Guest Post: Show This To Anyone That Believes That "Things Are Getting Better" In America

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael of The Economic Collapse blog,

How can anyone not see that the U.S. economy is collapsing all around us?  It just astounds me when people try to tell me that "everything is just fine" and that "things are getting better" in America.  Are there people out there that are really that blind?  If you want to see the economic collapse, just open up your eyes and look around you.  By almost every economic and financial measure, the U.S. economy has been steadily declining for many years.  But most Americans are so tied into "the matrix" that they can only understand the cheerful propaganda that is endlessly being spoon-fed to them by the mainstream media.

As I have said so many times, the economic collapse is not a single event.  The economic collapse has been happening, it is is happening right now, and it will continue to happen.  Yes, there will be times when our decline will be punctuated by moments of great crisis, but that will be the exception rather than the rule.  A lot of people that write about "the economic collapse" hype it up as if it will be some huge "event" that will happen very rapidly and then once it is all over we will rebuild.  Unfortunately, that is not how the real world works.

We are living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world, and once it completely bursts there will be no going back to how things were before.  Right now, we are living in a "credit card economy".  As long as we can keep borrowing more money, most people think that things are just fine.  But anyone that has lived on credit cards knows that eventually there comes a point when the game is over, and we are rapidly approaching that point as a nation.

Have you ever been there?  Have you ever desperately hoped that you could just get one more credit card or one more loan so that you could keep things going?

At first, living on credit can be a lot of fun.  You can live a much higher standard of living than you otherwise would be able to.

But inevitably a day of reckoning comes.

If the federal government and the American people were forced at this moment to live within their means, the U.S. economy would immediately plunge into a depression.

That is a 100% rock solid guarantee.

But our politicians and the mainstream media continue to perpetuate the fiction that we can live in this credit card economic fantasy land indefinitely.

And most Americans could not care less about the future.  As long as "things are good" today, they don't really think much about what the future will hold.

As a result of our very foolish short-term thinking, we have now run up a national debt of 16.4 trillion dollars.  It is the largest debt in the history of the world, and it has gotten more than 23 times larger since Jimmy Carter first entered the White House.

The chart that you see below is a recipe for national financial suicide...

U.S. National Debt

Of course things have accelerated over the past four years.  Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the U.S. government has run a budget deficit of well over a trillion dollars every single year, and we have stolen more than 100 million dollars from our children and our grandchildren every single hour of every single day.

It is the biggest theft of all time.  What we are doing to our children and our grandchildren is beyond criminal.

And now our debt is at a level that most economists would consider terminal.  When Barack Obama first entered the White House, the U.S. debt to GDP ratio was under 70 percent.  Today, it is up to 103 percent.

We are officially in "the danger zone".

If things really were "getting better" in America, we would not need to borrow so much money.

Our politicians are stealing from the future in order to make the present look better.  During Obama's first term, the federal government accumulated more debt than it did under the first 42 U.S presidents combined.

That is utter insanity!

If you started paying off just the new debt that the U.S. has accumulated during the Obama administration at the rate of one dollar per second, it would take more than 184,000 years to pay it off.

So what is the solution?

Get ready to laugh.

The most prominent economic journalist in the entire country, Paul Krugman of the New York Times, recently suggested the following in an article that he wrote entitled "Kick That Can"...

Realistically, we’re not going to resolve our long-run fiscal issues any time soon, which is O.K. — not ideal, but nothing terrible will happen if we don’t fix everything this year. Meanwhile, we face the imminent threat of severe economic damage from short-term spending cuts.


So we should avoid that damage by kicking the can down the road. It’s the responsible thing to do.

You mean that we might actually do damage to the debt-fueled economic fantasy world that we are living in if we stopped stealing so much money from future generations?

Oh the humanity!

It is horrifying to think that all that one of the "top economic minds" in America can come up with is to "kick the can" down the road some more.

Unfortunately, neither Paul Krugman nor most of the American people understand that our financial system is actually designed to create government debt.

The bankers that helped create the Federal Reserve intended to permanently enslave the U.S. government to a perpetually expanding spiral of debt, and their plans worked.

At this point, the U.S. national debt is more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was first created.

So why don't the American people understand what the Federal Reserve system is doing to us?

It is because most of them are still plugged into the matrix.  A Zero Hedge article that I came across today put it beautifully...

US society in a nutshell: Chris Dorner has been around for a week and has 222 million results on Google; the Federal Reserve has been around for one hundred years and has 187 million results.

If nothing is done about our exploding debt, it is only a matter of time before we reach financial oblivion.

According to Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff, the U.S. government is facing a "present value difference between projected future spending and revenue" of 222 trillion dollars in the years ahead.

So how in the world are we going to come up with an extra 222 trillion dollars?

But it is not just the U.S. government that is drowning in debt.

Just check out this chart which shows the astounding growth of state and local government debt in recent years...

State And Local Government Debt

All over the United States there are state and local governments that are on the verge of bankruptcy.  Just check out what is going on in Detroit.  The only way that most of our state and local governments can keep going at this point is to also "kick the can" down the road some more.

And of course most of the rest of us are drowning in debt as well.

40 years ago, the total amount of debt in the U.S. economic system (government + business + consumer) was less than 2 trillion dollars.

Today, the total amount of debt in the U.S. economic system has grown to more than 55 trillion dollars.

Can anyone say bubble?

The good news is that U.S. GDP is now more than 12 times larger than it was 40 years ago.

The bad news is that the total amount of debt in our financial system is now more than 30 times larger than it was 40 years ago...

Total Credit Market Debt Owed

At the same time that we are going into so much debt, our ability to produce wealth continues to decline.

According to the World Bank, U.S. GDP accounted for 31.8 percent of all global economic activity in 2001.  That number dropped to 21.6 percent in 2011.  That is not just a decline - that is a nightmarish freefall.  Just check out the chart in this article.

We are becoming less competitive as a nation with each passing year.  In fact, the U.S. has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.

Most Americans don't understand this, but the United States buys far more from the rest of the world than they buy from us each year.  In 2012, we had a trade deficit of more than 500 billion dollars with the rest of the world.

That means that more than 500 billion dollars that could have gone to U.S. workers and U.S. businesses went out of the country instead.

So how does our country survive if hundreds of billions of dollars more is flowing out of the country than is flowing into it?

Well, to make up the shortfall we go to the countries that we sent our money to and we beg them to lend it back to us.  If that doesn't work, we just print and borrow even more money.

Overall, the United States has run a trade deficit of more than 8 trillion dollars with the rest of the world since 1975.

That is 8 trillion dollars that could have saved U.S. businesses, paid the salaries of U.S. workers and that would have helped fund government.

But instead, our foolish policies have greatly enriched China and the oil barons of the Middle East.

Sadly, politicians from both political parties continue to boldly support the one world economic agenda of the global elite.

Just consider how destructive many of these "free trade" deals have been to our economy...

When NAFTA was pushed through Congress in 1993, the United States had a trade surplus with Mexico of 1.6 billion dollars.

By 2010, we had a trade deficit with Mexico of 61.6 billion dollars.

Back in 1985, our trade deficit with China was approximately 6 million dollars (million with a little "m") for the entire year.

In 2012, our trade deficit with China was 315 billion dollars.  That was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.

In particular, our trade with China is extremely unbalanced.  Today, U.S. consumers spend approximately 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that Chinese consumers spend on goods and services from the United States.

But isn't getting cheap stuff from China good?

No, because it costs us good paying jobs.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, the United States is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.

Overall, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been shut down since 2001.  During 2010, manufacturing facilities in the United States were shutting down at a rate of 23 per day.  How can anyone say that "things are getting better" when our economic infrastructure is being absolutely gutted?

The truth is that there are never going to be enough jobs in America ever again, because millions of our jobs are being sent overseas and millions of our jobs are being lost to technology.

You won't hear this on the news, but the percentage of the civilian labor force in the United States that is employed has been steadily declining every single year since 2006.

Younger workers have been hit particularly hard.  In 2007, the unemployment rate for the 20 to 29 age bracket was about 6.5 percent.  Today, the unemployment rate for that same age group is about 13 percent.

If you are under the age of 30 and you aren't living with your parents, there is a really good chance that you are living in poverty.  If you can believe it, U.S. families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.

Our economy has been steadily bleeding huge numbers of middle class jobs, and many of those jobs have been replaced by low paying jobs in recent years.

According to one study, 60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.

And at this point, an astounding 53 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.

Oh, but "things are getting better", right?

Maybe if you live on Wall Street or if you are an employee of the federal government.

But for most families this economic decline has been a total nightmare.  Median household income in America has fallen for four consecutive years.  Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.

Sometimes people forget how good things were about a decade ago.  About three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as were sold in 2012.

But we like to live in denial.

In fact, a lot of families are trying to keep up their standards of living by going into tremendous amounts of debt.

Back in 1983, the bottom 95 percent of all income earners in the United States had 62 cents of debt for every dollar that they earned.  By 2007, that figure had soared to $1.48.

Fake it until you make it, right?

But how much debt can our system possibly handle?

Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.

Total credit card debt in the United States is now more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.

We are a nation that is completely addicted to debt, but as the financial crisis of 2008 demonstrated, all of that debt can have horrific consequences.

As the economy has slowed in recent years, the Federal Reserve has decided that "the solution" is to recklessly print money in an attempt to get the debt spiral cranked up again.

Have they gone overboard?  You be the judge...

Monetary Base 2013

And of course this won't have any affect on the value of the money that you have been saving up all these years right?


Every single dollar that you own is continually losing value...

Purchasing Power Of The Dollar

Overall, the value of the U.S. dollar has declined by more than 96 percent since the Federal Reserve was first created.

As the cost of living continues to go up and wages continue to go down, millions of American families have fallen out of the middle class and into poverty.

If you can believe it, the number of Americans on food stamps has grown from about 17 million in the year 2000 to more than 47 million today.

But "things are getting better", right?

Incredibly, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless.  This is the first time that has ever happened in our history.

But "things are getting better", right?

There are now 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing.  That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.

But "things are getting better", right?

In 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance.  Today, only 55.1 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.

But "things are getting better", right?

Today, more Americans than ever have found themselves forced to turn to the federal government for help.

Overall, the federal government runs nearly 80 different "means-tested welfare programs", and at this point more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one of them.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that receives direct monetary benefits from the federal government.  Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.

So is it a good sign or a bad sign that the percentage of Americans that are financially dependent on the federal government is at an all-time high?

And in future years the number of Americans that are receiving benefits from the federal government is projected to absolutely skyrocket.

Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid, and things are about to get a whole lot worse.  It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

If you take a look at Medicare, things are very more sobering.

As I wrote recently, it is being projected that the number of Americans on Medicare will grow from 50.7 million in 2012 to 73.2 million in 2025.

At this point, Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion dollars over the next 75 years.  That comes to approximately $328,404 for every single household in the United States.

Are you ready to contribute your share?

Social Security is a complete and total nightmare as well.

Right now, there are approximately 56 million Americans collecting Social Security benefits.

By 2035, that number is projected to soar to an astounding 91 million.

Overall, the Social Security system is facing a 134 trillion dollar shortfall over the next 75 years.

Oh, but don't worry because "things are getting better", right?

I honestly do not know how anyone can look at the numbers above and come to the conclusion that the economy is in good shape.

We have accumulated the largest mountain of debt in the history of the world, our economic infrastructure is being gutted, we are bleeding good jobs, government dependence is at an all-time high and we are getting poorer as a nation with each passing day.

But other than that, everything is rainbows and lollipops, right?

If you want to see the economic collapse, just open up your eyes.

And if dramatic changes are not made quickly, things are going to get much, much worse from here.

Please share this article with as many people as possible.  Time is quickly running out and there are a whole lot of people out there that we need to wake up while we still can.

The Economic Collapse Is Happening

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francis_sawyer's picture

I say we just go drop watermelons off the top of that building in the foto there & have ourselves a little fun along the way...

battle axe's picture

Damn it, I knew I should not of given up crack. 

Shocker's picture

Thanks for the great post. It is really sad to see, but its reality

Layoffs / Business Closing List


caconhma's picture

Note China language. It is not a pussy anymore. Just watch them in 2-3 years!

China demands US lift sanctions on firm

BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government has expressed strong opposition to U.S. sanctions on a Chinese military defense firm and urged they be lifted immediately.

The United States imposed the sanctions according to its domestic laws, an act that has seriously violated norms governing international relations and harmed China's interests, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday.

China is strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to the act, and it has lodged a solemn representation to the U.S. side, spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a statement.

"We urge the United States to immediately correct the wrongdoing, lift the groundless sanctions on this company and its individuals, and stop actions that will hurt China's interests and Sino-U.S. relations," the spokesperson said.


Manthong's picture

At least the skeleton structure of the economy offers great cross-ventilation and a panoramic view of the bottom into which it will collapse.

redpill's picture

As the economy gets worse, will the chicks in the asian bride import ads get hotter or uglier?  I'm looking for leading indicators here.

TerminalDebt's picture

That's so racist.

I prefer the Russian ones myself.

redpill's picture

Yeah until you wake up in a bathtub full of ice with a note that says "call 911 you have no kidneys"

Hulk's picture

asian chicks have bad morning breath. Assaulted Olfactory senses vs bad blood chemistry.Tradoffs, we are always dealing with Tradeoffs.

EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

Looks like the crackheads found that building

johnQpublic's picture

that will depend on where the asians begin to import their brides from

CPL's picture

Florida.  Lots of mature single ladies.

espirit's picture

Whew!  And butt ugly below the neckline.  Zippers on the backside of the head give em' a permanent smile ;)

TerminalDebt's picture

We are not stealing from our children at all. t some point when we decide it time to balance the budget, we also default on all the loans and everything is reset. We are just stealing from the people who are stupid enough to buy bonds.


Honey Badger's picture

If easy credit is being used to buy things that one cannot pay for with one's own labor, then we are most certainly stealing from our children.  Said another way, if we live beyond our means, then someday, most people will have to live well within theirs.  Said another way, when the great reset comes, the average standard of living will fall considerably for some time. 

ebworthen's picture

A war with China, even a small naval engagement over Taiwan or Japanese islands, could void any Treasury debt we owe them.

Knowing the Kleptoligarchy they will probably raid IRA's and 401K's first, but I wouldn't doubt that an act of war with China and voiding debt is part of the plan.

The debt jubilee for the little people will be last.

daxtonbrown's picture

We are already in a slow boil civil war. That is what Saul Alinsky tactics are all about.

Overfed's picture

I dunno if I want to read an author who asserts that the first Civil War was fought to end slavery.

A Nanny Moose's picture

It is said that the use of force results in the exact opposite of the stated intent. We used force to, umm..."End Slavery," fight the commies, fight the fascists. Hell, we used force to separate from the tyranny of "England."



Antifaschistische's picture

I'll share my weekend experience...I was in La Jolla, the little northern suburb of San Diego and frequent target of the 'lifestyle of the rich and famous" crowd.  Browsing through the shops there I decided to ask the shop owners how business was going.  Their responses ranged from "not so good" to "terrible".   They know that "something happened 2 to 3 years ago.  They don't know what.  Their optimistic bias and MSM convinces them it's a rough patch they just have to weather.

A couple of them admitted to wanting to close shop...but they were locked into long term leases with a landlord that would not renegotiate terms....even though the shop on the left, and right sat completely empty.   One shop owner said the landlord directly told them that if they renegotiate her lease, they would eventually dilute the rental values of other, they chose the delusional path.

Things aren't getting better...anywhere that I travel.   Parts of Houston appear to be doing well but optimism drives most of that bias.   Parts of Pasadena, San Marino, etc...look nice, but the Chinese have jacked the market up there so much it's creating a false positive in the real estate market.  Once California extends their 'burn the rich' tactics and turns onto the luxury real estate market, I fear my Chinese friends will get smoked.


SemperFord's picture

Drive around LA and OC and you will see tons and tons of commercial buildings for rent. Our company is surrounded by four building where the rents are over 10K per month and have been empty for almost 2 years. I am sure if you would ask Bernanake he would say they all won the lotto and don't need to work and don't need to pay rent anymore and that is why they are vacant.

EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

San Diego/Baja economy entering a severe 50 year depression.  

EBT cards and prostitution the only things preventing total societal meltdown.

Drones all but black out the sky.

Natzi interrogation roadblocks all over the place.

That's what you get when you let the Bankers print themselves free money and run the Military.

Canoe Driver's picture

Student Loans, too, not just EBT Cards and prostitution, are preventing societal meltdown.  Nowhere more so than in San Diego.

Canoe Driver's picture

Student Loans, too, not just EBT Cards and prostitution, are preventing societal meltdown.  Nowhere more so than in San Diego.

Kayman's picture

"the Chinese have jacked the market up"

Odd thing that.... the country with jobs is spending money buying up America.  Good thing we have such superior leadership. 

ebworthen's picture

La Jolla - now there is a town with a dome over it, kind of like Washington D.C.

If that rich crowd is not spending at those shops than things are indeed going badly.

My small metropolitan community in the Intermountain West is chock full of empty commercial property and "going out of business" signs.

The FED has done a fine job of blowing another bubble, twice as big as the last one.

Jumbie's picture

Nice micro brew spots here, although the la Jolla Brewhouse itself no longer can afford a brewmaster...

New record home sale in LJ too.

nightshiftsucks's picture

Silicon Valley and the SF East Bay Area is booming.

EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

Now you're in Ben Bernanke's neighborhood.


Miffed Microbiologist's picture

I was in Torrey Pines last weekend hiking and went over to Girard street in La Jolla to have some lunch. We hadn't been there for about 3 years. What we we saw was absolutely stunning. Numerous prime store front properties vacant. I have NEVER seen this in 30 years. Mr miffed and I always say " well we're suffering because we're middle class wage slaves but the rich will always have money". Wow, I have completely changed my mind. I was about ready to go home and start digging a bunker but Mr Miffed wasn't convinced. He's clinging to the remote hope what we saw was just off season and, perhaps, if we return in summer everything will be as it was. This is what happens when you read too much USA Today.


DoChenRollingBearing's picture

@ battle axe

+ 1

I know your statement is in jest, but in BAD economic times, giving up ANY addictions is a good thing.  In my own case, I save about $7.00 in cash every day now, that does not count indirect health reduction costs...

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot's picture

Where'd you find crack for $7.00? Apparently I'm doing it wrong.

Jendrzejczyk's picture

I'm rolling my own smokes now. Horrid addiction I know, but interesting results changing from name brand to roll your own.

The rat impulsively hitting the crack button feeling is no longer there.

The bored, smoking while driving, has stopped.

No pre-rolling allowed.

Hi Ho Silver's picture

$1/pack using a Top-O-Matic. I manufacture 20 filtered cigarettes a session, about 30 minutes. Now I smoke 1/2 of what I used to.

Silver Bug's picture

The wealth gap is growing drastically. Things most certainly are not getting "better".

prains's picture

When have things in the states ever been that good????????? first off was probably before white guys ever showed up, after that, total shit show.

Charles Nelson Reilly's picture

fuck watermelons... let's airlift Corzine into that corner penthouse suite and let a wrecking ball go to work.

RockyRacoon's picture

Looks like Cognitive Dissonance described it best as a "crumbling" rather than a crash.  At some point what's left of that building shown in the pic will finally fall, but all the effective damage has already been done.  All that's left is the small spectacle event.

tip e. canoe's picture

looks like someone has been lurking.

personally i prefer the tobacco barn.

DaveyJones's picture

some buildings fell faster than gravity so all the others could crumble

Never One Roach's picture

Years away from a "recovery"....The place is filled with parasites, leeches and Roaches....and if's there's one thing I know for sure....


There's Never only One Roach!

mmanvil74's picture

The U.S. government is living on a credit card, with one slight difference - it can print it's own montly payments!  The debt will never be repaid, it's pointless to be outraged, or even surprised, by increases in U.S. Federal debt.  Look at Japan, they have been printing to keep afloat for 23 years and counting.  Yes, it will be a slow economic disaster for the U.S. as the middle class divides into rich and poor (mostly poor), but you can still enjoy life and try to get rich, even while the walls of the building fall off around your head.  People who yell "fire" every day are just as annoying as Ben Bernanke yelling "print" every few months. 

ImReady's picture

A simpler solution would probably be to eliminate 100 million citizens. Brother can you spare a body bag?

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Most people I talk with (small business) see no "green shoots".

Think things may go downhill, now or later?  Gold is the best wealth protector.

I need more cowbell's picture

Yeah, thats why we have so many ZH article informing us that Russia, China, and pretty much every mega-producer of oil etc buying silver. Not. Hey, I may not like CB's and Bullion Banks ( and aforementioned sovereign states ), hate em in fact, but to ignore what they find valuable would be dumb.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

You don't know if the Nation-States are buying silver because silver isn't used as a reserve on their balance sheets so they don't report their silver holdings.


Silver isn't used as a reserve on balance sheets....yet.