Blaming the 1% for diminished prosperity avoids the real reasons for designed poverty. In round terms, the seven billion souls that populate this planet translate into seventy million to be part of the 1%. Well, that amount is still a very large number to blame for the systemic transfer of riches into the hands of the few. A far more relevant approach is to examine the .001% or around seven million that fall into the mover or shakers of asset and possessions. Before targeting this group of mega wealth, that figure includes a very significant number, who are non players when it comes to global politics or transnational finance.
Recent record art sales illustrate the insulated existence that wraps the super rich in a different world from ordinary people. The Washington Post writes, What it looks like when the .001 percent fights over art.
“Welcome to Christie’s,” Pylkkanen said, without missing a beat.
It was that kind of night, with Christie’s selling a record $852.9 million worth of contemporary and post-war art. There were new records for 11 artists, including Twombly, Ed Ruscha, Peter Doig, Martin Kippenberger and Seth Price, according to figures released by Christie’s.”
Not exactly familiar household art celebrities, this version of trickledown economics is only for the in crowd. A Reuter report, Life continues sweetly for the .001 percent, continues.
“Art envy isn’t the only sign that the Occupy Wall Street din isn’t being heard on penthouse terraces. Sanford Weill, the former chief executive of Citigroup (C.N), put his 6,700-square-foot, top-floor residence on Central Park West on the market for $88 million. That’s twice what he paid for it four years ago and would be a Manhattan record. Weill said he plans to donate proceeds from the sale to charity, but for the time being would still have it as a deduction to apply against his taxable income.
The point is, the besieged banker class is still going about its business — and wielding considerable clout. That’s a lesson celebrity chef Mario Batali learned after likening bankers to Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin at a media event. After news of the comments swept across Wall Street and sparked talk of boycotts among Batali’s well-heeled clientele, he apologized. With the 99 percent rallying against them, the rich clearly can’t afford to turn on themselves.”
While the uber rich are not exactly a monolith, there are certain factors that go unchallenged. List of 80 People With as Much Money as 1/2 of Humanityprovides a starting point. Then examine the growth in their wealth. In 2015, there was a record of 1,826 people on the list with a total net worth of $7.05 trillion, up from $6.4 trillion in 2014. The bible of financial registry is the Forbes billionaire list which is wholly inadequate as a comprehensive tally. Notwithstanding, the seven trillion figure is but a fraction of the estimated $241 trillion which represents total global combined wealth of all the people in the world.
This disparity just does not compute when compared to the commonly held dogma of the holdings of the 1%. Even the rarified air of the .001% will not account for the difference. The missing link is that people, as individuals, do not control the vast majority of resources, assets, money and wealth.
Governments, financial institutions, corporations, transnational conglomerates, NGO’s, trusts, estates and hidden hybrid ownership truly controls the global economy that dictates, who benefits from the consolidation of capital and oversight of natural resources.
The mandates that pass as national laws and international treaty relations share a common composition. Protecting the superstructure that facilitates elite domination over the masses of world population is the object of the game. The rest of us are left with distractions, illusions and misdirect narratives of a false reality that embodies the popular culture.
The mass media message is consistent. It paints the ruling class as benevolent and caring. The collectivist administrations of different regimes are planned as a huge dependence machine. Some countries are more dominant than others, by all practice institutional autocracy as a condition of allowing their citizens the privilege of conditional government sustenance.
Individual liberty is besieged as a frightening threat to the system. Actual free economic markets are destroyed as a matter of course. Cartels, cabals and monopolies rule as cronyism with the decision makers dictate the direction of the technocratic socialism that has engulfed world society.
The reason why human circumstances continue to deteriorate is clear to anyone who has the honesty to admit that the dire consequences are not accidental or unintentional. However, coming to grips with the architectures of international finance is just too painful to endure. A comment from a leaving subscriber of the BATR RealPolitik Newsletter, sums up perfectly a core reason why the world totalitarian system continues with such little opposition. “Your site does an excellent job of exposing the truth but this imposes too high a price on my daily mental attitude and overall health”.
Life is seldom fair, and more often painful, but a cop out of unpleasant reality guarantees that the Rothschild manipulated model of world slavery will achieve their ultimate goal of massive population extinction for the dependency populace.
A primary failure of the “Looney Left” is placing their faith into the role of government to correct the punitive excesses of global internationalism. The nature of the contrived interdependency is based upon the power of fiat finance to own and dictated policy to their state sponsored lackeys.
Those brave hearted dissenters to the “international community” are driven from office, discredited by a media assault or killed if they become too much of a threat.
Jack Lessenberry offers this assessment in, Politics and Prejudices: What’s really ruining America.
“Income inequality in this nation is not only bad and getting worse, but most of us are either brainwashed, in total denial, or too gutless to even talk about it. Why don’t you hear Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren screaming about this, as they should be?
For two simple reasons: First, they’re afraid they’ll instantly be accused of wanting to start “class warfare,” a term that, like socialism, evokes bad nightmares of — shudder — Communist dictatorships.
But more sadly, they probably don’t think there’s anything they can do about it, other than maybe slow the trend a little bit.”
This critique of the “so called” daring progressives actually reveals that both play up to the establishment. Bucking the true world power brokers is very dangerous. Ask JFK, RFK, George Wallace and Ronald Reagan. Satanic megalomaniacs are committed to the impoverishment of the masses and their eventual total demise.
When was the last time that a real populist grassroots movement was able to overthrow the ruling elites? The deplorable answer is never in our lifetime.
The systemic wealth destruction that has rendered former Middle America to borderline poverty came as no accident. Don’t blame all those new faces in the billionaire crowd; they only have large bank accounts. Focus on the dynasty families that share the same bloodline and pull the strings on government puppets that administer the all-inclusive enslavement of humanity as their primary goal.
Collectivism is a deadened scheme, originated by the globalists to deceive the struggling “unwashed” to look toward government for a better future. Wow, what a miserable fiasco.
Having money is better than being poor, all other factors relative. However, earning wealth the old fashion way, by working hard is virtually a non starter today. The casino economy is a stacked deck against the industrious.
Only a total reputation of the Free Trade corporatist plantation that has de-industrialized America could remotely turn the tide. But before any boom could begin and restore national hope, the political organized crime syndicates must be recognized as the enemy of the people and driven from their power centers and debt created money schemes.
Just like the burnt out aforementioned BATR reader, the remaining moral participants that do battle with a corrupt system must risk having their head cut off, for any chance of returning to prosperity.
The task is great and little time is left. The NYT reports that a Deal Reached on Fast-Track Authority for Obama on Trade Accord, will expand the globalist fiefdom even more.
“To further sweeten the deal for Democrats, the package includes expanding trade adjustment assistance — aid to workers whose jobs are displaced by global trade — to service workers, not just manufacturing workers. Mr. Wyden also insisted on a four-year extension of a tax credit to help displaced workers purchase health insurance.”
This is a clear example of collectivism at play. Government subsidies that replace real employment, does not create wealth for our own people or for the country as a whole. It is high time to admit that the 99.9% is screwed as long as this same old globalist trade fraud continues to impoverish our domestic economy.
Rally against the globalists and refuse any legitimacy to a system that is designed to distract with class warfare, while the central banksters own the vast total wealth and control the power structure.
Every year about this time, we are inundated with self-proclaimed prognosticators telling us (with great certainty) what the New Year will bring. The vast majority of the time they are wrong; but, somehow, that doesn’t keep people from listening to these pseudo-prophets or from buying their publications and videos. So, let me say upfront: I am not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet. I have no crystal ball; and the Almighty has not privileged me with special revelation regarding future events. However, I can predict with confidence that most of the predictions WON’T come to pass–especially the ones that deal with eschatology.
However, what I can report is the things that are ALREADY happening and the momentum that is driving them. It is an immutable law that, absent a significant force to the contrary, things in motion tend to stay in motion. Therefore, here are a few things that are already in motion as we go into 2015.
*Amnesty For Illegals And Obamacare
Let’s take Obamacare first: It is here to stay. Both major parties in Washington, D.C., overwhelmingly support national health insurance. Had Mitt Romney been elected in 2012, we would be calling it Romneycare instead of Obamacare. In fact, Mitt Romney’s state health insurance plan was the model for what we now call Obamacare. So, if any of you are still harboring any hope that somehow the new GOP Congress will pull a rabbit out of the hat and reverse Obamacare, it’s time to admit reality. Obamacare isn’t going anywhere. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who was selected by President G.W. Bush, forever sealed Obamacare into the legal and political bone marrow of America.
And, like Obamacare, both major parties in Washington, D.C., support amnesty for illegals. Oh, I know that the vast majority of grassroots Republicans oppose amnesty, but since when has that mattered to a tinker’s dam to the GOP ruling class? John Boehner and Company has already orchestrated the funding for amnesty with the $1.1 trillion “Cromnibus” bill that recently passed. Another vote that could potentially defund amnesty is expected in Congress by February. But already the GOP leadership is positioning the new Republican majority to provide amnesty with permanent status. The fact that it was mostly anti-amnesty anger that swept Republicans into the majority in both houses of Congress means nothing to the GOP leadership. NOTHING!
Here is the most concise summary I’ve seen to date on what GOP leaders are doing regarding solidifying Obama’s (unconstitutional) amnesty order:
“The plan by GOP leaders to sell out and back up Obama’s executive amnesty is already coming together.
“‘Here’s the architecture of the coming sellout: there will be a show vote on defunding exec amnesty–either as a stand alone or part of the DHS bill,’ a congressional GOP aide told Breitbart News:
“‘But once they’ve let members vote on it, it will fall away. Instead, they’ll attach the McCaul “border securit” bill–what we’ll call free rides for illegal aliens to a city near you. The McCaul bill will follow the Pete Sessions’ rule: no illegal aliens will be deported. No e-verify, no welfare stoppage, a free pass for the 12 million here to stay here. It will just be more money for King Obama to use to help illegals enter the country and get a free education. The White House will play along, pretend it’s a tough bill, and then eagerly sign it–locking in the amnesty and taking real enforcement off the table (they’ll say it’s all done now). Then will come the gifts for the corporate sponsors.’”
The report also quotes George Rasley, the executive editor of Richard Viguerie’s ConservativeHQ, as correctly saying, “Looking at what the Republican Party’s Capitol Hill leaders did in the CRomnibus it’s hard for conservatives to figure out who’s worse: Obama or the GOP leaders who apparently plan to overturn the results of the 2014 midterms by allowing the president’s unconstitutional amnesty to stand and, adding insult to injury, passing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wishlist of more spending and more visas to displace American workers.”
See the report at:
Folks, please understand that GOP leaders in Congress are not GOING to solidify Obama’s amnesty deal, they are ALREADY solidifying it. Therefore, this is not a prediction; it is simply an accurate reporting of what is already taking place. Republican leaders in Washington, D.C., are going to do what they always do: give grassroots conservative Republicans the royal shaft. But since conservatives seem to suffer from Stockholm Syndrome every election year, it is doubtful that much of anything will change in 2016 either.
The newest NAFTA-style trade agreement, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), has been in the works for some time. However, with the Democrats in charge of the Senate, President Obama was not able to push the jobs-killing agreement through Congress. But with the GOP now in charge of both houses of Congress, passage of TPP will be a breeze.
As Rasley observed, Republican congressional leaders are mostly in the pocket of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the TPP trade agreement is perhaps priority number one for the Chamber–and they are already pushing hard for its passage.
The Washington Post noted that “President Obama is preparing a major push on a vast free-trade zone that seeks to enlist Republicans as partners.”
See the report here:
With the GOP controlling Congress, globalist-minded Barack Obama is now able to bypass his own party and partner with internationalist-business-
The Chamber of Commerce spent millions in this last election helping to elect pro-Big Business Republicans to office. They expect payback.
A Breitbart.com report begins, “Not only does the U.S. Chamber of Commerce think it is the only reason the GOP won in November, it is now threatening Republicans with opposition next go round if they don’t lay down and give the Chamber precisely what it wants, including on immigration, increased spending on transportation, and economic deals that sweeten the pot for big business.”
See the report here:
*The American Police State
The American Police State saw a banner year in 2014. The militarization of local and State police, along with the instances of police-bullying, grew to record heights last year–and there is absolutely no sign of a let-up.
Excerpts from Joel Skousen’s December 26, 2014 World Affairs Brief (WAB) are relevant:
“This year we saw government further arrogate to itself broad new power through executive action that went unchecked thanks to a Congress coopted by globalist republican leaders and a neutered Supreme Court, which refuses to declare any of the president’s unilateral actions unconstitutional.”
Skousen continues, “We now live in a surveillance state and its purpose has nothing to do with terrorism: Domestic dissidents are the target; terrorism is just the excuse. The NSA records every type of electronic communication. Despite the initial public outrage over Edward Snowden’s revelation, government hasn’t stopped anything. They’ve made deceptive legislative proposals that claim to limit government’s ability to see content, but those claims are as much a sham and a lie as the government insistence that they only collect metadata. The content comes right along with the metadata, so there’s no way to collect only the metadata.”
Pertaining specifically to domestic police abuse, Skousen notes, “Police aggressiveness and brutality . . . is a precursor to a Police state. It reached a head this year with the Ferguson riots, but sadly the issue was falsely framed as one of racial prejudice and profiling, rather than the danger to all of us from thuggish police behavior. There is a steady increase in the percentage of macho, pushy law enforcement personnel, many of which have a military background. They bring with them their foul-mouthed habits and thuggish behavior. Coupled with police training that talks incessantly about ‘getting killed if you don’t react fast enough’ police are developing a shoot-first-and-ask-question-
“Just as bad is their attitude that ‘you need to do what I say, no questions asked.’ This is not right. Police are not allowed by law to demand the public follow their every order. It has to be a lawful order. Sadly, neither the police chiefs nor the courts are willing to sanction police with strong penalties when they abuse this power.”
To subscribe (paid only) to Skousen’s excellent WAB, go here:
Unfortunately, there are only a precious few who seem to understand this burgeoning Police State and who actively oppose it. A majority of Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, unbelievers and Christians, all seem to, not only tolerate the police-state mentality, but enthusiastically support it. And there is no momentum whatsoever to stopping it. It will only get worse in 2015.
*Christ And Caesar
True Christianity has never been associated with, supported by, or underneath Caesar’s (civil government’s) auspices or benevolence. For most of the 2,000+ years of Church history, true believers met in non-state-sanctioned or even underground churches and fellowships. In fact, the Early Church was birthed in a baptism of persecution from both the civil government (Rome) and established religion (Judaism) at the time. Not until the unholy union of the Church and State under Theodosius I (almost 400 years after Christ) did Christians accept official sanction from government. And for many centuries to follow, the official merger of Church and state led to the persecutions and deaths of untold thousands of believers deemed heretics and outlaws because their religious beliefs contradicted those of the official state-sanctioned church.
Even in early America, state-approved denominations and churches were guilty of horrific persecutions against independent-minded Christians who refused to submit to the doctrines and liturgies of state-sanctioned churches. These state-church persecutions ultimately led Roger Williams to found the colony of Rhode Island and John Leland to convince James Madison that religious liberty must be the first in our Constitution’s Bill of Rights.
After the acceptance of our Bill of Rights, America’s churches enjoyed complete independent status, being answerable only to their Creator and their own conscience. All of that changed in 1954 when then-Senator Lyndon Johnson (D-Texas) successfully introduced the Johnson Amendment to the code of the Internal Revenue Service: the now-infamous 501c3 nonprofit organization status for churches. This designation made churches a creature of the state–answerable to the direct dictates of government–even regarding speech and activity.
By accepting 501c3 status, America’s churches have effectively become state-licensed or state-sanctioned organizations. In much the same way that churches in Communist China risk vindictive state sanctions for not complying to state control, so, too, churches in the United States risk vindictive IRS sanctions for not complying to state control.
What is more than interesting is the comparison between the churches in China and the churches in America. In China, Christianity is growing exponentially. In fact, there are now more Christians in China than there are communists. Please carefully read this report:
“Though the Chinese Communist Party is the largest explicitly atheist organization in the world, with 85 million official members, it is now overshadowed by an estimated 100 million Christians in China. It is no wonder Beijing is nervous and authorities are cracking down on Christian groups.
“Christianity is growing so fast in China that some predict that it will be the most Christian nation in the world in only another 15 years. By far, the greatest growth is coming outside the official state-sanctioned churches, which are rightly considered subservient to the Communist Party. Numbers are increasing, rather, in unofficial Protestant ‘house churches’ and in the underground Catholic church.”
See the report here:
Did you get that? Let me repeat it: “By far, the greatest growth is coming OUTSIDE [emphasis added] the official state-sanctioned churches, which are rightly considered subservient to the Communist Party [state]. Numbers are increasing, rather, in UNOFFICIAL [emphasis added] Protestant ‘house churches’ and in the UNDERGROUND [emphasis added] Catholic church.”
But what do we see happening in the United States? Christianity is waning BIG TIME. On the whole, churches are in steep decline. For the most part, only the entertainment-oriented, circus variety churches are growing. The numbers of Americans professing Christianity in general and expressing loyalty to a specific church or denomination are at historic lows. And the trend for 2015 and beyond is more of the same.
So, what is the difference? Why is Christianity proliferating in China and declining in America? China has an openly atheistic government. For all intents and purposes, the government in Washington, D.C., is equally atheistic. The federal government in D.C. is responsible for virtually every single attack against the expression of the Christian faith at every level of society. It is the federal government that attacks Christian expression in our local public schools. It is the federal government that attacks Christian expression in local governing bodies. It is the federal government that has all but permanently dismantled the expression of Christianity throughout our country’s public institutions. But so does the government in Beijing. Yet, in China, the Church is mushrooming, while in America, the Church is dying. What’s the difference?
The difference is, in China, Christians understand that to be loyal to Christ, they MUST NOT SUBMIT to state-sanction or license. And they are willing to defy Beijing authorities in order to be faithful to that conviction. However, in America, pastors and churches insist that they MUST SUBMIT to state control–even using Romans 13 to justify this preposterous position. Bottom line: state-sanctioned churches in America are withering, while non-state-sanctioned churches in China are mushrooming. There is no doubt that the trend in both countries will continue into and beyond 2015.
Until America’s pastors and churches “see the light” and consciously withdraw themselves from Caesar’s grasp (at whatever cost), Christianity in this country will continue to evaporate.
Toward the end of 2014, I launched the Liberty Church Project, in which I am traveling the country helping pastors and churches withdraw from the tentacles of 501c3 government sanction and/or helping people start brand new non-501c3 churches and fellowships. So far, we are batting a perfect five-for-five. And I believe that the momentum of establishing “unofficial” or “underground” churches in this country has only begun.
I am absolutely convinced that very soon every pastor and Christian in America will have to make the conscious decision to either deny Christ and remain part of the apostate government-church or be faithful to Christ and become part of the “unofficial” or “underground” church–just as Christians have had to do in China. One will not be able to do both.
I also believe that what we are seeing happening via the Liberty Church Project is just the beginning raindrops of what will one day be a deluge. I am quite confident that I will be very busy in 2015 as we continue to help believers establish non-501c3 churches and fellowships. To learn more about the Liberty Church Project, go here:
Let me say it plainly: the ONLY way America’s Christians and churches are going to experience a true spiritual renewal is to withdraw themselves from state sanction. For all intents and purposes, the establishment Church in America is DEAD. It has forgotten the lessons of history. It would rather please Caesar; it relishes the endorsement of Caesar. By action, our church leaders are saying the same thing Jewish leaders said at the time of Christ: “We have no king but Caesar.”
So, while I am not a prognosticator or a prophet, I can easily see the trends listed above. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that these trends will continue into 2015 and beyond.
There’s stupid. There’s really stupid. There’s really, really stupid.
Then there’s Democrat stupid.
A prime example is a Friday Wall Street Journal article titled “This Democrat Is Giving Up on ObamaCare.” It’s penned by one Burke Beu, someone I describe as “ethnically Democrat,” as he says “I grew up in a Democratic family. I have been a registered Democrat since age 18.” He also tells us, “[I was] a Democratic candidate for statewide office in Colorado and a party precinct captain in that caucus state. I’ve volunteered for numerous Democratic candidates and contributed to party causes and campaigns. The 2014 election results were extremely disappointing for me….”
And, of course, Mr. Beu has soured on ObamaCare. In fact, he wants it repealed. All good so far. Except that he doesn’t have any explicitly harsh words for Obama, hasn’t given up on his party, wants a single-payer system and seems to believe Hillary Clinton is the solution in 2016. (Note: In fairness, Clinton is different from Obama — she has two X chromosomes.) But here are the money lines:
I voted for Barack Obama in 2008, then lost my job in the Great Recession. I was lucky; my brother lost his job and his house. I survived on part-time jobs while paying out-of-pocket for my health insurance.
I voted for President Obama again in 2012, then received a cancellation notice for my health insurance. This was due to ObamaCare, the so-called Affordable Care Act. However, I couldn’t afford anything else.
Does this guy wear a “Kick me” sign?
He wears a “Kick me harder” sign.
There’s a saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” What do you say about a guy whose life consists of being fooled?
Beu believes Medicare should be “a model for health-care reform” and says “We Democrats need to get over ourselves, start anew on a national health-care policy, and return to our progressive principles.”
Actually, sir, you need to get over your party.
First, “progressive principles” is an oxymoron; liberals don’t have principles, but provisional positions. This is because they’re governed by emotion, which changes with the wind. As G.K. Chesterton put it, “Progress is a comparative of which we have not settled the superlative.” No, I won’t explain that, Mr. Beu. You figure it out.
Beu also mentions the “stupidity of the American voter” remark by ObamaCare designer Jonathan Gruber, taking umbrage and saying “Such comments…are insults to every citizen regardless of party.” So Goober is offended by Gruber.
And Beu is one of those very “useful” people. He doesn’t get that elitist snobbery and superciliousness define the left. Just think of the revelations about socialist French president François Hollande, who is “a cold, cynical cheat and a Socialist who ‘doesn’t like the poor,’” writes National Post about insights provided by the leftist’s ex-girlfriend Valérie Trierweiler. “He presents himself as the man who doesn’t like the rich. In reality, the president doesn’t like the poor” and in private calls them “the toothless ones,” reports Trierweiler. Oh, too anecdotal? “Hell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned”? Then read the 2008 piece “Don’t listen to the liberals — Right-wingers really are nicer people, latest research shows.” It relates what some of us without “Kick me” signs figured out for ourselves long ago.
Beu also says, when pointing out that Democrats need to exhibit humility and admit error on ObamaCare, “We resent Republicans who act morally superior and pretend to have a monopoly on patriotism, but….”
It’s not pretense, Bucko. As this Pew poll from this summer shows, while 72 percent of “steadfast conservatives” and 81 percent of “business conservatives” “often feel proud to be American,” only 40 percent of “solid liberals” do. That, Mr. Beu, is by liberals’ own admission. (Pew also has a category in the poll called “Faith and Family Left.” I’ve never heard of such a thing — unless it refers to faith in government and the family of the person the liberal is cheating on his spouse with.)
Note also that when liberals and conservatives don’t feel proud to be American, it’s for very different reasons. Liberals don’t like what America was, was meant to be, and what they often imagine it to be (“We’re so Puritan!”); conservatives don’t like the cesspool the liberals are turning it into.
I know schadenfreude isn’t a feeling reflective of a charitable spirit, but the best I can say about the Beus of the world is that they need tough love. Mr. Beu reminds me of a guy who’s being held by the back of the neck, is being repeatedly and violently kicked, and complains about how something needs to be done about the foot. Tend to the foot. Regulate the foot. Repeal the foot.
Mr. Beu, that foot happens to be attached to a man, a being with intellect and free will. And he is not your friend.
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.
Tuck away the many horror stories of the wrong limbs being amputated, things being left in surgery patients, terrible infections picked up in hospitals and totally wrong diagnoses. More relevant is a bureaucratic hospitalization horror that far too few Americans covered by Medicare are aware of.
Odds are that you do not know a key question to ask if you ever find yourself in a hospital for an overnight stay that could last from one or two days, or perhaps much more. What you and anyone accompanying you want to know is whether you are being classified as “under observation.” This means that legally you are not an inpatient. If the former, then you are likely to find yourself owing the hospital a large amount of money, because your Medicare or other health insurance will not provide the benefits associated with inpatient status. Many, many Americans nationwide that were classified as under observation have faced unexpected bills of many tens of thousands of dollars.
So pay very close attention to what you are about to read.
If you in a hospital, possibly in an emergency room, then you or family or friends should ask some tough questions of hospital staff if you are kept in the hospital after being handled in the emergency room. Ask if you will be kept in as an inpatient. If told that you will be in the observation category, then you might seriously consider whether you should stay in that hospital, or perhaps seek another one if you are not in immediate need of medical attention beyond what was received in the emergency department.
Indeed, ordinary Americans should recognize what Medicare does, namely that the decision made by the hospital to classify a patient as under observation for billing purposes is a “complex medical judgment.” What that means is that different interpretations and decisions can be made, either by someone else in the hospital or professionals in a different hospital. The critical decision to use the observation classification, with so much potential negative impact for patients, is “open to widely variable interpretation” as physician Steven J. Myerson has noted.
Because you may be in a very stressful state resulting from facing some medical condition, it is imperative that family and friends also need to become educated. Realistically, you may not be in a clear enough mental state when you enter a hospital to ask questions and demand good answers about how the hospital is classifying your stay.
Understand this: Nothing is crazier than entering a hospital for one or more nights and being designated as under observation, which amounts to being an outpatient, rather than an inpatient. Despite coverage by Medicare you will not have expected benefits.
Beyond hours in the emergency department, you can spend days in a hospital bed, receive regular nursing care, be given drugs and all kinds of tests. You might even spend time in a critical care or intensive care unit. But you can still be officially designated an outpatient in observation status. Even though you might stay in the hospital for more than just one or two nights, unless officially designated an inpatient you face major financial liability.
Under Medicare this means you are not covered by Part A which provides the best hospital coverage, but rather covered under Part B with far inferior coverage. This practice is as bad as anything you have ever heard about awful health insurance coverage. Furthermore, Medicare does not cover post-discharge care for Part B observation stays. For example, a patient in observation status for a broken bone will have to pay the full cost of rehabilitation or a nursing home. But for an inpatient Medicare pays for skilled nursing care following at least three consecutive inpatient days. Also, observation patients pay out-of-pocket for the medication they receive in the hospital and Subtitle D drug coverage may not cover these costs.
Hard to believe but your personal physician may not know that their patient has been classified by the hospital as outpatient or under observation. Though it would be very smart for you to raise this issue and make it clear that you do not want to stay in a hospital unless you are being admitted as an inpatient. But starting in an emergency room makes it difficult to push this issue, but not impossible.
Even the key public document from Medicare makes clear that “You’re an outpatient if you’re getting emergency department services, observation services, outpatient surgery, lab tests, or X-rays, and the doctor hasn’t written an order to admit you to the hospital as an inpatient.” Regardless of what a doctor has said, however, hospitals have the power to classify you as under observation. The government advises “If you’re in the hospital more than a few hours, always ask your doctor or the hospital staff if you’re an inpatient or an outpatient.” Note the word “always.” That is terrific, critically important advice.
You or your accompanying relative or friend must be prepared to challenge a decision of observation status and even raise the possibility of immediately leaving the hospital. Remember, this is after any actions given in an emergency department. Being prepared to challenge an observation status decision requires that you fully understand the considerable downside of this hospital classification.
Actually, Medicare maintains a one way communication street. Medicare doesn’t require hospitals to tell patients they are “under observation,” though many will do so. It only requires hospitals to tell patients they have been downgraded from inpatient to observation.
To be clear, if you are not classified as an inpatient, then you officially have not been admitted to the hospital though you have entered it. Toby Edelman of the Center for Medicare Advocacy has noted that “People have no way of knowing they have not been admitted to the hospital. They go upstairs to a bed, they get a band on their wrist, nurses and doctors come to see them, they get treatment and tests, they fill out a meal chart – and they assume that they have been admitted to the hospital.”
How much of a problem is observation status? In recent years, hospitals have increasingly classified Medicare beneficiaries as observation patients instead of admitting them, according to a Brown University nationwide analysis of Medicare claims. From 2007 through 2009, the ratio of Medicare observation patients to those admitted as inpatients rose by 34 percent. Worse, more than 10 percent of patients in observation were kept there for more than 48 hours, and more than 44,800 were kept in observation for 72 hours or longer in 2009 — an increase of 88 percent since 2007.
A recent New York Times article noted that under Medicare: “the number of seniors entering the hospital for observation increased 69 percent over five years, to 1.6 million in 2011.” And from 2004 to 2011, the number of observation services administered per Medicare beneficiary rose by almost 34 percent, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, while admissions per beneficiary declined 7.8 percent. In other words, this observation issue is not a trivial or minor issue affecting just a few people.
Data showing far greater use of the observation status option than widely reported were in a 2013 report to Medicare by the Health and Human Services Inspector General for 2012 hospitalizations. Some 2.1 million hospitalizations were designated observation status with 11 percent three nights or more and 80 percent originating in emergency departments, but another 1.4 million were long term outpatient stays that could and perhaps should have been coded as observation status. There were also 1.1 million short term inpatient stays (less than two nights) that also could have been coded as observation status. With increased enforcement by Medicare and penalties for hospitals, therefore, there is the possibility of 4.6 million or more annual observation status stays. Medicare patients should be aware of large differences among hospitals.
AARP did its own study and found that from 2001 to 2009 both the frequency and duration of observation status increased. Although only about 3.5 percent of Medicare beneficiaries were in this class in 2009, Medicare claims for observation patients grew by more than 100 percent, with the greatest increase occurring in cases not leading to an inpatient admission. The duration of observation visits also increased dramatically. Observation service visits lasting 48 hours or longer were the least common, but had the greatest increase, almost 250 percent for observation only and more than 100 percent for observation with inpatient admission.
According to a survey by the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) in 2013 more than 80 percent of US geriatric care managers reported that “inappropriate hospital Observation Status determinations were a significant problem in their communities and 75 percent noted that the problem was growing worse.
A University of Wisconsin study found that 10.4 percent of hospitalizations in 2010 and 2011 were in the observation status category and 16.5 percent of them exceeded 48 hours and concluded “observation care in clinical practice is very different than what CMS [the Medicare agency] initially envisioned and creates insurance loopholes that adversely affect patients, health care providers, and hospitals.” In an Invited Commentary on the Wisconsin study, physician Robert M. Wachter of the Department of Medicine at the University ofCalifornia, San Francisco, summed up the observation issue as having “morphed into madness.”
Note that Medicare guidelines recommend that observation stays be no longer than 24 hours and only “in rare and exceptional cases” extend past 48 hours. Obviously, this is nearly meaningless in the real world.
Why are hospitals placing more patients in observation status?
Like so much in American society, the answer is money.
Hospitals are at risk from Medicare audits that declare patients wrongly defined as inpatients. Payment is then rejected, potentially large amounts of money. The government has increased audits to such a degree that since 2009 four recovery firms have reviewed bills from hospitals and physicians nationwide and recuperated $1.9 billion in overpayments. Billion!
Two physicians writing in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine said: “When observation is used as a billing status in inpatient areas without changes in care delivery, it’s largely a cost-shifting exercise – relieving the hospital of the risk of adverse action by the RAC [Recovery Audit Contractor] but increasing the patient’s financial burden.”
To cut its spending, Medicare has accused hospitals of over-charging by “admitting” patients instead of putting them on “observation” status. For example, in July 2013, BethIsrael New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston paid Medicare $5.3 million to settle claims over this issue.
A new wrinkle under Obamacare is that hospitals can be penalized for readmitting patients in less than 30 days. But observation patients cannot be counted as readmissions if they happen to return because they were not officially admitted in the first place. To avoid this risk of financial loss, more patients can be classified as under observation.
A new Medicare rule taking effect April 1, 2014 requires doctors to admit people they anticipate staying for longer than two midnights, but to list those expected to stay for less time as observation patients. Many medical professionals doubt that this will improve things. Physician Ann Sheehy of the University of Wisconsin closely examined how this rule will work and concluded: “We found that four of five diagnosis codes were the same across length of stay, indicating that the cut point is arbitrary and really does not distinguish different patient groups, even though insurance benefits will be different based on length of stay.” Time, not medical condition or hospital actions, is being used. She also noted that the government will not count nights spent at different hospitals, and that 9 percent of their observation were transfers.
Dr. Sheehy made this great point: “Observation is an outpatient designation, which implies all services delivered could be done in an outpatient setting. This is totally not the case, which is why observation status is so frustrating.”
Because there is essentially no upside to being put into observation status, it is critically important for you or your advocate to be very assertive when entering the hospital. What actions can you take after you are in the hospital and you are likely in a better mental state to address this problem? Nothing that is likely to work for you.
The imperative is to check your status each day you are in the hospital and remember that it can be changed (from inpatient to observation, or vice versa) at any time by various hospital doctors or officials. Sadly, in many cases a patient may not be informed that they have been in observation status until the discharge process. That is why it is very important to ask the hospital, either through a doctor or nursing staff, what your status is and, if observation, to formally reconsider your case. Ask if there is a hospital committee that could review your status. Definitely ask your own doctor whether they are willing to press your case for inpatient status based on medical factors. In theory, you could appeal observation status with Medicare after you leave the hospital, but that is difficult and few have succeeded.
The Center for Medicare Advocacy makes available a Self Help Packet for Medicare “Observation Status.” This is definitely worth keeping handy and it would be great if hospitals distributed it. This group has an active legal case challenging the government’s policy of allowing hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries to be placed in “observation status,” rather than formally admitting them, and depriving them of their Part A coverage in violation of the Medicare statute and other laws. This group makes this important observation: “Neither the Medicare statute nor the Medicare regulations define observation services. The only definition appears in various CMS manuals.”
What is really needed is action by Congress to eliminate observation status for any overnight stay, but this is unlikely unless many millions of Medicare beneficiaries demand it. The ugly truth is that this observation status was a bureaucratic tactic to reduce Medicare spending. It puts hospitals in the difficult position of putting their patients in a very bad financial situation. In a real sense hospitals are being blackmailed into serving as agents to implement this awful observation policy. A vigorous national campaign by AARP demanding congressional action is needed.
I began writing analysis on the macro-economic situation of the American financial structure back in 2006, and in the eight years since, I have seen an undeniably steady trend of fiscal decline.
I have never had any doubt that the U.S. economy as we know it was headed for total and catastrophic collapse, the only question was when, exactly, the final trigger event would occur. As I have pointed out in the past, economic implosion is a process. It grows over time, like the ice shelf on a mountain developing into a potential avalanche. It is easy to shrug off the danger because the visible destruction is not immediate, it is latent; but when the avalanche finally begins, it is far too late for most people to escape…
If you view the progressive financial breakdown in America as some kind of “comedy of errors” or a trial of unlucky coincidences, then there is not much I can do to educate you on the reasons behind the carnage. If, however, you understand that there is a deliberate motivation behind American collapse, then what I have to say here will not fall on biased ears.
The financial crash of 2008, the same crash which has been ongoing for years, is NOT an accident. It is a concerted and engineered crisis meant to position the U.S. for currency disintegration and the institution of a global basket currency controlled by an unaccountable supranational governing body like the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The American populace is being conditioned through economic fear to accept the institutionalization of global financial control and the loss of sovereignty.
Anyone skeptical of this conclusion is welcome to study my numerous past examinations on the issue of globalization; I don’t have the time within this article to re-explain, and frankly, with so much information on deliberate dollar destruction available to the public today I’ve grown tired of anyone with a lack of awareness.
If you continue to believe that the Fed actually exists to “help” stabilize our economy or our currency, then you will never find the logic behind what they do. If you understand that the goal of the Fed and the globalists is to dismantle the dollar and the U.S. economic system to make way for something “new”, then certain recent events and policy initiatives do start to make sense.
The year of 2014 has been looming as a serious concern for me since the final quarter of 2013, and you can read about those concerns and the evidence that supports them in my articleExpect Devastating Global Economic Changes In 2014.
At the end of 2013 we saw at least three major events that could have sent America spiraling into total collapse. The first was the announcement of possible taper measures by the Fed, which have now begun. The second was the possible invasion of Syria which the Obama Administration is still desperate for despite successful efforts by the liberty movement to deny him public support for war. And, the third event was the last debt ceiling debate (or debt ceiling theater depending on how you look at it), which placed the U.S. squarely on the edge of fiscal default.
As we begin 2014, these same threatening issues remain (along with many others), only at greater levels and with more prominence. New developments reinforce my original position that this year will be remembered by historians as the year in which the final breakdown of the U.S. monetary dynamic was set in motion. Here are some of those developments explained…
Taper Of QE3
When I first suggested that a Fed taper was not only possible but probable months ago, I was met with a lot a bit of criticism from some in the alternative economic world. You can read my taper articles here and here.
This was understandable. The Fed uses multiple stimulus outlets besides QE in order to manipulate U.S. markets. Artificially lowering interest rates is very much a form of stimulus in itself, for instance.
However, I think a dangerous blindness to threats beyond money printing has developed within our community of analysts and this must be remedied. People need to realize first that the Fed does NOT care about the continued health of our economy, and they may not care about presenting a facade of health for much longer either. Alternative analysts also need to come to grips with the reality that overt money printing is not the only method at the disposal of globalists when destroying the greenback. A debt default is just as likely to cause loss of world reserve status and devaluation – no printing press required. Blame goes to government and political gridlock while the banks slither away in the midst of the chaos.
The taper of QE3 is not a “head fake”, it is very real, but there are many hidden motivations behind such cuts.
Currently, $20 billion has been trimmed from the $85 billion per month program, and we are already beginning to see what APPEAR to be market effects, including a flight from emerging market currencies from Argentina to Turkey. A couple of years ago investors viewed these markets as among the few places they could exploit to make a positive return, or in other words, one of the few places they could successfully gamble. The Fed taper, though, seems to be shifting the flow of capital away from emerging markets.
The mainstream argument is that stimulus was flowing into such markets, giving them liquidity support, and the taper is drying up that liquidity. Whether this is actually true is hard to say, given that without a full audit we have no idea how much fiat the Federal Reserve has actually created and how much of it they send out into foreign markets.
I stand more on the position that the Fed taper was actually begun in preparation for a slowdown in global markets that was already in progress. In fact, I believe central bankers have been well aware that a decline in every sector was coming, and are moving to insulate themselves.
Is it just a “coincidence” that the central bankers have initiated their taper of QE right when global manufacturing numbers begin to plummet?
Is it just “coincidence” the taper was started right when the Baltic Dry Index, a global indicator of shipping demand, has lost over 50% of its value in the past few weeks?
Is it just “coincidence” that the taper is running tandem with dismal retail sales growth reports from across the globe coming in from the final quarter of 2013?
And, is it just a “coincidence” that the Fed taper is a accelerating right as the next debt ceiling debate begins in March, and when reports are being released by the Congressional Budget Office that over 2 million jobs (in work hours) may be lost due to Obamacare?
No, I do not think any of this is coincidence. Most if not all of these negative indicators needed months to generate, so they could not have been caused by the taper itself. The only explanation beyond “coincidence” is that the Federal Reserve WANTED to launch the taper program and protect itself before these signals began to reach the public.
Look at it this way – The taper program distances the bankers from responsibility for crisis in our financial framework, at least in the eyes of the general public. If a market calamity takes place WHILE stimulus measures are still at full speed, this makes the banks look rather guilty, or at least incompetent. People would begin to question the validity of central bank methods, and they might even question the validity of the central bank’s existence. The Fed is creating space between itself and the economy because they know that a trigger event is coming. They want to ensure that they are not blamed and that stimulus itself is not seen as ineffective, or seen as the cause.
We all know that the claims of recovery are utter nonsense. Beyond the numerous warning signs listed above, one need only look at true unemployment numbers, household wage decline, and record low personal savings of the average American. The taper is not in response to an improving economic environment. Rather, the taper is a signal for the next stage of collapse.
Stocks are beginning to plummet around the world and all mainstream pundits are pointing fingers at a reduction in stimulus which has very little to do with anything. What is the message they want us to digest? That we “can’t live” without the aid and oversight of central banks.
The real reason stocks and other indicators are stumbling is because the effectiveness of stimulus manipulation has a shelf life, and that shelf life is over for the Federal Reserve. I suspect they will continue cutting QE every month for the next year as stocks decline. Will the Fed restart QE? If they do, it will probably not occur until after a substantial breakdown has ensued and the public is sufficiently shell-shocked. The possibility also exists that the Fed will never return to stimulus measures (if debt default is the plan), and QE stimulus will eventually be replaced by IMF “aid”.
Government Controlled Investment
Last month, just as taper measures were being implemented, the White House launched an investment program called MyRA; a retirement IRA program in which middle class and low wage Americans can invest part of their paycheck in government bonds.
That’s right, if you wanted to know where the money was going to come from to support U.S. debt if the Fed cuts QE, guess what, the money is going to come from YOU.
For a decade or so China was the primary buyer and crutch for U.S. debt spending. After the derivatives crash of 2008, the Federal Reserve became the largest purchaser of Treasury bonds. With the decline of foreign interest in long term U.S. debt, and the taper in full effect, it only makes sense that the government would seek out an alternative source of capital to continue the debt cycle. The MyRA program turns the general American public into a new cash stream, but there’s more going on here than meets the eye…
I find it rather suspicious that a government-controlled retirement program is suddenly introduced just as the Fed has begun to taper, as stocks are beginning to fall, and as questions arise over the U.S. debt ceiling. I have three major concerns:
First, is it possible that like the Fed, the government is also aware that a crash in stocks is coming? And, are they offering the MyRA program as an easy outlet (or trap) for people to pour in what little savings they have as panic over declining equities accelerates? Bonds do tend to look appetizing to uninformed investors during an equities route.
Second, the program is currently voluntary, but what if the plan is to make it mandatory? Obama has already signed mandatory health insurance “taxation” into law, which is meant to steal a portion of every paycheck. Why not steal an even larger portion from every paycheck in order to support U.S. debt? It’s for the “greater good,” after all.
Third, is this a deliberate strategy to corral the last vestiges of private American wealth into the corner of U.S. bonds, so that this wealth can be confiscated or annihilated? What happens if there is indeed an eventual debt default, as I believe there will be? Will Americans be herded into bonds by a crisis in stocks only to have bonds implode as well? Will they be conned into bond investment out of a “patriotic duty” to save the nation from default? Or, will the government just take their money through legislative wrangling, as was done in Cyprus not long ago?
The Final Swindle
Again, the next debt ceiling debate is slated for the end of this month. If the government decides to kick the can down the road for another quarter, I believe this will be the last time. The most recent actions of the Fed and the government signal preparations for a stock implosion and ultimate debt calamity. Default would have immediate effects in foreign markets, but the appearance of U.S. stability could drag on for a time, giving the globalists ample opportunity to siphon every ounce of financial blood from the public.
It is difficult to say how the next year will play out, but one thing is certain; something very strange and ugly is afoot. The goal of the globalists is to engineer desperation. To create a catastrophe and then force the masses to beg for help. How many hands of “friendship” will be offered in the wake of a U.S. wealth and currency crisis? What offers for “aid” will come from the IMF? How much of our country and how many of our people will be collateralized to secure that aid? And, how many Americans will go along with the swindle because they were not prepared in advance?
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
It’s satisfying to watch rats flee a sinking ship. This is because onlookers knew the ship was doomed long ago, and swimming rats signify that the drawn-out tragedy is nearing an end. A collective sense of relief is a natural response.
The rats who propped up the broken boat of Obamacare are a collection of liberal and labor groups who frittered away their group’s resources—and integrity— to sell a crappy product to the American people.
Those in the deepest denial went “all in” for Obamacare— such as some unions and groups like Moveon.org— while the more conniving groups and individuals—like Michael Moore— playacted “critical” of Obamacare, while nevertheless declaring it “progressive”, in effect adding crucial political support to a project that deserved none.
But of course Obamacare was always more barrier than progress: we’ve wasted the last several years planning, debating, and reconstructing the national health care system, all the while going in the wrong direction— into the pockets of the insurance mega corporations. A couple of progressive patches on the sails won’t keep her afloat. It’s shipbuilding time.
It was painful to watch otherwise intelligent people lend support to something that’s such an obviously bad idea. So it’s with immense relief that liberals like Michael Moore, labor groups, and others are finally distancing themselves from Obamacare’s Titanic failure. Now these individuals and groups can stop living in denial and the rest of us can proceed towards a rational discussion about a real health care solution.
The inevitable failure of Obamacare is not due to a bad website, but deeper issues. The hammering of the nails in the coffin has begun: millions of young people are suddenly realizing that Obamacare does not offer affordable health care. It’s a lie, and they aren’t buying it, literally.
The system depends on sufficient young people to opt in and purchase plans, in order to offset the costs of the older, higher-needs population. Poor young people with zero disposable income are being asked to pay monthly premiums of $150 and more, and they’re opting out, inevitably sinking Obamacare in the process.
Those young people who actually do buy Obamacare plans—to avoid the “mandate” fine— will be further enraged when they attempt to actually use their “insurance”. Many of the cheapest plans—the obvious choice for most young people— have $5,000 deductibles before the insurance will pay for anything. For poor young people this is no insurance at all, but a form of extortion.
At the same time millions of union members are being punished under Obamacare: those with decent insurance plans will suffer the “Cadillac” tax, which will push up the cost of their healthcare plans, and employers are already demanding concessions from union members in the form of higher health care premiums, co-pays, deductibles, etc.
Lower paid union workers will suffer as well. Those who are part of the Taft Hartley insurance plans will be pressured to leave the plans and buy their own insurance, since they cannot keep their plans and get the subsidy that the lowest income workers get. This has the potential to bust the whole Taft Hartley health care system that millions of union members benefit from, which is one of the reasons that labor leaders suddenly became outraged at Obamacare, after having wasted millions of union member’s dollars propping it up.
Ultimately, the American working class will collectively cheer Obamacare’s demise. They just need labor and other lefties to cheer lead its destruction a little more fiercely.
Surprisingly, most of the rats are still clinging to Obama’s hopeless vessel, frantically bailing water. Sure they’ve put on their life preservers and anxiously eyeing the lifeboats, but they’re also preaching about how to re-align the deckchairs.
For example, in his “critical” New York Times op-ed piece, Michael Moore called Obamacare “awful”, but also called it a “godsend”, singing his same tired tune. Part of Moore’s solution for Obamacare—which was cheered on in the Daily Kos— is equally ludicrous, and follows his consistently flawed logic that Obamacare is worth saving, since its “progress” that we can build on. Moore writes:
“Those who live in red [Republican dominated] states need the benefit of Medicaid expansion [a provision of Obamacare]…. In blue [Democrat dominated] states, let’s lobby for a public option on the insurance exchange — a health plan run by the state government, rather than a private insurer.”
This is Moore at his absolute worst. He’s neck deep in the flooded hull of the U.S.S Obamacare and giving us advice on how to tread water.
Of course Moore doesn’t criticize the heart of Obamacare, the individual mandate, the most hated component.
Moore also relies on the trump card argument of the pro-Obamacare liberals: there are progressive aspects to the scheme—such as the expansion of Medicaid— and therefore the whole system is worth saving.
Of course it’s untrue that we need Obamacare to expand Medicaid. In fact, the expansion of Medicaid acted more as a Trojan horse to introduce the pro-corporate heart of the system; a horse that Moore and other liberals nauseatingly continue to ride on.
But Moore’s sneakiest argument is his advice to blue states to “…lobby for a public option on the insurance exchange…”
Again, Moore implies that it’s ok if we are “mandated” to buy health insurance, so long is there is a public option. But that aside, the deeper scheme here is that Moore wants us to further waste our energy “reforming” Obamacare, rather than driving it to the bottom of the sea.
Moore surely knows that very few people are going to march in the streets demanding a public option at this point; he therefore knows that even this tiny reform of the system is unachievable. He’s wasting our time. Real change only happens in politics when there is a surge of energy among large sections of the population, and it’s extremely unlikely that more than a handful of people are going to be active towards “fixing” Obamacare— they want to drown it.
Moore’s attempt to funnel people’s outrage at Obamacare towards a “public option” falls laughably short, and this is likely his intention, since his ongoing piecemeal “criticisms” of the system have only served to salvage a sunken ship.
Instead of wasting energy trying to pry Obamacare out of the grip of the corporations, Moore would be better served to focus exclusive energy towards expanding the movement for Medicare For All, which he claims that he also supports, while maintaining that somehow Obamacare will evolve into Single Payer system.
Most developed nations have achieved universal health care through a single payer system, which in the United States can be easily achieved by expanding Medicare to everybody. Once the realities of Obamacare directly affect the majority of the population and exacerbates the crisis of U.S. healthcare, people will inevitably choose to support the movement of Medicare for All, the only real option for a sane health care system.
US President Barack Obama’s famous vow — “If you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan. Period.” — isn’t the only broken promise of ObamaCare.
Now that the Affordable Care Act has actually been in effect for a week, Americans are discovering more pitfalls associated with the massive overhaul.
Lie #1: “Affordable” Care. Even the president’s ideological allies — like Michael Moore — acknowledge that the Affordable Care Act is far from inexpensive for most Americans and that it “risks being a cruel joke.”
For average Americans, the results are prohibitively expensive. “The cheapest plan available to a 60-year-old couple making $65,000 a year in Hartford, Connecticut, will cost $11,800 in annual premiums,” according to Moore’s math, as published in a New York Times editorial. “If both become seriously ill, they might have to pay almost $25,000 in a single year.”
The National Federation of Independent Businesses, an organization that represents nearly 11,000 entrepreneurs in New York state alone, said it has yet to find a single member whose health-care costs are going down under ObamaCare. Instead, an “overwhelming majority” of businesses have reported increases in their insurance premiums, said Mike Durant, the NFIB’s New York director.
Lie #2: It will prevent people from going into debt.
Patients with cancer and conditions such as multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s disease can now get insurance and financial but if annual out-of-pocket costs run much higher than expected, they might have to go into debt.
“There are certainly challenges for cancer patients,” said Brian Rosen, a senior vice president of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. These gaps “need to be addressed in order to fulfill the intention of the Affordable Care Act.”
Caroline Pearson, who tracks the health-care overhaul for the consulting firm Avalere Health, put it in even starker terms.
“Chronically ill people are likely to be underinsured and face extremely high out-of-pocket costs,” she said. “While the subsidies help, there still may be access problems for some populations.”
Lie #3: ObamaCare will lower costs overall.
The idea that people with medical insurance go to the emergency room less, and thus, help to reduce the overall cost of health care, isn’t necessarily true, as a study of Oregon Medicaid recipients has shown.
Researchers compared Medicaid recipients with those with no health insurance and found the following: People with access to Medicaid went to the ER 40 percent more than those without insurance.
Lie #4: More Americans will be insured.
Approximately 2.8 million Americans have signed up for new health-care plans since the Affordable Care Act went into effect on Jan. 1. That’s less than the 3.3 million the federal government predicted would sign up, and is also dwarfed by the 4.7 million whose insurance policies have been cancelled as a result of the overhaul.
Source: Press TV
Marriane Williamson, author of the book A Return to Love, announced this past fall her plan to run for Congress in the 33rddistrict of California to stop the “Culture of Corruption” in our nation’s capital.
Without a doubt, deep, systemic corruption thrives in our U.S. Congress. It flourishes in our White House. Thomas Jefferson, our third president, tried to pass term limits, but failed in the face of those who love power and expect to maintain it.
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, released its 2013
List of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians.” www.JudicialWatch.org , the list, in alphabetical order, includes:
- Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH)
- CIA Director John Brennan
- Senator Saxby Chambliss
- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
- Attorney General Eric Holder
- Former IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller / Former IRS Official Lois Lerner
- Former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano
- President Barack Obama
- Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)
- Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
Dishonorable Mentions for 2013 include:
- Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
- Outgoing Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) / Incoming Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D)
- Former Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ)
- National Security Adviser Susan Rice
As a 27 year old staff attorney for the House Judiciary Committee, Ms. Hillary Clinton suffered firing by her supervisor, lifelong democrat Jerry Zeifman who said, “She is a liar. She was unethical and dishonest. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.”
If you remember the murders at the U.S. embassy in Benghazi that suffered a terrorist attack that killed four people, her reply, “What difference does it matter?”
Mr. Barack Obama continues his cover-up of his incompetence in fortifying the embassy and ignoring all calls for help. Good men died because of malfeasance and ineptitude.
Let’s start with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH):
House Speaker John Boehner became a master at what Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer calls the “Tollbooth Strategy.” As Schweizer explains in his new book, Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets:
“You pay money at a tollbooth in order to use a road or bridge. The methodology in Washington is similar: if someone wants a bill passed, charge them money to allow the bill to move down the legislative highway.”
According to Schweizer, Boehner used the “Tollbooth Strategy” to collect more than $200,000 in political donations from executives just days before holding votes on bills critically important to their industries. Reference:http://www.breitbart.com/Big-
Additionally, Boehner continues his blockade of the E-Verify Bill to force employers to check legal status of anyone seeking employment. I suspect the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, up to its eyeballs in promoting illegal immigration cheap labor, paid big bucks to keep E-Verify from passing into law. No doubt Marriott, Holiday Inn, Tyson Chicken, McDonald’s, Chipotle’s, Hormel, La Quinta, endless restaurant chains, construction, painting, landscape and other huge companies paid huge bribes to make sure they continue to hire illegal aliens rather than American citizens at a living wage.
Speaker Boehner does not stand-alone.
Attorney General Eric Holder lies so much, hides so much, aka, Fast and Furious, that he cannot tell the truth from a lie.
Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) makes the “Ten Worst” list for what he actually did in 2012, but which was finally exposed in 2013. Just as with House Speaker Boehner, Chambliss’s misdeeds were revealed in Peter Schweizer’s book, Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets.
Judicial Watch said, “Chambliss is highlighted as one of the key abusers who used leadership PAC loopholes to convert campaign cash into lavish lifestyle upgrades for themselves and their family members.
The New York Times reported, “The book details the extravagant expenses of Senator Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, for instance, whose leadership PAC spent $10,000 on golf at Pebble Beach, nearly $27,000 at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and $107,752 at the exclusive Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Fla. The amount Mr. Chambliss spent at the Breakers in the 2012 election cycle, the book reports, is three times what the senator gave to the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the same period.”
Former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano may be one of the biggest liars of all. In August 2013 Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stepped down from her post with “pride and regret” stemming from her failure to help push through the so-called “Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.” The truth: Napolitano played a major role in doing an end run around existing immigration law by helping President Obama implement his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) directive in lieu of DREAM Act passage.
Documents obtained by Judicial Watch in June 2013 revealed that Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) “Abandoned required background checks in 2012, adopting, instead, costly “lean and lite” procedures in effort to keep up with the flood of amnesty applications resulting from the DACA directive.”
The granddaddy liar of them all: Barack Hussein Obama.
President Barack Obama actually tops this “Top Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” list for 2013 as the driving force behind so many of the misdeeds.
This is Obama’s seventh straight year on the list, dating back all the way to 2007 (in 2006, he earned a “Dishonorable Mention”). He is a master at catch-me-if-you-can, corrupt politics.
“This year, he has again acted as a one-man Congress, rewriting entire sections of federal law on his own,” said Judicial Watch. “Not only is his administration secretive and dishonest; its callous disregard for the rule of law undermines our constitutional republic. Examples include:
Perhaps Obama’s most outrageous actions over the past year were his continual lies about the ability of Americans to keep their own health insurance under Obamacare. According the Free Beacon, Obama misled the American people a total of 36 times between 2008 and 2013 with his promise, “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it.” And according to NBC News, Obama knew, even as he repeated his lie, that “more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.”
Let us not forget Nevada Senator Harry Reid and all the senators that voted for the S744 Amnesty Bill that legalizes 20 to 25 million illegal aliens. They and he never stood up for enforcement of internal employment laws against employers of illegal aliens, or our borders, but they bend over for big business’ cheap labor interests—against American workers.
Last year, Harry Reid made the Judicial Watch Ten Worst list for his influence-peddling scandal involving ENN Energy Group, a Chinese “green energy” company for which Reid “applied his political muscle” – and which happened to be a major client of the Nevada law firm in which Reid’s son, Rory, is a principal.
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts totally. As Marriane Williams said, “We face a culture of corruption” in Washington DC that works against the interests of all Americans—but we continue voting them back into their power positions to screw all of us. Then we wonder why our country continues an 11-year useless war, $18 trillion debt, 14 million unemployed, 48 million subsisting on food stamps, endless immigration, falling wages and vanishing Middle Class.
The arrogance of Barack Obama’s administration in railroading the original passage of Obamacare through the House of Representatives circumventing regular order is only superseded by the incessant “Big Lie” campaign pushed by Ezekiel Emanuel, the doctor of chutzpah. Megyn Kelly Yells at Ezekiel Emanuel for Lying, is just one pathetic example of the Emanuel family habitual distortion of language to extort the last drop of blood from the suffering public. A previously unpublished essay, Rahm Emanuel – “The Son of the Devil’s Spawn“, details the tactics used by the hit squad team of the Obama outfit.
The Chicago Gangster – Obama the Tyrant handwriting is all over the Affordable Care Act. Such overbearing egotism, explained by lack of character and morality, is apparent. “His mobster origins are on display with every unconstitutional action he takes. He is turning the land of the free into the territory of the damned. With all the ranting and phony rage against the rich, he continues to take his marching orders from the Wall Street crime syndicate commission.”
This Obamacare theater of the absurd is unraveling and would be a comedy romp if it were not hurting so many in need medical patients. Who Says Obama Hasn’t United the Country?, so says the respected journalist John Fund. The American public overwhelmingly is rejecting the disaster, known as the Affordable Care Act.
“Yesterday the Obama administration suddenly moved to allow hundreds of thousands of people who’ve lost their insurance due to Obamacare to sign up for bare-bone “catastrophic” plans. It’s at least the 14th unilateral change to Obamacare that’s been made without consulting Congress.”
“It shows that the Obamacare insurance products aren’t selling so, at the last minute, the administration is holding a fire sale on a failed launch,” says Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute, a health-care advocacy group. “Just think how you must feel if you were one of the people who spent the last two months fighting their way through HealthCare.gov to buy a policy that will be thousands of dollars more expensive than this catastrophic insurance!”
Government marketing under central planning is salivating treats for the lawyers. Just wonder how long it will be for the trickle down litigation parade to start when all those cancelled policies end up in unpaid medical bills.
“The implication in all of these discussions is that the Affordable Care Act represents some kind of “activist government” intervention to disrupt the normally smooth workings of the private sector.
But that is neither the intent nor the effect of the law. The main purpose of Obamacare is the preservation of the private insurance system; the website functionality that has generated so many headlines is largely due to the fact that a decentralized, means-tested system has to be grafted onto a complex, profit-seeking insurance industry. If the White House was rolling out an actual “big government” healthcare policy options–a public option, or a single-payer system–and there was anything like the current mess, then perhaps this conversation would make some sense.”
Examine the discernment disconnect in this assessment. While, the generous donations from favored insurance companies bought access and even promises of reimbursement for short-term cash flow expenses from potential losses, the basic business model of Obamacare is not sustainable.
The actual intention of the dictatorial practices of the technocratic bureaucracy administration is to cause a massive failure of private insurance and create the political conditions for a government rescue of a very different medical system.
Joe Otto of the Conservative Daily writes in Obamacare Will Tax You Even AFTER You Die!
“Deep within the thousands of pages of law and regulations for the Affordable Care Act is a hidden provision that allows the government to take control of YOUR estate after you pass away in order to pay for any medical bills that the government covered while you were alive.
For those of us receiving private insurance, God help us if the Democrats are able to eventually achieve their goal of a single-payer healthcare system. If the Government is able to claim they paid for ANY of your healthcare, they’ll come for their payment when you are gone and can’t fight them. However for the millions of people being duped today into signing up for Medicare and Medicaid, this gives the government free reign to raid the estates of poor and middle class Americans after they die.”
Did you read that? The intention is to discontinue Medicare promises and place everyone under an Obamacare umbrella that will tap your funds for reimbursement back to the government. If this were not the biggest bait and switch scheme ever, what would you call it?
Would Congress reverse this odious and draconian provision, or will the legislature simply continue to look the other way and let Obama or succeeding potentates impose de facto penalties?
Would Congress reverse this odious and draconian provision, or will the legislature simply continue to look the other way and let Obama or succeeding potentates impose de facto penalties?
Even the Daily Kos cannot avoid the implications in Medicaid Estate Recovery + ACA: Unintended Consequences?
“Affordable Care Act of 2010. Estate recovery will be forced on millions of people who might have otherwise gone without insurance. Why? Because the plan is that millions more Americans have health insurance. That would be accomplished by expanding Medicaid and implementing premium assistance (subsidies). When a person is found to be eligible for Medicaid, they will be automatically enrolled into their state’s Medicaid program. Those forced into Medicaid will, due to the federal law, also be forced into estate recovery. Their estates will be partly or fully taken over by the federal or state government when they die.”
As the public absorbs the hits to their own personal circumstances, the backlash against government medicine will grow louder. However, in the article Insurance Companies Profit from Obamacare, describes that the old model for medical payment coverage help caused runaway costs. “Now put this argument into a proper perspective. WHY should insurance companies profit at all, and WHY is it necessary for private companies to issue insurance for medical coverage to begin with?”
The medicine lobby was AWOL when the mandates were established. Doctors are bleeding themselves, because they adopted a method of payment for their services that bypassed the free market of patient to the doctor relationship.
Insurance does not have to be a service for profit. Administrative expenses and actuarial factors could be the pass through costs that determine rates. Under the current protected system, the Obamacare formula guarantees the mega insurance titans returns, while assuring that the quality of medical treatment declines or becomes not existent.
Why would any practicing physician want to continue to operate under this preordained system? Indentured servants to government rationed therapy that ultimately leads to death panels is not exactly the best recovery for socialized illness.
The prudent response for general practitioners and specialists is to lobby for their rights to practice outside the Insurance/Medicare/ Medicaid matrix. Cash on the barrelhead needs to be the new prescription.
For those hard-pressed medical policy owners, the future ceiling on premiums, deductibles and other out of pocket co-pay costs should be a wakeup call that motivates alternatives. The unmistakable choice is to cancel any medical insurance and start a personal medical self-financed saving plan.
Add up the costs, stashing away money will accomplish three tasks.
- It will force corporate insurance to go in panic mode
- It will doom any government mandate for compulsory coverage
- It will place the responsibility for your heath care where it belongs, in your own hands.
The mutual objective that everyone should seek is to improve the quality of medical treatment at a fair value price.
An imperiousness government that looks to confiscate your estate proves, for the last time, that the master plans for social medicine, like Medicare and Medicaid, were never viable in the beginning.
That “Great Society”, starting with LBJ to the deceitful promises of a community organizer thug named Barack Obama, produced the biggest failed government in history. The “ROT” and stench that smells up the public arena is unavoidable.
Obamacare has manifested the depths and extent that this administration prevaricates. Finally, the public is starting to understand that their future is more in jeopardy than their immediate health.
The blackmail of Chief Justice Robert, who flipped the Supreme Court decision that called Obamacare a tax, was just the opening shot to obliterate the rule of law. Domineering intimidation by the merchants of death is not unusual, when snake oil is dispensed as a medication. The remedy for a healthy country is to cut out the tumor.
Ridding the political process, from the corrupt culture of dominating communalism, starts with independent thought and action. There is no miracle cure for national recovery. Nevertheless, the uproar over the Obamacare disaster provides an opportunity to implode the regime.
Refuse the mandates and cancel medical coverage. In the end, health care decisions are as personal as it gets.
Then-Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson devised what has proven to be a brilliant strategy in which to silence and neuter America’s churches. His bill, which created the 501c3 tax-exempt corporation status for churches back in 1954, has, over the decades, effectively muted America’s pulpits. The vast majority of churches today are thoroughly and completely intimidated by the threat of losing their tax-exempt status under the 501c3 section of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). As a result, the vast majority of pastors are unwilling to address virtually any issue from the pulpit that could be deemed as political.
Add to the fear of losing tax-exempt status the egregiously slavish interpretation of Romans 13–that Christians and churches must submit to civil government no matter what–and a very legitimate argument can be made that Mr. Johnson not only silenced and neutered America’s churches, but that he has, in effect, turned them into agents of the state. More and more, the federal government is using pastors and churches to promote its big-government agenda.
Most readers are familiar with how FEMA created a program called “Clergy Response Teams” several years ago. Under this program, tens of thousands of pastors were instructed on how to assist the federal government in the event of a “national emergency.” Pastors were encouraged to teach Bible lessons from Romans 13 in which church members were told that God instructs them to always submit to civil authority unconditionally. They were taught to encourage their congregants to turn in their firearms and to be willing to relocate to government-provided shelters if that is what the government told them to do. The last report I read noted that these Clergy Response Teams have been established in over 1,300 counties in the United States. For those readers who are even casually acquainted with history, is this straight out of the Nazi handbook, or what? Now we learn that churches are being used to help the federal government promote and sell Obamacare.
According to TheBlaze.com, “Community organizers are joining pastors across the country to educate and help parishioners sign up for Obamacare. The coordinated initiative, called ‘Health Care from the Pulpit,’ is being implemented by Enroll America, a non-profit with the goal of maximizing ‘the number of uninsured Americans who enroll in health coverage made available by the Affordable Care Act.’
“The program has already reached a number of churches across the nation. In Jacksonville, Fla, Pastor John Newman is among those who invited community organizers from the group to his church to talk about the cost of Obamacare and the enrollment process.
“During the event, Enroll America invited congregants to fill out cards with basic information about themselves or people they knew who might be in need of health care, WJXT-TV [Jacksonville, Florida] reports.
“‘Our pastor, he keeps us real informed and grounded in what’s going on in the community, and he’s always bringing stuff to help us, so I love him for that,’ said one parishioner named Michelle Fletcher.
“Enroll America knows that pastors are trusted members of the community, which is why churches are a focus for education and information on the health care law.
“Through ‘Health Care from the Pulpit,’ the organization is working with faith leaders to ensure that people hear about availability–and with a captive audience in the pews, the move makes logistical sense.
“‘Pastors are trusted messengers. They’ll be able to get the story across, they’ll be able to relate to that story and they’ll be able to ask people to enroll in health insurance,’ Enroll America organizer Anthony Penna told WJXT.
“From Oct. 25-27, the organization launched its pulpit program as part of the Get Covered America campaign. Enroll America pledged to help churches who wish to enroll congregants or provide people in the community with information and resources.
“A press release from Oct. 22 on the Get Covered America website further explains the purpose of the in-church events.
“‘The “Treat Yourself to Coverage Weekend” will also engage dozens of faith groups for the first nationwide push of “Health Care in the Pulpit,” GetCovered America’s faith engagement program,’ it reads. “Working with a diverse group of faith and lay leaders, Get Covered America will host over 50 events across the country to further engage the faith community in education about enrollment in the marketplace.”
“Other initiatives are bringing churches into the Obamacare fold as well. Dr. Michael Minor, pastor of Oak Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Hernando, Miss., was recently given a federal grant to help enroll individuals in the health care program.
“Through the $317,742 fund, Minor will work with Cover Mississippi, a cohort of advocacy groups organized by the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program. He has already put together a group of 75 to 100 ‘navigators’ (trainers) around the state to provide information and access to Obamacare. While his efforts are unaffiliated with Enroll America, they serve as another example of a church getting involved in the health care roll-out.”
Think about it: before a bill becomes law, pastors are forbidden to address it from the pulpit, because it would be “interfering in politics–a violation of the separation of church and state;” but after a bill becomes law it is now the obligation and duty of pastors to support (and promote) it, because it is now the Biblical thing to do, per Romans 13. Was Johnson a diabolical genius, or what?
By the way, I strongly urge readers to purchase the book on Romans 13 that was co-authored by me and my constitutional attorney son, entitled, “Romans 13: The True Meaning of Submission.” This book shatters the misinterpretation of Romans 13: that Christians are commanded by God to submit to the state no matter what. The Apostle Paul was not introducing a new topic in Romans 13–not at all. The subject is covered throughout the scriptures. This book needs to be read by every pastor and Christian in the country. Order Romans 13: The True Meaning of Submission here:
Or order my 4-message video series on “The True Meaning of Romans 13″(on one DVD)
In the same manner that the Nazi government co-opted the churches of Germany, the federal government in Washington, D.C., is co-opting the churches of America today. During the rise of the Third Reich, Germany’s pastors and churches were taught the same misinterpretation of Romans 13 that pastors and churches in America are now being taught. And in the same way that Hitler used Germany’s pastors and churches to promote his big-government socialist agenda, America’s pastors and churches today are being used to promote the big-government socialist agenda emanating from Washington, D.C. Mr. Bush used the churches to promote the FEMA Clergy Response Teams, and now Mr. Obama is using the churches to promote the federal government’s socialized health care system.
I remind readers that during the Hitler years, the vast majority of German pastors and churches enthusiastically embraced the Nazi agenda even to the point of flying Nazi flags and giving the Nazi salute during the worship services in Germany’s churches. But who among us remembers the names of any of these pathetic pastors? Yet, we do remember (as does history itself) the names of plucky pastors such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Niemoller who led the spiritual opposition to Hitler’s encroachment into the church.
Instead of the federal government’s draconian “Clergy Response Teams,” we need to resurrect Bonhoeffer’s band of heroes, which was known as the “Pastors’ Emergency League.” This was a group of German pastors dedicated to resisting the Nazi agenda–especially inside the church. The creed of Bonhoeffer’s Pastors’ Emergency League was:
1. To renew their allegiance to the Scriptures.
2. To resist those who attack the Scriptures.
3. To give material and financial aid to those who suffered through repressive laws or violence.
4. To repudiate the Nazi cause.
Bonhoeffer’s Pastors’ Emergency League soon became a nationwide movement called, the “Confessing Church.” In his masterful book, “Hitler’s Cross,” Erwin Lutzer summarizes the creed of the Confessing Church as being, “No human sovereign should rule over the church; it must be under the Word of God to fulfill its role.” (Page134)
Lutzer also noted that the Confessing Church soon realized that “blind obedience, even in matters that belong to the state, might be a violation of the Christian mandate.” (Ibid)
Lutzer further wrote, “Many of our Christian heroes were lawbreakers. Whether it was John Bunyan, who sat in a Bedford jail for his preaching, Richard Wurmbrand, who was beaten for teaching the Bible in Communist Romania, Christians have always insisted that there is a law higher than that of the state.” (Ibid)
And, again, to quote Lutzer: “[I]f we say that we will always obey the state, the state becomes our God.” (Ibid)
The brave Bonhoeffer rightly said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” He also said, “We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the
The names of the cowardly and compliant pastors who succumbed to Hitler’s ignominious intimidation are forever lost, while the names of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Niemoller will live forever.
In fact, are not the vast majority of highly revered Hebrew and Christian heroes the ones who RESISTED the power of the state when it became tyrannical? From Abram who resisted the “kings of the nations;” to Gideon; to Samson; to Queen Esther; to the prophet Micaiah; to Daniel; to Shadrach Meshach, and Abednego; to Simon Peter, who told civil leaders, “We ought to obey God rather than men;” to William Tyndale; to John Hus; to John Wycliffe; to John Bunyan; to Savonarola; to Martin Luther; to Dietrich Bonhoeffer; and to Jonas Clark, the names history regards most fondly are the names of men who RESISTED the power of the state when it attempted to interfere with man’s duty and devotion to God.
However, what do we see today? We see pastors and churches once again becoming the pawns of evil men in government. Pastors are not so much messengers of God and watchmen on the wall as much as they are agents of the state. They are not so much shepherds who fight and give their lives for the sheep as much as they are facilitators of the wolves who seek to prey on the sheep. And in modern history, the seed of this compromise and complacency began in 1954 when Lyndon Johnson introduced the devilish 501c3 tax-exempt corporation status for churches.
I am absolutely convinced–now more than ever–that America will never experience any sort of spiritual awakening until pastors and Christians abandon the 501c3 government churches and repudiate the devilish doctrine of unlimited obedience to Caesar. Until we return the Church to its rightful owner, Jesus Christ, the tentacles of oppression and tyranny will continue to strangle our land and our liberties.
Cars on the Obamacare Express jumped the track and began piling up as soon as the Healthcare.gov website went live on Oct. 1, and the expected Obamacare train wreck continues to create its carnage.
Of course, the carnage is just beginning. Obamacare is a socialist death trap of graft and corruption. It was created by lobbyists for the medical industrial complex as a way of growing its consumer base with the guarantee of benefit payments from the Federal Treasury. It’s a redistributive system that steals from the producers in order to feed the corporatocracy.
Nothing about Obamacare is healthcare. It is simply medical tyranny created under the guise of political doublespeak. It sounds great to promise free or low-cost health insurance for everyone until people begin to learn the true cost of “free” government programs.
America’s healthcare system is a profit-driven, disease-oriented death system. It is a system of conflict of interest, tainted research, greed for money, deceived and pretentious doctors and scientists, lying, cheating, invasion by the morally bankrupt marketing automatons of the drug industry, greedy power-hungry politicians, and Federal and State regulators. It is all about money generated on the sick and the dying.
I will quickly give you a valid exception, and that is if one needs trauma care. It is generally and quickly available and most of the time life-saving. But this is a very small part of medical practice in America.
The sick care industry is not only profiting from the sick and dying; it is the greatest cause of sickness and premature death. And it is a U.S. government industry. It is sponsored and financed by the U.S. government. There would not be a single hospital in the United States without Federal funny money and the insurance business.
In fact, it’s very deceptive to call Obamacare socialized healthcare as Obamacare has nothing to do with healthcare. It’s just the opposite. It’s sickness care.
The Nazis had their gas chambers and America has “medical care,” which is the most sophisticated killing machine that demented minds can create.
Americans are mentally dependent on the “medical” brainwash. When our dumbed-down people hear the trigger word “medical care,” they go blind and hyperventilate. They do not know a scam from a sham.
The great debate going on is spurious in its entirety. There is no truth to be found in it. It’s a comedy. As the paper money regime collapses, the money creators are speeding up the printing presses in a desperate ploy to transfer the wealth of the American people before it becomes worthless anyway. It is disguised warfare against the American people.
It reminds one of the last days of the Nazi regime. As the cities were reduced to rubble, German citizens were being shot for “treason.” In the last days of any regime, the process of oppression of citizens is intensified.
In the United States, stepped-up oppression is being done under the cloak of benevolency called healthcare.
In fact, there is now very high risk in going to the hospital. Besides the hundreds of thousands of drug-induced deaths (iatrogenic deaths), there are people who check into hospitals and unexpectedly die of viral pneumonia that antibiotics can’t help. Tuberculosis has returned to America, including drug-resistant strains. Drug-resistant bacteria are rampant. One in 20 hospital patients now picks up an infection he didn’t have when he arrived. Even what appears to be the old common cold is lasting for months.
“There are about 2 million people who acquire infection from the hospital each year and become sick,” said Charlottesville, Va., infectious disease expert Barry Farr, M.D. “Most don’t die, but some do.” About 100,000 die each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Obamacare locks you into this system with no way out. Once the government is in the business of determining approved treatments and payments, alternative treatment regimens are prohibited. And failure to follow the prescribed treatment will result in fines or imprisonment. (This sort of medical tyranny has already manifested itself in the treatment of children’s ailments; see here and here for just two such examples.)
And it seems the Obamacare system permanently captures you as well. Those few who have managed to access the deeply flawed system have learned that deleting an account and the personal information entered is impossible.
And what is that information? Everything the government needs to know to confiscate your wealth from you completely in the event of noncompliance.
Everyone is forced to sign up for a system that is unavailable to them because of the failure of the Healthcare.gov website — which some computer experts believe was either designed to fail or built by a team of incompetent chimpanzees.
About 90 percent of those who tried to enroll say they were not able to get signed up. And of those, about 50,000 people who were able to get through in the system’s first 11 days, only about 1 percent have submitted enough information to be successfully enrolled, according to health industry executives.
Nationwide, there are 11.6 million people ages 18 to 34 who are uninsured, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Obamacare is a Ponzi scheme designed to sit on the backs of the young and healthy. But they aren’t interested in it once they learn their premium costs will run in the hundreds of dollars per month, deductibles are $5,000 or more per year and the copays are outrageously high.
The lack of support from young people is ominous. “The entire Rube Goldberg apparatus depends on young, healthy people signing up to cross-subsidize more expensive patients and prevent health plans from going into a death spiral in which premiums don’t cover claims,” said The Wall Street Journal. “Good luck getting millennials to sign up when plans aren’t merely more expensive but when the exchanges malfunction, or doctors don’t accept exchange coverage because someone checked the wrong box, or any number of myriad administrative problems.”
Yet despite all this and despite the fact that a vast majority of Americans want no part of it (hence, the mandate requiring everyone to sign up under penalty of fines and forfeiture of as-yet undetermined amounts of personal property), every effort to repeal or defund Obamacare has been backed by only a handful of non-statists and opposed by the regime and the statists who are more interested in control, power, pleasing the medical cartel and sapping Americans of their wealth and health than in doing what’s right for Americans and following the Constitution.
Source: Bob Livingston | Personal Liberty Digest
More than two-thousand years ago Hippocrates was the first physician to issue a word of caution about the over-use of medicines. Hippocrates invoked an oath to “first do no harm” before doctors reach for the latest nostrum.
In 1976 Austrian philosopher and Catholic priest Ivan Illich, in his book Medical Nemesis, launched what was then considered “the gravest health hazard we face today: our medical system.”
Illich was unforgiving. The first sentence in his text reads: “The medical establishment has become a major threat to health.” His second sentence: “The disabling impact of professional control over medicine has reached the proportions of an epidemic.” Readers needn’t have read another sentence but to obtain the details.
Illich went on to say: “The public has been alerted to the perplexity and uncertainty of the best among its hygienic caretakers…. the pioneers of yesterday’s so-called breakthroughs warn their patients against the dangers of the miracle cures they have only just invented.”
Illich didn’t suggest the public panic over this revelation but rather that public discussion ensue. Illich thought “the layman and not the physician has the potential perspective and effective power to stop the current iatrogenic (physician-caused) epidemic.”
Illich concluded that the misdirection of modern medicine “can be reversed only through a recovery of the will to self-care among the laity, and through the legal, political and institutional recognition of the right to care, which imposes limited upon the professional monopoly of physicians.”
That self-care revolution never happened. Ivan Illich’s urgent plea for the public to back away from “cut, burn and poison” medicine was not heeded. The practice of medicine has become more complex and more beyond the reach of the laity to understand it. Just run to the doctor for what ails you is the order of the day.
Confessions of a Medical Heretic
Then in 1979 came Dr. Robert S. Mendesohn’s memorable text: Confessions Of A Medical Heretic.”
It took a lot for Dr. Mendelsohn to become a medical heretic. He says he failed to be suspicious of oxygen therapy for prematurely born infants even when 90% of all low birth-weight infants became partially or totally blind (in less advanced hospitals where oxygen therapy was not practiced, the incident of blindness among preemies was ~10%).
He dutifully prescribed Terramycin for respiratory infections which was said to produce no side effects until it was realized this antibiotic did little for this type of infection and left thousands of children with yellow-green teeth and tetracycline deposits in their bones.
Dr. Mendelsohn confessed to his belief in the irradiation of tonsils under the mistaken assumption doses of radiation used were harmless. A decade later thyroid tumors were cropping up among those irradiated patients.
Over time Dr. Mendelsohn became a full-blown medical heretic. He said: “Despite all the super technology and elite bedside manner that’s supposed to make you feel about as well cared for as an astronaut on the way to the moon, the greatest danger to your health is the doctor who practices modern medicine.”
Mendelsohn went on to boldly say “that more than ninety percent of modern medicine could disappear from the face of the earth – doctors, hospitals, drugs and equipment – and the effect on our health would be immediate and beneficial.”
How prophetic Dr. Mendelsohn was. His words are so descriptive of the present predicament.
“If you make the mistake of going to the doctor with a cold or the flu, he’s liable to give you antibiotics, which are not only powerless against colds and flu but which leave you more likely to come down with worse problems.”
“If your child is a little too peppy for his teacher to handle, your doctor may go too far and turn him into a drug dependent.”
“If you’re foolish enough to make that yearly visit for a routine examination… the doctor’s very presence could raise your blood pressure enough so that you won’t go home empty handed. Another life ‘saved’ by antihypertensive drugs. Another sex life down the drain, since more impotence is caused by drug therapy than by psychological problems.”
Dr. Mendelson launched a war against modern medicine and said “you can tell when you’re winning this war when you influence those closest to you.”
That war has been lost. Most people who embrace natural medicine and shun doctors are outcasts in their own families.
Other books followed that cited the ongoing horrors of modern medicine:
1988: Medicine on Trial, by Charles B. Inlander.
1988: Worse Than The Disease, by Diana B. Dutton.
1992: Racketeering in Medicine, by James P. Carter, MD.
1993: Making Medicine, Making Money, by Donald Drake & Marian Uhlman.
1994: Bitter Medicine, by Jane Kassler, MD.
1994: Why I Left Orthodox Medicine, by Derrick Lonsdale, MD.
2007: Overtreated, by Shannon Brownlee.
2008: Overdosed America, John Abramson, MD.
2010: Overdiagnosed, H. Gilbert Welch, MD.
The result: only more caskets were being sold.
Does the Written Word Make an Impact Any Longer?
Does the written word change the course of humanity? Certainly the Bible has. Martin Luther’s 95 Theses did. But none of the texts cited above made even a dent in the “progress” of modern medicine’s assault against humanity.
A few years back someone cited these facts about book reading:
- One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
- 58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.
- 42% of college graduates never read another book.
- 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
- 70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
The pervasiveness of electronic methods of communication and the dissemination of propaganda and distorted reality of television has changed the course of history itself.
For example: “Television news” said the Gulf of Tonkin happened (no, there was never any North Vietnam boat that shot at a US Navy ship), but off to war America went against a tiny nation the size of the State of Georgia and a population of just 16 million against a country of 200 million with advanced military weapons. Vietnam won.
The news media helped to fabricate the public’s perception of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Investigators who dared to stray into what really went occurred on that November day in 1963 suddenly died.
And so too, American news media, whose boards of directors are often laced with executives of pharmaceutical and health insurance companies and hospital chains, continues to almost copy word-for-word press releases issued by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control, Food & Drug Administration that serve as a front for the racketeering going on in medicine today.
For example, the 2009 flu epidemic was never an epidemic. It was all fabricated by the Centers for Disease Control to help sell flu vaccines.
Belittle the Competition
A secondary agenda is to use the news media to demean and belittle any competition posed by healthy diets or dietary supplements. Why promote a low-carbohydrate diet when the next prescription diet pill garners millions of advertising dollars for TV networks?
A spate of recent news reports are now scaring Americans away from vitamin and herbal supplements at a time when millions of Americans suffer from conditions that are simply nutrient deficiencies. It is an orchestrated effort against self-care.
CODEX, a regulatory body assembled by the United Nations and the World Health Organization, has just voted to water down vitamin requirements in foods, thus ensuring a certain level of disease to treat.
We Need Diseases to Create Jobs
Government sees the medical industry as a source of jobs as the population ages. Why cure or prevent any chronic age-related diseases when a certain level of disease is needed to maintain jobs? Health care costs are not deemed to be an expense but rather an industry that contributes to the Gross Domestic Product. In reality, it is a $3 trillion drag on the economy that has not produced greater life expectancy (US life expectancy ranks 27th out of 34 countries deemed to be economic peers). Life expectancy in some US counties is no better than some third-world countries.
The masses have little choice because they have no money. An estimated 53% of American workers make no more than $30,000 a year and the growth in part-time jobs is soaring above full-time employment. A $30,000 annual salary may have been adequate in 1980 but due to inflation one would have to make $85,000 to have the same purchasing power today. The people have no money to make choices outside those served up by the health insurance/ physician/ Big Pharma/ hospital chain cabal. Fascist (industry-controlled) medicine prevails.
For now, it’s every man for himself.
Source: Bill Sardi | LewRockwell.com
Protests in Brazil indicate what goes way, way beyond a cheap bus fare.
When, in late 2010, Dilma Rousseff was elected President after eight years of the impossibly popular Lula, a national narrative was already ingrained, stressing that Brazil was not the “country of the future” anymore; the future had arrived, and this was a global power in the making.
This was a country on overdrive – from securing the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics to a more imposing role as part of the BRICS group of emerging powers.
Not unlike China, Brazil was breathlessly exploiting natural resources – from its hinterland to parts of Africa – while betting heavily on large agribusiness mostly supplying, you guess it, China.
But above all Brazil fascinated the world by incarnating this political UFO; a benign, inclusive giant, on top of it benefitting from a lavish accumulation of soft power (music, football, beautiful beaches, beautiful women, endless partying).
The country was finally enjoying the benefits of a quarter of a century of participative democracy – and self-satisfied that for the past ten years Lula’s extensive social inclusion policies had lifted arguably 40 million Brazilians to middle class status. Racial discrimination at least had been tackled, with instances of the Brazilian version of affirmative action.
Yet this breakneck capitalist dream masked serious cracks. Locally there may be euphoria for becoming the sixth or seventh world economy, but still social exclusion was far from gone. Brazil remained one the most (deadly) unequal nations in the world, peppered with retrograde landowning oligarchies and some of the most rapacious, arrogant and ignorant elites on the planet – inevitable by-products of ghastly Portuguese colonialism.
Students take part in a demonstration at Praca da Se, in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 18, 2013 (AFP Photo / Miguel Schincariol)
And then, once again, corruption raised its Hydra-like head. Here’s a first parallel with Turkey. In Brazil as in Turkey, participative democracy was co-opted, ignored or forcefully diluted among an orgy of “mega-projects” generating dubious profits for a select few. In Turkey it revolves around the ruling party AKP’s collusion with business interests in the “redevelopment” of Istanbul; in Brazil around public funds for the hosting of the World Cup and the Olympics.
The new capitalist dream could not mask that the quality of life in Brazil’s big cities seemed to be on a downward spiral; and that racism – especially in the police – never went away while the demonization of peasant and Native Brazilian leaders was rampant; after all they were obstructing the way of powerful agribusiness interests and the “mega-projects” craze.
What can a poor boy do
There’s no Turkey Spring – as there’s no Brazilian Spring. This isn’t Tunisia and Egypt. Both Turkey and Brazil are democracies – although Prime Minister Erdogan has clearly embarked on a polarizing strategy and an authoritarian drive. What links Turkey and Brazil is that irreversible pent-up resentment against institutional politics (and corruption) may be catalyzed by a relatively minor event.
In Turkey it was the destruction of Gezi park; in Brazil the ten-cent hike in public bus fares was the proverbial straw that broke the (white) elephant’s back. In both cases the institutional response was tear gas and rubber bullets. In Turkey the popular backlash spread to a few cities. In Brazil it went nationwide.
This goes way, way beyond a cheap bus ride – although the public transport scene in Brazil’s big cities would star in Dante’s ninth circle of hell. A manual worker, a student, a maid usually spend up to four hours a day back-and-forth in appalling conditions. And these are private transport rackets controlled by a small group of businessmen embedded with local politicians, who they obviously own.
Students protest in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 18, 2013 (AFP Photo / Daniel Guimaraes)
Arguably the nationwide, mostly peaceful protests have scored a victory – as nine cities have decided to cancel the bus fare hike. But that’s just the beginning.
The mantra is true; Brazilians pay developed world taxes and in return get sub-Saharan Africa quality of service (no offense to Africa). The notion of “value for money” is non-existent. It gets even worse as the economic miracle is over. That magical “growth” was less than 1% in 2012, and only 0.6% in the first quarter of 2013. The immensely bloated state bureaucracy, the immensely appalling public infrastructure, virtually no investment in education as teachers barely get paid $300 a month, non-stop political corruption scandals, not to mention as many homicides a year as narco-purgatory Mexico – none of this is going away by magic.
Football passion apart – and this is a nation where everyone is either an expert footballer or an experienced coach – the vast majority of the population is very much aware the current Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup are monster FIFA rackets. As a columnist for the Brazilian arm of ESPN has coined it, “the Cup is theirs, but we pay the bills.”
Public opinion is very much aware the Feds played hardball to get the “mega-events” to Brazil and then promised rivers of “social” benefits in terms of services and urban development. None of that happened. Thus the collective feeling that “we’ve been robbed” – all over again, as anyone with a digital made in China calculator can compare this multi-billion dollar orgy of public funds for FIFA with pathetically little investment in health, education, transportation and social welfare. A banner in the Sao Paulo protests said it all;“Your son is ill? Take him to the arena.”
A demonstrator holds a Brazilian national flag during a protest turned violent, in downtown Rio de Janeiro on June 17, 2013 (AFP Photo / Christophe Simon)
Remember “Standing Man”
The neo-liberal gospel preached by the Washington consensus only values economic “growth” measured in GDP numbers. This is immensely misleading; it does not take into account everything from rising expectations for more participative democracy to abysmal inequality levels, as well as the despair of those trying to just survive (as in the orgy of expanded credit in Brazil leaving people to pay annual interest rates of over 200% on their credit cards).
So it takes a few uprooted trees in Istanbul and a more expensive shitty bus ride in Sao Paulo to hurl citizens of the “emerging markets” into the streets. No wonder the Brazilian protests left politicians – and “analysts” – perplexed and speechless. After all, once again this was people power – fueled by social media – against the 1%, not that dissimilar from protests in Spain, Portugal and Greece.
Unlike Erdogan in Turkey – who branded Twitter “a menace” and wants to criminalize social networking – to her credit Rousseff seems to have listened to the digital (and street) noise, saying on Tuesday that Brazil “woke up stronger” because of the protests.
The Brazilian protests are horizontal. Non-partisan; beyond party politics. No clear leaders. It’s a sort of Occupy Brazil – with a cross-section of high-school and college students, poor workers who struggle to pay their bus fare, vast swathes of the tax-swamped middle class who cannot afford private health insurance, even homeless people, who after all already live in the streets. Essentially, they want more democracy, less corruption, and to be respected as citizens, getting at least some value for their money in terms of public services.
The die is cast. Once again, it’s people power vs. institutional politics. Remember “Standing Man” in Taksim Square. The time to take a stand is now.
Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.
Government should not be in the business of mandating personal choices and government should never be allowed to legislate choices which should be reserved for parents with regard to their children’s health and welfare. The parents are sovereign over the welfare of their children, not the state.
In the name of increasing the corporate bottom line, the government watchdog industries of the DEA and FDA, as well as the office of the President, have become the willing lap dogs for Big Pharma and this unholy alliance is serving to endanger our children.
Big Pharma has gone to great lengths to increase sales to the youth of America either through chemically castrating our children’s brains or by producing drugs with very serious side effects which serve to seriously degrade both the brain and the body. Our children are being systematically destroyed by the pharmaceutical industry.
The Ritalin Conspiracy
Let’s make up a brain disorder, which parallels normal restlessness of children and then transform a dangerous drug, methamphetamine, and get as many kids on the drug as possible. It is good work if you can find it and pharmaceutical companies like Merck and Eli Lilly are leading the way in medical fraud and in the name of record corporate profits
The use of Ritalin has become so rampant, that even the DEA has become alarmed by the tremendous increase in the prescribing of these drugs in recent years. Since 1990, prescriptions for methylphenidate have increased by 500%, while prescriptions for amphetamine for the same purpose have increased 400%. The American Pediatric Association claims Ritalin is over prescribed by 600%.
For well over a decade, many scientists have speculated that ADD drugs are dangerous and can cause serious injury and death. Etta Brown, a licensed educational psychologist and author of Learning Disabilities: Understanding the Problem and Managing the Challenges explained in response to her study that drugs like Ritalin actually destroy the neural function in children’s brains. As a result, children who have undergone treatment with Ritalin will actually have a much more difficult time processing information and learning new things. This kind of defeats the purpose of getting children to sit still in school while placed in a zombified state.
Brown further reported that Ritalin is responsible for the development of a permanent tic in the face, neck, and head of many of the children who have taken or are taking it. Ironically, Ritalin is responsible for causing far more serious neurological damage than the problems it is alleged to treat. Meta analyses studies over the years have revealed that while drugs like Ritalin visibly place children into a trance like state, these drugs destroy the vulnerable, delicate and developing nervous systems which can and does permanently cripple their ability to function as normal human beings.
The Gardasil Conspiracy
Last year a bill sponsored by Toni G. Atkins, D-San Diego passed into California state law which places every child in danger in California. Atkins bill begs the question of who has the ultimate authority of the welfare of our children. Is it the state or is it the parents? Well, if you live in California, the nanny state purports to have the final say. The Atkins bill makes it legal for a school district or a doctor to medicate or inoculate a child without parental notification.
In an era when Gardasil has resulted in needless tragedy for over 40,000 children who have been vaccinated by well intentioned doctors who are ignorant of the side effects, we are now witnessing states like California mandating the forced inoculation of young girls with Gardasil.
What the medical establishment is not telling you is that thousands of girls are having adverse reactions to the HPV Vaccines, some have even died -at last count, at least 103 lives have been lost to Gardasil. This is a brilliant strategy being invoked by California. Let’s kill the girls, thus preventing them from having sex, thus, preventing STD’s.
You remember MERCK don’t you? They were the creator of the wonder death drug, Vioxx. This is the same Merck, who only after intense pressure from the medical community and the media decided to pull the dangerous drug, Vioxx, from the market after an estimated 140,000 adverse reactions had already occurred. And the pulling of Vioxx occurred only after a safety trial was stopped because there was an undeniable and increased risk for serious cardiovascular dangers such as heart attacks and strokes from using the drug.
Merck has been no less reckless in their administration of Gardasil as they were with Vioxx. First and foremost, Merck and the Food and Drug Administration’s clinical trials have been called into question for blatant fraud committed during the required FDA testing period. Both the control group and the experimental group, in the clinical trials, were given the aluminum adjuvant contained in the Gardasil. Control group and experimental group comparisons are done to ensure public safety from adverse side effects as much as possible. In this case, it would have be standard practice to provide the control group with a saline solution instead of the aluminum adjuvant in order to determine the risk posed by the adjuvant given to the experimental group. In failing to follow these research norms, Merck and the FDA have endangered the public health.
These research protocols violate every known tenant to proper research; it represents an air of unprofessionalism, not to mention criminal fraud, which clearly demonstrates collusion to commit fraud against the general public on behalf of Merck as sponsored by the FDA. In fact, Judicial Watch was forced to file a lawsuit under the Public Records Act in order to obtain the obfuscated side effect results as the FDA tried to cover up their own complicity in this research fraud by refusing to release the relevant documents.
Gardasil is marketed as a vaccine that prevents cancer, but the drug has not been evaluated for the potential to cause cancer or genotoxicity. Gardasil is a prophylactic, preventative vaccine and is of absolutely no value in the treatment of a pre-existing HPV infection. It is neither a cancer vaccine nor a cure; yet, the public has been led to believe that this is the case. The New England Journal of Medicine found that there remains no conclusive proof that Gardasil altered the course of HPV-16 or HPV-18 infection for which the patient was symptomatic prior to the administration of the first dose. In other words, this is fraud in the first degree.
Gardasil is the most costly vaccine ever to be approved by the FDA. However, its long-term effectiveness is not known and several estimates state that Gardasil’s life as a vaccine could be only two to three years. This opens up the distinct possibility that a Gardasil vaccinated child will require several booster shots which will undoubtedly increase the bottom line for Merck, but the risk for side-effects among the vaccinated could increase exponentially with each successive vaccination.
The VAERS reports show that as many as eighteen people have died after receiving Gardasil. The VAERS reports document identifies 38 reports of Guillain-Barre Syndrome among juvenile females who previously received the Gardasil vaccine. Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a catastrophic illness that attacks the nervous system which can and often does result in paralysis. Ironically, Gardasil is being developed against only four types of HPV. However, there is over 100 strains of HPV, 30 of which are transmitted sexually. Just what could have Governor Brown and Atkins been thinking?
Do you not think that this is the first time that this kind of dangerous medical fraud has been and will be visited upon your children for profit and political career advancement? Think again! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that boys of the age of 11 to 12 years should be vaccinated with the vaccine against HPV with the Gardasil vaccination. Even my doctors are serving the Big Pharma agenda, as evidenced by the fact that my son’s former pediatrician relentlessly tried to give my then 11 year old son the Gardasil injection. When I presented the good doctor with some of the data contained in this report, he replied “your ideas are not contained within the mainstream of medicine.” Since when is scientific research required to reflect the mainstream of the Big Pharma agenda? The moral of this story is to fire your doctor and find a health care provider who is committed to the welfare of their patients.
The Teen Screen Conspiracy
On the surface, screening the mental health of children for suicidal tendencies is a noble idea worth pursuing. Yet, when the screening is mandated by the President of the United States and is done without the knowledge and consent of the parents of the children being tested, an eyebrow should be raised. When children, under this program can only be medicated with the most expensive psychiatric drugs which contain 2 to 20 times higher suicide rates and arecontraindicated for use by children, all of America should begin to dismantle this unholy marriage of the Police State and the pharmaceutical fraudsters.
There is an ongoing battle for the psychological health and welfare of America’s children and eventually all Americans, under the New Freedoms Commission (NFC), as it is the eventual intent to screen and treat, with mind numbing drug, all Americans for mental illness by using criteria designed to elicit false positives. The relatively new mind control programs have commenced with the intent of compelling the mental health testing of all 52 million school children and the 6.5 million adults who walk through doors of every school in America on any given weekday. Acting under the authority of the NFC, all 50 states are mandated to implement compulsory mental health screening. The screening exams are to be administered in kindergarten, fourth and ninth grade. The screening program requires no parental notification and carries the force of law and this program continues unabated to this day. As is the case with vaccinations, the diagnosis and treatment, under the mind control policies of the Bush and Obama administrations will eventually be universal because of an executive order signed by Bush upon taking office!
Teen Screen, created by Laurie Flynn, arose out of the expressed desire of the NFC to test all American school children for suicidal tendencies. There are several problems with this screening instrument. For example, the screening device has a high rate of false positives. The rigor (e.g., measure of reliability and validity, utilization of genuinely representative population samples used in the norming process) of the screening mechanics have also been called into question. Additionally, Teen Screen allows for the use of unsupervised nonprofessionals to both administer and interpret the screening instrument. In an effort to cover their malpractice behinds, Teen Screen is careful to state that the program is not a substitute for clinical evaluation, but they act as a substitute for clinical evaluation. Remember, freedom is slavery, war is peace, and being drugged on medication which will damage a developing brain is exciting in this version of pharmaceutical 1984.
Despite its self-proclaimed message that Teen Screen has a wonderful diagnostic tool from which to predict suicidal behavior resulting from depression, Teen Screen states that the instrument is not a diagnostic tool. If you had to reread the previous four sentences in order to try to make sense out Teen Screen’s, “doublespeak,” you are not alone. Although the diagnostic tool is not heralded as a clinical tool, the schools which use the Teen Screen tool can still label the child as being emotionally disturbed and this label can follow this child for the rest of their life. Further, school-initiated treatment protocols can be triggered as a result of the findings. Recent research demonstrates that Teen Screen is on the rise and is promoting the most dangerous psychotropic drugs. In fact, according the National Institute of Health, psychotropic drugs should only be given to children only under the most dire set of circumstances.
Teen Screen Penetration
Teen Screen is now in almost every state.
The diagnostic instrument devised by Teen Screen produced a false positive rate of 84% in comparison with other tried and tested diagnostic instruments. Here is an example of a typical Teen Screen diagnostic question:
Teen Screen Diagnostics
When at a party, have you ever felt lonely or misunderstood?
Of course the average person would answer in the affirmative. However, in Teen Screen speak, you would be diagnosed with social phobic disorder and possibly a mild case of depression. And what prize do children win when they volunteer to misdiagnosed 84% of the time? The win access to the world of psychotropic drugs in which even The National Institute of Health even states that the use of psychotropic drugs is contraindicated for young, developing minds and they do permanent damage. And just as devastating, when these children receive their false positive diagnosis, their ability to obtain health insurance down the road is severely impaired.
Teen Screen, just as it is with Gardasil, is a scam designed to get the children hooked on psychotropic drugs through the use of a bogus screening instrument and it was done without parental notification and permission in the same manner being implemented in California.
Everyone Has a Price
Undoubtedly, school districts will be provided incentives as they do in the Teen Screen scam as another Big Pharma giant, Eli Lilly, is attempting to entice every school district in the country to test pre-teens and teens for suicidal depression.
As was the case with Teen Screen, your children will be bribed with movie tickets and coupons for pizza in order to get them to line up for their Gardasil vaccination. And of course, as was the case with Governor Brown and Gardasil, the government lent their support to the TeenScreen effort as well when President George W. Bush issued an executive order which sanctioned this insanity. Bush, Brown and every other Gardasil endorsing politician drink from the same troth and your children need you to protect them from people and organizations such as these.
Unfortunately, Merck has its long financial arm in many state legislatures and soon every child in the country, both boys and girls, is going to be at risk thanks to this unholy partnership between the school districts, Merck and the politicians who are all too eager to curry favor from this pharmaceutical giant.
Everyone of these drugs has debilitating side effects on children’s brains and on their bodies
Your children are not the property of Eli Lilly, Merck, Governor Brown or any of the other political prostitutes. Your children look to you, their parents, to protect them from evil 1% such as the ones discussed here.
Occupy Big Pharma
Perhaps what we need to do in order to best protect our children is to begin an “Occupy Big Pharma” movement. Until that day arrives, and in the meantime, what will you do when the Gardasil fraud debuts in your community? I can unequivocally state that organizations like Teen Screen and the Big Pharma will never get their hands on my 12 year old son. Not now, not ever! Can you say the same for your child?
For the good of your children, distribute this article to your family, friends, neighbors, local school board members as well as your elected representatives. And at the end of the day, pray to almighty God that he will guard our children from the purveyors of Gardasil, Ritalin and the use of psychotropic drugs of Teen Screen.
Source: Dave Hodges – thecommonsenseshow.com
NEWS RELEASE – (Mayflower, AR) – Green Fields Renewal, a partner company for Rebuild America, today issued a statement on the disaster. The statement urged all parties to focus on the core issues. These, the statement said, are to ensure the long term survival of residents and to clean up the spill, minimizing damage which continues to spread.
Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, an officer of Green Fields, said, “While much attention has been given to organizing a class action law suit, the sad fact is that given the history of Exxon for the last two generations, many of the people involved could be dead before a dime is ever paid for resident’s health by Exxon. This kind of irresponsibility can no longer be tolerated.”
The statement continued, “Instead, we propose Exxon offer to relocate ALL impacted families and individuals whose homes may now be dangerous to health to new homes. For Exxon, this cost is minimal for a spill of this magnitude. For the people it might literally be life and death. Exposure to toxic Tar Sands can become a death sentence, which Exxon well knows. People in Mayflower are already struggling with health issues, bewildered, and desperate for answers.
CNN reported, few of the over 10,000 who helped clean up the Exxon Valdez Spill almost 25 years ago are alive today and Exxon has still failed to pay all of the ordered reparations. We cannot permit this to happen again.
We can make this the turning point for America, rejecting the systemic irresponsibility of corporations like Exxon, establishing accountability for oil companies to ensure that people are not dying to improve their profits.”
Pillsbury-Foster closed her comments urging people to go to their website, read it, and take action in conjunction with David Lincoln, who is on the ground in Mayflower to provide coordination. Dave can be reached by phone to 870-321-0251 and by email to email@example.com.
We propose a negotiated settlement using a Qualified Settlement Trust. This works to help you limit the damage done to you and your family so you can move on with your lives, while at the same time creating a precedent which will protect others in the future.
When citizens are affected by large pollution events, such as a pipeline spill, they are often left little recourse to ensure compensatory damages for their losses. A Qualified Settlement Trust is a tool used in negotiating an appropriate and long-term model to assist community members who have been impacted.
The fund is established under §468B of the Internal Revenue Code. This Code section permits Exxon to deposit money or property into a trust and receive a full and complete release of liability. Once the funds are deposited, Exxon is entitled to a current deduction from income tax for the amount paid into the fund.
A QST provides a way for the entire community to stand together and be secured. Individuals can still retain legal counsel; this could bring a fair and just reaction from Exxon or the court systems in the event that Exxon does not fulfill their obligations.
This takes into account the well documented history of Exxon and other oil companies for delay and intimidation of those impacted.
Otherwise, the strategy Exxon and other oil companies follow is ruthless, and intended to avoid creating any precedent for alleviating the problems created or assisting those harmed.
This approach protects you, and everyone in your community. To learn more, talk to Dave, and sign up, go to OUR GOALS
Our proposal for you is to rebuild your homes outside the impacted area, but still within your community, to remove you permanently from the danger zone.
As part of the restitution for what you have already suffered, and for impacting your lives and health, we propose those homes be entirely paid for by Exxon and built to allow you to focus less on the problems you will still face, and more on ensuring your health and the health of your families is not further impacted.
Moving the subdivision should include everyone, both owners who are resident and renters. Owners who were not resident should be paid the full price for the loss of the house because all of the homes in the subdivision have been permeated with toxic fumes and are no longer safe for habitation.
Follow-Up Health Insurance
All who have been impacted, including clean-up personnel, should receive no cost to them coverage for twenty years, again paid for by Exxon along with heath professionals to provide assessments on an ongoing basis.
The land and water remain impacted. We propose Exxon do a thorough clean-up using the technologies now in use in other parts of the world for exactly these problems. This technology leaves the land and water clean and fertile in a far shorter period of time and helps avoid the problems which are already occurring as the waste seeps into other areas downstream.
This proposal would cost Exxon far less than litigation – but would create the precedent for accountability all of us need. You can ensure this happens, benefiting yourselves and all Americans – if you stand firm.
We will provide multiple forms of documentation, proving the point, to you and to the media directly through this site.
Today, you face years of health risks. Many have died of exactly what you face today.