A Jobs Report Conspiracy?

Well, isn’t that convenient?  The Obama campaign desperately needed the last employment report to be released before the election to show that the unemployment rate had fallen below 8 percent, and somehow it magically happened.  Even though non-farm payroll employment only increased by 114,000 last month (not enough to even keep up with population growth), the official unemployment rate fell from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent.  So how did that happen?  Well, the unemployment number is not based on the survey of employers that showed that 114,000 jobs were added to the economy last month.  Rather it is based on a survey of households.  And that survey showed that the total number of Americans employed last month increased by a whopping 873,000 – almost eight times the number that the employer survey showed.  That figure for September (873,000) was the biggest one month increase in 29 years.  And it just happened to come at the exact perfect time for Barack Obama.  So was there a jobs report conspiracy?  Examine the evidence and decide for yourself.

The number of Americans with a job fell by 195,000 in July.

Then it fell by another 119,000 in August.

But somehow in September it miraculously exploded in the other direction and 873,000 jobs were added to the economy?

If you believe that, I have a bridge that I want to sell you.

Somehow, the largest increase in jobs in 29 years happened just when Barack Obama needed it the most.

Nah, that doesn’t sound fishy to me at all.

We are being told that a big reason for the huge increase was the number of Americans working part-time for “economic reasons”.  That number surged from 8.0 million in August to 8.6 million in September.

Why the sudden jump?

Nobody can really explain it.

And if you look at the U6 unemployment rate, nothing has really changed at all.  U6 is still at 14.7 percent just like it was last month.

But the media is not going to talk about the U6 rate.  Instead, all of the headlines are going to be about “7.8 percent”.

According to the survey of employers, the U.S. economy added fewer jobs in September than it did in August, and it added fewer jobs in August than it did in July.

So according to the survey of employers, the employment situation in the United States is getting worse.

But according to the household survey, we just had the greatest month of job creation since the first term of Ronald Reagan.

Something does not add up.

And as I have written about previously, the unemployment rate would actually be up around 11 percent instead of 7.8 percent if not for the millions of workers that the government claims “dropped out of the labor force” over the past few years because they became too discouraged to look for work.

So unemployment in America is still a massive crisis, but the media is boldly proclaiming that things are getting better and that we are on the road to recovery.

Of course Obama looks like the cat who ate the canary today.  He is just thrilled with the “7.8 percent” number.

But the truth is that according to the employer survey, job growth in the United States is actually slower than last year.  The following is from the Calculated Risk blog….

All that said, the economy has only added 1.3 million payroll jobs over the first nine months of the year. At this pace, the economy would only add around 1.8 million private sector jobs in 2012; less than the 2.1 million added in 2011.

Are you starting to see why people are so skeptical of this jobs report?

When the “7.8 percent” figure was released, there was immediately a wave of shock and unbelief throughout the financial world and all over the Internet.

The following is a sampling of skeptical quotes about this jobs report….

Former GE chief Jack Welch

Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers

Chapwood Capital Investment Management Managing Partner Ed Butowsky

I feel like I’m watching a movie. There is no way in the world these numbers are accurate.

Neil Irwin of the Washington Post

“Weird that payrolls are exactly on forecast but household survey is far better.”

Conn Carroll, senior editorial writer for the Washington Examiner

While it is highly improbable that BLS conspired to cook the books, there is still a huge 756,000 job gap between the number of jobs employers told the Labor Department they created in September (114k), and the number of Americans who told the labor department that they got new jobs (873k).

U.S. Representative Allen West

I agree with former GE CEO Jack Welch, Chicago style politics is at work here. Somehow by manipulation of data we are all of a sudden below 8 percent unemployment, a month from the Presidential election. This is Orwellian to say the least and representative of Saul Alinsky tactics from the book “Rules for Radicals”- a must read for all who want to know how the left strategize . Trust the Obama administration? Sure, and the spontaneous reaction to a video caused the death of our Ambassador……and pigs fly.

Gluskin Sheff’s David Rosenberg

That the 7.8 percent jobless rate takes it to the level that prevailed when the President took office in January 2009 has raised many an eyebrow. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories. But I don’t believe in the Household Survey either. 

This notoriously volatile indicator has become even more so in recent months. It showed a 195K slide in July and a 119K decline in August, to only then reveal a massive 873K surge in September.

Radio host Laura Ingraham

“Jobs #s from Labor Secretary Hilda Solis are total pro-Obama propaganda–labor force participation rate at 30-yr low. Abysmal!”

Americans for Limited Government

“Either the Federal Reserve, which has its fingers on the pulse of every element of the economy, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics manufacturing survey report are grievously wrong or the number used to calculate the unemployment rate are wrong, or worse manipulated. Given that these numbers conveniently meet Obama’s campaign promises one month before the election, the conclusions are obvious.”

Rick Santelli of CNBC

“I told you they’d get it under 8 percent — they did! You can let America decide how they got there!”

Of course the backlash in the media against skepticism of the jobs report has been very forceful.

Already, those that are doubtful of the legitimacy of the jobs report are being called “truthers” – as if there is something wrong with wanting to know the truth.

Sadly, that is how things work these days.  If you don’t like the viewpoint that some people are expressing, you just label them “conspiracy theorists”.

And when someone is labeled a “conspiracy theorist”, that is code for “that person is so crazy that you should not listen to anything they say”.

But the truth is that we live in a world where often people do things that they are not supposed to be doing.

When something rather strange happens, it is not wrong to investigate and try to figure out what is going on.

And this jobs report seems very, very odd.

It sure does seem rather strange that the household survey is showing almost 8 times as many jobs created as the employer survey does.

It sure does seem rather strange that 873,000 more Americans were working in September (the largest increase in 29 years) after decreases in both July and August.

It sure does seem rather strange that the unemployment rate dropped under 8 percent at the exact moment when Barack Obama needed it the most.

But perhaps all of this is just a coincidence.

What do you think?

Startling Evidence That Central Banks And Wall Street Insiders Are Rapidly Preparing For Something BIG

If you want to figure out what is going to happen next in the financial markets, carefully watch what the insiders are doing.  Those that are “connected” have access to far better sources of information than the rest of us have, and if they hear that something big is coming up they will often make very significant moves with their money in anticipation of what is about to happen.  Right now, Wall Street insiders and central banks all around the globe are making some very unusual moves.  In fact, they appear to be rapidly preparing for something really big.  So exactly what are they up to?  In a previous article entitled “Are The Government And The Big Banks Quietly Preparing For An Imminent Financial Collapse?“, I speculated that they may be preparing for a financial meltdown of some sort.  As I noted in that article, more than 600 banking executives have resigned from their positions over the past 12 months, and I have been personally told that a substantial number of Wall Street bankers have been shopping for “prepper properties” this summer.  But now even more evidence has emerged that quiet preparations are being made for an imminent financial collapse.  That doesn’t guarantee that something will happen or won’t happen.  Like any good detective, we are gathering clues and trying to figure out what the evidence is telling us.

Why Is George Soros Selling So Much Stock And Buying So Much Gold?

I am certainly not a fan of George Soros.  He has funneled millions upon millions of dollars into organizations that are trying to take America in the exact wrong direction.

However, I do recognize that he is extremely well connected in the financial world.  Soros is almost always ahead of the curve on financial matters, and if something big is going to go down George Soros is probably going to know about it ahead of time.

That is why it is very alarming that he has dumped all of his banking stocks and that he is massively hoarding gold.  The following is from shtfplan.com….

In a harbinger of what may be coming our way in the Fall of 2012, billionaire financier George Soros has sold all of his equity positions in major financial stocks according to a 13-F report filed with the SEC for the quarter ending June 30, 2012.

Soros, who manages funds through various accounts in the US and the Cayman Islands, has reportedly unloaded over one million shares of stock in financial companies and banks that include Citigroup (420,000 shares), JP Morgan (701,400 shares) and Goldman Sachs (120,000 shares). The total value of the stock sales amounts to nearly $50 million.

What’s equally as interesting as his sale of major financials is where Soros has shifted his money. At the same time he was selling bank stocks, he was acquiring some 884,000 shares (approx. $130 million) of Gold via the SPDR Gold Trust.

Why would you dump over a million shares of stock in major banks and purchase more than 100 million dollars worth of gold?

Well, it would make perfect sense if you believed that a collapse of the financial system was about to happen.

Earlier this year, George Soros told the following to Newsweek….

“I am not here to cheer you up. The situation is about as serious and difficult as I’ve experienced in my career,” Soros tells Newsweek. “We are facing an extremely difficult time, comparable in many ways to the 1930s, the Great Depression. We are facing now a general retrenchment in the developed world, which threatens to put us in a decade of more stagnation, or worse. The best-case scenario is a deflationary environment. The worst-case scenario is a collapse of the financial system.”

It looks like he is putting his money where his mouth is.

Perhaps even more disturbing is what he believes is coming after the financial collapse….

As anger rises, riots on the streets of American cities are inevitable. “Yes, yes, yes,” he says, almost gleefully. The response to the unrest could be more damaging than the violence itself. “It will be an excuse for cracking down and using strong-arm tactics to maintain law and order, which, carried to an extreme, could bring about a repressive political system, a society where individual liberty is much more constrained, which would be a break with the tradition of the United States.”

That doesn’t sound good.

George Soros has told us what he believes is going to happen, and now he is making moves with his money that indicate that he is convinced that it is actually about to start happening.

But he is not the only one that has been busy accumulating gold.

Billionaire John Paulson (the one that made 20 billion dollars on the subprime mortgage meltdown) has been buying gold like crazy and his company now “has 44 percent of its $24 billion fund exposed to bullion.

So why are Soros and Paulson buying up so much gold?

Central Banks Are Also Hoarding Gold

According to the World Gold Council, the amount of gold bought by the central banks of the world absolutely soared during the second quarter of 2012.  The 157.5 metric tons of gold bought by the central banks of the world last quarter was an increase of 62.9 percent from the first quarter of 2012 and a 137.9 percent increase from the second quarter of 2011.

Prior to 2009, the central banks of the world had been net sellers of gold for about two decades.  But now that has totally changed, and last quarter central banks stocked up on gold in quantities that we have not seen before….

At 157.5 metric tons, gold buying among central banks came in at its highest quarterly level since the sector became a net buyer of the precious metal in the second quarter of 2009, data in the organization’s quarterly Gold Demand Trends report show.

So why have the central banks of the world become such gold bugs?

Is there something they aren’t telling us?

Rampant Insider Selling

Wall Street insiders have been dumping a whole lot of stock this year.

In my previous article, I linked to a CNN article from back in April….

First quarter earnings have been decent, if not spectacular. And many corporate executives are issuing cautiously optimistic guidance for the rest of the year.

But while insiders’ lips are saying one thing, their wallets are saying another. The level of insider selling among S&P 500 (SPX) companies is the highest in nearly 10 years. That is not good.

A lot of insiders appear to be getting out at the top of the market while the getting is still good.

Other insiders appear to be bailing out before the bottom falls out from beneath them.

Just check out what has been happening to Facebook stock.  It hit another new record low on Thursday as insiders dumped stock.  The following is from a CNN article….

Facebook’s life as a public company has been a nightmare from day one, and the pain continued on Thursday as some company insiders got their first chance to dump shares.

Facebook stock hit a new intra-day low of $19.69 Thursday morning, and ended the day 6.3% lower at $19.87.

Sadly, Facebook has now lost close to half of its value since the IPO.

Will Facebook end up being the poster child for the irrational stock market bubble that we have seen over the past couple of years?

Overall, retail investors have been very busy pulling money out of stocks in recent weeks.

The following are the net inflows to equity funds over the past five weeks (in millions of dollars) according to ICI….

7/11/2012: -537

7/18/2012: 637

7/25/2012: -2,999

8/1/2012: -6,866

8/8/2012: -3,684

According to the figures above, more than 10 billion dollars has been pulled out of equity funds over the past two weeks alone.

So does this mean anything?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

But it is very interesting and it bears watching.

Why Does The U.S. Government Need So Much Ammunition?

In my previous article, I also noted that the U.S. government appears to be very rapidly making preparations for something really big.

This week, it was revealed that the Social Security Administration plans to buy 174,000 hollow point bullets which will be delivered to 41 different locations all over America.

Now why in the world does the Social Security Administration need 174,000 bullets?

And why do they need hollow point bullets?  Those bullets are designed to cause as much damage to internal organs as possible.

But of course this is only the latest in a series of very large purchases of ammunition by U.S. government agencies.  The following is from a recent article by Paul Joseph Watson….

Back in March, Homeland Security purchased 450 million rounds of .40-caliber hollow point bullets that are designed to expand upon entry and cause maximum organ damage, prompting questions as to why the DHS needed such a large amount of powerful bullets merely for training purposes.

This was followed by another DHS solicitation asking for a further 750 million rounds of assorted bullets, including 357 mag rounds that are able to penetrate walls.

Now why in the world would the government need over a billion rounds of ammunition?

If it was the U.S. military I could understand this.  You can burn through a whole lot of ammunition fighting wars.

But this makes no sense – unless they believe that big trouble is coming.

Personally, I wouldn’t blame them for getting prepared.  Our economy continues to fall apart and there are signs of social decay everywhere around us.

The American people are more frustrated and more angry than at any other time in modern history.  This upcoming election is only going to cause Americans to become even more angry and even more divided.

All it would take is just the right “spark” to cause this country to erupt.

It could be the upcoming election.

It could be the collapse of the financial system.

Or it might be something else.

But the conditions are definitely there for it to happen.

Unfortunately, the American public is never told to prepare because authorities never want “to panic” the general population.

We are always the last to know, and that stinks.

So don’t wait for someone to come on the television and announce that a crisis is happening.

If you wait that long, it will be too late.

Instead, open up your eyes and think for yourself.

We all need to work hard to get prepared for the coming crisis while we still can.

As you can see, Wall Street insiders, the U.S. government and the central banks of the world are busy getting prepared.

Don’t put your head in the sand.

The warning signs are there and time is running out.

10 Signs That America Is Decomposing Right In Front Of Our Eyes

The decay of society is so much harder to quantify than economic decline is.  The government keeps lots of statistics on things like unemployment and inflation, but it really does not keep track of how sick and twisted people are becoming.  Most of us recognize that the character of the American people has changed dramatically over the decades, but unlike the national debt, you can’t easily point to a chart or a graph to show exactly how bad things are getting.  In this article, my approach will be to point you to various “signs” of social decay.  Signs tell us where we are at now and where we are headed.  Some of the signs that I will use will be statistics while others will simply consist of anecdotal evidence.  Yes, anecdotal evidence is not perfect, but when you put enough of it together it starts to paint a pretty clear picture of what is going on out there.  America is becoming a truly frightening place.  Our cities our decaying, thieves are becoming bolder, you never know who you can trust and everyone seems depressed.  America is decomposing right in front of our eyes, and it is time that we all admitted it.

In the old days, if you met a stranger out on the streets you knew that you could almost certainly trust that person.  But these days if you let your child wander one aisle over while you are shopping at Wal-Mart there is a chance that someone will try to abduct her.

Something has changed.

In our major cities, if you walk up to someone at random there is a decent chance that person will be a pervert or a sicko, and most Americans know that this is true at a gut level.  Almost everyone is very leery of “strangers” these days.  It has gotten to the point where we are all afraid of one another.

Just try this some time….

In a major U.S. city, walk right up to people on the street, look them in the eyes and try to introduce yourself.

What will happen when you do that?

In many instances, people will literally run away from you.

We are scared to death to interact with people that we do not know, and the reality is that those fears are way too often justified.

The character of the American people is decaying at a rapid pace, and the evidence of this is all around us.

The following are 10 signs that America is decomposing right in front of our eyes….

#1 As the economy crumbles, in many U.S. cities desperate people are increasingly resorting to violent acts in an attempt to survive.  So far this year, violent crime in Washington D.C. has risen by 40 percent.  Robberies at gunpoint have more than doubled compared to the same time period last year.

And as I wrote about recently, justifiable homicide in Detroit rose by a staggering 79 percent during 2011, and the rate of self-defense killings in Detroit is now 2200% above the national average.

#2 But it is not just in the cities where you will find crazies.  A recent Daily Mail article described a very disturbing incident which took place recently in North Dakota.  Two crack-fueled perverts abducted and murdered a 43-year-old math teacher named Sherry Arnold….

Spell and Waters had left Colorado days before the crime claiming they wanted work in eastern Montana and western North Dakota’s oil fields.

After smoking crack cocaine over the entire trip, Waters allegedly told Spell the drug ‘brought the devil out in him’ and began talking about kidnapping and killing a female, AP reports.

After they spotted Arnold, Spell claims that Waters told him to ‘grab the lady’ and pull her into their Ford Explorer as she jogged by.

After they got Arnold into the car, they choked her to death and then buried her body in a shallow grave in North Dakota.

Why would anyone do something like that?

#3 Unfortunately, sickos will even be found working for the government.  Just as so many of us feared, TSA workers are actually purposely selecting attractive women to go through the body scanners so that they can admire their naked bodies.  The following are actual quotations from official TSA complaints….

-“I feel I was targeted by the TSA employee to go through the see-you-naked machine because I am a semi-attractive female.”

-“The screener appeared to enjoy the process of picking someone rather than doing true random screening. I felt this was inappropriate. A woman behind me was also “randomly selected.”

-“TSA staff ‘trolling’ the lines looking for people to pull out was unprofessional.”

-“I know he went to that room to see my naked body through the machine with the other guy.”

-“When I looked around, I saw that there were only women that were “told” to go through this machine. There were no men.”

One woman was recently forced to go through the body scanner three times because the TSA workers wanted to get a really good look at her “cute figure“.

Isn’t about time that we admitted that the TSA is a massive failure?

#4 The American people seem more depressed than ever.  So are we the most depressed nation in the entire world?  The U.S. has the highest percentage of women taking antidepressants of any country in the world, and kids in the U.S. are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants than kids in Europe are.

#5 The gang problem in the United States has never been worse.  According to the FBI, the number of gang members in the United States has risen by 40 percent since 2009 and there are now a total of 1.4 million gang members living inside this country.

#6 Millions of other young people are not able to find jobs once they finish school and end up financially dependent on their parents.  Today, record numbers of young adults are living at home.  Many of these young people end up very disillusioned and very frustrated.  Right now, more than 30 percent of all Americans in the 18 to 34 age bracket are currently living at home with their parents.  That is not good news for the future of this country.

#7 All over America, criminals are becoming bolder and more desperate.  The following is a report about one serial home invader from the Washington Post….

A housekeeper was tied up and sexually assaulted and a mother and teenage son were tied up during a home invasion in Bethesda early Wednesday morning that Montgomery County police say involves the same suspect as in a home invasion Tuesday in Wheaton.

As the economy gets even worse, home invasions will become even more common.  You might want to learn how to defend yourself.

#8 These days thieves will steal literally anything.  Each night in cities all over the nation more street lights are going out as thieves strip the copper wiring right out of them. In the San Francisco area, one very ambitious group of thieves actually swiped a copper bell that weighs 2.7 tons.

#9 One of the clearest signs that America is decomposing is the stunning decline of major cities such as Detroit.  In response to my recent article about the death of Detroit, a reader identified as Bill posted the following….

Seeing what is happening to Detroit makes me want to cry AND scream.

I’m a native Detroiter myself – born in Harper Hospital on the east side & was one of those 2 million plus counted in the 1950 Census. I left Detroit in the early 70s for work reasons and had not gone back there since 1984.

When I drove through there on my way to Port Huron last September I “made a lap” around the city – got off I-75 downtown, made a loop around the downtown area (the 2 new stadiums look nice as does the RenCen) then went out Michigan Avenue to 12th and up through the 1967 Riot area to Grand River and out to the northwestern part of town where I grew up and went to school.

What a depressing trip. All my old haunts are gone, boarded up or burnt to the ground. The car dealer where I bought my first car (the old “Redford Rambler” on Grand River just west of Evergreen) is nothing but a slab. All the car dealers along the Grand River strip from Evergreen to McNicoles (6 Mile Rd.) are gone, the 16th Precinct Police Station at GR & Mc Nicholes is abandoned and the high school where my cousin graduated is all boarded up (Redford High School, across Grand River from the old police station). My old house on Lasher just north of Grand River is there but the stores in the area are all gone. One would think space aliens had come and taken all the life out of the area.

On that same article, another reader identified as “Disappointed” shared his thoughts on the decline of that once great city….

I worked in Detroit for a few years a while back. I was fascinated by the crumbling ruins, drove around to see a lot of them after work (a couple of times I drove through neighborhoods that I can tell you now I would not go near, even in the daytime). It was sad and fascinating at the same time. I would not even THINK of doing that now, it would be highly dangerous. I would not even work in Detroit now.

#10 But it isn’t just Detroit that is falling apart.  This kind of thing is happening all over the country.  A reader identified as Golden Child recently left the following comment on my website….

Much of America is like Detroit. America is rotting from California to West Virginia to Baltimore. It’s the same song across the United States. High unemployment, falling rent and or house prices, massive police lay-offs, giant spikes in crime accompanied by a rising cost of living and fewer job opportunities. Vallejo and Oakland, California are very much like Detroit. Vallejo ranked as the ninth most miserable city in America according to Forbes. Oakland and Vallejo have laid off nearly half of their police forces. You can get an apartment in Vallejo or Oakland for $200-600 a month although the median monthly rent in California is well over a thousand dollars with Bay Area rent being generally higher. There is a reason why rent is so comparably dirt cheap in those cities. San Francisco-Oakland-Vallejo collectively make up the car-theft capital of the United States. Northern CA cities like Oakland, Richmond and Stockton are regulars on the top ten most dangerous cities in America list. Baltimore, MD is also very much like Detroit with its thousands of abandoned rowhomes, high concentration of Black poverty, drugs and violence. Camden, NJ, East St. Louis, Gary Indiana are all no different from the D. Even large sections of wealthy world class cities like DC, NYC and San Francisco are impoverished quasi-third world hellholes. Southeast DC has the highest unemployment rate of anywhere in America despite the fact that DC is the richest city and metro in America. NYC has the widest income inequality gap of any metro area. Massive swaths of NYC are dangerous towering project buildings packed with working poor minorities. SF is home to some of the most sub-standard public housing in America in neighborhoods like Hunter’s Point, Sunnydale and Potrero Hill. America has been rotting from the core since at least the 70′s.

Sadly, this is just the beginning.

As the economic decline of this nation accelerates, people are going to become much more desperate.

And desperate people do desperate things.

So where do all of you think America is headed?  Please feel free to post a comment with your opinion below….

***EPILOGUE***

I wanted to post a couple of new comments from the readers.  These are more firsthand examples of what life is like on the streets of America today….

—Comment By “Bean”—

This evening I had to pick my daughter up from work,a fast food restaurant in the heart of downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana. My daughter came out later than expected so I had to sit in the car for about forty minutes waiting. While waiting a man walked up to my car and reached for the door handle, thankfully I had the doors locked, he started tapping on the window, I drove off went around the block and parked again to wait for my daughter. A little while later an elderly man with a cane, who appeared to be homeless, shuffled along the sidewalk, he saw me sitting in the car and he came up and tapped on the window, fortunately at that moment my daughter came out of work so I pulled up and picked her up and we got out of town. It was creepy, this was downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana, a city with a population of around 300,000, I was shocked! I do not want my daughter coming out of work at night into this kind of environment, I will be contacting the owner of the business to let them know that it is not a safe environment for young people to have to walk to their cars after dark.

—Comment By Madsr—

My wife and I were discussing this exact thing. A young girl in our quiet Arkansas town met a local guy off the internet she ended up dead on his family farm in a 55 gal drum…..Who does this? We live in a town of 4000 where we all know each other, a man walked into a little shop 3 weeks ago and raped the woman behind the counter. My wife and I consider where we live very safe compared to most of America. Yet we never go anywhere that we are not both carrying a pistol. That is what is so different between todays depression and the great depression. Most people would not hurt or kill you for food or goods. They were more apt to suffer quietly or sneak and get a chicken. It is just the opposite today they are being told everyday they are owed food and goods. The only reason they don’t have them is because the rich have it all, so you should take it from them. I guess that makes most of us that have worked 60 hours a week for the last 25 or 30 years the rich evil people. This is not going to get better regardless of the President both sides have supported the moral decay. God help us!

*****

22 Signs That We Are On The Verge Of A Devastating Global Recession

2012 is shaping up to be a very tough year for the global economy.  All over the world there are signs that economic activity is significantly slowing down.  Many of these signs are detailed later on in this article.  But most people don’t understand what is happening because they don’t put all of the pieces together.  If you just look at one or two pieces of data, it may not seem that impressive.  But when you examine all of the pieces of evidence that we are on the verge of a devastating global recession all at once, it paints a very frightening picture.  Asia is slowing down, Europe is slowing down and there are lots of trouble signs for the U.S. economy.  It has gotten to a point where the global debt crisis is almost ready to boil over, and nobody is quite sure what is going to happen next.  The last global recession was absolutely nightmarish, and we should all hope that we don’t see another one like that any time soon.  Unfortunately, things do not look good at this point.

The following are 22 signs that we are on the verge of a devastating global recession….

#1 On Thursday it was announced that U.S. jobless claims had soared to a six-week high.

#2 Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, has filed for bankruptcy protection.

#3 Sears recently announced that somewhere between 100 and 120 Sears and Kmart stores will be closing, and Sears stock has fallen nearly 60% in just the past year.

#4 Over the past 12 months, dozens of prominent retailers have closed stores all over America, and one consulting firm is projecting that there will be more than 5,000 more store closings in 2012.

#5 Richard Bove, an analyst at Rochdale Securities, is projecting that the global financial industry will lose approximately 150,000 jobs over the next 12 to 18 months.

#6 Investors are pulling money out of the stock market at a rapid pace right now.  In fact, as an article posted on CNBC recently noted, investors pulled more money out of mutual funds than they put into mutual funds for 9 weeks in a row.  Are there some people out there that are quietly repositioning their money for tough times ahead?….

Investors yanked money out of U.S. equity mutual funds for a ninth-consecutive week despite a bullish 2012 outlook from Wall Street and a December rally that’s carried over into the New Year.

#7 There are signs that the Chinese economy is seriously slowing down.  The following comes from a recent article in the Guardian….

Growth had slowed to an annual rate of 1.5% in the second and third quarters of 2011, below the “stall speed” that historically led to recession.

#8 The Bank of Japan says that the economic recovery in that country “has paused“.

#9 Manufacturing activity in the euro zone has fallen for five months in a row.

#10 Germany’s economy actually contracted during the 4th quarter of 2011.  At this point many economists believe that Germany is already experiencing a recession.

#11 According to a recent article by Bloomberg, it is being projected that the French economy is heading into a recession….

The French economy will shrink this quarter and next, suggesting the nation is in a recession as investment and consumer spending stagnate, national statistics office Insee said.

#12 There are a multitude of statistics that indicate that the UK economy is definitely slowing down.

#13 The credit ratings of Italy, Spain, Portugal, France and Austria all just got downgraded.

#14 It is being reported that the Spanish economy contracted during the 4th quarter of 2011.

#15 Bad loans in Spain recently hit a 17-year high and the unemployment rate is at a 15-year high.

#16 According to a recent article in the Telegraph, the Italian government is forecasting that there will be a recession for the Italian economy in 2012….

The Italian government predicts GDP will contract 0.4pc next year, but many economists fear the figure is optimistic.

“We can say without mincing words that we have already slipped into recession,” said Intesa Sanpaolo analyst Paolo Mameli. “We expect GDP to keep contracting for the next 3-4 quarters.”

#17 Italy’s youth unemployment rate has hit the highest level ever.

#18 The unemployment rate in Greece for those under the age of 24 is now at 39 percent.

#19 Greece is already experiencing a full-blown economic depression.  About a third of the country is now living in poverty and extreme medicine shortages are being reported.  Things have gotten so bad that entire families are being ripped apart.  According to the Daily Mail, hundreds of Greek children are being abandoned because the economy has gotten so bad that their parents simply cannot afford to take care of them anymore.  The note that one mother left with her child was absolutely heartbreaking….

One mother, it said, ran away after handing over her two-year-old daughter Natasha.

Four-year-old Anna was found by a teacher clutching a note that read: ‘I will not be coming to pick up Anna today because I cannot afford to look after her. Please take good care of her. Sorry.’

#20 In Greece, large numbers of people are simply giving up on life.  Sadly, the number of suicides in Greece has increased by 40 percent in just the past year.

#21 In many European countries, the money supply continues to contract rapidly.  The following comes from a recent article in the Telegraph….

Simon Ward from Henderson Global Investors said “narrow” M1 money – which includes cash and overnight deposits, and signals short-term spending plans – shows an alarming split between North and South.

While real M1 deposits are still holding up in the German bloc, the rate of fall over the last six months (annualised) has been 20.7pc in Greece, 16.3pc in Portugal, 11.8pc in Ireland, and 8.1pc in Spain, and 6.7pc in Italy. The pace of decline in Italy has been accelerating, partly due to capital flight. “This rate of contraction is greater than in early 2008 and implies an even deeper recession, both for Italy and the whole periphery,” said Mr Ward.

#22 The major industrialized nations of the world must roll over trillions upon trillions of dollars in debt during 2012.  At a time when credit is becoming much tighter, this is going to be quite a challenge.  The following list compiled by Bloomberg shows the amount of debt that some large nations must roll over in 2012….

Japan: 3,000 billion
U.S.: 2,783 billion
Italy: 428 billion
France: 367 billion
Germany: 285 billion
Canada: 221 billion
Brazil: 169 billion
U.K.: 165 billion
China: 121 billion
India: 57 billion
Russia: 13 billion

Keep in mind that those numbers do not include any new borrowing.  Those are just old debts that must be refinanced.

As I mentioned at the top of this article, things do not look good.

The last thing that we need is another devastating global recession.

As I wrote about yesterday, the U.S. economy is in the midst of a nightmarish long-term decline.  The last major global recession helped to significantly accelerate that decline.

So what will happen if this next global recession is worse than the last one?

Sadly, the people that will get hurt the most by another recession will not be the wealthy.

The people that will get hurt the most will be the poor and the middle class.

So what should all of us be doing about this?

We should use the time during this “calm before the storm” to prepare for the hard times that are coming.

As always, let us hope for the best and let us prepare for the worst.

But things certainly do not look promising for the global economy in 2012.

Getting Worse: 40 Undeniable Pieces Of Evidence That Show That America Is In Decline

Is America in decline?  That is a very provocative question.  I have found that most people that hate the United States are very eager to agree that America is in decline, while a lot of those that love the United States are very hesitant to admit that America is in decline.  Well, I am proud to be an American, but I cannot lie and tell you that America is doing just fine.  The pieces of evidence compiled below are undeniable.  Our economy is deathly ill and is rapidly getting worse.  We were handed the keys to the greatest economic machine in the history of the world and we have wrecked it.  But until we are willing to look in the mirror and admit how bad things have gotten, we won’t be ready for the solutions that are necessary.  The truth is that there are things that we can do to reverse the decline.  It does not have to be permanent.  We have gotten away from the things that made America great, and we need to admit that we are on the wrong path and start fixing this country.  But if we choose to continue down the road that we are currently on, it will lead us into the darkest chapters in American history.

The following are 40 undeniable pieces of evidence that show that America is in decline….

#1 Back in 1985, 11 million vehicles were sold in America.  In 2009, only 5.4 million vehicles were sold in America.

#2 In 1990, the median age of a vehicle in the United States was just 6.5 years.  Today, the median age of a vehicle in the United States is approximately 10 years.

#3 The average price of a gallon of gasoline in 2011 has been $3.50.  That is a new all-time record.  The previous record was $3.24 in 2008.

#4 The average American household will have spent an astounding $4,155 on gasoline by the time the year is over.

#5 The number of children in the United States without a permanent home has increased by 38 percent since 2007.

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

#7 The U.S. tax code is now more than 50,000 pages longer than it used to be.

#8 American 15-year-olds do not even rank in the top half of all advanced nations when it comes to math or science literacy.

#9 The United States once had the highest proportion of young adults with post-secondary degrees in the world.  Today, the U.S. has fallen to 12th.

#10 After adjusting for inflation, U.S. college students are borrowing about twice as much money as they did a decade ago.

#11 The student loan default rate has nearly doubled since 2005.

#12 Our economy is not producing nearly enough jobs for our college graduates.  The percentage of mail carriers with a college degree is now 4 times higher than it was back in 1970.

#13 Our infrastructure was once the envy of the world.  Today, U.S. infrastructure is ranked 23rd.

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

#15 Since the year 2000, incomes for U.S. households led by someone between the ages of 25 and 34 have fallen by about 12 percent after you adjust for inflation.

#16 According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, America has lost an average of 15 manufacturing facilities a day over the last 10 years.  During 2010 it got even worse.  Last year, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day shut down in the United States.

#17 In all, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have shut down since 2001.

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

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

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

#21 The television manufacturing industry began in the United States.  So how many televisions are manufactured in the United States today?  According to Princeton University economist Alan S. Blinder, the grand total is zero.

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

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

#24 According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 dropped by 27 percent after you account for inflation.

#25 Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs.  Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.

#26 The size of the economy in India is projected to surpass the size of the U.S. economy by the year 2050.

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

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

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

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

#31 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 6.7% of all Americans are living in “extreme poverty”, and that is the highest level that has ever been recorded before.

#32 The percentage of children living in poverty in the United States increased from 16.9 percent in 2006 to nearly 22 percent in 2010.  In the UK and in France the child poverty rate is well under 10 percent.

#33 As I wrote about the other day, since 2007 the number of children living in poverty in the state of California has increased by 30 percent.

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

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

#36 Between 1991 and 2007 the number of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 that filed for bankruptcy rose by a staggering 178 percent.

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

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

#39 During the Obama administration, the U.S. government has accumulated more debt than it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that Bill Clinton took office.

#40 The U.S. national debt is now nearly 15 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.

Sadly, most Americans are not fired up about turning this country around.  Way too many of them realize that things are getting worse, but they have “checked out” and are just going through the motions of life.

A perfect example is posted below.  In this video, a FedEx delivery guy just chucks a computer monitor over somebody’s fence….

Can you believe he did that?

The sad thing is that the guy was actually home at the time and all the FedEx employee needed to do was ring the bell.

This is the kind of attitude that is killing America.

We all need to start caring again.  We all need to start taking pride in what we do.  We all need to start working hard again.  We all need to make sure that we are living with a sense of personal integrity.

When a nation simply does not care anymore, even a con man can become president.

During a recent 60 Minutes interview, Barack Obama said that only 3 presidents in U.S. history accomplished more than he did during the first two years of his presidency….

“The issue here is not going be a list of accomplishments. As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln — just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history. But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, we’ve got a lot more work to do.”

He had to be joking, right?

Sadly, he was not joking.

But it is not just Barack Obama.  The truth is that both political parties are absolutely littered with con men, charlatans and corrupt politicians.

It is going to be up to the American people to get educated about how bad things have really gotten, to start demanding solutions, and to start voting much better people into positions of authority.

If dramatic changes are not made, our economy will continue to get worse and the decline of America will continue to accelerate.

We cannot stay on this road my friends.

It is only going to lead to a total nightmare.

Please share this information as widely as possible, and please try to wake up as many of your fellow Americans as you can while there is still time.