Iran just conducted another provocative missile test, more U.S. troops are being sent to the Middle East, it was just announced that the U.S. military will be sending B-1 and B-52 bombers to South Korea in response to North Korea firing four missiles into the seas near Japan, and China is absolutely livid that a U.S. carrier group just sailed through contested waters in the South China Sea. We have entered a season where leaders all over the globe feel a need to rattle their sabers, and many fear that this could be leading us to war. In particular, Donald Trump is going to be under the microscope in the days ahead as other world leaders test his resolve. Will Trump be able to show that he is tough without going over the edge and starting an actual conflict?
The Iranians made global headlines on Thursday when they conducted yet another ballistic missile test despite being warned by Trump on numerous occasions…
As tensions between the U.S. and Iran continue to mount, the semi-official news agency Tasnim is reporting that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has successfully conducted yet another ballistic missile test, this time from a navy vessel. Called the Hormuz 2, these latest missiles are designed to destroy moving targets at sea at ranges up to 300 km (180 miles).
Reports on the latest test quotes Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Force, who confirmed that “the naval ballistic missile called Hormuz 2 successfully destroyed a target which was 250 km away.”
The missile test is the latest event in a long-running rivalry between Iran and the United States in and around the Strait of Hormuz, which guards the entrance to the Gulf. About 20% of the world’s oil passes through the waterway, which is less than 40 km wide at its narrowest point.
So how will Trump respond to this provocation?
Will he escalate the situation? If he does nothing he will look weak, but if he goes too far he could risk open conflict.
Elsewhere in the Middle East, things are already escalating. It is being reported that “several hundred Marines” are on the ground in Syria to support an assault on the city of Raqqa, and another 1,000 troops could be sent to Kuwait to join the fight against ISIS any day now. The following comes from Zero Hedge…
While the Trump administration waits to decide if it will send 1,000 troops to Kuwait to fight ISIS, overnight the Washington Post reported that the US has sent several hundred Marines to Syria to support an allied local force aiming to capture the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa. Defence officials said they would establish an outpost from which they could fire artillery at IS positions some 32km (20 miles) away. US special forces are already on the ground, “advising” the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance according to the BBC.
The defence officials told the Washington Post that the Marines were from the San Diego-based 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and that they had flown to northern Syria via Djibouti and Kuwait. They are to set up an artillery battery that could fire powerful 155mm shells from M777 howitzers, the officials said. Another marine expeditionary unit carried out a similar mission at the start of the Iraqi government’s operation to recapture the city of Mosul from IS last year.
Meanwhile, China is spitting mad for several reasons. For one, the Chinese are absolutely furious that South Korea has allowed the U.S. to deploy the THAAD missile defense system on their soil…
China is lashing out at South Korea and Washington for the deployment of a powerful missile defense system known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, deposited at the Osan Air Base in South Korea on Monday evening.
The deployment of THAAD follows several ballistic missile tests by North Korea in recent months, including the launch of four missiles on Monday, three of which landed in the sea off the coast of Japan. Though THAAD would help South Korea protect itself from a North Korean missile attack, China is vocally protesting the deployment of the system, claiming it upsets the “strategic equilibrium” in the region because its radar will allow the United States to detect and track missiles launched from China.
Of course the U.S. needed to do something, because the North Koreans keep rattling their sabers by firing off more ballistic missiles toward Japan.
But it is one thing to deploy a missile defense system, and it is another thing entirely to fly strategic nuclear bombers into the region.
So if the Chinese were upset when THAAD was deployed, how will they feel when B-1 and B-52 bombers start showing up in South Korea?…
Earlier this week, trigger-happy Kim pushed his luck once more when he fired off four ballistic missiles into the seas near Japan.
Now US military chiefs are reportedly planning to fly in B-1 and B-52 bombers – built to carry nuclear bombs – to show America has had enough.
South Korea and the US have also started their annual Foal Eagle military exercise sending a strong warning to North Korea over its actions.
A military official said 300,000 South Korean troops and 15,000 US personnel are taking part in the operation.
The Trump administration has openly stated that all options “are on the table” when it comes to North Korea, and that includes a military strike.
It has been more than 60 years since the Korean War ended, but many are concerned that we may be closer to a new Korean War than we have been at any point since that time.
And of course our relationship with China is tumbling precariously downhill as well. Another reason why the Chinese are extremely upset with the Trump administration is because a U.S. Navy carrier battle group led by the USS Carl Vinson sailed past islands that China claims in the South China Sea just a few weeks ago.
In China, the media openly talks about the possibility of war with the United States over the South China Sea. Most Americans are not even aware that the South China Sea is a very serious international issue, but over in China this is a major focus.
And the U.S. military has recently made several other moves in the region that have angered the Chinese…
Also in February, the U.S. sent a dozen F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to Tindal AB in northern Australia, the closest Australian military airbase to China, for coalition training and exercises. It’s the first deployment of that many F-22s in the Pacific.
And if that didn’t get the attention of the Chinese government, the U.S. just tested four Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missiles during a nuclear war exercise, sending the simulated weapons 4,200 miles from the coast of California into the mid-Pacific. It’s the first time in three years the U.S. has conducted tests in the Pacific, and the first four-missile salvo since the end of the Cold War.
I can understand the need to look tough, but eventually somebody is going to go too far.
If you are familiar with my work, then you know that I believe that war is coming. Things in the Middle East continue to escalate, and it is only a matter of time before a great war erupts between Israel and her neighbors. Meanwhile, U.S. relations with both Russia and China continue to deteriorate, and this is something that I have been warning about for a very long time.
We should hope for peace, but we should also not be blind to the signs of war that are starting to emerge all over the planet. Relatively few people anticipated the outbreak of World War I and World War II in advance, and I have a feeling that the same thing will be true for World War III.
As the Obama administration continues to alienate almost everyone else around the entire planet, an increasing number of prominent international voices are starting to question why the U.S. dollar should be so overwhelmingly dominant in global trade. In previous articles, I have discussed Russia’s “de-dollarization strategy” and the fact that Gazprom is now asking their large customers to start paying in currencies other than the dollar. But this is not just a story about Russia any longer. As you will read about below, China and South Korea have just signed a major agreement to facilitate trade with one another using their own national currencies, and even prominent French officials are now talking about the need to use the dollar less and the euro more. John Williams of shadowstats.com recently said that things have never “been more negative” for the U.S. dollar, and he was right on the mark. The power of the almighty dollar has allowed all of us living in the United States to enjoy an extremely high standard of living for decades, but as that power now fades it is going to have profound implications for the U.S. economy. In future years the value of the dollar will go down substantially, all of the imported goods filling our stores will become much more expensive, and it is going to cost the federal government a lot more to borrow money. Unfortunately, with the stock market hitting all-time record highs and with the mainstream media endlessly touting an “economic recovery”, most Americans are not paying any attention to these things.
French oil giant Total is one of the largest energy companies in the entire world. On Saturday, Total’s CEO made an absolutely stunning statement. According to Reuters, he told reporters that there “is no reason to pay for oil in dollars”…
“Doing without the (U.S.) dollar, that wouldn’t be realistic, but it would be good if the euro was used more,” he told reporters.
“There is no reason to pay for oil in dollars,” he said. He said the fact that oil prices are quoted in dollars per barrel did not mean that payments actually had to be made in that currency.
If Gazprom’s CEO had made such a statement, it would not have really surprised anyone. But this came from a high profile French CEO. A decade ago, it would have been unthinkable for him to say such a thing. Wars have been started over less. Virtually all oil and natural gas around the planet has been bought and sold for U.S. dollars since the 1970s, and this is an arrangement that the U.S. government has traditionally guarded very zealously. But now that Russia has broken the petrodollar monopoly, the fear of questioning the almighty dollar appears to be dissipating.
And at this point even French government officials are not afraid to publicly discuss moving away from the U.S. dollar. Just check out what French finance minister Michel Sapin said to the press this weekend…
French finance minister Michel Sapin says “now is the right time to bolster the use of the euro” adding, more ominously for the dollar, “we sell ourselves aircraft in dollars. Is that really necessary? I don’t think so.” Careful to avoid upsetting his ‘allies’ across the pond, Sapin followed up with the slam-dunk diplomacy, “This is not a fight against dollar imperialism,” except, of course – that’s exactly what it is… just as it was over 40 years ago when the French challenged Nixon.
So why are the French suddenly so upset?
Could it be the fact that we just slapped the largest bank in France with a nearly 9 billion dollar fine?…
The remarks come a week after Paris-based bank BNP Paribas (BNP) SA was slapped with a $8.97 billion fine by U.S. authorities for transactions carried out in dollars in countries facing American sanctions. The fine spurred debate in France about the right of the U.S. in extending its regulatory reach beyond its borders.
This is yet another example of how the Obama administration is alienating friends all over the globe.
In fact, there doesn’t seem to be anyone that the Obama administration is afraid of crossing. Just a couple of days ago, the German press exploded in outrage when Germany arrested a U.S. spy. Why we feel the need to spy on our friends is something that I will never figure out.
And of course our relations with Russia are probably the worst that they have been since the end of the Cold War at this point. And as the Russians now rapidly move away from the U.S. dollar, they seem intent on bringing the rest of “the BRICS” with them. The following is a short excerpt from a recent Voice of Russia article entitled “BRICS morphing into anti-dollar alliance“…
However, in her discussion with Vladimir Putin, the head of the Russian central bank unveiled an elegant technical solution for this problem and left a clear hint regarding the members of the anti-dollar alliance that is being created by the efforts of Moscow and Beijing:
“We’ve done a lot of work on the ruble-yuan swap deal in order to facilitate trade financing. I have a meeting next week in Beijing,” she said casually and then dropped the bomb: “We are discussing with China and our BRICS parters the establishment of a system of multilateral swaps that will allow to transfer resources to one or another country, if needed. A part of the currency reserves can be directed to [the new system].” (source of the quote: Prime news agency)
It seems that the Kremlin chose the all-in-one approach for establishing its anti-dollar alliance. Currency swaps between the BRICS central banks will facilitate trade financing while completely bypassing the dollar. At the same time, the new system will also act as a de facto replacement of the IMF, because it will allow the members of the alliance to direct resources to finance the weaker countries. As an important bonus, derived from this “quasi-IMF” system, the BRICS will use a part (most likely the “dollar part”) of their currency reserves to support it, thus drastically reducing the amount of dollar-based instruments bought by some of the biggest foreign creditors of the US.
Of course the key economic player in the BRICS alliance is China.
So will China actually go along with a “de-dollarization” strategy?
Well, the truth is that China has been making moves to become more independent of the dollar for a long time, and it has just been announced that China and South Korea have signed an agreement which will mean more direct trade between the two nations using their own national currencies…
China’s central bank has authorized the Bank of Communications, the country’s fifth largest lender, to undertake yuan clearing business in the South Korean capital, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) said in a statement.
The announcement came as Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up a state visit to South Korea on Friday. China is seeking to make the yuan – also known as the renminbi – used more internationally in keeping with the country’s status as the world’s second biggest economy behind the United States.
Unfortunately, most Americans don’t care about any of this at all.
They don’t understand that more U.S. dollars are actually used outside the United States than are used inside the United States. Because most of the rest of the world uses U.S. dollars to trade with one another, this has created a tremendous amount of artificial demand for our currency. In other words, the value of the U.S. dollar is much higher than it otherwise would be, and this has enabled us to import trillions of dollars of products at ridiculously low prices. The standard of living that we enjoy today is highly dependent on this arrangement continuing.
And our ability to fund the federal government and our state and local governments is heavily dependent on the rest of the planet loaning our dollars back to us for next to nothing. If we actually had to pay realistic market rates to borrow money, the finances of the federal government would have already collapsed long ago.
So it is absolutely imperative for our own economic well-being that this “de-dollarization” trend not accelerate any further. The rest of the world could actually severely hurt us by deciding to stop using the almighty dollar, and the more that the Obama administration antagonizes both our friends and our foes around the globe the more likely that is to happen.
We live in very perilous times, and the almighty dollar is more vulnerable now than it has been in decades.
If it starts collapsing, it will take down the entire U.S. financial system with it.
Let us hope that we still have a bit more time before that happens, because once the U.S. dollar collapses it will be exceedingly painful for all of us.
Did you know that Barack Obama has been secretly negotiating the most important trade agreement since the formation of the World Trade Organization? Did you know that this agreement will impose very strict Internet copyright rules, ban all “Buy American” laws, give Wall Street banks much more freedom to trade risky derivatives and force even more domestic manufacturing offshore? If you have not heard about this treaty, don’t feel bad. Obama has refused to even give Congress a copy of the draft agreement and he has banned members of Congress from attending the negotiations. The plan is to keep this treaty secret until the very last minute and then to railroad it through Congress and have it signed into law by October. The treaty is known as “the Trans-Pacific Partnership”, and the nations that are reported to be involved in the development of this treaty include the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia. Opponents of this treaty refer to it as “the NAFTA of the Pacific”, and if it is enacted it will push the deindustrialization of America into overdrive.
The “one world” economic agenda that Barack Obama has been pushing is absolutely killing the U.S. economy. As you will see later in this article, we are losing jobs and businesses at an astounding pace. And each new “free trade” agreement makes things even worse.
For example, just check out the impact that the recent free trade agreement that Obama negotiated with South Korea is having on us…
- A 10 percent decline of U.S. exports to Korea
- The U.S. trade deficit with Korea has climbed 37 percent
- U.S. auto industry has been crippled
- Loss of U.S. control where international trade, banking and finance is concerned
- A projected 159,000 jobs will be lost
Wait a second – I though that “free trade” agreements were actually supposed to increase exports.
So why have they declined by 10 percent?
Did someone make a really bad deal?
And of course we have all seen the economic devastation that NAFTA has wrought.
When NAFTA was pushed through Congress in 1993, the United States actually had a trade surplus with Mexico of 1.6 billion dollars. By 2010, we had a trade deficit with Mexico of 61.6 billion dollars.
And “free trade” with China has turned out to be a complete and total nightmare as well.
Back in 1985, our trade deficit with China was approximately 6 million dollars (million with a little “m”) for the entire year.
In 2012, our trade deficit with China was 315 billion dollars. That was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.
But instead of learning from the mistakes of the past, Barack Obama is pressing for more “free trade” agreements.
The New York Times is calling the Trans-Pacific Partnership “the most significant international commercial agreement since the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1995“. It is reportedly going to include a whole host of provisions which would never be able to get through Congress on their own. Even though this treaty will affect all of our daily lives, the Obama administration is keeping this treaty a total secret. In fact, Obama won’t even show it to Congress even though members of Congress have asked repeatedly to see it…
The agreement, under negotiation since 2008, would set new rules for everything from food safety and financial markets to medicine prices and Internet freedom. It would include at least 12 of the countries bordering the Pacific and be open for more to join. President Obama has said he wants to sign it by October.
Although Congress has exclusive constitutional authority to set the terms of trade, so far the executive branch has managed to resist repeated requests by members of Congress to see the text of the draft agreement and has denied requests from members to attend negotiations as observers — reversing past practice.
While the agreement could rewrite broad sections of nontrade policies affecting Americans’ daily lives, the administration also has rejected demands by outside groups that the nearly complete text be publicly released.
So exactly who in the world does this guy think that he is? Why won’t Obama let us know exactly what is in this treaty?
Fortunately, there have been a few leaks. One thing that we have discovered is that this new treaty would reportedly ban all “Buy American laws“.
That certainly would not be popular if it got out.
And do you remember SOPA?
The American people wanted nothing to do with the very strict Internet copyright provisions of SOPA and loudly expressed their displeasure to members of Congress.
Unfortunately, now the provisions of SOPA are back. It is being reported that most of the provisions of SOPA have been quietly inserted into this treaty. If this treaty is enacted, those provisions will become law and the American people will not be able to do anything about it.
And according to the New York Times, there are all sorts of other disturbing things that have been slipped into the treaty…
And yet another leak revealed that the deal would include even more expansive incentives to relocate domestic manufacturing offshore than were included in Nafta — a deal that drained millions of manufacturing jobs from the American economy.
The agreement would also be a boon for Wall Street and its campaign to water down regulations put in place after the 2008 financial crisis. Among other things, it would practically forbid bans on risky financial products, including the toxic derivatives that helped cause the crisis in the first place.
Are you starting to understand why the Obama administration is keeping this treaty such a secret?
If the details of this treaty were revealed to the American people right now, it would create such an uproar that Congress would never approve this treaty.
So please share this article with as many people as you can. We have got to get the American people educated about this.
Enough damage has already been done to the U.S. economy by “free trade” agreements. Just consider the following statistics…
-The United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.
-Back in the year 2000, there were more than 17 million Americans working in manufacturing. Now there are less than 12 million.
-There are less Americans working in manufacturing today than there was in 1950 even though the population of the country has more than doubled since then.
-According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.
-According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades if current trends continue.
-Today, corporate profits as a percentage of U.S. GDP are at an all-time high, but wages as a percentage of U.S. GDP are near an all-time low.
-Without enough good jobs, more Americans are becoming dependent on the government. If you can believe it, the number of Americans on food stamps has gone from about 17 million in the year 2000 to more than 47 million today.
-Overall, the United States has run a trade deficit of more than 8 trillion dollars with the rest of the world since 1975.
And things continue to get even worse. The Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index declined to 49.0 in May. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction.
That was the lowest reading that we have seen since June 2009. Just like most of the rest of the world, we are rapidly heading toward another major economic downturn.
And if you want a perfect visual example of what deindustrialization is doing to America, just look at the city of Detroit.
It was once one of the greatest manufacturing cities in the history of the world, but now it is a rotting, decaying, festering hellhole.
According to the New York Times, there are now approximately 70,000 abandoned buildings in Detroit, and at this point the city is so broke that there is talk that the female giraffe at the Detroit Zoo could be sold off to help pay the bills.
For much more on how deindustrialization is ripping the guts out of the U.S. economy, please see the following articles…
1) “55 Reasons Why You Should Buy Products That Are Made In America”
2) “40 Ways That China Is Beating America”
3) “Show This To Anyone That Believes That ‘Things Are Getting Better’ In America”
4) “10 Amazing Charts That Demonstrate The Slow, Agonizing Death Of The American Worker”
5) “22 Stats That Show How The Emerging One World Economy Is Absolutely Killing American Workers”
What Barack Obama is trying to do is a mind blowing mistake.
The “one world” economic agenda that he is pursuing is destroying the American worker and the American middle class.
U.S. workers are being thrown into a global labor pool with workers on the other side of the planet that live in countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.
Do you want to directly compete with a worker on the other side of the globe that is doing your job for a dollar an hour with no benefits?
If not, you need to stand up and make your voice be heard.
There is no way in the world that American workers should have to compete for jobs with workers making slave labor wages in communist China.
What we desperately need are some red-blooded economic patriots to arise and to tell both political parties that we do not want this “one world” economic agenda.
So what do you think?
Will the American people wake up, or will our economy continue to lose thousands of businesses and millions of jobs?
Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…
69 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have sent Barack Obama a letter expressing their concern that a new international treaty currently being negotiated would essentially ban all “Buy American” laws. This new treaty is known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and it is going to be one of the biggest “free trade” agreements in history. Critics are referring to it as the “NAFTA of the Pacific“, and it would likely cost the U.S. economy even more jobs than NAFTA did. At the moment, the Trans-Pacific Partnership includes Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore. Barack Obama is pushing hard to get the United States into the TPP, and Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, Canada, Japan and South Korea are also reportedly interested in joining. But quite a few members of Congress have heard that “Buy American” laws will essentially be banned under this agreement, and this has many of them very concerned. You can read the entire letter that was sent to Obama right here. Unfortunately, the leaders of both major political parties are overwhelmingly in favor of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, so the objections of these 69 members of Congress are likely to fall on deaf ears. The Trans-Pacific Partnership will accelerate the flow of American jobs out of this country, and meanwhile our politicians will continue to insist that they are doing everything that they can to “create jobs”.
There is not much protecting American jobs these days. The “Buy American” laws are one of the last remaining barriers that helps protect against much, much cheaper foreign labor, but now “Buy American” laws are in danger of being banned permanently as a recent article in the Huffington Post explained….
Since the 1930s, the American government has offered preferential treatment to American producers in the awarding of federal contracts. If a domestic producer offers the government a more expensive bid than a foreign producer, it can still be awarded the contract under certain circumstances, but more recent free trade agreements have granted other nations the same negotiating status as domestic firms. The Obama administration is currently pushing to grant the several nations involved in the Trans-Pacific deal the same privileged status, according to the Thursday letter.
The big problem is that foreign companies often have huge advantages over firms based in America.
In the United States, we have minimum-wage laws. On the other side of the globe, it is legal to pay workers less than a dollar an hour with no benefits.
In the United States, we have thousands upon thousands of laws and regulations that businesses must comply with. On the other side of the globe, there is often very little red tape.
The truth is that “free trade” is a really bad deal for the average American worker. In the emerging one world economic system, labor has become a global commodity and U.S. workers must now compete for jobs with people on the other side of the planet.
Since U.S. workers are often 10 to 20 times more expensive than workers on the other side of the world, there has been a massive outflow of jobs from this country. Treaties such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership will accelerate those job losses.
You would think that our politicians would notice that our formerly great manufacturing cities are turning into hellholes.
For example, the following is how James Kunstler described what he saw 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.
The economic guts of this country are being ripped to shreds right in front of our eyes.
Overall, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been shut down since 2001.
That number is so crazy that it is hard to fully grasp.
The truth is that the “free trade” agenda of globalists such as Barack Obama is absolutely devastating our economy.
There are hundreds of statistics which prove this. I don’t have space in this article to reproduce them all, but if you are interested in examining many of them I recommend checking out the following articles….
1) 35 Facts About The Gutting Of America’s Industrial Might That Should Make You Very Angry
2) 47 Signs That China Is Absolutely Destroying America On The Global Economic Stage
3) America Is Being Transformed From A Wealthy Nation Into A Poor Nation At Breathtaking Speed
4) 17 Facts About The Decline Of The U.S. Auto Industry That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe
5) If You Are A Blue Collar Worker In America You Are An Endangered Species
6) The Worst In The World – The U.S. Balance Of Trade Is Mind-Blowingly Bad
7) Free Trade Or Fair Trade? 20 Reasons Why All Americans Should Be Against The Insane Trade Policies Of The Globalists
When you combine a market that has expensive labor with markets that have ultra-cheap labor, it is inevitable that large numbers of jobs will migrate to the areas that have the ultra-cheap labor.
This isn’t rocket science.
That is why “Buy American” laws are such a good thing. They help to protect American jobs.
But even if you do not work in an industry where large numbers of jobs are being sent out of the country, the loss of jobs still affects you. The millions of Americans that are being displaced from jobs that have been sent overseas end up applying for other kinds of jobs. So they become your competition. This increases the demand for the jobs that remain and it keeps wages down.
As I wrote about the other day, 95 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were middle class jobs. Many of those jobs have been replaced by low income jobs, but you can’t support a family on a low income job.
The Obama administration tells us that the unemployment rate is going down, but the truth is that there are now almost 101 million working age Americans that do not have jobs.
Instead of looking at the “unemployment rate” which is manipulated so much, what I prefer to do is to look at the “employment rate“. And sadly, the percentage of Americans with a job has been steadily declining. The following are the percentages of working age Americans with a job during April during the past six years….
April 2007: 63.0%
April 2008: 62.7%
April 2009: 59.8%
April 2010: 58.7%
April 2011: 58.4%
April 2012: 58.4%
Some Americans have decided to escape the lousy job market by going back to school. Others have decided to retire early. Yet others have decided to become full-time dependents of the government, and a shocking number have decided to try to get on to the Social Security disability rolls.
But most Americans that are unemployed just want to get back to work. Many suffer in complete anonymity and many never take a single penny from the government. They just want someone to hire them so that they can put in an honest day of work for an honest day of pay once again.
Even if you still have a good job, it could be gone tomorrow. This point was underscored by a comment that a reader identified as “DaytoDay” left on a recent article….
Well, I can relate to this, I just lost my job Tuesday. I worked for Uhaul and on the DAY that I became eligible for my benefits and 401k they canned me, exactly 90 days.
So, it’s just another reminder that those who work for corporations are nothing more than numbers. It’s sad reality, they don’t care if you have a family to feed, they don’t care about your bills, and they damn sure don’t care about quality…
I was notified while working, and was instantly let go, up until that point, there had been no warnings, no emails, no conferences, nothing… They simply fired me to avoid paying the benefits and 401k that was would have been entitled to.
And to think, this is the reward for being a good hard worker?
Other Americans are not able to find any work at all. This is especially true for young Americans. Millions upon millions of hard working Americans are graduating from college only to find that the “real world” can be very cruel.
For example, just check out the comment that a reader named “Simon” left on one of my recent articles….
I graduated from a top university just after the Collapse of 2008 (Class of ’09). I had already seen the number of customers at my college job go way down in that year. Got my four-year degree, had good grades, good work record. Now I live in south FL and I can’t even get a job in fast food, there is so much competition for minimum-wage jobs. No one wants to hire me to wait tables or bag groceries because I have a prestigious degree. The only thing I got out of college was 10 grand in debt, which is actually quite small (I came from a poor family, so I got a lot of free tuition to bribe me to be part of the university indoctrination). Good thing I defaulted on my loans a year or two ago or I would be in worse trouble. I just throw out all their threatening letters and never answer their calls- my friend told me it would work, and it did. Of course I’m no longer a “good citizen”- I don’t earn money, don’t pay taxes, don’t have health insurance, my credit is horrible, I’ll never buy a home or a new car—but who cares?
Millions of other Americans that have lost their jobs have been forced to take whatever they can get. A reader identified as “Gary2” recently left a comment on one of my articles describing what his family has been through….
Check this out—I had 12 years as a good worker (regional manager level position) several promotions-steller reviews-which I kept copies of BTW) regular good pay increases heck I even saved a persons life, got a big award plack for it, pictures with everyone etc and 4 months later was downsized–no warning no thanks for helping them pass many JACHO inspections (I was a regional manager for a hospital chain) nothing. Just that we decided to outsource your entire department and that you are no longer needed.
So now I get to be grossly underemployed making 1/2 of what I used to make with NO benefits. My wife is no longer a stay at home raise the kids mom and is also working. Together we still make less than I did on my own. This sucks.
As millions upon millions of Americans suffer deeply month after month, it is creating a volcano of anger and frustration that could absolutely devastate our society at some point. A reader identified as “Cinderella Man” left the following comment on a recent article….
If anyone thinks that almost 50 million Americans on food stamps is a sign of recovery and pardon my language but you have **** for brains. The other day I went shopping and I spent $170 on my ten bags of food and I watched a man and his daughter ring up ten packs of cheap balogna he meekly asked the clerk if those were the 10 for 10 deal and she said yes. Then the Dad said to the daughter “I hope you like it were going to be eating it till we bust!” This is what our world has come to. A man is feeding his kid trying to stretch their meager food stamp budget by eating balogna for several meals. I couldnt help but think of the movie of my namesake Cinderella Man with Russell Crowe when his wife was frying balogna for every meal back during the first Great Depression. Ive seen it all in these past 4 years. From beautiful women in souplines and ****** hotels to living in my car and watching inflation destroy all of our lives. We are all 9 meals from anarchy.
Sadly, thousands upon thousands more good jobs are being lost each and every month.
But our politicians continue to integrate us even more deeply into the emerging one world economic system. Huge numbers of jobs will continue to leave this nation and the standard of living for most American workers will continue to decline.
So have any of you ever had your job shipped out of the country? Feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….
The United States is negotiating one of the biggest free trade agreements in history and there is barely a peep about it on the news. Years ago, Ross Perot warned that if NAFTA was implemented there would be a “giant sucking sound” as millions of jobs left this country. It turns out that he was right. Starting on Tuesday, the next round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (also known as the “NAFTA of the Pacific”) will begin in Chicago. We have already seen the Obama administration push hard for free trade agreements with Panama, South Korea and Colombia and the administration is making the Trans-Pacific Partnership a very high priority. Membership in the “NAFTA of the Pacific” already includes Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore. The United States, Australia, Peru, Malaysia and Vietnam are scheduled to join. Canada, Japan and South Korea are also reportedly considering membership. So once this “free trade” agreement is ratified, will we hear another “giant sucking sound” as millions more of our jobs are shipped overseas?
Look, it is not really that complicated. If you are a giant U.S. corporation, you can either make stuff here, or you can make stuff overseas where it is far, far less expensive to do so.
To greedy corporate executives, there are a lot of advantages to moving operations out of the country….
*It is legal to pay slave labor wages in many of these other countries. After all, why pay an American worker 10 or 20 times as much as a worker on the other side of the globe?
*In many of these other countries you do not have to provide any health care for workers.
*In many of these other countries there are virtually no environmental controls to worry about.
*In many of these other countries there are virtually no labor standards to worry about.
*In many of these other countries you only have to deal with a fraction of the “red tape” that you have to deal with in the United States.
By merging our economies with the economies of societies that are far different from our own, we have created a “race to the bottom” that is incredibly destructive to the U.S. economy.
In Vietnam, one dollar an hour is considered to be a very good wage.
So how do you plan to compete against that?
These “free trade agreements” are direct assaults on the big, juicy paychecks of American workers.
If you do not know about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, you need to get educated.
The following is a basic introduction to the TPP from Wikipedia….
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), also known as the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement, is a multilateral free trade agreement that aims to further liberalise the economies of the Asia-Pacific region; specifically, Article 1.1.3 notes: “The Parties seek to support the wider liberalisation process in APEC consistent with its goals of free and open trade and investment.” The original agreement between the countries of Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore was signed on June 3, 2005, and entered into force on May 28, 2006. Five additional countries – Australia, Malaysia, Peru, United States, and Vietnam – are negotiating to join the group.
Apparently, one of the goals of the TPP is to reduce all trade tariffs among member nations to zero by the year 2015. The proponents of “free trade” are absolutely thrilled.
We have all enjoyed the flood of cheap products from overseas. It is nice to pay a little bit less for things.
But these cheap prices have come at a very high cost. We are literally destroying the American economy. If you walk into just about any store today and you start turning over products, you will find that almost all of them are made out of the country.
If our middle class jobs keep getting shipped overseas, our prosperity is going to vanish. If the American people allow this to continue, the standard of living of American workers is going to continue to fall toward the level of workers in third world countries.
Arthur Stamoulis, the executive director of Citizen Trade Campaign recently had the following to say about why he is opposed to this new free trade agreement….
“They’ve shipped our jobs overseas. They’ve reduced the tax base, they’ve driven down the wages and benefits for the jobs that are left. We’ve had enough”
As you can see from the chart below, we have seen a massive decline in manufacturing jobs in the United States over the last few decades….
It is absolutely amazing that the Obama administration continues to tout more “free trade” agreements as a way to increase employment in the United States.
Sadly, nearly half the country is still going to run out and vote for the guy in the next election.
Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.
So the answer is to ship even more of our jobs overseas?
Apparently the Obama administration actually believes that we don’t want those jobs. The following is what U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk told Tim Robertson of the Huffington Post recently….
Let’s increase our competitiveness… the reality is about half of our imports, our trade deficit is because of how much oil [we import], so you take that out of the equation, you look at what percentage of it are things that frankly, we don’t want to make in America, you know, cheaper products, low-skill jobs that frankly college kids that are graduating from, you know, UC Cal and Hastings [don’t want], but what we do want is to capture those next generation jobs and build on our investments in our young people, our education infrastructure.
Can you believe that nonsense? He believes that there are things that “we don’t want to make in America”?
Why is nobody calling for him to resign immediately?
Manufacturing jobs have traditionally been high paying jobs that can support middle class families.
But now we are losing millions of those jobs and the Obama administration simply does not care.
Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.
America is being deindustrialized at warp speed and most Americans don’t even understand what is happening.
Look, even if U.S. firms wanted to stay in the United States and try to compete, they face almost insurmountable obstacles….
*Many foreign nations deeply and directly subsidize national industries and the U.S. government lets them get away with it. That puts our industries at a vast disadvantage.
*The United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. That puts our corporations at a vast disadvantage.
*Many foreign nations do not require businesses to provide health care for their employees. That puts our businesses at a vast disadvantage.
*Many foreign nations impose very little regulation on businesses. That puts businesses in the United States at a vast disadvantage. In the U.S., we have some of the most restrictive regulations in the world.
The truth is that even the “next generation jobs” and the “green jobs” that Obama keeps talking about are rapidly leaving the country.
For example, the third-largest producer of solar panels in the United States, Evergreen Solar, is leaving America.
Evergreen is shutting down its factory in Massachusetts, laying off 800 American workers and moving production over to China.
A recent New York Times article explained why Evergreen is making this move….
Evergreen, in announcing its move to China, was unusually candid about its motives. Michael El-Hillow, the chief executive, said in a statement that his company had decided to close the Massachusetts factory in response to plunging prices for solar panels. World prices have fallen as much as two-thirds in the last three years — including a drop of 10 percent during last year’s fourth quarter alone.
Chinese manufacturers, Mr. El-Hillow said in the statement, have been able to push prices down sharply because they receive considerable help from the Chinese government and state-owned banks, and because manufacturing costs are generally lower in China.
We are losing the “jobs of the future” and Obama is doing nothing about it.
Last year, more than half of all the solar panels in the world were made in China.
China is absolutely killing us on the global economic stage and Obama does not even seem to think that it is a problem.
The U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.
Not only that, the United States now spends more than 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.
So don’t listen to any of the nonsense that Obama is spouting about creating jobs.
Not that most of the Republicans are putting forward any good ideas either.
The reality is that our politicians have lied to us. Globalism is absolutely destroying our economy.
Do you remember when the United States was the dominant manufacturer of automobiles and trucks on the globe? Well, in 2010 the U.S. ran a trade deficit in automobiles, trucks and parts of $110 billion.
We are losing ground in almost every industry that you could name. Even the “jobs of tomorrow” are mostly being created overseas.
Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel, says that our advanced technology companies are creating far more jobs overseas than they are in the United States….
Some 250,000 Foxconn employees in southern China produce Apple’s products. Apple, meanwhile, has about 25,000 employees in the U.S. That means for every Apple worker in the U.S. there are 10 people in China working on iMacs, iPods, and iPhones. The same roughly 10-to-1 relationship holds for Dell, disk-drive maker Seagate Technology (STX), and other U.S. tech companies.
When is someone going to wake up America? If we are even losing “advanced technology” jobs, then what kind of jobs are going to be left?
In 2002, the United States had a trade deficit in “advanced technology products” of $16 billion with the rest of the world. In 2010, that number skyrocketed to $82 billion.
Needless to say, that is not a good trend.
Our politicians promised us that the “global economy” would mean more jobs and more prosperity for us.
Well, that was obviously a giant lie.
Today, if you gathered together all of the unemployed people in the United States, they would make up the 68th largest country in the world.
If we allow all of this “free trade” nonsense to continue, our unemployment nightmare is going to continue to get worse and even more of our formerly great cities will end up looking like total hellholes just like Detroit does.
Sadly, virtually all of our politicians in both political parties are in favor of these “free trade” agreements. In fact, most of them are pushing these kinds of agreements as one of the “solutions” to our problems.
The U.S. economy is being dismantled and deindustrialized right in front of your eyes.
If you plan on speaking out, you better do it now because it is almost too late to stop what is being done.
It is up to you America.