20 Signs That The World Could Be Headed For An Economic Apocalypse In 2012

If you thought that 2011 was a bad year for the world economy, just wait until you see what happens in 2012.  The U.S. and Europe are both dealing with unprecedented debt problems, the financial markets are flailing about wildly, austerity programs are being implemented all over the globe, prices on basics such as food are soaring and a lot of consumers are flat out scared right now.  Many analysts now fear that a “perfect storm” could be brewing and that we could actually be headed for an economic apocalypse in 2012.  Hopefully that will not happen.  Hopefully our leaders can keep the global economy from completely falling apart.  But right now, things don’t look good.  After a period of relative stability, things are starting to become unglued once again.  The next major financial panic could literally happen at any time.  Sadly, if we do see an economic apocalypse in 2012, it won’t be the wealthy that suffer the most.  It will be the poor, the unemployed, the homeless and the hungry that feel the most pain.

The following are 20 signs that we could be headed for an economic apocalypse in 2012….

#1 Back in 2008 we saw major rioting around the world due to soaring food prices, and now global food prices are on the rise again.  Global food prices in July were 33 percent higher than they were one year ago.  Price increases for staples such as maize (up 84 percent), sugar (up 62 percent) and wheat (up 55 percent) are absolutely devastating poverty-stricken communities all over the planet.  For example, one expert is warning that 800,000 children living in the Horn of Africa could die during this current famine.

#2 The producer price index in the U.S. has increased at an annual rate of at least 7.0% for the last three months in a row.  We are starting to see huge price increases all over the place.  For example, Starbucks recently jacked up the price of a bag of coffee by 17 percent.  If inflation keeps accelerating like this we could be facing some very serious problems by the time 2012 rolls around.

#3 The U.S. “Misery Index” (unemployment plus inflation) recently hit a 28 year high and many believe that it is going to go much, much higher.

#4 Jared Bernstein, the former chief economist for Vice President Joe Biden, says that the unemployment rate in this country will not go below 8% before the 2012 election.  In fact, Bernstein says that “the most optimistic forecast would be for about eight-and-a-half percent.”

#5 Working class jobs in the United States continue to disappear at an alarming rate.  Back in 1967, 97 percent of men with a high school degree between the ages of 30 and 50 had jobs.  Today, that figure is 76 percent.

#6 There are all kinds of indications that U.S. economic growth is about to slow down even further.  For example, pre-orders for Christmas toys from China are way down this year.

#7 One recent survey found that 9 out of 10 U.S. workers do not expect their wages to keep up with the rising cost of basics such as food and gasoline over the next year.

#8 U.S. consumer confidence is now at its lowest level in 30 years.

#9 Today, an all-time record 45.8 million Americans are on food stamps.  It is almost inconceivable that the largest economy on earth could have so many people dependent on the government for food.

#10 As the economy crumbles, we are also witnessing the fabric of society beginning to come apart.  The recent flash mob crimes that we are starting to see all over America are just one example of this.

#11 Some desperate Americans are already stealing anything that they can get their hands on.  For example, according to the American Kennel Club, dog thefts are up 32 percent this year.

#12 Small businesses all over the United States are having a really difficult time getting loans right now.  Perhaps if the Federal Reserve was not paying banks not to make loans things would be different.

#13 The U.S. national debt is like a giant boulder that our economy must constantly carry around on its back, and it is growing by billions of dollars every single day.  Right now the debt of the federal government is $14,592,242,215,641.90.  It has gone up by nearly 4 trillion dollars since Barack Obama took office.  S&P has already stripped the U.S. of its AAA credit rating, and more downgrades are certain to come if the U.S. does not get its act together.

#14 Tensions between the United States and China are rising again.  A new opinion piece on chinadaily.com is calling for the Chinese government to use its holdings of U.S. debt as a “financial weapon” against the United States if the U.S. follows through with a plan to sell more arms to Taiwan.  The U.S. and China are the two biggest economies in the world, so any trouble between them would mean economic trouble for the rest of the globe as well.

#15 Most state and local governments in the U.S. are deep in debt and flat broke.  Many of them are slashing jobs at a feverish pace.  According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, state and local governments have eliminated more than half a million jobs since August 2008.  UBS Investment Research is projecting that state and local governments in the U.S. will cut 450,000 more jobs by the end of 2012.  How those jobs will be replaced is anyone’s guess.

#16 The U.S. dollar continues to get weaker and weaker.  This is renewing calls for a new global currency to be created to replace the U.S. dollar as the reserve currency of the world.

#17 The European sovereign debt crisis continues to get worse.  Countries like Portugal, Italy and Greece are on the verge of an economic apocalypse.  All of the financial problems in Europe are even beginning to affect the core European nations.  For example, German industrial production declined by 1.1% in June.  There are all kinds of signs that the economy of Europe is slowing down and is heading for a recession.  French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are proposing that a new “economic government” for Europe be set up to oversee this debt crisis, but nothing that the Europeans have tried so far has done much to solve things.

#18 The Federal Reserve is so desperate to bring some sort of stability to financial markets that it has stated that it will likely keep interest rates near zero all the way until mid-2013.  The Federal Reserve is operating in “panic mode” almost constantly now and they are almost out of ammunition.  So what is going to happen when the real trouble starts?

#19 Central banks around the world certainly seem to be preparing for something.  According to the World Gold Council, central banks around the globe purchased more gold during the first half of 2011 than they did all of last year.

#20 Often perception very much influences reality. One recent survey found that 48 percent of Americans believe that it is likely that another great Depression will begin within the next 12 months.  If people expect that a depression is coming and they quit spending money that actually increases the chance that an economic downturn will occur.

There is already a tremendous amount of economic pain on the streets of America, but unfortunately it looks like things may get even worse in 2012.

The once great economic machine that was handed down to us by our forefathers is falling to pieces all around us and we are in debt up to our eyeballs.  The consequences of our bad economic decisions are hurting some of the most vulnerable members of our society the most.

As the following video shows, large numbers of formerly middle class Americans are now living in their cars or sleeping in the streets….

It is a crying shame what is happening out there on the streets of America today.

Please say a prayer for all of those that are sleeping in cars or tents or under bridges tonight.

Soon even more Americans will be joining them.

The Stock Market Crash Of 2011?

How far does the stock market have to go down before we officially call it a crash?  The Dow is now down more than 2,000 points in just the last 14 trading days.  So can we now call this “The Stock Market Crash of 2011”?  Today the Dow was down 519 points.  Yesterday, an announcement by the Federal Reserve indicating that the Fed would keep interest rates near zero until mid-2013 helped the Dow surge more than 400 points, but all of those gains were wiped out today.  It turns out that the Federal Reserve was only able to stabilize the financial markets for a single day.  Fears about the European sovereign debt crisis and the crumbling U.S. economy continue to dominate the marketplace.  With each passing day, things are looking more and more like 2008 all over again.  So what is going to happen if “The Stock Market Crash of 2011” pushes the U.S. economy into “The Recession of 2012”?

Just like in 2008, bank stocks are being hit the hardest.  That was true once again today.  Bank of America was down more than 10 percent, Citigroup was down more than 10 percent, Morgan Stanley was down more than 9 percent and JPMorgan Chase was down more than 5 percent.

Bank of America stock is down almost 50 percent so far this year.  Overall, the S&P financial sector is down more than 23 percent in 2011 so far.

How soon will it be before we start hearing of the need for more bailouts?  After all, the “too big to fail” banks are even bigger now than they were in 2008.

All of this panic is causing the price of gold to reach unprecedented heights.  Today, gold was over $1800 at one point.  If the current panic continues for an extended period of time, there is no telling how high the price of gold may go.

In the United States, much of the focus has been on the fact that the U.S. government has lost its AAA credit rating, but the truth is that the European sovereign debt crisis is probably the biggest cause of the instability in world financial markets right now.

The European Central Bank has decided to start purchasing Italian and Spanish debt, and there have been rumors that French debt could be hit with a downgrade.  Europe is a total financial basket case right now and unless dramatic action is taken things are going to get progressively worse.

Of course the U.S. is also certainly contributing greatly to this crisis.  The federal government is on track to have a budget deficit that is over a trillion dollars for the third year in a row.  The U.S national debt is a horrific nightmare, but our politicians keep putting off budget cuts.

The debt ceiling deal that was just reached basically does next to nothing to cut the budget before the next election.  Unless the “Super Congress” does something dramatic, the only “budget cuts” we will see before the 2012 election will be 25 billion dollars in “savings” from spending increases that will be cancelled.

The modest spending cuts scheduled to go into effect beginning in 2013 will probably never materialize.  Whenever the time comes to actually significantly cut the budget, our politicians always want to put it off for another time.

But in the end, debt is always going to have its day.  Our politicians can try to kick the can down the road all they want, but eventually a day of reckoning is going to come.

In fact, if the U.S. and Europe had not piled up so much debt, we would not be facing all of the problems we are dealing with now.

Things could have been so much different.

But here we are.

The truth is that this debt crisis is just beginning.  There is no magic potion that is going to make all of this debt suddenly disappear.

Most Americans have no idea how much financial pain is coming.  We have been living way beyond our means for decades, and now we are going to start paying for it.

Now that long-term U.S. government debt has been downgraded, huge numbers of other securities are also going to be affected.  In fact, according to a recent Bloomberg article, S&P has already been very busy slashing the ratings on hordes of municipal bonds….

Standard & Poor’s lowered the AAA ratings of thousands of municipal bonds tied to the federal government, including housing securities and debt backed by leases, following its Aug. 5 downgrade of the U.S.

That is the thing about financial markets – once the dominoes start to fall, the ripple effects can be felt for a long, long time.

So if this stock market crash gets even worse, will the Federal Reserve respond with even stronger measures?

They have already basically promised to keep interest rates near zero for the next two years.  So what else can the Fed do?

Well, many now believe that there is a very good chance that we could see another round of quantitative easing.

Not that more quantitative easing is going to help much of anything.  Rather than helping the economy, the last round of quantitative easing just pushed commodity prices through the roof.  But the Fed is unlikely to just sit there and do nothing while financial markets struggle.

But it is not just the financial markets that are having a difficult time right now.  Bad news is coming in from all over the economy.  The possibility that we could soon slip into another major recession is growing by the day.

Unfortunately, our economy is so weak already that a new recession would probably hurt even more than the last recession did.

Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, says that if we have another recession it “won’t feel like a new recession. It would likely feel like a depression.

But the American people are in no mood for more economic pain.  Every recent poll shows that Americans are already fed up.

For example, a brand new Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 73 percent of the American people believe that the country is “on the wrong track”.

So let’s certainly hope that the current stock market crash does not set off another major global recession.  We certainly do not need things to get significantly worse than they are right now.

But whether it hits now or later, the truth is that a whole lot of economic pain is on the way.  The U.S. and Europe have been making really, really bad decisions for decades, and we are not going to be able to escape the consequences of those decisions.

The global financial system is one huge mountain of leverage, risk and debt.  A collapse is inevitable.

When you build a house of cards on a foundation of sand, you should not be surprised when it comes crashing down.

The next wave of the economic collapse is coming, and those that are wise will get prepared.

 

 

A 634 Point Stock Market Crash And 8 More Reasons Why You Should Be Deeply Concerned That The U.S. Government Has Lost Its AAA Credit Rating

Are you ready for part two of the global financial collapse?  Many now fear that we may be on the verge of a repeat of 2008 after the events of the last several days.  On Friday, Standard & Poor’s stripped the U.S. government of its AAA credit rating for the first time in history.  World financial markets had been anticipating a potential downgrade, but that still didn’t stop panic from ensuing as this week began.  On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 634.76 points, which represented a 5.5 percent plunge.  It was the largest one day point decline and the largest one day percentage decline since December 1, 2008.  Overall, stocks have fallen by about 15 percent over the past two weeks.  When Standard & Poor’s downgraded long-term U.S. government debt from AAA to AA+, it was just one more indication that faith in the U.S. financial system is faltering.  Previously, U.S. government debt had a AAA rating from S&P continuously since 1941, but now that streak is over.   Nobody is quite sure what comes next.  We truly are in unprecedented territory.  But one thing is for sure – there is a lot of fear in the air right now.

So exactly what caused S&P to downgrade U.S. government debt?

Well, it was the debt ceiling deal that broke the camel’s back.

According to S&P, the debt ceiling deal “falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.”

As I have written about previously, the debt ceiling deal was a complete and total joke, and S&P realized this.

Forget all of the huge figures that the mainstream media has been throwing at you concerning this debt ceiling deal.  The only numbers that matter are for what happens before the next election.

The only way that the current debt ceiling deal will last beyond the 2012 election is if Obama is still president, the Democrats still control the Senate and the Republicans still control the House.  If any of those things change, this deal ceiling deal is dead as soon as the election is over.

Even if all of those things remain the same, there is still a very good chance that we would see dramatic changes to the deal after the next election.

So in evaluating this “deal”, the important thing is to look at what is going to happen prior to the 2012 election.

When we examine this “deal” that way, what does it look like?

Well, Barack Obama and the Democrats get the debt ceiling raised by over 2 trillion dollars and will not have to worry about it again until after the 2012 election.

The Republicans get 25 billion dollars in “savings” from spending increases that will be cancelled.

The “Super Congress” that is supposed to be coming up with the second phase of the plan may propose some additional “spending cuts” that would go into effect before the 2012 election, but that seems unlikely.

So in the final analysis, the Democrats won the debt ceiling battle by a landslide.

25 billion dollars is not even 1 percent of the federal budget.  The U.S. national debt continues to spiral wildly out of control, and our politicians could not even cut the budget by one percent.

Somehow our politicians believed that the rest of the world would be convinced that they were serious about cutting the budget, but it turns out that global financial markets are tired of getting fooled.

It has gotten to the point where now even the big credit rating agencies are being forced to do something.  Not that they really have much credibility left.  Everyone still remembers all of those AAA-rated mortgage-backed securities that imploded during the last financial crisis.  The reality is that the big credit rating agencies are a bad joke at this point.

Several smaller credit rating agencies have already significantly slashed the credit rating of the U.S. government.  But a lot of pressure had been put on the “big three” to keep them in line.

But now things have gotten so ridiculous that S&P felt forced to make a move.

Sadly, our politicians are still trying to maintain the charade that everything is okay.  Barack Obama says that financial markets “still believe our credit is AAA and the world’s investors agree”.

Once again, Barack Obama is dead wrong.

The truth is that the credit rating for the U.S. government should have been slashed significantly a long time ago.  This move by S&P was way, way overdue.

Moody’s might be the next one to issue a downgrade.  At the moment, Moody’s says that it will not be downgrading U.S. debt for now, but Moody’s also says that it has serious doubts about the enforceability of the “budget cuts” in the debt ceiling deal.

This crisis is just beginning.  It is going to play out over time, and it is going to be very messy.

The following are 8 more reasons why you should be deeply concerned that the U.S. government has lost its AAA credit rating….

#1 The U.S. dollar and U.S. government debt are at the very heart of the global financial system.  This credit rating downgrade just doesn’t affect the United States – it literally shakes the financial foundations of the entire world.

#2 As the stock market crashes, investors are flocking to U.S. Treasuries right now.  However, once the current panic is over the U.S. could be faced with increased borrowing costs.  The credit rating downgrade is a signal to investors that they should be receiving a higher rate of return for investing in U.S. government debt.  If interest rates on U.S. government debt do end up going up, that is going to make it more expensive for the U.S. government to borrow money.  The higher interest on the national debt goes, the more difficult it is going to become to balance the budget.

#3 We could literally see hundreds of other credit rating downgrades now that long-term U.S. government debt has been downgraded.  For example, S&P has already slashed the credit ratings of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from AAA to AA+.  S&P has also already begun to downgrade the credit ratings of states and municipalities.  Nobody is quite sure when we are going to see the dominoes stop falling, and this is not going to be a good thing for the U.S. economy.

#4 10-year U.S. Treasuries are the basis for a whole lot of other interest rates throughout our economy.  If we see the rate for 10-year U.S. Treasuries go up significantly, it will suddenly become a lot more expensive to get a car loan or a home loan.

#5 The current financial panic caused by this downgrade is hitting financial stocks really hard.  The big banks led the decline back in 2008, and it looks like it might be happening again.  Just check out what CNN says happened to financial stocks on Monday….

Financial stocks were among the hardest hit, with Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) plunging 20%, and Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) and Morgan Stanley (MS, Fortune 500) dropped roughly 15%.

#6 China is freaking out. China’s official news agency says that China “has every right now to demand the United States to address its structural debt problems and ensure the safety of China’s dollar assets”.  If China starts dumping U.S. government debt that would make things a lot worse.

#7 There are already calls for the Federal Reserve to step in and do something.  If the U.S. economy drops into another recession, will we see more quantitative easing?  It seems like we have reached a point where the Fed is constantly in “emergency mode”.

#8 The U.S. national debt continues to get worse by the day.  Just check out what economics professor Laurence J. Kotlikoff recently told NPR….

“If you add up all the promises that have been made for spending obligations, including defense expenditures, and you subtract all the taxes that we expect to collect, the difference is $211 trillion. That’s the fiscal gap”

Dick Cheney once said that “deficits don’t matter”, but the truth is that all of the debt we have been piling up for decades is now catching up with us.

The United States is in such a huge amount of financial trouble that it is hard to put into words.  The days of easy borrowing for the U.S government are starting to come to an end.  We have been living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world, and it has fueled a tremendous amount of “prosperity”, but now the party is ending.

A whole lot of financial pain is on the horizon.  Please prepare for the hard times that are coming.

The Debt Ceiling Deal From Hell

Is the debt ceiling deal supposed to be some sort of a cruel joke?  Is this what the American people have been waiting months and months for?  The “debt ceiling deal from hell” is a complete and total fraud.  Barack Obama will not need to worry about the debt ceiling again until after the 2012 election, and no “real” spending cuts will happen until after the 2012 election.  The way the political game in Washington D.C. is played today, if you don’t get something right now, you probably will never end up getting it.  The Republicans have traded a massive debt ceiling increase right now for the possibility of very skimpy budget cuts in the future.  Meanwhile, this deal establishes a new “Super Congress” that threatens to fundamentally alter our political system (and not in a good way).  The funny thing is that everyone is running around proclaiming that the Tea Party won this battle.  That is a complete and total lie.

So what about the $917 billion in “immediate” spending cuts that the Republicans are getting as part of this deal?

Well, they aren’t really spending cuts at all.  Rather, they are spending caps.  Basically what is happening is that future spending increases are being cancelled and our politicians are selling that to us as “spending cuts”.

What is even sadder is that the $917 billion is spread over ten years and the vast majority of the “cuts” are in the latter years.

For example, even if you consider these to be “spending cuts” (which they are not), the deal calls for only about $25 billion in “cuts” in 2012 and only about $47 billion in “cuts” in 2013.

25 billion dollars is far less than one percent of the federal budget, so needless to say these “cuts” are not very impressive at all.

Okay, so how about the second stage of the deal which will produce “spending cuts” of between 1.2 and 1.5 trillion dollars?

Well, yes, these would actually be spending cuts and they would be spread over 10 years.

Near the end of the year, the new “Super Congress” (more on that in a minute) will submit a proposal to Congress which could cut spending over the next 10 years by a total of up to 1.5 trillion dollars.

If the recommendations of the “Super Congress” are not implemented, then “automatic” spending cuts of $1.2 trillion will go into effect over the next 10 years.

However, there are some very important things to remember about these “spending cuts”.

First of all, none of these “automatic” spending cuts would even go into effect until 2013.  The face of American politics will be dramatically different by then, and there is absolutely nothing that makes these cuts binding on Congress.

As Gregg Easterbrook recently noted, Congress can cancel spending cuts at any time and for any reason….

By projecting the only tangible savings — which aren’t even specified, but are merely caps — into the future, the plan allows Congress to cancel them. In 2012 or any future year, Congress will say, “We can’t have caps this year because of the [INSERT ANY WORD CHOSEN AT RANDOM] crisis. We are postponing action till next year.” Rinse and repeat.

As I have written about so many times before, the U.S. national debt is completely and totally out of control.  This was supposed to be the moment when at least some members of Congress were finally going to get serious about our exploding debt.  Unfortunately, our politicians have sold us down the river once again.

Even if the best case scenario happens (which it never does) and Congress sticks to this deal for the full ten years (which is about as likely as hell freezing over), the “savings” that this deal would produce are quite pathetic as Peter Schiff recently explained….

The Congressional Budget Office currently projects that $9.5 trillion in new debt will have to be issued over the next 10 years. Even if all of the reductions proposed in the deal were to come to pass, which is highly unlikely, that would still leave $7.1 trillion in new debt accumulation by 2021. Our problems have not been solved by a long shot.

Keep in mind that Congress can change this deal whenever it wants.

So nobody should get excited about these “spending cuts”.  After all, when was the last time that “future spending cuts” actually materialized in Washington?

The reality is that neither political party seems to want to do much to cut government spending.

So the band will play on and the can will get kicked even farther down the road.

When Obama was inaugurated, the U.S. national debt was $10,626,877,048,913.08.

Today, it is $14,342,358,440,969.10.

But what this “debt ceiling deal” will do is it will give the congressional leadership of both parties much more power.

The new “Super Congress” that this deal establishes will be granted “extraordinary new powers” that regular members of Congress do not possess.

For example, The Huffington Post says that any new legislation produced by the “Super Congress” will not be able to be filibustered or amended….

Under the reported framework, legislation the new congressional committee writes would be fast-tracked through Congress and could not be filibustered or amended.

So who will be a part of the “Super Congress”?

The members will be chosen by the leadership of both parties.

So anyone that is not part of the “establishment” is not likely to be included.

The following is what U.S. Representative Ron Paul had to say about this new “Super Congress”….

“Nothing more than a way to disenfranchise the majority of Congress by denying them the chance for meaningful participation in the crucial areas of entitlement and tax reform. It cedes power to draft legislation to a special commission, hand-picked by the House and Senate leadership.”

It is this new “Super Congress” that will decide what will be in the package of “spending cuts” that will be voted on by the end of the year.

Regular members of Congress will be frozen out of the process.

On December 23rd, Congress will be required to vote up or down on the spending cuts proposed by the “Super Congress”.  Regular members of Congress will not be allowed to amend the legislation in any way, and no filibusters will be permitted.

Does that sound very “American” to you?

The more that one examines this “debt ceiling deal”, the worse it looks.

Meanwhile, many Democrats are running around and acting as if their lunch money was just stolen.

For example, the following is what Politico is reporting that U.S. Representative Mike Doyle said about this deal….

“We have negotiated with terrorists,” an angry Doyle said, according to sources in the room. “This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.”

Democratic congressman Emanuel Cleaver was even more dramatic when he proclaimed that this deal “looks like a Satan sandwich“.

Well, this deal is a total nightmare, but not for the reasons that Cleaver is suggesting.

This deal opens the door for more rampant deficit spending, and nearly all of the “spending cuts” are put off until after the 2012 election.

Basically, the Republicans got taken out behind the woodshed and beaten to a pulp on this one.  Any Republican that is trying to proclaim that the debt ceiling deal is a “great victory” is a complete moron.

But in the end, it really does not matter which political party gets a “victory” out of all this.  What matters is that our federal government is still steamrolling toward a date with financial oblivion.

If this is the best that our politicians can come up with, we are absolutely doomed.

 

GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, The Head Of Obama’s Jobs Council, Is Moving Jobs And Economic Infrastructure To China At A Blistering Pace

Jeffrey Immelt, the head of Barack Obama’s highly touted “Jobs Council”, is moving even more GE infrastructure to China.  GE makes more medical-imaging machines than anyone else in the world, and now GE has announced that it “is moving the headquarters of its 115-year-old X-ray business to Beijing“.  Apparently, this is all part of a “plan to invest about $2 billion across China” over the next few years.  But moving core pieces of its business overseas is nothing new for GE.  Under Immelt, GE has shipped tens of thousands of good jobs out of the United States.  Perhaps GE should change its slogan to “Imagination At Work (In China)”.  If the very people that have been entrusted with solving the unemployment crisis are shipping jobs out of the country, what hope is there that things are going to turn around any time soon?

Earlier this month, Immelt made the following statement to a jobs summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce….

“There’s no excuse today for lack of leadership. The truth is we all need to be part of the solution.”

Apparently Immelt’s idea of being part of the solution is to ship as many jobs overseas as he possibly can.

A recent article on the Huffington Post documented how GE has been sending tens of thousands of good jobs out of the country….

As the administration struggles to prod businesses to create jobs at home, GE has been busy sending them abroad. Since Immelt took over in 2001, GE has shed 34,000 jobs in the U.S., according to its most recent annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But it’s added 25,000 jobs overseas.

At the end of 2009, GE employed 36,000 more people abroad than it did in the U.S. In 2000, it was nearly the opposite.

GE is supposed to be creating the “jobs of tomorrow”, but it seems that most of the “jobs of tomorrow” will not be located inside the United States.

The last GE factory in the U.S. that made light bulbs closed last September.  The transition to the new CFL light bulbs was supposed to create a whole bunch of those “green jobs” that Barack Obama keeps talking about, but as an article in the Washington Post noted, that simply is not happening….

Rather than setting off a boom in the U.S. manufacture of replacement lights, the leading replacement lights are compact fluorescents, or CFLs, which are made almost entirely overseas, mostly in China.

But GE is far from alone in shipping jobs and economic infrastructure out of the United States.  For example, big automakers such as Ford are being very aggressive in China.  Ford is currently “building three factories in Chongqing as part of $1.6 billion investment that also includes another plant in Nanchang”.

Today, China accounts for approximately one out of every four vehicles sold worldwide.  The big automakers consider the future to be in China.

Just a few decades ago, China was an economic joke and the U.S. economy was absolutely unparalleled.

But disastrous trade policies have opened up the door for a mammoth transfer of jobs, factories and wealth from the United States to China.

China has become an absolute powerhouse and America is rapidly declining.

Beautiful new infrastructure is going up all over China even as U.S. infrastructure rots and decays right in front of our eyes.

You can see some amazing pictures of the stunning economic development that has been going on in China here, here, here and here.

America is being deindustrialized at lightning speed and very few of our politicians seem to care.

Back in 1979, there were 19.5 million manufacturing jobs in the United States.

Today, there are 11.6 million.

That represents a decline of 40 percent during a time period when our overall population experienced tremendous growth.

We used to have the greatest manufacturing cities on the entire globe.  The rest of the world was in awe of us.

Today, most of those formerly great manufacturing cities are decaying, rotting hellholes.

The following is what one reporter from the UK saw during his visit to Detroit….

As you pass the city limits a blanket of gloom, neglect and cheapness descends. The buildings are shabbier, the paint is faded. The businesses, where they exist, are thrift shops and pawn shops or wretched groceries where the goods are old and tired. Finding somewhere to have breakfast, normally easy in any American city, involves a long hunt. ‘God bless Detroit’, says one billboard, just beside another offering the alternative solution: liquor.

You can see some really shocking images of the decline of Detroit right here.

Our politicians insisted that globalism would not result in a “giant sucking sound” as millions of jobs left America.

But that is exactly what has happened.

Sadly, most American families still don’t understand what has happened.  Most of them are still waiting for things to get back to “normal”.

Millions of unemployed Americans are dealing with incredible amounts of stress right now as they wait for jobs to start opening up again.  But the jobs that have been shipped overseas are not coming back.  In a globalized economy, it doesn’t make sense to hire American workers when you can legally pay workers slave labor wages on the other side of the globe.

Millions of good middle class jobs have been replaced by low paying service jobs.  Today there are huge numbers of Americans that are cutting hair or flipping burgers because that is all they can get right now.

Many others are only able to survive because of the safety net.  One reader named David recently left a comment in which he shared his story.  David did everything that the system asked him to do, but the promised rewards never materialized.  Now David is broke, unemployed and he feels deeply frustrated….

A year ago I had a job, we were struggling, but bills were getting paid, and somehow we were getting by. Then I made the mistake of getting sick, one day before my company insurance kicked in. An auto-immune illness almost killed me, if it weren’t for the amazing efforts of my physicians and an emergency spleenectomy, I would not be here.

My wife would have been a single mother,raising two young sons, one of which is autistic. Instead, I pulled through. The disease damaged my liver, leaving me with a chronic condition, and even after a year, it is hard to get up and go some days. My “employer” dumped me as soon as I left the hospital, and I haven’t worked since. It isn’t for lack of looking. There just isn’t anything.

Oh, I get my government cheese money. Here I am college educated, unable to find something that can pay the bills better than the money that we get from the government. It sickens me to be this dependent on the system like this. But the system de-incentivizes work, and makes living on the dole make a perverse economic sense.

I used to have dreams, but I have given up on them. My wife and I have no savings, we have no life raft and if it weren’t for the generosity of her parents and mine, things would have ground to a halt a long time ago.

I believed every thing adults told me. Work hard, I did. Get an education, I did. Find a nice girl and settle down, I did. Two cars, a dog, a cat and couple of kids, a nice townhouse…the american dream. Yep.

I love my country. My heart is broken, broken because I have been betrayed. I did what you asked, I played by the rules. I did what you said to do; I submitted, I conformed, I stopped dreaming. Now what?

I am willing to pay for my faults and transgressions; my failures are my own, I get that. My children should not have to suffer for my failures, they did not do anything wrong. My youngest boy is autistic, we hope he will be able to integrate into society, but the fact is we may have to take care of him for the rest of his life. How do I do this with nothing, and no opportunity in the foreseeable future?

Depression, stress…yep, I’ve got all that. I used to be hopeful and optimistic about the future. Now all I am is afraid.

As the United States continues to bleed good jobs, stories like the one you just read are going to become much more common.

So what are our politicians doing about all of this?

They tell us that we need even more “free trade”!

Barack Obama says that we need more free trade.

The Republicans say that we need more free trade.

In Washington D.C. our politicians do not agree on much, but one thing they do agree on is that we need to keep shipping jobs out of the country.

Until the American people wake up and start demanding an end to the globalization of the U.S. economy, the job losses are just going to continue to get worse.

The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.  If this trend continues, millions more Americans will soon be surviving on food stamps or living in tent cities.

The American people are deeply concerned about the economy, but they still have not connected the dots on these issues.  The mainstream media and most of our politicians keep telling them that the globalization of the economy is a wonderful thing.

It is so sad that people just do not understand what is going on right in front of their eyes.

Whether you are a conservative or a liberal or a libertarian, you should be against the deindustrialization of America.

Allowing our industrial base to be raped is not a good thing.

Allowing big corporations and foreign governments to pay slave labor wages to workers on the other side of the globe making things that will be sold inside the United States is not a good thing.

Allowing the destruction of our industrial capacity to threaten our national security is not a good thing.

Allowing millions of precious jobs to leave the country is not a good thing.

The biggest corporations are making some extra profits by exploiting cheap labor on the other side of the globe.  Corporate executives love to shower themselves with larger and larger bonuses.

But our current trade policies are not working for American workers.

We need “fair trade”, not “free trade”.

The United States is being taken advantage of, and the Democrats and the Republicans are both laying down like doormats and letting it happen.

If you want to know where all the good jobs went, it is not a big mystery.

They have been shipped out of the country and they are not coming back.

Unless fundamental changes are made, things are going to get worse and worse and worse for American workers.

So what is going to happen next?

It is up to you America.

Stress!

Has anyone else noticed that the level of stress in this country appears to be extremely high right now?  Today, it seems like our federal government, our state governments and most American families live in a constant state of crisis.  Everywhere you look there are major problems.  Right now everyone is stressed out because of the “debt ceiling deadline”.  Earlier this year everyone was freaked out about the possibility of a “government shutdown”.  If by some miracle Barack Obama and the Republicans are able to reach a deal in the next few days that will not help the national stress level for long.  Another gut-wrenching “national crisis” will almost certainly come along very quickly.  Meanwhile, average American families are feeling more stress than ever.  There are millions of ordinary Americans that either cannot find jobs or are working as hard as they can and yet cannot seem to pay their mortgages and provide the basics for their families.  We are a nation that is really stressed out right now, and as things continue to unravel the level of stress is only going to increase.

Compared to much of the rest of the world, we have an insanely high standard of living, and yet we appear to be some of the most unhappy people on the face of the earth.

Wherever you turn today, someone is popping a pill.  The percentage of women taking antidepressants in America is higher than in any other country in the world.  Children in the United States are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants than children in Europe are.

What in the world is wrong with us?

America is a country that desperately needs to chill out.

Washington D.C. sure is a stressful place right now.  Most of our politicians seem to be focused on the 2012 elections rather than on trying to solve our problems.

Most of our leaders are prancing around trying to make themselves look good.  Meanwhile, our national financial situation continues to go down the toilet.

One way or another this “debt ceiling crisis” will probably get solved.  Our politicians will come up with some sort of a “deal” and it will almost certainly be a bad one.

The sad truth is that the U.S. national debt problem should have been addressed decades ago.

But it wasn’t.

So now we are sitting on a 14 trillion dollar timebomb.

Yes, the ultra-wealthy have become absolute masters at avoiding taxation, but even if some way to tap into their offshore wealth could be found, it still would only put a small dent in the problem.

The truth is that the U.S. government spends way too much money.

U.S. government spending is now above 25 percent of U.S. GDP.  That is way above what has been normal during the post-World War II era.

But cutting government spending is not going to fix our system either.

The reality is that our debt-based financial system is designed to trap our federal government in a constantly expanding spiral of debt indefinitely.

As I have written about previously, the U.S. government debt problem will never be fixed as long as the Federal Reserve is running our financial system.

Under our current system, the debt is going to continue to grow no matter who we elect.

As our debt grows, our economy will suffer and the national stress level will continue to rise.

But for most American households, government debt is not the thing causing the most stress these days.

Most Americans are much more concerned about their own personal financial situations.

Most people just want to work hard, pay the bills and raise their families.  But that is becoming extremely difficult to to.

According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 90 percent of Americans believe that the economy is performing poorly.

The same poll found that 80 percent of Americans believe that it is “difficult” to find a job these days.

In the United States today, there are 14 million unemployed people.  Tonight there are huge numbers of Americans that are sitting at home desperately hoping that someone will give them a job.  A significant percentage of our population that should be productive is just sitting on the sidelines.  Just check out the following quote from a recent CNN article….

Has anyone in Washington noticed that 20% of American men are not working? That’s right. One out of five men in this country are collecting unemployment, in prison, on disability, operating in the underground economy, or getting by on the paychecks of wives or girlfriends or parents. The equivalent number in 1970, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, was 7%.

With numbers like that, how in the world can anyone claim that our economy is healthy?

Sadly, it looks like things may get even worse.  As I have written about previously, we are now starting to see another huge wave of layoffs all over the nation.

The employment crisis has a ripple effect throughout the rest of the economy as well.

Without good jobs, Americans cannot buy homes.  The housing crash is not going to be fixed until there the employment situation gets fixed.

With lending standards tighter than ever, it takes someone with a good income and a solid employment history to be able to qualify for a home loan.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a whole lot of people like that in the marketplace right now.

So, the housing industry continues to suffer.

Last year was the worst year for new home sales in modern U.S. history.  So far, this year is even worse.

Ouch.

It would be really nice if we actually would have an economic recovery, but it just isn’t happening.

Prices are rising and incomes are not.  American families are feeling more squeezed than ever.

A lot of Americans live in a constant state of stress because of debt.

According to one new poll, about 20 percent of American adults worry about debt “most or all of the time”.

If you have ever been there, then you know how financial stress can rob sleep from you night after night after night.

Today, total credit card debt in the U.S. is more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.

Some Americans can handle credit cards, but a lot of them can’t.  A staggering 46 percent of Americans do not pay their credit card bills in full each month.

But credit card debt is only one form of debt that is causing stress for American families.  The truth is that the total amount of student loan debt is even greater than the total amount of credit card debt.  Medical debt is another huge problem.  The vast majority of American families are dealing with a debt problem of one form or another.  The decades of “easy credit” that we enjoyed are really starting to catch up with us.

Today, the average American household is carrying $75,600 in debt.

That is not a good thing.  American consumers are tapped out and the economy is suffering.

As the economy crumbles, many hard working Americans are finding that their lives have radically changed.  Just check out the following excerpt from an article posted on a local Connecticut news source….

For 28 years, Cathy Hartley of Glastonbury brought home a good paycheck from her job at Aetna.

But last Tuesday, she was in line with her two young granddaughters for free produce from Mobile Foodshare at the First Church of Christ Congregational on Main Street.

For Hartley, who said she was laid off from her job as a project manager about six years ago and then laid off from a subsequent job two years ago, every little bit helps. Her eligibility for unemployment ran out two months ago.

Could you imagine standing in line at a food bank?

Don’t laugh.

It just might happen to you.

Millions of Americans that have lost their jobs and their homes never thought that it would happen to them.

Wealth and possessions are here today and gone tomorrow.  People that base their lives on the things that they own are always going to have a high level of stress.  We didn’t bring any of these things into the world with us, and we can’t take any of them with us when we leave.

So try not to stress out too much.  We should all learn to be content whether we have a lot or whether we have a little.

So what do all of you think about the stress level in America right now?  Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below….

Broke! 10 Facts About The Financial Condition Of American Families That Will Blow Your Mind

The crumbling U.S. economy is putting an extraordinary amount of financial stress on American families.  For many Americans, “flat broke” has become a permanent condition.  Today, over half of all American families live paycheck to paycheck.  Unemployment is rampant and those that do actually have jobs are finding that their wages are rising much more slowly than prices are.  The financial condition of average American families continues to decline and this is showing up in all of the recent surveys.  For example, according to a new Gallup poll, “lack of money/low wages” is the number one financial concern for American families.  To make ends meet, many American families are going into even more debt and more American families than ever are turning to government assistance.  Right now, more Americans than at any other point since World War II are flat broke and have lost hope.  Until this changes, the frustration level in this country is going to continue to grow.

The following are 10 facts about the financial condition of American families that will blow your mind…..

#1 Only 58 percent of Americans have a job right now.

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

#3 The median yearly wage in the United States is $26,261.

#4 The average American household is carrying $75,600 in debt.

#5 Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.

#6 At this point, American families are approximately 7.7 trillion dollars poorer than they were back in early 2007.

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

#8 According to one study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States were living below the poverty line in 2010.

#9 Today, there are more than 44 million Americans on food stamps, and nearly half of them are children.

#10 According to Newsweek, close to 20 percent of all American men between the ages of 25 and 54 do not have a job at the moment.

So what is causing all of this?

Where in the world did all of the good jobs go?

Well, the truth is that millions of them have been shipped overseas.

Our politicians promised us that merging our economy with the economies of other nations where it is legal to pay slave labor wages to workers would not create more unemployment inside America.

They were dead wrong.

Now we are being told that we just need to accept a lower standard of living.

For example, billionaire Howard Marks says that it is time for all of us to just accept that the standard of living of American workers is inevitably going to decline to the level of the rest of the world….

“In addition to balancing the budget and growing the economy, I think we have to accept that the coming decades are likely to see U.S. standards of living decline relative to the rest of the world. Unless our goods offer a better cost/benefit bargain, there’s no reason why American workers should continue to enjoy the same lifestyle advantage over workers in other countries. I just don’t expect to hear many politicians own up to this reality on the stump.”

Are you willing to accept that?

Well, most Americans appear to be willing to accept this “new reality” because they keep sending most of the exact same bozos back to Washington D.C.

Meanwhile, the job losses continue to get worse.  As I wrote about the other day, as the U.S. economy has started to slow down again we are starting to see another huge wave of layoffs all over America.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out where all of our jobs are going.  But unfortunately, most Americans don’t understand what is happening because neither the mainstream media nor our politicians are telling them the truth.

For much more on how millions of our good jobs are being shipped out of the country, please see another article I recently published entitled “How Globalism Has Destroyed Our Jobs, Businesses And National Wealth In 10 Easy Steps“.

But it is not just the globalization of the economy that is destroying our jobs.

The federal government bureaucracy has become so oppressive that it is amazing that anyone is still willing to hire workers in this day and age.

Hiring workers has become so complicated and so expensive that many small business owners want to avoid it at all cost.

For example, a small business owner identified as “007” recently left the following comment on one of my recent articles….

Speaking as a small employer, I would rather have a root canal than another employee. Let’s see. You first have to hire someone you trust without some labor lawyer suing you for some type of discrimination. Then you have OSHA to make sure your work place is safe. Then you have workmans compensation insurance, unemployment taxes, health insurance, liability insurance, now Obamacare. Oh be careful not to be deemed to have a “hostile work environment”. Then you have to negotiate the labor laws. The Department of Labor is constantly cranking out regulation.

Then you get the pleasure of paying payroll taxes both state and federal along with the required filing of a multitude of payroll forms. Miss filing or paying these taxes and you will be crushed with interest and penalties.

Of course, you are competing with businesses that can hire at a fraction of the cost of American Labor and with very little regulations. In this economy, no one in their right mind is hiring into this unstable and declining economy.

If business turns down all you have to worry about is laying off workers. Of course your unemployment insurance tax will go up 200% for years. Then you only have to then worry about a wrongful termination law suit.

The entire system is stacked against American workers.

If you are a blue collar worker, you should give up hope that things are going to get better.  The system has failed you.

You can stop waiting for the “good jobs” to come back.

They aren’t coming back.

That is one reason why I try to encourage everyone to become more independent of the system.

As our economic system continues to degenerate, Americans are going to become increasingly desperate.

Sadly, desperate people do desperate things.  Already we are starting to see signs that the fabric of American society is starting to be ripped to shreds.

So what is going to happen if the economy gets even worse?

There is a limit to how many people we can actually put in prison.  The reality is that the number of Americans in prison has nearly tripled since 1987.

Our prisons are already dangerously overcrowded.  As society falls apart, many communities will simply not be able to shove more people behind bars.

Even with our prisons stuffed to the gills, many of our largest cities continue to be transformed into absolute hellholes.

Detroit is now the 3rd most dangerous city on the entire planet and New Orleans is now the 9th most dangerous city on the entire planet.

So what are our leaders doing about all of this?

Well, they appear to be too busy fighting with each other and cheating on their wives to do much about our problems.

According to Politico, U.S. Representative David Wu is the latest member of Congress to be accused of a sex scandal….

Rep. David Wu has been accused of an “unwanted sexual encounter” with the teenage daughter of a longtime friend, the latest scandal to engulf the troubled Oregon Democrat.

This country is a complete and total mess.  Tens of millions of American families are flat broke and are about to slip into poverty.  Meanwhile, our politicians continue to prove that they are some of the most corrupt on the planet.

There are many out there that still believe that America has a bright future ahead.

It is getting really hard to see why anyone could possibly believe that.