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 Americans do not realize that what has worked in the past is not going to work any longer. Our economy (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 improved investments and exchange of goods than it was a means for mega rich investors and multi-national (Read More...)
Many of the things that Americans have been able to take for granted for decades are rapidly coming to an end. The truth is that a growing economy that produces an ever-increasing amount of good jobs for a thriving middle class is not guaranteed to last forever. In fact, there are lots of signs that the middle class in America is already being ripped to shreds. The number of Americans on long-term unemployment benefits is exploding, personal bankruptcies are setting new records, foreclosures are at an all-time high and one out of every eight Americans is now on food stamps. Meanwhile, the U.S. government is absolutely drowning in debt and America is facing a pension crisis that is so immense that it is almost indescribable. Most Americans still assume that even if we do have hard times for a while things will always turn around and eventually get better than ever. But sadly, that is just not the case. The truth is that the United States is in the early stages of a devastating economic collapse, and the “new normal” is going to be incredibly difficult for a lot of Americans to adjust to.
The New Normal: Millions Of Chronically Unemployed Americans And Not (Read More...)