A BOTTOM IN GOLD AND A TOP IN CRUDE!

Hi everyone,

Hope you guy’s had a great day

UPCOMING RISK EVENTS:

USD: PPI m/m, Core PPI m/m.EUR: N/A.GBP: N/A.JPY: N/A.

GOLD

 

My Bias: Long to a new all time high above 1827.Wave Structure: Impulse structure to a new high.Long term wave count: wave [iii] above 1666.

GOLD has been very quiet of late,Even todays announcement by the U.S administration to scrap the Iran deal,has had little impact on GOLD traders!The evidence all points to a contracting triangle,Where the range contracts and pressure builds for the final move down in wave ‘5’ of  an abc correction wave.

Tomorrow;Wave ‘4’ cannot last forever!I expect wave ‘5’ will come tomorrow with the likely target remaining at 1295.

Once this larger correction completes in wave [ii], GOLD will then begin possibly the largest run up in prices in its history!

This one is worth waiting for.

U.S CRUDE OIL

 

My Bias: topping in a large correction wave [4].Wave Structure: Double combination higher in wave [4] red.Long term wave count: wave [4] target $70

Has crude topped out for the long term?It sure looks like it might have according to this elliott wave pattern.

The decline off the high could be interpreted as a possible wave (i) grey.The rally of todays low is in a clear three waves so far.So, that qualifies a wave (ii) grey.

Todays low reached 67.63 cash.A further decline below that level,which carries on below 66.37 at key support will be the decider for crude.

Mondays high at 70.74 must hold to stay within the elliott wave rules,but the early signs are good.

Tomorrow;watch for that three wave pattern in wave (ii) to hold at 70.40.And a further decline to kick off a possible wave (iii) grey.

If this market has now turned,Then we are in for a serious decline phase ahead.

Giving Lifetime Work Authorization to 750,000 DACAs: Still a Bad Idea

Lifetime Work Authorization

 

During his Florida speech, President Trump pulled out all his fiery talking points related to job creation, a strong military, national security, sovereignty and slowing immigration that resonate with American voters.

President Trump is criticized for using this campaign-style rhetoric to inspire his base. But what the president’s detractors forget is that the issues he touted in Pensacola – a stronger economy, job growth and secure borders – resonate with blue-collar Democrats, the voting bloc that put him in the White House and could determine the 2018 mid-term elections, and his 2020 fate.

The response to the trip to the Sunshine State highlighted Washington, D.C.’s continuing ugly partisanship. The endless harangue about deferred action on childhood arrivals included a tedious threat to shut down the federal government unless amnesty is granted to the estimated 750,000 illegal alien DACAs. In a last-minute congressional agreement, the government funding deadline was kicked down the road two weeks to December 22.

The Internet is awash with misinformation about what DACA is, and what it would mean if included in the spending bill as a clean amnesty. For the beneficiaries, they’d be handsomely rewarded: lifetime work authorization, Social Security numbers, and legal status that would allow them to petition family members which, because of the chain migration multiplier, would add millions more to the foreign-born population in the U.S. The family members would also become work authorized.

DACAs aren’t the only group that would profit from the proposed amnesty. Without including E-Verify in a DACA deal, a demand congressional Republicans insist on, corporations score big time, too. Business can continue to employ and exploit illegal immigrants as they have consistently done at least since, if not before, President Ronald Reagan’s 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act. IRCA made hiring illegal aliens a crime. Employers ignored the law, and the federal government slowed internal enforcement to a crawl. Congress prefers to talk tough about securing the border while it ignores employers’ lawbreaking.

Starting with President Reagan, and for four successive administrations after him, illegal immigrants have had little trouble crossing the border or getting jobs – 30 years of broken enforcement promises to Americans that enable rogue businesses to hire cheap labor.

Today, Congress has the gall to push for an unpopular DACA amnesty that rewards illegal immigrants with work permission. But according to a Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health poll, just 17 percent of Americans think a DACA amnesty is important, and among Democrats, only 20 percent. Overall, a DACA amnesty ranks 12th among the 15 domestic issues Harvard polled.

Readers can confirm Harvard’s findings for themselves. At the next Christmas party, be Grinch and ask this question: “In an economy that has more than 10 million Americans looking for a full-time job, but unable to find one, a labor market that has more than 10 million American men and women unemployed, and 1.6 million long-term unemployed, should 750,000 DACAs get lifetime work authorization to compete with those struggling citizens?”

The answer will be a resounding no.

Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected]. Find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

Roger Stone: Schiff and Speier Say that DNC Handed Over Their Server

 

Roger Stone, having just testified before a closed-door meeting before Congress regarding the DNC security breach on September 26, is claiming that Congressman Schiff and Speier told him at the hearing that the DNC did, in fact, give over its server to the FBI. This contradicts James Comey’s testimony, when he stated that the DNC never handed over the server for investigation.

Answering the questions of Infowars as he apparently was leaving the hearing, Stone said: “The FBI Director… testified before this committee that the DNC did not allow the FBI to examine their servers. Mr. Schiff intimated today that that was not the case and claimed that the DNC servers had been turned over to the FBI.”

In another interview, this time with the The Gateway Pundit, Stone was quoted as saying:

“The most interesting about the hearing was that, in my statement, I strongly asserted my suspicion that the Russians never hacked the DNC and, of course, one of the central arguments, to that effect, is that the DNC refused to turn over their computer servers to the FBI, instead having it inspected by CrowdStrike, a forensic IT firm controlled directly and paid by the DNC. When I said that, Congresswoman Speier from California corrected me and told me that the DNC servers had been turned over to the FBI, and then Congressman Schiff essentially confirmed that, after which, Trey Gowdy said, ‘wait a minute, James Comey came before this committee, secretary Johnson came before this committee, and testified under oath that the servers were not turned over to the FBI, so what are you talking about?’ Schiff tried to change the subject and said, ‘well, we’ve got a lot of information that we learned during the recess and maybe we should talk about this privately.’ Gowdy seemed furious and stormed out of the hearing, so somebody’s lying.”

The question is, did the DNC turn over its server during the summer recess?

Letter from H. R. McMaster said Susan Rice will keep her top-secret security clearance

 

JIHAD WATCH
ROBERT SPENCER on AUGUST 3, 2017

H. R. McMaster is an active agent in the Trump administration of the Obama agenda of denial and willful ignorance regarding the jihad threat. He needs to be fired immediately, along with his associates and all those of like mind, if the Trump administration is going to have the remotest chance of dealing effectively with the global jihad.

Who is the President of the United States today? Barack Obama or Donald Trump?

Hillary (and Susan Rice) got warning Benghazi attack was premeditated jihad terrorism, still blamed Muhammad video

Susan Rice blames jihad in Syria on climate change

McMaster Rice

“A letter from H.R. McMaster said Susan Rice will keep her top-secret security clearance,” by Sara A. Carter, Circa, August 3, 2017 (thanks to Joe):

Almost one month after it was disclosed that former President Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice was unmasking members of President Trump’s team and other Americans, Trump’s own national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, sent an official letter giving her unfettered and continuing access to classified information and waiving her “need-to-know” requirement on anything she viewed or received during her tenure, Circa has confirmed.

The undated and unclassified letter from McMaster was sent in the mail to Rice’s home during the last week of April. Trump was not aware of the letter or McMaster’s decision, according to two Senior West Wing officials and an intelligence official, who spoke to Circa on condition that they not be named.

“I hereby waive the requirement that you must have a ‘need-to-know’ to access any classified information contained in items you ‘originated, reviewed, signed or received while serving,’ as National Security Adviser,” the letter said. The letter also states that the “NSC will continue to work with you to ensure the appropriate security clearance documentation remains on file to allow you access to classified information.”…

In June, the House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Rice as part of the committee’s larger investigation into the unmasking of Americans under the Obama administration. Rice maintains that she never accessed the information inappropriately and has agreed to testify before the committee.

Under the law, and under certain conditions, it is common practice for some senior government officials to be given the unfettered access to classified information, and their “need to know” is waived under “Executive Order 13526 Section 4.4 Access by Historical Researchers and Certain Former Government Personnel.” But the White House officials told Circa that under the current congressional investigation, and given President Trump’s ongoing concern that members of his team were unmasked, Rice’s clearance should have been limited to congressional testimony only or revoked until the end of the investigation. Rice and Brennan have confirmed they sought the unredacted names of Americans in NSA-sourced intelligence reports, but insisted their requests were routine parts of their work and that they did nothing improper. Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power also has legal authority to unmask officials.

In a June tweet, Trump called the revelation that Rice and other Obama senior officials were unmasking members of his team the “big story… the ‘unmasking and surveillance’ that took place during the Obama administration.”

“Basically, this letter which was signed in the last week of April undercuts the president’s assertion that Susan Rice’s unmasking activity was inappropriate. In essence, anybody who committed a violation as she did would not be given access to classified information,” said a senior West Wing official, who was shown the document by Circa and verified its authenticity. “In fact, they would have their security clearance and right to ‘need-to-know’ stripped.”…

See Also: Robert Spencer: McMaster Drags Trump Into the Swamp

Guccifer 2.0 Appears To Be One Person

At the Hearing of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on March 30, Thomas Rid, Professor Department of War Studies, King’s College London, made the following statement:

  • “Guccifer 2 is certainly not just one individual because in private interaction with journalists we can literally see different types of humans at play. Some use consistently at a specific time lots of smilies and very informal, and there’s more a formal, all communicating through the same channels.”

Therefore, I attempted to fine examples of these “lots of smilies and very informal” communications, and the formal communications, in order to prove or disprove this theory. 

Some examples of these “very informal” private twitter messages is his chat with the BBC in October 2016, where he uses smileys on October 18 and the term “u” instead of “you” on October 7th and October 18; his chat with Vice.com on July 21, where he uses the term “u” 10 different times, while explaining the high-tech way in which he hacked the DNC, when he used a “0-day exploit of NGP VAN soft then I installed shell-code into the DNC server” (is this considered an informal or formal chat?); and his chat with former Playboy model Robbin Young between August 15 and August 30th, where he uses a multitude of smilies to express his affection for her, while at the same time, stating “ur soul’s so pure and unspoiled – it beckons me“, using a formal word like “beckons” in a sentence that also has an informal “u”. He also claimed to her on August 25 that murdered DNC Staffer Seth Rich was his whistleblower, implying that his data was obtained by a DNC leak, in direct contradiction of his aforementioned July 21st claim to Vice.com that he was a hacker that broke into the DNC server. Therefore, Guccifer 2.0 also contradicts himself even when he is in this “very informal” state of smilies and using the word “u”.

An arguable example of formal private twitter messages includes his chat with Roger Stone between August 15 and September 9, where he uses the term “u” with him 5 times on August 17th, but on September 9th, writes the intelligent statement, that “the basic premise of winning an election is turnout your base (marked turnout) and target the marginal folks with persuadable advertising (marked persuadable),” in explaining the documents he is releasing. However, because in the past the “informal” version of Guccifer 2.0 has shown he can be both informal and formal, it is possible that this statement was written by the same person sending the informal messages. We can see that Guccifer 2.0 is an intelligent individual capable of both informal and formal chats, of limitless use of the word “u” and smilies when chatting with allies, while capable of making intelligent statements to explain the utility of the documents he is releasing.  

Billionaire Funds Overthrow of Capitalism

Climate March

“System Change, Not Climate Change” is the demand being made by the Party for Socialism and Liberation in regard to Saturday’s Peoples Climate March. “Only socialism can solve the climate crisis,” they say. It appears that the organizers of the march agree, since the old Moscow-funded Communist Party is listed as one of the official “partners” of the group sponsoring the April 29th demonstration in the nation’s capital.

 

Russian leader Vladimir Putin would like nothing more than to see the U.S. close down its oil and gas industry and try to run a modern industrial economy on solar panels and windmills.

 

The Communist Party (CPUSA) is ecstatic, saying that a “radicalization process” is underway “that’s given renewed meaning and life by the independent movement to elect our country’s first African American president, Occupy Wall Street, the Dreamers, Black Lives Matter, marriage equality, and the political revolution energized by the Sanders bid for the presidency.”

 

But don’t expect our media to look behind the curtain of the Peoples Climate March, since reporters share the ideology of climate change. We will probably be told that the march is comprised of moms and kids.

 

In this case, it’s not really “behind the curtain” because the “partners” of the march are listed openly on the organizer’s website. The CPUSA-affiliate U.S. Peace Council is another partner.

 

Other official partners include Catholic groups like the Franciscan Action Network, and unions like the American Federation of Teachers, American Postal Workers Union, Service Employees International Union, and Communications Workers of America.

 

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), a group that backed Obama from the start of his political career, is a partner, as is the Socialist Party and the American Humanist Association.

 

Academia is represented through such organizations as the American Association of University Professors.

 

But there’s more: the Global Muslim Climate Network, the Islamic Society of North America, and a group called Green Muslims have signed on as partners.

 

Native Lives Matter has been formed, and they, too, are a partner of the climate march.

 

“On the 100th day of Trump’s presidency,” say the organizers, “our march will celebrate both the diversity of our movements and demonstrate our unity in the face of Trump’s attempts to divide us.” This is apparently a reference to President Donald Trump’s decision to enlist some industrial unions in a coalition to create jobs through the use of America’s oil and gas resources.

 

Trump’s electoral success has split apart the Democratic Party coalition that depended on unions and workers to help liberals win on Election Day.

 

One of the speakers, Jazzlyn Lindsey of Black Lives Matter DC, is described as someone who “utilizes her innovative interpersonal skills to educate and engage her peers on issues pertaining to the history of punishment and prisons, environmental racism, and intersectional feminism.” A picture on her Facebook page shows a “Black Muslims Matter” sign.

 

The national coordinator of the group behind the march, the Peoples Climate Movement, is Paul Getsos, who says, “We are a broad-based formation of over 50 organizations working with movements across the country to stop the Trump Administration’s and Congress’ attacks on our planet, people and communities. We demand an economy and government that works for all, clean air and water and a healthy environment. This administration must immediately stop attacks on communities of color and immigrant, Muslim, indigenous and LGBTQIA communities. We are marching from the Capital [sic] to the White House on his 100th day in office to show our resistance to the policies that favor the 1%, hastens climate change, poisons our water and air and harms our communities and people and then returning home to do the work of continuing to build this movement in every community across the country.”

 

The first Peoples Climate March was held on September 21, 2014 in New York City.

 

Getsos, described as a political strategist with his own consulting firm, was a contributor to the “Ear to the Ground Project” associated with the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Another contributor was “former” communist and CNN analyst Van Jones.

 

One of their recommendations is to reach out beyond the far-left: “We need to identify a set of people who are our best communicators, and their role should be to hold down movement ideas, in a smart way, in public debates, online, on CNN, etc. Not just in ‘alternative’ or progressive media.” Another recommendation is, “Need more funny people turning our political ideas into widely distributed to large numbers of people. Political humor, satire, that can go viral and make a mass impact.”

 

Stephen Colbert is apparently not far-left enough for these characters.

 

Under the heading of “political formations,” leftists are told, “We need a new Left party. A united party for socialism. Not primarily an electoral vehicle. Should be explicitly anti-capitalist, a bridge between generations, training activists. An eye on the fight for people’s power. Without a hard left you have a weak middle. I don’t mean dogmatic, but it’s clear that capitalism does not have the answer to the world’s problems and we need a socialist alternative.”

 

However, billionaire Tom Steyer, president of NextGen Climate, is a big backer of the rally. “Tom founded a successful California business, which he left to work full-time on non-profit and advocacy efforts,” his bio says. In fact, he ran a financial hedge fund, Farallon Capital Management, which is considered to be on the cutting edge of the highest stage of capitalism, to use Marxist jargon. He sold his stake in the firm in 2012 and is now worth $1.6 billion. Forbes points out that he spent more than $65 million to back environmental causes and the Democratic Party in 2016. “Trump’s victory shocked him,” the magazine says, “Now Steyer, the founder of Farallon Capital and the environmental group NextGen Climate, is using his voice—and his wallet—to battle[the]  Trump administration.”

 

Like the hedge fund associated with George Soros, another billionaire backer of the “people’s revolution,” Farallon has specialized in managing equity capital “for high net worth individuals.”

 

It all sounds pretty capitalist to me.

Conservative Says Trump’s Export-Import Bank Nominations Could Bring in Era of Reforms

President Donald Trump’
President Donald Trump intends to nominate former Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., to serve as president of the Export-Import Bank, and former Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., to serve on its board of directors. The president has reversed his stance on Ex-Im, which he criticized during the campaign, but now says is a “very good thing.” (Photo: Ron Sachs-CNP/Sipa USA/Newscom)

Following President Donald Trump’s decision to nominate two former congressmen to key posts with the Export-Import Bank, conservatives are looking now to a new era of reforms that may take place within the agency with new leadership.

But while some are hoping to see changes take place within the 84-year-old agency, there are concerns that a reversal in Trump’s position on Ex-Im could dampen efforts to shutter the bank.

The president will nominate former Rep. Scott Garrett, a Republican from New Jersey, to a four-year term as Ex-Im’s president, and former Rep. Spencer Bachus, a Republican from Alabama, to the bank’s board of directors.

Both nominations require Senate confirmation.

Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, one of the most vocal opponents of Ex-Im, said he believes Garrett and Bachus would “steer the institution towards reform.”

“Having worked with both of these gentlemen so closely on the Financial Services Committee, I am hopeful they will safeguard taxpayer dollars and put an end to the bank’s well-documented management failures,” Hensarling, R-Texas, said in a statement. “With Ex-Im so captured by special interests, the president was right to choose principled leaders like these to safeguard the agency against further mission creep, fraud, waste, and abuse.”

Having chaired the House Financial Services Committee from 2011 to 2013, Bachus’ selection for Ex-Im’s board of directors is a traditional pick for Trump.

But it’s Garrett’s nomination to lead the controversial agency, which has been in conservatives’ crosshairs for the last five years, that is raising eyebrows.

Garrett is a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of hard-line conservatives in the lower chamber, and the former New Jersey congressman has fiercely opposed the agency he’s now been tapped to oversee, having voted against its reauthorization twice.

During a floor speech in October 2015, Garrett criticized Ex-Im as an agency “that embodies the corruption of the free enterprise system.”

“The Export-Import Bank transformed the role of government from a disinterested referee in the economy into a biased actor that uses your taxpayer dollars to tilt the scales in favor of its friends,” he said at the time, “and it mocks the American dream by making victims of the startups that dare to compete.”

Ex-Im provides taxpayer-backed loans and loan guarantees to foreign countries and companies for the purchase of U.S. products.

If confirmed, Garrett could usher in a series of reforms at the bank, particularly given his past opposition to Ex-Im.

But in Bachus, the bank has a supporter.

The former Alabama congressman co-sponsored the 2012 bill reauthorizing the bank and has touted Ex-Im in the past as a tool that helps small businesses “compete and win in the global marketplace.”

Many conservatives who oppose the bank hoped that a Trump presidency would mean the end of the agency.

During an interview on the campaign trail in 2015, then candidate-Trump called Ex-Im “feather bedding” for some politicians and companies.

But in an interview with The Wall Street Journal last week, the president reversed his stance and said the bank is a “very good thing.”

“It turns out that, first of all, lots of small companies are really helped, the vendor companies,” Trump said. “But also, maybe more important, other countries give [assistance]. When other countries give it we lose a tremendous amount of business.”

His about-face and his move to fill these two positions at the bank have some Ex-Im opponents concerned.

“This just confirms my worst fears,” Veronique de Rugy, a senior fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, told The Daily Signal, “which is that President Trump will just listen to the business interests more than he will listen to the free market advocates, and that’s disconcerting.”

“The problem is there’s nothing you can do to make the bank acceptable,” she continued.

For the last five years, Hensarling and other conservatives have been working to kill the bank.

Ex-Im opponents believe the bank is an engine of cronyism and corporate welfare, and say that the bank’s financing benefits a small handful of large corporations, such as Boeing, General Electric, and Caterpillar.

Conservatives succeeded in their efforts to close Ex-Im’s doors in 2015, when the bank’s charter lapsed for the first time in its history.

But the agency was ultimately reauthorized in December 2015.

Since then, it’s been crippled in its ability to approve high-dollar transactions because of vacant seats on its board of directors.

The bank’s charter requires the board to have a quorum, or three of its five members, to approve deals worth more than $10 million.

Just two of those five seats are currently filled, despite President Barack Obama sending the Senate nominations to the board late in his term.

Those nominations were held up by former Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who opposed Ex-Im.

 

The Daily Signal 

Why US Economic Growth May Be Stronger Than We Think

In a recent National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, “Why is Growth Better in the United States Than in Other Industrial Countries,” Dr. Martin S. Feldstein, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, suggests that government statisticians have been underestimating the true rise in real U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

He suggests they have failed to accurately account for quality improvements and the value of newly created goods and services in their measurements.

According to Feldstein, “the [Bureau of Labor Statistics] concludes that there has been a quality improvement if and only if there is an increase in the cost of making the product.”

This does not accurately reflect quality improvements because quality improvements can, and frequently do, come alongside decreased production costs.

Feldstein’s second dissatisfaction with GDP measurement is that it does not accurately capture the added value to consumers that some new products create. He argues that new products often make societal contributions that are not reflected in real output or real GDP growth.

He gives the example of “statins, the remarkable drug that lowers cholesterol and reduces deaths from heart attacks.” Feldstein complains that, despite the substantial contribution statins make to public health and well-being, that added value was not reflected in real output or GDP growth when their use skyrocketed in the early 2000s.

Such problems matter. Poor growth performance is often cited to justify new government interventions in our economy.

As Feldstein goes on to note, even using such faulty GDP calculations, the economic growth of the United States far outweighs that of European and other industrial countries.

Feldstein provides the following 10 reasons (in no particular order) for the higher rate of real economic growth in the U.S. compared to slower growth in Europe:

  1. An entrepreneurial culture.
  2. A financial system that supports entrepreneurial activities.
  3. World class research universities.
  4. Labor markets that generally link workers and jobs unimpeded by large trade unions, state-owned enterprises, or excessively restrictive labor regulations.
  5. A growing population, reflecting both natural growth and immigration.
  6. A culture and a tax-transfer system that encourages hard work and long hours.
  7. A supply of energy that makes North America energy independent.
  8. A favorable regulatory environment.
  9. A smaller size of government than in other industrial countries.
  10. A decentralized political system in which states compete.

Until the government improves the methods it uses to calculate GDP growth, Americans should take the official numbers with a grain of salt. When factors such as Feldstein’s 10 reasons for high economic growth are strong, innovation and technological advancements that improve quality of life occur more frequently.

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ reported GDP growth doesn’t take such things into account, the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom does.

 

By Michael Marn / Patrick Tyrrell

Major Economic Warning Sign: The Euro Is Heading For Parity With The U.S. Dollar

Euro-Sign-Public-Domain-300x205Michael Snyder | Economic Collapse Blog

The collapse of the euro is accelerating, and it looks like we could be staring a major European financial crisis right in the face early in 2017.  On Thursday, the EUR/USD fell all the way to $1.0366 at one point before rebounding slightly.  That represents the lowest that the euro has been relative to the U.S. dollar since January 2003.  Ever since 2011, I have been relentlessly warning that the euro is heading for parity with the U.S. dollar.  When the EUR/USD was trading at about $1.40 that must have seemed like crazy talk, but I never wavered.  I just kept warning people that the euro was going to weaken greatly relative to the U.S. dollar.  Here is one example from March 2015: “How many times have I said it?  The euro is heading to all-time lows.  It is going to go to parity with the U.S. dollar, and then it is eventually going to go below parity.”  After Thursday, we are almost there, and once we do hit parity that is going to be a sign that all sorts of chaos is about to erupt in Europe.

For years, so many people that write about our coming economic problems have been proclaiming that the death of the U.S. dollar is imminent.

But I have always taken a different approach.  I have always maintained that the collapse of the euro comes first, and that the death of the U.S. dollar happens some time later.

So many people have wanted to get rid of all of their dollars in anticipation of the coming crisis, but that is a huge mistake.

First of all, without exception everyone needs an emergency fund that can cover at least six months of expenses in case there is a job loss, a health emergency or all hell breaks loose for some reason.

Secondly, cash is going to be king during the initial stages of the coming crisis.  Later on the U.S. dollar will rapidly lose value, but at first it will pay to have significant amounts of cash available to you.

Most people out there seem to think that a strong dollar is great news and that it is a sign of good things to come under Donald Trump.

But the truth is that an overly strong U.S. dollar is actually very bad news for the global economy.

For the U.S., a strong dollar hurts our imports and tends to drag down our GDP.

For the rest of the world, a strong dollar makes it more expensive to borrow money.  The economic boom in the developing world following the last financial crisis was fueled by mountains of cheap dollars that were borrowed at ultra-low interest rates.  But now the U.S. dollar is surging and interest rates are spiking, and that is starting to cause major problems.

It now takes much more local currency to pay back those dollar-denominated loans that were made in emerging markets during the boom times.  If the U.S. dollar continues to rise we are going to see a staggering number of defaults, and a credit crunch in many areas of the globe seems inevitable at this point.

Of course the big thing to keep an eye on over the coming weeks is the rapidly unfolding crisis in Italy.  The Italians have the 8th largest economy on the entire planet, and we are in the process of watching their entire banking system completely implode.

In fact, their third largest bank is in imminent danger of collapse, and according to Reuters this could trigger “a wider banking and political crisis in Italy”…

Italy’s government is ready to pump 15 billion euros into Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI) and other ailing banks, sources said, as the country’s third-largest lender pushes ahead with a private rescue plan that is widely expected to fail.

The world’s oldest bank has until Dec. 31 to raise 5 billion euros ($5.2 billion) in equity or face being wound down by the European Central Bank, potentially triggering a wider banking and political crisis in Italy.

If needed, the government will pump 15 billion euros into the Siena-based lender and several other smaller banks to prevent that, two sources close to the matter said on Thursday.

This is so much more serious than the ongoing economic depression in Greece.

Greece is just the 44th largest economy on the planet, and we saw how much trouble Europe had trying to bail them out.

So what is the rest of Europe going to do when financial collapse hits Italy?

Here in the United States very few people are interested in hearing about a “global financial crisis” right at this moment, because in the aftermath of the election most people are feeling really good about where things are heading.  Just consider the following three facts that I pulled out of a Bloomberg article

#1 “The National Association of Homebuilders’ index of sentiment soared to an 11-year high in December, despite the sizable rise in bond yields since the election.”

#2 “The University of Michigan’s December index of consumer confidence also continued its upward post-election trend, rising to 98. A sub-index that tracks respondents’ opinion of the government’s economic policies spiked to levels not seen since 2009.”

#3 “The National Federation of Independent Businesses’ index of optimism among small businesses posted its sharpest surge since 2009 in November to reach 98.4. An expected improvement in business conditions among small business owners surveyed after Nov. 8 was the largest contributor to the improvement in the headline print.”

Hopefully happy days will stick around for a while.

But it won’t last forever.

As I have warned so many times, the coming crisis is going to hit Europe first, and the United States will join the party not too long after.

And a key marker that we have been watching for is almost here.  The euro is going to hit parity with the U.S. dollar just like I have been warning, and once that takes place expect events to start accelerating significantly.

SOURCE: ECONOMIC COLLAPSE BLOG

Global Financial Markets Plunged Into Chaos As Italy Overwhelmingly Votes ‘No’

italy-flag-map-public-domain-460x424Michael Snyder | Economics Collapse Blog

Italian voters have embraced the global trend of rejecting the established world order, but the “no” vote on Sunday has plunged global financial markets into a state of utter chaos.  The euro has already fallen to a 20 month low, Italian government bonds are poised for a tremendous crash, and futures markets are indicating that both U.S. and European stock markets will be way down when they open on Monday.  It is being projected that Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s referendum on constitutional reforms will be defeated by about 20 percentage points when all the votes have been counted, and Renzi has already announced that he plans to resign as a result.  When new elections are held it looks like comedian Beppe Grillo’s Five-Star movement will come to power, and the European establishment is extremely alarmed at that prospect because Grillo wants to take Italy out of the eurozone.  In the long run Italy would be much better off without the euro, but in the short-term the only thing propping up Italy’s failing banking system is support from Europe.  Without that support, the 8th largest economy on the entire planet would already be in the midst of an unprecedented financial crisis.

I know that I said a lot in that first paragraph, but it is imperative that people understand how serious this crisis could quickly become.

This “no” vote virtually guarantees a major banking crisis for Italy, and many analysts fear that it could trigger a broader financial crisis all across the rest of the continent as well.

Just look at what has already happened.  All of the votes haven’t even been counted yet, and the euro is absolutely plummeting

The euro dropped 1.3 percent to $1.0505, falling below its 1 1/2-year low of $1.0518 touched late last month, and testing its key support levels where the currency has managed to rebound in the past couple of years.

A break below its 2015 March low of $1.0457 would send the currency to its lowest level since early 2003, opening a way for a test of $1, or parity against the dollar, a scenario which many market players now see as a real possibility.

In early 2014, there were times when one euro was trading for almost $1.40.  For a very long time I have been warning that the euro was eventually heading for parity with the U.S. dollar, and now we are almost there.

Meanwhile, Italian government bonds are going to continue to crash following this election result.  This is going to make it even more difficult for the Italian government to borrow money, and that will only aggravate their ongoing financial troubles.

But the big problem in Italy is the banks.  At this moment there are eight banks in imminent danger of collapsing, and virtually all of the rest of them are in some stage of trouble.  The following comes from a Bloomberg article about the crisis that Italian banks are facing right at this moment…

They’re burdened with a mountain of bad loans. Their stocks have cratered. And they have to operate in an economy prone to recession and political upheaval.

Signs have been mounting for months that Italy’s weakest lenders, and in particular Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, were sliding toward the precipice, threatening to reignite a broader crisis.

And we may get some news regarding the fate of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena as early as Monday morning if what the Sydney Morning Herald is reporting is correct…

A last-gasp rescue for Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world’s oldest surviving bank, has been thrown into doubt after reformist prime minister Matteo Renzi decisively lost a referendum on constitutional reform on Sunday.

MPS and advisers JPMorgan and Mediobanca will meet as early as Monday morning to decide whether to pull a plan to go ahead with a €5bn recapitalisation, the FT reports, citing people informed of the plan.

Senior bankers will decide whether to pursue their underwriting commitments or exercise their right to drop the transaction due to adverse market conditions, these people said. In the event the banks drop the capital plan, the Italian state is expected to nationalise the bank, say senior bankers.

If Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena fails, major banks all over Italy (and all over the rest of Europe) could start going down like dominoes.

So what were Italians voting on anyway?

Well, the truth is that the constitutional reforms that were proposed actually sound quite boring

“The changes involve sharply reducing the size of one of the chambers of Parliament — the Senate — shifting its powers to the executive, and eliminating the Senate’s power to bring down government coalitions.

“The amendments also shift some powers now held by the regions to the central government, thereby reducing frequent and lengthy court battles between Rome and the regional governments.”

The reason why this vote was ultimately so important is because it became a referendum on Renzi’s administration.  The fact that he announced in advance that he would resign if it did not get approved gave a tremendous amount of fuel to the opposition.

So now Beppe Grillo’s Five-Star Movement stands poised to come to power, and that could be very bad news for those that are hoping to hold the common currency together.

The following is how NPR recently summarized the main goals of the Five-Star Movement…

“It calls for a government-guaranteed, universal income, abolishing Italy’s fiscal commitments to the European Union and a referendum on Italy’s membership in the Euro — a prospect that could unravel the entire single currency Eurozone.”

If Italy chooses to leave the euro, it will probably mean the end of the common currency, and the continued existence of the entire European Union would be called into question.

So this vote on Sunday was huge.  The Brexit had already done a tremendous amount of damage to the long-term prospects for the European Union, and now the crisis in Italy is sending political and financial shockwaves throughout the entire continent.

Over the next few weeks, keep a close eye on the euro and on Italian government bonds.

If they both continue to crash, that will be a sign that a major European financial crisis is now upon us.

And what happens in Europe definitely does not stay in Europe.

If Europe goes down, we are going to go down too.

At this point we still have almost a month left in 2016, but 2017 is already shaping up to be a very troubling year.  As always, let us hope for the best, but let us also keep preparing for the worst.

The Shocking Truth About How Barack Obama Was Able To Prop Up The U.S. Economy

barack-obama-looking-into-a-mirror-public-domain-460x329Michael Snyder | Economics Collapse Blog

Barack Obama is one of the biggest “Keynesians” of all time, but unfortunately most Americans don’t even understand what that means.  In this article, I am going to share with you the primary reason why Barack Obama has been able to prop up the U.S. economy over the past eight years.  If Barack Obama had not taken the extreme measures that he did, we would be in the midst of a historic economic depression right now.  But by propping things up in the short-term, he has absolutely demolished our long-term economic future.  But like most politicians, Obama has been willing to sacrifice the future for short-term political gain.

If you take any basic college course in economics, you are going to learn about John Maynard Keynes.  Without a doubt, Keynes was one of the most famous economists of the 20th century, and one of the things that he believed was that governments should go into debt and spend more money when an economic downturn strikes.  By injecting additional funds into the economy during a time of crisis, he believed that the severity of recessions and depressions could be reduced.  This approach ultimately become known as “Keynesian economics”, and in the post-World War II era virtually the entire world embraced it at least to some degree.  Here is more on Keynes from Investopedia

An economic theory of total spending in the economy and its effects on output and inflation. Keynesian economics was developed by the British economist John Maynard Keynes during the 1930s in an attempt to understand the Great Depression. Keynes advocated increased government expenditures and lower taxes to stimulate demand and pull the global economy out of the Depression. Subsequently, the term “Keynesian economics” was used to refer to the concept that optimal economic performance could be achieved – and economic slumps prevented – by influencing aggregate demand through activist stabilization and economic intervention policies by the government. Keynesian economics is considered to be a “demand-side” theory that focuses on changes in the economy over the short run.

Keynesian economists correctly point out that there is a “multiplier effect” to government spending.  In other words, when the government spends money it ends up in the hands of ordinary people.  In turn, those people spend that money on various goods and services that they need, thus boosting overall economic activity.  And the more the money circulates, the more the economy is stimulated.  So one dollar of additional government spending does not just add one dollar to GDP.  Rather, the impact on GDP is often significantly greater than that.

Of course the bad news is that whenever the government borrows money it is stealing consumption from the future.  So we are literally destroying the future that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have in order to make the present look a little bit brighter.

When Barack Obama entered the White House, the U.S. was in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.  The Bush administration had already begun to ramp up spending, but Barack Obama took “government stimulus” to ridiculous new levels.  The national debt has risen by an average of more than 1.1 trillion dollars a year while Obama has been in charge, and this fiscal year we are on pace to add more than 2 trillion dollars to the debt.

At this moment, the U.S. national debt is a whopping $19,901,545,151,126.51, and it will cross the 20 trillion dollar mark by the time Donald Trump is inaugurated on January 20th.

But when Barack Obama was inaugurated, the national debt was only 10.6 trillion dollars.  That means that we have added about 9.3 trillion dollars to the debt since that time.

So we have borrowed and spent 9.3 trillion dollars under Obama that we did not have.  But because of the “multiplier effect”, that 9.3 trillion dollars actually had a far greater impact on the U.S. economy.

Let’s be conservative and just double that number.  So that would give us an 18.6 trillion dollar overall impact on U.S. economic activity.  Spread over eight years, that comes to an average GDP impact of 2.325 trillion dollars a year.

But over the last eight years U.S. GDP has only been averaging about 16 trillion dollars a year.  So if you took away 2.3 trillion dollars a year, that would be about one-eighth of our entire economy.

In other words, without all of this debt that Barack Obama and Congress have been getting us into, we would be in the worst economic depression in U.S. history right now.

And I haven’t even factored in state and local government debt, corporate debt or household debt.  The truth is that I am not exaggerating one bit when I say that we are enjoying a debt-fueled standard of living that we simply do not deserve.

But even with all of this debt, the U.S. economy has still not been performing really well.  In fact, Barack Obama is going to be the only president in U.S. history to not have a single year when U.S. GDP grew by at least three percent.

Despite what many in the mainstream media are telling you, the reality of the matter is that Donald Trump is going to inherit an economy that is deeply troubled.  If you doubt this, please see my previous article entitled “11 Very Depressing Economic Realities That Donald Trump Will Inherit From Barack Obama“.

Donald Trump is talking about cutting taxes and reducing regulations, and all of those things are good, but ultimately those measures are not going to matter that much.

What is going to matter is what Donald Trump decides to do about our exploding debt.

If Donald Trump wants the U.S. economy to continue to remain at least somewhat stable in the short-term, he is going to have to keep piling up debt like Obama has.  Because if Trump and the Republicans decide that they want to get our debt under control, that will plunge us into a horrifying economic depression almost immediately.

But if Donald Trump continues to steal money from future generations of Americans at the same pace that Barack Obama has been doing, he will literally be destroying the future of America.  It will be a crime on a scale that is almost beyond words, and if they get a chance to do it, future generations of Americans will look back and curse him for what he has done to us.

So Donald Trump is really in a no-win situation when it comes to the economy.

The only way that he can match Obama’s performance is to do what Obama did, but by doing so he would literally be killing the future.

As a nation we have been consuming far more wealth than we produce for a very, very long time, and the only way that we have been able to do this is because we have been able to go into so much debt.

But now a day of reckoning is fast approaching, and I am not sure if Donald Trump even realizes that he will soon be faced with some incredibly heartbreaking choices.

Which is more important: “Creating New Jobs” or Putting Americans Back to Work?

Eric Ruark | NumbersUSA

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly unemployment figures this morning. The headline of the press release read: “Payroll employment increases by 156,000 in September; unemployment rate little changed

It’s true that little on the jobs front changed from August to September. This would be good news if, to borrow Senator John McCain’s famous 2008 declaration, the fundamentals of the economy were strong. But they are not.

The take on Wall Street is that the report was disappointing because new jobs fell short of expectations by 20,000. However, the number of people working increased by 354,000 over the previous month, outpacing the increase in the size of the working-age population by 117,000. That much is welcome news, but it comes nowhere close to alleviating systematic unemployment in the United States.

Unemployment ticking up from 4.9% to 5% isn’t really anything to worry about. This likely indicates that there was an increase in the number of people seeking jobs, which is a prerequisite for being included in the official unemployment number, or the U-3. At this point, the U-3 is not an accurate indicator of how the labor market is performing. Many economists look at the U-6 figure, which remained steady at 9.7%, or 15.7 million.

Other important numbers to look at are the percentage of the working-age population employed or looking for work (Participation Rate), and the number of working-age population out of work who are not looking for a job (Not in the Labor Force).

These two numbers tell us that the economy is performing very poorly, as the percentage of the working-age population participating in the workforce is hovering around a forty-year low (62.9%), and the number of working-age persons outside the labor market is at an historic high (94.2 million).

Most importantly, the conversation we have about the performance of the economy should not be about how many new jobs were created each month, but about how many people gained employment relative to the increase in the working-age population.

Jobs vs. Employment is Very Much a Distinction with a Difference

Of course there is a correlation between job creation and increased employment, though they remain distinct categories. One would be hard-pressed to find a politician or member of the mainstream media who could explain that distinction.

The conflation of job growth with employment gains was highlighted in the recent Vice-Presidential debate. When Governor Mike Pence pointed out that the post-recession period of Obama’s presidency was the “slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression,” Senator Tim Kaine twice interjected in rebuttal by saying “Fifteen million new jobs?”

Kaine was using the standard Democratic talking point in trying to tout the revival of the economy under Obama Administration policies. Hillary Clinton has also used the 15 million new jobs line many times on the campaign trail, and at the State of the Union Address back in January, President Obama said “more than 14 million new jobs” had been created under his administration.

These claims have been “fact-checked” by various media outlets, and the conclusion has been in all cases: it depends on when one starts measuring jobs gains. In order to arrive at the 15 million number, Democrats are starting their count during the second year of President Obama’s tenure, after the massive job losses suffered during the first year of his presidency had ceased.

It is not surprising that Democrats are measuring in a way that reflects most positively on President Obama. No doubt a Republican administration would do the same if it were in office. Whichever party is in power credits its policies for economic gains, and blames the other party when things go south. But the debates over how many jobs were created, who should take credit, and the “fact-checking” that accompanies it, are ultimately distractions from the real issue.

Who’s Counting and How?

The “fifteen million new jobs” figure comes from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program which surveys:

…approximately 146,000 businesses and government agencies, representing approximately 623,000 individual worksites, in order to provide detailed industry data on employment, hours, and earnings of workers on nonfarm payrolls.

The statistics gathered and published by the CES are known as “Establishment Data” and are published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the CES (Table B-1), surveyed employers reported 14.9 million more employees on payrolls in August 2016 than in February 2010. The claims of job growth made by Kaine, et. al., while true according to the statistics collected by government agencies, mean next to nothing when presented as a stand-alone data point.

The CES only indicates the number of new payroll employees reported by employers surveyed. It does not contain a count of the U.S. population, the working-age population, or those who are employed, unemployed, or out of the labor market altogether. Those figures come from theCurrent Population Survey (CPS) and are referred to as “Household Data.”

According to the Household Data, during the same period (February 2010 to August 2016) Kaine is using to tout job creation under President Obama, the working-age population in the United States increased by 16.8 million while the number of employed increased by only 13 million from– a deficit of 3.8 million. While the number of the “officially unemployed” (U-3) did decrease by 7.3 million, those Not in the Labor Force, people who have dropped completely out of the labor market and who are not counted as unemployed, rose by 11.1 million.

             Bureau of Labor Statistics, Historical Data, Table A-1

Politicians are free to tout job creation, but they should not ignore the fact that the U.S. working-age population is growing at a faster rate than the labor market can absorb it. Even when there are months when the number of newly employed outpaces overall population growth, it is not enough reverse the long-term trend.

From September 2000 to September 2016, the working-age population grew by 25.9 million more than the number of people who gained employment.

The BLS includes everyone in the United States over the age of 16 (not incarcerated or institutionalized) in its count of the working-age population. If we concentrate only on those aged 18-64, the numbers look even more disheartening.

       Steven Camarota, The Employment Situation of Immigrants and Natives in the First Quarter of 2016

As indicated above, there were 15.9 million more people of working age in the United States who were not employed in the first quarter (Jan-March) 2016 than during the same period in 2000.

There are multiple causes of the unemployment crisis in the United States, but no one can seriously argue that immigration policy is not one of the causes, if not the major one.Immigration is driving population growth faster than our economy can keep pace, and Americans workers are suffering the consequences.

Below are employment numbers from the preceding chart broken down to show the difference in in employment gains by native and immigrant workers from 2000 to 2016.

From the first quarter to 2000 to the first quarter of 2016, the foreign-born accounted for 64 percent of all employment gains. During that same time, the number of natives not in the labor force increased by 10.8 million.

To put all of this into perspective, during the 79 months in which there were 15 million new jobs created under President Obama, the average monthly employment level increased by 144,500. If the United States is to get back to pre-recession employment levels, which were not great but were much, much better than today’s numbers, the average monthly increase over the next 79 months will have to jump by 55 percent to 224,625, if population growth remains constant.

ERIC RUARK is the Director of Research for NumbersUSA

Updated: Fri, Oct 7th 2016 @ 3:00pm EDT

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Desperately Poor Teens In America’s Impoverished Inner Cities Are Trading Sex For Food

sad girlMichael Snyder |Economics Collapse Blog

When people get hungry enough, they will do just about anything for some food.

According to brand new research that was just released this week from Feeding America and the Urban Institute, there are millions of teenagers in America that live in “food insecure” households, and researchers were stunned to learn what some of these teens are willing to do to feed themselves.

Some resort to shoplifting, others deal drugs, and there were a surprising number of participants in the study that actually admitted to trading sex for food.

It wouldn’t be a shock to hear that these kinds of things are going on in an economically-depressed nation such as Venezuela, but this is the United States of America.  We are supposed to be the wealthiest nation on the entire planet.  Sadly, even while the stock market has been soaring in recent years, poverty in America has been on the rise.

For those on the low end of the economic scale, things have gone from bad to worse since the end of the last recession, and millions of children are deeply suffering as a result.

Let’s start with some of the hard numbers.  The following comes directly from the Urban Institute website

An estimated 6.8 million people ages 10 to 17 are food insecure, meaning they don’t have reliable access to enough affordable, nutritious food. Another 2.9 million are very food insecure, androughly 4 million live in marginally food secure households, where the threat of running out of food is real.

Food insecurity takes a tremendous toll on teenagers. Poor nutrition—and the stress of hunger and poverty—can jeopardize their physical and mental health and development and their academic success. But despite the gravity and prevalence of teen food insecurity, we know very little about how these young people experience and cope with hunger.

The researchers already knew that lots of young people were hungry in America.  But what surprised them were the lengths that many of these youngsters said that they would go to in order to get food

Some of the youths said they or someone they know — mostly young men — have turned to shoplifting food, selling drugs or stealing items to sell.

The teens also reported knowing young women who have sold their bodies for food or had sex for money so they could buy food for their families.

Going to jail or failing a class in order to have to attend summer school were also some of the lengths teens went to.

Could you imagine your daughter or your granddaughter exchanging her body for food?

For most of us that is absolutely unthinkable, but the truth is that this is taking place on the streets of America every single day.

And this wasn’t just some blind random phone survey.  The researchers conducted personal interviews with focus groups, and what these kids were willing to admit doing was absolutely astounding.  Here is another excerpt directly out of the report

  • When faced with acute food insecurity, teens in all but two of the communities said that youth engage in criminal behavior, ranging from shoplifting food directly to selling drugs and stealing items to resell for cash. These behaviors were most common among young men in communities with the most limited job options.
  • Teens in all 10 communities and in 13 of the 20 focus groups talked about some youth selling sex for money to pay for food. These themes arose most strongly in high-poverty communities where teens also described sexually coercive environments. Sexual exploitation most commonly took the form of transactional dating relationships with older adults.
  • In a few communities, teens talked about going to jail or failing school (so they could attend summer classes and get school lunch) as viable strategies for ensuring regular meals.

Many of these young people understand that what they are doing is wrong.  Just consider what some of them told the researchers

A girl in Portland, Oregon told researchers: “It’s really like selling yourself. Like you’ll do whatever you need to do to get money or eat.”

Another comment from Portland: “You’re not even dating … they’ll be like … ‘I don’t really love him, but I’m going to do what I have to do.’”

Many prefer to rationalise what they are doing as dating of sorts. A boy in rural North Carolina said: “When you’re selling your body, it’s more in disguise. Like if I had sex with you, you have to buy me dinner tonight … that’s how girls deal with the struggle … That’s better than taking money because if they take money, they will be labeled a prostitute.”

When I read the information in this report, I was stunned.  Yes, I write about our economic decline and the rise in poverty all the time, but I didn’t know that things were this bad.

And the researchers were surprised by what they were hearing as well.  One of them said that the fact that girls are trading their bodies for food “was really shocking to me”, and she believes that things are “just getting worse over time”

“I’ve been doing research in low-income communities for a long time, and I’ve written extensively about the experiences of women in high poverty communities and the risk of sexual exploitation, but this was new,” said Susan Popkin, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute and lead author of the report, Impossible Choices.

“Even for me, who has been paying attention to this and has heard women tell their stories for a long time, the extent to which we were hearing about food being related to this vulnerability was new and shocking to me, and the level of desperation that it implies was really shocking to me. It’s a situation I think is just getting worse over time.”

But aren’t we being told that things are getting better?

Aren’t we being told that our leaders “fixed” the economy?

Of course the truth is that America is mired in a long-term economic decline that stretches back for decades.  With each passing year the middle class gets smaller as a percentage of the population, and poverty continues to grow.  Last year the middle class became a minority of the population for the first time ever, and a lot of formerly middle class Americans are now among those that aren’t sure that they are going to have enough food to eat this month.

Hunger in America is a major crisis and it is growing.  Just because you may live in a comfortable home in a wealthy neighborhood does not mean that this problem is not real.

Tonight there are millions of Americans that do not know where their next meal is going to come from, and they deserve our love and compassion.

SOURCE: ECONOMICS COLLAPSE BLOG

Tent Cities Full Of Homeless People Are Booming In Cities All Over America As Poverty Spikes

Homeless-Eye-Public-Domain-460x307Michael Snyder | Economics Collapse Blog

Just like during the last economic crisis, homeless encampments are popping up all over the nation as poverty grows at a very alarming rate.  According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than half a million people are homeless in America right now, but that figure is increasing by the day.  And it isn’t just adults that we are talking about.  It has been reported that that the number of homeless children in this country has risen by 60 percent since the last recession, and Poverty USA says that a total of 1.6 million children slept either in a homeless shelter or in some other form of emergency housing at some point last year.  Yes, the stock market may have been experiencing a temporary boom for the last couple of years, but for those on the low end of the economic scale things have just continued to deteriorate.

Tonight, countless numbers of homeless people will try to make it through another chilly night in large tent cities that have been established in the heart of major cities such as Seattle, Washington, D.C. and St. Louis.  Homelessness has gotten so bad in California that the L.A. City Council has formally asked Governor Jerry Brown to officially declare a state of emergency.   And in Portland the city has extended their “homeless emergency” for yet another year, and city officials are really struggling with how to deal with the booming tent cities that have sprung up

There have always been homeless people in Portland, but last summer Michelle Cardinal noticed a change outside her office doors.

Almost overnight, it seemed, tents popped up in the park that runs like a green carpet past the offices of her national advertising business. She saw assaults, drug deals and prostitution. Every morning, she said, she cleaned human feces off the doorstep and picked up used needles.

“It started in June and by July it was full-blown. The park was mobbed,” she said. “We’ve got a problem here and the question is how we’re going to deal with it.”

But of course it isn’t just Portland that is experiencing this.  The following list of major tent cities that have become so well-known and established that they have been given names comes from Wikipedia

Most of the time, those that establish tent cities do not want to be discovered because local authorities have a nasty habit of shutting them down and forcing homeless people out of the area.  For example, check out what just happened in Elkhart, Indiana

A group of homeless people in Elkhart has been asked to leave the place they call home. For the last time, residents of ‘Tent City’ packed up camp.

City officials gave residents just over a month to vacate the wooded area; Wednesday being the last day to do so.

The property has been on Mayor Tim Neese’s radar since he took office in January, calling it both a safety and health hazard to its residents and nearby pedestrian traffic.

“This has been their home but you can’t live on public property,” said Mayor Tim Neese, Elkhart.

If they can’t live on “public property”, where are they supposed to go?

They certainly can’t live on somebody’s “private property”.

This is the problem – people don’t want to deal with the human feces, the needles, the crime and the other problems that homeless people often bring with them.  So the instinct is often to kick them out and send them away.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t fix the problem.  It just passes it on to someone else.

As this new economic downturn continues to accelerate, our homelessness boom is going to spiral out of control.  Pretty soon, there will be tent cities in virtually every community in America.

In fact, there are people that are living comfortable middle class lifestyles right at this moment that will end up in tents.  We saw this during the last economic crisis, and it will be even worse as this next one unfolds.

Just like last time around, the signs that the middle class is really struggling can be subtle at first, but when you learn to take note of them you will notice that they are all around you.  The following comes from an excellent article in the New York Post

Do you see grocery stores closing? Do you see other retailers, like clothing stores and department stores, going out of business?

Are there shuttered storefronts along your Main Street shopping district, where you bought a tool from the hardware store or dropped off your dry cleaning or bought fruits and vegetables?

Are you making as much money annually as you did 10 years ago?

Do you see homes in neighborhoods becoming run down as the residents either were foreclosed upon, or the owner lost his or her job so he or she can’t afford to cut the grass or paint the house?

Did that same house where the Joneses once lived now become a rental property, where new people come to live every few months?

Do you know one or two people who are looking for work? Maybe professionals, who you thought were safe in their jobs?

Don’t look down on those that are living in tents, because the truth is that many “middle class Americans” will ultimately end up joining them.

The correct response to those that are hurting is love and compassion.  We all need help at some point in our lives, and I know that I am certainly grateful to those that have given me a helping hand at various points along my journey.

Sadly, hearts are growing cold all over the nation, and the weather is only going to get colder over the months ahead.  Let us pray for health and safety for the hundreds of thousands of Americans that will be sleeping in tents and on the streets this winter.

SOURCE: ECONOMICS COLLAPSE BLOG

The Economic Collapse In Venezuela Is So Bad That People Are Slaughtering And Eating Zoo Animals

Black-Stallion-Public-Domain-460x307
Michael Snyder | Economic Collapse Blog

If you were hungry enough, would you kill and eat zoo animals?  To most of us such a notion sounds absolutely insane, but this is actually happening in Venezuela right now.  This is a country where people are standing in lines for up to 12 hours hoping that there will be food to buy that day, and where rioting and looting have become commonplace.  So even though the U.S. economy is in dreadful shape at this moment, we should be thankful for what we have, because at least we are not experiencing a full-blown economic collapse yet like Venezuela currently is.

Black stallions can be some of the most beautiful horses on the entire planet, but things are so desperate down in Venezuela this summer that everything looks like food to some people at this point.  What happened at the Caricuao Zoo on Sunday is so horrible that I actually debated whether or not to share it with you.  Desperate people do desperate things, and when people get hungry enough they will do things such as this

Venezuela’s worsening food shortages had tragic consequences for a rare show horse last weekend, when a group of intruders broke into the zoo, pulled the black stallion from its cage, then slaughtered it for meat.

Prosecutors say the crime occurred in the small hours of Sunday morning at Caracas’ Caricuao Zoo, when “several people” sneaked into the state-run park under the cover of darkness and busted into the stallion’s pen. The horse, the only one of its kind in the zoo, was then led to a more secluded area and butchered on the spot. Only its head and ribs were left behind in a gruesome pile for zookeepers to find after sunrise.

Unfortunately, this precious animal was not even the first victim at that particular zoo.

A few weeks ago, pigs and sheep were the targets

Sadly, this horse wasn’t the first zoo animal to suffer the effects of Venezuela’s crippling food shortages. Some Vietnamese pigs and sheep were reportedly stolen from the same zoo earlier this month.

Dozens of other zoo animals are slowing starving to death because there is no food available to give to them.  In fact, it is being reported that at least 50 animals have died from lack of food at one zoo alone

At least 50 animals have died in the last six months at the Caricuao zoo in Caracas, Venezuela, due to widespread food shortages that are affecting both man and beast in the socialist nation.

Marlene Sifontes, a union leader for employees of state parks agency Inparques which oversees zoos, told Reuters that the zoo lost Vietnamese pigs, tapirs, rabbits and birds after the animals went weeks without eating. Others animals at the zoo are in danger of severe malnutrition. Lions and tigers, which should be on a carnivorous diet, are being fed mango and pumpkin just to get something in their empty stomachs, while an elephant is being fed tropical fruit instead of its usual diet of hay, the union leader said. According to one report, the big cats are being fed slaughtered thoroughbred racehorses from a nearby race track.

If what you have just read hurts your heart, let us not forget that it is not just the animals that are suffering.  There are millions of precious people down there that are living on the very edge of starvation as you read this article.

Earlier this year, one mayor came forward and admitted to the world that some people are so hungry that they are actually hunting “cats, dogs and pigeons” for food…

Ramón Muchacho, Mayor of Chacao in Caracas, said the streets of the capital of Venezuela are filled with people killing animals for food.

Through Twitter, Muchacho reported that in Venezuela, it is a “painful reality” that people “hunt cats, dogs and pigeons” to ease their hunger. People are also reportedly gathering vegetables from the ground and trash to eat as well.

The crisis in Venezuela is worsening everyday due in part to shortages reaching 70 percent […] six Venezuelan military officials were arrested for stealing goats to ease their hunger, as there was no food at the Fort Manaure military base.

With each passing week, the situation in Venezuela keeps on getting worse.

And even though the United States has made many of the exact same mistakes that Venezuela has made, most of us just assume that what is happening down there could never happen up here.

After all, we have “the greatest economy in the world” and we are “the wealthiest nation on the entire planet”, right?

Well, actually our economic infrastructure has been systematically gutted by free trade deals and we consume far more wealth than we produce.  We have artificially pumped up our standard of living by adding more than 1.1 trillion dollars a year to the national debt since Barack Obama has been in the White House, and one recent poll discovered that 62 percent of all Americans have less than $1,000 saved up.

But don’t worry.  Instead of turning out like Venezuela, the mainstream media insists that the best days for America are right around the corner.

In fact, just today I came across a Business Insider article that insisted that soon our biggest economic problem will be that we won’t be able to find enough workers.

And Barbra Streisand is so thrilled that Hillary Clinton is going to be our next president that she launched into a rousing rendition of “Happy Days Are Here Again” as she kicked off her farewell tour in Los Angeles.  The following account comes from the Drudge Report

So long sad times
Go along bad times
We are rid of you at last
Howdy gay times
Cloudy gray times
You are now a thing of the past
Happy days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So let’s sing a song of cheer again…

Streisand suddenly interrupted the lyric, realizing a Democrat was currently in the White House!

“By the way, I love Obama.”

Altogether shout it now
There’s no one
Who can doubt it now
So let’s tell the world about it now
Happy days are here again

So what is the truth?

Are we going to end up just like Venezuela, or are happy days here once more?

Unfortunately, I have a feeling that we are not going to have to wait too long to find out…

Source: Economics Collapse Blog