Free Trade Or Fair Trade? 20 Reasons Why All Americans Should Be Against The Insane Trade Policies Of The Globalists

It is absolutely amazing how many Americans are still convinced that more “free trade” is the answer to our economic problems.  The truth is that there is a vast difference between “free trade” and “fair trade”, and in this article I will prove that all true conservatives and all true liberals should be completely against the insane trade policies of the federal government.  Yes, we will always need to trade with other nations.  Other nations make or have things that we need to trade for.  Balanced trade relationships with other nations that have similar economies and that share similar values can be very beneficial.  For example, our trading relationship with Canada, though not perfect, is generally beneficial to both sides.  However, the United States also has dozens of trading relationships that are highly destructive to the U.S. economy.  There are some predatory nations that are blatantly and openly cheating and everyone can see it.  They are getting away with bloody murder and they are robbing us blind.  The United States of America is being taken advantage of, and as a result thousands of good businesses are being destroyed and millions of good jobs are being lost.  If you are an American and you are in favor of all of the unfair trade that is currently going on, then either you don’t know much about economics or you actually want to see the U.S. economy be destroyed.

Congress has just passed new free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.  The Obama administration has also made “the NAFTA of the Pacific” a very high priority.

Obama says that all of these new trade pacts will create more U.S. jobs.

Well, either Barack Obama is completely ignorant when it comes to economics or else he is lying.

When we merge our economy with the economies of nations where wages are much lower, it is inevitable that large numbers of jobs are going to leave the high wage areas (where we live) and go to areas where wages are much lower.

It also certainly does not help that we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world, that we burden our businesses with mountains of ridiculous regulations,  and that we allow our “trade partners” to give their businesses a huge advantage by openly subsidizing them.

The way that the system is set up now, nearly all U.S. businesses are at a massive, massive disadvantage.  In general, the only businesses that can compete effectively in this environment are the giant corporations that can offshore huge portions of their operations.

If you are a conservative, then there is no way that you should support our current trade policies.  If you are a liberal, then there is no way that you should support our current trade policies.

However, if you are a “George W. Bush Republican” or a “Clinton/Obama Democrat” that believes in globalism and the establishment of a one world economy as part of a “New World Order”, then it would make sense why you would want to see America deindustrialized and brought down to the level of the rest of the world.

But if you are a true conservative or a true liberal, then the following are reasons why you should be horrified by our current trade policies….

#1 Other Nations Openly Manipulate Their Currencies In Order To Gain A Significant Competitive Advantage

For example, China keeps its currency set at a super low level relative to the U.S. dollar.  By doing this, their products are far cheaper than U.S. products, and U.S. businesses cannot compete with them.  This has resulted in the death of large numbers of U.S. businesses and the loss of millions of U.S. jobs.

So just how bad is this problem?  Well, a recent CNN article stated the following….

Critics of China’s policy estimate that the yuan is still undervalued by 25% to 40%, even with the recent rises in value.

The other day the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would impose tariffs on currency manipulators, and China has already retaliated, even though the bill has not become law yet and even though it almost certainly won’t.

China plays hardball.  They love the advantage that they are getting right now and they do not plan on losing it.

#2 Millions Of Good Paying Jobs Have Been Shipped Overseas And They Are Never Coming Back

Our politicians all try to tell us how good they are at creating jobs.

But what is the truth?

The truth is that a total of zero jobs were created last decade.  The following is a quote from a recent article in Washington Monthly….

“If any single number captures the state of the American economy over the last decade, it is zero. That was the net gain in jobs between 1999 and 2009—nada, nil, zip. By painful contrast, from the 1940s through the 1990s, recessions came and went, but no decade ended without at least a 20 percent increase in the number of jobs.”

Last decade we opened up our trade with the rest of the world more than ever before.  But instead of creating jobs it destroyed them.  Our trade deficits exploded and unemployment skyrocketed.

The Economic Policy Institute says that since 2001 America has lost approximately 2.8 million jobs due to our trade deficit with China alone.

So if you are unemployed, that is probably what happened to the job you are supposed to have.

It went overseas and it is not coming back.

#3 America Is Being Deindustrialized At A Blistering Pace Thanks To Globalism

The advocates of “free trade” cannot dispute the cold, hard facts….

*The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

*The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

*If you can believe it, more than 42,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been closed down since 2001.

*Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.

*Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.

#4 (For Conservatives) True Conservatives Should Be Horrified That We Are Being Taken Advantage Of By A Hardcore Communist Nation That Hates Us

Ronald Reagan would have never engaged in “free trade” with the Soviet Union.  The Communist Party is in complete control of China and while we may regard China as a “frenemy”, they really do believe that they will totally defeat us someday.  If you doubt this, just read what the top generals and politicians in China are writing.

It is so incredibly stupid what we are doing.  Our trade relationship with China has enabled the largest communist economy in the world to go from third world status to superpower status.  China is now the second largest economy in the world, and that would have never happened without our help.

A lot of people like to talk about how “capitalist” China is becoming, but the truth is that they have never wavered from their pure belief in communism.  7 of the 10 largest corporations in China are owned by the government.

A host of other corporations in China are very deeply subsidized by the government.

U.S. businesses have a very hard time competing with foreign businesses that are deeply subsidized by their own national governments.

It is called cheating, and we let other countries get away with it.

So our businesses die and their products fill up our store shelves.

#5 We Are Endangering Our National Security By Greatly Enriching Our Biggest Potential Enemies

The biggest threats to the United States are not some goat herders hiding out in the caves of Afghanistan.

The biggest threats to the United States are actually China and Russia.

Conservatives are supposed to be the ones that are so concerned about national security.  But instead of expressing concerns about China, they just keep pushing for more free trade.

As a result, China has been able to become a true global military superpower.

Someday we will deeply, deeply regret that.

#6 China Brazenly Steals Technology From Anyone And Everyone That They Can

China gets away with bloody murder when it comes to stealing technology.  They will do it “legally” if they can, and they will do it in “other ways” if they have to.

At this point, China has invented a whole host of ways to extract technology from any firms that wants to do business in China.

The following is a short excerpt from a recent article on CNN….

Foreign companies are often required to set-up joint ventures with Chinese firms before the can start doing business there. And China is instituting new “indigenous innovation” rules that U.S. companies say force them to transfer their own technology to their Chinese partners.

#7 We Should Never Trade With Any Nation That Has A “One Child” Policy

China has a very strict “one child policy” which should be absolutely abhorrent to all Americans.

Most Americans have no idea what is really going on over in China.  The following is from a recent article in the Epoch Times….

Pregnant women lacking birth permits are hunted down like criminals by population planning police in China and forcibly aborted.

All over China, mobile abortion vans are used to help enforce the one child policy.  What women in China must endure is absolutely sickening, and this kind of behavior should never be accepted in the global community.

But instead of penalizing China, we reward them for this behavior.  They even get awards at the United Nations for it.

Look, conservatives are supposed to be pro-life.  If you are a social conservative, then it goes against everything that you believe to support trade with China.

You can support trade with China if you want, but then don’t even try to call yourself “pro-life” again.

We should never trade with any nation that has a “one child policy”.  Such a policy is against everything that America is supposed to stand for.

#8 Our Horrendous Trade Imbalance Has Allowed Other Nations To Accumulate Gigantic Amounts Of Our Debt

Every month, we send much more money to the rest of the world than they send to us.  One thing that those other nations are doing with all of that money is that they are buying up our debt.

Our trade deficit with China has enabled them to accumulate nearly a trillion dollars of our debt.  This gives them tremendous leverage over us and is a very serious threat to our economy and to our national security.

So now China can threaten the stability of our financial system with just a phone call.

#9 Globalist Trade Institutions Are A Serious Threat To Our National Sovereignty

Today, the “global economy” is governed by globalist institutions such as the G20, the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank.  The United States has given up huge amounts of national sovereignty to these organizations.

If you are a true conservative, this should greatly disturb you.

We don’t want faceless international bureaucrats telling us what our trade policies will be.  But to a large degree that is the situation that we have gotten ourselves into.

#10 Liberals (And All Americans) Are Supposed To Care About What Is Best For American Workers

Millions of working class jobs have been shipped overseas, and yet Barack Obama just keeps pushing for more “free trade” agreements which will make the problem even worse.

But instead of screaming bloody murder, liberals keep on supporting Obama.

It’s disgusting.

The truth is that the Obama administration actually says that there are certain kinds of jobs that we “don’t want” in the United States.

For example, the following is what U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk recently told Tim Robertson of the Huffington Post about the Obama administration’s attitude toward keeping manufacturing jobs in America….

Let’s increase our competitiveness… the reality is about half of our imports, our trade deficit is because of how much oil [we import], so you take that out of the equation, you look at what percentage of it are things that frankly, we don’t want to make in America, you know, cheaper products, low-skill jobs that frankly college kids that are graduating from, you know, UC Cal and Hastings [don’t want], but what we do want is to capture those next generation jobs and build on our investments in our young people, our education infrastructure.

So where is the outrage?

Is anyone even awake out there?

Even the construction of many of our roads and bridges is being outsourced to China.  Just check out the following quote from a recent ABC News article….

In New York there is a $400 million renovation project on the Alexander Hamilton Bridge.

In California, there is a $7.2 billion project to rebuild the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland.

In Alaska, there is a proposal for a $190 million bridge project.

These projects sound like steps in the right direction, but much of the work is going to Chinese government-owned firms.

“When we subsidize jobs in China, we’re not creating any wealth in the United States,” said Scott Paul, executive director for the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

Liberals are supposed to be working to defend the working class.

So why won’t they openly go after Obama on these issues?

Our unfair trade agreements have put American workers in direct competition for jobs with the cheapest labor on the globe.

Until this is fixed, you will continue to hear a “great sucking sound” as millions of jobs continue to leave the United States and go to places where labor is ten to twenty times cheaper.

It is insanity what we are doing.  We allow big corporations to send their manufacturing offshore and also to ship their products back into the United States for free.

Where in that equation is good news for the American worker?

#11 Liberals (And All Americans) Should Be Horrified By The Exploitation Of Slave Labor Around The Globe

All over the globe, workers toil in nightmarish conditions for slave labor pay just so that Americans can feed their addiction for cheap foreign products.

Big corporations and collectivist governments such as China are getting unbelievably rich by exploiting this slave labor pool.

Get educated about this and find out the truth.  It just might totally change the way that you view “free trade”.

#12 Liberals (And All Americans) Should Be Horrified By The Damage To The Environment Our Trade Relationships Cause

Liberals are supposed to deeply care about the environment.  But our trade relationship with nations on the other side of the globe result in thousands of factories and businesses leaving our shores and ending up in countries where the environmental regulations are not nearly as strict.  In fact, nations such as China are a complete and total environmental nightmare at this point.  If liberals truly cared about the environment they would want to keep factories and businesses here.

#13 Very Dangerous Products Continue To Flood Into This Country From Overseas

Isn’t product safety supposed to be a big thing for liberals?  Today, a huge percentage of the products we buy are made outside the United States far from the watchful eyes of our regulatory agencies.  Over the past couple of years, there has been headline after headline about dangerous products made in China.  The following is just one example of this: 10 Babies Die Mysteriously At Fort Bragg: Toxic Drywall From China Used In Base Homes The Culprit?

#14 The Globalization Of The Economy Causes Income Inequality To Grow

By paying slave labor wages to workers overseas, the big corporations are becoming very wealthy.  At the same time, that means that there are much fewer jobs for average working class Americans, and wages for the jobs that remain are pushed down because of increased competition for jobs.

So the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

If you don’t believe that income inequality in the United States has become a huge problem, just check out this chart.

#15 Because Of All Of The Cheating And All Of The Predatory Behavior That Is Going On, Our Trade Relationships Have Become Incredibly Imbalanced

Today, the United States spends about 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.

So how is that even close to “fair”?

Our store shelves are absolutely packed with stuff from China.

In 2010, the number one U.S. export to China was “scrap and trash”.

Even in high technology products we are being destroyed.  In 2002, the United States had a trade deficit in “advanced technology products” of $16 billion with the rest of the world.  In 2010, that number skyrocketed to $82 billion.

#16 Our Gigantic Trade Deficit Is Destroying Our National Wealth

The United States has had a negative trade balance every single year since 1976, and since that time the United States has run a total trade deficit of more than 7.5 trillion dollars with the rest of the world.

Our gigantic trade deficits are making us poorer as a nation each and every month.  Each year, somewhere around half a trillion dollars of our national wealth gets transferred out of the United States.  That half a trillion dollars could be going to support U.S. businesses and U.S. jobs.  Taxes could be paid on that half a trillion dollars.  But instead it leaves the country and makes other nations wealthier.

#17 The Globalization Of The Economy Has Caused Unemployment In The United States To Explode

If you gathered together all of the workers that are “officially” unemployed in the United States today, they would constitute the 68th largest country in the world.

#18 As Our Cities Are Deindustrialized, Many Of Them Are Being Transformed Into Absolute Hellholes

The other day, I wrote the following about what is happening in cities and towns across the United States….

All across America there are cities and towns that were once prosperous and beautiful that are being transformed into absolute hellholes.  The scars left by the long-term economic decline of the United States are getting deeper and more gruesome.

#19 Without Good Jobs, An Increasing Number Of Americans Are Having To Turn To Government Assistance

We are going to support U.S. workers one way or another.  Either we are going to provide them with good jobs, or we are going to let their jobs be shipped out of the country and we are going to pay for the government to feed and house them.

Today, there are more than 45 million Americans on food stamps.  That number has gone up by more than 70 percent since 2007.  Almost every single month we set a new all-time record for the number of people being fed by the federal government.

#20 If Nothing Is Done, All Of This Is Going To Get A Lot Worse

According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades.

Can you imagine what America is going to look like if that happens?

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Okay, so in light of all of that information, can anyone out there defend the current “free trade” policies of the federal government?

Please feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below….

The Sky Is Falling, It Is Time To Panic And The U.S. Economy Has Fallen And It Can’t Get Up

So many economists and financial pundits seem absolutely shocked that the U.S. economy is slowing down again.  It is as if this latest wave of bad economic data has caught them completely by surprise.  Now, in the mainstream media we are seeing all kinds of headlines declaring that the U.S. economy is headed for disaster.  But anyone with half a brain could have seen this coming.  This year alone, we have seen the worst tsunami in Japanese history, the worst U.S. tornado season in recent memory and the worst Mississippi River flooding in decades.  In addition, chaos in the Middle East has pushed the price of oil up to very high levels.  Of course all of those things were going to have an effect on the economy.  In addition, all of the long-term trends that have been destroying the U.S. economy for decades have not been taken a breather.  In fact, the truth is that all of our long-term economic problems have been accelerating.  So yes, the sky is falling, it is time to panic and the U.S. economy really has fallen and it really can’t get up.  It is just that everyone in the mainstream media seems to have believed that Ben Bernanke and Barack Obama would just sprinkle a bunch of fairy dust on the economy and everything would just magically get better.  Well, in the real world things simply do not work that way.

Despite an unprecedented debt binge by the federal government and nightmarish money printing by the Federal Reserve, the economic downturn continues to drag on.  Andrew Barber, a strategist at Waverly Advisors in Corning, New York recently told CNN the following….

“People are starting to see that this sort of malaise is not just going to go away no matter what you do.”

And “malaise” is a really good word for what we have been experiencing.  For those that remember the late 1970s, what we are going through today is similar in a lot of ways.

But what is perhaps even more frightening is that 2011 is starting to look a lot like 2008 all over again.

In particular, we are starting to see some real signs of instability in the financial markets.

When Moody’s downgraded Greek debt again on Wednesday all the way down to Caa1, I was only moderately alarmed.  The truth is that everyone knows Greece is a basket case so a debt downgrade wasn’t really all that surprising.

When Moody’s announced that it plans to review the U.S. government’s AAA debt rating “if there is no progress on increasing the statutory debt limit in coming weeks” that got the attention of a lot of people around the world, but it was not totally unexpected. Moody’s is telling Congress that they better raise the debt ceiling or else.  A lot more pressure will be applied to Congress before this is over.

When Moody’s warned that it may downgrade the debt ratings of Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo, that really set off alarm bells for me.

Do you all remember what set off the financial panic in 2008?

Do the names “Bear Stearns” and “Lehman Brothers” ring a bell?

Well, right now there are some frightening indications that we may see more trouble at some “too big to fail” institutions.

But will there be any willingness to do more bailouts this time?

Right now the financial markets are closely mirroring their performance just prior to the financial collapse of 2008.  One great example of this is these charts which were recently posted by the Financial Armageddon blog.  It looks like bank stocks may once again be leading the way down.

Hopefully the financial system can hold together and we won’t have a repeat of 2008 right now, because if it happens it is going to be really messy.

But even without a “financial collapse” we already have all of the economic problems that we can handle.

Robert Brusca, the chief economist at FAO Economics, is being quoted by CNN as saying the following….

“We’ve had a poor economic recovery to begin with, and now it appears to be segueing into an end.”

At this point, U.S. consumer confidence is already lower than it was back in September 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed.  U.S. consumers are holding on to their money more tightly these days and that is not a good sign for an economy that is so highly dependent on consumer spending.

The latest manufacturing numbers have also been very distressing.  Measures of manufacturing activity all over the world are indicating that we have now entered an economic slowdown.  This is also similar to what we saw a few years ago.

We should all feel really bad for anyone that is entering the workforce right now.  We are in the midst of graduation season, and the only thing that our new graduates have to look forward to is an economic crisis that never seems to end.

On a recent article entitled “Global Financial Markets Tremble As Bad Economic News Continues To Pour In” a reader named Esta left the following comment….

I feel sad for yet another year of graduates entering a horrible job market. I recently read, and I think it was in the mainstream media, that only half the 2010 college grads have found jobs of any kind, only half of those have found jobs requiring a college education, and that 85 percent of all grads moved right back in with their parents. The job growth rate is so low that we keep employing fewer and fewer people as a percentage of our adult population. Why isn’t that still a recession?

What a future our college graduates have to look forward to, eh?  Moving back in with your parents, a crappy job (if you can find one) and a pile of student loan debt that will crush you financially for decades.

We are always told that “more education” is the answer, but even many of our most highly educated young people can’t find jobs.  In fact, it turns out that a third of last year’s law school graduates aren’t even practicing law….

The law school class of 2010 is making news for all the wrong reasons. The budding legal minds who managed to find employment last year have set a new record–only 68.4 percent of them are in jobs that require them to pass the bar exam, the lowest share since the Association for Legal Professionals began collecting data.

Now it looks like the economy is going to starting heading downhill once again.

What is that going to do to the job market?

Last year, only 45.4% of Americans had jobs.  That was the lowest figure since 1983.

In some states it was even worse than that.  In states like California, Arizona and Mississippi only about 37 percent of people had a job last year.

The economic news just seems to get worse and worse and worse.  The American people have been relatively calm over the past several years as they have waited for the promised “economic recovery”, but what do you think is going to happen if we have another major economic downturn and unemployment spikes back up by several more percentage points?

And what in the world can our “leaders” really do to “help” the economy if we do have a repeat of 2008?

We are already running trillion dollar deficits.

The Federal Reserve is already printing money like it is going out of style.

So what would their next moves be?

Most Americans have no idea how fragile our financial system and our economy really are.

Let us hope and pray that things can hold together for as long as possible, because when the next wave of the economic collapse happens it is going to be really, really messy.

Suddenly Everyone Is Warning About The Next Financial Collapse

Are we about to see a repeat of 2008 (or something even worse)? Suddenly all kinds of people are coming out of the woodwork and warning that we could be on the verge of the next major financial collapse. Of course many economists and financial pundits just enjoy hearing themselves talk, and sometimes they will make outrageous claims just to get attention, but when so many ominous warnings come out all at once it does tend to make one sit up and take notice. The truth is that global financial markets are even more vulnerable today than they were in 2008, and all over the globe we are seeing trouble signs. Japan is trying to recover from the worst natural disaster that they have ever seen and they are dealing with a nuclear crisis that never seems to end. The Europeans are trying to put another bailout package for Greece together and about a half dozen more European nations that are drowning in debt will need bailouts after that. In the U.S., there are all kinds of signs pointing to the collapse of the economy and the politicians in Washington D.C. continue to “kick the can down the road” and hope that our economic problems will somehow fix themselves.  Oil prices are incredibly high and turmoil is sweeping the globe.  Conditions are certainly developing that could bring about a “perfect storm” and cause another global financial collapse.

The following is just a sampling of the financial warnings that we have seen in recent days from some prominent voices….

*Economist Nouriel Roubini: “I think right now we’re on the tipping point of a market correction. Data from the U.S., from Europe, from Japan, from China are suggesting an economic slowdown.”

*Jim Rogers: “I would expect to see some serious problems in the foreseeable future….By 2011, 2012, 2013, 2013, I don’t know when, we’re going to have an economic slowdown again.”

*Mark Mobius, the executive chairman of Templeton Asset Management’s emerging markets group: “There is definitely going to be another financial crisis around the corner because we haven’t solved any of the things that caused the previous crisis.”

*David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices: “Home prices continue on their downward spiral with no relief in sight.”

*Jeffrey Gundlach, CEO of DoubleLine Capital: “I think we’re looking at some type of echo in the credit crisis coming up here. That’s what I’m afraid of.”

*Carl Icahn: “I do think that there could be another major problem. Now, will it happen next week, next year, i don’t know and certainly nobody knows, but i don’t think that the system is working properly. I really find it amazing that we’re almost back to where it was, where there’s so much leverage going on in the investment banks today. There’s just way too much leverage and way too much risk-taking, with other people’s money.”

Sadly, the world really did not seem to learn much of anything from 2008.  Global financial markets are still pretty much operating the same way that they did before the last crisis.

But back before the crisis in 2008 things were much more stable around the globe.

When the horrible earthquake and tsunami struck Japan earlier this year, most economists brushed it off and believed that Japan would be “resilient” and would bounce back very quickly.

At the time, I went directly against the mainstream consensus with this article: “14 Reasons Why The Economic Collapse Of Japan Has Begun“.

I followed that up with another article entitled “The Japanese Economy Is In Much Bigger Trouble Than Most People Think“.

So who was right?

Well, it turns out that Japan is now officially in a recession.  Their economy contracted at a 3.7 percent annualized rate during the first quarter.

As bad as that number is, just remember that the tsunami did not even hit until March 11th.

So what is the 2nd quarter number going to look like?

There is often a lag between a disaster and the economic effects of the disaster.  The economic impact of this nightmare is going to be felt in Japan for many years to come.  In fact, it is going to be very interesting to see what kind of earnings reports we seeing coming out of Japan in the months ahead.

The economic problems in Japan are also really starting to be felt around the rest of the globe.  The other day, USA Today published an article with the following headline: “U.S. economy damaged more than thought by Japan quake“.

Amazingly, everyone seems to be really surprised that the worst tsunami in modern history is having a significant economic impact.

Meanwhile, the crisis at Fukushima just continues to get worse.

In case you haven’t noticed, the Japanese are not even close to finding a solution to this crisis.

If you want to get a good idea just how bad things are getting around Fukushima, just read this article by Natural News: “Land around Fukushima now radioactive dead zone; resembles target struck by atomic bomb“.

The mainstream media has been doing their best to downplay the crisis at Fukushima, but the truth is that it is now a worse disaster than Chernobyl and life in that region will never be the same again.

Conditions are also ripe in Europe for another financial collapse.

Have you been watching what has been going on in Greece?

It’s crazy.  Without another bailout the Greek government will soon start defaulting on their debts.

The EU and the IMF don’t want to give Greece more bailout money unless there are some significant “strings” attached.  But they also know that if Greece is not bailed out it will cause complete chaos in the financial markets.

The Greek population does not want more bailouts and more austerity.  There have been protests all over the country. Greek citizens have been pulling billions out of Greek banks as the country descends into chaos.

In the end, another bailout deal will get pushed through and the can will be kicked down the road a little while longer.

But what about all of the other European nations that need bailouts?

The government of Ireland is already indicating that they may need another bailout.

Portugal, Spain and Italy (along with several other European nations) are also teetering on the brink of financial disaster.

Most Americans do not realize it, but the European sovereign debt crisis really could set off another global financial crash.  Everyone really should be watching Europe.  It is going to be a very interesting summer.

Of course the United States continues to be an economic basket case.

More depressing housing data came out today.  U.S. home prices are now 5.1% lower than they were a year ago and they have fallen back to mid-2002 levels. CNN is declaring that a housing “double-dip” has been confirmed.

Sadly, U.S. home prices have now fallen farther during this economic downturn than they did during the Great Depression.

Also, the consumer confidence index fell from 66 in April to 60.8 this month.

Americans are becoming more pessimistic about the economy.

According to Gallup, 41 percent of Americans believed that the economy was “getting better” at this time last year.  Today, that number is at just 27 percent.

We are seeing a tremendous about of inflation in 2011, but incomes are not rising.  Unemployment is still rampant and very few jobs are being created.  What is even sadder is that a very high percentage of the jobs that are being created are part-time or temporary jobs.

But this was supposed to be the “recovery”.  Barack Obama and the Congress pushed through “stimulus package” after “stimulus package”.  We added trillions to our national debt.  The Federal Reserve has been printing money like crazy.  An all-out effort was made to pump up the U.S. economy in the short-term.

So after all of that, is this what the “recovery” is going to look like?

Meanwhile, all of those efforts have also made our long-term economic problems even worse.

Because of our exploding national debt and the reckless money printing by the Federal Reserve, faith in the U.S. dollar is dying.  Even the United Nations is warning of a potential dollar collapse.

We are in big, big trouble.

This is about as good as things are going to get for the U.S. economy.  Despite unprecedented efforts, the U.S. economy is still struggling mightily and our long-term economic problems are scarier than ever.

Sadly, most Americans still believe that wonderful economic times are on the way.  Most believe that this downturn is just temporary and that things will soon be better than ever.

How do you think they are going to feel when they find out the truth?

20 Questions To Ask Anyone Foolish Enough To Believe The Economic Crisis Is Over

If you listen to Ben Bernanke, Barack Obama and the mainstream media long enough, and if you didn’t know any better, you might be tempted to think that the economic crisis is long gone and that we are in the midst of a burgeoning economic recovery.  Unfortunately, the truth is that the economic crisis is far from over.  In 2010, more homes were repossessed than ever before, more Americans were on food stamps than ever before and a smaller percentage of American men had jobs than ever before.  The reality is that the United States is an economic basket case and all of these natural disasters certainly are not helping things.  The Federal Reserve has been printing gigantic piles of money and the U.S. government has been borrowing and spending cash at a dizzying pace in an all-out effort to stabilize things.  They have succeeded for the moment, but our long-term economic problems are worse then ever.  We are still in the middle of a full-blown economic crisis and things are about to get even worse.

If you know someone that is foolish enough to believe that the economic crisis is over and that our economic problems are behind us, just ask that person the following questions….

#1 During the 23 months of the “Obama recovery”, an average of about 23,000 jobs a month have been created.  It takes somewhere in the neighborhood of 150,000 jobs a month just to keep up with population growth.  So shouldn’t we hold off a bit before we declare the economic crisis to be over?

#2 During the “recession”, somewhere between 6.3 million and 7.5 million jobs were lost.  During the “Obama recovery”, approximately 535,000 jobs have been added.  When will the rest of the jobs finally come back?

#3 Of the 535,000 jobs that have been created during the “Obama recovery”, only about 35,000 of them are permanent full-time jobs. Today, “low income jobs” account for 41 percent of all jobs in the United States. If our economy is recovering, then why can’t it produce large numbers of good jobs that will enable people to provide for their families?

#4 Agricultural commodities have been absolutely soaring this decade.  The combined price of cotton, wheat, gasoline and hogs is now more than 3 times higher than it was back in 2002.  So how in the world can the Federal Reserve claim that inflation has been at minimal levels all this time?

#5 Back in 2008, banks had a total of 27 billion dollars in excess reserves at the Fed.  Today, banks have a total of approximately 1.5 trillion dollars in excess reserves at the Fed.  So what is going to happen when all of this money eventually hits the economy?….

#6 If the U.S. economy is recovering, then why are shipments by U.S. factories still substantially below 2008 levels?

#7 Why are imports of goods from overseas growing much more rapidly than shipments of goods from U.S. factories?

#8 According to Zillow, the average price of a home in the U.S. is about 8 percent lower than it was a year ago and that it continues to fall about 1 percent a month. During the first quarter of 2011, home values declined at the fastest rate since late 2008. So can we really talk about a “recovery” when the real estate crisis continues to get worse?

#9 According to a shocking new survey, 54 percent of Americans believe that a housing recovery is “unlikely” until at least 2014.  So how is the housing industry supposed to improve if so many people are convinced that it will not?

#10 The latest GDP numbers out of Japan are a complete and total disaster.  During the first quarter GDP declined by a stunning 3.7 percent.  Of course I have been saying for months that the Japanese economy is collapsing, but most mainstream economists were absolutely stunned by the latest figures.  So will the rest of the world be able to avoid slipping into a recession as well?

#11 Next week, Republicans in the House of Representatives are going to allow a vote on raising the debt ceiling.  Everyone knows that this is an opportunity for Republican lawmakers to “look tough” to their constituents (the vast majority of which do not want the debt ceiling raised).  Everyone also knows that eventually the Republicans are almost certainly going to cave on the debt ceiling after minimal concessions by the Democrats.  The truth is that neither “establishment Republicans” nor “establishment Democrats” are actually serious about significantly cutting government debt.  So why do we need all of this political theater?

#12 Why are so many of our once great manufacturing cities being transformed into hellholes?  In the city of Detroit today, there are over 33,000 abandoned houses, 70 schools are being permanently closed down, the mayor wants to bulldoze one-fourth of the city and you can literally buy a house for one dollar in the worst areas.

#13 According to one new survey, about half of all Baby Boomers fear that when they retire they are going to end up living in poverty.  So who is going to take care of them all when the money runs out?

#14 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average of about 5 million Americans were being hired every single month during 2006.  Today, an average of about 3.5 million Americans are being hired every single month.  So why are our politicians talking about “economic recovery” instead of “the collapse of the economy” when hiring remains about 50 percent below normal?

#15 Since August, 2 million more Americans have left the labor force.  But the entire period from August to today was supposed to have been a time of economic growth and recovery.  So why are so many Americans giving up on looking for a job?

#16 According to Gallup, 41 percent of Americans believed that the economy was “getting better” at this time last year.  Today, that number is at just 27 percent.  Are Americans losing faith in the U.S. economy?

#17 According to the U.S. Census, the number of children living in poverty has gone up by about 2 million in just the past 2 years, and one out of every four American children is currently on food stamps.  During this same time period, Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke have told us over and over that the U.S. economy has been getting better. So what is the truth?

#18 America has become absolutely addicted to government money. 59 percent of all Americans now receive money from the federal government in one form or another. U.S. households are now receiving more income from the U.S. government than they are paying to the government in taxes. Americans hate having their taxes raised and they hate having their government benefits cut.  So is there any hope that this will ever be turned around before disaster strikes?

#19 The combined debt of the major GSEs (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Sallie Mae) has increased from 3.2 trillion in 2008 to 6.4 trillion in 2011.  How in the world is the U.S. government going to be able to afford to guarantee all of that debt on top of everything else?

#20 If the U.S. national debt (more than 14 trillion dollars) was reduced to a stack of 5 dollar bills, it would reach three quarters of the way to the moon.  The U.S. government borrows about 168 million dollars every single hour.  If Bill Gates gave every penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for 15 days.  So how in the world can our politicians tell us that everything is going to be okay?

Feeling Depressed? 27 Depressing Statistics About The U.S. Economy That Will Make You Feel Even Worse

If you know someone that believes that the U.S. economy is in great shape, just show that person the following statistics.  But please don’t show these statistics to anyone that is feeling depressed or that has just lost a job – it might push such a person over the edge.  The sad truth is that the U.S. economy is in the midst of a long-term decline and it is coming apart at the seams.  Right now the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve are attempting to “paper over” our economic problems with massive amounts of government debt and paper currency, but in the end it is not going to work.  When you analyze the numbers objectively, it leads to the inescapable conclusion that we are headed for another Great Depression.  That is a very depressing thought, but there is no denying that decades of debt and incredibly bad decisions are starting to catch up with us.  The economic pain that is coming is going to be absolutely mind blowing.

It would be nice if our politicians and our business leaders suddenly started making incredibly wise decisions so that we could bring the U.S. economy in for a “soft landing”, but the chance of that happening is so small that it is not even worth mentioning.

It is time for all of us to face up to the truth.  In this day and age it is really easy to get caught up in the trap of feeling depressed, but once we understand exactly how bad our problems are it can be empowering because then we can start focusing on solutions.

The following are 27 depressing statistics about the U.S. economy that are almost too crazy to believe….

#1 The Obama administration projects that the federal budget deficit will be approximately $1,600,000,000,000 this year.  Right now the Republicans and the Democrats are fighting tooth and nail over budget cuts.  The Republicans are proposing to cut the budget deficit by 3.8%.  The Democrats only want to cut it by 2.1%.

#2 The U.S. economy actually grew more between 1930 and 1940 than it did during the decade that recently ended.

#3 Over the last decade, the number of Americans without health insurance has risen from about 38 million to about 52 million.

#4 Agricultural commodities are absolutely soaring.  The price of corn has more than doubled over the last 12 months.  Considering the fact that corn is in literally thousands of our food products, that is a very frightening statistic.

#5 Between 1999 and 2009, real median household income in the United States declined by 5.0%.

#6 It is being estimated that total U.S. government debt will grow by 42 percent by the year 2015.

#7 According to the Pentagon, the cost of the first week of attacks on Libya was 600 million dollars.

#8 The average American now spends approximately 23 percent of his or her income on food and gas.

#9 According to the U.S. Energy Department, the average U.S. household will spend approximately $700 more on gasoline in 2011 than it did during 2010.

#10 It is being projected that for the first time ever, the OPEC nations are going to bring in over a trillion dollars from exporting oil this year.  Their biggest customer is the United States.

#11 According to the Economic Policy Institute, almost 25 percent of U.S. households now have zero net worth or negative net worth.  Back in 2007, that number was just 18.6 percent.

#12 China produced 19.8 percent of all the goods consumed in the world last year.  The United States only produced 19.4 percent.

#13 The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

#14 The U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#15 U.S. home values have fallen an astounding 6.3 trillion dollars since the peak of the real estate market in 2005.

#16 According to RealtyTrac, one out of every 45 U.S. households was hit with a foreclosure filing in 2010.

#17 The number of homes that were actually repossessed reached the 1 million mark for the first time ever during 2010.

#18 New home sales in the United States set a brand new all-time record low in the month of February.

#19 Now home sales in the United States are now down 80% from the peak in July 2005.

#20 The financial condition of American families continues to deteriorate rapidly.  In 2010, one out of every eight American families had at least one family member that was unemployed.  That number was the highest it has been since the U.S. Labor Department began keeping track of that statistic back in 1994.

#21 There are now more than 6 million Americans that the government says have given up looking for work completely.

#22 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average length of unemployment in the U.S. is now an all-time record 39 weeks.

#23 Americans now owe more than $900 billion on student loans, which is also an all-time record high.

#24 Average household debt in the United States has now reached a level of 136% of average household income.

#25 According to the Federal Reserve, between 2007 and 2009 median household net worth in the United States fell by 23 percent.

#26 The Federal Reserve also says that median household debt in the United States has risen to $75,600.

#27 According to a recent article posted on the website of the American Institute of Economic Research, the purchasing power of a U.S. dollar declined from $1.00 in 1913 to 4.6 cents in 2009.  Sadly, the Federal Reserve is working very hard to get rid of the little bit of purchasing power that the U.S. dollar has left.

19 Reasons Why The Federal Reserve Is At The Heart Of Our Economic Problems

Most Americans do not understand what the Federal Reserve is or why it is at the heart of our economic problems.  When Americans get into discussions about the economy, most of them still blame either the Democrats or the Republicans for inflation, for the housing crash, for our rampant unemployment and for the national debt.  But the truth is that the institution with the most power over our economic system is the Federal Reserve.  So exactly what is the Federal Reserve?  Most people would say that it is an agency of the federal government.  But that is absolutely not true.  In fact, the Federal Reserve itself has argued in court that it is not an agency of the federal government.  Rather, the Federal Reserve is a privately-owned banking cartel that has been given a perpetual monopoly over our monetary system by the U.S. Congress.  This privately-owned central bank has been destroying the value of the U.S. dollar for decades, it has run our economy into the ground and it has driven the U.S. government to the brink of bankruptcy.  The Federal Reserve operates in great secrecy, it has never been subjected to a comprehensive audit and it is not accountable to the American people.  Yet the decisions that the Federal Reserve makes have a dramatic impact on the lives of every single American citizen.

If you really want to understand what is causing our economic problems, it is absolutely crucial that you understand exactly what the Federal Reserve system is and how it is systematically destroying our economy.  Once you understand the truth about the Federal Reserve, you will view economic issues a whole lot differently.

The following are 19 reasons why the Federal Reserve is at the very heart of our economic problems….

#1 The Federal Reserve system is a debt-based financial system.

The way our system is designed, normally no money comes into existence without more debt being created.

But this creates a huge problem, because when a new dollar is created, the interest owed to the banking system on that dollar is not also created at the same time.

Therefore, the amount money that is created is not equal to the larger amount of debt that is also created.

This is a Ponzi scheme that is designed to drain wealth from the American people and transfer it to the banking system.

Today, the amount of debt in our economic system is far, far, far greater than the total amount of money.

The only way to keep the game going is to create even more money which creates even more debt.

#2 The Federal Reserve and the bankers have a monopoly on the creation of this debt-based money.

In the United States today, the only people that can create money are the bankers.

You cannot create money.

You would go to jail if you tried.

Even the U.S. government cannot create money.

Although the U.S. Constitution specifically gives Congress the power to create money, the U.S. Congress has given that power to the Federal Reserve and to the banking system.

This gives them an enormous amount of power.

So how does money creation actually work?

Most Americans don’t understand this.

As I have written about previously, the way our system is designed is that all money is supposed to originally come into existence as government debt….

When the government wants more money, the U.S. government swaps U.S. Treasury bonds for “Federal Reserve notes”, thus creating more government debt.  Usually the money isn’t even printed up – most of the time it is just electronically credited to the government.  The Federal Reserve creates these “Federal Reserve notes” out of thin air.  These Federal Reserve notes are backed by nothing and have no intrinsic value of their own.

The Federal Reserve then sells these U.S. Treasury bonds to investors, other nations (such as China) or sometimes they “sell” them back to themselves.  In fact, the Federal Reserve has been gobbling up a whole lot of U.S. Treasuries lately.  Some refer to this as “monetizing the debt”, but that is not quite an accurate statement.

When the Federal Reserve creates money this way, it does not also create the money to pay the interest on the debt that has been created.  Eventually this puts pressure on the U.S. government to borrow even more money to keep the game going.  So what this creates is a spiral where the U.S. government must keep borrowing increasingly larger amounts of money, where the money supply is endlessly expanding and where the value of the U.S. dollar is destined to continue going down forever.

Once “Federal Reserve Notes” are in circulation, there is another way that money is created.

It is called “fractional reserve lending”.

Once you or I deposit money into a bank, the bank is only required to keep a very small amount of it actually in the bank.  The rest of it the bank can loan out to others (at interest of course).  This process can be repeated over and over and over, creating more money and an even larger amount of debt.

But the important part to take away from all this is that normally money is only created when debt is created, and the amount of debt to be paid back is always larger than the amount of money created.

This entire system is designed to drain our wealth and to put it into the hands of the bankers.

#3 The power of money creation and debt creation is in the hands of private individuals – not the government.

The Federal Reserve claims that it is an “entity within the government, having both public purposes and private aspects.”

That sounds so reasonable, but the truth is that the Federal Reserve is a legalized banking cartel that is privately-owned.

In fact, the Federal Reserve is about as “federal” as Federal Express is.

In defending itself against a Bloomberg request for information under the Freedom of Information Act, the Federal Reserve objected by declaring that it was “not an agency” of the U.S. government and therefore it was not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.  It is kind of funny how Fed officials are always talking about how important their “independence” is, but whenever anyone starts criticizing them for being private they start stressing their ties with the government.

So who owns the Federal Reserve?

As the Federal Reserve’s own website describes, it is the member banks that own it….

The twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks, which were established by Congress as the operating arms of the nation’s central banking system, are organized much like private corporations–possibly leading to some confusion about “ownership.” For example, the Reserve Banks issue shares of stock to member banks. However, owning Reserve Bank stock is quite different from owning stock in a private company. The Reserve Banks are not operated for profit, and ownership of a certain amount of stock is, by law, a condition of membership in the System. The stock may not be sold, traded, or pledged as security for a loan; dividends are, by law, 6 percent per year.

In particular, as we will see below, the banks of the New York Federal Reserve have the most influence over the system.

So who owns the member banks?

Well, when you trace the ownership of the member banks to the very top you find that the international banking elite are very strongly represented.

#4 The Federal Reserve itself is not much of a profit-making institution.  Rather, it is a tool that enables others to make obscene amounts of money.

There are many that think of the Federal Reserve as an evil profit-making machine.  But the truth is that the Fed doesn’t make that much money.  Rather, the system was set up so that others could make an obscene amount of money from U.S. government debt.

Many of those opposed to the Federal Reserve point to the record $80.9 billion in profits that the Federal Reserve made last year as evidence that they are robbing the American people blind.  But then those defending the Federal Reserve will point out that the Fed returned $78.4 billion to the U.S. Treasury.

In the end, those numbers are not nearly as important as the hundreds of billions of dollars in interest that are made off of U.S. government debt each year.

If the U.S. government had been issuing debt-free money all this time, the U.S. government would likely not be spending one penny on interest payments.  Instead, the U.S. government spent over 413 billion dollars on interest on the national debt during fiscal 2010.  This is money that belonged to U.S. taxpayers that was transferred to the U.S. government which in turn was transferred to wealthy international bankers and other foreign governments.

This is where the magic of the Federal Reserve system is.  It is in getting the U.S. government enslaved to debt and using that debt to transfer hundreds of billions of dollars of our wealth into the hands of others.

As interest rates go up, this phenomenon is going to become even more brutal.  Right now it is being projected that the U.S. government will be paying 900 billion dollars just in interest on the national debt by the year 2019.

As you fill out your tax return this year, just keep in mind that vast quantities of our money is going to pay interest on debt that the U.S. government never needed to become enslaved to.

There are some very happy people out there that are becoming fabulously wealthy at our expense.

What a system, eh?

#5 The Federal Reserve is a perpetual debt machine.

As mentioned above, the U.S. government is enslaved to debt.

So how did it get enslaved?

Well, instead of printing up and spending the money that it needs, the U.S. government borrows it through the Federal Reserve system at interest.

In fact, as noted above, the U.S. government cannot create a single new dollar without borrowing it.

But each new dollar that the U.S. government borrows creates more than a dollar of new debt.

As a result, the government eventually has to collect more in taxes than what it has borrowed.

This phenomenon creates an endless debt spiral.

And is that not what we have in the United States today?  In fact, you see this in almost every nation on earth where a similar central banking system has been established.

Did you know that the U.S. national debt is more than 5,000 times larger than it was 100 years ago?

That’s right – back in 1910, prior to the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, the national debt was only about $2.6 billion.

The only way that the U.S. government can inject more money into the economy is by going into more debt.  But when new government debt is created, the amount of money to pay the interest on that debt is not also created.  In this way, it was intended by the international bankers that U.S. government debt would expand indefinitely and the U.S. money supply would also expand indefinitely.  In the process, the international bankers would become insanely wealthy by lending money to the U.S. government.

However, things did not have to turn out this way.

If the Federal Reserve had never been created, and the U.S. government had been issuing debt-free currency all this time, it is entirely conceivable that we would have absolutely no federal government debt at this point.

Unfortunately, we are now trapped in a debt-based system.

The U.S. national debt simply cannot ever be paid off.  U.S. government debt has been mathematically designed to expand forever.  It is a trap from which there is no escape.

Sadly, we have now gotten to a terminal phase of the debt spiral.  The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that U.S. government debt held by the public will reach a staggering 716 percent of GDP by the year 2080.  Remember when I used the term “debt spiral” earlier?  This is what a debt spiral looks like….

#6 The Federal Reserve system is designed to cause inflation.

As U.S. government debt expands at an exponential pace, it inevitably causes inflation.

Most Americans believe that inflation is a fact of life, but the truth is that the United States has only had a major, ongoing problem with inflation since the Federal Reserve was created back in 1913.

Sadly, the U.S. dollar has lost well over 95 percent of its value since the Federal Reserve was created.

If the Federal Reserve did not exist, it is theoretically conceivable that we could have an economy with little to no inflation.  Of course that would greatly depend on the discipline of our government officials (which is not very great at this point), but the sad truth is that our current system is always going to produce inflation.  In fact, the Federal Reserve system was originally designed to be inflationary.  Just check out the inflation chart posted below.  The U.S. never had massive problems with inflation before the Fed was created, but now it is just wildly out of control….

#7 The Federal Reserve has decided to play bizarre games with our money supply.

In a desperate attempt to revive the dying U.S. economy, the Federal Reserve has resorted to chucking gigantic quantities of cash into the financial system.

Remember how earlier I explained that normally whenever new money is created that more debt is created?

Well, lately the Fed has been resorting to a trick called “quantitative easing”.  What “quantitative easing” means is that the Federal Reserve zaps massive amounts of money into existence out of thin air and starts spending it on anything that it wants to buy.  Lately, this has primarily been done to buy up U.S. government debt.

But isn’t that “monetizing the debt”?

Of course it is, and it is a blatant Ponzi scheme.

However, what is even more alarming is what this is doing to our money supply.

Just look at what has happened to our monetary base since about mid-2008….

Does anyone in their right mind believe that this is not going to cause horrible inflation?

Right now most of the new cash is tied up in the financial system, but once it gets out into the regular economy watch out!

#8 The Federal Reserve is undemocratic.

In a previous article, I asked the following question:

“So what makes the central economic planning that the Federal Reserve does different from the central economic planning that communist China does?”

In both cases, a bunch of unelected elitists run the economy and make important economic decisions for the rest of us.

So what really is the difference?

#9 The Federal Reserve runs the U.S. economy.

Most Americans want to blame Obama or Bush or the U.S. Congress for the state of the economy.

But the truth is that it is the Federal Reserve that sets interest rates, it is the Federal Reserve that determines the money supply, it is the Federal Reserve that sets the “target rate” of inflation, it is the Federal Reserve that determines if unemployment is too high or too low and it is the Federal Reserve that watches over all of our banks.

Yes, Obama, Bush and the U.S. Congress all have things to answer for as well.

But none of them have the direct power over the economy that the Federal Reserve does.

#10 The Federal Reserve favors the big banks.

Not all financial institutions are treated equally by the Fed.

The truth is that the big banks (particularly those on Wall Street) are treated with great favor by the Federal Reserve.

If the Federal Reserve did not exist, the big Wall Street banks would not have such an overwhelming advantage.  Most Americans simply have no idea that over the last several years the Federal Reserve has been giving gigantic piles of nearly interest-free money to the big Wall Street banks which they turned right around and started lending to the federal government at a much higher rate of return.  I don’t know about you, but if I was allowed to do that I could make a whole bunch of money very quickly.  In fact, it has come out that the Federal Reserve made over $9 trillion in overnight loans to major banks, large financial institutions and other “friends” during the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.

Wouldn’t you like to be able to zap trillions of dollars into existence and loan it out to your friends at very favorable terms?

Sadly, most of the “help” from the Federal Reserve always seems to go to the big boys.

When “small enough to fail” banks need assistance, they are usually told to go sell themselves to one of the big banks.

#11 The worse the debt problems caused by the Federal Reserve become, the more money the IRS needs to collect from the rest of us.

If the U.S. government could issue debt-free money, it is conceivable that we would not even need the IRS.  You doubt this?  Well, the truth is that the United States did just fine for well over a hundred years without a national income tax.  But about the same time the Federal Reserve was created a national income tax was instituted as well.  The whole idea was that the wealth of the American people would be transferred to the U.S. government by force and then transferred into the hands of the ultra-wealthy in the form of interest payments.

If the Federal Reserve was shut down, it is entirely possible that we would be able to shut down the IRS as well.

But the only way that the current system works is if massive amounts of wealth continue to be drained from the American people.

#12 The Federal Reserve creates artificial financial bubbles.

When you look back over the last several decades, you will find financial bubble after financial bubble.

So who created all of those bubbles?

It was the Federal Reserve.

The ridiculous policies of Greenspan and Bernanke have wrought disaster after disaster and yet most of our politicians still will not even consider major changes to the Federal Reserve.

#13 The Federal Reserve is anti-free market.

In a true free market system, the marketplace would determine what interest rates are.

In a true free market system, the marketplace would determine which financial institutions survive.

In a true free market system, artificial financial bubbles would be far less likely.

But we don’t have a true free market system.

#14 The Federal Reserve tells the rest of the our banks what to do.

Most Americans don’t understand just how much power the Federal Reserve actually has over our local banks.

For example, just last year Federal Reserve officials walked into one bank in Oklahoma and demanded that they take down all the Bible verses and all the Christmas buttons that the bank had been displaying.

#15 The people currently running the Federal Reserve pretty much have no idea what they are doing.

In case anyone has not noticed, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has a very long track record of incompetence.  Nearly every major judgment that he has made since taking over that position has been dead wrong.

If one of us could go down the street and appoint the manager of the local Dairy Queen as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, it is very doubtful that person would do a worse job than Bernanke has done.

#16 Even though the Federal Reserve has such extraordinary power over the financial system, the American people are not permitted to examine their books.

The Federal Reserve claims that they are regularly audited, but when some members of Congress attempted to push through a true comprehensive audit of the Fed last year Federal Reserve officials threw a hissy fit.

The truth is that the Federal Reserve has never undergone a true comprehensive audit since it was created back in 1913.

Whenever the subject of an audit comes up, Bernanke and others at the Fed keep repeating the mantra of how important “the independence of the Federal Reserve” is.

Sadly, Ron Paul’s proposal to audit the Federal Reserve last year, which had previously been co-sponsored by 320 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, ultimately failed by a vote of 229-198.

Instead, a very, very limited examination of Fed transactions that occurred during the recent financial crisis was approved.

So what did that limited examination reveal?

Well, the Federal Reserve was forced to reveal the details of 21,000 transactions stretching from December 2007 to July 2010 that combined were worth trillions of dollars.  It turns out that the Federal Reserve was just handing out gigantic piles of nearly interest-free cash to their friends at the largest banks, financial institutions and corporations all over the globe.

Many members of Congress were absolutely stunned by these revelations.

So what would a more comprehensive audit reveal?

#17 The Federal Reserve has way too much power.

If the Federal Reserve did not exist, we would not have an unelected, unaccountable “fourth branch of government” running around that has gotten completely and totally out of control.  Even some members of Congress are now openly complaining about how much power the Fed has.  For example, Ron Paul told MSNBC last year that he believes that the Federal Reserve is now more powerful than Congress…..

“The regulations should be on the Federal Reserve. We should have transparency of the Federal Reserve. They can create trillions of dollars to bail out their friends, and we don’t even have any transparency of this. They’re more powerful than the Congress.”

#18 The Federal Reserve is dominated by Wall Street and the New York banks.

The New York representative is the only permanent member of the Federal Open Market Committee, while other regional banks rotate in 2 and 3 year intervals.  The former head of the New York Fed, Timothy Geithner, is now U.S. Treasury Secretary.  The truth is that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has always been the most important of the regional Fed banks by far, and in turn the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has always been dominated by Wall Street and the major New York banks.

The cold, hard reality of the matter is that the Federal Reserve is just another one of the tools that the Wall Street banking elite use to dominate all the rest of us.

#19 The Federal Reserve has brought us to the brink of economic collapse.

If the Federal Reserve had never been created, the American people would not be so enslaved to debt.  At the very core of our economic problems is debt.  American consumers are swamped with debt, state and local governments are facing horrific debt problems from coast to coast and the federal government has piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world.

We are living in an absolutely massive debt bubble, and when it bursts the world is going to experience financial chaos like it has never seen before.

Things did not have to turn out this way.  We did not have to adopt a debt-based financial system.  We did not have to allow the bankers to enslave us with debt.

But that is what happened.

Sadly, most Americans and the vast majority of our politicians are still clueless about these issues.

In 1922, Henry Ford wrote the following….

“The people must be helped to think naturally about money. They must be told what it is, and what makes it money, and what are the possible tricks of the present system which put nations and peoples under control of the few.”

Hopefully this article will help people understand our debt-based financial system a little bit better.

Until we fundamentally change our system, many of the economic and financial problems we are currently experiencing will never go away.

Thankfully, it does appear that some Americans are waking up.

According to a recent Bloomberg National Poll, the number of Americans that would like to see the Federal Reserve held more accountable or even completely abolished is increasing….

Asked if the central bank should be more accountable to Congress, left independent or abolished entirely, 39 percent said it should be held more accountable and 16 percent that it should be abolished. Only 37 percent favor the status quo.

Those are very exciting numbers.

Hopefully we can awaken many more Americans to the dangers of a debt-based economy.

In the book of Proverbs, it tells us the following….

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

Well, by allowing ourselves to become enslaved to debt, we have become the servants of the international banking system.

Not only that, we have also sold our children and our grandchildren into perpetual debt slavery.

Thomas Jefferson tried to warn us about this.

He believed that when the government borrows money in one generation which must be paid back by future generations it is equivalent to stealing….

And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.

In fact, Thomas Jefferson said that if he could add one more amendment to the U.S. Constitution it would be a ban on all government borrowing….

I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution; I mean an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.

Where would we be today if we had listened to Thomas Jefferson?

The amount of government debt that we have racked up is a great evil.  We have stolen the future away from our children and our grandchildren.  We have put them in a position where they will spend the rest of their lives paying off our debts to the bankers.

We owe it to future generations to fix the problems that we have created.

That is why so many of us believe that it is time for the U.S. Congress to shut down the Federal Reserve.  Our current financial system is a complete and utter failure and we need to start over.

What Is Wrong With The U.S. Economy? Here Are 10 Economic Charts That Will Blow Your Mind

The 10 economic charts that you are about to see are completely and totally shocking.  If you know anyone that still does not believe that the United States is in the midst of a long-term economic decline, just show them these charts.  Sometimes you can quote economic statistics to people until you are blue in the face and it won’t do any good, but when those same people see charts and pictures suddenly it all sinks in.  What is great about charts is that you can very easily demonstrate what has been happening to the economy over an extended period of time.  As you examine the economic charts below, pay special attention to what has been happening to the U.S. economy over the last 30 or 40 years.  The truth is that what is wrong with the U.S. economy is not a great mystery.  All of the economic problems that we are experiencing now have taken decades to develop.  Hopefully the charts in this article will help people realize just how nightmarish our economic problems have become, because until people start realizing how incredibly bad things have gotten they will never be willing to accept the dramatic solutions that are necessary to fix our financial system.

The sad fact of the matter is that we have been living in the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world over the last 40 years.  All of this debt has purchased a wonderful standard of living for the vast majority of us, but all of this debt has also destroyed the economic future of our children and our grandchildren.  Someday future generations will look back on what we have done in absolute horror.

The 10 economic charts posted below are meant to shock you.  Most Americans today need to be shocked before they will be motivated to take action.  Please share these charts with as many people as you can.  Hopefully we can wake enough people up that something will be done about all of these problems while there is still time.

1 – Government spending is expanding at an exponential rate.  As you can see from the chart below, federal spending is almost 18 times higher than it was back in 1970.  Now Barack Obama has proposed a budget that would increase U.S. government spending to 5.6 trillion dollars in 2021.  Just imagine what the following chart would look like if that happens….

2 – U.S. government debt is absolutely exploding.  The U.S. national debt is currently $14,081,561,324,681.83.  It is more than 14 times larger than it was back in 1980.  Unfortunately, the national debt continues to grow at breathtaking speed.  In fact, the Obama administration is projecting that the federal budget deficit for this year will be an all-time record 1.6 trillion dollars.  Can we afford to continue to accumulate debt at this rate?….

3 – Unless something changes right now, the outlook for U.S. government finances in future years is downright apocalyptic.  The chart posted below is from an official U.S. government report to Congress.  As you can see, it is projected that interest on our exploding national debt is absolutely going to spiral out of control if we continue on the path that we are currently on….

4 – Household debt has soared to almost unbelievable levels over the last 30 years.  The sad truth is that it is not just the U.S. government that has a massive debt problem.  U.S. households have also been accumulating debt at a staggering rate.  Total U.S. household debt did not pass the 2 trillion dollar mark until the mid-1980s, but now total U.S. household debt is well over 13 trillion dollars….

5 – The total of all debt (government, business and consumer) in the United States is now well over 50 trillion dollars.  For the past couple of years this figure has been hovering around a level that is equivalent to approximately 360 percent of GDP.  This is a debt bubble that is absolutely unprecedented in U.S. history….

6 – As tens of thousands of U.S. factories get shut down and as millions of our jobs get shipped overseas, the number of unemployed Americans continues to go up and up and up.  As you can see from the chart below, there has been a long-term trend of increasing unemployment in the United States.  In fact, there are about 3 and a half times as many unemployed workers in the United States today as there were when 1970 began.  These jobs losses are going to continue as long as we allow our corporations to pay slave labor wages to workers on the other side of the globe.  All of the major trends in global trade are very bad for the U.S. middle class.  For example, the U.S. trade deficit with China for 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.  How long will our politicians stand by as our nation bleeds jobs?….

7 – The median duration of unemployment in the United States is in unprecedented territory.  For most of the post-World War 2 era, when the median duration of unemployment in America reached 10 weeks that was considered a national crisis.  Well, today competition for jobs is so intense that the median duration of unemployment is now well over 20 weeks….

8 – Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, the value of the U.S. dollar has declined by over 95 percent.  One of the reasons given for the existence of the Federal Reserve is that the Fed helps control inflation.  But that is a huge lie.  The truth is that the United States never had consistently rampant inflation until the Federal Reserve took control.  In particular, once the U.S. totally went off the gold standard in the 1970s inflation really started escalating out of control….

9 – Now the Federal Reserve says that the solution to our current economic problems is to print even more money out of thin air.  The games that the Federal Reserve is playing with our money supply are simply inexcusable.  Just look at what the Federal Reserve has done to the monetary base since the beginning of the recession….

10 – All of this new money is creating tremendous inflation.  In particular, the price of oil is now ridiculously high.  A high price for oil is very, very bad for the U.S. economy.  Our entire economic system is based on being able to use massive quantities of very cheap oil.  Unfortunately, that paradigm is starting to break down and the consequences will be very bitter.  Back in mid-2008, the price of oil hit an all-time record of $147 a barrel and subsequently the world financial system imploded a few months later.  Well, the price of oil is on the march again and that is very bad news for the U.S. economy….

Needless to say, if the economic trends documented by the charts above continue the U.S. economy will be totally wiped out.  The U.S. economy as it currently exists is unsustainable by definition.  It is only a matter of time before we slam into an economic brick wall.

We have developed an economy that cannot function without debt, and at this point it seems like almost everyone is drowning in red ink.  The federal government is massively overextended, most of our state and local governments are massively overextended, most of our major corporations are massively overextended and the majority of U.S. consumers are massively overextended.

The only way that the game can continue is for the Federal Reserve to print increasingly larger amounts of paper money out of thin air and for everyone in the economic food chain to go into increasingly larger amounts of debt.

But no debt spiral can go on forever.  At some point this entire house of cards is going to collapse.

When that happens, there is going to be economic pain that is greater than anything that this country has ever seen before.

Someday we will all desperately wish that we could go back to the “good times” of 2011.  A great economic collapse is coming, and all of us had better get ready.