In 2010, education has been so “dumbed down” in America that most Americans don’t even know what the WTO is, and even fewer understand why the WTO is important. The truth is that the World Trade Organization is essentially a global government for world trade. It is a “contract” that severely restricts the ability of member nations to direct their own economies and set their own trade policies. The United Nations is perhaps the only international organization that has more power than the WTO. It was created on January 1st, 1995 as a replacement for GATT (the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade). Today, 153 nations representing more than 97% of total world trade are members of the WTO. It has been largely responsible for the explosion in world trade that we have witnessed over the past several decades. In fact, world trade is now over 15 times larger than it was 50 years ago. But is this a good thing? (Read More...)
As Americans Celebrate Labor Day 2010, U.S. Factories Are Closing In Droves
Labor Day 2010 comes in the midst of a stunning wave of U.S. factory closings that stretches from coast to coast. Once upon a time America was the greatest manufacturing machine that the world has ever seen, but now it seems as though the only jobs available for working class Americans involve phrases such as “Welcome to Wal-Mart” and “Would you like fries with that?” Even though the population of the United States has exploded over the last several decades, the number of Americans employed in the manufacturing sector today is smaller than it was in 1950. America has become a voracious economic black hole that “consumes” as much as possible and yet actually produces very little. The United States is becoming deindustrialized at a blinding pace, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for blue collar American workers to find jobs that will actually enable them to support their families. The sad truth is that American workers don’t have a whole lot to actually celebrate this Labor Day. 14 million U.S. workers are “officially unemployed” and tens of millions of others have been forced to take part-time or temporary jobs that they are overqualified for just so they can survive. Unfortunately, this is not just a temporary situation for American workers. As millions of good jobs continue to get outsourced and offshored, Labor Day celebrations in coming years will be even more depressing. (Read More...)
10 Reasons Why Conservatives Should Be Against Unfair Trade With China And 10 Reasons Why Liberals Should Be Against Unfair Trade With China
There are very few things that the top politicians in both political parties agree on these days, but one of the things that that they do agree on is that free trade with China is a good thing. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, John McCain, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have all fully supported our trade relationship with China. In this day and age, virtually anyone who even dares to question how fair our “free trade” is with China is immediately labeled as a “protectionist” and is dismissed as a loon. But when you sit down and really analyze it, there are a whole lot of very good reasons why both conservatives and liberals should be fundamentally against our unfair trade relationship with China. But you won’t hear these reasons being talked about on CNN, MSNBC or Fox News. You won’t hear many members of Congress get up and give speeches about how trade with China is bleeding our economy dry. Both major political parties have completely and totally bought into “the benefits” of globalism and free trade and there isn’t even much of a national debate about our trade policies anymore. (Read More...)
Record Low Mortgage Rates, A Record Low Federal Funds Rate And Obscene Economic Stimulus Spending Have All Failed – Will Nothing Stimulate This Dead Horse Of An Economy?
Over the past several years, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. government have tried everything that they can think of to stimulate this dead horse of an economy but nothing has worked. The Fed has slashed the federal funds rate to record low levels, mortgage rates have been pushed to all-time lows and the U.S. government has spent hundreds of billions of dollars in an effort to get the economy going. But despite all these of these extraordinary efforts, the U.S. economy continues to just lie there like a dead corpse. Never before have the Federal Reserve and the U.S. government done more to try to stimulate the economy and never before have their efforts produced such poor results. Home sales continue to set new record lows, more than 14 million Americans continue to be unemployed, foreclosures continue to soar, personal bankruptcies continue to soar and an increasing number of Americans continue to sign up for food stamps and other anti-poverty programs. All of the things that once worked so well to stimulate the U.S. economy seem to be doing next to nothing here in 2010, and the American people are becoming increasingly frustrated by economic problems that just keep getting worse. (Read More...)
Can A Family Of Four Survive On A Middle Class Income In America Today?
When I was growing up, $50,000 sounded like a gigantic mountain of money to me. And it was actually a very significant amount of money in those days. But in 2010 it just does not go that far. Today, the median household income in the United States for a year is approximately $50,000. About half of all American households make more than that, and about half of all American households make less than that. So if your family brings in $50,000 this year that would put you about right in the middle. So can a family of four survive on $50,000 in America today? The answer might surprise you. Twenty years ago a middle class American family of four would have been doing quite well on $50,000 per year. But things have changed. (Read More...)
Winners And Losers
When you mention the word “globalism” to most people, they think of something that is going to happen someday in the future. But the truth is that globalism is already here. At this point we essentially already have a one world economy. Goods and services flow across national borders more freely today than at any other point in human history. A major economic event on one side of the world instantly affects financial markets on the other side of the world. Labor has become a truly global commodity. You can go to the exact same fast food restaurant or buy the exact same iPod on six different continents. A whole host of international trade agreements are making national borders economically irrelevant. Today our “big box” stores and shopping malls are jammed full with products that have been made overseas and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find American-made products. The reality is that it has now become undeniable that globalism has arrived and we are now part of a world economy that is integrating at lightning speed. Unfortunately, all of this globalism has created some very clear winners and losers. But most middle class Americans are in such a deep sleep that they don’t even realize that they are the losers. (Read More...)
30 Statistics That Prove The Elite Are Getting Richer, The Poor Are Getting Poorer And The Middle Class Is Being Destroyed
Not everyone has been doing badly during the economic turmoil of the last few years. In fact, there are some Americans that are doing really, really well. While the vast majority of us struggle, there is one small segment of society that is seemingly doing better than ever. This was reflected in a recent article on CNBC in which it was noted that companies that cater to average Americans are doing rather poorly right now while companies that market luxury goods and services are generally performing exceptionally well. So why aren’t all American consumers jumping on the spending bandwagon? Well, it seems that there are a large number of Americans who either can’t spend a lot of money right now or who are very hesitant to. A stunningly high number of Americans are still unemployed, and for many other Americans, there is a very real fear that hard economic times will return soon. On the other hand, there is a significant percentage of Americans who are blowing money on luxury goods and services as if the economy has fully turned around and it is time to let the good times roll. So exactly what in the world is going on here? (Read More...)
The Death Of Cash? All Over The World Governments Are Banning Large Cash Transactions
Are we witnessing the slow but certain death of cash in this generation? Is a truly cashless society on the horizon? Legislation currently pending in the Mexican legislature would ban a vast array of large cash transactions, but the truth is that Mexico is far from alone in trying to restrict cash. All over the world, governments are either placing stringent reporting requirements on large cash transactions or they are banning them altogether. We are being told that such measures are needed to battle illegal drug traffic, to catch tax evaders and to fight the war on terror. But are we rapidly getting to the point where we will have no financial privacy left whatsoever? Should we just accept that we have entered a time when the government will watch, track and trace all financial transactions? Is it inevitable that at some point in the near future ALL transactions will go through the banking system in one form or another (check, credit card, debit card, etc.)? (Read More...)