Why isn’t the U.S. economy in a depression right now? The number one reason is because the federal government has stolen more than five trillion dollars from future generations since Barack Obama was elected and has used that money to pump up our grossly inflated standard of living. Whether the federal government spends money wisely or foolishly, the truth is that the vast majority of it still ends up in the pockets of the American people who then use it to buy the things they need for their daily lives. If the U.S. government had not borrowed and spent an extra five trillion dollars that we did not have over the past several years, we would be in the middle of a rip-roaring economic depression right now. So any talk that Barack Obama is “improving the economy” is a total farce. It is a five trillion dollar lie. The reality is that Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress have been stealing trillions of dollars from future generations in order to make things tolerable in the present. If the federal government adopted a balanced budget next year, the debt-fueled prosperity that we are currently enjoying would start disappearing very rapidly and all hell would break loose in America.
At this point, the U.S. national debt is over 15.7 trillion dollars.
When Ronald Reagan took office it was less than a trillion dollars.
If you were to divide the national debt up equally, it would come to more than $50,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States.
So the share of the national debt for an average family of four would be about $200,000.
When the government borrows and spends money that it does not have, that increases the amount of dollars in circulation and it causes GDP to go up.
That is one of the reasons why our politicians like to borrow and spend money that we do not have. It makes the economic statistics look good. They can point to those economic statistics as a reason to send them back for another term.
This is a major flaw in our system. Most of our politicians do not care about how they are raping future generations financially. Most of them just care about getting elected again.
If you will notice carefully, neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama are promising to balance the budget any time soon. Like so many politicians in the past, they promise to do it “eventually”, but “eventually” never arrives.
According to a recent article in the Washington Times, Mitt Romney declared during a recent campaign appearance that he has no plans to balance the federal budget in his first year….
“My job is to get America back on track to have a balanced budget. Now I’m not going to cut $1 trillion in the first year”
Why would he say that?
Why wouldn’t he want to balance the budget?
He went on to explain that….
“The reason,” he explained, “is taking a trillion dollars out of a $15 trillion economy would cause our economy to shrink [and] would put a lot of people out of work.”
Romney is right about this. Taking a trillion dollars out of a 15 trillion dollar economy would plunge us into an economic nightmare.
And that would make him look bad.
Of course if Obama wins the election we can just expect more of the same from him as well.
For example, just check out what White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew had to say about balancing the budget recently….
“The time for austerity is not today,” Lew told NBC News “Meet the Press.” “If we were to put in austerity measures right now, it would take the economy in the wrong way.”
Why is the time for austerity not today?
It is because the 2012 election is coming up and Obama wants the economic statistics to look good.
But can you blame our politicians for being cowardly?
Just look at what is happening in Greece. After several years of austerity they are in the midst of a full-blown economic depression and they still have not balanced their budget.
Do we want to end up like Greece?
Most Americans do not realize this, but the U.S. already has more government debt per capita than Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland or Spain.
So why haven’t we collapsed yet?
Well, because we continue to borrow larger and larger amounts of money.
It took from the founding of America until 1995 for the federal government to accumulate 5 trillion dollars of debt.
Under Obama, we have accumulated more than 5 trillion dollars of new debt in just over 3 years.
Amazingly, Obama has added more to the national debt than George W. Bush did during his entire 8 year term.
And let there be no mistake – George W. Bush was a wild spender. A fiscal conservative he most certainly was not.
But Barack Obama does not seem troubled by any of this.
Barack Obama is prancing about the countryside touting his great “economic plan”, but the truth is that the only reason the economy has not totally collapsed is because he is stealing 150 million dollars an hour from our children and our grandchildren.
Sadly, most Americans don’t understand that the current level of prosperity that we are enjoying is a grand illusion. Most Americans still expect things to return to the way that they used to be, and they are increasingly becoming angry that it is taking so long to get back there.
In fact, a whole host of recent surveys have shown that Americans are very dissatisfied with the direction the economy is heading in….
Four recent surveys have found that on average only 28% of Americans are satisfied with the condition of the country, while 70% are dissatisfied. Three recent surveys have found that between 69% and 83% of Americans believe that the country is still in recession (it isn’t), and only half believe that a recovery is under way.
What they don’t realize is that if we were not massively ripping off our kids and our grandkids things would be much, much worse.
Thomas Jefferson understood that government borrowing is essentially the same as theft from future generations.
He once made the following statement….
And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.
What we are doing to our children and our grandchildren is so immoral that it is hard to put into words.
We are running up trillions upon trillions of dollars of debt in their name just so that our lives can be more comfortable right now.
How could we be so selfish?
The sad thing is that even with all of this reckless spending our economy is still not in great shape.
In fact, the middle class continues to shrink at an alarming rate. The following are just a few statistics from a recent article I did about this phenomenon….
-Today, approximately 48 percent of all Americans are currently either considered to be “low income” or are living in poverty.
-Back in 1960, social welfare benefits made up approximately 10 percent of all salaries and wages. In the year 2000, social welfare benefits made up approximately 21 percent of all salaries and wages. Today, social welfare benefits make up approximately 35 percent of all salaries and wages.
-The United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.
-Every year now, we see millions of Americans fall out of the middle class. In 2010, 2.6 million more Americans descended into poverty. That was the largest increase that we have seen since the U.S. government began keeping statistics on this back in 1959.
-At this point, approximately 22 percent of all American children are living in poverty.
-When Barack Obama took office, there were 32 million Americans on food stamps. Now, there are more than 46 million Americans on food stamps.
So how much worse would things be if a trillion dollars of federal spending was suddenly removed from the economy?
Are you starting to get the picture?
As bad as things are right now, they are about to get a whole lot worse.
So why can’t we just keep on borrowing and spending forever?
Well, just like Greece found out, debt always catches up with you eventually.
During fiscal 2011, the U.S. government spent over 454 billion dollars just on interest on the national debt.
But just like we are seeing in Europe, if confidence in U.S. government debt starts to disappear the U.S. government could end up facing much higher interest rates to borrow money.
If the average rate on U.S. government debt only rose to 7 percent (in the past it has actually been much higher than that), then the U.S. government would be spending about 1.1 trillion dollars a year just on interest on the national debt.
During fiscal year 2011, the U.S. government spent 3.7 trillion dollars but it only brought in about 2.4 trillion dollars.
So if we were spending 1.1 trillion dollars just on interest, that would be close to half of all the revenue the federal government brings in.
Right now, the Federal Reserve is manipulating the system in a desperate attempt to keep interest rates down. During 2011, the Federal Reserve bought up approximately 61 percent of all government debt issued by the U.S. Treasury Department.
But most Americans have no idea how fragile our financial system is.
Most Americans just assume that we will always be the greatest economy on the planet and that there is nothing to be worried about.
Sadly, one way or another this debt bubble is going to burst and then our debt-fueled false prosperity is going to disappear.
Most Americans are not going to understand what is happening and they are going to go absolutely nuts.
The Dow has closed above 13,000 for the first time since 2008, and the mainstream media is declaring that a strong economic recovery is underway. Barack Obama is telling anyone who will listen that his economic policies are a huge success, and U.S. consumers are piling up astounding amounts of new debt. Unfortunately, this euphoria about the economy will be short-lived. None of the long-term problems that are destroying the U.S. economy have been solved. In fact, there are dozens of statistics that can be quoted that prove that the U.S. economy is in far worse shape than it was when the recession supposedly ended. If dramatic changes are not made very rapidly, our nation is going to smash directly into an economic brick wall. Sadly, most Americans are so addicted to entertainment that they have no idea what is about to happen. Most of them are “sheeple” that are content to trust that the “experts” know exactly how to fix our problems as they continue to enjoy their entertainment-induced comas. After all, it is much easier to turn on “American Idol” or “Dancing With The Stars” than it is to think about debt ratios and monetary policy. But that doesn’t mean that we should not try to wake the sheeple up. It just means that it will not be easy.
If you went to the doctor tomorrow and he told you to take some little blue pills without telling you anything else, would you take them?
Of course not.
You would want to know what the little blue pills are for.
But if your doctor told you that you have a deadly incurable disease that is about to kill you, and that the little blue pills are the only cure, then you would definitely be interested in taking them.
Well, it is the same way with the American people. Until they understand just how sick the economy is, they will not be interested in fighting for a solution.
We need to show all the sheeple out there that the U.S. economy has terminal cancer and is headed for death.
We need to show them that the future of our children and our grandchildren is literally being destroyed.
Way too many Americans are sitting around waiting for the government to save them.
It isn’t going to happen.
It is up to those of us that are awake to wake up those that are asleep.
And there are many out there that think that they are awake that are only partially awake.
One very famous author once wrote that “people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”, and that is exactly what is happening in America today. Most Americans simply don’t understand what is happening economically, politically, socially, morally or financially in this nation.
Please help me wake the sheeple up.
The following are 20 economic statistics to use to wake sheeple up from their entertainment-induced comas….
#1 The United States has more government debt per capita than Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland or Spain.
#2 The European Commission has formally declared that Europe has now entered another recession. German banks are leveraged 32 to 1 and the European financial system is rapidly approaching a nightmare. Lehman Brothers was only leveraged 30 to 1 when it finally collapsed.
#3 There are clear signs that economic activity is also significantly slowing down in the United States. For example, new orders for goods manufactured in the United States experienced the biggest drop in three years in January.
#4 U.S. consumers are busy racking up staggering amounts of debt once again. Total consumer debt rose at an annual rate of 9.3 percent in December. It is now sitting at a grand total of 2.498 trillion dollars.
#5 The U.S. Postal Service has announced plans to eliminate 35,000 more jobs.
#6 There are more unemployed Americans than there are people living in the entire nation of Greece.
#7 The percentage of American men that have jobs is near an all-time record low.
#8 Right now, there are 88 million working age Americans that do not have jobs and that the government says are not looking for jobs.
#9 The average duration of unemployment in the United States is nearly three times as long as it was back in the year 2000.
#10 In January 2009, there were 2.6 million “long-term unemployed workers” according to the federal government. Today, there are 5.6 million.
#11 The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States has risen by 14 cents in just the past week, and the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the state of California is now an astounding $4.29. Sadly, the price of gas is expected to continue rising over the next few months.
#12 The U.S. housing market continues to struggle deeply. Home prices in the 4th quarter of 2011 were four percent lower than they were during the 4th quarter of 2010. Overall, U.S. home prices are 34 percent lower than they were back at the peak of the housing bubble.
#13 Large numbers of Americans are putting off basic health procedures due to the declining economy. Just consider the following example from a recent Huffington Post article….
Americans between the ages of 50 to 64 got 500,000 fewer colonoscopies, or screenings aimed at detecting colon cancer, during the recession, compared to the two years before, according to a recent study from researchers at the University of North Carolina’s medical school.
#14 The number of Americans on food stamps has increased by almost 50 percent since Barack Obama first took office.
#15 Right now, 48 percent of all Americans are considered to be either “low income” or “living in poverty”.
#16 The U.S. government is stealing about 150 million dollars from our children and our grandchildren every single hour of every single day.
#17 If Bill Gates gave all of his money to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for about 15 days.
#18 Since the Federal Reserve was created, the U.S. dollar has declined in value by more than 95 percent and the U.S. national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger.
#19 Approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents. Most of them are doing it for economic reasons.
#20 According to a new Politico poll, only 30 percent of all Americans believe that the next generation will be “better off economically” than the previous generation.
For many more current statistics about the U.S. economy, check out the interesting facts which I documented in this previous article.
Thankfully, there are others out there such as trends researcher Gerald Celente that are tirelessly working to sound the alarm. Celente is convinced that the U.S. financial system is rapidly heading for a disaster. Just consider the following quotes from Celente in a recent USA Today article….
“2012 is when many of the long-simmering socioeconomic and political trends that we have been forecasting and tracking will climax,” Celente noted in his Top 12 Trends 2012 newsletter. In an interview he added: “When money stops flowing to the man on the street, blood starts flowing in the street.”
Even some politicians on the state level are deeply concerned about the possibility of a massive financial meltdown.
For example, a bill has been introduced in Wyoming that would set up “a state-run government continuity task force” which would develop plans for how Wyoming would deal with potential disasters such as a “complete meltdown of the federal government”, an economic collapse or a major disruption in food and energy supplies….
State Rep. David Miller, R-Riverton, has seen the national debt rise above $15 trillion and protest movements grow around the country. Wealthy Americans are fleeing the country, he says, and confidence in the dollar has taken a hit around the world.
If America’s economic and social problems continue to escalate and spiral out of control, Miller said, Wyoming needs to be ready. So, he’s introduced legislation to create a state-run government continuity task force, which would study and prepare Wyoming for potential catastrophes, from disruptions in food and energy supplies to a complete meltdown of the federal government.
It would even look at the feasibility of quickly providing an alternative currency in Wyoming should the U.S. dollar collapse entirely.
But for many Americans, the “meltdown” has already happened on a personal level.
Many are going to extreme lengths in an attempt to survive in this economy.
For example, one ex-police officer in Ohio got so desperate that he decided that it would be better to get arrested for bank robbery and be thrown in prison than to be homeless and living in the streets….
Former Columbus police officer Edward Pascucci had been jobless for more than a year and was facing homelessness last summer when he decided to rob a local bank. Making off with stacks of cash, however, never was his intention.
Pascucci told a federal judge on Thursday he’d run out of options, was facing “severe health problems” and opted to avail himself of the services offered by the federal penal system rather than live on the street.
Can you imagine that?
Can you imagine getting arrested just so that you could get free health care and wouldn’t have to sleep in the streets?
Meanwhile, the Obamas are living the high life and seem to have developed a “let them eat cake” mentality. The following is from a recent article in The Daily Mail….
The Obama family just finished a luxury ski vacation in Aspen, Colorado. This comes on the heels of a Hawaiian Christmas vacation for the family that lasted a few weeks. The 2011 Hawaiian vacation cost the American taxpayers $4 million and a big increase from the 2010 bill sent to the American people for $2.5 million, according to the Huffington Post.
Over the past three summers, the Obama’s have vacationed in the exclusive Blue Heron Farm in Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. President Obama has a reputation for hitting every golf course on this island vacation spot for the rich and famous.
There is nothing wrong with a President taking a modest vacation, but there is a problem when the political leader of America is taking frequent swanky vacations when average Americans are experiencing economic pain.
Shouldn’t the Obamas be setting an example for the rest of us during these hard economic times?
Unfortunately, Barack Obama seems to believe that the worst of our economic troubles is now behind us.
If only that were true.
During this short-lived bubble of false hope, we should all be working hard to prepare for what is ahead.
A menacing storm is on the horizon and it will be here way too soon.
Let us wake up as many of the sheeple as we can while there is still time.
How is the U.S. economy doing in 2012? Unfortunately, it is not doing nearly as well as the mainstream media would have you believe. Yes, things have stabilized for the moment but this bubble of false hope will not last for long. The long-term trends that are ripping our economy and our financial system to shreds continue unabated. When you step back and look at the broader picture, it is hard to deny that we are in really bad shape and that things are rapidly getting worse. Later on in this article you will find a list of interesting facts that show the true state of the U.S. economy. Hopefully many of you will find this list to be a useful tool that you can share with your family and friends. Each day the foundations of our economy crumble a little bit more, and we need to wake up as many Americans as we can to what is really going on while there is still time. We have accumulated way too much debt, we consume far more wealth than we produce, millions of our jobs are being shipped overseas, our big cities are decaying, family budgets are being squeezed more than ever, poverty is rampant and we have raised several generations of Americans that expect the government to fix all of their problems. The U.S. economy is at a crossroads, and the decisions that the American people make in 2012 are going to be incredibly important.
The statistics listed below are presented without much commentary. They pretty much speak for themselves.
After reading this list, it will be hard for anyone to argue that we are on the right track.
The following are 55 interesting facts about the U.S. economy in 2012….
#1 As you read this, there are more than 6 million mortgages in the United States that are overdue.
#2 In January, U.S. home prices were the lowest that they have been in more than a decade.
#3 In Florida right now, some drivers are paying nearly 6 dollars for a gallon of gas.
#4 On average, you could buy about 10 gallons of gas for an hour of work back in the mid-90s. Today, the average hour of work will get you less than 6 gallons of gas.
#5 Sadly, 43 percent of all American families spend more than they earn each year.
#6 According to Gallup, the unemployment rate was at 8.3% in mid-January but rose to 9.0% in mid-February.
#7 The percentage of working age Americans that have jobs is not increasing. The employment to population ratio has stayed very steady (hovering between 58% and 59%) since the beginning of 2010.
#8 If you gathered together all of the workers that are “officially” unemployed in the United States into one nation, they would constitute the 68th largest country in the entire world.
#9 When Barack Obama first took office, the number of “long-term unemployed workers” in the United States was approximately 2.6 million. Today, that number is sitting at 5.6 million.
#10 The average duration of unemployment in the United States is hovering close to an all-time record high.
#11 According to Reuters, approximately 23.7 million American workers are either unemployed or underemployed right now.
#12 There are about 88 million working age Americans that are not employed and that are not looking for employment. That is an all-time record high.
#13 According to CareerBuilder, only 23 percent of American companies plan to hire more employees in 2012.
#14 Back in the year 2000, about 20 percent of all jobs in America were manufacturing jobs. Today, about 5 percent of all jobs in America are manufacturing jobs.
#15 The United States has lost an average of approximately 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
#16 Amazingly, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been shut down since 2001.
#17 According to author Paul Osterman, about 20 percent of all U.S. adults are currently working jobs that pay poverty-level wages.
#18 During the Obama administration, worker health insurance costs have risen by 23 percent.
#19 An all-time record 49.9 million Americans do not have any health insurance at all at this point, and the percentage of Americans covered by employer-based health plans has fallen for 11 years in a row.
#20 According to the New York Times, approximately 100 million Americans are either living in poverty or in “the fretful zone just above it”.
#21 In the United States today, corporate profits are at an all-time high. The percentage of Americans that are living in “extreme poverty” is also at an all-time high according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
#22 In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.
#23 The poorest 50 percent of all Americans now collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.
#24 The number of children living in poverty in the state of California has increased by 30 percent since 2007.
#25 According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 36.4% of all children that live in Philadelphia are living in poverty, 40.1% of all children that live in Atlanta are living in poverty, 52.6% of all children that live in Cleveland are living in poverty and 53.6% of all children that live in Detroit are living in poverty.
#26 Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the number of Americans on food stamps has increased from 32 million to 46 million.
#27 As the economy has slowed down, so has the number of marriages. According to a Pew Research Center analysis, only 51 percent of all Americans that are at least 18 years old are currently married. Back in 1960, 72 percent of all U.S. adults were married.
#28 In 1984, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older was 10 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger. Today, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older is 47 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger.
#29 If you can believe it, 37 percent of all U.S. households that are led by someone under the age of 35 have a net worth of zero or less than zero.
#30 After adjusting for inflation, U.S. college students are borrowing about twice as much money as they did a decade ago.
#31 According to the Student Loan Debt Clock, total student loan debt in the United States will surpass the 1 trillion dollar mark at some point in 2012. If you went out right now and starting spending one dollar every single second, it would take you more than 31,000 years to spend one trillion dollars.
#32 Today, 46% of all Americans carry a credit card balance from month to month.
#33 Incredibly, one out of every seven Americans has at least 10 credit cards.
#34 The average interest rate on a credit card that is carrying a balance is now up to 13.10 percent.
#35 Of the U.S. households that do have credit card debt, the average amount of credit card debt is an astounding $15,799.
#36 Overall, Americans are carrying a grand total of $798 billion in credit card debt. If you were alive when Jesus was born and you spent a million dollars every single day since then, you still would not have spent $798 billion by now.
#37 It may be hard to believe, but the truth is that consumer debt in America has increased by a whopping 1700% since 1971.
#38 At this point, about 70 percent of all auto purchases in the United States involve an auto loan.
#39 In the United States today, 45 percent of all auto loans are made to subprime borrowers.
#40 Mortgage debt as a percentage of GDP has more than tripled since 1955.
#41 According to a recent study conducted by the BlackRock Investment Institute, the ratio of household debt to personal income in the United States is now 154 percent.
#42 To get the same purchasing power that you got out of $20.00 back in 1970 you would have to have more than $116 today.
#43 When Barack Obama first took office, an ounce of gold was going for about $850. Today an ounce of gold costs more than $1700 an ounce.
#44 The number of Americans that are not paying federal incomes taxes is at an all-time high.
#45 A staggering 48.5% of all Americans live in a household that receives some form of government benefits. Back in 1983, that number was below 30 percent.
#46 The amount of money that the federal government gives directly to Americans has increased by 32 percent since Barack Obama entered the White House.
#47 During 2012, the U.S. government must roll over nearly 3 trillion dollars of old debt.
#48 The U.S. debt to GDP ratio has now reached 101 percent.
#49 At the moment, the U.S. national debt is sitting at a grand total of $15,419,800,222,325.15.
#50 The U.S. national debt is now more than 22 times larger than it was when Jimmy Carter became president.
#51 During the Obama administration, the U.S. government has accumulated more debt than it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that Bill Clinton took office.
#52 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.
#53 If Bill Gates gave every single penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for about 15 days.
#54 Right now, the U.S. national debt is increasing by about 150 million dollars every single hour.
#55 Spending by the federal government accounted for about 2 percent of GDP back in 1800. It accounted for 23.8 percent in 2011, and according to former U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker, it will account for 36.8 percent of GDP by 2040.
Bad news, eh?
But it isn’t just our economy that is decaying.
We are witnessing a tremendous amount of social decay as well. As I wrote about the other day, America is rapidly decomposing right in front of our eyes.
When the water level of a river drops far enough, it will reveal rocks that have been hidden from view for a very long time. Well, a similar thing is happening in America right now. For decades, our debt-fueled prosperity has masked a lot of the social decay that has been going on.
But now that our prosperity is evaporating, a lot of frightening stuff is being revealed.
Unfortunately, another major financial crisis is rapidly approaching and economic conditions in the United States are going to get a lot worse.
So what is our country going to look like when that happens?
That is a very good question.
Does it cost you hundreds of dollars just to get to work each month? If it does, you are certainly not alone. There are millions of other Americans in the exact same boat. In recent years, the price of gas in the United States has gotten so outrageous that it has played a major factor in where millions of American families have decided to live and in what kind of vehicles they have decided to purchase. Many Americans that have very long commutes to work end up spending thousands of dollars on gas a year. So when the price of gas starts going up to record levels, people like that really start to feel it. But the price of gas doesn’t just affect those that drive a lot. The truth is that the price of gas impacts each and every one of us. Almost everything that we buy has to be transported, and when the price of gasoline goes up the cost of shipping goods also rises. The U.S. economy has been structured around cheap oil. It was assumed that we would always be able to transport massive quantities of goods over vast distances very inexpensively. Once that paradigm totally breaks down, we are going to be in a huge amount of trouble. For the moment, the big concern is the stress that higher gas prices are going to put on the budgets of ordinary American families. Unfortunately, almost everyone agrees that in the short-term the price of gas is going to go even higher.
When you are on a really tight budget and you are already spending several hundred dollars on gas each month, you certainly do not want to hear that gas prices are going to increase even more.
A lot of Americans are moving or are getting different vehicles just because of these outrageous gas prices. The following comes from a recent Mercury News article….
Katherine Zak, of South San Jose, is searching for an apartment near her new job at Facebook in Palo Alto, partly to cut down the cost of driving. Jeff Benson, of Raymond in the Sierra foothills, typically drives 60,000 to 70,000 miles a year and has traded in his 19 mpg Ford Taurus for a Fusion that gets 33 mpg. And David Thomas says his commute from San Jose to San Francisco is getting so expensive that he and his fiancee are hunting for a house near a BART station in the San Mateo-San Bruno area to shorten his commute and lower his $400-a-month gas bill.
The price of gas is going even higher even though energy consumption is sharply declining in the United States. Just check out the charts in this article by Charles Hugh Smith. Americans are using less gasoline and less energy and yet the price of gas continues to go up.
That is not a good sign.
Certainly any decrease that we are seeing in the U.S. is being more than offset by rising demand in places such as China and India. As emerging economies all over the globe continue to develop this is going to continue to put pressure on gas prices.
So just how bad are gas prices in the U.S. right now?
Just consider the following facts….
-The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States is now $3.53.
-The average price of a gallon of gasoline is already higher than $3.70 in Connecticut, Washington D.C. and New York.
-In California, the average price of a gallon of gasoline is $3.96 and there are quite a few cities where it is now above 4 dollars.
-In mid-January 2009, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States was just $1.85.
-The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States has risen 25 cents since the beginning of 2012.
-Never before in U.S. history has the price of gasoline been this high so early in the year.
-The Oil Price Information Service is projecting that the price of gas could reach an average of $4.25 a gallon by the end of April.
-The price of oil just keeps going up. The price for West Texas Intermediate is about 19 percent higher than it was one year ago.
-The price of gasoline is also reaching record highs in many areas of Europe as well. For example, the price of diesel fuel in the UK recently set a brand new record.
-In 2011, U.S. households spent a whopping 8.4% of their incomes on gasoline. That percentage has approximately doubled over the past ten years.
But the price of gas is not the only thing making driving much more expensive these days.
All over the country, our politicians have been putting up toll booths. Most of the time these toll booths are going up on roads that have already been paid for.
After paying an outrageous amount for gas and after paying the outrageous tolls on many of these toll roads, many Americans wonder if it is even worth it to get up in the morning and go to work.
Unfortunately, a couple of new bills in Congress right now would reportedly allow even more highways to be made into toll roads.
It is almost as if they want to force us all to stop driving our cars.
America used to be the land of the open road, but that era is rapidly coming to an end.
Another thing that could put upward pressure on the price of gas is the situation in the Middle East.
Iran has already stopped selling oil to companies in the UK and France, and there is the potential that war could erupt in the Middle East at any time.
If war does erupt, or if commercial traffic through the Strait of Hormuz was interrupted for even a brief time, that would send the global price of oil through the roof.
Approximately 20 percent of all oil sold in the world passes through the Strait of Hormuz. If the flow of oil was halted, that would change the global economy almost overnight.
So is there any good news?
Well, there is one thing that would likely bring down the price of gas substantially.
A global recession.
Remember what happened back in 2008.
Just like we are seeing right now, the price of gas really spiked early in that year.
Eventually, the price of oil hit an all-time record of $147 a barrel in mid-2008.
But then the financial crisis struck and the price of oil fell like a rock as you can see from the chart below….
So could that happen again?
There are a ton of other parallels between 2008 and 2012.
In both years, we saw global shipping start to slow down dramatically.
In both years, the U.S. was getting ready to hold a presidential election.
In both years, many economists were warning that a great financial crisis was about to strike.
Back in 2008, the epicenter of the financial crisis was on Wall Street.
This time, the epicenter of the financial crisis will probably be in Europe.
Keep your eye on Europe. A disorderly default by Greece (and potentially even an exit from the eurozone) is looking increasingly likely.
But the problems in Europe are not going to end with Greece. The entire eurozone is going to be greatly shaken by the time this thing is over.
So yes, if we see another major global recession that will be great news for the price of gas, but it will be really bad news for the millions of people that lose their jobs and their homes.
Unfortunately, we live at a time when the world is becoming extremely unstable. The great era of peace and prosperity that we have been enjoying is coming to an end. The global financial system is going to experience a tremendous amount of chaos in the years ahead and that is something we will all need to prepare for.
For now, the price of gas is a major concern for millions upon millions of American families.
Someday, however, we will wish desperately that we could go back to these days.
The people out there that believe that the U.S. economy is experiencing a permanent recovery and that very bright days are ahead for us should have their heads examined. Unfortunately, what we are going through right now is simply just a period of “hopetimism” between two financial crashes. Things may seem relatively stable right now, but it won’t last long. The truth is that the financial crisis of 2008 was just a warm up act for the economic horror show that is coming. Nothing really got fixed after the crash of 2008. We are living in the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world, and it has gotten even bigger since then. The “too big to fail” banks are larger now than they have ever been. Americans continue to run up credit card balances like there is no tomorrow. Tens of thousands of manufacturing facilities and millions of jobs continue to leave the country. We continue to consume far more than we produce and we continue to become poorer as a nation. None of the problems that caused the crisis of 2008 have been solved and we are even weaker financially than we were back then. So why in the world are so many people so optimistic about the economy right now?
Just take a look at the chart posted below. It shows the growth of total debt in the United States. During the financial crisis of 2008 there was a little “hiccup”, but the truth is that not much deleveraging really took place at all. And since the recession “ended”, total credit market debt has gone on to even greater heights….
So what does this mean for the future?
Well, if a small “hiccup” in the debt bubble caused so much chaos back in 2008, what is going to happen when this debt bubble finally bursts?
That is something to think about.
Sadly, most Americans seem oblivious to all of this.
If you go out to malls in the wealthy areas of America today, people are charging up a storm. In all, Americans charged a whopping 2.5 trillion dollars on their credit cards during 2011. Way too many people have already forgotten the lessons that we all learned back in 2008.
Of course some Americans pay off their credit cards every month, but way too many Americans are not doing that. Today, Americans are carrying 793 billion dollars in revolving credit balances.
And student loan debt is an even bigger bubble than credit card debt is. As I have written about previously, total student loan debt in America is rapidly approaching a trillion dollars.
So it looks like U.S. consumers have not learned to stay away from debt.
That is not good.
Well, what about the banks?
Has the financial system learned any lessons since 2008?
No, not really.
Sadly, the “too big to fail” banks are now even bigger than ever. The total assets of the six largest U.S. banks increased by 39 percent between September 30, 2006 and September 30, 2011. If they were to fail today, they would be even more of a threat to our financial system than they were back in 2008.
And our major banks continue to be very highly leveraged. In fact, major banks all over the world are absolutely swamped with debt.
The following statistics come from Zero Hedge….
The U.S. banking system is leveraged 13 to 1.
The Japanese banking system is leveraged 23 to 1.
The French banking system is leveraged 26 to 1.
The German banking system is leveraged 32 to 1.
These are insane levels of leverage, and they are just inviting another major financial crisis.
Do you all remember Lehman Brothers? The fact that they were leveraged so highly is what did them in back in 2008. When the value of their holdings declined by just a little bit they were totally wiped out.
Well, during this next financial crisis large financial institutions are going to be wiped out all over the world. Major banks all over the globe are going to be crying out for more bailouts when things take a turn against them.
They are making the exact same mistakes that they made before, and they are going to be expecting more government handouts when things go bad.
Will we ever learn?
So obviously the banking system has not learned any lessons.
What about the federal government?
Well, if you follow my blog regularly, you know that I love to write about how horrific U.S. government debt is.
Unfortunately, over the past four years things have gotten so much worse.
Back in 2008, the U.S. national debt crossed the 10 trillion dollar mark.
Just recently, it crossed the 15 trillion dollar mark.
So now we are in a much weaker position financially to respond to another major financial crisis.
Just check out the chart posted below. This is a recipe for national financial suicide….
During fiscal 2011, the Obama administration stole close to 150 million dollars from our children and our grandchildren every single hour.
At the moment, the legacy of debt that we are passing on to future generations is sitting a grand total of $15,351,406,294,640.49.
But keep in mind that it is going up every single hour.
Meanwhile, our ability to service that debt is declining. We are rapidly getting poorer as a nation.
During 2011, the amount of money that left the United States exceeded the amount of money that entered the United States by more than a half a trillion dollars.
This gap is called a trade deficit, and it is absolutely ripping our economy to shreds.
For a moment, imagine Uncle Sam standing next to a giant pile of money on a map of the United States. Then imagine a half a trillion dollars being taken out of that pile every single year.
So why haven’t we totally run out of money yet?
Well, it is because we borrow those dollars back. In order to maintain our false standard of living, our federal government, our state governments and our local governments have to go out and beg the rest of the world to lend us our dollars back.
Sadly, our government schools have “dumbed-down” the population so much that most of them don’t even know what a “trade deficit” is anymore.
Meanwhile, our economic infrastructure is being gutted like a fish.
Look, I know that I go over this point over and over and over, but it is absolutely imperative that we all understand this.
The half a trillion dollars a year that leaves this country every year could have gone to support businesses and jobs inside the United States.
But instead it is going to support businesses and jobs on the other side of the world.
The consequences of this are absolutely devastating.
According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day closed down in the United States during 2010. Overall, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have shut down since 2001.
Even many so-called “American companies” have been bought up by the rest of the world. The following comes from a recent article posted on Economy In Crisis….
RCA is now a French company, Zenith is a Korean company. Frigidaire is a Swedish company. IBM’s Personal Computer Division—with its 500 patents—is now a Chinese company. Westinghouse Nuclear Energy’s major shareholder is Toshiba—a Japanese Company. Lucent Technologies, a former research division of AT&T, along with all the patents acquired from the beginning of the phone system, is now a French company. In 2008, Brazilian-Belgian brewing company InBev purchased the iconic American brewer Anheuser-Busch, makers of Budweiser. With the sale of these manufacturing companies, the future profit and technologies all belong to foreign entities.
We once had the greatest economic machine in the history of the world.
Now it is being dismantled and bought up by foreigners.
When America’s economic infrastructure declines, that means that there are less jobs available for all of us.
As I wrote about the other day, the employment situation in this country is not getting better and we have never even come close to recovering from the recession that started back in 2008.
During 2008 and 2009, the U.S. economy lost millions of jobs. Since the beginning of 2010, the percentage of the U.S. population that has had a job has remained very stable….
Normally, when a recession ends the percentage of Americans that have a job bounces back pretty dramatically.
So considering the fact that the employment situation has never recovered from the last financial crisis, what is going to happen when the next financial crisis hits?
And most of the jobs that have been “created” during this so-called “recovery” have been low income jobs. In fact, if you look closely at the employment numbers that were released last Friday, you will find that the vast majority of the “new jobs” were part-time jobs.
But you cannot pay a mortgage and support a family on a part-time job.
Sadly, the truth is that median household income in America has been steadily dropping over the past several years. Tens of millions of American families are deeply struggling and more Americans than ever are falling into poverty.
Back in the year 2000, about one out of every nine Americans was living in poverty. Today, about one out of every seven Americans is living in poverty.
All of this is causing a great deal of anxiety in America today. Large numbers of Americans know that something has fundamentally changed, even if they don’t understand the specifics. That is one reason why sites such as this one have become so popular. People want some answers.
And once people get some answers about what is really happening, they tend to want to prepare for the hard times that are coming.
In a few days, a new series on National Geographic entitled “Doomsday Preppers” premieres. The mainstream media is starting to take notice of the growing “prepper” movement in America today. It is estimated that there are at least 2 million “preppers” in the United States at this point. Of course people are “prepping” for a whole host of reasons, but the number one concern among most groups of preppers is the economy.
As the economy crumbles, more Americans than ever have decided that it is not a good thing to be 100% dependent on the system.
Back in 2008 and 2009, millions of Americans suddenly lost their jobs. Because they did not have any finances stored up, large numbers of them also lost their homes. Many went from being solidly middle class to being out on the street in a matter of months.
That doesn’t have to happen to you. Instead of blowing your money on frivolous things, do what you can to set something aside for the difficult times that are on the horizon.
A lot of those “in the know” are quietly making their own preparations. For example, legendary film director James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic and Terminator) has purchased more than 2600 acres of farmland in New Zealand and he is getting out of the U.S. for good apparently.
Unfortunately, most of us do not have the resources for something like that. But what most of us can do is we can change our priorities and start focusing on the things that will help us survive the hard times that are coming.
So are you ready?
On Friday, the entire financial world celebrated when it was announced that the unemployment rate in the United States had fallen to 8.3 percent. That is the lowest it has been since February 2009, and it came as an unexpected surprise for financial markets that are hungry for some good news. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payrolls jumped by 243,000 during the month of January. You can read the full employment report right here. Based on this news, pundits all over the world were declaring that the U.S. economy is back. Stocks continued to rise on Friday and the Dow is hovering near a 4 year high. So does this mean that our economic problems are over? Of course not. A closer look at the numbers reveals just how fraudulent these employment statistics really are. Between December 2011 and January 2012, the number of Americans “not in the labor force” increased by a whopping 1.2 million. That was the largest increase ever in that category for a single month. That is how the federal government is getting the unemployment rate to go down. The government is simply pretending that huge numbers of unemployed Americans don’t want to be part of the labor force anymore. As you will see below, the employment situation in America is not improving. Yet everyone in the mainstream media is dancing around as if the economic crisis has been cancelled. I can’t take it anymore! It is beyond ridiculous that so many intelligent people continue to buy in to such fraudulent numbers.
The truth is that the labor force participation rate declined dramatically in January. For those unfamiliar with this statistic, the labor force participation rate is the percentage of working age Americans that are either employed or that are unemployed and considered to be looking for a job.
As you can see from the chart posted below, the labor force participation rate rose steadily between 1970 and 2000. That happened because large numbers of women were entering the labor force for the first time.
The labor force participation rate peaked at a little more then 67 percent in the late 90s. Between 2000 and the start of the recent recession, it declined slightly to about 66 percent.
Since then, it has been dropping like a rock. The chart below does not even include the latest data. In January, the labor force participation rate was only 63.7 percent. That is the lowest that is has been since May 1983. So keep that in mind as you view the chart.
In reality, the percentage of men and women in the United States that would like to have jobs is almost certainly about the same as it was back in 2007 or 2008. There has been no major social change that would cause large numbers of men or women to want to give up their careers. So there is something very, very fishy with this chart….
The federal government has been pretending that millions of unemployed Americans have decided that they simply do not want jobs anymore.
This does not make sense at all.
The truth is that unemployment is not really declining at all. The percentage of Americans that are working is not increasing. The civilian employment-population ratio dropped like a rock during 2008 and 2009 and it has held very steady since that time.
In January, the civilian employment-population ratio once again held steady at 58.5 percent. This is about where it has been for most of the last two years….
Does that chart look like an “economic recovery” to you?
Of course not.
If the percentage of people that are employed is about the same as it was two years ago, does that represent an improvement?
Of course not.
If the employment situation in America was getting better, the civilian employment-population ratio would be bouncing back.
We should be thankful that our economy is not free falling like it was during 2008 and 2009, but we also need to understand why things have stabilized.
The federal government is spending money like there is no tomorrow. During 2011, the Obama administration stole an average of about 150 million dollars an hour from our children and our grandchildren and pumped it into the economy. Even though the Obama administration spent that money on a lot of frivolous things, it still got into the pockets of average Americans who in turn went out and spent it on food, gas, clothes and other things.
Without all of this reckless government spending, we would not be able to continue to live way above our means and our economic problems would be a lot worse.
But even with the federal government borrowing and spending unprecedented amount of money, and even with interest rates at record lows, our economy is still deeply struggling. Just consider the following facts….
-New home sales in the United States hit a brand new all-time record low during 2011.
-The average duration of unemployment in America is close to an all-time record high.
-The percentage of Americans living in “extreme poverty” is at an all-time high.
-The number of Americans on food stamps recently hit a new all-time high.
-According to the Census Bureau, an all-time record 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that gets direct monetary benefits from the federal government. Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.
So let’s not get too excited about the economy.
Yes, things have somewhat stabilized. The percentage of Americans that have jobs is about the same as it was two years ago. Considering how rapidly jobs are being shipped out of the United States, that is a good thing.
Enjoy this false bubble of hope while you can. Things are about to get a lot worse.
Do you remember how rapidly things fell apart after the financial crisis of 2008?
Well, another major financial crisis is on the way. This time it is going to be centered in Europe initially, but it is going to spread all around the globe just like the last one did.
As the charts above show, we have never even come close to recovering from the last recession, and another one is on the way.
So how bad are things going to get after the next wave of the financial crisis hits us?
That is something that we should all be thinking about.
Have you ever watched a football game or a basketball game where one team dominates the other team so badly that calling it a “blowout” would be a huge understatement? Well, that is what China is doing to the United States. China is absolutely destroying America on the global economic stage. Once upon a time, the Chinese economy was a joke and the U.S. economy was the most powerful the world had ever seen. But over the past couple of decades the U.S. economy has decayed and declined while the Chinese economy has skyrocketed. Today, China makes more steel, more automobiles, more beer, more cotton, more coal and more solar panels than we do. China has the fastest train in the world, the fastest computer in the world and they export twice as much high-tech equipment as we do. In 2011, our trade deficit with China was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world, and China has now accumulated more than 3 trillion dollars in foreign currency reserves. Every single day, we lose more jobs, more businesses and more of our national wealth to China. In technical economic terms, China has “taken us out behind the woodshed” and has beaten the living daylights out of us. Unfortunately, most Americans are so addicted to entertainment that they don’t even realize what is happening.
If you do not believe that China is wiping the floor with America in front of the rest of the world, just keep reading. The following are 47 signs that China is absolutely destroying America on the global economic stage….
#1 Back in 1998, the United States had 25 percent of the world’s high-tech export market and China had just 10 percent. Today, China’s high-tech exports are more than twice the size of U.S. high-tech exports.
#2 America has lost more than a quarter of all of its high-tech manufacturing jobs over the past ten years.
#3 The Chinese economy has grown 7 times faster than the U.S. economy has over the past decade.
#4 In 2010, China produced more than twice as many automobiles as the United States did.
#5 In 2010, China produced 627 million metric tons of steel. The United States only produced 80 million metric tons of steel.
#6 In 2010, China produced 7.3 million metric tons of cotton. The United States only produced 3.4 million metric tons of cotton.
#7 China produced 19.8 percent of all the goods consumed in the world during 2010. The United States only produced 19.4 percent.
#8 During 2010, we spent $365 billion on goods and services from China while they only spent $92 billion on goods and services from us.
#9 In 1985, the U.S. trade deficit with China was 6 million dollars for the entire year. The final U.S. trade deficit with China for 2011 will be very close to 300 billion dollars. That will be the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.
#10 The U.S. trade deficit with China is now 28 times larger than it was back in 1990.
#11 Since China entered the WTO in 2001, the U.S. trade deficit with China has grown by an average of 18% per year.
#12 According to the New York Times, a Jeep Grand Cherokee that costs $27,490 in the United States costs about $85,000 in China.
#13 According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.
#14 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
#15 The United States had been the leading consumer of energy on the globe for about 100 years, but during the summer of 2010 China took over the number one spot.
#16 15 years ago, China was 14th in the world in published scientific research articles. But now, China is expected to pass the United States and become number one very shortly.
#17 China is also expected to soon become the global leader in patent filings.
#18 In 2009, the United States ranked dead last of the 40 nations examined by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation when it came to “change” in “global innovation-based competitiveness” over the previous ten years.
#19 China now awards more doctoral degrees in engineering each year than the United States does.
#20 China now possesses the fastest supercomputer on the entire planet.
#21 China now has the world’s fastest train and the world’s most extensive high-speed rail network.
#22 The construction of the new $200 million African Union headquarters was funded by China.
#23 Today, China produces nearly twice as much beer as the United States does.
#24 85 percent of all artificial Christmas trees are made in China.
#25 Amazingly, China now consumes 53 percent of the world’s cement.
#26 There are more pigs in China than in the next 43 pork producing nations combined.
#27 China is now the number one producer of wind and solar power on the entire globe.
#28 Chinese solar panel production was about 50 times larger in 2010 than it was in 2005.
#29 Right now, China is producing more than three times as much coal as the United States does.
#30 China controls over 90 percent of the total global supply of rare earth elements.
#31 China is now the number one supplier of components that are critical to the operation of U.S. defense systems.
#32 According to author Clyde Prestowitz, China’s number one export to the U.S. is computer equipment. According to an article in U.S. News & World Report, during 2010 the number one U.S. export to China was “scrap and trash”.
#33 The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
#34 Back in the year 2000, more than 20 percent of all jobs in America were manufacturing jobs. Today, only about 5 percent of all jobs in America are manufacturing jobs.
#35 Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.
#36 The average household debt load in the United States is 136% of average household income. In China, the average household debt load is 17% of average household income.
#37 The new World Trade Center tower is going to be made with imported glass from China.
#38 The new MLK memorial on the National Mall was made in China.
#39 A Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted a while back found that 61 percent of all Americans consider China to be a threat to our jobs and economic security.
#40 According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day closed down in the United States during 2010.
#41 Overall, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have shut down since 2001.
#42 According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent out of the country over the next two decades.
#43 Over the past several decades, China has been able to accumulate approximately 3 trillion dollars in foreign currency reserves, and the U.S. government now owes China close to 1.5 trillion dollars.
#44 According to the IMF, China will pass the United States and will become the largest economy in the world in 2016.
#45 According to one prominent economist, the Chinese economy already has roughly the same amount of purchasing power as the U.S. economy does.
#46 According to Stanford University economics professor Ed Lazear, if the U.S. economy and the Chinese economy continue to grow at current rates, the average Chinese citizen will be wealthier than the average American citizen in just 30 years.
#47 Nobel economist Robert W. Fogel of the University of Chicago is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040 if current trends continue.
If the global economy was a game, America would be losing very badly and China would have all the momentum.
Unfortunately, the global economy is not a game. Very real businesses and very real jobs are affected by this every single day.
Barack Obama keeps talking about how “the economy is improving“, but the reality is that we have never even gotten close to where we were back before the financial crisis of 2008.
The following chart (which I pulled off a Fed website today) shows the average duration of unemployment in America. Does this look like an economic recovery to you?….
The Obama administration tells us that the official unemployment rate is only 8.5 percent, but that is a joke. Even the Congressional Budget Office admits that the official unemployment rate should actually be somewhere up around 10 percent.
But the real story is the number of long-term unemployed workers we have in America today.
According to the Hamilton Project, approximately 53 percent of all unemployed workers in the state of Florida were out of work for more than six months during 2011.
But Barack Obama seems absolutely amazed that there are still so many unemployed people out there during his “economic recovery”. Just check out the following interaction that took place between Obama and one concerned wife during a recent appearance by Obama on Google+….
“Can I ask you what kind of engineer your husband is?,” Obama said to the wife of the unemployed engineer.
“He’s a semiconductor engineer,” she responded.
“It is interesting to me — and I meant what I said if your send me your husband’s resume, I’d be interested in finding out exactly what’s happening right there because the word that we’re getting is that somebody in that type of high-tech field, that kind of engineer, should be able to find something right away.”
Obama does not realize that it is not so simple to “find something right away” in this economy.
We have been shipping high-tech jobs overseas at a blistering pace. The jobs simply are not there anymore.
In Europe, unemployment is even worse. Just check out this chart which shows what has been happening to youth unemployment in Europe recently.
In both the United States and Europe, a great disconnect has taken place. Just because big corporations in the U.S. and in Europe are doing well, that does not mean that they are going to provide good jobs for workers in the U.S. and in Europe.
These days, it is way too easy for big corporations to ship jobs over to places like China where it is perfectly legal to pay workers slave labor wages.
So unless something changes, that means that from now on there will be chronic structural unemployment problems in the United States.
That also means that the number of Americans dependent on the government is going to continue to increase.
And unfortunately, there are signs that the economy is about to experience another downturn. Consumer confidence in the U.S. is falling once again. The Baltic Dry Index, which is often used as a measure of the health of the world economy, has fallen more than 60 percent since October.
Perhaps most importantly of all, Europe is heading into a recession and several European nations are already experiencing depression-like conditions.
Considering the fact that half of all global trade involves Europe in some manner, that is not a good thing for us.
So if you have a job right now, you might want to hold on to it tightly. Jobs are precious commodities at the moment, and they are going to become even more scarce in the years ahead.
When the sun goes down every night, America becomes a very frightening place. There are communities all over the country where drug dealing, human trafficking and gang violence have gotten so out of control that authorities don’t really know what to do about it. In America tonight, thousands of meth heads will break into homes as they desperately search for enough money for another hit. In America tonight, thousands of children will be sold for sex at truck stops and on street corners. In America tonight, millions of criminal predators will be searching for a new victim. From the top levels of the federal government all the way down to the most depraved criminals on the street, America is rotting. Once upon a time our tremendous affluence masked the moral decay that was happening in this nation, but now that the economy is falling apart the damage to the fabric of our society is being revealed. We have become a nation of addicts, junkies, thrill seekers and predators. When we finally see the U.S. economy fully collapse, millions of desperate, angry and depraved monsters will take out their sick frustrations on all the rest of us.
It isn’t talked a lot about anymore, but the meth epidemic in America is getting worse. According to PBS, there are approximately 1.4 million meth users in America. Meth is unbelievable addictive and it can absolutely destroy your life. If you doubt this, just check out these before and after pictures.
Sadly, there are indications that meth use is on the rise once again. According to the DEA, meth seizures increased from 2,839 in 2007 to 6,168 in 2010.
When you take meth, it can literally make you crazy. The following is from a recent USA Today article….
A mother in Bakersfield, California, was sentenced Tuesday for stabbing her newborn while in a meth rage. An Oklahoma woman drowned her baby in a washing machine in November. A New Mexico woman claiming to be God stabbed her son with a screwdriver last month, saying, “God wants him dead.”
Large numbers of meth addicts turn into thieves when they run out of money. Often, they will steal just about anything they can in order to get money for their next hit. Some things that meth addicts have stolen recently include agricultural plumbing, copper wiring and lawn sprinklers.
And making meth can be extremely dangerous as well. U.S. hospitals are filled with thousands and thousands of uninsured burn patients that were horribly burned while trying to make “shake and bake” meth.
The following comes from a recent Daily Mail article….
It is filling hospitals with thousands of uninsured burn patients requiring millions of dollars in advanced treatment – a burden so costly that it is contributing to the closure of some burns units.
So-called ‘shake-and-bake’ meth is produced by combining raw, unstable ingredients in a two-litre bottle.
But if the person mixing the noxious brew makes the slightest error, such as removing the cap too soon or accidentally perforating the plastic, the concoction can explode, searing flesh and causing permanent disfigurement, blindness or even death.
A survey of key hospitals in America’s most-active meth states showed that up to a third of patients in some burns units were hurt while making meth, and most were uninsured.
But of course meth is just one of the highly addictive drugs that are plaguing our youth. There are many other nightmarish drugs that could also be discussed. Nearly every community in America is dealing with some sort of a drug problem, and despite the “war on drugs” this crisis just seems to keep getting worse every single year.
Perhaps even more alarming is the rise of human trafficking in America.
When I was going through school, I was taught that slavery had been abolished in the United States.
But that was a lie.
Right now, thousands upon thousands of Americans are living as slaves. Most of them are sex slaves. As you read this, there are women all over America that are literally chained to beds in dark rooms where men pay their “owners” to have sex with them.
The following stats about human trafficking come from a recent Detroit Free Press article….
• Human trafficking is a $32-billion industry worldwide.
• Up to 2 million people are trafficked worldwide every year. Of those, 15,000-18,000 are in the U.S.
• Eight in 10 human trafficking cases involve the sex industry; the others involve labor trafficking.
• In 2010, 2,515 human trafficking cases were under investigation in the U.S.
• Eighty-three percent of victims in confirmed sex trafficking cases in the U.S. in 2010 were American citizens
Many Americans would be absolutely horrified to learn what goes on behind closed doors in America.
All over the nation tonight, vicious monsters will be selling or “renting” young children to other vicious monsters for sex.
The following story of one human trafficking victim comes from a recent Fox News article….
Today, Keisha Head is a wife and mother of three. But more than decade ago, she was the victim of a notorious human trafficker.
At 16-years old, Head says she was being sold on the streets of Atlanta for sex.
“I did not know that a normal, average man who was a preacher, who was a lawyer, who was a senator – could turn into this monster,” Head said. “That is the scariest moment when you are amongst people who claim to be normal yet they purchase you and they turn into these monsters. They rape you. They beat you. And then act as if they’re normal. These are not your normal pedophiles.”
When you push morality out of the schools and out of public life, this is the kind of thing that starts happening.
Thousands upon thousands of other women “work for themselves” on the streets of America. Some are willing to let strangers have sex with them for next to nothing.
For example, one woman in Los Angeles was recently arrested for approaching customers at one McDonald’s and offering sexual favors in exchange for Chicken McNuggets.
A lot of really weird stuff happens in America after dark.
As the economy has crumbled, thieves all over the country have become increasingly bold and increasingly desperate.
The following are just a few recent examples….
*In Fresno, California the damage caused by thieves stealing copper wire from city street lights is costing the city approximately $50,000 a month. So far, about 2,500 street lights have been stripped of their wiring.
*In northern Alabama, one group of crooks has been using a forklift to pull entire ATM machines out of the ground.
*A while back, a team of ambitious thieves in Pennsylvania actually stole an entire 50 foot long bridge.
Other crimes are committed by members of the government. In Chicago, the bodies of poor people that don’t have enough money to bury themselves are being treated with absolutely no respect at all by government officials. Just check out what Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says that he found….
“Babies are buried 10, 15 to a box. They’re buried in there with animal remains. They’re buried in there with arms and legs from body parts they found during the course of the year. It is not anything that our county or society should ever sit there and say is acceptable”
Can you imagine that?
What kind of a monster would do such a thing?
Of course I could go on for ages about the sick corruption of our government officials, but that will have to be left for another day.
For now, I want to focus on another rising problem in our society. As I wrote about the other day, the FBI says that there are now 1.4 million gang members living inside the United States. That number has risen by an astounding 40 percent since 2009.
Nearly every major U.S. city has areas that are essentially “owned” by gangs. Some of these gangs are the size of small armies. For example, it is estimated that the Latin Kings have 18,000 members in the city of Chicago alone.
When civil unrest erupts in America, these organized groups of criminal predators will have a field day. Even now, law enforcement authorities in many areas of the country are having an incredibly difficult time trying to contain them.
As things fall apart all around us, an increasing number of Americans are coming to the realization that they are not going to be able to depend on someone else to defend themselves and their families.
Perhaps that is why the American people stocked up on firearms at an astounding rate during 2011.
In some areas of the country, a firefight can potentially erupt just about at any time. The following is from an article that was recently posted on standwitharizona.com….
Barbed wire fencing doesn’t keep illegal aliens off the property anymore. One Starr County, TX rancher doesn’t have time to worry about the illegals these days. He now worries about the smugglers protecting their loads.
“I don’t think they would have any conscience of taking someone’s life,” the rancher says.
He saw that will to kill firsthand. A smuggler shot at him on his own land.
“One round was fired at me, and it missed my head by about two feet,” says the rancher.
He says there’s only way to react.
“Fire all the rounds you have, reload, and do it again,” says the rancher.
We don’t do ourselves any favors by pretending that America is going to somehow turn around and become the safe, friendly place that it used to be.
There are millions of criminal predators in this country today that have little or no conscience. They don’t care about you, your spouse or your children. All they care about is feeding their addictions.
In the months and years to come, the economy is going to get worse. As it does, all of those predators are going to become even more desperate.
Desperate people do desperate things.
America is going to become a very frightening place. But instead of curling up into a ball and crying about it, the better response is to be strong and courageous and to get prepared the best that you can.
2012 is shaping up to be a very tough year for the global economy. All over the world there are signs that economic activity is significantly slowing down. Many of these signs are detailed later on in this article. But most people don’t understand what is happening because they don’t put all of the pieces together. If you just look at one or two pieces of data, it may not seem that impressive. But when you examine all of the pieces of evidence that we are on the verge of a devastating global recession all at once, it paints a very frightening picture. Asia is slowing down, Europe is slowing down and there are lots of trouble signs for the U.S. economy. It has gotten to a point where the global debt crisis is almost ready to boil over, and nobody is quite sure what is going to happen next. The last global recession was absolutely nightmarish, and we should all hope that we don’t see another one like that any time soon. Unfortunately, things do not look good at this point.
The following are 22 signs that we are on the verge of a devastating global recession….
#1 On Thursday it was announced that U.S. jobless claims had soared to a six-week high.
#2 Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, has filed for bankruptcy protection.
#3 Sears recently announced that somewhere between 100 and 120 Sears and Kmart stores will be closing, and Sears stock has fallen nearly 60% in just the past year.
#4 Over the past 12 months, dozens of prominent retailers have closed stores all over America, and one consulting firm is projecting that there will be more than 5,000 more store closings in 2012.
#5 Richard Bove, an analyst at Rochdale Securities, is projecting that the global financial industry will lose approximately 150,000 jobs over the next 12 to 18 months.
#6 Investors are pulling money out of the stock market at a rapid pace right now. In fact, as an article posted on CNBC recently noted, investors pulled more money out of mutual funds than they put into mutual funds for 9 weeks in a row. Are there some people out there that are quietly repositioning their money for tough times ahead?….
Investors yanked money out of U.S. equity mutual funds for a ninth-consecutive week despite a bullish 2012 outlook from Wall Street and a December rally that’s carried over into the New Year.
#7 There are signs that the Chinese economy is seriously slowing down. The following comes from a recent article in the Guardian….
Growth had slowed to an annual rate of 1.5% in the second and third quarters of 2011, below the “stall speed” that historically led to recession.
#8 The Bank of Japan says that the economic recovery in that country “has paused“.
#9 Manufacturing activity in the euro zone has fallen for five months in a row.
#10 Germany’s economy actually contracted during the 4th quarter of 2011. At this point many economists believe that Germany is already experiencing a recession.
#11 According to a recent article by Bloomberg, it is being projected that the French economy is heading into a recession….
The French economy will shrink this quarter and next, suggesting the nation is in a recession as investment and consumer spending stagnate, national statistics office Insee said.
#12 There are a multitude of statistics that indicate that the UK economy is definitely slowing down.
#13 The credit ratings of Italy, Spain, Portugal, France and Austria all just got downgraded.
#14 It is being reported that the Spanish economy contracted during the 4th quarter of 2011.
#15 Bad loans in Spain recently hit a 17-year high and the unemployment rate is at a 15-year high.
#16 According to a recent article in the Telegraph, the Italian government is forecasting that there will be a recession for the Italian economy in 2012….
The Italian government predicts GDP will contract 0.4pc next year, but many economists fear the figure is optimistic.
“We can say without mincing words that we have already slipped into recession,” said Intesa Sanpaolo analyst Paolo Mameli. “We expect GDP to keep contracting for the next 3-4 quarters.”
#17 Italy’s youth unemployment rate has hit the highest level ever.
#18 The unemployment rate in Greece for those under the age of 24 is now at 39 percent.
#19 Greece is already experiencing a full-blown economic depression. About a third of the country is now living in poverty and extreme medicine shortages are being reported. Things have gotten so bad that entire families are being ripped apart. According to the Daily Mail, hundreds of Greek children are being abandoned because the economy has gotten so bad that their parents simply cannot afford to take care of them anymore. The note that one mother left with her child was absolutely heartbreaking….
One mother, it said, ran away after handing over her two-year-old daughter Natasha.
Four-year-old Anna was found by a teacher clutching a note that read: ‘I will not be coming to pick up Anna today because I cannot afford to look after her. Please take good care of her. Sorry.’
#20 In Greece, large numbers of people are simply giving up on life. Sadly, the number of suicides in Greece has increased by 40 percent in just the past year.
#21 In many European countries, the money supply continues to contract rapidly. The following comes from a recent article in the Telegraph….
Simon Ward from Henderson Global Investors said “narrow” M1 money – which includes cash and overnight deposits, and signals short-term spending plans – shows an alarming split between North and South.
While real M1 deposits are still holding up in the German bloc, the rate of fall over the last six months (annualised) has been 20.7pc in Greece, 16.3pc in Portugal, 11.8pc in Ireland, and 8.1pc in Spain, and 6.7pc in Italy. The pace of decline in Italy has been accelerating, partly due to capital flight. “This rate of contraction is greater than in early 2008 and implies an even deeper recession, both for Italy and the whole periphery,” said Mr Ward.
#22 The major industrialized nations of the world must roll over trillions upon trillions of dollars in debt during 2012. At a time when credit is becoming much tighter, this is going to be quite a challenge. The following list compiled by Bloomberg shows the amount of debt that some large nations must roll over in 2012….
Japan: 3,000 billion
U.S.: 2,783 billion
Italy: 428 billion
France: 367 billion
Germany: 285 billion
Canada: 221 billion
Brazil: 169 billion
U.K.: 165 billion
China: 121 billion
India: 57 billion
Russia: 13 billion
Keep in mind that those numbers do not include any new borrowing. Those are just old debts that must be refinanced.
As I mentioned at the top of this article, things do not look good.
The last thing that we need is another devastating global recession.
As I wrote about yesterday, the U.S. economy is in the midst of a nightmarish long-term decline. The last major global recession helped to significantly accelerate that decline.
So what will happen if this next global recession is worse than the last one?
Sadly, the people that will get hurt the most by another recession will not be the wealthy.
The people that will get hurt the most will be the poor and the middle class.
So what should all of us be doing about this?
We should use the time during this “calm before the storm” to prepare for the hard times that are coming.
As always, let us hope for the best and let us prepare for the worst.
But things certainly do not look promising for the global economy in 2012.