The Beginning Of The End
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The Proof Is In The Numbers: America Is Getting Poorer

How in the world can anyone claim that things are getting better?  Sometimes the numbers are so clear that they simply cannot be denied.  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.  That was the second yearly decline in median household income in a row.  In other words, America is getting poorer.  Just let that statistic above sink in for a little bit.  In 2009, American families had roughly $1,500 less coming in than the year before.  Not that the cost of living has gone down either.  Have you been to the supermarket lately?  Things are getting ridiculous out there.  In fact, middle class American families are being squeezed as never before.  More mothers and fathers are scrambling to find second and third jobs just to pay the mortgage and to keep the lights on and to put food on the table.  This is not a time of prosperity in America.  We are in a state of serious decline and it is time to wake up and admit it.

When you stop and analyze the new Census data, something jumps out at you right away.  You quickly realize that these income declines are not limited to just a few regions of the country - they are literally happening from coast to coast.

The U.S. economy is in deep, deep trouble and the proof is in the numbers.  The following are 12 statistics that reveal just how far the standard of living in America is declining....

1 - According to the Census Bureau, median household income dropped in 34 U.S. states in 2009, and the only state where median household income actually increased was in North Dakota.

2 - The Census Bureau data also revealed that of the 52 largest metro areas in America, only the city of San Antonio did not see a decline in median household income in 2009.

3 - 35 percent of all U.S. households now live on $35,000 or less.

4 - According to the Census Bureau, the percentage of Americans living below the poverty line is the highest it has been in 15 years.

5 - The number of Americans enrolled in the food stamp program passed the 41 million mark for the first time ever in June.

6 - The number of Americans in the food stamp program increased a staggering 55 percent from December 2007 to June 2010.

7 - One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one anti-poverty program run by the federal government.

8 - Nearly 10 million Americans now receive unemployment insurance, which is almost four times as many that were receiving it back in 2007.

9 - In 2009, U.S. consumer spending experienced the biggest decline since 1942.

10 - As millions of young Americans struggled just to survive, marriages fell to a record low in 2009.  Today, only 52% of Americans 18 years or older are married. 

11 - The only group that saw their household income increase in 2009 was those making $180,000 or more.

12- According to the Huffington Post, the gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew in 2009 to its largest margin ever....

The top-earning 20 percent of Americans – those making more than $100,000 each year – received 49.4 percent of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4 percent made by the bottom 20 percent of earners, those who fell below the poverty line, according to the new figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968.

Not that it is a bad thing to make money. 

Contrary to what our socialist friends may think, it is actually a very good thing to work hard and make money.

The point is that the game is rigged and the bottom 80 percent of us are being left behind.

The middle class is being systematically destroyed.  At the rate we are going, we will eventually have a very small group of ultra-wealthy Americans and a gigantic mountain of very poor Americans that are barely able to survive.

The answer to this is not a "redistribution of wealth". 

What middle class Americans actually need are good jobs with good benefits.

You know, the kind of jobs that the U.S. economy used to produce.

For the vast majority of Americans, all they have to offer in the marketplace is their labor.  If they cannot get someone to hire them for a wage that will enable them to take care of their families then they simply cannot make it without government assistance.

But what our leaders have done in the name of "globalism" is that they have essentially merged our economy with the economies of nations such as China where blue collar workers are paid about a dollar an hour to do the same jobs that American workers get paid 15 to 20 dollars an hour to do.

As a result, jobs and factories are fleeing the United States so rapidly it is hard to even describe.  The deindustrialization of America is happening right in front of our eyes, but the American people have become so dumbed down that most of them don't even seem to have the capacity to understand what is going on. 

Quite a few advocates of "free trade" (which is not "free" or "fair" at all under our current system) have left comments on my columns telling me that the American people better just suck it up because this is how it is now and the world isn't going back.  These advocates of the globalist system say that the American people just need to toughen up and learn to compete and need to just accept that the standard of living for workers across the globe is going to be equalized and that is all there is to it.

So are you ready to have the same standard of living as a Chinese sweatshop worker who works 12 hours a day for one dollar an hour?

That is where we are headed.

But things did not have to be this way.  We did not have to merge our economy with communist China and allow them to keep their currency devalued 40 percent lower than it should be so that they could dump massive amounts of cheap goods on our shores.  We did not have to elect politicians that believe that "globalism" is the answer to all of our problems.  We did not have to sign on to the WTO, NAFTA and all the other "free trade" agreements that are destroying the American middle class.

Labor is now a global commodity.  American workers are now part of the global labor force.  The bargaining power of the average American worker has dropped through the floor.  Now the monolithic predator corporations that dominate our economy don't even have to deal with American workers if they don't want to.

Very few of our politicians admitted that merging us into a one world economy would mean a dramatic decline in the standard of living of middle class Americans.

But that is exactly what is happening.

Meanwhile, the federal government, our state governments and our local governments keep going into massive amounts of new debt in an effort to keep paying the bills. 

There are some state governments, like Illinois, that are basically flat broke.  In fact, Illinois doesn't even bother to pay many of their bills anymore.

Of course the federal government is the worst offender of them all.  The U.S. national debt is rapidly approaching 14 trillion dollars, and most of us have gotten so accustomed to it that we don't even talk about it much anymore.

That is how bizarre things have gotten.

As America keeps getting poorer, and as U.S. taxpayers see their incomes continue to decline, how in the world are U.S. government finances going to turn around?

The truth is that our leaders should be in full blown crisis mode in an attempt to fix this thing.  Pieces of the U.S. economy are literally falling off all around us and our leaders are pushing the debt accelerator to the floor as we head toward a giant cliff.

But instead our politicians are prancing about the countryside telling us that everything is going to be just great as long as we cast our votes for them in the fall.

And the mainstream media keeps telling us that the "recession" is over and that soon the U.S. economy will be better than ever.

Is it any wonder that faith in the mainstream media is now at an all-time low?      

According to a new poll just released by Gallup, the number of Americans that have little to no trust in the mass media (57%) is at an all-time high.

A significant percentage of the American people is starting to wake up.

What about you?

Are you awake yet?

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  • Donna

    I’ve been awake a long time. I knew free trade was a scam, but I did alright for awhile, now life sucks, I am in a downward spiral and can’t get out….

  • http://www.planorperish.com/ Gutter Economist

    According to the IMF, the US Government is bankrupt and needs to cut spending or immediately and permanently double our personal income, corporate, federal, and FICA taxes.

    http://www.planorperish.com/?p=1865

  • emma

    Man things getting interesting now, I bought gold at 870 now look where it is. Up over 1300 the investment guy I listen to was right, he called the stockmarket crash back in 2007 and has been spot on with things.

    Check out his video below. he is calling for higher prices. When the SHTF then what??. Many most the fat obese people in the US are so asleep. They aint got a chance.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OSXpSGSz5M

  • The Beast

    What hurts us the most is multi-national corporatism. But multi-national corporate is just a first stage for “New World Order”……

  • Tom

    Out of work? Thank a tea bagger. They want to force employers to pay healthcare and refuse to pay taxes and have a national system like all other countries, Tea baggers want it all for free. They want to choose their doctor at any cost and have it now. Paid for by the employer. Employers are leaving the U.S. in droves.

    The republicans want tax breaks for millionaires or they will raise them for the middle class. Unbelievable

  • Something Wicked This Way Comes

    Hope springs eternal. Signs of life for us working stiffs.

    Dead Man Talking. See it here;

    http://thecivillibertarian.blogspot.com/

  • Torches, Pitchforks, and Revolutions

    During the Vietnam War, mainstream media broadcast real time pictures of the war, which helped fuel the many protests in the U.S. and eventually ended that war. Now that MSM is owned and has been coopted by the Military/Corporate/Financial Complex, we see no meaningful coverage of the realities of the two most recent failed wars, only the propoganda the the ruling elite would have us see.

    The same can be said of any real coverage of the true financial state of the Republic. Instead, the American public is obsessed with such banalities as Lindsay Lohan’s latest train wreck. By the way, how bout that Lady Gaga meat dress, huh?

  • Gary

    yes the answer IS redistribution of wealth. When it is this lopsided there is no other way. We are a banana republic like another poster said.

    I am really getting sick of hearing millionaires complain about paying 3.6% more tax. I would gladly pay the extra tax if I was that rich. When I think of how much easier being that rich would make my life…

    The system is rigged. If I screw up at work I get fired, if the CEO screws up he gets a bonus. Look at the bozo at HP who was fired for giving his mistress money from the company and fudging the books. He walked away with millions. It must be F***** nice.

  • Kim

    What people fail to realize is that with deindustrialization, when China chooses to flex their nationalistic muscles by letting loose a string of missiles at American targets, there will be no way to tool up to defend ourselves. This was the big advantage America had during WWII – production lines to pump out needed items. We don’t have that capability any more.

  • Gary

    I need to marry into a rich family and buy a senate seat like that joke Ron Johnson who is running against Feingold here in WI.

    Ron Johnson is nuttier than a squirrel turd!

    Tea publicans-what fools!

  • Progressive Ed

    The answer? Simple, get a government job!

  • CK Lee

    Since you know that labor is now a global commodity and that American workers are now part of the global labor force, why beef about WTO and NAFTA and all that? Why can’t the American people protect their jobs by buying only U.S. goods regardless of how temptingly cheap Chinese goods are? In fact, if there’s no order from America for Chinese goods, none of it will ever reach America, and nobody can even accuse America for violating any WTO rules. Meanwhile, people the World over love to eat McDonald hamburger and Kentucky Fry and drink Coca Cola and watch Hollywood movies and wear Levis jeans and all that. You have got what they can’t resist while there isn’t any Chinese goods that you cannot make it yourself. See, you just don’t realise what a strong position you are in.

  • jox

    Funny how the americans have been brain washed about socialism: “Contrary to what our socialist friends may think, it is actually a very good thing to work hard and make money”. That 20% of rich people is robbing to the rest, while yelling that socialism is evil.

    Now please look at the northern countries of Europe. Making money is totally ok, only that you are expected to pay high taxes. Gess why? For wealth redistribution. Education, health care for everybody, no people left behind. With your hard worn money and your high taxes paid, you can still carry a deluxe life, but being a good citizen, a good person, not surrounded by poverty and dispair.

    What you are proposing in your blog, my friend, to keep well paid jobs in your own country, redistribute wealth, don’t leave people behind, etc, is exactly European Socialism.

    But beware! Don’t tell the taboo word!

  • Napolean

    Vote the Pigs out in November.

  • Richard Hazel

    I think the only way for us to get out of this mess is to empower people to start their own business or provide a service. The 2 biggest roadblocks against us are the outrageous cost of health insurance and the availability of capital.

    It may seem socialist, and if it does, so be it. We live in new times and it’s time we tried something new. So we need to have government run FREE health clinics. If people don’t have insurance they should be able to get free medical attention from a public clinic.

    The capital needs to come from the government in the form of very low interest loans.

    If we empower people to start a business, give them the money to live off of while they are building their business and make sure they can get treated by a doctor when they need to, we can grow our way out of this mess.

    And as an after thought, free education for people attending a 2 year trade school and increase the limit on Stafford Loans and get rid of the lifetime maximum on Stafford Loan borrowing.

  • James Madison

    When I graduated from high school in 1977 in the rural area where I live you could pick your place of employment right away should you choose or not be able to go to college. Now, nearly all of those opportunities are gone. You need either college or some type of vocational training, and even then the job prospects are slim without a significant relocation, if even then. The small town where I graduated from high school had three major industries, all three offering decent pay and benefits. Now it has none, not one single industry. Several rural towns are in the same boat in our area, no longer a single employer there. I’m amazed that they can keep services running for their citizens. This type of joblessness is not sustainable. I can see the day approaching when rural areas will not have adequate law enforcement and other essential services simply because there is not enough of a tax base to provide it. Thanks NAFTA, etc.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    One person who is obviously wide awake is Arianna Huffington, whose new book “Third World America” is making the same point that I’ve been making for several years: that this country is UN-developing and turning into a Third World banana republic. The uber-rich are doing really, REALLY well in The Banana Republic of America (BRA), but then, the uber-rich are also doing extremely well in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Morocco and Jamaica–all of which are countries with a super-wealthy majority and a poor, struggling majority. And that is where this country will wind up if the Republi-cons and Demo-craps allow the middle class to disappear. When the former middle class become the permanent neo-poor, you have a Third World economy with a crappy infrastructure and violent crime galore.

    Huffington has also been saying that this Third World USA will be bad for the rich in that they won’t be able to go out in public without armed bodyguards; otherwise, they will risk being kidnapped. So true. Bodyguards are quite employable in Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro because without them, kidnapping is a very real possibility. Compare that scenario to, say, Milan, Italy, where well-heeled businessmen in the fashion industry don’t hesitate to go out late at night unarmed. The difference between petty crime in Milano and violent crime in Carcacas is the difference between a gypsy snatching your wallet on the Metro and a gang of thugs robbing you at gunpoint in broad daylight. And by the way, I’m all for those well-heeled Milanese businessmen in the fashion industry making a ton of money–their tax dollars help support, among other things, the Italian infrastructure and the Carabinieri. I’ve had plenty of Italian tap water without any problem; try drinking Guatemalan tap water (I don’t recommend it unless dysentery is your idea of a good time). You need the rich to prosper, but you also need a robust middle class—and the presence of a middle class make life a lot safer for the rich.

    But see, that’s the difference between a developed economy and an UN-developed Third World economy–and tragically, the BRA has opted for the Third World approach. The two-party system has failed this country badly. So get ready to live in a very poor, violent, dangerous, unstable Third World hellhole. It won’t be pretty.

  • freddybobs68k

    Doing pretty much anything is a ‘redistribution of wealth’.

    Tax breaks for small businesses is a redistribution of wealth. A government sponsored jobs program is a redistribution of wealth. A bank executive deciding he deserves a 20 million dollar bonus is a redistribution of wealth. Dollar/Yen exchange rate changing is a redistribution of wealth.

    Please lets call a spade a spade. The ‘economy’ is a system for distribution of wealth.

    Unless your claim is that nothing needs to change in economy? ‘Good jobs’ will just happen…

  • mbabsit

    Donna – What do you know about “free trade?” About “free enterprise?” This country has been SOCIALIST ever since the libtard god FDR took over with his illegal socialist scams. Face it, your precious socialism, and progressiveism under Wilson, has FAILED. Now you want… more socialism? Grow up, little girl!

  • kolchack

    Re: The answer to this is not a “redistribution of wealth”.

    Actually, it is. Who exactly do you think would have to PAY for the increases in salaries for Americans as well as for the additional employees it would take to return to full employment? The reason the game is playing out this way is to maximize the wealth of the elites. Any attempt by government to reverse that trend will be labelled “antibusiness” and thereby “socialist.”

    That is exatly how the game is played. It is extremely naive to think otherwise.

  • http://coloyan.blogspot.com coloyan

    Ross Perot was right after all.

  • handog

    Just take a road trip about the US and talk to people as I do. There is a lot of despair. Take a look at how many boarded up buildings there are. Each one was someone’s dream at one time. Also notice the many road construction projects going on that are taking four times longer than they should to complete. They are really milking those jobs along with the American tax payer.

  • Cyndi

    @donna

    I understand how you feel…My husband and I woke up in 2007, unfortunetly it was too late. We had enormous debt and both lost our jobs and then lost our home in 2009. I was devastated…but it was a blessing in disguise because we found Christ and have this overwhelming peace in our lives. We used to live a life of self indulgence. Now we live the life that God meant for us, a simple life, a peaceful life. Find your true self and seek in Christ he is the ONLY way to Salvation and happiness. He loves you so much that he died for you/us on the cross. All you have to do is seek him and ask for true forgiveness and accept him in your heart and he will transform you and fill your heart with peace. I hope this helps you because I know exactly how you feel…because I was there :)

  • Death Spiral

    It’s estimated that 50% of the nations wealth is concentrated within 4% of the population.

    So while the average person has lost real wages the big cats have gotten filthy rich.

    You don’t have to be Einstein to figure out whats going on.

    The last time this much wealth was concentrated in such a small group was in the 1920′s just before the Great Depression took hold. As the saying goes, History Repeats Itself.

  • orsobubu

    1-in US the powerful forces of capitalism are moving toward the inevitable outcome: more and more exported capitals (workforce and machines); growing robotization; production overcapacity and falling profit rate; worsening of economic crises; a uniformed working class living with minimum income to reproduce itself; expanding of sub-proletarian unemployed class; growing differences among classes; declining old imperialism and rising new imperialistic nations; growing competition; financial sectors wiping out productive sectors; growing monopolies; expanding burocratic government control;growing state capitalism (what you call “socialism” or “communism”);expanding war theaters.

    2-all of the above factors were amazingly predicted by Marx and Lenin since 1860.

    3-next stop, also predicted by theory, is the shift toward protectionist policies.

    4-only two possible exits: counter-revolutionary forces (i.e. tea party-like conservationist groups, fascism, nazism, stalinism, etc) push the world toward a third world war; revolutionary forces take the power and lead the world toward a production system without workforce exploitation (the surplus value, or money): it is called communism.

    5-in communism, no more salaries will exist, no more money, no more banks, no more market; the production means are owned by people itself, while almost ALL the product made by robots and workers are owned by the producing worker.

    6-the unique possibility to instaurate the communism – or proletarian dictatorship – is a successful international proletarian leninist organization. workers of the world, unite!

  • Jim

    Like Donna, I too have been awake for a long time and have watched all the proverbial ducks being set in a row. Unfortunately I’ve not been a producer for the last twenty years since I was forced to take a disability retirement.

    In the face of the current job losses and eroding taxes one wonders how much longer help from Social Security can be depended on. How much longer before companies jettison their obligations to people like myself. One of the first things the current administration did was to deny any cost of living increase even though Social Security is 100% paid for by workers, and not a part of the national budget. I expect to hear any time that like France our benefits will be cut.

    I feel for the younger folks who are finding it harder to find a good paying job and will doubtless not have Social Security in their later years. Perhaps they should learn to speak and write Chinese because the sun seems to have set on America simply because our politicians have sold us out for their short term fame and profit.

  • Big Meech

    What disturbs me is that whenever I bring such topics as the disconnect between rising stock prices/unemployment, trade imbalance, QE, etc., everyone calls me a pessimist. They say: “have some faith.” Really? I’m just dishing out facts and trying desperately to help friends, colleagues and family wake up and at least be semi-prepared for what’s ahead. The pervasive mandate to always be optimistic is a big problem for Americans – i.e., CNBC had a request for comments on how the economy in your neighbor was “improving.”

  • Scott M.

    Easily explained with Marxist analysis.

    Also, you apparently don’t understand socialism. Socialist do believe it’s a good thing to work and make money, but money that benefits the workers (the middle class!). If wealth disparity is the problem, what is the answer except “redistribution of wealth”?

  • Ione

    I understand what you’re saying about there being no jobs. But how is it rigged. I have parents both from middle class up bringing. Both of my grand fathers worked for the railroad companies. Both had 6 kids each and sent all 6 kids to Catholic School, Catholic High School, and all went to either Stanford, Berkeley,USC, or UCLA, and Santa Clara State, and all went on to get either a Masters or Doctorate. I went to Catholic School, Jesuit High School, and Boston College on and Athletic Scholarship, and then to Columbia and MIT. But I and not a Plan A get married, have gets, get into debt type. I have had success and staring and selling 3 dotcoms, they were not big ones, but they were sold because I had a product they wanted. I own home 5 homes in this country, and 2 in Europe.
    I am of Spanish Basque, and Italian
    descent, I am not a WASP, or Elitist, donate my time, and money to causes for children and the homeless and hungry. While all of my so called stupid poor friends sit on their asses and do nothing.

    So please clarify how the game is rigged. I think that the children of hippies, and former yuppies, and Plan A types are mad because they bought into the hype but did not profit during the Bush Era. I was a Republican until Bush 1 took office. So I have been a democrat for 22 years. While all of my Republican friends bought into Bush Era Politics, and bought houses, and cars, and luxury items they could not afford. They were keeping up with the neighbors, while I was telling them why they should’nt use their home as an ATM machine. So tell me again how the game is rigged.

  • Spencer

    might also say we’ve had some deflation….so decrease in wages is not tantamount to decrease in purchasing power or drop in real (inflation adjusted) income.

    Where were you five years ago? Oh ya, you were likely spend happy talking about how America’s wealth would last forever…

  • Rob

    Tried to tell peole to buy local, and not from the big box stores, or Walmart in particular. I saw this 25 years ago..Everyone said I was nuts and crazy. Many are still saying that, but it’s right in front of us to see.So..BUY LOCAL, support farmer’s market, set up barter systems where you live. Communities working together will get thru this. Learn old time skills, produce products for local consumption. Help thy neighbor.

  • gw

    Michael,

    I know some regular readers have been critical of your continued focus on “negative” issues. Please don’t listen to them. By continually sharpening your focus on our basic problems you are certainly helping a lot of people prepare for whatever comes. Most people probably can’t do much to prepare financially, but it might help if they can at least prepare emotionally and spiritually. Thanks.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    Typo correction: I meant to say, “The uber-rich are also doing extremely well in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Morocco and Jamaica–-all of which are countries with a super-wealthy minority and a poor, struggling majority.” Sorry about that, jefe.

  • Gil

    Globalism was inevitable. If we did not participate we would simply have been left behind and in worst shape than we are now. Do you think people outside of the US would want to continue to be poor while we in the US lived this extravagant lifestyle? Back when I was studying economics we spoke of the global market and how initially the US would suffer but once we retooled ourselves, the US and the rest of the world would benefit from lower prices and more selection of goods to purchase.

  • jackiebrown

    the country’s moving forward strictly on paper and nothing else, take the washington spin and the wall street head fake and u have an economy falling apart in front of our eyes

  • http://newpapyrusmagazine.blogspot.com Marcel F. Williams

    One of the keys to re-industrializing America is energy independence from fossil fuels. The Federal government needs to mandate that a gradually growing (over the next three decades) percentage of all electricity, transportation fuels, and industrial chemicals be derived from carbon neutral resources (nuclear, urban and rural biowaste, solar, wind, etc.) In other words, if the Federal government mandated than at least 10% of all transportation fuel sold in America be derived from carbon neutral resources by 2020 then the oil companies would have to invest in urban and rural biowaste as the cheapest source of carbon neutral gasoline, diesel fuel, and jet fuel. And that would create jobs in practically every community in America. If the government also mandated that every utility in America had to produce at least 50% of its electricity from carbon neutral sources by 2020 then utilities would be forced to build more nuclear and renewable energy electric power plants. Eventually, the Federal mandates would reach 90%, and America would suddenly become an oil exporter again instead of an oil consumer because we would no longer need petroleum anymore.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    Another interesting point about Latin America and the Caribbean: Chile, which is one of South America’s more developed, Europe-ish countries (along with Argentina y su vecino Uruguay) was hit with a major earthquake earlier this year—an earthquake that was actually much more powerful than the one that brutally ravaged poor Haiti. And yet, the fatalities in densely populated Santiago were a fraction of what they were in Port-au-Prince, Haiti over in the Caribbean. Why? Chile has much stricter building codes and a much better infrastructure than Haiti. Post-Pinochet Chileans have been fighting to avoid the banana republic model, sustain and grow a middle class, and not be a Third World country. Santiago, problems and all, is a much safer city than Caracas or Rio de Janeiro. So while Chileans have been fighting to NOT have a Third World lifestyle, The Banana Republic of America is doing everything it can to join the Third World. Go figure.

  • http://TheEconomicCollapse dwk406

    The strategy in global marketing is that the U.S. will have the hi-tech and bio-tech jobs and the service industry to support it and the rest of the world will be our factory floor.
    Two problems with that approach:
    (1) Lower middle class and lower class workers cannot be easily re-educated and retrained to do these hi-tech jobs. and
    (2) Eventually even second tier level technology jobs will be shipped overseas for cheaper wages. What we spent taxpayer funds retraining the poor in technology jobs, will have been for nothing.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    Big Meech: you make excellent points. As an American who has done a lot of traveling abroad, I’ve found that Americans can be a very romantic bunch compared to Europeans—foolishly and naively romantic, in many cases. So when you hit them with cold, hard facts, they accuse you of being a Debbie Downer. I find that Europeans, on the other hand, tend to be hardcore pragmatists rather than romantics. Only in the BRA do poor, broke, unemployed trailer park residents believe that a brain-dead idiot like Sarah Palin will lead them to the promise land. Only in the BRA do 56-year-old diabetics without health insurance babble on about how the BRA has the greatest health insurance system in the world (yeah, right–and Charles Manson is a freakin’ pacifist).

    How romantic is the BRA? So romantic that the other day in Philadelphia, a homeless guy said to me “Smile!” when I walked by. That right there speaks volumes about the American mentality.

    Yeah, if I just put on a fake smile and pretend that everything is peachy, that poor homeless guy will have a roof over his head and won’t be in danger of freezing to death on the Center City sidewalks three months from now. All I need is a more positive and less cynical outlook, and everything will be just fine. If only it were that simple!

  • Lennie Pike

    The Economic Collapse Blog:

    How about an article about the MSM.

    It is obvious it is now 100% propaganda. It is owned by the globalists. Events occur in other countries I would suppose, but we don’t hear about them anymore.

    Look at how the people of North Korea worshiped the dictator that was starving them to death and mourned him deeply when he died. That will soon be the average American.

    The first thing a totalitarian government does when it takes over is send troops to the tv studios and newspapers. Here they just purchased them. Now our troops need to pay a visit to free them up to be like they used to.

    Riots have broken out all over Europe due to austerity measures and absolutely no reports here about it. They gave us a little video on the protests in Greece, but that was then and this is now. They don’t want to give Americans any ideas with videos of rioting.

    The end of our free press should be setting off alarms. What usually happens shortly after a country’s free press has been co-opted by a tyrannical government? You say it wasn’t the government, it was private corporations/their majority stockholders? THEY ARE THE GOVERNMENT!!!!!!!

    TAKE YOUR COUNTRY BACK IMMEDIATELY OR GET READY FOR A PLACE LIKE RUSSIA WAS UNDER STALIN INCLUDING THE EXECUTIONS.

    I’ve got news for you people Americans: There are some very very bad people in this world, and if you do not fight and control them, they will have their way with you. Stand up and fight them while you still can.

    Read up on how it was under Russian fascism if you are too young or have forgotten. Alexander S. would be a good start.

  • Lennie Pike

    Gil:

    Globalism was not inevitable. We did not need to participate. With zero imports and zero exports Americans could have had the highest standard of living in the world. That is if the plan to destroy the character of the average American and his ability to think for himself had not been successfully carried out.

    Nothing you said made a bit of sense.

  • CJFYuma

    O.K…”America is getting poorer”. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure this one out. It’s simple, people. Remember when (’40′s,’50′s,’60′s, early ’70′s), we used to sing “America the Beautiful” in school? We learned that “God shed his grace on thee (America) by singing this song. During that time, our nation steadily became more “PROSPEROUS”. Can children sing this song today in public schools without being sued by the NCLU?

    We, as a nation, once held the belief that by God’s grace, we “PROSPERED”. Without God’s grace, we would surely fall into “POVERTY”. So here you have it: less grace from God equals more “POVERTY” and less “PROSPERITY”. A simple economic equation that worked for a few hundred years. Now class, does anyone know the reasons why our nation has been steadily losing God’s grace, the effect being an increasing level of “POVERTY”?

  • alice

    It’s pretty scary out there! Our leaders are grasping at straws, while they are digging us into a black hole, trying to provide a softer landing for an economy that is spiraling out of control! There are still trying to borrow and spend our way out of while making things worst, NOT BETTER. Austerity measures need to be implemented ASAP. Cut, eliminate, consolidate government at all levels. Get rid of the income taxes, replaced with import tax, cut taxes across the board. Our government is doing the exact opposite of what needs to be done.

  • bichu

    Imagine for a moment that someone inherits a farm. Let’s say that the farm has good topsoil, a good well, good breeding stock, good seed, and excellent farm equipment in good repair. Prior to passing into the control of the present owner the farm did a good business selling vegetables, meat, and dairy products to the local market, and it made a small profit.
    But let us suppose for a moment that the present owner of the farm doesn’t understand farming, or isn’t even really interested in learning. The present owner has no objection to standing around looking good, so he stays at the farm, standing in front of it, looking good to passers by.

    Of course, the bills still come in, so our farmer puts them on his credit card. When that bill comes due he uses another credit card, Then another. Pretty soon the interest payments alone are higher than his bills and the banks get nervous and call him. No problem. Our farmer sells the tractor, takes the money around to the various credit cards, the food store, the utilities, and pays off all his bills. Then he stands around in front of the farm looking good to passers-by, the lord of his domain.

    Well, the bills still come in. Again the credit cards get loaded up. So, this time our farmer sells the harvester. Then later on, the cattle, then the chickens, then the seeds, then he leases the well to his neighbor and finally sells the top soil from his farm to another farm down the road whose soil is getting tired. The cash is taken around to the various creditors, the food store, the utilities, etc.

    Now at this point, our farmer thinks everything is okay. The bills are paid, he has a little cash in his pocket, and everything is fine.

    Of course, you know better. The farm simply does not exist any more; it’s just an empty lot with a few buildings, and soon they will be gone as well. The path from the farmer’s present condition to seizure of the property for unpaid taxes is a foregone conclusion, even if the farmer doesn’t look far enough ahead to see it.

    Poor, dumb, stupid farmer.

    That farmer is our government, and our business leaders.

  • orsobubu

    Lennie, capital needs to grow at least 1-2% every year, anything less than this equals to a stagnation or recession. I cannot explain here the math. As soon as a national economy cannot expand more internally, that rate isn’t sustainable and to avoid civil unrest (fights among social classes) national bourgeois needs to export capitals (workplaces, machines) abroad, and expand its commercial and military influence sphere. This is “globalism” explained by Marx and Lenin: its scientific term is Imperialism. The only solutions are going back to an obscure age of wars or evolve capitalism in a superior production system, called communism. Communism is totally different from what people usually think, because people confuse communism with soviet-like state capitalism; US is shifting toward state capitalism, not communism; in communism money, salaries, banks and market will no more exist.

  • CFL

    In your article, you claim that a redistribution of wealth is not necessary.

    However, i would challenge your perception of redistribution.

    In order for these better benefits and better paying jobs, you have to get the money from somewhere. The market is not going to create that money out of thin air. That is part of the attitude that got our economy in this mess.

    Until the upper echelon of the corporate elite are willing to take a pay cut, we will not see the jobs and prosperity that has come to be the “norm” as touted to us by Hollywood and the Media.

  • Tom

    The republicans goal is to eliminate th emiddle class. The rich will have all the power and cheap labor. Vote the republicans out.

  • Lennie Pike

    orsobubu,

    I don’t agree that a that a country’s economy has to export capital to keep expanding 2% per year to avoid social unrest or even that it is necessary to expand at all on a per capita basis. Maybe you can explain why.

    I would say there is a little bit of evidence that the export of capital from the U.S. has not resulted in an expansion or our economy. There is also some evidence already of social unrest because of it.

    Free Market Capitalism with sound money is the system that works the best. Wars are not necessary or even thought of by anyone living in that system but they would be under communism.

    We don’t have Free Market Capitalism as you point out, and there never has been a true communist government as you also point out, but there never will be a true communist government. Even so, communism sucks the big one and so do commies.

    A human being’s freedom and right to his labor should never be taken away. It can’t be without a very negative response from the producer, and a result on an economy. That person will cease production even if force is applied on him to keep producing.

    And on a separate note, who will try to force him to produce? It will be someone like Stalin, who wasn’t a commie but is the reason all commies suck. Torture, killing, slavery, hunger, sickness, poverty are always involved so please excuse my anger. Peace.

  • John Paul

    Wow, what a great example of a little knowledge being a bad thing. The author has enough sense to see that the rich are getting richer and richer – that much is true. The game is, in fact, rigged. A resume with a black man’s name on it (that is, a name that is rare among whites but very common among blacks) is half as likely to get a call back from a random sample of employers than an identical resume with a white man’s name on it. The best predictor of an Americans wealth level is not their intelligence or their hard work. It is their father’s wealth level! The correlation between the two is stronger in the US than in almost all the other OECD countries.
    So yes, the author is right that the game is rigged and the middle class needs jobs.
    But then to say that the answer is NOT redistribution… Well, that’s just dumb. Doing anything to fix the problem entails redistribution.

  • John Paul

    Ione – the examples you cite are evidence of the rigging. Yes, a very expensive education is helpful, but its also very expensive! Some people will earn full rides, of course, but not many. The rest – going to Catholic school, living in a safe neighborhood, learning the manners and methods of the wealthy – all that takes money and it takes social connections. Your older relatives provided much more help to you than you give them credit for, but they couldn’t have done it without strong supportive families of their own.
    And in regard to the general rigged nature of the game, not just for the very poor but for all Americans in general, you have only to look at the correlation between parents’ and children’s incomes. If America were a perfectly fair country, then every kid should have a more or less equal shot and there should only be a relationship to parents from hereditary merit, like how smart parents tend to have smart kids. But in America, the correlation is very nearly 0.50, meaning fully half of your income can be predicted from simply knowing your father’s income. That is the problem! Fathers are used, btw, because the mothers of today’s adults were often not in the workforce. That’s changing, but for now, the father to child ratio is the logical one to use. Other countries where people are quite happy and free (I’m not going to say more or less than us – that’s endlessly debateable) have much lower correlations. See http://www.oecdobserver.org/news/fullstory.php/aid/3234/Intergenerational_earning.html for the details of the OECD’s report.

  • Sammyone

    Americans’ net worth has fallen 14 T. since ’08; is’nt that about what the fedgov has pumped into the banks, GSEs, GM etc.?

    Put another way, all that lost wealth was just inflated home prices and phoney stock market prices. So the ‘greater fools’ were caught out! That’s what happens to fools. Boo-hoo.

  • Sammyone

    John Paul

    As you favor redistribution, I ask, on what basis will the redistribution be made? Black sounding names? Skin color?

    Aren’t you committing the same crime you want to rectify?

    And what do you make of the social policy of the US these last fifty years? Racial preferences have been the basis for redistribution long enough.

    Current economic conditions injure us all.

    A purely economic template of redistribution is called for, one that addresses the concentration of wealth among those at the top of society and gives aid not based on historical claims but merit and need.

    Much has already been done to address the injustices of racism. And more is being done. But the scars of racism will only be healed by ministrations of the conscience and the heart.

  • Scott M.

    @ Lennie Pike, and how is your description of communism different from our current capitalist system??

    You should read the following site:

    http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/capitalism_economy.htm

  • Sammyone

    The ineffably dense scleroto-libs that inhabit this site fail to understand how clueless they are. They have no real world experience that qualifies them to pontificate on anything outside of how big that crack rock you want to sell them is or how much their tummy wants another bite of something yummy.

    If they did they would be president. Oh, yeah, that’s right, I forgot. Never mind.

  • Lennie Pike

    Scott M.,

    Not much, read what I wrote one more time.

  • orsobubu

    Lennie, I’m absolutely in peace with you.
    You can search in every politics economy textbook the math details about the minimum % increment. In capitalism (and in sciences in general) the equilibrium state is not achievable. All the economic theories based on equilibrium of free trade have failed to date in explaining the reality. Instead, if you study marxism, you know that in capitalism the crisis are unavoidable due to the fall of profit rate, overproduction and unemployment. Historically, these crisis are followed by social unrest. bourgeoise can bypass this civil wars, in first place exporting their imperialism and – when they have no more space to do this peacefully – shifting to an authoritarian regime (fascism, etc) and bringing the war abroad clashing against other rising imperialisms. US imperialism had an enormous success after the 2 World Wars, but it is declining against europe, china, india, etc. You don’t need to be a marxist to believe it, there are plenty of bourgeoise economists that – basically – are recognizing this. i.e., you can start from schumpeter or kondratieff. IMO, you are wrong saying that communism will never succeed. First, primitive communism was by far the longest human era; second, in year 1200 you could be treated as a fool if you told about the future success of capitalism over the feudal servant system. Also, if you study communism you can learn that only if the worker can obtain the full value of its work he can be defined a free man: this is possible only under communism, as in capitalism the big part of his product is possessed by the capitalist as surplus value (capital, then money). So only in communism the producer could produce at its best, and people could organize to realize every dream because you don’t need capitals to pay the workers. No more banks, money, salaries, crisis, unemployment, wars: only a centrally planned self-organized class of world producers no more competing against each other. finally, stalin and every other historic “communist” were state capitalists.

  • Lennie Pike

    orsobubu:

    It is impossible for true communism to exist, but it is only slightly difficult for True Free Market Capitalism to exist – it can and it has.

    For each there are always people who will seize control for their benefit by having one set of rules for themselves enforced through police power or unfair control over the money, and another set of rules for everyone else.

    When a free people are vigilant and know how precious and fragile their freedom is, the good set of rules is enforced. There is no chance of good rule enforcement without freedom – the means to enforce it (guns) will have been confiscated. By the way, what do you think of our Constitution and the 2nd Ammendment? Does it make you sick at your stomach?

    Your criticism of Capitalism that you learned from textbooks that originated from academia are either not the truth or are based on fixed market crony capitalism and fiat money and either way are written by people who have a communist bent.

    Instead of believing what you are taught in these text books, it would be better to think through everything yourself. Don’t let others do your thinking for you. I have thought things through for myself and do not believe that Free Market Capitalism (with rules for a fair game) is the best system just because I was taught it or lived under it for a short time (before 1971). It makes sense because it is the truth. Truth and it’s opposite do exist and are not opinion.

    Capitalism can work and work very well. It is impossible for communism to work, and even if it could work it would suck.

    You say peace, and I believe you mean it. But you say it out of ignorance. Every time an attempt to implement communism has been attempted, killing the ones who disagree with it has been necessary. The reason there were a lot of people who welcomed communism was that True Free Market Capitalism was not being implemented and people were suffering at the hands of the ones who had a separate set of rules for themselves. But the people who welcomed in communism didn’t realize that the same type of people were going to rule with a separate set of rules for themselves and there was of course going to be no true communism which like I said would also suck.

    All of the wars that The United States Government has been involved in and even started nowadays, has nothing to do with Free Market Capitalism. It is very easy to say that it does but it is not the truth.

    I believe there are no people, even the weakest among us, who would agree to share what they produce equally with everyone else. Only the ones who produce nothing, and there are a few of those (very few actually) would agree to that. It also requires every one to have the same personal beliefs to function which is also impossible, and there are no people who would do that, there are only ones who say they are doing it. Those people have beliefs, you can believe that.

    So the only people who are for communism are ones who have either been taught it and have not thought things through for themselves, or are people like lennin and marx and a few people walking around today who want one set of rules for themselves and another set for everyone else only because they think of themselves as the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    I responded one time to you, but don’t think now that you have someone who you can talk to about communism. It makes me sick to my stomach and does not deserve to be dignified by discussing it. Bye.

  • CJFYuma

    The author clearly demonstrates, using statistical observations, that the nation is becoming poorer for “individuals and families”. We must deflect, however, and agree that today the industrial and financial corporations are becoming the opposite – these entities are becoming richer, with the unethical assistance, bailouts of the U.S government! Why there happens to be a wide disparity in income between corporations and individuals is a separate matter of debate.

    Allow me to offer a straight forward, general explanation for the cumulative loss of prosperity in this country. It happens to be the result of a moral, ethical cause, so I apologize for offending my atheistic/ agnostic minority brethren.

    I remember, as a young schoolboy in the ’60′s, singing the song “America the Beautiful”. The verse which captured my spirit was “God shed His grace on Thee”.
    We learn from the historical accounts in the Old Testament, when God graces a nation, it prospers; the opposite occurs when God withholds his grace. When a nation collectively decides to deride, and mock the Divine, and conduct its affairs immorally and unethically, the Divine Grace naturally recedes, resulting in decreased prosperity, and increased poverty.

    Historical accounts of ancient civilizations (think Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Rome) economically collapsing under the weight of their diminished moral, ethical standards, are clearly documented in the writings of Josephus and the Old Testament, among other historical records. Clearly, morals and the social economy are very much intertwined in this world. Moral law requires an author, and that author is the Divine – the same Divine that inspired our Constitution, and codified our rights to life, liberty, and prosperity.

    It is quite evident, observing the political, social, and economic affairs of the nation during the last 10 years, that the moral corruption of America has risen exponentially (ex., housing collapse, financial crisis). This moral collapse started approximately 40 years ago. There are numerous examples and incidents supporting this claim. Just read the news daily on your favorite website, or in your newspapers. Moralists will agree that America is currently experiencing a wave of immoral behavior that’s unprecedented in recent times, which affects government, business, and civil affairs.

    I believe that we are now entering the economic collapse experienced by all of the world’s previous superpower nations – for the reasons I have just given. Politicians, business, and civil leaders take heed of this fundamental economic equation: Increase in Immorality + Decrease in Divine Grace = Decrease in Prosperity + Increase in Poverty. Thus extrapolating, moral collapse precedes economic collapse.

    By the way, can public school students even sing “America the Beautiful” today in class?

    American Patriot

  • dippity doo

    its called fascism…

  • orsobubu

    Lennie, really thanks for your full and passionate answer. only two points to provide you some inspiration for further research:

    - in communism, only the means of production will be collectively owned. instead, *all* the product will be owned by the single worker. this way, without exploitation by the capitalist, the capital accumulation cannot exist (can’t explain here the math)

    - *every* time communists attempted to take the power, capitalists came in to strangle the revolutionaries, kill and destroy. Communists never took and hold the power in history, so in no way they could kill people. Only in Russia, to defend the bolschevik revolution from capitalists’ white terrorism, Lenin killed some thousands adversaries, but it was a real war. You confuse communists with state capitalist dictatorships (stalin, etc), which were frequently supported by free-market economies (like US with polpot)

  • Lennie Pike

    orsobubu:

    I lied, I will say one last thing to you. You said:

    “in communism, only the means of production will be collectively owned, and all of the product will be owned by the single worker”. Maybe it is because your English is not so good, but that is a highly deceptive way to speak.

    I don’t think you meant to use the word “only” in what you said because that suggests that there would be something else that could be individually owned other than the means of production and the product which there is not.

    And saying all of the product will be owned by the single worker does not make any sense because anyone would assume that the product will be divided into an amount of shares equal to the number of workers. You should have used the word “workers” as in all of them, and as in people who have no freedom to decide the destiny of their own lives. There would have to be a group of people to force them into producing of course and hat is why communism can not exist – that group of people who do the forcing could not exist. If they did, it would not be communism because if they did exist, I guarandamnteeya they’d be getting extra cabbage in their soup.

    Nothing happens without the incentive of accumulation of capital, and under a good set of rules it is not a bad thing but is a good thing.

  • http://vote.ratemyarms.com Hot or Not

    It’s no wonder America is getting poorer. Most of its citizens have enormous amounts of debt, which often take years to repay. This is due to the materialistic nature of America, which only consumes beyond their ability to actually purchase had they had paid with something other than credit.

  • http://none William B. Leavenworth

    National communism and corporate capitalism are just flip sides of the same bad materialist penny. In a limited environment, like planet Earth, it is a physical impossibility to achieve economic stability by simultaneously increasing population and per capita consumption. Endless growth is the strategy of cancer, which always destroys its host and then dies unless it is itself stopped by radical therapy. So let’s start thinking in terms of limiting population, and taxing the world’s plutocracy back into the middle class where they may get a realistic perspective on the physics of terrestrial existence. Otherwise, the only “safe” investments are a defensible home in the country and lots of ammunition.

  • orsobubu

    @ Lennie

    OK, I’m from Italy, my English is BAAD! back to workers, think about those in factories, i.e. General Motors: in no way they can imagine to have an incentive to capital accumulation, nevertheless they are the key factor in designing and building those incredible machines. Same in communism: no incentive, but the certainty to produce even better in absence of capitalism’ crisis.

    @ William B. Leavenworth

    OK for me. But you can take a further step: INTERNATIONAL communism. In this way, you will have no limitation in growth: the world could start thinking big: transform the deserts, conquer the outer space, and so on. The Earth as a marvelous garden would be fantastic for me too.

  • Mike

    orsobubu:

    I like it. One nation and more equality. I am in.

  • zimtran

    Soon we’ll all be scrounging for protein in the ruins.

  • orsobubu

    @ Mike

    now you’ve to join an internationalist organization

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