Greed Is Good? Where Will America’s Sick Obsession With Wealth And Money End?

Greed - Photo by J. Solana from Madrid, SpainEverywhere you look, Americans appear to be extremely obsessed with wealth and money.  These days, networks such as CNN endlessly run “news stories” with titles such as “Best cars for the super rich“.  We have television shows where people proudly show off how wealthy they are, and it seems like Hollywood is putting out an endless parade of movies that glorify the lifestyles of the elite.  We have hordes of motivational speakers and “life coaches” that will teach you how to be “more successful” in life, and every small movement in the stock market is carefully monitored by the mainstream news media.  Even in the world of faith, we have an entire class of ministers known as “prosperity preachers”, and many of those ministers wear that label quite proudly.  Yes, those that grew up in the 1980s may have been the “greed is good” generation, but the truth is that they didn’t have anything on us.  As a society we love money, and we are not ashamed to admit it.  In fact, there are times we absolutely revel in it.  For example, Time Magazine published an article this year entitled “Science Proves It: Greed Is Good” and hardly anyone even raised an eyebrow.  But where will America’s sick obsession with wealth and money end?  Could it end up destroying us?

I got the idea for this article when I was browsing through CNN’s website.  The following are eight “news stories” about wealth that were featured on CNN just on Thursday alone…

#1 “The richest Americans in history

#2 “How much do you need to be happy?

#3 “Where are the super rich?

#4 “From broke to billionaire

#5 “Homes: What $25 million buys around the world

#6 “Best cars for the super rich

#7 “America’s homes are bigger than ever

#8 “Mega yacht with a movie theater

This is what passes for news these days?

It has been said that we tend to talk about the things that we are obsessed with.

And CNN is clearly obsessed with wealth.

Not that there is anything wrong with having money.

If none of us had any money, we would all be homeless and starving.  So the truth is that money can be very useful.  But when it becomes an idol, that is when it becomes a problem.

And because we have taught entire generations of Americans that becoming wealthy is one of the primary goals in life, it is creating a tremendous amount of envy, jealousy, frustration and anger among those that have not been able to become wealthy.

In recent years, the level of bitterness and resentment that the rest of the nation has toward the very wealthy has risen to an unprecedented level.  It has become exceedingly apparent that the system is designed to funnel wealth to the very top of the food chain, and many of those at the bottom of the food chain are starting to become extremely upset about this.

Since the last financial crisis, almost all of the income gains have gone to the top one percent of all income earners.  The following comes from a recent Huffington Post article

Economic statistics show that incomes for the top 1 percent of U.S. households soared 31 percent from 2009 through 2012, after adjusting for inflation, yet inched up an average of 0.4 percent for those making less. Many economists are sounding alarms that the income gap, greater now than at any time since the Depression, is hurting the economy by limiting growth in consumer spending.

And income inequality has become such a hot topic that it has even produced a New York Times bestseller by a French economist named Thomas Piketty.  This is what CBS News recently had to say about his book…

His book has landed on that debate like a bomb. Piketty’s thesis: that the rate of return on capital, such as real estate, dividends and other financial assets, is racing away from the rate of growth required to maintain a healthy economy. If that trend continues for an extended period of time — if wealth becomes ever more concentrated in the hands of a few — then inequality is likely to get worse, says Piketty, 43, who started his academic career as an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and who now teaches at the Paris School of Economics.

Another reason “Capital” has caught the public’s attention is that inequality is evident in what are by now a host of familiar symptoms. Stagnant pay, except among the super-rich. Soaring health care and education costs. The diminished expectations commonly found in young, especially those lacking college degrees, and old alike, as retirement becomes something to endure rather than to enjoy.

It would be foolish to deny that the gap between the rich and the poor is growing.  Even as the stock market reaches unprecedented heights, the middle class is dying and one out of every five children in America is living in poverty.

On a global scale, the wealthiest one percent now have 65 times more wealth than the entire poorest half of the global population does.

That is an astounding figure.

Most people don’t realize this, but the ultra-wealthy have approximately 32 trillion dollars (that we know about) stashed in offshore banks around the planet.  That amount of money would almost be about enough to pay off the entire U.S. national debt and buy every good and service produced in the United States for an entire year.

Meanwhile, the poorest half of the world’s population only owns about 1 percent of all global wealth, and about a billion people throughout the world go to bed hungry every night.

If greed was going to save the world, it would have done it by now.  At this point, the wealthy have accumulated more wealth than they ever have before.  For example, according to Zero Hedge the total amount of wealth in the U.S. has just hit a brand new record high…

Earlier today the Fed released its latest Flow of Funds report, which showed that in the first quarter household net worth rose from last quarter’s $80.3 trillion to a new record high of $81.8 trillion, driven by a $1.5 trillion increase in total assets while household liabilities were virtually unchanged in the quarter. And since the Fed is onboarding all the liabilities why should households bother with debt: that’s what the central bank balance sheet is for.

As for the proceeds, they go to the mega rich: of the $81.8 trillion in net worth, 70.4% of the total amount or $67.2 trillion, was in financial assets: the higest it has ever been courtesy of just one person: Ben Bernanke, and to a far lesser extent Janet Yellen who however is tasked with picking up Bernanke’s pieces.

But of course most people who are rich are only rich on paper.

As noted above, 67.2 trillion dollars of the total of 81.8 trillion dollars of wealth in this nation is made up of financial assets.

So what happens if there is a major financial crisis (such as the derivatives bubble bursting) which causes the total amount of financial wealth in the United States to drop by 50% or more?

What would such an event do to our country?

We are so obsessed with wealth and money that it is truly frightening to think about how we would react as a society if it was taken away.

But this current financial bubble will not last forever.

At some point it will come to an end.

When it does, will our society throw a massive temper tantrum?

Black Friday: A Shameful Orgy Of Materialism For A Morally Bankrupt Nation

Black Friday It has been called “America’s most disturbing holiday”.  Black Friday is the day when millions of average Americans wait outside retail stores in the middle of the night in the freezing cold to spend more money that they do not have for more cheap Chinese-made products that they do not need.  It is a day when the rest of the world makes fun of Americans for behaving like “rabid animals” and “zombies” as we indulge in a tsunami of greed.  It truly is a shameful orgy of materialism for a morally bankrupt nation.  It is being projected that approximately 140 million Americans will participate in this disgusting national ritual this year.  Sadly, most of them have absolutely no idea that they are actively participating in the destruction of the economic infrastructure of the United States.  If you don’t understand why this is true, please be sure to read this entire article all the way to the end.

The amount of merchandise that is purchased on Black Friday is absolutely staggering.  For example, just consider how much stuff is sold at Wal-Mart alone

Wal-Mart said it recorded more than 10 million register transactions between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Thursday in its stores and nearly 400 million page views that day on walmart.com. It sold 2.8 million towels, 2 million televisions, 1.4 million tablets, 300,000 bicycles and 1.9 million dolls. Big-ticket electronics like big-screen TVs and new videogame consoles were among the top sellers.

But each and every year, Black Friday also seems to bring out the worst in many people, and this year was certainly no exception.  The following are just a few of the national headlines about the rioting and the violence that we witnessed…

-“Holiday shopping season kicks off with fights, arrests

-“Violence flares as shoppers slug it out for best Black Friday deals

-“Watch Screaming Mobs Fight Over Televisions At Wal-Mart

-“Two Arrested After Stabbing Over Parking Space At Wal-Mart

-“Rialto Walmart Thanksgiving brawl sends one police officer to hospital

-“Walmart Ejects Customer For Filming Violent ‘Black Thursday’ Mobs

-“Cops: Shoplifting suspect shot after dragging officer

And sometimes the violence extends out into the parking lots and into the surrounding neighborhoods.  In Las Vegas, a man that was carrying a big-screen television home from Target was shot in the leg…

According to police, a man purchased a big-screen television from the Target store near Flamingo Rd. and Maryland Pkwy. While he was walking to a nearby apartment complex, a man approached and fired a warning shot, causing the victim to drop the television, police said.

Officers tell 8 News NOW the gunman then took the television to a nearby car that was waiting, where a second man helped the gunman load the TV into the car.

The victim approached the two men and tried to get the television back. That prompted the gunman to fire several more rounds, shooting the victim in the leg.

Every year I go over to YouTube to check out the madness that breaks out on Black Friday night all over the nation.  Posted below is the best compilation video from Black Friday that I could find.  In particular, I love how this video compares American shoppers to zombies…

And there is one more video that I wanted to share with you.  In this video, activist Mark Dice dresses up like Santa Claus and mocks Black Friday shoppers for being “parasites” and for ruining Thanksgiving…

Meanwhile, as retail stores all over America actively encourage this zombie-like behavior, police are actually cracking down on other groups of Americans that are actively trying to make this country a better place.  For example, a Christian group in Lake Worth, Florida was kicked out of a public park for trying to feed the homeless on Thanksgiving.  Of course this kind of thing happens all the time.  In fact, dozens of major cities all over the country have now passed laws that make it illegal to feed the homeless.  For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “One Lawmaker Is Literally Smashing The Belongings Of The Homeless With A Sledgehammer“.

At the beginning of this article, I stated that those who go shopping on Black Friday “are actively participating in the destruction of the economic infrastructure of the United States”.

How could that possibly be?

Aren’t they helping the economy by spending their money?

Actually, it isn’t that simple.

Just think about it for a moment.  Where are most of the “advertised specials” that people go crazy over on Black Friday actually made?

If you guessed “China”, you would be correct.  In fact, it is very difficult to find any “Black Friday specials” that are actually made in the United States.

When you buy stuff made in China, you support workers and businesses in China.  As I mentioned in a recent article, the U.S. economy loses approximately 9,000 jobs for every 1 billion dollars of goods that are imported from overseas.

Overall, the U.S. has run a total trade deficit with the rest of the world of more than 8 trillion dollars since 1975.

So when you look around and see lots of unemployed people, it should not be a surprise to you.

Right now, the labor force participation rate is at a 35-year-low and more than 102 million working age Americans do not have a job.  That number has increased by 27 million just since the year 2000.

Because the American people are not supporting American businesses, our formerly great manufacturing cities are being transformed into rotting, festering hellholes.  Just take a look at Detroit.  At one time Detroit had the highest per capita income in the entire nation, but now it is a dying, bankrupt ghost town.

And of course this is happening to manufacturing cities all over the nation.  Since 2001, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. have permanently shut down and we have lost millions upon millions of good paying manufacturing jobs.

Back in the 1980s, more than 20 percent of the jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs.  Today, only about 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.

Good job America.  And the following are some more facts from one of my previous articles about how our massively bloated trade deficit is absolutely killing our economy…

-There are less Americans working in manufacturing today than there was in 1950 even though the population of the country has more than doubled since then.

-Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

-When NAFTA was pushed through Congress in 1993, the United States had a trade surplus with Mexico of 1.6 billion dollars.  By 2010, we had a trade deficit with Mexico of 61.6 billion dollars.

-Back in 1985, our trade deficit with China was approximately 6 million dollars (million with a little “m”) for the entire year.  In 2012, our trade deficit with China was 315 billion dollars.  That was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.

-According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.

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

Unfortunately, most Americans never stop to think about what happens when we buy stuff from China.

When we buy stuff from them, our money goes over there.

At this point, they are sitting on trillions of our dollars and they have purchased more than a trillion dollars of our debt.

Up until now, Chinese demand for our dollars has helped keep the value of the U.S. dollar artificially high.  This is one of the reasons why Wal-Mart can sell you those Chinese imports so inexpensively.

And up until now, Chinese demand for our debt has helped keep long-term interest rates artificially low.  So the U.S. government has been able to borrow money at ridiculously low interest rates and U.S. home buyers have been able to get mortgage rates that are well below the real rate of inflation.

But no irrational state of affairs ever lasts indefinitely, and the Chinese recently announced that they are going to quit stockpiling U.S. dollars.  Many analysts believe that this means that the Chinese will soon stop stockpiling U.S. debt as well.

So enjoy those super cheap “Black Friday specials” while they last.  That era is rapidly coming to an end.

Now that the Chinese have stolen tens of thousands of our businesses, millions of our jobs and trillions of our dollars, perhaps they feel that there is not much more looting to be done.  Our economic infrastructure has been essentially gutted at this point.  Moving forward, China can afford to let the value of the U.S. dollar fall and the value of their own currency rise because even Barack Obama admits that “those jobs are never coming back”.

And every single American that went shopping on Black Friday and bought Chinese-made goods actively participated in the ongoing destruction of the U.S. economy.

Good job America.  You are a nation that is utterly consumed by materialism and greed, and you don’t even realize that you are destroying yourself with your own foolishness.

Is America The Most Materialistic Society In The History Of The World?

When it comes to materialism, has any nation ever surpassed what we are seeing in the United States right now?  We define our lives by how much stuff we have, to a large degree our personal and business relationships are defined by how much money we make, and even most of the important dates on our calendar are all about materialism.  Just think about it.  We throw outrageous birthday parties for our kids and we shower them with gifts.  Most of our “holidays” have become highly materialistic, and the biggest holiday of all in our society, Christmas, is an absolute orgy of materialism.  We make lists of the “wealthiest Americans” and we glorify their achievements.  We spend most of our time either making money or spending it.  Even the phrase “the American Dream” reveals how materialistic we are.  When most people are asked what “the American Dream” is, they start talking about a house, a car, vacations, retirement, sending your kids to college, etc.  The American Dream has become all about money and stuff.  Sadly, no matter how big our homes are and no matter how many shiny new toys we accumulate, we never seem to be happy.  We always want more, and we always seem to be willing to go into more debt to get it.  We are the most materialistic society in the history of the world, and our endless greed is going to end up swallowing us alive.

When it comes to materialism in America, there are outrageous examples all around us, but one of my favorite examples is the “Rich Kids of Instagram“.  It is a Tumblr blog of photos from Instagram of young Americans showing off how they are enjoying the vast wealth of their parents.  The following is how the Washington Post describes the blog….

The controversial new Tumblr is a collection of snapshots from the photo-sharing site that depicts the children of wealth and privilege — summering in the Hamptons, lounging on yachts and posing by their luxury cars.

One does a back-flip out of a helicopter near St. Tropez. Others snap pictures of their restaurant bills — allegedly paying thousands of dollars for lobster, champagne and high-end liquor.

In the warm patina of the Instagram, the youngsters appear to be living over-the-top lifestyles — and enjoying every moment.

“Our everyday is better than your best day,” reads one caption, a bit tauntingly. And, “Do you have a horse in your backyard? Didn’t think so.”

But just because you have a horse on your property does that make your life better than the rest of our lives?

Of course not.

Wealth does not equal happiness.

Unfortunately, however, most Americans have totally bought into this lie.

Most Americans believe that more money equals a better life.

In response to “the Rich Kids of Instagram”, the Huffington Post recently put together a piece entitled “the Rich Cats of Instagram” that features photos of cats as they “model upscale accessories, lounge with bottles of champagne, sail on yachts and ponder life while relaxing atop piles of money.”

Of course a lot of those pictures are quite funny, but they also reveal a deep truth about our society.

We have spent our lives chasing after the almighty dollar thinking that it will make us happy.  Study after study has shown that we tend to link wealth and happiness.  The following is from a recent NBC News article about one of those studies….

Many parents already know older children can be materialistic. Some tweens not only want the latest games and clothes, but also think owning these things will bring them happiness, friends and popularity. And marketers are eager to get them to buy: Tweens spend $28 billion a year, not including the more than $200 billion their parents spend on them, according to market research company C+R Research.

But even though we have an incredibly high standard of living compared to most of the rest of the world, are most of us actually happy?

No way.  In fact, Americans take more anti-depressants than anyone else on the planet.

It is really easy to get caught up in materialism though.  Let me share an example from my own life.

Several months ago our old truck completely died.  Instead of pouring thousands of more dollars into fixing it, we decided that we would get another used truck.

So the other day I stopped by a dealership while my wife was grabbing some things from Home Depot.  The salesperson started showing me some of the used trucks on the lot, but after a while I suggested that he show me some of the new trucks that were sitting on the other side of the lot.

Before I knew it, I was sitting in the most expensive truck on the lot and he was showing me all of the cool features it had.

And I have to admit – for a few moments there I was really enamored with that truck.  It was the coolest truck that I had ever seen in my life.

Of course my wife and I don’t need a truck like that.  We only need to haul stuff around a few times a month.  And we certainly do not need the amount of debt that it would take to buy such a truck.

But for a few moments there I really wanted it.  The pull of materialism can be very strong.

So would that truck have “changed my life” or brought me lasting happiness?

Of course not.

It would have brought some thrills for the first couple of days, but after a while it would just be sitting in the garage taking up space just like any other truck would.

So did I end up buying a truck?

Not yet.  But we need one soon.  My wife has been without a truck for quite a few months now and she is getting impatient.

But whether we get a nice used truck or a used truck that has one foot in the grave, it really isn’t going to change our lives much.

In the end, our lives should not be defined by what we own or by how much money we have in the bank.

But how do we refer to ourselves in this day and age?

The American people are called “consumers” and the truth is that we consume far more than anyone else on the globe does.

Just look at our eating habits.  Of all the major industrialized nations, America is the most obese.

The next time you go into a store, take note of how many people are overweight.

It has not always been this way.  Back in 1962, only 13 percent of all Americans were obese.

But now overeating is a national sport.  At this point, approximately 36 percent of all Americans are obese, and it is being projected that number will rise to 42 percent by 2030.

While we are gorging ourselves with food, what else do we like to do?

That’s right – we love to watch television.  In fact, the average American watches 28 hours of television every single week.

We have become completely and totally addicted to entertainment, and we have become trained to be constantly “plugged in” to something.

Our lives have become all about constantly feeding our greed and our selfishness.  In fact, that is a major reason for the breakdown of the family in America.  We tend to view marriage as a temporary condition that can be quickly discarded when it no longer makes us happy.

Sadly, the United States has the highest divorce rate in the world by a very wide margin at this point.

In addition, more Americans than ever are putting off marriage these days.  Young Americans are being told that “an education” and “a career” are more important.  According to the Pew Research Center, only 51 percent of all American adults are currently married.  Back in 1960, 72 percent of all adults in America were married.

As a result of these factors, we are an incredibly lonely nation.  Today, the United States has the highest percentage of one person households on the entire globe.

In order to fill the void, the American people turn to things that will numb the pain.  American use more legal drugs than anyone else on the planet and they also use more illegal drugs than anyone else on the planet.

We have more “stuff” than any other society in the history of the world has ever had, but it has not made us happy.

And how did we pay for all of this?

We paid for a lot of this with debt.  In fact, we have accumulated the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world.

During my lifetime, the debt of the U.S. government has gotten more than 30 times larger.  For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “27 Things That Every American Should Know About The National Debt“.

But the federal government is not the only one with a debt problem.  The truth is that our entire society is absolutely drowning in debt.

Over the past 50 years, the total amount of debt in the U.S. has grown from less than a trillion dollars to nearly 55 trillion dollars….

We have used massive amounts of debt in an attempt to feed our endless greed and materialism and we have gotten ourselves into a whole lot of trouble.

This is one of the reasons why I write.  I want people to understand how bad things have really gotten.

Thanks to our foolishness, our economy has been declining, it is going to continue to decline, and a massive economic collapse is coming.

Some people believe that this is a message of “doom and gloom”, but that is not the case at all.

Sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that somehow everything is going to be just fine is not going to do anyone any good.

Instead, I believe that warning people about the coming economic collapse is a message of hope.

There is hope in understanding what is happening, developing a plan to deal with it, and preparing yourself and your family for the storm that is coming.

It is the people that are ignoring all of the warnings that are going to be in real trouble.

Millions upon millions of people will be absolutely blindsided by what is coming.  Many will give in to total despair once they realize that their prosperity is gone and they have done nothing to prepare for what they are now facing.

My hope is that the information that I write about will be shocking enough that it will wake people up and motivate them to get prepared so that they can handle the incredibly challenging years that are ahead.

And the truth is that our lives should not be about our money and our stuff anyway.

Your possessions are just temporary.  None of them are going to last forever and you certainly cannot take them with you when you die.

Even though our economy has had some rough times, we still have a higher standard of living than 99 percent of the humans that have ever lived on this planet have had.

You would think that would be enough for us.

But it isn’t.  We have hoarded our wealth and we have lived in luxury and self-indulgence.

When our debt-fueled prosperity disappears, most Americans are not going to know how to handle it.

Most Americans will believe that their lives are “over” at that point.

But those that are not caught up in materialism and that have prepared for what is ahead will understand that the next chapters of their lives can be the greatest chapters of all.

Madness: 39 Things That Are Driving Ordinary Americans Absolutely Crazy

Have you noticed that almost everyone seems really angry these days?  Frustration with the government and with most of the other major institutions in our society seems to grow by the day.  According to a brand new ABC News/Washington Post poll, 80 percent of Americans say that they are either dissatisfied or angry with the government.  Americans are deeply divided about what the solutions to our problems are, but what almost everyone can agree on is that our problems are getting worse.  Watching all of the madness that is going on in Washington D.C. and in our state capitals is almost enough to drive anyone absolutely crazy.  Our nation is drowning in an ocean of debt, jobs are being shipped overseas at an alarming rate, thousands of stores are closing, poverty is exploding, greed has become a national pastime and corruption is seemingly everywhere.  The American people are incredibly frustrated because the vast majority of our “leaders” appear to be too incompetent or too corrupt to deal with our problems.

If you visit just about any website on the Internet that deals with politics or the economy and spend some time reading the comments that people leave you will quickly see how angry people are becoming.  A lot of times people have no other outlets for the intense frustration that they are feeling and so they just let it all come out online.  Yes, Americans have always complained about the government, but the madness that we are seeing today is really unprecedented in modern U.S. history.  Something has fundamentally changed.

The U.S. government and most of our other major societal institutions are rapidly losing the faith of the American people.  But society cannot function without trust.

So what is going to happen once all of the trust is gone?

The following are 39 things that are driving ordinary Americans absolutely crazy right now….

#1 According to Newsweek, close to one out of every five American men between the ages of 25 and 54 does not have a job at the moment.  So why is the “greatest economy on earth” unable to provide jobs for nearly 20 percent of the men that are in their prime working years?

#2 Last year, over a million homes were repossessed by financial institutions.  This year a similar number of repossessions is expected.  Sometimes these evictions are absolutely heartbreaking.  Just check out the following excerpt from a recent Newsweek article….

To understand American anger, that roiling storm sometimes dubbed our national “mood,” spend a day with Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. Since 2006 the unlikely lawman—a tea drinker who listens to Bobby Kennedy speeches on his way to work—has overseen all foreclosures and evictions in the Chicago area, one of the hardest hit nationwide. The process does not always go well. One evictee shot himself in the head, remained conscious, and calmly tried to raise the pistol again as deputies battered the front door.

#3 Companies like Netflix and Chipotle are significantly raising prices.  Meanwhile, Ben Bernanke claims that there is hardly any inflation.  He must not go grocery shopping much.

#4 The government keeps telling us that the economy is improving, and yet more stores keep closing.  The Gap has announced that up to 200 stores will be closed over the next two years.  Perkins has announced that they will be closing 58 restaurants.  Borders has announced that they will be shutting down their remaining 399 stores and that 10,700 employees will lose their jobs.  Yes, the economy is really buzzing right now.

#5 Government services all over the nation are being cut back.  An atmosphere of austerity has descended on the entire country.  For example, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says that we may soon have to say goodbye to Saturday mail delivery.

#6 Many broke public school systems are now charging parents lots of money for things that used to be free.  The Wall Street Journal says that one family in Ohio has to shell out over $4,000 a year for basic school activities….

Budget shortfalls have prompted Medina Senior High to impose fees on students who enroll in many academic classes and extracurricular activities. The Dombis had to pay to register their children for basic courses such as Spanish I and Earth Sciences, to get them into graded electives such as band, and to allow them to run cross-country and track. The family’s total tab for a year of public education: $4,446.50.

#7 The Federal Reserve gets to give out tens of billions of dollars of nearly interest-free loans to their bankster friends while tens of millions of American families desperately try to survive an economic downturn that was caused by those same banksters.

#8 We have gotten ourselves into a position where we are in so much debt to China that we have to constantly be concerned about how they feel about our financial status.  Earlier this week, one top Chinese official urged the U.S. government to do something to boost confidence in the U.S. dollar and in U.S. government debt….

“We hope the U.S. government will take responsible policies and measures to boost global financial market confidence and respect and protect the interests of investors.”

#9 The national debt continues to spiral out of control and our politicians seem unwilling to do anything serious about it.  If you combine all sources of income, it is estimated that LeBron James makes about 42 million dollars a year.  If he continued to make money at that rate, it would take him 23,809 years to make a trillion dollars.  Yet our politicians see no problem with running trillion dollar deficits year after year.

#10 Unless our politicians do something dramatic, the federal government is headed straight toward financial hell.  It is being projected that the U.S. national debt will hit 344% of GDP by the year 2050 if we continue on our current course.

#11 It is not just the federal government that is broke.  Right now, there are a lot of state and local governments that are teetering on the brink of financial disaster.  Moody’s has announced that it will be reviewing, and possibly downgrading, the credit ratings of Maryland, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.  The city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is such a financial mess that nobody really has any idea how to fix their problems.

#12 All over the United States, highways, water treatment plants, libraries, parking meters, airports and power plants are being sold off (much of the time to foreigners) in order to plug short-term holes in state and local budgets.

#13 The combination of federal government spending, state government spending and local government spending now accounts for a larger share of U.S. GDP than at any other time in our history.

#14 Police all over America have been shutting down lemonade stands run by little children.  At least one police chief in Wisconsin was good enough to apologize when it happened in his area.  It is too bad that there aren’t more police out there that have a little common sense.

#15 The U.S. housing crash shows no signs of abating.  Real estate construction is absolutely dead.  In fact, right now we are on track for the lowest number of total housing completions that the U.S. government has ever recorded in a single year.

#16 In June, sales of previously-owned homes in the United States declined to a seven month low.  Without good jobs, the American people cannot afford to buy homes.  Many of those that do have good incomes are being turned down by mortgage lenders.

#17 The supply of existing homes for sale continues to go up.  That means that it is going to get even harder for average Americans to sell their homes.

#18 The value of U.S. homes has fallen by a total of approximately 6.6 trillion dollars since the peak of the housing market.

#19 It isn’t just banks that are kicking people out of their homes.  All over the country, homeowners’ associations are aggressively using their powers to boot American families out on to the streets.

#20 Instead of being used by families, all over the country thousands of foreclosed homes are rapidly filling up with mold.

#21 Really bizarre thefts are being reported all over the United States right now.  For example, it was just reported that some crooks in Pennsylvania ripped up and hauled away about 100,000 pounds of train track.

#22 Authorities continue to insist that violent crime is going down, and yet the number of police officers killed by gunfire is on pace to easily set another all-time record for the second year in a row.

#23 One recent study found that approximately 47 percent of all meat and poultry in the United States “is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant Staph“.

#24 The health insurance companies keep jacking up rates on all of us, and yet they also continue to report record breaking profits.

#25 The Obama administration is now using “mystery shoppers” to spy on doctors.  The following is from a report in the New York Times….

Alarmed by a shortage of primary care doctors, Obama administration officials are recruiting a team of “mystery shoppers” to pose as patients, call doctors’ offices and request appointments to see how difficult it is for people to get care when they need it.

#26 Corruption appears to be rampant on every level of American society today.  For example, one NYU professor recently discovered that 20 percent of his students were blatantly cheating on assignments.

#27 Thanks to insane tax loopholes, a substantial percentage of the billions of dollars of income that hedge fund managers make is only taxed at a maximum rate of 15 percent.  Meanwhile, middle class American families are being absolutely hammered with taxes.

#28 The “too big to fail” banks now control 77 percent of all of the banking assets in the country.

#29 In 2010, the United States had the worst current account balance in the world.  The U.S. had a current account balance of negative 561 billion dollars for 2010.  No other nation had a negative current account balance that even exceeded 70 billion dollars.  The amount of wealth leaving our country and being transferred to the rest of the world is absolutely mind blowing.

#30 One recent poll found that 72 percent of Americans believe that we are involved in too many wars.  But the Obama administration seems to think that we should be “the police of the world” and they just keep getting the U.S. military involved in more conflicts.

#31 Startling revelations are starting to come out about a scandal so big that it could shake up Washington D.C. for years to come.  Apparently, ATF agents were ordered to get thousands of guns into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels and they were also apparently ordered not to follow those guns to see where they ended up.

#32 The top 5 percent of all income earners in America account for almost as much consumer spending as the bottom 80 percent of all income earners.

#33 The number of Americans that are going to food pantries and soup kitchens has increased by 46% since 2006.  But instead of being treated with kindness, many communities are treating the growing ranks of the poor as “outcasts” or criminals.

#34 Despite the promises of our politicians, globalism is absolutely shredding the American economy.  According to Forbes, the United States has been losing an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

#35 There are no signs that our rampant unemployment problem is going to end any time soon.  In fact, right now it takes the average unemployed worker about 40 weeks to find a new job.

#36 The vast majority of U.S. consumers are tapped out at this point.  Just consider the following quote from the New York Times….

The auto industry is on pace to sell 28 percent fewer new vehicles this year than it did 10 years ago — and 10 years ago was 2001, when the country was in recession. Sales of ovens and stoves are on pace to be at their lowest level since 1992. Home sales over the past year have fallen back to their lowest point since the crisis began.

#37 Right now in Congress there is a proposal to change the way that inflation is calculated.  According to The Senior Citizens League, this change would cause the average retiree to lose out on $18,000 in Social Security benefits over a 25 year period.

#38 Our tax system is fundamentally unjust.  Just look at the example of General Electric.  G.E. is a favorite of the Obama administration and somehow they get away with not paying taxes year after year. Just check out what the New York Times claims G.E. got away with in 2010….

The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.

Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

#39 The TSA continues to abuse U.S. travelers in some of the most bizarre ways imaginable.  For example, one 95-year-old grandmother in a wheelchair that is dying from cancer was asked to remove her adult diaper so that TSA “officials” could feel her up properly.  In what kind of a society does this type of thing go on?

No wonder the American people are losing faith.  It is hard to keep believing when you see rampant corruption and decay everywhere you look.

But mostly, the American people want to be able to take care of their families.

The American people are not going to start feeling better about things until there are plenty of good jobs to go around.  If people cannot pay their mortgages and provide for their families then they are not going to be content no matter what our politicians tell them.

Unfortunately, the “new normal” is going to be a lot different from what the “old normal” was.  The United States is a declining power.  Every month our nation is bleeding more jobs, more factories and more wealth.  Every month our debt problems on the federal, state and local levels get even worse.  We have been living far beyond our means for decades, and we are rapidly getting to the point where that simply will not be possible anymore.

The long-term trends that have gotten us to this point have taken decades to develop.  There is no “quick fix” that some politician is going to bring in that is going to create some kind of miracle.

We are now starting to pay the price for decades of bad decisions.  As the consequences of our decisions become more apparent, the American people are going to get angrier and angrier.

Unless something very dramatic happens, we are heading for a very ugly chapter in American history.

Let us hope for the best, but let us also prepare for the worst.

65 Ways That Everything That You Think That You Own Is Being Systematically Taken Away From You

Everything that you own is slowly being taken away from you.  It is being done purposely and it is being done by design.  Many Americans like to think of themselves as “well off”, but as will be demonstrated below, we don’t “own” nearly as much as we think that we do.  The truth is that most of us have to frantically run around accumulating wealth as rapidly as we can so that we can somehow stay ahead of the rate that wealth is being taken away from us.  The entire system is designed to take what you have away from you.  There are many ways that this is accomplished – taxation, inflation, debt, interest, fines, fees, tickets, government seizures and good old-fashioned corporate greed.  If you tried to just sit back and do nothing but hold on to the wealth that you already have you would find out that it would disappear rather quickly.  When you take the time to really analyze our system the conclusion is undeniable – everything that you think that you own is being systematically taken away from you.

There is a reason why the wealthiest one percent of all Americans control 40 percent of all the wealth in the United States.  The system is designed to funnel all of the wealth to them and to the government.  Average Americans are experiencing a declining standard of living and it is not by accident.

Just check out some of the ways that our wealth is being taken from us….

#1 Do you think that you own your house?  You might want to think again.  Most Americans that “own a home” are paying a mortgage.  If you stop paying that mortgage you will lose that home.  Over a million American families were kicked out of their homes last year.  This year a million more American families will get the boot.

But when those families get booted out onto the street they don’t get their down payments back.  They don’t get all the mortgage payments that they have made back.  The banks get to keep all of the money and all of the houses.

Perhaps you don’t have a mortgage.  Does that mean that you “own your home”?

No, not really.  Just refuse to pay your property taxes and watch what happens.  At best you can say that you have the right to rent your home from the government.

In any event, the reality is that the banks now own more of “our homes” than we do.  During the most recent recession, the total amount of U.S. home equity owned by the banks surpassed the total amount of U.S. home equity owned by the rest of us for the first time ever.

Things used to be far different in this country.  Once upon a time American families owned most of the houses and most of the land in this nation.

But now the banks own most of it.  Sadly, most American families that believe that they “own homes” are actually enslaved to 20 or 30 year debt contracts.

#2 Do you think that you own your car?  You don’t own it if you are still making payments on it.  If you stop making payments you will rapidly lose that car.

But even if your car is paid off, you can only operate that car if you do the following….

*You must pay the license fee

*You must pay the car registration fee

*You must pay the emissions inspection fee

*You must pay the property taxes on that car (if that applies in your area)

*You must pay the tire taxes

*You must pay the gas taxes

If you have paid all of those taxes, then you are permitted to drive only where the government allows you to drive and only under the rules that the government sets for you.

But at least you “own” your car, right?

#3 What about your possessions?  Do you own them?

Well, yes, you probably own some possessions.

But that doesn’t mean that they are not enslaving you.

After all, did you use a credit card to pay for any of them?

If so, you could end up paying much more for your possessions than you originally thought that they cost.

For example, if you only make the minimum payment on your credit card each month, a $6,000 credit card bill could end up costing you over $30,000 (depending on the interest rate).

#4 Do you own your education?  Well, it is undeniable that nobody can ever take it away from you.  But if you took out student loans that debt may end up enslaving you for decades.

The borrower is the servant of the lender and student loan debt is more of a financial drain on Americans than ever before.  Americans now owe more on student loans than they do on credit cards.  As hard as that is to believe, that is actually true.  Americans now owe more than $903 billion on student loans, which is a new all-time record.

#5 Will you protect your wealth if you put your money in the bank?

No, in fact your wealth will be systematically destroyed in the bank.

Inflation is a hidden tax on every single dollar that you own.  It destroys the value of all dollars in existence.  There are some Americans that have been saving money for decades, but those savings are being taxed into oblivion by inflation.  Many experts are now projecting that the average price of a gallon of gasoline will hit $5 by the end of the year.  So the next time you go to the gas pump just take a moment to think about how your wealth is being drained away by inflation.

#6 Insurance costs continue to soar.  After insuring everything in our lives many of us barely have any money left over to actually live our lives with.  In particular, health insurance premiums have become completely and totally ridiculous.  According to the Los Angeles Times, Blue Shield of California plans to raise rates an average of 30% to 35%, and some individual policy holders could see their health insurance premiums rise by a whopping 59 percent this year alone.  So how are American families supposed to survive if they keep on handing over bigger and bigger chunks of their income to the health care industry?

#7 State and local governments all over the nation have turned to ticket writing as a primary revenue source.  In fact, in some areas of the country traffic citations are soaring at a crazy rate.  For example, 110,000 more traffic citations were written in Los Angeles County last fiscal year than were written in the fiscal year immediately prior to the last recession.

The truth is that the police even realize what is going on.  Just consider the following quote from from Police Chief Michael Reaves of Utica, Michigan….

“When I first started in this job 30 years ago, police work was never about revenue enhancement, but if you’re a chief now, you have to look at whether your department produces revenues.”

#8 Some states have decided to simply confiscate wealth even if nothing has been done wrong.  For example, the state of California is aggressively seizing “unclaimed” safe deposit boxes.  If you have a safe deposit box that you have not checked on in a while you might want to make sure that it is still there.

#9 You might end up losing your valuables when you cross the border.  It is being reported that U.S. border agents are now regularly seizing laptops and other electronic devices as people cross the border.  In many cases those items are never returned.

#10 If you don’t pay your property taxes, you will lose your house and it will likely be a big Wall Street bank that will be taking it from you.  As I have written about previously, the big Wall Street banks are buying up thousands upon thousands of tax liens and are making a killing by socking distressed homeowners with predatory interest, outrageous penalties and almost unbelievable legal fees.

#11 Of course the biggest way that our wealth is being drained is through federal income taxes.  The reason that the Federal Reserve and the IRS were established back in 1913 was to redistribute wealth.  Wealth is transferred from the American people to the U.S. government and then ultimately to the elite and to the causes that the elite favor.

But federal taxes are only one of the taxes that we pay.  The truth is that the average American pays dozens of different taxes each year.  Just check out a few examples of the different taxes that drain our wealth….

#12 Accounts Receivable Taxes

#13 Building Permit Taxes

#14 Capital Gains Taxes

#15 CDL License Taxes

#16 Cigarette Taxes

#17 Corporate Income Taxes

#18 Court Fines (indirect taxes)

#19 Dog License Taxes

#20 Federal Unemployment Taxes (FUTA)

#21 Fishing License Taxes

#22 Food License Taxes

#23 Gasoline Taxes

#24 Gift Taxes

#25 Hunting License Taxes

#26 Inheritance Taxes

#27 Inventory Taxes

#28 IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)

#29 IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)

#30 Liquor Taxes

#31 Local Income Taxes

#32 Luxury Taxes

#33 Marriage License Taxes

#34 Medicare Taxes

#35 Payroll Taxes

#36 Property Taxes

#37 Real Estate Taxes

#38 Recreational Vehicle Taxes

#39 Road Toll Booth Taxes

#40 Road Usage Taxes (Truckers)

#41 Sales Taxes

#42 Self-Employment Taxes

#43 School Taxes

#44 Septic Permit Taxes

#45 Service Charge Taxes

#46 Social Security Taxes

#47 State Income Taxes

#48 State Unemployment Taxes (SUTA)

#49 Telephone federal excise taxes

#50 Telephone federal universal service fee taxes

#51 Telephone federal, state and local surcharge taxes

#52 Telephone minimum usage surcharge taxes

#53 Telephone recurring and non-recurring taxes

#54 Telephone state and local taxes

#55 Telephone usage charge taxes

#56 Toll Bridge Taxes

#57 Toll Tunnel Taxes

#58 Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)

#59 Trailer Registration Taxes

#60 Utility Taxes

#61 Vehicle License Registration Taxes

#62 Vehicle Sales Taxes

#63 Watercraft Registration Taxes

#64 Well Permit Taxes

#65 Workers Compensation Taxes

Even the future is being taken away from us.  The future is literally being stolen from our children and our grandchildren.  They will be inheriting the 14 trillion dollar (and still rising) national debt that we have accumulated.  What we have done to future generations is unthinkable, and yet we continue to endlessly borrow more money.  The Congressional Research Service estimates that the U.S. government will need to borrow $738 billion between April 1st and September 30th.  Faith in U.S. Treasuries is falling so rapidly that now the biggest bond fund in the world, PIMCO, is actually shorting U.S. Treasuries.

When you base an entire economy on debt, eventually you end up with money problems that never seem to end.  As a nation we are now enslaved to a vicious spiral of debt that is going to destroy everything that our forefathers worked so hard to build.

As the debt loads of our federal, state and local governments become even more burdensome, they are going to want even more money from us.  For decades we gave in to new tax after new tax thinking that it would finally satisfy them.  But it never seems to be enough.  They always want more.

It is the same thing with the banksters.  They are never satisfied either.  They always want more assets and they always want more Americans to be enslaved to debt.

Unfortunately, most Americans are so caught up in the “rat race” that they never take much time to think about who designed the race or why they are running it.

Hopefully more Americans will wake up and will realize that our entire economy and our entire financial system need to be reformed.  Our current system is inherently flawed and it will eventually impoverish the vast majority of us if we allow it to.

Water Shortage!

Ever since the beginning of this nation, Americans have always been able to take for granted that there would always be plenty of fresh water.  But unfortunately that is rapidly changing.  Due to pollution, corruption, inefficiency and the never ending greed of the global elite, the United States (and the entire world) is heading for a very serious water shortage.  Already, there are some areas of the United States where water is the number one local political issue.  In fact, water is becoming so scarce in certain areas that some states are actually battling in court over it.  Unfortunately, there is every indication that the worldwide water crisis is about to get a lot worse. 

According to a new report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council, more than one-third of all counties in the lower 48 states will likely be facing very serious water shortages by 2050.  That is just 40 years away.  As water becomes more scarce and as big global corporations lock up available supplies, the price of water is almost certainly going to skyrocket.  This will put even more economic pressure on average Americans.

And Americans certainly do use a lot of water.  According to CBS News, the average American uses 150 gallons of water per day, while residents of the U.K. only use 40 gallons per day and residents of China use just 22 gallons per day.

In fact, a five minute shower by an American uses more water than a typical person living in poverty in a developing country uses in an entire day.

For hundreds of years, North America has been blessed with an overabundance of fresh water, but those supplies are quickly running dry.

In fact, there are some scientists who are now wondering if we might actually see a return of the “Dust Bowl” days.  The Ogallala Aquifer, a massive underground lake that stretches from southern South Dakota to northern Texas, is being drained at a staggering pace, and that means that the Great Plains could soon turn into the Great American Desert. 

If the breadbasket of America were to dry up, what would that mean for the future of this nation?

But it is not just the Great Plains that is on the verge of a major water crisis.

The following is an excerpt from an article that I authored recently for another website….

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*The number of states facing a water crisis is now far greater than the number of states without one.  In fact, a total of 36 states face severe water shortages in the next three years.

*A federal judge recently ruled that Georgia has few legal rights to Lake Lanier – the main water supply for Atlanta.  With 2 million more residents expected to move into Atlanta over the next couple of decades, officials there are scrambling to try to figure out how in the world everyone is going to be able to have enough water.

*In Texas, farmers and ranchers were absolutely devastated in 2009 as the ongoing drought cost the agricultural sector billions of dollars.

*Every single day Arizona and parts of New Mexico use 300 million gallons more water than they get in renewable supply.

*Lake Mead is the primary supply of water for the city of Las Vegas.  But since 1998, Lake Mead’s capacity has plunged by more than 50 percent– down 5.6 trillion gallons.  Nobody is quite sure how Las Vegas is going to continue to have enough water.

*The water crisis became so serious in California this past year that Barack Obama actually requested that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger call state lawmakers into a special session just to deal with the situation.

*Other states are so concerned about the national water crisis that they are determined to hold on to the supplies that they have.  In fact, 8 states surrounding the Great Lakes have signed a pact banning the export of water to outsiders – even to other U.S. states.

—–

The truth is that fresh water is very rapidly becoming one of the most valuable commodities in the world.  All over the globe, big global corporations are gobbling up water rights as fast as they can.

Why?

Well, the truth is that the world is on the verge of a water shortage of unprecedented magnitude….

*Worldwide demand for fresh water tripled during the last century, and is now doubling every 21 years.

*According to USAID, one-third of all humans will face severe or chronic water shortages by the year 2025.

*Of the 60 million people added to the world’s cities every year, the vast majority of them live in impoverished slums and shanty-towns with no sanitation facilities whatsoever.

*It is estimated that 75 percent of India’s surface water is now contaminated by human and agricultural waste.   

*Not only that, but according to a UN study on sanitation, far more people in India have access to a mobile phone than to a toilet.

*In northern China, the water table is dropping one meter per year due to overpumping.

*But there are few places where the water shortage is as severe as it is in the Middle East.  Saudi Arabia had been producing enough wheat to be self-sufficient for most of the past 30 years, but in 2008 authorities there realized that the non-replenishable aquifer they had been pumping for irrigation purposes was nearly depleted.  So in response Saudi Arabia made the decision to reduce their wheat harvest by one-eighth every year thereafter.  Wheat production in Saudi Arabia is scheduled to cease entirely in 2016

The truth is that it would be very difficult to understate just how bad the world water crisis is becoming.

The following is a list of mind blowing facts about the world’s water crisis that respected water expert Maude Barlow shares during her presentations….

-Every eight seconds a child dies from drinking dirty water.

-A new desert the size of Rhode Island is created in China because of drought every single year.

-In the developing world, 90% of waste water is discharged completely untreated into local rivers.

-By the year 2050, 1.7 billion people will live in “dire water poverty” and will be forced to relocate.

-Half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by people who have contracted waterborne diseases.

-The World Health Organization says contaminated water is the cause of 80% of all sickness and disease worldwide.

-In China, 80% of the major rivers are so polluted they don’t support aquatic life at all.

-The women of South Africa collectively walk the equivalent distance to the moon and back 16 times a day for water.

Without fresh water we cannot live, and global supplies are rapidly being depleted.

Meanwhile, the global elite are running around and are gobbling up the rights to as much of the water around the world as they can.

When you put all the facts above together, it all adds up to one very troubling picture.

Right now it is more imperative than ever to make certain that you and your family have a reliable source of clean water for the times that are coming.  Clean, fresh water is something that none of us can take for granted any longer. 

So what do you think of the coming global water shortage?  Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion….

The Extreme Frustration Of Unemployed Americans

When Barack Obama visited Buffalo recently, he was greeted by a billboard advertisement with a very pointed message about unemployment.  In just a few words it summarized the frustrations of an entire region.  The billboard along I-190 had this very simple message for Obama: “Dear Mr. President, I need a freakin job. Period. Sincerely, inafj.org.”  As word about this billboard got out, it quickly made headlines all over the United States.  Why?  Well, the truth is that millions of hard working Americans are extremely frustrated about their lack of work right now.  When you don’t have a job and you can’t provide for your family, very little else seems to matter.  In fact, according to a recent Gallup poll, unemployment is now the second most important issue to American voters.  The number one issue is the economy.

The reality is that the American people don’t want excuses.

They want jobs.

And some are getting so desperate that they are even putting up billboards to express their frustrations.

So who sponsored the billboard in Buffalo?

Well, it was actually sponsored by a group organized by Buffalo businessman Jeff Baker.  It turns out that Baker lost his own small business 15 months ago.  His business had employed 25 people, and when he was forced to close it he described it as “the most heartbreaking situation” of his entire life.

Baker’s group, INAFJ (“I Need A Freakin Job”), says that they are not about playing politics.  What they want is only one thing.

Jobs.

They want someone to put the American people back to work.  Baker recently explained it this way….

“Nothing else matters unless the American people are working.”

In some areas of the United States, the situation is beyond desperate.  Detroit is a great example of this.  Not only does the city resemble a war zone at this point, but Detroit’s mayor says that the unemployment rate in his city is somewhere around 50 percent.

So how in the world is a major city supposed to function when 40 to 50 percent of the people living there can’t get the work that they need?

The sad thing is that Detroit used to be one of the most prosperous areas in the United States.  Once upon a time, the auto industry was booming and there were lots of great jobs available for blue collar workers.

But that all seems so far away now.

For decades, the politicians in Washington D.C. have allowed (or even encouraged) the offshoring of our manufacturing jobs, and now we are a nation with a dwindling manufacturing base that is rapidly bleeding cash.

In fact, the U.S. trade deficit widened for the second consecutive month in March to its highest level since December 2008.  Every single month we buy much more from the rest of the world than they buy from us.  That means that wealth is constantly flowing out of this nation, and no end to the bleeding is in sight.

The truth is that America’s twin deficits (the trade deficit and the massive U.S. government budget deficit) are absolutely destroying the financial condition of this nation.  For years and years economists have warned that these deficits would bring about a day of reckoning at some point, and now that day is here.

We are told by the media that we have entered an economic recovery, but with tens of millions of Americans not able to get the work that they need, most people are not convinced.  In fact, a new poll shows that 76 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. economy is still in a recession.

But this is nothing compared to what is coming.

The truth is that the United States is rapidly becoming a service economy.  Service jobs pay less than manufacturing jobs do, and the rapid advance of technology in recent decades has made human labor increasingly unnecessary.

That means that the “system” does not need our labor as much as it once did.

This is leading to a situation where there is a widening gap between the “haves” and the “have nots”.  In fact, the bottom 40 percent of those living in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.

But not everyone has been hurting during this financial crisis.

Did you know that the number of millionaires in the United States rose 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009?

Not only that, but an analysis of income-tax data by the Congressional Budget Office a few years ago found that the top 1% of households in the United States own nearly twice as much of the corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.

The elite are getting richer, while at the same time tens of millions of other Americans are finding it increasingly more difficult to survive.

That is why groups like INAFJ are becoming so popular.  They are tapping into the frustration of the growing number of Americans who are desperately trying to make it from month to month.  The following is a short video that INAFJ posted on YouTube about their organization….

So do have a story of economic frustration that you would like to share with the world?

Have you found yourself working harder and harder for less and less?

Does it seem like you come up short at the end of every month no matter how hard you try?

If you have a story, we would love to share it with our readers.  Please feel free to post your tale of economic frustration in the comments section below….