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Guest Post: 'Available'

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform blog,

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley

 

 

Six months ago I wrote an article called Are You Seeing What I’m Seeing?, describing my observations while traveling along Ridge Pike in Montgomery County, PA and motoring to my local Lowes store on a Saturday. My observations were in conflict with the storyline portrayed by the mainstream media pundits, Ivy League PhD economists, Washington politicians, and Wall Street shills. It is clear now that I must have been wrong. No more proof is needed than the fact the Dow has gone up 1,500 points, or 11%, since I wrote the article. Everyone knows the stock market reflects the true health of the nation – multi-millionaire Jim Cramer and his millionaire CNBC talking head cohorts tell me so. Ignore the fact that the bottom 80% only own 5% of the financial assets in this country and are not benefitted by the stock market in any way.

The mainstream corporate media that is dominated by six mega-corporations (Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch’s News Corporation, Comcast, Viacom, and Bertelsmann), has one purpose as described by the master of propaganda – Edward Bernays:

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.

These media corporations’ task is to use propaganda and misinformation to protect the interests of the status quo. The ruling class has the power to manipulate public opinion, obscure the truth, alter government data, and outright lie, but they can’t control the facts and reality smacking the average person in the face every day. Based on the performance of the stock market and the storyline of economic recovery being peddled by the corporate media, the facts must surely support their contention. Here are a few facts about what has really happened in the last six months since I wrote my article:

  • The working age population has grown by 1.1 million, the number of employed Americans is up 500k, while the number of people who have left the labor force has gone up by 600k. The BLS reports the unemployment rate has fallen without blinking an eye or turning red with embarrassment.
  • The number of Americans entering the Food Stamp Program in the last six months totaled 1 million, bringing the total to 47.8 million, or 20% of all households (up 15 million since the Obama economic recovery began in December 2009).
  • Existing home sales have increased by a scintillating 2.9% on a seasonally adjusted annual basis and average prices have fallen by 6% in the last six months. It is surely a great sign that 32% of all home sales are to Wall Street investors and 25% are either foreclosure sales or short sales. A large percentage of the remaining sales are funded by 3% down FHA government backed loans.
  • There were 31,000 new homes sales in January versus 34,000 new home sales six months prior. Through the magic of seasonal adjustment, this translates into a 15% increase.
  • Single family housing starts were 41,600 in February versus 51,400 six months prior. Even using seasonal adjustments, the government drones can only report a pathetic 4.7% annualized increase and flat starts over the last three months, with mortgage rates at all-time lows.
  • The National Debt has gone up by $750 billion in the last six months, while Real GDP has gone up by less than $150 billion.
  • Real hourly earnings have not increased in the last six months.
  • Consumer debt has risen by $65 billion as the Federal Government has doled out student loans like candy and auto loans (through the 80% government owned Ally Financial – aka GMAC, aka Ditech, aka ResCap) like crack dealer in West Philly.
  • The Federal Reserve has increased their balance sheet by $385 billion in the last six months by buying toxic mortgages from Wall Street banks and the majority of Treasuries issued by the government to fund the $1 trillion annual deficits being produced by the Obama administration. It now totals $3.2 trillion, up from $900 billion in September 2008, and headed to $4 trillion before this year is out.
  • Retail sales have increased by less than 2% over the last six months and are barely 1% above last February. On an inflation adjusted basis, retail sales are falling. Other than internet sales and government financed auto sales, every other retail category is negative year over year. This is reflected in the poor sales and earnings reports from JC Penney, Sears, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target, Lowes, Kohl’s, Darden, McDonalds, and Yum Brands. I’m sure next quarter will be gangbusters, with the Obama payroll tax increase, Obamacare premium increases, 15% surge in gasoline prices, and continued inflation in food and energy.

Considering that 71% of GDP is dependent upon consumer spending (versus 62% in 1979 before the financialization of America), the dreadful results of retailers and restaurants even before the Obama tax increases confirms the country has been in recession since the second half of 2012. In 1979 the economy was still driven by domestic investment that accounted for 19% of GDP. Today, it wallows at all-time lows of 13%. In addition, our trade deficits, driven by debt fueled consumption, subtract 3.5% from GDP. These facts are reflected in the depressed outlook of small business owners who are the backbone of growth, hiring and entrepreneurship in this country. Small businesses of 500 employees or less employ half of all the private industry workers in the country and account for 65% of all new jobs created. There are approximately 27 million small businesses versus 18,000 large businesses. The chart below does not paint an improving picture. The small business optimism has dropped from an already low 92.8 in September 2012 to 90.8 in March 2013.

Small business optimism report for March 2013

The head of the NFIB couldn’t make the situation any clearer:

While the Fortune 500 is enjoying record high earnings, Main Street earnings remain depressed. Far more firms report sales down quarter over quarter than up. Washington is manufacturing one crisis after another—the debt ceiling, the fiscal cliff and the Sequester. Spreading fear and instability are certainly not a strategy to encourage investment and entrepreneurship. Three-quarters of small-business owners think that business conditions will be the same or worse in six months. Until owners’ forecast for the economy improves substantially, there will be little boost to hiring and spending from the small business half of the economy. NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg

If consumers, who account for 71% of the economy, aren’t spending, and small business owners, who do 65% of all the hiring in the country, are petrified with insecurity, why is the stock market hitting all-time highs and the corporate media proclaiming happy days are here again? It can be explained by the distribution of wealth and income in this country. Every media pundit, politician, Wall Street shill, Ivy League PhD economist, and corporate titan you see on CNBC, Fox or any corporate media outlet is 1%er or better. The chart below shows the bottom 99% saw their real incomes decline between 2009 and 2011, while the top 1% reaped the stock market gains and corporate bonuses for using “creative” accounting to generate record corporate profits. The trend in 2012 through today has only widened this gap, as real worker wages have continued to decline and the stock market has advanced another 20%.

The feudal financial industry lords are feasting on caviar and champagne in their mountaintop manors while the serfs and peasants scrounge in the gutters for scraps and morsels. This path has been chosen by the king (Obama) and enabled by his court jester (Bernanke). Money printing and inflation are their weapons of choice. We are living in a 21st Century version of the Dark Ages.

On the Road Again

I’ve been baffled by a visible disconnect between deteriorating data and the storyline being sold to the ignorant masses by the financial elitists that run the show. The websites and truthful analysts that I respect and trust (Zero Hedge, Mish, Jesse, Karl Denninger, John Hussman, David Stockman, Financial Sense and a few others) provide analytical evidence on a daily basis that confirm my view that our economic situation is worsening. We are all looking at the same data, but the pliable faux journalists that toil for their corporate masters spin the data in a manner designed to mislead and manipulate in order to mold public opinion, as Edward Bernays taught the invisible ruling class. As you can see, numbers and statistical data can be spun, adjusted, and manipulated to tell whatever story you want to depict. I prefer to confirm or deny my assessment with my observations out in the real world. I spend 12 hours per week cruising the highways and byways of Montgomery County and Philadelphia as I commute to and from work and shuttle my kids to guitar lessons, friends’ houses, and local malls. I can’t help but have my antenna attuned to what I’m seeing with my own eyes.

As I detailed in my previous article, Montgomery County is relatively affluent area with the dangerous urban enclaves of Norristown and Pottstown as the only blighted low income, high crime areas in the 500 square mile county of 800,000 people. The median household income and median home prices are 50% above the national averages. Major industries include healthcare, pharmaceuticals, insurance and information technology. It is one of only 30 counties in the country with a AAA rating from Standard & Poors (as if that means anything). On paper, my county appears to be thriving and healthy, with white collar professionals living an idyllic suburban existence. One small problem – the visual evidence as you travel along Welsh Road towards Montgomeryville or Germantown Pike towards Plymouth Meeting reveals a decaying infrastructure, dying retail meccas, and miles of empty office complexes.

I don’t think my general observations as I drive around Montgomery County are colored by any predisposition towards negativity. I see a gray winter like pallor has settled upon the land. I see termite pocked wooden fences with broken and missing slats. I see sagging porches. I see leaky roofs with missing tiles. I see vacant dilapidated hovels. I see mold tainted deteriorating siding on occupied houses. I see weed infested overgrown yards. I see collapsing barns and crumbling farm silos. I see houses and office buildings that haven’t been painted in 20 years. I see clock towers in strip malls with the wrong time. I see shuttered gas stations. I see retail stores with lights out in their signs. I see trees which fell during Hurricane Sandy five months ago still sitting in yards untouched. I see potholes not being filled. I see disintegrating highway overpasses and bridges. I constantly see emergency repairs on burst water mains. I see malfunctioning stoplights. I see fading traffic signage. I see regional malls with rust stained walls beneath their massive unlit Macys, JC Penney and Sears logos. I see hundreds of Space Available, For Lease, For Rent, Vacancy, For Sale and Store Closing signs dotting the suburban landscape. These sights are in a relatively affluent suburban county. When I reach West Philly, it looks more like Dresden in 1945.

                      Dresden – 1945                                                     Philadelphia – 2013

 

I moved to my community in 1995 when the economy was plodding along at a 2.5% growth rate. The housing market was still depressed from the early 90s recession. The retail strip centers and larger malls in my area were 100% occupied. Office parks were bustling with activity. Office vacancy rates were the lowest in twenty years during the late 1990s. National GDP has grown by 112% (only 50% after adjusting for inflation) since 1995, with personal consumption rising 122%. Domestic investment has only grown by 80%, but imports skyrocketed by 204%. If the economy has more than doubled in the last 18 years, how could retail strip centers in my affluent community have 40% to 70% vacancy rates and office parks sit vacant for years? The answer is that Real GDP has not even advanced by 50%. Using a true rate of inflation, not the bastardized, manipulated, tortured BLS version, shows the country has essentially been in contraction since the year 2000.

The official government sanctioned data does not match what I see on the ground, but the Shadowstats version of the data explains it perfectly.

My observations also don’t match up with the data reported by the likes of Reis, Trepp, Moody’s and the Federal Reserve. Reis reports a national vacancy rate of 17.1% for offices, barely below its peak of 17.6% in late 2010. Vacancy rates are 35% above 2007 levels and more than double the rates in the late 1990s. But what I realized after digging into the methodology of these reported figures is the true rates are significantly higher. First you must understand that Reis and Trepp are real estate companies who are in business to make money from commercial real estate transactions. It is in their self -interest to report data in the most positive manner possible – they’ve learned the lessons of Bernays. These mouthpieces for their industry slice and dice the numbers according to major markets, minor markets, suburban versus major cities, and most importantly they only measure Class A office space.

I didn’t realize the distinctions between classes when it comes to office space. The Building Owners and Managers Association describes the classes:

Class A office buildings have the “most prestigious buildings competing for premier office users with rents above average for the area.” Class A facilities have “high quality standard finishes, state of the art systems, exceptional accessibility and a definite market presence.” Class B office buildings as those that compete “for a wide range of users with rents in the average range for the area.” Class B buildings have “adequate systems” and finishes that “are fair to good for the area,” but that the buildings do not compete with Class A buildings for the same prices. Class C buildings are aimed towards “tenants requiring functional space at rents below the average for the area.”

So we have landlords self-reporting Class A vacancy rates in big markets to a real estate company that reports them without verification. Is it in a landlord’s best interest to under-report their vacancy rate? You bet it is. If potential tenants knew the true vacancy rates, they would be able to negotiate much lower rents. There is a beautiful Class A 77,000 square foot building near my house that was built in 2004. Nine years later there is still a huge Space Available sign in front of the building and it appears at least 50% vacant.

I pass another Class A property on Welsh Road called the Gwynedd Corporate Center that consists of three 40,000 square foot buildings in a 13 acre office park. It was built in 1998 and is completely dark. The vacancy rate is 100%. As I traveled down Germantown Pike last week I noted dozens of Class A office complexes with Space Available signs in front. I’m absolutely certain that vacancy rates in Class A offices in Montgomery County exceed 25%. When you expand your horizon to Class B and Class C office space, vacancy rates exceed 50%. The only booming business in my suburban paradise is Space Available sign manufacturing. We probably import those from China too. Despite the spin put on the data by the real estate industry, Moody’s reported data supports my estimates:

  • The values of suburban offices in non-major markets are 43% below 2007 levels.
  • Industrial property values in non-major markets are 28% below 2007 levels.
  • Retail property values in non-major markets are 35% below 2007 levels.

The data being reported by Reis regarding vacancies in strip malls and regional malls is also highly questionable, based on my real world observations. The reported vacancy rates of 8.6% for regional malls and 10.7% for strip malls, barely below their 2011 peaks, are laughable. Again, there is no benefit for a landlord to report their true vacancy rate. The truth will depress rents further. This data is gathered by surveying developers and landlords. We all know how reputable and above board real estate professionals are – aka David Lereah, Larry Yun. A large strip mall near my house has a 70% vacancy rate, with another, one mile away, with a 50% vacancy rate. Anyone with two eyes and functioning brain that has visited a mall or driven past a strip mall knows that vacancy rates are at least 15%, the highest in U.S. history. These statistics don’t even capture the small pizza joints, craft shops, antique outlets, candy stores, book stores, gas stations and myriad of other family run small businesses that have been forced to close up shop in the last five years.

The disconnect between reality, the data reported by the mouthpieces of the status quo, and financial markets is as wide as the Grand Canyon. Even the purveyors of false data can’t get their stories straight. Trepp has been reporting steadily declining commercial delinquency rates since July 2012, when they had reached 10.34%, the highest level since the early 1990s. The decline is being driven solely by apartment complexes and hotels. Industrial and retail delinquencies continue to rise and office delinquencies are flat over the last three months. Again, the definition of delinquent is in the eye of the beholder.

The quarterly delinquency rates on commercial loans reported by the Federal Reserve is less than half the rate being reported by Trepp, at 4.13%. Bennie and his band of Ivy League MBA economists have reported 10 consecutive quarters of declining commercial loan delinquency rates. This is in direct contrast to the data reported by Trepp that showed delinquencies rising during 2012.

 

Real estate loans

All

Booked in domestic    offices

Residential 1

Commercial 2

Farmland

2012:4

7.57

10.07

4.13

2.67

2011:4

8.48

10.34

6.11

3.26

2010:4

9.12

10.23

7.96

3.59

2009:4

9.59

10.54

8.73

3.42

2008:4

6.04

6.67

5.49

2.28

2007:4

2.91

3.08

2.75

1.51

2006:4

1.70

1.95

1.32

1.41

The data being reported doesn’t pass the smell test. Commercial vacancy rates are at or above the levels seen during the last Wall Street created real estate crisis in the early 1990’s. During 1991/1992 commercial loan delinquency rates ranged between 10% and 12%. Today, with the same or higher levels of vacancy, the Federal Reserve reports 4% delinquency rates. When the latest Wall Street created financial collapse struck in 2008 and commercial property values crashed while vacancy rates soared, there were dire predictions of huge loan losses between 2010 and 2012. Commercial real estate loans generally rollover every 5 to 7 years. The massive issuance of dodgy subprime commercial loans between 2005 and 2007 would come due between 2010 and 2012. But miraculously delinquency rates have supposedly plunged from 8.78% in mid-2010 to 4.13% today. The Federal Reserve decided in 2009 to look the other way when assessing whether a real estate loan would ever be repaid. A loan isn’t considered delinquent if the lender decides it isn’t delinquent. The can’t miss strategy of extend, pretend and pray was implemented across the country as mandated by the Federal Reserve. This pushed out the surge in loan maturities to 2014 – 2016.

In an economic system that rewarded good choices and punished those who took ridiculous undue risks and lost, real estate developers, mall owners, and office landlords would be going bankrupt in large numbers and loan losses for Wall Street Too Stupid to Succeed banks would be in the billions. Developers took out loans in the mid-2000’s which were due to be refinanced in 2012. The property is worth 35% less and the rental income with a 20% vacancy rate isn’t enough to cover the interest payments on the loan. The borrower would have no option but to come up with 35% more cash and accept a higher interest rate because the risk of default had risen, or default. Instead, the lenders have pretended the value of the property hasn’t declined and they’ve extended the term of the loan at a lower interest rate. This was done on the instructions of the Federal Reserve, their regulator. The plan is dependent on an improvement in the office and retail markets. It seems the best laid plans of corrupt sycophant central bankers are going to fail.

Eyes Wide Open

There are 1,300 regional malls in this country, with most anchored by a JC Penney, Sears, Barnes & Noble, or Best Buy. The combination of declining real household income, aging population, lackluster employment growth, rising energy, food and healthcare costs, mounting tax burdens, and escalating on-line purchasing will result in the creation of 200 or more ghost malls over the next five years. The closure of thousands of big box stores is baked in the cake. The American people have run out of money. They have no equity left in their houses to tap. The average worker has only $25,000 of retirement savings and they are taking loans against it to make the mortgage payment and put food on the table. They can’t afford to perform normal maintenance on their property and are one emergency away from bankruptcy. In a true cycle of doom, most of the jobs “created” since 2009 are low skill retail jobs with little or no benefits. As storefronts go dark and more “Available” signs are erected in front of these weed infested eyesores, more Americans will lose their jobs and be unable to do their 71% part in our economic Ponzi scheme.

The reason office buildings across the land sit vacant, with mold and mildew silently working its magic behind the walls and under the carpets, is because small businesses are closing up shop and only a crazy person would attempt to start a new business in this warped economic environment of debt dependent diminishing returns. The 27 million small businesses in the country are fighting a losing battle against overbearing government regulations, increasingly heavy tax burdens, operating cost inflation, Obamacare mandates, a low skill poorly educated workforce, and customers with diminishing resources and declining disposable income. Small business owners are not optimistic about the future because they don’t have a sugar daddy like Bernanke to provide them with free money and a promise to bail them out if their high risk investments go bad. With small businesses accounting for 65% of all new hiring in this country and looming healthcare taxes, mandates, regulations and penalties approaching like a freight train, there is absolutely zero probability that office buildings will be filling up with new employees in the next few years. With hundreds of billions in commercial real estate loans coming due over the next three years, over 60% of the loans in the office and retail category, vacancy rates at record levels, and property values still 30% to 40% below the original loan values, a rendezvous with reality awaits. How long can bankers pretend to be paid on loans by developers who pretend they are collecting rent from non-existent tenants who are selling goods to non-existent customers? The implosion in the commercial real estate market will also blow a gaping hole in the Federal Reserve balance sheet, which is leveraged 55 to 1.

federal reserve balance sheet

I regularly drive along Schoolhouse Road in Souderton. It is a winding country road with dozens of small manufacturing, warehousing, IT, aerospace, auto repair, bus transportation, retail and landscaping businesses operating and trying to scratch out a small profit. Most of these businesses have been operating for decades. I would estimate that most have annual revenue of less than $2 million and less than 100 employees. It is visibly evident they have not been thriving, as their facilities are looking increasingly worn down and in disrepair. Their access to credit has been reduced since the 2008 crisis, as only the Wall Street banks and mega-corporations with Washington lobbyists received Bennie Bucks and Obama stimulus pork. These small businesses have been operating on razor thin margins and unable to invest in their existing facilities or expand their businesses. The tax increases just foisted upon small business owners and their employees, along with Obamacare mandates which will drive healthcare costs dramatically higher, and waning demand due to lack of income, will surely push some of these businesses over the edge. There will be some harsh lessons learned on Schoolhouse Road over the next few years. I expect to see more of these signs along Schoolhouse Road and thousands of other roads in the next few years.

The mainstream media pawns, posing as journalists, have not only gotten the facts wrong regarding the current situation, but their myopia extends into the near future. The perpetual optimists that always see a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow are either willfully ignorant or a product of our government run public education system and can’t perform basic mathematical computations. As pointed out previously, consumer spending drives 71% of our economy. As would be expected, the highest level of annual spending occurs between the ages of 35 to 54 years old when people are in their peak earnings years. Young people are already burdened with $1 trillion of government peddled student loan debt and are defaulting at a 20% rate because there are no decent jobs available. Millions of Boomers are saddled with underwater mortgages, prodigious levels of credit card and auto loan debt, with retirement savings of $25,000 or less. Anyone expecting the young or old to ramp up spending over the next decade must be a CNBC pundit, University of Phoenix MBA graduate or Ivy League trained economist.

There will be 10,000 Boomers per day turning 65 years old for the next 18 years. Consumers in the 65-74 age segment spend 28% less on average than during their peak years. It is estimated that between 2010 and 2020 there will be approximately 14.5 million more consumers aged 65 or older. The number of Americans in their peak spending years will crash over the next decade. This surely bodes well for our suburban sprawl, mall based, cheap energy dependent, debt fueled society. Do you think this will lead to a revival in retail and office commercial real estate?

We’ve got $1 trillion annual deficits locked in for the next decade. We’ve got total credit market debt at 350% of GDP. We’ve got true unemployment exceeding 20%. We’ve had declining real wages for thirty years and no change in that trend. We’ve got an aging, savings poor, debt rich, obese, materialistic, iGadget distracted, proudly ignorant, delusional populace that prefer lies to truth and fantasy to reality. We’ve got 20% of households on food stamps. We’ve got food pantries, thrift stores and payday loan companies doing a booming business. We’ve got millions of people occupying underwater McMansions in picturesque suburban paradises that can’t make their mortgage payments or pay their utility bills, awaiting their imminent eviction notice from one of the Wall Street banks that created this societal catastrophe.

We’ve got a government further enslaving the middle class in student loan debt with the false hope of new jobs that aren’t being created. We’ve got a shadowy unaccountable organization, owned and controlled by the biggest banks in the world, that has run a Ponzi scheme called a fractional reserve lending system for 100 years, and inflated away 96% of the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar. We’ve got a self-proclaimed Ivy League academic expert on the Great Depression (created by the Federal Reserve) who has tripled the Federal Reserve balance sheet on his way to quadrupling it by year end, who has promised QE to eternity with the sole purpose of enriching his benefactors while impoverishing senior citizens and the middle class. He will ultimately be credited in history books as the creator of the Greater Depression that destroyed the worldwide financial system and resulted in death, destruction, chaos, starvation, mayhem and ultimately war on a grand scale. But in the meantime, he serves the purposes of the financial ruling class as a useful idiot and will continue to spew gibberish and propaganda to obscure their true agenda.

It is time to open your eyes and arise from your stupor. Observe what is happening around you. Look closely. Does the storyline match what you see in your ever day reality? It is them versus us. Whether you call them the invisible government, ruling class, financial overlords, oligarchs, the powers that be, ruling elite, or owners; there are powerful wealthy men who call the shots in this global criminal enterprise. Their names are Dimon, Corzine, Blankfein, Murdoch, Buffett, Soros, Bernanke, Obama, Romney, Bloomberg, Fink, among others. They are using every means at their disposal to retain their control and power over the worldwide economic system and gorge themselves like hyenas upon the carcasses of a crippled and dying middle class. They have nothing but contempt and scorn for the peasants. They’re your owners and consider you as their slaves. They don’t care about you. They think the commoners are unworthy to be in their presence. Time is growing short for these psychopathic criminals. No amount of propaganda can cover up the physical, economic, social, and psychological descent afflicting our world. There’s a bad moon rising and trouble is on the way. The time for hard choices is coming. The words of Edward Bernays represent the view of the ruling class, while the words of George Carlin represent the view of the working class.

“There’s a reason that education sucks, and it’s the same reason it will never ever be fixed. It’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it. Be happy with what you’ve got. Because the owners of this country don’t want that. I’m talking about the real owners now, the big, wealthy, business interests that control all things and make the big decisions. Forget the politicians, they’re irrelevant.

Politicians are put there to give you that idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations, and they’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the State Houses, and the City Halls. They’ve got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies so they control just about all the news and information you get to hear. They’ve got you by the balls.

They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want—they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interest. You know something, they don’t want people that are smart enough to sit around their kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.” George Carlin

 

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Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:31 | 3379016 FLUSA.com
FLUSA.com's picture

Can I send you a picture of my office building info/sign ... I'm trying to lease it up and could use the free advertisement?

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:34 | 3379028 Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet's picture

There are "For Lease" signs EVERYWHERE along Wilshire Blvd in Beverly Hills. And I do mean 2 or 3 "For Lease" signs on just about every single block.  In Beverly Hills!  But I'm told we're recovering.  So I guess we are.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:45 | 3379059 Dane Bramage
Dane Bramage's picture

Go long Space Available sign manufacturing!! 

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:49 | 3379075 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

All according to plan.  If the pie isn't growing then you have to take a bigger slice of what's available. Sociopaths don't care about the guy who only gets a sliver for a slice.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:55 | 3379091 DJ Happy Ending
DJ Happy Ending's picture

"No amount of propaganda can cover up the physical, economic, social, and psychological descent afflicting our world."

As far as 80% of the population is concerned, yes it can. This is why nothing has changed and nothing will happen until the nanny state stops the free lunch.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:08 | 3379130 Say What Again
Say What Again's picture

Boy, there sure are a lot words and graphs in that article.  Did anyone actually read through the whole thing?  If I can't read it on my iPhone in a few screens, it must be worthless.

Ok, now I'm going to watch re-runs of Dancing With the Stars -- Pamela Anderson version.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 19:34 | 3379427 Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet's picture

People like you are what is wrong with this country.  Why aren't you paying attention to what's going on?  We're in the midst of deciding whether to allow gays to marry or not!  Come on!  Take a side!!!

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 21:22 | 3379815 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Ok, gays should be allowed to marry, then taken out and shot.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:49 | 3380077 Tijuana Donkey Show
Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

I'm all for gay marrage. I feel they need to be as bored and miserable as everyone else, and I'm tired of them not being able to have their relationships drug into a court of law, reviewed, and managed by a third party with demands for cash payments that can be based on unreasonable demands.  

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 20:44 | 3379687 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

You got a sliver?

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:46 | 3379060 DavidPierre
DavidPierre's picture

Look closely MORON.

It is time to open your myopic eyes SmokeyQuinn … Arise from your 9/11 stupor!  

Observe what happened 12 years ago and what continues happening around you.

Does the 9/11 storyline match what you see in reality?  

It is them versus us.

Whether you call them the invisible government, ruling class, financial overlords, oligarchs, the powers that be, ruling elite, or owners; there are powerful wealthy men who call the shots in this global criminal enterprise. They destroyed the worldwide financial system on 9/11 and resulted in death, destruction, chaos, starvation, mayhem … War on a world scale.  

But in the meantime, you continue to serve the purposes of the financial ruling class as a useful idiot and will continue to spew your oft repeated economic gibberish … buy into their political propaganda concerning 9/11 while you obscure their true agenda.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21pPpYw_axQ

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:47 | 3379226 Jim Quinn
Jim Quinn's picture

One trick ponies are embarrassed because you give them a bad name.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 19:15 | 3379301 Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture

 

 

JQ wrote:

"These media corporations’ task is to use propaganda and misinformation to protect the interests of the status quo."

 

Yet it was these same outfits that packaged the official version of September 11, 2001 into a tidy little box with a pretty bow that you seem to buy into...WTF JQ?

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 19:12 | 3379344 DavidPierre
DavidPierre's picture

Well at least it is better than being a One Trick Phony like you.

Jesus H. Christ !

How many times are you going to re-package the same bullshit over and over again and pretend that this minutia of CRE really fucking matters ... meanwhile Nazis killed people as entertainment on 9/11... live on MSM TV?

And you buy it... Hook...Line...and Sinker.

Fuck off! ... MORON!

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:06 | 3379937 essence
essence's picture

Good article Jim. You do through work.

But I am curious about your stance toward 9/11.

This David Pierre guy keeps racking you over the coals about it so I assume you don't see any conspiracy. And yet, I assume you MUST have seen the Building 7 videos. You MUST have read the reports from Architects & Engineers for 9/11 about how modern high rises have multiple support beams assiduously engineered. Their opinion  that for a building to collaspe in its own footprint would mean that ALL those highly engineered support beams would have to give way at the same time (i.e. ...within a  fraction of the SAME second),

 

Again, I'm curious.  How does someone as rational as you just sweep that away and carry on?

 

 

 

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:45 | 3379258 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Ha, what?!       hujel

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:55 | 3379309 max2205
max2205's picture

Anyone making trades based on the real economy always will lose.  Its the wall st trick

Wed, 03/27/2013 - 02:14 | 3380306 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

<< First you must understand that Reis and Trepp are real estate companies who are in business to make money from commercial real estate transactions. It is in their self -interest to report data in the most positive manner possible >>

 

Exactamundo!

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:58 | 3379105 mendolover
mendolover's picture

Start on Route 1 in Fairfield,  CT and drive south through Westport to Norwalk.  It is amazing how many 'Available' signs there are.  Literally every other property in some blocks with a sign in front.  This is going back about two years already.  It's spreading!

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 21:29 | 3379839 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

If your sick of looking at Space Available signs, then come down to my neck of the woods, the sink hole capitol of the world, Florida.

They don't even bother putting up Space Available signs cause they know there's no one out there to rent the space. Just endless empty strip malls and office buildings.

Although, there does seem to be an endless supply of For Sale signs out in front yards with people hoping to unload their house on the next rube.

I guess this was the Hope and Change Obama talked about in his 2008 campaign.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:00 | 3379108 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Another reason California is dead in the water:

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/private-sector-salary-public-employe...

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:48 | 3379273 Jreb
Jreb's picture

Same where we live too. A new - and very nice development just down the street from us is at roughly 50% occupancy - 4 years after it was finished.

More retail, office and commercial space available than I have ever seen in my life. And we live in one of the more economically sound parts of tbe country... scary.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 20:29 | 3379638 mumbo_jumbo
mumbo_jumbo's picture

Troll,

and the best part is the bidding wars are back for homes all over southern california.....where these people are getting the money is anyone's guess

 

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:59 | 3379319 Salah
Salah's picture

America is no longer "capitalist"; it is "creditist".   Richard Duncan explains to a stunned, disbelieving Glenn Beck:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iyCt0uwNWs

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 19:09 | 3379338 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

Good article.

 

I was beginning to think I was going crazy or completely disconneted from reality when i see dozens of "For Lease" "For Rent" and so on all over the malls and countryside, and dozens if not hundreds of empty houses and store fronts...and then come home at night and see those smiling TV faces about how wonderful everything is..."The Recovery" and so on.

 

Keep these factoid articles up pleeeeeze!

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:34 | 3379024 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

There is plenty of space available, it's finding the inexpensive energy and real inputs to actually do something with all that space that presents the fucking problem.  Fuck you Krugman/Bernanke.

Wed, 03/27/2013 - 01:59 | 3380295 tango
tango's picture

I am convinced that the reason it all seems so illogical and unnormal is that we are entering a new paradigm.   Disruptive and increasingly intelligent machines are rapidly replacing humans at all levels in the workforce.   I'm not saying that is a bad thing if products like food or energy enjoyed the incredible reduction in cost (and increased performance).  Throw in finite fossil fuels, FED and debt and politics into the mix and nothing makes sense.

Energy is not the problem.  Around here folks began cost-cutting actions long ago - switching lights, reducing lighting at night, adjusting thermostats, replacing grass with gravel or moss, efficient windows, etc.  Who knows?  Maybe all the uneployed not on disability or workman's comp or [fill in blank] can get a job transforming the nation into a more sustainable situation. Then again, given the choice between drawing a check and doing something, I'm not so sure. 

 

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:59 | 3379034 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

But there is so much "Opportunity for all" and a "free market economy".  /s

Try this site also:

http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

 

 

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:37 | 3379043 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

Shadow economy is $2 trillion and growing........

 

fuck the feds and fuck the banks

 

http://www.npr.org/2013/03/26/175361658/trillions-earned-under-table-as-...

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:37 | 3379044 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

R.I.P. George..

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:39 | 3379048 Everyman
Everyman's picture

TOTALLY correct.  There will be a lot of people "put up against the wall" and they will be politicos, propagandists (CNBC people had better watch out when SHTF), and bankers, insurance people, and the medical corps and big Pharma.  Wouldn't give you a dime for their lives after SHTF.  They are the most worthless, and cause the most trouble.  These ALL should be in jail for their various offenses against the nation.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:02 | 3379115 toys for tits
toys for tits's picture

 

"It's not our job to make up the news, that's the government's"

V For Vendetta

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:53 | 3379296 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

"Making a list, checking it twice, gonna see who's been naughty or nice, cause the guillotine is coming to town"                       hujel

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:40 | 3379051 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Overcapacity - the future they built all this shit for has of course failed to materialize. Permanent Growth is dead, long live Permanent Growth.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 20:33 | 3379657 petolo
petolo's picture

Come now, what's a few extra guillotines....rollin, rollin, rollin.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:40 | 3379053 akak
akak's picture

Fantastic if almost overwhelming article Jim!

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:57 | 3379061 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

{Available}

 

 

edit: while I'm pimping my space for rent I'll say, first of all - Agreed, great post, and also the 16 minutes beofre DP bombed the post were almost blissful..

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:41 | 3379243 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

Agreed.  Excellent article.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:41 | 3379054 edifice
edifice's picture

It's all going back to nature... Like Detroit and Camden.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 21:48 | 3379906 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Detroit sits on some pretty good farmland.

Grown in Detroit produce is showing up in Mid-Michigan stores.

 

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:47 | 3380069 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

I was at our local ghost mall last night thinking many of the same thoughts as the author.  Besides the three anchor stores, I would say they have about a 60% vacancy rate.  The Walmart across the street had more people in it than the entire mall.  I would guess that the number of people working at the mall was greater than the number of shoppers.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:44 | 3379058 death_to_fed_tyranny
death_to_fed_tyranny's picture

We the 95% need to commence the hangings by piano wire. Bernanke is first.Then Dimon. Then Corzine.........ad infinitum!

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:55 | 3379090 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

Be real. They own the system and have security around them. Snipers and IEDs might have an effect but no one is getting hanged. Other than the reality thing I like your fantasy though.

Wed, 03/27/2013 - 05:42 | 3380404 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

IEDs are an insurgency's best friend. Ask the Iraqis. Then get busy on your chemistry homework. The time will come, and patriots will need to be prepared. Down with the NWO!

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 21:42 | 3379884 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

Put it on pay per view and pay off the natl debt!

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 21:52 | 3379925 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

I would have ponied up some bucks to watch a Saddam-Bush duel ten years ago.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:46 | 3379064 q99x2
q99x2's picture

I am forced to arise from my stuper because I ain't got money enough for my supper.

Yeah, If there ever is a revolution in this country it will come during the last week of the month.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:48 | 3379067 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Retail office space and mall space is so empty because they require human beings in them.

Human beings are not desired by the corporatocracy; unless it is to sell them something or put them in debt.

God forbid any corporation would make a commitment to a human being and pay them a salary and benefits!

When a tree gets old and loses its' vigor it is beset by parasites of the leaves, the branches, the trunk, the roots.

U.S. society is beset by parasites; aphids and scales that suck the sap out of the leaves, borers eating tunnels through the wood, and nematodes sucking at the roots.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:00 | 3379110 Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

And that's just the bankers

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 20:56 | 3379725 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Ebworthen, I've always had a dream to start a small business and get out of my hourly wage slavery. A few of my small business friends have smacked me senseless for being so naive. Everyone of them has told me their business struggled to be profitable once they had to have employees. Not one of them said they started their business to give people jobs. Their reasons run from the " desire for independence", " reaping the rewards of their own labors" and " saw a perfect idea for a niche market". Employees were the last thing on their minds and they all warned me if I were to start a business, one of the key attributes must be if I could operate it myself. So if 65% of small businesses provide us with jobs I see a problem. I'm sure the government will come up with a good solution for this and those vacant offices will be filled.

Miffed;-)

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:53 | 3379083 alfbell
alfbell's picture

 

 

A monkey wrench will be thrown into TPTB's plans. Yes, they are pressing forward, but they won't win every battle. The Fed is moving closer and closer into the crosshairs. Even Greenspan is now saying it's time to end The Fed! Only a matter of time folks.

Andrew Jackson took them out and set them back for a long time. It can happen again.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanlewis/2013/03/14/if-alan-greenspan-wan...

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:28 | 3379193 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

It is obvious to anyone who isn't a brain-dead toadstool (e.g. - Steve Liesman) that the FED does NOTHING for the citizens of the U.S.A. beyond punishing saving, hard work, and responsibility - while rewarding a corrupt financial industry and corporatocracy.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:53 | 3379084 mammoth mo
mammoth mo's picture

The masses have been convinced that eating fast food and watching naked women have sex is a quality life.  They are fighting to keep it.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:53 | 3379085 breakyoself
breakyoself's picture

CNBS Carl Quintanilla: "Maybe they are feeling better because the value of their neighbor's house went up." He is in the running for biggest moron on that channel.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:54 | 3379086 Ineverslice
Ineverslice's picture

 

Lawrence Yun = Biggest fucking Real Estate Clown in world history.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:56 | 3379096 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

I see nothing but NJ area codes in the pictures. Is that why that fat fucking liar Christie is holding onto state refund and property rebate checks ?

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:41 | 3379246 Jim Quinn
Jim Quinn's picture

Every sign was from a 5 mile stretch in Paramus NJ. There were 15 other pictures I didn't use.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:58 | 3380090 SamuelMaverick
SamuelMaverick's picture

Over the past five years I was involved in installing CATV / internet service to a large # of commercial buildings, office complexes, and tech parks in upstate NY. I got to go into every floor of every building and what I saw would blow your mind. An example was eight commercial buildings on State street in Albany, NY, directly across from the state capital building. From the outside they looked ' okay ', but these buildings were 60 to 70% empty, and a few of the buildings had entire floors that were in suspended animation from the 1950's - completely decrepit and falling apart. The few spots that were occupied were not real business', but were public/private starter enterprises, or were just plain old government sponsered projects.  Tragic.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:57 | 3379097 DK- DCare
DK- DCare's picture

WOW- you need to relax

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:57 | 3379101 Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

Reality is for pussies.  Just turn on CNBC, mainline The Fed needle, and enjoy the ride.  

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 17:58 | 3379104 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

As long as the pension funds are getting reamed and wall street bankers get their bonus the fed is happy.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:04 | 3379112 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I had to look for a new store a month ago because we had to leave a old store location because the owners had a family dispute.

7500 euro's for a 340 square meter store. that's not big, but I still think it's pretty expensive.
It will take about 2 years, with expenses and employees to turn it profitable.

Now I keep asking myself... without the 150k investment to turn it into a shop... how the hell a starter can afford these prices?
It's still way overpriced... we're not at the end of the road just yet.

Immo bureau's are still upgrading prices like it's 2007. even with dozens of vacant lots and stores.

I also notice all the signs, and they're fucking everywhere. In every street, on every level.
And still I hear people talking about real estate as a good investment. Fucking bozo's...

200k for a 1 bedroom appartment in the middle of nowhere.
700k for a 4 bedroom house with a nice garden.
1.5 million for a big appartment in the city.
2 to 3 million for a penthouse.
...

I still remember when I was young, that the big mansions where dirtcheap. the reason was that it was to expensive to overhaul them.
Now they ask insane prices for those old houses, the cost a fortune to restore, and funny thing... I used to work as a electrician, carpenter, bricklayer... when I was a kid to make some pocket money. People still did the restauring themselves.
Now... if it's not plug and play... people are incompetent to do anything.

A funny thing:
my brother in law... he bought a old mansion... 7 bedrooms... no kids... spend all his money on the house, no budget left.
sollution?
BUY A DVD WITH DIY TRICKS TO FIX IT UP!!!
HE FREAKING BELIEVES THAT A 20 MINUTE SHOW IS ENOUGH FOR HIM TO LEARN EVERYTHING!?!?!? NEVER DID A REAL JOB IN HIS LIFE!!
BABYHANDS!!!
And you see that everywhere!
5 years after they buy the place, most couple break up because they still don't have a working bathroom!
800k in downpayments! WAY OVER THEIR HEADS!!!
That shit is only worth the land the current bricks a layd on...
TV makes people believe they can move the world!!! in 20 minutes without breaking a sweath...

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:46 | 3379266 machineh
machineh's picture

Your brother-in-law BOUGHT A DVD?

Wow ... old school!

He could learn everything on YouTube ... and use his DVD as a beer coaster.

Tell him to start with tile grouting, and work his way up to master electrician and plumber. /sarc

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 19:30 | 3379414 Bobportlandor
Bobportlandor's picture

So it's worse then he thought.

 

Call me I know everything there is to know about building.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 21:51 | 3379922 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Sudden Debt

It looks like we're all dommed.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:02 | 3379117 pashley1411
pashley1411's picture

Quinn overstates his case, because some places; the financial centers, the government centers (education, medical, bureaucracy, miltiary); carry a sheen of prosperity, up to and until the moment government is no longer able to pull real assets of the economy and spend it on their favorite clients.

There is alot of ruin than can be inflicted on an economy.   They still eat in Cuba.   The ruin can go on and on, far longer and farther than anyone at the start could possibly believe.   

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 19:50 | 3379482 Pareto
Pareto's picture

Agree.  It will be a long slow burn while the print, debase ponzie takes its toll on the many that still believe the government can and will solve all their problems.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:05 | 3379122 monopoly
monopoly's picture

I still manage a first class building in Incline Village Nevada. In 2004 we had 100% occupancy with rents near the $3.00 per sq. ft. mark. And a waiting list, (the north shore of Lake Tahoe).

Fast forward. 25% of our building has been empty for 3 years. The other 75% leases for under $2.00 a ft. with no CAM, taxes, or other assessments. Most tenants take a ONE year lease where they used to want 3 to 5 year leases. Our turnover is 50%, it used to be 10%. The building is worth 30% less than in 2006. And most commercial space in Incline is less than 75% leased. I get maybe one phone call every 5 months for space available. 

So income is down 30% overall. This is the new normal.

Yet, lakefront homes go for 5 to 35 million dollars just 5 streets down. There is one wealthy family that just finished an absurd 50,000 square foot house on the lake in Incline. The very wealthy all have their enclaves here. Just a few miles away, the citizens live, trying to pay their bills. Amerika.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:05 | 3379124 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

I think Jim's point is the shit has already hit the fan. If we are waiting for the market to signal it we may all be mentally challenged.

It's over. The only question the 1% quietly wonder is, what the fuck are you gonna do about it?

lucky for them the answer seems to be that we will all just continue to sit here and yell at our tv's and tell each other that the market has to fall any minute now. Meanwhile as the dow was up 100pts a bunch of people in some far away land just lost everything.

Wed, 03/27/2013 - 02:24 | 3380309 kareninca
kareninca's picture

YES!!!!  THAT IS EXACTLY IT!!!!!

My father said that to me, back when things started to collapse, five years ago.  I asked him WHEN would the SHTF; WHEN would things would fall apart, WHEN it would all become a disaster.  He told me:  "it already has, for the people who have lost their homes and jobs."

It happens one person, and one family, at a time.  Jim just gave us a tour of where some where those families live.

And of course all the stuff re commercial real estate, applies in spades to the residential world, fake localized bubbles notwithstanding.  The same houses are for sale in CT and SW RI, that have been for sale for years and years now.  Drifting, drifting, down in asking price.  No buyers.  Why would there be?  There are no jobs.

Even in Silicon Valley, there are loads of "for lease" signs on commercial buildings on El Camino Real (our Champs Elysees)(ooops, our strip mall).  And there have been for years now. Loads of Chinese buyers for houses, no-one starting small businesses that rent storefronts.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:07 | 3379126 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

since PA is a heavily unionized POS state like here in IL who the fuck would want the headache of opening a biz there. when you have to pay taxes so the asshole cops and firefighters make $125k for a job that basically should require a GED while you have to deal with Obamacare and all of the other bullshit. Fuck it - sit back and watch it all collapse.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:25 | 3379182 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Yes.  There is no reason, anywhere in America, to do a real job.

Sit on your ass in a comfortable gubbermint office for a few years, and you will be rich..., on paper.

But who will feed you?  That's where it stops.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:32 | 3379206 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

I mean why produce anything or take any risk at all ? fuck that just kick back and ride Benny B's coat tails. Let Benny do all the work.  Producing, working, investing that shit's old school. 

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:09 | 3379133 decentralizedsc...
decentralizedscutinizer's picture

 

A firewall between business and government; and a fundamental re-thinking of corporations' role in society: 

28th Amendment (The Constitutional Emergency Amendment)

Corporations are not persons and shall be granted only those rights and privileges that Congress deems necessary for the well-being of the People. Congress shall provide legislation defining the terms and conditions of corporate charters according to their purpose; which shall include, but are not limited to:
     1, prohibitions against any corporation;
          a, owning another corporation,
          b, becoming economically indispensable or monopolistic, or
          c, otherwise distorting the general economy;
     2, prohibitions against any form of intervention in the affairs of government by means of;
          a, congressional lobbying
          b, electoral sponsorship or advocacy
          c, educational sponsorship or publication
          d, media news reporting
     3, provisions for;
          a, the auditing of standardized, current, and transparent account books
          b, closing the FRB and the establishment of state-owned banks
          c, civil and criminal penalties to be suffered by corporate executives et al for  violation  of the terms  of  a corporate charter.

The 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution is hereby repealed and Congress shall re-write the U.S. Code to reflect the changes embodied herein.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 19:58 | 3379525 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

No amendment is needed, as people are people and can and should be held accountable not some entity representing their collective efforts that they have given a name to.

Next, yeah an amendment will work since they are paying SOOOOOO much attention to the Constitution now?!                       hujel

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:20 | 3379996 decentralizedsc...
decentralizedscutinizer's picture

.......and you can't take the next logical step: to ask WHY the Constitution is being neutered? ................and putting some much-needed teeth in it (that should have been enumerated in the original)?

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 21:36 | 3379868 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

I could go for that.  Replace the 16th amendment with "parity tariffs" on any fucking item made overseas, making the final cost the same as if the item were made here.  Manufacturing would return like magic!

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:28 | 3380014 decentralizedsc...
decentralizedscutinizer's picture

Yes; but we wouldn't need an amendment to re-write the tax structure. With state-owned banks, we wouldn't a tax structure at all - interest on loans (currently going to support the aristocracy) would be used to support the government instead. Don't want to pay taxes?............ don't take out a loan. Too simple for most folks, but there it is.

The hardest part is admitting you've been hoodwinked for a hundred years.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:18 | 3379150 dumpster
dumpster's picture

well the auther of the long dreadful look at the main street north.. still has a car and can buy the gas .. so all is well

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:29 | 3379201 ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

I live in a community called Johns Creek, GA, in North Fulton County.  There is more commercial real estate available than you can imagine.  There are commercial plots that were graded and never built upon, having sat empty for more than 5 years.

 

Leave Johns Creek and travel in any direction, and you will find more of the same.  I am not sure why there would be a need for commercial real estate, especiallly retail space for years to come.

And once some of these banks start closing a few of their branches, we will have plenty of empty buildings ready to become yet another pizza, burger, or other fast food outlet.  

THose businesses are not doing so well either,btw.

 

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:48 | 3379272 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

i have notices small and mid size bank branches closing-even  a Citibank- but what do you know- JPM just opened a new one.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:29 | 3379202 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

House has been for sale for 8 months. Dropped the price 10%. Showings, one failed purchase attempt(lost her job/imagine that shit!?!) and still no sale. I'm about to post the motherfucker on Craigslist Free section....you're fuckin dumb if you think we are "recovering".

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:44 | 3379254 Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

We had our condo on the market listed through the top realtor in our town for 9 months. Followed all their pricing guidance to the letter. Dropped the price twice to stay ahead and remain the best seller in a falling market. 60 people came through for a first look. Not one second look and not one firm bid. Meanwhile, all I read in the local paper is articles written by realtors about how hot the market is. I finally rented it out.

Everything you hear and read in the MSM is bullshit. You simply can't know the horrible truth about the real estate market until you actually get involved and try to make a deal happen.

 

Wed, 03/27/2013 - 11:57 | 3381550 FreeNewEnergy
FreeNewEnergy's picture

It's not just the commercial market or residential market. It's stupidity everywhere, but mostly in the form of local regulations.

I spent four months - Oct, 2012 - January, 2013 - looking for land that I could farm. Everywhere I went, I ran into local ordinances which ranged from "you have to build a 3000 sq. ft. home to you can't put a mobile home on those three acres (despite the three acres backing up to a MOBILE HOME PARK), to you have to put in a raised bed septic system that has to be approved by our engineers (no, you can't do it yourself or just put up an outhouse) that cost $10-12K on a $3500 peice of property.

Finally, I decided to try to buy 17 acres of wetlands. The price was right, and the owner - I was told - would actually hold a small mortgage. Of course, the DEC here in NY said I could build ABSOLUTELY NOTHING on it, but, I could put up a camper or other non-permanent "structure." OK, I said, not perfect, but I didn't have ANY choices left from a 50-mile wide area I'd been searching.

Put in the offer with a decent down payment. Seller would hold a small mortgage at 4% over 4 years, payable in two. I figured I was on my way. Then the owner said he wanted to see my credit report for a payment of $92.00 a month, even though I was putting almost 50% down.

I hit the roof, told the realtor that my offer was final, no credit report or anything, because that was so stupid as to insult my intelligence. The guy turned it down. The wetlands still are there. I might just offer him cash at half his asking price, BUT, not until December at the earliest, because around here, nothing grows in the winter.

The level of stupidity in the USA is simply amazing and infuriating.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:54 | 3379302 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

350k new homes are selling like crazy-previously owned not at all-invisible hand of govt at work as banks give out 3% down HUD  mortgages to 600  credit score fuckheads and then flip them to fannie/freddie before the signatures are dry. the govt doesn't want the foreclosures on the market because the values of homes go to shit and there goes the real estate taxes to pay the local fuckhead govt employees.

Wed, 03/27/2013 - 01:51 | 3380290 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

3% down is way too much. Builders in my area say they can hammer together somehting 'thru their own lenders' so you pay zero....nothing...nilch...nada...down and can get yourself into a $350k house without breaking a sweat. It's crazy.

It's all a house of cards built upon another house and so on....

At some point the Law of Gravity will kick in no matter when Benny and the Boyz do.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 21:35 | 3379865 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Damn sorry to hear that. I thought you said you sold and closed...

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:33 | 3379211 Duke Dog
Duke Dog's picture

Well written - thank you!

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:38 | 3379224 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

I have a big problem with this article: it is a long list of complants. I know the wealthy take advantage of the labor class. I know the government is bought off. I know the media is a propaganda device. I know the statistics are lies. In my community, people aren't fooled by this, however they are at a loss for answers. 

People were given a false sense of security from the hard work of their ancestors and the debt fueled consumption that made them feel better than everyone else. They cheered on their military, because they were told it was winning. They were convinced to focus on the brass ring, while the merry go round fell apart beneath them. 

Not everyone is intelligent enough to do the work that would have explained what was happening. Most people wanted to be happy, raise their families and enjoy the weekends. They may be involved in their communities, sports, schools and churches. So, they trusted, WHICH IS WHAT ALMOST EVERY HUMAN WOULD DO IN THE SAME SITUATION. How do you get to the place where you realize your government killed thousands in New York, assasinated your leaders, what happens when they come to town, empty your bank accounts and tell you it should have been worse.

A commentor above mentions a shadow economy of two trillion ( not sure how you measure that, but let's give it the benefit of the doubt). This is the achilles heel of the Elites. Now, we can use alternative currencies, but it could get difficult. So, consider social credit- because no money changes hands. Use select people to play in the system to ensure enough State money exists to power your community, while you keep the rest at home. Two income family? Why not one in one world and one in the other? You have just protected a huge slice of wealth. 

Creating communities that provide their own security, eliminating the power and influence of the State, retaining wealth and production locally, while trading regionally is a silent and non-violent revolution. Stop reporting earnings, vacancies when possible. Private contract property sales. 

Whole communities can function on social credit and the interest is paid in product exchange ratios. Finding a balance will take years, but contracts have been a staple of transactions forever. You don't need a lawyer and a court to work in contracts. 

Complainers have never been much use to me, I prefer doers.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:44 | 3379249 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

I think most people would not only be in line with this, but in fact they do it. This is a place for us to come and vent cuz we simply need it. I'd go nuts without ZH truthiness. I hate complainers, but I gotta be able to vent. If I could simply sock a CNBSCBNN effigy in the gut when I walked in from the BS I would, but alas I cannot. So here we are.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 19:59 | 3379532 IQ 101
IQ 101's picture

Sean 7k, Complaining is when they are sticking huge needles in your gut to stop you from dying a horrible death from Rabies and you are Complaining.

Observing is when you say "honey,that dog is foaming at the mouth and acting really weird", that is observing and observing is doing,it is work,nay it is a survival instinct working.....doing. You are the one complaining about the person doing! Obama or McCain voter? a simple yes,will do.

A brilliant article and right on the money,I live 3000 miles from the author and it describes my loca'l perfectly and has been observeable for quite a long time, the massive overinflation of RE prices nationwide is staggering,

If they only had the balls to take the hit and let it all re-set and lose all the government dead weight,we would be back on track in a month or three.

I guess they will not discover that they have balls until someone cuts them off and shoves them down their throat? oh well,it's all just a learning experience,isn't it.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 20:10 | 3379573 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

You obviously have rarely read Jim Quinn. This is the same article he writes on a regular basis. Doing? Doing implies production and a result. What is the result of this? You can observe all you want or you can act. Nothing in this article provides a basis for action.

When you spend all your time stewing, you become exactly what the Elites want: a non-actor.

There is nothing brillant about an article that rehashes what we already know. Perhaps you are impressed, some people have higher standards. 

Now, Instead of running his children around to guitar lessons and driving to the office every day, perhaps he can put his money where his mouth is. 

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 21:31 | 3379851 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

I feel your pain and frustration Sean, but as another poster already said, ZH is a relief valve for many of us who know the truth and want to throw shit at the teevee.

Like you, I prefer doers to complainers, but even if the guest poster is preaching to the crowd, at least it's truth being expressed, which to me is a big part of the problem.  Now I know many of those most affected by all this crap would disagree with the truth, but we don't need 100% to make a change; I think we can do it with as little as 15-20%.

I don't see how change can be accomplished, at this point, without blood being spilled.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:01 | 3379933 newengland
newengland's picture

3% will do, and the rest will get out of the way or bow down to their oppressor. The same was true in the first war of independence. History rhymes, friend. 

The bigger problem this time is that the old banking fraternity which owned Britain has poisoned this Republic with its un-Federal no-Reserve Board, and political pets, and paramilitary groups like the DHS which is hoarding more ammunition than the Armed Forces have abroad, and CONgress aims this arsenal at the American people.

Will the old enemy of rootless cosmopolitans, the monarchists and their apparatchiks win? Time will tell. Prepare to defend yourself.

Sean will be a victim, one way or another, as that is the role assigned to him by his oppressors.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:29 | 3380029 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

WCL, 

It may require blood be spilled, but I think we can accomplish it just as well peacefully. The Elites require our acceptance and legitimization. If we don't use their currency, don't use their banks, don't follow their laws, don't vote, it matters not how many bullets the DHS holds. 

In the American Revolution, 25% of the people were patriots, 25% were tories and the rest just wanted to survive the conflict. By and large, the Founding Fathers were merchantilists that were upset with tax policy,ship confiscations and land policies coming from England. When they established their coup d'tat through the acceptance of the Constitution, it was designed to maintain the upper class and minimize the democratic passions of most colonialists. 

The greatest power available in the Constitution is still available to every Citizen (non-resident aliens of a particular state. Go to www.state-citizen.org. The truth is often expressed, but if it results in the maintenance of the status quo, where is the benefit? Expressing frustration is just emotional masturbation. 

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 21:54 | 3379894 newengland
newengland's picture

If you KNOW so much, then why are most Americans on food stamps, courtesy of you 'doers'?

'Whole communities function on credit...'. You are a class A putz or on class A drugs, pet. A banksters' pet.

'Paid in exchange ratios'. You are an 'educated fool', 'useful idiot' (Lenin). Fan of Krugman, the PhD con artist, perhaps?

You baffle with bull$hit. 'Credit' is a nicey word for debt. Exchange ratios is a nicey word for debt slavery, much loved by the money changers who deserve to be thrown out of the temple of the civilised world.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:16 | 3379987 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

You might want to take the time to learn what social credit is and how it functions, it was the predominate system of exchange until 150 years ago and still maintains itself in many parts of the world today. 

Most people with an understanding of finance understand the difference between various forms of debt. How would an entreprenuer function without access to capital? I don't mean to speak over your head, but you need to raise it off the ground.

20% of American families does not equate to most. However, since you brought it up, the State uses entitlements to generate approval. It is a transfer from producers to idle labor. 

Now, if you can learn your subject, you will be able to communicate intelligently. Start with,"5000 Years of Debt", by David Graeber.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 23:21 | 3380133 JR
JR's picture

The bourgeoisie is many times stronger than we. To give it the weapon of freedom of the press is to ease the enemy’s cause, to help the class enemy. We do not desire to end in suicide, so we will not do this.
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

He who now talks about the "freedom of the press" goes backward, and halts our headlong course towards Socialism.
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Political tyrants own the nation's media.

It is the media that is responsible for the misdirection and the apathy of the people. With that misdirection and that apathy it floods and submerges true revelations – things that are true get buried. For people to be free they must have the truth. That's where Quinn and Durden come in.

Wed, 03/27/2013 - 05:46 | 3380406 Notarocketscientist
Notarocketscientist's picture

I see no complaining.

I see only FACTS

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:38 | 3379230 100pcDredge
100pcDredge's picture

Nice piece, thnx.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:46 | 3379262 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

This is an excellent description of America's version of China's "Ghost Cities" that we all find so amusing. Look at those stupid chinks - building huge cities that nobody can afford to live in. Thank God I'm an American. We would never be so stupid.

When I was a child I used to cry with joy and pride when we all sang "America The Beautiful" in school. Now I would never sing that song again, but I do cry when I hear it in my head, for completely different reasons.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 20:21 | 3379336 nightshiftsucks
nightshiftsucks's picture

Silicon Valley looks like it's booming,there is also a lot of road construction going on.The best news of all is that Seagate bought the Solyndra building,everything is unicorns and skittles around here.......Except for the layoffs at work during the last week.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:20 | 3379994 malek
malek's picture

Pssst... don't mention in Foster City/San Mateo the Available signs on top of the building are larger than the former company logos, so you can read them comfortably while passing on the freeway.
In Redwood City massive vacancies even across the street from Oracle!

Wed, 03/27/2013 - 00:36 | 3380224 worbsid
worbsid's picture

Stockton is presently in court to see if they can go bankrupt. 

Wed, 03/27/2013 - 02:44 | 3380319 kareninca
kareninca's picture

Is it really booming??  I live here and I see "for lease" signs all along El Camino in Palo Alto, and on down to Sunnyvale.  And I know two stunningly talented tech people (ages 49 and 41) who have been unemployed, or extremely underemployed, for about three years now.  And someone who is 58, who was desperately happy to just get a terribly paid job, working with the developmentally disabled (she was thrown to the floor twice on her first day by a huge adult kid).  And a guy who is visibly missing a tooth who in another economy would do anything to fix that, but he basically earns close to minimum wage and is glad to get it.

And our favorite restaurant (Thai City), open since the 70s, folded at last.  Trader Vics went away (not that I ever ate there).  Olive Garden is mobbed, however (ugh).

Of course Mainland Chinese people are coming here to buy houses; where else to put stolen cash (oddly enough, the dollar amount of cash they're legally allowed to take out of China, is rather lower than the $1.4 million in cash they spend on a house).

Is it booming?  I need more data.  I think that what happens here, is that when things go bad, people leave and go back to the part of the country they're from originally.  The people I'm describing are almost all from around here, otherwise they would have fled.  So I think that the appearance of boominess may be survivor bias.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 19:14 | 3379351 sunny
sunny's picture

Welcome to the "new abnormal." 

Cheap equities, anyone?

sunny

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 19:28 | 3379406 hannah
hannah's picture

the stock market going up creates a wealth effect and makes rich people feel good...that means they hire workers and start companies and create a booming economy. IF WE CAN GET THE STOCK MARKET HIGH ENOUGH...LIKE DOW 36,000...THE RICH WILL SHOWER ALL THAT WEALTH ON US SHEEPLE...!!!!!!!!!

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 19:29 | 3379410 blindman
blindman's picture

love this piece, love the world,
despise the financial fraud translation
of reality. sometimes really bad ideas
take hold and destroy millions of people,
ongoing.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 19:34 | 3379426 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

The "wealth effect" has an intuitive appeal, and in the Greenspan days, it may have worked.  But we are now in a different situation i.e. confidence is shot.  In extreme situations, many financial/economic "rules" stop working.

It's time to admit that the "wealth effect" has run its course.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 19:38 | 3379440 JohnGaltsChild
JohnGaltsChild's picture

Who are you going to believe? Me or your own eyes? - Groucho Marx

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 19:47 | 3379467 JR
JR's picture

"The mainstream corporate media that is dominated by six mega-corporations (Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch’s News Corporation, Comcast, Viacom, and Bertelsmann)…" -- Jim Quinn

Whether it’s anti-Semitic or not, it is time to admit that these media corporations, with primary Jewish ownership, are operated by Jewish families and, as such, they are heavy supporters not only of a socialist-type government, but they are heavy pushers of centralized big government  and a welfare state, a near open-borders immigration policy, and are opponents of state sovereignty.

This leverage, combined with almost complete Jewish control and influence of the financial portion of the economy, is a critical danger to representative government.

Fortunately, history records how powerful and destructive a media and financial monopoly can be. Such was the case in the Ukraine, following the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Professor Vasyl Yaremenko, director of the Institute of Culturological and Ethnopolitical research at Kiev State University, released an article in 2003 entitled, "Jews in Ukraine today: reality without myths," that said Jewish businessmen controlled virtually all the Ukraine's mass media. In it he states the following:

"Ukrainians need to know that the mass media is completely in the hands of Jews, and everything that we watch or read is the product of Jewish ideology." He then reported the media outlets and named names and gave backgrounds of the media owners.

In the report Professor Yaremenko also pointed out that out of the 400+ members of the Ukrainian Parliament at the time, 136 (possibly 158) were Jewish and that 90% of Ukrainian banks were owned by Jews, from whence came much political campaign funding.

All Yaremenko’s listings of the owners and biographies of all the major newspapers, all Ukrainian network television and all cable broadcasters were subsequently included in an article by Vladimir Borisov, written possibly in January 2005, on who controls the Ukraine. Wrote Borisov:

“Ukraine, which parted from Russia in 1991, has never achieved a true independent state. Just like in Russia, or even 80 years earlier in the Weimar Republic, (Jewish businessmen) descended upon the body of the nation.

“In the early 1990s, backed by the financial power of international Jewish bankers, these men bought for pennies, and plainly seized, all major enterprises previously owned by the state, including the biggest factories and entire sectors of the newly ‘privatized’ national economy.”

Borisov reports that “when ‘Jews in Ukraine today: Reality Without Myth’ was published on Sept. 30, 2003, (it) prompted the Ukrainian Jewish Congress to file a lawsuit asking the court to shut down the newspaper Sel'skie Vesti, which published it. Sel'skie Vesti had a circulation of over 500,000 and was the largest in Ukraine.

“On Jan. 28, a court in Kiev, Ukraine, ordered the closure of the daily newspaper on the grounds that it was publishing ‘hate literature,’ a crime in Jewish-owned Ukraine. The newspaper was found guilty of publishing ‘anti-Semitic’ materials, and promoting ethnic and religious hostility.”

As one reader wrote prior to the newspaper’s closing, “Ukrainians must…absorb their information and food for the soul from a Jewish ideological kitchen.”

http://www.theinfounderground.com/forum/tiuposts/infounderground.18.forumer.com/a/zionist-criminals-control-ukraine33_post710.htmlhttp://www.iamthewitness.com/Ukraine.html
http://web.archive.org/web/20051123102140/....org/index.html

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 20:20 | 3379599 NoTTD
NoTTD's picture

Get back under your rock.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:56 | 3380086 JR
JR's picture

It’s interesting that you should use the under-the-rock comment in that the forces of the Zionists literally cannot stand the light of day. Think about it. Here was the largest newspaper in the Ukraine, 500,000 circulation, that printed a factual appraisal of serious dangers occurring in its country. The newspaper was not reprimanded; the newspaper was closed by a single judge because the perpetrators of the sacking of Ukraine could not stand criticism or the light of day. Imagine, all those employees, all those advertisers, all those readers, all that freedom of information shut down because of one ray of truth.

And you suggest that I, with the few meager comments that I have made, that I go back under a rock and cower in the dark and not carry the message of freedom forward a few years and pass it on to those who follow.

Understand one thing.Times breed the men they need. And that time has come.

“They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.”

Those powerful words spoken by Patrick Henry, Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death, at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, on March 23, 1775, are the conclusions of any reasonable man.

Wed, 03/27/2013 - 05:42 | 3380403 Notarocketscientist
Notarocketscientist's picture

I was trying to understand why a man (Hitler) had such vicous hatred for Jewish people - what could bring someone to kill millions like this? 

Try googling 'why did hitler hate the jews'... and you come up with a bunch of wishy washy bs (no doubt planted by the zionists to obfuscate the reality - which of course would make them look very bad indeed)

Finally I came up with something that smacked of something that made sense.  I cannot be sure if this is true - but it is written by a Jew - so has some credibility.  There is no reason to kill millions - ever - but it does provide some insight into what might have motivated hitler

Keep in mind when reading this - particularly if you are a jew - this is NOT anti-semitic in any way shape or form - in fact if I were a Jew I would be pretty pissed off that the elites of my religion were partly to blame for the massacre of millions

Again - this in NO WAY CONDONES what Hitler did http://www.scribd.com/doc/8634450/Germany-and-the-Jews-by-Benjamin-H-Fre...

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 19:47 | 3379468 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/25/income-growth-americans_n_29493...

Income Growth For Bottom 90 Percent Of Americans Averaged Just $59 Over 4 Decades: Analysis

Another day, another mind-blowing fact about the staggering difference between the haves and the have-nots.

Incomes for the bottom 90 percent of Americans only grew by $59 on average between 1966 and 2011 (when you adjust those incomes for inflation), according to an analysis by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston for Tax Analysts. During the same period, the average income for the top 10 percent of Americans rose by $116,071, Johnston found.

To put that into perspective: if you say the $59 boost is equivalent to one inch, then the incomes of the top 10 percent of Americans rose by 168 feet, Johnston explained to Alternet last week.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 19:53 | 3379491 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

+1

That's one hell of an upload,  but well worth the time spent reading, albeit a little depressing to have one's own observations confirmed and then some. Needless to say, it may be describing a local phenomenon,  but I can tell you they are reflected internationally. 

I walk out of my door and an affluent part of London looks like a set from 28 Days Later. The only businesses still going are ultra upmarket places where you will need an Amex Black just to look at the displays, the American franchises selling heart attack burgers and sickly sweet coffees, supermarkets selling horse meat, and kids selling drugs amid a sea of 'To Let' signs above windows smeared with translucent white paint. The local pubs and corner shops are a distant memory,  along with bijoux restaurants and long forgotten famous shops from childhood. 

I took my sister for a birthday dinner at a family owned restaurant last night and the whole time we were there, only one other patron came in. Even last year, the place had been packed. Still, the papers are full of stories about celebrities with cellulite (which I mistook for a new kind of phone), the royals on holiday and how they are so brave for wearing the same outfit more than once, a family with 6 kids from Cameroon living in a £3 million house at the tax payers' expense, and a chap who works for Barclays who received £18 million in bonuses celebrating his racehorse's win at Cheltenham. Apparently,  his name is Richie Ricci, so everything must be fine in this absurd, crazy, surreal world. 

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 21:20 | 3379810 newengland
newengland's picture

The rootless cosmopolitans who raped and robbed the Continent, UK and Russia and still dominate international finance do so very much like to change their names, and escape prosecution, like this one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Rich

See a pattern here? 

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 23:43 | 3380170 W74
W74's picture

Rootless Cosmopolitan indeed:

http://en.wikipedia.or/wiki/Marc_Rich#U.S._indictment_and_controversial_...

Mother fucker was pardoned by Clinton after actually being prosecuted for evading taxes.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 20:01 | 3379536 Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

A stroll through any one of my local malls (one for every town resident it seems) tells the same story. I do a rough count and estimate the vacancy rate at around 20-25%. The other obvious change is that many of the new tenants are not traditional retail vendors. Landlords are taking what they can get to keep the whole place from looking like a morgue. We’ve got dance and exercise studios, theater and social clubs, and non-profit organizations operating out of prime storefronts. If a big anchor store goes, it’s over.

On the other hand,  Wall Mart and the Outlet Discount Stores are  ripping.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 20:04 | 3379551 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Great article, thanks.

From Orwell's 1984:

"But actually, he thought as he re-adjusted the Ministry of Plenty's figures, it was not even forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another. Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connexion with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connexion that is contained in a direct lie. Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version. A great deal of the time you were expected to make them up out of your head."

hujel

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 20:59 | 3379733 newengland
newengland's picture

George Orwell, a visionary. Problem: the dystopia is happening as the modern career politicians and their apparatchiks treat the novel '1984' as an instruction manual, rather than a warning. Why? Because they are chosen at an early age to aid the system by the people who own the system. 

Every climb up the career ladder is a test of their commitment or not to Big Brother. They fail or advance accordingly. CONgress, Parliament and the EUSSR are  testament to that fact.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 20:14 | 3379578 NoTTD
NoTTD's picture

I'm sure there is some great stuff in there but I  nodded off about 1/3 of the way through it.  That's a whole lotta re-hashing.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:11 | 3379973 newengland
newengland's picture

Perhaps some people read ZH because they are new to this idea of alternative media telling the truth, and new to rejecting the lies told by main scream media.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 20:35 | 3379640 SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

Great article Mr. Quinn. I live In Montgomery County, Ohio. Have been a Manufacturer"s Rep. For 30 years and cover Ohio, KY and 3/4 of PA, right up to Reading, Hanover and Pottstown. I see the same thing you're seeing and all at ZH sees, the elimination and extinction of the middle class and small business. Ten to twenty percent of the clients I call on every year since 2002, go out of business, or simply close the doors because they can't make it any longer, cannot obtain or retain a credit line, offshoring, taxes, Obamacare etc.The one percenters only worry is after they are done pissing on us...are we going to get pissed off enough to come and get them. Thanks for the read.

P.S. FUCK YOU DAVID PIERRE & BEN BERNANKE!

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 21:41 | 3379718 newengland
newengland's picture

Agree with you, 'salesman'. Another small example: one of the few motorbike/water sports dealerships in MA will close at the end of March after 45 years in family ownership, serving a wide area. Why? After four years of a fake recovery story told by banksters and their political pets, the harsh reality is that they are hoarding every $, every kudos, every gun for themselves...and letting honest good business and people suffer...for the globalists, the international financiers, the fckwit inbred psychopathic warmongers who profit every side of any dispute...because they have insider knowledge of where the next profit or collapse comes...because they make it so.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:23 | 3380006 SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

@ newengland

I feel their pain...I've been a "private enterpriser" and my days are numbered. Corporatocracy, chains, integrated supply, and conglomerates have killed many family owned businesses. As my wife says,"its a very sad story". Sad, because TPTB, have made it almost impossible to exist as a sole propietor, self- employed, independent business.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:48 | 3380074 newengland
newengland's picture

No surrender, friend. We will hang together or hang apart. I say we speak our truth, and defend it. Best wishes to you and yours.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 23:17 | 3380124 SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

This is The Fight Club...never surrender, give no quarter to those treasonous bastards who have put us in this predicament. We here all speak the truth in our own unique, singular, and defiant way. Best wishes to you and yours too.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 21:24 | 3379824 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

Reading is a very futuristic town...  lots of towns will end up like it

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 21:56 | 3379932 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

Thanks for sharing your reality, Silly, and DHS has made its plans apparent with buying 2 Billion rounds of hollow point (the use of which is prohibited in war), along with 2,500 or so armored personnel carriers.  I saw video of the latter in the process of delivery on flatbed rail cars.  Miles and miles of the fuckers.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:35 | 3380041 SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

@Westcoastliberal

They are coming for us...and coming soon to a neighborhood near you. I too have seen the videos, and have personally seen dozens of the armored trucks on the side of I-77, out in the middle of BFE in WV and on I-64 in KY.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 23:33 | 3380152 W74
W74's picture

Baltimore area guy here.  I travel throughout Maryland (except I've been to Canada more times than I've been to the counties around D.C.), Northern Virginia, Deleware, the eastern parts of WV and quite frequently to York and Lancaster counties in Pennsylvania (day trips and weekends sometimes).  Some family lives in Ohio and I ski (my only somewhat expensive hobby) so I travel PA a lot and either upstate NY or VT  maybe once a year.

And YEP, I see the same things.  Baltimore is getting CRUSHED, and I'm not talking about the parts that are already economically depressed due to White-Flight that happened between 35-50 years ago, it's very much the burbs too.  We have HUGE sections of commercial and/or light industrial spaces for lease that are just sitting empty. 

I mean, there are tracts of these monstrosities and you know what I said as I watched earth-movers and dozers ripping the forests down back in '04/'05 before I left for the Army I said to the woman who would eventually become my wife: "No one's ever going to fill these, where do you find the tens of thousands of workers, and who can start that many businesses?"  And it's not just the complexes, it's storefronts in the strip malls, the mall I grew up with is 60% empty, and the older houses with offices on the main level where the family lives upstairs....well except for the doctors and lawyers they all have for sale signs up, no one has money to patronize the shops anymore.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:14 | 3379693 newengland
newengland's picture

Excellent article. Factual. Focused. Principled. More ammunition for genuine truth seekers, it seems to me.

Saddest thing I've heard this year,  a career soldier saying: 'We've been had.'

Always trust the evidence of your own eyes and ears. Communicate this to your friends and family. There is the courage to change things, and the protection you deserve, among genuine community.

That is perhaps why CONgress is hoarding ammunition among its newly formed paramilitary agencies like DHS, aimed at U.S. citizens.

Trust the evidence of your own eyes and ears. Prepare to defend yourselves.

"If you feel as I feel...'. 

V

The movie 'V' charges every viewer to get out of their stupor. Resist the fascists, the lies, the horrible little politicians who grift off big money and lie to the many.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 20:49 | 3379702 Cheduba
Cheduba's picture

RIP George Carlin.  You have helped to wake up innumerable hordes of us former sheeple.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 20:53 | 3379712 thewayitis
thewayitis's picture

 

 

  Right on brother ,,,,God bless us all....Especially when the Lead starts flying.......Thankyou

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 21:21 | 3379812 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

none of the strip clubs are empty and casinos popping up everywhere

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 21:25 | 3379821 newengland
newengland's picture

Drink, drugs and diversion...sold by the calculating money lenders, as ever, so they can steal with impunity. Their master plan, and eejit venal career politicos assist.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 21:38 | 3379866 newengland
newengland's picture

This rape and robbery continues so long as people are divided by the fake choice between Democrat and Republican - two sides of the same coin.

Why did Clinton on his last day in office pardon the tax cheat fugitive  Marc Rich (born Marcell David Reich; December 18, 1934). Because it profits CONgress to conspire with the international financiers and globalists who send U.S. jobs abroad, and put Israel above the USA.

CONgress is available for sale, and it is the American citizen who is being sold into debt slavery.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Rich

Marc Rich, another Nazionist. The Democrats and Republicans: traitorous collaborators.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 21:53 | 3379926 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

Say newengland, I say the same shit all the time.  Clinton signed NAFTA into law too.  Perot was sure right about the "sucking sound" because all these "free trade" agreements suck.

When I see someone whipping either party online I always tell them "Partisan politics between Dem/Gop or Lib/Conserv is oh so 80's.  It's over, now it's us versus them.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:37 | 3380037 newengland
newengland's picture

I must agree with you, friend. Facts tell us so. But too many people prefer fantasy; it helps them sleep at night. I don't blame them. They are working hard to survive, pay bills, pay for the excesses of CONgress which parties on, off the money given by taxpayers, lobbyists and mostly international financiers.

Prepare to defend yourself. 

.gov hates you.

They hate me too, but they best not  bring that DHS and drone $hit here.  Best wishes to you and yours. No surrender.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 21:50 | 3379916 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

Great post, Jim.  Thanks for balancing the bullshit. I feel better.

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:11 | 3379970 geewhiz190
geewhiz190's picture

remember the TV show about flipping houses and condos? Now there's a new sitcom about grown children moving in with their parents. What a silly idea !

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:45 | 3380063 Kelley
Kelley's picture

Would you like to take a look at our premium commercial real estate offerings: Potempkin Plaza and Suites?

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 23:06 | 3380106 DaveA
DaveA's picture

The rage in ZeroHedge comments shows why we need nationwide gun control as soon as there's one more liberal on the Supreme Court.  UZI-toting bodyguards providing 24-hour protection for the banker class will be exempt, of course.  You didn't think gun control was for your benefit, did you?

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 23:57 | 3380183 dunce
dunce's picture

I am seeing much of the same things in my area. Who are you going to believe the government statistics or your lying eyes? I accept the figures of 80% owning 5% of the financial assets. Which may explain why the 47% that would not vote for Romney no matter what he told them. These people get checks from the government, and refuse to admit that the govt. got he money from the 53% that work for a living of which only a tiny % are the very rich. Do billionaires Bloomberg, Bill Gates, and the like really work for their millions in annual income?

Wed, 03/27/2013 - 05:30 | 3380396 Notarocketscientist
Notarocketscientist's picture

Absolutely OUTSTANDING.  

The fact that the MSM is in overdrive trying to hide this reality indicates the end game must be very grim indeed. 

I suggest that the next time anyone says to you America is in recovery, send them the dozen or so fact list with a link to this entire article.

 

One concern here - the information in this article - and in general on ZH - is obviously VERY DANGEROUS to the elites.  If ZH becomes too popular and serves to poke holes in their LIES, what do the Elites do?    Does 'Tyler Durden' get the Brad Manning/Assange treament?

Wed, 03/27/2013 - 05:44 | 3380405 Notarocketscientist
Notarocketscientist's picture

I was trying to understand why a man (Hitler) had such vicous hatred for Jewish people - what could bring someone to kill millions like this? 

Try googling 'why did hitler hate the jews'... and you come up with a bunch of wishy washy bs (no doubt planted by the zionists to obfuscate the reality - which of course would make them look very bad indeed)

Finally I came up with something that smacked of something that made sense.  I cannot be sure if this is true - but it is written by a Jew - so has some credibility.  There is no reason to kill millions - ever - but it does provide some insight into what might have motivated hitler

Keep in mind when reading this - particularly if you are a jew - this is NOT anti-semitic in any way shape or form - in fact if I were a Jew I would be pretty pissed off that the elites of my religion were partly to blame for the massacre of millions

Again - this in NO WAY CONDONES what Hitler did http://www.scribd.com/doc/8634450/Germany-and-the-Jews-by-Benjamin-H-Fre...

Wed, 03/27/2013 - 06:46 | 3380436 Shevva
Shevva's picture

'like crack dealer in West Philly' - that's the American dream corner the market so your the only one left.

Wed, 03/27/2013 - 08:16 | 3380567 TrumpXVI
TrumpXVI's picture

Terrific post, thanks for that Jim.

I live in nearby Chester County, one of the other AAA rated counties in PA and I'm seeing the exact same thing.  Chester County is an affluent chunk of real estate and I had to open my eyes and take an unbiased look at the deterioration that has settled in, in and around my home in Kennett Square.  There is a "Dollar General" where there use to be an ACME supermarket, and in fact, that entire strip mall has been taken over by discounters; where there use to be businesses catering to the middle class.  There are abandoned residential properties with the roofs caving in where there never were any before.  There is a "WE BUY GOLD" establishment where there was formerly a locksmith, for like the previous forty or more years.  The list goes on and on; poorly maintained properties, commercial vacancies.  The rot is real and it is spreading.  And the TAXES just keep on going up, up, up.

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