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….

112 Questions To Ask Yourself In 2012

The beginning of each year is a great time to evaluate the direction of your life and to ask yourself some very important questions.  Often we get so busy just living life that we lose our perspective.  It is important for each of us to take time once in a while to reassess how our lives are going.  It is also important for all of us to reassess the direction that our nation is heading in every so often.  The truth is that America has gotten badly off track.  We have abandoned the principles which once made this country great, and this country is literally falling apart all around us.  Hopefully the questions below will not just get you focused on our problems.  Hopefully they will also spur you to think about solutions.  Both individually and as a nation, we are in a lot of trouble.  We need to start asking better questions and we need to rediscover the things that once made America the greatest nation on earth.  If we are willing to humble ourselves and change course then there is hope for us.  If not, then the road that we are currently on will only lead to national disaster.

The following are 112 questions to ask yourself in 2012….

#1 Are Barack Obama and Mitt Romney really the best that America can come up with?

#2 Right now the nations of the world are 55 trillion dollars in debt.  How long will it be before this system of debt totally collapses?

#3 What things in life are you truly grateful for?  Do you ever take time to thank those that have been so good to you?

#4 In 2012, when you add the maturing debt that the Italian government must roll over to their projected budget deficit, it comes to 23.1 percent of Italy’s GDP.  How in the world is Italy going to be able to handle that in this economic environment?

#5 What do you feel like you are missing in life?  Are you actively looking for those things?

#6 According to a survey conducted by the National Geographic Society, only 37 percent of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 can find Iraq on a map of the world.  What does that say about our education system?

#7 Do you give more than you take?  Would you rather serve people or be served?

#8 Why were gun sales in the United States at record levels as we entered 2012?

#9 What are you afraid of? Are those fears rational or irrational?

#10 168 million emails are sent every single minute.  Are we rapidly getting to the point of information overload?

#11 Do you care enough about other people?  Do you spend more time thinking about yourself or thinking about others?

#12 Why are there 18.5 million vacant homes in America today?

#13 Did you spend enough time with your family last year?  Will you spend enough time with them this year?

#14 The number of Americans on food stamps has increased by 20 million over the past five years.  What does that say about the state of the U.S. economy?

#15 Is your family prepared for what is about to happen to this world?

#16 Why do the poor in America just keep getting poorer?

#17 After you are dead, what will people be saying about you?  Will they miss you or will they be glad that you are gone?

#18 Why have 10 million more Americans fallen below the poverty line since 2006?

#19 What do you need to change about yourself?

#20 Should we all be concerned that doctors in India say that “incurable” cases of tuberculosis are showing up in India?

#21 Who do you know that could use some more love?

#22 Why is the Department of Homeland Security scanning Facebook and Twitter for “sensitive words“?

#23 Is your country a better place because you live there?

#24 Why is the FBI building a massive new biometric database?

#25 What do you think your life will be like ten years from now?

#26 40,000 new laws went into effect across the United States as 2012 began.  What does that say about the culture in this nation?

#27 If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would that be and why?

#28 What did Mitt Romney mean when he stated that he wants to “eliminate some of the differences, repeal the bad, and keep the good” in Obamacare?

#29 What is the best piece of advice that you have ever gotten?  Are you still following it?

#30 Is it a good thing that the wealthiest 10 percent of all Americans have 56 percent of all the wealth?

#31 What books do you need to put on your reading list this year?

#32 About half of all Americans are now either living in poverty or are considered to be low income.  So are we still a “wealthy” nation?

#33 What are the things that you do that waste the most time?

#34 Why aren’t more Americans concerned that the trade deficit is increasing again?  This is one of the things that killed the Greek economy and it is most definitely sucking the life out of our own economy.  Could it be that most Americans have become so “dumbed down” that they don’t even know what a trade deficit is?

#35 What would happen to you and your family if you suddenly lost your job?

#36 How is Germany able to build twice as many cars every year as the United States does?

#37 Have you done anything worth remembering lately?

#38 Why is the average age of a vehicle in America now sitting at an all-time high?

#39 If you only had one day left to live, how would you spend that day?

#40 How stupid are the American people for piling up 700 billion dollars in credit card debt?

#41 Is there anything that is worth giving your life for?

#42 If Obamacare is so great for working people, then why are so many unions requesting (and getting) Obamacare waivers from the federal government?

#43 Do you believe that you can be a hero?

#44 Why is the government allowing genetically modified mosquitoes to be released in the United States?

#45 What is one great decision that you can make right now?

#46 Why is Mitt Romney taxed at a lower rate than most middle class Americans are?

#47 If someone gave you one million dollars today, how would you spend it?

#48 Who decided that it would be a good idea for TSA “VIPR Teams” to set up thousands of internal checkpoints across the United States every year?

#49 What is the number one thing on your Bucket List?  Why haven’t you done it already?

#50 Why is the federal government spending billions of dollars to militarize local police departments across the United States?

#51 If it was possible, would you want to live forever?

#52 Should we be concerned that 30% of all Americans get arrested by the age of 23?

#53 Where would you rather be than right here right now?

#54 Why did the D.C. government pass a new law that protects the rights of rats?

#55 Which is greater – the number of people that you love, or the number of people that you hate?

#56 Are CEOs really 243 times more valuable than the average worker is?

#57 What will your legacy be?

#58 Is the massive swarm of earthquakes that New Zealand is experiencing a sign that the “Ring of Fire” is becoming more active?

#59 What would your plan be if there was a major volcanic eruption on the west coast of the United States?

#60 If 63 percent of all mortgaged properties in the state of Nevada are still “underwater”, then how in the world can anyone claim that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the housing crisis?

#61 Why is the federal government arresting people who produce raw milk?

#62 Is the world on the verge of an absolutely nightmarish water crisis?

#63 What are you really good at?  Are you using that skill to make a difference in the lives of others?

#64 Why is the U.S. government giving nearly half a billion dollars every 12 months to an organization that performs about 300,000 abortions a year?

#65 What is the meaning of life?

#66 Why are so many Planned Parenthood executives earning well over $100,000 a year?

#67 How can you make tomorrow better than today?

#68 While the TSA is groping millions of Americans at airports every year, rampant sex trafficking is going on in virtually every major American city.  Isn’t it time that we admitted that our allocation of law enforcement resources is very seriously flawed?

#69 How can you make next week better than this week?

#70 One recent survey found that only 29 percent of people would describe themselves as “very happy”.  So what does that say about the state of our country?

#71 Do you consider yourself to be good?  If so, how did you determine that?

#72 If we are on the verge of a global recession, then why is the stock market still so high?

#73 What would happen if government spending was cut by 50 percent?

#74 Is the euro going to eventually fall to parity with the U.S. dollar?

#75 If the euro fails, what will Europe do?  Would national currencies make a comeback or would a new “European currency” be created?

#76 Are we getting dangerously close to a war in the Middle East?

#77 What would happen to the price of gasoline if foreign oil supplies from the Middle East were suddenly cut off?

#78 Is Germany going to just stand by and watch Greece default?

#79 Is it likely that your eating habits will send you to an early grave?  If so, why not make this the year when they change?

#80 Why aren’t politicians from either major political party doing something to stop the massive flood of blue collar jobs that is pouring out of this country?  Don’t they care about average Americans?

#81 Why do we spend so much time on things that simply do not matter?

#82 Since 1971, consumer debt in the United States has increased by a whopping 1700%.  Is that a sign of a nation that is going to be prosperous in the long run?

#83 Does the U.S. need a new major political party?

#84 The U.S. debt problem continues to escalate.  During the Obama administration, the U.S. government has accumulated more debt than it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that Bill Clinton took office.  Very few of our politicians seem alarmed by this.  Are we the stupidest generation in American history?

#85 Does the U.S. need a new Constitutional Convention?

#86 When we finally see the U.S. economy collapse, who will be in better shape – those that have spent years preparing or those that have not prepared at all?

#87 Are you so afraid to fail that you simply do not even try anymore?

#88 We are facing the most horrific retirement crisis in U.S. history.  Right now, more than 10,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65 every single day.  So where in the world are we going to get all the money we need to pay them the retirement benefits that we have promised them?  Isn’t the Social Security system essentially one gigantic Ponzi scheme?

#89 If people started following your example, would that be a good thing?

#90 According to one Gallup survey, 7 out of every 10 Americans believe that religion is losing influence in the United States.  Is that good for America or bad for America?

#91 Do you ever do anything that is outside of your comfort zone?

#92 The U.S. dollar has lost well over 95 percent of its value since the Federal Reserve was created, the U.S. national debt is more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was created and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has a track record of incompetence that is absolutely mind blowing.  So what possible justification is there for allowing the Federal Reserve to continue to issue our currency and run our economy?

#93 If you lost everything that you currently own, would your life be over?

#94 If the European financial system is going to be just fine, then why is the UK government preparing feverishly for the collapse of the euro?

#95 When you meet someone for the first time, do you tend to instantly love them or do you tend to instantly judge them?

#96 If the one thing that almost everyone in the Republican Party seems to agree on is that Obamacare is bad, then why is the candidate that created the plan that much of Obamacare was based upon about to run away with the race for the Republican nomination?

#97 Do you feel like you are truly alive?  If not, what can you do to change that?

#98 Why have we allowed the “too big to fail” banks to become even larger?

#99 Who are you living your life for?  Does the answer to that question excite you or depress you?

#100 One recent survey found that 77 percent of all U.S. small businesses do not plan to hire any more workers.  So where are all of the jobs for the “economic recovery” going to come from?

#101 As you have gotten older, have you also become more loving?

#102 Since 1964, the reelection rate for members of the U.S. House of Representatives has never fallen below 85 percent.  How stupid can the American people possibly be?  They keep sending the exact same Congress critters back to Washington D.C. over and over and over.

#103 Do you treat others the way that you would like to be treated?

#104 According to a recent Pew Research Center analysis, only 51 percent of all Americans that are at least 18 years old are currently married.  Back in 1960, 72 percent of all U.S. adults were married.  Without strong family units, can America survive?

#105 Do you prefer to forgive those that have hurt you or do your prefer to hold long grudges?

#106 According to an analysis of Census Bureau data done by the Pew Research Center, the median net worth for households led by someone 65 years of age or older is 47 times greater than the median net worth for households led by someone under the age of 35.  So why are so many young people so broke?

#107 Do you tell your family and your friends that you love them or do you just assume that they already know?

#108 According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 36.4% of all children that live in Philadelphia are living in poverty, 40.1% of all children that live in Atlanta are living in poverty, 52.6% of all children that live in Cleveland are living in poverty and 53.6% of all children that live in Detroit are living in poverty.  How bad are things going to be when the economy gets even worse?

#109 If Bill Gates gave every single penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for about 15 days.    How in the world can we justify putting so much debt on to the backs of future generations?

#110 How do you want the story of your life to end?

#111 Will the years ahead find you cowering in fear or will they find you enjoying greater adventures than you ever dreamed of?

#112 If you had the opportunity to tell everyone in America one thing, what would it be?

Poverty In America: A Special Report

America is getting poorer.  The U.S. government has just released a bunch of new statistics about poverty in America, and once again this year the news is not good.  According to a special report from the U.S. Census Bureau, 46.2 million Americans are now living in poverty.  The number of those living in poverty in America has grown by 2.6 million in just the last 12 months, and that is the largest increase that we have ever seen since the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures back in 1959.  Not only that, median household income has also fallen once again.  In case you are keeping track, that makes three years in a row.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the United States dropped 2.3% in 2010 after accounting for inflation.  Overall, median household income in the United States has declined by a total of 6.8% once you account for inflation since December 2007.  So should we be excited that our incomes are going down and that a record number of Americans slipped into poverty last year?  Should we be thrilled that the economic pie is shrinking and that our debt levels are exploding?  All of those that claimed that the U.S. economy was recovering and that everything was going to be just fine have some explaining to do.

Back in the year 2000, 11.3% of all Americans were living in poverty.  Today, 15.1% of all Americans are living in poverty.  The last time the poverty level was this high was back in 1993.

However, it is important to keep in mind that the government definition of poverty rises based on the rate of inflation.  If inflation was still calculated the way that it was 30 or 40 years ago, the poverty line would be much, much higher and millions more Americans would be considered to be living in poverty.

So why is poverty in America exploding?  Who is getting hurt the most?  How is America being changed by this?  What is the future going to look like if we remain on the current path?

Let’s take a closer look at poverty in America….

The Shrinking Number Of Jobs

Unemployment is rampant and the number of good jobs continues to shrink.  Once upon a time in America, if you really wanted a job you could go out and get one.  Today, competition for even the lowest paying jobs has become absolutely brutal.  There simply are not enough chairs at the “economic table”, and not being able to get a good job is pushing large numbers of Americans into poverty…..

*There are fewer payroll jobs in the United States today than there were back in 2000 even though we have added 30 million people to the population since then.

*Back in 1969, 95 percent of all men between the ages of 25 and 54 had a job.  In July, only 81.2 percent of men in that age group had a job.

*If you gathered together all of the unemployed people in the United States, they would constitute the 68th largest country in the world.

*According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if you factored in all of the short-term discouraged workers, all of the long-term discouraged workers and all of those working part-time because they cannot find full-time employment, the real unemployment rate right now would be approximately 23 percent.

*If you have been unemployed for at least one year, there is a 91 percent chance that you will not find a new job within the next month.

The Working Poor

The number of low income jobs is rising while the number of high income jobs is falling.  This has created a situation where the number of “the working poor” in America is absolutely skyrocketing.  Millions of Americans are working as hard as they can and yet they still cannot afford to lead a middle class lifestyle.

*Since the year 2000, we have lost approximately 10% of our middle class jobs.  In the year 2000 there were about 72 million middle class jobs in the United States but today there are only about 65 million middle class jobs.

*Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs.  Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.

*Between 1969 and 2009, the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 dropped by 27 percent after you account for inflation.

*According to a report released in February from the National Employment Law Project, higher wage industries are accounting for 40 percent of the job losses in America but only 14 percent of the job growth.  Lower wage industries are accounting for just 23 percent of the job losses but 49 percent of the job growth.

*Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.

*Last year, 19.7% of all U.S. working adults had jobs that would not have been enough to push a family of four over the poverty line even if they had worked full-time hours for the entire year.

*The number of Americans that are going to food pantries and soup kitchens has increased by 46% since 2006.

Unprecedented Dependence On The Government

Because they cannot get good jobs that will enable them to support themselves and their families, millions of Americans that used to be hard working contributors to society are now dependent on government handouts.  Nearly every single measure of government dependence is at a record high, and there are no signs that things are going to turn around any time soon.

*One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one government anti-poverty program.

*Nearly 10 million Americans now receive unemployment benefits.  That number is almost four times larger than it was back in 2007.

*More than 45 million Americans are now on food stamps.  The number of Americans on food stamps has increased 74% since 2007.

*Approximately one-third of the entire population of Alabama is now on food stamps.

*More than 50 million Americans are now on Medicaid.

*Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, approximately one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.

*In 1980, just 11.7% of all personal income came from government transfer payments.  Today, 18.4% of all personal income comes from government transfer payments.

The Suffocating Cost Of Health Care

Millions of American families are being financially crippled by health care costs.  The U.S. health care system is deeply, deeply broken and Obamacare is going to make things even worse.  Health care is one of the top reasons why American families get pushed into poverty.  Most of us are just one major illness or disease from becoming financially wrecked.  Just ask anyone that has gone through it.  The health insurance companies do not care about you and they will try to wiggle out of their obligations at the time when you need them the most.  If you talk to people that have been through bankruptcy, most of them will tell you that medical bills were at least partially responsible.

*In America today, there are 49.9 million Americans that do not have any health insurance.  One single medical bill could easily wipe out the finances of most of those people.

*Only 56 percent of Americans are currently covered by employer-provided health insurance.

*According to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine, medical bills are a major factor in more than 60 percent of the personal bankruptcies in the United States.  Of those bankruptcies that were caused by medical bills, approximately 75 percent of them involved individuals that actually did have health insurance.

*According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, health care costs accounted for just 9.5% of all personal consumption back in 1980.  Today they account for approximately 16.3%.

More Children Living In Poverty

The United States has a child poverty rate that is more than twice as high as many European nations.  We like to think that we have “the greatest economy on earth”, but the reality is that we have one of the highest child poverty rates and it increased once again last year.

*The poverty rate for children living in the United States increased to 22% in 2010.  That means that tonight more than one out of every five U.S. children is living in poverty.

*The poverty rate for U.S. adults is only 13.7%.

*Households that are led by a single mother have a 31.6% poverty rate.

*Today, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

*It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point in their lives before they reach the age of 18.

*There are 314 counties in the United States where at least 30% of the children are facing food insecurity.

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

*It is estimated that up to half a million children may currently be homeless in the United States.

The Plight Of The Elderly

The elderly are also falling into poverty in staggering numbers.  They may not be out protesting in the streets, but that does not mean that they are not deeply, deeply suffering.

*One out of every six elderly Americans now lives below the federal poverty line.

*Between 1991 and 2007 the number of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 that filed for bankruptcy rose by a staggering 178 percent.

*The Baby Boomers have only just begun to retire, and already our social programs for seniors are starting to fall apart.  In 1950, each retiree’s Social Security benefit was paid for by 16 U.S. workers.  According to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are now only 1.75 full-time private sector workers for each person that is receiving Social Security benefits in the United States.

Squeezed By Inflation

Rising inflation is squeezing the budgets of average American families like never before.  Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke claims that inflation is still low, but either he is delusional or he has not been to a supermarket lately.

Personally, I do a lot of grocery shopping at a number of different stores, and without a doubt prices are absolutely soaring.  Many of the new “sale prices” are exactly what the old “regular prices” were just a few weeks ago.

Some companies have tried to hide these price increases by shrinking package sizes.  But there is no hiding the pain on the old wallet once you fill up your cart with what you need to feed your family.

*Over the past year, the global price of food has risen by 37 percent and this has pushed approximately 44 million more people around the world into poverty.

*U.S. consumers will spend approximately $491 billion on gas this year.  That is going to be a brand new all-time record.

*Right now, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States is $3.649.  That is 94 cents higher than 12 months earlier and it is a brand new record for this time of the year.

A Smaller Share Of The Pie

The size of the “economic pie” in America is shrinking, and the share of the pie for those that are poor is shrinking a lot faster than the share of the pie for those that are wealthy.

*According to the Washington Post, the average yearly income of the bottom 90 percent of all U.S. income earners is now just $31,244.

*When you look at the ratio of employee compensation to GDP, it is now the lowest that is has been in about 50 years.

*At this point, the poorest 50% of all Americans now control just 2.5% of all of the wealth in this country.

*Big corporations are even recognizing the change that is happening to America. Just consider the following example from a recent article in the Huffington Post….

Manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, the household-goods giant responsible for everything from Charmin and Old Spice to Tide, are concentrating their efforts on luxury and bargain items, putting less emphasis on products aimed at the middle class, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Conclusion

America is fundamentally changing.  We were a nation that had the largest middle class in the history of the globe, but now we are becoming a nation that is deeply divided between the haves and the have nots.

Perhaps you are still doing fine.  But don’t think that economic disaster cannot strike you.  Every single day, thousands more Americans will lose their jobs or will discover a major health problem.  Every single day, thousands more Americans will lose their homes or will be forced to take a pay cut.

If you still have a warm, comfortable home to sleep in, you should be thankful.  Poverty is a very sneaky enemy and it can strike at any time.  If you are not careful, you might be the next American to end up sleeping in your car or living in a tent city.

It is easy to disregard a couple of statistics, but can you really ignore the vast amount of evidence presented above?

It is undeniable that America is getting poorer.  Poverty is spreading and hopelessness and despair are rising.  There is a reason why the economy is the number one political issue right now.  Millions upon millions of Americans are in deep pain and they want some solutions.

Unfortunately, it appears quite unlikely that either major political party is going to offer any real solutions any time soon.  So things are going to keep getting worse and worse and worse.

Should we just keep doing the same things that we have been doing over and over and over and yet keep expecting different results?

What we are doing right now is not working.  We are in the midst of a long-term economic decline.  Both major political parties have been fundamentally wrong about the economy.  It is time to admit that.

If we continue on this path, poverty in America is going to continue to get a lot worse.  Millions of families will be torn apart and millions of lives will be destroyed.

America please wake up.

Time is running out.

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