We’re Broke Folks

10/23/2012

Hate to be the one that breaks it to you, but…. WE’RE BROKE.  By we, I mean the government of course.  Now you may be wondering how that’s possible or why you haven’t heard about it.  Those are fair questions that deserve a decent answer.

So how bad is it you might ask.  Well, the value of the U.S. dollar is now worth about 3% of what it was worth in 1900.  As a result, a loaf of bread that cost $.05 in 1900 now costs $2.75.  That’s inflation for you.  You see, inflation is primarily the result of the Federal Reserve printing too much money; in other words, too many dollars chasing a finite amount of goods for sale.  Milton Friedman, who won a Nobel Prize for economics, must be rolling over in his grave.  In addition, the government spending has ballooned totally out of control over the last 8 years or so.  If it were you or me of course, they would have cut off our credit cards long ago.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, the really bad news is that the light at the end of a tunnel is an oncoming runaway train loaded with increases in entitlement programs (primarily Obamacare and social security) as the demographics in this country change dramatically with the retirement of the Baby Boomers.

The reason that you haven’t heard about this issue during the presidential campaign is that  neither candidate wants to talk about it – since there is little to nothing that they can do about it that won’t totally piss off the voters.  Mitt Romney gave lip-service to government spending in his economic plan, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what it will really take and as for President Obama, well he seems to be proposing four more years of Hope and Change.

As things stand right now :

You can say good-bye to the American Dream.

You can say goodbye to America being a world leader.

You can say goodbye to your standard of living.

You might even have to say goodbye to your very way of life.

So the country is swimming in debt (the real deficit is closer to $200 trillion) and the two candidates have totally side-stepped, or are ignorant of, the issue.  Former Senator Everett Dirksen should have been around to see this.  He would have been right in his element.  However because of the escalation in government spending, he would have had to adjust his famous quote to something like the following: “A trillion here and a trillion there and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.”  Yes, and pretty soon you’re broke too.

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So the debates are over and the presidential campaign is winding down.  Yet, I haven’t heard either of the candidates, never mind the totally biased political pundits, talk about the only issue that really matters; namely, the economy.  Okay, I was just joking about that, sort of.  Here’s why.

From my perspective, neither of the candidates has a meaningful plan to turn the country around, let alone return it to greatness.  Heck, Obama seemingly doesn’t have any plan at all.  The elephant in the room that everyone is ignoring is the federal deficit which may be as high as $200 trillion (as opposed to the published figure of $16 trillion), which means that you could conceivably shut down the entire federal government and the country could go still go further into the hole.  Of course, these numbers don’t even count the black budget which absolutely no one ever talks about.

The reason is that the government lies about most things pertaining to the economy.  By that, I mean they lie about little things and they lie about big things; certainly important things like the rate of inflation and the unemployment rate.  For example, if the inflation rate is kept artificially low then workers’ salaries, most of which are driven either directly or indirectly by the Consumer Price Index, have less value relative to the cost of products that they buy (food, gas, housing etc).  This is one of the reasons why the savings rate has plummeted over the last 30 years.

David Walker, a highly-respected and former U.S. Comptroller General, has launched the Comeback America Initiative to discuss the looming crisis in government spending which he says is a bigger threat to the country than terrorism.  In fact, he has labeled it a threat to the very survival of the republic. Yet, go on the six-o-clock news and see if anyone is talking about it.  Alternatively, attend a local town hall meeting and see if anyone is even remotely aware of the issue.  One must also question why Mitt Romney is not making a big deal out of this either, as this has the potential to swing the election to him.  I’ll leave that to you to ponder.

The bottom line is that the government wants to hide how bad things really are.  Sure, Obama is politically motivated to suppress the truth – he has an election to win.  However, this problem has been around for a while.  President Clinton left office with a surplus so just how could things have gotten so bad so fast?

So there you have it – political intrigue, government bailouts to corrupt financial institutions, including foreign banks, and a cast of characters worthy of an Agatha Christie novel.  It’s a $200 trillion secret that they don’t want you to know about… but, of course, now you know.

Everyone’s looking for some sort of environmental nirvana and yet almost no one has any idea what that would practically look like.  But really folks, the two words environment and nirvana don’t even belong together in the same sentence.

Myself, I’m more than sympathetic to environmental causes as I’ve been a social activist for environmentally friendly water, food and air for a long time.  But it’s not always just about the environment, especially when politics enters the picture.  In my opinion, what’s really happening is that the environmental issues are being hijacked by a global governance agenda.

But that’s far from being just my opinion.  U.S. Senator James Inhofe wrote an entire book on the subject entitled, “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future” and the then French President Jacques Chirac, when addressing the U.N. about the Kyoto Protocol, said that it was the first step towards a one-world government.

The history probably dates back to 1968 when Paul Ehrlich published his well-known book “The Population Bomb.”  The book reflected the mind-set of the world’s elites who were feeling threatened by the burgeoning population of Third World countries.  They felt that increases in population in Third World countries would lead to environmental issues and political instability which in turn would negatively impact the industrialized world’s access to invaluable resources in those countries.  It’s the age-old story of consumption in rich nations leads to a plundering of resources in poor countries. As a result, a world-wide effort to curb population was kicked off by the U.N. and most major industrialized nations (affecting almost exclusively Third World countries).

The global warming issue, itself, went center-stage in 2006 with Al Gore’s famous, and subsequently discredited, hockey stick slide which purported to show how man was destroying the environment (primarily with CO^2 emissions).  As science now admits, the earth is actually cooling and scientists are currently forecasting that the planet is heading towards a mini ice-age instead.

So now the rhetoric has changed from one of global warming to climate change, although most scientists will tell you that climate change is simply part of the natural weather cycle of the planet.  In other words, there is nothing on God’s green earth that man can do to change it.  However, that won’t stop people from trying.  People like Bill Gates, that is.

At the 2010 TED Conference, Bill gave a speech entitled, “Innovating To Zero.”  In his speech, he unveiled a formula for managing global concerns.  The key is to reduce CO^2 emissions by 80% (no different than Al Gore) and he intends to accomplish this by reducing world population accordingly.  Towards this end, Bill’s foundation is spending billions of dollars producing vaccines for Third World countries which he plainly states will help curb world population.

So what’s next?  Well, here’s the end game:

  • Carbon taxes would be assessed, ostensibly to fight climate change
  • The Law of the Sea Treaty with the United Nations to be ratified by the U.S. Senate. This would give the United Nations jurisdiction over U.S. off-shore territorial waters and would include a United Nations tax on oil and gas revenues produced from these territories (which cost will no doubt be passed on to the American consumer).
  • Ultimately, mandatory taxes would be allowed directly from the United Nations on U.S. citizens.

If any of those things come to pass, you can kiss your way of life good-bye; global governance would have become a reality.  So the next time someone wants to tell you that they want to curtail food production because of the endangered sex life of the tsetse fly, look under the covers to see who is pulling the strings and for what reason.  I almost guaranty you that the issue won’t be about the environment – just someone’s idea of political nirvana.

One thing that I’ve learned in life is that figures lie and liars figure.  Case in point – the stock market had a big rally today based on what the analysts are calling the “improving jobs picture.” 

The good news that they’re talking about is a decrease in new unemployment claims to 368,000 for the latest one week period.  At that rate, we could have almost two million more new claimaints on the unemployment rolls over the next twelve months. Now that is really something to cheer about!

At the same time though, the U.S. government announced that planned firings for the month of February increased by 20% over the same month a year ago.  How’s that for an improving jobs picture for you. Not only is that statistic moving in the wrong direction  but it’s likely to get worse in the future (since government at all levels is by far the single largest employer in the country).  Of course, that’s because nearly all of the state and federal bureaucracies are flat broke and in the process of shedding jobs.

President Barack Obama recently said that the U.S. must foster a business climate that encourages job creation.  I assume (rather naively perhaps) that that would include sound fiscal and monetary policies like balancing the budget.  Of course if we weren’t fighting two wars against terrorism(?) half the way around the world, maybe we would have a better chance of accomplishing that.  Funny, I haven’t heard any anti-war protests, though, from the far left since Obama was elected.

Instead of balancing the budget,  Obama has opted  instead for deficit spending by the trillions (which has all but destroyed the dollar) and bailouts for too-big-to-fail financial institutions.  I guess by now encouraging others to create a business-friendly environment which would lead to job creation Obama is finally admitting the obvious. After all, unemployment is still much higher than what Obama promised when he asked for the bailouts. But then, the bailouts were never about saving the economy anyway – only about saving Wall Street.

All of this discussion about unemployment rates belies a critical issue – how to calculate them. You see the government has changed their accounting rules for counting heads. Therefore, any comparison with Great Depression figures is simply invalid.  Broader current measures of unemployment come in  around 20%.  How’s that for a depression…I mean recession. The broader measure of unemployment includes people who have left the employment market for lack of finding a job as well as those who have taken part-time employment because no full time job was available. I wonder how those people are going to fare when gasoline hits $5 a gallon or when food prices double.  Will anyone ever tell them that they were lied to all along.  As I said, figures lie and liars figure.

 

 

 

 

 

There has been a lot of talk during the current economic downturn about a so-called jobless recovery. It’s confusing, to say the least, that you can have a recovery without creating any new jobs. For starters, consider the use of the term jobless recovery.  It strongly implies a recovery.  But the bottom line is what it is – no jobs, no recovery.  The reason is simple.  The engine of the nation’s economic growth is consumer spending and without jobs consumers will have less to spend.

The only way to make the country’s economy grow is to produce something of value (e.g. cars, machinery, food, raw materials).  Instead, the government has chosen to allow jobs (and production) to go overseas under the guise of free trade.  Never mind that free trade is never free.  Somebody profits, but in this case it just isn’t us. Of course, the problem is that interference with the market system is usually doomed to failure.  As Ronald Reagan said, “government is not a solution…government is the problem.”

So then what’s with the use of the jobless recovery terminology?  Well, the government couldn’t very well tell everyone that the stimulus plan didn’t work (and was never really necessary), so they created the fiction of a jobless recovery.  After all, a recovery of any kind, even in name only, is better than the alternative.  Psychologically, the government couldn’t have Bill Maher’s stupid Americans waking up to the fact that Wall Street was bailed out by Main Street.  They had to hold out the hope of a recovery, even if it was an intentionally false hope. Keep the little people in the dark, so to speak.

Their theory is that you only need to occasionally throw your poor dog a bone. Under that theory, the thinking is that people will be happy as long as they get their food stamps and unemployment benefits. Further to that theory, Nancy Pelosi recently said that food stamps and unemployment benefits are leading ways to help the economy grow. Say what!  I have my own theory which I think explains this bizarre kind of thinking rather nicely.  It’s called figures lie and liars figure.  Under my theory, the inflation and unemployment numbers are fictions created by the government to keep the masses from revolting and Nancy Pelosi…well, I’m sure you get the picture.

For all those who are currently in search of a job – good luck.  A lot of jobs today are not exactly what people are looking for. You know, working in a fast food restaurant or any one of a plethora of part-time jobs.  Of course if you take a part-time job, or give up looking altogether, it will make the government very happy as they will not have to count you as unemployed!  Presumably, that means that you would then have a real job.

So the next time you hear the term jobless recovery, make note if you are one of the14.5 million people out of work or one of the 44 million people living below the poverty level. If you are fortunate enough to still have a job, check the last time that you got a wage increase; then check how much food prices have gone up, say, in the last twelve months.  Now, a show of hands. How many of you agree with the government that the recession ended over a year ago?

It’s almost election time and on November 2nd some of us will trudge off to the polls to vote.  It seems like it has become a chore for many voters what with voter turnout only slightly more than half.  The other half, then, apparently think that voting is a waste of time. Of course, it just could be general voter apathy or it could be that they’re too busy paying the bills and seeing how many chickens they can demolish. Either way,  it’s your right as a citizen to be able to cast a ballot.  Some would say that it’s your civic duty, even moral responsibility, to vote.

 Regardless all of that, I’m pretty sure that a lot of conservatives will turnout with the prospect of recapturing control of Congress this year. Let’s hear it for the Elephants. It’s also a given that a lot of independents will try to vote out incumbents on both sides of the aisle.  As for the liberals, they will probably have to concentrate on minimizing the damage by re-electing their standard bearers (the Harry Reids and Barney Franks of the world).

Just one piece of advice though – be careful that your vote isn’t simply irrelevant (not unlike a hanging chad). The great illusion is that because we can vote we therefore think we are free.  The reality is that elections are only of value if there is a meaningful choice.  Many countries are actually one-party systems, even though there may be some token opposition party.  Even in so-called democratic countries, two or three party systems are almost always controlled by the same people.

Now I know that some of you are going to say: “but not in the good ole U.S. of A”.  Of course, you could say that… but you’d be wrong. The whole left/right ideological food fight is all about distraction.  Needless to say, most people have bought into this paradigm and their focus is, therefore, strictly limited to who wins and who loses.  In reality, we the people all lose every time.

The conservatives voted Bush into office (twice) and I think that we can all agree that he was a conservative in name only; just look at his spending record.  Obama? Well, he wasn’t really for change unless you count changing things for the worse. Today, we still have runaway spending by the government and two wars in the Middle East (and don’t believe that speech about how all the combat troops have left Iraq either).  On top of that, the two of them are related!  Fancy that. The elite families always seem to groom their own to participate on both sides of the political spectrum.  That’s because there’s only one ideology that they really believe in… and that’s the ideology of control.

 Just look at who the biggest contributor was to both the McCain and Obama campaigns.  Surprise, it was the same people who control our economy through the Treasury and The Federal Reserve.  While you’re at it, check out who owns The Federal Reserve (here’s a clue: it’s not the government).  Then you will realize how The Fed is able to refuse to allow Congress to audit their books.  Bottom line: they are the real power in Washington.

Remember, freedom is not a god-given right. It is something that has to be fought for and then jealously protected on a continuous basis. The founding fathers earned freedom for this great nation over 200 years ago and there will forever be someone trying to take it away.  Unfortunately, Americans have grown fat and materialistically self-centered.  The young generation has come to expect that the world will be handed to them on a silver platter.  Life is too good.  There is no national awareness that it could be any other way. However, today as always the choice is between governing ourselves or being ruled by a small elite. The choice is yours.

While recently discussing the Gulf oil spill, Carl-Henric Svanberg, the chairman of British Petroleum (BP), said that they cared about the little people. Little people?  I guess that means that he considers himself to be one of the big people. Just why does he feel so superior to the little people? Where does that arrogance come from?  Some historical perspective may be helpful in answering that question.

When I was growing up, we were taught that the country was established for the benefit of “We, the People”, not “We, the Little People”. The constitution expressly said that the government was “of the people, by the people, and for the people”.  Further, the founding fathers established a Bill of Rights to provide that we would be a free society.

In today’s world, of course, one needs to realize that large corporations and governments are constantly meeting behind closed doors to discuss how to manage the lives of the little people.  Laws of all kinds, including the recent healthcare reform bill, exempt certain groups from having to participate.  But of course, the little people rarely, if ever, receive such exemptions.  Nancy Pelosi’s infamous quote of “Are you serious?” when asked about the constitutionality of the healthcare reform bill, says it all.

So just who exactly are the ones that think of us as the little people?  You need only follow the money trail to find them.  You see, the gold is not in Fort Knox, but in the hands of the super-wealthy.  After all, over half of the wealth in this country is controlled by just 5% of the people.   If you happen to rise from humble beginnings to great success, you may get to join one of the exclusive clubs, such as what’s been referred to as the Good Club.  After a secret meeting of the Good Club in New York, which was attended by some of the richest people in this country, they announced that their most important goal was significant population reduction on the planet. Ted Turner specifically stated that the goal was to reduce world population to two billion.  Obviously, they want to thin the herds – of the little people.

Bill Gates went so far as to say that new vaccines need to be used to help reduce population growth.  He put his money where his mouth is by announcing that his foundation would give $10 billion to develop and deliver new vaccines to children in third world countries.  The interesting question is just how will vaccines help reduce population growth.  Flu vaccine anyone?

But don’t expect the government to ride to the rescue of the little people.  They are run by what one trends forecaster calls “The White Shoe Boys”.  They are the children of the elites, who mostly went to Harvard, Princeton, or Yale, and they belong to a variety of secret societies.  Specifically, there’s the presence of Goldman Sachs alumni in top government and corporate posts.  From the Treasury Department, whose roster is a virtual ‘who’s who’ of people from Goldman Sachs, to current and former top executives such as John Thain (Merrill Lynch) to Robert Steel (Wachovia) to Ed Liddy (AIG) to  Robert Zoellick (World Bank) to Stephen Friedman and William Dudley (New York Federal Reserve Bank) – they are all from Goldman Sachs. The federal government bailout was orchestrated by Goldman alumni at the Treasury Department.  Some of the money went to Goldman Sachs itself, as well as to AIG (see list above). Goldman was AIG’s largest trading partner and had exposure of $20 billion in credit derivatives. Talk about self-dealing.

Oh, did I mention that a former chairman of BP was also from Goldman Sachs.  It’s a small club.  Little people need not apply. One last thing.  Goldman Sachs was the biggest contributor to President Obama’s election campaign.  I can just see Glenn Beck on his blackboard connecting the dots for us little people.  As is his usual way of explaining what is really going on, he would probably refer to it as Crime, Inc., or some such thing.

So, let’s raise our glasses and toast to that great humanitarian Carl-Henric Svanberg.  After all, the little people quip was no doubt just a slip of the tongue.

“In a climate of political correctness and hypocrisy, truth is the first casualty.”

-John Parish