Friday, January 29, 2010

Are Americans a Broken People?

Are Americans a Broken People? Why We've Stopped Fighting Back Against the Forces of Oppression

A psychologist asks: Have consumerism, suburbanization and a malevolent corporate-government partnership so beaten us down that we no longer have the will to save ourselves?

Can people become so broken that truths of how they are being screwed do not "set them free" but instead further demoralize them? Has such a demoralization happened in the United States?

Do some totalitarians actually want us to hear how we have been screwed because they know that humiliating passivity in the face of obvious oppression will demoralize us even further?

What forces have created a demoralized, passive, dis-couraged U.S. population?

Can anything be done to turn this around?

Can people become so broken that truths of how they are being screwed do not "set them free" but instead further demoralize them?

Yes. It is called the "abuse syndrome." How do abusive pimps, spouses, bosses, corporations, and governments stay in control? They shove lies, emotional and physical abuses, and injustices in their victims' faces, and when victims are afraid to exit from these relationships, they get weaker. So the abuser then makes their victims eat even more lies, abuses, and injustices, resulting in victims even weaker as they remain in these relationships.

Does knowing the truth of their abuse set people free when they are deep in these abuse syndromes?

No. For victims of the abuse syndrome, the truth of their passive submission to humiliating oppression is more than embarrassing; it can feel shameful -- and there is nothing more painful than shame. When one already feels beaten down and demoralized, the likely response to the pain of shame is not constructive action, but more attempts to shut down or divert oneself from this pain. It is not likely that the truth of one's humiliating oppression is going to energize one to constructive actions.

Has such a demoralization happened in the U.S.?

In the United States, 47 million people are without health insurance, and many millions more are underinsured or a job layoff away from losing their coverage. But despite the current sellout by their elected officials to the insurance industry, there is no outpouring of millions of U.S. citizens on the streets of Washington, D.C., protesting this betrayal.

Polls show that the majority of Americans oppose U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the taxpayer bailout of the financial industry, yet only a handful of U.S. citizens have protested these circumstances.

Remember the 2000 U.S. presidential election? That's the one in which Al Gore received 500,000 more votes than George W. Bush. That's also the one that the Florida Supreme Court's order for a recount of the disputed Florida vote was overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court in a politicized 5-4 decision, of which dissenting Justice John Paul Stevens remarked: "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." Yet, even this provoked few demonstrators.

When people become broken, they cannot act on truths of injustice. Furthermore, when people have become broken, more truths about how they have been victimized can lead to shame about how they have allowed it. And shame, like fear, is one more way we become even more psychologically broken.

U.S. citizens do not actively protest obvious injustices for the same reasons that people cannot leave their abusive spouses: They feel helpless to effect change. The more we don't act, the weaker we get. And ultimately to deal with the painful humiliation over inaction in the face of an oppressor, we move to shut-down mode and use escape strategies such as depression, substance abuse, and other diversions, which further keep us from acting. This is the vicious cycle of all abuse syndromes.

Do some totalitarians actually want us to hear how we have been screwed because they know that humiliating passivity in the face of obvious oppression will demoralize us even further?


Shortly before the 2000 U.S. presidential election, millions of Americans saw a clip of George W. Bush joking to a wealthy group of people, "What a crowd tonight: the haves and the haves-more. Some people call you the elite; I call you my base." Yet, even with these kind of inflammatory remarks, the tens of millions of U.S. citizens who had come to despise Bush and his arrogance remained passive in the face of the 2000 non-democratic presidential elections.

Perhaps the "political genius" of the Bush-Cheney regime was in their full realization that Americans were so broken that the regime could get away with damn near anything. And the more people did nothing about the boot slamming on their faces, the weaker people became.

What forces have created a demoralized, passive, dis-couraged U.S. population?

The U.S. government-corporate partnership has used its share of guns and terror to break Native Americans, labor union organizers, and other dissidents and activists. But today, most U.S. citizens are broken by financial fears. There is potential legal debt if we speak out against a powerful authority, and all kinds of other debt if we do not comply on the job. Young people are broken by college-loan debts and fear of having no health insurance.

The U.S. population is increasingly broken by the social isolation created by corporate-governmental policies. A 2006 American Sociological Review study ("Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core Discussion Networks over Two Decades") reported that, in 2004, 25 percent of Americans did not have a single confidant. (In 1985, 10 percent of Americans reported not having a single confidant.) Sociologist Robert Putnam, in his 2000 book, Bowling Alone, describes how social connectedness is disappearing in virtually every aspect of U.S. life. For example, there has been a significant decrease in face-to-face contact with neighbors and friends due to suburbanization, commuting, electronic entertainment, time and money pressures and other variables created by governmental-corporate policies. And union activities and other formal or informal ways that people give each other the support necessary to resist oppression have also decreased.

We are also broken by a corporate-government partnership that has rendered most of us out of control when it comes to the basic necessities of life, including our food supply. And we, like many other people in the world, are broken by socializing institutions that alienate us from our basic humanity. A few examples:

Schools and Universities: Do most schools teach young people to be action-oriented -- or to be passive? Do most schools teach young people that they can affect their surroundings -- or not to bother? Do schools provide examples of democratic institutions -- or examples of authoritarian ones?

A long list of school critics from Henry David Thoreau to John Dewey, John Holt, Paul Goodman, Jonathan Kozol, Alfie Kohn, Ivan Illich, and John Taylor Gatto have pointed out that a school is nothing less than a miniature society: what young people experience in schools is the chief means of creating our future society. Schools are routinely places where kids -- through fear -- learn to comply to authorities for whom they often have no respect, and to regurgitate material they often find meaningless. These are great ways of breaking someone.

Today, U.S. colleges and universities have increasingly become places where young people are merely acquiring degree credentials -- badges of compliance for corporate employers -- in exchange for learning to accept bureaucratic domination and enslaving debt.

Mental Health Institutions: Aldous Huxley predicted today's pharmaceutical societyl "[I]t seems to me perfectly in the cards," he said, "that there will be within the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude."

Today, increasing numbers of people in the U.S. who do not comply with authority are being diagnosed with mental illnesses and medicated with psychiatric drugs that make them less pained about their boredom, resentments, and other negative emotions, thus rendering them more compliant and manageable.

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is an increasingly popular diagnosis for children and teenagers. The official symptoms of ODD include, "often actively defies or refuses to comply with adult requests or rules," and "often argues with adults." An even more common reaction to oppressive authorities than the overt defiance of ODD is some type of passive defiance -- for example, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Studies show that virtually all children diagnosed with ADHD will pay attention to activities that they actually enjoy or that they have chosen. In other words, when ADHD-labeled kids are having a good time and in control, the "disease" goes away.

When human beings feel too terrified and broken to actively protest, they may stage a "passive-aggressive revolution" by simply getting depressed, staying drunk, and not doing anything -- this is one reason why the Soviet empire crumbled. However, the diseasing/medicalizing of rebellion and drug "treatments" have weakened the power of even this passive-aggressive revolution.

Television: In his book Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (1978), Jerry Mander (after reviewing totalitarian critics such as George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Jacques Ellul, and Ivan Illich) compiled a list of the "Eight Ideal Conditions for the Flowering of Autocracy."

Mander claimed that television helps create all eight conditions for breaking a population. Television, he explained, (1) occupies people so that they don't know themselves -- and what a human being is; (2) separates people from one another; (3) creates sensory deprivation; (4) occupies the mind and fills the brain with prearranged experience and thought; (5) encourages drug use to dampen dissatisfaction (while TV itself produces a drug-like effect, this was compounded in 1997 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration relaxing the rules of prescription-drug advertising); (6) centralizes knowledge and information; (7) eliminates or "museumize" other cultures to eliminate comparisons; and (8) redefines happiness and the meaning of life.

Commericalism of Damn Near Everything: While spirituality, music, and cinema can be revolutionary forces, the gross commercialization of all of these has deadened their capacity to energize rebellion. So now, damn near everything – not just organized religion -- has become "opiates of the masses."

The primary societal role of U.S. citizens is no longer that of "citizen" but that of "consumer." While citizens know that buying and selling within community strengthens that community and that this strengthens democracy, consumers care only about the best deal. While citizens understand that dependency on an impersonal creditor is a kind of slavery, consumers get excited with credit cards that offer a temporarily low APR.

Consumerism breaks people by devaluing human connectedness, socializing self-absorption, obliterating self-reliance, alienating people from normal human emotional reactions, and by selling the idea that purchased products -- not themselves and their community -- are their salvation.

Can anything be done to turn this around?

When people get caught up in humiliating abuse syndromes, more truths about their oppressive humiliations don't set them free. What sets them free is morale.

What gives people morale? Encouragement. Small victories. Models of courageous behaviors. And anything that helps them break out of the vicious cycle of pain, shut down, immobilization, shame over immobilization, more pain, and more shut down.

The last people I would turn to for help in remobilizing a demoralized population are mental health professionals -- at least those who have not rebelled against their professional socialization. Much of the craft of relighting the pilot light requires talents that mental health professionals simply are not selected for nor are they trained in. Specifically, the talents required are a fearlessness around image, spontaneity, and definitely anti-authoritarianism. But these are not the traits that medical schools or graduate schools select for or encourage.

Mental health professionals' focus on symptoms and feelings often create patients who take themselves and their moods far too seriously. In contrast, people talented in the craft of maintaining morale resist this kind of self-absorption. For example, in the question-and-answer session that followed a Noam Chomsky talk (reported in Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky, 2002), a somewhat demoralized man in the audience asked Chomsky if he too ever went through a phase of hopelessness. Chomsky responded, "Yeah, every evening . . ."

If you want to feel hopeless, there are a lot of things you could feel hopeless about. If you want to sort of work out objectively what's the chance that the human species will survive for another century, probably not very high. But I mean, what's the point? . . . First of all, those predictions don't mean anything -- they're more just a reflection of your mood or your personality than anything else. And if you act on that assumption, then you're guaranteeing that'll happen. If you act on the assumption that things can change, well, maybe they will. Okay, the only rational choice, given those alternatives, is to forget pessimism."

A major component of the craft of maintaining morale is not taking the advertised reality too seriously. In the early 1960s, when the overwhelming majority in the U.S. supported military intervention in Vietnam, Chomsky was one of a minority of U.S. citizens actively opposing it. Looking back at this era, Chomsky reflected, "When I got involved in the anti-Vietnam War movement, it seemed to me impossible that we would ever have any effect. . . So looking back, I think my evaluation of the 'hope' was much too pessimistic: it was based on a complete misunderstanding. I was sort of believing what I read."

An elitist assumption is that people don't change because they are either ignorant of their problems or ignorant of solutions. Elitist "helpers" think they have done something useful by informing overweight people that they are obese and that they must reduce their caloric intake and increase exercise. An elitist who has never been broken by his or her circumstances does not know that people who have become demoralized do not need analyses and pontifications. Rather the immobilized need a shot of morale.

Bruce E. Levine is a clinical psychologist and his latest book is Surviving AmericaĆ¢€™s Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2007). His Web site is

Sunday, January 24, 2010

America's Impending Master Class Dictatorship

Alternate Title: Jubilee Nation

FOREWORD: At certain times, focusing on the big picture is important not just for investment success, but for personal welfare, and even survival. We believe such times are here. It is estimated that 98% of Americans have never held a gold coin in their hands. Yet 100% of Americans regularly handle Federal Reserve Notes. From a contrarian standpoint, the financial message from those two statistics is clear. Even so, gold is much more than money or an investment medium; it stands for liberty and throughout history has facilitated escape and ensured freedom. Never having touched a gold coin is the monetary equivalent to never having breathed fresh air, felt the warmth of sunshine, looked up at the stars or risen from the gutter. Fiat Federal Reserve Notes are becoming nothing more than sewage decomposing in the vast, toxic septic tank of predatory Washington politics, epic Federal Reserve arrogance and error, blatant Wall Street fraud and outright Master Class plunder. Below, we outline America’s troubling and compounding predicament, and urge you to think about how to protect yourself from its consequences, both financially and personally.

Thanks to the endless barrage of feel-good propaganda that daily assaults the American mind, best epitomized a few months ago by the “green shoots,” everything’s-coming-up-roses propaganda touted by Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, the citizens have no idea how disastrous the country’s fiscal, monetary and economic problems truly are. Nor do they perceive the rapidly increasing risk of a totalitarian nightmare descending upon the American Republic.

One stark and sobering way to frame the crisis is this: if the United States government were to nationalize (in other words, steal) every penny of private wealth accumulated by America’s citizens since the nation’s founding 235 years ago, the government would remain totally bankrupt.

According to the Federal Reserve’s most recent report on wealth, America’s private net worth was $53.4 trillion as of September, 2009. But at the same time, America’s debt and unfunded liabilities totaled at least $120,000,000,000,000.00 ($120 trillion), or 225% of the citizens’ net worth. Even if the government expropriated every dollar of private wealth in the nation, it would still have a deficit of $66,600,000,000,000.00 ($66.6 trillion), equal to $214,286.00 for every man, woman and child in America and roughly 500% of GDP. If the government does not directly seize the nation’s private wealth, then it will require $389,610 from each and every citizen to balance the country’s books. State, county and municipal debts and deficits are additional, already elephantine in many states (e.g., California, Illinois, New Jersey and New York) and growing at an alarming rate nationwide. In addition to the federal government, dozens of states are already bankrupt and sinking deeper into the morass every day.

The government continues to dig a deeper and deeper fiscal grave in which to bury its citizens. This year, the federal deficit will total at least $1,600,000,000,000.00 ($1.6 trillion), which represents overspending of $4,383,561,600.00 ($4.38 billion) per day. (The deficit during October and November, 2009, the first two months of Fiscal Year 2010, totaled $296,700,000,000.00 ($297 billion), or $4,863,934,000.00 ($4.9 billion) per day, a record.) Using the GAAP accounting method (which is what corporations are required to use because it presents a far more accurate and honest picture of a company’s finances than the cash accounting method primarily and misleadingly used by the U.S. government), the nation’s fiscal year 2009 deficit was roughly $9,000,000,000,000.00 ($9 trillion), or $24,700,000,000.00 ($24.7 billion) per day, as calculated by brilliant and well-respected economist John Williams. ( Fiscal Year 2010’s cash- and GAAP-accounting deficits will likely be worse than 2009’s, given government bailout and new program spending that is on steroids and psychotic.

Putting Fiscal Year 2009’s $9,000,000,000,000.00 ($9 trillion) deficit another way, 17% of America’s private wealth, accumulated over a period of 235 years, was wiped out by just one year’s worth of government deficit spending insanity.

Given this, is it any surprise that Treasury Secretary Geithner has announced that the release of the nation’s FY 2009 supplemental GAAP financial statements has been delayed? Remember, this is the same Secretary Geithner who bullied people to cover up the sordid details of the AIG, or more accurately, the taxpayer-funded, multi-billion dollar, Santa Claus bailout and bonus bonanza for Goldman Sachs. Do you really think this government, characterized as it is by fiscal and monetary secrecy, lies, chicanery, cronyism and stonewalling, wants the people to know what is actually happening? Obviously, it does not, so it hides from the public the inexcusable facts.

It is estimated that the top 1% of Americans control roughly 40% of the nation’s wealth. In other words, 3 million people own $21,400,000,000,000.00 ($21.4 trillion) in net private assets, while the other 305 million own the remaining $32,000,000,000,000.00 ($32 trillion). 77,000,000 (77 million) Americans (the lowest 25%) have mean net assets of minus $2,300 ($-2,300.00) per person; they live from paycheck to paycheck, or on public assistance. The lower 50% of Americans own mean net assets of $27,800 each, about enough to purchase a modest car. Obviously, it would be impossible to retire on such an amount without significant government or other assistance. Meanwhile, the richest 10% of Americans possess mean net assets of $3,976,000.00 each, or 143 times those of the bottom 50%; the top 2% control assets worth more than 1,500 times those in the bottom 50%. When you combine these facts with Wall Street’s typical multi-million dollar annual bonuses, you get an idea of wealth inequality in America. Historically, such extreme inequality has been a well-documented breeding ground for totalitarianism.

If the government decides to expropriate (steal) or commandeer (e.g., force into Treasuries) America’s private wealth in order to buy survival time, such a measure will be designed to destroy the common citizens, not the elite. [ right now -- re-read the title of this blog -- thank you ] Insiders will be given advance warning about any such plan, and will be able to transfer their money offshore or into financial vehicles immune from harm. Assuming that the elite moves its money to safety, there would then be $120,000,000,000,000.00 ($120 trillion) in American debt and liabilities supported by only $32,000,000,000,000.00 ($32 trillion) in private net worth, for a deficit of $88,000,000,000,000.00 ($88 trillion). In that case, each American would owe $285,714.29 to balance the country’s books. (Remember to multiply this amount by every person in your household, including any infant children.)

If the common people suspect that something diabolical was in the works, a portion of the $32 trillion in non-elite wealth could be evacuated as well prior to a government expropriation and/or currency devaluation, resulting in less money for the government to steal. What these statistics mean is that it is absolutely impossible for the government to fund its debt and deficits, even if it steals all of the nation’s private wealth. Therefore, the government’s only solutions are either formal bankruptcy (outright debt repudiation and the dismantling of bankrupt government programs) or unprecedented American monetary inflation and debt monetization. If the government chooses to inflate its way out of this fiscal catastrophe, the United States dollar will essentially become worthless. You can be absolutely certain that a PhD. in economics, such as Dr. Bernanke, is well aware of these realities, despite what he might say in speeches. For that matter, so are Chinese schoolchildren, who, when patronized by Treasury Secretary Geithner about America’s “strong dollar,” laughed in his face. One day, perhaps America’s school children will receive a real education so that they, too, will know when to laugh at absurd propaganda.

The government has announced that during the fiscal years from 2010 through 2019, it will create an additional $9,000,000,000,000.00 ($9 trillion) in deficits, an amount that is almost certain to be understated by trillions given the country’s current economic trajectory. The government assumes that this vast additional deficit will be funded by others, such as the Chinese, as it is a statistical fact that the United States will be incapable of funding it.

Furthermore, with the budgetary equivalent of a straight face, the Office of Management and Budget reports in its long-term, inter-generational budget projection that the United States government will experience massive, non-stop deficits for the next 70 (SEVENTY) years, requiring the issuance of tens of trillions of dollars of additional debt. The OMB does not project even one year of surplus during the entire seventy year budget period.

These deficits and debts are now so gargantuan that they have become surreal abstractions impossible even for sophisticated financiers to begin to comprehend. The common citizen has absolutely no idea what these numbers mean, or imply for his or her future. The people have been deluded into thinking that America’s arrogant, egomaniacal, always-wrong-but-never-in-doubt fiscal witch doctors and charlatans, including Greenspan, Rubin, Summers, Geithner and Ponce de Bernanke, have discovered a Monetary Fountain of Youth that endlessly spits up free money from the center of earth, in a geyser of good will toward the United States. Unfortunately, this delusion is false: there is no Monetary Fountain of Youth, and contrary to the apparent beliefs of the self-deified man-gods in Washington, D.C., the debt and deficits are real, completely out of control, and 100% guaranteed to create catastrophic consequences for the nation and its people.

When government “representatives” deliberately sell into slavery the citizens of a so-called free Republic, they have committed treason against those people. This is exactly what has happened in the United States: the citizens have been sold into debt slavery that they and their descendants can never escape, because the debts piled onto their backs can never, ever be paid. Despite expensive and sophisticated brainwashing campaigns emanating from Washington, claiming that America can “grow” out of its deficits and debt, it is arithmetically impossible for the country to do so. The government’s statements that it can dig the nation out of its fiscal hole by digging an even deeper chasm have become parodies and perversions of even totally discredited and morally disgusting Keynesianism.

The people no longer have elected representatives; they have elected traitors.

The enslavement of the American people has been orchestrated by a pernicious Master Class that has taken the United States by the throat. This Master Class is now choking the nation to death as it accelerates its master plan to plunder the people’s dwindling remaining assets. The Master Class comprises politicians, the Wall Street money elite, the Federal Reserve, high-end government (including military) officials, government lobbyists and their paymasters, military suppliers and media oligarchs. The interests and mindset of the Master Class are so totally divorced from those of the average American citizen that it is utterly tone deaf and blind to the justifiable rage sweeping the nation. Its guiding ethics of greed, plunder, power, control and violence are so alien to mainstream American culture and thought that the Master Class might as well be an enemy invader from Mars. But the Master Class here, it is real and it is laying waste to America. To the members of the Master Class, the people are not fellow-citizens; they are instruments of labor, servitude and profit. At first, the Master Class viewed the citizens as serfs; now that they have raped and destroyed the national economy, while in the process amassing unprecedented wealth and power for themselves, they see the people as nothing more than slaves.

America’s public finances are now so completely dysfunctional and chaotic that something far worse than debt enslavement and monetary implosion, terrible curses unto themselves, looms on the horizon: namely, a Master Class-sponsored American dictatorship.

Throughout history, the type of situation in which America now finds itself has been a fertility factory for tyranny. The odds of an outright overthrow of the people by the Washington and Wall Street Axis, or more broadly, the Master Class are increasing dramatically. The fact that so few people believe an American dictatorship is possible is exactly why it is becoming likely.

The fact that so few people believe an American dictatorship is possible is exactly why it is becoming likely.

The fact that so few people believe an American dictatorship is possible is exactly why it is becoming likely.

Dictatorships have blighted history and ruined lives since the beginning of civilization. In recent times alone, tyrants such as Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Ceausescu, Amin, Hussein, Mussolini, Tojo, Kim, Pinochet, Milosevic, Tito, Batista, Peron, Pol Pot, Mugabe, Marcos, Somoza, Mengistu, Bokassa, Sese Seko, Franco, Ho Chi Minh, Mao, and Castro have power-sprayed blood onto the screen of time and ravaged mankind with murder, torture and human oppression. A full catalog of history’s tyrants would require a book of hundreds of pages. In the past 100 years alone, over 200 million human beings have been annihilated by wars, ethnic cleansings and government assassinations. Just when we think that civilization has been able to rise above tyranny’s inhumanity and disgrace, a new dictator appears on the scene to start the process all over again. Every time this happens, fear and submission paralyze the vast majority of the affected masses, leading them to “follow orders” and lick autocracy’s blood-stained boots.

History has proven to tyrants that oppression works. In fact, it is easy to control a populace, once you control the money, markets, military (including police), media and minions (the recipients of welfare, social security, free health care, government jobs and the like, who are dependent upon the state and likely to be compliant). This is exactly where the United States is today.

Recent American events paint an ominous picture of a Master Class that is now in total control.

When 90% of the American people vehemently rejected the $700,000,000,000.00 ($700 billion) TARP bailout plan, the Master Class put it on a fast track and approved it anyway.

When a clear majority of the American people said no to a government takeover of Chrysler and GM, the Master Class poured billions of taxpayer dollars into those corporate sinkholes and took them over anyway.

When the people said no to multi-trillion dollar crony bailouts for the bankers and insurers whose corruption had caused global financial mayhem, the government pledged to those elite insiders more than $13,000,000,000,000.00 ($13 trillion) of the people’s money anyway.

When the people expressed astonishment and anger that Wall Street planned to pay itself record 2009 bonuses, in the midst of America’s worst-ever fiscal and financial crisis caused by them, Wall Street stuffed its pockets with taxpayer-supported bonus money anyway.

When the people said no to a proposed $40,000,000,000.00 ($40 billion) bailout of AIG and its elite trading partners such as Goldman Sachs (an amount that subsequently exploded to $180,000,000,000.00+ ($180+ billion)), the Master Class went underground, covertly misappropriated taxpayer money and made the payoffs anyway.

When Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were nationalized at enormous taxpayer expense, the government approved $6,000,000.00 individual pay packages in 2009 (150 times the average American wage) for the CEOs of both failed companies anyway.

When a clear majority of the people said no to nationalized health care, even after being bombarded by a multi-million dollar, lie-drenched propaganda campaign designed to bamboozle them, the House and Senate passed nationalized health care bills anyway.

When more than seven million American workers lost their jobs and were subsisting on unemployment benefits and food stamps, federal government employees, who now earn DOUBLE what private sector workers earn, were given another round of pay and benefits increases anyway.

When private sector workers’ 401Ks and IRA retirement plans plummeted in value due to economic collapse and endemic Wall Street-orchestrated market corruption (including systemic front running, flash trading, naked short selling and other manipulations), government “defined benefit,” lifetime-cost-of-living-adjusted pension plans, despite already being underfunded by $2,000,000,000,000.00 ($2 trillion), were made richer than ever anyway.

The long, shameful litany of events signaling the total divorce between the Master Class and the people of the United States doesn’t stop there. It goes on and on.

The message from the American Master Class to the American people is simple and clear:

We Defy You.

Governments that openly defy the people are either already totalitarian or in the process of becoming so. Monetarily, the United States clearly functions as a totalitarian dictatorship already, with a Federal Reserve that operates in secrecy, creates limitless amounts of debt and currency at will, and showers trillions of dollars upon favored Master Class insiders with zero transparency or accountability whatsoever. The Federal Reserve is so shameless about its dictatorial powers that it flatly refuses to provide details about multi-trillion dollar bailouts and rescues of privileged elites, in open defiance of Congress and the people. The fact that they get away with these blatant acts of defiance demonstrates the true extent of the Master Class chokehold on America.

If the Master Class were a benign despot and if its policies and programs actually worked, that would be one thing. But that is not the case. Rather, its programs are in a complete shambles.

Every single government entitlement program in the United States is bankrupt. This includes Social Security ($17,500,000,000,000.00 underfunded; $17.5 trillion); Medicare Part A ($36,700,000,000,000.00 underfunded; $36.7 trillion); Medicare Part B ($37,000,000,000,000.00 underfunded; $37 trillion); Medicare Part D ($15,600,000,000,000 underfunded; $15.6 trillion), Government and military pensions ($2,000,000,000,000 underfunded; $2 trillion), Food Stamps (current underfunding difficult to measure because the number of recipients is exploding; hundreds of billions underfunded versus original projections, minimum); and the list goes on. The above underfunding amounts are NET of projected tax receipts over the next 50 years. But the current recession has invalidated virtually all long-term budget and tax receipt assumptions, meaning that the true underfunded amounts are now greater than current, already mind-boggling estimates.

While the above statistics are terrifying enough to any citizen with a functioning brain, what is Twilight Zone-eerie and a far more serious cause for alarm is the casual indifference with which the Master Class is now making the country’s dire and irreparable fiscal circumstances even worse.

The nationalized health care program will cost at least $1 trillion over the next ten years, and most likely multiples of that. It is being crammed down America’s throat by a bankrupt government that does not have the money today and will not have the money tomorrow to pay for it. Worse is the fact that the same government that has bankrupted each and every existing social program now intends to directly or indirectly control the health care of all citizens. Based on the government’s existing track record and the health care program’s enormous complexity, invasiveness and cost, the probability that it will become a national fiscal and humanitarian catastrophe is roughly 100%.

“Cap and Trade” is a multi-trillion dollar tax scam being foisted onto the American public without a legitimate debate or popular referendum. You might be surprised to learn that “Climate Revenues” are already included in the federal budget, starting with $79,000,000,000.00 ($79 billion) in fiscal year 2012, which begins only 20 months from now. During fiscal years 2012 through 2019, the government expects to collect $646,000,000,000.00 ($646 billion) in “Climate Revenues,” a completely new tax category. Have any of your elected traitors told you that they have enacted $646,000,000,000.00 ($646 billion) in “Climate” taxes beginning twenty months from now and continuing forever? These “Climate Revenues” are based on junk science, lies and hysteria, and have been pimped by greed-diseased parasites who seek to make billions from operating and manipulating the Cap and Trade “marketplace.” Favored elitists such as Hank Paulson, Al Gore, General Electric and Goldman Sachs, among others, have positioned themselves to profit from the nation’s upcoming Cap and Trade tax misery and economic debilitation.

The reality is that the giant Ponzi scheme called the United States of America is running out of money. In any Ponzi scheme, money must constantly be poured into the top of the funnel in order to pay the redeemers at the bottom. As the number of redeemers has grown, tax receipts have fallen far short of covering their withdrawals, a problem that has now become an outright government funding emergency further aggravated by the fiscal, financial and economic crises.

If the Washington and Wall Street Axis were not legally able to create and distribute counterfeit American money, the Ponzi scheme would have collapsed already. Trillions of new, out-of-thin-air, printing-press and electronic “dollars” have bought the Axis additional time, but new sources of revenue must immediately be found to keep the scam alive. Congress is fully aware of this reality. Outright tax increases would be bad politics during a recession that is morphing into a depression, and also bad for 2010 re-election campaigns, so they cannot be implemented. Therefore, Congress continues to advance the health care and Cap and Trade agendas, which are nothing but taxation Trojan Horses festooned in righteousness and sanctimony, despite overwhelming popular opposition.

If the nationalized health care program is passed, revenues and fees will kick in immediately in 2010, whereas costs will not begin to accrue until 2012 and later. The government plans to spend the revenues immediately to forestall a total fiscal collapse. Nationalized health care has absolutely nothing to do with health care; it has to do with creating an immediate revenue stream to help fix the current government funding crisis. Similarly, Cap and Trade has nothing to do with fixing the environment. It, too, is nothing more than a massive tax increase similarly designed to address the government’s epic funding shortfall, with thick slices of pork thrown in for privileged insiders and deceitful propagandists like bloated “Father of the Internet” and now “Savior of the World” Al Gore.

The last thing the Master Class wants is for the people to understand the disastrous state of the nation’s finances. Master Class brainwashing tells the people that it is “negative” and “pessimistic” to look at the facts, despite the fact that psychological health is characterized by the ability to identify and deal with reality. The Master Class wants the people to put on Bozo the Clown happy faces and let sugar plums and green shoots dance in their brains as they write one check after another to pay for Cap and Trade, nationalized health care, and a mind-numbing assortment of other taxes and fees.

On Sunday night, November 30, 2009, North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Il (a name that says it all, even better than Made-off’s), an international poster child of Master Class psychological illness, devalued his country’s currency by 99%. This vicious tyrant, who has given birth to a national hell on earth, is chauffeured in Mercedes Benz limousines, drinks the finest imported whiskies and dines in imperial dignity on foods prepared by personal chefs while his citizens starve to death on the streets or, at best, eke out a subsistence living. Kim became paranoid that the people were actually figuring out how to improve their pitiful, impoverished lives in tiny ways, so he decided to wipe them out. The people were given one week to exchange their money at a rate of 100 old Won for 1 new Won. Any lifetime family savings in excess of roughly $700.00 were simply confiscated by the North Korean government. To keep the people in line, the military and police were put on high alert, fully prepared to kill or arrest any protesters.

On January 9, 2010, Venezuela’s strong man Hugo Chavez devalued his country’s currency by 50%, overnight and without warning, causing immediate inflation, shortages of food and supplies, and general financial chaos throughout the nation.

While you might be shaking your head in pity over the plight of the citizens of North Korea and Venezuela, ask yourself this: could this not happen in the United States?

On April 5, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, an Obama hero, outlawed gold ownership overnight by signing Executive Order 6102, which gave the people three and one-half weeks to surrender all privately-owned bullion to the government for a price of $20.67 per ounce. On January 30, 1934, nine months after collecting the people’s gold, Roosevelt devalued the dollar 69% overnight, by raising the gold price from $20.67 to $35.00 per ounce.

Since its founding in 1913, the Federal Reserve has devalued the dollar by 98+% thanks to endless money printing and debt creation, a corrosive and impoverishing process that is now accelerating. In the past year, the Fed has engineered $20+ trillion in bailouts, subsidies and guarantees for well-connected and lucky scavengers and opportunists, an amount equal to roughly 40% of the total private wealth created in this country since its inception. All because a few elitist government man-gods with an almost perfect record of error and failure have deemed in their imperial wisdom that it shall be so. The citizens, whose hard-earned wealth is being systematically destroyed by this continual, government-decreed monetary debasement were never invited to the debate or given a say, which is par for the course for dictatorships. This massive de facto devaluation now hangs over the people’s wealth like a great monetary sword of Damocles.

Conceptually, whether it is a 50% overnight devaluation in Venezuela, a 69% overnight devaluation in the United States, a 98% devaluation in America over time, or a 99% overnight devaluation in North Korea, what is the difference? The fact is: there is no difference; monetary debasements are all the same. In each and every case, the people’s wealth is stolen via government edict, while the people stand by helplessly and in shock.

So one must ask: For whom does the bell toll? A foreign “them,” or a domestic us? Who is to say that you will not be told tomorrow morning that, effective immediately, in accordance with some perversely named mandate such as the “American Monetary Security, Wealth Preservation and Terrorism Prevention Act,” enacted by emergency for “the safety of the nation and the financial well being of the citizens,” all existing currency and bank balances will be redenominated in “New Dollars,” at a conversion rate of 1 new for every 100 old currency units? Would this not simply be another, almost predictable act of defiance toward the American people by the Master Class? And if that happened, do you honestly believe that the Master Class would not have been alerted in advance and allowed to make special preparations for itself ahead of the devaluation? Do you think they intend to go down in the same ship as the people they defy? If such a currency devaluation were announced, what could you do about it? March on Washington? But how would you get there if your money had been wiped out?

Despite what you may hear from State Media, which includes virtually all establishment news organizations, particularly financial ones (e.g., CNBC), America is on the precipice. No bankrupt nation in history has ever defended or preserved the freedoms of its citizens. In fact, it has been the exact opposite: in desperation, bankrupt governments have routinely plundered their citizens’ wealth and imposed totalitarian controls. What will make things different for the United States, the largest debtor nation in all of recorded civilization?

The United States government cannot ever, possibly pay its debts, is pathologically incapable of controlling its spending or curbing its hunger for both domestic and international empire and persistently refuses to tell the American people the truth. If America’s citizens were told the truth and given the benefit of true leadership, as opposed to the guile and dishonesty of an endless array of political liars and hacks, perhaps they could rally and defeat the problems that afflict them. But instead, they are fed by the Master Class a steady diet of narcotic propaganda that deludes, confuses and enervates them. The truth cannot set people free if it is never told, and that is the essence of America’s gathering tragedy.

In a future article, we will detail specific developments you should watch for to chart the course of America’s ominous and potentially deadly national storm. The current, grave situation is already a clear call to action. When the signals become even more urgent, it will be late in the game to take protective action, and possibly too late. Citizens should begin to prepare now not just for financial survival, but for the personal security of themselves and their loved ones should a Category 5 economic and political hurricane rip into the nation, something that becomes more likely every day.

With respect to personal finances, in virtually every national currency devaluation and major political upheaval in the past, gold has represented sanctuary for the affected people. Gold has not just preserved wealth, but personal freedom as well. While governments can devalue fiat currencies, they cannot, by edict, devalue gold. Yes, they can try to manipulate its price, but unless all governments join in the collusion, ultimately the price will return to market. The market for gold is global, and demand exists in all nations and among all peoples. Should the government attempt to confiscate gold, it will be an outright admission that the financial system is collapsing, and the people will know better than to hand over to a corrupt government their only means of survival. The most important point is this: devalued currencies never rise again. Once they are destroyed, they are gone forever, and those whose wealth had once been denominated in them are wiped out. As you have no doubt heard before, not one fiat currency has survived over time, and that is an indisputable fact. More significantly, no fiat currency has ever suffered the abuse that has been inflicted upon the United States dollar, meaning that it is at extreme risk. Gold has been money for 5,000 years. It has not merely survived, it has prevailed over each and every fiat currency collapse throughout history. Given this, the most important financial question a person can ask him- or herself today is: How is my wealth denominated at this time? And given its denomination, is my wealth likely to be safe in current and evolving circumstances?

One thing is certain: as the epic David and Goliath monetary battle unfolds, between the people fighting to defend their hard-earned wealth on one side, and a Master Class that greedily and pathologically wants to plunder them on the other, the price of gold will become extremely volatile for a period of time. Volatility will, in fact, tell you that the War on Wealth has officially been declared, and will be your signal to do whatever you must to protect what is yours. As the government Goliath and its Master Class allies short tonnes of bullion into rigged futures markets in a desperate attempt to make gold look dangerous and risky, the Davids will be coming forth not just in the United States but from all corners of the globe, buying 10 grams here and one ounce there. There are 6.8 billion Davids, versus one diseased Master Class that numbers in the small millions. There is no way the Master Class can defeat the people, if the people finally rise up and say “No More of Your Plunder. No More of Your Cold and Soulless Financial Oppression. No More of Your Cynical and Godless Exploitation.”

If you find the above argument compelling, you should consider how to protect yourself from Executive Orders that could be issued at any time, under any pretext, and that could be extremely hostile to your financial and/or personal health and well being. One simple way to start is to purchase one ounce of gold for yourself and each member of your household, and much more if you can afford it. That is not financial advice; it is merely the common sense generously communicated to you by history.

Stewart Dougherty

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ron Oja says, "Coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous." I have been wondering about this ever since I met Tim. We used to work at the same place, but didn't know each other {it was a big place}. After we both retired, we both got a job at another place hundreds of miles away, and ended up sharing an apartment {in this case a strange name for a domicile}.

My given name, which you typed to get here, is a personal favorite {being kind} of The Tims. Other serendipities can be supplied by commentators, if they feel compelled to share.

At any rate, When I recognize things like this {I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer} I tend to dwell on them, as I recognize that sometimes God chooses not to just blurt out things that we need to know, but desires to give us hints, and us to use our noggin and meditate upon it.

I am, what some people call "religious" although I have grown to hate that word, and refuse to use it without an accompanying definition. You've heard the old saying, "Define or be Defined". To me "religious" is a person who practices what they say they believe. A person who doesn't practice what they believe is known as a hypocrite. I think you can recognize the anomoly there.

Sadly, most folks practising what they believe are caught-up in man-made religions, unaware or in some cases without discernment of that fact. Applying man-made interpretations of scripture to a fellowship of christians will result in a schism. This is how denominations are born. And the rest is history.

We have been taught {nay - warned} not to discuss politics or religion. I don't think they can be separated from one another or from economics {labelled - the dismal science, so we won't discuss it either}. Someone once said, "Politics is what we say, Religion is what we believe, and Economics is what we do." I think this desciption of human activity is instructive of how we are able to fool ourselves about what is going on right under our noses.

"As iron sharpeneth iron, so doth a friend the countenance of his brother."

Bottom Line: this is an attempt to fathom things we ought not ignore, and perhaps are obligated by circumstances beyond our control to share with others. Here at TheLarrys, we will be ever vigilant to speak the truth in love, not to throw stumbling blocks before our neighbor, and try to see what YHWH has placed before us.