It’s a democracy in name only. Prime Minister Erdogan is thuggish, authoritarian, hardline and despotic.
Turkey’s one of 28 NATO countries. Erdogan partners with Washington’s imperial wars. He’s unapologetic about neoliberal harshness. More on that below.
He’s been prime minister for over 10 years. Why Turks put up with him they’ll have to explain. Growing opposition demands he resign. New elections are wanted. Erdogan refuses to call them. If protests continue and grow, parliament may overrule him.
On June 11, Russia Today headlined “Turkish police oust Taksim protesters with tear gas as Erdogan cheers removal of ‘rags,’ ” saying:
“Hundreds of Turkish police clashed with protesters in Istanbul.” Doing so followed removal of barricades and banners. Erdogan’s tactics are polarizing. He called peaceful demonstrators thugs, looters, revolutionaries, marauders and extremists.
RT correspondent Ashraf El Sabbagh said “(t)here are serious clashes in the small streets surrounding (Taksim). They are running after each other tossing stones, bottles and smoke grenades. It’s a meat grinder in there.”
On June 12, RT headlined “Istanbul warzone: Thousands of protesters try to reclaim Taksim Square,” saying:
Riot police attacked protesters viciously. Clashes were fierce. “Thick smoke blankets the square. Turkish police are driving thousands into narrow side streets.”
Bystanders are attacked. Tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, and water cannons target indiscriminately. A man in a wheelchair was struck. British journalist Neil Clark said “(i)f you’re in NATO, you can get away with murder.”
America, Britain, France, and most other NATO countries operate like Turkey. Dissent is verboten. Democracy exists in name only. Some NATO members are worse than others. America’s by far the worst.
Turkish protests appear to have legs. The more brutality Erdogan orders, the larger crowds grow. Growing popular sentiment opposes him. On June 11, dozens of Turkish lawyers joined protesters. They came to defend those arrested.
Police attacked them viciously. They did so in front of Caglayan Courthouse. Witnesses called what happened brutal. Lawyer Fatma Elif Koru explained, saying:
“We were just gathering to make a press statement about Gezi Park and then the police attacked. It was very brutal. Now 49 lawyer friends are in custody and many are injured.”
“They even kicked their heads. The lawyers were on the ground. They were hitting us they were pushing. They built a circle around us and then they attacked.”
On June 11, hundreds of police encircled Taksim Square. They fired rubber bullets and tear gas. They ripped down banners calling for Erdogan’s resignation.
Later on Tuesday, dozens more lawyers were arrested. Since protests began, thousands were arrested. Thousands more were injured.
On June 12, brutal attacks continued. More arrests followed. Erdogan’s uncompromising. He announced an “end to tolerance.” None existed before his pronouncement.
He dismissively ignores criticism. He governs by what he says goes. “If you call this roughness,” he said, “I’m sorry, but this Tayyip Erdogan will not change.”
His comment replicated Margaret Thatcher once saying “The lady’s not for turning.” Saying it defined her ideological harshness.
She was unapologetic. She was unforgiving. She was unprincipled. She was despised for good reason. Millions of Brits suffered from the neoliberal flimflam she endorsed.
Erdogan matches her and more. He’s way over-the-top. He reflects power politics’ dark side. He doesn’t know when to quit. He called peaceful demonstrators “a handful of plunderers.”
They’re “manipulated” to protest, he claims. He won’t let them dictate policy, he said. They’re the “greatest threat to the society.”
“For those who want to continue with the incidents,” he said, (i)t’s over. As of now, we have no tolerance for them. Not only will we end the actions, we will be at the necks of the provocateurs and terrorists and no one will get away with it. I am sorry, but Gezi Park is for taking promenades, not for occupation.”
A previous article called Turkey more police state than democracy. Press freedom is compromised. Censorship is standard practice. Dissent is verboten. Challenging government authority is called terrorism.
No country imprisons more journalists than Turkey. Television channels largely ignored protests. A bureau chief was arrested for airing what authorities wanted suppressed.
On June 11, TV channels broadcast a staged incident. Viewers saw half a dozen “demonstrators” throw molotov cocktails at police. They advanced on police lines provocatively.
They held a flag of a fringe left-wing party. It was a thinly veiled stunt. It’s commonly used during protests. America and other Western countries feature them. Doing so lets authorities claim peaceful demonstrators are violent.
So-called protesters were undercover cops. Their mock attack was staged. Expect more like it if protests continue. Expect greater violence ahead. It’s already brutal and increasing.
Instead of engaging protesters responsibly, Erdogan wants them crushed. Thousands have been arrested and/or injured. Despots operate this way.
Can Oz is an Istanbul publisher. His London Guardian op-ed headlined “I can never trust the Turkish police and government again.” Why before he’ll have to explain.
Longstanding Turkish policy is brutal. Now it’s more public, widespread and visible.
“For years I did not speak up enough, but no more,” said Oz. “I could lose everything, but I cannot live a dishonorable life any longer.”
“I am scared. With every speech that prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gives, I feel the hatred and disgust against me and young people of my generation increase.”
“All we are after is a bit of freedom, a bit of space to live and a few trees.”
“(O)ver the past few days, I have witnessed so many lies from the police and government that I don’t think I can ever trust them again. I have spent days with the protesters – withstanding another gas attack, cheering, singing chants and sharing food in the park – and I haven’t encountered any signs of weapons or violence on their behalf.”
Oz said he received hate mail and death threats. Participating in “passive resistance” leaves him vulnerable.
For years he feared expressing his views publicly. He failed to criticize political wrongdoing he witnessed.
He’ll no longer stay silent, he said. He listed five demands he and other protesters want:
(1) They want Gezi Park left unchanged.
(2) They want arrested protesters released.
(3) They want police brutality ended. They want responsible officials prosecuted.
(4) They want the right to protest publicly.
(5) They want Erdogan-ordered violence stopped. They want him held accountable for his actions.
Oz is a large Turkish publisher. He’s unaffected by neoliberal harshness. Most Turks want relief. Erdogan spurns popular interests. He’s beholden solely to wealth, power and privilege.
Turkish workers and youths demand social justice. Young ones are especially outraged. Their living standards significantly eroded.
They’ve tasted neoliberal harshness far too long. They know nothing else. Their ability to make ends meet troubles them. Their futures are seriously compromised. They want something better. They deserve it. Perhaps now’s their chance for change.
Turkey’s economic model features capitalism’s dark side. It includes economic freedom as a be-all-and-end-all, unrestrained profit-making, privatizations, cheap labor, deregulation, corporate-friendly tax cuts, marginalized worker rights, and speculative capital inflows.
Economic conditions are inherently unstable. Turkey suffers rolling recessions, crisis conditions, and fragile largely jobless recoveries. It’s increasingly dependent on imports of resources and capital goods.
Youth unemployment tops 22%. It’s rising. It’s socially and economically unstable. It’s untenable. It’s fuel for public rage.
When well-connected private debtors are troubled or go bankrupt, their losses are socialized. Turkey’s next crisis is certain. It’s only a matter of when.
Ordinary people are hardest hit. Youths most of all. Growing numbers have no viable futures. Profits matter more than public needs. Insecurity haunts an entire generation.
Turkish neoliberalism replicates what’s ongoing throughout Europe, America, Israel and elsewhere. Anger swells up and explodes.
The common thread is democracy in name only, inequality, political corruption, unemployment, growing poverty, insecurity, and corporate priorities over social justice.
Turkey has a long history of rebellion. Turks know what’s going on in troubled EU countries. They’ve seen it throughout the Middle East.
People only take so much before reacting. Protesting is fashionable to do. It’s unifying and energizing. It remains to be seen where things go.
Ban Ki-moon reacted as expected. He urged “calm” and “dialogue.” He ignored police brutality. It didn’t surprise. He fronts for power. He’s mindless of public needs.
He turns a blind eye to horrendous imperial crimes. He’s secretary-general because Washington installed him. White House spokesman Jay Carney also urged both sides to show restraint.
Washington supports its ally. Police brutality is commonplace in America. Thuggish cops attack peaceful protesters violently. It’s common practice. It replicates what’s ongoing in Turkey.
America’s a democracy in name only. Imperial and corporate priorities alone matter. It’s true throughout Europe, Israel and Turkey.
Unchallenged power matters most. Erdogan matches the worst of a bad lot. Turks see him for what he is. Tinpot despots can’t hide.
Turkey’s military remains a wild card. Maybe it’ll intervene. It’s done it before. It may again. If not generals, perhaps party leaders or political opposition.
Erdogan remains defiant. He looks like damaged goods. He’s vulnerable if internal interests react. He heads Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP). It may decide to cut its losses and replace him.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
The Census Bureau has reported that one out of six Americans lives in poverty. A shocking figure. But it’s actually much worse. Inequality is spreading like a shadowy disease through our country, infecting more and more households, and leaving a shrinking number of financially secure families to maintain the charade of prosperity.
1. Almost half of Americans had NO assets in 2009
2. It’s Even Worse 3 Years Later
Since the recession, the disparities have continued to grow. An OECD report states that “inequality has increased by more over the past three years to the end of 2010 than in the previous twelve,” with the U.S. experiencing one of the widest gaps among OECD countries. The 30-year decline in wages has worsened since the recession, as low-wage jobs have replaced formerly secure middle-income positions.
3. Based on wage figures, over half of Americans are now IN poverty.
Census income figures are about 25% higher, because they include unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, public assistance, veterans’ payments, and various other monetary sources. Based on this supplemental income, the average household in the bottom 50% brings in about $25,000, which is just above the $23,000 poverty line for a family of four.
4. Based on wage figures, 75% of Americans are NEAR poverty.
According to IRS data, the average household in the bottom 75% earns about $31,000 per year. To be eligible for food assistance, a family can earn up to 130% of the federal poverty line, or about $30,000 for a family of four.
Incredibly, Congress is trying to cut food assistance. Republican Congressman Stephen Fincher of Tennessee referred to food stamps as “stealing.” He added a Biblical quote: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” A recent jobs hearing in Washington was attended by one Congressman.
5. Putting it in Perspective
Inequality is at its ugliest for the hungriest people. While food support was being targeted for cuts, just 20 rich Americans made as much from their 2012 investments as the entire 2012 SNAP (food assistance) budget, which serves 47 million people.
And as Congress continues to cut life-sustaining programs, its members should note that their 400 friends on the Forbes list made more from their stock market gains last year than the total amount of the food, housing, andeducation budgets combined.
Mr. Fincher should think about the tax breaks that allow this to happen, and then tell us who’s stealing from whom.
Paul Buchheit teaches economic inequality at DePaul University. He is the founder and developer of the Web sites UsAgainstGreed.org,PayUpNow.org and RappingHistory.org, and the editor and main author of “American Wars: Illusions and Realities” (Clarity Press). He can be reached atpaul@UsAgainstGreed.org.
What is going to happen when the greatest economic bubble in the history of the world pops? Themainstream media never talks about that. They are much too busy covering the latest dogfights in Washington and what Justin Bieber has been up to. And most Americans seem to think that if the Dow keeps setting new all-time highs that everything must be okay. Sadly, that is not the case at all. Right now, the U.S. economy is exhibiting all of the classic symptoms of a bubble economy. You can see this when you step back and take a longer-term view of things. Over the past decade, we have added more than 10 trillion dollars to the national debt. But most Americans have shown very little concern as the balance on our national credit card has soared from 6 trillion dollars to nearly 17 trillion dollars. Meanwhile, Wall Street has been transformed into the biggest casino on the planet, and much of the new money that the Federal Reserve has been recklessly printing up has gone into stocks. But the Dow does not keep setting new records because the underlying economic fundamentals are good. Rather, the reckless euphoria that we are seeing in the financial markets right now reminds me very much of 1929. Margin debt is absolutely soaring, and every time that happens a crash rapidly follows. But this time when a crash happens it could very well be unlike anything that we have ever seen before. The top 25 U.S. banks havemore than 212 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives combined, and when that house of cards comes crashing down there is no way that anyone will be able to prop it back up. After all, U.S. GDP for an entire year is only a bit more than 15 trillion dollars.
But most Americans are only focused on the short-term because the mainstream media is only focused on the short-term. Things are good this week and things were good last week, so there is nothing to worry about, right?
Unfortunately, economic reality is not going to change even if all of us try to ignore it. Those that are willing to take an honest look at what is coming down the road are very troubled. For example, Bill Gross of PIMCO says that his firm sees “bubbles everywhere”…
We see bubbles everywhere, and that is not to be dramatic and not to suggest they will pop immediately. I just suggested in the bond market with a bubble in treasuries and bubble in narrow credit spreads and high-yield prices, that perhaps there is a significant distortion there. Having said that, it suggests that as long as the FED and Bank of Japan and other Central Banks keep writing checks and do not withdraw, then the bubble can be supported as in blowing bubbles. They are blowing bubbles. When that stops there will be repercussions.
And unfortunately, it is not just the United States that has a bubble economy. In fact, the gigantic financial bubble over in Japan may burst before our own financial bubble does. The following is from a recent article by Graham Summers…
First and foremost, Japan is the second largest bond market in the world. If Japan’s sovereign bonds continue to fall, pushing rates higher, then there has been a tectonic shift in the global financial system. Remember the impact that Greece had on asset prices? Greece’s bond market is less than 3% of Japan’s in size.
For multiple decades, Japanese bonds have been considered “risk free.” As a result of this, investors have been willing to lend money to Japan at extremely low rates. This has allowed Japan’s economy, the second largest in the world, to putter along marginally.
So if Japanese bonds begin to implode, this means that:
1) The second largest bond market in the world is entering a bear market (along with commensurate liquidations and redemptions by institutional investors around the globe).
2) The second largest economy in the world will collapse (along with the impact on global exports).
Both of these are truly epic problems for the financial system.
And of course the entire global financial system is a giant bundle of debt, risk and leverage at this point. We have never seen anything like this in world history. When you step back and take a good, hard look at the numbers, they truly are staggering. The following statistics are from one of my previous articles entitled “Why Is The World Economy Doomed? The Global Financial Pyramid Scheme By The Numbers“…
-$70,000,000,000,000 - The approximate size of total world GDP.
-$190,000,000,000,000 - The approximate size of the total amount of debt in the entire world. It has nearly doubled in size over the past decade.
-$212,525,587,000,000 - According to the U.S. government, this is the notional value of the derivatives that are being held by the top 25 banks in the United States. But those banks only have total assets of about 8.9 trillion dollars combined. In other words, the exposure of our largest banks to derivatives outweighs their total assets by a ratio of about 24 to 1.
-$600,000,000,000,000 to $1,500,000,000,000,000 - The estimates of the total notional value of all global derivatives generally fall within this range. At the high end of the range, the ratio of derivatives to global GDP is more than 21 to 1.
The financial meltdown that happened back in 2008 should have been a wake up call for the nations of the world. They should have corrected the mistakes that happened so that nothing like that would ever happen again. Unfortunately, nothing was fixed. Instead, our politicians and the central bankers became obsessed with reinflating the system. They piled up even more debt, recklessly printed tons of money and kicked the can down the road for a few years. In the process, they made our long-term problems even worse. The following is a recent quote from John Williams of shadowstats.com…
The economic and systemic solvency crises of the last eight years continue. There never was an actual recovery following the economic downturn that began in 2006 and collapsed into 2008 and 2009. What followed was a protracted period of business stagnation that began to turn down anew in second- and third-quarter 2012. The official recovery seen in GDP has been a statistical illusion generated by the use of understated inflation in calculating key economic series (see Public Comment on Inflation). Nonetheless, given the nature of official reporting, the renewed downturn likely will gain recognition as the second-dip in a double- or multiple-dip recession.
What continues to unfold in the systemic and economic crises is just an ongoing part of the 2008 turmoil. All the extraordinary actions and interventions bought a little time, but they did not resolve the various crises. That the crises continue can be seen in deteriorating economic activity and in the panicked actions by the Federal Reserve, where it proactively is monetizing U.S. Treasury debt at a pace suggestive of a Treasury that is unable to borrow otherwise.
And there are already lots of signs that the next economic downturn is rapidly approaching.
For example, corporate revenues are falling at Wal-Mart, Proctor and Gamble, Starbucks, AT&T, Safeway, American Express and IBM.
Would revenues at Wal-Mart be falling if the economy was getting better?
U.S. jobless claims hit a six week high last week. We aren’t in the danger zone yet, but once they hit 400,000 that will be a major red flag.
And even though we are still in the “good times” relatively speaking, the federal government is already talking about tightening welfare programs. In fact, there are proposals in Congress right now to make significant cuts to the food stamp program.
If food stamps and other welfare programs get cut, that is going to make a lot of people very, very angry. And that anger and frustration will get even worse when the next economic downturn strikes and millions of people start losing their jobs and their homes.
What we are witnessing right now is the calm before the storm. Let us hope that it lasts for as long as possible so that we can have more time to prepare.
Unfortunately, this bubble of false hope will not last forever. At some point it will end, and then the pain will begin.
Source: The Economic Collapse
Freedom is a four-letter word. It’s fast disappearing. It’s an endangered species. Wealth, power and privilege alone matter. America’s war on terror priorities advance them.
International, constitutional and US statute laws are spurned. Rogue state ruthlessness replaced them. Boston’s unprecedented lockdown suggests what’s coming. It covered a two hundred square mile area. An important threshold was crossed.
Martial law terrorized city residents. Constitutional rights were suspended. Perhaps it was prelude to what’s coming. It can happen anywhere across America. It can show up nationwide.
Thousands of heavily armed militarized police, National Guard troops, FBI Swat teams, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operatives, Drug Enforcement Administration agents, and perhaps other federal, state and local enforcers showed what full-blown tyranny looks like.
Defying public diktats risked arrest or getting shot. Helicopters hovered low over neighborhoods. House-to-house searches ordered pajama-clad families outside.
Without probable cause, some were handcuffed and/or placed face down on sidewalks. Others were publicly strip-searched. Imagine what’s coming next time. Freedom in America’s on the chopping block for elimination.
What’s ongoing already includes:
• numerous police state laws;
• waging war on humanity;
• indefinite detentions without evidence, charges or trials;
• forced disappearances;
• targeted assassinations;
• torture and other forms of abuse;
• Big Brother surveillance;
• warrantless searches;
• other privacy invasions;
• false flag national security abuses;
• war on terror fear-mongering;
• military commission trials, including for US citizens;
• domestic military force deployments;
• secret FEMA concentration camps;
• racial profiling and persecution;
• militarized local police;
• criminalizing whistleblowers; and
• targeting non-believers for supporting right over wrong.
Tyranny isn’t in the eye of the beholder. It’s escalating in plane sight. It’s just a matter of time until it’s full-blown. Washington’s bipartisan criminal class plans it.
It’s hard-right, unbridled, reactionary, and pro-corporate. It’s anti-democratic, anti-dissent, anti-freedom, anti-civil and human rights, anti-social justice, anti-environmental sanity, and anti-government of, by and for everyone.
It’s dangerous living in America at the wrong time. Supporting right over wrong is threatened. Anyone can be targeted for any reason or none at all. Guilt by accusation is policy. Diktat authority has final say.
The National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms (NCPCF) includes national and local organizations. Its mission is:
“To educate the public about the erosion of civil and political freedoms in the society, and the abuses of prisoners within the US criminal justice system especially after 9/11, and to advocate for the preservation of those freedoms and to defend those rights according to the US Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its related UN Conventions, and the Geneva Conventions.”
Civil liberties are threatened, it warns. Public safety at the expense of freedom assures neither.
Post-9/11, thought crime prosecutions followed. Individuals and groups were targeted for “their beliefs, thoughts, or associations.”
Doing so violates constitutional protections. First Amendment freedoms are compromised. They’re fundamental. Without them, all others are at risk.
They include free speech, a free press, free thought, culture and intellectual inquiry, assembly, freedom to practice the religion of one’s choice, and to petition government for redress of grievances.
The Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) “defend(s) the rule of law and rights and liberties challenged by overbroad national security and counter-terrorism policies.”
It “support(s) an ideologically, ethnically, geographically, and generationally diverse grassroots movement to protect and restore these principles by encouraging widespread civic participation; educating people about the significance of our rights; and cultivating grassroots networks to convert concern, outrage, and fear into debate and action.”
Its “Campaign for the Constitution” headlines: “Building a Movement. Restoring Rights. Reclaiming Our Constitution.” At issue is restoring lost rights. Bipartisan complicity compromised them en route to eliminating them altogether.
Rule of law protections “withered under warrantless surveillance, rampant racial and religious profiling, and torture – and even human experimentation – with impunity.”
The ACLU highlights lost digital age civil liberties. New technologies compromised existing protections. Post-9/11, they’ve undergone serious erosion.
Web site visits are tracked. Cell phones log our movements. Emails and social network communications are monitored and stored. Warrantless spying is policy.
“Things we once thought could only happen in far-away enemy states or distant dystopias are suddenly happening here in America” said ACLU.
Privacy laws haven’t kept up with technology. War on terror priorities matter most.
Protecting civil liberties in the digital age requires “ensur(ing) that expressive, associational, and privacy rights are strengthened rather than compromised by new technology.”
It’s also about “protect(ing) these core democratic rights against intrusive corporate and government practices that rely on new technology to invade these rights.”
They’re being systematically destroyed. According to the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Washington “consistently (doesn’t) recognize the protections afforded by the US Constitution and international law, and in doing so, it has failed in its responsibility to maintain a democratic society that is both open to, and accountable to, the people.”
Government is shrouded in secrecy. Checks and balances no longer matter. Bill of Rights freedoms are fading. They’re fundamental in democratic societies.
War on terror priorities breached First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment freedoms. At issue are search and surveillance authority, indefinitely detaining citizens and non-citizens uncharged, and undermining free expression, due process, and equal protection.
Washington’s criminal class is bipartisan. Ahead expect much worse. Old time radio listeners recall a memorable Jack Benny skit. “Your money or your life,” a robber asked?
After a pause, he was asked again. He responded saying “I’m thinking it over.”
Today no one’s asked. It isn’t either-or. It’s both.
A Final Comment
Fixing America’s dysfunctional system demands fundamental change. It starts by reforming the nation’s sham electoral process. Throwing out bums assures new ones.
Both major parties are two sides of the same coin. Not a dime’s worth of difference separates them. Secrecy and back room deals substitute for a free, fair and open process. Duopoly power rules.
Party bosses chose candidates. Big money owns them. Voters have no say. They get the best democracy money can buy. It happens every time.
The entire process was constitutionally flawed by design. Over time, things got worse. Bipartisan politics serves serves wealth, power, and privilege. Popular interests go begging.
Money power runs America. It games the system. It does so destructively. Controlling money, credit and debt for private enrichment assures speculation, booms, busts, inflation, deflation, instability, crisis, recessions and depressions.
It assures transferring enormous amounts of wealth from ordinary people to corporate giants and super-rich elites already with too much.
Washington is Wall Street occupied territory. What financial giants want, they get. They’re waging financial war on humanity. They’re more powerful than standing armies.
Economies are strip-mined for profit. Communities are laid waste. Ordinary people are impoverished and left out. Vital needs go begging.
Money power in private hands and democracy can’t co-exist. Complicit politicians betray the public trust. They do so for benefits they derive.
Social injustice defines official policy. Class war rages more than ever. America’s on a fast track toward tyranny. Stopping it requires free, fair and open elections. It’s also about returning money to public hands where it belongs.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
The planting season is in full swing as is the transfer of subsidies to big agriculture and social welfare food stamps. Which has more worth, paying the Monsanto and property tax bill or running a public assistance program that allows for the buying of lottery tickets? Well, if you are Congress, both have benefit, but mostly for their political value.Why are food stamps part of the Farm Bill? Nancy Marshall-Genzer makes a shrewd observation.
“There’s been an explosive expansion of the food stamp program. To understand why, you have to go back to the ’90s and President Clinton’s welfare reform, which trimmed welfare rolls. To help those cut off, Congress and President Bush made it easier to qualify for food stamps. That was in 2002. Since then, the food stamp program has more than doubled.
That’s about one in seven Americans. Many of them lost their jobs during the great recession. But why is the food stamp program in the farm bill, anyway? Like most things in Washington, it all boils down to politics.
Chad Hart is an economist at Iowa State. He says farm-state legislators needed a way to connect with more urban members of Congress, so the city slickers would support farm subsidies.”
Is it necessary to expand exponentially the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), to relieve starvation when a “Happy Meal” can be purchased at every turn? Yet the socialization culture boasts of the dietary benefits of being on the government dole, as the urban society continues to consume every cuisine of fast foods.
The Washington Times notes that under the Food stamp president: Enrollment up 70 percent under Obama and that present legislation “allow for those with higher incomes to take food stamps — the logic being that helping people before they reach crisis financial level will actually stimulate the economy.”
What did people do for food before the era of the “Great Society”? Farming was a way of life for rural America from the inception of the country. In spite of struggling out a livelihood from an often-harsh pastoral environment, agriculture capacity grew into the breadbasket of the world. Today, the gentleman farmer needs to master the skills of trading future contracts and applications for assistance.
A starting point for subsidies ”can supplement a farmer’s income and as well as provide funds for rental payments for land and assistance when the market price of a crop is low. Farm subsidies also play a role in the cost and availability of certain agricultural commodities.”
- Contact the Farm Service Agency office in your state
- Determine which farm subsidy you will apply for
- Find out what type of government subsidized crop and animal insurance is available in your area
- Determine if your farm is eligible for the Direct Payment subsidy program
- Ask about the special loan programs the federal government has available for new farmers and ranchers who have been in business for at least three years but less than ten years
Farming as a productive enterprise is rapidly becoming big business. The family farm is no longer an independent endeavor based upon market prices and ingenious management. The quasi-government debt and subsidy cycle, demands a public partnership with federal and state agencies that distort production and consumer prices at every level. Economy of scale seems to be the only path left to plow the fertile fields of government subsidies.
The corporate agriculture conglomerates have become integral constituents of the seed, fertilizer and chemical industry. Both collaborators hire their political lobbyists to expand financial supports, resistive food labeling disclosures and apply economic pressure to stamp out holistic food competition.
The taxpayer should be concerned over the institutionalization and dependency of the SNAP mentality that eats at the fabric of a viable market economy. However, even more diabolical is the destructive subsidization of farming that dramatically benefits corporatist agriculture at the expense of organic agrarian alternatives.
US News takes the position that the Farm Bill’s Corporate Welfare Is Unacceptable.
“Under current law, businesses that produce commodity crops-corn, soy, cotton, or wheat for example-receive a variety of federal supports. One of these, direct payments, provides a per-acreage subsidy for certain farmland owners, regardless of prices, crop yield, or profitability. As a result some farm businesses making hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars each year also receive a generous annual check from the federal government even if they don’t grow a crop.
Federal crop insurance is out of control. In fiscal year 2012, the total cost of the crop insurance program set a new record at $14 billion-$3 billion more than FY2011. And here’s the kicker-2012 was a year of near record profits for agriculture, even before crop insurance payouts, despite and in part because of the drought many parts of the country experienced this past summer. In every state, participants in the crop insurance program have received more in claims payments than in premium dollars put in over the past 15 years. And remember, for every $1 in premiums, agribusinesses only chip in 38 cents to insure their own crops while taxpayers pick up the remaining 62 cents. That is not insurance or a safety-net, that’s a hand out.”
A comprehensive overhaul of government agriculture policy may not seem very probable from a political will perspective. Nevertheless, the gravy train of public money cannot be a substitute for tilling the soil and weeding the crops. When government legislation attempts to maintain an inexpensive retail food price with public grants, loans and subsidies, the true cost of national nourishment is unsustainable.
The urbanization of the political electorate dictates that the bottom feeders expect their groceries be delivered from a full service supermarket. As any rural resident knows, the nature of the land has its own set of rules and demands. Famine and undernourishment applies to much more than the food supply. It resides in the destructive and distorted government protection racket that leaves the public with a deep hunger in their belly.
Don’t be surprised when the global elite confiscate money from your bank account one day. They are already very clearly telling you that they are going to do it. Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem is the president of the Eurogroup – an organization of eurozone finance ministers that was instrumental in putting together the Cyprus “deal” – and he has said publicly that what has just happened in Cyprus will serve as a blueprint for future bank bailouts. What that means is that when the chips are down, they are going to come after YOUR money. So why should anyone put a large amount of money in the bank at this point? Perhaps you can make one or two percent on your money if you shop around for a really good deal, but there is also a chance that 40 percent (or more) of your money will be confiscated if the bank fails. And considering the fact that there are vast numbers of banks all over the United States and Europe that are teetering on the verge of insolvency, why would anyone want to take such a risk? What the global elite have done is that they have messed around with the fundamental trust that people have in the banking system. In order for any financial system to work, people must have faith in the safety and security of that financial system. People put their money in the bank because they think that it will be safe there. If you take away that feeling of safety, you jeopardize the entire system.
So exactly how did the big banks in Cyprus get into so much trouble? Well, they have been doing exactly what hundreds of other large banks all over the U.S. and Europe have been doing. They have been gambling with our money. In particular, the big banks in Cyprus made huge bets on Greek sovereign debt which ended up failing.
But what happened in Cyprus is just the tip of the iceberg. All over the planet major financial institutions are being incredibly reckless with client money. They are leveraged to the hilt and they have transformed the global financial system into a gigantic casino.
If they win on their bets, they become fabulously wealthy.
If they lose on their bets, they know that the politicians won’t let the banks fail. They know that they will get bailed out one way or another.
And who pays?
Either our tax dollars are used to fund a government-sponsored bailout, or as we have just witnessed in Cyprus, money is directly confiscated from our bank accounts.
And then the game begins again.
People need to understand that the precedent that has just been set in Cyprus is a game changer.
The next time that a major bank fails in Greece or Italy or Spain (or in the United States for that matter), the precedent that has been set in Cyprus will be looked to as a “template” for how to handle the situation.
Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem has even publicly admitted that what just happened in Cyprus will serve as a model for future bank bailouts. Just check out what he said a few days ago…
“If there is a risk in a bank, our first question should be ‘Okay, what are you in the bank going to do about that? What can you do to recapitalise yourself?’. If the bank can’t do it, then we’ll talk to the shareholders and the bondholders, we’ll ask them to contribute in recapitalising the bank, and if necessary the uninsured deposit holders”
Dijsselbloem insists that this will cause people “to think about the risks” before they put their money somewhere…
“It will force all financial institutions, as well as investors, to think about the risks they are taking on because they will now have to realise that it may also hurt them. The risks might come towards them.”
Well, as depositors in Cyprus just found out, there is a risk that you could lose 40 percent (and that is the best case scenario) of your money if you put it in the bank.
Why would anyone want to take that risk – especially in a nation that is already experiencing very serious financial troubles such as Greece, Italy or Spain?
As if that was not enough, Dijsselbloem later went in front of the Dutch parliament and publicly defended a wealth tax like the one that was just imposed in Cyprus.
Dijsselbloem is being widely criticized, and rightfully so. But at least he is being more honest that many other politicians. His predecessor as the head of the Eurogroup, Jean-Claude Juncker, once said that “you have to lie” to the people in order to keep the financial markets calm…
Mr. Dijsselbloem’s style contrasts with that of his predecessor, Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg’s prime minister, who spoke in a low mumble at news conferences and was expert at sidestepping questions. Mr. Juncker once even advocated lying as a way to prevent financial markets from panicking—as they did Monday after Mr. Dijsselbloem’s comments.
“When it becomes serious, you have to lie,” Mr. Juncker said in April 2011. “If you have pre-indicated possible decisions, you are feeding speculation in the financial markets.”
But Dijsselbloem is certainly not the only one among the global elite that is admitting what is coming next. Just check out what Joerg Kraemer, the chief economist at Commerzbank, recently told Handelsblatt about what he believes should be done in Italy…
“A tax rate of 15 percent on financial assets would probably be enough to push the Italian government debt to below the critical level of 100 percent of gross domestic product”
They are telling us what they plan to do.
They are telling us that they plan to raid all of our bank accounts when the global financial system fails.
And calling it a “haircut” does not change the fact of what it really is. The truth is that when they confiscate money from our bank accounts it is outright theft. Just check out what the Daily Mail had to say about the situation in Cyprus…
People who rob old ladies in the street, or hold up security vans, are branded as thieves. Yet when Germany presides over a heist of billions of pounds from private savers’ Cyprus bank accounts, to ‘save the euro’ for the hundredth time, this is claimed as high statesmanship.
It is nothing of the sort. The deal to secure a €10 billion German bailout of the bankrupt Mediterranean island is one of the nastiest and most immoral political acts of modern times.
It has struck fear into the hearts of hundreds of millions of European citizens, because it establishes a dire precedent.
And when you cause paralysis in the banking system, a once thriving economy can freeze up almost overnight. The following is an excerpt from a report from someone that is actually living over in Cyprus…
As it stands now, nowhere in Cyprus accepts credit or debit cards anymore for fear of not being paid, it is CASH ONLY. Businesses have stopped functioning because they cannot pay employees OR pay for the stock they receive because the banks are closed. If the banks remain closed, the economy will be destroyed and STOP COMPLETELY. Looting, robberies and theft are already on the rise. If the banks open now, there will be a massive run on the bank, and the banks will FAIL loosing all of its deposits, also causing an economic crash. TONIGHT there are demonstrations at most street corners and especially at the parliament building (just 2 miles from me).
Many are thinking that the ECB and EU are allowing Cyprus to fail as a test ground for new financial standards.
Just wanted all you guys to know the real story of whats going on here. Prayers are appreciated (although this is very interesting to watch) many of my local friends have lots of money in the banks.
Would similar things happen in the United States if there was a major banking crisis someday?
That is something to think about.
In any event, the problems in the rest of Europe continue to get even worse…
-The stock market in Greece is crashing. It is down by more than 10 percent over the past two days.
-The stock markets in Italy and Spain are experiencing huge declines as well. Banking stocks are being hit particularly hard.
-The Bank of Spain says that the Spanish economy will sink even deeper into recession this year.
-The latest numbers from the Spanish government show that Spain’s debt problem is rapidly getting worse…
“The central government’s interest bill surged 15 percent last year to 26 billion euros, while tax receipts slumped 21 percent. The cost of servicing debt represented 30 percent of the taxes collected at the end of December, up from 20 percent a year earlier.”
-The euro took quite a tumble on Thursday and the euro will likely continue to decline steadily in the weeks and months to come.
For a very long time I have been warning that the next major wave of the economic collapse is going to originate in Europe.
Hopefully people are starting to see what I am talking about.
As this point, the major banks in Europe are leveraged about 26 to 1, and that is close to the kind of leverage that Lehman Brothers had when it finally collapsed. As a whole, European banks are drowning in debt, they are taking risks that are almost incomprehensible and now faith in those banks has been greatly undermined by what has happened in Cyprus.
Anyone that cannot see a crisis coming in Europe simply does not understand the financial world. A moment of reckoning is rapidly approaching for Europe. The following is from a recent article by Graham Summers…
At the end of the day, the reason Europe hasn’t been fixed is because CAPITAL SIMPLY ISN’T THERE. Europe and its alleged backstops are out of money. This includes Germany, the ECB and the mega-bailout funds such as the ESM.
Germany has already committed to bailouts that equal 5% of its GDP. The single largest transfer payment ever made by one country to another was the Marshall Plan in which the US transferred an amount equal to 5% of its GDP. Germany WILL NOT exceed this. So don’t count on more money from Germany.
The ECB is chock full of garbage debts which have been pledged as collateral for loans. If anyone of significance defaults in Europe, the ECB is insolvent. Sure it can print more money, but once the BIG collateral call hits, money printing is useless because the amount of money the ECB would have to print would implode the system.
And then of course there are the mega bailout funds such as the ESM. The only problem here is that Spain and Italy make up 30% of the ESM’s supposed “funding.” That’s right, nearly one third of the mega-bailout fund’s capital will come from countries that are bankrupt themselves.
What could go wrong?
Right now, close to half of all money that is on deposit at banks in Europe is uninsured. As people move that uninsured money out of the banks, the amount of money that will be required to “fix the banks” will go up even higher.
It would be wise to try to avoid the big banks at this point – especially those with very large exposure to derivatives. Any financial institution that uses customer money to make reckless bets is not to be trusted.
If you can find a small local bank or credit union to do business with you will probably be better off.
And don’t think that this kind of thing can never happen in the United States.
One of the key players that was pushing the idea of a “wealth tax” in Cyprus was the IMF. And everyone knows that the IMF is heavily dominated by the United States. In fact, the headquarters of the IMF is located right in the heart of Washington D.C. not too far from the White House. When I worked in D.C. I would walk by the IMF headquarters quite a bit.
So if the United States thought that confiscating money from bank accounts was a great idea in Cyprus, why wouldn’t they implement such a thing here under similar circumstances?
The global elite are telling us what they plan to do, and the game has dramatically changed.
Move your money while you still can.
Unfortunately, it is already too late for the people of Cyprus.
Source: The Economic Collapse
Money and guns, often goes together. Sometimes used for the protection of cash, other times made on the sales and use of guns and ammo. Manufactured and sold openly, weapons of every description are a stable in the marketplace. Yet, firearms seem especially targeted for ownership extinction by law-abiding citizens. Ironically, the public purchases of personal pistols, rifles and shotguns are systematically restricted and regulated, while law enforcement officials add the latest in advanced ordinances to their arsenals. The obvious message is that the government is preparing for war against their own citizens.
The distinguished sage, Murray Rothbard, in The Economics of Gun Control, offers a historic example of government regulation for intentional consolidation designed to eliminate the mom and pop neighborhood gunsmith.
“The latest gun control proposals from the Clinton administration provide an instructive, if unwitting, lesson in the economics of government intervention. Until this year, if you wanted to become a federally licensed gun dealer, you only needed to pay $10 a year. But the “Brady Bill” raised the federal license fee to $66 a year a more than 500% increase at one blow. Even this is not enough for Secretary of the Treasury Lloyd Bentsen, who proposes to raise fees by no less than another tenfold, to $600 a year.
One fascinating aspect of this drastic rise in license fees is that Bentsen actually proclaims and welcomes its effect as a device to cartelize the retail gun industry. Thus, Bentsen, in the non sequitur of the year, complains that there are 284,000 gun dealers in the country, “31 times more gun dealers than there are McDonald’s restaurants.”
That bastion of self-defense docility, the New York Times in Gun Control as Economic Stimulus, describes the inflow of federal receipts since the selection of Barack Obama to be the head gun grabber. Well, before the Sandy Hook false flag self-justification excuse for banning numerous small arms, the trend to hoard guns and ammo became a growth industry.
“Here’s a chart showing millions of dollars of firearms and ammunition excise taxes collected at the federal level over the last decade:
Firearm and ammunition tax revenues skyrocketed for a different reason: These went up because people were simply buying more guns and ammunition, apparently because they feared Barack Obama would curb their access to deadly weapons upon taking office.”
In the consistent statist tradition of disarming the public, the haters of the Second Amendment look to curtail sales to individuals. The economics behind the U.S. gun control debate illustrates the trends for sales to government agencies as the future market for the gun industry.
“At a time when the U.S. economy is fragile, it’s more difficult to clamp down on an industry that posts annual sales of $12 billion and has been generating new, high-paying, high-skill jobs at an impressive pace. In fact, over the past two years – as U.S. unemployment has surged over eight per cent – the gun industry has created 26,000 new jobs that pay an average of $47,000 a year in salaries and benefits.
Furthermore, rather than suffering through the recession, gun sales have climbed as Americans have become more fearful of police budget cuts, rising crime, general civil unrest and, post-9/11, terrorist threats.
The fact that U.S. government agencies, spurred by new counterterrorism measures, account for 40 per cent of gun industry revenues is also a crucial consideration . . .”
Keepers of the peace have become predators of the Homeland Security society. The neutering of local authority for federal jurisdiction is the hidden result of all the latest legislation intended to unarm the public.
By now, you probably heard the account of Feds Buy Two Billion Rounds of Ammunition, as reported in Breitbart.
“It’s not the number of bullets we need to worry about but the number of feds with guns it takes to use those bullets. There are currently more than 70 different federal law enforcement agencies employing over 120,000 officers with arrest and firearms authority . . . That’s an increase of nearly 30 percent between 2004 and 2008. If the trends have continued upward at a relatively steady rate, that would put the total number of federal law enforcement officers at somewhere between 135,000 and 145,000. That’s a pretty staggering number, especially when you consider that there are only an estimated 765,000 state and local law enforcement officers. That means that about one in seven law enforcement officers in the country works directly for the federal government, not a local jurisdiction.”
The operational economics of gun control legislation has the purpose of maintaining a state controlled monopoly for firearms. One such example seen in the bill, known as the NY SAFE Act, included is a ban on any semi-automatic rifles or shotguns with “military-style” features, such as a pistol grip or a folding stock, has the goal of disarming the public. Such draconian methods drive the trade in guns underground. The black market in arms becomes the defiant mart for the new criminalization of self-protection seeking citizens.
The natural response from gun manufacturers, which are in the liberty survival business, is to boycott sales of their products to the very tyrannical government that wants to stamp out constitutional rights. Companies like Olympic Arms, LaRue Tactical, York Arms, Templar Custom and EFI, are cutting off sales to law enforcement agencies within jurisdictions that enact unconstitutional laws and regulations. A more complete list can be found in, Gun Companies Boycotting Law Enforcement In Anti-Gun States.
The federal SWAT shooters follow bureaucratic orders, as they tear down the last vestige of a free people. Curtailing or driving out of business, legitimate firearm manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, is a part of the plan to eliminate resistance to the gun grabbing despotic regime.
Just look how far the anti gun culture politicos have gone since the Clinton era to tax gun sales out of business. Today your very own Inherent Autonomy existence is at stake from state governments as well as the federal tyrant.
U.S. politicians have cried wolf over austerity long enough for the public to ignore them. A perfect time, then, for politicians to actually unleash the wolves. Barring an unlikely last minute deal, here’s a short list of some of the massive, national bi-partisan-created austerity cuts, according to the New York Times
600,000 food stamp recipients will be cut from the program
Massive education cuts. According to President Obama: Once these cuts take effect thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off and tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids. “
$12 billion in Medicare cuts (more to come after 2013)
Federal funds to state governments will be cut, creating even more deficits for states and municipalities, and thus more localized cuts (the states have already made austerity cuts of $337 billion!)
Also, 700,000 jobs are expected to be loss, while 70,000 kids are also expected to be kicked off of Head Start
And this is just for 2013. The current plan for the austerity “sequester” cuts is $100 billion of federal cuts every year for ten years, equaling massive cuts to jobs, Medicare, education, and completely destroying federally funded social programs.
Will it actually happen this time? The New York Times reports:
In private, Capitol Hill staff members and members of Congress have admitted that there are no viable plans on the horizon to delay or offset the cuts.
The finger pointing in Washington, D.C. has already reached a crescendo, with the perverted logic being that, if both parties are to blame, it’s really no one’s fault. In reality Democrats and Republicans created these “sequester” cuts, and they can just as easily undo them with a snap of the finger.
Both parties are choosing not to delete the cuts. They just don’t want political responsibility for the fallout, which many economists have predicted will push the U.S. economy over the edge into official recession.
Obama has predictably blamed the Republicans for this mess, even though he personally began this process by creating the “deficit reduction commission” that helped shape the cuts (keep in mind there is zero debt crisis that calls for such drastic measures).
Obama could also just as easily appeal to the American public — over the heads of congressmen — to demand that the cuts be shelved forever. Instead, he’s proposing a “grand bargain” deal that he knows the Republicans won’t go for.
What’s in Obama’s grand bargain deal? According to the White House website:
$130 billion in “savings” [cuts] to Social Security, by implementing a “superlative CPI”
$35 billion in “savings” [cuts] to the retirement of federal employees
$400 billion in health care “savings” [cuts], much of it Medicare cuts.
Obama cynically fails to mention the words Social Security or Medicare in the above plan, choosing instead to write in code (“superlative Consumer Price Index”). Obama’s plan to avoid the March 1st cuts still assumes that $500 billion in cuts will be implemented over the next ten years, as opposed to $1trillion.
But his plan is just a distraction. Obama knows his plan has no chance of being passed by March 1st. He’s falsely portraying his plan as the only alternative to the March 1st cuts, even though a far better idea — the one preferred by a vast majority of Americans — is to simply to shelve the sequester cuts forever. To not put forth this option makes Obama complicit in the cuts.
Many pundits have speculated that Congress will allow the cuts to go into effect for three weeks, since March 27th marks a fiscal deadline that will pressure Congress to maneuver anew. This might trigger a new round of haggling over a new “grand bargain” that again targets “entitlement programs” and re-packages the massive cuts into a prettier box. The party that does the most effective finger pointing after the March 1st cuts will be in the best position to dictate matters post-March 27th, so say the pundits.
Whatever the actual result, the Democrats and Republicans share similar enough visions that massive cuts to cherished social programs appear to be inevitable. Much of the made-for-TV bickering is pure political posturing, meant to fool the working people most affected by these cuts into believing it’s “the other party” that’s responsible.
Politicians have been able to get away with this disgusting behavior because there are very few independent voices telling the truth about what’s happening. Many labor and progressive groups are consciously lying about the dynamic, placing blame squarely on the Republicans, thus allowing the Democrats not to be held accountable for their pandering to the corporate elite’s demand to use austerity to attack the social safety net. In reality both parties are jointly attacking working and poor people via austerity, on a city, state, and national level.
If Labor and community groups united in a demand of ‘No Cuts, Tax the Rich’ and organized massive mobilizations, there would be a very different public debate happening right now. It’s not too late for these groups to tear themselves from the jaws of their attackers.
As Many as 90% of Foreclosed Properties Held Off the Market…
“I still worry about further price declines. There’s no really concrete reason for an upturn now. A recent survey of home buyers didn’t find any sudden change in optimism and there seems to be a souring on the idea of home ownership. That might reverse again as the crisis ends, but I suspect that it’s not easily reversed because the whole idea of proudly owning a home has been tarnished … That’s why I think home prices may still go down.” – Robert Shiller, co founder of S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index
There’s an article on the AOL Real Estate blog that explains much of what is happening in today’s housing market although the piece was written back in July 2012. The article, which was written by journalist Teke Wiggen, was widely circulated when it first appeared, but has since been swept down the memory hole to make room for the nonsensical blabber about a “housing recovery”. Even so, it’s worth reviewing the content of Wiggin’s extraordinary piece since the facts are just as relevant today as when he first wrote them 7 months ago. Here’s a clip from the article titled “‘Shadow REO’: As Many as 90% of Foreclosed Properties Held Off the Market, Estimates Suggest”:
“As many as 90 percent of REOs are withheld from sale, according to estimates recently provided to AOL Real Estate by two analytics firms. It’s a testament to lenders’ fears that flooding the market with foreclosed homes could wreak havoc on their balance sheets and present a danger to the housing market as a whole.
Online foreclosure marketplace RealtyTrac recently found that just 15 percent of REOs in the Washington, D.C., area were for sale, a statistic that is representative of nationwide numbers, the company said.
Analytics firm CoreLogic provided an even lower estimate, suggesting that just 10 percent of all REOs in the country are listed by their owners, which include mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as the Federal Housing Administration.” (“‘Shadow REO’: As Many as 90% of Foreclosed Properties Held Off the Market, Estimates Suggest”, AOL Real Estate)
It’s worth noting, that CoreLogic and RealtyTrac are two of the most respected names in the industry, in fact, Calculated Risk, the nation’s Number 1 economics blog, frequently uses data from CoreLogic to make its point that prices have “bottomed” and that housing is gradually recovering. Here’s more from the article:
“… if lenders turn their REO release valve to full blast, the deluge of foreclosures cascading onto the market could plunge the country into a recession, said Thomas Martin, president of consumer advocacy group Americas Watchdog.
“If they let the dam essentially break. It could be a catastrophic disaster for the U.S. economy,” he said, predicting that some major banks would fail and home prices would nosedive by 20 percent.
That doomsday scenario has many industry professionals supporting lenders’ tactics of holding onto most of their REOs. Otherwise, they would be “causing the floor to fall out from underneath the entire market,” Faranda said. He added that banks don’t have the manpower to push the paperwork required to put all their foreclosures on the market.” (“‘Shadow REO’: As Many as 90% of Foreclosed Properties Held Off the Market, Estimates Suggest”, AOL Real Estate)
So, the banks are deliberately keeping the majority of distressed homes “off market” in order to keep prices artificially high, fleece another generation of credulous buyers, and effect the appearance of a revitalised and soaring housing market. Now–tell me–which part of this equation even vaguely resembles a “free market”? It’s all central planning by a criminal bank cabal that controls all the levers of state power lock, stock and barrel.
Even so, it looks like John Q Public has swallowed this latest load of public relations malarkey judging by data that shows that sales of new and existing homes are gaining pace. Ahh, but looks can be deceiving. A closer inspection of the data suggests that it’s not Mr. Public who’s buying all those homes, but deep-pocket speculators who’ve piled into the market seeking short-term gains. Check this out from Bloomberg:
“Transactions involving investors jumped 75 percent in November from a year earlier in 25 metropolitan areas tracked by Radar Logic Inc. It’s a market that could total 12 million homes, JPMorgan analysts led by Anthony Paolone wrote in a note last month.
Blackstone, the largest U.S. private real estate owner and the only firm with more homes than Hughes, has spent $3 billion on rentals, Jonathan Gray, Blackstone’s global head of real estate said today at a Credit Suisse Financial Services Forum in Miami. Blackstone said last month it spent $2.7 billion on 17,000 properties, accelerating purchases as prices rose faster than anticipated…
The New York-based firm, which started buying single-family houses last year, has bought so quickly it’s “warehousing” more than half of the inventory as it completes purchases, renovates and rents the properties, Gray said in January…
Whether the single-family rental market grows from “a $10 to $20 billion market to a $100 to $200 billion market” will depend “on how successfully institutional investors are able to execute over the next few years,” Bordia said.” (“Billionaire Hughes Chasing Blackstone as U.S. Rental King”, Bloomberg)
Get the picture? It’s a speculator feeding frenzy featuring some of Wall Street’s biggest names all plunging into the sharkpool at the same time. The only thing missing from this bizarre mix is the traditional young couple looking to partake in the American dream by buying their first home or the move-up buyer who wants to use the equity he’s built up over the last decade to buy that 3-bedroom Tudor in the country. Normal “organic” buyers have vanished from the marketplace while ravenous speculators are grabbing everything that isn’t bolted to the floor. Naturally, that’s pushed prices higher while creating the illusion of a thriving market.
But what do these investors really have in mind? Are they planning on becoming responsible long-term landlords committed to serving the needs of the community after the devastation they caused by crashing the financial system in 2008?
In your dreams! Here’s more from Bloomberg:
“New York-based JPMorgan, whose private bank oversees $877 billion, started pooling investments from its clients in mid- 2012 into a partnership to purchase distressed properties, betting that prices will rise over the next several years and provide investors with income from renters along the way, said Lyon…
The goal is to sell the houses within three to four years in one of three ways: through an initial public offering of a real estate investment trust, a sale to an existing REIT or to an institutional buyer such as a pension fund, Lyon, who’s based in San Francisco, said. Clients will receive a share of any price appreciation depending on the size of their investment.” (“JPMorgan Joins Rental Rush For Wealthy Clients: Mortgages”, Bloomberg)
There you have it. The banks are only going to hang-around long enough to see prices surge, then they’re going to dump their inventory back on the market so Mom and Pop can see their equity go down the drain for the second time in a decade. Nice, eh? Speculators aren’t interested in building a strong and sustainable housing market, what they’re looking for is a sharp jolt to quarterly profits, so they can nab that new Maserati Gran Tourismo for those long drives to the Hamptons.
And there’s another part of this story that may seem only remotely connected to the “vanishing REO inventory”, but it has a profound effect on the market all the same, that is, the fact that the banks are still cooking the books to make it look like they’re in better shape than they really are. If these fundamentally-insolvent financial institutions had been taken over and nationalized when the government had the chance in 2009, then their stockpile of toxic assets and non performing loans would have been processed and sold via a gov entity like the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) which helped to liquidate bank-owned assets following the savings and loan scandal. That means, housing prices would have found a real bottom by now, and the market would be experiencing positive growth. (unlike the fake investor-fueled growth we see now) But since the TBTF zombies were propped up by trillions in public funds, bailouts, handouts, subsidies and other forms of corporate welfare, the problem persists to this day. Get a load of this from Floyd Norris at the New York Times:
“The board that sets American accounting rules moved on Wednesday to substantially reduce the use of market values in financial statements. The move, if adopted, would give banks more freedom to value financial assets as they deem appropriate.
The proposal by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, contained in what is called an exposure draft, would also end the counter intuitive practice of a bank’s profits rising simply because its credit has worsened, and then falling when the credit recovers…
Under the proposed new rules, which are unlikely to become effective before 2015, it would no longer matter whether a particular bank asset was a bond or a loan. Either way, if the bank intended to keep the asset until it was paid off, it would be carried on the books at cost, without rising or falling in value when market prices changed.” (“Proposal Gives Banks More Freedom to Value Assets”, New York Times)
How do you like that? So, the banks are not only allowed to assign fake prices to their assets, they can also report an increase in profits when their credit deteriorates. Such a deal! In other words, if a mortgage-backed security (MBS) that’s packed with subprimes and liar’s loans has plunged to $.30 cents on the dollar, Mr. Banker can keep it on the books at 100 cents on the dollar, thus, preserving the confidence of his thoroughly-hoodwinked shareholders. This is just another illustration of how the banks have corrupted the regulatory system to the point where no one has the foggiest idea of what they’re really worth.
So, how does all this accounting hanky-panky connect with the fact that the banks are keeping 90% of foreclosed properties off the market?
It just explains how regulators have teamed up with the banks to keep the “housing recovery” charade in place. If the banks were forced to write-down the losses on their stockpile of non performing loans and defunct mortgages, then more REOs would be pushed onto the market and prices would fall sharply. But because the banks are allowed to lie, the housing depression drags on. That’s not only bad for the economy, it also puts the public at risk of another crisis because, as the Wall Street Journal notes:
“… investors will remain reliant on banks’ own views of the worth of their assets. Those judgments proved seriously flawed during the financial crisis and left many with insufficient capital. Taxpayers, who as a result were called upon to bail out numerous institutions, also are left more vulnerable.” (“Banks Have Their Way With FASB”, Wall Street Journal)
Allowing the banks to lie puts everyone at greater risk. Unfortunately, that doesn’t matter to Obama and his cohorts at the Fed. They’ve done everything in their power to preserve black box banking, an opaque, criminal business model built on deception, avarice and theft, the banker’s trifecta.
Two important events took place this week. One was President Obama’s call for a higher minimum wage, which got a lot of attention. The other was a new report which showed just how much of our nation’s wealth continues to be hijacked by the wealthiest among us.
That didn’t get much attention.
There’s a Great Robbery underway, although most of its perpetrators don’t see themselves as robbers. Instead they’re sustained by delusions that protect them from facing the consequences of their own actions.
Heads I Win …
An updated report from economist Emmanuel Saez details the loss of income suffered by 99 percent of Americans, and the parallel gains made by the wealthiest among us. Its most startling finding may be this: The top 1 percent has captured 121 percent of the increases in income since the worst of the financial crisis, while the rest of the country has continued to fall behind.
If you thought the rich recovered from the crisis just fine but everybody else got the short end of the stick, relax: You’re not crazy. And since the financial crisis was caused by members of the 1 percent – not all of them, of course, just the ones we spent so much to rescue – it’s understandable if the injustice still rankles you.
You rescued them. Now they’re drinking your milkshake.
Tails You Lose
But this wealth shift is not a new phenomenon. As Saez notes in his paper, “After decades of stability … the top decile share has increased dramatically over the last twenty-five years.” In fact, the top 10 percent’s share of our national income is higher than it’s been since 1917 - and maybe longer. (The figures don’t go back any farther than that.)
Although it began during the Reagan years, to a certain extent this wealth shift has been a bipartisan phenomenon. During the Clinton boom years (more of a bubble, actually; Dean Baker has the details) the top 1 percent saw their real income grow by 98.7 percent, while the other 99 saw a smaller increase of 20.3 percent. They lost more during the recession that followed – a little over 30 percent, as opposed to 6.5 percent for everyone else – but more than made up the difference again during the Bush years.
The same thing happened during the Great Recession: The top 1 percent lost more during the initial shock, but they’re rapidly making up the difference now. Government policy’s been designed to help them. (Meanwhile, underwater homeowners still don’t have the help they need.)
The disparities are even greater when you include capital gains. (Saez uses pre-tax income for his figures. Given the generous tax breaks for capital gains and the many loopholes used by the wealthy,the after-tax differences could be even greater.) There’s even economic injustice at the top. Gains for the one percent have far outstripped those of the top five and top ten percent.
As the old song says: Them that has, gets.
If you can remember the sixties you weren’t there … or can’t afford to remember
The minimum wage has been falling since 1968. As John Schmitt notes in his paper, “The Minimum Wage Is Too Damn Low,” “By all of the most commonly used benchmarks – inflation, average wages, and productivity – the minimum wage is now far below its historical level.”
It’s currently $7.25. What would it have been if it had been tied to a commonly-used benchmark? Schmitt ran the numbers:
Consumer Price Index (CPI-I): $10.52
Current CPI methodology (CPI-U-RS): $9.22
As a percentage of average production worker’s earnings: $10.01
And if it had been tied to productivity gains the minimum wage would be $21.72 today. But that cream was skimmed off at the top.
There’s a myth in this country that enormous wealth doesn’t come from anywhere or anyone, that it’s self-creating and self-sustaining, thriving on pure oxygen like an epiphyte or a garden fairy. In reality, highly concentrated wealth is caused by actions – human actions with human consequences.
Saez: “A number of factors may help explain this increase in inequality, not only underlying technological changes but also the retreat of institutions developed during the New Deal and World War II – such as progressive tax policies, powerful unions, corporate provision of health and retirement benefits, and changing social norms regarding pay inequality.”
Wealth inequity is created whenever an employer lowers his employees’ wages, replaces a full-time worker with several part-timers, busts a union, cuts corners on workplace safety, or pays a lobbyist to change the rules.
It’s created whenever a job is shipped overseas, and when investments are shifted from job-producing industries to the non-productive financial sector. It’s created when GE outsources its manufacturing operation and gets into the banking (read, “gambling with taxpayers’ money”) business. Or when AIG stops insuring risk and starts betting on it.
And the process isn’t slowing down. In fact, it seems to be accelerating.
As Saez says, “We need to decide as a society whether this increase in income inequality is efficient and acceptable and, if not, what mix of institutional and tax reforms should be developed to counter it.”
President Obama’s proposal is modest, and there’s no reason not to enact it immediately. For those who believe that businesses “can’t afford” to pay higher wages, some key facts:
Most low-wage workers work for large corporations, not Mom-and-Pop businesses.
A Data Brief from the National Employment Law Project finds that 66 percent of low-wage employees work for companies with more than 100 employees. A handful of very large corporations collectively employ nearly 8 million low-wage employees.
There’s no evidence minimum wage increases mean fewer jobs.
Opponents say a higher minimum wage means fewer jobs. But the official U.S. unemployment rate in 1968, when the real minimum wage was highest, was 3.6 percent. Today it’s 7.8 percent – and the unofficial numbers are even worse. At the state level, the Fiscal Policy Institute recently concluded that “states with minimum wages above the federal level have had faster small business and retail job growth.”
Ninety-two percent of the 50 largest low‐wage employers in the country were profitable last year.
As the NELP notes, big corporations more than recovered from the recession: 75 percent are collecting more revenue, 63 percent are earning higher profits, and 73 percent have higher cash holdings than they did before the crisis.
Bringing It All Back Home
The real “job creators” aren’t the ultra-wealthy. If they could create jobs with all their added wealth, they would have done it already. The real job creators are working people with jobs.
They don’t invest their money in hedge funds or stash it in offshore accounts. They spend it: on food, transportation, their kids’ education, maybe a night at the movies … And then other people get jobs making those things possible.
We have a working model to follow: The USA in the 35 years after World War II. As Paul Krugman says, “To the extent that people say the economics is confusing or uncertain, that’s overwhelmingly because people want it to be.” We know how to do this.
Raising the minimum wage is a start. A maximum wage would help, too, by reducing CEOs’ incentives to emphasize quarterly gains over long-term growth and leaving more to be shared with employees.
We also need a national strategy for regaining the more reasonable distribution of income this country had in the 1950s. We need to ensure that the door of opportunity, which is closing every day for millions of young people, is opened again. And we need to ask the wealthiest to really pay their fair share – at something closer to the top tax rates of the 1950’s or 1960’s. (Elvis Presley’s manager “Colonel” Tom Parker once said “I consider it my patriotic duty to keep Elvis in the ninety percent tax bracket.”)
Most of all, we need to educate those around us so they understand what’s happening. That includes the well-intentioned well-to-do, who might do more to end the problem if they knew it existed. After all, you can’t stop a robbery until you know it’s happening.
The Great Recession has quietly devastated public services on a state-by-state basis, with Republican and Democratic governors taking turns leading the charge. Public education has been decimated, as well as health care, welfare, and the wages and benefits of public sector workers. The public sector itself is being smashed. Since the recession began, states have made combined austerity cuts of at least $337 billion, according to the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities
The 2012-2013 budget deficits for 34 states resulted in $55 billion in cuts, according to the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities. The coming budgets for 2013-2014 that begins on July 1st is becoming clear as well, and the deficits are rolling in by the billions: Connecticut, Minnesota, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Washington, and many others have large deficits projected.
You’d expect after years of austerity cuts to public services, state politicians would think of new ways to raise revenue from those who can afford it — the wealthy and corporations. Not so. The cuts that began as a consequence of the 2008 recession are set to continue; raising revenue from the wealthy is “off the table” for Republicans and Democrats alike.
The pattern of budget cuts has revealed that the age-old distinction between Republican and Democrat has evaporated on the state level. The state budget trends — what’s getting funded and what’s not — are similarly aligned across the country. Both parties have merged their state-level agendas into a singular focus on “economic growth,” a bi-partisan euphemism meaning “corporate profits.”
Below is the bi-partisan funding trends for the states that began with the 2008 recession and continue to this day:
1) The Attack on Public Employees and Pension “Reform”
It wasn’t long ago that everyone understood that the states’ budget crises was caused in part by the recession, itself caused by the big banks and greedy corporations, and in part by the politicians continuing willingness to lower taxes on the rich. Now the corporate media and politicians have re-written history: suddenly it’s “greedy” public workers and their “lavish” pensions that are bankrupting the states. Two years ago it was the health care of public employees that was bankrupting the states, which resulted in large cuts to workers in many states.
The pre-recession pension system was working fine, but it, too, suffered under the bank-caused financial crisis; pension returns sank and right-wing economists projected ruin for the states in the future (they conveniently assumed that recession era rates would continue forever, thus under-funding the system).
Democratic governors are now as eager as their Republican counterparts to destroy the pensions of public employees. Democratic politicians in Oregon, Washington, California, New Jersey, Illinois, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maryland, Massachusetts, and several other states are leading the charge to erode the last bastion of retirement security for working people, while continuing to lay off public employees by the thousands. This national shrinkage of state governments is a long-standing right-wing dream: the smaller the state, the greater the “growth opportunities” for corporations that take over privatized public services and the lower their taxes since a smaller state requires less revenue for operating expenses.
2) Education Reform
The National Governors Association (NGA) spoke for both political parties when announcing a renewed focus on education funding for the states during the annual “state of the states” address. The funding is necessary because schools across the country are expecting an influx of students, while school districts everywhere have been starved funds by the ongoing austerity cuts; the system has been literally crumbling. But the new funding is to be used for the undermining and destruction of public education, since it is based on Obama’s pro-corporate Race to the Top education “reform” where charter schools replace public schools.
Democrats and Republicans are in complete agreement over Obama’s education policy, which closes “failing schools,” (those in poor neighborhoods), opens privately run, non-union charter schools, and fires “bad teachers,” (typically those who teach poor students). The whole system is based on standardized testing, which poorer students will spend most of their education preparing for, (those who don’t drop out from sheer boredom). Bi-partisan education reform targets teacher unions while privatizing education — the Democrats have adopted the ideas from the right-wing think tanks of the 1990′s.
3) Raising Revenue – But Not From the Wealthy or Corporations
Many states have implemented — or are planning to implement — a variety of taxes that disproportionally affect working and poor people, including increased sales taxes, alcohol, tobacco and other “sin” taxes, not to mention increases in different fees, from state parks to driver registration.
At the same time that these taxes have been upped, a consistent clamor has been raised by the media and politicians to lower the taxes for corporations, give them new subsidies or “freeze” their already-low taxes so that future tax increases will be impossible. In Oregon the Democratic governor declared a “special session” emergency in order to ensure that NIKE’s super low tax status would be frozen in place for decades, outside the reach of the public, which might want to raise corporate taxes to fund public services.
Democrat and Republican controlled states are equally competing for the adoration of corporations by lavishing a never-ending flow of taxpayer money on them, while “guaranteeing” them “investment security,” i.e., promising low taxes and an open spigot of taxpayer money. This is the basis for several states implementing “right to work” laws that target unions for destruction, while also attempting to “revamp the tax code,” which is a euphemism for lowering corporate taxes.
4) Welfare Reform: Attacking the Safety Net
Waging war against the safety net is like picking a fight with road kill — the states’ safety net is already disfigured beyond recognition, but the bi-partisan assault nevertheless continues. Bill Clinton started welfare “reform” as president, and the 2008 Great Recession accelerated the attack on those in poverty. The year 2011 was a devastating one for welfare, now called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:
In 2011, states implemented some of the harshest cuts in recent history for many of the nation’s most vulnerable families with children who are receiving assistance through [TANF] … The cuts affect 700,000 low-income families that include 1.3 million children; these families represent over one-third of all low-income families receiving TANF nationwide.
But these TANF “reforms” continue, to the detriment of the neediest. Newly released budgets in several states — including California and Oregon — further tighten the program, a relentless boa-like constriction that’s already suffocated millions of the country’s poorest citizens. Typically TANF reform either lowers the monthly payment, shortens the time one can receive benefits, or raises the standards for staying in the program.
Before the giant TANF cuts in 2011, the program was already shrunken such that TANF only assisted 28 families for every 100 in poverty — the ludicrous definition of “poverty” being a family of four that makes only $22,000 or less.
There is a direct link between the assault on TANF and the rising poverty levels in the United States. Cutting TANF in a time of mass unemployment means consciously consigning millions of families to grinding poverty, hunger, homelessness, and the many other barbarisms associated with extreme poverty.
It wasn’t long ago that the Democrats understood that the government can and should create jobs, especially during a recession. But now the Democratic Party has fully adopted the economics of Reaganism. As a result, the only “job creators” now recognized are the corporations. This bi-partisan agreement not to tax the rich and use the revenue for public spending to create jobs — hiring more teachers, firefighters, roads and parks workers, etc. — is unnecessarily prolonging the job crisis, ensuring more years of deficits and a deeper gouging of the public sector.
These cuts are having a devastating effect on public sector unions, the last bastion of union strength in the country. These unions are being weakened to such an extent that stripping them of their right to collectively bargain — the nail in the coffin — becomes a real possibility. No state is safe from this threat.
If unions don’t unite with community groups to demand that public services be fully funded by taxing the wealthy and corporations, the cuts will continue, communities will feel helpless, inequality will continue to spiral out of control, and working people will be further subjected to the policies of the 1%, now implemented in chorus by Republicans and Democrats alike. But, of course, this means that the unions will have to break with the suicidal strategy of relying on the Democrats for handouts. Time and again the Democrats have demonstrated their willingness to sacrifice the needs of working people in order to curry favor with the rich and corporations, their greatest benefactors when it comes to election campaign contributions.
The mainstream media covered the inauguration of Barack Obama with breathless anticipation on Monday, but should we really be celebrating another four years of Obama? The truth is that the first four years of Obama were an absolute train wreck for the U.S. economy. Over the past four years, the percentage of working age Americans with a job has fallen, median household income has declined by more than $4000, poverty in the U.S. has absolutely exploded and our national debt has ballooned to ridiculous proportions. Of course all of the blame for the nightmarish performance of the economy should not go to Obama alone. Certainly much of what we are experiencing today is the direct result of decades of very foolish decisions by Congress and previous presidential administrations. And of course the Federal Reserve has more influence over the economy than anyone else does. But Barack Obama steadfastly refuses to criticize anything that the Federal Reserve has done and he even nominated Ben Bernanke for another term as Fed Chairman despite his horrific track record of failure, so at a minimum Barack Obama must be considered to be complicit in the Fed’s very foolish policies. Despite what the Obama administration tells us, the U.S. economy has been in decline for a very long time, and that decline has accelerated in many ways over the past four years. Just consider the statistics that I have compiled below. The following are 37 statistics which show how four years of Obama have wrecked the U.S. economy…
1. During Obama’s first term, the number of Americans on food stamps increased by an average of about 11,000 per day.
3. According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”
4. The number of Americans receiving money directly from the federal government each month has grown from 94 million in the year 2000 tomore than 128 million today.
5. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 146 million Americans are either “poor” or “low income” at this point.
6. The unemployment rate in the United States is exactly where it was (7.8 percent) when Barack Obama first entered the White House in January 2009.
8. During the first four years of Obama, the number of Americans “not in the labor force” soared by an astounding 8,332,000. That far exceeds any previous four year total.
9. During Obama’s first term, the number of Americans collecting federal disability insurance rose by more than 18 percent.
10. The Obama years have been absolutely devastating for small businesses in America. According to economist Tim Kane, the following is how the number of startup jobs per 1000 Americans breaks down by presidential administration…
Bush Sr.: 11.3
Bush Jr.: 10.8
11. Median household income in America has fallen for four consecutive years. Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.
12. The economy is not producing nearly enough jobs for the hordes of young people now entering the workforce. Approximately 53 percentof all U.S. college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed in 2011.
13. According to a report from the National Employment Law Project, 58 percent of the jobs that have been created since the end of the recession have been low paying jobs.
14. Back in 2007, about 28 percent of all working families were considered to be among “the working poor”. Today, that number is up to 32 percent even though our politicians tell us that the economy is supposedly recovering.
15. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, only 24.6 percent of all of the jobs in the United States are “good jobs” at this point.
16. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.
17. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the United States is losinghalf a million jobs to China every single year.
18. The United States has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.
19. According to the World Bank, U.S. GDP accounted for 31.8 percentof all global economic activity in 2001. That number declined steadily over the course of the next decade and was only at 21.6 percent in 2011.
20. The United States actually has plenty of oil and we should not have to import oil from the Middle East. We need to drill for more oil, but Obama has been very hesitant to do that. Under Bill Clinton, the number of drilling permits approved rose by 58 percent. Under George W. Bush, the number of drilling permits approved rose by 116 percent. Under Barack Obama, the number of drilling permits approved actuallydecreased by 36 percent.
21. When Barack Obama took office, the average price of a gallon of gasoline was $1.84. Today, the average price of a gallon of gasoline is$3.26.
22. Under Barack Obama, the United States has lost more than 300,000 education jobs.
24. Families that have a head of household under the age of 30 now have a poverty rate of 37 percent.
25. More than three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as were sold in 2012.
26. Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.
27. Health insurance costs have risen by 29 percent since Barack Obama became president.
28. Today, 77 percent of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time.
29. It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
30. The total amount of money that the federal government gives directly to the American people has grown by 32 percent since Barack Obama became president.
31. The Obama administration has been spending money on some of the most insane things imaginable. For example, in 2011 the Obama administration spent $592,527 on a study that sought to figure out once and for all why chimpanzees throw poop.
32. U.S. taxpayers spend more than 20 times as much on the Obamas as British taxpayers spend on the royal family.
33. The U.S. government has run a budget deficit of well over a trillion dollars every single year under Barack Obama.
35. During Obama’s first term, the federal government accumulated more debt than it did under the first 42 U.S presidents combined.
36. As I wrote about yesterday, when you break it down the amount of new debt accumulated by the U.S. government during Obama’s first term comes to approximately $50,521 for every single household in the United States. Are you ready to contribute your share?
37. If you started paying off just the new debt that the U.S. has accumulated during the Obama administration at the rate of one dollar per second, it would take more than 184,000 years to pay it off.
But despite all of these numbers, the mainstream media and the left just continue to shower Barack Obama with worship and praise. Newsweek recently heralded Obama’s second term as “The Second Coming“, and at Obama’s pre-inauguration church service Reverand Ronald Braxton openly compared Obama to Moses…
At Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, Braxton reportedly crafted his speech around Obama’s personal political slogan: “Forward!”
Obama, said Braxton, was just like Moses facing the Red Sea: “forward is the only option … The people couldn’t turn around. The only thing that they could do was to go forward.” Obama, said Braxton, would have to overcome all obstacles – like opposition from Republicans, presumably, or the bounds of the Constitution. Braxton continued, “Mr. President, stand on the rock,” citing to Moses standing on Mount Horeb as his people camped outside the land of Israel.
But it wasn’t enough to compare Obama with the founder of Judaism and the prophet of the Bible. Braxton added that Obama’s opponents were like the Biblical enemies of Moses, and that Obama would have to enter the battle because “sometimes enemies insist on doing it the hard way.”
So what do you think the next four years of Obama will bring?
Source: The Economic Collapse
An obscure report that the Federal Reserve may suspend the monetization of purchasing Treasury Bonds has the smell of disinformation. The perennial efforts to lift economic spirits with the beginning of a New Year often are packed with wishful thinking. Quantitative Easing is being treated as a useful tool for turning on and off the spigot of liquidity infusion. In reality, the results of the massive origination of debt created monies fundamental purpose is to save the commercial banks from insolvency.
The trial balloon report, Federal Reserve could pause QE this year if US economy improves, avoids the risks that come from another expansive round of deficit spending.
“St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, a voting member of the Fed’s monetary policy panel this year, said a drop in the unemployment rate to 7.1 per cent would probably constitute the “substantial improvement” in the labor market that the central bank seeks.
“If the economy performs well in 2013, the Committee will be in a position to think about going on pause” with the asset buys.
Minutes from their December policy meeting showed that “several” top officials expected to slow or stop the so-called quantitative easing program, dubbed QE3, “well before” the end of the year – news that surprised some on Wall Street and prompted a drop in stocks and bonds, and a rise in the dollar.”
The recent spike of equity prices after the sharp increase in taxes on high-end incomes just does not translate into improving the prospects of the beleaguered middle class. Temporary uncertainty relief does not make a healthy stock market alone. When the financiers of employment expansion must face the added costs of Obamacare and a drop in consumer disposable income, it simply does not follow that unemployment levels will drop in the near future.
Yet, segments of the Federal Reserve offers optimism, as the labor market may show “substantial improvement” in the coming months. Could this forecast imply some newfangled governmental make work new spending programs?
Surely, the financial media is pushing the success of the QE’s rescues. One example is the TV commercial where AIG advertises the end of its bailout.
“AIG has just launched a two-week, multimedia campaign seeking to reintroduce itself after its role in sparking the Great Recession,” MediaPost reported yesterday. “The company got an $85 billion bailout as the government took about an 80% stake.”
The ballyhoo over paying back the loans steers clear of the real reason why AIG was “Too Important” to fail; namely, to salvage the incalculable derivative obligations. Rescuing the money center banks has always been the intent of the “Too Big to Fail” taxpayer salvage schemes.
But when will the limit of such gifts be reached? When the banks are satisfied or when the Treasury is emptied and looted, as the cost of extending the usury based financial system. Future generations do not have a chance for economic prosperity as long as the Federal Reserve continues the bond-buying thievery.
In order to confuse the public even more, The Big Banks Expect Quantitative Easing Into Early 2014.
“The New York Fed’s primary dealers, the 21 banks with which it carries out transactions, expect quantitative easing to continue until 1Q 2014. This is according to a Dow Jones Business News report.
The recently released minutes of the December FOMC meeting revealed that several Fed governors were taking a more hawkish stance in regards to the bond-buying program.”
Remember that the Fed is forecasting a slow modest recovery. What will the change in attitude become with a serious double-dip recession?
Do not believe for a New York minute that the Fed is looking to transition out of their gravy train financial backdrop for their bankster holders of the privately owned central bank.
The practical gauge of how long Quantitative Easing remains will be decided by the amount of debt that needs to be refinanced. Rolling over current debt is easy enough of a concept to understand. Should it not be just as comprehensible to recognize that continued increases in the national debt requires even greater appetites to buy government bonds?
Notwithstanding, this normal mechanism of finance, the perverse imagination of the paper printers knows no bounds. The Trillion-Dollar Platinum Coins provides the latest absurdity.
“There’s a legal loophole allowing the Treasury to mint platinum coins in any denomination the secretary chooses . . . Yes, it was intended to allow commemorative collector’s items—but that’s not what the letter of the law says. And by minting a $1 trillion coin, then depositing it at the Fed, the Treasury could acquire enough cash to sidestep the debt ceiling—while doing no economic harm at all.”
In response, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) has introduced a bill to specifically ban President Barack Obama from minting the coins.
The obvious conclusion when the market refuses to support low interest T Bonds is that something has to give. Either interest rates need to rise significantly or the Fed must continue their Quantitative Easing.
As long as the Obama administration maintains, We Do Not Have a Spending Problem, and stonewalls significant and meaningful reductions in the federal expenditures, the national debt will continue to be a drain on the financial bond markets.
Mr. Bullard’s optimistic projection of lower unemployment might simply be a signal that the methods for compiling the statistics may be in the works. The main street economy sees no benefit from a banking system that shuns loaning money to productive businesses.
Quantitative Easing in any form or machination is a euphemism for crony corporate welfare. The big money center banks are virtually financially immune from lawful accountability or criminal prosecution.
Slapping fines and penalties for violating statues and regulations, results in escaping trial by juries. This basic exclusive protection for the elites that run the counterfeit presses is the proof of true power. Inexhaustible Quantitative Easing is just another means to keep the spending financed with other peoples’ money.
Hold your breath, the race to the bottom is ready to escalate. The consequence of the corporate consumerism economy has reached the tipping point. The old rules that mainstream spending will dig the way back to prosperity are permanently dead. The one sure implication that is indisputable is that taxes are set to rise at unprecedented levels. With Obamacare revenue obligations coming into effect, the latest phase of centralized medical socialism spreads like a virus. Under such circumstances, how can the patient regain their health?
The Rino Republicans have proven again their slimy deceit, as demonstrated inHighlights of Senate bill averting ‘fiscal cliff’. The bipartisan house is poised to make another deal with the devil. Such legislation that refuses to enact meaningful and significant spending cuts exemplifies the depth of the efforts to dismantle the economic wellbeing of the average taxpayer.
The only beneficiary out of the tax bill from hell will be the corporate/state axis. By setting aside the automatic sequestration program reductions for a typical irresponsible useless promise the McConnell, Biden reach tentative deal on sequester, con insults the intelligence of any rational taxpayer.
“The negotiating parties reached an agreement to delay it by two months with some spending cuts to offset the delay.”
Without a serious reduction in the rate of growth, much less a real shrinking in federal expenditures, deficit spending will shoot up higher than an addicted junkie. Examine the mess.
“According to the Congressional Budget Office, the last-minute fiscal cliff deal reached by congressional leaders and President Barack Obama cuts only $15 billion in spending while increasing tax revenues by $620 billion—a 41:1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts.”
This factor alone provides ample evidence that the economy will sustain another substantial hit. Treading water is no way to save yourself when you are swimming inside a whirlpool of spiraling intensity or diving into a pool drained of water.
2013 is likely to be another generous year for the financial vultures. Mergers and acquisitions may well come back ‘with a vengeance’, as international corporatists push hard for even greater consolidation. The suspect “Free Trade” cabal has enormous support and protection from the selected public officials that administer a plutocrat economy. Even under the distractions of higher taxes on the super affluent, their wealth will grow dramatically, as public subsistence becomes more dependent on government handouts.
Business is very good for the governing bureaucrat. This New Year provides immense promises for government expansion. The crowding out of the credit markets for private business will continue as an inevitable result of public sector borrowing hitting new highs.
Private firms will struggle as disposable funds become rarer. The consumer has shown remarkable restrains since the 2008 meltdown, but the internal built up demand for lifestyle replacement standards will not generate the economic activity that so many financial experts tout.
Prospects of an intensified reoccurrence of the persistent recession are far more likely. The sustainability of Federal Reserve monetization has limits. The crucial test of this desperate repurchase of debt created obligations will play out in the bond market.
Another down grade of the U.S. credit status over the next political battle of raising the borrowing limit is a major concern. The potential free fall of the Dollar and international abandonment of the reserve currency standing is probably the greatest risk to the economy.
Any credit-based economy is at the mercy of the central banksters. Disregarding the phony political rhetoric of the governance ideologues, the basic constructs of economic facts cannot be separated from the harsh reality of a credit crunch.
Inflation is embedded in the under reported consumer pricing statistics. Grocery prices will rise, while food stamps proliferate. This SNAP economy is a telltale gauge of the wellness of the basic consumer. How can anyone believe that the prospects for a healthy economy are in the cards for 2013?
The one unassailable conclusion that is born out with every turn of the financial page is that the rich become richer, while the middle class struggles even harder to make ends meet.
Many will fall into the trap that rich people are the cause of the problem. Such social envy misses a proper perspective on wealth creation. The real reason why the economy scrambles to democratize medium affluence is that the monopolists of politically protected conglomerates suppress initiative and originative employment entrepreneurial enterprises.
The entire political and tax system operates to diminish the chances of small business to compete against the virtual unrestricted capital access of major public companies. 2013 will be a watershed year that regretfully will see the systemic demise of privately held endeavors.
The replacement of free enterprise, with state/capitalism has produced a fascist economy.
When the establishment operates under the favoritism principle, the inevitable result is that crony capitalists dig the graves of independent business operators, with publicly funded shovels. How under this formula can the ordinary citizen expect to prosper when the supplanting of individual intuitive is intentionally marginalized?
The financial markets reflect uncertainty in the face of record corporate receipts. The balance sheets of companies have been rebuilt from the depth of the housing implosion, with much assistance from public indebtedness. The globalist banks practice distress acquisitions, deliberately designed to solidify interdependency at the price of personal autonomy.
With this acceleration of financial austerity for the average citizen, the gap between the corporate economy and the main street market grows exponentially. Whatever degree of cash flow that the country enjoys in this New Year, the price that will be paid to stretch out one last celebration of former fortune, will inescapably result in national poverty.
Just blaming the one percent ignores the institutional corruption that perpetrates the war against the middle class. Hoping for a thriving 2013 dismisses the abject State of the Nation. The only relevant question unanswered is whether the beleaguered taxpayer will revolt or just swallow another dose of Obama collectivism.
I candidly confess that I am not very superstitious. I don’t care how many cracks I step on on a sidewalk; I don’t care how many cracked mirrors I look at; I’ve never thrown salt over my shoulder; I’ve never rubbed a red-headed boy’s head for luck; I don’t carry four-leaf clovers or rabbit’s feet in my pocket; and the number 13 doesn’t scare me a bit. All of that notwithstanding, however, I can’t help but believe that 2013 is going to be a rough year.
One thing is certainly clear: the last year that ended in 13 was a horrific year for the people of the United States. In fact, 1913 was one of the worst years of the Twentieth Century. Consider the following:
February 3, 1913
This is the date when the 16th Amendment was ratified, and the direct income tax and IRS were instituted. This was a flagrant repudiation of freedom principles. What began as a temporary measure to support the War of Northern Aggression became a permanent income revenue stream for an unconstitutional–and ever-growing–central government.
April 8, 1913
This is the date when the 17th Amendment was ratified. This amendment overturned the power of the State legislatures to elect their own senators and replaced it with a direct, popular vote. This was another serious blow against State sovereignty. The framers of the Constitution desired that the influence and power in Washington, D.C., be kept as close to the people and states as possible. For example, the number of representatives in the House of Representatives was to be decided by a limited number of voters. In the original Constitution, the ratio of “people of the several States” deciding their House member could not exceed “one for every thirty thousand.” (Article. I. Section. 2. Paragraph. 3.) And when it came to the US Senate, the framers also recognized the authority of each State legislature to select its own senators, thereby keeping power and influence from aggregating in Washington, D.C. The 17th Amendment seriously damaged the influence and power of the states by forcing them to elect their US senators by popular vote. The bigger the State, the less influence the State legislature has in determining its US senator. Senators who answered to State legislators, each answering to a limited number of voters, were much more accountable to the “citizens of the several States” than those who were elected by a large number (many times numbering into the millions) of people. For all intents and purposes (at least in the larger states), US Senators are more like “mini-Presidents” than they are representatives of sovereign states.
December 23, 1913
This is the date when the Federal Reserve Act was passed. This Act placed oversight of America’s financial matters into the hands of a cabal of private international bankers, who have completely destroyed the constitutional principles of sound money and (for the most part) free enterprise. No longer would the marketplace (private consumption, thrift, growth, etc.) be the determinant of the US economy (which is what freedom is all about), but now a private, unaccountable international banking cartel would have total power and authority to micromanage (for their own private, parochial purposes) America’s financial sector. Virtually every recession, depression, and downturn (including the one we are now experiencing) has been the direct result of the Fed’s manipulation (again, for its own purposes and with Washington’s cooperation) of the market.
Already, 2013 is shaping up to rival the monstrous year of 1913. Here are some of the reasons why:
The elements of Obamacare will begin to be felt this year in earnest. The American people can expect the cost of everything associated with health care to quadruple or more. Physicians will begin leaving their practices or significantly scaling back their services. Hospitals will start dispensing assembly line-type care. The quality of health care will plummet. But, of course, welfare recipients (including illegal aliens) will see a dramatic increase in benefits.
Don’t expect the Republican-led House of Representatives to hold the line on taxes. John Boehner and the RINOs in the GOP will give Obama the vast majority of what he wants on taxes. The result is our taxes are going up. Big time! This also means that the cost of everything else is going up. Real inflation is on its way, folks.
This is the big issue! Barack Obama and his gun-control fanatics in the Democrat Party have already declared war on the Second Amendment. They are going to attempt to outlaw semi-automatic rifles, high capacity magazines in both rifles and handguns, and make the private sale of firearms illegal. It will be the biggest assault on the Second Amendment since 1968–and maybe in US history!
If gun owners, and freedom lovers of all types, expect to pass any freedom on to their posterity, they are going to have to fight, AND FIGHT HARD, to preserve their liberties. The same GOP-led House that is going to cave-in on taxes will also have a propensity to cave-in on more gun control. Only the biggest outcry of opposition that they have ever seen from their constituents will come close to helping them stay the line. Freedomists all over America had better take the gloves off come January and rally support against these assaults against the Second Amendment or our liberties will be gone FOREVER!
In addition, State legislators, governors, etc., must also rise up in massive opposition to this tyrannical assault against the Second Amendment by Washington, D.C. In short, states need to tell Washington to go to hell! That they are not going to comply with Washington’s attempt to outlaw the most fundamental right in American history: the right to keep and bear arms.
Thomas Jefferson correctly stated, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
George Washington said, “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence… From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable… The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference. When firearms go, all goes.”
Remember, too, semi-automatic rifles are not “assault rifles,” no matter what media propagandists say. Assault rifles are capable of fully automatic fire. These guns are already illegal without jumping through a myriad bureaucratic hoops in order to obtain a special permit to possess them. That assault rifles are illegal is bad enough. To take away the citizen’s right to bear a semi-automatic rifle is to, in effect, completely disarm him. Such an act must be regarded as an act of war against the life and liberties of the American people!
The semi-automatic rifle is the backbone of freedom; it is the single most significant protection against tyranny and oppression in modern times. Is it mere coincidence that the Bloody Butchers of Beijing are calling for the American citizenry to surrender their semi-automatic rifles? US troops won World War II because of the semi-automatic rifle. Switzerland maintained its peaceful neutrality even when the entire continent was soaked in war because of the semi-automatic rifle. The only reason that would-be tyrants in the US government have been kept at bay is because of an American citizenry fully armed with semi-automatic rifles. Foreign enemy-states such as Communist China are more intimidated by an American nation filled with citizens who bear semi-automatic rifles than they are our nuclear arsenal–and that is a fact!
Furthermore, semi-automatic rifles have been around since before World War II, and they are used by millions of hunters every year. Predator hunters, especially, need a semi-automatic rifle. In 1990, one hundred thousand police officers delivered a report to Congress that only 2-3% of crimes were committed using semi-automatic rifles. In 1993, a Bureau of Justice report noted that, nationwide, “military-type” guns are only used in about 1% of crimes. These statistics would not vary much today.
In fact, a person is much more likely to be killed with a knife than with a gun. According to FBI reports, a person in Chicago (for example) is 67 times more likely to be knifed or beaten to death than killed with a so called “assault weapon,” meaning a military-looking semi-automatic rifle.
To view a fully-documented gun control fact sheet containing these facts and much more, go to:
Beyond that, high capacity magazines are essential to self-defense. Bad guys who commit violent crimes are normally “high” on chemicals, drugs, alcohol, etc. Such people are often impervious to pain. Throw in a high level of adrenaline, and many violent attackers cannot be stopped with one or two bullets. Plus, such miscreants often attack like wolves: in packs.
Police Captain Massad Ayoob: “The likelihood of multiple opponents who move fast, often wear body armor, know how to take cover, and tend to ingest chemicals that make them resistant to pain and shock, are all good reasons for carrying guns that throw a whole lot more bullets than six-shooters do.”
Ladies and gentlemen, the semi-automatic rifle is the vanguard of our liberty; it is the surest and most trustworthy means of our self-defense; and it is the primary companion of any man who would both protect and feed his family.
Make no mistake about it: to take away an American’s right to a semi-automatic rifle is to FULLY DISARM HIM. There is no Second Amendment; there is no right to keep and bear arms; there is no citizen militia; there is no liberty without the semi-automatic rifle! This is a line in the sand that is so important that no man or woman who believes in liberty should be willing to comply with any attempt by government to take away his or her semi-automatic rifle. There are some 50-75 million (a very conservative number) owners of semi-automatic rifles all across America. Each of us needs to make up our minds about this RIGHT NOW! What say you?
As with 1913, it looks like 2013 is shaping up to be a rough year. And it has nothing to do with bad luck and everything to do with bad government. But with God’s help, the enemies of freedom will not prevail! With God’s help, you and I will be free to pass down to our children and grandchildren both our freedom and our semi-automatic rifles come 2014 and beyond!
Will this be the last normal holiday season that Americans ever experience? To many Americans, such a notion would be absolutely inconceivable. After all, in the affluent areas of the country restaurants and malls are absolutely packed. Beautiful holiday decorations are seemingly everywhere this time of the year and children all over the United States are breathlessly awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus. Even though poverty is exploding to unprecedented levels, most families will still have mountains of presents under their Christmas trees. Of course a whole lot of those presents were purchased with credit cards, but people don’t like to talk about that. It kind of spoils the illusion. Sadly, the truth is that our entire economy is a giant illusion. The extreme prosperity that we have been enjoying has been fueled by debt, and any future prosperity that we will experience is completely dependent on our ability to go into even more debt. The total amount of debt in our economy is almost 10 times larger than it was just 30 years ago, but we don’t like to think about that too much. Most Americans are way too busy living the good life to be bothered with “doom and gloom”. Well, get ready to say goodbye to normal. As history has shown us, no financial bubble lasts forever, and time is rapidly running out for us.
You know that the hour is late when even mainstream news sources start publishing articles with titles such as this: “Will 2013 Mark the Beginning of American Decline?”
That article appeared on Bloomberg.com the other day, and it was written by Simon Johnson, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. He is convinced that a day of reckoning is coming for U.S. government finances, and he seems resigned to the fact that we will not be ready when that day arrives…
“Sooner or later, it will be America’s turn to fall out of favor with investors and to see its own interest rates rise. It is hard to know when that day will come, or precisely what pressures the country will face.
Let me only venture one forecast: We will not be ready.”
Other analysts are far more pessimistic. For example, the following is what Gerald Celente said about the “bond bubble” during a recent interview with King World News…
Eric King: “Gerald, I wanted to take a look at this upcoming issue you have coming out. (In here it says,) ‘Bonds Away! The bond bomb is ready to explode … threatening to make the real estate and dot-com bubbles, and even the Great Recession, look like market corrections.’ Can you talk about that?”
Celente: “Yes. This piece is being penned by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, the former Assistant Treasury Secretary under Ronald Reagan. And he is convinced that the bond bubble is about to burst. This cannot continue to go on the way it is. Everyone knows that the whole game is rigged, and so is this….”
“The whole game is rigged. It’s ready to go down, and Dr. Paul Craig Roberts believes it’s ‘Bonds Away’ in 2013 as the bond bubble explodes and brings about a financial disaster even worse than the Great Depression.”
Eric King: “He’s saying here it’s a road to financial collapse that we are going to head down when this thing bursts.”
Celente: “It is. Because the whole world is being propped up by these phony bonds and it’s going to collapse. It has to happen. Interest rates are going to start going up, and when they do the bond bubble explodes. You cannot keep interest rates at zero for this amount of time and expect anything other than disaster to follow.”
For much more on all this, you can listen to another excellent interview with Gerald Celente right here.
Our politicians just assume that we will be able to borrow trillions upon trillions of dollars far into the future at super low interest rates, but that is a very dangerous assumption.
As I noted the other day, the average rate of interest on U.S. government debt was 2.534 percent at the end of November. If that number just rose to where it was about a decade earlier we would be in a massive amount of trouble.
Back in the year 2000, the average rate of interest on U.S. government debt was 6.638 percent. If we were at that level today, the U.S. government would be paying out more than a trillion dollars a year just in interest on the national debt.
But our politicians just keep borrowing and spending as if we could do this forever.
From the time that George Washington was inaugurated (1789) to the time that George W. Bush was inaugurated (2001), the U.S. government accumulated about 5.7 trillion dollars of debt.
During the first four years of the Obama administration, the U.S. government accumulated about 5.7 trillion dollars of debt.
How can anyone support this kind of insanity?
You can see an excellent video demonstrating the vastness of our national debt right here. In the end, all of this debt will absolutely destroy the U.S. dollar, our economic system and the bright futures that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have.
As if all of that was not enough to be concerned about, there is also the threat that Wall Street could implode at any time. Most Americans have no idea that Wall Street has been transformed into the largest casino in the history of the world. The “too big to fail” banks are the ringleaders, and the derivatives bubble hangs over our financial system like a “sword of Damocles” that could fall at virtually any moment.
Everything will remain fine as long as the spiral of derivatives that our bankers have constructed remains perfectly balanced. But if something happens and it becomes unbalanced and starts to collapse, the consequences could be unlike anything we have ever seen before.
A recent Zero Hedge article entitled “1000x Systemic Leverage: $600 Trillion In Gross Derivatives ‘Backed’ By $600 Billion In Collateral” detailed how there is barely any collateral backing up the hundreds of trillions of dollars of derivatives that are out there…
But a bigger question is what is the actual collateral backing this gargantuan market which is about 10 times greater than the world’s combined GDP, because as the “derivative” name implies all this exposure is backed on some dedicated, real assets, somewhere. Luckily, the IMF recently released a discussion note titled “Shadow Banking: Economics and Policy” where quietly hidden in one of the appendices it answers precisely this critical question. The bottom line: $600 trillion in gross notional derivatives backed by a tiny $600 billion in real assets: a whopping 0.1% margin requirement! Surely nothing can possibly go wrong with this amount of unprecedented 1000x systemic leverage.
Our entire economy has become a giant pyramid of debt, risk and leverage. At some point there is going to be a giant crash. When that happens, people are going to become very desperate.
When people become very desperate, they often accept “solutions” that they were not willing to consider previously.
We need to learn some lessons from history. This is exactly the kind of thing that happened back in the 1930s.
For example, an elderly woman named Kitty Werthmann is telling audiences what life was like in Austria back in the late 1930s…
“In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25 percent inflation and 25 percent bank loan interest rates.”
“Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn’t want to work; there simply weren’t any jobs.”
The Austrian people were really hurting and they were desperate for answers. When Hitler came to them with “solutions”, they were ready to embrace him with open arms…
“We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933.” she recalls. “We had been told that they didn’t have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living.”
“Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group – Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone in Germany was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria. We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back.”"Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.”
“We were overjoyed,” remembers Kitty, “and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed.”
Sadly, America is already starting to go down the same path in many ways. If you doubt this, you can read the rest of her account right here.
Right now, things are still relatively good in America. Yes, there are a whole host of economic numbers that look really bad, but what we are experiencing right now is nothing compared to the horrific economic pain that is coming.
When our economy finally crashes, nobody is going to be able to press a button and restore things to how they were previously. We will be told that we have to “adjust” and consider “new solutions” to our “new challenges”. Someday we will look back on the good life that we were enjoying in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and wish that we could go back to those days.
So enjoy the relative peacefulness and prosperity of these times while you still can. A horrific economic collapse is on the way, and once it strikes none of our lives will ever be the same.
Source: The Economic Collapse