Posts Tagged ‘Financial Collapse’

The Financial Collapse of America

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, December 15th, 2013

This is article 375 of 393 in the topic economy

“The United States is in very deep trouble. First, the concept of repaying $16.7 trillion in debt is not even a remote possibility over the next 100 years, even if the government had small surpluses. Then, because the country is running such large deficits, the national debt is increasing and getting worse…much worse. In addition, the government is approximately $70 trillion in unfunded liabilities that have to be resolved.”

“Pray that the market for the national debt remains open so that the United States can keep borrowing to repay the money is previously borrowed and then will have to re-borrow to repay the money it just borrowed. There is no chance the market will not change its demeanor over the next 100 years.”

That’s Murray Holland’s conclusion in his book, “A Nation in the Red: The Government Debt Crisis and What We Can Do About it” ($28.00, McGraw Hill). As a longtime book reviewer, I have read a growing stack of books warning about a financial collapse, but Holland’s book is not only based in the actual debt, but is written in a manner that even a person who has no knowledge of this issue can understand.

The “market” Holland refers to is the market for America’s treasury notes and bonds, issued to cover our on-going budget and the interest needed to pay prior borrowing. In sum, the nation is spending more and borrowing more than it can afford. It has been doing this for a long time and the warning signs are places like Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and other European nations that, following World War Two, embraced socialism. America did so even earlier during The Great Depression and the decades since the 1930s.

Holland calls it a Debt Trap and conservatives know instinctively that the U.S. government is too large and too based in socialism to survive. “There are over 500 agencies and departments on the list and it does not even include all the agencies and departments created in the states under grant programs from the federal government.” One can find the list at

“The list of social programs is long,” writes Holland, “but the four major categories driving America into the Debt Trap are income security (Social Security, welfare, and other related programs), healthcare (Medicaid, Obamacare, and Medicare), education, and housing,” noting that “These programs did not exist until after the Great Depression.” They came about as the result of a Keynesian view that government spending would lift the economy out of its doldrums, but government spending does nothing to improve the economy. It sucks money out of the economy and, more specifically, out of the pockets of individual citizens and the business community.

Americans born during and after the Great Depression have had eighty years living in a nation whose economic system is capitalism, but whose governance is socialism.

Despite nearly fifty years of a Cold War with the former Soviet Union (1945-1991), Americans have been blissfully ignored its intention of the communist intention to destroy capitalism and have accepted a vast matrix of social programs that now represent $70 trillion in unfunded financial liabilities. Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, their plan “to overwhelm America with debt, welfare, and entitlements—in other words, to bankrupt America has continued unabated.

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Safety, Security and Preparedness

by Douglas J. Hagmann on Saturday, September 28th, 2013

Most people who are paying attention to current events are concerned about “what’s coming,” whether it’s a financial collapse and the consequential fallout or something more. You’re constantly being told to “prepare,” especially by members within the ‘alternative media,’ but prepare for what? How? Of course, there’s always the budget factor.

If you listen to The Hagmann & Hagmann Report or other radio talk shows like ours, you’ve undoubtedly heard us – and others – talk about getting prepared. Even if you have not tuned in to our show, you’ve probably seen the reality based (I am using that phrase loosely) television programs about “preppers.” The few shows I’ve seen cause me to wonder about the mental faculties of some of the people thrust in the spotlight of national television. Frankly, I haven’t converted an empty missile silo into alternative living quarters and have no plans to do so, but as the saying goes, to each their own. I prefer to live a more normal existence, with emphasis on a more thoughtful and intelligent approach to my own safety, security and preparation and that of my family. Additionally, budgetary and space constraints are a factor.

Whether or not you believe that there will be some major calamity that will befall us soon or in the not-too-distant future, it’s prudent to take certain steps to insure your comfort or even survival in times of crisis, regardless of the nature of the crisis. Much like having a spare tire for your car or insurance for your home and property, it’s responsible to take steps to assure your safety and security in everyday life. The degree to which you feel it’s necessary to prepare is a personal decision that involves many factors.

As hosts of The Hagmann & Hagmann Report, we believe that warning our listeners of exceedingly tough times ahead without offering practical advice and assistance is much like yelling fire in a populated building, but not calmly guiding people to safety. We’ve received many e-mails over the last several weeks from listeners asking for advice on what they should or could do in their own situation. Many of the questions share common elements, and many listeners of our show and readers of our site share common concerns.

A large number of people are looking for practical tips on such things as personal safety and the safety of their loved ones in common, everyday life – absent of a crisis.

To assist our listeners on matters of personal safety, security and practical preparedness, we’re pleased to announce that we’ll be offering a series of show segments dedicated solely to this topic. Starting tonight and continuing for the next six consecutive Fridays, we’ll be devoting half of our program to this topic. Our safety, security and preparedness “teacher” will be a man who is known by the pen-name “Yoda,” who is the founding member of the popular website the Magnified View.  He works closely with U.S.

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Memories of Thanksgiving’s Past

by Alan Caruba on Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

This is article 26 of 45 in the topic US Holidays

This Thanksgiving Day I will dine alone. I will think about what I have to give thanks for—my health, the fact that I have seen 75 Thanksgiving Days come and go, a life with few regrets—but my day will be a sad one, not for myself, but for my nation.

I have always been an optimistic person, but that optimism has been drained by four years of Obama’s regime and the prospect of four more. It is compounded by a Congress that has steadily marched toward turning America into a European socialist economy now on the brink of financial collapse and, worse, by a nation that has abandoned many of the values and shared beliefs that made it great; a beacon of freedom for those who chose to come here, a superpower following World War II, a compassionate and largely tolerant nation.

I mark its long decline from the 1960s when the sons and daughters of a generation that had worked hard and followed the rules thought it was cool not to believe “anyone over thirty”, and, in 1967, adopted Timothy Leary’s drug-induced advice to “Turn on, tune in, drop out.” He was speaking at a “Human Be-in” gathering of 30,000 “hippies” in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

That generation is now in charge of the nation, has long since debased the nation’s educational system, comprises the membership or supporters of countless “environmental” organizations, and voted for Johnson, Carter, Clinton, and Obama.

They believe that the Republican Party is composed of “old white men”, and that government is all about “entitlements.” When I was a lad, we used to admire, respect, and even elect old white men.

From the earliest years of the last century, the nation began to adopt a lot of progressive ideas such as the income tax, the Federal Reserve, support for the union movement, and, in general, class warfare.

My childhood years were those in which the nation defeated two totalitarian threats to freedom and liberty in Europe and in Japan. By my teenage years in the 1950s all manner of technologies we take for granted emerged to make life so much easier and more entertaining. My Mother used to hang the wash on clotheslines to dry. Summers meant heat and mosquitoes.

Entertainment was the radio and a Saturday movie matinee. Then came washing and drying machines, air conditioning, television, pesticides that suppressed the mosquito population and killed the legions of ants, cockroaches, and termites that spread disease and damage homes. There were medical breakthroughs that ended the scourge of polio and provided relief from other diseases.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other national holidays were joyous times; particularly the Fourth of July and the respect for fallen heroes expressed on Memorial—now Veterans—Day. There were symbols of these holidays that were proudly displayed, but now we live in a nation where atheists protest the cross and the crèche in the public square, where prayer is banned in schools, and where even displaying the flag evokes protests, but burning it is deemed free speech.

Americans strove to repair the ills of the past. A hundred years past the Civil War, the civil rights movement, amidst marches and riots, they secured legal guarantees for African-Americans, formerly called Blacks or Negroes.

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Vote to Save the Nation!

by Alan Caruba on Monday, November 5th, 2012

This is article 1199 of 1298 in the topic 2012 Elections
No previous election has ever held the fate of the nation in its hands since the reelection of Abraham Lincoln in the midst of the Civil War. If Obama is elected, he will continue his agenda to drive this nation to the point of financial collapse and leave behind millions of Americans without jobs or any hope for the future.

And that includes the liberal retards who will vote for him in an election that is, according to the pundits, too close to call. There is something terribly frightening to contemplate that half the voters will vote to continue his planned destruction and his potential for declaring himself President for Life. He is the classic tyrant.

Any voter to pulls the level for any candidate who speaks of “climate change”, the replacement for the failed “global warming” hoax, should be soundly defeated. Whether they actually believe the Earth is in peril or whether they are just part of the Congressional candidates for the Senate and the House who spout the “party line”, these men and women must defeated before they inflict more damage on the economy.

The impact of Hurricane Sandy left millions in the Northeast without the most precious power we possess, electrical power. All life depends on it in our intricately technological society.  Beyond that, it demonstrates the raw power of Nature. It demonstrates that it is not the Earth that needs to be saved, it is humanity.

Mitt Romney promises to repeal Obamacare and that is surely a priority. It seizes control of the best healthcare system in the world and it will doom senior citizens to death by denying them the care that a humane, caring society should never deny. To fund it, Obamacare has taken $716 billion from Medicare.

Mitt Romney promises to unleash the vast potential that our vast energy reserves, coal, natural gas, and oil, as well as nuclear power represent. Obama and his administration have sought to deny the billions these represent in wages and taxes.

You cannot “conserve” energy. You can either use it or not. When denied energy, a vast swath of the Northeast returned, literally, to the Dark Ages.

Mitt Romney and a Republican controlled Congress will rein in a totally rogue federal government agency, the Environmental Protection Agency. The power it possesses and intends to expand through unconstitutional and unscientific regulations has thwarted every kind of economic growth for decades, but that process accelerated under Obama and must be stopped. The powers of the EPA must be returned to the governance of the individual states.

The power and prestige of the United States has been deeply wounded during the past four years. Obama has bowed to foreign leaders, has supported despots of every description, and made it clear that he is no friend to Israel, a beckon of democracy and sanity in the Middle East. He would allow Iran to become a nuclear nation by default and that cannot be allowed.

Our military must be rebuilt. The U.S. guarantees the freedom of the world’s seas and oceans, but it lacks a navy large enough to ensure that in both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. Obama has allowed our air power to decline and he has shrunk our army and marine forces.

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The Poisonous Presidency

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, October 14th, 2012

This is article 753 of 1015 in the topic Obama

When the leaders of the United States, the President, his Vice President, his Secretary of State and others deliberately lie to its citizens, knowing full well that the facts about the tragic killing of an American ambassador and three of his staff are widely known, the nation has reached a point where it is paramount that he be removed from office.

The forthcoming election is the instrument and current indicators are that President Obama will be defeated. It is to be hoped that power in the Senate will be returned to the Republican Party and retainedl in the House of Representatives. This is the only way steps can be taken to avoid the financial collapse that faces the nation and achieve the repeal of Obamacare that Mitt Romney has promised if elected.

What worries me most, however, is the utter disdain for the truth that has marked the presidency of Barack Obama. It has been nearly four years of sustained lies about the steps that were taken to respond to the financial crisis facing the nation when he took office. The so-called “stimulus” wasted billions, becoming little more than a slush fund for Democratic fund-raisers, unions, and other connected parties to the administration.

Instead the administration literally seized control of General Motors and Chrysler, then in the normal process of bankruptcy, claiming to save the jobs of auto workers. What they did was shunt aside the legitimate creditors and investors in GM. They arbitrarily discontinued its often long relationship with several hundred auto dealerships, adding their employees to the unemployment lines. They then insisted that GM invest millions in the creation of an electric car that cost $47,000 to purchase and ended up purchasing them for government use with taxpayer’s money.

Obamacare, more than 2,700 pages in length and incorporating more than twenty new taxes, was passed by a Democrat-controlled Congress with little evidence that any of those who voted for it had even read it. Arguing initially that he was not a tax, when challenged in the Supreme Court, the administration then said it was a tax. For some inexplicable reason, the Court permitted it to stand despite its clear over-ride of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause that forbids the government from requiring a citizen to purchase anything.

Under Obama, the foreign policy of the nation has now seriously weakened its position in the world and combined with cuts to defense spending, put its ability to protect the homeland and project power abroad at risk. The administration failed to negotiate an agreement with Iraq that would permit U.S. troops to remain in place, as they do at the invitation of many nations around the world, leaving Iraq vulnerable to al Qaeda. Setting a date for withdrawal from Afghanistan only emboldened the Taliban.

The so-called Arab Spring has mutated, not into the establishment of democratic institutions in nations like Egypt or Libya, but an opportunity for the Muslim Brotherhood to at least ascend to positions of power in opposition to America’s interests in the Middle East and Northern Africa.

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Beware of the Mainstream Media

by Alan Caruba on Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

This is article 346 of 576 in the topic Media

A recent outburst by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was a near classic example of how some members of the media are so over the moon about Obama that it serves as a reminder that their long knives are out for the Romney-Ryan ticket.

Matthews’ man-crush on Obama is blatant, but I do take some heart from a recent Newsweek cover and article that tore Obama to shreds with facts and figures. It was so unusual, given the usual news magazine adoration accorded Obama that I found it odd, though welcome.

Much depends, of course, on the coverage that will be given by the network news channels, ABC, NBC, CBS, and we should include PBS as well. From my observation, only C-SPAN makes a good faith effort to provide balanced coverage of both parties and political viewpoints.

And, of course, there’s Fox News. “Fair, balanced and unafraid” is their motto, but Fox has been afraid to get anywhere close to the issues involving Obama’s blatantly false birth certificate, the fact that his closest advisors in the White House are committed Marxists, along with his long association with friends who fit that description such as Bill Ayers.

Moreover, Fox has liberal commentators such as Juan Williams on staff and invites liberals to share their views on air as well. That said, its conservative tilt makes it about the only TV news channel a conservative can watch without wanting to throw up.

Matthews became incensed with GOP Chairman Reince Priebus during a recent discussion prior to the convention, riding his hobby horse that any criticism of Obama is racist. This charge is used to inoculate Obama against a reasoned examination of his policies, all of which have brought the nation to the brink of financial collapse, along with massive unemployment and other ills. In the area of foreign affairs, he has thoroughly weakened America’s capacity to influence the world.

The New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd, sharpened her knives in a predictable attack on Romney in the Sunday edition, but anyone other than a brain-dead liberal knows about this newspaper’s antipathy toward any conservative seeking or serving in public office. Referencing Romney’s little joke about not having to produce a birth certificate to prove he was born in Michigan—to a Michigan audience, Dowd opined that “Already suspicious conservatives pounced on the remark as proof that Mitt would say anything to get elected.” As if Obama isn’t already famous for that.

This is not to say that many conservatives spend a lot of time reading The New York Times. They don’t. It’s the other daily newspapers, primarily written by liberal journalists, that should be of concern. I stopped reading my own state’s largest circulation newspaper for just that reason. While it devotes its columns to tearing down Governor Chris Christie, the rest of the nation has embraced his Jersey-style straight talk and guess who will be the GOP convention keynote speaker?

While most people get their general news from television, conservatives prefer sources such as Fox News, along with The Wall Street Journal, the National Standard, and the many conservative news and opinion sites available on the Internet. I am inclined to believe that conservatives are, in general, better informed and, frankly, more intelligent than liberals.

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Self Reliance and Surviving the Government Zombie Crisis

by Christopher Morris on Thursday, January 26th, 2012

This is article 9 of 10 in the topic Survival

Catchy little title, no? People love zombies and they dig survival topics. Via my sublime understanding of SEO as a web sewer magician I will attempt to lure the bored screen tapper into perusing over 1,000 nicely arranged collection of words.

I believe this country is in trouble economically, socially and politically. That is no secret. The question is what to do about it. I have been hoarding gold, silver, food, water, guns and bullets. Big deal. Prudent people have enough food and water on hand to get through any emergencies that come what may. Prudent people save their money and diversify. Prudent people protect their family and property.

There used to be a time, not too long ago actually, when people in this country were Pioneers. They lived off the land, grew their own food, built their own shelters, cut their own wood, hunted and fished. They were self sufficient. They hoarded food by necessity. My grandparents shopped sparingly at the grocery store once a month. They canned food. Had a couple of deep freezers full of frozen treats. The grew a lovely garden and had half ownership of a farm.

There are some people who are returning to that life of self-sufficiency. Some never left. These folks will be perfectly fine if a financial collapse cometh.

Then you have the zombies. The people that you will be shooting in the face off your front doorstep as they are scrounging for food. These folks buy just enough to get them through the next pay check. They eat out virtually every meal. They are screwed because they believe the system, the government, will take care of them.

Then, of course, you have those that are losing their minds. I enjoy reading “prepper” blogs. They are vastly entertaining for the fantasy life many engage in writing about. Understand that I believe in preparation. What I don’t care to involve myself in is Mad Max apocalyptic fantasies. Have you read “The Road”? Not pleasant. Denzel Washington is cool as hell in “The Book of Eli”. Your post-apocalyptic life won’t be nearly as awesome.

Preppers talk about “bugging out”. Sounds great until you think….where? OK, sure if I lived in an urban cesspool then I would be thinking about where to go and how to get there in the event of mob rule. Which I don’t discount is coming. Thing is, if you live in the city then you are most likely already a zombie and will be roving around until you get to my front doorstep upon which I’ll have to shoot you in the face.

Preppers talk about all the things they need to survive. The list of items they think they must have to survive when the SHTF. Well, from what I’ve read you’d need a house to store it all in. Are you going to put three rooms worth of survival gear on your back or stuffed in your car? Get real.

Some have a groovy cabin in the middle of nowhere. Great if you live out West. Maybe the roads won’t be too crowded on your pilgrimage to your hideout. If you’re East of the Mississippi then I wonder how you are going get to it with the over-crowded roads.

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The Threat of a Global Financial Collapse

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, November 27th, 2011

This is article 318 of 526 in the topic Government Spending

At present, the amount of the annual Gross Domestic Product, $14 trillion—the value of all the goods and services that generate income—is exceeded by the nation’s debts.

America is presently $15 trillion in debt and it grows daily.

In a November 21 Wall Street Journal interview, Erskine Bowles of the presidential advisory commission on the nation’s debt, said “If you take 100% of the revenue that came into the country last year, every single dime of it was consumed by our mandatory spending and interest on the debt.”

“Mandatory spending in English is basically the entitlement programs, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. That means that every single dollar we spent last year on national defense, homeland security, education, infrastructure, high-value added research—every single dollar was borrowed, and half of it was borrowed from foreign country.”

“That’s a formula for failure in anybody’s book.”

In truth, we are looking at a coming global financial collapse with experts from Credit Suisse to the Deutche Bank, the CEO of General Motors to Warren Buffett, all in agreement that the question is not if, but when.

It will come at a time when there is little, if any, real leadership to be found either in the U.S. or Europe, the most spendthrift of nations facing this crisis.

Thomas Jefferson, one of the most brilliant of our Founding Fathers, said “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” He also said that “It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes.”

Another Founding Father, James Madison, warned Americans against the concentration of power saying, “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation.”

Over the years, more and more power has been concentrated in the federal government and it requires the dismantlement and elimination of several of its components. Americans need to say no to the Departments of Education, Energy, along with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. These are all functions previously addressed by the states.

You will not find any of these activities specified in the Constitution. Consider when they came into being:

Education was established in 1953, originally as the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. In 1979, it was subdivided into Education and Health and Human Services.

The Department of Housing and Urban Affairs was created in 1965.

The Department of Energy was created in 1977.

Thus, between 1953 and 1979, a period of 26 years, the federal government took control of key factors of the nation’s affairs, most if not all are dealt with far better at the state and local level.

To these must be added Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae, two government “entities” responsible for the housing mortgage crisis and currently asking Congress for billions more to cover their losses.

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Fannie Mae Asks Government for $7.8 Billion More

by Doug Powers on Thursday, November 10th, 2011

I don’t get it… eight years ago Barney Frank told America Fannie & Freddie weren’t in crisis. In 2005 said there was no housing bubble. In 2010, a regulatory disaster called the Dodd-Frank bill was signed into law, but of course it did nothing to address Fannie & Freddie, which as we know were doing just fine because Frank told us so in 2003 and 2005. Now Fannie is back for more federal money. If this keeps happening I’m going to start thinking Barney Frank doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about…

From Reuters:

Fannie Mae, the biggest source of money for U.S. home loans, on Tuesday said it needed a further $7.8 billion in federal aid to stay afloat as a shaky housing market widened its third-quarter loss to $5.1 billion.

The government-controlled firm also attributed the deeper cash drain to losses on derivatives used to hedge its exposure to interest-rate swings and on expenses related to home loans made prior to the 2008 financial collapse. In the year-earlier quarter it had a loss of a $1.3 billion.

They probably need the extra taxpayer money to help pay for all those bonuses.

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The Coming Contraction

by Dr. Robert Owens on Friday, October 14th, 2011

The party’s over and it’s time to pay the bill.  Our government has been on a spending binge for as long as I can remember.  With Clinton and Newt’s slight-of-hand accounting back in the late 90s notwithstanding, which wouldn’t withstand the level of scrutiny we give a tab at our local burger joint, there have been yearly deficits every year since I was born back in the 40s. The debt piled up to a record amount under Bush the Younger, and under Obama it has sky rocketed to the point where people have actually begun to notice that the emperor has no clothes.

It isn’t that our nation is broke since our assets still outweigh our debt, but who wants to sell Yellowstone to satisfy the Chinese?  It isn’t just our government who has buried us buying $640 toilet seats, $436 hammers, or a $797,400 outhouse.  All of us have had an apple out of that sack.  We have pushed our personal credit to the max, our plastic to the limit, and our “Gotta have it now” culture to the breaking point.  It isn’t just the 51% who pay no federal taxes but seem to have an insatiable appetite for federal services that are to blame.  Those of us who make enough to merit a tax target on our backs have also drunk deep from the government trough.  Social Security, Medicare, disaster relief, and student loans have added billions if not trillions to the national debt transferring money to the middle class.

All of us have contributed to this problem.  If not by accepting the money or services ourselves than by voting for people who’ve made careers doling out the plunder, robbing Peter to pay Paul, buying votes, and corrupting the system.  The entire edifice of Western Civilization teeters on the brink of financial collapse due to the last three generations squandering the as yet unearned income of the next three.  We invested the great grand kid’s future in Ponzi schemes so that we could play today and they could pay tomorrow.  This is the national version of “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”

Our lack of interest allowed politicians to run amuck.  Our personal greed and lack of restraint have all of us living in houses made of plastic cards.  We look at Greece and ask for whom the bell tolls ignoring the answer that it tolls for thee.

The enemies of capitalism learned the wisdom of Alinsky that “Change comes from power and power comes from organization.”  They followed gurus such as Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven two Columbia professors who advocated overwhelming the government bureaucracy with entitlement demands.  They followed leaders such as Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd who have pushed legislation that created the bubbles and then strangled the recovery.  Now these well organized and well financed Progressives have come to the end game.  In the great tradition of all socialist power grabs now that the crisis has arrived they have taken to the streets.

The Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media are falling all over themselves trying to equate the current Occupy Everywhere movement with the Tea party.  I’ve known the Tea Party.

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