Do you see all of the warning signs that are flashing all around you? These days it seems like there is more bad economic news in a single week than there used to be in an entire month. 2011 is already shaping up to be a very dark year for the world economy. The price of food is shooting through the roof and we have already seen violent food riots in countries like Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia. World financial markets are becoming increasingly unstable as the sovereign debt crisis continues to get worse. Meanwhile, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits is up, foreclosures are up and poverty continues to spread like a plague throughout the United States. What we are starting to see around the globe is a lot like the "stagflation" of the 1970s. All of the crazy money printing that has been going on is overheating prices for agricultural commodities and precious metals, but all of this new money is not doing much to help the average man or woman on the street.
Do you remember what the economy was like in America during the 70s? We had high unemployment and high inflation at the same time. It was horrible. Well, all the warning signs are there for a stagflation repeat. Unemployment is at epidemic levels and it isn't showing any signs of decreasing much any time soon. Meanwhile, the crazy money printing that the Federal Reserve and other central banks have been doing is starting to cause significant inflation. The price of oil is about to cross the 100 dollar a barrel mark and the UN is forecasting that the global price of food is going to increase by 30 percent by the end of the year.
So, yes, there are some really, really good reasons to be incredibly concerned about the global economy in 2011.
Meanwhile, the only solutions that our global leaders seem to be offering are more money printing, more government debt and more financial control by international organizations.
The truth is that we have a real mess on our hands. The following are 20 economic warning signs that should be of great concern to all of us....
#1 Over the past seven days, the price of wheat has risen by 11 percent as concerns about food shortages continue to grow around the world.
#2 The price of corn is up a staggering 94 percent since last June.
#3 The United Nations is projecting that the global price of food will increase by 30 percent in 2011.
#4 According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest level since last October.
#5 According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, of the 14 million Americans "officially" unemployed in December, 30% of them had been unemployed for one year or longer.
#6 Beginning in the month of March, the U.S. Postal Service will begin shutting down up to 2,000 post offices across the United States.
#7 In an absolutely stunning move, Standard & Poor's has downgraded Japanese government debt from AA to AA-.
#8 72 percent of the major metropolitan areas in the United States had more foreclosures in 2010 than they did in 2009.
#9 Approximately 5 million homeowners in the United States are at least two months behind on their mortgages, and it is being projected that over a million American families will be booted out of their homes this year alone.
#10 According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Social Security system will run a deficit of 45 billion dollars this year. When the new payroll tax breaks are factored in, the projected "Social Security deficit" for this year swells to 130 billion dollars.
#11 The U.S. money supply has been rising at a pace that is absolutely unprecedented.
#12 Right now, money is flowing out of bonds at an absolutely staggering pace.
#13 The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the price of food increased 50 percent faster than the overall rate of inflation during 2010.
#14 According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, visits to soup kitchens are up 24 percent over the past year.
#15 During the last school year, almost half of all school children in the state of Illinois came from families that were considered to be "low-income".
#16 Those living in the town of Discovery Bay, California will soon not be permitted to use cash to pay for any public services. Could this be another disturbing step in the direction of a cashless society?
#17 French President Nicolas Sarkozy says that the IMF should be given the power to enforce new rules that would be designed to prevent "global economic imbalances" from happening.
#18 The U.S. government is currently borrowing about 40 cents of every single dollar that it spends.
#19 According to the Congressional Budget Office, the U.S. government will have the biggest budget deficit ever recorded (approximately 1.5 trillion dollars) this year.
#20 It is being projected that the U.S. national debt will increase by $150,000 per U.S. household between 2009 and 2021.
So is there any good news?
Well, yes there is.
U.S. Representative Ron Paul has introduced a new bill to audit the Federal Reserve. Let us hope that the move to audit the Fed fares better in the 112th Congress than it did in the 111th Congress. It would be wonderful if the American people could actually learn what has been going on inside the Fed all this time.
But mostly the news about the global economy is really bad. There have been some people that have been warning for decades that all of this money printing and all of this government debt would eventually catch up with us. Now we have almost reached the moment of reckoning that the doomsayers have been warning about for so long, and it is going to be really painful to go through it.
Thanks to the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world, we have been living beyond our means for decades. When "times were good" it was not because either the Republicans or the Democrats were doing something right. The truth is that both political parties have been horribly addicted to government debt. The debt-fueled prosperity that our politicians purchased for us is starting to come to an end, and an economic implosion is coming that most Americans will never see coming.
But hopefully most of the readers of this article are much wiser than the average American. The warning signs are there. Now is the time to take action and get prepared.