They Are Systematically Destroying Our Independence And Making Us All Serfs Of The State

Shackled prisoner - Photo by LuftluzerThe percentage of Americans that are economically independent has dropped to a stunningly low level.  In order to be economically independent, you have got to be able to take care of yourself without any assistance from anyone else.  Unless you are independently wealthy, that means that you either have your own business or you have a full-time job.  Unfortunately, as you will see below, the percentage of Americans that are self-employed is at an all-time record low and the percentage of Americans with a full-time job has declined to a level not seen in about 30 years.  As a result, more Americans than ever find themselves forced to turn to the government for assistance.  When you add it all up, about half of all Americans get money from the government each month these days.  And yes, there will always be poor people that cannot take care of themselves that need help, but when you have more than half of the population dependent on the government that is a major problem.  You see, the truth is that our independence is systematically being taken away from us and we are steadily being made serfs of the state.  And once you become a serf of the state, it is very hard to resist anything the government is doing in a meaningful way.  After all, the money that you are getting from the government is enabling you to survive.  In essence, your allegiance has been at least partially purchased and you may not even realize it.

Of course this is not how the United States was supposed to operate.  We were never intended to be a collectivist nation.  Rather, we were intended to be a country where liberty and freedom thrived and where most people would be able to independently take care of themselves.

Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly difficult to be economically independent in America today.  One reason for this is that the environment for small businesses in this country is the most toxic that it has ever been before.  The federal government, our state governments and even our local governments are constantly coming up with new ways to oppress small business.

And just this week we learned that the IRS is specifically targeting small business owners and sending them threatening letters.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Despite all of the trouble that the IRS is currently in, they are still choosing to specifically go after small businesses with both barrels.  As a recent Forbes article explained, the IRS plans to send threatening letters to 20,000 small businesses all over the country…

The tax agency is doing some targeting of its own, fingering at least 20,000 small businesses. And that number will grow. The scrutiny on this group and in this way is a little frightening. Small business people across America are receiving IRS notices. More will be coming. The IRS gathers data from many third parties—including credit card companies—to see if you picked up every nickel of income.

This is absolutely disgusting, but it is just another example of how small business is being eradicated in the United States.  As I mentioned in a previous article, the percentage of Americans that are self-employed has dropped to a record low…

Self-Employed As A Share Of Non-Farm Employment

Well, at least we can achieve economic independence by getting a full-time job, right?

Sadly, that is becoming increasingly difficult to do as well.

The chart below was created by Chartist Friend from Pittsburgh, and it shows that the percentage of working age Americans with a full-time job dropped sharply to 47 percent during the last recession and it has stayed about that level ever since.  The yellow line is the line in the chart which demonstrates this…

FULLTIME-EMP-POP-RATIO

As you can see, we briefly touched that level in the 1970s and again briefly in the 1980s, but it is important to remember that the percentage of women that chose to seek employment was much lower back then.  When you take that into account, the current level of full-time employment in this country looks even worse.

The quality of jobs in this country has been steadily falling for quite some time, and we are rapidly transitioning to an economy where part-time employment will be much more prominent.

But you can’t support a family or be economically independent on a part-time income.  In fact, most of those that try to make it on a part-time income find that they must turn to the government for help.

And right now, a higher percentage of Americans are economically dependent on the government than ever before.  The following is from a recent article by Charles Hugh-Smith

Why? Because half of us are getting a direct check, benefit or payment from the state. Over 61 million people get a check from Social Security, over 50 million draw Medicare benefits, another 50 million get Medicaid benefits, 47 million receive SNAP food stamp benefits, 22 million people work directly for the state on all levels, millions more work for government contractors that are effectively proxies of the state, millions more receive Federally funded extended unemployment, retirement checks, Section 8 housing benefits, and so on.

Orwell underestimated the power of complicity. Once a citizen receives a direct payment from the state, the state has purchased their complicity, for no matter how much that citizen may complain privately about the state, he or she will never risk the payment/benefit by resisting the state in a politically meaningful way.

Once you get a check from the state, you begin loving your servitude. The collusion of the state and its central bank is truly a thing of authoritarian beauty: the central bank (the Federal Reserve) creates money out of thin air and buys government bonds with the new money. The state can thus borrow unlimited sums at low rates of interest, and continue to send tens of millions of individual payments out to buy the passivity and complicity of its citizens.

So what is the solution?

Of course the solution would be for our economy to produce more small businesses and more full-time jobs so that more people could achieve economic independence.

Sadly, right now our system is steadily killing full-time jobs and small businesses, and there does not appear to be any hope for a major turnaround any time soon.

At this point, the number of Americans that are financially dependent on the government is absolutely staggering, and it gets worse with each passing year.  Just consider the following statistics which come from one of my previous articles entitled “21 Facts About Rising Government Dependence In America That Will Blow Your Mind“…

1. Back in 1960, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages was approximately 10 percent.  In the year 2000, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages was approximately 21 percent.  Today, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages is approximately 35 percent.

2. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that gets direct monetary benefits from the federal government.  Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.

3. Overall, more than 70 percent of all federal spending goes to “dependence-creating programs”.

4. According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation conducted by the U.S. Census, well over 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.  Sadly, that figure does not even include Social Security or Medicare.

5. Today, the federal government runs about 80 different “means-tested welfare programs”, and almost all of those programs have experienced substantial growth in recent years.

6. The number of Americans on Social Security disability now exceeds the entire population of the state of Virginia.

7. If the number of Americans on Social Security disability were gathered into a separate state, it would be the 8th largest state in the country.

8. In 1968, there were 51 full-time workers for every American on disability.  Today, there are just 13 full-time workers for every American on disability.

9. Right now, there are approximately 56 million Americans collecting Social Security benefits.  By 2035, that number is projected to soar to an astounding 91 million.

10. Overall, the Social Security system is facing a 134 trillion dollar shortfall over the next 75 years.

11. The number of Americans on food stamps has grown from 17 million in the year 2000 to more than 47 million today.

12. Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.  Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps.

13. Today, the number of Americans on food stamps exceeds the entire population of the nation of Spain.

14. According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

15. According to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies, 43 percent of all immigrants that have been in the United States for at least 20 years are still on welfare.

16. Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid, and things are about to get a whole lot worse.  It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

17. As I wrote about recently, it is being projected that the number of Americans on Medicare will grow from 50.7 million in 2012 to 73.2 million in 2025.

18. At this point, Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion dollars over the next 75 years.  That comes to approximately $328,404 for every single household in the United States.

19. Back in 1990, the federal government accounted for just 32 percent of all health care spending in America.  It is being projected that the federal government will account for more than 50 percent of all health care spending in the United States very soon.

20. The amount of money that the federal government gives directly to the American people has increased by 32 percent since Barack Obama entered the White House.

21. When you total it all up, American households are now receiving more money directly from the federal government than they are paying to the government in taxes.

Once again, there is certainly nothing wrong with helping the poor, and there will always be people that need a helping hand.

But what we have in America today is far beyond that.  What we have in America today is a situation where economic independence is being systematically eradicated and the government is increasingly being expected to provide our daily bread and to take care of all of us from the cradle to the grave.

And once you are dependent on the system, at least part of you is going to become resistant to anyone or anything that threatens to bring meaningful change to the system because your survival depends on the system.

Or could I be wrong about this?

What do you think?

Please feel free to share your opinion by posting a comment below…

 

40 Percent Of U.S. Workers Make Less Than What A Full-Time Minimum Wage Worker Made In 1968

1968 Shelby GT350 - Photo by Ben CossitorAre American workers paid enough?  That is a topic that is endlessly debated all across this great land of ours.  Unfortunately, what pretty much everyone can agree on is that American workers are not making as much as they used to after you account for inflation.  Back in 1968, the minimum wage in the United States was $1.60 an hour.  That sounds very small, but after you account for inflation a very different picture emerges.  Using the inflation calculator that the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides, $1.60 in 1968 is equivalent to $10.74 today.  And of course the official government inflation numbers have been heavily manipulated to make inflation look much lower than it actually is, so the number for today should actually be substantially higher than $10.74, but for purposes of this article we will use $10.74.  If you were to work a full-time job at $10.74 an hour for a full year (with two weeks off for vacation), you would make about $21,480 for the year.  That isn’t a lot of money, but according to the Social Security Administration, 40.28% of all workers make less than $20,000 a year in America today.  So that means that more than 40 percent of all U.S. workers actually make less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968.  That is how far we have fallen.

The other day I wrote an article which discussed the transition that we are witnessing in our economy right now.  Good paying full-time jobs are disappearing, and they are being replaced by low paying part-time jobs.  So far this year, 76.7 percent of the jobs that have been “created” in the U.S. economy have been part-time jobs.

That would be depressing enough, but what makes it worse is that wages for many of these low paying jobs have actually been declining over the past decade even as the cost of living keeps going up.  The following is from a recent USA Today article

In the years between 2002 and 2012, real median wages dropped by at least 5% in five of the top 10 low-wage jobs, including food preparers and housekeepers.

So where have the good jobs gone?

Well, there are three long-term trends that are absolutely crushing American workers right now.

First of all, thanks to our very foolish politicians American workers have been merged into a global labor pool where they must directly compete for jobs with workers on the other side of the planet that live in countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.  This has resulted in millions upon millions of good jobs leaving this country.  Big corporations can pad their profits by taking a job from an American worker making $15 an hour with benefits and giving it to a worker on the other side of the globe that is willing to work for less than a dollar an hour with no benefits.  Our politicians could do something about this, but they refuse to do so.  Most of them are absolutely married to the idea of a one world economic system that will unite the globe.  Unfortunately, the U.S. economy is going to continue to lose tens of thousands of businesses and millions upon millions of jobs to this one world economic system.

Secondly, big corporations are replacing as many expensive workers with machines, computers and robots as they possibly can.  As technology continues to advance at a blistering pace, the need for workers (especially low-skilled workers) will continue to decrease.  Unfortunately, the jobs that are being lost to technology are not coming back any time soon.

Thirdly, the overall U.S. economy has been steadily declining for more than a decade.  If you doubt this, just read this article.  As our economy continues to get weaker, the lack of jobs is going to become a bigger and bigger problem.

And as our economy systematically loses good jobs, more Americans are forced to become dependent on the government.

Back in 1979, there was about one American on food stamps for every manufacturing job.  Today, there are about four Americans on food stamps for every manufacturing job.

When I first found that statistic I was absolutely stunned.  How in the world can anyone out there deny that the U.S. economy is collapsing?

But as I mentioned above, it isn’t just that the number of jobs is not what it should be.  The quality of our jobs is declining as well.  For example, one study found that between 1969 and 2009 the wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 declined by 27 percent after you account for inflation.

That is a pretty stunning decline.  And it has only accelerated in recent years.  Median household income (adjusted for inflation) has fallen by 7.8 percent since the year 2000, and the ratio of wages and salaries to GDP in the United States is near an all-time record low.

Most Americans are finding that their bills just keep going up but their paychecks are not.  This is causing the middle class to wither away, and most families are just trying to survive from month to month at this point.  In fact, according to one recent survey 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

So where do we go from here?

To some people the answer is simple.  They say that we should substantially raise the minimum wage.  And yes, that would definitely make life a bit better for lots of low paid workers out there, but it would also have some very negative side effects.  A substantially higher minimum wage would mean higher prices at retail stores and restaurants, and it would also greatly increase the incentive that corporations have to replace American workers with foreign workers or with technology.  We already have rampant unemployment in this country, and right now there are more than 100 million working age Americans that do not have a job.  We certainly don’t want to make that worse.

So raising the minimum wage would not solve our problems.  It would just redistribute our problems.

What we really need to do is to return to the principles that once made this country great.  In early America, we protected our markets with high tariffs.  Access to the U.S. market was a privilege.  Foreign domination was kept out, and our economy thrived.

It is definitely not “conservative” and it should not be “liberal” to stand by and watch millions upon millions of our good jobs get shipped over to communist China.  We need more “economic patriots” in America today, but unfortunately they appear to be a minority at this point.

And once upon a time the U.S. economy was actually a free market system where rules, regulations and red tape were kept to a minimum.  Our nation blossomed under such a system.  Sadly, today we have become a nation that literally has millions of laws, rules and regulations.  The control freaks seem to run everything.  In fact, the Obama administration recently forced one small-time magician out in Missouri to submit a 32 page disaster plan for the little rabbit that he uses in his magic shows for kids.  That is a very humorous example, but it is a perfect illustration of how absurd our system has become.

Another thing we could do to turn this around would be to get rid of the IRS and the income tax.  Did you know that the greatest period of economic growth in U.S. history was during a time when there was absolutely no income tax?  If you doubt this, just read this article.

And of course probably the most important thing that we could do for our economy would be to get rid of the Federal Reserve.  The Fed is a massive Ponzi scheme and it has played a primary role in creating almost every single financial bubble in the post-World War II era.  Right now we are living in the greatest bond bubble in the history of the planet, and when that Fed-created bubble bursts the pain is going to be absolutely excruciating.  In addition, the value of our currency has declined by over 96 percent and the size of the U.S. national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger since the Fed was created.  The Federal Reserve is at the very heart of our economic problems, and we desperately need to shut it down.

Unfortunately, our politicians are not even willing to consider these solutions, and most Americans are way too busy watching Toddlers & Tiaras, Honey Boo Boo and other mindless television programs to be bothered with the real problems that our country is facing.

So needless to say, the great economic storm that is coming is not going to be averted.  Most of the country is still asleep, and most people are going to get absolutely blindsided by the economic nightmare that is rapidly approaching.

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