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11 Nasty Trends That Will Test America's Resilience

Tyler Durden's picture


Originally posted at,

The resilience that has long been one of America's remarkable traits was on display in 2013. Not only did businesses create 2 million jobs, but the struggling economy actually grew and profits and stock prices soared to near-record levels.

Still, five years into the Obama presidency, the economy is grossly underperforming. Contrary to the dominant media narrative, it's not bad luck or the financial crisis to blame, but bad policies — from the $860 billion "stimulus" that didn't stimulate to the Dodd-Frank financial reform that killed lending.

Last year was a challenging one for entrepreneurs and other productive Americans. No fewer than 13 new taxes were put into place. Big government now consumes one of every four dollars of our GDP and is getting bigger.

Entering 2014, we face problems, including taxes and spending, that neither the White House nor Congress is addressing. In the following charts, we look at a few of the more alarming and intractable ones.


Extremely Limited Prosperity

The president talks endlessly about the need to reduce income inequality, and claims it will be the focus of his remaining years in office.

As this chart shows, since the U.S. recession bottomed in June 2009, stock prices have been on a tear — fueled by a powerful rise in corporate profits. The bellwether S&P 500 index has climbed more than 90%, as U.S. investors added more than $5 trillion in stock market wealth.

But Obama's slow-growth economic policies have taken a toll. Yes, corporate profits have increased, but companies worried about what lies ahead under Obama are holding on to cash or buying back stock rather than hiring workers. And the Fed's endless stimulus efforts have managed to lift stock prices to new heights.

These gains have largely bypassed the struggling middle class. In fact, median household income remains well below where it was when the recovery started.


A Wide Economic Growth Gap

The Obama recovery is the most feeble since the Great Depression. GDP growth is far below the average recovery since World War II, and even below the average growth of the past three recoveries.

In dollar terms, if Obama's recovery had been merely average, the economy would be $1.3 trillion — or 8% — bigger today than it is.

Put another way, every American alive today — workers, non-workers, children — is $4,100 less well off than he or she would have been if growth had only been normal. Consider it a tax we all pay for voting poorly in recent elections.

This is more than just a matter of numbers. America's highest-in-the-world standard of living has been built on economic growth. Without it, we'll all be worse off.

Unfortunately, the policies put in place by tax-and-spend leftists in the administration and a Democrat-dominated Congress have stalled the U.S. growth machine.


A Massive Ongoing Jobs Gap

The jobless rate is coming down and will likely continue to fall in 2014. But the tepid recovery has left millions who would otherwise have jobs languishing in the unemployment line.

By this time in past recoveries, the economy had churned out at least a 10% gain in net new jobs. This time, the hamstrung economy has managed just over 4%.

Worse, the total number of payroll jobs — 136.765 million as of November — remains 1.3 million below the level when the economy first went into the tank in December 2007. By comparison, our population has grown by 13 million over the same stretch. Statistically, this is the worst job slump since the Great Depression.


Dependency Growing, Not Jobs

Obama's policies have also created a wide disparity between self-sufficiency and dependency. As this chart shows, food stamp and disability enrollment have climbed at a much faster pace than jobs since June 2009.

Today, 47 million people are on food stamps, up from about 28 million when Obama was sworn in. And disability rolls have swollen by 2 million.

This has not only increased our federal budget deficit as welfare spending has risen sharply.

It has also led to a startling surge in Americans' dependence on government handouts — a radical altering of the country's traditional culture of self-reliance and hard work.


America's Global Strength Wanes

For more than a decade, the IBD/TIPP Poll has asked Americans about the U.S. position in the world. Our final poll of 2013 is in, and opinions have never been lower.

Whether it's the bumbling over Egypt and Syria, the Benghazi scandal, Iran's burgeoning nuclear program, Russia's and China's growing challenges or the cavalier treatment by the Obama White House of old allies, Americans feel our global standing has weakened.

This doesn't bode well for future engagement in the world economy and trade, or for U.S. influence.



Workers Leave Labor Force

The administration has pointed proudly to the decline in unemployment from above 10% to a current level of 7%. What it doesn't say is how that was achieved.

It came about largely as a result of millions of workers leaving the workforce. As the chart shows, labor force participation has dropped steeply since the financial crisis — from 66% to 63%.

The difference may not seem large, but it is. The number of people who tell the government they are not in the labor force has jumped by 10 million since Obama took office, and 91.5 million Americans are not working at all.

If the labor force had remained relatively stable over the past five years, the unemployment rate today would be over 10%.


America, The Biggest Debtor Ever

This chart may look innocent, but it's anything but. It shows how our debt has surged. As recently as 2008, total U.S. public debt totaled just over 60% of GDP — not low, but certainly manageable.

Today, our total debt is right at 100% — a level that many economists believe endangers future economic growth. The bad news is, it could rise to 150% or higher in coming decades. That's national insolvency.

As Americans pay increasing amounts to service their massive debt obligations, businesses will have less capital available to grow — and will hire fewer workers.



Real Jobless Rate? Double Digits

As mentioned earlier, nominal unemployment has fallen from 10% to 7%. But that's not the only measure for joblessness.

The government's U6 rate — which adds in those who are only marginally employed, or working part time but want full-time work — pegs the unemployment rate at a hefty 13.2%.

That's down from 17.1% when the recovery began in June 2009. But as the chart shows, today's level is much higher than it's been in nearly two decades.

Coupled with more long-term unemployed than ever, this chart paints a picture of labor force distress that will disappear only when normal economic growth resumes.


Regulation Is Huge Hidden Tax

Politicians like to make laws; it's what they do. And when they make laws, the unelected bureaucracies go to work, filling in all the gaps with new regulations. They are, in a real sense, the real lawmakers.

This is not without cost. Indeed, it's the most significant cost to consumers and businesses in America.

According to the respected Competitive Enterprise Institute, regulations are an annual tax on the U.S. economy equal to $1.5 trillion. As the chart shows, that's more than all corporate and income taxes combined. And it's roughly equal to all corporate pretax profits. This is yet another huge tax you pay, without knowing it.


What America Really Owes

We constantly hear that we have trillion-dollar deficits. And we do. We also have $17 trillion in total debt, nearly a third bigger than when Barack Obama entered office.

Yet that doesn't even scratch the surface of what we really owe. Economists look at all the promises government has made, then at the expected revenues to satisfy those promises, and find we come up way short.

They call this the long-term fiscal gap. Depending on how it's counted, over the next 75 years the U.S. must find $54 trillion to $200 trillion to pay for all our promises.


Long-Term Fiscal Outlook Is Ugly

America's long-term fiscal outlook is grim. Based on the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office's "alternative scenario" — the one it actually thinks is most likely — federal spending will continue to soar out of control, eventually gobbling up more than 35% of all economic output. Fast-growing entitlement spending is at the heart of the spending boom.

Yet, based on long-term experience, federal revenues won't keep pace. The result: A massive deficit of nearly 20% of GDP. At that level, all capital available for spending or investment will go to finance the government's red ink. As the government itself says, it's "unsustainable."



Members of both parties will have to act soon — or risk national bankruptcy and fiscal collapse.


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Sat, 01/04/2014 - 22:57 | 4300939 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Thanks, Central Banks.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:08 | 4300961 acetinker
acetinker's picture

Hey Rand, was worried you went away, again.  Lots of pretty charts in this post, but the author lost me in the first paragraph. One of four dollars goes to taxes?  Fuck this fuck.  I try not to make money, if you know what I mean, but Uncle still gets almost half of what I generate.  Fuck these motherfuckers who wanna tell me that what I see is not real, and that the ever growing monkey on my back is just a figment of my imagination.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:37 | 4301000 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Let's start with ending the Fed.  

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:56 | 4301037 acetinker
acetinker's picture

By nominating Yellen, part of me wants to think that the fed wants to end the fed.  However, the IMF is waiting in the wings, and after that, the BIS.  Ironically, it seems that the ECB and the PBOC may thwart their efforts.  If we're lucky, we'll just sit here and watch them hash it out.

If not, we may get WWIII.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 02:17 | 4301211 markmotive
markmotive's picture

NSA apparently brought down a plot to destroy all of America's computers. more fapping to Baywatch re-runs. How's that for a test of resilience.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 08:18 | 4301374 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Now I KNOW these guys talking in decades, have no idea what's going on.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:43 | 4301014 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Drones, DHS, NSA, Al-queda forces and Foreign Bank bailouts all cost money. You don't get these for free. Someone has to pay.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:48 | 4301024 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

El Banco Centro?  Pass me a banana.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 01:11 | 4301141 acetinker
acetinker's picture

Harbanger was right,  You are a girl.  It's cool, I very much like girls.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 00:25 | 4301085 AGuy
AGuy's picture

" I try not to make money, if you know what I mean, but Uncle still gets almost half of what I generate."

Yuuup! Perhaps because 50% of americans pay no income tax, so you get to pay double.

My Plan: Drop out an go Galt. I am tired of busting my but, when my tax dollars are used to take away my liberties. Its like I am working to pay for the prison they are building for me, or digging my own grave.

I probably would not be as pissed off with the current tax rate, if they just left me alone.



Sun, 01/05/2014 - 00:54 | 4301115 acetinker
acetinker's picture

Yes, but that's what they can't do...  Leave you alone.  They find it incumbent upon themselves to meddle in your affairs.  Their existence depends on you- the tax slave.  At what point do we say, fuck 'em?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 12:31 | 4301732 wmbz
wmbz's picture

I have been a tree top flier since the late 80's and will be until my final day. Fuck the gubmint and all of it's leaches!

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 09:33 | 4301407 JerseyJoe
JerseyJoe's picture

And that is just the Federal Gubamint...then you have state and county and imbedded fees and regulatory costs passed on to the consumer.

I had a number issues with some of the soft peddle in this but this one had me say BULLSHIT!:

The number of people who tell the government they are not in the labor force has jumped by 10 million since Obama took office, and 91.5 million Americans are not working at all.

This just pure BULLSHIT - people don't tell the gubamint anything - the Gubamint conveniently assumes it because it helps hide the truth.   Most workers fall off the U3 unemployment stats when their bennies run out.   SO BULLSHIT! is trying to play political nicey-nice or they are complete idiots (which is doubtful).  They just don't want hate mail from Obama-drones or be audited by the IRS.   Nothing will put the kabash on free speech than an IRS audit...or two like happen to an outspoken Obama critic...  His tax attorneys were one of the biggest and best in the US and they had NEVER HEARD of a back-to-back double audit.  CHICKEN SHITS!!!  STAND UP TO GUBAMINT OPPRESSION!  


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 08:25 | 4301377 doctor10
doctor10's picture

Disastrous failure of American leadership.


Capital once found America the most hospitable country on earth. It is now worthless in the USA-and will remain so until the NSA/CIA/FBI/ATF are caged by the Fourth Amendment and  until the regulatory and taxation burden business carries is relieved.  The combination of the above basically strangles the baby in the cradle-shutting down the job machine.


Obamacare is the most divisive piece of legislation any legislative body anywhere ever has passed. You simply do not even bring to a vote, a piece of legislation affecting EVERY American with only a 50/50 passage. Such legislation, affecting EVERY american, better at least be 65/35 or  70/30


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 10:15 | 4301456 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

Lets give a hand for the arrogant, narcissist, lying illegal alien kenyan monkeybot and   his wookie Ho for livinf a grand imperial life style while all the serfa and peasants eat cake.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:31 | 4302091 Carpenter1
Carpenter1's picture

All government stats, meaningless.


One day we'll know what was really going on and all this will make sense.

Mon, 01/06/2014 - 03:32 | 4303761 zerohedgejjxxzz12
zerohedgejjxxzz12's picture

This day may never come, just like who killed JFK and who really blew up the World Trade Centre Buildings  1,2 &7 and thePentagon.

As well as who is Obamba's (or any Presidents) Puppetier!

We now know the NSA spies on congress, Im sure the president as well. I am also convinced they spy on themselves, but who do they answer to? who is really in charge?

This is the real question that needs to be answered.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:00 | 4300949 Homerpalooza
Homerpalooza's picture

Lower taxes does not create jobs. That is the upwind battle no President (or congress) can fix as long as it is cheaper to manufacture in Communist countries.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:12 | 4300964 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

If they gave lower taxes to the poor folks and middle class, people would have more available income to spend, creating more jobs. Giving tax breaks to rich people who just stack their billions away in bank vaults or start companies to exploit poor people to work for minimum wages don't create jobs. Give tax breaks to people who REALLY NEED THEM. Hell I earn 20k a year working full time yet I'm taxed 20% of my pay for fuck sake. And then you add the consumption tax and I'm fucking taxed at 35%... I work all day 6/7 a week and I still can't make cash reserves... and there's a SHITLOAD of folks worse off than me... the only difference is I'm not buying everything on credit like all these folks who are just digging the hole deeper... At 20k a year with NO FUCKING TAXES I could have some savings... with taxes? No fucking way.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:25 | 4300987 Musashi Miyamoto
Musashi Miyamoto's picture

The only solution is to find a cash job. Taxes are only going up.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:47 | 4301025 Umh
Umh's picture

The people who make a little bit more than the poor are suppporting them. The poor make money on their federal taxes.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 00:20 | 4301074 Musashi Miyamoto
Musashi Miyamoto's picture

The people who make a little bit more than the poor are giving them EBT cards. Once the music stops we will have 50 million rioting. Every county in the country will go up in flames.

Women's March on Versailles
Southern Bread Riots
Rice Riots of 1918
1977 Egyptian Bread Riots
1989 riots in Argentina
2007 West Bengal food riots
2010 Arab Spring

Think its charity? Think again.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:53 | 4302706 Nick Jihad
Nick Jihad's picture

This is the part where I always encourage people to stop mocking the French, and really look out how voluntaryists there deal with the welfare state. We tend to think that something dramatic must happen, if the state swells any larger, but France demonstrates that this is not so.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:55 | 4301043 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Minus the cost of government, 20k would be a comfortable life.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 09:25 | 4301406 barroter
barroter's picture

"Giving tax breaks to rich people who just stack their billions away in bank vaults or start companies to exploit poor people to work for minimum wages don't create jobs. Give tax breaks to people who REALLY NEED THEM."


I love when these "articles" come out demanding we free the rich, who will in turn save us all.  We've seen what the rich do when untethered.  Also Bernanke's QE has been the greatest Welfare Check ever written to these poor put-upon rich and what have they done with it? Not spur the economy, that's what.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 10:12 | 4301447 Omen IV
Omen IV's picture

The entire article is complete Bullshit!

when taxes were high in the 50/60/70's we had growth in per capita income - so lower taxes for the corporations and rich only produces the lower growth we have seen since the 90's -

the banking laws under Glass Steagall were much more draconian than Dodd Frank - and we had substantial lending since 1933 - with the introduction of derivatives unchecked and entry into commodities (98" & 99') the banks have no reason for the infrastructure of local bank lending - margins are not there when all you need is 100 guys in a trading room and make ten times as much

no the problem isnt current  - bank laws or taxes  - its a rigged system grounded in the WTO enactment which ships production off shore and elimination of Glass Stegall -  once the TPP is passed the depression in this country will be incredible within 10 years


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 11:40 | 4301627 Kayman
Kayman's picture


You are living through the American tragedy- you would earn far more than working on someone's legitimate payroll if you went on welfare and worked cash jobs.

These pinko government phallus lickers just don't want to get it.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:22 | 4300983 acetinker
acetinker's picture

It's not cheaper, Homer.  China has a central bank, too.  They subsidize manufacturing, while our FedRes subsidizes banksterism and the PBOC via the petrodollar.  There's no way this ends without bloodshed.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:03 | 4300952 NIHILIST CIPHER

I see alot of rice and beans in our future. Burrito anyone?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 01:05 | 4301133 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Good to see you invest in natural gas...

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 02:02 | 4301197 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

Dude, while I prefer meat in my burritos, I can make a killer bean burrito.  Then again, where I live is cleaner than Old Mexico by virtue of the fact that it has New as the first word of its name.  I grew up on burritos.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 02:43 | 4301233 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

I've lived in New Mexico and you're right it's just a little cleaner than old Mexico.  How's the 505?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 03:08 | 4301247 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

Get rid of the dirty cops and things would be great.  Get rid of property taxes too and they would be even better.  Oh, there's still the old school patron system in certain parts of the state.  That's a Hispanic crony system that has been a part of the state for longer than it has been a state for you uninitiated.  But we can still carry guns, and once you get away from the greater Albuquerque area, people care a lot less about some shit that would land you in a federal pen in other parts of the country.  Same'ole same'ole. 


On the brighter side, the chile is getting hotter again.  It's more like it was when it was when I was a kid.  I either grow green chile myself, or I tend to get from farms that don't sell nationally, and it resembles what I grew up with.  The flavor isn't quite what it used to be, but that is coming back.  Somebody asked me "Where's the best place to get green chile" not too long ago.  I told him "Blake's."  I don't prefer it habanero hot, but I do want some heat.  I like it where my nose just starts to run. 


(Then there's the red.  I'm not going to tell you about the red that I made this Christmas.)

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 04:43 | 4301296 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Ah yes, I know Albuquerque well.  Never really encountered much contact with the police, nor the crony system.  I'm just happy to have made it out of there alive.  Being a gringo and all.

Agree about the green chili, can't find anything decent here in Florida.  Can't even find the large cans of Hatch chilis.  About the most I can take is medium hot.  Anything more and it burns as much on the way out, as in.

Stay safe and if I'm ever back in town, I'll give you a shout.  I always see my "homies" when I'm in town too.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 09:43 | 4301420 JerseyJoe
JerseyJoe's picture

Black beans, corn, chopped onions, chopped avacadoes and a health dose of salsa to taste.  I can eat it all day come the Zombiepocalypse (the modern euphemism for complete societal breack down.)   Of course, meat would be nice...but if it means buying chicken meat from China - forget it.  And Fukashima fish are already off the menu - but how do we know?   

Here's one to chew on...if the Chinese play hard ball on debt, they can leverage the debt to reduce certain requirements - like "country of origin" for say the large Pork packager they bought in the US.  

Oh sure, we will buy another $500B in your worthless T-bills - just get rid of "country of origin" on food products because we can't even get our on people to eat this shit.  Deal?  

You can see it happen.  

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 12:16 | 4301700 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture

JerseyJoe: China pork may already  be appearing here...

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 12:22 | 4301710 akarc
akarc's picture


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 10:59 | 4301534 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Yeah, vegetarian burrito as meat will be way too pricey.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:08 | 4300957 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

They are not addressing those crisis because they are waiting for them to become so urgent everyone wants a deal, whatever deal, real fast... so they can fuck you over... see : bank bailouts, budgets, etc... That's how they roll.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 01:21 | 4301152 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

And once the politicians and lobbyists and banksters have looted all they can from the treasury, we will be told it is time for "shared sacrifice".

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:06 | 4300960 Caveman93
Caveman93's picture

"Members of both parties will have to act soon — or risk national bankruptcy and fiscal collapse."


-Think they've done enough already eh? No thanks!

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:59 | 4302725 Nick Jihad
Nick Jihad's picture

Indeed - politicos will have to act soon, to take the US to French levels of state intervention, and Japanese levels of debt.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:10 | 4300962 Frankie Carbone
Frankie Carbone's picture

Problem Tyler. Most sheep don't know how to read a chart, and until there is a chart-reading app that comes out on the iPhone, they'll have little inclination to ever want to learn.

Why learn to read a chart when the TEE-VEE news tells them everything they need to know?

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:15 | 4300980 I am Jobe
I am Jobe's picture

NSA says that Amerikans are Zombies. Reading chrts, no way they teach that in schools. All the bullshit and APPS is what sheeples will follow. Forward thinking


Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:10 | 4300967 Professorlocknload
Professorlocknload's picture

 "Members of both parties will have to act soon" 


Frightening thought!

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:49 | 4301028 Umh
Umh's picture

They are good at acting like they care.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 12:23 | 4301707 akarc
akarc's picture

They are always acting. Theater of the absurd at it's best.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:15 | 4300974 Professorlocknload
Professorlocknload's picture

Beat me to it there, Cave.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:14 | 4300979 I am Jobe
I am Jobe's picture

Karl Marx for President of Amerika

More wars , More drones 

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 02:57 | 4301242 Dixie Rect
Dixie Rect's picture

Where have you been, Jobe? He was (s)elected in 2008, and reselected in 2012

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 12:19 | 4301706 akarc
akarc's picture

And he appointed Jeffery Immelt Job Czar?????

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:27 | 4300989 Tinky
Tinky's picture

Not trying to hijack the thread, but what's up with this?

"On December 6th the US Department of Health and Human Services put a solicitation notice on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website for 14 million 65 mg doses of Potassium Iodide, the standard treatment protocol for someone exposed to high levels of radiation. As a stipulation of this solicitation, which gets bid on by registered contractors, the HHS requires the 14 million doses to be delivered by the end of January."

Link to the order:

links to associated (obviously Fukushima-related) info:

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:42 | 4301006 Yenbot
Yenbot's picture

They expect 14 million to survive WW3. Now stop hijacking the thread.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 09:54 | 4301430 Cloud9.5
Cloud9.5's picture

The bought it for themselves an their familiars.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 10:14 | 4301453 malikai
malikai's picture

It's not related to fukushima, unless they're expecting another to occur.

All the radioiodine from fukushima was gone within 6 months of the event.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 11:49 | 4301637 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Iodine 131 has a half life of about 8 days, so after about 90 days it's down by a factor of about 5000.

Cs137 - half life about 30 years - safeish in about 400 years - mimmics potassium - nothing to protect you from it.

Sr90 - half life about 29 years - likewise about 400 years - mimmics calcium - gets into bones - no protection.

Tritium - half life about 12 years - safeish in about 150 years - gets everywhere - no protection.

The nasties are Cs137 and Sr90 due to life time and the fact that they bioaccumulate.


Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:45 | 4301015 drstrangelove73
drstrangelove73's picture

Anyone with a brain knew Obama was a disaster.
And he has been,in spades,no pun intended.
His clueless one hundred year old ideology is having its predictable effects.
And after 4 years on the job,what did America do?They gave the incompetent ideologue another term.
It is the rising generation who elected this tool.We're all screwed unless they figure it out

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 00:55 | 4301113 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

"Anyone with a brain knew Obama was a disaster."

You had me at hello.

I know it's very fashionable on this board to wilt and say "it doesn't matter who you put in office" but as someone who has seen what bad management does to good enterprises, I know it DOES matter.  No leadership can instantly make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but making the best of a bad situation is a heluva lot better than making the worst of a bad situation.  And our man-child president is certainly making the worst of a bad situation.  He's blindly and willfully fighting a 40 year old philosophical battle of "redistribute pieces of the the shrinking pie" while the whole country burns down around him.  He doesn't even have the frame of reference to understand the problem, let alone the desire to fix it.  As far as he's concerned, it's already fixed right now, today.

And if you're not ready to put a bullet through your brain over that, please realize we have 3 more years of this shit before there is even a POSSIBILITY of changing direction.

And as crazy as that sounds, someday, we'll be looking back longingly on the "easy days" of living under this sonofabitch.  The days when the stock market WON'T go up while the economy and incomes decline.  EVERYHING will just go down.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:07 | 4302750 Nick Jihad
Nick Jihad's picture

With or without Obama, that coalition that he represents, of people who still believe the New Deal/Great Society horseshit, is still there. And they aren't going anywhere.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 01:55 | 4301192 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

So, WHO ya gonna vote for in 2016?  Clinton or Bush?  (It's deja-vu all over again!) :>(

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 02:21 | 4301213 Andre
Andre's picture

Did we put him in office?

Put another way - did we put him in office?

Or Diebold?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 10:31 | 4301468 Took Red Pill
Took Red Pill's picture

The POTUS gets all the credit and all the blame when in reality he's just a puppet on a string. It's been that way for decades.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 12:20 | 4301703 akarc
akarc's picture

Correct. And the puppet masters rejoice as we the people fall for the invented bogeymen to blame so we do not have to face the truth, unite, and do something abut it. Because after all bitching, blaming and hating is just to damn much fun

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:46 | 4301019 Osmium
Osmium's picture

Proably less than 14 million.  I think the adult dosage is 130 mg which provides thyroid protection for approx 24 hours.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:54 | 4301032 justsayin2u
justsayin2u's picture

yadda yadda yadda.  young americans need to learn a skill that meets a need or start a business that fulfills a need.  the rest of us need to live on less than we make - whatever that may be.  and watching the colts come back from a 38-10 defecit helps - if you're a colts fan.  and andrew luck is the man. 

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 02:06 | 4301201 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

Get rid of our debt based monitary system, income taxes, a metric fuckton of metric fucktons of regulations, and property taxes, then we'll talk. 

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:57 | 4301039 stateside
stateside's picture

If you google news "H1N1" you'll see a few hundred deaths around the US and Canada in numerous cities the last week.  The govt is doing a good job keeping this from going viral.  Not usually one to get worried as usually these things are overblown but this time..........................



Sun, 01/05/2014 - 00:42 | 4301102 ChaosEquilibrium
ChaosEquilibrium's picture

It is CRIMINAL that the CDC and HHS are covering up this soon to be pandemic!


I've come across unusual indicators a month ago in regards to the H1N1/09.....I heard a 20 second mention on CNN last Saturday in regards.  I understand 3 died and 12 are on life support in Ann Arbor Michigan!  I'm not one to panic and hype---I understand that every year people die of the Flu....but this is the virulent H1N!-ie. kills the healthy at a higher proportion than the elderly and young!


CDC's Flu charts are looking like Twitter, Facebook, and Tesla equity charts!


I can already see the National News when this hits in the coming weeks......"We did not see it coming"  "How did this happen"!!

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 01:29 | 4301164 Rock On Roger
Rock On Roger's picture

I know of a local who died recently from H1N1 apparently (so said her brother). She had lost one lung to cancer and was being treated for cancer in her remaining lung. To say she died of H1N1 is stretching the truth a little bit.


Make sure you healthy people get out there and get vaccinated or else all of us will die. /sarc


Stack On

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 01:21 | 4301153 Rock On Roger
Rock On Roger's picture

It is overblown, our provincial government is hyping the vaccinations, oh my god 5 are dead.

More die from drunken drivers on a long weekend.

But the sheeple queue up for the needle.

Fucking morons.


Stack On

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 13:52 | 4301888 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture

Links to your data, please Stateside. I'm seeing only the usual few here, few there.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 00:02 | 4301054 Musashi Miyamoto
Musashi Miyamoto's picture

"The resilience that has long been one of America's remarkable traits" - OP

Lets break this down, by what measure are Americans resilient? Only the few and far between are able to see their own toes never-mind flexible enough to grab their ankles.

The future holds an anal rape with no lube. Our resiliency will be measured by the blood dribbling out of collectivized ripped asshole.

We will not overcome the crisis. We will not come out in one piece. We will not survive. The best bet is getting out early or an honorable death protecting our families.

Tyranny has prevailed for 10,000 years. What hope is there?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 00:26 | 4301079 captain_menace
captain_menace's picture



Great visuals


And as for your hope question...  you should watch the youtube video about the Finnish/Soviet Winter War that was posted on ZH the other day.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 00:50 | 4301109 Musashi Miyamoto
Musashi Miyamoto's picture

I participated on that thread. This is just my response to any alleged resiliency the united states public might be thought to possess characteristics of.

Currently there is a zero chance of a successful insurrection.

I would not underestimate the force projection capabilities of the greatest war machine in human history. Bar food riots or new tactical developments in the freedom movement. I suspect the USA federal government will maintain in-theater mobility and firepower superiority on any terrain in any region. Any insurrection will be dealt with swiftly.

"Static Defense is dead. Radical groups that want significant change and staying power ultimately need to give up on conventional power structures. Think fluid organizing strategies and dynamic cell structures."

I am pondering what organizing strategies would be most effective in the 21st century but currently any specific solutions elude me.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 05:30 | 4301316 mvsjcl
mvsjcl's picture

Yep. Secure communications is the crux of the problem.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 07:33 | 4301353 minosgal
minosgal's picture

Who knew? Cu Chi tunnels might be those 'shovel ready' jobs.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 12:13 | 4301686 akarc
akarc's picture

"Currently there is a zero chance of a successful insurrection."

Sadly I don't even see the will for it in the streets I walk. But then they are populated with dinosaurs grown distrustful of to many failed agendas as a result of sleepers with the enemy.  Maybe somewhere I don't walk a candle is burning. One can hope. 


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 13:55 | 4301890 petolo
petolo's picture

At this point in time, one can only outwit the system. I would be willing to sacrifice myself by refusing to pay taxes but what good am i in an orange jumpsuit sacrificing the possibility of doing greater good on the outside. Change is dynamic and unpredictable. When and if the right variables come together SHTF. Remember Romania, Czech oslovakia, East Germany.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 00:58 | 4301122 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Speak for yourself. Some run and hide while others stay and fight. You seem to speak from experience with the whole torn sphincter thing. History is full of stories of triumph over tyranny via the pen and the sword. You may wallow in your lack of hope on shores far away. We the honorable will stay and honor those before us by being unyielding for the quest of liberty. I do not speak of revolution but evolution. This system will die. I just hope I will see it fall on its knees and sputter it's last breath.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 01:19 | 4301144 Musashi Miyamoto
Musashi Miyamoto's picture


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 01:17 | 4301145 Musashi Miyamoto
Musashi Miyamoto's picture

Even if it seems certain that you will lose, retaliate. Neither wisdom nor technique has a place in this. A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams. - Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 01:57 | 4301195 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.”
Lao Tsu

"As long as the sun and moon have the sky, they can shine forever.
As long as the four seasons change, they can bring about development forever.
When sages persist in their way, the whole world evolves to completeness.
By observing what they persist in, the conditions of all beings in the universe can be seen."

I Ching

"There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life."
John Lennon

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration ..."

* * *

I am here.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 03:47 | 4301264 stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

great, thanks for the link, musashi!

i appreciate the message of the hagakure but was unaware of its history.

i got a copy of the hagakure a few years ago, after watching jarmusch's ghost dog, one of my favorite movies of all time.

sad to know that tashiro published it against the wishes of his master, who, it sounds like, expected the conversation to be kept private.

glad to be able to read it, though!

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 10:44 | 4301497 Spankrupt
Spankrupt's picture

I prefer the impulse to live rather than your debauched view of winning the grand life lottery. Your typical suicidal vituperative attack lacks ingenuity and is solipsistically unsustainable. You are always a cleverly unsatisfactory post, but I read, to know that of the two choices remaining, my impulse to carry on, as it were, displaces your heroic and fashionable opt-out. The mirror can be an intervening tool, try it, if you haven't. But, I suspect in all your glory - you have.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 13:59 | 4301900 Musashi Miyamoto
Musashi Miyamoto's picture

A massive bore.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:36 | 4302108 Spankrupt
Spankrupt's picture


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 01:21 | 4301146 Musashi Miyamoto
Musashi Miyamoto's picture

double post

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 01:20 | 4301147 Musashi Miyamoto
Musashi Miyamoto's picture


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 01:19 | 4301148 Musashi Miyamoto
Musashi Miyamoto's picture


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 01:22 | 4301149 Musashi Miyamoto
Musashi Miyamoto's picture


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 02:03 | 4301198 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Got a little excited there did ya champ?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:18 | 4302598 1C3-N1N3
1C3-N1N3's picture

Miyamoto is the guy in Headbanger's avatar.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 01:22 | 4301150 Musashi Miyamoto
Musashi Miyamoto's picture


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 12:32 | 4301668 akarc
akarc's picture

" I do not speak of revolution but evolution. This system will die. I just hope I will see it fall on its knees and sputter it's last breath."

I suspect we are already engaged in de-evolution. Gonna have to vote for revolution. In todays times it would actually be evolutionary.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 00:16 | 4301068 loonyleft
loonyleft's picture

tldr summary: It's Obama's fault and those 'tax and spend' democrats. Eyes wide shut. 

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 00:50 | 4301111 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Republicans are complicit to "tax and spend" as well. Let's disregard human nature and come up with an ethereal plan based off "utopian ideas" like raising wages via the whisk of a lawmakers pen and taxing the evil rich folks. I'm sure we could levy a hefty tax they will be ok with! That will get the wheels of growth going! I see employment falling further( besides the long term unemployed who have simply given up and are no longer tallied ) from these tried and true methods.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 01:22 | 4301160 Musashi Miyamoto
Musashi Miyamoto's picture

Glad you've got it all figured out. Lead us IR, to victory.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 02:17 | 4301183 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

This is Fight Club.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 00:20 | 4301080 starman
starman's picture

US investors ? Think again.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 01:11 | 4301138 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

 - everybody is talking about some global control and so on and so forth ... interesting enough whenever they speak about the world they refer to USA but they show evidence from everywhere else outside USA.. what mind control what economy control do they have on me ... i have no job just sit home day after day .... you'd think that if they need slaves they'll give some work to everyone... and even before you thought of making this kind of theory didn't it crossed your mind that maybe you're manipulated to THINK that there is something bigger going on ... ? if "they" can do whatever they want ... would they let you spread the "truth" on global level ? or are you going to presume that they know that people wouldn't believe this so called truth and they do not worry about it ... i know for a fact that i'm so useless that in a better society i'll be shot dead for wasting food and water, i myself don't even benefit from myself ... how can somebody else do. You constantly talk about energy and showing electricity .... we consider ourselves to be "stupid" enough to not have developed many technologies that we can see in our imagination(or some authors imagination) but yet we still waste our knowledge to find better ways to make electricity ... when you speak of particles ... are photons particles are photons matter? they colide with matter ... they must be...   we have them in abundance every single day ... and yet you speak of  free energy not showing a single real case where that worked ... just some more conspiracy ... your whole theory is based on "let's imagine that" "let's say that" .... no ... talk with facts ... cats eat fish...



Sun, 01/05/2014 - 01:25 | 4301158 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

PREPARRRRRRRRRE YOURSELF! THE END IS NEAR! (Warren Buffet rings the register on another billion.) you will never hear me say don't do what you can to be close to The Man in these trying times...having said that he guides us to show a little faith sometimes too. I do agree "the irony that we've probably never had it so good" is not lost on me. Here's my view of the economy summed up:

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 01:25 | 4301159 22winmag
22winmag's picture

Somebody please put us out of our collective misery.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 01:48 | 4301186 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

The U.S.S.A. Titanic sails again!

Each bubble is worse than the last one as unfunded liabilities balloon and underlying economic fundamnetals erode.

Damn, what an iceberg!

End the FED.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 02:00 | 4301194 yogibear
yogibear's picture

No worry, the Federal Reserve has been hiring and arming their bankster police force to protect them.

Once they enslave the 90% in debt their worried people will fight back.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 09:31 | 4301408 Heroic Couplet
Heroic Couplet's picture

The Soviet Union collapsed, the Cold War ended. The United States second largest enemy, China, collapsed as well. Was the Pentagon budget reduced accordingly? No. So don't open your mouth about any other "cost." The United States does not have a debt problem. The United States has a corruption problem.

If and when the former United States middle class decides to go after bankers, investor analysts, and Wall Street, at least they're concentrated in a few geographic areas.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 10:29 | 4301464 SmallerGovNow2
SmallerGovNow2's picture

I don't disagree.  However, SS, MC/MC, and social wellfare equal 100% of tax receipts.  You can eliminate the MIC and ALL of the alphabet soup of agencies in the federal government and STILL not balance the books...

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 09:42 | 4301416 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Hard boiled eggs do bounce around. They have resilience.

Lets hope the egg is hard boiled; 'cos if its Humpty Dumpty, when reset occurs...

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 10:15 | 4301452 d edwards
d edwards's picture

They left out the total economic/personal havoc wrought by f-ing 0bamacare, which is going to affect pretty much everyone in some way-even the brain dead 0bamazombies.


There are going to be a lot of pissed off people.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 11:51 | 4301649 akarc
akarc's picture

"There are going to be a lot of pissed off people."

pissed off + lack of action = nothing

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 22:52 | 4303325 Nick Jihad
Nick Jihad's picture

Not true. Elections are decided by those who can't be bothered to vote.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 10:18 | 4301455 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

For many hard work and self-reliance don't pay off.  Not in this economy.  Very few can start a business or even know how and few would do ok.  So if you can't find a job or the best job you can get is poor paying that equates to starving and it's only natural for people to turn to anyone that will help them out of pure survival needs.  It's a dire situation and much worse than this article states which is using the same BS talking about all the jobs created but not one mention of what kind of job.

For those of us waiting on the big reset I have doubts that will ever happen unless a huge war comes our way politicians will lie lie lie lie lie and print print print all the way to bust and that could take decades and will slowly erode everyone into pure poverty.  Real poverty......the kind where people live in shacks with dirt floors and no electricity and food stamps are a thing of the past.

You can't trust the gov't for anything but for those that are genuinely in need I have no problems with them seeking help while it's available.  No sense in starving till you have to and by that time i'm sure all our domestic drones will be ready to deploy with death rays at any pesky uprising.  The US gov't is one huge monstrosity that will kill us all off in order for it to survive.  I suspect one day we will look back and realize how stupid we were for not making a stand when we still had something to fight with other than sticks and stones.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 11:36 | 4301622 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

I'm working on targeting drones with highly amplified Slim Whitman recordings.

If they come after me, at least I'll go out yodeling.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 11:51 | 4301647 Deer Hunter
Deer Hunter's picture

First class passage on the Titanic, life is good. I choose to help people in my community starting with Family, brothers and sisters in Christ and my neighbors. It helps that we all have similar views about God, morality and our constitution and live in the great state of TX. Economy is booming here again, construction and oil great. The Fed Res & gov really have little effect on our day to day living.  

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 12:37 | 4301728 akarc
akarc's picture

"It helps that we all have similar views about God, morality and our constitution and live in the great state of TX."

Yepper the great state of Texas. Where I have been pulled twice had my possesions thrown out on the street and tools I work with trashed. Once in the middle of the damn desert which scared the shit out of my ol lady.

Guess i did not fit the  mold of mass conformity.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 12:07 | 4301682 _SILENCER
_SILENCER's picture

I don't make a lot of dough, espeically when compared to some of the ZHers here, but I'll tell you what goddammit-- I lose a grand a week right off the top of my fucking paycheck to government theft, even claiming 8 fictional dependents, and that stings like a bitch. California is a prison, and the Feds are the screws.


A third. Gone. WOOF. Vapourized. Add to that all the other shit that's taxed all over what has become this benighted Communist Collectivist Coward realm, and it's enough to piss off the goddamned Pope.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 12:48 | 4301768 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Sounds like you are doing alright, just have a structuring problem.

If you are in a position to incorporate there are many legal ways

to shelter income.Pay yoursel $18k per year and get that gold

Obozocare plan for $100 pa.

If its good enough for Buffet.Mind you he not dumb enough to live

in Komifornia.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 13:01 | 4301789 _SILENCER
_SILENCER's picture

In the VFX industry, it's a rarity that facilities will hire you under your LLC. Some will do it, the ones I've worked with have not. But I work with a great crew and solid artists, and we've got a great system that gets shit done and looks killer, so I truly enjoy where and with whom I work. I assure a lot of you have seen the shit we do.


But I'm getting slain on taxes.

Oh, and FUCKING alimony revenge payments, but that ends this year. Cunt.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 13:30 | 4301853 fattail
fattail's picture

Author lost me when he started the political  red/blue distraction bullshit.  Yes Obama is an asshole democrat on the blue team....  Romney promised to never let federal govt expenditures drop below 20% of gdp, which either means endless deficits, or higher taxes since revenues never seem to get over 17 % of GDP, which is ridiculous in itself.  Which only makes him the current red flavor of the month.

The author also fails to mention the president immediately preceding the current asshole who doubled the national deficit in only 8 years, who played on the red team.   

Its like they are all working for the same masters since i can find no discernible difference on any material issue between any of them.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:54 | 4302161 akarc
akarc's picture

Bing-freaking-O! We have suffered under either or for years...... As if NSA cares, right? As soon as America gets past this divided bull maybe we can do something about the bull in Washington. Until then the game continues and the consequences for ALL of us escalate!

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 14:20 | 4301925 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"The resilience that has long been one of America's remarkable traits was on display in 2013."


Resilience- what a stupid description. 

North Korea has been resilient, despite the number of people that have starved to death. 

Greece is resilient, despite 27% unemployment.

Bob Brinker crowed about the resilience of the economy and stock market after the 2002 bear market, but the market was later lower in 2009 and the economy was worse then as well.  So how did that resilience work out?


Every cycle reaches a bottom and starts a new up cycle.  Cycles are resilient that way. North Korea is as resilient as the U.S.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 14:27 | 4301937 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"This is more than just a matter of numbers. America's highest-in-the-world standard of living has been built on economic growth."


Economic "growth" has been due to growth to 56 trillion dollars in Total U.S. debt.  Subtract the debt, and real GDP has been negative for over 30 years.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 14:35 | 4301956 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"Members of both parties will have to act soon — or risk national bankruptcy and fiscal collapse."


No problem.  Just hit the reset button on the console and a new game begins.  After all, the U.S. is resilient.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:01 | 4302737 escargot
escargot's picture

The Dodd-Frank Act "killed lending"? about over-simplifying.

"Unfortunately, the policies put in place by tax-and-spend leftists in the administration and a Democrat-dominated Congress have stalled the U.S. growth machine."

--oh yeah, I'm sure the economy would be humming along with healthy growth, resurgent manufacturing, rising wages, and Utopian prosperity if only the Republicans were in charge.  Yeah. 

For Christ's sake, enough with the god damned left/right bullshit!  Any article that blames that "other party" for problems is nothing but establishment propaganda and distraction.  Flush this crap please, ZH.  The fundamental problem with the world economy is the parasitic debt-based central banking system that saps the livelihood of the public.  Period. 

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:59 | 4303185 mumbo_jumbo
mumbo_jumbo's picture

"the policies put in place by tax-and-spend leftists in the administration"


too fucking funny, as opposed to the borrow and spend rightests????????  who fucking buys into this right/left bullshit anymore?.....and i didn't even see the post above mine as i typed this so i guess I'm not alone at spotting the bullshit.

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