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How Will The Economy Improve In 2014 If Almost Everyone Has Less Money To Spend?

Piggybank - Photo by Damian O'SullivanIs the U.S. consumer tapped out?  If so, how in the world will the U.S. economy possibly improve in 2014?  Most Americans know that the U.S. economy is heavily dependent on consumer spending.  If average Americans are not out there spending money, the economy tends not to do very well.  Unfortunately, retail sales during the holiday season appear to be quite disappointing and the middle class continues to deeply struggle.  And for a whole bunch of reasons things are likely going to be even tougher in 2014.  Families are going to have less money in their pockets to spend thanks to much higher health insurance premiums under Obamacare, a wide variety of tax increases, higher interest rates on debt, and cuts in government welfare programs.  The short-lived bubble of false prosperity that we have been enjoying for the last couple of years is rapidly coming to an end, and 2014 certainly promises to be a very “interesting year”.

Obamacare Rate Shock

Most middle class families are just scraping by from month to month these days.

Unfortunately for them, millions of those families are now being hit with massive health insurance rate increases.

In a previous article, I discussed how one study found that health insurance premiums for men are going to go up by an average of 99 percent under Obamacare and health insurance premiums for women are going to go up by an average of 62 percent under Obamacare.

Most middle class families simply cannot afford that.

Earlier today, I got an email from a reader that was paying $478 a month for health insurance for his family but has now received a letter informing him that his rate is going up to $1,150 a month.

Millions of families are receiving letters just like that.  And to say that these rate increases are a “surprise” to most people would be a massive understatement.  Even people that work in the financial industry are shocked at how high these premiums are turning out to be…

“The real big surprise was how much out-of-pocket would be required for our family,” said David Winebrenner, 46, a financial adviser in Lebanon, Ky., whose deductible topped $12,000 for a family of six for a silver plan he was considering. The monthly premium: $1,400.

Since Americans are going to have to pay much more for health insurance, that is going to remove a huge amount of discretionary spending from the economy, and that will not be good news for retailers.

Get Ready For Higher Taxes

When you raise taxes, you reduce the amount of money that people have in their pockets to spend.

Sadly, that is exactly what is happening.

Congress is allowing a whopping 55 tax breaks to expire at the end of this year, and when you add that to the 13 major tax increases that hit American families in 2013, it isn’t a pretty picture.

This tax season, millions of families are going to find out that they have much higher tax bills than they had anticipated.

And all of this comes at a time when incomes in America have been steadily declining.  In fact, real median household income has declined by a total of 8 percent since 2008.

If you are a worker, you might want to check out the chart that I have posted below to see where you stack up.  In America today, most workers are low income workers.  These numbers come from a recent Huffington Post article

-If you make more than $10,000, you earn more than 24.2% of Americans, or 37 million people.

-If you make more than $15,000 (roughly the annual salary of a minimum-wage employee working 40 hours per week), you earn more than 32.2% of Americans.

-If you make more than $30,000, you earn more than 53.2% of Americans.

-If you make more than $50,000, you earn more than 73.4% of Americans.

-If you make more than $100,000, you earn more than 92.6% of Americans.

-You are officially in the top 1% of American wage earners if you earn more than $250,000.

-The 894 people that earn more than $20 million make more than 99.99989% of Americans, and are compensated a cumulative $37,009,979,568 per year.

It is important to keep in mind that those numbers are for the employment income of individuals not households.  Most households have more than one member working, so overall household incomes are significantly higher than these numbers.

Higher Interest Rates Mean Larger Debt Payments

On Tuesday, the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries rose to 3.03 percent.  I warned that this would happen once the taper started, and this is just the beginning.  Interest rates are likely to steadily rise throughout 2014.

The reason why the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries is such a critical number is because mortgage rates and thousands of other interest rates throughout our economy are heavily influenced by that number.

So big changes are on the way.  As a recent CNBC article declared, the era of low mortgage rates is officially over…

The days of the 3.5% 30-year fixed are over. Rates are already up well over a full percentage point from a year ago, and as the Federal Reserve begins its much anticipated exit from the bond-buying business, I believe rates will inevitably go higher.

Needless to say, this is going to deeply affect the real estate market.  As Mac Slavo recently noted, numbers are already starting to drop precipitously…

The National Association of Realtors reported that the month of September saw its single largest drop in signed home sales in 40 months. And that wasn’t just a one-off event. This month mortgage applications collapsed a shocking 66%, hitting a 13-year low.

And U.S. consumers can expect interest rates on all kinds of loans to start rising.  That is going to mean higher debt payments, and therefore less money for consumers to spend into the economy.

Government Benefit Cuts

Well, if the middle class is going to have less money to spend, perhaps other Americans can pick up the slack.

Or maybe not.

You certainly can’t expect the poor to stimulate the economy.  As I mentioned yesterday, it is being projected that up to 5 million unemployed Americans could lose their unemployment benefits by the end of 2014, and 47 million Americans recently had their food stamp benefits reduced.

So the poor will also have less money to spend in 2014.

The Wealthy Save The Day?

Perhaps the stock market will continue to soar in 2014 and the wealthy will spend so much that it will make up for all the rest of us.

You can believe that if you want, but the truth is that there are a whole host of signs that the days of this irrational stock market bubble are numbered.  The following is an excerpt from one of my recent articles entitled “The Stock Market Has Officially Entered Crazytown Territory“…

The median price-to-earnings ratio on the S&P 500 has reached an all-time record high, and margin debt at the New York Stock Exchange has reached a level that we have never seen before.  In other words, stocks are massively overpriced and people have been borrowing huge amounts of money to buy stocks.  These are behaviors that we also saw just before the last two stock market bubbles burst.

If the stock market bubble does burst, the wealthy will also have less money to spend into the economy in 2014.

For the moment, the stock market has been rallying.  This is typical for the month of December.  You see, the truth is that investors generally don’t want to sell stocks in December because they want to put off paying taxes on the profits.

If stocks are sold before the end of the year, the profits go on the 2013 tax return.

If stocks are sold a few days from now, the profits go on the 2014 tax return.

It is only human nature to want to delay pain for as long as possible.

Expect to see some selling in January.  Many investors are very eager to start taking profits, but they wanted to wait until the holidays were over to do so.

So what do you think is coming up in 2014?  Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

Piggybank - Photo by Damian O'Sullivan

  • A D

    60%+ believe the Oboma freebies are a right, welfare/hud/foodstamps/obomaphones/EPA mandates/Obongocare…

  • A D

    $85 BILLION a month is being created and added to the stock market. Oboma has divided the USA using his Marxist Ideology in which he is 100% Marxist.

  • A D

    Quote -You are officially in the top 1% of American wage earners if you earn more than $250,000. Small business owners, and idiots think they should be taxed more….

  • A D

    Healthcare is destined to become just like the DMV, a horrible place to be, odor of a bathroom. People who do not work, piled up in chairs meanwhile you have to wait 2 hours to get your drivers license…

    • Mondobeyondo

      Yeah, I know the feeling.
      “Now calling number 138… number 138…”
      Your ticket number is 473.
      Have fun reading “War and Peace”…

      • Ralfine

        Go there in the morning, take a number, get things done in the city, shopping, new passport, sunbathing in the park, working with laptop and tablet, etc.

        return when your number comes up.

      • Sandbagger

        Maybe this is a career opportunity for someone who is willing to do a bit of “line standing”?

  • ItIsWell

    My family and I are in the lower income bracket and our premiums for health insurance increased quite a lot and our deductible doubled. This was suppose to help the lower class that were struggling to afford health care. (Eye roll) At least I seen this coming.

    • jn

      quit your job and go on disability and get free healthcare. It is the Gary way!

  • Tim

    I’m perplexed by what I see in my area (upstate of South Carolina). We’re in the midst of a construction boom. New houses are being built all around me. Some of these houses are 3,000 square feet or more. There’s even a new subdivision under development across the road from my neighborhood. If I had a digital camera, I would take photos and post them online for everyone to see. I’m anxious to see who will buy all these new houses.

    • jn

      you live in a conservative state. Ask Gary to explain

    • uh-huh

      sounds a lot like china’s empty cities.

    • Orange Jean

      I suspect those developers are planning to cash in on retirees who live in more expensive places and willing to move to the South for better weather and lower housing costs. The problem is… not as many people are able to retire, so it may not work out as they hoped.

      About 20 years ago there was a big boom in condo building in southern to central NH, where they hoped to attract buyers who worked in the better paying jobs in MA… but lots of homes went unsold, because the economy didn’t do as well as expected.

  • John

    My health care cost has risen over 4,000 dollars a year and my taxes increased by 2,000 dollars last year, with no increase in pay. The only thing Obama hasn’t done to me yet is screw my dog.

    • kfilly

      I am sure he is planning on screwing the dog too. Buy some lube because Obama won’t.

      • Gankfest

        Obama needs to get a helicopter over there first to pick it up…

        • Rob W

          What great commentary coming from outstanding christians…

          • Shirley

            I work at the largest ObamaCare call center in the USA. I can attest to the fact that you are in the minority. Most people are simply horrified when we quote the premium rate. There are absolutely NO young people signing up. The overwhelming majority of the 2 million+ that have enrolled, have not made their first premium payment. The writing is on the wall.

          • bozzer 52

            Train Wreck

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            As a side note, only idiots believe Christians are all supposed to be a bunch of saints with no flaws and God is a magic genie that appears when you stroke his lamp.
            Oh, and it’s highly likely given the plethora of actual news stories citing everyone’s premiums and deductibles going up if their policy isn’t outright canceled, that you’re a liar.

          • Rob W

            This guy is a christian??? ^

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            Doubtful. He’s likely a militant atheist.

          • Rob W

            You stay tuned to the “liars”, don’t ya, militant atheist?

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            LOL, so you were talking to me. Yea not so much. Go forth and bother me no more, moron.

          • John Podesta

            religious bigotry and racism are cultural flaws of the rich, white, and self righteous progressives like yourself

            progressives continue to turn a deaf ear, to the plight of blacks and hispanics, who have and will continue to be victims of the progressive eugenics program such as this healthcare plan, and the huge government funded abortion mill.. aka.. Planned Parenthood

            liars like RobW, tell lies

          • Rob W

            You are really screwed up. LOL

          • yumasandman

            Hey butt head Rob W, Gankfest and I are paying for your reduced health care costs! I DO NOT feel very charitable with a gun pointed at my head!

          • nestazhe265

            my
            Aunty Sienna recently got a year old Jaguar only from working off a home
            computer… Recommended Reading B­i­g­2­9­.­ℂ­o­m

          • Rob W

            Thanks for the increased coverage, wanker.

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            LMAO! And stupid leftists are illuminating about what it means to follow Baphomet, or Baraka Claus or the gods of globull warming or whatever deity you’re suckling this week.

          • REALLY??

            Yeah and the BIBLE states that Jesus will carry you NOT ME!!! You are NOT entitled to live better than me when I support you!

          • Yumasandman

            Rob I stand by my responses to you.
            In light of your above comment I recommend that you review and follow the precepts contained within the Eighth thru Tenth Commandments. Your continued use of the Bible and our Lord as a bludgeon is disheartening and speaks to your true nature and lack of character.

          • Rob W

            8-10th commandments? are you kidding? Nice try with the fairy tale, but I don’t buy it.

          • Rob W

            You don’t pay any of my bills.

          • Chris Sterling

            LIER!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Rob W

            prove it, phuckhed.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Yikes! Hate to think what happens in the White House doghouse!

    • Songchannels

      If you accepted Jesus as we have and go to church regularly you can join a Christian based health plan and have Obamacare completely waived by law.

      • Mel Mason

        and you are controlled by your masters. Way to go Free man

        • Don Hollyfield

          we all have masters its just some are more benevolent than others

      • Triplet Mom

        If you are referring to Medi-share there is no coverage for pre-existing conditions. Not a good option if you have any health problems.

      • manuel

        What is the plan called?

    • shannon853

      ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THAT?

    • James Mayfield Damon

      Don’t blame B.O. every time a bird falls out of the nest, he’s nothing but a stooge.

      • El Pollo de Oro

        James: Stooge is right. Barack “Goldman Sachs” Obama is a stooge/puppet for those he answers to: the banksters, big corporations and globalists.

        • Philip Arlington

          He was only chosen as the stooge because his backers knew that there were tens of millions of guilt-afflicted Americans who would buy the idea that any (half) black person capable of being elected US President must be one of the greatest men who ever lived.

          The voters are very much collaborators in the decline of the United States.

          • nekksys

            Boom! There it is! Well said, guys.

          • James Mayfield Damon

            Worse still: His handlers chose him in order to exploit minority racism. The minority vote is solidly anti white whereas the white vote is divided along political, ethnic, religious and gender lines.

          • Gay Veteran

            “…The minority vote is solidly anti white….”

            proof please

        • Rob W

          Stooge of the day. Bushs were the stooges of their day. The next pres will be the stooge of his day. The kleptocrats, Jamie Dimon, et. al. continue to call the shots.

    • Bruce Wayne

      nope, Obama’s playing golf….it’s pelosi’s job to screw your dog

    • nekksys

      About that last bit… Get ready, it’s coming…

    • Jim Davis

      Obama has been known to EAT dogs, so watch out for that too!

      • chilller

        Obama doesn’t now nor ever will eat dog…it’s what comes out of the north bound dog’s south pointing end end that Ovomit dines on.

    • energizedmortal

      and imagine what the next president will do to the quality of life in the United States…

    • Dan Rhodes

      You mean ‘eat’ your dog. Cause he’s done that before.

  • Rodster

    I’ve taken the approach of just say no to Obamacare. I’ll have no part of that and i’ve reduced my 2014 business expenses by $13K. This was all in anticipation of Obamacare as I got the sense people would have less to spend and just from last year alone that was bearing true.

    I can’t see 2014 being a better year economically in the US with all the civil unrest around the world due to economic conditions and Nations threatening one another with acts of war.

    • theladyofjade

      I’m the lady of jade and I couldn’t agree with you more.

  • Mondobeyondo

    1. The U.S. economy is consumer driven.
    2. The consumer is tapped out.

    Oh, but you say, the economy is looking up? Things are getting better?

    How does a consumer driven economy “grow” when everyone’s tapped out and broke?. Simple: In one word – Cards.

    Credit cards. Debit cards. Gift cards that were bought using credit cards and debit cards. EBT cards (food stamps). Cards, cards, cards Just whip out that plastic. All those shiny new gadgets and gifts bought for Christmas? It was all pretty much bought on credit or debit. The economy is running on DEBT! And eventually, the time will come when you have to pay the piper.

    It can’t, and won’t, last much longer.
    Oh, and Happy New Year.

    • Jimbo

      When I first started working, i got paid cash and didn’t have access to credit. If I wanted a big ticket item, I would have to save.
      Fast forward to today and I am being bombarded with offers of loans and credit cards. I don’t take the offers up but many people do.
      So now we have a system where everybody is paying everybody else with money that they haven’t yet earned. Even share markets are pumped with debt as people borrow to buy equities.
      For the current system to survive, it has to grow. That means that more people will have to take out even more credit to keep the world Ponzi scheme going.
      Systemic collapse is the only possible outcome unless we can exponentially grow our way out of this situation with finite resources which is of course, mathematically impossible.

      • Ralfine

        I bought my house with the money I saved.

        I withdraw cash at the beginning of the month and then pay all groceries by cash.
        I put sum/30 in my wallet each day, so I cannot overspend.

        Saved money stays in the house. In case the ATM won’t work, which surprisingly happens quite often.

        I cook for several meals, and keep the additional meals in the freezer for days when I don’t want to cook, or don’t feel like it, or the weather is too bad to go out shopping.

        And if it’s cooked, you can eat it cold after thawing, just in case the electricity is gone, or the freezer broken. Heating is up uses less gas than cooking if from raw.

        “Prepping” is all about preparing.

        • Orange Jean

          Sounds like you had some good planning which is good for you!

          However, I have to say that while in some parts of the US it used to be possible to buy a home with money you’d saved… or for very low cost… those days are long gone!

          Now the lowest price for a home in some places (mostly, but not all… big cities) is in the $350-500K range … I’ve never been able to afford to buy a house, even for credit. I make a reasonable income but as a single person it’s pretty much impossible to do that where I’ve lived… in the more expensive parts of the country so I can get a better paying job.

          If I were to try to buy a house where I live now (including a small condo) the lowest prices would be about twice what I pay in rent and not affordable to me. So I miss out on the tax loopholes homeowners get, but at least I am pretty much living within my means (although I just got a rent increase and haven’t had a salary increase in years… although supposedly will be getting a 1% increase this year (but also increased cost in all benefits and increased taxes, so I doubt that will help any).

          Of course I probably could move to Detroit and get a house for $1!

        • Mondobeyondo

          You paid for a house without taking out a mortgage?!

          • Ralfine

            Yes. Well, I got it at an auction, and it was old, about 70 years.

      • Douglas M. Green

        Exactly right. Charles Hugh Smith from oftwominds pointed out that the only way to keep the ponzi economy going is to gets rates even lower, which ain’t happening because they are now rising, or to relax loan standards or terms even more, which we have been seeing. I have heard about 8 or 9 year car loans, and “your job’s your credit” for buying a car. Nevermind if your bills far exceed your meager income. Maybe some of these financial institutions think they will be bailed out when they go under due to nonpayment? The moral hazard is there!

    • watchmanonthetower

      We concur. An entire house of cards.
      And the wind appears to be rising.

      Prepare…or perish.

      ~Watchman

    • seth datta

      Its the globallist banking cabal master plan. Get >51% of the population dependent on givernment and then do the oppression in plain sight the remainder of the people, using that 51% against the 49% and diminishing minority. The banking cabal is the root of the rot, but many citizens are made in its image, for they are hopelessly dependent on government and would not survive without that system.

      It is only a smaller percentage of the population, of whatever race/creed/color, that have the necessary future time-orientation needed for planning, that could live freely without governmental dependence.

      If there’s three things I love about being a Christian, it is:
      (1) it gives a basic set of rules, without which a society would collapse. Aethists can be moral and whatnot, but many people need a belief in the Lord to stay ‘good’

      (2) it understands we are all sinful, and so we must admit this through our belief in Christ; this keeps us humble and aware

      Not following the rules the Lord set up for us, whether you believe it or not, has caused massive problems within the West. The West was founded on a belief in the Lord and Jesus (not necessarily ‘Christianity’ as it has been repackaged in the modern era); abandoning those basic beliefs will destroy the West and the people therein.

      • Pagan Europe was Great

        “Not following the rules the Lord set up for us, whether you believe it or not, has caused massive problems within the West. The West was founded on a belief in the Lord and Jesus…”

        This is absolutely false. The West was not founded on Christianity, the classical Greco-Roman world had a rich civilization and culture, with advanced technology for the time (aqueducts and coliseums that still stand today), and a rich philosophical tradition (Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, etc.) and systems of law that form the basis of Civil Law, (the system for continental Europe and it’s former colonies).

        Don’t fall for the Christian lie that all was dark and chaos in Europe before Christians came along.

        • Josh

          Actually, what he is saying is true. World events have been prophesied by the Bible. It has prophesied the coming global economic meltdown, war and the coming anti-Christ. And yes, all the bad things that’s happening is because people rebel against God. There is time to repent though. Don’t fall for the Satanic lie.

    • guest

      your right.

  • jn

    use the Gary method. raise taxes!

  • K

    I can tell you one thing. No one I know could find an extra 670 dollars a month for health insurance. These are people that have already cut out everything, they can cut. The only thing I do not understand, is why is anyone surprised by the insurance rates? To me the insurance companies are just as greedy and corrupt as the banks. There was a time in this Country, when people would not have put up with such nonsense. Guess that time is long passed. Folks for the coming year. Why not make your New Years resolution, to help each other.

    • Ed

      Why help people who vote against your interests?

      • K

        Because they are human beings. Both of the two major parties are equally corrupt, and equally at fault. Remember, for those who are truly in power to succeed, first they must set us at each others throat. Just once, I would like to see that not work.

        • Ed

          I agree that they’re all corrupt. It’s why I wouldn’t dream of voting.
          I’ve probably done way more than my share of “helping” people, but only non-voters. I wish everyone would set the same criteria.

      • Imaplaneiac

        I’m WITH you, Ed! ESPECIALLY if they voted for OBEY- me the Dictator! The buffoons who ” bought ” his lies – all DEMONcrats / Progressives / Socialists MUST lie to DECEIVE the ignorant m-asses – should REAP the consequences of their IGNORANCE!!

        • Gay Veteran

          uh, the Repubucraps are just as bad. both parties owned by the elites

    • Douglas M. Green

      Charles Krauthammer predicts Obamacare will bankrupt insurance companies within a year or so since those enrolling are only the sick, poor and elderly the plan subsidizes, while the net contributors smartly don’t sign up.

      • shy

        The elderly cannot sign up for Obama care

  • Mondobeyondo

    Obamacare = socialized medicine.

    Some will say socialized medicine works great in other countries (Sweden, the NHS in Great Britain, etc) – but it won’t work here in the U.S. Here’s why:

    How do those other countries pay for the health care for their citizens? They raise taxes,Have you seen some of the tax rates in the Scandanavian countries?

    As I said in a previous post, the American consumer is tapped out. We can’t afford any new taxes, or old taxes, or taxes period.

    • Ralfine

      In Hong Kong, healthcare is paid by tax.
      Max income tax is 15%.
      Max profit tax is 17%.
      No VAT.
      ~USD 15,000 tax free income per year.

      Firearms and fireworks are prohibited.
      Hong Kong has no terror attacks and no defense costs.

      Need ID card for access to health system.
      Need ID card to carry around all the time.

      No address listed on ID card, no name on letter box.

      Very good and cheap public transport, almost no welfare, except public housing.

      60% of the population doesn’t pay any tax.

      Every year the government returns the tax not spent to the tax payers and citizens, either in cash or by reducing the tax rate, or increasing the tax free income.

      • Philip Arlington

        Hong Kong is a city state. City states are parasitic on larger countries. No large country can operate like a city state.

    • Ralfine

      In Germany, everybody has to take out health insurance of about 14% of income.

      Except the rich. They can take out private insurance, which is cheap when young and rises with the age. Once you are in private insurance there is no way back to public insurance. No matter what your income will be as senior. If you lose your job as you get old, you are in trouble.

      There is another 9% you have to pay for pension insurance, and unemployment insurance, and car insurance, and care insurance and liability insurance, and accident insurance. Income tax is about 35%, but has nothing to do with healthcare or pension. Tax will pay for education, roads, nuclear power plants, wars, politicians, banks, just like everywhere else.

      In Germany, insurance and transport are the highest costs. The top companies are insurance companies.

  • jn

    hey Gary, time to drink some more of Obama’s load

  • Mondobeyondo

    Your tax dollars at work… hee hee.
    Reminds me of that old car repair shop commercial – someone calls the mechanic, asks how repairs are going, and the manager says, “I have three of my best mechanics on top of it right now!”

    The camera cuts to three mechanics eating sandwiches on the car hood.

  • A Dodgy Bloke

    I still think the breaking point will be 2014 or 2015. I will be very surprised if this thing holds together past the 2016 election. All the signs are there I expect another round of major layoffs first quarter 2014. Anybody looking at Jobs Cuts dot com has seen the carnage in the early part of December, and that was just what was reported. Interest rates have gone from 3.00% 12/26, 3.02% 12/27, 2.99% 12/30, and 3.04% 12/31. Watch the under lying trends if it’s keeps going up batten down the hatches. We’ve had ZIRP for several years this is a new world for many people. Rising rates will kill the housing market. Look for that shadow inventory to start popping up before prices start to slide.
    Christmas sales figures have not come out yet but the opening shots where not looking good. Add to that the ongoing madness that is O care, I think we are real close. Keep a look out folks!!!!

    • jn

      me thinks you are on to it.

    • Jimbo

      Early 2014 I think. The whole world is using emergency economic measures 5 years into a so called recovery. In any previous recession, low interest rates have kicked started a boom cycle and we have all found ourselves better off than before.
      This time, low interest rates have done nothing but maintain life support for a near dead economy.
      As Michael and many others have forecast, the 10 year yield is rising. It is not just the US that will suffer if interest rates rise. Look at the UK for example. They have experienced growth in 2013 on the back of a rising property market fueled by low interest rates and government buyer incentive schemes.
      We truly are sitting on a house of cards and it only takes one to wobblel to bring down the entire stack.

    • David in AZ

      Frankly I do believe that although we will see plenty of pain in 2014 from horrific weather, an act of God whether you believe it or not, to false flags aimed at more implementation of martial law, we will some how painfully make it through 2014 only to completely collapse in 2015, September to be exact. Why do I say that? Well, at the start of 2012 I was convinced that we would not see Christmas and then it rolled around to 2013. Again I was even more convinced we, the usa is on a clock toward absolute destruction, IF we as a nation do not recognize our sins, repent as a nation and return to our founding principals. Well that is just not going to happen so you can look forward, at least from my perspective to being able to maybe scrape together a few more preps ’cause come the 4th quarter of 2015 this show is over for good…. pray, prep and protect.

    • N/A

      Going into debt to buy big houses and other “stuff” to impress other people is so foolish. I think a lot of people have learned that now, the hard way. My husband and I have never made big salaries, but everything we have is paid off. We have no debt. Our home is small but shelters us. We don’t have to worry about having enough to eat. We can afford to heat and cool our home. Our cars are a few years old, but run fine. Small inheritances weren’t wasted on junk or fancy vacations and now help fund our retirements. We’ve never wasted money on impressing other people because what they think doesn’t matter. Maybe that’s the lesson Americans need to learn.

      • GSOB

        Well…
        I’m impressed.

        • N/A

          No need to be. Just saying people don’t need to follow the herd and go into debt to live decently.

  • jn

    “this is awesome” – Gary the Joke

  • jn

    gary is the pig and he needs some lipstick

  • rat28

    Don’t worry. The higher premium collected by the insurance companies will be tickled down.. Paying insurance premium is like another form of consumption and it will be great for the economy.

    • jonno

      The best option with health care is don’t get sick. As most of you have spent your lives eating denatured food flavoured with artificial colours and preservatives of course you’ll end up needing help. Nearly everything you’ve been told re: diet is a lie. Here is the truth. Don’t eat grains, don’t eat refined food, don’t eat sugars except that in honey or fruits. Limit dairy foods, eat fatty meat every day. Eat a small amount of fruit and lots of vegetables, nuts and seeds. No, NO No, soft drinks. A bit of alcohol won’t hurt you but don’t drink beer. Carbonated mineral water is great. I’m in my sixties with a perfectly functioning body and in better shape than when I was 30. I’m in the construction game and work hard with my guys. And don’t smoke. If you follow these simple suggestions you won’t need a doctor unless you damage yourself either working or surfing as I sometimes do.

      • k

        Dont eat grain? where will people get carbs from. Or did you mean dont eat refined grain? Whole grain is good.

        • jonno

          No mate, no grains at all, our bodies are not designed to eat them. Carbs are totally overrated and you’ll get all you need with the foods i’ve suggested. Of course you should goggle the paleo diet, with a bit of reading you’ll discover we are not meant to eat grains and they are responsible for many of our modern diseases. keep it in your mind we have been lied to about nearly everything and it’s difficult to break away from a lifetime of false teaching.

          • k

            Humans being have been eating whole grain since millenina. Carbs are not overrated they are essential. They provide energy. Meat provides protein which helps in muscle building, while veggies and fruits provide vitaminerals and antioxidants which help in functioning or organs and enzymes.

          • jonno

            About 10 thousand years and it was all downhill from that point. As soon as man settled down and decided farming was easier than hunting and gathering we physically started to get weaker and smaller. I didn’t eat meat for about 16 years and it made a mess of my body. I became weak and timid, what a joke. Refined carbs are naturally the worst, rice is the only acceptable grain though in small amounts. But , this is what worked for me and I can respect you if you feel you need your bread and cereals. The health problems associated with eating grains uisually show up after the age of 50.

          • k

            Not eating meat for 15 years made a mess of your body, it was not because of eating carbs, Carbs means carbohydrates which are broken down into glucose which give energy for your daily tasks. Even meat has carbs in it. Even fruits have carbs in them. But they are less, that why grains are important.

            The bread made of burgers,pizzas, sandwiches you eat,and cereal, and corn flakes you eat is made of grains.

            Carbs help us do mental work more, while proteins help us do physical work more.

            Health problems occur with refined grain (not naturally occuring whole grain). Add to that the trans fat in fried oil used in frying meat, burger patties, french fries etc.

          • k

            And they started to get smaller and weaker because of sedentary life, not because of grains. Even if you eat meat and are sedentary you will have the same problems. Probably more, because meat is not as easy to digest as grains are.

      • Orange Jean

        Like it or not we all will die … once… from something.

        My aunt ate a lot like what you are advocating, but ended up getting cancer anyway. Some of it is from environmental stuff we may not have knowledge of or control of (in my aunts case… she lived all her life in my hometown that had some major hazardous waste problems due to the main source of income… jewelry manufacturing.

        There are also genetic things you don’t get to control

        Good for you that you have a perfectly functioning body and am in better shape then you were in your 30s…. but it won’t last forever… and the construction business you work in is well known as an occupation that is very hard on the body (including being one of the highest risk occupations for accidental deaths and injuries).

  • Mondobeyondo

    So, I go down to the local Walmart, and I buy one of their salads. It costs nearly $3.50. I pay it, because I’m hungry. It’s their house brand – called “Meadowbrook” or whatever it was they came up with.

    Yes, this is my last post of 2013, Happy New Year!

    • davidmpark

      Happy new year, Mondo! May you have the blessings you need in the next year.

      • Orange Jean

        Blessings to you and your family also David! I know you’ve had a rough year, but seem to manage to keep your spirits up. I hope you are able to keep up that good attitude and things go better for you all in this new year.

    • Orange Jean

      Happy New Year to you too Mondo, and hope things go better for you!

      Have you managed to find work yet? I hope so, I don’t mean to pry or ask something that is depressing, just concerned as we know you’ve been (or were) unemployed for what seemed like a long time.

      Do you not have a fridge where you are living? I think if you do and you were to cost out the price of buying individual grocery items to make that salad yourself… you’d find yourself saving money.

  • davidmpark

    Just a theory…

    I see more divisions and splits in 2014.

    I think there will be a lot of bigger entities carving themselves into multiple smaller entities to escape taxes and fees. People will continue to flee large banks for local credit unions. And I think people will continue to further divide themselves along any and all demographics.

    There will be demographic changes. People will continue looking for like-minded folks. But I think that people will start to physically move more often to be around similar folks for protection and economic opportunity. And in so doing, many, I think, will try and secure themselves physically and socially. 2014, in this theory, will be the year of walled-in communities.

    Pop culture is more propagandist and less entertaining today, so people will look for better things to entertain themselves. I think we’ll see more interest in indie media, community theater, and possibly a return of pirate radio. I created a cartoon show for our kids that they just love! This might be the future of entertainment.

    I also think that there will be a groundswell of DIY and underground industries exceeding the government-owned marketplace. The simple, common man quietly working with simple tools, making basic but good quality products to barter or sell with like-minded neighbors who all can keep silent. Or walled-in communities might go for the old co-op system and not purchase basics outside the walls at chain stores.

    2014… divisions.

  • DJohn1

    I do not understand the government thinking on all of this.
    The only thing I can think of is they are planning to leave and not stay around to take the blame for what they have done.
    But if they do plan to stick around, it will behind the protection of a large group of armed troops.
    The question in my mind is what troops?
    What they have failed to consider is that all those troops have family members on the wrong end of things. They are on the wrong end of things because of the people they are supposed to protect. OR will they protect them.
    What will happen? It will be a very interesting year for all of us.

  • SpunkyBunks

    Maybe they can kick this can down the road another year. Isn’t 70% of our economy consumer driven? Retail is shot! They were already having 70% off post-Christmas sales before Christmas even got here. Middle class people are only buying necessities, not luxuries. Yard sales in my neighborhood are booming. I donate all of my items to charity, I don’t want people knowing that I have nice things. If I had a yard sale, it would be like advertising to burglars that my house is the next place to hit.

    When I was vacationing in Europe this summer, there were hardly any Americans. Americans are broke and can’t afford to travel overseas. It was all new economy people and their iPhones: Chinese, Koreans, Russians, Middle East, etc. 10 years ago, it was mostly American tourists all over the place.

    Obamacare will be the final nail in this country’s coffin. My employer RAISED our insurance premiums and told us it was due to Obamacare’s new mandates. Working middle class professionals will be bearing the full cost of this disaster since our insurance premiums are skyrocketing. The poor will be covered by Medicaid/subsidies while the rich pay the penalty and buy their own Cadillac insurance policies.

    How sad my country is going down the tubes as I am coming of age (37). It’s not fair that the Boomers trashed everything for future generations to satisfy their greed.

    • Eric Quintero

      Whoa man you cant blame it entirely on the Boomers.

      I cant really say Gen X has done much to help the situation.

      -Gen Y

    • Orange Jean

      I agreed with everything you said until the last sentence.

      What makes you think it was Boomers who trashed everything? Or Gen X for that matter? Seems to me the Gen Y were the one’s most likely to vote for this administration…

      In every generation and always there have have been some people who are greedy, but I think the majority are not. On the other hand, I do not believe that working hard and not wanting to give away most of what you earn to someone else makes a person greedy.

      I am a Boomer and I am not greedy in the least. I was a single parent, I raised my son and supported him on very low salary… but eventually went to college (at high interest student loans, which I paid off by the way)… and got a better job. I pay about 35% of my income in taxes though. Because I was poor for so long, my savings for my possible need to retire (I have some health issues) as I get older is modest, though I’m working on it. I just want to be able to take care of myself.

      • Philip Arlington

        This administration only bears a tiny share of responsibility. The rot has been building for decades. You can’t see the real problems until you jettison partisanship. Both major parties are to blame and neither has the answers.

    • grumpyhillbilly

      This is way older than boomers. It started 100 years ago with the fed. The introduction of Keynesian economics was during the depression, and we boomers weren’t even twinkles in our dad’s eyes. Free trade is the contribution of the greatest generation. Sadly decades of educational tenure has produced great mimics. Boomers just have been following the lead of their elders, while reinventing the family. Social decay and the breakdown of the family are our contribution.

      • nekksys

        This is way older than the fed, too. Back when our Constitution had barely celebrated a 2nd birthday, there were banksters trying to take control of the economy. The elitists in this country have been trying to wrest control from the People for over 200 years. Looks like they’ve succeeded.

    • Mondobeyondo

      It’s not just the Boomers alone. We must take collective responsibility for this debacle.

      • Kent Harris

        All generations are guilty. It is across all age groups. America is paying for its defiant attitude toward Almighty God.

        • Mike Smithy

          It’s true. We are all to blame whether you are a Demon-can or a Republi-crat. However, the bulk of the blame should be place on the shoulders of the Boomer generation. Yes, I am a Boomer and I admit that I have blood on my hands for electing politicians that do not represent the best interests of future generations of Americans.

        • Parlington72@gmail.com

          When Europe was at its most Christian, in the Dark Ages, it was stagnant and impoverished.

          The most Christian part of the world today is probably sub-Saharan Africa, which is also the poorest and most corrupt.

          China is not a Christian country, and nor are most other countries that are currently booming.

          God is not the answer. Never has been, never will be.

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            Of course, the Christianity you’re describing had/has 0 to do with the impoverishment or corruption, it’s the dictatorships and the oppression- in other words the govts.
            Seems to me, the most powerful, successful country in the history of Earth was founded by Christian people’s with Christian hearts with a tiny govt and as the Christianity eroded, the authoritarianism and largess of govt has taken over and now it’s a crumbling mess.
            A Godly, Christian heart is the answer.

          • Gay Veteran

            well, after they killed off the natives and brought over numerous slaves

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            Aside from your off handed revisionist history – single handedly and uniquely in history too.

          • Gay Veteran

            sorry if the facts disturb you

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            And I’m sorry that you apparently have ESP because I didn’t write that. I’m more sorry that you hate your country. I hear Iran likes your kind.
            Boggles the mind how someone that hates this country like you do could sign up to serve in it’s milt (assuming you actually did). So what branch were you in and what was your MOS pervert?

          • Gay Veteran

            try educating yourself about the history of this country.

            Iran? gee, wonder why they took over the American Embassy? do you know why?

    • Mondobeyondo

      I had a yard sale this past weekend. Didn’t sell much. Maybe because everyone else was having a yard sale too.

    • N/A

      Ah, Spunky…don’t go blaming the Boomers because your life isn’t what you were led to believe it would be. Most of us Boomers aren’t living the high life and never have. Now we are old enough that we can’t put in the hours or do the physical labor we used to do. Whatever we have now is all we’re ever going to have….and costs keep going up, so, pull up your big boy panties and learn to live on what you have. Oh yeah, you don’t HAVE to buy into Obamacare. Just pay the penalty, take care of your immune system, stay away from doctors and get a passport so you can practice medical tourism when you need expensive care that isn’t an emergency. And for cryin’ out loud, quit whining.

    • JulietteofOhio

      Wow! As a “Boomer” struggling like everyone else, only older, I resent the popular feeling that my generation was greedy and trashed everything. Some were, some weren’t, just like your generation. Like you, we really didn’t have any power and all of the lovely perks we were supposed to receive have disappeared. My husband, a WW2 baby, is still working, as am I, and neither of us had a silver spoon start or any government help. We played by the rules and got screwed just like you. I do have to admit that when I was a very young, divorced, mother with no child support and no government help, I worked up to three jobs at a time, BUT there were jobs to be found, and I eventually worked into a good job by the standards of the ’70s, only to see it all fall apart during the last of Bush and early Obama years. We’re not underwater on our house, but only because we’re making triple house payments. Retirement? Not an option. I’m sorry for you and for my kids, but it’s not my fault.

      • MrsBulldoggy .

        I think, in large part, it is all of our faults for not keeping an eye on what was really going on in Washington. We didn’t really pay attention to our politician’s and their shenanigans, we didn’t hold their feet to the fire and make them responsible to we, the people. When things were flush, we all turned a blind eye and never really questioned the DC bureaucrats. We believed everything we were fed, much to our detriment. Unfortunately, you are not alone, many of us are struggling more than most realize. I know the numbers being bandied about by the mainstream media are false. I just wonder when all of us, we the people, are going to stand up, quit believing all the lies and do something about it.

      • Philip Arlington

        Not all individuals are to blame, but your generation collectively is to blame.

        • goldenhawk

          I hate to tell you, Philip, but it goes further back than the boomer generation. The elites gained parasitic control of this nation in 1913 when they established the central banking system of the Federal Reserve. Booms and busts ensued since then. The entire banking system thrives on debt which must grow ever-larger to keep the Ponzi scheme going. No new debt and the system collapses. It took those 100 years to get to 17 Trillion + ( add unfunded liabilities). And then there’s progressivism. This process is slow, and it started well before the boomers.

    • LivnintheOC

      Spunky, quit whining. If you have enough money to vacation in Europe, you can pay your higher health care premium.
      I’m a boomer and we own our own business and have not been able to take a vacation in years because we need to be there for our clients and we’ve tried to save as much as possible for “retirement” (haha, we’ll probably work until we drop). As well, we have to pay double taxes (as an employer and employee) because we own our business. We have been frugal and saving since we were young, but circumstances don’t always work out for people. We have a reasonable savings, but in this day and age, it still probably won’t be enough.
      You can’t make generalizations. There are plenty of people in your age group that are totally irresponsible spenders as well.

      • Philip Arlington

        The younger people were raised by the Boomers. It was the boomers who created and gloried in the culture of immediate gratification. They are the only generation which freely chose to live by lower standards that those they were taught by their parents. Not all of them of course, but far too many.

  • Arjun

    Hi Mike,
    Happy new year for what it may be worth. In your last article you mentioned Obama and Clinton as being popular among the American people. I do not think the American people are stupid, this statistic is as credible as in the same article you correctly pointed out how the mainstream media control the facts. The fact that Obama and Clinton have done nothing for the American people make me doubt that poll very much.

  • Mondobeyondo

    If you’re looking for someone to keep kicking the can down the road, there’s more than a few NFL field goal kickers who may be able to help.

  • Mondobeyondo

    “I don’t know why
    Nobody told you
    They bought and sold… you”

    Beatles, “Why My Guitar Gently Weeps”, 1967

    • Mondobeyondo

      Listen to the whole song.
      Read between
      ———-
      the
      ———-
      lines

  • Mondobeyondo

    Don’t EVEN get me started about the Beatles.

    “Nowhere Man” = Obama administration

  • Ralfine

    That’s easy to answer.

    You tax all the poor guys, because you can’t tax the rich, right?.

    And with all the tax money you finance the wars. Which will create jobs.

    That’s how it’s been done for years.

    • Orange Jean

      I don’t think you understand the tax structure in the US very well… here the “poor guys” will very often pay nothing in taxes, and if they work and have kids will get something called “earned income credit” – which is a payment of money well beyond what they earned, which is paid for out of someone else’s income. The middle income people are paying an awful lot of taxes, and a lot of rich people pay high taxes as well. Some middle income and rich people do manage to slip through the cracks via various loopholes.

      I’d like to see those loopholes closed. And I personally would like to see a flat tax instead (as a % of income earned, same percentage to all), but don’t think that’s every going to happen.

      • Ralfine

        A flat tax benefits the rich.

        They live very well from whatever is left over by the tax, even if they pay 90% tax. But take 90% tax from a low income earner and he will starve.

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          bull tripe.

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        “here the poor guys will very often pay nothing in taxes”

        income taxes….

        The poor play plenty of taxes.

        Despite the faux democrat mantle of being ‘for the poor guy’, they routinely implement the taxes that rub the poor the most. Gas taxes, cigarette taxes, etc.

  • MeMadMax

    “Most Americans know that the U.S. economy is heavily dependent on consumer spending.”

    NO NO NO NO!
    Most americans STILL have no idea what keeps this little world ticking!
    And they won’t care until it finally unravels and affects them personally…

    Case in point: Obamacare. They hadn’t a clue till they got the cancellation notices…

    THEN they started to take notice…

    These people need to be poked and prodded before they start caring.

    • Ralfine

      Most Americans know who won the superbowl, how much a .45 is, and that Obamacare is bad, just like commies.

      Apart from that?

      • jn

        they know that europeans are a joke

        • Ralfine

          Exactly, which is why Germany is the country that exports even more than China.

        • Pablo Solano

          Why are Europeans a joke?

          • Ralfine

            they dont shoot as many people as americans. and there are far more prisoners in the us than elsewhere.

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            And that has what to do with the price of tea in China? I’ve lived in Germany and it’s not the paradise you’re implying.

          • Ralfine

            So we have something in common.
            I’ve lived in China and it isn’t paradise either.

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            I’ve been there several times too. It’s worse than Germany.

          • Ralfine

            The airpollution is worse, the service is better, transport is much cheaper.

            In China half hour taxi is RMB50, in Germany EUR50.

    • doc30

      And that is why Obama moved the small business requirements back so they would not be a factor in the 2014 elections. And people will have short memories and forget about ObamaCare for the 2016 elections when the next Democrat president takes office.

    • nekksys

      You are absolutely correct. How many folks have been on the record saying they thought Obamacare was a great idea until they realized they would be the ones paying for it?

  • Ed

    I expect that the most successful doctors will be the ones who offer a “rebate” to the “patient” who comes to get an examination once per week.

  • Mondobeyondo

    If you decide to go down to L.A, Fatness (urgh, that joke was bad, but it really isn’t because I’ve seen people who could have walked to the gym while they drove to it) as a New Year’s resolution, I have some better solutions.

    1) Marry a Miss Universe pageant winner. You can both campaign for world peace!

    2) I truly hope some people come to their senses and realize that the only race that matters is the 100 meter dash.

    Seriously, I hope your New Year is happy, healthy and hopeful.

  • Bill

    In a recent poll of world wide participants the USA was found to be the country known as the greatest threat to world peace. My first reaction is extreme embarrassment to be recognized as a world bully. My second reaction is extreme anger toward those who have put our country in this position. Does anyone question the fact we need new leadership yesterday. Yes, the fact we are facing economic calamity is equally concerning.

    • Drud

      I agree. You hear on the news about North Korea, China, Iran, Egypt, Syria, etc. But by far the most dangerous government on the planet is our own. It makes me both sad and angry.

  • Nicnak

    Happy new year to all of you you and to FATCA…
    What is fatca, foreign account tax compliance act….

    see the “tax”?
    U say it’s 4 foreign business and u don’t care?

    guess what, all usa companies have office in non usa countries and they will move out from the USA and change countries for good just to avoid fatca.

    Bye bye usa jobs….!

  • Citizen X19

    The stock market will continue to rise until the summer of 2014 when QE will supposedly end. Then the “correction” will begin in earnest.

    • XSANDIEGOCA

      No,no,no….it will end after the election.

  • americalsgt

    I have no idea how much longer this can go on, and I’ve been saying this since 2007. I do however know that at some point the country will have to accept that it is bankrupt. It is the same for an individual, a company, a city or state. Bankruptcy comes little by little and then all at once. So too will it be for our country.

  • rentslave

    When Pluto opposes the US Sun this spring,it’ll end Obama’s Disneyland.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Hee hee! I’ll just refer you to the lyrics to “Age of Aquarius” by the Fifth Dimension,

  • Mondobeyondo

    Time will tell if “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore will become the “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” of this current Depression.

  • DJohn1

    The government is ignorant of one of the basic laws of economics. It is called compounding.
    The country does not run on wealth. It runs on discretionary income of the general population.
    Without that discretionary income in place the retail industry of this country will go bankrupt. That has nothing to do with what things cost or what bargains are out there. If you are out of credit, out of cash, and unemployed, all you have is whatever help the government is going to give you. If there is no cash there is no retail market.
    Things multiply. A master game inventor in legend was the person that invented chess. When the leader of the country asked him what he would take as a reward for such an entertaining game he showed his mastery. He asked for one grain of rice on the first square of the board. The second square he wanted two grains of rice. The third square he wanted four grains of rice. The fourth he wanted eight grains. Ans so forth. The leader granted this seemingly reasonable request.
    By the time, it hit the 64th square of the board, the man had accumulated an enormous amount of rice. So much so it threatened to bankrupt the kingdom. There are several varieties of this story. I have played several oriental versions of chess. Most are played on the junction of squares instead of on the squares with the knight and the bishop moving slightly different than our version. But the game is ancient.
    What they have done is thrown all the compounding debt onto the common person out there. They have left nothing for an economy to thrive on. Go figure.
    The compounding problem here is the rules of ObamaCare will bankrupt most of the people in this country because it is too expensive for the average person to handle.
    The short term problem is no one will have any money to keep the retail market going. We are back to basics of trying to afford food, clothing, transportation, and housing. That will require that everyone take their standard of living down by almost half.

    • XSANDIEGOCA

      Bingo.

    • Drud

      Absolutely correct DJohn. So few people even understand the concepts of compounding interest or exponential curves. I think you stated the fundamental problems with our economy when you said “the economy runs on discretionary income.” That is not tenable. Money is not real. Money is simply a cultural agreement. The REAL economy runs on energy/work. In engineering terms they are interchangeable. Oil (and the massive amounts of cheap energy it produces) are what allowed this country to grow unfettered from the turn of the 20th century to 1980 or so. Since then our economy has been taken over by the financial sector, which at its most basic level, involves simply moving money (no real value) from one place to another and taking your cut in the process. Now, I understand the necessity of a financial sector, but ours has been way out of balance with manufacturing for 3 decades (at least).

  • Mondobeyondo

    As much as 2013 was a horror show, you wanna know what scares me more? You got it – 2014.

    And nothing more than the local weather babe who’s filling in for the local news anchor, screaming out over the airwaves, “What’s happening? What’s happening?”

    Don’t you KNOW? Don’t you know what’s happening? You’re in the news business after all,.,.,

  • mosebym .

    Man has caused this on himself so its time to pay.

    • XSANDIEGOCA

      … but there is no money to pay.

  • coffeejunkie42

    Much like all of you everything is rising in price for my family as well. My insurance cost will rise from a current $40 a week to $90 a week. In march they may cancel our plan and tell us we have no choice but to choose Obamacare. And that similar plan is $426 a month with only 60% covered not like my 80/100% now. Then ya have food, smaller packages more expense, then gas still hovering right around $4. Then higher taxes not only country wide but state wide. I don’t know about all of you but I’m sick of the Crap..! I’m sickened by what this country has become. A National Welfare State among many other things like Police State..This ain’t America any more, maybe 100+ years ago but it’s not any more.

    • XSANDIEGOCA

      No, it’s not and you can cut the unease with a knife.

    • Dr. G.

      Amen!

  • Mondobeyondo

    “Things are either gonna come together, or they’re gonna come apart”

  • Chris

    Same thing up here in Canada- the consumer is tapped out. Household debt just hit 163.7%, and with no end in sight. I don’t know folks if 2014 is going to be the year of the collapse, but I can’t see us going any further with the debt we are carrying.

    • Anonymous

      The truly sad thing is that many people would go without things like shelter, water, electricity, food, clothes, transportation, etc. if they didn’t use credit cards to get through. There just simply are not enough quality jobs that pay a living wage anymore. Meanwhile, some employers are making record profits.

      • Chris

        +1. In the past year or so I have noticed people buying their groceries using their credit card. It leads me to believe that most people have basically no money left.

        • Orange Jean

          Don’t be so sure what you see…

          I use a debit card to pay for my groceries and ask them to ring it in as “credit” – but it really goes through as debit, it gets paid immediately.

          I ask them to ring in as credit only so I don’t put my PIN number into their machine.

          • Chris

            Hey Orange Jean,
            You could be right. By the way, do you live in Canada or the States? Usually in Canadian banks give two cards: debit and credit card. I’ll give you an example- I bank with Royal Bank of Canada. My debit card is gold and green in color and my credit card is gold in color. Same thing with the credit union I bank with. So when somebody whips out their gold card, I know for a fact they are not using their debit card. It could be different with other banks, but I’m guessing they have the same system. But like I said, you could be right and I could be wrong.
            Cheers.

          • Orange Jean

            I’m in the US, and I “bank” with Navy Federal Credit Union. I got out of debt totally about a year ago and I aim to keep it that way.

            I’m sure *some* people use credit cards to pay for groceries, just not obvious how many do. Maybe the grocery stores publish some data on that, who knows?

            You may have a point also in that my debit card is a different color than the credit card, but unless the person in back of me also uses the same bank how would they know which color is which? Here, the cashier will ask if you want to use debit or credit and if that wasn’t your card you might not know saying “credit” with a debit card is still treated like debit. Also, at grocery stores here we most often use a “swipe” machine (swiped by the person buying), and it’s set up so it’s not that easy for a person in back of them to see what card they are using.

            Not sure if banks do it differently here or not (I fired the “bank” and started using credit unions exclusively back around 1998…)

        • Boo-urns

          I buy *everything* with my credit card, even something as small as a $1 bag of chips at 7-11. But I have a double points card, and I pay the balance in full every month. Free money in my pocket, and the vast majority of my purchases are documents so I can microscopically track my spending habits.

          • Chris

            I forgot about the points! Sorry for my ignorance about credit cards, but I rarely use them. In my lifetime I’ve used my credit card about 10 times. I pay everything in cash, even for bigger purchases. Boo-urns, you could be right, people might be accumulating points; but I believe there are also people who have no money to pay for necessities.

          • Boo-urns

            Nothing wrong with that at all… but if you do use a card be sure to only buy what you can afford to pay off each month! The credit companies make untold billions off of the backs of people who cannot afford what they are buying, and who will never get their debt paid off.

          • Drud

            We do the same thing Boo. My wife and I have traveled to South America twice on free airline miles acquired by filtering all our spending through credit cards, and we have nearly enough to do so again. Interest and fees paid: $0.

        • TX4Life

          I use my credit card to purchase groceries and gas because I get a decent percentage back on those purchases. I let it accumulate until December and use the rewards $ to pay for Christmas gifts. Not a lot but it helps have a decent Christmas.

  • greanfinisher .

    Above everything else, I would certainly maintain the savings and checking account balances to the bare minimum in any financial institution. Keep a good cash position along with plenty of canned vegetables, liquids and a solid supply of ammo.

  • XSANDIEGOCA

    “The real big surprise was how much out-of-pocket would be required for our family,” said David Winebrenner, 46, a financial adviser in Lebanon, Ky., whose deductible topped $12,000 for a family of six for a silver plan he was considering. The monthly premium: $1,400.
    Let’s do the math. David will pay $16,800 in premium and a $12,000 deductible before he is …. covered? Pardon me, but the ACA is worse than useless.
    Something else, $1400/month would come pretty close to financing a $200K home. In other words, David will be making double house payments.
    This frog ain’t gonna fly.

    • MrsBulldoggy .

      Finally, someone doing the math! Now, can you imagine those that can’t afford 1400 dollars a month? How are they going to pay those types of premiums and out-of-pocket expenses? Ridiculous…

      • XSANDIEGOCA

        They won’t be able to. Can you make double house payments? Neither can I. Neither can most people.

        • MrsBulldoggy .

          And even if someone could, why would they want to? It’s obscene and highway robbery. (And no, most people can’t.) What is this government going to do when the vast majority aren’t going to be able to comply? Send them to debtor’s prison?

          • XSANDIEGOCA

            They won’t do anything…for now. It is obvious that the game plan here is to keep this monstrosity alive past the 2014 elections. Doing whatever it takes. After that, the government will attempt to tighten the screws but it make no difference. People can not afford it.

  • tropicalspa

    Retail sales are up from last year. u just keep telling your lies, and your sheeple will follow.

  • todd

    Learn wild edibles.

  • Mike Smithy

    Obama lied and your healthcare died.

  • Alreadyoffthetrain

    What are you people worried about. The regime now has the backing of Smaug and his enormous gold reserves. I just saw pictures of it this weekend and there are piles of gold everywhere. Enuff for all!!!!

  • N/A

    Total B.S.

  • JaeStClair

    many have already said…the medical industry needs to size down….a lot……stop saving lives in certain age groups…and other serious illnesses

    • JaeStClair

      paying monthly for medical insurance….and no services rendered each month….what for?

    • Orange Jean

      So… have you volunteered the age group your in??

  • shannon853

    one thing never talked about is the thousands of companies that have left American soil to re establish on foreign soil where they then hire foreign workers at far less, have little to no environment restrictions to operate under and far less taxes to pay. until American companies are made to operate only on American soil and hire American workers, the economy can NEVER recover as there is just plain FAR LESS JOBS HERE IN AMERICA! NO JOBS NO WAGES TO PAY TAX ON AND WEAK ECONOMY!

    • Rene Girrard

      You’re right, but the media elites don’t understand what is happening in the middle class.

  • James Mayfield Damon

    What’s everybody worried about? There are as many Digital Dollars as there are electron…

  • Jackie Milton

    I believe there’s a good chance that all hell is going to break loose in 2014.

  • Dr. G.

    Micheal is right on every point but one. The stock market will not go down, but rather UP. Way Up!

    The crazy town stock market is NOT GOING TO COME CRASHING DOWN ANYTIME SOON. This time its different. Yes, the market was inflated like past bubbles. Yes, money printing is out of control. Yes, the market has become unattached to earnings. Yes, the wealthy bankers are making bank on this FED money-printing scandal. Yes, eventually the financial world will get its due. But not now. Not for a number of years yet.

    Money from around the globe, scared up from regional and national and even international wars, foreign stock market collapses, foreign wealth confiscation and taxation that will outpace even Washington’s confiscatory recklessness, and currency wars will drive foreign money into the US stock market where it is perceived to be a safe haven during times of excess government confiscation.

    The FED, along with central bankers across the planet, have been trying to induce inflation for going on five years now. The result has been a disaster (if you’re a central banker). All they’ve gotten out of trillions of printed currency, is a bubble in the stock market, but mild inflation that has been off-set by deflationary forces. And the uber wealthy have finally given up, waiting for their ship to come in on the good ship inflation. Instead, they’re abandoning the central banker planners inflationary boondogle, and they’ve instead, steered their money toward preservation: collectibles of all kinds. The market for diamonds, art, collectibles, rare coins, rare anything is hotter than hot. 2013 brought the largest prices at auction since the first auctioneer slammed his gavel to the table. The super rich have abandoned inflation as a means of increasing their wealth, and now they’ve turned to preservation in advance of regional and global wars, and in advance of the self-serving, self-preservation tactics of bankrupt governments. Obamacare was never really about health care. It was always about funneling all the healthcare dollars through Washington’s floodgates, where politicians could extract their fat, before passing on what was left to the health care machine. Obamacare is just the first MAJOR shot across the bow of the USS Confiscation. And there will be all sorts of other confiscatory measures that will come complete with the backing of the police power of the state.

    The FED may pull the punch bowl away slightly, but they won’t pull it away entirely. And to that, the huge sums of money that are about to come ashore from Europe and other failing economies (not that the US isn’t also set up for failure, its just the safest failure on the planet) and you have yourself a recipe for a stock market that will defy gravity (and common sense) for the next six years.

  • Dr. G.

    If you combine your best Austrian Economics thinking with your best Judeo Christian reading of scripture, my crystal ball points to September 13, 2015.

    All good financial collapses that lead to war have one thing in common: some sort of shock event. Something that sets the tinder afire. My bet is that the financial shock that pushes the globe to the brink of war hits on September 13, 2015.

    Google that date and see what you come up with.

    • Boo-urns

      You and Founder should get together and have some delusional discourse.

  • Mondobeyondo

    More “Jeopardy”…

    [Alex Trebek] Debby, make a selection!
    [Debby] Health and Welfare for $100, Alex.
    [Alex] For $100,,, “Patient critical! STAT!”
    [Debby] What is the Untied States of America?”
    [Alex] Wrong! It’s the United States of America! You’re disqualified for your spelling error! But our judges just might give you a pass on your answer,,,.

  • jn

    keep dreaming gary, one day you will get a chance to lick obama’s testicles

  • ferrethouse

    Don’t worry, various government departments will falsely report good numbers at times that benefit Obama.

  • Tintin

    I find it so hard to believe that we are slowly watching the once most powerful nation of our modern time slowly die.
    Empires have always come and gone throughout history, and as Karl Marx wrote that capitalism is an unsustainable system will always destroy itself.
    I would like to know, at what point will the American people finally break? It would seem to me that It’s only a matter of time before the most heavily armed nation of citizens turn on their banking leadership.
    If the fortified bunkers in Denver can be breached, all members of the banking elite will be hung by their necks until dead.
    All I can say to the American people is good luck and may god be with you.

    • Rene Girrard

      We already have peaked. 1969 was the very best year in America’s history.

  • Mondobeyondo
  • Mel Mason

    The solution is, as it always has been, “nullification” . When people nullify, or refuse to comply, en mass on a personal level our state governments will follow suit. We have more power than what most realize. We will get to the point where it is the only option remaining. Liars lie, cheaters cheat and thieves steal. Grow up America.

  • Mondobeyondo

    No need to mention the whole Target (department store) debacle, it’s everywhere in the news.

    Just shows the vulnerability of our technology driven society.

    BTW if you DO shop at Target, please check with your bank or credit card agency, to see if your account has been compromised.

  • Bruce

    The Obama health care will NOT put insurance copanies out of business. This new law is a God send for them. The wrote the law to start with. It will be a windfall profit for them in the end. This law does for them what medicare part D did for the big pharmacy companies. Don’t be fooled by the lies

    • El Pollo de Oro

      “Obamacare is not socialized health medicine. It is forcing the people of the United States to buy health insurace from private, giant insurance companies.
      Obamacare is the merger of state and corporate powers, which is called
      fascism.”—Gerald Celente

      “Obamacare is the perfection of crony capitalism that’s being sold as something that’s wonderful for the people. Insanely expensive care provided by crony capitalist cartels that have totally opaque pricing and are in cahoots with the central state that supposedly regulates them.”—Charles Hugh Smith

      “Obamacare is essentially forcing us to
      buy a defective corporate product. ”—Chris Hedges

      • Philip Arlington

        Can no-one in the United States define fascism (or feudalism) correctly?

        Fascism is corporatism plus militant nationalism plus a one-party state. Corporatism without the other two is just corporatism.

        You can solve problems by misdefining them.

        • Drud

          We get way too bogged down in the semantics. Ultimately, the problem we face (whatever word you want to use) is too much wealth and power in the hands of far too few (and those few are not good citizens). The Celente quote is simply referring to Benito Mussolini’s quote: “Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.”

  • piccadillybabe

    Heard on local radio that there was rage and unrest at local supermarkets over the past weekend when SNAP recipients could not use more than $95 on their EBT cards at a time. They were very mad, screaming at cashiers and the customer service people. They acted like the store was starving their children and the police had to come in and handle them. They walked out and left their carts full of food. For some reason, all the food in their carts could not be returned to shelves or freezer and had to be thrown out. These are people that get free food, free medical care, free subsidized housing, etc.

  • Guest

    Flounder, please explain medically how natural family planning kills babies?

    • FounderChurch

      If you are so dense, or biased, you can’t figure it out, you wouldn’t understand if I explained it to you.

      • Flounder Koresh

        Flounder, you didn’t answer my question numb- nutz!!

        I’m waiting …

        • FounderChurch

          I answered, but you are just too dumb and uneducated to understand it.

          • Flounder koresh

            No you didn’t answer the question. Please articulate…?

          • FounderChurch

            You are Harassing and Bullying me. Take your abusive Trolling somewhere else. Don’t contact me again.

          • Flounder Koresh

            No I’m not. I’m calling you out for what you really are; a self-righteous, proud, pompous a$$ that suffers from a messiah-complex.

            NOW ANSWER MY QUESTION! If you can’t then stop spreading lies.

          • Boo-urns

            Founder makes the same ridiculous asssertions in multiple threads, that somehow birth control is killing babies. Then when you ask him to explain in detail he just gets huffy and starts calling you names and accusing you of misleading people with your lies and distortions.

            The guy’s a wackaloon, a nutjob, a koo-koo-bananas of the highest order.

          • El Pollo de Oro

            Boo: Another one of Flounder’s “pearls of wisdom” is advocating a return to Prohibition. Yeah, that worked out really well the last time……..NOT.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    The Third World government of The Banana Republic of America cannot spend its way back to prosperity (the Keynesian approach) any more than it can cut, cut, cut its way back to prosperity (the austerity growth). The BRA needs to GROW its way out of this mess. But good luck with that when you have a country that has given away its manufacturing base, slaughtered much of its middle class, condemned an entire generation of young adults to poverty (Gen-Y), and is mainly creating crap dead-end minimum-wage service jobs. When you hold up Third World toilets as an economic ideal, you become a Third World toilet yourself. No, the BRA slit its own throat with a jagged knife, and the bleeding will only get worse in 2014.

    Happy New Year, feliz año nuevo, felice anno nuovo, bonne année……and God help the rotting, decaying, collapsing, festering Banana Republic of America.

    • Drud

      While it is true that growth is the only sound way out of debt, it also illustrates the most basic problem of debt-based fiat currencies: growth is essential or else the whole system falls apart, but nothing can grow forever on a finite planet with finite resources. Collapse is not just inevitable, it is also necessary. We must remember this one lesson if nothing else: debt-based fiat is ultimately a recipe for disaster.

      • Philip Arlington

        The world was so much more prosperous in the old days. The famines and plagues in history books are all lies.

        The United States flourished in its early days because it had abundant underutilised natural resources, a ready supply of workers from culturally similar societies which offered fewer opportunities to the average person, and faced little competition, not because it didn’t have a central bank or an income tax.

        • Drud

          “The famines and plagues in history books are all lies.” – That is a rather sweeping statement. Of course there are many lies in the history books, but there have been periods in history of rampant famines and plagues. I agree with you second paragraph entirely, but I would argue that the underlying reasons for all of what you list: a) liberty and b) sound currency.

    • Gay Veteran

      and good luck with Peak Oil

  • Mondobeyondo

    Better health care at Petco than under Obamacare…

  • jj

    Expect a devaluation of the US dollar. China is moving to replace the dollar as the international trading currency AND it is going to back its currency with……gasp…..gold. People were calling Ron Paul a kook for encouraging a return to the gold standard. We’ll see in 2014 he was the only politican who was smart enough….or honest enough…..to even bring this up. Diversify diversify diversify!!

  • Mondobeyondo

    Wilbur Werner was witless. Without worrying whether wife Wilma was working, Wilbur wasted wampum willfully. Worthless Wilbur was workless. When Wilbur woke wondering what what wife Wilma was wearing, wanting – We wondered – why! Wilbur wanted women! Wilbur was without wisdom. Women want warmth. Wilma was witty – wow! Wilbur went without, Woe was Wilbur.
    ____________
    Credit: Glen Starkey

    Okay, I’ll start getting serious in a while. Don’t worry, it won’t take long.

  • http://www.mycbn.com/ FaithDefender

    For the first half of 2014, the economy will fester. For the second half, it will rot.

  • Mondobeyondo

    An awesome essay about the Great Depression.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpfY8kh5lUw

  • Vlad Lenin

    Breaking up the US is the only answer. The country has gotten too large and the federal government too out of country. Secession now!

    • Philip Arlington

      Not the answer. Countries of any size can fail. Countries of any size can thrive. Michigan is roughly the size of Greece.

      • Boo-urns

        Perhaps not the solution to this issue specifically, but IMO the US is far too large for its own good, and the Federal government has usurped far too much power and control from the states. The vast majority of issues, especially the hot-button topics like gay marriage, abortion, marijuana legalization, etc. should be states issues, not Federal — for example, citizens of Oregon want very different things than citizens of Mississippi, and neither should be forced to live exactly as the other.

  • Jodi

    People already have less money to spend. I was at Target a couple of days ago & I was stunned how much of their Christmas stuff they had left. I’m sure others have plenty of leftover stuff too. I think were in for a very bumpy ride this year.

  • Philip Arlington

    If only a 150 million or so Americans are working and there are 130 million or so households in the US, how can most households have more than one person who is working?

    I am disconcerted by the inconsistency between the dire shortage of jobs narrative, and the virtuous John and Jane Does working multiple jobs to feed the kids narrative, both of which are regular features of the blog.

  • DJohn1

    What little expertise I have is from the field of Real Estate Sales. Finance and Appraisal is a mandatory course for all agents in the State of Ohio after being licensed in the field for 5 years. I have not been in the field of Real Estate for a good number of years.
    We were taught that generally Real Estate goes up in value approximately 4.5% per year.
    It is now going down in value.
    Wages go up approximately at 2.5% per year. Wages are no longer going up. Actually wages are going down in value and more people are being laid off.
    Both of the above facts are subject to change.
    Taxes are dependent on wage increases. When your tax base is going down the tubes then something has to give.
    Real Estate agents generally charge a commission to sell property. That is based on an ever increasing value of property. That is no longer true.
    Pensions are often based on Real Estate. Mortgages are based on an increase in value over time. Think about it. A mortgage basically is a pension for someone. It starts out on a graduated scale. The typical scale is 95% interest and 5% into paying off the loan. So a $40,000 loan pays back to the tune over 30 years of $120,000.
    This has almost nothing to do with the printed fixed rate of a loan at say 3-5% interest. All of the interest is payed up front in the first 7 years of a loan.
    After 15 years, a bank considers a mortgage loan to be a liability instead of an asset. In previous times most people moved up after 7 years or less.
    The current trend is high unemployment. This is a chain reaction. If you are unemployed it is unlikely that you can meet your mortgage payment. The price of property is generally 10% under what it was bought for just 3 years ago.
    A lot of people bail. They leave the bank with an unpaid mortgage on a property not worth the appraised value of the loan 3 years ago.
    Under federal laws, the bank must sell the property for at least 2/3rds of the remaining value of the loan.
    This is all based on strong employment. It is based on raises to offset inflation of at least 2-2 1/2%.
    Most of these mortgages end up on a package of mortgages and sold as derivatives.
    These banks are not gambling. They are attempting to contain their losses by keeping the package of mortgages solvent.
    Only it is not really working. Some day soon, the entire house of cards is going to collapse and every bank in the country will be stuck with derivatives they cannot sell and worth a lot less than they paid for them.
    The entire base of our economy is Shelter, Food, Clothing and Transportation.
    Wages have to inflate in order for any of this to work. The approximate retail value of commodities must be worth more each year for it to work.
    With the advent of ObamaCare, the net wages of the country is going to be a lot less than it is right now.
    That means an entire nation of default mortgages.
    And that in a few words means a total collapse of the currency and the country economy.

  • truth

    This is all too true, in fact it is planned financial slavery, in the western world,North America and Europe The countries out of these zones and who refuse the western financial usurious system are bombed.

  • VERNR

    Kent Harris,WOW what awesome words you spoke,America turning its back and defying,God.Wishing you Gods Best

  • FounderChurch

    We have much, much greater problems than Obamie & Hitlery. We Conservative Believers have become basket cases in the final stages of a degraded degenerate terminal death spiral.

    Despite that, one thing we can’t stand is the truth about our diseased selves, which not one single Conservative Believer commentator, talk show host, or Media person dares to tell us to our faces which is, the details of what is desperately wrong with us. Obama and Hillary are mere symptoms of our collapse into castrated femininity.

    BUT I ALONE WILL: So everyone hates my guts. Search “FounderChurch” and you will get 5000 hits of my writings all directed to fixing what ails us. Join those who hate every word I write and choke on it.

    • Boo-urns

      Happy new year Founder! Glad to see you are just as demented and delusional as you were in 2013.

      • FounderChurch

        And you remain as uneducated and bigoted as you were last year polluting all intelligent discourse.

        • Boo-urns

          Pot. Kettle. Black. If there’s one thing you could never possibly be accused of it’s intelligent discourse. Or intelligence, period.

          • FounderChurch

            You add nothing to this site. Never have, never will. You have no ideas, and no thoughts, so you spend your worthless time trolling other people who do have ideas and thoughts, at least of some sort. You are nothing but a troll, and a Democrat troll at that.

          • Boo-urns

            How many times do I have to tell you that I am neither a Democrat or a liberal? If you’ve been reading any of my other posts you would know this.

            (As if being a Democrat is any worse than being a Republican… ha!)

            And the only thing you add to the discussion is more of your delusional bleating. I’m not even sure they have meds for you.

          • Drud

            Boo-urns, I made the mistake once of engaging in a dialogue with Founder. I will not do so again. “Never argue with a fool. He will simply bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”

          • El Pollo de Oro

            Boo-urns: Many of the people who post on this site are of a libertarian/prepper persuasion, but Flounder is very caught up in the failed two-party system and thinks that anyone who disagrees with his nonsense must be a card-carrying Democrat. Plus, he’s a raving lunatic. There’s a homeless guy I see riding the L here in Philly who loves to shout “Bedbugs!” at people when they get on or off the train. He’s a few shrimps short of a paella. Well, that dude is downright sane compared to Flounder.

  • Gankfest

    Jesus is coming! :D

  • Chris

    Is it possible to stop paying health insurance and to go across the border to Canada or Mexico and pay privately if you need treatment? Would this be cheaper?

    • DiscouragedOne

      For 2014, because the fine is small, but after that the fines go up, and by 2016 the fine is as much as buying the insurance is or more. No way out unless you leave the country.

  • Rene Girrard

    America’s peak year was 1969. We’ve just been going downhill very slowly until about 2000. Now we are going downhill at an alarming rate, and the news media won’t even discuss it.

  • Sandbagger

    Pastor Lindsey Williams says to expect a global currency reset in the next few months. When that happens, he said prices will rise around 30% eventually.

    Can you afford a 30% increase on everything you buy? On top of those other increases Michael mentions? I think the majority would say no way.

    I predict 2014 on into 2015 to be when the real pain and riots in the U.S. begin.

    • jn

      maybe

  • Mondobeyondo

    The Dow fell today. We may be headed for a bear market. If we do, things could get… grizzly.

    (Yes, that pun is mine.)

  • Mondobeyondo

    How can you afford Obamacare when you can’t even afford groceries?

    • jn

      you could steal food

  • TR

    Every president that has served during my lifetime has been the worst & the next president will be the worst.

    • Boo-urns

      Yep. Congress too. We allow these buffoons and evildoers (from BOTH parties) to exists because we continue to vote them into office over and over and over again.

      A vote for a Democrat or a Republican is a vote for our imminent demise.

  • BlackDog

    Let’s try to put this into perspective — you take an unknown community organizer with a real vision (regardless of whether or not it’s feasible) for change in this country. You introduce him, prior to the election, to Loyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon, who offer him and his family, both now and 100 years into the future, the wealth of Kings if he’ll just sway his favor their way, when they need it. Who among you would say, ‘No.’ ??? THAT is the problem we face now, and forever into our future unless we change things. And voting in that change is laughable — our current reps have minions 25 deep, just waiting for their chance to cash in on the American Taxpayers. So, how do you suppose we’ll have to change things? And we’re just about there, too.

  • Dallas29

    I am 29 years old and college educated. I was laid off in September 2013. Been actively looking for a job since then. Part of the problem is too many people in my industry are out of work. Realized half of the contacts in my phone are out of work. I had an interview for a position that actually pays fairly decently the week before Christmas. If I don’t get an offer for that job. I am giving notice at my apartment and booking a ticket to Australia or somewhere in Asia. Luckily I have some savings to lean on. But, I think sticking around here is scarier than getting a job in another country.

    • Alasha

      Godspeed! You are in my prayers, Dallas29

    • k

      what did you graduate in?

      • libsarescum

        “what did you graduate in”? you must have a 3rd grade education

        • k

          You must be really dense.Let me rephrase it. ‘What degree did he graduate with’/ ‘in what field did he graduate’?

          • libsarescum

            you must be have a 3rd grade education, similar to hussein obama. his GPA in college was 2.01, just barely above passing. who can dispute either. you are an idiot just like obamao

  • 2Gary2

    Tax the rich and spread the wealth–problem solved. Everyone will have money to spend and stimulate the economy. The rich save and have way too much money already. Tax them HARD and spread the wealth.

    • Colin

      No. Increase the minimum wage. This creates increased purchasing power. then everyone benefits.

      • Jimbo

        Return to free market enterprise and not the over regulated, centrally planned system that we have now. The biggest down force on wages is unemployment. In a true free market, there is no unemployment.

        • k

          No mimimum wage, means a sweatshop like workplace. Where goods will be very cheap, but the local population wont be able to buy them because of less than minimum wages. And if no one will be able to buy them, then the company will stop manufacturing them, which again will lead to job-losses.

          And colin, raising the minimum wage leads to higher demand for goods that will lead to two things. Fall in prices of them if their supply is well stocked which it has and if companies are desperate to sell which give the current economic scenario…they are. And the second thing is more jobs created to keep up with that increase in demand to sell and manufacture. If goods are not bought jobs wont be produced through selling and making them.

          It should not be raised too high, but it should raised in a way that both the companies and the people profit…not just one of them.

          • jn

            wrong socialist dumbfuck

          • k

            You must be off your meds. Or get your head checked.

            Or maybe its your upbringing.

          • Jimbo

            On the face of it, an enforced minimum wage sounds good, but in a true free market, there is no need to centrally enforce a minimum. In a true free market, the workers set their own wages by changing to better paying employers forcing the cheapskate employers to pay more. Unemployment benefits encourage unemployment and unemployment itself forces down wages.

          • k

            In a true free market….yes…but the thing is a market will never be truly free in reality. Top companies in a market once the yreach a certain size, can easily form a syndicate or monopolise the market by merging or partnerships with other big companies, or by buying off politcians or lobbying to write laws in their favour, to make harder to others to start a business or employees to leave.

            Its human nature!

            Thats why we need minimum wage laws (laws that guarantee a living wage not super high wages) to keep them in check.

            i am not saying people should get paid more than their work demands, i am saying people should get paid as much as their work demands….thats what minimum wage does.

            Thats why its called ‘minimum’.

            Also with regards to unnemployment benefits, they only encourage unemployment if the wages are far less than the benefits. Not if they are more.

      • Boo-urns

        No it doesn’t. Increasing the minimum wage only promotes inflation; as wages are forced upwards the cost of goods and services rise commensurately. That load of bread that the minimum wage worker struggles to afford will simply cost more after the wage increase, and the worker will still struggle to afford it.

        The bigger issue is that minimum wage jobs are not meant for adults to support a family on, they are meant for high school kids. When I hear Yolanda complaining that she works 40 hours a week at McDonalds and can’t afford to feed her four kids, I can only wonder how she thought that was an appropriate job to support a family on. The truth of the matter is that these low-skill jobs have a certain maximum value, and unskilled workers are easily replaceable so there is no pressure to raise wages.

      • Drud

        @all – not laws, no regulations, no ideas, no fixes can work until we fix the currency. An analogy would be a very sick patient with multiple organ failures related to blood poisoning. Fixing the organs does nothing, they will simply be poisoned again in short order.

    • carljr

      Unfortunately Gary this is not a viable solution as the tax money will not trickle down to normal people who do not want to be on government assistance and welfare, etc….

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      Teacher says, when Gary says ‘tax the rich and spread the wealth’ a one trick pony gets it’s wings.

    • libsarescum

      you are beneath scum

      • 2Gary2

        ok hoss you really put me in my place.

    • Mark Caldwell

      Karl Marx is dead, I wish the disease of cultural Marxism = collectivism had died with him. Alas, there is never a shortage of naive and ignorant peasants available who think we are living in actual free market capitalism, when we actually have kleptocratic corporatocracy. That has to change, your drum beating about pitchforks in front of the mansions is nothing but parasitic flailing and mob mentality most likely fomented during early childhood where anger grew out of resentment of those around you.

      Collectivism and authoritarian progressive socialism is always attractive to those with broken spirits and jaded souls.

  • 2Gary2

    michael-happy new year. Have you heard how Christmas sales were? Better than or worse then expectations and or prior years?

    • jn

      worse you liberal dumbfuck

    • libsarescum

      libs lose the senate in 2014. YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

      • 2Gary2

        that would be a no hoss. 2014 will be the year of the progressive.

  • GSOB

    Reactor 3 is steaming and we can only guess why. Fresh plumes of steam arising….89 TONS of radioactive fuel is threat

    Everyone, it seems, feels that 2014 is going to be bad for our economy.

    Go figure…

    • sr82

      Don’t you mean that God will only help those who have repented. After all the rest of us are going to burn in hell so who cares about the unsaved. Right?

  • Colin

    Remittance workers are individuals who are employed in one country and sent their money to the home country for supporting their families. Many of these workers are from developing countries, and they work in developed countries. If our country continues to devolve into a third world nation, will we soon see American remittance workers working in other countries and sending their money back to the motherland?

  • Mondobeyondo

    How to Survive in a Depression, #4:

    Don’t be stuck in your bedroom, crying your eyeballs out and listening to “Cry Baby” * on your MP3 player. Don’t let it get that bad. Because if you do, you won’t be able to get out of it alone without help.

    * Janis Joplin.

  • Mondobeyondo

    How to Survive during a Depression, #5:

    It will break your back. It will break your heart.
    Don’t you DARE let it break your spirit.
    You MUST press on.

  • Karen

    I live in Northern Florida and 90% of everybody I see drives nice vehicles, the stores are packed nice homes where does it all come from!!! DEBIT I know of no one whom lives within their means except my daughter and she is 23. In the 80 s when I left active duty you could only have unemployment for six months no ands ifs or buts you had to find a job. Now folks live on it for over a year jobs are there you just have to really look, my daughter gets up early takes her children to day care and works cleaning hotel rooms at eight dollars an hr 23 years old and works her butt off. SO STOP your whining. Guess what the new trends are for in 2014 per the old farmers almanac robots that will pick fruit and do other manual labor because humans are to lazy.

    • Rene Girrard

      Your daughter is Mexican?

    • DiscouragedOne

      My son has been looking for a job since May, and even though he has a degree he is willing to take anything. He has not even had one interview yet.

  • Cassandra

    It is so hard to watch everyone sit here and blame each other. We did not pay attention and now we only have ourselves to blame. These problems started long before Obama. If he had not intervened the way he did, America would be third world. I’m Canadian. I have been watching from afar. Your people cannot see the forest for the trees. Employers do not pay a live able wage. That is the problem. Personal responsibility can only go so far. Someone will always have to pump gas. Theses lives and their children’s lives should not be devoid of health and happiness because their employers choose to funnel all the money to the top. There is more than enough for everyone. All the money is in corporate pockets and the bank accounts of the 1%.

  • karryokie

    To fix the economy:GET RID OF CASH.Tax evasion and crime are much harder without the use of cash.

  • jn

    gary the commie pos effeminate lib has returned!

    • carljr

      I think people hate Gary’s theory about taxing the rich because they believe that should they become rich one day that they would hate to get taxed. The irony is that most of us will only aspire to be wealthy and never actually achieve it. The 1% has the deck stacked in their favor not ours. See the movie Assault on Wall St. It depicts this quite accurately regarding how we are just small wheels in a gigantic cog and have no control over what happens.

      Also the rich only pay social security taxes up to 100,000 dollars of their income. How is that fair?

      • Drud

        The flaw in the whole theory is that the 1% not only pay tax-lawyers obscene amounts of money to avoid paying taxes, they also, through their lobbyist, WRITE the tax laws. So, do you think that any law written by a bought-and-paid-for Congress will EVER touch the 1%? No, any law will simply redistribute the 7% of the wealth that is controlled by the 99%. This is what has been happening for the past 3 decades (at least) regardless of who is in the White House or which letter has the majority in Congress.

        • jn

          +1

        • DiscouragedOne

          Well said.

      • DiscouragedOne

        I think you are wrong…people hate it because they know it is a slippery slope, and they know their taxes are going up too…and they are. Obamacare is going to kill the middle class figuratively and literally.

  • Ralfine

    lol

    eat your .45 then.

    • Jim Davis

      Excuse me, while I go and vomit.

      • Ralfine

        feel free to enjoy yourself

  • Mondobeyondo

    Sorry, Alice. All is not well in Wonderland. Every single source I’ve checked – economist blogs, alternative media, mainstream media, the Bible – etc – say the same thing: America is going down like the Lusitania (which went down faster than the Titanic). Not one of them offers a prosperous future for this country.

    These 2 links may, might, possibly convince the remaining doubters…

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/gloomy-americans-foresee-downhill-slide-2050-21407800

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2012/07/08/the-collapsing-us-economy-end-world/

  • Mondobeyondo

    “Despite the recent shift toward negativity about the state of the nation, the portion of U.S. residents rating themselves very or pretty happy stayed around 9 out of 10.” – ABC News

    Yikes! There’s a disconnect here. Are they saying depressed people are happy?

  • Gay Veteran

    gee, better talk to your heterosexual neighbors about their sodomy habits

  • Ralfine

    ok, my numbers are dated. still quite impressive if you think about the population of germany – 82 million.

  • GSOB

    Good post… Did not see that.

    Reminds me of the news story,… the NSA and the Japanese government knew about the radiation levels, yet sent the troops anyways….

    • Washington76

      Thanks’ patriot!

  • Mondobeyondo

    The Baltic Dry Index (true indicator of the economy, as opposed to the Dow Wow Wow) is looking a bit better, but it’s far from where it was in the mid-2000’s.

    You can check it out here…
    http://investmenttools.com/futures/bdi_baltic_dry_index.htm

    Hope you like charts and stuff such as!

    • Mondobeyondo

      Only topped by country star Kellie Pickler’s answer on “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader”.

      “Hungary? You mean that’s a country?”

      My goodness…. we are doomed.

  • Sandbagger

    Did anyone else click on the Mac Slavo link?

    Crazy-scary graph shows the stock market in the months leading to the ’29 crash mirroring what we see today. W-o-w. No denying we are going over the cliff.

  • libsarescum

    did you know that gary is human filth?

  • John

    The premium increases are in reality a middle class tax increase which is being used in part to pay for all the millions who will sign up with medicaid.

  • Orange Jean

    Raising the minimum wage will simply result in inflation until the same people who now cannot afford to live on what they earn will again also not be able to afford to live on what they earn …

    Don’t believe me? In 1970 or thereabouts the minimum wage was something like $2/hour. But then you also could buy enough food to feed a family of 2 for $10 a week. How do I know that? I had a minimum wage job then and my grocery budget then was $10 a week, and we had enough to eat reasonably. Around the same time, one of my brother’s bought his first house (in Concord, NH) for $20,000. Seen any homes in that price range lately?

  • GSOB

    “Of Special Importance”

  • Mondobeyondo

    “Instructions: Poke holes in plastic covering. Microwave on high for 5 minutes if frozen, 3 minutes if thawed. Remove from microwave oven. Toss
    contents in garbage” .

    Perfect. I get to eat nothing – again.
    ———–
    You need a laugh. So do I. We all do.

    • Orange Jean

      Sounds like you’re having a rough week Mondo… hope it gets better from here.

      Since you live in AZ, might want to consider eating like Mexicans or Native Americans do…

      but your sense of humor is great!

  • Mondobeyondo

    How to Cook Stuff When You’re In a Depression and Can’t Afford Stuff to Cook:

    “Great Depression Cooking with Clara” is a great place to start. She went through it in the Thirties; we’re going through it now. You can find her videos on Google or YouTube. Some of what she says, I knew already, but I learned a lot of new things too. Remember the two “P’s”. Potatoes and pasta. They are your best friends.

    “Mama said there’d be days like these”…*

    * The Shirelles, “Mama Said”

  • libsarescum

    why does liberal dogma dovetail so nicely with that of the Nazi’s?

    1. gun control (aka confiscation) both wanted to disarm the middle class so they could control them

    2. health care – both wanted universal healthcare as a means of controlling the populace.

    3. disposal of the unwanted – nazi’s own the holocaust, libs love abortion

    4. and remember its for the children – both love to be photographed with children and use them as props

  • ian

    Dont worry everyone. As soon as the next republican president wins, this will all magically disappear, the economy will instantly improve, and you will be called a traitor for believing any different. Just like no one can remember the last president and the damage he did to the country

  • libsarescum

    +1

  • libsarescum

    lmao, nice try.
    1. ethnic minorities such as the blacks who were held as slaves by democrats?
    2. wars like vietnam which killed 50000+ young men? oh wait, that was a gift from the democrats.
    3. hating banksters is cool and trendy
    4. LGBT is so cool. I bet you will raise your children as gay so your boys can grow up and lick other mens testicles.

  • libsarescum

    libs are human excrement and even they know this

  • Mondobeyondo

    America’s peak years were in the late 1950’s, during Eisenhower’s second term as president. Big finned cars, a booming industrial economy – what could go wrong? Umm, just about everything.

    And now, returning to the immediate task at hand – “Green Bay has just scored a touchdown! The football is frozen solid! Jim, did you see that? It was literally coagulating in midair as the quarterback threw it! Now for the point after attempt – hope the field goal kicker’s foot doesn’t fall off when he kicks that ice cube”

  • none

    GOOD NEWS MICHEAL.
    I don’t think that Obama wants to change medical insurance.
    This reminds me of an Mafia tactic from the 1960’s.
    It was called the 2% contract.
    Basically, some guy would tell you that you either sign it, or you will have your brains blown out all over the paper.
    The end result was the same. They would end up owning your company.
    Think about all the money that insurance company’s own. Worldwide, all the company’s that insure with us.
    (Side note, the NSA would love to get ahold of all that info).

  • DISGUSTED

    We own our own business and get our money from manufacturers. They are wildly cutting expenses – they see what is coming, or more importantly, what is here. Our business is off by 25%. Add to that the idiot’s healthcare plan. Excessive taxes. Rising prices. YES, we are cutting expenses. Drastically. I’m not happy with the USA right now and I’ve always been an unwavering patriot.

  • DiscouragedOne

    Wish I lived where I could go clamming.

  • Chris Lannon

    A strong country to me would have a smart and healthy people. Healthcare and education are through the roof, makes no sense. In addition, why is it acceptable to lay off hundreds of people and then the top exec’s get more money. I would rather have those people working and the top earners get less. That is what will help everyone. Sadly, greed tends to win out.

  • energizedmortal

    Prepare and survive!!! The reward is anarchy.

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared
Agora Financial
Thrive Life
FEMA Hates This

High Blood Pressure?
The End Of America?
FINCA BAYANO
Survive After Collapse

Silver.com

Camping Survival
GunMagWarehouse.com
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