The Hard Working American vs.
The Government Parasite
Which lifestyle choice produces better results – being a hard working American or being a government parasite? Actually, when you look at the cold, hard numbers they may just surprise you. In America today, we deeply penalize hard work and we greatly reward government dependence. If you live in a very liberal area of the country and you know how to game the system, it is entirely possible to live a comfortable existence without ever working too much at all. In fact, there are some Americans that have been living off of “government benefits” for decades. Many of these people actually plan their lives around doing exactly what they need to do to qualify for as many benefits as possible. America is rapidly turning into a European-style socialist welfare state and it is destroying our nation socially and financially. Ever since the “war on poverty” began our debt has absolutely exploded and yet now there are more poor people in this country than ever before. Obviously something is not working.
Now don’t get me wrong. I deeply believe in having compassion for those that are going through tough times and having a safety net for those that cannot take care of themselves. We should not have a single person in this nation going without food or sleeping in the streets.
But in America today it is absolutely ridiculous how many people are climbing aboard the “safety net”. At this point, an astounding 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that receives some form of government benefits.
So who pays for all of this?
The people that drag themselves out of bed and go to work each day pay for it all.
For a few moments, let’s examine how the lifestyle of a typical hard working American compares to the lifestyle of a government parasite.
In America today, the median yearly household income is somewhere around $50,000. About half of all American households make more than that and about half of all American households make less than that. When you break it down, it comes to about $4000 a month.
So how far does $4000 go in America today?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t go very far at all.
First of all, a hard working American family will need some place to live. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the decent jobs are near the big cities, and it is more expensive to live near the big cities. Let’s assume that an average family of four will spend about $1000 a month on rent or on a mortgage payment.
The government parasite, on the other hand, has a whole host of federal, state and local housing programs to take advantage of. During the recent economic downturn, more Americans than ever have been turning to the government for help with housing costs. For example, federal housing assistance outlays increased by a whopping 42 percent between 2006 and 2010.
Once you have a place to live, you have to provide power and heat for it. For the average hard working American, this is going to probably average about $300 a month, although this can vary greatly depending on where you live.
For the government parasite, there are once again a whole host of government programs to help with this. For example, LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) assists low income households in paying their home heating bills.
Most average hard working Americans are also going to need phone and Internet service. Let’s assume that the hard working family of four in our example is extremely thrifty and only spends $100 a month for these services.
For the government parasite, cell phone service is not a problem. As I have written about previously, those that “qualify” can receive a free cell phone and free cell phone minutes every single month from the federal government. In addition, in some areas of the nation low income families can qualify for deeply subsidized home Internet service.
In order to earn money, our hard working family is going to need to get to work. In most households, both parents have decided to work these days so both of them will need cars. Let’s assume that the family is very thrifty and that both cars were purchased used and that the car payments only total about $400 a month.
The hard working family will also need auto insurance for the two vehicles. Let’s assume that both parents have a great driving record and that they only pay a total of about $100 a month for car insurance.
The cars will also need to be filled up with gasoline. The average U. S. household spent $4155 on gasoline during 2011, but let’s assume that our family is very, very careful and that they only spend about $300 on gas each month.
So what about the government parasite? Well, the government parasite does not need to go to work, so this expense can potentially be eliminated entirely. But since most other things are paid for by the government or are deeply subsidized, in many instances government parasites are actually able to afford very nice vehicles.
In addition, a new bill (The Low-Income Gasoline Assistance Program Act) has been introduced in Congress that would give “qualifying” households money to help pay for gasoline….
Low-Income Gasoline Assistance Program Act – Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make grants to states to establish emergency assistance programs to pay eligible households for the purchase of gasoline.
A hard working American family is also going to need health insurance. Well, we all know how expensive health insurance has become. In fact, health insurance costs have risen by 23 percent since Barack Obama became president. But let’s assume that our hard working family has somehow been able to find an amazing deal where they only pay $500 a month for health insurance for a family of four.
For the government parasite, health insurance is not needed. If there is an emergency, the government parasite can just go get free medical care at any emergency room.
And of course there is always Medicaid. Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid, and things are about to get a whole lot worse. It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
So what about food?
Everyone has to eat, right?
Well, the hard working family in our example is faced with an environment where food prices are constantly rising but paychecks are not keeping up. Let’s assume that the hard working family in our example clips coupons and cuts corners any way that it can and only spends about $50 for each member of the family on food and supplies each week. That comes to a total of $800 a month for the entire family.
So what about the government parasite?
Government parasites need to eat too.
Well, that is where food stamps come in. Right now, there are more than 46 million Americans on food stamps. Since Barack Obama became president, the number of Americans on food stamps has increased by 14 million. Food stamps have become so popular that rappers are even making rap videos about using food stamp cards.
Okay, so after all of this where do we stand?
Well, the average hard working family so far has spent $3500 out of the $4000 that they have to spend for the month.
We still need to find money for clothing, for paying off credit card debt, for paying off student loan debt, for dining out, for entertainment, for medications, for pets, for hobbies, for life insurance, for vacations, for car repairs and maintenance, for child care, for gifts and for retirement savings.
There is actually no money left at all because we have forgotten one of the biggest expenses of all.
When you total up all federal, state and property taxes, our average hard working family is going to pay at least $1000 a month in taxes.
So that puts our average hard working family in the hole every single month.
Meanwhile, the government parasite does not pay any taxes because he or she does not earn enough money to be taxed.
Are you starting to get the picture?
In many ways, life can be so much easier when you are constantly taking from the government instead of constantly giving to the government.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently put it this way….
“We’ll have a bunch of people sitting on a couch waiting for their next government check”
Once again, I am not dumping on those that have been through all kinds of nightmares because of this economy. As I have written about so frequently, the U.S. economy is simply not producing enough jobs for everyone anymore, and this is creating major problems.
Just about everyone needs a helping hand at some point, and we should always be compassionate to those that are in need.
However, there is also a growing number of Americans that are content to simply give up and live off of the government, and that is fundamentally wrong.
It is not the job of the U.S. government to take care of you from the cradle to the grave. What the U.S. government is supposed to do is to make sure that we have a well functioning economy that operates in an environment where hard working individuals and small businesses can thrive, and sadly the U.S. government has failed miserably in that regard.
We desperately need the U.S. economy to be fixed, but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.
As economic conditions get even worse in this country, millions more Americans are going to turn to the government for assistance and at some point the safety net is going to break.
What is our country going to look like when that happens?
19 Signs Of Very Serious
Economic Trouble On The Horizon
Most Americans have no idea how much economic trouble is heading our way. Most of them just assume that everything will eventually “return to normal” just like it always has before and that those running our economy “know what they are doing” and that we should trust them to do their jobs. Unfortunately, these beliefs are being reinforced by the bubble of false hope that we are experiencing right now. For example, it is being reported that weekly unemployment claims in the United States have fallen to a four-year low. That is a very good thing. Let us hope that unemployment claims go even lower and that the current period of stability lasts for as long as possible. We should enjoy these last fleeing moments of tremendous prosperity for as long as we can, because when they are gone they won’t be coming back. As I noted the other day, all of this false prosperity in the United States has been financed by the 15 trillion dollar party that we have been enjoying. We are adding about 150 million dollars to our debt every single hour so that we can continue to enjoy an inflated standard of living. Unfortunately, nobody in the history of the world has ever been able to keep a debt spiral going indefinitely, and our debt bubble will burst eventually as well.
Sadly, when you attempt to end (or even slow down) a debt spiral the consequences can be extremely painful. Just look at what is happening in Greece. Several waves of austerity measures have been implemented, the Greek economy has been plunged into a full-blown depression and Greek debt is still going up.
The rest of the nations of the eurozone are also now implementing austerity measures, and most of them are also starting to fall into recession. The economic pain in Europe is just beginning and it will go on for quite a long time.
And eventually the United States is going to join the pain. Right now the U.S. government can still borrow trillions of dollars at super low interest rates thanks to games being played by the Federal Reserve. But it is simply not possible for this Ponzi scheme to last too much longer. When it ends, the pain will be extremely great.
And even in the short-term there are some extremely troubling signs for the U.S. economy.
The following are 19 signs of very serious economic trouble on the horizon….
#1 According to one new survey, approximately one-third of all Americans are not paying their bills on time at this point.
#2 The U.S. housing industry is bracing for another huge wave of foreclosures in 2012. The following is from a recent Reuters article….
“We are right back where we were two years ago. I would put money on 2012 being a bigger year for foreclosures than 2010,” said Mark Seifert, executive director of Empowering & Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP), a counseling group with 10 offices in Ohio.
#3 The Citigroup Economic Surprise Index, a key indicator watched by many economists, is on the verge of heading into negative territory.
#4 We are supposed to be in the middle of an economic recovery in the United States, but bad news just keeps pouring in from major companies. For example, Yahoo is firing thousands of workers and Best Buy is closing dozens of stores.
#5 Richard Russell says that the “big money” is starting to quietly exit from the financial markets….
“My guess is that this is the big money that has been holding off as long as it decently can — and then dumping their goods just before the close. I don’t think the big money likes this market, and I think they have been slowly exiting this market, as quietly as they can.”
#6 Goldman Sachs is projecting that the S&P 500 will fall by about 11 percent by the end of 2012.
#7 All over the country, local governments are going into default and we have not even entered the next recession yet.
#8 The U.S. government will add more to the national debt in 2012 than it did from the time that George Washington became president to the time that Ronald Reagan became president.
#9 The Federal Reserve is desperately trying to control interest rates. The Fed purchased approximately 61 percent of all government debt issued by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2011. This is the only thing that is keeping interest rates in the United States from soaring dramatically.
#10 German industrial production is falling at a pace that is far faster then expected.
#11 Italy’s debt-to-GDP ratio is now up to 120 percent.
#12 The Spanish government admitted on Tuesday that Spain’s debt-to-GDP ratio will rise by more than 11 percent this year alone.
#13 Yields on Spanish bonds are rising to dangerous levels.
#14 The Spanish government is projecting that the unemployment rate in Spain will exceed 24 percent by the end of the year.
#15 Unemployment in the eurozone as a whole has risen for 10 months in a row and is now at a 15 year high.
#16 In the aftermath of a 77-year-old retiree killing himself in front of the Greek parliament in protest over pension cuts, the economic rioting in Greece has flared back up dramatically.
#17 At this point, Greece is experiencing an economic depression with no end in sight. Some of the statistics coming out of Greece are really hard to believe. For example, one port town in Greece now has an unemployment rate of approximately 60 percent.
#18 The IMF is asking the United States to contribute more money for European bailouts.
#19 At this point, even some of our top scientists are projecting economic trouble. For example, researchers at MIT are projecting a “global economic collapse” by the year 2030 if current trends continue.
But the truth is that we will experience a “global economic collapse” long before 2030 comes rolling around.
Let us hope that we still have at least several more months of economic prosperity in the United States before things really fall apart.
The truth is that the vast majority of Americans need more time to prepare for what is coming.
Sadly, most Americans are not preparing. Most Americans have blind faith that those in positions of power are going to fix everything and set us on the path to even greater prosperity than ever before.
Unfortunately, all Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Barack Obama have been doing is kicking the can down the road and making our eventual collapse much worse.
As many of us have painfully learned, you can run from debt for a while, but you can’t hide from it forever. Eventually debt catches up with you, and when it does it can be very cruel.
The 15 trillion dollar party is coming to an end, and the consequences of decades of very foolish decisions are going to fall on this generation.
Read This First Before You Decide That Preppers Are Crazy
Do you believe that preppers are a few cards short of a full deck? Do you assume that anyone that is “preparing for doomsday” does not have their elevator going all the way to the top floor? Well, you might want to read this first before you make a final decision that all preppers are crazy. The information that you are about to read shook me up a bit when I first looked it over. To be honest, I had no idea how incredibly vulnerable our economic system is to a transportation disruption. I am continually getting emails and comments on my websites asking “how to prepare” for what is coming, so when I came across this information I knew that I had to share it with all of you. Hopefully what you are about to read will motivate you to prepare like never before, and hopefully you will share this information with others.
Originally, I was going to write an article about the rising unemployment in Europe today. Did you know that unemployment in the eurozone is now at a 15 year high? It has risen for 10 months in a row with no end in sight.
But I have written dozens of articles about the economic crisis in Europe already. So before starting on that article I started thinking of all the “preparation” questions I have been getting lately and I went over and checked out one of my favorite preparation websites: shtfplan.com.
Well, an article had just been posted over there about a report put out by the American Trucker Associations entitled “When Trucks Stop, America Stops“.
I went and found that original report and I was stunned as I read it.
The truth is that our “just in time” inventory and delivery systems leave us incredibly vulnerable to a nationwide disaster.
You see, it is very expensive to hold and store inventory, so most manufacturers and retailers rely on a continual flow of deliveries that are scheduled to arrive “just in time”, and this significantly reduces their operating expenses.
This is considered to be good business practice for manufacturers and retailers, but it also means that if there was a major nationwide transportation disruption that our economic system would grind to a halt almost immediately.
Once store shelves are picked clean, they would not be able to be replenished until trucks could get back on the road. In the event of a major nationwide disaster, that could be quite a while.
So what could potentially cause a nationwide transportation shutdown?
Well, it is easy to imagine a lot of potential scenarios – a volcanic eruption, a historic earthquake, an EMP attack, a solar megastorm, a war, a major terror attack, an asteroid strike, a killer pandemic, mass rioting in U.S. cities, or even martial law.
If something caused the trucks to stop running, life in America would immediately start changing.
So exactly what would that look like?
The following is an excerpt from the report mentioned above put out by the American Trucker Associations entitled “When Trucks Stop, America Stops“….
A Timeline Showing the Deterioration of Major Industries Following a Truck Stoppage
The first 24 hours
• Delivery of medical supplies to the affected area will cease.
• Hospitals will run out of basic supplies such as syringes and catheters within hours. Radiopharmaceuticals will deteriorate and become unusable.
• Service stations will begin to run out of fuel.
• Manufacturers using just-in-time manufacturing will develop component shortages.
• U.S. mail and other package delivery will cease.
Within one day
• Food shortages will begin to develop.
• Automobile fuel availability and delivery will dwindle, leading to skyrocketing prices and long lines at the gas pumps.
• Without manufacturing components and trucks for product delivery,
assembly lines will shut down, putting thousands out of work.
Within two to three days
• Food shortages will escalate, especially in the face of hoarding and consumer panic.
• Supplies of essentials—such as bottled water, powdered milk, and
canned meat—at major retailers will disappear.
• ATMs will run out of cash and banks will be unable to process
• Service stations will completely run out of fuel for autos and trucks.
• Garbage will start piling up in urban and suburban areas.
• Container ships will sit idle in ports and rail transport will be disrupted, eventually coming to a standstill.
Within a week
• Automobile travel will cease due to the lack of fuel. Without autos and busses, many people will not be able to get to work, shop for groceries, or access medical care.
• Hospitals will begin to exhaust oxygen supplies.
Within two weeks
• The nation’s clean water supply will begin to run dry.
Within four weeks
• The nation will exhaust its clean water supply and water will be safe for drinking only after boiling. As a result gastrointestinal illnesses will increase, further taxing an already weakened health care system.
This timeline presents only the primary effects of a freeze on truck travel. Secondary effects must be considered as well, such as inability to maintain telecommunications service, reduced law enforcement, increased crime, increased illness and injury, higher death rates, and likely, civil unrest.
Earlier in the report, the reasons why America’s water supply would be in such jeopardy are described in greater detail….
According to the American Water Works Association, Americans drink more than one billion glasses of tap water per day. For safety and security reasons, most water supply plants maintain a larger inventory of supplies than the typical business. However, the amount of chemical storage varies significantly and is site specific. According to the Chlorine Institute, most water treatment facilities receive chlorine in cylinders (150 pounds and one ton cylinders) that are delivered by motor carriers. On average, trucks deliver purification chemicals to water supply plants every seven to 14 days. Without these chemicals, water cannot be purified and made safe for drinking. Without truck deliveries of purification chemicals, water supply plants will run out of drinkable water in 14 to 28 days. Once the water supply is drained, water will be deemed safe for drinking only when boiled. Lack of clean drinking water will lead to increased gastrointestinal and other illnesses, further taxing an already weakened healthcare system.
Can you see why I always recommend that you make sure that you and your family have access to fresh water and a way to purify it?
This report should be very sobering for all of us.
What would you and your family do if you had no food, no clean water and the stores were shut down because their supplies were gone?
An article by Tess Pennington entitled “Emergency Items: What Will Disappear First” contains a list of 100 things that are likely to disappear from store shelves first. The following are the first 10 things on her list….
1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. Noisy…target of
thieves; maintenance etc.)
2. Water Filters/Purifiers
3. Portable Toilets
4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 – 12 months to become dried, for home
5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile
6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much.
7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots.
8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks.
9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar
10. Rice – Beans – Wheat
You can find the rest of the list right here.
Most Americans just assume that they will always be able to run out to the supermarket or to Wal-Mart and buy anything that they need.
But if the trucks stop running that will change almost overnight.
After reading the information above, does anyone out there still believe that preppers are crazy?
The truth is that there are good, solid reasons why millions of Americans have been storing up food, water filters and other supplies.
Our world is becoming increasingly unstable, and all of us need to get educated about how to prepare for the difficult years that are coming.
One nightmarish event can change everything that we take for granted in a single moment.
Just remember what happened after Hurricane Katrina. Even though that was only a regional disaster, millions of people had their lives completely turned upside down by that tragedy.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because the U.S. has always known tremendous peace and prosperity since World War II that things will always be that way.
Our lives will only continue to be “normal” as long as the trucks continue running.
When the trucks stop running in America, there will be mass chaos.
Are you prepared for that?