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The Worst In The World – The U.S. Balance Of Trade Is Mind-Blowingly Bad

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Did you know that we buy about a half a trillion dollars more stuff from the rest of the world than they buy from us?  The U.S. balance of trade is not only mind-blowingly bad – it is the worst in the world.  It is being projected that the U.S. trade deficit for 2011 will be 558.2 billion dollars.  That would be an increase of more than 11 percent from last year.  As I have written about previously, the United States is the worst in the world at a lot of things, but as far as the economic well-being of our nation is concerned, our balance of trade is particularly important.  Every single month, far more money goes out of this country than comes into it.  Tax revenues are significantly reduced as all of this money gets sucked out of our communities.  The federal government, state governments and local governments borrow gigantic piles of money to try to make up the difference, but all of this borrowing just makes our debt problems a whole lot worse.  In the end, no amount of government debt is going to be able to cover over the fact that our national economic pie is shrinking.  We are continually consuming far more wealth than we produce, and that is a recipe for economic disaster.

The “current account balance” is one key indicator of how a country is doing economically.  The following is how the CIA World Factbook defines “current account balance”….

This entry records a country’s net trade in goods and services, plus net earnings from rents, interest, profits, and dividends, and net transfer payments (such as pension funds and worker remittances) to and from the rest of the world during the period specified.

If someone were to ask you what countries in the world have strong, thriving economies right now, what countries would you think of?

Would countries like China, Germany, Russia and Saudi Arabia come to mind?

Well, all of those nations have huge positive current account balances.  In fact, China has the best current account balance in the world at +$305 billion.

So who is on the other end of the scale?

The following information comes directly from a CIA World Factbook chart….

190 Turkey $ -48,420,000,000

191 Canada $ -48,500,000,000

192 India $ -51,780,000,000

193 France $ -54,400,000,000

194 United Kingdom $ -56,190,000,000

195 Spain $ -63,650,000,000

196 Italy $ -67,940,000,000

197 United States $ -470,200,000,000

The United States is rated dead last at number 197.

Just take a close look at those numbers for a minute.

The U.S. had a current account balance of negative 470 billion dollars in 2010.  That figure was almost 7 times worse than the next worst country (Italy).

Not only does the United States have the worst current account balance in the entire world, the truth is that no other country is even in the same ballpark as us.

We are bleeding wealth so fast that it is hard to even describe it.

But perhaps a real life example can help put this all into perspective.

One 22-year-old Saudi Arabian student has a collection of sports cars that is worth more than 12 million dollars.  Reportedly, his collection includes at least three Lamborghinis, five Ferraris and five Porsches.

And guess who paid for it?

You did.

Every month, billions of dollars go out of the United States to help pay for the insane lifestyles of the ultra-wealthy oil barons of the Middle East.

Meanwhile, dozens of major U.S. cities are degenerating into hellholes.

Once upon a time, Detroit was one of the greatest industrial cities that the world has ever seen.  It was the envy of the entire globe.

But now Detroit is an utter nightmare….

*An analysis of census figures found that 48.5% of all men living in Detroit from age 20 to age 64 did not have a job in 2008.

*If you can believe it, the median price of a home in Detroit is now just $6000.

*Only 25 percent of students in Detroit graduate from high school.

So what happened to Detroit?

Well, just as has been happening in so many other U.S. cities, industry has been leaving at an astounding pace.

As I have written about previously, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day were shut down in the United States during 2010.

Overall, the U.S. has lost a total of more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

This country is bleeding middle class jobs profusely, and neither major political party seems to care.

American family budgets are being stretched tighter and tighter these days.  There are not nearly enough good jobs to go around and yet the cost of everything just seems to keep going up.

Many families are going into massive amounts of debt in an attempt to make ends meet.  According to a recent CNN article, credit card use in the United States is experiencing a major upswing once again….

Purchases made with credit cards rose 8.2% in the first quarter of 2011, 9% in the second quarter and 10.6% in the third quarter, according to First Data.

Of course American consumers were out in force on Black Friday once again this year.  They gleefully filled up their carts with cheap plastic crap made overseas, and many racked up huge credit card balances in the process.

But most of us never stop to think about those that make all of these cheap plastic products for us.

Thanks to the globalization of the economy, big corporations and corrupt governments can make stuff in countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages and then ship their products into the United States for free.

It is important for all of us to learn what actually happens to these people that are working so hard for slave labor wages.  The following comes from a recent article in the Guardian….

At the Hung Hing factory the researcher found that the 8,000 workers put in up to 100 hours of overtime a month, far in excess of the legal maximum. Workers say they have to sign a document agreeing to work additional overtime on top of the legal maximum. The basic wage was £132 a month (up to £250 with maximum overtime payments) but wages were paid up to three weeks late.

Workers complained of inadequate training with the factory machines and last year one worker died when he fell into a machine. They said there were frequent injuries and concerns over the chemicals used. There were also complaints about the standard of the dormitories, where water for washing and flushing toilets is turned off at 10pm.

How in the world are American workers supposed to “compete” for jobs at those wage levels?

As I have written about previously, Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University is warning that 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades if nothing is done to stop this.

But instead, our “representatives” in Congress just keep pushing more “free trade” agreements as the answer to our problems.  Congress has passed new free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, and the Obama administration has made “the NAFTA of the Pacific” a very high priority.

Well, if “free trade” is supposed to create so many jobs, then why was last decade the worst decade for the creation of jobs since the Great Depression?

If you can believe it, zero jobs were created between 1999 and 2009.  The following comes from an article in Washington Monthly….

“If any single number captures the state of the American economy over the last decade, it is zero. That was the net gain in jobs between 1999 and 2009—nada, nil, zip. By painful contrast, from the 1940s through the 1990s, recessions came and went, but no decade ended without at least a 20 percent increase in the number of jobs.”

But our leaders don’t care about us.  In fact, even the members of Obama’s “jobs panel” have been shipping jobs out of the United States at a very rapid pace.

The U.S. has run a negative balance of trade with the rest of the globe every single year since 1976.  During that time, the U.S. has run up a total trade deficit of more than 7.5 trillion dollars with the rest of the planet.

That 7.5 trillion dollars could have gone to support U.S. workers and U.S. businesses.

But it didn’t.  Instead, it went out of the country and it made foreigners wealthier as our own cities slowly rotted.

Now we are actually passing laws that encourage wealthy foreigners to come in and buy up pieces of the United States.

For example, there is actually a bill in Congress that would automatically give residence visas to any foreigners that are willing to spend at least half a million dollars to buy houses inside the United States.

The idea behind the bill is that this will get the housing market moving again.

There aren’t enough Americans with good jobs to buy houses, so we have now decided to beg foreigners to buy them.

How bizarre is that?

Until our horrendous balance of trade is fixed, the employment situation in this country is going to continue to get worse.

Any politician that tries to sell you on a “jobs plan” that does not address our balance of trade is either totally incompetent or is straight out lying to you.

The economic infrastructure of America is crumbling a little bit more every single day.  If something dramatic is not done, we will continue to bleed businesses, bleed jobs and bleed wealth.

Please share this information with as many people as you can.  The American people need to understand what is happening to the economy.  We need to work to wake up as many people as we can before it is too late.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    “It’s not free trade, it’s slave trade.” —Gerald Celente

    “The only way we come back as a country is to build the domestic economy.”—Gerald Celente

    “Hey kiddies, keep spending that money in college. Get that degree as an MBA. You can have a job at Wal-Mart. You can become a cashier or a clerk.”—Gerald Celente

  • Rick Rodgers

    Do you see our nation failing economically? How long do you think we have? What do you think will happen as this decline continues? More job loss, more manufacturing loss, banking goes under? How would you prepare financially?
    Thank you

  • When a candidate’s morals & character don’t matter to you:

    Newt Gingrich’s Skeleton Closet

    The Real Newt Gingrich

    Romney’s Advisors Are Leftist Elites

  • Cinderella Man JD

    We are in desperate need of good jobs in this country. I just got dont watching Vanguard films on Current channel called “Two Americas.” It was about two families in Houston, TX. They live only 40 miles apart but it might as well be thousands. Poverty can be a illusion. Most people still have their new cars and flat screens, but they are always wondering what they might need to pawn to keep the lights on. Other families might think its cute and quaint to have to wear $5.95 a pair earrings to a fundraiser for over $500,000. It just amazes me about the differences in our country. If only our politicians would stop going on vacation and passing bills to limit our freedoms and started looking at what is at the heart of our sickness I could hope again for our future. But there’s not much. When all of our elected leaders stop thinking only about themselves and start doing the job they were sent there to do it would be a good start. But that has about as much of a chance as Gary 2 growing up and accepting responsibility for himself. TAX THE POOR MORE!!! END EARNED INCOME CREDIT!!! PAY YOUR FAIR SHARE!!! peace

    • Gay Veteran

      tax the poor, those lucky duckies who have it so good

  • r.bitting

    Trade deficits, bank failures, real estate bubbles, credit crunches, high unemployement, hellhole cities, homelessness, soaring crime rates, riots, mass protests, high divorce rates, perscription drug abuse, corupt politicians, inability to control the borders, corporate greed, unsustainable debt, redefined morality, dependence on foriegn oil, breakdown of the traditioal family….. all these and many others are merely symptoms of the disease. What a man sows, that he also reaps. this is true for nations as well. If anyone thinks that more jobs, more social programs, more politicians, more shopping, more taxes, more bailouts, or more trade are the answer, you need more time ( to think ). This country, and the world, for that matter are about to go over the cliff. This nation will not recover because the people have turned thier backs on God. They have not recieved the truth of God’s word. Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. This nation has become Detroit. Better read deuteronomy ch. 28, better read Romans ch. 1, better get a clue people. Prep all you want, nothing wrong with that, but if you are prepping without God, then you are prepping in vain. God is not mocked, as a man sows, that he reaps.

    • Kathy Smith

      Right on once again r.bitting keep up your awesome replies

  • Gary2

    I have to agree with Kevin on this one. We need to manufacturing jobs back here. If it costs more the companies can just make less profit and pay the CEO less.

    What are we gonna do greet each other at Walmart?

    Service jobs are mostly low pay shit jobs.

    • For the past 30 years, tax cuts have been a complete failure so it is now time to make offshore operations less profitable (higher taxes) rather than making domestic operations more profitable (lower taxes).

    • 007

      No Gary we need to teach these Greedy manufacturers a leason and tax them so hard we drive them out of business. The democrats need to so punish any employer that has the audacity to try to hire someone, that it is as painful and unprofitable as possible. Then redistribute the laid off workers unemployment benefits checks.

      • Kevin2

        We could reduce corporate taxes to zero and they are still going for virtual slave labor in the developing world. It’s developing by the way because we opened our rich market duty free when duty was the law of the land for 200+ years. What changed is the corporations re-wrote the rules by-passing the will of the public. How do I know their will was by-passed? Because 83% of the Republicans and 80% of the Democrats voted for this insanity giving the voting public zero choice. Flip a coin, heads they win, tails they win. Regardless what party you vote for you loose.

        You need not rig an election when both are owned. All you need to appease the masses is to go through the motions of Democracy without the substance.

        Think unions with high pay caused it? Well guess again because the textile industry with it’s low paying by US standards $8-$15 per hour fled to 50 cent virtual slave labor.

        50 cent labor, unsafe working conditions, uncivilized “company town” housing verses the US with no import duty? No brainer.

    • Kevin2


      You beat me to it.

      Here lay the root cause. Manufacturing left and debt replaced wealth creation. Debt became the engine of growth. This was facilitated by both parties removal of regulations of Wall Street (Glass Stegall) legalizing insane casino type betting of “investments”.

      The manipulation allowed the wealthy to increase their wealth at the expense of virtually everyone else.

      The void of wealth was filled with a massive increase in fiat currency and currency credits. We’re just awaiting the ultimate fall out from this.

    • The point is NOT to punish americans but to bring jobs back – IOW cancel all ‘free trade’ agreements with the world & tax the stuff coming into the U.S.

      The problem is its too late – the damage has been done & there is NO way to get the genie back in the bottle.

      We can only wait for the crash &/or further restriction & denial of citizens rights.

      Oh well at least me & my family are prepared.


  • Gary2

    How about the balance of wealth and income which is pretty much what trade is when you dig down.

    HuffPost’s QuickRead…
    Income Inequality Rising In Most Wealthy Countries, OECD Finds…

    Oh yeah I would say OWS is getting its point across. Time for another new deal.

    • what a total load of crap.

      I suppose you want a govt agency to determine the pay of all ppl. Hey how about just making a law that says everyone is paid the same? Yea that would work too….

      Except you have to totally abandon the constitution & the rights of citizens.

      Sorry but instead of doing that, how about you just move to North Korea or some other failing state run 1984 type of govt where those in charge live the high life while all the everyday folks are poor regardless of what they do. Yea lets do away with competition, creativity & heck why not get rid of voting too?

      Sorry but your comments sicken me – if you had ever lived under such a repressive govt you would NOT be making these suggestions – I have been to some of these places & seen it first hand. Ever wonder why all those ppl from govts your describing are flocking to America? Because of the unchecked fraud, waste & abuse.

      Its all great on paper & in your perfect world, but fact remains govts like you have described have failed miserably; far worse than what we are seeing now.


  • “Any politician that tries to sell you on a JOBS PLAN that does not address our balance of trade is either totally incompetent or is straight out lying to you.”

    (1) All of our “presidential candidates” are included in the above category.

    (2) All of our “presidential candidates” are trying to discuss everything else to smoke screen the trade issue. Offshore operations create vast amounts of wealth for multinationals who are large campaign contributors – go figure.

    (3) The US industrial base is too small to support the US population and government.

    (4) Government spending cuts will maintain the financial strength of other large campaign contributors (banks, investors, and wall street) by making more money available at low interest rates. Reducing the size of the US government, however, will increase unemployment.

    “This country is bleeding middle class jobs profusely, and neither major political party seems to care.”

    “If something dramatic is not done, we will continue to bleed businesses, bleed jobs and bleed wealth.”


  • Gary2

    A hedge fund manager who makes $5 billion in a year is making enough money to pay the starting salaries of 100,000 firefighters. On a one-year monetary basis, a financial expert is worth 100,000 times more than the man or woman racing to the scene of a medical emergency.


    • what a total load of crap.

      I suppose you want a govt agency to determine the pay of all ppl. Hey how about just making a law that says everyone is paid the same? Yea that would work too….

      Except you have to totally abandon the constitution & the rights of citizens.

      Sorry but instead of doing that, how about you just move to North Korea or some other failing state run 1984 type of govt where those in charge live the high life while all the everyday folks are poor regardless of what they do. Yea lets do away with competition, creativity & heck why not get rid of voting too?

      Sorry but your comments sicken me – if you had ever lived under such a repressive govt you would NOT be making these suggestions – I have been to some of these places & seen it first hand. Ever wonder why all those ppl from govts your describing are flocking to America? Because of the unchecked fraud, waste & abuse.

      Its all great on paper & in your perfect world, but fact remains govts like you have described have failed miserably; far worse than what we are seeing now.


  • Darien

    Just remember this the next time you go shopping.
    The few products that still have a good US mfg presence are tires, hand tools, furniture and some appliances, cars, food products and thats about it.
    Goodyear and Cooper are the only US based tire companies but even some of their tires are made abroad. Check the sidewalls before purchase.
    Most apple juice is Chinese concentrate (especially Walmart), probabaly the worst offenders with arsenic tainting.
    It makes me sick to hear the “its a global economy” buffoons constantly spewing the venom of free trade and “I will buy what I want” crap, never, ever realizing they are cutting their own throats.

  • mondobeyondo

    We can easily compete with the rest of the world. Just make quality products like we used to do, and pay our workers $2.00 a day, so we can compete with Chinese and Indian workers.

    Oh, you don’t like that? Can’t pay your bills on $2.00 a day? Awww, you poor spoiled brat.

    Welcome to how much of the world lives…

    • Darien

      Well, the guys and gals making $2 an hour will just have to go and find second and third jobs to pay the bills.
      For goodness sakes, we can’t take anything away from the billionaires, the job creators. They desrve every penny they steal, er’ make!

  • mondobeyondo

    The K-Mart store down the street from where I live, is going out of business. Everything must go. Their last day will be December 18th. By Christmas, that store will be just another vacant big box real estate parcel.

    There was a microwave oven on clearance sale, 50 percent off. No refunds, no returns, blah blah. It was an Oster brand, made in China (of course). Normally, I wouldn’t have bought it, but the savings were irrestible. I caved in and bought it.

    That’s why that K-Mart store is going out of business. Chinese products driving American stores out of business. How ironic.

  • Ashwin

    It seems that all the prosperity in the so called ‘developed’ world was artificial. And now the amazing dream is coming to an end as the day of reality dawns on these countries.
    I am really appalled to see these ‘dream-lands’ crumble. Yes it was a dream. Yes it was a fantasy. But man..!! What an amazing fantasy…. Just think of all the Las Vegas, San Franciscos, all the lovely Italian Cars.. Lambo’s, Ferrari’s and the Maserrati’s.. I really don’t want to see this happening. But i knw, there is nothing stopping this apocalypse.

  • Otown Right Guy

    Thanks Michael, for another much needed does of reality. So our trade deficit is far worse than all of the PIIGS combined! But the Dow/S&P/NASDAQ were all up today, yippee, all is well!

    We need to abolish the IRS and replace it with tariffs ASAP! Especially on China, which uses slave labor. There is no “free trade” with a country like China. Our satanic psychopath traitorous politicians would have the American worker compete with slave labor. How long can we go on like this?

  • tappedops


    Hate to tell you but your blog is on fire—nice going fearsonist (kidding)… your now at the crossroads where the “limited hangout” of the financial piece of the puzzle needs to be placed on the board. And you know what im talking about… we both know about how “ill-gotten gains” the banksters have whoofed are to be secured… we know why the security measures will already be in place when the rug is pulled… two thirds – or more – of the current wake up bellers are picking up a 20 chapter novel at chapter 16… and are not back-turning… bottom line… do a “spill the beans” story that starts the whole ball rolling… codeword sept11…

  • morty48

    Time for a new New Deal L.O.L… You Progressives and your ridiculous notion that stimulus spending works. Between George W and O’Dummer we have spent about $8 Trillion. Oh But but we saved 100,000 jobs that would of certainly been lost right ? Of Course the progressives can never come up with the actual Facts that would back up their claims.. Keynesian Dopes. Come on any Idiot can see that Progressives have no intention of bringing any jobs back to America . Evertime you look up we are signing another “Free Trade agreement” . It’s Global Re-distribution of wealth. The Federal Government (AKA Gary 2) wants you to believe that taxing thr rich or Evil Corportions will help close the Gap and pay for our $1.5 Trillion defecit from this year alone.It’s laughable . Take your Marxist “Tax the Rich” over to the Communist street poopers Fan club ..

    • dtrudo

      right on morty48. and when you consider the current progressive O’Dummer administration’s socialist agenda of “fairness” (read global redistribution of wealth) it’s no wonder our debt is soaring, fundamental manufacturing jobs are moving away (lot’s of reasons, taxes, wages, unions, etc, etc) and the idiots by design (OWS and many others) fall in behind the O’Dummer Death March and his version of the New (Raw) Deal. O’Dummer is no dummy, this is all intentional. As a socialist, redistributing marxist you have to widen the gap between the haves/have nots on a global basis and he’s just the man to do it. Anyone that believes this is not part of a global plan need only look at the facts.

  • dave

    It’s too late to fix this mess. Protect yourself from the end.

  • Maria

    Who cares about trade balances? Congress? Naaah! Why worry? All we have to do is keep pushing that little button on our little printing press. I mean, really, we are THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! Who do we owe money to? They take checks, right? As long as we are the reserve currency of the world, we can pretty much do whatever kinda check they want. Hot checks, blank checks, rubber checks….we got all kinds! We’re good for it, right? And you know, anyway….we got the FED! They got our backs covered. And everybody knows….NOBODY messes with the FED!

    Whew! I don’t know about all of you, but I am reeealy starting to like this kool-aide! I don’t have a clue what’s in it, but who the heck cares!

  • Key message for US citizens (if that term still apply), much before global peak or not etc, should be : Did you know we went through our oil production peak in 1970, yes that is 41 years ago, 10 millions barrels a day then, 5 now, and yes quite a bit has been done to cover/muddle around this from you, like for instance labelling the first oil shock “Arab embargo”, when the key event of this shock was of course the US(then top producer) going through its peak.

    And then, if still caring just a little bit for itself, and out of pure selfish, self interests point of view, the US should put itself a $2 volume based tax a gallon at least, which would still place it behind most OECD countries in that respect, while remembering that a two times more eficient car is a two times more efficient car, whatever the number of miles driven.

  • Paul

    2 issues:

    1 – The US-government prohibits export;

    2 – American Products are not good enough. Who wants to buy an American car that gets you just 20 miles per gallon when an average VW Golf gets you 50 miles per gallon?

    Jeans are OK, but they are made in Mexico and China now.

    And look at American houses. If there is a storm they are blown away. All the appliances and fittings and furniture just need to last until the next storm.

    And American men aren’t home anyway. Either they are in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan or in a stadium. Or in jail (America has the highest prison population of the world).

  • Paul

    “The basic wage was £132 a month (up to £250 with maximum overtime payments) but wages were paid up to three weeks late.”

    This article should have been written about the Royal Mail.

    Wages are paid late and workers are not paid the full amount they are owed.

    The Guardian should start looking at England before looking at China.

  • Erin

    The US trade imbalance is far worse that most people are aware of. In my experience it is worse than IMF loans and their ineffective austerity programs. Once it starts to reverse, where imports need to be paid in hard foreign currencies, banana republic economies really crater into the ground. There is no appeal to congress, no bailouts, no amount of money paid to corrupt politicians, no QE7, nothing … nothing forces economic discipline like international markets that refuse to sell unless they are paid in hard currency. Think of the OPEC oil crisis of the 1970’s and multiply that by every imported commodity with a local economy in tatters and you have about the right scale of what it would be like.
    It is not the lack of plastic junk from china that will kill us, it is the fact that we will be forced to choose between imported products we need to live and mostly end up without. At that point people quickly learn that there is no advantage to living in a high tax rate country and you get a brain-drain effect (those with skills that can afford it will leave the area), the entire country becomes Detroit.

  • shypuffadder

    This country is owned by foreigners, and the first thing that must be done is to get rid of the Americans to make room for “their” people. That’s just basic common sense. We have the richest (and best) country in the world – we have the ability to feed ourselves and manufacture everything we need if we all pull together. But Greed, Ignorance and Self-Adoration won’t let us. We still have many Americans that think these problems will go away if everyone else just takes a bath. With that kind of stupidity running rampant, America has nowhere else to go but over the cliff.

    Government is complicit because doing the bidding of foreigners pays extremely well. Their eyes are big as teacups while they are willing participants in the corruption, never imagining that one day they will be dropped in the same sewer they have created for the rest of us.

    Look at the smug smiles and self-worship of these government officials – they can’t imagine being reduced to what they are accepting for us – their foreign enablers would never do that to them after all the “help” they have provided. Every one of them thinks they are above the law. There is a city councilman in DC that stole $400,000 from a charity. He seriously thinks that if he pays it back, everything is hunky dory. How many of us “not the government” think we can steal thousands of dollars and just walk away because we promised to pay it back? Until we get some strong roach spray and run ALL these criminals out of office and replace them with qualified Americans, we will continue to try to swim in the sewer. But that won’t happen because we still hate each other as much as the foreigners that are paying for us to take each other down this disasterous path.

    The good news is, things shouldn’t decay much further for a while because most of government will be on holiday.

    The war machine is gearing up for another profitable war in the Middle East. That should keep us too busy to notice the war going on at our doorstep.

    Almost forgot, the city councilman that stole the money is being investigated by another city councilman that has also stolen public funds. What a show!

  • Whether it is the smallest household or the biggest country in the world, if you spend more than you earn, you are going downhill.
    America has exported its manufacturing base to countries where labour is cheaper and where legislation is less stringent. Shareholders in these corporations are interested in profit, as much as possible, before the whole scam comes crashing down.
    It does not help that America’s main exports seem to be warfare and weapons. Making enemies all over the world whilst being on the brink of economic meltdown somehow strikes me as being dumb. Bombing your own allies like for instance in Pakistan, will only alienate those people and create more terror recruits. Incidents like the My Lai massacre in Vietnam does not endear you to Asian countries. The Chinese have long memories and I believe they are just waiting to get their own back for what was done to them in the past.
    How about the great scam of buying consumer products from other countries and paying for it with fake currency created by keystrokes on computers. After packaging subprime mortgages and selling the CDS instruments to clueless investors, who in the world will ever trust America again? This kind of self-serving behaviour by bankers and the military-industrial complex is winning America no friends.
    I am watching this as an outsider. I am not anti-American. However, I am extremely sceptical about doing business with American companies. How can we trust you as a country?
    My sympathy lies with individual victims of this whole hopeless situation. The Americans contributing to this blog and related websites, seem to be aware of what is happening. Between a corrupt political system, ridiculous legislation and so on, I am glad that I am not in your shoes. Good luck to all of you, and the rest of us, when all comes crashing down.
    Thank you Michael and your readers for all the informative postings.
    To Gary 2, at this stage America reminds me of the Roman Empire in decline. Taxing the rich and giving it to the poor is really like farting against the wind. The US is so bankrupt that you will end up getting more of nothing! You will get more satisfaction by stringing up the bankers and politicians (if you can find them) after the big collapse.
    At this stage it is difficult to work out what to prepare for first: A total economic collapse and depression, running out of cheap oil or WW3.
    We are looking at population reducing events.

  • SHOCKING!!! Must Watch!!! – USA Occupy – BEWARE OF FAKE POLICE VIOLENCE (to provoke the people)

  • Tony N

    Here is the Video interview with the CME guy that is describing a scenario for Default in EURO ZONE as the Only remedy and he needs to understand that if this is the only solution for the EU then same is cure for USA so is he ready for that ??

  • Colin

    These problems are not localized to our country. They are everywhere.

    The OECD released a report just recently showing that the developed world is on a path to destruction. George Soros said recently that the developed world is in a “self-reinforcing process of disintegration”.

    The OECD released a report that showed that in the developed world that the income disparity between the poorest and richest is increasing, and that our country is one of the worst.

    I don’t see it getting better; I only see it getting worse. We haven’t hit bottom yet, and when we do I fear we may witness suffering and misery on a scale never seen before in human history. I believe this century could turn out to be one of the bloodiest centuries in human history.

  • I have written about the significance of the U.S. net trade deficits since at least 2008. I have always considered this to be one of the most important indicators of U.S. economic direction. Of particular significance, or so I think, is that the U.S. cumulative net trade deficit began to grow within two years of President Nixon’s 1971 ‘release of the gold price from a fixed U.S.$35 per ounce’. If you review the history of the U.S. accumulation of net trade deficits, you will find that number grew from U.S.$0 in 1972 to U.S.$2 tillion in 1999 (27 years), and only 12 short years later is now about U.S.$8 trillion. This trend tracks U.S. manufacturing job losses. On November 9 I updated my commentaries on the U.S. net trade deficits. If you are interested in following up, you can find my November 9 commentary at

  • OF COURSE!!!! The US has a congress that lands at #1 on the corruption index — campaign bribes! — what else would you expect? Only public funding of campaigns will save our country. We MUST have politicians dedicated to the country rather than the corporate interests.

    One national citizen movement makes sense (, to replace incumbents with citizen candidates, from whichever party the local citizens select.

    Jack Lohman

  • Johan

    “The U.S. had a current account balance of negative 470 billion dollars in 2010. That figure was almost 7 times worse than the next worst country (Italy).”

    To compare the account balances of these two countries you have to take into account the size of the population (Italy 61 million, USA 313 million). So it’s almost 1.4 times worse. Still not good but not as bad as you suggest.

  • Derrick

    Michael, it is already too late. I keep telling friends and family about what is really going on and I have shared this blog many times. No one believes me and they write this all off as crazy. People refuse to listen to reason so this country is in deep trouble.

    • Michael


      Well, there are some things that it is too late for, but other things that it is not too late for.


    • D

      I stopped talking to my friends and family about this “chaos” long ago. No ones believes it, and they just look at you like a frantic nut. They are all ok with the delusional mainstream lies. Of course, it doesn’t affect them yet. I’m not hurting either (yet), but I’m still aware of the surrounding corruption.

      Remember, we have been spoon-fed lies since birth. It is almost part of our culture. Society is made that way. It is only now with the advancements of alternative media and the internet that we have been able to investigate things more thoroughly. However, no one takes advantage of thinking for themselves – they enjoy their Yahoo, money talk, and CNN to clobble their minds. To each his own.

  • Cinderella Man JD

    I just want to clairify my stance here… Im somewhat of a libertarian conservative type of person. I dont believe the government has the right to tell you what you do with your body, what you do with your money, or what to do with your own mind. I dislike paying taxes. When I see millionaire tax cheats and low income tax cheats I get really angry. I am single and never been married no kids so the government thinks I dont deserve to keep as much money because they think I dont need it. Im not wealthy hell, not even middle class. I need as much of my income as anyone else. So when I only get back $300 at the end of the year after paying thousands into the system I tend to get irate. When I see a mama paying only $1000 in taxes and getting back $3000 I get even more irate. When I see billion dollar corporations paying not even a dollar in federal taxed I get REAL F-ING IRATE!! Everyone needs to pay their fair amount of taxes. 999 was a stupid idea but ol’ Cain had a point. Something needs to be done about the 46% of americans that dont pay taxes. As long as theres some on this site and the American Dream that tout TAX THE RICH HARD I will be here to say TAX EVERYONE EQUAL!!! Ok ’nuff said, Good day!!

    • TX4Life

      Great, sensible post!

    • Orange Jean

      I agree with you on that one. A flat tax as a % of income is the only way I see as fair, but I doubt it’ll ever fly.

      At least you get the $300 back; I’m also single, don’t own a home, and have no dependent kids anymore…. and am in a very high tax bracket because of that; most years now I’ve had to pay EXTRA beyond what I took out.

      What really gets my goat? That I can’t afford to buy a home, but almost every homeowner I’ve ever met is always boasting about how much they “get back” from taxes. Why should I be subsidizing homeowners?

      I don’t care for Gary2’s constant ranting about “tax the rich” but I do think is we need to close the loopholes (on everyone and corporations also).

  • Gabrial Singh

    You know what is damaging this country. Hacked off tea baggers like this writer of propaganda. does the idiot know WHAT the trade deficit REALLY means?? I didnt think so. are you idiots so jaded, you would participate in this chinese conspiracy? Just how stupid are you morons??

    • Darien

      The numbers speak for themslves, where is the confusion?

  • Allan

    As long as we demand cheap prices funded by our willingness to sacrifice our future – to blame others is more stupid than what we obviously can understand . .

  • JustanOguy

    $558 Billion? No worries… just print up another Trillion…

  • Toomanyfakeconservatives

    More important than any trade imbalance or any bailout or anything is the fact the U.S. and the world is now past the peak oil production.

    Cheap oil/petroleum is gone forever.

    Our entire civilization, food system, and monetary system depends on oil, plastic, petrochemicals, and everything else made from oil. The world has crossed the peak of worldwide production and there will never be any more oil produced (around 85M bbl/day) than there is today.

    Cheap oil is gone forever. To a monetary-market civilization based on 1) oil/petroleum and 2) eternal profit, nothing else matters… system will die (go bankrupt) no matter what.

    Not even wars for control of the remaining oil make a difference, because production will not increase beyond what it is today. It’s all over folks, we live on a restless planet with 7+ billion people (and growing) totally dependent on a single commodity that is past it’s production peak.

    Just skip to 2:23:43 of the Zeitgeist: Moving Forward movie and you’ll understand.

  • liberranter

    Once again, the taxation and regulatory environment in the U.S. (deliberately created, of course, by the very reigning classes that want to destroy this nation) are responsible for the decline in entrepreneurship and sustainable manufacturing-based jobs. This will NEVER change under present conditions.

    Once again, the underground economy is the ONLY one that will grow for the foreseeable future.

  • chow

    The only solution is to go back to tariff on imports and rescind all free trade agreements. I know this will cause a bit of inflation at first until industries are re-established but which is better have a job and earn something to buy goods or not have a job and not be able to buy anything?

  • Nostradamus

    “Well, if “free trade” is supposed to create so many jobs, then why was last decade the worst decade for the creation of jobs since the Great Depression?”

    The purpose of “free trade”, which is a simplified term for “reduced tariff trade of defined items”, is to increase business profitability. The purpose is not, and has never been, to increase employment.

    The entire US tax system is biased towards lower tax for capital and business, and maintain high tax for individuals. That’s because it sees capital and business as the creator of wealth, while individuals as an expense item. See, once a person is born, your can’t kill it off – it is an expense to society for life. And therefore must be permanently taxed at a high rate. On the other hand, capital and business are constantly created or destroyed, subject to man’s laws only. Therefore you can play with these a lot easier to make money. This is what increased globalized trade is for.

    Now certainly more trade can, but not necessarily will, create more jobs. But that is not the responsibility of government or the tax system. That is up to the capital and business owners or managers. It is their decisions whether to hire, where to hire, how much to pay, when increased profitability permits them to hire more. If these executives hire, then society may benefit. If they don’t, well they don’t.

    In America, they don’t. Because they can. It is called ‘profit maximization’ or ‘maximized shareholders value’. It is the biggest sacred cow of capitalism. Equal to the resurrection of Christ in Christianity.

    In China, they hire like mad with increased trade and profitability. Hundreds of millions. Because not only they can, but they must. See, in ‘communist’ China, or much of the world, they don’t like to exploit workers like dogs or throw-away gadgets. For that, you need to go to America.

  • Barn Cat

    The biggest problem is gasoline. The US imports 2/3 of what it uses. Democrats have always opposed opening up more areas to exploration. I spend $2000 a year on gas. That’s probably below average.

    • Kevin2

      They can open up any part of the US to drilling but it becomes world market value and is priced accordingly. Granted there will be more Americans employed to bring it to market but the price difference would not matter if the oil was recovered in tim buck two.

      Want the price of oil not to rise significantly? Quit making US dollars or dollar credits above the rate of productivity.

  • A.S.

    To Quote:
    “Any politician that tries to sell you on a “jobs plan” that does not address our balance of trade is either totally incompetent or is straight out lying to you.”

    It is very interesting that absolutely no one in mainstream media, even in the presidential debates, asks questions like, “what do you think of our imbalance in trade?” or “do you think it was a mistake to join NAFTA?”

    But Ron Paul offers answers to these questions without being asked, all the while trying to do so in under 90 seconds, besides attempting to address more important issues (not to derail the imbalance in trade as non-important) as well, like “war on terror,” “national debt,” “Ending the Fed,” “anti-liberty laws by Congress,” “high unemployment [which is directly related to imbalance in trade],” etc.

    If Ron Paul doesn’t win in 2012, it will be the end of America. Personally, I think America ended with the NDAA (which will pass into law). So, is there any hope for America anymore? Absolutely not. One can only prolong the ultimate destruction.

  • A.S.

    It is interesting to note that the bottom two above the U.S. having the largest imbalance of trade are Italy and Spain. And guess who is now facing a default and most likely will cause the Euro to collapse instead of Greece? It is Italy!

    Italy’s GDP in $US is around 2.05 trillion or 2050 billion. Take 67.94 billion trade imbalance / 2050 billion = around 3.3%. That means Italy’s imbalance of trade is around 3.3% of their economy. With that little amount and their economy is still collapsing!

    Now let’s look at Spain. 1.41 trillion or 1410 billion for GDP. Take 63.65 / 1410 = around 4.5%. Isn’t Spain rumored to be next in line for a default?

    Now, let’s look at the U.S. numbers. 15.057 trillion or 15057 billion for our GDP. 470.2 billion for our trade imbalance. 470.2 / 15057 = around 3.1%. Assuming around 3-3.3% is the tipping point, the U.S. is already in collapse.

    In case you were wondering for the next two (non-PIIGS in Europe):
    56.19 / 2250 = around 2.5% for U.K.
    54.40 / 2560 = around 2.1% for France

    So, it seems logical to assume that around 3% is the tipping point. And given the U.K. is already in trouble, 2.5% may be the “there is still time to change things” point. I am no economist, but given my knowledge in math and minimal understanding of economics, trade, and money, the U.S. is in grave danger! I welcome anyone here to prove me wrong!

    • JMorcan

      “the U.S. is in grave danger”

      More so with people like Geithner at the economic helm.

  • I am of the growing belief (suspicion) that our trade imbalance is a purposeful policy (promoted by academia, big business, and career politicians) to redistribute American wealth to the “poor oppressed masses” in 2nd and 3rd world nations. It is another casualty of our suicidal, guilt-ridden belief that we have it too good here in the US and we must do everything we can to assuage our guilt by destroying what we have and transfer our resources and wealth to other countries.
    It is not a purely private sector driven trade gap. The imbalance is promoted and enabled by our import/export laws and tariffs along with our excessive, costly environmental regulations and high tax rates that chase US businesses overseas.

    • JMorcan

      It’s actually a form of corruption specific to representative democracy. Corporations earn greater profits hiring workers for $0.50/hr in Asia. In exchange for campaign contributions and other perks form those same corporations, politicians turn a blind eye. This conflict of interest has now destroyed America, and everyone involved should be dragged to the street and beaten bloody.

  • PatriotAlice

    Boycott America……Save your money, show your family a different kind of love……STOP SHOPPING, it’s the only way to bring the non-sense to an end……Voting doesn’t do it, marching doesn’t do it……BOYCOTT SHOPPING will bring down this house of cards…GLOBALIZATION WILL END…As far as buying American, the quality just hasn’t been there, most union members I know (92%)own newer foreign cars, and buy the best foreign products dollars can buy…Unions should mandate their members to buy domestic products, or else!…I for one, have never owned a foreign car or TV……VIVA THE USA…..Spread the word……

    • JMorcan

      Never owned a foreign TV? Who has made TVs in America since Curtis Mathes went bust?

  • Words and rhetoric are fine for venting and letting off steam, but how many informed people
    reading this website are actually doing something about the trade imbalance?

    Just recently I bought a bicycle built in New York, an executive chair made in Iowa, underwear
    made in Los Angeles, a bed and nightstand made in North Carolina, several pairs of jeans made in Texas, envelopes made in Tennessee, a towel and belt made in Michigan.

    Let’s take the time we would spend writing comments to go online and buy as much well-made
    American goods and services as we can. I buy everything I possibly can that is made here instead of sold at the China mart down the street.

    While the collapse may be inevitable, at least we can buy some more time by choosing to spend our dollars wisely. Politicians and government can never save us. They can’t even save the Postal Service–what makes you think they’ll save you!

  • we are up ************ creek without a paddle.

  • JMorcan

    Globalization has destroyed America. Thank you, Bill Clinton, you self-serving S.O.B.

  • J.C.Vaughan

    I am so sorry, but this is the absolute truth. You all voted for Reaganomics and you got Reaganomics. It did exactly what it was supposed to do: Wall Street operators and Corporate CEOs became fabulously wealthy. There is no issue here, unless it is an issue of suicidal stupidity, because you got exactly what you demanded.

    • Kevin2

      J.C. Vaughan

      Are you aware that while 83% of US Senate Republicans voted for China Free Trade (which eviscerated US industrial capacity and with it “Good jobs at good wages”) 80% of US Senate Democrats did the same including, Biden, Kerry, Edwards and Kennedy; It was a literal Who’s Who.

      Are you aware that Bill Clinton signed China Free Trade into law?

      Are you aware that Bill Clinton twisted arms to get NAFTA past a Democrats in Congress and he signed NAFTA into law after proclaiming “No NAFTA during his campaign”?

      Are you aware that Bill Clinton abolished Glass-Stegall which regulated banks making legal schemes that crashed the economic system?

      GH Bush or GW Bush would have done the same as Clinton. GH Bush openly supported NAFTA. President Obama supports free trade and his economic job advisors send US jobs overseas themselves.

      The sad fact is no one is on the side of the middle class be it Republican or Democrat.

  • Piglet

    “In fact, even the members of Obama’s “jobs panel” have been shipping jobs out of the United States at a very rapid pace.
    Now we are actually passing laws that encourage wealthy foreigners to come in and buy up pieces of the United States.”

    This is not due to incompetence, ignorance or accident. It would be comforting if that were true! Instead, this is a deliberate hollowing out of the country. While many of us are losing money on this state of affairs, others are cleaning up with a kind of “fire sale.”

  • Raghav Mishra

    Its funny how insulting this whole website is to the “third world” stealing american jobs.

    Simple fact is materially spoilt Americans need to learn that there is more to life than blatant materialism .. ask yourself, what stops you from not working at 200 pounds a month? too bad a life style for all you spoilt asses?

    Learn some economics before simply criticizing China .. trade imbalance exists because you people are not ready to work for less and produce more, but still you want all the goods in the world. Well guess what, real wealth goes to the people who create. Your ancestors ‘created’ decades ago and you people enjoyed the party while it lasted. Well, this is the circle of life at work here. What goes around comes around.

  • Raghav Mishra

    Talk about all the ‘technology’ that we are ‘stealing’ .. bullshit nonsense. Americans stole a lot of science to simply misuse them to create a world with American dominance. And oh what about all the raw materials that your ancestors stole when you colonized the ‘third world’ and blatantly looted it in the name of ‘trade’. Thats not trade imbalance for all you people?

  • marcosanthonytoledo

    The chickens are coming home to rooste or what ever you sow you reap.

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