34 Signs That America Is In Decline

The United States is clearly in an advanced state of decline.  Many people around the world (and even inside America) rejoice at this, but not me.  I mourn for the country that I was born in and that I still love.  Yes, the United States has never been perfect, but the Republic that our Founding Fathers started truly has been a light to the rest of the world in a lot of ways over the centuries.  Unfortunately, our foundations are badly rotting and our nation is collapsing all around us.  Many Americans like to think that the United States is greater today than it has ever been before, but the truth is that America is like a patient that has stage 4 cancer that has spread to almost every area of the body.  Our nation is being destroyed in thousands of different ways, and more distressing news emerges with each passing day.  This article will mainly focus on the economic decline of America, but much could also be said about our social, political, moral and spiritual decline as well.  We are simply not the same country that we used to be.  Americans are proud, selfish, greedy, arrogant, ungrateful, treacherous and completely addicted to entertainment and pleasure.  Our country is literally falling apart all around us, but most Americans are so plugged into entertainment that they can’t even be bothered to notice what is happening.  Most Americans seem to assume that we will always have endless prosperity just because of who we are, but unfortunately that simply is not true.  We inherited the greatest economic machine the world has ever seen and we have wrecked it, and now a very painful day of reckoning is approaching.  But most people will not understand until it is too late.

The following are 34 signs that America is in decline…

#1 According to the World Bank, U.S. GDP accounted for 31.8 percent of all global economic activity in 2001.  That number dropped to 21.6 percent in 2011.  That is not just a decline – that is a freefall.  Just check out the chart in this article.

#2 According to The Economist, the United States was the best place in the world to be born into back in 1988.  Today, the United States is only tied for 16th place.

#3 The United States has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.

#4 According to the Wall Street Journal, of the 40 biggest publicly traded corporate spenders, half of them plan to reduce capital expenditures in coming months.

#5 More than three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as will be sold in 2012.

#6 America once had the greatest manufacturing cities on the face of the earth.  Now many of our formerly great manufacturing cities have degenerated into festering hellholes.  For example, the city of Detroit is on the verge of financial collapse, and one state lawmaker is now saying that “dissolving Detroit” should be looked at as an option.

#7 In 2007, the unemployment rate for the 20 to 29 age bracket was about 6.5 percent.  Today, the unemployment rate for that same age group is about 13 percent.

#8 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

#9 If you can believe it, approximately one out of every four American workers makes 10 dollars an hour or less.

#10 Sadly, 60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.

#11 Median household income in America has fallen for four consecutive years.  Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.

#12 The U.S. trade deficit with China during 2011 was 28 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#13 Incredibly, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been shut down since 2001.  During 2010, manufacturing facilities were shutting down at the rate of 23 per day.  How can anyone say that “things are getting better” when our economic infrastructure is being absolutely gutted?

#14 Back in early 2005, the average price of a gallon of gasoline was less than 2 dollars a gallon.  During 2012, the average price of a gallon of gasoline has been $3.63.

#15 In 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance.  Today, only 55.1 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.

#16 As I have written about previously, 61 percent of all Americans were “middle income” back in 1971 according to the Pew Research Center.  Today, only 51 percent of all Americans are “middle income”.

#17 There are now 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing.  That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.

#18 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate for children living in the United States is about 22 percent.

#19 Back in 1983, the bottom 95 percent of all income earners in the United States had 62 cents of debt for every dollar that they earned.  By 2007, that figure had soared to $1.48.

#20 Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.

#21 Total credit card debt in the United States is now more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.

#22 The value of the U.S. dollar has declined by more than 96 percent since the Federal Reserve was first created.

#23 According to one survey, 29 percent of all Americans in the 25 to 34 year old age bracket are still living with their parents.

#24 Back in 1950, 78 percent of all households in the United States contained a married couple.  Today, that number has declined to 48 percent.

#25 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that receives direct monetary benefits from the federal government.  Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.

#26 In 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7 percent of all income.  Today, government transfer payments account for more than 18 percent of all income.

#27 In November 2008, 30.8 million Americans were on food stamps.  Today, 47.1 million Americans are on food stamps.

#28 Right now, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

#29 As I wrote about the other day, according to one calculation the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

#30 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid, and things are about to get a whole lot worse.  It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

#31 In 2001, the U.S. national debt was less than 6 trillion dollars.  Today, it is over 16 trillion dollars and it is increasing by more than 100 million dollars every single hour.

#32 The U.S. national debt is now more than 23 times larger than it was when Jimmy Carter became president.

#33 According to a PBS report from earlier this year, U.S. households that make $13,000 or less per year spend 9 percent of their incomes on lottery tickets.  Could that possibly be accurate?  Are people really that foolish?

#34 As the U.S. economy has declined, the American people have been downing more antidepressants and other prescription drugs than ever before.  In fact, the American people spent 60 billion dollars more on prescription drugs in 2010 than they did in 2005.

So what are our “leaders” doing about all of this?

Not much.

They just continue to insist that everything is “just fine”.

Sadly, the truth is that they live in a world that is very different from most of the rest of us.

Barack Obama is getting ready to take a 20 day vacation to Hawaii.

When was the last time you got to take a 20 day vacation?

And most of our “leaders” have no idea what it is like to struggle from month to month on a paycheck.

Overall, more than half of the members of Congress are millionaires.  We are led by wealthy men who are serving the interests of other wealthy men.

But the problem with our system is not limited to the president and the members of Congress.  The truth is that the political system in America has become a colossal beast that just continues to grow no matter who is in power.  The political establishment of both parties is totally dependent on this beast, and they will continue to feed it and serve it because it has been very good to them.  The following is from an outstanding article by Steve McCann

The Republican and Democratic political establishments are made up of the following: 

1) many current and nearly all retired national office holders whose livelihood and narcissistic demands depends upon fealty to Party and access to government largesse;

2) the majority of the media elite, including pundits, editors, writers and television news personalities based in Washington and New York whose proximity to power and access is vital to their continued standard of living;  

3) academia, numerous think-tanks, so-called non-government organizations, and lobbyists who fasten onto those in the administration and Congress for employment, grants, favorable legislation and ego-gratification;  

4) the reliable deep pocket political contributors and political consultants whose future is irrevocably tied to the political machinery of the Party; and

5) the crony capitalists, i.e. leaders of the corporate and financial community as well as unions whose entities are dependent on or subject to government oversight and/or benevolence .

Do you think that there is any chance that this insidious system will be uprooted any time soon?

Of course not.

We will continue on the same path that we are on right now and America will continue to decline.

Many will rejoice as America falls, but I will not.

I will mourn for a mighty Republic that has fallen and for a dream that has been lost.

Hungry For The Holidays: 20 Facts About Hunger In America That Will Blow Your Mind

All over America there are millions of people that will be missing meals and going hungry this holiday season.  Even as much of the country indulges in the yearly ritual of unbridled consumerism that we refer to as “the holiday season”, more families in the United States than ever before will be dealing with not having enough food to eat.  Food stamp use is at an all-time high.  Demand at food banks is at an all-time high.  They keep telling us that we are in an “economic recovery” and yet the middle class continues to shrink and the number of Americans living in poverty just continues to grow.  We are witnessing unprecedented hunger in America, and this especially seems tragic during the holidays.  Much of the country is partying as if the good times will never stop, but families that are living from one meal to the next are facing a completely different reality.  How do you tell your children that there isn’t going to be any food to eat for dinner?  How do you explain to them that other families have plenty to eat but you don’t?  Sadly, many food banks are overstretched at this point.  All over the nation, food pantries have actually had to turn people away because of the overwhelming demand.  And more Americans used food stamps to buy their Thanksgiving dinners this year than ever before.  This is a problem that is not going away any time soon, and when the next major economic downturn strikes the problem of hunger in America is going to get even worse.

For many Americans, hunger has become a way of life.  Families that don’t have enough money are often faced with some absolutely heartbreaking choices.  Just check out what one Maine official that works with the Emergency Food Assistance Program recently had to say

“One in six people in Maine don’t know where their next meal is coming from, or skip a meal so their kids can eat, or have to choose between paying for prescriptions and food, or fuel for your car and food,” Hall said. “What’s amazing is that food is always the first thing to go from your budget. It’s staggering, the choices people have to make.”

Food banks all over the country try their best to do what they can, especially during the holidays, but it is often not enough.  In fact, some food banks ran out of turkeys well in advance of Thanksgiving this year

Three days in advance of Thanksgiving, the Pear Street Cupboard and Café in Framingham, Massachusetts, is out of turkeys. According to organizers, “requests for help are up 400 percent over last year.”

But it isn’t just during the holidays that food banks are having problems keeping up with demand.  The truth is that many food banks find themselves out of food and having to turn away hungry families all throughout the year.  The following is from a recent Reuters article

Overall, food pantries and soup kitchens reported a 5 percent spike in demand in 2012, according to the survey. More than half of providers said they were forced to turn away clients, reduce portion sizes, or limit their hours.

In Staten Island, all of the agencies that respond to hunger reported not having enough food to meet demand, while in the Bronx that was true for 80 percent of agencies. In Queens and Brooklyn, more than 60 percent of agencies did not have enough food to meet the needs of the populations they serve.

If you are able, please support your local food bank.  The needs are great and they are only going to get greater.

The following are 20 facts about hunger in America that will blow your mind…

#1 According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

#2 In October 2008, 30.8 million Americans were on food stamps.  By August 2012 that number had risen to 47.1 million Americans.

#3 Right now, one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps and one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

#4 It is projected that half of all American children will be on food stamps at least once before they turn 18 years of age.

#5 According to new numbers that were just released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans living in poverty increased to a new all-time record high of 49.7 million last year.

#6 The number of Americans living in poverty has increased by about 6 million over the past four years.

#7 Today, about one out of every four workers in the United States brings home wages that are at or below the federal poverty level.

#8 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate for children living in the United States is about 22 percent.

#9 Overall, approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered to be either “low income” or impoverished.

#10 In the United States today, close to 100 million Americans are considered to be either “poor” or “near poor”.

#11 One university study estimates that child poverty costs the U.S. economy 500 billion dollars each year.

#12 Households that are led by a single mother have a 31.6 percent poverty rate.

#13 In 2010, 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States were on food stamps.

#14 According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 36.4 percent of all children in Philadelphia are living in poverty, 40.1 percent of all children in Atlanta are living in poverty, 52.6 percent of all children in Cleveland are living in poverty and 53.6 percent of all children in Detroit are living in poverty.

#15 Since 2007, the number of children living in poverty in the state of California has increased by 30 percent.

#16 Family homelessness in the Washington D.C. region (one of the wealthiest regions in the entire country) has risen 23 percent since the last recession began.

#17 There are 314 counties in the United States where at least 30 percent of the children are facing food insecurity.

#18 More than 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.

#19 Right now, more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.  And that does not even count Social Security or Medicare.

#20 According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, approximately 40 percent of all food in America “is routinely thrown away by consumers at home, discarded or unserved at restaurants or left unharvested on farms.”

The Last Days Of America? 25 Signs Of Extreme Social Decay

Are we on the verge of societal collapse?  Many of the greatest empires throughout world history were not conquered by outside forces.  Rather, they crumbled inwardly as extreme social decay set in.  There have been many that have compared the last days of the Roman Empire to what America is going through right now.  In the decades following World War II, the United States was the most powerful and the most prosperous nation on the entire planet, but now things are rapidly changing.  There are literally thousands of signs that our society is collapsing all around us.  All you have to do to see this is turn on a television or pick up a newspaper.  I spend a lot of time discussing our nightmarish economic and political headaches in this column, but the truth is that our problems go much deeper than that.  Even if a major miracle happened and we got the “right person” into the White House, the Federal Reserve was shut down, our 16 trillion dollar national debt was paid off, our trade deficit went to zero, a solution was found for the quadrillion dollar derivatives bubble and the “too big to fail” banks were broken up, we would still be facing a national crisis of unprecedented magnitude.  The cold, hard reality of the matter is that America has become an absolute cesspool of filth and corruption, and the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is rapidly disappearing.  Until we get our hearts right, there is not much hope for the future of this once great nation.

So are these the last days of America?  The following are 25 signs of extreme social decay….

#1 We have come to accept that it is “normal” that security goons should be allowed to touch the private parts of our women and our children in the name of “national security”.  Just check out the ordeal that conservative radio host and Breitbart editor Dana Loesch suffered through recently at the hands of the TSA

They performed the regular pat-down and then the agent informed me that she would be using the front of her hands to “sweep” my groin. She pressed and swept across my crotch three times horizontally and three times vertically. In any other circumstance this would be sexual assault.

The agents themselves were friendly and smiled, yet I was still denied a public screening and no witness of my own present for the screening itself (a second agent was in the room at the time). I had no reason to be angry with the agents themselves, yet I was angry, and still am, at the regulations which require them to routinely violate men, women, and children in the name of a false sense of security.

#2 Police up in New Jersey say that a man kept his girlfriend padlocked in a bedroom for most of the last 10 years.

#3 It is hard to imagine some of the sick things that people do behind closed doors.  Down in Florida, one former medical examiner was apparently collecting human body parts

In what could be described as an episode of “Auction Hunters” turned reality horror show, authorities in Pensacola are investigating after finding human brains, hearts and lungs in a storage unit they say belonged to a former medical examiner.

Someone bought the storage unit at an auction last week and noticed a foul smell as they were sifting through furniture and boxes.

Officials at the medical examiner’s office in Pensacola say the remains of more than 100 people were found crudely stored in Tupperware containers, garbage bags and drink cups.

#4 A former fifth grade teacher down in Atlanta has admitted that she helped her students cheat because they were “dumb as hell“.

#5 Many debt collectors are willing to say absolutely despicable things in order to collect debts.  One debt collector recently told a disabled military veteran that if he would have “served our country better” he would not be disabled and that he “should have died“…

“If you would have served our country better you would not be a disabled veteran living off Social Security while the rest of us honest Americans work our asses off,” one of the agency’s debt collectors allegedly told the vet. “Too bad, you should have died.”

Michael Collier was declared 100 per cent disabled after suffering permanent spine and head injuries while in the Army. As a result, both Collier and his wife receive disability payments from the federal Social Security Administration, which are exempt from seizure by debt collectors.

#6 In many areas of the country, street drugs have become so powerful that they are pushing users completely over the edge.  Of course there is never any excuse for murdering children, but would any rational person do this kind of thing without being high on drugs?…

A Camden, N.J. man was charged with murder for allegedly slashing the throat of a 6-year-old Camden boy. Police say he told investigators he was smoking a combination of marijuana and PCP, known as “Wet” just before the killing.

Osvaldo “Popeye” Rivera, 31, was arrested Sunday afternoon and charged with murder and attempted murder.

Police say Rivera was trying to sexually assault the boy’s 12-year-sister and the little boy tried to come to her defense. Investigators say Rivera slashed the throats of both children.

#7 A school bus driver in Wisconsin recently told a 12-year-old boy that “maybe your mother should have chosen abortion for you” because he didn’t like the Romney campaign sign standing in his front yard.

#8 We are continuing to see a rash of “zombie attacks” all over the nation.  The following is one recent example from Pennsylvania….

A Doylestown man, who was naked and bleeding profusely, gnawed on woman’s head all while “screaming like an animal” during a wild neighborhood rampage, state police said.

#9 A beekeeper over in North Carolina says that someone recently stole 20,000 bees from his property.

#10 Evidence of social decay extends to the highest levels of the federal government.  Just check out what some highly paid federal workers have been doing when they were supposed to be working…

In 2006, the deputy press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security was arrested for trying to seduce online someone he thought was a teenage girl. Four years later, the Securities and Exchange Commission found that 17 of 31 employees caught accessing porn at work since 2008 — one for up to eight hours a day — were senior staff.

In 2010, the Boston Globe reported that senior Pentagon staff were downloading child porn. Instead of generating a media storm, the story died. Senior staff were watching the sexual torture of small children on Pentagon computers, and Americans were not outraged?

#11 In a shocking murder trial in southern California, prosecutors have played a tape of a former chef admitting to police that he slow cooked the body of his wife for four days.

#12 The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the entire world, and many of our prisons are absolute hellholes.  The following is what a former inmate named Daniel Miller recently told Business Insider about what really goes on inside our prisons…

“When they found out the black homosexual had approached me talking that homosexual stuff, I was told ‘Look you have to stab him or pipe him down,'” Miller recently told Business Insider about his first experiences during two decades spent in and out of prison, most recently for robbery.

“The guys were there just to make sure I actually split this guy’s head open.”

Those “guys” were the Aryan Brotherhood, one of the most famous and feared jailhouse gangs.

Miller, now 38, joined up when he first entered the correctional system in Kansas as a teen. He bounced around a number of different facilities before being released on Sept. 19 this year.

“At 16 years old, I wanted to be accepted in prison,” he said. “I would fight everybody.”

He grew so cold and so good at fighting he became the one ordering attacks on fellow inmates — something that still haunts him.

#13 A 7-year-old boy was part of a gang of youths that recently invaded the home of a 51-year-old woman and beat the living daylights out of her.

#14 What in the world has gotten into our kids?  Many of them have literally turned into little monsters.  Just check out what two little boys recently did to a church in Virginia

Two little boys caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to a Loudon County church, according to officials.

The vandals used the children’s toys and art supplies to damage the sanctuary, fellowship hall, and Sunday school rooms. They also smeared food for needy families and their own feces and urine on walls and floors.

According to Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider, all that damage was done by two boys, aged 6 and 7.

#15 A former high school English teacher has been accused of having sex with five different male students.  The most disturbing part is that she is a mother of three children and her husband is serving this country in the U.S. Army.

#16 You might want to think twice before becoming a pizza delivery worker.  Just check out what happened over in Dallas recently…

Two Dallas teens called in a pizza order to lure a delivery worker to a Grand Prairie house, then beat the woman in the head with a pistol and sexually assaulted her on the porch, according to Grand Prairie police reports released Wednesday.

Bleeding and wearing just a bra, the 30-year-old woman drove herself back to a Grand Prairie Pizza Hut, the reports stated.

The 17-year-olds accused in the July 24 robbery and sexual assault were in custody Wednesday at the Lew Sterrett Justice Center in Dallas in what Grand Prairie police are calling one of the city’s “most heinous offenses” in recent memory.

#17 According to shocking new research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately two-thirds of all Americans in the 15 to 24 year old age bracket have engaged in oral sex.

#18 Last year it was reported that 86 teen girls at one high school in Memphis, Tennessee were either pregnant or had recently given birth.

#19 Sex trafficking has become a raging epidemic in America.  It is estimated that there are now approximately a million prostitutes in the United States.  Most of them are being trafficked by male “pimps”.

#20 As our social decay gets even deeper, it is going to become more important than ever to secure our homes.  Just check out what happened over in Kansas City, Missouri recently…

An elderly couple is recovering Tuesday after they were brutally beaten inside their south Kansas City home.

The woman was also raped, according to a police report.

Tony L. Putman, 18, of Kansas City was charged with six felonies Tuesday afternoon. The charges include one count of rape and two counts of robbery.

The couple’s ordeal began about 1:30 p.m. Monday when a man broke into their home near 73rd Street and Campbell Avenue. Entry was gained through a basement window, which was broken.

#21 It is becoming easy to understand why so many Americans are arming themselves these days.  Even Brad Pitt says that he “doesn’t feel safe” without a gun.

#22 In this day and age you often can’t even trust the police.  Just check out this recent example

Police in Cherryville took bribes, helped transport stolen goods and extorted money in a multi-state operation that raked in at least $750,000, according to federal indictments unsealed Wednesday.

FBI agents flocked to the Cherryville Police Department and several homes in Cherryville Wednesday morning, loading up boxes of evidence and making arrests.

#23 Overall, more than 50 million abortions have been performed in the United States since Roe vs. Wade was decided back in 1973.  At this point, the number of babies killed by abortion in America every year is almost as high as the total number of military deaths in all of U.S. history.

#24 Respect for parents has declined to shockingly low levels in America.  Just check out what one son down in Florida recently did to his own mother

A Florida man yesterday rubbed dog feces in his mother’s face during an argument in the home they share, police report.

Cops arrested William Jenkins, 22, on a felony domestic battery charge for pushing his mother, 53, to the floor during the dispute, according to a Palmetto Police Department report.

When questioned by cops, Jenkins denied pushing his mother, but admitted that he “did rub dog defecation on her face because she yelled at him,” investigators noted.

#25 A 21-year-old Utah man is being accused of stabbing his grandmother 111 times and then removing some of her organs.  But news like this hardly makes headlines anymore because crimes such as this one have become so common.

Sadly, a list like this one could go on indefinitely.  More examples of extreme social decay pop up in the news almost hourly.

But we don’t like to admit that we have problems.  Our politicians continue to proclaim how we are “the greatest nation on earth” and that the rest of the world should follow our example.

Rarely do you ever hear politicians talk about how we are the most obese nation on the planet, about how we have the highest divorce rate on the planet or about how we have the highest teen pregnancy rate on the planet.

Until we are willing to admit just how bad things have gotten, we will never be willing to accept the solutions that are necessary to start fixing things.

Many Americans are pinning their hopes on the upcoming election, but instead of making things better I am concerned that this election may trigger a lot of the anger that is boiling just under the surface in this country.

If we continue down the path that we are currently on, the social decay that we are now experiencing is going to accelerate.

The fundamental level of trust that any society needs in order to operate efficiently is breaking down, and more Americans than ever are living in fear.  You can see it in their eyes.

Our politicians can pile on millions more laws, rules and regulations and they can put a police officer on every corner, but that isn’t going to make Americans trust one another.  Once confidence in our societal institutions and our faith in one another is gone, it is going to be incredibly difficult to ever rebuild it.

Yes, we really are on the verge of societal collapse. What we are experiencing right now is just the leading edge of the coming crisis.

Things are going to get a whole lot worse from here.

What Is The Best Place To Live In America? Pros And Cons For All 50 States

If you could live in any state in America, where would you go?  During troubled times like these, what is the best place in the United States to live?  A lot of people are asking these kinds of questions these days.  Our economy is on the verge of collapse, natural disasters are becoming more frequent and more intense, the U.S. population is becoming angrier and more frustrated by the day, our government has become incredibly oppressive and controlling, war could break out at any time and evidence that society is breaking down is all around us.  As our world becomes increasingly unstable, many families are considering moving somewhere else.  But what areas are best and what areas should be avoided?  Is there really a “best place to live” in America?  Well, the truth is that each family is facing a different set of circumstances.  If you have a great support system where you live, it can be really tough to pick up and move 3000 miles away from that support system.  If you have a great job where you live now, it can be really tough to move some place where there may be no job at all for you.  But without a doubt there are some areas of the country that will be far better off than others in the event of a major economic collapse.  This article will take a look at each of the 50 U.S. states and will list some of the pros and cons for moving to each one.

Not all of the factors listed below will be important to you, and a few have even been thrown in for humor.  But if you are thinking of moving in the near future hopefully this list will give you some food for thought.

A few years ago when my wife and I were living near Washington D.C. we knew that we wanted a change and we went through this kind of a process.  We literally evaluated areas from coast to coast.  In the end, we found a place that is absolutely perfect for us.  But different things are important to different people.

And if I gave your particular state a low rating, please don’t think that I am trashing the entire state or all of the people who live there.

For example, there are some absolutely wonderful people that live in the state of California, and there are some areas of California that I would not mind visiting at all.  But for the times that are coming I am convinced that it is going to be a really bad place to live.

Not that I have all the answers either.  Hopefully this article can get some debates started, and hopefully those debates will help people that are thinking of moving to another state to be more informed.

The following are some pros and cons for all 50 states….

Alabama

Pros: warm weather, southern hospitality, relatively low population density

Cons: hurricanes, tornadoes, crime, not enough jobs, multiple nuclear power plants, rampant poverty

Overall Rating: C+

Alaska

Pros: great fishing, lots of empty space, low population density, great for rugged individualists

Cons: very high cost of living, earthquakes, volcanoes, extremely cold, short growing season, too much snow, potentially cut off from supplies from the lower 48 states during an emergency situation

Overall Rating: B

Arizona

Pros: warm weather

Cons: illegal immigration, wildfires, return of dust bowl conditions, not enough jobs, not enough rain, multiple nuclear power plants, crime, gang violence, Phoenix

Overall Rating: D+

Arkansas

Pros: southern hospitality, warm weather, Ozark National Forest

Cons: tornadoes, Clintons, New Madrid fault zone, multiple nuclear power plants, crime, rampant poverty

Overall Rating: C

California

Pros: Disneyland, warm weather, Malibu

Cons: high taxes, Jerry Brown, earthquakes, mudslides, wildfires, gang violence, crime, traffic, rampant poverty, insane politicians, ridiculous regulations, bad schools, political correctness, illegal immigration, not enough jobs, air pollution, multiple nuclear power plants, possible tsunami threat along the coast, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Stockton, Sacramento, huge drug problem, high population density, the state government is broke, many more reasons to leave California right here

Overall Rating: F

Colorado

Pros: Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs

Cons: wildfires, illegal immigration, short growing season, not enough rain, too much snow, huge drug problem

Overall Rating: B

Connecticut

Pros: beautiful homes

Cons: high taxes, insane politicians, ridiculous regulations, political correctness, short growing season, multiple nuclear power plants, high population density

Overall Rating: C-

Delaware

Pros: good fishing

Cons: Joe Biden, political correctness, ridiculous regulations, insane politicians, crime, high population density

Overall Rating: D

Florida

Pros: University of Florida Gators, oranges, low taxes, southern hospitality, Disneyworld, Gainesville, warm weather, beautiful beaches, Daytona

Cons: hurricanes, most of the state is barely above sea level, high population density, not enough jobs, multiple nuclear power plants, crime, gang violence, illegal immigration

Overall Rating: C

Georgia

Pros: peaches, southern hospitality, warm weather

Cons: not enough jobs, multiple nuclear power plants, crime, gang violence, flesh eating disease, Atlanta

Overall Rating: B-

Hawaii

Pros: awesome beaches, warm weather, great vacation destination

Cons: vulnerable to tsunamis, very high cost of living, volcanoes, traffic, high population density, high taxes

Overall Rating: C-

Idaho

Pros: awesome people live there, great potatoes, low population density, high concentration of liberty-minded individuals, low crime, Sandpoint, Coeur d’Alene, north Idaho has plenty of water compared to the rest of the interior West, beautiful scenery

Cons: cold in the winter, wildfires, short growing season, not enough jobs

Overall Rating: A

Illinois

Pros: once you get away from Chicago things are not quite so bad

Cons: Barack Obama, drought, New Madrid fault zone, high population density, political correctness, ridiculous regulations, insane politicians, crime, gang violence, Chicago, East St. Louis, not enough jobs, multiple nuclear power plants, mob robberies, the state government is drowning in debt

Overall Rating: D-

Indiana

Pros: it is in better shape than Illinois, good farming, high Amish population

Cons: drought, tornadoes, the city of Gary, relatively high population density, near the New Madrid fault zone, a “rust belt” state

Overall Rating: C-

Iowa

Pros: low population density, low crime, good farming

Cons: drought, tornadoes, cold in the winter, multiple nuclear power plants, too much snow, very flat

Overall Rating: B-

Kansas

Pros: low population density, low crime, good farming

Cons: drought, tornadoes, return of dust bowl conditions, very flat

Overall Rating: B

Kentucky

Pros: southern hospitality, great horses, Lexington

Cons: New Madrid fault zone, not enough jobs, rampant poverty, Louisville

Overall Rating: C

Louisiana

Pros: southern hospitality, warm weather

Cons: hurricanes, New Orleans, not enough jobs, tornadoes, multiple nuclear power plants, oil spills, crime, gang violence, rampant poverty

Overall Rating: D

Maine

Pros: low population density, low crime, polite people

Cons: extremely cold, short growing season, political correctness, ridiculous regulations, insane politicians, too much snow

Overall Rating: B-

Maryland

Pros: the Washington Redskins play there

Cons: Baltimore, borders Washington D.C., high population density, really bad traffic, political correctness, ridiculous regulations, insane politicians, multiple nuclear power plants, crime, gang violence

Overall Rating: C-

Massachusetts

Pros: beautiful homes

Cons: high taxes, political correctness, ridiculous regulations, insane politicians, high population density, short growing season, almost everything is illegal in Massachusetts

Overall Rating: D+

Michigan

Pros: once you get away from Detroit and Flint things get better

Cons: Detroit, Flint, Dearborn, extremely cold, short growing season, political correctness, ridiculous regulations, insane politicians, not enough jobs, multiple nuclear power plants, too much snow, a “rust belt” state

Overall Rating: D-

Minnesota

Pros: land of 10,000 lakes

Cons: extremely cold, short growing season, multiple nuclear power plants, too much snow, high taxes

Overall Rating: C

Mississippi

Pros: southern hospitality, relatively low population density, warm weather

Cons: hurricanes, tornadoes, not enough jobs, rampant poverty, crime

Overall Rating: C+

Missouri

Pros: good farming, Branson

Cons: drought, tornadoes, New Madrid fault zone, not enough jobs, crime

Overall Rating: C

Montana

Pros: low population density, low taxes, high concentration of liberty-minded individuals, Missoula, Kalispell

Cons: extremely cold in the winter, wildfires, short growing season, not enough rain, near Yellowstone super volcano, rampant poverty, too much snow

Overall Rating: B+

Nebraska

Pros: low population density, good farming

Cons: tornadoes, drought, multiple nuclear power plants, cold in the winter, very flat

Overall Rating: B

Nevada

Pros: low population density, lots of empty space, low taxes, warm weather

Cons: Harry Reid, Las Vegas, Reno, not enough water, not enough rain, wildfires, hard to grow food, not enough jobs, crime, gang violence, huge drug problem, Yucca Mountain

Overall Rating: D+

New Hampshire

Pros: low crime, beautiful homes

Cons: extremely cold, short growing season, political correctness, ridiculous regulations, insane politicians, too much snow

Overall Rating: C

New Jersey

Pros: anyone got something?

Cons: high population density, Camden, Newark, not enough jobs, multiple nuclear power plants, Atlantic City, crime, gang violence

Overall Rating: D-

New Mexico

Pros: low population density, warm weather

Cons: illegal immigration, wildfires, return of dust bowl conditions, not enough jobs, not enough rain, crime, gang violence, huge drug problem

Overall Rating: C-

New York

Pros: the entire state is not like New York City

Cons: New York City, Mayor Bloomberg, high taxes, cold in the winter, high population density, political correctness, ridiculous regulations, insane politicians, not enough jobs, multiple nuclear power plants, the “too big to fail” banks

Overall Rating: D

North Carolina

Pros: southern hospitality, warm weather, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Cons: hurricanes, not enough jobs, multiple nuclear power plants

Overall Rating: B

North Dakota

Pros: low crime, lots of oil-related jobs, low population density

Cons: extremely cold, short growing season, too much snow

Overall Rating: B

Ohio

Pros: the Cincinnati Reds, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, high Amish population

Cons: not enough jobs, cold in the winter, multiple nuclear power plants, high population density, Toledo, Cleveland, a “rust belt” state

Overall Rating: C

Oklahoma

Pros: warm weather, good farming

Cons: drought, tornadoes, wildfires, return of dust bowl conditions, not enough rain, crime, Oklahoma City, rampant poverty

Overall Rating: C

Oregon

Pros: tremendous natural beauty

Cons: high taxes, Portland, political correctness, ridiculous regulations, insane politicians, not enough jobs, huge drug problem, possible tsunami threat along the coast

Overall Rating: C-

Pennsylvania

Pros: high Amish population

Cons: high population density, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, not enough jobs, multiple nuclear power plants, a “rust belt” state

Overall Rating: C

Rhode Island

Pros: so small that most people don’t notice their problems

Cons: the state is flat broke, short growing season, political correctness, ridiculous regulations, insane politicians, not enough jobs, high population density

Overall Rating: D+

South Carolina

Pros: southern hospitality, warm weather, Myrtle Beach

Cons: hurricanes, not enough jobs, multiple nuclear power plants, crime, gang violence, rampant poverty

Overall Rating: B

South Dakota

Pros: low population density, fun tourist traps, the Badlands, Mount Rushmore

Cons: extremely cold, short growing season, very flat, too much snow

Overall Rating: B

Tennessee

Pros: Nashville, Michael W. Smith, southern hospitality, warm weather, Gatlinburg

Cons: Memphis, New Madrid fault zone, multiple nuclear power plants, crime, gang violence, rampant poverty

Overall Rating: B-

Texas

Pros: low taxes, warm weather, Austin

Cons: drought, illegal immigration, tornadoes, wildfires, West Nile Virus, the Dallas Cowboys, return of dust bowl conditions, speed traps, not enough rain, multiple nuclear power plants, George W. Bush, crime

Overall Rating: B-

Utah

Pros: beautiful mountains, low crime, low population density

Cons: cold in the winter, wildfires, Salt Lake City, short growing season, not enough rain, illegal to collect rain

Overall Rating: B-

Vermont

Pros: low crime, beautiful homes

Cons: cold in the winter, insane politicians, ridiculous regulations, short growing season, political correctness, not enough jobs, too much snow

Overall Rating: C

Virginia

Pros: the University of Virginia, southern hospitality, Charlottesville

Cons: borders Washington D.C., high population density, multiple nuclear power plants, Richmond, really bad traffic in northern Virginia

Overall Rating: B-

Washington

Pros: the eastern half of the state is quite nice and much different from the coast

Cons: way too much rain along the coast, volcanoes, wildfires, insane politicians, ridiculous regulations, political correctness, not enough jobs, possible tsunami threat along the coast, Seattle

Overall Rating: C

West Virginia

Pros: beautiful mountains

Cons: not enough jobs, rampant poverty

Overall Rating: B

Wisconsin

Pros: cheese, the Green Bay Packers

Cons: extremely cold, short growing season, multiple nuclear power plants, too much snow,

Overall Rating: B-

Wyoming

Pros: low population density, lots of empty space, low taxes

Cons: extremely cold, too windy, too flat, wildfires, short growing season, not enough rain, Yellowstone super volcano

Overall Rating: B-

What do you think of these rankings?

What do you think is the best place to live in America?

Do you have any additional pros and cons that should be added to this list?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

Forsaken And Forgotten

America is becoming a very cold place.  If you don’t have money, you don’t really matter much in our society.  The ads on television aren’t for you – they are directed at people that actually have good jobs and that can afford to buy the nice little “extras” in life.  The politicians aren’t really interested in you either – they figure that they can buy your vote with all of the money that they are getting from the wealthy people.  When you don’t have money, even friends and relatives start to distance themselves from you.  Perhaps they are afraid that you will ask them for money or perhaps they are afraid that your “failure” will start to rub off on them.  When people know that you are struggling for money, the barriers immediately go up.  In the United States today, there are tens of millions of people that have been forsaken and forgotten.  They mostly stay at home (if they still have a home), and for most of them quiet desperation has become a way of life.  You won’t ever read much about them or see them appear much on television because nobody really cares too much about them.  As far as society is concerned, there are just way too many of them and they are a problem that “the government” should be able to handle anyway.  Sadly, the truth is that many communities all across America want absolutely nothing to do with those that can’t take care of themselves.  All over the country cities are passing laws making it illegal to feed the homeless, and in other instances cities are actually making it illegal to be homeless.  Unfortunately, this problem is not going away.  In fact, the number of Americans living in poverty increases with each passing day.  So where do we go from here?

These days, a lot of formerly middle class Americans are down on their luck and can’t even afford to buy enough food.  The following is from a recent Yahoo article….

Cheryl Preston knows that others are worse off. But she’s still hungry.

As grocery prices creep higher and her income sags, rationing her family’s food is a daily task. The 54-year-old mother of three and grandmother of three in Roanoke, Va., says there are days she skips meals so her husband and son can eat. If they notice, she says, she’ll let them think she’s fasting. She waters down the milk and juice to make it last longer. She visits food pantries, but it’s not enough.

Have you ever had to skip meals because you simply could not afford to buy enough food?

Have you ever wondered how you were going to make it to the next paycheck?

When you look into the eyes of your hungry children and you realize that your best efforts have not been good enough to provide what they need it can be absolutely soul crushing.

And when you have lost everything it quickly becomes apparent that most people in society simply do not care about you.

About a third of the country is already on some form of welfare.  Another family falling out of the middle class and into poverty is not going to cause anyone to sit up and take notice.

The middle class in America is being absolutely shredded.  In a recent article I wrote entitled “84 Statistics That Prove That The Decline Of The Middle Class Is Real And That It Is Getting Worse” I detailed this very clearly.  But most Americans don’t think about this very much because they are just focused on what is going on in their own little worlds.  If they still have their jobs and if their family and friends are still doing okay then they are likely to believe that everything is just fine.

But everything is not fine.

According to the Pew Research Center, 61 percent of all Americans were “middle income” back in 1971.

Today, only 51 percent of all Americans are “middle income”.

There aren’t enough good jobs in this country and there never will be enough good jobs ever again.

Those that are just entering the job market understand very clearly that there are not enough good jobs.

Of the recent college graduates that have been fortunate enough to actually get a job, about half of them have taken jobs that do not even require a college degree.

But at least if you have a job, even if it is really crappy, you still matter in this economy.

Many of those that are not working at all have been completely forsaken and forgotten.

Over the past year, approximately 1.3 million Americans have seen their extended unemployment benefits end.  Most of them are considered to have “dropped out of the labor force” even though they aren’t working, they don’t have any income coming in and they are very desperate.  They are told to go “get a job” in an economy that does not produce enough jobs for everyone.  The music stopped playing and they were left without a seat and nobody really cares too much.

But if you live in the good areas of New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco or Seattle this article might seem like complete nonsense to you.  After all, corporate profits are at an all-time high and the stores and malls where you live are packed with people.  Everyone around you is driving new cars, wearing designer clothes and using the latest tech gadgets.

But it is not like that everywhere in America.

There are two Americas today.  One is swimming in money and is seemingly more prosperous than ever.

The other America is a complete and total economic nightmare.

Just check out the percentage of blighted properties in some of America’s most run down cities….

Baltimore: 14 percent

Cleveland: 19 percent

Youngstown, Ohio: 21 percent

New Orleans: 21 percent

Detroit: 24 percent

Flint, Michigan: 27 percent

But those that are paying millions of dollars for dinky little apartments in New York City may be wondering what all the fuss is about.

Well, in the forgotten areas of America “despair” is what people experience on a good day.  Unemployment and government dependence are a way of life, and alcohol and drugs are used to dull the pain.  The following is from a recent article by Chris Hedges.  It describes what life is like in the little town of Gary, West Virginia….

Joe and I are sitting in the Tug River Health Clinic in Gary with a registered nurse who does not want her name used. The clinic handles federal and state black lung applications. It runs a program for those addicted to prescription pills. It also handles what in the local vernacular is known as “the crazy check” — payments obtained for mental illness from Medicaid or SSI — a vital source of income for those whose five years of welfare payments have run out. Doctors willing to diagnose a patient as mentally ill are important to economic survival.

“They come in and want to be diagnosed as soon as they can for the crazy check,” the nurse says. “They will insist to us they are crazy. They will tell us, ‘I know I’m not right.’ People here are very resigned. They will avoid working by being diagnosed as crazy.”

The reliance on government checks, and a vast array of painkillers and opiates, has turned towns like Gary into modern opium dens. The painkillers OxyContin, fentanyl — 80 times stronger than morphine — Lortab, as well as a wide variety of anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax, are widely abused. Many top off their daily cocktail of painkillers at night with sleeping pills and muscle relaxants. And for fun, addicts, especially the young, hold “pharm parties,” in which they combine their pills in a bowl, scoop out handfuls of medication, swallow them, and wait to feel the result.

There are hundreds of small towns all over America today just like Gary that have been forsaken by society.  Most people in those towns are just “existing” and gave up all hope of a better life long ago.

Some of these stories are being told in a new documentary film called “American Winter”.  You can view the trailer for the film right here.  It is a very powerful 5 minutes and 41 seconds.

Sadly, the truth is that there really does not need to be so much suffering in America.

Did you know that Americans waste 165 billion dollars worth of food each year?

That could sure feed a lot of hungry people.

And the overwhelming greed that we see in society today is absolutely astounding.

For example, Yahoo recently profiled a hoarder who packed her home with $500,000 worth of “stuff” that she could not resist buying….

There are shoe closets, and then there are shoe rooms. Monte, a retired teacher in her fifties, had scattered $20,000 worth of footwear throughout six rooms in her home. Some were organized by color, but most lay in mountainous piles of clutter in her 4,000 square foot home outside Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Over a period of 10 years, she’d spent over $500,000 on clothing, accessories and home furnishings, all of which lay strewn across her kitchen, entryway and bedrooms, tags intact.

But far worse are the “Rich Kids of Instagram“.  It has apparently become trendy for wealthy kids to take pictures of themselves enjoying their outrageous wealth.  It truly is disgusting.

Meanwhile, most American families are really struggling to get by.  In fact, 77 percent of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck at least some of the time.

And jobless claims are rising again.  We are on the verge of another major economic crisis and that means that millions more Americans are going to lose their jobs and their homes.

If you think that things are bad now, just wait, because things are about to get a whole lot worse.

Don’t be afraid to reach out and help those that are hurting.  When things are the darkest, that is when heroes are needed the most.

America In Decline: The Soul Crushing Despair Of Lowered Expectations

All over America tonight there are people that believe that their lives are over.  When you do everything that you know how to do to get a job and you still can’t get one it can be absolutely soul crushing.  If you have ever been unemployed for an extended period of time you know exactly what I am talking about.  When you have been unemployed for month after month it can be very tempting to totally cut yourself off from society.  Those that are kind will look at you with pity and those that are cruel will treat you as though you are a total loser.  It doesn’t matter that America is in decline and that our economy is not producing nearly enough jobs for everyone anymore.  In our society, one of the primary things that defines our lives is what we do for a living.  Just think about it.  When you are out in a social situation, what is one of the very first things that people ask?  They want to know what you “do”.  Well, if you don’t “do” anything, then you are not part of the club.  But the worst part of being unemployed for many Americans is the relentless pressure from family and friends.  Often they have no idea how hard it is to find a job in this economy – especially if they still have jobs.  Sometimes the pressure becomes too great.  Sadly, we are seeing unemployment break up a lot of marriages in America today.  Things are really hard out there right now.  A very large number of highly educated Americans have taken very low paying service jobs in recent years just so that they can have some money coming in even as they “look for something else”.  Unfortunately, in many cases that “something else” never materializes.  In the past, America was “the land of opportunity” where anything was possible.  But today America has become “the land of lowered expectations” and the worst is yet to come.

We live during a time when “the American Dream” is literally being redefined.  In the old days, just about anyone could get a good job that would pay enough to make it possible to buy a house, buy a nice car and raise a family.

Unfortunately, those days are long gone.  The following is from a recent NPR article….

The town of Lorain, Ohio, used to embody this dream. It was a place where you could get a good job, raise a family and comfortably retire.

“Now you can see what it is. Nothing,” says John Beribak. “The shipyards are gone, the Ford plant is gone, the steel plant is gone.” His voice cracks as he describes the town he’s lived in his whole life.

“I mean, I grew up across the street from the steel plant when there was 15,000 people working there,” he says. “My dad worked there. I worked there when I got out of the Air Force. It’s just sad.”

We live in an economy that is in serious decline.  In this environment no job is safe.  In fact, even Goldman Sachs is laying off workers these days.

Millions of Americans are suffering from deep depression because they can’t find jobs.  Many of them are sitting at home right now blankly starting at their television screens as they wonder why nobody wants to hire them.  Some have been unemployed for years and have sent out thousands upon thousands of resumes.  The following is from a recent article by J.D. Hicks….

I have a brilliant cousin with a $180K Syracuse education working part-time at a department store. She has literally sent out 38,000 resumes in the span of a year to no avail. I have another very bright friend with the kindest heart who is so desperate he has applied for dishwashing jobs and didn’t get them, sending him deeper into depression. I’m sure we all know people like this, or perhaps have even been there ourselves.

Society has trained us to believe that we are worthless without a job. Indeed, we feel worthless when we are unemployed with few prospects of making money. Family, friends, and peers constantly remind us in subtle and not-so-subtle ways that we “need” a job.

Have you ever been unemployed?

How did it make you feel?

How were you treated by your family and friends?

In the old days, a college education was almost a guaranteed ticket to the middle class.

But these days, a college education guarantees you absolutely nothing.

As a recent article by Jed Graham detailed, most young unemployed workers in America today have at least some college education….

For the first time in history, the number of jobless workers age 25 and up who have attended some college now exceeds the ranks of those who settled for a high school diploma or less.

Out of 9 million unemployed in April, 4.7 million had gone to college or graduated and 4.3 million had not, seasonally adjusted Labor Department data show.

Overall, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed last year.

It is tough to tell young college graduates with their whole lives ahead of them that they need to lower their expectations because America is in decline.

So where did all the jobs go?

Well, one place they went is overseas.  Over the past couple of decades, millions upon millions of good jobs have left the United States and have gone over to the other side of the world.

That is why you see gleaming new factories going up all over China even while our once great manufacturing cities are turning into crime-infested warzones.

But as a recent WND article reported, the WTO has a solution.  They plan to replace “Made in China” labels with “Made in the World” labels so that we don’t feel so bad about losing our jobs and our economic infrastructure…

The World Trade Organization is moving closer to eliminating country-of-origin labels and replacing them with “Made in the World” initiative labels because they say we need to “reduce public opposition to free trade” and “re-engineer global governance.”

As the number of middle class jobs has steadily declined in recent years, the number of low paying service jobs has increased.

In a previous article, I discussed how approximately one out of every four U.S. workers now makes $10 an hour or less.

Could your family survive on 10 dollars an hour?

Today, you can find hordes of very smart, very talented Americans flipping burgers, waiting tables and welcoming people to Wal-Mart.

Sadly, the United States now has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.

Perhaps we should applaud our leaders for doing such a great job of destroying the American Dream.

Because so many Americans are working crappy jobs, a very large percentage of them have absolutely no savings to speak of.

According to one survey, 42 percent of all American workers live paycheck to paycheck.

I am constantly encouraging people to save up an “emergency fund” that will enable them to pay their bills for at least 6 months if they suddenly become unemployed.

Unfortunately, for many Americans that is simply not possible.  Way too many families are just barely scraping by from month to month.

Another area of the economy where Americans are facing lowered expectations is in housing.

In the old days, most Americans dreamed of owning their own homes.

But today we are being told that things have changed.  For example, a recent USA Today article was entitled “Home rentals — the new American Dream?“….

Steve and Jodi Jacobson bought their Phoenix-area “dream home” in 2005. They built flagstone steps to the front door. They tiled the kitchen and bathroom. They entertained often, enjoying their mountain views.

“We put our soul into that house,” says Steve Jacobson, 37.

Then, home prices tanked more than 50%. Steve, a software quality assurance engineer, suffered pay cuts. In 2010, foreclosure claimed the home and their $100,000 down payment.

The Jacobsons didn’t lose their desire to live in a single-family home, however. They now rent one, like many other former homeowners displaced by foreclosure.

Is that what we are supposed to tell future generations of Americans?

“Listen Johnny and Suzie, if you work really, really hard at your minimum wage jobs perhaps someday you will be able to rent a home that has been foreclosed by a big, greedy bank”.

It is so sad to watch what is happening to this country.

These days many Americans are scratching and clawing and doing everything that they can to make it, but they still find themselves short on money at the end of the month.

Many are turning to debt in an attempt to bridge the gap.  According to CNN, 40 percent of “low- and middle-income households” are using credit cards to pay for basic living expenses.

Overall, U.S. consumers have more than 11 trillion dollars in debt right now.

That is an incredible number.

As the economy has declined, a lot of families have completely given up trying to make it on their own and have turned to the U.S. government for financial help.  Today, an astounding 49.1 percent of all Americans live in a home where at least one person receives government benefits.

Just think about that number for a while.  It is one of the clearest signs that America is in deep, deep decline.

Unfortunately, things are about to get even worse.  The next wave of the financial crisis is unfolding in Europe and we will all be talking about another “major global recession” very soon.

That means that unemployment in the United States is going to get a lot worse.

For the millions upon millions of Americans that are already suffering through the horror of unemployment, that is really bad news.

Posted below is a trailer for a new HBO documentary entitled “Hard Times: Lost on Long Island”.  Please take a few minutes to watch this video, because I think it does a good job of showing the soul crushing despair that many unemployed Americans are going through right now….

So do any of you have any stories of lowered expectations to share?  Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

Why Is The Heartland Of America Being Ripped To Shreds By Gigantic Tornadoes That Are Becoming More Frequent And More Powerful?

What in the world is going on in the heartland of America?  Spring has barely even begun and we are seeing communities all over America being ripped to shreds by gigantic tornadoes.  A lot of meteorologists claimed that the nightmarish tornado season of 2011 was an “anomaly”, but 2012 is shaping up to be just as bad or even worse.  These tornado outbreaks just seem to keep getting more frequent and more powerful.  For example, several “supercell” tornadoes ripped across the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area on Tuesday.  People all over America were absolutely horrified as they watched footage of these tornadoes toss around tractor trailers as if they were toy trucks.  Personally, I have never seen a tractor trailer tossed 100 feet into the sky before.  This is not normal.  CBS 11 meteorologist Larry Mowry told his viewers that one of these torandoes was “as serious of a tornado we’ve seen in years“.  So why is this happening?  Why is the heartland of America being ripped to shreds by gigantic tornadoes that are becoming more frequent and more powerful?

Up to this point in 2012, at least 57 people have been killed by tornadoes across the country.  Thousands more have been injured and countless homes have been reduced to splinters.  In fact, there have been a couple of small towns that have been essentially wiped off the map by giant tornadoes.

What we are witnessing is not normal.  Prior to the horrific tornadoes that we saw on Tuesday, there had been 326 tornadoes in the United States so far in 2012.  That is about twice as many as usual for this time of the year.

Overall, the United States only sees about 1,200 tornadoes for the entire year usually.  The busiest time of the year for tornadoes is still a way off, and we are on pace for a truly historic year.

But it is not just the number of tornadoes that is the problem.  Many of these tornadoes are immensely powerful.  The following is how the local CBS affiliate described the damage done by the recent tornadoes in Texas….

Multiple tornadoes threw tractor-trailers in the air, ripped the roof off an elementary school, leveled houses and shut down airline traffic out of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport as one of the worst storms in years hit North Texas Tuesday.

Baseball-sized hail punched holes through car roofs, and a Red Cross spokeswoman warned the breadth of the destruction may not be cleared until well into Wednesday. The mayors of Arlington and Lancaster declared a state of disaster following the storm strike.

There were even reports of massive “debris balls” in Dallas, Ellis, Johnson and Tarrant counties.  These tornadoes picked up huge amounts of debris into the air that were just carried along by the storms.  That must have been an absolutely horrifying sight to behold.

A lot of jaw-dropping footage from these tornadoes has already been posted on the Internet.  For example, the following video shows tractor trailers being tossed about like rag dolls….

Have you ever seen anything like that before in your life?

I know that I haven’t.

Look, one bad year can be dismissed as a coincidence.

But two historically bad years in a row?

Many would call that a trend.

Last year, America experienced one of the worst tornado seasons of all time.  Many Americans will never, ever forget the devastation caused by the tornadoes of 2011.

For example, National Geographic reported that a gigantic F5 tornado that ripped through the Tuscaloosa, Alabama area had winds of up to 260 miles an hour.  If you drive through Tuscaloosa today you can see that they are still trying to recover.

And Joplin, Missouri may never be the same again after what happened to that city last year.  The gigantic tornado that ripped through Joplin was called by some the deadliest single tornado in more than 60 years.

That mammoth tornado ripped a path of destruction through Joplin that was more than a mile wide and more than 6 miles long.  You can see some amazing before and after photographs of Joplin right here.

But people don’t think about what happened to Joplin much anymore because there have been so many other horrific disasters since then.

Overall, 2011 was the worst year for natural disasters in U.S. history.

Many were hoping that there would be a return to normalcy in 2012.

Unfortunately, that simply is not happening.

In 2012, we have already seen one of the worst tornado outbreaks ever recorded in the month of March in all of American history.  A couple of small towns in Indiana were virtually completely wiped out by that outbreak.

Sadly, what we have already seen in Indiana and Texas may just be the warm up act.

The truth is that usually May is the worst month for tornadoes in the United States.

So how bad are things going to get this year?

How many other communities across the nation are going to be absolutely ripped to shreds before tornado season is over this year?

In 2009, there were 1146 tornadoes in the United States.

In 2010, there were 1282 tornadoes in the United States.

In 2011, there were 1691 tornadoes in the United States.

In 2012, we are on pace to far exceed the total we saw in 2011.

So would could be causing all of this?

Do you think that you have a theory that explains these tornadoes?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

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