Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Today's Trends


My mother keeps track of her thirty grandchildren and her forty-six great-grandchildren. She knows all their names too — pretty remarkable for a woman in her nineties. She’s getting forgetful, but not about family. She had eight children of her own and I’m the fourth. Ours was a large family, but not unique. My best friend across the street was one of seven and so was my wife. We had only four children, which was considered a lot for my generation. Fewer Americans want to have any these days though. I’m seeing more people of childbearing age raising dogs and cats instead of babies and I’ve written about it several times including here and here. Why don’t Americans want to have children anymore? What is happening to us?
Ma on her 90th birthday with a few of her descendants

Our population is still growing but mostly because of immigration. The percent of Americans born somewhere else is approaching record levels. In Portland, Maine, one of six people was born in another country and most of those who are women are having children at much higher rates than native-born Americans. They, at least, have some hope for the future, which is one meaningful aspect of bearing children. Another is willingness to give of oneself.
Americans tend not to marry much anymore either from what I can see. For two months, I’ve been advertising an apartment above our garage, and while several couples have inquired, none have been married. Typically, a woman calls me to say she is interested. I ask if she’s alone and she says no, it would be for her and her boyfriend. That’s the norm these days. When I say I need first and last months’ rent, a security deposit, and a credit check, that all presents too high a bar for most to get over.
Pondering this, I saw a story on CBS News that two out of three Americans could not cover a $500 unexpected expense such as a car repair. I was shocked and realized that statistic bodes ill for our nation. There have always been people who live close to the edge and spend every dollar that comes their way as quickly as they can, but 66% of us live like that now? Even when we were a young family living below the federal poverty line, we kept that much on hand. That was back in the 1970s when $500 could buy about what $2500 buys now. It was hard to save up but we did so by eating a lot of soup and watching where every penny went. My wife and I agree those times were among the happiest of our lives. Most people we knew lived similarly, but  that way of life is not the norm anymore. What is happening to us?
Used to be that when people went broke, they would go to local churches to ask for money to pay the electric bill, the rent, buy heating oil, food, or whatever was the most pressing basic need. Doing so, they had to be accountable to the priest, minister, or rabbi about their spending habits, work habits, and/or lifestyle that might have gotten them into their predicament. If they went to someone in their family for a loan, the same accountability would usually apply. They’d have to explain how they got in the hole they were in and what they were doing to climb out of it.
Today it’s different. Today people go to government. In the 1960s when President Johnson declared his “War on Poverty,” the federal government began supporting people. There are forms to fill out but few inquiries about lifestyle. Either you qualify for government aid or you don’t. That aid increased steadily to the point where it now spans womb to tomb. It used to be that most had an incentive to save up for emergencies, but if they should save a given amount today it would disqualify them. In 2014, America reached the point where more than half of us received some form of government benefit. How far can “entitlements” expand? We’ll be $20 trillion in debt when President Obama leaves office -- double what it was when he was first inaugurated, and most has gone to pay for unsustainable social programs. That’s a whole year's GDP. Still we hear candidates promise to make college free and forgive another trillion in student debt with no explanation for how they’ll pay for it.
Americans are living beyond their means and so is the government upon which they depend. It’s not enough anymore to ask what is happening to us. We must ask what will happen if we continue on this path.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...


CaptDMO
(somethings screwy with AIM today)

"What happened to us?"
SEE:"Idiocracy", the movie.
First 5 minutes.
CaptDMO

Peter said...

Granted, welfare for the poor may have gotten out of hand, but my question to you is this: Why do you consistently bring this up and ignore the fact that the largest, wealthiest, most powerful organizations in the world are also on the public dole? Where is the outrage? The right has always been obsessed with "moochers" yet yawn when a corporation like Boeing receives $13 billion in government handouts.

The U.S. government spends anywhere between $10 billion and $52 billion per year on corporate welfare for the fossil fuel industry, yet the right is outraged when the government does anything to help alternative energy. Why?

Why is it that welfare for Wall Street and Big Banks is not a problem for you? Why are you are only bothered when the little guy gets government money? Conservatives have made a game of obscuring where federal spending actually goes. In reality, only about 12 percent of federal spending goes to individuals and families, most in dire need. An increasing portion goes to corporate welfare. There’s no reason any corporations should be on the dole, or that our hard-earned dollars should be going to them for no reason but their political clout. That is not the free market working. Stop with the "stimulating the economy" BS. Letting the working people keep their hard earned money instead of distributing it to the rich would provide the real stimulation.

Care to address any of this, Tom?

Peter said...

Saying that We still haven't learned how free college is going to be paid for is simply not true. Maybe YOU haven't heard (staying willfully ignorant), but most have heard Sanders say he would pay for it with a Wall Street Speculation tax. Here it is explained:

http://www.peri.umass.edu/fileadmin/pdf/working_papers/working_papers_401-450/WP414.pdf

Peter said...

A few more questions and then I will stay out of your hair until you answer the questions posed here and in preceding posts.

Why is it that the right has no problem with a free education up until grade 12, but gets in an uproar over the idea that grades 13-16 also be free? You only want to partially educate our young? How better to invest in our country then by educating our citizens? You think it is good for our economy to have so many young people start their independent lives in huge debt?

Mike Corthell said...

Capitalism produces, socialism consumes. Socialism has NEVER succeeded in raising people up. Socialism/Communism is fatal to the human race.

Doug said...

And when has pure capitalism ever worked? The USA has a system which has aspects of both capitalism and socialism, which seems to be the best way. Many countries that heavily lean towards socialism seem to be doing fine (Sweden, Norway, etc). Communism seems to be a no win proposition. The world is not just black or white, there are many shades in-between.

Doug said...

Or is it Capitalism that consumes?

During the 1950s, at a time when the U.S. was in recession, economist Victor Lebow outlined what was to become one of the enduring tenets of global capitalism in the years to come:

" Our enormously productive economy demands we make consumption our way of life, that we convert buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction in consumption. We need things to be consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever accelerating rate."

And the result of this is a funneling of huge profits to the super-rich, the consumer dream is fast becoming a nightmare of cataclysmic proportions which threatens to suck us all into its destructive vortex.

What does Socialism produce. According to worldwide studies it produces happiness.

http://www.forbes.com/2011/01/19/norway-denmark-finland-business-washington-world-happiest-countries.html


Socialism is not communism. To see the difference think about the economic questions of How is it made? Who makes it? Who gets to buy it? In a communist country, the government answers those questions. There's no private business. There's no private property. The government decides. In a capitalist society, the people make those decisions. The businesses, the market decides how much products will cost, how many there are, where it will be made. In the socialist system, there's a mix of both. The government operates the system to help all, but there is opportunity for private property and private wealth.

Anonymous said...

The country was sold out to a group of international bankers in 1913. The power to print money went from the govt to this private cabal who deliberately mislead.the people by calling themselves the "federal reserve".
This isn't some theory but fact. The creature from Jekyll island does a good job explaining it.
Until you do something about the illegal " fed" you will suffer as a debt slave and by the way your federal "taxes" go to the interest the fed charges for lending us our own money!!
There was no income tax prior to 1913.

But you are suppose to be concerned with Isis and terror. And trump and Hillary. Never mind that federal reserve business. That's just anti american crazy talk! Radical Islam radical islam!

Anonymous said...

Once again Tom is unable to answer questions posed to him and defend his position. That is what shallow thinking gets you.

Johan said...

From A recent article on VT:

Our ever widening Black/White racial divide has been stealthily, assiduously, and deceitfully fabricated by those who profess egalitarianism for our American Black race …

They are the foreign and domestic Zionist oligarchs who control our government and corporate media.

Between what should be “our” federal government and what should be a free and unbiased media, the shifty, lying oligarchs have coerced millions of Blacks to attempt to revert to a form of racial tribalism against White people – beginning with White police officers. It is a deadly booby trap meant for Black folks, which few Blacks or Whites are understanding; it is a bit complicated.

The controlling oligarchs began their latest round of race bloodshed, in the US, by calling their camouflaged trap Black Lives Matter (BLM). It is a moniker the Blacks like and readily accept – never knowing BLM is an alias for its true name: a Booby Trap meant to explode in the faces of all Americans.

The ignorant US White population, as ignorant as ever, have not asked each other or themselves simple questions: Who’s organizing BLM? Who’s funding BLM? Who’s directing it and toward what end? All simple questions, but all apparently too complex for some of us.

I know it may be difficult for you to countenance, but it is true: the bulk of Americans actually believe what the oligarch’s corporate media conveys to them.

Few understand the grand scheme that began when the banking oligarchs pushed their fatal Federal Reserve Act through our US Congress in 1913. This traitorous piece of monetary/financial legislation was then followed by the 16th Amendment to our Constitution, which made a tax on our incomes a permanent fixture of American life. All that in spite of high capital gains taxes, estate taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, sales taxes, and taxes on goods and services – plus various heavy tolls, duties, tariffs, and custom taxes.

Still, the income tax stratagem was in place and all Americans to come would pay an enormous price for it, for at least a century, in terms of death and destruction.

The most grievous result of the tax on our incomes has been the 2,600,000 casualties of young Americans our wars have produced.

Another crime against America – made possible by income taxes – ­ has been the billions of dollars our duplicitous leaders have squandered on economic and military aid to foreign counties. Such economic aid passes through to the usurious international bankers, with a portion going into the banking accounts of treasonous despots. Our military aid has been spent in two devilish ways: death and destruction, making the various US governments the most murderous and destructive collection of regimes in recorded history.

Israel is by far the largest cumulative recipient of American taxpayer money since World War II.

Strong congressional support for Israel has resulted in Israel receiving benefits not available to any other country.

This powerful congressional support for Israel came about by Israel giving portions of their US foreign aid to their Mossad agents (the likes of Messrs. George Soros, Rupert Murdoch, Steven Spielberg, and Shelton Adelson) to be then given to the election campaign funds of American politicians, with a clear message attached …

Either do what we say, or we’ll find a candidate who will.

In simple English, Americans are paying for their own demise by way of giving so much money to Israel.
.........

Johan said...

And an even more intriguing article from two days ago about the recent 28 pages from the 9/11 commission report. Pasted below is the introduction. I encourage anyone interested in the truth about 9/11 to read the extremely thorough article at veterans today.

2014, Veterans Today began publishing a trove of documents received from Russia, allegedly taken there by Edward Snowden. These documents represented a preliminary report on the tragedy of 9/11, a tragedy for the world, and a truth kept hidden.

Spencer Abraham, the tenth United States Secretary of Energy, serving under President George W. Bush, from 2001 to 2005. Abraham, a Republican, is one of the founders of the Federalist Society
Spencer Abraham, the tenth United States Secretary of Energy, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. Abraham, a former Republican Senator, is a founder of the Federalist Society

Were that truth known, in light of events subsequent to the release of the 2003 preliminary report by the US Department of Energy on the nuclear detonation of 9/11, many would be imprisoned, dead or in hiding including top US officials, the current serving Israeli prime minister and other leaders including Prince Bandar, recently named in the missing 28 pages of the misleading and highly deceptive report on 9/11 we know to be almost entirely false.

Credit to journalist Wayne Madsen who had much of the investigation correct, including the involvement of Israeli intelligence services and important details on the FBI investigation that was stopped that should have prevented 9/11.

Our sources tell us that Madsen was given much more than this but for some reason chose not to publish or withheld. Either way, what he did publish was devastating and ignored. We know that FBI agent, Colonel Mike Dick, who has now taken a payoff, went to Madsen and offered up surveillance files proving Israel’s involvement in 9/11 beyond any reasonable doubt. Smith also sent extensive files to Madsen. There is another story here that we won’t go into.

Everything needed to totally blow open 9/11 was “out there” in 2005, enough to end all talk about nanothermite or bin Laden or secret space weapons or other fairy tales. The proof, hard documents, photos, all were there. The story of how this leak was closed even after Madsen’s limited reports, should be investigated. Some of that story is below.

This is not going to be a compendium of 9/11 facts nor a retelling of the narrative. This is simply a “stand alone” based on what current news reporting requires......veteranstoday.com