The Beginning Of The End
The Beginning Of The End By Michael T. Snyder - Kindle Version

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Tent Cities, Homelessness And Soul-Crushing Despair: The Legacy Of Decades Of Government Debt And Mismanagement Of The Economy

For decades, our politicians have been deeply addicted to government debt, they have stood idly by as millions of our jobs have been shipped overseas and they have passed countless business-crushing regulations and they never thought that it would catch up with us.  Well, it has.  America has been living in the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world, and now that bubble is starting to pop.  There has never been such an extended period of unemployment in the United States since the Great Depression, and millions of Americans are losing their homes.  Homelessness is skyrocketing, tent cities are popping up everywhere and countless numbers of American families are experiencing the soul-crushing despair that comes from desperately trying to hang on for month after month after month.

Now, because of the horrific hole that our politicians have dug for us, we are faced with some heartbreaking choices.  For example, right now the U.S. Congress is deciding whether or not to extend long-term unemployment benefits for the nation's jobless.

Extending those benefits through the end of February would add another $12.5 billion to the U.S. national debt.  But not doing it would cut off the only lifeline that many Americans have just in time for the holidays.

The extension of jobless benefits that was passed last summer expires on December 1st.  If these long-term benefits are not renewed, approximately 2 million unemployed Americans will lose their checks.

But what can the U.S. Congress do?  Just keep going into endless amounts of debt?  As I have written about previously, the United States is never going to see another balanced budget ever again under the current system.  The U.S. government is flat out broke.  Somehow our politicians desperately need to find a way for the federal budget to stop hemorrhaging red ink.

There is no more "extra money" to spend.  The U.S. government has piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world and we are headed for a complete and total economic disaster because of it.

But what are we going to do?  Are we going to let millions of Americans starve in the streets?

It's not just the rapidly rising number of homeless Americans that is the problem.  Millions of Americans are not going to be able to heat their homes this winter.  Millions of others are going to have to choose between buying medicine and buying food because they will not be able to afford both.

How would you like to be at a point where you could not go to the doctor because you knew that you could not pay the deductible?

How would you like to be at a point where you had to decide whether to buy diabetes medicine or to buy macaroni and cheese to feed your family?

More than 42 million Americans are now on food stamps, and that number keeps going up month after month after month.

Just think about that.

42 million Americans would not be able to eat if the U.S. government did not give them handouts.

The safety net is getting awfully crowded.

If you really want to see some soul-crushing desperation, go check out the flood tunnels under the city of Las Vegas.  But do not do this alone - it is very dangerous down there.  Today, there are hordes of "tunnel people" who call those dark tunnels home.  Nobody knows for sure how many people are down there (some people say that it is well into the thousands), but everyone agrees that the number is rapidly growing.

But in many major U.S. cities there are no flood tunnels to go to.  Instead, in many areas of the United States huge tent cities have sprouted.  The following is a video news report from the BBC about the tent cities that are popping up all over America....

But it is not just "drug addicts" and the "mentally ill" that are going to these tent cities.  One anonymous unemployed woman identified only as "Kaynonymous" is a highly educated professional who figures that she will end up in a tent city soon....

"I'm a 99er too. 53, female, single and once on track with an IT career. No one in their right mind would consider me for an IT position after being gone from the field for over 2 years. I have officially been a 99er since May 2010. In Aug. 2010 all of my savings and retirement funds were finally depleted--not only can I no longer make my mortgage payment, I can no longer afford utilities either. I'm just not sure that the 99ers ever had a voice outside of union organizers and even with them it was too little too late. Guess I'll be seeing ya'll in the soup kitchens and tent cities. I do still have my tent..."

So we should just extend the long-term unemployment benefits, right?  Well, according to a recent poll commissioned by the National Employment Law Project, 73 percent of Americans want Congress to continue paying out extended unemployment benefits.

But it is not just that simple.

America is broke.

The entire financial system is dying.

The U.S. government desperately needs to stop spending so much money.

But how can we turn our backs on people who are desperately hurting?

There are millions of Americans that have just about reached the end of their ropes.  For example, one 43-year-old woman named Jacqueline recently expressed some of the extreme frustration that she is experiencing on her blog....

I am one of the 6 million poor, unemployed middle-aged Americans struggling without any safety net or income other than food stamps. I have resorted to salvaging scrap metal just to survive while keeping up an increasingly hopeless job search. On May 4th, 2010 just three weeks before my 43rd birthday ago I got slapped with a diagnosis of very early stage glaucoma when I had a six year long overdue optical exam for badly needed new glasses. Without treatment — including ophthalmologist’s glaucoma monitoring exams — I will end up blind and permanently disabled. It’s not a matter of “if”, it’s a matter of when.

As a society, we will be judged by how we treat those who are the most vulnerable.  It can seem easy to bash those who have lost everything, but someday you might end up in that position.  In the following video, police in St. Petersburg, Florida are seen using box cutters to slice up the tents that the homeless were sleeping in....

Hopefully you were deeply disturbed by that video.

We have gotten ourselves into a giant mess, and things are only going to get worse.

Unfortunately, some extremely painful decisions are going to have to be made.

The truth is that we are so deeply in debt that the U.S. government just cannot be spending any extra money right now.

However, we also cannot turn our backs on millions of American families that are going to lose their homes and go hungry if we do not help them.

So what do we do?

What hurting Americans need most of all are not handouts - what they really need are good jobs.

But good jobs are being shipped overseas at a breathtaking pace.  The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001.  The greatest economic machine in the history of the world is literally having its guts ripped out, and most of you kept voting in jokers who supported all of this deindustrialization.

For decades, our politicians kept telling us how wonderful globalization would be for America.  We didn't listen when Ross Perot warned us about "the great sucking sound" that these "free trade" agreements would bring about.

Well, look how all of that turned out.  In 1985, the U.S. trade deficit with China was 6 million dollars for the entire year.  In the month of August alone, the U.S. trade deficit with China was over 28 billion dollars.

In case you can't figure it out, that means that 28 billion dollars of our national wealth was transferred to China in just one month.

This is happening month after month after month.

And yet Barack Obama continues to get up and tell us how wonderful globalism is.  During his recent trip to India, Barack Obama made the following statement....

"This will keep America on its toes. America is going to have to compete. There is going to be a tug-of-war within the US between those who see globalization as a threat and those who accept we live in a open integrated world, which has challenges and opportunities."

Yes, globalization is a threat.  We should have never merged our economy with the economy of China where workers make less than a tenth of what an American worker makes.

Jobs are flooding out of the U.S. and they are flooding into places like India and China where labor is far, far cheaper.

But without good jobs, how in the world are average Americans going to pay the bills?

The answer is that an increasing number of them are not.  1.41 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009 – a 32 percent increase over 2008.

Incomes are going down.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the United States fell from $51,726 in 2008 to $50,221 in 2009.

Things are getting worse instead of getting better.

And things are going to continue to get worse because the U.S. government goes into more debt every single month, most state and local governments go into more debt every single month, and thanks to America's exploding trade deficit, tens of billions of our national wealth gets transferred out of the United States every single month.

The U.S. economy is dying.  There are going to be even more tent cities and even more hungry Americans.  The scale of the economic nightmare that we are facing in the years ahead is going to be unimaginable.

So if you get to enjoy a warm dinner and you get to sleep in a warm bed tonight, please consider yourself to be very fortunate.  Someday soon you also may find those things cruelly stripped away from you.

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  • antipsychopath

    America’s land, most of the UNUSED RESERVES of wilderness is owned by China. The National Parks are owned by China. Check into it. Wake up and smell the coffee!

  • antipsychopath

    Dear William,
    The box cutters the police used to slice the tents were made in communist china.
    The tents were also made in communist china.

  • V.R.Sonti

    BRUCE -November 21 5:04 am

    Yes,Sir. It is so simple and straightforward that none can see it: we are steaming straight into the Bottomless Pit – and we think it’s Progress. Our wages have been virtually FLAT since 1972 while ‘capital’ in the hands of the Managers have been rising steadly. (Census Bureau data.) Once upopn a time our problem was leading the world; while today it is all about competing with the BRIC nations! What a Fall, my countrymen!

    When the Tea_Party comes to power in ’12, we will have the SAME wages as in China. And as the assets of the US are sold off to China et.al. you will find the prediction of the late Akio Morita (SONY’s Founder,)come to pass. In 1984(an ominous date,) he said: “Europe will be the Boutique of the Far East, and America its Agricultural Hinterland.” And, when Ronald Reagan quit office, the Japanese gave him $3 Million as a parting gift: he was the best President Japan ever had! That is the essence of Patriotism, GOP style.

    The GOP does not conceal its Plans for the Future: just read the WALL STREET JOURNAL!

  • V.R.Sonti

    Pardon me for posting again; but the thing is so incredible that I feel I must justify the charge that Ronald reagan recieved a welcome Parting Gift from Japan!

    Reagan in Japan

    The New York Times; May 10, 1989

    Japan Bids Welcome (in 7 Figures) to Reagan

    By STEVEN R. WEISMAN, Special to The New York Times

    TOKYO, May 9— Upset about recent strains in relations with the United States,
    Japan is making lavish plans to welcome former President Ronald Reagan to Tokyo
    later this year for 10 days of speeches, ceremonies and visits with business and
    political leaders.

    But plans for Mr. Reagan’s visit have also been clouded by the turbulent and
    uncertain Japanese political situation here and by reports that a bidding war
    had erupted over the right to serve as the former President’s official sponsor.

    One person involved in the arrangements said the bidding had broken into the
    millions of dollars.

    The size of the final bid was unclear, as was the size of Mr. Reagan’s final
    negotiated fee
    . But Charles Z. Wick, former director of the United States
    Information Agency and a longtime Reagan associate, said Mr. Reagan would
    receive ”an attractive honorarium.”

    And so on: please visit the page. This is Patriotism, GOP Style.

  • V.R.Sonti

    Please Click on the words “Reagan in Japan” in the above post to go to the NY Times Article.
    The whole thing is so BLATANT – SONY appears to be a big contributor!!! God Bless Japan!

  • Philip M.

    > For decades, our politicians have been deeply addicted to government
    > debt, they have stood idly by as millions of our jobs have been
    > shipped overseas and they have passed countless business-crushing
    > regulations and they never thought that it would catch up with us.

    Maybe we should re-start buying American products? Apple or Dell instead of Acer and Lenovo! GM and Ford instead of Honda or Toyota! We can’t have it both ways. Can we? And we should lower taxes, get rid of red tape and get the economy going again.

    As a Democrat I would vote for Bill Clinton again (obviously there term limits which prevent it from happening) or Hillary Clinton, but Obama won’t get my vote in 2010! Obama hasn’t stop these wars! Our kids are still dying overs in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Green Revolution he promised never happened. Bill Clinton created the dot com boom, Obama only created red tape: Obama Care, FinReg.

    http://www.hedgethebets.com/latest/2010/08/deflation-inflation-and-permanently-high-unemployment-2/

    FinReg or the Frank-Dodd bill only achieved that many Americans can’t take advantage of the lowest interest rates to refinance their homes.

    http://www.realpropertycheck.com/latest/2010/11/escaping-the-hamp-trap-federal-judge-grants-a-restraining-order-to-stop-a-foreclosure/

  • http://iafn.blogspot.com iafn

    Wages are low in India because India is poor.

    The same was true for China 20 years ago, but the Chinese wages of the present are artificially manipulated to be that way via currency manipulation and other tricks.

    India does not currency pegging and such, and the US-India trade is both small and relatively balanced. India is a balanced and fair-minded trading partner of the US, while China isn’t.

    If Americans don’t distinguish between the nature of these two developing countries and the differences between their behavior (internally as well as externally), China will continue to eat the US (and increasingly the entire world) for lunch and totally sap American economy, in addition to putting American sovereignty in jeopardy on the account of massive dollar holdings it is accumulating by the virtue of the whopping trade surpluses with the US year and year (over $250 billion per year).

    See here for trade data through 2009: http://iafn.blogspot.com

  • BC

    AgreeToDisagree – Your full of crap!

  • http://www.maccompanies.com Bob

    I am amazed at the purveyors of hope because they obviously have no idea why we are where we are. If you go back to Ross Perot he warned about what has actually happened, happening. The only thing of value America had was it’s industry and job’s to trade for the financing of the socialist welfare big bank run government and unions. It is still happening and our trade deficit is going up again as we send our printed worthless money to foreign lands to try to take them over. We are close to having nothing they want to trade their goods with us for. They will try to buy our natural resources, but so far we have not let them. They are buying the homes taken back by the criminal banks. Now we are on QE 2 while at the same time they cut off extended unemployment, and millions are going to have to join the tent cities and resort to crimes just to be able to eat. We are a country of very ignorant selfish people who will pay a terrible price for being that way.

  • antipsychopath

    Dear Philip M. and rest of “Buy America Fans”: I am unemployed. I have a B.Sc. and a Masters degree. Last winter, 2009, I needed a new winter coat. I was determined to buy a US made coat with my meager savings. I couldn’t find a US made coat. I could find one (1) Canadian made coat at an upscale store for $900. Since then I have proudly worn my moth-eaten US made coat that I bought when coats were made in the US.

  • MydogisbetterthanJay

    BooHoo.. Jay can’t get a woman or a job.. it’s a women’s fault. He and Bernanke need to share a hankie and have a scapegoat pitifest.. Bernanke says everything is China’s fault.

  • flubadub

    Summertime done come and gone my oh my.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6vVd_JnCcc&feature=related

  • mondobeyondo

    People who have an iPod, an iPad, an iPhone, two Droid cell phones, 40 inch HDTV, an XBox, Playstation, and two laptops. Yes, you, the person parked on the sofa watching the American Music Awards, eating Cheetos and sending a text or tweet every 14 seconds about how cute Justin Bieber is, or how talented Taylor Swift is.

    And these people wonder why they can’t afford to feed themselves or their children. What a paradox.

    Hey, gotta keep up with the Joneses!!

  • robroy

    what shall we do?

  • bobster

    Buying American is easier said than done. For example, virtually no electronic products are built in the US anymore.

    The assertion that industries were moved offshore because we did not buy American made goods is specious. Seldom was the consumer presented with a choice of domestic or foreign made items. The decision was made in corporate boardrooms behind closed doors, the substitution was made and the consumer was presented only with the choice to buy the foreign made item or do without.

    Big Box retailers themselves were the prime movers behind the outsourcing.

  • Jimmy Carter

    If you are unable to see how the whole system is being manipulated by globalist elites whose sole goal is to create a global economy (and world) run by them, and how the two party system in America has long ago been hijacked, and how the people who come to power in the American Government are the real traitors, than you are blind. How’s that Obama “Hope and Change” thing working for us?

  • Fred

    America has a lot of problems with some of them already being mentioned in previous posts. The decline of America will continue unfortunately.

  • Stephen

    Read: “The Crow’s Nest-How to be Homeless in America” on Smashwords.com

  • http://obbop.wordpress.com/ Obbop

    “There’s class warfare, all right, Mr. (Warren) Buffett said, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

  • Herm

    Easy solution: give all those homeless people one-way bus tickets to San Francisco where they’ll be welcomed with OPEN ARMS!

  • http://WBDM Joe in JT

    Have you ever had a thought that is so simple yet true? Well here is mine. The reason America is going downhill financially is because of the “television set”. Yes that’s right the TV. During the last 50 years or so poor people from around the world would look at their TV and see how Americans lived. They would see Americans living in a nice house with two cars, a wife and kids, and always playing golf. Soon all the poor people of the world wanted to live like Americans. Now that they are trying, there is just so much opulance to go around, and we are going towards living like 3rd world countries.

  • comnenus

    There will be a Singularity. The well-learned, the very wealthy and the well connected will evolve to a new species which is no longer homo sapiens.

    The rest are simply doomed, like the Neanderthals 50,000 years ago.

  • Craig

    America is paying for its stinking sins of greed and murder(abortions), unfortunately the irony is that the people who end up suffering the most, it seems, are the innocent. This is probably what we the people need to wake us up anyway, when we band together with a grassroots upswelling that no tyrant can resist. Put Uncle Sam on a strict diet, trim that fatass down!
    That video of the cops cutting the tents was disgusting, I hope they had a humane shelter to place those people?

  • IwouldabortCraigabove

    Do you remember the days when we were taught how Communism doesn’t work?
    I guess that’s why we’re trying to tell China how to run their booming economy.
    I have taken in someone who would have likely ended up homeless. I wonder what Craig has done for the unfortunate other than mouth off at other people. And what about those people who are currently starving around the world.. to hell with them. We have to sink our resources into the unwanted, unformed, and nonalive. Send your unwanted fetuses to Craig and make him give birth to them.

  • Edith

    If anyone has enough to live for a while, like 400 or 500 USD a month, find the name Jeffrey K. Silverman on Internet, google it, and make contact via a portal for his professional CV and background.

    If you can get to Tbilisi Georgia, then there is a spare room – hot and cold running water.

    He can put up one or two people, he knows what it is to be down and out. It is best to have an open return ticket or try to cash in some frequent flier points. It beats living under a bridge in a former free country of the USA.

  • h5mind

    It’s easy to blame Wall Street greed and political corruption for much of our ills, but those are only part of the puzzle. I suggest that the big, smelly gorilla wreaking havoc on the world stage is COMPOUND INTEREST. Did you know that 20-40% of everything you buy in the store is comprised of interest on debt? Even the dollar itself is an interest-bearing note, not money. That’s why they’re called ‘Federal Reserve NOTES’.

    Americans paid almost one trillion in taxes last year, 100% of which went toward paying nothing but the interest on all dollars in circulation. To really piss you off, consider that 95% of dollars are never even printed– they only exist on servers at the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury.

    You may rightly ask why the US government pays interest on its own money, and interest on its own debt, when it can simply create any amount of interest-free money out of thin air (if they don’t want to waste the paper and ink). Heck, this is exactly what Bernanke is doing right now with his QEII tricks, only HE charges interest on his Monopoly money.

    The answer is BLACKMAIL. There are 535 congressman in DC who basically do the bidding of more than 42,000 registered lobbyists. They most certainly do not work for you or your family. 165 years of debt interest, and 100 years of Fed dollar interest has reduced our wealth to smoky dust. The US is toast– stick a fork in it.

  • el_incr

    It’s time for local churches to step up and begin helping the poor. Put an end to your damnable building programs, your expanded parking lots, seeker sensitive outreach programs and your new pews and sound systems. Start serving dinners and opening your doors on these cold nights to those who have no where to go. Collect clothes and necessary items for every day existence.

    Mathew 25
    For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

  • http://bit.ly/9GeqDW Truthseeker

    Just try to read following book: “The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century”, Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall (Editors)

    I believe this is a GREAT BOOK to help one understand the world’s affairs & problems from the holistic view, not only the current ones but perhaps of the last one or two centuries!

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Preface Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall

    PART I THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS

    Chapter 1 The Global Economic Crisis: An Overview Michel Chossudovsky
    Chapter 2 Death of the American Empire Tanya Cariina Hsu
    Chapter 3 Financial Implosion and Economic Stagnation John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff
    Chapter 4 Depression: The Crisis of Capitalism James Petras
    Chapter 5 Globalization and Neoliberalism: Is there an Alternative to Plundering the Earth? Claudia von Werlhof
    Chapter 6 The Economy’s Search for a “New Normal” Shamus Cooke

    PART II GLOBAL POVERTY

    Chapter 7 Global Poverty and the Economic Crisis Michel Chossudovsky
    Chapter 8 Poverty and Social Inequality Peter Phillips

    PART III WAR, NATIONAL SECURITY AND WORLD GOVERNMENT

    Chapter 9 War and the Economic Crisis Michel Chossudovsky
    Chapter 10 The “Dollar Glut” Finances America’s Global Military Build-Up Michael Hudson
    Chapter 11 Martial Law, the Financial Bailout and War Peter Dale Scott
    Chapter 12 Pentagon and Intelligence Black Budget Operations Tom Burghardt
    Chapter 13 The Economic Crisis “Threatens National Security” in America Bill Van Auken
    Chapter 14 The Political Economy of World Government Andrew Gavin Marshall

    PART IV THE GLOBAL MONETARY SYSTEM

    Chapter 15 Central Banking: Managing the Global Political Economy Andrew Gavin Marshall
    Chapter 16 The Towers of Basel: Secretive Plan to Create a Global Central Bank Ellen Brown
    Chapter 17 The Financial New World Order: Towards A Global Currency Andrew Gavin Marshall
    Chapter 18 Democratizing the Monetary System Richard C. Cook

    PART V THE SHADOW BANKING SYSTEM

    Chapter 19 Wall Street’s Ponzi Scheme Ellen Brown,
    Chapter 20 Securitization: The Biggest Rip-off Ever Mike Whitney

    TO READ THE PREFACE CLICK HERE: http://bit.ly/bEg6kN

    MORE INFO: http://bit.ly/amCGF7

    Btw, try to search for “Eustace Mullins” too. He’s the author of many books, among others: “Who Owns the TV Networks?”; “The Secrets of the Federal Reserve” and many others!

    “The monopoly of money, or the restriction of its circulation, is merely a variation of this simple form of monopoly. That is all. The stupid fall into the trap. Wars are provoked in succession, deliberately, by the great usurers, in order to create debts, to create scarcity, so that they can extort the interest on these debts, so that they can raise the price of money (i.e., the price of the various monetary units controlled by, or in the possession of, the same autocrats), altering the prices of the various monetary units when it suits them, raising and lowering the prices of the various foodstuffs when it suits them, completely indifferent to the human victim, to the accumulated treasures of civilization, to the cultural heritage.” — Ezra Pound

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