Thursday, December 22, 2011

"The Corruption of America"

Please read this article from Stansberry's Investment Advisory on the corruption of America and the coming collapse. Stansberry first points out that the per-capita wealth of America has been declining for decades. He writes:
Consider, for example, annual sales of automobiles. Auto sales peaked in 1985 (11 million) and have been declining at a fairly steady rate since 1999. In 2009, Americans bought just 5.4 million passenger cars. As a result, the median age of a registered vehicle in the U.S. is almost 10 years.

Our data shows that real per-capita wealth peaked in the late 1960s. Guess when we find the absolutely lowest median age of the U.S. fleet? In 1969. At the end of the 1960s, the median age of all the cars on the road in the U.S. was only 5.1 years. Even as recently as 1990, the median age was only 6.5 years.

Rich people buy new cars. Poor people do not.

Most important, our data "proves" something I know many of you have felt or perceived for many years. You've seen the decline of your neighborhoods. You've gone years without being able to earn more money in your job. Or you've seen your purchasing power decrease to the point where you're now substituting lower-quality products on your grocery list for the brand-name products you used to buy.

You can see how much harder it is on your children to find good jobs, to buy good housing or a new car. As a result, few people under the age of 40 have the same kind of "life story" as their parents.

And because they can't "make it," many have decided to "fake it." The average college student now graduates with $24,000 in debt... and by his late 20s has racked up more than $6,000 in credit card debt. Meanwhile, median earnings for Americans aged 25-34 equals $34,000-$38,000. (Source: Demos.org, "The Economic State of Young America," November 2011.)

Can you imagine starting your life out as an adult with a personal debt-to-income level at close to 100%? What does this say about the state of our economy? What does this say about the state of our culture?
 He then explains how the "War on Poverty" and other socialist programs have bankrupted the nation. And how the rise of public sector unions has undermined democracy:
We can trace the origins of these ultraliberal politicians and the beginnings of America's severe urban decline to the early 1960s. Yes, that was when the civil rights movement inspired the black community to take political power. But that wouldn't have necessarily led them to embrace socialism. Americans of all races largely rejected socialism for decades.

That all changed in the mid-1960s. Facing tough mid-term elections, the Democratic Party convinced President John F. Kennedy to allow the federal workforce to unionize. Executive order 10988 – signed on January 17, 1962 – permitted federal employees to organize unions and bargain collectively for higher wages and benefits. This set the stage for similar measures in cities and states across the country and led to a transformation of the union workforce. (Technically, Wisconsin became the first state to allow collective bargaining from state employees in 1959. But that's an outlier. Most states followed the federal lead.)

This represented a major change in both Democratic Party strategy and a major revolution in American politics. Even Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was the most liberal president in history prior to Barack Obama, recognized that allowing collective bargaining on behalf of government workers was incompatible with a free democratic system of government...
And, its not just the Democrats:
Our country's core problems are not found in only one political party.

There is just as much corruption, if not more, on the Republican side of the aisle. It was, for example, as I pointed out earlier, a white, Republican-appointed Treasury secretary (Henry Paulson) who tipped off 20 top hedge-fund managers about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's imminent collapse after assuring the public that it wouldn't happen.

For big business, the powerful role of government in our society is simply too valuable to ignore. And the amount of corruption it inspires is stunning. Few politicians even bother trying to hide the fact that they're bought and sold like furniture.

Take Newt Gingrich. The white, Republican former House speaker was paid $1.6 million for "consulting" by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during a period of time the two firms were under constant attack by Newt's fellow Republicans. Were the attacks efforts to truly reform a major threat to our financial system... or were they merely shakedowns? All we know for certain is Fannie and Freddie collapsed, just as many Republicans warned they would. The Republican effort to reform the firms failed. Newt collected $1.6 million.

Fannie and Freddie could end up costing taxpayers as much as $500 billion. No, I'm not ignoring the colossal role the Democrats played in staffing Fannie and Freddie, lobbying Congress for the companies, etc. I'm simply pointing out that, in Washington, everything and everyone seems to be for sale, on both sides of the aisle.

I realize that's nothing new. What is new is the scope of the corruption and how brazenly our leaders have embraced it.
 His conclusion:
I do agree that the nation will soon face a choice between heading down the path towards fascism... or turning back the power of government and restoring the limited Republic that was our birthright. I continue to believe Americans will choose personal liberty.

I believe they will choose more freedom rather than more totalitarian rule. I don't believe Americans will tolerate martial law for long – even in the advent of a real emergency, which I do believe will occur.

What gives me confidence for the future? Gun sales, for one thing. U.S. citizens legally own around 270 million firearms – about 88 guns per 100 citizens (including children) today.

That's a hard population to police without its consent. America is the No. 1 country in the world as ranked by the number of guns per-capita. That plays a major factor in the kind of government you will see take root in America. Things might go too far in this country for a while... And I'd argue they've been going the wrong way for too long. But the government can only take things so far before they'll be faced with a very angry, well-armed opposition.

If the government attempts to take our guns... my opinion would change immediately. But that's one right the Supreme Court has been strengthening recently. It gives me hope that most people in America still understand that the right to bear arms has little to do with protecting ourselves from crime and everything to do with protecting ourselves from government...
I've only quoted a small portion of the article. Read the whole thing.

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