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How The Fed Fails

This article was originally published by Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds Blog. 

The Fed has a binary choice: preserve America’s global hegemony or further enrich the billionaires. You can’t have both.

The Fed will fail as a result of two dynamics: diminishing returns and the U.S. dollar’s role as a global reserve currency. The Fed’s reign as the godhead of financier-banker supremacy has been fun and games for the past 12 years of stock market euphoria, but that’s about to change.

All those expecting the Fed to sink the USD to near-zero to “save the stock market” don’t seem to realize that they’re also expecting the U.S. to surrender its global hegemony, which rests entirely on the U.S. dollar. The USD is the world’s dominant reserve currency–please examine the chart below. The USD dwarfs the next largest reserve currency, the euro. The Chinese yuan–due to its peg to the USD, essentially a proxy for the USD–is a tiny sliver of global reserves.

The owner of a reserve currency can create “money” out of thin air and trade it for autos, oil, semiconductors–real-world goods that were not created out of thin air. All these real-world goods required tremendous investment and significant costs to be produced and transported.

No wonder trading something for nothing–a remarkably good deal–is termed an exorbitant privilege.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the ability to create “money” out of thin air and trade it for real-world goods is the foundation of America’s global power. If the Fed prints USD to near-infinity and the USD loses value relative to other reserve currencies, the U.S. loses its exorbitant privilege of trading “money” created out of thin air for real-world goods.

So everyone expects the Fed to “print” the USD to zero is claiming the Fed is consciously choosing to lay waste to the foundation of American power–just to boost Big Tech Robber Barons and zombie global stock markets.

Recall that the Fed is not the Empire, it is the handmaiden of the Empire. The Fed’s dual mandate– for PR purposes, stable employment, and prices–is actually balancing the conflicting demands of a global and domestic currency–Triffin’s Paradox writ large.

The inherent problem with a reserve currency is that it must meet global economic needs and domestic needs, and these are intrinsically in conflict. America’s billionaires and pension funds want the US stock market to loft higher on the back of a declining USD, but that diminishes the global purchasing power of the USD–a trend spiraling down to economic ruin.

The Fed’s balancing act has run out of runway. It’s either destroy American hegemony by crushing the USD or secure hegemony and let the stock market function as a “market” rather than as a device to further enrich the top .01%. (Recall that “nearly half of the new income generated since the global financial crisis of 2008 has gone to the wealthiest one percent of U.S. citizens. The richest three Americans collectively have more wealth than the poorest 160 million Americans.” The Dangerously Diminishing Returns on Monetary and Fiscal Stimulus)

As for diminishing returns: consider what the Fed “bought” by handing $1 trillion to financiers, banks and billionaires in 2008-09 and what it “bought” with $3 trillion last March. The Fed’s balance sheet shot up from $925 billion on 9/9/08 to $2.08 trillion on 9/9/09– an injection of $1.16 trillion to “save” the global financial system (and the U.S. stock and debt markets) from a complete meltdown.

The Fed continued goosing markets higher, adding another $1 trillion by 2013 (balance sheet $2.96 trillion). So the Fed “bought” a five-year rally in global risk assets–a rally that sent wealth and income inequality into orbit–for a mere $2 trillion.

Last year the Fed had to print over $3 trillion in three months to “save the markets” from a reckoning with reality. Take a quick look at the chart below. Notice how the Fed’s “saves” are tracking a near-parabolic curve. So will the next “save” require $5 trillion, or will it be $7 trillion? And what are the consequences for such insanity on the U.S. dollar’s global hegemony?

So the Fed has a binary choice: preserve America’s global hegemony or further enrich the billionaires. You can’t have both. Hegemony requires a currency that’s increasing its value relative to other currencies, not plummeting to near-zero.

If the Fed chooses to further enrich the billionaires and top .01%, then the skyrocketing wealth-income inequality will unravel the domestic social and political orders. There is no way that will be a “win” for the Fed, as the resulting backlash against the Fed’s strip-mining the nation to enrich the top .01% will have consequences for the Fed as well as the nation.

So the Fed will fail. If it spews endless trillions to further enrich the billionaires it will destroy the exorbitant privilege of the reserve currency and the global hegemony that privilege enables. If it preserves global dollar hegemony by not spewing endless trillions, global stock and debt markets will experience the equivalent of a financial tsunami, earthquake, and hurricane hitting all at the same time.

It’s either/or–there is no win-win. Choose wisely, Fed.

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The post How The Fed Fails first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Interview 1613 – Catherine Austin Fitts on The State of Our Currencies


With the global technocrats taking the world through the “Going Direct” Reset into the abyss of the End of Currency and the ultimate transhuman slave state, things could not be more dire. But, as Catherine Austin Fitts of Solari.com tells us, there are options on the table for taking things in a completely different direction and unlocking the incredible abundance of the planet. The choice is our, but for how long? Don’t miss this important, solutions-focused discussion on The State of Our Currencies.
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Even The Director Of Biden’s National Economic Council Has Been Forced To Admit The Economy Is “Spiraling Downward”

This article was contributed by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog. 

If your economy is “spiraling downward”, is that a good sign or a bad sign?  To me, that doesn’t sound good at all, but if I am mistaken please tell me.  I just want to make sure that I am not “misinterpreting” anything.

Brian Deese, the man who will shortly be serving as the head of the National Economic Council, has publicly stated that our economy is “spiraling downward” at this moment.  When I hear that, I picture a passenger airplane that completely loses control just before it crashes.  But according to Deese, there is a solution.  All we need to do is to pass the 1.9 trillion dollar stimulus package that Joe Biden is proposing

A top economic adviser to President-elect Joe Biden warned the US economy is “spiraling downward” and called for swift action to address vulnerabilities that the global pandemic has drawn into focus.

Brian Deese, who will serve as director of Biden’s National Economic Council, said Sunday that the incoming administration’s $1.9 trillion spending plan would generate “the kind of robust recovery we need.”

That sounds so good.

All we have to do is press a button and we will be on our way to a “robust recovery”.

But what about all of the trillions of dollars that we already spent on all of the previous “stimulus packages”.

If they didn’t fix the economy, why will this one do it?

Perhaps they weren’t big enough, and so why don’t we make this next one 19 trillion dollars instead of just 1.9 trillion dollars?

If printing, borrowing, and spending 1.9 trillion dollars is good, surely 19 trillion dollars would be so much better.

Of course, I am being facetious.

The truth is that over the past year we have literally been committing national financial suicide.

Just look at what our leaders have done to our money supply

We used to talk about “hyperinflation” in the United States in theoretical terms, but this is not a theoretical exercise any longer.

I cannot even begin to express how horrifying this is, and now our politicians in Washington plan to add another 1.9 trillion dollars to the fire.

As a part of his “stimulus package”, Joe Biden also wants the federal minimum wage to be raised to 15 dollars an hour

It also calls for a $15 federal minimum wage, from $7.25, higher taxes and more regulations. Those initiatives have already alienated some Republicans and drawn criticism that the proposals are far removed from an emergency effort to shake off the coronavirus-related slowdown.

But at the rate we are inflating our currency, that certainly won’t be a “livable wage” for long.

So I have an idea.

Let’s make the minimum wage 150 dollars an hour.

Surely that is a proposal that our socialist friends can really get behind.

And when I use the term “socialist”, I am referring to most of the politicians in Washington.

If we force all of the “greedy” small businesses in America to pay their employees $150 an hour, then all of those workers will finally be able to live the lifestyles that they have always dreamed of living.

But of course, many of them also wouldn’t have their jobs for much longer, because most of their employers would shortly go out of business.

Unfortunately, the socialists in Washington don’t understand how businesses actually operate.  In fact, the vast majority of our politicians have never actually run a successful business.

What they are good at is spending other people’s money, and members of “the Squad” are publicly calling for even larger “survival checks” that Biden is proposing…

AOC: “$2,000 means $2,000. $2,000 does not mean $1,400”

Ayanna Pressley: “The people deserve, demand, and require $2,000 recurring monthly survival checks.”

Ilhan Omar: “The American people are struggling to make ends meet and need relief. We must immediately pass $2,000 survival checks.”

Rashida Tlaib: “$1400 < $2000  Math teachers know this. That $600 is already in the clutches of landlords and bill collectors. Stop compromising the working class, and our most vulnerable neighbors.”

As I discussed yesterday, the cost of issuing $2,000 “survival checks” a single time would be approximately 600 billion dollars.

If we do it on a continual basis, the cost per year will be more than 7 trillion dollars.

So where does Ayanna Pressley suggest that we get an extra 7 trillion dollars?

Should we just print it into existence and make our transition to a “banana republic” complete?

Sadly, now that we have opened Pandora’s Box the American people are going to be demanding more government checks on a regular basis from now on.

As I detail in my new book, Shane Warren once warned that we would get to a point where people would be in the streets demanding their “entitlements” and if you doubt that we have arrived at that time just look at what radical leftists did to Nancy Pelosi’s house.

When people try to convince me that the United States is in danger of becoming a socialist country “someday”, I just smile.

The truth is that we already are a socialist country, and we have been for a long time.

Even the stock market has become a rigged socialist game.  Every time it starts to slip, the Federal Reserve steps in to bail out investors.

According to one recent survey, the vast majority of millionaires believe that we are either in a “stock market bubble” or that we are heading into one…

  • 16% think we’re “fully in a bubble”
  • 46% in “somewhat of a bubble”
  • 29% think the market is approaching one

But most of them continue to pour more money into the market because they know that the game has been rigged in their favor.

However, what happens if things get so crazy that the Federal Reserve eventually loses all control?

Many are convinced that this can never happen, and we shall see if they are correct.

Meanwhile, the real economy continues to get even worse, our politicians continue to spend even more money, and social unrest continues to grow.

America has entered a long national nightmare, and what most people don’t realize is that this nightmare is still only in the very early stages.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Parler, and anyway that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

 

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2021: If It Wasn’t For Bad Luck, We Wouldn’t Have No Luck At All

This article was originally published by Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds Blog. 

If we have indeed begun a sustained “reversal of fortune”, it might be prudent to consider the possibility we’re only in the first inning of a sustained run of bad luck.

In our self-deluded hubris, we reckon we’ve moved beyond the influence of fortune, a.k.a. Lady Luck: our technologies are so powerful and our monetary policies so godlike that nothing as random as luck could ever crush our limitless expansion.

Thus does hubris beg for a comeuppance: the greater the hubris, the greater the reversal of fortune, the greater the confidence in our godlike powers, the greater the collapse of our prideful faith in technology and economic policies.

So we’ve enshrined our hubris-soaked happy story: the virus will naturally weaken, vaccines will conquer the Covid virus in short order, and by opening the monetary spigots and flooding the global economy with trillions in newly created currencies, we’ll unleash the greatest boom in history, because it’s so righteously “green.”

We seem to have forgotten that to elicit a laugh, tell God your plans. We confused a sustained run of good fortune with godlike powers that are impervious to mere luck.

Unfortunately for all the true believers in our vaunted technology and human agencies, luck still matters, and after 50+ years of under-appreciated, fabulously good fortune, we’re in the first at-bat of a sustained reversal of fortune, for as noted here many times, the way of the Tao is reversal: good luck doesn’t last forever, nor is it some birthright of technologically advanced civilizations.

Are we ill-prepared for seven lean years of increasingly bad luck? Absolutely. Whatever technology can’t resolve, trillions in newly issued currency will: either the magic of technology will work miracles, or the magic of limitless free money will work whatever miracles are left after technology wipes up the spot of bother.

If you wanted to script an unprecedented collapse of faith in the false gods of technology and money-printing, you’d outline exactly what transpired in 2020: a reckless dismissal of the pandemic followed by a monumental financial crash that opened the floodgates of free money, which triggered a massive “recovery” rally in risk assets, driving gamblers’ confidence to new heights of fantasy.

All hail our new secular gods, the Federal Reserve, the most powerful force in the Universe!

Then you’d release miraculous vaccines that promised a permanent resolution to the pandemic and a measured return to the carefree pre-pandemic orgy of debt-based consumption. (Never mind the doubts of some experts about the vaccine protocols: Covid-19 Vaccine Protocols Reveal That Trials Are Designed To Succeed (Forbes.com) by William A. Haseltine)

Then you’d script the opening inning of the tragi-comedy unfolding in 2021: rather than fading as so many were pleased to confidently predict, the Covid virus has made remarkable gains in function, becoming more contagious and more elusive as multiple variants emerge globally.

Rather than conquering the virus, we’re unable to even keep pace. The variant ravaging Britain was finally identified in late December, and subsequent sequencing of previously collected samples indicates that it emerged (or arrived) in September. In the meantime, this variant (and other mutations with similar characteristics) have spread around the world with business travelers, tourists, etc. One or more of these variants may reduce the efficacy of the much-hyped vaccines. It’s all in this report from the New York Times:

As Coronavirus Mutates, the World Stumbles Again to Respond (New York Times)

Everything that was supposed to work smoothly due to our oh-so-advanced technological and administrative prowess is now either in doubt or in shambles. Consider the potential for less than 95% efficacy in the vaccines due to the interactions and mutually reinforcing dynamics of 1) vaccine hesitancy in those who understand the conventional processes of testing vaccines best, i.e. healthcare professionals; 2) the potential for consequential numbers of those who receive the first shot of vaccine failing to come back for the second shot due to unpleasant experiences after the first shot or other conditions such as being overworked, evicted, etc., and 3) variants further reducing the efficacy of the vaccines in unpredictable ways.

So let’s say the efficacy drops from the promised 95% to 65%. Are you in the 2/3 camp who are protected by the vaccine from serious illness (though you may be a carrier and infect others, a possibility that was not tested by the trials protocols), or are you in the 1/3 camp who for whatever reason is no longer protected by the vaccine?

Since we’re chasing a fast-mutating virus, there may not be a fast, accurate way to identify who’s fully protected and who isn’t. Since this may be unknowable, everyone will have to continue the behavioral methods of limiting exposure and transmission of the virus. In which case the vaccines will have accomplished very little in terms of returning the world to the pre-pandemic glory days of 2019.

If we have indeed begun a sustained reversal of fortune, it might be prudent to consider the possibility we’re only in the first inning of a sustained run of back luck. We might want to consider learning a new theme song for 2021, Albert King’s Born Under a Bad Sign (composed by Booker T. Jones and William Bell): “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all.”

The cycles of human history are amenable to a reversal of fortune: please consider historian Peter Turchin’s three indicators of systemic disorder: check, check, and check.

Suppressing discussions about the potentially lavish banquet of consequences set by a reversal of fortune won’t actually change the outcome of the next eight innings, it will only serve to increase the odds of catastrophically consequential decisions being made by those at the top of the hubris-heap.

The post 2021: If It Wasn’t For Bad Luck, We Wouldn’t Have No Luck At All first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Italian Government On Verge Of Collapse Amid Battle Over EU COVID Relief

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

Under the leadership of Premier Giuseppe Conte, Italy’s government has enjoyed a degree of stability unseen in decades, as the technocratic former law professor – initially brought in to lead a government formed by two anti-establishment parties, the anti-migrant League and left-wing populist Five Star Movement – Conte has already survived the collapse of his original coalition. When League leader Matteo Salvini withdrew from the ruling coalition back in 2019, Conte managed to stave off another election by recruiting new allies from the opposition.

Since then, Conte has led Italy through two COVID-19 lockdowns, and as the country lumbers forward, with much of its economy still paralyzed, the PM has his work cut out for him if he wants to get the country’s debt burden under control without resorting to punishing austerity measures (which, at this point, would probably spark a full-tilt revolution in the streets of Italy’s largest cities).

But as Italy staggers out of another COVID-19-induced-lockdown, the ruling coalition is once again at the point of fracture. After Salvini quit the ruling coalition back in the summer of 2019, Conte struck a deal with Matteo Renzi, the former prime minister, who later broke off from the Democrats and formed his own centrist group.

Well, now that Italy has finally received the €196 billion-euro ($240 billion) windfall from the European Union COVID bailout package, parliament must vote on how to spend the money. But since nothing is ever easy in Italy’s politically fragmented government, disagreements over spending priorities are prompting Matteo Renzi, a junior partner in the coalition, to consider abandoning the government, and thrusting it into chaos just as the relief package is being finalized.

According to Bloomberg, Italian President Sergio Mattarella (in Italy, the president plays a caretaker role) has extracted promises from Renzi that the political infighting won’t impact the relief package.

The latest government plan uses EU money to earmark €223 billion euros for investment and other projects to boost the Italian economy, which was already weak even before the pandemic, according to a draft seen by Bloomberg.

Spending on infrastructure including railways, highways, ports, and logistics totals €32 billion, while investment to make Italy’s economy greener totals €69 billion. Health spending, meanwhile, has been raised to €19.7 billion in what Bloomberg described as a concession to Renzi. But Renzi and his lawmakers have demanded Conte share more power with his coalition partners while speeding up public works projects (and giving up control of the secret services).

COVID has already heaped on more debt, and although the EU money will undoubtedly help, Italy is still dipping into its own pockets to fund some of the recovery measures.

Source: Bloomberg

Should Renzi pull two lawmakers backing the coalition in the Italian Senate (which, for those who aren’t familiar, has 321 seats, with 315 of them being elected, and the 6 others appointed “senators for life”), Conte would need to see if he can drum up enough support from opposition lawmakers to former a new governing coalition. If Conte can’t find the votes, Mattarella would have no choice but to call another snap election.

Fortunately for Conte, nobody – not even Renzi & Co. – really wants a new election. Recent reforms have reduced the number of seats in both houses of the Italian Parliament by 1/3rd, which means another election would prematurely force dozens of politicians into early retirement. Perhaps that’s why we haven’t seen a major blowout in BTP-Bund spreads, though yields on the 10-year BTP have reached the highest level since Dec. 8 as the yield climbed by a few basis points early Tuesday.

The move has widened the spread over bunds by 3bps to 109bps.

Still, we’re not seeing much of a reaction in Italian bonds, probably because investors have confidence in Conte. He’s currently leading his second government, despite never having been elected himself. And nobody wants to risk an election at a time when polls suggest voters would turn once again to Matteo Salvini and the League, which remain popular throughout the country, even in provinces once considered bastions of progressive politics in Italy.

Nicola Zingaretti, leader of the Democratic Party and a member of Conte’s ruling coalition, said Tuesday during an interview on Sky.

It’s the latest sign that the surprising stability that permeated Italian politics during the pandemic, as Italy became for a time the worst-hit country in Europe, was an aberration, and that the shroud of national unity is already dissipating.

The post Italian Government On Verge Of Collapse Amid Battle Over EU COVID Relief first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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The Year in which Comforting American Myths Were Ravaged

This article was originally published by James Bovard at The American Institute for Economic Research. 

Thanks in large part to Covid lockdowns, this year has left vast wreckage in its wake, with ten million jobs lost, more than 100,000 businesses and dozens of national chains bankrupted or closed. Up to 40 million people could face eviction in the coming months for failing to pay rent, and Americans report that their mental health is at record low levels. But the casualty list for 2020 must also include many of the political myths that shape Americans’ lives.

Perhaps the biggest myth to die this year was that Americans’ constitutional rights are safeguarded by the Bill of Rights. After the Covid-19 pandemic began, governors in state after state effectively placed scores of millions of citizens under house arrest – dictates that former Attorney General Bill Barr aptly compared to “the greatest intrusion on civil liberties” since the end of slavery. Politicians and government officials merely had to issue decrees, which were endlessly amended, in order to destroy citizens’ freedom of movement, freedom of association, and freedom of choice in daily life. Los Angeles earlier this month banned almost all walking and bicycling in the city, ordering four million people to “to remain in their homes” in a futile effort to banish a virus.

The Rule of Law is another myth impaled by 2020’s dire developments. Courts have repeatedly struck down sweeping restrictions. Federal judge William Stickman IV invalidated some of Pennsylvania’s restrictions in a September ruling: “Broad population-wide lockdowns are such a dramatic inversion of the concept of liberty in a free society as to be nearly presumptively unconstitutional.” After the Michigan Supreme Court effectively labeled Governor Gretchen Whitmer a lawless dictator, she responded by issuing “new COVID-19 emergency orders that are nearly identical to her invalidated emergency orders,” as the Mackinac Center noted. How many governors and mayors have you seen on the television news being led away in handcuffs after their arrest for violating citizens’ rights this year? None.

Another myth that 2020 obliterated was the notion that politicians spending more than a hundred billion dollars every year for science and public health would keep Americans safe.

The Centers for Disease Control utterly botched the initial testing regime, sending out bogus tests to state and local health departments and taking a month and a half to do what the Thai government achieved in one day. The Food and Drug Administration helped turn the coronavirus from deadly peril into a national catastrophe. Long after foreign nations had been ravaged and many cases had been detected in America, the FDA continued blocking private testing. The FDA continued forcing the nation’s most innovative firms to submit to its command-and-control approach, notwithstanding the pandemic.

The benevolence and compassion of public school teachers was another myth that 2020 obliterated. Teacher unions helped barricade school doors the same way that segregationist governors in the 1950s and 1960s refused to obey federal court orders to admit black students. The Chicago Teachers Union proclaimed: “The push to reopen schools is based in sexism, racism, and misogyny.”

Black and Hispanic students suffered much larger learning losses due to school shutdowns, leading former Education Secretary John King to warn of a “lost generation of students.” Despite a deluge of studies that showed that schools posed little risk of fueling the pandemic, teachers insisted that they were entitled to both their salaries and to stay at home as long as they considered necessary.

This was part of the collapse of the broader myth that the rulers and ruled have common interests. Among other splits, the response to the pandemic divided Americans into those who work for a living, and those who “work” for the government. Government employees in most states and at the federal level have been the Untouchables, continuing to draw full pay even when they were no longer even required to show up for work. One exception to this trend is government tax collectors, who continue commandeering as much as ever from citizens and property owners regardless of the collapse in public services in many places this year.

Another myth that perished in 2020 was that social media and the Internet could be a powerful propellant of free information. Instead, the biggest players pulled the most strings to suppress criticisms or dissent from the latest Covid policies promulgated by officialdom. On March 18, Twitter announced that, in response to Covid-19, it would ban tweets guilty of “denial of expert guidance” or “misleading content purporting to be from experts or authorities.”

The World Health Organization initially overestimated the Covid fatality rate by 50-fold but they remain Twitter-approved. Facebook recently launched far more aggressive policies, including directly contacting anyone who liked or commented on a piece that was later ruled erroneous by Facebook guardians and is refusing any ads that discourage people from getting vaccinations. Will they ban WHO’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan for declaring on Monday that there was “no evidence to be confident [vaccine] shots prevent transmission” of Covid? Google sought to suppress any doubts about lockdowns: “Most users in English-speaking countries, when they google ‘Great Barrington Declaration’, will not be directed to the declaration itself but to articles that are critical of the declaration,” a Spiked-Online analysis noted.

This year’s presidential election put a helluva dent in the credo that politicians rule with the “consent of the governed.” The pandemic provided the pretext to radically change voting procedures, spurring 65 million mostly unverified mail-in ballots. The New York Times warned in 2012 that “fraud in voting by mail is… vastly more prevalent than the in-person voting fraud that has attracted far more attention.” Many states solved that problem by “defining down fraud” and expunging the verification procedures previously used to routinely invalidate 20% or more of mailed-in ballots. The controversies around mail-in ballots, questionable software, ballot harvesting, and other practices mean that a record number of Americans will doubt Joe Biden’s legitimacy even before he takes his oath of office.

Perhaps the saddest casualty of 2020 is the myth that average Americans cherish their personal freedom. Politicians continually shifted the rationale for lockdowns – from flattening the curve, to ending “community spread,” to reducing cases to near zero. Regardless of the proclaimed rationale, most people submitted without a fight, and usually without even a whimper. Politicians and bureaucrats fanned mass fears which quickly ripened into hatred of anyone who did not comply with the latest edict.

States and cities across the country set up snitch lines that were soon deluged with complaints of people outside without a mask, meeting friends, or having more visitors in their homes than could fit in a phone booth. Many, if not most, people quickly acquiesced to the “new normal” where any government hack who recited the phrase “science and data” became entitled to rule their lives with an iron fist.

As the Harvard International Review warned, “The very methods that liberal democracies are currently using to effectively fight the virus are the same tactics that authoritarian leaders use to dominate their people. The tools that have been temporarily deployed in the fight against a once-in-a-lifetime disease may become permanent.” That was written on May 23, more than 15 million Covid cases ago – proof of the failure of lockdowns and pervasive restrictions to make Covid-19 vanish. But the miserable batting average of officialdom will vanish into the Memory Hole if politicians launch a campaign to make Covid vaccinations mandatory, complete with boundless vilification of anyone who balks at the injection.

Perhaps it has long been a myth that we live in a self-governing republic rather than a Leviathan Democracy where citizens merely make cameo appearances every few years at the voting booth. It is still possible that the catastrophic and pointless losses imposed by Covid crackdowns will finally awaken enough people to their growing subjugation. But the most dangerous myth is that Americans will finally become safe after they cease making any efforts to leash their rulers.

The post The Year in which Comforting American Myths Were Ravaged first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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BITCOIN, GOLD, STOCKS AND TECH: 2021 SYNOPSIS!

This article was contributed by Portfolio Wealth Global. 

In 2020, prices of virtually all asset classes that we follow have gone up. We published five Watch Lists (1, 2, 3, tech, and 5), were bullish on gold, silver, and Bitcoin – which just hit a new all-time high of $27,000 – and bearish on the U.S. dollar, which is suffering from its worst year in a long time.

Due to money printing and lackluster global trade, the demand for dollars is weak. If global trade is slowing down, there’s not much need to buy dollars and, of course, if tourism is restricted, that is also a major headwind for dollar demand.

Courtesy: Zerohedge.com

In the meantime, if you’re a millennial or a Gen Z and are tying the knot or looking to own your home – since the government is willing to finance something in the order of 90% of it for 30 years at the lowest interest rate in history – you’re looking for any way imaginable to qualify and apply for a mortgage.

There’s literally no better deal in the history of deals than getting a mortgage for a home right now, which is the reason Portfolio Wealth Global believes that real estate prices, housing construction and the entire industry (as a whole) will continue to prosper, boom and employ Americans for years to come.

This year, the 30yr fixed mortgage hit sixteen weekly new lows, an annual record for the number of times it has done so in a single calendar year!

Next up Bitcoin; personally, I’d be cautious with Bitcoin. Portfolio Wealth Global first covered Bitcoin at well below $700, and over the years there have been opportunities to own it below $1,000 and $5,000, but its recent run is a testament to how fast sentiment changes with it.

We’re definitely cautious.

What about stocks? Are they in a bubble? Our answer may surprise you, but we’re bullish.

We’re actually about to release our sixth Watch List and do not believe there are many reasons to see a flat year in 2021.

Valuations are rich in some sectors and with certain names, but the world is dramatically changing and investors are betting heavily on the future. In other words, if you were waiting all of these years for the reset, you’re living through it.

It may not be just what you imagined, but these are pretty much the early stages of it.

Courtesy: Zerohedge.com

What about gold? Real rates bottomed right around the election and the vaccine announcement, and are headed in the direction of -1% and lower, which will send gold, in all likelihood, above $2,000/ounce in short order.

There are also clear signs of inflation, both with agricultural commodities, as well as with oil.

This is what the markets view as real-world inflation and our analysis is that 2021 will be better for silver than it will for gold. Both will do well (we forecast new all-time highs for gold), but with the right backdrop, silver could hit even $35 and $40!

Courtesy: Zerohedge.com

Clearly, the agricultural commodities have FINALLY bottomed after more than a decade and are on the rise.

If this trend is real, it will be impactful. Food and energy (oil is on the rise as well) are both items that people immediately sense in their pockets and connect with inflation.

Our conclusion is simple: it’s a recovery year, and people who are feeling the beginning of the end will rejoice and make decisions that will generate money velocity.

The post BITCOIN, GOLD, STOCKS AND TECH: 2021 SYNOPSIS! first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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The Most Hopeful Scenario for 2021

This article was originally published by Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds Blog. 

Choose wisely, America or the options for a positive outcome will vanish like mist in Death Valley on a clear July afternoon.

From the point of view of evolution, the most hopeful scenario for 2021 is the sudden and complete collapse of everything that is obsolete, inefficient, ineffective, and sclerotic. When obsolete systems and entities pass away quickly, the cost and pain are processed and absorbed quickly as well: enterprises go bankrupt and their assets are liquidated, failed ventures close, and schemes that didn’t yield the desired benefits are scrapped.

This is the evolutionary process. Whatever has lost its selective advantages will succumb to selective pressures and fade away.

The problem arises when self-serving insiders siphon resources to keep their obsolete, inefficient, ineffective, and sclerotic gravy-train protected from selective pressures. Keeping a terminally ill human alive is an analogy: it’s possible to extend the life of a terminally ill person at enormous expense and effort, but the patient isn’t restored to their previous health or vigor–that is no longer even a possibility. They are no longer their previous self, and this is why people choose to avoid extraordinary interventions in their final phase of life.

Economically obsolete/terminal entities, on the other hand, always choose extraordinary monetary interventions to keep their gravy-train alive, even if they bleed the rest of the economy dry in the process.

If the buggy-whip industry existed today, Congress would grant it billions of dollars in low-interest loans, tax breaks, and direct subsidies so those who made fortunes in the buggy-whip industry would continue to prosper, not from a productive activity but from subsidies and loans that ultimately weaken the entire economy and society.

The problem here is that it’s effortless and initially costless to conjure trillions of dollars out of thin air and use it to keep obsolete, inefficient, ineffective, and sclerotic industries, sectors, agencies, and schemes on life support. The eventual costs, consequences, and risks are transferred to the entire economy, all to keep politically protected insiders and schemes well-funded even as their fundamental value proposition has collapsed.

This politically expedient “solution”–printing/borrowing trillions to stave off Natural Selection–is inevitably the first choice of corrupt, failed governments and central banks, and just as inevitably, this expedient “fix” eventually brings the entire economy to its knees.

Recall that risk cannot be made to vanish, it can only be transferred to others. By printing/borrowing, trillions of dollars to prop up doomed zombies, the state and central bank (the Federal Reserve) have transferred the soaring risks of their mismanagement to the entire economy and society.

This politically expedient “solution”–saving the most inefficient and costly sectors because of the political power of insiders– is always the first choice of weak and/or corrupt leadership, for whom this is isn’t just the first choice, it’s the only choice.

History is emphatic: over-borrowing and devaluing the currency by over-issuing “money” leads to decay and collapse. The lucky few decay into tourist destinations as the remnants of their past glory retain a nostalgic glow of artistry and power.

The unfortunate many simply decay and collapse. Thus the most hopeful scenario for 2021 is that the obsolete, inefficient, ineffective, and sclerotic sectors and agencies, no matter how sacrosanct, collapse or downsize quickly. This drastically reduces the cost and pain to levels that the economy as a whole can absorb.

The worst-case scenario is our weak and/or corrupt government and central bank keep all the doomed zombies on life support, a process that bleeds the economy of adaptability, flexibility, innovation, and resilience. The path of least resistance, the politically expedient path–over-borrowing and devaluing the currency by over-issuing “money”–leads to decay and collapse. There is no other possible result, no other possible outcome.

Choose wisely, America or the options for a positive outcome will vanish like mist in Death Valley on a clear July afternoon.

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For 55 Percent Of Americans, 2020 Has Been “A Personal Financial

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The End of the American Dream. 

One of the big reasons why so many Americans are angry about the size of the “stimulus payments” in the COVID relief bill that Congress just passed is because this year has truly been a “financial disaster” for millions upon millions of people.  More Americans than ever before are just barely scraping by from month to month, and $600 is just not going to go very far.

In 2020, small businesses have been getting slaughtered by the thousands, millions of Americans are in imminent danger of being evicted from their homes, and more than 70 million new claims for unemployment benefits have been filed since the COVID pandemic first started.  The U.S. has plunged into a brutal economic depression, and most of the country is desperately hoping that the federal government will do more to bail them out.

Of course, the truth is that we can’t actually afford another 900 billion dollar “stimulus package” on top of all the other “stimulus packages” that were already passed this year.

We are already 27.5 trillion dollars in debt, and all of this reckless spending is putting us on a highway to hyperinflation.

But most Americans don’t really care that we are literally destroying our national finances.  Most people are in desperate need of money, and the vast majority of them want checks from the government as soon as possible.

A OnePoll survey that was just released asked Americans about the current state of their finances, and that survey discovered that a whopping 55 percent of us consider this year to be “a personal financial disaster”

While there is no question 2020 has been an unparalleled health challenge, many are not losing sight of how devastating the year was for their wallets as well. A new survey finds over half of Americans (55%) consider 2020 a personal financial disaster.

That is over half the country!

And for those that are employed, that same survey found that 62 percent are planning to take on a second job in 2021 in an attempt to make ends meet…

Among employed respondents (59% in total), seven in 10 say they need a raise at their job in order to make ends meet. Sixty-two percent plan on taking on a second job in 2021 to meet their financial goals next year.

That number can’t possibly be correct, can it?

Of course there aren’t that many jobs to go around.  Already, there are millions upon millions of Americans that can’t find a “first job”.  As I discussed the other day, we have got unemployed workers sleeping in lawn chairs or sleeping in their own vehicles because that is all they can afford at this point.

We haven’t seen anything like this since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and this latest wave of lockdowns is making things even worse.

With so many Americans financially hurting, it shouldn’t be a surprise that millions of households are getting behind on their rent and mortgage payments

One-in-seven renters with family incomes from $35,000 to $100,000 were not current on their rent in November. The overwhelming majority of these renters – 79.9% — expected to face eviction within two months. Similarly, 9.6% of homeowners with a mortgage were not current on their mortgage in November. And 56.1% of those homeowners expected they will be foreclosed on in the subsequent two months.

Congress keeps extending moratoriums on rent and mortgage payments, and that has been financially devastating for landlords and mortgage holders.

At some point, the moratoriums must end, and when that happens we are going to see a tsunami of evictions that will be absolutely unprecedented in U.S. history.

Meanwhile, many Americans are going very deep into debt in a desperate attempt to keep themselves afloat financially…

More than one-third of households with incomes between $35,000 and $100,000 borrowed from credit cards, other loans as well as from friends and family to pay for their current expenses in November. Soon, debt payments will come due, burdening families that still suffer from long-term unemployment and added health care costs. This could mean rising credit default rates as well as spillovers of economic pain to other households, from who people borrowed to pay their bills.

If economic conditions were to “return to normal” in 2021, most Americans would be able to weather this financial storm just like they did in 2008 and 2009.

But things are not going to return to normal next year.

Instead, this new wave of lockdowns is going to cause thousands of more businesses to close and will force millions more Americans on to the unemployment rolls.

What we are doing to our small businesses is absolutely criminal.  At this point, small business revenues are down more than 32 percent nationwide since the month of January

Small business revenues have also taken a hit nationwide. The national average is a decrease of 32.1 percent in small business revenue since January. Washington D.C. had the worst loss in the nation at 61.6 percent. Oregon small businesses lost 16.3 percent. Illinois small businesses saw 39.2 percent decline in revenue since January.

Every day, more small businesses are closing up shop permanently.

Millions of hopes and dreams have been brutally crushed, and there is nothing that our politicians can say or do that will bring those businesses back to life.

If you have lost a business or a job this year, then that would definitely qualify as one of the “personal financial disasters” of 2020.

And as you have seen in this article, you are far from alone.

Most of the nation is deeply hurting, and the road ahead is only going to get more challenging.

In the short-term, “stimulus payments” from the federal government will definitely help tens of millions of suffering Americans.

But of course every additional dollar that our government borrows and spends just makes our long-term problems even worse.

A national economic meltdown has begun, and our politicians will try lots of things to mitigate the damage, but all of their “solutions” will only help temporarily.

This is going to be an exceedingly dark chapter for America, but most Americans still do not understand the true nature of the crisis that is now unfolding all around us.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Parler, and anyway that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

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Government, Not Coronavirus, Is Killing Small Businesses

This article was originally published by Ron Paul at The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prostperity. 

A video of a confrontation between Ventura County, California health officials and restaurant owner Anton Van Happen has gone viral. The health officials were ordering Mr. Van Happen to close his business because he allegedly violated California’s ban on outdoor dining. Mr. Van Happen asked the health officials if the government will pay his employees and his rent while his business is indefinitely closed.

Mr. Van Happen is hardly the only small business owner worried about how to pay bills during the lockdowns. Many small businesses operate on a narrow profit margin, so being forced to “temporarily” shut down or limit the number of customers they can serve is a virtual death sentence.

The lockdowns have already caused as many as 200,000 small businesses to permanently close. Lockdowns, by shrinking the number of employers, lead to long-term unemployment or lower wages for many workers.

While governments have terrorized small businesses, they have typically deemed the big chain stores “essential businesses” so they can remain open. The lockdowns are thus another government policy that gives big businesses a competitive advantage over their smaller competitors.

The benefits big businesses get from the lockdowns — including fewer competitors, more customers, and a job market with more workers competing for fewer jobs — may explain why many big businesses are not fighting the lockdowns. Instead, most big retail chains are requiring their workers and customers to wear masks. Many big businesses may soon deny service to those who refuse to receive a Covid vaccine.

One would think that progressives who claim to oppose policies that benefit big corporations like Walmart, Target, and Amazon would oppose the lockdowns. Sadly, even many progressives are unquestioningly parroting the Covid propaganda and demonizing those who dissent.

By slowing down the development of herd immunity among the population, the lockdowns could put those truly at risk in greater danger. Lockdowns have also had negative effects such as increases in drug and alcohol abuse and increases in domestic violence. Meanwhile, many schoolchildren are deprived of the opportunity to interact with their teachers and their peers. Instead, these children are subjected to the fraud of “virtual learning.”

Resistance to Covid tyranny is growing as more people figure out that lockdowns and mandates are both unnecessary and harmful. This resistance was largely started by small business owners faced with a choice between obeying the government or making sure they, and their employees, can feed their families. Small business owners have been leaders in recent anti-lockdown protests across America.

Eventually, the resistance will grow to the point where the politicians will be forced to either double down on authoritarianism or admit the lockdowns were a mistake. Either way, those of us who know the truth must resist the Covid tyranny until government officials no longer terrorize small businesses for the crime of serving willing consumers.

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For 55 Percent Of Americans, 2020 Has Been “A Personal Financial Disaster”

One of the big reasons why so many Americans are angry about the size of the “stimulus payments” in the COVID relief bill that Congress just passed is because this year has truly been a “financial disaster” for millions upon millions of people.  More Americans than ever before are just barely scraping by from month to month, and $600 is just not going to go very far.  In 2020, small businesses have been getting slaughtered by the thousands, millions of Americans are in imminent danger of being evicted from their homes, and more than 70 million new claims for unemployment benefits have been filed since the COVID pandemic first started.  The U.S. has plunged into a brutal economic depression, and most of the country is desperately hoping that the federal government will do more to bail them out.

Of course the truth is that we can’t actually afford another 900 billion dollar “stimulus package” on top of all the other “stimulus packages” that were already passed this year.

We are already 27.5 trillion dollars in debt, and all of this reckless spending is putting us on a highway to hyperinflation.

But most Americans don’t really care that we are literally destroying our national finances.  Most people are in desperate need of money, and the vast majority of them want checks from the government as soon as possible.

A OnePoll survey that was just released asked Americans about the current state of their finances, and that survey discovered that a whopping 55 percent of us consider this year to be “a personal financial disaster”

While there is no question 2020 has been an unparalleled health challenge, many are not losing sight of how devastating the year was for their wallets as well. A new survey finds over half of Americans (55%) consider 2020 a personal financial disaster.

That is over half the country!

And for those that are employed, that same survey found that 62 percent are planning to take on a second job in 2021 in an attempt to make ends meet…

Among employed respondents (59% in total), seven in 10 say they need a raise at their job in order to make ends meet. Sixty-two percent plan on taking on a second job in 2021 to meet their financial goals next year.

That number can’t possibly be correct, can it?

Of course there aren’t that many jobs to go around.  Already, there are millions upon millions of Americans that can’t find a “first job”.  As I discussed the other day, we have got unemployed workers sleeping in lawn chairs or sleeping in their own vehicles because that is all they can afford at this point.

We haven’t seen anything like this since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and this latest wave of lockdowns is making things even worse.

With so many Americans financially hurting, it shouldn’t be a surprise that millions of households are getting behind on their rent and mortgage payments

One-in-seven renters with family incomes from $35,000 to $100,000 were not current on their rent in November. The overwhelming majority of these renters – 79.9% — expected to face eviction within two months. Similarly, 9.6% of homeowners with a mortgage were not current on their mortgage in November. And 56.1% of those homeowners expected they will be foreclosed on in the subsequent two months.

Congress keeps extending moratoriums on rent and mortgage payments, and that has been financially devastating landlords and mortgage holders.

At some point the moratoriums must end, and when that happens we are going to see a tsunami of evictions that will be absolutely unprecedented in U.S. history.

Meanwhile, many Americans are going very deep into debt in a desperate attempt to keep themselves afloat financially…

More than one-third of households with incomes between $35,000 and $100,000 borrowed from credit cards, other loans as well as from friends and family to pay for their current expenses in November. Soon, debt payments will come due, burdening families that still suffer from long-term unemployment and added health care costs. This could mean rising credit default rates as well as spillovers of economic pain to other households, from who people borrowed to pay their bills.

If economic conditions were to “return to normal” in 2021, most Americans would be able to weather this financial storm just like they did in 2008 and 2009.

But things are not going to return to normal next year.

Instead, this new wave of lockdowns is going to cause thousands of more businesses to close and will force millions more Americans on to the unemployment rolls.

What we are doing to our small businesses is absolutely criminal.  At this point, small business revenues are down more than 32 percent nationwide since the month of January

Small business revenues have also taken a hit nationwide. The national average is a decrease of 32.1 percent in small business revenue since January. Washington D.C. had the worst loss in the nation at 61.6 percent. Oregon small businesses lost 16.3 percent. Illinois small businesses saw 39.2 percent decline in revenue since January.

Every day, more small businesses are closing up shop permanently.

Millions of hopes and dreams have been brutally crushed, and there is nothing that our politicians can say or do that will bring those businesses back to life.

If you have lost a business or a job this year, then that would definitely qualify as one of the “personal financial disasters” of 2020.

And as you have seen in this article, you are far from alone.

Most of the nation is deeply hurting, and the road ahead is only going to get more challenging.

In the short-term, “stimulus payments” from the federal government will definitely help tens of millions of suffering Americans.

But of course every additional dollar that our government borrows and spends just makes our long-term problems even worse.

A national economic meltdown has begun, and our politicians will try lots of things to mitigate the damage, but all of their “solutions” will only help temporarily.

This is going to be an exceedingly dark chapter for America, but most Americans still do not understand the true nature of the crisis that is now unfolding all around us.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

The post For 55 Percent Of Americans, 2020 Has Been “A Personal Financial Disaster” first appeared on End Of The American Dream.

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November Payrolls Preview: It’s About To Get Ugly Again

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

After several months of blistering job growth, economists expect the rate of US jobs growth to cool sharply in November, with consensus looking for 478k nonfarm payrolls to be added to the economy (well below the 638k seen in October) due to the broad-based resurgence of the coronavirus and related business restrictions which are consistent with a deceleration in job growth; the jobless rate is seen declining by 0.1ppts to 6.8%, although analysts will be paying attention to the U6 gauge of underemployment as well as the participation rate.

The reason for the declining expectations is that, as NewsSquawk writes, labor market gauges have mostly been on the soft side in November; ADP’s gauge of payrolls expectations missed the consensus in November, lowering the bar for the official NFP data; initial jobless claims data ticked up in the BLS survey reference week while continuing claims did not fall as much as analysts had expected; ISM reports showed that labor market conditions in the manufacturing sector fell back into contraction territory, while the services gauge showed only modest improvement.

On the positive side, there will be strong growth in the construction industry and in trucking, courier, and delivery categories, reflecting favorable weather and the accelerating shift to e-commerce this holiday season. The latter effect should help offset the drag from declining mall traffic in the retail. Additionally, Markit’s gauge of services employment in November was positive, with the data compiler noting that firms were taking on staff at a rate not seen since the survey began in 2009. Another bright spot was the Challenger job cuts data, which fell sequentially, although remains still ugly on a y/y basis; but even then, Challenger warned that hiring plans for the holidays were lower than last year, and the report warns about consumers’ lower disposable income, which could hit spending and pressure the labor market in the months ahead.

The data will be released at 0830 EST; here is what to expect courtesy of NewsSquawk:

  • Nonfarm Payrolls exp. 481k (range -100k to +0.975k, prev. +638k);
  • Unemployment rate exp. 6.8% (range: 6.0-7.3%, prev. 6.9%);
  • U6 unemployment (prev. 12.1%);
  • Participation rate (prev. 61.7%);
  • Private payrolls exp. +587k (prev. +906k);
  • Manufacturing payrolls exp. +40 (prev. +38k);
  • Government payrolls (prev. -268k);
  • Average earnings m/m exp. +0.1% (prev. +0.1%);
  • Average earnings y/y exp. +4.3% (prev. +4.5%);
  • Average workweek hours exp. 34.8hrs (prev. 34.8hrs).

ADP: The private payroll data from ADP reported 307k jobs were added to the US labor market in November, missing the consensus +410k, although the prior was revised up 39k to 404k. Although the headline was disappointing in November, with the pace of gains slowing, the report said job growth was still positive across all industries and sizes. Analysts have noted that ADP’s gauge of the labor market has undershot the official BLS numbers since the COVID pandemic, although some note that the margins of the miss have become smaller.

JOBLESS CLAIMS: Initial jobless claims data which coincide with the BLS survey period saw claims tick up to 748k from 711k (the consensus expected a little changed 707k); continuing claims data for the survey period, however, fell to 6.07mln from 6.37mln, a little short of the consensus, which expected a fall to 6.02mln. Pantheon Macroeconomics said that the rise in claims that week was not a one-time fluke, and was more likely the start of an upward trend that would persist until the COVID wave subsides. Much depends on the extent of the inevitable upward kick which will be triggered by Thanksgiving gatherings, but that still means that layoffs could continue to rise through the year-end. The consultancy said the path for the labor market would depend on what extent COVID cases ticked up in wake of the Thanksgiving holidays, where any significant rise could lead to layoffs continuing to rise through the end of the year. Taking a broader view, heading into the October payrolls report, the four-week moving average was around 813k, and that fell to 744k in the BLS reference period; that number has continued to edge lower in the weeks that have followed, auguring well for the jobs market ahead – and accordingly, any payrolls upside surprise may therefore be given more credence by traders.

MANUFACTURING SURVEYS: The manufacturing ISM report reported worsening labor market conditions in November, with the employment sub-index falling nearly 5 points to 48.4 points, slipping back into contraction after just one month of printing above 50.0 again; with that said, ISM noted that the employment index was still 20.9 points above the low of 27.5 points seen in April. Nevertheless, the report said that the continued strong new-order levels and expanding backlogs indicated potential employment strength for the remainder of Q4, and qualitative commentary noted that for the third straight month, and with increased frequency, panelists’ comments indicate that significantly more companies are hiring or attempting to hire than those reducing labor forces.

SERVICES SURVEYS: While most other labor market gauges in the month were erring on the soft side, metrics in the services sector – which accounts for over 70% of US GDP – improved. The ISM services PMI’s employment sub-index saw an uptick in the month, rising 1.4 points to 51.5 to print the third month above 50.0; respondents noted that they were unable to fill vacant positions with qualified applicants, and they were having to overstaff due to high turnover and people being quarantined. And this better showing was also reflected in Markit’s data too, with the data revealing that the recent improvement in demand and the brightening outlook encouraged firms to take on extra staff at a rate not seen since the survey began in 2009, underscoring how increased optimism is fuelling investment and expansion, boding well for the payrolls data.

JOB CUTS: US-based employers announced 64,797 job cuts, the second-lowest monthly total for 2020, according to Challenger’s data (-19.7% m/m, +45.4% y/y); in 2020 YTD, US employers have announced 2.23mln job cuts (+298% vs 2019 YTD), the highest annual total on record. The report noted that the fall in disposable income seen in October will have an impact on spending, which will lead to further cuts ahead. ‘Market conditions’ were cited as the main reason for November’s job cuts, followed by ‘demand downturn’, then ‘restructuring’, and only then ‘COVID’ (though COVID still leads all reasons this year, with over 1mln). The report also said that companies announced 185.5k hiring plans in November, bringing the YTD total to 3.11mln; of those just under 800k are related to seasonal hiring plans, which are down y/y when compared to 2019 levels.

ARGUING FOR A WEAKER-THAN-EXPECTED REPORT:

The Third Wave. The resurgence of the coronavirus produced a series of business restrictions and reduced demand for food services. While national job growth remained very strong during the second wave in the summer, it nonetheless weighed on affected states, with SunBelt service rehiring slowing sharply in July and August (see Exhibit 1). Given the increased breadth and severity of the third wave, we expect a more visible impact on the national data. And while the impact is likely to be larger in the December jobs report  (released on January 8th), indoor dining closures in Illinois at the beginning of the month and nearly state-wide measures in California by the middle of the month argue for softness in leisure and other services employment in tomorrow’s report.

Big Data. High-frequency data on the labor market softened on net, averaging just +30k across six measures (median +130k), as shown in Exhibit 2. Of note, only the Dallas Fed population survey is consistent with a larger-than-expected gain—though we note it also correctly flagged the strength in last month’s report.

ADP. Private sector employment in the ADP report rose by 307k in November, below consensus expectations and consistent with slowing job growth.

Census hiring. Census temporary workers are set to lower nonfarm job growth by around 90k in tomorrow’s report.

ARGUING FOR A BETTER-THAN-EXPECTED REPORT:

Construction sector. Favorable weather in early November coupled with the surgen in demand for single-family housing argues for a sizeable gain in the construction category in tomorrow’s report (we assume roughly +100k, mom sa).

Job availability. The Conference Board labor differential—the difference between the percent of respondents saying jobs are plentiful and those saying jobs are hard to get — rose further into expansionary territory (to +7.2 in November from +7.1 in October and +3.3 in September).

Jobless claims. Initial jobless claims declined in the November payroll month but at a slower pace than during the summer, averaging 744k per week vs. 826k in October (or -82k mom, vs. three-month-average change of -187k). By week, initial claims rebounded in the first half of November, consistent with possible temporary layoffs due to the virus. While continuing claims fell sharply between the payroll survey weeks (-1.7mn), this decline partly reflects expiring regular-state-programs as opposed to reemployment, and we place less weight than usual on this indicator. Across all programs (including emergency benefits), continuing claims fell by 0.9mn(vs. -2.5mn in October, NSA).

Holiday hiring. Non-seasonally-adjusted retail payrolls have risen by 460k in the last three Novembers (on average), but with mall traffic down sharply due to the virus, we believe retailers are hiring fewer seasonal workers in 2020. While we assume a roughly 100k seasonally adjusted drag from this channel, we expect a partial offset from trucking, warehousing, and delivery categories due to accelerating e-commerce spending. Job growth in those categories averaged +46k jobs over the last three months (includes federal post office), and we expect a stable or faster pace in November.

Employer surveys. Business activity surveys declined on the net in November, and the employment components of our survey trackers remained stable in a narrowly-expansionary territory (non-manufacturing +0.4pt to 50.5; manufacturing-0.1pt to 54.4).

Job cuts. Announced layoffs reported by Challenger, Gray & Christmas fell by 7% in November after falling by 38% in October (mom, sa by GS). They remain 45% above their November 2019 levels.

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The U.S. Dollar Is Being Systematically Destroyed, And We Are On A Path That Inevitably Leads To Hyperinflation

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog. 

If we keep treating the U.S. dollar like it is toilet paper, it is just a matter of time before our entire financial system goes down the tubes.  At this moment, the dollar is still the primary reserve currency of the world and the fact that we control it is an absolutely massive advantage for us.

Because the rest of the globe uses dollars to trade with one another, that creates a tremendous amount of artificial demand for our currency, and it keeps the value of our currency elevated at a level that is much higher than it otherwise would be.  But now that we are starting to act like the Weimar Republic in their heyday, it is only going to be a matter of time before everyone else on the planet starts abandoning the U.S. dollar in droves.  We are literally killing our “golden goose”, and most Americans do not even understand what is happening.

The remarks that John Williams made about hyperinflation during a recent interview with Greg Hunter have created quite an uproar, but the truth is that Williams is right on target.

We are on the exact same path that Zimbabwe, Venezuela, and so many others have already gone down, and the very foolish decisions that we have been making are only going to end in complete and utter disaster.

To illustrate what I am talking about, I would like to direct your attention to what has happened to M2 during this calendar year.  For those that are not familiar with M2, here is a definition that comes from Investopedia

M2 is a calculation of the money supply that includes all elements of M1 as well as “near money.” M1 includes cash and checking deposits, while near money refers to savings deposits, money market securities, mutual funds, and other time deposits. These assets are less liquid than M1 and not as suitable as exchange mediums, but they can be quickly converted into cash or checking deposits.

As you can see from this chart, the M2 curve has been rising at an exponential pace in 2020.  In fact, since the pandemic started the curve has nearly gone vertical…

If we keep doing this, we won’t be facing a major financial disaster years from now.

Rather, it will just be a matter of months before the wheels start coming off.

But our leaders do not have any intention of changing course now.  During 2020 the Federal Reserve has been pumping money into the financial system at a rate that we have never seen before, and they have indicated that they plan to continue to support the financial markets as we head into 2021.

And Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans just said that he expects that interest rates could continue to be pushed all the way to the floor “perhaps into 2024”

Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said Monday there is still “quite a long ways to go” for the U.S. recovery from the coronavirus crisis, adding that he expects the Fed to keep interest rates at their current near-zero level until perhaps into 2024.

Of course the federal government is going to continue to pump out “stimulus package” after “stimulus package” no matter who is in the White House.  This is a point that John Williams made very strongly during his interview with Greg Hunter

Because they has been so much damage done to the economy, Williams says there will have to be stimulus no matter who eventually makes it into the White House.  Williams contends, “Let’s say Trump gets re-elected.  He’s not going to have any choice but to increase stimulus to try to help the economy and help people.  If Biden takes over, he’s going to have to do the same.  He is already promising massive stimulus.  Where it gets really scary is if the Democrats can take control of the House, the Senate as well as the White House. . . . The stimulus there is going to be unbelievable. . . . The more radical Democrats will just print the money you need and spend whatever you need to spend it on, and don’t worry about it. . . . Whoever gets into power, there is going to be more deficit spending.  It’s just a matter of how radical it will be. . . . There is no way we are escaping massive stimulus for at least the next year and into 2022.”

Virtually everyone likes getting “free money” from the government, but you have probably noticed that the price of just about everything has been going up lately.

And this is just the beginning.  According to Williams, we are literally on the verge of a “hyperinflationary Great Depression”

Williams expects to see some very large inflation because of all the stimulus coming and predicts, “The more left we go, the more rapid will be the demise of the dollar.  Eventually, it will be a hyperinflation in the United States.  What I am looking at here is this evolving into a hyperinflationary Great Depression.  To save yourself, you have to preserve your wealth, your dollar assets.  To do that, you have to convert your dollars into physical gold and silver, precious metals and just hold them.  They will retain value over time as opposed to paper dollars that will effectively become worthless.  You’ll be getting a lot of money from the government, and they will keep giving you more and more and more, but that’s going to be an environment of rising and rising inflation.  It’s not necessarily going to buy you more. . . . Hyperinflation will bring political disruption. . . . Hyperinflation is a form of default.  Gold is telling us hyperinflation is straight ahead of us.”

Needless to say, what Williams is saying is perfectly consistent with the warnings in my new book.

To protect themselves, a lot of investors have been pouring money into gold, silver and other precious metals.

At the start of this year, the price of gold was sitting at $1,520.55.  As I write this article, the price of gold is at $1824.00.

And actually the rise in the price of silver has been even more dramatic over the course of 2020.

Gold and silver will almost certainly keep rising as the value of the dollar continues to be destroyed, but even those that invest in precious metals are not going to win in the end.

Because the truth is that the complete collapse of our financial system is not going to benefit any of us, and there is going to be no way to avoid such a fate if we keep going down this very dangerous path.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Parler, and anyway that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

The post The U.S. Dollar Is Being Systematically Destroyed, And We Are On A Path That Inevitably Leads To Hyperinflation first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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$1,750 Gold: BLOODY RATED-R SCENARIO!

This article was contributed by Future Money Trends.

Bitcoin is on a tear right now because major institutional investors are entering the sector. It’s not a bubble, but its price is nowhere near being considered a bargain. We remember when our newsletter discussed both Bitcoin and Ethereum. It was early in 2017 and Bitcoin was $400 to $500 and ETH was $12!

Back then, it was an opportunity of a lifetime, as it was after the 85% implosion that came. Right now, it could go much higher because the sentiment is mind-blowingly bullish.

While Bitcoin is experiencing record inflows, gold has been suffering from record outflows!

Investors believe much higher rates are coming, which will end the environment of negative nominal rates. This is detrimental for gold and silver, but this script, in which the economy is about to greatly recover in 2021 without further stimulus or additional monetization of the national debt, is unrealistic.

In the near-term, the trend is clear: gold is hated!

Courtesy: Zerohedge.com

Money has exited gold at warp speed. Notice, though, that the catalyst for this sell-off is vaccination news, which is not the main driver for buying or selling gold. In other words, what just occurred revealed to the market what price discovery is projecting if we factor out COVID-19’s vaccination catalyst. Even if gold falls further, hitting $1,750 as technical analysis suggests, it’s still an incredibly profitable industry, with a global AISC (all-in sustaining cost) of $975/ounce and no major discoveries in years.

In other words, this shakeout actually highlights the profitability of mining companies and the scarcity of gold. If spot gold does fall below $1,800, we’d get interested in purchasing.

An important point to keep in mind is that most analysts and investors use either $1,450 or $1,500 as their value for gold when they judge any gold or silver mining stock for their portfolio.

Even before this sell-off, the market is convinced that $2,000 gold is not a long-term target, which is more evidence that gold is not in a bubble at all.

Courtesy: Zerohedge.com

Gold’s severe sell-off comes because the notion is that interest rates are headed much higher, towards where they were before COVID-19, which is an interesting proposition since we believe that Washington will soon be forced into creating a massive stimulus package that investors are adamant about not pricing in.

We believe that the consensus of the market is mistaken. We not only assess that the USD is in a bear market, but that central banks are impatient about the gridlock in Washington and will be charging forward aggressively in order to “buy time” for politicians.

Courtesy: U.S. Global Investors

The use of debt is so alarming that it makes us wonder how anyone could save any significant sum in a fiat currency when it’s clearly a vehicle for wealth destruction.

In 2009, when gold peaked on November 2nd at $1,196, the markets also disregarded the metal, explaining that the worst was behind us. It retreated to $1,081 and stayed below its all-time high of $1,196 back then until April 2010, only truly breaking out again in July 2010. Said differently, it traded downwards and sideways for eight months. If we plot the same pattern now, its peak was on August 5th, which means that we should expect it to hit $2,000 again around the end of January but only truly break out towards March 2021.

Between now and then, we will present a number of companies to study and research because unlike with general equities, now trading at their highest-ever valuations, there are sensible multiples and speculative ideas in the mining sector.

Furthermore, we are also going to feature a number of compelling securities we ascribe a 5x to 10x potential to that are already GENERATING both REVENUES and PROFITS.

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HELL UNLEASHED: CATALYSTS FOR MARKET MELTDOWN!

This article was contributed by The Wealth Research Group. 

Today’s letter encapsulates our overview of how markets may react to the all-important news flow, which is coming our way, and what might happen in December. We’ve gone over this from all angles and my main conclusion is this: risk of a correction is high, but the potential for a boom is high as well.

In other words, we don’t expect sideways action in December whatsoever; it will either be that December is a spectacular month or that a huge sell-off occurs. The best way to win in this type of set up, as we see it, is to take profits of value stocks in advance.

The thesis behind it is this: if markets crash, the large cash position will allow re-entering into growth and value at much lower prices. If the market explodes, having that allocation towards growth, going into it, will allow for big gains without risking too much cash.

These catalysts are going to drive markets in December:

  1. Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales: Remember, at the end of the day, America is a shopping machine. 70% of its GDP comes from getting its massive population base of 330M individuals to spend money and create velocity of currency. America thrives on consumer confidence, so these two holidays will tell us not only (1) who is shopping {the blue-collar worker or the white-collar worker or BOTH) but also (2) how strong they are or how badly they need a bailout.

Our data shows that people have been getting sick and tired of 2020 and will not deprive themselves of some holiday cheer. We expect online sales to be strong, but we don’t believe that it will originate from the lower-income brackets, which are in desperate shape right now! They’re looking to stay in their homes and not get evicted; they’re looking to put food on the table rather than wear the latest fashion. This data will be out by December 1st, which is the reason I outlined it first.

  1. Secondly, on December 8th and 9th, the FDA is set to approve both Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines. If you’ve been watching the press conferences held by the White House Covid-19 taskforce, then you know that the administration is doing all it can to convince the general public to trust that the vaccines are safe and hold no adverse side effects.

This mass-marketing effort to prove that they weren’t rushed, at the expense of going through the proper procedure to eliminate any risks of taking them, comes because a majority of Americans – and for that matter, people around the globe – are not too excited about injecting themselves with yet another vaccine, when 99% of Covid-19 patients recover from the disease without any lasting harm. We know we are going to be researching this thoroughly as well.

Vaccines have become a polarizing topic, with Bill Gates portrayed as the antichrist leading the charge to inject/infect the population; many doctors, on the other hand, are deconstructing this theory by attempting to prove that there are no clear links between vaccines and autism in children, for example.

Our point is not to take sides, but to tell you that, according to the White House, there are 100M doses ready to be deployed within 24hrs of approval and that public acceptance or resentment will move markets.

  1. Another big catalyst comes on December 11th, when Congress must pass the budget for 2021 in order to avoid a shutdown.

A fiscal cliff adds to the ever-growing division in politics and we don’t believe we’ll get there, since Democrats and Republicans are working on what’s called the Omnibus Spending Bill, which is likely to bundle up a number of various spending programs into one.

With JPMorgan releasing data, which shows that they believe that Q1 2021 will see GDP contracting again, our thesis remains that the full recovery will happen in 2022.

NOTHING is over yet.

The post HELL UNLEASHED: CATALYSTS FOR MARKET MELTDOWN! first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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No Wonder the Super-Rich Love Inflation

This article was originally published by Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds Blog.

Asset inflation benefits the super-rich more than anyone else because they own the vast majority of these assets.

With the reflation euphoria running full blast, maybe central banks will finally get all that inflation they’ve been pining for. So let’s ask cui bono–who will benefit from inflation?

The Super-Rich love inflation and the money-printing that generates it. Longtime correspondent Michael M. explains the dynamic behind billionaires’ adoration of inflation:

“Why does a game of Monopoly work? Because there is a zero-boundary for every player’s net worth.

If you were given endless credit (so negative net worth is allowed without limit), the game becomes pointless.

Is there also an upper bound at Monopoly?

Well, the bank at Monopoly can run out of money, I had that happen a few times while playing. But we didn’t treat it as an upper boundary, but wrote the richest player an IOU and took that amount of cash bills from him and put them back in the bank to continue.

Rolling it around in my head, how else could you solve that problem? Confiscate the same amount from every (remaining) player and put it back in the bank instead? That would be pointless if most wealth is with one player and you want the game to continue.

Another option is to go Keynesian [in its true practical implementation] and confiscate 10% of each player’s net worth to “re-liquidate” the bank. This is very similar to “printing money,” just more explicit. Now we’re getting somewhere.

But that’s linear (a fixed percentage), so why not go with progressive confiscation rates, and take a higher percentage of the wealthier players’ net worth?

Wait a second, did I just stumble over the reason why the filthy rich love Keynesian economics? Because printing money only “taxes” everybody linearly, which is much better for the rich than progressive taxation, which is the global standard in income tax policies.”

Let’s explore this profound insight a bit more. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) holds that central banks/states can print as much money as they want without any adverse effects. From this, it’s a small step to sending every household a monthly stipend (Universal Basic Income–UBI) paid by freshly issued currency.

Given the unfairness of the income tax system, as the super-rich buy tax breaks, tax shelters, and subsidies via lobbying and political contributions, it’s just one more tiny step to eliminating income taxes entirely and printing all the money the state needs.

Why would this enrich the super-rich and impoverish the rest of us? Printing money in excess of the goods and services being generated creates inflation, which is a “tax” on all cash and wages, both of which have been losing ground for decades.

Inflation is best defined as a loss of purchasing power. With 10% inflation, $1 only buys 90 cents of real-world goods and services. Thus it’s the exact equivalent of a 10% tax not just on wages but on all cash.

The super-rich don’t rely on wages or cash savings; they own productive assets whose yields rise with inflation. The super-rich own apartments, so they can jack rents up 10%, matching inflation. They own assets which tend to retain their purchasing power even as inflation reduces the purchasing power of cash and wages.

Markets place a premium on any assets that keep pace or outpace inflation, so the value of the assets owned by the super-rich soar, further enriching the few who own these assets.

Asset inflation benefits the super-rich more than anyone else because they own the vast majority of these assets. So money-printing and the inflation it generates is a win-win for the rich. The “tax” rate of inflation / money-printing barely touches their incomes or wealth, both of which are tied to assets that rise along with inflation. All that money-printing pushes the value of their assets higher, making them even richer, which the inflation “tax” impoverishes everyone who depends on wages and cash.

No wonder the super-rich love MMT, money-printing and Keynesian giveaways of freshly printed currency–inflation makes them richer while it makes everyone else poorer. Going back to Michael’s analogy of a Monopoly game: inflation takes 10% of every player’s cash, but doesn’t touch their property holdings. So the wealthiest players’ net worth is barely dinted while players with fewer assets will find it difficult to survive as their cash is “taxed” away by inflation.

 

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America After the Election: A Few Hard Truths About the Things That Won’t Change

This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute. 

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”—George Orwell

The American people remain eager to be persuaded that a new president in the White House can solve the problems that plague us.

Yet no matter who wins this presidential election, you can rest assured that the new boss will be the same as the old boss, and we—the permanent underclass in America—will continue to be forced to march in lockstep with the police state in all matters, public and private.

Indeed, it really doesn’t matter what you call them—the Deep State, the 1%, the elite, the controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the police state, the surveillance state, the military-industrial complex—so long as you understand that no matter which party occupies the White House in 2021, the unelected bureaucracy that actually calls the shots will continue to do so.

In the interest of liberty and truth, here are a few hard truths about life in the American police state that will persist no matter who wins the 2020 presidential election. Indeed, these issues persisted—and in many cases flourished—under both Republican and Democratic administrations in recent years.

Police militarization will continue. Thanks to federal grant programs allowing the Pentagon to transfer surplus military supplies and weapons to local law enforcement agencies without charge, police forces will continue to be transformed from peace officers to heavily armed extensions of the military, complete with jackboots, helmets, shields, batons, pepper-spray, stun guns, assault rifles, body armor, miniature tanks, and weaponized drones. “Today, 17,000 local police forces are equipped with such military equipment as Blackhawk helicopters, machine guns, grenade launchers, battering rams, explosives, chemical sprays, body armor, night vision, rappelling gear, and armored vehicles,” stated Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. “Some have tanks.”

Overcriminalization will continue. In the face of a government bureaucracy consumed with churning out laws, statutes, codes, and regulations that reinforce its powers and value systems and those of the police state and its corporate allies, we will all continue to be viewed as petty criminals, guilty of violating some minor law. Thanks to an overabundance of 4,500-plus federal crimes and 400,000-plus rules and regulations, it is estimated that the average American actually commits three felonies a day without knowing it. In fact, according to law professor John Baker, “There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime.” Consequently, we now find ourselves operating in a strange new world where small farmers who dare to make unpasteurized goat cheese and share it with members of their community are finding their farms raided, while home gardeners face jail time for daring to cultivate their own varieties of orchids without having completed sufficient paperwork. This frightening state of affairs—where a person can actually be arrested and incarcerated for the most innocent and inane activities, including feeding a whale and collecting rainwater on their own property—is due to what law scholars refer to as overcriminalization.

Jailing Americans for profit will continue. At one time, the American penal system operated under the idea that dangerous criminals needed to be put under lock and key in order to protect society. Today, as states attempt to save money by outsourcing prisons to private corporations, imprisoning Americans in private prisons run by mega-corporations has turned into a cash cow for big business. In exchange for corporations buying and managing public prisons across the country at a supposed savings to the states, the states have to agree to maintain a 90% occupancy rate in the privately run prisons for at least 20 years. Such a scheme simply encourages incarceration for the sake of profits, while causing millions of Americans, most of them minor, nonviolent criminals, to be handed over to corporations for lengthy prison sentences which do nothing to protect society or prevent recidivism. Thus, although the number of violent crimes in the country is down substantially, the number of Americans being jailed for nonviolent crimes such as driving with a suspended license is skyrocketing.

Poverty will continue. Despite the fact that we have 46 million Americans living at or below the poverty line16 million children living in households without adequate access to food, and at least 900,000 veterans relying on food stamps (mind you, these are pre-COVID numbers, which have only got worse during this pandemic), enormous sums continue to be doled out for presidential excursions (taxpayers have been forced to pay at least $100 million so that Donald Trump could visit his golf clubs and private properties more than 500 times during his four years in office).

Endless wars that enrich the military-industrial complex will continue. Having been co-opted by greedy defense contractors, corrupt politicians, and incompetent government officials, America’s expanding military empire is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $15 billion a month (or $20 million an hour)—and that’s just what the government spends on foreign wars. That does not include the cost of maintaining and staffing the 1000-plus U.S. military bases spread around the globe. Incredibly, although the U.S. constitutes only 5% of the world’s population, America boasts almost 50% of the world’s total military expenditure, spending more on the military than the next 19 biggest spending nations combined. In fact, the Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety. Yet what most Americans fail to recognize is that these ongoing wars have little to do with keeping the country safe and everything to do with enriching the military-industrial complex at taxpayer expense. Consider that since 2001, Americans have spent $10.5 million every hour for numerous foreign military occupations, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Police shootings of unarmed Americans will continue. No matter what our party politics, race, religion, or any other distinction used to divide us, we all suffer when violence becomes the government’s calling card. Remember, in a police state, you’re either the one with your hand on the trigger or you’re staring down the barrel of a loaded gun. At least 400 to 500 innocent people are killed by police officers every year. Indeed, Americans are now eight times more likely to die in a police confrontation than they are to be killed by a terrorist. Americans are 110 times more likely to die of foodborne illness than in a terrorist attack. Police officers are more likely to be struck by lightning than be made financially liable for their wrongdoing. As a result, Americans are largely powerless in the face of militarized police.

SWAT team raids will continue.  More than 80,000 SWAT team raids are carried out every year on unsuspecting Americans for relatively routine police matters. Nationwide, SWAT teams have been employed to address an astonishingly trivial array of criminal activity or mere community nuisances including angry dogs, domestic disputes, improper paperwork filed by an orchid farmer, and misdemeanor marijuana possession, to give a brief sampling. On an average day in America, over 100 Americans have their homes raided by SWAT teams. There has been a notable buildup in recent years of SWAT teams within non-security-related federal agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Education Department.

The government’s war on the American people will continue.  “We the people” are no longer shielded by the rule of law. While the First Amendment—which gives us a voice—is being muzzled, the Fourth Amendment—which protects us from being bullied, badgered, beaten, broken, and spied on by government agents—is being disemboweled. Consequently, you no longer have to be poor, black, or guilty to be treated like a criminal in America. All that is required is that you belong to the suspect class—that is, the citizenry—of the American police state. As a de facto member of this so-called criminal class, every U.S. citizen is now guilty until proven innocent. The oppression and injustice—be it in the form of shootings, surveillance, fines, asset forfeiture, prison terms, roadside searches, and so on—will come to all of us eventually unless we do something to stop it now.

Government corruption will continue.  The government is not our friend. Nor does it work for “we the people.” Americans instinctively understand this. When asked to name the greatest problem facing the nation, Americans of all political stripes ranked the government as the number one concern. In fact, almost eight out of ten Americans believe that government corruption is widespread. Our so-called government representatives do not actually represent us, the citizenry. We are now ruled by an oligarchic elite of governmental and corporate interests whose main interest is in perpetuating power and control. Congress is dominated by a majority of millionaires who are, on average, fourteen times wealthier than the average American.

The rise of the surveillance state will continue. Government eyes are watching you. They see your every move: what you read, how much you spend, where you go, with whom you interact when you wake up in the morning, what you’re watching on television and reading on the internet. Every move you make is being monitored, mined for data, crunched, and tabulated in order to form a picture of who you are, what makes you tick, and how best to control you when and if it becomes necessary to bring you in line. Police have been outfitted with a litany of surveillance gear, from license plate readers and cell phone tracking devices to biometric data recorders. Technology now makes it possible for the police to scan passersby in order to detect the contents of their pockets, purses, briefcases, etc. Full-body scanners, which perform virtual strip-searches of Americans traveling by plane, have gone mobile, with roving police vans that peer into vehicles and buildings alike—including homes. Coupled with the nation’s growing network of real-time surveillance cameras and facial recognition software, soon there really will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

The erection of a suspect society will continue. Due in large part to rapid advances in technology and a heightened surveillance culture, the burden of proof has been shifted so that the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty has been usurped by a new norm in which all citizens are suspects. This is exemplified by police practices of stopping and frisking people who are merely walking down the street and where there is no evidence of wrongdoing. Making matters worse are Terrorism Liaison Officers (firefighters, police officers, and even corporate employees) who have been trained to spy on their fellow citizens and report “suspicious activity,” which includes taking pictures with no apparent aesthetic value, making measurements and drawings, taking notes, conversing in code, espousing radical beliefs and buying items in bulk. TLOs report back to “fusion centers,” which are a driving force behind the government’s quest to collect, analyze, and disseminate information on American citizens.

Government tyranny under the reign of an Imperial President will continue. The Constitution invests the President with very specific, limited powers: to serve as Commander in Chief of the military, grant pardons, make treaties (with the approval of Congress), appoint ambassadors and federal judges (again with Congress’ blessing), and veto legislation. In recent years, however, American presidents have anointed themselves with the power to wage war, unilaterally kill Americans, torture prisoners, strip citizens of their rights, arrest and detain citizens indefinitely, carry out warrantless spying on Americans, and erect their own secretive, shadow government. The powers amassed by each past president and inherited by each successive president—powers which add up to a toolbox of terror for an imperial ruler—empower whoever occupies the Oval Office to act as a dictator, above the law and beyond any real accountability. The grim reality we must come to terms with is the fact that the government does whatever it wants, freedom be damned. More than terrorism, more than domestic extremism, more than gun violence and organized crime, the U.S. government has become a greater menace to the life, liberty, and property of its citizens than any of the so-called dangers from which the government claims to protect us. This state of affairs has become the status quo, no matter which party is in power.

The government’s manipulation of national crises in order to expand its powers will continue. “We the people” have been subjected to an “emergency state” that justifies all manner of government tyranny and power grabs in the so-called name of national security. Whatever the so-called threat to the nation—whether it’s civil unrest, school shootings, alleged acts of terrorism, or the threat of a global pandemic in the case of COVID-19—the government has a tendency to capitalize on the nation’s heightened emotions, confusion and fear as a means of extending the reach of the police state. Indeed, the government’s answer to every problem continues to be more government—at taxpayer expense—and less individual liberty.

The bottom line is this: nothing taking place on Election Day will alleviate the suffering of the American people. Unless we do something more than a vote, the government as we have come to know it—corrupt, bloated, and controlled by big-money corporations, lobbyists, and special interest groups—will remain unchanged. And “we the people”—overtaxed, overpoliced, overburdened by big government, underrepresented by those who should speak for us and blissfully ignorant of the prison walls closing in on us—will continue to trudge along a path of misery.

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, these problems will continue to plague our nation unless and until Americans wake up to the fact that we’re the only ones who can change things for the better and then do something about it. If there is to be any hope of restoring our freedoms and reclaiming control over our government, it will rest not with the politicians but with the people themselves.

After all, Indeed, the Constitution opens with those three vital words, “We the people.”

What the founders wanted us to understand is that we are the government.

There is no government without us—our sheer numbers, our muscle, our economy, our physical presence in this land. There can also be no police state—no tyranny—no routine violations of our rights without our complicity and collusion—without our turning a blind eye, shrugging our shoulders, allowing ourselves to be distracted, and our civic awareness diluted.

No matter which candidate wins this election, the citizenry and those who represent us need to be held accountable to this powerful truth.

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America After the Election: A Few Hard Truths About the Things That Won’t Change

This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute. 

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”—George Orwell

The American people remain eager to be persuaded that a new president in the White House can solve the problems that plague us.

Yet no matter who wins this presidential election, you can rest assured that the new boss will be the same as the old boss, and we—the permanent underclass in America—will continue to be forced to march in lockstep with the police state in all matters, public and private.

Indeed, it really doesn’t matter what you call them—the Deep State, the 1%, the elite, the controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the police state, the surveillance state, the military-industrial complex—so long as you understand that no matter which party occupies the White House in 2021, the unelected bureaucracy that actually calls the shots will continue to do so.

In the interest of liberty and truth, here are a few hard truths about life in the American police state that will persist no matter who wins the 2020 presidential election. Indeed, these issues persisted—and in many cases flourished—under both Republican and Democratic administrations in recent years.

Police militarization will continue. Thanks to federal grant programs allowing the Pentagon to transfer surplus military supplies and weapons to local law enforcement agencies without charge, police forces will continue to be transformed from peace officers to heavily armed extensions of the military, complete with jackboots, helmets, shields, batons, pepper-spray, stun guns, assault rifles, body armor, miniature tanks, and weaponized drones. “Today, 17,000 local police forces are equipped with such military equipment as Blackhawk helicopters, machine guns, grenade launchers, battering rams, explosives, chemical sprays, body armor, night vision, rappelling gear, and armored vehicles,” stated Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. “Some have tanks.”

Overcriminalization will continue. In the face of a government bureaucracy consumed with churning out laws, statutes, codes, and regulations that reinforce its powers and value systems and those of the police state and its corporate allies, we will all continue to be viewed as petty criminals, guilty of violating some minor law. Thanks to an overabundance of 4,500-plus federal crimes and 400,000-plus rules and regulations, it is estimated that the average American actually commits three felonies a day without knowing it. In fact, according to law professor John Baker, “There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime.” Consequently, we now find ourselves operating in a strange new world where small farmers who dare to make unpasteurized goat cheese and share it with members of their community are finding their farms raided, while home gardeners face jail time for daring to cultivate their own varieties of orchids without having completed sufficient paperwork. This frightening state of affairs—where a person can actually be arrested and incarcerated for the most innocent and inane activities, including feeding a whale and collecting rainwater on their own property—is due to what law scholars refer to as overcriminalization.

Jailing Americans for profit will continue. At one time, the American penal system operated under the idea that dangerous criminals needed to be put under lock and key in order to protect society. Today, as states attempt to save money by outsourcing prisons to private corporations, imprisoning Americans in private prisons run by mega-corporations has turned into a cash cow for big business. In exchange for corporations buying and managing public prisons across the country at a supposed savings to the states, the states have to agree to maintain a 90% occupancy rate in the privately run prisons for at least 20 years. Such a scheme simply encourages incarceration for the sake of profits, while causing millions of Americans, most of them minor, nonviolent criminals, to be handed over to corporations for lengthy prison sentences which do nothing to protect society or prevent recidivism. Thus, although the number of violent crimes in the country is down substantially, the number of Americans being jailed for nonviolent crimes such as driving with a suspended license is skyrocketing.

Poverty will continue. Despite the fact that we have 46 million Americans living at or below the poverty line16 million children living in households without adequate access to food, and at least 900,000 veterans relying on food stamps (mind you, these are pre-COVID numbers, which have only got worse during this pandemic), enormous sums continue to be doled out for presidential excursions (taxpayers have been forced to pay at least $100 million so that Donald Trump could visit his golf clubs and private properties more than 500 times during his four years in office).

Endless wars that enrich the military-industrial complex will continue. Having been co-opted by greedy defense contractors, corrupt politicians, and incompetent government officials, America’s expanding military empire is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $15 billion a month (or $20 million an hour)—and that’s just what the government spends on foreign wars. That does not include the cost of maintaining and staffing the 1000-plus U.S. military bases spread around the globe. Incredibly, although the U.S. constitutes only 5% of the world’s population, America boasts almost 50% of the world’s total military expenditure, spending more on the military than the next 19 biggest spending nations combined. In fact, the Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety. Yet what most Americans fail to recognize is that these ongoing wars have little to do with keeping the country safe and everything to do with enriching the military-industrial complex at taxpayer expense. Consider that since 2001, Americans have spent $10.5 million every hour for numerous foreign military occupations, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Police shootings of unarmed Americans will continue. No matter what our party politics, race, religion, or any other distinction used to divide us, we all suffer when violence becomes the government’s calling card. Remember, in a police state, you’re either the one with your hand on the trigger or you’re staring down the barrel of a loaded gun. At least 400 to 500 innocent people are killed by police officers every year. Indeed, Americans are now eight times more likely to die in a police confrontation than they are to be killed by a terrorist. Americans are 110 times more likely to die of foodborne illness than in a terrorist attack. Police officers are more likely to be struck by lightning than be made financially liable for their wrongdoing. As a result, Americans are largely powerless in the face of militarized police.

SWAT team raids will continue.  More than 80,000 SWAT team raids are carried out every year on unsuspecting Americans for relatively routine police matters. Nationwide, SWAT teams have been employed to address an astonishingly trivial array of criminal activity or mere community nuisances including angry dogs, domestic disputes, improper paperwork filed by an orchid farmer, and misdemeanor marijuana possession, to give a brief sampling. On an average day in America, over 100 Americans have their homes raided by SWAT teams. There has been a notable buildup in recent years of SWAT teams within non-security-related federal agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Education Department.

The government’s war on the American people will continue.  “We the people” are no longer shielded by the rule of law. While the First Amendment—which gives us a voice—is being muzzled, the Fourth Amendment—which protects us from being bullied, badgered, beaten, broken, and spied on by government agents—is being disemboweled. Consequently, you no longer have to be poor, black, or guilty to be treated like a criminal in America. All that is required is that you belong to the suspect class—that is, the citizenry—of the American police state. As a de facto member of this so-called criminal class, every U.S. citizen is now guilty until proven innocent. The oppression and injustice—be it in the form of shootings, surveillance, fines, asset forfeiture, prison terms, roadside searches, and so on—will come to all of us eventually unless we do something to stop it now.

Government corruption will continue.  The government is not our friend. Nor does it work for “we the people.” Americans instinctively understand this. When asked to name the greatest problem facing the nation, Americans of all political stripes ranked the government as the number one concern. In fact, almost eight out of ten Americans believe that government corruption is widespread. Our so-called government representatives do not actually represent us, the citizenry. We are now ruled by an oligarchic elite of governmental and corporate interests whose main interest is in perpetuating power and control. Congress is dominated by a majority of millionaires who are, on average, fourteen times wealthier than the average American.

The rise of the surveillance state will continue. Government eyes are watching you. They see your every move: what you read, how much you spend, where you go, with whom you interact when you wake up in the morning, what you’re watching on television and reading on the internet. Every move you make is being monitored, mined for data, crunched, and tabulated in order to form a picture of who you are, what makes you tick, and how best to control you when and if it becomes necessary to bring you in line. Police have been outfitted with a litany of surveillance gear, from license plate readers and cell phone tracking devices to biometric data recorders. Technology now makes it possible for the police to scan passersby in order to detect the contents of their pockets, purses, briefcases, etc. Full-body scanners, which perform virtual strip-searches of Americans traveling by plane, have gone mobile, with roving police vans that peer into vehicles and buildings alike—including homes. Coupled with the nation’s growing network of real-time surveillance cameras and facial recognition software, soon there really will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

The erection of a suspect society will continue. Due in large part to rapid advances in technology and a heightened surveillance culture, the burden of proof has been shifted so that the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty has been usurped by a new norm in which all citizens are suspects. This is exemplified by police practices of stopping and frisking people who are merely walking down the street and where there is no evidence of wrongdoing. Making matters worse are Terrorism Liaison Officers (firefighters, police officers, and even corporate employees) who have been trained to spy on their fellow citizens and report “suspicious activity,” which includes taking pictures with no apparent aesthetic value, making measurements and drawings, taking notes, conversing in code, espousing radical beliefs and buying items in bulk. TLOs report back to “fusion centers,” which are a driving force behind the government’s quest to collect, analyze, and disseminate information on American citizens.

Government tyranny under the reign of an Imperial President will continue. The Constitution invests the President with very specific, limited powers: to serve as Commander in Chief of the military, grant pardons, make treaties (with the approval of Congress), appoint ambassadors and federal judges (again with Congress’ blessing), and veto legislation. In recent years, however, American presidents have anointed themselves with the power to wage war, unilaterally kill Americans, torture prisoners, strip citizens of their rights, arrest and detain citizens indefinitely, carry out warrantless spying on Americans, and erect their own secretive, shadow government. The powers amassed by each past president and inherited by each successive president—powers which add up to a toolbox of terror for an imperial ruler—empower whoever occupies the Oval Office to act as a dictator, above the law and beyond any real accountability. The grim reality we must come to terms with is the fact that the government does whatever it wants, freedom be damned. More than terrorism, more than domestic extremism, more than gun violence and organized crime, the U.S. government has become a greater menace to the life, liberty, and property of its citizens than any of the so-called dangers from which the government claims to protect us. This state of affairs has become the status quo, no matter which party is in power.

The government’s manipulation of national crises in order to expand its powers will continue. “We the people” have been subjected to an “emergency state” that justifies all manner of government tyranny and power grabs in the so-called name of national security. Whatever the so-called threat to the nation—whether it’s civil unrest, school shootings, alleged acts of terrorism, or the threat of a global pandemic in the case of COVID-19—the government has a tendency to capitalize on the nation’s heightened emotions, confusion and fear as a means of extending the reach of the police state. Indeed, the government’s answer to every problem continues to be more government—at taxpayer expense—and less individual liberty.

The bottom line is this: nothing taking place on Election Day will alleviate the suffering of the American people. Unless we do something more than a vote, the government as we have come to know it—corrupt, bloated, and controlled by big-money corporations, lobbyists, and special interest groups—will remain unchanged. And “we the people”—overtaxed, overpoliced, overburdened by big government, underrepresented by those who should speak for us and blissfully ignorant of the prison walls closing in on us—will continue to trudge along a path of misery.

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, these problems will continue to plague our nation unless and until Americans wake up to the fact that we’re the only ones who can change things for the better and then do something about it. If there is to be any hope of restoring our freedoms and reclaiming control over our government, it will rest not with the politicians but with the people themselves.

After all, Indeed, the Constitution opens with those three vital words, “We the people.”

What the founders wanted us to understand is that we are the government.

There is no government without us—our sheer numbers, our muscle, our economy, our physical presence in this land. There can also be no police state—no tyranny—no routine violations of our rights without our complicity and collusion—without our turning a blind eye, shrugging our shoulders, allowing ourselves to be distracted, and our civic awareness diluted.

No matter which candidate wins this election, the citizenry and those who represent us need to be held accountable to this powerful truth.

The post America After the Election: A Few Hard Truths About the Things That Won’t Change first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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STOCKS DEMOLISHED: WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?

This article was contributed by Portfolio Wealth Global. 

Oh man, yesterday proved what happens when there’s uncertainty about a major event, coupled with the CERTAINTY that no Federal Reserve is coming to your aid in the days ahead. This is education for the millennials, who have been trained to expect Daddy Jerome Powell to show up every time they load-up.

There is no BACKUP COMING, no Navy Seals coming to the rescue.

This is it; between now and perhaps the end of the year, price discovery is going to be real. We’re going to see exactly what big money and algorithms think about valuations with nothing to prop up markets.

Panic? YES. Volatility? SURE. Buying opportunities? 100%. Craziness and illogical behavior? EVERYWHERE you look.

This will be one of the most important investment months of your career. By acting responsibly, professionally, and with poise and composure, not with an inability to see positions going up and down like yoyos, one will be able to exploit others’ mental incapability to handle bullets firing above their heads.

For the next few days, the FED is out of the business of putting a floor on stocks; perhaps even more than just a few days…

The major indices are now RED for the month of October.

Famed hedge fund manager David Einhorn, who got his ba**s handed to him for shorting TSLA, is convinced the markets peaked on September 2nd. He believes the bubble is over and cites IPO mania, elevated valuations for the Robinhood app darlings, market concentration (FAANG), options trading volumes being off the charts, and the parabolic charts of some stocks.

On top of that, Rasmussen polled Americans and has issued a VICTORY ALERT for President Trump – what a turnaround.

The same polling company actually found that tens of millions of Americans likely believe that a REAL McCoy Civil War is a possibility.

Courtesy: visualcapitalist.com

This chart has a lot to do with how America got here!

The ability to create currency and segregate it so it ends up in the hands of the rich and powerful to decide what to do with it has led to expensive asset prices, record buyback programs, no wage growth, and the worst income gap in history.

Think about the process of currency creation: how dollars are born and get pushed into the banking system where the institution cherishes safety and lends to the big and the wealthy, STARVING the real economy.

I personally bought shares yesterday, according to the watch lists we have previously published, taking nibbles at companies, not whole chunks.

NEVER buy a full allocation right off the bat; one can be fully correct on the potential of the company and COMPLETELY WRONG on the timing. Being flexible with your purchases (being patient about the process) is the tactic of successful investors.

Nothing is “now or never” – NOTHING. There’s always time to think things through.

The odds are fully in your favor; let the game come to you.

As I see it, if Joe Biden wins (despite this huge controversy with Hunter’s compromised dealings with China), between now and January 2021, it’s going to get sickening at times since the world will be paralyzed until Inauguration Day. If Trump wins, I still don’t expect SMOOTH SAILING because I think a contested result is coming either way, but Trump won’t lose a recount if he wins the initial vote.

THIS IS EXCITING.

 

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$1,820 is Next: GOLD SHAKEOUT!

This article was contributed by Future Money Trends. 

I love skiing. Since 2010, I’ve visited the European Alps and have enjoyed the slopes of Austria, Italy, France, and Switzerland. I’ve also tasted the powder of Whistler (Canada), Colorado, and Utah (U.S.A.) and have recently been looking at options for this upcoming January 2021, if restrictions allow travel.

In Switzerland, one famous little skiing village is called Davos. It’s the Monaco of the Alps since the parking lots are filled with Bentleys, Porsches, Range Rovers, and Ferraris. Every year, the World Economic Forum meets there. Do you know what the theme is for the meeting that’s just a few months away?

Take a look:

Courtesy: WEforum.org

I’m not sure whether you got the memo or not but the elites of this world apparently want a reset, and that includes you.

The world has changed and the most dangerous thing one can think is that it hasn’t or that the changes don’t apply to them. FutureMoneyTrends.com is built on studying just that: trends, so what is true today could be totally wrong tomorrow; the key is to adapt.

2020 has shown that being stubborn, full of self-pride, and unable to exhibit flexibility can cost one a fortune in the markets, bring them to their knees (emotionally), and could cause them to not be themselves and act like a nervous wreck in the presence of others, and this year isn’t over yet…

In fact, we’re nine days away from seeing a very dividing moment for Americans, one that could distance Republicans and Democrats even further – the elections.

Because of the way both candidates are portrayed in the media, neither of them get any respect from their detractors.

It’s a difficult task governing 330 million citizens where half of them think you’re incompetent while the other half, believe you’re a genius.

Courtesy: Seeking Alpha (Florian Grummes)

Why have traders been exiting gold, then? If so much uncertainty is right ahead of us, what’s the logic?

Markets believe that the stimulus checks aren’t coming; not yet, at least. It seems that the $1.8tn package the Republicans want and the $2.2tn one the Democrats are pushing for won’t be able to be bridged in time (before November 3rd).

No free money equals less of a reason to bet on gold for now…

Therefore, gold has downside potential and we believe that the gold bulls haven’t been spooked enough to head for the exits yet, but $100 skimmed off the top would probably do it, sending the metal to $1,820/ounce.

Courtesy: Seeking Alpha (Peter Krauth)

Zooming out, though, you get the birds-eye view of the big picture, and it tells us that while traders like to trade in and out of this sector on a monthly basis, the most reliable trend in finance, which is the DOW/GOLD RATIO, is clearly showing that in September 2018, gold started a new bull market.

If you look at the 20-year bear market of the 1980s and 1990s, you’ll notice that within it, there were several mini bull markets as well. It could be that we’re in a time like this now and that this bull market isn’t going to last for a full decade, but rather that it has only a couple of years in it.

Conclusion:

This isn’t a time to bet big. It’s actually much better to wait for the price to hit $2,000 again – even surpassing its August all-time high of $2,089 – before firing the bazookas.

A new all-time high will confirm the strength of this bull market, in our opinion.

Courtesy: Seeking Alpha (ESI Analytics Limited)

I leave you with this chart, which might tell you how I’m personally feeling about the sustainability of the valuations of the stocks that Robinhood “investors” are betting on.

What’s amazing is that thousands of companies are still down -20% to -80% from where they were in February, yet instead of seeing mean reversion of those, the retail crowd is going for the companies whose present valuations would require 20 years of non-stop growth to justify themselves.

Get real, people!

No company is worth 100-times earnings or 200-times sales…

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NOT AGAIN: Stocks In CORRECTION TIME!

This article was contributed by Portfolio Wealth Global.

Obviously, the Democrats have a VESTED INTEREST in making sure the Republicans get down ON THEIR KNEES before a stimulus package is approved since markets would be negatively impacted until it happens.

They want them to beg.

What’s going to happen in the next THREE WEEKS is that you’re going to see what going for all the marbles means!

All of the skeletons, dirty laundry, and smears possible will BE IMPLEMENTED.

Courtesy: Zerohedge.com

PortfolioWealthGlobal.com believes that you’re ABOUT TO SEE what’s called a RECESSION-FEAR sentiment kick in, since everyone has now BEEN CONVINCED that there’s no recession in sight, so any vaccine delay or SECOND WAVE of infections and hospitalization bumps will BE DETRIMENTAL — investors have made a killing since March, so there will also be profit-taking!

Here’s what we think is most important of all: there will BE VOLATILITY, maybe even for a few months, until the FINAL TALLY is determined and we have an officially confirmed president.

In our opinion, because of Covid-19, the economy is moving towards certain industries, which will get SUPER-STRONG. We actually will have a new report out; the PREVIOUS FOUR (2, 3, and 4) have been tremendous successes.

Do you know who cares most about equities? WEALTHY PEOPLE!

Do you know who cares about jobs? THE REST OF US!

Courtesy: Zerohedge.com

I want to tell you that the best thing you can do is find out how to take YOUR SKILLS and capitalize on them, since this recovery is going to offer plenty of opportunities.

The coronavirus has shown me how limited governments are at solving personalized issues. Everything is either comprehensive and broad-based and just inefficient.

So, what are my notes to you?

  1. If you’re STILL EMPLOYED, see what more you can do for your employer. Begin to get things done with HIGHER QUALITY and come up with ideas for improvement.

Go the extra mile so much that he thinks you’re A CHANGED MAN.

Think and then act as if the business is yours!

You’ll see results; in fact, you won’t believe the outcomes of a CHANGED ATTITUDE and approach.

  1. If you’re BETWEEN JOBS, capitalize on this flexibility. Look at things close by, but this might also be an opportunity to get creative, move to other areas of the country, change careers or work from home.

As much as possible, keep your OPTIONS OPEN.

  1. If everything is fine, KEEP AT IT!

The world has changed; live accordingly.

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WHAT AN ENTRANCE: Earnings Season IS HERE!

This article was contributed by Future Money Trends. 

 

So far, this recovery has helped some individuals and institutions to restore all portfolio losses and even earn MORE THAN EVER before while sending a far greater amount of people into A TAILSPIN.

This is known as a “K”-shaped recovery and, in my opinion, all recoveries are of this shape.

The world as it was in January 2020 is no longer the same. People’s basic needs and aptitudes haven’t changed that dramatically, but government restrictions and the fact that we’re CONSTANTLY TOLD that nothing can go back to normal without a vaccine is DRIVING PEOPLE NUTS, quite frankly.

I’ve never seen the world THIS POLARIZED about how to proceed with routine activities; some think the lethality is nearly non-existent, while others are convinced they’re ABOUT TO DIE.

Courtesy: Zerohedge.com

The ceasing of travel, the slowdown in the transportation of commercial goods, and the GRIND TO A HALT of daily commutes to work have caused energy stocks to come UNDER FIRE while the healthcare sector explodes higher. There has NEVER BEEN a more overweight allocation than this!

When we say energy, we mostly mean oil, natural gas, and coal since solar energy companies are SHINING.

Courtesy: Zerohedge.com

We’ve now reached a FINAL STRETCH of the presidential race and I wonder where the TRUTH LIES.

Are the polls more accurate than they were in 2016? Should we expect Biden to take it like these predict?

Are we to believe the polls aren’t precise, which then allows us to envision FOUR MORE YEARS of Trump?

Most importantly, will any of the two sides concede and not challenge the results? It’s going to be MIGHTY INTERESTING to see how long it takes before a CLEAR WINNER emerges.

Courtesy: Zerohedge.com

What’s becoming QUITE OBVIOUS is that hedge funds’ fears of a double-dip recession or another market crash HAVE DIMINISHED quite noticeably since they’re RE-ENTERING the equities markets.

I don’t have to tell you what’s happening with the retail public; they’re participating in what’s going on as well. Though many believe they are FUELING A BUBBLE, the approach of the large asset managers is that millennials have NOW SEEN what 2008 has done to their folks, which has caused them to LIVE FULL-THROTTLE (YOLO: You Only Live Once) up until 2020, at which point they saw that they MUST SAVE, invest, and think prudently so they had a STRONG REACTION to the stock market and are now heavily investing.

You might have a different opinion of what’s going on, but Larry Fink, the founder of BlackRock, which oversees over $7tn in assets, is telling us that millennials are in it for the LONG-TERM.

We believe the bull market in equities is fundamentally strong and that we’ll see MUCH MORE of it in the years ahead.

 

The post WHAT AN ENTRANCE: Earnings Season IS HERE! first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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WHAT AN ENTRANCE: Earnings Season IS HERE!

This article was contributed by Future Money Trends. 

 

So far, this recovery has helped some individuals and institutions to restore all portfolio losses and even earn MORE THAN EVER before while sending a far greater amount of people into A TAILSPIN.

This is known as a “K”-shaped recovery and, in my opinion, all recoveries are of this shape.

The world as it was in January 2020 is no longer the same. People’s basic needs and aptitudes haven’t changed that dramatically, but government restrictions and the fact that we’re CONSTANTLY TOLD that nothing can go back to normal without a vaccine is DRIVING PEOPLE NUTS, quite frankly.

I’ve never seen the world THIS POLARIZED about how to proceed with routine activities; some think the lethality is nearly non-existent, while others are convinced they’re ABOUT TO DIE.

Courtesy: Zerohedge.com

The ceasing of travel, the slowdown in the transportation of commercial goods, and the GRIND TO A HALT of daily commutes to work have caused energy stocks to come UNDER FIRE while the healthcare sector explodes higher. There has NEVER BEEN a more overweight allocation than this!

When we say energy, we mostly mean oil, natural gas, and coal since solar energy companies are SHINING.

Courtesy: Zerohedge.com

We’ve now reached a FINAL STRETCH of the presidential race and I wonder where the TRUTH LIES.

Are the polls more accurate than they were in 2016? Should we expect Biden to take it like these predict?

Are we to believe the polls aren’t precise, which then allows us to envision FOUR MORE YEARS of Trump?

Most importantly, will any of the two sides concede and not challenge the results? It’s going to be MIGHTY INTERESTING to see how long it takes before a CLEAR WINNER emerges.

Courtesy: Zerohedge.com

What’s becoming QUITE OBVIOUS is that hedge funds’ fears of a double-dip recession or another market crash HAVE DIMINISHED quite noticeably since they’re RE-ENTERING the equities markets.

I don’t have to tell you what’s happening with the retail public; they’re participating in what’s going on as well. Though many believe they are FUELING A BUBBLE, the approach of the large asset managers is that millennials have NOW SEEN what 2008 has done to their folks, which has caused them to LIVE FULL-THROTTLE (YOLO: You Only Live Once) up until 2020, at which point they saw that they MUST SAVE, invest, and think prudently so they had a STRONG REACTION to the stock market and are now heavily investing.

You might have a different opinion of what’s going on, but Larry Fink, the founder of BlackRock, which oversees over $7tn in assets, is telling us that millennials are in it for the LONG-TERM.

We believe the bull market in equities is fundamentally strong and that we’ll see MUCH MORE of it in the years ahead.

 

The post WHAT AN ENTRANCE: Earnings Season IS HERE! first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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CRAWL OVER BROKEN GLASS: ALL-TIME HIGHS IMMINENT!

This article was contributed by James Davis with Future Money Trends. 

Do you think Donald Trump is going to win or do you think it’s Biden? Whatever your answer is, MY RESPONSE remains the same: MARKETS are headed M-U-C-H H-I-G-H-E-R!

The amount of cash on the sidelines that’s EARNING NOTHING is just SO EXAGGERATED that we expect that another $1tn to $1.5tn is HEADING BACK to the stock market and risk assets.

Treat this pandemic AT FACE VALUE: highly contagious and lethal only to a very small percentage of the population.

The media has convinced some people that they’re living THROUGH END TIMES, but I implore you to shake it off and THINK FOR YOURSELF now that you KNOW the facts. You should be protecting your OWN FAMILY and your OWN CAREER from imminent danger and FINANCIAL RUIN from DRACONIAN measures being implemented.

Wake up!

This is a giant wealth transfer; the ramifications of what just happened to the world in the past few months are yet TO BE DETERMINED. I will not be doing you a disservice by encouraging you to GET INSPIRED to get on with your life IMMEDIATELY.

The markets believe they’ve FIGURED IT OUT; they’re betting on a BIDEN VICTORY and a massive stimulus package that will offset the tax hikes and all the increased regulations that will SURELY COME with a Democrat victory; they believe America has HAD ENOUGH of Trump, but I’m not convinced it’s that cut and dry.

I’ll crawl over broken glass to make sure you TRULY UNDERSTAND that there’s a BULL MARKET going on, no matter HOW UNLIKELY or how weird it is to put MONEY TO WORK.

You don’t ALWAYS have to understand why prices are rising, but you SURE AS HELL must have seen the gains that we’ve BEEN MAKING – they’re off the charts!

Courtesy: U.S. Global Investors

Your heart will tell you when TO MOVE. Your fate has NOTHING TO DO with this election; the country’s future has a lot TO DO with it, but you have to SEPARATE FROM THE HERD – are you ready to accept BETTER CONDITIONS?

Entire industries, whole economies, great nations, and giant corporations will be built as a result of this COVID-19 WORLD; take what’s yours and STOP AT NOTHING.

Be a dreamer.

The post CRAWL OVER BROKEN GLASS: ALL-TIME HIGHS IMMINENT! first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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