Questions, Questions, Questions! Why We Must Question.

“If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it? The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible, at least up to a certain point and within certain limits.” –Edward Bernays

While we are being programmed into economic slavery by propaganda, Wall Street, and a crony compliant government, a skeptical critical thinking individual might ask a few questions or point out a few inconvenient facts the government purveyors of propaganda might not want us to ponder:

  • The non-manipulated, non-seasonally adjusted number of jobs in November FELL by 270,000. The BLS added 600,000 jobs as an adjustment to achieve the headline grabbing result.
  • If the jobs market is so good, why is the labor participation rate at a 30 year low of 62.8%?
  • Since 2007 the number of working age Americans has risen by 17 million, while the number of employed has risen by less than 1 million, but the unemployment rate is about the same.
  • Why would almost 14 million working age Americans leave the labor force since 2007 if the economy is booming and jobs plentiful, with 1.2 million leaving in the last 12 months?
  • Why would payroll tax receipts be flat last year if millions of new jobs have been created?
  • If the country has really added 8 million jobs since 2010, how could real median household income FALL by 2.3%?

According to the government reported figures, the economy hasn’t been this strong since 2007. GDP has supposedly grown at greater than 4% over the last two quarters. Anyone who is sentient knows consumer spending accounts for 68% of GDP. Capital investments that lead to long term prosperity continue to decline as a percentage of GDP from 20% in 2000 to 16% today. This fact leads to some observations:

  • If GDP has actually grown by 20% since 2008 how does this correlate with a 6.9% decline in real median household income?
  • GDP has been goosed by a $69 billion increase in government spending, with the majority going to the military industrial complex. ISIS has been a godsend for our GDP and arms dealer profits.
  • GDP was increased retroactively by $500 billion last year based on a new way the government accounts for intangibles.
  • The surge in consumer expenditures over the last two quarters has been in the purchase of services.
  • The trade deficit has fallen as exports of petroleum products have temporarily provided a boost to GDP. The collapse in oil prices will reverse that trend rapidly. Just look what happened after the 2007 collapse of oil prices.

According to the quasi-governmental mouthpieces at the Conference Board, consumer confidence is near a 5 year high, reflecting what should be robust spending. So we are told by the representatives of corporatism that we are confident about the economy and the future. How does that measure up to the facts on the ground:

  • Black Friday weekend sales collapsed by 11% versus the previous year. As the pundits tried to blame it on on-line sales (10% of total retail sales), Cyber Monday also proved to be a dud. You only need to see how retailers are touting the EXTENSION of their Black Friday Sales.
  • If the average person is confident about the future and happy with their economic circumstances, why did they just vote to throw out the bums in November? In their uninformed desperation though they just replaced old bums with new ones, as we will see soon.
  • If consumers are confident, why have real retail sales, excluding subprime debt goosed auto sales, been flat for the last three months and up only 1% in the last year?
  • If consumers are so confident, why are credit card balances still $138 billion BELOW where they were in 2008? If all these new jobs are being created why is credit card debt lower than it was in mid-2010? Maybe consumers are so desperate they are using credit cards to pay utility and tax bills and not using them for frivolous Chinese crap at big box retailers.
  • The increased spending at grocery stores and restaurants is driven by food inflation, not foot traffic. Discretionary spending at furniture, electronics, and sporting goods stores is flat.
  • Department store sales continue to fall. Sears and JC Penney teeter on the verge of bankruptcy. Sears is closing 230 stores in the next three months. Delia’s is liquidating and Radio Shack isn’t far behind. The major chains have completely stopped building new stores. The great bricks and mortar unwind relentlessly plods forward. In addition, online growth is stalling as states implement sales taxes.

According to the government, the deficit was ONLY $483 billion in 2014. This is where government accounting is used by apparatchiks to mislead the public and obscure the truth. A few pertinent facts are always left out by the politicians touting deficit reduction:

  • Because of the budget impasse in 2013, the Federal government stopped updating the national debt on a daily basis, but we know from when they started counting again, the debt went up by $2.3 billion per day. Therefore, the national debt on October 1, 2013 was approximately $17.038 trillion. On October 1, 2014 the national debt was $17.875. Therefore, the national debt went up by $837 billion in 2014. Just a smidge higher than the reported deficit of $483 billion.
  • Interest is not paid on reported deficits. It’s paid on the national debt, so the massaged, manipulated and made over deficit is meaningless. The national debt was always slightly higher than reported deficits, but in the last few years the deviation has grown to a Grand Canyon size.
  • The deficit number has been artificially lowered by nothing other than accounting entry hocus-pocus. The Federal Reserve increasing its balance sheet to $4 trillion out of thin air creates approximately $80 billion of phantom interest profits that are paid to the Treasury. Why don’t they increase their balance sheet to $40 trillion and eliminate deficits all together?
  • The biggest accounting scam is Fannie and Freddie. Just as the Wall Street banks have created fake profits through accounting entries regarding future losses, Fannie and Freddie have gone the extra mile in helping fake deficit reduction. These bloated insolvent government run pigs required a $187 billion taxpayer bailout in 2009. Amazingly, when you allow criminals to value their assets at whatever they choose, phantom profits flow like honey.
  • These two horribly run institutions of fraud “generated profits” of $129 billion in 2014 which were “paid back” to the Treasury. That is four times more than Apple or Exxon’s profits during a non-existent housing recovery. Why are their stocks trading at just over $2 per share if they are generating vastly more profits than they were in 2007 when their stocks were north of $70 per share? It’s because the profits are fake. Everyone knows it, but the Federal Deficit is reported $129 billion lower because these insolvent entities pretended to pay the taxpayer back. Accounting entries do not reduce deficits. Spending less than you generate in revenues reduces deficits.

According to the government, we’ve experienced a strong housing recovery since 2010. The supposed housing recovery storyline continues to be beaten like a dead horse by the Wall Street media (CNBC) and the shills at the NAR. Anyone with a functioning brain (eliminates CNBC bimbos, hacks, and Ivy League economists) can see there has been no real housing recovery:

  • The 24% rise in home prices (Case Shiller Index) since the 2012 low has been nothing more than a Wall Street hedge fund/Federal Reserve scheme to elevate prices and make Wall Street bank balance sheets less insolvent. Wall Street banks withholding foreclosures from the market while Wall Street hedge funds (Blackstone) use free money from the Fed to buy up housing and rent it out to former homeowners has enriched the .1% while destroying the dream of home ownership for millions.
  • The percent of first time home buyers remains near record lows, while speculators, flippers, hedge fund managers, and rich Chinese businessmen make up a record number of purchasers. The fact this is a fake housing recovery is proven by mortgage applications to purchase a home sitting at 1995 levels and 30% below 2009 recession lows. Maybe the fact real median household income is also at 1995 levels, real wages keep declining, and labor force participation is at 1978 levels has something to do with real people not being able to purchase a home.
  • Even with the artificial hedge fund demand, existing home sales are lower than 2013 and languishing at 1999 levels. They are still 25% below 2005 levels, despite the lowest mortgage rates in history. New home sales are a disaster, with no appreciable increase in two years. Apartment construction has far outpaced single family housing construction. After a five year housing recovery, new home sales languish at levels seen at the bottom of our last six recessions. New home sales are 65% below the 2005 peak and at levels seen in the early 1960’s when there were 130 million less people living in the country.

DistressingGapOct2014

According to the corporate media, the auto market is hitting on all cylinders with annual sales of 16.4 million, the highest since 2006. Pretending to sell automobiles to people without the means to pay you for the automobile is always a good business idea. Of course, when you have Ally Financial and the rest of the Wall Street banking cabal doling out 7 year 0% loans and subprime auto loans like candy, it’s easy to move inventory. The temporary boost to GDP by issuing more bad debt always works out in the long run. Right?

  • If the auto business is booming why have GM profits fallen from $9.2 billion in 2011 to $5.4 billion in 2013, and on course to fall to $4 billion in 2014? Record levels of channel stuffing produces sales gains, but no profits. Why is their stock 25% below its 52 week high and lower than it was in 2010 when it was IPO’d after being rescued by the government?
  • If the auto business is booming why are Ford’s profits falling by 35% versus last year and lower than they were in 2010? Why is their stock price 16% below its 52 week high and still 20% below its 2010 price?
  • Auto loan debt is at an all-time high of $950 billion, up 33% since 2010 when the Fed, Wall Street, and the political class decided they needed new debt bubbles in auto loans and student loans to jump start our moribund economy.
  • There are 65 million auto loans outstanding, and the average debt now stands at $17,352. Over 30% of auto “sales” are actually leases. The rest are financed over an average of 65 months. Virtually all new car sales are nothing more than 3 to 7 year rentals. It’s amazing what easy money from the Fed can produce.
  • Over 31% of all new auto loans this year were to subprime borrowers. They now account for 36.5% of all outstanding auto loans. You become a subprime borrower by defaulting on previous debt obligations. In a shocking development, auto loan delinquencies surged by 13% in the last quarter, with subprime loan delinquencies skyrocketing by 18%. When has issuing billions of debt to subprime borrowers ever caused problems before?
  • Only a University of Phoenix African Studies major is more of a subprime risk than the millions of ecstatic Escalade drivers cruising around our urban ghetto paradises. The average student loan debt is now $33,000. Until the Obama administration went Keynesian, student loan debt was primarily in the private sector. When Obama entered the White House total student loan debt was $620 billion and delinquencies totaled $50 billion. There are now $1.3 trillion of student loans outstanding, with the Federal government accounting for $830 billion and guaranteeing a large portion of the rest. Delinquencies have skyrocketed to $125 billion, as another taxpayer bailout beckons.

 

think!

These are just a few of the facts that are being manipulated to make you do two things. First, not panic and run your bank. If you did that, game over for the bankers and politicians. Two, stay compliant with the false belief that you are OK and things are getting better soon. They are not and you, the average American, are falling deeper and deeper into economic poverty. Extend these trends to your grandchildren at the current rate of declining real income and they will be indentured slaves.

It is, to say the least, very frustrating to point out these realities over and over again, with real facts, and everyone seems to remain so docile. It seems we are all suffering from a fatal case of apathy. Maybe we just don’t want to face the reality of what is happening. Maybe we all understand intuitively that the only way out is some radical resistance with all of the hardships and unknowns associated with that reality. What we do know is that if we don’t begin to resist soon, there will be dire consequences for our children and grandchildren..that is if they are allowed to be in the first place.

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Waking Up First, Acting Up Second, Demanding Equality

In our ongoing efforts to help wake ourselves up, it is important to understand that failure to awaken is tantamount to dying, in every sense of that word. Part of this understanding is we have to understand that we, the majority of the world, are victims of own lack of uniting together to change our reality.

Did you know that the 85 richest people in the world have about as much wealth as the poorest 50% of the entire global population does?  In other words, 85 extremely wealthy individuals have about as much wealth as the poorest 3,500,000,000 have.  This shocking statistic comes from a new report on global poverty by Oxfam.  And actually Oxfam’s report probably significantly underestimates the true scope of the problem, because Oxfam relies on publicly reported numbers.  At the very top of the food chain, the global elite are masters at hiding their wealth. The global elite have approximately 32 trillion dollars (that we know about) stashed in offshore banks around the world.  That would be about enough to pay off the entire U.S. national debt and still buy every good and service produced in the United States for an entire year.

There is certainly nothing wrong with making money.  However, when the scales become this unbalanced it is time to correct this injustice. 4 billion people on this planet live on less than $2 per day. Now the reality is that there isn’t a snow ball’s chance of “making it”. Today, we have a debt-based global financial system which is dominated by gigantic predator corporations and big banks.  Working together with national governments, these corporations and banks have constructed a system called “Corporatism” in which the percentage of all global wealth that is being funneled to the very top of the pyramid steadily grows over time. That wealth has expanded by 42% just in the last five years.

This isn’t just a phenomena in the US, or the developed nations, this is also happening in virtually every other nation on the face of the planet.  The global elite have rigged the game to send just about all of the rewards their way, and it is working.  The following are facts taken directly from Oxfam’s latest report

•Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.

The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.

•The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.

•Seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.

•The richest one percent increased their share of income in 24 out of 26 countries for which we have data between 1980 and 2012.

In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.

Here are the factual impacts from this reality? In a memo to clients provided to Secrets, David John Marotta calculates, that in the US,  the actual unemployment rate of those not working at a sky-high 37.2 percent, not the 6.7 percent advertised by the Fed, and the Misery Index at over 14, not the 8 claimed by the government. In The rest of the world it is equivalent to that or higher.

In fact, as the elites meet in Davos next week, we are facing conditions never experienced in modern times on a global basis. The elite will give lip service to income inequality, but they honestly have no basis to understand the misery their greed has inflicted. However, they do have a sense of impending danger to their safety. They do worry that revolt is rising globally and that their personal safety may be in jeopardy, but it is unlikely that anything effective, like a redistribution of wealth, will come from  Davos.

It is time for us to stand up together, globally, and remove these shackles. We must do it in a non violent, but determined manner. A million people every day in every capital of the world standing and demanding economic parity, dignity, our fair share in the form of livable wages, reasonable access to shelter, education, health care, and economic opportunity, It is time we take the responsibility to act up and speak up. No one or no government is going to do it for us. It is time we stop fooling ourselves, and lying to ourselves that it is going to be OK. Surely someone will take care of this. No one is going to do this except us. We really have to get that before it is too late.

While Congress Diddles, Obama mumbles, and Bernake Fiddles-Rome is Burning

We just heard that the economy is going in the right direction and Pinocchio’s nose grew another 12 inches. Thanks to journalists like Michael Synder, we know the truth and the truth is the economy is getting worse month by month. Here are the facts, just the facts.

The only reason that the official unemployment rate has been declining over the past couple of years is that the federal government has been pretending that millions upon millions of unemployed Americans no longer want a job and have “left the labor force”.  As Zero Hedge recently demonstrated, if the labor force participation rate returned to the long-term average of 65.8 percent, the official unemployment rate in the United States would actually be 11.5 percent instead of 7 percent.

Employment-Population-Ratio-2013-425x255

The percentage of Americans that are actually working is much lower than it used to be.  In November 2000, 64.3 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  When Barack Obama first entered the White House, 60.6 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  Today, only 58.6 percent of all working age Americans have a job. The “inactivity rate” for men in their prime working years (25 to 54) has just hit a brand new all-time record high.

Inactivity-Rate-Men-425x255

In November 2007, there were 121.9 million full-time workers in the United States.  Today, there are only 116.9 million full-time workers in the United States. Only about 47 percent of all adults in America have a full-time job at this point.  The ratio of wages to corporate profits in the United States just hit a brand new all-time low.

When Barack Obama took office, the average duration of unemployment in this country was 19.8 weeks.  Today, it is 37.2 weeks. According to the New York Times, long-term unemployment in America is up by 213 percent since 2007.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the United States has fallen for five years in a row. The rate of homeownership in the United States has fallen for eight years in a row. The gap between the rich and the poor in the United States is at an all-time record high.

Comp vs profits_0If that is not enough to understand how bad the economy is, then consider these facts. Under Barack Obama, the velocity of money (a very important indicator of economic health) has plunged to a post-World War II low. Back in the year 2000, our trade deficit with China was 83 billion dollars.  In 2008, our trade deficit with China was 268 billion dollars.  Last year, it was 315 billion dollars.  That was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in world history.

Fortunately, it appears that most Americans are not buying into the propaganda.  According to a new CNN survey, the percentage of Americans that believe that the economy is getting worse far exceeds the percentage of Americans that believe that the economy is improving. However, we as a people are not doing anything to insure our congress and administration are reacting to correct this problem. We have to realize that WE MUST begin to hold these scoundrels responsible for their lack of action. At this juncture that includes most every member of congress, certainly the office of the President, and absolutely the FED decisions that have been made.

The American economy is being dismantled brick by brick and WE remain silent. The middle class is being eliminated and not only to we remain silent, we allow trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to be conducted IN SECRECY!  This compact may significantly limit public protections. The issues being negotiated extend to include “patent and copyright, land use, food and product standards, natural resources, professional licensing, government procurement, financial practices, healthcare, energy, telecommunications, and other service sector regulations.”  The secret process would establish policies binding on future U.S. Congresses and state legislatures on numerous non-trade subjects.

When you begin to marry first the lack of action by the congress to do ANYTHING effective concerning jobs with the outright disastrous monetary policies of the Fed and the SECRET free trade actions of the administration it is hard to deny those whacky conspiracy nuts who are saying the American economy is under attack!

We think every responsible adult should at a minimum pick up the phone and call their Representative or Senator and put them on notice to “GET TO WORK” on the economy or they will join the unemployed that they don’t seem to give a damn about.  So let’s make a New Year’s Resolution that by the second week in January, EVERY voting adult has called their representatives. It is just one phone call! Here is where to find their numbers. http://www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb/ We can do this. We must do this. EVERYONE!

In The Middle Of This Depression The Rich Are Getting Richer

The 99ers are facing homelessness.  Our troops are returning to no jobs.  Our recent college graduates are going back home to live. However, there is good news for some of us. Michael Snyder from BLN looked into the facts. http://www.blacklistednews.com/news-10366-0-5-5–.html As of 2007, the top 1 percent of all Americans was taking home 24 percent of the national income.  This was a level that had not been seen since the days of the Great Depression.

Incomes have been growing in the United States, but those at the very top of the pyramid have been gobbling up almost all of the income growth.  According to Harvard Magazine, 66% of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.

Even official government figures bear out the fact that the rich are getting richer.  An analysis of income-tax data by the Congressional Budget Office a few years ago found that the top 1% of all American households own nearly twice as much of the corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago. Since money supply is finite that means they TOOK that wealth from somewhere and I think we all have a sense of where that is.

Most Americans have suffered during the last few years, but not the boys and girls down on Wall Street.  New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says that Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008. 2008 was the most lucrative year for bonuses on Wall Street.  No one on the “Street” got the memo the rest of us are really hurting out here.  It speaks volumes to lack of morality in the Halls of Money. Greed has always been with us, but this is getting to the point of vulgarity.

Even as the number of Americans living in poverty sky-rockets, the number of millionaires just keeps growing.  In fact, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million during 2009. The contrast to this is that 1 in 6 Americans are receiving some kind of government assistance and homelessness among families has tripled in the last 18 months.  Government anti-poverty programs are exploding in size in response to the recent economic difficulties.  USA Today is reporting that a record one in six Americans are now being served by at least one government anti-poverty program.  Over 50 million Americans are on now Medicaid.  That figure is up more than 17 percent since the beginning of the recession. The number of Americans in the food stamp program rose to a new all-time record of 40.8 million in May.  That number is up almost 50 percent since the beginning of the recession.  The number of Americans who cannot afford even the basic necessities is absolutely staggering.  A whopping 50 million Americans could not afford to buy enough food in order to stay healthy at some point over the last year.

The amount of money some of these Wall Street hot shots are making is incredible.  Back in 2005, the top 25 hedge fund managers earned a total of 9 billion dollars.  That would be bad enough, but even in these hard economic times the rich just keep getting richer.  One year after the recent financial collapse the top 25 hedge fund managers earned a total of approximately $25 billion.  That breaks down to an average of $1 billion each.  I am supposed to support continuing the tax cuts to the rich because……  Really, where is our collective head?

Compared to other industrialized nations, the United States is doing very poorly.  The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.  The saddest part of this is what we are doing to our children.  According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010.

But the American people cannot provide for their families if they don’t have jobs.  Today there are not nearly enough jobs for everyone.  In 2010, it takes the average unemployed American worker over 8 months to find a job.  Approximately 10 million Americans are currently receiving unemployment insurance, which is a number that is nearly four times higher than what it was at back in 2007.

The truth is that we are creating a permanent underclass of Americans that cannot get jobs.  The number of Americans receiving long-term unemployment benefits has increased over 60 percent in just the past year.

Increasingly, the wealth of the United States is being held in fewer and fewer hands.  One study found that as of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.  It is not a good time to be living in “the bottom half” in America.  The size of “the pie” being divided up among those at the low end of the wage scale is becoming really, really small.  In fact, the bottom 40 percent of all income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.

Even those Americans that still do have decent jobs are seeing their wealth fade rapidly.  For example, U.S. families have $6 trillion less in housing wealth than they did just three years ago.  Home ownership used to be a sign that one had arrived in the middle class, but in 2010 an increasing number of Americans are finding out that they simply can’t afford their homes anymore.  One out of every seven mortgages were either delinquent or in foreclosure during the first quarter of 2010.

The reality is that incomes have just not kept up with housing costs.  This has put an incredible amount of pressure on the middle class.  Just how much pressure?  Well, only the top 5 percent of all U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975. The debt binge middle class Americans have been on over the past couple of decades has drained many of them completely dry, and now more Americans than ever have bad credit scores.  Over 25 percent of Americans now have a credit score below 599, which means that they are a very bad credit risk.

A rapidly rising number of Americans are actually choosing bankruptcy as a way out of their financial problems.  Nationwide, bankruptcy filings rose 20 percent in the 12 month period ending this past June 30th.  The middle class manufacturing jobs that once defined so many American cities are rapidly disappearing.  Despite the fact that the U.S. population has dramatically increased, less Americans are employed in manufacturing today than in 1950.

These days it seems like almost everyone is looking for a good job, but very few people are finding them.  According to one recent survey, 28% of all U.S. households have at least one member that is looking for a full-time job.  Even many of those Americans that still have decent jobs have been hit hard by this economic downturn.  A recent Pew Research survey found that 55 percent of the U.S. labor force has experienced either unemployment, a pay decrease, a reduction in hours or an involuntary move to part-time work since the recession began.

The number of jobs that are evaporating is absolutely stunning.  According to one analysis, the United States has lost a total of 10.5 million jobs since 2007.  So where are the jobs going?  It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out.  China’s trade surplus (much of it with the United States) climbed 140 percent in June compared to a year earlier.

The truth is that “globalism” and “free trade” have put middle class American workers in direct competition with the cheapest labor in the world.  This is what middle class American workers must now compete against: in China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour.

Due to these difficult economic conditions, the middle class is being squeezed as never before.  According to a poll taken in 2009, 61 percent of Americans ”always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck.  That was up significantly from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.

So what kind of future do our young people have in front of them?  Unfortunately, things don’t look pretty.  Many fresh college graduates can’t even get a job that will allow them to be independent.  One recent survey of last year’s college graduates discovered that 80 percent moved right back home with their parents after graduation.  That was up significantly from 63 percent in 2006.

This is the real picture.  The question is what next. When do we, as a nation, come to the Pearl Harbor moment.  To realize we are in deep do-do and come together, put politics aside and get down to the business of restoring our economy. When is enough enough?

Here is Uncle Willie’s thought:

How Bad Is It Really?

All the happy talk in the world, all of the manipulation of markets is a rouse.  When we examine the facts from all sectors, it is quite obvious that struggling sovereign governments, state governments, and local governments are simply out of options. Simply put they are broke and have no more wiggle room.  Between now and the fall through what I called in January of this year, “the Summer of Hell” is obviously beginning.  I have assembled some new reported facts for your consideration.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance for the first time jumped last week, according to government data released last Thursday. There were 460,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended April 3, up 18,000 from an upwardly revised 442,000 the previous week, according to the Labor Department’s weekly report. Always backward looking economists surveyed by Briefing.com expected new claims to fall to 435,000 in the week. The number of new claims was just below the level reached in the Feb. 27 week, when initial claims totaled 466,000.

The Labor Department also tracks the 4-week moving average of initial claims, which “smoothes” out volatility in the measure. That number was 450,250 for the week, up 2,250 from the previous week’s downwardly revised average of 448,000. But who can believe any of the garbage they put out.  Talk about pure fantasy. “The data may have been clouded by factors that included the end of the first quarter and religious holidays, which made it difficult to get an accurate reading” according to a Labor Department official who asked not to be named. Can you believe the stuff they use for excuses?  Easter prevents them from generating good numbers!  What the Easter Bunny hid the data sheets? OMG!

The report also said that 4,550,000 people filed continuing claims in the week ended March 27, the most recent data available. That figure, the lowest level since Dec. 20, 2008, was down 131,000 from the preceding week’s 4,681,000 claims, and below the 4.63 million economists expected, according to Briefing.com.  The 4-week moving average for continuing claims was 4,648,250, a decrease of 36,000 from the preceding week’s revised average of 4,684,250.

Continuing claims data exclude people whose benefits expired or those who have moved to state or federal extensions. This is where the real hidden truth lies. It reflects those filing each week after their initial claim until the end of their standard benefits, which usually last 26 weeks.  So what is happening in the states?  Consider this:

33 states out of money to fund jobless benefits

By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter April 9, 2010: 2:26 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — With unemployment still at a severe high, a majority of states have drained their jobless benefit funds, forcing them to borrow billions from the federal government to help out-of-work Americans.

A total of 33 states and the Virgin Islands have depleted their funds and borrowed more than $38.7 billion to provide a safety net, according to a report released Thursday by the National Employment Law Project. Four others are at the brink of insolvency.

How bad is the shortfall, well consider just this snapshot.

Wisconsin $1.34 billion , Virginia $317 million, Virgin Islands $13 million, Vermont $23 million, Texas $2.03 billion, South Dakota $23 million, South Carolina $851 million, Rhode Island $204 million, Pennsylvania $2.81 billion, Ohio $2.23 billion, North Carolina $2.14 billion,  New York $3.00 billion, New Jersey $1.55 billion, New Hampshire $23 million, Nevada $331 million, Missouri $687 million, Minnesota $638 million, Michigan $3.78 billion, Massachusetts $279 million, Maryland $104 million, Kentucky $760 million, Kansas $65 million, Indiana $1.81 billion, Illinois $2.06 billion, Idaho $181 million, Georgia $337 million, Florida $1.50 billion, Delaware $1 million, Connecticut $422 million, Colorado $186 million, California $8.40 billion , Arkansas $318 million, Arizona $22 million, Alabama $268 million.

Debt-challenged California has borrowed the most, totaling more than $8.4 billion, followed by Michigan and New York, which have loans worth more than $3 billion. Nine other states have borrowed at least $1 billion from the federal government.

“The nation’s financing system for jobless benefits is under unprecedented stress,” said Andrew Stettner, deputy director of the New York-based advocacy group for the unemployed. “While the recession has certainly made things worse, this funding crisis has been developing for years.”

At the onset of the recession, only 19 states met the recommended funding level, which is one year of reserves equal to the highest amount of unemployment insurance paid out during prior recessions.  Financing experts suggest that states build up their jobless benefit coffers during strong economic times so that they can draw from them during downturns.

Federal and state governments collect money for unemployment benefits by taxing employers on a small portion of their employee wages. While total wages and weekly jobless benefit levels have been rising, governments haven’t increased the taxable base wages at the same pace.

Instead, they adopted a “pay as you go” approach, keeping taxes and fund levels low during good times and raising taxes and cutting benefits when strapped for cash. That left many states with insufficient jobless funds to weather the recession.

It is just not unemployment benefits hitting the states, but cities are beginning to take some pretty bizarre actions as well.  Consider the following:

The big yellow school bus could soon be an icon of the past in Motor City.  Pounded by the auto industry’s collapse and facing a deficit of nearly $300 million, Detroit is so deep in the red that its schools will outsource busing services to private companies to save $49 million over the next five years.

Detroit metro area school district Royal Oaks is looking to trim next year’s budget by $5 million and can’t afford private contractors. The district already told parents that the yellow buses will not transport students to and from school beginning next fall. The move affects an estimated 17% of the district’s students, who use the service regularly, and only saves $500,000 annually. But the district’s superintendent, Thomas Moline, says it will help avoid teacher layoffs and class-size increases.  Parents will have to make arrangements to transport their children to and from school, but Moline said they have been accepting since the cut avoids reductions in the classroom. Getting rid of school buses will also affect more than a third of Royal Oak’s athletes, who use the school buses to travel to away games. Teams will have to individually fundraise to buy their own transportation. But Moline said he expects teams will cope by arranging carpools, which they have this year since the district does not provide return transportation from off-campus games.

Colorado Springs is also trying to shake cash out of its garbage piles. It removed nearly 400 trash cans from neighborhood parks last month, to save $65,000 annually in supplies and personnel costs. Where will the trash go now? The city hopes residents will pick up after themselves.

Cities around the nation are going green and are using the tactics to get their budgets out of the red. Colorado Springs, which is $25 million short on its 2010 budget, has deactivated the city’s least efficient street lights to save $1.2 million during the year.  The city targeted lights that used high-wattage vapor bulbs and ones in areas with bright ambient lighting, which added up to more than a third of Colorado Springs’ 24,500 street lights.

But the most worrisome numbers still relate to sovereign debt.  That is the debt owed by countries.  We have seen and I have presented exposes on just how governments are now under attack by the banksters.  If you have been complacent or thought that countries like Greece, Ireland, Spain, and Iceland just were poorly managed and probably got what was justly deserved, then you better think again.

In the G7 nations average debts will exceed 100pc of GDP by the end of next year. The level was briefly higher in the US and the UK after World War Two. Japan is currently able to raise money cheaply at even higher debt levels thanks to its captive savings pool. However, the BIS said it would be foolhardy to assume that debt markets will tolerate this for long. If you recall, I pointed out that the BIS is an arm of Rothschild bank dynasty that really is behind all this mess. BIS also predicted that the UK could reach debt levels of 300 pct of GDP within three years.

It is astounding to me that no one in MSM has mentioned the setup that created this mess. Debt based banking cartels have co-opted our governments, and are in charge of both the debt and our governments. They are criminal syndicates. They have confiscated our money, and most of the means of production. Arguing about Republicans or Democrats is useless. They are all of one cloth. We must end this useless banter and chatter about socialist versus conservative.  The party lines are both corrupted and compromised. There are precious few legislators, such as Ron Paul, Rep of Texas, speaking the truth.  But instead of supporting people like him, both parties attack and marginalize him and the truth he speaks.  We should be encouraging more people like him to run for office; people who are informed and have the integrity not to be bought.  If we really want change, we can do it at the ballot box starting this November.  The message is WE ARE AWAKE and we have had enough of this crap!

Some Plain Talk Now

We hear all kinds of confusing messages coming out of MSM and the government right now on the real state of the economy.  This index or that is rising slightly or at least decreasing at a slow pace.  Unemployment rates have stabilized at about 300,000 net jobs lost per month.  Blah.. Blah..Blah.

Here is the real situation and how it really does affect you directly.  The National Combined Debt now stands at about $11.7 Trillion dollars.  We will be lucky to have $13 Trillion in total GDP this year.  To make this personal, every Tom, Dick, and Harry, along with every member of their families, including even baby Jake owes $38,380 right now.  And BTW, you each have spent $8,670 so far this year.  So the next time you are doing your family budget don’t forget to add your federal burden, based on a family of four, of $188,200.  Bet it wasn’t in the budget before hey? How crazy is this?

Well, try this on.  The US “unfunded” liabilities (read Medicare, Social Security, and Prescription Drugs) is $58 TRILLION!  So, the same Tom, Dick and Harry Clan members are on the hook for $191,941, or using the “family of four” model, $767,764!! Yikes!

OK, let’s re-look  the family budget. On average, we have about $100,000 in real debt, most in our mortgage, we got about $25,000 in credit card debt, $188,200 in federal burdens, and we are the hook for $767,764 in unfunded liabilities.  That means, on average, every family in America is $1,080,964 in DEBT!!  That means what exactly, you so cleverly ask?  It means that in the last two years over $12 Trillion has been lost in HOUSEHOLD wealth.  That I think we all can understand.  Who took our money?  It didn’t disappear, it just well uh got re-allocated, that’s it.

To give more perspective to this discussion, in 2009 alone so far, 590,170 families have had their homes foreclosed by the banks.  That means banks have created, keeping consistent with our “family of four” model, 2,360,680 homeless people.  Is it really starting to sink in now?

No? OK, there have been so far in 2009, 962,727 personal bankruptcies.  Using our model, that means an additional 3,850,920 lives that have been affected by this financial debacle.  Then you add the 18,000,000 unemployed to these numbers and the 50 million folks without health insurance and we are talking a large segment of our population is in severe financial distress.

But hey, business will turn around and when things start booming, we won’t be talking like this, right?  You better sit down for this one.  The current Currency and Credit Derivatives (you remember derivatives. the mortgage derivatives cost us $7.6 Trillion) is $645 TRILLION!  If 15 % of that puppy goes south, we are looking at $97 Trillion or 13 times the size of the mortgage fiasco.  The more research I do, the more I am starting to get pissed.  How about you?

We can start ending this madness, I believe, by stopping these political “auctions” and start holding real elections in this country.  We need a Public Funded Campaign law right now!  Only then can we have competent people run for office and once elected they would faithfully uphold the constitution and represent their electorate.

Here’s Uncle Willie’s thoughts for today’s post:

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