100 million Americans Poor or near Poverty Line

By MAC SLAVO | SHTFPLAN.com | JULY 23, 2012

It’s bad out there. Really bad.

As world leaders finally begin to admit that we are smack dab in the middle of another Great Depression and the economy stands at the cusp of another earth-shaking collapse of the financial system, the US census reports that nearly 100 million Americans are now classified as living in poverty or are considered “near poor.”

That’s nearly 1/3 of our populace who are living in the worst economic conditions in nearly fifty years.

We haven’t seen these highs since the mid ’60s. That survey indicates the poverty level has grown from 15.1% to as high as 15.7% [since 2010], and it’s spreading at record levels to many socio-economic groups from unemployed workers, suburban families, to the poorest poor.

…More discouraged workers are giving up on the job market and unemployment aid is running out. They found that the suburbs are seeing an increase in poverty

Those experts surveyed also predict poverty will remain above the pre-recession level of 12.5% for many more years.

Via Yahoo:

It’s not encouraging any way you look at it. And if you look at near poverty, which is another measure – the next income bracket up… you’re looking at just a huge number of Americans; I think on the order of almost 100 million people are either poor or close to poor. And poor, just in case you haven’t kept up on the definition is $11,000 a year for an individual or $22,000 for a family of four.

Poverty is up 25% since President Obama took the helm, and as predicted by the survey, will continue unabated as economic conditions worsen.

There can be no economic recovery – ever – if we continue down the path we’re on:

They are responsible for the overspending and making of promises that cannot be kept and thus the stifling of the economy as a whole as resources are shifted to an infantile and futile attempt to maintain the illusion of prosperity.

Prepare for a storm, my friends, for it is coming our way.

Source: Market Ticker

For 100 million of our fellow countrymen today, the storm is already pounding them with hurricane-like winds.

The contagion is most certainly spreading.

Twenty two percent of Americans are unemployed, underemployed or simply no longer counted, and half of American households are dependent on some type of government benefit to make ends meet. In fact, more people are applying for government disability benefits each month than there are jobs created.

The storm is coming, and when it strikes the government will be powerless to stop it, despite the belief by the majority of Americans that existing social safety nets and emergency response plans will bail them out.

How do you create a Prison? You Turn the Lights Off

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | MAY 25, 2012

As it is often explained, the success of a control grid relies not on the force it utilizes to impose or manage such control, but on the successful application of measures to gain unlimited control. What happens when you put a live frog in a pot with water that is boiled slowly, under low fire? Nothing. The frog won’t realize it is being cooked for dinner until it’s too late, until its flesh has begun to burn. The heat increases so slowly that the frog is unable to notice. The boiling water is similar to the system that globalists used for the past century to make people comfortable with rather adverse situations. The heat has been accumulating over the decades and we never realized we were that unsuspecting frog.

The desire to control doesn’t always come with rigid rules that violently impose a decision. The use of brute force is a tool of the past. Control is acquired over time, with lots of patience and by using a technique called Incrementalism. In the past, when men where freer no one questioned whether there was a need to keep freedom from being limited or eradicated, so a group of very smart powerful men decided to take advantage of the lack of vigilance and began creating a gigantic cooking pot to put us all into it and turned on the fire. Then, they began implementing a set of policies thought of and perfected many years before, and the passage and acceptance of those policies began raising the fire little by little. Every so often, a new level of control was achieved, which inversely meant less freedom for all of us. But that new level of lesser freedom wasn’t noticed by most people and it rapidly became the ‘new normal’. This scenario repeated itself over decades and brought us where we are today.

The frogs are almost completely boiled and proportionally only a few of them have noticed that their bodies are burning. Many of those awaken frogs chose to do something about it, but most frogs were still asleep. In the last decade, more frogs have waken up and now there are frogs all over the world slapping others on the face to show them that bubbles began to form under the water and those bubbles are already coming up to the surface. The courageous frogs have even dared to show the sleeping frogs the burn marks on their skin. But since the burning feeling has been the ‘new normal’ for a while, the unsuspecting sleepy frogs don’t think it is a problem to have burning marks on the skin. In fact, those frogs think the others who are warning them are crazy, because they complain about the burning, so they just go back to sleep while their skins continue to get redder and redder. For those frogs, perhaps it is too late. Other frogs have already been fully cooked, mentally and physically.

How did the powerful men managed to build those cooking pots around us, turn on the fire and let us cook without any major opposition? They raised the fire very slowly, kept us distracted and believing we were all as free as our ancestors were and even more important, taught us not to think about whether we were still free or not, or if we had lost any freedom, rights or privileges. Today, those cooking pots resemble not only the world, but the country we live in, the city, the neighborhood, the street where we grew up on.

The industrial era brought about development and that development allowed people to achieve a great degree of comfort and progress. But that state of affairs did not occur randomly; it was all calculated. For anyone who read history, it may be easier to understand the analogy of the boiling frog and how it all plays out from now on. Industrialization didn’t only bring progress and comfort, it also brought a lifestyle and that in turn resulted in previously thought out standards of living. People went from been free in their houses and farms, producing their food and enjoying family life and self-sufficiency to getting dragged into highly polluted concrete and steel prisons which became modern and trendy, so everyone wanted to live there. They were then given trinkets and technology, fashion and glamour to make sure they stayed inside the cities, even when that supposed higher standard of living suffered and decayed over the years under pressure because of large agglomerations, traffic and contamination. People thought they came to the cities to be better, because it would open the door to more opportunity. That is where all the trendies lived, wasn’t it? But that was not the plan.

The original plan was to make people like their misery, which at first looked like heaven. People had not come to the cities to live, they had come to work under tightly controlled rules. They arrived to the cities as part of a large experiment that if successful would allow the globalists to not only have people work for them, but to enjoy their slavery. And it worked. Most of the frogs are half-way cooked and they are loving it. A minority of the frogs that managed to wake up are adapting and preparing. The smarter ones already left the cooking pot by jumping out of it. They left the ‘reservation’ to go back to free lawn, the open backyard where they once lived, where their ancestors spent their lives, which is where they were all meant to be. As for the rest of the frogs, they will stay in the ‘reservation’; some of them fighting the boiling water while others continue to cook away.

Meanwhile, the globalist plan to keep us all in the prison cities continues. When people try to wake up and look around for signs of the prison in the highly dense cities, they don’t see it. They are looking for cell bars, barb wire and high fences. When someone says that there are concentration camps being built, people look around again in hopes of noticing the large open spaces with the guard towers, the loud speakers and the train tracks next to them. Again, they failed to see that the prison is their homes, their streets, their neighborhoods and ultimately, their city. The powerful men who decades or centuries ago sought to attract free people into their highly advanced, good looking prison cities achieved their goal to such extent that people can’t even see they live in them. So the system that is in place and the men that are in control of it decided that it is time to turn the clock back, as they had carefully planned. The cities people got used to love are now devolving and becoming what they were supposed to be: PRISONS.

Is it not easier to control people when they are tightly packed in densely populated areas? All you have to do is close the access to those cities in order to get control of who and what comes in and goes out. How does anyone transform New York into a prison? It is as simple as closing the tunnels and bridges. How do the controllers train for that? You take advantage of ’emergencies’ to implement the plans and practice for the closings as it happened on 9/11. How do you close the Washington DC metro area? By doing the same thing. But how about larger cities that due to their landscape or geographic layout are harder to close and control or cities that emerged back in the days of the industrial revolution where big factories and assembly lines attracted and employed countryside folks for decades? Well, you start by destroying their economies by paying the factories and assembly lines to leave. That will cause massive unemployment and people will have to depend on the government to live, feed themselves and have a place to call home. Then, when most people are in that condition, you start packing them up tighter and tighter areas by decreasing or eliminating services until everyone lives in a smaller, more easily controllable section of the once booming metropolis. Then you turn the lights off.

This is where many cities in the United States are right now. Perhaps the most deplorable of all of them is Detroit. A recent article by Bloomberg demonstrates that the globalist plan is well under way. According to the article, 139 squared miles of the city has 60 percent less people than back in 1950. Many areas have turned into decaying slums with no power or life, because many if not all people have left to parts of the city where it is safer to live. Other facts provided by Bloomberg are eye opening as well. For example, 88,000 streetlights are broken and they are not close to being fixed, because the city doesn’t have any money to do so. Residents of Detroit are now afraid to walk outside even during the early hours of the evening. The only solution that gained steam for Detroit was reducing the areas where people live. In other words, concentrating city dwellers in tighter places. Sounds familiar? “You have to identify those neighborhoods where you want to concentrate your population. We’re not going to light distressed areas like we light other areas,” said Chris Brown, Detroit’s Chief Operating Officer. But Detroit isn’t the only city that is turning into a dungeon.

In fact, the problem isn’t about a city or a few cities that are facing economic trouble and as a consequence are boxing their residents into smaller areas. Complete states like Illinois, California and Massachusetts are struggling to keep conventional life going. The lack of funds to finance a city or a state isn’t a casualty of the bad economic times we’re facing though. That part was also planned. Cities and states hide and mal invest taxpayer monies by having a double set of books known as the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports. One set of books is for public consumption and the other is to manage the real finances, the money that is taken away or that disappears into black wholes, pet projects and nonexistent investments. The consequences of corruption at all levels is bad services, insecurity and poverty, which to many frogs (people) is the only possible option, so they decide to stay in the cooking pot (city). Those who have options leave to other cities or states, but the majority stays. Later, basic services such as police, fire departments, paramedics, water and electricity are made available to only a few areas, because it is too dangerous to send public servants to cesspit looking neighborhoods.

The plan Detroit has, according to Bloomberg is to “rethink the city” in order to reorganize it or reconfigure it with areas defined as residential, business, green spaces and agricultural. Much attention to the last area. Having agriculture in a city is not necessarily good. Food will be closer, but it also means people won’t even need to leave the tight areas they live in to get their food. Is this convenient or perhaps another ‘new normal’? Who will control the flow of food in a mainly government-sponsored prison city? Are dark streets and unsafe neighborhoods the new normal? How is it that globalists manage to destroy countries, their economies, their way of life and they are not called terrorists? Well, they did it incrementally. What will the future bring? Nothing better unfortunately, unless the rest of the frogs wake up immediately.

Detroit’s plan will not work, because it isn’t supposed to work. California’s plan will not work. Illinois’ plan will not work. And ff people in the prison cities open their eyes and feel the burning the globalists also have a plan for it. Police and Army on the streets will comfortably take care of it. They will do whatever it takes maintain control on behalf of their bosses. Mexican, Canadian, Colombian and Ukranian troops will join together to kill and destroy. With California reaching 36 percent unemployment and Washington DC almost 52 percent, it is hard to see how these and other states in similar condition will get any better. Right now, South Carolina’s unemployment is 31.2%, Rhode Island 29.8%, Washington 29.0%, Arizona 29.0%
Nevada 28.8%, Idaho 28.4%, North Carolina 28.2%, Missouri 27.7% and Louisiana 27.6%. Can it get any worse than this. Sure, and it will.

In the meantime, the US government has approved the National Defense Authorization Act, that allows the government to kill anyone it deems a threat to national security. They’ve almost banned free speech and public protest. The TSA are patting people down on major highways. The Army is on the road checking cars illegally. The government uses sound canyons against the public as the police isolates globalist gatherings in the very same cities.

Welcome to 1984.

How the West was Conquered

by Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
February 28, 2012

The existence of society as we know it today is not a random event of nature or anything of the sort. Today’s society is a direct reflection of the gigantic plans for social engineering that were put in place and gradually imposed on the people. Globally, people have gone from being independent, self-sufficient beings to becoming dependent sheep who need their big corporate-controlled government to provide them with everything they need to survive. That was the plan from the beginning. Now, people are at the mercy of large multinational corporations — mainly banks — who turned them into their slaves by using governmental agencies to impose their policies. But it doesn’t stop there. To add insult to injury, the masses believe they actually are free and that they have choices, as supposed to being livestock, which is what reality demonstrates.

For many decades, this phenomenon was widely unknown by most people who were dependent on the system. But after the elites behind the social engineering became more arrogant than usual and started to speak openly about their plans, a minority of the people found out about it. Today, a larger minority is knowledgeable about the plans of the elites, but the masses are still ignorant or in denial. The main cause of this denial is the fact that the masses are those people who for decades and decades have benefited from big explicit or hidden socialist policies which are tools to get people hooked on their dope. As many already know, letting go of an addiction is pretty hard, especially when such an addiction is everything you’ve known. Try asking a homeless person to stop sniffing shoe glue to calm down his hunger without showing him a warm meal. That is exactly what it would be like. Of course there are those who prefer their dependency and enslavement to independence and self-governance. Those are the societies where most people, regardless of their low income and lousy conditions are conformed to keep on living in slums and receiving the miserable help that their governments provide them, as if that was the way it is supposed to be. Clear examples of these societies include Venezuela, Cuba, Brazil, to cite a few, where people stand behind dictators or candidates who assure them that their welfare checks will continue to come, instead of providing adequate market conditions for them to pick themselves up from the filth they live in.

But how did the technocrats manage to get everyone into the barn? They’ve always managed to stay in control. They’ve always owned the money, the resources, the politicians and the governments, and therefore the people of the world. They worked by taking control of the poorest and most devastated regions of the world with their government-sponsored, although corporate-financed programs to keep billions of people under their boots. After setting roots there, they succeeded when implementing their centralized control policies in developing countries i.e. Argentina in 1990’s, slowing their path to development and in most cases stopping them to a halt. Their success in poor countries leveraged them to impose their programs in developing countries, which they did for the past 50-100 years. With a firmer footstep in most of the planet, the controllers brought their system to the more sophisticated nations, the developed world, which they had purposely supported in order to legitimize their colonizing and conquering schemes.

That is where we are now. Currently, countries that had strong potential to become developed nations, as well as industrialized ones, are suffering the consequences of opening the door to the men who were always in control on the outside. Their success lies in their ability to convince or otherwise penalize or buy off those who hadn’t opened their doors. For this penalties and buy offs to work, they had to create an external “legitimate” system of control that could impose their policies on the sovereign nations so that they could be attacked, invaded and destroyed to later be absorbed. From these plans is where emerged organizations such as the League of Nations, the United Nations, the World Health Organization, The World Trade Organization, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, The European Union, the African Union, the North American Union, Mercosur, the G-20, the G-8, and so on. These entities were established by the technocrats and are supported by people who were bought off or convinced to join their system. These people are infiltrated in all strata of society, from education, to academia, finance, religion, the scientific community, the government agencies and of course those who work for large corporations.

In order not to raise questions, the elites also created foundations and philanthropic organizations which they finance and control and which helped them implement their policies, always for the sake of the common good. This collectivist way of thinking is perhaps the most successful tool when convincing the masses that it was better to think collectively, to steal from Peter to support Paul. Then came the term social justice which worked as another hook to attract more supporters because of its collectivist origin. Most people changed their way to see the world. Instead of supporting individual rights and liberties, they became cheerleaders for big government to decide what was best for them and their peers. This marked the appearance of centralized government at the local, state and national levels and the creation of laws and policies that gave government control over individual rights and responsibilities such as private property, security, food availability, free speech, healthcare and others. A central entity suddenly “knew better” about how to manage local resources than the people themselves. The power of the people shrank as the big governments grew out of control and behind them, the elites amassed more and more power right in front of the unsuspecting masses. The Welfare State, the Socialist State, the Communist State — all a creation of the globalists — were at the gates waiting to take over. In order to impose these systems of government then created conflicts among countries with secret destabilizing attacks or by practicing the Hegelian Dialect of Problem, Reaction Solution.

When the sovereign nations resisted the attacks of the elitists through their supranational organizations or their corporate-controlled governments, they used military force usually backed up by fake intelligence or false events in order to invade those nations “to democratize them” and “bring peace”. These military actions were and continue to be supported by false threats or by the abuses committed by dictators that were put in place by the globalists themselves. This way, the technocrats managed to consolidate power by further controlling governments or puppet governments as well as to rob nations from their natural resources. All the riches of the planet became property of the corporations who invaded former independent nations at the behest of their puppet governments right after the wars ended. The consequence of their successful economic, political and military conquest campaigns was the end of the nation-states, which the globalists had as one of their main objectives when they started their crusades decades and decades ago. Additional success for the elites was spurred by their well-established controlled opposition movements — World Economic Forum, World Social Forum — in which they involved community leaders in order to swindle the people into believing that their representatives could actually make a difference by joining these corporate funded organizations. But how could they help fight those they deemed their opposition when the very same forces were at the head of such “alternative movements”? They couldn’t.

But perhaps the last nail on the coffin in favor of the globalist take over was the campaign orchestrated by the main stream media — also in the pocket of the corporations — that sought to blame Capitalism for the current global economic depression. This campaign is not new. The globalists, through their economic, financial and media operations have been very clear that their plan was always to build up society in order to extract as much riches as possible so that they could later implode the global economy and with it western society.  Right now, the globalists are leading a charge to swallow countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal, and others in Europe, after they successfully  took control of the United States, Mexico, Canada, most of the Middle East, Oceania and much of Africa through their proxy governments and puppet presidents. It rests to see if the people of the world, the informed minority that everyday grows larger, will do what minorities have always done throughout history: to save the ignorant majority as well as themselves from the technocrat elite that is very close to completing their long-awaited plans to destroy the world as we know it today.


What’s the US like today? More taxes, more Unemployment, more Homeless, more Alcohol Sales

by Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
February 1, 2012

Often times, people want to know what exactly is the United States like. Most people have the wrong idea as it turns out. In many countries, where people believe that having it all is what life is all about, they still see the US as the bright house on the hill. “It is very different from when I used to live there,” I frequently respond. The key here is that the changes that have taken place in the United States, most if not all of them for the worst, have happened fast. The most significant to much of the population there took place in the last decade.

Most of the negative changes have to do with the loss of liberty and freedom, a consequence of the out-of-control growth of the federal government. Today even the main stream media can’t hide the reality the US is in; not even the liberal pro-Obama corporate media. (MSNBC, NBC, CNN, NYTIMES, TIME, NEWSWEEK, FOX and so on). The abhorrent situation in which the United States find itself in right now can be measured by at least 4 variables: Taxes, Unemployment, Poverty and Alcohol Sales.

The Federal Government’s Golden Egg Goose: You

Let’s start with taxes. The power to tax is the power to enslave. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that sentence, but I doubt many people in power truly understand what it really means. Probably fewer than a handful are willing to act to correct what it means. Up until 1913, the United States Federal Government and the States were functioning pretty well without an income tax, but the monies collected through taxation were not enough to grow the government to the levels the controllers wanted. Today, the income tax eats up much of the fruit of people’s hard labor. And when the taxes are not enough to support the ever-growing bureaucracy more taxes are imposed on the population. That is how it has been for almost 100 years. But the growth of the Federal Government and its outreach to gain more power is not the only reason why it needs to tax more. If you don’t believe the government has no money to pay teachers, policemen, firefighters and other local and federal workers, you are probably aware of the infamous Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports. This is the double set of books all cities and states have. One has the accounting most people think they know, the other one has the record of the monies that were taken from the governments’ safe to do things you probably don’t know about. Meanwhile, corporations and banks get easy credit from the Federal Reserve window, in addition to being bailed-out with trillions of dollars from the tax payers. Oh the other hand, average people have had to tighten their belts if they were lucky to keep their jobs over the last 10 years. Although the economic crisis is said to have begun in 2008, the truth is that it started way before that, even before George Bush came into office.

If anyone can expect that during a republican administration taxes be lower, someone can also count on higher taxes during a democratic administration. Unfortunately, republican tax cuts are usually applied to the very rich, and democrat tax increases are applied to the middle class and the very poor. See, either way people lose. The last decade has been the worst for the people of the United States, probably since the last Great Depression. But the situation does not seem to be getting any better. Who’s fault is it? Every single president who did not have the cojones to stand up to the off-shore corporations that have controlled the central government at least since 1913. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), there will be no relief for American tax payers in 2012, either. In fact, taxes will increase by at least 30 percent in the next two years. That number is valid if we leave aside the other taxing practice the Federal Government has used for 100 years, and that is currency manipulation, or the artificial devaluation of the dollar by printing money out of thin air.

Higher taxes not only mean a bigger Federal Government, but also less recovery, less jobs, less income, less liberty and freedom. This outlook will be so due “mostly because of the recent or scheduled expiration of tax provisions, such as those that lower income tax rates and limit the reach of the alternative minimum tax (AMT), and the imposition of new taxes, fees, and penalties that are scheduled to go into effect,” reads the CBO’s document.

How could there be a recovery when the Federal Government eats a big chunk of the monies collected through taxes and almost none of it is put to work for the tax payers? Numbers by the CBO show that federal tax revenues reached $2.302 trillion in fiscal 2011, and will increase to $2,523 trillion in fiscal 2012, $2,988 trillion in fiscal in 2013, and $3,313 trillion in 2014. The report adds that as a percentage of the GDP, tax revenues were 15.4 percent in fiscal 2011, and will be 16.3 percent in 2012, 18.8 percent in 2013, and 20.0 percent in fiscal 2014. In other words, the Federal Government will have even more money to spend than in previous years. It is unlikely though that the government will spend the money in programs to grow the economy, create jobs and improve the debt issue. In fact, in January the Federal Government increase de debt by another trillion dollars. That is where the forecast for a sluggish economy for the next six years comes from.

More taxes, less jobs

Let’s talk unemployment. With cooked numbers, the government says the unemployment rate is at about 7 percent. The CBO has come out to say it is really 10 percent. However, it is likely that such rate has reached 20 percent by now, since it was calculated at over 17 percent in 2009. The Federal government has taken it upon itself to encourage companies to move abroad, instead of promoting the United States as the place to be, to create jobs, to produce goods and to sell their products. Higher taxes at home together with corporate greed prompted companies to move to Asia and Latin America at an accelerated pace. At the same time, higher taxes and a slow economy have ended with local entrepreneurship and opened the door to entities like Wal-mart, IKEA, and businesses alike which make their money by exploiting third world workers to produce garbage that is then sold in the United States and the rest of the world. If you are a socialist or communist and believe that consumerism is bad for the environment and humanity as a whole, check out what cheap labor and cheap products do to both.

Since approximately 2000, the United States has lost 6 million manufacturing jobs. Most of these jobs, as I have said, moved to Mexico, Brazil, India, China and other countries around the world at the expense of American tax payers. A study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute shows how the American trade deficit with China causes the United States to lose about half a million jobs a year.  Separately, tax records indicate that up until 2008, employment offered by U.S. parent companies created 10.1 million jobs abroad through their affiliates in countries like the ones mentioned before. That is about half the number of jobs that multinational corporations cut in the United States during the same period. The total amount? 21.1 million. Manufacturing is no longer as much of a significant activity in the US as it was 50 or 60 years ago, when 28 percent of the economic output was directly related to the production of goods on US soil. Today, it is less than half; 11.5 percent.

Have you heard about the NAFTA effect? In case you don’t know what NAFTA is, it would be a great idea to ask Bill Clinton and Al Gore, the parents of this child. The North American Free Trade Agreement signed under the Clinton administration was supposed to be, according to Clinton and Gore, the best invention since the assembly line came into existence. Ironically, NAFTA is mostly responsible for killing the assembly line in the United States.

Free trade is not bad when there is a leveled field for all participants who trade, or as long as losses here can be with earnings there, if you know what I mean. However, this is not what NAFTA did for the US after it was signed by Clinton in 1994. NAFTA supporters contradict the idea that this agreement was negative for the US, because according to them the US experienced a significant increase in GDP as a result of the implementation of NAFTA. They often compare post NAFTA numbers to pre NAFTA ones to make their arguments. The positive outcomes of NAFTA are presented and described in macroeconomic terms, because it is easy to make up talking points to feed the main stream media so that they can regurgitate to the public. However, as we showed before, NAFTA is indeed responsible for the loss of manufacturing jobs. This loss did not occur immediately after NAFTA was implemented, as most companies did not move abroad right after NAFTA was adopted. The runaway loss of jobs came late in the 90’s and across the millennium into the 21st century. One single report by economist Robert Scott, from Economic Policy Institute accounts for the loss of at least 700,000 jobs due to NAFTA. Read the complete report “Heading South: U.S.-Mexico trade and job displacement after NAFTA”. Opinions about how NAFTA helped or harmed the US economy will continue to abound, but the truth is that the proof is in the pudding.

Bye, bye American Dream

Personally, I do not believe in the so-called American Dream, so forgive me if you do. But regardless of whether it was real at some point, perhaps people in the US (99 percent of them) would agree that it went poof in the last ten years. Depending on who you ask, the most important symbol of making it in the US is to own a home, even though in most cases people don’t really own their houses; the banks do. This is another aspect that changed in the United States in the last decade. Although the new millennium saw more and more Americans getting loans to buy houses, we now know it was just a planned bubble, that was supposed to explode to leave millions of people homeless all across the country.

No matter how much main stream media outlets swear by it, the downturn isn’t ending any time soon. Along with the deepening bad economic conditions, home ownership has also taken a big hit. As of today, the number of home owners in the US has fallen 66 percent. This figure comes from the US Census Bureau and it was revealed this morning. But the lack of home ownership is not new. It is a trend Americans have seen more strongly for at least the last thee years. Along with the fall in home ownership comes the fall in home prices at rates of 1.3 percent in November and 3.7 percent in October. The numbers above are reminders of conditions experienced only back in the days of the Great Depression. So when the corporate media says the country is on the rebound, you can be sure that is one of the boldest lies you’ve heard. It may be different for Wall Street insiders, of course.

The main two reasons for the fall in home ownership? Lack of available credit -not due to the lack of money- and few financing options for potential homeowners. Economist Paul Dales, says that even if people want to get a house, it is difficult to do so, because no financing for a mortgage is available. How would any financier risk to help anyone if home prices will continue to fall this years and into 2013? The number of existing homes that remain vacant remains at around 2.5 percent; quite an inventory for buyers to choose from. But are there any buyers? There certainly are a lot of homeless people who need a place to crash. The drop in home ownership has seen its worst in the West coast, where the rate reached 60.1 percent according to census data. This scenario is not surprising, because if people don’t have jobs, well paying stable jobs while being  slaves of the IRS, it cannot be expected that they become potential homeowners.

A tool of last resort: Alcohol?

Desperate times call for desperate measures. What are the chances that alcohol sales increase on a yearly basis during an economic downturn? I am in no way saying that this increase is a direct consequence of the global crisis, but it wouldn’t be a surprise. “US shipments of scotch, vodka, rum and other spirits in 2011 increased 2.7 percent over the previous year — the strongest increase in five years, according to industry data,” reports Fox News. A rate of 2.7 percent doesn’t sound like much, but if this percentage is quantified, maybe we can get a better perspective. “Sales of “high-end” brands were up 5.3 percent last year, in line with the pre-recession average of 5.8 percent. At least we know what sector of the economy has the potential to grow. So divest your 401K, savings and other financial products into food, water and perhaps alcohol industry shares?

46 Million Americans Live Below Poverty Line

The poverty rate for children rose from 20.7 percent in 2009 to 22 percent last year.

by David Morgan
Reuters
September 13, 2011

The number of Americans living below the poverty line rose to a record 46 million last year, the government said on Tuesday, underscoring the challenges facing President Barack Obama and Congress as they try to tackle high unemployment and a moribund economy.

The Census Bureau’s annual report on income, poverty and health insurance coverage said the national poverty rate climbed for a third consecutive year to 15.1 percent in 2010 as the economy struggled to recover from the recession that began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009.

That marked a 0.8 percent increase from 2009, when there were 43.6 million Americans living in poverty.

The number of poor Americans in 2010 was the largest in the 52 years that the Census Bureau has been publishing poverty estimates, the report said, while the poverty rate was the highest since 1993.

The specter of economic deterioration also afflicted working Americans who saw their median income decline 2.3 percent to an annual $49,445.

About 1.5 million fewer Americans were covered by employer-sponsored health insurance plans, while the number of people covered by government health insurance increased by nearly 2 million.

All told, the number of Americans with no health insurance hovered at 49.9 million, up slightly from 49 million in 2010.

The economic deterioration depicted by the figures is likely to have continued into 2011 as economic growth diminished, unemployment remained stuck above 9 percent and fears grew of a possible double-dip recession.

The report of rising poverty coincides with Obama’s push for a $450 billion job creation package, and deliberations by a congressional “super committee” tasked with cutting at least $1.2 trillion from the budget deficit over 10 years.

Faced with deteriorating job approval ratings, the president is trying to convince Republicans in Congress to support his package.

Analysts said poverty-related issues have relatively little hold on politicians in Washington but hoped the new figures would encourage the bipartisan super committee to avoid deficit cuts that would hurt the poor.

The United States has long had one of the highest poverty rates in the developed world. Among 34 countries tracked by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, only Chile, Israel and Mexico have higher rates of poverty.