As of July 7, 2012, it appears that our futures at the hands of the politicians will do nothing to prevent America’s inevitable decline from a once great industrial empire. For future continuing peace of mind, lower your expectations and realize that increasing wealth will not be a part of your lives for the foreseeable future. I was reading posts and articles on Marketwatch.com today that showed a town hall meeting with Mitt Romney, the muli-millionnaire who the Republicans chose to challenge our current president Barack Obama in November.
Needless to say, it really doesn’t matter who wins the election. America has spent itself into a debt spiral that she can never expect to pay off. President Obama has spent just as much money as the former president before him, President George W. Bush. Government Sachs, er, I mean Goldman Sachs, and J.P. Morgan Fraud, I mean “Chase” and the other lobbyists donate equal amounts of money to both candidates to promote their own agendas. America is now run by the money from almighty special interest groups. Whoever is the president is mostly a “trigger man” who represents “big money”/big corporations. And America is knocking on another debt ceiling of over 14 Trillion dollars.
No matter how much people wish to criticize President Obama, his challenger seems to have precious few ideas of his own. Mitt Romney, a millionaire hundreds of times over, can have little connection to the typical American, who is living paycheck by paycheck, with an underwater mortgage on his/her home (meaning the debt owed is larger than the house is worth), and with car payments that they can hardly keep up with. Daily it seems, there is a sad article about someone who either died or committed suicide because one of the big banks foreclosed on them, leaving the homeowner…now well, homeless.
These same megabanks were selling mortgages to owners with the only qualification as a “heartbeat”. There were 50 year mortgages, “interest only” mortgages, even reverse mortgages (where the debt INCREASES year after year), on new and existing homes. The borrower only had to fill out an application, and not even provide proof of income. They were popularly known as NIV loans (No Income Verification) loans. Stories of illegal immigrants with a phony SSN number working at McDonald’s but stating their incomes well into the six figures were accepted happily by “too big to fail” banks. That is, until the bubble popped in real estate in late 2007. Real estate prices plunged, and the Case Shiller Housing Index which tracks home prices continue to show year upon year of price drops nearing 30%.
The ensuing collapse of company after company (mostly banks and those that insured these bogus mortgages like AIG) in the financial crisis nearly brought down the entire US and hence world economy. The banks were bailed out by the government with loans that our children and their children will have to pay. There were no real changes. A couple of years later, it was back to normal on Wall Street. They just engaged in the proverbial “kick the can” routine. Americans were outraged, and justifiably so. The economy basically collapsed a couple of years ago. As the Federal Reserve eased like crazy, financial disaster was averted…at least for the time being.
The critical issue is still one of jobs. A prominent newspaper noted that the main drivers of hiring during these past two years has been McDonald’s and Walmart…both minimum wage starting jobs. The news business media reported that the top six stockholders in Walmart stock were worth over 1/3 of the entire country. That disparity usually signals revolution. We will have to see what will yet happen. The mass riots in Europe which started in Greece may actually come home here to the USA.
The fake unemployment numbers grossly underestimates the true figures. So many people just dropped right off the unemployment index radar because they gave up looking for jobs. So many others are “underemployed” (meaning that their skills far exceed the jobs they are currently doing). And there are ranks and files of “part time employees” (who have no health insurance and other benefits). The true unemployment rate, as commented on Marketwatch.com is likely closer to 25%, a disaster number.
Mitt Romney, in the town hall meeting, suggested to the public that if they could not find a job, that they ask their parents to borrow money to start a company. That is such a joke. No families really have any money to spend, let alone spend to lend a hand to their already indebted children. Maybe his tactic would work…if your parents ARE Mitt and Ann Romney. Nobody in America really knows how to create real jobs anymore. It’s just like Mitt Romney saying he knows how to create jobs… then pointing to Sports Authority and Staples (a retail office supply store). This is another joke. It is just what this economy needs – more minimum wage retail jobs from stores that peddle nothing but over-priced items imported from China. CNBC did a show on how they work so hard in China in factories where they actually LIVE. They work horrible hours for peanuts, some ten dollars a DAY (a long workday at that).
But at least China has a manufacturing base that is expanding. The USA’s Industrial Revolution has ended and now is primarily a service economy, with poor wage growth jobs. The aforementioned American retail store clerks making $8.25 an hour are noted by people like Romney who think those workers are going to then turn around and buy $250,000 condos, Range Rovers, and revitalize the economy.
This is so ridiculous that I think I need to take a break from writing and take some more pain medication like Tylenol and Aspirin to quell the headache that I get whenever I think of the future of this once great Empire.