Economic Pain

For decades, most Americans have enjoyed an extremely high standard of living.  In fact, most of us have been “enjoying the high life” and “living the dream” for so long that we have assumed that it is just always going to be that way.  But now a rapidly growing percentage of Americans is getting the chance to experience some very serious economic pain.  Today, over 40 million Americans are on food stamps and over 20 million U.S. children are living in poverty.  Tens of millions of Americans are unemployed, and personal bankruptcies and foreclosures continue to set all-time records.  For many people, all of this economic turmoil was completely unexpected.  Millions of people now can’t sleep at night because they are constantly stressed about finances.  More couples than ever are being torn about by arguments over money.  Unprecedented numbers of Americans have experienced a sinking feeling in the pit of their stomachs upon the realization that they are going to lose the homes that they have been raising their families in.  Money may not buy happiness, but as tens of millions of Americans are finding out, the lack of it can bring a whole lot of pain. (Read More...)

Credit Crunch 2010

Over the past several decades, one of the primary engines of U.S. economic prosperity has been a constantly expanding debt spiral.  As long as the U.S. government, state governments, businesses and American consumers could all continue to borrow increasingly large amounts of money, the economy was going to continue to grow and “the greatest party on earth” could continue.  But many of us knew that if anything ever came along and significantly interrupted that debt spiral, it could cause a credit crunch even more severe than we saw at the beginning of the Great Depression back in the 1930s.  You see, back in the “roaring 20s”, American businesses and consumers had leveraged themselves like never before.  Debt soared to record levels and when the credit spigot was suddenly turned off the whole thing came crashing down and it took an entire decade and a world war to recover.  Well, today things are frighteningly similar.  Over the past 30 years we have piled up unprecedented mountains of debt.  In fact, today our entire economic system is based on debt.  So what would a credit crunch do to an economy based on debt?  Well, it would absolutely devastate it of course.  So are we facing a credit crunch in 2010?  Yes.  Consumer credit in the United States has already contracted during 15 of the past 16 months, and there is every indication that things are about to get even worse. (Read More...)

Disaster Plan

Does your family have an economic disaster plan?  If not, why not?  By now, most people know that very hard economic times are coming.  No, America is not going to turn into a post-apocalyptic war zone where motorcycle gangs ravage the populace next week, but the truth is that it doesn’t take a genius to understand that the U.S. economic system (and indeed the entire world economic system) is in the process of dying.  For decades we have lived far beyond our means by borrowing insane amounts of money, but the party is ending and now many of us are going to get to experience what it means to live below our means.  The golden days of the U.S. economic machine are gone, and now we are moving into a time when we are going to reap the fruit of the incredibly foolish economic policies of the past hundred years.  Meanwhile, the two major political parties will continue to play the American people against each other.  The Democrats will insist that everything will be great if we just give them control.  The Republicans will insist that everything will be great if we just give them control.  But the truth is that both political parties have had numerous chances over the past 50 years, and each of them have blown them badly.  Both parties have had a hand in piling up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world, both parties have been complicit in shipping our jobs and our factories off to China and to dozens of third world nations, both parties have dramatically expanded the size of government and the welfare state when they were in control, and both parties have continually handed more power to the big banks and to the Federal Reserve.  We built an entire economy based on paper money and a gigantic spiral of debt and now the wheels are starting to come off and people are starting to panic.  We are truly going to pay the price for decades of foolish decisions. (Read More...)

Will Thousands Of Police Layoffs Unleash Chaos And Anarchy Across America?

Thousands of police officers have been laid off all across America since the current economic crisis began.  Thousands more are getting ready to be laid off.  So could we be on the verge of a new era of chaos and anarchy in America as crime runs wild and there are just far too few police to respond to it all?  That is the message that one blood-smeared billboard in Stockton, California is trying to get across.  Paid for by the Stockton, California police union, the message of the billboard is chillingly clear: “Welcome to the 2nd most dangerous city in California. Stop laying off cops.”  As state, city and local governments across the United States continue to be devastated by the ongoing economic crisis, budget cuts are becoming much deeper and police forces have suddenly become a very popular target. (Read More...)

The U.S. Economy Is A Dead Horse And The American People Are Starting To Get Really Pissed Off And Frustrated

The economic frustration of the American people is reaching a fever pitch.  Millions of Americans can’t seem to get a good job no matter what they do.  Millions of others are working as hard as they can but find that they keep coming up short at the end of the month.  Record numbers of Americans are still going bankrupt.  Record numbers of Americans are still losing their homes.  Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is a dead horse at this point.  It just doesn’t have any more to give.  At this point the U.S. economy is like an aging rock star that requires larger and larger doses of drugs each night just to be able to perform.  The U.S. economy is addicted to “drugs” such as debt and government stimulus, and years ago those things really supercharged the U.S. economic system, but at this point they aren’t provoking much of a response at all.  In fact, the things that once “stimulated” the economy are now slowly killing it.  But the vast majority of the American people do not understand this.  All they know is that the economy is broken and they want someone to “fix” it. (Read More...)

What Does The Financial Reform Bill Do Other Than Being Completely And Utterly Worthless?

Is it possible to write a 2,300 page piece of legislation that accomplishes next to nothing and is pretty much completely and utterly worthless?  The answer is yes.  Barack Obama has been trumpeting the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill as the “biggest rewrite of Wall Street rules since the Great Depression”, but the truth is that after the Wall Street lobbyists got done carving it up, the bill that was left was so watered down and so toothless that it essentially accomplishes nothing except creating even more government bureaucracy and even more mind-numbing paperwork.  The bill is so riddled with loopholes for the big banks that it is basically the legislative equivalent of Swiss cheese.  The Democrats in the Senate were ecstatic when they announced that they had secured the 60 votes needed to pass this legislation, but when they are asked about what the financial reform bill will do, most of them are left stammering for some kind of cohesive response.  The sad truth is that most of them probably don’t understand the bill and none of them will probably ever read the entire thing. (Read More...)

Economic Problems?

With each passing news cycle, it seems like the economic headlines just keep getting worse.  And unfortunately, the highly integrated global economy that we have constructed means that what happens on one side of the world is going to very likely have a big impact on the other side of the world.  A meltdown in New York or Los Angeles is going to affect London, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Moscow, Beijing and Tokyo.  That is just the way the world works now.  Back in 2007 and 2008, the financial crisis that began in the United States devastated economies across the globe.  So are there any economic problems brewing out there right now that could send another wave of panic across the globe? (Read More...)

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