The Beginning Of The End
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Uh Oh: 90 Percent Of Americans Rate Economic Conditions In The U.S. As “Poor”

Uh oh - are we rapidly reaching another major economic tipping point?  According to a new CNN/ORC International Poll, 90 percent of the American people believe that economic conditions in the United States are "poor".  This represents a significant increase from when the same question was asked in June.  Back then, 81 percent of the American people considered economic conditions to be "poor".  To put this in perspective, only 11 percent of Americans rated economic conditions in the U.S. as "poor" back in January of 1999.  The Federal Reserve and the Obama administration keep telling us that we are in the middle of an "economic recovery", but obviously what average Americans are experiencing on the street is a different story.  Millions of families have been absolutely devastated by mass layoffs, heartless foreclosures or bad debts.  All of the recent polls show that satisfaction with government is at an all-time low and anger at Wall Street and the financial community is rising to dangerous levels.  In the United States today, the economy is the most important issue for most Americans.  When you have 9 out of 10 Americans rating economic conditions as "poor", that is a very troubling sign.

Many wealthy Americans consider it to be very painful when their investment portfolios go down by a few percentage points, but that is not the kind of economic pain that we are talking about.

The truth is that the vast majority of Americans in the bottom half of society do not even have investment portfolios.

What we are talking about is real economic pain.

As I have written about previously, the average American family is barely making it right now.  Tonight, a whole lot of American families will gather around their kitchen tables and will have some very nervous conversations about things such as making the next mortgage payment or how to pay the heating bill this upcoming winter.

Have you ever been at a point where you work as hard as you can and yet it is still not good enough to provide for your family?

If you have never been completely broke and at the end of your rope financially, then you should not judge the people who are going through it right now.

There are very real reasons why so many Americans are so incredibly depressed about the economy at the moment.

One recent poll found that 80 percent of the American people believe that we are actually in a recession right now.

Things have gotten so bad that Hallmark recently unveiled a 6 card line of "job loss" greeting cards.

Yes, that really is true.

Every month, tens of thousands of American families are still losing their homes to foreclosure, and we are on pace for record low new home sales once again in 2011.

Many families have gotten in debt up to their eyeballs in an effort to stay afloat.  According to a new study conducted by the BlackRock Investment Institute, the ratio of household debt to personal income in the United States is now 154 percent.

In case you are wondering, that is not good.

Our founders intended for us to live in a capitalist system that allows all Americans to have an opportunity to better themselves, but instead what we have developed is a system where the vast majority of the money and the vast majority of the economic power are in the hands of the biggest banks and the biggest corporations.

If you work for the system and you are near the top of the pyramid, life is good.

For nearly everyone else, life is a struggle.

Back in 1980, the top 1% of all income earners in America brought in about 10% of all income.  Today, the top 1% of all income earners bring in about 20% of all income.

If the ranks of the top income earners were populated by a huge number of entrepreneurs and small business owners, it wouldn't be such a bad thing.

But instead, the reality is that most of the very wealthy either work in the financial community or they work for the biggest corporations.

True capitalism is supposed to create a very healthy environment for small businesses.

Instead, our current system suffocates them out of existence.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.6 million Americans were self-employed back in December 2006.  Today, that number has shrunk to 14.5 million.

Our entire system is now tremendously slanted in favor of "the big guy" and against "the little guy".

Millions of Americans are starting to get sick and tired of all of the economic injustice and the vast corruption that is endemic in our financial system.

As the economy has continued to decline, the anger and the frustration of average of Americans has reached a boiling point.

This is a big reason why we have seen the rise of new political movements in recent years.

First, we saw the Tea Party arise to challenge the establishment in the Republican Party.  But sadly there are already signs that the establishment has taken over the Tea Party to a large extent.

Now, we are seeing the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement.  Large numbers of frustrated Americans are flocking to these protests because they want an outlet for expressing the anger and frustration that they are feeling.  Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of evidence that the Occupy Wall Street movement was started and is being greatly aided by the liberal political establishment in this country.

What the American people need to do is to wake up and break out of the stale two party system.

Unfortunately, the American people have become so "dumbed down" that large chunks of them are absolutely clueless about what is really going on in this country.

For example, according to the new CNN/ORC International Poll mentioned above, 27 percent of Americans have never heard of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and 15 percent of Americans have no opinion about him at all.

Do you understand what that means?

It means that only 58 percent of Americans know enough about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to have an opinion about him.

According to the survey, the way that the 58 percent breaks down is that 28 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Bernanke and 30 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of him.

That is so sad.

Ben Bernanke has more power over our economic problems than anyone else in the country, and yet only 30 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of him.

Nearly as many Americans say that they have never heard of him as say that they do not view him favorably.

How pathetic is that?

That is one of the reasons why I write about the Federal Reserve so much.

We need to get the American people educated.

If the American people get educated, they will feel empowered.

Where there is a lack of knowledge, the people perish.

The other day, a 51-year-old father of three daughters up in Minnesota that had just lost his job locked himself in his car and shot himself in the head in front of some of his former co-workers.

I don't want to see anymore of that.

We need to give the American people some hope.  We need to explain to them exactly why this economic crisis is happening and what can be done to turn things around.

We also need to reach out to people that are in pain and love them and let them know that there is always hope.

All of us know people out there that are really hurting right now.  Please don't forget about them.  Please don't let them quietly slip into depression.  Please don't let them become the next victims of this economy.

There is always hope.  A reader of this column named "JD" went through all kinds of hell in recent years.  He lost his job, he lost his lady, he stayed in run down motels, he got meals wherever he could and he even slept in his car for a time.  But today he has a new job and his outlook on life is brighter than it has been in ages.

In 1941, Winston Churchill gave a speech during which he uttered the following words: "never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."

Things may not look good for you right now, but you must never give in.

No matter how bad things are, they can always be turned around.

Yes, the U.S. economy is going to continue to decline if we stay on our current path, but none of us must ever use that as an excuse to give up.

There is always hope.  You just have to keep on fighting.

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  • Armel

    “We also need to reach out to people that are in pain and love them and let them know that there is always hope.” That’s the most useful sentence I’ve seen written anywhere in a long time; it’s the perfect remedy for America. Our purpose in life should be to help each other, especially when things get tough. Thank you for the great writing, please keep it up!

    • Michael

      Armel:

      Thank you for the encouraging words. :)

      Michael

  • michelle

    downhill…continues…

    accelerating…

  • Boycott American Women

    “A reader of this column named “JD” went through all kinds of hell in recent years. He lost his job, he lost his lady”

    This is typical of American women, they will leave their husband if the husband goes through hard times, or loses his savings. American women have no love in their hearts, they are a bunch of worthless whores. BOYCOTT THEM!

    http://boycottamericanwomen.blogspot.com/

    • JC Vaughan

      Look, I really think this is too hard on women. I am sure there are some folks who just, for whatever reason, cannot “stay the course” when things get really rough. But there are also those who will stay, no matter how bad things may get. It is just not fair to blame everyone for something that only some are doing.

      • Boycott American Women

        You say NAWALT, “Not all women are like that”, but the fact is, 95 percent of American women are brainwashed by feminism and misandry (hatred of men). It’s simply a matter of TO WHAT DEGREE are they brainwashed.

        Also, any American man who has dated or married a foreign woman, especially Asian women, will tell you that there is a MASSIVE difference between American and foreign women. It’s like heaven and hell, literally.

        Even a “good” American woman cannot compete with even an average foreign woman, that is how toxic America’s culture has become.

        This is coming from a young American man who has married an asian girl, and I will tell you, I would never even think about touching an American woman ever again. American women simply can’t compete with asian women, and this is why American women are so bitter and jealous of asian women.

        • Highspeed

          I speak for all the good women I know, You are retarded.

          • Boycott American Women

            You sound like a total ************, sir. I never said ALL American women are bad, just 95 percent of them. You must be very lucky to know so many of the good 5 percent, but I unfortunately never met any of them. Also, I highly doubt you have ever dated or been married to a foreign woman, so you have no basis of comparison.

            You run to defend the horrible behaviors of these psychotic women, and thus you are ********************************

    • TX Momma

      Really? Men leave left and right, the fatherless homes are proof of this – even if you take in account women who are hell to live with so the man has to leave! Fact is when a man looses a job it causes havoc with his manhood. This will manifest itself in SOME men turning to abuses of different ways. Some drink, some verbally assault, some detach themselves emotionally from the woman they love. All these things have a factor in if a woman can stay. I wouldn’t stick around if a man blamed me for losing his job and failing in life. I had enough abuse growing up – I will not take it as a adult.

      Real women stick around in hard times. That does not mean that we should put up with whatever junk a guy throws at us. Shame on you for lumping all women together.

      As a side note I just read the other day that in times of major illness majority of women will stand by their man and care for him. Majority of men pick up and leave. That is cold blooded if you ask me.

      • Boycott American Women

        You merely prove my points, you are a typical American woman- you try to blame it all on the men. If a man loses his job (hell, most of the time it is not his fault), 90 percent of the time, his wife will leave him. Is that what you call loyalty?

        70 percent of divorces are initiated by women. So the fact is that American women are the most unfaithful, unloyal whores in the world.

        American women have the world’s worst reputations for wives. Practically NO ONE wants to marry them anymore. Over 50 percent of American women are single, without a boyfriend or husband. Fact is, no one wants them.

        This is why we see so many American men marrying foreign women and Asian women- because foreign women don’t have these horrible man-hating feminist attitudes like you American women.

        I bet it just drives you American women crazy to see so many white guys with hot young asian wives, when most of you white women are fat and ugly and can’t even get a date anymore.

        Have fun growing old alone with your 10 cats, or else become a lesbian. Those are really your only two options.

  • RSteiner

    I know that many will not like what I am saying, but it’s the truth: A recession is the market’s way to clean up and make a fresh start. Because of Bailouts and money-printing, the underlying causes were not solved but instead everything was escalated and we now have an even more unstable and unsustainable economy than 2007.

    The FED created the housing-bubble to tape over the mild recession of 2001, now they have created an even larger bond bubble to tape over the current recession.

    Everytime the state creates a bailout-package, it may soften the crisis for a few months, but allows the crisis to grow even larger.

    We have not seen the real crisis yet. When the bond-bubble bursts then we will see a real crisis (probably hyperinflation).

    Don’t believe them. Don’t buy paper – buy Gold, Silver and food.

  • http://goldenladyfun.blospot.com Pat

    “Anti-capitalism” is the same old and tired game they played on us in Europe. They bankrupted everyone, bought everything for pennies on the dollar under the name of helping us out then sold us socialism as a rescue from evil capitalism.

    Now in Europe things are extremely expensive for low standards and services.

    Just try going to one of our supposed “free hospitals” And see how sub-human they are. You can’t play music here in a restaurant if you don’t have a permit which they no longer give. And the education system here makes the American’s look like geniuses. You will hear none of these facts in your media because they don’t want you to know what is coming.

    And now some fools want to “tax the rich”? What are you all snorting over there. The answer to economic meltdown is not “get rid of capitalism. That is the only thing that has been saving you. What about getting rid of the crooks that run Wall Street and the politicians that protect them.

    As far as 90% of Americans rating the economy as poor, do you mean the 90% that elected Bush and Obama and spend their evenings in front of the TV watching fox news?

    Go to my blog and see the trailer for “Idiocracy”. Does that remind you of any group of people in particular?

    http://goldenladyfun.blogspot.com

    • prosperity for all

      “Anti-capitalism” is the same old and tired game they played on us in Europe. They bankrupted everyone, bought everything for pennies on the dollar under the name of helping us out then sold us socialism as a rescue from evil capitalism.

      That looks like the game plan to me. The filthy rich want to own everything and won’t be finished till we’re all dirt poor. If you haven’t read the Rockefeller syndrome (book), you should.

  • tappedops

    Dont get mad… get even… become a “Niner”— like millions of others who have shed the fed… no blog talk, no keyboard tough-stuff… claim 9 deps on your W4 and then dont file… or are you too scared of the IRS— well then BE a slave see if we care…

    • Um hello

      you’re going to prison stupid.

    • Steve in Iowa

      Why claim 9 and not file? Just claim exempt and keep it all.

    • Otown Right Guy

      You may have gotten away with not filing for a while, a year or two, but don’t think the IRS won’t come after you. Just because they have not done anything YET does not mean they won’t get you LATER. Trust me on this!

  • Jase

    I’m just not sure what to do right now. Besides finding work and trying to survive and to prepare with some disaster prep, self sustainability equipment, camping gear I’m often confused as to what other steps to take.

    This was a nice posting and one of the first ones I remember reading asking people to hold on, have hope, and to never give up. It’s a good message and one that should be held close to heart.

    It’s hard for me not to feel overwhelmed at times and in all honesty my life at this point in time has not seen the hardships many others are facing. I’ve had my share of set backs, disappointments and tragedies, but going hungry, seeing my kids and family go hungry, being foreclosed on or having a disaster take away a lifetimes worth of work, memories, and possessions are things I may one day face, but so far I have been able to avoid this for now.

    • Rain23

      Sounds like you are one of those people who has a hard working, caring attitude and that means no matter what your circumstances you will find friends.

      I see this in the homeless people around here (and there are a lot of them). The good people band together and work to get each other fed and in shelter, they share meals and cigarettes and advice on who might be hiring day labor. It’s still a very hard life, but it has kindness and hope in it.

      Together we can all do so much more than if we fragment and turn on each other as the wastrels in power would have us do.

  • http://www.mortgageresistanceofamerica.com FrankyFreelance

    Time to wake up from the American dream folks. America is and has always been the largest business experiment in world history. The political stability and comfortable lifestyle that many have taken for granted has depended on a certain level of wealth and growth. Now it is time to wake up to the REAL nature of human society – that is, the endless battle against corruption, family and friends as one’s only real social net, etc. etc.

    The party is over. It is time to wake up and grow up and tap into our REAL talents and strengths in order to take the reigns on our country or let it slide naturally into disorder.

    JOIN THE RESISTANCE!
    http://www.mortgageresistanceofamerica.com
    http://www.studentloanresistanceofamerica.com

  • Joan FrisinaBowles

    When Major economists like Prof. Randall Wray, when major financiers/bloggers like Barry Ridholz are telling the bankers/bond holders, the world the Congress, we are in serious trouble if we don’t help the Consumers debt situation… Americans better take notice. Fight for justice, fight for what we know must be done. Complete reform TRADE/TAX/BANK processes in this country. Fight for justice or we will all perish into economic chaos. We don’t have long to go. Ridholz said, the Banks/Bond holders better bite the bullet and take a hit now or lose a heck of a lot more. Americans need DEBT Forgiveness, economic relief and a taxpayer bailout, not the banks. Seems like the concensus is becoming overwhelmingly in favor of We The People! The March on Wallstreet is about Justice for All.. and All Americans better get it.

  • Tom

    “True capitalism is supposed to create a very healthy environment for small businesses.

    Instead, our current system suffocates them out of existence.”

    Your blog is so good otherwise, please don’t perpetuate the myth that we live in any type of a capitalist economy. We haven’t had anything approaching capitalism in over 100 years.

    Please, call it for what it is. Give evil its proper name. What we have is…FASCISM. If you want to dress it up, call it CORPORATISM. But don’t call something that isn’t, capitalism. Definitions matter.

    When the corporations/wealthy individuals like Wall Street, GE, GM, Soros, Buffet, etc can buy politicians and influence regulation for political favors and economic advantage, that’s NOT capitalism. That’s fascism.

    If we are to ever have a hope of getting back to real capitalism, and getting the government, owned and run by banksters and large corporations back in their proper place, you cannot pollute the meaning of capitalism any further than it’s already been. People will reject anything called capitalism if, in their minds, it acts like fascism.

    • Gary2

      Good insight, however, it seems to me that capitalism may start off good but will always turn into corporatism. Its inevitable. In addition there are some inherent contradictions in capitalism such as employers paying such low wages no one can buy their products etc.

      • r.bitting

        Is’nt it closer to the truth that the root of the problem with capitalism is the same as root of all this countries other ills, the people quit playing by the Golden Rule ” Do onto others as you would want done onto you ” ?

  • http://www.prepperwebsite.com Todd

    I think more than ever, people should become informed and know what is going on around them. Instead, it seems like people are ok if they can still watch their TV shows and get their candy at the corner store.

    I appreciate your articles. I hope more and more people come to read them and decide to make some good changes in their finances and lifestyles because of them…although I need a hug every time I finish reading one. ;-)

    Peace,
    Todd
    http://www.prepperwebsite.com

    • Michael

      LOL

      Hopefully my articles are not all “doom and gloom”. I try to give people some hope too. :)

      Michael

  • http://irishsavant.blogspot.com Irish Savant

    I believe that the powers-that-be are running scared. http://irishsavant.blogspot.com/2011/10/stunning.html

  • muddy 1

    “We need to give the American people some hope.” We’ve had 2 years and 8+ months of HOPE. Time for a CHANGE.

  • John

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will guide your way.

  • William

    There is almost NO HOPE. Most Americans do not have a clue about HOW all this came to be. Most Americans do NOT know the Federal Reserve is unconstitutional. Most Americans do not know who Adam Weishaupt was. Most Americans live inside a cell phone, or the TV, or Faux News, or the lies of the Smirking Chimp Bush.
    Most Americans have not read Art 49 of the Geneva Conventions. Most Americans are willfully stubborn as they REFUSE to look at the facts of 911. All these are interrelated. But, most Americans just do not care.

  • karen

    In the next 5 years the Army is going to discharge 50,000 troops the Air Force which I am in is shedding jobs as we speak and has been.

    • D

      That’s because WWIII will be fought fought with nuclear bombs, not men.

  • BLACKSCORPION

    Stop spending money in wars and give everything for free from housing, medical and foof for people that don’t want work!Unfortunately I dont’t think nothing will be done until it’s too late! THERE IS NO FIX with the people that make the decisions for us…we’re trapped in a system…how long are we talking about this! Did it get better? NO! It’s getting worst…GET READY FOR THE WORST!!!

    • Um hello

      “give everything for free from housing, medical and foof for people that don’t want work”

      So you advocate slavery for everyone involved in housing, medical and ‘foof’ industries?

  • Gary2

    As I have said before we need to tax the rich and spread the wealth. It is sickening that programs that help the poor such as WIC where 700,000 women and children got kicked off yet the right keeps advocating cutting taxes further for the rich.

    Out pathetic excuses for a governor is gutting education and badger care yet has no problem giving TONS of tax cuts to corporations. Of course from someone who dropped out of college what would one expect? I love all these right wing politicians like paul ryan who have never worked a day in their lives in the private sector or gov walker who NEVER worked a day in the private sector. If the private sector is so good why the heck are they career politicians? Hypocritical bags of BS.

    Michael your article is good but us stating the obvious.

    Human need before corporate greed.

  • Gary2

    Have you ever been at a point where you work as hard as you can and yet it is still not good enough to provide for your family?

    I am there now and have been since 2006

    If you have never been completely broke and at the end of your rope financially, then you should not judge the people who are going through it right now.

    I recently had my power turned off and it sucked big time.

    Hey I know a solution-lets cut taxes on the rich and our poor overtaxed corporations like GE. I hear they are creating jobs at a good pace in Asia. Can’t hurt those job creators (gag)

    • mark

      Hey Gary, isn’t the head of GE Obama’s buddy.

      • Gary2

        Yep-what a joke they both are.

  • Gary2

    Austerity=help the top 1% at the expense of the bottom 99%.

    Right out of the repube playbook.

    • Steve in Iowa

      Gary, it’s not a Repub vs. Demo thing. This is an all out slaughter of the American middle class. It was the middle class that made this country the power house it once was. There are no democrats or republicans in DC, not anymore. The people who get elected are only looking out for themselves and how they can get re-elected.

  • doomster

    Things are getting worse and worse – October often is the month of financial downturn… Pretty amazing that many people have never heard of Bernanke, reminds me of the survey about how many could find Iraq on a map. And with all of this going on, our “representatives” are still working feverishly on high priorities like stopping the U.N. from recognizing Palestine or a Spanish company from trading with Cuba: http://aeinetwork.com/news374.html

  • Kathy Smith

    Yes we do have to keep on fighting & you are right Mike knowledge is POWER. People need to start getting informed about the sad economic state this country is in. Keep up the good work love your blog.

    • Michael

      Thank you Kathy. Hopefully we can get as many people educated as possible. The more knowledge we give to people the better off they will be.

      Michael

  • knightowl77

    “There is always hope. You just have to keep on fighting.”

    Amen to that.

    As to the Tea Party getting co-opted by the RNC establishment, that is a real concern. They must stay independent of established parties. I wish the Constitution Party had more sway and fielded some decent candidates. Establishment Repubs are every bit as bad as establishment Dems…They both SUCK horribly.

  • r.bitting

    Jesus Christ is your only hope. Better take this advice while you can.

    • Believe in Christ

      Amen

  • sharonsj

    “…satisfaction with government is at an all-time low and anger at Wall Street and the financial community is rising to dangerous levels.” That statement warms my heart. Maybe people will wake up and get themselves an education about how they are being screwed.

    I’m sorry that guys, like the one who shot himself in the head, take out their depression on themselves and their families. Perhaps if he understood who the real villains are, he’d be joining the Occupy Wall Street protests.

  • mark

    The one way that we can change things around somewhat is by mining, drilling , inventing and turning those resources into products that others would want to buy. We need to shrink the size of the federal government and the power that it claims over us. We need to cut taxes after we cut the spending. We do not need to be the policeman of the world. I am sorry that many are losing their homes. You reap what you sow. Many used their home as a credit card to buy toys,take trips and live beyond their means. This country has lived on borrowed money for too long and the bill has come due. There is no easy way out of this mess we created for ourselves. Like it or not the public voted in spenders time after time. This will not be pretty. You had better get prepared if you havn’t started yet, for we are in for a rough ride.

  • http://www,Back2theLand.com Old Timer

    Every time there is a 3rd party movement the other two parties fear it takes votes (splits) them and there is a concerned effort to crush such development; I reference the Ross Perue a few terms back for those youngsters that do not remember the Bull Moose Party.

    Most people have no ideas what part the FED plays in our economy and what the long range goals are at this time, albeit how you will be turned into a serf. The best understanding I reference is: http://www.businessinsider.com/fed-twist-threatens-long-term-stock-returns-and-retirement-lifestyles-2011-9?…

    Heating oil at this local is $3.59 a gallon, propane at $2.39 a gallon. Most locals burn wood and the average age is 72-that is hard on wood gathering folk. The problem herein is that we are on the verge of an inflation spiral and loss of the US Dollar purchaseing power. This effects imports and exports for the common man, but the big business will profit from this as many Euro countries are stated to be returning to their former currancy while the EU goes into collaspe.

    Whether or not this grim scenerio plays out as hunger and cold moves in, you may expect major riots in the big 10 cities in the USA according to Mayor Bloomberg. This bodes further disruption in services with further rising costs in food and fuel. Prep now if you have not already started.

    Old Timer: Back2theLand.com

  • Starbucks; give us more money

    I have found this article to be the most disturbing bit of news about the state of our economy. It’s an economic Holocaust!

    Starbucks wants $5 more, to create U.S. jobs
    http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/story/2011-10-03/starbucks-jobs-for-usa-loans-donations/50641312/1

    • Blueskies

      Wow, paying for a crappy cup of over-roasted coffee is a big enough scam! Well, Gary2, your wet dreams are coming true: “We want to match up every person who has $5 to share with every person who can’t spare $5,” says Mark Pinsky, CEO of Opportunity Finance Network.

  • mondobeyondo

    If it makes you feel any better…

    98 percent of Americans are better off than 98 percent of citizens of Somalia.

    Feel a bit better now? Hey, I tried…

  • TX4Life

    We downsized drastically this year and are now living beneath our means so we can weather the continued economic storm. We have family members who are suffering under huge house and car payments in the wake of losing their jobs. While we’ve gladly helped out with some of their expenses (electric bills) with no expectations of being repaid, how long until we should expect them to downsize also? At some point, it may get frustrating to pay electric bills on homes that are MUCH nicer than our own.

  • mondobeyondo

    Remember that movie, “Six Degrees of Separation”? We may not be literal brothers or sisters or cousins, but we aren’t all that far removed from each other.

    That could very easily be any one of us sitting in a homeless shelter or begging for change, or shivering in a snow drift this winter. A few bad circumstances, misguided decisions, wrong choices, or just plain old bad luck, is all it takes to get your ticket to Skid Row.

    Help each other out. Got an extra tomato or two? A cucumber you don’t need? Your neighbor may not have any. Don’t wait for them to tell you, because they won’t. Ask them, and they’ll give you the standard answer – “We’re doing fine – Thank you, but we really don’t need it”.

    They won’t tell you, because they have too much pride to let you know they are hungry or cold. But you can tell, if you look into their eyes, and listen to the tone of their voices.

  • http://georgesblogforum.wordpress.com/ George Forfa

    The next obvious question in this poll should be,

    How many of the respondents expect economic conditions to get poorer?

    I have my own answer and reasons for it, but I don’t want to spoil it for everyone else.

    http://georgesblogforum.wordpress.com/2011/09/16/the-four-money-questions-update-09-162011/

  • Texar

    Thanks for the articles. I have an Economics degree and have been “re-educating” myself like crazy since 2007-2008. You are exactly right – we need to get the Fed and banksters off our necks. The BBC trader was right, Goldman Sachs rules the world. Our Founding Fathers warned us about the trap that we have fallen prey to – and that is a private, Central Bank. A great resource is “Money Masters”. They have some dvd’s that explain our monetary history, etc.

  • The Unicorn

    The “Job Loss” Greeting Cards would go nice with a pink-slip

  • http://www.placeofrefuge2012.com Sheila

    count me among that 90%.

    Things are going to get much much worse! Get ready, if nothing else get FOOD!

    http://www.placeofrefuge2012.com

  • jed

    “Our founders intended for us to live in a capitalist system that allows all Americans to have an opportunity to better themselves, but instead what we have developed is…”

    I enjoy your blog and appreciate the work you put into getting out pertinent information for the rest of us; however, I don’t like the way that you and so many bloggers/talking heads refer to “our founders” as if they represent some idyllic past to which we should aspire. This attitude is misleading and counter-productive.

    The New England area was generally egalitarian – but was also socially repressive. Anyone who did not adhere strictly to the theocratic dogma of their community was persecuted or banished.

    In Virginia, wealth was concentrated in the hands of a relatively small number of landowners. Most acquired their land under a system (which Bernie Madoff would have loved) that allowed landowners to sponsor new immigrants – if the new immigrants died before a certain number of years passed(as the majority did – malaria was endemic at the time) the sponsors got the land that had been allotted to the immigrants by the crown. Most sponsors made no attempt to assist the people they brought over, seeing the system as a quick way of acquiring vast land tracts.

    The entire southern economy was based on the idea that it is okay to own people who have absolutely no rights and who work for you, keeping none of the fruits of their labor for themselves – you become as rich as possible and make sure that your workers remain poor, uneducated, and legally disenfranchised so that they cannot challenge you or the system from which you benefit.

    Men who were not landowners were not allowed to vote. Women had few legal rights and were not full-fledged partners in the “capitalism” of the day. In many parts of the country, non-whites had virtually no rights, financial or otherwise.

    Lets stop harking back to the days of our founders as if it were some paradise to which we should return. Early America truly did represent opportunity, but it was also based on a largely exploitative system full of inequalities that few of us would really like to return to.

  • xander cross

    And I shall continue to fight till the very end. Never will I give up on anything. We can survive this economic collpase. Your comment at the end Michael just inspired me so much.

    • Michael

      Thank you Xander – I try not to be all “doom and gloom” 100% of the time. :)

      Michael

  • Rick

    “What the American people need to do is to wake up and break out of the stale two party system.”

    This sounds fine on paper, but unfortunately third party candidates (who represent Main Street) just will not have nearly the required financial backing to run a viable campaign.

  • Sam W.

    What’s all the uproar?
    It seems that most of Americans never bothered themselves to learn living within their means, save some money, plan for the future, get a decent education and avoid credit at all.

    The blame must be placed specifically on the so-called Baby Boomers, a failed generation who really enjoyed the prosperity of the 50s and 60s and instead, they focused all of their deprived intellect in experimenting with all types of drugs and having a very promiscuous sexual life. These people have done nothing for this country and now they are so scared of potentially not being able to collect their government entitlements (and paradoxically, they are the majority).

    Therefore, America as a broken society is now paying the consequences of its own greed, lack of common sense and stupidity.

    Someone said that Americans are just a bunch of stupid animals easy to manipulate and subdue and reading the comments of this blog tend to corroborate such assertion. The sooner the US economy collapses the better, so the ignorant populace will finally learn NOT to live beyond their means – and stop blaming the government, since they don’t give a crap about people’s grievances.

    Finally, learn about National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD 51), because Martial Law will be implemented in the United States due to the ongoing social unrest – and most Americans do not have a single clue of what this means.

    • prosperity for all

      It seems that most of Americans never bothered themselves to learn living within their means, save some money, plan for the future, get a decent education and avoid credit at all.

      Beg to differ, seems inflation has pretty much cancelled out living within the means (wages) of most today. The cost of living continuously rises while wages are not keeping up. Something seriously wrong folks when we have people living in tents and motels. This is an outrage and need not be! Let us not forget, back in the day one breadwinner could support a home and family. What’s changed since?
      As to the credit fiasco- predator sharks were let loose on the public with little to no restraint in practices! Particularly on the young and naeive barely out of high school aspiring for that decent education only to find themselves indebted for life. The cost of a decent education is beyond the means of most!
      As to the drugs and promiscuity- who permitted to flood society with that? (hint; Ozzie and Harriet was replaced by sleazy housewives and 2 men and a boy) Why blame the gullible and not the perpetrators who shaped society for moral and economic decay? And, as if the illegal drug pushers weren’t enough ensnaring the young, the legal drug pushers are now all over the media. Media is highly manipulative and people need to be keenly and acutely aware of this.
      Further, the “entitlements” are taken out of the working class. Have they no right to what they’ve paid into all their working lives? Then there are those who make big bucks who don’t see it taken out at all, yet are entitled to those same entitlements. Is this right?

  • Scott

    I have a question and could use some input, please. Advice is appreciated.

    I’m a late comer/slow study on prepping which makes me worry. Ihave refi’ed the house down 2 points to save money and am selling everything not essential. Giving up the quad cab 4 x 4 and going down to the old 5-speed, 4-cylinder pickup. iPhone and data plan are gone, replaced by flip. Cable TV and landline are gone, TVs sold. Switched insurance companies and cut the bill in half. The list goes on.

    The hardest part was paying off the credit cards but by the grace of God, it’s done now. Painful, but it’s done. I’m a cash-only guy now.

    One thing remains and I’m not sure what to do, and need input. I have a HELOC I’m paying on in the amount of just of $52K. Interest rate is low. Without the HELOC, the amount I owe is less than the value of the house; with the HELOC figured in, I am underwater.

    What will happen to me when the shockwave of bank defaults hits? What should I do?

    I have a somewhat secure job and we’ve had pay cuts, but so far I am ok. I am only worried about that HELOC now. I can make the payments without difficulty, but it will take years to pay down.

    Thoughts? I am scared… =(

    • mondobeyondo

      I can’t personally give you any advice from the banking/finance perspective (I’m a musician, not a banker or CFP!!) — other than to say, get out of debt as fast as you can. The quickest, easiest way possible, the sooner the better.

      Was the HELOC itself 52K? Or is that how much you have left to pay on it? If that’s the case, pay it off month by month. It will take a while, but you will get there. Just be persistent, and don’t skip. (i.e. big screen TV for July 4th! Gotta have it!!) No, you don’t. Stick to your plan. It’ll be worth it.

      Stick to it. Baby steps will soon turn into elephant feet. And then you’ll be on your way!!

  • JackieR

    Would the polls results be different if they were taken in a more affluent area?

  • Colin

    An educated population doesn’t serve the interests of the owners. – George Carlin (paraphrase)

  • Jake

    I have begun to share what I have with some folks who are hard hit by this depression. One of my friends is living with us and he felt terrible about “taking charity” until we sat down and came up with a plan to get him back on his feet. Staying with us a few months is just one phase of the plan. This has restored his hope. Seeing someone move from dispair to hope makes it all worthwhile.

    Now concerning the Fed….. did anyone hear the interview this morning on Bloomberg radio with one of the governors from the Dallas Fed? When asked if the Fed was out of bullets he said no. When asked what the Fed could still do he replied, “we can print more money.” I thought, this guy who nobody elected to anything has a plan to continue the wholesale destruction of our currency and he views this as a positive step for the country. Michael, keep up the good work and educate everyone you can. I for one use your stats as often as I can. It is nice to be able to go to one site and get lots of info.

  • Gay Veteran

    what caused our current depression?

    Paul Craig Roberts was REAGAN’S Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal:

    “…Economic policy failed for three reasons: (1) policymakers focused on enabling offshoring corporations to move middle class jobs, and the consumer demand, tax base, GDP, and careers associated with the jobs, to foreign countries, such as China and India, where labor is inexpensive; (2) policymakers permitted financial deregulation that unleashed fraud and debt leverage on a scale previously unimaginable; (3) policymakers responded to the resulting financial crisis by imposing austerity on the population and running the printing press in order to bail out banks and prevent any losses to the banks regardless of the cost to national economies and innocent parties….”

    What needs to be done? Stop the looting (by the banksters) and start the prosecuting (of course the politcal elite will NEVER do that).

    you wrote “…Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of evidence that the Occupy Wall Street movement was started and is being greatly aided by the liberal political establishment in this country….”

    Just like the Tea Party was greatly aided by the conservative political establishment (like FOX, the Koch brothers, etc.)

  • http://YAHOO RICHARD

    HOPE IS A GOOD THING EVERYBODY NEEDS IT BUT MY HOPE FOR THIS BLOG IS THE TRUTH ON WHAT IS GOING ON IN OUR WORLD, AND OUR COUNTRY, AND IT SHOULDN’T BE SUGAR COATED. WHICH I AM PRETTY SURE YOU WILL NEVER DO. I READ A FEW MONTHS BACK, I BELIEVE ON YOUR BLOG MICHAEL THAT A CENTAIN PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE LIVE PAY CHECK TO PAY CHECK. ANY THING NEW ON THAT???

    • Michael

      Richard:

      I will keep my eyes open for new polling numbers on that.

      Michael

    • Gary2

      Why don’t you hope in one hand and crap in the other and let us know which one fills up first?

  • A.S.

    What happened Michael, did you get a new job? Besides the ND article, this is the only other slightly positive article you had.

    But we all know there is more doom and gloom coming. The only advice that can be given is not to give into depression, eat healthy, exercise, and so long as you have a peaceful, working mind, that rejects all the propaganda of the world, you are already a winner.

    • Michael

      LOL

      I try to tell it like it is, and I try to point out some of the reasons why people can have hope in the midst of the economic hell that is coming too.

      Michael

  • Phillip

    If Ron Paul is not nominated, then our fate is sealed.

    • mondobeyondo

      He won’t be, and yes, it is.

  • Peter

    People: if you want to uderestand what is happening go to this web site please:STANKO’S UNIVERSAL LAW. GO.

    • Um hello

      Query returned no results.

      Stankov’s Universal Law? Stoooopid!

  • Fed Up

    One of the most powerful things you can do today is to jump out of your party and register as an independent. This scares the hell out of the politicians as they have no control anymore. Right now one third of registered voters are independents. You will notice that the Pols more about convincing and catering to the independents than their own bases. Most of what is left in the parties now are the ideologues. The common sense and rational people have all left the parties.

    • jed

      I don’t agree. In many states, you cannot vote in a primary unless you are registered with one of the two major parties. We already know who the Democratic candidate will be, so,if you live in one of these states, you should register as a Republican so that you can vote in a Republican primary.

  • Wayne

    People need to wake up out of their trance. Michael, the people who are protesting against wall street are definitely being hoodwinked right now. Occupy The Fed movement is starting in the state of Texas this week. Its a great alternative that will make an impact all over the United States and also the world.

    • Ian

      How exactly is a group of young people reacting to the very things this website is speaking about termed “being hoodwinked” How exactly is an uprising of the most grass roots people imaginable not a positive thing. Only in Amerika,would people be so hoodwinked to believe that an uprising of the common people is somehow co-opted? You are hoodwinked by your corporate media that is feeding you lies about your fellow countrymen while the corporations and media continue to rape and pillage our planet.
      CONGRATULATIONS NAYSAYERS OF THE WALL STREET PROTESTORS!! YOU ARE BUYING INTO THE CORPORATE PARADIGM OF RIGHT/LEFT.

  • http://economiccollapse alreadyGone

    In Regards To This Story,With No Disrespect To
    The Writer Of This Blog Or Any Readers. I Have Been There,Seen It And Experienced It And It Was
    By No Way Pretty. I Am Done Helping People As Of
    Now Because Everytime I Did I Ended Up Getting Burned. So Why Should I Spend My Time And Money
    To Help Somebody, When They Won’t Help Themselves,Or Say A Simple Thankyou. No They Take It For Granted That I Will Be There To Continue To Bail There Ass Out Of Trouble And When I Ask For A Small Favor In Return They Do Not Have Time Or The Resources, So From Now On,
    And I Feel That This Should Be A Fair Warning To Everybody Out There,Be Damn Careful Of Who You Help,Judge Them Accordingly,And If Something
    Does Not Look Right or Sound Right,Get Away From Them As Fast As Possible, Because It Could Cost You Everything Including Your Life. If You Choose To do Differently, Make Sure You Have Other People With You,This Can Change The Situation,Never Trust Anybody You Do Not Know.
    And Finally, God Bless Everybody And Pray For
    For Better Times.

  • JD

    “I didnt always lose I wont lose again.” Russel Crowe playing boxer Jim Braddock in Cinderella Man.

    Yes my friends I am back. I just worked today at a legitimate job for the first time in two years. The starting pay is great with a chance at a raise in 3 months. All weekend long I was praying that my skills havent atrophied from lack of use after all that is the biggest worry for anyone unemployed for a long time. But I didnt. It was like riding a bike ya never forget how. People, yes times are very hard. The market is down again, people are protesting and some people are giving into despair so bad that they are offing themselves. Pretty soon we might see the Amazing Flying Stockbrokers again. I feel compassion not pity for anyone else that is struggling. You have two choices hope or despair. If my story can be an example of hope that is my greatest wish. Things can turn around. Instead of trying to numb yourself with drugs and alcohol, try a little faith instead. All the great people in history were people of faith. I know how you feel if you are angry with God. So was I. Everything I had was washed away in the blink of an eye. I gave into despair and tried to hide my pain with substances. But the only way is a higher power. Believe. Give hope a chance. “Without hope we despair. To live in despair is not to live.” – Elaine Jack.

    • Jean

      Yeah, good for you and I hope you continue to enjoy the new job!

  • r.bitting

    The people’s gold and silver are about to sprout wings and fly away… You need to be grounded in the truth of Jesus Christ, or you won’t survive whats about to happen. Times almost up. Don’t put it off anymore. This is God’s wake up call…You won’t be able to say “I never knew “.

  • JD

    I heard that the Wall Street bankers were pouring champange on the protesters kinda like Antoinette saying “Let them eat cake.” Is there any truth to this? If they had the nerve to do that thats crazy.

    • Ian

      Yes its true. you can you tube the video.

  • John O’Neill

    You’re absolutely true that we must keep on fighting. My wife and I are fortunate, because we have government pensions and no debt; however, we both know that can end tomorrow. We’re grateful today and we need to be grateful tomorrow no matter what happens, because if we stop fighting, we WILL lose. HELL ON EARTH IS COMING AND NONE OF US ARE SAFE, NO MATTER HOW FORTUNATE WE ARE AT THE PRESENT TIME.

  • Mad Max

    Our economic conditions are insane. And we are insane to put up with them. Well not anymore, Americans are fighting back.

    FIGHT THE CAUSE – NOT THE SYMPTOM
    OsiXs (Revolution 2.0)

  • a.p.

    I’m sorry, but I’m already suspicious about Occupy wall street. This does look like it has already co-opted. The Tea party got co-opted by the extreme right; now it looks like the ultra left is taking over the OWS. I just read how MoveOn.org is starting to organize events for this. MoveOn.org backed Obama from day one and still does, even though Obama has his pockets filled with Wall Street dough.

    There were all kinds of protests back in 2008 when the Treasury Department pulled a coup d’etat. But the coverage on MSM was almost nil. It is too late to save the nation from complete economic wipe-out. The time to have saved it was back in 2008-2009…

    So, Occupy Wall Street (which I still support because I know there are mostly good people with Best intentions getting involved) is another situation that is being ALLOWED by the ptb. Apparently, even people like Soros are getting involved.

  • Paul

    I’m downsizing. Reducing my physical possessions be selling or donating them. Moving into a smaller place that needs less maintenance and heating. Hope I can find one from where I can walk to the office and the supermarket. Cars and bikes can be stolen.

    Just transferred a few hundred dollars to the other side of the world to finance somebody’s university study. Even after a recession, a degree is worth something.

  • mondobeyondo

    *Waving American flag high above head, and screaming at top of lungs*

    God Bless America!
    Land that I love!

    Come on people, you know the song! Sing along!

    Stand beside her… I can’t hear you!!

  • bobbobbobbob

    the people in jamaica have it! british too!! japs have it sweeds too.!!! danes have it but u amerikans dont!! what is is ???? universal health insurance. u have die in the street care =====
    ur failed state. junkstate- garbage state- right wing toothless state- ect.. according to the cia us citzens are # 47th in life expectancy
    whose ur daddy??

  • http://www.ghd-goldsupplier.com Asa Duva

    Crazy idea.. How about we start making some of our own stuff?

  • http://www.infowars.com/ May Day!
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