Cyberattacks, Solar Storms And EMP Weapons: The U.S. Power Grid Is Extremely Vulnerable And An Extended Blackout Is Inevitable

A lot of Americans are mocking Venezuela right now, but the truth is that what has happened to them could also happen to us very easily. As you will see below, DARPA is so concerned about the possibility of a cyberattack taking down our power grid that they held an extended exercise recreating such a scenario late last year. And even though scientists tell us that it is inevitable that a “solar tsunami” will absolutely devastate our power grid at some point, our leaders on the federal level refuse to spend the money that it would take to protect our basic electrical infrastructure. In addition, Russia, China, North Korea and others have developed extremely advanced EMP weapons, and we have absolutely no protection against them. One way or another, an extended blackout will eventually happen in the United States, and so we should try to learn some lessons from what is going on in Venezuela right now.

And without a doubt, life is hell in Venezuela at this moment. The following comes from NPR

Signs of the crisis are everywhere you look in the Venezuelan capital. “Drive around Caracas, and you see long lines of cars waiting for hours at the few gas stations still operational,” NPR’s Philip Reeves reported from the city.

“Motorists park on highways, cell phones aloft, searching for a signal. The rich have taken refuge in luxury hotels. The poor stand in lines in the street,” Reeves added.

The power outage has affected water pumps in some Caracas neighborhoods, meaning that people are waiting to fill water bottles at public locations such as springs.

As food supplies run out, people are becoming increasingly desperate, and desperate people do desperate things.

Hundreds of stores are being looted, and the overwhelmed police are instructing store owners to fend for themselves

Looters smashed shop windows and made off with merchandise in more than 300 businesses across the state along the border with Colombia, the Zulia chapter of business organization Fedecamaras said in a statement.

“About 100 people came into the store and took all the food, the point of sale terminals,” said Maria Centeno, 29, the owner of a store selling food and furniture that was looted on Sunday. “They were people from the community. The police came by and they told me to sort it out myself.”

Of even greater concern is the fact that many people are dying from a lack of medical care.

Without power, there is little that the doctors are able to do, and one mother was forced to actually carry the body of her dead daughter through the streets to a morgue after the local hospital was unable to help her

A severely malnourished 19-year-old girl died in her mother’s arms after doctors in Venezuela were forced to turn her away because a massive blackout shut down a hospital.

Heartbroken mother Elizabeth Díaz was forced to carry her daughter’s body, which weighed just 22 pounds, through the streets to a morgue.

A lot of Americans are mocking what is going on in Venezuela, but the truth is that the exact same thing could happen here too.

Many believe that the extended blackout in Venezuela was caused by a cyberattack, and unfortunately the truth is that the U.S. power grid is also quite vulnerable if someone decided to attack us in the same manner.

Last November, DARPA held a seven day exercise that simulated what would happen if a massive cyberattack suddenly took down our grid…

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency exercise, which took place from Nov. 1 to Nov. 7, was fictional, but it was designed to mimic all the hurdles and uncertainty of a real-world cyberattack that took out power across the nation for weeks on end–a scenario known as a “black start.”

To add realism, the exercise took place on Plum Island, a federal research facility off the north fork of Long Island, where DARPA researchers were able to segregate a portion of the island on its own electric grid.

Over the course of the seven-day exercise, more than 100 people gathered on the island, filling every necessary role to mimic an actual black start.

Of course that is not the only way our power grid could go down for an extended period.

Our sun is capable of producing a “solar tsunami” that could absolutely cripple our electrical grid at any time. Earlier this week, I came across an article about a gigantic solar tsunami that hit out planet approximately 2,700 years ago

Roughly 2,700 years ago, an unusually powerful solar storm swept past the Earth, scientists announced in a new study. Though it had little to no impact on people in that long ago, pre-industrial and pre-technological world, such an event today would cause widespread power outages along with potentially disastrous communication and navigation failures.

The solar storm in 660 B.C. was about 10 times stronger than any known event in the past 70 years, study lead author Raimund Muscheler said.

But we don’t have to go back that far to find the kind of solar storm that I am talking about.

In 1859, an absolutely enormous solar storm known as “the Carrington Event” hit the United States…

The solar storm of 1859 (also known as the Carrington Event)[1] was a powerful geomagnetic storm during solar cycle 10 (1855–1867). A solar coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth’s magnetosphere and induced one of the largest geomagnetic storms on record, September 1–2, 1859. The associated “white light flare” in the solar photosphere was observed and recorded by British astronomers Richard C. Carrington (1826–1875) and Richard Hodgson (1804–1872). The now-standard unique IAU identifier for this flare is SOL1859-09-01.

A solar storm of this magnitude occurring today would cause widespread electrical disruptions, blackouts and damage due to extended outages of the electrical grid.[2][3] The solar storm of 2012 was of similar magnitude, but it passed Earth’s orbit without striking the planet, missing by nine days.[4]

If such a storm hit us right now, electronic devices would be fried from coast to coast and the power grid would be down for the foreseeable future. Life would dramatically change for all of us, and chaos would be unleashed all across this nation.

This is just one of the reasons why I so strongly encourage people to get prepared, because our government is most definitely not preparing for this kind of threat.

Lastly, I want to also mention that Russia, China and North Korea have been developing highly sophisticated “Super-EMP weapons” that we have no defense for. The following is from the Washington Free Beacon

Several nations, including China and Russia, are building powerful nuclear bombs designed to produce super-electromagnetic pulse (EMP) waves capable of devastating all electronics—from computers to electric grids—for hundreds of miles, according to a newly-released congressional study.

A report by the now-defunct Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from EMP Attack, for the first time reveals details on how nuclear EMP weapons are integrated into the military doctrines of China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran.

For much more on the threat that we are facing, please see my previous article entitled “Amerigeddon: Are You Ready For The Chaos That Will Ensue When The Power Grid Is Brought Down?”

Sadly, most Americans do not understand how vulnerable we are, and when the power suddenly goes out someday they will have no idea what is happening.

So keep a close eye on Venezuela right now, because the exact same things that are happening there will eventually happen here too.

It is just a matter of time.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

How A North Korean Electromagnetic Pulse Attack Could Kill Millions And Turn America Into A Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland

This is why North Korea’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile is so important. North Korea had test fired a total of 22 missiles so far this year, but this latest one showed that nobody on the globe is out of their reach. In fact, General Mattis is now admitting that “North Korea can basically threaten everywhere in the world”, and that includes the entire continental United States. In addition to hitting individual cities with nukes, there is also the possibility that someday North Korea could try to take down the entire country with an EMP attack. If the North Koreans detonated a single nuclear warhead several hundred miles above the center of the country, it would destroy the power grid and fry electronics from coast to coast.

I would like you to think about what that would mean for a few moments. Suddenly there would be no power at home, at work or at school. Since nearly all of our vehicles rely on computerized systems, you wouldn’t be able to go anywhere and nobody would be able to get to you. And you wouldn’t be able to contact anyone because all phones would be dead. Basically, pretty much everything electronic would be dead. I am talking about computers, televisions, GPS devices, ATMs, heating and cooling systems, refrigerators, credit card readers, gas pumps, cash registers, hospital equipment, traffic lights, etc.

For the first couple of days life would continue somewhat normally, but then people would soon start to realize that the power isn’t coming back on and panic would begin to erupt.

The intercontinental ballistic missile that North Korea just launched traveled almost 1,000 kilometers and reached a maximum altitude of 4,500 kilometers. We have been told for decades that this would never be allowed to happen, but now it has happened

This is concerning for one big reason: according to General Mattis, the North Korean ICBM “went higher, frankly, than any previous” and “North Korea can basically threaten everywhere in the world.” This was confirmed by North Korea missile analyst, Shea Cotton, who cited Allthingsnuclear author David Wright, and who told the BBC that the initial estimates of the ICBM test mean that North Korea can now reach New York and Washington DC.

If we had been working hard to develop our anti-missile technology all these years, this wouldn’t be a problem.

But at this point we are way behind the Russians in this regard, and there is a very real possibility that a missile launched by the North Koreans could make it through the very limited anti-missile defenses that we do have.

Once upon a time, discussions about a North Korean EMP threat were mostly hypothetical, but now that has completely changed. North Korea has clearly demonstrated that they are able to deliver such an attack, and last September Kim Jong Un publicly admitted that North Korea intended to develop this capability

But most reporters missed a key threat that appeared at the bottom of Kim’s public statement, when he bragged that North Korea had harnessed “a multi-functional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack according to strategic goals.”

So now we know. Launching an electromagnetic pulse attacks against its enemies is one of North Korea’s strategic goals. And for North Korea, the United States is the top enemy.

And like I said earlier, all it would take would be a single well placed nuclear detonation to fry electronics from coast to coast. The following comes from the Daily Mail

Theoretically, a sufficiently powerful bomb detonated at an altitude of 249 miles would wipe out all electronics in the US, save the southernmost top of Florida and the easternmost states – as well as affecting Canada and Mexico.

Without power, nothing would get distributed. That means that very rapidly there would be no food, no water and no medicine available in your community. An article posted by Fox News this week used the term “post-apocalyptic” to describe what we would be facing…

It all starts to sound very post-apocalyptic when you realize this means no lights or other electric-powered devices in homes and businesses, no water filtration, no regional food hubs, no transportation grid – none of the things we take for granted in modern civilization.

Like I stated earlier, things would be relatively fine for a few days, but then once everyone realizes that the power isn’t coming back on there would be chaos on a scale unlike anything we have ever seen before. The following comes from an article by Mac Slavo

The first 24 – 48 hours after such an occurrence will lead to confusion among the general population as traditional news acquisition sources like television, radio and cell phone networks will be non-functional.

Within a matter of days, once people realize the power might not be coming back on and grocery store shelves start emptying, the entire system will begin to delve into chaos.

Within 30 days a mass die off will have begun as food supplies dwindle, looters and gangs turn to violent extremes, medicine can’t be restocked and water pump stations fail.

So what kind of a “mass die off” would we be talking about?

Well, some of the top experts in the field believe that “up to 90 percent of all Americans” could end up dead if the power outage lasted long enough…

William Graham, chairman of the former EMP commission and its former chief of staff, Peter Vincent Pry, warned the hearing that such an attack could “shut down the US electric power grid for an indefinite period, leading to the death within a year of up to 90 percent of all Americans.

Others believe that the figure would be lower, but pretty much everyone agrees that the death toll would be in the millions.

This is one of our greatest strategic vulnerabilities, and our power grid could be hardened against an EMP attack for just a few billion dollars. This is something that I am pushing very hard for, but right now it is just not a priority for our leaders in Washington.

In fact, they have actually pulled funding from the commission that was looking into the EMP threat…

On Sept. 30, the Congressional Commission to Assess the Threat of Electromagnetic Pulse to the United States of America shut its doors after a failure to secure funding from Congress.

Sometimes I find it difficult to come up with the words to describe how incredibly foolish Congress is being.

An EMP attack is a greater threat than ever before, and yet Congress didn’t even want to come up with a little bit of funding for the commission that was working on a plan to protect us.

This is yet another example that shows that we need new leadership on Capitol Hill, because right now the people that we have “representing” us in Washington seem to be completely and utterly clueless about almost everything.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

Would You Like To Steal 128 Million Dollars?

What would you do with 128 million dollars? Many people like to daydream about winning the lottery, and I have to admit that when I was much younger I would do the same thing. If you were suddenly financially set for life, you could quit your job, buy your dream home, travel the world and spend your days doing whatever you felt like doing. We only get one trip through this crazy journey called life, and an enormous mountain of cash could make the journey a whole lot nicer. So if you could steal 128 million dollars and be absolutely certain that you could get away with it, would you do it?

You would probably be surprised at how many people out there would answer that question affirmatively. Money is a very powerful motivator, and if the fear of getting caught was out of the equation a lot of people out there would certainly be willing to “bend the rules” for a cool 128 million dollars.

But let’s turn this around for a moment.

What if someone stole 128 million dollars from you?

How would you feel about that?

Every crime has a victim, and losing that amount of money would be unimaginable.

Perhaps you think that this scenario is way too outlandish to even be considering. After all, who in the world could steal 128 million dollars from someone and get away with it?

Well, what if I told you that this has been happening every day?

And what if I told you that this has actually been happening every single hour of every single day for many years?

When Barack Obama entered the White House, the U.S. national debt was just over 10.6 trillion dollars, and when he left the White House 8 years later it was sitting just shy of 20 trillion dollars.

So during those 8 years more than 9 trillion dollars was added to the national debt. But for purposes of this example we will round down to an even 9 trillion dollars.

When you divide 9 trillion dollars by 8, you get an average of 1.125 trillion dollars that was added to the national debt per year during the Obama era.

Dividing that figure by 365, you find that an average of $3,082,191,780 was added to the national debt every single day during the Obama administration.

And since there are 24 hours in a day, that means that an average of $128,424,657 was stolen from our children and our grandchildren every single hour of every single day while Barack Obama was president.

When you borrow and spend 128 million dollars that you do not have every single hour of every single day, of course that is going to have a huge impact on the economy. I am often asked why we are not in a horrendous economic depression yet, and this is one of the biggest reasons. If we were to go back and take 9 trillion dollars of government spending out of the economy over the last eight years, we would be in the worst depression in American history right now.

But even with all of this added debt, the U.S. economy has still only grown at an average yearly rate of just 1.33 percent over the past 10 years, and that is absolutely terrible.

Our leaders in D.C. were able to prop things up in the short-term by going on the greatest debt binge in U.S. history, but of course they have also made our long-term financial problems much, much worse in the process.

Many people don’t realize this, but the growth of the national debt was actually accelerating as the Obama era drew to a close. In fact, we added more than 1.4 trillion dollars to the debt during fiscal year 2016.

Once upon a time a lot of people out there would get really upset about the growth of our debt, but these days most Americans seem to have accepted that this is how we do things. This fiscal liberals seem to have won, and our nation is steamrolling down a road toward financial oblivion.

When you point out the economic disasters in Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Venezuela and Zimbabwe, it doesn’t seem to register with most Americans that our country is on the exact same path.

By borrowing money, you can live way above your means for a while, but eventually you have to pay a price for being so reckless. This has been true all throughout human history, and it will be true in our case as well.

In a letter to John Taylor on November 26th, 1798, Thomas Jefferson explained that he wished that he could have added one more amendment to the U.S. Constitution…

I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our constitution; I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of it’s constitution; I mean an additional article taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.

Jefferson wrote extensively about how government debt is a way for one generation to steal money from another generation.

And what we are doing to our children and our grandchildren is absolutely inexcusable.

The term “child abuse” is not nearly strong enough to describe what is taking place, and I don’t know why more people are not seething with anger over what is being done to them. I am going to do whatever I can to stop this madness, and I hope that you will help me.

Have you ever run up a lot of credit card debt? If you really wanted to, you could go out today and start living like a millionaire by running up huge credit card balances. But eventually a day of reckoning would arrive, and you would get to a point where your debts were no longer sustainable.

It is the same thing on a national level. We have been living way beyond our means for quite a while, but we have been stealing from future generations in order to do it.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

Cashless Society Alert: Visa Will Be Giving Up To $500,000 To Restaurants That Go ‘100% Cashless’

The push toward a cashless society is becoming more of a shove. Before today I had never heard of “The Visa Cashless Challenge”, but after reading about it I have to say that I am quite alarmed. Visa is trying to “encourage” businesses to go cashless, and one of the ways that they will be doing this is by “awarding up to $500,000 to 50 eligible US-based small business food service owners who commit to joining the 100% cashless quest”. The food industry is still one of the last bastions where cash is used very heavily, and so it makes sense that Visa would want to target that segment. Of course the more people that use cards to pay for meals, the more money that Visa will make.

When I go to restaurants, I almost always use cash, and I know a lot of other people that very much prefer to use cash in those situations as well. But if Visa has their way, soon all of us will be forced to use some form of digital payment instead. The following is an excerpt from the press release that Visa issued about this new “challenge”…

Today Visa (NYSE:V) announced it is launching a major effort to encourage businesses to go cashless. Aiming to create a culture where cash is no longer king, the program will give merchants increased ability to accept all forms of global digital payments. Visa will be encouraging and helping merchants go cashless by using innovation to their advantage in order to stay competitively connected to their customers.

To encourage businesses to go cashless, Visa is announcing The Visa Cashless Challenge, with a call to action for small business restaurants, cafés or food truck owners to describe what cashless means for them, their employees and customers. Visa will be awarding up to $500,000 to 50 eligible US-based small business food service owners who commit to joining the 100% cashless quest.

“At Visa, we believe you can be everywhere you want to be, and that it should be easy to pay and be paid in more ways than ever – whether it’s a phone, card, wearable or other device,” said Jack Forestell, head of global merchant solutions, Visa Inc. “With 70% of the world, or more than 5 billion people, connected via mobile device by 20201, we have an incredible opportunity to educate merchants and consumers alike on the effectiveness of going cashless.”

Visa would love to eliminate the use of cash entirely because it would mean much bigger profits for them.

And of course cashless systems hold a lot of appeal for governments as well because such systems would allow them to monitor and track the behavior of their citizens much more closely.

As our society transitions in that direction, we will be told that it is all about fighting money laundering, tax evasion and terrorism, but there are other ways to combat those issues.

In the end, many people like to use cash because of the privacy that it offers, and there are very powerful forces that would like to eliminate that privacy.

For now, however, advocates of a cashless society are pushing the economic benefits of such a system. Here is more from Visa’s press release

Visa has recognized the net benefits for merchants when they reduce dependency on cash transaction. Visa recently conducted a study that found that if businesses in 100 cities transitioned from cash to digital, their cities stand to experience net benefits of $312 billion per year. According to this study, in New York City alone, businesses could generate an additional $6.8 billion in revenue and save more than 186 million hours in labor, by making greater use of digital payments. This amounts to more than $5 billion annual costs savings for businesses in New York. The complete results with the benefits of going cashless for businesses will be included in the “Cashless Cities: Realizing the Benefits of Digital Payments” report that will be released by Visa later this year.

And of course the push toward a cashless system is not just happening in the United States.

Over in Sweden, many banks will no longer take or give out cash, and about 95 percent of all retail transactions in the entire country are now cashless.

Of course the EU as a whole is rapidly moving in the direction of phasing out cash. Not too long ago, the European Commission released an “Action Plan” which instructed member states to explore the possibility of “potential upper limits to cash payments”.

Some of the member states have already adopted such “upper limits” on cash transactions, and by slowly lowering those limits over time those countries could eventually phase out cash completely.

And down in Australia, a “Black Economy Taskforce” has been established to go after tax evaders

The Black Economy Taskforce has been established to develop an innovative, forward-looking whole-of-government policy response to combat the black economy in Australia, recognising that these issues cannot be tackled by traditional tax enforcement measures alone.

The black economy refers to people who operate entirely outside the tax and regulatory system or who are known to the authorities but do not correctly report their tax obligations.

Of course this represents a major crackdown on cash, because most people that operate in the “underground economy” tend to use cash very heavily. According to Martin Armstrong, there has even been a proposal in Australia to put “nano-chips” into large notes for tracking purposes…

Michael Andrew, the head of this 1984 style Taskforce to spy on citizens, has proposed that the government should keep track of your $100 and $50 notes by implanting hi-tech nano-chips. He could simply scan your house to see where you are hiding money that the government can confiscate.

Many of us are alarmed by the rise of a cashless society because we know where it could eventually lead.

If government authorities can watch, track and monitor everything that we do and everywhere we go, that opens the door for great tyranny.

And going cashless would also potentially allow government authorities to act as “gatekeepers” for the system. In other words, the government could require all of us to meet certain conditions before we were allowed to participate in the cashless system, and if we refused to meet those conditions we would be unable to buy, sell, open a bank account, get a job or do much of anything else in society.

The potential dangers to our liberties and freedoms are great, and hopefully we can get more people to understand what going to a fully cashless society could ultimately mean for all of us.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

When I Found Out How Members Of Congress Really Spend Their Time, I Just About Threw Up

Did you know that many members of Congress spend three or four hours a day “dialing for dollars” in cramped call centers that both parties have set up in Washington?  I promised that I would keep all of you updated on what I am learning as I run for Congress, and what I learned the other day just about had me losing my lunch.  I always imagined members of Congress spending long hours in their offices working on legislation and other important matters, but the truth is that most members of Congress are little more than glorified telemarketers at this point.  Winning the next election is everything for most of these Congress critters, and so they spend far more time making cold calls to potential donors than doing anything else.

Have you ever had a politician call you up in the middle of the day begging for money?  It is an absolutely disgraceful thing to do, but the truth is that money is the number one factor in determining election outcomes, and so our professional politicians have an endless appetite for it.

Every two years, more than a billion dollars is spent on congressional elections, and those that are masters at raising money just keep winning over and over again.  Something desperately needs to be done to fix our fundamentally flawed system, but neither party seems to have any desire to take the money out of politics.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article about the fact that the U.S. House of Representatives will only be in session for 147 days this year.  But even on those days, members of Congress are not exactly spending much time doing what they were elected to do.

During an interview with 60 Minutes, U.S. Representative Rick Nolan told Norah O’Donnell that members of Congress are expected to spend about 30 hours a week “dialing for dollars” in their respective call centers…

Rep. Rick Nolan: Well, both parties have told newly elected members of the Congress that they should spend 30 hours a week in the Republican and Democratic call centers across the street from the Congress, dialing for dollars.

Norah O’Donnell: Thirty hours a week?

Rep. Rick Nolan: Thirty hours is what they tell you you should spend. And it’s discouraging good people from running for public office. I could give you names of people who’ve said, “You know, I’d like to go to Washington and help fix problems, but I don’t want to go to Washington and become a mid-level telemarketer, dialing for dollars, for crying out loud.”

This is utterly shameful, and if I end up getting elected I will never do it.  In fact, I will push legislation to ban this practice.

Former U.S. Representative David Jolly was also interviewed by O’Donnell, and he admitted to her that Republican members of Congress are actually given a telemarketing script to use while making these calls…

Simply by calling people, cold-calling a list that fundraisers put in front of you, you’re presented with their biography. So please call John. He’s married to Sally. His daughter, Emma, just graduated from high school. They gave $18,000 last year to different candidates. They can give you $1,000 too if you ask them to. And they put you on the phone. And it’s a script.

In 2013, new Democratic members of Congress were given a “model schedule” for how they should be spending their time.  On that model schedule, two hours a day were allocated for “committee/floor”, and four hours a day were allocated for “call time”.  In other words, those members of Congress were expected to only devote two hours a day to doing the jobs they were elected to do and four hours a day to making telemarketing calls.

If we ever want to end this disgraceful system we need to take matters into our own hands.

Shortly after I announced that I was running for Congress, I was given a list of thousands of names in my district.  It is the same list that other politicians are getting too.  Even at this moment, people are having their dinners interrupted by desperate politicians that are “dialing for dollars”.

If this ever happens to you, write the name of that politician down and never vote for that individual again.

I have pledged not to participate in this shameful system, and if I get the chance I will work to abolish it.  Yes, every campaign needs funding, but making telemarketing cold calls to people at home is not the way to do it.

In fact, these politicians are actually trained to interrupt you during lunch and dinner because those are apparently some of the best times for raising money.

And these call centers in D.C. are as bad as you are probably imagining.  The following is more from former Representative David Jolly

It is a cult-like boiler room on Capitol Hill where sitting members of Congress, frankly I believe, are compromising the dignity of the office they hold by sitting in these sweatshop phone booths calling people asking them for money. And their only goal is to get $500 or $1,000 or $2,000 out of the person on the other end of the line. It’s shameful. It’s beneath the dignity of the office that our voters in our communities entrust us to serve.

Jolly is precisely correct.

Any politician that makes these sorts of calls is acting in a completely shameful manner.

If we don’t get the money out of politics, we are just going to end up with a bunch of sleazebags in Washington that spend most of their time on the phone bugging people for money.

Is that what we want?

Do we really want our laws to be made by those that can prove that they are the best telemarketers?

Nobody is supposed to talk about these things, and I suppose that this is yet another article that is going to get me into trouble.

But I don’t care.  Our system is deeply broken and it needs to be fixed.  Hopefully by shedding some light on these issues I have moved the ball in the right direction.

One Of The Main Reasons Congress Is Getting So Little Done Is Because They Will Have 218 Days Off In 2017

Would you like to have a job that gave you 218 days off a year?  According to the official calendar put out by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the House of Representatives will only be in session for 147 days in 2017.  And that is actually an increase from last year.  In 2016, there were only 131 legislative days for the House.  So if you are wondering why Congress never seems to get anything done, this is one of the biggest reasons.  The sad truth is that members of Congress simply do not spend a lot of time doing what they were elected to do.

If you are an average American worker with a full-time job, you probably put in around 240 working days a year.  If you have to work that hard, why can’t Congress?

And actually things used to be even worse.  The New York Times looked back at 2013 once it was done, and they found that the House was only in session for 942 hours for the entire year.  When you break that down, it comes to about 18 hours a week.

If you go all the way back to 2006, there were just 104 legislative days in the House.  It is almost as if they just decided to take pretty much that whole year off.

This is what I am talking about when I say that we need to “flush the toilet”.  Those that are fortunate enough to be chosen to represent us in Washington should be some of the hardest working people in the entire country, and unfortunately we are getting just the exact opposite.

In the past there have been efforts to make members of Congress work full work weeks, but those efforts have always ended up failing

Some attempts have been made to force members of Congress to work full weeks. In 2015, for example, a Republican lawmaker from Florida, Rep. David Jolly, introduced legislation that would have required the House to be in session 40 hours a week when members of the House were in Washington, D.C.”A work week in Washington should be no different than a work week in every other town across the nation,” Jolly said at the time. Jolly’s measure failed to gain traction.

Congress gets especially lazy during the summer months.  Many Americans don’t realize that every year Congress takes the entire month of August off.  And actually, the House will be on vacation from July 29th all the way to September 4th in 2017.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you had the entire month of August off every year?

This year, U.S. Senator David Perdue is proposing that the August vacation be canceled because there is so much for Congress to do.  According to Senator Perdue, there are five major tasks that need to be accomplished by September 30th

First, we have to complete the work on the first phase of repealing Obamacare and fixing our health care system.

Second, we have to pass a budget resolution that will work within the reconciliation process for changing the tax code.

Third, we have to use the appropriations process to fund the federal government by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

Fourth, we have to deal with our debt limit. The Treasury Department has used extraordinary measures to buy time since the national debt hit its limit of $19.8 trillion in March.

Fifth, we have to finally act on our once-in-a-generation opportunity to change our archaic tax code, but we will only be able to do so if we achieve the first four priorities.

If those things don’t get done in time, members of Congress should not expect the voting public to have any sympathy for them.

Of course there are many that would argue that members of Congress actually work very hard and that they need all of that time off to “serve their constituents”.  The following comes from Snopes

Members of Congress have two jobs: represent their constituents and govern. These responsibilities do not always go hand in hand. Representing constituents means speaking with them in person, holding town hall meetings, organizing rallies, attending to casework, and otherwise being present in the district or state they represent. This is not easily done from a Washington office. Supporting or opposing legislation is an important part of a member’s’ job. However, it does not come close to capturing members’’ range of responsibilities. This is why even when Congress is out of session, members are at work. Most members of Congress work a five-to-six-day week. The representative aspect of Congress’’s job is almost completely ignored in these statistics.

Yes, without a doubt it is important for members of Congress to go back and interact with those that elected them.

But at the end of the day their main job is to do the work that they were elected to do.

And even when they are in Washington, many of these Congress critters are spending much of their time on activities that have nothing to do with legislation.  For example, in his new book entitled “Giant Of The Senate”, Senator Al Franken admits that he often spends much of his day on the phone raising money…

“It’s not uncommon to have three straight hours of call time scheduled as part of your day. … It’s brutal.”

This is why we need federal term limits.  If members of Congress were not so busy constantly raising money for their next elections maybe they would have time to actually get something done in Washington.

In November the American people gave the Republicans control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives.  Enormous amounts of time, money and energy went into those campaigns, and now we want to see some results.

Instead of flying off for a month-long vacation in August, Congress should stay in town and get to work.  The Republicans have already wasted much of the first half of 2017, and the mid-term elections are right around the corner.

It is time to change the way that Washington works, because right now we have a system that is deeply broken.

John McCain’s Incoherent Questioning Of James Comey Shows Why We Need Term Limits

Does America really need a permanent ruling class of career politicians?  According to Real Clear Politics, right now Congress has an average approval rating of just 18.8 percent.  It is an institution that is dominated by politicians that are able to keep winning elections over and over again because they are extremely good at raising money.  And our permanent ruling class of politicians has learned that it greatly pays to pander to the special interests and the wealthy donors that are able to inject large amounts of cash into their campaigns.  This incestuous system produces many incumbents that are almost unbeatable, and the result is that some of these Congress critters end up staying in Washington much, much longer than they should.

On Thursday, we witnessed a perfect example of this.  Senator John McCain’s incoherent questioning of James Comey got so much attention on social media that USA Today did a whole story about it

The Arizona Republican spent most of his allotted time for questioning Comey to ask about the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of State. But his questioning wasn’t exactly coming out in the most coherent manner.

“So she was clearly involved in this whole situation where, fake news — as you just described it, is a big deal — took place,” McCain said, referring to Clinton. “You’re going to have to help me out here. In other words, we’re complete, the investigation of anything former Secretary Clinton had to do with the campaign is over, and we don’t have to worry about it anymore?”

Comey replied, “I’m a little confused, senator.”

I would have been confused too.

No matter what you may think of McCain, it is clear that his ability to think clearly has gone way downhill.  In the aftermath of the hearing, McCain released a statement in which he blamed his incoherence on staying up late to watch baseball games…

“I get the sense from Twitter that my line of questioning today went over people’s heads. Maybe going forward, I shouldn’t stay up late watching the Diamondbacks night games.”

Of course there are many Democrats that are in the exact same boat.  For some reason, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has a really hard time remembering Donald Trump’s name

For at least the third time, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi referred to the current president as George W. Bush.

Talking about her battles with Republicans over abortion, Pelosi said, “For decades I’ve served in Congress and for decades I’ve had to fight the Republicans’ opposition to birth control, contraception and family planning.

“They do not believe in it,” Pelosi declared at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. “And a lot of those people voted for George— for, what’s his name?” she asked, apparently struggling to remember President Trump’s name.

And just recently, Pelosi could barely get through a 7 minute speech to Refugees International

She botched country names as she read them from her notes.

“With the specter of famine looming in, over northeast Nigeria, Somalia, south “Sudon,” and “Yuma — Yamen,” she said, flubbing “Yemen.”

Pelosi asserted cutting the foreign aid budget would “only deepen the crisis fighting — facing the children.”

“Children, America, children need America to be their champion,” she said moments later.

Pelosi thanked Refugees International for “channeling — challenging us to honor our values.”

Just over 7 minutes after she started, Pelosi thanked the group for the invitation, stood and stared awkwardly, then made her way off the stage.

We end up with politicians like this because the system makes it nearly impossible to conduct successful primary challenges against incumbents.  And once the general election comes, most areas of the country lean so far in one direction or the other that the candidate from the other party doesn’t stand a chance.

And to ensure that their “political careers” keep going, most members of Congress never stop raising money for their next campaigns.  In his new book entitled “Giant Of The Senate”, Senator Al Franken admits that he often spends several hours a day on the phone raising money…

“It’s not uncommon to have three straight hours of call time scheduled as part of your day. … It’s brutal.”

This is why I am proposing that we limit all members of the House and all members of the Senate to just one term.  If there were no re-election campaigns to raise money for, perhaps they could spend their time doing the jobs that we elected them to do in the first place.

This would be one of the fastest ways that we could clean up Washington.  Special interests and big donors would lose their ability to legally bribe members of Congress by donating to their next campaigns.  And instead of a permanent ruling class of career politicians, we could return to the days of actually having citizen representatives.

But of course convincing members of Congress to willingly limit their own political careers is not going to be easy.  Just getting any sort of term limits passed would be a great victory, but my long-term dream is to limit all members of Congress to just one term.

So other than members of Congress, who else would be against term limits?

Well, perhaps unsurprisingly I did find one article in the Washington Post that was against the idea…

Here’s a plan that is sure to improve the quality of your local hospital: Fire all the doctors and nurses with nine to 12 years of experience. Just kick them all out. Or why don’t we fire every Apple software engineer who has been at the company that long? That’ll surely yield better iPhones. Or fire every Post reporter with a decade under his or her belt.

No? Sound crazy? I agree. Those are terrible ideas.

If Congress was doing a good job, there may be some merit to that argument.

But at this point the American people are so universally dissatisfied with Congress that it is clear that something must be done.

So we should definitely encourage those that love liberty and freedom to challenge corrupt career politicians all over America in 2018, but we should also push very hard for term limits on every level of government.

It won’t be easy to get them, but just about anything that is worth doing in life is going to take some hard work.

The Debt Ceiling Deadline Has Passed, And Now The Biggest Test Of Donald Trump’s Presidency Begins…

On Wednesday, the temporary suspension of the debt ceiling ended, and so now the federal government is not going to be able to go into any more debt until the debt ceiling is raised. For the moment, the Trump administration can implement “emergency measures” to stay under the debt limit, but it won’t be too long before we get to a major crisis point because the federal government is quickly running out of cash. Already, the U.S. Treasury has less cash on hand than Apple or Google, and that cash balance is going to keep on dropping until the debt ceiling is finally lifted.

You may remember that the debt ceiling became a major issue a couple of times during the Obama years. Last time around, Barack Obama and the Republicans in Congress agreed to a horrendous deal which suspended the debt ceiling until several months after the 2016 election

Since President Barack Obama signed the “Bipartisan Budget Act” on Nov. 2, 2015 there had been no legal limit on the amount of money the federal government could borrow until now. That law included a section entitled “Temporary Extension of Public Debt Limit.” It said that the law imposing a limit on the federal debt “shall not apply for the period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and ending on March 15, 2017.”

During the 16 and a half months between the signing of that deal and today, the U.S. national debt rose by a whopping $1,414,397,000,000.

But now the U.S. national debt will not be allowed to rise by another penny until the debt ceiling is raised or suspended once again.

The Trump administration is pushing hard to get the debt ceiling raised, and this is a complete reversal from how Donald Trump felt about the debt ceiling back in 2013. The following comes from the L.A. Times

Trump sided with hard-liners in 2013, publicly opposing an increase. “I cannot believe the Republicans are extending the debt ceiling — I am a Republican & I am embarrassed!” he tweeted then.

Trump was actually right about the debt ceiling in 2013, and he is wrong now.

We simply cannot afford to keep adding trillions of dollars to the national debt. What we are doing to future generations of Americans is beyond criminal, because we are literally destroying their future just so that we can enjoy an inflated standard of living that we do not deserve today.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has already begun to implement “extraordinary measures” to keep us under the debt ceiling. The first step that was taken was the suspension of the sale of SLGS securities

“Today,” Mnuchin wrote, “Treasury is announcing that it will suspend the sale of State and Local Government Series (SLGS) securities. SLGS are special-purpose Treasury securities issued to states and municipalities to assist them in conforming to certain tax rules. These securities count against the debt limit. The suspension of SLGS sales will commence on March 15, 2017, and continue until the debt limit is either raised or suspended. As in the past, it is likely Treasury will utilize additional extraordinary measures.”

The federal government will be able to keep going for a little while by implementing such “extraordinary measures”, but the Treasury cash balance is going to continue to dwindle and at some point a major squeeze is going to happen.

As things get tighter and tighter, the Trump administration will become increasingly desperate to get the debt ceiling raised. As I wrote about yesterday, the key for Trump is going to be finding 218 votes in the House of Representatives that will be willing to go along with him.

You would think that since Republicans control the House that this should be easy, but the truth is that there are a lot of conservative Republicans that are not inclined to agree to a debt ceiling increase without substantial accompanying budget cuts.

The proposed budget that Trump released this week is getting a lot of criticism from the left for cuts to social programs, but the truth is that it actually doesn’t reduce the deficit at all

President Trump’s “skinny” budget blueprint for 2018 features a proposed $54 billion increase in defense spending and an equal number of spending cuts from the smallest part of the federal budget.

That means his changes won’t add to next year’s projected $487 billion deficit. But they won’t reduce it, either.

And remember, that “$487 billion” figure is just for show. During the Obama years the U.S. national debt increased by an average of well over a trillion dollars a year, and that is almost certainly going to continue for years to come as long as the debt ceiling is raised.

Republicans are supposed to be the party of fiscal responsibility.

So now is their big test.

If they raise the debt ceiling and continue adding more than a trillion dollars a year to the national debt, they will lose all credibility with conservative voters on fiscal issues.

But if they try to force the federal government to start living within its means that is going to severely harm the economy in the short-term.

Donald Trump is going to have to try to figure out a way to navigate this crisis. He has already promised that he will not touch Social Security and Medicare, and those are the two biggest drivers of our budget deficits. In fact, it is being projected that entitlement spending and interest on the debt will eat up every single penny that the federal government takes in within 20 years.

So if Trump won’t touch the big entitlement programs, where will he possibly find enough cuts to satisfy the fiscal conservatives in Congress?

Without them, Trump does not have enough votes to raise the debt ceiling.

In addition, many of the conservatives in Congress absolutely hate the new Republican health care plan, and they hope to use this debt ceiling crisis as leverage to change the bill.

If Trump can’t work out something with conservatives, perhaps he could turn to the Democrats. But most Democrats are extremely resistant to work with him on anything after all that has been said and done, and so for Trump to get a deal with them he would have to make extreme concessions.

This represents the biggest political test for the Trump presidency so far, and if we get down the road a couple of months and nothing gets done, this debt ceiling crisis could spark the kind of financial crisis that I describe in my novel entitled “The Beginning Of The End“.

Barack Obama pushed things right to the brink a couple of times, but he was savvy enough politically to never let things go over the edge.

Now it is Trump’s turn, and somehow he has got to find a way to get the debt ceiling raised without making extremely deep compromises that would gut the rest of his agenda.

And he had better get to work on this quickly, because time is running out and the clock is ticking…

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

The Globalists Strike Back With A Major Push Toward A Cashless Society

Their agenda may be on the rocks in the United States at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that the globalists are giving up. In fact, a major push toward a cashless society is being made in the European Union right now. Last May we learned that the 500 euro note is being completely eliminated, and just a few weeks ago the European Commission released a new “Action Plan” which instructs member states to explore “potential upper limits to cash payments”. In the name of “fighting terrorism”, this “Action Plan” discusses the benefits of “prohibitions for cash payments above a specific threshold” and it says that those prohibitions should include “virtual currencies (such as BitCoin) and prepaid instruments (such as pre-paid credit cards) when they are used anonymously.”

This new document does not mention what an appropriate threshold would be for member states, but we do know that Spain already bans certain cash transactions above 2,500 euros, and Italy and France already ban cash transactions above 1,000 euros.

This is a perfect way to transition to a cashless society without creating too much of an uproar. By setting a maximum legal level for cash transactions and slowly lowering it, in effect you can slowly but surely phase cash out without people understanding what is happening.

And there are many places in Europe where it is very difficult to even use cash at this point. In Sweden, many banks no longer take or give out cash, and approximately 95 percent of all retail transactions are entirely cashless. So even though Sweden has not officially banned cash, using cash is no longer practical in most situations. In fact, many tourists are shocked to find out that they cannot even pay bus fare with cash.

So most of Europe is already moving in this direction, and now this new Action Plan is intended to accelerate the transition toward a cashless society. The public is being told that these measures are being taken to fight money laundering and terrorism, but of course that is only a small part of the truth. The following comes from the Anti-Media

The European Action Plan doesn’t mention a specific dollar amount for restrictions, but as expected, their reasoning for the move is to thwart money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Border checks between countries have already been bolstered to help implement these new standards on hard assets. Although these end goals are plausible, there are other clear motivations for governments to target paper money that aren’t as noble.

In a truly cashless society, governments would be able to track where everybody is and what everybody is doing all the time. And in order to have access to the cashless system, people would have to comply with whatever requirements governments wanted to impose on their helpless populations. The potential for tyranny that this would create would be off the charts, but very few people seem greatly alarmed by the move toward a cashless system all over the globe.

Even in the United States there are calls for a cashless system. For example, the former chief economist for the IMF wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal not too long ago in which he recommended the elimination of the $100 bill

“There is little debate among law-enforcement agencies that paper currency, especially large notes such as the U.S. $100 bill, facilitates crime: racketeering, extortion, money laundering, drug and human trafficking, the corruption of public officials, not to mention terrorism. There are substitutes for cash—cryptocurrencies, uncut diamonds, gold coins, prepaid cards—but for many kinds of criminal transactions, cash is still king. It delivers absolute anonymity, portability, liquidity and near-universal acceptance.”

Over in Asia restrictions are being put on cash as well. Legendary investor Jim Rogers commented on what is currently happening in India during one recent podcast

The time will come when you won’t be able to buy a cup of coffee without being traced, warns investment guru Jim Rogers. To control people, governments will increasingly seek to hunt down cash spending, he adds.

“Governments are always looking out for themselves first, and it’s the same old thing that has been going on for hundreds of years. The Indians recently did the same thing. They withdrew 86 percent of the currency in circulation, and they have now made it illegal to spend more than, I think it’s about $4,000 in any cash transaction. In France you cannot use more than, I think it’s a €1,000,” said Rogers in an interview with MacroVoices Podcast.

The reason why this is taking place all over the planet is because this is a global agenda.

The globalists ultimately plan to completely eliminate cash, and this will give them an unprecedented level of control over humanity.

One thing that many fear may someday be implemented is some form of microchip identification system. In order to access the cashless grid, you would need your “ID chip” so that the system could positively identify you, but of course there are millions of people around the world that do not intend to get chipped under any circumstances.

In the old days, you would be labeled a “conspiracy theorist” just for suggesting that they may try to chip all of us one day, but in 2017 things have completely changed.

Just look at what is happening in Nevada. A bill has been introduced in the state senate that would outlaw the “forced microchipping of people”

State Sen. Becky Harris said a bill to prohibit forced microchipping of people is not as far-fetched as it might seem, because it happens in some places around the world.

Senate Bill 109 would make it a Class C felony to require someone to be implanted with a radio frequency identifier, such as microchips placed in pets.

The idea for the bill came from a constituent, the Las Vegas Republican said.

If that sounds very strange to you, then you may not know that companies all around the globe are already starting to explore this type of technology. For instance, a company in Belgium called NewFusion has actually begun to microchip their employees

In a move that could be lifted straight from science fiction, workers at a Belgian marketing firm are being offered the chance to have microchips implanted in their bodies.

The chips contain personal information and provide access to the company’s IT systems and headquarters, replacing existing ID cards.

The controversial devices raise questions about personal security and safety, including whether they may allow the movements of people with implants to be tracked.

Technology like this often starts off being “voluntary”, but then after enough people willingly accept it the transition to “mandatory” is not too difficult.

We live at one of the most critical moments in all of human history, and the globalists are certainly not going to lay down and die just because Donald Trump won the election.

The U.S. represents less than five percent of the population of the planet, and in most of the world the agenda of the globalists is on track and is rapidly advancing.

The globalists want a unified one world economy, a unified one world religion and a unified one world government. The election of Donald Trump was a blow to the globalists, but it has also made them more dangerous, more ruthless and more determined than ever before.

And in case you think that using the term “globalists” is a bit strange, the truth is that even the New York Times is using it to describe the global elite and their global agenda.

We are in a life or death battle for the future of our society, and the globalists are never going to give up until they get what they want. So now is not a time for complacency, because the very future of our country is at stake.

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

These Countries Have Nearly ‘Eliminated Cash From Circulation’

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We recently learned how serious these criminals are about stealing the sovereignty of every person on planet earth. Actually, most people are willingly handing over their sovereignty to the banks/government and have no idea what they are actually doing.

When India ban, made illegal, the 500 and 1000 rupee banknote this move effected every 1 out of 7 people on planet earth. That means that every 7th person, anywhere and everywhere, you come in contact with may have been effected by this cash ban.

Our individual sovereignty is tied directly to our ability to move freely about. When every step we make is tracked by the bank/government our sovereignty is gone forever. Freely trading commerce is one of the cornerstones of human sovereignty. Without the ability to conduct business with whom we wish, when we wish we are nothing more than cattle to the overlords of the land.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

During The Coming Economic Crisis Two-Thirds Of The Country Will Be Out Of Cash Almost Immediately

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Did you know that almost 70 percent of the U.S. population is essentially living paycheck to paycheck? As you will see below, a brand new survey has found that 69 percent of all Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. Of course one of the primary reasons for this is that most of us are absolutely drowning in debt. In fact, the total amount of household debt in the United States now exceeds 12 trillion dollars. So many Americans are so busy just trying to pay off their existing debts that they can’t even think about saving anything for the future. If economic conditions remain relatively stable, the fact that so many of us are living on the edge probably won’t kill us. But the moment the economy plunges into another 2008-style crisis (or worse), we could be facing a situation where two-thirds of the country is in imminent danger of running out of cash.

If you are living paycheck to paycheck, you live under the constant threat of your life being totally turned upside down if that paycheck ever goes away. During the last crisis, millions of Americans lost their jobs very rapidly, and because so many of them were living paycheck to paycheck all of a sudden large numbers of people couldn’t pay their mortgages. As a result, multitudes of American families went through the extremely painful process of foreclosure.

Unfortunately, it appears that we have not learned anything from the last go around. According to the brand new survey that I mentioned above, 69 percent of all Americans have less than $1,000 in savings…

Last year, GoBankingRates surveyed more than 5,000 Americans only to uncover that 62% of them had less than $1,000 in savings. Last month GoBankingRates again posed the question to Americans of how much they had in their savings account, only this time it asked 7,052 people. The result? Nearly seven in 10 Americans (69%) had less than $1,000 in their savings account.

Breaking the survey data down a bit further, we find that 34% of Americans don’t have a dime in their savings account, while another 35% have less than $1,000. Of the remaining survey-takers, 11% have between $1,000 and $4,999, 4% have between $5,000 and $9,999, and 15% have more than $10,000.

Perhaps the most alarming fact from this survey is that 62 percent of all Americans had less than $1,000 in savings last year. So that means that this number has gotten 7 percent worse over the last 12 months.

How did that happen? I thought the mainstream media was telling us that the economy was getting better…

Look, if you don’t have an emergency fund you are in danger of losing everything. This is a point that I have been making over and over again for years, and in an article about this new survey USA Today made this point very strongly as well…

This data is particularly worrisome since the recommendation is for Americans to have six months in expenses saved in case of an emergency, such as a large medical expense, car repair bill, or losing your job. Without this emergency fund to fall back on, millions of Americans could be risking financial disaster.

As the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, people are constantly asking me what they should do to get prepared for what is coming.

The number one thing that I always suggest is to build up an emergency fund.

In a chaotic situation it is always hard to anticipate accurately what is going to happen, but without a doubt we are all going to need to continue to pay our bills and to buy things for our families during the next crisis.

Yes, someday the U.S. dollar will become rather worthless, but until that happens you are going to need to continue to put a roof over the heads of your family and to put food on the table.

And you are going to need money to do those things.

Some time ago, the Federal Reserve also found that a large percentage of Americans are living on the edge of financial disaster. They discovered that 47 percent of all Americans could not even come up with $400 to pay for an unexpected emergency room visit without borrowing the money or selling something that they own.

If you can’t even come up with $400 you are really hurting, but that is the status of about half the country these days.

We are continually being told that the economy is strong, but that is simply not the truth.

In fact, it turns out that the period from 2005 to 2015 was the worst period for per capita real GDP growth in modern American history. The following comes from Zero Hedge

  1. Growth was unusually strong in the 1960s and early 1970s. In every year from 1966 through 1973, per-capita income was up between 30 percent and 40 percent from a decade earlier. Thus, it’s not surprising that many Americans recall this as a great period for the nation’s economy.
  2. In every year from 1984 to 2007 — a period that economists call the Great Moderation, because of the way both growth and interest rates stabilized — per-person income was up between 20 percent and 30 percent from a decade earlier. That’s ample reason for Americans to view this as a good period for the economy.
  3. Cumulative per-person growth from 2005 to 2015 was lower than in any prior decade in the sample. That certainly helps explain why many Americans are unhappy with the nation’s recent economic performance.

And as I repeat over and over, Barack Obama is on track to be the one and only president in all of American history to never have a single year when the economy grew by at least 3 percent, and he has had eight years to try to accomplish that feat.

Why doesn’t Donald Trump ever bring up that amazing fact? I would think that he could get a lot of mileage out of that number.

At this point, nobody can deny that the middle class is shrinking. 61 percent of all Americans lived in middle class households in 1971, but now the middle class makes up a minority of the population for the very first time in our history.

Back in 1970, the middle class brought home approximately 62 percent of all income, but today that figure has plummeted to just 43 percent.

Those that are still doing well often dismiss those that are struggling by barking out such phrases as “get a job”, but the truth is that getting a good job is not so easy these days.

The most recent statistics show that there are 7.9 million Americans that are considered to be officially unemployed. When you add that number to the 94.1 million working age Americans that are considered to be “not in the labor force”, you get a grand total of 102 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.

And just because you do have a job does not mean that everything is okay. As I have discussed previously, 51 percent of all U.S. workers make less than $30,000 a year according to the Social Security Administration.

Everywhere you look things seem to be getting worse and not better. Not too long ago I documented the explosion of tent cities all over the country as poverty continues to rise, and I discussed how one study found that some young women in our impoverished inner cities are so desperate that they are actually trading sex for food.

Sadly, it isn’t just a few hard cases that we are talking about. Even in areas of the country that are supposed to be “doing well” we are seeing record-setting poverty numbers. For example, it was recently reported that the number of New Yorkers sleeping in homeless shelters just set a brand new all-time high, and the number of New York families permanently living in homeless shelters is up 60 percent over the past five years.

If things are this bad during an “economic recovery”, what are they going to look like once the economy really starts imploding?

And considering the fact that almost 70 percent of the population has virtually no savings, could our nation handle an extended economic downturn that may be even worse than what we experienced in 2008 and 2009?

As a nation we truly are living on the edge, and it isn’t going to take very much at all to push us into oblivion.

About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and End Of The American Dream. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

Amerigeddon: Are You Ready For The Chaos That Will Ensue When The Power Grid Is Brought Down?

Electromagnetic Pulse Attack - Creative Commons

What would America look like with absolutely no electricity? Could you survive in a world with no lights, no cell phones, no computers, no televisions, no ATMs, no cash registers and no refrigerators? Such a world is not as far away as you might think. A very powerful nuclear blast directly over the center of the continental United States could potentially fry electronic equipment from coast to coast, and it would take months or even years to fully restore power. During that time, the entire country would be plunged into chaos and experts tell us that tens of millions of Americans would die. But even if we are never attacked by a nuclear weapon in that manner, scientists assure us that it is inevitable that a massive electromagnetic blast from the sun will produce a similar result someday anyway. In fact, back in 1859 a giant solar storm that came to be known as “the Carrington Event” fried telegraph machines all across North America and Europe. If a similar event happened today, life as we know it would be brought to an abrupt halt, and chaos would ensue from coast to coast.

In two days, a bold new movie will be released in theaters that portrays what the aftermath of such an event would look like in this country. It is entitled “AMERIGEDDON”, and it was directed by Mike Norris, the son of Chuck Norris. You can view the official trailer for the film right here

I wish that more movies like this would come out, because most of what Hollywood produces these days is absolute garbage. Our entertainment-addicted society needs films like this that educate and inform, and I hope that as many Americans as possible get a chance to see it because this threat is very real.

In 2001, Congress established a commission to study the EMP threat, and those on the commission examined this problem quite extensively for a number of years. In 2008, members of the commission reported to Congress that they had come to the conclusion that the consequences of such an event would be absolutely catastrophic for this nation

In 2008, the commission warned that “a high altitude nuclear explosion is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences.” If such an attack were to cause a nationwide blackout lasting as long as a year, up to 90 percent of the American people could die due to starvation, disease and societal collapse.

Personally, I think that the 90 percent figure is too high.

But what if it was just 50 percent of all Americans that died? We are still talking about the most horrific disaster in U.S. history by a very wide margin, and it would essentially mean the end of the Republic.

So what has Congress done about this threat?

Next to nothing, and this has many of the experts quite upset.

One of them is former CIA analyst Peter Vincent Pry. He now serves as the executive director of the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security, and he recently had the following to say about the threat that we are potentially facing

Ours is an electronic civilization. Electricity runs everything, including the economy. Electricity sustains the lives of 320 million Americans.

Terrorists could inflict “The greatest injury on the greatest number” by attacking the national electric grid and blacking-out all the life sustaining critical infrastructures.

A nationwide blackout would, in effect, turn the “off switch” for the United States. A terror blackout that lasts one year could kill so many people and cause such chaos that the lights might never come back on.

No less than two congressional commissions, the EMP Commission (2008) and the Strategic Posture Commission (2009) and numerous independent studies, including the recent books Lights Out and Blackout Wars, warn that an attack on the grid is an existential threat. A terror blackout could have such catastrophic consequences as to challenge the continued existence of our civilization.

And remember, no attack is even necessary in order for the power grid to be brought down. In fact, most Americans have absolutely no idea that our planet barely missed being fried by a massive EMP burst from the sun in both 2012 and 2013. Those two “near misses” were both extremely close, and if either of them had hit us directly you would not be reading this article today.

So please help spread the word about this new movie. Here is some more information about it that comes directly from the official website

AMERIGEDDON, coming to theaters nationwide May 13, 2016, has been described as “the movie the establishment doesn’t want you to see.” Showing what happens when a not-so-future U.S. government conspires with the United Nations to stage an attack on the energy grid, AMERIGEDDON depicts a country ruled by martial law in which citizens are stripped of their constitutional rights and their guns. A group of patriots fight back and rescue the country from slipping into irreversible chaos.

AMERIGEDDON’s release in an election year is not coincidental. The film illustrates a dystopian future all patriots must guard against and is a call to action to preserve the Second Amendment and stop executive rule by fiat. Director Mike Norris, son of Chuck Norris, asks for like-minded Americans to support the film.

“The fact that a recent poll showed a majority of Americans are enraged with the federal government points to a frenzy of unrest with the dictatorial way in which our country has been run,” said Norris. “My family has long been involved in protecting the rights of Americans. We are concerned about the future and and see this film as a call to action. We urge people to join us in theaters and show Hollywood and politicians that true patriots will fight for their rights and want to see their values represented on-screen.”

A collaboration between Norris and entrepreneur and writer Gary Heavin, AMERIGEDDON seizes on fact-based threats and asks the ultimate question, “What happens when government turns on the people it’s supposed to protect?”

The sad thing is that the experts tell us that we could go a long way toward protecting our power grid from an EMP event for just a few billion dollars.

But there is absolutely no urgency among our leaders to get this done. They would rather waste our tax dollars in thousands of other ways.

And unfortunately, there is not much urgency to address this threat among ordinary Americans either. There are a variety of reasons for this, but I would like to touch on one. There seems to be a belief among many Americans that God would never allow something this bad to happen to us since we are so special. Of course this is complete nonsense, and anyone that doubts this should check out my new article in which I point out the parallels between modern America and Nazi Germany.

The executive producer of AMERIGEDDON, Gary Heavin, also pointed out the absurdity of this belief during a recent appearance on one of the biggest Christian shows in America

Over the years, I have repeatedly written about this EMP threat. There is a chapter in “Get Prepared Now” about it, and I extensively warn that a day of reckoning is coming for America in my new book.

Sadly, most people are not listening.

Most people just seem to believe that everything is going to be okay somehow.

But as far as this EMP threat is concerned, the experts assure us that it is absolutely certain that a massive burst from the sun will inevitably fry our electronics someday even if we are never attacked with a nuclear device. In addition, sources in the intelligence community are telling us that foreign hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and that someday they could bring down our power grid with just the push of a button. This is something that Ted Koppel is so alarmed about that he wrote an entire book about it.

So I don’t know why Barack Obama doesn’t want to do anything about this.

And I certainly can’t figure out why Congress doesn’t want to do anything about this.

It is almost as if a cloud of insanity has descended upon the land and nobody can think straight.

Let us hope that our leaders wake up and start addressing this threat, because someday we will most certainly have to deal with an event of this nature.

It is just a matter of time.

*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

The Beast System Arises: The Largest Bank In Norway Calls For The Elimination Of Cash

The Beast System - Public Domain

The biggest bank in Norway is calling for the complete and total elimination of cash.  Many local bank branches in Norway already don’t deal in cash, but that is not good enough for DNB.  They want a blanket ban on the use of cash, and they are selling this as a way to crack down on criminals and money launderers.  But in the end, the truth is that they want to be able to force everyone in society to use the banks and it would enable them to collect fees on almost every transaction.  It is an agenda that is being driven by greed, but it could also open the door for great tyranny.  Unfortunately, we are not just seeing aggressive movement toward a cashless society in Norway.  It is also happening in Sweden, in Denmark and in many other nations all around the globe.  The Beast system is rising, and yet very few people out there even seem alarmed by this.

When I first learned about what was happening in Norway, I was absolutely stunned.  I have ancestors that came over to America from over there, and I had no idea that this was happening.  The following comes from the International Business Times

The largest bank in Norway has called for the country to stop using cash, the Local reported Friday. This comes as the latest move in a country that has been leading the global charge toward electronic money in recent years, with several banks already not offering cash in their branch offices and some industries seeking to cut back on paper currency.

Of course this idea is being sold as something that will be really good for Norwegian society.  DNB promises that eliminating cash will help authorities crack down on criminal activity and money laundering.  Here is more from the International Business Times

“Today, there is approximately 50 billion kroner in circulation and [the country’s central bank] Norges Bank can only account for 40 percent of its use. That means that 60 percent of money usage is outside of any control. We believe that is due to under-the-table money and laundering,” Trond Bentestuen, a DNB executive, told Norwegian website VG, the Local reported.

There are so many dangers and disadvantages associated with cash, we have concluded that it should be phased out,” he added.

But in addition to catching more criminals, there are many other reasons why governments really like the idea of a cashless society.  It would also mean that no financial transaction would escape taxation, and it would also enable them to watch, track and monitor everything that we do much more closely.

And banks would be absolutely thrilled with a cashless society.  Every member of society would be forced to use the system, bank runs would be eliminated, and every time we swipe our cards they would collect a fee.

In addition, there would be absolutely no escaping the bank bail-ins that are coming in Europe.  If there was no way to pull your money out of the system, there would be no way to avoid the kind of theft that has now been institutionalized by European authorities.  I covered the brand new bail-in rules that went into effect in Europe on January 1st, 2016 in a previous article

If you have a bank account anywhere in Europe, you need to read this article.  On January 1st, 2016, a new bail-in system will go into effect for all European banks.  This new system is based on the Cyprus bank bail-ins that we witnessed a few years ago.  If you will remember, money was grabbed from anyone that had more than 100,000 euros in their bank accounts in order to bail out the banks.  Now the exact same principles that were used in Cyprus are going to apply to all of Europe.

Sadly, we are now witnessing a major push toward a cashless society all over the planet.

It is happening in China, in India, and all over Europe.  In fact, some nations in Europe have already banned cash transactions over a certain level.  Here are just a couple of examples

As I have written about previously, cash transactions of more than 2,500 euros have already been banned in Spain, and France and Italy have both banned all cash transactions of more than 1,000 euros.

Little by little, cash is being eradicated, and what we have seen so far is just the beginning.  417 billion cashless transactions were conducted in 2014, and the final number for 2015 is projected to be much higher.

Of course the epicenter for the transition to a cashless society continues to be northern Europe.

Denmark intends to entirely eradicate cash by the year 2030, and the transition to a cashless society in Sweden is now almost complete

Did you know that 95 percent of all retail sales in Sweden are cashless?  And did you know that the government of Denmark has a stated goal of “eradicating cash” by the year 2030?  All over the world, we are seeing a relentless march toward a cashless society, and nowhere is this more true than in northern Europe.  In Sweden, hundreds of bank branches no longer accept or dispense cash, and thousands of ATM machines have been permanently removed.  At this point, bills and coins only account for just 2 percent of the Swedish economy, and many stores no longer take cash at all.  The notion of a truly “cashless society” was once considered to be science fiction, but now we are being told that it is “inevitable”, and authorities insist that it will enable them to thwart criminals, terrorists, drug runners, money launderers and tax evaders.  But what will we give up in the process?

The potential for tyranny is what has me concerned more than anything.

Just imagine a world where you could not buy, sell, get a job or open a bank account without participating in “the system”.

If you chose to opt out, how would you and your family survive?

And it would be way too easy for the government to set requirements for participation in the system.  For example, they could make it illegal to sell to anyone without the proper government-issued form of identification, or they could require some form of loyalty oath as a pre-condition for enrollment.

The war on cash is a direct assault on the fundamental liberties and freedoms that we enjoy today.  They may promise us that a cashless society will make our lives better right now, but tomorrow I am afraid that it could open the door to tyranny on a level that most of us would have never even imagined.

War On Cash: European Nations Such As Sweden And Denmark Are ‘Eradicating Cash’

Cashless Society - Public Domain

Did you know that 95 percent of all retail sales in Sweden are cashless? And did you know that the government of Denmark has a stated goal of “eradicating cash” by the year 2030? All over the world, we are seeing a relentless march toward a cashless society, and nowhere is this more true than in northern Europe. In Sweden, hundreds of bank branches no longer accept or dispense cash, and thousands of ATM machines have been permanently removed. At this point, bills and coins only account for just 2 percent of the Swedish economy, and many stores no longer take cash at all. The notion of a truly “cashless society” was once considered to be science fiction, but now we are being told that it is “inevitable”, and authorities insist that it will enable them to thwart criminals, terrorists, drug runners, money launderers and tax evaders. But what will we give up in the process?

In Sweden, the transition to a cashless society is being enthusiastically embraced. The following is an excerpt from a New York Times article that was published on Saturday…

Parishioners text tithes to their churches. Homeless street vendors carry mobile credit-card readers. Even the Abba Museum, despite being a shrine to the 1970s pop group that wrote “Money, Money, Money,” considers cash so last-century that it does not accept bills and coins.

Few places are tilting toward a cashless future as quickly as Sweden, which has become hooked on the convenience of paying by app and plastic.

To me, giving money in church electronically seems so bizarre. But it is starting to happen here in the United States, and in Sweden some churches collect most of their tithes and offerings this way

During a recent Sunday service, the church’s bank account number was projected onto a large screen. Worshipers pulled out cellphones and tithed through an app called Swish, a payment system set up by Sweden’s biggest banks that is fast becoming a rival to cards.

Other congregants lined up at a special “Kollektomat” card machine, where they could transfer funds to various church operations. Last year, out of 20 million kronor in tithes collected, more than 85 percent came in by card or digital payment.

And of course it isn’t just Sweden that is rapidly transitioning to a cashless society. Over in Denmark, government officials have a goal “to completely do away with paper money” by the year 2030

Sweden is not the only country interested in eradicating cash. Its neighbor, Denmark, is also making great strides to lessen the circulation of banknotes in the country.

Two decades ago, roughly 80 percent of Danish citizens relied on hard cash while shopping. Fast forward to today, that figure has dropped dramatically to 25 percent.

We’re interested in getting rid of cash,” said Matas IT Director Thomas Grane. “The handling, security and everything else is expensive; so, definitely we want to push digital payments, and that’s of course why we introduced mobile payments to help this process.”

Eventually, establishments may soon have the right to reject cash- a practice that is common in Sweden. Government officials have set a 2030 deadline to completely do away with paper money.

Could you imagine a world where you couldn’t use cash for anything?

This is the direction things are going – especially in Europe.

As I have written about previously, cash transactions of more than 2,500 euros have already been banned in Spain, and France and Italy have both banned all cash transactions of more than 1,000 euros.

Little by little, cash is being eradicated, and what we have seen so far is just the beginning. 417 billion cashless transactions were conducted in 2014, and the final number for 2015 is projected to be much higher.

Banks like this change, because it enables them to make more money due to the fees that they collect from credit cards and debit cards. And governments like this change because electronic payments enable them to watch, track and monitor what we are all doing much more easily.

These days, very rarely does anyone object to what is happening. Instead, most of us just seem to accept that this change is “inevitable”, and we are being assured that it will be for the better. And no matter where in the world you go, the propaganda seems to be the same. For example, the following comes from an Australian news source

AND so we prepare to turn the page to fresh year — 2016, a watershed year in which Australia will accelerate towards becoming a genuine cashless society.

The cashless society will be a new world free of $1 and $2 coins, or $5 or $10 bank notes. A new world in which all commercial transactions, from buying an i-pad or a hamburger to playing the poker machines, purchasing a newspaper, paying household bills or picking up the dry-cleaning, will be paid for electronically.

And in that same article the readers are told that Australia will likely be “a fully cashless society” by 2022…

Research by Westpac Bank predicts Australia will be a fully cashless society by 2022 — just six years away. Already half of all commercial payments are now made electronically.

Even in some of the poorest areas on the entire globe we are seeing a move toward a cashless society. In 2015, banks in India made major progress on this front, and income tax rebates are being considered by the government as an incentive “to encourage people to move away from cash transactions“.

Would a truly cashless society reduce crime and make all of our lives much more efficient?

Maybe.

But what would we have to give up?

To me, America is supposed to be a place where we can go where we want and do what we want without the government constantly monitoring us. If people choose to use cashless forms of payment that is one thing, but if we are all required to go to such a system I fear that it could result in the loss of tremendous amounts of freedom and liberty.

And it is all too easy to imagine a world where a government-sponsored form of “identification” would be required to use any form of electronic payment. This would give the government complete control over who could use “the system” and who could not. The potential for various forms of coercion and tyranny in such a scenario is obvious.

What would you do if you could not buy, sell, get a job or open a bank account without proper “identification” someday? What you simply give in to whatever the government was demanding of you at the time even if it went against your fundamental beliefs?

That is certainly something to think about.

Many will cheer as the world makes a rapid transition to a cashless society, but I will not. I believe that a truly cashless system would open the door for great evil, and I don’t want any part of it.

What about you?

Would you welcome a cashless society?

Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

They Are Slowly Making Cash Illegal

Cash - Public Domain

The move to a cashless society won’t happen overnight. Instead, it is being implemented very slowly and systematically in a series of incremental steps. All over the planet, governments are starting to place restrictions on the use of cash for security reasons. As citizens, we are being told that this is being done to thwart criminals, terrorists, drug runners, money launderers and tax evaders. Other forms of payment are much easier for governments to track, and so they very much prefer them. But we are rapidly getting to the point where the use of cash is considered to be a “suspicious activity” all by itself. These days, if you pay a hotel bill with cash or if you pay for several hundred dollars worth of goods at a store with cash you are probably going to get looked at funny. You see, the truth is that we have already been trained to regard the use of large amounts of cash to be unusual. The next step will be to formally ban large cash transactions like France and other countries in Europe are already doing.

Starting in September, cash transactions of more than 1,000 euros will be banned in France. The following comes from a recent Zero Hedge article which detailed what these new restrictions will do…

Prohibiting French residents from making cash payments of more than 1,000 euros, down from the current limit of 3,000 euros.

Given the parlous state of the stagnating French economy the limit for foreign tourists on currency payments will remain higher, at 10,000 euros down from the current limit of 15,000 euros.

The threshold below which a French resident is free to convert euros into other currencies without having to show an identity card will be slashed from the current level of 8,000 euros to 1,000 euros.

In addition any cash deposit or withdrawal of more than 10,000 euros during a single month will be reported to the French anti-fraud and money laundering agency Tracfin.

French authorities will also have to be notified of any freight transfers within the EU exceeding 10,000 euros, including checks, pre-paid cards, or gold.

Of course Spain has already banned cash transactions of more than 2,500 euros and Italy has already banned cash transactions of more than 1,000 euros.

We don’t have these kinds of outright bans in the United States just yet, but what we do have are some very strict reporting requirements.

For example, if you regularly deposit large amounts of cash, there is a very good chance that you have been the subject of a “suspicious activity report”. In 2013, approximately 1.6 million suspicious activity reports were submitted to the federal government.

The following guidelines for when a suspicious activity report should be filed come from a government website

*****

Banks, bank holding companies, and their subsidiaries are required by federal regulations53 to file a SAR with respect to:

  • Criminal violations involving insider abuse in any amount.
  • Criminal violations aggregating $5,000 or more when a suspect can be identified.
  • Criminal violations aggregating $25,000 or more regardless of a potential suspect.
  • Transactions conducted or attempted by, at, or through the bank (or an affiliate) and aggregating $5,000 or more, if the bank or affiliate knows, suspects, or has reason to suspect that the transaction:
    • May involve potential money laundering or other illegal activity (e.g., terrorism financing).54
    • Is designed to evade the BSA or its implementing regulations.55
    • Has no business or apparent lawful purpose or is not the type of transaction that the particular customer would normally be expected to engage in, and the bank knows of no reasonable explanation for the transaction after examining the available facts, including the background and possible purpose of the transaction.

*****

Most people don’t realize this, but there are minimum quotas for suspicious activity reports that banks must meet. If they do not submit enough suspicious activity reports, they can be fined (or worse).

And now the Obama administration is saying that just filling out suspicious activity reports may not be good enough.

According to the Wall Street Journal, banks are actually being encouraged to directly contact law enforcement if they see something that does not look right…

The U.S. Justice Department’s criminal head said banks may need to go beyond filing suspicious activity reports when they encounter a risky customer.

“The vast majority of financial institutions file suspicious activity reports when they suspect that an account is connected to nefarious activity,” said assistant attorney general Leslie Caldwell in a Monday speech, according to prepared remarks. “But, in appropriate cases, we encourage those institutions to consider whether to take more action: specifically, to alert law enforcement authorities about the problem.”

The remarks indicate that banks may be expected to do more than just file SARs, a responsibility that itself can be expensive and time-consuming.

That should send a chill up your spine.

In a recent piece, Simon Black imagined a future scenario in which some unsuspecting American citizen goes to the bank to withdraw a large amount of cash…

Imagine going to the bank to withdraw some cash.

Having some cash on hand is always a prudent strategy, and especially today when more and more bank deposits are creeping into negative territory, meaning that you have to pay the banks for the privilege that they gamble with your money.

You tell the teller that you’d like to withdraw $5,000 from your account. She hesitates nervously and wants to know why.

You try to politely let her know that that’s none of the bank’s business as it’s your money.

The teller disappears for a few minutes, leaving you waiting.

When she returns she tells you that you can collect your money in a few days as they don’t have it on hand at the moment.

Slightly irritated because of the inconvenience, you head home.

But as you pull into your driveway later there’s an unexpected surprise waiting for you: two police officers would like to have a word with you about your intended withdrawal earlier…

Perhaps you don’t think that anything like that could ever happen to you.

Well, consider what the feds are doing to one widow in Iowa

A widow’s bank account was seized by the IRS and she now faces criminal charges for depositing her legal inheritance money in lumps instead of all together.

Janet Malone, 68, had $18,775 seized from her — money that was legally earned and was legally bestowed to her by her late husband, Ronald Malone. The problem, according to the government, was the fact that she deposited it in several lumps instead of all at once.

According to the Associated Press, Mrs. Malone deposited the cash in increments between $5,800 and $9,000. The widow’s private financial affairs evidently set off red flags under the watchful gaze of the federal government.

Remember, she was not guilty of committing any crime other than depositing cash in lumps instead of all at once.

If this is how ruthless the feds will be with an elderly widow, how would they treat you under similar circumstances?

So why are they doing this?

The truth is that they want to discourage the public from using cash. Our government, just like governments all over the planet, is not being shy about the fact that it does not like cash. If they can make people afraid to use cash, that suits their purposes very well.

And with each passing year the restrictions on the use of cash globally will just get tighter and tighter and the role that cash plays in our lives will just become smaller and smaller.

In the end, a transition to an almost entirely cashless society will seem almost natural. Cash is being killed off one slow step at a time, and at this point hardly anyone is objecting.

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

Rich hoard cash as their wealth reaches record high

Cash - Public Domain

The amount of individuals that hold more than $30 million in assets has climbed to a new record in 2014, according to a global survey on Wednesday, which also warned that a lack of diversification meant that this wealth is not protected from shocks to the financial system.

12,040 of these new ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals were minted in the year ending June 2014, said the Wealth-X and UBS World Ultra Wealth Report released on Wednesday. This meant a 6 percent increase from last year which pushed the global population of these millionaires to a record 211,275.

With the annual gross domestic product of the U.S. closing in on the $17 trillion mark, according to the World Bank, this means that the ultra-rich now have almost twice the wealth of the world’s largest economy.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

It Begins: Council On Foreign Relations Proposes That ‘Central Banks Should Hand Consumers Cash Directly’

Printing Money

Moments ago a stunning article appearing in the “Foreign Affaird” publication of the influential and policy-setting Council of Foreign Relations, titled “Print Less but Transfer More: Why Central Banks Should Give Money Directly to the People.”

In it we read the now conventional admission of failure by Keynesians, who however, unwilling to actually admit they have been wrong, urge the even more conventional solution: do more of the same that has lead to the current financial cataclysm, only in this case the authors advocate no longer pretending that the traditional monetary channels work but to, literally, paradrop money. To wit:

To some extent, low inflation reflects intense competition in an increasingly globalized economy. But it also occurs when people and businesses are too hesitant to spend their money, which keeps unemployment high and wage growth low. In the eurozone, inflation has recently dropped perilously close to zero. And some countries, such as Portugal and Spain, may already be experiencing deflation. At best, the current policies are not working; at worst, they will lead to further instability and prolonged stagnation.

Governments must do better. Rather than trying to spur private-sector spending through asset purchases or interest-rate changes, central banks, such as the Fed, should hand consumers cash directly. In practice, this policy could take the form of giving central banks the ability to hand their countries’ tax-paying households a certain amount of money. The government could distribute cash equally to all households or, even better, aim for the bottom 80 percent of households in terms of income. Targeting those who earn the least would have two primary benefits. For one thing, lower-income households are more prone to consume, so they would provide a greater boost to spending. For another, the policy would offset rising income inequality.

A third, and most important outcome, would be the one we have forecast from the beginning of this ridiculous central bank experiment: “hyperinflation” (which is not simply runaway inflation as it is often incorrectly designated –  it is outright evisceration of the prevailing monetary system), which has been avoided for now, but which is inevitable in a world in which only the wholesale destruction of the fiat reserve currency is the one option left to inflate away the debt overhang.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

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