The World Could Be Headed For An Economic Apocalypse
Wednesday, August 17 2011 @ 11:18 PM CDT Views: 540
20 Signs That The World Could Be Headed For An Economic Apocalypse In 2012
If you thought that 2011 was a bad year for the world economy, just wait until you see what happens in 2012. The U.S. and Europe are both dealing with unprecedented debt problems, the financial markets are flailing about wildly, austerity programs are being implemented all over the globe, prices on basics such as food are soaring and a lot of consumers are flat out scared right now. Many analysts now fear that a "perfect storm" could be brewing and that we could actually be headed for an economic apocalypse in 2012. Hopefully that will not happen. Hopefully our leaders can keep the global economy from completely falling apart.
But right now, things don't look good.
After a period of relative stability, things are starting to become unglued once again. The next major financial panic could literally happen at any time. Sadly, if we do see an economic apocalypse in 2012, it won't be the wealthy that suffer the most. It will be the poor, the unemployed, the homeless and the hungry that feel the most pain.
The following are 20 signs that we could be headed for an economic apocalypse in 2012....
#1 Back in 2008 we saw major rioting around the world due to soaring food prices, and now global food prices are on the rise again. Global food prices in July were 33 percent higher than they were one year ago. Price increases for staples such as maize (up 84 percent), sugar (up 62 percent) and wheat (up 55 percent) are absolutely devastating poverty-stricken communities all over the planet. For example, one expert is warning that 800,000 children living in the Horn of Africa could die during this current famine.
#2 The producer price index in the U.S. has increased at an annual rate of at least 7.0% for the last three months in a row. We are starting to see huge price increases all over the place. For example, Starbucks recently jacked up the price of a bag of coffee by 17 percent. If inflation keeps accelerating like this we could be facing some very serious problems by the time 2012 rolls around.
#3 The U.S. "Misery Index" (unemployment plus inflation) recently hit a 28 year high and many believe that it is going to go much, much higher.
#4 Jared Bernstein, the former chief economist for Vice President Joe Biden, says that the unemployment rate in this country will not go below 8% before the 2012 election. In fact, Bernstein says that "the most optimistic forecast would be for about eight-and-a-half percent."
#5 Working class jobs in the United States continue to disappear at an alarming rate. Back in 1967, 97 percent of men with a high school degree between the ages of 30 and 50 had jobs. Today, that figure is 76 percent.
#6 There are all kinds of indications that U.S. economic growth is about to slow down even further. For example, pre-orders for Christmas toys from China are way down this year.
#7 One recent survey found that 9 out of 10 U.S. workers do not expect their wages to keep up with the rising cost of basics such as food and gasoline over the next year.
#8 U.S. consumer confidence is now at its lowest level in 30 years.
#9 Today, an all-time record 45.8 million Americans are on food stamps. It is almost inconceivable that the largest economy on earth could have so many people dependent on the government for food.
#10 As the economy crumbles, we are also witnessing the fabric of society beginning to come apart. The recent flash mob crimes that we are starting to see all over America are just one example of this.
#11 Some desperate Americans are already stealing anything that they can get their hands on. For example, according to the American Kennel Club, dog thefts are up 32 percent this year.
#12 Small businesses all over the United States are having a really difficult time getting loans right now. Perhaps if the Federal Reserve was not paying banks not to make loans things would be different.
#13 The U.S. national debt is like a giant boulder that our economy must constantly carry around on its back, and it is growing by billions of dollars every single day. Right now the debt of the federal government is $14,592,242,215,641.90. It has gone up by nearly 4 trillion dollars since Barack Obama took office. S&P has already stripped the U.S. of its AAA credit rating, and more downgrades are certain to come if the U.S. does not get its act together.
#14 Tensions between the United States and China are rising again. A new opinion piece on chinadaily.com is calling for the Chinese government to use its holdings of U.S. debt as a "financial weapon" against the United States if the U.S. follows through with a plan to sell more arms to Taiwan. The U.S. and China are the two biggest economies in the world, so any trouble between them would mean economic trouble for the rest of the globe as well.
#15 Most state and local governments in the U.S. are deep in debt and flat broke. Many of them are slashing jobs at a feverish pace. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, state and local governments have eliminated more than half a million jobs since August 2008. UBS Investment Research is projecting that state and local governments in the U.S. will cut 450,000 more jobs by the end of 2012. How those jobs will be replaced is anyone's guess.
#16 The U.S. dollar continues to get weaker and weaker. This is renewing calls for a new global currency to be created to replace the U.S. dollar as the reserve currency of the world.
#17 The European sovereign debt crisis continues to get worse. Countries like Portugal, Italy and Greece are on the verge of an economic apocalypse. All of the financial problems in Europe are even beginning to affect the core European nations. For example, German industrial production declined by 1.1% in June. There are all kinds of signs that the economy of Europe is slowing down and is heading for a recession. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are proposing that a new "economic government" for Europe be set up to oversee this debt crisis, but nothing that the Europeans have tried so far has done much to solve things.
#18 The Federal Reserve is so desperate to bring some sort of stability to financial markets that it has stated that it will likely keep interest rates near zero all the way until mid-2013. The Federal Reserve is operating in "panic mode" almost constantly now and they are almost out of ammunition. So what is going to happen when the real trouble starts?
#19 Central banks around the world certainly seem to be preparing for something. According to the World Gold Council, central banks around the globe purchased more gold during the first half of 2011 than they did all of last year.
#20 Often perception very much influences reality. One recent survey found that 48 percent of Americans believe that it is likely that another great Depression will begin within the next 12 months. If people expect that a depression is coming and they quit spending money that actually increases the chance that an economic downturn will occur.
There is already a tremendous amount of economic pain on the streets of America, but unfortunately it looks like things may get even worse in 2012.
The once great economic machine that was handed down to us by our forefathers is falling to pieces all around us and we are in debt up to our eyeballs. The consequences of our bad economic decisions are hurting some of the most vulnerable members of our society the most.
As the following video shows, large numbers of formerly middle class Americans are now living in their cars or sleeping in the streets....
It is a crying shame what is happening out there on the streets of America today.
Please say a prayer for all of those that are sleeping in cars or tents or under bridges tonight.
Soon even more Americans will be joining them.
US: Tax the super-rich or riots will rage in 2012
Paul B. Farrell
Commentary: 6 reasons we can't stop coming economic meltdown
What a year. Rage in London, Egypt, Athens, Damascus. All real. Just a metaphor in the new "Planet of the Apes" film? No, much more. Warning: More rage is dead ahead. Across our planet a new generation is filled with rage. High unemployment. Raging inflation. Dreams lost. Hope gone. While the super -rich get richer and richer.
Listen to that hissing: The fuse is rapidly burning, warning us. Wake up before the rage explodes in your face. This firestorm is endangering America's future. From forces outside, yes. But far more deadly, from deep within our collective psyche. We have lost our moral compass. We are self-destructing.
Crackpot warning? No. This warning comes from the elite International Monetary Fund. A recent IMF report looked at "the causes of the two major U.S. economic crises over the past 100 years, the Great Depression of 1929 and the Great Recession of 2007," writes Rana Foroohar, an economics editor at Time magazine.
"There are two remarkable similarities in the eras that preceded these crises. Both saw a sharp increase in income inequality and household-debt-to-income ratios." And in each case, "as the poor and middle-class were squeezed, they tried to cope by borrowing to maintain their standard of living."
But the rich "got richer, by lending, and looked for more places to invest, bidding up securities that eventually exploded in everyone's face. In both eras, financial deregulation and loose monetary policies played roles in creating the bubble. But inequality itself - and the political pressure not to reverse it, but to hide it - was a crucial factor in the meltdown. The shrinking middle isn't a symptom of the downturn. It's the source of it." Today the consequences of the meltdown still haunt us - there's more to come.
The next bubble
There's a new bubble blowing. No one can stop it ... soon it will explode.
Get it? There's enormous "political pressure not to reverse" inequality till it "explodes in our faces." We deny the inequality between rich and the other 99%. The rich are addicts. More is never enough. They thrive on greed, blind to the needs of others. Worse, they have no commitment to America as a nation. From Forbes billionaires and signers of "no new taxes" pledges, to Mitch McConnell's un-American willingness to sabotage the economy to deliver on his main promise to make Obama a one-term president. Read about Obama's support of Warren Buffett's call to tax the rich.
Yes folks, the new Rise of the Planet of the Apes film delivers a powerful warning paralleling the IMF red flags. Listen to reviewer Zaki Hasan in HuffPost. Here's the scenario. What's ahead for America as the inequality gap gets bigger, the job market stagnates, inflation rages, a double-dip recession nears. Hasan's vision goes beyond metaphor. We see a psychological profile of America as an addict lost in an addiction. And like all addicts, we cannot see, nor stop, our self-destructive behavior:
"The Apes series has always been about self-inflicted wounds - the idea that man's unquenchable hubris inevitably leads to catastrophic consequences both for himself and those around him, whether manifested through cruelty to animals or cruelty to himself."
In the new film, our world is facing "the twin threats" of genetic engineering and a super-virus. But the central theme remains: "Man's downfall comes as a result of his own actions."
The original Planet of the Apes went deeper, speaking more to America's fatally flawed mind: "Beware the beast Man, for he is the Devil's pawn." In this early scene, Dr. Cornelius, the anthropologist, an orangutan, is reading aloud from the ancient sacred scrolls of the Apes: "Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed." Yes, that reminds us of Goldman's war to dominate the great Wall Street jungle.
He keeps reading from the scrolls: "Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death."
Yes, evolution is reversing. Here a prophecy comes true. The Apes knew our brains were saboteurs, destroying our rightful place at the top of the jungle's food chain: "Man is a nuisance. He eats up his food supply in the forest, then migrates to our green belts and ravages our crops. The sooner he is exterminated, the better."
Warning: The rage is sweeping London, Damascus, Tripoli, the spreading Sahara desert. Is America next?
Tax the super-rich, or revolution will overrun America next
Yes, tax the super-rich. Tax them now, before the other 99% rise up, trigger a new American Revolution, another meltdown, a new Great Depression. Historically, revolutions build over long periods, bubbles growing to critical mass. Then, "something happens." Suddenly. Unpredictably. A flashpoint triggers ignition. Nobody saw it coming in Egypt. A suicide in a remote village uploaded on a young Google executive's Facebook page. Goes viral, raging out of control. Cannot be stopped. So think hard about these six warnings blowing a new mega-bubble that will soon explode in our collective faces:
1. Warning: High unemployment is a global ticking time bomb
An earlier special report in Time, "Poor vs. Rich: A New Global Conflict," warns that a "conflict between two worlds - one rich, one poor - is developing, and the battlefield is the globe itself."
Just 25 developed nations with 750 million citizens "consume most of the world's resources ... enjoy history's highest standard of living." But now they face 100 poor nations with 2 billion people, many living in poverty, all demanding "an ever larger share of that wealth." A British leader calls this a "time bomb for the human race."
2. Warning: Tax cuts for the rich increase youth unemployment
In a New York Times column, Matthew Klein, a 24-year-old Council on Foreign Relations researcher, saw the parallel between the 25% unemployment among Egypt's young and the 21% for young Americans: "The young will bear the brunt of the pain" as governments rebalance budgets. "Taxes on workers will be raised, spending on education will be cut while mortgage subsidies and entitlements for the elderly are untouchable." And more tax cuts for the rich.
3. Warning: Rich get richer on commodity inflation, poor get angrier
USAToday's John Waggoner warned: "Soaring food prices send millions into poverty, hunger." The "rise in food prices means a descent into extreme poverty and hunger, warns the World Bank." One Pimco manager warns that commodity inflation exposes "the underlying inequalities and issues related to the standard of living that boil beneath the surface."
4. Warning: The super-rich are blinded by their addiction to money
In Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest American Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You with the Bill), David Cay Johnston warns that the rich are like addicts, and to "the addicted, money is like cocaine, too much is never enough." Recent data: 300,000 Americans in "the top tenth of 1% of income had nearly as much income as all 150 million Americans who make up the economic lower half of our population."
5. Warning: Politicians are corrupted by this super-rich addiction to greed
In "Washington's Suicide Pact," Newsweek's Ezra Klein warns: "Congress is careening toward the worst of all worlds: massive job losses and an exploding deficit." And the debt-ceiling drama just made things a lot worse. Millions of jobs were lost during Bush years, his wars, tax cuts for the rich. Yet, today the GOP is in total denial of that legacy, blinded by an obsession to destroy Obama's presidency, no matter the consequences.
6. Warning: Soon the revolutionaries will rage, then dominate 'Third World America'
Yes, we are ripe for a surprise revolution. In Third World America Arianna Huffington warns: "Washington rushed to the rescue of Wall Street but forgot about Main Street." Now Bernanke's promise of cheap money through 2013 is just one more "free lunch" to the richest 1%. Meanwhile, "one in five Americans unemployed or underemployed. One in nine families unable to make the minimum payment on their credit cards. One in eight mortgages in default or foreclosure. One in eight Americans on food stamps. Upward mobility has always been at the center of the American Dream ... that promise has been broken... The American Dream is becoming a nightmare."
Wake up folks. Super-rich addicts are destroying the American Dream for everyone. They're destroying the American economy. They don't care about you. Yes, they hear the ticking time bomb. They're stockpiling cash. Don't say you weren't warned. The IMF sees a new collapse sweeping across the planet. Open your eyes. You're not watching a film. This is not a metaphor. Plan now for the revolution, class warfare, market crash, economic collapse, plan for another depression.