The Beginning Of The End
The Beginning Of The End By Michael T. Snyder - Kindle Version

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Instead Of Using This Period Of Economic Stability To Party We Should Be Using It To Prepare

The fact that the official U.S. government unemployment rate has dipped slightly is good news.  However, it is not the "economic turning point" that Barack Obama and others are proclaiming it to be.  Rather, what we are in right now is "the calm before the storm".  The massive amount of government spending that the U.S. government has done over the past few years and the massive quantities of new dollars that the Federal Reserve has been pumping into the system has bought us all just a little bit of time.  Instead of using this brief period of economic stability to party, we should all be using it to prepare for the very hard economic times that are coming.  Please do not get fooled when the short-term economic numbers go up or down a little bit.  When evaluating the state of the U.S. economy, the key is to look at the long-term trends.  The truth is that when you take a longer-term view, it becomes undeniable that the United States is in the midst of a long-term economic decline from which there is no escape.

But how are most Americans responding to the "good news" that the U.S. economy has stabilized for the moment?  Many Americans are running right back out and are spending like it is 1999.  Many Americans are viewing the slight improvement in some of the economic numbers as a sign that "happy times are here again" and they are behaving just as they did right before the financial crisis of 2008.

Many of us have family or friends that are taking expensive trips, making huge purchases and partying as if the good times are never going to end.

But is this wise?

The fact that the official government unemployment rate declined to 9.4% in December has got a lot of people excited, including Barack Obama....

"The pace of hiring is beginning to pick up."

So is the fact that the unemployment rate declined slightly good news?

Yes, it is good news.

However, there are also a whole lot of reasons not to be so excited about this one piece of unemployment data....

*A big part of the reason why the unemployment figure was down in December was because the government considered 260,000 Americans to have dropped out of the labor force.

*Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says that unemployment is likely to stay very high for four or five more years.

*The 103,000 jobs that were added in December was actually far below the 140,000 to 178,000 jobs that economists were expecting.

*Gallup numbers tell an entirely different story when it comes to unemployment.  According to Gallup, the unemployment rate actually rose to 9.6% at the end of December.  This was a significant increase from 9.3% in mid-December and 8.8% at the end of November.

*Not only that, but Gallup also says that the underemployment rate is moving up dramatically.  According to Gallup, the underemployment rate in the United States increased to 19.0% during December, which was up substantially from 18.5% in mid-December and 17.2% at the end of November.

*The percentage of Americans participating in the labor force is now the lowest it has been since the early 1980s.  In December, the Labor Force Participation Rate fell to 64.3%.   Over the last twenty years, the Labor Force Participation Rate has usually been around 66 or 67 percent.  So do less Americans want jobs today?  Of course not.  What has happened is that millions of Americans have become so discouraged about the lack of jobs that they aren't even actively searching anymore.

*The number of Americans working part-time for "economic reasons" continues to hover around all-time highs.

*According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of Americans that have been out of work for more than 26 weeks actually increased in December.  In November, there were 6.328 Americans in that category, and in December there were 6.441 million Americans in that category.

So, as you can see, there are a whole lot of reasons not to get too excited about the employment numbers.

But has the economic situation in the United States somewhat stabilized in the short-term?

Yes, but this is not going to last forever.

When you look at the longer-term economic trends they just keep getting worse and worse and worse....

#1 Every single month the U.S. government goes into even more debt.  The U.S. government is now over 14 trillion dollars in debt and this debt in increasing by about 4 billion dollars every single day.

#2 Even single month state and local governments across the United States go into even more debt.  As I have written about previously, our infrastructure is literally crumbling and falling apart from coast to coast but our state and local governments can't do anything about it because they are drowning in a sea of red ink.

#3 Every single month we are getting poorer as a nation.  Every month we consume massive amounts of foreign oil and cheap, foreign-made plastic trinkets and we send the rest of the world hundreds of billions of dollars of our money.  Unfortunately, very few of our politicians ever even mention this obscene transfer of wealth.

#4 Every single month we send large numbers of our factories and our jobs overseas.  Over the past decade, over 42,000 factories in the United States have shut down permanently and millions of good jobs have been outsourced and offshored.  Those jobs and those factories are never coming back and America is rapidly becoming a "post-industrial" nation.

#5 Every single month the United States continues to lose not only factory jobs, but also many other types of good paying "middle class jobs".  In fact, since the year 2000, we have lost 10% of our middle class jobs.  In the year 2000 there were about 72 million middle class jobs in the United States but today there are only about 65 million middle class jobs.  Meanwhile, our population continues to grow larger.

#6 Almost every single month the cost of basics such as food, gasoline and health care goes up faster than our incomes do.  Inflation is a brutal "hidden tax" which is destroying the standard of living of middle class Americans.

#7 Confidence in the U.S. dollar and U.S. Treasury bonds is starting to rapidly decline.  When global confidence in the U.S. dollar and in U.S. Treasury bonds is totally gone, the entire world financial system will be thrown into total chaos and the U.S. economic system will fall like a house of cards.

#8 We are being constantly looted and pillaged by those at the top of the food chain.  Every single month the ultra-wealthy and the international banking elite drain even more money out of the system and transfer it to "offshore" banks.  At this point, a third of all the wealth in the world is held in "offshore" banks.

Right now we are still able to enjoy relatively good times because the rest of the world continues to loan the U.S. government massive amounts of cheap money and because the Federal Reserve has so far gotten away with printing gigantic piles of new money out of thin air.

But this "can" cannot be kicked down the road forever.  At some point, the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world is going to completely burst and the fallout is going to be nightmarish.

So what should we all be doing?

What we shouldn't be doing is partying as if the good times are going to last indefinitely.

What we need to be doing is starting to prepare.

So what are some things that we all can do to prepare for hard economic times?  Well, the following are just a few of the columns I have authored in the past about prepping....

*What To Do

*Disaster Plan

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

Use this brief time of economic stability to prepare - once the economy falls apart it will be too late.

Hopefully some of the readers of this column will be willing to share some of their best preparation tips.  If you have got some tips and ideas that you would like to share with the rest of us, please feel free to post a comment below....

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  • Kevin

    The country both public and private has been living off borrowed money for so long it has become normal in the minds of the people. The thought that you actually make things at work is alien. “Oh, my Dad used to make stuff at the old plant a long time ago”. I had a few relatives at the Thanksgiving table say that the problem is, “People don’t make enough money so just print some more money, problem solved”. I tried to explain the fault in their logic but the conversation turned to their favorite religion Worshipping The Sphere and that ended that.

    Yep, we deserve the representation we get.

  • Tim

    Republicans are giving the treasury to the rich. Tax cuts to billionaires and adding another trillion to the debt.

    Republicans dont just hate hispanics and blacks, they hate the middle class.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    Michael T. Snyder hits the nail on the head when he writes: “A big part of the reason why the unemployment figure was down in December was because the government considered 260,000 Americans to have dropped out of the labor force.” Exactly! In The Banana Republic of America (the Third World horror movie that used to be the USA), official unemployment figures are always misleading because they don’t count people who have been out of work for so long that they have simply fallen off the radar. Nor do they take into account the underemployed or self-employed freelancers and small business owners whose income is way, way down over what is once was. Unemployment down to 9.4% for December 2010? Don’t believe it for a minute. The real unemployment rate (not even counting underemployment) in the BRA is more like the 22% unemployment España has been socked with, but at least españoles who are out of work still have access to quality health care; in the BRA, the unemployed and underemployed are likely to die unnecessarily if they get sick thanks to butchers like Blue Cross, Aetna and United Healthcare (the REAL death panels). The lives of the peasants are expendable in this neo-feudalist nightmare that used to be a developed country.

    The fact is that regardless of the bogus 9.4% figure that we’re hearing, the BRA’s economy is in terrible shape. And things are going to get much, much worse. Gerald Celente predicts that we are going into what he calls The Greatest Depression, meaning a depression that’s even more severe than The Great Depression of the 1930s—and the evidence suggests that Signore Celente is absolutely right. So what should Americans be doing to prepare for the horror that lies ahead? For one thing, have a gun and know how to use it. When the BRA’s Third World economy goes from bad to worse to total meltdown, all hell is going to break loose. Crime will soar, and American cities (which, compared to European cities, are already dangerous enough as it is) will become total war zones. It will be nasty.

    9.4% unemployment? No, the truth is much worse in The Banana Republic of America, a Third World basketcase with a grim future.

  • PithyWaters

    I have no advice. But if you think the Baltic Dry Index is an indication of things to come:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/quote?ticker=BDIY:IND

  • mondobeyondo

    So, the national (official) unemployment rate has dropped from 9.8% to 9.4%. Break out the bottles of champagne!!

    Once you’ve come to your senses, realize that a lot of the new hires in November and December were part-time employees for the Christmas season. Part-timers at retail stores to handle the Christmas rush. Part time parcel service employees, to handle the Christmas rush. And part time elves… to handle the Christmas rush.

    The holidays are over now, so a lot of these part-time employees will be let go. The optimism in the latest job report will wilt faster than a poinsettia in the summer heat.

    And just what are the quality of these great new jobs? Are they real careers with a future? If you got a job as a cook or waitress at Waffle House or IHOP, you’re employed. You have a job, and an income. And because you filed a 1099 and all the other essential forms when you were hired, you’re counted in the government statistics for “new jobs for December 2010″.

    Doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing well, though.

  • http://WBDM Joe in JT

    The reason we are all broke…reason number #9.
    Just when a man saves up 10,000 dollars for a rainy day or emergency fund, the wife grabs it and convinces him to go on the “Love Boat”, a cruise to no where. Two weeks later they’re broke again and have the Noro-virus because of living with 5000 other pogues ahole to elbow. The doctor’s bill is 10 grand and your insurance doesn’t cover “illness from cruise ships”. So within 2 weeks frugal Mr. Smith went from 10K in the bank to minus 20K. Man am I glad I’m single.

  • Kate

    I’ve been “prepping” for almost a year now. My family and friends laugh at me and someone actually said I need to “be on medication”. Oh well I guess, let them snicker. The best and least expensive way to prep is buy a ton of books on this stuff. The Encyclopedia of Country Living, Barnyard in your Backyard and the SAS Survival Handguide are some of my favs. At least if nothing else you will have info on what to do when SHTF. And for anyone else out there who has been laughed at – pay them no mind. You are the only one who is going to save you, just remember that.

  • Gary2

    Tim you are right on. We can avoid the coming storm by agreeing that we need a much broader shared prosperity in this country. I do not see this as possible with the wealth so concentrated at the top. So you can guess my solution: Tax the rich hard and spread the wealth! Stop all corporate welfare.

    Even the rich will do better to have a smaller piece of a growing economy than a big piece of a stagnant economy. Robert Reich-aftershock

  • wonglee

    of course unemployed folks stopped looking for work. only a idiot or hopelessly desperate person is gonna keep lookin for something that’s obviously not there.that’s the last drop in unemployment you’re gonna see until christmas

  • John O’Neill

    Storable food, storable food, storable food, storable food. Don’t forget water filters.

  • Bob

    Provident living and a years supply of food, fuel and clothing would help get through the financial mess that is coming.

  • John

    Gary2 + Tim = true love.

  • Dano

    uh, Tim, which party just handed everything to the Banksters?

  • mondobeyondo

    Prep tips? Hmmm.

    - Buy seeds. Not lots of them (they do have expiration dates), but enough. Home Depot, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, anywhere that sells them. Plant a garden.

    - Stock up on non-perishable food items if you can. Most meat products are perishable, but some are better than others. Check the “best by…” dates on the bottom of the cans. Sardines, beef jerky and the proverbial Spam, have long shelf lifes.

    - Buy some ammo, and get to know your two new best friends – Smith and Wesson. (Although Glock and Colt work just as well.) Automatic weapons aren’t really necessary. It’s like trying to kill a cockroach with an atomic bomb. You don’t need that.

    - Buy gold, if you can afford it. The average guy at the bar on a Friday night can’t afford that, so… if you’re poor like me, buy an ounce of silver with what’s left of your paycheck at the end of the week/2 weeks/month. Go ahead, sacrifice that bottle of Budweiser. You’ll thank me later.

    If you’re flat broke, like a lot of people, save every pre-1982 penny you can get your hands on. They are 95% copper. (Pennies made after 1982 are 95% zinc, with a copper coating). The copper value of pre-1982 pennies alone, is worth more than their face value.

    - Pray. Get to know God, fast. A hard rain’s about to fall.

  • Bruce

    You ARE SO right Tim —Billy Bob Clinton was an evil Republicans that gave us NAFTA and GATT. Both parties are evil grow up.

  • clark

    There’s just No getting through to those who won’t listen.

    We’ve tried and tried, they just keep on buying and buying.

    A condo, now? Are you kidding me? To rent to tourist in Texas? And you haven’t even run the numbers to see if it cash flows or not?

    And you want to retire soon?

    Then there’s this too:

    “Tyler Durden (ZeroHedge.com) has been pounding on the Baltic Dry Index plunge story. Here, here and here. I’m fascinated by this. Shipping is the backbone of global trade. So when a big index like this makes a big move in a short period of time there is almost always a message. But what message? One could easily read the drop in BDIY as a warning sign of a slowdown in global trade. Virtually every other barometer is pointing up. With that in mind, I ask the question; Is the BDIY an outlier, or should we be paying attention to what it is saying?”

    http://financialsense.com/contributors/bruce-krasting/baltic-dry-and-the-growth-trade

  • VegasBob

    Michael wrote: Right now we are still able to enjoy relatively good times because the rest of the world continues to loan the U.S. government massive amounts of cheap money and because the Federal Reserve has so far gotten away with printing gigantic piles of new money out of thin air.

    Actually, the rest of the world is wising up to our games and has basically stopped loaning us more money. Virtually all of the Federal deficit is now being monetized by the Fed’s money-printing.

    In a sane world, Bernokio (a.k.a. The Ben Bernank) and his companions at the Fed would be indicted, tried, convicted and locked up on counterfeiting charges.

  • Victorian

    It is sad to say but I see nothing pointing to America turning this around. Too many think of this as a Democrat or Republican issue. They fail to see it has gotten worst under BOTH republican and democratic leadership. You can argue it started in 1913 or 1965 {Immigration Act}. You could argue it started with the US Supreme Court giving corp. the legal status of a “person”.
    It would take strong measures to save America. Measures that most are too short sighted to agree with. The first would be to take away the legal right of a corp. as a person. Corporations are the opposite of the free market or capitalism. They have paid and controlled politicians of both parties for decades. They, in an ever greater lust for profits, have spearheaded most anti-American policies.
    The founding fathers were right in their fear of “big gov’t”. Because of their era they did not forsee “big corp.”, which are bad for the same reasons. Rewrite the monopoly laws so that no more than one location can be owned by any entity. Instead of McDonalds there could be thousands of family diners, each earning a family a decent living. Instead of Wal-Mart sucking every extra dollar out of a locality, there would once more be several family businesses to give a living, and not min. wage, to families. The corp. would no longer be strong enough to set policy. They would not be able to take our inventions and pass them to China for a “better” profit.
    Reform contributions to politicians. Outlaw any money from anywhere, except from indiviual constituents. That means any single American citizen could donate to someone running for President. If one were running for US Senate, they could ONLY get money from the people in their state. If someone is running for House of Representatives they could only receive money from voters in their district. A union member in Nev. could donate to Harry Reid, BUT, no “union” could give a dollar. A cashier at Wal-Mart, or a programmer for Google could donate to Eric Cantor, but the corp. could not buy, I mean donate, a dollar.
    End all immigration today, both legal and illegal. Last year while millions of Americans were out of work, over ONE MILLION new legal visas were passed out. That meant one million fewer Americans held those jobs. There is no proof immigrants increase jobs for Americans, but much proof to the contrary. End ALL state and federal money going to any immigrant. That alone would save billions in federal and state costs. If immigrants from China or India are so advanced they should stay home and improve their own nations. Then when we rebuild a manufacturing base, maybe we can sell to their markets. Illegals take jobs and drive down wages for the rest. If there are jobs “no one else wants to do”, it is because illegals have driven down the wage to the point Americans can not afford to take them.
    Set a flat rate sales tax. This will insure the “under-the-table” money being paid to many illegals is taxed. It will insure the drug dealers pay a tax. It will prevent Google from getting away with paying 2% while spending to influence the White House. Millions will be save in the form of IRS reform.
    There are many other things which could be done. Withdraw US troops for the well over one hundred nations they are in today. That would save billions a year. Close down federal depts, such as Energy and Commerce. They have done nothing while our trade balance, manufacturing and foreign energy dependence has worsened. Streamline federal law enforcement to save money. Get rid of BATFE and DEA for instance. End the TSA and require the airlines to set up their own security system. Put a new Amendment in place that forces the fed. gov’t to spend only 80% of its revenue each year. The other 20% is to go to pay debts. If, or once, debts are paid, cut the taxes by that 20%.
    I am sure I have gone on too long but I hope someone will at least think about what I have said.

  • William

    While I do believe in “American execptionalism”, I know that has passed. Americans are mostly dumbed down, ignorant and uninformed. Just watch the twitching and flopping as the Spuer Bowl nears. Or, remember the recent past when the whole nation was twittering about where an NBA player would play. A student of history would recognize the obvious parallels with the “dole and circus of Rome”. Even the tea partiers who went to Washington with the promise to cut $100 Billion in spending this year have started backing off their promise.
    Actually, we still had a chance at the end of the Clinton era, but that was squandered by the criminal trash Bush and his minions. Find and read WATERS FLOWING EASTWARD. This has been planned since the late 1780s. If you do now know what a Frankist, or Jacobin, or Trotskyite, or Sabbatini is, you should learn. At least then you would understand your fate.

  • Karen

    Sorry Tim, but not only REPS but a lot of DEMS – MONEY – you are right at least most DEMS have compassion while the Corporate Masters pulling the REP PUPPETS STRINGS hate everyone but themselves. This Gov is so owned I’m ashamed for the Fools and for the Tea Party followers.
    Now everytime I go to the grocery I buy extra dog food,sugar and canned goods and this is the year I will get Solar Panels.
    I know this Gov can’t continue as is but my promblem is when I decide to lock myself away.
    Don’t believe the cable channels(CNN,& FOX)
    do your own research and the USA is falling!

  • BJ99-MD

    Its time to drop the political lines. Its no longer about Dems vs Repubs. This is about Americans. We need to get together and make sure this country does what it needs to do for everyone. Political sides just divide us – we can once again point fingers at everyone not of our political affiliation AFTER we come together and fix this mess. Let’s all smarten up and stop acting like crabs in a pot or we will all get “steamed.”

  • Josey Wales

    Here are a few steps I have taken to prepare. First and most important, I have been working on getting healthy spiritually, reading the bible, going to church and speaking with the lord.Every thing we need to know on how to survive is in the BIBLE- Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth “BIBLE”
    Second, get out of the city, do what ever it takes to get in a rural setting the best you can. The cities are going to turn into hot beds, when people are hungry and have no hope they will do things they normally would not do. Theft, Murder, Rape, “when they have nothing left to lose, they will lose it” Once your in the country, get to know your neighbors, form relationships, learn to help one another. Then getting back to being humble for what you have, instead of always wanting more, more, more.When looking for a place to move too, try and find a place that has water, creek, stream, or even a small spring. Next, I have been teaching myself how to garden, how to can what I grow in the garden, (with the help of my neighbors) Then stock up on non perishable food, dried beans, rice, wheat, rolled oats, salt, pepper, sugar,yeast…Learn how to make your own soap, and Laundry detergent, it’s really not that hard and it’s fun to do.Learn to hunt and fish, and how to preserve what you harvest. Stock up on guns and ammo, you’ll need them for harvesting food and maybe to protect you, your family and your neighbors as well.
    Next is to get off the Grid, get a solar generator, solar panels and batteries, or check out micro hydro for a source of power, or a simple bicycle generator will be better than nothing.
    Have topo maps of the area you live in, hopefully you never need them, but in the Mountians where I moved to, it’s critical to have a map of the area in case I would have to leave in a hurry.
    I suggest you have a dog for an alarm system, protection, and just as a companion. Many people will think twice before doing something stupid just at the sight of a dog.
    Get your teeth in good health while you can, nothing worse than a tooth ache. Have a small first aid kit handy too. Well this is just a start, but once you get this much accomplished, you will be able to sleep better at night. I started preparing in 2008, when we had a dead cat bounce in realestate, I was bless by the lord to have the foresight to begin my journey to a new life and a new life style. I trusted that the Lord would give me what I needed when I needed it and so far he has provided everything I have needed, including good neighbors, a job last summer when I needed it, and fire wood for heating this winter. I have to give all the credit for my blessings to the Lord. Good Luck everyone, I hope this will help you at least get started for what is coming.

  • Michael2

    How can anyone with just minimal intelligence still have any confidence in statistics or any claims that come from government, main stream media or corporations at this point? That fact that most of the people in this country do not even vote or vote independent speaks volumes on just where the mentality of every day Americans is really at. The growing number of people looking for a third political party also makes another significant statement in this regard. I cannot remember any time in my life that morale and confidence in government, banks, Wall Street, main stream media, or corporations was lower. I highly suspect many people see through this smoke and mirrors just fine. That is why guns sales went through the roof, gold/silver prices are soaring, militias and survivalist groups are growing and survival/surplus sales are up. Many people are bracing for what appears to an inevitable socioeconomic collapse.

    I think America’s economy should be looked at as a forensic crime scene from the 60’s on up, with particular investigative emphasis placed on the 80’s on forward. America’s economy has been overcome by thieves and swindlers, scandals, inside traders, embezzlers, fraudsters and killers. American’s have been left with an almost meaningless fiat money; empty bank vaults/coin bags and debt designed so that it will not ever be able to be paid back. When we will face the fact that whatever or whoever is in control of the World’s economies is malevolent, indifferent, hostile, and psychotically greedy? Whatever is in control does not care about individuals, nations, ethnicity or the environment. The only colors that matter in the world are the colors of the monies in the Nations of the World. Anyone who expects a fairy tale ending given human history, the turbulent markets/economy, government incompetence and crimes, crimes on Wall Street and in the banking industry really is a fool and almost deserves a brutal wake up call into reality.

    I hope they will not put our faces in the dust now that they have us on our knees but given what has been done to the rest of the World the pain is probably just beginning. Hope for the best but prepare for worse as they say. I am not sure who all the Masters of the Chaos are but how they expect to escape the consequences too is beyond my humble skills of reason.

  • DougR

    I am not a conspiracy theorist or preaching doomsday. I am father of a middle class family that came to realize (woke up to the big scam)that we are being used for our hard earned money to support the cronies operations. Providing them with pensions, bonuses, and power over the middle class. It is so obvious that we are all being played, I can see the writing is on the wall, however 80-90% of America can’t. Why is this?
    1. Mainstream media
    2. Addicted to facebook
    3. Addicted to smartphones
    4. playstation,Wii, xbox
    5. Lack of any physical outside contact
    I could go on and on with a list , but I think you get the point. America is deliberately being dumb down to a point that they can not even react.
    There is not recovery! Every month since November 2008, I personally have seen people fired(not laid off)and those jobs have not been refilled. They are gone! Statistics is a funny game because you can use all types of models to make the data fit so you can report good numbers. 9.4% unemployed is a farce and we all know it. They are leaving out key data points to cook the numbers. Just like the article says, the labor force is shrinking, Americans have dropped out of the unemployment pool.
    The middle class is going to be squeezed and higher taxes are coming! 20% will be ready and prepared for what is coming, but we should be scared of the 80% that have no idea what just hit them.

  • CJFYuma

    The US government, currently administered by the most corrupt bunch of dirtbags in modern US history, wants the “sheeple” to believe that “Happy Days Are Here Again!”. Remember that song? We’ll all be employed, making very good money pretty soon. Those with jobs, hey, don’t worry now about losing them this year. It’s 1929 all over again. Do you honestly buy into this bag of “BS”?

    What a bunch of lying, stinking “BS” thrown in our faces! These lies are propagated (propaganda) to tranquilize the masses into passivity. Heck, they really don’t want massive riots by the “normal” people breaking out in DC, NY, or LA now, do they? Once the American people wake up from the stimulated, party hangover, and realize that they were force-fed a bunch of “BS”, and there isn’t a future worth living for their remaining years, nor for their children in the US, THEY WILL RIOT!

    The Dec. jobs number was bogus – don’t believe the lie. Unemployment fell a few tenths because more people gave up looking for a job. There may have been added low-paying. retail “holiday jobs” in Nov. and Dec., but they’ll soon disappear. The feds are over-stating the real unemployment rate for the reason I just stated. They want to avoid civil unrest at all costs right now.

    Keep pacifying the “sheeple” with food stamps, extended unemployment benefits, and a false sense of security, and we, the “elite” can continue ripping off the country, and sucking off the “sheeple” – selling them lies about the artificial stock market bubble, and the “improving” employment picture. When these fed “survival” benefit crumbs run out soon, WATCH OUT! The SWHTF!

    Smart individuals will have already been preparing for this coming economic catastrophe. How? By saving their cash, hoarding silver and gold, and becoming as commercially independent for their basic necessities as possible. Avoid buying luxuries and non-essential items. Grow, store, and prepare your own food. Store fuel and water too. Save for a cheap piece of arable land in the country. Apply for a passport. Avoid at all costs debt, and start living as if the Greater Depression had already arrived!

    Most of all, DON’T BELIEVE THE LIES!
    This is how you’ll survive the 2011-? next Greater Depression.

  • lostinmissouri

    From ZeroHedge

    U.S.O.F.C.: the United States of Organized Financial Crime. The Status Quo is dependent on a Financial Mafia for its wealth, and it is loathe to surrender it. What happens if fraud and misrepresentation of risk is expunged from the U.S. financial system? In President Bush’s memorable phrase: This sucker’s going down. There is a fascinating disconnect between the “law and order” society ceaselessly depicted on TV and the realities of the American financial system, which is now totally dependent on lies, fraud, embezzlement and misrepresentation of risk. Remove those and the system implodes.

    The whole system has been taken over by Banksters. There is no return to justice…prepare for the worst.

  • Dave in Scenic City

    If it’s as bad as you predict, perhaps it would be better to seek out and live at Ground Zero. As born again Christians, how do you reconcile your recommendations with Matthew 6:26? I’m just askin’….

  • dede

    good prospects ahead! read all about it here

    http://www.presstv.com/detail/159260.html

  • http://survivalrealestate.com T.J. Jackson

    I have been in the survival mode for a long time. We have watched the situation deteriorate more and more each year. I believe that we are on the edge of the cliff and it will only take a little push to usher in the chaos. At this late date the wisest advice for the city dweller is to seek out like minded people and try and form some kind of community that can and will work together. There is little time left to gather supplies but it is far better to have a few extra supplies than not. Keeping in mind that there are only four things needed for survival; air, water, food and shelter. This is obviously an over simplification but the information is out there if you but look around. If you are wise, wealthy and interested, check out the web-site, survivalrealestate.com.. Remember, the future belongs to the prepared.

  • A Dodgy Bloke

    Get ready it’s going to a long sick twisted ride.

  • http://www.planorperish.com/ Gutter Economist

    If you have the financial resources, use this month to acquire a one year supply of food, a one month supply of water, supplies required for infrastructure failures, andpre 1965 US silver coins.

    http://www.planorperish.com/?page_id=233

  • Gary2

    Michael Niman, Tax the rich! Cold Type, January 2011. How can we salvage our democracy? A media analyst at Buffalo State University suggests the perfect slogan for our sound-bite political age.
    http://www.coldtype.net/reader.html

    MY SIDE IS WINNING!

  • Steven P. Cornett

    Gary2:

    MY SIDE IS WINNING

    And isn’t that the problem? Especially given who at the top of “your side?”

    The global elite have been fighting your war against property and tradition for a century, and it is their pull that is causing our country to go into bankruptcy. They’re the ones that create foundations that promote the murder of our unborn children, the stealing of our property (which their minions can develop later). They’re the ones that create the regulations that stifle small to mid level business and co-operative development while enriching themselves with guaranteed market share.

    Even if you tax the “rich” out of everything, the ones at the top will happily give it up for power, which is their real craving. Look at Ted Turner, Bill Gates and Warren “I’m giving away half my wealth” Buffet, and then look at what they’re trying to build with their “charity”.

    It’s not without reason that Robert Minor, nearly a century ago, posted this picture of Wall Street’s real reaction to Marx, and it isn’t what you think:

  • Caribbean Lion

    Compost all your leaves, kitchen scraps, grass clippings, and manure from human and animal sources. Plant fruit & nut trees and berry bushes. The berry bushes will bear the first years while the fruit trees become established. The compost will be ready in a couple years to enrich your vegetable garden soil. Meanwhile, raise rabbits to mulch your fruit trees with organic bunny droppings.

    Victory gardens were essential to American survival during and after WWII. The time has come to provide four ourselves. Anyone left looking for a handout will be at the mercy of the evil crooks who are driving this nation into the ground.

  • a cruel accountant

    1 and 2 Stop all federal and state hiring including the military. Stop extended UE. Cut the pay of senators, representatives and the president by 1% every year until the budget is balanced.

    4 and 5 Those jobs that have been sent oversees are not good paying jobs anymore. That is why they sent them oversees. Eliminate minimum wage.

    8 Eliminate all taxes on bank accounts, dividends and cap gains for those in the lowest 3 tax brackets.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    Gary2 in Wisconsin: the uber-rich White Shoe Boys are definitely going to be “taxed” hard in the future, although it won’t necessarily be by the IRS. It will be what I call The Desperate People Doing Desperate Things Tax (DPDDTT), which is imposed in rough-and-tumble Third World countries like South Africa and Papua New Guinea. And this “tax” is collected at gunpoint or knifepoint by poor, hungry, desperate people who resort to things like carjacking, home invasions and kidnapping. Arianna Huffington, who isn’t exactly poor, has been warning that becoming a Third World banana republic will be bad for the uber-rich neo-feudalists in that they will be living with armed bodyguards behind iron gates—in other words, prisoners in their own homes. That isn’t a fun way to live, but it’s a fact of life if Caracas is the place one calls home and even the cops are helping the thugs kidnap their wealthy victims.

    Arianna Huffington gets it, Gerald Celente gets it, a variety of people of different political stripes get it. But the neo-feudalists who declared war on the American middle class and got bailed out (The White Shoe Boys, as Celente calls them) with our hard-earned tax dollars don’t get it. What the neo-feudalist robber barons ARE going to get is The Desperate People Doing Desperate Things Tax. Hmmm, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea for the robber baron neo-feudalist White Shoe Boys to declare war on the American class and turn the former USA into the BRA.

    “When people lose everything and they have nothing left to lose, they lose it.”—Gerald Celente

    Indeed they do. And some of them collect DPDDTT, which is harsh, messy, ugly and no darn fun. I would much prefer to live in a country where DPDDTT is not collected. But it’s a fact of life in crime-infested banana republics, I’m sorry to say.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”—Bette Davis as Margo Channing in “All About Eve” (1950)

  • Bruce

    Figures Gary you are too dumb to know we are not a Democracy. But then someone like you Gary that is not really asurprise you still have not figure out the difference between debt and deficits those big words are hard to understand right Gary.
    Your side winning what the race to the bottom.

  • http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=318515515322 AgreeToDisagree

    Warning to Citizens of the World

    FOR GOVERNMENTS AROUND THE WORLD :

    While the infrastructure appears not much different, the technological levels have reached unbelievable levels, and thus the government needs to be HONEST alongside any with supposedly privileged knowledge that they would keep secret to control and suppress free enterprise and ultimately freedom of society and supress equality in man or to suppress those deemed too superior genetically and socially.

    “” There must be accountability and preventive laws as well as counter measures and Technology expositions made to the public as well as apprehension of criminals currently using such technologies to profiteer off ailments or attempts to destroy reputataion and subvert society as well. Make Malaysia a ‘Free Neutral Nation’ or you will find asylum seekers from all corners of the world suffering with no legal recourse from Human Rights Abuses by Psychotonics “”

    Hopefully the handful of free souls left or those who managed to corroborate evidence and experience as I did will be able to create new and protective laws via landmark cases as I now work upon to ensure the freedom of society and freedom of mankind.

    Anwar and Saiful, Rais Yaatim, Prince Saud Abdulaziz Bin Nasir Al Saud, the Catholic Priests overcome with lust for children, I strongly believe that due to your strong religious and family upbringing and even some of us due to our station, political beliefs and political alignments, or threat of presenting too powerful a social or psychological, even psychic competition, or even intelligence, or even failed relationships with people having access to such devices – have been groomed into rape, murder, LGBT or even simulated mental illness specifically to weaken our voice. Let us seek justice and reclaim our reputations.

    http://www.examiner.com/human-rights-in-national/big-brother-watching-you-billboards-emerging

    http://myweb.cableone.net/mtilton/index.html

    http://www.examiner.com/conservative-in-midlandodessa/iran-breaks-u-s-monopoly-on-bio-implants

    (See even Iran has bio-implants already)

    http://fedgeno.com/links/secretly-forced-brain-implants-explosive-court-case-national-human-rights-examiner-com

    http://www.rense.com/political/weapons/nsa.html

    http://www.rense.com/general92/elcs.htm

    http://educate-yourself.org/dc/gwentowersbybyronweeks.shtml

    http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=318515515322&topic=16346

    http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=318515515322&topic=15792

    http://ongangstalking.blogspot.com/2010/11/deb-dupre-article-in-examiner-actor.html

  • Shhh…..

    Kate: PLEASE stop telling people what your doing. In fact tell them you were crazy, and your just going to be happy or whatever. The WORST thing you can do is blab about what you got! When TSHTF you will have everyone banging on your door. Your so called friends will be your enemies in a matter of minutes. You had better move and keep your distance as we are at warp drive to hell! Godspeed…….

  • http://www.pathtoasia.com rhea

    If you would just take a good look around you, everything is evidence that surrounds you. Depression and suicide rates are high; poverty has been kicking off tremendously, education has been declining, market is unstable, and the list goes on. And where does the government stand? Since government has never been honest to its people and its’ financial situation. We’ll see the rich getting richer and the poor getting poor.

    We help Americans find jobs and prosperity in Asia. For details, visit http://www.pathtoasia.com/jobs/

  • Ouida Gabriel

    Great comments today folks.

    Kate, you are right. The Encyclopedia of Country Living is a necessity. The Backwoods Home Anthology’s are good as well. It helps if people would also have medicinal knowledge. We have something like 1000 books in our home and I would guess that about half are for living off the grid.

    Ouida Gabriel

  • Kevin

    Wealth is not created by moving money from point A to point B. The actions to create jobs in the last couple of decades centered around this strategy of increasing the velocity of money as opposed to creating wealth. A good example are the casino’s being built. Increasing money velocity is not a replacement for wealth creation.

    Wealth is created by value adding self sustaining manufacturing where the finished product is worth more then the sum of the parts including labor. Food production and natural resource recovery are value adding productive wealth creators too.

    Those that spent every dime and went into debt knew better. Basically that is a childs strategy of economics living for today and not caring about tomorrow. The “well everyone is doing it” is reminicent of a teen being caught smoking and not a valid excuse.

    Common sense tells us to get out (or be out) of debt and save (preferably have saved)for the future. Many think gold and silver and many more think energy and food as investments. One can store a years worth of food but a worse case situation would logically tell us that this would go on much longer then a year. Like the job situation the plan must be self sustaining. Coming from second generation immigrant stock a garden was a given for my grandparents. My ansestors we’re into “organic gardening” long before the phrase was created; chicken droppings fed the plants and the plants fed the chickens. You would be amaized at how much can be produced on a small piece of land. The “Victory Garden” of WWII ended up producing 20% of the food in the US. I look at the McMansion lawns and flowers and think of how much useful food could be grown with equal effort and far less money. As a Great Uncle of mine used to say, “You no grow if you no can eat”.

    My personal opinion is that in the end we’re going back to a mid 1950s standard of living with a small 800-1000 sq/ft home, one older car and sufficient but not extravagant food. There will be some wealth redistribution bringing the bottom up and the top down. We may see a 1930s standard of living for a period of time prior to this.

  • Just Observing

    Like TJ, we have been living a self sustaining lifestyle for 25 years. Tucked in a fairly isolated valley in NC with limited access ( which could be reduced easily to NO vehicle access).

    We raise all our own meat ( cows/hogs/chicken/fish) and most of our veggies/fruits ( except ‘exotics’ like citrus/bananas ) Heat with wood ( it was zero last night, and the house was cozy ), can cook with wood, water is gravity spring fed, solar power ( 5kw system w/20yr AGM batteries ).

    Plenty of stored food ( I mean YEARS ), regularly can/dry our own harvests, and so on. Plenty of stored fuels, own sawmill on site, firearms/ammo/reloading materials, and so on and so on….

    WHEN this all comes down, and it will, we’ll be living the same. We will block access to our valley, and let the rest of you fight over the scraps.

  • HJ

    “If you’re flat broke, like a lot of people,save every pre-1982 penny you can get your hands on.” – mondobeyondo

    Excellent point!
    Now the problem..

    I’ve been doing this for some time,and my take of pre-1982 pennies only averages about 15%. You would think it should be a bit more,but the picking of the America’s carcass is well underway.

    Watch your step,manhole covers and sewer grating are starting to disappear in some areas of the country.

  • notbuyinit

    @ Victorian:
    Of all the comments I’ve read your’s most closely sums up the path we as a country need to follow if there’s any hope of remaining solvent and regaining our status as the republic that provides an individual his or her best opportunity for the pursuit of happiness and the attendant financial success. If only everyone “got it” as well as you seem to. I would only add that the power of the EPA with its restrictive regulations should also be reined in or abolished along with the depts. of energy and commerce. Unfortunately, the moderators of this site have allowed the commenting to deteriorate into a forum too often devoted to bickering between an uninformed sophmoric individual with little grasp of economic realities and those who needlessly waste their time with unecessary angry rebuttals.

  • The Beast

    Hmm, in facing global climate change (Be it caused by the enormous CO2 we pumped into the atmosphere, or the sun behaves “abnormally”), a shift in global power from the West to the East, etc, one factor we must embrace: Change. But is it “the Change we need?”
    The truth is the people in the West, particularly the USA, have been living beyond their means. One must always keep in mind the law of thermodynamics and its subsequent equilibrium, thus you must be ready to have many of your luxury (despite considered standard by the US and West’s culture) be taken away from you.
    Fellas, the world is sufficient to feed all of us. But no amount of resources in the realm of existence can fulfill the need of a single greedy person.

  • Kevin

    Americans are dumb sheeple, and they deserve their dreadful future. Unfortunately, I am an American, so I will go down with them. Sad but true….

  • http://www.osixs.org morpheus

    What economic stability. Let’s see, 103,000 jobs equals a .4 drop in the unemploymant rate.

  • http://WBDM Joe in JT

    Welcome to credit card rewards my name is Peggy?
    Yes I want to reclaim my rewards.
    My name is Peggy.
    YES I WANT MY REWARDS PLEASE.
    Calculating, one moment.
    Seven hundred plus two hundred minus calculating fee for a total of fifty cents. Congradulations.
    “HAPPY TIME”!!! Ding,ding!(creep with dark glasses and beard ringing the gong) Ding, ding.

  • Aurora

    The chances of Gary2 being a real person is exactly the same as the chances of the Rapture happening.

    You can pretty much assess how damaged by American propaganda somebody’s head is, based on which direction they lean with the above statement.

    I know there are a few that can see through this circus smokescreen (aka the BRA).

  • Kevin

    You another Kevin?

    Americans are not dumb. Americans just prefered to allociate their attention on sports and entertainment; hell things were good, jobs plentyfull. As the standard of living drops more of their attention will be diverted to, “where are we, how did we get here and how do we get out of it”.

    The system works. People just got lazy.

  • Spencer

    Easy solution to my financial problems: Tax gary2 HARD, spread his hard-earned and saved money to lazy ass Spence :)

  • Aurora

    Kevin: The standard of living already dropped a long time ago. Do you see them saying, “Where are we, how did we get here and how do we get out of it?” No…they still have their heads buried in the sand, pacified with TV’s, SmartPhones, and X-box’s. They love debt and consumerism more than they love their mothers.

  • http://www.cammather.com Cam Mather

    The first guidebook to read for preparation is “Thriving During Challenging Times, The Energy, Food and Financial Independence Handbook” a roadmap to increasing personal resilience. http://aztext.com/thriving.cfm

  • Kevin

    The drop in standard of living was masked with too easy debt for quite some time. Many people lived much better then their parents with loans they paid for for over a decade. Their parents did not have a McMansion. The collapse was like a drunk being splashed in the face with ice water. The public is just sobering up now facing the reality of their excess both public and private.

    The series of events as best as I can figure out went like this.

    1. Deindustrialization starts
    2. Industrialization moved to the 3rd world.
    3. Goods prices drop effectively masking the drop in personal wealth. You have less money but your still buying.
    4. Increased money M1 pumped into the economy without an increase in inflation due to #3 above. This helps feed the consumer driven economy as opposedto the manufacturing driven economy.
    5. Increased money coming back to the US in the form of loans dropping the mortage rates and boosting both home construction and home prices. This also feeds the consumer driven economy.
    6. A still to be explained unexpected dramatic rise in oil prices forces both business and individuals to buy energy or meet their ( this point excessive debt levels) obligations. They choose to buy energy.
    7. Defaults far above normal occur and the deck of cards comes falling down.

  • Kevin

    Oops

    4A. Banks / investment sector deregulated allowing a massive conflift of interest to become legal along with unsecured loans packaged and sold as secure investments. A disaster waiting to happen when default occurs (#7).

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