Paupers In The Land Our Forefathers Conquered

A long time ago, in an America now far, far away, the majority of the American people owned the land that they live on.  The term “my land” actually meant something back then.  But today that has fundamentally changed.  Now the majority of the American people owe on the land that they live on.  In fact, most of them owe big money to the giant corporate banking interests that control the mortgage industry.  So how did the American people come to be debtors and paupers in the land that our forefathers conquered?  Today when someone says that they “bought a house” what they really mean is that they have signed up for 30 years (or more) of bloated mortgage payments which they care barely afford.  As you will see below, the percentage of residential mortgage debt to total home equity (housing net worth) in the United States continues to rise at a staggering pace.  In fact, thanks to the housing crash, for the first time in American history residential mortgage debt far surpasses the total home equity owned by all Americans.  So what does that mean?  It means that the big corporate banks have more of an interest in America’s homes than we do now.

So how are we getting our land taken from us?

Well, you can thank rampant inflation and the housing bubble.

Back in 1980, the United States was pushing up towards a total of $1 billion in total residential mortgage debt.  It took us over 200 years to get to that point as a nation.

By 1990, the United States approximately doubled that amount and was sitting at about $2 trillion  in total residential mortgage debt.

By the year 2000, the United States had just about $5 trillion in total residential mortgage debt.

By 2008, the United States had over $10 trillion in total residential mortgage debt.

Do you notice a trend?

In just the past 30 years the amount of residential mortgage debt in the United States has increased tenfold.

Meanwhile, thanks to the housing crash, home equity has taken a nosedive.  As you can see from the chart below, total residential mortgage debt in the U.S. now far exceeds total home equity….

So what does this mean?  It means that the banks have more of a financial interest in America’s homes than we do.  It means that we are quickly becoming paupers and debt slaves.

As you can see from the chart below, back in 1945 total home equity as a percentage of home value was extremely high (80%).  Home equity exceeded total residential mortgage debt by about a 4 to 1 margin.  But today total residential mortgage debt exceeds home equity and the situation is rapidly becoming worse….

We were all told to buy into the system and we could live the American Dream.  We were told to get a “good job” with one of the big global corporations and we were told to get a mortgage so that we could build up equity.  Well, that has turned out great for most of us, hasn’t it?

The reality is that the system so many of us trusted is dying.  We are now at the point where the system cannot provide jobs for millions of us anymore.  If unemployment continues to soar as it has, millions more of us will find ourselves destitute and homeless on the continent our forefathers conquered….

So how did all of this happen?

Back in 1913, the U.S. Congress gave control over U.S. currency to the Federal Reserve.  Since that time, the value of the U.S. dollar has slowly been eroded.  $1.00 in 1914 (the year after the Federal Reserve was established) had about the same buying power as $21.59 in 2010.  That means that the U.S. dollar has lost over 95 percent of its purchasing power since then.

So the accumulated wealth that our parents and grandparents hand down to us is being constantly devalued.  The only way to keep up with rising prices on land and on everything else is to go out into the system to get more of the “currency” that is controlled and manipulated by the Federal Reserve and the big corporate banks.  But what most of us don’t realize is that the game is rigged to slowly transfer the wealth of the nation over to them.

The house always wins in the end.

Thanks to the greed and stupidity of the American people, we have accumulated the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world.  It was a fun party while we were piling up all the debt, but now the bankers have us where they want us.

If only we had listened to those among our founding fathers who warned us about this trap.

For example, the words of Thomas Jefferson in a letter to John Taylor dated May 28th, 1816 ring more true today than they ever have….

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

The truth is that the American people are being swindled and most of them don’t even realize it.  The wealth of America is slowly being transferred to the big banks.  All of the interest that we pay month after month after month makes them rich.

The financial system of the United States is broken.  But until the U.S. economy totally collapses most Americans will not realize it.  By then it will be far too late.

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America’s Crumbling Infrastructure

One of the key signs that we are in the early stages of an economic collapse and that we are heading towards another Great Depression is America’s crumbling infrastructure.  The truth is that our infrastructure is literally falling apart all around us.  Thousands of bridges are structurally deficient and there have already been some very high profile collapses.  Over 30 percent of the highways and roads in the United States are in very poor shape.  Aging sewer systems are leaking raw sewage all over the place.  The power grid is straining to keep up with the ever-increasing thirst of the American people for electricity.  There have already been some regional blackouts, and unless something is done quickly things promise to get even worse.  The truth is that a nation’s infrastructure says a lot about who they are.  So what does America’s infrastructure say about us?  It says that we are a rusting, crumbling, decaying leftover from a better, more prosperous time.

Just consider the following facts about America’s infrastructure from the Pew Research Center website…..

*According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 25 percent of America’s nearly 600,000 bridges need significant repairs or are burdened with more traffic than they were designed to carry.

*According to the Federal Highway Administration, approximately a third of America’s major roadways are in substandard condition – a significant factor in a third of the more than 43,000 traffic fatalities in the United States each year.

*The Texas Transportation Institute estimates that traffic jams caused by insufficient infrastructure waste 4 billion hours of commuters’ time and nearly 3 billion gallons of gasoline a year.

*The Association of State Dam Safety Officials has found that the number of dams in the United States that could fail has grown 134% since 1999 to 3,346, and more than 1,300 of those are considered “high-hazard” – meaning that their collapse would threaten lives.

*More than a third of all dam failures or near failures since 1874 have happened in just the last decade.

*According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, aging sewer systems spill an estimated 1.26 trillion gallons of untreated sewage every single year, resulting in an estimated 50.6 billion dollars in cleanup costs.

The following are some additional facts from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce….

*A decaying transportation system costs our economy more than $78 billion annually in lost time and fuel.

*The United States must invest $225 billion per year over the next 50 years to maintain and adequately enhance our surface transportation systems. Currently, we’re spending less than 40% of this amount.

*U.S. transit systems earned a D+ rating from the American Society of Civil Engineers. Transit funding is declining even as transit use increases faster than any other mode of transportation – up 21% between 1993 and 2002.

*Costs attributed to airline delays – due in large part to congestion and an antiquated air traffic control system – are expected to triple to $30 billion from 2000 to 2015.

*By 2020, every major U.S. container port is projected to be handling at least double the volume it was designed to handle.

*Throughout the United States, railroads are projected to need nearly $200 billion in investment over the next 20 years to accommodate freight increases.

Are you starting to get the picture?

America’s aging infrastructure cannot handle the number of people that we have now.  With the population of the United States expected to hit 420 million by 2050, there are serious questions about how the national infrastructure is going to hold up under such a strain.

Already the infrastructure in many areas of the United States is beginning to resemble that of a third world nation.  The video posted below contains some of the highlights from a History Channel special about America’s infrastructure from a couple of years ago that highlights many of these problems….

So can anything be done about America’s crumbling infrastructure?

Of course.

State and local governments can spend the money needed to fix and maintain our infrastructure.

But that is not going to happen.

Why?

Because state and local governments are now facing unprecedented financial shortfalls.

In fact, it is more likely that expenditures on infrastructure will actually be cut.

According to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, after two years cutting spending on schools, health care, and other public services, U.S. states are preparing to carve even deeper into funding for 2011.

Of course the U.S. government could step in with necessary infrastructure funding, but considering the state of the U.S. national debt, it seems unlikely that state and local governments will be able to count on much more help from the folks in Washington D.C.

So what does that mean?

It means that America’s infrastructure will continue to rust, decay and fall to pieces.  Our grandparents and great-grandparents invested a lot of time, energy and money into building up this great nation, but now we are letting it rot right in front of our eyes.

What do you think that says about us?

It’s The Economy Stupid – Nearly 80 Percent Of Americans Say They Don’t Trust The Government

Back during Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, “It’s the economy, stupid” was a phrase that Clinton campaign officials used to keep the focus on the troubled U.S. economy.  The truth is that Americans as a whole care about very few things more than their own economic well being, and by keeping the debate focused on economic issues, Clinton was able to defeat George H. W. Bush.  Nearly 20 years later, that slogan is as true today as it ever has been.  The American people care dearly about their own wallets and bank accounts.  With the economy tanking badly and with unemployment at very high levels, dissatisfaction with the U.S. government is at record highs.  In fact, acccording to a newly released poll byPew Research Center, just 22% of Americans believe that they can trust the government in Washington almost always or most of the time.  Nearly half of the respondents said that the government has a negative effect on their daily lives.  Only 25% of those responding expressed a favorable opinion of Congress, which was the lowest favorable rating for Congress in a quarter century of Pew Research Center surveys.

So why are the American people so angry and frustrated with their government?

It’s the economy, stupid.

Millions of Americans have lost their jobs and their homes, and millions more Americans are on the verge of losing their jobs and homes.

There are approximately 5.5 unemployed Americans for every job opening.  RealtyTrac projects that there will be 4.5 million home foreclosures in 2010.  The economic nightmare just keeps going from bad to worse.

The result is a massive horde of pissed off American voters.

As long as Americans are fat and happy and their wallets are full, most of them really could care less how involved the government is in their lives.  But when things go bad economically, all of a sudden the government becomes a major annoyance.

And this is not a Republican v. Democrat thing either.  The truth is that both parties have been radically expanding the size of the U.S. government for decades.  Both parties have been spending taxpayer money like there is no tomorrow.  Both parties have mortgaged the future of America to please their constituents.  Now average Americans from both parties are alarmed at how large the government has become and how badly it is screwing things up.  Just consider the following quote from USAToday.com….

“The government’s been lying to people for years. Politicians make promises to get elected, and when they get elected, they don’t follow through,” says Cindy Wanto, 57, a registered Democrat from Pennsylvania who joined several thousand for a rally in Washington on April 15 — the tax filing deadline. “There’s too much government in my business. It was a problem before Obama, but he’s certainly not helping fix it.”

If he wants to get re-elected, the best thing that Barack Obama could do to get votes would be to get the U.S. government to spend as much money as humanly possible in a last ditch attempt to stimulate the U.S. economy with a flood of paper money.  That might work just long enough to get re-elected and buy himself another four years in the White House.  Of course that strategy would also likely create hyperinflation and would make the long-term financial problems of the U.S. government far, far worse.

But unless the American people start feeling a lot better about the economy, they are not going to look too kindly on anyone who is currently holding office either in 2010 or in 2012.

Meanwhile, playing politics is more profitable than it ever has been.

Barack Obama and his wife Michelle raked in a cool 5.5 million dollars in 2009.

Sarah Palin has earned approximately 12 million dollars since last July.

According to Forbes magazine, Glenn Beck made 32 million dollars in the 12 months ending March 1st.

Politicians may not be very popular these days, but it sure is a profitable racket if you can get into the club.

Republicans make a ton of money convincing millions of Americans that the Democrats are the cause of all the problems that they are experiencing.  Democrats make a ton of money convincing millions of Americans that that Republicans are the cause of all the problems that they are experiencing.  Meanwhile, both parties continue to pile up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world and continue to sell out the future of our children and our grandchildren.

Neither party seems interested in addressing the root causes of our national financial nightmare.  Instead, politicians from both parties seem to think that they can keep making all kinds of promises to get elected and then never delivering on them.

Well, the American people are starting to wake up to all of this nonsense.  Tens of millions of Americans are experiencing extreme financial pain and they are looking for answers.

Unfortunately, the U.S. economy is going to get a whole lot worse, and very few of the politicians in Washington have the guts to tell the American people the truth.

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The Federal Reserve Created This Financial Mess And Now They Expect Us To Pay Higher Taxes And Have A Lower Standard Of Living So We Can Pay Interest To Them

When you watch the mainstream news, how often do you hear them identify the Federal Reserve as the ultimate source of all of our financial problems?  Never?  Well, there is a good reason.  The Federal Reserve was created and continues to benefit the elite international bankers that are raping the United States blind financially.  Many of the same financial powers own large interests in the 6 gigantic media companies that dominate U.S. mainstream media.  So you won’t hear the truth from them.  On this website we go on and on about how bad the U.S. national debt is.  And it is really, really, really bad.  But rarely do you hear from anyone who we owe all of this money to.  Yeah, we owe large amounts to Japan and China and a bunch of other nations, but the biggest holder of our debt by far is the Federal Reserve.  Just like the owner of your mortgage or your car loan, they expect to be paid back – with interest.   

Now U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is warning that the U.S. national debt could balloon to more than 100% of GDP by the year 2020.  For those familiar with national debt statistics, that is a very, very dangerous threshold to cross.  Basically the United States is in debt up to its eyeballs and the debt continues to grow at an exponential rate.

So what is the solution?

Well, according to Bernanke, United States citizens will soon have to make difficult choices between higher taxes and reduced social spending. 

Perhaps both. 

The truth is that either alternative will slow down the U.S. economy and will reduce our standard of living, but this is the situation that we have gotten ourselves into.

And we have got to service that gigantic debt that we owe to the Federal Reserve (among others).

In fact, a whole lot of government officials are talking about taxes these days.

And not about lowering them.

Some administration officials are floating the idea of a national sales tax and others are openly discussing adopting a European-style “value-added” tax.

Any way that they can drain more money out of us sounds good to them.

In fact, members of Barack Obama’s “fiscal reform commission” say that higher taxes must be considered as a way to handle the U.S. government’s mounting debt problem.

Of course they could just stop wasting trillions of dollars, but apparently that is too hard.

And so where will all of these new taxes go?

To managing our colossal debt of course.

The truth is that we have locked generations of Americans into debt slavery.

We have piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world, and our children and grandchildren will spend all of their lives trying to pay interest on it.

Haven’t we left them with such a wonderful legacy?

If you don’t understand who the Federal Reserve is or what they are doing to us, please watch the excellent 4 minute video below.  It does a great job of introducing people to the rotten core at the center of the U.S. financial system.  We encourage you to send this video out to as many of your friends and family as possible.  Perhaps if there is a mass awakening, Americans can elect politicians that will shut down the Fed and will reclaim America’s financial destiny….

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

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

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

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

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

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

What a wonderful gift to future generations, eh?

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

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

 

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

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

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

Is anyone else out there getting upset about this?

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

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

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

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

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

And it is going to be painful.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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