“It’s A Disaster Like I’ve Never Seen Before”: 2019 Could Be The Worst Year EVER For U.S. Corn Farmers

The amount of corn produced in the United States this year is going to be way below expectations.  The Department of Agriculture just slashed its harvest estimates quite dramatically in its June report, but some farmers in the Midwest believe that those reduced projections are still way too optimistic.  As I have previously detailed, millions upon millions of acres will go unplanted this year, but that is only part of the story.  Much of the corn that has actually been planted is coming up very slowly due to the exceedingly poor conditions, and corn farmers all over the Midwest are reporting that their plants look absolutely terrible.  If we get picture perfect weather between now and harvest time, this will simply be a terrible year.  But if severe heat and/or an early frost hits the Midwest, this could very easily be the worst year that we have ever seen for corn farmers in the United States.

The other day, Illinois farmer James McCune gathered a large number of his fellow corn farmers for a “Prevent Plant Party”, and the mainstream media showed up to cover it.  The following is from CNBC’s coverage of the event

James McCune, a farmer from Mineral, Illinois, was unable to plant 85% of his intended corn acres and wanted to commiserate with his fellow farmers by hosting the “Prevent Plant Party” at The Happy Spot. He invited them to swap stories while tucking in to fried chicken and a keg of beer in Deer Grove, a village of about 50 people located 120 miles west of Chicago.

“Everybody’s so down in the dumps,” McCune said.

In addition, McCune told Fox Business that this year is “a disaster like I’ve never seen before”, and he said that some of his neighbors got even less corn planted than he did…

“It’s a disaster like I’ve never seen before,” McCune told FOX Business. “My neighbors didn’t get 90 percent of their corn planted.”

After non-stop rain plagued the region this spring – when corn farmers typically get seed in the ground – most have decided time is now too short and are choosing not to plant.

As bad as things are in Illinois right now, the truth is that some neighboring states are in even worse shape.

According to the latest Department of Agriculture report, 73 percent of the cornfields in Illinois have been planted, but in Indiana that figure is sitting at just 67 percent and in Ohio only 50 percent of the fields have been planted.

50 percent.

That is an unmitigated disaster, because the time for planting corn has now passed.

Needless to say, the farmers that were not able to plant crops have been absolutely flooding their insurance companies with claims.  Just check out this quote

“We get pockets of claims every year,” said Luke Sandrock of the Cornerstone Agency insurance company. “We have 1-2 percent of our clients (who typically file). This year, it’s over 90 percent, and so we’ve just never dealt with it on this size of a scale before.”

But it is imperative to remember that even if farmers were able to get their fields planted, that does not mean that everything is going to be okay.

In fact, corn farmers all over the Midwest are deeply distressed by what is emerging from the ground.  In his entire farming career, James McCune has never seen anything like this

A smartphone could fit in the space between James McCune’s index finger and thumb as the Illinois farmer describes the height of crops stunted by incessant rain and unseasonably cool weather.

“Corn’s not supposed to be this tall” in mid-June, McCune, who can trace his family’s farm roots as far back as 1857, said. “It’s supposed to be this tall,” as he gestures just below his waist.

And farmer Rob Sharkey used the word “ugly” to describe the condition of the corn on his farm

“We planted some stuff that was not pretty,” said corn farmer Rob Sharkey. “But I didn’t have a choice. We did not get conditions that were right for planting, so we went when we could. It’s ugly.”

We’ll see what happens, but right now we are facing an unprecedented nightmare in the heartland of America.

It is exceedingly difficult to grow corn in soil that is absolutely saturated with water.  Some farmers are saying that it is literally going to take “years” to recover from this disaster, and many will never be able to go back to farming again because they have been financially ruined.

Of course there are many farmers that are doing their very best to soldier on, but it is tough.  Illinois farmer Mike Thacker was able to get 60 percent of his fields planted, but at this point he is not happy with a single field

Mike Thacker, a farmer in Walnut, Illinois, planted about 1,600 acres of corn, or 60% of what he planned. He is reluctant to plant more because yields typically decline the later a crop is planted.

Thacker said corn that has started emerging from the ground is shorter than normal. He was not happy with even one field.

“It makes you feel terrible,” Thacker said at the party.

But like I said earlier, if the weather is ideal between now and harvest time, 2019 will just be a terrible year.

However, a major heat wave this summer would be absolutely catastrophic, and if there is an early frost it “will turn this world upside down”

Farmers think more cuts are likely as the late-planted crop could face damage from hot summer weather and an autumn frost.

“An early frost will turn this world upside down,” Rock Katschnig, a farmer from Prophetstown, Illinois, said at the party.

So much of the corn that has been planted is way, way behind schedule, and so many Midwest farmers will push things for as long as possible when we get to harvest time.

But an early snap of cold weather could ruin those plans.

In any event, in the short-term U.S. consumers are going to be facing significantly higher prices at the grocery store.  Beyond that, we could potentially be facing the sorts of scenarios that most people don’t like to think about.

For the moment, more rain continues to hammer the middle of the country.  In fact, there was more flash flooding in the Midwest on Saturday

The combination of two different frontal boundaries caused severe weather and flash flooding in parts of the Plains and Midwest on Saturday. There were over 130 reports of severe weather, including 17 reported tornadoes and numerous reports of straight-line winds of 70 to 80 mph across parts of Texas and Oklahoma.

Sadly, even more “heavy rain” is on the way, and some areas could see over 4 inches of precipitation early in the week…

Heavy rain is expected through Tuesday from Texas to Pennsylvania, with locally over 4 inches of rain expected and flash flooding in spots — especially parts of hard-hit Oklahoma and Arkansas.

I have been repeatedly writing about this crisis for the last couple of months, and now the mainstream media is finally starting to grasp the true gravity of this disaster.

In all of U.S. history we have never witnessed anything like this ever before.  We have seen endless rain and catastrophic flooding month after month so far in 2019, and the middle of the country is still getting pummeled at this moment.

Nobody knows exactly what the weather will look like during the critical summer months, but I have a feeling that the end result of this crisis will be far worse than any of the “experts” were anticipating.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

‘Deaths Of Despair’ In The U.S. Hit Record High – So How Bad Will Things Get When Society Starts To Completely Collapse?

According to a shocking new report from the Commonwealth Fund, the suicide rate in the United States is the highest that it has ever been before.  Sadly, the same thing can be said about the death rates from drug overdoses and alcohol.  All three death rates are at an all-time record high, and yet our society is still fairly stable at the moment.  So if we are seeing this many “deaths of despair” right now, what in the world are things going to look like when our society really begins to start crumbling?  Today, Americans have literally thousands of different ways to entertain themselves, and yet we have never been unhappier.  One out of every six Americans is taking psychiatric drugs, we are currently dealing with “the worst drug crisis in American history”, and people are killing themselves in record numbers.  Nobody likes to be told that they are a failure, but it certainly appears that our nation has been on an extremely self-destructive path for a very long time.

Even though “deaths of despair” have reached record levels, the researchers at the Commonwealth Fund found that there are major regional differences.  The following comes from NBC News

Rates of deaths from suicides, drug overdoses and alcohol have reached an all-time high in the United States, but some states have been hit far harder than others, according to a report released Wednesday by the Commonwealth Fund.

As far as drug overdose deaths are concerned, researchers discovered that the states with the highest death rates were all in northern Appalachia

“When we look at what’s going on in mid-Atlantic states — West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania — those are the states that have the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in the country,” David Radley, a senior scientist for the Commonwealth Fund, said. Rates in those states are at least double the national average of fatal drug overdose rates.

West Virginia had the highest drug overdose death rates, fueled mostly by the opioid epidemic. What’s more, those rates rose by 450 percent from 2005 to 2017, according to the report.

In addition, the New England states also have extremely high drug overdose death rates.

Nationally, the number of Americans that die from an opioid overdose each year now exceeds the number that die in car accidents.

Talk about a depressing fact.

Meanwhile, for suicide and alcohol deaths it is a completely different story.  In both cases, researchers found that the highest rates are out west

Death rates from suicide and alcohol also showed regional disparities. People died at higher rates by suicide or from alcohol than from drugs in Montana, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Oregon and Wyoming.

In particular, the suicide rate is disturbingly high in rural western areas, and this agrees with a previously published CDC study which discovered that the suicide rate in rural areas is actually 45 percent higher than in “large urban areas”…

The suicide rate in rural America is 45% greater than in large urban areas, according to a study released last fall by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A more recent CDC report said Montana’s suicide rate leads the nation, coming in at nearly twice the national average. A third long-touted CDC study, currently under review, listed farming in the occupational group, along with fishing and forestry, with the highest rate of suicide deaths.

That occupational study was based on 2012 data, when farming was strong and approaching its peak in 2013, says Jennifer Fahy, communications director for the nonprofit Farm Aid. Farmers’ net income has fallen 50% since 2013 and is expected to drop to a 12-year low this year, the US Department of Agriculture reports.

Sadly, U.S. farmers are currently having their worst year in a generation, and they desperately need our support right now.

Overall, the new report from the Commonwealth Fund found that since 2005 drug overdose deaths in the United States are up 115 percent, alcohol deaths are up 37 percent, and suicides are up 28 percent.

Thanks in large part to those numbers, life expectancy in the United States has now fallen for three years in a row.

Despite all of our advanced technology, and despite our massively bloated debt-fueled standard of living, many Americans are desperately unhappy.  In an attempt to “cure” our unhappiness, many of us have turned to the medical system for answers, and as a result more Americans are on antidepressants than ever before.  In fact, NBC News has reported that one out of every six Americans is currently on at least one psychiatric drug…

One in six Americans take some kind of psychiatric drugs — mostly antidepressants, researchers reported Monday.

They also found that twice as many white people take those drugs as do African-Americans or other minorities, and fewer than 5 percent of Asian-Americans do. And most people who take them are taking them long-term, Thomas Moore of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices in Alexandria, Virginia and colleagues found.

But no matter how powerful a drug is, it can never give you hope.  One of the reasons why I wrote “Living A Life That Really Matters” was to give people hope.  Life really can be filled with meaning and purpose, but most Americans are searching for those things in all the wrong places.

Today, we like to think that our approach to life is superior to the way that previous generations of Americans did things, but the numbers say that they were actually far happier than we are.

Could it be possible that they were right and we are wrong?

If we stay on the current path that we are on as a nation, it isn’t going to lead anywhere good.  Perhaps we should change our ways while we still can.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Unprecedented U.S. Weather Chaos Continues: 120F In The West, More Record-Setting Flooding In The East

Global weather patterns are dramatically shifting, and week after week we keep seeing things happen that we have never seen before.  As far as our weather is concerned, this is definitely the strangest year in modern American history, and many believe that what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.  Up until just recently, the endless rain, catastrophic flooding and horrific tornado outbreaks in the middle of the country have been dominating weather headlines.  But now the west coast is getting into the act.  This week, new record high temperatures have been established in city after city, and this includes San Francisco

San Francisco International Airport reached its highest temperature ever recorded in the month of June: 100 degrees. In fact, this was the highest temperature ever measured at the airport in June, July or August. Usually, 100-degree readings occur in September in the Bay Area.

The previous daily record for June 10th of just 94 degrees was set back in 1994.

So that means that the old record was broken by 6 full degrees.

Like I said, we are seeing things happen that we have never seen before.

And San Francisco was far from alone.  Over the past few days new all-time records have been set all along the California coastline

Many locations in California surpassed old record highs set 25 years ago in 1994, or even earlier. Record highs were set both Sunday and Monday in San Bernardino and Ontario, California, to name a few.

San Bernardino, California, sizzled at 102 and 104 F on Sunday and Monday, respectively, while the mercury registered 105 and 107 in Ontario, California, on Sunday and Monday, respectively.

Please don’t try to tell me that this is normal.  In fact, right now we are in a “solar minimum” when solar activity is greatly subdued, and scientists are telling us that it could last for an extended period of time.  As a result, temperatures should be cooler than normal, but obviously they are not.

Clearly something unusual is happening.

On Wednesday, it is being projected that the high temperature in Palm Springs could reach 114 degrees

In Palm Springs, California, where highs could hit 114 degrees Tuesday and Wednesday, officials warned the high temperatures could cause heat exhaustion, heat cramps or heat stroke.

In Las Vegas, shelters and temporary cooling stations were open during daytime hours because of that city’s excessive heat warning. Highs there could hit 105 each of the next three days.

And we are being told that the temperature in Death Valley could actually reach “120 degrees”

An excessive-heat warning was even in effect in typically hellish Death Valley, California, where a high of 120 degrees was forecast for Wednesday.

Meanwhile, more “torrential downpours” just continue to hammer the Southeast and the Midwest.

Yes, every year there are major storms, but under normal conditions those storms pass and things dry out.

That hasn’t happened this year.  There has just been one major storm after another, and this has resulted in cataclysmic flooding over a vast portion of the country.  And just when you thought that it couldn’t get any worse, more massive storms came rolling in over the past few days.  In fact, it is being reported that some states received “more than a month’s worth of rain” in a single day…

Torrential downpours have flooded huge swaths of the Midwest and the Southeast since last week. Rain over the weekend triggered flash floods in several states, including Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Florida. In some states, more than a month’s worth of rain fell in a day.

Beyond flash floods, rivers rising more slowly in places like Iowa have threatened drinking water. In Illinois, flooding this past week has closed roads and bridges. Atlanta broke a single-day rainfall record on Saturday with 4 inches of rain. Nebraska issued a second disaster declaration last week in response to the floods.

Record after record is falling, but nowhere got hit as hard last week as North Carolina.  According to ABC News, one area of western North Carolina has actually received 13.57 inches of rain since last week.

I keep warning that all of this catastrophic weather will greatly reduce agricultural production this year, and the mainstream media is finally starting to realize that this is actually happening.

In all of U.S. history, we have never seen anything like this.  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the last 12 months have been “the wettest 12-month span on record”

NOAA reported last week that this past May was the second-wettest May on record. It also capped the wettest 12-month span on record.

Does anyone out there want to try to argue that this is normal?

Of course not.

And guess what?

According to the National Weather Service, more rain is on the way

And more rain is coming. The National Weather Service is projecting continued rain and flooding along the Mississippi River this week, stretching through Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

For many people, all of this rain is simply an inconvenience.  But I feel really bad for the thousands upon thousands of farmers that are being completely ruined financially by the endless rain.

And what happens if global weather patterns continue to become even more extreme?

With all of our advanced technology, we like to think that we are not vulnerable to the vagaries of the weather like the “primitive civilizations” that came before us, but that is not true at all.

There are more than 327 million people in the United States, and the entire population of the planet has now passed the 7.5 billion mark.

In order to feed all of those people we need to grow an absolutely massive amount of food.  We have become accustomed to living in a world where the weather is cooperative, but now that is changing in a major way, and nobody is quite sure what is going to happen next…

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

700 Quakes Hit A Key California Seismic Zone, And Tar Is Literally Bubbling Up Through The Streets Of Los Angeles

Scientists are quite “concerned” about the huge earthquake swarm that has been shaking southern California in recent weeks, and right at this moment bubbling tar is literally coming up through the streets in one section of Los Angeles.  None of this means that a major seismic event is imminent, but it is certainly not a good sign either.  We have been tracking quite a bit of unusual shaking along the Ring of Fire in recent months, and scientists assure us that it is just a matter of time before “the Big One” hits southern California.  And if you follow my work on a regular basis, then you already know that I am extremely concerned about the potential for major seismic activity along the west coast.  So when I came across a San Diego Union-Tribune article entitled “Southern California earthquake swarm takes an unexpected turn, and that’s reason to worry”, it definitely got my attention.  According to that article, there have been “more than 700 earthquakes” in the Fontana seismic zone over the past few weeks…

There have been more than 700 earthquakes recorded in the Fontana area since May 25, ranging from magnitude 0.7 to magnitude 3.2, recorded Wednesday at 5:20 p.m., according to Caltech staff seismologist Jen Andrews.

That is certainly a lot of earthquakes, but is this sort of activity unusual?

Well, according to one scientist, this is the “most prolific swarm” to hit that area “in the past three decades”

The likelihood of a larger seismic event, given so many quakes over such an extended period, is higher than normal, the scientist said.

“People ought to be concerned,” said Hauksson. “This is probably the most prolific swarm in that area of the Fontana seismic zone that we’ve seen in the past three decades.”

Once again, I want to stress that all of this activity does not mean that a major earthquake is about to happen.

But one day it is coming.  In fact, scientists have told us that one day the entire San Andreas fault could “could unzip all at once”.  And when that day finally arrives, there might not be any warning at all.

If you live in California, you should be prepared for earthquakes to occur at all times, and that means taking some reasonable precautions

In any home in seismically risky areas of California, experts recommend removing heavy objects around beds, strapping bookcases and dressers to walls, anchoring flat-screen televisions to walls, installing toddler safety latches on kitchen cabinets, and ensuring frames are attached to walls with quake-friendly hooks.

Hopefully there will not be a major quake any time soon, but over the past few days another ominous sign has made news.

According to one local news report, “bubbling tar” is actually coming up through the streets near the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles…

And on Saturday, more seepage. Enough to draw the interests of tourists and residents alike.

CBS2’s Jake Reiner said tourists and residents alike have been coming to the area marveling at the bubbling tar.

Once again, this might be nothing.

But one local resident admitted that he had “never seen this before”, and apparently there is a very strong odor coming out of the ground

“You see a little bit of tar oozing up between the pavement,” Kogan says, “all over the neighborhood. That’s not unusual but this seems to be flow tar. I’ve never seen this before.”

Not to mention the constant hissing sound coming from the ground — it’s methane.

“I can smell it. I thought a car broke its oil pan out here,” says Patrick Myer.

I don’t know about you, but if you can literally hear methane coming out of the ground and bubbling tar is starting to come up through the streets, perhaps that is a sign that it is time to consider moving somewhere else.

But of course the truth is that our entire planet is becoming increasingly unstable.  On Monday, a magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck near Cleveland.  The following comes from CNN

A preliminary magnitude-4.0 earthquake was reported Monday about 20 miles northeast of Cleveland, in or around Lake Erie, the US Geological Survey said.

The earthquake, measuring 3.1 miles in depth, was reported just before 11 a.m. local time north-northwest of the city of Eastlake.

“Did you feel that rumble this morning Cleveland? Well if you missed it, we caught this morning’s earthquake on multiple #OHGO cameras. Check it out! #Clevelandreallyrocks,” the Ohio Department of Transportation tweeted, along with a collection of traffic videos showing the moment the quake hit.

And of course Cleveland is not very far from the New Madrid fault zone that I have been writing articles about again and again.

On the other side of the world, a huge volcano in Indonesia also erupted on Monday

A huge column of ash was blasted almost five miles into the sky above the Indonesian island of Sumatra after an active volcano erupted.

Mount Sinabung blew for nine minutes on Sunday, causing panic among the island’s residents.

Indonesian officials warned that further volcanic activity was possible, although the volanco’s alert level remained unchanged.

Major seismic events are happening so frequently now that it is really hard to keep up with them all.

But it is very important not to become numb to what is happening.  Something strange really is happening to our planet, and many believe that it is going to get a lot worse.

As for California, scientists keep telling us that “the Big One” is way overdue, and when it finally arrives it could be a history altering event.

According to one team of scientists, an extremely large earthquake could potentially “plunge large parts of California into the sea almost instantly”.  Such an event would be far worse than anything that any Hollywood earthquake movie ever envisioned, and let us pray that nothing like that happens any time soon.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Trump Just Poked The Dragon In The Eye, And U.S.-China Relations Just Took An Ominous Turn For The Worse

After what President Trump just did, the odds of the U.S. and China being able to reach a trade agreement this year officially just went from slim to none.  For China, there is no issue more sensitive than the status of Taiwan.  For the Chinese, it is unthinkable for anyone to even suggest that Taiwan is not a part of China, and the Chinese are prepared to defend their “one China” policy to the death if necessary.  On the other hand, most Americans are entirely clueless about Taiwan.  In fact, if you gave them a blank map of the world the vast majority of Americans wouldn’t even be able to find Taiwan thanks to our exceedingly poor system of public education.  So for most Americans, a news story about how President Trump plans to sell 2 billion dollars worth of arms to Taiwan is completely and utterly meaningless.  But for the Chinese, such news is a deep national insult

The United States is pursuing the sale of more than $2 billion worth of tanks and weapons to Taiwan, four people familiar with the negotiations said, in a move likely to anger China as a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies escalates.

An informal notification of the proposed sale has been sent to the U.S. Congress, the four sources said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the possible deal.

This arms sale barely made a blip in the U.S. news cycle, but over in China they are officially freaking out about this.  According to one report, this deal would send “over 100 tanks and almost 2,000 missiles” to Taiwan…

The US, which is the main weapons dealer to Taiwan, would send over 100 tanks and almost 2,000 missiles to the island. There was outrage in China, who said they were seriously concerned after Taiwan’s defence ministry confirmed the sale. The move is believed to further heighten tensions between Beijing and Washington.

It comes days after Chinese defence minister Wei Fenghe said: “If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs.”

You can do quite a bit of damage with 2,000 missiles.

Most Americans may not realize this, but the truth is that U.S.-China relations just took a really ominous turn for the worse.

And in addition to announcing this arms sale to Taiwan, President Trump also just threatened China with even more tariffs

DONALD Trump threatened to hit China with tariffs on “at least” another $300bn worth of goods today – as a Beijing propaganda campaign painted the US as evil bullies.

Tensions between the world’s two largest economies have soared sharply since talks aimed at ending a festering trade war broke down in early May.

But trust me, the announcement of the arms sale to Taiwan was far, far more insulting to China than the tariff threat was.

On the Chinese side, they have decided to hit the U.S. right in the farm belt by “putting purchases of U.S. soybeans on hold”

China is reportedly putting purchases of U.S. soybeans on hold amid the growing trade war with the U.S., according to a report from Bloomberg News. As the world’s largest soybean buyer, China’s move could ramp up the economic pressure on American farmers.

This has already been the worst year for U.S. farmers in decades, and this move by the Chinese is going to make things even worse.  For much more on this, please see an article that I posted earlier today entitled “U.S. Farms Are Facing Their Worst Crisis In A Generation – And Now Here Comes Another Monster Storm”.

Also, anti-American rhetoric in China has now reached a fever pitch.  According to CNN, the Chinese just issued an official alert warning Chinese travelers of “shooting, robbery and theft” in major U.S. cities…

On Tuesday, China’s Culture and Tourism Ministry warned its citizens of the risks of traveling to the US in an alert, citing frequent recent cases of “shooting, robbery and theft.”

On the same day, the country’s Foreign Ministry — along with China’s embassy and consulates in the US — issued a security alert for Chinese citizens, alleging “repeated harassment” of Chinese nationals in the US by local law enforcement officials.

Of course the Chinese are correct when they warn about the violence in our cities.  For example, more than 50 people were shot in the city of Chicago last weekend alone.

In addition to the travel warnings, Chinese state media is doing all that it can to put the U.S. in a bad light.  In fact, one major Chinese paper just called the United States the “enemy of the world”

The new travel advice did not come in isolation.

China’s ruling Communist Party has launched a trade war propaganda campaign, with recent efforts — delivered via state media — focusing on US “trade bullying” and “hegemony.” In one noteworthy article, published Tuesday in party mouthpiece the People’s Daily, the US was labeled the “enemy of the world.”

Does it sound to you like the Chinese are ready to surrender and head back to the negotiating table?

No, the truth is that they are just getting angrier with every week that goes by.  Most Americans don’t even know that we fought against the Chinese during the latter stages of the Korean War, but right now over in China those old battles against “the evil American invaders” are being publicly celebrated

President Xi Jinping’s state media has even begun to refer to a very bloody battle between America and Chinese forces during the Korean War.

The 1952 battle of Triangle Hill – or Shangganling in Chinese – has been glorified in China for decades as a turning point in the war.

School children are told how the sacrifice of Chinese soldiers eventually led to the “defeat of the evil American invaders”.

At this point, most Americans may be vaguely aware that some sort of a trade war is going on, but over in China they are taking this deadly seriously.  And without a doubt, the stage is being set for a full-fledged global showdown between the two superpowers.

This is not a game, and if things go badly we could potentially be facing apocalyptic consequences.

So hopefully Trump knows what he is doing, because right now things appear to be starting to spiral out of control very rapidly.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Goodbye Middle Class: The Percentage Of Wealth Owned By The Top 10% Just Got Even BIGGER

The middle class in America is being systematically eviscerated, and it is getting worse with each passing year.  As you will see below, one new study has found that 10 percent of Americans now own 70 percent of all the wealth.  Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most vibrant middle class in the history of the world, but pretty soon we are just going to have the ultra-wealthy and everyone else.  Our system has been designed to funnel as much wealth as possible to the very top of the financial pyramid, and that means that most of the rest of us are deeply struggling.  And when you are just barely getting by from month to month, all it takes is one bad break to knock you completely out of the middle class and into poverty.

I have been chronicling the demise of the middle class for many years, but I didn’t know that the numbers had gotten this bad.  According to a study that was recently conducted by the Federal Reserve, the percentage of wealth controlled by the top 10 percent of U.S. households has shot up from 60 percent in 1989 to 70 percent today

Deutsche Bank’s Torsten Sløk says that the distribution of household wealth in America has become even more disproportionate over the past decade, with the richest 10% of U.S. households representing 70% of all U.S. wealth in 2018, compared with 60% in 1989, according to a recent study by researchers at the Federal Reserve.

The study finds that the share of wealth among the richest 1% increased to 32% from 23% over the same period.

The ironic thing is that the Federal Reserve has actually done much to cause this high concentration of wealth among the elite.  In response to the last financial crisis, the Federal Reserve pumped unprecedented amounts of money into the financial system, and this has created the greatest stock market bubble in our history

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +2.06% has climbed nearly 300% since its closing low in March 2009, the S&P 500 index SPX, +2.14% has climbed 325%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +2.65% has soared 535% over the same period.

Meanwhile, wages have stagnated for ordinary Americans.  According to the Social Security Administration, the median yearly wage in the United States is currently just $30,533.  In other words, 50 percent of all American workers make at least that much per year, and 50 percent of all American workers make that much or less per year.

$30,533 a year breaks down to approximately $2,500 per month, and you simply can’t support a middle class lifestyle for a typical American family on $2,500 a month.

Meanwhile, the cost of living for middle class families has exploded higher over the past few decades…

Everyday expenses continue to rise, and as the shadow inflation increases, it also threatens to wipe out the middle class – what’s left of it anyway. In fact, middle-class life is now 30% more expensive than it was 20 years ago, according to a separate report by CNBC. The cost of things such as college, housing, and child care has risen precipitously: Tuition at public universities doubled between 1996 and 2016 and housing prices in popular cities have quadrupled, Alissa Quart, author and executive director of the Economic Hardship Reporting Projecttells CNBC Make It.

As the cost of living has risen faster than our incomes have, more Americans have been squeezed out of the middle class with each passing month.

As a result, an increasing number of Americans have become financially dependent on the government, and our rapidly expanding welfare state is a big reason why the federal government is now 22 trillion dollars in debt.

Of course many Americans are no longer able to make it at all, and the ranks of the homeless are swelling all over the nation.  In fact, we just got some brand new numbers about the growth of homelessness in the Los Angeles area that are absolutely eye-popping

The number of homeless people counted across Los Angeles County jumped 12% over the past year to nearly 59,000, with more young and old residents and families on the streets, officials said Tuesday.

The majority of the homeless were found within the city of Los Angeles, which saw a 16% increase to 36,300, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority said in presenting January’s annual count to the county Board of Supervisors.

Yes, it is true that we have a record number of millionaires on the west coast in 2019, but meanwhile our major west coast cities are being transformed into rotting, decaying nightmares right in front of our eyes.

During a recent interview with Laura Ingraham, Dr. Drew Pinsky admitted that there is “a complete breakdown of the basic needs of civilization in Los Angeles right now”

“We have a complete breakdown of the basic needs of civilization in Los Angeles right now,” Pinsky told host Laura Ingraham. “We have the three prongs of airborne disease, tuberculosis is exploding, (and) rodent-borne. We are one of the only cities in the country that doesn’t have a rodent control program, and sanitation has broken down.”

Pinsky’s comments followed news that Los Angeles police officer had contracted typhoid fever, a rare and life-threatening illness that fewer than 350 Americans contract each year.

Los Angeles had a typhus outbreak last summer and will likely have another this summer, Pinsky said. Meanwhile, bubonic plague – a pandemic that killed tens of millions of people during the 14th century – is “likely” already present in Los Angeles, Pinsky added.

Despite all of our great wealth and despite all of our advanced technology, this is what life is like in our second largest city right now.

And if things are degenerating this badly during stable times, what are things going to look like once our society plunges into chaos?

Ultimately, the American Dream is about being self-sufficient.  Most people want to be able to work hard and provide a nice life for their families, but that is becoming harder and harder to do.

No matter which political party has been in power in Washington, the middle class has continued to shrink and more wealth and power has become concentrated in the hands of the elite.

Now we stand on the precipice of the next major economic downturn, and many are deeply concerned about what that is going to mean for the future of our society.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

American Soil Is Being Globalized: Nearly 30 Million Acres Of U.S. Farmland Is Now Owned By Foreigners

All across America, U.S. farmland is being gobbled up by foreign interests.  So when we refer to “the heartland of America”, the truth is that vast stretches of that “heartland” is now owned by foreigners, and most Americans have no idea that this is happening.  These days, a lot of people are warning about the “globalization” of the world economy, but in reality our own soil is rapidly being “globalized”.  When farms are locally owned, the revenue that those farms take in tends to stay in local communities.  But with foreign-owned farms there is no guarantee that will happen.  And while there is plenty of food to go around this is not a major concern, but what happens when a food crisis erupts and these foreign-owned farms just keep sending their produce out of the country?  There are some very serious national security concerns here, and they really aren’t being addressed.  Instead, the amount of farmland owned by foreigners just continues to increase with each passing year.

Prior to seeing the headline to this article, how much U.S. farmland would you have guessed that foreigners now own?

Personally, I had no idea that foreigners now own nearly 30 million acres.  The following comes from NPR

American soil.

Those are two words that are commonly used to stir up patriotic feelings. They are also words that can’t be be taken for granted, because today nearly 30 million acres of U.S. farmland are held by foreign investors. That number has doubled in the past two decades, which is raising alarm bells in farming communities.

How did we allow this to happen?

And actually laws regarding land ownership vary greatly from state to state.  Some states have placed strict restrictions on foreign land ownership, while in other states it is “a free-for-all”

“Texas is kind of a free-for-all, so they don’t have a limit on how much land can be owned,” say’s Ohio Farm Bureau’s Ty Higgins, “You look at Iowa and they restrict it — no land in Iowa is owned by a foreign entity.”

Ohio, like Texas, also has no restrictions, and nearly half a million acres of prime farmland are held by foreign-owned entities. In the northwestern corner of the state, below Toledo, companies from the Netherlands alone have purchased 64,000 acres for wind farms.

But even in states where there are restrictions, foreign entities can get around that by simply buying large corporations that own land.

For example, when the Chinese purchased Smithfield Foods in 2013 they instantly gained control over 146,000 acres of prime farmland.  The following comes from Wikipedia

Smithfield Foods, Inc., is a meat-processing company based in Smithfield, Virginia, in the United States, and a wholly owned subsidiary of WH Group of China. Founded in 1936 as the Smithfield Packing Company by Joseph W. Luter and his son, the company is the largest pig and pork producer in the world.[4] In addition to owning over 500 farms in the US, Smithfield contracts with another 2,000 independent farms around the country to grow Smithfield’s pigs.[5] Outside the US, the company has facilities in Mexico, Poland, Romania, Germany, and the United Kingdom.[6] Globally the company employed 50,200 in 2016 and reported an annual revenue of $14 billion.[2] Its 973,000-square-foot meat-processing plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina, was said in 2000 to be the world’s largest, processing 32,000 pigs a day.[7]

Then known as Shuanghui Group, WH Group purchased Smithfield Foods in 2013 for $4.72 billion, more than its market value.[8][9] It was the largest Chinese acquisition of an American company to date.[10] The acquisition of Smithfield’s 146,000 acres of land made WH Group, headquartered in Luohe, Henan province, one of the largest overseas owners of American farmland.[a]

Of course this hasn’t happened by accident.

The communist Chinese government has actually made the purchase of foreign agricultural assets a top national priority in recent years, and this has been reflected in a series of key documents

The strategy is reflected in encouragements to invest abroad by various documents and articles issued by Chinese leaders. For example, a series of annual “Number one documents” from China’s communist party authorities stating rural policy have contained increasingly specific strategies for investment. A general exhortation to invest in agriculture overseas, issued in 2007, was followed by an initial surge in overseas farming ventures. In 2010, authorities called for supportive policies to encourage investment abroad.

The 2014 document included a more specific mandate to create large grain-trading conglomerates, designed to give Chinese companies greater control over oilseed and grain imports. That was the same year COFCO acquired Nidera and Noble Agri, making COFCO one of the largest trading companies in the world based on value of assets. The 2015 document specifically called for policies to support facilities, equipment, and inputs for agricultural production in foreign countries. The 2017 document broadened the encouragement to include all types of agricultural conglomerates. The 2018 document repeated the general endorsement of overseas investment and instructions to create multinational grain-trading and agricultural conglomerates.

In the end, how much Chinese ownership of our farmland would we be comfortable with?

If they owned 20 percent of our farmland, would we be okay with that?

Well, what if that figure surged to 30 or 40 percent?

Would that still be okay?

We need to start asking these sorts of questions, because foreigners are buying up more of our farmland with each passing day, and this is a very real national security threat.

And after this absolutely disastrous year, thousands more U.S. farmers will be forced out of business and it is anticipated that more U.S. farmland will be up for sale than ever before.

I extensively discussed the problems that farmers in the middle of the country are currently having yesterday, and today I would like to share with you a portion of an email that a friend in Missouri just sent me…

I work for a farmer in West-Central Missouri who raises corn, soybeans, and cattle and to say it’s been a challenging Spring would be the understatement of the year!!! We managed to get some corn planted in April but it started to rain and rain and rain and we still have more corn to plant. My boss doesn’t like to plant corn after May 15 and here it is May 27 and we still are not done planting corn. With each late day that passes by the yield goes down so what do you do??? Do we start planting soybeans if or when it dries up even though the price of soybeans is at a record low or do we plant corn that has risen in price but will have a reduced yield??? From April 28 through today (May 27) we have had 10 inches of rain. One day we had 4.5 inches with roads and basements flooded. Last week we had rain 4 out of those 7 days!!! It’s raining again today as I write this!!! We need warm, sunshine, dry, windy days and we get mostly cool, cloudy, rainy days. Next Thursdays low is supposed to be 57!!! If the weather pattern doesn’t change I don’t see how we can ever get the soybeans planted and we have 1,300 acres to plant. There are large farmers in my area that don’t have anything planted.

This truly is a “perfect storm” for U.S. farmers, and many believe that what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

Farm bankruptcies are already at the highest level that we have seen since the last recession, and do we really want foreigners gobbling up even more of our farmland from farmers that are incredibly desperate to sell?

Our founders never intended for America to be for sale to the highest bidder, and hopefully more states will start passing laws that will make sure that U.S. farms stay in the hands of U.S. farmers.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

 

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