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Exposing the Big Lie of the US Economy

Monday, December 30, 2013

 

It seems these days that every politician ̶ national, state and local ̶ says his or her main goal is “to create jobs." After five years of the Obama regime, there are 90 million Americans unemployed, including those who have dropped out of the labor force; nearly 50 million people on food stamps; six and a half million people collecting Social Security Disability payments; almost half of all taxpayers pay no income tax; and the unemployment rate still hovers around 7 percent.

In Rhode Island

Rhode Island has the worst unemployment rate in New England. Politicians, particularly “progressive Democrats” and labor union leaders, tell us that what is needed to create jobs is stimulating consumer spending. For example, we are told that government spending on food stamps stimulates the economy.

In his recent, lengthy and rather esoteric book, The Great Deformation, former budget director in the Reagan administration, David A. Stockman, writes that “monetary exchange rates have been chronically and heavily manipulated by governments. This is especially the case with respect to the mercantilist nations of Asia in pursuit of an ‘export your way to prosperity’ economic growth model.” He goes on to explain that the Treasury obligations stored in the vaults of their central banks are “Like any other vendor loan, they are designed to enable American customers to collectively purchase foreign goods and services far in excess of their actual earnings on current production.” Stockman argues that the last fiscally responsible president was Dwight Eisenhower and, except for the interlude of Fed chairman Paul Volcker’s harsh measures to tame the double-digit inflation of the Jimmy Carter years, our nation’s monetary policy has been a disaster.

Fiction Rules

We have been told a fiction since the day we were born. Namely, that we are all created equal and born free into a nation where life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are our rights. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that we are born into bondage, the bondage of a monetary system created for the express purpose of providing the state with maximum control over the individual. Our financial system is based on debt willingly acquired by a populace addicted to immediate gratification and the fiction of never-ending growth.

A fiat-based monetary system is one where the government prints as much currency as it wants. There is nothing supporting the currency except the government’s promise to pay the amount stated on the face of the bill. That’s why “Federal Reserve Note” is printed on every bill.

Our brand of fiat money uses debt as its creation mechanism. Money is created in two ways:

1. You and I borrow from a bank and money is created because the bank can loan more than it has on deposit.

2. The U.S. Treasury sells bonds, thereby borrowing from investors, including foreign central banks and primary dealers who are obligated to buy all the debt that the first two groups do not purchase. In both instances, “we the people” are on the hook for paying off the debt.

The dollar is regarded as the reserve currency because at the end of the Second World War, the United States physically held 80% of the entire world’s gold. Since our currency is no longer supported by physical gold, our future taxes are pledged for loans from foreign governments, private investors and, increasingly, our own central bank, thereby making our labor the collateral.

Richard J. August, CPA

“Why Should You Care?”

That is a question we often hear, followed by, “So what if we have a lot of debt as a nation?” The answer is that a debt-based monetary system requires never-ending growth. Businesses borrow money at one rate and invest it ̶ put it to work - hopefully at a higher rate of return. If the rate of borrowing and/or growth is out of balance for any length of time, the economy will have a problem.

Under the Obama administration, the federal government has been spending about $1.7 trillion more than it takes in every year. In addition, the Federal Reserve Bank has engaged in something it calls “quantitative easing” (which it has no authority to do), which means it buys $84 billion a month in Treasury debt, thereby increasing the money supply by another $1 trillion.

Simply put, the Fed creates the money that the primary dealer banks and foreign central banks use to buy the Treasuries it needs to sell in order to fund our government's profligate spending. Debt created to purchase debt used to incur more debt is the system underpinning everything: the US government, the US economy, the world economy and all of the world's financial markets. You may find it hard to believe but, with minor variations around the globe, this is it.

There will reach a point fairly soon where the cost of borrowing for the nation and for individuals will skyrocket. When interest rates increase or, more accurately, the value of the dollar collapses, servicing our nation’s debt (paying the interest) will become impossible. Next year, the interest on our national debt will approach half a trillion dollars! That is more than 20% of total federal tax receipts.

For those of you inclined to be risk-takers who want to invest in interest-sensitive stocks and high dividend payers, remember the old saying, “No one rings a bell at the top."

For everyone else, diversify your investments into hard, non-dollar denominated assets: gold, agriculture, timber and, in some cases, rental property. A case can be made for holding a couple of bags of “junk silver,” i.e., coins with a high silver content. Hard assets maintain, and often increase, in value during periods of financial and economic crises.

David F. Brochu

Transforming America’s Future

President Obama and his wife have made it clear in their writings, interviews and speeches that the goal of his presidency is to “transform America” - into what is never stated. Many observers believe that Obama wants the United States to mirror the socialist republics of Europe - most of which are failing precisely because they have followed the policies in which the president believes.

In a recent speech, Obama decried “the growing gap between the rich and the poor." In his book, The Real Crash; America’s Coming Bankruptcy," Peter D. Schiff points out that: “If Obama confiscated the wealth - not income, but wealth - of the 50 wealthiest people in America, he could use that $700 billion to pay down about 5% of the national debt.”

There is little chance that his administration will do anything to keep the economy from collapsing. Barak and Michelle Obama are acolytes of the late community organizer Saul Alinsky, author of “Rules for Radicals." One of Alinsky’s rules is “maintain a constant pressure on the opposition," an opposition that he defined as the “Haves," or the upper class, which has the money, power and desire to maintain the status quo.

Alinsky, along with social activists Richard Cloven and wife Francis Fox Pliven, believe that to “transform America” you first have to collapse the existing economic system. This system is going to collapse. It is a question of when, not if, and whether it plays out quickly or slowly.

What follows is anyone’s guess.

David F. Brochu is the president and CEO of Kleossum advisers, an independent advisory firm for individuals and group retirement plans located in Conway, NH and Providence, RI. www.KLEOSSUM.com.

Richard J. August retired after a 45-year career spent mostly with financially embarrassed companies as a consultant or bank loan workout officer. Portions of this article originally appeared in Mr. Brochu’s bi-weekly column, Investments for the Rest of Us, in The Conway Daily Sun and are reprinted with permission of the publisher.

 

Related Slideshow: Rhode Island’s Most Unemployed Cities and Towns

Below are the unemployment rates for Rhode Island's 39 cities and towns from August 2013.  

The statewide average for the month was 9.1% -- the third highest rate in the country.  

Prev Next

#39 Narragansett

Latest Unemployment Rate: 6.0

Labor Force: 9,244

Employed: 8,688

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 9.0 (January 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 5.6 (September 2012, June 2013)

Prev Next

#37 (Tie) Jamestown

Latest Unemployment Rate: 6.5

Labor Force: 3,014

Employed: 2,818

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 9.5 (February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 5.7 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#37 (Tie) New Shoreham

Latest Unemployment Rate: 6.5

Labor Force: 1,507

Employed: 1,409

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 30.9 (February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 5.0 (August 2011)

Prev Next

#36 Barrington

Latest Unemployment Rate: 6.8

Labor Force: 8,211

Employed: 7,651

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 8.8 (August 2011)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 6.4 (April, May, July 2013)

Prev Next

#35 Richmond

Latest Unemployment Rate: 6.9

Labor Force: 4,316

Employed: 4,018

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 8.5 (February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 5.2 (May 2013)

Prev Next

#34 Glocester

Latest Unemployment Rate: 7.2

Labor Force: 5,893

Employed: 5,470

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 10.7 (February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 6.4 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#33 North Kingstown

Latest Unemployment Rate: 7.3

Labor Force: 15,033

Employed: 13,939

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 10.5 (January, February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 6.6 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#32 Little Compton

Latest Unemployment Rate: 7.4

Labor Force: 1,904

Employed: 1,763

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 12.4 (January 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 6.9 (April 2013)

Prev Next

#31 Middletown

Latest Unemployment Rate: 7.5

Labor Force: 7,917

Employed: 7,325

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 13.5 (January 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 7.1 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#30 Portsmouth

Latest Unemployment Rate: 7.6

Labor Force: 9,362

Employed: 8,651

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 11.5 (January 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 6.6 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#28 (Tie) Bristol

Latest Unemployment Rate: 8.0

Labor Force: 12,455

Employed: 11,457

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 10.6 (January 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 6.6 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#28 (Tie) Westerly

Latest Unemployment Rate: 8.0

Labor Force: 11,917

Employed: 10,961

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 11.2 (February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 6.8 (September 2012)

Prev Next

#27 Smithfield

Latest Unemployment Rate: 8.3

Labor Force: 11,781

Employed: 10,799

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 10.4 (August 2011, February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 5.7 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#25 (Tie) Foster

Latest Unemployment Rate: 8.4

Labor Force: 2,701

Employed: 2,475

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 13.4 (February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 7.9 (June 2012)

Prev Next

#25 (Tie) N. Smithfield

Latest Unemployment Rate: 8.4

Labor Force: 3,014

Employed: 2,818

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 9.8 (August 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 7.4 (December 2012)

Prev Next

#23 (Tie) Coventry

Latest Unemployment Rate: 8.6

Labor Force: 20,279

Employed: 18,537

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 11.1 (August 2011, February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 7.1 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#23 (Tie) Cumberland

Latest Unemployment Rate: 8.6

Labor Force: 19,055

Employed: 17,422

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 10.4 (August 2011, July 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 7.4 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#20 (Tie) Newport

Latest Unemployment Rate: 8.7

Labor Force: 12,885

Employed: 11,763

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 14.1 (January 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 7.2 (September 2012)

Prev Next

#20 (Tie) Warwick

Latest Unemployment Rate: 8.7

Labor Force: 46,308

Employed: 42,297

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 9.5 (February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 10.4 (August 2011)

Prev Next

#20 (Tie) West Greenwich

Latest Unemployment Rate: 8.7

Labor Force: 3,678

Employed: 3,359

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 11.7 (February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 6.6 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#19 East Greenwich

Latest Unemployment Rate: 8.9

Labor Force: 6,784

Employed: 6,178

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 11.0 (February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 7.5 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#15 (Tie) Charlestown

Latest Unemployment Rate: 9.0

Labor Force: 4,506

Employed: 4,099

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 14.2 (January 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 7.1 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#15 (Tie) Lincoln

Latest Unemployment Rate: 9.0

Labor Force: 11,781

Employed: 10,717

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 10.4 (February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 7.9 (November 2012, June 2013)

Prev Next

#15 (Tie) South Kingstown

Latest Unemployment Rate: 9.0

Labor Force: 16,455

Employed: 14,982

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 10.6 (January 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 7.8 (September 2012)

Prev Next

#15 (Tie) Warren

Latest Unemployment Rate: 9.0

Labor Force: 5,908

Employed: 5,377

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 12.0 (February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 7.6 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#14 Exeter

Latest Unemployment Rate: 9.2

Labor Force: 3,865

Employed: 3,509

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 11.7 (March 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 7.6 (September 2011)

Prev Next

#13 Tiverton

Latest Unemployment Rate: 9.3

Labor Force: 8,882

Employed: 8,058

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 12.0 (January, February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 7.4 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#10 (Tie) Cranston

Latest Unemployment Rate: 9.5

Labor Force: 41,657

Employed: 37,682

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 11.3 (July 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 8.8 (April 2013)

Prev Next

#10 (Tie) East Providence

Latest Unemployment Rate: 9.5

Labor Force: 24,677

Employed: 22,339

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 12.6 (January, February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 8.7 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#10 (Tie) West Warwick

Latest Unemployment Rate: 9.5

Labor Force: 16,240

Employed: 14,693

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 12.9 (February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 8.4 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#8 (Tie) Hopkinton

Latest Unemployment Rate: 9.8

Labor Force: 4,888

Employed: 4,411

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 11.2 (February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 6.6 (June 2012)

Prev Next

#8 (Tie) North Providence

Latest Unemployment Rate: 9.8

Labor Force: 18,130

Employed: 16,347

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 11.3 (August 2011)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 8.5 (April 2013)

Prev Next

#7 Burrillville

Latest Unemployment Rate: 10.0

Labor Force: 9,526

Employed: 8,570

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 11.6 (February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 8.0 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#6 Scituate

Latest Unemployment Rate: 10.4

Labor Force: 6,166

Employed: 5,527

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 11.2 (July 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 8.4 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#5 Johnston

Latest Unemployment Rate: 10.5

Labor Force: 15,645

Employed: 14,004

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 12.9 (February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 9.2 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#4 Pawtucket

Latest Unemployment Rate: 11.1

Labor Force: 36,412

Employed: 32,378

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 13.7 (July 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 10.2 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#3 Woonsocket

Latest Unemployment Rate: 11.2

Labor Force: 20,730

Employed: 18,409

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 13.6 (January 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 10.7 (June 2013)

Prev Next

#2 Providence

Latest Unemployment Rate: 11.5

Labor Force: 80,605

Employed: 71,362

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 14.3 (August 2011)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 10.4 (May 2013)

Prev Next

#1 Central Falls

Latest Unemployment Rate: 12.1

Labor Force: 8,348

Employed: 7,341

Highest Rate in Last Two Years: 15.3 (January, February 2012)

Lowest Rate in Last Two Years: 11.4 (April 2013)

 
 

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Comments:

"Why Should You Care"? is what you ask. Well most of the readers of THIS article do care. Unfortunately there are far more people who benifit from not rocking the boat; unions, politicians, entitlement receivers, etc. Thanks for trying to rock the Titanic.

Comment #1 by joe pregiato on 2013 12 30

“diversify your investments into hard, non-dollar denominated assets”

And what happens to the people in the coming collapse who have no investments and assets? You and Schiff do not even think of them. This is your self-centered, individual solution to a global problem.

And who are the people who own all this debt? Is it the people of China or Japan? Who are these “investors?” They are a small percentage of the world’s population who privately own and control the means to make life, a capitalist class. They are the same people who organize societies and shape institutions to serve their narrow economic interests and not the interests of humanity as a whole. They are the same people who send us to war to fight and die for them.

The US produces 25 percent of the world’s economic output (GNP), and is unrivaled in its ability to make war and impose its will on other nations. And you and Schiff think a worldwide economic collapse is beyond the control of the class in whose interests society is organized.

Who benefitted and who paid for the near “economic meltdown” in 2008? Was it the people who hold all the debt, or those who created the crisis? Who paid, and will continues to pay?

You and others think that by aligning yourselves with the interests of those who rule you can somehow escape the suffering and come out on top. You might. But what kind of world will you leave for your children and grandchildren? Buy hard assets as the planet warms, wars are looming, and the quality of life becomes more self-serving and frenetic. All against all.

What you also don’t think about is how there can be infinite growth on a finite planet, as blocks of capital compete for markets and resources - which inevitably lead to wars.

And you speak of the “Alinsky acolyte” Barack Obama as if he has some control over the system he serves. Show me the difference between the policies of Bush and Obama? What is different other than the rhetoric?

What do you think this “Asia pivot” is about? What do you think this new “Great Game” is about as the major powers contend for control of the oil and gas reserves, and the shipping and land corridors of the Middle East and Asia?

What is much more likely than an economic collapse is another world war, to redivide the world’s markets and resources, with the spoils going to the winners.

This is the nature of the capitalist system and it cannot act in any other way. Until you understand capitalism you cannot understand the world or the way it works. And you and Schiff don’t understand it.

Comment #2 by Johnny cakes on 2013 12 30

Few could reasonably dispute that the current fiscal system is a fantasy propped up by government manipulators with printing presses.

Few could reasonably dispute the Left's steady building of a socialist welfare state since FDR, and the current president's barely-veiled goal of transformation (that does first require the collapse of America's free-enterprise system before Utopia can be reached).

I hope my family can get debt-free and hold onto our home if indeed the house of cards tumbles and the authorities get real authoritarian.

Comment #3 by Art West on 2013 12 31

Another hack piece by two imbeciles who have no idea how an economy is built. Contrary to what these morons are spouting the real solution is close tax loopholes, invest in infrastructure and tax the wealthy whose wealth was accrued by rigging the system. This country was not built on asking the wealthy to throw us some crumbs, it was built on strong unions that forced a level playing field. I would suggest Mr. August and Brochu immediately return their diplomas to whatever educational institution they attended and ask for a refund.

Comment #4 by Jonathan Bainsworth on 2013 12 31




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