The Extreme Frustration Of Unemployed Americans

When Barack Obama visited Buffalo recently, he was greeted by a billboard advertisement with a very pointed message about unemployment.  In just a few words it summarized the frustrations of an entire region.  The billboard along I-190 had this very simple message for Obama: “Dear Mr. President, I need a freakin job. Period. Sincerely, inafj.org.”  As word about this billboard got out, it quickly made headlines all over the United States.  Why?  Well, the truth is that millions of hard working Americans are extremely frustrated about their lack of work right now.  When you don’t have a job and you can’t provide for your family, very little else seems to matter.  In fact, according to a recent Gallup poll, unemployment is now the second most important issue to American voters.  The number one issue is the economy.

The reality is that the American people don’t want excuses.

They want jobs.

And some are getting so desperate that they are even putting up billboards to express their frustrations.

So who sponsored the billboard in Buffalo?

Well, it was actually sponsored by a group organized by Buffalo businessman Jeff Baker.  It turns out that Baker lost his own small business 15 months ago.  His business had employed 25 people, and when he was forced to close it he described it as “the most heartbreaking situation” of his entire life.

Baker’s group, INAFJ (“I Need A Freakin Job”), says that they are not about playing politics.  What they want is only one thing.

Jobs.

They want someone to put the American people back to work.  Baker recently explained it this way….

“Nothing else matters unless the American people are working.”

In some areas of the United States, the situation is beyond desperate.  Detroit is a great example of this.  Not only does the city resemble a war zone at this point, but Detroit’s mayor says that the unemployment rate in his city is somewhere around 50 percent.

So how in the world is a major city supposed to function when 40 to 50 percent of the people living there can’t get the work that they need?

The sad thing is that Detroit used to be one of the most prosperous areas in the United States.  Once upon a time, the auto industry was booming and there were lots of great jobs available for blue collar workers.

But that all seems so far away now.

For decades, the politicians in Washington D.C. have allowed (or even encouraged) the offshoring of our manufacturing jobs, and now we are a nation with a dwindling manufacturing base that is rapidly bleeding cash.

In fact, the U.S. trade deficit widened for the second consecutive month in March to its highest level since December 2008.  Every single month we buy much more from the rest of the world than they buy from us.  That means that wealth is constantly flowing out of this nation, and no end to the bleeding is in sight.

The truth is that America’s twin deficits (the trade deficit and the massive U.S. government budget deficit) are absolutely destroying the financial condition of this nation.  For years and years economists have warned that these deficits would bring about a day of reckoning at some point, and now that day is here.

We are told by the media that we have entered an economic recovery, but with tens of millions of Americans not able to get the work that they need, most people are not convinced.  In fact, a new poll shows that 76 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. economy is still in a recession.

But this is nothing compared to what is coming.

The truth is that the United States is rapidly becoming a service economy.  Service jobs pay less than manufacturing jobs do, and the rapid advance of technology in recent decades has made human labor increasingly unnecessary.

That means that the “system” does not need our labor as much as it once did.

This is leading to a situation where there is a widening gap between the “haves” and the “have nots”.  In fact, the bottom 40 percent of those living in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.

But not everyone has been hurting during this financial crisis.

Did you know that the number of millionaires in the United States rose 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009?

Not only that, but an analysis of income-tax data by the Congressional Budget Office a few years ago found that the top 1% of households in the United States own nearly twice as much of the corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.

The elite are getting richer, while at the same time tens of millions of other Americans are finding it increasingly more difficult to survive.

That is why groups like INAFJ are becoming so popular.  They are tapping into the frustration of the growing number of Americans who are desperately trying to make it from month to month.  The following is a short video that INAFJ posted on YouTube about their organization….

So do have a story of economic frustration that you would like to share with the world?

Have you found yourself working harder and harder for less and less?

Does it seem like you come up short at the end of every month no matter how hard you try?

If you have a story, we would love to share it with our readers.  Please feel free to post your tale of economic frustration in the comments section below….

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.

FINCA BAYANO

12 Reasons Why Millions Of Americans Are Incredibly Angry About The State Of The U.S. Economy

We have reached a very interesting turning point in American history.  More than at any other point in modern times, Americans are deeply angry about the state of the economy.  In fact, it is no stretch to say that millions of U.S. citizens are hopping mad about the economic situation.  Most of them don’t know exactly what is wrong, and even fewer of them have any idea about how to go about fixing things, but they do know one thing.  They know that they are mad.  As Americans, we were raised with the belief that our overwhelmingly powerful economic machine would always provide good jobs and prosperity for all of us as long as we worked hard.  But we have come to learn that is not true.  We have come to learn that our politicians and our leaders have squandered the great inheritance that our forefathers left for us.  We have come to learn that the financial future of our nation is beyond bleak.  We have come to learn that our government has piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world.  Now the foolish decisions of the past several decades are catching up with us.  The U.S. economy is experiencing structural failure, and the American people are angry.  They want answers.  They want someone to fix things.  They want things to go back to the way they used to be.

But that isn’t going to happen.  Once the American people truly start realizing that, the anger that will erupt will dwarf what we are seeing now.

Not that they are aren’t already incredibly steamed.  The following are 12 reasons why many Americans are absolutely furious about the state of the U.S. economy….

#1) There simply are not enough jobs for everyone.  The number of unemployed Americans per job opening has started to increase again, hitting 5.5 in February.  Even many of those who are able to get some work find themselves only able to obtain part-time employment.  Gallup’s underemployment measure hit 20.0% on March 15th.  This was up from 19.7% two weeks earlier and 19.5% at the start of the year.

#2) More Americans than ever find themselves having to rely on the U.S. government just to survive.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 39.4 million Americans, a new all-time record, received food stamps in January.  This was up 22% from a year earlier.  In fact, the number of Americans on food stamps has hit all-time records for 14 consecutive months.

#3) Foreclosures continue to set records across the United States.  RealtyTrac, the California-based authority on property trends and valuations, projects that there will be 4.5 million home foreclosures before the end of this year.  If you figure 4 people per household, that is another 18 million people that will be forced out of their homes.

#4) As unemployment and foreclosures continue to soar, “tent slums” have started popping up all over the United States.  Is this why our founding fathers fought and died?  So we could all live in “tent slums” as the big fat cats on Wall Street roll around in their bailout cash?

#5) But even with all of these economic problems, the price of food is going up.  Rising demand and reduced supply drove supermarket prices for 16 basic foods up 6.2% in the first quarter of 2010.

#6) Due to the exploding government debt, the American people are going to be confronted with some tough choices.  According to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, the United States will soon have to make difficult choices between higher taxes and reduced social spending.  Either alternative will slow down the U.S. economy.

#7) Meanwhile, corruption in the financial system is running rampant.  The CEOs of bailed-out regional banks are actually getting big raises.  The guy who helped bring down AIG is going to get off scott-free and will be able to keep the millions in profits that he made in the process.

#8) But the biggest fraud is being committed by the boys at the top of the food chain.  A whistle blower has come forward with “smoking gun” evidence of price manipulation by major financial institutions in the precious metals markets.  The scope of this fraud is in the trillions of dollars.  The American people can’t stomach much more of this type of thing.

#9) Almost all financial experts agree that the era of super cheap money is over and that interest rates are about to rise significantly.  This is going to make it much more expensive for most Americans to borrow money to buy a home, to buy a car, to buy things with their credit cards or to borrow money for education.  Those who already have adjustable loans are going to find a much larger portion of their income going to pay interest.  Needless to say, this is going to cause the U.S. economy to experience a significant slowdown.

#10) One of the biggest things that the American people are upset about is the “health care reform” bill that was just rammed down their throats.  It turns out that “health care reform” is actually going to be the biggest tax increase in American history.  Not only that, but because of taxes and mandates imposed upon health insurance companies by the legislation, health insurance premiums are also about to increase substantially.  So where will the average American family get the money to pay for these increases?

#11) In addition, the new health care law that was supposed to give all of us much better health care is actually going to force the cancellation of at least 60 doctor-owned hospitals that were scheduled to be opened according to the executive director of Physician Hospitals of America.  Why?  Well, it turns out that the new law singles out physician-owned hospitals, making new physician-owned projects ineligible to receive payments for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

#12) The reality is that Americans are increasingly becoming disenchanted with the lack of leadership in both political parties.  Approval ratings for leaders in both parties are extremely low, and anger at politicians is at an all-time high.  The Tea Party movement is just one symptom of the seething anger many Americans are feeling.  While many Americans are gathering together at large protest rallies to demonstrate against the policies of the government, others are expressing their displeasure on blogs and websites.  There has never been a moment in modern times when Americans have been so disenchanted with their political leadership.

This anger is not going to go away.  It could be soothed a bit if the U.S. economy was fully fixed and things went back to the way they used to be.  But as noted previously, that just is not going to happen.  Harder times are ahead.  Americans are going to get angrier and angrier.

But there is not much that can be done to prevent that anger.  The politicians who are in office when things really hit the fan are going to take the brunt of the anger, but it won’t be their fault.  The truth is that this economic collapse has been building for decades.  The American people are just not going to understand that the financial system cannot be fixed overnight.

Dark times are coming.  It is not going to be pretty.  There is going to be a lot of anger and a lot of hate.  But all of these economic problems could be seen well ahead of time and there have been those who have been screaming and yelling about them for decades.

But very few people wanted to listen.

Austin Coins

Has The State Of California Become The Epicenter Of The Economic Collapse Of America?

Once upon a time, California was the state that everyone wanted to move to.  The endless sunshine, the gorgeous weather, the beaches, the lure of Hollywood and a booming economy made it extremely attractive to millions of Americans who wanted to fulfill their “California dreams”.  But those days are long gone.  Now, the state of California has become an economic nightmare.  In fact, many would argue that California has now become the epicenter of the economic collapse of the United States.  Everything that once made California great is now being swamped by a tidal wave of unemployment, foreclosures, crime, budget cuts, traffic, taxes and natural disasters.  There is a reason why every year now many more people leave the state of California than move into it.  The state of California is suffering a slow economic death, and if something is not done it could end up being one of the biggest financial disasters in history.

The economic crisis of the past several years has hit California so incredibly hard that it is hard to describe.  According to the U.S. Labor Department, the unemployment picture in the state continues to deteriorate, with an overall unemployment rate of 12.5 percent in January.

12.5 percent may not sound that bad, but the truth is that the situation in many of the urban areas is much worse.  There are now 8 counties in the state of California that have unemployment rates of over 20 percent.

In this economic environment, not even teachers are safe.  Just last week, the state of California handed pink slips to nearly 22,000 teachers across the state.

It is hard to even convey how bad things are in California right now.  California has always been a “boom or bust” state, but what is happening now is really unprecedented.

In fact, the number of people now unemployed in California is equivalent to the populations of Nevada, New Hampshire and Vermont combined.

Businesses are shutting down at an alarming rate.  For example, in the area around Sacramento, California there is one closed business for every six that are still open.

Just think about that.

One out of every seven businesses has already shut down.

And unfortunately things are going to get even worse.

But that is the last thing that people in California want to hear about now.

All of these economic problems are playing havoc with the state budget as well.  At this point the state of California is essentially dead broke.  Yet they have to keep borrowing more and more money because revenues have fallen off so sharply.  Basically what California is doing is they are piling up the biggest mountain of debt that any U.S. state has ever accumulated, and there is no hope that they will be able to do anything about it any time soon.

The following is how Ralph E. Stone of the Fog City Journal recently described the California government’s colossal financial problems….

How bad is the problem? Consider that California has a $20.7 billion deficit in the general fund budget over the next 16 months. California owes $8.8 billion in short-term loans that have to be paid off by June, and over $120 billion in outstanding bonds and interest that will be paid over decades. The state’s pension fund, CalPers, has $16.3 billion more in liabilities than assets, plus California also faces a $51.8 billion expense for the health and dental benefits of state retirees and future retirees.

So what can the state of California do?  Well, they can either raise taxes or they can cut spending.  Considering the fact that taxes are already at an incredibly oppressive level in the state, that is not a great option.  Not that they won’t try to suck more money out of the taxpayers anyway.

What California should be trying to do is to cut spending, but the very deep cuts that have been made already have not made that much progress.

Bob Herbert of the New York Times recently described California’s massive budget problems this way….

California has cut billions of dollars from its education system, including its renowned network of public colleges and universities. Many thousands of teachers have been let go. Budget officials travel the state with a glazed look in their eyes, having tried everything they can think of to balance the state budget. And still the deficits persist.

But it is not just California’s government that is experiencing a financial crisis of unprecedented magnitude.

California’s overstretched health care system is also on the verge of collapse.  Dozens of California hospitals and emergency rooms have shut down over the last decade.

Why?

The reality is that many hospitals and emergency rooms simply could not afford to stay open as they were endlessly swamped with immigrants and poor and homeless who were not able to pay for the services they were getting.

As a result of these hospital and emergency room closings, the remainder of the health care system in the state of California is now beyond overloaded.  This had led to brutally long waits, diverted ambulances and even unnecessary patient deaths.

And the number of Californians who are unable to pay for their emergency care is only increasing.

According to one new study, approximately 1 in 4 Californians under the age 65 had absolutely no health insurance last year.

But perhaps now that Barack Obama’s health care scheme has passed, maybe the cost of caring for everyone in California will be taken care of by the American taxpayers.

Thanks Obama.

The high unemployment rate and the cuts to the budget in California have also created an environment where crime and gang activity can flourish.  Not that crime and gangs were not gigantic problems before.  But now thousands upon thousands of young men who can’t or won’t find jobs have nothing better to do than sell drugs and terrorize entire neighborhoods.

In fact, there are many areas of California where you just do not go out of your home at night.

Then there are the devastating droughts, the thousands of wildfires, the endless earthquakes, and the crippling mudslides which California now experiences almost every single year.

No wonder so many people are flocking to leave the state.

But what happens in California eventually spreads to the rest of the United States.

Keep in mind that 13 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product comes from the state of California.

Counted by itself, California would be the 5th largest economy in the entire world.

So to think that these problems can be isolated to California is complete fantasy.

In fact, there are some areas in the United States, such as Detroit, that are just as bad as anything that is going on in California.

So the reality is that this is a national economic cancer that is spreading rapidly.

The economic nightmare that people in California and Michigan are experiencing will be coming to your area sooner or later.

Are you ready for that?

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What Happens When You Work As Hard As You Can And It Is Not Enough?

Once upon a time, most of us who live in America were taught that no matter what happens, if you are willing to work hard enough and long enough you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps and be able to live the American Dream.  But today that is not reality for millions of Americans.  Instead, millions of Americans find themselves working night and day and still not being able to make it.  Millions of others have poured their hearts and souls into their jobs and now find themselves out of work and out of luck by no fault of their own.  So what do you do when you work as hard as you possibly can and it is just not enough?

Financial stress has become a way of life for tens of millions of people.  Whether it is the rising cost of living, predatory credit card interest rates or mortgages that have just adjusted, many Americans now find themselves absolutely stretched to the limit.  Not only that, but local, state and federal government authorities are all raising taxes and are inventing more ways than ever to drain cash out of us.  This all comes at a time when the U.S. economy is crashing hard.

So what do you do if you have worked as hard as you can and you just don’t have enough money at the end of the month?  What do you do if you are willing to give everything you have to an employer but nobody is hiring?  What do you do if your best efforts are not even enough to put food on the table and a roof over your head?

Well, perhaps we could all move to Detroit.  There are some houses in Detroit that you can actually now buy for just one dollar.  That is if you don’t mind living in an area that looks like a war zone.

Other Americans are turning to more desperate measures.  An increasing number of Americans are turning to bankruptcy.  According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings surged 14% in February compared with a year earlier.  But bankruptcy just eliminates some debts – it doesn’t put food on the table.

The truth is that millions of Americans are really hurting and there are no easy answers.

Today we wanted to share with you the stories of three of our readers who are facing very difficult economic situations.  All of them have worked incredibly hard and yet all of them are finding out that all of their hard work is not quite enough in today’s economy….

Ian:

I am 23 and have been living out of my car in Los Angeles since March 2009. I work a full-time job as a night auditor for a hotel making only 10.00 an hour. I am saddled with debt from only a year or so of college at a university, credit card balances from just making means pass the past couple years when money has been very tight. I never have a balance over 500.00 in my account because the second i get my deposit (which 300-400 dollars of it the government feels compelled to take) i have to spend well more than half of it on bills and it doesn’t include any rent payments because i can’t even afford those right now. In 3-4 months i’ll have a lot of debt paid down (will still have student loan debt for a long time), and MAY be able to find a place to stay but thats if i don’t ever buy food, gas, or wash my laundry. I’ve spent the past year trying to find a simple part-time job, i don’t care if it pays 5.00 an hour, i would do it because it means i could secure myself at least a basement to rent out from someone’s house. After a year of doing this i am sick and tired of being harassed by the general public and safety officers and being pushed out of every public place i should be entitled to take a nap in during the day. It sounds real easy to just go out there and pursue something different, but until you can understand the stress of self-reliance on yourself, having no immediate family within a reasonable distance, and knowing what its like to have your only personal connections be the 3-4 people you work with–you can’t criticize me. Plus try working 11pm-7am 5 days a week for the past year and tell me how your emotional, physical, and mental capabilities are holding up! To make things worse my family is absolutely torn apart because of this economic mess and i’m stuck in the middle of my parent’s divorce with my mom trying to advocate herself as both my friend and mother and expects me to dually play these roles in her life without going crazy because she’s being a psycho but doesn’t know it because all the drugs she has taken over the past 4 years from her different doctors have messed up her ability to think clearly… another reason why i never go to the doctors.. ever.. i don’t trust them and i don’t trust anyone.

point is i’m glad i’m going through all this crap right now because when the rest of the people out there finally have to give up the money they are afraid they wont be able to set aside for their annual cruise they routinely people will cry travesty!! I kinda sorta find a weird solace in the inevitable collapse of our economy… its that i wont be so hardly affected… i know how to be poor and make ends meet during hard and trying times, and i know there are others out there like this too… and we will stand strong and mighty in spite of opposition and will prevail.. i hope lol.

Lynn:

To all you ignorant people making comments about unemployment like it is welfare, you need to find out the facts. I have worked since I was 16 and am now 48. I have pulled pallet jacks, worked as a distribution clerk, personnel clerk, Import specialist, went to college, I have paid my dues.

I didn’t ask for 3 companies I worked for to have huge Reductions In Force and eventually close their doors. I do not feel guilty receiving unemployment benefits to keep from loosing my car and home. I don’t have luxurious things. All you people making those ignorant comments about receiving money without working; When you loose your job and Walmart isn’t even hiring lets see how you are affected when you cant pay your bills on time. Get off of your soap boxes obviously if you are so well off in this economy you must be getting help from mommy and daddy or have an inheritance cause this economy is bad and getting worse. I know of people who were executives in large companies who lost everything not by any fault of their own… Wake up you Self Righteous hateful judgemental people because if you have not been affected yet just wait…

Baby Boomer:

Yes, it is difficult for the younger generation. However, I must admit that a lot of young people lack any sort of ambition or drive. I also realize that the economy is crumbling and there is less opportunity than ever before, at least in my lifetime and I am pushing 60.

I am a high school graduate (barely) and am self-taught. I worked in a factory for 20 years before they shipped all the factory jobs to the slave gulags in Asia and Mexico (thanks NAFTA). In the mid-90s I learned HTML and web technology (on my own; they didn’t teach this stuff in college back then; I hit the books) and after a long period of knocking on doors got a job with a web technology company.

I moved to a larger city where there was more opportunity and within two years more than doubled my income.

But then the bankers decided to pull the plug on the wildly exuberant (thanks to the bankers and Wall Street investors) internet boom and by 2001 my income had dropped by a third and I was working for the government (a state university), mostly because I had no choice (all my former coworkers were unemployed, replaced by Indians and Chinese programmers who worked at half or less the salary). Believe me, working for the government is hell, you are considered less than whale dung.

A few years later I transitioned my flagging internet skills and my self-taught writing and editing skills into a decent job with an online news site. I work 70 hours a week (including Saturday and Sunday) and earn what I did in 1998. Needless to say, inflation has taken the shine off it all.

I don’t mind working 70 plus hours a week, although my body is beginning to complain (I have arthritis, tendinitis, and carpal tunnel from all those countless hours before the computer).

I have no illusion of retirement. By the time I am 70 there will be no social security. I will probably work until I drop. That’s the way it is.

Things could be a lot better, but we have no political will and much of the younger generation is politically brain dead. We need to get rid of the Federal Reserve and take control of our money and get back to the Constitution. I think we are going in the opposite direction.

I tell young people to find a niche and fill it and you will be alright, for now. After the bottom falls out, though, I think we will all be screwed.

Unfortunately, it no longer matters how hard you work. We are becoming a third world country like Mexico and that includes the mentality of the populace.

That’s my two cents.

A postscript: Younger people are going to be confronted with a lot of older people living in the streets in the not too distant future. This will be difficult to deal with unless you have a heart of stone.

There is absolutely no political will to deal with the large Baby Boomer generation that will in a few short years not be able to work anymore. Most of them will not have the option of living with their children (if they have children) because their children will be unemployed or outright impoverished. In most third world countries there is a strong family sense; we don’t have that here, so expect to see granny dumpster-diving (or fighting for a position at the dumpster, if there will be a dumpster to be had).

Sorry to be a downer. We have about five years (or less) to take back the country, get the money system right, and get rid of the bankster criminals (I dream of Nuremberg trials).

Short of that, expect to be worse off than a sharecropper or serf on some duke’s estate (the new royalty consists of transnational corporations and as Mussolini said, corporatism is the essence of fascism).

Day Of Reckoning: Congress Cuts Off Federal Unemployment Benefits For Millions Of Unemployed Americans

Starting on Monday, the unemployed in the U.S. will no longer be able to apply for federal unemployment benefits or the COBRA health insurance subsidy.  This means that millions of Americans that have been unemployed for a long period of time may suddenly find themselves without an unemployment check and without any health coverage.  You see, normally state-funded unemployment benefits last for about 26 weeks.  After that, federal unemployment benefits kick in.  During this recent economic crisis, the U.S. Congress has approved up to an additional 73 weeks of unemployment benefits for unemployed Americans.  But now the U.S. Senate has not approved an extension, and so now millions of unemployed Americans that are relying on federal unemployment benefits will stop getting checks once their current federal benefits run out.  Millions more will not be able to apply for federal unemployment benefits.

So what could this mean?

It could mean that large numbers of Americans may soon be forced into bankruptcy.

It could mean that large numbers of Americans may soon lose their homes.

It could mean that large numbers of Americans may soon be devastated by medical bills they simply cannot pay.

It could mean that large numbers of Americans may soon be forced to live in the streets.

But should we expect the federal government to pay long-term unemployment benefits for all unemployed Americans indefinitely?

That gets really expensive very quickly.  Considering the fact that the U.S. national debt is growing exponentially, the U.S. government cannot really afford to be throwing around cash as if it was water.

But with millions upon millions of Americans completely broke and unable to find jobs, what else can you do?

The reality is that it is extremely likely that the U.S. Congress will find a way to come to an agreement to extend these benefits at some point in the coming days.

So total catastrophe is likely to be avoided.

At least for now.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve’s $1.25 trillion program to push down mortgage rates is scheduled to expire on March 31st.

So what is that going to mean?

It is going to mean that mortgage rates are going to start to rise.

That will mean that less people will be able to afford to buy homes and it will mean that there are going to be even more foreclosures.

That is not good news for the housing market.

Even now, sales of previously owned homes plunged in January to their lowest level since last summer.

So what is going to happen when mortgage rates start to rise?

The reality is that the U.S. housing market is simply not going to recover to previous levels.  In fact, all signs point to another major housing market disaster in the years ahead.

Home loan standards are tightening.

Mortgage rates are rising.

The big banks are hoarding cash and have reduced lending.

Another massive wave of adjustable rate mortgages is scheduled to reset between 2010 and 2012 which will force another gigantic pile of foreclosures on to the market.

So where in the world is the “housing recovery” going to come from?

There are going to be many more houses for sale and many fewer qualified buyers.

It does not take an economic genius to figure out what that is going to do to housing prices.

Hopefully the U.S. government and the financial powers that be can figure out a way to stabilize things for a while.

But there is no getting around the fact that the U.S. is headed for an economic collapse.

By borrowing gigantic piles of cash the U.S. government can put the pain off for a little while, but by doing so they make the eventual collapse much worse.

So what do you think?  Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion…

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The American Economy: The Wealthy Make The Mistakes But The Hard Working Middle Class Pays The Price

This is how the U.S. economy works much of the time – the wealthy make most of the big economic mistakes but the hard working middle class ends up paying for them. This time around is no exception. The financial crisis of the past several years was caused by Wall Street, but they got bailed out and relatively few of them lost their jobs. However, even though middle class and working class Americans were not the ones who made the mess, they are paying for it dearly. This is especially true when it comes to unemployment. While it is true that jobs are being lost on every level of American society, the reality is that unemployment is hitting Americans on the lowest end of the income scale the hardest.

Just check out the chart below.  The ten percent of Americans that have the lowest household incomes have an unemployment rate of over 30 percent, while the ten percent of Americans that have the highest household incomes have an unemployment rate just about 3 percent….

Does this seem right to you?

After all, we were promised that we needed to bail out Wall Street so that they could help “Main Street”.

But that didn’t happen, did it?

Instead, it appears that previously bailed out corporations are going back to their old ways of paying out ridiculous bonuses.

For example, the CEO of General Motors is in line to get a $9 million pay package. 

What in the world?

A company that was so flat broke that it would have likely collapsed without U.S. government intervention is handing out 9 million bucks to the CEO?

Something is very, very wrong.

And the truth is that working class Americans are getting pissed off.

For example, one Ohio man actually decided to bulldoze his own home rather than let the bank take it in foreclosure proceedings.

Now that is an incredibly destructive and vindictive act, but it just shows how angry some people are getting.

Many working class and middle class Americans feel powerless as the politicians and the wealthy recklessly destroy the U.S. economy.

Just consider the following chart.  The U.S. government has massively increased spending at a time when revenues are decreasing sharply.  Does this look like a “recovery” to you?….

The truth is that the U.S. national debt is wildly out of control.  In 2010, the U.S. government is projected to issue almost as much new debt as the rest of the governments of the world combined.

In fact, it is anticipated that the U.S. national debt will climb to an unprecedented 200 percent of GDP by 2038 without a fundamental change in course.

Is this kind of reckless financial mismanagement going to cause an economic collapse?

Of course.

And Americans are starting to wake up and realize this.

In a recent ABC News poll, 87 percent of Americans said that they are concerned about the U.S. national debt.

In a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey, 86 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. system of government is broken.

And it is broken.

So is it still possible to repair it?

Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion….

Barack Obama, The Federal Reserve And The New York Times: Millions Of Unemployed Americans Are NOT Going Back To Work Any Time Soon

Most Americans seem to be under the impression that the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs over the last few years will soon be going back to work as the U.S. economy recovers.  But that is not going to happen.  In fact, even Barack Obama, the Federal Reserve and the New York Times are all admitting that millions of unemployed Americans are not going back to work any time soon – and they are some of the biggest optimists regarding the long-term prospects for the U.S. economy.  Many are calling this a “jobless recovery”, but what we are experiencing right now is not a “recovery” at all.  Rather, we are currently in a “lull” in the economic storm.  All of the “bailouts” and “stimulus packages” have stabilized the U.S. economy for now, but they have made our long-term debt problems far worse.

So what does that mean?

It means that eventually millions and millions more Americans will lose their jobs.

So don’t count on the millions of Americans who are currently unemployed going back to work any time soon.

Even the most important newspaper in the United States (the New York Times), the most important financial institution in the nation (the Federal Reserve) and the president of the United States (Barack Obama) all say that the employment situation is not going to improve for quite some time…. 

*Barack Obama’s most recent budget proposal projects that the U.S. unemployment rate will remain at about 10% in 2010.  Of course we all know that the current official unemployment rate of approximately 10% is actually more like 18-22% in reality.

*The Federal Reserve also caused a stir recently when they said that the official U.S. unemployment rate will continue to stay up around 10% throughout 2010.

*In a recent article entitled “Millions of Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs”, the New York Times admitted that millions of Americans that have lost their jobs during this “recession” may be out of work for years.

Meanwhile, according to the Department of Labor, approximately 2.7 million unemployed Americans will lose their unemployment check before the end of April unless the U.S. Congress decides to extend their payments.

So what happens when millions of unemployed Americans don’t even have an unemployment check coming in?

Things are getting bad out there, and many financial institutions are beginning to take steps to protect themselves.

In fact, Citibank is now telling some of their customers that they are reserving the right to require 7 days advance notice before allowing a customer to withdraw their own money.

Yes, this is true.

Citibank is currently sending the following notification to their customers all over the United States, but according to them it was only supposed to go to their customers in Texas: “Effective April 1, 2010, we reserve the right to require (7) days advance notice before permitting a withdrawal from all checking accounts. While we do not currently exercise this right and have not exercised it in the past, we are required by law to notify you of this change.”

Could you imagine having to give your bank 7 days notice before you take your money out?

Dark economic times are ahead.

The truth is that the once great U.S. economy is crumbling.  Just check out the chart below.  Does this look like part of a “normal” economic cycle to you?….

The Economic Collapse