Most Americans are deathly afraid to go to the hospital these days – and it is because of the immense pain that it will cause to their wallets. If you want to get on a path that will lead you to bankruptcy, just start going to the hospital a lot. In America today, hospitals and doctors are blatantly ripping us off and they aren’t making any apologies for it. As you will read about below, some hospitals mark up treatments by 1,000 percent. In other instances, basic medical supplies are being billed out at hundreds of times what they cost providers. For example, it has been reported that some hospitals are charging up to 30 dollars for a single aspirin pill. It would be difficult to argue that the extreme greed that we see in the medical system is even matched by the crooks on Wall Street. These medical predators get their hands on us when we are at our most vulnerable. They know that in our lowest moments we are willing to pay just about anything to get better or to make the pain go away. And so they very quietly have us sign a bunch of forms without ever telling us how much everything is going to cost. Eventually when the bills come in the mail, it is too late to do anything about it.
How would you feel if someone sold you something for ten times the amount that it was worth?
Would you feel ripped off?
Well, that is what hospitals all over the country are doing every single day. Just check out what one brand new study has discovered…
Some hospitals are marking up treatments by as much as 1,000 percent, a new study finds, and the average U.S. hospital charges uninsured patients three times what Medicare allows.
Twenty of the hospitals in the top 50 when it comes to marking up charges are in Florida, the researchers write in the journal Health Affairs. And three-quarters of them are operated by two Tennessee-based for-profit hospital systems: Community Health Systems and Hospital Corporation of America.
“We just want to raise public awareness of the problem,” said Ge Bai of Washington & Lee University in Virginia, an accounting professor who wrote the study along with Gerard Anderson of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Does reading that make you angry?
They are greedily taking advantage of all of us.
Other studies have come up with similar results. Here is one example…
According to National Nurses United, U.S. hospital charges continue to soar with a handful of them, such as Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus, N.J., going as far as charging more than ten times the total cost — or almost $1,200 per $100 of the cost of care. Meanwhile, the hundred priciest hospitals in the nation were found to have this cost ratio begin at 765 percent, which is more than twice the national average of 331 percent.
Much of the time, we are being overcharged for tests, services and procedures that we don’t even need.
It has been estimated that the amount of truly wasteful spending in the U.S. medical system comes to a grand total of about $600 billion to $700 billion annually. That means that wasteful medical spending in the U.S. each year is greater than the GDP of the entire country of Sweden.
And of course almost everyone has a story about an absolutely ridiculous medical bill that they have received. In fact, if you have one that you would like to share, please feel free to share it at the end of this article. The following are just a few examples that were shared in an editorial in a local newspaper…
Have you heard about the little girl who required three stitches over her right eye? The emergency room sent her parents a bill for $1,500 — $500 per stitch (NY Times, Dec. 3). My neighbor recently spent six hours in the emergency room with bleeding from the mouth. He was on a blood thinner, needed several blood tests, and his heart was monitored. His hospital bill came to $22,000. A California man diagnosed with lung cancer chose to fight his cancer aggressively. Eleven months later his widow received a bill exceeding $900,000.
One of the most disturbing trends that we are witnessing all over the nation is something called “drive by doctoring”. That is where an extra doctor that isn’t even necessary “pops in” to visit patients that are not his or “assists” with a surgery in order to stick the patient with a big, fat extra bill. The following is from a New York Times article about this disgusting practice…
Before his three-hour neck surgery for herniated disks in December, Peter Drier, 37, signed a pile of consent forms. A bank technology manager who had researched his insurance coverage, Mr. Drier was prepared when the bills started arriving: $56,000 from Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, $4,300 from the anesthesiologist and even $133,000 from his orthopedist, who he knew would accept a fraction of that fee.
He was blindsided, though, by a bill of about $117,000 from an “assistant surgeon,” a Queens-based neurosurgeon whom Mr. Drier did not recall meeting.
How would you like to receive a bill for $117,000 from a doctor that you had never met and that you did not know would be at your surgery?
This is how broken our medical system has become.
And of course this type of abuse is not just happening in New York. It is literally happening all over the nation…
In operating rooms and on hospital wards across the country, physicians and other health providers typically help one another in patient care. But in an increasingly common practice that some medical experts call drive-by doctoring, assistants, consultants and other hospital employees are charging patients or their insurers hefty fees. They may be called in when the need for them is questionable. And patients usually do not realize they have been involved or are charging until the bill arrives.
If you or a close family member has been to the hospital recently, you probably know how astronomical some of these bills can be.
And if you have a chronic, life threatening disease, you can very rapidly end up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.
If you doubt this, just check out the following excerpt from an article that appeared in Time Magazine. One cancer patient out in California ran up nearly a million dollars in hospital bills before he finally died…
By the time Steven D. died at his home in Northern California the following November, he had lived for an additional 11 months. And Alice had collected bills totaling $902,452. The family’s first bill — for $348,000 — which arrived when Steven got home from the Seton Medical Center in Daly City, Calif., was full of all the usual chargemaster profit grabs: $18 each for 88 diabetes-test strips that Amazon sells in boxes of 50 for $27.85; $24 each for 19 niacin pills that are sold in drugstores for about a nickel apiece. There were also four boxes of sterile gauze pads for $77 each. None of that was considered part of what was provided in return for Seton’s facility charge for the intensive-care unit for two days at $13,225 a day, 12 days in the critical unit at $7,315 a day and one day in a standard room (all of which totaled $120,116 over 15 days). There was also $20,886 for CT scans and $24,251 for lab work.
The sad truth is that the U.S. health care system has become all about the money.
A select few are becoming exceedingly wealthy while millions go broke. One very disturbing study discovered that approximately 41 percent of all working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt. And collection agencies seek to collect unpaid medical bills from approximately 30 million Americans every single year.
Once upon a time, going into the medical profession was a sacrifice and you did it because you wanted to help people.
Today, it is considered to be a path to riches.
If the U.S. health care system was a separate country, it would actually be the 6th largest economy on the entire planet. Even though our system is deeply broken, nobody wants to rock the boat because trillions of dollars are at stake. If it was up to me, I would tear the entire thing down and rebuild it from scratch.
So what about you? How would you fix our broken health care system? Please feel free to share your ideas by posting a comment below…
Will 2015 be a year of financial crashes, economic chaos and the start of the next great worldwide depression? Over the past couple of years, we have all watched as global financial bubbles have gotten larger and larger. Despite predictions that they could burst at any time, they have just continued to expand. But just like we witnessed in 2001 and 2008, all financial bubbles come to an end at some point, and when they do implode the pain can be extreme. Personally, I am entirely convinced that the financial markets are more primed for a financial collapse now than they have been at any other time since the last crisis happened nearly seven years ago. And I am certainly not alone. At this point, the warning cries have become a deafening roar as a whole host of prominent voices have stepped forward to sound the alarm. The following are 11 predictions of economic disaster in 2015 from top experts all over the globe…
#1 Bill Fleckenstein: “They are trying to make the stock market go up and drag the economy along with it. It’s not going to work. There’s going to be a big accident. When people realize that it’s all a charade, the dollar will tank, the stock market will tank, and hopefully bond markets will tank. Gold will rally in that period of time because it’s done what it’s done because people have assumed complete infallibility on the part of the central bankers.”
#2 John Ficenec: “In the US, Professor Robert Shiller’s cyclically adjusted price earnings ratio – or Shiller CAPE – for the S&P 500 is currently at 27.2, some 64pc above the historic average of 16.6. On only three occasions since 1882 has it been higher – in 1929, 2000 and 2007.”
#3 Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, one of the most respected economic journalists on the entire planet: “The eurozone will be in deflation by February, forlornly trying to ignite its damp wood by rubbing stones. Real interest rates will ratchet higher. The debt load will continue to rise at a faster pace than nominal GDP across Club Med. The region will sink deeper into a compound interest trap.”
#4 The Jerome Levy Forecasting Center, which correctly predicted the bursting of the subprime mortgage bubble in 2007: “Clearly the direction of most of the recent global economic news suggests movement toward a 2015 downturn.”
#5 Paul Craig Roberts: “At any time the Western house of cards could collapse. It (the financial system) is a house of cards. There are no economic fundamentals that support stock prices — the Dow Jones. There are no economic fundamentals that support the strong dollar…”
#6 David Tice: “I have the same kind of feel in ’98 and ’99; also ’05 and ’06. This is going to end badly. I have every confidence in the world.”
#7 Liz Capo McCormick and Susanne Walker: “Get ready for a disastrous year for U.S. government bonds. That’s the message forecasters on Wall Street are sending.”
#8 Phoenix Capital Research: “Just about everything will be hit as well. Most of the ‘recovery’ of the last five years has been fueled by cheap borrowed Dollars. Now that the US Dollar has broken out of a multi-year range, you’re going to see more and more ‘risk assets’ (read: projects or investments fueled by borrowed Dollars) blow up. Oil is just the beginning, not a standalone story.
If things really pick up steam, there’s over $9 TRILLION worth of potential explosions waiting in the wings. Imagine if the entire economies of both Germany and Japan exploded and you’ve got a decent idea of the size of the potential impact on the financial system.”
#9 Rob Kirby: “What this breakdown in the crude oil price is going to spawn another financial crisis. It will be tied to the junk debt that has been issued to finance the shale oil plays in North America. It is reported to be in the area of half a trillion dollars worth of junk debt that is held largely on the books of large financial institutions in the western world. When these bonds start to fail, they will jeopardize the future of these financial institutions. I do believe that will be the signal for the Fed to come riding to the rescue with QE4. I also think QE4 is likely going to be accompanied by bank bail-ins because we all know all western world countries have adopted bail-in legislation in their most recent budgets. The financial elites are engineering the excuse for their next round of money printing . . . and they will be confiscating money out of savings accounts and pension accounts. That’s what I think is coming in the very near future.”
#10 John Ing: “The 2008 collapse was just a dress rehearsal compared to what the world is going to face this time around. This time we have governments which are even more highly leveraged than the private sector was.
So this time the collapse will be on a scale that is many magnitudes greater than what the world witnessed in 2008.”
#11 Gerald Celente: “What does the word confidence mean? Break it down. In this case confidence = con men and con game. That’s all it is. So people will lose confidence in the con men because they have already shown their cards. It’s a Ponzi scheme. So the con game is running out and they don’t have any more cards to play.
What are they going to do? They can’t raise interest rates. We saw what happened in the beginning of December when the equity markets started to unravel. So it will be a loss of confidence in the con game and the con game is soon coming to an end. That is when you are going to see panic on Wall Street and around the world.”
If you have been following my website, you know that I have been pointing to 2015 for quite some time now.
For example, in my article entitled “The Seven Year Cycle Of Economic Crashes That Everyone Is Talking About“, I discussed the pattern of financial crashes that we have witnessed every seven years that goes all the way back to the Great Depression. The last two major stock market crashes began in 2001 and 2008, and now here we are seven years later.
Will the same pattern hold up once again?
In addition, there are many other economic cycles that seem to indicate that we are due for a major economic downturn. I discussed quite a few of these theories in my article entitled “If Economic Cycle Theorists Are Correct, 2015 To 2020 Will Be Pure Hell For The United States“.
But just like in 2000 and 2007, there are a whole host of doubters that are fully convinced that the party can continue indefinitely. Even though our economic fundamentals continue to get worse, our debt levels continue to grow and every objective measurement shows that Wall Street is more reckless and more vulnerable to collapse than ever before, they mock the idea that a financial collapse is imminent.
So let’s see what happens in 2015.
I have a feeling that it is going to be an extremely “interesting” year.
Ebola, Marburg, Enterovirus and Chikungunya – these diseases were not even on the radar of most people coming into 2014, but now each one of them is making headline news. So why is this happening? Why are so many deadly diseases breaking out all over the world right now? Is there some kind of a connection, or is the fact that so many horrible diseases are arising all at once just a giant coincidence? And this could be just the beginning. For example, there are now more than a million cases of Chikungunya in Central and South America, and authorities are projecting that there will be millions more in 2015. The number of Ebola cases continues to grow at an exponential rate, and now an even deadlier virus (Marburg) has broken out in Uganda. We have gone decades without experiencing a major worldwide pandemic, and many people believed that it could never happen in our day and time. But now we could potentially see several absolutely devastating diseases all racing across the planet at the same time.
On Monday, we got news that the first confirmed case of Ebola transmission in Europe has happened. A nurse in Spain that had treated a couple of returning Ebola patients has contracted the disease herself…
A nurse’s assistant in Spain is the first person known to have contracted Ebola outside of Africa in the current outbreak.
Spanish Health Minister Ana Mato announced Monday that a test confirmed the assistant has the virus.
The woman helped treat a Spanish missionary and a Spanish priest, both of whom had contracted Ebola in West Africa. Both died after returning to Spain.
Health officials said she developed symptoms on September 30. She was not hospitalized until this week. Her only symptom was a fever.
How many people did she spread the virus to before it was correctly diagnosed?
Meanwhile, Ebola continues to rage out of control in West Africa. It is being reported that Sierra Leone just added 121 new Ebola deaths to the overall death toll in a single day. If Ebola continues to spread at an exponential rate, it is inevitable that more people will leave West Africa with the virus and take it to other parts of the globe.
In fact, it was being reported on Monday that researchers have concluded that there is “a 50 percent chance” that Ebola could reach the UK by October 24th…
Experts have analysed the pattern of the spread of the disease, along with airline traffic data, to make the startling prediction Ebola could reach Britain by October 24.
They claim there is a 50 percent chance the virus could hit Britain by that date and a 75 percent chance the it could be imported to France, as the deadliest outbreak in history spreads across the world.
Currently, there is no cure for the disease, which has claimed more than 3,400 lives since March and has a 90 percent fatality rate.
I have written extensively about Ebola, but it is certainly not the only virus making headlines right now.
Down in Uganda, a man has just died from a confirmed case of the Marburg Virus…
A man has died in Uganda’s capital after an outbreak of Marburg, a highly infectious haemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola, authorities said on Sunday, adding that a total of 80 people who came into contact with him had been put under quarantine.
Marburg starts with a severe headache followed by haemorrhaging and leads to death in 80% or more of cases in about nine days. It is from the same family of viruses as Ebola, which has killed thousands in West Africa in recent months.
There is no vaccine or specific treatment for the Marburg virus, which is transmitted through bodily fluids such as saliva and blood or by handling infected wild animals such as monkeys.
The Marburg Virus is an absolutely horrible disease, and many consider it to be even more deadly than Ebola. But the fact that it kills victims so quickly may keep it from spreading as widely as Ebola.
We shall see.
Meanwhile, a disease that sounds very similar to Ebola and Marburg has popped up in Venezuela and doctors down there do not know what it is…
“We do not know what it is,” admitted Duglas León Natera, president of the Venezuelan Medical Federation.
In its initial stages, the disease presents symptoms of fever and spots on the skin, and then produces large blisters and internal and external bleeding, according to data provided week stop by the College of Physicians of the state of Aragua, where the first cases were reported.
Then, very quickly, patients suffer from respiratory failure, liver failure and kidney failure. Venezuelan doctors have not been able to determine what the disease is, much less how to fight it.
Why aren’t we hearing more about this in the mainstream news?
Here in the United States, enterovirus D-68 has sickened hundreds of children all over the country. So far cases have been confirmed in 43 different states, several children have been paralyzed by it, and one New Jersey boy has died…
Parents in New Jersey are concerned after a state medical examiner determined a virus causing severe respiratory illness across the country is responsible for the death of a 4-year-old boy.
Hamilton Township health officer Jeff Plunkett said the Mercer County medical examiner’s office found the death of Eli Waller was the result of enterovirus D-68. Waller, the youngest of a set of triplets, died in his sleep at home on Sept. 25.
The virus has sickened more than 500 people in 43 states and Washington, D.C.— almost all of them children. Waller is the first death in New Jersey directly linked to the virus.
The CDC seems to have no idea how to contain the spread of enterovirus D-68.
So why should we be confident that they will be able to contain the spread of Ebola?
Last but not least, the Chikungunya virus is at pandemic levels all over Central and South America.
We aren’t hearing that much about this disease in the U.S., but at this point more than a million people have already been infected…
An excruciating mosquito-borne illness that arrived less than a year ago in the Americas is raging across the region, leaping from the Caribbean to the Central and South American mainland, and infecting more than 1 million people. Some cases already have emerged in the United States.
The good news is that very few people actually die from this disease.
The bad news is that almost everyone that gets it feels like they are dying.
In a previous article, I wrote about the intense suffering that victims go through. According to Slate, the name of this virus originally “comes from a Makonde word meaning ‘that which bends up,’ referring to the contortions sufferers put themselves through due to intense joint pain.”
Right now, the number of cases of Chikungunya is absolutely exploding. Just check out the following excerpt from a recent Fox News report…
In El Salvador, health officials report nearly 30,000 suspected cases, up from 2,300 at the beginning of August, and hospitals are filled with people with the telltale signs of the illness, including joint pain so severe it can be hard to walk.
“The pain is unbelievable,” said Catalino Castillo, a 39-year-old seeking treatment at a San Salvador hospital. “It’s been 10 days and it won’t let up.”
Venezuelan officials reported at least 1,700 cases as of Friday, and the number is expected to rise. Neighboring Colombia has around 4,800 cases but the health ministry projects there will be nearly 700,000 by early 2015.
So why is this happening?
Why are so many absolutely horrible diseases emerging all at once?
Please share what you think by posting a comment below…
Why would the president of the United States try to purposely hurt the American people? Well, in 2013 this is done in order to score political points and force the opposition in to doing what you want them to do. A few days ago, an angry Park Service ranger publicly admitted that he and his fellow rangers have been ordered to “make life as difficult for people as we can” during this government shutdown. That Park Service ranger would never have received such an order unless it came from the very top. Apparently the Obama administration plans to cause as much pain as possible until Obama gets everything that he is demanding. In many cases, it is actually going to cost far more money to put up barricades and use guards to keep Americans from visiting open air memorials, driving on roads, and fishing in bodies of water than it would to put up a “closed” sign and simply go home. As you will see from the examples posted below, the Obama administration is being extremely spiteful and vindictive. And the level of hypocrisy that we are now witnessing is hard to fathom. For instance, the National Mall has been totally closed to the public, but the Obama administration is specifically reopening it for a massive pro-immigration rally that will benefit the Democrats politically. The abuse of power that is taking place is absolutely staggering, and the American people need to demand that those that are abusing it be held accountable when all of this is over.
The following are just a few examples of how Obama is using this shutdown to make life as difficult for people as possible…
#1 The Obama administration is doing all it can to keep Americans from even getting a glimpse of Mount Rushmore, but Barack Obama’s chefs have been deemed “essential” and are still preparing his meals.
#2 Small businesses cannot get loans, but the exclusive gyms that are only for members of Congress have been deemed “essential” and remain open.
#3 The National Mall has been closed to the public, but it will be opened for a huge pro-immigration rally being held by Obama supporters.
#4 Last chance cancer treatments for children with cancer have been suspended, but the IRS continues to collect taxes from us.
#5 The NIH has stopped therapy dogs from visiting sick children, but Obama and Congress are still getting paid.
#6 The USDA website has been shut down, but Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move website is still operating.
#7 A runner has been fined $100 for jogging through Valley Forge National Historical Park, but the military golf course that Obama uses regularly is still open.
#8 The Obama administration has shut down the Grand Canyon, but the new two billion dollar NSA spy center is still spying on all of us.
#9 The federal government has forced an elderly couple out of their home on Lake Mead during this shutdown, but the operations of the Federal Reserve have not been affected at all.
#10 In South Carolina, the Obama administration is actually using Park Service rangers to keep people away from a privately-owned hotel.
#11 In Tennessee, the feds have totally shut down the Foothills Parkway, a major thoroughfare that runs through Blount County. At this point the feds are not even letting people visit the graves of their dead relatives.
#12 The Obama administration has actually removed all of the well pumps along a 184 mile trail that goes from Washington D.C. to Pittsburgh just so that anyone that decides to use the trail will not be able to get any water to drink.
#13 The Obama administration is actually attempting to close 1,100 square miles of ocean off of the coast of Florida. It is going to take a tremendous amount of time, money and energy to keep fishing boats out of that area.
#14 According to one news report, “Gestapo tactics” were used against one tour group made up mostly of senior citizens at Yellowstone National Park…
Pat Vaillancourt went on a trip last week that was intended to showcase some of America’s greatest treasures.
Instead, the Salisbury resident said she and others on her tour bus witnessed an ugly spectacle that made her embarrassed, angry and heartbroken for her country.
Vaillancourt was one of thousands of people who found themselves in a national park as the federal government shutdown went into effect on Oct. 1. For many hours her tour group, which included senior citizen visitors from Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States, were locked in a Yellowstone National Park hotel under armed guard.
The tourists were treated harshly by armed park employees, she said, so much so that some of the foreign tourists with limited English skills thought they were under arrest.
When finally allowed to leave, the bus was not allowed to halt at all along the 2.5-hour trip out of the park, not even to stop at private bathrooms that were open along the route.
#15 Of course one of the most disturbing abuses of power is how the Obama administration is using barricades and guards to keep military veterans away from open air memorials such as the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial and the Iwo Jima Memorial that are normally open to the public 24 hours a day.
It is beyond disgusting for Barack Obama to take these memorials hostage for political gain.
And a lot of military veterans have decided that they are not going to take this slap in the face. In fact, one group is organizing a “Million Veteran March on the Memorials” this weekend. You can find their Facebook page right here. According to their page, a mass protest is being planned for 9 AM this Sunday morning…
“Join fellow Veterans at the war memorials in Washington DC on Sunday October 13th at 9 AM and at memorials across these United States.”
And veterans will not be the only ones in D.C. this weekend. An organization known as “Truckers Ride for the Constitution” will also be there. You can find their Facebook page right here. The truckers are planning a three day strike and protest which will stretch from Friday to Sunday…
“The American people are sick and tired of the corruption that is destroying America! We therefore declare a national protest in support of our nation’s truckers on the weekend of October 11-13, 2013! Truck drivers will not haul freight! Americans can strike in solidarity with truck drivers! Truckers will lead the path to saving our country if every American rides with them!”
Many truckers are even planning to take their trucks right into the heart of Washington D.C. itself.
It will certainly be interesting to see what happens.
Personally, I have never seen anything like what we are witnessing right now. The president of the United States is actually trying to purposely hurt the American people in order to put pressure on Congress. He isn’t even being subtle about it.
Whether you are a Democrat, a Republican or an Independent, you have got to be absolutely disgusted by what Obama is doing. He is showing an astounding lack of respect for the American people.
It is one thing to play hardball with Congress. That is acceptable. It is quite another thing to spitefully abuse the American people in order to get what you want.
What Obama has done goes way over the line. If the American people are not outraged by this, what will it take to wake them up?
The United States is a deeply unhappy place. We are a nation that is absolutely consumed by fear, stress, anger and depression. It isn’t just our economy that is falling apart – the very fabric of society is starting to come apart at the seams and it is because of what is happening to us on the inside. The facts and statistics that I am going to share with you in this article are quite startling. They are clear evidence that America is a nation that is an advanced state of decline. We are overwhelmed by fear, stress and anxiety, and much of the time the ways that we choose to deal with those emotions lead to some very self-destructive behaviors. Americans have experienced a standard of living far beyond the wildest dreams of most societies throughout human history, and yet we are an absolutely miserable people. Why is this? Why is America #1 in so many negative categories? Why are we constantly looking for ways to escape the pain of our own lives? Why are our families falling apart? There is vast material wealth all around us. So why can’t we be happy?
Just look around you. Are most of the people around you teeming with happiness and joy? Sadly, the truth is that most Americans are terribly stressed out. Yeah, many of them may be able to manage to come up with a smile when they greet you, but most of the time they are consumed by internal struggles that are eating away at them like cancer.
So why is this happening? Is modern life structured in a way that is fundamentally unhealthy?
Below I have posted a short excerpt from a message that one of Charles Hugh Smith’s readers named Kenneth Daigle recently sent to him. I think that it does a good job of describing the incredible stress that many people contend with on a daily basis…
Think about how our culture is now structured for the average adult: STRESS, everywhere you look–commuting in horrible traffic, as you want to scream in frustration–money stress, to pay rent/house note, tuition, utilities, gas, insurances, vacations, cable bill, rising food costs, and on and on and on–stress from family problems, divorce, delinquency, drugs, crime, infidelity, keeping up with the Jones, etc.
People have too high an expectation of what they should have out of life, and get overly stressed over it all. How does all of this manifest itself? A prescription drug culture (Zoloft, Xanax, etc.) that tricks people into thinking a pill will knock back the stress, when these drugs, in my opinion, only make things worse.
I am hearing more and more that people just want to drop out from it all, as they are reaching a breaking point, and have decided less income and dependency on entitlements will reduce their stress, and is not so humiliating, so giving up working becomes more acceptable, to KEEP ONE’S SANITY.
I know I am correct, from the feedback I hear every day, and the financial media does not see this like I hear it every day. People don’t want to admit that they are too weak to deal with stress, so the financial pundits are not aware of this critical factor because they don’t talk to Joe Sixpack.
Most Americans live lives of “quiet desperation” that are punctuated by moments of great crisis. We spend our prime years working for others (making them rich) in order to pay off debts that we have foolishly accumulated (thus making the banks even wealthier). When most Americans reach the end of their lives, they look back and wonder what they actually accomplished.
James Altucher published an incredible article the other day entitled “Why Do People Hate Their Jobs?” It did a great job of describing what life is like for the modern worker in America. The following are a few of the reasons that he says people tend to hate their jobs…
-Jobs are modern-day slavery. We are paid just enough to live and not more. You are punished if you ask for more.
-We are often verbally abused on the job and we take it because we think it’s normal that people would yell at us.
-The government gets up to 50% of your paycheck and then 10-20% of that goes to kill people on other parts of the planet, including our own children.
-From 7am to 7pm you are either A) going to work, B) at work, or C) coming back from work. Hence, the times when you can be most creative are garbage-compacted into your cubicle.
-When you are paranoid at a job, you are probably correct. THEY are, in fact, talking about you and backstabbing you right now.
-You realize that all the dollars you spent on degrees to get you a job that will make you happy were completely wasted. You were scammed but you can’t let the next generation know how stupid you were so now you become part of perpetuating the scam.
-Your spouse is tired of hearing about your job after six months. And you couldn’t care less about hers. Ten years later you wake up next to a total stranger. 40 years later you die next to one.
-When you were a kid you liked to draw, and read, and run, and laugh, and play, and imagine a magical world. You’re never going to do any of that again.
-Over time everyone is getting fired and being replaced by younger, cheaper, more temporary, more robotic, versions of you. You see this but are afraid to do anything about it.
And of course when we get home from work there is even more stress. In America today, we are witnessing a breakdown of the family unlike anything we have ever seen before. The United States leads the world in divorce and in single person households. We are having an increasingly difficult time relating to one another, and many of us drown our sorrows in our addictions. We are addicted to pills, to alcohol, to food, to entertainment, to sex, to gambling, to shopping and to anything else that will make us feel good and forget about our problems for a while.
The following is a collection of facts and statistics that prove that America is being absolutely consumed by fear, stress, anger and depression…
-Suicide has now actually surpassed car accidents as the number one cause of “injury death” in the United States.
-More U.S. soldiers killed themselves than were killed in combat last year.
-As I mentioned in another article, Americans will spend more than 280 billion dollars on prescription drugs during 2013.
–Nearly one out of every four women in the United States are taking antidepressants.
-The percentage of women taking antidepressants in the U.S. is higher than in any other country in the world.
-In 2010, the average teen in the U.S. was taking 1.2 central nervous system drugs. Those are the kinds of drugs which treat conditions such as ADHD and depression.
-Children in the United States are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants as children in Europe are.
-According to a recent article by David Kupelian, “one-third of the nation’s employees suffer chronic debilitating stress, and more than half of all ‘millennials’ (18 to 33 year olds) experience a level of stress that keeps them awake at night, including large numbers diagnosed with depression or anxiety disorder.”
-Tens of millions of Americans use alcohol and drugs to numb the pain that they are experiencing. In the United States today, there are about 28 million Americans with a drinking problem and about 22 million Americans use illegal drugs.
-More people have been diagnosed with mental disorders in America than anywhere else on earth.
-There are also tens of millions of Americans that try to deal with anxiety and stress by eating. Of all the major industrialized nations, America is the most obese. Mexico is #2.
-Back in 1962, only 13 percent of all Americans were obese. Today, approximately 36 percent of all Americans are obese.
-Many people try to escape from the pain of reality by getting lost in entertainment. Incredibly, the United States is tied with the UK for the highest average number of hours spent watching television each week.
-The United States has the highest divorce rate in the world by a good margin.
-The United States has the highest percentage of one person households on the entire planet.
-According to the Pew Research Center, only 51 percent of all American adults are currently married. Back in 1960, 72 percent of all adults in the United States were married.
-At this point, approximately one out of every three children in America lives in a home without a father.
-For women under the age of 30 living in the United States today, more than half of all babies are being born out of wedlock.
-The United States has the highest child abuse death rate in the developed world.
-In the United States today, it is estimated that one out of every four girls is sexually abused before they become adults.
-The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world by a very wide margin.
-The United States produces more pornography than any other nation in the world.
-If you can believe it, there are 20 million new STD infections in the United States every single year.
-The U.S. has the highest STD infection rate in the entire industrialized world.
-It is estimated that about one out of every six Americans between the ages of 14 and 49 have genital herpes.
-Sadly, one out of every four teen girls in the U.S. has at least one sexually transmitted disease.
-The United States leads the world in eating disorder deaths.
-Nobody in the world gets more plastic surgery done than Americans do.
-Americans spend more time sitting in traffic than anyone else in the world.
-America has the highest incarceration rate and the largest total prison population in the entire world by a very wide margin.
Fear is one of the primary things that motivates the American people, and that is a very powerful weapon that can be used against us.
As I wrote about yesterday, those that commit acts of terror want to get attention and they want to create fear.
And that is exactly what the Boston Marathon bombing accomplished. It captured the attention of the nation for days on end, and it absolutely paralyzed the entire Boston area with fear.
When we allow ourselves to be terrorized, we actually encourage more terror attacks. When we give terrorists what they want, it just encourages more psychos to commit acts of terror. If you don’t believe me, just check out the following links that I found posted on The Drudge Report on Monday…
*”3 Alabama hospitals evacuated after bomb threats“*
*”Connecticut Courthouse Evacuated After Bomb Threat“*
*”South Hills Village Evacuated After Bomb Threat“*
*”Rock Island neighborhood evacuated after bomb threat“*
*”Bomb threat forces evacuation of Seabreeze office building“*
The appropriate response to a terror attack is to refuse to be terrorized. Yes, we should also work to expose and punish the individuals, organizations and governments that are behind terror. But we should also not let terror change how we live our lives, and we should definitely not allow terror to be used as an excuse to rip our liberties and freedoms away.
Sadly, as Ron Paul has detailed, some of our politicians are already calling for “tighter security” in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing…
Sadly, I expect this week’s tragic attacks in Boston to be used to justify new restrictions on liberty. Within 48 hours of the attack in Boston, at least one Congressman was calling for increased use of surveillance cameras to expand the government’s ability to monitor our actions, while another Senator called for a federal law mandating background checks before Americans can buy “explosive powder.”
I would not be surprised if the Transportation Security Administration uses this tragedy to claim new authority to “screen” Americans before they can attend sporting or other public events. The Boston attack may also be used as another justification for creating a National ID Card tied to a federal database with “biometric” information. The only thing that will stop them is if the American people rediscover the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin that you cannot achieve security by allowing government to take their liberties.
But no matter how much liberty and freedom we give up, we will never be 100% safe. Bad people are always going to do bad things, and unfortunately we are probably going to see some pretty nightmarish things in the years ahead as the world becomes even more unstable.
If we allow the bad guys to get us so frightened that we throw out the U.S. Constitution and abandon our liberties and our freedoms, then we are the ones who lose.
Yes, the years ahead are going to be tough. The economic collapse is going to accelerate greatly, there will be tremendous natural disasters, there will be war in the Middle East and there will be other problems that we cannot even conceive of right now. At the same time, the American people will continue to become even angrier and even more frustrated. According to a recent Pew Research survey, the percentage of Americans with a favorable view of the federal government is now at an all-time low. As the economy crumbles, there will likely be great civil unrest as people demand solutions. Unfortunately, our problems took decades to develop and they will not be solved overnight even if we did have good people in office.
So why am I saying all of this?
And why am I constantly warning about the coming economic collapse?
Is it because I want to create fear?
No, just the opposite of that.
I am a watchman on the wall.
In ancient times, a watchman would warn the people when the enemy was approaching.
When you receive the warning, there are a few different ways that you can respond to it…
#1 You can become consumed with fear and run away from the enemy. Unfortunately, cowards never get the victory in the end.
#2 You can dismiss the warning and pretend that the enemy is not approaching. But then when the enemy comes you will be completely unprepared.
#3 You can do everything possible to get prepared to face the enemy that is coming with strength and courage.
And that is how I would encourage all of you to approach the coming economic collapse and the other great problems that we will soon be experiencing as a nation.
Do not be afraid.
Instead, be strong and courageous and prepare well for the storms that are coming.
Do you believe that economic trouble is coming in 2013? If so, you have a lot of company. According to a brand new Gallup poll that was just released, 65 percent of Americans believe that 2013 will be a year of “economic difficulty” while only 33 percent of Americans believe that 2013 will be a year of “economic prosperity”. Gallup has been asking this question for a lot of years, and the percentage of Americans that are anticipating economic difficulty in the year ahead has not been this high since the early 1980s. And without a doubt, there are a whole lot of reasons to be deeply concerned about the economy as we head into the new year. But it isn’t just 2013 that Americans are pessimistic about. According to the new Gallup poll, 50 percent of all Americans believe that the best days of America are behind us, and only 47 percent of all Americans believe that the best days of America are ahead of us. Those are very sobering numbers. Half the country believes that it is only downhill from here for the United States. Unfortunately, they are exactly right. Things are rapidly going to get worse for our economy and for our nation as a whole. We are going to start reaping the consequences of decades of very foolish decisions, and the pain is going to be immense.
Gallup asked some other very interesting questions as well. The following are some of the other results from the poll…
-68 percent of Americans believe that 2013 will be a year of rising crime rates.
-57 percent of Americans believe that 2013 will be a year in which American power will decline in the world.
-82 percent of Americans believe that 2013 will be a year in which taxes in the United States will rise.
So why are so many people so pessimistic as we enter 2013?
That is a good question. I think that a lot of people are starting to wake up and are realizing the gigantic problems that are staring the U.S. right in the face.
Even our friends over in Europe can see what is happening to us. We are like a former athletic champion that is now clearly on the wrong side of “middle age” and is exhibiting obvious signs of decline. We still like to think of ourselves as “the champ”, but the truth is that we are fat, lazy, broken down and bankrupt. The following is a brief excerpt from an article that appeared in a major UK news source the other day…
The rest of the world — dangerously reliant on a buoyant U.S. — should note one thing above all: the fundamentals of America’s economy are, frankly, terrible, and its international dominance is not nearly as assured as it once was.
Its economic culture has started to change since President Obama entered the White House four years ago this month.
America more closely resembles Europe in living beyond its means and in the President’s determination to build a massive welfare state.
The mainstream media and most of our politicians endlessly proclaim that things are about to turn around and that a “recovery” is on the way, but that is not even close to the truth.
Fortunately, a few of our politicians realize what is really happening and are willing to talk about it. Unfortunately, not enough people are listening to them.
For example, Ron Paul has a really good grasp on how destructive the U.S. national debt is and how we are literally destroying the bright future that our children and our grandchildren should have had. The following is what he posted on his Facebook page the other day about the “fiscal cliff deal” that just got pushed through Congress…
We Are Already Over the Fiscal Cliff
2 January 2013
Despite claims that the Administration and Congress saved America from the fiscal cliff with an early morning vote today, the fact is that government spending has already pushed Americans over the cliff. Only serious reductions in federal spending will stop the cliff dive from ending in a crash landing, yet the events of this past month show that most elected officials remain committed to expanding the welfare-warfare state.
While there was much hand-wringing over the “draconian” cuts that would be imposed by sequestration, in fact sequestration does not cut spending at all. Under the sequestration plan, government spending will increase by 1.6 trillion over the next eight years. Congress calls this a cut because without sequestration spending will increase by 1.7 trillion over the same time frame. Either way it is an increase in spending.
Yet even these minuscule cuts in the “projected rate of spending” were too much for Washington politicians to bear. The last minute “deal” was the worst of both worlds: higher taxes on nearly all Americans now and a promise to revisit these modest reductions in spending growth two months down the road. We were here before, when in 2011 Republicans demanded these automatic modest decreases in government growth down the road in exchange for a massive increase in the debt ceiling. As the time drew closer, both parties clamored to avoid even these modest moves.
Make no mistake: the spending addiction is a bipartisan problem. It is generally believed that one party refuses to accept any reductions in military spending while the other party refuses to accept any serious reductions in domestic welfare programs. In fact, both parties support increases in both military and domestic welfare spending. The two parties may disagree on some details of what kind of military or domestic welfare spending they favor, but they do agree that they both need to increase. This is what is called “bipartisanship” in Washington.
While the media played up the drama of the down-to-the-wire negotiations, there was never any real chance that a deal would not be worked out. It was just drama. That is how Washington operates. As it happened, a small handful of Congressional and Administration leaders gathered in the dark of the night behind closed doors to hammer out a deal that would be shoved down the throats of Members whose constituents had been told repeatedly that the world would end if this miniscule decrease in the rate of government spending was allowed to go through.
While many on both sides express satisfaction that this deal only increases taxes on the “rich,” most Americans will see more of their paycheck going to Washington because of the deal. The Tax Policy Center has estimated that 77 percent of Americans would see higher taxes because of the elimination of the payroll tax cut.
The arguments against the automatic “cuts” in military spending were particularly dishonest. Hawks on both sides warned of doom and gloom if, as the plan called for, the defense budget would have returned to 2007 levels of spending! Does anybody really believe that our defense spending was woefully inadequate just five years ago? And since 2007 we have been told that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are winding down. According to the Congressional Budget Office, over the next eight years military spending would increase 20 percent without the sequester and would increase 18 percent with the sequester. And this is what is called a dangerous reduction in defense spending?
Ironically, some of the members who are most vocal against tax increases and in favor of cuts to domestic spending are the biggest opponents of cutting a penny from the Pentagon budget. Over and over we were told of the hundreds of thousands of jobs that would be lost should military spending be returned to 2007 levels. Is it really healthy to think of our defense budget as a jobs program? Many of these allegedly free-market members sound more Keynesian than Paul Krugman when they praise the economic “stimulus” created by militarism.
As Chris Preble of the Cato Institute wrote recently, “It’s easy to focus exclusively on the companies and individuals hurt by the cuts and forget that the taxed wealth that funded them is being employed elsewhere.”
While Congress ultimately bears responsibility for deficit spending, we must never forget that the Federal Reserve is the chief enabler of deficit spending. Without a central bank eager to monetize the debt, Congress would be unable to fund the welfare-warfare state without imposing unacceptable levels of taxation on the American people. Of course, the Federal Reserve’s policies do impose an “inflation” tax on the American people; however, since this tax is hidden Congress does not fear the same public backlash it would experience if it directly raised income taxes.
I have little hope that a majority of Congress and the President will change their ways and support real spending reductions unless forced to by an economic crisis or by a change in people’s attitudes toward government. Fortunately, increasing numbers of Americans are awakening to the dangers posed by the growth of the welfare-warfare state. Hopefully this movement will continue to grow and force the politicians to reverse course before government spending, taxing, and inflation destroys our economy entirely.
It was good that Ron Paul placed blame on both political parties and on the Federal Reserve for our debt problems.
The Federal Reserve is not often talked about much when it comes to assigning blame for the debt, but it truly is one of the primary reasons why our debt is so enormous today. The Federal Reserve system was designed to be a perpetual government debt machine, and it has accomplished that task very well.
When the Federal Reserve was first created, the total U.S. national debt was less than 3 billion dollars.
That is about as much as we add to the U.S. national debt every single day at this point.
And since Ben Bernanke took the reigns at the Fed, our debt problems have greatly accelerated.
The U.S. national debt has more than doubled from a little over $8 trillion to more than $16.4 trillion since Ben Bernanke became chairman of the Federal Reserve in 2006.
But disaster has not struck yet, so most Americans think that everything must be okay.
Well, if you want to ignore all of the evidence of our impending economic demise, go ahead and do that. Go on lots of expensive vacations, run up your credit cards, buy a new boat and party like its 1999. Enjoy every minute of our debt-fueled prosperity while you still can. You only live once, right?
But if you are wise, you will try to understand what is coming and you will make preparations so that you and your family will be able to withstand the storm that is coming. Here are some basic steps that I suggest…
-Use this time of relative prosperity to work hard and make money while you still can. You want to store up your finances during the good times to help you get through the lean times.
-Get out of debt. You don’t want massive amounts of debt weighing you down when things get really hard.
-Get more independent of the world system. Start a side business in the evenings and the weekends. Learn how to grow your own food. Get your house off of the grid if possible. Anything you can do to become more independent and more self-sufficient is good.
-Store food and other essential supplies. Right now we take for granted that the supermarkets and the big box stores will always be packed with mountains of quality goods at affordable prices. That may not always be the case. You want to be prepared for whatever may happen.
For even more tips, please see my previous article entitled “How To Prepare For The Difficult Years Ahead“.
All bubbles eventually burst.
Our national debt bubble will eventually burst.
The derivatives bubble will eventually burst.
The consumer debt bubble will eventually burst.
When those bubbles burst, will you be ready?
I hope and pray that you will.
Europe is not just heading into another recession. The truth is that Europe is heading into a full-blown depression. The economy of the EU is actually larger than the U.S. economy, and we are watching it melt down right in front of our eyes. Things just continue to get worse in Europe, and yet somehow the authorities over in Europe just keep insisting that everything is going to be “just fine”. Well, everything is not “just fine” over in Europe right now. Unemployment in the eurozone has just hit another brand new record high. In some nations in Europe, the unemployment rate is already significantly higher than anything the United States experienced during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Europe is a continent that is collapsing under the weight of its own debt, and this is just the beginning. A lot more pain is on the way. Officials over in Europe are trying to hold the European financial system together with duct tape and prayers, but it could literally fall apart at any moment. Europe has a much larger banking system than the United States does, so when a financial collapse happens in Europe, it is going to be very significant for the entire globe. Sadly, most Americans do not even pay attention to much of anything that is happening in Europe. They tend to think that the United States is the center of the universe and that as long as we are fine that everything will be okay. Well, all of those people who are not paying attention need to wake up. First of all, the U.S. economy is most definitely in decline. Secondly, the European economy is imploding right in front of our eyes and Europe is going to end up dragging the entire globe down with it.
The following are 11 facts that show that Europe is heading into an economic depression…
1. The economies of 17 out of the 27 countries in the EU have contracted for at least two consecutive quarters.
2. Unemployment in the eurozone has hit a brand new all-time record high of 11.7 percent.
3. The unemployment rate in Portugal is now up to 16.3 percent. A year ago it was just 13.7 percent.
4. The unemployment rate in Greece is now up to 25.4 percent. A year ago it was just 18.4 percent.
5. The unemployment rate in Spain has hit a brand new all-time record high of 26.2 percent. How much higher can it possibly go? This is already higher than the unemployment rate in the United States ever reached during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
6. Youth unemployment levels in both Greece and Spain are rapidly approaching the 60 percent level.
7. Earlier this month, Moody’s stripped France of its AAA credit rating, and wealthy individuals are leaving France in droves as the socialists implement plans to raise taxes to very high levels on the rich.
8. Industrial production is collapsing all over Europe. Just check out these numbers…
You don’t have to be an economic genius to understand that the perpetual uncertainty over the Eurozone’s future has led to a widespread freeze on industrial investment and development. Industrial production is collapsing at an accelerating rate, falling 7% year-on-year in Spain and Greece, 4.8% in Italy, and 2.1% in France.
9. There are even trouble signs in the “stable” economies in Europe. In Germany, factory orders in September were down 3.3 percent from the month before, and retail sales in October declined 2.8 percent from the previous month.
10. The debt of the Greek government is now projected to hit 189 percent of GDP by the end of this year.
11. The Greek economy has shrunk by more than 7 percent this year, and it is being projected that the Greek economy will contract by another 4.5 percent in 2013.
But sometimes you can’t really get a feel for how bad things really are over there just from the raw economic numbers.
Many people that are living through these depression-like conditions are totally giving in to despair. Just check out the following example from an RT article from earlier this year…
A 61-year-old Greek pensioner has hung himself from a tree in a public park after succumbing to the pressure of crushing debt. A note in his pocket indicates he is merely the latest in a rash of economic crisis-induced suicides.
The pensioner’s lifeless body was found dangling by an attendant in a public park not far from his home in the suburb of Nikaia, Athens. The attendant also found a suicide note in the man’s pocket, The Athens news reports.
The man, identifying himself as Alexandros, said he was a man of few vices who “worked all day.” However, he blamed himself from committing one “horrendous crime”: becoming a professional at the age of 40 and plunging himself into debt. He referred to himself as a 61-year-old idiot who had to pay, hoping his grandchildren would not be born in Greece, as the country’s prospects were so bleak.
Please take note of what is happening in places like Greece and Spain right now, because similar conditions will soon be coming to the United States.
This is one reason why I try so hard to encourage people to prepare for what is coming. There is hope in understanding what is coming and there is hope in getting prepared.
You don’t want to end up getting blindsided by the coming crisis and end up sitting on a park bench trying to figure out if life is still worth living or not.
Life is most definitely worth living. Yes, a storm is coming and the world is going to become incredibly unstable in more ways than one. But if you understand what is coming and you work hard to prepare, then you and your family will have a chance to thrive even in the midst of the storm.
Please learn from what is happening over in Europe. The economic horror show that is unfolding over there is going to come to America too, and time is running out.
Do you want to know when the “economic collapse” is going to happen? Just open up your eyes and take a look. The “economic collapse” is already happening all around us. So many people talk about the coming economic collapse as if it is some massively hyped event that they will be able to point to on the calendar, and a lot of writers spend a lot of time speculating about exactly when it will happen. But as I have written about before, the economic collapse is not a single event. The economic collapse has been happening, it is happening right now, and it will be getting a lot worse. Yes, there will be moments of great crisis. We saw one of those “waves” back in 2008 and another “wave” is rapidly approaching. But all of the waves are part of a process that is continually unfolding. Over the past 40 years, the United States and Europe have piled up the greatest mountain of debt in the history of the world, and now a tremendous amount of pain is heading our way. Economic conditions in the United States and Europe have already deteriorated badly and they are going to continue to deteriorate. Nothing is going to stop what is coming.
But many people are still in denial about our economic decline. Some people still believe that everything is going to be just fine. Way too often I get comments on my site that go something like this….
“I just don’t know what you are talking about. Where I live everything is just fine. The malls are packed, the restaurants are full and everybody I know is going on vacation this summer. Personally, I am doing great. I just bought a 60 inch television and a new boat. Every year all the ‘doom and gloom’ types such as yourself proclaim that an economic collapse is right around the corner but it never happens. And you know what? It is not going to happen. Those in charge know what they are doing and America has the greatest economy on earth. We have overcome challenges before and we will be able to handle whatever comes this time. Your lack of faith in America and in the American people astounds me. Everything is going to be just fine, so why don’t you just *************************************.”
You get the idea.
I definitely understand that most Americans are terribly self-involved these days, but when I read comments like this I am once again amazed at just how delusional some people can be.
Why can’t people just open their eyes and look at the evidence of economic collapse that is all around us?
Yes, there are wealthy enclaves all over the country where things may seem better than ever, but that is not the reality for most Americans.
All over the country, our infrastructure is in shambles.
All over the country, our once proud cities are being transformed into hellholes.
All over the country, formerly middle class families are living in their cars.
There are dozens and dozens of economic statistics that clearly show that we are in the midst of a long-term economic decline. I have listed 65 of them below, but I could have easily doubled or tripled the size of the list.
I simply do not understand how anyone can believe that things are “great” or that the U.S. economy is going to be “just fine”.
We are living through a complete and total economic nightmare, and hopefully we can get more Americans to wake up from their entertainment-induced comas so that they can begin to understand exactly what is happening to this country.
The following are 65 signs that the economic collapse is already happening all around us….
1. Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the number of long-term unemployed Americans has doubled from 2.7 million to 5.4 million.
2. The average duration of unemployment in the United States is nearly three times as long as it was back in the year 2000.
3. The unemployment rate in the U.S. has been above 8 percent for 40 months in a row, and 42 percent of all unemployed Americans have been out of work for at least half a year.
4. Unemployment in the eurozone has hit another brand new record high. It is now sitting at 11.2 percent. It has risen for 14 months in a row.
5. The U.S. economy lost more than 220,000 small businesses during the recent recession.
6. The percentage of Americans that are self-employed fell by more than 20 percent between 1991 and 2010.
7. Overall, the number of “new entrepreneurs and business owners” dropped by a staggering 53 percent between 1977 and 2010.
8. The unemployment rate in Spain is now up to 24.6 percent.
9. Morgan Stanley is projecting that the unemployment rate in Greece will exceed 25 percent in 2013.
10. Since Barack Obama became president, the price of a gallon of gasoline has risen from $1.85 to $3.49.
11. The average American household spent approximately $4,155 on gasoline during 2011, and electricity bills in the U.S. have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.
12. About three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as will be sold in 2012.
13. While Barack Obama has been in the White House, home values in the United States have declined by 12 percent.
14. According to AARP, 600,000 American homeowners that are 50 years of age or older are currently in foreclosure.
15. Right now there are now 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing. That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.
16. According to Gallup, the current level of homeownership in the United States is the lowest that they have ever measured.
17. Federal housing assistance increased by a whopping 42 percent between 2006 and 2010.
18. In some areas of Detroit, Michigan you can buy a three bedroom home for just $500.
19. All around us our cities are crumbling. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, 2.2 trillion dollars is needed just to repair critical infrastructure in the United States.
20. The unemployment rate in New York City is now back up to 10 percent. That equals the peak unemployment rate in New York City during the last recession.
21. Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs. Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.
22. The U.S. Postal Service is about to default on a 5.5 billion dollar payment for future retiree health benefits.
23. According to Graham Summers, “when we account for all the backdoor schemes Germany has engaged in to prop up the EU, Germany’s REAL Debt to GDP is closer to 300%.”
24. According to the Federal Reserve, the median net worth of families in the United States declined “from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010“.
25. The U.S. trade deficit with China during 2011 was 28 times larger than it was back in 1990.
26. The United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.
27. During 2010 alone, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities permanently shut down in the United States every single day.
28. The U.S. government says that the number of Americans “not in the labor force” rose by 17.9 million between 2000 and 2011. During the entire decade of the 1980s, the number of Americans “not in the labor force” rose by only 1.7 million.
29. Eight million Americans have “left the labor force” since the recession supposedly ended. If those Americans were added back into the unemployment figures, the unemployment rate would be somewhere up around 12 percent.
30. Approximately 53 percent of all U.S. college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed last year.
31. At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less. If that sounds like a high figure, that is because it is. Today, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.
32. Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs. Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.
33. According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 declined by 27 percent after you account for inflation.
34. In 2007, the unemployment rate for the 20 to 29 age bracket was about 6.5 percent. Today, the unemployment rate for that same age group is about 13 percent.
35. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, health care costs accounted for just 9.5% of all personal consumption back in 1980. Today they account for approximately 16.3%.
36. Medicare spending increased by 138 percent between 1999 and 2010.
37. Over the next 75 years, Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion dollars. That comes to $328,404 for each and every household in the United States.
38. Back in 1990, the federal government accounted for 32 percent of all health care spending in America. Today, that figure is up to 45 percent and it is projected to surpass 50 percent very shortly.
39. Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid, and things are about to get a whole lot worse. It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
40. Since 2008, the U.S. economy has lost 1.3 million jobs while at the same time 3.6 million more Americans have been added to Social Security’s disability insurance program.
41. Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the number of Americans living in poverty has risen by 6.4 million.
42. The number of Americans on food stamps has risen from 32 million to 46 million since Barack Obama became president.
43. Right now the poverty rate for children living in the United States is 22 percent, and approximately one-fourth of all American children are enrolled in the food stamp program at this point.
44. The number of children living in poverty in the state of California has increased by 30 percent since 2007.
45. Child homelessness in the United States has risen by 33 percent since 2007.
46. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 36.4 percent of all children that live in Philadelphia are living in poverty, 40.1 percent of all children that live in Atlanta are living in poverty, 52.6 percent of all children that live in Cleveland are living in poverty and 53.6 percent of all children that live in Detroit are living in poverty.
47. Approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered to be either “low income” or impoverished.
48. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of Americans living in “extreme poverty” is now sitting at an all-time high.
49. In the United States today, somewhere around 100 million Americans are considered to be either “poor” or “near poor”.
50. It is now being projected that about half of all American adults will spend at least some time living below the poverty line before they turn 65.
51. Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.
52. Total consumer debt in the United States has risen by 1700 percent since 1971.
53. Recently it was announced that total student loan debt in the United States has passed the one trillion dollar mark.
54. According to one recent survey, approximately one-third of all Americans are not paying their bills on time at this point.
55. In 1983, the bottom 95 percent of all income earners in the United States had 62 cents of debt for ever dollar that they earned. Today, the bottom 95 percent of all income earners in the United States have $1.48 of debt for every dollar that they earn.
56. The United States was once ranked #1 in the world in GDP per capita. Today we have slipped to #12.
57. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home where at least one person receives benefits from the federal government. Back in 1983, that number was below 30 percent.
58. Incredibly, 37 percent of all U.S. households that are led by someone under the age of 35 have a net worth of zero or less than zero.
59. Today there are approximately 25 million American adults that are living with their parents.
60. The U.S. dollar has lost more than 96 percent of its value since 1900. You can thank the Federal Reserve system for that.
61. During the Obama administration, the U.S. government has accumulated more debt than it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that Bill Clinton took office.
62. Overall, the U.S. national debt has grown by nearly 10 trillion dollars over the past decade.
63. The U.S. national debt is now more than 22 times larger than it was when Jimmy Carter became president.
64. 40 years ago the total amount of debt in America (government, business and consumer) was less than 2 trillion dollars. Today it is nearly 55 trillion dollars.
65. As Financial Armageddon recently point out, so many homeless people are pooping on the escalators at San Francisco’s Civic Center Station at night that the escalators are breaking down and repair teams have been called in to clean up the mess. As the economy gets even worse, will scenes like this start playing out in all of our cities?
Every single day more Americans fall into poverty. This should deeply alarm you no matter what political party you belong to and no matter what your personal economic philosophy is. Right now, approximately 100 million Americans are either “poor” or “near poor”. For a lot of people “poverty” can be a nebulous concept, so let’s define it. The poverty level as defined by the federal government in 2010 was $11,139 for an individual and $22,314 for a family of four. Could you take care of a family of four on less than $2000 a month? Millions upon millions of families are experiencing a tremendous amount of pain in this economy, and no matter what “solutions” we think are correct, the reality is that we all should have compassion on them. Sadly, things are about to get even worse. The next major economic downturn is rapidly approaching, and when it hits the statistics posted below are going to look even more horrendous.
When it comes to poverty, most Americans immediately want to get into debates about tax rates and wealth redistribution and things like that.
But the truth is that they are missing the main point.
The way we slice up the pie is not going to solve our problems, because the pie is constantly getting smaller.
Our economic infrastructure is being absolutely gutted, the U.S. dollar is slowly losing its status as the reserve currency of the world and we are steadily getting poorer as a nation.
Don’t be fooled by the government statistics that show a very small amount of “economic growth”. Those figures do not account for inflation.
After accounting for inflation, our economic growth has actually been negative all the way back into the middle of the last decade.
According to numbers compiled by John Williams of shadowstats.com, our “real GDP” has continually been negative since 2005.
So that means we are getting poorer as a nation.
Meanwhile, we have been piling up astounding amounts of debt.
40 years ago the total amount of debt in the United States (government, business and consumer) was less than 2 trillion dollars.
Today it is nearly 55 trillion dollars.
So we have a massive problem.
Our economic pie is shrinking and millions of Americans have been falling out of the middle class. Meanwhile, we have been piling up staggering amounts of debt in order to maintain our vastly inflated standard of living. As our economic problems get even worse, those trends are going to accelerate even more.
So don’t look down on the poor. You might be joining them a lot sooner than you might think.
The following are 40 facts about poverty in America that will blow your mind….
#1 In the United States today, somewhere around 100 million Americans are considered to be either “poor” or “near poor”.
#2 It is being projected that when the final numbers come out later this year that the U.S. poverty rate will be the highest that it has been in almost 50 years.
#3 Approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered to be either “low income” or impoverished.
#4 Today, one out of every four workers in the United States brings home wages that are at or below the poverty level.
#5 According to the Wall Street Journal, 49.1 percent of all Americans live in a home where at least one person receives financial benefits from the government. Back in 1983, that number was below 30 percent.
#6 It is projected that about half of all American adults will spend at least some time living below the poverty line before they turn 65.
#7 Today, there are approximately 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing. That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.
#8 During 2010, 2.6 million more Americans fell into poverty. That was the largest increase that we have seen since the U.S. government began keeping statistics on this back in 1959.
#9 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of “very poor” rose in 300 out of the 360 largest metropolitan areas during 2010.
#10 Since Barack Obama became president, the number of Americans living in poverty has risen by 6 million and the number of Americans on food stamps has risen by 14 million.
#11 Right now, one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps and one out of every four American children is on food stamps.
#12 It is projected that half of all American children will be on food stamps at least once before they turn 18 years of age.
#13 The poverty rate for children living in the United States is 22 percent, although when the new numbers are released in the fall that number is expected to go even higher.
#14 One university study estimates that child poverty costs the U.S. economy 500 billion dollars a year.
#15 Households that are led by a single mother have a 31.6% poverty rate.
#16 In 2010, 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States were on food stamps.
#17 According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 36.4 percent of all children that live in Philadelphia are living in poverty, 40.1 percent of all children that live in Atlanta are living in poverty, 52.6 percent of all children that live in Cleveland are living in poverty and 53.6 percent of all children that live in Detroit are living in poverty.
#18 Since 2007, the number of children living in poverty in the state of California has increased by 30 percent.
#19 Child homelessness in the United States has risen by 33 percent since 2007.
#20 There are 314 counties in the United States where at least 30% of the children are facing food insecurity.
#21 More than 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.
#22 A higher percentage of Americans is living in extreme poverty (6.7 percent) than has ever been measured before.
#23 If you can believe it, 37 percent of all U.S. households that are led by someone under the age of 35 have a net worth of zero or less than zero.
#24 A lot of younger Americans have found that they cannot make it on their own in this economy. Today, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents.
#25 Today, one out of every six elderly Americans lives below the federal poverty line.
#26 Amazingly, the wealthiest 1 percent of all Americans own more wealth than the bottom 95 percent combined.
#27 The six heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have a net worth that is roughly equal to the bottom 30 percent of all Americans combined.
#28 At this point, the poorest 50% of all Americans now control just 2.5% of all of the wealth in this country.
#29 Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs. Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.
#30 Right now, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.
#31 Half of all American workers earn $505 or less per week.
#32 In 1970, 65 percent of all Americans lived in “middle class neighborhoods”. By 2007, only 44 percent of all Americans lived in “middle class neighborhoods”.
#33 Federal housing assistance outlays increased by a whopping 42 percent between 2006 and 2010.
#34 Approximately 50 million Americans do not have any health insurance at all right now.
#35 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today, approximately one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.
#36 It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
#37 Back in 1990, the federal government accounted for 32 percent of all health care spending in America. Today, that figure is up to 45 percent and it is projected to surpass 50 percent very shortly.
#38 Overall, the amount of money that the federal government gives directly to the American people has risen by 32 percent since Barack Obama entered the White House.
#39 It was recently reported that 1.5 million American families live on less than two dollars a day (before counting government benefits).
#40 The unemployment rate in the U.S. has been above 8 percent for 40 months in a row, and 42 percent of all unemployed Americans have been out of work for at least half a year.
Recently, I wrote a long article about why there will never be enough jobs in the United States ever again.
That means that a whole lot of Americans are not going to be able to take care of themselves.
As our economy gets even worse, there is going to be a tremendous need for more love, compassion and generosity all over the country.
Don’t be afraid to lend a helping hand, because someday you may need one yourself.