Economic War

Most Americans have no idea what an “economic war” is, and even fewer realize that economic warfare is being waged against the United States right now.  For generations, it has been drummed into our heads that “free trade” is always a good thing and that truly free trade will always benefit both sides in the long run.  None of our universities teach that trade can actually also be used as a brutally effective weapon of warfare and that economic warfare can bring down entire societies.  Nowhere in the mainstream media will you even get a hint that other nations are purposely trying to damage the U.S. economy for their own benefit.  But in a world where a “shooting war” with the United States is virtually unthinkable, those that wish to damage the U.S. must resort to other means to accomplish their goals.

The American people need to wake up and stop being so naive.  The truth is that much of the rest of the world absolutely hates our guts.  They resent our dominance and they are tired of us imposing our will on the rest of the globe.  For generations, Americans have been taught to view themselves as “the good guys”, but the sad fact of the matter is that most of the rest of the world does not view us as “the good guys” anymore.

In fact, there are quite a few nations out there that would actively like to do us harm.

So if they can’t shoot at us, then how can they harm us?

Well, they can try to destroy us financially and economically.

Today, major exporting nations around the globe are draining the United States of wealth, they are stealing our industries and they are feeding our national debt addiction.

For some of these nations, they may not actively want to destroy our economy, but they sure do want to steal what we have got.  They are more than happy to keep trading with us as long as they keep getting wealthier and their national economic infrastructure continues to get built up.  The fact that their economies are getting stronger at the expense of the U.S. economy is not really a huge concern for nations in this category.

However, there are also quite a few nations that do actively wish to do harm to the United States.  If trading with the United States will cause the U.S. to become poorer and to go into more debt, then that is a tool that they can use to reduce the power and influence of the Americans in the world.

Is this something that really happens?  Yes.  Do yourself a favor some time and read some economic articles and research papers from the other side of the world.  In some of these countries they are not afraid to openly talk about economic war.

So what are some of the goals of economic warfare?

Well, when it comes to the United States, the goal is to induce big corporations (or even entire industries) to leave the U.S. and set up shop somewhere else.  The idea is that the economic infrastructure of the United States will decline while the economic infrastructure of the “attacking nation” will be built up.  The jobs and wealth creation that once were a benefit to America will now benefit someone else.

Another goal is to transfer wealth from the target country (the United States) to the attacking country.  Each month the United States buys tens of billions of dollars more stuff from the rest of the world than they buy from us.  Each month we send them big chunks of our national wealth and they send us oil and cheap plastic trinkets which we greedily consume.  As this continues month after month after month, the rest of the world is getting richer while the United States is becoming poorer.

In a desperate attempt to maintain our standard of living, our federal government, our state governments and even our local governments are going into insane amounts of debt.  Debt is another tool of economic warfare.  As we continue to borrow trillions of dollars from the rest of the world, the ability of the United States to exert power and control over those nations diminishes.

The eventual goal of waging economic warfare against the United States is to make us so impoverished and so far in debt that our entire financial system crashes.  If the U.S. experiences a “financial armageddon”, it will greatly reduce America’s place in the world.  It could ultimately lead to the collapse of the U.S. government.  Other nations (or organizations) that wish to have more power would then be able to fill the void that would be created.

So what are the tools of economic warfare?

One is currency manipulation.  By keeping national currencies at an artificially low level, major exporting nations make their own exports much more attractive, thus stimulating job growth and wealth creation in their own nations.

Another tool of economic war is government subsidization of industries.  Virtually all governments do this to some degree these days, but some take it much farther than others.

For example, there are some governments in Asia that will openly pump huge piles of government money into industries that are considered to be of “national interest”.  There is simply no way that western industries can compete on an equal footing against that kind of unfair advantage.

In the United States, companies face one of the highest overall tax rates in the world, they face mountains of ridiculous regulations and they have to provide health care and retirement benefits for their employees.  But in other areas of the world the government takes care of health care for everyone, regulations are much less strict and corporate tax rates are much lower.

Is it any wonder why so many U.S. companies are having such a hard time today?

Another weapon of economic warfare is technology theft.

U.S. companies spend billions upon billions of dollars developing new technology that gets “stolen” one way or another by many foreign governments.

For example, there is one major Asian nation that offers huge tax incentives and kickbacks to big companies to get them to come over and set up shop there.  But these companies are also required to train and hire local workers and they must agree to certain “technology disclosures”.

Well, after a time the host nation sets us their own “domestic competitors” using the technology that they have acquired from the foreign company.  Then the “domestic competitors” are tremendously subsidized and are given huge advantages that the original foreign company simply cannot compete with.  Eventually the “domestic competitors” become the dominant players in the market.

This is happening over and over and over.  Companies are shutting down operations in the United States and are opening up facilities in other nations where the labor is much cheaper, where regulations are not nearly as suffocating and where taxes are much lower.  However, once these other nations learn the technology and are able to set up “domestic competitors”, the original companies are learning that maybe it wasn’t such a sweet deal they were being offered after all.

As the U.S. is being stripped of industry and is being deindustrialized, the American middle class is being absolutely devastated.  Since the year 2000, we have lost 10% of our middle class jobs.  In the year 2000 there were about 72 million middle class jobs in the United States but today there are only about 65 million middle class jobs.  Sadly, the millions of jobs that have been sent overseas are never coming back.

Meanwhile, our national wealth is being drained from our bank accounts.  Back in 1985, the U.S. trade deficit with one particular Asian nation was just 6 million dollars for the entire year.  But for this past August alone, the trade deficit with that same nation was over 28 billion (that’s billion with a “b”) dollars.

In other words, the U.S. trade deficit with that one Asian nation in August was more than 4,600 times larger than the U.S. trade deficit with that Asian nation was for the entire year of 1985.

So how are we maintaining our high standard of living if we are shipping all of our wealth overseas?

Well, what we are doing is going back to all those nations where we have sent our wealth and we are begging them to loan it back to us.

Our federal government now owes trillions of dollars to major exporting nations.  Our state governments also owe insane amounts of money to major exporting nations.  We are in debt up to our eyeballs and it gets worse every single year.

Meanwhile, our national economic infrastructure is being absolutely ripped to shreds….

*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.

*The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

*Since 2001, over 42,000 U.S. factories have closed down for good.

*As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing.  The last time that less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.

*Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry was actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.

The sad truth is that the U.S. is being dominated even in very high-tech industries.  The major exporting nations are becoming rich by creating wealth and we are becoming poor by voraciously consuming wealth.

Unfortunately, some of the major exporting nations that we have a massively imbalanced trade relationship with are doing this to us on purpose.  They see our weakness and the are taking advantage of it.  They believe that it is in their own national interests to make the United States weaker.

Sadly, a very significant percentage of those that will read this article will not believe it.  Most Americans have been so brainwashed when it comes to trade that they could never even conceive that it could possibly be used as a weapon of economic war.

But the truth is that there are even many prominent Americans that openly talk of weakening the U.S. economy and of reducing the standard of living of the U.S. middle class so that we can be more easily merged into the emerging global economic system.

It is time to wake up.  The United States is under economic attack.

More jobs are going to leave the United States this month.  More factories are going to leave the United States this month.  Tens of billions more dollars of our national wealth is going to be transferred out of the country this month.  Our federal, state and local governments are all going to go into more debt to foreigners this month.

Month after month after month this goes on.  It is being done by design.

Perhaps when the entire U.S. financial system collapses the American people will finally begin to understand.  The truth is that the greatest threats to our national security are not some impoverished goat herders hiding out in caves in Afghanistan.  Rather, the cold, hard reality of the situation is that our national economic infrastructure is being ripped apart and stolen right in front of our eyes and we have become so dumbed-down that we don’t even understand what is happening.

If you want to see “the future of America”, just tour some of the formerly great industrial centers of the upper Midwest some time.  Ask yourself why “the greatest economy on earth” has so many abandoned factories and boarded-up homes.  There are many decaying communities across America right now that are so depressing that the moment you enter them you get the sense that all of the hope has been sucked right out of them.

The U.S. economy is under attack and it is dying.  We are being looted and pillaged from coast to coast.  This is really happening.

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

George Soros: The United States Must Stop Resisting The Orderly Decline Of The Dollar, The Coming Global Currency And The New World Order

In the video you are about to see, George Soros talks about “the creation of a New World Order”, he discusses the need for a “managed decline” of the U.S. dollar and he talks at length of the global need for a true world currency. So just who is George Soros? Well, he is a billionaire “philanthropist” who came to be known as “the Man Who Broke the Bank of England” when he raked in a staggering one billion dollars during the 1992 “Black Wednesday” currency crisis. These days Soros is most famous for being perhaps the most “politically active” (at least openly) billionaire in the world. His Open Society Institute is in more than 60 countries and it spends approximately $600 million a year promoting the ideals that Soros wants promoted. Soros and his pet organizations have played a key role in quite a few “revolutions” around the globe over the last several decades, but these days the main goal of George Soros is to bring political change to the United States.

So exactly what is it that George Soros is trying to accomplish? Well, in a nutshell, what he wants is a Big Brother-style one world government based on extreme European-style socialism, strict population control and the radical green agenda. It would be a world where the state tightly regulates everything that we do for the greater benefit of the environment and of society as a whole.

However, Soros is not the “mastermind of the New World Order” that some have tried to make him out to be.  The truth is that to those in the international banking elite, Soros is considered to be something of a “black sheep” and an “outsider”.  Much of what Soros is trying to accomplish lines up with the goals of the international banking elite, but what they don’t like is that Soros won’t stop publicly talking about a global currency and a “New World Order”.  Of course the international banking elite very much want a global currency and a “New World Order”, but what they don’t need is a “squeaky wheel” like Soros running around drawing unneeded attention to those goals.

Also, Soros does not seem to understand that both sides of the political spectrum in the United States are deeply influenced by the international banking elite.  Sadly, the truth is that the same handful of elitist organizations has dominated the cabinets of every single president that we have had since World War II.  If you doubt this, just check out how many members of each presidential administration over the last 40 years have belonged to either the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission or the Bilderberg Group.  If you have never looked into this before, you will be absolutely shocked.  No matter what president we elect, it is always the exact same organizations that always dominate their cabinets.

But Soros still seems very much trapped within the left/right paradigm and he seems absolutely obsessed with destroying the Republican Party.  For example, Soros spent an insane amount of money attempting to defeat George W. Bush back in 2004.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, George Soros donated $23,581,000 during that election cycle to political organizations that were trying to keep Bush from being reelected.

Soros has also been a tremendous backer of Barack Obama, although lately Soros seems a bit disenchanted with him.  Through organizations such as the Center for American Progress and MoveOn.org, Soros is constantly trying to influence the state of American politics.

So what is George Soros thinking about these days?  Well, in the video posted below you will see Soros discussing “an orderly decline” of the U.S. dollar, the coming global currency and the importance of the New World Order….

Did you noticed how uncomfortable Soros was when he was saying the term “New World Order”?

The truth is that he knows exactly what that phrase means.  He knows that it is a phrase that he probably shouldn’t say and that will get a lot of attention.

But he said it anyway.

Soros also seemed a bit uncomfortable as he discussed “an orderly decline” of the U.S. dollar.

Soros has been saying the the U.S. dollar needs to go down for quite a while now, and he speaks of the coming fall of the dollar as if it is inevitable.

The only thing that Soros seems to fear is that the “managed decline” of the dollar could “get out of hand” and could lead to global financial chaos.

Soros even had the gall to say that having the dollar be the reserve currency of the world is not in our national interest and that a move to a global currency is “a healthy, if painful, adjustment” that we are just going to have to endure for the greater good of the world economy.

But shouldn’t the American people have something to say about all of this?

Perhaps the American people do not want a “managed decline” of the U.S. dollar.

Perhaps the American people do not want any part of a new “global currency”.

Perhaps the American people do not want any part of a “New World Order”.

But to men like George Soros, it doesn’t really matter what “the little people” think.  In the world that Soros lives in, those with overwhelming amounts of money and power know what is best for the rest of us, and if “the little people” don’t seem to want to go along initially then public opinion can be bought if you just spend enough money.

The sad truth is that we already live in a global economy.  Just go into just about any store across the United States and start picking up products to see where they were made.  Very few of the things we buy are still made in the United States.

Today, labor is a global commodity.  American workers must now directly compete for jobs with those making slave labor wages in China and India.  The fact that millions of U.S. jobs are being offshored and outsourced does not bother advocates of globalism at all because it is supposedly a beneficial thing for the overall global economy.

And most Americans have little to no idea just how much influence international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO have over our daily lives.

The truth is that we already live in a world that has been deeply, deeply integrated.  As this continues, at some point it will only seem “natural” for America to agree to a true global currency and full global political integration.

Let us hope that day never arrives.  Or at least let us hope that the American people wake up enough to not just go passively into a “New World Order”.

A global economy is bad for America and a global government would be really bad for America.

But perhaps you disagree.  Perhaps you believe that integrating our economy, our currency and our government with the rest of the world would be a wonderful thing.  If that is the case, please feel free to leave a comment explaining exactly why globalism is such a wonderful thing for all of us….

The Shadow Banking System: A Third Of All The Wealth In The World Is Held In Offshore Banks

You and I live in a totally different world than the ultra-rich and the international banking elite do.  Many of them live in a world where they simply do not pay income taxes.  Today, it is estimated that a third of all the wealth in the world is held in offshore banks.  So why is so much of the wealth of the globe located in places such as Monaco, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Isle of Man?  It isn’t because those are fun places to visit.  It is to avoid taxes.  The super wealthy and the international banking elite think that it is really funny that our paychecks are constantly being drained by federal taxes, state taxes and Social Security taxes while they literally pay nothing at all.  These incredibly rich elitists make a ton of money doing business in wealthy western nations and then they transfer virtually all of their profits offshore where they don’t have to contribute any of it in taxes.  It works out really great for them, but it sucks for the rest of us.

It is estimated that approximately $1.4 trillion is held in offshore banks in the Cayman Islands alone. According to an article in Forbes magazine, there is a total of approximately 15 trillion to 20 trillion dollars in offshore bank accounts, brokerage accounts and hedge fund portfolios.

A recent article in the Guardian stated that a third of all the wealth on the entire globe is held in offshore banks and that the vast majority of international banking transactions take place in these tax havens….

On a conservative estimate, a third of the world’s wealth is held offshore, with 80% of international banking transactions taking place there. More than half the capital in the world’s stock exchanges is “parked” offshore at some point.

All of the biggest banks in the world are involved in playing this game.  All of them have big branches in these various tax havens.  All of them work very hard to ensure that the tax burdens on their ultra-rich clients are as light as possible.

Nobody knows for sure how much money big governments around the globe are missing out on from all this tax avoidance, but everyone agrees the number is huge.  It is at least in the hundreds of billions of dollars every single year.

It is a shadow banking system that most Americans don’t know anything about. Most Americans don’t have the resources to be able to set up shell companies in half a dozen different countries so that they can “filter” their profits.  Most Americans don’t know a thing about complicated tax avoidance plans that tax lawyers use such as the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich”.  Most Americans would have no idea how to eventually have most of the money that they make end up in Bermuda so that it can avoid taxes.

No, most Americans just go to work every week and have their hard earned paychecks raped by an oppressive taxation system.

To the ultra-wealthy and the international banking system we are all just a bunch of suckers.  In fact, a big portion of our taxes ends up going into their pockets to pay the interest on all of the government debt that they are holding.

When the global elite decide that they want to do some “social engineering” inside the big countries where they operate, they just set up tax-free “charitable trusts” that usually aren’t very “charity-oriented” at all.  Rather, many of these “charitable trusts” push the various radical political and social agendas that many of these elitists love to promote.

Examples of this include The Rockefeller Foundation and The Ford Foundation.  George Soros also loves to use entities like these to push his various agendas.

The wealthy know how to play the game.  For most of the rest of us, the game kicks our behinds.

So for those who are constantly screaming “tax the rich”, the cold, hard truth of the matter is that those who are truly ultra-rich know how to escape just about any oppressive tax regime you may set up.  They are light years ahead of the rest of us in knowing how to play the game.

What are you going to do?

Kick them out of the country?

Yeah, they will be really sad to spend even more time down in Bermuda or in the Cayman Islands.

Are you going to kick out any company that has any stock holders that have offshore bank accounts?

Well, you would have to kick out virtually every single major corporation in the United States.

This is just another example of how deeply flawed our system of income taxation really is.

Do you want to become a master of the tax code?

You might want to set aside some time for reading.

A lot of time.

The income tax code and its associated regulations contain well over 7 million words and are more than seven times longer than the Bible.

The IRS employs more than 90,000 people and it costs more than 11 billion dollars a year to operate.

Talk about a colossal waste of resources.

Meanwhile, the ultra-rich are just parking all of their money in Bermuda and the Caymans and are laughing at all the rest of us.

It would be hard to understate just how much influence and power all of this offshore money has.  The ultra-wealthy and the elite international bankers own many of our largest corporations, they exert influence over central banks, they control big media outlets and they “contribute money” (bribes) to political campaigns.

The elite are always two steps ahead of any new laws that get passed.  They are masters at moving money around.  They will quickly find a half dozen ways around any new law that you could possibly dream up.

Most of us never even get to meet any of these incredibly wealthy individuals.  They don’t attend the local church or go shopping down at the local shopping mall.

No, the global elite generally live in very exclusive gated estates or hang out at the most expensive private resorts.  They don’t spend a lot of time mixing with the rabble.

It turns out that life is pretty good when you have a ton of money coming in and you pay next to nothing in taxes.

So the next time you get your paycheck and you see that a half a dozen things have been taken out of it, take a few moments to think of the global elite that don’t pay any taxes at all and see how that makes you feel.

Hopefully when enough Americans get mad enough and start demanding change, the current income tax system will be scrapped for good and something much more equitable will be put in place instead.

17 National Debt Statistics Which Prove That We Have Sold Our Children And Grandchildren Into Perpetual Debt Slavery

What we have done to future generations over the past 30 years is absolutely criminal.  30 years ago the U.S. national debt was a bit under one trillion dollars, and at that time it was considered a huge national crisis.  Today, the national debt is 14 times larger and the years ahead look absolutely apocalyptic at this point.  We have literally sold our children and our grandchildren into perpetual debt slavery.  We have accumulated the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world, and our children and our grandchildren will be burdened with it for the rest of their lives.  All of our politicians keep talking about how it is vitally important that we do something about all of this debt “soon”, but they just can’t seem to stop wildly spending our money.  They keep telling us that now is not the time for deficit reduction because it would harm “the economic recovery”, but the “right time” for deficit reduction never seems to come along.  The national debt statistics in this article are meant to shock you.  Hopefully they will shock you enough to actually take action.  Up to this point, the vast majority of Americans have been extremely apathetic about the horrific crime that we are committing against future generations.

How would you feel if you found out one day that your parents had run up a million dollars in debt that now you were obligated to pay off?

Would you be absolutely furious?

Of course you would be, and rightly so.

So how do you think future generations will feel about us?

We were once the wealthiest nation on the planet, but we have taken that great inheritance and we have squandered it.

Now we are handing our children and our grandchildren the largest debt the world has ever seen.

How in the world can we do that?

How can we consign our descendants to perpetual debt slavery and still feel good about ourselves?

The America that we have all been enjoying so much today is going to be wiped out by all of this debt.

We have literally stolen the future.

We just had to keep spending more and more and more and more.

The greed of this generation will be remembered for a very, very long time.

The truth is that both political parties are responsible.  Both of them have voted over and over and over to keep running up these huge budget deficits.

If you have voted for big spending Democrats at any point over the past 30 years then you have contributed to the problem.  If you have voted for big spending Republicans at any point over the past 30 years then you have contributed to the problem.

Now we have reached a point where a horrific financial meltdown is basically inevitable.  We are living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world, and it is only a matter of time until it bursts.

The following are 17 national debt statistics which prove that we have sold our children and our grandchildren into perpetual debt slavery….

#1 As of December 28th, the U.S. national debt was $13,877,230,355,933.00.

#2 If the federal government began right at this moment to repay the U.S. national debt at a rate of one dollar per second, it would take over 440,000 years to pay off the national debt.

#3 If the federal government began repaying the national debt at a rate of $10 million dollars a day it would take approximately 3,800 years to pay off the national debt.

#4 Today, the U.S. national debt is increasing by roughly 4 billion dollars every single day.

#5 The U.S. government is borrowing approximately 2.63 million more dollars every single minute.

#6 On September 30th, 1980 the U.S. national debt was 907 billion dollars.  Just thirty years later, the U.S. national debt is over 14 times larger.

#7 According to a recent U.S. Treasury report to Congress, the U.S. national debt will reach 19.6 trillion dollars in 2015.

#8 It is being projected that the U.S. government will be paying 900 billion dollars just in interest on the national debt by the year 2019.

#9 A trillion $10 bills, if they were taped end to end, would wrap around the globe more than 380 times.  That amount of money would still not be enough to pay off the U.S. national debt.

#10 The U.S. Congress has raised the federal debt ceiling six times in just the past three years.

#11 The 111th Congress added more to the U.S. national debt than the first 100 U.S. Congresses combined.

#12 The 111th Congress got us into so much new debt that it breaks down to $10,429.64 for each of the 308,745,538 people counted by the 2010 U.S. census.

#13 The U.S. government currently has to borrow approximately 41 cents of every single dollar that it spends.

#14 When you break down the debt that the U.S. government owes to China alone it comes to over $10,000 for every single American family.

#15 If you were alive when Christ was born and you spent one million dollars every single day since that point, you still would not have spent one trillion dollars by now.  Almost unbelievably, the U.S. government will accumulate well over a trillion dollars more debt in 2011.

#16 If right this moment you went out and started spending one dollar every single second, it would take you more than 31,000 years to spend one trillion dollars.

#17 The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that U.S. government debt held by the public will reach a staggering 716 percent of GDP by the year 2080.

But the American people don’t want to hear that we have spent decades creating a horrific debt crisis that is not going to be easy to fix.  They just want someone to “tweak” a few things and get us back to being the greatest economy on earth.  Unfortunately, it is simply not that easy.

Just check out the chart posted below.  Our debt is exploding at an almost exponential rate….

But what do you tell a nation that is completely addicted to debt?

On an individual level, it can be a lot of fun to wildly run up credit card debt, but at some point you have to stop and start paying down that debt.

Unfortunately, on a national level we can’t even get our politicians to slow down the rate at which our debt is increasing.

Sadly, the chart above does not tell the real story.  It is based on fraudulent government accounting.  If the government used GAAP accounting (like all public companies on Wall Street must), the numbers would look much worse.

John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics says that if the federal government would have used GAAP accounting standards to calculate the federal budget deficit for 2009, it would have been approximately 8.8 trillion dollars and that there is simply no way out of all this debt….

The government’s finances not only are out of control, but the actual deficit is not containable.  Put into perspective, if the government were to raise taxes so as to seize 100% of all wages, salaries and corporate profits, it still would be showing an annual deficit using GAAP accounting on a consistent basis. In like manner, given current revenues, if it stopped spending every penny (including defense and homeland security) other than for Social Security and Medicare obligations, the government still would be showing an annual deficit. Further, the U.S. has no potential way to grow out of this shortfall.

The U.S. government is essentially bankrupt at this point.  It is just a matter of playing out the hand.

The rest of the world is starting to realize this, and confidence in the U.S. dollar is beginning to significantly decline.

Things did not have to turn out this way, but Americans did not listen to the warnings and so now this is where we are at as a nation.

The next time you see a small child, look into the hopeful eyes of that child and just think about what we have done to the future of all of our children.

We have obliterated the financial future of this nation.  Someone should be put into prison for all this.  But instead the mainstream media treats prominent politicians from both political parties like rock stars.

The mainstream media continues to perpetuate the myth that the U.S. economy is on the road to a grand recovery and that eventually we can get a handle on all this debt and that somehow everything is going to be okay.

Well, everything is not going to be okay.

All that is on the horizon is great financial pain, and the sad thing is that it could have all been avoided.

But now the game is over and the day of reckoning is coming soon.

We are going to reap what we have sown.

Almost Everything Is A Crime In America Now: 14 Of The Most Ridiculous Things That Americans Are Being Arrested For

Doesn’t it seem like almost everything is becoming a crime in America now?  Americans are being arrested and charged with crimes for doing things like leaving dog poop on the ground, opening up Christmas presents early, not recycling properly, farting in class and having brown lawns.  But is it healthy for our society for the police to be involved in such silly things?  Every single day the United States inches closer to becoming a totalitarian society.  While there are some that would welcome this shift, the truth is that throughout history the societies that have experienced the greatest economic prosperity have all had at least a certain level of freedom.  Business thrives when people feel free to live and work.  When a government tightens the grip too much many people just start shutting down.  Just look at places like North Korea.  Even though the rest of the world is sending them huge amounts of food starvation is still quite common in that totalitarian regime.  That is why it is so disturbing that it seems like almost everything has become a crime in America now.  As we continue to criminalize relatively normal behavior our slide toward becoming a totalitarian state will only accelerate.

We are throwing anyone and everyone in prison these days.  It is getting absolutely ridiculous.  Today, the United States leads the world in the number of prisoners and in the percentage of the population in prison.  The United States has 5% of the world’s population, but approximately 25% of the world’s incarcerated population.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, as of the end of 2009 a total of 7,225,800 people were either on probation, in prison or on parole in America.

That is a sign of a very, very sick society.  Either we have a massive crime problem or the “control grid” that our leaders have erected for us is wildly out of control.

Or both.

But how in the world are we supposed to have a healthy economy if our entire nation is being turned into one gigantic prison?

Sadly, it is not just hardcore criminals that are being rounded up and abused by authorities these days.  The following are 14 of the most ridiculous things that Americans are being arrested for….

#1 A Michigan man has been charged with a felony and could face up to 5 years in prison for reading his wife’s email.

#2 A 49-year-old Queens woman had bruises all over her body after she was handcuffed, arrested and brutally beaten by NYPD officers.  So what was her offense?  The officers thought that her little dog had left some poop that she didn’t clean up.

#3 A 56-year-old woman who was once a rape victim refused to let airport security officials feel her breasts so she was thrown to the floor, put in handcuffs and arrested.

#4 In Milwaukee, one man was recently fined $500 for swearing on a public bus.

#5 Several years ago a 12-year-old boy in South Carolina was actually arrested by police for opening up a Christmas present early against his family’s wishes.

#6 In some areas of the country, it is now a crime to not recycle properly.  For example, the city of Cleveland has announced plans to sort through trash cans to ensure that people are actually recycling according to city guidelines.

#7 A 12-year-old girl from Queens was arrested earlier this year and taken out of her school in handcuffs for writing “Lex was here. 2/1/10″ and “I love my friends Abby and Faith” on her desk.

#8 Back in 2008, a 13-year-old boy in Florida was actually arrested by police for farting in class.

#9 The feds recently raided an Amish farmer at 5 AM in the morning because they claimed that he was was engaged in the interstate sale of raw milk in violation of federal law.

#10 A few years ago a 10-year-old girl was arrested and charged with a felony for bringing a small steak knife to school.  It turns out that all she wanted to do was to cut up her lunch so that she could eat it.

#11 On June 18th, two Christians decided that they would peacefully pass out copies of the gospel of John on a public sidewalk outside a public Islamic festival in Dearborn, Michigan and within three minutes 8 policemen surrounded them and placed them under arrest.

#12 A U.S. District Court judge slapped a 5oo dollar fine on Massachusetts fisherman Robert J. Eldridge for untangling a giant whale from his nets and setting it free.  So what was his crime?  Well, according to the court, Eldridge was supposed to call state authorities and wait for them do it.

#13 Once upon a time, a food fight in the cafeteria may have gotten you a detention.  Now it may get you locked up.  About a year ago, 25 students between the ages of 11 and 15 at a school in Chicago were taken into custody by police for being involved in a huge food fight in the school cafeteria.

#14 A few years ago a 70 year old grandmother was actually put in handcuffs and hauled off to jail for having a brown lawn.

Why in the world would anyone approve of the police arresting ordinary Americans for such things?

It seems like ever since 9/11 the whole country has gotten “security fever”.

Suddenly we need to “get tough” on everyone.

Yes, crime is making a comeback, but once upon a time the police in this country were able to handle crime quite well and be courteous and helpful to ordinary citizens at the same time.

But today it seems like nearly every single encounter with police ends up being negative.

It does not have to be that way.

The rest of the world sees what is going on in this country and many of them are deciding that they simply do not want to spend their tourist dollars here anymore.  That is not a good thing for our economy.

As the government continues to get even bigger and exerts even more control over our lives, many of our own people are getting sick of it and are moving abroad.

America used to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.

That is no longer true.

Now we get thrown to the floor, handcuffed, beaten and arrested for things that we did not even know were crimes.

If America continues to move in this direction it is going to ruin our economy, our reputation in the world and our national spirit.

Unfortunately, history has shown us that once a free nation starts to lose that freedom it is hard to reverse that slide.  Perhaps we will be different.  Perhaps the American people will stand up and demand that we restore the principles of liberty and freedom that this country was founded on.

Do you think that will happen?  Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion….

Christmas Stories

If you and your family are blessed and prosperous this holiday season, you should consider yourself to be very fortunate, because there are tens of millions of other Americans that are desperately hanging on by their fingernails.  The Christmas stories that you are going to read below aren’t going to give you any warm fuzzies.  They aren’t about “Santa Claus” sliding down the chimney to leave huge piles of presents around the tree.  Rather, they are representative of what so many American families are feeling this holiday season – horrible, suffocating, soul-crushing despair.  As you and your family gather around the holiday tree on December 25th, millions of other Americans will be facing a Christmas with absolutely no gifts.  As you and your family dig into a delicious holiday meal, millions of other Americans will be breaking out the meager supplies they picked up at the food bank or that their food stamps have enabled them to purchase.  As you and your family tell stories around the fire, millions of other Americans will literally sit shivering in their own homes because they have no money to heat them.  The stories of those who are suffering so deeply very rarely get put on television, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t very real.

The truth is that there are millions upon millions of American families that have been pushed to the edge of despair by the lack of jobs.  In August 2009, only 10 percent of the unemployed had been out of work for 2 years or longer.  Today that number is up to 35 percent.

One very disturbing sign of the times is that many churches are now holding “blue Christmas” services to comfort those who are going through hard times.  Back during the “good times” such a thing would have been unimaginable, but now they are being held from coast to coast.

All over the nation, food banks, aid agencies and homeless shelters find themselves absolutely overwhelmed this winter.  Connie Lassandro, Nassau County’s director of Housing and Homeless Services, recently was quoted in the Huffington Post as saying that she has never seen a greater demand for her agency’s services….

“The new faces we’re seeing are families who have never before faced the risk of actually being homeless. Children don’t understand. ‘Where’s my bedroom? Where’s my toys? Where are my friends?'”

Sadly, the truth is that the U.S. economy no longer produces even close to enough jobs for everyone, so somebody is going to suffer.  Today, there are over 6 million Americans that have been unemployed for half a year or longer.  It can be really easy to quote economic statistics such as this, but sometimes what gets lost in all the numbers are the very real stories of the people that are actually living through all of this.  This year there are literally millions of American families that have sad Christmas stories to share.

On The American Dream blog, a reader of my column identified as “momma loses hope” recently left a comment in which she really opened up and shared her story with us. Sadly, her story is so similar to what so many millions of other young American families are going through this holiday season….

While my husband has experience, and an education, he is yet to find and keep a job that is worth anything, that would be possible to pay back these $400/mnth loans on deferment, let alone keep us going barely.

Despite his greatest effort and attempts, to locate work that would pay anything over $10 an hour in the field he trained for, or some cross over skills in another profession, still nothing has been happening beyond numerous and then dwindling interviews in the last 2 years.

He is currently working at a $10/hr people mill that has outrageous expectations that are near impossible to meet, just to keep your job. Much of what you are supposed to control, is not within your control! That was after having lost unemployment due to its exhaustion, where we had nothing coming in for 30 days. He found this job and went through training. We were thankful to have anything coming in, but it is not going well. Half of his training class is gone either bc they quit or were fired. We are finding out this is the normal for this business.

Prior to the unemployment of 99 weeks, he had a great new job. $60 k a year was good from having some on the job experience at another job prior to that which was an internship, he got. So this was a good option for a chance out of school. They were content with his level of experience of 3- 4 years in IT w/ the hands on education and internship. We moved to relocate for this job 2500 miles away and then he was let go 6 months later, after he was able to clean up a bunch of unresolved problems for them. They wanted someone with 10 years of experience, all the sudden, despite they knew his skill level! Anyhow, the network was held together with tape and bubble gum. So long “best practice” theory.

I guess they had been left in the lurch bc someone left without notice, they advertised for help for months even out of state, and then they hired my husband to fill the desperate gap. Then they didn’t want to keep shelling out the money to keep him. Used him and turned us away, like no big deal; They fired him after 6 months, after we spent all our savings to move to another state… That is when we went on unemployment, and hubby returned for more education, while still looking for a job too.

We moved back home confused as could be. We were helpful that something would come along back home. Things only got worse for the prospect of careers being offered.

I was hoping they were going to improve, but no they have not. We are dying here. But that is not the end of our troubles.

Last year my husband got a $10 a hour job, got H1N1 and Dble Pneumonia and went to the hospital for 14 days or whatever. He was fired by Stream for not being in training and they refused to place him in another training class when he got out the ICU. Then we were left with over $10,000 ( the other $90 grand was forgiven) and we have collectors after us. We survive day by day, we don’t have anything extra to pay anyone or anything….

So, we don’t have any savings,( we used it to relocate to gain employment as I already mentioned) & we have needed things bc we have a baby coming. We haven’t made it long enough to get anything else saved up to rely on, bc unemployment doesn’t pay you what you were making at your job. The unemployment is gone and there is none left, if he loses this job. We don’t qualify for anymore student loans at this stage. This job is shaky at best and these people fire and lose people like there is no tomorrow, and have constant training going on. What a nightmare! We are not able to get a career in the IT Industry that he trained for and paid for with these loans. What do we do? We have a 6 year old and a baby that is on the way in 3 months.

We are so lost and without hope. We trust in Jesus, but what do we do beyond trying to get a better job? It takes effort to gain a job, but there are not enough possiblities hiring as this article states, and I testify to. All my husband does beyond going to this crap job, and playing with our son, is scouring the internet for jobs, and this has been going on for so long!….

I can’t believe this is happening again…..What is a mother and wife to do? We can’t get on track! We don’t drink or drug or sabotage ourselves and our family, and yet we cannot get on track “with the go to school and get a great job” crap I have heard my whole life. Something is broken and cannot be fixed. Sometimes we wonder why God hadn’t just taken my husband’s life when it was in peril and the rest of our family, as it would be better than dealing with this pain and unresolved heartache.

I am so scared and lonely, I could just die. My tears go unnoticed. I sit here without answers. I am one of millions going through the same thing.

Can you imagine being in such a situation?  What is perhaps saddest of all is what this economy is doing to so many children.  According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 – the highest rate in 20 years.

Poverty is absolutely exploding all over the United States.  The number of Americans living in poverty has increased for three consecutive years, and the 43.6 million poor Americans in 2009 was the highest number that the U.S. Census Bureau has ever recorded in 51 years of record-keeping.

So, no, this Christmas is not “a season of joy” for many Americans.  For example, a commenter on the Unemployed-Friends website identified only as “jobless_in_MA” says that her holidays are going to be quite depressing since she has been out of work for 2 Christmases in a row now….

Well, this is now my 2nd Holiday season in a row being jobless, and this year seems far bleaker than last years. Ive always been the type to love this time of they year. I would look forward to it. I was always the one in the family who would be the great gift giver, especially to the younger members of my family.

Last year I was REALLY upset because I couldn’t do 1/4 of what I normally would do, but still managed to enjoy the season. Im not so sure about it this year.

A lot has happened to my situation in the past year, Ive lost my place, filed bankruptcy, lost some of my dignity, and my marriage is on the rocks.

I am NOT in the holiday season at all, and its really bringing me down.

Usually around now we would be talking about getting a tree. Sometimes we would cut our own tree down, and decorate it together.

We would always have a family holiday party at our place, and I don’t see that happening this year at all.

Yes, every year there are some Americans that are “down and out”, but it is undeniable that the number of Americans that are suffering extreme economic pain has absolutely skyrocketed in recent years.  Today, one out of every six Americans is now enrolled in a federal anti-poverty program.  As 2007 began, “only” 26 million Americans were on food stamps, but now 42 million Americans are enrolled in the food stamp program and that number keeps rising every single month.

Sadly, there are millions upon millions of Americans that do have jobs and yet barely find themselves able to hang in there.  Many Americans have been forced to grab whatever job they can find.  In fact, the number of Americans working part-time jobs “for economic reasons” is now the highest it has been in at least five decades.

It is becoming increasingly more difficult to make a living in the United States.  Today, half of all American workers earn $505 or less per week.

Could your family get by on $505 per week?

That is something to really think about.

So is anyone doing well?

Well, the only group that saw their household incomes increase in 2009 was those making $180,000 or more.

Not that being wealthy is a bad thing, but what that statistic shows is that the middle class in America is being wiped out.

We are seeing this in community after community across the nation.  A reader of this column identified as “Bibi” recently left a comment that did a great job of describing the economic decline and economic despair that we are now seeing all across America….

I have recently traveled from coast to coast and then some. This is a synopsis of what is really going on. Californians seem to be in lalaland. Look good and spend money, lots of it that you don’t have. LA has become very dangerous. Police will knock on your van if you stop to rest with a coffee even if you are at a convenience store. It is illegal to sleep in your vehicle and you will be arrested. Las Vegas is full of poor and homeless wandering around aimlessly. Tent cities and blocks of people living on the streets. dirty and super dangerous. The decline is in your face. Police and security presence are at ‘ad nauseum’ levels. AZ and NM are ****holes. My family refused to get out of the van in Albuquerque. Sedona is still nice but its surrondings make it on borrowed time. Little artsy towns will be taken over quickly when TSHTF. The only city I went to in TX was Amarillo. Didn’t see much but it looked seedy and dirty along the highway. OKlahoma- ***. If I didn’t stay on a military base, I would have broke the speed limit to get through it. The thought of getting gas in Little Rock still gives me nightmares. Enough said. AK- Lots of boarded up towns. Saw this all along Route 40. TN- Stay away from Memphis if you want to live. Nashville is the craziest city I have ever seen. Everyone acts like they are on speed. When you get around Pigeon Forge, Maggie Valley and Gatlinburg, you see the true beauty of this state but they are tourist traps. W. VA is beautiful, but the people are very backward. I could live in Northern W. VA. East coast- VA. Beach has been in decline and was just dubbed the “most drunken city in the U.S.” They must be proud. Lots of trouble here. Big police presence. Took 10 minutes for me to get questioned about my out-of- state plates. N&S Carolina- Bigger cities are dangerous, especially Columbia, SC. Big police presence. Baltimore- be afraid, be very afraid. Keep going. NJ- Something like a horror movie. Do people really live here? Scary and smelly. NYC- Was advised by thruway attendent to “keep going and don’t stop” Overturned cars, tons of high rise ghettos, not a safe place. I was terrified my van would break down. Albany, NY.- my destination. Ghettopolis. Stopped by police within minutes as to why I was driving in city so late. ? Informed it was not safe. Stopped again the next day regarding my plates at a police check. They threatened to tow my van because my “license didn’t come up”. [he was holding it] Stopped again for seatbelt violation. I always wear it but he said he couldn’t see it. Am I imagining it or did I really see National Guard walking around with rifles? Well, I promply left NYS and will never go back. The Florida panhandle is far from perfect and has an ever expanding police force, but it is quiet. Not safe, but quiet.

Once upon a time, there were a few cities and towns around the U.S. that were obviously in a state of decline, but now it is happening everywhere.

In fact, there are many areas throughout the country that scream “economic despair” the moment you drive into them.  It is almost as if someone has sucked the life right out of them.

So why is this happening?  Well, as I recently pointed out, America’s economic pie is rapidly shrinking.  As our national wealth continues to be destroyed, even more American families are going to suffer.

For decades we have enjoyed a debt-fueled binge of prosperity that was unlike anything the world has ever seen.  But now the day of reckoning is fast approaching and things are going to get even worse.

So if you are doing really well this holiday season, be thankful, because next year it may be you that has the sad Christmas story.

Has The Financial Collapse Of Europe Now Become Inevitable?

What in the world is happening over in Europe?  Well, it is actually quite simple.  We are witnessing the slow motion collapse of the euro and of the European financial system.  At this point, many analysts are convinced that a full-blown financial implosion in Europe has become inevitable.  Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and Belgium are all drowning in an ocean of unsustainable debt.  Meanwhile, Germany and the few other “healthy” members of the EU continue to try to keep all of the balls in the air by bailing everyone out.  But can Germany keep bailing the rest of the EU out indefinitely?  Are the German people going to continue to be willing to hand out gigantic sacks of cash to fix the problems of other EU nations?  The Irish were just bailed out, but their problems are far from over.  There are rumors that Greece will soon need another bailout.  Spain, Portugal, Italy and France have all entered crisis territory.  At the same time, there are a whole host of nations in eastern Europe that are also on the verge of financial collapse.  So is there any hope that a major sovereign debt crisis can be averted at this point?

One would like to think that there is always hope, but each month things just seem to keep getting worse.  Confidence in European government debt continues to plummet.  The yield on 10-year Irish bonds is up to 8.97%.  The yield on 10-year Greek bonds is up to an astounding 12.01%.  The cost of insuring French debt hit a new record high on December 20th.

Bond ratings all over Europe are being slashed or are being threatened with being slashed.  For example, Moody’s Investors Service recently cut Ireland’s bond rating by five levels.  Now there is talk that Spain, Belgium and even France could soon all have their debt significantly downgraded as well.

But if the borrowing costs for these troubled nations keep going up, that is just going to add to their financial problems and swell their budget deficits.  In turn, larger budget deficits will cause investors to lose even more confidence.

So how far are we away from a major crisis point?

Professor Willem Buiter, the chief economist at Citibank, is warning that quite a few EU nations could financially collapse in the next few months if they are not quickly bailed out….

“The market is not going to wait until March for the EU authorities to get their act together. We could have several sovereign states and banks going under. They are being far too casual.”

Many analysts are even calling for some of these troubled nations to stop using the euro for a while so that they can recover.  In fact, Andrew Bosomworth, the head of portfolio management for Pimco in Europe says that Greece, Ireland and Portugal must all quit the euro at least for a little while if they expect to survive….

“Greece, Ireland and Portugal cannot get back on their feet without either their own currency or large transfer payments.”

Sadly, most Americans don’t realize just how bad the situation in Europe is becoming.  This is truly a historic crisis that is unfolding.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared earlier this year that this is the biggest financial crisis that the EU has ever faced….

“The current crisis facing the euro is the biggest test Europe has faced for decades, even since the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957.”

So what is the answer?

Well, many are speculating that the EU could actually break up over this whole thing, but another possibility is that we could eventually see much greater integration.

In fact, for the first time the idea that “euro bonds” could be issued is gaining some traction.  This would spread the risk of European government debt throughout the European Union.  At this point, Andrew Bosomworth says that things have gotten so bad that it now seems inevitable that we will soon see the creation of euro bonds….

“Whether now or later, there is no way around a euro bond.”

So just how bad are things going to get in Europe? Well, earlier this year Anthony Fry, the senior managing director at Evercore Partners had the following to say about the emerging bond crisis in Europe….

“I don’t want to scare anyone but I am considering investing in barbed wire and guns, things are not looking good and rates are heading higher.”

So why should Americans care about all this?

Well, what is happening to these troubled European states is eventually going to happen to us.

If rates on U.S. government debt eventually hit 8 or 12 percent it will literally be financial armageddon in this country.  The U.S. government has piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world, and if we continue piling up debt at the pace that we are, then it will only be a matter of time before the IMF is demanding that we implement our own “austerity measures”.

As I have written about previously, there are already numerous indications that confidence in U.S. Treasuries is dying.  If that happens, we could literally see interest costs on the national debt double or even triple.

But it is not just the U.S. government that is in trouble.  A bloodbath in the municipal bond market has already started.  Hundreds of state and local governments across the United States are on the verge of bankruptcy.

So don’t laugh at what is going on in Ireland or Greece.  The next victims could be financially troubled states such as California and Illinois.

In the history of global finance, we have never faced a sovereign debt crisis like we are seeing now.  All over the globe governments are being suffocated by absolutely crushing debt loads.  Once a couple of dominoes fall, it is going to be really hard to keep the rest of the dominoes from falling.

This is the biggest crisis that the euro has ever faced.  At some point Germany will either be unwilling or unable to continuing rescuing the rest of the EU countries from the unsustainable mountains of debt that they have accumulated.  When that moment arrives, it is going to throw world financial markets into turmoil.

But this is what happens when we allow long-term debt bubbles to be created.  Eventually they always burst.

So keep your eye on the euro, because if a financial collapse does happen in Europe it is going to have a dramatic impact on the United States as well.

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