds familiar, that is because many other west coast cities are dealing with the exact same issues right now.

For example, new San Francisco Mayor London Breed recently admitted that there “is more feces on the sidewalks than I’ve ever seen”

There is more feces on the sidewalks than I’ve ever seen growing up here,” Breed told KNTV. “That is a huge problem and we are not just talking about from dogs — we’re talking about from humans.”

The streets of San Francisco are littered with a “dangerous mix of drug needles, garbage, and feces”, KNTV’s investigative team reported in February after surveying the city’s streets.

And a lot of other San Francisco residents have noticed the exact same thing.  In fact, during one recent seven day period 16,000 complaints were submitted to the city about human feces.

Sounds like a great place to live, right?

It is important to keep in mind that San Francisco supposedly has a “booming economy” and some of the highest real estate prices in the entire nation.

If this is happening in a “prosperous area”, what are things like in major cities where things are not so prosperous?

Down in L.A., there was a nearly 26 percent increase in homelessness in 2017, and overall homelessness in L.A. has risen 75 percent over the past 6 years.

Let that sink in for a moment.

During this supposed “economy recovery”, our second largest city has seen homelessness go up 75 percent.

Sadly, it is estimated that 25 percent of the nation’s entire homeless population now lives in California…

While it’s tough to say precisely how many Californians are experiencing homelessness, the federal Housing and Urban Development Department estimates the number statewide at 130,000 on a given night. That’s 25 percent of the entire nation’s homeless population. Since 2016, California experienced a larger increase in homelessness than any other state.

At one time, L.A.’s “skid row” was limited to a single street, but now it goes on mile after mile.  I just have to share with you the following excerpt from an excellent article about what life is like for those living on this famous stretch of real estate

Most of its 2,000 residents sleep in tents or under tarps. Those with more status occupy the sides of streets shaded by trees. Location, location, location. The lowest caste sleep on cardboard or nothing. Some people rent tents for a few bucks a night.

There are no liquor stores so businessmen buy alcohol from shops a few miles away and sell it at a steep mark-up. Loan sharks collect debts by taking control of the debit cards issued to homeless people by government agencies.

A guy sits at a table on the sidewalk selling cigarettes and joints. The city has installed sidewalk restrooms. Ruffin pointed to one and figured people inside were shooting up or smoking. Meth, heroin and crack are the scourges of choice. Needles litter the gutter, as does a dead rat. On another block, homeless entrepreneurs chop and assemble bicycles for sale.

And let us not forget about Seattle.  Homeless encampments have become so pervasive in “the Emerald City” that authorities started building “tiny house villages” for the homeless out of desperation.  But these “tiny house villages” are a lot more depressing than they sound

In the nearby neighborhood of Wallingford, a newly erected outpost of small wooden shacks offer shelter for 22 of Seattle’s homeless residents. This is a “tiny house village,” sanctioned by the city as a kind of middle ground between living at a street address and on the street. The buildings sit in the corner of a parking lot across from a seafood restaurant, shielded from view by a metal fence. Each shack, painted with one of the bold colors of a Crayola starter pack, offers electricity and a roof sturdier than the tents in Seattle’s increasingly common homeless encampments. Every resident is issued a window fan for the occasional hot day, and the people here hope to receive heaters before winter. But the small collections of potted petunias and pothos that sit in front of their temporary homes are unlikely to survive the city’s harshest months.

Unfortunately, this is probably only just the beginning of this crisis.  Homelessness always explodes during a recession, and many believe that we are rapidly approaching another one.  West coast cities are really struggling to deal with this crisis right now, and it is hard to imagine how they will deal with the tsunami of human suffering that is coming their way once economic conditions begin to sour.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Civil Unrest Is Here: Violence Erupts In American Streets As Progressive Leaders Urge Their Followers To “Rise Up” And Prepare For A “Summer Of Rage”

On Friday, Michael Moore went on Bill Maher’s HBO show and suggested that the U.S. military would side with progressives in a civil war against Donald Trump.  You can watch Moore make these comments on YouTube right here.  The very next day, Antifa thugs violently clashed with pro-Trump conservatives that had gathered for a prayer rally on the streets of Portland, Oregon.  Flash-bang grenades were thrown by Antifa activists, the police confiscated “mace, clubs, gloves with reinforced knuckles, batons, knives and handgun clips”, and many were injured and had to be taken to the hospital.  The violence was so dramatic that some are actually calling this the first skirmish in America’s next civil war.  Last week, a shocking poll found that 31 percent of all Americans believe that there will be a civil war in America within the next five years and that 59 percent of Americans believe that Donald Trump’s opponents will resort to violence.  But after the events of this past weekend, we no longer have to wonder if civil unrest is coming to America.  Civil unrest is already here, and it is going to get much worse in the months ahead.

The next several months are being billed as a “summer of rage”.  Progressive leaders continue to insist that they are “the majority” and that it is time for them to “start acting like the majority”.

Of course they aren’t talking about mobilizing voters and taking the country back at the polls in November.

Instead, they are talking about more direct action.

For example, Michael Moore told Bill Maher that if they don’t act now, Americans are going to deeply regret not rising up against “fascism” while there was still time to do so

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore was fired up on Friday night’s “Real Time,” telling host Bill Maher that now is the time to stand together to stop the “madness” in the Trump administration, even comparing it to the dystopian world seen in “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

“We are living ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’” Moore said. “This is a serious point. The best part of the show is the flashbacks, where she tries to figure out where was the point where it was too late. Where was the point that if we all just had risen up, just done something? But because it happens in little increments. That’s how fascism works.”

And Michael Moore certainly intends to be at the tip of the spear.

In fact, he also told Bill Maher that he plans “to join a million other Americans to surround the United States Capitol” to protest Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court.

Of course we don’t even know who the nominee will be yet.  There are rumblings that it could be Amy Coney Barrett, and if that is the case the left is really going to freak out then.

Chris Matthews of MSNBC is speaking in apocalyptic terms as well.  He says that this is a time “to fight”, and he is convinced that “it’s gonna be almost like Spanish Civil War stuff”

“So I would say I think this is gonna be the fight of the century,” he told MSNBC. “I think the Democrats have to say no way. No one passes this line. I think it’s gonna be almost like Spanish Civil War stuff – you watch!”

“It’s time for Democrats to play Hardball,” he added. “I’m Chris Matthews and I’m urging them to do just that. There are times to fight and this is one of them.”

I don’t think that most conservatives really understand what is happening.

These radical leftists are ready to put their lives on the line.  They are entirely convinced that Donald Trump is another version of Hitler and that Trump supporters are all a bunch of fascists, and they truly believe that they need to do whatever is possible to fight “the rising tide of fascism” in this country.

The following excerpt from an opinion piece by Charles M. Blow in the New York Times is a glimpse into how these crazed progressives currently view Donald Trump…

He is a racist who disparages black and brown people, whether they be immigrants, Muslims, people from Haiti and Africa, Barack Obama, the mayor of San Juan or Maxine Waters. People equivocate about it and excuse it.

He is attacking the press in the most aggressive of terms so that what they reveal about him will be viewed with skepticism.

He is attempting to weaken our institutions, our protocols and conventions, our faith in the truth, our sense of honor and our respect for the rule of law.

To these progressives, there is no greater cause then resisting Donald Trump and trying to take America back.

During his conversation with Bill Maher, Michael Moore insisted that the “moment is now” and that this movement is something worth giving your life for

“What are people willing to commit to? What would you give your life for?” Moore said. “What would you be willing to actually put yourself on the line for? That moment is now. We are going to lose our democracy if we haven’t already. We have no choice, my friends. We all have to rise up.”

When people are ready to die for a cause, suddenly they will do things that they would not normally do.

Normally, Americans do not throw flash-bang grenades at one another, but that is precisely what happened in Portland over the weekend.  Trump supporters that had gathered to pray were caught unprepared for the violence that erupted, and one woman was entirely convinced that Antifa had come down there to “try to murder us”

‘They were throwing rocks, they were throwing bottles, you need to tell the truth,’ one middle-aged woman in a Make America Great Again hat said after the clashes, addressing media in remarks caught on camera.

‘No one on our side did anything violent, everything was self defense,’ she claimed. ‘You guys have to stop it because you’re encouraging these people to come down here and try to murder us.’

You can watch five minutes of footage from the Portland riot here.  Even though I have been warning that this is coming for a very long time, even I was greatly shocked by the ferocity of the violence.

The thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is rapidly disappearing, and it is going to be exceedingly hard to stop civil unrest from erupting in major cities all over the nation.

As I end this article today, let me leave you with an ominous warning from a progressive that was just published by the Washington Post

The backlash is coming. It is the deserved consequence of minority-rule government protecting the rich over everybody else, corporations over workers, whites over nonwhites and despots over democracies. It will explode, God willing, at the ballot box and not in the streets.

You can only ignore the will of the people for so long and get away with it.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

While Many On The Right Are Sleeping, Many On The Left Are Promising To Bring War To The Streets Of America

You might want to start taking the radical left seriously.  When they tell us “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet” and that “this is just the beginning”, they are making threats that they intend to back up.  There have been other times in modern American history when the left has resorted to physical intimidation and violence, but I believe that what is coming is going to far surpass anything that we have ever experienced before.  Of course not everyone agrees with me.  On Monday I authored a piece about the “civil war” that is rapidly approaching, and there were some that loudly criticized me for it.  They insisted that we didn’t have anything to worry about from the left and that I was blowing things out of proportion.  As you read the rest of this article, I hope that everyone will start to see that I am not exaggerating the threat one bit.  And what we should all be able to agree on is that the radical left is super energized right now.  Just look at what happened on Tuesday.  28-year-old radical socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez absolutely crushed 10-term congressman Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary in New York.  She was outspent 18 to 1, and in normal times something like that would never happen.

But these aren’t normal times.

While many on the right are in a deep state of slumber, the radical left is seething with anger.  Many of them truly believe that Donald Trump is the closest thing to Hitler that America has ever seen, and they also believe that anyone that supports Donald Trump is essentially a modern-day Nazi.

And if you take that line of thinking to the rational conclusion, any form of resistance against Nazi tyranny is justified, including the use of violence.

For a few moments I would like to examine an article that a progressive writer named Hamilton Nolan authored for Splinter entitled “This Is Just The Beginning”.  In his piece, he posed an ominous question to those of us that are conservatives…

Do you think that being asked to leave a restaurant, or having your meal interrupted, or being called by the public is bad? My fascism-enabling friends, this is only the beginning.

It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to figure out what he means by that.

In fact, later on in the article he tells us exactly what he meant

The U.S. had thousands of domestic bombings per year in the early 1970s. This is what happens when citizens decide en masse that their political system is corrupt, racist, and unresponsive. The people out of power have only just begun to flex their dissatisfaction. The day will come, sooner that you all think, when Trump administration officials will look back fondly on the time when all they had to worry about was getting hollered at at a Mexican restaurant.

For those of you that still don’t get it, he is openly telling us that domestic terrorism is coming to U.S. cities.

There are many on the left that actually crave a violent revolution, and they look back on Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground as inspiration.  The following comes from Art Moore

In the years 1971 and 1972 alone, according to the FBI, more than 2,000 bombs were planted throughout the United States by domestic terrorist groups. Among the chief culprits was the Weather Underground, led by Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dorn, who hosted a fundraiser at their home to launch Barack Obama’s political career. Among the Weather Underground’s targets were the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol.

Hamilton Nolan is not just some crank.  He has actually written an article for the New York Times, and he is quite popular in leftist circles.

In his piece for Splinter he was quite careful not to call for bombings himself, but at the conclusion of his article he did state that it was time to “start fighting” Trump and to begin treating members of the Trump administration as “criminals”

Stop working for this man. Stop enabling him. Stop assisting him. Start fighting him. The people who are responsible for what is happening are not going to get out of this with their happy wealthy respectable lives unscathed. This is a country that locks poor people in cages for decades for trying to make $20. This is a country that is “tough on crime.” Remember? And the ones who make the laws are not going to like what happens when America starts to regard them as the criminals.

So far, Nolan’s piece has been read more than 798,000 times.

And of course Nolan is far from alone.  This week radical leftists all over the country have been circulating a video on social media that seems to imply that Trump supporters should be gunned down at restaurants.

If this kind of hatred continues to be spewed relentlessly, it is only a matter of time before widespread violence breaks out.

Sadly, progressive leaders just continue to get more and more heated with their rhetoric.  For example, Michael Moore just compared Donald Trump to a rapist and his supporters to accomplices to rape

Grabien News reported filmmaker and frequent MSNBC guest Michael Moore likened Trump voters to accomplices to rape.

“If you hold down the woman while the rapist is raping her, and you didn’t rape her — are you a rapist?”

Moore added: “Anybody who enables, anybody who votes for and supports a racist is a racist. You are culpable, white America, I’m sorry.”

If you don’t believe that chaos is coming to the streets of America, just go hang out in places where radical leftists talk with one another on the Internet.

They are quite clear on what is ahead if they can’t take back control of America at the voting box, and it isn’t pretty.

And to a certain extent it has already started.  In a recent article, Kevin McCullough summarized just a few of the things that we have seen happen in recent days…

Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was literally shouted at until she left a dinner at an eatery near the White House. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders just Friday evening was told she would not be served (nor her family) at the Red Hen eatery of the Shenandoah Valley in Lexington, Virginia. She was told she was refused service was because she works for the President. Secretary Nielsen has had additional groups camped outside her house playing loud speakers, disturbing the peace of she and her neighbors. Entitled leftist celebrities like Robert De Niro bogart awards shows encouraging viewers to sexually violate the President. Washed up former TV stars like Tom Arnold claim they will harass the First Lady at her son’s school. And true Hollywood losers like Peter Fonda claim that Sarah Sanders’ as well as Melania Trump’s children should literally be raped by pedophiles and sex traffickers.

Sadly, the list keeps growing.  On Monday, a group of angry leftists ambushed Senator Mitch McConnell’s vehicle while he was leaving an event, and on Tuesday authorities in Los Angeles arrested 25 people that were protesting in anticipation of the arrival of Attorney General Jeff Sessions…

Arrests were made as hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday ahead of a planned visit by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Twenty-five people were taken into custody after the peaceful organized protest was declared an unlawful assembly by Los Angeles police. Clergy were seen among those being arrested.

Crowds holding signs were given a five-minute warning to disperse by LAPD before the arrests took place, according to authorities.

All it is going to take is one large trigger event to set this country ablaze from coast to coast.

Anger and frustration are already at unprecedented levels, and this is happening even though the economy is performing relatively well.

Imagine if it wasn’t.

The Republican Party has just released a new video entitled “Unhinged”, and I recommend that you take a few moments to watch it.  If the radical left is this crazed now, what are they going to be like once things really start to go bad in this country?

For now, many on the right are ignoring this growing threat on the left, but I believe that is a huge mistake.

Chaos is coming to the streets of America, and it is going to be here a lot sooner than many conservatives would dare to imagine.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Here It Comes – The Warnings About A “Civil War In America” Are Becoming Much Louder

Civil conflict is coming to America, and it is going to tear our nation apart. Earlier today I received an email from a good friend about the rising tide of anger and frustration that we are currently witnessing in America. After thinking about it for a few moments, I wrote back and told him that I don’t know if there is any way to stop what is coming at this point. In my entire lifetime, we have never been closer to a “civil war” in this country than we are right now. Let us work for peace, but it would be foolish to ignore the forces that are ripping the fabric of our society to shreds. In this day and age, the coming conflict will not be between two armies from specific geographical locations. Rather, it will be between groups of Americans with fundamentally different ideologies. However, just like in our first civil war, American cities will burn before it is all said and done. First there will be massive protests, then there will be widespread violence, and ultimately there will be mobs of lunatics running around smashing things, looting, stealing, killing and setting things on fire.

I have been warning about where we are heading as a society on The Economic Collapse Blog for quite a long time, but now the warnings about a coming “civil war” are becoming very loud in the mainstream media.

For example, in a Bloomberg opinion piece entitled “What Democratic Rage Would Look Like”, political scientist Thomas Schaller made the following astounding statement: “I think we’re at the beginning of a soft civil war. … I don’t know if the country gets out of it whole.”

And Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds, the author of The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself, made the following observations in his recent USA Today article entitled “Is America headed toward a civil war?”

Will it get worse? Probably. To have a civil war, soft or otherwise, takes two sides. But as pseudonymous tweeter Thomas H. Crown notes, it’s childishly easy in these days to identify people in mobs, and then to dispatch similar mobs to their homes and workplaces. Eventually, he notes, it becomes “protesters all the way down, and if we haven’t yet figured out that can lead to political violence, we’re dumb.”

Apparently, some of us are dumb or else want violence. As Crown warns, “We carefully erected civil peace to avoid this sort of devolution-to-a-mob. It is a great civilizational achievement and it is intensely fragile.” Yes, it is indeed fragile, and many people will miss it when it’s entirely gone.

But most alarming of all was a tweet that was posted by U.S. Congressman Steve King on Sunday

“America is heading in the direction of another Harpers Ferry. After that comes Ft. Sumter.”

When sitting members of Congress start talking about a coming civil war, it is time to start paying attention.

King was responding to an incident in Portland, Oregon in which radical leftists had physically taken control of an ICE office

“Occupy” protesters have been camping outside an ICE office in Portland, Oregon, leading the facility to temporarily shut down. The occupiers say that they won’t leave until the Trump administration revokes its “zero tolerance” immigration policy.

Since Sunday the agitators, whose numbers are increasing, have been engaged in activities such as blocking the entrance to the building…

One of the things about that “occupation” that particularly disturbed me was when one of the protesters removed the American flag from the flagpole and replaced it with a “Refugees Welcome” flag.

If the mainstream media and liberal leaders continue to stoke the flames of hatred and continue to incite violence on a daily basis, we are going to see much worse in the months ahead.

For example, over the weekend U.S. Representative Maxine Waters stunned the nation when she urged Americans to physically confront members of the Trump administration wherever they can be found.  The following comes from the Los Angeles Times

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), a frequent critic of the administration, gave a high-profile boost to the tactic by saying members of the Trump administration should be repeatedly confronted in their everyday lives.

“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they are not welcome anymore, anywhere,” Waters said at a rally in Los Angeles on Saturday.

I don’t know that we have ever seen anything like this in modern American history.

Could you imagine what would have happened if conservative leaders had called for members of the Obama administration to be physically confronted?

After being greatly criticized for her remarks, Waters decided to reaffirm them during an interview with MSNBC the very next day

On MSNBC the next day, she doubled down, saying that Americans are fed up. “The people are going to turn on them, they are going to protest, they are going to absolutely harass them,” she said.

And since that time her remarks have been endorsed by other progressive leaders including Democratic Senator Cory Booker.

Of course members of the Trump administration have already been getting physically confronted in public.  Just a few days ago, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was forced out of a restaurant by anti-Trump activists, and then an unruly mob of protesters decided to hold an event right in front of her home.

Then on Friday night, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and her kids were kicked out of a Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia.

That incident made headlines all over the nation.

And then on Monday we learned that a “group of chanting protesters” had gathered right in front of Stephen Miller’s apartment in Washington…

A group of chanting protesters gathered outside White House adviser Stephen Miller’s Washington D.C. apartment on Monday.

But before the chanting really picked up, the crowd circulated “Wanted” flyers expressing the contention that Miller is guilty of “crimes against humanity,” among other things.

Reportedly, they are passing out flyers portraying him as a “wanted” criminal.

Civil wars don’t emerge out of a vacuum.

You can usually see them coming a long way away, and they are the result of tensions that build up over a long period of time.

America is a very deeply divided nation, and it is getting worse with each passing day.  The left has already shown that they are willing to become very violent when push comes to shove, and what we have seen so far is just the small tip of a very large iceberg.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

15 Signs That The Middle Class In The United States Is Being Systematically Destroyed

If your family is really struggling right now, you are far from alone.  I have been publishing The Economic Collapse Blog for more than eight years, and all throughout that time I have seen the middle class in America get smaller and smaller and smaller.  It is almost as if we are all playing a really bizarre game of musical chairs and every month someone pulls a few more chairs from the game.  Yes, there are some people that have gotten exceedingly wealthy over the past eight years, and most of that wealth is concentrated in places such as New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco.  But meanwhile, most of the rest of the country has been steadily getting poorer.  Just take a look at Detroit – at one time it had the highest per capita income in the entire nation and now it is a rotting, decaying war zone.  Of course dozens of other formerly great manufacturing cities all over the nation have suffered a similar fate.  Since 2001, we have lost more than 70,000 manufacturing facilities and millions of good paying manufacturing jobs.  Those good paying jobs have been replaced by lower paying “service jobs”, and you can’t support a middle class lifestyle on those types of jobs.

In order to have a thriving middle class, you need middle class jobs, and our country is in desperate need of more of those jobs.  At this point most American families are living on the edge, and more are falling into poverty with each passing month.  The following are 15 signs that the middle class in the United States is being systematically destroyed…

#1 78 million Americans are participating in the “gig economy” because full-time jobs just don’t pay enough to make ends meet these days.

#2 In 2011, the average home price was 3.56 times the average yearly salary in the United States.  But by the time 2017 was finished, the average home price was 4.73 times the average yearly salary in the United States.

#3 In 1980, the average American worker’s debt was 1.96 times larger than his or her monthly salary.  Today, that number has ballooned to 5.00.

#4 In the United States today, 66 percent of all jobs pay less than 20 dollars an hour.

#5 102 million working age Americans do not have a job right now.  That number is higher than it was at any point during the last recession.

#6 Earnings for low-skill jobs have stayed very flat for the last 40 years.

#7 Americans have been spending more money than they make for 28 months in a row.

#8 In the United States today, the average young adult with student loan debt has a negative net worth.

#9 At this point, the average American household is nearly $140,000 in debt.

#10 Poverty rates in U.S. suburbs “have increased by 50 percent since 1990”.

#11 Almost 51 million U.S. households “can’t afford basics like rent and food”.

#12 The bottom 40 percent of all U.S. households bring home just 11.4 percent of all income.

#13 According to the Federal Reserve, 4 out of 10 Americans do not have enough money to cover an unexpected $400 expense without borrowing the money or selling something they own.

#14 22 percent of all Americans cannot pay all of their bills in a typical month.

#15 Today, U.S. households are collectively 13.15 trillion dollars in debt.  That is a new all-time record.

When you think of “poverty in America”, you probably think of our blighted inner cities, but that is not where poverty is growing the fastest.

According to author Scott Allard, it is actually our suburbs where poverty is growing more rapidly than anywhere else…

According to a May report from the Pew Research Center, since 2000, suburban counties have experienced sharper increases in poverty than urban or rural counties.

This is consistent with research across the U.S. over the past decade – as well as my own book, “Places in Need.”

This is why tens of millions of square feet of retail space is being closed down and why formerly great shopping malls all over America now resemble ghost towns.

When I was growing up, the shopping mall was the place to be for average middle class kids.  My family was middle class and virtually everyone that I knew was middle class.  In fact, I don’t remember any really wealthy or really poor kids in my school at all.

But today most families have little to no financial cushion and are deep in debt.  As a result, discretionary income has really dried up and that means less shopping.

So we are on pace for the worst year for store closings in American history, and yet the mainstream media keeps telling us that the economy is in “good shape”.

That is a load of nonsense.  The numbers don’t lie, and the U.S. economy is never going to be in “good shape” until the middle class starts growing again.

Is there a solution?

Well, the mayor of Stockton, California seems convinced that the solution is just to give people free money.  The following comes from Reuters

Michael Tubbs, the 27-year-old mayor of Stockton, California, has a radical plan to combat poverty in his cash-strapped city: a “no strings” guaranteed basic income of $500 a month for its residents.

Starting in early 2019, Tubbs plans to provide the monthly stipend to a select group of residents as part of a privately funded 18-month experiment to assess how people use the money.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all just started getting big, fat checks from the government every month?

Why didn’t somebody think about this before?

Of course the truth is that we simply cannot afford to do that.  State and local government debt levels have surged to record highs, and the federal government is now 21 trillion dollars in debt.  We are on a path that leads to national suicide, and we desperately need to start living within our means.

We have been consuming far more wealth than we have been producing for a very long time, but we have been doing it for so long that many of us now think that this is “normal”.  Meanwhile, our long-term debt problems continue to escalate and our once thriving middle class continues to shrink.

If we continue to do the same things, we will continue to get the same results, and right now we are in the process of absolutely destroying the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

More Evidence That Lawyers Are Ruining America – You Won’t Believe What McDonald’s Is Being Sued For Now…

One of the fastest ways to ruin anything is to get lawyers involved, and lawyers are running amok in America today.  Several decades ago, Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger warned that our nation would become “a society overrun by hordes of lawyers, hungry as locusts”, and that is precisely what has happened.  There are more than 1.3 million lawyers in the United States today, and it is estimated that those lawyers produce more than 40 million lawsuits each year.  Many of those lawsuits are completely frivolous, but frivolous lawsuits are often settled because it can be much cheaper to settle them than to defend against them in court.  So it is essentially a form of “legal extortion” that has gotten wildly out of control.

Earlier today I came across another shocking example of this phenomenon.  McDonald’s is actually being sued for charging the same price for a Quarter Pounder with cheese and a Quarter Pounder without cheese…

Two McDonald’s customers in Florida are suing the fast-food giant for a hefty sum of $5 million because they say they’re being unfairly charged for cheese they don’t want on their burgers.

Cynthia Kissner and Leonard Werner argue that hamburgers and cheeseburgers are different prices on the McDonald’s menu, but when they order a Quarter Pounder without the extra dairy, they’re still forced to pay the same amount.

Seriously?

In the end, this is something that nobody cares about, but some lawyers out there saw an opportunity to make a quick buck and so they are going for it.

Once upon a time you could order a Quarter Pounder without cheese right off of the menu.  But if you go into any McDonald’s today you have to specifically ask them to leave the cheese off if you don’t want cheese on your Quarter Pounder.

Apparently, some lawyers in Miami believe that McDonald’s is being “unjustly enriched” because the price is not reduced for those that would like the cheese left off their Quarter Pounders…

According to the lawsuit, filed by Andrew Lavin of the Miami-based Lavin Law Group, McDonald’s used to sell four items in the Quarter Pounder family, with and without cheese, with prices adjusted accordingly — about .30 to .90 cents more for cheese than without.

This practice continued for years, the suit says, but now McDonald’s, “at some point,” ceased “separately displaying these products for purchase on menus, and currently lists the availability of Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese.”

I can’t believe that someone should be stupid enough to bring such a lawsuit.  Andrew Lavin should be immediately disbarred for this.

Attorneys like Lavin are financial predators, and fortunately it doesn’t look like McDonald’s is inclined to settle

“We do not believe the claims in this lawsuit have legal merit,” McDonald’s said in an email. “The advertised Quarter Pounder burger comes with cheese. We try to accommodate our customers’ requests by allowing them to customize their orders, such as a Quarter Pounder with no cheese.”

It is rapidly getting to the point where our entire society is becoming paralyzed by fear of lawsuits and legal matters.  Just look at the White House.  President Trump could have gotten so much else done if he wasn’t constantly fighting for his life against a legal witch hunt.  Robert Mueller has been given unlimited time, staff and resources to investigate the President, and it has been over a year and Mueller still hasn’t found anything.

But it looks like his absurd investigation is not going to end any time soon.

After seeing what they have done to Trump, do you think that good people will be encouraged or discouraged from running for public office?

Of course it isn’t just politicians that are being targeted for this kind of thing.  You could literally spend years pouring blood, sweat and tears into building a business, and it can be destroyed in one moment by a single frivolous lawsuit.

And if you are a doctor, a lifetime of exceedingly hard work can be completely wiped out by one really greedy lawyer.

Look, every nation needs a legal system, and we do too.  But today our system is in desperate need of reform.  There are way too many lawyers, way too many lawsuits, and our entire society is rapidly becoming paralyzed by the misuse of legal power.

At one point I was optimistic that someday we would see some much needed reforms, but at this point I do not believe that it is going to happen…

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist.  He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Thousands Of Americans Are Fleeing The Big Cities In Preparation For The Coming American Apocalypse

Why are so many people suddenly moving away from major U.S. cities?  Recently, I wrote about the mass exodus that is happening out of the state of California, but the truth is that what is happening there is just part of a national phenomenon.  The populations of some of our largest cities are steadily shrinking, and many experts are completely mystified by the seismic demographic shifts that we are now witnessing.  Of course there are a whole host of reasons why people would want to move away from huge cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore and Cleveland.  For some families, it simply comes down to wanting a better life for their children.  But as you will see below, there are others that believe that things in this country are about to take an apocalyptic turn, and the big cities will not be a place that you want to be when economic collapse, rioting, looting, civil unrest and crime are all spiraling out of control.

According to data just released by the U.S. Census Bureau, Chicago took the prize for the biggest population loss from 2015 to 2016, and it was followed by Detroit and Baltimore

The counties containing Chicago, Detroit and the independent city of Baltimore were the biggest population losers in the United States from 2015 to 2016, according to data released today by the Census Bureau.

Cook County, Ill., where Chicago is the county seat, had the largest population loss of any county in the country from 2015 and 2016.

Cook County alone had a “domestic migration” loss of more than 66,000 people.  That is a staggering number of people to lose in a single year.

Cleveland and Milwaukee were also very high on the list, and some are pointing out that all of these cities are in relatively colder climates and are all struggling economically.

So you certainly can’t blame people living in these cities for wanting to find somewhere warmer and more economically prosperous to live.

But others that are moving away from large cities are deeply concerned about where things are ultimately headed in this country.  It doesn’t take a genius to see that anger, frustration and hatred are rising all around us, and many believe that conditions are ripe for civil unrest and civil conflict.  In fact, best-selling author Doug Casey believes that we could soon see a “civil war” that is set off by a “financial collapse”…

Best-selling author Doug Casey wrote “Crisis Investing” at the time when the U.S. political landscape was transitioning from the Carter Administration to the Reagan Administration. Now, Casey sees a coming crisis that is equal or worse than the Civil War.  Casey explains, “In the U.S. right now, there seems to be so much antagonism it’s almost like pre-Civil War.  There is actually hatred in the U.S. at this point.  It used to be the Republicans and Democrats could disagree, but they could have a civil conversation about a difference of opinion.  Now, it’s active hatred between these two groups.  This is not going to end well.”

Casey thinks the coming financial collapse will be the trigger. Casey says, “It’s going to come down eventually.  I am worried about that, but we are in a situation where the country seem like it is just before a civil war.  It will be more serious than just a financial collapse, and it is likely to be set off by a financial collapse.”

Without a doubt, our financial system is certainly primed for a financial collapse, and when things get really, really bad in this country how will people respond?

Many have decided that they want to get away from the major population centers before we find out the answer to that question.

For example, not too long ago the Chicago Tribune ran a story about why so many preppers are moving to the Great Northwest.  One of the individuals profiled was an ex-resident of California named Trevor Treller who moved up to north Idaho prior to the recent election…

Trevor Treller, 44, who carries a small Smith & Wesson pistol on his hip, moved to north Idaho last year from Long Beach, California, and recently paid a little less than $400,000 for a defensible three-bedroom house on five wooded acres.

Treller, a sommelier at a local resort, said Obama was a key factor in his decision. He said the president has inflamed racial tensions in America, presided over a dangerous expansion of the national debt, been “hostile” to Second Amendment rights and failed to curtail the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran.

Treller said any one of those factors could lead to crippling chaos, so he and his wife have laid in food, weapons and ammunition and are installing an iron gate across their long gravel driveway.

Of course it isn’t just ordinary Americans such as Treller that are deeply concerned about what is coming.

Less than a week ago, CNN ran an article entitled “Billionaire bunkers: How the 1% are preparing for the apocalypse“…

Many of the world’s elite, including hedge fund managers, sports stars and tech executives (Bill Gates is rumored to have bunkers at all his properties) have chosen to design their own secret shelters to house their families and staff.

Gary Lynch, general manager of Texas-based Rising S Company, says 2016 sales for their custom high-end underground bunkers grew 700% compared to 2015, while overall sales have grown 300% since the November US presidential election alone.

So why are Bill Gates and his billionaire friends so interested in buying luxury survival bunkers if everything is going to be just fine?

Can someone explain that one to me?

Everywhere you look, retail stores are closing and economic warning signs are flashing red, but those that sell survival bunkers to the elite are making tremendous amounts of money.

And I certainly wish that I could afford one of these survival bunkers, because they sound quite appealing

One of those shelters, Vivos xPoint, is near the Black Hills of South Dakota, and consists of 575 military bunkers that served as an Army Munitions Depot until 1967.

Presently being converted into a facility that will accommodate about 5,000 people, the interiors of each bunker are outfitted by the owners at a cost of between $25,000 to $200,000 each. The price depends on whether they want a minimalist space or a home with high-end finishes.

The compound itself will be equipped with all the comforts of a small town, including a community theater, classrooms, hydroponic gardens, a medical clinic, a spa and a gym.

These elitists plan to ride out the coming American apocalypse in style while the world above them is literally going insane.

Meanwhile, most of the general population continues to be completely oblivious to what is about to happen to them, and so the events that are coming will close upon them suddenly like a trap and there will be no escape.

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