Game Over for the American Middle Class – MYBUDGET360

JAN-28-2010 – Game Over for the American Middle Class – Inflation Adjusted Wages up 20 Percent in Last 20 Years While Housing Costs are up 56 Percent and Healthcare Costs are up 155 Percent.

The struggle for average Americans to keep up is largely becoming an act of will power and force in this current grand recession.  Now you wouldn’t think that there is a definite war raging against the middle class if you simply follow the mainstream media but the facts speak to a more distilled and corporatized method of debt slavery.  Americans are working more hours trying to stay in the same place that they believe would keep them on pace to having the American Dream.  And this dream is merely the ability to afford a home, provide your children with a good education (public or private), and save enough to have a retirement that doesn’t require you to eat cat food after a lifetime of working.  That is at the root of what most average Americans would want after a full working career.

But we are at an inflexion point and the middle class is largely being squeezed out.  A recent study from the Commerce Department shed some light on an issue that we already know.  Over the past 20 years the middle class has been falling behind:

middle-class-costs

Everything is relative in this world.  Incomes have gone up during this time but the cost of housing, healthcare, and access to education have outpaced income gains in some cases by four to one.  Money is only worth what you can buy with it.  The grand housing bubble of this decade lured many into buying homes that they simply could not afford.  Banks and Wall Street were more than willing to provide access to this dream since they knew if all bets crashed, and they did, that they would call on their connected politicians to bail them out and send the bill to taxpayers for their adventures in finance.  Take a look at the chart above closely.  Housing price changes have wiped out any gains in income.  The relative amount of income needed to buy a home has put many two income households on the brink of bankruptcy.  And the 4 million foreclosure filings in 2009 alone tell us that many Americans are unable to hold onto one cornerstone of the American Dream.

The middle class is absolutely vital to having a sustainable and flourishing economy.  The massive debt machine coming from the big banks has created a new form of debt servitude.  Some would argue that this is a personal responsibility issue and I will be the first to agree with that.  People should live within their means.  But think of the FICO score that has become like a permanent financial report card.  Some employers actually screen for credit scores before hiring applicants.  Want to rent a home because you don’t want to over extend and buy a home?  You better hope that FICO is up to par.  And many insurance companies base their analysis on this score.  So even if you never had a credit card or any debt, you would be in a bad spot because so many people rely on this number.  This is only one example of how people are actually forced to use debt simply to pursue the avenues of the middle class.

In fact, we have many more people simply trying to stay afloat let alone pursuing the middle class ideal.  Over 37 million Americans are now part of the food stamp program, not only is this the highest number ever but also the highest percentage of Americans ever to be on food assistance:

food-stamps

I sometimes read gut wrenching stories from the Great Depression where people would wash and reuse paper towels or have soup for weeks on end just to keep their families fed.  37 million Americans would be one step away from that existence if it weren’t for some basic safety nets.  It is troubling to say the least that this patch is what is keeping this great recession from being a profound depression.  Yet I think the 27 million underemployed Americans are already in that state of mind.  The idea of a middle class life is slowly drifting away as each and every day we realize that our nation is becoming more of a corporatacracy.

The housing nightmare really played on both ends of this middle class dream.  Banks were more than willing to lend trillions of dollars to people that really could not afford the homes they were buying.  This created the biggest housing bubble the world has ever witnessed and the bursting ramifications are being felt throughout the economy.  Yet if you look at the equation, who is really being punished?  Average Americans are being punished as they have their homes foreclosed on.  Yet banks who are in the supposed position of financial experts, have not only garnered trillions in bailouts but are now back to their speculative ways.  This is disturbing because it is highlighting a marked shift and a near game over for the middle class.

Think of the rise of our economy in the 1940s and 1950s.  Many returning GIs had access to affordable education through new programs and grants.  It is the least you can offer to someone defending this country.  Next, it was possible to support a family with one income because we had a strong and sustainable manufacturing base.  Now, we have families with two incomes in the service sector trying to piece things together.  Throw in a child, and that second income evaporates through childcare costs and educational fees.  In other words, just because people have more income their buying power has collapsed.

And this fact is revealed in the data that two-income households are more of an economic necessity:

two-income-households

So of married couples with two children 76 percent have two earners.  The average American is simply working to stay on track or face being thrown off the treadmill.  Jobs are so important to keeping a solid middle class.  This should be obvious but current policy being driven by thecorporatacracy is simply focusing on keeping prices inflated for the big ticket items (i.e., housing and healthcare).  At this point in the game, housing values have gone up to points that are clearly unsupportable:

the-cost-of-homeownership1

This being the biggest budget item for most households, you would assume that lower prices would be welcomed from the government seeing that many Americans are underemployed and those with jobs have seen stagnant wages.

The middle class dream is at risk.  This is a question of what we want out of our country.  Are we simply obsessed on keeping home values inflated so banking giants could keep gaming accounting rules and claim billion dollar profits?  If we want to prosper in the next decade, there will need to be a radical change to preserve what once was envied by the world.  Otherwise, you can expect banks and their political allies to keep selling away the middle class of America.  On the path we are traveling on the middle class is largely at risk for a big game over in the next decade.

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It’s a Depression: How Wall Street Bankers and Oil Magnates are Destroying America. Part II.

Reposted from Nolan Chart

The present crisis is not an economic one, but the manifestation of something much more sinister. It is a direct consequence of the fact that America is a country betrayed by its ruling class.


by Servando Gonzalez
(libertarian)
Tuesday, March 3, 2009

(Click here to read the first part of this article.)

In the first part of this article I mentioned that the present crisis is not an economic one, but the manifestation of something much more sinister. It is a direct consequence of the fact that America is a country betrayed by its ruling class. Let’s explain this in detail.

Who Has Been Taken the Lion’s Share of the Economic Pie?

How can we explain that, if the economy had been growing in the last 30 years at a high rate, the personal economy of the average American was declining? The reason for this is because, though the American economic pie was growing in size, it was not distributed equitably.

So, where was the rest of the money going? Was somebody throwing it on a bottomless pit in the Arizona desert? Of course not. Somebody was taking it.

For example, by the end of the 1970s, the top of the economic pyramid, that is, 1 percent of the income earners, were getting 8 percent of U.S. national income. But, by the end of the 1970s, the same 1 percent of income earners was getting 23 percent of the whole national income. While American workers were getting very thin slices of the pie, somebody was getting the lion’s share: most of it was appropriated — if not illegally, at least unethically — by the top 1 percent of the economic pyramid

Who were the ones who were getting the lion’s share of the good years of the American economic boom? I will name just a few names:

In 1989, RJR Nabisco’s CEO F. Ross Johnson received a golden handshake of $53.8 million dollars. In 2003 former New York Stock Exchange Chairman Richard Grasso received an extra compensation package of $139 million dollars. In 2006 Henry McKinnell, former CEO of Pfizer, got a retirement package of $180 million. The same year William Fall, CEO of Fairmont Hotels, received more than $6 million in extra compensation. When Merrill Lynch’s CEO Stan O’Neil was fired in 2007 because of his poor performance, he took with him $161 million in company stocks and options. When two golden boys, Citigroup’s Chuck Prince and Lehman’s Dick Fuld suffered the same fate they received $39.9 and $35 million respectively as compensation for their poor performance.

Actually, they were treated unfair. Goldman Sack’s CEO Lloyd Blankfein grabbed $68.5 million. In the same fashion, Wall Street financier Bernie Madoff, former head of the NASDAQ tech stock exchange, put Mr. Ponzi to shame by swindling his clients out of $50 billion.

Moreover, while Americans were struggling to pay their rent, food, and the exorbitant price of gas, Exxon Mobil Corp. (mostly owned by the Rockefellers), reported early this year a profit of $45.2 billion for 2008, breaking its own record for a U.S. company. The previous record for annual profit was $40.6 billion, which Exxon reported in 2007.

These are just a few names and figures I found after a quick research on the Internet. You can do yours, and you’ll find many more examples.

Actually, I encourage you to do that: go to the Internet and do some searches. I hope you get as furious as I got, go to the window and yell with all the force of your lungs: I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!

If, after reading what I mentioned above, you think that the income gap in this country has turned into something tragic and obscene, you are right: it is tragic, obscene . . . and criminal.

When the crisis worsened last fall, Mr. W. Bush pushed the Congress to approve the $700 billion bailout plan crafted by the CFR conspirators’ secret agents Cox, Paulson and Bernanke. According to our former President (good riddance!), the only way to save the American people was by approving his bailout plan. But, just a few weeks after it was approved, we the people discovered that, far from benefiting the American people, the bailout was actually a handout to some people.

What people?

You guessed right. The same people who have been getting the lion’s share of the economic pie all these years. The people at the top of the economic pyramid: Wall Street millionaires and their buddies.

At the time it was announced, many Americans thought that Mr. Bush’s plan would be recorded as the largest transfer of taxpayers’ money to wealthy investors and bank executives in the U.S. history — Hi-tech highway robbery by the Wall Street Mafia. Unfortunately, however, they were wrong. Everything indicates that Mr. Obama’s plan will make Bush’s pale in comparison.

The solution that both Bush and Obama have proposed to end this crisis consists in pouring money to the problem. Humonguous quantities of money.

But where does this money will come from?

From the government, most people believe.

But governments are economic parasites that don’t create any wealth. Actually the only thing governments have proved to be efficient is at expending other people’s money.

Well, the money will come from our taxes, some may argue.

But, with so much unemployment and personal bankruptcies, people will be paying less and less taxes.

Actually, some “progressive” liberals may argue, Obama never intended for us, the little people, to pay more taxes. The rich will pay the taxes.

But, as recent scandals surrounding nominees for positions in the Obama administration have made evident, the rich and powerful don’t pay taxes. And they don’t pay taxes because they know that they can do it without suffering any penalty. As everybody knows, since immemorial times, the golden rule of taxes is that the ones who have the gold make the rules.

And don’t believe even for a second the notion that, as a result of our system of incremental tax, based on income levels, the rich and powerful pay 50 percent of all the taxes paid by Americans as a whole. That is just in theory. The practice is quite different.

Last year, speaking at a $4,600-a-seat fundraiser for Senator Hillary Clinton, billionaire Warren Buffett, the third-richest man in the world, criticized the U.S. tax system for allowing him to pay a lower percent than his secretary. He said that he was taxed at 17.7 per cent on the $46 million he made last year, without trying to avoid paying higher taxes, while his secretary, who earned $60,000, was taxed at 30 per cent.

And his case is not the exception, but the rule. Buffett himself recognized it when he told his audience, “The 400 of us [here, at the fundraiser] pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter.”

The main reason why the tax code is several thousand pages long, and we have to fill forms and more forms instead of posting a simple postcard to paid our taxes, is because the tax code is full of loopholes the rich and powerful have created to use at their advantage to avoid paying their duties.

So, we are back to square one. If it is not from the taxes paid by the rich, where does the money will come from?

Well, the money will be provided, in the form of loans at a high interest rate, by Wall Street banks.

And, how will they get so much money?

Very easy: The Wall Street Mafia will create the money out of thin air by printing it with high quality ink in crisp sheets of paper.

An iron rule of economic science is that, the more bills are printed, the higher the inflation will rise. If you don’t agree, just go to the closest supermarket and take a look at the prices. Inflation is here, and it came to stay.

Therefore, my advice to the readers is to go to a hardware store as soon as possible and buy a good wheelbarrow. Very soon you are going to need one to carry to the supermarket the several thousand dollars you are going to need to buy a loaf of bread. I am not exaggerating. It happened in Germany before the anointed savior appeared, and it will happen here. We have an advantage, though. Our anointed savior has already appeared. He resides at the White House.
Contrary to what has been sold to us, and despite Obama’s hopeful words in his recent speech to the Congress, the CFR’s Bush-Obama “stimulus plan” will be a total failure — which is actually the secret goal of the conspirators.

Why I am so sure?

I am so sure because this plan is a carbon copy of the shock treatment plan implemented in Argentina in December 2000, which prompted the financial debacle of 2001. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, organizations fully controlled by the CFR conspirators, in cahoots with their corrupt government, forced it upon the Argentinean people. Like in Argentina, the very same CFR people who created the problem are now offering a solution. But, far from solving the problem, their proposed solution will increase it, until total submission to them is accepted by the American people as the only viable solution.

The truth behind this economic crisis is that it is not an economic crisis at all. It is a crisis of our political system. The economic crisis is just a smokescreen to hide the final steps of a silent revolution whose goal is destroying our form of government, as stated in the Constitution, and substituting it with the comuno-fascist system they call the New World Order, very similar to the one CFR’s secret agent Fidel Castro has successfully tested in Cuba for the last fifty years.

Despite Mr. Bernanke’s forecast that the present depression (he disingenuously keeps calling it a recession) will be over by the end of this year. But, contrary to his claims, there is no light at the end of the economic tunnel. That small light you see growing at the end is actually a freight train named New World Order coming at full speed to run over you.

Maurice Strong Vision of the World’s Future

People who honestly see this situation as an economic crisis we can solve by taking the right economic measures remind me of the guy who was trying to catch a black cat in a dark room . . . but the cat was not there. And I added the adjective “honestly,” because most of our leaders — perhaps with the exception of the most stupid or naive ones — are fully aware that this is not an economic crisis at all.

Mr. Obama is not naive, much less stupid. His economic measures cannot be explained by stupidity or ignorance, mainly because none of them are his measures, but measures suggested (or ordered) by his CFR advisers. He is just another obedient puppet dancing at the rhythm of the music — but the music and the lyrics have been composed at the Harold Pratt House in Manhattan.

If you think that I am exaggerating I will give you a piece of information that may change your opinion. It comes from an interview entitled “The Wizard of the Baca Grande,” journalist Daniel Wood made with conspirator extraordinaireMaurice Strong, at Srong’s ranch in Southern Colorado, in which the billionaire had a rare moment of candor. It appeared in May 1990 in West, a low-circulation magazine published in Alberta, Canada. According to the author of the interview:

“Strong concluded the interview with a thought provoking, apocalyptic story from a novel he says he would like to write:”

‘Each year the World Economic Forum convenes in Davos, Switzerland. Over a thousand CEOs, prime ministers, finance ministers, and leading academics gather in February to attend meetings and set the economic agendas for the year ahead.’

‘What if a small group of these word leaders were to conclude that the principle risk to the earth comes from the actions of the rich countries? And if the world is to survive, those rich countries would have to sign an agreement reducing their impact on the environment. Will they do it? Will the rich countries agree to reduce their impact on the environment? Will they agree to save the earth?’

‘The group’s conclusion is ‘no.’ The rich countries won’t do it. They won’t change. So, in order to save the planet, the group decides: isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?’

‘This group of world leaders form a secret society to bring about a world collapse. It’s February. They’re all at Davos. These aren’t terrorists – they’re world leaders. They have positioned themselves in the world’s commodity and stock markets. They’ve engineered, using their access to stock exchanges, and computers, and gold supplies, a panic. Then they prevent the markets from closing. They jam the gears. They have mercenaries who hold the rest of the world leaders at Davos as hostage. The markets can’t close. The rich countries…?’

“. . . and Strong makes a slight motion with his fingers as if he were flicking a cigarette butt out of the window.” . . . ‘I probably shouldn’t be saying things like this,’ he says.”

“I sat there spellbound. This is not any story-teller talking. This is Maurice Strong. He knows these world leaders. He is, in fact, co-chairman of the Council of the World Economic Forum. He sits at the fulcrum of power. He is in a position to do it.”

The author of the article is right on the money: Strong and his powerful masters have all the power to do it. Moreover, it seems that Strong really means what he told the interviewer. Several years later he added, “If we don’t change, our species will not survive… Frankly, we may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrial civilization to collapse.” (National Review magazine, September 1, 1997)

I will give you a little more information about who Mr. Strong is, and you will agree with me that he is a powerful and dangerous man.

Enigmatic Canadian Billionaire Maurice Strong is the Deputy Secretary general of the U.N. Conference on the Human Environment. As a trusted employee of the Rockefellers and Rothschilds he has worked in their secret trusts and projects. He is also a director of the New Age Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies.

In the mid-1980s, Strong joined the World Commission on the Environment where he helped produce the 1987 Brundtland Report widely believed to be the spark which ignited the “Green movement.” He was the organizer of the first World Conference on the Environment in 1992, and the founder and first head of the UN Environment Program. He was the secretary general and main organizer of the UNCED Earth Summit in Rio in June 1992.

But, above all, Maurice Strong is a key secret agent of the globalist conspirators. As such, he is a CFR member, and religiously attends every year the secret globalist conciliabula of the Bilderberg Group and the World Economic Forum. Living his cover, he passes as a progressive socialist and an environmentalist, but he actually is a very reactionary New World Order manipulator, an occultist, an eugenicist, and a fanatic New Ager.

As he admitted, the ultimate goal the of the conspirators is the collapse of industrial civilization, which will bring the comuno-fascist New World Order with only two social classes: the serfs and the masters.

Well, it seems that Mr. Strong finally wrote and published his novel. Actually, we are currently living it!

———————

Servando Gonzalez