Sunday, April 26, 2015
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
By Mac Slavo and originally published at shtfplan.com
One of the biggest stories for years in the alternative media was the mysterious and foreboding purchase by Homeland Security of more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition.
Thanks to coverage on prominent sites like DrudgeReport, the story reached into mainstream media, prompting official spin and downplaying of the purchase.
Now, a new Homeland Security purchase order listed on FedBizOpps also raises an eyebrow or two, given the heated and divided political and social climate at hand. Just look at what happened in Ferguson…
A request for “less lethal specialty munitions” for use by Homeland Security dated March 23, 2015 reads:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) intends to solicit responses to Request for Information (RFI) 20082225-JTC for Less Lethal Specialty Munitions (LLSM) for use by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). CBP is interested in incorporating commercial and industry practices that support this type of procurement. To accomplish this, CBP intends to make industry a partner in all facets of the acquisition process, specifically by considering existing market capabilities, strengths and weaknesses for the acquisition of this commodity.
Over the course of 9 pages (PDF), the technical requirements call for an arsenal of specialized weaponry for training and deployment against crowds.
On top of a wide range of gas and chemical grenades, rubber bullets and other riot rounds, the purchase calls for “controlled noise and light distraction devices,” including flash bangs which set off a 175 dB sound with 6 – 8 million candelas light bursts in 10 milliseconds.
So why are the Feds prepping to take on crowds?
Officially, the request is put through Customs and Border Patrol, a subset of the Department of Homeland Security, but it is unlikely that the equipment will be used to protect the border and keep out illegal aliens. But the riot gear and crowd control devices have many potential uses.
Perhaps, the equipment for use in instances like last year, when protesters in Murrieta confronted Customs and Border Patrol agents and blocked buses carrying a wave of illegal immigrants from Central America?
The requested equipment includes:
Hand Delivered Pyrotechnic Canisters, including
Non-Pyrotechnic Indoor/Outdoor Use
- Smoke Canister for Training (Reduced Toxicity)
- Continuous Discharge Large Smoke Canister (Operations)
- Continuous Discharge CS Canister
- Orange Colored Smoke Canister
- Green Colored Smoke Canister
- Pocket Tactical Smoke Canister
- Pocket Tactical CS Canister
- Three Part Sub-Munitions CS Canister
- Non-Burning Internal Canister OC Grenade
Hand Delivered Rubber Ball Grenades
- Flameless Expulsion Grenade (OC)
- Flameless Expulsion Grenade (CS)
- Flameless Expulsion Grenade (Inert)
40mm Launched Specialty Impact Munitions
- Rubber Ball Grenade
- Rubber Ball Grenade (CS)
Crowd Management Projectile Cartridges
- 40mm Direct Impact Sponge Cartridge
40mm Direct Impact Sponge Cartridge (OC)
- 40mm Direct Impact Sponge Cartridge (Marking)
- 40mm Direct Impact Sponge Cartridge (Inert)
- 40mm Sponge Training Rounds
Controlled Noise And Light Distraction Devices
- 40mm Smokeless Powder Blast (OC)
- 40mm Smokeless Powder Blast (CS)
- 40mm Long Range Canister (CS)
- 40mm Long Range Canister (Smoke)
- 40mm Cartridge Four Part Sub-Munitions (CS)
- 40mm Cartridge Four Part Sub-Munitions (Smoke)
- 40mm Aerial Warning Munitions (100 Meters)
- 40mm Aerial Warning Munitions (200 Meters)
- 40mm Aerial Warning Munitions (300 Meters)
- 40mm Aerial Warning Munitions OC (100 Meters)
- 40mm Aerial Warning Munitions OC (200 Meters)
- 40mm Aerial Warning Munitions OC (300 Meters)
- Distraction Device Compact
- Distraction Device
- Distraction Device Reloadable Steel Body
- Distraction Device Reload
- Command Initiated Distraction Device Reload
- Distraction Device Training Fuse
- Distraction Device Training Body
- Multiple Detonation Distraction Device
- Low Profile Distraction Device
- Command Initiator
- 40mm Ferret Round (OC Powder)
- 40mm Ferret Round (OC Liquid)
- 40mm Ferret Round (CS Powder)
- 40mm Ferret Round (CS Liquid)
- 40mm Ferret Round (Inert Powder)
The ferret rounds are designed to penetrate barriers and deliver debilitating or disrupting chemicals:
“The projectile shall be designed to penetrate barriers of glass, particle board, and interior walls. Upon impact of the barrier, the nose cone will rupture and instantaneously deliver the OC liquid on the other side of the barrier. “
The collection of equipment provides a diverse range of toys with which authorities could push back crowds and potentially intimidate free speech as well.
Are there more riots coming? Is widespread civil unrest only a matter of time? Is it related to martial law exercises like Jade Helm 15?
What do the Feds know that we don’t?
They are getting ready… are you?
Thursday, April 23, 2015
By Bill Bonner and originally published at acting-man.com
Today, we continue mouth wide open … staggered by the shabby immensity of it … a tear forming in the corner of our eye.
Yes, we are looking at how the US economy, money and government have changed since President Nixon ended the gold-backed monetary system in 1971. It is not pretty.
We already know about the money. Since 1971, it’s been a credit-based, not a gold-based, system. The pre-1971 economy had three key characteristics:
1) It was healthy – Industry made things and sold them at a profit
2) It was fair – Financial progress was fairly evenly distributed.
3) It was solvent – The US was a creditor, not a debtor, nation.
Cartoon by David Horsey
Change in global share of manufacturing output, selected countries (via Vox EU)
Platitudes and Hypocrisies
Americans still say they believe in free markets, democracy and financial rectitude. But only as platitudes and hypocrisies. America’s industries have largely been shipped over to China and other lower-cost producers in the emerging world.
That didn’t “just happen.” The Fed’s EZ money financed it. American consumers borrowed to spend more than they could afford. Walmart met their desires (if not their needs) with “Everyday Low Prices,” courtesy of low-paid Chinese workers.
This sent US dollars to China. The Chinese used the profits to build even more, and better, factories. Pity the American businessman who tried to compete. He was overwhelmed. He had to pay wages 10 times higher than the Chinese. He also had to bow to regulations – tax, environment, labor, diverse bullying – that left him hobbled and fettered.
There’s not much left of America’s industrial economy. Seventy percent of the US economy is made up of consumer spending. Manufacturing has fallen to just 12% of the economy… down from 24% in 1971. And it’s now the main source of wealth in only seven states. The deindustrialization of the US is blamed for the slipping wages of low- and middle-class Americans. So is immigration. And robots.
“It’s not unfair,” say the people who caused it. “It’s just the free market.”
But the free market was one of the first casualties of the post-1971 fiat money period.
Manufacturing wages, US vs. China – China is catching up, but there is still a huge gap
In a free market, people earn money by working (income) or by saving and investing it (capital growth). But credit-based money needed neither work nor saving; you just had to know the right people. Private banks, aided and abetted by the Federal Reserve, could create as much credit money as they pleased and feed it to their cronies on Wall Street.
The new money was then transformed as miraculously as water into wine. For the privileged insiders it was almost free; the Fed made sure of that. But for consumers, it became a heavy burden of debt. And for the economy, it became an inflation mechanism for financial bubbles.
The most recent blew when the banking and mortgage industries (part owned by the feds by way of Fannie and Freddie) lent trillions of dollars to homebuyers, who ended up with debt they couldn’t afford for houses they didn’t need. In 1995, the subprime loan market was about $65 billion. By 2007, it had ballooned to $1.3 trillion – a 1,900% increase.
When the house of cards collapsed in 2008, the feds moved fast. Not to help the homeowners, but to bail out Wall Street – the most reckless risk-takers in subprime debt – and the most incompetent of the big automakers, too.
Fannie Mae, 1995 to 2015 – from major bubble enabler to life under conservatorship – click to enlarge.
The Death of Savings
Wages rise as workers become more productive. Increases in productivity require capital investment (in training, new technology, new materials, etc.). This makes new savings possible. These new savings become the source of new capital investment. But in the 1980s and 1990s, the US savings rate fell.
Why bother to save when you can get phony money from the Fed-controlled banks? Besides, the Fed made sure interest rates stayed ultra-low. This made credit more attractive, as the cost of carrying debt fell. It also made saving money less attractive, as interest rates on savings also fell.
Fewer savings led to less investment in the factories, warehouses, new companies and new technologies that produce real “breadwinner” jobs. Why bother taking the risk growing your business into new markets when you can just borrow from the Fed and buy your own shares? Why bother to start a new small business at all, when all the credit goes to big, entrenched ones?
For most working-class Americans, real earnings peaked in the mid-1970s. Since then, it has been downhill. The rich get richer. The poor and middle classes go further into debt to try to keep up. Since the credit crisis of 2008, nearly 100% of the asset price gains went to the top 10% of the population. This was no accident. The Fed put its credit machine to work for the rich – heating up asset prices, but leaving the rest of the economy cold.
Now the US is the world’s biggest debtor. Not relative to GDP. That title goes to Japan. But it is still a distinction worth noting: The US went from the world’s biggest credit to its biggest debt in little more than a single generation.
What to make of it? The natural process of history? A fluke? We don’t think so. It is the result of public policy decisions made by the hacks, hangers-on and has-beens who gain the most from them.
There were no popular debates. There were no votes. Small but powerful elites created the fiat dollar, the TARP, ZIRP and QE. They were also responsible for Washington’s spending, regulation and tax decisions. That these creations favored the same elites was more than a coincidence.
The personal savings rate has been in a secular downtrend since the mid 1970s – but that may be changing a bit in the post 2008 world – click to enlarge.
Welcome to the “Pimpocracy”
This will be more obvious when we take up Part III of this inquiry – on our new form of government. Our old friend Jim Davidson calls it a “pimpocracy.” At least streetwalkers give value for money, he says. The pimps don’t. They take advantage of the prostitutes… and the johns too.
Today, we simply note that cheap money has done what it always does: undermine the economy and the society that hosts it. It can even happen when you have a gold-backed monetary system.
The Roman Empire was an early victim. When it made a conquest, the easy money – the captured booty and slave labor – came back to Rome and raised prices. Slave labor reduced wages for free workers. And the stolen property competed with locally made goods. This weakened Rome’s domestic economy.
Spain repeated the trick in the 16th century. Gold came back from the New World in such quantities that Spaniards found they could live off the easy money. They found a mountain of silver at Potosí in Bolivia and put slaves to work, night and day, mining it. Prices rose sharply throughout Europe. And when the easy money came to an end, the Spanish economy collapsed. It didn’t recover until Spain joined the European Union in 1986.
More to come …
Charts by: BigCharts, Vox EU, Saint Louis Federal Reserve Research, doctorhousingbubble.com
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
By Brandon Smith and originally published at alt-market.com
Since I began writing analysis for the liberty movement more than eight years ago, I have always said that we will know when the endgame of the globalists is upon us when the criminals come out into the light of day and admit to their crimes. At that moment, it will be because they no longer fear either the repercussions or their plans being obstructed.
As I plan to show in this installment of my series on the hidden fiscal collapse of America, the endgame has indeed arrived. At the very least, the international elites seem to think success is within their grasp, for they now openly expose their own criminality. But they do so in a way that attempts to divert blame or to rationalize their actions as being for the “greater good.”
In Part 4 of this series, I discussed the reality of the false East/West paradigm and the fact that the “conflict” between Eastern and Western interests is nothing more than Kabuki theater constructed by globalists and designed to mesmerize the masses. You see, the problem with most people is that they tend to let their innate sense of tribalism drive them to take sides in war without understanding the fundamental root of that war. In most cases, they believe one side must be “good” and one side must be “bad.” Globalists understand this weakness of human collectivism, and they exploit it as often as possible. They create conflicts from out of the void, conflicts in which BOTH sides are controlled. Then, they let the masses fumble like idiots trying to set the noose around the other guy’s neck.
The East/West paradigm is just another in a long line of false confrontations engineered by the elites, but it is one that is most dangerous to the liberty movement itself. In our rage over the destruction of freedom and prosperity within our own country, some of us have come to assume that the source of all that is unholy bubbles at the heart of U.S. corporate and government activity and that the East is in the midst of some kind of rebellion. This is simply nonsense.
Recently, a reader sent me a link that reminded me of comments made by Rep. Louis T. McFadden, chairman of the House Banking Committee, on May 4, 1933. In the wake of his battle against the Federal Reserve, he said:
“… the treacherous signing away of American rights at the 7-power conference at London in July 1931 … put the Federal Reserve System under the control of the Bank of International Settlements.”
Even in 1933, there were some people who could see that the Federal Reserve was just an errand boy, an economic hit man for a more powerful entity. Sadly, McFadden died in 1936 from coronary thrombosis before he could make any headway in his crusade. The truth he stamped into the public record, though, lives on; and it is a truth that many people just don’t want to hear. It is easier to quantify the threat of the Federal Reserve. It is easier to believe that the Fed either controls the entire game or (for the more sheep-minded citizenry) that the Fed is a harmless “quasi-governmental body.” Many of us in the movement want to believe it is the gateway to the seventh circle of hell because if the Fed dies, then we win. And the Fed appears to be killable, most notably in light of certain actions on the part of the East. Unfortunately, the problem is far more complex.
As McFadden exposed, the Fed is merely a tentacle, one of many slithering at the behest of a larger vampire squid. The Bank for International Settlements appears to be the eye of the leviathan. I have been happy to see that the BIS is gaining more and more attention from the alternative media as a primary threat to the stability of the world. Zero Hedge published a very interesting article on the BIS banking cabal recently, excerpted from a book by Adam LeBor and titled “Meet The Secretive Group That Runs The World.”
Of course, this is not the first exposé on the BIS. Even Harper’s published a surprisingly honest (though only half the story) piece on the bank, titled “Ruling The World Of Money,” back in 1983. In it, the magazine claims that “…the unabashed purpose of its (BIS) elite monthly meetings is to coordinate and, if possible, to control all monetary activities in the industrialized world.”
Any central bank that ends up on the membership roster of the BIS should be for all intents and purposes considered a pawn of the BIS. This includes the central banks of Eastern nations supposedly in opposition to Western power. The very beginning history of the BIS is stained with blood, since it financially played both sides of World War II and aided the funding of the Nazi apparatus. Keep in mind that Germany, Japan and the Allies were all members of the BIS from 1931 on and remained members through the war. Bankers have been pitting countries against each other for a very long time, and they have no loyalties to any particular nation.
The BIS had to fade into the background for a time after its partnership with fascists was made public after the war. So the elites formed yet another monstrosity, the International Monetary Fund, to take its place in the public eye. However, the BIS continues to this day to pull the strings of the world’s central banks and, by extension, the world’s governments.
The strategy of engineered conflict has not changed. I have written numerous articles on the undeniable collusion between Russia and the IMF, including the avid Russian support for the IMF’s new global reserve currency, the Special Drawing Rights. You can read those articles here, here and here.
Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin have continued their love affair with the IMF since 2009, when they called for the SDR to become the world reserve currency.
Last year, Putin reasserted the goal of the BRICS to become more involved (enveloped) in the IMF system:
"In the BRICS case we see a whole set of coinciding strategic interests. First of all, this is the common intention to reform the international monetary and financial system. In the present form it is unjust to the BRICS countries and to new economies in general. We should take a more active part in the IMF and the World Bank’s decision-making system. The international monetary system itself depends a lot on the US dollar, or, to be precise, on the monetary and financial policy of the US authorities. The BRICS countries want to change this."
I also have been covering the Chinese shift away from the dollar and into the arms of the IMF’s currency basket for years.
The great lie today is that China and Russia are anti-New World Order. Yet as I discussed in my last article, China (and Russia) have consistently called for a global conversion into the SDR basket system, and they want this system to be run by the IMF. The IMF, in turn, has consistently called for the end of the dollar as the world reserve currency and has openly embraced institutions like the new Asian regional bank, the AIIB, which is dominated by China, despite the fact that many people wrongly believe that the AIIB is somehow “competition” to the IMF or World Bank.
This excerpt comes from the International Business Times:
World Bank managing director Mulyani Indrawati told Xinhua in an interview.
“We will definitely open for cooperation with AIIB [sic]. Even now, we are working very closely in the beginning and looking at the setting, principle and framework of this institution.”
She also dismissed worries that the AIIB will compete against the World Bank or existing regional development banks and noted the global need for infrastructure is huge to accommodate multiple organisations.
Speaking at the opening of the China Development Forum in Beijing, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said the IMF would be “delighted” to co-operate with AIIB, and the institutions have “massive” room for cooperation.
More on the history of China and its partnership with the New World Order can be found in James Corbett’s excellent video analysis here.
At the level of international banking and monetary policy, there is absolutely NO indication of any legitimate conflict between the East and the West. Again, such battles are only theater for the masses. But what purpose does this theater serve?
The fake economic war between East and West provides cover and rationale for the true goal of the internationalists: the destruction of the dollar as the world reserve currency and the ascendency of the SDR global monetary system. The endgame of the bankers is, of course, global government. It has been the longtime dream of the Fabian socialists permeating the central banking universe. A global currency system and centralized economic management are first-step psychological weapons against the public. If the world operates on a singular currency mechanism and a singular economic authority, why not have a singular governmental system as well?
The mistake many liberty movement analysts make is the assumption that the internationalists are somehow dedicated to U.S. interests. The idea that globalists have any loyalties to any sovereign government is a ridiculous notion. Fabians hate sovereign separations between nations (as much as they hate individual liberties), and they seek to ultimately destroy all boundaries for the sake of a singular global fiscal-political edifice.
But the elites cannot simply kill the dollar and replace it outright. They need a magic trick, a smoke-and-mirrors hologram, a sexy assistant in a sequined bathing suit and fireworks galore while they pull their global basket reserve out of a top hat. The false East/West paradigm is the perfect distraction. What better way to destroy the dollar and conjure a new world reserve than to pit one block of nations you dominate against the other block of nations you dominate and blame the resulting economic catastrophe on the "barbarism of sovereign nationalism,” which you also plan to erase in due course?
The elites are preparing for this event, and they are not content only to trigger it then sit back and watch it happen. They also hope to construct a new image for themselves as the prophets who tried to warn the world — the financial “sages” who would be our rescuers.
The criminals are coming into the light, and they are wearing the masks of saviors.
Alan Greenspan is now suddenly a staunch promoter of economic caution, warning that “something big … a significant market event …” is about to happen, and that gold is now a good investment as opposed to the dollar.
Janet Yellen has openly conceded that cash is not a convenient store of value.
Jamie Dimon is getting in on the prognosticator action, asserting that another financial crisis is coming.
The IMF now consistently warns of “shadow banking risks” bringing disaster to the economic environment.
The World Bank has been polite enough to warn the public that “now is the time to prepare for the next crisis.”
The BIS now produces statements on a regular basis predicting a possible “violent reversal of global markets,” just as it conveniently alerted the public to the possibility of credit collapse in 2007 right before the derivatives crisis.
Literally every elitist and his drunken uncle now publicly discuss the danger of another market crash. That’s a rather stark reversal from a few years ago when recovery was a mainstream absolute, Bernanke was being called a hero, and fiat stimulus was the fountain of youth. How would they know that such an event is coming? They built the conditions by which a collapse is inevitable, and now they want to purify themselves in the waters of Lake Minnetonka and absolve their institutions of all future ugliness.
I would like to point out, though, that banker warnings of volatility and crisis are generally given far too late for average people to act accordingly. I would also like to point out that the rising chorus of mainstream voices giving predictions of destabilization are also marginalizing and isolating the U.S. and the Federal Reserve as the root cause. The U.S. is nothing more than a storefront for elitist activities. And the Federal Reserve is a tentacle that can be sacrificed if it means achieving total centralization. All signs and evidence point to what the IMF calls the “great global economic reset.” The plans for this reset do not include U.S. prosperity or a thriving dollar.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
By Michael Snyder and originally published at theeconomiccollapseblog.com
The drought in California is getting a lot worse. As you read this, snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada mountains are the lowest that have ever been recorded. That means that there won’t be much water for California farmers and California cities once again this year. To make up the difference in recent years, water has been pumped out of the ground like crazy. In fact, California has been losing more than 12 million acre-feet of groundwater a year since 2011, and wells all over the state are going dry. Once the groundwater is all gone, what are people going to do? 100 years ago, the population of the state of California was 3 million, and during the 20th century we built lots of beautiful new cities in an area that was previously a desert. Scientists tell us that the 20th century was the wettest century in 1000 years for that area of the country, but now weather patterns are reverting back to normal. Today, the state of California is turning back into a desert but it now has a population of 38 million people. This is not sustainable in the long-term. So when the water runs out, where are they going to go?
I have written quite a few articles about the horrific drought in California, but conditions just continue to get even worse. According to NPR, snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada mountains are “just 6 percent of the long-term average”…
The water outlook in drought-racked California just got a lot worse: Snowpack levels across the entire Sierra Nevada are now the lowest in recorded history — just 6 percent of the long-term average. That shatters the previous low record on this date of 25 percent, set in 1977 and again last year.
California farmers rely on that water. Last year, farmers had to let hundreds of thousands of acres lie fallow because of the scarcity of water, and it is being projected that this year will be even worse…
More than 400,000 acres of farmland were fallowed last year because of scarce water. Credible sources have estimated that figure could double this year.
Fortunately, many farmers have been able to rely on groundwater in recent years, but now wells are running dry all over the state. Here is more from NPR…
Last year was already a tough year at La Jolla Farming in Delano, Calif. Or as farm manager Jerry Schlitz puts it, “Last year was damn near a disaster.”La Jolla is a vineyard, a thousand-or-so acres of neat lines of grapevines in the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley. It depends on water from two sources: the federal Central Valley Project and wells.Until last year, Schlitz says, wells were used to supplement the federal water.“Now, we have nothing but wells. Nothing. There’s no water other than what’s coming out of the ground,” he says.Last year, one of those wells at La Jolla dried up. The farm lost 160 acres — about a million dollars’ worth of produce, plus the wasted labor and other resources.
Are you starting to understand the scope of the problem?
Despite all of the wonderful technology that we have developed, we are still at the mercy of the weather.
And if this drought continues to drag on, it is absolutely going to cripple a state that contains more than 10 percent of the total U.S. population.
In an attempt to fight the water shortage, Governor Jerry Brown has instituted statewide water restrictions for the first time ever…
California announced sweeping statewide water restrictions for the first time in history Wednesday in order to combat the region’s devastating drought, the worst since records began.Governor Jerry Brown issued the declaration at a press conference in a parched, brown slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains that would normally be covered by deep snow.“Today, we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet (1.5 meters) of snow,” Brown said. “This historic drought demands unprecedented action.”
So what will these restrictions include?
The following is a summary from Natural News…
• A ban on non-drip irrigation systems for all new homes.
• A requirement for golf courses and cemeteries to “reduce water consumption.” (And yet, the very idea of green golf courses in the middle of a California desert is insane to begin with…)
• Force farmers to report more details on their water usage so that the state government can figure out where all the water is going (and where to restrict it even further).
• Outlawing the watering of grass on public street medians.
• Discussions are also under way to throw “water wasters” in jail for up to 30 days, according to another LA Times article. The most likely source of intel for incarcerating water wasters will be neighborhood snitches who monitor water usage of nearby homes and call the authorities if they see too much water being used.
If the drought does not go on for much longer, these restrictions may be enough.
But what if it continues to intensify?
The following graphic shows the U.S. Drought Monitor map for the state of California for each of the last five years in late March…
It doesn’t take a genius to see the trend.
And scientists tell us that this might just be the beginning. There have been megadroughts in that area of the country that have lasted more than 100 years in the past, and there are fears that another megadrought may have begun. The following comes from National Geographic…
California is experiencing its worst drought since record-keeping began in the mid 19th century, and scientists say this may be just the beginning. B. Lynn Ingram, a paleoclimatologist at the University of California at Berkeley, thinks that California needs to brace itself for a megadrought—one that could last for 200 years or more.As a paleoclimatologist, Ingram takes the long view, examining tree rings and microorganisms in ocean sediment to identify temperatures and dry periods of the past millennium. Her work suggests that droughts are nothing new to California.“During the medieval period, there was over a century of drought in the Southwest and California. The past repeats itself,” says Ingram, who is co-author of The West Without Water: What Past Floods, Droughts, and Other Climate Clues Tell Us About Tomorrow. Indeed, Ingram believes the 20th century may have been a wet anomaly.
If this is a megadrought, it is just a matter of time until massive migration will become necessary.
In fact, one UN official is already talking about it…
If the state continues on this path, there may have to be thoughts about moving people out, said Lynn Wilson, academic chair at Kaplan University and who serves on the climate change delegation in the United Nations.“Civilizations in the past have had to migrate out of areas of drought,” Wilson said. “We may have to migrate people out of California.”Wilson added that before that would happen, every option such as importing water to the state would likely occur— but “migration can’t be taken off the table.”
So how many people will ultimately have to leave if this drought continues for many years?
And where will they go?
Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…
Monday, April 20, 2015
By Bill Bonner and originally published at acting-man.com
When we left you yesterday, we were trying to connect the bloated, cankerous ankles of the US economy (Part 1) to the sugar rush of its post-1971 credit-based money system (Part 2).
Today, we look at the face of our government. It is older… with more worry lines and wrinkles. But whence cometh that pale and stupid look?
That is also the result of the same advanced diabetic epizootic that has infected American society.
Moonshine production facility in the 1920s …
Soft and Mushy
After real money and real savings left the economy circa 1971, GDP growth rates fell. Wages atrophied. And now, for the first time in 35 years, American business deaths outnumber business births. The body economic grew soft and mushy – unable to hold itself erect or to stand on its own two feet. Thenceforth, it needed the crutch of increasing credit.
The new credit-based monetary system meant that Americans had less real wealth. But until 2007, they could still get what they wanted by borrowing. Few noticed that they were borrowing from the company store and becoming slaves to their credit masters.
No one ever figured out how to create gold. So, Washington insiders changed the money system in two steps. In 1968, LBJ asked Congress to end the requirement for the dollar to be backed by gold. And in 1971, “Tricky Dicky” ended the direct convertibility of dollars to gold.
With the new dollar, unbacked by gold, they could create all the money they wanted. After the 1970s, instead of earning more money, or borrowing from the savings of his neighbors, the typical American had to grovel to the elite who controlled the credit machine.
The number of new business starts has been in a downtrend throughout the fiat money era – but in 2008, the birth rate crossed below the death rate for the first time ever, and has remained there ever since – click to enlarge.
The Making of a Modern Debt Serf
Government and its cronies in the banking sector created money ex nihilo. This money cost them nothing. Still, they lent it out just as though it were real savings. The typical American took the bait. He bought a house. He bought a car. He had a nice steak dinner and paid with a credit card.
Now, he was no longer a free man, in a free economy with real money in his pocket. He was a slave to the credit system. And he needed to work hard to keep up with it. The feds got the money for nothing. But he had to pay for it. Most often, he couldn’t pay off his debt. So, he became a debt serf – beholden to his masters for his home, his transportation, his education, his health care… and even his food.
If he wants a house, doesn’t he depend on Washington-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help him get it? If he wants a car, doesn’t he need the Fed’s ultra-low interest rates to help him buy it? If he needs a job, doesn’t he need the Fed’s stimulus? Or failing that, at least Washington’s unemployment insurance, food stamps and disability payments?
Just look at the food-stamp program. From zero in 1970, the scheme now costs $75 billion a year – every penny of it to people who used to be capable of feeding themselves. The elegance of this scam is staggering. The banks get money at zero cost. They give the homebuyer a mortgage. Now, effectively, the bank owns the house and the “homeowner” pays it rent every month. The poor schmuck never realizes what has happened. He kisses the hand of the lender and practically begs him to sleep with his daughter.
When elections come he is ready to play his role – a proud citizen and homeowner, voting for more lashes.
In the 6th year of the “recovery” that was bought with an inflation of the money supply by more than 100% (money TMS-2 from $5.3 trn. in 2008 to $10.8 trn. in early 2015) and a similarly large increase in the federal debt, a near record 46.5 million Americans continued to receive food stamps – click to enlarge.
Flabby Income Numbers
More and more Americans vote for “something for nothing.” Because nothing is all they have to bargain with. Here are the numbers from the Social Security Administration:
- 39% of American workers make less than $20,000 a year
- 52% of American workers make less than $30,000 a year
- 63% of American workers make less than $40,000 a year
- 72% of American workers make less than $50,000 a year
These flabby income numbers are also the result of the regulatory policies and artificial money that has been drip-fed to the American people over the last 44 years. By one estimate, had the economy remained on the track it was on in the 1950s and 1960s – before the new money and crippling restrictions took hold – the average American would earn $125,000 more a year today.
Instead, since the turn of the new millennium, the average household income has fallen to $52,000 from $57,000.
Real median household income (blue line) has recovered somewhat from its trough (note that the inflation adjustment is performed by using official CPI data, which are dubious, to say the least). Nevertheless, current levels were first seen about 25 years ago – click to enlarge.
The Delusion of Democracy
But we are still talking about money, aren’t we? Let us take another look at the face of our new government and draw a measure of its character. The skull may be the same as it was in 1970 – the Constitution hasn’t changed – but gone is the smooth, youthful, open visage. Over the years, the sour creases have multiplied. They tell an ugly story. What happened?
When a group of people can control an economy’s money, they tend to direct the spoils to themselves, their cronies and their pet projects. The rich, special interests, the well connected and the elites figure out how to play the game. And how to make it pay. They throw some bones to the plain people and take the meat for themselves.
The financial sector, for example, watched as its profits went from only about 15% of total corporate profits in the 1970s to 40% in the 2003-to-2007 period. How did that happen? Easy: They were lending money they never had to earn.
The corruption of the American system of government has taken place over more than half a century. But it is only in the last few decades that the body politic has begun to curl into a grotesque new shape. In a credit-based money system, the people who control the credit are like guards at a gulag. Pretty soon, they start acting like them. They decide who eats and who goes hungry.
They are not bad people or good people. They are just like all of us – eager to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. Gone is the delusion of democracy. Out the window is the hope of a free market. Forget the American dream. It is all fraud, scam and the old false shuffle.
Stay tuned …
The history of the financial industry’s share of total non-farm corporate profits. It is not difficult to tell who the biggest beneficiaries of the fiat money system are.