The United States and China are the two largest economies in the world by far, and the upcoming trade war that is about to erupt will be cataclysmic for both sides. The Trump administration and the Chinese government are both gearing up for a prolonged trade war, and this is going to have very severe implications for the entire global economy. During the campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly stated that we “can’t continue to allow China to rape our country”, and he was quite correct about that. Over the past ten years, the U.S. has run a trade deficit of over $2 trillion with China, and as a result of imbalanced trade we have lost tens of thousands of manufacturing businesses, millions of good paying jobs, and hundreds of billions of dollars of tax revenue.
So clearly something needs to be done to balance our trade with China and other countries. But the situation must also be handled delicately, because trade disruptions could bring substantial short-term economic pain.
Prior to winning the election, Trump threatened to unilaterally impose a 45 percent tariff on Chinese exports. Unfortunately, China is not just going to sit there and take whatever Trump throws at them. Every single time the U.S. has imposed tariffs on Chinese goods in the past, China has responded by slapping tariffs on U.S. goods.
And this time around, the Chinese are already preparing a very harsh response even though Trump has not officially made his move yet…
The policy advisers believe the Trump administration is most likely to impose higher tariffs on targeted sectors where China has a big surplus with the United States, such as steel and furniture, or on state-owned firms.
China could respond with actions such as finding alternative suppliers of agriculture products or machinery and manufactured goods, while cutting its exports of consumer staples such as mobile phones or laptops, they said.
Other options include imposing tax or other restrictions on big U.S. firms operating in China, or limiting their access to China’s fast-growing services sector, they added.
When this coming trade war erupts, economic activity will be reduced significantly. And considering the fact that U.S. economic growth is projected to be about one percent in the first quarter of 2017, that could be more than enough to push us into a deep recession.
Some of the biggest U.S. exports to China include airplanes, autos and agricultural products, and the Chinese are ready to attack on all of those fronts. The following comes from CNN…
Here’s what Global Times, a newspaper backed by the Communist Party, had to say about how Beijing would respond to tariffs of 45%:
“A batch of Boeing orders will be replaced by Airbus,” the paper said Monday. “U.S. auto and iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback, and U.S. soybean and maize imports will be halted.”
But once again, something must be done for the long-term good of our country. We have been allowing the Chinese to flood our shores with super cheap goods, but meanwhile they have already been hitting our products with ridiculously high tariffs. Here is just one example…
U.S.-made cars exported to China face tariffs of at least 25 percent, including American-made Cadillacs. The American-made Jeep Grand Cherokee costs $27,490 at U.S. dealerships and cost at least $85,000 in China.
What we have with China today is very far from “free trade”, and if they want to trade with us they need to do so on a level playing field.
But China will never allow that to happen. As Donald Trump has correctly stated, they have been “raping” us for years, and they are going to fight very hard to keep anything from upsetting the status quo.
Trump has got to do something for the long-term good of the U.S. economy, but he has also got to try to find a way to avoid a major trade war, because a major trade war would be exceedingly painful for both countries.
Most Americans don’t realize this, but more iPhones are actually sold in China than in the United States. And it is being projected that Boeing will sell nearly 7,000 airplanes to China over the next decade…
By the end of 2015, Chinese consumers bought 131 million iPhones. The total sales to U.S. customers during the same period stood at only 110 million. And iPhones are only a small part of U.S. exports. Boeing, which employs 150,000 workers in the U.S., estimates that China will buy some 6,810 airplanes over the next 20 years, and that market alone will be worth more than $1 trillion.
So what happens if all or part of that economic activity goes away?
“Millions of American jobs that appear unconnected to international trade—disproportionately lower-skilled and lower-wage jobs—would be at risk,” according to the PIIE study.
And of course a major trade war would hit American consumers very hard as well.
Just think about it. When you go into a Wal-Mart or a dollar store, are more of the products made in the United States or in China?
A trade war would hit all of us in the wallet as the cost of living goes up. And considering the fact that about two-thirds of the country is essentially living paycheck to paycheck, that would not be a good thing.
So yes, our trading relationship with China definitely needs to be rebalanced, but Trump needs to find a way to make this transition as minimally disruptive as possible.
A major trade war is just one of the “black swans” that could push us into the kind of economic nightmare scenario that I have been warning about for a very long time. And sometimes a trade war can serve as a prelude to a real war. The South China Sea has become a major sticking point between the U.S. and China, and the Chinese are getting ready to cross one of the “red lines” that Barack Obama established while he was still in office…
Beijing has plans to start construction on the disputed Scarborough Shoal this year.
China has reclaimed land in both the Spratly and Paracel Islands and constructed military outposts, but it has been hesitant to start construction on the Scarborough Shoal. Xiao Jie, the mayor of Sansha — an administrative base for China’s South China Sea activities masquerading as a city — said this week that China intends to construct environmental monitoring stations on a number of territories in the South China Sea, including the Scarborough Shoal.
So how will Trump respond when construction on Scarborough Shoal actually begins?
It will be very interesting to watch how that plays out.
The relationship between the United States and China was starting to deteriorate badly even before Donald Trump was elected, and it is very easy to see how it could totally break down in the months ahead.
And considering how interconnected the global economy is today, the United States and China could easily end up dragging down everyone else along with them.
A Quinnipiac University Poll that was released on Tuesday says that Donald Trump only has an approval rating of 37 percent. Meanwhile, that same survey found that Barack Obama currently has an approval rating of 55 percent. Of course considering the fact that Quinnipiac polls showed Hillary Clinton winning the election in November easily, perhaps we should not put too much stock in these results. But other polling organizations have come up with similar results. In fact, an average of nine recent polls indicates that Trump’s approval rating is somewhere around 42 percent. So without a doubt there are a whole lot of people out there that do not like Donald Trump.
But the business community sure seems thrilled with him. We just witnessed one of the greatest post-election stock market rallies in American history, numerous corporations have already announced that they will be bringing jobs back to the United States, and Bloomberg is reporting that small business optimism has hit the highest level that we have seen since the end of 2004…
Optimism among America’s small businesses soared in December by the most since 1980 as expectations about the economy’s prospects improved dramatically in the aftermath of the presidential election.
The National Federation of Independent Business’s index jumped 7.4 points last month to 105.8, the highest since the end of 2004, from 98.4. While seven of the 10 components increased in December, 73 percent of the monthly advance was due to more upbeat views about the outlook for sales and the economy, the Washington-based group said.
On the surface, all of these numbers appear to be contradictory. If the American people are not feeling good about our new president, then it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that the small business community would be so optimistic.
But of course the American people are not a single monolithic entity in 2017. We are a deeply, deeply divided nation, and Donald Trump is the single most polarizing political figure to come along in generations.
Those that love Trump tend to really love Trump, and most of those people are quite optimistic about the future.
And those that hate Trump tend to really hate Trump. Yesterday, I explained that the radical left wants to transform Inauguration Day into an epic riot, and many of his opponents are planning to spend the next four years doing whatever they can to destroy him.
Just look at what happened today. The top story on CNN was about how the Russians supposedly have “compromising personal and financial information” on Donald Trump that they can use to blackmail him…
Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.
The allegations were presented in a two-page synopsis that was appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The allegations came, in part, from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible. The FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, which are based primarily on information from Russian sources, but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Mr. Trump.
If you want to read the full 35 page report, you can do so right here. Some of the things in the report are so absolutely laughable that I don’t know how anyone could possibly take them seriously. And one particularly absurd section of the report was reportedly originally fabricated by some pranksters on the Internet, but you probably won’t hear that in the mainstream media. CNN is standing by the legitimacy of these documents, and apparently U.S. Senator John McCain thought so much of them that he handed copies of them over to FBI Director James Comey on December 9th…
CNN has also learned that on December 9, Senator John McCain gave a full copy of the memos — dated from June through December, 2016 — to FBI Director James Comey. McCain became aware of the memos from a former British diplomat who had been posted in Moscow. But the FBI had already been given a set of the memos compiled up to August 2016, when the former MI6 agent presented them to an FBI official in Rome, according to national security officials.
The raw memos on which the synopsis is based were prepared by the former MI6 agent, who was posted in Russia in the 1990s and now runs a private intelligence gathering firm. His investigations related to Mr. Trump were initially funded by groups and donors supporting Republican opponents of Mr. Trump during the GOP primaries, multiple sources confirmed to CNN. Those sources also said that once Mr. Trump became the nominee, further investigation was funded by groups and donors supporting Hillary Clinton.
According to this report, the Russian government has been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” Donald Trump “for at least five years”.
So has Donald Trump really been a super secret Russian agent all this time?
Of course not. The mainstream media has decided to peddle Internet hoaxes, rampant speculation and fake news as legitimate journalism, and it is absolutely disgraceful.
But we are going to see much more of this. The goal is to destroy Donald Trump, and this is a game that will be played daily now for the next four years.
We are a nation that is bitterly divided, and after everything that has already been said and done I don’t know if Donald Trump could bring us back together even if he wanted to do so.
The protests against Trump in Washington D.C. start in just four days. I think that the period of time immediately surrounding Inauguration Day is going to set the tone for how Trump’s first year is going to play out.
I am definitely hoping for the best, but I also know that there is a large portion of the population that considers him to be the personification of everything that is wrong with America, and they have absolutely no intention of following his leadership.
It has been said that a house divided against itself will surely fall, and America is a deeply, deeply divided nation in early 2017.
Perhaps Trump can prove the naysayers wrong and bring us all together in unity, but at this point I am not optimistic that any president will be able to do this ever again.
Optimism about the future of the U.S. economy has not been this strong since Barack Obama’s first presidential election victory in 2008. Donald Trump promised us an economic resurgence, and what is not to like so far? As I discussed earlier this week, stocks are soaring, businesses are already announcing that they are bringing jobs back to the United States, and the U.S. dollar has been lifted to levels that we haven’t seen in many years. Many are referring to this post-election surge as “Trumphoria”, and I think that is quite appropriate. Personally, I couldn’t imagine financial markets behaving this way if Hillary Clinton had won the election. Right now tens of millions of Americans are feeling deeply optimistic about the future for the first time in a very long time, and this is clearly reflected in the results of the most recent CNBC All-America Economic Survey…
The CNBC All-America Economic Survey for the fourth quarter found that the percentage of Americans who believe the economy will get better in the next year jumped an unprecedented 17 points to 42 percent, compared with before the election. It’s the highest level since President Barack Obama was first elected in 2008.
The surge was powered by Republicans and independents reversing their outlooks. Republicans swung from deeply pessimistic, with just 15 percent saying the economy would improve in the next year, to strongly optimistic, with 74 percent believing in an economic upswing. Optimism among independents doubled but it fell by more than half for Democrats. Just 16 percent think the economy will improve.
It is funny how our political perspectives so greatly shape our view of the future. Because Trump won, Democrats now have an extremely dismal opinion of where the economy is heading, while Republicans suddenly believe that happy days are here again.
Of course the truth is that the president has far less power to influence the economy than the Federal Reserve does, and so most Americans greatly overestimate what a president can do to alter our economic trajectory.
But for now most Americans (excluding Democrats) are feeling really good about where things are headed. In fact, we just learned that the University of Michigan consumer confidence survey has soared to the highest level that we have seen since 2005.
And of course the financial markets continued to roll onward and upward on Friday. The Dow was up another 142 points, and it is now less than 250 points away from the magic number of 20,000.
I never thought that we would actually get to 20,000, but thanks to “Trumphoria” we may actually get there before the wheels start coming off.
This post-election run has really been unprecedented. The following comes from CNBC…
All major indexes have been hitting record highs since the election. In fact, the Dow has notched 14 record closes since then and gains in 20 of the past 24 sessions.
The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq also did something they haven’t done in more than five years: all three rose each day of this trading week. The last time all three rose every day during the same trading week was September 2011.
Wouldn’t it be great if every month during Trump’s presidency was like the last 30 days?
Trump promised that we would start winning so much that we would actually start getting tired of winning, and so far we are off to a tremendous start.
The shares of Wells Fargo, the most hated bank in America these days, soared 28% over the past 30 days, Citigroup 25%, JP Morgan 26%, Goldman Sachs, which is successfully placing its people inside the Trump administration, 37%.
But is this momentum in the financial markets sustainable?
Of course not.
There are signs of emerging economic trouble all around us. For instance, Sears just announced that it lost 748 million dollars last quarter and that it plans to liquidate even more stores.
How in the world do you lose three-quarters of a billion dollars in a single quarter? If you had employees in every store literally flushing dollar bills down the toilet all day I don’t think you could lose money that quickly.
And the moment that Trump takes office, he may immediately be faced with a major financial crisis in Europe which has been sparked by the meltdown of large Italian banks. The following comes from a Forbes article entitled “Italy’s Banking Crisis Is Nearly Upon Us“…
There is a high degree of probability (approaching 90%, I’d say) that Italy will experience a severe banking crisis in the next few quarters. Perhaps they can stave off the problem for a year, but something will have to be done about the banks.
Unfortunately, it looks like things are about to get very real for Italian banking giant Monte dei Paschi di Siena. According to Reuters, the European Central Bank has turned down their request for more time to raise needed capital…
The European Central Bank has rejected a request by Italy’s Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI) for more time to raise capital, a source said on Friday, a decision that piles pressure on the Rome government to bail out the lender.
Italy’s third-largest bank, and the world’s oldest, had asked for a three-week extension until January 20 to try to wrap up a privately funded, 5 billion euro ($5.3 billion) rescue plan in the face of fresh political uncertainty.
The ECB’s supervisory board turned down the request at a meeting on Friday on the grounds that a delay would be of little use and that it was time for Rome to step in, the source said.
But most Americans have no idea what is unfolding in Europe right now.
As Americans, we tend to be largely oblivious to what is going on in the rest of the world, and at this moment “Trumphoria” has gripped our nation.
It is certainly not wrong to celebrate the fact that we are getting Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton, but let us also not lose sight of the fact that we are likely to be facing some tremendous challenges very early in 2017.
Without free and fair elections, what hope is there for the future of America? The integrity of our voting process is of the utmost importance, and yet so little attention is being paid to it. Later this week I am going to share some documented facts about voting fraud during the 2012 election that most Americans have never even heard about, and it is absolutely imperative that we don’t allow this kind of funny business to happen again this time. Today, I am going to share some examples of how dead people and illegal immigrants are actually being registered to vote all over America. Despite very strong and very angry denials by the mainstream media, the truth is that election fraud is absolutely rampant in this country, and when someone tries to steal an election they are committing a crime against all of us.
Let’s start with what just happened in Virginia. A college student at James Madison University is under investigation for registering 19 dead people to vote so that he could vote for Hillary Clinton a whole bunch of times…
Meet, Andrew Spieles, a student at James Madison University, and apparently “Lead Organizer” for HarrisonburgVOTES. According to the Daily News-Record, Spieles confessed to re-registering 19 deceased Virginians to vote in the 2016 election cycle.
While this should come as a surprise to precisely 0 people, Spieles just happens to be Democrat who, accorded to a deleted FaceBook post, apparently recently ran for Caucus Chair of the Virginia Young Democrats.
In recent weeks I have been researching election fraud extensively, and almost every time it involves Democrats. Perhaps they take lying, cheating and stealing a lot less seriously than Republicans do. This student at James Madison University was caught when a note congratulating a deceased veteran for registering to vote was sent to his family. The following comes from the Washington Post…
One case came to light after relatives of a deceased man received a note congratulating him for registering, Rockingham County Commonwealth’s Attorney Marsha Garst said Thursday.
“His family members were very distraught,” said Garst, who confirmed the existence of the FBI and police investigation but said she could provide few details because the case is ongoing.
Of course there are lots of other examples of this kind of thing happening around the nation. In the swing state of Colorado, an investigation has uncovered a “very serious” pattern of dead people actually casting votes in multiple elections. One has to wonder how long this has been going on…
Local officials in Colorado acknowledged “very serious” voter fraud after learning of votes cast in multiple elections under the named of recently-deceased residents.
A local media outlet uncovered the fraud by comparing voting history databases in the state with federal government death records. “Somebody was able to cast a vote that was not theirs to cast,” El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman told CBS4 while discussing what he called a “very serious” pattern of people mailing in ballots on behalf of the dead.
It’s not clear how many fraudulent ballots have been submitted in recent years. CBS4 reported that it “found multiple cases” of dead people voting around the state, revelations that have provoked state criminal investigations.
It also turns out that dead people have been voting in California. In fact, one dead man in the state has been casting votes since 2004, and authorities have found “hundreds” of similar examples…
“He took a lot of time choosing his candidates,” said Annette Givans of her father, John Cenkner.
Cenkner died in Palmdale in 2003. Despite this, records show that he somehow voted from the grave in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010.
But he’s not the only one.
CBS2 compared millions of voting records from the California Secretary of State’s office with death records from the Social Security Administration and found hundreds of so-called dead voters.
Do these instances of voting fraud make you angry?
If so, that is good, because they should. Countless numbers of Americans have laid down their lives to give us the right to vote, and the people behind this vote fraud are making a mockery of their sacrifices.
At least 86 non-citizens have been registered voters in Philadelphia since 2013, and almost half — 40 — even voted in at least one recent election, according to a legal group that sued to get voter registration records.
Joseph Vanderhulst, an attorney with the Public Interest Legal Foundation, noted Philadelphia knows about those 86 illegal voters only because officials received specific requests — in almost every case from the voters themselves — to remove the names from the rolls. He said there is no way to know how many non-citizens might be registered to vote in Philadelphia, let alone in the rest of politically crucial Pennsylvania.
But of course Pennsylvania is far from alone. It also turns out that lots of illegal immigrants have been voting in Virginia…
Philadelphia becomes the latest jurisdiction that the Public Interest Legal Foundation has revealed to have irregularities in the voter rolls. The group recently found 1,046 non-citizens who had been registered to vote in eight Virginia counties and that nearly 200 cast ballots between 2005 and 2015.
It should be obvious to anyone with an ounce of common sense that we need to tighten up our voting laws and that we need much stricter enforcement. Unfortunately, Democrats typically fight tooth and nail against such measures.
In Indiana, state police just raided a voter registration agency that appears to have been involved in a voting fraud scheme that spanned nine counties. What they have uncovered so far is extremely alarming…
Police said the growing number of involved counties leads investigators to believe that the number of fraudulent records might be in the hundreds.
The possible fraudulent information is a combination of fake names, addresses and dates of birth with real information.
No matter what your political perspective is, the facts that I just laid out should deeply disturb you.
There are documented incidents of voting fraud all over the nation, and it is inexcusable that dead people and illegal immigrants are being allowed to cast votes in our elections.
And later this week I am going to share with you some absolutely amazing evidence that a systematic attempt was made to alter the outcome of the last presidential election.
If we don’t stop these crooks from messing with our elections, it is just going to keep happening over and over again. So if you see something strange when you go to vote in 2016, please let me know, because I plan to make this a major issue if there is evidence of fraud this time around.
Is it “anti-faith” to prepare for the very hard times that are coming? You would be surprised at how many Christians believe that this is true. Recently, I have been reading a number of articles by Christian leaders that take the position that Christians should not be preppers, and not too long ago I watched two very well known ministers actually mock the idea of preparing for the future on a major Christian television show. To me, this is exceedingly irresponsible. If you don’t want to do anything to get prepared for the very difficult years that are coming that is your business, but don’t urge multitudes of your fellow believers to go down that road with you.
In Matthew 24, Jesus describes what conditions will be like just prior to His return, and He told us that one of the things that we can expect is famine…
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines, epidemics, and earthquakes in various places.8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Jesus promises us that famine is coming, and if we truly are entering the period of time that the Bible refers to as “the last days”, this is one of the things that we should fully expect to see.
And yet there are very prominent preachers out there that have taken the liberty to mock other preachers that are actually encouraging their flocks to store up food and supplies.
Well, what are those mocking preachers going to do when things get really crazy and the people in their own congregations don’t have anything to eat?
Are those preachers going to personally feed all of them?
If you can see what is coming and you don’t warn the people, you are going to be responsible for what happens to them.
Without a doubt, it is very clear in the Scriptures that we are not to fear and that we are not to worry. We are repeatedly commanded to trust God with everything in our lives, but does “having faith” mean that we sit back on our couches watching television while we wait for God to do everything for us?
Of course not.
Radical faith almost always involves radical action. God tells us what to do, and then He expects us to trust Him enough to do what He has instructed us to do.
If faith really means doing nothing while God does everything, then why would any of us ever go to work?
Why wouldn’t we just sit back and wait for God to miraculously zap the money that we need into our bank accounts for us?
And why do those that are “living by faith” ever fill up their vehicles with gasoline?
Why don’t they just “trust God” to fill up their tanks every time?
Look, without a doubt God can do incredible supernatural things that require absolutely no participation on our part. I know that this is true, because it has happened to me many times. But the vast majority of the time God works with us and through us. He requires us to take challenging steps of faith and obedience, and in the process He leads us, He guides us, He blesses us and He opens doors for us.
Just look at the example of Noah. God could have certainly built an ark for Noah, or He could have zapped Noah up to some sort of “heavenly waiting area” while the flood happened.
But He didn’t do either of those things.
Instead, God ordered Noah to build a boat that was approximately the size of a World War II aircraft carrier, and then He watched as Noah and his family spent years doing exactly that.
Noah was the very first “prepper” in the Bible, and his radical faith resulted in radical action. In Hebrews 11:7, Noah is commended for this…
7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Unfortunately, many Christian leaders today mock this kind of effort. They seem to believe that if God wants them to survive what is coming then He will do everything for them.
Another example that we see in the Scriptures is Joseph. In Genesis chapter 41, God showed Joseph that there would be seven good years followed by seven lean years in the land of Egypt.
So how did Joseph respond?
He didn’t sit back and relax knowing that seven good years were ahead. Instead, he implemented the greatest “emergency food storage project” that the world had seen up until that time.
By heeding God’s warning and taking radical action, he ended up saving the nation of Egypt and his entire family as well.
I don’t get why more Christians can’t seem to understand these things. So many of them even admit that incredibly hard times are coming, and yet they accuse me of being “anti-faith” because I am constantly urging my readers to get prepared.
The following is an excerpt from one email that was sent to me by a fellow believer some time ago…
“Now, although I agree with you about the things you write about the corruption of the financial system, and that there will be a collapse, yet I do not agree with you in promoting people to be self-sufficient contrary to the Lord’s teaching. If you truly have God then no provision needs to be made at all for yourself, just trust in God’s providence alone.”
Just consider the implications of what this person was saying. If “no provision needs to be made at all for yourself”, then we should all quit our jobs, empty our bank accounts, quit saving for retirement and cancel our health insurance.
Personally, I want to be radical in trusting God, but trusting God almost always involves doing something.
There are so many passages in the Bible that speak about working hard and preparing for the future. For instance, the following bit of wisdom found in Proverbs 6:6-11 comes from the Modern English Version…
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise. 7 Which, having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 8 provides her bread in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.
9 How long will you sleep, O sluggard? When will you arise out of your sleep? 10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep— 11 so will your poverty come upon you like a stalker, and your need as an armed man.
Approximately one out of every 25 verses in the New Testament is about the last days. God obviously wants us to understand what we are going to be facing, and just like Noah and Joseph, He expects us to take appropriate action.
Unfortunately, most evangelical Christians have been taught that there isn’t any need to get prepared for the future because they are going to be taken off the planet before anything really bad happens. For the first 1800 years of the Christian era, the church did not teach this, but over the past 200 years this new doctrine has become dominant in the western world. It is called “the pre-Tribulation rapture”, and I grew up believing it too.
But you won’t find it anywhere in the Bible. In my new book entitled “The Rapture Verdict“, I spend 37 chapters conclusively proving that Jesus does not come back and gather His bride until the Tribulation is over. It is the clearest and most comprehensive work on the subject anywhere out there, and it is turning out to be one of the most controversial Christian books of 2016.
And even if you believe that a pre-Tribulation rapture is coming, the truth is that America is going to fall before we even get to the Tribulation. This is something that I also cover in my book.
So no matter what your view on Christian eschatology is, we all need to be getting prepared to face the exceedingly difficult times that are immediately ahead of us.
But just like in the days of Noah, most people are going to ignore the warnings, and the mockers are going to continue to mock until judgment begins.
I always expected that unbelievers would mock, but I never expected that so many Christian leaders would gleefully join the mocking.
In the end, they and their followers will pay a very great price for not listening to the warnings and not getting prepared while they still had time.
*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*
We have not seen global economic activity fall off this rapidly since the great recession of 2008. Manufacturing activity is imploding all over the planet, global trade is slowing down at a pace that is extremely alarming, and the Baltic Dry Index just hit another brand new all-time record low. If the “real economy” consists of people making, selling and shipping stuff, then it is in incredibly bad shape. Here in the United States, the dismal economic numbers continue to stun all of the experts. For example, on Monday we learned that the Texas general business activity index just hit a six year low…
Economic activity in Texas keeps getting worse.
The general business activity index out Monday from the Dallas Federal Reserve for January was -34.6, a six-year low and much worse than economists had expected.
The forecast for the monthly index was -14, following a December reading of -21.6 (revised from -20.1) that was also worse than expected.
The last coal train to leave Erwin rolled slowly out of town just after at 3 p.m. Thursday, less than eight hours after CSX Transportation employees heard the news that rocked all of Unicoi County.
“Its a hard pill to swallow,” county Mayor Greg Lynch said. “Of course, we heard rumors that something was coming down. But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine they would just shut down and leave town.”
CSX delivered the news of its decision to immediately close Erwin’s 175-acre rail yard and abruptly end the employment of the facility’s 300 workers in a series of meetings with employees conducted at the start of their morning shifts.
It has been said that if you want to know what is really happening with the U.S. economy, just watch the railroads.
And right now, rail traffic all over the nation is falling to depressingly low levels.
With regard to the train freight article this morning, we have in Grand Junction, CO., literally hundreds of engines sidelined on the tracks. They are three deep on some tracks and easily number over 250. I have never seen this many engines on the tracks before and I feel this is just another indicator of the slowdown in shipping.
In case you are tempted to think that this is just anecdotal evidence, I want you to consider what is happening to the largest railroad company in the United States.
According to Wolf Richter, operating revenues for Union Pacific were down 15 percent last year…
Union Pacific, the largest US railroad, reported awful fourth-quarter earnings Thursday evening. Operating revenues plummeted 15% year over year, and net income dropped 22%.
It was broad-based: The only category where revenues rose was automotive (+1%). Otherwise, revenues fell: Chemicals (-7%), Agricultural Products (-12%), Intermodal containers (-14%), Industrial Products (-23%), and Coal (-31%). Shipment of crude plunged 42%.
So Union Pacific did what American companies do best: it laid off 3,900 people last year.
And of course we can see evidence of the emerging economic slowdown all around us pretty much wherever we look. Sprint just laid off 8 percent of its workforce, GoPro is letting go 7 percent of its workers, and Wal-Mart just announced the closure of 269 stores.
But instead of dealing with reality, there are a lot of irrational optimists that insist that things will start bouncing back any day now. For instance, CNBC is reporting that Goldman Sachs is forecasting that the S&P 500 will end up finishing the year back at 2,100…
Goldman, though, is sticking with its forecast that the S&P 500 will rebound and finish the year at 2,100, a rise of about 11 percent from current levels but basically no net gain for the full year.
It is easy to say something like that, but the actions of the big banks speak louder than words.
Bank of America and Citigroup reduced headcount the most, eliminating about 20,000 staffers between them, according to fourth-quarter earnings reports from each bank. The respective moves amount to 4.6 percent and 4 percent fewer workers at the banks. JPMorgan Chase reported in its earnings that it employs 6,700 fewer workers than a year ago.
And guess what?
The “too big to fail” banks did the exact same thing just before the great stock market crash of 2008.
Since June 2015, approximately 15 trillion dollars of global stock market wealth has been wiped out. After a brief respite at the end of last week, it appears that the global financial crisis is getting ready to accelerate once again.
On Monday, the price of oil dipped back under 30 dollars, the Dow was down another 208 points, and the Nikkei is currently down another 389 points in early trading.
Somewhere close to one-fifth of all global stock market wealth has already been wiped out.
We only have about four-fifths left.
But in the end, I can talk about these numbers until I am blue in the face and some people will still not get prepared.
Some people have so much faith in Barack Obama, the Federal Reserve and the mainstream media that they would literally follow them off a cliff.
By now, most of the people that believe that they should prepare for the coming crisis have already gotten prepared, and most of those that want to believe that everything is going to work out just fine somehow are never going to get prepared anyway.
What is going to happen is going to happen, and tens of millions of people are going to end up bitterly regretting not listening to the warnings when they still had the chance.
When it comes to “prepping”, many among the elite take things to an entirely different level. As you will see below, the elite are willing to pay big money for cutting edge home security measures, luxury bomb shelters and superyacht getaway submarines. Some of the things that the elite are demanding for their own protection go beyond even what we would see in a James Bond film, and serving the prepping needs of the elite has become a multi-billion dollar business. Meanwhile, the media outlets that the elite own continue to mock the rest of us for getting prepared. All the time we see headlines like this one that appeared in a major American news source: “Preppers: Meet the paranoid Americans awaiting the apocalypse“. Well, if we are paranoid for setting aside some extra food and supplies for the future, what does that make the people that you will read about in this article?
Business is booming because billionaires are a paranoid bunch. Take one who recently moved to Mayfair. ‘He wanted everything, from protection from cyber hacking through to physical intrusion and kidnapping,’ says Bond Gunning. ‘We ended up installing fingerprint-activated locks for family members and programmable keys for staff that limit the time they are allowed into the property and the rooms they are able to enter and exit.
‘Inside and outside we installed 24-hour monitored CCTV cameras that are so hi-tech they can tell the difference between a dog, cat and a person. In the garden there are thermal-imaging cameras that can detect heat sources in the undergrowth. One thing intruders can’t hide is the heat of their bodies.
‘Should an intruder evade the cameras or ignore the warnings they automatically broadcast, the property itself is protected by bulletproof glass and alarm sensors in all rooms. There is a bullet, gas and bombproof panic or safe room, with its own food and water, medical supplies and communications, and an impregnable supply of fresh air. Just in case the family cannot make it there in time, key rooms are sealed by reinforced shutters.’
But for many elitists, those kinds of extreme security measures are simply not enough. That is why sales of “luxury doomsday shelters” are absolutely soaring. If “the end of the world” arrives unexpectedly, high net worth individuals want to know that there will be somewhere for them and their families to go. The following is an excerpt from an article about one such facility located in Indiana…
As we roll down US Highway 41 in Terre Haute, Indiana , my guide insists I give him my iPhone. Then he tosses me a satin blindfold. The terms of our trip were clear—I wasn’t to know where we were going or how we got there.That’s because we’re on our way to the undisclosed location of an underground bunker designed to survive the end of the world, whatever form that apocalypse takes.
When I remove my blindfold, I am standing in a grassy clearing looking at a boxy concrete structure that serves as the entrance to a Cold War–era government communications facility gutted and reborn as Vivos Indiana. This is the Ritz Carlton of doomsday shelters, a hideout where residents can wait out a nuclear winter or a zombie apocalypse in luxury and style while the rest of humanity melts and disintegrates. The living area has 12-and-a-half-foot ceilings, sumptuous black leather couches, wall art featuring cheerful Parisian street scenes, towering faux ferns, and plush carpets. Faith Hill croons from a large-screen TV set in front of three rows of comfy beige reclining chairs. The cupboards are stocked with 60 varieties of freeze-dried and canned foodstuffs; an evening meal might include spaghetti aglio e olio topped with skillet fried steak chunks, a fresh tomato-and-zucchini salad fresh from the hydroponic garden, and decadent turtle brownies. An eight-by-nine bedroom is designed for four people (there are larger units for six) and comes with double-queen bunks clothed in 600-thread-count ivory sheets and duvet covers worthy of a four-star hotel, a comparison highlighted on the Vivos website.
That sounds lovely.
But normal people like us cannot afford something like that. It will only be the elite that will be able to afford to hole up in underground bunkers while the world above descends into madness.
Other elitists will be taking off in their superyachts and heading out into the open ocean when things really start falling to pieces. And if their superyachts are threatened, some of them even have “getaway subs”. Here is more from the Evening Standard…
The ultimate vehicle of choice is no longer an armoured limousine or a private jet. They’re so Noughties. If you want bragging rights these days, you need your own submarine, which floats out of a sub-sea compartment in your superyacht. ‘It’s a toy, but if the worst happened, it could also be an escape route,’ says one prominent London tycoon with a weakness for Monaco-berthed superyachts — provided they have military-grade radar jammers and missile and torpedo defences.
So exactly why are so many among the elite so concerned about their own security these days?
Why are so many of them going to such extraordinary lengths to prepare for worst case scenarios?
Do they know something that the rest of us do not?
Is Barack Obama trying to kill the economy on purpose? On Sunday, we learned that Obama is imposing a nationwide 32 percent carbon dioxide emission reduction from 2005 levels by the year 2030. When it was first proposed last year, Obama’s plan called for a 30 percent reduction, but the final version is even more dramatic. The Obama administration admits that this is going to cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars a year and that electricity rates for many Americans are going to rise substantially. And what Obama is not telling us is that this plan is going to kill what is left of our coal industry and will destroy countless numbers of American jobs. The Republicans in Congress hate this plan, state governments across the country hate this plan, and thousands of business owners hate this plan. But since Barack Obama has decided that this is a good idea, he is imposing it on all of us anyway.
So how can Obama get away with doing this without congressional approval?
Well, he is using the “regulatory power” of the Environmental Protection Agency. Congress is increasingly becoming irrelevant as federal agencies issue thousands of new rules and regulations each and every year. The IRS, for example, issues countless numbers of new rules and regulations each year without every consulting Congress. Government bureaucracy has spun wildly out of control, and most Americans don’t even realize what is happening.
Last year, the Obama administration proposed the first greenhouse gas limits on existing power plants in U.S. history, triggering a yearlong review and 4 million public comments to the Environmental Protection Agency. In a video posted to Facebook, Obama said he would announce the final rule at a White House event on Monday, calling it the biggest step the U.S. has ever taken on climate change.
The final version imposes stricter carbon dioxide limits on states than was previously expected: a 32 percent cut by 2030, compared to 2005 levels, senior administration officials said. Obama’s proposed version last year called only for a 30 percent cut.
In America today, the burning of coal produces approximately 40 percent of the electrical power used by Americans each year.
So what is this going to do to our electricity bills?
You guessed it – at this point even the Obama administration is admitting that they are going to go up. The following comes from Fox News…
The Obama administration previously predicted emissions limits will cost up to $8.8 billion annually by 2030, though it says those costs will be far outweighed by health savings from fewer asthma attacks and other benefits. The actual price is unknown until states decide how they’ll reach their targets, but the administration has projected the rule would raise electricity prices about 4.9 percent by 2020 and prompt coal-fired power plants to close.
In the works for years, the power plant rule forms the cornerstone of Obama’s plan to curb U.S. emissions and keep global temperatures from climbing, and its success is pivotal to the legacy Obama hopes to leave on climate change. Never before has the U.S. sought to restrict carbon dioxide from existing power plants.
And we must keep in mind that government projections are always way too optimistic. The real numbers would almost surely turn out to be far, far worse than this.
In addition, these new regulations are going to complete Barack Obama’s goal of destroying our coal industry. In a previous article, I included an excerpt from a recent news article about how some of the largest coal producers in America have just announced that they are declaring bankruptcy…
On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that the biggest American producer of coking coal, Alpha Natural Resources, could file for bankruptcy as soon as Monday.
Barack Obama has actually done something that he promised to do.
He promised to kill the coal industry, and he is well on the way to accomplishing that goal.
Of course Hillary Clinton thinks that this is a splendid idea. She called Obama’s plan “the floor, not the ceiling”, and she is pledging to do even more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The following comes from the Washington Post…
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton pledged Sunday that if elected she will build on a new White House clean-energy program and defend it against those she called “Republican doubters and defeatists.”
Clinton was the first 2016 candidate to respond to the ambitious plan that President Obama will debut on Monday. Details of the program, which aims to cut greenhouse-gas pollution, were released over the weekend. The new regulation will require every state to reduce emissions from coal-burning power plants.
And you know what?
The climate control freaks will never be satisfied. Since just about all human activity affects the climate in some way, they will eventually demand control over virtually everything that we do in the name of “saving the planet”. That is why I call it “climate fascism” – in the end it is all about control.
During the month of September, the Pope is going to travel to the United Nations to give a major speech to kick off the conference at which the UN’s new sustainable development agenda will be launched. As I have documented previously, this new agenda does not just cover greenhouse gas emissions and the environment. It also addresses areas such as economics, agriculture, education and gender equality. It has been called “Agenda 21 on steroids”, and it is basically a blueprint for governing the entire planet.
Unfortunately, that is ultimately what the elite want.
They want to micromanage the lives of every, man, woman and child on the globe.
They will tell us that unless people everywhere are forced to reduce their “carbon footprints” that climate catastrophe is absolutely certain, but their “solutions” always mean more power and more control in their hands.
Barack Obama promised to fundamentally transform America, and he is doing it in hundreds of different ways. These new greenhouse gas regulations are just one example. Our nation is being gutted like a fish, and most Americans don’t seem to care.
What in the world will it take for this country to finally wake up?
As if anyone actually needed another reason to move out of the crazy state of California, now it is being reported that conditions in some areas of the state “are like a third-world country” due to the multi-year megadrought that has hit the state. In one California county alone, more than 1,000 wells have gone dry as the groundwater has disappeared. The state is turning back into a desert, and an increasing number of homes no longer have any water coming out of their taps or showerheads. So if you weren’t scared away by the wildfires, mudslides, high taxes, crime, gang violence, traffic, insane political correctness, the nightmarish business environment or the constant threat of “the big one” reducing your home to a pile of rubble, perhaps the fact that much of the state could soon be facing Dust Bowl conditions may finally convince you to pack up and leave. And if you do decide to go, you won’t be alone. Millions of Californians have fled the state in recent years, and this water crisis could soon spark the greatest migration out of the state that we have ever seen.
But today, years of very little rain are really starting to take a toll. In fact, one government official says that conditions in Tulare Country “are like a third-world country”…
Near California’s Success Lake, more than 1,000 water wells have failed. Farmers are spending $750,000 to drill 1,800 feet down to keep fields from going fallow. Makeshift showers have sprouted near the church parking lot.
“The conditions are like a third-world country,” said Andrew Lockman, a manager at the Office of Emergency Services in Tulare County, in the heart of the state’s agricultural Central Valley about 175 miles (282 kilometers) north of Los Angeles.
As California enters the fourth year of a record drought, its residents and $43 billion agriculture industry have drawn groundwater so low that it’s beyond the reach of existing wells. That’s left thousands with dry taps and pushed farmers to dig deeper as Governor Jerry Brown, a 77-year-old Democrat, orders the first mandatory water rationing in state history.
The mandatory water restrictions that Governor Brown is imposing are going to be very painful for a lot of people. We have just learned that some California communities will be required to cut their water usage by up to 36 percent…
Californians are going to have to start preparing for a dry summer as the dehydrated state prepares for a water crackdown.
In a somewhat controversial move, California water officials drafted a set of mandatory conservation regulations outlining varying degrees to which communities will be required to cut back on water use, ranging from 8 to 36 percent, depending on their history of water consumption.
The regulations — slated for approval in early May — are part of California’s first-ever attempt at mandatory rationing. Earlier this month, Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order requiring a 25 percent reduction in urban water use, a historic step in a series of measures aimed at conservation ahead of the state’s fourth consecutive year of drought.
And of course it isn’t just the state of California that is dealing with drought.
All over the southwest United States, we are seeing conditions that we have not witnessed since the days of the Dust Bowl in the 1930s.
In fact, the water level in Lake Mead is now the lowest that it has been since those days, and it is expected to drop even lower in the months ahead…
One of the most stunning places to see its impact is at the nation’s largest reservoir, Lake Mead, near Las Vegas. At about 40 percent of capacity, it’s the lowest it’s been since it was built in the 1930s.
“Just to see the rings around it, it’s just … kind of scary, you know,” says Darlene Paige, a visitor from New York. She’s standing at a vista point above the Hoover Dam on the Arizona side of Lake Mead.
That “ring” is the infamous bathtub ring around the rim of the reservoir. The levels have dropped 140 feet over the past 15 years, exposing a white stain on the gravelly brown mountains above the water. The level is forecast to fall an additional 10 feet by this summer.
According to the Government Accountability Office, it is being projected that a total of 40 U.S. states will be dealing with a shortage of water by the end of the next decade.
It has been said that “water is the new oil”, and this is just the beginning. The truth is that as bad as things are here, we are actually in far better shape than almost everyone else in the world to deal with the emerging global water crisis. All over the planet supplies of fresh water are disappearing, and the availability of water is going to increasingly become a major geopolitical issue in the years to come.
Parents across America who struggle to keep their young rambunctious kids clean now have a new obstacle: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
As part of its effort to help save the planet from the dangers of taking too many baths, the EPA’s WaterSense program is trying to convince kids they should avoid bathtubs in favor of showers, which it says is a far more efficient use of water.
“To save even more water, keep your shower under five minutes long—try timing yourself with a clock next time you hop in!” the “WaterSense for Kids” website says.
For most of our lives, most of us have been able to take water for granted.
But now things are changing, and we are going to have to adjust to these new realities.
So what do you think about this emerging water crisis? Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…
America is being suffocated to death by red tape. You are about to read about an 11-year-old girl in Illinois that had her cupcake business brutally shut down by government bureaucrats. Her name is Chloe Stirling and her crime was doing something that we used to applaud young people in America for doing. Instead of sitting on her sofa and watching television all day, she actually started her own business. And it turned out there her little business started thriving. In fact, it started doing so well that a local newspaper took notice of it. Well, that is when the control freaks swooped in and took her business away and banned her from selling any more cupcakes. The really sad thing is that people are being paid to do this with our tax dollars. All over America, little entrepreneurs are having their lemonade stands shut down and are being banned from selling Girl Scout cookies, and our tax dollars are paying the people that are doing it. As I wrote about earlier this month, the level of economic freedom in the United States is at an all-time low, and it gets worse with each passing year. The country that so many of us love is dying, and it is being replaced with something that I like to call “the USSA”.
In the Union of Soviet Socialist Americans, you have to have a government “license” or “permit” to do just about anything. If the government does not give you permission, you can get into a whole lot of trouble.
Little 11-year-old Chloe Stirling must have thought that this was still the nation that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson once founded, because she dared to actually start a business and sell cupcakes to the public. Little did she know that she would soon make national news…
An 11-year-old girl from Illinois got a dose of regulation American-style this week when local government officials shut down her cupcake business.
Chloe Stirling, from Troy, got the front-page treatment from her local newspaper, which featured how well her business, Hey, Cupcake, was doing. By all accounts, it was a successful little enterprise. Chloe was getting $10 for a dozen cupcakes and $2 for each specialty cupcake. She even donated her cupcakes when a boy in her school fighting cancer held a fundraiser.
So why did they shut her down?
Well, it turns out that she didn’t have a “permit” to sell cupcakes and her kitchen was not “licensed”.
Like I said, you have to have permission from the government to do just about anything these days.
Another example of this phenomenon that is absolutely infuriating took place out in Fauquier County, Virginia. When a mother held a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls and posted the photos on Facebook, she never imagined that she would soon be hit with $15,000 in fines…
Martha Boneta owns a small farm in Fauquier County, Virginia, where she recently hosted a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls. They wore hats, picked veggies, and made goat’s milk soap. The county says she should have obtain a license before hosting such an event and hit her with a $5,000 fine.
Boneta also got slammed with two more fines for $5,000 each, one for advertising a pumpkin carving and another for violations in the small shop on her property. Boneta sells produce from her farm, as well as eggs, yarn, birdhouses, and local crafts. She sought and received a license for the shop in 2011, but the county now says she can’t sell handiwork or produce from her neighbors under that license.
Stuff like this just makes me want to scream sometimes.
What is happening to this country?
A few years ago, my wife used to take old pieces of furniture, sand them down, repaint them and sell them to others. It was something that she really enjoyed doing and she made some extra money along the way.
But if you try doing that in some areas of the country today, the EPA could potentially hit you with a fine of $30,000 for a single incident in which you do not follow the proper procedures. The following is an excerpt from a discussion that some furniture painters were having on Facebook. It is a little technical, but it is worth reading. In this excerpt the identity of the business has been removed to protect the business from overzealous regulators…
As a painter in PA, I am required by law to test everything that I disturb and I must charge the customer $60 for every test I perform which adds up. What the law states in my area is that if I disturb more than 6 square inches on anything made prior to Jan 1 1979 I must test it. Disturbing means, sanding, scraping, or even using a sponge/scuff pad (like you use on your pots) if I disturb more than 6 inches, I must take photographs, document in 4 different logs, I have local, county, state, and federal log books. If I find lead then I must suit up. Originally, the law stated that if there were no children around then you didn’t have to do that however some lame brained legislator decided that if a child enters the premises for more than one hour a day, we must assume they will be in contact with the lead and therefore will contract lead poisoning. Then the legislators decided that if you were over the age of 60 then it didn’t matter, you didn’t have to test who cares if you get poisoned. Lo and behold OSHA stepped in and joined forces with the EPA, they decided that all were at risk including your pets and the leaves on your trees can hold the lead dust and …..well, that’s a whole other issue.
What is happening now is that so many painters decided they weren’t going to follow the lead law, that OSHA and EPA send out secret shoppers. A lot of us don’t even put our logo’s on our vehicles because that invites these shoppers to investigate. If you come to the **** ********, you won’t see signage on the building, you have to get to the actual door of the workroom to know we are there. We no longer have logo’s on our vehicles either as the fines are too stiff. There isn’t one of us that can afford a find of $30,000.00 A DAY, not a year, A DAY.
The government bureaucrats are running wild and the rest of us are just sitting back and letting it happen.
Things have gotten so bad in this country that the federal government even requires small-time magicians to submit “disaster plans” for the rabbits that they use in their acts. The following is an excerpt from one of my previous articles…
Central planning in this country is getting completely and totally out of control. These days, you can hardly do anything without running into a suffocating web of red tape. For example, a small-time magician from Missouri that does magic shows for kids was absolutely horrified when he learned that the Obama administration is requiring him to submit a 32 page “disaster plan” for the rabbit that he uses in his shows. Yes, this is actually true. His name is Marty Hahne, and he thought that it was bad enough when the U.S. Department of Agriculture busted him for not having a “license” for his rabbit. He went out and acquired the proper “license” for his rabbit, but he never dreamed that eventually he would also have to submit a 32 page “disaster plan” for the same rabbit.