The Beginning Of The End
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You Can Buy A House For One Dollar Or Less In Economically Depressed Cities All Over America

Free House In Yakima, WashingtonWould you like to buy a house for one dollar?  If someone came up to you on the street and asked you that question, you would probably respond by saying that it sounds too good to be true.  But this is actually happening in economically-depressed cities all over America.  Of course there are a number of reasons why you might want to think twice before buying any of these homes, and I will get into those reasons in just a little bit.  First, however, it is worth noting that many of the cities where these “free houses” are available were once some of the most prosperous cities in the entire country.  In fact, the city of Detroit once had the highest per capita income in the entire nation.  But as millions of good jobs have been shipped overseas, these once prosperous communities have degenerated into rotting, decaying hellholes.  Now homes that once housed thriving middle class families cannot even be given away.  This is happening all over America, and what we are witnessing right now is only just the beginning.

The photo that I have posted below was sent to me by a reader just the other day.  It is a photo of a house in Yakima, Washington that is apparently being given away for free.  At one time it was probably quite a lovely home, but now nobody seems to want it…

Free Home In Yakima, Washington

This piqued my curiosity, so I started doing some research and I discovered that homes all over the nation are being sold off for a dollar or less.  The following are just a few examples…

-Buffalo, New York: “The Urban Homestead Program that is offered by the City of Buffalo enables qualified buyers to purchase a home that has been deemed ‘homestead eligible’ for $1.00 and there are plenty of properties left. There are three main requirements when purchasing a homestead property; the owner must fix all code violations within 18 months, have immediate access to at least $5000, and live there for at least three years. You also have to cover the closing costs of the purchase.”

-Gary, Indiana: “Officials say that a third of the houses in Gary are unoccupied, hollowed dwellings spread across a city that, like other former industrial powerhouses, has lost more than half its population in the last half-century.

While some of those homes will be demolished, Gary is exploring a more affordable way to lift its haggard tax base and reduce the excess of empty structures: sell them for $1.”

-South Bend, Indiana: “How could you refuse this offer? The city of South Bend, Indiana wants to give this handsome circa-1851 Italianate farmhouse away to anyone willing to properly restore it. Aside from the boarded up windows (the boards are painted to look like real windows), the place is in pretty good shape, with a completely restored exterior, new roof, and all new HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems. All you’ll need to do is restore the gutted (but clean as can be) interior.”

-Detroit, Michigan: “Now that the motor city has effectively run out of gas and declared bankruptcy, some rather eye-popping deals are presenting themselves to first time home buyers who appreciate the challenge of a fixer-upper.

Hundreds of Detroit homes currently listed on Zillow have asking prices below $5,000, with at least one seller so desperate as to offer his house for just $1, ABC News reported.”

—–

And guess who is selling more “one dollar homes” than anyone else?

If you guessed “the federal government” you would be correct.

Right now, the federal government is selling foreclosed homes to low income families all over the country for just one dollar

HUD’s Dollar Homes initiative helps local governments to foster housing opportunities for low to moderate income families and address specific community needs by offering them the opportunity to purchase qualified HUD-owned homes for $1 each.

Dollar Homes are single-family homes that are acquired by the Federal Housing Administration (which is part of HUD) as a result of foreclosure actions. Single-family properties are made available through the program whenever FHA is unable to sell the homes for six months.

By selling vacant homes for $1 after six months on the market, HUD makes it possible for communities to fix up the homes and put them to good use at a considerable savings.

Before you get too excited, there are a whole bunch of reasons why you wouldn’t want to actually buy any of these one dollar homes.

First of all, most of them have been totally trashed.  Just to get them up to livable condition would take thousands of dollars in most cases.  Many of them are full of asbestos, and severe wiring and plumbing issues are quite common.

Secondly, you assume all of the liability for a home when you buy it.  So if a homeless person stumbles in and injures himself, you could be liable for his injuries.

Thirdly, many of these homes are in very high crime neighborhoods.  In some of these areas, people will literally rip up and carry away anything that is not bolted down.

Fourthly, property taxes are very high in many of these cities.  Local governments are desperate to get people into these homes so that they can get the taxes flowing again.  In many cases, what you would pay in taxes for a year is more than the true value of the home itself.

So, like I said, these homes are not the “great deal” that they may appear to be at first glance.

But that is not really the issue.

The real question is this: What is causing our communities to decay so dramatically?

And of course a big part of the answer is that the middle class in America is dying.

According to Time Magazine, one new report has discovered that nearly half the country is constantly living in a state of “persistent economic insecurity”…

But as evidenced by a report out Thursday from the Corporation for Enterprise Development, nearly half of Americans are living in a state of “persistent economic insecurity,” that makes it “difficult to look beyond immediate needs and plan for a more secure future.”

That same report also found that 56 percent of all Americans now have “subprime credit”.

We are a nation that is losing our independence and sinking into poverty.

Right now, 49.2 percent of all Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program, and the U.S. government has spent an astounding 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs over the past five years.

Millions of our jobs have been shipped overseas, the control freak bureaucrats that are running things are absolutely killing “the little guy”, and poverty in the United States is exploding at a frightening pace.

Things are “changing” in this country, and not for the better.

One way that the death of the middle class is manifesting itself is in the death of shopping malls all over America.  The following is an excerpt from a recent Business Insider article

All across America, once-vibrant shopping malls are boarded up and decaying.

Traffic-driving anchors like Sears and JCPenney are shutting down stores, and mall owners are having a hard time finding retailers large enough to replace them. With a fresh wave of closures on the horizon, the problem is set to accelerate, according to retail and real estate analysts.

According to that same article, one prominent retail analyst believes that we could see up to 50 percent of the shopping malls in America close within 20 years…

Within 15 to 20 years, retail consultant Howard Davidowitz expects as many as half of America’s shopping malls to fail. He predicts that only upscale shopping centers with anchors like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus will survive.

And did you catch that last part?  Only the shopping malls in wealthy areas will survive because the wealthy will be the only ones with enough money to support them.

For much more on this phenomenon, please see my previous article entitled “What Recovery? Sears And J.C. Penney Are DYING“.

At this point, things have already gotten so bad that now even Wal-Mart is having trouble.  In fact, Wal-Mart is blaming the recent slowdown in sales on cuts to the federal food stamp program

Wal-Mart announced today that cuts in a federal food stamp program as well as record cold temperatures hurt its fourth quarter profits.

After previously reporting “relatively flat” sales for the quarter, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. now says that sales for its namesake store and its Sam’s Club locations would be “slightly negative” for the November-January quarter, according to Agence France-Presse.

Wal-Mart’s Chief Financial Officer, Charles Holley, blamed the revised forecast on deeper-than-expected cuts to the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the extreme cold weather occurring in the past month.

This is how far the middle class in America has fallen.  So many people are now on food stamps that even a slight reduction in benefits has a huge impact on the largest retailer in the entire country.

And actually, many rural communities could end up losing their Wal-Mart stores in the years ahead as the economy continues to deteriorate.  In a recent CNBC article entitled “Time to close Wal-Mart stores? Analysts think so“, it was suggested that Wal-Mart should close about 100 “underperforming” supercenters in rural locations around the nation.

We are rapidly becoming “two Americas”.  In the “good America”, the wealthy will still have plenty of retail stores to choose from within easy driving distance from their million dollar homes.

In the “bad America”, which will include most of us, our shopping malls will be closing down and the rotting, decaying homes of our neighbors will be sold off for next to nothing.

So which America do you live in?  Please feel free to share what is going on in your neck of the woods by posting a comment below…

From Good Jobs To Bad Jobs To No Jobs – The Tragic Downfall Of The American Worker

There was a time in America when virtually anyone that wanted a job could go out and get one and the United States boasted the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world.  Sadly, those days are long gone.  Back in 1969, 95 percent of all men between the ages of 25 and 54 had a job.  But now there are millions of Americans in their prime working years that cannot find a job.  Millions of others are working low wage jobs or part-time jobs because that is all they can get.  The other day I went to a large retail store and I got into a conversation with the lady who was checking me out.  She said that she had worked professional jobs all her life, and that she had taken this job to tide her over as she searched for a new job, but now she had been there for two years with no end in sight.  I felt really bad for her, because she was obviously a sharp lady with a lot of skills.  But this is the new reality.  Good paying manufacturing and professional jobs are being replaced by low paying service jobs.  We are transitioning from an economy with plenty of good jobs to an economy with plenty of bad jobs.  The next stage in our transition will be to an economy where it seems like there are no jobs for anyone.  We are witnessing the tragic downfall of the American worker, and it is heartbreaking.

Many of our politicians insist that things are getting better for American workers, but that is simply not true.  Just look at the chart below.  Back at the start of 2008, the percentage of working age Americans with a job was sitting at about 63 percent.  Since then it has fallen below 59 percent and it has stayed there for over 3 years.  After every other recession in the post-World War II era the employment-population ratio has always bounced back.  That has not happened this time…

If this number was going to recover, it would have done so by now.  We are rapidly approaching the next major economic crisis and the percentage of working age Americans with a job is going to go even lower.

And our politicians are certainly not helping matters.  Many of the things that they have done are actually going to accelerate the loss of good jobs.  For example, as one small business owner recently pointed out, Obamacare is going to force businesses all over the United States to minimize the number of full-time workers they are using and replace them with part-time workers…

Here is what I am doing for the rest of the year — working with every manager in my company so that as of January 1, 2013, none of our employees are working more than 28 hours a week.   I think most readers know the reason — we have got to get our company under 50 full time employees or else I am facing a bill from Obamacare in 2014 that will be several times larger than my annual profit.  I love my workers.  They make me a success.  But most of my competitors are small businesses that are exempt from the Obamacare hammer.  To compete, I must make sure my company is exempt as well.  This means that our 400+ full time employees will have to be less than 50 in 2013, so that when the Feds look at me at the start of 2014, I am exempt.  We will have more employees working fewer hours, with more training costs, but the Obamacare bill looks like about $800,000 a year for us, at least, and I am pretty sure the cost of more training will be less than that.

This will be unpopular but tolerable to most of my employees.  The vast majority of them are retired and our company is merely an excuse to stay busy, work outdoors, and get a little extra money.

But this is going to be an ENORMOUS change in the rest of the service sector.  I have talked to a lot of owners of restaurants and restaurant chains, and the 40-hour work week is a thing of the past in that business.  One of my employees said that in Hawaii, it was all the hotel employees could talk about.   Many chains are working on mutli-team systems where two teams of people working part-time replace the former group of full-time employees.  2013 is going to see a lot of people (who are not paid very well to begin with) getting their hours and pay cut by 25%.  At the same time that they are required, likely for the first time since many are relatively young, to purchase health insurance.

How could we be so foolish?

Unfortunately, this is not something new.  Our economy has been replacing good jobs with bad jobs for quite some time.  If you can believe it, 60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.

Will nearly all of us eventually be working in fast food restaurants or stocking shelves at retail giants like Wal-Mart?

Amazingly, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.

No wonder our middle class is being absolutely destroyed.

At this point, wages as a percentage of GDP are at an all-time low in America.  As millions more good jobs are shipped out of the country, the competition for the remaining jobs will become incredibly fierce and that number will get even lower.

Many Americans that actually do have jobs right now find that they simply don’t make enough to take care of themselves and their families.  They are called “the working poor”, and their ranks are growing steadily.  Today, about one out of every four workers in the United States brings home wages that are at or below the federal poverty level.

American households are getting poorer at a time when prices continue to rise.  Median household income in America has declined for four years in a row.  Overall, it has fallen by over $4000 during that time span.

But have the prices in the stores declined?

Of course not.

No wonder middle class families are feeling more financial stress than ever before.  A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 85 percent of middle class Americans say that it is harder to maintain a middle class standard of living today than it was 10 years ago.

The transition from good jobs to bad jobs in our economy has been taking place for a very long time, and it is not going to be reversed overnight.  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.  There are less tickets to the middle class than there used to be, but neither political party seems interested in stopping the flow of good jobs out of the country.

If we keep doing the same things that we have been doing, we will continue to get the same results.

When I was young, I was told that there would always be “good jobs” available for anyone that got a good education and that worked hard.

What a crock of baloney that turned out to be.

According to a paper that was recently released by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, only 24.6 percent of all jobs in the United States qualify as “good jobs” at this point.

In a previous article, I detailed the three criteria that they used to define what a “good job” is….

#1 The job must pay at least $18.50 an hour.  According to the authors, that is the equivalent of the median hourly pay for American workers back in 1979 after you adjust for inflation.

#2 The job must provide access to employer-sponsored health insurance, and the employer must pay at least some portion of the cost of that insurance.

#3 The job must provide access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan.

More than 75 percent of all jobs in the U.S. today are not “good jobs”, and things are not looking promising for the future.

No wonder so many families are barely surviving these days.  Right now, approximately 77 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck at least some of the time.  That is a dreadful number.

But if you still do have a job, you should consider yourself to be fortunate.

There are millions upon millions of Americans out there without any job at all.

Did you know that 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed during 2011?

Hordes of fresh college graduates are entering the marketplace each year only to find that the good jobs that they were promised simply are not there.

And now it looks like things are getting even worse.  This week Citigroup announced that it plans to eliminate 11,000 jobs in an attempt to reduce costs.  But Citigroup is far from alone.  We have seen dozens of major layoff announcements since the election.  If you doubt this, just see this article and this article.

It is time to wake up and admit that our economy is in an advanced state of decline, that we need to quit shipping our jobs out of the country, and that what we are doing now is clearly not working.

If we are “the greatest economy on earth”, then why are approximately 48 percent of all Americans either considered to be “low income” or are living in poverty?

We need to return to the principles that our Founding Fathers founded this country on or else things are going to get a lot worse and people are going to get very, very angry.

Our politicians have been pitting different groups of people against one another and many of them have been blaming the wealthy for all of our problems.  Never before in my lifetime have I seen so much anger directed toward those that have money.  This anger is even being expressed in ways that you would not normally expect.  For example, the California Federation of Teachers recently produced a video that portrays wealthy people peeing on poor people.  That shocked me.

Eventually, all of this anger is going to lead to violence if we are not careful.  When the next major wave of the economic crisis strikes and unemployment gets significantly worse, I fear for what might happen.  I believe that it is very possible that we may see mobs of struggling people storm into wealthy neighborhoods and play “Robin Hood” with their possessions.

Instead of hating one another, we need to return to the principles that once made our economy so great.  Those principles would enable everyone to prosper.

Unfortunately, this country continues to turn away from those principles and hate and anger continue to grow.

If we continue down this path, the end result is going to be a complete and total nightmare.

It is possible to turn this economy around.  But we can’t do the same things that we have been doing.  We have to start making better decisions.

The Last Days Of America? 25 Signs Of Extreme Social Decay

Are we on the verge of societal collapse?  Many of the greatest empires throughout world history were not conquered by outside forces.  Rather, they crumbled inwardly as extreme social decay set in.  There have been many that have compared the last days of the Roman Empire to what America is going through right now.  In the decades following World War II, the United States was the most powerful and the most prosperous nation on the entire planet, but now things are rapidly changing.  There are literally thousands of signs that our society is collapsing all around us.  All you have to do to see this is turn on a television or pick up a newspaper.  I spend a lot of time discussing our nightmarish economic and political headaches in this column, but the truth is that our problems go much deeper than that.  Even if a major miracle happened and we got the “right person” into the White House, the Federal Reserve was shut down, our 16 trillion dollar national debt was paid off, our trade deficit went to zero, a solution was found for the quadrillion dollar derivatives bubble and the “too big to fail” banks were broken up, we would still be facing a national crisis of unprecedented magnitude.  The cold, hard reality of the matter is that America has become an absolute cesspool of filth and corruption, and the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is rapidly disappearing.  Until we get our hearts right, there is not much hope for the future of this once great nation.

So are these the last days of America?  The following are 25 signs of extreme social decay….

#1 We have come to accept that it is “normal” that security goons should be allowed to touch the private parts of our women and our children in the name of “national security”.  Just check out the ordeal that conservative radio host and Breitbart editor Dana Loesch suffered through recently at the hands of the TSA

They performed the regular pat-down and then the agent informed me that she would be using the front of her hands to “sweep” my groin. She pressed and swept across my crotch three times horizontally and three times vertically. In any other circumstance this would be sexual assault.

The agents themselves were friendly and smiled, yet I was still denied a public screening and no witness of my own present for the screening itself (a second agent was in the room at the time). I had no reason to be angry with the agents themselves, yet I was angry, and still am, at the regulations which require them to routinely violate men, women, and children in the name of a false sense of security.

#2 Police up in New Jersey say that a man kept his girlfriend padlocked in a bedroom for most of the last 10 years.

#3 It is hard to imagine some of the sick things that people do behind closed doors.  Down in Florida, one former medical examiner was apparently collecting human body parts

In what could be described as an episode of “Auction Hunters” turned reality horror show, authorities in Pensacola are investigating after finding human brains, hearts and lungs in a storage unit they say belonged to a former medical examiner.

Someone bought the storage unit at an auction last week and noticed a foul smell as they were sifting through furniture and boxes.

Officials at the medical examiner’s office in Pensacola say the remains of more than 100 people were found crudely stored in Tupperware containers, garbage bags and drink cups.

#4 A former fifth grade teacher down in Atlanta has admitted that she helped her students cheat because they were “dumb as hell“.

#5 Many debt collectors are willing to say absolutely despicable things in order to collect debts.  One debt collector recently told a disabled military veteran that if he would have “served our country better” he would not be disabled and that he “should have died“…

“If you would have served our country better you would not be a disabled veteran living off Social Security while the rest of us honest Americans work our asses off,” one of the agency’s debt collectors allegedly told the vet. “Too bad, you should have died.”

Michael Collier was declared 100 per cent disabled after suffering permanent spine and head injuries while in the Army. As a result, both Collier and his wife receive disability payments from the federal Social Security Administration, which are exempt from seizure by debt collectors.

#6 In many areas of the country, street drugs have become so powerful that they are pushing users completely over the edge.  Of course there is never any excuse for murdering children, but would any rational person do this kind of thing without being high on drugs?…

A Camden, N.J. man was charged with murder for allegedly slashing the throat of a 6-year-old Camden boy. Police say he told investigators he was smoking a combination of marijuana and PCP, known as “Wet” just before the killing.

Osvaldo “Popeye” Rivera, 31, was arrested Sunday afternoon and charged with murder and attempted murder.

Police say Rivera was trying to sexually assault the boy’s 12-year-sister and the little boy tried to come to her defense. Investigators say Rivera slashed the throats of both children.

#7 A school bus driver in Wisconsin recently told a 12-year-old boy that “maybe your mother should have chosen abortion for you” because he didn’t like the Romney campaign sign standing in his front yard.

#8 We are continuing to see a rash of “zombie attacks” all over the nation.  The following is one recent example from Pennsylvania….

A Doylestown man, who was naked and bleeding profusely, gnawed on woman’s head all while “screaming like an animal” during a wild neighborhood rampage, state police said.

#9 A beekeeper over in North Carolina says that someone recently stole 20,000 bees from his property.

#10 Evidence of social decay extends to the highest levels of the federal government.  Just check out what some highly paid federal workers have been doing when they were supposed to be working…

In 2006, the deputy press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security was arrested for trying to seduce online someone he thought was a teenage girl. Four years later, the Securities and Exchange Commission found that 17 of 31 employees caught accessing porn at work since 2008 — one for up to eight hours a day — were senior staff.

In 2010, the Boston Globe reported that senior Pentagon staff were downloading child porn. Instead of generating a media storm, the story died. Senior staff were watching the sexual torture of small children on Pentagon computers, and Americans were not outraged?

#11 In a shocking murder trial in southern California, prosecutors have played a tape of a former chef admitting to police that he slow cooked the body of his wife for four days.

#12 The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the entire world, and many of our prisons are absolute hellholes.  The following is what a former inmate named Daniel Miller recently told Business Insider about what really goes on inside our prisons…

“When they found out the black homosexual had approached me talking that homosexual stuff, I was told ‘Look you have to stab him or pipe him down,'” Miller recently told Business Insider about his first experiences during two decades spent in and out of prison, most recently for robbery.

“The guys were there just to make sure I actually split this guy’s head open.”

Those “guys” were the Aryan Brotherhood, one of the most famous and feared jailhouse gangs.

Miller, now 38, joined up when he first entered the correctional system in Kansas as a teen. He bounced around a number of different facilities before being released on Sept. 19 this year.

“At 16 years old, I wanted to be accepted in prison,” he said. “I would fight everybody.”

He grew so cold and so good at fighting he became the one ordering attacks on fellow inmates — something that still haunts him.

#13 A 7-year-old boy was part of a gang of youths that recently invaded the home of a 51-year-old woman and beat the living daylights out of her.

#14 What in the world has gotten into our kids?  Many of them have literally turned into little monsters.  Just check out what two little boys recently did to a church in Virginia

Two little boys caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to a Loudon County church, according to officials.

The vandals used the children’s toys and art supplies to damage the sanctuary, fellowship hall, and Sunday school rooms. They also smeared food for needy families and their own feces and urine on walls and floors.

According to Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider, all that damage was done by two boys, aged 6 and 7.

#15 A former high school English teacher has been accused of having sex with five different male students.  The most disturbing part is that she is a mother of three children and her husband is serving this country in the U.S. Army.

#16 You might want to think twice before becoming a pizza delivery worker.  Just check out what happened over in Dallas recently…

Two Dallas teens called in a pizza order to lure a delivery worker to a Grand Prairie house, then beat the woman in the head with a pistol and sexually assaulted her on the porch, according to Grand Prairie police reports released Wednesday.

Bleeding and wearing just a bra, the 30-year-old woman drove herself back to a Grand Prairie Pizza Hut, the reports stated.

The 17-year-olds accused in the July 24 robbery and sexual assault were in custody Wednesday at the Lew Sterrett Justice Center in Dallas in what Grand Prairie police are calling one of the city’s “most heinous offenses” in recent memory.

#17 According to shocking new research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately two-thirds of all Americans in the 15 to 24 year old age bracket have engaged in oral sex.

#18 Last year it was reported that 86 teen girls at one high school in Memphis, Tennessee were either pregnant or had recently given birth.

#19 Sex trafficking has become a raging epidemic in America.  It is estimated that there are now approximately a million prostitutes in the United States.  Most of them are being trafficked by male “pimps”.

#20 As our social decay gets even deeper, it is going to become more important than ever to secure our homes.  Just check out what happened over in Kansas City, Missouri recently…

An elderly couple is recovering Tuesday after they were brutally beaten inside their south Kansas City home.

The woman was also raped, according to a police report.

Tony L. Putman, 18, of Kansas City was charged with six felonies Tuesday afternoon. The charges include one count of rape and two counts of robbery.

The couple’s ordeal began about 1:30 p.m. Monday when a man broke into their home near 73rd Street and Campbell Avenue. Entry was gained through a basement window, which was broken.

#21 It is becoming easy to understand why so many Americans are arming themselves these days.  Even Brad Pitt says that he “doesn’t feel safe” without a gun.

#22 In this day and age you often can’t even trust the police.  Just check out this recent example

Police in Cherryville took bribes, helped transport stolen goods and extorted money in a multi-state operation that raked in at least $750,000, according to federal indictments unsealed Wednesday.

FBI agents flocked to the Cherryville Police Department and several homes in Cherryville Wednesday morning, loading up boxes of evidence and making arrests.

#23 Overall, more than 50 million abortions have been performed in the United States since Roe vs. Wade was decided back in 1973.  At this point, the number of babies killed by abortion in America every year is almost as high as the total number of military deaths in all of U.S. history.

#24 Respect for parents has declined to shockingly low levels in America.  Just check out what one son down in Florida recently did to his own mother

A Florida man yesterday rubbed dog feces in his mother’s face during an argument in the home they share, police report.

Cops arrested William Jenkins, 22, on a felony domestic battery charge for pushing his mother, 53, to the floor during the dispute, according to a Palmetto Police Department report.

When questioned by cops, Jenkins denied pushing his mother, but admitted that he “did rub dog defecation on her face because she yelled at him,” investigators noted.

#25 A 21-year-old Utah man is being accused of stabbing his grandmother 111 times and then removing some of her organs.  But news like this hardly makes headlines anymore because crimes such as this one have become so common.

Sadly, a list like this one could go on indefinitely.  More examples of extreme social decay pop up in the news almost hourly.

But we don’t like to admit that we have problems.  Our politicians continue to proclaim how we are “the greatest nation on earth” and that the rest of the world should follow our example.

Rarely do you ever hear politicians talk about how we are the most obese nation on the planet, about how we have the highest divorce rate on the planet or about how we have the highest teen pregnancy rate on the planet.

Until we are willing to admit just how bad things have gotten, we will never be willing to accept the solutions that are necessary to start fixing things.

Many Americans are pinning their hopes on the upcoming election, but instead of making things better I am concerned that this election may trigger a lot of the anger that is boiling just under the surface in this country.

If we continue down the path that we are currently on, the social decay that we are now experiencing is going to accelerate.

The fundamental level of trust that any society needs in order to operate efficiently is breaking down, and more Americans than ever are living in fear.  You can see it in their eyes.

Our politicians can pile on millions more laws, rules and regulations and they can put a police officer on every corner, but that isn’t going to make Americans trust one another.  Once confidence in our societal institutions and our faith in one another is gone, it is going to be incredibly difficult to ever rebuild it.

Yes, we really are on the verge of societal collapse. What we are experiencing right now is just the leading edge of the coming crisis.

Things are going to get a whole lot worse from here.

22 Stats That Show How The Emerging One World Economy Is Absolutely Killing American Workers

For decades our politicians have promised us that the “free trade” agenda would bring us greater prosperity than ever before.  They insisted that merging our economy into the emerging one world economy would cause millions upon millions of new jobs to be added to the U.S. economy.  Unfortunately, it was all a giant lie.  Trading with other countries is not a bad thing as long as the level of trade is fairly equal on both sides.  When trade becomes very unequal, the consequences can be absolutely catastrophic.  Since 1975, the United States has bought more than 8 trillion dollars more stuff from the rest of the world than they have bought from us.  We are the only economy on earth that could have had 8 trillion dollars drained out of it and still be standing.  Instead of leaving the country, those 8 trillion dollars could have gone to U.S. businesses and U.S. workers.  If we could go back and have a “do over”, how much more prosperous would we be today if we had kept that 8 trillion dollars inside the country?

But instead of pursuing a balanced trade philosophy, our politicians were so enamored with the emerging one world economy that they threw all caution to the wind.

So we have lost tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of our national wealth.

And this emerging one world economy is absolutely killing American workers.  It lumps them into a global labor pool with workers in other countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.

Just think of it this way.  Imagine that you are a giant corporation that makes “widgets”.  You can make them in the United States, but you would have to pay your workers about $10 an hour, provide them with a whole bunch of benefits, pay very high taxes, and comply with a dizzying array of laws, rules and regulations.

Or, you could set up shop on the other side of the world where you could pay your workers a dollar an hour.  Those workers would receive no benefits and you would have to deal with very little red tape.

Which would you choose?

The “giant sucking sound” that Ross Perot once warned us about has become a reality.  Big employers are competing with one another to see who can outsource jobs the fastest, and American workers are the big losers in all of this.

As I wrote about the other day, right now there are some American workers that are actually personally training their replacements from overseas how to do their jobs.

If nothing is done about this, jobs are going to continue to pour out of high wage countries such as the United States and into low wage countries on the other side of the globe, and big corporations are going to keep laughing all the way to the bank as unemployment in America gets even worse.

The following are 22 stats that show how the emerging one world economy is absolutely killing American workers….

#1 One professor has estimated that cutting the U.S. trade deficit in half would create 5 million more jobs in the United States.

#2 The United States has a trade imbalance that is more than 7 times larger than any other nation on earth has.

#3 Overall, the United States has run a trade deficit of more than 8 trillion dollars with the rest of the globe since 1975.  That 8 trillion dollars could have gone to support U.S. businesses and pay the wages of U.S. workers.  Federal, state and local taxes would have been paid on that 8 trillion dollars if it had stayed in the United States.  This is one reason why our national debt is getting ready to cross the 16 trillion dollar mark.

#4 When NAFTA was passed in 1993, the United States had a trade surplus with Mexico of 1.6 billion dollars.  In 2010, we had a trade deficit with Mexico of 61.6 billion dollars.

#5 In 2001, American consumers spent 102 billion dollars on products made in China.  In 2011, American consumers spent 399 billion dollars on products made in China.

#6 The Chinese undervalue their currency by about 40 percent in order to gain a critical advantage over foreign competitors.  This means that many Chinese companies are able to absolutely thrive while their competition in the United States goes out of business.  The following is from a recent Fox News article….

To keep Chinese products artificially inexpensive on US store shelves, Beijing undervalues the yuan by 40 percent. It pirates US technology, subsidizes exports and imposes high tariffs on imports.

#7 According to the New York Times, a Jeep Grand Cherokee that costs $27,490 in the United States costs about $85,000 in China thanks to all the tariffs.

#8 The U.S. trade deficit with China during 2011 was 295.4 billion dollars.  That was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.

#9 Back in 1985, our trade deficit with China was only about 6 million dollars (million with an “m”) for the entire year.

#10 U.S. consumers spend about 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that Chinese consumers spend on goods and services from the United States.

#11 The United States has actually lost an average of about 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

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

#13 The United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

#14 During 2010 alone, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities closed their doors in America every single day.

#15 Since the auto industry bailout, approximately 70 percent of all GM vehicles have been built outside the United States.

#16 As I have written about previously, 95 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were middle class jobs.

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

#18 The percentage of working age Americans that are employed right now is actually smaller than it was at the end of the last recession.

#19 The average duration of unemployment in the United States is nearly three times as long as it was back in the year 2000.

#20 Due in part to the globalization of the labor pool, only about 24 percent of all jobs in the United States are “good jobs” at this point.

#21 Without enough good jobs, more Americans than ever before are falling into poverty.  Today, more than 100 million Americans are on welfare.

#22 In recent years the U.S. economy has embraced “free trade” and the emerging one world economy like never before.  Instead of increasing the number of jobs in our economy, it has resulted in the worst stretch of job creation in the United States in modern history….

If any single number captures the state of the American economy over the last decade, it is zero. That was the net gain in jobs between 1999 and 2009—nada, nil, zip. By painful contrast, from the 1940s through the 1990s, recessions came and went, but no decade ended without at least a 20 percent increase in the number of jobs.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

You can get a really good idea of how nightmarish the manufacturing job losses have been in the United States over the past 40 years by checking out this map right here.

And if everything posted above was not bad enough, some U.S. companies even find themselves competing with slave labor here in the United States.

Seriously.

Prison labor is absolutely destroying some businesses here in America.  The following comes from a recent CNN article….

Unicor is a government-run enterprise that employs over 13,000 inmates — at wages as low as 23 cents an hour — to make goods for the Pentagon and other federal agencies.

With some exceptions, Unicor gets first dibs on federal contracts over private companies as long as its bid is comparable in price, quantity and delivery. In other words: If Unicor wants a contract, it gets it.

One company that tries to compete with Unicor has been forced to lay off 150 people over the years because they lose so many contracts to them….

Wilson has been competing with Unicor for 20 years. He’s an executive at American Apparel Inc., an Alabama company that makes military uniforms. (It is not affiliated with the international retailer of the same name.) He has gone head-to-head with Unicor on just about every product his company makes — and said he has laid off 150 people over the years as a result.

“We pay employees $9 on average,” Wilson said. “They get full medical insurance, 401(k) plans and paid vacation. Yet we’re competing against a federal program that doesn’t pay any of that.”

But this is also the kind of thing that U.S. companies are dealing with when they try to compete with big corporations that are exploiting cheap labor abroad.

If you are spending ten times as much on labor as your competitor is, it is going to be really hard to survive.

That is why it has become so hard to find products that are made in America.

Most of our jobs these days are low paying “service jobs”, cushy government jobs or jobs where people push papers around all day.

But those kinds of jobs do not create lasting wealth for a country.

Did you know that there are more tax preparers in the United States than there are police officers and firefighters combined?

Our economy is a giant mirage.  We consume way more wealth than we produce, but we are able to keep the party going because we are riding the biggest debt spiral the world has ever seen.

But at some point the debt spiral is going to end and the crash is going to come.

Until then, however, those at the very top are still really enjoying themselves.

For example, one of the latest trends is for rich kids to show off pictures of themselves enjoying their enormous wealth on Instagram.

Something has gone very, very wrong with this country.

So what do you think about all this?  Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

These 12 Hellholes Are Examples Of What The Rest Of America Will Look Like Soon

Do you want to see where this country is headed?  If so, don’t focus on the few areas that are still very prosperous.  New York City has Wall Street, Washington D.C. has the federal government and Silicon Valley has Google and Facebook.  Those are the exceptions.  The reality is that most of the country has been experiencing a slow decline for a very long time and once thriving cities such as Gary, Indiana and Flint, Michigan have become absolute hellholes.  They are examples of what the rest of America will look like soon.  60 years ago, most Americans were decent, hard working people and there were always good jobs available for anyone that was willing to roll up his or her sleeves and put in an honest day of work.  But now all of that has changed.  Over the past decade, tens of thousands of manufacturing facilities have shut down and millions of jobs have left the country.  Cities such as Cleveland, Baltimore and Detroit were once shining examples of everything that was right about America, but now they stand out like festering sores.  The “blue collar cities” have been hit the hardest by the gutting of our economic infrastructure.  There are many communities in America today where it seems like all of the hope and all of the life have been sucked right out of them.  You can see it in the eyes of the people.  The good times are gone permanently and they know it.  Unfortunately, the remainder of the country will soon be experiencing the despair that those communities are feeling.

The following are 12 hellholes that are examples of what the rest of America will look like soon….

#1 Gary, Indiana

Gary, Indiana was once a great industrial city.

Today, it is one of the ten most dangerous cities in America, and the population has fallen by about 50 percent.

The following is from a recent Daily Mail article….

Frequently rated one of the ten most dangerous cities in the United States, Gary once boomed with jobs and opportunities but now faces the acute difficulties of America’s growing rust belt, with 22 percent of families in the once-great city now lying below the poverty line.

This modern American ghost town began life as home for workers at the United States Steel Corporation plant until economic competition from abroad forced a 90 percent job cut.

It is hard to describe what is happening to Gary without using the word “depressing”.  You can watch a great video that shows what Gary, Indiana looks like these days right here.

This is what happens when industry leaves and there are no jobs.  Gary has become a wasteland and there is essentially no hope for a turnaround.

The following is how James Kunstler described what he experienced when he traveled through Gary, Indiana recently….

Between the ghostly remnants of factories stood a score of small cities and neighborhoods where the immigrants settled five generations ago. A lot of it was foreclosed and shuttered. They were places of such stunning, relentless dreariness that you felt depressed just imagining how depressed the remaining denizens of these endless blocks of run-down shoebox houses must feel. Judging from the frequency of taquerias in the 1950s-vintage strip-malls, one inferred that the old Eastern European population had been lately supplanted by a new wave of Mexicans. They had inherited an infrastructure for daily life that was utterly devoid of conscious artistry when it was new, and now had the special patina of supernatural rot over it that only comes from materials not found in nature disintegrating in surprising and unexpected ways, sometimes even sublimely, like the sheen of an oil slick on water at a certain angle to the sun. There was a Chernobyl-like grandeur to it, as of the longed-for end of something enormous that hadn’t worked out well.

Sadly, Gary is far from alone.  There are a whole host of other formerly great U.S. cities that are degenerating into hellholes as well.

#2 Chicago, Illinois

There is something truly special about Chicago.  Most of America loved the Bears of the Walter Payton era, the Bulls of the Michael Jordan era and the Cubs of the Ernie Banks era.  Chicago is also known for great architecture and great pizza.

But these days “the windy city” is becoming known for other things.

The murder rate in Chicago is up 38 percent so far this year, and the recent spike in violence in the city has made national headlines.

As I noted the other day, there are only about 200 police officers in Chicago’s Gang Enforcement Unit to deal with an estimated 100,000 gang members.

That means that those officers are outnumbered 500 to 1, and more gang members pour into the city every single day.

The escalating violence in Chicago was detailed in a recent article in the Telegraph….

“This is a block-to-block war here, a different dynasty on every street,” said a dreadlocked young man heavily inked in gang tattoos who calls himself “Killer”.

“All the black brothers just want to get rich, but we got no jobs and no hope. We want the violence to stop but you ain’t safe if you ain’t got your pistol with you. Too many friends, too many men are being killed. We don’t even cry at funerals no -more. Nobody expects to live past 21 here.”

The victims and killers are mainly black males aged between 15 and 35, often with gang affiliations – but not exclusively. A seven-year-old girl, Heaven Sutton, was buried this month after being gunned down at her mother’s street sweet store. And last week, two girls aged 12 and 13 were shot and badly-wounded as they walked home from a newly-opened community centre.

If you are thinking of moving to Chicago, you might want to think again.

#3 Detroit, Michigan

I have written repeatedly about Detroit because it is a perfect example of what the rest of America is going to look like soon.

Once upon a time it was regarded as one of the top manufacturing cities the world had ever seen, but today it has become a total hellhole.

There are very few decent jobs available, poverty has exploded and crime is everywhere.

If you can believe it, 53.6% of all children in Detroit are living in poverty, and only 25 percent of all students in Detroit graduate from high school at this point.

And as I wrote about recently, justifiable homicide in Detroit increased by a whopping 79 percent during 2011, and the rate of self-defense killings in Detroit is now approximately 2200% above the national average.

Is it any wonder that you can still buy a house for $100 in some areas of Detroit?

The truth is that many areas of Detroit now resemble a post-apocalyptic wasteland.  Perhaps that is why one team of investors actually wants to turn some of the worst areas of Detroit into a zombie theme park….

Derelict areas of Detroit face being taken over by hordes of ‘flesh and brain-eating zombies’ if an ambitious business plan takes off.

Entrepreneur Mark Siwak wants to create live-action terror theme park ‘Z World’ on Motor City’s run-down and abandoned streets.

Customers would pay to be chased by professional actors and try to seek shelter in ghostly homes, factories and businesses.

You can see some great video of the “ruins of Detroit” right here.

#4 Stockton, California

Stockton is one of the ten most dangerous cities in America and it recently made national headlines when it declared bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, as spending on law enforcement has declined it has given the criminals a lot more room to operate in Stockton.  The following is from a recent Business Insider article….

The city has cut more than $90 million in spending over the past few years, specifically in its police department. The city has cut over one quarter of its police jobs, which has led to a “surge in murders,” and has created an “emboldened criminal element” in the city. According to police spokesman Joe Silva, the city has had 87 murders since the start of 2011, 29 of which have already occurred this year. In contrast, there were 35 murders in 2009 and 48 in 2010. With six months left in the year, there have already been more murders in the city since the start of 2011 than the two-year stretch of 2009-2010.

A while back in Stockton a billboard was put up with the following message: “Welcome to the 2nd most dangerous city in California. Stop laying off cops.”

#5 Flint, Michigan

Flint, Michigan is a city that Michael Moore has made famous.  Flint once supported hordes of middle class workers thanks to a thriving auto industry, but today it is a just a rotting shell.  It looks like a war went through it and nobody bothered to clean up the mess.

At this point, the murder rate in Flint, Michigan is worse than the murder rate in Baghdad.  That is how nightmarish things have become in Flint.

The following is from an article in the New York Times….

It’s not that the cops here are scared; it’s just that they’re outmanned, outgunned and flat broke.

Flint is the birthplace of General Motors and the home of the U.A.W.’s first big strike. In case you didn’t know this, the words “Vehicle City” are spelled out on the archway spanning the Flint River.

But the name is a lie. Flint isn’t Vehicle City anymore. The Buick City complex is gone. The spark-plug plant is gone. Fisher Body is gone.

What Flint is now is one of America’s murder capitals. Last year in Flint, population 102,000, there were 66 documented murders. The murder rate here is worse than those in Newark and St. Louis and New Orleans. It’s even worse than Baghdad’s.

Politicians love to go to Flint and make speeches, but things never get any better.  The following are comments that Joe Biden made about Flint, Michigan during a recent speech he gave to promote a jobs bill….

“In 2008, when Flint had 265 sworn officers on their police force, there were 35 murders and 91 rapes in this city. In 2010, when Flint had only 144 police officers, the murder rate climbed to 65 and rapes–just to pick two categories–climbed to 229. In 2011, you now only have 125 shields. God only knows what the numbers will be this year for Flint if we don’t rectify it.”

But don’t look down on Flint – these kinds of conditions are coming to where you live soon enough.

#6 West Philly

Did you know that 36.4% of all children that live in Philadelphia are living in poverty?

There are some sections of Philadelphia that are actually very nice, but there are others that look like society has forgotten about them for decades.

A recent article by Jim Quinn entitled “More Than 30 Blocks Of Grey And Decay” described the depressing conditions in West Philadelphia.  Quinn refers to his drive through this area as “the 30 Blocks of Squalor”….

The real unemployment rate exceeds 50%, murder is the number one industry, with drugs a close second.

But it was not always this way.  Once upon a time, West Philly was actually a thriving area and was full of middle class families.

So what happened?

That is a very good question.

According to Quinn, the physical decay in West Philly is matched by the social decay….

The once proud homes are in shambles. Bags of garbage dot the landscape. Most of the people who live here are parasites on society. Personal responsibility, work ethic, education and marriage are unknown concepts in this community. Even though more than 50% of the students in West Philly drop out of high school and the SAT scores of West Philly High students are lower than whale ****, the bankrupt school district spent $70 million to build a new high school/prison to babysit derelicts and future prison inmates. The windows do not have steel bars yet, as the architect was smart to put all windows at least eight feet above street level.

These days there is a lot of despair in “the city of brotherly love”.  It is so sad to see what is happening to what once was such a proud city.

#7 Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland has always had a love/hate relationship with itself.  Many who live there call it “the mistake by the lake”, but the truth is that it was once a truly great city.

Sadly, today it is symbol of what has gone wrong with America.

There has been a steady stream of businesses that have left Cleveland and today 52.6% of all children that live in Cleveland are living in poverty.

There are not enough good jobs in Cleveland anymore, and so there are not enough workers to buy the tens of thousands of homes that have been foreclosed or abandoned.

So what is being done with all of those empty homes?

Unfortunately, they are being torn down.

The following comes from a recent CBS News report by Scott Pelley….

Across America, recession-fueled foreclosures and plummeting home values have left countless properties abandoned and vulnerable to looting. As Scott Pelley reports, the problem has gotten so bad in Cleveland, Ohio, that county officials have demolished more than 1,000 homes this year – and plan to demolish 20,000 more – rather than let the blight spread and render nearby homes worthless.

Does that seem right to you?

Should Cleveland be destroying tens of thousands of homes that families could be using?

Something has gone very, very wrong in this country.

#8 Camden, New Jersey

If you want to see what a hellhole looks like just visit Camden, New Jersey.

Although you will probably want to take an armed escort with you.

As industry has abandoned Camden, the gangs have basically taken over.  The “growth industries” in Camden these days are drug dealing and prostitution.

In an article entitled “City of Ruins“, reporter Chris Hedges described what life is like in Camden at this point….

There are perhaps a hundred open-air drug markets, most run by gangs like the Bloods, the Latin Kings, Los Nietos and MS-13. Knots of young men in black leather jackets and baggy sweatshirts sell weed and crack to clients, many of whom drive in from the suburbs. The drug trade is one of the city’s few thriving businesses. A weapon, police say, is never more than a few feet away, usually stashed behind a trash can, in the grass or on a porch.

Not that other cities in New Jersey are shining examples for the rest of the world either.

For example, if you want to get really depressed just drive through the bad parts of Newark some time.

#9 St. Louis

According to U.S. News and World Report, the most dangerous city in the United States is St. Louis.

If you have a death wish, just wander around the streets of East St. Louis at night.

There is a decent chance that someone will shoot you.

Things were not always this way in St. Louis.  But today things have gotten so bad that you can find packs of wild dogs roaming the city digging through trash and threatening children.

The following is from a report by the local CBS affiliate in St. Louis….

…Lewis Reed is sounding the alarm. “I’ve witnessed packs of dogs, 10 and 15 dogs running together, and I’ve seen all these dogs I’m talking about they don’t have collars, they don’t have tags, these are truly wild dogs,” he said.

Reed says stray dogs are terrorizing the north side. “It’s obscene that parents have to walk their kids to school, in some parts of the city, with a golf club to fend off wild dogs.”

This kind of thing is actually happening in America?

#10 New Orleans, Louisiana

The problems that New Orleans has experienced have been well documented.

But unlike most of the cities listed above, at least New Orleans has an excuse.  New Orleans permanently lost 29% of its population after Hurricane Katrina, and large sections of the city were essentially destroyed by that storm.

Even today, there are still some areas of New Orleans that look as if they have just been bombed.

It has been estimated that about 20 percent of the homes in New Orleans are still standing vacant, and poverty is rampant.  New Orleans will probably never fully recover to the level it was at before Hurricane Katrina hit.

#11 Oakland, California

Oakland has always been in the shadow of San Francisco, and the contrast between the two cities continues to grow.

Oakland has always been considered one of the more dangerous cities in America, and this year crime rates in Oakland are rising rapidly.  The following is from a recent article in the New York Times….

At the beginning of April, murders in Oakland were up 26 percent over a year ago, rapes were up 41 percent, and robberies were up 35 percent.

When Chief Batts arrived as a “change agent” in 2009, the police department employed 837 officers. It now has 635. The department no longer responds to burglaries that are not still in progress, and frequently does not respond to other calls for help.

So if your house has been robbed and the burglars are gone what are you supposed to do?

Due to a crippling lack of resources, the previous police chief decided that his department would no longer be able to respond to all crimes.

The following is a partial list of the crimes that police in Oakland are no longer likely to respond to….

  • burglary
  • theft
  • embezzlement
  • grand theft
  • grand theft: dog
  • identity theft
  • false information to peace officer
  • required to register as sex or arson offender
  • dump waste or offensive matter
  • loud music
  • possess forged notes
  • pass fictitious check
  • obtain money by false voucher
  • fraudulent use of access cards
  • stolen license plate
  • embezzlement by an employee
  • extortion
  • attempted extortion
  • false personification of other
  • injure telephone/power line
  • interfere with power line
  • unauthorized cable tv connection
  • vandalism

So what do you do if you are a victim of one of those crimes in Oakland?

That is a very good question.

#12 Baltimore, Maryland

If you can believe it, Baltimore was actually once a great city.

But today it has become a crime-ridden, drug-infested hellhole.

I used to drive up to Baltimore all the time.  It truly is a “blue collar” city.  There are a lot of really hard working people there.

Unfortunately, there are not nearly enough jobs for everyone and a lot of people have turned to drugs and crime.

There are some areas of Baltimore that you really should never enter by yourself.  If you do go into them, you might not make it back out.

There was one incident in Baltimore earlier this year that was particularly disturbing.

One poor young man had gotten drunk and was apparently wandering around all by himself.  Some thugs approached him and they clearly sensed that he was vulnerable.  So they knocked him to the ground, stripped him of his car keys, his watch, his money, his cell phone and his clothes.

A crowd gathered around to watch, and instead of helping the man, several of them got out their cell phones and laughed hysterically while they recorded the incident with their cell phone cameras for YouTube.

What made all of this even sadder is that this happened right in front of a Baltimore courthouse.

What in the world has happened to this nation?

All of us that still love this country should be deeply saddened by everything above.

America is rotting from the inside out, and if we are ever going to find any solutions we need to start admitting how bad things have really become.

The truth is that our problems are not limited to one political party, one special interest group or to one region of the country.  The social decay that is plaguing America can literally be found everywhere.

For much more on this, please see the following four articles….

1) “25 Signs The Collapse Of America Is Speeding Up As Society Rots From The Inside Out

2) “70 Reasons To Mourn For America

3) “20 Signs That Society Is Breaking Down And That America Has Been Overrun By Psychos

4) “12 Factors That Are Turning The Streets Of America Into A Living Hell

So don’t laugh at Detroit or Cleveland or St. Louis.

The rest of the country is declining too.

If the city where you live is not a hellhole already, it will be soon enough.

You Know That Your City Has Become A Hellhole When….

All across America there are cities and towns that were once prosperous and beautiful that are being transformed into absolute hellholes.  The scars left by the long-term economic decline of the United States are getting deeper and more gruesome.  The tax base in many areas of the nation has been absolutely devastated as millions of jobs have left this country.  Hundreds of cities are drowning in debt and are desperately trying to survive.  Last year, city government revenues in the United States fell by another 2.3 percent.  That was the fifth year in a row that we have seen a decline.  Meanwhile, costs associated with health care, pensions and virtually everything else continue to explode.  So what are cities doing to make ends meet?  Well, one big trend that we are now witnessing is that many U.S. cities have been getting rid of huge numbers of employees.  If you can believe it, 72 percent of all U.S. cities are laying workers off this year.  Social services and essential infrastructure programs are also being savagely cut back in many areas of the country.  The cold, hard truth is that most of our cities are flat broke and things are going to get even worse in the years ahead.

So how do you know if your own city has become a hellhole?

Well, a few potential “red flags” are posted below….

You know that your city has become a hellhole when most of the street lights get repossessed because of unpaid electric bills.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when it announces that it will no longer prosecute domestic violence cases in order to save money.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when it simply stops sending out pension checks to retired workers.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when it rips up asphalt roads and replaces them with gravel because gravel is cheaper to maintain.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when it eliminates the entire public bus system.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when nearly half of all the people living there can’t read.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when one out of every ten homes sells for under $10,000.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when you can literally buy a house for one dollar.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when you have hundreds of people living in the tunnels underneath your streets.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when three of your past five mayors have been sent to prison for corruption.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when nearly half of the public schools in the city get shut down because of a lack of money.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when you have dozens of young people rampaging in the streets that are thirsty for revenge and that are armed with bats, pipes and guns.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when it is considered to be one of the 10 most dangerous cities in the world.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when thieves defecate in the back seat after they have broken into your car and taken your things.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when prostitution and drug dealing are two of the only viable businesses that remain in the city.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when the police chief announces that the police department will no longer respond to calls about burglary and identity theft due to very deep budget cuts.

Many of the examples above may seem humorous at first glance, but the truth is that they reveal just how deeply tragic our economic decline really is.

This is one of the reasons why I write about our trade deficit over and over and over.  Every single month, tens of billions of dollars more wealth goes out of the United States than enters it.  Every single month, we are getting poorer as a nation.  Every single month, we lose more jobs and businesses.

Any politician that tells you that he or she can solve our economic problems without fundamentally addressing our horrific trade imbalance is lying to you.  That means that there are a whole lot of liars in both political parties.

If the number of good jobs continues to decline, the plight of the average American family is going to continue to get worse.  Home sales will continue to hover around record lows.  The American people will continue to become increasingly frustrated with the economy.

The signs of decline are all around us.

Quit listening to the politicians and just open up your eyes and look.

So do any of you have any additional signs that a city has become a hellhole to add to the list above?  Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below….

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