The Man Without A Plan

Barack Obama is a man without a plan.  When you are young, they often tell you to “fake it until you make it”, but Barack Obama is taking this to ridiculous extremes.  Barack Obama has absolutely no idea what he is doing when it comes to the economy, and yet he continues to give speeches in which he declares that he is the man for the job.  The State of the Union speech the other night was just abysmal.  The federal government is spending way too much money, and yet Barack Obama is proposing even more government spending.  Entrepreneurs and small businesses are being taxed into oblivion and yet Barack Obama is proposing even higher taxes.  Our economy is being strangled to death by crippling regulations, and yet Barack Obama is proposing a vast array of new regulations.  Barack Obama always gives a nice speech, but it has become appallingly evident that he is totally out of ideas.  So our country will continue to drift aimlessly along without a direction and without a plan until the next financial tsunami comes along and makes things even worse.

And the American people are starting to clue in to the fact that Obama does not have a plan and does not have anything new to say.  Just check out how the audiences for his State of the Union addresses have declined each year….

2009: 52.3 million

2010: 48 million

2011: 42.8 million

2012: 37.8 million

His ratings are falling almost as fast as the ratings for American Idol are.

It is amazing how Barack Obama can use so many words to say so very little.

He always tickles our ears but then he never delivers the goods.  Toward the beginning of his speech the other night, he made the following statement….

“Tonight, I want to speak about how we move forward, and lay out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last—an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values”

Well, that sounds pretty good.  Except for the fact that everything he has done for the past 3 years has been the exact opposite of that.

It is almost as if he woke up that morning and decided that he would try the whole “do the opposite” thing once made famous by George Costanza on Seinfeld.

Obama says that our employment situation is getting better, but that is not really true.  The only way that the federal government can claim that there is an 8.5 percent unemployment rate is because they have decided that millions of Americans that have been unemployed for a long time should not be considered “part of the workforce” any longer.

If the number of Americans that were considered to be part of the workforce was the same today as it was back in 2007, the “official” unemployment rate put out by the U.S. government would be up to approximately 11 percent.

Sadly, the number of Americans that are dependent on the government continues to soar even higher.

Since Barack Obama took office, the number of Americans on food stamps has actually increased by 14 million.

Things have not gotten better for average Americans.

They have gotten worse.

In fact, 10 million more Americans have fallen below the poverty line since 2006.  And in 2010, more Americans fell into poverty than ever before.

A lot of people out there are really hurting, and the American people deserve some real answers.

But instead, Obama was saying stuff like this the other night….

“I intend to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place”

Oh really?

What is Obama actually doing about the things that caused the last financial crisis?

The “financial reform” bill was a complete and total joke.  Obama has been shamefully soft on the big Wall Street banks that caused the last crisis.

Today, the “too big to fail” banks are larger than ever.  The total assets of the six largest U.S. banks increased by 39 percent between September 30, 2006 and September 30, 2011.

So now they are more of a danger to the financial system than ever.

And not a single Wall Street executive has gone to jail for what they did during the last financial crisis.

Thanks Obama.

But of course Obama was never going to seriously go after Wall Street.

After all, they are the ones that fund his campaigns.

Most Americans don’t realize this, but 3 of the top 7 donors to Obama’s campaign in 2008 were “too big to fail” banks.

And the Obama administration has been absolutely packed with ex-Wall Street bankers.  Last year, Michael Brenner wrote the following about the composition of the Obama administration….

Wall Street’s takeover of the Obama administration is now complete. The mega-banks and their corporate allies control every economic policy position of consequence. Mr. Obama has moved rapidly since the November debacle to install business people where it counts most. Mr.William Daley from JP Morgan Chase as White House Chief of Staff. Mr. Gene Sperling from the Goldman Sachs payroll to be director of the National Economic Council. Eileen Rominger from Goldman Sachs named director of the SEC’s Investment Management division. Even the National Security Advisor, Thomas Donilon, was executive vice president for law and policy at the disgraced Fannie Mae after serving as a corporate lobbyist with O’Melveny & Roberts. The keystone of the business friendly team was put in place on Friday. General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt will serve as chair of the president’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

During his State of the Union address, Obama also promised to bring manufacturing jobs back to America….

“Think about the America within our reach: A country that leads the world in educating its people. An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs”

That sounds great, except for the fact that Obama has been doing everything he can to get more American jobs shipped out of the country.

The Obama administration has been aggressively pushing new “free trade” agreements with Panama, South Korea and Colombia.  The Obama administration has also made the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“the NAFTA of the Pacific“) an extremely high priority.

And of course we have all seen how wonderfully the first NAFTA worked out.

Our “free trade” policies have been an absolute nightmare for the American worker.

During 2010, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day shut down in the United States.  Overall, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have shut down since 2001.

We are bleeding jobs at a pace that is hard to believe.

Amazingly, the United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

Yet Obama promises more of the same and that is  supposed to help?

During his speech, Obama correctly noted that many foreign manufacturers are heavily subsidized….

“It’s not fair when foreign manufacturers have a leg up on ours, only because they’re heavily subsidized”

So are we going to deeply penalize those that have been cheating?

Are we going to warn them that we will stop trading with them unless they stop?

Of course not.

Obama is going to do next to nothing to stop what China and other predatory nations are doing to us.

Today, the United States spends approximately 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States, and the U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.

But the Obama administration doesn’t seem to care much about these things.

In fact, just check out what U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk told Tim Robertson of the Huffington Post about the Obama administration’s attitude toward keeping manufacturing jobs in America….

Let’s increase our competitiveness… the reality is about half of our imports, our trade deficit is because of how much oil [we import], so you take that out of the equation, you look at what percentage of it are things that frankly, we don’t want to make in America, you know, cheaper products, low-skill jobs that frankly college kids that are graduating from, you know, UC Cal and Hastings [don’t want], but what we do want is to capture those next generation jobs and build on our investments in our young people, our education infrastructure.

Oh, but Obama now says that he is going to toughen up on trade….

“I’m announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trading practices in countries like China. There will be more inspections”

Oh boy – “inspections” – yeah, that is really going to have the Chinese shaking in their boots.

Meanwhile, the Chinese just keep hitting us with new tariffs.  According to the New York Times, a Jeep Grand Cherokee that costs $27,490 in the United States will now cost about $85,000 in China thanks to these new tariffs.

So is Obama going to hit China with tough new tariffs in return?

Of course not.

Meanwhile, our economy continues to bleed businesses and jobs.  According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades if current trends continue.

But if you listen to Obama, he makes it seem like many of our industries are in better shape than ever….

“We bet on American ingenuity, and tonight the American auto industry is back.”

Yes, the American auto industry is no longer on the brink of bankruptcy, but it is not “back”.  Just consider the following stats….

*In 1970, General Motors had about a 60 percent share of the U.S. automobile market.  Today, that figure is down to about 20 percent.

*Back in 2000, about 17 million new automobiles were sold in the United States.  During 2011, less than 13 million new automobiles were sold in the United States.

*Japan builds more cars than anyone else on the globe.  Japan now manufactures about 5 million more automobiles than the United States does.

*Since Alan Mulally became CEO of Ford, the company has reduced its North American workforce by nearly half.

*In the year 2000, the U.S. auto industry employed more than 1.3 million Americans.  Today, the U.S. auto industry employs about 698,000 people.

Obama bailed out the auto industry, and they responded by sending even more of our jobs overseas.

During his speech, Obama declared that there will be no more bailouts….

“No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts.”

That is kind of funny because Obama is basically the all-time champion of handing out bailouts.

If Barack Obama and John McCain had not aggressively pushed for the Wall Street bailouts back in 2008, they never would have happened.

And once Obama became president, there was a seemingly endless parade of bailouts and “stimulus packages”.

So what do you honestly think he will do when the next financial crisis happens?  Do you think he would actually be able to resist the temptation for more bailouts?

Obama also says that he wants to spend more money on training for American workers….

“Join me in a national commitment to train two million Americans with skills that will lead directly to a job.”

But the American people already have enough training.  There are tons of college-educated Americans that are among the ranks of the unemployed right now.

What the American people need are jobs.

Unfortunately, jobs are leaving this country at an unprecedented pace.

Back in the year 2000, more than 20 percent of all jobs in America were manufacturing jobs.  Today, about 5 percent of all jobs in America are manufacturing jobs.

Not only that, but our incomes are also going down.  Because U.S. workers now have to compete for jobs with workers that make slave labor wages on the other side of the globe, pay in this country continues to decline.

A recent White House reported entitled “Investing in America: Building an Economy That Lasts” actually bragged that our trade policies have driven wages in America down.  The following chart is from that report….

The Obama administration has been very good for the largest corporations.

For the rest of us, not so much.

But Obama now says that he wants America to be a place that encourages entrepreneurs and small businesses to thrive….

“It means we should support everyone who’s willing to work; and every risk-taker and entrepreneur who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs.”

Unfortunately, the reality is that the federal government is strangling entrepreneurs and small businesses to death with taxes and crippling regulations.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.6 million Americans were self-employed back in December 2006.  Today, that number has shrunk to 14.5 million.

That is not a good trend.

And right now small businesses are extremely hesitant to bring on new workers.

One recent survey found that 77 percent of all U.S. small businesses do not plan to hire any more workers in the coming year.

So obviously what the Obama administration is doing is not working.

During his speech, Obama also spoke of developing our own energy resources….

“A future where we are in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity aren’t so tied to unstable parts of the world.”

Hopefully most of those watching laughed when they heard this, because this had to have been a joke.

America is absolutely swimming in oil and natural gas, and yet the Obama administration has blocked the development of those resources at every turn.

Instead, Obama has been very busy trying to push green energy companies on us, but they have had a nasty habit of going bankrupt.

During his speech, Obama also spoke of the need for “comprehensive immigration reform”.

But apparently Obama’s idea of “immigration reform” is to grant “backdoor amnesty” to the vast majority of the illegal immigrants in the United States and to continue to leave our borders completely wide open.

The consequences of such a policy are very serious.  As I wrote about the other day, there are now 1.4 million gang members living inside the United States, and that number has risen by an astounding 40 percent since 2009.

The last thing we need is more “immigration reform” from Barack Obama.

Of course the “class warfare” part was the centerpiece of Obama’s speech the other night.

Referring to it as the “defining issue of our time”, Obama said that now is the time to hit the wealthy with higher taxes….

“We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

This is going to be what Barack Obama is going to base his entire 2012 campaign on.  He is going to try to tap into the economic frustrations of the poor and the middle class and he is going to try to get them to blame the rich and the “party of the rich” (the Republicans).

But taxing the rich is not going to solve our problems.  If Bill Gates donated his entire fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for about 15 days.

The truth is that the ultra-wealthy are always several steps ahead of the U.S. government.  The global elite are hiding 18 trillion dollars in offshore banks, and they are absolute experts at avoiding taxes.

No, the people that always get hit when taxes are raised are small business owners that try to do things “by the book” and middle class families that are barely scraping by.

What we need to do is to get rid of the income tax system entirely.  It is deeply corrupt and it is full of thousands of loopholes.

Trust me, I know.  I used to study this stuff.

But Obama seems to think that taxing the rich is the solution to all of our problems….

“We don’t begrudge financial success in this country. We admire it. When Americans talk about folks like me paying my fair share of taxes, it’s not because they envy the rich. It’s because they understand that when I get tax breaks I don’t need and the country can’t afford, it either adds to the deficit, or somebody else has to make up the difference – like a senior on a fixed income; or a student trying to get through school; or a family trying to make ends meet. That’s not right. Americans know it’s not right. They know that this generation’s success is only possible because past generations felt a responsibility to each other, and to their country’s future, and they know our way of life will only endure if we feel that same sense of shared responsibility. That’s how we’ll reduce our deficit.”

Oh really?

If we just accept Obama’s plan the deficit will be fixed?

That worked out so well during his first term.  During the first three years of the Obama administration, the U.S. government accumulated more debt than it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that Bill Clinton took office.

The truth is that Obama does not plan to fix anything.  Barack Obama’s proposed 2012 budget projects that the national debt will rise to 26 trillion dollars a decade from now.  And his budget numbers are ridiculously optimistic.

Not that our tax system does not need reform.

If we are going to have an income tax system (which we should not), then it should at least be fair.

There is no way in the world that General Electric and Mitt Romney should pay a lower tax rate than you and I do.

In a previous article, I noted some of the big corporations that have made enormous profits and yet have paid less than zero in taxes in recent years….

What U.S. corporations are able to get away with is absolutely amazing.

The following figures come directly out of a report by Citizens for Tax Justice.  These are combined figures for the tax years 2008, 2009 and 2010.

During those three years, all of the corporations below made a lot of money.  Yet all of them paid net taxes that were below zero for those three years combined.

How is that possible?  Well, it turns out that instead of paying in taxes to the federal government, they were actually getting money back.

So for these corporations, their rate of taxation was actually below zero.

If you have not seen these before, you are going to have a hard time believing some of these statistics…..

*Honeywell*

Profits: $4.9 billion

Taxes: -$34 million

*Fed Ex*

Profits: $3 billion

Taxes: -$23 million

*Wells Fargo*

Profits: $49.37 billion

Taxes: -$681 million

*Boeing*

Profits: $9.7 billion

Taxes: -$178 million

*Verizon*

Profits: $32.5 billion

Taxes: -$951 million

*Dupont*

Profits: $2.1 billion

Taxes -$72 million

*American Electric Power*

Profits: $5.89 billion

Taxes -$545 million

*General Electric*

Profits: $7.7 billion

Taxes: -$4.7 billion

Are you starting to get the picture?

Hopefully we can all agree that there is something seriously wrong with those numbers.

But fixing holes in the tax system is one thing – blaming America’s economic ills on the wealthy is another.

During his speech, Obama made the following statement….

“You can call this class warfare all you want”

And yes, we will hear the term “class warfare” over and over again for the rest of 2012.

Obama actually believes that “blaming the 1%” can get him sent back to the White House again.

But that isn’t going to solve any of our problems.

Instead, we should be focusing on the root causes of our economic problems.

I would love to see a president get up during a State of the Union address and declare that we need to shut down the Federal Reserve.

Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, the U.S. dollar has lost over 95 percent of its purchasing power.

Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, the U.S. national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger.

Thanks to the debt-based Federal Reserve system, we are going into debt at a pace that is unlike anything the world has ever seen.

Right now, the federal government is stealing 150 million dollars an hour from our children and our grandchildren.

But Barack Obama loves the Federal Reserve.

In fact, he actually nominated Ben Bernanke for a second term as Federal Reserve Chairman even though Bernanke has a track record of incompetence that is legendary.

So no, nobody should be applauding Barack Obama for his absolutely abysmal speech the other night.

He is a man without a plan and he has been an absolute disaster for America.

24 Statistics To Show To Anyone Who Believes That America Has A Bright Economic Future

Beware of bubbles of false hope.  Right now there is a lot of talk about how the U.S. economy is improving, but it is all a lie.  The mainstream media can be very seductive.  When you sit down to watch television your brain tends to go into a very relaxed mode.  In such a state, it becomes easy to slip thoughts and ideas past your defenses.  Sometimes when I am watching television I realize what the media is trying to do and yet I can still feel it happening to me.  In this day and age, it is absolutely critical that we all think for ourselves.  When you look at the long-term trends and the long-term numbers, a much different picture of the U.S economy emerges than the one that is painted for us on television.  Over the long-term, the number of good jobs in America has been steadily going down.  Over the long-term, the number of Americans living in poverty and living on food stamps has been steadily going up.  Over the past couple of decades, tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of our national wealth have gone out of the country.  Our debt is nearly 15 times larger than it was 30 years ago, and U.S. consumer debt has soared by 1700% over the past 40 years.  Year after year the rate of inflation goes up faster than our incomes do, and this is absolutely devastating the middle class.  Anyone who believes that we can keep doing the same things that we have been doing and yet America will still have a bright economic future is delusional.  Until the long-term trends which are taking the U.S. economy straight into the toilet are reversed, any talk of a bright economic future is absolute nonsense.

In America today, we have such a short-term focus.  We are all so caught up with what is happening right now.  Our attention spans seem to get shorter every single year.  At this point it would not be hard to argue that kittens have longer attention spans than most of us do.  (If you have ever owned a kitten you know how short their attention spans can be.)  Things have gotten so bad that most of our high school students cannot even answer the most basic questions about our history.  If people are not talking about it on Facebook or Twitter it is almost as if it does not even matter.

But any serious student of history knows that is is absolutely crucial to examine long-term trends.  And when you look at the long-term trends, it rapidly becomes apparent that the U.S. economy is in the midst of a nightmarish long-term decline.

The following are 24 statistics to show to anyone who believes that America has a bright economic future….

#1 Inflation is a silent tax that steals wealth from all of us.  We continue to shell out increasing amounts of money for the basic things that we need, and yet our incomes are not keeping pace.  Just check out the following example.  Gasoline prices have been trending higher for several years in a row as one blogger recently noted….

January 2009           $1.65

January 2010           $2.57

January 2011           $3.04

January 2012           $3.29

#2 If you can believe it, the average American household spent approximately $4,155 on gasoline during 2011.

#3 Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.

#4 Health care costs continue to rise at a very alarming pace.  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%.

#5 Getting a college education has also become insanely expensive in America.  After adjusting for inflation, U.S. college students are borrowing about twice as much money as they did a decade ago.

#6 To get the same purchasing power that you got out of $20.00 back in 1970 you would have to have more than $116 today.

#7 To get the same purchasing power that you got out of $20.00 back in 1913 you would have to have more than $457 today.

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

#9 The U.S. economy is bleeding millions of good jobs.  Greedy CEOs are systematically shipping them overseas and our politicians are standing around and doing nothing about it.  This has gone on year after year after year.  The following is from a recent article by Paul Craig Roberts….

In the first decade of the 21st century, Americans lost 5,500,000 manufacturing jobs. US employment in the manufacture of computer and electronic products fell by 40%; in the production of machinery by 30%, in motor vehicles and and parts by 44%, and in the manufacture of clothing by 66%.

#10 Our economic infrastructure is being torn apart right in front of our eyes.  In 2010, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day shut down in the United States.  Overall, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have shut down since 2001.

We have made it legal for big corporations to send millions of jobs to countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages, where the tax burden is much lighter and where there are barely any regulations.  The following is a brief excerpt from a recent article posted on Economy in Crisis….

Back in the ‘80s, I called my friend Walter in California and asked: “On your next expansion we need a plant in South Carolina.” Walter replied: “We don’t produce anything in the United States. It’s all in China. China furnishes you the plant on a year-to-year basis. If your investment works out, you don’t have to pay any corporate tax; just reinvest it for another plant and more profit. If it doesn’t work out, you can walk away with no legacy costs. I send a quality controller to watch production. I check on it every day. I don’t have any labor, health, safety, or environmental concerns, and have time to play a round of golf.” The bleeding of jobs off-shore started in the ‘80s — now hemorrhages under Bush and Obama. Waiting for the economy to bounce back; calling this “the worst recession” is a bum rap. The reason the economy hasn’t bounced back since 2008 is because the economy is being off-shored.

#11  As a result of our insane economic policies, our trade balances are absolutely exploding.  For example, the U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#12 As you read this, there are millions of Americans out there wondering why they can’t find any jobs.  According to Reuters, 23.7 million American workers are either unemployed or underemployed right now.

#13 The number of good jobs has been steadily shrinking in America.  Since the year 2000, the United States has lost 10% of its 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.

#14 Over the last three decades, the percentage of low income jobs has consistently risen.  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.

#15 The number of middle class neighborhoods also continues to decline.  In 1970, 65 percent of all Americans lived in “middle class neighborhoods”.  By 2007, only 44 percent of all Americans lived in “middle class neighborhoods”.

#16 A decade ago, the United States was ranked number one in average wealth per adult.  By 2010, the United States had fallen to seventh.

#17 Our incomes continue to go down.  Since December 2007, median household income in the United States has declined by a total of 6.8% once you account for inflation.

#18 Unfortunately, middle class Americans have been seeing their incomes decline for a very long time.  According to one study, 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.

#19 Since 1971, consumer debt in the United States has increased by a whopping 1700%.  Unfortunately, U.S. consumers have still not learned how to stay out of debt.  According to a recent article posted on Financial Armageddon, the rate of personal savings in the United States is rapidly falling right now at the same time that the total amount of consumer credit is absolutely skyrocketing.

#20 The number of children living in poverty in America keeps rising year after year. The percentage of children living in poverty in the United States increased from 16.9 percent in 2006 to nearly 22 percent in 2010.

#21 The number of Americans on food stamps continues to set new all-time records.  Just check out the following progression….

October 2008: 30.8 million Americans on food stamps

October 2009: 37.6 million Americans on food stamps

October 2010: 43.2 million Americans on food stamps

October 2011: 46.2 million Americans on food stamps

#22 The U.S. debt problem has gotten completely and totally out of control.  Recently, the debt of the federal government surpassed 100% of GDP for the first time ever.

#23 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.

#24 Barack Obama’s proposed 2012 budget projects that the national debt will rise to 26 trillion dollars a decade from now.  And his budget numbers are ridiculously optimistic.

Are you starting to get the picture?

All of the long-term economic numbers are progressively getting worse.

As the economy continues to crumble, large numbers of Americans are becoming really desperate.  For example, a recent Mother Jones article detailed how large numbers of formerly middle class Americans are now actually growing marijuana in an effort to make ends meet.

As things continue to get worse, people will become even more desperate.  There are millions of people out there that find themselves unable to pay the mortgage and put food on the table for their families.  When people hit rock bottom, they often find themselves doing things that they never dreamed that they would do.

Meanwhile, the big Wall Street banks just keep getting larger and more powerful.  We have allowed the “too big to fail” banks to become much bigger than they have ever been before.  The total assets of the six largest U.S. banks increased by 39 percent between September 30, 2006 and September 30, 2011.

Wealth is becoming increasingly concentrated at the very top even as the overall economic pie in America continues to get smaller.

As our economic problems become worse, more Americans than ever are trying to find ways to “escape”.

For example, according to one new government report one out of every six adults in America is a binge drinker.

Other Americans “tune out” by watching endless hours of television, by playing endless hours of video games or by indulging in endless hours of other forms of entertainment.

There are even some Americans that are giving up completely.  For example, one elderly man actually robbed a bank just so that he could get arrested and be taken to prison where he would get free health care.

But as I have written about previously, now is not the time to give up.  Instead, now is the time to prepare for the great challenges that are ahead.

Almost every generation in history has been faced with great challenges and great hardships at some point.

Yes, there will be some incredibly hard times ahead, but that also means that there will be a need for some great heroes.

Just because the U.S. economy is falling apart does not mean that life is over.

We are living during one of the most exciting times in all of human history.  Instead of cowering in fear, let us embrace these times and focus on becoming the people that we were created to be.

Free Trade Or Fair Trade? 20 Reasons Why All Americans Should Be Against The Insane Trade Policies Of The Globalists

It is absolutely amazing how many Americans are still convinced that more “free trade” is the answer to our economic problems.  The truth is that there is a vast difference between “free trade” and “fair trade”, and in this article I will prove that all true conservatives and all true liberals should be completely against the insane trade policies of the federal government.  Yes, we will always need to trade with other nations.  Other nations make or have things that we need to trade for.  Balanced trade relationships with other nations that have similar economies and that share similar values can be very beneficial.  For example, our trading relationship with Canada, though not perfect, is generally beneficial to both sides.  However, the United States also has dozens of trading relationships that are highly destructive to the U.S. economy.  There are some predatory nations that are blatantly and openly cheating and everyone can see it.  They are getting away with bloody murder and they are robbing us blind.  The United States of America is being taken advantage of, and as a result thousands of good businesses are being destroyed and millions of good jobs are being lost.  If you are an American and you are in favor of all of the unfair trade that is currently going on, then either you don’t know much about economics or you actually want to see the U.S. economy be destroyed.

Congress has just passed new free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.  The Obama administration has also made “the NAFTA of the Pacific” a very high priority.

Obama says that all of these new trade pacts will create more U.S. jobs.

Well, either Barack Obama is completely ignorant when it comes to economics or else he is lying.

When we merge our economy with the economies of nations where wages are much lower, it is inevitable that large numbers of jobs are going to leave the high wage areas (where we live) and go to areas where wages are much lower.

It also certainly does not help that we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world, that we burden our businesses with mountains of ridiculous regulations,  and that we allow our “trade partners” to give their businesses a huge advantage by openly subsidizing them.

The way that the system is set up now, nearly all U.S. businesses are at a massive, massive disadvantage.  In general, the only businesses that can compete effectively in this environment are the giant corporations that can offshore huge portions of their operations.

If you are a conservative, then there is no way that you should support our current trade policies.  If you are a liberal, then there is no way that you should support our current trade policies.

However, if you are a “George W. Bush Republican” or a “Clinton/Obama Democrat” that believes in globalism and the establishment of a one world economy as part of a “New World Order”, then it would make sense why you would want to see America deindustrialized and brought down to the level of the rest of the world.

But if you are a true conservative or a true liberal, then the following are reasons why you should be horrified by our current trade policies….

#1 Other Nations Openly Manipulate Their Currencies In Order To Gain A Significant Competitive Advantage

For example, China keeps its currency set at a super low level relative to the U.S. dollar.  By doing this, their products are far cheaper than U.S. products, and U.S. businesses cannot compete with them.  This has resulted in the death of large numbers of U.S. businesses and the loss of millions of U.S. jobs.

So just how bad is this problem?  Well, a recent CNN article stated the following….

Critics of China’s policy estimate that the yuan is still undervalued by 25% to 40%, even with the recent rises in value.

The other day the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would impose tariffs on currency manipulators, and China has already retaliated, even though the bill has not become law yet and even though it almost certainly won’t.

China plays hardball.  They love the advantage that they are getting right now and they do not plan on losing it.

#2 Millions Of Good Paying Jobs Have Been Shipped Overseas And They Are Never Coming Back

Our politicians all try to tell us how good they are at creating jobs.

But what is the truth?

The truth is that a total of zero jobs were created last decade.  The following is a quote from a recent article in Washington Monthly….

“If any single number captures the state of the American economy over the last decade, it is zero. That was the net gain in jobs between 1999 and 2009—nada, nil, zip. By painful contrast, from the 1940s through the 1990s, recessions came and went, but no decade ended without at least a 20 percent increase in the number of jobs.”

Last decade we opened up our trade with the rest of the world more than ever before.  But instead of creating jobs it destroyed them.  Our trade deficits exploded and unemployment skyrocketed.

The Economic Policy Institute says that since 2001 America has lost approximately 2.8 million jobs due to our trade deficit with China alone.

So if you are unemployed, that is probably what happened to the job you are supposed to have.

It went overseas and it is not coming back.

#3 America Is Being Deindustrialized At A Blistering Pace Thanks To Globalism

The advocates of “free trade” cannot dispute the cold, hard facts….

*The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

*The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

*If you can believe it, more than 42,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been closed down since 2001.

*Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.

*Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.

#4 (For Conservatives) True Conservatives Should Be Horrified That We Are Being Taken Advantage Of By A Hardcore Communist Nation That Hates Us

Ronald Reagan would have never engaged in “free trade” with the Soviet Union.  The Communist Party is in complete control of China and while we may regard China as a “frenemy”, they really do believe that they will totally defeat us someday.  If you doubt this, just read what the top generals and politicians in China are writing.

It is so incredibly stupid what we are doing.  Our trade relationship with China has enabled the largest communist economy in the world to go from third world status to superpower status.  China is now the second largest economy in the world, and that would have never happened without our help.

A lot of people like to talk about how “capitalist” China is becoming, but the truth is that they have never wavered from their pure belief in communism.  7 of the 10 largest corporations in China are owned by the government.

A host of other corporations in China are very deeply subsidized by the government.

U.S. businesses have a very hard time competing with foreign businesses that are deeply subsidized by their own national governments.

It is called cheating, and we let other countries get away with it.

So our businesses die and their products fill up our store shelves.

#5 We Are Endangering Our National Security By Greatly Enriching Our Biggest Potential Enemies

The biggest threats to the United States are not some goat herders hiding out in the caves of Afghanistan.

The biggest threats to the United States are actually China and Russia.

Conservatives are supposed to be the ones that are so concerned about national security.  But instead of expressing concerns about China, they just keep pushing for more free trade.

As a result, China has been able to become a true global military superpower.

Someday we will deeply, deeply regret that.

#6 China Brazenly Steals Technology From Anyone And Everyone That They Can

China gets away with bloody murder when it comes to stealing technology.  They will do it “legally” if they can, and they will do it in “other ways” if they have to.

At this point, China has invented a whole host of ways to extract technology from any firms that wants to do business in China.

The following is a short excerpt from a recent article on CNN….

Foreign companies are often required to set-up joint ventures with Chinese firms before the can start doing business there. And China is instituting new “indigenous innovation” rules that U.S. companies say force them to transfer their own technology to their Chinese partners.

#7 We Should Never Trade With Any Nation That Has A “One Child” Policy

China has a very strict “one child policy” which should be absolutely abhorrent to all Americans.

Most Americans have no idea what is really going on over in China.  The following is from a recent article in the Epoch Times….

Pregnant women lacking birth permits are hunted down like criminals by population planning police in China and forcibly aborted.

All over China, mobile abortion vans are used to help enforce the one child policy.  What women in China must endure is absolutely sickening, and this kind of behavior should never be accepted in the global community.

But instead of penalizing China, we reward them for this behavior.  They even get awards at the United Nations for it.

Look, conservatives are supposed to be pro-life.  If you are a social conservative, then it goes against everything that you believe to support trade with China.

You can support trade with China if you want, but then don’t even try to call yourself “pro-life” again.

We should never trade with any nation that has a “one child policy”.  Such a policy is against everything that America is supposed to stand for.

#8 Our Horrendous Trade Imbalance Has Allowed Other Nations To Accumulate Gigantic Amounts Of Our Debt

Every month, we send much more money to the rest of the world than they send to us.  One thing that those other nations are doing with all of that money is that they are buying up our debt.

Our trade deficit with China has enabled them to accumulate nearly a trillion dollars of our debt.  This gives them tremendous leverage over us and is a very serious threat to our economy and to our national security.

So now China can threaten the stability of our financial system with just a phone call.

#9 Globalist Trade Institutions Are A Serious Threat To Our National Sovereignty

Today, the “global economy” is governed by globalist institutions such as the G20, the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank.  The United States has given up huge amounts of national sovereignty to these organizations.

If you are a true conservative, this should greatly disturb you.

We don’t want faceless international bureaucrats telling us what our trade policies will be.  But to a large degree that is the situation that we have gotten ourselves into.

#10 Liberals (And All Americans) Are Supposed To Care About What Is Best For American Workers

Millions of working class jobs have been shipped overseas, and yet Barack Obama just keeps pushing for more “free trade” agreements which will make the problem even worse.

But instead of screaming bloody murder, liberals keep on supporting Obama.

It’s disgusting.

The truth is that the Obama administration actually says that there are certain kinds of jobs that we “don’t want” in the United States.

For example, the following is what U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk recently told Tim Robertson of the Huffington Post about the Obama administration’s attitude toward keeping manufacturing jobs in America….

Let’s increase our competitiveness… the reality is about half of our imports, our trade deficit is because of how much oil [we import], so you take that out of the equation, you look at what percentage of it are things that frankly, we don’t want to make in America, you know, cheaper products, low-skill jobs that frankly college kids that are graduating from, you know, UC Cal and Hastings [don’t want], but what we do want is to capture those next generation jobs and build on our investments in our young people, our education infrastructure.

So where is the outrage?

Is anyone even awake out there?

Even the construction of many of our roads and bridges is being outsourced to China.  Just check out the following quote from a recent ABC News article….

In New York there is a $400 million renovation project on the Alexander Hamilton Bridge.

In California, there is a $7.2 billion project to rebuild the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland.

In Alaska, there is a proposal for a $190 million bridge project.

These projects sound like steps in the right direction, but much of the work is going to Chinese government-owned firms.

“When we subsidize jobs in China, we’re not creating any wealth in the United States,” said Scott Paul, executive director for the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

Liberals are supposed to be working to defend the working class.

So why won’t they openly go after Obama on these issues?

Our unfair trade agreements have put American workers in direct competition for jobs with the cheapest labor on the globe.

Until this is fixed, you will continue to hear a “great sucking sound” as millions of jobs continue to leave the United States and go to places where labor is ten to twenty times cheaper.

It is insanity what we are doing.  We allow big corporations to send their manufacturing offshore and also to ship their products back into the United States for free.

Where in that equation is good news for the American worker?

#11 Liberals (And All Americans) Should Be Horrified By The Exploitation Of Slave Labor Around The Globe

All over the globe, workers toil in nightmarish conditions for slave labor pay just so that Americans can feed their addiction for cheap foreign products.

Big corporations and collectivist governments such as China are getting unbelievably rich by exploiting this slave labor pool.

Get educated about this and find out the truth.  It just might totally change the way that you view “free trade”.

#12 Liberals (And All Americans) Should Be Horrified By The Damage To The Environment Our Trade Relationships Cause

Liberals are supposed to deeply care about the environment.  But our trade relationship with nations on the other side of the globe result in thousands of factories and businesses leaving our shores and ending up in countries where the environmental regulations are not nearly as strict.  In fact, nations such as China are a complete and total environmental nightmare at this point.  If liberals truly cared about the environment they would want to keep factories and businesses here.

#13 Very Dangerous Products Continue To Flood Into This Country From Overseas

Isn’t product safety supposed to be a big thing for liberals?  Today, a huge percentage of the products we buy are made outside the United States far from the watchful eyes of our regulatory agencies.  Over the past couple of years, there has been headline after headline about dangerous products made in China.  The following is just one example of this: 10 Babies Die Mysteriously At Fort Bragg: Toxic Drywall From China Used In Base Homes The Culprit?

#14 The Globalization Of The Economy Causes Income Inequality To Grow

By paying slave labor wages to workers overseas, the big corporations are becoming very wealthy.  At the same time, that means that there are much fewer jobs for average working class Americans, and wages for the jobs that remain are pushed down because of increased competition for jobs.

So the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

If you don’t believe that income inequality in the United States has become a huge problem, just check out this chart.

#15 Because Of All Of The Cheating And All Of The Predatory Behavior That Is Going On, Our Trade Relationships Have Become Incredibly Imbalanced

Today, the United States spends about 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.

So how is that even close to “fair”?

Our store shelves are absolutely packed with stuff from China.

In 2010, the number one U.S. export to China was “scrap and trash”.

Even in high technology products we are being destroyed.  In 2002, the United States had a trade deficit in “advanced technology products” of $16 billion with the rest of the world.  In 2010, that number skyrocketed to $82 billion.

#16 Our Gigantic Trade Deficit Is Destroying Our National Wealth

The United States has had a negative trade balance every single year since 1976, and since that time the United States has run a total trade deficit of more than 7.5 trillion dollars with the rest of the world.

Our gigantic trade deficits are making us poorer as a nation each and every month.  Each year, somewhere around half a trillion dollars of our national wealth gets transferred out of the United States.  That half a trillion dollars could be going to support U.S. businesses and U.S. jobs.  Taxes could be paid on that half a trillion dollars.  But instead it leaves the country and makes other nations wealthier.

#17 The Globalization Of The Economy Has Caused Unemployment In The United States To Explode

If you gathered together all of the workers that are “officially” unemployed in the United States today, they would constitute the 68th largest country in the world.

#18 As Our Cities Are Deindustrialized, Many Of Them Are Being Transformed Into Absolute Hellholes

The other day, I wrote the following about what is happening in cities and towns across the United States….

All across America there are cities and towns that were once prosperous and beautiful that are being transformed into absolute hellholes.  The scars left by the long-term economic decline of the United States are getting deeper and more gruesome.

#19 Without Good Jobs, An Increasing Number Of Americans Are Having To Turn To Government Assistance

We are going to support U.S. workers one way or another.  Either we are going to provide them with good jobs, or we are going to let their jobs be shipped out of the country and we are going to pay for the government to feed and house them.

Today, there are more than 45 million Americans on food stamps.  That number has gone up by more than 70 percent since 2007.  Almost every single month we set a new all-time record for the number of people being fed by the federal government.

#20 If Nothing Is Done, All Of This Is Going To Get A Lot Worse

According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades.

Can you imagine what America is going to look like if that happens?

**********

Okay, so in light of all of that information, can anyone out there defend the current “free trade” policies of the federal government?

Please feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below….

The Top 100 Statistics About The Collapse Of The Economy That Every American Voter Should Know

The U.S. economy is dying and most American voters have no idea why it is happening.  Unfortunately, the mainstream media and most of our politicians are not telling the truth about the collapse of the economy.  This generation was handed the keys to the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen, and we have completely wrecked it.  Decades of incredibly foolish decisions have left us drowning in an ocean of corruption, greed and bad debt.  Thousands of businesses and millions of jobs have left the country and poverty is exploding from coast to coast.  We are literally becoming a joke to the rest of the world.  It is absolutely imperative that we educate America about what is happening.  Until the American people truly understand the problems that we are facing, they will not be willing to implement the solutions that are necessary.

The following are the top 100 statistics about the collapse of the economy that every American voter should know….

#100 A staggering 48.5% of all Americans live in a household that receives some form of government benefits.  Back in 1983, that number was below 30 percent.

#99 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.

#98 Since Barack Obama was sworn in, the share of the national debt per household has increased by $35,835.

#97 The U.S. national debt has been increasing by an average of more than 4 billion dollars per day since the beginning of the Obama administration.

#96 It is being projected that the U.S. national debt will hit 344% of GDP by the year 2050 if we continue on our current course.

#95 The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that U.S. government debt held by the public will reach a staggering 716 percent of GDP by the year 2080.

#94 In 2010, the U.S. government paid $413 billion in interest on the national debt.  That is projected to at least double over the next decade.

#93 According to one new survey, one out of every three Americans would not be able to make a mortgage or rent payment next month if they suddenly lost their current job.

#92 State and local government debt has reached an all-time high of 22 percent of U.S. GDP.

#91 In 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7% of all income.  Today, government transfer payments account for 18.4% of all income.

#90 U.S. households are now receiving more income from the U.S. government than they are paying to the government in taxes.

#89 According to a new study conducted by the BlackRock Investment Institute, the ratio of household debt to personal income in the United States is now 154 percent.

#88 If you can believe it, one out of every seven Americans has at least 10 credit cards.

#87 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%.

#86 The cost of a health insurance policy for the average American family rose by a whopping 9 percent last year, and according to a report put out by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust, the average family health insurance policy now costs over $15,000 a year.

#85 One study found that approximately 41 percent of working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt.

#84 An all-time record 49.9 million Americans do not have any health insurance at all at this point, and the percentage of Americans covered by employer-based health plans has fallen for 11 years in a row.

#83 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.

#82 Average yearly tuition at U.S. private universities is now up to $27,293.

#81 The cost of college tuition in the United States has gone up by over 900 percent since 1978.

#80 In America today, approximately two-thirds of all college students graduate with student loans.

#79 In 2010, the average college graduate had accumulated approximately $25,000 in student loan debt by graduation day.

#78 The total amount of student loan debt in the United States now exceeds the total amount of credit card debt in the United States.

#77 One-third of all college graduates end up taking jobs that don’t even require college degrees.

#76 In the United States today, there are more than 100,000 janitors that have college degrees.

#75 In the United States today, 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees.

#74 In the United States today, approximately 365,000 cashiers have college degrees.

#73 It is being projected that for the first time ever, the OPEC nations are going to bring in over a trillion dollars from exporting oil this year.  Their biggest customer is the United States.

#72 U.S. oil companies will bring in about $200 billion in pre-tax profits this year.  They will also receive about $4.4 billion in specialized tax breaks from the U.S. government.

#71 The United States has had a negative trade balance every single year since 1976, and since that time the United States has run a total trade deficit of more than 7.5 trillion dollars with the rest of the world.

#70 The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

#69 The U.S. trade deficit with China is now 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#68 Today, the United States spends more than 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.

#67 China has surpassed the United States and is now the largest PC market in the entire world.

#66 In 2002, the United States had a trade deficit in “advanced technology products” of $16 billion with the rest of the world.  In 2010, that number skyrocketed to $82 billion.

#65 In 2010, the number one U.S. export to China was “scrap and trash”.

#64 Do you remember when the United States was the dominant manufacturer of automobiles and trucks on the globe?  Well, in 2010 the U.S. ran a trade deficit in automobiles, trucks and parts of $110 billion.

#63 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

#62 If you can believe it, more than 42,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been closed down since 2001.

#61 Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.

#60 Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.

#59 According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades.

#58 If you gathered together all of the workers that are “officially” unemployed in the United States today, they would constitute the 68th largest country in the world.

#57 There are fewer payroll jobs in the United States right now than there were back in 2000 even though we have added 30 million extra people to the population since then.

#56 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.

#55 Only 55.3% of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 were employed last year.  That was the lowest level that we have seen since World War II.

#54 Today, there are 5.9 million Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 that are living with their parents.

#53 The economic downturn has been particularly tough on men.  According to Census data, men are twice as likely to live with their parents as women are.

#52 According to one recent survey, only 14 percent of all Americans that are 28 or 29 years old are optimistic about their financial futures.

#51 Incredibly, less than 30 percent of all U.S. teens had a job this summer.

#50 According to one study, 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.

#49 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.

#48 In 1980, 52 percent of all jobs in the United States were middle income jobs.  Today, only 42 percent of all jobs are middle income jobs.

#47 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.

#46 According to Paul Osterman, a professor of economics at MIT, approximately 20 percent of all employed Americans are making $10.65 an hour or less.

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

#44 Since December 2007, median household income in the United States has declined by a total of 6.8% once you account for inflation.

#43 New home sales in the United States are now down 80% from the peak in July 2005.

#42 The all-time record for fewest number of new homes sold in the United States was broken in 2009.  Then it was broken again in 2010.  It is on pace to be broken once again in 2011.

#41 At one point this year, U.S. home prices had fallen a whopping 33% from where they were at during the peak of the housing bubble.

#40 U.S. home values have fallen approximately 6 trillion dollars since the housing crisis first began.

#39 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 18 percent of all homes in the state of Florida are sitting vacant.  That figure is 63 percent larger than it was just ten years ago.

#38 Historically, the percentage of residential mortgages in foreclosure in the United States has tended to hover between 1 and 1.5 percent.  Today, it is up around 4.5 percent.

#37 According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, at least 8 million Americans are currently at least one month behind on their mortgage payments.

#36 According to a Harris Interactive survey taken near the end of last year, 77 percent of all Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck.  In 2007, the same survey found that only 43 percent of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck.

#35 Starting on January 1st, 2011 the Baby Boomers began to hit retirement age.  From now on, every single day more than 10,000 Baby Boomers will reach the age of 65.  That is going to keep happening every single day for the next 19 years.

#34 According to a new poll by Americans for Secure Retirement, 88 percent of all Americans are worried about “maintaining a comfortable standard of living in retirement”.  Last year, that figure was at 73 percent.

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

#32 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.

#31 According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Social Security system paid out more in benefits than it received in payroll taxes in 2010.  That was not supposed to happen until at least 2016.

#30 The U.S. government now says that the Medicare trust fund will run out five years faster than they were projecting just last year.

#29 According to one study, the 50 U.S. state governments are collectively 3.2 trillion dollars short of what they need to meet their pension obligations.

#28 A different study has shown that individual Americans are $6.6 trillion short of what they need to retire comfortably.

#27 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.

#26 According to a shocking AARP survey of Baby Boomers that are still in the workforce, 40 percent of them plan to work “until they drop”.

#25 Last year, 2.6 million more Americans dropped into poverty.  That was the largest increase that we have seen since the U.S. government began keeping statistics on this back in 1959.

#24 Back in the year 2000, 11.3% of all Americans were living in poverty.  Today, 15.1% of all Americans are living in poverty.

#23 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.

#22 More than 45 million Americans are now on food stamps.

#21 The number of Americans on food stamps has increased 74% since 2007.

#20 Approximately one-third of the entire population of the state of Alabama is now on food stamps.

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

#18 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.

#17 The poverty rate for children living in the United States increased to 22% in 2010.

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

#15 In Washington D.C., the “child food insecurity rate” is 32.3%.

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

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

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

#11 According to a recent report from the AFL-CIO, the average CEO made 343 times more money than the average American did last year.

#10 The wealthiest 1% of all Americans now own more than a third of all the wealth in the United States.

#9 The poorest 50% of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.

#8 The percentage of millionaires in Congress is more than 50 times higher than the percentage of millionaires in the general population.

#7 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.6 million Americans were self-employed back in December 2006.  Today, that number has shrunk to 14.5 million.

#6 According to one recent poll, 90 percent of the American people believe that economic conditions in the United States are “poor”.  To put this in perspective, only 11 percent of Americans rated economic conditions in the U.S. as “poor” back in January of 1999.

#5 According to another recent poll, 80 percent of the American people believe that we are actually in a recession right now.

#4 Our dollar is being systematically destroyed by the Federal Reserve.  An item that cost $20.00 in 1970 will cost you $116.78 today.  An item that cost $20.00 in 1913 will cost you $457.67 today.

#3 The Federal Reserve made $16.1 trillion in secret loans to their friends during the last financial crisis.

#2 The Federal Reserve is a perpetual debt machine.  Today, the U.S. national debt is more than 4700 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was created back in 1913.

#1 According to a new CNN/ORC International Poll, 27 percent of all Americans have never even heard of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

We need to educate America.

Please share this with as many people as you can.  Time is running out for America, and 2012 is going to be an absolutely pivotal year in the history of this nation.

We are in the midst of a long-term economic decline that is rapidly accelerating.  If dramatic changes are not made very quickly, we will soon witness a full-blown collapse of the economy.

Wake up as many people as you can.

We are running out of time.

18 Signs The Collapse Of Society Is Accelerating

As the U.S. economy collapses, the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is going to begin to disappear.  In fact, there are already an increasing number of signs that the collapse of society is accelerating.  In cities such as Chicago, roving packs of young people are “mob robbing” local businesses, randomly assaulting tourists and shoppers and are even pulling people out of vehicles.  This isn’t just happening in the “bad areas” anymore. Over the past couple of months this type of crime has been common in some of the wealthiest areas of Chicago.  In fact, many Chicago residents are now referring to “the Magnificent Mile” as “the Mug Mile”.  But it isn’t just in Chicago that this is happening.  During this past Memorial Day weekend, cities all over the United States experienced a stunning wave of mass violence.  We are supposed to be an “example” for the rest of the world, but as our economic wealth crumbles we are witnessing the collapse of society all around us.  So what is going to happen when the economy gets even worse?

The United States used to be a fairly civilized society.  But now very few people seem to care how they treat others.  That is even the case with our own government.  As you will see below, the government is now sending SWAT teams in and dragging people out of their homes over unpaid student loans.

So if the government is going to be so brutal, what kind of message does that send to our young people?

Today our young people are facing a future that looks incredibly bleak.  It is hard to have faith in the “system” when the “system” simply does not work any longer.

What are you supposed to say to a young person when you know very well that there are no jobs and that there is very little hope?

Most Americans don’t understand what is causing the collapse of the economy, but most of them do have a sinking feeling that something has seriously gone wrong.

For the last few years the American people have waited patiently for our politicians to “fix things”, but they have not gotten the job done.

Instead, our economic situation is still declining.

So now frustration is starting to boil over, and it is only going to get worse.

The following are 18 signs that the collapse of society is accelerating….

#1 In a brand new article, Janet Tavakoli has vividly described the wave of shocking violence that is currently sweeping the city of Chicago.  What she says is happening to Chicago right now is beyond alarming….

This year, all hell has broken loose in downtown Chicago. Years of under-hiring have resulted in a police force that is unprepared for wildings and gang violence. Moreover, concealed carry in Chicago is illegal, unless one follows the Constitution.

Tourists and residents have been attacked by mobs of youths on buses, on beaches, on bicycle paths, near the shops of the Magnificent Mile, and outside their homes. Mobs of shoplifters plagued “Mug Mile” stores.

Terror has descended on many of the wealthiest areas of Chicago.  Some are even calling on Chicago residents to completely avoid areas like the Magnificent Mile during the weekends until more police are brought in.

Mobs of young people are “swarming” retail stores, assaulting shoppers and pedestrians and even pulling people out of their cars.

The following is one eyewitness account of the “wildings” in Chicago that Tavakoli included in her recent article….

At about 11pm last Friday night, June 3rd, I heard shouting, screaming, horns blaring and tires screeching from my apartment…When I looked out my window to the street below I saw a crowd of about 20 young people…directly across the street from the entrance to my building. They were leaning on parked cars and clogging the street. They were screaming at people walking and driving by. I watched them stop vehicles, including taxi cabs, and pull people from the vehicles…It was a frightening scene and I was sure someone was going to be hurt.

#2 If you don’t pay your student loans you may find yourself getting dragged out of your home by a SWAT team.

You doubt this?

The following is how an article in The Daily Mail recently described one recent SWAT team raid in California that was apparently ordered by the Department of Education….

A father was dragged from his home and handcuffed in front of his children by a SWAT team looking for his estranged wife – to collect her unpaid student loans.

A stunned Kenneth Wright had his front door kicked in by the raiding party at 6 am yesterday before being dragged onto his front porch, handcuffed and led to a police car with his three children.

He says he was then detained for six hours while officers looked for his wife – who no longer lives at the house.

#3 One town in Connecticut was forced to shut down a beautiful new fountain because too many people were using it as a toilet.

#4 This most recent Memorial Day weekend, cities all over America literally turned into war zones.  There were reports of mass violence in Miami, New York, Chicago, Charlotte, Myrtle Beach, Nashville and Boston among other places.

If you want to see video of some of the violence in Miami as it was happening, you can view it here.  The video is quite disturbing so please don’t let any small children view it.

#5 One of the hottest books in America right now is a “children’s book” entitled “Go The F*k To Sleep“.

#6 A teenage girl in Washington state recently shot her Dad with a hunting bow because he took away her cell phone.

#7 In New York City, one 32-year-old man was recently charged with sexually assaulting an 85-year-old woman.

#8 Democratic strategist James Carville recently made national headlines when he told talk show host Don Imus the following….

“You know, look — this is a humanitarian — you know, you’re smart enough to see this . . . People, you know, if it continues, we’re going to start to see civil unrest in this country. I hate to say that, but I think it’s imminently possible.”

#9 According to one new study, the percentage of U.S. households that contain a married couple with children has fallen from 44.3% in 1960 to 20.2% today.

#10 In Atlanta, two dozen teens recently violently assaulted two Delta flight attendants on a train for no apparent reason.  The following is how a local Atlanta newspaper described the attacks….

Their “Clockwork Orange” style blitz was over soon after it began. The teens boarded the train, headed to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, at the Garnett station a little after midnight seemingly intent on instilling fear. They succeeded.

“There was blood everywhere, people were hollering and screaming,” a witness told Channel 2 Action News. “We were intimidated. People were terrified. People were trying to run. But there was nowhere to run.”

#11 Federal prosecutors in Indianapolis have announced that they have broken up one of the largest child pornography rings ever discovered.  It was based in Bloomington, Indiana.

Are any small towns still safe?

#12 Barack Obama’s food safety chief is defending armed raids of raw milk producers (including a raid on an Amish farmer) and he says that the FDA will “keep doing our public health job“.

#13 In Florida, a 45-year-old Polk County sheriff’s deputy has been charged with strapping children to a desk and spanking them with sex toys.

#14 In Sioux City, Iowa a 41 year old man recently walked into the office where his boss worked and beat the living daylights out of him.  The boss suffered four chipped teeth and needed surgery to repair his nose.  Apparently the boss was planning to fire the man.

#15 A 20-year-old woman in Oklahoma has been charged with killing the family cat and using the blood as part of a costume she planned to wear to a Lady Gaga concert.

#16 McDonald’s recently held a “National Hiring Day” and about a million Americans showed up to apply for jobs at McDonald’s restaurants all around the nation.  Well, in Cleveland a horrible fight broke out between some girls and it ended up with three people being run over by a car.  You can view video of this incident right here.  Please do not watch the video if you are sensitive to graphic violence.

#17 All over the United States, vicious restaurant brawls have been erupting with alarming frequency and many of them are being posted up on YouTube for the world to see.  You can see one example of this phenomenon right here.

#18 From coast to coast, “mob robbing” has become a very disturbing trend.

So what is a “mob robbing”?

Well, basically dozens of young people storm into a store together, grab whatever they want, and storm back out again.

Recent examples of this have been caught on video in Washington D.C. and in Las Vegas.

So does anyone still doubt that we are starting to see the collapse of society?

Sadly, things are going to get a whole lot worse.

In response to a recent article entitled “The Coming Economic Hell For American Families“, a frequent commenter on my site known as “El Pollo De Oro” left the following comment about the collapse of society that is beginning to unfold….

Yes, it’s going to be VERY violent in The Banana Republic of America. Carjacking, kidnapping, drug trafficking, armed robbery and murder for hire will be major growth industries in the BRA when millions of formerly middle class Americans, now the neo-poor/neo-peasants, become increasingly desperate. The horrifying violence in Mexico will become a fact of life on this side of the border, the brutal kidnappings of the Philippines and Papua New Guinea will plague the BRA as well. Formerly middle class Americans who find themselves living in shantytown slums won’t like their new accommodations, and many of them will turn to violent crime in the hope of improving their miserable circumstances.

The truth is that about the only thing keeping our society together has been the unprecedented affluence that we have been enjoying over the past few decades.

Once that affluence is gone, the true character of the American people will come out, and we may not like what we see.

That is one reason why I pound on the economic crisis this nation is facing day after day.  Once our wealth is gone, there is going to be chaos in the streets of America.

So what are you seeing in your area of the country?  Do you see signs that the collapse of society is accelerating where you live?  Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below….

14 Reasons Why The Economic Collapse Of Japan Has Begun

The economic collapse of Japan has begun.  The extent of the devastation is now becoming clear and many are now projecting that this will be the most expensive natural disaster in modern human history.  The tsunami that struck Japan on March 11th swept up to 6 miles inland, destroying virtually everything in the way.  Countless thousands were killed and entire communities were totally wiped out.  So how does a nation that is already drowning in debt replace dozens of cities and towns that have suddenly been destroyed?  Many in the mainstream media are claiming that the economy of Japan will bounce right back from this, but they are wrong.  The tsunami decimated thousands of square miles.  The loss of homes, cars, businesses and personal wealth is almost unimaginable.  It is going to take many years to rebuild the roads, bridges, rail systems, ports, power lines and water systems that were lost.  There are going to be a significant number of Japanese insurance companies and financial institutions that are going to be totally wiped out as a result of this great tragedy.  Of course in the days ahead the Japanese people will band together and work hard to rebuild the nation, but the truth is that it is impossible to “bounce right back” from such a massive loss of wealth, assets and infrastructure.

Just think about what happened after Hurricane Katrina.  Did the economy of New Orleans bounce right back?  No, there are some areas of New Orleans today that still look like war zones.

Well, this disaster is much worse.

The truth is that this is going to be one of the defining moments in the history of Japan.  Hundreds of miles along the coast of Japan have been absolutely devastated.  Authorities are finding it difficult to even get food and water into some areas at this point.

Even before this great tragedy Japan was one of the nations that was on the verge of a national economic collapse.  Their economy had been in the doldrums for over a decade and their national debt was well over 200 percent of GDP.  Now the Japanese economy has experienced a shock from which it may never truly recover.

The Bank of Japan is already flooding the Japanese economy with new yen, and so we may indeed see some impressive “economic growth” statistics at the end of the year.  But just because lots more yen are being passed around does not mean that the Japanese economy is in better shape.

The truth is that a tsunami of yen is not going to undo the damage that the tsunami of water did.  A massive amount of Japanese wealth was wiped out by this disaster.  An economy that was already teetering on the brink is now very likely going to plunge into oblivion.

It is fine to be optimistic, but the cold, hard reality of the situation is that this is a knockout blow for the Japanese economy.  The extent of the devastation is just too great.  This truly is a complete and total nightmare.

The following are 14 reasons why the economic collapse of Japan has now begun….

#1 The Bank of Japan has announced that they have decided to flood the Japanese economy with 15 trillion yen.  That is the equivalent of roughly $183 billion dollars.  This is going to provide needed liquidity in the short-term, but it is also going to set Japan on a highly inflationary course.

#2 Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average declined by more than 6 percent on Monday.  As the full extent of the damage becomes apparent more declines are likely.

#3 Oil refineries all over Japan have been severely damaged or destroyed.  For example, six refineries that combine to process 31 percent of the oil for Japan have been totally shut down at least for now.

#4 The damage to roads, bridges, ports and rail systems is estimated to be in the billions of dollars.  The damage done to power lines and water systems is almost unimaginable.  It is going to take many years to rebuild the infrastructure of Japan.

#5 Right now the flow of goods and services in many areas of northern Japan has been reduced to a crawl, and this is likely to remain the case for quite some time.

#6 Many cities and towns along the east coast of Japan have essentially been completely destroyed.

#7 Japan’s nuclear industry is essentially dead in the water at this point.  Even if there is not a full-blown nuclear meltdown, the events that have transpired already have frightened people enough to cause a massive public outcry against nuclear power in Japan.

#8 Japan is going to need even more oil and natural gas in the long run to replace lost nuclear energy production.  Prior to this crisis, Japan derived 29 percent of its electricity from nuclear power.

#9 Japan is the second largest foreign holder of U.S. government debt, but that is about to change.  Japan currently has about $882 billion in U.S. Treasury bonds and they are going to have to liquidate much of that in order to fund the rebuilding of their nation.

#10 Many factories in Japan are closing down at least temporarily.  For example, Nissan has shut down four factories and Sony has shut down six factories.

#11 Toyota has shut down all production at its factories in Japan until at least March 16th.

#12 A substantial number of Japanese financial institutions and insurance companies are absolutely going to be devastated by this nightmare.

#13 Japan’s budget deficit was already 9 percent of GDP even before this tragedy.  Now they are going to have to borrow lots more money to fund the rebuilding effort.

#14 Japan’s national debt was already well over 200 percent of GDP even before this tragedy.  How much farther into the danger zone can they possibly go?

Sadly, as the economy of Japan goes down it is going to have a huge affect on the rest of the world as well.  For example, Japan is no longer going to be able to buy up huge amounts of U.S. Treasuries.  So who is going to pick up the slack?  Will our government officials beg China to lend us even more money?  Will the Federal Reserve just “buy” even more of our government debt?

Right now there are more questions than there are answers, but what is clear is that the Japanese economy has just been dealt an incapacitating blow.  Hopefully this tragedy will bring out the best in the Japanese people, but no matter how resilient they are, the truth is that this is something that no nation would be able to bounce back from quickly.

Let us hope that the economic damage from this tragedy will be contained and will not spread to the rest of the world.  The global economy is already in enough trouble, and hopefully this tragedy will not cause a cascade of economic failures to sweep the globe.

21 Signs That The Once Great U.S. Economy Is Being Gutted, Neutered, Defanged, Declawed And Deindustrialized

Once upon a time, the United States was the greatest industrial powerhouse that the world has ever seen.  Our immense economic machinery was the envy of the rest of the globe and it provided the foundation for the largest and most vibrant middle class in the history of the world.  But now the once great U.S. economic machine is being dismantled piece by piece.  The U.S. economy is being gutted, neutered, defanged, declawed and deindustrialized and very few of our leaders even seem to care.  It was the United States that once showed the rest of the world how to mass produce televisions and automobiles and airplanes and computers, but now our industrial base is being ripped to shreds.  Tens of thousands of our factories and millions of our jobs have been shipped overseas.  Many of our proudest manufacturing cities have been transformed into “post-industrial” hellholes that nobody wants to live in anymore.

Meanwhile, wave after wave of shiny new factories is going up in nations such as China, India and Brazil.  This is great for those countries, but for the millions of American workers that desperately needed the jobs that have been sent overseas it is not so great.

This is the legacy of globalism.  Multinational corporations now have the choice whether to hire U.S. workers or to hire workers in countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.  The “great sucking sound” that Ross Perot warned us about so long ago is actually happening, and it has left tens of millions of Americans without good jobs.

So what is to become of a nation that consumes more than it ever has and yet continues to produce less and less?

Well, the greatest debt binge in the history of the world has enabled us to maintain (and even increase) our standard of living for several decades, but all of that debt is starting to really catch up with us.

The American people seem to be very confused about what is happening to us because most of them thought that the party was going to last forever.  In fact, most of them still seem convinced that our brightest economic days are still ahead.

After all, every time we have had a “recession” in the past things have always turned around and we have gone on to even greater things, right?

Well, what most Americans simply fail to understand is that we are like a car that is having its insides ripped right out.  Our industrial base is being gutted right in front of our eyes.

Most Americans don’t think much about our “trade deficit”, but it is absolutely central to what is happening to our economy.  Every year, we buy far, far more from the rest of the world than they buy from us.

In 2010, the U.S. trade deficit was just a whisker under $500 billion.  This is money that we could have all spent inside the United States that would have supported thousands of American factories and millions of American jobs.

Instead, we sent all of those hundreds of billions of dollars overseas in exchange for a big pile of stuff that we greedily consumed.  Most of that stuff we probably didn’t need anyway.

Since we spent almost $500 billion more with the rest of the world than they spent with us, at the end of the year the rest of the world was $500 billion wealthier and the American people were collectively $500 billion poorer.

That means that the collective “economic pie” that we are all dividing up is now $500 billion smaller.

Are you starting to understand why times suddenly seem so “hard” in the United States?

Meanwhile, jobs and businesses continue to fly out of the United States at a blinding pace.

This is a national crisis.

We simply cannot expect to continue to have a “great economy” if we allow our economy to be deindustrialized.

A nation that consumes far more than it produces is not going to be wealthy for long.

The following are 21 signs that the once great U.S. economy is being gutted,  neutered, defanged, declawed and deindustrialized….

#1 The U.S. trade deficit with the rest of the world rose to 497.8 billion dollars in 2010.  That represented a 32.8% increase from 2009.

#2 The U.S. trade deficit with China rose to an all-time record of 273.1 billion dollars in 2010.  This is the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.

#3 The U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#4 In the years since 1975, the United States had run a total trade deficit of 7.5 trillion dollars with the rest of the world.

#5 The United States spends more than 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.

#6 In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of all U.S. economic output.  In 2008, it represented only 11.5 percent and it continues to fall.

#7 The number of net jobs gained by the U.S. economy during this past decade was smaller than during any other decade since World War 2.

#8 The Bureau of Labor Statistics originally predicted that the U.S. economy would create approximately 22 million jobs during the decade of the 2000s, but it turns out that the U.S. economy only produced about 7 million jobs during that time period.

#9 Japan now manufactures about 5 million more automobiles than the United States does.

#10 China has now become the world’s largest exporter of high technology products.

#11 Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.

#12 The United States now has 10 percent fewer “middle class jobs” than it did just ten years ago.

#13 According to Tax Notes, between 1999 and 2008 employment at the foreign affiliates of U.S. parent companies increased an astounding 30 percent to 10.1 million. During that exact same time period, U.S. employment at American multinational corporations declined 8 percent to 21.1 million.

#14 Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.

#15 Back in 1998, the United States had 25 percent of the world’s high-tech export market and China had just 10 percent. Ten years later, the United States had less than 15 percent and China’s share had soared to 20 percent.

#16 The number of Americans that have become so discouraged that they have given up searching for work completely now stands at an all-time high.

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

#18 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

#19 Since 2001, over 42,000 U.S. factories have closed down for good.

#20 In 2008, 1.2 billion cellphones were sold worldwide.  So how many of them were manufactured inside the United States?  Zero.

#21 Ten years ago, the “employment rate” in the United States was about 64%.  Since then it has been constantly declining and now the “employment rate” in the United States is only about 58%.  So where did all of those jobs go?

The world is changing.

We are bleeding national wealth at a pace that is almost unimaginable.

We are literally being drained dry.

Did you know that China now has the world’s fastest train and the world’s largest high-speed rail network?

They were able to afford those things with all of the money that we have been sending them.

How do you think all of those oil barons in the Middle East became so wealthy and could build such opulent palaces?

They got rich off of all the money that we have been sending them.

Meanwhile, once great U.S. cities such as Detroit, Michigan now look like war zones.

Back in 1985, the U.S. trade deficit with China was about 6 million dollars for the entire year.

As mentioned above, the U.S. trade deficit with China for 2010 was over 273 billion dollars.

What a difference 25 years can make, eh?

What do you find when you go into a Wal-Mart, a Target or a dollar store today?

You find row after row after row of stuff made in China and in other far away countries.

It can be more than a bit difficult to find things that are actually made inside the United States anymore.  In fact, there are quite a few industries that have completely and totally left the United States.  For certain product categories it is now literally impossible to buy something made in America.

So what are we going to do with our tens of millions of blue collar workers?

Should we just tell them that their jobs are not ever coming back so they better learn phrases such as “Welcome to Wal-Mart” and “Would you like fries with that”?

For quite a few years, the gigantic debt bubble that we were living in kind of insulated us from feeling the effects of the deindustrialization of America.

But now the pain is starting to kick in.

It has now become soul-crushingly difficult to find a job in America today.

According to Gallup, the U.S. unemployment rate is currently 10.1% and when you throw in “underemployed” workers that figure rises to 19.6%.

Competition for jobs has become incredibly fierce and it is going to stay that way.

The great U.S. economic machine is being ripped apart and dismantled right in full view of us all.

This is not a “conservative” issue or a “liberal” issue.  This is an American issue.

The United States is rapidly being turned into a “post-industrial” wasteland.

It is time to wake up America.

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