Other stories at We Are Change Colorado Springs:
Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category
The House bill basically provides Israel with a blank check drawn on the U.S. taxpayer to maintain its “qualitative military edge” over all of its neighbors combined.
New Obama Executive Order Pushes Us Closer To A North American Union And A One World Economic SystemWednesday, May 2nd, 2012
When it comes to Barack Obama, one of the most important things to understand is that he is a committed globalist. He firmly believes that more “global governance” (the elite don’t like to use the term “global government”) will make the world a much better place. Throughout his time in the White House, Obama has consistently sought to strengthen international institutions such as the UN, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO. At every turn, Obama has endeavored to more fully integrate America into the “global community”. Since he was elected, Obama has signed a whole host of new international economic agreements. He regularly speaks of the need for “cooperation” among global religions and he has hosted a wide variety of different religious celebrations at the White House. Obama once stated that “all nations must come together to build a stronger global regime”. If you do not want to live in a “global regime” that is just too bad. To globalists such as Obama, it is inevitable that the United States of America will be merged into the emerging global system. Just this week, Obama has issued a new executive order that seeks to “harmonize” U.S. economic regulations with the rest of the world. This new executive order is yet another incremental step that is pushing us closer to a North American Union and a one world economic system. Unfortunately, most Americans have absolutely no idea what is happening.
The American people need to understand that Barack Obama is constantly looking for ways to integrate the United States more deeply with the rest of the world. The globalization of the world economy has accelerated under Obama, and this latest executive order represents a fundamental change in U.S. economic policy. Now federal regulators will be required to “harmonize” their work with the international community. The following is how this new executive order was assessed in a recent Businessweek article….
read more at: http://endoftheamericandream.com
At a time when America desperately needs to come together, we are becoming more divided than ever. The mainstream media and most of our politicians love to pit us against one another in dozens of different ways, and right now class warfare has become one of their favorite tools for getting us to hate one another. If you are struggling in this economy, you are being told that “the wealthy” are the cause of your problems. If you have money, you are being told that the poor hate you and want to tax you into oblivion. Class warfare has already become a dominant theme in the 2012 race for the White House, and there will certainly be endless speeches given along these lines by politicians from both major political parties all the way up to election day. Class warfare will be used by both sides as a way to divide America and get votes. And the frightening thing is that it is clearly working. There is more hatred between the poor and the wealthy in America today than at any other time that I can remember. But hating people because of how much money they have or don’t have is not going to solve anything. Instead, it is just going to cause more problems.
read more at: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
For most Americans, the economic collapse is something that is happening to someone else. Most of us have become so isolated from each other and so self-involved that unless something is directly affecting us or a close family member than we really don’t feel it. But even though most of us enjoy a much closer relationship with our television sets than we do with our neighbors at this point, it is quickly becoming undeniable that a fundamental shift is taking place in society. Perhaps you noticed it when two or three foreclosure signs went up on your street. Or perhaps it got your attention when that nice fellow down the street lost his job, and he and his family seemingly just disappeared from the neighborhood one day. The Census Bureau made front page headlines all over the nation this week when they announced that one out of every seven Americans was living in poverty in 2009. Every single day more Americans are getting sucked out of the middle class and into soul-crushing poverty.
Unfortunately, most Americans don’t really care because it has not affected them yet.
But this year, millions more Americans will discover that the music has stopped playing and they are left without a seat at the table.
Meanwhile, neither political party has a workable solution. They just like to point fingers and blame each other.
The Democrats blame Bush for all the poverty and advocate expanding programs for the poor. Not that there is anything wrong with a safety net. But the “safety net” was never meant to hold 50 million people on Medicaid and 40 million people on food stamps. The number of Americans on food stamps has more than doubled since 2007. So do we just double it again as things get even worse?
The truth is that welfare programs are only short-term solutions. Unfortunately, the Democrats do not understand this. What Americans really need are good jobs.
The Republicans are so boneheaded that they don’t even like to talk about poverty because they think it is a “liberal issue”. Some conservative commentators have even been so brutally cold as to mock the “99ers” (those who have been unemployed so long that even their extended federal benefits have run out).
Instead of showing some compassion and being the party of the American worker (as they should be), the Republicans are often very uncompassionate and they allow the Democrats to be “the party of the poor” by default.
Both political parties need a big wakeup call. There is a tsunami of poverty sweeping the United States, and somebody better wake up and do something about it. More handouts will help people get by in the short-term, but there is no way that the federal government can financially support tens of millions more poor Americans.
How long is it going to be before the “safety net” simply collapses under the weight of all this poverty?
The path we are on is not sustainable.
The economy is falling apart, and somebody better wake up and do something before even more Americans find themselves drowning in poverty.
The following are 20 signs that the economic collapse has already begun for one out of every seven Americans…..
#1 The Census Bureau says that 43.6 million Americans are now living in poverty and according to them that is the highest number of poor Americansin 51 years of record-keeping.
#2 In the year 2000, 11.3 percent of Americans were living in poverty. In 2008, 13.2 percent of Americans were living in poverty. In 2009, 14.3 percent of Americans were living in poverty. Needless to say the trend is moving in the wrong direction.
#3 In 2009 alone, approximately 4 million more Americans joined the ranks of the poor.
#4 According to the Associated Press, experts believe that 2009 saw the largest single year increase in the U.S. poverty rate since the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures back in 1959.
#5 The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
#6 Today the United States has approximately 4 million fewer wage earners than it did in 2007.
#7 Nearly 10 million Americans now receive unemployment insurance, whichis almost four times as many as were receiving it in 2007.
#8 U.S. banks repossessed 25 percent more homes in August 2010 than they did in August 2009.
#9 One out of every seven mortgages in the United States was either delinquent or in foreclosure during the first quarter of 2010.
#10 There are now 50.7 million Americans who do not have health insurance. One trip to the emergency room would be all it would take to bankrupt a significant percentage of them.
#11 More than 50 million Americans are now on Medicaid, the U.S. government health care program designed principally to help the poor.
#12 There are now over 41 million Americans on food stamps.
#13 The number of Americans enrolled in the food stamp program increaseda whopping 55 percent from December 2007 to June 2010.
#14 One out of every six Americans is now being served by at least one government anti-poverty program.
#15 California’s poverty rate soared to 15.3 percent in 2009, which was the highest in 11 years.
#16 According to an analysis by Isabel Sawhill and Emily Monea of the Brookings Institution, 10 million more Americans (including 6 million more children) will slip into poverty over the next decade.
#17 According to a recently released Federal Reserve report, Americans experienced a $1.5 trillion loss in combined household net worth in the second quarter of 2010.
#18 Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.
#19 Median U.S. household income is down 5 percent from its peak of more than $52,000 in 1999.
#20 A study recently released by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College University found that Americans are $6.6 trillion short of what they need for retirement.
How anyone can look at those numbers and think that things are about to “get better” absolutely boggles the mind.
It is time to wake up.
Things are not going to get better.
Things are only going to get worse.
The United States is rapidly becoming a nation where poverty is absolutely rampant.
As poverty continues to spread, crime will not be far behind.
Meanwhile, the international community wants to impose a global tax on us so that they can “redistribute” even more of our wealth around the world.
The following was just reported by CNSNews.com….
A group of 60 nations will meet next week at the United Nations to push for a tax on foreign currency transactions as a way to generate revenue to meet global poverty-reduction goals, including “climate change” mitigation.
Well isn’t that great? As American descends into poverty, the rest of the world is pushing for a global tax that will drain us of wealth even more.
It is just a tax on foreign currency transactions, but history has taught us that once taxers get their foot in the door they always go for more eventually.
Sadly, it is not just the United Nations that is discussing a global tax. In fact, the IMF and the World Health Organization have both been very open about the fact that they want to impose global taxes of their own.
Not that we aren’t taxed enough already. We already pay dozens of different kinds of taxes each year, and 2011 is already being dubbed as “the year of the tax increase“.
But most Americans don’t have any more to give. Most Americans can barely make it from month to month. More Americans than ever are slipping into poverty.
What a mess we have on our hands.
Do any of you have any suggestions for how we should go about fixing all of this?
Source: Economic Collapse
Other stories at We Are Change Colorado Springs
Without millions more good jobs, the U.S. economy is simply never, ever going to recover. But at this point, there is every indication that the U.S. economy is going to continue to bleed jobs. In the past, employment would bounce up and down as the economy went through various cycles. But today what we are witnessing is something much different. Over the past 30 or 40 years, literally millions of good jobs have been shipped off to China, India and to dozens of third world nations where half-starving workers are more than happy to slave away for big global corporations for less than a dollar an hour. In the new “global economy” that we were promised would be so good for us, the expensive American worker is obsolete. The giant global predator corporations that now dominate our economy do not exist to provide you and your family with a nice home, two cars and college educations for all your children. No, their goal is to keep costs as low as possible so that their profits will be as high as possible. For many of these giant global predator corporations, that means that paying workers as close to zero as possible is the best decision for the bottom line.
The truth is that the American people were never told that “free trade” and a “global economy” would mean that they would soon be lumped into a giant global labor pool and would be forced to compete for jobs with people on the other side of the globe.
No, we were just told that we should enjoy all of the cheap plastic crap made overseas that all of the “big box” retail stores were pushing us to buy.
Well, the party was fun while it lasted. Americans ran up unprecedented amounts of debt on their credit cards buying all this stuff, while our once great manufacturing cities degenerated into rotted-out war zones.
But isn’t it a good thing to get all these products at such a cheap price?
After all, who wants to pay substantially more for things?
Well, running an economy this way is kind of like tearing off pieces of your house in order to keep your fire going. Sure the fire will burn brightly for a while, but eventually you will have torn down your entire house.
One way or another, we end up paying dearly for the jobs we have shipped overseas.
You see, the millions of Americans who are now chronically unemployed because of “free trade” have to be supported by the U.S. government.
That means that it is the U.S. taxpayers who end up footing the bill.
You didn’t think that we were going to let all of those unemployed workers starve in the streets, did you?
Without good jobs, an increasing number of Americans are becoming completely dependent on government handouts.
Already, state governments across the United States are going broke trying to pay out unemployment benefits to the hordes of Americans who don’t have a job and can’t find a job.
In addition, for the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.
Also, according to one new study, somewhere around 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010, which is the highest rate in 20 years.
The truth is that more Americans are dependent on direct payments from the federal government than ever before.
But how long can we afford to support the millions upon millions of Americans who have been impoverished by this new “global economy”?
The U.S. government budget deficit was a record $1.4 trillion in 2009. Now the White House says that we will exceed that figure in 2010 and again in 2011.
So just how long can we afford to run deficits equivalent to 10 percent of GDP?
Anyone with half a brain knows that these kind of debts are not anywhere close to sustainable.
So where is the money going to come from to pay for these exploding government programs?
Well, from you of course.
Recently I dubbed 2011 “the year of the tax increase”. A whole slew of new taxes is scheduled to go into effect starting next year that will impact every single American taxpayer.
It is almost enough to make you want to stop working and start collecting government handouts instead.
But the American people don’t need even more handouts.
Handouts are only a temporary solution to a long-term problem.
What the American people need are good jobs.
But where in the world are these jobs going to come from?
The reality is that in the new “global economy”, the United States is a very unattractive place to do business.
If you were a global corporation, would you rather open a new facility in the third world where there are very few rules and regulations and where people will work for less than a dollar an hour, or would you rather open a new facility in the United States where there are literally thousands of laws and regulations to comply with and where you are going to have to pay workers at least ten times as much?
It doesn’t take a genius to see where all of this is headed.
For decades, an increasing number of Americans have been forced into lower paying service jobs, but now there aren’t even nearly enough of those to go around.
But it isn’t just the jobs that have been shipped overseas that are depressing wages and causing unemployment to skyrocket. The millions of illegal immigrants that have flooded unchecked across the border have depressed wages and fundamentally changed the employment picture in industries such as construction and food service.
Not only that, but in this environment not even high tech workers are safe. In fact, there are some corporations in the high tech industry that have been openly abusing worker visas to ship in large numbers of foreign workers to replace more expensive American employees.
What all this means is that it is becoming much more difficult to live a middle class lifestyle in the United States.
Perhaps that is why one of my articles struck such a nerve recently. An article that I originally wrote for The American Dream blog and adapted by Business Insider has gone mega-viral and has ended up on Yahoo Finance. The article was entitled “The Middle Class In America Is Radically Shrinking – Here Are The Stats To Prove it” and it has received over 9000 comments on Yahoo.
So why did it provoke such an extraordinary response?
Well, because it hits people where they live.
Today, millions of American families are really struggling. Record numbers of middle class Americans are receiving foreclosure notices and record numbers of middle class Americans are going bankrupt.
In fact, more Americans than ever find themselves just trying to survive.
According to a poll taken in 2009, 61 percent of Americans ”always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
You see, the truth is that most American families are not concerned with saving for retirement or even with planning for next year. In this economic environment, most American families are worried about how they are going to survive until next month.
So who has been doing well in the new global economy?
The very, very wealthy of course.
According to Harvard Magazine, 66% of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
Now, the truth is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with making money, but by any reasonable standard an economic system that produces such skewed results is horribly broken.
So will “redistributing the wealth” solve things?
No, it won’t.
At best, “redistributing the wealth” is only a temporary solution and it always ends up creating a lot of long-term problems.
What the American people really need are millions more good jobs.
But as we have seen, the current imbalances in the new “global economy” make it more likely that the American people will continue to lose millions more good jobs rather than gaining them.
Unless something is done, the standard of living for middle class Americans will continue to be forced down as labor increasingly becomes a global commodity.
So are you just going to accept that, or are you going to start demanding that your representatives change things?
The choice is up to you.
Source: The Economic Collapse
Other stories at We Are Change Colorado Springs
Evicted and “served”: A Sheriff’s deputy presents Vicki Valentine with a “writ of possession” that supposedly entitles a private investor to confiscate her home. That investor acquired the alleged right to foreclose on Valentine’s home by purchasing a “tax lien” involving an unpaid $362 municipal water bill. The bill grew ten-fold after fees and interest, an amount the unemployed mother couldn’t pay.
Long before he orchestrated a scheme to rig auctions of tax liens in Baltimore, attorney and real estate mogul Harvey M. Nusbaum had a long and lucrative career in officially sanctioned crime as an IRS agent.
In 2002, Nusbaum grew weary of robbing people on behalf of the state. Rather than repenting in sackcloth and ashes, as any decent person would, he hired out as a privateer — a freelance buyer and collector of tax debts.
This form of retail fascism — a public-private partnership in plunder — was immensely profitable for Nusbaum. Had he exercised even the slightest restraint on his corrupt appetite, Nusbaum most likely wouldn’t be headed for prison.
Maryland is one of 29 states that permit city governments to raise money by selling tax debts to investors. Each year, Baltimore’s municipal government bundles up tax liens against properties whose owners haven’t paid local taxes or utility bills (such as water and sewage fees) and sells them at auction.
In the most recent auction, Baltimore sold liens on 12,689 properties — ranging from rotting shells of long-abandoned homes to office buildings in the downtown business district. Purchasers assume responsibility for collecting the debts, and the opportunity to foreclose on properties whose owners can’t pay them off.
According to a study conducted by the Baltimore Sun, twenty percent of those liens involved amounts smaller than $1,000. Financial necromancers employed by collection agencies can transmute a trivial amount — a delinquent utility bill or an unpaid and long-forgotten municipal citation — into a budget-crippling debt of several thousand dollars.
“You will pay,” one of Nusbaum’s minions told a victim who called to complain after a tiny unpaid water bill had metastasized into a $4,000 extortion demand. “Everybody does.”
Nusbaum and his cronies filed over 6,000 lawsuits, raking in an estimated $11.5 million in legal fees, title search fees, and interest. This inevitably attracted the attention of the “Justice” Department’s antitrust division, which discovered that Nusbaum, his partner Jack W. Stollof, and other as-yet unnamed investors engaged in collusive bidding in a dozen tax auctions conducted in Baltimore and five other Maryland jurisdictions.
According to federal prosecutors, the actions of Nusbaum and his colleagues were a criminal conspiracy to violate the Sherman Antitrust Act. Once in possession of the liens, the conspirators “used the court system to threaten homeowners with seizure of their properties unless they paid legal fees, interest, and other charges … [that] often totaled 10 times the original debt,” observed the Sun.
The real crime here, according to the Feds, was not the use of government-aided extortion to wring hugely inflated sums from struggling, debt-plagued citizens, but rather the use of collusion to enhance the cabal’s profits at the expense of local governments. You see, the entire point of the tax auction racket, in the Sun’s eminently suitable phrase, is “feeding the public treasury.”
During a rigged auction in 2006, Nusbaum and his comrades bought a bundle of liens containing Vicki Valentine’s unpaid $362 municipal water bill.
Valentine had inherited a home in West Baltimore from her father, who died, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s, in 2003. The house was free and clear, but many of the utility bills had been left unpaid.
Struggling with chronic depression after taking care of her dying father, Vicki was soon dealing with unemployment as well. In 2006, Vicki he paid $100 on an outstanding water bill of $462.28. By year’s end, that figure shot up to more than $700, after the city added interest, processing charges, and property taxes.
Under severe financial strain, Vicki filed several legal challenges, which delighted the firm that had purchased the lien, since this permitted them to tack on additional legal costs. On September 19, 2008, a judge ordered Vicki to pay $3,603.41, or lose a home that was already bought and paid for. She didn’t have the money. So last February, the local sheriff’s department seized Vicki’s home on behalf of Montego Bay Properties, the entity that held the lien following at least two post-auction transfers of ownership.
In a desperate letter written a year before her house was seized, Vicki pleaded with Baltimore City Circuit Court to extend the payment period.
“For now, this is the roof over my son’s and my head,” she observed, pointing out that she was unemployed and frantically looking for work. “I am trying to get the money together to catch up on my delinquent bills. Please allow more time to pay all bills connected with the foreclosure….”
Vicki didn’t understand that in the corporate socialist system that now exists, mercy is a gift conferred only on the powerful and politically connected. This is illustrated by the fact that the presiding officers of DRT Fund, which was listed as a co-conspirator in Nusbaum’s bid-rigging scheme, were granted amnesty — that is, official forgiveness — in exchange for admitting that they had done wrong and facile promises to pay restitution “to any person or entity injured as a result of the bid-rigging activity … in which [the investment firm] was a participant.”
Here’s the curious thing about that promise of “restitution”: The only party “injured” by the bid-rigging scheme, according to the Feds, was the Municipal Government of Baltimore.
The specific terms of the settlement remained sealed, and DRT Fund’s owners aren’t discussing the particulars in public. However, we can be sure that Vicki Valentine isn’t listed among those “injured” by DRT, whose co-owners, Anthony De Laurentis and John Rieff, are now in possession of her home.
Two years ago, Milwaukee resident Peter Tubic nearly lost his home to foreclosure as a result of an unpaid $50 citation for parking an inoperable van on his own property. A government that arrogates to itself the supposed authority to regulate such matters won’t scruple to add extortionate penalties to the original citation; thus it’s not surprising that the City of Milwaukee eventually demanded $2,645 from Tubic as ransom to prevent the seizure of his home. Eventually a local judge succumbed to an unprofessional fit of common sense and dismissed the citation outright.
Confiscation of a home to collect small debts remains uncommon. However, “people are routinely being thrown in jail for failing to pay debts,” reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. As is the case in Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, and other states, the Land of 10,000 Lakes is infested with agents of “well-funded, aggressive and centralized collection firms, in many cases run by attorneys, that buy up unpaid debt and use the courts to collect.”
As a result, it’s increasingly common for people who owe small amounts to find themselves being confronted by police — in the streets, at home or work, while driving, or even while recovering from surgery — and hauled away in handcuffs. Warrants have been issued over outstanding debts as small as $85, which is “less than half the cost of housing an inmate overnight.”
After a brief but robustly unpleasant interlude behind bars, debtors are brought before a judge and compelled to sign documents permitting the collection firms to garnish their wages or extract money from their bank accounts. Refusal can lead to a “indefinite incarceration,” a sentence recently imposed, without trial, on a debtor from Kenney, Illinois. “Bail” consists of paying the amount demanded by the collection firm, which is the amount of the purchased debt plus whatever enhancements the firm can devise.
“A firm aims to collect at least twice what it paid for the debt to cover costs,” points out the Star-Tribune. “Anything beyond that is profit.” Successful debt-buying firms enjoy very impressive profit margins. Portfolio Recovery Associates, a Virginia debt buyer, reported a 16 percent net margin last year; for Encore Capital Group of San Diego, last year brought a 10 percent net profit. By way of contrast, Wal-Mart’s profit margin last year was 3.5 percent.
The “distressed receivables” market is immense, and bundled debts are constantly repackaged and re-sold. It’s quite common for people to be contacted by multiple collection agencies demanding payment on the same long-forgotten debt, which may have been sold and repackaged several times after being written off by the original creditor.
Ohio-based Unifund CCR Partners, one of the most aggressive debt-buying firms, “feasts on the famine of others,” explained a 2003 profile of its founder, Turkish-born David Rosenberg, in theCincinnati Enquirer.
Unifund, which serves clients such as Citibank, “isn’t in the embarrassment business,” insisted Rosenberg seven years ago. Either there are odd gaps in Rosenberg’s vocabulary or his priorities have changed: Today, Unifund routinely seeks arrest warrants for those unable or unwilling to pay off old debts.
Rosenberg created Unifund as a 20-year-old high school dropout in 1986. Originally the company bought and collected on bad checks written to supermarkets. The company paid 75-80 percent of the dollar value of each check, and reaped 115-125 percent of its face value by imposing insufficient-funds fees.
As bank failures accumulated in the late 1980s, Unifund began to buy and collect on batches of bad bank loans sold by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for pennies on the dollar. By 1990 it had sufficient capital to buy up a series of bad debt portfolios from Manufacturers Hanover Trust with face values of up to $50 million apiece, according to the Enquirer.
Rosenberg, who profited handsomely on the debts of others, is no stranger to bad debt himself. “Over the past decade,” reported the Enquirer in 2003, “Rosenberg’s name has appeared on Ohio income tax liens, an overdue notice for Vermont real estate tax, and a lawsuit for an unpaid auto loan.”
Unlike many of his victims, Rosenberg has never felt the cold steel of handcuffs biting into his wrists. Given the pervasive perversity of our times it doesn’t come as a surprise that Unifund, which is able so suborn police and courts into doing its bidding, is a criminal enterprise.
During the past decade, Unifund has settled several class-action lawsuits asserting that the firm routinely engages in illegal practices — such as imposing bogus legal fees and collecting on debts beyond the statute of limitations. In one settlement, Unifund was forced to pay Queens resident Jose Luis Muniz an undisclosed sum after it fraudulently attempted to collect on a $21,000 credit card debt Muniz had paid off ten years earlier.
Suits filed in Texas and Illinois claimed that Unifund defrauded credit reporting agencies by “freshening up” credit card delinquency dates on old debts the firm had purchased.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that delinquent credit card accounts be expunged after seven years of dormancy. Plaintiffs accused Unifund of “rolling back to odometer” on the debts they had purchased by moving up the delinquency dates by as much as six years. This damaged the credit ratings of the victims and made them vulnerable to the other abusive collection practices in Unifund’s arsenal.
In the mid-1990s, Unifund was bought by ZB Limited Partners. “ZB” refers to the Zises Brothers — Jay, Seymour, and Selig. In the mid-1980s, the Zises Brothers created an immense pyramid scheme-cum-tax shelter called Integrated Resources, which funded its operations by issuing high-yield or “junk” bonds.
In early 1989, the brothers “managed to sell most of their holdings at $21 a share — far above the market price — to the ICH Corporation, a highly leveraged insurance company,” observed the New York Times.
The company defaulted on its bonds and commercial notes in June 1989. A few years later, the Zises Brothers — who cultivated some very useful political ties with the neo-conservative establishment — reached a settlement in which they were permitted to pay their creditors a small fraction of what they owed.
The brothers had enough cash on hand to buy Unifund and get involved in several other ventures, such as Family Management Corporation — an investment firm that reportedly funneled millions of dollars into Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
It’s not likely that the Zises Brothers are haunted by the thought that the investors whose money they’ve pissed away will someday arrange for them to be arrested and humiliated in front of their friends, families, and children.
Unifund is just one of dozens or scores of similar firms that are flourishing in the aftermath of the debt bubble’s collapse. The mechanism at work here is the mirror image of the one that operated while the bubble was being inflated.
In the early 2000s, with the Federal Reserve pumping huge amounts of “liquidity” into the economy, it was immensely profitable for lenders to entice borrowers of dubious credit-worthiness into mortgages and other loans they weren’t really able to pay. Before the collapse, bundling and re-selling bad debts to investment banks was a lucrative enterprise for Goldman Sachs and other major powers on Wall Street. Now that the bubble has burst, the titans of Wall Street are bailed out by the same taxpayers who often face the prospect of arrest and incarceration for their own bad debts.
The welfare queens of Wall Street, cushioned by subsidizes extracted from taxpayers at gunpoint, are ill-disposed to liquidate bad debts through negotiation. This helps explain why an increasing number of people who find themselves “upside down” on their home mortgages are practicing “strategic default”: With lenders unwilling to negotiate reasonable terms, the debtors simply stop making payments. This has inspired Wall Street’s tax-subsidized deadbeats to begin a PR campaign to demonize “ruthless borrowers” as uniquely depraved.
“Having been deadbeats and strategic defaulters of the first order,” writes economic analyst Yves Smith, the major banks “continue to manifest their characteristic unmitigated gall [by] hectoring the public about honorable behavior.” Smith predicts that ere long we will witness the return of debtor’s prison, which was supposedly abolished in the 19th century.
A cynic once said that while a petty thief will find himself behind bars or dangling from the end of a rope, the most powerful criminals are those who run the jails and operate the gallows. The corporatist plutocracy controlling our country is determined to make a prophet of that anonymous cynic.
Source: Information Liberation
Other stories at We Are Change Colorado Springs
A quick glance around the globe reveals a ruined international economy, wars and more wars in the works, and revolutionary movements aplenty — all connected phenomena. No, the apocalypse is not coming; but the international economic system currently used to arrange the social order is crumbling, taking everyone down with it.
The global capitalist system is in far worse shape than most people realize: it may only take the tiny economy of Greece to go bankrupt to break this camel’s back — and finally the word “recession” will be antiquated and “depression” will be in vogue.
How did this happen?
A great economic downturn would have happened years ago were it not for the monstrous debt that many governments created — consumer, corporate, and state — to prop up the economic system, since debt was needed to fuel the consumption that corporations depended on for the purchase of their products. When this global debt bubble burst, the current crisis was ignited.
The debts started going unpaid and the banks stopped lending, creating the “credit crunch.” Giant corporations thus began failing, and the governments that are heavily “influenced” by these corporations went on a bailout frenzy: billions and trillions of taxpayer money poured into these companies, keeping them alive to plunder another day.
After the bailouts, stupid politicians everywhere declared the capitalist system “saved,” and the crisis over. But bigger crises were already visible on the horizon.
The debt that nations used to bailout private corporations was too massive. If these countries’ currencies are to retain any value, the debt must be trimmed (the Euro for example, is widely believed to be “finished”). The battle over how this trimming takes place can be properly referred to as “class war” — a revolution in Greece is brewing over such an issue, with Portugal, Spain, and Italy not far behind.
All over Europe and the U.S. the corporate elite is demanding that the giant government debts — due to bailouts and wars — be reduced by lowering wages, gutting social services, slashing public education, Social Security, Medicare, etc. Labor unions and progressive groups are demanding that the rich and corporations, instead, pay for the crisis that they created through progressive taxation, eliminating tax havens, and if need be, nationalization. This tug of war over society’s resources is class war. The global crisis has developed to such a degree that no middle ground can be safely bargained.
This revolution-creating dynamic also spawns wars. Corporations demand that wages and benefits be reduced during a recession so that “profitability is restored.” This is the only way out of a global recession, since nothing is produced under capitalism if it doesn’t create a profit; and recessions destroy profit. But there are other ways to restore profits.
While corporate-controlled governments work to restore domestic profitability by attacking the living standards of workers, they likewise look abroad to fix their problems. A sure-fire way to increase profits is to export more products overseas, something Obama has mentioned in dozens of speeches. One way to ensure that a foreign country will accept/market your exported goods is by threatening them, or attacking them. An occupied country, like Iraq for example, was forced to allow a flood of U.S. corporations inside to pillage as they saw fit — an automatic export boom.
When the world market shrinks during a recession — since consumers can afford to buy fewer goods — the urge to dominate markets via war increases dramatically. These same shrinking markets compel international corporations, based in different nations, to insanely compete for markets, raw materials, and cheap labor. War is a very logical outcome in such circumstances. President Obama reminds us:
“The world’s fastest-growing markets are outside our borders. We need to compete for those customers because other nations are competing for them.” Having a giant military establishment to back them up enables U.S. corporations to be better “competitors” than other nations.
War also serves as a valuable distraction to an angry public which is demanding jobs, higher wages, health care, well funded public education, and taxes on the wealthy. Better to channel this anger into hatred toward a “foreign enemy.”
The above issues are the ones certain to dominate major events in the coming years. The class war that is erupting as a result of the global depression will effect the majority of people in many nations, through joblessness, shrinking wages, the destruction of government services, or war. As working people in the U.S. begin a fight against these policies, the corporate elite will stop at nothing to implement them, and the social unrest in Europe will be transferred to the U.S. More working people will come to the realization that an economic system owned by giant corporations — themselves owned by very wealthy individuals — is irrational, and needs to be replaced
Source: War On You By Shamus Cooke
Other stories at We Are Change Colorado Springs
Many theories have sprung up in regards to what exactly happened on Thursday that would cause a 1,000 point drop in the DOW. Some say that it was a computer or human error that caused the trillion-dollar collapse, but few have theorized the possibility of an engineered collapse that would purposefully create more instability in the United States.
Here’s CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo calling the crash in the DOW a manipulated event.
“That is ridiculous”, Bartiromo replied. “I mean this really sounds like market manipulation to me. This is outrageous.”
Evidence that the financial oligarchs manufactured this market crash has been discovered from a 2009 Bilderberg pre-meeting booklet that was obtained by reporter Daniel Estulin. It warns that the Bilderberg is fostering a false sense of recovery of the economy, suckering investors to plunge back into the stock market to only unleash another massive downturn which will create “massive losses and searing financial pain in the months ahead,” does this not sound like what occurred on Thursday?
The DOW crash seems to be an engineered event that created a loss of confidence in the current system, using it as a spring-board to promote the globalist economic system run by the World Bank and the IMF. This was a very painful event, the U.S. economy will soon resemble what is currently happening in Greece where we are debt slaves to the IMF, which is the financial arm of the United Nation’s world government.
The economy-killing VAT tax has literally destroyed European nations like Greece, the U.S. now faces a similar fate. Barack Obama is in full support of huge tax increases and adopting the VAT tax. The regime is also in full support of carbon or some type of energy tax and insurance taxes. If the United States adopts the VAT there is no doubt the country will end up like Europe. President Obama is also considering cutting entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare to sustain the economy.
On top of this, globalist oligarchs already created global taxes called a ‘bank tax’ where every financial institution pays a fee directly to the IMF. Small business will be non-existent in this country and business in general will have to pay taxes like the VAT, carbon and insurance tax, all of which of course will be paid by the average American. There is also a financial transactions tax, you will be forced to pay a monthly tax to simply own a checking account, paying bills, cashing checks, paying employees and the list goes on and on and on.
Are we beginning to see the big picture? Just as Greece, the United States will crumble into the hands of world government, drowning in debt and forced to be bailed out by the IMF, in whichthe U.S. will resemble a 3rd world nation, forever enslaved by a world government dictatorship. The Bilderberg Group will be meeting in Sitges Spain on June 3-6 to further discuss the these devious plans.
Peter Mandelson & Ed Balls confronted on Bilderberg
Other stories at We Are Change Colorado Springs
When thinking about all the services provided by federal, state and local governments, 75% of voters nationwide say the average American should pay no more than 20% of their income in taxes. However, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that most voters (55%) believe the average American actually pays 30% or more of their income in taxes.
Sixty-six percent (66%) believe that America is overtaxed. Only 25% disagree.
Lower income voters are more likely than others to believe the nation is overtaxed.
Not surprisingly, the tax issue provokes a wide gap between the Political Class and Mainstream Americans. Eighty-one percent (81%) of Mainstream American voters believe the nation is overtaxed, while 74% of those in the Political Class disagree (see more about the Political Class and Mainstream Americans).
Eighty-one percent (81%) of Republicans believe the nation is overtaxed. So do 73% of voters not affiliated with either major party. Democrats are evenly divided on the question.
Among those who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement, 96% believe the nation is overtaxed, and only one percent (1%) disagree. continued
Source: Information Liberation
Other stories at We Are Change Colorado Springs