Are You A Slave Of The System?

If you went out and took a poll of the American people on July 4th (Independence Day) and asked them if they are free, what would the results look like?  Of course the results would be overwhelmingly lopsided.  Most Americans believe that they live in “the land of the free” and that they are not enslaved to anyone.  But is that really the case? Slavery does not always have to involve whips and shackles.  There are many other forms of slavery.  One dictionary definition of a slave is “one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence”.  I really like that definition.  Today, millions of Americans are slaves of the system and they don’t even realize it.  Debt is a form of slavery, and millions of Americans having become deeply enslaved to our debt-based financial system.  When someone enslaves someone else, the goal of the master is to reap a benefit out of the slave.  You don’t want the slave to just sit there and collect dust.  Today, most Americans have willingly shackled themselves to a system that systematically drains their wealth and transfers it to the very wealthy.  Most of them don’t even realize that they have been enslaved even as the system sucks them dry.

Just think about it.  Where is the “big money” in the United States today?

When asked that question, most Americans think of Wall Street.

Well, who controls Wall Street?

The bankers do.

The borrower is the servant of the lender, and they generate massive amounts of wealth by lending us money.

Perhaps an example will be helpful.

Have you ever run up $5000 of credit card debt?  Many people have run up much, much more than that, but let us use $5000 for our example.

According to the Federal Reserve, if you only make the minimum payment every month, at a 20% interest rate it will take you 49 years to pay that credit card off and you will pay back a total of $26,169.

So you would have gotten the original benefit of spending the $5000 and you would have had to work extremely hard to pay back an additional $21,169 to the bankers.

In essence, you would be working as a servant of the bankers until you had paid back that entire debt plus interest.

Unfortunately, our entire system is now designed to get you to go into debt.

It starts before we even get into the “real world”.  We are constantly told that we cannot get a “good job” without a college degree, but a college education is so ridiculously expensive these days that most of us cannot afford one without going into lots of debt.

Many of you out there know exactly what I am talking about.

Do you have a pile of student loan debt?

I do.

In fact, the total pile of student loan debt in the United States is now over a trillion dollars.

Unfortunately, when a lot of us graduated we found out that the “good jobs” that we were promised simply were not there.  Last year, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.

So many young adults are starting out life already enslaved to a gigantic pile of debt but without a good job that will enable them to comfortably service that debt.

The really “lucky” graduates from the top schools flock to Wall Street so that they can make lots of money running the debt-based financial system that is enslaving all the rest of us.

Once young people leave school, there are lots of other “debt traps” to fall into.

Once you get out into the “real world”, just about every major purchase is going to involve another pile of debt.

Do you want a house?

That is going to mean more debt.  As I have written about previously, mortgage debt as a percentage of U.S. GDP has more than tripled since 1955.

Do you want a car?

About 70 percent of all vehicle purchases in the U.S. now involve at least some borrowed  money.

Consumer debt is particularly insidious.  Our stores are filled with very beautiful things, and it is really easy to buy a bunch of stuff and “put it on plastic”.

Since 1971, the total amount of consumer debt in the United States has increased by 1700%, and approximately 46% of all Americans now carry a credit card balance from month to month.

We just keep plunging ourselves deeper and deeper into debt slavery.  Most Americans never seem to learn.  Over the past 30 years those of us in the “bottom 95 percent” have seen our financial shackles just get heavier and heavier.  The following is from a recent CNN article….

In 1983, the bottom 95% had 62 cents of debt for every dollar they earned, according to research by two International Monetary Fund economists. But by 2007, the ratio had soared to $1.48 of debt for every $1 in earnings.

When you pile up lots of debt, you aren’t just working for yourself anymore.  You are also working for those that you owe the debts to.  Your hard work and sweat end up making them a lot wealthier.

Our state and local governments have enslaved themselves to debt as well.  Total state and local government debt is now about 8 times higher than it was 30 years ago.

At this point, many U.S. cities are in very serious trouble with debt.  In fact, another California municipality has just declared bankruptcy.  On Monday, the town of Mammoth Lakes announced that it has formally filed for bankruptcy.

But this is just the beginning.

The truth is that we are a nation that is absolutely drowning in debt and we need a lot more money in order to keep up with all of this debt.

But there is a problem.

In our debt-based financial system, the creation of more money actually creates more debt.

So how are we ever going to get out of the hole that we are in?

Today, the U.S. national debt is more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was first created back in 1913.  This is why it is so important for the American people to realize that the Federal Reserve is a perpetual debt machine.

The Federal Reserve system itself does not make much money.  The vast majority of the profits that the Federal Reserve makes are transferred back to the U.S. government.

But that is not what the Federal Reserve was created to do.

What the Federal Reserve was created to do was to set up a system where the U.S. government would borrow money and pay interest on it instead of just creating the money itself.

Last year the U.S. government spent more than 454 billion dollars just on interest on the national debt.  That is a form of national slavery.  454 billion dollars that we worked very hard to make was taken from us and transferred into the pockets of some very wealthy people.

The truth is that the U.S. government does not actually need to ever borrow a single penny from anyone.  As a sovereign government it could directly issue money into circulation.

But lending money to governments is very, very profitable and it is the kind of thing that wars are fought over.

For example, the First Bank of the United States (the very first central bank in our country) was established in 1791 and the charter for that bank expired in 1811 and was not renewed.

So what happened the very next year?

The War of 1812.  During that war Washington D.C. was actually captured and burned.  The final major battle of that war was the battle of New Orleans which took place on January 8, 1815.

So what happened the very next year?

President James Madison signed the charter for the Second Bank of the United States on April 10, 1816.

The goal has always been to enslave the American people.  Debt is used to enslave us individually, it is used to enslave our businesses, it is used to enslave our state and local governments and it is used to enslave our federal government.

So are you a slave of the system?

If you are in debt, then you are a slave at least to some degree.

Unfortunately, the global financial system has become so saturated with debt that it is now on the verge of collapse.  It appears that things could be getting significantly worse during the second half of this year, and the years ahead do not look very promising at all.

Sadly, most Americans do not see any of this coming.  In fact, a new CNN/ORC International poll has found that about 60 percent of all Americans think that the U.S. economy will be in good shape next year.

Can you believe that?

The mainstream media has done a fantastic job of brainwashing the general public.

The “blue team” is convinced that if Barack Obama wins the election and the Democrats take control of both houses of Congress that prosperous times are on the way.

The “red team” is convinced that if Mitt Romney wins the election and the Republicans take control of both houses of Congress that the U.S. economy will be put back on the right track.

Well, the truth is that there is not going to be a solution to our economic problems on the national level.  We have accumulated the greatest mountain of debt in the history of the world, and it is going to collapse and crush us no matter which brand of corrupt politicians we sent to Washington.

On July 4th, millions upon millions of Americans will celebrate “Independence Day” with cookouts, parades and fireworks without ever realizing the true nature of what is really going on.

Hopefully we can get more of them educated while there is still time.

3.6 Million Taxpayer Dollars Being Used To Support The Lavish Lifestyles Of Former Presidents Such As Bush And Clinton

You are not going to believe how much money is being spent on our former presidents.  At a time when U.S. government spending is wildly out of control, a total of 3.6 million dollars is being used to support the lavish lifestyles of former presidents such as George W. Bush and Bill Clinton in 2012.  For 2013, the plan is to increase that amount to 3.7 million dollars.  But do any of them really need this kind of welfare?  The truth is that all of them are very wealthy.  So what justification is there for giving them so much money?  You can see the GSA budget proposal for former presidents for 2013 right here.  The 3.7 million dollars for 2013 does not even include the cost of Secret Service protection.  Rather, it only covers expenses such as office rentals, travel, phone bills, postage, printing and pension benefits.  Certainly it is not unreasonable to grant former presidents a small pension, but should we be showering them with millions of dollars each year?  At a time when the federal government is drowning in so much debt, the fact that these former presidents are willing to take such huge amounts of taxpayer money really does make them look like parasites.

So why are these former presidents getting this money?

Congress passed The Former Presidents Act of 1958 because they didn’t want other presidents to end up as poor as Harry Truman did.

Well, these days former presidents are definitely not in danger of ending up poor.  But this law does enable former presidents to stick the U.S. taxpayer with some absolutely outrageous bills.

For example, George W. Bush is scheduled to get $1,356,000 from U.S. taxpayers in 2013.

$85,000 of that will be for phone expenses.

He must have a really, really bad calling plan.

Bill Clinton is scheduled to get $1,019,000 from U.S. taxpayers in 2013.

A whopping $442,000 of that will be for office space.

That breaks down to more than $36,000 a month.

I hope that office space is nice.

Perhaps he needs a lot of office space to hide from Hillary.

George H.W. Bush is scheduled to get $879,000 from U.S. taxpayers in 2013.

$63,000 of that total will be going toward “equipment”.

How many iPads does he really need?

Even the old peanut farmer, Jimmy Carter, will be getting $518,000 from U.S. taxpayers in 2013.

But do they even need this money?

Exactly how wealthy are these former presidents?

Well, it turns out that they are very, very wealthy.

Bill Clinton earned an estimated $41 million in speaking fees during the first six years after he left office.  He also received a $12 million advance for for his memoir, “My Life”.

George W. Bush earned an estimated $15 million in speaking fees during just the first two years after he left office.

So why are we spending millions to support these guys?

Perhaps this is yet another question that we don’t have an answer to.  We can add it to the list….

-Why do chimps throw poop?

The federal government has spent $592,527 to try to find the answer.

-Do unhappy people spend more time on Twitter or on Facebook?

The federal government has spent $198,000 in an attempt to get an answer.

-How do rats respond to jazz music when they are high on cocaine?

Your tax dollars are being spent to get to the bottom of it.

-Does cocaine cause Japanese quail to engage in sexually risky behavior?

The federal government has spent $175,587 to find out the truth.

Right now there are more than 100 million working age Americans that do not have jobs, and this is the kind of nonsense that the federal government is spending money on.

Shame on these former presidents for taking this money.

If our Congress critters are looking for a place to cut the federal budget, this would be a good place to start.

12 Facts About Money And Congress That Are So Outrageous That It Is Hard To Believe That They Are Actually True

Do you want to get rich?  Just get elected to Congress.  The U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives are absolutely packed with wealthy people that are very rapidly becoming even wealthier.  The collective net worth of the members of Congress is now measured in the billions of dollars.  The people that we have elected to the House and Senate are absolutely swimming in money.  Unfortunately, it is not easy to get elected to Congress.  In this day and age you generally have to be heavily connected to those that are very wealthy to get into Congress because it takes gigantic amounts of cash to win campaigns.  But if you can get in to the club, you pretty much have it made.  The numbers that you are about to read are very difficult to believe and they should deeply sadden you.  They show that Congress has become all about money.  Congressional races are mostly financed by wealthy people, most of the people that we elect to Congress are very wealthy, and they rapidly get wealthier after they are elected.  All of this money has turned our republic into something far different than our founding fathers intended.

The following are 12 statistics about money and Congress that are so outrageous that it is hard to believe that they are actually true….

#1 The collective net worth of all of the members of Congress increased by 25 percent between 2008 and 2010.

#2 The collective net worth of all of the members of Congress is now slightly over 2 billion dollars.  That is “billion” with a “b”.

#3 This happened during a time when the net worth of most American households was declining rapidly.  According to the Federal Reserve, the collective net worth of all American households decreased by 23 percent between 2007 and 2009.

#4 The average net worth for a member of Congress is now approximately 3.8 million dollars.

#5 The net worth of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi increased by 62 percent from 2009 to 2010.  In 2009 it was reported that she had a net worth of 21.7 million dollars, and in 2010 it was reported that she had a net worth of 35.2 million dollars.

#6 The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, saw his wealth grow by 29 percent from 2009 to 2010.  He is now worth approximately 9.8 million dollars.

#7 More than 50 percent of the members of the U.S. Congress are millionaires.

#8 In 2008, the average cost of winning a seat in the House of Representatives was $1.1 million and the average cost of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate was $6.5 million.  Spending on political campaigns has gotten way out of control.

#9 Insider trading is perfectly legal for members of the U.S. Congress – and they refuse to pass a law that would change that.

#10 The percentage of millionaires in Congress is more than 50 times higher than the percentage of millionaires in the general population.

#11 U.S. Representative Darrell Issa is worth approximately 220 million dollars.  His wealth grew by approximately 37 percent from 2009 to 2010.

#12 The wealthiest member of Congress, U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, is worth approximately 294 million dollars.

So how are members of Congress becoming so wealthy?

Well, there are lots of ways they are raking in the cash, but one especially alarming thing that goes on is that members of Congress often make investments in companies that will go up significantly if legislation that is being considered by Congress “goes the right way”.

This is called a “conflict of interest”, but it happens constantly in Congress and nobody seems to get into any trouble for it.

The following is video of Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes ambushing Nancy Pelosi about one particular conflict of interest involving credit card legislation.  As you can see, she does not want to talk about it….

As noted above, insider trading is perfectly legal for members of Congress.

A law that would ban insider trading by members of Congress has been stalled for years on Capitol Hill.

So has this been a significant benefit to members of Congress?

Well, there has been at least one study that appears to indicate that members of Congress have been much more successful in the stock market than members of the general public have….

A 2004 study of the results of stock trading by United States Senators during the 1990s found that that senators on average beat the market by 12% a year. In sharp contrast, U.S. households on average underperformed the market by 1.4% a year and even corporate insiders on average beat the market by only about 6% a year during that period. A reasonable inference is that some Senators had access to – and were using – material nonpublic information about the companies in whose stock they trade.

Of course all of this could just be a coincidence, right?

Meanwhile, members of Congress keep telling the rest of us that we are just going to have to cut back because times are tough.

For example, during an interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, Nancy Pelosi actually claimed that we should try to encourage poor people to have less children because it costs the government so much money to take care of them….

PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children’s health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those – one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no apologies for that?

PELOSI: No apologies. No. we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.

This elitist attitude extends all the way into the White House as well.  Earlier this year, Barack Obama made the following statement….

“If you’re a family trying to cut back, you might skip going out to dinner, or you might put off a vacation.”

Meanwhile, the Obamas are living the high life at taxpayer expense.  In a previous article I mentioned one outrageously expensive vacation taken by the Obamas that was paid for by our taxes….

“Back in August, Michelle Obama took her daughter Sasha and 40 of her friends for a vacation in Spain.

So what was the bill to the taxpayers for that little jaunt across the pond?

It is estimated that vacation alone cost U.S. taxpayers $375,000.”

There is a massive disconnect between what our politicians say and what our politicians do.

The high life is good enough for them, but the rest of us have got to “cut back” and suffer becomes times are hard.

But when it comes to money and Congress, the most corrupting influence of all is probably all of the campaign money that gets thrown around.

In America today, it takes gigantic mountains of money to run a successful campaign.

Sadly, the candidate that raises the most money almost always wins.  In federal elections the candidate that raises the most money wins about 90 percent of the time.

More than 5 billion dollars were spent on political campaigns back in 2008.

That represents a huge number of favors that need to be paid back.

In 2012, it is being projected that 8 billion dollars could be spent on political campaigns.

When big corporations and wealthy individuals shovel huge piles of money into political campaigns, it is generally because they expect something in return.

Most of those that get sent to Congress realize that they never would have won if wealthy donors had not showered cash on them.  Most of them understand that they should not bite the hands that feed them if they want the cash to keep rolling in.

Politics in America has become a game that is played by the elite for the benefit of the elite.

Average Americans have the perception that they are involved in the process and that their opinions really matter, but mostly it is just an illusion.

It is so sad.

Meanwhile, members of Congress rapidly get wealthier and average American families continue to suffer.  In fact, the standard of living in the United States has fallen farther over the past three years than at any other time that has ever been recorded in U.S. history.

But for members of Congress the good times just keep on rolling.

Just as it has been for most of human history, the rich rule over the poor.

Does anyone out there believe that we have any hope of changing this?

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