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On The Verge Of The Next Economic Crisis, 62 Percent Of Americans Are Living Paycheck To Paycheck

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Money Emergency Funds - Public DomainNearly two-thirds of all Americans are completely and totally unprepared for the next economic crisis.  As you will read about below, a new survey has found that only 38 percent of Americans have enough money on hand to cover “a $500 repair bill or a $1,000 emergency room visit”.  That essentially means that 62 percent of the people in this country do not have an emergency fund.  Even after the extremely bitter financial lessons that millions of Americans learned during the last recession, most of us are still choosing to live on the edge.  That is utter insanity, and when the next major economic downturn strikes most people are going to find themselves totally unprepared.

The number one thing that you need to do to get ready for the coming economic collapse is to build up an emergency fund.

I know that is not the most “sexy” piece of advice in the world, but it is the truth.  Just think about it.  During the last recession, millions of Americans suddenly lost their jobs.  Because they did not have any cushion to fall back on, millions of them also suddenly could not pay their bills and their mortgages.  Foreclosures skyrocketed and countless families went from living a very comfortable middle class lifestyle to being out on the street in very short order.

And now because the people of this country have been so foolish it is going to happen again.

Because of my website, people are constantly asking me what they should do to prepare for the coming economic collapse.

I think that they expect me to say something like this…

“Sell everything that you possibly can and buy gold and silver, go purchase a llama farm, and dig a bunker where you can bury 10,000 cases of MREs.”

Not that there is anything wrong with those kinds of preparations.

But before you do anything else, you have got to have an emergency fund.  My recommendation is to have an emergency fund that can cover at least six months of expenses in case something happens.

Sadly, a solid majority of Americans do not have any emergency cash at all.  The following comes from the Wall Street Journal

Only 38% of those polled said they could cover a $500 repair bill or a $1,000 emergency room visit with funds from their bank accounts, a new Bankrate report said. Most others would need to take on debt or cut back elsewhere.

“A solid majority of Americans say they have a household budget,” said Bankrate banking analyst Claes Bell. “But too few have the ability to cover expenses outside their budget without going into debt or turning to family and friends for help.”

The survey found that an unexpected bill would cause 26% to reduce spending elsewhere, while 16% would borrow from family or friends and 12% would put the expense on a credit card. The remainder didn’t know what they would do or would make other arrangements.

And of course this is not the only poll that has come up with these kinds of results.  In fact, a Federal Reserve survey from last year produced similar numbers

The findings are strikingly similar to a U.S. Federal Reserve survey of more than 4,000 adults released last year. “Savings are depleted for many households after the recession,” it found. Among those who had savings prior to 2008, 57% said they’d used up some or all of their savings in the Great Recession and its aftermath. What’s more, only 39% of respondents reported having a “rainy day” fund adequate to cover three months of expenses and only 48% of respondents said that they would completely cover a hypothetical emergency expense costing $400 without selling something or borrowing money.

Meanwhile, the financial condition of most American families is far worse than it was just prior to the last major economic crisis.  As a recent MarketWatch article detailed, the average family currently has far less wealth than it did back then…

But while the jobs market is improving and the Affordable Care Act has given an estimated 15 million people access to medical care, the Great Recession does appear to have taken its toll on Americans’ finances; in fact, they’re 40% poorer today than they were in 2007. The net worth of American families — that is, the difference between the values of their assets, including homes and investments, and liabilities — fell to $81,400 in 2013, down slightly from $82,300 in 2010, but a long way off the $135,700 in 2007, according to a report released last month by the nonprofit think tank Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C.

So we have a lot less wealth, and almost two-thirds of us have no emergency cushion to fall back on whatsoever.

What could go wrong?

In addition, there is lots of evidence that much of the country has not bothered to make any preparations at all for even a basic emergency that would last for just a few days.  For example, the following are results from a survey conducted by the Adelphi Center for Health Innovation that I featured in a previous article

  • 44 percent don’t have first-aid kits
  • 48 percent lack emergency supplies
  • 53 percent do not have a minimum three-day supply of nonperishable food and water at home
  • 55 percent believe local authorities will come to their rescue if disaster strikes
  • 52 percent have not designated a family meeting place if they are separated during an emergency
  • 42 percent do not know the phone numbers of all of their immediate family members
  • 21 percent don’t know if their workplace has an emergency preparedness plan
  • 37 percent do not have a list of the drugs they are taking
  • 52 percent do not have copies of health insurance documents

What are all of those people going to do if there is an extended crisis or disaster in this nation?

That is a very good question.

Meanwhile, the signs that we are on the verge of the next major economic crisis just continue to grow.  Yesterday, I shared 10 things that happened just prior to the financial crisis of 2008 that are happening again right now.

Today, we learned that a major oil driller down in Texas has just declared bankruptcy, and many more energy companies are expected to follow suit in the coming months.  The following is from the Wall Street Journal

[S]igns of strain are building in the oil patch, where revenue growth hasn’t kept pace with borrowing. On Sunday, a private company that drills in Texas, WBH Energy LP, and its partners, filed for bankruptcy protection, saying a lender refused to advance more money and citing debt of between $10 million and $50 million. Neither the Austin-based company nor its lawyers responded to requests for comment.

Energy analysts warn defaults could be coming. “The group is not positioned for this downturn,” said Daniel Katzenberg, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co. “There are too many ugly balance sheets.”

And we also learned today that teen retailer Wet Seal is going to be closing two-thirds of its stores.

Dozens more retailers are expected to make similar announcements over the coming months.

We are moving into the most chaotic time for the U.S. economy that any of us have ever seen, and most Americans are totally oblivious to what is happening and are totally unprepared.

So what is our country going to look like when tens of millions of unprepared people are blindsided by a crisis that they never saw coming?

  • Mike Smithy

    Will the unwashed masses ever come to terms with the undeniable reality that the kleptocrats are desperately trying to maintain the status quo using linear equations to fix exponential problems? Not until they discover it is too late to mitigate the fallout. Hedge accordingly for you and yours.

  • Dawes

    Even better than an emergency fund is to work to strengthen relationships with friends and family.
    When the next severe economic crisis comes, knowing people you trust and who trust you will be even more important than how many dollars you have in the bank.
    That said, building up an emergency fund is awfully important, too!

  • Tim

    Many of my coworkers are living beyond their means, and I don’t think any of them have a clue as to what’s coming. Most of them spend their money on things they don’t need and can’t afford, like wine and cigars. They go out to lunch every day when they should be bringing their lunch from home in order to save money. They go out at night and spend money on alcohol. And then they complain when their automobiles need expensive repairs that they can’t afford. I feel like saying to them “you should have been saving your money for those kinds of things.” They’re in for some real pain when then next downturn arrives. Several positions at work, including mine, could be eliminated when things get bad, but that’s okay with me. I’m ready. I’ve been preparing for many years now.

    • T.

      Yes – The majority of the 99% are totally in the Dark and Unprepared for anything but their next new version of i phone. They will Devastated by this next and rapidly approaching Financial Disaster which will be orders of magnitude bigger than 2008.

      • djc

        I think you’re correct on your assumptions.

    • FortuneSeek3rz

      There are many jobs out there waiting to be filled. You wouldn’t be unemployed long.

      • T.

        Yes. Like selling liquidation items from all the closed and shuttered stores that we shall soon see – like Sears, JC Penny and dozens more just to name a few. Also, panhandling will be big – Hey buddy, can you spare a dime?

        • FortuneSeek3rz

          People are voluntarily choosing to shop online. So yes, brick and mortar will suffer but new business models will arise (they already have) to replace the outgoing models.


          The number of available U.S. jobs rose in October to the second-highest level in 14 years, and companies kept hiring at a healthy pace, adding to evidence of an improving economy. Job openings increased 3.2 percent to 4.83 million, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That’s just below August’s total, which was the highest on records dating back to 2000.

          • T.

            Friend it takes MONEY to buy (shop) on line or anywhere else. Did you not read the article above? Money is the One thing most people ain’t got. Secondly, these so called jobs you cite by BLS (Bureau of Lying Statistics) are mostly part time jobs paying low income hourly wages. You need to go to Shadowstats . com, and get edumacated to Truth. Thirdly, Have you read the history of what happened to the “JOB Market” during the last
            “little bust” in 2008? That will be equivalent to a Sunday school picnic compared to what is NOW coming down the line. Your perceptions and projections are so far from reality – That they make you qualified for a High paying job in the Federal Government.

          • FortuneSeek3rz

            As David Ramsey says, you can be stupid today and become rich. It’s just that easy. The well paying jobs are out there. The U.S. has hot growth sectors and cold sectors. If you ain’t got a college degree and you’re lazy, you ain’t gettin’ paid, friend.

          • T.

            Guess you haven’t read about the millions of unemployed and under employed college graduates out there either – Who are living at home – Represent the lowest paid in there category since WWII – Have tons college Debt that They can NEVER repay. They are Not Lazy – They Cannot find a Decent paying job. Where do you live? Under a rock.

          • FortuneSeek3rz

            Yes, I’ve read about them. They can start by finding one of those 4.3 million jobs I posted about above. In the meantime construction, computing/networking and healthcare can’t hire enough to keep up with demand. If you want to get where you want to be you’ve got to buy the right train ticket.

          • T.

            Friend, you do nothing but Deny the Truth which has been presented here and reply with language that is well suited for “Fantasy Land”.

          • FortuneSeek3rz

            Wrong, America is still the land of opportunity. Here’s what I recommend. Log off of Facebook, delete Twitter, turn off the XBOX and stop listening to everyone telling you “YOU CAN’T DO THAT”. There are AMPLE opportunities out there for people with average intelligence. You have to make yourself WALK THROUGH THAT DOOR. Geez, people these days are stuck in the “poor me” rut until it’s almost an epidemic.

          • liberalssucksuckaLOTofDICK


          • rentslave

            Only Nevada.Not New Jersey.

          • Gay Veteran

            Here’s what I recommend. Get your head out of the corporate propaganda and see the widespread misery in this country

          • FortuneSeek3rz

            I see people who need to turn off the TV, log off of Facebook and get their lives in order. The biggest economic problem in America today is laziness and bad attitudes, not lack of opportunity or intelligence.

          • Gay Veteran

            “…Stocks are up nearly 2% today alone, with the S&P back to green for 2015. Among the reasons for today’s rally: lower overhead courtesy of KO [Coke] and CAT [Caterpillar], which announced that between the two of them, they would fire some 2,000 workers, which is great news for stocks if not for actual employees….”

          • rentslave

            Why do I have to move to Nevada to make money?My state passed the same law as did Nevada,but Obama’s judge preferred the satchel from $heldon Adelson.

          • Tim

            Dave Ramsey is a pompous jerk. Go read about the time he brandished a loaded pistol at a staff meeting.

          • CharlesH

            Say what you will about Dave Ramsey but by me following his steps, I did, in fact, become totally debt free. I just had to make up my mind once and for all that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired of being “slave to the lender”.

          • Tim

            I’m glad to hear that you became debt free. But Dave Ramsey’s advice for attaining “financial peace” is just common sense.

          • CharlesH

            Thanks Tim – It absolutely IS common sense, but you know when you’re swimming in debt and can’t see that damn forest for the trees, you make some pretty foolish decisions. I needed help and whether Dave Ramsey wields a 6 shooter in meetings means nothing to me. The FACT that his steps are simple and straight forward worked for me, that’s all I know. Take care!

          • mesensessss

            Not a lot of common sense out there today buddy…

          • liberalssucksuckaLOTofDICK


          • rentslave

            I don’t want a job.I’m retired.Why do I have to move to Nevada to get rich?I can’t breathe there.The elevation is too much for me.Besides,how am I going to go to Rutgers games from Nevada?

          • alan

            In the South the hot job sectors are Meth and copper wire stripping. Yes they can pay well.

          • Gay Veteran

            “…The well paying jobs are out there….”

            for how many people?
            10 million?
            1 million?

          • Siloo Kapadia

            Don’t waste your time. Some people don’t want to understand and so be it. They gladly swallow all the gupsup nonsense that USA media spits out because they want to. So no matter who much you tell him/her, it will be to no avail, I promise you.

          • alan

            Yep, if you want a job turn on CNBC.

          • Gay Veteran

            “…The number of available U.S. jobs rose in October to the second-highest level in 14 years, and companies kept hiring at a healthy pace….”
            what, more waiters and bar tenders?

          • FortuneSeek3rz

            I just read about a 24 year old welder in Texas who is pulling in 140,000 a year with a two year technical degree.

          • Gay Veteran

            I guess 10,000,000 other Americans can do the same

          • FortuneSeek3rz

            My suggestion to them is: a good education can be cheap and a cheap education can be good. Look at the sectors of the economy that are growing and if necessary, find a job that pays less than you would like in the service industry while waiting for the better job offer to come in. If people were as serious about getting a job as they were about leveling up in Candy Crush we’d have unemployment around 3%.

          • Gay Veteran

            “…If people were as serious about getting a job as they were about leveling up in Candy Crush we’d have unemployment around 3%.”


          • Lennie Pike

            Yes, but most were foreigners with work visas and illegal aliens. The U.S. has been overthrown and intentionally destroyed.

        • none

          Do bums really accept clad coins anymore?

          • T.

            That statement “Hey buddy, can you spare a dime?” is from the bums of the 1930’s depression era. Back then a dime was 90% silver (Til 1965 removed) and a dime would buy a sandwich or more. Today dimes/quarters are pock metal and practically worthless. Would todays pan handlers take them? – They will take anything you give them.

      • Tim

        Uh, did you read the article? Do you remember what happened during the last crisis? Millions of Americans lost their jobs, and very few places were hiring.

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      Great comment Tim.


    • Orange Jean

      Excellent comment Tim… I too have seen that same thing, including in the Millenniums. Those I work with who have good paying jobs often spend every penny they earn and then some… and then complain about “having” to live in Mom’s basement. I am not so sympathetic, when I see what they do with the money they earn. New very expensive cars, when they get their first (temp) job as an intern. Also expensive phones and every device known to man, also getting them replaced the minute a new version comes out. Tons of expensive, all new “fashions”.

      I have finally paid off debt I got into from moving back and forth across country several times, trying for a “better” job. But now I am living frugally and enjoy doing so. I can also enjoy occasionally being generous a bit with others (for example, when I use a fast food place for coffee in the morning… if I get good service I make a point of tipping well). Last year when my brother’s girlfriend’s son was injured badly on the job and they were worried about putting food on the table, I sent them some money help out… even though I’d never even met the son. It felt good! I’m only mentioning this because I want those of you who are trying to get out of debt to understand and maybe feel motivated. You can do good deeds when you have choices and aren’t in debt up to your neck and it always feels like a good thing to do.

      I have a hard time justifying spending anything though, so it’s been piling up. Don’t have enough to retire (though I’d like to) or buy a house (not sure I could deal with the upkeep anyway). I still hate to think eventually all my hard earned money could be stolen (if and when the SHTF during my lifetime)… but even so, it still feels better to live within my means. I find I just don’t care about “stuff” any more!

      • rowdyrick

        Orange, If you have a lot of that paper currency in a bank you best get it out and get some metals.

        • Orange Jean

          Thanks for the suggestion. Actually, it’s not THAT much money (just more than I’ve ever had before) and it’s in a credit union, not a bank (I fired the banking system decades ago)… although your comments might equally apply to credit unions.

          I’ve been considering the possibility, but I would be more than a tad nervous about someone coming along and hurting me to get at it if I did so.

          • DesertPaine

            Here’s an idea, Jean. Metals don’t always have to mean gold and silver. As silly as it sounds, if you have FRNs sitting around anyway, consider holding a few hundred dollars’ of common nickels. They are the last coin that is not a clad. (Dropped a ‘copper’ penny on the table lately?) It already costs more tnan 5 cents to mint. They’ve not replaced nickels yet because of some testing/production depays, but seem to expect to do so this year or next. Like the penny and dime and quarter before it, the nickel should pretty soon be worth more than 5 cents. I do this.

          • Orange Jean

            Also a most interesting idea, thank you!

          • Juanita

            What are FRN’s?

          • Visitor

            FRM = “Federal Reserve Note”

          • Juanita


          • K

            You might want to consider a middle ground. I have put aside, just enough silver. For 1 emergency transaction. You would have to decide, what amount you are comfortable with. In that amount easy to hide. Also bought locally from a reputable dealer, with cash. No record of the purchase, with your address on it.

          • piccadillybabe

            When the SHTF, just having loose change around like quarters, nickles and dimes might give you good bartering power for basic necessities. It’s easy to stash and might prove to be a life saver in dire times. Most people use plastic now so have very little loose change around.

          • Orange Jean

            THAT I have… all over the house really in little piles and also a stash at work!

          • Orange Jean

            Would that work well by purchasing small jewelery in silver and gold that could be melted down, so you think? I like the suggestion of “no record of the purchase: …but how do you find a “reputable dealer”??

          • K

            Reputable can be the hard part. Coin dealers who have been around a good amount of time. is a starting point. Then check for any complaints against them online. I would stick with one ounce denominations. Try to avoid anything considered collectable. You just want the silver. In bad times rarity is not a guarantee of getting paid more.

          • Orange Jean

            Thank you all for your suggestions! Those details really do help.

          • T.

            The single best way to preserve and greatly increase the purchasing power of todays dollar is to regularly (maybe twice a month) buy pre 1965 silver dimes/quarters/halves from your local coin dealer. Sock away as many as you have available cash to do so. When the dollar devalues – those 90% silver coins will increase in value exponentially 10, 20, or 30 fold or more. The good thing is one can buy regularly with as little as $20 a week from a local dealer.

          • Ray

            I bought a few ounces of silver last year online from apmex and then I got audited, made me feel like someone knew I had a little extra and taxed me.

          • T.

            I do not think the audit was in any way related to a small purchase of silver on line. I have both bought and sold to APMEX several times.

          • Orange Jean

            Good suggestion, thank you and I’ll look into how to do that!

        • Siloo Kapadia

          Excellent suggestion. I suggest you get that paper currency out of the bank and out of the country; preferably offshore.

          • Orange Jean

            Personally I wouldn’t want to get anything out of the country or offshore unless I knew I could also get out and offshore.

            Would seem you’d lose control of things mighty fast, and I do remember Michael having a couple of articles about other countries doing things like stealing money from people bank accounts already!

    • JustanOguy

      Well… that kind of tells me there is plenty of disposable income out there.

      When the SHTF again… it’ll be just like last time and everybody will stop spending money on frivolous things.

      Hopefully you have a job that is actually needed or you’ve saved up enough to take advantage of the opportunities that will unfold. I have tons of friends that made a killing on the last downtown and we’ll do it again on the next one.

      There is always MAJOR opportunity when the credit market crashes…

      • Ray

        I put cdl school on my cc after I shut down a small transportation [airport shuttle] company when the financial crisis hit 8 years ago. I paid the cc off. I held the cdl but was unable to find a job until just recently due to lack of experience, I had to stretch my resume a bit but whatever. The DOT is so strict a lot of old timers lost there CDL due to all kinds of bs red tape and people with health conditions. Best investment I ever made, I can even get a job when the shtf driving all of you guys to the FEMA camps.

    • energizedmortal

      Profits and population control. The elite are ready for world war.

    • SunnyFlaSnotress

      Ecclesiastes 8:15 ” So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun”
      Care repairs ARE overpriced.

    • Siloo Kapadia

      In their sense shame on them, but so many can’t afford to save money. Pay levels are stagnant, prices are going through the roof, and many are in the red each month paying for the basics. That is the real problem -not some woman that needs to get her nails painted or some fellow that needs to get his gin and tonic fix.

      • Brad

        It’s good you left America, I for sure want you all gone. When this crap goes down soon a lot of Americans are going to be rising up against the immigrants who are here,blaming them , I seen it a few times while out shopping recently, some townies 20 something who are unemployable due to many reasons and some of them are there own harassing some Indian Family at the mall. In my area they companies are laying off IT people and bringing in temps from India and Asia and housing them. Americans are starting to wake up, boomers who for the most part had good blue collar and white collar jobs are leaving the workforce. For the most part a lot of them inherited homes and large sums of Money from their parents, not everyone mind you. This is not the case for the boomers kids. They got sold out with NAFTA, China and shafted with the huge influx of immigrants. Most 40 and younger have no opportunity but remember the way it used to be and are mad. Most Americans who have half a brain are not even having kids anymore, only the low intelligent are. Watch Children of men if you want to see whats going to happen.

    • TBonePickens

      I know a lot of people like that too. The people I know not only do things like you listed regularly, but then get upset or annoyed with me when I simply suggest they stop wasting their money and save it or spend it on necessities instead.

  • K

    Being debt free is also a pretty good idea. It amazes me how many feel paying off debts is a waste of money. They assume a nuclear war, or mad max situation. There will be no one left to collect debts. What I see, is a great depression, with sadly, much more violence. Certainly not a good time, to be thrown out of your house. But also an emergency fund is a good idea. Also a small emergency fund hidden in your house, is a good idea. Assuming you live in a place where having a little extra funds at home, would not unduly endanger you.

  • DJohn1

    In order to prepare you have to have funds to do so.
    Most of the people you describe are having difficulty having a dollar or two in their pocket at the end of the week.
    Been there, done that.
    Obviously, these people are living beyond their means.
    But to reorganize everything means starting over and that is not acceptable either. So they gamble that nothing bad is going to happen to them in the meantime.
    If you are in your twenties that is probably a good gamble. If you are in your 30s or 40s, not so much.
    In your twenties, you can outlive a bankruptcy.
    Later in life it might not be so easy. It might take 10 years to recover from a bankruptcy and middle-aged and older people do not have that much time or ability to reverse things.
    If I were teaching life skills in a high school today, I would recommend a number of things to anyone starting out.
    If at all possible keep 10% of your net income put aside in savings against any emergency that you might have.
    That means living at a lower standard of living than you might do otherwise. It means living with a car that is older.
    It means living in an apartment longer while you save to buy your own place.
    Learn basic plumbing, electrical, and automotive repair.
    All three will pay you big time in keeping yourself out of debt.
    Learn to repair drywall. Eventually everyone needs to make cosmetic repairs on where you live.
    Learn how to paint a place.
    Knowing how to make basic repairs on things around a house really pays off.
    Keeping a car running when the alternator, starter, fuel pump, or radiator gives out pays off big time for you because new cars are not a good thing when it takes up to a third of your income a month to make payments.

    Go for a foreclosed home if possible and bring it up to speed yourself when you are ready. Here are the rules: A foreclosed home must sell for 2/3rds of the value of the remaining mortgage on the home. The government insurance picks up the other third.
    Be careful. A lot of them are in rough condition and cost more to fix up than they are worth.
    A lot of them need basic cosmetic repairs and are worth the investment because a rental is likely to go up 15% per year. In 7 years you are spending twice what you would have for a house payment.
    A mortgage is always a losing proposition. Between taxes and interest, the home owner cannot really win. So if you buy a house, do it so that you can make double payments on the mortgage.
    You start any mortgage at 95% interest and 5% principal. So putting an extra 5% toward principal in the first 4 years pays off a lot of the mortgage. Typically that can pay off a mortgage in 15-20 years vs 30 years.
    The only raise in rent on a mortgage is one in which they raise the property taxes. Some communities do this way too often. Avoid those communities if possible.
    The next great depression is all ready here for many people. I have found that service repair related trades are always good in a depression. If you want to go to school, get a skill that people want and cannot do without. Those people do fine in any economic circumstance long term.
    Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Learn several skills that you can turn into a job if you need to.
    I know one man in his 60s that does nothing but service people’s yards. He does snow removal in the winter and lawns in the summer. He has 20 people he services. He doesn’t want any more than that. He does gutter repairs as well. The thing is he has found a way to get people to pay him money for what he can do. He does excellent work and is always in demand.
    If you go to any restaurant in this town, the place will be packed at least 3 days a week no matter how bad people are off financially. They will find the money to go eat out.
    Food is a big item on anyone’s budget. Learn to make leftover dinners that you simply heat in the oven or microwave. Everyone has times when it is inconvenient to fix a meal. This cuts down on eating out and puts money back in your pocket for emergencies.
    I am 72 years old. I have been through hard times as well as good times. A lot of my contemporaries have gone back to work even if it is only as greeter at a retail store. A lot of us have been through what you are going through now. Only this time is going to be one of the worst in history.

    • djc

      Excellent post.

    • rentslave

      All I need is legalized sports betting.I have been perfecting my system for the past 12 years.It is unbeatable.I thought that I would be able to start making money this spring.However this racist judge appointed by Obama,ruled against NJ’s attempt to allow their citizens to invest their money as they see fit.

      • alan

        Me too. I can beat the NHL, the NBA, MLB, and the NFL. The stupid states need to legalize it asap, and it will help them meet their expenses, like legal marijuana does. Hope Florida sees the light.

    • ResilientNews

      I am not so sure about the “A foreclosed home must sell for 2/3rds of the value of the remaining mortgage on the home.” I bought a foreclosed house for $28,000 in 2011, the previous owner had a mortgage for $118,000.

      • DJohn1

        I refer to the money left on the loan. If the mortgage were 118,000 and they had been paying on it for sometime then the $28,000 might be a true number. Anything under 2/3rds of the remaining mortgage has to be eaten by the bank holding the mortgage.
        There are special programs out there that the Federal Government has been trying to unload the foreclosed properties.
        In the last 5 years, the property on one side was foreclosed. The property on the other side also went into foreclosure. The one was a ranch and the other a 1 and 1/2 cape cod type home.
        The government sunk close to 100,000 into the larger home in renovations. It sold for 103,000.
        While that 103,000 was over the average value for that model plat home, it is worth at least 120,000 in value.
        The problem is there are at least 500 of these homes in the immediate neighborhood with an average value of approximately 85,000. Guessing the value of a home in a plat is fairly easy. That is because they are identical with minor differences.
        The government made a classic mistake of over valuing a home for the neighborhood it is in.
        Last year they had funding to do that to 150 homes in this plat.
        Approximately 2 homes per block were foreclosed in this plat last year. That is how bad the crisis is in home sales. There are approximately 40,000 people in this plat of homes. That does not include the newer homes less than 10 years old. A new plat of homes was started approximately 10 years ago at a price of 180,000 dollars. It is a small plat.
        Real Estate in the midwest is not easily compared to properties in California. The cubic feet of a home here is a lot less expensive than California. All of that is changing. The inflated values are coming down a lot faster in California than they are here.

    • Siloo Kapadia

      I agree totally!

  • DesertPaine

    The coming collapse will be the first in history without agriculture access. That is, today, most kids think apples grow in aisle 10. Even in 1929 half of Americans lived rural. If you lost your mission dollar stock portfolio you could always go in the back yard and pick apples to eat. Not now.

    • Mike Smithy

      I love it. “Most kids think apples grow in isle 10″. It also applies to some adults as well. Back in the late 1970’s, there was talk of a farmers strike. As a result, a local reporter asked a woman on the street about the farmers strike. The woman stated: “It doesn’t effect me because I purchase all my food at the Safeway supermarket”.

    • Mondobeyondo

      That’s one of the big differences between then and now. Not many people grow their own food anymore

      • Orange Jean

        I’m starting to get paranoid that even those of us who DO know how to grow food are going to have trouble doing so. In the past few years the plants I started from seed in the house (something I’ve done for decades, successfully) have not germinated well and some have grown but not produced. This is even “easy” to grow things like zuchinni plants that got NO squash on them at all. Has anyone else noticed this??

        I’ve been growing things in large pots for about 30 years… my harvest the past 2 years was awful. I see bees around, so it’s not that! But what I also see is local farmers “spraying” God knows what (but most likely Roundup for their GMO plants)… and it could be affecting mine. I use fresh seed, all open pollinated and organic from reputable seed dealers.

        I’ve also noticed lately that a lot of my “fresh” food that should have long storage time (apples, carrots, etc). seems to rot quickly. I recently had an entire apple turn BLACK… all the way through, never saw anything quite so creepy!

  • Claire Voyant

    Albert Einstein once said that intuition is our most valuable asset. He described it as “a feeling of order lying behind the appearance of something”. Sometimes it is referred to as a gut feeling, inner sense, instinct ..
    At some point in life, things can get ‘loose’ (current state of America). And it is at this very moment that intuition is the right navigating tool- it is alert to the signs of change. It is a point where we understand new or know something to be true.
    Take heed America.

    • Mike Smithy

      Intuition is good, but a healthy dose of paranoia is better.

  • Paul Thomas

    There is a reason people have to live from check to check and its called wage slavery, minium wage is setting at about half the cost of living, and is a maximum joke. Who can save what they can’t earn.

    • Douglas M. Green

      The same people who support jacking up minimum wage support strangling regulations that inhibit business formation. They should jack up minimum wage to $30 an hour and simultaneously drop unemployment by 20% a week until it hits zero. Let automation/machines take over more quickly and those who whine making $10 an hour instead of working their way up go to making zero.

  • Prepper Website

    ““Sell everything that you possibly can and buy gold and silver, go
    purchase a llama farm, and dig a bunker where you can bury 10,000 cases
    of MREs.”

    Not that there is anything wrong with those kinds of preparations.”

    LOL…I would have said “chickens!” 😉

  • Rastus

    If there is an eminent “economic collapse” that is as severe as is forecast (collapse of all collapses) What good would an emergency fund comprised of fiat toilet paper (USD) do for you? In the bank or under the mattress, it would be no good for it would have no value. Every day you collect these things you loose purchasing power. Buy real assets while your labor is still worth a little something.

    • Orange Jean

      Don’t ever underestimate the value of toilet paper!

      • T.

        Especially the Trading kind, eh?

    • Drud

      Think of the Crash of ’29, there was a massive run on the banks, everyone tried to get their cash out at the same time and it wasn’t there. Today is no different. There is very little physical cash in circulation compared to the total amount of all transactions. Think of this: what if banks begin to fail, one after the other, do you think they will still be extending credit to everyone with a pulse (via credit cards), no they will pull the plug. Imagine everyone in your local Walmart suddenly no being able to use their cards, then imagine its not only every Walmart across the country, but every gas station, every grocery store, everything. It would be instant pandemonium. Now, during the next few days or weeks, while everyone in power is trying to figure out what to do, the masses will be scrambling for goods and the only payment method available will be cash. Cash will be king, just like in ’29. Now, this is only one scenario, but I think it is a possible one, perhaps even likely. In fact, this is what almost happened in 2008. Also, cash may not be king for very long. I suspect the brain trust over at the Fed may fire up the actual printing presses and flood the market with physical dollars to attempt to get commerce going again, and then yes, it will quickly become worthless. But, if this scenario were to play out, and one had some cash beforehand and used it wisely when everyone else was panicking, well this person would be well ahead of the game.

    • brimp

      It’s best to have some green cash in the bank, some stored in a safe that is not in a bank, some in your pocket, some in silver coin. It is also important to have food, water and medicines/herb/vitamins/minerals for a month. Once you have this, then I recommend cutting up your credit cards and buy what you need with cash. Move if you have to reduce costs. If you have that covered, get some gold coins to save for a really rainy day. The best investment is in yourself: learn to stay fit, fix things, grow food, and barter. Finally, get a gun and know how to use it.

  • VigilanteCaregiver

    Try having the government cut off your right to work sometime…

    It ain’t fun.

    • Orange Jean

      Granted… but from everything you’ve told us about your family, you appear to be doing well in the most important things in life. Love, family, etc.

      • VigilanteCaregiver

        Thanks Jean. :)

  • Kim

    Michael I love your articles and read all of them. Please tell us how Americans are supposed to save money for a six-month contingency plan when we can’t even meet our basic living expenses? It would really require a dramatic simplification of our lifestyles, which I am not opposed to. But many people are trapped in contractual obligations, rising food prices, stagnant wages or worse. It’s hard. What are we supposed to do.

    • Orange Jean

      Well my grandmother (who raised 6 kids alone on the salary she earn cleaning toilets) always said “if it’s worth having, it’s worth waiting for!”

      I know from my own experience (single mother at 18, used to live in a tent with my baby)… that even if you currently can’t meet your basic living expenses now, if you are persistent and work hard to try to chisel away at your debts and/or increase your earnings and savings … eventually you could get there. You have to be disciplined and you have to have faith in YOURSELF!

      It is not easy, it does require sacrifice… but it cannot and will not ever happen if you don’t set goals for yourself. You’d be surprised at how quickly “small change” kept in a piggy bank can add up. My dad (who grew up in the Depression) pointed out how things can change quickly… we never know what life has in store for us, all we can do is try to do our best.

      So good luck, and don’t lose faith in yourself.

      • Kim

        I appreciate your response very much and you’re very right. Thanks for the encouragement. :-))))

        • K

          Before I retired, I used the pay yourself method. Example gas is done two dollars a gallon, in many areas. If you buy 10 gallons, you put 20 dollars aside. In my case, I managed to pay off my mortgage five years before I retired. I continued to make those payments to myself, in a separate account. These methods are not fast, but they are a start. Hope all is well.

          • Orange Jean

            Excellent suggestions K!

        • Orange Jean

          You’re most welcome!

    • K2

      I felt the same too when reading the article. It says people are living pay check to paycheck and then it goes on to wonder why they arent saving enough for an emergency fund? Its obvious if people are earning like that, it becomes even harder to meet said emergency expenses.

      Probably he should have added a word or two about cutting down other expenses or spending more wisely etc. Or something like that.

    • JustanOguy

      Buy only what you need and pinch them pennies…. My Grandfather (who not only survived but profited from the great depression) was the cheapest person I knew but when he passed away in 1982 in his trailer home with a used TV (that he bragged about paying only $50 for) and beat up old pickup truck in the driveway, his net worth was over $4 Million.

      As cheap as he was when it came to frivolous things… he did put 6 sons through good colleges. What he knew was basic cash flow — if it didn’t return money for him — he wouldn’t buy it.

      People say I’m cheap when it comes to cars, going out, etc, etc… but after looking at the books of people that are perceived wealthy…. most of them are in debt up to their ears and I just smile when I get called cheap.

  • As I’ve said time and time again, this is why we need a sovereign money in which money originates from the government and not from private banks based on debt. Growth of the money supply is contingent on a growth in the supply of interest-bearing debt; only banks, through the Federal Reserve system, can get money debt-free. We need debt-free money issued by the Treasury and spent into circulation on infrastructural programs, old-age pensions, a citizens’ dividend, or any other item of federal spending.

    • JustanOguy

      If money originates from the Government then Government has FULL control which is even worse.

      Study up on the Weimar Republic a little bit…

      • Mike Smithy

        You are right. Neither government nor private banking sector can be trusted with creating and controlling the currency without oversight. I believe in transparency (audit the fed) and a return to a currency backed by something of inherent value such as gold and silver.

        • Again, I’m not trusting the government. I would not support a gold or silver standard either because in order for the value of currency to avoid deflating as a purely financial artifact (thus making loans unserviceable), the price of gold (which is produced at a much slower rate than economic growth) must always be increasing.

          Worse yet, private bankers could undermine the value of the currency by calling in their gold reserves from federal vaults, setting off panic buying and consequent inflation. This was the cause for the financial shocks of the Gilded Age; indeed, it became so bad that J. P. Morgan had to loan gold (that he had stolen anyway) to the Treasury on several occasions in order to maintain the liquidity of the currency system.

          As far as the Weimar Republic was concerned, the large amounts of currency were printed in order to procure gold on the international markets, so that the Reichsbank could issue gold certificates – the only form of payment accepted by the international creditors. In other words, the hyperinflation was a result of efforts to shore up the gold standard, which ultimately failed.

          What I am proposing would be along the lines of an independent federal agency like the Post Office, nominally under the Treasury but not subjected to the politics of the day. The powers to produce currency would NOT go directly to Congress. International exchange rates would be managed as under the Bretton Woods system but the primary value of the currency would derive from its ability to make tax payments and purchase goods and services: exactly the uses which most people have for currency.

      • The board is going to be independent of Congress much as the judiciary is, and as such will be dispassionate; a long-term solution would be a monetary branch of government. The Weimar Republic, for its part, fell into hyperinflation due to heroic efforts to prop up the gold standard.

  • T.

    Right on.

  • It appears we are headed into a deflationary period.
    How long will it last?

    • T.

      It will last until the World repudiates the $ sometime later this year and sends All their $ holdings back where they came from (here). Then with a Highly devalued $ and tons and tons of them – Inflation will set in – In a vigorous and virulent way.

    • Mike Smithy

      That is an excellent question. I suspect that this deflationary collapse will be followed by a final hyper-inflationary collapse. It is conceivable that at some point the USD substantially weakens, consumers not wanting to lose the purchasing power of what little they have left will feel compelled to spend the fiat on tangibles.

  • Rufus T Firefly

    Meanwhile our Glorious Leader says don’t count on gas being this low forever (good idea). Save your money (good idea) or buy a new household item (bad idea) or new car (even worse idea). Save, pay off debt and if you truly need a household item or car, buy used.
    Wants are not needs. And make sure that car has good gas mileage and try to get a shovel ready job that you can walk or bicycle too.

    • alan

      I would take that as more of a warning. I don’t remember him every giving any advice that made any sense. I have a feeling when this snaps back it could be ugly.

  • James

    I am a Malaysian and yet I find this blog very useful and informative. Here in my country due to falling oil price we have suffered a great currency depreciation, the lowest since 2009. Stocks are down too. But I have been prepared for about 2 years both psychologically and financially. I can still remember the time when I bought for gold repeatedly at the same bank for some period; the officer asked me, are you sure you want to buy more? Why not some unit trust as my gold account is still negative. Firmly I said yes for gold as I know not long after this, the financial world would never be the same. I quit on stocks one year ago and I believe risks are too big in a volatile world today.

  • Richard

    “What are all of those people going to do if there is an extended crisis or disaster in this nation?
    “That is a very good question.”

    Congratulations, Michael, for asking a ‘very good question’. I mean, it might have been just a middling or even a mediocre question. But no. We can depend on you, Michael, to ask VERY GOOD QUESTIONS AND… pat yourself on the back for doing so!

    Stop it, man. It’s DUMB!

  • Genada

    The system is designed this way, it likes people to be in this position because in the end it leaves one having to depend on the government.

    Every time I go to Walmart I am amazed. I am the only person I see not using a ecb card. The thing about today is, the crash is already here, it’s been here, it’s all around us. There’s no soup lines because there’s ecb cards. No tent cities because of low income housing. One half the public is supporting the other half, there emergency fund is the ability to force the other half to keep supporting them for fear of what happens if they donn’t.

    At some point you will break the camel’s back and those not being supported by the government will be unable to support those supported by the government. When this occurs no one can tell but it has to happen.

    • Mike Smithy

      “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand


      Martial Law

  • alan

    All depends how bad it gets. If it hits the tripping point I don’t think you could prep enough to not be over ran by starving people. Unless you live in Kansas or Wyoming. People would run out of gas trying to get there.

    If its just more gradual decline we will arrive at the hunger games level in 10 years. Who will be our Mockingjay?

  • JustanOguy

    “…most of us are still choosing to live on the edge.”

    Ummm…. no.. More like most of the 62%’ers don’t have a choice but to live paycheck to paycheck since the great recession and Obamanomics…

    • DesertPaine

      Do you pay interest? Insurances? Income and property taxes? Mortgage? Processed foods? Auto? Stuff, stuff, stuff?

      There are plenty of people who do not, whose lives have changed for the immense better for it. People not ‘there’ almost always laugh dismissively such ideas and the people who have unleashed the chains. People who are ‘there’ almost always discover not that the ‘price is worth it’, but rather, that life is actually better by leaps and bounds.

      Yes, you DO have choices. What you DO NOT have is what many people want – change without change. Anyone can stop living paycheck to paycheck and accumulate real wealth if they wish

      Why don’t people tell too many others about such things? Honestly, because with uncommon exceptions, most people have a ready stock of excuses for why it makes more sense for them to continue life in a rut of frustration than to change. Call it some variation of Battered Wife Syndrome.

      • T.

        If the world was as smart as you – we would all be just fine.

        • DesertPaine


          • T.

            Wow. You have got to be somebodies hero and rescued numbers from the perils of this world. Have you not?

          • DesertPaine

            Your punctuation is much improved! Now, work on your grammar. somebody’s, not somebodies.

          • T.

            Wow. Such worldly smarts. This forum is not large enough for one such as you. You need a wider audience. Just think how many ignorant souls you could rescue from all these worldly dangers – oh most smartest one.

      • Except banks can make money out of thin air when they loan it out, and past loans can thus only be paid off by future loans. The survival of this system is predicated on the abject misery of a large percentage of the populace.

    • GSOB

      The best of the affordable care act is yet to come.
      Wait until 2015 taxes are filed in 2016.

  • Priszilla

    No matter how hard it is now. You have to save money in every little endeavour. Avoid interest payments. Nothing else is so surely making you poor.

  • MadAsHellYankee

    This ought to be of interest. Apparently the currency war is starting to backfire. Checkout silveristhenew and zerohedge……

  • Jack

    Follow the G”s guns, gold, a garden, good water, a generator, gasoline, generic medicine, and God for wisdom

    • BrianSheller

      You had one too many G’s in there.

      • GSOB

        John 3:19, 20.

  • Nexus

    Read Isaac Asimov’s trilogy; “Foundation”. “Foundation and Empire”, and “Second Foundation”. A pretty accurate foretelling of USA’s destiny. I live almost on the doorstep of the county’s largest supermall, and almost surrounded by satellite strip malls. From my home office window I monitor the vehicle traffic on the expressway and the access street to the malls. For the first time lately I see the roads and parking lots starved for vehicles. I see vacant store windows staring at me like a blind beggar. Eleven years ago we moved out of our oversized rental house and bought a mini-condo and reduced our expenses by two-thirds. My angelic wife and I now live on Social Security and a 46 dollar monthy pension. We have debts, debts, debts from my foolish decisions many years ago, but they are dwindling rapidly. Stay home, spend less every month, save, save, save! And most of all–pray. We all will need God’s favor to keep the smile on our face.
    God bless you all, and especially you, Michael.

  • Billzo

    This is not suprising to me. Even though the US$ is high compared to other currencies, the purchasing power of the dollar is far less than it was before we went off the gold standard. With that being said, I would recommend that your 3-6 month emergency fund account for the loss of buying power of the US$. A previous article on this blog listed the real buying power of a dollar at around 2-3 cents. This should tell us something about where we are, and where we are going. PM’s should be added at least equivalent to your emergency fund…………………should the dollar fail, you will need something to barter with.

  • WolfThom

    Argentina Snubs Bankers; Stabilizes Own Currency


    By Bill White —

    – See more at: http://americanfreepress.net/?p=21582#sthash.WLgByreo.dpuf

  • Marquita martin

    I would love to have an emergency fund. I’ve spent the last 6 years recovering from 2008: being laid off, school, and not taking care of things due to having no money (my personal infrastructure like the dentist and doctor). I have just now reached the point where maybe I can save money if no personal disaster happens. I do not buy alcohol or tobacco and rarely go out to eat. I do not have cable or a fancy phone, I drive a car over 20 years old because I can’t save up for a down payment on one. I’m getting tired of being blamed for things when I’m working my butt off and scrimping to survive. I’ve raised 4 kids on my own with little help from their dad who spent years unemployed due to being laid off also. I have read several articles over the last few days about how it’s the fault of the middle class that we are in this crap hole and I’m sick of it. I’m doing everything I can to improve my finances and the struggle still never ends.

    • tellitlikeitis

      “I’m getting tired of being blamed for things when I’m working my butt off and scrimping to survive”

      -Which is why I have stopped caring about what other people think or say. Even though we are facing an economic collapse, people will still never be able to understand the difficulties that one is going through. You can’t fix stupid, so don’t bother with what people think or say.

      Which is why you must cut out toxic people from your life, even if they are your family.

    • DesertPaine

      Lots of people hear your supreme frustration, Marquita.

      I’ll disagree with @tellitlikeitis, although his advice is understandable, too. What other people think is very surely useless, often. But everything you’ve ever learned better than what you knew before came because at some point someone said something that sparked change. There are some pretty smart people at the EC site. Otherwise, you’d not be reading.

      You’ve done so well in life with what you’ve known. Be proud of those accomplishments. Going forward, better results almost always means better change. Seize the good knowledge here and elsewhere from some knowledgeable, experienced people. The considerable rest, discard.

      • Marquita martin

        Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it!

    • BrianSheller

      To be blunt, it is about 3/4 of the way through your post that we find the rub.

      All the things you mention not having, and the struggle you endure is the opportunity cost of having four children with an unsupportive partner.

      I’m not blaming you, but it’s important that you account properly for things.

      The joy of raising four children is your reward, your struggles are the cost.

      One cost of my chosen lifestyle is having no children to raise.

      The only question, maybe the question you should have asked yourself is, “Am I willing to pay the price?”

      • GSOB

        Proverbs 19:21

        • BrianSheller

          That passage is a fancy way of describing what we know as circumstance.

          Allowing 4 children to be born is not circumstance, it’s choice.

          Choices have costs. You can’t dispute this.

          Your post was senseless.

          • GSOB

            …”it’s important that you account properly for things.”

            Everything that comes to pass is either through Him or His will.

            Some bookends for you from the book.

            The fool says in his heart, ‘there is no God’.
            However, it also says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

            That about covers everything.

          • BrianSheller

            I pity your cognitive impairment.

            You at least seem benign, so there’s that.

          • GSOB

            Ephesians 4

            “So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.…”

            I used to be like you.

  • goldminer

    Oil prices lost more than 50 percent in 2014, and have already dropped 10 percent in the first week or so of 2015.
    Margin calls on oil are happening as I type.. Carnage. Derivatives chain is broken and is killing the banks. More Carnage. Companies are going bankrupt. Large industries like American Steel are closing plants in Texas and Ohio. With the threat of more closings. People are loosing their jobs in the oil industry in droves.
    This is just the start!
    The dollar is rocketing up like a cheap bottle rocket only to explode once it reaches its apex. With a disappointing little pop. The pieces of worthless paper floating down to the ground.
    Better get prepared. But I fear It may already be too late for those who have not heeded the warnings here. Sorry to all you bible thumpers. God wont save you from this mess. He does not deal in materialism. It says somewhere in your bible that that is up to you.

    • T.

      God will save you from the Ultimate mess – Death. HE also gives Much wisdom in the scriptures for handling “money”. HE is concerned with Every facet of life – Both Now and the Hereafter. Blessings

      • DesertPaine

        Let us hope that God was not an English grammar teacher who graded down for inappropriate capitalization in an earlier life.

      • GSOB

        Amen T.

        In creation God exercises divine energy to bring the world into being.

        In providence, He continues to exercise His Divine energy to sustain the universe and to bring all things to their appointed end which ultimately, as He has revealed to us in Ephesians 1, everything in heaven and earth will be united perfectly according to His purposes as it relates to Jesus.

    • GSOB


      How does God direct all things according to their appointed end?

      • GSOB

        In inert matter God acts by physical force.

        • GSOB

          In brute animals, by instinct and appetite.

          • GSOB

            In intelligent beings, by motives suited to their faculties.

          • GSOB

            In His redeemed people, by the influence of Grace.

  • Hot Rain

    That is WAY too much for this blogs audience..Boston, Norway, Sandy Hook, “Alex Jones”..if that is what your alluding to.
    Social media is a giant distraction. Our lives are filled with distractions..smartphones and all the rest. People are so locked into not being present.

  • Hot Rain

    “Well, if the economy does crash like you say it will, and food gets unaffordable, the government will just have to take care of everyone. I can’t spend my life worrying about it. If there is really a problem they will fix it before it gets out of hand.” ..recent comment from a friend..

    • Siloo Kapadia

      Big mistake. Very big mistake.

  • huh ?

    I recently asked a fella who bitterly hated Christians why he harbored such animosity. He said because none of them are really Christians. He went on to explain that there are 2 kinds of people : Realists and Romantics. Realists, he said, are open objective minded people who are in search of actual truth and reality, whereas Romantics are closed subjective minded people who for some reason either don’t like, or can’t deal with actual truth and reality and fabricate/write their own to suit their comfort zones. In other words, realists are those who take the red pill and deal with facts, and Romantics are those who take the blue pill and deal in beliefs. And that all Christians are nothing but self-deluded mentally ill cowards who can’t deal with actual reality and are merely using Christianity as a mental/emotional crutch to cope with the unavoidable harsh realities of life. He especially had it in for Christian Patriots and gave me several videos to watch – Google and watch ‘America, Freedom to Fascism’ – ‘The Truth Behind The Income Tax’ – and ‘Just The Facts’ (6 two hr. Parts in all) all available for free online viewing. Then he asked me how anyone dare call themselves Christians or Patriots when they’re aiding and abetting the enemy by continuing filing income tax, utilizing banks, checks, and credit cards, etc., instead of pitching in and helping the “True Blues” (as he put it) push against the machine – in other words, they’re ‘Traitors’ ?
    … Can’t say I can offer any rebuttal – anyone else ?

    • DesertPaine

      Why do you feel a need to rebut? This guy labors under a set a beliefs that shape and limit his life, not yours.

      Besides, his information, whilst I believe generally correct, is dated and vacant. Russo’s work has significant inaccuracies.

      Respectfully huh, why do you pose this question on this forum?

      • huh ?

        Because he’s got a very good point. Let me put it this way … I don’t know how anyone else sees it, but virtually every American considers themselves Patriotic. But what virtually every American doesn’t realize is that ‘Patriot’ isn’t a role any American can just assume. But rather, is a sacred honorary Title that each American must earn via actions of their own volition, and the Founders set the bar as to what constitutes a ‘Patriot’. And I have to agree with him that they fought unjust taxes and so should we likewise and Christians should be the ones leading the charge, but I’ve also found they’re always the first to tuck their tails and just offer excuses why they’re not taking a stand – And I have to stop and ask where IS their faith in God now that the time has come to put their money where their faith should be – They don’t fit the definition of a Christian as I’ve been taught ?

        • DesertPaine

          True enough, huh. A ‘real’ patriot, however that tern is defined, does not often include being a lemming whose action is driven by material gain instead of purposeful belief. But this is hardly a trait easily identified as Christian. Sadly, most Americans of all stripes seem to fit the bill.

  • Gay Veteran

    and now the FDIC (that would be US tax slaves) are on the hook for the bad derivatives owned by the banksters.
    that was courtesy of your scumbag Republicans AND Democrats

  • frank1569

    No need to fret – Congress is 92% Christian. And like all good Christians, their first order of business will be to tend to the poor and needy – which, in this country, is also known as the majority.

    And then they’ll renounce greed and materialism and War while working to sustain their God’s planet and spread His word of peace and love throughout all the lands.

    That’s how that religion works, right?

    • FortuneSeek3rz

      We could reference North Korea to find out how a government would function without religion. Human involvement is a common denominator in all moral issues where the philosophy of a few affect the masses. That’s not going to change unless humans become extinct regardless of origin of their motives.

      • GSOB

        2 Corinthians 5:17

    • GSOB

      1 Samuel 16:7

  • BrianSheller

    And a sizeable portion of that “living paycheck to paycheck” is the fault of the person doing it.

    Be it having kids one couldn’t afford, loose or no budgeting criteria, drug use (booze included), buying a giant house to keep up with the neighbors, these things destroy disposable income.

    I’ll acknowledge that taxes are insane, maybe not the rates, but the minimal return to the people paying them. When we don’t reinvest in Anerican minds, we get huge populations of people who aren’t capable of critical thinking, and that is often a contributor to economic under-achievement.

    I know things aren’t great for a lot of people and there is an incredible amount of economic uncertainty created by years of ill-conceived policy focusing on short term gains, but Americans are as much a victim of their own hand as anything else.

    The price of freedom can be failure.

    I don’t want to downplay circumstance, but living on the edge is the price of not thinking things through, be it pulling out of your girlfriend, or of a garage you never could afford.

    • DesertPaine

      Brian, your observations make perfect sense to those who have achieved. To those who have not, it is angry Greek. Both sides insist they are right and the other side is either uncaring or dense.

      Bridging that gap does not mean ‘meeting half way’ – a mere moniker for mediocrity. How, Brian, to get each side to understand — really understand — the other side without both cherry-picking parsed information only chosen to support their opinion?

      • BrianSheller

        My observations, however, are an objective view of the aspects of reality with which those observations are concerned.

        I make no mention of sides.
        There are no sides to prudent decision making.

        It seems as though you’re misinterpreting my original comment, because your response is borderline senseless.

      • DesertPaine

        My gosh, I thought my question only supported your “objective” beliefs, and sought to further the discussion. OK then:

        There is nothing “objective” about your presumptions about ‘sizable’, your standards for who can afford a child, what a giant house is, your standard for what disposable income is, or how often often contributing to underachievement is, or or what under-achievement even means. How pulling out of your girlfriend is any different from pulling out of your wife economically, of why your undefined index of affordability is limited to garages. .Meanwhile, your apparent belief that taxes exhibit some sort of good if ROI is acceptable, and that American structure somewhere permits govt to invest, are presumptions devoid of fact that violate every border of sensibility and accuracy.

        If everyone made the same sweeping presumptive factual allegations that you do, then your post would be milk toast because everyone would agree with it. Fact is, not everyone agrees with your overly broad, unsupported, and sometimes factually challenged opinions passed off as critical thinking. Reasonable people can make prudent decisions that do not align exactly with Brian’s. As long as you are saying that you are right and others are saying that they are right, then its all just talking.

        • BrianSheller

          You exhibit a lack of capacity to understand written words

          My initial post asserts that many people over extend their income.

          That’s it. You have twice demonstrated an inability to understand this.

          You appear to be responding to me from a position rife with preconceived notions that blind you to the meaning of words.

          That you ask a question so daft as “what’s the difference between pulling out of your girlfriend or your wife?” clearly demonstrates my above claims regarding your incapacity for understanding.

          • DesertPaine

            Your post asserts nothing except scattered opinions. ‘Overextending income’ is one deduction amongst several that can be guessed from them.

            Put your thesaurus away.

  • Mondobeyondo

    A lot of people made some very bad decisions – financial and otherwise – when they were teenagers or in their 20’s. They are paying the price for those decisions 20 or 30 years later.

    • Orange Jean

      True, but that’s part of life. What really matters is… what you do after you made the bad decisions. Do you own up to your mistakes? Do you try to correct them? Or do you continue along the bad path or waste time and energy blaming someone else?

      I made some really bad, really stupid choices back when I was 18 and yes it took me 20-30 years to get back on a better path. However, I did take responsibility for my choices, I changed course (not straight and steady, had some slips along the way)… but in the end it was worth changing my path and I have not regretted it.

  • John S

    It’s not so much not learning the lessons of 2008, it’s the economy since 2008. I took a 40% pay cut in 2008, another 80% in 2010. I clawed my way back about halfway in 2012 working two jobs, only to spend 7 months in and out of the hospital in 2013, and received another 30% pay cut in 2014 when my remaining employer cut me to part-time in response to Obamacare. So the life savings are gone and we are one layoff or operation away from being homeless.

    And then I see my friends and relatives on disability collecting three times tax-free what I make working.

  • GSOB

    Proverbs 21:1

    “The Kings heart is a stream of water in the hand of the lord.

    He turns it wherever He will.”

    Nothing sketchy or vague about who is in control in the bible.

  • mgrandma

    sharonsj, I used to take celebrex and it became too expensive so I switched to meloxicam and it works pretty well for me.

  • Siloo Kapadia

    We knew for some time that USA was on the way down. We lived there for 20 years and only after my husband was laid off from his IT job did we STOP believing what the mainstream USA media said and started LOOKING and saw a very different picture. I suggest everyone do the same.

    We eventually relocated to Singapore but I never forget how we may have actually still been in USA and suffering. In fact, many Indians and Indian-Americans have relocated abroad from USA, yet we only found that out after we ourselves started looking to leave.

    I encourage everyone to at the very least get their money OUT of USA. If you can move out of the country, then of course by all means move out. But I know that for many that is not easy. So at least get your money out. If you can get another citizenship, then of course do so.

    Regardless of the nonsense you read in USA propaganda media (now little different from China propaganda), the direction of the whole country is DOWN. As you see, shale oil is NOT proving to be the God-send that it was made out to be. And shale oil aside, it is only going to get worse. Unfortunately it often takes a real calamity, like my husband’s layoff, to make people understand this and see what is really happening.

    Truly, few Americanos have any idea what is happening and, more importantly, the big disaster that is about to befall them.

  • Siloo Kapadia

    We had the same problem you did when we lived in USA. We were not the only ones. Many in IT are highly sought-after when they are young but after 40 forget it! Yes, bacha (baby), we learned the hard way.

  • GetHubNub

    Home equity loans are skyrocketing again.

  • Siloo Kapadia

    We had the same problem when we lived in USA. It is a hot mess for most people. We are glad to have finally gotten out.

  • MrPissonyourgrave .

    What will happen? America will become a very dangerous place……..

  • KP

    It’s unfortunate, Michael, that with all you have seen and written about, you actually believe six months of electronic fiat currency is beneficial. What will that money buy you in a collapse? There will not be another downturn. There will only be a collapse. The petrodollar system is ending. The nation known today as the United States is ending. The entire world government structure is ending. US Dollars, even if you had millions, will not save you. Gold and silver will be thrown in the streets for their worthlessness. Farm land will be stolen.

    Extreme preppers have more sense than that, which is why they “live on the edge” by using their money now while it has value. That time is ending. Even still, the preppers won’t survive any better when hundreds of starving people storm their property and take what they want. Preppers will be targeted by desperate mobs who raid the gun stores. Truth be told, they’ll probably die sooner than the starving masses who did nothing to prepare.

    What’s coming is not a downturn. It’s not going to be “hard”. It’s going to be the end. The economic collapse will create a war that you cannot imagine. I’m saying it and I don’t believe I can even imagine it. You and your loved ones will do horrid things. The spirit and attitude of man is about to be put on full display. There is no way to prepare. Your life will not be in your hands.

  • Alasha

    Sharon, pls, pls, pls give yourself credit for your resourcefulness and ingenuity or as my grandma who lived through the depression would say “your mother’s wit”. You have good mother’s wit (smile) and something tells me no matter what happens in the economy, you will be just fine. Godspeed!

  • Jeff Z

    My brother-sister inlaw live this way. Never save a dime and everything they want is based on the “payment”. About 2 years ago they had THREE big screens in their home, and was trying to borrow money for groceries. I told them to eat one of their big screens. They haven’t spoken to me since.

    Had I known thats all it took, I would have said something similar years ago.

    • Mark in Ohio

      Sad but so common……
      We make double the income my sister-in-law and her husband make. Yet I’m always commenting how I wish we had the money to buy some of the new things they buy.
      Then I found out my wife gave them $1600 so her sister’s car would not be reposessed and my mother-in-law who is on Social Security gave them all of her savings to catch up their house payment so it would not go to foreclosure.
      Do you think they’d promise to repay us?
      In the following months he bought a new rototiller, gas grill, and expensive patio set and she traded in her now paid off car and bought a new car with higher payment.

  • GSOB

    Christ tell us to pay our taxes.

    • huh ?

      Let me guess – “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesars” ? … But notice only what’s his, not what belongs to you or God. And not everything he demands simply because he demands it ! This is an old worn out excuse the propagandists concocted years ago and everyone’s been parroting it ever since. Also notice when they came into Capurnium the tax collectors asked the disciples does your master pay tribute and they answered yes … if that be the case then why did Christ prevent Peter and ask him if the kings take tribute from the children or strangers, and he answered strangers, then Christ said then the children are free. Then instructed him to get the money from a fishes mouth. People erroneously interpret this to mean he did pay the tribute, but fail to consider that they had a fish god back then from whose mouth flowed money – the actual meaning is if their fish god exists then they didn’t need to collect tribute. Likewise, if you’re to pay tithes because your church can’t run without it and god in turn blesses you back 2 to 10 fold (depending who you’re talking to) then why do churches need your money in the first place since all they have to do is tithe 10% of their money to another church and have a perpetual financial motion machine ?
      Or can you cite any other place in the Bible where Christ said to pay taxes regardless ? Suggest you watch the videos I listed in my initial post above as filing income tax is paying tribute and homage to the devil.

  • j h

    How did you come up with 62 percent of the people are living paycheck to paycheck? June 24th 2013 cnn have 76 percent of american’s are living paycheck to paycheck.

  • Dennis

    You’re making this way too hard. Go to a local coin store as someone else mentioned that’s been around a few years. If they have been around a few years, they wouldn’t have survived if they were ripoffs. Lot of coin store advertize on craigslist. Do a search for ”silver eagles for sale”
    This is just my opinion. I buy 90% silver (dimes) but mostly silver eagles. In my opinion again, forget bars. Sure their cheaper now, but I think think down the road. silver eagles will be the easiest to sell for the most money. I’ve bought from 2 differant coin stores in the phoenix area. I walk in, ask how much, give them the cash, walk out with the silver. No reciept, no nothing. I’ve bought over $10K worth at one of the stores over the last year in amounts of about 4-600 each time, and they don’t even know my name or nothing about me. They don’t care!

    If you are worried about keeping them at home, then go fine someplace to bury them. Do you really think somebody is walking around the woods or desert looking for silver. The bank and yes credit union is going to steal your money. Time is running out, you need to act!

  • Russell

    Sharonsj. I have Medicare part D prescription drug coverage with Humana/WalMart. The coverage is about $15.50 per month. The tier 1 and 2 generic drugs I take have no copay when the Humana owned Right Source mail order pharmacy fills the prescription and mails it to me. I get 90 days worth of pills at a time. The generic Celebrex called meloxicam should be covered by Right Source with no copay. Who is your Medicare part D provider now? Check with them.

  • UnderpaidWageSlave

    I just watched “Food, Inc.” and learned that what I already knew is true afterall. It noted how some employees are purposely kept poor by some employers, and how some employers even go to impoverished countries to solicit cheap labor. They show how working conditions and pay were improved with unions, and how all of that is gone now that most unions are gone. Do unions have corruption? Sadly, wherever humans and money are together, there is corruption. However, if we look at what working conditions were before unions, and look at things now, after unions. While I agree that unions may have had players from the other side injected to corrupt the good name of the unions, people are always stronger when they stand together, especially working people. Anyway, Food Inc. is a good watch as it not only discusses our food, but it also shows why so many are living paycheck to paycheck.

  • Thanks for this post…

  • LoveUK

    You don’t need drugs to relieve pain. Try bromelain enzyme, ginger root, curcumin. There are many natural pain relievers. The drugs destroy your body. Herbs heal you and relieve pain.

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