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Is America About To Reach A Breaking Point? Anger Grows As Unemployment Benefits Get Cut

Breaking PointIn America today, there are close to 50 million people living in poverty and there are more than 100 million people that get money from the federal government every month.  As the middle class disintegrates, poverty is climbing to unprecedented levels.  Even though the stock market has been setting record high after record high, the amount of anger and frustration boiling just under the surface in our nation grows with each passing day.  And now extended unemployment benefits have been cut off for 1.3 million unemployed Americans, and it is being projected that a total of 5 million unemployed Americans will lose their benefits by the end of 2014.  In addition, as I have written about previously, 47 million Americans recently had their food stamp benefits reduced.  The conditions for a “perfect storm” are certainly being created.  So how much longer will it be until we see all of this anger and frustration boil over in the streets of our major cities?  Is America about to reach a breaking point?

If you think that the title of this article is “alarmist”, you probably have not been paying attention to what has been happening over the past few weeks.  For example, a 600 person brawl broke out at at movie theater in Jacksonville, Florida just the other day…

Five teenagers were arrested when a 600-person brawl broke out in a Florida movie theater’s parking lot on Christmas night.

Described by police as a “melee,” the fight occurred around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday outside the Hollywood River City 14 movie theater in Jacksonville when a group tried to storm the theater’s doors without purchasing tickets, police said. Several had rushed an off-duty police officer working as a security guard.

The officer “administered pepper spray to disperse the group, locked the doors and called for backup, following protocol,” said Lauri-Ellen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Soon after the pepper spray was used, “upward of 600 people moving throughout a parking lot about the size of a football field began fighting, disrupting and jumping on cars,” she said.

And a “flash mob” of “400 crazed teens” was so violent that it forced a mall in Brooklyn to shut down just a few days ago

A wild flash mob stormed and trashed a Brooklyn mall, causing so much chaos that the shopping center was forced to close during post-Christmas sales, sources said Friday.

More than 400 crazed teens — who mistakenly thought the rapper Fabolous would perform — erupted into brawls all over Kings Plaza Shopping Center in Mill Basin on Thursday at 5 p.m., sources said.

The troublemakers looted and ransacked several stores as panicked shoppers ran for the exits and clerks scrambled to pull down metal gates.

In addition, the release of new Air Jordan sneakers caused mini-riots and brawls to break out all over the country just before Christmas.

So why is all of this happening?

Of course people will come up with all sorts of theories to explain these outbreaks of violence, but what pretty much everyone should be able to agree on is that we are seeing levels of anger and frustration rise to very dangerous levels in this country.

Right now, there are approximately 6 million Americans in the 16 to 24-year-old age group that are not in school and that are not working either.  What that means is that we have an alarmingly high number of very frustrated young people that do not have anything better to do than to cause trouble.

In some of our largest cities this has become a massive problem.  In fact, quite a few major U.S. cities actually have more than 100,000 “idle youth” living in them…

Just look at some of the nation’s largest cities. Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Riverside, Calif., all have more than 100,000 idle youth, the Opportunity Nation report found.

But the Obama administration says that this should not be a problem.  In fact, the Obama administration tells us that the unemployment rate has been steadily “declining” and that there are plenty of opportunities for everyone.

Of course that is a giant lie.  Just before the last recession, about 63 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  During the recession that number fell below 59 percent and it has stayed there ever since

Employment-Population Ratio 2013

So the notion that we are experiencing an “employment recovery” is absolutely laughable.

But most of our politicians appear to believe this lie, and it is being used as justification to cut off extended unemployment benefits.

And the funny thing is that by cutting off these benefits, it is going to make it appear as though unemployment has gone down even more.  Millions of unemployed workers that are being forced into the streets will now be counted as having “left the labor force”, and it is being projected that the unemployment rate could decline by as much as half a percentage point as a result.

What a joke.

A lot of the people that are having their benefits cut off are really hurting.  For instance, consider the case of 63-year-old paralegal Laura Walker

“Not all of us have savings and a lot of us have to take care of family because of what happened in the economy,” said Walker, of Santa Clarita, who said she has applied for at least three jobs a week and shares an apartment with her unemployed son, his wife and two children. “It’s going to put my family and me out on the streets.”

So what is she going to do?

Well, at this point she appears to be down to just one option…

“I just don’t know what to do, except pray.”

And of course the unemployed are not the only ones that have had their benefits cut.  As I mentioned above, all 47 million Americans that are currently on food stamps recently had their benefits reduced.  The following is an excerpt from a recent article by Mac Slavo

Earlier this year government benefits for nutritional assistance were reduced after the expiration of emergency legislation that was enacted following the 2008 financial collapse. Nearly all of the 48 million people receiving food stamp distributions were affected. The move led to warnings from food pantries and recipients around the country who said that the $40 billion in cuts would leave many American families without the ability to put food on dinner tables across America. According to Feed America, the roughly $29 per family that would no longer appear on their EBT cards will amount to about 1.5 billion meals in 2014.

The fact that government dependence has soared to all-time highs even in the midst of this so-called “economic recovery” is just another sign that the middle class is dying.  For years, middle class families have tried strategy after strategy in an attempt to survive, but now it has become apparent that the middle class is rapidly approaching a breaking point

Rising income inequality is starting to hit home for many American households as they run short of places to reach for a few extra bucks.

As the gap between the rich and poor widened over the last three decades, families at the bottom found ways to deal with the squeeze on earnings. Housewives joined the workforce. Husbands took second jobs and labored longer hours. Homeowners tapped into the rising value of their properties to borrow money to spend.

Those strategies finally may have run their course as women’s participation in the labor force has peaked and the bursting of the house-price bubble has left many Americans underwater on their mortgages.

And even though the Obama administration and the mainstream media have tried to convince us over and over that the economy is “getting better”, most Americans are not buying it.  In fact, according to a new CNN poll, 70 percent of all Americans believe that “the economy is generally in poor shape”.

As the economy continues to decline, not all Americans will respond to their desperate situations by getting violent.  Many suffer quietly, hoping that things will eventually turn around for them.  Unfortunately, the ranks of the suffering grow with each passing year.  For example, a recent CNN article discussed the continued growth of “tent cities” all over America…

The total number of homeless people residing in tents and makeshift homes is unknown. Many of these communities are small and hidden from public view, while others claim hundreds of residents and are sprinkled through major urban areas.

Some, like those tucked under roadways, are temporary and relocate frequently. Their conditions are vile, unsanitary and fail to provide refuge from storms and winds. Then there are communities, such as Dignity Village in Portland, Oregon, that have a more sustained presence. The 13-year-old “ecovillage” set up by homeless people is hygienic and self-sufficient.

Preliminary findings by The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty show that tent cities have been documented in almost every state, and they’re growing.

So how do we solve these problems?

Are there any solutions that could get us out of this mess?

Of course there are.  But don’t hold your breath waiting for any of them to be adopted.  In fact, the American people continue to express great support for the very people that got us into this mess in the first place.  For example, according to a Gallup survey that was just released, Barack Obama is the most admired man in America by a very wide margin and Hillary Clinton is the most admired woman in America by a very wide margin.

And the mainstream media will continue to tell all of us that “leaders” like Obama, Clinton, Reid, Boehner, McConnell and Pelosi can be trusted to get us out of this mess.

If you believe that, there is a bridge that I would like to sell you.

The American people need to stop having blind faith in the relentless propaganda that is being spewed at them through their televisions screens.  The pretty faces that you see “reporting the news” do not care about you and they are not watching out for your best interests.  The corporate-controlled news is highly scripted and it is pretty much the same whatever channel you turn to.  If you have any doubt that “the news” is scripted, just check out this video

  • Barry Sucks

    But this is the hope and change everyone voted for.

  • mosebym .

    Man has caused this on him self so its time to pay.

  • k

    unemployment benefits make up a fraction of that debt. And when/if you and i become unemployed, we might need them too.

    Govt is wasting far more money on more useless pursuits, from which people aren’t benefiting much. Unem benefits atleast benefit people.

  • mrsmurple

    We need to have a citizen lead rounding up of the corrupt bankers and massive, swift justice doled out by the population, like Iceland did, it’s only going to get worse, unless people rise up and dish out real justice soon.

  • Brian Harrington

    I say onething REVOLT period we can’t live like pansays and paficist I say storm DC and Wall Street

    • MadMoto

      And become the enemy and get put down like dogs… Great plan.

  • 2Gary2

    sounds like a little old fashioned wealth redistribution. The rich can share or live in a society where they are not safe. The choice is theirs. The rich will be taxed hard one way or another.

    • DiscouragedOne

      Maybe you are the one who is NOT safe.

  • Ed

    For those of you who voted for someone to steal from your neighbor, you’re getting what you deserve.

  • kenfrombayside

    Keep the pressure on your reps in congress. Giving 11 – 30 million (nobody knows for sure) criminal lawbreakers legalization pure insanity. Plus, they could sponsor their relatives; that would bring the total up to about 50 million aliens in our midst. Of course, these new citizens will vote for the vile democrats and their socialist giveaways. Most of them will be unskilled, uneducated, low IQ etc. Stop this outrageous bill now. Don’t sit on the sidelines.You are not wasting your time. The American people don’t want this bill. You have to do all you can do to stem the third world assault:
    – Contact your 2 US Senators and rep in congress.
    – after biz hours, leave a message on your DC rep’s voicemail. All US Senators have multiple offices so it would be a good idea to hit all of the. Remember, be civil and don’t threaten
    – go to NUMBERSUSA then go to the take action button. You will be able to send faxes to your 2 US Senators and congressional for free. (I also gave a $50 donation).
    – use Business Reply envelopes to state your opposition to America’s insane immigration policies and the proposed amnesty. Don’t give the parties any money.
    – join an immigration group like FAIR. Strength thru numbers!
    – go to the RNC & DNC sites to email them.
    – Use the media: call a talk radio program; write a letter to your local paper. If the media outlet is liberal, then talk about economic impact of massive third world immigration.
    – text everybody in your cell phone queue now.

  • Daddyotis

    Anon: Yes, by all means, pull out this “study” which showed Americans to be the hardest workers. Was this study carried out in 1950? If not, you are certainly quite mistaken. The (growing by the day) majority of today’s Americans are lazy, pampered entitled whiners more interested in paid sick days, paid “personal” days, “team-building” & “professional” conventions, union-organizing, or hanging out in HR trying to sue their employers over some nonexistent sex/race discrimination issue at any given moment than actually doing a full day’s work. Please let’s not hold up all present Americans as the type who you refer to 50-60 years ago, because they’re a completely different breed. Our employment expectations have increased so much in the last 50 years it’s no wonder businesses are looking to China and other countries to produce their goods, because all of these employment perks make American products more EXPENSIVE.

    • DiscouragedOne

      I think you also have it wrong, it is about 50/50, there are plenty of us who still have the old school work ethic.

  • coffeejunkie42

    This ain’t about God, allah, or the great Buddah. It’s about government of and by the people. Which we have NONE of. And the control they have over the everyday working and non-working individual. Dam let’s go loot a wal-mart if they don’t extend my benefits again. I want I want I want society has become a death trap / complete degradation of our society. Our politicians have destroyed our job markets. Our current and previous government has put into effect more laws and regulations than communist China. Doesn’t anyone notice.? Our schools suck, our jobs suck, our taxes suck..! We live in the most controlled nation on the planet but yet people are, well as you can read above out of control over stupid tv shows etc and material crap made in China that took your daddy’s job and will take yours soon as well. Were all screwed unless something breaks this current hellish downward spiral the lost America is in.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Yes, this is from “The Wizard of Oz”.

    In 1939, when the movie was released, the Depression still had not completely lifted. Times were still hard for many people. FDR’s alphabet soup of government programs did not end the Depression. It was World War II that finally ended it,

    The message in this short song, is for all of us.

  • DiscouragedOne

    Although I think long-term unemployment might make some people too lazy to look and others might be so depressed they just give up…the reality is unless there are jobs to get, how are you supposed to get a job?

    My state is one of the ones supposedly doing better, but the job market looks very depressed to me. Thank God I still have a job for now, I would hate to be looking.

    Until jobs are brought back to/created again in this country, you can’t just say get a job. Even people WITH training are having trouble finding one.

    Instead of our politicians pointing to “jobs” on the Internet which supposedly we have an abundance of and people just don’t have the skills to fill them, they should concentrate on bringing back/restarting manufacturing and making free trade FAIR.

  • DiscouragedOne


  • DiscouragedOne

    You could never work at your local fast food place and raise a family on it…EVER.

    It used to be if you had no white collar skills, you could get a blue collar job, you could work on the manufacturing line…those days are gone, those jobs are gone.

  • DiscouragedOne

    Although I am not arguing your point, if the job market was actually doing well, which it is definitely not, those kids would probably be working. It think bad conditions cause many to give up, and maybe they would not have ended up this way if there was more opportunity. Sure, you always have your bad seeds, but there is also always more crime where there is less opportunity.

  • DiscouragedOne

    Define “rich”.

    • TR

      Rich:Those that will be dealt with when the poor lose it.
      The poor will be easily identified by their numbers. Many of the poor will be have previously been in the middle class.

  • Bruce

    The first thng we have to do is stop being so poltically correct. Notice who the kids were in these “Riots”. Blacks are disproportionantly causing much of the carnage by youth. However, socierty is so afraid of being fingered as a racist that NO ONE will even mention the obvious. The denial of the obvious is sickening. I agree much of it is due to the econmoic woes of the poor but, we need to first state obvious and the facts!!!!

  • Bruce

    As I read the comments, Once again I see the thread and article has been hijacked by another religious debate. Is this a religious site or an economic site??? I understand that Michael is a Christian as are MANY on this site and that is fine but, the fact of the matter is that this site IS an economic site.
    Maybe one day we could have some comments on the subject at hand or the article itself. Ya need to be thankful I am not Michael because if I were I’d delete all the hateful,argumenative crap about religion.

  • nekksys

    Ok, so you decry the wealthy who have no faith yet you, yourself, claim to have no faith…

    So why aren’t you wealthy too?

    Here’s the full deal: It’s in Ecclesiastes (can’t quote chapter / verse at the moment but it’s there…):

    Does not God also make the sun shine on the just as well as the unjust?

    Again, faith and religion don’t equal out to high living.

  • DiscouragedOne

    If minimum wage goes too high, there will be even less jobs and less consumers if things like fast food are more expensive. Otherwise I agree with you.

  • Fred Montgomery

    Most places refuse to pay anything resembling a decent wage. It is almost impossible to live on 7 to 8 dollars an hour. And they wonder why poverty has skyrocketed.

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