15 Reasons Why Americans Think We’re Still in a Recession…
1: Wage Stagnation: Why America’s Workers Need Faster Wage Growth—And What We Can Do About It, Elise Gould, EPI
Economic Policy Institute:
“The hourly compensation of a typical worker grew in tandem with productivity from 1948-1973. …. After 1973, productivity grew strongly, especially after 1995, while the typical worker’s compensation was relatively stagnant. This divergence of pay and productivity has meant that many workers were not benefitting from productivity growth—the economy could afford higher pay but it was not providing it.
Between 1979 and 2013, productivity grew 64.9 percent, while hourly compensation of production and nonsupervisory workers, who comprise over 80 percent of the private-sector workforce, grew just 8.0 percent. Productivity thus grew eight times faster than typical worker compensation…” (EPI)
(Note: Flatlining wages are the Number 1 reason that the majority of Americans still think we’re in a recession.)
2: Most people still haven’t recouped what they lost in the crash: Typical Household Wealth Has Plunged 36% Since 2003, Zero Hedge
“According to a new study by the Russell Sage Foundation, the inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36% decline… Welcome to America’s Lost Decade.
Simply put, the NY Times notes, it’s not merely an issue of the rich getting richer. The typical American household has been getting poorer, too.
The reasons for these declines are complex and controversial, but one point seems clear: When only a few people are winning and more than half the population is losing, surely something is amiss. (chart)”
3: Most working people are still living hand-to-mouth: 76% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, CNN Money
“Roughly three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with little to no emergency savings, according to a survey released by Bankrate.com Monday.
Fewer than one in four Americans have enough money in their savings account to cover at least six months of expenses, enough to help cushion the blow of a job loss, medical emergency or some other unexpected event, according to the survey of 1,000 adults. Meanwhile, 50% of those surveyed have less than a three-month cushion and 27% had no savings at all…
Last week, online lender CashNetUSA said 22% of the 1,000 people it recently surveyed had less than $100 in savings to cover an emergency, while 46% had less than $800. After paying debts and taking care of housing, car and child care-related expenses, the respondents said there just isn’t enough money left over for saving more.”
4: Millennials are Drowning in Red Ink: Biggest economic threat? Student loan debt, USA Today
“Total student loan debt has grown more than 150% since 2005… We have more than $1.2 trillion of student loan debt…
And while 6.7 million borrowers in repayment mode are delinquent, the sad fact is that many lenders aren’t exactly incentivized to work with borrowers. Unlike all other forms of debt, student loans can’t be discharged in bankruptcy. Moreover, lenders can garnish wages and even Social Security benefits to get repaid…
In 2005 student loans accounted for less than 13% of the total debt load for adults age 20-29. Today, student loans account for nearly 37% of that group’s outstanding debt. Student loan debt’s slice of the total debt pie for the age group nearly tripled! The average loan balance for that age group is now more than $25,500, up from $15,900 in 2005.”
5: Downward mobility is the new reality: Middle-Class Death Watch: As Poverty Spreads, 28 Percent of Americans Fall Out of Middle Class, Truthout
“The promise of the American dream has given many hope that they themselves could one day rise up the economic ladder. But according to a study released those already in financially-stable circumstances should fear falling down a few rungs too. The study… found that nearly a third of Americans who were part of the middle class as teenagers in the 1970s have fallen out of it as adults… its findings suggest the relative ease with which people in the U.S. can end up in low-income, low-opportunity lifestyles — even if they started out with a number of advantages. Though the American middle class has been repeatedly invoked as a key factor in any economic turnaround, numerous reports have suggested that the middle class enjoys less existential security than it did a generation ago, thanks to stagnating incomes and the decline of the industrial sector.”
6: People are more vulnerable than ever: “More Than Half Of All Americans Can’t Come Up With $400 In Emergency Cash… Unless They Borrow“, Personal Liberty
“According to a Federal Reserve report on American households’ “economic well-being” in 2013, fewer than half of all Americans said they’d be able to come up with four Benjamins on short notice to deal with an unexpected expense…
Under a section titled “Savings,” the report notes that “[s]avings are depleted for many households after the recession,” and lists the following findings:
*Among those who had savings prior to 2008, 57 percent reported using up some or all of their savings in the Great Recession and its aftermath.
*39 percent of respondents reported having a rainy day fund adequate to cover three months of expenses.
*Only 48 percent of respondents said that they would completely cover a hypothetical emergency expense costing $400 without selling something or borrowing money.
7: Working people are getting poorer: The Typical Household, Now Worth a Third, New York Times
“The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation.
Those are the figures for a household at the median point in the wealth distribution — the level at which there are an equal number of households whose worth is higher and lower. But during the same period, the net worth of wealthy households increased substantially….“The housing bubble basically hid a trend of declining financial wealth at the median that began in 2001,” said Fabian T. Pfeffer, the University of Michigan professor who is lead author of the Russell Sage Foundation study.
The reasons for these declines are complex and controversial, but one point seems clear: When only a few people are winning and more than half the population is losing, surely something is amiss.”
8: Most people can’t even afford to get their teeth fixed: 7 things the middle class can’t afford anymore, USA Today
“A vacation is an extra expense that many middle-earners cannot afford without sacrificing something else. A Statista survey found that this year 54% of people gave up purchasing big ticket items like TVs or electronics so they can go on a vacation. Others made sacrifices like reducing or eliminating their trips to the movies (47%), reducing or eliminating trips out to restaurants (43%), or avoiding purchasing small ticket items like new clothing (43%).
3–To pay off debt…
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “the U.S. spends about $64 billion each year on oral health care — just 4% is paid by Government programs.” About 108 million people in the U.S. have no dental coverage and even those who are covered may have trouble getting the care they need, the department reports.”
9: The good, high-paying jobs have vanished: Recovery Has Created Far More Low-Wage Jobs Than Better-Paid Ones, New York Times
“The deep recession wiped out primarily high-wage and middle-wage jobs. Yet the strongest employment growth during the sluggish recovery has been in low-wage work, at places like strip malls and fast-food restaurants.
In essence, the poor economy has replaced good jobs with bad ones. That is the conclusion of anew report from the National Employment Law Project, a research and advocacy group, analyzing employment trends four years into the recovery.
“Fast food is driving the bulk of the job growth at the low end — the job gains there are absolutely phenomenal,” said Michael Evangelist, the report’s author. “If this is the reality — if these jobs are here to stay and are going to be making up a considerable part of the economy — the question is, how do we make them better?”
10: More workers are throwing in the towel: Labor Participation Rate Drops To 36 Year Low; Record 92.6 Million Americans Not In Labor Force, Zero Hedge
“For those curious why the US unemployment rate just slid once more to a meager 5.9%, the lowest print since the summer of 2008, the answer is the same one we have shown every month since 2010: the collapse in the labor force participation rate, which in September slid from an already three decade low 62.8% to 62.7% – the lowest in over 36 years, matching the February 1978 lows. And while according to the Household Survey, 232,000 people found jobs, what is more disturbing is that the people not in the labor force, rose to a new record high, increasing by 315,000 to 92.6 million!
Bottom line: Unemployment has gone down because more people aren’t working and have fallen off the radar.”
11: Nearly twice as many people still rely on Food Stamps than before the recession: Food-stamp use is falling from its peak, Marketwatch
“Food-stamp use is finally moving away from the peak. At 46.1 million people, total food-stamp usage is down about 4% from its high in December 2012 of 47.8 million. Only eight states in March (the latest data available) were up from the same month of 2013.
It’s still not great news, however, considering there were 26.3 million people receiving food stamps in 2007…”
12: The ocean of red ink continues to grow: American Household Credit Card Debt Statistics: 2014, Nerd Wallet Finance
Nerd Wallet Finance:
U.S. household consumer debt profile:
*Average credit card debt: $15,607
*Average mortgage debt: $153,500
*Average student loan debt: $32,656
In total, American consumers owe:
*$11.63 trillion in debt
*An increase of 3.8% from last year
*$880.5 billion in credit card debt
*$8.07 trillion in mortgages
*$1,120.3 billion in student loans
*An increase of 11.5% from last year
13: No Recovery for working people: The collapse of household income in the US, World Socialist Web Site
“The US Federal Reserve’s latest Survey of Consumer Finances, released last Thursday, documents a devastating decline in economic conditions for a large majority of the population during the so-called economic recovery.
The report reveals that between 2007 and 2013, the income of a typical US household fell 12 percent. The median American household now earns $6,400 less per year than it did in 2007.
Source: Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances
Much of the decline occurred during the “recovery” presided over by the Obama administration. In the three years between 2010 and 2013, the annual income of a typical household fell by an additional 5 percent.
The report also shows that wealth has become even more concentrated in the topmost economic layers. The wealth share of the top 3 percent climbed from 44.8 percent in 1989 to 54.4 percent in 2013. The share of wealth held by the bottom 90 percent fell from 33.2 percent in 1989 to 24.7 percent in 2013.”
14: Most people will work until they die: The Greatest Retirement Crisis In American History, Forbes
“We are on the precipice of the greatest retirement crisis in the history of the world. In the decades to come, we will witness millions of elderly Americans, the Baby Boomers and others, slipping into poverty.
Too frail to work, too poor to retire will become the “new normal” for many elderly Americans.
That dire prediction… is already coming true. Our national demographics, coupled with indisputable glaringly insufficient retirement savings and human physiology, suggest that a catastrophic outcome for at least a significant percentage of our elderly population is inevitable. With the average 401(k) balance for 65 year olds estimated at $25,000 by independent experts …the decades many elders will spend in forced or elected “retirement” will be grim…
The signs of the coming retirement crisis are all around you. Who’s bagging your groceries: a young high school kid or an older “retiree” who had to go back to work to supplement his income or qualify for health insurance?”
15: Americans are more pessimistic about the future, Polling Report
According to a CNN/ORC Poll May 29-June 1, 2014:
“Do you agree or disagree? The American dream has become impossible for most people to achieve.”
According to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by the polling organizations of Peter Hart (D) and Bill McInturff (R). April 23-27, 2014:
“Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Because of the widening gap between the incomes of the wealthy and everyone else, America is no longer a country where everyone, regardless of their background, has an opportunity to get ahead and move up to a better standard of living.”Agree: 54%
Also, according to a CBS News Poll. Jan. 17-21, 2014. N=1,018 adults nationwide.
“Looking to the future, do you think most children in this country will grow up to be better off or worse off than their parents?”Better off: 34%
Worse off: 63%
The majority of people in the United States, no longer believe in the American dream, or that America is the land of opportunity, or that their children will have a better standard of living than their own. They’ve grown more pessimistic because they haven’t seen the changes they were hoping for, and because their lives are just as hard as they were right after the crash. In fact, according to a 2014 Public Religion Research Institute poll– 72 percent of those surveyed said they think “the economy is still in recession.”
Judging by the info in the 15 links above, they’re probably right.
As the world explodes in violence, war, riots, and uprisings, it is challenging to step back and examine the bigger picture. With airliners being shot down over the Ukraine, missiles flying between Israel and Gaza, ongoing civil war in Syria, Iraq falling apart as ISIS gains ground, dictatorship crackdown in Egypt, Turkey on the verge of revolution, Iran gaining control of Iraq, Saudi Arabia fomenting violence, Africa dissolving into chaos, South America imploding and sending their children across our purposely porous southern border, Mexico under the control of drug lords, China experiencing a slow motion real estate collapse, Japan experiencing their third decade of Keynesian failure, facing a demographic nightmare scenario while being slowly poisoned by radiation, and Chinese-Japanese relations moving towards World War II levels, it is easy to get lost in the day to day minutia of history in the making.
Why is this happening at this point in history? Why is the average American economically worse off today than they were at the height of the economic crisis in 2009? Why is the Cold War returning with a vengeance? Why is the Federal Reserve still employing emergency monetary policies when we are supposedly five years into a recovery and the stock market has attained record highs? Why do the ECB and European politicians continue to paper over the insolvency of their banks and governments? Why did the U.S. support the ouster of a dictator we supported for decades in Egypt and then support the elevation of a new dictator after we didn’t like the policies of the democratically elected president? Why did the U.S. eliminate the leader of Libya and allow the country to descend into anarchy and civil war? Why did the U.S. fund and provoke a revolutionary overthrow of a democratically elected leader in the Ukraine? Why did the U.S. fund and arm Al Qaeda associated rebels in Syria who are now fighting our supposed allies in Iraq? Why has the U.S. been occupying Afghanistan for the last thirteen years with the result being a Taliban that is stronger than ever? Why are the BRIC countries forming a monetary union to challenge USD domination? Why is the U.S. attempting to provoke Russia into a conflict with NATO?
Why is the U.S. government collecting every electronic communication made by every American? Why is the U.S. government spying on world leader allies? Why is the U.S. government providing military equipment to local police forces? Why is the U.S. military conducting training exercises within U.S. cities? Why is the U.S. government attempting to restrict Second Amendment rights? Why is the U.S. government attempting to control and lockdown the internet? Why has the U.S. government chosen to treat the Fourth Amendment as if it is obsolete? Why is the national debt still rising by $750 billion per year ($2 billion per day) if the economy is back to normal? Why have 12 million working age Americans left the workforce since the economic recovery began? How could the unemployment rate be back at 2008 levels when there are 14 million more working age Americans and the same number employed as in 2008? Why are there 13 million more people on food stamps today than there were at the start of the economic recovery in 2009? Why have home prices risen by 25% since 2012 when mortgage applications have been at fourteen year lows? Why are Wall Street profits and bonuses at record highs while the real median household income stagnates at 1998 levels?
Why do 98% of incumbent politicians get re-elected when congressional approval levels are lower than whale shit? Why are oil prices four times higher than they were in 2003 if the U.S. is supposedly on the verge of energy independence? Why do the corporate controlled mainstream media choose to entertain and regurgitate government propaganda rather than inform, investigate and seek the truth? Why do corporations and shadowy billionaires control the politicians, media, judges, and financial system in their ravenous quest for more riches? Why has the public allowed a privately owned bank to control our currency and inflate away 96% of its value in 100 years? Why have American parents allowed their children to be programmed and dumbed down by government run public schools? Why have Americans allowed themselves to be lured into debt in an effort to appear wealthy and successful? Why have Americans permitted their brains to atrophy through massive doses of social media, reality TV, iGadget addiction, and a cultural environment of techno-narcissism? Why have Americans lost their desire to read, think critically, question authority, act responsibly, defer gratification, and care about future generations? Why have Americans sacrificed their freedoms, liberties and rights for the false expectation of safety and security? Why will we pay dearly for our delusional, materialistic, debt financed idiocy? – Because we never learn the lessons of history.
There are so many questions and no truthful answers forthcoming from those who pass for leaders in this increasingly totalitarian world. Our willful ignorance, apathy, hubris and arrogance will have consequences. Just because it hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. The cyclicality of history guarantees a further deepening of this Crisis. The world has evolved from totalitarian hegemony to republican liberty and regressed back to totalitarianism throughout the centuries. Anyone honestly assessing the current state of the world and our country would unequivocally conclude we have regressed back towards a totalitarian regime where a small cabal of powerful oligarchs believes they can control and manipulate the masses in their gluttonous desire for treasure. Aldous Huxley foretold all the indicators of a world descending into totalitarianism due to overpopulation, propaganda, brainwashing, consumerism, and dumbing down of a distracted populace in his 1958 reassessment of his 1931 novel Brave New World.
Is There a Limit?
“At the rate of increase prevailing between the birth of Christ and the death of Queen Elizabeth I, it took sixteen centuries for the population of the earth to double. At the present rate it will double in less than half a century. And this fantastically rapid doubling of our numbers will be taking place on a planet whose most desirable and productive areas are already densely populated, whose soils are being eroded by the frantic efforts of bad farmers to raise more food, and whose easily available mineral capital is being squandered with the reckless extravagance of a drunken sailor getting rid of his accumulated pay.” –Aldous Huxley – Brave New World Revisited – 1958
Demographics are easy to extrapolate and arrive at an accurate prediction, as long as the existing conditions and trends remain relatively constant. Huxley was accurate in his doubling prediction. The world population was 2.9 billion in 1958. It only took 39 years to double again to 5.8 billion in 1997. It has grown by 24% in the last 17 years to the current level of 7.2 billion. According to United Nations projections, world population is projected to reach 9.6 billion in 2050. The fact that it would take approximately 70 years for the world’s population to double from the 1997 level reveals a slowing growth rate, as the death rate in many developed countries surpasses their birth rate. The population of the U.S. grew from 175 million in 1958 to 320 million today, an 83% increase in 56 years.
The rapid population growth over the last century from approximately 1.8 billion in 1914, despite two horrific world wars, is attributable to cheap, easy to access oil and advances in medical technology made possible by access to cheap oil. The projection of 9.6 billion in 2050 is based upon an assumption the world’s energy, food and water resources can sustain that many people, no world wars kill a few hundred million people, no incurable diseases spread across the globe and there is no catastrophic geologic, climate, or planetary events. I’ll take the under on the 9.6 billion.
Anyone viewing the increasingly violent world situation without bias can already see the strain that overpopulation has created. Today, six countries contain half the world’s population.
A cursory examination of population trends around the world provides a frightening glimpse into a totalitarian future marked by vicious resource wars, violent upheaval and starvation for millions. India, a country one third the size of the United States, has four times the population of the United States. A vast swath of the population lives in poverty and squalor. India contains the largest concentration (25%) of people living below the World Bank’s international poverty line of $1.25 per day. According to the U.N. India is expected to add 400 million people to its cities by 2050. Its capital city Delhi already ranks as the second largest in the world, with 25 million inhabitants. The city has more than doubled in size since 1990. The assumptions in these U.N. projections are flawed. Without rapidly expanding economic growth, capital formation and energy resources, the ability to employ, house, feed, clothe, transport, and sustain 400 million more people will be impossible. Disease, starvation, civil unrest, war and a totalitarian government would be the result. With its mortal enemy Pakistan, already the sixth most populated country in the world, jamming 182 million people into an area one quarter the size of India and one twelfth the size of the U.S. and growing faster than India, war over resources and space will be inevitable. And both countries have nuclear arms.
More than half the globe’s inhabitants now live in urban areas, with China, India and Nigeria forecast to see the most urban growth over the next 30 years. Twenty-four years ago, there were 10 megacities with populations pushing above the 10 million mark. Today, there are 28 megacities with areas of developing nations seeing faster growth: 16 in Asia, 4 in Latin America, 3 in Africa, 3 in Europe and 2 in North America. The world is expected to have 41 sprawling megacities over the next few decades with developing nations representing the majority of that growth. Today, Tokyo, with 38 million people, is the largest in the world, followed by New Delhi, Jakarta, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Manila, and Karachi – all exceeding 20 million people.
To highlight the rapid population growth of the developing world, the New York metropolitan area containing 18 million people was ranked as the third largest urban area in the world in 1990. Today it is ranked ninth and is expected to be ranked fourteenth by 2030. The U.S. had the fewest births since 1998 last year at 3.95 million. We also had the highest recorded deaths in history at 2.54 million. The fertility rate for 20- to 24-year-olds is now 83.1 births per 1,000 women, a record low. That combination created a gap in births over deaths that is the lowest it has been in 35 years.
This is the plight of the developed world (U.S., Europe, Japan) and even China (due to one child policy). According to the U.N. report, the population of developed regions will remain largely unchanged at around 1.3 billion from now until 2050. In contrast, the 49 least developed countries are projected to double in size from around 900 million people in 2013 to 1.8 billion in 2050. The rapid growth of desperately poor third world countries like Nigeria, Afghanistan, Niger, Congo, Ethiopia, and Uganda will create tremendous strain on their economic, political, social, and infrastructural systems. Nigeria’s population is projected to surpass the U.S. by 2050. Japan, Europe and Russia are in demographic death spirals. China is neutral, and the U.S. is expected to grow by another 89 million people. I wonder how many of them the BLS will classify as not in the labor force.
What are the implications to mankind of the world adding another billion people in the next twelve years, primarily in the poorest countries of Asia, Africa and South America? What does the world think of the U.S., which constitutes 4.4% of the world’s population, but consumes 20% of the world’s oil production and 24% of the world’s food? Will there be consequences to having the 85 richest people on earth accumulating as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion, with 1.2 billion surviving on less than $1.25 per day? Can a planet with finite amount of easily accessible financially viable extractable resources support an ever increasing number of people? Is there a limit to growth? I believe these questions will be answered in the next fifteen years as the dire consequences play out in civil strife, resource wars, totalitarian regimes, and societal collapse. Fourth Turning Crisis cycles always sweep away the existing social order and replace it with something new. It could be better or far worse.
Impact of Over-Population
“The problem of rapidly increasing numbers in relation to natural resources, to social stability and to the well-being of individuals — this is now the central problem of mankind; and it will remain the central problem certainly for another century, and perhaps for several centuries thereafter. Unsolved, that problem will render insoluble all our other problems. Worse still, it will create conditions in which individual freedom and the social decencies of the democratic way of life will become impossible, almost unthinkable. Not all dictatorships arise in the same way. There are many roads to Brave New World; but perhaps the straightest and the broadest of them is the road we are traveling today, the road that leads through gigantic numbers and accelerating increases.” – Aldous Huxley – Brave New World Revisited – 1958
The turmoil roiling the world today is a function of Huxley’s supposition that over-population pushes societies towards centralization and ultimately totalitarianism. The relentless growth in the world’s population, not matched by growth in energy resources, water, food, and living space, results in increasing tension, anger, economic decline, government dependency, war and ultimately totalitarianism. Huxley believed politicians and governments would increasingly resort to propaganda and misinformation to mislead citizens as the problems worsened and freedoms were revoked. Could this recent statement by our commander and chief of propaganda have made Edward Bernays and Joseph Goebbels any prouder?
“The world is less violent than it has ever been. It is healthier than it has ever been. It is more tolerant than it has ever been. It is better fed then it’s ever been. It is more educated than it’s ever been.”
I’m sure the people living in Gaza, the Ukraine, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Thailand, Turkey, Africa and American urban ghettos would concur with Obama’s less violent than ever mantra. Disease (Cholera, Malaria, Hepatitis, Aids, Tuberculosis, Ebola, Plague, SARS) and malnutrition beset third world countries, while the U.S. obesity epidemic caused by consumption of corporate processed food peddled to the masses through diabolical marketing methods enriches the mega-corporate food companies, as well as the corporate sick care complex. Religious wars and culture wars rage across the world as intolerance for others beliefs reaches all-time highs. After three decades of government controlled public education they have succeeded in dumbing down the masses through social engineering, propaganda, and promoting equality over excellence. Obama should stop trying to think and stick to what he does best – golf and fundraising. After reading his drivel, I’m reminded of a far more pertinent quote from Huxley:
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
The chart below details the fact that 12% of the world’s population in countries producing 9% of the world’s oil are currently in a state of war. The violence, war, and civil unrest roiling the Ukraine, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan are a direct result of U.S. meddling, instigation, and provocation. The U.S. government funds dictators (Hussein, Mubarak, Assad, Gaddafi) until they no longer serve their interests, engineer the overthrow of democratically elected leaders in countries (Iran, Egypt, Ukraine) that don’t toe the line, and dole out billions in military aid and arms to countries around the world in an effort to make them do our dirty work and enrich the military industrial complex. The true motivation behind most of the violence, intrigue and war is the U.S. need to maintain the U.S. petro-dollar hegemony and to control the flow of oil and natural gas throughout the world. The ruling oligarchy’s power, influence, and wealth are dependent upon dictating currency valuations and flow of oil and gas from foreign fiefdoms.
In Huxley’s 1931 Brave New World fable the world’s population is maintained at an optimum level (just under 2 billion) calculated by those in control. This is done through technology and biological manipulation. Procreation through sexual intercourse is prohibited. Creation of the desired number of people in each class is scientifically determined and the classes are conditioned from birth to fulfill their roles in society. When Huxley reassessed his novel in 1958’s Brave New World Revisited he didn’t argue for an optimum level of population. He simply hypothesized a close correlation between too many people, multiplying too rapidly, and the formulation of authoritarian philosophies and rise of totalitarian systems of government.
The introduction of penicillin, DDT, and clean water into even the poorest countries on the planet had the effect of rapidly decreasing death rates around the globe. Meanwhile, birth rates continued to increase due to religious, social and cultural taboos surrounding birth control and the illiteracy and ignorance of those in the poorest regions of the world. The ultimate result has been an explosion in population growth in the developing world, least able to sustain that growth. Huxley just uses common sense in concluding that as an ever growing population presses more heavily upon accessible resources, the economic position of the society undergoing this ordeal becomes ever more precarious.
It essentially comes down to the laws of economics. Most of the developing world is economic basket cases. They cannot produce food, consumer goods, housing, schools, infrastructure, teachers, managers, scientists or educated workers at the same rate as their population growth. Therefore, it is impossible to improve the wretched conditions of the vast majority, as they wallow in squalor. Unless a country can produce more than it consumes, it cannot generate the surplus capital needed to invest in machinery, agricultural production, manufacturing facilities, and education. The rapidly growing population sinks further into poverty and despair. Huxley grasps the nefarious implications for freedom and liberty as over-population wreaks havoc around the globe:
“Whenever the economic life of a nation becomes precarious, the central government is forced to assume additional responsibilities for the general welfare. It must work out elaborate plans for dealing with a critical situation; it must impose ever greater restrictions upon the activities of its subjects; and if, as is very likely, worsening economic conditions result in political unrest, or open rebellion, the central government must intervene to preserve public order and its own authority. More and more power is thus concentrated in the hands of the executives and their bureaucratic managers.”– Aldous Huxley – Brave New World Revisited – 1958
Despots, dictators, and power hungry presidents arise in an atmosphere of fear, scarce resources, hopelessness, and misery. As the power of the central government grows the freedoms, liberties and rights of the people are diminished and ultimately relinquished.
Source: The Millennium Report
It was headlining AOL on Friday, a story about a woman stabbing a schoolteacher to death in front of a class of five and six-year-olds. The gruesome and bloody crime occurred in the southern French town of Albi; the victim was a 34-year-old mother of two.
But a certain bit of information is conspicuously missing from virtually all the reportage. We’re told the killer was under the impression that the teacher had accused her five-year-old daughter of theft. We’re told she had a history of child abuse and “severe psychiatric problems.” We’re told she’s 47. And we’re told she’s a she. But her name is nowhere to be found, and information about her background is…well, you’ll see.
This isn’t true of the victim. Every news source I checked provided her name. The International Business Times (IBD) even led with it in the title: “Deranged Mother Kills Teacher Fabienne Terral-Calmès in Front of Class.” The killer, however, is almost universally identified as “the mother.” But I was sure I knew what the big secret was. Those tow-headed Norwegians are at it again.
The AOL piece, from the AP, did The Mother thing exclusively. Other sources, such as IBD, reported that the police have not released the attacker’s name but that she’s of Spanish origins. Ah, okay, a Franco supporter, no doubt. But I still thought I knew the truth.
So I dug further. New York’s Daily News reported that “[a]uthorities would not comment on what spurred the horrific stabbing.” The BBC said that The Mother used a “long knife.” The Telegraph identifiedThe Mother as a “Spanish national” (emphasis added). We’re getting closer….
I even checked the French publication L’Expresse, which, after being spit out the other end of Google Translate, told us about The Mother, “[I]t would be of Spanish nationality” (obfuscation is always a bit more interesting when processed through artificial unintelligence). The paper also tells us that the school “is located in the district Lapanouse in sensitive urban areas.”
“Sensitive urban areas.”
My, that could be the electronic translation of “scary ghettos where angry, unassimilable North African immigrants will rob you blind and beat you within an inch of your life while shouting ‘Allahu Akbar!’ and where, when you call the gendarmes, they say ‘Are you crazy, Monsieur? We’re not setting foot in there!”
Or it could be that we’ve got nothing on the French when it comes to euphemizing.
Anyway, the “sensitive urban areas” link takes you to a demographics page that, while telling you nothing about race, ethnicity and creed that I can see (I hear they can’t collect that kind of information in France), gives you all sorts of statistics relating to income, education, employment, etc. Because, hey, we know that everything boils down to economics. Allahu Milton Friedman.
But now we come to the UK’s Daily Mail. Ah, the headline-hungry Mail. It actually tells us in a subtitle that The Mother — get the digitalis and hold on to your hat — is “Moroccan-born.”
Of Spanish descent and of Catholic background, I’m sure.
Now, come on, lamestream media, you can do it. Say, “Mus…lah….” That’s it, come on, concentrate. “Musl…l…l…ugh….”
Okay, clear your throat, take a sip of water, and, you know, if at first you don’t succeed….
There ya’ go! Was that so hard? I know it doesn’t roll off the tongue when doing negative pieces quite like “Christian,” “conservative” or “Tea Party” does. But no one ever said journalism would be simple and easy, especially since it is mainly practiced by the simple-minded of easy virtue.
Of course, what will now easily roll off the tongue, in reaction to my commentary here, is “racist!” even though Islam isn’t a race. “Okay, then Duke must be a religionist…. Hmm, no, that’s not it. But he’s got to be some kind of ‘ist.’”
I’m a realist. Some will ask why any of this matters, what purpose it serves to identify the Islamic faith of criminals other than to inspire hatred toward Muslims. Well, why identify a perpetrator as a woman, mother, “youth” or a man? We could just write, “Sentient biped disrupts the function of other sentient biped with forged implement.” That is, until the National Organization for the Advancement of Sentient Bipeds gets in on the act.
Of course, it’s no doubt true that people aren’t too likely to persecute more basic groups such as men or youths, since we all usually have men and youths in our families. Racial, ethnic or creed-oriented hatred, however, can be dangerous. But then why was George Zimmerman quite tendentiously branded a “white Hispanic,” an approach that led to attacks on whites? Why is it that all and sundry claim to this day that mass killers are inordinately white when even just a cursory examination of the facts proves this isn’t so? Don’t believe for a moment that the media really care about racial harmony. They care about political correctness.
The point here is that when the media steadfastly suppress the facts about crime — skewing people’s grasp of reality with respect to it — there’s a problem. And when the media consistently exercise a double standard, twisting truth to demonize whites or Christians while calling those who speak the truth demons, we have to ask: where does the prejudice really lie?
It lies with the liars.
When you look at the chaos and destruction going on in the Mid-East today you are looking at the future of America. This is not by mistake or incompetence but by design.
After WWI the British and French created new countries out of the area in the Mid-East and in doing so created future states that would be unstable and ultimately fail to have national cohesion. The unnatural boundaries of these states thrust together people of different beliefs and set the stage for generations of turmoil.
When you look at the things going on in America today it is easy to see the similarities with this plan. To the south, our borders are open and a mass of humanity is flooding in and changing the demographics of the southwest. Further to the north our northern states are being flooded with Muslim refugees and changing the demographics there. At the same time, patriotic Americans are being demonized by the government and along with Christians and veterans are being pushed toward civil war by Government actions.
When you consider the Mid-East and look at the U.S it becomes easy to see the plan unfolding to create chaos here and prevent Americans from uniting against the forces that want to prepare us for subjugation.
Why would anyone want to create a failed state? It became the conclusion of the British elite many years ago that a a failed state was the easiest to control. With the internal population always warring against one another, outside forces could do as they please in the country with little hindrance from a disunited population.
With the U.S. overrun with people from other countries that do not share the same values as Americans and instead practice their own beliefs and continue to speak their own language, it is only a matter of time before America becomes chaotic and infighting begins. This will give cover to others to subjugate and control America that would not be possible by any other means.
Unchecked immigration is the only way to dilute the American demographics enough to cause fighting among diverse groups and make subjugation easier. There has always been animosity among some groups in America but not enough to start a war as most Americans could see that would destroy the good life they were leading. Many Americans know the government is trying to instigate civil war in this country but cannot understand why. Now you see the reasons in a different light and may understand a little better what is happening now.
A united America is the only thing holding back the subjugation of this nation and it is being undermined with many types of subversion that will tear the fabric of this nation and send it on its way to chaos. Everywhere you look, various groups are being pitted against one another, whites against blacks, blacks against Hispanics, liberals against conservatives, Christians against Muslims, homosexuals against heterosexuals, gun owners against gun controllers and cops against citizens just to name a few. It is all orchestrated to bring about one thing, a dysfunctional country that is easy to handle. Its hard to unite and fight the government and bankers when you are busy fighting your neighbors every day.
Many understand the global ponzi scheme of fiat currencies will collapse soon thrusting most people back onto their own resources. During this collapse, global interests cannot risk the potential of citizens to come together under nationalism and work for their own best interests. Citizens must be divided and fighting one another to insure the globalists can sweep in and take total control of populations and resources. A united America with lots of weapons will make this plan impossible. Hence the need for gun control and division.
This is the plan now unfolding in America and the more people that realize it the more control we will retain as things become chaotic. If these groups would understand how they are being used it would be easier to prevent open hostilities that would benefit a select group in the future and ultimately destroy the nation we now know. With the masses under the influence of mainstream media, it is a good bet that many will fall into this globalist trap. The only thing we can do now is prepare for the worst.
Source: Project Chesapeake
Aside from attacks on the Second Amendment, there is a certain theme that’s now repeated after every massacre committed by an unhinged individual: that most all mass killers are white. After the recent Elliot Rodger murders, for instance, Michael Moore said that he no longer had “anything to say” before immediately saying, “Nearly all of our mass shootings are by angry or disturbed white males.” Not to be one-upped in the inanity department by a mass of male whiteness, one Brittney Cooper at Salon wrote, “How many times must troubled young white men engage in these terroristic acts that make public space unsafe for everyone before we admit that white male privilege kills?” Ironically, Cooper had mentioned, parenthetically, that “as many commenters have pointed out, [Rodger] had a white father and mother of Asian descent,” but, hey, you can’t let a minor detail get in the way of a good racial screed. And perhaps mass killing is such a Caucasian domain that perpetrating one bestows a person with honorary whiteness. Yet about this we should ask a question:
Before rushing to play pin the tale on the honkey, did anyone bother to check the history of mass killings?
Because I have — a comprehensive list dating from 1982 through 9/16/2013 is found at Mother Jones here — and guess what?
Of the last 20 mass killings of that period, 9 were perpetrated by non-whites.
That would be 45 percent, which exceeds non-whites’ 37 percent share of the population.
Of the last 30 mass killings, 11 were committed by non-whites — right at the 37 percent mark.
And what if we go all the way back to 1982? We then have 66 mass killings in which the races of the perpetrators were known, and 22 of them, or one-third, were at the hands of non-whites. Note here that America’s demographics have been changing, with non-whites comprising only about 20 percent of the population in 1982; thus, if we consider an approximate average non-white population of 28.5 percent during the 31-year period in question, it appears that, again, mass murderers are disproportionately non-white.
In other words, there is no evidence whatsoever that mass killings are a characteristically white phenomenon.
And there never was.
In fact, the group most disproportionately represented on the Mother Jones chart is Americans of Asian descent. While only 6 percent of the population, they have been 15 percent of the 31-year period’s last 20 mass killers, 13 percent of the last 30, and 9 percent of the last 66. This is quite interesting, too, since Americans of Asian descent have a very low crime rate in general.
So in light of this, why are whites implicated in mass killings? The answer is one word:
Note that prejudice is defined as, “1. an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.” Claiming that a group commits a disproportionate amount of crime when, if anything, the truth is the opposite, is the epitome of forming beliefs without knowledge, thought, or reason. It’s seizing upon a fashionable falsehood for the purposes of maligning an unfashionable group and advancing a fallacious agenda.
The truth is that if we don’t want to be “cowards” on race, as Eric “the Red” Holder said Americans were, we do need to speak frankly about criminality in the US. But does this involve talking about “troubled young white men” who “make public space unsafe for everyone,” as Brittney Cooper suggested? Perhaps she might want to consult with Jesse Jackson, who once said that when he walked down the street, heard footsteps and thought robbery, he’d “feel relieved” if he turned around and saw a white person behind him. So, really, if we were cynical, we could think that the Coopers of the world were trying to deflect attention from black criminality by trumpeting the white-mass-killer myth.
Then again, this all could just be the result of the new Common Core math. Take Elliot Rodger, for instance. He killed half his victims with a knife, but the whole focus was on guns. (And he’s widely referred to as a “shooter.” I think he was a slasher.) He was half Asian, but the whole focus was on whites. You could also call it situational attribution: a mixed race person is defined by his minority half when he achieves, as with our first “black” president. But when such an individual is recognized as having committed a crime, he’s suddenly white. This can only make us wonder how long it will be before Barack Obama becomes white.
Anyway, the left may be upset that another one of their themes, the white-mass-killer myth, has bitten the dust. But all is not lost. In the area of massacres as in so many other things, they can always celebrate diversity.
Commenting recently on the Elliot Rodger killings, arch-leftist Michael Moore wrote that while “other countries have more violent pasts…more guns per capita in their homes…and the kids in most other countries watch the same violent movies and play the same violent video games that our kids play, no one even comes close to killing as many of its own citizens on a daily basis as we do….” From a man who used to take the simple-minded gun-control position “fewer guns=less homicide,” it was surprising evidence of growth. After making his point, however, Moore made a mistake in following up with, “and yet we don’t seem to want to ask ourselves this simple question: “Why us? What is it about US?” It’s not, however, that we don’t want to ask the question.
It’s that we don’t want to hear the answer.
We can begin seeking it by asking another question: Why is it that Vermont, with approximately the same rate of gun ownership as Louisiana, has less than one-eighth the murder rate? Even more strikingly, why does New Hampshire have both a far higher gun ownership rate and a lower murder rate than England, Piers Morgan’s favorite poster-boy nation for gun control?
Professor Thomas Sowell provided more of these seeming contradictions in 2012, writing:
When it comes to the rate of gun ownership, that is higher in rural areas than in urban areas, but the murder rate is higher in urban areas. The rate of gun ownership is higher among whites than among blacks, but the murder rate is higher among blacks.
… [There are also] countries with stronger gun control laws than the United States, such as Russia, Brazil and Mexico. All of these countries have higher murder rates than the United States.
You could compare other sets of countries and get similar results. Gun ownership has been three times as high in Switzerland as in Germany, but the Swiss have had lower murder rates. Other countries with high rates of gun ownership and low murder rates include Israel, New Zealand, and Finland.
So what’s the answer we don’t want to hear? The critical difference among these regions and nations is explained right in Sowell’s title: it’s “not guns.”
What “people” differences are relevant? Let’s start with race and ethnicity. In the cases of homicide in 2012 in which the races of the perpetrators were known, 55 percent were committed by blacks, 62 percent of whom were under 30 years of age. Black youths are 16 percent of the youth population, but constitute 52 percent of those arrested for juvenile violent crime.
The statistics for Hispanics are more difficult to ferret out because, unbeknownst to many, law enforcement agencies tend to lump them in with whites in crime statistics (the FBI has announced that it will finally categorize Hispanic crime — in its report on 2013). However, there is some information available. Examiner’s Ken LaRive tells us that “Hispanics commit three times more violent crimes than whites,” but that the disparity could be even greater because of their often being classified as white.
The National Youth Gang Survey Analysis reports that gang members are approximately 49 percent Hispanic, 35 percent black and 10 percent white. And while whites are 35 percent of NYC’s population, blacks and Hispanics commit 96 percent of all crime in the Big Apple and 98 percent of all gun crime.
Another good indicator is international crime statistics. Hispanic countries dominate the homicide-rate rankings, with Honduras topping the list with a rate eight times as high as that of our worst state, Louisiana. Also note that there are no European/European descent nations in the top 20 and not one Western-tradition nation in the top 30 (Russia and Moldova are 24 and 28, respectively).
And what can we say about these “people” differences? It’s much as with the question of why men are more likely to be drunkards than women. You could explore whether the differences were attributable to nature, nurture or both. But it would be silly to wonder if the answer lay in men having greater access to bars, alcohol or shot glasses.
This brings us to why covering up minority criminality encourages gun control:
Americans won’t understand that the critical factor is people differences if they aren’t told about the people differences.
They will then — especially since most citizens aren’t even aware that there are nations with more firearms but less murder — be much more likely to blame guns. Of course, this is precisely what you want if you’re a left-wing media propagandist.
There is a question that could now be posed by the other side: if the main difference in criminality is demographics, why not outlaw guns? After all, it won’t make a difference one way or the other, right? I’ll offer a couple of answers to this question.
First, for a people to maintain just liberties, a freedom must always be considered innocent until proven guilty; the burden of proof is not on those who would retain it, but on those who would take it away.
Second, while private gun ownership and just law enforcement can’t turn barbarians into civilized people any more than excellent schools can transform dunces into geniuses, they can act as mitigating factors that minimize criminality as much as possible given the “raw material” with which the particular society has to work. It’s much as how you can maximize your personal safety: you may be safer in a great neighborhood with no martial arts training than in a terrible one with that training. Nonetheless, it allows you to be safer than you would be otherwise whatever neighborhood you choose.
And what do the stats show in our fair to middling USA neighborhood? Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck reported that guns are used by good citizens 2.2 to 2.5 million times per year to deter crime. That likely saves many more innocent lives than are lost in massacres every year, but these unseen non-victims don’t make headlines the way Sandy Hook tragedies do. That’s why I like to say, using a twist on a Frédéric Bastiat line, a bad social analyst observes only what can be seen. A good social analyst observes what can be seen — and what must be foreseen.
Lastly, one more truth becomes evident upon recognizing that demographics are the main factor in criminality: even if you do believe in gun control, imposing it federally and applying a one-size fits all standard is ridiculous. In terms of people and crime, there’s a world of difference between towns in New Hampshire or Vermont, with their England-level murder rates, and cities such as East St. Louis, IL, or Detroit, which rival El Salvador in citizen lethality. You can make gun control the same everywhere, but you can’t change the fact that people will be very, very different.
What does the United States have in common with Japan’s economy? Demographics of an aging population have consequences for both countries. As Japan News reports, National debt hits record high.
“Japan’s national debt totaled a record-high ¥1.02 quadrillion as of the end of March, up ¥33.36 trillion from a year earlier, the Finance Ministry said.
The central government debt, which increased ¥7.01 trillion from the end of December last year, kept rising mainly due to ballooning social security costs in line with the aging of the population.”
Last year Forbes viewed their debt crisis as staggering. “Currently at 240% of GDP, the International Monetary Fund estimates that it will get to 250% by year-end. Why is this an issue? Well, when you have government debt at 24x government revenue and interest expenses taking up 25% of government revenue, it becomes a very big issue.”
Around the same time, Matt Phillips wrote that with a quadrillion in debt, there’s only one way out for Japan, jumpstart growth.
“So, yes, while Japan does have a ton of debt, the outright level is not the best way to keep track of it. The more important gauge is debt as a percentage of the country’s annual economic output, or GDP. And at more than 200%, Japan’s debt load is the highest among all developed nations.
But still, how will Japan ever manage to pay it off it’s debt? Well, actually, it won’t.
The goal for countries isn’t paying off debt, it’s getting its debt-to-GDP ratio in better shape.”
There is a huge problem with growing a GDP when the international economy is still suffering from the global financial meltdown, when your own nation has fewer spending consumers as the population ages. OECD warns Japan’s economy may suffer inflation without wage growth. “The Paris-based club of 34 advanced nations said in its biannual report that the world’s third-biggest economy would expand 1.2 percent this year, downgraded from its November forecast of 1.5 percent in terms of inflation-adjusted gross domestic product growth.”
Added to this sluggish and lackluster forecast, the WSJ article that Japan Current Account Surplus Smallest on Record, indicates a serious downward trend in foreign trade earnings.
“The ¥789.9 billion ($7.76 billion) surplus in the broadest measure of a nation’s trade with the rest of the world was sharply lower than the ¥4.2 trillion surplus registered a year earlier, data from the Ministry of Finance showed Monday. Until recently, the country routinely produced a surplus in excess of ¥10 trillion a year.”
Is the day on the horizon when Japan will mirror the trade deficits that have so long plagued the American economy? Just look to the practice that many Japanese manufacturers are shifting their production offshore. Besides, the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster has the country consuming more imported fossil fuels to meet energy needs.
If you are looking for answers, you better read the essay by Alan Gula in Wall Street Daily, Japan’s Most Valuable Resource is Vanishing. “Through quantitative easing and large budget deficits, Abenomics has produced currency weakness and higher stock prices… but it’s failed to generate real wage growth.Currency weakness has contributed to soaring energy prices, and the recent sales tax increase will effectively exacerbate inflation and crimp consumer spending. So despite an escape from the jaws of deflation, problems persist in Japan.
In fact, it’s likely that Japan has stagnated because of 15 years of zero interest rate policy (ZIRP), not in spite of ZIRP.”
Finally, Mr. Gula’s points to the fact that, “children under 15 make up just 12.8% of the Japanese population, the lowest ratio among nations with populations of at least 40 million people.” When you factor in that Japan ranks number eight among developed economies in household debt, the persistent legend that Japanese are the world’s savers, is rapidly vanishing.
Over ten years ago Research at Shorenstein APARC, Stanford addressed theCauses of Japan’s Economic Stagnation. However, the global economy has changed dramatically after 2008. In many ways, Japan has experienced several major setbacks.
“If Japan’s current account surplus turns into a current account deficit, the country will have to attract money into its financial markets in order to pay its bills. That may be difficult given that Japan has some of the lowest interest rates and highest debt in the world. Interest rates would probably have to rise substantially, which would worsen the government’s finances and could cause a crisis – causing the yen to weaken even further.
To make matters worse, if the government is successful in its drive to raise the inflation rate, that will only further reduce the real interest rate on Japanese bonds, which is already the lowest of the major bond markets. That’s going to be a hard sell and that’s why I expect the yen to trend lower over the next several years.”
The global financial system, based upon debt fiat money, affects industrial countries the most. Japan was once an island nation, immune from international intervention. The Princeton Press published a paper, Why Study Japanese Political Economy?Most analysis of economic developments in foreign countries only glosses over the political factor that influence and often shape economic policy.
Looking at Japan may well be a valuable mirror on the future of American society. The Japanese tragedy, very easily can turn into the lost decades for our own marketplace. The notion that domestic business or for that matter, the global economy can continue to operate on ever rising debt obligations is paternally absurd. Better, learn this lesson now, before it is too late.
“I was part of that strange race of people aptly described as spending their lives doing things they detest, to make money they don’t want, to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like.” ― Emile Gauvreau
If ever a chart provided unequivocal proof the economic recovery storyline is a fraud, the one below is the smoking gun. November and December retail sales account for 20% to 40% of annual retail sales for most retailers. The number of visits to retail stores has plummeted by 50% since 2010. Please note this was during a supposed economic recovery. Also note consumer spending accounts for 70% of GDP. Also note credit card debt outstanding is 7% lower than its level in 2010 and 16% below its peak in 2008. Retailers like J.C. Penney, Best Buy, Sears, Radio Shack and Barnes & Noble continue to report appalling sales and profit results, along with listings of store closings. Even the heavyweights like Wal-Mart and Target continue to report negative comp store sales. How can the government and mainstream media be reporting an economic recovery when the industry that accounts for 70% of GDP is in free fall? The answer is that 99% of America has not had an economic recovery. Only Bernanke’s 1% owner class have benefited from his QE/ZIRP induced stock market levitation.
The entire economic recovery storyline is a sham built upon easy money funneled by the Fed to the Too Big To Trust Wall Street banks so they can use their HFT supercomputers to drive the stock market higher, buy up the millions of homes they foreclosed upon to artificially drive up home prices, and generate profits through rigging commodity, currency, and bond markets, while reducing loan loss reserves because they are free to value their toxic assets at anything they please – compliments of the spineless nerds at the FASB. GDP has been artificially propped up by the Federal government through the magic of EBT cards, SSDI for the depressed and downtrodden, never ending extensions of unemployment benefits, billions in student loans to University of Phoenix prodigies, and subprime auto loans to deadbeats from the Government Motors financing arm – Ally Financial (85% owned by you the taxpayer). The country is being kept afloat on an ocean of debt and delusional belief in the power of central bankers to steer this ship through a sea of icebergs just below the surface.
The absolute collapse in retail visitor counts is the warning siren that this country is about to collide with the reality Americans have run out of time, money, jobs, and illusions. The most amazingly delusional aspect to the chart above is retailers continued to add 44 million square feet in 2013 to the almost 15 billion existing square feet of retail space in the U.S. That is approximately 47 square feet of retail space for every person in America. Retail CEOs are not the brightest bulbs in the sale bin, as exhibited by the CEO of Target and his gross malfeasance in protecting his customers’ personal financial information. Of course, the 44 million square feet added in 2013 is down 85% from the annual increases from 2000 through 2008. The exponential growth model, built upon a never ending flow of consumer credit and an endless supply of cheap fuel, has reached its limit of growth. The titans of Wall Street and their puppets in Washington D.C. have wrung every drop of faux wealth from the dying middle class. There are nothing left but withering carcasses and bleached bones.
The impact of this retail death spiral will be vast and far reaching. A few factoids will help you understand the coming calamity:
- There are approximately 109,500 shopping centers in the United States ranging in size from the small convenience centers to the large super-regional malls.
- There are in excess of 1 million retail establishments in the United States occupying 15 billion square feet of space and generating over $4.4 trillion of annual sales. This includes 8,700 department stores, 160,000 clothing & accessory stores, and 8,600 game stores.
- U.S. shopping-center retail sales total more than $2.26 trillion, accounting for over half of all retail sales.
- The U.S. shopping-center industry directly employed over 12 million people in 2010 and indirectly generated another 5.6 million jobs in support industries. Collectively, the industry accounted for 12.7% of total U.S. employment.
- Total retail employment in 2012 totaled 14.9 million, lower than the 15.1 million employed in 2002.
- For every 100 individuals directly employed at a U.S. regional shopping center, an additional 20 to 30 jobs are supported in the community due to multiplier effects.
The collapse in foot traffic to the 109,500 shopping centers that crisscross our suburban sprawl paradise of plenty is irreversible. No amount of marketing propaganda, 50% off sales, or hot new iGadgets is going to spur a dramatic turnaround. Quarter after quarter there will be more announcements of store closings. Macys just announced the closing of 5 stores and firing of 2,500 retail workers. JC Penney just announced the closing of 33 stores and firing of 2,000 retail workers. Announcements are imminent from Sears, Radio Shack and a slew of other retailers who are beginning to see the writing on the wall. The vacancy rate will be rising in strip malls, power malls and regional malls, with the largest growing sector being ghost malls. Before long it will appear that SPACE AVAILABLE is the fastest growing retailer in America.
The reason this death spiral cannot be reversed is simply a matter of arithmetic and demographics. While arrogant hubristic retail CEOs of public big box mega-retailers added 2.7 billion retail square feet to our already over saturated market, real median household income flat lined. The advancement in retail spending was attributable solely to the $1.1 trillion increase (68%) in consumer debt and the trillion dollars of home equity extracted from castles in the sky, that later crashed down to earth. Once the Wall Street created fraud collapsed and the waves of delusion subsided, retailers have been revealed to be swimming naked. Their relentless expansion, based on exponential growth, cannibalized itself, new store construction ground to a halt, sales and profits have declined, and the inevitable closing of thousands of stores has begun. With real median household income 8% lower than it was in 2008, the collapse in retail traffic is a rational reaction by the impoverished 99%. Americans are using their credit cards to pay their real estate taxes, income taxes, and monthly utilities, since their income is lower, and their living expenses rise relentlessly, thanks to Bernanke and his Fed created inflation.
The media mouthpieces for the establishment gloss over the fact average gasoline prices in 2013 were the second highest in history. The highest average price was in 2012 and the 3rd highest average price was in 2011. These prices are 150% higher than prices in the early 2000′s. This might not matter to the likes of Jamie Dimon and Jon Corzine, but for a middle class family with two parents working and making 7.5% less than they made in 2000, it has a dramatic impact on discretionary income. The fact oil prices have risen from $25 per barrel in 2003 to $100 per barrel today has not only impacted gas prices, but utility costs, food costs, and the price of any product that needs to be transported to your local Wally World. The outrageous rise in tuition prices has been aided and abetted by the Federal government and their doling out of loans so diploma mills like the University of Phoenix can bilk clueless dupes into thinking they are on their way to an exciting new career, while leaving them jobless in their parents’ basement with a loan payment for life.
The laughable jobs recovery touted by Obama, his sycophantic minions, paid off economist shills, and the discredited corporate legacy media can be viewed appropriately in the following two charts, that reveal the false storyline being peddled to the techno-narcissistic iGadget distracted masses. There are 247 million working age Americans between the ages of 18 and 64. Only 145 million of these people are employed. Of these employed, 19 million are working part-time and 9 million are self- employed. Another 20 million are employed by the government, producing nothing and being sustained by the few remaining producers with their tax dollars. The labor participation rate is the lowest it has been since women entered the workforce in large numbers during the 1980′s. We are back to levels seen during the booming Carter years. Those peddling the drivel about retiring Baby Boomers causing the decline in the labor participation rate are either math challenged or willfully ignorant because they are being paid to be so. Once you turn 65 you are no longer counted in the work force. The percentage of those over 55 in the workforce has risen dramatically to an all-time high, as the Me Generation never saved for retirement or saw their retirement savings obliterated in the Wall Street created 2008 financial implosion.
To understand the absolute idiocy of retail CEOs across the land one must parse the employment data back to 2000. In the year 2000 the working age population of the U.S. was 213 million and 136.9 million of them were working, a record level of 64.4% of the population. There were 70 million working age Americans not in the labor force. Fourteen years later the number of working age Americans is 247 million and only 144.6 million are working. The working age population has risen by 16% and the number of employed has risen by only 5.6%. That’s quite a success story. Of course, even though median household income is 7.5% lower than it was in 2000, the government expects you to believe that 22 million Americans voluntarily left the labor force because they no longer needed a job. While the number of employed grew by 5.6% over fourteen years, the number of people who left the workforce grew by 31.1%. Over this same time frame the mega-retailers that dominate the landscape added almost 3 billion square feet of selling space, a 25% increase. A critical thinking individual might wonder how this could possibly end well for the retail genius CEOs in glistening corporate office towers from coast to coast.
This entire materialistic orgy of consumerism has been sustained solely with debt peddled by the Wall Street banking syndicate. The average American consumer met their Waterloo in 2008. Bernanke’s mission was to save bankers, billionaires and politicians. It was not to save the working middle class. You’ve been sacrificed at the altar of the .1%. The 0% interest rates were for Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein. Your credit card interest rate remained between 13% and 21%. So, while you struggle to pay bills with your declining real income, the Wall Street bankers are again generating record profits and paying themselves record bonuses. Profits are so good, they can afford to pay tens of billions in fines for their criminal acts, and still be left with billions to divvy up among their non-prosecuted criminal executives.
Bernanke and his financial elite owners have been able to rig the markets to give the appearance of normalcy, but they cannot rig the demographic time bomb that will cause the death and destruction of our illusory retail paradigm. Demographics cannot be manipulated or altered by the government or mass media. The best they can do is ignore or lie about the facts. The life cycle of a human being is utterly predictable, along with their habits across time. Those under 25 years old have very little income, therefore they have very little spending. Once a job is attained and income levels rise, spending rises along with the increased income. As the person enters old age their income declines and spending on stuff declines rapidly. The media may be ignoring the fact that annual expenditures drop by 40% for those over 65 years old from the peak spending years of 45 to 54, but it doesn’t change the fact. They also cannot change the fact that 10,000 Americans will turn 65 every day for the next sixteen years. They also can’t change the fact the average Baby Boomer has less than $50,000 saved for retirement and is up to their grey eye brows in debt.
With over 15% of all 25 to 34 year olds living in their parents’ basement and those under 25 saddled with billions in student loan debt, the traditional increase in income and spending is DOA for the millennial generation. The hardest hit demographic on the job front during the 2008 through 2014 ongoing recession has been the 45 to 54 year olds in their peak earning and spending years. Combine these demographic developments and you’ve got a perfect storm for over-built retailers and their egotistical CEOs.
The media continues to peddle the storyline of on-line sales saving the ancient bricks and mortar retailers. Again, the talking head pundits are willfully ignoring basic math. On-line sales account for 6% of total retail sales. If a dying behemoth like JC Penney announces a 20% decline in same store sales and a 20% increase in on-line sales, their total change is still negative 17.6%. And they are still left with 1,100 decaying stores, 100,000 employees, lease payments, debt payments, maintenance costs, utility costs, inventory costs, and pension costs. Their future is so bright they gotta wear a toe tag.
The decades of mal-investment in retail stores was enabled by Greenspan, Bernanke, and their Federal Reserve brethren. Their easy money policies enabled Americans to live far beyond their true means through credit card debt, auto debt, mortgage debt, and home equity debt. This false illusion of wealth and foolish spending led mega-retailers to ignore facts and spread like locusts across the suburban countryside. The debt fueled orgy has run out of steam. All that is left is the largest mountain of debt in human history, a gutted and debt laden former middle class, and thousands of empty stores in future decaying ghost malls haunting the highways and byways of suburbia.
The implications of this long and winding road to ruin are far reaching. Store closings so far have only been a ripple compared to the tsunami coming to right size the industry for a future of declining spending. Over the next five to ten years, tens of thousands of stores will be shuttered. Companies like JC Penney, Sears and Radio Shack will go bankrupt and become historical footnotes. Considering retail employment is lower today than it was in 2002 before the massive retail expansion, the future will see in excess of 1 million retail workers lose their jobs. Bernanke and the Feds have allowed real estate mall owners to roll over non-performing loans and pretend they are generating enough rental income to cover their loan obligations. As more stores go dark, this little game of extend and pretend will come to an end. Real estate developers will be going belly-up and the banking sector will be taking huge losses again. I’m sure the remaining taxpayers will gladly bailout Wall Street again. The facts are not debatable. They can be ignored by the politicians, Ivy League economists, media talking heads, and the willfully ignorant masses, but they do not cease to exist.
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley
Source: The Burning Platform
I would like to believe that if I were to ever to decide to sell my pride, my integrity and my future, that it would come at a steep price and not for table scraps. Unfortunately, half of the working population in America is allowing itself to be destroyed for mere table scraps that are being handed down by the elite.
Indeed, America is being destroyed from within and the destruction is going according to plan. There are more Americans dependent on the federal government than ever before in our country’s history and the net result spells disaster because these rates are unsustainable.
Not only do Americans no longer make anything, over half of all work-eligible Americans no longer work. The number of Americans receiving food assistance has surpassed the number of full-time private sector workers in the United States. There are 97 million full-time workers in the U.S. and a mind-boggling 101 million American receive food benefits and a record 47 million Americans participated in food stamps. The Food Stamps program has a monthly average of 46.7 million participants, or 22.5 million households. Food stamps alone had a budget of $88.6 billion in FY 2012.The USDA describes Food Stamps as the “largest program in the domestic hunger safety net.”
The USDA also offers nutrition assistance for pregnant women, school children and seniors.The NationalSchool Lunch program provides 32 million students with low-cost or no-cost meals daily; 10.6 million participate in the School Breakfast Program; and 9 million receive benefits from the Woman, Infants and Children program each month, the latter designed for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women and children younger than five years old. Over 3 million children at day care centers receive snacks through the Child and Adult Care Food Program. There’s also a Special Milk Program for schools and a Summer Food Service Program, through which 2.3 million children received aid in July 2011 during summer vacation. And there are dozens of other programs that you and I are paying for.
But wait, it gets worse as the Department of Agriculture estimates that the 101,000,000 on welfare currently participate in at least one of the 15 separate food programs offered by the USDA. The USDA estimates the cost of these food programs to exceed at least $114 billion in fiscal year 2012.
The population of the U.S. is 315 million people. This means nearly a third of every man, woman and child in the United States receives some form of food aid from the government. The USDA says the number of Americans on food stamps is a “historically high figure that has risen with the economic downturn.” It is more accurate to say that America has been economically conquered by the communists who paved the way for Obama to be put into power. More will be presented on that in part two of this series.
The Net Effect of the Welfare State
The net effect of this massive welfare state is obvious. First, these people pay no tax, contribute nothing of value to society and constitute an extreme burden to the prosperity and potential of the country. This burden is exacerbated by the fact the elite and their corporations pay no tax.
Some people understandably need to be on public assistance, but many do not. However, when we see 5 and 6 generations of welfare recipients from the same family, something is terribly wrong. When we review some of the old footage of the reasons why people voted for Obama, they said things like they were going to pay for their bills with “Obama money”, or he gave me an “Obama phone.” Obama appeals to people and organizations who get a disproportionate share of the people’s money (e.g. bailouts) and Obama appeals to the something for nothing crowd (e.g. Obama phone recipients). Prior to the 1960′s people in distress got help from the Church, the Salvation Army, not public money. Look at how long people in this country “game” the system.
|Average Time on AFCD (Aid to Families with Dependent Children)|
|Time on AFDC||Percent of Recipients|
|Less than 7 months||19%|
|7 to 12 months||15.2%|
|1 to 2 years||19.3%|
|2 to 5 years||26.9%|
|Over 5 years||19.6%|
Nearly half of all welfare recipients in this program are receiving taxpayer money for two years or longer. This is outrageous! Is the government seriously telling us that people cannot find a job in 1, 2 or 5 years or more?
If someone is unemployed for more than two years, it is time to find any job that the welfare recipient can perform, even if that means shoveling excrement in a sinkhole in Louisiana. Society does not owe any able-bodied person a living.
I am sick of working my rear end off so half the country does not have to work. I am weary of paying massive taxes so Wall Street can realize more profits. And it is all part of the plan. If the government can control the resources of half the country, then they control half the country by default.
Many of these people on welfare are capable of working. While receiving welfare payments, all able-bodied people should be made to sweep the streets and pick up dog feces in the park in order to get a share of what you and I earn. Instead, we get far too many bums who play the system, generation after generation.
I know, I know, here come the allegations of racism. Whenever the underclass is busted for their slovenly ways, the race card gets played. Ladies and gentlemen, this is not about race. The following chart breaks down the racial composition of welfare recipients. You race card players might be surprised at the demographic breakdown.
|Percent of recipients who are white||38.8 %|
|Percent of recipients who are black||39.8 %|
|Percent of recipients who are Hispanic||15.7 %|
|Percent of recipients who are Asian||2.4 %|
|Percent of recipients who are Other||3.3 %|
Whites and blacks are equally partaking in the welfare system, so please spare me the racism comments. Ineptitude, laziness and gamesmanship runs equally through all types of human beings.
Personal Dignity Sold for Table Scraps
Where is the pride in one’s own accomplishments? Where has the satisfaction gone which was once associated with building a life that has meaning rather than being a blood sucker that lives off the efforts of others?
Obama is winning in creating a passive America in which criminal regimes like his can thrive and I am sick of it. Half of the working population in this country on some form of welfare? Really? And people are seriously defending this lunacy?
When somebody is paying your bills for weeks, then it turns into months, followed by years and then generations, that person/family is robbed of all their pride and self-respect. Just remember, when someone else is supporting you day after day and year after year, that someone owns you. And spare me the nonsense that I am being heartless towards the elderly and handicapped. Nobody is arguing that the elderly and handicapped do not deserve our help, they do. However, half of the country is not handicapped or elderly. And if half of the country is legitimately out of work with no options, then this country needs to begin a revolution against the establishment, yesterday!
Please tell me why should I fund an Obama phone, while that same able bodied person is allowed to sit on their butt? All the able-bodied people need to be required to do public work projects before getting a dime of my money and they should be drug tested prior to the application process. If we were to do these things, just watch the unemployment and welfare rates dramatically decrease. But to the majority of the Obama supporters, work is a four letter word.
What does not surprise me is that so many sold out to the globalists. What does surprise me is how cheaply they were bought and paid for.
Obama and his minions are laughing at us. They know that government-dependent people will vote to take our guns away, accept carbon taxes and passively accept the death panels of Obamacare. They know that these ignorant people will never challenge the dumbing down of our American education system. Obama knows that the helpless in this country will never rise up against the establishment in anger. And finally, Obama knows that he was the right man at the right time who was brought forth to destroy this country once and for all. Everything is going according to plan as half of us are selling our futures for table scraps.
Obama is a just a sock puppet. Part two will cover who is behind the planned destruction of the United States through the building up the welfare state and then collapsing it.
Source: The Common Sense Show
It is not a secret that summer skipped Europe this year and some meteorologists even predict a sun eclipse for the next seven to ten years. When asked to explain this dire prediction a few experts ended up blaming the Arabs, ‘it is all because of the Arabs, they took all the spring.’
Joking aside, looking at the Arabs and their “Spring” reveals a chilling sight. It is basically an ongoing bloodbath.
A vast popular uprising in the name of “liberation,” “human rights,” “democracy” and other big words has matured in a very short time into regional chaos, civil wars, carnage, loss of life on a huge magnitude scale and scores of interventionist apparatuses that guarantee more havoc to come.
What happened? Why did the “Arab Spring” turn into a regional winter? Why didn’t the Egyptian democracy last more than a year?
I am not going to answer any of these questions. Instead, I will offer a simple method to address these issues.
Some 18 months ago I published The Wandering Who, A Study of Jewish Identity Politics. I argued that if we want to grasp Israel or the extent of Jewish Power we must dig into the ideologies and culture that formed the “Jewish State” and sustain Jewish tribalism and politics.
The book caused a storm, it was praised by some of the most important academics and humanists but it was also harshly opposed by many Jewish tribal activists and a few of their dedicated Sabbath Goyim.
It was, however, the opposition to my work that actually convinced me that I was on the right track — a theoretical and critical study of culture and identity politics is clearly the way forward. The study of Jewish culture explains Israeli barbarism, as it does the Israeli negligence of human rights, it throws light on the Neocon interventionist agenda and it also elucidates the spin at the heart of Jewish Left and Anti-Zionist Zionists (AZZ). It clearly explains why Palestinians are still living in refugee camps while American and British soldiers are fighting Zionist wars.
I would argue here that scholars and Arab intellectuals in particular should similarly examine closely the Arab culture and identity politics in order to understand and amend the grave current situation.
Such an examination could reveal, for instance, that “Western democracy” may not be the optimal political system for various states in the Middle East. Such a study will have to take into account Islam’s take of the notion of the “civil,” it would have to consider the demographics of different Arab regions and states. It may even have to question the notion of “State” in reference to Arab culture and history. Class division in the Arab society is also a crucial topic that must be examined. Such a study could benefit from a theoretical examination of the unique manner in which the Islamic Republic of Iran balances Islam and democracy. Such a study would transcend beyond politics, global affairs and the decaying material dialectic manner of thought. It would locate the subject matter i.e., the Arab and the Arab World, at the centre of the discourse.
Such scholarship should raise the following questions: Who are the Arabs, the Egyptians, the Syrians, the Palestinians and so on? What do they believe in? What unites them? What separates them? What can they agree upon? What terrifies them? What makes them happy?
Once Arabs start to deal with these questions they may realise that rather than killing each other for Israel, America or Russia they should identify who they are for real and who their real enemies are.
President (aka Barry) Obama is not, nor ever was a master politician, master diplomat, master bureaucrat, master lawyer or master anything. As a former professor who had to publish or perish, I was especially impressed that Obama lacked a hefty, impressive record of academic publications, actually nothing. As Ed Lasky summed up: “Notwithstanding an apparent eleven-year teaching career in constitutional law at a top-flight law school, not one single article, published talk, book review, or comment of any kind, appears anywhere in the professional legal literature, under Barack Obama’s name.”
Instead of actual accomplishment and performance, he simply took advantage of his color, personality, unusual political opportunities, and an innate talent for sometimes being able to give a great (but not necessarily honest) speech to become President. He took advantage of new national demographics to capture the necessary Electoral College votes to achieve victory, not once, but twice. His ability to enlist the critical assistance of brilliant masters at political fund raising and campaigning has never been matched by being able or willing to obtain similar high caliber people to run his White House and administration.
As someone who held high level positions inside the Washington, DC political system for some twenty years I was always convinced that Obama never was even close to being qualified to be US President. On the other hand, I was totally dismayed at the awful Republican candidates who opposed him. Still, I was bewildered how so many Americans could be seduced by lofty speech rhetoric and end up believing Obama was an unusually honest politician capable and willing to reform an inefficient, corrupt political system. Sure, unlike Hillary Clinton, he was no long term Washington insider. But neither was there any evidence that he was a true, courageous reformer. Obama was never authentically bold and creative, nor driven by a strong moral compass but rather by extreme arrogance. Think: the audacity of arrogance. Self-delusion prevailed, especially among Democrats and progressives drunk over terrific political slogans.
What could not be predicted, however, was that millions of angry and mostly white Americans would seize upon his color, birthplace and family roots to wage an effective national campaign within the boundaries of the Tea and Republican Parties to help make his presidency largely paralyzed through warlike partisanship. What was best for the nation has never been able to overcome hateful political emotions. The combination of hate and racist driven right wing zealots and self-deluded people on the left has dragged American democracy deeper into dysfunction.
Everyone should remember that with just over 50 percent of eligible voters voting and the presidential winner obtaining just over 50 percent of voter support, not much more than 25 percent of Americans actually support this or any other President. Factor in that nearly all incumbent members of Congress get reelected despite dismal overall public support, most recently just 10 percent for Congress. If you still believe in the myth that US democracy is the best on the planet, then you are just plain nuts.
It would take many thousands of words to fully articulate all the presidential failings of Obama. My own personal favorites are these: He failed to pursue a single payer approach for universal health care insurance and instead created a hugely complex and costly system that will probably collapse of its own awfulness. He did not swiftly end the ludicrous and incredibly costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His administration has failed miserably in adequately taking care of veterans. He has clearly done next to nothing to ensure a truly transparent federal government and, instead, has aggressively pursued secret and invasive information and intelligence gathering of US citizens. His policies about underemployment and jobs have been pathetic. His Department of Justice utterly failed to pursue criminal indictments of the many people and companies in the banking, mortgage and financial sectors that caused the national and global economic collapse in recent years that even today explains the economic plight of many millions of Americans.
American democracy has so deteriorated that I can see little hope of its resurrection absent some form of revolution consistent with the Constitution, namely using what our Founders gave us: an Article V convention of state delegates with the legal authority to propose true reform constitutional amendments that still would have to be ratified by three-quarters of the states. Clearly, there is no reason to have any faith that Congress would ever propose amendments to fix our corrupt, inefficient and dysfunctional federal system that Senators and Representatives continue to deface and defraud. For example, taking all private money out of politics. Nor is there any basis for believing that the Supreme Court will come to the rescue.
Seems pretty hopeless, don’t you think? Unless millions of Americans join together and demand that Congress obey the Constitution, honor the many hundreds of state requests for a convention and convene the first one.
As any honest observer of the dire fiscal nature of U.S. budgets would conclude, the driving section of deficit expenditures are entitlements. The two areas, based upon predictable demographics, that scream out for rational and extensive surgery are Social Security and Medicare. The Obama administration has a long record of gutting Medicare as part of the Obama care malady that is transforming into a national plague as the detail regulations unfold. For a summary of reporting on the subject, review the media accounts on the Kaiser Health News. One of such analysis, found in the New York Times item, Obama Budget to Include Cuts to Programs in Hopes of Deal, identifies the smoke and mirrors modifications, designed to push the Medicare medical reimbursement into insolvency.
“Mr. Obama’s budget will propose a new inflation formula that would have the effect of reducing cost-of-living payments for Social Security benefits, though with financial protections for low-income and very old beneficiaries, administration officials said. The idea, known as chained C.P.I., has infuriated some Democrats and advocacy groups to Mr. Obama’s left, and they have already mobilized in opposition.
Mr. Obama will propose other spending and tax credit initiatives, including aid for states to make free prekindergarten education available nationwide — a priority outlined in his State of the Union address in February. He will propose to pay for it by raising federal taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products.
In Medicare, the savings would mostly come from payments to health care providers, including hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, but Mr. Obama also proposes that higher-income beneficiaries pay more for coverage.”
The mere notion that the Obama administration is submitting a budget at all may be news, but the devil is in the details, within the projected outline is expected. This political kabuki theatre gives little solace to the actuary process that crunches the numbers of an aging society.
The first acknowledgment out of the lack of a grand arrangement, cited by Money News in, Obama Proposes Cuts to Social Security, Medicare, calls for reductions in the growth of Social Security and other benefit programs.
“Administration officials have said Obama would only agree to the reductions in benefit programs if they are accompanied by increases in revenue, a difficult demand given the strong anti-tax sentiment of House Republicans.”
The glaring omission from this, and any discussion on Social Security and Medicare, is the need to revise eligibility and age admission criteria. The political psyche of the public is stuck on the myth that an entitlement society can be funded on a systemic shortfall of revenue. The perennial cry for just raising taxes on the rich is a fool’s gameand does harm by continually reinforcing the denial of inevitable reality, that services and programs must be dramatically curtailed or eliminated.
Much of the partisan banter and face-off skirts this underlying issue. Feeding this self-denial culture is an electorate and a population that has become comfortable consuming their “so called” free lunch diet. The fact that the eating habits of the majority attempt to digest the social programs off the government menu, without paying for the cost of the meal is inescapable.
The longevity of recent age brackets has caused a fiscal crisis that has only one outcome, namely, national bankruptcy without fundamental changes to such programs. Impoverishment of the younger generations to fund a mathematically impossible obligation is the key element missing from any rational discussion or debate.
The central transformation of medical institutions from a proprietary return on assets system to a not for profit reimbursement corporative would allow for major reductions in the costs of medical delivery services, while enhancing patient recovery. The elimination of bureaucratic defensive medicine, driven by the practice of fear from legal litigation is absent within Obama’s budget.
The assault on holistic medicine in favor of pharmaceutical drugs is a core reason why Medicare is a failed approach to health and wellbeing. Individual Americans are walking cadavers waiting for their expected stroke or heart attack. The diet of the average consumer of fast food drives up the tolls of medical treatment and should not become a public burden upon taxpayers that strive to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
While any form of a socialistic medical payer system guarantees a reduction in the quality of medical services, the Medicare program has a large constituency and lobby influence upon legislation and administration. Only a total breakdown in health care under the Obamacare formula, might offer the slightest opportunity to revamp the entire governmental run fiasco that has an inane disconnect between treatment and the cost of the service.
Social Security has become an unfunded ponzi scheme that in unsustainable as the work force declines. Cutting the rate of growth by a recalculation of the already shaded inflation statistics is the very definition of kicking the can down the road. This time that canister might just injure your toe to the point of needing medical assistance that is certainly not covered under The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.Postponing a dialogue on serious entitlement reform or preferably dramatic scale back is playing with national suicide. As the country dissolves into a more democratic frenzy, the addition of millions of more illegal immigrants will add gasoline to the fiscal inferno that is already burning out of control.
Regrettably, the will for an electoral resolution through the ballot box, when the voter has an insatiable desire to live off the tax payments of others, guarantees a day of reckoning. The eugenics outcome that leads to euthanasia acceptance certainly will not be one of the cuts in the federal budget.
The long path to nationwide insanity is paved with governmental programs that claim to help citizens, while pushing the fiscal burden unto the unborn, millions upon which are aborted. Money in government is like poison to a drug addict. In this case, the junkie does not die it only spends more. Good health demands rational behavior.
When your article inspires a big-city mayor to refer your case to a “human-relations commission,” you know you’ve hit a nerve. And when that article is the recent “Being White in Philly” piece by liberal Robert Huber, you know it doesn’t take much truth to hit that nerve.
That’s the scary part. Huber’s article contains mostly tepid examples of whites’ negative experiences with blacks and primarily black neighborhoods, such as a Philadelphia resident whose grill was stolen from her backyard but “blames herself” for not fencing it in. Its tone is basically apologetic, absolving a drug dealer of responsibility because he was just “trying to get by” and describing the US’ racial history as “horrible and daunting.” Yet this wasn’t good enough for Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter and his comrades. They still want Huber silenced.
Oh, they won’t get what they want…at least not exactly and not yet. But, nonetheless, writes Philly.com, “In a scathing letter, Mayor Nutter last week requested that the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission consider whether the magazine and Huber deserved to be rebuked for the article.” Why is this significant? Well, when we hear about Englishmen, Canadians, Australians, Swedes, or other Westerners being imprisoned or fined for criticizing Islam or homosexuality — yes, this does happen — guess what the instruments of their oppression are.
Of course, they’re usually called “human-rights” commissions, and the entities that actually judge those charged with “hate speech” are called “tribunals.” And they have proliferated in the West. You can bet your state has one, and your county may, too. But, no, you won’t be silenced by them — at least not exactly and not yet. We have that pesky thing called the First Amendment (for now).
But Huber certainly was rebuked. In a Monday panel discussion moderated by the editor of his Philadelphia Magazine, Tom McGrath, he was criticized by what appear to be promising future human-rights-tribunal judges. Fellow journalist Solomon Jones scored the publication for having a “history of racial insensitivity,” while People’s Emergency Center president Farah Jimenez said that the “[m]agazine, which has an all-white editorial staff, was not the right ‘messenger’ for a story encouraging racial dialogue,” writes Philly.com. I wonder, does anyone ever say that the all-black NAACP or Congressional Black Caucus is the wrong agent of racial dialogue? Huber’s goal was to bring white people’s feelings and beliefs on race to light, and for this white people may be the ideal messengers.
Critics at the discussion even questioned whether the individuals cited only by first name (or pseudonym) in the article were real. I suppose they wanted full names, addresses, and telephone numbers, which surely would have encouraged honesty in racial dialogue. But when whites are portrayed in history as slave owners and oppressors, or when blacks charge discrimination today, do the powers-that-be question whether the stories are true? Why, there wasn’t even the necessary skepticism in the Duke Lacrosse rape frame-up case. Of course, though, why even ask? White privilege ensures that whites never, ever have bad experiences with black people.
Not surprisingly, the magazine and its “defenders” responded to the lynch mob with deference. McGrath opened the discussion with an apology, and journalist Christopher Norris said, writes Philly.com, “that he understood the outrage over the article, but simply viewed the piece as the work of an older white man writing about his experience.” Yes, and Nutter’s actions are simply the outrage of an older black man airing his complaints. Jimenez’ comments are simply a middle-aged Hispanic woman expressing her feelings. How did that sound? Should we try to discover truth or just dismiss messengers based on race?
Having said all this, Huber gets no sympathy from me. He says in his piece that white people are stuck being “dishonest by default” on race and that “[w]e need to bridge the conversational divide so that there are no longer two private dialogues in Philadelphia — white people talking to other whites, and black people to blacks — but a city in which it is okay to speak openly about race.” Yet his expressed desire for open conversation rings hollow. When John Derbyshire was fired from National Review for speaking openly about race, or Rush Limbaugh lost his position as an NFL commentator for saying far less, did Huber defend them? Did he even defend their comments as part of that initiation of racial dialogue? I suspect that he was happy to see a political opponent twist in the wind. But if Huber now wants to have that conversation on race, okay, let’s have it.
At the beginning of his piece, Huber speaks of a young woman he calls Susan and writes:
She lost her BlackBerry in a biology lab at Villanova and Facebooked all the class members she could find, “wondering if you happened to pick it up or know who did.” No one had it. There was one black student in the class, whom I’ll call Carol, who responded: “Why would I just happen to pick up a BlackBerry and if this is a personal message I’m offended!”
Huber explains that Carol assumed Susan targeted her because she was black and for a long time thereafter gave Susan the cold shoulder. Here is what Huber didn’t have the guts to say: such paranoia is the result anti-white bigotry. It’s just as when a person is irretrievably biased against someone in his personal life and then sees the individual through colored glasses. Every innocent misstep is then interpreted as a malicious act: “Why, that’s just the kind of thing he would do!” is the thinking. With whites, they’re always “racist” because that’s just the way they are.
And this has consequences. It’s easy to justify hatred of and discrimination against people whom you believe are inherently biased against you, and whites suffer as a result of this phenomenon all the time. Oh, Huber won’t talk about this, and it is why, if you want the truth, forget his article. Read the comments under it. For while the anonymity of the Internet enables some ugly talk, it also encourages expression of some ugly truths.
Just about a year ago I investigated a racially motivated fire attack on a 13-year-old Missouri boy named Allen Coon, who was one of fewer than 20 white children attending East High school in Kansas City. During the course of extensive interviews with parents and students, I learned that Coon and other white children had been subjected to severe racial harassment not just by classmates, but also teachers. One teacher called the tow-headed Allen “Casper” and encouraged other students to participate in the teasing; other times students would initiate the harassment and the teachers would chime in. I also spoke with two sisters, ex-Texans, who were verbally attacked in front of their class by a teacher who said, “Everybody from Texas is ignorant rednecks” and that all white people were responsible for a 1998 attack upon a black man in Jasper, TX (the James Byrd killing) because “[their] skin is white.”
And similar ugly truths are revealed in “Being White in Philly’s” comments section. There’s the white poster who said that in fifth grade in his primarily black school, the teacher would purposely ask him questions too difficult for his grade level and then, when he couldn’t answer, make him stand in front of the class wearing a sign reading “White Dunce.” And here are a few other examples (edited for punctuation and grammar), with respondents identified by screen name:
White kid in blackgradeschool
I was targeted daily throughout my childhood because of my race — that was made explicitly clear (verbally). Even teachers in my school were unsympathetic and would look the other way. And the manner in which race was spoken about in an all black school really inflamed students to the point where everything done to me was completely justified in their minds because, as a white person, I was finally getting mine, and some of the teachers I know felt that way too.
Under the bus
I couldn’t open my mouth in class without half of the kids shouting “Shut-up, white boy,” or many similar things. … [T]he majority of my teachers just looked the other way, and many, though not all, black teachers seemed to support it.
The demographics at my daughter’s school suddenly changed one year with black children becoming the majority, and she became a target.
I attended a small elementary school in Georgia. …I was bullied daily by black kids. Several loudly expressed that they hated white kids, yet could not articulate WHY.
[T]here was the black librarian who joined in with the [black students’] bullying. I had never experienced a teacher who was openly hostile to the white students. …I had to sit there surrounded by the librarian’s favorite black bullies, while she bullied as well.
Of course, we’ll now be told that these testimonials are invalid because, well, you know, these might not even be real people. It’s always nice to have full names so that those who dare speak truth can be scorned, ostracized, condemned, and fired from employment. As SaraEdward45 put it, “No one wants to [air these problems] out loud because you are automatically labeled as a racist and your experience is invalidated, leaving you to feel bullied once more.”
But, hey, it’s great that we’re having this conversation.
Upstate New York’s Catskill Mountain Range is a bucolic place near and dear to my heart. It’s where storybook character Rip Van Winkle enjoyed his legendary slumber, and its scenery hasn’t changed much since he was born of Washington Irving’s fertile imagination. Yet, like Van Winkle, if I’d fallen asleep for 20 years when first arriving in that verdant heaven, I, too, would have noticed some profound changes upon awakening.
About two decades ago, many rural Catskill teens — sons of farmers and hunters and fishermen — suddenly started donning baggy pants and reflecting “gangsta’” counter-culture despite living nowhere near any large urban center. The following generation of teens experienced today’s recent cultural evolution and often sport multiple tattoos and body piercings despite living nowhere near NYC’s grungy East Village. Yet I’m wrong in a sense: those places were actually very close — a television set away.
My old hinterland haunt was once place where, if you wiggled the rabbit-ear antenna just right, you could pull in one or two TV stations. And what could you see? Perhaps reruns of The Brady Bunch, perhaps the news. But about a quarter century ago came VCRs and video stores; then cable and satellite TV; and, finally, the Internet. The serpent had entered Eden.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, much fire has been directed at gun advocates in general and the National Rifle Association in particular. In response, the organization has implicated Hollywood and popular culture in general for mainstreaming mindless violence. Yet even many Second Amendment advocates part company with the NRA on this point. After all, blaming entertainment for crime smacks of blaming guns. Yet there’s quite a profound difference: guns don’t transmit values. But how we use guns— and knives, fists and words — on screen certainly does.
This message is often a tough sell, however, as it’s very natural to defend one’s entertainment. We grow up with certain shows, movies, characters and music and often become emotionally attached to them; in fact, we may identify with them so closely that an attack upon them can be taken personally. It’s the same phenomenon that causes an avid sports fan to defend his favorite team as if it’s his favored son. And it is then we may hear that old refrain, “It isn’t the entertainment; it’s the values learned at home” (they’re actually one and the same since entertainment enters the home with, in the least, the parents’ tacit approval).
Yet it appears few really believe that refrain. Sure, depending on our ideology, we may disagree on what entertainment is destructive, but that it can be destructive is something on which consensus exists. Just consider, for instance, that when James Cameron’s film Avatar was released, there was much talk in the conservative blogosphere about its containing environmentalist, anti-corporate and anti-American propaganda. At the other end of the spectrum, liberals wanted the old show Amos ‘n Andy taken off the air because it contained what they considered harmful stereotypes. Or think of how critics worried that Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ would stoke anti-Jewish sentiment or that Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ would inspire anti-Christian feelings, and how the Catholic League complained that The Da Vinci Code was anti-Catholic. Now, I’m not commenting on these claims’ validity. My only point is that when our own sacred cows are being slaughtered, few of us will say, “Well, yeah, the work attacks my cause, but I don’t care because it’s the values taught at home that really matter.”
The truth? Entertainment is powerful. This is why Adolf Hitler had his propaganda filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl, and why all modern regimes have at times created their own propaganda films. It’s why the ancient Greeks saw fit to censor the arts and American localities traditionally had obscenity laws. And it is why, while “The pen is mightier than the sword” and a picture mightier still, being worth a “thousand words,” we have to wonder how many words moving footage coupled with sound would be. How mighty art thou, Tinseltown? Well, we worry that a child witnessing one parent continually abuse the other will learn to be violent, as children learn by example. Yet often forgotten is that while a person can model behavior seven feet away from the television, he can also model it seven feet away through the television.
And what effect do our entertainment role models have? Much relevant research exists, and the picture it paints isn’t pretty. For instance, a definitive 1990s study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association found that in every society in which TV was introduced, there was an explosion in violent crime and murder within 15 years. As an example, TV had been banned in South Africa for internal security reasons until 1975, at which point the nation had a lower murder rate than other lands with similar demographics. The country’s legalization of TV prompted psychiatrist Dr. Brandon Centerwall to predict “that white South African homicide rates would double within 10 to 15 years after the introduction of television….” But he was wrong.
By 1987 they had more than doubled.
Then the Guardian told us in 2003 that, “…Bhutan, the fabled Himalayan Shangri-la, became the last nation on earth to introduce television. Suddenly a culture, barely changed in centuries, was bombarded by 46 cable channels. And all too soon came Bhutan’s first crime wave — murder, fraud, drug offences.” The serpent had struck again.
And exactly how it strikes is interesting…and scary. Lt. Col. David Grossman, a former West Point military psychologist and one of the world’s foremost experts on what he calls “killology,” explains the process well. In his essay “Trained to Kill,” he speaks of how the military learned that during WWII only 15 to 20 percent of riflemen would actually shoot at an exposed enemy soldier. Yet this rate was increased to 55 percent during the Korean War and then 90 percent in Vietnam. How? By applying psychological principles, says Grossman, identical to the forces our children are exposed to through entertainment. They are (all quotations are Grossman’s):
- Brutalization and desensitization: this occurs in boot camp where the training is designed “to break down your existing mores and norms and to accept a new set of values that embrace destruction, violence, and death as a way of life.” Entertainment can perhaps be even more effective when doing this to children because the process often starts when they’re too young to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Grossman explains:
- To have a child of three, four, or five watch a “splatter” movie, learning to relate to a character for the first 90 minutes and then in the last 30 minutes watch helplessly as that new friend is hunted and brutally murdered is the moral and psychological equivalent of introducing your child to a friend, letting [him] play with that friend, and then butchering that friend in front of your child’s eyes.
- Classical conditioning: the Japanese employed this during WWII. Soldiers would have to watch and cheer as a few of their comrades bayoneted prisoners to death. All the servicemen were then “treated to sake, the best meal they had had in months, and to so-called comfort girls. The result? They learned to associate committing violent acts with pleasure.” Likewise, today “[o]ur children watch vivid pictures of human suffering and death, learning to associate it with their favorite soft drink and candy bar, or their girlfriend’s perfume.”
- Operant conditioning: “When people are frightened or angry, they will do what they have been conditioned to do…. [It’s] stimulus-response, stimulus-response.” Thus, one of the ways the military increased riflemen’s willingness to shoot exposed enemies was to switch from the bull’s-eye targets of WWII training to “realistic, man-shaped silhouettes that pop into their field of view.” The soldiers have only a split-second to engage this new “stimulus” with the response of firing reflexively. As for kids, “every time a child plays an interactive point-and-shoot video game, he is learning the exact same conditioned reflex and motor skills.” This can help explain, says Grossman, why robbers under stress will sometimes reflexively shoot victims even when it wasn’t “part of the plan.”
If the above seems at all simplistic, note that it’s a life’s work boiled-down to 500 words. Suffice it to say, however, that entertainment has an effect. And do we really consider today’s entertainment benign? We’ve transitioned from a pre-TV America where boys sometimes brought real guns to school for target shooting to a TV-addicted America where boys bring toy guns to school and get suspended. And, of course, the reasons for this societal sea change are complex. But if we’re going to point to one factor, is it wiser to blame the AR-15 than PG-13?
Excerpt from The Master Plan
“My father and his colleague’s findings were staggering. At first, I thought he might have been mistaken, but as I studied the facts, I noticed a subtle, methodical agenda weaving its way throughout the whole affair. After thoroughly examining all of the documents, I was forced to agree with his conclusions.
“Father’s reports contained photocopies of documents and maps that came out of the United Nations conferences and the Convention on Biological Diversity. It was categorized under a project entitled Agenda 21 and the subsection, Sustainable Development. Harsh policies restricting people’s rights and liberties were ratified through international agreements and treaties. Every member of the United Nations was bond by this agreement.
“What was happening in Africa was a mirror of what was taking place all over the world, especially America. After connecting all the dots, there was an obvious plan to reduce the world’s population, seize control of large landmasses, and confine humans to designated island areas.
“America is a nation with many states, yet united under one national head. Africa is a continent, with many independent, separate countries, and according to the United Nations report, the goal regarding Africa and the Middle East was to exploit their vast resources.
“Representatives from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank were sent to the heads of countries rich in natural resources. The process involved an offer to transform the country into the modern, 21st century. Repayment for these transformation loans were in the form of natural resources and taxable labor. If a country’s leader rejected the bank’s offer of eternal indebtedness, the CIA, MI6 or a like agency was used to overthrow the leader by whatever means necessary. If those attempts failed, NATO Peacekeeping Forces were deployed to defend the hired rebels and depose the nation’s leader.
“The international media always supported the rebel forces under the banner of democracy. So out of ignorance the public also supported the rebel forces and their supposed battle for freedom. The resisting leader was dethroned and replaced with a tyrannical shill for the international bankers whose sole intent was to exploit the country and the people. This was happening all over Africa and the Middle East.
“At this time, my father and I noticed government-instituted, United Nations family planning centers cropping up in surrounding towns. These family planners held town hall meetings and presented videos that strongly advocated vaccines, contraceptives, sterilization and abortions. These videos were mere propaganda pieces to convince the people to be a participant in the family planners’ program of infanticide. As an inducement, they offered medical supplies and food rations.”
“Why are you calling it infanticide?” I interrupted. “At least one organization was making a sincere effort to address the people’s needs.”
“Killing a three week old infant in the womb or a three year old child is infanticide, Lance.” she retorted. “They were teaching the women that a three years old child was no different than an unborn fetus, since both were unable to make knowledgeable decisions.
“With no questions asked, a mother could deliver her three years old child, or younger, to the United Nations Planners for termination,” Monique responded with disdain.
“Africans have always believed in large families, possessed strong family ties and heterosexuality relationships. Under normal conditions, Africans would never agree to be sterilized, and they certainly would not hand over their children to be murdered. With Africa a warzone, the family planners successfully targeted the hardest hit areas.”
“I see your point. Couldn’t your father or his associates intervene?” I probed.
“They tried,” she answered. “This was all part of the United Nations Agenda 21, population control program. But the African project, which was pure eugenics, was special; it was being assisted with funds from billion dollar tax-exempt foundations whose founders controlled large companies and held the purse strings of governments around the world. The sole objective was to reduce the world’s population. According to their own figures, they wanted to eliminate ninety percent of the population, with Africa and the Middle East their number one targets.”
“What was the world’s population at that time?” I asked.
“Oh, roughly eight and a half billion people,” she quipped.
“So we’re talking about five hundred million people left on the planet when they get through with us,” I countered.
“Yes, approximately five hundred million; but we found some foundations demanding it be reduced to one hundred million. With that small number of people on earth, they claimed, they would be able to procreate as they pleased, they would have the freedom to travel anywhere on the globe un-accosted by commoners, and the whole world would be their playground.”
“That is an awful lot of people to kill, and then bury,” I exclaimed.
“The documents my father discovered provided detailed accounts that every war within the past one hundred years was orchestrated to bankrupt the nations and reduce the population. And yet, war had not significantly decreased the population to their satisfaction.
“The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) provided planning centers with clinics that administered vaccinations. These centers had a list of everyone’s name living in that vicinity. These centers were guarded by the military who administered server punishment to anyone who refused to be vaccinated. We soon discovered that most of the vaccines were laced with various diseases.
“Father began to advance his research, and his findings revealed documented proof that HIV, along with a number of other viruses had been engineered. Under the cloak of germ warfare, Congress funded a project to find a virus capable of deteriorating the human immune system. During the developmental stages, they grafted an assortment of animal viruses that had been mutated in monkeys and chimpanzees. These viruses were eventually cultured with human cells and ultimately injected into human genes. The final result was a number of very powerful, independent viruses commingled into one. What makes AIDS extremely difficult to eradicate, is the number of individual viruses constituting different strains. Father was also able to locate a patent for the cure of AIDS.
“The strain of AIDS introduced into Africa was far more infectious than strains found elsewhere. It was also discovered that the Negroid gene had a predilection to HIV. In some areas of the African continent, seventy-five percent of the people had tested HIV positive, and in other areas, as high as one hundred percent.
“We also learned that most incidents of HIV positive were not being transmitted through homosexual relationships or promiscuous sexual encounters as disseminated by the press. But instead, HIV, as well as other viruses and diseases were being transmitted through the forced immunization program. This was discovered when seven year old children were testing positive for HIV, yet neither parent was found to be HIV positive.
“Included in this genocide called Societal Cleansing was the culling of the genetically inferior, such as morons, misfits, the maladjusted and the aged. Senior citizens were terminated at fifty years old to prevent a financial and psychological burden on society. This also prevented senior citizen’s opposing and archaic views from being passed on to younger generations.
“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was the agency chosen to administer this societal cleansing. This involved restructuring the cities of the world, protecting the ecology against the destructive forces of modern society and the implementation of social equity and the restructuring of life itself. This all fell under the UN Agenda 21’s Sustainable Development program.
“Broad and unbridled authority was given to the EPA to prevent humans from draining the earth’s limited resources. This monstrous plan included every facet of life. Man was considered the most dangerous, destructive, selfish and unethical creature on Mother Earth.
“The law enforcement agency to protect Mother Earth was called the Green Police; they had inclusive authorization to confiscate personal belongings, shut down businesses or operations, and kill anyone that interfered with their agenda.
“The EPA’s Agenda 21 manual, stated:
Global warming, the depletion of fuel, water, food, and the like, is the direct cause of human intervention. The real enemy is humanity itself. The damage people cause the planet is a function of demographics equal to the degree of development. The ecological crisis was really the population crisis. Cut the population by ninety-plus percent and you stop injuring the earth by an equal amount.”
With tongue-in-cheek, I interrupted, “I wonder if any of the UN leaders are willing to sacrifice their lives, or the lives of their children or grandchildren in order to save the earth from the blight of human existence?”
“Well,” she continued, “the presupposition is that Mother Earth has the capacity to regulate or heal herself under natural conditions. But the human species has developed technology to overwhelm the earth’s capacity to heal herself, and she is therefore doomed to destruction unless humans are stopped from their technological assault.
“They depict humans as zombies that must be exterminated to stop their destructive behavior to the earth. The association between human beings and zombies is particularly directed against those that reject Globalism and the Global Warming restructuring programs of the earth, its galactic surroundings, and all life forms are the controlling factors behind this thrust to reduce the population. Those that don’t believe in these programs are portrayed as none-human zombies that exist to consume all they can to satisfy only themselves. But the real reason for this push for population reduction is so that they can have the world as their playground.
“This environmental hocus-pocus merely provided justification for their claim that the population of the world was increasing too quickly, and in order to stabilize the population, at least 350,000 people a day had to be eliminated. Although I agree that the world is over populated, I do not believe killing 350,000 people a day is the solution to the problem.”
I quickly interrupted, “Monique, It’s a fact that the entire population of the world can live comfortably in the State of Texas on an acre per person. So, killing 350,000 people under the pretext of over population is insanity. They’ve purposely herded the masses into the major cities to create the illusion that we’re running out of space and resources, but we’re not. If they’re so bent on reducing the population, I suggest they start with themselves!”
“Most of their efforts,” she continued without comment, “were directed toward the United States. They attributed much of the earth’s devastation to Americans’ standard of living, such as industrialization and their usage of air and earth contaminating products. They claimed that one American burdens the earth more than twenty people from an undeveloped country. I thought it was strange that China was never mentioned, although they are the largest polluters on the planet; it might be due to the fact that they introduced the one child policy.
“It was through the land management policies under Agenda 21 that they confiscated the best areas of the countries and designated them under Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage Sites. All major ecosystems in a region were reserved. To protect these ecosystems, buffer zones were established around them. They defined a buffer zone as an area surrounding any property with restrictions on its use. During the mid-1990s, the United States president donated most of America’s National parks and lands under the Bureau of Land Management, National Rivers and Streams to the United Nations for protection.
“Likewise, the continent of Africa was charted and then divided into major ecosystems for reserve. These conterminous States were encompassed in core reserves with inner corridor zones, which created a wilderness network that dominated a region with human habitations being small islands. They designated a half of the continent as wilderness areas with another fourth as buffer zones. These stringent policies grossly restricted human activity. People lived on small islands communities, they could only travel on the thoroughfares connecting the island communities, and they could never trespass into the buffer zones since they protected the delicate ecosystems. This was being done under a religious hypothesis of protecting Mother Earth against the destructive actions of mankind.”
Purchase The Master Plan now.
© 2013 Al Duncan – All Rights Reserved
Source: News With Views
For some years, several times a week while driving to go shopping and do errands, I have listened to Rush Limbaugh on the radio. Pretty much all the time I have become angered because every few sentences I realized that with his total sincerity and conviction he was stating absolutely incorrect things. Add to endless wrong information complete lapses in logic, causing me to be bewildered that Limbaugh has reached such success. My only explanation is that he appeals to a very large number of ignorant and unintelligent people who, like religious zealots, remain enraptured by his ultra-ring wing rhetoric. What a surprise therefore that recently Limbaugh has been speaking relentlessly about “information poor” Americans as his pseudo brilliant explanation of why President Obama has succeeded.
Two things stand out. First, he clearly refuses to face the reality that it is his incredibly loyal audience that must be information poor to readily accept all the falsehoods he dishes out daily.
Here are just two simple example of intentional misinformation and disinformation he has dispensed, like the proverbial Kool-Aid keeping his listeners doped up. He recently was admonishing President Obama for doing terrible things or not doing the right things and in his routinely glib, smooth style spoke of the five years of the Obama presidency. This happened at about 10 percent into Obama’s second term, in other words some weeks, or about 90 percent less than the full fifth year of the Obama presidency. How could an honest, fair person so easily state to his vast audience that there had already been five years of Obama as president? And yet, there it was. I quickly realized that this specific event was just part of the normal design of the ludicrous Limbaugh rhetoric, actually propaganda designed to maintain the conservative idiocy of his loyal audience.
And then today I heard Limbaugh refer to the settlement of Minnesota by the Vikings. As usual I shook my head in disbelief. I could not imagine how the Vikings had managed to get so far inland when they had hit North Americaaround the year 1000. So when I got home I did some easy research on the web and, of course, verified that I was correct to disbelieve what Limbaugh had said. The Vikings discovered Eastern Canada, not what is now defined asMinnesota. But like everything else Limbaugh mutters he conveys a complete sense of honesty, correctness and conviction, despite being totally wrong. Does Limbaugh connect the Minnesota Vikings to historical fact? Perhaps he has learned from many years of astounding radio success that he can say just about anything and get away with it.
Now for my major point about information poor people that he now talks about endlessly. Limbaugh has shown semantic creativity in expressing racist thinking. When he uses the presence of many millions of information poor Americans to explain Obama and Democratic successes he has devised yet another way to attack African Americans and Hispanic Americans that, indeed, are demographic realities causing failure for Romney and other Republicans. Moreover, it is also apparent that Limbaugh does not appeal to the poorest Americans who he routinely condemns for living off of government handouts.
I suspect that if there were good data about the demographics of the Limbaugh audience they would reveal, like those voting for Romney, that it consists mostly of older, higher income white American men. Well, turns out there is some decent information.
As to the listeners of Limbaugh’s daily radio show, according to a 2008 news media consumption survey conducted by PewResearch, 72 percent are male and 80 percent are conservative. About three-quarters of his listeners identify themselves as Tea Partiers and Christian Conservatives. In other words, Limbaugh does not change the thinking of people, he appeals to a mindset and gives those people exactly what they like. Another source says his audience is 95 percent white and two-thirds earn more than $60k a year with the majority earning over $100k a year. In other words, not only is his audience mostly white men, they are also in the upper parts of the economic spectrum (I suspect mostly small business types who may have learned how to make money but nevertheless are quite ignorant and prejudiced.)
As to his website, according to quantcast.com (as of March 3, 2012) the vast majority of visitors to RushLimbaugh.com are aging white males: 54 percent are 45 and older, with 28 percent 55 and older, and 91 percent are Caucasian.
So here is a radio god whose success depends on having information poor people as addicted listeners using the same concept to condemn those minority Americans he aggressively blames for the ruin of the nation because they vote for Democrats. And of course with his male dominated audience he has shown himself to be rude and worse towards women, another demographic that Republicans have lost.
It is time for people, especially decent Republicans, to condemn wacko Limbaugh for all of his many failures, especially his new attempt to mask racism with the cloak of information deficits. If Republicans ever want to appeal to a broad cross section of Americans they should have the courage to disown and openly condemn the appalling strategy of bloviator Limbaugh to cater to the most stupid and biased Americans. They may, indeed, be seen as the core constituency of the Republican Party, but they are a heavy anchor pulling it down. Interestingly, among Republicans, only 13 percent say they tune in to Limbaugh “regularly.” Time to dump Limbaugh.