The Beginning Of The End
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Say Goodbye To The Good Life

Say Goodbye To The Good Life - The U.S. Capitol With A Babylonian Holiday Tree In The ForegroundWill this be the last normal holiday season that Americans ever experience?  To many Americans, such a notion would be absolutely inconceivable.  After all, in the affluent areas of the country restaurants and malls are absolutely packed.  Beautiful holiday decorations are seemingly everywhere this time of the year and children all over the United States are breathlessly awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus.  Even though poverty is exploding to unprecedented levels, most families will still have mountains of presents under their Christmas trees.  Of course a whole lot of those presents were purchased with credit cards, but people don't like to talk about that.  It kind of spoils the illusion.  Sadly, the truth is that our entire economy is a giant illusion.  The extreme prosperity that we have been enjoying has been fueled by debt, and any future prosperity that we will experience is completely dependent on our ability to go into even more debt.  The total amount of debt in our economy is almost 10 times larger than it was just 30 years ago, but we don't like to think about that too much.  Most Americans are way too busy living the good life to be bothered with "doom and gloom".  Well, get ready to say goodbye to normal.  As history has shown us, no financial bubble lasts forever, and time is rapidly running out for us.

You know that the hour is late when even mainstream news sources start publishing articles with titles such as this: "Will 2013 Mark the Beginning of American Decline?"

That article appeared on Bloomberg.com the other day, and it was written by Simon Johnson, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund.  He is convinced that a day of reckoning is coming for U.S. government finances, and he seems resigned to the fact that we will not be ready when that day arrives...

"Sooner or later, it will be America’s turn to fall out of favor with investors and to see its own interest rates rise. It is hard to know when that day will come, or precisely what pressures the country will face.

Let me only venture one forecast: We will not be ready."

Other analysts are far more pessimistic.  For example, the following is what Gerald Celente said about the "bond bubble" during a recent interview with King World News...

Eric King: "Gerald, I wanted to take a look at this upcoming issue you have coming out. (In here it says,) ‘Bonds Away! The bond bomb is ready to explode ... threatening to make the real estate and dot-com bubbles, and even the Great Recession, look like market corrections.’ Can you talk about that?"

Celente: "Yes. This piece is being penned by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, the former Assistant Treasury Secretary under Ronald Reagan. And he is convinced that the bond bubble is about to burst. This cannot continue to go on the way it is. Everyone knows that the whole game is rigged, and so is this...."

"The whole game is rigged. It’s ready to go down, and Dr. Paul Craig Roberts believes it’s ‘Bonds Away’ in 2013 as the bond bubble explodes and brings about a financial disaster even worse than the Great Depression."

Eric King: "He’s saying here it’s a road to financial collapse that we are going to head down when this thing bursts."

Celente: "It is. Because the whole world is being propped up by these phony bonds and it’s going to collapse. It has to happen. Interest rates are going to start going up, and when they do the bond bubble explodes. You cannot keep interest rates at zero for this amount of time and expect anything other than disaster to follow."

For much more on all this, you can listen to another excellent interview with Gerald Celente right here.

Our politicians just assume that we will be able to borrow trillions upon trillions of dollars far into the future at super low interest rates, but that is a very dangerous assumption.

As I noted the other day, the average rate of interest on U.S. government debt was 2.534 percent at the end of November.  If that number just rose to where it was about a decade earlier we would be in a massive amount of trouble.

Back in the year 2000, the average rate of interest on U.S. government debt was 6.638 percent.  If we were at that level today, the U.S. government would be paying out more than a trillion dollars a year just in interest on the national debt.

But our politicians just keep borrowing and spending as if we could do this forever.

From the time that George Washington was inaugurated (1789) to the time that George W. Bush was inaugurated (2001), the U.S. government accumulated about 5.7 trillion dollars of debt.

During the first four years of the Obama administration, the U.S. government accumulated about 5.7 trillion dollars of debt.

How can anyone support this kind of insanity?

You can see an excellent video demonstrating the vastness of our national debt right here.  In the end, all of this debt will absolutely destroy the U.S. dollar, our economic system and the bright futures that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have.

As if all of that was not enough to be concerned about, there is also the threat that Wall Street could implode at any time.  Most Americans have no idea that Wall Street has been transformed into the largest casino in the history of the world.  The "too big to fail" banks are the ringleaders, and the derivatives bubble hangs over our financial system like a "sword of Damocles" that could fall at virtually any moment.

Everything will remain fine as long as the spiral of derivatives that our bankers have constructed remains perfectly balanced.  But if something happens and it becomes unbalanced and starts to collapse, the consequences could be unlike anything we have ever seen before.

A recent Zero Hedge article entitled "1000x Systemic Leverage: $600 Trillion In Gross Derivatives 'Backed' By $600 Billion In Collateral" detailed how there is barely any collateral backing up the hundreds of trillions of dollars of derivatives that are out there...

But a bigger question is what is the actual collateral backing this gargantuan market which is about 10 times greater than the world's combined GDP, because as the "derivative" name implies all this exposure is backed on some dedicated, real assets, somewhere. Luckily, the IMF recently released a discussion note titled "Shadow Banking: Economics and Policy" where quietly hidden in one of the appendices it answers precisely this critical question. The bottom line: $600 trillion in gross notional derivatives backed by a tiny $600 billion in real assets: a whopping 0.1% margin requirement! Surely nothing can possibly go wrong with this amount of unprecedented 1000x systemic leverage.

Our entire economy has become a giant pyramid of debt, risk and leverage.  At some point there is going to be a giant crash.  When that happens, people are going to become very desperate.

When people become very desperate, they often accept "solutions" that they were not willing to consider previously.

We need to learn some lessons from history.  This is exactly the kind of thing that happened back in the 1930s.

For example, an elderly woman named Kitty Werthmann is telling audiences what life was like in Austria back in the late 1930s...

"In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25 percent inflation and 25 percent bank loan interest rates."

"Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn’t want to work; there simply weren’t any jobs."

The Austrian people were really hurting and they were desperate for answers.  When Hitler came to them with "solutions", they were ready to embrace him with open arms...

"We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933." she recalls. "We had been told that they didn’t have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living."

"Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group – Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone in Germany was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria. We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back.""Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler."

"We were overjoyed," remembers Kitty, "and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed."

Sadly, America is already starting to go down the same path in many ways.  If you doubt this, you can read the rest of her account right here.

Right now, things are still relatively good in America.  Yes, there are a whole host of economic numbers that look really bad, but what we are experiencing right now is nothing compared to the horrific economic pain that is coming.

When our economy finally crashes, nobody is going to be able to press a button and restore things to how they were previously.  We will be told that we have to "adjust" and consider "new solutions" to our "new challenges".  Someday we will look back on the good life that we were enjoying in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and wish that we could go back to those days.

So enjoy the relative peacefulness and prosperity of these times while you still can.  A horrific economic collapse is on the way, and once it strikes none of our lives will ever be the same.

Santa Claus - A Symbol Of Our Materialism

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  • Ralfine

    Yes, you will not be ready.

    Just imagine one day there won’t be enough oil and gas for everyone. And you want to start to save oil and gas by insulation your home, only to find out, there are sooo many homes to do, and the prices for transport and production are through the roof.

    When you had time, you though the market will regulate it. Yes. You were right. The market will regulate it, but you won’t have enough money to participate, when nobody wants your plastic cards anymore.

    Start as early as possible, when you still have time to pay off your loans.

    • Penny Pincher

      There are other ways that don’t cost as much. Unlicensed secret rocket stove heater. (shh).

      Permaculture – might be hippie dippie but start on it now. Get a bike before price of gas goes thru the roof. Get a kids bike and make a bike trailer with the wheels and some wheel bolts and a pallet, then take a piece of conduit or rebar and bend it to make the rod to hitch it up with. Electricity is actually the easiest thing to live without compared to heat and cooking fuel, you don’t need TV or to be online all the time, and you can dehydrate your food with a solar dehydrator or smoke it on a rack over a low fire, or use a zeer pot to keep it fresh.
      Start a garden. Now is the time to buy seeds. Get heirlooms and you’ll always have seeds, if you plant them and save them from year to year. you can plant peas outside as early as February, potatoes in March. Start your tomatoes indoors. Lettuce, April. Corn, June. Learn the edible plants that nobody else knows are edible and you will never starve. Get a few rabbits or chickens. Rabbits are good for suburb dwellers, they don’t make noise and you can keep them in a hutch.

      • Ralfine

        The noise factor of the rabbits is interesting. Maybe that’s why they kept rabbits after the war. They can’t hear them, they won’t steal them.

        Pigeons are nice, too. Nice taste, nice size.

  • http://karmaeconomics.blogspot.com/ lavista4u

    America has already declined… it just has not made into main stream media and society. The sheeps in America need visual drama to confirm what alternative media have been saying for years.

    The visual drama would be economic crash, violence on the streets, food shortages, mini ice age etc etc….The majority in America believe in the old propaganda “You need to see it to believe it” crap.

    The smart ones have already left the shores of America. Now, all they have left is sheeps waiting to be butchered. They need “confirmation” “proof” backed by sound “economic theories” to be able to make a judgment. Its too late for majority of Americans to be saved now.

    • RICHARD

      Good post but do you believe Americans are going to be any better off any place else?????

      • Ralfine

        Mars would be great. Shoot em up.

      • http://GrowMap.com Gail Gardner

        They do, but I do not. I know people who left only to come back. This will be a global issue and there is nowhere on the planet where we can be truly free. There are very rural, remote areas that will be safer than cities and true safety has only one narrow path. Few will travel it.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZU37XPHGDAXDK5VTZIVJD45W2E Sorcha The Dark Eyed Elf

      Leaving a country when the going gets tough is kind of a cop out. And not everyone who remains is stupid, they simply love their home, the land they grew up in and don’t want to go to some unfamiliar place. Many simply can not afford that.

      The intelligent ones who remain will be the next leaders. They will be the ones to help America rise from it’s ashes. I would not be so quick to say the smart ones are leaving, just the weak, and lazy ones who don’t want to work for something better, they want it to already be there for the taking.

      • Ralfine

        Are you saying all those people who came to America in the last centuries were the weak and lazy ones who didn’t want to work for something better at home?

        • Rm Qkr

          Well, it was the Indians that got the $hit end of the stick wasn’t it?

          • Rm Qkr

            And of course the Africans that were imported as slaves to work for the people who came to America in the last centuries.

          • Ralfine

            Yes, capitalism needs slaves. Now the slaves are in China and Bangladesh.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZU37XPHGDAXDK5VTZIVJD45W2E Sorcha The Dark Eyed Elf

          Maybe I should not have called them weak and lazy, I was irate when I wrote that, since many immigrants did work hard to get here and worked hard after they were here. But America can still be fixed, a lot of the people that are leaving, are leaving because they see things going down the drain and don’t want to bother to help fix it. So what do they do, they go immigrate someplace else chasing paradise.

  • Tim

    “After all, in the affluent areas of the country restaurants and malls are absolutely packed.”

    Yes. The other night I was watching the local news, and they showed the parking lot of the Haywood Mall where people were doing last minute shopping. There were literally hundreds and hundreds of automobiles in the parking lot! It caused me to have doubts about what I’ve been telling others, but I quickly reminded myself that the facts and figures don’t lie.

    I don’t know how much longer they will keep this going. I am utterly amazed that they’ve kept it going this long. It has been about 10 years now since my “awakening”, and for that long I’ve tried to tell others about the difficult times that are coming. It must be in my blood. My maternal grandfather grew up during the Great Depression, and when I was boy I remember that he was always saying that another depression was coming. He didn’t live to see it. But had he lived to see the last recession (which we’re still in, in my opinion), he would have felt vindicated. Sadly, that was just a prelude to what’s coming.

    • DiscouragedOne

      I grew up hearing about the Great Depression as my Mom and Dad were children during it. I think it was a bit easier back then to adapt than it is for people now as we have so many luxuries, many of us don’t have gardens or chickens in the yard, or know how to make things from scratch. We will definitely have a harder time of it than our Parents/Grandparents did.

      • http://GrowMap.com Gail Gardner

        There is no reason you can not relocate, buy some chickens, plant food trees and gardens. Either do that or find someone else who can supply you. Learn to cook from scratch. Get 5 gallon plastic buckets with lids and fill them with bags of rice, pasta, beans. You can often get them from delis or donut shops for little to nothing. Store both what must be cooked that takes little space and what does not need cooking. Have alternative heating / cooking because utilities will not be consistently available – if they are on at all. YouTube videos are a great research for how-to info but the best way to learn is to find someone local who can teach you.

      • DownWithLibs

        You also have to consider just how dependent we are on those “luxuries”. Smart phones, e-mail, t.v.’s, electricity, medications, fully stocked supermarkets, etc. Yes, this won’t be your Grandpas Depression!!!

    • http://GrowMap.com Gail Gardner

      Do not doubt what is coming. Those out shopping believe the media spin and will be totally blindsided because they chose denial over reality. There was no recovery – only propping up the house of cards that sooner or later must fall.

      • DownWithLibs

        Right you are!!!

    • Mondobeyondo

      My grandparents also lived during the Great Depression. My mother and father were born in the middle of it. Quite an eye-opener, for people who came of age in the “roaring 20′s”.

      Those of you who went out and bought flat screen hi-def TV’s… enjoy it while you can. Because it will be the 2013 equivalent of a radio in 1933.

  • Tim

    We’ve had near-zero interest rates for four years now. The Fed can’t just set interest rates that low. They have to actively intervene in the market to make it happen, which is why the fourth round of quantitative easing will soon begin. How much longer can this go on? I don’t know. I guess until what’s left of the Dollar’s purchasing power evaporates.

    Since the lunatics in Washington, DC haven’t been able to reach some kind of agreement with respect to the so-called Fiscal Cliff, we’re forced to endure this theater of the absurd for a bit longer. What a shame that those worthless bureaucrats have to cut their holiday break short and return to Washington in order to try and prevent the nation’s plunge into the abyss. It’s not like anything they come up with at the last minute will change our fiscal situation.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Norman Rockwell is dead.The America he painted and portrayed is about to pass into the past as well. Sad, but true.

    Merry Christmas, everyone.

    • K

      Mondo, you are right. Merry Christmas to you as well.

    • kenfrombayside

      In ended with the passage of the 1965 “immigration act” that threw open the gates to massive non-white immigration. Did we ask for this change? NO.

      For those who oppose massive legal and illegal third immigration and, above all else, the changing demographics, you will have to speak out loudly: join an immigration reform group, like FAIR (strength thru numbers); when you get a political fundraising letter, return it, with no money, and state your opposition to the immigration tragedy; call a radio talk show to let thousands of listeners know we exist; write/e-mail your local newspapers to express your opinion (so far, three item were printed in The York Post); and, finally, fax your rep in congress. I am sure they delete e-mails concerning this subject very quickly. More can be done on this front. Do your own gardening; don’t go to restaurants. You would be amazed at how money you save.

  • Mondobeyondo

    We can’t even avoid the impending fiscal crash coming in the next week or so!

    • RICHARD

      I think your right on the money

      • shutup

        means nothing you morons! who cares if we go over the cliff!

        • Mondobeyondo

          You’re masquerading as Wile E. Coyote, aren’t you?
          Get ready for the plunge!
          At least the Road Runner had wings to fly. Meep, meep!!

          • DownWithLibs

            Must be nice to have your head buried in the sand!

          • DownWithLibs

            That was meant for “Shutup”. Sorry, Mondo ;-)

          • Mondobeyondo

            That’s alright :)

          • 2Gary2

            ASK MICHAEL

    • Jodi

      Yes, I think it’s going to come up quickly on us!

    • leeholsen

      i think the fiscal cliff will have some sort of agreement to staisfy wall st and be kicked down the road like has been done with everything else. i mean its a week away and the markets are still relatively calm, if it were such a big deal; the markets would be swining 100 points daily.
      looks to me that a real collapse is still 6 months away, minimum; govt debt and jobs outlooks are all worse and no market seems concerned.
      still going to be real bad when reality comes knocking and it is coming knocking.

    • Graham

      Things go far deeper than the “fiscal crash”. The latter is being kept as “headline news” to distract one’s attention away from other far more serious issues. What you are seeing in the mainstream is a highly controlled “game”. Turn your focus on bonds and derivatives.

      The rest will follow as the final stages are finalised and implemented, possibly as early as spring. Only those who lack good research skills will fall for the gun control, martial law part… but it will be done in such a manner that the public themselves will bring it about. Watch closely.

      Sandy Hook has their “prints” all over it, just like Aurora. Now that children have been “taken”, what have the headlines turned things into?

    • BugsBunnyJunior

      *Chews on carrot* Ehhh what’s up doc?

  • Scott Sepanek

    12-24-12 Dream: The bridge –

    Traveling down an old deserted road, many new sights & sounds.

    New buildings dotted old familiar streets. Landscapes were changed, a new channelling about to begin.

    The spheres of commonality a harvest to be wrought, finality to echo her voice.

    Will you be part of the old designs laid down in the corridors of time? was the voice that was heard.

    Shallow bridges built on water tepid & green.

    Many reached down for the legal tender that laid within. Oversized notes from China & the U.S. reflected as people walked by. They bent over the side of the bridge with an expectant glint in their eye.

    If only they could get as much as they could bending over fighting whatever tide.

    But behold, the oversized bills from China along with the smaller ones from the States, that looked so real but, were only fakes, had nothing on the other side only a blank empty page.

    So that when they looked back on that shallow bridge that day, they could only say – why did they stoop down for all those empty bills…

    -I know this is kinda deep :) But, it really was a dream I had last night. Just thought I’d unpack it for any that cared to listen. Scott

  • davidmpark

    BOOK OF GOMER PARABLE

    (This is a local preparedness parable written around 1973. It’s not very convincing to the locals anymore.)

    These are the generations of Gomer, son of Homer, son of Omer. And in the days of Gomer, Noah, the Prophet, went unto the people saying, “Prepare ye for the flood which is to come, yea, build yourselves a boat, that ye may not perish.” Now, Gomer was a member of the Church, and taught Sunday School and played, yea, even on the ward softball team.

    And Gomer’s wife said unto him, “Come, let us build unto ourselves a boat as the Prophet commandeth, that we may not perish in the flood.” But behold, Gomer saith unto his wife, “Worry not, dear wife, for if the flood comes the government will provide boats for us.”

    And Gomer did not build a boat.

    And Gomer’s wife went unto Noah and she returned saying, “Behold, Honey, the Prophet saith unto us, “Build a boat, that we may preserve ourselves, for the government pays men not to grow trees, wherefore the government hath not the lumber to build for you a boat.”

    And Gomer answered saying, “Fear not, oh wife, for am I not the star pitcher on the ward softball team? Wherefore, the Church will provide for us a boat, that we will perish not.”

    And Gomer’s wife went again unto Noah, and she returned unto Gomer, saying, “Behold, mine husband, the Prophet saith that the Church hath not enough lumber to build a boat for everyone, wherefore, mine husband, build for us a boat that we might not perish in the flood.”

    And Gomer answered her saying, “Behold, if we build a boat, when the flood cometh, will not our neighbors overpower us and take from us our boat; wherefore, what doth it profit a man to build a boat?”

    And Gomer’s wife went again unto Noah and she returned, saying, “Behold, the Prophet saith, build unto yourselves a boat, and have faith, for if ye do the Lord’s bidding, He will preserve your boat for you.”

    But Gomer answered his wife, saying, “Behold, with this inflation, the price of wood has gone sky high, and if we wait awhile, perhaps the price will go down again. And then I will build for us a boat.”

    And Gomer’s wife went again unto Noah, and she returned saying, “Thus saith the Prophet, build for yourselves a boat RIGHT NOW, for the price of wood will not go down, but will continue to go up. Wherefore, oh husband, build for ourselves a boat, that we may perish not.”

    But Gomer answered his wife, saying, “Behold, for 120 years Noah hath told us to build a boat, to preserve us from the flood, but hath the flood come? Yea, I say, nay. Wherefore, perhaps the flood will not come for another hundred and twenty years.

    And Gomer’s wife went again unto Noah and returned saying, “The Prophet saith, he knows it has been 120 years, but nevertheless, the flood will come, wherefore, build unto yourselves a boat.”

    And Gomer answered her saying, “Wherewith shall we get the money to build ourselves a boat, for are we not now making monthly payments on our snazzy new four horsepower chariot? Wherefore, when our payments end, perhaps we shall build ourselves a boat.”

    And Gomer’s wife went again unto Noah and returned saying, “Behold, the Prophet saith that we should cut down on our recreation, and our vacations, and even give each other lumber for Christmas, that we might thereby get enough lumber to build a boat.”

    But Gomer saith unto her, “What a drag! Are we to cease enjoying life, just because we must build a boat?”

    Wherefore, Gomer built not a boat. But behold, one afternoon Gomer heard thunder in the sky, and he feared exceedingly and he ran, yea, even to the lumber yard to buy lumber. But behold, the lumber store was crowded with great multitudes, all seeking to buy lumber, and there was not enough lumber to be found for the multitudes.

    And on the same day were all the fountains of the deep opened, and the windows of heaven were broken up, and the floods came — and behold, Gomer had no boat. And as the water rose above Gomer’s waist, his wife saith unto him, “Behold, Honey, I told thee so!”

    — Author Unknown

    • DB200

      Good story. Thanks for sharing it.

      That reminds me about a saying I heard a few months ago:
      Noah’s ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic was built by professionals.

  • RICHARD

    I felt this coming all my life. I am a firm believer that history always repeats itself. There is a old saying, For those who don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it. Hold on, it’s going to be a ugly ride, because I believe were the Germany that came to pass after the first world war.

  • ken nohe

    Well then goodbye and good ridance!
    I arrived in Japan with the bubble and enjoyed 10 fantastic years. Then everything turned south and there has been no turning back. It will get worse? Yes, probably. Never mind, there are other values in life than materialism. Maybe it is time to rediscover them.

    • ken nohe

      Sorry, I was almost forgetting:
      Merry Christmas!

      • DiscouragedOne

        Merry Christmas!

  • Nexusfast123

    The ‘fiscal cliff’ is a bit diversion from other much bigger issues. The real elephants in the room are the Dollar Bubble and Derivatives Bubble.

    Interest rates will only rise in the US IF the Dollar ceases to become the ‘reserve currency’ for trading – interest rates would have to go up to make it attractive for investors to hold the Dollar.

    All commodities – oil and gas for instance, are traded in US Dollars so other countries have to ‘pay’ to hold dollars so this maintains the Dollar’s ‘value’. However, many countries are now trading bilaterally in their own currencies and it should be noted that Saddam, Gaddafi and the Iranians tried or want to trade oil and gas in currencies other than the US Dollar. WMD’s were never a threat to the US but threatening the Dollars hegemony is.

    If this shift occurs the impact inside the US would be unimaginable as all costs would rise rapidly and the costs of servicing existing debt would balloon. Living standards would collapse rapidly and it would not be possible to ‘print’ more Dollars as foreigners would not want to hold them.

    • Mondobeyondo

      They’re ALL bad. Fiscal cliff, dollar bubble, derivatives bubble, student loan debt bubble… Wanna see a nightmare come to life? Watch the bubbles pop! (hope and pray not at the same time together!)

      The dollar will not be the world’s reserve currency for long. Foreign countries are losing faith in our currency. Brace yourselves – this won’t be any ordinary roller coaster ride at Coney Island or Six Flags. Interest rates HAVE to rise eventually. The Fed cannot keep it at near 0% forever. When the rates do rise, that means the government has to pay even MORE interest on the interest! (You can just throw the principal out the window at this point! It’ll never get paid off.)

      Things are not as well as they seem on the surface. Looks good, smells awful.

      • WhereisJustice

        Sort of like rotten fish at Denmark?……….Never mind.

  • http://twitter.com/andywade andywade

    If you look after each other, you might get away with it. If you vote in right wing idiots who give away the store, like what we have done, you will be all be screwed. Don’t be like Europe – don’t jump to the Right!

    • otter1111

      You’ve got it completely backwards. Obama’s first 2 years were with complete democrat (i.e. left-wing) control. We had over a trillion dollar deficit in those years, and every year since he’s been in office. Those on the right are the ones who want to cut spending (although not nearly enough), but those on the left, including the media, will vilify anyone who even proposes cutting government spending.

      • Ralfine

        Those on the right had their chance in cutting spending when Bush was there. How much did Bush spend? 5 Trillion?

        He kick-started the spending avalanche.

        • otter1111

          That’s true. Under Bush debt almost increased 5 trillion in 8 years. Bush was not really a right-winger, he was a moderate. But under Obama, debt increased over 5 trillion in around 4 years, at over twice the rate! Obama and the democrats are completely out of control when it comes to spending.

          • Ralfine

            Exponential growth. Difficult to control. If Obama would really try to cut down right now, he’d be out of office within a year.
            I bet someone already has found some dirt on him, like the BJ for Clinton.

            So, if Obama makes only 5 trillion new debt within the next 4 years, that would be a step in the right direction.

            If Obama would cut down on military spending, he’d have a nasty accident, or an infection. Influenza, west nile virus, whooping cough, measles, new corona virus. Quite common stuff right now.

      • DiscouragedOne

        Actually I hope we get to the point where we all start voting 3rd party en-masse, that would wake up the 2-party who think they have a stranglehold forever.

    • Hambone

      It’s been a loooooong time since we’ve seen anyone right-wing with any kind of authority in this country. I’d say the 80′s was about the last time I can recall.

      And I lived in Europe from 76-80 and again from 92-96. Your crack pipe must be working overtime if you think they are right-wing.

      Please don’t blame our problems on right-wingers. Blame republicans, fine, but this hole we have dug ourselves has not been at the hands of conservatives.

      Real conservatives in leadership positions have been muzzled and/or castrated.

  • Orange Jean

    Oddly enough… yesterday, my first reaction to reading this post was … well, it depends on what you call “the good life!” I woke up this morning and I still have the same reaction.

    IF we can manage to have enough food, clothing, shelter… to survive, does it matter we don’t have a lot of “stuff”?? I think not!

    I had the advantage of having lived through a horrible wildfire that destroyed 1/3 of the town I lived in. When it was over, I had a terrible sense of guilt for owning stuff I didn’t need. I left the area, and when I left… I gave away most of it. I’ve since accumulated more “stuff” but it doesn’t own me. Although maybe it’s time to declutter and give away more stuff, I think.

    I wish my health was better, I wish I lived closer to family and friends… but I try to count my blessings. So today I’ll reflect on the facts that:

    - I have food, clothing and shelter

    - I have a job in a bad economy

    - my health may not be perfect, but it could be a lot worse.

    - my family and close friends may not be near, but at least I’ve got some

    etc.

    Yes, there are problems in our economy and in our nation. But I’d strongly recommend you give focusing on the problems a break for the day… and yes…

    Have a Merry Christmas! ~Orange Jean

    (PS Michael, I am not criticizing your blog or this posting… really, I do appreciate what you do and am glad you fixed it so we can post without joining Disqus)

    • K

      Merry Christmas, Orange Jean. For me the good life was never about things. It was about a Country, where even the poor had food and shelter. Where people could have different opinions, without wanting to kill each other. Where being an American, came before politics. This is the good life I see slipping away.

      • Orange Jean

        Excellent reply… I am glad there are people like you still around. I did have a pretty good Christmas too… at least I got to talk with most of my family on the phone. My son and his wife also sent me a very cozy new nightgown and my back’s started feeling a lot better.

    • Rm Qkr

      Do you have a gun? Because those who believe they need more stuff will be eying up your stuff.

      Best wishes

      • DiscouragedOne

        We are well prepared on that score, but I hope we never need it.

      • Orange Jean

        Nope, not that I object to them but I doubt I’ve the strength (somewhat disabled) to use one properly. I doubt I’d survive a major overthrow of the economy, but so be it. I do rent a house from a former Marine, who also lives on the farm… and the place is kind of a mini-Marine base in terms of the few other people renting here…. so that makes me feel somewhat protected.

        Can’t imagine though that anyone would be all that interested in my stuff… .since most of my “stuff” are things like papers I need to sort through and throw out the trash, clothes that don’t fit any more, DVD’s I bought for $5 and don’t plan on seeing again – not exactly theft targets (I don’t even own a TV, of any sort…), and my yarn and fabric stash. If somebody wants to steal my old somewhat falling apart computer when the power’s out is free to. If the power was still on, so be it.

        • DownWithLibs

          “If somebody wants to steal my old…computer when the power’s out” Have you not seen the footage of people stealing electronic goods in New Orleans after Katrina? I’m guessing someone will want it. :)

          Have you thought of going to a gun store or a shooting range where they will work with you on choosing a firearm that may work for you? Just a thought.

          • Orange Jean

            Thanks for the suggestion Downwith Libs… but there are a few select things in my history that might preclude me from being able to do that. BTW I’m quite conservative now, but I used to be a hippy back in the late 60s, early 70s.,, it wasn’t a fun time for me and I changed my ways.

            I prefer to stay under the radar when possible, so I’ll keep the details vague (but I bet you can make some educated guesses). I learned my lesson and have stayed out of trouble for the past 40 yrs or so and plan to continue that, but even so.

            Even if that were not the case, my arthritis is so bad (neck, back & knees) I have trouble standing up more than maybe 15-20 minutes and have to use a cane. Do you think it’s possible for anyone to handle a gun safely with one hand only? I figure I can always wack someone with the cane if they get too close… that won’t help against a gun I know, but in that case my troubles would likely be over, right? (I actually know a handicapped woman who hit a mugger with her artificial leg and he was hurt so bad he started yelling for help!)

            And I am counting on my various “country boy can survive” neighbors… to step up to the plate and help protect me. (ALL the men in my local area have guns, most are hunters, one even hunts with bows and arrows – most were in the military, one is a retired cop). I can barter a bit for this with my knowledge of gardening, cooking, sewing and such… which they all know I do.

    • DiscouragedOne

      I agree Jean, I think we should be ready, but we should also enjoy the time we have. I have more stuff than I need and we can easily cut back if we need to do it, so we have a heck of a lot to be thankful for. This year, I gave more to charity than I ever have before, and I even gave blood…want to do what I can.

      • Orange Jean

        Good points!

    • Mondobeyondo

      What you need to survive – the bare essentials:

      - Food
      - Water
      - Shelter of some type (house, tent, apartment, etc)
      - Smartphone
      - Protection (firearm, bow and arrow, karate, etc)
      - Health/medical/hygiene supplies (as they apply to your specific needs)
      - Clothing

      Yes, I’m kidding about the smartphone.

      • Incitador Lusitano

        You forgot one (huge!) thing:
        – People that you trust (to help you and to be helped by you)

        It is almost as important as a smartphone :) )

      • Hambone

        The smart phone comment was very funny.

        I think a great number of people would read that (minus the last line) and think you were right on.

        I don’t one one. I don’t want one. I’ve seen these devices turn a lot of good people into morons or rude morons.

        While I don’t wish for a catastrophe, it would be a small relief to see the 3G/4G network in this country collapse. The Amish and I would be the only ones who still knew how to communicate.

      • Graham

        “Yes, I’m kidding about the smartphone”

        .. damn, I need to redo my own list now. Ah well, there should be enough room in the backpack for another iToy so I can at least watch some conspiracy movies until the battery runs out.

        Mondo.. can you add a solar charger, a walking powered dynamo and a device from Kershe when they “appear”. The movies I watch are about a month long.

      • DB200

        How about a Bible?

    • 2Gary2

      too bad you are a still a conservative. Think about how much better your life would be if you were capable of critical thinking.

  • Ameen

    Right on!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Stefan/100000971661397 Richard Stefan

    Michael:

    How many Millions of people are NOT paying their mortgage every month and No one, not even Obewanna will step in force banks to evict them… pronto?

    ————
    Of course a whole lot of those presents were purchased with credit cards, but people don’t like to talk about that.

  • Ralfine

    Well, he’s partly right.

    He is right where he sees the problem in DEBT, too much CONSUMPTION and DEBT-FINANCED CONSUMPTION.

    The problem is that the “consumers” do not have enough money for consumption, and therefore need debts.
    Another problem is consumption of bombs, missiles and ammo by the government and making debts to cover those costs.

    my Solution:
    Cut consumption, divert the money to investment. BUT, not to financial markets. With investment I mean investment in private property. Solid construction, flood-proof, storm-proof, winter-proof.
    Investment by the government: sewage, railway, hospitals, schools, reduction of energy dependency on imports.

    That is the savings Schiff is referring to. If people put their money just into savings accounts, the banks will just blow it.

    2nd part of the solution: increase the wages, especially the lowest wages to create financial security, and to create an incentive to get away from welfare.

    If you cut the CEO salary by 1 million, you can increase the salary of 1,000 by 1,000. And that million will flow right back into the economy, whereas the CEO will deposit his money on the Cayman Islands.

    (Won’t happen anyway, there is no such thing as a capitalist patriot or patriotic capitalist.)

    • mistywindow

      In the end it all comes down to the voters. As long as the majority of them don’t understand the problems they’ll continue to vote for short-term bribery. It’s the same in my country – New Zealand – and throughout the Western democracies.

      It isn’t going to change without a revolution because the 0.1% control the media, the education system and the politicians.

      Just look at Obama. Whilst chanting “Yes we can!” he was already lining up the people who caused the financial meltdown to take over the Fed, the Treasury, et al. He was in the pocket of Wall Street and the (privately owned) Fed before he was even inaugurated.

      Basically, we’re stuffed.

      Until the unwashed masses wake up to reality.

      • http://GrowMap.com Gail Gardner

        Actually, voting does nothing any more if it ever did. It is an illusion that makes most believe they “did their part” and never do anything else. All the politicians are bought and paid for and the elections are even rigged, so voting is not the answer unless you can take over your local area and start dismantling government bottom up. The 0.01% control everything so unless we can throw them all out at once and reform government we can’t change things at a federal level – which is moving toward a NWO level.

    • wayne680

      “Won’t happen anyway, there is no such thing as a capitalist patriot or patriotic capitalist.”

      Once upon a time there was such a person – his name was Henry Ford. We need a few good men like him today.

  • http://twitter.com/MigotaBoneir ike

    I call Bull S***

  • El Pollo de Oro

    Peter Schiff definitely knows what he’s talking about. He is at the top of my “people to listen to” list along with Gerald Celente, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, Katherine Albrecht and Alex Jones.

    “The U.S. dollar is going to be a bottomless pit.”—Peter Schiff

    “The dollar isn’t just going to go down. It’s going to collapse.” –Peter Schiff

    “The Fed is never going to produce a vibrant U.S. economy by debasing the dollar, running money off the presses. We need less money printing, we need higher interest rates, we need more saving, we need more production, we need more exports—and what the Fed is doing is inhibiting that from happening.”—Peter Schiff

    “The cost of living is going to go through the roof.”—Peter Schiff

    “We have a completely screwed up economy because the Fed won’t let the market correct the damage.”—Peter Schiff

    “Currency debasement, by definition, is hyperinflation—and hyperinflation is now in the cards. Peter Schiff agrees.”—Max Keiser

  • Sam

    Happy Christmas Michael! It’s astounding that Obama has spent $5.7 trillion as much as the amount from Washington to W. Bush. If 2013 does bring the financial collapse then we need to be making our prayers.

    • 0UTS1DER

      I don’t see how so many people on this site can possibly blame Obama for this? Surely you understand the concept of interest. And another thing no one mentions on here, and I am yet to see an article about, is the structurally higher repricing of oil. That’s why the US will slide further and further – the entire US, lifestyle, economy, everything, it’s all built on the foundation of cheap oil, which is never coming back.

      Wake up Americans. This is so much larger than left and right wing. The whole show is going more and more to the right, they are boiling the frog to warm you up for the police state!

  • Jared16

    Hello Michael!

    Thank you for another great article! If people do no or want to understand what you are writing about, then they will deserve the pain which is coming. Granted most people paycheck to paycheck do not have the proper resources to get prepared. But to blow it off as if it will never happen is a bad move. Now I want to ask you, Porter Stansberry on his web advertisement is saying that there is a big oil boom coming in the US. We are going to be energy independent by the year 2020. He says that the government will make big money with taxes and oil drilling permits. Add that to huge quantities of natural gas in this country. Will this be enough to delay the economic collapse or even prevent it? What do think?

    • Brian Marvin

      As long as obama DOES NOT stop this nat gas/oil boom, we will be able to delay, but NOT stop the inevitable. One thing to remember though is that a ‘black swan’ event -(such as a derivatives blow out that Michael has talked about extensively ) can happen at any moment.

      • Jared16

        Are you joking? He will take credit for it!

  • DiscouragedOne

    “Will 2013 Mark the Beginning of American Decline?” Is he serious? I seem to remember “the beginning” being in the 70s.

    • Mondobeyondo

      The 1970′s was the end of the beginning. We’re heading straight into “prime time” now.

    • Hambone

      I’ve seen this quote popping up more and more, about how democracies can only survive for so long:

      “The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.”

      It’s pretty easy to chart the history of the US and see how it follows this path. Sadly, it’s also easy to see how we are somewhere between apathy and dependence.

      • http://GrowMap.com Gail Gardner

        I’d say many are already in dependence, others are in denial, and bondage is something we never really escaped from – we only bought the illusion that we were free. As long as people believe that driving, using your property, building a home, and traveling freely are “privileges” you have you beg from authorities and not rights we were born with there is no true freedom. In this world, there is no place to move to be free of oppression; the only escape is through the Truth setting you free.

  • DiscouragedOne

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too.

  • bill

    dont forget the scarest of all is debt will be paid off either by land,labor,or blood..take your pic but one thing you can bet your last dollar on is debt will be paid one of those 3 ways and anyone that dont think so is a fool….dont forget its your kids blood..why do you think other countries arnt trying to pull off this stupidness.

  • http://GrowMap.com Gail Gardner

    Hello Peter, What we need to do is so far from what people believe is normal that it will take this crash for most to realize it – and for them it will be a very bad time. Many will starve because many city dwellers have no idea what real food is or how it is created. Propaganda has moved them all into cities where they are sitting ducks unable to be self-sufficient. Those whose eyes are open are making preparations and moving back to the land and creating small communities. They will be ok.

  • http://GrowMap.com Gail Gardner

    You are correct that we are already in a Great Depression – but we have not seen anything yet and those who have managed to maintain their standard of living so far are in deep denial. It will get far worse and affect even those who believe they are wealthy today. But they will continue to blame those who are down on their luck today and call them lazy and tell them if they only worked harder they would not be homeless or hungry. Then it will happen to them and only then will they finally realize how clueless they truly were.

    • DownWithLibs

      You can thank part of the denial on the main stream media propaganda. Anyone who does not yet believe that they have an agenda are living in a dream world.

  • Mondobeyondo

    “It’s the most wonderful time…. of the year…”
    Not for long, I’m afraid.

    • DB200

      You can also sing: “It’s the most horrible time of the year”. Because consumption and wining & dining have marginalized the real reason of X-mas, the birth of Jesus Christ, The feel good factor is the only thing that counts during X-mas. The same Jesus said by the way, that in the end of times – when he returns – it will be like in the time of Noah, when people where wining & dining, marrying and living their happy (selfish) life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-Hildebrand/615842334 Thomas Hildebrand

    Thus says The Lord: Did you think My wrath would tarry forever?! Did you think My judgment sleeps?! Are My eyes closed to all these atrocities committed upon the earth, day and night, without ceasing?! Are My ears also stopped from hearing?!… Lo, I have seen and I have heard!

    My face draws near to this earth!…

    My eyes are filled with fire and fury!…

    My forehead wrinkles, and is set hard against you,

    O inhabitants of the earth!…

    For it is time!

    It is time to shake the cities of men by measure, and to bring up wrath from beneath! City by city shall be punished… One here and another there. Behold, it shall come upon them suddenly, and men shall fear, and with great perplexity shall their hearts fail!… A great trembling shall now come upon all people!…

    THE TERROR OF THE LORD IS AT HAND!…

    It shall come in swiftly, and you shall not know from where it shall come!

    It shall come upon city after city, without warning!…

    For I have caused the earth to become angry. Lo, the depths of the earth tremble at My nearness, and soon this planet shall rage!… It shall rage against you, O deceitful generation! It shall devour and consume this generation!… Scouring from the earth all man has made!

    The Scriptures do not lie! And My prophets speak, yet the people refuse to hear!… They will not listen. Even My own people will not believe, yet their belief is not at all required… For My will is set, and can in no wise be turned back! The truth of My Word stands! It speaks throughout the generations and echoes throughout eternity!…

    For I AM THE LORD!… YaHuWaH!…I am EL Shaddai!…And I shall surely perform all I have spoken.

    I shall not cease, nor relent, nor shall I be turned back from My purpose!… The kingdoms of men must die! And the evil of men must be destroyed!… All must be wiped away!

    Peoples of the earth, you have hated life!

    You have polluted MY garden!

    DISEASED AND AWFUL GENERATION,

    YOU HAVE DESTROYED THE GARDEN!…

    And so I am come to cleanse! And to wipe away!…

    I am come down!…

    MY FACE IS VERY NEAR!

    Do you feel the heat of My wrath, O ignorant and vain peoples?!… You retain no knowledge at all! Only greed and wickedness, wickedness upon wickedness, passes before your eyes without ceasing… And oh how you love to have it so!

    DEAD GENERATION! Your hearts are stone!… Day after day you build up wrath, the vessels overflow! Day by day, the bodies are stacked up in heaps! Day by day, the unborn are slaughtered!… Whole generations of people murdered without cause! Multitudes of innocent cast off as refuse!… Yet you think Me too harsh, and My punishments too severe, My judgments unfair?!

    I AM THE LORD, AND THIS IS MY EARTH!

    THESE ARE MY CHILDREN!…

    All you see, from the ground beneath your feet

    To the farthest reaches of the universe, is MINE!…

    And I shall do as I please!

    I shall do according to the counsel of My own will…

    For I am God!

    Therefore, O peoples of the earth, because you have slaughtered the innocent and murdered your neighbor… Lo, you have even made for yourselves laws, that all may do their pleasure in unrighteousness and perform evil at their leisure… So then shall I also declare MY Law, and it shall fall hard upon the backs of all nations!

    Yea, I have put forth the decree, and hasten to carry out your sentences, O peoples of the earth! And what is the sentence, you ask?… Look upon the slaughtered innocent, look upon their torn and broken bodies… Behold how they are torn in pieces! See how their blood pours down and their limbs are strewn about!… LOOK!!! Look how they are scraped out of their mother’s womb!… Look upon the works of your hands, you evil and most wicked generation!… LOOK UPON YOUR WICKEDNESS!!! LOOK UPON ALL YOU HAVE DONE!

    THE TIME HAS COME!

    Hear the WORD of the LORD spoken to THIS modern generation!

    free at:

    TrumpetCallofGodonline . com

  • http://www.facebook.com/ray.jovic Ray Jovic

    Michael,

    Can you shed some light on those people who are instigating these coming calamities? What is their plan to survive the coming economic disaster? Where will they live, eat, sleep? They are not going to be safe unless they move into their space ship hotel…

  • WK

    Michael, I know the purpose for your blog but honestly are you never positive about anything? That has really got to be old being down and sour most the time, especially on Christmas. Yeah I know we have problems, but do your advertisers insist on your putting out content constantly? While I do not expect 2013 to be a top year with the economy, things are not going to just fall in as you and these other pundits constantly carp on. This is a slow motion train wreck but I agree the strength in our economy has been cored out. Corporations are terrible stewards to lead the way back, with their shallow and selfish perspectives on cutting costs where possible to benefit the investors. But others are not leading right now aswell.

    But even so, I can recognize when good news happens with the economy, can you?

  • Mondobeyondo

    Left wing.. right ring.. what about the rest of the chicken?
    You know.. thighs, breast, drumsticks…

  • Mondobeyondo

    What happened to our country?
    I’ll let the band Switchfoot explain:

    “We were meant for so much more than this, but we lost ourselves….”

    It goes deeper than that, but for now, that phrase will suffice.

    Yes, I can play that song on guitar. As soon as I get it back from the pawn shop.

  • Mark

    Colin, it is nice that you are spending your money on animals, but since I have heard your complaints about how little money you recieve from the taxpayers, do you really think that you have extra money to spend on an owl. I don’t refer to buying materialistic goods, but how about food.
    I find it interesting that many people will spend money on animals care, when they have a hard time taking care of themselves.

  • davidmpark

    Never had the good life anyway. Can’t miss what ain’t yours! :)

  • Justin Case

    Gerald Celente is a nut who rides on the coat tails of great men and proves the old adage about a fool and his money still holds true today. Anyone who would listen to anything that gerbil has to say is an even bigger nut than Celente. That goofball has made thousands of predictions all of which never came true. Oh sure he claims to have “predicted” the crash of ’87 but that was over a QUARTER OF A CENTURY AGO, time to move on. Is today the day, well Celente is it? Perhaps tomorrow or the next day. If you predict that everyday will be a crash then one day you will be right.

  • ian

    Lordy lordy! I am going to save this article and compare to the exact same article that will be posted next year on this same sight proclaiming doom and gloom in our economy. And the year after that, and the year after that …..etc…….etc……ad infinitum…….Looks eerily similar to the articles i read last year about how horrendous 2012 was going to be. Yet 2012 turned out to be an awesome and hopeful year for almost everyone i know. Not to mention the fact that i have never had so many job offers as i have this year. 2013 is going to be simply amazing. Quit living in fear and start living in the mindset of bounty, and things will look better.

  • DownWithLibs

    So losing our position as the worlds reserve currency means nothing to most people?

  • DownWithLibs

    This is true about the pharmaceuticals. We have had major shortages all over the country (not sure about the rest of the world) for the last couple of years…seems to just be worsening.

  • whitechildren

    The WHITE GENOCIDE Mantra is a rebellion against the wholesale nonwhite
    invasion of white lands, a rebellion against the brutal attack on the political
    rights of white people,a rebellion against the theft of the inheritances of
    white people, and a rebellion against the cruel assault on the posterity of
    white people:

    “Africa for Africans, Asia for Asians, White Countries for
    Everybody
    Annihilation by Assimilation
    Every white country on earth is supposed to become multicultural
    and multiracial. EVERY white country is expected to end its own race and end
    its own culture. No one asks that of ANY non-white country.
    The Netherlands is more crowded than Japan, Belgium is more
    crowded than Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve the RACE
    problem by bringing in millions of third-worlders and assimilating and
    intermarrying with them.
    Everybody says the final solution to the RACE problem is for EVERY
    white country and ONLY white countries to bring in the third world and
    assimilate with them.
    Immigration, tolerance, and especially assimilation are being used
    against the white race.
    All this immigration and intermarriage is for EVERY white country
    and ONLY white countries.
    Anti-white is called anti-racist, but it leads to the
    disappearance of one race and only one race, the white race. The real aim of
    anti-racism is to wipe out the white race or make it a minority anywhere it
    exists.
    It is genocide.”

  • Orange Jean

    Peter,

    I always enjoy hearing from people in other places, sharing their perspective. My father’s family was also from Eastern Europe (Poland). I thought your English was pretty good, and I didn’t have any trouble understanding you.

    One thing you may not be aware of, one of the reasons we have a lot of places that have no public transportation – is the distances. My understanding is that Europe is generally densely developed. Here in some parts we have a lot of land that is arid (in the west), used for agriculture or heavily forested or mountainous that it not suitable for dense villages or cities. Try looking at “Google Earth” to get a good sense of what the US is like.

    For example, where I live now (eastern Virginia, not far from Jamestown, VA… just the other side of the river) has been in agriculture for decades, many of the farms are 500+ acres, actively farmed… and most of the other land is either dense forests, very swampy, or both. It is about 12 miles from my house to the nearest grocery store, and 35 miles to my workplace. There is a very small bus system, doesn’t have routes that go to where I need to or during the times I need to and would be totally inadequate for my commuting needs; I would not be able to get to work without a car.

    I also lived for 4 yrs in the mountains of San Diego County, the town I lived in (Alpine) was not easy to walk in because it was built from blasting off the tops of several mountains. Even the apartment complex I lived in was too steep to walk for most people; like climbing mountains. I did have a closer grocery store, since I was “in town” but no public transportation and again 35 miles from work.

    I have lived in cities, just got tired of them and I don’t think a city is a good choice for preppers either. Hope that helps you understand a bit more why we are such a car culture. If it wasn’t for cars, to live in many places in the US you’d need a horse or a mule. ~Orange Jean

  • DownWithLibs

    Peter, glad you could join our conversation!

    Be careful about talking to Americans about giving up their cars. You would think some people are talking about their kids, but they are really talking about their beloved autos! :)

    As far as rampant materialism, you hit the nail on the head. Everyone needs to have everything RIGHT NOW. And, no, they can not wait a week…or two. ;-) We have people living on the “dole” and taking from those of us who work. They have bigger houses, nicer cars, bigger t.v.’s, etc., and most feel that they are “owed” simply because they were born! So, yes, this is a giant problem. Then there is the Gov. spending, most on stupid and (should be) defunct programs.

    It would seem that you know more about our economy than the average American High School graduate!

  • Mondobeyondo

    Fiscal cliff: Looming on the horizon, no immediate solution in sight.
    Debt ceiling: We’ll hit that on 1/1/13, but Congress will raise it. They always do.
    Prepare yourselves for a Horrific New Year, fiscally speaking.

    None of the politicians (except Ron Paul and perhaps a couple others) will tell you the truth. The truth is, the U.S.A. is broke, it can not possibly meet its obligations to its citizens and its foreign lenders (Ni Hao! Where’s our money?) – and is going down fast. And the government still spends money like there’s no tomorrow, because there IS no tomorrow!!

    The entire thing is being held up and functioning with government duct tape. We can’t afford to upgrade our infrastructure (roads, bridges, sewers, etc.) China has a high speed rail system. So do France and Germany. The U.S. still has Amtrak. Gotta love that 1971 technology! North Korea can’t feed its own people, but they sure can launch a missile or two.

    We are not keeping up with the rest of the world. China recently bought an aircraft carrier. Your average American citizen will say, “Yeah, they only have one aircraft carrier, and we have several .We still rock!” But the very fact that China could buy an aircraft carrier is a sign of their emerging dominance in Asia. They won’t stop there though. They have much bigger aspirations in mind (they are already buying up U.S. properties! Gasp!!)

    • DB200

      Who needs trains if you have got cars and aeroplanes? At least that was the idea in the 70s and 80s. From my own experience I can tell you that high speed trains are great to travel with. But without governmental subsidies or public investments it is not economically feasible.

      So you need a directive government that is willing to take down NIMBYs and spend on hardware instead of social benefits. For France in the 80s the investments made sense to create employment and help the ailing industry, for Germany the reason was the environment (and of course, a posh technology project to brag about and help the German industry), for China the main reason is to get access to new technology.

      So the key words for high speed trains are: employment, industry, technology and environment. Can a US politician win votes with these key words?

  • 2Gary2

    tax the rich and spread the wealth–let the good times roll which they will after we TAX THE GD RICH AND SPREAD THE WEALTH

    • DB200

      Tax the rich and reduce the deficit, that would be a good idea.

      • 2Gary2

        by taxing the rich and spreading the wealth we would end the deficit issue as people would have money to spend and that would create jobs.

        • DB200

          I understand your reasoning but the money would (partially) be spend on imports, not US produce.

          • 2Gary2

            True, however, we need to start somewhere.

  • 2Gary2

    the debt is a trumped up right wing crap in order to try to cut earned benefits such as ssi etc.

  • MeMadMax

    Meh.
    Holiday sales are already back down to 2008 levels. Since we are now a “service based” economy, that is bad news. The fiscal cliff is, depending on how you look at it, either a good or bad thing. It’s bad if you want to keep the money train going, with complete ignorance of the inevitable fiscal doom(due to the economy being based on fiat money), it’s good if you want to stave off the inevitable for a little while longer. It will reign in gov’ment spending a little, but only for a little while. The system is built to self-destruct, and will eventually.

  • DB200

    Michael,

    You are spot on with you comment. You can also approach it from another angle and reach the same conclusion:

    If everybody in the world consumed like you Americans do, we would need approximately 4.5 globes instead of the one we live on. This is not sustainable in the long term (unless of course we either reduce the world population or keep the majority very poor under slavery conditions).

    So sooner or later we realize that in the future we have to do more with less. Less cars, more walking or cycling. Less convenience, more do-it-yourself. Less loans, more saving, etc. etc.

    I will repeat it one more time:
    Limitless economic growth in a limited world is a dead-end street and unsustainable. And all the debt creation going on the past 30 years is based on limitless economic growth. Sooner or later the economic growth stalls and debt is immediately a problem.

    And as for interest rates: I would welcome a 7-8% interest rate as a saver to compensate for inflation and currency risk.

  • mizzoula

    SOBERING ARTICLE.

  • Peter From Ohio

    From Peter In Ohio
    To my distant cousin in Slovakia. My grandparent came here from Slovakia …they were in shiping….they raised ships and grew cabbages. When they came here they were allowed to work in the coal mines or do the laundry for the wealthy. Today we give newcomers to this country free food, free housing, free utilities and free medical care; they need not work a lick. There are those who believe that this will last forever….if only the greedy rich will relax their grip on their money. The rich believe otherwise. Keep watching for signs as to who is right. I believe very little anymore, unless I see it with my own eyes. I wish my czech/slovak were as good as your english. Dobra rano!

  • http://www.facebook.com/johnny.shiloh.79 Johnny Shiloh

    Talk about the elites mystifies me. What is to be gained by reducing America to third world status? They will have to live in the world they create, and they will suffer the result too. But do they think the masses of humanity will take it lying down. No, no, no, they will rebel en masse and everything will go up in flames.

    So what is it that they want anyway? The Dark Ages again? A world with no freedom, just tyranny? To utterly destroy the American Constitution and all of our remaining liberties? You can be certain that it is not the realm of light and godliness guiding these despots. They are extremely selfish, and the misery and oppression they seek to bring upon humanity will fall upon their own heads.

    Do they take God into account even a little bit? They should, because He will not stand by while they oppress the great masses of mankind! He has the destiny of individuals and of nations in His hands, and He will deal with oppressors to their face. He laughs at them and sees that their day is coming.

  • INTJ Reality

    Short: Debt, urban areas, derivatives, central control, gasoline engines, electric grids, grocery stores, fiat currency, social contract, empire, collectivism.

    Long: Gold, silver, bullets, Speyside 30+y.o. scotchs, biodiesel engines, pressure cookers, wood stoves, productive farmland in defensible terrain, water wells, sheep, chickens, tamworth hogs, honeybees, heirloom breeds and seeds, kevlar, ballistic plates, secure communications, home-built drones, EMP generators, competent medical personnel, machinists, mechanical/chemical/electrical engineers, Mongolian style yurts and bug out plans, Liberty, Individualism.

    Hope that can of water and MRE’s can get you through..

  • Mondobeyondo

    …We are borrowing from our poor overseas cousins by having them continue to prop up the dollar and our national debt so we will be able to continue to purchase our stuff, most of which we do not even need. Only in the United States would someone charge an ugly sweater that no one will ever wear, on his or her Visa card and then finance it for the next 10 years – long after it has been donated to Goodwill!” — Larry LaBorde

    Ah yes, the perils of a consumer-driven society.

  • BuzzKill

    Collapse is still 6 months away out to 9 months. Buy ammo, booze, soap for barter. The guns are gone before xmas. None left. Parts too. Ammo will be next so get more than you need for guns on hand.

  • WhereIsJustice?

    Actually Ronald Regan tried to fix the economy in the 1980s and there were 3 big steps he wanted to do but the Congress only allowed him to do one of them.

    Canada did the right thing in the late 90s by shrinking their government from the top down and cut millions in spending for 5 to 10 years and now they are just above the *Red* where the USA continues to pump millions into social welfare for people who are not even disabled. (mentally and physically)

    If this were Sim City 4 game the USA would have lots of buildings looking *black* and each budget report would be looking grimmer and grimmer.

    The roads would be filled with pot holes due to the *road department* budget being shredded and angry protesters in front of the police station shouting and causing riots………..wait that’s already happening with Occupy Wall Street whom destroy parks and cause 100s of thousands worth of damage.

    never mind.

  • WhereIsJustice?

    One of the things Ronald Regan wanted to do was cut back Government unions which are a totally different thing then worker unions that protects workers from mean bosses.

    Government unions only help the same government person get the same position over and over due to caving into the demands so they can stay in power.

    Also a lot of our money is spent by teachers retirement funds where they get payed as if they were working a full 8 hour a day job even though they are technically unemployed.

    That’s like you and me getting payed the same wages at home as if we were working.

    Jobs already have a retirement fund planned the moment you start work and do not need to pay you as if you are working there.

  • http://GrowMap.com Gail Gardner

    I agree with you completely. People who live on fixed incomes and those who had no credit to maintain their standard of living already know what reality is. Those who had enough money to cover the inflated prices – so far – are going to find out inflation will eat your lunch no matter how much you’re making unless you truly are wealthy. (Many who THINK they’re wealthy are only wannabe rich in the same way most working class Americans have always claimed they were middle class when they definitely were not!)

  • http://GrowMap.com Gail Gardner

    We need to be aware of how much propaganda is around and stop thinking corporations are led by the good guys who have our best interests at heart. Everyone should check into who supported the Nazis and who sends weapons to both sides of every “conflict” and stop calling these people “good men” when they’re psychopaths who consider most humans disposable.

  • VenkatChari

    A very gloom picture. But I don’t like pessimism. Pessimism makes people inactive and fear complex-ed! So try to be optimistic. There may be some solution in some corner of your gloomy atmosphere. Search for that instead of talking of the gloomy picture.

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