The Social Economic Collapse of Amerka
Has anyone else noticed that the level of stress in this country appears to be extremely high right now? Today, it seems like our federal government, our state governments and most American families live in a constant state of crisis. Everywhere you look there are major problems. Right now everyone is stressed out because of the “debt ceiling deadline”. Earlier this year everyone was freaked out about the possibility of a “government shutdown”. If by some miracle Barack Obama and the Republicans are able to reach a deal in the next few days that will not help the national stress level for long. Another gut-wrenching “national crisis” will almost certainly come along very quickly. Meanwhile, average American families are feeling more stress than ever. There are millions of ordinary Americans that either cannot find jobs or are working as hard as they can and yet cannot seem to pay their mortgages and provide the basics for their families. We are a nation that is really stressed out right now, and as things continue to unravel the level of stress is only going to increase.
Compared to much of the rest of the world, we have an insanely high standard of living, and yet we appear to be some of the most unhappy people on the face of the earth.
Wherever you turn today, someone is popping a pill. The percentage of women taking antidepressants in America is higher than in any other country in the world. Children in the United States are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants than children in Europe are.
What in the world is wrong with us?
America is a country that desperately needs to chill out.
Washington D.C. sure is a stressful place right now. Most of our politicians seem to be focused on the 2012 elections rather than on trying to solve our problems.
Most of our leaders are prancing around trying to make themselves look good. Meanwhile, our national financial situation continues to go down the toilet.
One way or another this “debt ceiling crisis” will probably get solved. Our politicians will come up with some sort of a “deal” and it will almost certainly be a bad one.
The sad truth is that the U.S. national debt problem should have been addressed decades ago.
But it wasn’t.
So now we are sitting on a 14 trillion dollar timebomb.
Yes, the ultra-wealthy have become absolute masters at avoiding taxation, but even if some way to tap into their offshore wealth could be found, it still would only put a small dent in the problem.
The truth is that the U.S. government spends way too much money.
U.S. government spending is now above 25 percent of U.S. GDP. That is way above what has been normal during the post-World War II era.
But cutting government spending is not going to fix our system either.
The reality is that our debt-based financial system is designed to trap our federal government in a constantly expanding spiral of debt indefinitely.
As I have written about previously, the U.S. government debt problem will never be fixed as long as the Federal Reserve is running our financial system.
Under our current system, the debt is going to continue to grow no matter who we elect.
As our debt grows, our economy will suffer and the national stress level will continue to rise.
But for most American households, government debt is not the thing causing the most stress these days.
Most Americans are much more concerned about their own personal financial situations.
Most people just want to work hard, pay the bills and raise their families. But that is becoming extremely difficult to to.
According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 90 percent of Americans believe that the economy is performing poorly.
The same poll found that 80 percent of Americans believe that it is “difficult” to find a job these days.
In the United States today, there are 14 million unemployed people. Tonight there are huge numbers of Americans that are sitting at home desperately hoping that someone will give them a job. A significant percentage of our population that should be productive is just sitting on the sidelines. Just check out the following quote from a recent CNN article….
Has anyone in Washington noticed that 20% of American men are not working? That’s right. One out of five men in this country are collecting unemployment, in prison, on disability, operating in the underground economy, or getting by on the paychecks of wives or girlfriends or parents. The equivalent number in 1970, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, was 7%.
With numbers like that, how in the world can anyone claim that our economy is healthy?
Sadly, it looks like things may get even worse. As I have written about previously, we are now starting to see another huge wave of layoffs all over the nation.
The employment crisis has a ripple effect throughout the rest of the economy as well.
Without good jobs, Americans cannot buy homes. The housing crash is not going to be fixed until there the employment situation gets fixed.
With lending standards tighter than ever, it takes someone with a good income and a solid employment history to be able to qualify for a home loan.
Unfortunately, there aren’t a whole lot of people like that in the marketplace right now.
So, the housing industry continues to suffer.
Last year was the worst year for new home sales in modern U.S. history. So far, this year is even worse.
It would be really nice if we actually would have an economic recovery, but it just isn’t happening.
Prices are rising and incomes are not. American families are feeling more squeezed than ever.
A lot of Americans live in a constant state of stress because of debt.
According to one new poll, about 20 percent of American adults worry about debt “most or all of the time”.
If you have ever been there, then you know how financial stress can rob sleep from you night after night after night.
Today, total credit card debt in the U.S. is more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.
Some Americans can handle credit cards, but a lot of them can’t. A staggering 46 percent of Americans do not pay their credit card bills in full each month.
But credit card debt is only one form of debt that is causing stress for American families. The truth is that the total amount of student loan debt is even greater than the total amount of credit card debt. Medical debt is another huge problem. The vast majority of American families are dealing with a debt problem of one form or another. The decades of “easy credit” that we enjoyed are really starting to catch up with us.
Today, the average American household is carrying $75,600 in debt.
That is not a good thing. American consumers are tapped out and the economy is suffering.
As the economy crumbles, many hard working Americans are finding that their lives have radically changed. Just check out the following excerpt from an article posted on a local Connecticut news source….
For 28 years, Cathy Hartley of Glastonbury brought home a good paycheck from her job at Aetna.
But last Tuesday, she was in line with her two young granddaughters for free produce from Mobile Foodshare at the First Church of Christ Congregational on Main Street.
For Hartley, who said she was laid off from her job as a project manager about six years ago and then laid off from a subsequent job two years ago, every little bit helps. Her eligibility for unemployment ran out two months ago.
Could you imagine standing in line at a food bank?
It just might happen to you.
Millions of Americans that have lost their jobs and their homes never thought that it would happen to them.
Wealth and possessions are here today and gone tomorrow. People that base their lives on the things that they own are always going to have a high level of stress. We didn’t bring any of these things into the world with us, and we can’t take any of them with us when we leave.
So try not to stress out too much. We should all learn to be content whether we have a lot or whether we have a little.
GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, The Head Of Obama’s Jobs Council, Is Moving Jobs And Economic Infrastructure To China At A Blistering Pace
Jeffrey Immelt, the head of Barack Obama’s highly touted “Jobs Council”, is moving even more GE infrastructure to China. GE makes more medical-imaging machines than anyone else in the world, and now GE has announced that it “is moving the headquarters of its 115-year-old X-ray business to Beijing“. Apparently, this is all part of a “plan to invest about $2 billion across China” over the next few years. But moving core pieces of its business overseas is nothing new for GE. Under Immelt, GE has shipped tens of thousands of good jobs out of the United States. Perhaps GE should change its slogan to “Imagination At Work (In China)”. If the very people that have been entrusted with solving the unemployment crisis are shipping jobs out of the country, what hope is there that things are going to turn around any time soon?
Earlier this month, Immelt made the following statement to a jobs summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce….
“There’s no excuse today for lack of leadership. The truth is we all need to be part of the solution.”
Apparently Immelt’s idea of being part of the solution is to ship as many jobs overseas as he possibly can.
A recent article on the Huffington Post documented how GE has been sending tens of thousands of good jobs out of the country….
As the administration struggles to prod businesses to create jobs at home, GE has been busy sending them abroad. Since Immelt took over in 2001, GE has shed 34,000 jobs in the U.S., according to its most recent annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But it’s added 25,000 jobs overseas.
At the end of 2009, GE employed 36,000 more people abroad than it did in the U.S. In 2000, it was nearly the opposite.
GE is supposed to be creating the “jobs of tomorrow”, but it seems that most of the “jobs of tomorrow” will not be located inside the United States.
The last GE factory in the U.S. that made light bulbs closed last September. The transition to the new CFL light bulbs was supposed to create a whole bunch of those “green jobs” that Barack Obama keeps talking about, but as an article in the Washington Post noted, that simply is not happening….
Rather than setting off a boom in the U.S. manufacture of replacement lights, the leading replacement lights are compact fluorescents, or CFLs, which are made almost entirely overseas, mostly in China.
But GE is far from alone in shipping jobs and economic infrastructure out of the United States. For example, big automakers such as Ford are being very aggressive in China. Ford is currently “building three factories in Chongqing as part of $1.6 billion investment that also includes another plant in Nanchang”.
Today, China accounts for approximately one out of every four vehicles sold worldwide. The big automakers consider the future to be in China.
Just a few decades ago, China was an economic joke and the U.S. economy was absolutely unparalleled.
But disastrous trade policies have opened up the door for a mammoth transfer of jobs, factories and wealth from the United States to China.
China has become an absolute powerhouse and America is rapidly declining.
Beautiful new infrastructure is going up all over China even as U.S. infrastructure rots and decays right in front of our eyes.
America is being deindustrialized at lightning speed and very few of our politicians seem to care.
Back in 1979, there were 19.5 million manufacturing jobs in the United States.
Today, there are 11.6 million.
That represents a decline of 40 percent during a time period when our overall population experienced tremendous growth.
We used to have the greatest manufacturing cities on the entire globe. The rest of the world was in awe of us.
Today, most of those formerly great manufacturing cities are decaying, rotting hellholes.
The following is what one reporter from the UK saw during his visit to Detroit….
As you pass the city limits a blanket of gloom, neglect and cheapness descends. The buildings are shabbier, the paint is faded. The businesses, where they exist, are thrift shops and pawn shops or wretched groceries where the goods are old and tired. Finding somewhere to have breakfast, normally easy in any American city, involves a long hunt. ‘God bless Detroit’, says one billboard, just beside another offering the alternative solution: liquor.
You can see some really shocking images of the decline of Detroit right here.
Our politicians insisted that globalism would not result in a “giant sucking sound” as millions of jobs left America.
But that is exactly what has happened.
Sadly, most American families still don’t understand what has happened. Most of them are still waiting for things to get back to “normal”.
Millions of unemployed Americans are dealing with incredible amounts of stress right now as they wait for jobs to start opening up again. But the jobs that have been shipped overseas are not coming back. In a globalized economy, it doesn’t make sense to hire American workers when you can legally pay workers slave labor wages on the other side of the globe.
Millions of good middle class jobs have been replaced by low paying service jobs. Today there are huge numbers of Americans that are cutting hair or flipping burgers because that is all they can get right now.
Many others are only able to survive because of the safety net. One reader named David recently left a comment in which he shared his story. David did everything that the system asked him to do, but the promised rewards never materialized. Now David is broke, unemployed and he feels deeply frustrated….
A year ago I had a job, we were struggling, but bills were getting paid, and somehow we were getting by. Then I made the mistake of getting sick, one day before my company insurance kicked in. An auto-immune illness almost killed me, if it weren’t for the amazing efforts of my physicians and an emergency spleenectomy, I would not be here.
My wife would have been a single mother,raising two young sons, one of which is autistic. Instead, I pulled through. The disease damaged my liver, leaving me with a chronic condition, and even after a year, it is hard to get up and go some days. My “employer” dumped me as soon as I left the hospital, and I haven’t worked since. It isn’t for lack of looking. There just isn’t anything.
Oh, I get my government cheese money. Here I am college educated, unable to find something that can pay the bills better than the money that we get from the government. It sickens me to be this dependent on the system like this. But the system de-incentivizes work, and makes living on the dole make a perverse economic sense.
I used to have dreams, but I have given up on them. My wife and I have no savings, we have no life raft and if it weren’t for the generosity of her parents and mine, things would have ground to a halt a long time ago.
I believed every thing adults told me. Work hard, I did. Get an education, I did. Find a nice girl and settle down, I did. Two cars, a dog, a cat and couple of kids, a nice townhouse…the american dream. Yep.
I love my country. My heart is broken, broken because I have been betrayed. I did what you asked, I played by the rules. I did what you said to do; I submitted, I conformed, I stopped dreaming. Now what?
I am willing to pay for my faults and transgressions; my failures are my own, I get that. My children should not have to suffer for my failures, they did not do anything wrong. My youngest boy is autistic, we hope he will be able to integrate into society, but the fact is we may have to take care of him for the rest of his life. How do I do this with nothing, and no opportunity in the foreseeable future?
Depression, stress…yep, I’ve got all that. I used to be hopeful and optimistic about the future. Now all I am is afraid.
As the United States continues to bleed good jobs, stories like the one you just read are going to become much more common.
So what are our politicians doing about all of this?
They tell us that we need even more “free trade”!
Barack Obama says that we need more free trade.
The Republicans say that we need more free trade.
In Washington D.C. our politicians do not agree on much, but one thing they do agree on is that we need to keep shipping jobs out of the country.
Until the American people wake up and start demanding an end to the globalization of the U.S. economy, the job losses are just going to continue to get worse.
The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000. If this trend continues, millions more Americans will soon be surviving on food stamps or living in tent cities.
The American people are deeply concerned about the economy, but they still have not connected the dots on these issues. The mainstream media and most of our politicians keep telling them that the globalization of the economy is a wonderful thing.
It is so sad that people just do not understand what is going on right in front of their eyes.
Whether you are a conservative or a liberal or a libertarian, you should be against the deindustrialization of America.
Allowing our industrial base to be raped is not a good thing.
Allowing big corporations and foreign governments to pay slave labor wages to workers on the other side of the globe making things that will be sold inside the United States is not a good thing.
Allowing the destruction of our industrial capacity to threaten our national security is not a good thing.
Allowing millions of precious jobs to leave the country is not a good thing.
The biggest corporations are making some extra profits by exploiting cheap labor on the other side of the globe. Corporate executives love to shower themselves with larger and larger bonuses.
But our current trade policies are not working for American workers.
We need “fair trade”, not “free trade”.
The United States is being taken advantage of, and the Democrats and the Republicans are both laying down like doormats and letting it happen.
If you want to know where all the good jobs went, it is not a big mystery.
They have been shipped out of the country and they are not coming back.
Unless fundamental changes are made, things are going to get worse and worse and worse for American workers.
So what is going to happen next?
It is up to you America.
Broke! 10 Facts About The Financial Condition Of American Families That Will Blow Your Mind
The crumbling U.S. economy is putting an extraordinary amount of financial stress on American families. For many Americans, “flat broke” has become a permanent condition. Today, over half of all American families live paycheck to paycheck. Unemployment is rampant and those that do actually have jobs are finding that their wages are rising much more slowly than prices are. The financial condition of average American families continues to decline and this is showing up in all of the recent surveys. For example, according to a new Gallup poll, “lack of money/low wages” is the number one financial concern for American families. To make ends meet, many American families are going into even more debt and more American families than ever are turning to government assistance. Right now, more Americans than at any other point since World War II are flat broke and have lost hope. Until this changes, the frustration level in this country is going to continue to grow.
The following are 10 facts about the financial condition of American families that will blow your mind…..
#1 Only 58 percent of Americans have a job right now.
#2 Only 56 percent of Americans are currently covered by employer-provided health insurance.
#3 The median yearly wage in the United States is $26,261.
#4 The average American household is carrying $75,600 in debt.
#5 Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
#6 At this point, American families are approximately 7.7 trillion dollars poorer than they were back in early 2007.
#7 The poorest 50% of all Americans now own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.
#8 According to one study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States were living below the poverty line in 2010.
#10 According to Newsweek, close to 20 percent of all American men between the ages of 25 and 54 do not have a job at the moment.
So what is causing all of this?
Where in the world did all of the good jobs go?
Well, the truth is that millions of them have been shipped overseas.
Our politicians promised us that merging our economy with the economies of other nations where it is legal to pay slave labor wages to workers would not create more unemployment inside America.
They were dead wrong.
Now we are being told that we just need to accept a lower standard of living.
For example, billionaire Howard Marks says that it is time for all of us to just accept that the standard of living of American workers is inevitably going to decline to the level of the rest of the world….
“In addition to balancing the budget and growing the economy, I think we have to accept that the coming decades are likely to see U.S. standards of living decline relative to the rest of the world. Unless our goods offer a better cost/benefit bargain, there’s no reason why American workers should continue to enjoy the same lifestyle advantage over workers in other countries. I just don’t expect to hear many politicians own up to this reality on the stump.”
Are you willing to accept that?
Well, most Americans appear to be willing to accept this “new reality” because they keep sending most of the exact same bozos back to Washington D.C.
Meanwhile, the job losses continue to get worse. As I wrote about the other day, as the U.S. economy has started to slow down again we are starting to see another huge wave of layoffs all over America.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out where all of our jobs are going. But unfortunately, most Americans don’t understand what is happening because neither the mainstream media nor our politicians are telling them the truth.
For much more on how millions of our good jobs are being shipped out of the country, please see another article I recently published entitled “How Globalism Has Destroyed Our Jobs, Businesses And National Wealth In 10 Easy Steps“.
But it is not just the globalization of the economy that is destroying our jobs.
The federal government bureaucracy has become so oppressive that it is amazing that anyone is still willing to hire workers in this day and age.
Hiring workers has become so complicated and so expensive that many small business owners want to avoid it at all cost.
For example, a small business owner identified as “007” recently left the following comment on one of my recent articles….
Speaking as a small employer, I would rather have a root canal than another employee. Let’s see. You first have to hire someone you trust without some labor lawyer suing you for some type of discrimination. Then you have OSHA to make sure your work place is safe. Then you have workmans compensation insurance, unemployment taxes, health insurance, liability insurance, now Obamacare. Oh be careful not to be deemed to have a “hostile work environment”. Then you have to negotiate the labor laws. The Department of Labor is constantly cranking out regulation.
Then you get the pleasure of paying payroll taxes both state and federal along with the required filing of a multitude of payroll forms. Miss filing or paying these taxes and you will be crushed with interest and penalties.
Of course, you are competing with businesses that can hire at a fraction of the cost of American Labor and with very little regulations. In this economy, no one in their right mind is hiring into this unstable and declining economy.
If business turns down all you have to worry about is laying off workers. Of course your unemployment insurance tax will go up 200% for years. Then you only have to then worry about a wrongful termination law suit.
The entire system is stacked against American workers.
If you are a blue collar worker, you should give up hope that things are going to get better. The system has failed you.
You can stop waiting for the “good jobs” to come back.
They aren’t coming back.
That is one reason why I try to encourage everyone to become more independent of the system.
As our economic system continues to degenerate, Americans are going to become increasingly desperate.
Sadly, desperate people do desperate things. Already we are starting to see signs that the fabric of American society is starting to be ripped to shreds.
So what is going to happen if the economy gets even worse?
There is a limit to how many people we can actually put in prison. The reality is that the number of Americans in prison has nearly tripled since 1987.
Our prisons are already dangerously overcrowded. As society falls apart, many communities will simply not be able to shove more people behind bars.
Even with our prisons stuffed to the gills, many of our largest cities continue to be transformed into absolute hellholes.
So what are our leaders doing about all of this?
Well, they appear to be too busy fighting with each other and cheating on their wives to do much about our problems.
According to Politico, U.S. Representative David Wu is the latest member of Congress to be accused of a sex scandal….
Rep. David Wu has been accused of an “unwanted sexual encounter” with the teenage daughter of a longtime friend, the latest scandal to engulf the troubled Oregon Democrat.
This country is a complete and total mess. Tens of millions of American families are flat broke and are about to slip into poverty. Meanwhile, our politicians continue to prove that they are some of the most corrupt on the planet.
There are many out there that still believe that America has a bright future ahead.
It is getting really hard to see why anyone could possibly believe that.