We Killed The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg And Now The Number Of Americans Receiving Long-Term Unemployment Benefits Has Risen A Whopping 60 Percent In Just One Year

For middle class Americans, the new global economy has provided mountains of cheap products made in China, India and dozens of other nations, but it has also killed the goose that laid the golden egg.  Millions of American workers have been discovering that the price for all of those inexpensive foreign-made goodies is their jobs.  Now we have so many long-term unemployed workers in the United States that we are inventing new terms (such as “the 99ers”) to describe them.  Unemployment is on the rise again (we’ll get to the figures in a minute) and everyone seems perplexed at the continuing inability of the “greatest economy in the world” to provide jobs for everyone.  But the truth is that this has been coming for a long time.  The debt-fueled prosperity of the past couple of decades allowed us to live far beyond our means and provide very high levels of employment for a while, but now economic reality is setting in.  The millions of middle class jobs that have been shipped overseas are never coming back.  Unfortunately, the existence of a large class of chronically unemployed Americans that are struggling just to survive is going to quickly become “the new normal”.

This week the U.S. Labor Deparment announced that for the week ending August 14th, new applications for unemployment insurance benefits reached the half-million mark.  That was the first time since last November that the psychologically important 500,000 threshold had been hit.  Most economists had predicted that unemployment claims would actually decline, but instead they experienced their fourth increase in the past five weeks.

But the increase in new applications for unemployment benefits is only part of the story.  It is not such a bad thing to be unemployed if you can find another job in a couple of weeks or a couple of months.  But in 2010, there are millions of Americans that cannot seem to find a job no matter what they do month after month after month.

In fact, the number of Americans that have exhausted their state unemployment benefits and that are collecting long-term federal unemployment benefits has increased 60 percent over the past year.  The following is how a recent article on CNBC recently described the situation….

“Claimants under the Emergency Unemployment Compensation provision—who have exhausted their state benefits—surged 260,105 to 4,753,456 for the week ended July 31 (the data lags the weekly claims by two weeks). While that represents a weekly increase of 0.5 percent, the total is 60.5 percent higher than the 2009 figure of 2,961,457.”

So what will the figure be at this time next year?

6 million?

7 million?

And what happens if the U.S. Congress finally decides to cut off the long-term unemployment benefits at some point?

The truth is that things are getting really frightening out there.

“There’s a red flag being waved right now that says ‘Danger,’” Bloomberg quoted Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC as saying recently. “Growth is going to slow in the second half and we might face something a little more ominous than that.”

The reality is that there are not nearly enough jobs out there for everyone.  According to one recent survey, 28% of U.S. households have at least one member that is looking for a full-time job.

Just think about that.

Almost 30 percent of all U.S. homes have someone who is looking for a full-time job.

That is not just a problem.

That is a national crisis.

But it is not just those who are unemployed who are suffering.  The reality is that this economic downturn has hurt most of us in one way or another.  A recent Pew Research survey found that 55 percent of the U.S. labor force has experienced either unemployment, a pay decrease, a reduction in hours or an involuntary move to part-time work since the recession began.

Millions of Americans are putting up with increased workloads, pay decreases and benefit cuts right now because the alternative is joining the hordes of jobless Americans that are fighting tooth and nail over the few jobs that are actually available. 

Once you lose your job in this economy there is no telling when you are going to be able to get another one.  In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.

Could you imagine being unemployed for 35 weeks?

The truth is that in 2010, it is employers that have all the power and all the leverage.

In fact, when you really analyze it, it is a wonder that companies are hiring new workers at all.  It is a massive pain in the rear end to hire a new worker in America today.  The thousands upon thousands of regulations that must be complied with, the big pile of forms that need to be filled out and the elaborate bookkeeping that must be maintained make hiring someone a major headache.  One top of that, tax contributions, benefit packages and health insurance premiums make each worker a very expensive proposition.

There is a reason why so many companies are trying to squeeze more out of the employees that they already have or are only hiring temporary employees right now.

But the biggest reason why there is such a lack of jobs is because millions upon millions of good jobs have been shipped overseas.  Globalism and “free trade” have put middle class American workers into a situation where they are in direct competition for jobs against the cheapest labor in the world.

Why in the world should U.S. companies hire American workers when they can hire very willing workers on the other side of the world who will do the same job for less than one-tenth the cost?

Those who once warned us about “the great sucking sound” that globalism would create were right, and the truth is that the U.S. has already been bleeding good jobs for years.  According to one analysis, the United States has lost 10.5 million jobs since 2007, and the truth is that unless something is done things are going to get even worse.

But what can get lost in all of these statistics is the very real pain that so many millions of Americans are now experiencing.

Losing a job and watching everything that you have worked for crumble can be extremely soul crushing.  In fact, this economy is pushing some Americans completely over the edge.

The following is an excerpt from an actual letter to U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner….

“My dad, S, killed himself March 16, 2009 because he ran out of money and could not find work. My whole family had been devastated by the economy. He was 61 years old and could not take it anymore. He could not figure out how to keep the electric on, buy food, or keep a roof over his head. A day before his electric was to be shut off, and 2 weeks away from eviction, my dad took the hardest walk of his life. He left a note on the dining room table for my sister and I. His suicide letter said ‘I love you. I had to do this. I ran out of money. I wish you both luck in your lives’. He left the door unlocked with the door key left in the lock. He carefully laid out two suits for us to pick from to bury him in.”

Could you imagine if that was your father?

As the economy continues to deteriorate, many more Americans are going to be pushed to the edge of despair.

Life is not about paying our bills or about the things that we own, but there is no denying the pain that comes when you run completely out of money and you feel totally helpless.

But nobody should ever give up.  There is always hope.  Things can always be turned around.

Unfortunately, we have entered a time when there are always going to be a large number of unemployed Americans because there are just not nearly enough jobs to go around.

Anyone who thought that we could merge American workers into a massive global labor pool and still be able to maintain our middle class lifestyles was living in fantasy land. 

No, the truth is that globalism has killed the goose that laid the golden egg and now tens of millions of Americans are going to pay the price.

The American People Don’t Need More Handouts – What They Need Are Good Jobs

Without millions more good jobs, the U.S. economy is simply never, ever going to recover.  But at this point, there is every indication that the U.S. economy is going to continue to bleed jobs.  In the past, employment would bounce up and down as the economy went through various cycles.  But today what we are witnessing is something much different.  Over the past 30 or 40 years, literally millions of good jobs have been shipped off to China, India and to dozens of third world nations where half-starving workers are more than happy to slave away for big global corporations for less than a dollar an hour.  In the new “global economy” that we were promised would be so good for us, the expensive American worker is obsolete.  The giant global predator corporations that now dominate our economy do not exist to provide you and your family with a nice home, two cars and college educations for all your children.  No, their goal is to keep costs as low as possible so that their profits will be as high as possible.  For many of these giant global predator corporations, that means that paying workers as close to zero as possible is the best decision for the bottom line. 

The truth is that the American people were never told that “free trade” and a “global economy” would mean that they would soon be lumped into a giant global labor pool and would be forced to compete for jobs with people on the other side of the globe.

No, we were just told that we should enjoy all of the cheap plastic crap made overseas that all of the “big box” retail stores were pushing us to buy.

Well, the party was fun while it lasted.  Americans ran up unprecedented amounts of debt on their credit cards buying all this stuff, while our once great manufacturing cities degenerated into rotted-out war zones.

But isn’t it a good thing to get all these products at such a cheap price?

After all, who wants to pay substantially more for things?

Well, running an economy this way is kind of like tearing off pieces of your house in order to keep your fire going.  Sure the fire will burn brightly for a while, but eventually you will have torn down your entire house.

One way or another, we end up paying dearly for the jobs we have shipped overseas.

You see, the millions of Americans who are now chronically unemployed because of “free trade” have to be supported by the U.S. government.

That means that it is the U.S. taxpayers who end up footing the bill.

You didn’t think that we were going to let all of those unemployed workers starve in the streets, did you?

Without good jobs, an increasing number of Americans are becoming completely dependent on government handouts.

Already, state governments across the United States are going broke trying to pay out unemployment benefits to the hordes of Americans who don’t have a job and can’t find a job.

In addition, for the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.

Also, according to one new study, somewhere around 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010, which is the highest rate in 20 years.

The truth is that more Americans are dependent on direct payments from the federal government than ever before.

But how long can we afford to support the millions upon millions of Americans who have been impoverished by this new “global economy”?

The U.S. government budget deficit was a record $1.4 trillion in 2009.  Now the White House says that we will exceed that figure in 2010 and again in 2011.

So just how long can we afford to run deficits equivalent to 10 percent of GDP?

Anyone with half a brain knows that these kind of debts are not anywhere close to sustainable.

So where is the money going to come from to pay for these exploding government programs?

Well, from you of course.

Recently I dubbed 2011 “the year of the tax increase”.  A whole slew of new taxes is scheduled to go into effect starting next year that will impact every single American taxpayer.

It is almost enough to make you want to stop working and start collecting government handouts instead.

But the American people don’t need even more handouts.

Handouts are only a temporary solution to a long-term problem.

What the American people need are good jobs.

But where in the world are these jobs going to come from?

The reality is that in the new “global economy”, the United States is a very unattractive place to do business.

If you were a global corporation, would you rather open a new facility in the third world where there are very few rules and regulations and where people will work for less than a dollar an hour, or would you rather open a new facility in the United States where there are literally thousands of laws and regulations to comply with and where you are going to have to pay workers at least ten times as much?

It doesn’t take a genius to see where all of this is headed.

For decades, an increasing number of Americans have been forced into lower paying service jobs, but now there aren’t even nearly enough of those to go around. 

But it isn’t just the jobs that have been shipped overseas that are depressing wages and causing unemployment to skyrocket.  The millions of illegal immigrants that have flooded unchecked across the border have depressed wages and fundamentally changed the employment picture in industries such as construction and food service. 

Not only that, but in this environment not even high tech workers are safe.  In fact, there are some corporations in the high tech industry that have been openly abusing worker visas to ship in large numbers of foreign workers to replace more expensive American employees.

What all this means is that it is becoming much more difficult to live a middle class lifestyle in the United States.

Perhaps that is why one of my articles struck such a nerve recently.  An article that I originally wrote for The American Dream blog and adapted by Business Insider has gone mega-viral and has ended up on Yahoo Finance.  The article was entitled “The Middle Class In America Is Radically Shrinking – Here Are The Stats To Prove it” and it has received over 9000 comments on Yahoo.

So why did it provoke such an extraordinary response?

Well, because it hits people where they live.

Today, millions of American families are really struggling.  Record numbers of middle class Americans are receiving foreclosure notices and record numbers of middle class Americans are going bankrupt.

In fact, more Americans than ever find themselves just trying to survive.

According to a poll taken in 2009, 61 percent of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.

You see, the truth is that most American families are not concerned with saving for retirement or even with planning for next year.  In this economic environment, most American families are worried about how they are going to survive until next month.

So who has been doing well in the new global economy?

The very, very wealthy of course.

According to Harvard Magazine, 66% of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.

Now, the truth is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with making money, but by any reasonable standard an economic system that produces such skewed results is horribly broken.

So will “redistributing the wealth” solve things?

No, it won’t.

At best, “redistributing the wealth” is only a temporary solution and it always ends up creating a lot of long-term problems.

What the American people really need are millions more good jobs.

But as we have seen, the current imbalances in the new “global economy” make it more likely that the American people will continue to lose millions more good jobs rather than gaining them.

Unless something is done, the standard of living for middle class Americans will continue to be forced down as labor increasingly becomes a global commodity.

So are you just going to accept that, or are you going to start demanding that your representatives change things?

The choice is up to you.

The U.S. Economy Is A Dead Horse And The American People Are Starting To Get Really Pissed Off And Frustrated

The economic frustration of the American people is reaching a fever pitch.  Millions of Americans can’t seem to get a good job no matter what they do.  Millions of others are working as hard as they can but find that they keep coming up short at the end of the month.  Record numbers of Americans are still going bankrupt.  Record numbers of Americans are still losing their homes.  Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is a dead horse at this point.  It just doesn’t have any more to give.  At this point the U.S. economy is like an aging rock star that requires larger and larger doses of drugs each night just to be able to perform.  The U.S. economy is addicted to “drugs” such as debt and government stimulus, and years ago those things really supercharged the U.S. economic system, but at this point they aren’t provoking much of a response at all.  In fact, the things that once “stimulated” the economy are now slowly killing it.  But the vast majority of the American people do not understand this.  All they know is that the economy is broken and they want someone to “fix” it.

For most Americans, all we have ever known is tremendous prosperity.  All our lives we have been taught that America is the richest and most prosperous nation on the planet, and that while there will always be times of “recession”, things will always bounce back and be better than ever before.

But this time things aren’t bouncing back.

And Americans are starting to become extremely frustrated.   

A couple of quotes that appeared in a recent article in The New York Daily News really embodied the growing frustration that so many are feeling at this point….

“My husband and I are fortunate to be able to move in with my 81-year-old mother-in-law. But how sad is that? I apply for jobs and nothing happens,” writes Gayle Hanson. “Who wants to hire a 59-year-old woman? My answer is nobody. [I] have years of experience, excellent references. And nothing to show for it.”

“I am soon to be 57 and considered too old, too expensive, etc. I can’t get an employer to hire me at any salary,” writes Mike Stiller. “I am BOILING MAD.”

But Gayle Hanson and Mike Stiller are far from alone.

Millions upon millions of Americans are “boiling mad” about the economy at this point.

The truth is that the United States has lost 10.5 million jobs since 2007.  Many of those jobs have been shipped off to countries like China and India where labor is much cheaper and they are never coming back.

There just are not enough jobs for everyone in America at this point.  The number of “chronically unemployed” has been rising at a frightening pace.  In fact, the average duration of unemployment in the United States has risen to an all-time high

If you have never been unemployed and unable to find a job, then you just don’t know how soul crushing it can be.  This is especially true when you have a family to support.

Right now, there are 9.2 million Americans that are unemployed but are not even receiving an unemployment insurance check.  It is easy to tell those unemployed workers that they should “get a job”, but as the chart below shows, the gap between the number of unemployed workers and the number of job openings has increased dramatically over the last couple of years….

But in this economy, even many of those who do have jobs are still struggling mightily.  According to a poll taken in 2009, 61 percent of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck.  That was up significantly from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.

And Americans are still losing their homes in record numbers.  Banks repossessed an average of 4,000 south Florida properties a month in the first half of 2010, which was up 83 percent from the first half of 2009.

Meanwhile, demand for homes is dropping through the floor.  The Mortgage Bankers Association announced on Wednesday that demand for loans to purchase U.S. homes sunk to a 13 year low last week, and refinancing demand also plummeted despite near record-low mortgage rates.

So considering all of these statistics, is it any wonder why so many Americans are so pessimistic?

According to a recent poll conducted by Bloomberg, 71% of Americans say that it still feels like the economy is in a recession.

But the truth is that we haven’t seen anything yet.

Things are going to get much worse.

Already, Federal Reserve policymakers are discussing what steps they might take to stimulate economic activity “if the outlook were to worsen appreciably”.

So can more economic stimulus help?

To a limited extent.

The Federal Reserve and the U.S. government will likely try to inject more debt and more “economic stimulus” into the system to try to shock the economy back to life.

But the more debt the U.S. government takes on the worse our long-term problems are going to get. 

The reality is that the U.S. economic system is broken, and there is simply not any “quick fix” that is available that is going to get things back to normal.

So on an individual level, what should we all do?

Well, we all need to start becoming a lot less dependent on the system.

We should all consider how we can start our own businesses, grow our own food and trade within our own communities.

If the entire system is starting to break down, it is those who are the least dependent on the system that will have the best chance to prosper during the times ahead.

So what do you think?  Do you agree?  Do you disagree?  Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below….

Shipping Our Economy, Our Jobs And Our Prosperity To China

As the U.S. economy continues to implode, large American corporations are investing billions upon billions of dollars in China.  But all of this investment comes at a price.  Over the past several decades, hundreds of factories and manufacturing facilities that would have been constructed in the United States, along with millions of decent paying jobs, have ended up going to China instead where labor is so much cheaper.  In the process, China has become a massive economic powerhouse, while once thriving manufacturing cities in the United States such as Detroit are now rusted-out corpses.  In fact, China’s economy has grown so rapidly that it is being projected that in 2010 China will replace Japan as the world’s second-largest economy.  Not only that, but China has already overtaken Germany and is now the biggest exporter of goods in the entire world.  But none of this growth in communist China would have been possible without all of the globalism and free trade that U.S. politicians from both parties have been pushing on us for the last 40 years.  When they were selling us on the benefits of “free trade” they didn’t tell us that we would end up shipping our economy, our jobs and our prosperity over to China. 

American consumers never seemed to be able to put two and two together.  As we were busy running out and filling up our shopping carts with cheap plastic crap made in China, we didn’t seem to realize that a “global economy” meant that we would be competing for jobs and wages with workers on the other side of the world.

So now the U.S. economy, with its high wages and repressive government regulations, is suffering while China’s economy is thriving.

So just how much money are U.S. corporations pouring into China?

Well, according to the U.S.-China Business Council, U.S. corporations combined for $3.6 billion in direct foreign investment in China in 2009.  That was substantially up from $2.9 billion in 2008.

As U.S. companies pour increasingly large amounts of money into China, the economies of the U.S. and China are becoming inextricably linked.

In fact, some of the biggest “American” success stories are now manufactured in China.

For example, have you purchased an Apple iPhone?  Well, if you have, there is a really good chance that it was made in China.  Of course what Apple doesn’t tell you is that ten workers at the facility in China where the iPhone is manufactured have committed suicide in the past year by jumping off buildings at the factory.  Perhaps they were depressed over their low pay – the workers at the factory work very long hours but make less than 300 hundred dollars a month.

How would you like to work for 300 dollars a month?

But things could be even worse.

Reuters recently described the ordeal of one Chinese worker who spends at least eight hours a day standing on an assembly line putting together locks for Honda cars….

“Each year is the same. It makes me sick in the stomach. There’s no freshness to things anymore,” he said of his job which pays around 30 yuan (US$5) per day.

How in the world can American workers be expected to compete with someone who makes 5 dollars a day?

But some Chinese workers toil in even more difficult conditions.  According to the Toronto Star, employees at the Pingdingshan Cotton Textile Company work grueling two day shifts and yet only make 65 cents an hour.

These low wages have enabled big global corporations to make huge profits, and they have helped provide lots of low price products for American consumers, but in the process they are cannibalizing U.S. jobs, factories and businesses.

In fact, it is getting quite hard to find things that are made in the United States anymore.  Even many of the “organic foods” that you are buying at organic food stores are now actually made in China.

As tens of millions of American workers sit at home collecting unemployment checks, U.S. companies are busy making plans to invest billions more in China.

According to Pacific Epoch, a China-focused research firm based in Shanghai, Pepsi “has committed $1 billion over the next four years to build 14 new beverage production plants, in a move that will almost double its production capacity in the country.”

Couldn’t we use a few of those beverage production plants in the United States?

But who wants to pay U.S. workers 12 dollars an hour when they can pay Chinese workers 2 dollars an hour?

But Pepsi is far from alone.  Forbes recently detailed the massive investments that some of the major car companies are making in China….

General Motors and Volkswagen have invested billions in China, starting more than a decade ago. Ford is rushing to catch up by adding production capacity and expanding its dealer network in China. Ford and its joint-venture partner, Chang’an Ford Mazda Automobile, plan to start producing next-generation Ford Focus models at a new, $490 million plant in Chongqing in 2012.

Meanwhile, once thriving American manufacturing cities such as Detroit and Flint, Michigan are so dilapidated and run down that they literally look like war zones.

But it is not just U.S. companies that are investing in China.  According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, overall direct foreign investment in China rose 14 percent to approximately $39 billion in the first five months of 2010.  Nearly half of that money was spent on building or expanding factories.

The implications of all this are staggering.

First of all, nobody can deny any longer that China has become a superpower.  China now has one of the largest economies in the world, their military has been dramatically upgraded and modernized and they have developed a network of economic and diplomatic contacts around the globe that would have been unthinkable 20 or 30 years ago.

Meanwhile, the United States has an economy that is imploding, a reputation that has been deeply tarnished and a debt that is the largest in the history of the world. 

In fact, China owns about a trillion dollars of U.S. government debt.

Yes, the United States is falling and China is rising.

So now that China’s economy and manufacturing base has been built up so dramatically, what happens when someday the communist Chinese government decides that it doesn’t want to be such great friends with the United States anymore?

If relations between the two nations really go south someday, could U.S. corporations suddenly lose the billions upon billions that they have poured into China? 

Also, many Chinese military strategists believe that it is inevitable that there will be a war between the United States and China someday.  So could China end up using all of the technology and manufacturing capacity that they have gained at our expense against us someday?    

The truth is that all of the money and technology that we have poured into China could end up being one of the greatest national security blunders of all time. 

China is not a democracy.  The Communist Party runs China, and most of their leaders still believe in the ultimate worldwide triumph of communism.

So in the end the United States may look back and realize how incredibly stupid it was to build up communist China at the expense of our own economy.

But this is the world our leaders have built for us.  A world where globalism and “free trade” force us to compete for jobs against sweatshop laborers around the globe.

The reality is that this “new world” is not very good at all for the American middle class.  The economic realities of the 21st century are very cruel for Americans who are seeking to live a middle class lifestyle. 

Gradually, everyone in the world is being pushed into two economic groups.  The massive global corporations that dominate everyone and everything, and the worldwide mass of expendable labor that serves those global corporations.

It is this kind of “neo-feudalism” that we must avoid at all costs.  If the American people would just wake up this trend towards increasing globalism could be reversed.

But will they wake up?

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….

Barack Obama, The Federal Reserve And The New York Times: Millions Of Unemployed Americans Are NOT Going Back To Work Any Time Soon

Most Americans seem to be under the impression that the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs over the last few years will soon be going back to work as the U.S. economy recovers.  But that is not going to happen.  In fact, even Barack Obama, the Federal Reserve and the New York Times are all admitting that millions of unemployed Americans are not going back to work any time soon – and they are some of the biggest optimists regarding the long-term prospects for the U.S. economy.  Many are calling this a “jobless recovery”, but what we are experiencing right now is not a “recovery” at all.  Rather, we are currently in a “lull” in the economic storm.  All of the “bailouts” and “stimulus packages” have stabilized the U.S. economy for now, but they have made our long-term debt problems far worse.

So what does that mean?

It means that eventually millions and millions more Americans will lose their jobs.

So don’t count on the millions of Americans who are currently unemployed going back to work any time soon.

Even the most important newspaper in the United States (the New York Times), the most important financial institution in the nation (the Federal Reserve) and the president of the United States (Barack Obama) all say that the employment situation is not going to improve for quite some time…. 

*Barack Obama’s most recent budget proposal projects that the U.S. unemployment rate will remain at about 10% in 2010.  Of course we all know that the current official unemployment rate of approximately 10% is actually more like 18-22% in reality.

*The Federal Reserve also caused a stir recently when they said that the official U.S. unemployment rate will continue to stay up around 10% throughout 2010.

*In a recent article entitled “Millions of Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs”, the New York Times admitted that millions of Americans that have lost their jobs during this “recession” may be out of work for years.

Meanwhile, according to the Department of Labor, approximately 2.7 million unemployed Americans will lose their unemployment check before the end of April unless the U.S. Congress decides to extend their payments.

So what happens when millions of unemployed Americans don’t even have an unemployment check coming in?

Things are getting bad out there, and many financial institutions are beginning to take steps to protect themselves.

In fact, Citibank is now telling some of their customers that they are reserving the right to require 7 days advance notice before allowing a customer to withdraw their own money.

Yes, this is true.

Citibank is currently sending the following notification to their customers all over the United States, but according to them it was only supposed to go to their customers in Texas: “Effective April 1, 2010, we reserve the right to require (7) days advance notice before permitting a withdrawal from all checking accounts. While we do not currently exercise this right and have not exercised it in the past, we are required by law to notify you of this change.”

Could you imagine having to give your bank 7 days notice before you take your money out?

Dark economic times are ahead.

The truth is that the once great U.S. economy is crumbling.  Just check out the chart below.  Does this look like part of a “normal” economic cycle to you?….

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