The Bankruptcy of American Colony/States

February 4, 2011

by Russell Longcore

We all know that Washington’s government is broke. But nearly every colony/state of the Union is also in desperate financial trouble. They have nearly all spent profligately. But their underfunded pension obligations are going to sink them aside from too much spending. And Federal law doesn’t permit colony/states to declare bankruptcy.

I just want to point out that if a colony/state seceded from the Union to become a nation once again, it would likely shed enough Federal debt and Federally-mandated spending that it could balance its budget once again. And now the new nation would not be subject to Federal bankruptcy laws. That doesn’t mean it should stiff its creditors, but it could facilitate restructuring and payment of its obligations.

Also remember the old saying…”The thinking that got us here will not get us where we want to go.” There will need to be an entirely new group of leaders who move away from the republic to secession and new nationhood.

The Daily Beast has an article about colony/state bankruptcy that you should read.

CLICK HERE to see how badly your state is doing.

Secession is the Hope For Mankind. Who will be first?

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

© Copyright 2011, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.


Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got

January 15, 2011

Logical, Practical Baby Steps Toward Survival and Secession

If you have been reading the articles posted here at DumpDC, you have read about the impending economic collapse. But sometimes all this gloom and doom, although accurately predicted, can be overwhelming. And when you feel overwhelmed you may just give up, thinking all is hopeless.

So today, I’m offering some common sense steps you can take to become as prepared as you possibly can become.

First, remember that none of us know when the s*** is going to hit the fan (WSHTF). We cannot accurately predict dates when events will occur. Let’s just do what we can until those days transpire. As legendary businessman A.L. Williams said, “All you can do is all you can do.” Let’s just hope that all you can do is enough.

1. Begin this week buying silver coins.

I started buying gold and silver about ten years ago when the price was $300 an ounce. Today’s gold prices are above $1,360 and will go higher. Ten years ago silver was about $15 an ounce. Today I’m buying silver at $35. It will go higher too, but it’s much more affordable for the average person. Make a commitment to yourself to buy as many silver coins as you can each month. If that’s only one coin, that’s better than doing nothing. Always try to buy coins that are 99.99% pure silver. Do not buy collector coins because the collection value melts away when you are using the coin for money. No one will care if it’s rare. Only the purity of the silver will matter.

Survivalists might disagree with me about placing this recommendation as number one. They might say that stocking in food, water and weapons are more important. But my opinion is that hard money will buy all those things, but only if you have hard money. Sure, you may be able to buy supplies cheaper now before the crash. But hard money is king and you’d better have it in your possession after the crash.

Gold and silver coins are actually money. Paper “money” is not money…it’s currency. When you buy gold and silver coins, you are exchanging your paper currency for real money. You are taking the value still found in your currency and storing that value in real money. As time goes by, it will take more and more paper currency to buy real money.

Do not sell gold and silver you already own. The carnival barkers on TV and down your street looking to buy your old jewelry will pay pennies on the dollar, and they will hand you paper currency as payment. That is backwards and foolish. Don’t fall for that scam. Tuck your old jewelry away as a stash of value.

Where to buy? Check coin dealers in your area as well as pawn brokers. You can even go online and find dealers with great prices. I recommend buying coins face to face with a dealer and only using cash. Why create a paper trail of your purchases?

2. Sell some stuff

You have personal property around your home that still has value that you are not using anymore. Electronics, furniture, tools, CDs, DVDs, even collectibles. Sell your extra stuff to raise cash. Then use that cash to buy even more silver.

Thank God for Ebay and other auction websites! It gives all of us great tools for selling our unwanted personal property. But if you’re not Internet savvy, just have a yard sale.

3. Start storing food and supplies

By selling off some old stuff, you’ll have more storage space. Make a special storage space in your home and being to buy extra food. Start with canned goods. Buy food you already like. Canned vegetables and meats are great. Then buy some paper products, like toilet paper and paper towels. If you are going to buy bulk items like rice or pasta, you’ll need sealable food containers for them. Don’t forget toiletries, like soap and other cleaning products. Buy some chorine bleach, which can be used to purify water. Buy canned juices, cake mixes, pudding, etc. My point here is to begin to put aside extra supplies toward the day that you can no longer just run to the store for stuff you need. That day will surely come whether you believe it or not.

4. Own firearms

If you do not already own a firearm, you are a victim waiting to be victimized. In the days following the collapse of the American financial system, crime will be rampant as desperate people do desperate things to survive. So, not only do you need to own firearms, but you need to become proficient in their use. Go to the gun range and learn how to use your firearm. Start now buying quantities of ammunition for your firearms. Having one box of ammo is not enough. Ammo is cheap. Buy 1,000 rounds or more for every different firearm you own. Make your ammo purchases at a gun shop and use cash, no credit or checks. No paper trail.

5. Get out of debt

Do everything you can to pay off debt of any kind, especially debt that is tied to collateral, such as your house or car. Last thing you want is to have your collateral repossessed or your home foreclosed.

How about consumer debt? In 2010, I heard financial guru Suzie Orman tell an Oprah Show audience to not worry about paying off consumer debt. She actually said that if you had to choose between credit card debt and house/car debt, choose house/car debt because it is secured debt. The credit card companies may be able to ding your credit score, or even sue you for the debt, but they cannot foreclose or repossess because it’s unsecured.

6. Increase your income

If you make more money, you can get prepared for disaster quicker. But making more money isn’t all about disaster preparedness. Have you ever heard of the concept of “having a Plan B”? Most people concentrate on just their present source of income, like their job. That’s Plan A. As most of you have noticed lately, jobs can go away unexpectedly even if you’re a great employee. Having more than one source of income lowers your risk of losing your major source of income.

The best “Plan B” you can have is a home-based business of your own. You can make great money, and having a home-based business opens up a source of tax deductions you never had before. You can write off thousands of dollars of business deductions…IF you have a business.

Most average people do not know how to properly evaluate a business opportunity. So, they make bad choices, lose a bunch of money, and come to the conclusion that being in business doesn’t work. But what if there was a simple way to evaluate ANY business opportunity before you jump in and risk your capital?

I’ve got the answer for you. I have a free video for you to watch. Click on www.ExploreFreedom.com. At the homepage, look to your left and find “Watch Brilliant Compensation.” Most of you should choose “English Live” and click “GO.”

If you want to learn more about how to make money in the energy business, contact me through the ExploreFreedom website. I’ll give you a hint…energy is one of the only truly recession-proof industries in America today. Is YOUR job recession-proof?

7. Do a security check at your home

Most folks live day to day with a false sense of security. They have no awareness of their surroundings and are surprised by robberies, car jackings and burglaries. But breaking into a residence is pretty easy. Have you made it easier for burglars inadvertently? Here’s quick checklist:

• Trim shrubs away from door and windows. Shrubs are good hiding places.
• Place a motion sensor exterior light next to every exterior door.
• Invest in a monitored security system for your residence. Make sure ALL openings have a sensor, even second floor openings.
• Reinforce your exterior doors to make them harder to bust open. I wrote an article at my insurance blog HERE.
• Install deadbolt locks with LOOOONG screws that sink into the framing behind the door frame.
• Don’t leave ladders and tools outside your home for obvious reasons.
• Get a concealed weapons permit and carry a pistol at all times.

8. Start planning where to live

When we reach The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI), will you want to live in a state that takes its orders from Washington DC, or will you want to live free? Spend the time NOW deciding where you want to live. Get out of the cities, which will be the most dangerous places of all. You might even consider choosing a state NOW and moving there before TEOTWAWKI. The other option is to expatriate and live outside the USA. That’s a very attractive alternative. But if you wait until TSHTF, Washington might not let you leave.

9. Spread the word

Friends don’t let friends stay ignorant. Discuss these concepts with those you love. Be prepared to take some criticism.

10. Face some tough decisions.

Remember the story of the Little Red Hen. Her friends did not want to help her prepare, but they were sure ready to help eat what she had worked for. Keep this in mind when, after you have sacrificed to be prepared, your family, neighbors and friends want to latch onto you for survival. What will you do if they discover that you have a stash of supplies and money and you don’t want to share? Will they come try to take it by force? You’re going to have to make some tough decisions then.

Jesus told a parable in Matthew 25:1-12 about ten virgins, five wise and five foolish. Read it HERE.

Conclusion

Don’t allow your mind to be overwhelmed by the prospect of economic collapse. You can begin TODAY to change your life and be prepared for the worst. But no one can make you do this. It has to be your decision.

Secession is the Hope For Mankind. Who will be first?

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

© Copyright 2011, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.


The Looming Baby Boom Bust

January 4, 2011

In 2011 The Baby Boomers Start To Turn 65: 16 Statistics About The Coming Retirement Crisis That Will Drop Your Jaw

Editorial at End Of The American Dream

Do you hear that rumble in the distance? That is the Baby Boomers – they are getting ready to retire. On January 1st, 2011 the very first Baby Boomers turn 65. Millions upon millions of them are rushing towards retirement age and they have been promised that the rest of us are going to take care of them. Only there is a huge problem. We don’t have the money. It simply isn’t there. But the millions of Baby Boomers getting ready to retire are counting on that money to be there. This all comes at a really bad time for a federal government that is already flat broke and for a national economy that is already teetering on the brink of disaster.

So just who are the Baby Boomers? Well, they are the most famous generation in American history. The U.S. Census Bureau defines the Baby Boomers as those born between January 1st, 1946 and December 31st, 1964. You see, after U.S. troops returned from World War II, they quickly settled down and everyone started having lots and lots of babies. This gigantic generations has transformed America as they have passed through every stage of life. Now they are getting ready to retire.

If you add 65 years to January 1st, 1946 you get January 1st, 2011. The moment when the first Baby Boomers reach retirement age has arrived. The day of reckoning that so many have talked about for so many years is here.

Today, America’s elderly are living longer and the cost of health care is rising dramatically. Those two factors are going to make it incredibly expensive to take care of all of these retiring Baby Boomers.

Meanwhile, the sad truth is that the vast majority of Baby Boomers have not adequately saved for retirement. For many of them, their home equity was destroyed by the recent financial crisis. For others, their 401ks were devastated when the stock market tanked. Meanwhile, company pension plans across America are woefully underfunded. Many state and local government pension programs are absolute disasters. The federal government has already begun to pay out more in Social Security benefits than they are taking in, and the years ahead look downright apocalyptic for the Social Security program.

If we are not careful all of these Baby Boomers are going to push us into national bankruptcy. We simply cannot afford all of the promises that we have made to them.

The following are 16 statistics about the coming retirement crisis that will drop your jaw…..

#1 Beginning January 1st, 2011 every single day more than 10,000 Baby Boomers will reach the age of 65. That is going to keep happening every single day for the next 19 years.
#2 According to one recent survey, 36 percent of Americans say that they don’t contribute anything at all to retirement savings.
#3 Most Baby Boomers do not have a traditional pension plan because they have been going out of style over the past 30 years. Just consider the following quote from Time Magazine: The traditional pension plan is disappearing. In 1980, some 39 percent of private-sector workers had a pension that guaranteed a steady payout during retirement. Today that number stands closer to 15 percent, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington, D.C.
#4 Over 30 percent of U.S. investors currently in their sixties have more than 80 percent of their 401k invested in equities. So what happens if the stock market crashes again?
#5 35% of Americans already over the age of 65 rely almost entirely on Social Security payments alone.
#6 According to another recent survey, 24% of U.S. workers admit that they have postponed their planned retirement age at least once during the past year.
#7 Approximately 3 out of 4 Americans start claiming Social Security benefits the moment they are eligible at age 62. Most are doing this out of necessity. However, by claiming Social Security early they get locked in at a much lower amount than if they would have waited.
#8 Pension consultant Girard Miller recently told California’s Little Hoover Commission that state and local government bodies in the state of California have $325 billion in combined unfunded pension liabilities. When you break that down, it comes to $22,000 for every single working adult in California.
#9 According to a recent report from Stanford University, California’s three biggest pension funds are as much as $500 billion short of meeting future retiree benefit obligations.
#10 It has been reported that the $33.7 billion Illinois Teachers Retirement System is 61% underfunded and is on the verge of complete collapse.
#11 Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Chicago and Joshua D. Rauh of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management recently calculated the combined pension liability for all 50 U.S. states. What they found was that the 50 states are collectively facing $5.17 trillion in pension obligations, but they only have $1.94 trillion set aside in state pension funds. That is a difference of 3.2 trillion dollars. So where in the world is all of that extra money going to come from? Most of the states are already completely broke and on the verge of bankruptcy.
#12 According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Social Security system will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes in 2010. That was not supposed to happen until at least 2016. Sadly, in the years ahead these “Social Security deficits” are scheduled to become absolutely horrific as hordes of Baby Boomers start to retire.
#13 In 1950, each retiree’s Social Security benefit was paid for by 16 U.S. workers. In 2010, each retiree’s Social Security benefit is paid for by approximately 3.3 U.S. workers. By 2025, it is projected that there will be approximately two U.S. workers for each retiree. How in the world can the system possibly continue to function properly with numbers like that?
#14 According to a recent U.S. government report, soaring interest costs on the U.S. national debt plus rapidly escalating spending on entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare will absorb approximately 92 cents of every single dollar of federal revenue by the year 2019. That is before a single dollar is spent on anything else.
#15 After analyzing Congressional Budget Office data, Boston University economics professor Laurence J. Kotlikoff concluded that the U.S. government is facing a “fiscal gap” of $202 trillion dollars. A big chunk of that is made up of future obligations to Social Security and Medicare recipients.
#16 According to a recent AARP survey of Baby Boomers, 40 percent of them plan to work “until they drop”.

Companies all over America have been dropping their pension plans in anticipation of the time when the Baby Boomers would retire. 401k programs were supposed to be part of the answer, but if the stock market crashes again, it is absolutely going to devastate the Baby Boomers.

State and local governments are scrambling to find ways to pay out all the benefits that they have been promising. Many state and local governments will be forced into some very hard choices by the hordes of Baby Boomers that will now be retiring. Of course whenever a big financial crisis comes along these days everyone looks to the federal government to fix the problem. But the truth is that after fixing crisis after crisis the federal government is flat broke.

At our current pace, the Congressional Budget Office is projecting that U.S. government public debt will hit 716 percent of GDP by the year 2080. But our politicians just keep spending money. In order to pay the Baby Boomers what they are owed the federal government may indeed go into even more debt and have the Federal Reserve print up a bunch more money.

So it’s the end, Baby Boomers. What is your “Plan B?”


Happy New Year – You Are Screwed

January 1, 2011

17 National Debt Statistics Which Prove That We Have Sold Our Children And Grandchildren Into Perpetual Debt Slavery

At PoorRichardsBlog

(Editor’s Note: Secession ends debt slavery. The state that leaves the Union leaves behind ALL Federal tax liability for itself and its citizens. Could there be any more attractive reason to secede?)

What we have done to future generations over the past 30 years is absolutely criminal. 30 years ago the U.S. national debt was a bit under one trillion dollars, and at that time it was considered a huge national crisis. Today, the national debt is 14 times larger and the years ahead look absolutely apocalyptic at this point. We have literally sold our children and our grandchildren into perpetual debt slavery. We have accumulated the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world, and our children and our grandchildren will be burdened with it for the rest of their lives.

All of our politicians keep talking about how it is vitally important that we do something about all of this debt “soon”, but they just can’t seem to stop wildly spending our money. They keep telling us that now is not the time for deficit reduction because it would harm “the economic recovery”, but the “right time” for deficit reduction never seems to come along.

The national debt statistics in this article are meant to shock you. Hopefully they will shock you enough to actually take action. Up to this point, the vast majority of Americans have been extremely apathetic about the horrific crime that we are committing against future generations.

How would you feel if you found out one day that your parents had run up a million dollars in debt that now you were obligated to pay off?

Would you be absolutely furious?

Of course you would be, and rightly so.

So how do you think future generations will feel about us? We were once the wealthiest nation on the planet, but we have taken that great inheritance and we have squandered it. Now we are handing our children and our grandchildren the largest debt the world has ever seen.

How in the world can we do that? How can we consign our descendants to perpetual debt slavery and still feel good about ourselves?

The America that we have all been enjoying so much today is going to be wiped out by all of this debt.

We have literally stolen the future. We just had to keep spending more and more and more and more.

The greed of this generation will be remembered for a very, very long time.

The truth is that both political parties are responsible. Both of them have voted over and over and over to keep running up these huge budget deficits. If you have voted for big spending Democrats at any point over the past 30 years then you have contributed to the problem. If you have voted for big spending Republicans at any point over the past 30 years then you have contributed to the problem.

Now we have reached a point where a horrific financial meltdown is basically inevitable. We are living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world, and it is only a matter of time until it bursts.

The following are 17 national debt statistics which prove that we have sold our children and our grandchildren into perpetual debt slavery….

#1 As of December 28th, the U.S. national debt was $13,877,230,355,933.00.
#2 If the federal government began right at this moment to repay the U.S. national debt at a rate of one dollar per second, it would take over 440,000 years to pay off the national debt.
#3 If the federal government began repaying the national debt at a rate of $10 million dollars a day it would take approximately 3,800 years to pay off the national debt.
#4 Today, the U.S. national debt is increasing by roughly 4 billion dollars every single day.
#5 The U.S. government is borrowing approximately 2.63 million more dollars every single minute.
#6 On September 30th, 1980 the U.S. national debt was 907 billion dollars. Just thirty years later, the U.S. national debt is over 14 times larger.
#7 According to a recent U.S. Treasury report to Congress, the U.S. national debt will reach 19.6 trillion dollars in 2015.
#8 It is being projected that the U.S. government will be paying 900 billion dollars just in interest on the national debt by the year 2019.
#9 A trillion $10 bills, if they were taped end to end, would wrap around the globe more than 380 times. That amount of money would still not be enough to pay off the U.S. national debt
#10 The U.S. Congress has raised the federal debt ceiling six times in just the past three years.
#11 The 111th Congress added more to the U.S. national debt than the first 100 U.S. Congresses combined.
#12 The 111th Congress got us into so much new debt that it breaks down to $10,429.64 for each of the 308,745,538 people counted by the 2010 U.S. census.
#13 The U.S. government currently has to borrow approximately 41 cents of every single dollar that it spends.
#14 When you break down the debt that the U.S. government owes to China alone it comes to over $10,000 for every single American family.
#15 If you were alive when Christ was born and you spent one million dollars every single day since that point, you still would not have spent one trillion dollars by now. Almost unbelievably, the U.S. government will accumulate well over a trillion dollars more debt in 2011.
#16 If right this moment you went out and started spending one dollar every single second, it would take you more than 31,000 years to spend one trillion dollars.
#17 The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that U.S. government debt held by the public will reach a staggering 716 percent of GDP by the year 2080.

But the American people don’t want to hear that we have spent decades creating a horrific debt crisis that is not going to be easy to fix. They just want someone to “tweak” a few things and get us back to being the greatest economy on earth. Unfortunately, it is simply not that easy.

But what do you tell a nation that is completely addicted to debt?

On an individual level, it can be a lot of fun to wildly run up credit card debt, but at some point you have to stop and start paying down that debt. Unfortunately, on a national level we can’t even get our politicians to slow down the rate at which our debt is increasing.

Sadly, the chart above does not tell the real story. It is based on fraudulent government accounting. If the government used GAAP accounting (like all public companies on Wall Street must), the numbers would look much worse.

John Williams of Shadowstats.com says that if the federal government would have used GAAP accounting standards to calculate the federal budget deficit for 2009, it would have been approximately 8.8 trillion dollars and that there is simply no way out of all this debt:

The government’s finances not only are out of control, but the actual deficit is not containable. Put into perspective, if the government were to raise taxes so as to seize 100% of all wages, salaries and corporate profits, it still would be showing an annual deficit using GAAP accounting on a consistent basis. In like manner, given current revenues, if it stopped spending every penny (including defense and homeland security) other than for Social Security and Medicare obligations, the government still would be showing an annual deficit. Further, the U.S. has no potential way to grow out of this shortfall.

The U.S. government is essentially bankrupt at this point. It is just a matter of playing out the hand. The rest of the world is starting to realize this, and confidence in the U.S. dollar is beginning to significantly decline.

Things did not have to turn out this way, but Americans did not listen to the warnings and so now this is where we are at as a nation.

The next time you see a small child, look into the hopeful eyes of that child and just think about what we have done to the future of all of our children. We have obliterated the financial future of this nation. Someone should be put into prison for all this. But instead the mainstream media treats prominent politicians from both political parties like rock stars.

The mainstream media continues to perpetuate the myth that the U.S. economy is on the road to a grand recovery and that eventually we can get a handle on all this debt and that somehow everything is going to be okay.

Well, everything is not going to be okay.

All that is on the horizon is great financial pain, and the sad thing is that it could have all been avoided.

But now the game is over and the day of reckoning is coming soon.

We are going to reap what we have sown.

(Editorial at theeconomiccollapseblog.com.)


Black Friday Violence: A Taste of Economic Collapse

December 2, 2010

It seems with each passing year the madness on Black Friday gets even worse. This year, there were reports of fights and rioting from coast to coast. It was estimated that over 180 million U.S. shoppers headed for the stores on Friday, and whenever you get that many people together there are going to be problems. But just how crazed ordinary Americans are getting over saving a little bit of money is deeply disturbing when you really start thinking about it. If people will go this wild just to save 40 percent on a television set, then what in the world are they going to do when they have been without food for a couple of days? If Americans will act like psychotic animals just to save 50 bucks, then what in the world will they do when they have lost everything and are desperate to survive?

All of us had better hope and pray that an economic collapse does not happen any time soon, because it is becoming increasingly apparent that the American people are not morally equipped to be able to handle one. Greed and selfishness have become so rampant in America that large segments of the population have totally forgotten how to be any other way.

If the United States ever experiences a really, really bad economic downturn, this nation could very quickly start looking like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina from coast to coast. Most Americans would simply not know how to handle it.

The following are 9 shocking examples of Black Friday violence that should make all of us wonder what is happening to America.

#1 At a Target store in Buffalo, New York the crowds waiting impatiently outside suddenly became a chaotic mob once the doors opened at 4 AM on Friday morning. One man that was lying on the ground remembers thinking “I don’t want to die here” while he was being trampled by crazed shoppers.

#2 Crowds were becoming so violent at a Wal-Mart in Sacramento, California that the police actually evacuated the store early Friday morning.

#3 Three women from West Palm Beach, Florida said that $1,000 in presents that they had just purchased at Best Buy were stolen from their vehicle on Friday morning within minutes of being purchased.

#4 One U.S. Marine reservist that was collecting toys for children was stabbed with a knife when he attempted to stop a shoplifter in eastern Georgia on Friday.

#5 Blogger Lynne Elder-Blau has posted about overhearing police officers describe a huge brawl that erupted this year at one well-known store on Black Friday:

Well, the girls and I were in a popular convenience store in Garden City last night while a store employee and a Garden City Police Department Officer were visiting. They were conversing about a large group of customers who got into a knock-down brawl at a nationally-known variety store in Garden City yesterday morning. Several police officers were brought in to break up the ball of adults who were pulling and tugging at products and actually punching other customers in their faces and stomach areas! We’re not just talking about a few people who were involved in this violent non-sense. The officer said that there was a large amount of people involved in this particular altercation. Ridiculous!!!

#6 A 21-year-old woman from Middleton, Wisconsin was arrested when she threatened to shoot other shoppers while waiting to get into a Toys R Us store for Black Friday. The other shoppers had objected when she attempted to move to the front of the line.

#7 Customers literally tore apart a store display at a Wal-Mart in Douglasville, Georgia as they pushed and shoved each other in an attempt to grab the best deals.

#8 The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department actually “locked down” a section of a Cerritos, California shopping mall after a wild fight broke out in the food court. There were even reports that some people were flinging chairs at other customers.

#9 At one Wal-Mart in Texas, a near-riot broke out right in the middle of the store as a huge crowd of customers pushed and shoved each other to get a handful of Black Friday deals that were being wheeled out to the floor.

If you want to see videos of Black Friday craziness, check out THIS

Remember, the products that these Americans are fighting over are not free. This is how crazy people are willing to go just to get a deep discount on an item.

So what is going to happen someday when people are desperate for food or shelter?

If this is how people act when the sun is shining, how are they going to behave once a really bad storm arrives?

In America today, fewer and fewer people are treating others the way that they would like to be treated themselves.

Instead of showing others kindness and respect, in 2010 most Americans would seemingly rather trample anyone who is in the way of getting what they want.

So what do you think? Are Americans becoming more greedy and more selfish or are they basically “good” and “decent” people most of the time? Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion.

Reprinted with permission from the Economic Collapse Blog.


2010 Is Just Deck Chair Politics on the USS Titanic

October 25, 2010

by Ron Holland

“Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.”
~ H.L. Mencken

The political consensus is following the 2010 election, the Tea Partiers and the GOP establishment will breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate their victory and our two-party monopoly system of government will continue as before. A GOP House majority will checkmate Obama and the Democrats in the Senate and political stalemate will result. Many conservatives and a few Washington pseudo-libertarians will claim stalemate is better than a Democrat landslide but they will be wrong.

Like the Titanic, the Washington/Wall Street ship of state hit a Federal Reserve created iceberg under the command of George W. Bush with the recession/depression. Again, like recent evidence suggests, the original Titanic hit the iceberg and sank so fast because of a steering mistake turning the ship in the wrong direction which could have been avoided.

In a similar fashion, both Obama and Bush, following the self-serving orders of Bernanke and Wall Street steered the nation directly into the current depression and coming national debt and dollar collapse by following Keynesian economic principles instead of letting the market quickly resolve the crisis.

Everything you read or see on the establishment propaganda news outlets is just a rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic as the ship of state is certainly sinking. The goal of productive American citizens should be to get as far away from the ship of state as possible to avoid the downward pull a sinking vessel exerts on everything in the water as it goes under.

The Establishment Political Consensus Is Dead Wrong

America today is a one-party state much like the Soviet Union, China or Nazi Germany and both nominal political parties are just façades presented to the public to create the illusion of competition and choice. The establishment leadership in both the GOP and the Democrats represent the goals of the same special interests.

Our ability to “throw the bums out” every two or four years is just a release valve built into the political system which guarantees the continued elite control of our political process. Although there are some patriots in national politics in both parties, they never are allowed to take control of either party or the closed political system.

Before the summer of 2011 is over, the Tea Party supporters will already be angry and disappointed as the GOP elites will maintain the status quo and there will only be empty rhetoric rather than political action to control spending, curtail the deficits and limit government. When the coming debt and dollar crisis takes hold, I guarantee the GOP will have an action plan supported by the Democrats which will pass with bilateral support to solve the economic crisis. The solution will be the theft of your private wealth and promised benefits all done in the public interest to save America.

Why Only Nixon Could Go To China

And only the Republicans will be able to steal most of your wealth and get away with it with the acquiescence of the Democrats. Only older readers will remember the above political metaphor as it suggests additional legitimacy for politicians making “tough decisions” can result when strong supporters of a political viewpoint suddenly change their views and direction always in the public interest for a crisis etc. In other words, only Nixon, perceived as a rightwing conservative could have opened the door to China in 1972 as a liberal Democrat would have been criticized, attacked and thwarted by the opposition GOP.

What Asset Will Be lost Or Auctioned?

As America goes under, here are 9 assets and guarantees likely to be stolen by the politicians and then auctioned off to buy more time for the Washington elites of both political parties. Do not believe anything anyone from the establishment tells you as it is always false information.

Social Security Theft – As we see today in France, Social Security retirement ages will be further extended into the future. Wealthy Americans will be “means tested” and entirely forfeit their benefits and Washington will eventually end cost-of-living adjustments for all but the poorest Social Security recipients.

Solution: If you are eligible for SS benefits start taking them as soon as possible even at the lower rate and age currently age 62.

Rising Income & Estate Taxes – This is already a done deal by the Democrats and there will be some minor temporary pushback by the GOP but nothing of substance.

Solution: You might get one more year of the Bush tax cuts so throw all income possible into 2011.

National Health Care Expands – Again, some minor changes by the GOP and Blue Dog Democrats but it will never be overturned and in a few years this travesty will be just as supported by the Republicans as they now support Social Security, the Department of Education and the Patriot Act today. There is no solution.

The Risk of Private Gold Confiscation Will Go Up – When the dollar and Treasury market crashes, Washington will enact legislation against gold investors to curtail your profits, add a confiscatory non-productive asset tax or confiscate your gold with some type of fiat currency exchange. In any case, they plan to end up with your gold as this will be the basis of a restored dollar.

Solution: Move most of your gold offshore in a legal and reportable manner but outside the threat of closed or paralyzed banks, US investment firms and desperate politicians.

Home Values Will Continue To Fall – The long-term effects of the Fed and Wall Street bank created boom and subsequent real estate bust along with the foreclosure crisis now beginning will likely continue to weigh heavily on home prices.

Solution: Wait to buy any property you need at a lower price and walk away from properties outside your residence now sinking further underwater.

Confiscation of Large Retirement Fund Accounts – The long-term confiscation and control idea is to eventually force all retirement benefits under the new automatic/mandatory IRA program where everything will be combined with and managed like your Social Security benefits. Wealthy and productive Americans will find their retirement benefits used to support the trillions in underfunded union, state and local government employee plans.

Solution: When possible, move your substantial retirement assets legally offshore to escape a future liquidity crisis when the theft will occur and drawdown your balances by taking withdrawals as soon as you can without an early retirement penalty.

A National Sales or VAT Tax – This will be a quick revenue generator for the Feds but will probably start out somewhere between 2%–5% and rising quickly after that to confiscatory levels. Americans in low tax brackets may initially be exempted from this tax.

Solution: Make any major purchases sooner rather than later.

An End to the Home Interest Deduction – Again, this will be a quick revenue generator for the Feds but will put additional downward pressure on home prices. There is no solution but never buy anything tangible or even an investment for tax benefits. as tax preferences always change and never in your favor.

An Organized Collapse of the Dollar – The Feds fully hope to get some control over the outstanding national debt externally and internally over transfer payments by depreciating the dollar. How they hope to accomplish this without creating a run and collapse of the dollar and Treasury debt is beyond me but this is their intention.

Solution: Diversify your wealth internationally outside the US in banks and annuities, equities, bonds and real estate not denominated in dollars. Buy gold bullion, quality gold mining and national resource stocks outside the US.

The Bottom Line

It really doesn’t matter where you sit on the deck of the Titanic, you have to get off the boat quickly in a lifeboat of your own design. The call for “women and children first” and “there are plenty of lifeboats for everyone” will just be misinformation to enable the leaders of Wall Street, Washington and the Fed to hide their identities, assets and involvement in creating the crisis.

I can’t wait to see Bernanke, Bush and Obama in a lifeboat disguised and dressed in womens clothing along with most of Congress and the Wall Street insiders. May the sharks not be too hungry and the water not too cold so they will suffer longer. Or as Jimmy Buffet put it so well: You got fins to the left, fins to the right and you’re the only bait in town.

Ron Holland is a contributing editor to the Swiss Mountain Vision Newsletter and Freedom Matters published by Appenzeller Business Press.

Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com.


Recession, Texas Style

August 27, 2010

by Linda Brady Traynham

(Editor’s Note: This week is Linda Brady Traynham Week. Linda has been making comments here for a while. I like her writing style and her content is outstanding. She writes about Texas liberty issues and other stuff that engages her mind…just like your un-humble Editor. I am confident you’ll enjoy this week’s offerings.

This one shows you why you should relocate to Texas before secession happens.)

We Texans pride ourselves on everything being bigger and better, but the definition of a “better” depression is a smaller, lighter one. I wrote months ago about how Texas was last into the Depression and has been hit less hard than most areas. At that time, only Brownsville, on the Mexican border, had an unemployment rate that matched the national average, which was in the mid-seven range then. At present we’re running 8.2 per cent., here in Texas, using government figures, with the national rate holding stubbornly at “9.7%.” I put that in quotation marks because I consider it a fairy tale, over and above that using traditional accounting methods would yield results almost exactly twice the official version. That half a point drop from 10.2% not long ago came too suddenly for me to find it believable.

I’m just a simple arithmetician but I understand the sort of figures we’re talking here and it is no use for the government to tell me there is no inflation — it has been at least 3% by the most stringent definition for the last three years — and that national unemployment averages 9.7% if we just don’t count everyone without a job. Laughter…my husband was a genuine mathematical genius who had a passion for statistics and understood numbers the way I understand words. I would love to hear John’s answer on what the unemployment rate is.

One reason we’re doing better in Texas is in the diversification of interests and in the tightly closed systems in our many small towns. Those are not totally immune, and in Hamilton the little, more expensive grocery store “down town” (that being the four blocks which surround the Courthouse square) has gone out of business. David’s, a small local chain, no doubt smiled, and stopped running so many loss leaders. What else? When it is twenty-five to forty miles to the next grocery store of any sort, pretty much you have a captive audience. I imagine the newest restaurant in town will go under, but pretty much nothing much will change. It can be frustrating that kids who aren’t going to inherit a family business have to go elsewhere to find jobs in “normal” times, but it is quite comforting to know not many jobs will be shed in your town because there weren’t any superfluous jobs in the first place. Each business has a place in the local economy that isn’t going to go away, from the two drug store (neither chain) to Ace is the Place, to the feed stores. In the cities and industrial parks many areas are humming along nicely turning out machinery, computers, chemicals, and electronic devices. No, we’re not just about beef and oil. We’re making things they want in BRIC. The first quarter — first two months, actually — exports rose 24.3% over 2009, close to thirty billion dollars’ worth. Patrick Jankowski, Vice President of research for the Greater Houston Partnership, commented that there are over 700,000 jobs in Texas geared to manufacturing goods for export, probably not counting mounted steer horns and armadillo ashtrays. We account for about ten per cent. of the entire export output of the USA, a scary thought, in some ways. Bell Helicopter is gearing up for a big, new project in Amarillo, hiring now, starting at over twenty dollars an hour to assemble widgety things.

Sure unemployment is high in the barrio. When isn’t it? Teens in general are having a harder time finding summer jobs because there are those with more work experience and better motivation willing to take what they can find. Life is tough in some sectors of the oil business, thanks to the power of the Greenies and Mr. Obama outlawing the most promising drilling areas under the guise of expanding exploration. One of the articles I read posited that Texas began adding jobs again last fall, “thanks mostly to its great position in the largely recession-proof energy industry.” Well…sort of. Maybe. Out in Odessa and Midland things are stalled because there is no way to get that sweet, light Texas crude over to the refineries, and for sure it’s too far to build a pipeline. Mr. Obama has decreed that no new refineries may be built (just which section of the Constitution would that be?) and if you can’t refine oil and can’t move it, once your storage facilities are full the best you can do is hope for a better future. One landman I know has cut her price from $450 to $200 a day because there isn’t a whole lot of leasing going on. Last November Texas crude production was down to 1.08 million barrels per day, on the order of half the amount pumped in the Reagan years. Natural gas is doing well — up about a third between 2004 and 2008 — which is cheering both because I expect the coal industry to be destroyed by fake science and a great deal of money put into that campaign by the LNG folks who stand to take over coal-fired plants. Seems to me, as a long-time Texan that we’ve got a bunch of capped wells that were shut down over the years because they produced “too much” gas and not enough oil to suit demands of the time.

We Texans are proud of having our own electric grid — bearing in mind that a hamlet about thirty miles from me went without power for over three weeks after Ike. Their juice came from a different plant in Houston. I’m not a big fan of wind power, myself, between the cost of the enormous three-bladed devices (about a quarter of a million dollars, which doesn’t include shipping and handling and perhaps not even installation) and the difficulty of “storing” electricity; it is commonplace to see a lot of those pricey units turned off when there is ample wind to spin them merrily. There are those who hope to begin exporting electricity to the rest of the US, such as Paul Sadler of Wind Coalition. That might be fine for wind power operators, but it would almost certainly raise prices locally, judging from what happened a decade or so ago when Washington started selling power to Oregon and California, which was in a bind because of foolhardy insistence in flushing away water needed for irrigation and hydroelectric facilities in the name of dear little fishies. There isn’t a person reading this who can’t come up immediately with “Same amount of product sought by more people equals higher prices.” I don’t think anyone has come up with “Keep Texas for Texans,” but it sounds reasonable to me. It may be too late since we have already gotten the attention of Denmark, Spain, and Queen Beatrix. Fortunately, one reason we could construct our grid fairly easily is that we weren’t tied down with federal regulations or coordinating with other states. With luck, trying to connect to Boston, Kansas City, and San Diego (just for examples) would turn out to be as frustrating and time-consuming as attempting to build a nuclear plant. I noted that Texas can now put out 10,000 megawatts which was stated as being sufficient for three million homes, and I thought, immediately not “NIMBY” but “KIIMBY” for Keep It In My Back Yard. Sure, I can handle Vestas and Iberdrola coming over to play, but retaining control of our power strikes me as “prepping” on a national level. Mr.T. Boone Pickens considered putting what even he thought was a bundle into wind power and decided there were faster, better ways to make a good ROI.

Our housing market remains far more stable for several reasons. Turnover has always been slow in rural areas, and we had a hefty influx of dazzled Californians early in the century. They may have been buying while the bubble was bursting, but compared to prices in the Golden State our housing was considered ludicrously under-priced. Dallas has been especially fortunate over the years, and prices there are only 7% off the 2007 highs, Case-Shiller indicates. That’s okay, there’s no point in coming to Texas if you’re going to live in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, DFW, or El Paso. You seen one big city, you seen ‘em all. Sure, the River Walk is pretty (if you like tourist attractions), but other than that SAT is five million people, two freeway rings, and traffic that would scare anyone other than a Los Angeles cab driver. We’re doing better in terms of lower delinquency rates on mortgages. In particular, those three or more months behind average 5.78% here and 8.78% nationwide. (Do you suppose someone makes these figures up? With 99 other choices, yet the terminal two digits are the same?) It should also be noted that Texas law limited taking out secondary loans that amounted to more then eighty per cent. of the value of the property. People were protected somewhat from their own greed and the myth that “Real estate will always increase in value!”

I bridled somewhat when I read, ‘Once a separate nation, Texas has recently been behaving more like an independent economic republic than a regular state. While it hasn’t been immune to the problems plaguing the nation, the Texas housing market, employment rate, and overall economic growth are relatively strong. Chalk some of this up to accidents of geology and geography. But Texan prosperity also reflects the conscious efforts of a once-parochial place to embrace globalization.” and “Texas today is more suburban engineer than urban cowboy, more Michael Dell than J.R. Ewing. Austin, home to the University of Texas, the state government, and Dell Computer, has a 7 percent unemployment rate…ExxonMobil is based in Irving. But the state’s energy complex is increasingly focused more on services and technology than on intuition and wildcatting. And it is selling those services into the global oil patch. Russian, Persian Gulf, and African oil developers now come to Houston for equipment, engineering, and software. While its political leaders may occasionally flirt with secession, Texas thrives on connection… ”

I couldn’t help feeling that this was a little condescending and I was reminded of an ancient expression, “Poor boy, he must be tetched in th’ head.” We may enjoy wheelin’ and dealin’ but at heart we’re still Texans, with our own unique culture that we’ve done a lot better hanging on to than the USA has of agreeing on how to define an American. Businesses come and businesses go, like a li’l ol’ company that had a base here on my stomping grounds long ago, name of Texas Instruments, but cattle and corn fields are forever. We aren’t going to get over feeling that an Aggie ring (signifying graduation from Texas A&M, not 20 minutes from me) is worth two degrees from Harvard and Yale any day. Besides, Dell’s in Round Rock. Laughing at myself. This is like only Aggies being allowed to tell Aggie jokes (non-Aggies can tell ‘em if they make the dunce a Polack, a perfectly respectable term ’round here.)

The important part isn’t what I interpreted as a slur on my own, my native land, but that we’re doing some things right here the rest of the country isn’t.

Linda Brady Traynham is a former editor and analytical project report writer and is now a Whiskey & Gunpowder field correspondent on a ranch in the Republic of Texas. She studied Counseling at Boston University and got her Masters degree in Philosophy from the University of Hawaii.