The Beginning Of The End
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UNSUSTAINABLE

When it comes to explaining the problems with our economy, one of the hardest things to do is to get people to understand that we are living in an economic fantasy world that is completely and totally unsustainable.  As a nation we consume far more than we produce, we spend far more than we bring in, our debt is growing much faster than our GDP is, our entitlement programs are growing at an exponential rate, our retirement system is a Ponzi scheme and the Federal Reserve is printing money as if there is no tomorrow in a desperate attempt to paper over all of our problems.  But we have all grown so accustomed to the debt-fueled prosperity that we have been enjoying for so many decades that it actually feels “real” to most of us.  Unfortunately, history has shown us that it is simply not possible to grow your debt faster than your economy indefinitely.  At some point your consumption will drop back to a level more equal to your production.    Sometimes that adjustment can be gradual, but other times it can be extremely painful.  In our case, we have been living way above our means for so long that it would take a major economic miracle just to keep our adjustment to an “exceedingly painful” level.  We are living in the largest debt-fueled prosperity bubble in the history of the world, and our unsustainable economy is going to crash and burn at some point.  Hopefully it will be later rather than sooner, but a crash is most definitely coming.

The following are some of the reasons why the bubble economy that we are living in right now is unsustainable….

The Trade Deficit

Most Americans do not really understand what a “trade deficit” is, but it is at the very core of our economic problems.

Basically, we buy far more stuff from the rest of the world than they buy from us.  We send them huge piles of our money, and they send us oil that we burn in our cars and cheap plastic products that we end up throwing away.  We keep doing this month after month after month, and this is systematically making us poorer as a nation.

In 2012, it is being projected that our trade deficit will fall somewhere between 500 billion and 600 billion dollars.

At this point, the United States has a trade imbalance that is more than 7 times larger than any other nation on earth has.

Overall, the United States has run a trade deficit of more than 8 trillion dollars with the rest of the world since 1975.

Instead of going out of the country, those 8 trillion dollars could have gone to U.S. businesses and U.S. workers.  In turn, taxes would have been paid on those 8 trillion dollars and our debt problems would not be nearly as dramatic today.

But we didn’t do that.

We chose to allow tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of our national wealth to leave the country.

Stupid move, eh?

But both political parties have been endlessly pushing the “free trade” agenda.  They have both promised that it would bring us tremendous prosperity.

Well, just take a look at our formerly great manufacturing cities today.  Do they look prosperous to you?

It turns out that Ross Perot was right when he warned about the “giant sucking sound” that would happen if NAFTA was implemented.

When NAFTA was pushed through Congress in 1993, the United States had a trade surplus with Mexico of 1.6 billion dollars.  By 2010, we had a trade deficit with Mexico of 61.6 billion dollars.

That didn’t work out so well, did it?

What about opening up trade with China?

Back in 1985, our trade deficit with China was approximately 6 million dollars (million with a little “m”) for the entire year.

In 2011, our trade deficit with China was 295.4 billion dollars.  That was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.

Our trade with China is tremendously unbalanced.  Today, U.S. consumers spend approximately 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that Chinese consumers spend on goods and services from the United States.

This is a huge reason why shiny new factories are going up all over China, and our blue collar cities are turning into rotting war zones filled with unemployed people.

If you can believe it, the United States has actually lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

Until we fix the trade deficit we are going to continue bleeding factories, jobs and national wealth at an astounding pace.

The National Debt

It is being projected that U.S. GDP will grow at a rate of about 2.2 percent this year.

The problem is that our federal budget deficit will be somewhere around 7 percent of GDP this year.

With each passing day we are losing ground.  No other nation on earth has been able to run up debt like this indefinitely, and neither will we.

Does this chart look like a healthy situation to you?….

Sadly, all of this government debt is just about the only thing holding up our economy at this point.  Since Barack Obama has been in the White House, the U.S. national debt has increased by about 5.5 trillion dollars.  Of course the Obama administration has spent a lot of that money on incredibly stupid stuff, but it still gets into the pockets of average Americans that in turn spend it on food, gas, mortgage payments, etc.

If we could go back in time and suck that 5.5 trillion dollars of extra spending out of the economy we would be in a horrible economic depression right now.

But that does not mean that borrowing and spending all of that money was the right thing to do.  We have stolen it from our children and our grandchildren and we are going to stick them with the bill.

That is highly immoral and it is a national disgrace.

Yet we continue to do it because we can’t help ourselves.  We are ruining the future of this nation in order to make the present more pleasant for ourselves.

As I noted yesterday, the U.S. national debt jumped more on the very first day of fiscal year 2013 than it did from 1776 to 1941 combined.

We are completely addicted to debt and we can’t stop.  We know that we are destroying the future of the United States but we have absolutely no self-discipline.

By the end of Barack Obama’s first term, the U.S. government will have accumulated more debt during those four years than it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that George W. Bush took office.

But most Americans seem fine with that.

Most Americans don’t even really know why this is happening, and most don’t really seem too concerned about finding out.  They just want the good times to continue to roll.

Sadly, the truth is that our financial system is designed to create government debt.  It is one of the primary purposes of the Federal Reserve system.

At this point, the U.S. national debt is more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was first created.

So I guess you could say that the Federal Reserve is doing a good job of what it was designed to do.

And until we change the system things are going to continue to get worse until the entire system collapses.

Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff is warning that we are basically facing financial armageddon if something is not done.  Kotlikoff speaks of a “fiscal gap” which he defines as “the present value difference between projected future spending and revenue”.  His calculations have led him to the conclusion that the United States is facing a fiscal gap of 222 trillion dollars in the years ahead.

Where in the world are we going to get an extra 222 trillion dollars?

Entitlements

Every society needs a safety net, but we are rapidly getting to the point where there are going to be more Americans on the safety net than there are Americans supporting it.

Back in 1983, less than 30 percent of all Americans lived in a home where at least one person received financial assistance from the federal government.

Today, that number is up to an all-time record of 49 percent.

Many people don’t believe me when I tell them that more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government right now, and that does not even count Social Security or Medicare.

But it is actually true.

Overall, there are nearly 80 different “means-tested welfare programs” that the federal government is currently running.

But of course the biggest financial burdens are Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.  All three are on course to become completely and totally unsustainable.

For example, the number of Americans on Medicaid soared from 34 million in 2000 to 54 million in 2011, and it is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

Ouch.

Well, what about Medicare?

Sadly, Medicare is even more frightening.

As I wrote recently, it is being projected that the number of Americans on Medicare will grow from 50.7 million in 2012 to 73.2 million in 2025.

How in the world can we afford that?

At this point, Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion dollars over the next 75 years.  That comes to approximately $328,404 for each and every household in the United States.

Are you ready to contribute your share?

Social Security is in really bad shape as well.

At the moment, approximately 56 million Americans are collecting Social Security benefits.

By 2035, that number is projected to soar to a whopping 91 million.

Overall, the Social Security system is facing a 134 trillion dollar shortfall over the next 75 years.

Where are we going to get that money?

Total Debt

Of course the national debt is not out only debt problem.  All over the country there are state and local governments that are on the verge of insolvency.  Corporations and financial institutions are leveraged like crazy.  And of course consumers have absolutely gorged on debt over the past several decades.

As a result, we are drowning in debt from sea to shining sea.

The good news is that our GDP is more than 12 times larger than it was 40 years ago.

The bad news is that the total amount of debt in our country is more than 30 times larger than it was 40 years ago….

Obviously this is something that cannot go on forever.

We simply cannot keep accumulating debt much faster than our economy is growing.

Nobody knows exactly when the “adjustment” is coming, but it most definitely will arrive at some point.

Money Printing

The Federal Reserve has attempted to monetize many of our economic problems by printing gigantic mountains of money in recent years.

The Federal Reserve is at the very heart of our economic problems, but most Americans don’t realize this.  It was the Federal Reserve that created the conditions for the housing bubble, and it was the Federal Reserve that badly mismanaged the response when that bubble burst.  The Federal Reserve decides how much money will be printed and what our interest rates will be.  The Federal Reserve lends out trillions of dollars to the banks that they like, and other banks they let die.  The Federal Reserve picks winners and losers in our economy, and most of the time that means good things for the big Wall Street banks and bad things for the rest of us.

In a desperate attempt to keep our unsustainable financial system from collapsing, the Federal Reserve has decided to start printing unprecedented amounts of money.  Just look at what this has done to the monetary base….

And QE3 really hasn’t even started to kick in yet.

So how bad will that chart look after QE3 has been adding another 40 billion dollars a month to the financial system for a while?

You know, the Weimar Republic was absolutely convinced that they were doing the right thing by printing lots of money too.

But in the end that didn’t work out very well for them at all….

So should we really be celebrating the fact that the Federal Reserve is going down the same path that the Weimar Republic did?

Demonocracy has released a great new graphic that does a wonderful job of illustrating just how huge the amounts of money involved in QE3 are going to be.  If you have not seen it yet, you can view the graphic right here.

The rest of the world is watching the games that we are playing with our currency.  Right now we think that we are getting away with it, but what we are doing is not sustainable.  At some point the rest of the world will totally lose confidence in the U.S. dollar, and when that happens the U.S. dollar could easily lose its status as the primary reserve currency of the world.

If that were to happen the coming shift in our standard of living would happen much more rapidly.

Please share this article with as many people as you can.  We need to wake people up and get them to understand how incredibly vulnerable our financial system really is.  We are on a path that is unsustainable any way that you want to look at it, and if something dramatic is not done our economy is going to experience an unprecedented collapse.

So what happens if nothing is done and everything crashes all around us?

Well, I hope that you are prepared because it isn’t going to be pretty.

  • Imaplaneiac

    Michael, in your above short paragraph where you mention Ross Perot, did you mean to type ” It turns out … ” and NOT ” I turns out “?

    • Michael

      Good catch – I actually do proof these articles but sometimes stuff slips through.

      It just shows that I should not work so late into the evening. :)

      Michael

      • uncurable wound

        Out drinking home brew with Gary2 again huh Michael…LOL
        I had to get away for a while,took the family camping for two weeks.
        The first night the dog got sprayed by a skunk…..
        EVERYONE!What do you do when your dog gets sprayed by a skunk,your camping in a tent with the wife and three kids and your 3 hours from home its 10;30 at night,and the nearest town is 35 miles away????
        Do you think that Phased me???
        nah!
        I read the Economic collapse blog,Im overwhelmed by the stench of reality with each article.
        A smelly skunk is refreshing compared to where we are going.
        Do you ever write any Happy,Happy,Joy,Joy articles??? Like the country song where the wife comes back,and the dog didnt die…
        Great Info as usual…..Man I was away for two weeks and things suck even more.
        Buckle up kids,the cruise control is turning off!

      • the ragged trousered philanthropist

        Michael.
        Keep on working and God bless you for it.
        I for one will put up with the occasional typographical error in order to read your pearls of wisdom. (and I do mean occasional – for they are very rare in such comprehensive articles)

      • SmallerGovNow

        Michael, one of your best articles ever. Great job. Keep up the good work….

        • Michael

          Thank you :)

          Michael

      • GayVeteran

        well something never made it IN your article: the bloated Pentagon budget

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          Of course, it’s not the (acknowledged) bloated pentagon budget that is breaking the back of the country.

          • Gay Veteran

            of course not, it has nothing to do with the ultimate 2-3 $TRILLION to pay for our war of aggression against Iraq

  • reid

    Great! USA FTW!

  • john jackson

    The writing is on the wall. I beg of you to prepare so you can thrive during these unprecedented times ahead:

    http://theelevationgroup.net/presentation/register.php?a_aid=a6affed9&a_bid=e6b01db8

  • MamaMia!

    Those crazy bastards prints money for themselves & receives money too in the process. Meanwhile you & I work hard, save the money and at the end of the day, the money saved worth far less, thanks to inflation.

    What can we do?

    • paul

      Money in the bank is not really saved. It will lose value.
      Invest in a home instead.
      Nothing flashy, but solid. Solid stone or concrete. Make sure it withstands weather – wind, rain, snow, storm, hail, heat, cold.
      Make it big enough for the family and small enough for easy cleaning when disabled, old, alone.
      Invest in energy saving features. Energy prices are guaranteed to go up in the future.
      Further, invest in functional clothing. Protection against weather. Invest in knowledge and practical skills. Which bark and grass is edible? How to sew on buttons, how to patch the seats of your favourite trousers. How to cook healthy meals from scratch. Where to find herbs in the local woods. Build a local network by buying from local craftsmen, farmers, services. Get skills that are missing.

  • William

    Interest rates *will not* rise, ever. Any rise in interest rates will drain too much money out of this economy. Granted, huge inflation spikes could allow bank rates to rise, but the real inflation rate (asset price growth minus cost of capital) will not.

    I have one co-worker that bought five houses in the last two years. Another just completed his first of many rental property buys. Consider it, if you can. (By the way, the Weimer government tried capping rental rates during their hyper inflation, but property owner found legal loopholes around them.)

  • Anon

    I don’t mean to sound ghoulish, but I personally hope it happens sooner rather than later. I feel this way mainly because I have given up trying to explain what you have just explained to people who just won’t listen, because they can’t stand the thought that their standard of living will change. They just don’t get that their standard of living will change whether they want it to or not, and it is better to start willingly changing how we do things before it gets to that point. If I thought that enough people were awake enough to want to change things while there’s still time I would feel differently. Just bring it on so we can get it over with and(hopefully) come out the other side and start to rebuild a more sustainable society.

    • Paul76

      Anon, I have to say that I’m with you on the “let’s get it over with, already” mindset. Until it happens, we can’t actually start to rebuild things and get back on track. So the time we spend waiting for the inevitable is all wasted. My hands are tied, I can’t do more than live from day to day biding my time. I can’t plan for any future endeavors, only for future disaster. That’s not LIVING, it’s merely trying to avoid death (figuratively). Everything and everybody is in a holding pattern UNTIL the clowns running the show finally lose control.

      Sadly, the longer they keep the game running, the more disastrous the chaos which must ensue. If, instead of figuring out plans to keep the house of cards from collapsing, they came up with a plan to ameliorate the damage caused by the collapse, WE’D ALL BE BETTER OFF.

      Unfortunately for us average folks, all their efforts are going into clinging to power and maintaining the status quo.

      In the meantime, I stand prepared to go it alone and try to make it through chaos which must soon engulf the globe. Nothing else one can do!

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        “we can’t actually start to rebuild things and get back on track”

        Unfortunately, The way the country has been divided, you will not get the two sides to come even close to agreeing on how to do that. The harsh reality is the solution is probabnly to divide the country peacably before we start killing each other.

        • Gay Veteran

          good, you can join your fellow neo-confederates

      • Anon

        Phew, I’m not the only one. Thank you for understanding. I feel like I am in limbo, just waiting to see what is going to happen next in the real world while most people are waiting to see who has won the latest round of American Idol. I want to shout at them to wake up but I know they will just think I’m crazy. I would love to see more small groups of people prepping together to get through this, bringing together a variety of skills and strengths, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening that much. Personally, I am fortunate enough to have small piece of land that is pretty much self-sustaining and we live a lifestyle that is already very frugal, but I worry that if everything collapses that my land may be confiscated when civil unrest occurs and people are rounded up like sheep, supposedly for their own protection. Paul, I sincerely hope that you are in a place where you can easily “run to the hills” if need be. Kia Kaha (that is Maori for “stay strong”).

        • GSOB

          Anon,

          I was moved by deep acknowledgement while reading these words you wrote,

          ….change whether they want it to or not, and it is better to start willingly changing how we do things before it gets to that point.”

          We can pretend, maybe that’s not the right word, but practice now in order to help us identify areas of weakness in our prepping plans in order to stengthen them. Great thought there Anon. Like practicing living without electrical power for a couple of days and even longer. Take bitty steps and eventually be encouraged to get off the electrical grid.

          This principle can be applied to get us off the infrastructure we take for granted…, like water from the tap and being able to flush the commode.
          Trash pick up – another major problem when it don’t get picked up for weeks, even months or years!

          Rounding us up for our own good to live in so called ‘government’ shelters is
          a queue to get out of dodge….

        • SmallerGovNow

          Feel your pain. In similar situation…

      • paul

        Get independent. Don’t just hold until somebody else is changing. If you want change then change. Life is too short to wait . Do your thing and f*** the rest.

        But refrain from criminal activities.

  • tappedops

    Oh…dont you worry—its totally Sustainable… theyll keep printing money and then buy more horse____ paper…then theyll bundle it and tripAit and sphew it all over the world while you pick up the tab…and theres more than a few years of suckers to be fleeced on this planet—dont hold your breath…

  • MamaMia!

    Reading your article, I conclude that the Americans need to work harder to pay back all those debt. Not sitting around, lamenting about how unsustainable the debt is, critisizing the Fed for printing all those money, demonstrating on the streets and lazying around not looking for jobs.

    Americans need to wake up. If you cannot find jobs, then you have to make jobs. If you don’t have enough capital, borrow those money that the Fed has created for you. Work hard and be creative. Otherwise, you are not going to have a good time tomorrow and the good ol’ time will not come back.

    As far as I can see, the Fed has done a good work lying down the foundation by making money cheap and readily available. Now each Americans need to do their part of the burdens.

    Do you think that the Fed wants hyperinflation to happen? Do you think that the Fed wants to have the USD to be no longer the world’s reserve currency? Do you think the Fed wants the USD to be so weak in the future? The answer is No. In fact, the Fed is in the same boat with all the Americans.

    The Fed has to do something about the mess that it has created. Very sorry that it has created the mess but at least it is trying to fix it. If you are the Fed and trying to clean the mess and to prevent from ****** happening again in the future, what will you try? The only loud noise I hear is by going back to Gold Standard. I think this is like going back to Stone Age.

    The Gold Standard is not expansive. How do you think you can open up new economy by using Gold Standard? Railroad boom, Air travel boom, internet boom, emerging economy boom. All of these cannot happen with Gold Standard. These and other booms are fueled by credit expansion which the Gold Standard cannot do. I bet if we stick to Gold Standard long time ago, we might not have the Internet, which you & I are dependent on. So, no we cannot go back to Gold Standard.

    The Fed has made a tough call by printing more money for you and I. It is scary but it has to be done. Now the ball is in our hands. Can you make a tough call? If you cannot, remember that the future won’t be pretty for us.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      You clearly do not understand how or why we are in this mess. Perhaps Big Bird is more your style?

    • Mondobeyondo

      The debt is IMPOSSIBLE to pay off! Do you realize how much $16 trillion is?

      • paul

        16 trillion is just 53000 for every American.
        Quite easy to recover. Most of the money went into guns and ammo.
        So, stop financing wars.
        When the gun manufacturers go bancrupt, get them into state property.
        Consolidate them to a minimum, only produce what is really necessary, the “profit” stays in the state.
        This way expenses are slashed by trillions.
        Get the soldiers home. Less disabled veterans also means less healthcare costs.
        Invest heavily in sustainable, renewable energy and recycling of resources to limit import and transport costs of imports. This should cover the trade imbalance and the job Market.

        Etc. etc.

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          “16 trillion is just 53000 for every American. Quite easy to recover. Most of the money went into guns and ammo.”

          Uhh no. The actual debt that the govt hides under the heading of unfunded liabilities is upwards of 100 trillion dollars and is mathematically impossible to pay off. And that doesn’t include upwards of 1.5 quadrillion dollars in derivatives.

          MOST of the money is in the welfare state.

          “Invest heavily in sustainable, renewable energy ”

          See Spain. Failure from the word GO.

      • paul

        What is the collective wealth of the Forbes 500?

        Bill Gates owns 50 billion.
        16 trillion = 320 x Bill Gates.

        That seems really manageable through “tax the rich”.

        In addition, to make debtfree sustainable the expense structure must be fixed. Slash the benefits for the rich and corporations. If a company states on the stock market that they have profit, it shall not be possible to state to IRS that they made a loss.

        Anyway, it is more sinister than that.

        If Bill bought US treasuries for $1. Then the US has a debt of $1 and Bill owns $1. Dto with 16 trillion.

        Same for China.

        So, the US could tax Bill 50%, then buy US treasuries for that money from China. This way the debt would be reduced by 25billion. And China had 25billion to buy American goods or property. Or oil from Iran.

        Then the state shall be prohibited to finance wars. The decision shall be placed by law into the hands of the people. Only if through a public referendum 60% vote yes to pay more tax to finance the war, a war shall be possible.
        Sounds good? At least its something to think about.

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          Why do liberals ALWAYS disregard that as soon as you have confiscates these guys’ businesses and their money (Yea, you didnt think that was all in cash didja), there’s still the VAST majority of the debt left, there are no jobs, there is no more golden goose for you to confiscate private property from, there is no one remaining generating wealth and all you have left is slavery, poverty, starvation and mass murder.

          The liberal solution is NEVER the solution. You should continue thinking because right now your ideas aren’t even half baked.

          • Gay Veteran

            and of course the Federal debt started exploding under that liberal Ronald Reagan

          • Michael

            Ronald Reagan did explode the federal deficit. That is true.

            Michael

        • jaxon64

          you and Gary2 really are idiots…flat out, non-thinking idiots.

          Bill Gates does not earn $50 billion annually and there are not 320 others with his net worth either.
          What you are suggesting is nazi/gestapo style confiscation of everything that he has earned over decades of work.
          50% of his annual income ( and believe it or not you commie prick) most people who earn 7 figures of personal income pay OVER 50% by the time you add in Federal, state, county, local, Social Security, Medicare, capital gains and 5 to 10% sales tax ..in fact a little guy like me is paying near 40% when all taxes are combined including the fact it even costs me 8% to SPEND my money!

          You brain dead simpletons just don’t get it. I agree we spend too much on the military and believe we should be more isolationist, producing our own products, oil, fuels and food. The USA has all of the resources to be 100% independent of the rest of the world.
          What you don’t get though is that the government revenue through taxes is enough to pay for social security, every government employee salary, every government building, park, cars, tanks, planes air craft carriors, soldier, maintanence etc…****every single one of these could without increasing the debt, in fact enough left over to pay the current interest on the debt and begin paying it down*****–let that sink in and then realize the big EXCEPT– for entitlements ####..That’s right–all of our entire govt, military, pensions, social security and medicare could easily be covered, except for the extra 40%–nearly 2 trillion per year–that is just plain GIVEN AWAY.

          Paul, I know this won’t sink in..but you only make yourself look like a fool with your ill-informed communist/statist BS. Liberals have so much in common with the early nazi party ” if only the state ran everything in peoples lives, we wouldn’t have a worry ( or an independent or free thought either)…fool

          • jaxon64

            Let me rephrase for clarity:

            **** every one of these could be paid for 100%, in full every year-without increasing the debt, in fact there would be enough money left over after paying all of the govt obligations to actually pay the interest on the debt and start paying down some of the $16 trillion***** let that sink in

        • Louise in MO

          PAUL

          Your theories sound familiar…..sounds a whole lot like the early days of the Nazi Party. We all know where that lead to!

    • Larry1356

      Oh, I see. We should keep playing their one sided game because otherwise it may impact their lifestyle. Sorry, I’d rather shrug this one out.

  • bobinsherwood

    How do you wean a Nation to a lower standard of living? The only option that makes sense is to basically take control of their purchasing options but it will cause aberrations. Some people already divert finances away from food, cable tv, health insurance, etc. in order to pay for their IPhone.

    It will be a minefield with charges of protectionism from abroad if we try to level the trade deficit and charges of elitism if we allow the prices of products to rise to the cost of production if they were made in the USA. How do we force down wages without enacting across the board price controls on food, housing, transportation, education, and healthcare?

    In Singapore, Japan, and other crowded nations you may NOT buy/license a vehicle unless you have proof of a parking spot that you must purchase and it is quite expensive. If you try to marry a foreign national in the US, you must prove that you have the financial resources to support that person but ANYONE is allowed to have a child even if you don’t have a nickel!

    The people of this country only seem to pull together during a CRISIS when they are more willing to(paraphrase)”ask not what their country can do for them, but what they can do for their country”

  • Roberto

    Excellent analysis as always.

  • Gary2

    what is not sustainable is the huge wealth and income inequality. The productivity theft will be stopped either by force or not but it will be stopped.

    I even see walmart employees are striking. The greedy *********** whop own walmart are richer than the bottom 30 million people. Thats 6 people richer than 30 million. This is not sustainable.

    Tax the **************** and spread the wealth NOW.

    • TripSeven

      “America’s wealth comes from the efforts of people striving for success. Take away their incentive with badmouthing success and you take away the wealth that helps us take care of the needy,”
      Thomas Peterffy

      • Randome-11

        That isn´t the case anymore, which is why deindustrialization happened.

      • Anon

        Success has nothing to do with material wealth.

      • GSOB

        Thats right TripSeven,

        Remove the incentive to work and the people will just barely survive. Eventually we will all be equally miserable. Crime will increase and despair will be the norm. Over taxing us all, removing the incentive and innovation, in order that the government can take their share and then equally level the playing field by distributing whats left to the common folk as they become more depended on it, … this will make us all very happy because we don’t have to work as hard,
        according to Gary2.

        Tax the rich more and spread the wealth, sounds so good… but the idea is really fueled by envy and covetousness. The ‘rich’ have the capital to create jobs. Am I missing something? I mean… isn’t that the road to perdition that we are already on, except that you want more of the same?

        Am I missing something Gary2? I bet you will be happy with Obama another 4 years.
        But…please help me understand. (Romney sounds better, but he is king flipflopper)

        Great quote TripSeven.

        • paul

          What’s the use if the rich have the capital to create jobs, BUT THEY DON’T DO IT?

          Shall they be forced to create jobs or lose that capital?

          The rich ate totally useless when they do not spend that money.Their unwillingness in spending causes the fed to provide more money. But that money is also soaked up by the rich through lawyers, accountants and lobbyists.

          • jaxon64

            They don’t do it?..everyone I know, from myself, to my family members to every one of my friends is employed-BY A RICH GUY WHO CREATED THE JOB FOR US…nitwit..who do you think we all work for, people like you and Gary2 sure as heck can’t pay me enough salary to keep food in the bellies of my family, clothes on our backs and my mortgage paid on time… useful idiot parroting the same global, liberal, progressive, statist, commie crap..you marxist types never have an original thought..maybe if you got off of your knees from worshipping at the altar of envy you’d have some value for self reliance, dignity and independence.

          • Louise in MO

            PAUL

            The USA has the highest corporate taxes in the world. Couple that with Obamacare, union wages, unemployment tax, etc. ad nauseum gives you just a few clues why businesses are fleeing the country.

            You CANNOT legislate “fairness.” And, if you do, you have Socialism and it has NEVER worked.

        • Gary2

          The rich are paying the lowest taxes ever where are the jobs???

          • Gay Veteran

            Louise in MO: “The USA has the highest corporate taxes in the world.”

            perhaps, but then most corporations do NOT pay that high tax rate

  • ScotinOz

    I know blogs like this are always talking about the whole financial Armageddon that will eventually befall the US. I dont see it happening unless its triggered by civil unrest and I dont think that people will resort to that as for all the unemployed are still somehow managing to survive. 8$ gas might hasten it but you have to remember there are central banks the world over and world leaders who are totally behind this fiscal madness thats unfolding in US, Europe, Aus/NZ and China right now.

    These elites are making boat loads of money using ZIRP cash from central banks speculating they are not going to let things fall apart it ruins their plan. I think we are going to see another 5-10 years of current economic hardship more austerity a few small uprisings but its going to run on the same course. I expect another war to start somewhere to take public interest away from the economic crisis.

    We really need something to start a fire under a movement to change this my hope is that someone somewhere will rise up to this and change public opinion. Its started but these people control everything so to be able to change will require something special.

    Thanks Michael for continuing to spread the message

    • Michael

      You are welcome.

      Does “ScotinOz” mean you are from Australia?

      Michael

      • ScotinOz

        No it means I am a Scotsman who currently lives in Australia… :-)

  • Hognutz

    “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a Hamburger today.”

    • Optimistic Pessimist

      I will gladly print money today for your grand kids to pay it off in the future.

      OP

  • Nexus789

    There is no way out of this other than collapse. No one that is in political power can challenge the status quo. They are either powerless to do so or have been brought, or both.

  • Eric

    Where are we going to get that money?

    Its going to get printed out of thin air. We then pay for it though inflation.

    Maybe we should have an article on what inflation does. In the last 40 years the price of gasoline has gone from 50cents to $5, the price of an average cars has gone from $3500 to $35,000.
    The inflation rate has been running around 5%-6%.

    Real inflation is now running around 10%. At that rate a 10x price jump will take a bit over 20 years. So, 20 years from now we – and our children – will pay $50 per gallon of gasohol, the average car will cost $350,000, and we will all be “millionaires and billionaires” (average house will be $1.2M) so we pay our “fair share” of 40% in federal income tax. That $1,000/mo rental apartment now will cost you $10,000/mo then. In sort, our average income of $50,000/year (and dropping) will not be enough to pay for a rental 15 years from now. Not that any of this matters, we will have a major political revolt before 2030.

    • William

      10X rise in prices over 40 years is equivalent to 6% inflation.

  • JustanOguy

    Awesome post and charts.

    You should point out that all of the cash paid into Social Security and Medicare was spent by the Government and replaced with IOU’s. A lot of confusion to people who don’t know that and see you place it under an “Entitlement” heading.

  • Randome-11

    Gotta wonder what would happen to Greece in the case of a default, when searching all I have found so far is that it would be bad for european banks and thus, for the general economy.

    Would the Greek population face famines? Would Greece still be able to import gas/oil for electricity? How much would GPD fall, 60%?

    • SmallerGovNow

      They are experiencing these things now…

  • Tobrojo

    I geuss Roos Perot wasnt so crazy after all? Him and his voodoo stick. You know, he madethat chart :-P

  • Danielle

    Michael,

    With all of these precise preditions of what is going to happen, surely you can give us a timeframe so that we may be maybe really prepared?

  • happy dolphin

    It is amazing to me that most of your articles talk about the social programs and leave out the military spending. If we would stop getting into there useless wars and cut back to a defensive military stand, we would have more than enough money to cover all the social programs.

    • Michael

      You make a good point.

      Michael

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        No, she doesn’t.

        • GayVeteran

          wow, big surprise that you support the bloated Pentagon

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          Wow, big surprise that I’m actually dealing with reality. The budget may be bloated but it’s not the pentagon budget that’s breaking the back of the nation. again, see obtuse.

          • Gay Veteran

            obtuse? learn a new word?

            guess you forgot about the 2-3 $TRILLION the war of aggression against Iraq will cost us

    • SmallerGovNow

      DHS and DOD comprise “just” 800 billion annually. Medicare and Medicade are 800 billion annually and projected to nearly double in the next 50 years. Social Security is 800 billion annually and also projected to double. Food stamps are 80 billion per year. There is a constitutional reason for the military so you will not eliminate all 800 billion by stopping the current wars (which I agree should be done). There is no constitutional authority for social programs. So even if you reduce the defense budget 50% to 400 billion, considering total tax reciepts are 2.4 trillion, you will never be able to afford the lavish social program that has been put in place at the federal level…

      • Garyt1201

        All civilizations that have put their money into defense and war have all gone bankrupt and collapsed over time, from the Assyrians to Rome to Spain, France and Britain whose empire was finished by 1956. What makes we Americans think the same thing isn’t happening to us.

        We have made the same mistakes as other imperialistic civilizations before us; hugh trade deficits, little manufacturing at home, relying on unsistainable energy resources, hiring mercenary armies,an increasing gap between rich and poor etc.

        The republicans and democrats didn’t cause this. We ALL did through our immaturity, arrogance, our beloved myths of American exceptionalism, manifest destiny (God gave us the resources, so let’s use them up).

        We are a culture in denial, period. We can’t accept that we have become the materialistic corrupt babylon of our age. Our churches have not helped as they have been caught up in the same business oriented crap as everyone else, worshipping the almighty dollar, how many are in the pews instead of being places where people can spiritually grow, learning a ego shattering humility which keeps priorities straight and encourages colloboration instead of the “My way is the right way bs” encouraged by the media, which only serves to keep us apart.

        Our greed, ineffective poltical process, lack of respect for creation together with our god of american individualism without acknowlegment of the importance of the commons for all, our gross materialism, inability to hold our financial hoodlums to the fire, and our lack of integrity has many of our friends in the world wondering if we are all crasy here.

        We are.

        We are the ones who contributed through our free market friedman/Chicago/Rand/republican economics and the trickle down lie, to the almost collapse of the entire world economy and we can’t take the honest look at ourselves required to see our faults and change our financial and political processes. We are like addicts who think we have no problem.

        And so, like all other great civilizations we WILL collapse and another will take our place. So be it.

        Those who cannot learn from history (or for that matter, who refuse to study it) will make the same mistakes over and over until we grow up, and come to understand we’re all in this together, as Americans and as a planet.

        • SmallerGovNow

          Great points all Gary. We do however need some military to protect the homeland and to keep shipping open for world trade. These are part of our constitution. otherwise agree completely with your post…

        • jaxon64

          All civilizations that DID NOT put their money into defence and war never lasted long enough to even become an afterthought or footnote in history…………

    • Scott

      Not that we shouldn’t cut the pork out of military spending, but social spending far exceeds military spending. We could eliminate military spending completely and we would still be left with a huge deficit.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      Why is it that the liberal solution to unsustainable welfare statism and military spending is to cut the military to pay for the welfare state. Yer a genius.

      • GayVeteran

        If you are willing to cut the welfare state to pay for the military-industrial complex then you’re a genius too

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          Please post the link where I’ve said that.

          I absolutely agree. Evict the UN and default on any and all monies ‘owed’ them. Tear down that idiotic gun sculpture out in front and melt it down to pay for some after school program (for all of 5 minutes) Close the majority of bases, especially in places like Eurpoe and Japan. Return all lands stolen from the states under the antiquities acts and abolish all depts except perhaps the FDA (and eliminate all roles other than food) and the defense dept.

          And you want to end which welfare state program? N.O.N.E You’re disingenuous and you lie.

          • Gay Veteran

            Medicare/Medicaid is unsustainable

            so quit bearing false witness

      • paul

        You need to cut military spending, and invest that money in infrastructure.

        That will create jobs if you specify that the material shall be locally sourced for the good of the environment.
        More employment reduces welfare payment.
        Less import improves the trade balance. Money spent inside the country on wages can then be used further to pay for other local services, like butchers bakers, teachers. Etc.

        Local infrastructure benefits local businesses.
        Local networks benefit local businesses.

        People having a job in a striving economy are more satisfied and less angry.

        Be proud of your product and research, not just your god and heritage.
        Be proud of something you have accomplished, not of something you have inherited.

        • Louise in MO

          PAUL

          “Cut military spending and invest in infrastructure.”

          The problem in “infrastrucure” spending is that unions are involved and their demands are ludicrous. Would they be satisfied with a decent hourly wage, e.g. $18/hour, reasonable benefits and a pension that doesn’t give them 90% of their salary for the rest of their life?

          I don’t think for a minute they would be agreeable. Not only the rich are greedy; the middle class can also want it all.

          Man is inherently greedy by nature. The more we have, the more we want. There have been times in my own life when I have had to take a look at what I want versus what I need.

          Is it not a form of greed for the third generation of welfare recipients to expect “free everything” and not work for any of it?

  • PD

    If the “system” collapses?

  • Note from Idaho

    “No discipline”

    Fiscally,personal,government.

    We are a country hooked on eat all you can buffets, waddle up and feed. Feel good for now….but…

  • mark

    Free trade exported wage inflation that we had happening in the 1980’s. Those in power chose to go that route over the down grade in the lifestyle of the public. This along with the debt fueled economy gave us 30 or so extra years of living beyond our means. This was a very poor choice as the end will not be pretty. When the checks don’t come in the mail or they will not be worth much civil unrest begins. When the checks stop on the interest payments as the interest goes up civil unrest at the global government level starts and that means war.
    ‘Interest never sleeps nor sickens nor dies… Once in debt, interest is your compainion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yelds neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you.’ When the interest rates go up and they will in the future, it is game over.

  • Martman

    Sounds like a Grimm story, the money mosters are out there but the look like everybody else, except to those who read this web site!!!

  • SuperBigHuge

    Information overload. Who cares? The average American is either clueless or helpless to stop any of this. I guess the real message is: BUY FOOD and AMMO NOW!!!

  • Syrin

    Liberal Keynesian welfare states are collapsing all over the globe, and the American left, the true modern day Nazis as far as I am concerned (read both parties platforms, they’re virtually identical) would have us emulate Greece, Spain, Japan, France or even better the USSR, Venezuela or any other totalitarian state where the majority are destitute, starvation and deaths are rampant, and freedom is non-existent. Just ask GARY, he’s admitted as much.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      This post is word for word exactly why I have nothing but derision and contempt for the stupid leftists that post on this or any other site I frequent. They suffer from mental disorder or completely lack critical thinking skills.

      • GayVeteran

        because we all know that conservatives have incredible critical thinking skills, ROFLOL

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          dont hurt yourself. One need look to only the liberal posts vs the conservative ones on this site and they’ll glean the truth.

          The liberal solution – raise taxes, confiscate property, abolish the military to pay for the liberal welfare state that has already broken this country and corrupted the people.

          The conservative solution – Retain freedom and severely curtail the welfare state and perhaps abolish it altogether at the federal level. Return the power to the people following the model set forth by the founders that put this country at the forefront of all of world history in the first place.

          Yep, it’s us that cant think.

          • Gay Veteran

            freedom? so you’re cutting your ties to fundamentalists?

            and like communism, conservatives cannot fail it can only be failed.

  • Chestertonian

    Frugality is hated by most people, even people who support private enterprise and want government to leave small producers alone. Frugality means being frugal, which is defined in one dictionary as “economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; entailing little expense; requiring few resources.” Frugality was an essential part of the success of early American pilgrims and pioneers. Those who built America from scratch did not live opulently, with a constant stream of sugary, caffeinated, or alcoholic beverages washing down their throat. They worked long hours and were lean in body. Most of them had a stronger faith in God than do most of us today. Their spiritual resources gave them the perseverance to endure difficulties that would make most Americans today cry out for a government program to relieve them. They did not sue somebody when they got hurt. The great-great-grandmother of the overweight Walmart shopper that you see riding around in a motorized cart was likely carrying water from a well at the same age. We who are alive today are living off the accumulated material and spiritual capital, so to speak, of our tougher, more frugal, more devout forefathers. We are squandering what they left us. Soon we will be forced to be frugal. And it will be much more painful than if each one of us were frugal voluntarily now. We should refuse to allow ourselves to be dependent on large organizations such as state and federal governments, or corporations.

    • SmallerGovNow

      Amen…

    • http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com Azgram

      That’s the truest thing I’ve read in a long time!

    • GSOB

      EXCELLENT!

      Chestertonian

  • Mike

    It’s all part of the plan.

    “We Are Going To Fundamentally Change America” NOBAMA

  • Rodster
    • Michael

      I like it!

      Michael

  • Rodster
  • Paul M

    Michael:

    I see you like displaying totaled cars in your articles. Hopefully you are not responsible for totaling every single one:)

    Regards,

    Paul

    • Michael

      Fortunately none of them is mine. But I do have a truck that is not running that I finally need to replace at some point.

      Michael

  • RICH99

    The REALITY of the situation is that they can keep this going for many many years and even though it may be unsustainable, it HAS been sustainable for many years already and NOBODY can say I’m wrong

  • I am Tyler Durden’s contempt for the system

    Unfortunately, the whole system is doomed because of this unsustainability. When the reality of collapse becomes reality, our species’ proven reaction throughout the millenia is to engender the hell of war. Though we came down from the trees to make our species’ existences more advanced, at the center of it all, when the sh*t hits the fan, is the unfortunate outcome that we will never stop going to war over the water hole; atavistically bringing us back to square one. God help us all…

    • Chad Maplethorpe

      You’re absolutely right, when the veneer of civilization disappears, even the biggest bible-thumping hypocrites in America will have no problem turning to violence and burning buildings.

      So take my advice and learn how to operate firearms if you haven’t done so already.
      BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, become physically fit and learn self defense techniques.

      How many times have you gone to shooting range and seen these guys?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUViWXZ2qQY

      I don’t care if you have 50 guns and a room full of ammo, if you’re not exercising and learning how to use your body as a weapon you might as well be chopped-liver!

      Also read up on Qigong and Yoga, they are Asian meditation techniques that will help you focus your body.

      • paul

        The best defense is not to be where there is trouble.

        Start running.

      • Louise in MO

        “Bible thumping hypocrits?”

    • GSOB

      Hello – I am Tyler Durden’s contempt for the system.

      We did not come down from the trees.
      Ask God about that in prayer and then read the book of Genesis, the first book of the old testament.

      We human beings were created in the image of God.

      • I am Tyler Durden’s contempt for the system

        I am a Catholic who believes in evolution. Human reason is a God-enabled faculty of our species. God, Faith in God, and yes, Jesus as messenger for peace amongst our animal species, are the very catalysts for our existence in this vast universe. Reason helps us understand our environment, including our relation to it and how it evolved. The higher consciousness of morality, love and peace is bestowed upon those who realize that reason, though a useful tool, falters in the presence of the divine.

        • Chestertonian

          I’m a Catholic who does not believe in evolution. It’s not scientifically proven. Read Darwin’s “The Origin of Species.” It’s all speculation. No experimental data.

      • paul

        oh yes and you still consider the wholesale slaughter of the firstborn the solution to people not following your way.

        • Louise in MO

          PAUL

          What train are you on? Your comment is derison and has nothing to do with the discussion.

          So when did God make you the most intelligent one speaking for Him? You aren’t the first and won’t be the last that considers himself the konw it all when it comes to matters of faith.

  • Barn cat

    The people who did this aren’t fools or idiots. They’ve systematically worked for decades to destroy the US economy. You can’t have a one-world government without the destruction of the US economy. And the collapse of the dollar could start at any moment.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      “You can’t have a one-world government without the destruction of the US economy.”

      without destruction of the U.S. PERIOD. George Soros, HERO of the left and financier of same has explicitly said so.

      • Gay Veteran

        and what about the reactionary Koch brothers who are buying the election?

  • http://joe.woolf@att.com TooLittleTooLate

    Michael,

    Thank you for writing these articles. It’s so important to wake folks up. Since you don’t seem to mind distributing this data, I frequently put this information into emails ( with links available to the originals ) and distribute this to folks and ask them to distribute also. The folks I distribute to are mostly like minded but, we all have distribution lists we send things to so maybe, just maybe some of this is going to new folks every week….

    Anyway, it’s true we can’t sustain our current level of spending. There simply isn’t any way. Even if Romney/Ryan get into office, they’re not going to come close to stopping the entitlement society outpour of cash that the baby boomer’s will require in their retirement. They all spin their tales but, when it comes down to brass tacks, there is no political will to do with is needed.

    The time to do something will be when our economy has crashed and burned and there are riots in the streets and people are going hungary.

    How can they sell a plan to Americans that will cause major pain to our country when the poor folks are fat with free housing, cable T.V., and obamma phones.

    No…. the only way we will be back on track is to have MAJOR pain and a MAJOR reset… The reset will occur when folks are begging in the street for help…. The problem with that is that usually gives birth to political movements that are aweful for a country…. movements like, “The golden Dawn” in Greece… It’s almost always either National Socialism ( Nazis ) or Communistic but, either way, it’s collective and it’s anti-freedom.

    Most folks think of politics as either left or right but, it’s really, left, right, up and, down. Left being all govt., right being no govt….. but, they forget the up and down part… up being libratarian, down being authoritarian.

    So, given that thought, how are communism and national socialism different? They’re both authoritarian and they’re both collective.

    Both the Democrats and Republicans are somewhat authoritarian but, in different ways…. they’re both terrible in my own opinion….. The republican far right would have us being national socialists and the democrats would have us communists. Ghandi wanted a collective society but, you must admit, he wanted an anti-authoritarian govt. too.

    That’s why I’m a libratarian… I’m anti-govt. AND anti-authoritarian.

    It’s important to frame politics with the other dimension included.

    • http://joe.woolf@att.com TooLittleTooLate

      Sorry, I should have stated, that National Socialism and Communism are different in that they’re both authoritarian but, one allows less govt. than the other does, for the most part. They’re both somewhat collective but one to a much greater extent.

      Under National Socialism, some are allowed property but, only under strict regulations and govt. control of everything. Under Communism, everything belongs to the state, even the people.

    • Michael

      TooLittleTooLate:

      Thank you for sharing these articles via email. I love when people do that. My philosophy is that the more people that see this information the more good that it will do.

      Actually, a lot more people read these articles other places than they do on my site, and that is perfectly fine with me. I hope people will continue to share them wherever they can. :)

      Michael

  • Washington

    Published October 10, 2012, Application for ND oil refinery approved, would be first built in US in 30 years NEW TOWN, N.D. – Plans for an oil refinery on the Fort Berthold Reservation, the first major refinery to be built in the United States in more than 30 years, cleared a milestone Wednesday. By: Amy Dalrymple, INFORUM

    http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/376913/

    • none

      Great job!
      Now they can ship more gas out to the world markets!

    • SmallerGovNow

      Approved as benefit to minority Indian Tribe and on their reservation and their revenue. Will not approve though for “evil” oil companies. Just another step toward nationalizing the oil and gas industries…

  • Robert Happek

    The analysis in this article does not go deep enough. In fact, it fails to identify the fundamental force responsible for our economic as well financial problems. That force is the exhaustion of basic natural resources without which no modern economy can function. For instance, the US oil production peaked in 1971, the same year in which the US went off the gold standard. A coincidence? The exhaustion of national oil supplies had to be compensated by growing imports of foreign oil. To pay for foreign oil in gold was unsustainable. hence the transition to pure fiat paper money. Today, world oil production is peaking which means the end of cheap transportation. The US government tries to fight this problem by going deeper into debt.

    The reason why we have send manufacturing abroad is not because foreign labor is cheaper. No, we did it in order to import cheaply foreign natural resources as many resources here at home are already exhausted. The exhaustion of natural resources is the ultimate reason for our economic woes.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      “That force is the exhaustion of basic natural resources without which no modern economy can function.”

      No need to read past that point really.

      • GayVeteran

        because you can’t understand it

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          Nah. Because it a lie.

          • Gay Veteran

            just like gravity

    • Robert Silva

      Man you’re absolutely right

      Think about oil, the main source of energy in our entire world

      The big question in oil industry is not the ammount of oil, but the ratio Energy Returned on Energy Invested, also known as EROEI.

      Basically, it measures how many energy you have to invest to return the oil

      this number is getting worse year after year
      because we have already explored the best areas with wonderful ratio EROEI around the world
      What we have nowadays are places with extremly bad ratio EROEI

      Because the truth is: that day after day, year after year, we have to invest more and more energy to return each barrel of oil.

      Think about the early days of oil industry in Texas or Pensylvania, when oil came easily from the ground
      Now, think about the oil explotation we have here in Brazil, where the oil is 5 thousand of meters under the ocean and we have huge platforms

      That is the POINT:

      Oil is becaming more difficult to exploit, in terms of energy invested, day after day

      thanks for the blog and the precious information always

  • sharonsj

    I watched a lecture by an economist on TV who said the U.S. remains the wealthiest nation on Earth. The problem is that most of the money is held by the financial elite and that the gap between rich and poor is the greatest it’s ever been in history.

    It’s the CEOs of the multi-national corporations who have shipped manufacturing overseas along with millions of jobs. And it’s why we have such a trade deficit. Other economists have called for U.S. workers to do an end run around these CEOs and form worker co-ops, thereby keeping production here in the U.S. and making sure that the people who do the actual work get compensated properly.

    Even though worker co-ops make a lot of sense, I bet conservatives trolls will call that Socialism. I don’t care what you call it, but we have to take back America in more ways than just voting for the jokers now in charge.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      NO! Even the poor here are VASTLY more wealthy than the rest of the world’s poor. Socialism and collectivism are not the answer but I’ll bet you hard left trolls will say it always does. No you fool, it always ends in mass murder and slavery by the govt you so love.

      I’m sorry but you trolls and your ‘take America back’. Back to what? Back to something it never was and you never had. You dolts are destroying America with your endless march to the left.

      • GayVeteran

        yeah, those pesty labor unions just hurt the corporate barons too much

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          Please name the liberal ideas that have ever stopped what you consider ‘corporate barons’ without incredible harm to the people they employ, results
          in those same barons taking their wealth elsewhere, or ends in some form of hard left fascism or communism and mass murder….

          holding my breath in 3, 2, 1…

          • Gay Veteran

            holding your breath like a spoiled child

            gee, labor unions were strong in the 50s, didn’t see any jobs being shipped overseas because company owners didn’t want to maximize profits at the harm to the country

          • Gary2

            Malcolm–If you are so retarded as to need to ask this question then there is no way you will be able to comprehend the answer. Go back to watching honey boo boo.

    • jaxon64

      Who was this economic lecturer? Paul Krugman?

  • dianec

    The paragraph stating “nearly 80 different “means-tested welfare programs” was interesting. I followed the link and they stated: “This is not just Americans, however. “These figures include not only citizens, but non-citizens as well,” according to the committee.”

    I still feel that much of our debt problems, high medical costs, high welfare, plus is because of the millions upon millions of illegals …. oh, sorry, guess the PC is now “non-citizens” in our country. California alone is an example of that.

    I know that is only part of the problem, and everything else you talk about Michael is a definately part of what is wrong with our country. Both parties are also ignoring the problems for sure!

  • Billy H.

    The real question is – why can’t we get the average American to understand this? It really isn’t that complicated. Perhaps it’s just good old fashioned selfishness that keeps the schemes rolling along. At the same time, those supporting this mess with their earnings are called mean spirited and greedy for lamenting the theft of their hard earned property. The one thing that is sustainable in all of this is my level of disgust.

    • SmallerGovNow

      Google Obamaphone on youtube and you will have your answer. That’s what you are up against…

    • Louise in MO

      BILLY H

      The average American doesn’t pay attention to the facts in Michael’s articles UNTIL they are affected or know someone who has been through foreclosure, bankruptcy etc.

      I remember what being poor was like as a child. Parents worked hard to bring us out. Those who did not cannot relate and cannot understand what’s coming.

  • Alvin

    Look at the German Mark Chart. It went from a stable value to extreme hyperinflation in 5 years. We have all heard the stories of the people taking small wagon loads of paper marks to the store to buy goods and that at the end they were printing billion dollar marks on one side only, to save on ink, and the fact that factories were paying workers twice or more times a day in cash and the worker would hand the cash to a family member who would run to the store and buy SOMETHING as stores raised prices several times a day. Once people discover that all they held was paper declining in value the Hyperinflation began and ended in 5 years with a crash.

    Keep this in mind, back then the mint had to secure paper and ink, print off the currency, delivery to the banks and then banks delivered it to businesses, who then paid off the workers. Savings accounts were worthless so you had a hand to mouth economy but it still took 5 years to destroy the economy from start to finish.
    Switch to today: Only about 5-7% of the money is paper currency and that number declines each year. We are almost completely a computer digital economy so when inflation starts ( meaning when people discover the dollar is the “Old Maid”) it won’t take 5 years for hyperinflation to hit, no need to print and distribute paper money, it’s all digital and will happen in days once the run starts not years not months. Think about your savings accounts, think you will walk down to the bank and
    withdraw your $ 25,000 savings in cash ? Yea, sure (1) Banks do not carry that much cash anymore. (2) They may hand you a check, what in the hell will you do with that ?
    (3) most likely there will be controls in place only allowing you to take out a small percentage at any one time so that the banks don’t implode. Now think about your cash value life insurance policy or your future social security account, savings bonds etc losing value by the day and there is nothing you will be able to do about it.
    That’s the digital age and do you think the rich (super rich) won’t be tipped off before the rest of us and have the first crack at getting out of the banking system ?
    Suckers

    • Louise in MO

      ALVIN

      I keep NO excess cash in the bank….only what’s needed for monthly expenses. The rest is safely stashed. When it’s gone it’s gone. Food and water is also stashed so we will survive.

  • http://www.survive2balive.com GA

    More are waking every day. We just did a survey over on our site http://www.survive2balive.com asking readers “why do you prep?” More than 100 responded and 68% answered “economic collapse”. It was far from a perfectly scientific survey but it does reveal that many people are starting to figure out that there is a storm approaching.

    We tweet and share your articles on a regular basis and will continue to do our part to help wake people up and assist folks in developing their own personal preparedness strategy. Things may be beyond repair at a global and national level but there is still time for people to prepare
    themselves and their loved ones from the pain that is coming.

    Keep up the outstanding work Michael and thanks!

  • glorious future comrades

    “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”
    –Winston Churchill

    • GayVeteran

      interesting comment from someone living off the labor of British colonies like India

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        said the guy with a unquestioning devotion to the party that supports endless slavery through illegal immigration.

        Also an interesting comment of derision against the man solely responsible for the English part in defeating Naziism which would have sent his ignorant excuse for an American to a concentration camp and his death.

        Aside from that, I’ll assume you’re lying as usual and ask for you to cite how he ‘lived off the labor of British colonies like India’.

        • Gay Veteran

          once again bearing false witness because I have REPEATEDLY told you I do not support the Democrats (or the Republicans)

          and you think Churchill was perfect???

          “…Aside from that, I’ll assume you’re lying as usual and ask for you to cite how he ‘lived off the labor of British colonies like India’.”

          once again your ignorance is amazing! why else were the British in India and the rest of their colonies

  • Sherlock

    The american people are happy with the way this country is going. Anyone with common sense knows that egg sucking dog Clinton signed NAFTA,CAFTA and GATT and if you would have read the thing you would know he was not representing the good of america or its people. Then you have good ole boy Bush sign into law SPP,PPP and the Patriot Act to finish off what Clinton started! Then the dumb people vote Osucker in and he will finish taking away whats left. The americans are to busy with their who is screwing who to watch how fast that their goverment is giving them the shaft! Thats why I will not vote for either party, both are puppets and will jump and ask how high. Signed Tired of getting screwed and not get to enjoy it!

  • 005

    I used to have a couple of “Million Dollar Bills.” These were novelty items, just for laughs. They had the Statue of Liberty on one side, and the corners had the denomination of $1,000,000.

    You’ve already guessed where this is going.

    How long before they actually start printing Million Dollar Bills?

  • erheault

    Unfortunatly you know it and some of the sheeple know it but there is not one single thing that we can do to stop it, the best we can do is get out of debt stop borrowing anything and try to stock up any thing that will be needed for the future colapse,

  • Cat

    I figure
    30% of the population works for government (local,state,federal)
    47% of the population do not pay taxes
    23% of the population slaves that pay for all of the above

  • William

    A bankster said within the past 5 years that as long as the music was playing, they had to keep dancing. But, the music will stop. When, I do not know, but it will stop……most likely within the next 4-5 years, if not sooner. The music will stop when the stereo is unplugged from the electrical outlet, which represents that the USD will no longer be the world’s reserve currency. When that happens, and it will, either the deficit spending will end, or the inflation rate will be so terrible that the US will collapse. YOUR CHOICE??

  • Tom M

    I like the article.
    In short Id sum up the problem with the observation – IT’s the Spending Stupid!

    One area I’d diverge, sorta, is the part opposing “trade defect”

    If I spend $20,000 for a Japanese car that is $20,000 there is not a trade deficit of $20,000 – it is neutral. I have the car – and they have my money it is an even trade.

    However, IF I spend $5,000 on that $20,000 car and I owe $15,000 plus ever mounting interest — and I can’t pay it off before the car exceeds it’s normal life usage — then I have a mounting problem. Similarly if we as a nation are not paying our bills for what we get — we have a problem.
    Here the FED becomes the problem – since foreigners will accept the dollars less and less as the dollars value falls.

    Those who think devaluing the dollar is a great way to stimulate international sales really don’t care about the guy who is selling inventory and getting ripped off because he produced with an expensive dollar sells with a cheap dollar and it makes it harder to buy resources to make more goods when your investments are falling and your cost are rising.

    Trade is a good thing.
    History has shown that when trade does not cross national boarders armies do.

    • paul

      its not just the spending. It is consumption.

      If you have a choice between consumption and investing choose investing.

      Please note: stock market is mostly gambling, like casino. And therefore consumption.

      Investment is a polar sleeping bag to save heating costs, for example.

      Or walking to save gas and liposuction.

    • paul

      you do not understand trade deficit.

      Trade balance is when you buy oil from Saudiarabia for 5000 $ and they use the $5000 to buy missiles from Lockheed.

      If you export money, this money cannot be used to pay local wages, and people need to get welfare so they don’t starve or worse, start riots and go looting.

  • TheRandyGuy

    Should be a sobering read, but it isn’t. Why? People have, for the most part, decided to live in a fantasy land where flat screens and new cars abound. It’s the Titanic mentality: Party on till the crash. Well, it’s coming sooner rather than later, regardless of whom we elect as a President.

  • scott

    I asked bac home loans to produce the original deed of trust, and mortgage docs with my original signature in ink. The sent me photocopied docs that had obviously been scanned into their computer system. If they can’t produce the origional, then they are in default and have no right to collect or forclose on a property they do not hold the note on. They informed me that there’s an investor. Wonder who, China ? Finally they admitted that they do not have the original docs. These docs are put up as collateral for a mortgage backed security. I wonder where your original docs are? Let some China bank come on over and forclose on my property. LOL. Thank God for the second amendment. Plus my dogs love Chineese food.

  • scott

    The Bible says give unto Cesar what is Cesars, and Give unto God which is Gods. Most people think this means pay your bills and taxes. But I went to Genesis and the story of creation. Turns out that Cesar wasn’t mentioned once. All is Gods, we are his children. Earth is our inheritance. Sorry Cesar looks like you are not entitled to anything. So stop ripping us off and go away. Or God will soon rain down fire on you. See story of Soddom and Gamorah, for a glimpse of what your future holds.

  • Jim

    The trade deficit is closely tied to the government deficit. Foreigners are purchasing our debt rather than our goods. Cut the government deficit and the trade deficit will start declining.

    • SmallerGovNow

      Incorrect, the Fed is buying our debt…

  • Steven in Dallas

    Many of these issues would be helped by retaining jobs in the US and not allowing the offshoring of so much of our economy. Classical economists would cry “protectionism” at what I envision, but obviously the global economy isn’t working. I’d rather risk it all on a centrist strategy than one that allows a few individuals to get rich off of selling out the heart and sould of our economy.

  • http://www.surviving12-21-2012.blogspot.com doctor blue

    With all the money printing going on, we the people see very little of it. I guess the banksters are saving it up for a rainy day? So when there is a run ou our banks they can cover it, right?
    Is there any one I can give my address to so they can send me some of theat money??? Kidding aside, We are in a REAL Pickle. Everyone, every business, every city, every county, almost every country, every state, were all under water from our debt. The FED and the Federal Government is doing everything it can think of to keep this house of cards (Ponzi scheme) from collapsing, but when it does it will be ten (10) times worse than what’s going on in Greece. And when it collapses it will come down with the speed of a jet liner at full throttle straight down to the ground. Yes people HELL ON EARTH IS COMING, get ready!

  • http://www.surviving12-21-2012.blogspot.com doctor blue

    It’s much easier to live with a pleasant lie (that’s for our own good) than to live with the painful truth.
    Kind of like sticking your head in the sand to hide. But just because your head is hidden does not mean your ass is NOT exposed…

  • Imaplaneiac

    No worries, Michael. I do the same in some of my comments to your articles; when typing them late in the evening.

    You deserve another ” Atta Boy ” for yet another superlative article!

  • scott

    I think we have two possibilitys. The second American revolution which would require us to put aside our petty differences and get rid of all the treasonous fools in high places. UNITED WE STAND. Or the second American civil war, where we kill each other over the petty differences. All the while the traitors laugh at us from their underground bunkers. DEVIDED WE FALL.

  • Jax

    So, what should the average citizen do to protect his savings and his IRAs that are tied up in stocks and mutual funds?

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      “protect his savings and his IRAs that are tied up in stocks and mutual funds”

      well, if you continue to be tied up in same, then you are going to lose all of your money. simple as that.

  • Washington

    Reality Check: Is SCOTUS Putting An End To “Personal” Property?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxZ1g3-2qKU&feature=plcp

  • Washington

    The Collapse Continues: Greek Unemployment Rises For 35th Consecutive Month, Passes 25% Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/11/2012
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-10-11/collapse-continues-greek-unemployment-rises-35th-consecutive-month-passes-25

  • Virginia

    Michael, what we are doing is nonsustainable. Every minute that goes by we dig ourselves farther in the hole because we are doing nothing to stop what is going on. We are going over the fiscal cliff.

    This guy David Blume was on Coast to Coast yesterday, website http://www.alcoholcanbeagas.com. An ethanol based society instead of fossil fuel seems very plausible since you can make it yourself. I think this is the answer to our energy problems. It has all the hallmarks of sustainability since alcohol can be made from practically anything using the energy from the sun but certain plants lend themselves better to the production (not just corn). Would like to see you do some research on this subject for your readership. You are so good at explaining the details.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      “2.We can reverse global warming. Since alcohol is made from plants, its production takes carbon dioxide out of the air, sequestering it, with the result that it reverses the greenhouse effect ”

      No really, lefties really gotta drop the globull warming scam. Decomposition and burning (anything) puts those gasses back into the air.

      • GayVeteran

        yeah, keep on listening to Big Oil propaganda that there is no climate change

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          Your words not mine.

          There has been climate change throughout the history of the word. Of course, the libtard notion of man caused global warming was proven to be false when the warming stopped a decade ago, and liberal research of same proved to be highly manipulated if not outright fraud, which is why you call it ‘climate change’ now.

          • Gay Veteran

            who has more motivation to lie?

            Big Oil which makes 100s of BILLIONS each year? or climate scientists?

            just like the “scientists” who shilled for Big Tobacco, there are scientist who will shill for Big Oil and Coal

          • uncle bill

            where do you get this ? nor from the 98% of climate scientists. Ocean temp is up2-3degrees C. Icecaps melting, look at a decade ago vs Now. So yeah it never stopped a decade ago. If anything the term climate change is used to not confuse people who think there is no warming when the UK freezes over because the gulf stream is interrupted.

            How are the hurricanes, tornadoes, bushfires, droughts going there?
            Not enough to convince you 9 billion people burning fuel has any impact, Not yet?

    • paul

      Doesnt work. Just find out how many plants you need to make alcohol.

      Better solution: walk. Use your muscles. It will help your health and your wallet.

      Learn from the internet.

      The internet works by delivering small packets of data over small distances.
      Mobile phones work by transmitting small packets of data from cell to cell.

      With the help of these technologies this should be possible for goods as well.

  • scott

    Lets all stop paying our bills, all at the same time. Collapse the economy ourselves. What can they do about it. Will they foreclose on every home in the USA? They don’t have the manpower. Money is their God, hit them where it hurts. Declare America is not going to honor any paper or debts. I never signed up for any of this BS. Fresh start for our nation. I reject the present reality, and substitute my own.

  • TripSeven

    Peterffy was born in Budapest in 1944 during the deadly Soviet offensive that ended in the capture of Hungary’s capital the following year. From then, the republic remained under communist control until it gained independence in 1989.

    The new ad features images of Peterffy as a child in Hungary and the impoverished conditions in his native country.

    “As a young boy, I was fantasizing about one day going to America, making a success of myself. The American Dream,” he says.

  • jsmith

    I can forward this article to friends and family as well as other articles that I have sent in the past, and most will reply that it is an exaggeration or a conspiracy, or that I’m chicken little, or a bringer of doom. I have tried to at least inform them but it is useless. Let the party continue. Let the denial continue. I gave up on them!

    • paul

      Well, I hide the extra packets of rice among my books and boxes, where they never look.

      Don’t give up on family. They will change their perspective when you save them.

  • SmallerGovNow

    http://www.morningstartv.com/oak-initiative/marxism-america

    Must see video for everyone on this site (except maybe Gary)… (-: God bless you all…

    • paul

      Interesting, so where did communist insurgents learn how to do it?

      As I remember, the teachers of military and secret service in soviet Russia served in those forces of the Tsarist system.

      So the general in the video and the guys he speaks about have the same teachers.

      One thing he misses:

      Marx said, that communism can only develop out of the highest developed capitalism, when people worldwide decide they don’t need governments, lobbyists and shareholders to live prosperous and sort their affairs.

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        “communism can only develop out of the highest developed capitalism, when people worldwide decide they don’t need governments, lobbyists and shareholders to live prosperous and sort their affairs.”

        That’s kind of funny. The lie of communism is that there would be no HUGE, OPPRESSIVE govt to enforce it’s ridiculous ideas. And BTW, this country enshrined the ideas of ‘don’t need governments, lobbyists and shareholders to live prosperous and sort their affairs’ into the US Constitution and yet you clearly support the people openly hostile and violent to those same ideas. Got thinking?

  • Imaplaneiac

    SmallerGovNow,

    You must be a new blogger on this site. Welcome aboard! This video by Gen Boykin was covered within an article several months ago. Another blogger supplied a link to it, as I recall. I have this video ” saved ” in my ” Government ” section. However, obviously many new readers / bloggers have found this site since then; who may not yet have seen this video.

    As a military retiree, I trust Gen. Boykin’s assessments over whatever ANY DEMONcrat claims / asserts about Obozo and his regime!

    • SmallerGovNow

      Ditto, with you my friend, I am a military retiree as well. Thanks for your service…

    • GayVeteran

      Boykin the right-wing nutcase?

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        I’m sorry, did you care to refute him specifically or was that the actual rebuttal? Where exactly is he wrong?

        • Gay Veteran

          oh, like you refuting what’s in the Huffington Post, what a hypocrite

          and Boykin is a rightwing nutcase, even you can do a Google search

  • El Pollo de Oro

    Alex Jones once said: “If you’ve studied Rome, you know that wealthy nations do collapse into Third World squalor when they allow their currency to be debased.” Bingo. Neocons love to whine and stamp their imperialist feet when you tell them that the former USA (now The Banana Republic of America) is a collapsing Third World cesspool and that their empire fantasies are unsustainable. But facts are facts, and the fact is that the BRA economy is in terrible shape and getting worse. “Economic recovery” is a lie. The American middle class is being killed off, and minus a middle class, you are left with a Third World economy. Of course, Republican neocons as well as Democrat Obama apologists will hear that and say, “I bet you’ve never been to a Third World country.” Wrong, sparky. I’ve been to both Latin America and North Africa, and the BRA is looking more and more like a banana republic with each passing day. All the flag-waving in the world won’t change that.

    “If our research is right, Americans will have to make some tough choices on how they’ll go about surviving when basic necessities become nearly unaffordable and the economy becomes dangerously unstable.” —Keith Fitz-Gerald, Chief Investment Strategist for the Money Map Press

    “Our digital currency isn’t even worse the paper that it’s not printed on.” —Gerald Celente

    “Being deeply in debt is like being grossly overweight. You’re carrying around this extra baggage that slows you down, and without continuous, conscious effort, you tend to stop moving. That’s the situation in which the world finds itself.”—John Rubino

    “Los Estados Unidos has turned into a banana republic, a fascist banana republic.” —Gerald Celente

    “If we have a systemic banking failure in this country, the FDIC is still going to pay out. But it’s only going to be one-third of a cent on each dollar.”—John Stadtmiller

    “You will see states around the country start to go bankrupt. My leading contenders now are New Jersey and Illinois. California could be right up there. You will see tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of state employees laid off and fired. You will see pension funds disappeared overnight. You will see wages lowered. You will see much more civil unrest in this country.”—Michael Ruppert

    “Because we have a zombie population living in a trance, the criminal elite have gotten away with things that are just staggering.”—Alex Jones

    “We aren’t seeing a failure of capitalism. What we are witnessing is the failure of debt-based central banking.”—Michael T. Snyder

    “We’re getting ready to face a really big crisis, even bigger than the World War II Generation.” —Alex Jones

    “Jamie Dimon is Satan.”—Max Keiser

    “This is the face of our political class: arrogant, authoritarian, and on the level of some banana republic south of the border. Welcome to the New America, where leader-worship has taken the place of politics, Team Red and Team Blue battle it out to see who gets to be El Supremo for the next four years, and politics resembles a prolonged soccer game.”—Justin Raimondo, AntiWar.com

    “The neoconservative propaganda that America is the indispensable nation with a right to world hegemony sounds a lot like Deutschland uber alles.” —Paul Craig Roberts

    “Truth is treason in the empire of lies.”—Ron Paul

    “As the economy unravels, as hundreds of millions of Americans confront the fact that things will not get better, life for those targeted by this culture of hate will become increasingly difficult. Rational debate will prove useless.”—Chris Hedges

    “My next door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration.”—Gary Johnson

    So to all you preppers out there: no, you aren’t a bunch of alarmists. You’re downright sane. You’ve weighed the evidence and reached a painfully accurate conclusion: The Banana Republic of America is in deep trouble, and the misery will only get worse…….and worse, and worse.

    • SmallerGovNow

      Great post, my favorites…

      “You will see states around the country start to go bankrupt. My leading contenders now are New Jersey and Illinois. California could be right up there. You will see tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of state employees laid off and fired. You will see pension funds disappeared overnight. You will see wages lowered. You will see much more civil unrest in this country.”—Michael Ruppert

      “Because we have a zombie population living in a trance, the criminal elite have gotten away with things that are just staggering.”—Alex Jones

      “We aren’t seeing a failure of capitalism. What we are witnessing is the failure of debt-based central banking.”—Michael T. Snyder

      So to all you preppers out there: no, you aren’t a bunch of alarmists. You’re downright sane. You’ve weighed the evidence and reached a painfully accurate conclusion: The Banana Republic of America is in deep trouble, and the misery will only get worse…….and worse, and worse.

      Absolutely spot on!!!!

  • davidmpark

    Great article, Mike. Been gone for a while. There are a couple things missing.

    We seem to have neglected personal industry. The US Economy used to be based on individual industry. A man could be a sustenance farmer and sell that he doesn’t need for the family, or is really good a making furniture or donuts and could sell those easily from his home or a small homemade cart like great-great-granddad. Not anymore we can’t.

    We also allowed politicians and special interests to restrict a lot of it. In many urban and suburban areas, you’d need multiple permits, zoning changes, and plenty of other permissions from welfare recipients (bureaucrats and politico’s) amounting to thousands of dollars that go to enriching the principality just for the God given right to raise your own food garden and small animals. most of the time, it’s far more money than you can make to get the permissions in the long run.

    We are right now working on leaving this nasty urban area where we live just for this reason. We’ve had zoning police sit outside our home about twice a week waiting for me to start building something or to catch a glimpse of something they can’t tax. Well, it’s not going to be a problem much longer.

    And the fact they can’t tax personal industry denotes the other problem. Mike mentions that our current system depends on debt; that we’re addicted. Another side to this is that they also tax everything. The vast laws and regulations that are crippling us are due to this need to tax all activity. There is hardly nothing that is not taxed somehow.

    Personal industry means that a person can use very raw materials found on their already paid for property to create needed items that stay on the property and are consumed there. There is no sales tax taken, no manufacturing tax, no transportation tax, no retail tax, and no value-added tax. That’s a lot of money that’s being saved by the individual; but the principality doesn’t get their heroin fix.

    To make sure they get to shoot up, these politico’s and special interests that share the needles imprint into popular culture that it’s not cool to be industrious. That it’s odd and weird, but reasons are not available except property values – that’s also tied to taxes and fees.

    Mike’s right; you’re all screwed!

    Preparation is necessary. The coming collapse is unavoidable due to it’s conclusion is imprinted directly into the social fabric, and meager few want it removed. A cancer that is devouring people’s self and souls with a smile and tickle – and they love the poison for that, along with the poisoners.

  • ThisIsYourLife

    Michael,

    Looking at mainstream headline news is increasingly and earily similar to reading your blog.

    BBC’s top Economic Headlines today:
    “S&P cuts Spains rating”
    Germany “faces a recession”
    “IMF issues fresh crisis warning.”
    “Greece unemployement hits record.”
    “Cuts could hit growth ‘for years’.”

    Of course, no one in America hears these headlines, and many would dismiss your blog as conspiracy theory. Because, in the US, our policies are different! They’re uh…um….errrr……oh, wait. “Unsustainable.”

    Thank you for your blog, if only opening the eyes of a few.

    • Michael

      Yup Europe is continuing to fall apart. I could write an article about Europe almost every single day if I wanted to. :)

      Michael

  • CharlesB

    Post-Soviet Lessons for a Post-American Century
    by
    Dmitry Orlov

    (PART ONE OF THREE)
    http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/060105_soviet_lessons.shtml

    (PART TWO OF THREE)
    http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/062805_soviet_lessons_part2.shtml

    (PART THREE OF THREE)
    http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/071805_soviet_lessons_part3.shtml

    “There is a lesson here: when faced with a collapsing economy, one
    should stop thinking of wealth in terms of money. Access to actual
    physical resources and assets, as well as intangibles such as
    connections and relationships, quickly becomes much more valuable than
    mere cash. But most people in the U.S., once their savings are depleted, would in due course be forced to live in their car, or in some secluded stretch of woods, in a tent, or under a tarp. Once enough residential and commercial real estate becomes vacant, and law enforcement becomes lax or nonexistent, squatting becomes a real possibility. I expect drugs and alcohol to become one of the largest short-term post-collapse entrepreneurial opportunities in the United States, along with asset stripping, and security.”–by Dmitry Orlov

    Surviving the Economic Collapse
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/9870563457?tag=surviinargen-20&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=9870563457&adid=1M6DJX7940GNQNZC4AF5&

    http://ferfal.blogspot.com/

    Timely and Profitable Help for Troubled Americans
    http://www.amazon.com/Timely-Profitable-Help-Troubled-Americans/dp/0930294149

    Living Well On Practically Nothing
    http://www.paladin-press.com/product/Living_Well_On_Practically_Nothing/Financial_Freedom

    Travel-Trailer Homesteading Under $5,000
    http://www.amazon.com/Travel-Trailer-Homesteading-Under-5-000/dp/1559501324

  • CharlesB
  • Mondobeyondo

    I hope none of you run your personal household budgets the same way the U.S. government runs its budget…

    • Graham

      The US Guv has a budget? Looks to me like a balloon. When your Khazarian bosses own a printing machine and have access to PROMIS software, anything goes. But the party is extremely private.

      • Mondobeyondo

        It does have a budget (or so they say), but it’s unlike any budget ever seen by man or Martian, for that matter.

        And its budget WILL NOT work.

  • Mondobeyondo

    A friend of mine actually told me there is nothing wrong with the Fed printing more money, because that means everybody will get more money. According to his logic, our paychecks will all increase because there is more money available, people will spend more, and therefore the economy will improve.

    Oh brother. Here’s someone who doesn’t even understand the bare bones basics of Economics 101. And I’ve never even taken Economics 101 in college. That idea may work on Venus, but not anywhere on Earth.

  • gwynmarillyn

    I want speak about program Lifeline. That the free phone your talking about. Lifeline has been around for disable and poor elderly since before 2000. I know because been on my home line phone since I been disable. it cuts my phone bill by $6 and now $9 dollars a month. Has for the cell phones you only can have 250 min. a month. Then you buy more.
    And from what seen of the young people use of phones that would never be enough. It would be fine for emergency but nothing else. Special if you use it for calls you get put on hold.
    I have see the phone for elderly it useless. To small for old eyes.
    And no other use but talking if you can get keys to work right. If you thought it was some great deal it not.

  • Jimbo

    Michael,
    This is your best article yet. UNSUBSTAINABLE is so true. So glad to be among the “awake” for what is coming.

    • Michael

      Thank you for the kind words Jimbo. :)

      Michael

  • http://new-holistic-medicine.com stephen

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, ya gotta be a loon to not see the economy is dying. 100s of stories everywhere. Yet NOBODY has a viable solution? Why doesn’t anybody ever propose a solution. Everybody likes blaming entitlements, but without them we would be seeing soup lines that dwarf what we had in the 1930’s. There is a solution. Lincoln faced a worse situation and in 5 short years he turned the USA into the world’s leading economy. Why all the websites and ad-lib historian denigrating him. Because the elite keep you stupid by having you focus on the problem rather than the solution. Just like this article. Jive, jive and more jive.

    • paul

      Well, I would vote for the Greens, as obviosly neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have it.

      Remember: don’t expect different results from doing the same again.

      The Greens might not be the best there could be either, but at least they promote local jobs.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      ” Everybody likes blaming entitlements, but without them we would be seeing soup lines that dwarf what we had in the 1930′s. ”

      What do you call EBT, Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and the multitudeother welfare state programs? They are the soup lines without the line.

      The truth of the matter is those programs enslave and destroy people and they have never reduced the percentage of people in poverty and never will. The estimate I read awhile back is before all that bullcrap came into being here in the US, there was approximately 11% of people in poverty. And with all those programs, there are still 11-12% of people in poverty. The great depression and today are exceptions to those rates, but in today’s case, the CAUSE is that we’ve bankrupted the country with the welfare state. Even FDR’s treasury Sec said the welfare state implemented by FDR was a MASSIVE failure.

      • Paul

        You are right.

        Let people FIGHT for their money. What for have they guns?

      • knotjammin2

        I don’t mind helping anyone but those that are on welfare should not be allowed to vote. I’m not talking about Social Security recipients but the five generations of welfare parasites that have never done anything for themselves. Welfare voters have a conflict of interest. They can vote to make us taxpayers give them more money. It is way past time to overhaul the welfare system. First thing is drug test them all. I have to pass a drug test to work so I can pay taxes. They should have to take a drug test to receive our tax dollars. Also we need to have a closed i=end system. With all the programs available there is no reason that someone would be on welfare for more than 2-3 years. That is a total lifetime benefit. I’m just saying!!

        • Harriet

          Sadly it is the children of these people that would suffer the most, and through no fault of their own.

  • GSOB

    Nobody watching Biden & Ryan tonight? 10/11/12

    • Paul

      No, I cooked a nice curry. Chicken curry from thigh fillets, and used very little oil for the first time.

      1 TBS chicken broth, heated in pan
      add 1 chopped onion, cook until soft.
      add 3-4 cloves garlic shopped/mashed
      when soft add 1 cup chicken broth, and a mix of 1 tsp each ground cumin, coriander, chilli, black pepper, cardamom, turmeric.
      Reduce the pepper and chilli if you dont like it so hot.

      Mix until you get consistency, add the chicken, cook further, add veggies like okra, green peas.

      Get the spices at an Indian wholesale cash and carry.

      Delicious.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Nah. Decided to tune into Honey Boo-Boo’s latest exploits.
      Far more entertaining. Hee!

  • GSOB

    Ron Paul

    I wish you well man

    Seems to me

    You’re the best man for the job.

  • GSOB

    Received a Voter Guide today 10/11/12

    Repeal Obamacare?
    Obama – NO
    Romney – YES

    20% Across the Board Income Tax Cut?
    Obama – NO
    Romney – YES

    Balanced Budget Amendment?
    Obama – NO
    Romney – YES

    Same Sex Marriage?
    Obama – YES
    Romney – NO

    Cut Medicare 716$ Billion?
    Obama – YES
    Romney – NO

    Abortion on Demand?
    Obama – YES
    Romney – NO

    Cap and Trade Carbon Tax?
    Obama – YES
    Romney – NO

    Taxpayer Funded Abortion?
    Obama – YES
    Romney – NO

    Mandate Contraceptive Coverage by Religious Charities?
    Obama – YES
    Romney – NO

    Defense of Marriage Act?
    Obama – NO
    Romney – YES

    That’s it….!
    Not even mentioning the Federal Reserve.

    Oh well.

  • Metazip

    “Instead of going out of the country, those 8 trillion dollars could have gone to U.S. businesses and U.S. workers. In turn, taxes would have been paid on those 8 trillion dollars and our debt problems would not be nearly as dramatic today.” Oh how you sound so much like AARP…If that $8 Trillion stayed here congress would have spent more on silly projects probably like buying a house and 2 cars for every illegal alien here.

    The problem is and always has been that the government owes the social security too much damn money in IOU’s. I for one will never ever agree that they can skip out on that. Before that happens, no one in government gets paid, no golden retirements, family trips disguised as junkets to find out why the black north American fly has infested one single pineapple field in Hawaii. No healthcare for them either. To me these are the “Entitlements” that need to be done away with.

    Let the government and their employees subsist on the meager food stamps and Medicaid like the rest of us.

  • http://www.TrumpetCallofGodonline.com Thomas Hildebrand

    “”Thus says The Lord of Hosts to all the sons and daughters of this, the last generation of men: You have all inherited the error of your fathers! You have altogether become like them! Behold, you have surpassed the sins of ancient Egypt, when I poured out My wrath upon them! Your wickedness has increased beyond every tribe, people, and nation, which has dwelled upon the earth!… THIS GENERATION IS WICKED BEYOND MEASURE!
    Thus great wrath is stirred up and My indignation has come to the full! My anger is fully aroused and shall surely be poured out!… RECOMPENSE for all nations! RECOMPENSE for all these churches of men who have spoken presumptuously in My name! RECOMPENSE for all these corrupt workers who have done falsely on My behalf!… I HAVE NOT SENT YOU!
    And you, O peoples of the earth, I have seen how you perform every form of evil at your leisure! You cease not from reveling in that which I hate! Behold, you murder the innocent day and night and plot evil against your neighbor! You stand up for the rights of those who commit abomination and clap your hands as wickedness is celebrated openly in the streets!… O MOST PERVERSE AND ABOMINABLE GENERATION, SHALL I NOT REPAY?!
    Behold, My body is persecuted in every land, and My bride is murdered at the hands of idolators! My people are bruised and beaten! My servants slandered and hated, without cause! Therefore I am come down to take vengeance, to pour out wrath upon this people for all their wickedness!… I SHALL IMPART RECOMPENSE IN FULL!””

    THE TIME HAS COME!…
    Hear the WORD of the LORD spoken to THIS modern generation!…

    Letters from God and His Christ, given to a modern man for modern man’s sake!…

    http://www.TrumpetCallofGodonline.com

    http://trumpetcallofgodonline.com/index.php5?title=ABASEMENT

  • Karie

    You have finally made this economy/deficit thing easily understandable for me as it should be. I think our leaders want us to think its far too complicated for us to understand so we can be left in the dark!

    Thanks for the great article.

  • Scottar

    Um, it couldn’t be the 35% corporate tax or the union comfy wages could it? It couldn’t be those over the top regulations could it? Naw Corps and businesses are just gweedos out to rip off the consumer. We must tax them all for fairness including your mother in law.

  • paul

    The surest way to bring on the crash is to slash the handouts to the poor.

    The best way to get out of the dilemma is to slash the benefits and entitlements the “rich” receive.

    Rich isn’t the defining factor of this group but they are all rich. But you will detect them by their hordes of lawyers and lobbyists who make sure that these people receive the benefits from the tax payer.

    I am not talking about Medicaid or social security. I am talking about zero tax for big corporations, while even Americans who don’t live on the US have to pay tax.

  • paul

    Why should foreigners buy your goods if even you prefer Made in China?

  • paul

    Just got a message from a Chinese friend:

    “I’m busy every day. Never get a break. I’m planning to quit my job and take a rest.”

    Overtime is definitely not sustainable.

    Anyway, I go to China for some hiking and camping.

    I miss the food.

    • Mondobeyondo

      You really must try the egg foo yung. Especially the ones they serve at Panda Express – although I’ve heard the authentic ones are… well, more authentic.

  • Mike The Thai Guy

    The sad thing is that numbers do not lie and we have gone way beyond any place from which a sensible recovery can be made. Find somewhere safe and load up with ammunition and food while you wait for the crazies to come knockin’

    • Paul

      Brambles grow by themselves and provide food.

      Why waste money on ammo and increase the profit of the ruling class? If the crazies come, they bring guns and ammo. Ever seen the first Rambo movie?

  • Larry

    Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness] it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government…

    Thomas Jefferson

  • SMASH THE CONTROL MACHINE

    Audiovox Corporation (NASDAQ: VOXX) is an American consumer electronics company founded in 1965 and headquartered in Hauppauge, New York, specializing in low-cost consumer electronic equipment they just bought klipsh SPEAKERS WTF ??In March 2011, Audiovox purchased the designer and maker of high-performance audio equipment, Klipsch, for $166 million.WTF??specializing in low-cost consumer electronic equipment!!THATS THE WAY OUR COUNTRY IS HEADING I WILL BET PAUL W KLIPSCH WOULD BE ASHAMED OF WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS COMPANY !!HAVE YOU EVER HEARD A KLIPSCH??
    When he founded our company in a tiny tin shed in Hope, Arkansas in 1946, American audio pioneer Paul W. Klipsch had an unyielding desire to channel live sound from the performer directly into the ears of listeners. He stopped at nothing, defying convention and breaking rules to create new ones DAMN I LIKE THE QUALITY OF MY MADE IN AMERICA KLIPSCH HIGH COMPRESSION DRIVER WELDED PRESICELY TO THAT ALTEC LANSING 511 B HORN AND NOW AUDIO VOX HAS THEM!! DONT YOU LIKE CORPORATE TAKE OVERS!!I KNOW MR KLIPSCH ITS LIKE SELLING YOUR SOUL TO THE DEVIL!I WILL KEEP BUYING YOUR OLD SCHOOL STUFF!!100 BUCKS FOR A K55 HIGH COMPRESSION DRIVER ON EBAY HELL YES AND HOW ABOUT Other noteworthy Klipsch speakers over the years include:
    La Scala
    Belle Klipsch
    Cornwall
    Chorus
    Heresy
    Forte
    Legend
    Reference!!KEEP BUYING THAT CHEAP CHINESE CRAP BUT IF YOU WANT OLD SCHOOL AMERICAN QUALITY BUY AN OLD KLIPSCH SPEAKER ON EBAY YOU WILL BE DEAD BEFORE IT IS. MINE IS FROM THE SEVENTYS AND STILL ROCKS AT 120 DECIBLES!!WHAT OTHER COMPANY IS GOING DOWN??

  • SMASH THE CONTROL MACHINE

    Total number of cell phone towers in the US 190,000
    Total number of cell phone towers in the US in 1985 900
    Average cost of building a cell phone tower $150,000
    Maximum range of a cell phone tower 21.7 miles
    Average yearly cell phone tower lease rate $45,000
    Chances of being approved to build a cell tower on your property 0.8 %
    Lowest annual cost to lease a cell tower $100!!!WTH!!!from 900 to 190000 we are moving on up!!!

  • jaxon64

    Michael–and to others on the thread, sorry for my angry tone today. Just gets me riled to see how many pro-socialist and communist thinkers there are, but this is no excuse for sarcasm or name calling.

    Also I was going to email this to you Michael, but for the life of me I can’t find a link on this webpage/site.
    I encourage everyone to read this–including and in fact, especially those of you who keep proposing that the state take everything over and it will solve all the problems ( including taking over individual wealth — Paul & Gary–that’s right, your beliefs are the same as the National Socialist Party’s)..

    Michael please take a few minutes, the parallels of where we are headed and historical elements of this testimony are chilling.
    http://www.raptureready.com/soap/stephens15.html

    • Louise in MO

      JAXON64

      I read the link…everyone should……especially the left leaning folks.

      I can see the train a coming.

  • joseph gibbons

    The solution to the problem 1)Give a zero tax rate to businesses that sent jobs overseas. 2)have them start back into producing the same items they shipped overseas
    3)Place an import tax on these same items to prevent foreign companies from dumping
    4)Give a 5% tax rate to all other companies.In a couple of years our employment rate will surge,taxable wages will skyrocket,there will be enough built up in the treasury to start paying down the debt.At the same time freeze spending for everything but the absolute necessities to keep government operating ie:layoff all government employees,
    ( they will be needed to fill the surge in the private sector)except those absolutely necessary to keep the government operating,strengthen the military,audit the Fed,kick the United Nations out of our country,means test all the “entitlement”programs as these recipients will be necessary for the labor force.WELCOME TO UTOPIA

  • joseph gibbons

    Solutions to the problems outlined above;
    1)Have the companies that sent jobs overseas bring that production back
    2)Give these companies a 0% tax rate for ten years ( to cover start-up costs)
    3)Give all other companies a 5% rate(will pay higher wages and better dividends)
    4)The tax $ will start filling the treasury and be used to pay down the debt
    5)means test all entitlement programs( there will be jobs available)
    6)bring the troops home,increase military funding to keep others from testing us
    7)never elect another socialist president

  • http://tinyurl.com/9ec523o pulpo

    http://tinyurl.com/9ec523o

    here is another related vid

    Your Wages Will Be Cut In Half!
    What is your plan for them?

  • Mondobeyondo

    If anyone were to ask me, “Is the U.S. screwed?”, my answer would be…

    Yes.
    We are.

    There is no conceivable way out of this Mess.
    Our politicians squabble about cutting this and cutting that.
    Forget the paper cuts. Put the Swiss army knife away. Bring on the axe, hatchet, hacksaw and chain saw. Time to get serious about this “cutting” stuff.

    Eliminate all the entitlement programs. All of them. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.
    Eliminate every federal agency. The Department of Defense, the Department of Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Services, NASA, unemployment insurance, SNAP, etc. Wipe them all off the board. Immediately withdraw every soldier from Iraq and Afghanistan, and close every single overseas military base.

    “But we’ll be reduced to a defenseless third world country! Our people would be broke and destitute!” you say. Hell, half the U.S. population is already broke and destitute right now! And we wouldn’t even be close to eliminating the debt.

    “It’s mourning again in America”. (No, that was not from the 1984 Reagan ad. Ha!)

  • FxP

    Honestly, I think that our economic implosion is mirror image of our ecological footprint. Our lineal economic system of consumerism from raw material to wasteland is pretty much where we all going anyways… WASTELAND.

  • http://Youmissedtherealreasonfortheeconomicwoes. Michael Rivero

    Private Central Banks issuing the public currency as a loan at interest by design always produce more debt than money with which to pay that debt. It does not matter how hard people work or how frugally they live, given enough time, real wealth is transferred to the bank and massive debt piles up on the nation and its people.

    It is the new form of slavery; rule by compound interest, and is no more legitimate than rule by divine right or rule by chattel ownership of ones body.

    Until the private central banks are shut down and money creation returned to the governments and the people, no amount of austerity can prevent the ultimate collapse.

    • Michael

      Great to have you posting a comment on the site Michael. :)

      Michael

  • BFH

    Lets use some common damn sense here. Number 1, our employment picture will NEVER get any better, only worse. Does anyone here REALLY think the jobs are coming back? How in hell can anyone think that somehow magically the jobs will reappear? It’s not complicated folks. Why would ANY business pay 10-14 dollars an hour when they can have the same work done overseas for pennies on the dollar? Then sell the crap over here with a guaranteed market because we don’t make it anymore.
    Your lying ass politicians have made all this possible. They are reaping huge kickbacks from these corporations and they will NOT let it change. They have sold you out for their own damn greed.
    A word about the government spending. Want to see the damn crash come tomorrow? Let the goberment stop spending money and see what happens. The damn goberment is the big spender on the block. We can’t afford for it to stop spending nor can we afford it to continue. The “PERFECT STORM” is here folks.
    How’s that for common damn sense?

  • Andy

    I have actually seen the actual car in this photo. It is a symbol of the future.

  • http://NA Wallace Klinck

    The feedback on this site is is the sort of ill-informed and uneducated opinion that reinforces fatal misconceptions and confusion in the minds of an unsophisticated populace and renders them impotent in the face of imposed tyranny. It is undisciplined and erroneously based upon the entirely false notion or naive orthodox assumption and acceptance that the price-system is self-liquidating, i.e., that it releases sufficient effective consumer demand to claim the entire product of industry in each cycle of cost accountancy.

    Have governments and citizens cut back their spending, i.e., purchasing, under the existing defective consumer- income-starved financial regime, and you would have a total collapse of the economy because industry would be unable to recover its financial costs of production through final sales and would be catapulted into widespread bankruptcy. In the primitive economy of hand production where machine costs were insignificant the price-system was essentially self-liquidating However, as the economy becomes increasingly modernized through the use of labour-displacing technology involving evermore efficient physical capital (i.e., “tools”), financial costs and prices rapidly and exponentially exceed effective consumer purchasing-power. This phenomena occurs because of the way the existing system of debt-credit interacts with conventional methods of cost accountancy. Essentially, the consumer is properly charged with capital depreciation but wrongly not credited with capital appreciation.

    The only rational purpose of production is consumption–not to create more work, i.e., “jobs”. If goods are produced the consuming public has every right to access said goods should they so desire. Currently, a crude approximation of this required income, additional to wages, salaries and dividends, is provided by bank loans. Banks do not loan depositors’ money but create the money they lend, thereby expanding the money supply. Expansion of consumer income is absolutely essential to the continuance of the economic system. Our problems are not due to the creation of new money but due to the fact that ALL money is created and issued as debt. Consumer loans, being debt, are an inflationary charge to be recovered from future cycles of production. This is a violation of natural law because the physical costs of production (the required energy and materials) are fully met as production takes place. These real costs must be met; otherwise the physical product could not exist. That is axiomatic.

    The appropriate remedy for our debt and inflation problems is to introduce debt-free consumer credits into the economy so as to balance consumer income with industrial costs and prices. This should be done so as to increase consumer incomes by means of a universal Consumer (National) Dividend and Compensated Prices to progressively lower retail prices at point of sale. There should exist no overall need for consumer debt whatsoever.

    A balanced budget under the existing financial system is a mathematical impossibility. When are people going to wake up to this incontrovertible fact? Financial debt has been escalating exponentially ever since the establishment of the Bank of England in 1694. Surely no rational mind would expect this trend not to continue. Surely any intelligent mind would suspect a fundamental fault in the financial system. Yet people continue on–blind and oblivious to the facts. They only know from experience that if they spend more than they earn as individuals they get into insolvency, never suspecting the actual overall nature of the situation. I would recommend that you explore the websites listed below–repeatedly until you understand their content beyond any shadow of doubt.
    http://www.douglassocialcredit.com/
    http://social-credit.blogspot.com/
    http://www.mondopolitico.com/library/socialcredit/socialcredit.htm
    http://social-credit.com/index.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Credit

  • Pingback: An Obama Reelection Will Ensure Complete U.S. Economic Collapse | PatriotsBillboard()

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