Oklahoma City Tornado Pictures: ‘Total Devastation’
Statistics: Posted by DIGGER DAN — Wed May 22, 2013 12:27 am
View full post on opinions.caduceusx.com
chart.pngTotal Debt in Selected Countries Around the World
A country’s “total debt” includes government debt as well as the debt of financial institutions, non-financial businesses and households. For the 10 largest mature economies (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, South Korea, UK and US), total debt stood at nearly 350% of GDP in 2011. If one considers the economies of the PIIGS countries (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Greece,) those worst hit by the debt crisis in Europe, total debt was almost 400% of GDP.
* Asset-backed securities are not included in data from McKinsey since underlying mortgages and other loans are already included and therefore it would reflect a duplication within the data, according to McKinsey. Other data sources, including the FT, The Economist and Morgan Stanley, do include ABS in total debt figures.
By Valentina Pasquali and Tina Aridas. Project Coordinators: Denise Bedell and Alessandro Magno
Read more: http://www.gfmag.com/tools/global-datab … z2R7nIVmuk
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Share Alike
* Including asset backed securities (ABS) US total debt would equal 350%-360%. Asset-backed securities are removed from McKinsey data since underlying mortgages and other loans are already included, so it would reflect a duplication within the data, according to McKinsey. Other data sources, including the FT, The Economist and Morgan Stanley, do include ABS in total debt figures.
Total Debt in Selected Countries around the World, latest data available, as percent of GDP, by sector
Click on the column heading to sort the table.
Read more: http://www.gfmag.com/tools/global-datab … z2R7oKRZQB
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Share Alike
Data is from McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), “Debt and deleveraging: Uneven progress on the path to growth,” January 2012.
Total Debt in Selected Countries around the World, 1980-2011, as percent of GDP, by sector
Debt consists of the outstanding financial liabilities arising from past borrowing. Debt may be owed to external or domestic creditors. Typically, debt financing is in the form of loans or bonds. The debtor may be either a public (government) or private sector entity. Included in the “total debt” figure are liabilities of the government, the financial sector, non-financial business and households. It is most often presented as a percent of GDP in a given year.
According to McKinsey, the deleveraging process that began in 2008 after the global credit bubble and subsequent financial crisis is proving to be “long and painful.” The truth is that total debt has actually grown in all the world’s largest mature economies since then, except for the United States, South Korea and Australia. This is due mostly to rising government debt.
PODCAST FROM MCKINSEY GLOBAL INSTITUTE’S CHARLES ROXBURGH AND SUSAN LUND
At 512% of GDP, Japan’s total debt remains the highest of the developed economies in Q2 2011. The United Kingdom comes in second with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 507%. And it leads the chart in terms of the largest percentage increase from 2000 (due mainly to the growth in the financial sector). On the other hand, Japan’s total debt had stabilized somewhat, with government debt rising and private sector debt falling in the same period.
The countries that have been hit the hardest by the European debt crisis, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Greece, simultaneously experienced a large increase of their debt relative to their GDP. Italy’s total debt to GDP went from 235% in 2000 to 314% in the first quarter of 2011. Spain’s almost doubled, from 193% in 2000 to 363% in Q2 2011. In Q2 2011, Ireland’s total debt to GDP was the highest among PIIGS country, standing at 663%.
Italy’s government debt accounts for a substantial part of its total borrowing, and its total debt to GDP is above the median level of its peers. Until the sovereign debt crisis and the concurrent tightening of credit occurred, Italy’s high debt levels were mitigated by its strong debt service capacity, but things have become harder in the last several months.
France, too, had large increases in total debt relative to GDP. Its total debt grew from 234% of GDP in 2000 to 346% in Q2 2011.
US total debt was 279% of GDP in Q2 2011, a small but significant decline since the peak of the crisis in 2009, when it stood at 296%. The drop was due to a reduction in private debt, while U.S. Government debt continues to grow. In fact, financial sector debt is at levels not seen 2000, while households have reduced their leverage by 15 percentage points. At this rate, says McKinsey, “they could reach sustainable debt levels in two years or so.” In any case, households continue to account for the largest share of total debt in the United States, as well as in Canada.
Total-debt-to-GDP ratios are only one part of the total picture.
Whether the borrowing is from domestic creditors or foreign creditors is an important factor.
Foreign borrowing accounts for a large share of total debt in Europe, due to the integration of countries in the Euro area. Greece and Portugal have a large portion of their debt in the hands of foreign creditors.
By contrast, Japan’s government debt (which is the largest segment of that country’s overall debt) has traditionally been owned mostly by domestic investors; that, however, has been changing, as the country’s household savings rate has declined.
Like Japan, a large portion of the debt of both Italy is in the hands of domestic creditors.
Read more: http://www.gfmag.com/tools/global-datab … z2R7pRns3p
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Share Alikechart.png
Statistics: Posted by DIGGER DAN — Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:51 pm
View full post on opinions.caduceusx.com
One would think with the economy on the rise (as we’ve been told that it is) this wouldn’t be the case. All that money printing by the Fed and an exec at Walmart is seeing the worst start to a month in his time with the company? Clearly this executive must have misplaced a decimal point or something. Things are going great.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. had the worst sales start to a month in seven years as payroll-tax increases hit shoppers already battling a slow economy, according to internal e-mails obtained by Bloomberg News.
“In case you haven’t seen a sales report these days, February MTD sales are a total disaster,” Jerry Murray, Wal- Mart’s vice president of finance and logistics, said in a Feb. 12 e-mail to other executives, referring to month-to-date sales. “The worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company.”
The post Walmart says February month to date sales are “a total disaster.” appeared first on AgainstCronyCapitalism.org.
View full post on AgainstCronyCapitalism.org
CHART OF THE DAY: From today’s “Bloomberg Economics Brief,” Bloomberg economist Rich Yamarone releases a chart showing that FedEx’s total U.S. package shipments may indicate a bleak outlook for economic activity. Is a recession in the cards?
Federal Express Cuts 2013 Profit Forecast on Economy, Fuel
FedEx Corp., an economic bellwether as operator of the world’s largest cargo airline, reduced its profit outlook for the second time this year, citing a slower economy. The shipper said its “2012 U.S. GDP growth forecast is 2.2 percent and 1.9 percent for calendar year 2013, which is 0.5 points lower than our fourth-quarter earnings forecast.” “Exports around the world have contracted and the policy choices in Europe, the U.S. and China are having an effect on global trade,” Fred Smith, chief executive officer of the company, said. The company’s ground-delivery business in the U.S., which offers a less expensive alternative to air delivery, posted a sales increase of 7.9 percent to $2.46 billion.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:28 pm
View full post on opinions.caduceusx.com
Posted on 28th June 2012 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues
SGT Report, SHTFplan
Timing is everything. I predicted the housing market collapse. Of course I started predicting it in 2004, so it took three years before I was proved right. I also believe we are in part 2 of the Greater Depression, but very few agree with me so far. I’m pretty sure I’ll be proven right, but I don’t know when. The Federal Reserve and the central bankers around the world, along with their puppet politicians have pulled out all the stops to keep this ponzi scheme going. I think they are growing desperate. A major financial crisis spurred by the collapse of one or more major banks in the Fall seems quite possible to me. This time we will need to take to the streets to keep TPTB from screwing us again to save bankers.
Watching the Clock: Will a Total Economic Collapse Occur in September-October?
SGT June 28th, 2012 SGT Report
This report has been generously contributed by SGT Report.
People like to ask about dates. “When do you think the collapse will happen?” they ask. What are your thoughts on the Mayan calendar? How ’bout December 21st, 2012?
Most of us informed and awake folks aren’t interested in trying to predict specific dates. That’s an art best left to Nostradamus. That said, highly respected truth tellers James Turk and John Williams have both tied dates to predictions. In an interview with James Turk he told me that he thinks we will see $400 silver and $8,000 gold some time between 2013-2015. And John Williams firmly believes the die has been cast for hyperinflation in the United States, likely beginning in 2014.
Over the past 48 hours we’ve stumbled across three separate pieces of information, all predicting essentially the exact same thing regarding a fall 2012 economic collapse. Serendipity or coincidence, it’s information I want to pass on. As always, discussion is welcomed below.
The first warning is from a St. Louis based police officer who called into the Alex Jones radio show on Sunday, June 24th. The second warning comes our way via the Silver Doctors. And the third came today from unflappable Director of UBS Floor Operations Art Cashin. All three warnings are presented here for your benefit and consideration:
The first warning came our way via the Sunday broadcast of the Alex Jones radio show. Jones announced that he only wanted to take calls from members of the military or police. A man identifying himself as a police officer named ‘Jim’ called in to report some startling information.
“We have been told that in October we need to be prepared for an event that will require us to use air and ground support, in conjunction with the military here.”
During the call Jim comes across as passionate, sincere and very shaken by the information he tries to share. After the commercial break, Jim gets choked up as he tries to convey his appreciation for what Alex Jones has tried to do in terms of waking people up in the effort to save the Republic from the clutches of the forces seeking to destroy it. Now, nearly in tears, Jim concludes by saying “This country’s dead Alex. It’s gone” before unexpectedly hanging up.
Here’s the entire call including the head of the show with the date of the broadcast for posterity’s sake. I edited out the commercial break, and posted this call on my backup You Tube channel SGTreport.
Warning 2 from Silver Doctors, on Monday:
LEAP/2020 has issued a RED ALERT for the Western banking system, stating that Europe’s hour of payment has arrived, and compares the next two months to the Israelites circling Jericho for 7 days prior to blasting the trumpets. LEAP/2020?s red alert states the Western banking system’s trumpet blast will occur in September or October.
The seven blasts of the trumpets of Jericho marking the September October 2012 period will cause the “Dollar Wall’s” last sections and the walls which have protected the world as we know it since 1945 to collapse. The shock of the autumn 2008 will seem like a small summer storm compared to what will affect planet in several months.
The third warning comes by way of Art Cashin and Zero Hedge on Tuesday morning:
While Europe is dominating headlines this week, UBS’ Art Cashin suggests “mark your calendar and cross your fingers” as he notes the disproportionate prevalence of events that occur in September. Focusing on The Economist’s Greg Ip’s recent post on a possible seasonal pattern in banking crises, via this recent Reinhart & Rogoff extension paper by Laeven and Valencia, he notes: “The frequency with which the world goes to hell in September seems hardly random.” Unfortunately the authors provide no explanation for this beyond observing, “An interesting pattern emerges: banking crises tend to start in the second half of the year, with large September and December effects.”
No one can possibly know exactly when the death of the Western fiat banking system will occur. We just know that it will collapse – it cannot be stopped. And increasingly it looks like it will happen sooner rather than later.
This is not fear porn. It’s the reality of the dire times we now find ourselves in. Take heed, and prepare the best you can.
We are all in this mess together.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:26 am
View full post on opinions.caduceusx.com
14 Reasons Spain Is Turning Into A Disaster
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:47 am
View full post on opinions.caduceusx.com
: MLA transition allowances total $14.8 million
•CTF to hold Premier Redford to her word to “suspend” the “overly generous” transition allowances into the future
•RRSP contributions total $2.7 million
EDMONTON, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today released the estimated “transition allowances” paid to retired or defeated MLAs following the 2012 General Election.
There were 35 retired or defeated MLAs after the April 23rd vote, 23 of which retired and 12 of which were defeated.
The payments range from a low of $78,000 to defeated Wildrose MLA Paul Hinman, to a high of $1,192,000 to retired PC MLA and Speaker Ken Kowalski. Kowalski is also eligible to collect an MLA pension.
In total, taxpayers will pay an estimated $14,785,000 in transition allowances. This is on top of the $2,685,178 taxpayers have provided these MLAs in RRSP contributions.
“We will be holding Premier Redford to her election promise to ‘suspend’ these ‘overly generous’ transition allowances going forward,” stated CTF-Alberta Director Scott Hennig. “It’s a shame she didn’t act prior to the election to eliminate these golden-handshakes, as it would have saved taxpayers nearly $15 million.”
In March, the CTF released a poll conducted by Abingdon Research showing 79 per cent of Albertans want MLA transition allowances eliminated completely.
The CTF notes that the 33 defeated or retired MLAs in the 2008 election walked away with an estimated $8 million. The increase in this year’s payment is largely due to the 30 per cent pay hike MLAs quietly gave themselves shortly after the 2008 election.
“The 2008 secret pay hikes not only boosted MLA pay for the past four years, but ultimately hiked their transition allowances as well,” continued Hennig.
The transition allowance payment is based on three month’s salary for each year served as MLA, based on the three highest years pay.
MLAs are currently provided with a RRSP allowance equal to 50 percent of the maximum RRSP contribution limit. (Limit is $22,970 for 2012).
Defeated and retired MLAs under the age of 70 are also eligible to stay on the Members’ Extended Benefits Plan, with taxpayers continuing to pay a portion of their health benefit premiums for up to five years.
CTF estimates for each of the 35 retired or defeated MLAs can be found on-line at: http://taxpayer.com/sites/default/files … ations.pdf
Statistics: Posted by DIGGER DAN — Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:50 am
View full post on opinions.caduceusx.com
Shell Shuts Down Shearwater Platform As Result Of Uncontrolled Total Elgin Installation Gas Leak.
OIL giant Shell has shut down production on its Shearwater platform as it was revealed that it could take up to six months to quell the uncontrolled leak of toxic, volatile gas at the nearby Total Elgin installation.
The energy giant announced plans to suspend production on the Shearwater as North Sea union leaders called for the platform to be completely evacuated because of the risk of a Piper Alpha-type disaster posed by the presence of a massive cloud of explosive gas over the Total installation, just 4.6 miles away.
As the “substantial” gas leak continued unabated on the Elgin platform, bosses at the French oil giant were continuing to examine a series of options to bring the escape under control.
Two oilrigs have already been put on standby to drill a relief well, which could take at least six months to complete.
Two specialist firefighting vessels, the Skandi Saigon and the Sea Bear, have also been deployed to the area by Total.
Shell had taken the first steps to stand down part of the workforce on its Shearwater platform and the nearby Hans Deul drilling rig, 138 miles east of Aberdeen, on Monday night because of the cloud of highly flammable gas shrouding the Elgin installation.
Initially, 52 workers on board the Shearwater were flown to Aberdeen, leaving 28 still on board, while 33 personnel on the Hans Deul were evacuated, leaving 73 still on board.
Yesterday, Shell announced that a further 35 workers had been flown off the drilling rig, leaving only 38 on the Hans Deul.
However, by early afternoon the oil major said: “Further to the precautionary safety measures we took yesterday following Total’s gas leak at Elgin, we have now brought forward plans to carry out maintenance at Shearwater.
“This will take place from today, starting four days ahead of schedule. We are therefore shutting down production in a controlled manner.
“Drilling operations on the Noble Hans Deul rig have been suspended and the wells have been left in a safe state.”
Wullie Wallace, the Unite regional officer, claimed Shell’s actions did not go far enough, and called for the Shearwater and any other installation within a five-mile radius of the drifting gas cloud to be fully evacuated and powered down.
“This incident cannot be underestimated in its seriousness, and there is still a clear and present danger, we believe, to many of our members while the drifting gas issue continues,” Mr Wallace said.
“While we welcome the speedy evacuation of the Elgin, and the fact that two further installations in the immediate vicinity have been down-manned of all non-essential staff, we are concerned that only partial evacuation has taken place on the other installations in the area so far.”
He added: “We would be looking for full evacuation of any platforms within five miles of the Elgin and for the power to be switched off on these installations also.
“The risk may be low, but our concern is that if the drifting gas was to hit any of the neighbouring installations, the results could be catastrophic.”
Jake Molloy, regional organiser of the RMT union, also warned of the potential for a major disaster, like that on the Piper Alpha rig in 1988, in which 167 workers were killed.
He said: “The potential exists for catastrophic devastation at that installation [Elgin]. You have got a free-flowing well and they can’t stop it. If it does somehow find an ignition source, you could be looking at the complete destruction of this installation.
“This is an unprecedented situation and we really are in the realms of the unknown, but the urgent need now is to find a way of stopping the flow of gas. God willing, they get in there and kill this well sooner rather than later.”
Exclusion zones of two miles by sea and three miles by air, established by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, remained in force yesterday as Total enlisted the advice of well-control experts from across the globe, including legendary “Hellfighters” Boots & Coots.
David Hainsworth, health, safety and environment manager for Total, admitted that the gas leak could go on for months. One estimate is that it could be leaking at a rate of 2kg per second.
Mr Hainsworth explained that the company was looking at a number of options to stem the flow of gas.
He said possible solutions including drilling relief well which would take a minimum of six months to complete or to kill the rogue well once it was considered safe enough to allow personnel back on board the installation.
He revealed that Total was now convinced that the source of the leak was on the platform and not subsea.
“We have two or three eyewitness statements from people who were on the platform at the time of the incident and they have given us consistent stories as to what they have seen, which is a release from the conductor pipe just below the wellhead on the platform,” he said.
He continued: “We are evaluating a range of options. Clearly, the best case is that this just dies a death on its own over a period of time.
“The reservoir is not productive, but there is gas there. We are trying to ascertain how much gas might be down there, and we have geoscientists working on that.”
• Possible outcomes
1 The leak stops of its own accord as it runs out of gas to feed it. Total believes the gas feeding the leak is coming from a non-productive reservoir higher up in the formation.
2 Drilling another well to relieve the pressure on the reservoir. This was the solution used to stem the flow of oil and gas following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. However, the relief well could take at least six months to complete.
3 Deploying well control teams to the platform once it is safe to do so. One method would be to “kill” the well by packing it with heavy mud. Another method is known as a “dynamic kill”, which would involve circulating fluid inside the well to create a hydrostatic column that would stem the leak.
North Sea’s biggest disasters
• July 1988 – 167 oil workers were killed in the Piper Alpha disaster, the world’s worst ever offshore catastrophe, following a massive gas leak and inferno on the Occidental-operated platform.
• September 1988 – The drilling rig Ocean Odyssey was devastated by a series of explosions and fireballs in a high pressure gas blow-out that claimed the life of radio operator Timothy Williams.
• April 2005 – Oil giant Shell was fined a record £900,000 for safety failings on the Brent Bravo platform that led to the deaths of two workers, killed by a gas escape.
• August 2011 – Divers finally shut off the leaking oil valve on the subsea pipeline at the centre of the North Sea’s biggest oil spill for a decade – several hundred tonnes – nine days after the emergency on Shell’s Gannet Alpha platform began.
Statistics: Posted by DIGGER DAN — Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:28 am
View full post on opinions.caduceusx.com
March 25, 2012
Cashless Sweden + No ATM Fees = Total Loss of Freedom
Greg D. Franks
I, like many, have been perplexed over the past few years at the left’s constant barrage of "No ATM Fees" and why it seems to be an issue that won’t go away. Every few years it seems to return to the front burner when it comes to Democrats and the left presumably fighting for the little guy.
Sure, for consumers who use digital payment for most everything, it seems like a great "populist" idea. Who wants to pay fees every time he pulls his own money out of his own account? Really, who has time to go to the bank to get cash? Furthermore, who needs cash, period? That is why I thought of this as a political issue and why the Democrats used it as a way of getting votes.
I, like most capitalists, realize that there is a cost of doing business and that banks must be able to assess some fees for the use of an ATM card. But it wasn’t until Sweden announced this week that they were going "cashless" that I started adding up the cost of such an action.
At first look, going cashless seems to be a progression to ultimate freedom. There will be no need to get cash from the bank. When you get paid, the money is immediately deposited into your account. There is no need to enter checks and balance your checkbook. And there will no longer be a need for the coin jar sitting in the corner, slowly filling up to allow for buying something frivolous every year. We can just sit around downloading ABBA and have the funds digitally removed from our accounts without even getting out of our beanbags.
This all sounds great — why would anyone object to such a natural progression? Maybe the problem arose when Gen. Petraeus disclosed that the CIA has the ability to monitor us through our TV, dishwasher, and refrigerator. Or maybe it is the recent article in Wired that says that by September 2013, the NSA will have complete and total access to all things digital. Or maybe it’s the fact that the Fed has been so devaluing the dollar that if (more likely when)the dollar collapses, the Fed will have us deposit all of our cash into an account and issue us a card with everything we own and move the decimal point over a couple of digits.
But most importantly, the problem with going cashless is the total loss of liberty required. A cashless society gives the government absolute access into our lives, without anywhere to hide; indeed, it grants government total control of our finances and way of life.
Until recently, all this seemed far-fetched and conspiratorial. But I contend that the only thing stopping this from taking place is the ATM fee. Because once that is removed, there will be no reason to stop everyone from going as calm as Hindu cows when it comes to giving the government total control of our lives.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:43 am
View full post on opinions.caduceusx.com
The U.S. Economy: Soul Crushing Total System Failure
No matter how often the pretty people on television tell us that the U.S. economy is getting better, it isn’t going to change the soul crushing agony that millions of American families are going through right now. The stock market may have gotten back to where it was in 2008, but the job market sure hasn’t. As I wrote about a few days ago, the percentage of working age Americans that are actually employed has stayed very flat since late 2009, and the average duration of unemployment is hovering near an all-time high. Sadly, this is not just a temporary downturn. The U.S. economy has been slowly declining for several decades and is nearing total system failure. Right now, many poverty statistics are higher than they have ever been since the Great Depression. Many measurements of government dependence are the highest that we have ever seen in all of U.S. history. The emerging one world economic system (otherwise known as "free trade") has cost the U.S. economy tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars of our national wealth. The federal government is going into unprecedented amounts of debt in order to try to maintain our current standard of living, but there is no way that they will be able to sustain this kind of borrowing for too much longer. So enjoy this bubble of false prosperity while you can, because things will soon get significantly worse.
As the U.S. economy experiences total system failure, it will be imperative for all of us not to wait around waiting for someone to rescue us.
And I am not just talking about the government.
Today, millions upon millions of Americans are waiting around hoping that someone out there will hire them.
Well, the truth is that our politicians have made it so complicated and so expensive to hire someone that many small businesses try to avoid hiring as much as possible.
Businesses generally only want to hire people if they can make a profit by doing so. When our politicians keep piling on the taxes and the regulations and the paperwork, that creates a tremendous incentive not to hire workers.
Michael Fleischer, the President of Bogen Communications, once wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal entitled "Why I’m Not Hiring". The following is how Paul Hollrah of Family Security Matters summarized the nightmarish taxes that are imposed on his company when Fleischer hires a new worker….
According to Fleischer, Sally grosses $59,000 a year, which shrinks to less than $44,000 after taxes and other payroll deductions. The $15,311 deducted from Sally’s gross pay is comprised of New Jersey state income tax: $1,893; Social Security taxes: $3,661; state unemployment insurance: $126; disability insurance: $149; Medicare insurance: $856; federal withholding tax: $6,250; and her share of medical and dental insurance: $2,376. Roughly 25.9 percent of Sally’s income is siphoned off by Washington and Trenton before she receives her paychecks.
But then there are the additional costs of employing Sally. In addition to her gross salary, her employer must pay the lion’s share of her healthcare insurance premiums: $9,561; life and other insurance premiums: $153; federal unemployment insurance: $56; disability insurance: $149; worker’s comp insurance: $300; New Jersey state unemployment insurance: $505; Medicare insurance: $856; and the employer’s share of Social Security taxes: $3,661.
Over and above her gross salary, Bogen Communications must pay an additional $15,241 in benefits and state and federal taxes, bringing the total cost of employing Sally to approximately $74,241 per year. Sally gets to keep $43,689, or just 58.8% of that total.
Are you starting to understand why so many businesses are hesitant to hire new workers?
The big corporations can handle all of the paperwork and regulations that come with hiring a new worker fairly well, but for small businesses hiring a new worker can be a massive undertaking. That new worker is going to have to almost be a miracle worker in order to justify all of the hassle and expense.
But the federal government just keeps piling more burdens on to the backs of employers. That is one reason why there is such an uproar over Obamacare. It is going to make hiring workers even less attractive.
These days, most small businesses are trying to get by with as few workers as possible, and many big businesses are trying to ship as many jobs as they can overseas.
Sadly, even if you do find a good job it can disappear at any moment.
The following is from a comment that a reader named Jeff recently left on one of my articles….
It’s sad what’s happening here in this country. So many lucky ones defend it. In America it’s not exactly about hard work anymore, it’s about who you know always. The ability to keep people stupid as well as in debt was established here well by corporations also. You cannot start a solid hiring business like you could years ago.
I know many of folks who don’t break a sweat and earn more money than I ever will in a week. The system is getting crazy only creating two extremes. I fought for this country right after 9/11 as a young naive person. Using my grandfather’s old stories to see the dream that this country was always suppose to have.
The company I still unfortunately work for (cause other places are worse), 4 years ago they froze our salaries. No raises yet, this is when the company was bought by an investment group for 500 million.
Now we are getting sold to Japan for 1 billion. A 500 million dollar profit. Sorry if I may be ignorant in this way of business. But it seems the only one who benefited from this is that group of investors. 400+ well skilled jobs lost, no raises or rewards, a whole lot more work and contract obligations to meet, and less contact with management when problems surface.
I just think the United States of America is becoming the world’s poker table.
I want out of this country so bad. I don’t even know what happen to people here. The younger generation scares me how dumb they are and everyone seems so easily bought with eyecandy.
Can you imagine that?
Can you imagine your boss walking in one day and declaring that the business has just been sold to foreigners and that you are about to lose your job?
In America today, it can be absolutely soul crushing to lose a job. It isn’t as if you are going to run out and get another fantastic job in a week or two.
When you are unemployed, people look at your differently. It gets to the point where you don’t even want to interact with other people because you know that your unemployment is probably going to be the number one topic of conversation.
When you are out of work for six months or more, it is easy to feel like a failure – especially when so many other people are looking at you as if you are a failure too.
But in most cases, individual Americans are not to blame for not being able to find work.
Rather it is the entire system that is failing all of us.
The U.S. economy is bleeding good jobs and the middle class in America has become a bizarre game of musical chairs. When the music stops each round you might lose your spot. You just never know.
Looking for work in the United States in this economic environment can be a demoralizing endeavor. For example, a recent Esquire article described what one unemployed man named Scott Annechino found when he attended a job fair in San Francisco….
A glass elevator carries him to the third floor, where the front-desk girl, who knows it’s her job to be cheerful, told him the job fair is supposed to be.
A pasty kid, maybe thirty, in a too-big shirt and a cheap tie, greets him and tells him the companies are set up in rooms along the hall and that he should definitely visit all of them. Annechino, forty-four years old, wearing his best suit and shined black shoes, walks to the first exhibitor: Devcon, a home-security company. The door is closed, no one inside. Annechino looks around for an explanation. "Oh, I just got an e-mail from my contact there saying they wouldn’t be able to make it today," the pasty kid says, fingering his BlackBerry.
A couple of other potential employers who were supposed to be here didn’t make it, either — Konica Minolta, Santa Clara University. "Yeah …" the kid says. Annechino moves to the next room. State Farm. They’re looking for people who can put up fifty grand to start their own insurance agency. The Art Institute is next, mostly looking for people who might want to go to art school. New York Life. The U. S. Army, where men wearing fatigues and combat boots offer brochures.
If you want to check out the rest of the sad unemployment stories in that article, you can find them right here.
But even if you do have a job, that doesn’t mean that everything is just fine. Average American families are finding that the prices of the basic things that they need are rising much faster than their paychecks are.
According to one recent study, more than half of all Americans feel as though they are really struggling to afford just the basics at this point….
"Every retailer wants to think ‘Everything I sell is worth it! Shoppers will love it’, but the hard reality is 52% Americans feel they barely have enough to afford the basics," said Candace Corlett, president of WSL/Strategic Retail.
Just buying food and gas is a major financial ordeal for many families these days. On average, a gallon of gasoline in the United States now costs $3.83. Many Americans burn up a huge chunk of their paychecks just going back and forth to work in their cars.
So what is the solution?
Well, according to the Obama administration the answer is even more government dependence. The federal government is now actually running ads encouraging even more people to go on food stamps….
Can you believe that?
Apparently having 46.5 million Americans on food stamps is not enough. The federal government is spending our tax money on advertisements that try to convince even more Americans that they need to be on food stamps.
What the American people really need are good jobs, but those keep getting shipped out of the country.
Meanwhile, people are becoming increasingly desperate.
For example one Colorado man was recently caught stealing parts from toilets in public restrooms….
Donald Allen Citron, 48, faces 18 charges, including burglary and theft. He’s accused of stealing toilet parts from several locations, including Southwest Plaza Mall, University of Denver, and Craig Hospital.
Most of the crimes happened in just a few minutes, but police Citron is a plumber and all he needed was a wrench and a screw driver to steal pipes and the plumbing in toilets. The items he’s accused of stealing are valued at around $6,400.
They are calling him "the crapper scrapper".
Other Americans are not willing to stoop to crime and instead suffer quietly and anonymously.
A reader named Katie recently left the following heartbreaking comment on one of my articles….
I’m almost homeless. Through no fault of my own I’d like to point out. I don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. I don’t even eat fast food unless I have too.
Four years ago I had a house, car, family, stuff, an IRA, and really everything that people in this country aspire to. I had a great job that I enjoyed so did my boyfriend. Even our relationship was great.
We didn’t get hit by the economy right away. We were in Katrina damaged parts of the country and there was still a lot of construction going on and the economic boom that comes with it.
Then I got laid off. Doesn’t seem to matter that I go to interview after interview. I use indeed, monster, craigslist, and newspapers to search for jobs even outside my area.
Now my boyfriend has passed away suddenly, and his family got everything. I personally have only a living father left, who hasn’t the room but I’m camping in his yard. All my friends say they don’t have the room either. Which makes me wonder just how much of friends they are. Considering if the situation was reversed I have in the past and would open my home to anyone that needed help.
If something happens to him I really don’t know what I’m going to do. I need to get on my feet and I know that jobs are hard to come by. I’m sick of the people who have jobs saying ‘get a job you lazy bum’. I’m hardly lazy and I’m trying desperately to be employed; not being homeless would be rather awesome in my opinion. I’m not picky, regardless of my degree I’ll pick up trash or clean toilets. McDonald’s, Taco Bell and the other fast food places don’t even bother with a call back. And when I call to inquire about my application it’s always the same, ‘we will call you when we make a decision’. Such a cop-out.
So no. In my (granted meaningless opinion) the economy is not getting better. To even suggest that when unemployment is so high or the rate of food stamps. Is utter ludicrous at best. I notice that those talking heads on the cable news and radio never seem to mention that the homeless shelters have a higher occupancy level than ever before. Nor would they mention the fact that we have those shelters in abundance now across the country in comparison to the Great Depression.
I’m getting real tired of hearing how great the economy is doing. When obviously it’s not. All you have to do is open your eyes and see. Business are not coming back yet and foreclosed homes sit empty everywhere. The unemployment rate only counts the people who are getting unemployment benefits. So the people who fall off the unemployment benefits don’t get counted. Because the must have gotten a job, right? Hardly. In fact the homeless in this country are almost never counted correctly. It’s too hard to count them all, or at least that’s the excuse.
I know it’s meaningless, especially to those who see homeless and immediately have a bias, but that’s my opinion on the current state of our economy. You can count me in the 80%. Only a fool would see this as a recovery.
Please say a prayer for Katie and the millions of other Americans just like her. It can be absolutely soul crushing to lose everything that you ever worked for and not see any light at the end of the tunnel.
Unfortunately, the U.S. economy is not going to be improving in the long run. What we are experiencing right now is about as good as it is going to get. The truth is that it is pretty much downhill from here.
It is fairly simple to figure out what is happening to us as a nation.
You can’t keep buying far more than you sell.
You can’t keep spending far more than you bring in.
You can’t keep running up debt in larger and larger amounts indefinitely.
The U.S. economy is running on borrowed money and on borrowed time.
At some point, both are going to run out.
Are you ready for that?
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:53 pm
View full post on opinions.caduceusx.com