How QE3 Will Make The Wealthy Even Wealthier While Causing Living Standards To Fall For The Rest Of Us

The mainstream media is hailing QE3 as a great victory for the U.S. economy.  On nearly every news broadcast, the “talking heads” are declaring that Ben Bernanke’s decision to pump 40 billion dollars a month into our financial system is definitely going to help solve our economic problems.  The money for QE3 is being created out of thin air and this round of quantitative easing is going to be “open-ended” which means that the Federal Reserve is going to keep doing it for as long as they feel like it.  But is this really good for the average American on the street?  No way.  Despite two previous rounds of quantitative easing, median household income has still fallen for four years in a row, the employment rate has not bounced back since the end of the last recession, and new home sales have remained near record lows.  So what have the previous rounds of quantitative easing accomplished?  Well, they have driven up the prices of financial assets.  Those that own stocks have done very well the past couple of years.  So who owns stocks?  The wealthy do.  In fact, 82 percent of all individually held stocks are owned by the wealthiest 5 percent of all Americans.  Those that have invested in commodities have also done very nicely in recent years.  We have seen gold, silver, oil and agricultural commodities all do very well.  But that also means that average Americans are paying more for basic necessities such as food and gasoline.  So the first two rounds of quantitative easing made the wealthy even wealthier while causing living standards to fall for all the rest of us.  Is there any reason to believe that QE3 will be any different?

Of course not.

This time the Federal Reserve is focused on buying mortgage-backed securities.  Yes, the same financial garbage that helped cause the last crisis.  The Fed plans to gobble up tens of billions of dollars of that trash every month from now on.

But will the Fed pay true market value for those mortgage-backed securities?  If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.

So this is going to be a huge windfall for some people, and that does not include us.

Not a single penny of this 40 billion dollars a month will go directly into our hands.  The theory is that it will “filter down” to us eventually.

But that hasn’t happened with previous rounds of quantitative easing.

So where does the money go?

A recent CNBC article discussed a very interesting report from the Bank of England about the effects of quantitative easing….

It said that the Bank of England’s policies of quantitative easing – similar to the Fed’s – had benefited mainly the wealthy.

Specifically, it said that its QE program had boosted the value of stocks and bonds by 26 percent, or about $970 billion. It said that about 40 percent of those gains went to the richest 5 percent of British households.

Many said the BOE’s easing added to social anger and unrest. Dhaval Joshi, of BCA Research wrote that  “QE cash ends up overwhelmingly in profits, thereby exacerbating already extreme income inequality and the consequent social tensions that arise from it.”

Wow.

Who benefits from quantitative easing?

According to the Bank of England, it is “mainly the wealthy” who benefit.

As I noted the other day, Donald Trump said essentially the same thing when he told  CNBC the following….

“People like me will benefit from this.”

As I already discussed above, a lot of quantitative easing money gets into the financial markets where it pumps up the prices of financial assets.

But not all of it goes there.

We were told that the whole idea behind quantitative easing was that it was supposed to get banks lending again, but this has not happened.  Instead, banks are sitting on unprecedented amounts of money.  Just look at how the first two rounds of quantitative easing have caused excess reserves being held by banks to explode from close to zero to over 1.5 trillion dollars….

Of course one of the biggest problems is that the Federal Reserve is still paying banks not to lend money.

Yes, you read that correctly.

The Federal Reserve is paying banks to park money with them.  So instead of risking their money by lending it out to us, the banks can just park it at the Fed and make risk-free profits for as long as they want.

Must be nice.

If the Federal Reserve really wanted banks to start lending again, all the Fed has to do is to stop paying banks not to lend money.

But of course if more than 1.5 trillion dollars suddenly started flooding into our economy (especially after you consider the multiplier effect) we would be dealing with nightmarish inflation unlike anything we have ever seen before.

So if you want to know why inflation was not even worse after QE1 and QE2 it is because more than a trillion and a half dollars is being parked with the Fed.

So did QE1 and QE2 do any good for average Americans?

Let’s go to the charts.

This first chart shows that the percentage of working age Americans with a job has stayed extremely flat since the end of the last recession.

Does it look like QE1 and QE2 made a difference to you?  I don’t see any difference….

Okay, but what about new home sales?

Did QE1 and QE2 help them?

Nope….

But the mainstream media is still buying the baloney the Fed is pushing.

The mainstream media is promising us that home sales will soon rise and that lots of new jobs are on the way.

Sadly, the truth is that things have steadily gotten worse for average Americans over the past 4 years despite all of the money printing the Fed has been doing.  If you doubt this, just read this article.

But this is all that Ben Bernanke seems to have left.  When printing money doesn’t work, his answer is to print even more money.

QE3 is likely to cause agricultural commodities and the price of oil to rise even further.

So unless you can convince your employer to give you a corresponding raise, this is going to mean that your paychecks are not going to go as far as they did before.

And so that means a lower standard of living.

In a recent article, Bruce Krasting issued an ominous warning….

Higher inflation expectations in the US will filter around the globe. Post the extraordinary steps Ben took yesterday, people will be stocking up on “stuff”. Things like rice, flour, cooking oil, soy, wheat and sugar. If you can eat it, buy it now. It will be more expensive in a month. While your at it, fill up the gas tank, the price is going up next week and every week for the next few months.

In addition, the policy of the Federal Reserve of keeping interest rates as low as possible is absolutely crippling the finances of many retirees.  Even the former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, William F. Ford, recognizes this….

One of the overlooked consequences of the Federal Reserve’s recent rounds of monetary stimulus is the adverse impact those policies have had on the interest income of savers. The prolonged and abnormally low interest-rate structure put in place by the Fed has made life particularly difficult for retirees and others who depend on conservative interest-sensitive investments. But the negative effects do not stop there. They spillover into the overall performance of the economy.

Just about everything that the Federal Reserve does these days is bad for ordinary Americans.

But the Fed is not going to stop.  The Fed is addicted to money printing now, and as a recent article by Peter Schiff explained, the Fed is just going to “up the dosage” until it gets what it wants….

The Fed will try to conjure a recovery on the backs of currency debasement. It will not stop or alter from this course. If the economy fails to respond to the drugs, Bernanke will simply up the dosage. In fact, he is so convinced we will remain dependent on quantitative easing that he explicitly said he won’t turn off the spigots even if things noticeably improve.

This is complete and total incompetence by Ben Bernanke and his cohorts over at the Fed.

Economist Marc Faber believes that Ben Bernanke should resign, and I agree with him….

“If I had messed up as badly as Bernanke I would for sure resign. The mandate of the Fed to boost asset prices and thereby create wealth is ludicrous — it doesn’t work that way. It’s a temporary boost followed by a crash.”

And yes, a crash is coming.

Bernanke can try to put it off for a while, but every action he takes is just making the eventual crash even worse.

And some in the financial community clearly recognize this.  For example, credit rating agency Egan-Jones downgraded the credit rating of the United States to AA- on Friday.

The primary reason they gave for the downgrade was QE3.

Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve are destroying the U.S. dollar and destroying our financial system for a short-term economic sugar high.

It is utter insanity.

That is why we desperately need to get the American people educated about the Federal Reserve system.  It is at the very heart of our economic problems and yet neither major political party is willing to blame the Fed for the problems that it is causing.

A bunch of unelected bankers that are not accountable to the American people are running our economy into the ground and the American people do not even realize what is happening.

Please share this article with as many people as you can.  Hopefully we can get the American people to understand that more money printing is definitely not the solution to our problems.

James Holmes Is Not Alone – 20 More Examples Of The Sickos That Are Overrunning America

There is much more to the collapse of America than just our economic problems.  The truth is that the United States is like a beautiful house that may still look great on the outside but that has rotted and decayed very badly on the inside.  In fact, the foundations of our country have rotted away so badly that our entire society is starting to collapse.  Just look at James Holmes.  It would be great if we could honestly say that James Holmes is an aberration, but we all know better than that.  James Holmes is not alone.  The cold, hard reality of the matter is that our degenerate society regularly produces sickos and monsters like James Holmes.  As I wrote about the other day, we lead the world in a whole host of bad categories.  We lead the world in child abuse, we lead the world in divorce, we lead the world in teen pregnancy and we lead the world in drug addiction.  The basic building blocks of society that tie us together and help keep us grounded (such as the family) are breaking down, but we still seem surprised that we have hordes of “lone wolf individuals” running around doing crazy things.  We are a sick, twisted society that is producing sick, twisted individuals.  If we do not admit how deep our problems really are, then we are never going to find any real solutions and we are going to keep being shocked when another James Holmes pops on to the scene.

Why didn’t this type of thing happen back in the 1950s?

Why are our young people so violent and so mentally unstable?

What has changed?

Those are some very important questions.  But most Americans will forget this incident very quickly and they will move on with their self-absorbed lives.

But there is so much about this shooting that calls for further examination.

What would make a highly educated 24 year old man do something so incredibly evil?

Why are so many young people suddenly “snapping” these days?

As our society continues to decay, how much worse are things going to get?

It is almost to the point where people are going to start becoming afraid of gathering in public places.

Most Americans never would have imagined that it would be dangerous to go to the movie theater.

But now people are going to look at going to the movies much differently.

And could it have been possible that James Holmes had some help?

There are some important questions that the media is not really focusing on in this case….

-How did an impoverished college student put together an arsenal of weapons, ammunition and body armor worth tens of thousands of dollars?

-Why do some eyewitnesses claim that he had at least one other person assisting him?

-Why did he surrender to police without offering any resistance whatsoever?

It would be great if we could get some answers to those questions.

In any event, this is yet another sign of how far our society has fallen.  We are becoming more sick and more twisted with each passing day, and it is time to admit this fact.

The following are 20 more examples of the sickos that are overrunning America….

#1 A Sicko In Oregon That Breaks Into Homes In Order To Watch Computer Porn

According to CBS, one young man in Oregon has been breaking into homes with the intent of watching pornography on the Internet….

Police say a 21-year-old Oregon man broke into homes to look at pornography on the Internet, sometimes while the homeowners were inside.

Eugene police said Thursday they arrested Antone Forrest Deedward Owens on charges of burglary, menacing and coercion. Authorities say he broke into at least three homes since last September, sometimes entering the same home on multiple occasions.

#2 Delaware Pediatrician That Sexually Abused 103 Children

Who is the bigger monster – James Holmes or the Delaware doctor that sexually abused 103 children?  The following is from a recent Natural News article….

According to reports in 2010, Dr. Earl Bradley, who has since been dubbed “America’s Worst Pedophile,” stood accused of molesting 103 young patients in his office in the tiny town of Lewes, Del., since 1994.

Detailed in 160 pages of what ABC News described as “disturbing court documents,” Bradley apparently videotaped his sex acts. The documents said Bradley repeatedly molested his child patients as their parents sat nearby and unsuspecting outside the waiting room of his BayBee’s Pediatrics clinic.

#3 Jerry Sandusky

Jerry Sandusky was supposed to be a role model.  He was an assistant football coach at Penn State and he was heavily involved in charity work.

But it turns out that it was all a lie.  In fact, a whole bunch of people involved in the Penn State football program knew what was going on and did not report it.

In the end, Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts of sexually abusing young boys.  He has become a national symbol of the depravity which is rotting away the very heart of this nation.

#4 Man That Kept His Wife Chained Up For 10 Years

What would you do to a man that kept his wife chained up for ten years?

According to one West Virginia news source, that is exactly what one man down in West Virginia did….

Earlier this month, Lizon was arrested after police say he kept his wife, Stephanie, chained up for nearly a decade in their home along Miller Hollow Road in Leroy, W.Va.

Lizon is accused of smashing Stephanie’s feet with farm equipment and hitting her with a hot frying pan.

Police say she also had a miscarriage because of the abuse and was forced to have another baby while still chained.

#5 Serial Foot-Licker In New York

Did serial foot-lickers even exist back in the 1950s?

Why are there so many of them running around today?

The following is from the New York Daily News….

Police have a possible serial foot-licker in custody after a 49-year-old man was arrested for inappropriately touching two young girls at an upstate New York library.

Anthony Parri allegedly took off a child’s shoe and rubbed the girl’s foot against his nose and mouth in one of two incidents Tuesday at Penfield Library, according to reports.

One of the alleged attacks happened in an open area in the children’s section, library director Bernadette Brickman told WHAM, ABC’s affiliate in Rochester. The child’s mom and a library employee witnessed the abuse and called the cops, according to the station.

#6 Houston Police Officer Accused Of Raping A Woman While On Duty

Who is supposed to keep all of these sickos under control?

The police?

Sadly, the police often are the sickos.

The following is from the Houston Chronicle….

DNA evidence has linked a Houston police officer to a rape he allegedly committed while on duty last month, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Officer Adan Jimenez Carranza, 32, was being held Friday at the Harris County Jail under a $30,000 bond, charged with aggravated sexual assault of a woman June 18 after a minor traffic accident, court records show.

#7 Philadelphia Police Officer Makes 14 Year Old Girl Watch Him Have Sex With A Prostitute After Sexually Assaulting Her

If we can’t trust the police, then who can we trust?

Recently there have been a bunch of reports of sexual misconduct by police in the national news.

The following is how Fox News described one particularly disturbing incident from the Philadelphia area….

A Philadelphia cop was arrested over allegations that he abducted a 14-year-old girl, sexually assaulted her and made her watch him have sex with a prostitute.

Police found Anthony Dattilo, 36, at a motel in the Bensalem area of the city Wednesday while responding to a possible abduction, according to the Bucks County Courier Times.

Dattilo, a 12-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, is reportedly in custody at the Bucks County prison on $500,000 bail.

#8 TSA Agent Spills Grandpa’s Ashes And Laughs About It

Almost every single day there is another TSA horror story in the news.

But what you are about to read is one of the worst of them all.

The following is from an ABC News article….

John Gross was leaving Florida with the remains of his grandfather  in a tightly sealed jar marked “Human Remains, ” ABC Indianapolis  affiliate RTV6 reported.

 “They opened up my bag, and I told them, ‘Please, be careful. These are my grandpa’s ashes,’” Gross told the station. “She picked up the jar. She opened it up.”

Gross said the TSA agent used her finger to sift through the ashes and accidentally spilled it.  He said one-third to one-half of the ashes spilled and that the agent laughed as he tried to gather what he could from the floor.

“She didn’t apologize. She started laughing. I was on my hands and knees picking up bone fragments. I couldn’t pick up all, everything that was lost. I mean, there was a long line behind me.”

#9 Connecticut Man Threatens To Cut The Tongue Out Of The Mouth Of A 3 Year Old Child

What kind of a man would hold up a knife and threaten to cut the tongue out of the mouth of a 3 year old kid?

Sadly, that is exactly what happened up in Connecticut recently.

The following is from a WFSB report about this incident….

Police in Vernon are investigating reports that a man held a knife to a child’s face and threatened to cut out his tongue.

On Friday, a woman named Heather Bonneville called police to inform them that a family acquaintance, who has been identified as Roman Fein, held the knife within inches of her 3-year-old son’s face before making the threat to cut his tongue out of his mouth.

#10 Naked “Cannibal” Threatens To Eat Police Officers Down In Georgia

Why are so many criminals getting naked lately?

Why are so many criminals trying to eat people?

The following is from a recent Daily Mail article….

Karl Laventure, 21, was believed to be high on bath salts when he tried to attack the officers in Lilburn, Georgia.

And after they had managed to subdue him he began threatening to eat them.

Laventure appeared out of some woods and was seen running naked around a golf range near Atlanta, swinging a club around his head and screaming.

Police said that it took several officers to subdue the man who had ‘super-human strength’.

#11 Public School Administrator In New York Fired For Not Participating In A Gay Orgy

Almost every day there is another story in the news about a new school sex scandal somewhere in America.

The following is from Courthouse News Service….

A public school administrator claims in court that his male boss sexually assaulted him in a hotel room after giving him pornography and trying to get him to join a foursome, then fired him for rebuffing the advances.

#12 Naked Florida Man Bites Chunk From Another Man’s Stomach

This year criminals in America seem to have become obsessed with chewing on human flesh.

The following example is from a recent Daily Mail article….

A naked man allegedly flew into a violent rampage, biting a chunk out of another man’s stomach after leaping from his roof onto a truck and urinating inside his home.

Officers responding to the scene needed backup to restrain Jeremiah Aaron Haughee with leg shackles, a spit hood and handcuffs after he continued fighting despite being Tasered five times.

Authorities did not carry out tests on Haughee to see if he was under the influence of any drugs.

Police first arrived at the home in Flagler Beach, Florida at 4.30 a.m. to find two men restraining the naked 22-year-old in a puddle of urine and glass.

#13 Father Who Killed His 3 Daughters Inside The Home Of His Ex-Wife

You know that society is really starting to break down when parents start killing their own children.

What one man up in Wisconsin is being charged with is absolutely horrific.

The following is from a recent CNN article….

A 34-year-old father was being held by authorities Wednesday in connection with the deaths of his three daughters, who were found inside his ex-wife’s Wisconsin home with the gas fireplace turned on, officials said.

#14 Pregnant Woman Set On Fire In Detroit

These days not even pregnant women are immune to violence.

What one pregnant woman up in Detroit went through recently is hard to stomach….

A 22-year-old pregnant woman survived after being bound, driven to Detroit, set on fire and shot early Saturday morning.

The woman, who was nine-months pregnant, had returned from a movie with her boyfriend and dropped him off at his house in Warren when she was approached from behind, Warren police Sgt. Dave Geffert said.

The woman’s hands, feet and eyes were bound with duct tape. She was then forced into her car and driven to an unknown place in Detroit where she was doused with lighter fluid, set on fire and shot once in the upper back, he said.

#15 New Jersey Man Throws His Own Intestines At Police

If the police were breaking into your home, would you cut out your own entrails and throw them at the police?

According to the Huffington Post, that is exactly what one man up in New Jersey did….

A New Jersey man allegedly cut out his entrails in front of police and then threw bits of his flesh and intestines at them.

The gruesome scene played out at a home in Hackensack, N.J., where 43-year-old Wayne Carter allegedly barricaded himself in on Sunday, NBC New York reported.

Officers got a call that morning when a witness said Carter was threatening to harm himself with a knife. Two cops responded, kicked in the door and found Carter in the corner, the station reported.

Carter allegedly ignored officers’ orders to put down the knife, and instead began stabbing himself in the abdomen, neck and legs.

#16 Naked Man Brutally Murders A Hotel Maid

Why would anyone want to kill a 62 year old cleaning woman?

Many of the crimes that are being committed today are absolutely senseless.

The following is how the CBS affiliate in Sacramento reported this story….

A naked man who may have been on drugs was arrested Saturday for killing a Tracy motel employee.

Andrew Carreiro, 25, is behind bars accused of killing the 62-year-old woman who cleans rooms at the Hacienda Inn on the 600 block of West 11th Street.

Witnesses say they found Carreiro covered in blood and standing near the partially naked body of the woman, say witnesses.

“[It’s] most definitely the craziest thing I’ve seen in my life, most definitely,” said Jermaine Haynes, a motel resident who made the gruesome discovery.

#17 Crack-Fueled Sickos Abduct A Female Jogger

These days you are not safe anywhere in the country.

Just check out what happened to one math teacher from Montana.  The following is how a Daily Mail article described what two very sick drug addicts did to her….

After smoking crack cocaine over the entire trip, Waters allegedly told Spell the drug ‘brought the devil out in him’ and began talking about kidnapping and killing a female, AP reports.

After they spotted Arnold, Spell claims that Waters told him to ‘grab the lady’ and pull her into their Ford Explorer as she jogged by.

‘Spell said Waters got into the back seat with the female and “choked her out”,’ the affidavit states.

After dropping Arnold’s body in a rural area of North Dakota later that night, Waters bought a shovel at a nearby Walmart. They buried the body in a two- to three-feet-deep hole on an old farmstead.

#18 Female Teacher Has Sex With Four Male Students

Why are so many public school teachers having sex with their students?

Don’t they realize that they will inevitably get caught?

Aren’t the dozens of other school sex scandals in the news sufficient warnings?

The following is from the NBC affiliate in Tucson, Arizona….

A new police report reveals racy, disturbing details of the alleged relationships between an Ironwood Ridge High School teacher and four of her students.

Oro Valley Police picked up Melissa Dalton April 30th booking her on four counts of sexual conduct with a minor.

She posted bail and got out the next day.

Subsequently more Ironwood Ridge students came forward with more allegations. That prompted the Oro Valley Police Department to add eight more counts including six of sex with a minor.

Melissa Dalton was in her first year teaching at Ironwood Ridge High School. The 33 year old is a wife and mother.

#19 Texas House Of Horrors

The nightmares that were happening in one quiet house in Texas are so horrifying that it is hard to find the words to describe them.

The following is from a New York Daily News article….

Texas authorities said Tuesday they removed 11 children from a crowded home where a registered sex offender lives after they found eight confined in a small, dark bedroom with restraints tying some to their beds.

Along with the children, 10 adults were living in the one-story, 1,700-square-foot home in Dayton, about 30 miles northeast of Houston, Child Protective Services spokeswoman Gwen Carter said. One month after a raid on the house, authorities are still trying to determine how the children are related and why they were there, she said.

#20 Florida Man Bites The Lips Off Of A Kitten

What kind of a monster would bite the lips off of a kitten?

It is hard to imagine anyone actually doing such a thing, but according to WKMG this apparently happened….

A Palm Coast man was arrested on suspicion of biting the lips off a kitten and strangling another cat.

Angel Vega Roman, 28, was arrested Saturday and charged with cruelty to animals.

According to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, Roman told an acquaintance that he accidentally choked his roommates’ kitten a couple of weeks ago and bit the lips off another black and white kitten named Oreo.  Roman also tortured Oreo by burning its ear and whiskers with a lighter, a sheriff’s report stated.

I know that I used a lot of disturbing examples in this article, but I wanted to make my point very strongly.

James Holmes is not an isolated case.  America is literally being overrun by sickos and monsters.

In the old days, our societal institutions were strong and they helped to tie us together.

But today there is very, very little that ties us together and keeps us grounded.  Faith in almost every major institution in society is very low and our families are falling apart.

The percentage of adult Americans that are married right now is at an all-time low.  The percentage of Americans with no religious affiliation at all is at an all-time high.

Our society is rotting from the inside out and many of our formerly great cities are degenerating into absolute hellholes.

Fixing America is not just a matter of fixing our economic system or our political system.

Fixing America is going to take a whole lot more than that.

So what do all of you think about this?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

Why New York Times Economist Paul Krugman Is Partly Right But Mostly Wrong

In recent days, New York Times economist Paul Krugman has been doing a whole bunch of interviews in which he has declared that the solution to our economic problems is very easy.  Krugman says that all we need to do to get the global economy going again is for the governments of the world to start spending a lot more money.  Krugman believes that austerity is only going to cause the economies of the industrialized world to slow down even further and therefore he says that it is the wrong approach.  And you know what?  Krugman is partly right about all of this.  The false prosperity that the United States and Europe have been enjoying has been fueled by unprecedented amounts of debt, and in order to maintain that level of false prosperity we are going to need even larger amounts of debt.  But there are several reasons why Krugman is mostly wrong.  First of all, we have not seen any real “austerity” yet.  Even though there have been some significant spending cuts and tax increases over in Europe, the truth is that nearly every European government is still piling up more debt at a frightening pace.  Here in the United States, the federal government continues to spend more than a trillion dollars a year more than it brings in.  If the United States were to go to a balanced federal budget, that would be austerity.  What we have now is wild spending by the federal government beyond anything that John Maynard Keynes ever dreamed of.  Secondly, Krugman focuses all of his attention on making things more comfortable for all of us in the short-term without even mentioning what we might be doing to future generations.  Yes, more government debt would give us a short-term economic boost, but it would also make the long-term financial problems that we are passing on to our children even worse.

It is important to understand that Paul Krugman is a hardcore Keynesian.  He believes that national governments can solve most economic problems simply by spending more money.  His prescription for the U.S. economy in 2012 was summarized in a recent Rolling Stone article….

The basic issue, says Krugman, is a lack of demand. American consumers and businesses, aren’t spending enough, and efforts to get them to open their wallets have gone nowhere. Krugman’s solution: The federal government needs to step in and spend. A lot. On debt relief for struggling homeowners; on infrastructure projects; on aid to states and localities; on safety-net programs. Call it “stimulus” if you like. Call it Keynesian economics, after the great economic thinker (and Krugman idol) John Maynard Keynes, who first championed the idea that government has an essential role in saving the free market from its own excesses.

So is Krugman right?

Would the U.S. economy improve if the federal government borrowed and spent an extra half a trillion dollars this year for example?

Yes, it would.

But it would also get us half a trillion dollars closer to bankruptcy as a nation.

Krugman claims that “austerity” has failed, but the truth is that we have not even seen any real “austerity” yet.

When a government spends more than it brings in, that is not real austerity.

People talk about the “austerity” that we have seen in places such as Greece and Spain, but the truth is that both nations are still piling up huge amounts of new debt.

So let’s not pretend that the western world is serious about austerity.

The goal for most European nations at this point is to get their debts down to “sustainable” levels.

But for economists such as Krugman, this is a very bad idea.  Krugman insists that cutting government spending during a recession is a very stupid thing to do.  The following is from one of his recent articles in the New York Times….

For the past two years most policy makers in Europe and many politicians and pundits in America have been in thrall to a destructive economic doctrine. According to this doctrine, governments should respond to a severely depressed economy not the way the textbooks say they should — by spending more to offset falling private demand — but with fiscal austerity, slashing spending in an effort to balance their budgets.

Critics warned from the beginning that austerity in the face of depression would only make that depression worse. But the “austerians” insisted that the reverse would happen. Why? Confidence! “Confidence-inspiring policies will foster and not hamper economic recovery,” declared Jean-Claude Trichet, the former president of the European Central Bank — a claim echoed by Republicans in Congress here. Or as I put it way back when, the idea was that the confidence fairy would come in and reward policy makers for their fiscal virtue.

Yes, Krugman is correct that government austerity measures will only make a recession worse.

Just look at what has happened in Greece.  Wave after wave of austerity measures has pushed Greece into an economic depression.  If you want to see what austerity has done to the unemployment rate in Greece, just check out this chart.

As other nations across Europe have taken measures to get debt under control, we have seen similar economic results all across the continent.

The overall unemployment rate in the eurozone has hit 10.9 percent which is a new all-time high, and youth unemployment rates throughout Europe are absolutely skyrocketing.

Right now there are already 12 countries in Europe that are officially in a recession, and in many European nations manufacturing activity is slowing down dramatically.

So, yes, austerity is not helping short-term economic conditions in Europe.

But what are the nations of the western world supposed to do?

According to Krugman, they are supposed to run up gigantic amounts of new debt indefinitely.

And that is what the United States is doing right now.  But at some point the clock strikes midnight and all of a sudden you have become the “next Greece”.

U.S. government debt is already rising much, much faster than U.S. GDP is.

Between 2007 and 2010, U.S. GDP grew by only 4.26 percent, but the U.S. national debt soared by 61 percent during that same time period.

Today, the U.S. national debt is equivalent to 101.5 percent of U.S. GDP.

But Paul Krugman does not consider this to be a major problem.

The Obama administration is currently stealing approximately 150 million dollars from our children and our grandchildren every single hour to finance our reckless spending, but for Paul Krugman that is not nearly good enough.

To Krugman, the only thing that is important is what is happening right now.  Apparently the future can be thrown into the toilet as far as he is concerned.

The founder of PIMCO, Bill Gross, told CNBC on Tuesday that the U.S. government is likely to be hit with another credit rating downgrade this year if something is not done about our exploding debt.

The United States already has more government debt per capita than Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland or Spain does.

But Krugman insists that the solution to our economic problems is even more debt and even more spending.

In a previous article, I detailed how we are doomed if the U.S. government keeps spending money wildly like this and we are doomed if the U.S. governments stops spending money wildly like this.

If we keep running trillion dollar deficits every year, at some point our financial system will collapse, the U.S. dollar will fail, and we will essentially be facing national bankruptcy.

But if the federal government stops borrowing and spending money like this, our debt-fueled prosperity will rapidly disappear, unemployment will shoot well up into double digits, and we will soon have mass rioting in major U.S. cities.

The truth is that we have already been following Paul Krugman’s economic prescription for the nation for decades.  Our 15 trillion dollar party has funded a standard of living unlike anything the world has ever seen, but the party is coming to an end.

The Federal Reserve is trying to keep the party going by buying up huge amounts of government debt.  The Fed actually purchased approximately 61 percent of all government debt issued by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2011.

It is a shell game that cannot go on for too much longer.

The national debt crisis can be delayed for a while, but at some point the house of cards is going to come crashing down on top of us all.

If Paul Krugman wanted to talk about real solutions he could talk about shutting down the Federal Reserve and he could talk about going to an entirely debt-free currency.

But we all know that is not going to happen, don’t we?

As I have written about before, the Federal Reserve was designed to be a perpetual government debt machine.  The system was designed to have the amount of money and the amount of government debt constantly expand.

And it has been working quite well in that regard.  At this point, the U.S. national debt is more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was first created.

But Paul Krugman is not going to talk about the real issues.  Instead, he is just going to keep running around declaring that more government spending and more government debt will solve all of our problems.

It is a very big lie, but millions of people are going to believe it.

15 Potentially Massive Threats To The U.S. Economy Over The Next 12 Months

We live in a world that is becoming increasingly unstable, and the potential for an event that could cause “sudden change” to the U.S. economy is greater than ever.  There are dozens of potentially massive threats that could easily push the U.S. economy over the edge during the next 12 months.  A war in the Middle East, a financial collapse in Europe, a major derivatives crisis or a horrific natural disaster could all change our economic situation very rapidly.  Most of the time I write about the long-term economic trends that are slowly but surely ripping the U.S. economy to pieces, but the truth is that just a single really bad “black swan event” over the next 12 months could accelerate our economic problems dramatically.  If oil was cut off from the Middle East or a really bad natural disaster suddenly destroyed a major U.S. city, the U.S. economy would be thrown into a state of chaos.  Considering how bad the U.S. economy is currently performing, it would be easy to see how a major “shock to the system” could push us into the “next Great Depression” very easily.  Let us hope that none of these things actually happen over the next 12 months, but let us also understand that we live in a world that has become extremely chaotic and extremely unstable.

In the list below, you will find some “sudden change” events that are somewhat likely and some that are quite unlikely.  I have tried to include a broad range of potential “black swan events”, but there are certainly dozens more massive threats that could potentially be listed.

The following are 15 potentially massive threats to the U.S. economy over the next 12 months….

#1 War With Syria – U.S. Senator John McCain is now publicly calling for U.S. airstrikes against Syria.  A military conflict with Syria becomes more likely with each passing day.

#2 War With Iran – A war in the Middle East involving Iran could literally erupt at any time.  The following is from a Reuters news report that was issued on Monday….

President Barack Obama appealed to Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to give sanctions time to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but the Israeli prime minister offered no sign of backing away from possible military action, saying his country must be the “master of its fate.”

#3 A Disorderly Greek Debt Default – Many reporters in Europe seem to think that this is becoming increasingly likely.  So what would a disorderly Greek debt default mean for the global financial system?  A leaked report that was authored by the Institute of International Finance says that a disorderly Greek debt default would have some very serious consequences.  You can read the full text of that leaked report right here.

#4 An Economic Collapse In Spain – Spain has one of the largest economies in Europe and it is rapidly becoming a basket case.  As I have written about previously, the unemployment rate in Spain has hit 19.9 percent, and the unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 is up to 49.9 percent.  Unfortunately, the situation in Spain continues to deteriorate.  The following is from a recent article by Marc Chandler….

However, the devolution in Spain is particularly troubling. The new fiscal compact had just been signed last week, which includes somewhat more rigorous fiscal rule and enforcement, when Spain’s PM Rajoy revealed that this year’s deficit would come in around 5.8 percent of GDP rather the 4.4 percent target. This of course follows last year’s 8.5 percent overshoot of the 6 percent target.

The problem that for Spain is that the 4.4 percent target was based on forecasts for more than 2 percent growth this year. However, in late February, the EU cuts its forecast to a 1 percent contraction. This still seems optimistic. The IMF forecasts a 1.7 percent contraction, which the Spanish government now accepts.

#5 The Price Of Gasoline – The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States has risen for 27 days in a row and is now up to $3.77.  Virtually all forms of economic activity are affected by the price of gasoline, and if the price of gas keeps going up it is eventually going to have dramatic consequences for the U.S. economy.

#6 The Student Loan Debt Bubble – Just like we saw with the housing bubble, the student loan debt bubble just continues to grow and grow and grow.  At some point the nearly 1 trillion dollar bubble is going to burst.  What effect will it have on our financial system when that finally happens?

#7 State And Local Government Debt Crisis – It is being reported that California is running out of cash again and there are cities all over the country that are on the verge of bankruptcy.  Could we see a significant municipal bond crisis in the next 12 months?

#8 The Collapse Of A Major U.S. Bank – A number of top U.S. banks are looking increasingly shaky.  In a recent article, David Trainer explained why he has such serious concerns about Bank of America right now….

In my opinion, there are four actions taken by financial services that signal the company is headed to serious trouble.

1. Management shake-up and major layoffs – lots of layoffs over the past year

2. Exploiting accounting rules to boost earnings – SFAS 159

3. Drawing down reserves to boost earnings: to the tune of $13.3 billion in 2011 and 2012

4. Bilking customers with new fees: tried it before and trying it again

Bank of America has taken all four steps.

#9 A Derivatives Crisis – The International Swaps and Derivatives Association recently ruled that the Greek debt deal will not trigger payouts on credit default swaps.  This is seriously shaking confidence in the global market for derivatives.  But the global financial system simply cannot afford a major derivatives crisis.

Estimates of the notional value of the worldwide derivatives market range from $600 trillion all the way up to $1.5 quadrillion.  The notional value of all derivatives held by Bank of America is approximately $75 trillion.  JPMorgan Chase is holding derivatives with a notional value of approximately $79 trillion.

When the derivatives bubble finally bursts it is going to be a financial horror show unlike anything we have ever seen.

#10 The Fall Of The Japanese Economy – The Japanese economy shrank at a 2.3 percent rate during the fourth quarter of 2011.  Japan has a debt to GDP ratio of over 200 percent and a major debt crisis involving Japan could erupt at any time.

#11 A “Solar Megastorm” – Scientists tell us that there is a “1 in 8 chance” that a “solar megastorm” will hit the earth by 2014.  A recent Daily Mail article detailed what some of the consequences of such an event would be….

‘We live in a cyber cocoon enveloping the Earth. Imagine what the consequences might be,’ Daniel Baker, of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics told National Geographic when asked about a potential ‘megastorm’.

‘Every time you purchase a gallon of gas with your credit card, that’s a satellite transaction.

‘Imagine large cities without power for a week, a month, or a year. The losses could be $1 to $2 trillion, and the effects could be felt for years.

#12 A Major West Coast Earthquake Or Volcanic Eruption – On Monday, there was a 4.0 earthquake in San Francisco and a 6.1 earthquake in Argentina.  Is the “Ring of Fire” waking up again?

#13 Tornado Damage To Major U.S. Cities – Last year, the U.S. experienced one of the worst tornado seasons of all time.  This year, we have already seen the worst tornado outbreak ever recorded in the United States in the month of March.  A couple of towns in Indiana were completely wiped out by that outbreak.  So what should we expect when we get to the heart of tornado season this year?

#14 Severe Drought In The United States – Last summer was one of the driest summers on record in the United States, and in many areas there is simply not enough water available for farmers this year.  Some are even projecting that we could see “dust bowl conditions” return to some areas of the country eventually.

#15 An Asteroid Strike In 2013 – Although scientists tell us that the probability is extremely low, the truth is that there is a slight chance that a sizeable asteroid could hit the earth in February 2013.  The asteroid is estimated to be between 60 and 100 meters wide, and it is projected to pass by our planet “at a distance of under 27,000 km“.  If it did hit us (and scientists say that the odds of that happening are very low) it would potentially be as serious an event as the Tunguska Event in Siberia in 1908.  Mac Slavo of shtfplan.com recently described how awesome the Tunguska Event really was….

On June 30, 1908 an incoming meteor exploded approximately 5 miles above Siberia. The force of the air burst explosion, estimated at between 15 and 30 megatons, or about 1000 times bigger than the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, was so powerful that it annihilated everything in an 830 square mile area, and reports suggest that that explosion was heard up to 1000 miles away. Because of the remoteness of the impact zone, the Tunguska Event over Siberia had very little effect on the human population in the region, but the destruction of some 80 million trees in the area shows just how powerful a blast was created.

Of course there are so many other “sudden change” events that could potentially happen – a terror event in a major U.S. city, a deadly pandemic, an EMP attack, cyberterrorism or a major political scandal could all possibly cause a stock market crash and an economic collapse in the United States.

In the world that we are living in today, you just never know what is going to happen.

So what are all of you concerned about over the next 12 months?

Do you see the potential for some “black swan events” to happen?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

I Can’t Take It Anymore! When Will The Government Quit Putting Out Fraudulent Employment Statistics?

On Friday, the entire financial world celebrated when it was announced that the unemployment rate in the United States had fallen to 8.3 percent. That is the lowest it has been since February 2009, and it came as an unexpected surprise for financial markets that are hungry for some good news.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payrolls jumped by 243,000 during the month of January.  You can read the full employment report right here.  Based on this news, pundits all over the world were declaring that the U.S. economy is back.  Stocks continued to rise on Friday and the Dow is hovering near a 4 year high.  So does this mean that our economic problems are over?  Of course not.  A closer look at the numbers reveals just how fraudulent these employment statistics really are.  Between December 2011 and January 2012, the number of Americans “not in the labor force” increased by a whopping 1.2 million.  That was the largest increase ever in that category for a single month.  That is how the federal government is getting the unemployment rate to go down.  The government is simply pretending that huge numbers of unemployed Americans don’t want to be part of the labor force anymore.  As you will see below, the employment situation in America is not improving.  Yet everyone in the mainstream media is dancing around as if the economic crisis has been cancelled.  I can’t take it anymore!  It is beyond ridiculous that so many intelligent people continue to buy in to such fraudulent numbers.

The truth is that the labor force participation rate declined dramatically in January.  For those unfamiliar with this statistic, the labor force participation rate is the percentage of working age Americans that are either employed or that are unemployed and considered to be looking for a job.

As you can see from the chart posted below, the labor force participation rate rose steadily between 1970 and 2000.  That happened because large numbers of women were entering the labor force for the first time.

The labor force participation rate peaked at a little more then 67 percent in the late 90s.  Between 2000 and the start of the recent recession, it declined slightly to about 66 percent.

Since then, it has been dropping like a rock.  The chart below does not even include the latest data.  In January, the labor force participation rate was only 63.7 percent.  That is the lowest that is has been since May 1983.  So keep that in mind as you view the chart.

In reality, the percentage of men and women in the United States that would like to have jobs is almost certainly about the same as it was back in 2007 or 2008.  There has been no major social change that would cause large numbers of men or women to want to give up their careers.  So there is something very, very fishy with this chart….

The federal government has been pretending that millions of unemployed Americans have decided that they simply do not want jobs anymore.

This does not make sense at all.

The truth is that unemployment is not really declining at all.  The percentage of Americans that are working is not increasing.  The civilian employment-population ratio dropped like a rock during 2008 and 2009 and it has held very steady since that time.

In January, the civilian employment-population ratio once again held steady at 58.5 percent.  This is about where it has been for most of the last two years….

Does that chart look like an “economic recovery” to you?

Of course not.

If the percentage of people that are employed is about the same as it was two years ago, does that represent an improvement?

Of course not.

If the employment situation in America was getting better, the civilian employment-population ratio would be bouncing back.

We should be thankful that our economy is not free falling like it was during 2008 and 2009, but we also need to understand why things have stabilized.

The federal government is spending money like there is no tomorrow.  During 2011, the Obama administration stole an average of about 150 million dollars an hour from our children and our grandchildren and pumped it into the economy.  Even though the Obama administration spent that money on a lot of frivolous things, it still got into the pockets of average Americans who in turn went out and spent it on food, gas, clothes and other things.

Without all of this reckless government spending, we would not be able to continue to live way above our means and our economic problems would be a lot worse.

But even with the federal government borrowing and spending unprecedented amount of money, and even with interest rates at record lows, our economy is still deeply struggling.  Just consider the following facts….

-New home sales in the United States hit a brand new all-time record low during 2011.

-The average duration of unemployment in America is close to an all-time record high.

-The percentage of Americans living in “extreme poverty” is at an all-time high.

-The number of Americans on food stamps recently hit a new all-time high.

-According to the Census Bureau, an all-time record 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that gets direct monetary benefits from the federal government.  Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.

So let’s not get too excited about the economy.

Yes, things have somewhat stabilized.  The percentage of Americans that have jobs is about the same as it was two years ago.  Considering how rapidly jobs are being shipped out of the United States, that is a good thing.

Enjoy this false bubble of hope while you can.  Things are about to get a lot worse.

Do you remember how rapidly things fell apart after the financial crisis of 2008?

Well, another major financial crisis is on the way.  This time it is going to be centered in Europe initially, but it is going to spread all around the globe just like the last one did.

As the charts above show, we have never even come close to recovering from the last recession, and another one is on the way.

So how bad are things going to get after the next wave of the financial crisis hits us?

That is something that we should all be thinking about.

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.

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