20 Questions To Ask Anyone Foolish Enough To Believe The Economic Crisis Is Over

ilene's picture

I doubt anyone who reads this site falls into the "foolish enough to believe" category, but Michael provides a number of interesting numbers to help grasp just how bad things are. - Ilene 

20 Questions To Ask Anyone Foolish Enough To Believe The Economic Crisis Is Over

Courtesy of Michael Snyder of Economic Collapse

If you listen to Ben Bernanke, Barack Obama and the mainstream media long enough, and if you didn't know any better, you might be tempted to think that the economic crisis is long gone and that we are in the midst of a burgeoning economic recovery.  Unfortunately, the truth is that the economic crisis is far from over. 

In 2010, more homes were repossessed than ever before, more Americans were on food stamps than ever before and a smaller percentage of American men had jobs than ever before. The reality is that the United States is an economic basket case and all of these natural disasters certainly are not helping things. The Federal Reserve has been printing gigantic piles of money and the U.S. government has been borrowing and spending cash at a dizzying pace in an all-out effort to stabilize things.  They have succeeded for the moment, but our long-term economic problems are worse then ever.  We are still in the middle of a full-blown economic crisis and things are about to get even worse.

If you know someone that is foolish enough to believe that the economic crisis is over and that our economic problems are behind us, just ask that person the following questions....

#1 During the 23 months of the "Obama recovery", an average of about 23,000 jobs a month have been created.  It takes somewhere in the neighborhood of 150,000 jobs a month just to keep up with population growth.  So shouldn't we hold off a bit before we declare the economic crisis to be over?

#2 During the "recession", somewhere between 6.3 million and 7.5 million jobs were lost.  During the "Obama recovery", approximately 535,000 jobs have been added.  When will the rest of the jobs finally come back?

#3 Of the 535,000 jobs that have been created during the "Obama recovery", only about 35,000 of them are permanent full-time jobs. Today, "low income jobs" account for 41 percent of all jobs in the United States. If our economy is recovering, then why can't it produce large numbers of good jobs that will enable people to provide for their families?

#4 Agricultural commodities have been absolutely soaring this decade.  The combined price of cotton, wheat, gasoline and hogs is now more than 3 times higher than it was back in 2002.  So how in the world can the Federal Reserve claim that inflation has been at minimal levels all this time?  (Because they have changed the way the measure inflation not to include food and energy prices.... ed.)

#5 Back in 2008, banks had a total of 27 billion dollars in excess reserves at the Fed.  Today, banks have a total of approximately 1.5 trillion dollars in excess reserves at the Fed.  So what is going to happen when all of this money eventually hits the economy?....

#6 If the U.S. economy is recovering, then why are shipments by U.S. factories still substantially below 2008 levels?

#7 Why are imports of goods from overseas growing much more rapidly than shipments of goods from U.S. factories?

#8 According to Zillow, the average price of a home in the U.S. is about 8 percent lower than it was a year ago and that it continues to fall about 1 percent a month. During the first quarter of 2011, home values declined at the fastest rate since late 2008. So can we really talk about a "recovery" when the real estate crisis continues to get worse?

#9 According to a shocking new survey, 54 percent of Americans believe that a housing recovery is "unlikely" until at least 2014.  So how is the housing industry supposed to improve if so many people are convinced that it will not?

#10 The latest GDP numbers out of Japan are a complete and total disaster.  During the first quarter GDP declined by a stunning 3.7 percent. Of course I have been saying for months that the Japanese economy is collapsing, but most mainstream economists were absolutely stunned by the latest figures. So will the rest of the world be able to avoid slipping into a recession as well?

#11 Next week, Republicans in the House of Representatives are going to allow a vote on raising the debt ceiling.  Everyone knows that this is an opportunity for Republican lawmakers to "look tough" to their constituents (the vast majority of which do not want the debt ceiling raised).  Everyone also knows that eventually the Republicans are almost certainly going to cave on the debt ceiling after minimal concessions by the Democrats. The truth is that neither "establishment Republicans" nor "establishment Democrats" are actually serious about significantly cutting government debt.  So why do we need all of this political theater? (Distraction?)

#12 Why are so many of our once great manufacturing cities being transformed into hellholes?  In the city of Detroit today, there are over 33,000 abandoned houses, 70 schools are being permanently closed down, the mayor wants to bulldoze one-fourth of the city and you can literally buy a house for one dollar in the worst areas.

#13 According to one new survey, about half of all Baby Boomers fear that when they retire they are going to end up living in poverty. So who is going to take care of them all when the money runs out? 

#14 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average of about 5 million Americans were being hired every single month during 2006.  Today, an average of about 3.5 million Americans are being hired every single month.  So why are our politicians talking about "economic recovery" instead of "the collapse of the economy" when hiring remains about 50 percent below normal?

#15 Since August, 2 million more Americans have left the labor force.  But the entire period from August to today was supposed to have been a time of economic growth and recovery.  So why are so many Americans giving up on looking for a job?

#16 According to Gallup, 41 percent of Americans believed that the economy was "getting better" at this time last year.  Today, that number is at just 27 percent.  Are Americans losing faith in the U.S. economy?

#17 According to the U.S. Census, the number of children living in poverty has gone up by about 2 million in just the past 2 years, and one out of every four American children is currently on food stamps.  During this same time period, Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke have told us over and over that the U.S. economy has been getting better. So what is the truth?

#18 America has become absolutely addicted to government money. 59 percent of all Americans now receive money from the federal government in one form or another. U.S. households are now receiving more income from the U.S. government than they are paying to the government in taxes. Americans hate having their taxes raised and they hate having their government benefits cut.  So is there any hope that this will ever be turned around before disaster strikes?  (59% - that is insane.  Is there any hope - I don't think so. ed.) 

#19 The combined debt of the major GSEs (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Sallie Mae) has increased from 3.2 trillion in 2008 to 6.4 trillion in 2011.  How in the world is the U.S. government going to be able to afford to guarantee all of that debt on top of everything else?

#20 If the U.S. national debt (more than 14 trillion dollars) was reduced to a stack of 5 dollar bills, it would reach three quarters of the way to the moon.  The U.S. government borrows about 168 million dollars every single hour.  If Bill Gates gave every penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for 15 days.  So how in the world can our politicians tell us that everything is going to be okay? 

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sabra1's picture

when things get tough, my wife and i made the decision to eat meat only every nine months! we'll be using children as a food source!

disabledvet's picture

In fact "the crisis" is over.  Welcome to "the banality of a double dip."  Certain death now?  Or "possible/probable death over time?" We've opted for "death over time" and--i think that was right myself.  still--160 bucks for the same friggin' car tire i bought four years ago?  PHUCK YOU!


I keep cutting firewood. Keeps me warm, better than sandbags for perimeter defense. I will trade for silver, MRE'S, ammo, or real food. You need like minded neighbors though, so there is someone on watch 24 / 7, and watching your back. Otherwise, all the crap you are stockpiling will go to the meaner SOB who finds out you are worth rolling over for all your shit. No community, no humanity, no life worth living. Leadership with integrity, right now, or we are all fucked. Bury the banksters like the useless parasites they are in Benny Bux Boxes - recycle the paper at least - that's A GOOD THING, as Martha Stewart used to say. See you on the flip side in  the real world folks. Good Luck, and Good Hunting. 

FreeNewEnergy's picture

You do realize that asking anybody those 20 questions would likely render you a domestic terrorist, so STFU and do something about it.

My solution has been to make as much money as possible, pay as little tax as possible, convert to useful goods and PMs and live like a king. When shit hits fan, I will probably make even more money and live even better. There's a reason 59% of Americans are getting government help: they suck at everything. Don't be one of them. Be different. Act now or die like the pitiful hordes.

BTW: All this gloom and doom gets old after a while. Sure, things suck, but they certainly could be - and probably will be - worse. So, don't wait, don't wallow in desperation. Think positively, outside the system and move on. And stop blaming baby boomers. I'm one of them and had nothing to do with the collapse of the nation. This was all caused by an overly-powerful financial elite.

SmittyinLA's picture

There's plenty of hope, that 59% number isn't sustainable, one part of the 59% has to cannibalize the other part of the 59%, and a large part of that 59% are elderly citizen voters versus non-voting anchor babies, immigrants and aliens, a "immigrant charge law" will be passed as soon as the vested elderly's vig is threatened.  

Will grandma & grandpa throw Jose' , his 3 girlfriends and his 6 illegitimate kids under the bus to maintain their SS & medicare benefits and protect their own kids?

Doyle Hargraves's picture

Yeah just keep printing it up and keep pretending it's all is good...let them bastards hold it all together with free money just a little longer so I can finish stockpiling all the gold, guns, gas, silver, and food I need to make whatever Uncle Sugar does to keep this sham up irrelevant! Then we'll see who has the last laugh BITCHEZ!

Quantity X Y's picture

What prescription works best for mental depression during a depression? Who's going to buy my prescription when the money runs out? Surely we can "spread the wealth" enough to find a drug for our problems. . .

boiltherich's picture

They already have, it's called crystal meth, or Tina if you are on CraigsList!

boiltherich's picture

Why did the Baltic Dry Index peak at 13,000+ in mid 2008 and is now bumping along at 1,300+?  For those who do not know it is the measure of cargo ship loadings and costs. 

boiltherich's picture

"It takes somewhere in the neighborhood of 150,000 jobs a month just to keep up with population growth."

That would be LEGAL population growth, 23000 does not even cover new undocumented workers. 

Eternal Student's picture

Excellent article, Ilene. I would add one more, or arguably replace the entire list, with this one question:

What exactly has changed since the Fall of 2008 to keep it from happening again?

That always shuts up the Bulls. It might even make a few (very few) actually start to think.

surfwon's picture

I hear all of these tornados are bullish for the economy...............

MrBoompi's picture

If the Fed would print a $14 Trillion Dollar bill with Bush's picture on it, they could use it to pay off the debt and if you "stacked" it up it won't reach nearly so far to the moon.

sbenard's picture

Pollyanna is well today, thank you!

marcusfenix's picture

I don't think we are going to see a popular, nation wide revolt so long as the PTB's can keep us hating Muslims, buying this years new shiny at the the same price as last years (chuck schumer's ipad comment) and the mall zombies plastic doesn't tank. as long as the majority of the population continues to be roped into in the right/left political bait and switch scam i just don't see anything happening, because no one has to be accountable, the PTB's can,and will, just continue to flip flop blame between both sides of the isle. Hey, it's always, always the other guys fault, it's worked before ad nauseum and i see no reason to think it won't in the future.  

Dr. Acula's picture

The economy is recovering fine thank you. Just look at the stock market. And the fact that Americans are more affluent than ever and need fewer jobs is a good thing. If you are having a hard time finding a job, just go to benefits.gov. There is help available for those unfortunate individuals who have fallen on hard times. Honestly, most Americans are obese and a little austerity wouldn't hurt them.

The biggest problem I see with the economy is a shortage of money. We really need the Fed economists to inject some fiduciary media (QE3) to keep our economic engine running smoothly. Modern, advanced economies like ours require these acts of maintenance to function at their best. You wouldn't drive your car without periodic oil changes, would you? Money is the economic lubricant, and when there is a scarcity of money, parts of the economy are in danger of seizing up and breaking - for example AIG and General Motors. But with enough lubricant (money), damage to the economy can be prevented and these world-class companies can continue to function and generate wealth and provide the jobs we need to feed our children.

I would also like to see some more interventions and central planning from DC. After all, we are paying their salaries for a reason. They need to raise the debt ceiling right away: because a government can always print more money, it can never really be insolvent. That's a blessing we should take full advantage of.

TrueStrengthTurnsTheCheek's picture

lol...seriously? "just look at the stock market" bahaha. dude you have no idea what your talking about unless this is sarcasm I'm really not sure... I hope this is sarcasm.

andybev01's picture

For a split-second I thought you were serious.

RichardENixon's picture

He's rehearsing for a gig on CNBS. They have a job opening.

kumquatsunite's picture

There are only two problems with America:

1. The appropriation via fees and taxes of money from the American business community, which is then redistributed from them to the "voluntary poor." And how shall we describe "voluntary poor"? You are voluntarily poor is you choose to work at Walmart for twenty hours a week, and no more, because you are gaming the system: twenty hours a week allows for food stamps, free medical, housing and daycare payments, and doesn't infringe on those oh-so-lovely "disability" payments for your add kid (and they are all add kids when they've been plopped in front of the television and left to rot, from the day of birth...) You are also "voluntarily poor" and "working the system" when the second, third, et al child comes along as a means of "compassionate blackmail". That is, "compassion" was once used for those few people who had undeniable circumstances that were unforseen; when you fornicate (to be polite) with random acts of gutterness, you are deliberately having babies to blackmail the productive American, who is completely outnumbered at this point.

The only solution for this is to acknowledge and accept that these people and their children will be factory workers because this is the life they have chosen, and that their parents Chose For them, by having too many children and children they can't afford. Perhaps one of the saddest clips from a documentary was from Soledad Obrien's on the Latinos in this country. A young girl was desperately trying to get through high school and on to college (if recall is correct) but was constantly being waylaid by her family in order to babysit or work in the family business. It was a visible act to see her going under, fighting against the tide that was to keep her from succeeding, and she (sure enough) became pregnant...ah government, how great a daddy though art! At least until the productive take their money and hide: see Ayn Rand.

2. This country has Forty Million Plus Illegals who have to be sent home. We are using the seed corn of our children and grandchildren's future supporting them. The air of their future; the water of their future; the schools of their future. Not one college spot should be given to a foreigner: these schools/colleges/universities were paid for with American tax dollars for our children, and yet Intel says it can not find any American kids in the engineering tracks at colleges...what does that tell you? Is the country that Invented the internet, google, twitter, ebay not capable of having kids who can go to engineering schools? No. This is just the communist redistribution and gutting of our own; the deconstruction of a future for our children in order to destroy America.

Save America now. Demand that America be English only, no more push one...., demand that our schools use the fifteen percent of budgets devoted to bilingual education for our children, demand that we be a majority white country by no more immigration that is designed and aimed at destroying who we are and have always been. Funny how in the history of the world, only whites have so readily agreed to destroy themselves. Unbelievable! The prime minister of India,Singh, has stated that he cannot wait until America looks like the third-world gutter India is: the continued importation of third world people, their diseases, their demands that we recreate "Their ways" here, tells you the goal, and it is not about living together. It is about the destruction of this country. Why have you been so stupid as to believe that they just wanted us all to "live together"?

RichardENixon's picture

To whom do you intend to express your demand that "we be a majority white country"? The President, maybe?

TrueStrengthTurnsTheCheek's picture

your looking down when you should be looking up.. smh. its not illegals or poor people ruining america, its bankers. they did this to all of us.

andybev01's picture

"The only solution for this is to acknowledge and accept that these people and their children will be factory workers"

Factory workers?

Where are these factories of which you speak?

cogen11@cox.net's picture

To the editor:

Re#4:  because the only cotton people eat is chocolate covered cotton, see Catch-22

#5:  it is not likely to hit the economy, there is no where else the banks can lever up the free money 40:1 invest it in 2 yr paper and get > 10% risk free returns

#7:  because we have hollowed out the US mfg. base and "shipped" those jobs overseas

#9:  more likely after 2020

#11:as Zaphrod Beeblbrox said in Douglas Adams Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, his job was to distract peoples attention from what was de facto occurring. 

 #12:  see #7

#13:  no one


#18 au contrare, if something cannot happen then it will not happen.



Raymond_K_Hessel's picture

Can you expand on #5.  That one has me stumped.  Won’t that money eventually make its way into the economy?

Guy Fawkes Mulder's picture



These don't expand on his answer to #5.

But they are in the same ballpark.

It's really simple... the banks now make more money without lending, so why lend?

Raymond_K_Hessel's picture

I understand that they make more without lending (at least I think I do).  Is it at all probable that this money will find its way into the economy, or will it just stay with the Fed?  If it's just going to stay with the Fed, then should we be counting this money as an expansion of the money supply?  What I'm really getting at is, can this money ultimately lead to (hyper-)inflation, or is it more likely that it will just stay with the Fed.  Thanks.

Guy Fawkes Mulder's picture

I tried answering, but I had to scrap it all in the process of fact-checking.


andybev01's picture

I wonder if the boomers even understand why your answer to #13 is (no pun, but humorous) is dead-on?


...and now I'm off to dig out my old "Don't Panic" t-shirt.

Richardk888's picture

But I was watching MSNBC and they said things were really looking up.  They were also stating what a great job Obama is doing.  They would never lie to the Amercian People...would they?

zaknick's picture

topcallingtroll and the magical, ever lasting juden fetzen Eichmanns' riposte?

Mountainview's picture

Continue to print money! At least you feel richer looking at your account statement! Otherwise no way out!

dugorama's picture

I hate illustrating how much $ something is by telling me how close to the moon a pile of bills is.  that conveys no meaning to me.  Instead, consider this kind of example:

the most profitable (on various rate bases) consumer financial service company (the sweet spot in our economy?) and a member of the DOW, American Express has something like 65,000 employees operating in dozens of countries.  This enterprise's all time record profit year was $2.5 billion.  That represents one week of the Iraq war.  Just how many money machines like this does the US economy have?  Can we really squander that much of our output on Bush's vanity war?  What about the other several "Defense" initiatives?  To me, cutting spending on non-productive "investments" should be easy.  Redirect the money flow to something that pays a return, even if it is still Federal spending.  We could cover the southwestern deserts with solar panels for a few weeks of Iraq.  etc etc.  If we're going to deficit spend, can't it at least be pointed at something that resembles an investment?

pemdas's picture

I agree with the moon analogies.  How about something the average ZHer can relate to, like "$14 trillion dollars would buy enough beer to fill up lake Erie". 

ilene's picture

dugorama - maybe Michael was running out of the best points by number 20.  

Clowns on Acid's picture

Kinda thin gruel there Doug.

RichardENixon's picture

So are you saying now is not a good time to re-open my condo-flipping business in Las Vegas?

Clowns on Acid's picture

Yeh, but "Wha 'bout the workers?!".

A positive real interest rate policy, cut Gov't spending by 20%, a flat tax of 20%, and the market takes care of itself.

With the Gov't controlling 54% of the economy, there is no incentive to have positive real interest rates, no incentive to cut Gov't spending, and the Gov't becomes the largest trader in the market.

Why is this not understood?

boiltherich's picture

Yeah!  Cut taxes on the rich by half, that will take care of all our problems.  What rock is large enough to hide all these dumb fuck supply siders?  I don't know but they keep crawling out from under it chanting in zobie unity tax cuts tax cuts tax cuts.  And so the democrats have to resond in equal and opposite force just to keep the right from repealing the 13th amendment. 

So my answer to the flat tax is this, 90% tax on everything over $500,000 income - earned or not.

RKDS's picture

Ain't that the truth.

I have a government job that pays less than the private sector, so much less that I work retail over the weekends to afford such luxuries as a house and electricity.  As the government prints money like crazy and ramps up inflation, the right is out there howling for wage cuts (the left is no better, importing Mexicans and Muslims like there's no tomorrow).  Not just government workers, mind you, but all American labor.  Doesn't matter if you're a factory worker (we'll send your job to China!) or a computer programmer (we'll import more Indians!) or minimum wage (minimum wage kills jobs!), they want to cut cut cut as living gets more expensive.

I ask how the fuck is stuff you have to buy and taxes you have to pay getting more expensive as the employees involved keep taking pay cuts or losing their jobs to 3rd-worlders?  Oh but then I get branded a communist or a luddite or any of a dozen other buzzwords for people who can't think.  For crying out loud, these people are behind Herman Cain and the "Fair Tax"  (what a joke) even though it's a tax hike on the middle class and small business (it really fucks the working poor, but nobody cares about poor people enough to to distinguish between the welfare poor and the working poor).

This economy is so fucked up and it's directly thanks to policies purchased by the moneyed elite who own our government.  These assholes want to own and control everything but stick the rest of America will all of the bills.  Well fuck you and die in a fire.

HoofHearted's picture

As one of those on the lower end in earnings, I wouldn't mind the flat tax. If we could take away all the corporate welfare tax breaks and make it so that Warren Buffett pays the same percentage in tax as his secretary, we'd probably be better off. But then again I'm the asshole who says that there is absolutely no reason you should be subsidizing my decision to have four children (though I thank you for the 4 grand every year). I also think the mortgage interest deduction is a joke. We all pay for 26 weeks of unemployment benefits, and that's where it should end. But I'm just a fucking asshole out here trying to screw over the working poor like myself...

RKDS's picture

Yeah, but the "fair tax" proponents want 23% _minimum_ to stay revenue neutral (in other words, do _nothing_ about the debt or the deficits).  If you're in a state that doesn't tax food, you're going to pay 23% tax on food!  23% tax on skyrocketing electricity, 23% on cars, 23% on college tuition, 23% on everything!  Yeah, that's so much better than 25% or less under the evil progressive income tax.  Meanwhile, this consumption tax doesn't affect companies that ship jobs overseas because they consume and book profit overseas.  It fucks small businesses and anyone who works inside the country, a number that will dwindle faster as we further reward those who run overseas.  That destroys the domestic economy as consumption (what they hoped to tax so heavily) plummets.  The government goes even further in debt, because we can't give up domestic surveillance and infinite copyright and wars in durkadurkaland and millions of other counterproductive unconstitutional programs.  So the government, unable to tax the rich doing God's work lest He striketh them down with festering boils, turns the screws on all of us even harder.  The only silver lining I can see to the "fair tax" is that maybe it's such an obvious royal screw job that the American people who are stuck paying everything they have for nothing but more abuse in return will finally revolt and crash the system so we can start over.

apberusdisvet's picture

And all the disinformation specialists (I wonder how much they get paid) are still claiming that PMs are in a bubble.  This is spite of the elites trying to glom all the gold in the world via "humanitarian" interventions or IMF blackmail.  There's a message there, but the sheeple will never get it.

tired1's picture

At some point this is going to get real ugly, I thoght it would have begun by now. I watch the heads on TV wondering: what if China stops buying our debt? What are we going to do about medicare. Crap! I was in Russia in the mid 90's and witness just how bad things can get. Have your go-pack ready or make some kind of preparations.

kumquatsunite's picture

There are too many people in the United States now to "go" anywhere. The only thing that can be done is the deportation of all green cards, all illegals, and the end of welfare. Make people work and they will be too tired earning food to have time for rioting, and that's how it is supposed to be. Nowhere is isolated enough in this day and age. We have doubled our population through immigration of the immigrats in forty years; Lyndon Johnson specifically said not to let this happen. We are out of water, out of air, and putrifying our ground with chemicals and nuclear dumps. This generation of brain-rotted, ex-hippy, ex-woodstockians has betrayed the children. First generation in American history ever to be, as a group, treasonous to their own under the guise of "world equality". What a joke. How does China spell "world equality", complete and total world domination. Russian spells it the same way. So do the dictators of the Latin countries. Funny what a bloody and brutal war WWII was, and how quickly we seem to have forgotten that no one except the United States has ever espoused true equality. But that means everyone else must show they are living it too, not just send a postcard of committment; as is, we are the suckers at the table and we are using our country as the "stake" in our crapshoot.

nufio's picture

of course the US ideals of world equality.. like in ecuador, panama, libya etc

JW n FL's picture

I need an esquire to File Suit in Federal Court Against the U.S. Government.. more over the President of the United States of America. Pro Bono in the name of Fight Club!


The Law Suit is for breach of the Constitution for bringing home the U.S. Army and now Training the U.S. Army to operate Against "We the People".


Who wants to get some T.V. face time for themselves and for Tyler here.. we want warm bodies to educate we have to up our visible profile.


I am looking for feedback and ideas to make as big a splash as possible! so if you have something that will help, speak up! even if you think its small! speak up! every little thing matters and helps! SO PLEASE!!! Speak Up!

 sorry for the Off Topic! stuff but it is important..

I would say I Love your stuff Ilene.. or Bill's? but its already up on Facebook and Twitter both! as usual!

john39's picture

good luck.  some unlucky fool who tried to sue relating to government involvment in 911 was ethically sanctioned by the federal court, after the suit was dismissed.  not even allowed to allege a case because everyone knows the government would never do anything to harm the people.  /sarc off.

LawsofPhysics's picture

and the solution is... (chirping crickets)


...long lead, brass, gunpowder, and riot gear?