If You Are Unemployed, Should You Move Somewhere Else In Order To Find A Job?

It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Unfortunately, millions of Americans find themselves slowly going insane as they apply for hundreds upon hundreds of jobs and yet never get hired.  It is incredibly difficult to get a good job in most areas of the United States today.  So if you are unemployed, and there are no jobs in your area, should you hire a long distance moving company and move somewhere else in an attempt to find work?  That is a very hard question.  Of course if what you are currently doing right now is not working it is only natural to want to change course, but sadly unemployment is absolutely rampant all over the United States.  Today, the “official” unemployment rate is hovering around 9 percent, but the true employment picture is much bleaker than that.  There are millions and millions of unemployed Americans that are so discouraged and have given up looking for a job for so long that the U.S. government does not even consider them “part of the labor force” any longer.  If they were included in the “official” figure, the true unemployment rate would be well into double figures.  In addition, there are millions upon millions of Americans that are working part-time jobs or very low paying jobs because that is all they can get.  Those millions of “underemployed” Americans would jump at the chance to get a “good job” if that opportunity was available. Low income jobs now make up 41% of all the jobs in the United States.  So there are a lot of people that have a job that really wish that they were making a lot more money.  Because of the lack of good jobs, millions of American families have been pushed to the edge of economic desperation and millions of American families are drowning in debt.  So what do you do if there are no good jobs in your area?  Do you sit tight or do move to a new location hoping for something better?

On the negative side, it can be extremely expensive to move.  Not only will you have moving expenses, but you will also have to find a new place to live, set up new utilities, change your insurance policies, register your vehicles in a new area, etc. etc.

Moving somewhere new almost always costs more money than you think that it will.

Then, once you get to a new location, often you don’t have the same “connections” that you did in the place where you used to live.

And in today’s economy, having “connections” is one of the only ways that you can get a good job.

On the flip side, there are actually a few areas of the United States where the unemployment rate is low right now and where there do seem to be some good jobs available.

When people ask me where to look for a job, I tell them to check out North and South Dakota.  It is cold as the dickens up there, but if you can handle the cold you just might be able to find work.

However, it is extremely risky to move somewhere new without having a job first.  Most people that have been through that “adventure” know what I am talking about.

But sometimes in life you have to take a risk.  Today there are over 47 million Americans that are living in poverty, and that number is increasing every single month.  Sitting on your couch and doing nothing is not going to get you where you need to be.

Rather than just sit there and sink even deeper into desperation, an increasing number of Americans are deciding to make a move.  There are some areas of the United States that have become absolute hellholes.  After years of experiencing intense economic frustration in those hellholes, many Americans are picking up stakes and are heading for greener pastures.

For example, the following video report from RT describes how large numbers of people are now abandoning Riverside, California….

Sadly, very few jobs are truly safe anymore.

Years ago, I would tell people to look into government jobs because they were relatively more secure.  Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.

Today, state and local government debt has reached at an all-time high of 22 percent of U.S. GDP.  State and local governments from coast to coast are implementing austerity programs and are laying off employees at a staggering pace.

The following is a chart from the Federal Reserve of local government hiring over the past five years.  Obviously, the trend is not heading in a positive direction….

Most Americans don’t realize just how nightmarish the financial problems of many of our state and local governments are right now.

For example, the state of California is basically a financial basket case at this point.  In a recent article I discussed the cold, hard reality that California is broke and I explained some of the reasons why millions of people have already left the state….

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, there was a seemingly endless parade of pop songs about how great life was in California, and millions of young Americans dreamed of moving to the land of sandy beaches and golden sunshine.  But now all of that has changed.  Today, millions of Californians are dreaming about leaving the state for good.  The truth is that California is broke.  The economy of the state is in shambles.  The official unemployment rate has been sitting above 12 percent for an extended period of time, and poverty is everywhere.  For many Californians today, there are very few reasons to stay in the state but a whole lot of reasons to leave: falling housing prices, rising crime, budget cuts, rampant illegal immigration, horrific traffic, some of the most brutal tax rates in the nation, increasing gang violence and the ever present threat of wildfires, mudslides and natural disasters.  The truth is that it is easy to understand why there are now more Americans moving out of California each year than there are Americans moving into the state.  California has become a complete and total disaster zone in more ways than one, and an increasing number of Californians are deciding that enough is enough and they are getting out for good.

On the “Survive And Thrive TV” channel on YouTube, one Californian that was in the process of moving to a different state was recently interviewed as he was preparing to leave.  The following interview shows the mindset of many that are leaving California.  It also contains just a bit of strong language, so if you are sensitive to that you may want to not watch this video….

Other desperate Americans are taking a different approach.  Instead of moving to a new area, these Americans are coming up with “creative” ways of raising cash.

For example, a criminal gang of white middle-aged women in Detroit nicknamed the “Mad Hatters” has become so successful that they have made international news.  It is alleged that they have pulled off a stunning series of robberies.

According to the Telegraph, the “Mad Hatters” have stolen somewhere in the neighborhood of half a million dollars so far….

The total value of merchandise and cash stolen could be as high as $500,000, police said. The women stole almost $200,000 from one bank.

In a previous article I detailed many of the ways that Americans have “gone wild” lately, but it was even shocking to me to hear of a gang of middle-aged women terrorizing the city of Detroit.

What in the world is happening to America?

Is there any hope for us?

The Greek Debt Crisis Escalates: Is Greece Threatening To Leave The Euro?

Is the Greek debt crisis about to explode out of control?  According to Der Spiegel, the government of Greece is considering leaving the Euro and reestablishing its own currency.  If that happened, it would throw global financial markets into chaos and it might mean the end of the euro as a pan-European currency.  But the Greek government has to do something about all of these debts.  At this point Greece is literally drowning in debt.  The yield on 10-year Greek bonds has now reached an astounding 15.51%.  There is no way that is sustainable even for the short-term.  Greece is rapidly going bankrupt.  Even with absolutely brutal austerity measures in place, the debt just continues to explode.  There are protests against the government almost daily and Greece is in a state of chaos.  Unfortunately, because Greece is part of the euro they can’t just start printing lots of money as a way to get out of this crisis.  Now there are persistent rumors that Greece really is thinking about leaving the euro, and that could potentially mean big trouble for the world financial system.

It was a new article in Der Spiegel that brought these rumors to the forefront again.  Der Spiegel says that it possesses secret Greek government documents that discuss plans to leave the euro.  Der Spiegel also claims that a secret crisis meeting was held in Luxembourg on Friday night to discuss this crisis.

The following is a brief excerpt from the Der Spiegel article that caused the financial community in Europe to be in such an uproar today….

“The debt crisis in Greece has taken on a dramatic new twist. Sources with information about the government’s actions have informed SPIEGEL ONLINE that Athens is considering withdrawing from the euro zone. The common currency area’s finance ministers and representatives of the European Commission are holding a secret crisis meeting in Luxembourg on Friday night.”

So was there such a meeting in Luxembourg on Friday night?

Well, it turns out that there was a meeting of a small group of European finance ministers.  But according to German government spokesman Steffen Seibert, this meeting was planned well in advance and had nothing to do with Greece leaving the euro….

“There is a meeting of some finance ministers that has long been planned. Greece exiting the Eurozone is not on the agenda of that meeting, and it has never been.”

So is Greece actually thinking about leaving the euro?  All over Europe this notion is being denied.

Perhaps the strongest denial was issued by the Greek Finance Ministry….

“The report on an imminent Greek exit from the eurozone, as well as being untrue, has been written with incomprehensible levity despite the fact that this has been repeatedly denied by the Greek government, and the governments of other EU member states.”

What was probably being discussed at this meeting of European finance ministers is a restructuring of Greek debt.  This is something that Germany has apparently wanted for quite some time according to a recent article posted on Business Insider….

For weeks, German officials have been hinting that they want a Greek restructuring to happen. German economic advisor Lars Feld recently said that the restructuring should happen “sooner than later.” He’s previously also said “restructuring is the only road to take.”

So what would a restructuring of this debt look like?  A recent article on CNBC gives us some clues….

More importantly, tonight’s finance ministers meeting might lay the groundwork for “extending the maturities” on those loans — giving Athens a little more oxygen until it probably ends up restructuring its $470 billion existing debt by either extending maturities or exchanging Greek bonds, at a discount, for EU-guaranteed bonds, Brady Bond-style from the 1980s.

What Germany does not want is for Greece to even think about leaving the euro.  According to the article on Der Spiegel, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is ready to play hardball with the Greeks.  Der Spiegel says that a report has been prepared that would lay out for the Greeks the severe consequences of leaving the euro….

“It would lead to a considerable devaluation of the new (Greek) domestic currency against the euro,” the paper states. According to German Finance Ministry estimates, the currency could lose as much as 50 percent of its value, leading to a drastic increase in Greek national debt. Schäuble’s staff have calculated that Greece’s national deficit would rise to 200 percent of gross domestic product after such a devaluation. “A debt restructuring would be inevitable,” his experts warn in the paper. In other words: Greece would go bankrupt.

Greece is really in a tough position.  They are going to go bankrupt if they stay with the euro and they are going to go bankrupt if they leave the euro.

Meanwhile, the anti-government protests continue.  The Greek people are not happy.  The Greek economy is coming apart like a 20 dollar suit.  Greece could end up being the spark that sets off a massive financial panic in Europe.

As I have written about previously, the European debt crisis is on the verge of spinning wildly out of control.  It is not just Greece that is facing a horrific debt crisis.  The financial problems in Europe literally span the entire continent.

A lot of Americans are obsessed with the death of the U.S. dollar, but the truth is that there is a strong possibility that the euro could end up collapsing before the dollar does.

Keep an eye on Europe.  The European debt crisis could plunge the entire global financial system into chaos at any time.  Things are not nearly as stable as they seem.

24 Signs Of Economic Decline In America

The United States is in the middle of a devastating long-term economic decline and it is getting really hard to deny it.  Over the past year I have included literally thousands of depressing statistics in my articles about the U.S. economy.  I have done this in order to make an overwhelming case that the U.S. economy is in deep decline and is dying a little bit more every single day.  Until we understand exactly how bad our problems are we will never be willing to accept the solutions.  The truth is that our leaders have absolutely wrecked the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen.  Most Americans just assume that we will always experience overwhelming prosperity, but that is not anywhere close to the truth.  We are not guaranteed anything.  Our manufacturing base has been gutted, the number of jobs is declining, more Americans are dependent on government handouts than ever before, our dollar is dying and as a nation we are absolutely drowning in debt.  The economists that are trumpeting an “economic recovery” and that are declaring that the U.S. economy will soon be “better than ever” are delusional.  We really are steamrolling toward a complete and total economic collapse and our leaders are doing nothing to stop it.

The following are 24 more signs of economic decline in America.  Hopefully you will not get too depressed as you read them….

#1 On Monday, Standard & Poor’s altered its outlook on U.S. government debt from “stable” to “negative” and warned the U.S. that it could soon lose its AAA rating.  This is yet another sign that the rest of the world is losing faith in the U.S. dollar and in U.S. Treasuries.

#2 China has announced that they are going to be reducing their holdings of U.S. dollars.  In fact, there are persistent rumors that this has already been happening.

#3 Hedge fund manager Dennis Gartman says that “panic dollar selling is setting in” and that the U.S. dollar could be in for a huge decline.

#4 The biggest bond fund in the world, PIMCO, is now shorting U.S. government bonds.

#5 This cruel economy is causing “ghost towns” to appear all across the United States.  There are quite a few counties across the nation that now have home vacancy rates of over 50%.

#6 There are now about 7.25 million less jobs in America than when the recession began back in 2007.

#7 The average American family is having a really tough time right now.  Only 45.4% of Americans had a job during 2010.  The last time the employment level was that low was back in 1983.

#8 Only 66.8% of American men had a job last year.  That was the lowest level that has ever been recorded in all of U.S. history.

#9 According to a new report from the AFL-CIO, the average CEO made 343 times more money than the average American did last year.

#10 Gas prices reached five dollars per gallon at a gas station in Washington, DC on April 19th, 2011.  Could we see $6 gas soon?

#11 Over the past 12 months the average price of gasoline in the United States has gone up by about 30%.

#12 Due to rising fuel prices, American Airlines lost a staggering $436 million during the first quarter of 2011.

#13 U.S. households are now receiving more income from the U.S. government than they are paying to the government in taxes.

#14 Approximately one out of every four dollars that the U.S. government borrows goes to pay the interest on the national debt.

#15 Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.

#16 Total credit card debt in the United States is now more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.

#17 Average household debt in the United States has now reached a level of 136% of average household income.  In China, average household debt is only 17% of average household income.

#18 The average American now spends approximately 23 percent of his or her income on food and gas.

#19 In a recent survey conducted by Deloitte Consulting, 74 percent of Americans said that they planned to slow down their spending in coming months due to rising prices.

#20 59 percent of all Americans now receive money from the federal government in one form or another.

#21 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average length of unemployment in the U.S. is now an all-time record 39 weeks.

#22 As the economy continues to collapse, frustration among young people will continue to grow and we will see more seemingly “random acts of violence”.  One shocking example of this happened in the Atlanta area recently.  The following is how a local Atlanta newspaper described the attack….

Roughly two dozen teens, chanting the name of a well-known Atlanta gang, brought mob rule to MARTA early Sunday morning, overwhelming nervous passengers and assaulting two Delta flight attendants.

#23 Some Americans have become so desperate for cash that they are literally popping the gold teeth right out of their mouths and selling them to pawn shops.

#24 As the economy has declined, the American people have been gobbling up larger and larger amounts of antidepressants and other prescription drugs.  In fact, the American people spent 60 billion dollars more on prescription drugs in 2010 than they did in 2005.

Is America Becoming The Land Of The Part-Time Job?: Most Of The Jobs That Are Being Created Are Part-Time Jobs And Some Companies Are Going To A “Part-Time Only Policy”

Do you need a good job?  If so, there are millions of other Americans that are just like you.  Unfortunately, most of the jobs that are available in America today are either part-time jobs, temp jobs or are “independent contractor” jobs.  The “full-time job with benefits” is a dying breed.  There are so many desperate unemployed workers in America today that companies don’t have to roll out the red carpet anymore.  Instead, they can just hire a horde of inexpensive part-timers and temps that they don’t have to give any benefits to.  But isn’t the employment situation supposed to be getting better?  No, it really is not.  Yes, the U.S. economy added 216,000 jobs in March.  However, the truth is that approximately 290,000 part-time jobs were created and about 80,000 full-time jobs were actually lost.  This is all part of a long-term trend in America.  Good jobs are rapidly disappearing and they are being replaced by low paying service jobs that do not pay a living wage.  In many American households today, both parents have multiple jobs.  Yet a large percentage of those same households can’t even pay the mortgage and are drowning in debt.

Whenever a new government jobs report comes out from now on, try to find out how many of the jobs that were created were actually part-time jobs.  Most Americans that only have part-time jobs are living around or below the poverty line.  The truth is that it is really hard to get by if you are only making a couple hundred bucks a week.

As mentioned above, the U.S. economy added 216,000 jobs last month.  The Obama administration and the mainstream media heralded that figure as evidence that the U.S. economy is recovering nicely.

But is that really accurate?

Rebel Cole, a professor at DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, says that when you take the time to do a closer examination of the employment numbers they don’t look so good….

“If you look deeper in the report, there were 290,000 new part-time workers, which means that there were 80,000 fewer full-time workers, that’s not a good sign. Things are getting worse, not getting better.”

Unless you are a teen or a college student or a retired person, most likely you would prefer to be working a full-time job.  Most people do not actually have the goal of working part-time.  Most part-time jobs pay very poorly and offer very few benefits.

Unfortunately, that is why so many big companies like part-time workers and temp workers.  There are so many more rules, regulations and laws that pertain to full-time workers.

Hiring a bunch of part-time workers is so much easier and so much cheaper.  Without a doubt it is definitely more profitable in most situations.

Today, there are millions of Americans that have part-time jobs that would love to have full-time jobs.  In fact, the government says that there are about 8 million Americans that are currently working part-time jobs for “economic reasons”.

One such worker named “John” recently left a comment on another article I did entitled “How To Find A Job: Just Be Willing To Flip Burgers And Work For Minimum Wage“.  John says that the restaurant chain that he works for has implemented a “part-time only policy”….

“Could your family survive on $505 a week?”

If only I could make HALF that much! The dirty secret is McDonalds needs to add 50,000 workers to increase the headcount in every store. The goal is to have no full-time employees who qualify for health benefits. So these 50,000 jobs will pay $174 a week BEFORE taxes, and have no benefits, no vacation days, no holidays off, call in sick and get fired, but they will have 52 mandatory weekends each year.

And how do I know this? I work for a national restaurant chain that already has gone to a part-time only policy. I am scheduled for 23 hours next week. The threshold for benefits is 26 hrs.

Of course I would assume that there are perhaps a couple of full-time workers at the restaurant that John works at (such as the manager).  But the reality is that we are seeing this kind of thing more and more around the nation.  Companies are being careful to keep hours low enough so that the majority of their employees do not qualify for expensive “full-time benefits”.

Another commenter on that same article said that it is possible to get by on a low wage but that doesn’t mean that it is easy….

I make about $400 a week; my wife nothing. Rent is $500 a month. Credit card bills (run up back when I made about $1200/week) run about $200 a month. Other expenses run us another few hundred dollars. We quit tv. We’re a litte cold. We eat ok. Try to fill the gas tank just once a month. We’re getting by, but able to save nothing, nor do we go out and have fun. Well, fun has become walks on Saturday morning. Those are free. And, as we’ve learned, rather nice.

$10 an hour stinks, but it is livable if you don’t mind admitting that you are poor. I know I’m poor now. It’s just the way it is. If I tried to keep living as i did when I was a middle class manager, I’d be extremely unhappy. I cant say I’m happy about being poor, but my wife and i are finding that happiness isn’t about having “stuff.”

This is the new “American Dream” for millions of American families.  They are learning to scratch and claw to get by on what they have.

As I have written about previously, the standard of living of the middle class is being pushed down to third world levels.  We have been merged into a “global labor pool”, and what that means is that the standard of living of all workers all over the world is going to be slowly equalized over time.

Translation: your standard of living and the standard of living of virtually everyone that you know is slated to go way down.

Right now America is rapidly losing high paying jobs and they are being replaced by low paying jobs.  According to a recent report from the National Employment Law Project, higher wage industries accounted for 40 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months but only 14 percent of the job growth.  Lower wage industries accounted for just 23 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months and a whopping 49 percent of the job growth.

So yes, jobs are being created, but most of them are jobs that none of us would really want under normal circumstances.

Unfortunately, times are not normal and millions of desperate people are having to take whatever they can get.

What makes things even worse is that really bad inflation is coming.  There are less good jobs for American families and at the same time the cost of basic necessities is going up.

Have you been to the gas pump lately?

As I wrote about yesterday, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States is now $3.70.

A year ago it was just $2.83.

For average American families on a tight budget that is a huge difference.

Food inflation is already here as well.

During the month of February, the price of food in the U.S. increased at the fastest rate in 36 years.

Are you starting to understand why so many American families are feeling squeezed right now?

Times are tough and they are going to get tougher.  If you still have a good full-time job you should be very thankful, because there are millions and millions of people that would love to trade places with you.

So do the rest of you believe that America is turning into “the land of the part-time job”?  Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below….

The Japanese Economy Is In Much Bigger Trouble Than Most People Think

Now that nearly a month has gone by since the horrific tsunami in Japan on March 11th, it is starting to become clear just how much economic damage has been done.  The truth is that the Japanese economy is in much bigger trouble than most people think.  This is almost certainly going to be the most expensive disaster in Japanese history.  The tsunami that struck Japan on March 11th swept up to 6 miles inland, destroying virtually everything in the way.  Thousands upon thousands of Japanese were killed and entire cities were wiped off the map.  Yes, Japan is a resilient nation, but exactly how does a nation that is already drowning in debt replace dozens of cities and towns that are suddenly gone?  The truth is that thousands of square miles have been more completely destroyed than if they had been bombed by a foreign military force. The loss of homes, cars, businesses and personal wealth is almost unimaginable. It is going to take many years to rebuild the roads, bridges, rail systems, ports, power lines and water systems that were lost.  Nobody is quite sure when the rolling blackouts are going to end, and nobody is quite sure when all of the damaged manufacturing facilities are going to be fully brought back online.

On top of everything else, the nuclear crisis at Fukushima never seems to end.  In fact, it seems to get worse with each passing day.

According to the Los Angeles Times, it has now been announced that seawater off the coast of Japan near the Fukushima facility was recently found to contain 7.5 million times the legal limit of radioactive iodine….

The operator of Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear plant said Tuesday that it had found radioactive iodine at 7.5 million times the legal limit in a seawater sample taken near the facility, and government officials imposed a new health limit for radioactivity in fish.

Do you think anyone is going to want any Japanese seafood after this?

In fact, at this point one must really question the long-term prospects for the seafood industry in that entire region of Asia.  There are going to be tens of millions of people (myself included) that will no longer want anything to do with any seafood that comes from that part of the world.

Sadly, some nuclear experts now claim that it could take years to bring the reactors at Fukushima fully back under control.

At the end of this crisis, how large of an area around Fukushima will be uninhabitable?

A 20 km radius?

A 30 km radius?

A 40 km radius?

More?

Japan is the third largest economy in the world, but it never was a large nation to begin with.  Now that the tsunami and the nuclear crisis at Fukushima have made the amount of usable land significantly smaller, what is that going to mean for the future of the Japanese economy?

That is a very good question.

The truth is that there are already signs that the Japanese economy is regressing into another recession.

According to The Telegraph, one major manufacturing index in Japan has already shown a very serious decline….

The purchasing mangers’ index (PMI) gave an early indication of the extent of the damage wreaked on the economy as it dropped 6.5 points to a reading of 46.4, the largest slide since the survey began in late-2001.

In particular, the auto industry is really being affected by this crisis.  Vehicle supply chains all over the globe are now in a state of chaos.

Approximately 3,000 individual parts go into every single new vehicle.  If even one of those parts is missing, a new car or truck cannot be built.

So just how big of a problem are we looking at?

Well, it was originally projected that 72 million vehicles would be built around the globe in 2011.

As a result of the crisis in Japan, approximately 5 million of those vehicles will not be built.

That is very serious.

In fact, Goldman Sachs is projecting that this crisis is currently costing automakers in Japan $200 million every single day.

Ouch!

A recent article on CNBC detailed some of the problems that Japanese automakers are facing right now….

In the weeks ahead, car buyers will have difficulty finding the model they want in certain colors, thousands of auto plant workers will likely be told to stay home, and companies such as Toyota, Honda and others will lose billions of dollars in revenue. More than two weeks since the natural disaster, inventories of crucial car supplies — from computer chips to paint pigments — are dwindling fast as Japanese factories that make them struggle to restart.

Unfortunately, the worst for the auto industry is yet to come.  AutoNation is warning that “production disruptions will significantly impact product availability from Japanese auto manufacturers in the second and third quarters of 2011.”

Because of supply chain disruptions, a number of North American manufacturing facilities look like they will be shutting down at least for a while.

For example, Toyota has announced that it will be shutting down all of its North American factories for a certain period of time because of shortages of parts from Japan.

But Toyota is far from alone as a recent report in The Globe and Mail made quite clear….

Honda Motor Co. Ltd. has already slashed output by half at its North American plants, while Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. will shut all its U.S. and Mexican plants for at least one week in April. Ford Motor Co., too, has halted production at a truck plant in Kentucky this week.

So why don’t North American facilities just switch to other suppliers?

Unfortunately, as CNN recently noted, it is just not that simple….

Japanese companies also specialized in making the array of highly specialized computer chips that control everything from the engine to the brakes in modern cars. Computer chip production is a complex process that can take weeks and involves hundreds of individual steps, Morgan Stanley analyst Noriaki Hirakata said.

Not only that, but if an automaker is forced to find a new source for an electronic chip, the process of “certifying” a new computer chip supplier — that is, determining that a new company can meet all the requirements for cost, quality and quantity — can take as long as a year, Hirakata said.

The truth is that this is a complete and total economic disaster.

The Japanese economy is not going to be the same for many years to come.  In fact, many are now warning that this could be one of the triggers that could lead to another major global financial crisis.

One of the big fears is that Japan will need to sell off a large amount of U.S. Treasuries to fund the rebuilding of that nation.

If that were to happen, it could result in a “liquidity crisis” similar to what we saw in 2008.  Already the rest of the world is really starting to lose confidence in the U.S. dollar and in U.S. Treasuries, and if Japan starts massively dumping U.S. government debt things could get out of control fairly quickly.

In any event, it is undeniable that the Japanese economy has been absolutely devastated by this crisis.  In fact, when you combine the tsunami and the nuclear crisis, this could be the biggest economic disaster that any major industrial power has faced since World War 2.

So will the crisis in Japan push the rest of the globe into another major recession?

Only time will tell.

Rich vs Poor: 14 Funny Statistics And 14 Not So Funny Statistics About This “Economic Recovery”

Today there are two very different Americas.  In one America, the stock market is soaring, huge bonuses are taken for granted, the good times are rolling and people are spending money as if they will be able to “live the dream” for the rest of their lives.  In the other America, the one where most of the rest of us live, unemployment is rampant, a million families were kicked out of their homes last year and hordes of American families are drowning in debt.  The gap between the rich and the poor is bigger today than it ever has been before.  In fact, this article is not so much about “rich vs poor” as it is about “the rich vs the rest of us”.  Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke keep touting an “economic recovery”, but the truth is that the only ones that seem to be benefiting from this recovery are those at the very top of the economic food chain.

Below you will find 14 funny statistics about this economic recovery and 14 not so funny statistics about this economic recovery.  Actually, if you find yourself deeply struggling in this economy you will probably not find any of the statistics funny.  In fact, you will probably find most of them infuriating.  After all, there are very few people that actually enjoy hearing about how well the rich are doing when they are barely able to pay the mortgage and put food on the table.

In any event, the 28 statistics below show the stark contrast between the “two Americas” that share this nation today.  Many liberals will likely try to use these statistics as an example of why we should tax the rich.  But handing more money to the government is not going to magically create more jobs for the poor.  What the American people desperately need are good jobs, and many liberals don’t seem to understand that.  Many conservatives will likely try to use these statistics as evidence that “capitalism” is working.  But the truth is that what we have in the United States today is not capitalism.  Rather, it is more aptly described as “corporatism”, because money and power is increasingly becoming concentrated in the hands of gigantic corporations that individuals and small businesses simply cannot compete with.  The truth is that when wealth is concentrated at the very top it does not “trickle down” to the rest of us.  In the old days the wealthy at least were forced to hire the rest of us to run their factories and their businesses, but with the advent of globalism that isn’t even true anymore.  Now they can just move their factories and businesses overseas to places where they can legally pay slave labor wages to their employees.

Very large concentrations of money and power are almost always bad for the prosperity of average citizens.  Our founding fathers never intended for our central government to have so much power and they never intended for giant corporations to have so much power.  But we have abandoned the principles of our founding fathers.

When large concentrations of power (whether governmental or corporate) are allowed to flourish, it almost becomes inevitable that the gap between the rich and the poor will grow.  We are seeing this happen all over the world today.

Unfortunately, it does not appear that any of this is going to change any time soon.  In the United States, both the federal government and multinational corporations are constantly attempting to grab even more power.  It has gotten to the point where individual Americans really don’t have much power left at all.

In any event, hopefully you will find the following statistics informative or at least entertaining.  The wealthy are most definitely enjoying an “economic recovery” while most of the rest of us are still really struggling….

Funny – Who said that the titans of Wall Street couldn’t look hot?  According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, facelifts for men jumped 14 percent last year.

Not Funny – According to the U.S. Labor Department, unemployment actually increased in 351 of the 372 largest U.S. cities during the month of January.

Funny – The average bonus for a worker on Wall Street in 2010 was only $128,530.  It appears that more Wall Street bailouts may be needed.

Not Funny – During this most recent economic downturn, employee compensation in the United States has been the lowest that it has been relative to gross domestic product in over 50 years.

Funny – According to DataQuick Information Systems, the sale of million dollars homes rose an average of 18.6 percent in the top 20 major metro areas in the U.S. in 2010.  But is spending a million dollars on one house really worth it?  After all, over the past several years there have been times when you could buy a house in some bad areas of Detroit for just one dollar.

Not Funny – In 2010, for the first time ever more than a million U.S. families lost their homes to foreclosure, and that number is expected to go even higher in 2011.

Funny – According to Moody’s Analytics, the wealthiest 5% of households in the United States now account for approximately 37% of all consumer spending.  Most of the rest of us don’t have much discretionary income to spend these days, but at least we have Justin Bieber, American Idol and Dancing with the Stars to keep us entertained.

Not FunnyAccording to Gallup, the U.S. unemployment rate in mid-March was 10.2%, which was virtually unchanged from the 10.3% figure that it was sitting at exactly one year ago.

FunnyAccording to the Wall Street Journal, sales of private jumbo jets to the ultra-wealthy are absolutely soaring….

Sales of private jumbo jets are so strong that Airbus and Boeing now have special sales forces devoted to potentates and the hyper-rich.

Not Funny – There are now over 6.4 million Americans that have given up looking for work completely.  That number has increased by about 30 percent since the economic downturn began.

Funny – Porsche recently reported that sales increased by 29 percent during 2010.  Even Porsche jokes are coming back into style….

Question: Why did the blonde try and steal a police car?

Answer: She saw “911” on the back and thought it was a Porsche.

Not Funny – Approximately half of all American workers make $25,000 a year or less.

Funny – Cadillac recently reported that sales increased by 36 percent during 2010.

Not Funny – According to the U.S. Energy Department, the average U.S. household will spend approximately $700 more on gasoline in 2011 than it did during 2010.

Funny – Rolls-Royce recently reported that sales increased by 171 percent during 2010.

Not Funny – According to a new study by America’s Research Group, approximately 75 percent of all Americans are doing less shopping because of rising gasoline prices.

FunnyAccording to the New York Post, Barack Obama enjoyed a total of 10 separate vacations that stretched over a total of 90 vacation days during the years of 2009 and 2010.  Apparently Barack Obama was not talking about himself when he told the American people the following….

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

Not Funny – When 2007 began, 26 million Americans were on food stamps.  Today, an all-time record 44 million Americans are on food stamps.

Funny – Ralph Lauren reported a 24 percent increase in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2010.  It is good to know that preppies are thriving in this economy.

Not Funny – The Ivex Packaging Paper plant in Joliet, Illinois is shutting down for good after 97 years in business.  79 good jobs will be lost.  Meanwhile, China has become the number one producer of paper products in the entire world.

Funny – Luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. recently announced that their profits increased by 29 percent in the 4th quarter of 2010.  All of the men that did not buy their women jewelry during the holidays are trying to keep this particular news item from getting passed around.

Not Funny – Average household debt in the United States has now reached a level of 136% of average household income.

Funny – In 2009, only 18,288 vehicles with a price tag of $100,000 or more were sold in the United States.  In 2010, 32,144 such vehicles were sold.  It appears that “showing off for chicks” is now very much back in style.

Not Funny – The U.S. economy now has 10 percent fewer “middle class jobs” than it did just ten years ago.

Funny – Porsche has announced that they will soon be taking orders for their first hybrid sports car, the 918 Spyder.  The price tag on one of these puppies will only be $845,000.

Not Funny – The average CEO now makes approximately 185 times more money than the average American worker.

Funny – Barack Obama recently played only his 61st round of golf since moving into the White House.  Many are now concerned that Obama is simply not getting enough free time.

Not Funny – According to one recent study, 21 percent of all children in the United States were living below the poverty line during 2010.

The Economic Collapse