20 Things You Will Need To Survive When The Economy Collapses And The Next Great Depression Begins

Today, millions of Americans say that they believe that the United States is on the verge of a major economic collapse and will soon be entering another Great Depression.  But only a small percentage of those same people are prepared for that to happen.  The sad truth is that the vast majority of Americans would last little more than a month on what they have stored up in their homes.  Most of us are so used to running out to the supermarket or to Wal-Mart for whatever we need that we never even stop to consider what would happen if suddenly we were not able to do that.  Already the U.S. economy is starting to stumble about like a drunken frat boy.  All it would take for the entire U.S. to resemble New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina would be for a major war, a terror attack, a deadly pandemic or a massive natural disaster to strike at just the right time and push the teetering U.S. economy over the edge.  So just how would you survive if you suddenly could not rely on the huge international corporate giants to feed, clothe and supply you and your family?  Do you have a plan?

Unless you already live in a cave or you are a complete and total mindless follower of the establishment media, you should be able to see very clearly that our society is more vulnerable now than it ever has been.  This year there have been an unprecedented number of large earthquakes around the world and volcanoes all over the globe are awakening.  You can just take a look at what has happened in Haiti and in Iceland to see how devastating a natural disaster can be.  Not only that, but we have a world that is full of lunatics in positions of power, and if one of them decides to set off a nuclear, chemical or biological weapon in a major city it could paralyze an entire region.  War could erupt in the Middle East at literally any moment, and if it does the price of oil will double or triple (at least) and there is the possibility that much of the entire world could be drawn into the conflict.  Scientists tell us that a massive high-altitude EMP (electromagnetic pulse) blast could send large portions of the United States back to the stone age in an instant.  In addition, there is the constant threat that the outbreak of a major viral pandemic (such as what happened with the 1918 Spanish Flu) could kill tens of millions of people around the globe and paralyze the economies of the world. 

But even without all of that, the truth is that the U.S. economy is going to collapse.  So just think of what will happen if one (or more) of those things does happen on top of all the economic problems that we are having.

Are you prepared?  

The following is a list of 20 things you and your family will need to survive when the economy totally collapses and the next Great Depression begins….

#1) Storable Food

Food is going to instantly become one of the most valuable commodities in existence in the event of an economic collapse.  If you do not have food you are not going to survive.  Most American families could not last much longer than a month on what they have in their house right now.  So what about you?  If disaster struck right now, how long could you survive on what you have?  The truth is that we all need to start storing up food.  If you and your family run out of food, you will suddenly find yourselves competing with the hordes of hungry people who are looting the stores and roaming the streets looking for something to eat.

Of course you can grow your own food, but that is going to take time.  So you need to have enough food stored up until the food that you plant has time to grow.  But if you have not stored up any seeds you might as well forget it.  When the economy totally collapses, the remaining seeds will disappear very quickly.  So if you think that you are going to need seeds, now is the time to get them.

#2) Clean Water

Most people can survive for a number of weeks without food, but without water you will die in just a few days.  So where would you get water if the water suddenly stopped flowing out of your taps?  Do you have a plan?  Is there an abundant supply of clean water near your home? Would you be able to boil water if you need to?

Besides storing water and figuring out how you are going to gather water if society breaks down, another thing to consider is water purification tablets.  The water you are able to gather during a time of crisis may not be suitable for drinking.  So you may find that water purification tablets come in very, very handy.

#3) Shelter

You can’t sleep on the streets, can you?  Well, some people will be able to get by living on the streets, but the vast majority of us will need some form of shelter to survive for long.  So what would you do if you and your family lost your home or suddenly were forced from your home?  Where would you go? 

The best thing to do is to come up with several plans.  Do you have relatives that you can bunk with in case of emergency?  Do you own a tent and sleeping bags if you had to rough it?  If one day everything hits the fan and you and your family have to “bug out” somewhere, where would that be?  You need to have a plan.

#4) Warm Clothing

If you plan to survive for long in a nightmare economic situation, you are probably going to need some warm, functional clothing.  If you live in a cold climate, this is going to mean storing up plenty of blankets and cold weather clothes.  If you live in an area where it rains a lot, you will need to be sure to store up some rain gear.  If you think you may have to survive outdoors in an emergency situation, make sure that you and your family have something warm to put on your heads.  Someday after the economy has collapsed and people are scrambling to survive, a lot of folks are going to end up freezing to death.  In fact, in the coldest areas it is actually possible to freeze to death in your own home.  Don’t let that happen to you.

#5) An Axe

Staying along the theme of staying warm, you may want to consider investing in a good axe.  In the event of a major emergency, gathering firewood will be a priority.  Without a good tool to cut the wood with that will be much more difficult.

#6) Lighters Or Matches

You will also want something to start a fire with.  If you can start a fire, you can cook food, you can boil water and you can stay warm.  So in a true emergency situation, how do you plan to start a fire?  By rubbing sticks together?  Now is the time to put away a supply of lighters or matches so that you will be prepared when you really need them.

In addition, you may want to consider storing up a good supply of candles.  Candles come in quite handy whenever the electricity goes out, and in the event of a long-term economic nightmare we will all see why our forefathers relied on candles so much.

#7) Hiking Boots Or Comfortable Shoes

When you ask most people to list things necessary for survival, this is not the first or the second thing that comes to mind.  But having hiking boots or very comfortable and functional shoes will be absolutely critical.  You may very well find yourself in a situation where you and your family must walk everywhere you want to go.  So how far do you think you will get in high heels?  You will want footwear that you would feel comfortable walking in for hours if necessary.  You will also want footwear that will last a long time, because when the economy truly collapses you may not be able to run out to the shoe store and get what you need at that point. 

#8) A Flashlight And/Or Lantern

When the power goes off in your home, what is the first thing that you grab?  Just think about it.  A flashlight or a lantern of course.  In a major emergency, a flashlight or a lantern is going to be a necessity – especially if you need to go anywhere at night. 

Solar powered or “crank style” flashlights or lanterns will probably be best during a long-term emergency.  If you have battery-powered units you will want to begin storing up lots and lots of batteries.   

#9) A Radio

If a major crisis does hit the United States, what will you and your family want?  Among other things, you will all want to know what in the world is going on.  A radio can be an invaluable tool for keeping up with the news. 

Once again, solar powered or “crank style” radios will probably work best for the long term.  A battery-powered until would work as well – but only for as long as your batteries are able to last.

#10) Communication Equipment

When things really hit the fan you are going to want to communicate with your family and friends.  You will also want to be able to contact an ambulance or law enforcement if necessary.  Having an emergency cell phone is great, but it may or may not work during a time of crisis.  The Internet also may or may not be available.  Be sure to have a plan (whether it be high-tech or low-tech) for staying in communication with others during a major emergency.

#11) A Swiss Army Knife

If you have ever owned a Swiss Army knife you probably already know how incredibly handy they can be.  It can be a very valuable and versatile tool.  In a true survival situation, a Swiss Army knife can literally do dozens of different things for you.  Make sure that you have at least one stored up for emergencies.

#12) Personal Hygiene Items 

While these may not be absolute “essentials”, the truth is that life will get very unpleasant very quickly without them.  For example, what would you do without toilet paper?  Just think about it.  Imagine that you just finished your last roll of toilet paper and now you can’t get any more.  What would you do? 

The truth is that soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, toilet paper and other hygiene products are things that we completely take for granted in society today.  So what would happen if we could not go out and buy them any longer?

#13) A First Aid Kit And Other Medical Supplies

One  a more serious note, you may not be able to access a hospital or a doctor during a major crisis.  In your survival supplies, be absolutely certain that you have a good first aid kit and any other medical supplies that you think you may need.

#14) Extra Gasoline

There may come a day when gasoline is rationed or is simply not available at all.  If that happens, how will you get around?  Be certain to have some extra gasoline stored away just in case you find yourself really needing to get somewhere someday.

#15) A Sewing Kit

If you were not able to run out and buy new clothes for you and your family, what would you do?  Well, you would want to repair the clothes that you have and make them last as long as possible.  Without a good sewing kit that will be very difficult to do.

#16) Self-Defense Equipment

Whether it is pepper spray to fend off wild animals or something more “robust” to fend off wild humans, millions of Americans will one day be thankful that they have something to defend themselves with.

#17) A Compass

In the event of a major emergency, you and your family may find yourselves having to be on the move.  If you are in a wilderness area, it will be very hard to tell what direction you are heading without a compass.  It is always a good idea to have at least one compass stored up. 

#18) A Hiking Backpack

If you and your family suddenly have to “bug out”, what will you carry all of your survival supplies in?  Having a good hiking backpack or “survival bag” for everyone in your family is extremely important.  If something happened in the city where you live and you suddenly had to “go”, what would you put your most important stuff in?  How would you carry it all if you had to travel by foot?  These are very important things to think about. 

#19) A Community

During a long-term crisis, it is those who are willing to work together that will have the best chance of making it.  Whether it is your family, your friends, a church or a local group of people that you know, make sure that you have some people that you can rely on and work together with in the event that everything hits the fan.  Loners are going to have a really hard time of surviving for long.

#20) A Backup Plan

Lastly, it is always, always, always important to have a backup plan for everything.

If someone comes in and steals all the food that you have stored up, what are you going to do?

If travel is restricted and your can’t get to your “bug out” location immediately do you have a Plan B?

If you have built your house into an impregnable survival fortress but circumstances force you to leave do you have an alternate plan?

The truth is that crisis situations rarely unfold just as we envision.  It is important to be flexible and to be ready with backup plans when disaster strikes. 

You don’t want to end up like the folks in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  You don’t want to have to rely on the government to take care of you if something really bad happens. 

Right now the U.S. strategic grain reserve contains only enough wheat to make half a loaf of bread for each of the approximately 300 million people in the United States.

How long do you think that is going to last?

Now is the time to get ready.

Now is the time to prepare.

The United States economy is going to collapse and incredibly hard times are coming.

Will you be able to survive when it happens?

If The U.S. Economy Goes Into The Toilet Will It Result In A Complete And Total Collapse Of Society?

If the United States experiences a horrifying economic collapse (and it most definitely will), will that cause a complete and total collapse of society?  Will we experience crime, violence, riots and social unrest on a scale that is unprecedented in U.S. history?  Before you dismiss such notions as utter foolishness dreamed up by a few bloggers with too much time on their hands, perhaps you should consider what one of the biggest credit rating organizations in the world is saying.  According to a report on sovereign debt by Moody’s, the world’s five biggest AAA-rated countries (including the United States) are all at risk of soaring debt costs and will have to implement austerity plans that threaten “social cohesion”.  In case you are wondering what happens when “social cohesion” starts to break down due to economic factors, just check out the recent examples in Iceland and Greece.  If even Moody’s is warning that there is a realistic possibility that “social cohesion” in the United States may break down due to economic factors, perhaps we should all start listening.

Or if you will not listen to Moody’s, then perhaps you will listen to the man who has been called the top trends researcher in the entire world.  Gerald Celente is the CEO of Trends Research Institute, and he is convinced that we are heading into what he calls “The Greatest Depression”.  The picture that he paints of the future of America is extremely alarming and extremely sobering.  It would be easy to dismiss his forecasts as just the ramblings of another useless “talking head”, but unfortunately Celente has been dead-on accurate time after time after time in the past.  Considering his exemplary track record, what Celente says is coming next for America is incredibly frightening….

At this point you may be tempted to think that America has been through extremely tough economic times before (The Great Depression for example) and came through them okay.

So what is so different now?

Well, the truth is that the character of the American people is dramatically different.  At the time of the Great Depression, the American people were tough, self-sufficient people who knew how to live off the land.  Today, most Americans are weak, spoiled little children who will throw a temper tantrum whenever anyone tries to take their toys away.  The character of the American people has been decaying for decades, and there is no way that the current crop of Americans has any chance of weathering a horrible economic depression the way Americans back in the 1930s did.

Already we are seeing early signs of what the rest of America could soon be like.  The city of Detroit is a rotting, crime-ridden war zone that has a “real” unemployment rate of somewhere around 40 to 50 percent.  The state of California has become a cesspool of gang violence, rampant unemployment, rising foreclosures, unchecked drug dealing, and depressing economic decline.  Even in New York City we are seeing early signs of what is ahead.  Residents are quite alarmed about the dramatic rise in violent crime that is happening throughout the city.  Many New Yorkers were convinced that the days of “The Rotten Apple” were behind them, but economic problems are going to cause an increase in crime in just about any city.

But it just isn’t crime that is on the rise.  Millions of normal, law-abiding Americans are angry.  This anger is coming out in various ways – including the Tea Party protests that are sweeping the nation.  The majority of the American people are frankly disgusted with the government, and the approval ratings for both major parties continue to hover around record lows.  As things continue to get worse for the U.S. economy, the anger of the American people is going to continue to rise.

All of this is causing many in the U.S. government to view “troublemakers” inside the United States as one of the greatest threats to national security.  In fact, according to FBI Director Robert Mueller, “homegrown terrorists” represent as big a threat as al-Qaeda.

As big a threat as al-Qaeda?

For a top U.S. government official to come right out and make a statement like that is absolutely mind blowing.

Not only that, but now former U.S. President Bill Clinton is comparing Tea Party members to Timothy McVeigh.

Considering the fact that Timothy McVeigh received the death penalty, that is a very frightening parallel for Clinton to draw.

Does Clinton actually believe that Tea Party protesters should receive the same treatment as McVeigh?

Even more alarming is new legislation being pushed in the U.S. Senate.  A new bill introduced by Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman would allow the U.S. military to round up large numbers of Americans and detain them indefinitely without a trial if they “pose a threat” or if they have “potential intelligence value” or for any other reason the President of the United States “considers appropriate”.

The reality is that as “necessary” as bills like that may seem to many as we edge ever closer to the breakdown of society, the reality is that the United States is quickly becoming just like so many of the other horrific totalitarian regimes that we have seen rise throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

In fact a time may soon be coming when authorities in the U.S. may soon be able to legally utter this bone chilling phrase: “Your Papers Please!”  Lawmakers in Washington D.C. working to create a new immigration “reform” bill have decided on a way to prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants: a national biometric identification card that all American workers would be required to obtain.

Can you imagine being forced to carry around a national identification card?

Or worse?

A startup company developing “chipless RFID ink” has already tested its product on cattle and laboratory rats.

Could one day we all be required to sport an “RFID tatoo” to prove our identity to authorities?

Let’s hope not.

But many of us never thought that the day would come when we would see things such as the Patriot Act, “no fly” lists, the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program, DNA databases, Guantanamo Bay or full-body scanners at airports that reveal the graphic details of our naked bodies either.

America is quickly changing.  The next Great Depression is coming, and society is not going to be able to handle it.  How the U.S. government (and governments around the world) handle the coming social problems is going to be very interesting to watch.  Let’s hope that all of this does not degenerate into the absolute societal nightmare that many are projecting that it could be.

NASA To Preppers: “You’re Right. 13 Months Till D-Day” Watch Video!

$4.00 A Gallon Gasoline By The End Of 2010? How In The World Are Average Americans Going To Make Ends Meet If This Keeps Up?

Gas prices are on the rise again.  In many areas of the U.S. gas prices are already hovering around $3.00 a gallon.  In fact there are some areas where people are paying as much as $3.50 a gallon, and many experts are predicting that gasoline could hit $4.00 a gallon by the end of 2010.  If this nonsense keeps up, how in the world is the average American family supposed to make ends meet?  Not only is filling up our tanks going to cost a lot more, but the price of gasoline factors into so many other things.  The U.S. economy just cannot handle a major increase in transportation costs at this point.  These increasing gasoline prices come at a time when U.S. consumers are already stretched to the max.

But it isn’t just gasoline prices that are going up.  The price of food is really starting to rise as well.  Rising demand and reduced supply drove supermarket prices for 16 basic foods up 6.2% in the first quarter of 2010.

Now, for those Americans who are independently wealthy, a large increase in gasoline and food prices might not mean much.

But for the rest of us who are trying to get our incomes to stretch as far as possible each month, it means a whole lot.

In fact, a record number of working Americans are finding that their paychecks are just not making it and are turning to government assistance programs such as food stamps just to make it.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, approximately 39.4 million Americans, a new all-time record, received food stamps in January.  This was up 22% from a year earlier.  In fact, the number of Americans on food stamps has hit all-time records for 14 consecutive months.

New all-time records for 14 months in a row?

How in the world can anyone claim that the U.S. economy is in good shape?

And it is just not people who are out of work or who are lazy who are applying for food stamps.  The truth is that a lot of hard working Americans who are doing everything they can to better themselves find themselves out of alternatives these days.

Some of those hard working Americans are readers of this site.  One of them recently left a comment that is very timely….

There are people on food stamps now, that you would never think they were. For example myself, I just went on food stamps last month. I am not a welfare mom, unemployed or declaring bankruptcy, I am educated and working as hard as I can to make ends meet.

I hold a Masters degree, and a part time job. I make minimum wage and if I were scheduled 40 hours a week my pay would just cover my expenses. Problem is, with retail the number of hours changes from week to week, and it hasn’t been near 40 since Christmas. Luckily I planned ahead and put money aside if I couldn’t find a job right out of school, or if I found one and lost it with today’s economy. I have been able to cover the bills my paycheck doesn’t, but the thing is, my savings has gotten low to that.

I honestly really didn’t want to go on food stamps, I just can’t find another job. Let that be a full time position, or even another part time one. I’m applying to everything I’m qualified for, remotely qualified for, and even over qualified for. But there really are that few of jobs out there.

I haven’t really told anyone I’m on food stamps, a good portion of my old friends are still in school and don’t understand why I can’t find a “real” job. Luckily at my new job there’s a whole store of people who know exactly what I’m going through and would never think of judging me for how much I make or where I live.

There are other people too. Once at work a mother with three kids came in, she had never used food stamps before and had no idea what to do at the register. She almost came to tears trying to explain she really didn’t want to use them, but her husband lost his job, and all that was left for the family was her part time job, and she was so ashamed they had them.

People really have no idea how many of their neighbors are on food stamps.

—-

Millions of Americans have done everything that the system has told them to do, and now the system is letting them down.

Why?

Because the system is failing.

The middle class is slowly being squeezed out of existence, and the years ahead are going to be very painful.

Already, it is getting extremely hard to live a middle class lifestyle.

If you haven’t read “It’s Impossible to Get By In the US” by Graham Summers of Phoenix Capital Research, you really need to.  In his article, Summers analyzes the expenses of a typical family making the median U.S. household income of $50,300 (he was using 2008 figures).  According to Summers, if a family making that much did everything right financially, they would maybe have a couple hundred bucks at the end of the month for discretionary spending.  But if they overpaid for their house or had any consumer debt then according to his calculations the typical American family would be operating in the red.

The truth is that the day is fast approaching when it will not be possible for the average American family to make it from month to month.

Even now record numbers of American families are failing financially.

In March 2010, there were 158,000 bankruptcy filings.  That was up 19% from March 2009’s number, and it was also up 35% from February 2010’s number.

Things are getting scary out there.

But if all of that wasn’t bad enough, now state and local governments across the United States are either implementing or are considering substantial tax increases.  State and local governments all over the U.S. are facing unprecedented shortfalls, and they are looking for new sources of revenue.  But you just can’t get blood out of a stone.  Unfortunately, they are likely to keep finding ways to impose new taxes on us anyway.

So is there any good news?

No, not really.

The United States is heading for a complete economic collapse and everyone is going to feel the pain one way or another.

Just make sure that you and your family are as prepared as possible for the years ahead.

“The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”
-Vladimir Lenin

My New Book - The Beginning Of The End

12 Reasons Why Millions Of Americans Are Incredibly Angry About The State Of The U.S. Economy

We have reached a very interesting turning point in American history.  More than at any other point in modern times, Americans are deeply angry about the state of the economy.  In fact, it is no stretch to say that millions of U.S. citizens are hopping mad about the economic situation.  Most of them don’t know exactly what is wrong, and even fewer of them have any idea about how to go about fixing things, but they do know one thing.  They know that they are mad.  As Americans, we were raised with the belief that our overwhelmingly powerful economic machine would always provide good jobs and prosperity for all of us as long as we worked hard.  But we have come to learn that is not true.  We have come to learn that our politicians and our leaders have squandered the great inheritance that our forefathers left for us.  We have come to learn that the financial future of our nation is beyond bleak.  We have come to learn that our government has piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world.  Now the foolish decisions of the past several decades are catching up with us.  The U.S. economy is experiencing structural failure, and the American people are angry.  They want answers.  They want someone to fix things.  They want things to go back to the way they used to be.

But that isn’t going to happen.  Once the American people truly start realizing that, the anger that will erupt will dwarf what we are seeing now.

Not that they are aren’t already incredibly steamed.  The following are 12 reasons why many Americans are absolutely furious about the state of the U.S. economy….

#1) There simply are not enough jobs for everyone.  The number of unemployed Americans per job opening has started to increase again, hitting 5.5 in February.  Even many of those who are able to get some work find themselves only able to obtain part-time employment.  Gallup’s underemployment measure hit 20.0% on March 15th.  This was up from 19.7% two weeks earlier and 19.5% at the start of the year.

#2) More Americans than ever find themselves having to rely on the U.S. government just to survive.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 39.4 million Americans, a new all-time record, received food stamps in January.  This was up 22% from a year earlier.  In fact, the number of Americans on food stamps has hit all-time records for 14 consecutive months.

#3) Foreclosures continue to set records across the United States.  RealtyTrac, the California-based authority on property trends and valuations, projects that there will be 4.5 million home foreclosures before the end of this year.  If you figure 4 people per household, that is another 18 million people that will be forced out of their homes.

#4) As unemployment and foreclosures continue to soar, “tent slums” have started popping up all over the United States.  Is this why our founding fathers fought and died?  So we could all live in “tent slums” as the big fat cats on Wall Street roll around in their bailout cash?

#5) But even with all of these economic problems, the price of food is going up.  Rising demand and reduced supply drove supermarket prices for 16 basic foods up 6.2% in the first quarter of 2010.

#6) Due to the exploding government debt, the American people are going to be confronted with some tough choices.  According to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, the United States will soon have to make difficult choices between higher taxes and reduced social spending.  Either alternative will slow down the U.S. economy.

#7) Meanwhile, corruption in the financial system is running rampant.  The CEOs of bailed-out regional banks are actually getting big raises.  The guy who helped bring down AIG is going to get off scott-free and will be able to keep the millions in profits that he made in the process.

#8) But the biggest fraud is being committed by the boys at the top of the food chain.  A whistle blower has come forward with “smoking gun” evidence of price manipulation by major financial institutions in the precious metals markets.  The scope of this fraud is in the trillions of dollars.  The American people can’t stomach much more of this type of thing.

#9) Almost all financial experts agree that the era of super cheap money is over and that interest rates are about to rise significantly.  This is going to make it much more expensive for most Americans to borrow money to buy a home, to buy a car, to buy things with their credit cards or to borrow money for education.  Those who already have adjustable loans are going to find a much larger portion of their income going to pay interest.  Needless to say, this is going to cause the U.S. economy to experience a significant slowdown.

#10) One of the biggest things that the American people are upset about is the “health care reform” bill that was just rammed down their throats.  It turns out that “health care reform” is actually going to be the biggest tax increase in American history.  Not only that, but because of taxes and mandates imposed upon health insurance companies by the legislation, health insurance premiums are also about to increase substantially.  So where will the average American family get the money to pay for these increases?

#11) In addition, the new health care law that was supposed to give all of us much better health care is actually going to force the cancellation of at least 60 doctor-owned hospitals that were scheduled to be opened according to the executive director of Physician Hospitals of America.  Why?  Well, it turns out that the new law singles out physician-owned hospitals, making new physician-owned projects ineligible to receive payments for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

#12) The reality is that Americans are increasingly becoming disenchanted with the lack of leadership in both political parties.  Approval ratings for leaders in both parties are extremely low, and anger at politicians is at an all-time high.  The Tea Party movement is just one symptom of the seething anger many Americans are feeling.  While many Americans are gathering together at large protest rallies to demonstrate against the policies of the government, others are expressing their displeasure on blogs and websites.  There has never been a moment in modern times when Americans have been so disenchanted with their political leadership.

This anger is not going to go away.  It could be soothed a bit if the U.S. economy was fully fixed and things went back to the way they used to be.  But as noted previously, that just is not going to happen.  Harder times are ahead.  Americans are going to get angrier and angrier.

But there is not much that can be done to prevent that anger.  The politicians who are in office when things really hit the fan are going to take the brunt of the anger, but it won’t be their fault.  The truth is that this economic collapse has been building for decades.  The American people are just not going to understand that the financial system cannot be fixed overnight.

Dark times are coming.  It is not going to be pretty.  There is going to be a lot of anger and a lot of hate.  But all of these economic problems could be seen well ahead of time and there have been those who have been screaming and yelling about them for decades.

But very few people wanted to listen.

Austin Coins

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

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

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

Suetonious:

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

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

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

Steve:

So many people missing the point…

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

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

DavidB:

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

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

Dan:

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

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

Lunatic Fringe:

From the edge, a brief explanation…

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

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

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

Cat Callahan:

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

Rick:

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

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

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

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

JM Bullion

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

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

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

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

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

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

But unfortunately, they are completely and totally correct.

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

So how in the world did we get here?

The answer can be summed up in one word.

Debt.

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

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

But that was not enough for us.

We had to have more.

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

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

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

And it has been a great party.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We will see.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is The United States Headed For A Commercial Real Estate Crash Of Unprecedented Magnitude?

Will commercial real estate be the next shoe to drop in the ongoing U.S. financial crisis?  While most eyes are on the continuing residential real estate disaster, the reality is that the state of the commercial real estate market in America could soon be even worse.  Very few financial pundits are talking about this looming disaster but they should be.  The truth is that U.S. commercial property values are down approximately 40 percent since the peak in 2007 and currently approximately 18 percent of all office space in the United States is now sitting vacant.  That qualifies as a complete and total mess, but the reality is that the commercial real estate crisis is just starting.

In fact, the commercial real estate market is likely to get a whole lot worse.  It is being projected that the largest commercial real estate loan losses will be experienced in 2011 and the years following.  Some analysts are estimating that losses from commercial real estate at U.S. banks alone could reach as high as 200 to 300 billion dollars.  To get an idea of how rapidly the commercial real estate market is unraveling, just check out the chart below….

Does that look like things are getting better to you?

And unfortunately, all indications are that the commercial real estate market is going to get much worse.

According to Real Capital Analytics, the default rate for commercial property mortgages held by all U.S. banks more than doubled in the fourth quarter of 2009 and may reach a peak of 5.4 percent by the end of 2011.

But even that estimate may be way too conservative as we shall see in a moment.

According to a recent report by the Congressional Oversight Panel, approximately 3,000 U.S. banks are currently classified as having a risky concentration of commercial real estate loans.  All of them are small to mid-size banks which have been already severely weakened by the recent financial crisis.

So could the crisis in the commercial real estate market lead to a massive wave of failures among small and mid-size banks?

Count on it.

In fact, the FDIC has acknowledged that the number of banks on its “problem” list climbed to 702 at the end of 2009.  To get an idea of just how bad that is, keep in mind that only 552 banks that were on the problem list at the end of September 2009, and only 252 banks that were on the problem list at the end of 2008.

Are you starting to get the picture?

So how are banks responding to this commercial real estate quagmire?

They are rapidly raising loan standards and they are dramatically reducing the number of loans they are making.

Just a few years ago, the number of commercial real estate loans was exploding, but now the bubble has burst, and as the chart below reveals, commercial real estate lending has absolutely fallen off the map….

What is making things even worse is that owners of commercial real estate are starting to walk away from properties that are heavily “underwater” just as many residential homeowners have been doing.  This has caused default rates to start shooting through the roof.

One of the latest and most high profile commercial property owners to do this is Vornado Realty Trust.  Earlier this month Vornado indicated that it would walk away from two heavily underwater loans totaling $235 million.

In the past commercial property owners would be very hesitant to do such a thing, but the reality is that the stigma has faded for these kind of “strategic defaults”.  Just as with residential real estate, these kinds of defaults have almost become accepted practice now.

The number of defaults is likely to skyrocket even further with so many commercial real estate loans scheduled to rollover in the next few years.

You see, commercial real estate properties typically carry mortgages with lives of 5 to 10 years.  A vast array of commercial real estate loans made between 2000 and 2005 are coming up for a rollover, but because credit standards have tightened, borrowers may find that they simply do not qualify for refinancing.

In fact, a report entitled “Commercial Real Estate at the Precipice” estimates that even under lenient lending standards, approximately 57 percent of existing commercial real estate mortgages will not qualify for refinancing.

That is a nightmare.

But if you apply more conservative lending standards, it is estimated that almost two-thirds of all commercial real estate borrowers will not qualify for a rollover.

So what is going to happen to the U.S. commercial real estate market when large numbers of borrowers start walking away from their “underwater” loans and about half of those who want to rollover their loans don’t qualify for refinancing?

What do you think that is going to do to commercial real estate prices?

Somebody better do something, because both the commercial and the residential real estate markets in the U.S. face a crisis of unprecedented magnitude.

But most Americans still have no idea that the great economic machine that their forefathers built is falling to pieces all around them.  They would rather numb the pain by watching the latest episode of American Idol or by catching up on the latest round of celebrity gossip.

But that is not going to stop what is about to happen.

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