Did you know that when you take the number of working age Americans that are officially unemployed (8.2 million) and add that number to the number of working age Americans that are considered to be “not in the labor force” (94.3 million), that gives us a grand total of 102.5 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now? I have written about this before, but today I want to focus just on Americans that are in their prime working years. When you look at only Americans that are from age 25 to age 54, 23.2 percent of them are unemployed right now. The following analysis and chart come from the Weekly Standard…
Here’s a chart showing those in that age group currently employed (95.6 million) and those who aren’t (28.9 million):
“There are 124.5 million Americans in their prime working years (ages 25–54). Nearly one-quarter of this group—28.9 million people, or 23.2 percent of the total—is not currently employed. They either became so discouraged that they left the labor force entirely, or they are in the labor force but unemployed. This group of non-employed individuals is more than 3.5 million larger than before the recession began in 2007,” writes the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee.
Clearly, we have never recovered from the impact of the last recession.
But let’s try to put these numbers in context.
Below, I would like to share two charts with you. They show what has happened to the inactivity rates for men and for women in their prime working years in the United States in recent years.
In order to be considered “inactive”, you can’t have a job and you can’t be looking for a job. So this subset of people is smaller than the group that we were talking about above. The 23.2 percent of Americans in their prime working years that are unemployed right now includes those that are looking for a job and those that are not looking for a job.
These next two charts do not include anyone that has a job or that is currently looking for a job. These charts only cover “inactive” people in their prime working years that are not considered to be in the labor force.
As you can see in this first chart, the inactivity rate for men in their prime working years exploded higher during the last recession and then continued to go up even after the recession supposedly ended. At this point, it is hovering near all-time record highs. Does this look like an “economic recovery” to you?…
For women, we see a similar thing. In this next chart, you can see that the inactivity rate for women in their prime working years rose during the last recession and then just kept on rising. At this point, it remains far higher than it was during the last recession…
What are we to make of all this?
For both men and women in their prime working years, the inactivity rate is significantly higher than it was during the last recession.
All of these people neither have a job nor are they looking for one.
So what in the world is going on here?
Are they independently wealthy?
Have these people found rich spouses to marry so they don’t have to work?
No, the truth is that the middle class in America is steadily eroding and poverty is absolutely exploding. Credit card debt has soared to a new record high, and 48 percent of all U.S. adults under the age of 30 believe that “the American Dream is dead”.
The issue isn’t that people don’t want to work.
The issue is that people cannot find enough work.
And even if you have a job, that does not mean that you are on easy street. According to the Social Security Administration, 51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.
Tens of millions of Americans are now among the ranks of “the working poor”. So many families are watching their expenses soar while their paychecks go down or stagnate. If you are in this situation right now, then you probably know how exceedingly stressful it can be.
Just look at what is happening to the cost of health insurance. The following comes from Fox News…
Health insurance premiums have increased faster than wages and inflation in recent years, rising an average of 28 percent from 2009 to 2014 despite the enactment of Obamacare, according to a report from Freedom Partners.
And I am not exactly sure where they got those numbers. Personally, I know that my health insurance rates have gone up far faster than that.
Two years ago, my health insurance company wanted to double the health insurance premiums for my family even though we never get sick. So I switched to another insurance company that offered a policy that was only about 30 percent higher than my last one. But then when it came time to renew, that insurance company wanted to raise my rate by another 50 percent.
Thanks to Obamacare, American families are being absolutely crippled by the cost of health care. And of course we are seeing the rising cost of living so many other places as well. Our paychecks are being squeezed harder and harder, and this is absolutely killing the middle class. In fact, the middle class in America is now a minority for the first time ever.
And now for the real bad news – this is about as good as things are ever going to get in this country. As you can see from what I have shared above, we never really had any sort of meaningful “economic recovery”, and now we have entered the early phases of the next major downturn.
So where do we go from here? Unfortunately, our debt-fueled prosperity has provided us with a massively inflated standard of living that is not even close to sustainable. As this bubble bursts, the economic pain is going to be absolutely unprecedented.
But it won’t be just economic pain that we are facing. In my new book, I detail the things that I believe that are coming to this country, and I explain why the entire planet will soon be facing incredibly challenging times. It is going to be one of the most controversial Christian books of 2016, because it directly challenges many of the things that are being taught in mainstream churches today. My book is an ominous message of warning and an inspiring message of hope, and I truly believe that it is the most important thing that I have ever written.
No matter how you may see the future, the key is that we all learn to love one another. The years ahead are going to be extremely challenging, and those that want to chase everyone else away and survive as lone wolves are going to have a very rough time. We all need each other, and those that have friends, family and communities around them are going to be in a much better position to weather the coming storms.
So let us hope for the best, but let us also prepare for the worst…
Is the stock market going to crash by the end of 2015? Of course stock market crashes are already happening in 23 different nations around the planet, but most Americans don’t really care about those markets. The truth is that what matters to people in this country is the health of their own stock portfolios and retirement accounts. There are a lot of people out there that are very afraid of what could happen if the money that they have worked so hard to save gets wiped out in a sudden financial collapse. And right now there is an unprecedented amount of buzz about the potential for a giant stock market crash by the end of this calendar year. In fact, I don’t think that I have ever seen more experts come out with bold predictions that a stock market crash will happen within a very specific period of time.
The following is a sampling of some of the experts that have made very bold proclamations about the rest of this year over the past few weeks. Many of these individuals are putting their credibility on the line by proclaiming that a stock market crash is just around the corner…
-Tom McClellan says that we are heading for an “ugly decline” and that there will be “nothing good for bulls for the rest of the year”…
Tom McClellan loves doing what financial advisers tell you not to do. He tries to time the financial markets — to the exact day, if his charts align just right.
At the moment, they are telling him to be bullish on the stock market for all of his trading time frames, including those that trade every few days, weeks and months. But bulls should be ready to flee, as soon as this week.
That’s because McClellan said his timing models suggest “THE” top in stocks will be hit some time between Aug. 20 and Aug. 26. He expects “nothing good for the bulls for the rest of the year,” he said in a phone interview with MarketWatch.
McClellan doesn’t have a strong view on how far stocks could fall, just that it will probably be an “ugly decline” lasting into early 2016.
-Harry Dent recently stated that we are just “weeks away” from a “global financial collapse“.
-Gerald Celente says that “the global economy has collapsed” and he is “predicting that we are going to see a global stock market crash before the end of the year“.
-Larry Edelson insists that he is “100% confident” that a global financial crisis will be triggered “within the next few months”…
“On October 7, 2015, the first economic supercycle since 1929 will trigger a global financial crisis of epic proportions. It will bring Europe, Japan and the United States to their knees, sending nearly one billion human beings on a roller-coaster ride through hell for the next five years. A ride like no generation has ever seen. I am 100% confident it will hit within the next few months.”
-Jeff Berwick, the editor of the Dollar Vigilante, says that there is “enough going on in September to have me incredibly curious and concerned about what’s going to happen“.
-Egon von Greyerz recently explained that he fears “that this coming September – October all hell will break loose in the world economy and markets“.
-Even the mainstream media is issuing ominous warnings now. Just a few days ago, one of the most important newspapers in the entire world published a major story about the coming crisis under this headline: “Doomsday clock for global market crash strikes one minute to midnight as central banks lose control“.
-The Bank for International Settlements and the IMF have jumped on the prediction bandwagon as well. The following comes from a recent piece by Brandon Smith…
The BIS warns that the world is currently defenseless against the next market crisis. I would point out that the BIS has a record of predicting economic crashes, including back in 2007 just before the derivatives and credit crisis began. This ability to foresee fiscal disasters is far more likely due to the fact that the BIS is the dominant force in global central banking and is the cause of crisis, rather than merely a predictor of crisis. That is to say, it is easy to predict disasters you yourself are about to initiate.
It is no mistake that the warnings from the BIS and the IMF tend to come too little too late, or that they are beginning to compose cautionary press releases today that sound much like what alternative analysts were saying a few years ago. The goal of these globalist organizations is not to help people prepare, only to set themselves up as Johnny-come-lately prognosticators so that after a collapse they can claim they warned us all, which can then be used as a rationalization for why they are the best people to administrate the economies of the planet as a whole.
So why are so many prominent voices now warning that a global financial crisis is imminent?
The answer is actually very simple.
A global financial crisis is imminent.
Back on June 25th, I issued a red alert for the last six months of 2015 before any of these other guys issued their warnings.
When I first issued my alert, things were still seemingly very calm in the financial world, and a lot of people out there thought that I was nuts.
Well, here we are just a couple of months later and all hell is breaking loose. 23 global stock markets are crashing, the price of oil has been imploding, a new currency war has erupted, industrial commodities are plunging just like they did prior to the market crash of 2008, a full-blown financial crisis has gripped South America with fear, and junk bonds are sending some very ominous signals.
In the U.S., things are beginning to slowly unravel. The Dow was down another 162 points on Wednesday, and overall we are now down almost 1000 points from the peak of the market. At this point, it isn’t going to take much to push us into a bear market.
So enjoy what is left of August.
September is right around the corner, and if the experts that I mentioned above are correct, then it is likely to be one wild month.
Why would the government want to punish people that are just trying to work hard, become more self-sufficient and take care of their families? There are approximately 3 million preppers in the United States today, and often they appear to be singled out for punishment by bureaucratic control freaks that are horrified at the thought that there are families out there that actually want to try to become less dependent on the system. So if you use alternative methods to heat your home, or if you are not connected to the utility grid, or if you collect rainwater on your property, or if you believe that parents should have the ultimate say when it comes to health decisions for their children, you could become a target for overzealous government enforcers. Once upon a time, America was the land of the free and the home of the brave, but now we are being transformed into a socialist police state where control freak bureaucrats use millions of laws, rules and regulations to crack down on anyone that dares to think for themselves.
For example, people have been burning wood to heat their homes since this country began. And this is still very common in rural areas. But the Obama administration does not like this at all. The Obama bureaucrats at the EPA fear that our little wood stoves may be contributing to “global warming”, so they have outlawed the production and sale of 80 percent of the wood stoves that are currently in use. The following comes from a recent Forbes article…
It seems that even wood isn’t green or renewable enough anymore. The EPA has recently banned the production and sale of 80 percent of America’s current wood-burning stoves, the oldest heating method known to mankind and mainstay of rural homes and many of our nation’s poorest residents. The agency’s stringent one-size-fits-all rules apply equally to heavily air-polluted cities and far cleaner plus typically colder off-grid wilderness areas such as large regions of Alaska and the American West.
While EPA’s most recent regulations aren’t altogether new, their impacts will nonetheless be severe. Whereas restrictions had previously banned wood-burning stoves that didn’t limit fine airborne particulate emissions to 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air, the change will impose a maximum 12 microgram limit. To put this amount in context, EPA estimates that secondhand tobacco smoke in a closed car can expose a person to 3,000-4,000 micrograms of particulates per cubic meter.
Most wood stoves that warm cabin and home residents from coast-to-coast can’t meet that standard. Older stoves that don’t cannot be traded in for updated types, but instead must be rendered inoperable, destroyed, or recycled as scrap metal.
Does that make you angry?
There are other preppers that try to use very “clean” methods to power their homes, but that is still not good enough for some government control freaks.
For example, one prepper down in south Florida that had gone “off the grid” was recently ordered by a court to connect back to the grid or face eviction from his home. The following is an excerpt from a recent article by Guiles Hendrik…
Think you are still free to make choices in your life? Do you think the government will allow you to live independent of their utility monopolies? If you think so, try opting for renewable non-grid tied power and utilize environmentally friendly composting toilets and your own self-sufficient water supply. Today, those life choices could land you in jail if you live in South Florida. Take the case of Robin Speronis.
Robin Speronis has lived off the grid, independent of the city’s water and electric system. A Florida court ruled this off-the-grid living illegal last week and has given Robin until March to connect her home to a municipal water line or face possible eviction. Further, officials in the city of Cape Coral have justified this by deeming Robin’s home “unsanitary,” citing the International Property Maintenance Code. First of all, since when did we begin to locally recognize “international codes?” Where in the US Constitution does it provide for international jurisdiction over local codes? Ironically, this “international” code mandates that homes be connected to an electricity grid and a running water source, even though most of the world lives without reliable electricity and municipal water and sewer. Further, the code is outdated and obsolete because it was written without consideration to both old and new technologies that relegate the need for grid tied power and municipal water as unnecessary and expensive; especially, in locations where it simply isn’t feasible to have grid tied utilities. Nonetheless, Speronis’ home does in fact have power and water through far cheaper and more environmentally friendly means — solar panels and rainwater, but that reality is ignored by the local government.
Incredibly, most Americans still seem to believe that we live in a “free country”. But we don’t. Our lives are very tightly constrained by literally millions of laws, rules and regulations, and more are being added every single day.
Even some of our most basic fundamental rights have been seriously eroded. One of these is the right to make basic health decisions for our own children. In New York state, children that have not received all of the designated vaccines can now be banned from attending public school, and this requirement was recently upheld by a federal appeals court…
New York state’s requirement that children be vaccinated before attending public school does not violate their constitutional rights, a federal appeals court in Manhattan said on Wednesday.
In affirming the requirement’s constitutionality, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also upheld a previous ruling by a federal judge that students exempted from the requirement for religious reasons can be barred from school when another child has a disease preventable by a vaccine.
The decision was the latest to go against three parents from New York City who say their religious rights were violated when their children were kept out of school as a result of the immunization policies. The parents’ lawyer, Patricia Finn, said her clients planned to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
So what are we free to do without government interference these days?
In fact, in some states we can’t even sit on our own land and collect the rain as it falls from the sky for our own personal use.
If you do this in the state of Oregon, for example, you could go to prison…
Gary Harrington, the Oregon man convicted of collecting rainwater and snow runoff on his rural property surrendered Wednesday morning to begin serving his 30-day, jail sentence in Medford, Ore.
“I’m sacrificing my liberty so we can stand up as a country and stand for our liberty,” Harrington told a small crowd of people gathered outside of the Jackson County (Ore.) Jail.
Several people held signs that showed support for Harrington as he was taken inside the jail.
And of course these are just a few examples. Almost every single day there are more stories in the news about government bureaucrats cracking down on preppers. They almost seem to relish the opportunity to go after the “non-conformists”.
But the good news is that the number of Americans that are seeking to become less dependent on the system just continues to grow.
So what about you?
Are you a prepper?
My friend Daisy Luther recently wrote a piece entitled “45 MORE Signs That You Might Be One of Those Crazy Preppers“. The following are some of the most interesting “signs” from her list…
*You spend your days off digging an underground bunker in your backyard.
*Your family doesn’t dare take something from the food stockpile without marking it off the list.
*Your kids know how to don a gas mask in 30 seconds.
*Everyone in your survival group carries the same firearm so that ammo is standardized.
*Your family is no longer surprised when you announce, “Hey, we’re going to learn how to make (insert anything here)!”
*You have long since accepted the idea that if you’re not on someone’s list, you’re probably not doing it right.
*You don’t just rotate food, you rotate ammo.
*Moving to a new house is no longer “moving”, but “strategic relocation”.
*Your kids think it’s a fun game to see who can find the most potential weapons in a room.
*Your EDC includes a knife, firearm w/extra mag, flashlight, mylar blanket, Chapstick, and an ounce of silver — and that’s just for when you’re walking the dog.
*One criterion for your new winter coat is that it fits over your body armor.
You can read her entire article right here.
America was built by people that loved their families, worked hard and were self-sufficient.
Now our government is specifically targeting those kinds of people.
What in the world is happening to us?
Did you know that some Americans are being hit with health insurance rate increases of more than 500 percent? Taking advantage of “the stupidity of the American voter”, the Democrats succeeded in ramming through one of the worst pieces of legislation that has ever come before Congress. The full implementation of Obamacare has been repeatedly delayed, but now we are finally starting to see the true horror of this terrible law. Thanks to Obamacare, millions of American families are losing health plans that they were very happy with, health insurance rates are skyrocketing, millions of workers are having their full-time hours cut back to part-time hours, rural hospitals all over the country are dying, and thousands of doctors are being driven out of the industry thus intensifying the greatest doctor shortage in U.S. history. Obamacare is a slow-motion train wreck of epic proportions, and the full effect of this law is only beginning to be felt. In the end, the economic impact of this law will likely be measured in the trillions of dollars.
One of the primary reasons why Democrats experienced so much pain during the recent elections was because millions of Americans are receiving some very disturbing letters from their health insurance providers. At a time when U.S. incomes are stagnating, health insurance rates are rising to absolutely ridiculous levels.
As the New York Times recently reported, even the Obama administration is admitting that “substantial price increases” are on the way…
The Obama administration on Friday unveiled data showing that many Americans with health insurance bought under the Affordable Care Act could face substantial price increases next year — in some cases as much as 20 percent — unless they switch plans.
The data became available just hours before the health insurance marketplace was to open to buyers seeking insurance for 2015.
An analysis of the data by The New York Times suggests that although consumers will often be able to find new health plans with prices comparable to those they now pay, the situation varies greatly from state to state and even among counties in the same state.
Originally, Barack Obama promised that if we liked our current health plans that we could keep them. Well, it turns out that was not true at all. Instead, the vast majority of us will eventually have to move to new plans if we have not done so already. This is particularly true for those that purchase health insurance individually. The following is an excerpt from an NBC News investigation…
Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC News that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience “sticker shock.”
This is something that actually happened to me. I received a letter in the mail informing me that my new health insurance policy which meets the requirements of Obamacare will cost me nearly twice as much as my old one.
Needless to say, I was not too thrilled about that.
Other Americans are being hit even harder. For instance, one family down in Texas got hammered with a 539 percent rate increase…
Obamacare is named the “Affordable Care Act,” after all, and the President promised the rates would be “as low as a phone bill.” But I just received a confirmed letter from a friend in Texas showing a 539% rate increase on an existing policy that’s been in good standing for years.
As the letter reveals (see below), the cost for this couple’s policy under Humana is increasing from $212.10 per month to $1,356.60 per month. This is for a couple in good health whose combined income is less than $70K — a middle-class family, in other words.
These rate increases are coming at a time when the middle class in the U.S. is already steadily shrinking. A lot of families that are already stretched to the breaking point are making the very painful decision to give up health insurance entirely. At this point, there are millions of families that simply cannot afford it.
But Obama is not about to let those people off the hook. In fact, huge tax penalties are on the way for those that do not participate in the new system…
Penalties for failing to secure a health-insurance plan will rise steeply next year, which could take a big bite out of some families’ pocketbooks.
“The penalty is meant to incentivize people to get coverage,” said senior analyst Laura Adams of InsuranceQuotes.com. “This year, I think a lot of people are going to be in for a shock.”
In 2014, Obamacare’s first year, individuals are facing a penalty of $95 per person, or 1 percent of their income, depending on which is higher. If an American failed to get coverage this year, that penalty will be taken out of their tax refund in early 2015, Adams noted.
While that might be painful to some uninsured Americans who are counting on their tax refunds in early 2015, the penalty for going uninsured next year is even harsher. The financial penalty for skipping out on health coverage will more than triple to $325 per person in 2015, or 2 percent of income, depending on whichever is higher.
Children will be fined at half the adult rate, or $162.50 for those under 18 years old.
No wonder so many people are so angry with the Democrats.
And as Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Jonathan Gruber has so infamously observed, Obamacare never would have become law if the American people had been told the truth about what it would do to them.
It has been documented that Gruber has visited the White House about a dozen times since 2009, and he has been one of the leading intellectual proponents of Obamacare. A video in which he states that “the stupidity of the American voter” was “really critical” to the passage of Obamacare has gone viral over the past week. I have posted a copy of this video below…
What he is essentially saying is that the Democrats purposely deceived the American people because it was the only way that Obamacare was going to become law.
And this is a man that has become very wealthy advising government on healthcare matters. According to an article in the Washington Post, he has made millions of dollars from “consulting” in recent years…
Not all of the contracts could be found on public Web sites, but here is a sampling. In some cases, Gruber worked with other consultants, so the fees were shared. These figures also might not represent the final payout, and of course these are gross figures, before expenses. But it’s safe to say that about $400,000 appears to be the standard rate for gaining access to the Gruber Microsimulation Model.
Gruber has also earned more than $2 million over the last seven years for an ongoing contract with HHS to assess choices made by the elderly in Medicare’s prescription-drug plan.
If you are Gruber, life is quite good.
But for most of the rest of America, the economic pain continues.
For example, one recent study found that almost half of all Floridians cannot even afford “to pay for basic necessities”…
Nearly half of Florida households do not earn enough to pay for basic necessities, according to a report released Tuesday by the United Way that seeks to cast a light on the large group of state residents who struggle financially but do not meet the official criteria for being in poverty.
While 15 percent of Florida households are below the poverty level, another 30 percent are financially insecure — a figure that also applies to Sarasota and Manatee counties — based on a new measurement developed by the United Way.
If all those people cannot even afford the basics, how are they going to pay for Obamacare?
This law is going to financially cripple millions of American families. It truly is a death panel for the U.S. economy. And because Barack Obama can veto anything that the Republicans in Congress do, we are stuck with it for at least another two years (and probably longer).
So what about you?
Have your health insurance premiums gone up yet?
Please feel free to add to the discussion by posting a comment below…
We just learned that the homeownership rate in the United States has fallen to the lowest level in 19 years. But of course this is not a new trend. As you will see in this article, the homeownership rate in the United States has been in a continual decline for more than 7 years. Obviously this is not a sign of a healthy economy. Traditionally, homeownership has been one of the key indicators that you belong to the middle class. When people define “the American Dream”, it is usually one of the first things mentioned. So if the percentage of Americans that own a home has been steadily going down for 7 years in a row, what does that tell us about the health of the middle class in this country?
The chart that you are about to view is clear evidence that we are in the midst of a long-term economic decline. It shows what has happened to the homeownership rate in the U.S. since the year 2000, and as you can see it has been collapsing since the peak of the housing market back in 2007. Does this look like a housing recovery to you?…
So many people get caught up in what is happening on Wall Street, but this is the “real economy” that affects people on a day to day basis.
Most Americans just want to be able to buy a home and provide a solid middle class living for their families.
The fact that the percentage of people that are able to achieve this “American Dream” is falling rapidly is very troubling.
There are some that blame this stunning decline in the homeownership rate on the Millennials.
And without a doubt, they are a significant part of the story. They are moving back home with their parents at record rates, and many that are striking out on their own are renting apartments in the big cities.
This is one area where the decline of marriage in America is really hitting the economy. Back in 1968, well over 50 percent of Americans in the 18 to 31-year-old age bracket were already married and living on their own. Today, that number is below 25 percent.
But that is not all there is to this story.
In fact, the homeownership rate for Americans in the 35 to 44-year-old age bracket has been falling even faster than it has for Millennials…
In the first quarter of 2008, nearly 67% of people aged 35-44 owned homes. Now the number is barely above 59%. The percentage of people under 35 owning homes only fell five percentage points, to 36% from 41%.
So why is this happening?
Well, it is fairly simple actually.
In order to buy homes, people need to have good jobs. And at this point, the percentage of Americans that are employed is still about where it was during the depths of the last recession.
In addition, wages in the United States have stagnated and the quality of our jobs continues to go down. As I wrote about the other day, half of all American workers make less than $28,031 a year. Needless to say, if you make less than $28,031 a year, you are going to have a really hard time getting approved for a home loan or making mortgage payments.
Things have been changing for a long time in this country, and not for the better. Our economic problems have taken decades to develop, and the underlying causes of these problems is still not being addressed.
Meanwhile, middle class families continue to suffer. One very surprising new survey discovered that more than half of all Americans now consider themselves to be “lower-middle class or working class with low economic security”. While Wall Street has been celebrating in recent years, economic pessimism has become deeply ingrained on Main Street…
Optimism may be harder to come by these days. More than half of Americans surveyed in a Harris poll released Tuesday identified themselves as being lower-middle class or working class with low economic security. And 75 percent said they’re being held back financially by roadblocks like the cost of housing (24 percent), health care (21 percent) and credit-card debt (20 percent).
And that’s not the kicker.
“The most disappointing aspect is that 45 percent think they’ll never get their finances back to where they were before the financial crisis,” said Ken Rees, CEO of the Elevate credit service company, which commissioned the survey. “And a third are losing sleep over it.”
The only “recovery” that we have experienced since the last recession has been a temporary recovery on Wall Street.
For the rest of the country, our long-term economic decline has continued.
When I was growing up, my father was serving in the U.S. Navy and we lived in a fairly typical middle class neighborhood. Everyone that I went to school with lived in a nice home and I never heard of any parent struggling to find work. Of course life was not perfect, but it seemed to me like living a middle class lifestyle was “normal” for most people.
How times have changed since then.
Today, it seems like we are all part of a giant reality show where people are constantly being removed from the middle class and everyone is wondering who will be next.
So what do you think?
Is there hope for the middle class, or are the economic problems that we are facing just beginning?
Please feel free to share your opinion by posting a comment below…
Why does Barack Obama refuse to take even the most basic steps to protect Americans from Ebola? Even though it has already been demonstrated that Ebola can be brought over to the United States by a passenger on an airplane, Obama refuses to do anything that would even restrict air travel from nations where Ebola is spiraling out of control. Back in September, Obama said that it was “unlikely” that any individual with Ebola could get through the “extensive screening” at our airports and pose a threat to the general population. But he was wrong. That has already happened. And yet the official White House position is that there is “no consideration of a travel ban” at this point. What possible explanation is there for such gross negligence?
All of this talk about “extensive screening” at our airports is just a smokescreen because it does not exist. As Mike Adams of Natural News has pointed out, Thomas Eric Duncan walked freely through our airports and entered the general population without ever being asked by U.S. security personnel about where he was from or if he had any health conditions…
Ebola “patient zero” Thomas Eric Duncan flew right into the United States and walked through the international airports of both Washington D.C. and Dallas-Fort Worth. He was never asked about his country of origin and was never screened for any health conditions.
Why are people whose flights originate in Liberia and Sierra Leone still allowed to openly travel to large U.S. cities?
And nothing changed even after news broke of a confirmed case of Ebola in Dallas. Just consider the following excerpt from a CNN news story that I included in a previous article…
CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen said when she and two colleagues recently returned from reporting in Liberia, they got a mixed bag of responses from Customs and Border Protection officers.
“We all said we were journalists who had just been in Liberia covering Ebola,” Cohen said. “One of my colleagues was told, ‘Oh, OK, welcome back home, sir’ — and (was) just let in — that was it.”
Cohen herself got a different response.
“I was told, ‘Wait a minute, I think I got an email about this,’ and the border patrol officer went and consulted with his colleagues,” Cohen said.
That officer later told her she should check her system for 21 days.
“I said, ‘What should I be checking?’ And he wasn’t sure,” Cohen said.
Barack Obama is either lying or he is being grossly negligent when he says that we don’t need to be concerned about air travel from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone because of how good the screening at our airports is.
When it comes to his primary fundamental duty, he is completely dropping the ball. The following is from a recent Fox News opinion piece…
The fundamental duty of the nation’s chief executive is to protect its citizens. Under Article II of the Constitution, he is duty-bound to respond to threats and to conduct the country’s foreign affairs. When a crisis presents itself, the president has nearly unfettered power and discretion to act. This includes protecting the health and safety of Americans. Does stopping the deadly spread of Ebola constitute such a crisis?
At this point, a whole host of lawmakers are calling for Obama to restrict air travel from West Africa.
And a petition on Whitehouse.gov to ban all incoming and outgoing flights has more than 10,000 signatures so far.
But the White House is not moving.
In fact, Press Secretary Josh Earnest says that there is “no consideration of a travel ban”…
There’s no consideration of a travel ban at this point. But I can tell you that there is — well, let me explain. There are a couple of good reasons for that. The first is there is in place a very sophisticated, multilayered screening system in place to ensure that the traveling public is safe.
Those screening protocols begins at the point of departure; that in West Africa and these counties, under the supervision of international personnel, there are screening protocols in place to ensure that those individuals who are already exhibiting symptoms of Ebola don’t board aircraft. This includes everything from a visual examination of passengers as they’re preparing to board aircraft, to giving them questionnaires that they have to fill out. In other cases, it even involves taking the temperature of passengers before they board aircraft. So there is screening protocol in place even before individuals enter the transportation system.
As with so many other things, it is hard to tell whether the Obama administration is lying, is being completely incompetent or is pursuing some sort of insidious agenda that we are now aware of yet.
Sadly, the CDC is actually backing Obama up on this. Just check out what the head of the CDC said about a potential travel ban last week…
Barring all incoming flights from Ebola-hit countries in West Africa might seem like the best way to prevent an outbreak of the virus in the United States, but doing so would actually hurt efforts to curb the outbreak in the long run, Tom Frieden, M.D., MPH, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said today (Oct. 2).
“If we take actions that seem like they may work, they may be the kind of solution to a complex problem that is quick, simple and wrong,” said Frieden in a press conference. “The approach of isolating a country is that it’s going to make it harder to get help into that country.”
Of course medical personnel that are fighting this disease should be allowed to fly in and out of those countries.
But why can’t we ban all non-essential personnel from flying back and forth?
Meanwhile, the Obama administration also continues to be negligent in guarding our southern border.
We know that people from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone cross our border with Mexico illegally. In fact, hundreds of such individuals from those countries were caught by border patrol agents during fiscal year 2013…
Government figures indicate that 112 individuals were interdicted illegally crossing into the United States from Guinea, 231 from Liberia, and another 145 from Sierra Leone, the three Ebola hot spots. The period of these apprehensions was one in which we had a larger Border Patrol presence on the actual border than we do now.
And those are just the ones that we were able to apprehend.
The truth is that most of the people that cross our borders illegally we do not catch.
If Obama and his minions continue to refuse to take even the most basic steps to protect us, it is inevitable that more people with extremely deadly diseases such as Ebola will enter this country and circulate among the general population.
If our health system was ready to handle such diseases, that would be one thing.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. In fact, one recent survey found that most nurses in the United States do not believe that their hospitals are ready to handle patients with Ebola…
A survey by National Nurses United of some 400 nurses in more than 200 hospitals in 25 states found that more than half (60 percent) said their hospital is not prepared to handle patients with Ebola, and more than 80 percent said their hospital has not communicated to them any policy regarding potential admission of patients infected by Ebola.
Another 30 percent said their hospital has insufficient supplies of eye protection and fluid-resistant gowns.
This Ebola outbreak has the potential to become the greatest health crisis that any of us have ever seen.
But Obama absolutely refuses to take even the most basic steps to keep us safe from this disease.
Why won’t Obama do something?
If there is a major Ebola pandemic in America, all of the liberties and the freedoms that you currently enjoy would be gone. If government officials believe that you have the virus, federal law allows them to round you up and detain you “for such time and in such manner as may be reasonably necessary.” In addition, the CDC already has the authority to quarantine healthy Americans if they reasonably believe that they may become sick. During an outbreak, the government can force you to remain isolated in your own home, or the government may forcibly take you to a treatment facility, a tent city, a sports stadium, an old military base or a camp. You would not have any choice in the matter. And you would be forced to endure any medical procedure mandated by the government. That includes shots, vaccines and the drawing of blood. During such a scenario, you can scream about your “rights” all that you want, but it won’t do any good.
In case you are tempted to think that I am making this up, I want you to read what federal law actually says. The following is 42 U.S.C. 264(d). I have added bold for emphasis…
(1) Regulations prescribed under this section may provide for the apprehension and examination of any individual reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease in a qualifying stage and (A) to be moving or about to move from a State to another State; or (B) to be a probable source of infection to individuals who, while infected with such disease in a qualifying stage, will be moving from a State to another State. Such regulations may provide that if upon examination any such individual is found to be infected, he may be detained for such time and in such manner as may be reasonably necessary. For purposes of this subsection, the term “State” includes, in addition to the several States, only the District of Columbia.
(2) For purposes of this subsection, the term “qualifying stage”, with respect to a communicable disease, means that such disease—
(A) is in a communicable stage; or
(B) is in a precommunicable stage, if the disease would be likely to cause a public health emergency if transmitted to other individuals.
In addition, as I discussed above, the CDC already has the authority to isolate people that are not sick to see if they do become sick. The following is what the CDC website says about this…
Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms. Quarantine can also help limit the spread of communicable disease.
On a very basic level, we are already starting to see this happen in Texas. Obviously Thomas Eric Duncan has already been “isolated”, and now his family has been placed under mandatory quarantine and ordered not to leave their home for 21 days…
Texas health officials have placed the Dallas family of a Liberian national infected with Ebola under quarantine and ordered them not to leave their home or have any contact with outsiders for 21 days without approval of the local or state health department.
The “control order” also requires the family of Thomas Eric Duncan to be available to provide blood samples and agree to any testing required by public health officials. Officials said Thursday that the four or five family members could face criminal charges for violating the order, which was delivered to them in writing Wednesday evening.
Police have been stationed at the apartment complex to ensure residents’ safety, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told a news briefing Thursday afternoon.
If we could all just stay in our homes during a national Ebola emergency, that wouldn’t be so bad.
But if thousands (or even millions) of cases start popping up it simply will not be possible for law enforcement authorities to monitor so many homes.
This is a point that Mike Adams of Natural News made exceptionally well…
When just one family is suspected of carrying Ebola, they can be easily monitored in a “volunteer home isolation” scenario. But what happens when it’s 100 families? 500? 1,000? At that point, there aren’t enough state or federal workers to keep an eye on these people, and the quarantine effort will almost certainly shift to forced relocation into quarantine camps.
Those camps will, of course, be called something nice-sounding like “Community Health Centers.” No one in government or media will call them camps, even though they are camps. The word “camp” brings up echoes of “concentration camps” and the government definitely wants to avoid that association.
If one particular town or city is hit especially hard with the virus, there is a likelihood of the entire town being quarantined. No one in, no one out. Everybody will be ordered to “shelter in place” in their own homes for at least 21 days while health workers wearing hazmat suits go door to door, identifying Ebola victims and “relocating” them to the “Community Health Centers.”
If that sounds like “martial law” to you, that is because it would essentially be martial law.
For the moment, public health authorities are pledging that nothing like this will ever happen because they have everything completely under control.
Others are not so sure.
For example, on Thursday a doctor from Missouri named Gil Mobley checked in for a flight at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport dressed in a mask, goggles, gloves, boots and a protective white jumpsuit. On the back of the jumpsuit, he had written the following words: “CDC is lying!”
Mobley believes that we are not being told the truth about the spread of Ebola. And he is convinced that as Ebola continues to spread exponentially, that we will eventually “be importing clusters of Ebola on a daily basis”…
“Once this disease consumes every third world country, as surely it will, because they lack the same basic infrastructure as Sierra Leone and Liberia, at that point, we will be importing clusters of Ebola on a daily basis,” Mobley predicted. “That will overwhelm any advanced country’s ability to contain the clusters in isolation and quarantine. That spells bad news.”
Mobley, a Medical College of Georgia graduate who had an overnight layover after flying to Atlanta from Guatemala on Wednesday, said that he feels that the CDC is “asleep at the wheel” when it comes to screening passengers arriving in the United States from other countries.
“Yesterday, I came through international customs at the Atlanta airport,” the doctor told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The only question they asked arriving passengers is if they had tobacco or alcohol.”
Earlier on Thursday, there were reports of people being tested for Ebola in Hawaii, Kentucky and Utah. None of those tests has produced a confirmed case of Ebola as I write this article.
Many Americans are still treating this Ebola crisis as if it was just one big joke.
But Ebola is no joking matter. This is a very, very serious disease.
Just consider the experience of one British health worker that witnessed a young brother and sister both die one day apart…
‘The next morning I came in and saw him lying as I had left him, on the bed.
‘He wasn’t breathing. I remember going up to him and looking at his face, his lips were drawn back in a grimace, and his eyes were vacant, lying in a pool of his own diarrhea.
‘I lifted his hand to try, just to confirm things and his whole body turned rigid and cold.
‘I put him in a body bag as his sister looked on.
‘She seemed more baffled than anything, not really understanding what was happening. I carried his corpse outside with the others.
‘The little girl, she deteriorated the next day. Overnight, the following night she had intravenous fluids and the line came out and she bled.
‘I came in the following morning and she was covered in blood. She still had a very puzzled expression on her face and she wasn’t breathing.
‘So I put her in a bag and left her next to her brother. She was a beautiful little girl.’
Hopefully our medical authorities are correct and this virus will not spread easily in this country.
But at this point even some of our top politicians are wondering if we are truly getting accurate information. For example, check out what U.S. Senator Rand Paul had to say on the Laura Ingraham Show just recently…
“I really think that it is being dominated by political correctness and I think because of political correctness we’re not really making sound, rational, scientific decisions on this.” Paul said referring to statements issued by the CDC last week that assured there was little risk of an outbreak occurring in the US.
“We should not underestimate the transmissibility of this,” said Paul, a doctor himself, adding that medical workers have been contracting the virus even though they are taking precautions and covering themselves with gowns and masks.
“My suspicion is that it’s a lot more transmissible than that if people who are taking every precaution are getting it. There are people getting it who simply helped people get in or out of a taxicab.” Paul said.
Let’s pray that this crisis fizzles out, because if it doesn’t, we could truly be looking at the greatest health crisis that any of us have ever seen.
And along with countless numbers of people getting sick and dying, we would also have to deal with government-imposed medical martial law.
The stakes are extremely high, and so let us hope that this crisis does not escalate any further.
The day that many of us hoped would never arrive is here. Ebola has come to America. Air travel between the United States and the countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone should have been totally shut down except for absolutely essential personnel but it wasn’t. And now our nation may end up paying a great price as a result. On Tuesday, the CDC announced that there is a confirmed case of Ebola in Dallas, Texas. We know that this individual is a male and that he traveled by air from Liberia to Texas on September 19th. At that time, he was not exhibiting any symptoms. It is being reported that he started developing symptoms on September 24th and that he sought out treatment two days later. Incredibly, he was turned away and sent home. Then on September 28th he went to a hospital again and this time he was admitted for treatment. That means that he could have potentially been spreading Ebola to others for at least four full days before finally getting treated at a hospital. Now he is in intensive care at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. The CDC says that “there is no doubt that we will stop it here” and is promising that “it will not spread widely in this country”. The CDC better be right on both counts.
At this point, the CDC is admitting that it is not known if others have been infected by this individual. The CDC also says that it is tracking down everyone that he has been in contact with. But over four days in a major U.S. city, you can be “in contact” with a whole lot of people. And what about all of the people that those people were in contact with?
If I was in charge of this crisis, I would admit that we don’t know the full scope of the problem yet but that we are dealing with it the best that we can.
Instead, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is taking an entirely different approach. Dr. Thomas Frieden insists that we have absolutely nothing to worry about…
“I have no doubt that we will control this case of Ebola, so that it does not spread widely in this country. It is certainly possible that someone who has had contact with this patient could develop Ebola. But there is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here.”
Frieden better be right about that.
Other “experts” are being even more dogmatic…
“There is no cause for concern,” says Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “The Ebola virus is not easily transmitted from person to person, and we have an outstanding infrastructure in place both to contain the virus and trace contacts. There will not be an Ebola epidemic in the United States.”
I have no idea how they can say these things when the outbreak over in Africa is completely and totally out of control. Despite extreme precautions, hundreds of health workers have gotten the virus, and so far global health officials have not even been able to slow down the exponential growth of the Ebola pandemic in West Africa.
And our health officials should not be so dogmatic about how this virus spreads either.
In a previous article, I discussed a study that was conducted back in 2012 that demonstrated that Ebola could be transmitted through the air between pigs and monkeys that did not have physical contact with one another…
When news broke that the Ebola virus had resurfaced in Uganda, investigators in Canada were making headlines of their own with research indicating the deadly virus may spread between species, through the air.
The team, comprised of researchers from the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease, the University of Manitoba, and the Public Health Agency of Canada, observed transmission of Ebola from pigs to monkeys. They first inoculated a number of piglets with the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus. Ebola-Zaire is the deadliest strain, with mortality rates up to 90 percent. The piglets were then placed in a room with four cynomolgus macaques, a species of monkey commonly used in laboratories. The animals were separated by wire cages to prevent direct contact between the species.
Within a few days, the inoculated piglets showed clinical signs of infection indicative of Ebola infection. In pigs, Ebola generally causes respiratory illness and increased temperature. Nine days after infection, all piglets appeared to have recovered from the disease.
Within eight days of exposure, two of the four monkeys showed signs of Ebola infection. Four days later, the remaining two monkeys were sick too. It is possible that the first two monkeys infected the other two, but transmission between non-human primates has never before been observed in a lab setting.
There is much that we don’t understand about this disease.
I can understand the need to keep the public calm, but why don’t these officials just tell us the truth?
At the same time that they are telling us that there is no chance that there will be an Ebola epidemic in the United States, they are also sending out guidelines to funeral homes on how to deal with dead Ebola victims…
CBS46 News has confirmed the Centers for Disease Control has issued guidelines to U.S. funeral homes on how to handle the remains of Ebola patients. If the outbreak of the potentially deadly virus is in West Africa, why are funeral homes in America being given guidelines?
The three-page list of recommendations include instructing funeral workers to wear protective equipment when dealing with the remains since Ebola can be transmitted in postmortem care. It also instructs to avoid autopsies and embalming.
Why are they doing this if there is “no chance” that the disease will spread widely?
Hopefully they isolated this Ebola patient in Dallas in time.
Hopefully he did not infect anyone else.
But we need to be honest about the situation that we are potentially facing. So far, there have been more than 6,000 cases of Ebola in Africa and more than 3,000 of those have died. Unfortunately, even WHO officials admit that those official numbers “great underestimate” the scope of this outbreak. The number of official cases has been doubling approximately every three weeks, and the CDC says that under a “worst case scenario” we could be looking at 1.4 million cases by the end of January 2015.
Right now all of the treatment facilities in Liberia and Sierra Leone are completely full and more than 80 percent of Ebola patients have been turned away and sent home without being treated. It is an absolute nightmare, and now it has come to America.
And as the virus continues to spread, it is inevitable that more carriers of the disease will get on airplanes headed for America.
Unfortunately for us, according to a recent Defense One article the screening done at airports actually does very little to stop the spread of Ebola…
The bad news is that thermal screenings of the international flying population at airports are not likely to yield much by way of improved safety.
Here’s why: fever can be a sign of a lot of different illnesses, not just Ebola. And thermal scanning proved to be a poor method of catching bird flu carriers in 2009 as well. So presenting with an elevated temperature at an airport checkpoint does not indicate clearly enough that the fevered person is carrying the deadly virus. More importantly, the incubation period for Ebola is two days. As many as 20 days can pass before symptoms show up. That means that an individual could be carrying the virus for two weeks or longer and not even know it, much less have it show up via thermal scan. So what good are these scanners?
When I first started writing about Ebola, a few people accused me of “spreading fear”.
Well, now that Ebola has arrived in the United States, perhaps they will take a second look at some of my recent articles…
-“The Pure Hell At The Heart Of The Ebola Pandemic In Africa Could Soon Be Coming To America”
-“Computer Models Tell Us That This Ebola Pandemic Could Soon Kill Millions”
-“16 Apocalyptic Quotes From Global Health Officials About This Horrific Ebola Epidemic”
-“Ebola Among Health Workers: More Than 240 Sick, More Than 120 Dead”
-“It Is Becoming Clear – We Are NOT Prepared For An Ebola Pandemic”
Let us pray that this is just one isolated case and that there will not be a major outbreak in this nation.
Because if cases do start popping up around the country, fear will spread like wildfire and we could potentially be facing the greatest health crisis that any of us have ever seen.
One of the individuals that successfully survived this disease was Dr. Kent Brantly. I think that the following quote from him really does a great job of summarizing what we are potentially facing…
“Many have used the analogy of a fire burning out of control to describe this unprecedented Ebola outbreak,” Brantly said. “Indeed it is a fire—it is a fire straight from the pit of hell. We cannot fool ourselves into thinking that the vast moat of the Atlantic Ocean will protect us from the flames of this fire. Instead, we must mobilize the resources … to keep entire nations from being reduced to ashes.”
A virus like this could change everything if it starts circulating widely.
Like I have said so many times before, let us hope for the best, but let us also prepare for the worst.