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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Here Are 10 Economic Charts That Will Blow Your Mind

What Is Wrong With The U.S. Economy? 

The 10 economic charts that you are about to see are completely and totally shocking.  If you know anyone that still does not believe that the United States is in the midst of a long-term economic decline, just show them these charts.  Sometimes you can quote economic statistics to people until you are blue in the face and it won't do any good, but when those same people see charts and pictures suddenly it all sinks in.  What is great about charts is that you can very easily demonstrate what has been happening to the economy over an extended period of time.  As you examine the economic charts below, pay special attention to what has been happening to the U.S. economy over the last 30 or 40 years.  The truth is that what is wrong with the U.S. economy is not a great mystery.  All of the economic problems that we are experiencing now have taken decades to develop.  Hopefully the charts in this article will help people realize just how nightmarish our economic problems have become, because until people start realizing how incredibly bad things have gotten they will never be willing to accept the dramatic solutions that are necessary to fix our financial system.
The sad fact of the matter is that we have been living in the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world over the last 40 years.  All of this debt has purchased a wonderful standard of living for the vast majority of us, but all of this debt has also destroyed the economic future of our children and our grandchildren.  Someday future generations will look back on what we have done in absolute horror.
The 10 economic charts posted below are meant to shock you.  Most Americans today need to be shocked before they will be motivated to take action.  Please share these charts with as many people as you can.  Hopefully we can wake enough people up that something will be done about all of these problems while there is still time.
1 - Government spending is expanding at an exponential rate.  As you can see from the chart below, federal spending is almost 18 times higher than it was back in 1970.  Now Barack Obama has proposed a budget that would increase U.S. government spending to 5.6 trillion dollars in 2021.  Just imagine what the following chart would look like if that happens....
2 - U.S. government debt is absolutely exploding.  The U.S. national debt is currently $14,081,561,324,681.83.  It is more than 14 times larger than it was back in 1980.  Unfortunately, the national debt continues to grow at breathtaking speed.  In fact, the Obama administration is projecting that the federal budget deficit for this year will be an all-time record 1.6 trillion dollars.  Can we afford to continue to accumulate debt at this rate?....
3 - Unless something changes right now, the outlook for U.S. government finances in future years is downright apocalyptic.  The chart posted below is from an official U.S. government report to Congress.  As you can see, it is projected that interest on our exploding national debt is absolutely going to spiral out of control if we continue on the path that we are currently on....
4 - Household debt has soared to almost unbelievable levels over the last 30 years.  The sad truth is that it is not just the U.S. government that has a massive debt problem.  U.S. households have also been accumulating debt at a staggering rate.  Total U.S. household debt did not pass the 2 trillion dollar mark until the mid-1980s, but now total U.S. household debt is well over 13 trillion dollars....
5 - The total of all debt (government, business and consumer) in the United States is now well over 50 trillion dollars.  For the past couple of years this figure has been hovering around a level that is equivalent to approximately 360 percent of GDP.  This is a debt bubble that is absolutely unprecedented in U.S. history....
6 - As tens of thousands of U.S. factories get shut down and as millions of our jobs get shipped overseas, the number of unemployed Americans continues to go up and up and up.  As you can see from the chart below, there has been a long-term trend of increasing unemployment in the United States.  In fact, there are about 3 and a half times as many unemployed workers in the United States today as there were when 1970 began.  These jobs losses are going to continue as long as we allow our corporations to pay slave labor wages to workers on the other side of the globe.  All of the major trends in global trade are very bad for the U.S. middle class.  For example, the U.S. trade deficit with China for 2010was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.  How long will our politicians stand by as our nation bleeds jobs?....
7 - The median duration of unemployment in the United States is in unprecedented territory.  For most of the post-World War 2 era, when the median duration of unemployment in America reached 10 weeks that was considered a national crisis.  Well, today competition for jobs is so intensethat the median duration of unemployment is now well over 20 weeks....
8 - Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, the value of the U.S. dollar has declined by over 95 percent.  One of the reasons given for the existence of the Federal Reserve is that the Fed helps control inflation.  But that is a huge lie.  The truth is that the United States never had consistently rampant inflation until the Federal Reserve took control.  In particular, once the U.S. totally went off the gold standard in the 1970s inflation really started escalating out of control....
9 - Now the Federal Reserve says that the solution to our current economic problems is to print even more money out of thin air.  The games that the Federal Reserve is playing with our money supply are simply inexcusable.  Just look at what the Federal Reserve has done to the monetary base since the beginning of the recession....
10 - All of this new money is creating tremendous inflation.  In particular, the price of oil is now ridiculously high.  A high price for oil is very, very bad for the U.S. economy.  Our entire economic system is based on being able to use massive quantities of very cheap oil.  Unfortunately, that paradigm is starting to break down and the consequences will be very bitter.  Back in mid-2008, the price of oil hit an all-time record of $147 a barrel and subsequently the world financial system imploded a few months later.  Well, the price of oil is on the march again and that is very bad news for the U.S. economy....
Needless to say, if the economic trends documented by the charts above continue the U.S. economy will be totally wiped out.  The U.S. economy as it currently exists is unsustainable by definition.  It is only a matter of time before we slam into an economic brick wall.
We have developed an economy that cannot function without debt, and at this point it seems like almost everyone is drowning in red ink.  The federal government is massively overextended, most of our state and local governments are massively overextended, most of our major corporations are massively overextended and the majority of U.S. consumers are massively overextended.
The only way that the game can continue is for the Federal Reserve to print increasingly larger amounts of paper money out of thin air and for everyone in the economic food chain to go into increasingly larger amounts of debt.
But no debt spiral can go on forever.  At some point this entire house of cards is going to collapse.
When that happens, there is going to be economic pain that is greater than anything that this country has ever seen before.
Someday we will all desperately wish that we could go back to the "good times" of 2011.  A great economic collapse is coming, and all of us had better get ready.
The economic collapse

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China Is Poised to Raise Rates Again, Bankers Say

HONG KONG — China’s government, increasingly worried about soaring inflation, plans to continue tightening its money supply and will probably raise interest rates again within the month.

That is the forecast of economists and bankers with knowledge of policy makers’ views, who insisted on anonymity because of the political and diplomatic sensitivity of Chinese monetary policy.
Inflation lately has caused friction in China’s mighty export machine. Now, Beijing’s efforts to fight inflation, through higher interest rates and tighter restrictions on bank loans, could begin to slow segments of China’s domestic economy slightly — particularly the breakneck pace of investment in new factories, office buildings and apartment complexes.
That, in turn, could weaken demand for industrial materials like steel and copper that depend heavily on Chinese purchases.
And yet, the tighter-money policies and higher interest rates could be good news for Chinese consumers, whose spending China has been counting on for its next wave of growth — not only to help balance the country’s export-dominated economy but to enable more of the nation’s 1.3 billion citizens to share in its prosperity.
For one thing, a slowdown in speculative construction could slow or even temporarily reverse the long rise of Chinese real estate prices, as 15 million people a year pour into the cities.
And while much of the construction spending, and the loans that fuel it, involve state-owned companies, households in China are typically savers, not borrowers. They pay for most cars and other large purchases with cash. Even for new homes, they typically borrow half or less of the purchase price.
So far, consumers frequently hold large bank deposits that earn interest rates well below the inflation rate. Higher interest on savings accounts, if the new policies allow, would only improve consumer purchasing power.
Much of China’s inflation is being fueled by the extraordinary growth in its money supply, broadly measured as so-called M2, which has soared a total of nearly 53 percent in the last two years. That is largely a result of the country’s aggressive monetary and fiscal stimulus program in 2009 and early 2010, as Beijing essentially printed money in response to the global financial crisis.



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How Great is our GOD.....

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Revolution 2.0

An astute blogger has been putting the pieces together.
T. Monroe-Hamilton of The Noisy Room writes, "Google exec Wael Ghonim utilized Facebook to bring thousands into the streets and set himself up as a political martyr if need be. Youth groups along with Ghonim support ElBaradei and, by default, the Muslim Brotherhood. And who is financing such groups? Well, our old friend George Sorosof course. He and ElBaradei both sit on the International Crises Group board of trustees."
Call it Revolution 2.0. It's what Google's Wael Ghonim has named it,claiming their on-line tech-savvy ability to foment demonstrations was what ultimately toppled the Egyptian regime of Hosni Mubarak.
Cairo native and Google marketing exec Wael Ghonim helped organize Revolution 2.0, the anti-Mubarak protests, through "We are All Khaled Said", the Facebook page that drew more than 70,000 friends.
Monroe-Hamilton observes, "The Egyptian and Tunisian revolutionsdid not just spontaneously erupt. No …they are well planned, drawn out, militant effortsto bring about revolutionary change on a global scale. This will be done using the Internet and the young, who will be manipulated into revolt, with either legitimate causes, manufactured wrongs or a combination of both. Enter The Alliance for Youth Movements (AYM)."
Just how influential were websites Facebook and Twitter in the rebellion? At least one skeptic argues not so much.
The New Yorker's Malcolm Gladwell wrote last week, "People protested and brought down governments before Facebook was invented."
But Ghonim and the technically savvy computer geeks proved that technology amplified the protesters' message, helped build international support and showed that the Internet could change politics in Egypt.
Monroe-Hamilton's research would seem to bear this out and takes on the media for not doing theirs.
"If any real journalists had scratched the surface even a tiny bit and researched the connections behind the Egyptian revolt, they would have found it most enlightening," he writes. "It would seem that Soros'Center for American Progress has been behind the majority of lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill for Egyptian 'free' elections. Soros has also invested heavily inIndia with Goog leand in the Palestinian territories. His financial and political fingerprints are everywhere concerning chaos and revolt – of course, all done in the name of philanthropy, while sowing the seeds of violent revolution."
Khalid El-Baramawy, 33, editor of masrawy.comsaid, "This isn't like any revolution in history. It has two faces. The bad face is, we can't control it. We don't know the next step [after] the street." On the positive side, he said, "Mubarak doesn't know how to deal with us."
Have the demonstrations in Egyptleft Google in a bind? Google is officially maintaining its distance even as Ghonim's popularity is growing in Egypt.
Ghonim told CNN's Wolf Blitzer"If you want to liberate a government, give them the Internet."
Ghonim also rang out victory with this Twitter message: "Mission accomplished. Thanks to all the brave young Egyptians."
He plans to write a book about the effect of social media on political activism.
So, have Americans been "out-foxed by their government, who all along has been pulling together the makings of a movement that would start revolts in the Middle East and move throughout Europe and then strike at home, culminating in a New World Order"?Monroe-Hamilton thinks so.
By the way,Algeria has shut down its Internet and deleted Facebook as protests mount in that country. Syria and Sudanese governments haveembraced use of social media to retain power. And if one were to measure the impact of Egyptian coverage:Internet vs. newspapers? No contest. Are we entering a time of worldwide Internet censorship?

Read more:George Soros, Google tagged for starting Islamic uprisingshttp://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=263533#ixzz1E2SFJBXj

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Muslim Brotherhood text reveals scope of radical creed

One of the greatest beneficiaries of the unrest in Egypt has been the Muslim Brotherhood.

Banned but tolerated for decades by successive Egyptian regimes, the Islamist movement is now emerging as a central player in the country’s resurgent opposition.

On Tuesday, two Brotherhood representatives participated in an opposition delegation that met with Vice President Omar Suleiman for the first set of talks over implementing political reforms.

Pundits have portrayed the Brotherhood as uncompromising zealots or beneficent providers of social services that long-deprived Egyptians desperately need.

But a translation released Tuesday of a 1995 book by the movement’s fifth official leader sheds light on just how Egypt’s Brotherhood views itself and its mission. Jihad is the Way is the last of a five-volume work, The Laws of Da’wa by Mustafa Mashhur, who headed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt from 1996-2002.

The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday saw excerpts of the text, compiled by Palestinian Media Watch founder Itamar Marcus and analyst Nan Jacques Zilberdik.

They detail the Brotherhood’s objectives of advancing the global conquest of Islam and reestablishing the Islamic Caliphate, the public and private duties of jihad and the struggle Muslims must wage against Israel.

The full text, translated by PMW, will be posted Wednesday on the organization’s website, Palwatch.org.

“The Islamic ummah,” it says, referring to the supranational community of Muslims, “can regain its power and be liberated and assume its rightful position which was intended by Allah, as the most exalted nation among men, as the leaders of humanity.”

Elsewhere, it exhorts Muslims, “Know your status, and believe firmly that you are the masters of the world, even if your enemies desire your degradation.”

Marcus spoke to the Post about what he views as the danger of downplaying the Brotherhood’s ideology, or expecting it to moderate its objectives after being allowed into the political process. The movement differs from international terror groups like Al-Qaida, he said, only in tactics, not in its goals.

Marcus cited passages in the text that urge Muslims to wage jihad only when circumstances are ripe.

“The Brotherhood is not rushed by youth’s enthusiasm into immature and unplanned action which will not alter the bad reality and may even harm the Islamic activity, and will benefit the people of falsehood,” Mashhur wrote.

“One should know that it is not necessary that the Muslims repel every attack or damage caused by the enemies of Allah immediately, but [only] when ability and the circumstances are fit to it.”

Jihad is the Way explicitly endorses the reinstatement of a worldwide Islamic regime.

“It should be known that jihad and preparation towards jihad are not only for the purpose of fending off assaults and attacks of Allah’s enemies from Muslims, but are also for the purpose of realizing the great task of establishing an Islamic state and strengthening the religion and spreading it around the world.”

“Jihad for Allah,” Mashhur wrote, “is not limited to the specific region of the Islamic countries, since the Muslim homeland is one and is not divided, and the banner of Jihad has already been raised in some of its parts, and shall continue to be raised, with the help of Allah, until every inch of the land of Islam will be liberated, and the State of Islam established.”

Jerusalem Post


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France wants new global finance system

Christine Lagarde - Wants changes on world's finance system
France, as current head of the Group of 20 countries, will help the transition to a global financial system based on 'several international currencies', French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said today.
Lagarde, speaking ahead of a G20 finance ministers meeting in Paris on Friday and Saturday, said the world had to move on from the 'non-monetary system' it now has to one 'based on several international currencies'.
Accordingly, France wants to see less need for countries, especially the emerging economies, to accumulate huge foreign reserves, she said.
At the same time, international capital flows should be better regulated and the role of the Special Drawing Rights issued by the International Monetary Fund should be reinforced by the inclusion of China's yuan in the system.
China, whose booming economy now ranks second only to the US in size after overtaking Japan, has accumulated massive forex reserves of more than $2.5 trillion on the back of its sustained trade surpluses and foreign fund inflows.


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Rumsfeld Warns of Iran, N. Korea Electromagnetic Pulse Attack

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s new memoir, “Known and Unknown,” sets the record straight on Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and warns of impending dangers from countries such as Iran and North Korea.

During an interview with Newsmax.TV, Rumsfeld vigorously defended the George W. Bush administration’s judgment of the threat from Saddam and blasted critics who accused the president of lying about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction. The interview took place shortly after he received the prestigious Defender of the Constitution award Thursday from the Conservative Political Action Conference during the annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Rumsfeld castigated the Democrats who used the taunt of “Bush lied, people died” as their mantra during the 2004 presidential campaign.

“It was an outrageous statement,” he said. “It was so inaccurate. President Bush and Colin Powell and Condi Rice and the vice president and George Tenet and I believed fully in what we said. And to suggest that the president of the United States was lying is inexcusable.”

But “the drumbeat was too powerful” for the White House to push back successfully against its critics, he added.

Rumsfeld said he and his colleagues “were saying exactly what the people in the Congress were saying who saw exactly the same intelligence. They were saying what the intelligence community was saying. They were saying what the intelligence community in other countries such as the U.K., France, and elsewhere believed. It was unfortunate that the lies overwhelmed the truth.”

In his book, Rumsfeld wrote that the failure of the Bush White House to counter “half-truths, distortions and outright lies” in the national media allowed the president’s political enemies to write the narrative of his administration.

And yet, he had no real explanation of why the administration didn’t push back harder.

“Oh, one never knows,” he said. “First, it’s hard” to push back effectively.

Rumsfeld credited the forces of political correctness with powers that exceeded the truth of their ideas.

Whenever administration officials talked about the threat from radical Islamists, he said, “their views are seen as anti-Muslim, which is not true.”

And when the administration opposed Muslim terrorists overseas, it was accused of being “against that Muslim faith, which you are not.”

“What we’re against is people who are going around killing other people, other innocent human beings. And we ought to be willing to say that. We ought to be willing to say there are radical Islamists who are out to damage the nation state, to kill innocent human beings, and we ought not to allow them to do it,” he said.

Rumsfeld said he opted not to write a “quick” book about his tenure in the Bush administration in favor of writing a detailed historical account “aimed at serious readers and people really interested in government and public affairs.”

With a staff of six aides, Rumsfeld got the government to release reams of previously classified memos, including many of his famous “snowflakes” to aides and colleagues.

He said he wants history to judge him accurately, which is why he has posted these documents in searchable format at his website, Rumsfeld.com.

Rumsfeld said he is worried about the threat from an electromagnetic pulse attack from countries such as Iran and North Korea.

“We’ve thrown away the shoeboxes with the 3-by-5 cards,” he said, “so that cyberwarfare, and electromagnetic pulses and the things that can avoid competition with large armies and large navies and large air forces clearly have leverage, an advantage. And because of that, they’re attractive” to America’s enemies.

In his memoir, Rumsfeld says he repeatedly tried to get the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the White House to pay more attention to the threat from Iran, without success.

At one point, he forwarded to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace, a news article and a National Intelligence Council paper detailing Iran’s “lethal support” for militants attacking U.S. troops in Iraq. “If we know so much about what Iran is doing in Iraq, why don't we do something about it?” he asked Pace.

“When you have a country like Iran, really a fine country with a proud history, taken over by a very small clique of people who are ideological and radical, you have to worry,” he said. “And we in this country, and other people who value freedom and free nation states, have to recognize that that combination of radical ideology and weapons of mass destruction is a danger.”

Read more on Newsmax.com: Rumsfeld Warns of Iran, N. Korea Electromagnetic Pulse Attack

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