The Beginning Of The End
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There Is Not Going To Be A Solution To Our Economic Problems On The National Level

For those waiting for our economic problems to be solved, you can quit holding your breath.  There is simply not going to be a solution to our economic problems on the national level.  So why is that the case?  Well, it is because the economic policies of both major political parties are very, very similar when you take a close look at them.  Yes, that statement may sound downright bizarre to many Americans, but it is true.  Both major political parties supported the Wall Street bailouts, both of them fully support the job-killing “free trade” globalization agenda, both of them have dramatically increased the national debt when in power, both of them fully support the currency-killing policies of the Federal Reserve, and neither major political party would get rid of the income tax and the IRS.  And that is just for starters.  Yes, there are some minor differences when it comes to taxing and spending between the two parties, but the truth is that they are a lot more similar on economic issues than they are different.  What we desperately need on the national level is a fundamental change in direction when it comes to economic policy, but we simply are not going to get that from either the Democrats or the Republicans.  That means that there is no hope that the economic storm that is coming will be averted.

So why are the Democrats and the Republicans so similar on these issues?  Well, a big reason is because of who they are trying to please.

The reality of the matter is that most politicians do not really care about what you or I have to say.  Instead, what they are really concerned about is getting as much money for their campaigns as possible so that they can keep getting elected.

When you take a close look at the results of federal elections over the past several decades, it quickly becomes apparent that the candidate that raises the most money almost always wins.

So most politicians have learned to please those that fund their campaigns so that the money will keep rolling in.

Yes, there are a few candidates that are willing to rebel against “the system”, but they are few and far between and the major parties tend to marginalize them.

Once again in 2012, political races will overwhelmingly be won by those that raise the most cash.  The following is from Politifact….

In congressional races in 2010, the candidate who spent the most won 85 percent of the House races and 83 percent of the Senate races, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s a large percentage, but it’s lower than what the sign indicated.

Indeed, the percentage for 2010 was lower than it had been in recent election cycles. The center found that in 2008, the biggest spenders won 93 percent of House races and 86 percent of Senate races. In 2006, the top spenders won 94 percent of House races and 73 percent of Senate races. And in 2004, 98 percent of House seats went to candidates who spent the most, as did 88 percent of Senate seats.

Once you understand how Washington works, it becomes easier to understand why our politicians do such stupid things.

For example, big corporations tend to donate large amounts of money to political campaigns and they love the “free trade” globalization agenda.

They love to import massive quantities of super cheap foreign goods so that they can undercut the prices of goods made in the United States.

They love to set up manufacturing facilities on the other side of the globe where it is legal to pay slave labor wages to workers.

The “free trade” agenda is great for the largest corporations, but it is horrible for the average American worker.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, the U.S. economy loses approximately 9,000 jobs for every $1 billion of goods that are imported from overseas.

Trade with other countries can be good as long as it is balanced.  Unfortunately, the U.S. trading relationship with the rest of the world is tremendously imbalanced.

In 2011, the United States bought more than 550 billion dollars more stuff from the rest of the world than they bought from us.

This trade deficit has enormous consequences that most Americans simply do not understand.

Over the past decade, tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars have left our country.

Our industrial base is being dismantled and we are rapidly becoming poorer as a nation.

According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day closed down in the United States during 2010.

Just think about that.

Every single day we lost 23 more.

Overall, America has lost a total of more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

Why do you think cities like Detroit are dying?

The truth is that we killed them with our idiotic policies.

America has a trade imbalance that is more than 5 times larger than any other nation on earth has.  We are losing wealth, jobs and businesses at a pace that is absolutely astounding.

It is neither “conservative” nor “liberal” to commit national economic suicide.

Our trade imbalance with China is particularly bad.  The U.S. spends about 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.

Does that sound fair to you?

China slaps huge tariffs on many of our products, they deeply subsidize their own national industries, the brazenly steal technology from us, and they manipulate currency rates so that their products end up being significantly cheaper than ours.

Our trade deficit with China in 2011 was nearly 300 billion dollars.  That was the largest trade deficit that one country has had with another country in the history of the world.

Yet both major political parties refuse to do anything about it.

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

In 2011, our trade deficit with China was more than 49,000 times larger.

The consequences of this trade deficit with China are being felt all over the United States every single day.

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

Do you support losing more than half a million manufacturing jobs a year?

If not, then you should be for “fair trade” instead of “free trade” where other nations can cheat us blind as often as they want.

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

Do you think that the U.S. economy could use an extra 2.8 million jobs right now?

Sadly, if current trends continue things are going to get a lot worse.

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

So why won’t our politicians do something?

The United States has run a trade deficit every single year since 1976.

During that time, America has had a total trade imbalance of more than 7.5 trillion dollars with the rest of the world.

That 7.5 trillion dollars could have gone to support U.S. jobs and U.S. businesses.

Taxes could have been paid on that 7.5 trillion dollars.

Instead, it went out of the country and made foreigners wealthier.

So what is Barack Obama doing about all of this?

Well, Obama has been aggressively pushing for even more “free trade” agreements.  The Obama administration has inked deals with Panama, South Korea and Colombia and the Obama administration is making the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“the NAFTA of the Pacific“) a very high priority.

Well, Mitt Romney must be criticizing these moves, right?

No, Romney has actually criticized Obama for not pushing for more “free trade” fast enough.

Mitt Romney wants to make it even easier for jobs to go out of the country and for other countries to drain our wealth.  The following quote comes directly from the Romney campaign website….

Access to foreign markets is crucial to growing our economy. We must reassert American leadership in international negotiations, follow through on commitments we have already made, and push aggressively for advantageous new agreements.

So we are not going to see a change in direction in trade policy no matter who wins the next election.

Well, what about the national debt?

Are there differences between the two parties on this issue?

Sadly, there are only minor differences.

Both major political parties are packed with big spenders that have been spending us into oblivion.

Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the U.S. national debt has increased by $5,027,761,476,484.56.

That comes to $16,043.39 for every man, woman and child living in the United States.

What the Obama administration and the Democrats are doing to future generations is absolutely criminal.

So what about the Republicans?

Well, when the Republicans have had control of the White House they have run up debt “like a drunken sailor” as well.

If the Republican Party wants to have any credibility when it comes to fiscal issues, it needs to publicly admit that George W. Bush was a horrible failure when it came to the federal budget.

George W. Bush was a “big government” politician that dramatically increased the size of the federal government and spent money like it was going out of style.

He was not a conservative when it came to fiscal issues, and that is the truth.

Sadly, neither political party is proposing to balance the federal budget any time soon.  There are a few politicians that have suggested doing this, but they have been marginalized.

So why don’t our politicians support living within our means?

Well, the truth is that if the federal government balanced the budget today, it would result in a catastrophic drop in living standards inside the United States.  We are currently living in an era of debt-fueled “false prosperity”, and if that false prosperity were to disappear there would be riots in the streets of our major cities within months.

It is much easier for our politicians to continue to pile up more debt and to continue to kick the can down the road.

But this party cannot go on too much longer.  Already, the United States has more government debt per capita than Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland or Spain.

As you can see from the chart below, we are in a whole lot of trouble….

Our foolishness will catch up to us in a big way eventually.

Another area where the two major political parties agree is that they both fully support the Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve is supposed to keep inflation low, but the truth is that the Fed has absolutely killed the value of the U.S. dollar.  Just check out the chart below which was produced by the Fed itself.  It shows how dramatically the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar has declined over the years….

Keep in mind that the chart above is using official government numbers which actually downplay how much the U.S. dollar has been debased.

If inflation was measured the exact same way that it was back in 1980, the annual rate of inflation would be more than 10 percent right now.

By any measure, the Federal Reserve has been a colossal failure for the American people.  Since the Fed was created, our currency has lost more than 95 percent of its value and our national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger.

The current Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, has a track record of failure that is legendary.  If you doubt this, just read this article, this article and this article.

But Barack Obama just loves Bernanke.  He nominated him for another term as Fed Chairman and he never criticizes anything that he does.

Thanks Obama.

So will things be any different under Mitt Romney?

Of course not.

During one Republican debate, Mitt Romney actually had the gall to try to explain to all of us why “we need to have a Fed“.

Mitt Romney says that he is “not going to take my effort and focus on the Federal Reserve“.

But the Federal Reserve is at the very heart of our economic problems.

Doesn’t Mitt Romney understand that?

The mainstream media is already telling us not to expect any significant changes at the Fed if Romney wins.  A recent Reuters article had the following headline….

Analysis: A Romney win would likely change little at Federal Reserve

Are you starting to understand why I am saying that there is not going to be a solution to our economic problems at the national level?

A great economic cataclysm is coming, and there is very little hope that it can be averted.

So what does that mean?

It means that we all need to start preparing to weather the coming storm on an individual level.

The nation as a whole may not change course, but as individuals and as families we can change course.

All of us can work to reduce our expenses, get out of debt, build up a six month financial cushion, learn to grow a garden and slowly become more independent of the system.

Both political parties are leading us down a road that will only end in economic disaster.

Instead of waiting for a “national solution” that is never going to come, you need to focus on being your own solution.

Time is short, so you better get ready.

20 Economic Statistics To Use To Wake Sheeple Up From Their Entertainment-Induced Comas

The Dow has closed above 13,000 for the first time since 2008, and the mainstream media is declaring that a strong economic recovery is underway.  Barack Obama is telling anyone who will listen that his economic policies are a huge success, and U.S. consumers are piling up astounding amounts of new debt.  Unfortunately, this euphoria about the economy will be short-lived.  None of the long-term problems that are destroying the U.S. economy have been solved.  In fact, there are dozens of statistics that can be quoted that prove that the U.S. economy is in far worse shape than it was when the recession supposedly ended.  If dramatic changes are not made very rapidly, our nation is going to smash directly into an economic brick wall.  Sadly, most Americans are so addicted to entertainment that they have no idea what is about to happen.  Most of them are “sheeple” that are content to trust that the “experts” know exactly how to fix our problems as they continue to enjoy their entertainment-induced comas.  After all, it is much easier to turn on “American Idol” or “Dancing With The Stars” than it is to think about debt ratios and monetary policy.  But that doesn’t mean that we should not try to wake the sheeple up.  It just means that it will not be easy.

If you went to the doctor tomorrow and he told you to take some little blue pills without telling you anything else, would you take them?

Of course not.

You would want to know what the little blue pills are for.

But if your doctor told you that you have a deadly incurable disease that is about to kill you, and that the little blue pills are the only cure, then you would definitely be interested in taking them.

Well, it is the same way with the American people.  Until they understand just how sick the economy is, they will not be interested in fighting for a solution.

We need to show all the sheeple out there that the U.S. economy has terminal cancer and is headed for death.

We need to show them that the future of our children and our grandchildren is literally being destroyed.

Way too many Americans are sitting around waiting for the government to save them.

It isn’t going to happen.

It is up to those of us that are awake to wake up those that are asleep.

And there are many out there that think that they are awake that are only partially awake.

One very famous author once wrote that “people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”, and that is exactly what is happening in America today.  Most Americans simply don’t understand what is happening economically, politically, socially, morally or financially in this nation.

Please help me wake the sheeple up.

The following are 20 economic statistics to use to wake sheeple up from their entertainment-induced comas….

#1 The United States has more government debt per capita than Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland or Spain.

#2 The European Commission has formally declared that Europe has now entered another recession.  German banks are leveraged 32 to 1 and the European financial system is rapidly approaching a nightmare.  Lehman Brothers was only leveraged 30 to 1 when it finally collapsed.

#3 There are clear signs that economic activity is also significantly slowing down in the United States.  For example, new orders for goods manufactured in the United States experienced the biggest drop in three years in January.

#4 U.S. consumers are busy racking up staggering amounts of debt once again.  Total consumer debt rose at an annual rate of 9.3 percent in December.  It is now sitting at a grand total of 2.498 trillion dollars.

#5 The U.S. Postal Service has announced plans to eliminate 35,000 more jobs.

#6 There are more unemployed Americans than there are people living in the entire nation of Greece.

#7 The percentage of American men that have jobs is near an all-time record low.

#8 Right now, there are 88 million working age Americans that do not have jobs and that the government says are not looking for jobs.

#9 The average duration of unemployment in the United States is nearly three times as long as it was back in the year 2000.

#10 In January 2009, there were 2.6 million “long-term unemployed workers” according to the federal government.  Today, there are 5.6 million.

#11 The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States has risen by 14 cents in just the past week, and the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the state of California is now an astounding $4.29.  Sadly, the price of gas is expected to continue rising over the next few months.

#12 The U.S. housing market continues to struggle deeply.  Home prices in the 4th quarter of 2011 were four percent lower than they were during the 4th quarter of 2010.  Overall, U.S. home prices are 34 percent lower than they were back at the peak of the housing bubble.

#13 Large numbers of Americans are putting off basic health procedures due to the declining economy.  Just consider the following example from a recent Huffington Post article….

Americans between the ages of 50 to 64 got 500,000 fewer colonoscopies, or screenings aimed at detecting colon cancer, during the recession, compared to the two years before, according to a recent study from researchers at the University of North Carolina’s medical school.

#14 The number of Americans on food stamps has increased by almost 50 percent since Barack Obama first took office.

#15 Right now, 48 percent of all Americans are considered to be either “low income” or “living in poverty”.

#16 The U.S. government is stealing about 150 million dollars from our children and our grandchildren every single hour of every single day.

#17 If Bill Gates gave all of his money to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for about 15 days.

#18 Since the Federal Reserve was created, the U.S. dollar has declined in value by more than 95 percent and the U.S. national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger.

#19 Approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents.  Most of them are doing it for economic reasons.

#20 According to a new Politico poll, only 30 percent of all Americans believe that the next generation will be “better off economically” than the previous generation.

For many more current statistics about the U.S. economy, check out the interesting facts which I documented in this previous article.

Thankfully, there are others out there such as trends researcher Gerald Celente that are tirelessly working to sound the alarm.  Celente is convinced that the U.S. financial system is rapidly heading for a disaster.  Just consider the following quotes from Celente in a recent USA Today article….

“2012 is when many of the long-simmering socioeconomic and political trends that we have been forecasting and tracking will climax,” Celente noted in his Top 12 Trends 2012 newsletter. In an interview he added: “When money stops flowing to the man on the street, blood starts flowing in the street.”

Even some politicians on the state level are deeply concerned about the possibility of a massive financial meltdown.

For example, a bill has been introduced in Wyoming that would set up “a state-run government continuity task force” which would develop plans for how Wyoming would deal with potential disasters such as a “complete meltdown of the federal government”, an economic collapse or a major disruption in food and energy supplies….

State Rep. David Miller, R-Riverton, has seen the national debt rise above $15 trillion and protest movements grow around the country. Wealthy Americans are fleeing the country, he says, and confidence in the dollar has taken a hit around the world.

If America’s economic and social problems continue to escalate and spiral out of control, Miller said, Wyoming needs to be ready. So, he’s introduced legislation to create a state-run government continuity task force, which would study and prepare Wyoming for potential catastrophes, from disruptions in food and energy supplies to a complete meltdown of the federal government.

It would even look at the feasibility of quickly providing an alternative currency in Wyoming should the U.S. dollar collapse entirely.

But for many Americans, the “meltdown” has already happened on a personal level.

Many are going to extreme lengths in an attempt to survive in this economy.

For example, one ex-police officer in Ohio got so desperate that he decided that it would be better to get arrested for bank robbery and be thrown in prison than to be homeless and living in the streets….

Former Columbus police officer Edward Pascucci had been jobless for more than a year and was facing homelessness last summer when he decided to rob a local bank. Making off with stacks of cash, however, never was his intention.

Pascucci told a federal judge on Thursday he’d run out of options, was facing “severe health problems” and opted to avail himself of the services offered by the federal penal system rather than live on the street.

Can you imagine that?

Can you imagine getting arrested just so that you could get free health care and wouldn’t have to sleep in the streets?

Meanwhile, the Obamas are living the high life and seem to have developed a “let them eat cake” mentality.  The following is from a recent article in The Daily Mail….

The Obama family just finished a luxury ski vacation in Aspen, Colorado. This comes on the heels of a Hawaiian Christmas vacation for the family that lasted a few weeks. The 2011 Hawaiian vacation cost the American taxpayers $4 million and a big increase from the 2010 bill sent to the American people for $2.5 million, according to the Huffington Post.

Over the past three summers, the Obama’s have vacationed in the exclusive Blue Heron Farm in Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. President Obama has a reputation for hitting every golf course on this island vacation spot for the rich and famous.

There is nothing wrong with a President taking a modest vacation, but there is a problem when the political leader of America is taking frequent swanky vacations when average Americans are experiencing economic pain.

Shouldn’t the Obamas be setting an example for the rest of us during these hard economic times?

Unfortunately, Barack Obama seems to believe that the worst of our economic troubles is now behind us.

If only that were true.

During this short-lived bubble of false hope, we should all be working hard to prepare for what is ahead.

A menacing storm is on the horizon and it will be here way too soon.

Let us wake up as many of the sheeple as we can while there is still time.

 

20 Signs That The Culture Of Government Dependence Has Gotten Completely And Totally Out Of Control

More Americans are financially dependent on the government than ever before.  For a variety of reasons, there are now tens of millions of Americans that would not be able to survive without government assistance.  As I wrote about the other day, the insane economic policies of our “representatives” in Washington D.C. have created a situation where there are not nearly enough decent jobs for everyone.  So the job market has become a giant game of “musical chairs” and a lot of American families have been left out in the cold when the music has stopped.  Of course we are not going to let them starve in the streets.  There are also some Americans that simply do not have the capacity to take care of themselves.  It is certainly the compassionate thing to do to give them a helping hand.  However, with all of that said, we also have to face the fact that we have created a “culture of dependence” in this country.  Americans that are now in their prime working years have been taught all of their lives that the government is going to take care of them from the cradle to the grave.  This culture of government dependence has gotten completely and totally out of control, and now nearly half of all American households receive some form of government benefits.  As a result, our debt is absolutely exploding, everyone looks to the government to solve our problems and very few Americans seem to possess a very strong work ethic any longer.

This article is going to make a lot of people angry, but it is imperative that we all comes to grips with the fact that this is not how a society is supposed to work.  Yes, we should help those that do not have the capacity to help themselves.  Yes, the insane policies of the federal government have created this economic environment where very few people can find jobs.  We didn’t want to keep their jobs in the country, so now we are going to have to support millions of displaced American workers somehow.

However, the notion that the federal government is supposed to take care of us from the time that we are born until the time that we die is poisonous.  As you will see below, federal government handouts have absolutely skyrocketed in recent years, but this has just created an environment where people are demanding even more handouts.

The truth is that the government is not your mommy and your daddy.  The government is not there to take money away from someone else and give it to you.  The government is supposed to be the “referee” – not your own personal caretaker.

So should we just start dumping millions upon millions of people off of government welfare rolls?

Of course not.  We cannot do that, because from the time that they were babies millions of Americans have been taught to be completely dependent on the government.  If we just suddenly cut them off they would not be able to make it.  They simply have never learned how.  We aren’t going to let tens of millions of people starve in the streets.  A growing percentage of Americans have never learned how to make it on their own.

That is one of the reasons why this culture of government dependence is so toxic.  People never learn to take care of themselves.

Unfortunately, the American people have become absolutely addicted to government money.  One way not to get elected is to threaten to reduce the government checks that people get every month.  Any politician that is honest about what we really can afford usually does not get a whole lot of support.

Yes, there is nothing wrong with helping the poor, the needy, the homeless and the despairing.

But each year millions more Americans climb aboard the “safety net”.  As I keep warning, at some point the “safety net” is going to break.

The government is not supposed to be your God.  If you have problems, then you need to fix them.

Yes, without a doubt that is not an easy thing to do in this economic environment.  Our government has royally messed things up.

But life is not easy and life is not fair.  Sometimes you just have to do the best you can with what you have.  If you wait around for the government to be your savior, you will almost always end up deeply disappointed and you will never get anywhere in life.

The following are 20 signs that the culture of government dependence has gotten completely and totally out of control….

#1 If you can believe it, 48.5% of all Americans now live in a household that receives some form of government benefits.  Back in 1983, that number was less than 30 percent.

#2 Way too many Americans believe that the government should just swoop in and solve all of their problems.  For example, the plight of a single mother named Angel Adams made national headlines recently.  Over the years her relationships with three different men have produced 15 children, and she was recently found living in a single motel room with 12 of those children.

As you can see in the video below, Adams is looking for the government to come in and rescue her.  The following is what Adams told one reporter….

“Somebody needs to pay for all my children and my – for all my suffering. Somebody needs to be held accountable, and they need to pay.”

You can see news clips about this case in the video posted below….

After seeing this video, most Americans would respond with statements such as these….

*”The government needs to help that mother out”

*”The government needs to take those children away from her”

*”The government needs to keep women like that from having so many kids”

Do you see the common theme there?

Today, Americans almost always think that the solution to a problem involves the government doing something.

In America, women should be free to have as many children as they want.  But they should also not expect the government to swoop in and rescue them from the consequences of the choices that they have made.

Yes, we always need to make sure that all children have food to eat and a roof over their heads.  But it is not the job of the government to come in and control her life, and it is not the job of the government “to pay” for her to have a comfortable life either.

#3 The amount of money paid out to individual citizens by the government today is absolutely staggering.  In 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7% of all income.  Today, government transfer payments account for 18.4% of all income.

#4 According to a recent ABC News report, suicides in rural America are spiking, and experts say that cuts to Medicaid are partly to blame….

Kathie Garrett, co-chairman of the Idaho Council on Suicide Prevention, says the problem has gotten only worse since the recession. “The poor economy and unemployment—those put a lot of stress on people’s lives,” she explains. To save money, people skip doctor visits and cut back on taking prescribed medications. Cuts in Medicaid have reduced the services available to the mentally ill.

“I personally know people who lost Medicaid who’ve attempted suicide,” says Garrett.

#5 By the end of 2011, approximately 55 million Americans will receive a total of 727 billion dollars in Social Security benefits.  In future years, this dollar figure is projected to absolutely skyrocket.

#6 When you total it all up, American households are now receiving more money from the U.S. government than they are paying to the government in taxes.

#7 It is being projected that the federal government will account for more than 50 percent of all health care spending in 2012.

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

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

#10 The federal government is expected to “take care” of their workers far better than the private sector does.  If you can believe it, the average federal employee in the Washington D.C. area brings in total compensation worth more than $126,000 a year.

#11 Last year, federal employees “earned” approximately 447 billion dollars in total compensation.

#12 Spending by the federal government accounts for approximately one third of the GDP of the entire Washington D.C. region.

#13 The federal government spent more than 50 billion dollars on “housing assistance” in 2009.

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

#15 The total cost of just three federal government programs – the Department of Defense, Social Security and Medicare – exceeded the total amount of taxes brought in during fiscal 2010 by 10 billion dollars.

#16 Right now, there are more than 45 million Americans on food stamps.  That means that approximately one out of every seven Americans is dependent on the federal government for food.

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

#18 Sadly, one out of every four American children is now on food stamps.

#19 In 2010, 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States were on food stamps.

#20 According to one study, “64.3 million Americans depended on the government (read: their fellow citizens) for their daily housing, food, and health care” during 2009.

After reading this article, a lot of people may get the impression that I am greedy and that I am “on the side” of the rich.

That is not the case at all.

I have repeatedly written about the growing problem of income inequality in America.

I have repeatedly written about the need to reduce the power and the wealth of the big banks and the big corporations.

I have repeatedly written about how our government is run by wealthy people and almost all political campaigns are funded by wealthy people.

We need to level the playing field so that individuals and small businesses have a chance to thrive once again.

Unfortunately, a lot of people out there think that the solution to these problems is to raise taxes on the wealthy and redistribute even more money to those receiving handouts.

Number one, that will never get those on handouts on the road to a better life.  Handouts are never a permanent solution.  A good job is a permanent solution.

Number two, that will only make the culture of government dependence even worse.

Yes, we need to take care of the poor and the needy.

I am a huge advocate of that.

In the book of James, it says the following….

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.

It is not the job of the government to take care of the poor and the needy.

It is our job.

If you are able to take care of yourself and your family, and you are not actively doing something to help the poor, then something is wrong.

There is nothing wrong with making a lot of money.

But there is something wrong with hoarding your wealth.

Sadly, most Americans have grown accustomed to the idea that they don’t have to take care of the poor because “the government” is going to do it.

That is another example of the “culture of government dependence”.  We have gotten so used to “the government” taking care of others that we don’t even lift a finger ourselves.

We need to stop waiting for the government to fix everything.

The government is not going to fix our lives.

The government is not going to fix the lives of those around us either.

We need to start taking responsibility for our own lives and for our own communities.

Does anyone disagree?

***UPDATE***

Here is another example from ABC News of an American that completely lost it when she realized that the government was not going to be her savior….

A Texas woman who for months was unable to qualify for food stamps pulled a gun in a state welfare office and staged a seven-hour standoff with police that ended with her shooting her two children before killing herself, officials said Tuesday.

We need to help the American people understand that the government is always going to end up failing them and that they need to fix their own lives.

This Is Yet Another Glaring Example Of Why The EU Is A Mind Blowing Failure

The debt crisis in Europe just seems to get worse with each passing day, and it is yet another glaring example of why the EU is a mind blowing failure.  The EU is made up of 27 nations that all have their own economic policies, and 17 of those nations are trying to use the euro as a common currency.  But when you have 27 different governments pulling in different directions, it is inevitable that there are going to be major problems.  The stunt that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou just pulled is a perfect example of the nightmare that the EU has become.  European officials worked really hard to pull together a deal to address the debt crisis (of course the deal was a total mess, but that is another matter), and a couple of days later Papandreou decides that Greece should hold a national referendum on it.  It is so bizarre that it almost defies words.  But that is what happens in the EU.  Someone else always wants to have a say.  Someone else always wants to throw a fly into the ointment.  Someone else always want to throw in their two cents.  The EU is a bureaucratic nightmare and this latest episode is yet another example of that fact.  First the politicians in Europe come up with an idiotic plan that is going to make the financial crisis much worse, then Papandreou comes forward and pulls a stunt that shatters what little confidence the financial markets still had in Greece.  That is why the EU should break up.  It is a total failure and it is time that we all admitted it.

Financial markets reacted in horror to the news that Papandreou wants Greece to hold a referendum on the debt deal.

Apparently Papandreou wants the Greek people to willingly choose the harsh austerity measures contained in the package.  To be honest, that is not entirely unreasonable considering the tremendous economic damage that austerity measures have already done to the Greek economy.

So if there is a referendum, will the Greeks vote for the package?

That is not at all certain.

As month after month of protests have shown, austerity measures have been extremely unpopular in Greece.

But a lot of Greeks are not too keen on rejecting the bailouts and being forced to leave the euro either.

Both alternatives would be extremely unpleasant.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou apparently believes that the Greek people will vote in favor of the debt deal.  He made the following statement on Tuesday….

“We have faith in our citizens, we believe in their judgment and therefore in their decision. All the country’s political forces should support the (bailout) agreement. The citizens will do the same once they are fully informed”

Predictably, global financial markets were shocked by the announcement by Papandreou.  The Dow was down another 297 points on Tuesday, and bond yields for the PIIGS shot up significantly.

It really is mind blowing to watch what is happening to some of the bond yields over in Europe.

The yield on 1 year Greek bonds is now over 200 percent.  If you want to see what a financial meltdown looks like, just look at this chart.

The yield on 2 year Irish bonds is now over 9 percent, and the yield on 2 year Portuguese bonds is now over 20 percent.

Most importantly, the yield on Italian bonds continues to surge higher.

The higher those bond yields go, the worse things are going to get for Europe.

And those bond yield are skyrocketing in spite of rampant bond buying by the European Central Bank.

A CNBC article from earlier today noted the extraordinary intervention by the ECB that we are witnessing right now….

“Yesterday we had one of the biggest ever days of peripheral sovereign bond buying from the Securities Market Program, with some banks estimating that over 5 billion euros of peripheral sovereign bonds were purchased via the ECB’s bond buying program in an effort to keep a lid on peripheral sovereign bond yields” said Mike Riddell, a fund manager at M&G Investments in London.

Europe is falling apart financially and politicians all over Europe are furious with Papandreou right now.  The following comes from an article by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard that was published earlier today….

The Greek referendum – if it is not overtaken by a collapse of the government first – has left officials in Paris, Berlin, and Brussels speechless with rage. The ingratitude of them.

The spokesman of French president Nicolas Sarkozy (himself half Greek, from Thessaloniki) said the move was “irrational and dangerous”. Rainer Brüderle, Bundestag leader of the Free Democrats, said the Greeks appear to be “wriggling out” of a solemn commitment. They face outright bankruptcy, he blustered.

A number of European politicians are warning of severe consequences for Greece.  For example, the Finnish minister of European affairs and foreign trade, Alexander Stubb, even declared that if Greek citizens do not vote the right way it will mean an exit from the eurozone for Greece….

“The situation is so tight that basically it would be a vote over their euro membership”

If Greece ends up rejecting the bailout package, it would essentially mean a complete and total debt default by Greece.  The following is what Nobel prize-winning economist Christopher Pissarides said about the potential consequences of a “no” vote….

“In the scenario of a ‘No’ vote Greece would declare bankruptcy immediately, they would default immediately. I can’t see them staying within the euro”

But there is no guarantee that a referendum will actually be held.  The Greek government has been thrown into a state of chaos and is on the verge of collapse.

To many, it seems more likely that the government will fail and that we will see early elections in Greece.  For example, the following is a quote from an anonymous Greek trader that was posted in an article on Business Insider this morning….

I believe the present government will be history by the end of this week. Most probably this evening actually, when the already scheduled emergency cabinet meeting is to be held.

The important question to be resolved is whether the present government will be replaced by an interim national unity government for several months ratifying in parliament the Eurogroup decisions of last week and then proceeding with elections, or else whether national elections will be immediately announced with probable dates the 4th or 11th of December.

But in the final analysis, it is not the Greek government that is the problem.

The reality is that the way the eurozone was constructed was fatally flawed from the very beginning.

It was inevitable that trying to force 17 different countries with 17 different economic policies to use a common currency was going to end up creating a huge mess.

People all over Europe know this is true.  Just consider the following quotes….

* Stephane Deo, Paul Donovan, and Larry Hatheway of Swiss banking giant UBS:Under the current structure and with the current membership, the euro does not work. Either the current structure will have to change, or the current membership will have to change.”

* EU President Herman Van Rompuy: “The euro has never had the infrastructure that it requires.”

* Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder: “The current crisis makes it relentlessly clear that we cannot have a common currency zone without a common fiscal, economic and social policy”

* Professor Giacomo Vaciago of Milan’s Catholic University: “It’s clear that the euro has virtually failed over the last ten years, even if you are not supposed to say that. We pretended to be Germans, but it was an illusion”

So why should those of us living in the United States care about all of this?

Well, it is because a financial collapse in the EU could plunge the entire globe into a horrific economic nightmare.

Today, the EU actually has a larger economy and a larger population than the United States does.  The EU also has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does.

If Europe experiences a financial crash, it is going to send shockwaves to the very ends of the earth.

Another reason why Americans should care is because what is happening right now in Greece, in Italy and in some of these other countries is eventually going to come to the United States.

Just like Greece, we are in debt up to our eyeballs.

Just like Greece, our politicians thought that they could pile up gigantic mountains of debt indefinitely.

Just like Greece, this debt is going to have very, very serious consequences.

Just like Greece, we are going to have mass economic rioting in our streets.

The road that Greece is going down is the exact same road that the United States is going down.

Yes, the Federal Reserve could step in and print up trillions and trillions of dollars, but that would not solve our problems.  The truth is that a hyperinflationary crash can be even worse than a deflationary crash.

What is happening in Greece is just the beginning.  A bunch of other eurozone nations are also rapidly approaching a date with destiny.  At some point the United States is going to experience massive problems as well.

The epicenter for the financial collapse of 2008 was the United States.

The epicenter for the next financial collapse will almost certainly be Europe.

When Europe goes down, the rest of the world will be dragged down with them.

The next wave of the economic collapse is coming.

You better get ready.

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