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Thread: Is America About To Reach A Breaking Point? Anger Grows As Unemployment Benefits Cut

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  1. #1
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    Is America About To Reach A Breaking Point? Anger Grows As Unemployment Benefits Cut

    Is America About To Reach A Breaking Point? Anger Grows As Unemployment Benefits Get Cut

    Michael Snyder
    Economic Collapse
    December 31, 2013

    In America today, there are close to 50 million people living in poverty and there are more than 100 million people that get money from the federal government every month. As the middle class disintegrates, poverty is climbing to unprecedented levels.

    Image: Job Fair (Wikimedia Commons).

    Even though the stock market has been setting record high after record high, the amount of anger and frustration boiling just under the surface in our nation grows with each passing day. And now extended unemployment benefits have been cut off for 1.3 million unemployed Americans, and it is being projected that a total of 5 million unemployed Americans will lose their benefits by the end of 2014. In addition, as I have written about previously, 47 million Americans recently had their food stamp benefits reduced. The conditions for a “perfect storm” are certainly being created. So how much longer will it be until we see all of this anger and frustration boil over in the streets of our major cities? Is America about to reach a breaking point?
    If you think that the title of this article is “alarmist”, you probably have not been paying attention to what has been happening over the past few weeks. For example, a 600 person brawl broke out at at movie theater in Jacksonville, Florida just the other day…
    Five teenagers were arrested when a 600-person brawl broke out in a Florida movie theater’s parking lot on Christmas night.
    Described by police as a “melee,” the fight occurred around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday outside the Hollywood River City 14 movie theater in Jacksonville when a group tried to storm the theater’s doors without purchasing tickets, police said. Several had rushed an off-duty police officer working as a security guard.
    The officer “administered pepper spray to disperse the group, locked the doors and called for backup, following protocol,” said Lauri-Ellen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
    Soon after the pepper spray was used, “upward of 600 people moving throughout a parking lot about the size of a football field began fighting, disrupting and jumping on cars,” she said.
    And a “flash mob” of “400 crazed teens” was so violent that it forced a mall in Brooklyn to shut down just a few days ago
    A wild flash mob stormed and trashed a Brooklyn mall, causing so much chaos that the shopping center was forced to close during post-Christmas sales, sources said Friday.
    More than 400 crazed teens — who mistakenly thought the rapper Fabolous would perform — erupted into brawls all over Kings Plaza Shopping Center in Mill Basin on Thursday at 5 p.m., sources said.
    The troublemakers looted and ransacked several stores as panicked shoppers ran for the exits and clerks scrambled to pull down metal gates.
    In addition, the release of new Air Jordan sneakers caused mini-riots and brawls to break out all over the country just before Christmas.
    So why is all of this happening?
    Of course people will come up with all sorts of theories to explain these outbreaks of violence, but what pretty much everyone should be able to agree on is that we are seeing levels of anger and frustration rise to very dangerous levels in this country.
    Right now, there are approximately 6 million Americans in the 16 to 24-year-old age group that are not in school and that are not working either. What that means is that we have an alarmingly high number of very frustrated young people that do not have anything better to do than to cause trouble.
    In some of our largest cities this has become a massive problem. In fact, quite a few major U.S. cities actually have more than 100,000 “idle youth” living in them…
    Just look at some of the nation’s largest cities. Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Riverside, Calif., all have more than 100,000 idle youth, the Opportunity Nation report found.
    But the Obama administration says that this should not be a problem. In fact, the Obama administration tells us that the unemployment rate has been steadily “declining” and that there are plenty of opportunities for everyone.
    Of course that is a giant lie. Just before the last recession, about 63 percent of all working age Americans had a job. During the recession that number fell below 59 percent and it has stayed there ever since

    So the notion that we are experiencing an “employment recovery” is absolutely laughable.
    But most of our politicians appear to believe this lie, and it is being used as justification to cut off extended unemployment benefits.
    And the funny thing is that by cutting off these benefits, it is going to make it appear as though unemployment has gone down even more. Millions of unemployed workers that are being forced into the streets will now be counted as having “left the labor force”, and it is being projected that the unemployment rate could decline by as much as half a percentage point as a result.
    What a joke.
    A lot of the people that are having their benefits cut off are really hurting. For instance, consider the case of 63-year-old paralegal Laura Walker
    “Not all of us have savings and a lot of us have to take care of family because of what happened in the economy,” said Walker, of Santa Clarita, who said she has applied for at least three jobs a week and shares an apartment with her unemployed son, his wife and two children. “It’s going to put my family and me out on the streets.”
    So what is she going to do?
    Well, at this point she appears to be down to just one option…
    “I just don’t know what to do, except pray.”
    And of course the unemployed are not the only ones that have had their benefits cut. As I mentioned above, all 47 million Americans that are currently on food stamps recently had their benefits reduced. The following is an excerpt from a recent article by Mac Slavo
    Earlier this year government benefits for nutritional assistance were reduced after the expiration of emergency legislation that was enacted following the 2008 financial collapse. Nearly all of the 48 million people receiving food stamp distributions were affected. The move led to warnings from food pantries and recipients around the country who said that the $40 billion in cuts would leave many American families without the ability to put food on dinner tables across America. According to Feed America, the roughly $29 per family that would no longer appear on their EBT cards will amount to about1.5 billion meals in 2014.
    The fact that government dependence has soared to all-time highs even in the midst of this so-called “economic recovery” is just another sign that the middle class is dying. For years, middle class families have tried strategy after strategy in an attempt to survive, but now it has become apparent that the middle class is rapidly approaching a breaking point
    Rising income inequality is starting to hit home for many American households as they run short of places to reach for a few extra bucks.
    As the gap between the rich and poor widened over the last three decades, families at the bottom found ways to deal with the squeeze on earnings. Housewives joined the workforce. Husbands took second jobs and labored longer hours. Homeowners tapped into the rising value of their properties to borrow money to spend.
    Those strategies finally may have run their course as women’s participation in the labor force has peaked and the bursting of the house-price bubble has left many Americans underwater on their mortgages.
    And even though the Obama administration and the mainstream media have tried to convince us over and over that the economy is “getting better”, most Americans are not buying it. In fact, according to a newCNN poll, 70 percent of all Americans believe that “the economy is generally in poor shape”.
    As the economy continues to decline, not all Americans will respond to their desperate situations by getting violent. Many suffer quietly, hoping that things will eventually turn around for them. Unfortunately, the ranks of the suffering grow with each passing year. For example, a recent CNN article discussed the continued growth of “tent cities” all over America…
    The total number of homeless people residing in tents and makeshift homes is unknown. Many of these communities are small and hidden from public view, while others claim hundreds of residents and are sprinkled through major urban areas.
    Some, like those tucked under roadways, are temporary and relocate frequently. Their conditions are vile, unsanitary and fail to provide refuge from storms and winds. Then there are communities, such as Dignity Village in Portland, Oregon, that have a more sustained presence. The 13-year-old “ecovillage” set up by homeless people is hygienic and self-sufficient.
    Preliminary findings by The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty show that tent cities have been documented in almost every state, and they’re growing.
    So how do we solve these problems?
    Are there any solutions that could get us out of this mess?
    Of course there are. But don’t hold your breath waiting for any of them to be adopted. In fact, the American people continue to express great support for the very people that got us into this mess in the first place. For example, according to a Gallup survey that was just released, Barack Obama is the most admired man in America by a very wide margin and Hillary Clinton is the most admired woman in America by a very wide margin.
    And the mainstream media will continue to tell all of us that “leaders” like Obama, Clinton, Reid, Boehner, McConnell and Pelosi can be trusted to get us out of this mess.
    If you believe that, there is a bridge that I would like to sell you.
    The American people need to stop having blind faith in the relentless propaganda that is being spewed at them through their televisions screens. The pretty faces that you see “reporting the news” do not care about you and they are not watching out for your best interests. Thecorporate-controlled news is highly scripted and it is pretty much the same whatever channel you turn to. If you have any doubt that “the news” is scripted, just check out this video



    This article was posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 5:27 am
    Tags: domestic news, economics


    http://www.infowars.com/is-america-a...efits-get-cut/

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  2. #2
    Senior Member oldguy's Avatar
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    I believe America has big brother fatigue, Patriot act, NSA, TSA, Obama Care, etc none of those make life better nor make us more safe. It will only get worse as government grows, less freedom, lower wages, more restrictions, certain path to disaster and yet they(elitist) tell us it is "for our own good" when you hear those words be worried because it's for them not us.
    HAPPY2BME and Mayday like this.
    I'm old with many opinions few solutions.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Reciprocity's Avatar
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    Breaking Point? Why? Very simple really, outsourcing weath creation (Jobs, Contracts, Etc.) Importing Poverty (Legal & Illegal Immigration), no nation can survive this.
    oldguy and HAPPY2BME like this.
    “In questions of power…let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” –Thomas Jefferson

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    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    How Will The Economy Improve In 2014 If Almost Everyone Has Less Money To Spend?

    By Michael Snyder, on December 31st, 2013

    Is the U.S. consumer tapped out? If so, how in the world will the U.S. economy possibly improve in 2014? Most Americans know that the U.S. economy is heavily dependent on consumer spending. If average Americans are not out there spending money, the economy tends not to do very well. Unfortunately, retail sales during the holiday season appear to be quite disappointing and the middle class continues to deeply struggle. And for a whole bunch of reasons things are likely going to be even tougher in 2014. Families are going to have less money in their pockets to spend thanks to much higher health insurance premiums under Obamacare, a wide variety of tax increases, higher interest rates on debt, and cuts in government welfare programs. The short-lived bubble of false prosperity that we have been enjoying for the last couple of years is rapidly coming to an end, and 2014 certainly promises to be a very "interesting year".
    Obamacare Rate Shock
    Most middle class families are just scraping by from month to month these days.
    Unfortunately for them, millions of those families are now being hit with massive health insurance rate increases.
    In a previous article, I discussed how one study found that health insurance premiums for men are going to go up by an average of 99 percent under Obamacare and health insurance premiums for women are going to go up by an average of 62 percent under Obamacare.
    Most middle class families simply cannot afford that.
    Earlier today, I got an email from a reader that was paying $478 a month for health insurance for his family but has now received a letter informing him that his rate is going up to $1,150 a month.
    Millions of families are receiving letters just like that. And to say that these rate increases are a "surprise" to most people would be a massive understatement. Even people that work in the financial industry are shocked at how high these premiums are turning out to be...
    "The real big surprise was how much out-of-pocket would be required for our family," said David Winebrenner, 46, a financial adviser in Lebanon, Ky., whose deductible topped $12,000 for a family of six for a silver plan he was considering. The monthly premium: $1,400.
    Since Americans are going to have to pay much more for health insurance, that is going to remove a huge amount of discretionary spending from the economy, and that will not be good news for retailers.
    Get Ready For Higher Taxes
    When you raise taxes, you reduce the amount of money that people have in their pockets to spend.
    Sadly, that is exactly what is happening.
    Congress is allowing a whopping 55 tax breaks to expire at the end of this year, and when you add that to the 13 major tax increases that hit American families in 2013, it isn't a pretty picture.
    This tax season, millions of families are going to find out that they have much higher tax bills than they had anticipated.
    And all of this comes at a time when incomes in America have beensteadily declining. In fact, real median household income has declined by a total of 8 percent since 2008.
    If you are a worker, you might want to check out the chart that I have posted below to see where you stack up. In America today, most workers are low income workers. These numbers come from a recentHuffington Post article...
    -If you make more than $10,000, you earn more than 24.2% of Americans, or 37 million people.
    -If you make more than $15,000 (roughly the annual salary of a minimum-wage employee working 40 hours per week), you earn more than 32.2% of Americans.
    -If you make more than $30,000, you earn more than 53.2% of Americans.
    -If you make more than $50,000, you earn more than 73.4% of Americans.
    -If you make more than $100,000, you earn more than 92.6% of Americans.
    -You are officially in the top 1% of American wage earners if you earn more than $250,000.
    -The 894 people that earn more than $20 millionmake more than 99.99989% of Americans, and are compensated a cumulative $37,009,979,568 per year.
    It is important to keep in mind that those numbers are for the employment income of individuals not households. Most households have more than one member working, so overall household incomes are significantly higher than these numbers.
    Higher Interest Rates Mean Larger Debt Payments
    On Tuesday, the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries rose to 3.03 percent. I warned that this would happen once the taper started, and this is just the beginning. Interest rates are likely to steadily rise throughout 2014.
    The reason why the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries is such a critical number is because mortgage rates and thousands of other interest rates throughout our economy are heavily influenced by that number.
    So big changes are on the way. As a recent CNBC article declared, the era of low mortgage rates is officially over...
    The days of the 3.5% 30-year fixed are over. Rates are already up well over a full percentage point from a year ago, and as the Federal Reserve begins its much anticipated exit from the bond-buying business, I believe rates will inevitably go higher.
    Needless to say, this is going to deeply affect the real estate market. AsMac Slavo recently noted, numbers are already starting to drop precipitously...
    The National Association of Realtors reported that the month of September saw its single largest drop in signed home sales in 40 months. And that wasn’t just a one-off event. This month mortgage applications collapsed a shocking 66%, hitting a13-year low.
    And U.S. consumers can expect interest rates on all kinds of loans to start rising. That is going to mean higher debt payments, and therefore less money for consumers to spend into the economy.
    Government Benefit Cuts
    Well, if the middle class is going to have less money to spend, perhaps other Americans can pick up the slack.
    Or maybe not.
    You certainly can't expect the poor to stimulate the economy. As I mentioned yesterday, it is being projected that up to 5 million unemployed Americans could lose their unemployment benefits by the end of 2014, and 47 million Americans recently had their food stamp benefits reduced.
    So the poor will also have less money to spend in 2014.
    The Wealthy Save The Day?
    Perhaps the stock market will continue to soar in 2014 and the wealthy will spend so much that it will make up for all the rest of us.
    You can believe that if you want, but the truth is that there are a whole host of signs that the days of this irrational stock market bubble are numbered. The following is an excerpt from one of my recent articles entitled "The Stock Market Has Officially Entered Crazytown Territory"...
    The medianprice-to-earnings ratio on the S&P 500 has reached an all-time record high, and margin debt at the New York Stock Exchange has reached a level that we have never seen before. In other words, stocks are massively overpriced and people have been borrowing huge amounts of money to buy stocks. These are behaviors that we also saw just before the last two stock market bubbles burst.
    If the stock market bubble does burst, the wealthy will also have less money to spend into the economy in 2014.
    For the moment, the stock market has been rallying. This is typical for the month of December. You see, the truth is that investors generally don't want to sell stocks in December because they want to put off paying taxes on the profits.
    If stocks are sold before the end of the year, the profits go on the 2013 tax return.
    If stocks are sold a few days from now, the profits go on the 2014 tax return.
    It is only human nature to want to delay pain for as long as possible.
    Expect to see some selling in January. Many investors are very eager to start taking profits, but they wanted to wait until the holidays were over to do so.
    So what do you think is coming up in 2014? Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below...


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    December 31st, 2013 | Tags: 2014, Consumer Spending, Consumers,Debt, Economy Improve, Health Insurance, Health Insurance Premiums, Higher Interest Rates, Interest Rates, Interest Rates On Debt, Less Money To Spend, Michael T. Snyder, Middle Class,Obamacare, Spending Money, Tax, Tax Increases, The Economy, The U.S. Economy, U.S. Consumer | Category: The Next Great Depression


    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/a...money-to-spend
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