19 Facts About The Deindustrialization Of America That Will Blow Your Mind

The United States is rapidly becoming the very first “post-industrial” nation on the globe.  All great economic empires eventually become fat and lazy and squander the great wealth that their forefathers have left them, but the pace at which America is accomplishing this is absolutely amazing.  It was America that was at the forefront of the industrial revolution.  It was America that showed the world how to mass produce everything from automobiles to televisions to airplanes.  It was the great American manufacturing base that crushed Germany and Japan in World War II.  But now we are witnessing the deindustrialization of America.  Tens of thousands of factories have left the United States in the past decade alone.  Millions upon millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost in the same time period.  The United States has become a nation that consumes everything in sight and yet produces increasingly little.  Do you know what our biggest export is today?  Waste paper.  Yes, trash is the number one thing that we ship out to the rest of the world as we voraciously blow our money on whatever the rest of the world wants to sell to us.  The United States has become bloated and spoiled and our economy is now  just a shadow of what it once was.  Once upon a time America could literally outproduce the rest of the world combined.  Today that is no longer true, but Americans sure do consume more than anyone else in the world.  If the deindustrialization of America continues at this current pace, what possible kind of a future are we going to be leaving to our children?

Any great nation throughout history has been great at making things.  So if the United States continues to allow its manufacturing base to erode at a staggering pace how in the world can the U.S. continue to consider itself to be a great nation?  We have created the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world in an effort to maintain a very high standard of living, but the current state of affairs is not anywhere close to sustainable.  Every single month America does into more debt and every single month America gets poorer.

So what happens when the debt bubble pops?

The deindustrialization of the United States should be a top concern for every man, woman and child in the country.  But sadly, most Americans do not have any idea what is going on around them.

For people like that, take this article and print it out and hand it to them.  Perhaps what they will read below will shock them badly enough to awaken them from their slumber.    

The following are 19 facts about the deindustrialization of America that will blow your mind….

#1 The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001. 

#2 Dell Inc., one of America’s largest manufacturers of computers, has announced plans to dramatically expand its operations in China with an investment of over $100 billion over the next decade.

#3 Dell has announced that it will be closing its last large U.S. manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in November.  Approximately 900 jobs will be lost.

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

#5 According to a new study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, if the U.S. trade deficit with China continues to increase at its current rate, the U.S. economy will lose over half a million jobs this year alone.

#6 As of the end of July, the U.S. trade deficit with China had risen 18 percent compared to the same time period a year ago.

#7 The United States has lost a total of about 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since October 2000.

#8 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.

#9 In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of U.S. economic output.  In 2008, it represented 11.5 percent.

#10 Ford Motor Company recently announced the closure of a factory that produces the Ford Ranger in St. Paul, Minnesota. Approximately 750 good paying middle class jobs are going to be lost because making Ford Rangers in Minnesota does not fit in with Ford’s new “global” manufacturing strategy.

#11 As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing.  The last time less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.

#12 In the United States today, consumption accounts for 70 percent of GDP. Of this 70 percent, over half is spent on services.

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

#14 In 2001, the United States ranked fourth in the world in per capita broadband Internet use.  Today it ranks 15th.

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

#16 Printed circuit boards are used in tens of thousands of different products.  Asia now produces 84 percent of them worldwide.

#17 The United States spends approximately $3.90 on Chinese goods for every $1 that the Chinese spend on goods from the United States.

#18 One prominent economist is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.

#19 The U.S. Census Bureau says that 43.6 million Americans are now living in poverty and according to them that is the highest number of poor Americans in the 51 years that records have been kept.

So how many tens of thousands more factories do we need to lose before we do something about it?

How many millions more Americans are going to become unemployed before we all admit that we have a very, very serious problem on our hands?

How many more trillions of dollars are going to leave the country before we realize that we are losing wealth at a pace that is killing our economy?

How many once great manufacturing cities are going to become rotting war zones like Detroit before we understand that we are committing national economic suicide?

The deindustrialization of America is a national crisis.  It needs to be treated like one.

If you disagree with this article, I have a direct challenge for you.  If anyone can explain how a deindustrialized America has any kind of viable economic future, please do so below in the comments section.

America is in deep, deep trouble folks.  It is time to wake up.

20 Signs That The Economic Collapse Has Already Begun For One Out Of Every Seven Americans

For most Americans, the economic collapse is something that is happening to someone else.  Most of us have become so isolated from each other and so self-involved that unless something is directly affecting us or a close family member than we really don’t feel it.  But even though most of us enjoy a much closer relationship with our television sets than we do with our neighbors at this point, it is quickly becoming undeniable that a fundamental shift is taking place in society.  Perhaps you noticed it when two or three foreclosure signs went up on your street.  Or perhaps it got your attention when that nice fellow down the street lost his job, and he and his family seemingly just disappeared from the neighborhood one day.  The Census Bureau made front page headlines all over the nation this week when they announced that one out of every seven Americans was living in poverty in 2009.  Every single day more Americans are getting sucked out of the middle class and into soul-crushing poverty.   

Unfortunately, most Americans don’t really care because it has not affected them yet.

But this year, millions more Americans will discover that the music has stopped playing and they are left without a seat at the table.

Meanwhile, neither political party has a workable solution.  They just like to point fingers and blame each other.

The Democrats blame Bush for all the poverty and advocate expanding programs for the poor.  Not that there is anything wrong with a safety net.  But the “safety net” was never meant to hold 50 million people on Medicaid and 40 million people on food stamps.  The number of Americans on food stamps has more than doubled since 2007.  So do we just double it again as things get even worse?

The truth is that welfare programs are only short-term solutions.  Unfortunately, the Democrats do not understand this.  What Americans really need are good jobs.

The Republicans are so boneheaded that they don’t even like to talk about poverty because they think it is a “liberal issue”.  Some conservative commentators have even been so brutally cold as to mock the “99ers” (those who have been unemployed so long that even their extended federal benefits have run out).

Instead of showing some compassion and being the party of the American worker (as they should be), the Republicans are often very uncompassionate and they allow the Democrats to be “the party of the poor” by default.

Both political parties need a big wakeup call.  There is a tsunami of poverty sweeping the United States, and somebody better wake up and do something about it.  More handouts will help people get by in the short-term, but there is no way that the federal government can financially support tens of millions more poor Americans.

How long is it going to be before the “safety net” simply collapses under the weight of all this poverty?

The path we are on is not sustainable.

The economy is falling apart, and somebody better wake up and do something before even more Americans find themselves drowning in poverty.

The following are 20 signs that the economic collapse has already begun for one out of every seven Americans…..

#1 The Census Bureau says that 43.6 million Americans are now living in poverty and according to them that is the highest number of poor Americans in 51 years of record-keeping.

#2 In the year 2000, 11.3 percent of Americans were living in poverty.  In 2008, 13.2 percent of Americans were living in poverty.  In 2009, 14.3 percent of Americans were living in poverty.  Needless to say the trend is moving in the wrong direction. 

#3 In 2009 alone, approximately 4 million more Americans joined the ranks of the poor.

#4 According to the Associated Press, experts believe that 2009 saw the largest single year increase in the U.S. poverty rate since the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures back in 1959.

#5 The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

#6 Today the United States has approximately 4 million fewer wage earners than it did in 2007.

#7 Nearly 10 million Americans now receive unemployment insurance, which is almost four times as many as were receiving it in 2007.

#8 U.S. banks repossessed 25 percent more homes in August 2010 than they did in August 2009.

#9 One out of every seven mortgages in the United States was either delinquent or in foreclosure during the first quarter of 2010.

#10 There are now 50.7 million Americans who do not have health insurance.  One trip to the emergency room would be all it would take to bankrupt a significant percentage of them.

#11 More than 50 million Americans are now on Medicaid, the U.S. government health care program designed principally to help the poor.

#12 There are now over 41 million Americans on food stamps.

#13 The number of Americans enrolled in the food stamp program increased a whopping 55 percent from December 2007 to June 2010.

#14 One out of every six Americans is now being served by at least one government anti-poverty program.

#15 California’s poverty rate soared to 15.3 percent in 2009, which was the highest in 11 years.

#16 According to an analysis by Isabel Sawhill and Emily Monea of the Brookings Institution, 10 million more Americans (including 6 million more children) will slip into poverty over the next decade.

#17 According to a recently released Federal Reserve report, Americans experienced a $1.5 trillion loss in combined household net worth in the second quarter of 2010.

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

#19 Median U.S. household income is down 5 percent from its peak of more than $52,000 in 1999.

#20 A study recently released by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College University found that Americans are $6.6 trillion short of what they need for retirement.

How anyone can look at those numbers and think that things are about to “get better” absolutely boggles the mind.

It is time to wake up.

Things are not going to get better.

Things are only going to get worse.

The United States is rapidly becoming a nation where poverty is absolutely rampant.

As poverty continues to spread, crime will not be far behind.

Meanwhile, the international community wants to impose a global tax on us so that they can “redistribute” even more of our wealth around the world.

The following was just reported by CNSNews.com….

A group of 60 nations will meet next week at the United Nations to push for a tax on foreign currency transactions as a way to generate revenue to meet global poverty-reduction goals, including “climate change” mitigation.

Well isn’t that great?  As American descends into poverty, the rest of the world is pushing for a global tax that will drain us of wealth even more.

It is just a tax on foreign currency transactions, but history has taught us that once taxers get their foot in the door they always go for more eventually.

Sadly, it is not just the United Nations that is discussing a global tax.  In fact, the IMF and the World Health Organization have both been very open about the fact that they want to impose global taxes of their own.

Not that we aren’t taxed enough already.  We already pay dozens of different kinds of taxes each year, and 2011 is already being dubbed as “the year of the tax increase“.

But most Americans don’t have any more to give.  Most Americans can barely make it from month to month.  More Americans than ever are slipping into poverty. 

What a mess we have on our hands.

Do any of you have any suggestions for how we should go about fixing all of this?

Currency War

Are you ready for a currency war?  Well, buckle up, because things are about to get interesting.  This week Japan fired what is perhaps the opening salvo in a new round of currency wars by publicly intervening in the foreign exchange market for the first time since 2004.  Japan’s bold 12 billion dollar move to push down the value of the yen made headlines all over the world.  Japan’s economy is highly dependent on exports and the Japanese government was becoming increasingly alarmed by the recent surge in the value of the yen.  A stronger yen makes Japanese exports more expensive for other nations and thus would harm Japanese industry.  But Japan is not the only nation that is ready to go to battle over currency rates.  The governments of the U.S. and China continue to exchange increasingly heated rhetoric regarding currency policy.  In Europe, there is growing sentiment that the euro needs to be devalued in order to help European exports become more competitive.  In addition, exporters all over the world are already loudly complaining about the possibility that the Federal Reserve is about to unleash another round of quantitative easing.  Virtually all major exporting nations want the value of the U.S. dollar to remain high so that they can keep flooding us with lots of cheap goods.  The sad reality is that our current system of globalized trade rewards exporting nations that have weak currencies, and many nations have now shown that they are willing to take the gloves off to make certain that their national currencies do not appreciate in value by too much.

Some nations have been involved in open currency manipulation for some time now.  For example, Singapore is well known for intervening in the foreign exchange market in order to benefit exporters.  Also, the Swiss National Bank experienced losses equivalent to about 15 billion dollars trying to stop the rapid rise of the Swiss franc earlier this year.

But as we race toward the end of 2010, currency manipulation is becoming a major issue on the world stage.

Rumors that the Federal Reserve is considering a substantial new round of quantitative easing is already causing many major exporting nations around the world to howl in outrage. 

Why?

Well, quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve could put substantial downward pressure on the value of the dollar and that would make exports significantly more expensive in the United States.  The reality is that even a relatively small change in the value of the U.S. dollar can have a major impact on exporters.

But what could really set off a massive currency war is the ongoing dispute between the U.S. and China.

For years, China has kept the value of their currency artificially low.  Even though China has made a few small moves toward a more free-floating currency policy, at this point China’s currency is still pretty much pegged to the U.S. dollar.  It is estimated that the Chinese government is keeping China’s currency at a value about 40 percent lower than what it should be.  This is essentially a de facto subsidy to China’s exporters.

This has enabled China to flood the United States with cheap goods and it is killing entire industries in the United States.  Americans have loved rushing out to Wal-Mart to get super low prices on all kinds of stuff, but in the process we have slowly but surely been shipping our manufacturing base and our standard of living over to China.

In recent years both the Bush administration and the Obama administration have been whining about this currency manipulation by China, but both administrations have stopped short of taking any real action.

But are there now signs that the Obama administration is going to get serious and start a currency war? 

Well, last week Barack Obama did send the head of his national council of economic advisers, Larry Summers, to Beijing to discuss currency issues.

But what can we do other than whine at this point?

Are we willing to start a trade war?

Considering the fact that China holds nearly a trillion dollars worth of U.S. Treasuries, that probably would not go so well for us.

Even though China’s currency manipulation is absolutely raping the U.S. economy, China has so much leverage over us at this point that it isn’t even funny.

For example, China has almost a complete and total monopoly on rare earth elements.  If China totally cut off the supply of rare earth elements, we would have no hybrid car batteries, flat screen televisions, cell phones or iPods.  Not only that, but rare earth elements are used by the U.S. military in radar systems, missile-guidance systems, satellites and aircraft electronics.

But something has to be done.  Essentially we are caught between a rock and a hard place.

Today, the United States spends approximately $3.90 on Chinese goods for every $1 that the Chinese spend on goods from the United States. 

Last month, the monthly trade deficit with China was approximately 26 billion dollars.  For the year, the trade deficit with China will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 billion dollars or so.  The transfer of wealth to China that represents is absolutely mind blowing.

The U.S. economy is getting poorer and the Chinese economy is getting richer each and every month.

We are in decline and China is on the rise.  In fact, one prominent economist is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.

This would not have ever happened if we had not put up with China’s open and blatant currency manipulation all this time.

But now they have us over a barrel and standing up to China would be incredibly painful for the U.S. economy in the short-term.

So will we actually see a currency war break out soon?

Well, it seems almost a certainly that countries throughout the world will continue to manipulate their currencies in order to gain a competitive advantage, but if you are waiting for the Obama administration to truly stand up to China you are probably going to be waiting for a very, very long time.

Where Are The Jobs?

Most Americans don’t really care about the economic minutiae that many of us who study the U.S. economy love to pour over.  When it comes to the economy, the typical American citizen just wants to be able to get a good job, make a decent living and put bread on the table for the family.  For generations, this arrangement has worked out quite well.  The U.S. economy has provided large numbers of middle class jobs and the American people have worked hard and have helped this nation prosper like no other.  But now people are starting to notice that something has shifted.  Millions of people are looking around and are realizing that the jobs that are supposed to be there are not there anymore.  The American people are still working hard (and in many cases harder than ever) but all of that hard work is producing fewer and fewer rewards.  Often politicians will placate voters by telling them that they are working harder and harder for less and less.  That tends to ring true with voters because that is a very accurate description of what so many of them are actually experiencing, but what the politicians don’t tell us is that they are the ones to blame for the situation that we are in.  As millions of jobs become obsolete because of technology and millions of other jobs are shipped overseas, our politicians tell us over and over that we can “compete” with anyone and that if we will just go out and get some more education we can make it happen.  But those of us who are extremely over-educated know what a fraud that line is.  The truth is that there are not nearly enough jobs for all of us no matter how “educated” we are.  This is creating a lot of anger and frustration, and now even the IMF is warning that we could see “an explosion of social unrest” if high unemployment persists.

But what can be done?  You can’t force large corporations to hire people.  The reality is that there are a couple of huge factors that have brought us to this point.  First of all, advanced technology means that big corporations need fewer people to do the same amount of work now.  Secondly, the globalization of our economy means that U.S. workers have now been merged into a global labor pool where they are in direct competition with workers who are more than happy to make less than a dollar an hour on the other side of the world.

This all means that the labor of American workers is less valuable to global corporations than it ever has been before.  Advanced technology and computers have enabled corporations to operate leaner and meaner.  If they do need some old-fashioned muscle for certain tasks they can always run out and set up a facility in some third world nation where they can pay people close to slave labor wages and where they don’t have to worry much about taxes, regulations, unions, health benefits or pension plans.  

What did you think was going to happen when the United States entered into all of these “free trade” agreements with nations around the world that did not have minimum wage laws?

U.S. corporations are not in existence to provide the American people with jobs.  They are in existence to make money.  If they can make more money by shipping jobs overseas, then that is exactly what they are going to do.

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

Are you starting to see the picture?

Global corporations based in the U.S. have been creating lots of jobs – just not in the United States.

In fact, things only seem to be accelerating.

In 2008 alone, U.S. employment at American multinational corporations fell by 445,500.

In the old days, you could give tax breaks to U.S. firms and that would spur them to do more business and to hire more workers.  But today, if U.S. multinationals decide they wish to expand they will just go hire more third world workers and pocket the rest of the profits for themselves.

The reality is that we are facing a very disturbing long-term trend in the United States.  Today, over half of all unemployed workers in the United States have been out of work for over six months.  In fact, the duration of unemployment in the United States has spiked up to the highest level it has been at since World War II.

This has created a growing subclass of people in the United States who feel that the system has failed them.  The anger and the frustration in the country is rising every day.  You can almost feel it.

In fact, the IMF is warning that we are at risk of “an explosion of social unrest” due to this unemployment crisis.

The head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, recently made the following statement at an Oslo jobs summit with the International Labour Federation….

“The labour market is in dire straits. The Great Recession has left behind a waste land of unemployment.”

So exactly what is going to turn that around?

Are millions of jobs going to suddenly hop up and return home from overseas?

Is the U.S. government going to suddenly eliminate a whole raft of taxes and regulations and are U.S. workers going to suddenly become much cheaper?

Is the U.S. trade deficit crisis suddenly going to reverse and turn into huge trade surpluses for the United States?

Of course none of those things is going to happen.

America is going to continue to bleed jobs, wages inside the United States are going to continue to be forced down and the standard of living for most Americans is going to continue to deteriorate.

Plus, if the American people don’t have good jobs, they can’t buy homes.  In fact, a growing number of Americans are finding out that they can’t even afford the homes they are in right now.  CNBC is reporting that the nation’s banks repossessed a record number of homes in August.

But for many Americans, a foreclosure is just the beginning of their problems.  People are falling out of the middle class at an alarming rate.  Approximately 45 million Americans were living in poverty during 2009.  That is an absolutely astounding figure.

The American people are getting mad and faith in the economy is plummeting.  According to Gallup, confidence in the economy is way down compared to to the same period last year.

So what is going to happen when (not if) things get even worse?

Well, some investors are already anticipating rough times ahead and are flocking to commodities.  The price of gold soared to a record intra-day high of $1,276.50 an ounce on Tuesday, and the price of gold and other commodities will probably continue to climb as economies around the world continue to destabilize.

These are very, very difficult times that we are moving into.  There are not going to be nearly enough jobs for everyone.  People you know are going to be unemployed.  People you know are going to lose their homes.  People you know might even end up living on the streets.

Just hope that you don’t end up being one of them.

15 Shocking Poverty Statistics That Are Skyrocketing As The American Middle Class Continues To Be Slowly Wiped Out

The “America” that so many of us have taken for granted for so many decades is literally disintegrating right in front of our eyes.  Most Americans are still operating under the delusion that the United States will always be “the wealthiest nation” in the world and that our economy will always produce large numbers of high paying jobs and that the U.S. will always have a very large middle class.  But that is not what is happening.  The very foundations of the U.S. economy have rotted away and we now find ourselves on the verge of an economic collapse.  Already, millions upon millions of Americans are slipping out of the middle class and into the devastating grip of poverty.  Statistic after statistic proves that the middle class in the United States is shrinking month after month after month.  Meanwhile, millions of Americans are starting to wake up and are beginning to realize that we have very serious problems on our hands, but they have no idea what is causing our economic distress and they are unaware that most of our politicians have absolutely no idea how to fix the economic disaster that we have created.

On the mainstream news, the American people are treated to endless footage of leaders from both political parties proclaiming that the primary reason that we are in the midst of such an economic mess is because of what the other political party has done.

Republicans proclaim that we are experiencing all of this economic chaos because of the Democrats.

Democrats proclaim that we are experiencing all of this economic chaos because of the Republicans.

Even many readers of this column (who are generally more educated and more informed than most average Americans) leave comment after comment blaming either the Democrats of the Republicans for our current economic mess.  

But do you really want to know who is to blame for our economic problems?

Both of them.

This economic nightmare has taken literally decades to develop, and both Democrats and Republicans have contributed greatly to this disaster.

Both parties have absolutely refused to stand up to the Federal Reserve and the horrific economic policies that they have been shoving down our throats for decades.

Both parties have stood idly by as the U.S. trade deficit has absolutely exploded in size and the United States has become significantly poorer month after month after month.

Both parties have refused to do anything as month after month after month large numbers of factories and good paying jobs leave the United States.

Both parties have shoved the spending accelerator to the floor when they have been in power and now we have the largest national debt in the history of the world.

Both parties have done essentially nothing as the health care industry, which was once the envy of the world, has degenerated into a cesspool of corruption and greed and now seems designed to do little more than to provide pharmaceutical companies and health insurance crooks with obscene profits. 

If factories keep leaving the United States and jobs keep leaving the United States and the federal government keeps going into more debt and state governments keep going into more debt and local governments keep going into more debt, then things are going to keep getting worse

It does not take a genius to figure that out.

The United States is continually getting poorer and is continually going into more debt.

Can anyone out there explain how that is a formula for economic prosperity?

Seriously.

Can anyone explain how that would work?

Please leave a comment and explain that to all of us if you can.

The truth is that as wealth continues to leave the United States and as the U.S. gets even deeper into debt, more Americans are going to become poor.

It really is that simple.

The following are 15 shocking poverty statistics that are skyrocketing as the American middle class continues to be slowly wiped out….

#1 Approximately 45 million Americans were living in poverty in 2009.

#2 According to the Associated Press, experts believe that 2009 saw the largest single year increase in the U.S. poverty rate since the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures back in 1959.

#3 The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

#4 According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on a year-over-year basis, household participation in the food stamp program has increased 20.28%.

#5 The number of Americans on food stamps surpassed 41 million for the first time ever in June.

#6 As of June, the number of Americans on food stamps had set a new all-time record for 19 consecutive months.

#7 One out of every six Americans is now being served by at least one government anti-poverty program.

#8 More than 50 million Americans are now on Medicaid, the U.S. government health care program designed principally to help the poor.

#9 One out of every seven mortgages in the United States was either delinquent or in foreclosure during the first quarter of 2010.

#10 Nearly 10 million Americans now receive unemployment insurance, which is almost four times as many as were receiving it in 2007.

#11 The number of Americans receiving long-term unemployment benefits has risen over 60 percent in just the past year.

#12 According to one recent survey, 28% of all U.S. households have at least one member that is looking for a full-time job.

#13 Nationwide, bankruptcy filings rose 20 percent in the 12 month period ending June 30th.

#14 More than 25 percent of all Americans now have a credit score below 599.

#15 One out of every five children in the United States is now living in poverty.

As millions more Americans continue to climb on to the “safety net”, how long is it going to be before it breaks?

The reality is that the system can only support so many people.  We are now at a point where our anti-poverty programs are clearly unsustainable in the long-term, but nobody has a solution for how we are going to get all of these people off of these programs or how we are going to provide good jobs for all of them.

The cost of every U.S. government anti-poverty program is absolutely soaring.  Meanwhile, the U.S. government is already running a budget deficit that is approaching 1.5 trillion dollars every year.  If you cannot understand that we have a very serious problem on our hands then you are probably not awake.

The U.S. economic system is dying.  Blaming the other political party is not a solution.  Running around the country offering “hope” and “change” and giving people a vague sense that things will get “better” soon is not going to cut it either.

The American people need very real economic solutions to very real economic problems. 

But nearly all of our politicians are way too busy either trying to get elected or trying to stay in office to tackle the very serious problems which are destroying our economy.

Unfortunately, the American people love to watch our politicians play politics.  They love to watch the little ping-pong ball of blame go back and forth.  They love to pick sides and to cheer for their “team”.

None of that is doing any good.  Right now millions of Americans are getting sucked into poverty each year and neither major political party is doing anything real to address the very real economic problems that are causing that to happen. 

But most Americans have become so “dumbed down” that they don’t even understand what the real problems are anymore.

All most Americans seem to want these days is to watch a good show.

So send in the clowns.

There are certainly enough of them in Washington D.C. to keep Americans entertained for quite a long time.

The Green Police

Is someone out behind your house digging through your trash?  Don’t worry, it is probably just the government.  When Audi ran their now famous “Green Police” commercial during the Super Bowl last year, most Americans laughed it off and thought that nothing like that could ever happen in America.  Well, it turns out that it is happening in America.  A growing number of U.S. cities are actually putting RFID tracking chips in trash cans and recycling bins and are starting to fine residents who do not recycle “properly”. This kind of thing has been going on over in the U.K. for some time now, but very few people expected those living in “the land of the free” to be subjected to RFID trash tracking so quickly.  But it is here.  In many areas, government RFID tracker chips will now be monitoring what you throw away, how much you throw away and if you are recycling properly.  Rather than spending money on things that will actually get the U.S. economy headed in the right direction, government officials across America seem obsessed with forcing the “green agenda” down the throats of the American people – even if it means chasing factories, jobs and economic activity out of their communities.  

Not that there is anything wrong with recycling.  I personally recycle large amounts of trash each week.  But there is a huge difference between recycling as a free individual and being coerced by law to adhere to the sustainable development policies of the United Nations.  The truth is that “Agenda 21” is being pushed down all of our throats whether we like it or not.  It is all part of the Big Brother police state control grid which is being implemented in the name of “saving the environment” and which is being paid for by “economic stimulus” money in many areas.

That’s right.  Government snooping on your trash apparently meets the definition of “economic stimulus” in 2010.  Perhaps this is what Barack Obama meant when he talked about creating “green jobs”.  Local governments are going to need a lot of “trash snoopers” to make certain that we are all recycling acceptably.

In fact, John McCain almost flipped his lid when he found out that Dayton, Ohio was given a half million dollars in “stimulus funds” to put RFID tracking chips in recycle bins.  Not that McCain is a friend of liberty and freedom either.  The truth is that the vast majority of the politicians in Washington D.C. have been helping to advance the “sustainable development” agenda in one way or another.

But can you imagine spending “economic stimulus” money to spy on the trash of the American people?

No wonder all of the “stimulus packages” didn’t do that much good for the economy.  In fact, the amount of waste in the stimulus packages was absolutely mind blowing.  

But those “green jobs” must be created one way or another, eh?

Even if it means spying on Americans.

So now even though we are in the midst of a horrific economic downturn, lots of communities from coast to coast have plenty of money to track our trash with RFID microchips.

Cities that are now using these chips to spy on our trash include….

*Cleveland, Ohio

*Charlotte, North Carolina

*Alexandria, Virginia

*Boise, Idaho

*Dayton, Ohio

*Flint, Michigan

Now how in the world does Flint, Michigan have money for anything?

Flint, Michigan is one of the poster children for the deindustrialization of the United States.  It is a crime-infested war zone where thousands upon thousands of Americans live in desperate poverty.

And yet somehow they have money to monitor trash with RFID tracking chips?

It is almost as if we have stepped into “Bizarro America” where everything is the opposite of what it should be.

Unless the American people speak up and renounce this militant green agenda it is going to continue to be forced down our throats.

The scenes in Audi’s “Green Police” commercial are not going to be so “funny” when they start becoming real….

So far, the worst city of all for snooping on the trash of citizens is Cleveland, Ohio.  The truth is that Cleveland should be worried about how to put hundreds of thousands of people without jobs in the region back to work, but instead city officials seem obsessed with enforcing the radical green agenda of the United Nations.  The new RFID chips being installed will allow Cleveland officials to monitor exactly how often residents roll their carts out to the curb for collection.

According to news reports, if an RFID tracking chip signals that a recycle bin has not been brought out to the curb within a certain period of time, a “trash supervisor” will actually sort through the trash produced by that home for recyclables.

Yes, this is now going on in America.

So what will the penalties be?

Well, according to Waste Collection Commissioner Ronnie Owens, trash bins that contain over 10 percent recyclable material will be subject to a $100 fine.

How ridiculous is that?

I recycle constantly, but I am sure that if I lived in Cleveland they could get me for being over the “10 percent limit” at least half the time.

Is there anyone who could honestly say that they will be able to stay under the 10 percent limit each and every time?

But that isn’t the only fine in the new system.

If you set out an “excessive” amount of trash you will be fined between $250 and $500.

In addition, residents of Cleveland are also fined for putting out their trash too early and for failing to bring in their garbage cans from the curb in a timely manner.

Meanwhile, the city of Cleveland has hordes of unemployed workers and it is literally falling apart.

How completely and utterly ridiculous can one city possibly be?

But a city that is broke has to raise money some how.

In 2009, the city of Cleveland has issued 2,900 tickets for trash violations,  which was almost five times more tickets than in 2008.

In 2010, the city of Cleveland is on track to issue over 4,000 tickets for trash violations.

One of the bizarre aspects of Cleveland’s trash regulations is that it is always the property owner that receives the ticket.

That means that landlords in Cleveland are now forced to become spies in order to ensure that their tenants follow the law.

It is almost as if we are back in East Germany once again.

Has everyone simply forgotten that we have something called the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?

According to the Fourth Amendment, the American people are guaranteed the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

But these RFID tracking chips spy on us and our trash 24 hours a day.

What has happened to America?

As more insane measures like this are implemented across the United States, more factories, more jobs and more economic activity will continue to be chased overseas.

Meanwhile, the “smart growth” agenda is about to get a big boost by the U.S. Congress.  Retiring Senator Christopher Dodd’s last major piece of legislation, the Livable Communities Act, will create a new federal bureaucracy to make sure that “sustainable development” principles are being followed on every inch of land in the United States.

This new bureaucracy, the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, would be given approximately $4 billion in federal money to pressure local governments to implement a more “green” agenda.

Not that the federal government has an extra $4 billion to throw around and waste, but that has never stopped them before.

The truth is that the U.S. is absolutely drowning in debt and the economy is coming apart at the seams.  That is what the Congress and the White House should be worried about.

Instead, most of our “representatives” in Washington D.C. seem to have no trouble using “Big Brother tactics” to enforce the green agenda that so many of them are so obsessed with.

Sadly, most Americans actually still believe that we are “free”.

But we are not free.  The government controls and regulates us in tens of thousands of different ways, and each year the controls and the regulations just get tighter and tighter.  It’s just that we have lost our freedoms so slowly that most Americans have not become alarmed.

It is like the old story of the frog in the kettle.  If you put a frog right into boiling water it will hop right out.

However, if you put a frog into water that is cool and then turn up the heat little by little it will sit there until it has boiled to death.

America, you are that frog. 

It is time to hop out of the water.

20 Signs That The Health Care Industry Has Become All About Making As Much Money As Possible

Once upon a time in America, people became doctors and nurses because they wanted to help people, building hospitals was a labor of love, lawyers didn’t chase ambulances, health insurance companies did not openly abuse their customers and greedy pharmaceutical companies did not dominate the entire health care industry.  But today all of that has changed.  Why do most people choose a career in the health care industry today?  It is because they want to make a lot of money and live a comfortable lifestyle.  Why do most health facilities get built today?  They get built because someone is hoping to make a huge profit.  Why do so many lawyers specialize in medical malpractice?  Here’s a hint – it is not because they want to make life better for people.  Why do health insurance companies keep raising premiums even while they are making record profits?  It is because they can and because they are greedy.  Why are pharmaceutical corporations some of the most profitable companies on the face of the earth even though their products are harming tens of millions of people?  It is because our health care system has become wildly corrupt and is now about making as much money as possible.

Not that everyone in the health care industry is motivated by greed.  Some doctors and nurses volunteer a ton of their time to assist the poor and the needy.  Others use their vacation time to go overseas and provide free medical care in third world nations.  Many religious groups and non-profit organizations build hospitals and clinics because they are truly trying to help people.  And there are a few health insurance companies that are trying to play the game honestly.

But unfortunately, those with noble intentions in the health care industry are the exception rather than the rule.  Overall, the health care industry in America is all about the money, and it is about time that we quit pretending otherwise.

The following are 20 signs that the health care industry in the United States has become all about making as much money as possible….  

1 – Even as the rest of the U.S. economy deeply struggles, America’s health insurance companies increased their profits by 56 percent in 2009.

2 – According to a report by Health Care for America Now, America’s five biggest for-profit health insurers ended 2009 with a combined profit of $12.2 billion.

3 – The top executives at the five largest for-profit health insurance companies in the United States received nearly $200 million in total compensation in 2009.

4 – According to an article on the Mother Jones website, health insurance premiums for small employers in the United States increased 180% between 1999 and 2009.

5 – Health insurance premium increases are getting totally out of control.  For example, the 39% increase in health insurance premiums that Anthem Blue Cross imposed on some California customers last year was so obscene that it made national headlines.

6 – Since 2003, health insurance companies have shelled out more than $42 million in state-level campaign contributions.

7 – There were more than two dozen pharmaceutical companies that made over a billion dollars in profits in 2008.

8 – Each year, tens of billions of dollars is spent on pharmaceutical marketing in the United States alone.

9Nearly half of all Americans now use prescription drugs on a regular basis according to a CDC report that was just released. According to the report, approximately one-third of all Americans use two or more pharmaceutical drugs, and more than ten percent of all Americans use five or more prescription drugs on a regular basis.

10 – According to the CDC, approximately three quarters of a million people a year are rushed to emergency rooms in the United States because of adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs.

11According to a very surprising new study, 85 percent of new pharmaceutical drugs are “lemons” and pose serious health risks to their users.

12 – The Food and Drug Administration reported 1,742 prescription drug recalls in 2009, which was a gigantic increase from 426 drug recalls in 2008.

13 – Shocking new research has found that expectant mothers taking antidepressants have an astounding 68 percent increase in the overall risk of miscarriage.  Yet the pharmaceutical companies are essentially doing nothing to stop this.

14 – The use of psychiatric medications among 18 to 34 year old members of the U.S. military and their wives increased by 42 percent between 2005 and 2009.

15 – There are some disturbing new medical studies that suggest that many of the most popular anti-depressant drugs are no more effective than a placebo.

16 – Pharmaceutical companies continue to rake in billions of dollars from selling vaccines and are encouraging even pregnant women to take them, even though there is mounting evidence that taking vaccines while pregnant dramatically increases the rate of miscarriage.

17 – One woman in New Hampshire is seeking more than $24 million in damages from the manufacturer of a prescription drug that she took for shoulder pain.  It turns out that as a result of taking the drug, she is now blind and has been left scarred by internal and external burns.

18According to one stunning new study, the medical liability system in the United States added approximately $55.6 billion to the cost of health care in 2008.

19 – Pharmaceutical companies have become so greedy that now they are even attempting to patent our genes.  It is being reported that over three million gene patent applications have been filed with the U.S. government so far.  Tens of thousands of gene patents have already been granted at this point.  It is estimated that companies hold approximately 40,000 patents on sections of the human genome right now.  Those patents cover approximately 20% of our genes. 

20 – According to a recent report, Americans spend about twice as much as residents of other developed countries on health care, but get much lower quality and far less efficiency in return.