Archive for July 9th, 2011
House Republican budget negotiators have abandoned plans to pursue a massive $4 trillion, 10-year deficit reduction package in the face of stiff GOP opposition to any plan that would increase taxes as part of the deal.
House Speaker John Boehner informed President Barack Obama Saturday that a smaller agreement of about $2 trillion was more realistic.
That’s $200 billion a year which means we’re still borrowing about 11% of GDP and running deficits of $1,500 billion a year.
That’s not going to move the needle.
In fact, it just takes us back to calendar year 2008 when the stupidity started!
If this is really what Bohner is working with he would be far better off to walk out and hit the ceiling, which will force an immediate balanced budget.
But he won’t.
As with every so-called “fiscal conservative”, including those in the so-called “Tea Party” such as Southerland, Miller and others, he is in fact a lying sack of crap.
You do this Bohner and not only will you lose your Speaker’s gavel but the US will get downgraded, perhaps immediately on your announcement of a “deal.”
The Great Reset could take many forms. The only certain thing is that today’s profound political disunity and our destabilizing financial Plutocracy will force a crisis.
Yesterday I laid out why the U.S. will inevitably experience The Great Reset. What comes after that systemic devolution/crisis is unknown, but we can speculate on the shape of things to come.
Though we cannot know the outcome, we can certainbly discern the outlines of the crisis itself. These destabilizing conditions will force a crisis at some point and will be resolved one way or another:
1. Profound political disunity. As I noted in Survival+, this was a key feature of the Roman Empire in its final slide to collapse. The shared values and consensus which had held the Empire’s core together dissolved, leaving petty fiefdoms to war among themselves for what power and swag remained.
Today we have several types of political disunity. Superficially, the two “political theater” wings of the Demopublicans stage a bitter partisan war over whose vision of the U.S. as a “Plutocracy, but with benefits” holds an increasingly enfeebled political power.
But this is all theater and artifice. Neither wing has any vision or values of substance; each slavshly serves their masters, the corporate cartels and financial Oligarchy, while feeding their vast constituencies in the Savior State great gobs of borrowed treasure to maintain the “Plutocracy, but with benefits.”
The real disunity is between a doomed Status Quo and those willing to deal with reality.Right now those willing to deal with reality are few, but they have the distinct advantage of reality on their side, while the Status Quo has only propaganda, artifice, phony political theater and empty promises.
The disunity stems from the public’s innate desire to hold onto the empty promises and cling to the hope offered by the Status Quo that these grandiose, impossible promises will be met, despite the abundant factual evidence to the contrary.
Every attempt to lead the public toward the realization that the present is unsustainable will be crushed by a frantic assault of the fiefdoms, cartels and players who will lose power and profits when the Status Quo crumbles under its own weight.
Promises always sound better than reality until a crisis punctures the promises. But the anger generated by this deflation of “too good to be true” promises threatens both rationality and stability.
2. A dearth of leadership. The weakness of what passes for “leadership” today is not just a matter of bad luck but of the corruption of politics to the point that it only attracts sycophants, moral midgets and sociopaths. It’s easy to blame those attracted to the game for this, but the real cause is the American people, who reject honesty in favor of artifice and promises.The American public is child-like, self-centered, myopic, ill-informed and ultimately uncaring about anything but getting their share of the swag.
Thus anyone who promises that their share of the swag will remain untouched wins, and anyone who suggests the swag is unsustainable is rejected as “judgmental” or “negative.” To the degree a nation gets the leadership it demands, then the U.S. is in trouble. We’re now a nation of spoiled teens who get to elect their parents. No surprise, the ‘rents who never enforce any rules, never challenge their own bosses (the kleptocrats) and who dole out the most allowance win every time.
Thus we get leaders who refuse to challenge the Financial Power Elites, cartels and fiefdoms because the Status Quo would devote all its stupendous wealth and influence to defeating a challenger, and we get leaders who refuse to be honest with the American people because that honesty is rejected as unwelcome.
Ideally, a leader persuades the public to grow up rather than pander to their basest desires, but such a leader would only have one term of office.
3. The unstable double-bind of rule by Financial Plutocracy.A funny thing happens when a nation allows itself to be ruled by kleptocrats: such rule is intrinsically destabilizing, as there is no longer any center to bind the nation together. The public sees the value system at the top is “I, Me, Mine” greed fed by complicity/corruption, and they follow suit by pursuing whatever petty frauds and corruptions are within reach: tax avoidance, cheating on entrance exams, gaming disability, lying on mortgage and job applications, and so on.
Meanwhile, the diverting of national income into a few power centers is also destabilizing, as Central Planning and Market Manipulation (TM, Federal Reserve, all rights reserved worldwide) are intrinsically unstable as price can no longer be discovered by unfettered markets. As a result, imbalances grow until some seemingly tiny incident or disruption triggers a cascading collapse.
The double-bind is two-fold: the Power Elites can’t bear to part with any of their power or wealth, so their resistance guarantees systemic collapse. The political “leadership” cannot challenge the Power Elites’ grip on the nation’s throat because the entire Status Quo has been co-opted/sold out and is now wedded to the Oligarchy as their guarantor of financial security.
What this leads to is a Status Quo committed to a sinking ship.The very imbalances created by a Financial Elite and the enabling Central State Central Planning doom the system, but since everyone within the Status Quo depends on it for their own slice of wealth and power, then no one dares speak up in favor of reality. Complicity is the order of the day, but complicity can’t stop the ship from sinking.
4. The political corruption of religion.Jesus did not say, “Go forth and lobby the Roman Senate, to make laws which impose your interpretations on others.” Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” (John 18:36)
Although it is unpopular to say so, some aspects of religion in the U.S. have been corrupted by a desire for wealth and a focus on acquiring it, and by a desire for political power masquerading as morality.
Very few (I know of none) commentators, mainstream or independent, see the potential for a Great Awakening, a spiritual, non-denominational renewal of faith not as some political force in the greasy halls of power but as a motivator of personal responsibility and resolve. I may be alone in this, but American history is replete with examples not only of political upheaval but of broad-based spiritual renewals that reject the earthly excesses in favor of a renewed moral center.
Such movements need not be associated with any one religion or denomination; they tend to be cultural in nature, drawing inspiration from religious faith but extending beyond the confines of the church.
Complicity and dependence erode the soul; political or financial “fixes” alone can’t fix the rot. In a fundamentally corrupt, complicit society, rules and laws are routinely evaded, bypassed, undermined or simply ignored. Making more rules fixes nothing if the rules are merely for show, or only for the bottom 99%.
The resolution of these brewing instabilities could be orderly or disorderly.In an orderly scenario, a new Constitutional Convention is convened, and a leadership backed by an enlightened public hammers out a consensus to limit the political and financial dominance of Financial Power Elites and corporate cartels. The new consensus reorients the Central State to its original purpose of limiting predation of the citizenry by Elites and criminals, defending the nation and imposing the rule of law as defined by the Constitution. The Savior State would be dismantled in an orderly process.
In a disorderly resolution, the Status Quo and the public both refuse to deal with reality and instead cling to the Titanic, demanding magical solutions that will keep the doomed ship from sinking. There is no such magic, of course, and so the ship will go down, and disorder will reign.
It might take the shape of a financial crisis such as a devaluation or hyperinflation, or it might take a political crisis such as a “Quiet Coup” by Elites or an outbreak of resistance to the heavy-handed Central State.
At the outer boundaries of such disorder, then the nation could split apart, along the lines of the book The Nine Nations of North America, or into permutations of civil war as invisioned by author/blogger Chris Sullins in his novel seriesOperation SERF.
The salient feature of instability is its unpredictability. The longer the nation waits to deal with unwelcome realities, the greater the eventual destabilization. What happens as a result of that inevitable destabilization will be up to us.
In what seemed more like a Sunday church service than a Capitol Hill press conference, Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., called out for his fellow lawmakers and all Americans to do “the Lord’s work” as a solution to fixing the debt ceiling.
“These are not political questions,” Rangel asserted. “These are moral questions.
While lawmakers from both parties are asking what President Obama is going to do about the debt ceiling, Rangel continues to ask, “what would Jesus do?”
That’s easy Rangel: He’d tell the banks to stick the so-called “debt” up their butts.
This is one man who has clearly never actually read The Bible, for inside it you will find two things.
First, of course, is the passage about the moneychangers, who had set up shop in the Temple and essentially whored it out. Gee, you don’t think government might have done something similar with the halls of Congress and The Executive, do you?
What did Jesus do? He trashed their tables and ejected them.
Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all those engaged in selling and buying there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves.
And he said to them, “It is written: ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a den of thieves.” (Matthew 21:12)
But more to the point, ever read Leviticus 25:10, 25:23 and 27:21?
This fiftieth year you shall make sacred by proclaiming liberty in the land for all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when every one of you shall return to his own property, every one to his own family estate. In this fiftieth year, your year of jubilee, you shall not sow, nor shall you reap the aftergrowth or pick the grapes from the untrimmed vines. (Lev: 25:10)
You don’t think that perhaps the writers of Mosaic Law knew something about exponents do you? These old, wretched and uncivilized people (or God, if you prefer) knew more than you, Rangel, who presume to preach about debt and Jesus while ignoring the very words that you claim bear on your case?
Of course not. See, among other things Leviticus talks about how screwing people in the butt is against God’s law (Leviticus 18:22), and Congress does this figuratively on a literal daily basis with all the blatantly unconstitutional laws it passes from both the left and right, never mind the actual screwing that takes place from time to time.
Or shall we talk about Chapter 19, which says among other things:
You shall not go about spreading slander among your kinsmen; nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor’s life is at stake. (Lev. 19:16)
Gee Rangel, how often have you done that?
I can certainly see where Charlie seems to think slandering and preening the Lord’s word is appropriate.
After all, he has clearly never read one word of it.
Rampant Unemployment = The Death Of The Middle Class – 40 Facts That Prove The Working Class Is Being Systematically Wiped Out
Without an abundance of good jobs, the middle class in the United States is going to shrivel up and die. Right now, rampant unemployment is absolutely killing communities all over America. Hopelessness and poverty are exploding and many are now wondering if we are actually witnessing the slow death of the middle class. There simply are not nearly enough “good jobs” to go around anymore, and even many in the mainstream media are referring to this as a “long-term structural problem” with the economy. The only thing that most working class Americans have to offer in the marketplace is their labor. If nobody will hire them they do not have any other ways to provide for their families. Well, there is a problem. Today wealth has become incredibly centralized. The big corporations and the big banks dominate everything. Thanks to incredible advances in technology and thanks to the globalization of our economic system, the people with all the money don’t have to hire as many ordinary Americans anymore. They can hire all the labor they want on the other side of the globe for a fraction of the cost. So the rich don’t really have that much use for the working class in America anymore. The only thing of value that the working class had to offer has now been tremendously devalued. The wealthy don’t have to pay a lot for physical labor anymore. Thousands of our factories and millions of our jobs have been shipped overseas and they aren’t coming back. The big corporations are thriving while tens of millions of ordinary Americans are deeply suffering. Almost all of the wealth being produced by our economy is going to a very centralized group of people at the very top of the food chain. The rich are getting richer and the working class is being systematically wiped out.
So the fact that we are facing rampant unemployment that never seems to go away should not be a surprise to anyone. Today, the “official” unemployment rate went up to 9.2 percent even though a whopping 272,000 Americans “dropped out of the labor force” in June. The government unemployment figure that includes “discouraged workers” went up from 15.8% to 16.2%. The mainstream media is proclaiming that this was “a horrific report” because most economists were expecting much better news.
Well, guess what?
Things are going to get a whole lot worse.
More job cuts are coming. One recently released report found that the number of job cuts being planned by U.S. employers increased by 11.6% in June.
It is also being projected that state and local governments across the U.S. will slash nearly half a million more jobs by the end of next year.
Needless to say, things don’t look good.
Most people that still have jobs are desperately trying to hold on to them.
Employers know that most workers are easily replaceable these days, so wages are not moving up even though the cost of living is.
We are right in the middle of the worst employment downturn since World War 2. Jay-Z recently summed up the situation this way….
“Numbers don’t lie. Unemployment is pretty high.”
Jay-Z certainly has a way with words, eh?
If something is not done about the rampant unemployment in this nation, the death of the middle class will accelerate.
Most Americans just assume that the United States will always have a large middle class, but there is no guarantee that is going to happen. In fact, there is a whole lot of evidence that the middle class in America is rapidly shrinking.
Take a few moments to read over the facts compiled below. Taken together, they provide compelling evidence that the working class is being systematically wiped out….
#1 Right now, the U.S. government says that 14.1 million Americans are unemployed.
#2 There are fewer payroll jobs in the United States today than there were back in 2000 even though we have added 30 million people to the population since then.
#3 The number of Americans that are “not in the labor force” is at an all-time high.
#4 The United States has never had an employment downturn this deep and this prolonged since World War 2 ended.
#5 There are officially 6.3 million Americans that have been unemployed for more than 6 months. That number has risen by more than 3.5 million in just the past two years.
#6 It now takes the average unemployed worker in America about 40 weeks to find a new job. Just check out this chart….
#7 There are now about 7.25 million fewer jobs in America than when the recession began back in 2007.
#8 Back in 2000, the employment to population ratio was over 64 percent. Today, it is sitting at just 58.2%.
#9 Only 66.8% of American men had a job last year. That was the lowest level that has ever been recorded in all of U.S. history.
#10 During this economic downturn, employee compensation in the United States has been the lowest that it has been relative to gross domestic product in over 50 years.
#11 The number of “low income jobs” in the U.S. has risen steadily over the past 30 years and they now account for 41 percent of all jobs in the United States.
#12 Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.
#13 According to a report released in February from the National Employment Law Project, higher wage industries are accounting for 40 percent of the job losses in America but only 14 percent of the job growth. Lower wage industries are accounting for just 23 percent of the job losses but 49 percent of the job growth.
#14 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
#15 Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.
#16 Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.
#17 Do you remember when the United States was the dominant manufacturer of automobiles and trucks on the globe? Well, in 2010 the U.S. ran a trade deficit in automobiles, trucks and parts of $110 billion.
#18 In 2010, South Korea exported 12 times as many automobiles, trucks and parts to us as we exported to them.
#19 The United States now spends more than 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.
#20 Since China entered the WTO in 2001, the U.S. trade deficit with China has grown by an average of 18% per year.
#21 The U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.
#22 The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
#23 In 2002, the United States had a trade deficit in “advanced technology products” of $16 billion with the rest of the world. In 2010, that number skyrocketed to $82 billion.
#24 Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry was actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.
#25 Since 2001, over 42,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been closed.
#26 There were more manufacturing jobs in the United States in 1950 than there are today.
#27 Since the year 2000, we have lost approximately 10% of our middle class jobs. In the year 2000 there were about 72 million middle class jobs in the United States but today there are only about 65 million middle class jobs. Meanwhile, our population has gotten significantly larger.
#28 When you adjust wages for inflation, middle class workers in the United States make less money today than they did back in 1971.
#30 Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
#31 One out of every six elderly Americans now lives below the federal poverty line.
#32 According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States were living below the poverty line in 2010.
#33 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.
#34 As 2007 began, there were 26 million Americans on food stamps. Today, there are more than 44 million Americans on food stamps, which is an all-time record.
#35 Today, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.
#36 59 percent of all Americans now receive money from the federal government in one form or another.
#37 The number of Americans that are going to food pantries and soup kitchens has increased by 46% since 2006.
#38 In the United States today, the richest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.
#39 According to Moody’s Analytics, the wealthiest 5% of all households in the United States now account for approximately 37% of all consumer spending.
#40 The poorest 50% of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.
The cold, hard reality of the matter is that the United States is experiencing a long-term economic decline.
Every single day, more American families fall out of the middle class and into poverty. There are millions of American families out there tonight that are just barely hanging on by their fingernails.
More Americans than ever are constantly borrowing more money just to stay afloat. Even as rampant unemployment plagues this nation and even as wages remain stagnant, middle class Americans are increasing their use of credit.
A CNBC article noted the increase in consumer borrowing that we have seen recently….
The Federal Reserve says consumer borrowing rose $5.1 billion following a revised gain of $5.7 billion in April. Borrowing in the category that covers credit cards increased, as did borrowing in the category for auto and student loans.
It is very hard to live “the American Dream” without going into huge amounts of debt these days.
But for an increasing number of Americans, “the American Dream” is just a distant memory.
Tonight, there are large numbers of people living in the tunnels under the city of Las Vegas. As the wealthy live the high life in the casinos and hotels above them, an increasing number of desperate “tunnel people” are attempting to carve out an existence in the 200 mile long labyrinth of tunnels that stretches beneath Vegas. It is a nightmarish environment, but it is all those people have left.
Don’t look down on them, because you never know who might be next.
If you lost your current job, how long would you be able to survive?
Unfortunately, as bad as things are now, the reality is that this is just the beginning.
You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Do what you can to make sure that you and your family are not totally wiped out by the next wave of the economic collapse.
I continue to be left speechless at the fact that nobody – and I do mean nobody – in the mainstream media and political establishment is willing to raise hell over this outrage.
Consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 2-1/2 percent in May 2011. Revolving credit increased at an annual rate of 5 percent, and nonrevoling credit increased at an annual rate of 1-1/4 percent.
Uh huh. Here’s the graph:
See, it’s coming back! That’s the mantra anyway – and “see, non-revolving credit is increasing!”
Well, yes….. if you want to be technical you’re right. But it’s all in one place:
Without federal debt – that is, student loans, the annualized change is still negative. It is improving, but it’s negative on an annualized basis.
When looked at in terms of levels – that is, dollars outstanding – it becomes even more stark what’s going on and how badly we’re screwing our young adults who simply do not know better and are taking horrifically-bad “advice” doled out by people with conflicts of interest – people that are in fact paid with the very money they’re borrowing:
Again: Will you please stop financially raping our young adults with non-dischargable student loans?
Discussion (registration required to post)
Boudreau showed us the home, which was stripped bare.
“Although Boudreau had fallen behind a bit in his mortgage, there were no foreclosure proceedings in effect,” Altman says. “That means the people who trashed bordures home and took his possessions should be arrested and prosecuted like common criminals.”
Not “like” common criminals – THEY ARE COMMON CRIMINALS.
It’s time to stop this crap. If the Sheriff’s office won’t, then the people must.