Could you imagine being kidnapped, being auctioned off like a piece of meat, and being endlessly gang-raped every day by some of the most evil men on the entire planet for months on end? This is what ISIS is doing to thousands upon thousands of women in Iraq and Syria, and some of their victims are as young as nine. The things that I am about to share with you are almost too nightmarish for words, but it is imperative that we understand what is going on. When ISIS conquers an area that is not Muslim, they believe that they can do whatever they want to the women because they are “infidels”. So innocent young women are being treated in some of the most horrible ways imaginable, and most of the rest of the world looks on with indifference. But of course what ISIS is doing is just the tip of a very big global iceberg. As you will see below, there are tens of millions of slaves in our world today, and sexual exploitation is involved in approximately 80 percent of those cases.
I came across a Daily Mail article earlier today that detailed what ISIS did to a young Yazidi woman named Khalida. When she was captured, she was brought to one of those infamous “auctions” where members of ISIS buy and sell women like trading cards…
A Yazidi woman sold as a sex-slave eight times by an ISIS jihadi says she was put on parade like she was being picked out in a ‘car showroom’.
Khalida, 20, was kidnapped and taken to Raqqa where she was put on display in a ‘meat market’ where women are purchased for as little as a mobile phone, or simply given away as ‘gifts’.
The most beautiful women are put into a separate ‘VIP’ room where leaders can take their time choosing their favourite three or four girls each.
Khalida and her sister were purchased initially by a very sick old man with a white beard that kept them locked away in a small room. From time to time he would rape them, and then afterwards his wife would beat them for “tempting” her husband.
Later she was sold to other owners, and she was gang-raped by ISIS fighters multiple times. Here is more of her story from the Daily Mail…
Raped up to three times a day her ‘slave master’ or gang-raped by groups of ISIS fighters, this quiet young woman was bought and sold by eight different men – each more brutal, callous and perverted than the last.
She told MailOnline she was force-fed contraceptive pills and once taken to hospital for a contraceptive injection after she was rendered unconscious by one particularly brutal gang rape.
‘They [ISIS] did not want me get pregnant, especially if there was more than one man because they would not know who the father of the baby was,’ she said.
This is going on day after day in the Middle East, and yet it doesn’t make a lot of headlines in the western world.
Perhaps we think that if we can ignore what is happening to them that we are justified in not doing anything about it.
Next, let me share with you the story of Nadia Murad. She was just 19 when ISIS conquered her town, and she saw ISIS kill all of the males in her family right in front of her eyes…
Murad and her mother and sisters watched out of the window, along with hundreds of other women and children from the Yazidi village of Kocho, as ISIS slaughtered their men and boys. “We could see outside—they were shooting the men and they were beheading them as well. They were also taking them away in buses.
“My six brothers were killed in this way.”
In the western world, we tend to think that such things could never happen to us. But in my new book I discuss how Christians all over the globe are eventually going to be facing this kind of persecution.
If you are under the illusion that you are somehow going to be exempt from all this, then you are going to be in for one heck of a wake up call.
After Nadia Murad watched ISIS butcher her family members, she was sold 13 different times, and her various “owners” were incredibly brutal…
I first met Murad in July last year, four months after she managed to escape from her captors in Mosul. She visited the UK with two other former captives and former Iraqi MP Ameena Hasan Saeed, who helped to smuggle her out of the Islamic State. Speaking anonymously, she described in blistering detail how she was abused, raped, and sold through the ranks of ISIS troops, enduring a total of eight months in captivity and 13 owners who kept her locked up, starved and disorientated.
At the time, she showed me scars from cigarette butts burnt into her skin by the fighters who worked for her first owner, a commander called Salman. He had his men gang rape her after her first disastrous attempt at escaping. “I found a small window so I climbed out and jumped from the second story, but one of Salman’s guards found me and brought be back to him. I could have died jumping, and after that I wished I had.”
I don’t know how anyone can read these stories without having an emotional reaction.
Just imagine if this was happening to your wife or your daughter. How would you feel?
Unfortunately, even if ISIS could somehow be wiped off the face of the planet tomorrow, that would only put a very, very tiny dent in the overall problem of sex slavery in our world. The following are 11 facts about human trafficking that come from dosomething.org…
1. Globally, the average cost of a slave is $90.
2. Trafficking primarily involves exploitation which comes in many forms, including: forcing victims into prostitution, subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude and compelling victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography.
3. According to some estimates, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation.
4. There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today.
5. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children.
6. The average age a teen enters the sex trade in the U.S. is 12 to 14-year-old. Many victims are runaway girls who were sexually abused as children.
7. California harbors 3 of the FBI’s 13 highest child sex trafficking areas on the nation: Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.
8. The National Human Trafficking Hotline receives more calls from Texas than any other state in the US. 15% of those calls are from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
9. Between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year.
10. Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry (behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking). It reportedly generates a profit of $32 billion every year. Of that number, $15.5 billion is made in industrialized countries.
11. The International Labour Organization estimates that women and girls represent the largest share of forced labor victims with 11.4 million trafficked victims (55%) compared to 9.5 million (45%) men.
To me, those numbers are absolutely staggering.
Most people tend to think of slavery as something that happened in less civilized times, but the truth is that it has been estimated that there are more slaves in our world today than ever before in human history.
We live in a world that is absolutely brimming with evil. This is something that those that believe that people are “generally good” and that humanity has a “bright future” really struggle with.
If humans are “generally good” and we really have advanced so dramatically over their centuries, then why are there more slaves in the world today than ever before and why do we see so much evil all around us?
The answer to that question reveals a lot more about someone than you might think.
If you would like to take a shot at that question, please feel free to share what you think by leaving a comment below…
*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*
Did you know that 89 percent of all minimum wage workers in the United States are not teens? At this point, the average age of a minimum wage worker in this country is 36, and 56 percent of them are women. Millions upon millions of Americans are working as hard as they can (often that means two or three jobs), and yet despite all of their hard work they still find themselves mired in poverty. One of the big reasons for this is that we have created two classes of workers in the United States. “Full-time workers” are entitled to an array of benefits and protections by law that “part-time workers” do not get. And thanks to perverse incentives contained in Obamacare and other ridiculous laws, we have motivated employers to move as many workers from the “full-time” category to the “part-time” category as possible. It may be hard to believe, but right now only 44 percent of all U.S. adults are employed for 30 or more hours each week. But to get any kind of a job at all is a real challenge in many parts of the country today. As you read this article, there are more than 100 million working age Americans that are not employed in any capacity. And according to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if the federal government was actually using honest numbers the unemployment rate would be sitting at 23 percent. That is not an “employment recovery” – that is a national crisis.
The following infographic comes from the Economic Policy Institute. I certainly do not agree with a lot of the things that the Economic Policy Institute stands for, but I think that these numbers do accurately reflect what “part-time America” looks like today…
So what is the solution to this problem?
Most Democrats believe that raising the minimum wage would fix this. But as Zero Hedge has pointed out, it isn’t quite that simple…
Last week, we noted that Democratic lawmakers in the US are pushing for what they call “$12 by ’20” which, as the name implies, is an effort to raise the minimum wage to $12/hour over the course of the next five years. Republicans argue that if Democrats got their wish and the pay floor were increased by nearly 70%, it would do more harm than good for low-income Americans as the number of jobs that would be lost as a result of employers cutting back in the face of dramatically higher labor costs would offset the benefit that accrues to the workers who are lucky enough to keep their jobs.
Yes, raising the minimum wage would make life better for many minimum wage workers in America. But a large number of them would also lose their jobs completely, and a lot of small businesses would deeply suffer financially.
Ideally, what we would love to see happen is for the U.S. economy to be producing so many good jobs that the only people that are looking for entry-level part-time jobs would be teens, people just starting out in the workforce, etc. Back when I was a teen, I remember walking into a McDonald’s and getting hired on the spot because they were in dire need of workers. Sadly, those days are long, long gone.
Over the past several decades, millions of good paying American jobs have been shipped overseas, and millions more have been lost to advancing technology. And as I wrote about the other day, Barack Obama is deeply betraying American workers by working on a global economic treaty that would destroy millions more good paying jobs.
Thanks to the foolishness of our politicians, there is now intense competition even for minimum wage jobs at this point.
We keep hearing about an “employment recovery”, but it is a giant lie. Posted below is a chart of the civilian employment to population ratio. As you can see, the percentage of the working age population that is actually employed is much, much lower than it used to be…
In recent months, we have seen the employment-population ratio move slightly higher. But can this be called “an employment recovery”? Of course not. We are still way, way below the level that we were at just prior to the last recession, and now the next recession is just about upon us.
Meanwhile, the quality of our jobs continues to decline as more Americans are being pushed into “part-time work” with each passing year.
Since February of 2008, the size of the U.S. population has grown by 16.8 million people. But during that same time frame, the number of full-time jobs in this country has actually decreased.
And at this point, the majority of American workers simply do not make enough money to support a middle class family. The following income numbers come directly from the Social Security Administration…
-39 percent of American workers make less than $20,000 a year.
-52 percent of American workers make less than $30,000 a year.
-63 percent of American workers make less than $40,000 a year.
-72 percent of American workers make less than $50,000 a year.
Are you starting to see why I am so fired up about all of this?
We have developed a business culture in this country which does not care about workers. In business schools all over America, future executives are taught that a corporation only has one goal – to maximize wealth for the shareholders. Taking care of those that are part of your team is treated as an afterthought at best.
As corporations have gotten bigger, they have shown less and less concern for those that work for them. These days, employees are generally regarded as “expensive liabilities” that are to be discarded the moment that their usefulness has come to an end. And news of layoffs is often rewarded by Wall Street by a surge in the stock prices of the companies making those layoffs.
In the old days, more businesses in America were family-owned, and employees were often regarded as almost “part of the family”. Unfortunately, those days have disappeared forever.
Now, employees are treated like scum by many big companies, and if they don’t like how they are being treated they are told that they can leave. For example, just consider what was going on at a security company down in Florida…
Jose Molero worked as a site inspector for the company, which provides security for neighborhoods and companies across the country, for more than a year.
Molero says when he went to the Kensington Golf and Country Club guardhouse, he found wooden paddles on a desk, some with staff names on them and one reading “for staff discipline.”
He says there was also what is called a “Wall of Shame,” where the supervisor points out and posts reports that contain grammatical errors.
When Molero complained about these things to his district manager, he was told that if anyone was offended “maybe they shouldn’t work here”…
Molero contacted his operations manager, who told him to speak with the district manager. He says the district manager sent him an email response that said, “if that hurts their feelings then maybe they shouldn’t work here.”
Do you have a similar horror story to share?
Most of us do.
The U.S. economy is absolutely dominated by cold, heartless corporations that have no interest in listening to the little guy. If they could find a way to do it, many of them would operate with no low-level employees at all. And as technology continues to advance, they will replace as many of us as they can with robots, drones, machines and computers.
I’ll be honest with you – the future for workers in America looks really bleak. The competition for any jobs that can’t be shipped overseas or replaced by technology is going to become even more heated. This means that the middle class is going to get even smaller, the number of Americans dependent on the government is going to continue to explode, and the disparity between the wealthy and the poor is going to become even greater.
So what is the solution to this giant mess? Please feel free to tell us what you think by posting a comment below…
Saudi Arabia and Egypt stand poised to conduct a massive ground invasion of Yemen, and the western media will be full of tales about how “Operation Decisive Storm” is liberating that country from the evil Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. And without a doubt, the Houthis are bad guys and so are their Iranian benefactors. But don’t be fooled into thinking that the war in Yemen is a battle of good vs. evil. The truth is that the conflict in Yemen is actually a proxy war between two sets of bad guys that both ultimately plan for Islam to take over the entire planet. On one side, the Iranians are very honest about the fact that they view us as an enemy, and they plan to impose their version of radical Shia Islam worldwide as soon as they can. On the other side, the Saudis pretend to be our friends, but they don’t hide the fact that they believe that their version of Sunni Islam will eventually rule the world. And their version of Sunni Islam includes constant beheadings, the destruction of all churches and the death penalty for anyone caught smuggling a Bible into Saudi territory. At the end of the day, there is very little difference between the Saudis and ISIS. In fact, ISIS gets a lot of funding from Saudi sources, and there is more support for ISIS on Twitter from Saudi Arabia than from anywhere else. Saudi Arabia is a horribly repressive regime where women are treated like dirt, where the secret police conduct a never ending reign of terror and where even a minor deviation from sharia law can mean the loss of a limb. But because our politicians and the mainstream media constantly tell us that they are “our friends”, we cheer them on.
It is being reported that the Saudis have mobilized 150,000 troops for a ground invasion of Yemen, and Egypt says that it is ready to contribute a very large force as well. The Saudis simply were not going to just sit back and watch as pro-Iranian forces took total control of their neighbor. The following is how the Telegraph recently described what the Iranians have been up to in Yemen for the past several years…
For the past four years the Quds force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have been smuggling weapons to the Houthis, as well as providing expert military training, with the result that the Shia Houthi militia finally succeeded in seizing control of the capital Sana’a last year, forcing the Western-backed president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, to seek refuge in Aden.
Last week it was claimed that Tehran was increasing its support for the Houthis with the delivery of a 185 ton shipment of weapons and other military equipment.
This is how Iran likes to fight wars. They like to fund and arm proxy organizations that will do their fighting for them. That way they don’t have to get their hands messy or risk direct retaliation. Hezbollah is a prime example of this.
And the Iranians were winning in Yemen. In fact, they were on the verge of complete and total victory.
So the Saudis felt forced to step in. The Saudis don’t like to fight their own wars either, but in this instance they felt there was no other choice.
But let there be no misunderstanding. This is not a conflict between Saudi Arabia and some rebel group in Yemen. This is part of an ongoing war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and at this point relations between the two nations are at an all-time low…
“The Saudis were caught off guard by how quick and aggressive the Houthi offensive was and felt they needed a sharp and immediate response,” geopolitical expert Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia group, told Business Insider over email. “They didn’t want Iran to think they needed Egypt or anyone else to come rescue the Kingdom. This is the worst tension we’ve seen between Iran and Saudi Arabia, period.”
And of course Yemen is far from the only front in this war.
For instance, Saudi-backed fighters “are poised for a massive battle” with Iranian-backed Hezbollah fighters on the Syria-Lebanon border…
Islamist forces armed and aided by Saudi Arabia are poised for a massive battle in the coming days targeting the Syrian regime and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah organization, according to Egyptian security officials speaking to WND.
The officials said the Saudis have directed the Islamist forces, including the Al Nusra Front, to lead an imminent counterinsurgency focusing on the Syria-Lebanon border, with particular emphasis on the Qalamoun region.
Qalamoun is a strategic site that serves as a supply line to Damascus from Lebanon. Control of the area would give the rebels a base of operations to target Damascus.
In the western media, this ongoing conflict is being characterized as a conflict between “good” Saudi Arabia and “evil” Iran.
But should we really be cheering on Saudi Arabia?
As I mentioned above, more funding for ISIS comes out of Saudi Arabia than anywhere else.
And ISIS also gets more support on social networks such as Twitter from Saudi Arabia than anywhere else…
Part of ISIS’s success is its adoption of social media as a way to spread the group’s messages and find new members. A study by The Independent analyzed the origin of posts supporting ISIS on Twitter, and found that Saudi Arabia provides by far the most.
If you believe that ISIS is wrong for beheading people, you should keep in mind that there is a beheading in Saudi Arabia every four days.
The truth is that ISIS is simply just copying what the Saudis have been doing for centuries.
And for writing what I just did, I could be sentenced to 1,000 lashes if I was living in Saudi Arabia. In fact, that is exactly what happened to one Saudi blogger. Another Saudi man was recently sentenced to death for renouncing Islam.
The Saudis don’t believe that it will happen tomorrow, but they are fully convinced that their version of Islam will eventually dominate every inch of our planet.
Are you ready to live like the Saudis do? In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive, religious police can drag you away at any time for any reason, and the penalty for smuggling a Bible is death.
If you are tempted to think that the Saudis do not plan to impose their rules on the rest of the world, you should consider what the top religious leader in the entire country recently had to say. Earlier this month, he declared that every single church on the entire Arabian Peninsula (not just Saudi Arabia) must be destroyed…
Saudi Arabia’s top Muslim cleric called on Tuesday for the destruction of all churches in the Arabian Peninsula after legislators in the Gulf state of Kuwait moved to pass laws banning the construction of religious sites associated with Christianity.
Speaking to a delegation in Kuwait, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, who serves as the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, said the destruction of churches was absolutely necessary and is required by Islamic law, Arabic media reported.
These are the “good guys”?
The truth is that the Saudis are not our friends. They like our money and they like our military might, and we make a convenient ally for them right now.
But what the Saudis stand for is the antithesis of everything that the United States is supposed to stand for. It is a brutally oppressive regime that is promoting tyranny all over the planet. Barack Obama may be comfortable with such “friends”, but the American people should not be.
So what do you think? Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…
The marriage rate in the United States has fallen to the lowest level ever recorded. So why is this happening? Well, the truth is that there are a lot of reasons why so many young people are choosing not to get married today. One big reason is money. Young adults in the U.S. are really struggling to find good jobs, and many are hesitant to take a big step like marriage without achieving a certain level of financial security first. And as you will see below, many young adults (especially women) do not even want to date someone that is not employed. In this harsh economic environment, money makes a big difference in the world of romance. Another big reason for the decline of marriage in America is a seismic shift in cultural attitudes. Americans (especially young people) do not place the same kind of importance on marriage and having children that they once did. Instead, more Americans are choosing to “move in together” than ever before. But if the percentage of Americans that choose to get married continues to decline, what is that going to mean for our future, and what is our country going to look like moving forward?
According to a startling new study conducted at Bowling Green University, the marriage rate in America has fallen precipitously over the past 100 years.
In 1920, there were 92.3 marriages for every 1,000 unmarried women. In 2012, there were only 31.1 marriages for every 1,000 unmarried women.
That is not just a new all-time low, that is a colossal demographic earthquake.
That same study found that the marriage rate has fallen by an astounding 60 percent since 1970 alone.
As a result, U.S. households look far different today than they once did.
Back in 1950, 78 percent of all households in the U.S. contained a married couple. Today, that number has declined to 48 percent.
That is a very troubling sign if you consider the family to be one of the fundamental building blocks of society.
When young people are asked why they are delaying marriage today, one of the things that always seems to get brought up is money. There is a feeling (especially among men) that you should achieve a certain level of financial security before making the big plunge.
And it is a fact that the more money you have, the more likely you are to be married. Just check out the following stats about income and marriage from a recent Business Insider article…
83% of 30- to 50-year-old men in the top 10% of annual earnings are married today, whereas only 64% of median earners and half of those in the bottom 25th percentile are hitched.
Now, compare that to men in 1970, whose marriage rates were 95% (top earners), 91% (median earners), and 60% (bottom 25th percentile of earners), respectively.
A lot of people like to think that “love is the only thing that matters” when it comes to marriage, but the cold, hard numbers tell a different story. In fact, one very shocking survey discovered that 75 percent of all American women would have a problem even dating an unemployed man…
Of the 925 single women surveyed, 75 percent said they’d have a problem with dating someone without a job. Only 4 percent of respondents asked whether they would go out with an unemployed man answered “of course.”
“Not having a job will definitely make it harder for men to date someone they don’t already know,” Irene LaCota, a spokesperson for It’s Just Lunch, said in a press release. “This is the rare area, compared to other topics we’ve done surveys on, where women’s old-fashioned beliefs about sex roles seem to apply.”
Unfortunately for American men, there simply are not enough good jobs to go around. In fact, the number of working age Americans without a job has increased by 27 million since the year 2000, and businesses in the U.S. are being destroyed faster than they are being created.
Due to a lack of economic opportunities, a rising percentage of our young people have been giving up on the “real world” and have been moving back in with Mom and Dad. For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “29 Percent Of All U.S. Adults Under The Age Of 35 Are Living With Their Parents“. And when you break down the numbers, you find that young men are almost twice as likely to move back in with their parents as young women are.
But economic factors alone certainly do not account for the tremendous decline in the marriage rate that we have witnessed in this country. Shifting cultural attitudes also play a huge role.
A whole host of opinion polls and surveys show that Americans simply do not value marriage and having children as much as they once did. For example, the Pew Research Center has found that the younger you are, the more likely you are to believe that “marriage is becoming obsolete” and that “children don’t need a mother and a father to grow up happily”.
In fact, an astounding 44 percent of all Americans in the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket now believe that “marriage is becoming obsolete”.
And why should they get married? Our movies and television shows constantly tell them that they can have the benefits of being married without ever having to make a lifelong commitment.
This sounds particularly good to men, since they can run around and have sex with lots of different women without ever having to “settle down”.
But there are most definitely consequences for this behavior. The “sexual revolution” has left behind countless broken hearts, shattered dreams, unintended pregnancies and devastated families.
In addition, the U.S. has become a world leader when it comes to sexually-transmitted disease.
It is hard to believe this number, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximately one-third of the entire population of the United States (110 million people) currently has a sexually transmitted disease.
So nobody should claim that the “sexual revolution” has not had any consequences.
But most Americans don’t actually run around and sleep with lots of different people at the same time. Instead, most Americans seem to have adopted a form of “serial monogamy“.
In America today, most people only sleep with one person at a time, and “living together” is being called “the new marriage”.
According to the CDC, 74 percent of all 30-year-old women in the U.S. say that they have cohabitated with a romantic partner without being married to them, and it has been estimated that 65 percent of all couples that get married in the United States live together first.
Many believe that by “trying out” the other person first that it will give them a much better chance of making marriage work if they eventually do choose to go down that path. Unfortunately, that does not seem to work out very well in practice. In fact, the divorce rate for couples that live together first is significantly higher than for those that do not.
And when it comes to divorce, America is the king.
For years, the U.S. has had the highest divorce rate in the developed world.
But it wasn’t always this way. Back in 1920, less than one percent of all women in the United States were currently divorced or separated. Today, approximately 15 percent of all women in the United States are currently divorced or separated.
So why are so many people getting divorced?
Of course there are a lot of factors involved (including money), but a big one is cheating. According to one survey, 41 percent of all spouses admit to infidelity. Many Americans simply find it very difficult to stay committed to one person for an extended period of time.
As a result of what I have discussed so far, it is easy to see why people in our society are so lonely and so isolated. Less people are getting married, more divorces are happening and couples are having fewer children. This means that our households are smaller and we have far fewer family connections than we once did.
100 years ago, 4.52 people were living in the average U.S. household, but now the average U.S. household only consists of 2.59 people.
That is an astounding figure.
And the United States has the highest percentage of one person households on the entire planet.
But we weren’t meant to live alone. We were meant to love and to be loved.
Often, those that are being hurt the most by our choices as a society are the children. They need strong, stable homes to grow up in, and we are not providing that for millions upon millions of them.
When you look at just women under the age of 30 in the United States, more than half of all babies are being born out of wedlock.
That would have been unimaginable 100 years ago.
And of course when there is no marriage involved, a lot of times the guy does not stick around. At this point, approximately one out of every three children in the United States lives in a home without a father, and in many impoverished areas of the country the rate is well over 50 percent.
In addition, women are waiting much longer to have children than they once did.
In 1970, the average woman had her first child when she was 21.4 years old. Now the average woman has her first child when she is 25.6 years old.
The biggest reason for this, once again, is money…
In the United States, three-quarters of people surveyed by Gallup last year said the main reason couples weren’t having more children was a lack of money or fear of the economy.
The trend emerges as a key gauge of future economic health — the growth in the pool of potential workers, ages 20-64 — is signaling trouble ahead. This labor pool had expanded for decades, thanks to the vast generation of baby boomers. Now the boomers are retiring, and there are barely enough new workers to replace them, let alone add to their numbers.
We are waiting longer to have children and having fewer of them, but those children are needed for the economic future of this country.
Fifteen years from now, one out of every five Americans will be over the age of 65. All of those elderly Americans are going to want the rest of us to keep the financial promises that were made to them. But that is going to turn out to be quite impossible. We simply do not have enough people.
In the end, the economics of marriage does not just affect those that are thinking of getting married or those that are already married.
The truth is that the economics of marriage affects all of us.
So what do you think is in store for the future of the institution of marriage in this country?
Please feel free to share what you believe by posting a comment below…
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent an average of 4 percent less over the four day Thanksgiving weekend than they did last year. Overall, that means that approximately $1.7 billion less was spent at U.S. retailers compared to last year. It had already been projected that this holiday shopping season would be the worst for retailers since 2009, but if these numbers are any indication it may be even worse than expected. So why is this happening? Well, basically the American consumer is tapped out. The unemployment crisis in this country is actually getting worse, poverty is absolutely exploding and the middle class is being systematically eviscerated. In other words, you can’t get blood out of a stone. Many retailers are offering extreme discounts in a desperate attempt to lure more shoppers, but the money simply isn’t there.
According to Yahoo News, the decline in shopping over the four day Thanksgiving weekend was the first decline that we have seen since the last recession…
Shoppers, on average, were expected to spend $407.02 during the four days, down 3.9 percent from last year. That would be the first decline since the 2009 holiday shopping season when the economy was just coming out of the recession.
The survey underscores the challenges stores have faced since the recession began in late 2007. Retailers had to offer deeper discounts to get people to shop during the downturn, but Americans still expect those “70 percent off” signs now during the recovery.
And according to the New York Times, Americans spent a total of 1.7 billion dollars less than they did last year…
Over the course of the weekend, consumers spent about $1.7 billion less on holiday shopping than they did the year before, according to the National Retail Federation, a retail trade organization.
“There are some economic challenges that many Americans still face,” said Matthew Shay, the chief executive of the retail federation. “So in general terms, many are intending to be a little bit more conservative with their budgets.”
But this downturn for retailers did not just begin this past weekend. There have been signs of trouble for quite a while now.
For example, posted below is a photo that one of my readers sent to me. This is a photo of the Beverly Center Mall in Beverly Hills, California that was taken in the middle of the day on Tuesday, November 19th. She said that there “wasn’t a soul in that mall and the employees were all standing, staring into space with nothing to do”…
So where are all of the shoppers?
Why aren’t people out buying stuff?
Sadly, this is just the continuation of a trend that has been developing for more than a decade. The truth is that Americans are simply not spending money as rapidly as they used to.
Posted below is a chart that shows that the velocity of M2 in the United States is at an all-time low. In other words, the rate at which money circulates through our economy is frighteningly low and it continues to drop…
As you can see from the chart above, this decline in the velocity of money has been going on since the late 1990s. This is a sign of a very unhealthy economy.
Most Americans know that the U.S. economy is very heavily dependent on consumer spending. But consumers have to make money first in order to spend it. And right now we have a major employment crisis in this country.
At this point, the labor force participation rate in the United States is at a 35 year low, and an all-time record 102 million working age Americans do not have a job.
Meanwhile, the quality of our jobs continues to decline as well. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the United States has fallen for five years in a row, and right now the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.
So should it really be such a surprise that consumers are totally tapped out?
The money simply is not there.
After accounting for inflation, 40 percent of all U.S. workers are currently making less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968.
A recent CNN article profiled one of these workers. Carman Iverson is a 28-year-old mother of four that makes minimum wage at McDonald’s. If it was not for government assistance, her and her four children would not be able to survive…
Iverson said she started working in 2012 at $7.25 an hour, and makes $7.35 an hour now after Missouri adjusted the minimum wage. She makes between $400 and $600 a month. Her rent is $650 a month.
When asked how she could pay her rent on those wages, she said she had a landlord who works with her. “I’m kind of on my last little leg, because I’ve been late on rent. I’m actually behind three months in rent.
“Sometimes I can pay it, sometimes I can’t. I get paid twice a month, and both checks go to rent and the rest of it goes to utilities to the point where I don’t have any money left to buy anything for my kids — to buy them clothes, shoes or anything they need.”
She said she manages to feed her four children on $543 worth of food stamps a month.
But instead of fixing things, Barack Obama continues to pursue policies that will kill millions more good jobs. It is absolutely amazing that there are any Americans that still support this guy. For a long list of statistics that show how badly the economy has tanked since Obama entered the White House, please see this article.
You know that things are bad when increasing the number of Americans on food stamps by 15 million is regarded as an “economic accomplishment”. In fact, a message recently posted on the official White House website says that “SNAP is boosting the economy right now” and that high food stamp enrollment is creating lots of jobs…
“SNAP’s effect extends beyond the food on a family’s table–to the grocery stores, truck drivers, warehouses, processing plants and farmers that helped get it there.”
So why don’t we just enroll all Americans in every welfare program?
Wouldn’t that produce an extreme economic boom?
And actually under Obama we are already well on our way. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49.2 percent of all Americans are currently receiving benefits from at least one government program, and the federal government has spent an astounding 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs over the past five years.
Yes, there will always be poor people that cannot help themselves that will need our assistance.
But most Americans are capable of working if they could just find jobs.
Unfortunately, our jobs are being killed off and wages are going down. The middle class is being systematically destroyed and U.S. consumer spending is drying up.
The horrible start to this holiday shopping season is just the beginning.
Things are going to get much worse than this.
If you are a man living in America today, to a large degree your value to society is determined by how much money you make. It should not be that way, but that is how our society works. And if you do not have a job at all and you cannot take care of your own family, then almost everyone looks down on you even if it is not your fault. Once you are unemployed, it becomes the number one defining factor in your life. Yes, there are a few people that may look at you in the same way, but in the eyes of most you will now be less of a man. Sadly, this is particularly true when it comes to romantic relationships. Unemployed men tend to have unhappier marriages, they tend to divorce more frequently, and as you will see below approximately 75 percent of all American women do not have any interest in dating unemployed men. Unfortunately for American men, the decline of the U.S. economy in recent years has had a disproportionate impact on them. The past five years have been the worst years for employment for American men in the post-World War II era, and things are only going to get worse from here.
Yes, unemployed women go through similar things. I do not mean to downplay the economic suffering of unemployed women at all. In fact, I write about it quite frequently.
Today, however, I want to focus on how the steadily declining U.S. economy is affecting men. If you are a single man and you are unemployed, that automatically means that most single women will not be interested in you at all. At least that is what one very shocking survey discovered…
Of the 925 single women surveyed, 75 percent said they’d have a problem with dating someone without a job. Only 4 percent of respondents asked whether they would go out with an unemployed man answered “of course.”
“Not having a job will definitely make it harder for men to date someone they don’t already know,” Irene LaCota, a spokesperson for It’s Just Lunch, said in a press release. “This is the rare area, compared to other topics we’ve done surveys on, where women’s old-fashioned beliefs about sex roles seem to apply.”
So what would happen if things were reversed and that same question was asked to men?
Well, it turns out that there is a big difference.
When men were asked that exact same question, the results were absolutely startling…
On the other hand, the prospect of dating an unemployed woman was not a problem for nearly two-thirds of men. In fact, 19 percent of men said they had no reservations and 46 percent of men said they were positive they would date an unemployed woman.
Perhaps traditional gender roles are not quite as dead as many people believe that they are.
And as I mentioned earlier, the declining economy is hitting men even harder than it is hitting women. Yes, millions upon millions of women are deeply suffering in this economy. There is no doubt about that. But men are actually having an even more difficult time than women are.
The following are 12 signs that the decline of the U.S. economy is having a disproportionate impact on men…
#1 The labor force participation rate for men is now at an all-time low…
#2 During the last recession, men lost twice as many jobs as women did. All of the jobs that women in the United States lost during the last recession have been regained, but only about 70 percent of the jobs that men lost during the last recession have been regained. Meanwhile, the size of the overall population continues to grow rapidly.
#3 The inactivity rate for men has risen even higher since the end of the last recession and is now hovering near an all-time record high…
#4 Since 2010, about a million construction workers have either been forced to switch industries or have disappeared from the labor force entirely. This has had a disproportionate impact on men.
#5 Back in the 1950s, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs. Just before the last recession, about 70 percent of all men in the United States had jobs. Today, only 64 percent of all men in the United States have jobs…
#6 Back in the 1980s, more than 20 percent of the jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only about 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs. This has had a disproportionate impact on men.
#7 According to the Economic Policy Institute, the U.S. economy loses 9,000 jobs for every 1 billion dollars of goods that are imported. A disproportionate percentage of those job losses tend to come from male-dominated industries such as manufacturing. Since 1975, the United States has run a total trade deficit with the rest of the world of more than 8 trillion dollars, and right now there are more than 102 million working age Americans that do not have a job.
#8 Between 1969 and 2009, the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 dropped by 27 percent after you account for inflation.
#9 According to the Economic Policy Institute, the “real entry-level hourly wage for men who recently graduated from high school” has declined from $15.64 in 1979 to $11.68 today.
#10 Thanks to Obama administration policies which are systematically killing off small businesses in the United States, the percentage of self-employed Americans is at an all-time low today. This has had a disproportionate impact on men.
#11 According to CNN, American men in the 25 to 34-year-old age bracket are nearly twice as likely to live with their parents as women the same age are.
#12 According to Time Magazine, unemployed men are significantly more likely to get divorced than employed men are.
When a man cannot take care of his own family, it can be absolutely soul crushing. Though many would like to deny this, the truth is that men are still considered to be the primary breadwinners in society today. When a man finds that he cannot provide what his family needs no matter how hard he tries, it can be really easy to descend into a spiral of despair, depression and self-pity.
Unfortunately, the U.S. economy is not producing nearly enough jobs for everyone anymore and it never will again. Meanwhile, the quality of our jobs continues to decline at a staggering pace.
What all of this means is that the number of Americans living in poverty is going to continue to grow, and there will be lots more men that feel worthless because they can’t provide for their families.
The following is one example of a single dad that is forced to turn to the government for assistance because he cannot provide for his children on his own…
It means Lyman Curtis, single dad of five kids, will only be able to reliably heat his home in Dexter, Maine, for the first half of this winter, maybe through February.
After that, Curtis will drive to the local gas station to buy kerosene oil in 5-gallon increments — all he can afford to buy at one time.
“I know a lot of people who do it that way, because there’s just not enough money to heat your home and pay for groceries in your everyday life,” said Curtis, 38, who is the primary caregiver for his kids and relies on disability benefits and food stamps to survive.
Nobody should ever look down on someone like Lyman Curtis. He is doing the best that he can.
At this point our economy is kind of like a very twisted game of musical chairs. If your family is doing well at the moment, you should not be too complacent because the next time the music stops you might be the one that loses a job.
In recent years, millions upon millions of Americans have lost good jobs, and in most cases it was due to forces beyond their control.
And as the economy continues to deteriorate, Americans are going to become even more angry and even more frustrated. In fact, one recent survey found that 60 percent of all Americans “report feeling angry or irritable“.
But we have not even reached the next major wave of the economic collapse yet.
How “angry” and “irritable” will people feel once millions more Americans lose their jobs?
That is something to think about.
So what do you think about all of this?
What do you think about the fact that most women would not even consider dating an unemployed man?
Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…
The percentage of Americans that are participating in the labor force is the lowest that it has been in 35 years. During the 70s, 80s and 90s, the labor force participation rate consistently rose as large numbers of women entered the workforce. It peaked at 67.3 percent in early 2000, and just before the last recession it was sitting at about 66 percent. Since the start of the last recession, the labor force participation rate has not stopped falling and it is now at a 35 year low. In September, 11,255,000 Americans were considered to be “unemployed”, and an astounding 90,609,000 Americans were considered to be “not in the labor force”. The number of Americans “not in the labor force” has increased by more than 10 million since Barack Obama entered the White House. When you add the number of unemployed Americans to the number of Americans “not in the labor force”, you come up with a grand total of more than 101 million working age Americans that do not have a job.
The Obama administration and the mainstream media continue to insist that we are in the midst of an “economic recovery”, but that is a total joke. Does the chart posted below look like a recovery to you?…
Americans are leaving the labor force in droves. If the labor force participation rate was at the same level that it was when Obama first became president, the official unemployment rate would be up around 10 percent and everyone would be wondering when the “economic depression” would finally end.
It is funny how our perceptions of reality are so greatly shaped by what our televisions tell us to think.
Below I have posted a chart of the “inactivity rate” of U.S. men in the 25 to 54-year-old age group. As you can see, the percentage of men in their prime working years that are not employed and not considered to be unemployed either has been rising steadily…
We have millions upon millions of men just sitting around and doing essentially nothing. Not that women are doing so much better. In fact, the labor force participation rate for women is at a 24 year low.
Some people may be tempted to think that all of this is happening because more Americans are choosing to stay home and raise children. But that is not the case at all. In fact, in a previous article I showed that the marriage rate in the U.S. is at an all-time low and the birth rate for young women in this country is also at an all-time low.
People are not staying home because of family obligations. Rather, people are staying home because there aren’t enough jobs available.
And when Americans that are actually employed do lose their jobs, it is taking them a very, very long time to find another one. Just check out the following chart…
Once again, I must ask – does that look like a “recovery” to you?
Obama can say the word “recovery” as much as he would like, but that does not make it a reality.
So is anyone out there actually doing well?
Yes, as I have talked about frequently, some pockets of the country are doing quite nicely. In fact, government workers (think Washington D.C.) and finance workers (Wall Street, etc.) are tied for the lowest rates of unemployment in the nation (3.9 percent).
But for almost everyone else, things are very hard right now and poverty continues to grow.
Just today, I came across a recent study that discovered that nearly half of all public students in the United States come from low income homes.
That is an incredible number.
But this is just the beginning of our problems. Our debt continues to grow by leaps and bounds and our big banks are engaging in extraordinarily reckless behavior. As Richard Russell recently discussed, it is only a matter of time before this entire house of cards comes tumbling down…
In this whole process, debt has been created to an extent never seen before in history. So far, the debt has been managed with super-low interest rates and borrowing. But the compounding process goes on, and the debt mountain continues to grow. So, to be brief, I see the theme of today as the “haves” doing whatever they have to — to remain in power.
The dangers in the background for the haves are the possibilities that (1) interest rates will begin to advance, and (2) inflation will rise and be so visible that even the common man will recognize it, and begin to protest, or even revolt and (3) the whole debt structure will rise so high that it will topple over of its own weight and take down the entire world economy with it.
So as bad as things are today, the truth is that they are far, far better than what is eventually coming.
If you want to get a glimpse of the future of the U.S. economy, just check out what has happened to Greece…
Greeks are on average almost 40 percent poorer than they were in 2008, data indicated, laying bare the impact of a brutal recession and austerity measures the government may be forced to extend into next year.
Gross disposable incomes fell 29.5 percent between the second quarters of 2008 and 2013, statistics service ELSTAT said on Tuesday. Adding in cumulative consumer price inflation over the same period takes the decline close to 40 percent.
As you can see from the charts posted above, our economy has never even come close to getting back to the level that we were at before the last financial crisis.
And now the next wave of the economic collapse is approaching.
Right now, Spain has an unemployment rate that is above 26 percent and Greece has an unemployment rate that is above 27 percent.
We will eventually be heading up toward those levels.
As millions of good paying jobs continue to be shipped overseas, and as technology continues to eliminate millions of our jobs, the unemployment situation in this country will continue to grow even worse.
And whenever the next great financial crisis inevitably strikes, that will greatly accelerate our employment problems.
If you can move toward becoming more independent of the “system”, now would be a good time to do so. The job that you have today may not be there next month or next year.
We are moving into the greatest period of economic instability in U.S. history.
Get ready for it while you still can.