If a major economic crisis hit us right now, the vast majority of Americans would be extremely vulnerable. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 40 percent of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck all of the time, and 77 percent of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time. This is why there was such a problem with foreclosures during the last recession. When millions of Americans suddenly lost their jobs many of them quickly found that they were unable to pay their mortgages because they had no financial cushions. For decades, Americans have been trained that it is okay to get into debt up to their eyeballs and live paycheck to paycheck because times will always be good and jobs will always be easy to get. Unfortunately, times have changed and many (Read More...)
All over the United States, rivers, lakes and streams are drying up and are becoming much warmer than usual. As a result, millions of fish have already died and millions more will probably die by the end of the summer. In addition, transportation along the mighty Mississippi and other major rivers has been significantly slowed down. Incredibly, more than 3,000 high temperature records have been broken over the last month alone, and the U.S. is enduring the worst drought that it has seen since the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s. More than half of the entire continental United States has been declared to be a “disaster area” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the (Read More...)
One economic theory states that we can never have deflation in a long term economy. For prices to deflate would be contrary to the built-in safeguards put forth by the government agencies. The main cause of a deflation would have to be a massive withdrawal of money from the banking system. As long as the money is insured, that is unlikely to happen. I tend to agree with that theory. It is unlikely that prices will go down long term as long as people have confidence in having their money in the banks.
One of the safeguards put into effect in the 30s depended on the negotiation of wages. No one group of wages, but all American Manufacturing was based on Union wages. Inflation and wage increases went hand in hand all through the 50s and to some extent through the 60s. Nonunion people normally could do a “me too” on the backs of Union worker’s negotiations. If a Union member negotiated a contract for $10 an hour plus benefits, companies tended to pay the nonunion worker just a little less. But to remain competitive in attracting people, they had to match the wages fairly close.
In that kind of atmosphere it was natural (Read More...)
Since December of 2007, the government and mainstream media have pointed to runaway spending and predatory lending practices as the cause of the economic meltdown. The fairytale we’ve been spoon-fed is that borrowing, lending and the derivatives debacle was brought on with the fiscal abandon of a frat boy with a free brewery pass at spring break. There is no doubt that all three lead to foreclosures and financial ruin for far too many US citizens. But that’s only part of the story. The real instigator that has so many of us dodging pink slips, fighting to put food on the table and scrambling to stave off foreclosure began with the restructuring of NAFTA and GATT agreements.
When President George W Bush handed the baton over to President Clinton to sign the beefed-up North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1992, it rang the death knell for America. At the time, concerned citizens were alarmed, for the agreement flew in the face of the constitution: article 1, section 8 that states tariffs are to be levied as a means to support the US government.
Many insiders warned NAFTA was less about (Read More...)