Posts Tagged ‘Lies’
The middle class American worker is in danger of becoming an endangered species. The politicians are not telling you the truth, and the mainstream media is certainly not telling you the truth, but the reality is that there is nothing but bad news on the horizon for workers in the United States. In the old days, when the big corporations that dominate our society did well, that also meant good things for American workers since those corporations would need more of us to work for them. But in the emerging one world economic system that our economy is being merged into, those corporations have other choices now. For instance, the big corporations can now choose to limit the number of “expensive” American workers that they employ by shipping millions of jobs to the other side of the world. And from their perspective, it makes perfect sense. They can make much bigger profits by hiring people on the other side of the planet to work for them for less than a dollar an hour. If they can get good production out of those people, then why should they hire Americans for ten to twenty times as much, plus have to give those Americans health insurance and other benefits? Another major factor in the slow, agonizing death of the American worker is technology. We live during a period when technology is advancing at a pace that is almost unimaginable at the same time that it is steadily becoming cheaper and cheaper. That means that it is going to become easier and easier for companies to replace workers with robots and computers. As I have written about previously, it is being projected that our economy will lose millions of jobs to technology in the coming years. Yes, some of us will still be needed to help build the robots and the computers, but not all of us will. And of course the overall general weakness of the economy is not helping matters either. The American people inherited the greatest economic machine in the history of the world, and we have wrecked it. Decades of very foolish decisions have resulted in the period of steady economic decline that we are experiencing now.
America is simply not the economic powerhouse that it once was. Back in 2001, the U.S. economy accounted for 31.8 percent of global GDP. By 2011, the U.S. economy only accounted for 21.6 percent of global GDP. That is a collapse any way that you want to look at it.
Today, American workers are living in an economy that is rapidly declining, and their jobs are steadily being stolen by robots, computers and foreign workers that live in countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages. Politicians from both political parties refuse to do anything to stop the bleeding because they think that the status quo is working just great.
So don’t expect things to get better any time soon.
The following are 10 amazing charts that demonstrate the slow, agonizing death of the American worker…
#1 Wages And Salaries As A Percentage Of GDP
As you can see, wages as a percentage of GDP are hovering near an all-time record low. That means that American workers are bringing home a smaller share of the economic pie than ever before.
#2 Average Annual Hours Worked Per Employed Person In The United States
We are an economy that is rapidly trading good paying full-time jobs for low paying part-time jobs. The decline in average annual hours worked that we have witnessed represents the equivalent of losing millions of jobs. There has been an explosion of “the working poor” in the United States, and this trend is probably only going to accelerate in the years to come.
#3 Manufacturing Employment
As you can see, there are less Americans working in manufacturing today than there was in 1950 even though the population of the country has more than doubled since then. The United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001, and yet our politicians stand around and do nothing about it.
#4 Employment-Population Ratio
This is one of my favorite charts. It shows that there has been absolutelyno employment recovery at all since the end of the last recession. The percentage of working age Americans that have a job has stayed under 59 percent for 44 months in a row. How much worse will things get when the next major economic downturn strikes?
#5 Labor Force Participation Rate
This is how the Obama administration is getting the “unemployment rate” to magically go down. They are pretending that millions upon millions of Americans simply do not want to work anymore. As you will notice, the decline of the labor force participation rate has accelerated greatly since Barack Obama entered the White House.
#6 Duration Of Unemployment
The average amount of time that it takes an unemployed worker to find a new job has declined slightly, but it is still far above normal historical levels. It is a crying shame that it takes the average unemployed worker two-thirds of a year to find a new job, but this is the new economic reality that we are all living in.
#7 Delinquency Rate On Residential Mortgages
Since there are not enough jobs for all of us, and since our wages are not rising as rapidly as the cost of living is, a whole bunch of us are falling behind on our mortgages. As you can see, the mortgage delinquency rate has only dropped slightly and is still way, way above typical levels.
#8 New Homes Sold
American workers also don’t have enough money to go out and buy new homes either. Yes, new home sales have rebounded slightly this year, but we are nowhere near where we used to be.
#9 Consumer Credit
Millions of American families continue to resort to going into debt in a desperate attempt to make ends meet. After a slight interruption during the last recession, consumer credit once again is growing at a frightening pace.
#10 Self-Employment At A Record Low
Since there aren’t enough jobs for everyone, why aren’t more Americans trying to start their own businesses? Well, the reality of the matter is that the government has made it exceedingly difficult to start your own business today. Taxes, rules, regulations and red tape are choking the life out of millions of small businesses in the United States. As a result, the percentage of self-employed Americans is at a record low.
The numbers don’t lie. Today, the number of Americans on Social Security Disability now exceeds the entire population of Greece, and the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the entire population of Spain.
We are in the midst of a horrifying economic collapse, and the next major wave of that collapse is rapidly approaching.
Are you ready?
What happens to everyone in the ruling Elites and those desperately trying to join the ruling Elites when the debt-serfs stop paying and the tax donkeys drift away to lower-cost, lower-income lifestyles?
Turn on, tune in, drop out was a famous slogan of the 1960s counterculturepopularized by Timothy Leary, who stated that slogan was “given to him” by Marshall McLuhan during a lunch in New York City in 1966.
Tune in referred to gaining an awareness of the countercultural spectrum of ideas and values, turn on referred to mind-expansion via psychedelics and drop out meant to drop out of conventional society; Leary later explained that “drop out meant self-reliance, a discovery of one’s singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change.”
In 1967, Leary modified the slogan thusly: Drop out. Turn on. Drop in.
Here at oftwominds.com, the slogan has been updated to Tune In, Turn On, Opt Out: tune in means to become aware the status quo is unsustainable and deranging;turn on means to become engaged in self-reliance and taking control of one’s life and livelihood, and opting out means opting out of supporting our financialized cartel-state Neofeudal Debtocracy by being a compliant debt-serf and tax donkey.
People all over the world are tuning in to alternative narratives, turning on to self-reliance and low-cost/low-impact living and opting out of the status quo culture of consumerism, debt and complicity with a parasitic, exploitive financial-state Aristocracy/Plutocracy/Oligarchy/Kleptocracy (take your pick–it’s still the same rapacious Elite whatever name you choose).
The most direct path to an alternative way of living is to opt out of debt and the associated consumerist fantasies of store-bought selfhood: multiple university degrees, brand name clothing, luxury autos, etc. This renunciation of consumerist consumption and debt is called Degrowth (May 9, 2013).
Once you opt out of debt and excess consumption, you need a lot less money to live; that means one can work less and have more time for family, gardening, self-cultivation, entrepreneural enterprises, etc.
For many, the cash economy and generous state benefits beckon. I am not recommending any particular lifestyle or set of choices here, I am simply stating what can easily be observed in any developed nation should you remove the mainstream media/state propaganda blinders: people are earning their livelihood in the informal cash economy, avoiding VAT and sales taxes, and many are drawing some sort of state benefit for one reason or another: unemployment, disability, early retirement, etc.
Others are occupying housing units without paying rent or the mortgage, i.e. squatting.A tide of squatters spreads in Spain in wake of foreclosures:
A 285-unit apartment complex in Parla, less than half an hour’s drive from Madrid, should be an ideal target for investors seeking cheap property in Spain. Unfortunately, two thirds of the building generates zero revenue because it’s overrun by squatters.“This is happening all over the country,” said Jose Maria Fraile, the town’s mayor, who estimates only 100 apartments in the block built for the council have rental contracts, and not all of those tenants are paying either. “People lost their jobs, they can’t pay mortgages or rent so they lost their homes and this has produced a tide of squatters.”
As I have ceaselessly explained here for years, this is the inevitable result of financialization and state-enforced rentier arrangements in a Neofeudal Debtocracy:
Bernanke’s Neofeudal Rentier Economy (May 7, 2013)
The Fatal Disease of the Status Quo: Diminishing Returns (May 1, 2013)
College Grads: It’s a Different Economy (May 3, 2013)
What happens to everyone in the ruling Elites and those desperately trying to join the ruling Elites when the debt-serfs stop paying and the tax donkeys drift away to lower-cost, lower-income lifestyles? The ruling kleptocratic financiers and the vast political class of toadies, lackeys, apparatchiks and grifters that do their bidding will be like a bloated general staff who finds their malnourished army of conscripts has slipped away into the night; their parasitic empire will implode because nobody is left to do their bidding.
If you think Tune In, Turn On, Opt Out sounds ludicrous, check back in four years (2017) and eight years (2021) and see how many of your fellow debt-serfs and tax donkeys have quietly abandoned the bloated cost-structure, debt and derangement of the Neofeudal Debtocracy’s twisted consumerist dream.
Charles Hugh Smith – Of Two Minds
The screeching coming from CNBS and elsewhere this morning is amusing.
There’s only one chart that matters, and it will, when recognized, blow up the stock market — sending it down 50% or more.
It’s this one:
That’s it. And the ADP report this morning is showing the pathway to recognition, as construction has stalled and the destruction of job creation in small and mid-sized businesses exposed to Obamacare will finish it off.
I continue to maintain that we’re in a time very similar to 2007, when the facts were on the table. Banks paying dividends with money they didn’t have. Hedge funds that blow. Bubbles in crazy places, then housing, this time in subprime car lending, student loans and even Bitcon.
The transports are telling you that all is not well. CAT is confirming it. Copper is warning that we’re in deep trouble internationally, and irrespective of the claim that “America benefits from everyone else’s pain” that’s only partially true – in the end earnings are what drive stock prices, and the red flags are waving at warp speed on earnings.
To go along with this are rail car loadings. The trouble here is that baseline is in a serious downtrend — and after halting its decline from 2008 to 2009 over the last year it has slid severely once more. There will be those who argue that this is “no big deal”; I disagree.
At the end of the day the premise behind the Fed’s intervention in the market is that “cheap money” promotes hiring through an indirect process. But inherent in that process is a belief that the economic model from 1980 to 2007 can be restarted – a model predicated on ever-larger amounts of leverage in the economy. That model had positive feedback that came from the bond market rally from 1980 to 2008 as well with yield compression helping to fuel the fire.
More than five years into this experiment the results are clear: It doesn’t work.
I believe that by the time we get to the end of the year we will be looking back at these signs and asking “what the hell was I thinking?”
Credit expansion is not going to restart because it can’t — we have reached the terminus of that economic model, like it or not.
It’s over folks.
The Euro clowns have now said out loud that the Cyprus model is how banks will be resolved in the future as a “template.”
Now what is Deutsche Bank’s leverage ratio? The real one, not what they claim?
Oh, and the rest of the banks in Europe too.
How many are still running at 50:1 or even 100:1 leverage — 1-2% reserve ratios in fact despite their claims, when one looks at actual values of assets and not mark-to-fantasy and uncollateralized derivatives?
That would be virtually all of them.
Do you have your money in a European bank or own their bonds?
This is what is about to be done to you as demonstrated in Cyprus.
European officials are openly admitting that the two largest banks in Cyprus are “insolvent“, and it is now being reported that Cyprus Popular Bank only has “enough liquidity to cover the next few hours“. Of course all banks in Cyprus are officially closed until Tuesday at the earliest, but there have been long lines at ATMs all over Cyprus as people scramble to get whatever money they can out of the banks. Unfortunately, some ATMs appear to be “malfunctioning” and others appear to have already run out of cash. You can see some photos of huge lines at one ATM in Cyprus right here. Some businesses are now even refusing to take credit card payments. This is creating an atmosphere of panic on the streets of Cyprus. Meanwhile, the EU is holding a gun to the head of the Cyprus financial system. Either Cyprus meets EU demands by Monday, or liquidity for the banks will be totally cut off and Cyprus will be forced out of the euro. It is being reported that European officials believe that the “economy is going to tank in Cyprus no matter what“, and that it would be okay to let the financial system of Cyprus crash and burn if politicians in Cyprus are not willing to do what they have been ordered to do. Apparently European officials are very confident that the situation in Cyprus can be contained and that it will not spread to other European nations.
Unfortunately, European officials are losing sight of the bigger picture. If the largest banks in Cyprus are allowed to fail, it will be another “Lehman Brothers moment“. The faith that people have in banks all over Europe will be called into question, and everyone will be wondering what major European banks will be allowed to fail next.
Meanwhile, European officials have already completely shatteredconfidence in deposit insurance at this point. Everyone now knows that when there is a major bank failure that depositors will be expected to share in the pain. Expect to see “bank jogs” all over southern Europe over the coming weeks.
The banks in Cyprus had been scheduled to reopen on Tuesday, but very few people expect that to actually happen at this point. In fact,Bloomberg is reporting that EU officials are actually thinking about shutting down the two biggest banks in Cyprus and freezing their assets…
Finance ministers for the 17 euro countries are considering a plan to shutter the two biggest banks in Cyprus and freeze the assets of uninsured depositors, said the four officials, who asked not to be named because the talks are ongoing. The ministers are holding a teleconference tonight.
Cyprus Popular Bank Pcl (CPB) and the Bank of Cyprus Plc would be split to create a so-called bad bank, one of the officials said. Insured deposits — below the European Union ceiling of 100,000 euros ($129,000) — would go into a so-called good bank and not sustain any losses, while uninsured deposits would go into the bad bank and be frozen until assets could be sold, said the four officials.
Losses to unsecured creditors, including uninsured depositors, could reach 40 percent under the plan, which has support from the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. The proposal, a version of which was rejected last week, is considered a better option than taxing insured deposits or allowing Cypriot banks to collapse in a disorderly fashion if they lose access to ECB aid, the officials said.
Such a scenario would be an utter disaster.
How would you feel if you woke up someday and 40 percent of your life savings was suddenly gone?
According to Greek newspaper Kathimerini, European officials are also openly discussing the possibility of a Cyprus exit from the eurozone if a suitable bailout agreement is not worked out…
The possibility of Cyprus exiting the eurozone was discussed during teleconference involving technocrats from the Euro Working Group on Wednesday, Kathimerini understands.
A reliable source told Kathimerini that the technical implications of a euro exit, as well as the adoption of capital controls were debated by the Euro Working Group officials during the teleconference.
As I mentioned above, European officials seemed resigned to the fact that there will be an economic collapse in Cyprus “no matter what”, and so letting Cyprus leave the euro would not make that much of a difference. Either way, the banks are going to have to be “reorganized” and capital controls will be imposed…
In detailed notes of the call seen by Reuters, the group’s chair Austria’s Thomas Wieser said: “The economy is going to tank in Cyprus no matter what. Restrictions on capital will probably be imposed.”
Never before have we seen European officials impose such a harsh ultimatum with such a short deadline. It is almost as if they want to boot Cyprus out of the euro. The following comes from a recent CNBCreport…
In stark twin warnings on Thursday, the European Central Bank said it would cut off liquidity to Cypriot banks and a senior EU official made clear to Reuters that the bloc was ready to see the bankrupt island banished from the euro in the belief it could then contain damage to the wider European economy.
And European officials are even publicly talking about the possibility that Cyprus will soon need to start using “their own currency”…
In Brussels, a senior European Union official told Reuters that an ECB withdrawal would mean Cyprus’s biggest banks being wound up, wiping out the large deposits it has sought to protect, and probably forcing the country to abandon the euro.
“If the financial sector collapses, then they simply have to face a very significant devaluation and faced with that situation, they would have no other way but to start having their own currency,” the EU official said.
This is absolutely shocking. Everyone always thought that Greece would be the first to leave the euro, but now it looks like it might be Cyprus.
However, there is still a chance that Cyprus may find a way to comply with EU demands. Politicians in Cyprus are frantically searching for a way to raise the needed cash without raiding private bank accounts. The following is what CNN is saying about the latest efforts…
Leaders of Cyprus’ political parties agreed Thursday to create an “investment solidarity fund,” which would issue bonds backed by state and church assets.
The plan was due to be discussed by the Cypriot government and parliament on Thursday evening, but few details were available and it was not clear how much the fund would be worth.
According to Reuters, other proposals have been under consideration as well…
The government said a “Plan B” was in the works.
Officials said it could include: an option to nationalize pension funds of semi-government corporations, which hold between 2 billion and 3 billion euros; issuing an emergency bond linked to future natural gas revenues; and possibly reviving the levy on bank deposits, though at a lower level than originally planned and maybe excluding savers with less than 100,000 euros.
At this point it is unclear whether any of those proposals will turn out to be acceptable to European officials.
In fact, the tone of European officials has noticeably changed from previous bailout efforts. They now seem much more willing to play hardball. For example, just check out what German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is saying about the situation in Cyprus…
German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told the ZDF public broadcaster on Tuesday night (19 March) he “took note with regret” of the Cypriot parliament’s rejection of the bailout deal, but insisted that the terms will stay the same.
Asked if the eurozone was willing to let Cyprus go bust, he answered: “Well, we are much more stable in the eurozone – we took measures to protect ourselves from the risks of contagion … but I don’t want to have any of this.”
He added: “It is a serious situation, but this cannot lead to a decision that makes absolutely no sense, to rescue a business model that has failed. Cyprus has a banking sector that is totally oversized and this made Cyprus insolvent. And nobody outside Cyprus is to blame for it.”
Schaeuble knows that the EU is holding all of the cards and that Cyprus is doomed without their help…
“The Cypriot state cannot fund itself on the markets. Its two largest banks are insolvent and are being kept afloat with emergency funding from the ECB, but only on the condition that there will be a long-term rescue programme. If this condition is no longer met, Cyprus will no longer be solvent and this is something Cypriot decision makers must know”
But the truth is that the EU can’t really afford to allow major banks to fail or for a single member to leave the eurozone. If either of those things happen, the confidence game that has been holding the European financial system together will begin to rapidly evaporate.
If the EU thinks that they can abandon Cyprus without the crisis spreading to the rest of southern Europe they are just being delusional.
At least there are a few politicians in Europe that understand what is happening. Nigel Farage, a very outspoken member of the European Parliament, is telling people to get their money out of banks in southern Europe as quickly as they can. He is warning that a great collapse of the European financial system is coming and that people need to get prepared for it…
So what do you think?
Do you believe that we are on the verge of a major financial collapse in Europe?
So having learned that Parliament would not approve a deposit levy in the name of a “tax”, and that the government was deeply opposed to forcing citizens and other depositors in its banks to bear losses without the bondholders being wiped out first as one would expect in the capital structure, Germany, the ECB and rest of the EuroThieves did something innovative.
They simply ignored Parliament and came up with a scheme that didn’t require a vote.
We’ll see how this works out for them.
This, incidentally, is exactly what happened here with GM. It was blatantly unlawful to protect the UAW’s pension fund, which had no senior standing while trashing senior bondholders. The government did not care and did it anyway – and the courts permitted it.
This has been the repeated means by which you are stolen from. When you enter into an investment, whether you make a deposit in a bank or buy a bond or something else, you are buying into a capital structure in a given place with a given and declared level of both risk and potential reward. You price that risk and your willingness to enter into the transaction with the full understanding of where you are in that capital structure.
When that is unilaterally changed retroactively you are being stolen from.
This theft is wrong.
It is actionable.
It remains actionable whether the courts recognize it or not, just as theft from a drug dealer is actionable even though the dealer cannot go to the police and report the fact that you stole his stash because what he’s doing is illegal.
He may just sit and take it, because for him to act on it requires escalation in the form of violence that he may not be willing to commit.
But if you steal from him enough times or in enough magnitude then he has only two choices — go broke or deal with you himself, likely using an extreme level of violence. The fact that he may be unable to pay for his ”stuff” and thus his suppliers may come after him with guns may well influence his decision.
These thefts in our financial system are increasing in severity and frequency. They have destroyed the belief in the capital structure. They have and will make it difficult or impossible to attract capital, since the aggrieved parties cannot find solace in the law.
But worse, these thefts are and remain actionable until they are compensated. They remain actionable whether or not the law recognizes the cause of action or dismisses it with the wave of a hand. They remain open like a festering wound.
They will continue to fester and poison free enterprise until some group decides they’ve had enough of both the annoyance and injury and decides to obtain recompense through whatever means are necessary.
This is not acceptable folks but it is our fault collectively that we do not demand that this crap stop and that everyone involved in these “redefinitions” of legal structure after the fact go directly to prison instead of continuing to hold their jobs in government or even be promoted.
You probably didn’t get directly screwed tonight, unless you live in Cyprus. You probably didn’t get directly screwed when GM went under either, nor when any one of a number of other, similar events (Greece anyone?) has taken place.
But you did get screwed, because your place of work had its capital structure and the ability to attract capital damaged. Your ability to invest with a reasonably-calibrated level of risk and reward was damaged. You were personally harmed by these acts, even though your harm is at this point diffuse and difficult or even impossible to pin down and put a number on.
But make no mistake, you were harmed, and when, not if, those who were directly hosed in any of these incidents decide they’ve had enough, and that they will no longer sit still for this form of financial rape, if you’re within the blast radius of whatever they decide to do you will be harmed again — and quite possibly to a much greater degree than you can imagine.