The U.S. Senate Votes To Pile 1.9 Trillion Dollars More Debt On To Our Children And Grandchildren

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate voted to raise the U.S. government debt cap by another 1.9 trillion dollars.  This is another 1.9 trillion dollars that our children and grandchildren will have to pay interest on for the rest of their lives.  The U.S. national debt is rising at a rate that is so reckless and so catastrophic that it threatens to destroy the entire U.S. economy.  It is now becoming apparent that we have created a financial hole that is probably mathematically impossible to get out of under the current system.  Average Americans are becoming increasingly angry at the U.S. government for getting us all into this colossal financial mess.  In fact, one very strongly-worded letter to Barack Obama from a 95 year old World War 2 veteran is causing quite a stir all over the Internet.  More people than ever are waking up and are realizing the the United States is headed in the wrong direction and has been for a long time.

But what else can the politicians do?  If they quit all this reckless spending it would devastate the U.S. economy in the short run.  In turn, the voters would be even more determined to vote them out of office.  So, for their own job safety the politicians in Washington have got to try to stimulate the economy with massive amounts of government money. 

But all of this government spending is only making our long term problems much worse.  Yes, the U.S. government has been able to partially “stabilize” the U.S. economy in the short term by pumping trillions in “bailout” and “stimulus” money into the financial system, but by doing so they are making our long term problems far, far worse.

The U.S. government has piled up the biggest debt in the history of the world and it is increasing at a speed that is absolutely frightening.  What we have done to our children and grandchildren is completely immoral.  We have piled up the biggest credit card bill in all of human history and now we are dumping it on them.

They are going to have to spend the rest of their lives paying interest on the mess that we have made.

What a wonderful gift to future generations, eh?

When Reagan took office, the national debt was already a national crisis, but it was only about one trillion dollars.

Now the U.S. Senate has authorized an increase up to 14.3 trillion.  Just look at what we are doing….

 

How in the world can we ever justify what we have done to our children and grandchildren?

Honestly, how can we possibly look them in the eyes and tell them what we did?

It has been this generation that has flushed America’s financial future down the toilet.

Is anyone else out there getting upset about this?

What this generation has done to future generations is so cold and so wicked and so immoral that it is hard to find words to even describe it.

We throw around words like “billion” and “trillion” so much these days that it seems like they have almost lost their meaning.  Do we actually realize how much a trillion dollars is?  It is such a massive amount that words do not actually do it justice.  To get a really good idea of what a trillion dollars is, just watch the illustration in the short video below, and then ask yourself how we could possibly do this to future generations…. 

What Is He Up To Now? George Soros Declares That Gold Is Now “The Ultimate Bubble”

What in the world is George Soros up to now?  At the 2010 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Soros recently made the following statement: “When interest rates are low we have conditions for asset bubbles to develop, and they are developing at the moment. The ultimate asset bubble is gold.”  So is Soros trying to scare people away from gold?  The truth is that the price of gold did rise about 40 percent last year.  In the current economic environment, there has been a flight to safety as nervous investors have flocked to precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum.  But are these bad investments that are overvalued right now?  Not at all.  The truth is that gold and silver are just about the only things that have held their value over the past 100 years.  An ounce of gold could buy you a really nice suit 100 years ago and an ounce of gold can buy you a really nice suit today.  But now that it is starting to come out that there could be massive reserves of gold and oil in Haiti, we should expect the ongoing manipulation of the precious metal markets only to intensify.  The truth is that the big dogs like Soros want everyone else to get out of gold and silver so that they can swoop in and get more for themselves.

If you are looking for a bubble, you don’t have to look any farther than the U.S. stock market.  Remember all of that “bailout” money and “stimulus” money that the U.S. government injected into the economy?  Well, it didn’t help you much, did it?  Nope.  So where did it go?  It went to pumping up Wall Street.  In a recent article, Bob Chapman did a great job of explaining what is happening….

Liquidity is not flowing into the economy it is pouring into Wall Street to aid and abet more speculation, which has sent the Dow from 6600 to 10,700.

That is why some analysts are calling this a “jobless” recovery.  They think that because the stock market has gone up we are having a recovery.  But it is a lie.  The reality is that the stock market is experiencing a “sucker’s rally” and all the insiders are busy selling their holdings off into that rally as Chapman explains further down in his article….

It should be noted that insiders are selling into the never-ending rally, and mutual funds have very little money flow coming into the funds. That, of course, is our government at work manipulating the market. Just last week insiders bought $18 million worth of shares and sold $419 million.

But let’s not just blame Wall Street.

They are not the only ones responsible for the mess that we are in.

The truth is that we have all made bad choices.  We have all bought stuff made in China for years and years just because it was a few cents cheaper.  We knew that it would put some of our neighbors out of work eventually but we didn’t care as long as we could save a buck or two. 

All we cared about was the lowest price.  In fact, for decades the U.S. government made obscenely lopsided trade deals with foreign nations (that were very much not in our favor) just so that we could get cheaper goods for the American consumer.  We were told that anything that was good for the “consumer” was good for the economy.  “Free trade” (or in other words, other countries getting to send us all the cheap stuff they wanted to) was going to be the solution to all of our problems.

But it wasn’t.

Instead, we found out that there was a very high cost to those low prices.

In his excellent article entitled “The Wal-Mart Model of Self-Destruction: Lowest Prices, Always”, Charles Hugh Smith captured the high cost of our obsession with low prices beautifully….

The propaganda of marketing has so hollowed out American culture that most citizens cannot recall a time that “Consumerism” wasn’t the unofficial religion of American society. And what is the First Commandment of “consumerist religion”? The lowest price is all that matters.

Quality doesn’t matter; we’re going to move/throw it away anyway.

Who made it doesn’t matter. The idea that you might pay more to keep your neighbor employed is akin to worshipping the Devil: all that matters is the lowest price.

The sad thing is that many of you who are reading this article will keep running out to bloated globalist retailers like Wal-Mart just to save a few pennies.  It doesn’t matter that their stores are filled with cheap garbage made in virtual sweat shops all over the globe and that Wal-Mart has probably decimated a large percentage of the local businesses in your area since they moved in.  But on the bright side, they do pay slightly over minimum wage and they do provide part-time employment for many of the people in your area.  Perhaps you can get a job with them when your job gets shipped overseas too.

The truth is that we all need to quit being “consumers” and we all need to start participating in our communities once again.  Instead of supporting a big global chain that takes all of the profits out of your local community, why don’t you go visit the struggling small business down the street instead?  Instead of pumping your cash into the giant shell game known as the stock market, why don’t you help a family member start a business or put it into something real like gold and silver instead?

We are all supporting the current globalist system by putting money into their banks, by investing in their stocks and by endlessly shopping in their stores. 

Imagine what would happen if we all suddenly decided to stop.

A Record Number Of Young Americans Are Unemployed – Are They Just Lazy Or Are There Simply No Jobs Available?

A record number of young Americans are now unemployed.  According to a new report based on U.S. Census Bureau data, only 26 percent of American teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 had jobs in late 2009 which represents a record low since statistics began to be kept in 1948.  So why is this happening?  Certainly it is much harder to find a job today than it was just 3 or 4 years ago.  But are there other factors involved?  Even when the economy was still flying high back in the middle of the decade, an increasing number of young people were moving back in with Mom and Dad after they graduated from college.  Is it our fault for raising kids who simply cannot adjust to the real world?  Is society to blame for all of the young Americans who believe that everything should be handed to them on a silver platter without them having to work for it?  Or would young Americans be more than willing to step up if there were good opportunities available to them?

The quality of young adults in America today is a theme that a number of our readers have commented on recently.  In particular, there were four comments that were so exceptional that we thought they deserved special attention and we have reproduced them below.  If there is any hope for the future of America, it will be crucial for the next generation to step up to the plate.

But are they capable of it?  Please read the following comments left by our readers and then post your own comment and let us know what you think….

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Joyce:

I keep hearing conservatives say we need to get rid of “Social Security” and go back to when families took care of family members. These people have to be “out of touch with reality” because the family unit has been broken for years in this country and continues to break down. Disabled, elderly people, in general, have no family members willing to help them. Children and grandchildren often have no time for their older parents and grandparents and often feel that older and disabled folk are in the way and only contact them when they themselves need money or wish to check on their possible inheritance from older members of their family. Many young people think nothing of “stealing” from thier parents and elderly grandparents if they think they can get away with it. Many families with children have only one adult or parent to support and nurture the children and many women, right here in Missoula, Montana, are supporting thier “boy friends” and fewer and fewer “couples” are getting “married”. A large number of family units are in deep financial trouble as the good paying jobs keep disappearing and the materialistic young people feel they must buy the latest new toy or electronic gadget on the market. Even these college graduates often leave college with huge debts they incurred in the form of student loans and are often in serious financial trouble. Where is the “family” support and help for the elderly and disabled coming from??? Many young adults often try to make older folks feel they have outlived thier welcome no matter how hard they worked when they were young to help build the nation these young people feel belongs only to them.

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Elldee:

I do know a few individuals in their 20s who are hard workers. One is my son. He was going to college full-time, employed part-time, participates in auto racing, and served in the Army Reserves as a staff sergeant. He was recruited by the race car owner because of his work ethic. He just graduated from college in December with a degree in mechanical engineering technology, has his resume out there and is waiting to hear back. In the meantime, he is working full-time in construction and part-time for a company that builds race car engines. I know I may be accused of being partial because he’s my son, but he is a good worker, loyal, dedicated, motivated, and engaged in whatever he is doing.

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Penny:

I’m 65, and came from very creative, old style common sense family. I know how to do so many things from scratch it would blow your mind. THAT is what gives me confidence.

SKILLS for life, on all levels. I can grow, cook,& preserve food.I can throw together a meal for 6 or more in a hurry out of almost anything. How many of you can make a noodle, a mainstay of hard times ? Can you grow a patch of potatoes? Repair shoes, make shoes for a small child. Hand sew? Mend or iron. Hand wash clothes. Do you know what basic tools are for. What if the web goes? Do you know how to use a library?

More to the point, can you tell when you can’t afford something? Can you tell when you need to go back down the technology scale to provide your needs, because that’s where it’s cheaper? Can you steam rice, mash potatoes? Stop a leak? Can you figure out the cost of your appliances so you know what to turn off and leave off?

Can you tell you can’t afford to use the dryer? Do you know enough about nutrition to know you need to plant a garden? Do you know how much effort is needed for basic jobs, or how long it takes? Can you make yourself get up and walk to get what you need when you have enough for food and gas, but not both? Skills are also nice for barter.

I saw a show on Western kids working in rice fields in Thailand. What BS.Supposedly they’d been there working for 6 weeks. They still had body fat and a double chin.Anybody doing day long hard agri work for 6 weeks would be getting lean and mean.

Character is built as you learn skills and come to respect your own efforts; then you understand the efforts of all. Morality isn’t a stamp you stick on someone, it’s innate unless it’s corrupted. I don’t know what’s happened to our lazy behinds, but it doesn’t seem to me we’ve had enough physical work required of us, so we don’t have a clue how much we’ll need to do..the whines will be heard to the skies, then weeping..we should start a skill bulletin board and tell each other what we know while we have time.

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Kelly:

I work in an ER…. When the s–t really hits the fan, most Americans (90%) will totally fall apart… If they can’t handle a paper cut now (I kid you not!), can you imagine the chaos when things really get rough? When the vicodin runs out? Some parasites make 2-3 visits or more a week to the ER for BS….. the human devolution is truly mind-boggling…

90% of americans are totally worthless parasites… I hired an american to mow my lawn… he got a cell phone call in the middle of it, said he would come back, never did! I had to finish the half-mowed lawn myself….. I went thru 8 people mowing my lawn, till I finally found someone reliable, on time, gentle w the equipment, willing to work hard…… me! Yep, it is that bad… I hired myself to mow my lawn… Now I am hiring myself to plant it in wildflowers for the coming days when lawnmowing will become impossible…

One of the 8 failures was a 16 year old native born American kid doing some landscaping for me… I had to show him how to use a shovel. He had never picked one up before… Unbelievable! … I told him to slope the dirt away from the house so the water would run down and away from the foundation. He asked me, “What is slope?” I had to draw him a picture!! Pitiful… Down the toilet the american empire falls….

Austin Coins

 

10 Heartbreaking Stories Of Unemployment And Economic Despair In America

At times it can be really easy to get caught up in the data and the statistics of the economic collapse and forget that there are millions of very real stories behind these numbers.  The truth is that millions of Americans have had their lives absolutely devastated by this economic crisis, and things are only going to get much worse in the years ahead.  Many Americans who find themselves out of work don’t even understand what is going on – all they know is that they desperately want someone to give them a job and that they will work night and day if they could just get a chance.  In fact, employment is the number one issue on the minds of American voters right now.  A new poll by the Pew Research Center reveals that the two issues that Americans are most concerned about at this moment are the economy and jobs.

You see, if you can’t pay your mortgage and if you can’t feed your family, suddenly other issues become a whole lot less important.  If you still have a job and you can still pay your rent or mortgage every month, you should consider yourself to be very fortunate.  Right now there are literally tens of millions of Americans who are living on the edge of financial disaster.  The following are 10 heartbreaking stories of unemployment and economic despair which should make the rest of us very thankful for what we still have….

1) Can you imagine having to move your wife and kids into your mother-in-law’s basement?  You have got to read this amazing article by Paul Schwartzman in which he profiles the heartbreaking story of one average American couple who have lost their jobs and have completely given in to despair….

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He sinks into the couch, his gaze traveling from his wife to the television to the darkness outside, broken now and then by the distant glow of passing headlights.

His mind settles into another round of “What if?”

As in: What if we don’t have cash to buy milk, eggs, bread or diapers? What if our unemployment benefits run out? What if we never find jobs?

Scott Nichols thinks of the option the 39-year-old husband and father of two has hoped to avoid since being laid off nine months ago.

They already took free food from a church pantry, cardboard boxes filled with Corn Flakes and bologna and saltines. His wife, Kelly, walking in, head down, while he stayed in the car, ashen. They pawned his wedding ring, sold part of her coin collection and had help from the Salvation Army paying their electric bill.

Now another cliff approaches: the loss of the home they rent.

“Looks like we’ll have to go to your mom’s,” Scott Nichols says to Kelly, 33, who is in a beige recliner, staring ahead.

Moving to her mother’s would mean returning to the rundown industrial town where they grew up, a place that makes him feel dirty, inside and out. They would sleep in her basement jammed with forgotten furniture, a few steps from a pair of cat litter boxes and below three narrow windows blocked by insulation.

2) The Nation recently ran an article that included a stunning description of what many California neighborhoods are like in the aftermath of the housing crisis….

There’s a Mad Max feel to daily life in many neighborhoods. The Central Valley has a swath of cities whose home foreclosure rates rank in the top ten in the country. Friends looking to buy a home in a poor part of Sacramento tell me of foreclosed houses stripped of their copper wires, their toilets, their pipes, even their drywall. An ex-student reports visiting homes in which furious foreclosed owners and evicted tenants have urinated and defecated on the carpeting, abandoned pets to starve, left kitchens filled with rotting food. Sure, you can buy these properties for next to nothing, but you’ll have to bring in the biohazard squads before you can safely occupy them.

3) Robin Sherwood

My husband, Ron, was a construction superintendent, and in that field you know the job is always going to end. At the end of September, they handed Ron two checks. We knew it was coming, but we just didn’t expect it so soon.

With more than 1,400 people on the list at the union, it just doesn’t look like any work for a while. With most of the construction sites shut down, the work is just not there. Now what? We don’t know.

It’s rough in Boulder City. There are no construction jobs, and even for me to go find a retail job the chances are slim. In this town, they don’t look at bringing jobs in for local residents.

We get $1,500 a month from the unemployment checks, and the money is not enough to cover expenses. Our mortgage is $1,110 a month.

We’ve cut back to just the basics, even with groceries. We’ve applied for free lunches for my daughter so at least she can have a hot meal at school. We don’t go into town unless we absolutely have to.

4) Kathy Edwards

I lost my job March 6, 2009. I have been working in the insurance industry for 40 years.

At the age of 60 I doubt that I wlll find another job. I lost everything and had to file bankruptcy.

A sad way to end a good life…

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Its the pits… not knowing what the future holds and when unemployment ends who knows.. You start considering what you options are: anywhere from homelessness to suicide.

I used to love life and my job now I feel worthless and can offer my son nothing to help him out as well.

5) An anonymous poster on the GLP forum

My daughters 23 year old friend graduated with a Bachelors in Foreign Business over a year ago. We are a coastal state (WA) and he has been unable to find a good job in that time. Currently working at a clothing wholesaler making a pittance and struggling to pay his school loans and living expenses.

A couple we are close friends with are about to lose their home. Husband managed a trucking crew. We all know what’s going on with the trucking industry. They’ve for almost a year attempted to save the home they built with their own hands by offering the bank interest only payments or refi to lower payments, they’ve filled out too many forms to count to qualify for the Obama plan to save their home (they totally qualified at every point but new forms were sent again and again and finally after almost a year they were told they do not qualify but not given a reason why) and the bank just last week told them they have until next week to come up with $36,000.00 or move out.

My father, who is on a fixed income, keeps his house at freezing temps, doesn’t go anywhere, and eats crap food and he is living on two retirements! You know why? His lenders suddenly raised interest rates on two loans he had. Then his auto and home insurance company found out he had higher interest rates and used that as an excuse to raise his insurance rates!

6) Carmen

I was working as a Production Supervisor for a very large manufacturing company. They hired me on and about a month later I was told that the plant would be closing down and moving production to Mexico. I like many others am a victim of outsourcing and now the economy.

I have worked in the manufacturing industry for several years in Management Roles. I have actual experience in the industry that I obtained through trial and error, training, and just working. My expertise is Cost Reduction. I am old school and did not graduate from a college with a degree. I am from the school of hard knocks.

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Being unemployed is truly the most difficult thing I have ever had to live through. I have worked since I was 15 and right now have been unemployed for over 16 months. I have applied to every job I am qualified for, joined all the social networks, worked my own personal network and try to utilize any creative way to find work.

I feel useless sitting at home not be able to work and support my family. My wife is working two jobs and still we cannot make ends meet. I have been trying to work with my mortgage company for a year now to modify the loan on our home but basically have been told that because I have still be able to make my payments (by the grace of God we have been able to do so, with the help of family and a little savings, this is all gone now) that being unemployed is not a dire enough hardship, and there is no help for me.

It is frustrating to say the least and seems never ending. I hope they extend the unemployment extensions that are due to expire at the end of February 10 because if they don’t I know what I am going to do. All I want to do is work, I would work 16 hours a day, night, afternoon or morning shift, weekends, overtime, holidays, part-time full time, seasonal, you name it.

7) Jan

I lost my full time job in an automotive related field in April 2008 and have been unemployed since. I finally found a part-time job in July 2009, which was far below the money I was making however I felt, a job is a job. Now after continuing to look for full-time employment without any success, I am at risk of losing my home as my mortgage company is not willing to work with me.

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It is horrible and makes you feel inadequate in every way when u cannot find a full-time job and when you cannot support your family. I am close to losing my home and am frustrated that there is no where to turn. I have spent endless hours on the phone trying to follow up for jobs in which I have applied, only to be told that often there is 1 job available and there have been over 400 or 500 applicants. I don’t even get a letter or any correspondence telling my I did not get a position, I am just left hanging. I have tried to look into many different fields only to be told I have no experience, well how can I get any experience if no one will give me a chance? The problem is that there are so many people here in Michigan without a job, employers don’t HAVE TO take a chance and they have their pick of whoever they want (usually a friend or family member gets hired).

8) Joe

I worked a major online retail store for womens clothing and apparel, i worked at the distribution center here in West Virgina. I operated various loading equipment from order pickers, to forklifts,reese trucks, standups, and walkies.

I was laid off in January of 2009, because it was cheaper for the company to bring in new workers that would not have to be provided with bennefits such as, insurance, paid sick days, holidays, vacation, things of that nature, they laid myself and about 100 other employees off, and turned around and hired about the same number of employees the same month.

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I have now been unemployed for over a year, i have applied for over 250 jobs,and have had no luck with any of them, the only thing that has kept me from losing everything is my unemployment compensation, which ran out at the beginning of the year. I have done everything in my power to find a job, I am also taking courses for IT related field, but I fear that I will have to stop the classes because with no type of income coming in i can no longer afford them. I enough money saved to maybe survive for the next 2 months, after that i don’t know what my family is going to do. there is just simply no work here or anywhere for that matter.

9) Lady Wolf on the GLP forum

We are fortunate in that we have set aside a nest egg for ourselves in the form of a 401K that we can dip into if we absolutely have to and it’s looking like that might be the case. But that’s supposed to be for our retirement. We’re both in our 40’s so that seems a long way off still…but we may not have a choice. My husband had already enrolled into college because he sees the handwriting on the wall in this economy and he just doesn’t see it getting any better with millions out of work in this country, but the field he’s chosen to branch off into could take up to a year to get his degree…

He’s feeling so discouraged right now…that’s got to be a real beating to a man’s ego. I’m trying to be there for him, but I don’t think this is something I can fix this time. All I can do is let him know how much I love him and that as long as we have each other, everything else will work out…I hate seeing him like this! He’s such a hard worker with a solid work ethic. He doesn’t deserve what’s happening to him…then again, no one really does.

People just want to provide for their families…is that such a bad thing?

10) Carlene Balderrama

On the morning she realized her husband and son would learn the family was losing their house, Carlene Balderrama, 53, faxed a note to the mortgage company, then went to the basement and shot herself.

“I hope you’re more compassionate with my husband than you were with me,” she wrote in a suicide note left for the company.

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Unfortunately, these stories do not represent isolated incidents.  There are millions of other stories just like these.  In fact, you probably have friends, relatives or neighbors who find themselves in similar situations.

Perhaps your own life has been turned upside down by this economic mess.  Millions of people who worked hard in school, always did everything “right” and who were always good to their employers now find themselves up a creek without a paddle.  The reality is that it is almost impossible to find a good job in many areas of the United States today.

If you have a story to share we would love to hear it.  Just post a comment below, and as long as it is is clean and does not advocate violence we will be glad to post it.  The truth is that we will all have to offer one another a helping hand to get through this economic crisis.

And let us not look down on anyone who finds themselves out of work.  Almost all of us have been there, and almost all of us will be there again.  Many Americans who are now out of work are good, hard-working people.  They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The reality is that the gigantic economic tsunami that is coming is going to impact all of us whether we like it or not.  Millions of jobs and millions of homes are going to be lost.  Many families will be destroyed.  A lot of innocent people are going to pay the price for decades of incompetence and foolishness in Washington D.C.

Things did not have to turn out this way, but this is the hand that we have been dealt.  Let us be kind and compassionate to one another and let us be certain to retain our humanity as we all head into a future that appears to be very bleak.

http://www.readymaderesources.com

Economic Black Hole: 20 Reasons Why The U.S. Economy Is Dying And Is Simply Not Going To Recover

Even though the U.S. financial system nearly experienced a total meltdown in late 2008, the truth is that most Americans simply have no idea what is happening to the U.S. economy.  Most people seem to think that the nasty little recession that we have just been through is almost over and that we will be experiencing another time of economic growth and prosperity very shortly.  But this time around that is not the case.  The reality is that we are being sucked into an economic black hole from which the U.S. economy will never fully recover.

The problem is debt.  Collectively, the U.S. government, the state governments, corporate America and American consumers have accumulated the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world.  Our massive debt binge has financed our tremendous growth and prosperity over the last couple of decades, but now the day of reckoning is here.

And it is going to be painful.

The following are 20 reasons why the U.S. economy is dying and is simply not going to recover….

#1) Do you remember that massive wave of subprime mortgages that defaulted in 2007 and 2008 and caused the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression?  Well, the “second wave” of mortgage defaults in on the way and there is simply no way that we are going to be able to avoid it.  A huge mountain of mortgages is going to reset starting in 2010, and once those mortgage payments go up there are once again going to be millons of people who simply cannot pay their mortgages.  The chart below reveals just how bad the second wave of adjustable rate mortgages is likely to be over the next several years….

#2) The Federal Housing Administration has announced plans to increase the amount of up-front cash paid by new borrowers and to require higher down payments from those with the poorest credit.  The Federal Housing Administration currently backs about 30 percent of all new home loans and about 20 percent of all new home refinancing loans.  Tighter standards are going to mean that less people will qualify for loans.  Less qualifiers means that there will be less buyers for homes.  Less buyers means that home prices are going to drop even more.

#3) It is getting really hard to find a job in the United States.  A total of 6,130,000 U.S. workers had been unemployed for 27 weeks or more in December 2009.  That was the most ever since the U.S. government started keeping track of this statistic in 1948.  In fact, it is more than double the 2,612,000 U.S. workers who were unemployed for a similar length of time in December 2008.  The reality is that once Americans lose their jobs they are increasingly finding it difficult to find new ones. 

#4) In December, there were also 929,000 “discouraged” workers who are not counted as part of the labor force because they have “given up” looking for work.  That is the most since the U.S. government first started keeping track of discouraged workers in 1949.  Many Americans have simply given up and are now chronically unemployed.

#5) Some areas of the U.S. are already virtually in a state of depression.  The mayor of Detroit estimates that the real unemployment rate in his city is now somewhere around 50 percent.

#6) For decades, our leaders in Washington pushed us towards “a global economy” and told us it would be so good for us.  But there is a flip side.  Now workers in the U.S. must compete with workers all over the world, and our greedy corporations are free to pursue the cheapest labor available anywhere on the globe.  Millions of jobs have already been shipped out of the United States, and Princeton University economist Alan S. Blinder estimates that 22% to 29% of all current U.S. jobs will be offshorable within two decades.  The days when blue collar workers could live the American Dream are gone and they are not going to come back.   

#7) During the 2001 recession, the U.S. economy lost 2% of its jobs and it took four years to get them back. This time around the U.S. economy has lost more than 5% of its jobs and there is no sign that the bleeding of jobs is going to stop any time soon.

#8) All of this unemployment is putting severe stress on state unemployment funds.  At this point, 25 state unemployment insurance funds have gone broke and the Department of Labor estimates that 15 more state unemployment funds will likely go broke within two years and will need massive loans from the federal government just to keep going.

#9) 37 million Americans now receive food stamps, and the program is expanding at a pace of about 20,000 people a day.  The United States of America is very quickly becoming a socialist welfare state.

#10) The number of Americans who are going broke is staggering.  1.41 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009 – a 32 percent increase over 2008.

#11) For decades, the fact that the U.S. dollar was the reserve currency of the world gave the U.S. financial system an unusual degree of stability.  But all of that is changing.  Foreign countries are increasingly turning away from the dollar to other currencies.  For example, Russia’s central bank announced on Wednesday that it had started buying Canadian dollars in a bid to diversify its foreign exchange reserves.

#12) The recent economic downturn has left some localities totally bankrupt.  For instance, Jefferson County, Alabama is on the brink of what would be the largest government bankruptcy in the history of the United States – surpassing the 1994 filing by Southern California’s Orange County.

#13) The U.S. is facing a pension crisis of unprecedented magnitude.  Virtually all pension funds in the United States, both private and public, are massively underfunded.  With millions of Baby Boomers getting ready to retire, there is simply no way on earth that all of these obligations can be met.  Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Chicago and Joshua D. Rauh of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management recently calculated the collective unfunded pension liability for all 50 U.S. states for Forbes magazine.  So what was the total?  3.2 trillion dollars.

#14) Social Security and Medicare expenses are wildly out of control.  Once again, with millions of Baby Boomers now at retirement age there is simply going to be no way to pay all of these retirees what they are owed.

#15) So will the U.S. government come to the rescue?  The U.S. has allowed the total federal debt to balloon by 50% since 2006 to $12.3 trillion.  The chart below is a bit outdated, but it does show the reckless expansion of U.S. government debt over the past several decades.  To get an idea of where we are now, just add at least 3 trillion dollars on to the top of the chart….

#16) So has the U.S. government learned anything from these mistakes?  No.  In fact, Senate Democrats on Wednesday proposed allowing the federal government to borrow an additional $2 trillion to pay its bills, a record increase that would allow the U.S. national debt to reach approximately $14.3 trillion

#17) It is going to become even harder for the U.S. government to pay the bills now that tax receipts are falling through the floor.  U.S. corporate income tax receipts were down 55% in the year that ended on September 30th, 2009.

#18) So where will the U.S. government get the money?  From the Federal Reserve of course.  The Federal Reserve bought approximately 80 percent of all U.S. Treasury securities issued in 2009.  In other words, the U.S. government is now being financed by a massive Ponzi scheme.

#19) The reckless expansion of the money supply by the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve is going to end up destroying the U.S. dollar and the value of the remaining collective net worth of all Americans.  The more dollars there are, the less each individual dollar is worth.  In essence, inflation is like a hidden tax on each dollar that you own.  When they flood the economy with money, the value of the money you have in your bank accounts goes down.  The chart below shows the growth of the U.S. money supply.  Pay particular attention to the very end of the chart which shows what has been happening lately.  What do you think this is going to do to the value of the U.S. dollar?….

#20) When a nation practices evil, there is no way that it is going to be blessed in the long run.  The truth is that we have become a nation that is dripping with corruption and wickedness from the top to the bottom.  Unless this fundamentally changes, not even the most perfect economic policies in the world are going to do us any good.  In the end, you always reap what you sow.  The day of reckoning for the U.S. economy is here and it is not going to be pleasant.

The Feds Were Quick To Bail Out Their Friends At The Big Banks But Are Letting All The Small Banks Die Like Dogs

The Feds Were Quick To Bail Out Their Friends At The Big Banks But Are Letting All The Small Banks Die Like DogsThe massive federal bailouts that Congress passed in 2008 and 2009 were supposed to stabilize the banking system and breathe new life into the U.S. economy.  We were told over and over that the major banks were “too big too fail” and that the U.S. government was helping “Main Street” by giving massive bailouts to Wall Street.  But unfortunately all that is not working out too well.  Instead, the major banks (which got the bailouts) have cut their collective small business lending for the seventh month in a row while the feds are letting all the small banks die like dogs.

The truth is that the major Wall Street banks that had friends positioned in the U.S. government were able to get massive bailouts during the economic collapse of 2008/2009, but all of the small banks that have been so good to so many communities across the United States for so many years are not getting any help.  In fact, there are rumors that they are purposely being allowed to fail.  In 2009, 140 banks and S&Ls failed.  In addition, 31 credit unions went under.  So that makes a total of 171 lending  institutions that were allowed to collapse in 2009.  It is estimated that the bank failures during this financial crisis have already cost the FDIC ten times more than the entire S&L crisis of the 1980s did.

But the crisis is far from over.  In fact, some analysts are now projecting that 200 banks will fail in the U.S. in 2010.

The FDIC is officially in the red and it is rapidly hemorrhaging cash and there is no sign that the bleeding is going to stop any time soon.  Small banks are failing at a rate that is beyond alarming.

But do you know what they are being told when they turn to the U.S. government for help?

They are being told to go find a big bank that is willing to gobble them up.

In fact, there are persistent rumors that the banking system is being consolidated by design.  So if that is the case, expect to see a lot more small banks continue to fail and get gobbled up by the sharks for pennies on the dollar.

Meanwhile, the big boys on Wall Street are being criticized for the gigantic year end bonuses that their top executives will be receiving.  

Life is good if you are a bankster.

So are all of those big Wall Street banks helping out “Main Street” by lending to small businesses?

No way. 

In fact, the biggest banks in the U.S. cut their collective small business lending balance by another $1 billion in November.  That drop was the seventh monthly decline in a row.

The truth is that in modern America, small businesses are incredibly dependent on credit.  For many small businesses, no credit means that they simply will not have the capital to operate.

But the big fat cats who got all of those bailouts have reduced their lending to small businesses each of the past seven months.

So, no, “Main Street” is not reaping the benefits of all of those bailouts.

Apparently the big banks needed to save up cash to pay all of those outrageous bonuses.

So all of the big banks are hoarding cash, and hundreds of small banks are being allowed to die like dogs.

What a mess!

Anyone have any ideas for cleaning it up?

Will Americans Be Able To Handle The Next Great Depression? Not If They Are Anything Like This Guy

Will Americans be able to handle the next Great Depression?  The truth is that most Americans today simply do not possess the strength of character to handle losing their jobs, their homes and the inflated lifestyles that we have all enjoyed by spending beyond our means.  During the Great Depression of the 1930s, things were different.  Family units were much stronger, people knew how to rely on each other and most Americans possessed enough morality and inner strength so that they did not freak out when things went from bad to worse.

But that is not the case in the United States today.  Instead, Americans have become a bunch of spoiled brats who come apart at the seams at the first sign of trouble.  We pushed prayer and the Ten Commandments as far out of public life as we could and instead we filled our minds with literally thousands of hours of character-rotting entertainment.  Now our families are falling apart, we’ve raised entire generations who expect the world to be handed to them on a silver platter, and we’ve got tens of millions of crybabies who don’t have any concept of how to respond to hard times.

But hard economic times are coming.  In fact, for many Americans they are already here.  So how will most Americans respond when they start losing their jobs and their homes?  Well, the truth is that we are already seeing a lot of people “go postal” because they simply do not know how to handle these setbacks.  Just consider the video below.  It is footage of one of the greatest office freakouts of all time.  If you were to get fired tomorrow, would you react like this guy?….  

The reality is that an economic collapse does not have to be the end of the world.  The guy in the video above could have gone out and tried to get another job or start his own business.  But instead he treated it like it was the end of his life and he threw a massive temper tantrum.

Unfortunately, we are likely to see an increasing number of spoiled Americans throw temper tantrums as the economic collapse goes from bad to worse in the years ahead.  The U.S. financial system is literally coming apart at the seams, and at this point there is very little that can be done to prevent a total economic breakdown.

So we are going to see more Americans trash their homes when they are foreclosed upon, we are going to see more Americans commit insurance fraud, we are going to see more Americans “go postal”, we are going to see more Americans freak out in public and we are going to see more Americans turn to crime.

Why?

Because the collective morality of America has experienced a catastrophic collapse.  People care very little about what is right or wrong anymore.  What they care about is what is going to make themselves happy and comfortable.

The only thing that has been keeping the entire U.S. from turning into New Orleans right after Hurricane Katrina is the relative level of affluence that we are all still experiencing.  Yes, things are not as good as they were, but the United States still has one of the highest standards of living in the world.

For now.

If you want to get an idea of where the U.S. is headed, go spend a few days in Detroit.  Once one of the shining examples of the American Dream, today many areas of Detroit resemble a war zone.  The real unemployment rate in Detroit is somewhere up around 45 or 50 percent and the crime rate is shooting through the roof.  Vandalism is rampant and some houses in the worst areas are virtually unsellable because they aren’t even worth the taxes that must be paid of them.

When people get desperate, their true character comes out.  When the U.S. financial system completely fails one day, the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted will evaporate in a matter of days.

At that point we will all wish that we had paid a lot more attention to teaching our kids about “character” and “morality”.