There is much debate about where the U.S. economy is ultimately heading, but what everybody should be able to agree on is that economic conditions are significantly worse this year than they were last year. It is being projected that U.S. economic growth for the first quarter will be close to zero, thousands of retail stores are closing, factory output is falling, and restaurants and automakers have both fallen on very hard times. As economic activity has slowed down, commercial and consumer bankruptcies are both rising at rates that we have not seen since the last financial crisis.
In the United States, credit swap derivatives created national debt totals of over one quadrillion dollars. That is one thousand trillion dollars! The entire GDP of the planet is estimated at $66 trillion dollars. And somehow, in the infinite wisdom of Congress in 2008, we falsely and naively believed that a $750 billion transfer of wealth (i.e., Bailout #1) was magically going to save the economy and the collective futures of the American middle class. In short, the debt created by futures speculation is approximately 16 times greater than the sum total of the entire wealth on the planet! And we think we are going to climb out of this?
My father and mother were married in the latter half of 57. I was born in 59, my sister 61. my brother 63. My father rented a house in 62. In 64, he bought the house. My father put a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and food on the table. My father had 2 cars in the garage. And, he took care of my sisters crippled feet with multiple operations. My mother was a stay-at-home mom. We had Christmas and 3 birthdays every year. My father was a Machinist, his specialty a Grinder. He worked himself up to shop foreman. I remember a loaf of bread being 10 cents. I remember filling up the gallon tank on my mini-bike for 25 cents. The bakery man toot-tootin down our street 5 cents to 25 cents for our favorite candy. 10 cents for a popsicle. When I started smoking, 25 cents a pack. And, by the time I was 8, it was NORMAL for a pack of kids to get on their bikes and ride to the Beach, cruise the Strand, going to the arcade at the Pier, or paying 10 dollars for an all day ocean fishing trip, unaccompanied by an adult. When I was in school, I was being taught reading, writing, math, and history, that was all.
Look around you today.
You can’t count fast enough.