Warning: America Is About To Be Left In The Dust By This Country

The US is on the brink of losing its status as the world’s largest economy and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely anticipated.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

It’s Time To Prepare For The Upcoming Storm…

The lull is almost over. Now what?

I don’t need to tell the savvy readership of Western Journalism that this economic “recovery” has been a combination of smoke and mirrors, held together with a shoestring and bubble gum. The plummeting economy, triggered by the collapse of our government-inflated housing bubble, was temporarily slowed in its break-neck decline by the Obama administration’s decision to shovel astronomic amounts of taxpayer money into a hole. In June 2010, after the first round of Quantitative Easing, the Fed had holdings of $2.054 trillion. In November 2010, deciding that things weren’t improving fast enough, QE2 was launched; and we bought up another $600 billion of assets/debt. When that failed to stimulate the market into a full-on recovery, QE3 was announced in September of 2012. At that point, the Fed declared that they would be buying $40 billion/month for an open-ended duration.

Should be sufficient, right? Even the piggish appetites of our central bankers should be sated by an open-ended allowance of 400 million dollars EVERY SINGLE MONTH, right? Wrong. Just 3 months after the announcement of QE3, the Federal Open Market Committee declared that the bond-buying would be increased from $40b a month to $85b, more than doubling the amount of debt the American people were being given every month. Make no mistake; there is no money to spend on these debt purchases. This is referred to as “fiat money” as it is created by fiat, not by any market mechanisms or wealth creation. Each time money is created in this fashion, the dollar you hold in your wallet or your 401(k) gets a little weaker. The greedy progressives behind this diabolical process have discovered that they can rob you without ever touching your billfold, simply by watering down the funds they already control.

This has worked, to a degree. Along with a slavish press, the sheer volume of money spent has provided them a little cover over the past couple years, the same way that 200 gallons of plasma would keep an abdominal gunshot victim alive for a time. But if the plasma runs out, and surgery hasn’t been done, dude won’t be around too much longer. Our cupboard is now running dry. China is too highly leveraged to give us any more actual money, and inflation is starting to creep into the economy. The Consumer Price Index for 2013 was the highest it’s ever been, with a price inflation of 133% over 1982 prices.  We’re starting to look like the Town Drunk, hunched over a half-full glass of warm beer, 10 minutes after Last Call.

So now what? We know that Washington doesn’t care about us once we’ve punched their chad in the voting booth. There are only a handful of politicians in DC who are willing to serve the people they represent, and those few are increasingly ostracized from the legislative process by the statists on both sides of the aisle. It’s true that things are looking increasingly hopeful for November’s election; but even if we repeat the success of 2010, the fruits of this election will not be felt for months (perhaps years).

As the remnant has done throughout history, we must prepare. The storm is coming; there can be little question about that. Even Doctor Evil himself has tipped his hand enough to show that he believes a major market slow-down is likely. If even cretinous Marxists like Soros are openly preparing for another economic disaster, shouldn’t we? There has never been a better time for the American people to batten the hatches, and our window of opportunity might be closing soon.

What does preparation look like in today’s world? On a most basic level, we need to be prepared physically to protect and provide for our families. That means equipping ourselves with the means to survive even if the social structure breaks down. Yes, “prepper” supplies are a great idea, both for social collapse and disaster preparedness; but we should also be inculcating our families with survival knowledge that extends beyond the gear and supplies. There are plenty of good resources for this level of preparation, but two I follow and recommend are Creek Stewart of Willowhaven Outdoor and David Morris of Urban Survival.

Additionally, we should be preparing to protect ourselves and our families. In any scenario where the social compact breaks down, the predators emerge. Whether it is during a natural disaster, riots, or a targeted attack, the chaos that follows provides enough distraction for the asocial predators in our midst to operate. We must be prepared and aware enough to protect ourselves from them. Purchase a firearm. Practice with it until you are comfortable and accurate. Apply for your CCW permit, even if you don’t plan to use it. By the time you need to use a firearm, it’s too late to prepare.

Finally, we need to prepare mentally and spiritually. As much as we need to elect strong conservative men and women to office, our responsibilities do not stop at the polling place. We need to develop our knowledge of the issues facing our country. Gone are the days when we had scrupulous “experts” who could be (at least provisionally) relied on to do the right thing. Romans 3:10-18 has never been more apparent than today. Have you read Saul Alinski and Karl Marx? Are you familiar with the teachings of the Koran? Do you have a copy of The Coming Insurrection? These are the foundations upon which our opposition has built their campaign. There is no excuse for us to be unfamiliar with the enemy’s foundational tracts and tactics.

We can no longer afford to be ignorant of the repugnant. As Oliver Cromwell so aptly stated, “Keep your faith in God, but keep your powder dry.”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Toilet Paper?? This Is How The Dollar Could One Day Be As Valuable

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This week, we went up against the arcane debt ceiling once again. However, in a stunning display of maturity (?), our representatives in Washington have bypassed the usual opportunity for political brinksmanship and passed a clean debt limit increase bill. This means they are not, as usual, attaching other unrelated political footballs to the bill so they can play chicken with each other and with our country’s borrowing ability. Strange. Just months ago, that led to the infamous government shutdown (if you can really call what they did a “shutdown”), which mostly backfired for the politicians who backed it. Apparently, they aren’t going down that road again. Might they actually be learning something in Washington?

What our politicians should learn is that the debt ceiling is pointless if it keeps getting raised every few months. The law was originally intended to put a strict limit on Washington’s profligate spending and force politicians to prioritize and live at least somewhat within the reach of the nation’s means. It was only supposed to be raised in case of emergency – you know, like war.

Conveniently enough for Washington, we always seem to be in a state of emergency. And we are perpetually at war, so that excuse is always available.

Of course, our fiscal picture has always been alarming and is getting worse; but the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has issued yet another warning that our government’s spending habits are putting our future at severe risk. According to CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf:

“The large budget deficits recorded in recent years have substantially increased federal debt, and the amount of debt relative to the size of the economy is now very high by historical standards. CBO estimates that federal debt held by the public will equal 74 percent of GDP at the end of this year and 79 percent in 2024 (the end of the current 10-year projection period). Such large and growing federal debt could have serious negative consequences, including restraining economic growth in the long term, giving policymakers less flexibility to respond to unexpected challenges, and eventually increasing the risk of a fiscal crisis (in which investors would demand high interest rates to buy the government’s debt).”[Emphasis added]

The CBO is not hell-bent on espousing conspiracies. Nor are they trying to sell you anything. They are simply looking at numbers and projections and stating as gently and matter-of-factly as they can that the country’s spending and debt load is unsustainable, that what we could be facing here is a Greece-style debt crisis. The course we are on threatens to overwhelm our ability to eventually pay our debt back, which will hurt our credit rating, which will raise interest rates, and which will create inflation.

A $4 trillion balance sheet at the Federal Reserve means that we have massive amounts of inflation pent up and waiting.

No country can accelerate down the course we’re on and survive unscathed in the long run. Greece is just one example of what can happen. Argentina is another; they seem to be in perpetual currency crisis mode. But no country is immune from the laws of economics. Not even us.

If you inflate your currency to oblivion, if you can’t control your spending, and if you regulate and tax your businesses out of business, you will eventually kill your economy. It’s simple mathematics.

We suppose it is possible that Washington will wake up one day and change course. It could happen. Politicians could have a “come to Jesus” moment and decide that in too many areas – in social programs or in foreign policy, for example – spending has gotten too wasteful, and that our fiscal house demands to be put in order. We suppose that could theoretically happen. We could restructure how government operates, elect all new people, and get on the right course. If you’re optimistic, maybe you are betting that way and hoping it happens before they run us into the ground.

If you’re a realist, however, you see the patterns in Washington and the incentive structure, so you’re likely betting otherwise and listening to what the CBO is saying… even if it falls on deaf ears in Congress.

The realists realize you need a solid footing in your portfolio – a real, tangible asset, like gold – to get by when the fiscal crisis hits. The dollar will be toilet paper at that point. Is that what you worked your whole life to end up with? Toilet paper? Please be smarter than that. Let’s get started today. It begins with a simple click here.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Video: U.S. Government Says ‘No Inflation’ As Food Prices Soar

This woman learns the hard way that food prices are soaring as incomes stand still.

Do you feel you are paying a lot more at the grocery store all of a sudden? Then you are not alone!

Farmers: The Forgotten Americans

Photo credit: iluvcocacola (Creative Commons)

I had lived on two farms by the age of 12.  My dad made $100 a week.  We paid no rent, the utility bills were small, and we grew much of our food.  We went into town mainly to buy what we needed in the grocery store, send letters at the post office, and check out books at the library.  If we needed clothes and “luxuries,” we drove to Warsaw, or Wabash, or Fort Wayne.  We often went to Fort Wayne for glasses and usually stopped off to eat at an Azar’s Big Boy Restaurant.  It was fast food; but since we could go inside, it was like a regular restaurant to me.

Even back then, I knew I wasn’t going to live the rest of my life on the farm.  I was interested in science fiction and the future.  I imagined and then drew what I called a stack farm back around 1966.  It was over 40 stories tall and let sunlight in to shine on the crops.  Hydroponics could be used, and nutrients plus water would be pumped past the roots in the walls to help the plants grow.  A 100 story-tall stack farm might be located on an acre of land and produce like a 19,800 acre farm.

By and large, farmers are the forgotten Americans.  When you consider the rate of inflation and the farm prices plus the expenses of farming, many farmers made out better a century ago than they do today.  FDR tried to “help” farmers by having them kill livestock, dump milk, smash eggs, and plow under crops to jack up the prices.  My grandparents hated Roosevelt for that because people were starving in America, and perfectly good food was being destroyed.  But it is still done today.  Trucks loaded with oranges will be dumped in an orchard, and the fruit will be allowed to rot instead of turning the oranges into juice and fertilizer for the orchard.  Irradiation of fruits, vegetables, and meats could extend their shelf-life.

There is a farm bill being stalled in Congress and the Senate.  Food stamps are the big sticking point.  Republicans want them to be dealt with separately to indicate how bad poverty is, and I’m sure Democrats want to unionize farms and not give corporate welfare payments to corporate farms and those who aren’t farmers, yet benefit from subsidies.  I have a friend who has been farming most of his life, and he told me that the government should let farmers grow what they want and cut back on the subsidies.  He is a third-generation farmer and will probably farm until he can’t climb aboard a tractor.  He keeps in shape by hammering iron on the old anvil and selling things at crafts markets.  He was probably at Gettysburg this year shoeing horses as a blacksmith.   He mainly raises hogs and hopefully made enough to put his two daughters through college.  (But I haven’t talked with him for years, and I don’t know the situation.)

If the farm bill isn’t passed, inflation could rise a bit because commodity prices may soar if there are no price caps.  A gallon of milk may go for over $5; and with a hard winter that has been predicted, livestock will die (and the price of your fast-food hamburger may rise by over 20%.)  With the government having farmers grow corn for ethanol production, foods that have corn and corn syrup in them have already been priced higher.  And where there used to be wheat fields, corn fields have replaced them (which drives up the price of food made from wheat.) Yet most people forget that 10% or more of the liquid that goes into their gas tank was once grown by farmers.  And if you consider that more energy is used to grow and process corn than what comes from corn, using it as fuel doesn’t make much sense.

If the government wants to help farmers, it could let them grow what they want to grow, raise what they want to raise, and process what they can process.  There are at least two plants in the nation that turn animal carcasses into fuel oil that can be used in Diesel engines and other engines that use my plasma igniters.  Farmers should process dead animals to produce fuel.  Genetically altered plants and animals could help farmers produce more food.  And instead of throwing away blemished fruit, they should process it into juice.  And once the honey bee blight is ended, farmers could have fields of clover that could be “processed” into honey.  Genetic modification over the millenniums transformed corn from a grass into what we eat today, so don’t put down genetic modification in all cases.

Protein diversification would allow farmers to raise fish in ponds and grow bacteria and yeast to transform plant material into food.  Corporate farms will still produce more food than family farms.  But if the Agriculture Department cared about family farms, it would help them with research programs and government contracting so that American farmers could be paid to help farmers around the world.  Until food replicators are perfected to turn sticks and stones into something similar to food, we’ll need our farmers to be able to make a living as farmers instead of farming being the death of them.


Photo credit: iluvcocacola (Creative Commons)