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21 Signs That The Once Great U.S. Economy Is Being Gutted, Neutered, Defanged, Declawed And Deindustrialized

Once upon a time, the United States was the greatest industrial powerhouse that the world has ever seen.  Our immense economic machinery was the envy of the rest of the globe and it provided the foundation for the largest and most vibrant middle class in the history of the world.  But now the once great U.S. economic machine is being dismantled piece by piece.  The U.S. economy is being gutted, neutered, defanged, declawed and deindustrialized and very few of our leaders even seem to care.  It was the United States that once showed the rest of the world how to mass produce televisions and automobiles and airplanes and computers, but now our industrial base is being ripped to shreds.  Tens of thousands of our factories and millions of our jobs have been shipped overseas.  Many of our proudest manufacturing cities have been transformed into “post-industrial” hellholes that nobody wants to live in anymore.

Meanwhile, wave after wave of shiny new factories is going up in nations such as China, India and Brazil.  This is great for those countries, but for the millions of American workers that desperately needed the jobs that have been sent overseas it is not so great.

This is the legacy of globalism.  Multinational corporations now have the choice whether to hire U.S. workers or to hire workers in countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.  The “great sucking sound” that Ross Perot warned us about so long ago is actually happening, and it has left tens of millions of Americans without good jobs.

So what is to become of a nation that consumes more than it ever has and yet continues to produce less and less?

Well, the greatest debt binge in the history of the world has enabled us to maintain (and even increase) our standard of living for several decades, but all of that debt is starting to really catch up with us.

The American people seem to be very confused about what is happening to us because most of them thought that the party was going to last forever.  In fact, most of them still seem convinced that our brightest economic days are still ahead.

After all, every time we have had a “recession” in the past things have always turned around and we have gone on to even greater things, right?

Well, what most Americans simply fail to understand is that we are like a car that is having its insides ripped right out.  Our industrial base is being gutted right in front of our eyes.

Most Americans don’t think much about our “trade deficit”, but it is absolutely central to what is happening to our economy.  Every year, we buy far, far more from the rest of the world than they buy from us.

In 2010, the U.S. trade deficit was just a whisker under $500 billion.  This is money that we could have all spent inside the United States that would have supported thousands of American factories and millions of American jobs.

Instead, we sent all of those hundreds of billions of dollars overseas in exchange for a big pile of stuff that we greedily consumed.  Most of that stuff we probably didn’t need anyway.

Since we spent almost $500 billion more with the rest of the world than they spent with us, at the end of the year the rest of the world was $500 billion wealthier and the American people were collectively $500 billion poorer.

That means that the collective “economic pie” that we are all dividing up is now $500 billion smaller.

Are you starting to understand why times suddenly seem so “hard” in the United States?

Meanwhile, jobs and businesses continue to fly out of the United States at a blinding pace.

This is a national crisis.

We simply cannot expect to continue to have a “great economy” if we allow our economy to be deindustrialized.

A nation that consumes far more than it produces is not going to be wealthy for long.

The following are 21 signs that the once great U.S. economy is being gutted,  neutered, defanged, declawed and deindustrialized….

#1 The U.S. trade deficit with the rest of the world rose to 497.8 billion dollars in 2010.  That represented a 32.8% increase from 2009.

#2 The U.S. trade deficit with China rose to an all-time record of 273.1 billion dollars in 2010.  This is the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.

#3 The U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#4 In the years since 1975, the United States had run a total trade deficit of 7.5 trillion dollars with the rest of the world.

#5 The United States 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.

#6 In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of all U.S. economic output.  In 2008, it represented only 11.5 percent and it continues to fall.

#7 The number of net jobs gained by the U.S. economy during this past decade was smaller than during any other decade since World War 2.

#8 The Bureau of Labor Statistics originally predicted that the U.S. economy would create approximately 22 million jobs during the decade of the 2000s, but it turns out that the U.S. economy only produced about 7 million jobs during that time period.

#9 Japan now manufactures about 5 million more automobiles than the United States does.

#10 China has now become the world’s largest exporter of high technology products.

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

#12 The United States now has 10 percent fewer “middle class jobs” than it did just ten years ago.

#13 According to Tax Notes, between 1999 and 2008 employment at the foreign affiliates of U.S. parent companies increased an astounding 30 percent to 10.1 million. During that exact same time period, U.S. employment at American multinational corporations declined 8 percent to 21.1 million.

#14 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.

#15 Back in 1998, the United States had 25 percent of the world’s high-tech export market and China had just 10 percent. Ten years later, the United States had less than 15 percent and China’s share had soared to 20 percent.

#16 The number of Americans that have become so discouraged that they have given up searching for work completely now stands at an all-time high.

#17 Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.

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

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

#20 In 2008, 1.2 billion cellphones were sold worldwide.  So how many of them were manufactured inside the United States?  Zero.

#21 Ten years ago, the “employment rate” in the United States was about 64%.  Since then it has been constantly declining and now the “employment rate” in the United States is only about 58%.  So where did all of those jobs go?

The world is changing.

We are bleeding national wealth at a pace that is almost unimaginable.

We are literally being drained dry.

Did you know that China now has the world’s fastest train and the world’s largest high-speed rail network?

They were able to afford those things with all of the money that we have been sending them.

How do you think all of those oil barons in the Middle East became so wealthy and could build such opulent palaces?

They got rich off of all the money that we have been sending them.

Meanwhile, once great U.S. cities such as Detroit, Michigan now look like war zones.

Back in 1985, the U.S. trade deficit with China was about 6 million dollars for the entire year.

As mentioned above, the U.S. trade deficit with China for 2010 was over 273 billion dollars.

What a difference 25 years can make, eh?

What do you find when you go into a Wal-Mart, a Target or a dollar store today?

You find row after row after row of stuff made in China and in other far away countries.

It can be more than a bit difficult to find things that are actually made inside the United States anymore.  In fact, there are quite a few industries that have completely and totally left the United States.  For certain product categories it is now literally impossible to buy something made in America.

So what are we going to do with our tens of millions of blue collar workers?

Should we just tell them that their jobs are not ever coming back so they better learn phrases such as “Welcome to Wal-Mart” and “Would you like fries with that”?

For quite a few years, the gigantic debt bubble that we were living in kind of insulated us from feeling the effects of the deindustrialization of America.

But now the pain is starting to kick in.

It has now become soul-crushingly difficult to find a job in America today.

According to Gallup, the U.S. unemployment rate is currently 10.1% and when you throw in “underemployed” workers that figure rises to 19.6%.

Competition for jobs has become incredibly fierce and it is going to stay that way.

The great U.S. economic machine is being ripped apart and dismantled right in full view of us all.

This is not a “conservative” issue or a “liberal” issue.  This is an American issue.

The United States is rapidly being turned into a “post-industrial” wasteland.

It is time to wake up America.

10 Reasons Why It Has Become So Soul-Crushingly Difficult To Find A Job In America Today

Have you been unemployed lately?  If so, then you probably know how frustrating it is to try to find a job in the United States today. It now takes the average unemployed worker about 33 weeks to find a job.  There are millions of Americans that have not been able to find a full-time job even after searching hard for an entire year.  Some areas of the United States have been devastated so badly by the economic downturn that they are starting to resemble war zones.  Unless you have been there, it is hard to even try to describe the extreme frustration that one feels when you are unable to pay the mortgage and feed your family.  It can be absolutely soul-crushing.  But it is not the fault of those who are unemployed.  The truth is that our economy is dying and it is not producing nearly enough jobs anymore.  Unfortunately, as you will see from the facts listed below, most of the things that are causing our economy to die have no realistic chance of being changed any time soon.

The following are 10 reasons why it has become so insanely difficult to find a job in America today….

#1 There are a lot fewer job openings in the United States today.  The number of U.S. job openings declined once again in December.  Prior to the most recent economic downturn, there were usually somewhere around 4.5 to 5 million job openings in America.  Today there are about 3 million.

#2 There is a lot more competition for the very few job openings that are actually available.  According to Gallup, the U.S. unemployment rate has been hovering around 10 percent for over a year.  When Gallup includes “underemployed Americans” that have part-time jobs but really want full-time jobs in the numbers, they get a lot worse.  Currently, Gallup says that 19.3 percent of the workforce is either unemployed or underemployed.

#3 The U.S. economy is producing an extremely low number of new jobs.  The federal government says that only about 36,000 jobs were added in January.  Well,  an increase of 150,000 jobs per month is necessary just to keep up with population growth.  We continue to fall farther and farther behind.

#4 All across the nation, state and local governments are rapidly cutting jobs.  Government jobs used to be considered some of the safest jobs available, but today state and local governments all across America are facing horrific budget crunches.  In fact, things have gotten so extreme that some cities are cutting their police forces by up to 50 percent.

#5 U.S. businesses are being absolutely crushed by regulations, and yet the government just keeps piling them on.  For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is projecting that the food service industry will have to spend an additional 14 million hours every single year just to comply with new federal regulations that mandate that all vending machine operators and chain restaurants must label all products that they sell with a calorie count in a location visible to the consumer.  These kinds of ridiculous regulations are chasing U.S. businesses out of the country at a blistering pace.

#6 When you combine all forms of taxation, businesses pay more taxes in the United States than just about anywhere else in the world.  Some of the biggest corporations have figured out how to get around this, but many other businesses are being absolutely crushed by this.  All of this taxation is also chasing businesses out of the country.  Now Barack Obama is at it again.  He has just proposed an increase in unemployment taxes.  This is going to make it even less likely that businesses will want to hire more employees.

#7 Advances in technology mean that less workers are needed today.  A robot can do the labor that a hundred workers used to perform.  A computer can do the work that a thousand people used to perform.  Our society now needs less manual labor than it used to, and that is not going to change.  In fact, our society is only going to become more computerized and more automated.  That means that the ultra-wealthy do not need as many of us to work for them.

#8 Nations such as China are taking jobs away from us.  Tens of thousands of factories and millions of jobs are moving to China.  There is a reason why Barack Obama mentioned China four times during his State of the Union address.  China now even makes more beer than the United States does.  China has been very shrewd.  They have invited international corporations to come over and take advantage of their vast population by paying them slave labor wages.  The U.S. middle class is being shredded by this.  Why should companies pay U.S. workers 10 or 20 times more than they could pay a Chinese worker?

#9 Every single year, the U.S. buys hundreds of billions of dollars more stuff from the rest of the world than they buy from us.  This is called a trade deficit, and it is killing the U.S. economy.  The hundreds of billions of dollars going to the rest of the world could be going to U.S. businesses, and in turn U.S. businesses would need more workers.  But instead of fixing our trade balance problem, our politicians continue to insist that “globalism” is going to be really, really “good” for us.

#10 Every single year the U.S. federal government spends hundreds of billions of dollars just on interest on the national debt.  This is money that we don’t get any economic benefit from.  If we were not in so much debt, the U.S. government would be able to spend that money on goods and services inside the United States and that would support a lot more jobs.  This is just one of the ways that our horrific national debt is a tremendous drag on our economy.

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….

11 Long-Term Trends That Are Absolutely Destroying The U.S. Economy

The U.S. economy is being slowly but surely destroyed and many Americans have no idea that it is happening.  That is at least partially due to the fact that most financial news is entirely focused on the short-term.  Whenever a key economic statistic goes up the financial markets surge and analysts rejoice.  Whenever a key economic statistic goes down the financial markets decline and analysts speak of the potential for a “double-dip” recession.  You could literally get whiplash as you watch the financial ping pong ball bounce back and forth between good news and bad news.  But focusing on short-term statistics is not the correct way to analyze the U.S. economy.  It is the long-term trends that reveal the truth.  The reality is that there are certain underlying foundational problems that are destroying the U.S. economy a little bit more every single day.

11 of those foundational problems are discussed below.  They are undeniable and they are constantly getting worse.  If they are not corrected (and there is no indication that they will be) they will destroy not only our economy but also our entire way of life.  The sad truth is that it would be hard to understate just how desperate the situation is for the U.S. economy. 

Long-Term Trend #1: The Deindustrialization Of America

The United States is being deindustrialized at a pace that is almost impossible to believe.  But now that millions upon millions of people have lost their jobs, more Americans than ever are starting to wake up and believe it.

A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 69 percent of Americans now believe that free trade agreements have cost America jobs.  Ten years ago the majority of Americans had great faith in the new “global economy” that we were all being merged into, but now the tide has turned.

So why have Americans lost faith in “free trade”?

Well, it turns out that the current system is neither “free trade” nor “fair trade”.  Many other nations impose extremely high tariffs on U.S. goods and put up ridiculous barriers to American products and yet the United States has generally let everyone else openly manipulate currency rates and flood our shores with whatever cheap products they want.

The results have been disastrous.  Jobs and factories have been leaving the United States at a blinding pace.

The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001.  An economy without a manufacturing base does not have a bright long-term future.  Yet our politicians have allowed our manufacturing base to be systematically dismantled.

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.

How is the United States supposed to have a bright economic future if it consumes everything in sight and yet makes very little?

Something needs to be done.

In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of all U.S. economic output.  In 2008, it represented only 11.5 percent and it continues to fall.

Needless to say, millions of blue collar workers now find themselves unable to find jobs.  Today, 28% of all U.S. households have at least one person that is looking for a full-time job and there is no sign that things are going to improve much any time soon.

Long-Term Trend #2: The Exploding U.S. Trade Deficit

Each month, tens of billions more dollars go out of the United States than come into it.  In other words, every single month the United States gets poorer.

Recently, the U.S. trade deficit has been coming in at around 40 to 50 billion dollars a month.  About half of that is with communist China.

Between 2000 and 2009, America’s trade deficit with China increased nearly 300 percent.

Sadly, things are getting even worse.

As of the end of July, the U.S. trade deficit with China had risen 18 percent compared to the same time period a year ago.

There is a reason why China has been able to loan the U.S. government nearly a trillion dollars.  They have literally been bleeding us dry.

The United States spends approximately $3.90 on Chinese goods for every $1 that the Chinese spend on goods from the United States.

Does that sound like “fair trade” to you?

According to a new study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, if the U.S. trade deficit with China continues to increase at its current rate, the U.S. economy will lose over half a million jobs this year alone.

Half a million jobs in just one year?

And that doesn’t even take into account the trade deficit that we have with all the other nations around the world.

We have literally built China into a superpower.

One prominent economist is now projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.

But it isn’t just China that is a problem.

Since the implementation of NAFTA in 1994, 300,000 U.S. farms have gone out of business.

Globalism has forced U.S. workers to directly compete with the cheapest labor in the world for jobs.  That is not good for American workers and it is not good for America.

Long-Term Trend #3: The Shrinking Middle Class

As jobs continue to flee the United States and as wages continue to be depressed, America’s middle class is shrinking at an alarming rate.

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

Unfortunately, a growing number of Americans have found it impossible to make it from month to month without direct financial assistance from the federal government.

41 million Americans are now on food stamps.  One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one anti-poverty program run by the federal government.  Economic pain is everywhere.

Tens of millions of Americans now live in poverty.  The U.S. Census Bureau says that 43.6 million Americans are now living in poverty and according to them that is the highest number of poor Americans that they have ever recorded in 51 years of record-keeping.

Long-Term Trend #4: The Growing Size Of The U.S. Government

No matter whether it is a Republican or a Democrat in the White House, the size of the U.S. government has continued to grow by leaps and bounds in recent years.

This is a tremendous drain on the U.S. economy.  The government produces very little value for the economy and yet costs a colossal amount to maintain.

In addition, multiplying government regulations have caused the United States to be a very difficult environment to operate a business in. 

The Federal Register is the main source of regulations for U.S. government agencies.  In 1936, the number of pages in the Federal Register was about 2,600.  Today, the Federal Register is over 80,000 pages long.

Long-Term Trend #5: The Constantly Growing U.S. National Debt

The United States has accumulated the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world and every single month it gets worse.

According to an official U.S. Treasury Department report to Congress, the U.S. national debt will top $13.6 trillion this year and will climb to an estimated $19.6 trillion by 2015.

Do we really want to pass on a 20 trillion dollar debt to our children and grandchildren?

But the truth is that the situation is actually a lot worse than that.

If the U.S. government was forced to use GAAP accounting principles (like all publicly-traded corporations must), the U.S. government budget deficit would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 trillion to $5 trillion each and every year.

Needless to say, that is not anywhere close to sustainable.  We are literally destroying our economic future with all of this debt.

Long-Term Trend #6: The Ongoing Devaluation Of The U.S. Dollar

The Federal Reserve constantly destroys the value of the U.S. dollar.  Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, the U.S. dollar has lost over 95 percent of its purchasing power.

An item that cost $20.00 in 1970 would cost you $112.35 today.  An item that cost $20.00 in 1913 would cost you $440.33 today.

Inflation is like a hidden tax.  The value of the dollars you are holding right now will decline a little bit more each and every month. 

And now that the Federal Reserve is threatening to unleash another round of quantitative easing, it appears that the value of our dollars will soon be declining even more rapidly.

Long-Term Trend #7: The Derivatives Bubble

The one thing that the “Wall Street reform bill” should have done was that it should have done something about the horrific abuses in the derivatives markets.  Instead, the Wall Street reform bill did next to nothing about derivatives and instead imposed hundreds of other useless regulations on Wall Street.

Most Americans don’t even know what derivatives are.  Basically, they are side bets.  They have no underlying value of their own.  But today derivatives have taken center stage on Wall Street.  Our financial markets have become a gigantic casino.

The total value of all derivatives worldwide is estimated to be somewhere between 600 trillion and 1.5 quadrillion dollars.  And thanks to the U.S. Congress, the derivatives bubble is still growing.

It would be hard to understate the danger that the derivatives bubble represents.  The danger from derivatives is so great that Warren Buffet once called them “financial weapons of mass destruction”.  

When the derivatives bubble finally pops, there will not be enough money in the entire world to fix it.

Long-Term Trend #8: The Health Care Industry

The United States health care system is completely and totally broken.  It has become a gigantic money making machine for health insurance companies, pharmaceutical corporations and greedy lawyers.

Americans pay more for health care than anyone else in the world and yet they get shockingly little in return.

Health care expenses are the number one reason why people file for personal bankrupty in the United States.  Surprisingly, most of those who get bankrupted by health care expenses actually have health insurance.

The health insurance system in the United States is a complete and total mess.  Health insurance premiums are busting the budgets of tens of millions of American families and yet they are getting ready to go up yet once again. 

Already, large numbers of health insurance companies across the United States have announced that they plan to increase health insurance premiums in response to the new health care law.

But do health insurance companies actually need more money?  Even as the rest of the U.S. economy deeply struggles, America’s health insurance companies increased their profits by 56 percent in 2009.

At least someone is doing well in this economy.

The truth is that the U.S. health care system needs to be totally and completely reinvented.  The system we had before did not work.  Barack Obama’s new health care system will be far worse.  Meanwhile, the health care industry is literally choking the life out of the U.S. economy.

Long-Term Trend #9: Financial Power Is Becoming Concentrated In Fewer And Fewer Hands

Once upon a time, the United States had a very diverse financial system.  But today financial power is becoming concentrated in fewer and fewer hands with each passing year.

More U.S. banks fail every single week.  In fact, the number of bank failures is on pace to far surpass the total of 140 U.S. banks that failed last year.

There are now nearly 900 banks (well over 10 percent of all U.S. banks) on the FDIC list of problem banks.

Meanwhile, the “too big to fail” banks continue to pick up market share.  The “big four” U.S. banks (Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo) had approximately 22 percent of all deposits in FDIC-insured institutions back in 2000.  As of June 30th of last year that figure was up to 39 percent.

Putting an increasing amount of financial power into the hands of just a few elite banks is a recipe for disaster any way you want to cut it.

Long-Term Trend #10: Rampant Corruption On Wall Street

Our financial system has become an absolute cesspool of corruption.  In the past I have written extensively about all of the corruption that Goldman Sachs has been involved in, but they are far from alone.

In fact, it seems like new stories of financial corruption emerge almost daily now.

For example, just recently Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and GMAC Mortgage have all suspended foreclosures in many U.S. states due to serious concerns about foreclosure procedures.

But there is a lot of corruption that is a lot worse than that.  The rampant manipulation of the gold and silver markets was completely blown open by an industry insider earlier this year, but the U.S. government had to be publicly shamed before they would even agree to look into it. 

The truth is that corruption on Wall Street has become so common that it is almost impossible to keep up with it all.  It seems like no matter what stone you turn over on Wall Street these days you find yet more corruption.

But if the core of our financial system is so incredibly corrupt, how long will it be before it collapses in on itself?

Long-Term Trend #11: The Growing Retirement Crisis That Threatens To Bankrupt America

The Baby Boomers may end up bankrupting America after all.  A retirement tsunami is coming that threatens to drown our nation in a sea of red ink.

The truth is that Americans have not been preparing for retirement on their own.  One shocking new study indicates that Americans are $6.6 trillion short of what they need to retire comfortably.

In fact, approximately half of all workers in the United States have less than $2000 saved up for retirement.

So what about corporate pension plans?

Are they in good shape?

No.

One recent study found that America’s 100 largest corporate pension plans were underfunded by $217 billion as of the end of 2008.

But sadly, the pension plans run by U.S. state governments are in even worse shape.

Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Chicago and Joshua D. Rauh of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management recently calculated the combined pension liability of all 50 U.S. states.  What they found was that the 50 states are collectively facing $5.17 trillion in pension obligations, but they only have $1.94 trillion set aside in state pension funds.  That means that collectively, the 50 U.S. state governments are 3.2 trillion dollars short of what they need to meet their pension obligations.

But the biggest mess of all may be the U.S. Social Security system.

The sad reality is that anyone that has studied it closely knows that it is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme, and the scam has just about run its course.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Social Security system will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes in 2010.  That was not supposed to happen until at least 2016.

Oops.

But things get really hairy when you start looking down the road.

The present value of projected scheduled benefits surpasses earmarked revenues for entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare by about 46 trillion dollars over the next 75 years.

Ouch.

It is time to face facts people.

We are in deep, deep, deep trouble.

An increasing number of Americans are starting to realize this.  They may not always know the specifics of what is going wrong, but more people than ever realize that something is broken.  According to one recent survey, 63 percent of Americans believe that the United States is on the wrong track.

And we are very much on the wrong track.  We have squandered the great wealth that our parents and grandparents left us and we are wrecking the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen.

If we do not get our act together, someday people will look back and will curse this generation for how incredibly stupid we were.

19 Facts About The Deindustrialization Of America That Will Blow Your Mind

The United States is rapidly becoming the very first “post-industrial” nation on the globe.  All great economic empires eventually become fat and lazy and squander the great wealth that their forefathers have left them, but the pace at which America is accomplishing this is absolutely amazing.  It was America that was at the forefront of the industrial revolution.  It was America that showed the world how to mass produce everything from automobiles to televisions to airplanes.  It was the great American manufacturing base that crushed Germany and Japan in World War II.  But now we are witnessing the deindustrialization of America.  Tens of thousands of factories have left the United States in the past decade alone.  Millions upon millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost in the same time period.  The United States has become a nation that consumes everything in sight and yet produces increasingly little.  Do you know what our biggest export is today?  Waste paper.  Yes, trash is the number one thing that we ship out to the rest of the world as we voraciously blow our money on whatever the rest of the world wants to sell to us.  The United States has become bloated and spoiled and our economy is now  just a shadow of what it once was.  Once upon a time America could literally outproduce the rest of the world combined.  Today that is no longer true, but Americans sure do consume more than anyone else in the world.  If the deindustrialization of America continues at this current pace, what possible kind of a future are we going to be leaving to our children?

Any great nation throughout history has been great at making things.  So if the United States continues to allow its manufacturing base to erode at a staggering pace how in the world can the U.S. continue to consider itself to be a great nation?  We have created the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world in an effort to maintain a very high standard of living, but the current state of affairs is not anywhere close to sustainable.  Every single month America does into more debt and every single month America gets poorer.

So what happens when the debt bubble pops?

The deindustrialization of the United States should be a top concern for every man, woman and child in the country.  But sadly, most Americans do not have any idea what is going on around them.

For people like that, take this article and print it out and hand it to them.  Perhaps what they will read below will shock them badly enough to awaken them from their slumber.    

The following are 19 facts about the deindustrialization of America that will blow your mind….

#1 The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001. 

#2 Dell Inc., one of America’s largest manufacturers of computers, has announced plans to dramatically expand its operations in China with an investment of over $100 billion over the next decade.

#3 Dell has announced that it will be closing its last large U.S. manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in November.  Approximately 900 jobs will be lost.

#4 In 2008, 1.2 billion cellphones were sold worldwide.  So how many of them were manufactured inside the United States?  Zero.

#5 According to a new study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, if the U.S. trade deficit with China continues to increase at its current rate, the U.S. economy will lose over half a million jobs this year alone.

#6 As of the end of July, the U.S. trade deficit with China had risen 18 percent compared to the same time period a year ago.

#7 The United States has lost a total of about 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since October 2000.

#8 According to Tax Notes, between 1999 and 2008 employment at the foreign affiliates of U.S. parent companies increased an astounding 30 percent to 10.1 million. During that exact same time period, U.S. employment at American multinational corporations declined 8 percent to 21.1 million.

#9 In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of U.S. economic output.  In 2008, it represented 11.5 percent.

#10 Ford Motor Company recently announced the closure of a factory that produces the Ford Ranger in St. Paul, Minnesota. Approximately 750 good paying middle class jobs are going to be lost because making Ford Rangers in Minnesota does not fit in with Ford’s new “global” manufacturing strategy.

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

#12 In the United States today, consumption accounts for 70 percent of GDP. Of this 70 percent, over half is spent on services.

#13 The United States has lost a whopping 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

#14 In 2001, the United States ranked fourth in the world in per capita broadband Internet use.  Today it ranks 15th.

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

#16 Printed circuit boards are used in tens of thousands of different products.  Asia now produces 84 percent of them worldwide.

#17 The United States spends approximately $3.90 on Chinese goods for every $1 that the Chinese spend on goods from the United States.

#18 One prominent economist is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.

#19 The U.S. Census Bureau says that 43.6 million Americans are now living in poverty and according to them that is the highest number of poor Americans in the 51 years that records have been kept.

So how many tens of thousands more factories do we need to lose before we do something about it?

How many millions more Americans are going to become unemployed before we all admit that we have a very, very serious problem on our hands?

How many more trillions of dollars are going to leave the country before we realize that we are losing wealth at a pace that is killing our economy?

How many once great manufacturing cities are going to become rotting war zones like Detroit before we understand that we are committing national economic suicide?

The deindustrialization of America is a national crisis.  It needs to be treated like one.

If you disagree with this article, I have a direct challenge for you.  If anyone can explain how a deindustrialized America has any kind of viable economic future, please do so below in the comments section.

America is in deep, deep trouble folks.  It is time to wake up.

Finca Bayano

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