Posts tagged reality
55 Things About America You May Not Know
Is America the greatest nation on the planet? Before you answer that question, you might want to check out the statistics that I have shared in this article first. The reality is that the United States is in a deep state of decline, and it is getting harder to deny that fact with each passing day. Mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially we are a train wreck. Many that are “patriotic” attempt to put a happy face on our growing problems, but the truly patriotic thing to do is to admit just how bad things have gotten so that we can start finding solutions. If you truly love this country, then you should know that this nation needs a huge wake up call. We have abandoned the values and the principles that early Americans held so dear, and as a result our society is a giant mess. The following are 55 things about America that you may not know…
#1 We are supposed to have a government “of the people, by the people, for the people”, but only 25 percent of all Americans know how long U.S. Senators are elected for (6 years), and only 20 percent of all Americans know how many U.S. senators there are.
#2 Americans spend more on health care per capita than anyone else in the world by far, and yet we only rank 35th in life expectancy.
#4 Of all the major industrialized nations, America is the most obese. Mexico is #2.
#6 According to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 31 percent of all food in the United States gets wasted. In case you were wondering, that amounts to approximately 133 billion pounds of food a year.
#8 In America, we even put 81-year-old women in prison for feeding the birds.
#9 According to a Newsweek survey taken a few years ago, 29 percent of all Americans could not even name the vice president.
#10 Americans spend more time sitting in traffic than anyone else in the world.
#11 60 percent of Americans report feeling “angry or irritable”. Two years ago that number was at 50 percent.
#12 36 percent of Americans admit that they have yelled at a customer service agent during the past year.
#13 Only 30 percent of all Americans can tell you in what year the 9/11 attacks happened.
#14 There are more “deaths by reptile” in America than anywhere else in the world.
#15 Right now, 29 percent of all Americans under the age of 35 are living with their parents.
#17 According to a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, nearly 70 percent of all Americans are on at least one prescription drug. An astounding 20 percent of all Americans are on at least five prescription drugs.
#18 Americans spend more than 280 billion dollars on prescription drugs each year.
#19 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, doctors in the United States write more than 250 million prescriptions for antidepressants each year.
#20 Children in the United States are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants than children in Europe are.
#21 In the United States today, prescription painkillers kill more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined.
#22 America has the highest rate of illegal drug use on the entire planet.
#23 According to the federal government, the number of heroin addicts in the United States has more than doubled since 2002.
#24 It is hard to believe, but 56 percent of all Americans now have “subprime credit”.
#25 America exports more weapons to other countries than anyone else in the world.
#26 The United States has the most complicated tax system on the entire planet.
#27 Corruption is rampant throughout our society. In fact, America leads the world in money given to fake charities.
#29 In 2008, 53 percent of all Americans considered themselves to be “middle class”. In 2014, only 44 percent of all Americans consider themselves to be “middle class”.
#30 70 percent of Americans do not “feel engaged or inspired at their jobs”.
#31 40 percent of all workers in the United States actually make less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968 after you account for inflation.
#32 Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps. Today, about one out of every 6 Americans is on food stamps.
#33 The marriage rate in the United States has fallen to an all-time low. Right now it is sitting at a yearly rate of 6.8 marriages per 1000 people.
#34 In the United States today, more than half of all couples “move in together” before they get married.
#35 America has the highest divorce rate in the world by a good margin.
#36 America has the highest percentage of one person households on the entire planet.
#37 100 years ago, 4.52 were living in the average U.S. household, but now the average U.S. household only consists of 2.59 people.
#39 For women under the age of 30 in the United States, more than half of all babies are being born out of wedlock.
#40 At this point, approximately one out of every three children in the United States lives in a home without a father.
#42 America has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world by a very wide margin.
#43 Approximately one out of every four teen girls in the United States has at least one sexually transmitted disease.
#44 America has the highest STD infection rate in the entire industrialized world.
#45 According to the latest figures released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, there are 20 million new sexually-transmitted infections in the United States every single year, and Americans in the 15 to 24-year-old age range account for approximately 50 percent of those new sexually-transmitted infections.
#47 America produces more pornography than any other nation in the world.
#48 America has the most lawyers per capita in the entire world.
#49 If you choose to be a “Constitutionalist” in America today, you may get labeled as a potential terrorist by the U.S. government.
#50 America has the largest national debt in the history of the world. Back in 1980, the U.S. national debt was less than one trillion dollars. Today, it is over 17 trillion dollars.
#51 According to the Congressional Budget Office, interest payments on the national debt will nearly quadruple over the next ten years.
#52 Americans spend more money on elections than anyone else does in the world by a very wide margin.
#53 65 percent of Americans are dissatisfied “with the U.S. system of government and its effectiveness”. That is the highest level of dissatisfaction that Gallup has ever recorded.
#54 Only 8 percent of Americans believe that Congress is doing a “good” or “excellent” job.
#55 70 percent of Americans do not have confidence that the federal government will “make progress on the important problems and issues facing the country in 2014.”
This article first appeared here at the The American Dream. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
Image credit: http://endoftheamericandream.com
Ignored Reality Is Going To Wipe Out The Human Race
To inform people is hard slugging. Everything is lined up against the public being informed, or the policymakers for that matter. News is contaminated by its service to special interests and hidden agendas. Many scientists or their employers are dependent on federal money. Even psychologists and anthropologists were roped into the government’s torture and occupation programs. Economists tell lies for corporations and Wall Street. Plant and soil scientists tell lies for agribusiness and Monsanto. Truth tellers are slandered and persecuted. However, persistence can eventually win out. In the long-run, truth sometimes emerges. But not always. And not always in time.
I have been trying to inform the American people, economists, and policymakers for more than a decade about the adverse impacts of jobs offshoring on the US economy. The word has eventually gotten out. Last week I was contacted by 8th grade students competing for their school in CSPAN’s StudentCam Documentary Contest. They want to interview me on the subject of jobs offshoring for their documentary film.
America is a strange place. Here are eighth graders far ahead of the economics profession, the President, the Congress, the Federal Reserve, Wall Street, and the financial press in their understanding of one of the fundamental problems of the US economy. Yet, people say the public schools are failing. Obviously, not the one whose students contacted me.
Is it too late? I know much, but not all. So this is not the final word. I think it might be too late. When skilled jobs are sent abroad, the skills disappear at home. So do the supply chains and the businesses associated with the skills. Things close down, and abilities are lost. Why take a major in college for a job that is offshored. A culture disappears.
But we can start them back up, right? Perhaps not. When a First World country exports its technology and know-how abroad to a Third World country in order to benefit from lower cost labor, how does the First World country get the work back? Living standards and the cost of living in Third World countries are much lower than in First World countries. The populations of First World countries cannot pay their mortgages, car payments, student loans, medical care, and grocery bills with the wages of Third World countries.
When First World wages drop, mortgage, car, credit card, and student loan payments do not drop. Americans cannot live on Chinese, Indian, and Indonesian wages. Once the technology and know-how is transferred, the low wage country has the advantage in the absence of tariff protection.
For America to revive, our economy would have to be walled off with high tariffs, and subsidies would have to be provided in order to recreate US industry and manufacturing. But many corporations now produce offshore, and America is broke. The government has been $1 trillion dollars in the hole each year for the last 5 years.
Jobs offshoring diminished the US tax base. When a job is sent abroad, so is that job’s contribution to US GDP and tax base. When millions of jobs are sent abroad, US GDP and tax base cannot support government spending levels. To the extent that there are any replacement jobs, they are in lowly paid domestic services, such as waitresses, bartenders, retail clerks, and hospital orderlies. These jobs do not provide a tax base or consumer spending power comparable to manufacturing jobs and tradable professional services such as software engineering and information technology.
Republicans and increasingly Democrats, as both parties are dependent on the same sources of campaign contributions, blame “entitlements.” By entitlements they mean welfare.
In fact, entitlements consist of Social Security and Medicare. Entitlements are funded by the payroll tax, approximately 15% of payroll. The fact that a person pays the payroll tax all his working life is why the person is entitled to Social Security and Medicare if they live to retirement age. Welfare, such as food stamps and housing subsidies, are a small part of the federal budget and are not entitlements.
Ever since President Reagan was betrayed three decades ago by Alan Greenspan and David Stockman, both of whom sold out to Wall Street and raised the Social Security payroll tax above what was needed to pay Social Security benefits in order to protect Wall Street’s stock and bond portfolios from exaggerated deficit fears, Social Security payroll tax revenues have exceeded Social Security payments. As of today, Social Security revenues exceed payments to beneficiaries by an accumulated $2 trillion. The money was used by the federal government to pay for its wars and other spending programs. The Social Security Trust Fund holds non-marketable IOUs from the Treasury. These IOUs can only be made good from an excess of tax revenues over expenditures or by the Treasury selling $2 trillion in bonds, notes, and bills and paying off its IOUs to the Social Security Trust Fund. This is not going to happen.
The Federal Reserve could not care less about the US population. The Fed was established for the purpose of protecting and aiding banks. Currently, the Fed, as if America were a Banana Republic which America appears to be becoming, is printing one thousand billion dollars per year in order to support the banks and to finance the federal deficit.
This is bad news for Americans, as it means that their fiat money is being created at a far greater rate than the demand for the dollar. The implication for our future is a drop in the dollar’s value. As there are no jobs, a drop in the dollar’s value means high inflation on top of unemployment and double the misery of the Great Depression.
As bad as this is, it is minor compared to the destruction of the planet’s environment. Online information shows that the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem is in crisis after the BP spill and use of Corexit, a dispersant used to hide, not clean up, the spilled oil. http://www.opednews.com/articles/Gulf-ecosystem-in-crisis-a-by-Dahr-Jamail-Corporation-BP_Ecosystems_Gulf-Oil-Spill-Disaster_Gulf-Shrimping-Industry-131020-15.html
The Fukushima catastrophe has hardly begun. Yet already the radioactive water pouring into the Pacific Ocean has made fish dangerous to eat unless a person is willing to accept a higher risk of cancer.
Fukushima has the potential of making Japan uninhabitable and of polluting the air, water, and soil of the US with radioactivity. Yet the crisis is seldom mentioned in the US media. In Japan the government just passed a law that could be used to imprison Japanese journalists who report truthfully on the dire situation.
Take the time to familiarize yourself with the online information about Fukushima.. According to the presstitute media, Americans face threats from Iran and Syria and from whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden. The real threats are simply not in the news.
If you search Fukushima, you will find information that the presstitute media hides from you. See for example, http://www.globalresearch.ca/28-signs-that-the-west-coast-is-being-absolutely-fried-with-nuclear-radiation-from-fukushima/5355280
There are a number of other threats to the environment on which our lives depend. One is the effort to extract more productivity from the soil by use of GMOs. Monsanto has altered the genes of several crops so that the crops can be sprayed with RoundUp to eliminate weeds. The results have been to deplete the soil of nutrients, to destroy the micro-biology of the soil so that new plant diseases and funguses are activated, and to produce superweeds that require heavier doses of the glyphosate in RoundUp. The heavier dose of RoundUp worsens the aforementioned problems. US agricultural soil is losing its potency.
Now we come to chemtrails, branded another “conspiracy theory.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemtrail_conspiracy_theory However, the US government’s efforts to geo-engineer weather as a military weapon and as a preventative of global warming appear to be real. The DARPA and HAARP programs are well known and are discussed publicly by scientists. See, for example, http://news.sciencemag.org/2009/03/darpa-explore-geoengineering Search Chemtrails, and you will find much information that is kept from you. See, for example, http://www.globalresearch.ca/chemtrails-a-planetary-catastrophe-created-by-geo-engineering/5355299 and http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org
Some describe chemtrails as a plot by the New World Order, the Rothchilds, the Bilderbergers, or the Masons, to wipe out the “useless eaters.” Given the amount of evil that exists in the world, these conspiracy theories might not be as farfetched as they sound.
However, I do not know that. What does seem to be possibly true is that the scientific experiments to modify and control weather are having adverse real world consequences. The claim that aluminum is being sprayed into the atmosphere and when it comes to earth is destroying the ability of soil to be productive might not be imaginary. Those concerned about chemtrails say that weather control experiments have deprived the western United States of rainfall, while sending the rain to the east where there have been hurricane level deluges and floods.
In the West, sparse rainfall and lightning storms without rain are resulting in forests drying out and burning down. Deforestation adversely affects the environment in many ways, including the process of photosynthesis by which trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. The massive loss of forests means more carbon dioxide and less oxygen. Watershed and species habitat are lost, and spreading aridity further depletes ground and surface water. If these results are the consequences of weather modification experiments, the experiments should be stopped.
In North Georgia where I spend some summers, during 2013 it rained for 60 consecutive days, not all day, but every day, and some days the rainfall was 12 inches–hurricane level–and roads were washed out. I received last summer 4 automated telephone warnings from local counties not to drive and not to attempt to drive through accumulations of water on the highways.
One consequence of the excess of water in the East is that this year there are no acorns in North Georgia. Zilch, zero, nada. Nothing. There is no food for the deer, the turkeys, the bear, the rodents. Starving deer will strip bark from the trees. Bears will be unable to hibernate or will be able only to partially hibernate, forced to seek food from garbage. Black bears are already invading homes in search of food.
Unusual drought in the West and unusual flood in the East could be coincidental or they could be consequences of weather modification experiments.
The US, along with most of the world, already had a water problem prior to possible disruptions of rainfall by geo-engineering. In his book, Elixir, Brian Fagan tells the story of humankind’s mostly unsuccessful struggle with water. Both groundwater and surface water are vanishing. The water needs of large cities, such as Los Angeles and Phoenix, and the irrigation farming that depends on the Ogallala aquifer are unsustainable. Fagan reminds us that “the world’s supply of freshwater is finite,” just like the rest of nature’s resources. Avoiding cataclysm requires long-range thinking, but humanity is focused on immediate needs. Long-range thinking is limited to finding another water source to deplete. Cities and agriculture have turned eyes to the Great Lakes.
Los Angeles exists because the city was able to steal water from hundreds of miles away. The city drained Owens Lake, leaving a huge salt flat in its place, drained the Owens Valley aquifer, and diverted the Owens River to LA via aqueduct. Farming and ranching in the Owens Valley collapsed. Today LA takes water from the Colorado River, which originates in Wyoming and Colorado, and from Lake Perris 440 miles away.
Water depletion is not just an American problem. Fagan reports that “underground aquifers in many places are shrinking so rapidly that NASA satellites are detecting changes in the earth’s gravity.”
If the government is experimenting with weather engineering, scientists are playing God when they have no idea of the consequences. It is a tendency of scientists to become absorbed by the ability to experiment and to ignore unintended consequences.
Readers have asked me to write about Fukushima and chemtrails because they trust me to tell them the truth. The problem is that I am not qualified to write about these matters with anything approaching the same confidence that I bring to economic, war and police state matters.
The only advice I can give is that when you hear the presstitute media smear a concern or explanation as “conspiracy theory,” have a closer look. The divergence between what is happening and what you are told is so vast that it pays to be suspicious, cynical even, of what “your” government and “your” presstitute media tell you. The chances are high that it is a lie.
Reprinted with permission from www.paulcraigroberts.org
About Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
7 Charts That Prove That The Stock Market Has Become Completely Divorced From Reality
The mainstream media would have us believe that the U.S. economy must be in great shape since the stock market has been setting new all-time record highs this month. But is that really true? Yes, surging stock prices have enabled sales of beach homes in the Hamptons to hit a brand new record high. However, the reality is that stock prices have not risen dramatically in recent years because corporations are doing so much better than before. In fact, the growth in stock prices has been far, far greater than the growth of corporate revenues. The only reason that stock prices have been climbing so much is because the Federal Reserve has been flooding the financial system with hundreds of billions of dollars that it has created out of thin air. The Fed has created an artificial stock market bubble that is completely and totally divorced from economic reality.
Meanwhile, everything is not so fine for the rest of the U.S. economy. Economic growth projections have been steadily declining over the past two years, and the growth rate of personal income in the United States has been on a huge downward trend since 2008. The U.S. economy actually lost 240,000 full-time jobs last month, and the middle class continues to shrink.
So welcome to the “new normal” where most Americans struggle at least part of the time. According to one recent survey, “four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives”. Things are tough out there, and they are steadily getting tougher.
Yes, the boys and girls up on Wall Street are doing great (for the moment), but most of the rest of the country is really struggling. We have never even come close to recovering from the last major economic crisis, and now another one is rapidly approaching.
The other day, Chartist Friend from Pittsburgh sent me an email and told me that he had some charts that he wanted to share with me and asked if I wanted to see them. I said sure, send them over right away. These charts show very clearly that the stock market has become completely divorced from reality.
In a normal market, stock prices would only rise dramatically if the overall economy was healthy and growing. Unfortunately, our economy is far from healthy and has been declining for a very long time. If the financial markets were not being pumped up by so much money printing and so much debt, there is no way that stock prices would be this high.
If we truly did have a free market financial system, stock prices should be a reflection of the overall economy. Instead, we have a very sick economy and financial markets that have been very highly manipulated.
For example, just check out the first chart that I have posted below. If the economy was actually getting better, the percentage of working age Americans with a job should be increasing. Sadly, that is not happening…
This next chart shows how the average duration of unemployment has absolutely skyrocketed in recent years. Yes, the duration of unemployment has improved slightly in recent months, but we are still very far from where we used to be. Meanwhile, the stock market has been soaring to new all-time record highs…
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Posted by SchiffReport
Peter Schiff on Fox Business (2/18/13)
After a French study suggested that rats fed on Monsanto GMO corn suffered tumors, Russian researches plan their own, this time public, experiment. The unique reality show with rats is expected to prove or deny GMO’s health-threatening influence.
The Russian scientists, who oppose genetically modified organisms (GMO) in food, expect that their year-long experiment will show whether the controversial cultivation process has effects as dangerous as French revelations claimed on September 19.
Scientists from France’s University of Caen made public the results of their classified study, publishing the images of rats with tumors after they were fed a diet of genetically modified (GM) maize produced by American chemical giant Monsanto.
The revelation stirred fear across Europe and in Russia, where authorities temporarily suspended the import and sale of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn.
Ben takes a look at an issue being ignored by the MSM… unbound delegates 03-07-2012
GINGRICH’S NEOCON THINK TANK BEHIND RON PAUL ATTACKS :-))
The US State Dept funds a group called the FDD – Foundation for Defense of Democracies. This is a neocon think-tank where the Ron Paul attacks are originating. Specifically from a guy named James Kirchick. And guess who’s an advisor at FDD? Newt Gingrich.
google: Gingrich Skulking Behind Ron Paul Attacks
GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich, a corporate-financier sponsored Council on Foreign Relations member also was a “distinguished advisor” at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), a warmongering, Neo-Con think-tank and the architects of both the costly unending wars America has been fighting for the last 2 decades and the resulting war profiteering. The FDD is also the same think-tank from which attacks against Ron Paul are being launched via FDD “fellow” James Kirchick.
Image: A screenshot from FDD’s website featuring James Kirchick’s profile. Kirchick is leading an attack on GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, falsely accusing him of being racist and “antisemitic.” The fact that Newt Gingrich, a contender in the GOP presidential race, is also involved with the FDD calls into question the integrity and legitimacy of the US State Department-funded FDD, Kirchick, and Gingrich himself. (click image to enlarge)
The FDD, perhaps in an attempt to maintain some sort of “plausible deniability” has removed Gingrich’s name from their organizational charts, however letters he signed as an FDD “distinguished advisor” can be found dated 2007-2008. The Land Destroyer Report had also cited throughout this year that Newt Gingrich was still an adviser at FDD, however the links are now dead.
Image: A screen shot from AEI’s website (accessed December 21, 2011) featuring Newt Gingrich’s profile which states he is an advisory board member of the FDD. (click image to enlarge)
Compounding this immense conflict of interest and possible fraud, is the fact that Newt Gingrich is also a “former senior fellow,” and currently a “scholar” at the American Enterprise Institute which hosted a recent GOP presidential foreign policy debate. Gingrich’s biography on the AEI website also states that he is, “an advisory board member of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies,” suggesting that indeed, he is a current adviser at the FDD from which recent attacks on Ron Paul have originated.
s it then hypocrisy, or irony that FDD has on its leash a homosexual “journalist,” Kirchick, ceaselessly attacking Gingrich’s and other establishment GOP contenders’ only real competition, Ron Paul? Especially when Gingrich has used the issue of homosexuality as a political football throughout his career, including during his current presidential campaign?
Kirchick is described by the FDD as, “a leading voice on American gay politics and international gay rights, he is a contributing writer to the Advocate, the nation’s largest gay publication. Mr Kirchick is a recipient of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association Journalist of the Year Award.” Either Kirchick is disingenuous about his concerns for promoting the homosexual cause, or Gingrich and his Neo-Conservative peers are disingenuous in opposing it. At the end of the day, it isn’t about sexual orientation, it is about the pandemic of exploitative deceit and hypocrisy that infests America’s political establishment.
It would seem Gingrich’s “moral” views hold steady for as long as he is in front of the camera, and in reality is willing to work with anyone and do anything to climb up the sycophantic ladder of globalist elitism, at the cost of the principles he disingenuously peddles, and the well-intentioned people who foolishly invest their trust in him.
Tony Cartalucci’s articles have appeared on many alternative media websites, including his own at
Land Destroyer Report.
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