The Bubble Has Burst

15 Signs That America’s Economic Depression Is Accelerating As We Head Toward The Holiday Season

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Hardly anyone expected that things would get this bad in 2020.  Once the pandemic hit and states all over the country started instituting lockdowns, economic activity collapsed dramatically.  U.S. GDP was down 31.4 percent during the second quarter of 2020, and that was a drop without parallel in all of U.S. history.  In fact, that decline was more than three times as large as the previous record.  But eventually states started to “reopen” their economies, and U.S. GDP for the third quarter is expected to show a significant rebound when the numbers are finally released.  Of course we still aren’t even close to where we used to be, but at least things weren’t as bad as they were in the second quarter.

But now as the fourth quarter begins, it appears that economic conditions are heading back in the wrong direction again. 

The following are 15 signs that America’s economic depression is accelerating as we head toward the holiday season…

#1 All 546 Regal Cinema theaters in the United States are being shut down, and right now there is no timetable for reopening them.

#2 It is being reported that AMC Entertainment (the largest movie theater chain in the U.S.) will “run out of liquidity” in 6 months.

#3 Over the weekend, I was told by someone that works in the industry that he expects most movie theaters in the country to eventually close down permanently because of this pandemic.

#4 The average rent on a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco is 20.3 percent lower than it was one year ago.

#5 During the 3rd quarter, the number of vehicles delivered by General Motors was down about 10 percent from a year ago.

#6 It is being reported that Anheuser-Busch will be laying off 400 employees in Loveland, Denver, Littleton and Colorado Springs.

#7 Allstate has just announced that they will be laying off 3,800 workers.

#8 JCPenney says that it will be cutting approximately 15,000 jobs as we approach the holiday shopping season.

#9 At least one-fourth of the 28,000 layoffs that Disney will be conducting will happen in Florida.

#10 Collectively, American Airlines and United Airlines let 32,000 employees go last week.

#11 On Thursday, we learned that another 787,000 Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits during the previous week.

#12 Overall, more than 60 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits so far in 2020.  That number is far higher than anything we have ever seen before in all of U.S. history.

#13 Retail store closings in the United States continue to surge along at a pace that is absolutely unprecedented.

#14 Bankruptcy filings in New York City have risen 40 percent so far in 2020.

#15 This number is hard to believe, but it is being reported that almost 90 percent of New York City bar and restaurant owners couldn’t pay their full rent for the month of August.

None of this was supposed to happen.

By now, we were supposed to be well into a “V-shaped recovery” that would soon have Americans forgetting all about the dark days in the middle of 2020.

But instead, millions upon millions of Americans have lost their jobs and are facing a deeply uncertain future.  One of those Americans is an unemployed cook named Juan Jose Martinez Camacho

Juan Jose Martinez Camacho, 59, has been a cook for 30 years, since he was asked to fill in one day when he was working as a dishwasher in a restaurant.

He has worked as a cook at the Crowne Plaza in Redondo Beach, California, for 22 years. When he was laid off on March 23, he was thinking it would be only two or three months before things got back to normal. But late last month he was notified he had permanently lost the job, which paid $22 an hour. He has been looking for other cooking jobs without any luck.

Can you imagine doing the same thing for 30 years and suddenly being out of a job?

Like most Americans, he assumed that the pandemic would soon pass and he would be going back to his old routine.

But that hasn’t happened, and so he is among the millions of restaurant workers that are not bringing in any income right now.

With so many Americans out of work, food banks around the country have been dealing with a tsunami of demand.  In previous articles, I have written about the absolutely massive lines that we have been seeing in certain portions of the nation.  In some cases, people have started lining up at 2 AM in the morning and the lines have gotten up to 2 miles long.

And every week we see more gigantic lines at food banks all over America.  The following is how one local news source described the massive lines that have been consistently forming in the state of Texas…

Thousands of cars form tightly packed lines across the state every week now to receive food. From Chihuahuan Desert border towns and cities to the staked plains of the panhandle, across the piney wood of deep East Texas, down to the Rio Grande and back cars stack, growing into steel and fiberglass caterpillars, hungry.

These events have distributed tens of millions of pounds of food over the past six months.

If you still have your job and you haven’t been forced to visit a food bank during this crisis, you should be thankful for your blessings.

Just like in the 1930s, we are witnessing colossal lines for food all over the nation, and this is just the beginning.

If you have been waiting for a “recovery”, you can stop waiting, because what we witnessed during the third quarter was about all the “recovery” that we are going to get.

Now we are less than a month away from a presidential election that promises to be incredibly chaotic, and the extremely deep divisions that already exist in our nation are likely to get even worse.  Many believe that this election will produce even more civil unrest, and that will likely depress economic activity even further.

I truly wish that economic conditions would “return to normal” and that all of us could get back to our old patterns.

But there isn’t going to be any “return to normal” any time soon.

Instead, very dark days are ahead, and those very dark days will shake this nation to the core.

from:   https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/15-signs-americas-economic-depression-accelerating-we-head-toward-holiday-season?utm_campaign=&utm_content=Zerohedge%3A+The+Durden+Dispatch&utm_medium=email&utm_source=zh_newsletter

Mr. Fed, Where are You Going?

David Stockman: The Biggest Threat To Your Prosperity And What You Can Do

Authored by David Stockman via Doug Casey’s International Man,

If you want to understand America’s dangerously deepening travails, you have to start at the Federal Reserve’s Eccles Building…

After a 30-year rolling coup d’etat, its occupants have imposed a regime of destructive falsification on America’s financial, economic, political, and social life.

It has become the heart of mushrooming darkness taking prosperity, liberty, and democracy down for the count.

How do we get 50 million unemployed… the stock market at record highs… companies trashing their balance sheets to buy back stock and do vastly overpriced M&A deals… doctors and politicians savaging the economy and the livelihoods of millions… and Washington going incontinent on the fiscal front?

The answer is simple:

the rapidly-spreading dysfunction is rooted in the giant financial fraud embedded in the Federal Reserve’s $7 trillion balance sheet.

The latter is blissfully taken for granted by the politicians and C-suites of corporate America and desperately insisted upon by the unhinged gamblers of Wall Street.

Even if you believe that a regular infusion of money is needed to catalyze the wheels of capitalist growth (we don’t), there is absolutely no economic logic that says the central bank’s balance sheet should grow by orders of magnitude faster than GDP over an extended period of time.

If the robustly growing GDP of 1987 needed $5 of central bank money per $100 of GDP, there is no reason why that ratio should have differed in 2008 or 2020.

But it did and does.

In June 1987, the nominal GDP was $4.8 trillion, and by all current estimates, it clocked in at $19.4 trillion in June 2020. That’s a 4.1X expansion over 33 years.

In contrast, the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet stood at about $240 billion on the eve of Greenspan’s arrival at the Eccles Building in August 1987 and clocked in at $7.2 trillion at the end of Q2 2020. That’s a 30X gain.

Since the early 2000s and the dotcom crash, it has only gotten far worse. The chart below of the Fed’s balance sheet and GDP is indexed to 100 as of January 2003. It tells you all you need to know.

During the past 17 years, the Fed’s balance sheet (purple line) has risen to 983% of its starting value, even as GDP (red line) has risen to only 192%.

What was fostered in the vast area between the two lines above was excess liquidity, debt, speculation, and malinvestment. This was accompanied by a complete breakdown of financial discipline in all sectors of American society.

These long-term growth factors are not even in the same zip code or planet—and the massive excess of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet versus GDP did not happen like a tree falling silently in an empty forest.

On the contrary, it turned the financial and economic world upside down. That’s because the effect was to systematically suppress the cost of debt and speculation and drastically inflate the value of financial assets. As a result, everyone got false price signals and changed their behavior accordingly:

  • Wall Street investors became leveraged speculators;
  • Corporate business builders become financial engineers;
  • Middle-class households became debt slaves living hand-to-mouth on borrowed money; and
  • Washington’s politicians became free lunch spendthrifts piling on public debt like there was no tomorrow.

The Fed is now a rogue institution that comprises a clear and present danger to the future of prosperity and liberty in America.

The tragedy is that the clueless speculators on Wall Street, and the politicians of Washington who are riding the most egregiously inflated financial bubble ever, don’t even get the joke.

So what happens next?

We’d say nothing very pleasant.

*  *  *

The truth is, we’re on the cusp of a economic crisis that could eclipse anything we’ve seen before. And most people won’t be prepared for what’s coming. That’s exactly why bestselling author Doug Casey and his team just released a free report with all the details on how to survive an economic collapse. Click here to download the PDF now.

from:    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/david-stockman-biggest-threat-your-prosperity-and-what-you-can-do?utm_campaign=&utm_content=ZeroHedge%3A+The+Durden+Dispatch&utm_medium=email&utm_source=zh_newsletter

A Few Predictions from John Hogue

(A few prophecies from the Modern Nostradamus, John Hogue:)

DATELINE: 31 May 2020

THE PRELUDE::     May you Live in Interesting Quickening Times

This title is a variation on the Chinese proverb that euphemistically sugarcoats a time of upheaval, an end of the long vacation from history’s whirlwinds as “Interesting.” There are many moving future-trending parts to the quickening evolutionary crisis of the human race. HogueProphecy will try to keep giving you the larger perspective as the news plays its infantile fixation on one running part of this engine of global crises, such as the Coronavirus. The first important trend to anticipate is upon us: what kind of “new abnormal” is the world about to enter, just as it looks like the US and Europe are the first large centers of civilization after China to stagger out of their economic shutdowns and slowly resuscitate the engine of commerce.

What are signs of the damage to look out for?

How long will the recovery be? Will half the world emerge unemployed? Are the dire figures initially being reported about job losses going to end up in fact not at all as high as feared, just like forecasts of the Coronavirus’ death toll have turned out far lower than first anticipated?

Given the quickening times, I will start off my May 2020 Article wave with several news-trending articles providing you with quick oracular insights into future trending themes….

Awakening from a COVID Pan-Econodemic Coma
By early July we will begin to See How much Damage Shutting Down the World. did To the Body Economic

…  The ILO believes half of the world’s workforce—1.6 billion workers—will have no jobs to return to. Like gig workers in the developed world, the informal or day-job workers on short-term contract will be hardest hit, especially in developing nations.

The ILO report came out at the end of April, roughly after month one of the global economic “coma” as my oracle likes to call it, declaring, “The first month of the crisis is estimated to have resulted in a drop of 60 percent in the income of informal workers globally.”

Imagine an epic peril of 436 million businesses descending into foreclosures, bankruptcy with a good chance that a third of these, even half might disappear?

The EU’s (Eeeyoooky!) unemployment stats are coming in. If COVID-19 prays on the vulnerable with compromised immune systems and preexisting conditions, the post-COVID-Pan-Econodemic has the econimmunologically unhealthy members of the EU in its clutches.

Italy is in shock and crawling out of the shutdown weak as a kitten. Then there’s Spain’s Labor Ministry revealing unemployment benefits hitting an all-time high of 5.2 million at the end of April alone. The Spanish working in the food and beverage services lost 720,000 jobs. With the Bank of Spain forecasting an economic shrinkage of 6.8 percent and even 12.4 percent in 2021, “if the Covid-19 lockdown lasts eight or 12 weeks.”

… People’s habits have undergone a shock from this plague and lockdown. China, the first outbreak center opening back to business in early April, has seen a lot less people returning to crowded malls, movie theaters, sport venues and restaurants.

France’s President Macron has already declared in late May 2020 a cancellation of August vacations. Say au revoir to millions of French folk crowding their own and Italy’s restaurants and Mediterranean beaches sustaining millions of French, Italian or the 720,000 Spanish food and beverage workers hoping to go back to work in hotels, bistros and kitchens of these nationally critical tourist markets.

The same vacuum of international tourism is coming all over the world.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) when faced in mid-May with 90 percent of air travel grounded in Europe and the US since the start of the pandemic are now predicting a great downsizing of the airline industry as a consequence. They have concluded recovery back to pre-COVID-shutdown levels will take until 2023, a minimum of three years.

…Now let’s look to the EU’s economic heart, the German economy, without which there would be no Euro economic union, since the euro is a deutschmark in disguise. It’s heading for its worst recession since it had no economy left standing at the end of World War II. The German Economic Ministry predicted it will shrink by 6.3 percent in 2020 but rebound by 5.2 GDP after the economy revives in the second half of 2021.

…( Rick) Sanchez (of RT America) pointed out that that printing unbacked fiat money to abandon “is not good for consumers.” The reckoning comes later when they begin bracing for rises in the cost of living because of all this printing by fiat across the globe. The funny money has been cranked out by central banks in the trillions—$5 trillion by the US alone in mid-May.

…I can feel it clearly, we aren’t coming back to pre-COVID prices for food or much else. There will be a slow climb in costs that the US president will do whatever magic tricks with stimuli of the economy he can to curtail. That means the real pocketbook pain is coming “after” the 3 November presidential election.

…Also by year’s end perhaps 40 percent of the 40-million plus unemployed are still unemployed.

If you Can’t Work You Can’t Eat
The Hunger Games of Global Food Shortages are Here

No work equals no income, equals no food security and no future. This, framed in my brevity of words, is what the ILO Director-General Guy Ryder related in his late April UNO report. He added that a “massive” rise in poverty was coming in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdown and lockdown. And what he didn’t mention directly is these newly-impoverished people will go hungry.

Where there’s Plague, there’s War:
US Playing Games of Military Chicken with Iran  From the Persian Gulf to Venezuela And US is behind Renewal of Tensions in Hong Kong
Plus the Sino-Indian Border Crisis in Ladakh

There is an important overview not being addressed by the US mainstream media. There is a reason behind why President Trump threatens to defund WHO (World Health Organization) because it answers, in his view, as an agent of China.

! EARTH TRAUMA WARNING !
Sooner than Later: Tropical Oceans
Will Begin Collapsing in Ten Years!

It is coming in our lifetimes! The timing, speed and intensity of temperature rises have brought forward estimates by scientists of a catastrophic biodiversity loss their earlier findings pushed back far over the horizon window to the distant year of 2100.

from:    http://www.hogueprophecy.com/2020/06/preview/

The sections have been greatly abbreviated.  Go to the link to read the full text.

 

Are You Following the Money or the Hype?

Snyder: It’s Much Worse Than You Are Being Told

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

For a long time I warned that our economic bubble would burst and that we would plunge into a nightmarish economic collapse.  Now it has happened, and it turns out that fear of COVID-19 was the “black swan event” that triggered the collapse.  The ironic thing is that COVID-19 is not even close to the worst thing that is going to happen to us.  But it was more than enough to topple our incredibly fragile economic system, and now tens of millions of Americans are deeply suffering.  On Friday, the April jobs report was released, and it was the worst jobs report in U.S. history by a very, very wide margin.  According to the official numbers, 20.5 million Americans lost their jobs during the month, and the unemployment rate shot up to 14.7 percent.  During the last recession, the unemployment rate peaked at about 10 percent, and we have already left that number in the dust.

The figures that we are seeing now are truly, truly horrifying, and what is even more frightening is that they aren’t even that accurate.

But don’t take my word for it.

On Friday, the U.S. Labor Department publicly admitted that the true unemployment rate in April was closer to 20 percent

Millions of U.S. residents were counted as employed in April despite having no job, suggesting April’s true unemployment rate was closer to 20%, much higher than the official 14.7% reported, the Labor Department said Friday.

The jobless rate should have included people on temporary unpaid leave, furloughed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the government said.

I applaud the Labor Department for trying to be honest.  In the report, they openly admitted that an “additional 7.5 million workers” should have been classified as unemployed

But responses to the survey by which the data was collected show 11.5 million people were categorized as employed but absent from work because of vacation, parental leave or other reasons, but including 8.1 million absent for “unspecified” reasons, a group that usually numbers about 620,000.

“One assumption might be that these additional 7.5 million workers …should have been classified as unemployed on temporary layoff,” a note attached to the government’s jobs report Friday said.

If those workers had been correctly classified, the official unemployment rate would have been about 19.5 percent, and that would have put us solidly in Great Depression territory.

But others have looked at the numbers and calculated that the true rate of unemployment should be even higher than that.

For example, Standard Chartered has calculated that the true rate of unemployment could be as high as 27.5 percent

While it is true that what the BLS reported that the April unemployment rate (UR) was less than expected (14.7% versus consensus of 16.0%) and the drop in payroll employment of 20.5 million was also less than the 22.0 million expected, Standard Chartered bank has calculated that adjustments to the headline unemployment rate push the effective number of unemployed to 42 million and the effective UR rate to 25.5%, higher even than the U-6 underemployment rate of 22.8%. Worse, if one treats underemployed in line with the U-6 methodology, the true April unemployment number would rise to an mindblowing 27.5%.

So how did Standard Chartered arrive at those numbers?  The following is how Zero Hedge explained it…

How does one get these numbers? As the bank’s chief FX strategist Steve Englander explains, start with the 23.1 million unemployed as published by BLS. To this add 8.1mn people who have dropped out of the labor force since February (previously the labor force had been growing steadily, so these are likely unemployed).

Add back 7.5MM workers classified as ‘employed but not at work for other reasons’ – BLS states that these workers are likely misclassified as employed, when they are in fact unemployed. Involuntary part-time work for economic reasons has gone up by 6.6MM and we treat these as half-unemployed (i.e., a contribution of 3.3MM).

This totals almost 42 Million effectively unemployed.

And Standard Chartered is not the only one that has come up with such a high figure.

In fact, John Williams of shadowstats.com says that if honest numbers were being used that the U.S. unemployment rate would now be an eye-popping 35.4 percent.

Wow.

Of course everyone admits that things are really, really bad and that the numbers for next month are likely to be even worse.

If you can believe it, even White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett is admitting that the official unemployment rate is likely to surge above 20 percent in “May or June”

White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett believes the unemployment rate could rise above 20% and the worst job losses would come in “May or June” because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

When asked Sunday what the “bottom” of the country’s unemployment pain would be, Hassett, who advises the Trump administration on economic policy and is the former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, told CBS’s “Face the Nation,” “to get unemployment rates like the ones that we’re about to see … which I think will climb up toward 20% by next month, you have to really go back to the Great Depression to see that.”

And even once this pandemic fades, many of those jobs won’t be coming back.

Initially, many employers had anticipated that they would be bringing all of their employees back following a short, severe crisis.  But at this point reality is beginning to set in for many of them.

For example, a restaurant owner in Kentucky named Britney Ruby Miller has had to lower her expectations as this pandemic has dragged on…

In late March, Britney Ruby Miller, co-owner of a small chain of steakhouse restaurants, confidently proclaimed that once the viral outbreak had subsided, her company planned to recall all its laid-off workers.

Now? Miller would be thrilled to restore, by year’s end, three-quarters of the roughly 600 workers her company had to let go.

Yes, the state of Kentucky is starting to “reopen for business”, but for now her restaurants will “be limited to 33% of capacity” and there will be all sorts of other new expenses that Miller will be forced to deal with…

Yet business won’t be returning to what it was before. In Kentucky, the restaurants will be limited to 33% of capacity. They are putting six feet between tables in all their restaurants, thereby limiting seating. Miller estimates that the company’s revenue will plunge by half to three-quarters this year.

And expenses are rising because the company must buy face masks and other equipment for the workers it does recall and restock its food, drink, and equipment supplies.

There are very, very few restaurants that can be profitable under such circumstances.

Unless the state of Kentucky lifts those ridiculous restrictions, Miller may soon lose all of her restaurants and all of her employees may soon be permanently out of jobs.

Of course more layoff announcements just keep rolling in from all over America with each passing day.  The following examples come from the Wall Street Journal

This past week, General Electric Co., Uber Technologies Inc. UBER 6.01% and Airbnb Inc. said they would lay off thousands of workers. MGM Resorts International MGM 4.42% warned that some of the 63,000 employees it has furloughed may be let go permanently starting in August. Aerospace supplier Raytheon Technologies Corp., RTX 2.91%  job-listings site Glassdoor and United Airlines Holdings Inc. UAL 11.74% also said in the past week that they had reduced jobs or planned to do so.

This is what an economic depression looks like, and it is going to be so incredibly painful.

And it is critical to understand that what we have experienced so far is just a warm-up act for the next chapters.

If you remember how bitter the last recession was, that should motivate you to take action to prepare for what is ahead, because this economic downturn is already even worse.

Yes, the months in front of us will be exceptionally challenging, but you can get through this.  Things may look really bleak, but for now you just need to keep hanging in there.

There will be life on the other side, but your future may end up looking far different than you originally anticipated.

from:    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/snyder-its-much-worse-you-are-being-told

What’s Going on?

As Always – Do your research, The Decide for yourself:

Mark Zuckerberg is running the Bucky Fuller agenda

 

“Every time somebody comes up with a universal plan to improve the world, you have to ask yourself this burning question: who will impose the plan? And then you have ask: what are the imposers’ true motives? And you have to remember what a Trojan Horse is.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)

Over a period of 50 years, Buckminster Fuller explained his plan for making a better world. He talked about the coming wave of automation that would throw gigantic numbers of people out of work. He talked about the need for a universal system of support, whereby everyone on the planet would be guaranteed, from birth, the essentials of survival: food, clothing, shelter, and limitless free education.

Read this statement by Fuller:

“We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”

Obviously, Fuller’s plan carries great appeal for many young people, for whom the idea of earning a living is a full-bore horror movie.

Fuller also believed that freeing up the young to “think about new solutions” for humanity and come up with new technology would justify his plan.

Compare Fuller’s agenda with Mark Zuckerberg’s. The Facebook founder recently gave a commencement address at Harvard. Read his words carefully:

“…today, technology and automation are eliminating many jobs…Our generation will have to deal with tens of millions of jobs replaced by automation like self-driving cars and trucks. But we have the potential to do so much more together.”

“Every generation expands its definition of equality. Previous generations fought for the vote and civil rights. They had the New Deal and Great Society. Now it’s our time to define a new social contract for our generation.”

“We should have a society that measures progress not just by economic metrics like GDP, but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to give everyone a cushion to try new things… And as technology keeps changing, we need to focus more on continuous education throughout our lives.”

By direct statement and implication, Zuckerberg is echoing Bucky Fuller. The threat of automation. Massive unemployment. Guarantee the means of survival for every person. Free education for life. Come up with new ideas that contribute to the progress of the human species.

But as with Fuller, the thorny question about who is going to put this new universal plan into action is sidestepped. It appears the answer is: “the government.”

The most incompetent, bloated, corrupt, conniving force on the planet is in charge.

Doesn’t that fill you with confidence?

There is more. Who, behind the scenes, influences and controls government decisions and policies? A few groups come to mind: Bilderberg; Council on Foreign Relations; Trilateral Commission; United Nations. Fill in others yourself.

These are people we can trust?

And then there is this: what is the overall effect of gifting everyone on the planet with the basics of survival? On balance, does it produce visionaries and determined entrepreneurs? Or does it produce massive numbers of Welfare dependents, who drift in a sluggish space and want, at most, periodic stimulations of adrenaline to relieve their interminable boredom? Do they seek out endless free education, or do they ingest various drugs and sit glued to screens—and occasionally take to the streets to demand MORE?

Are fervent Globalist, Leftist, technocratic academics prepared to offer an honest assessment of the effects of a few billion people living on universal Welfare?

It’s quite convenient that “utopian” thinkers like Bucky Fuller and Mark Zuckerberg avoid these questions.

It’s not a stretch to infer that Zuckerberg views his brainchild, Facebook, as a means to expand the Surveillance State to new dimensions, because a few billion people living on Welfare are a potentially volatile demographic and “need to be watched.”

Is this liberation? It’s about population-pacification, passivity, endless “entertainment,” lowest common denominator, mind control, creating “voting blocs”; and yes, elimination of all borders, and a global superstructure of management for planet Earth. It’s about smaller living spaces, assigned from above, overcrowding in cities, and governments taking over more and more public lands…

This is the reality behind the utopia.

As usual, the devil is in the details. It’s easy to envision whole generations of empowered visionaries finding new solutions for the planet. But on even a cursory examination, the whole plan sinks into a morass of grotesque consequences.

If you’re up for it, try researching this question: How many government programs, and how much funding, is devoted, in all countries of the world, to authentically stimulating the freedom and power and creativity and independence of The Individual?

A related question: How many college courses around the world teach The Freedom and Power and Creativity and Independence of The Individual?

Answering these questions will give you some idea of governments’ “genuine caring” for individual innovation.

Good hunting.

Zuckerberg is Bucky Fuller 2.0. Unlike Fuller, he has billions in the bank. He has allies in the Deep State. He has the means to push the Fuller agenda.

From the top down.

And as usual, that’s where all the trouble starts. “Here, all you people, this is what you want. This plan will make life easier for you. Don’t you want things to be easier? We will make it happen. It’s our gift.”

The gift sounds appealing. It looks appealing.

Roughly 3200 years ago, after Greek forces failed to penetrate the gated city of Troy during a decade of war, they abandoned the field in apparent defeat. They left behind a giant wooden horse. The Trojans took the beautiful and appealing statue as a trophy and brought it into the city. At night, under cover, a door opened in the horse, Greek soldiers slipped out, opened the gates of Troy, and the rest of the Greek force, which hadn’t really retreated, flooded in.

The gift that wasn’t a gift.

“Oh look, that’s a wonderful idea to make a better future. I’ll take it in. I’ll believe in it…”

The gates of a city; the gates of a mind.

from:    https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2017/06/02/mark-zuckerberg-is-running-the-bucky-fuller-agenda/

Economic Stress Indicators

20 Early Warning Signs That We Are Approaching A Global Economic Meltdown

Michael Snyder
Activist Post

Have you been paying attention to what has been happening in Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, Ukraine, Turkey and China?  If you are like most Americans, you have not been.  Most Americans don’t seem to really care too much about what is happening in the rest of the world, but they should.

In major cities all over the globe right now, there is looting, violence, shortages of basic supplies, and runs on the banks. We are not at a “global crisis” stage yet, but things are getting worse with each passing day. For a while, I have felt that 2014 would turn out to be a major “turning point” for the global economy, and so far that is exactly what it is turning out to be.  The following are 20 early warning signs that we are rapidly approaching a global economic meltdown…

1 The looting, violence and economic chaos that is happening in Argentina right now is a perfect example of what can happen when you print too much money

For Dominga Kanaza, it wasn’t just the soaring inflation or the weeklong blackouts or even the looting that frayed her nerves.

It was all of them combined.

At one point last month, the 37-year-old shop owner refused to open the metal shutters protecting her corner grocery in downtown Buenos Aires more than a few inches — just enough to sell soda to passersby on a sweltering summer day.

#2 The value of the Argentine Peso is absolutely collapsing.

#3 Widespread shortages, looting and accelerating inflation are also causing huge problems in Venezuela

Economic mismanagement in Venezuela has reached such a level that it risks inciting a violent popular reaction. Venezuela is experiencing declining export revenues, accelerating inflation and widespread shortages of basic consumer goods. At the same time, the Maduro administration has foreclosed peaceful options for Venezuelans to bring about a change in its current policies.

President Maduro, who came to power in a highly-contested election last April, has reacted to the economic crisis with interventionist and increasingly authoritarian measures. His recent orders to slash prices of goods sold in private businesses resulted in episodes of looting, which suggests a latent potential for violence. He has put the armed forces on the street to enforce his economic decrees, exposing them to popular discontent.

#4 In a stunning decision, the Venezuelan government has just announced that it has devalued the Bolivar by more than 40 percent.

#5 Brazilian stocks declined sharply on Thursday. There is a tremendous amount of concern that the economic meltdown that is happening in Argentina is going to spill over into Brazil.

#6 Ukraine is rapidly coming apart at the seams

A tense ceasefire was announced in Kiev on the fifth day of violence, with radical protesters and riot police holding their position. Opposition leaders are negotiating with the government, but doubts remain that they will be able to stop the rioters.

#7 It appears that a bank run has begun in China

As China’s CNR reports, depositors in some of Yancheng City’s largest farmers’ co-operative mutual fund societies (“banks”) have been unable to withdraw “hundreds of millions” in deposits in the last few weeks. “Everyone wants to borrow and no one wants to save,” warned one ‘salesperson’, “and loan repayments are difficult to recover.” There is “no money” and the doors are locked.

#8 Art Cashin of UBS is warning that credit markets in China “may be broken“.  For much more on this, please see my recent article entitled “The $23 Trillion Credit Bubble In China Is Starting To Collapse – Global Financial Crisis Next?

#9 News that China’s manufacturing sector is contracting shook up financial markets on Thursday…

Wall Street was rattled by a key reading on China’s manufacturing which dropped below the key 50 level in January, according to HSBC. A reading below 50 on the HSBC flash manufacturing PMI suggests economic contraction.

#10 Japanese stocks experienced their biggest drop in 7 months on Thursday.

#11 The value of the Turkish Lira is absolutely collapsing.

#12 The unemployment rate in France has risen for 9 quarters in a row and recently soared to a new 16-year high.

#13 In Italy, the unemployment rate has soared to a brand new all-time record high of 12.7 percent.

#14 The unemployment rate in Spain is sitting at an all-time record high of 26.7 percent.

#15 This year, the Baltic Dry Index experienced the largest two-week, post-holiday decline that we have ever seen.

#16 Chipmaker Intel recently announced that it plans to eliminate 5,000 jobs over the coming year.

#17 CNBC is reporting that U.S. retailers just experienced “since 2008″>the worst holiday season since 2008”.

#18 A recent CNBC article stated that U.S. consumers should expect a “tsunami” of store closings in the retail industry…

Get ready for the next era in retail—one that will be characterized by far fewer shops and smaller stores.

On Tuesday, Sears said that it will shutter its flagship store in downtown Chicago in April. It’s the latest of about 300 store closures in the U.S. that Sears has made since 2010. The news follows announcements earlier this month of multiple store closings from major department stores J.C. Penney and Macy’s.

Further signs of cuts in the industry came Wednesday, when Target said that it will eliminate 475 jobs worldwide, including some at its Minnesota headquarters, and not fill 700 empty positions.

#19 The U.S. Congress is facing another deadline to raise the debt ceiling in February.

#20 The Dow fell by more than 170 points on Thursday.  It is becoming increasingly likely that “the peak of the market” is now in the rear view mirror.

And I have not even mentioned the extreme drought that has caused the U.S. cattle herd to drop to a 61-year low or the nuclear radiation from Fukushima that is washing up on the west coast.

In light of everything above, is there anyone out there that still wants to claim that “everything is going to be okay” for the global economy?

Sadly, most Americans are not even aware of most of these things.

All over the country today, the number one news headline is about Justin Bieber.  The mainstream media is absolutely obsessed with celebrity scandals, and so is a very large percentage of the U.S. population.

A great economic storm is rapidly approaching, and most people don’t even seem to notice the storm clouds that are gathering on the horizon.

In the end, perhaps we will get what we deserve as a nation.

This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog.  Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog.

from:    http://www.activistpost.com/2014/01/20-early-warning-signs-that-we-are.html

2011’s Health & Happiness Lessons

Top 10 Health & Happiness Lessons of 2011

Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 31 December 2011 Time: 09:28 AM ET

Skiing at Snowmass, CO.
Outdoorsy Colorado remained the slimmest state in America in 2011.
CREDIT: Marcin Moryc, Shutterstock

A lengthy job search promotes worry, stress and anger, but a bad job is worse for happiness than no job at all.

Those findings are on the Gallup polling agency’s list of most compelling findings about health and happiness in 2011. The agency queries tens of thousands of Americans every year about their health, well-being and happiness. The resulting Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index is a day-by-day measurement of America’s mental state. Here’s what Gallup’s editors say intrigued them the most this year:

1. Long job searches are bad for well-being

The longer Americans search for jobs, the unhappier they are with their lives, according to a Gallup poll analysis released in February. Only 34 percent of unemployed Americans who had been looking for work for at least 11 weeks said they were “thriving” in life, compared with 47 percent of those who had been looking for 10 weeks or less. Sending out more job applications with no luck had a similar effect: Half of people who had sent out fewer than 10 applications said they were thriving, compared with 32 percent of those who had sent out more.

2. More Americans now normal-weight than overweight

For the first time in three years, more Americans qualified as “normal weight” than “overweight,” according to poll data released in October. That poll found 36.6 percent of Americans had a body mass index (BMI) placing them in the “normal” category, compared with 35.8 percent who were classified as overweight.

Still, 25.8 percent of Americans qualified for the more severe condition of being obese, defined by a BMI of 30 or higher. BMI is calculated using weight and height. That meant the majority of Americans – 61.6  percent –  are still in weight ranges that put them at higher risk for health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. [8 Reasons Our Waistlines Are Expanding]

3. Fewer young adults go without health insurance

A growing number of young Americans had health coverage in 2011, thanks to a provision in the Affordable Care Act that allows children to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26. Since that rule went into effect in 2010, Gallup found, the number of uninsured 18- to 25-year-olds without insurance dropped by 3.8 percentage points, to 24.2 percent.

However, the proportion of 26- to 64-year-olds without insurance increased over the same time period, from 18.1 percent to 19.9 percent. Overall, the survey found, 17.4 percent of Americans lacked health insurance in the second quarter of 2011.

4. Colorado is America’s skinniest state

An August Gallup report revealed that Colorado, with an obesity rate of 20.1 percent, remains the skinniest of the states. West Virginia had the heftiest population, with 34.3 percent of its people obese. That’s the highest rate Gallup has measured since it began obesity tracking in 2008.

Although Colorado is relatively svelte today, its current population would be the fattest in America if the state were to travel back in time 20 years. In 1991, not a single state reported an obesity rate of more than 20 percent.

5. Americans struggle to afford food

Obesity rates aside, Americans actually had a harder time affording food and other basic necessities in 2011 than in recent years. When asked if they always had enough money to buy food in the last year, 79.8 percent of Americans said yes, the lowest number since November 2008. At that time, the start of the economic crisis, 79.4 percent of Americans said they never struggled to afford groceries.

The reasons for these patterns is not entirely clear, Gallup reported in November.

6. “Suffering” holds steady

Four percent of Americans said in September that their lives were so bad that they were “suffering,” a number that has held steady for 2½ years. That’s one of the lowest rates in the world, Gallup reported in October. Perhaps unsurprisingly, income and suffering were correlated, with people making less than $24,000 a year about six times more likely to describe themselves as suffering as those with incomes over $90,000 a year.

7. Employers are offering less health coverage

Employer-based health insurance is on the decline in America, with only 44.5 percent of Americans getting health coverage through work in the third quarter of 2011. That percentage has been on a steady decline since Gallup began tracking health insurance numbers in 2008, when the rate was 49.8 percent. There has been a simultaneous increase in the number of Americans getting their health insurance from the government (up to 25.1 percent from 22.9 percent) as well as an increase in people without any insurance at all (up to 17.3 percent from 14.6 percent).

8. Americans caring for each other

While working a day job, one in six Americans also acts as a caregiver for an elderly or disabled family member, Gallup reported in July. The caregiver job was most prevalent in the 45- to 64-year-old age demographic, with 22 percent of people in that group reporting caregiving responsibilities. Women were more likely to be caregivers for a needy relative than men were, 20 percent to 16 percent.

9. Bad health costs $153 billion a year

Weight-related health issues and other chronic problems cause American workers to miss an estimated 450 million days of work more each year than normally healthy workers, Gallup reported in October. That absenteeism costs more than $153 billion in lost productivity annually.

Normal-weight workers without chronic health conditions experience about 4 days a year when health interferes with their normal activities. Workers who are overweight and obese with one or two chronic conditions average 13 “unhealthy” days a year, while overweight or obese workers with three or more chronic conditions report 42 unhealthy days annually.

Workers do not take all of these “unhealthy” days as sick days, but Gallup researchers calculated that workers miss about one day of work for every three unhealthy days they experience.

10. A bad job is worse than no job

Workers who are emotionally disengaged from their jobs view their lives more negatively than workers who have no job at all, Gallup reported in March. Forty-two percent of the people who said they felt disconnected from their work and workplaces described themselves as “thriving” in life, compared with 48 percent of the unemployed. Workers who were happily engaged and enthusiastic with work were happiest in life. Of that group, 71 percent said they were thriving.

from:    http://www.livescience.com/17695-10-health-happiness-lessons.html