The Beginning Of The End
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Somebody Should Start The ‘Stuff Costs Too Much’ Party

Stuff costs too much.  Seriously.  Every time I go to the grocery store these days, I am absolutely horrified by the prices.  I try not to buy anything that is not on sale, but the problem is that I am discovering that the new sale prices are the old regular prices.  So now paying what used to be "full price" is supposedly a "good deal".  The other way that they are trying to hide rising prices is by shrinking package sizes.  As if we wouldn't notice that a box of 21 garbage bags is now being sold for the exact same price that a box of 25 garbage bags used to be sold for.  It is one of my pet peeves.  I feel like I am in the middle of some bizarre movie entitled "The Incredible Shrinking Dollar".  Sadly, I am far from alone.  There are millions upon millions of American families that are seeing their expenses continue to rise even as their paychecks remain the same.  But neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney seems very concerned about inflation.  In fact, the Federal Reserve, QE3 and Ben Bernanke were not even mentioned in any of the three presidential debates.  So I think that somebody should start the "Stuff Costs Too Much" Party.  Inflation is a tax which is destroying the value of each dollar that we hold a little bit more every single day, and the American people deserve to know the truth about what is going on.

In this day and age, it simply does not pay to put money into long-term savings.  When you finally pull your money out it will have far less purchasing power than it originally did.

Way back in 1950, you could buy a first-class stamp for just 3 cents and you could buy a gallon of gasoline for about 27 cents.

Wouldn't it be great if you could still get a gallon of gasoline for 27 cents?

But we don't have to go all the way back to 1950 to find low prices.  All we have to do is go back ten years.

A recent article by Benny Johnson detailed how the prices of many of the things that we buy on a regular basis absolutely soared between 2002 and 2012.  Just check out these price increases...

Eggs: 73%

Coffee: 90%

Peanut Butter: 40%

Milk: 26%

A Loaf Of White Bread: 39%

Spaghetti And Macaroni: 44%

Orange Juice: 46%

Red Delicious Apples: 43%

Beer: 25%

Wine: 60%

Electricity: 42%

Margarine: 143%

Tomatoes: 22%

Turkey: 56%

Ground Beef: 61%

Chocolate Chip Cookies: 39%

Gasoline: 158%

So what will the next ten years bring?  Unfortunately, we are already being told that it looks like inflation is going to start accelerating.  A recent CNBC article started this way...

Consumers will have to dig deeper into their pockets next year to pay for costlier health care, more expensive grocery bills and higher taxes, an extra drag on the country's already slow-moving economy.

That is not what millions of struggling American families need to hear right about now.

Their bills just keep going up but their paychecks are not keeping pace.

Have you noticed that almost everything that we spend money on just keeps rising year after year?

According to USA Today, in some areas of the country water bills have actually tripled over the past 12 years.

Has your paycheck tripled?

Electricity bills in this country have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.

Winter is a really bad time for power bills.  Millions of struggling families will set their thermostats very low this winter and yet will still be slammed with absolutely outrageous bills.

Of course just about every type of insurance is going up faster than the overall rate of inflation.

Have you gotten a price increase notice in the mail lately?

I have.

The price of health insurance in particular has soared in recent years.  Health insurance premiums increased faster than the overall rate of inflation in 2011 and that is happening once again in 2012.

All of these price increases are pushing many American families to the breaking point.

But Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke insists that there is very little inflation right now, and he has government statistics to back his assertions up.

Of course the way that the government calculates inflation has changed more than 20 times since 1978, but Bernanke never mentions that.

According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if inflation was measured exactly the same way that it was back in 1990, the official inflation rate would be about 5 percent right now.

The American Institute for Economic Research says that inflation is even high than that right now.  According to them, the real rate of inflation was about 8 percent last year.

Meanwhile, household incomes are actually going down all over America.

Even though we are supposedly in the midst of an "economic recovery", median household income has declined for four years in a row.

Overall, median household income has declined by more than $4000 over the past four years.

Incomes are going down and prices just keep on rising.

So how are families adjusting?

Well, many of them are spending less.  One survey found that 62 percent of all middle class Americans have had to reduce household spending over the past year.

Others are going into increasing amounts of debt in an attempt to survive from month to month.

Inflation has become a way of life in America.  But what could make it a whole lot worse is if a nationwide crisis suddenly disrupted the normal operation of the economy.  If that happened, we would see price gouging happen literally overnight.  Just check out what one article that was posted on CNBC said happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy...

Four dollars for a can of coke. Five hundred dollars a night for a hotel in downtown Brooklyn. A pair of D-batteries for $6.99.

These are just a few of the examples of price hikes I or friends of mine have personally come across in the run-up and aftermath of hurricane Sandy.

So you might want to use your extra dollars right now.  They are never going to be more valuable than they are today, and in the event of a major disaster they might lose value very, very rapidly.

Unfortunately, millions of American families don't have any extra money at all.  Many of them have been slowly worn down by this economy and are now just desperately trying to survive.  The following is what one reader shared in a comment following one of my recent articles...

There is one thing you should know about poverty: it is crushing! It crushes the spirit first and foremost, then it crushes the idea of dreams because people in extreme poverty don’t see a way out when they barely have enough to eat let alone get ahead in life.
So, by offering a hand up to those in poverty, we relieve a bit of that pressure…just enough so that their basic needs are met. Once those needs are met, those in poverty can start to see “LIGHT”, something hard to see when being crushed by the pressures and hardships of poverty.

I know of what I speak; I was once living an upper middle-class life and enjoyed all the trappings of material and financial successes.

However, an accident caused that life as I knew it to end in a moment. I’m no longer able to work and for the past few years have barely been able to feed myself.

When I became homeless in 2010, I felt suicidal. My lowest moment was holding a sign asking for help very near the 6 bedroom home I once lived.

Don't think that it can't happen to you.  What would you do if you suddenly lost your job and could not find another one?  Would you be able to survive?

Just because you are living a middle class lifestyle today does not mean that you will be in the same position a year from now.  The truth is that everything in your life can change in a single day.  The following is from a comment that one of my readers named Kimberly left recently...

My husband lost his job of 20+ years to cut backs roughly 3 years ago, 8 months later his health declined of which I attribute to the depression he went through at not being able to find employment. I went back into the work force, or I should say tried… I’m a nursing assistant by trade but no nursing homes are hiring because the families are pulling their loved ones out because they cannot afford to keep them there, hospitals are not hiring because what jobs there are in my field go to nurses awaiting a nursing job and I’m sure my age (53) plays a role in it too. The closest hospital to us just announced it will be closing it’s doors on the 31 because despite it’s tries it cannot afford to remain open under Obamacare.

We have in the last couple years armed ourselves with a gun, started a garden and now do serious couponing to stock pile for emergencies which seem more and more each day are coming. We have dropped from a life lived on 65,000 – 75,000 a year to living on under 23,000 a year. We have made cut backs in every area of life and hope for the best.

We go to bed at night worried about tommorow, next week and next year .. you feel anxious all the time and panic attacks come more frequently with each passing day. I love the Lord with all my heart and I know He is in control, but am just human and one cannot stop the feelings that wash over them.

I have children and grandchildren and am scared to death what faces them in the coiming years. We all lived in within miles of each other until my children lost their jobs and could find nothing here in Mobile, Al. so they moved to Texas and have found at least some work… something is better than nothing you know. We are hundreds of miles apart now and rarely get to see them as gas is also so very high. I have a grand daughter I have never met because we cannot afford the trip and neither can they.

The U.S. economy has never even come close to recovering from the last economic downturn.  If you doubt this, just read this article.  Now the next economic crisis is rapidly approaching us.

If you think that the economic pain and suffering in this country are bad now, just wait.

We haven't seen anything yet.

Things are going to get much, much worse.

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  • Washington

    Who Is Gary Johnson? And Why Is the GOP So Mad at Him? By Joel SteinNov. 01, 2012
    http://swampland.time.com/2012/11/01/who-is-gary-johnson-and-why-is-the-gop-so-mad-at-him/

  • http://snippits-and-slappits.blogspot.ca/ nooralhaqiqa

    Just remembering. My Dad made about $25K a year in the 1950′s & 60′s. There were 5 kids. We lived in a huge old home in the best part of town. We had a forest lakeside home as well. Every night dinner served promptly at 6 was meat and potatoes stuff, very healthy (although, sorry Mom, the veggies were overdone by today’s standards). Four boys … all well fed on this stuff. Impossible by today’s standards even if the salary did keep up with the cost of living.

  • Markus

    I lived better in 2006 on $2,500 per month than I live today at $3,800. In 2009 we got a COLA announced in 2008 and then no raises for two years, last year they anounced a 3.2% raise for this year, and this year a 1.7% raise for next year, in those four years I have lost 30-40% of my living standard through inflation. And the ironic part is that though I am drowning in inflation I cannot really get away with bitching about it or getting political over it because there are millions and millions who have no income at all. If you complain about how much you have lost in the last few years to inflation they just shoot you a hateful stare because they have lost also, and some have lost all.

    Many say this is why they are voting against Obama (as opposed to FOR mittens) and I feel so sad for them, if they win they lose even bigger than they have in the last four years, and I almost wish it would happen because it would be so bad that it would be for the GOP as 1932 was, the end of republicanism for at least a generation. Sometimes people have to learn the hard way that hate and theft, and greed are just not good for a nation.

  • http://livinginmyvan.com Maureen

    If you want to survive the coming collapse, do without all the extras. I live in my van instead of working three jobs to stay housed. If I work 3 jobs, I will destroy my greatest asset. My health. Without your health, you will drown for sure.

    PS. I don’t blame people for filing bankruptcy. Banksters get bailouts. Why not us?

    PPS. Got extra money right now? Buy guns, ammo and Birkey Water Systems. Don’t be a ninny, blowing all your money on upscale food and booze. Think ahead!

  • Washington

    Voting for a Third Party Candidate Is NOT a Wasted Vote By Washington’s Blog Global Research, November 02, 2012

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/voting-for-a-third-party-candidate-is-not-a-wasted-vote/5310420

  • Washington

    Where Do Your Candidates Stand? Campaign for Liberty sent surveys to candidates running for Congress and State Legislator. Find your state below to find out where your candidates stand.

    http://www.campaignforliberty.org/surveys/

  • Louise in MO

    I have been reading about the economic collapse on the internet for about FOUR years. I am weary from the worry and the concern. I have the country skills that my grandmother taught me when I was growing up. I’m more then grateful for those skills.

    But I am so concerned that I do not enjoy life much at all. I’ve been warning people these past four years and they think I’m nutty. Is anyone else tired of worrying?

    • RM

      You’re worrying TOO MUCH. Just get things in place, keep up with your plan, and go about your life. You’re doing yourself a disservice by worrying that much, especially since nobody know WHEN things are going to fall apart. And, who cares if people think you’re a nut? I quit warning people simply because of that. I’m going to do what I can for my family, and anyone who thinks I’m a nut can just starve. Tough, but people that can’t see this stuff coming and won’t listen to your warnings are out of luck.

  • Paul

    If there is no cheap energy left, just use less energy.

    Germany has an energy tax since the 80s.
    Since then energy saving measures resulted in many new companies and jobs – triple-paned windows, solar collectors, heat pumps, insulation systems, water retention systems, a whole range of different types of bricks, etc.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoclaved_aerated_concrete

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_house

  • Jane B

    Let’s remember one simple fact. Berancke & CO WANT inflation AND WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN! Got that?????? If you don’t like this, TOO BAD. Remember that when you vote tomorrow. The European nanny state is being created. Don’t complain if you vote Obama. You asked for it.

  • Harsh Reality

    Not trying to sound cruel, I’ve been there, but this is what Americans deserve for putting MAMMON and HOLLYWOOD before their own self-respect, values, and most of all, their SPIRITUAL INTEGRITY and GOD.

  • ConcernedAmerican

    I wonder what out forefathers would have to say now? They worked so hard and sacrificed so much to distance themselves from Europe; only to have some future Americans try to emulate Europe. Our forefathers did not like the class system or kings, so they wrote “All men created equal.” Our “y” was changed to “i” in American English. Americans eat with their right hand, not their left. They wanted people to keep the fruits of their labor; not pay outrageous taxes. Our forefathers changed everything they could think of to distance themselves from Europe, and identify themselves as Americans.

    Now I hear too many Americans say “This or that is what the Europeans do.” Look at how our education level has declined since the US did what Europe was doing; by incorporating the Prussian school system into what used to produce the most brilliant independent thinkers, and inventors; the American one room schoolhouses/the American school system. So, if our school system and degree system in the US is from Prussia (Germany), and you look at how well that is working by the drop out rates, literacy rates, student loan debt, and our production of mathmeticians and scientists now, and where the US now ranks in the world for education (compare it to the numbers before the Prussian school system was put in place in the US) why would Americans want any more of Europe’s systems? Here is some reading: http://www.fff.org/freedom/0795n.asp

    Why do some people seem to have such a strong desire to change the US into Europe? If I believed Europe had all of the answers, and I liked the way Europe did everything, I would pack up and move there. Personally, I want alternatives, choices, and freedom. I want to live as an American; just as our forefathers wanted for themselves and for their descendants.

  • ConcernedAmerican
  • Washington

    David vs. Monsanto—The Story of How a Lone Farmer Prevailed Against One of the Most Powerful Companies on the Planet November 03 2012

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/11/03/david-versus-monsanto.aspx?e_cid=20121103_DNL_art_1

  • http://www.breastea.com Angela

    It’s pretty sad. I don’t know how many Americans can keep hanging on with the economy the way that it is.

  • Art

    Yes Louise you are nutty. Harsh: Mammon and Hollywood? Is that an intersection in LA? jane: it’s going to be hard to create a European nanny state here. Because we are in NORTH AMERICA, dimwit, not Europe. Get it?

  • http://www.moncler2012outlet.org moncler uk

    agree on your points about the basics of wealth building. Being frugal is good,and we will obviously see the benefits of saving in the small picture analysis.

  • http://www.moncler2012outlet.org moncler uk

    I agree there are risks to the economy. Flooding a few large banks and insurance companies with hundreds of billions in liquidity is a very bad strategy.

  • Washington

    Supreme Court Limits Remedies for Credit Card Privacy Violations

    http://epic.org/2012/11/supreme-court-limits-remedies.html

  • Andrew

    Ha. I’m sorry, but this inherent belief Americans have of “I’m American so everything should cost me less” had to end some day. Go and look at what other countries pay for their staples and other common products in comparison (remember to compare in relation to wage and purchasing power) and you’ll realise the rest of the world has done it tough since, well, forever. Perhaps this is just a natural alignment? I’m sorry, it’s a sad situation, but I feel no pity for a country that always assumed that everything is limitless and should cost nothing. Welcome to the real world.

  • Hannah

    Its not ok what is happening here. I am 23, I am married to an unemployed chef and massage therapist, and I have a wonderful little 4 year old. We live off of less than 100 a month (after 700 rent credit from my management job) The only reason we survive is because we have 300 in food stamps, but sadly next month I make to much to recieve them and we will be either not eating or we have to move to still have food. We are so desperatly poor, and on top of that the past year in order to survive I had to take out multiple credit cards, totaling our family debt to almost 200,000. Yep. How does someone who makes 100 a month pay that off? You got me. Bankrupcy is the most likely outlet. Why doesnt my family help you ask? well, my father, a 25 years in the Iron worker Union hard working man, just got slammed with a 50,000 medical bill because he had his gall bladder removed. Oh, yes he did have insurance! covered something like 8% of his bills. My mother? Oh she is disabled, but not qualified for disability, and hasnt worked for 10 years now. Lives with my Grandma, who cant afford her own bills, much less my mothers…

    My whole family is screwed out of the American dream.

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