Article 43

 

Next Recession, Next Depression

Monday, July 17, 2023

Burned Out Boomers Part 10 - Senior Homelessness

image: senior homelessness

Housing and homelessness resources

The NATIONAL COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS (NCH) is a nationwide network dedicated to ending and preventing homelessness. NCH is a nonprofit made up of currently or formerly unhoused individuals, activists, and community and faith-based service providers. The coalition works locally to help communities along with advocating for legislation at the federal level. If you need help, visit THIS DIRECTORY for resources in your community. If you would like to donate or help, click HERE.

The U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT offers several housing services for seniors. The government site provides links to affordable housing programs and resource locators.

CATHOLIC CHARITIES USA is a nonprofit founded over a century ago by church members committed to helping people experiencing homelessness. In 2021, Catholic Charities agencies offered 1.9 million nights of emergency shelter and created permanent housing for more than 34,000 families, seniors, veterans and others. If you are in need of local help or services, visit their AGENCY LOCATOR MAP.

The NATIONAL ALLIANCE TO END HOMELESSNESS is a nonprofit devoted to preventing and ending homelessness in the United States. The organization focuses on researching and analyzing poverty data to improve federal policies. They also offer guides and training for shelters and housing providers. If you would like to support this work, click HERE to donate or click HERE for other ways to help.

- Ryan Thomas

‘It’s so scary’: More and more seniors are becoming homeless. Here’s why.

By Anita Snow
Associated Press
April 11, 2022

Karla Finocchio’s slide into homelessness began when she split with her partner of 18 years and temporarily moved in with a cousin.

The 55-year-old planned to use her $800-a-month disability check to get an apartment after back surgery. But she soon was sleeping in her old pickup protected by her German Shepherd mix Scrappy, unable to afford housing in Phoenix, where median monthly rents soared 33% during the coronavirus pandemic to over $1,220 for a one-bedroom, according to ApartmentList.com.

Finocchio is one face of America’s graying homeless population, a rapidly expanding group of destitute and desperate people 50 and older suddenly without a permanent home after a job loss, divorce, family death or health crisis during a pandemic.

“We’re seeing a huge boom in senior homelessness,” said Kendra Hendry, a caseworker at Arizona’s largest shelter, where older people make up about 30% of those staying there. “These are not necessarily people who have mental illness or substance abuse problems. They are people being pushed into the streets by rising rents.”

Academics project their numbers will nearly triple over the next decade, challenging policymakers from Los Angeles to New York to imagine new ideas for sheltering the last of the baby boomers as they get older, sicker and less able to pay spiraling rents. Advocates say much more housing is needed, especially for extremely low-income people.

Navigating sidewalks in wheelchairs and walkers, the aging homeless have medical ages greater than their years, with mobility, cognitive and chronic problems like diabetes. Many contracted COVID-19 or couldn’t work because of pandemic restrictions.

“It’s so scary,” said Finocchio, her green eyes clouding with tears while sitting on the cushioned seat of her rolling walker. “I don’t want to be on the street in a wheelchair and living in a tent.”

It was Finocchio’s first time being homeless. She’s now at Ozanam Manor, a transitional shelter the Society of St. Vincent de Paul runs in Phoenix for people 50 and up seeking permanent housing.

At the 60-bed shelter, Finocchio sleeps in a college-style women’s dorm, with a single bed and small desk where she displays Scrappy’s photo. The dog with perky black ears is staying with Finocchio’s brother.

‘I’d always worked.. .. And then all of a sudden things went downhill’

A stroke started 67-year-old Army veteran Lovia Primous on his downward spiral, costing him his job and forcing him to sleep in his Honda Accord. He was referred to the transitional shelter after recovering from COVID-19.

“Life has been hard,” said Primous, who grew up in a once-segregated African American neighborhood of south Phoenix. “I’m just trying to stay positive.”

Cardelia Corley ended up on the streets of Los Angeles County after the hours at her telemarketing job were cut.

Now 65, Corley said she was surprised to meet so many others who were also working, including a teacher and a nurse who lost her home following an illness.

“I’d always worked, been successful, put my kid through college,” the single mother said. “And then all of a sudden things went downhill.”

Corley traveled all night aboard buses and rode commuter trains to catch a catnap.

“And then I would go to Union Station downtown and wash up in the bathroom,” said Corley. She recently moved into a small East Hollywood apartment with help from The People Concern, a Los Angeles nonprofit.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said in its 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report the share of homeless people 50 and over in emergency shelters or transitional housing jumped from 22.9% in 2007 to 33.8% in 2017. More precise and recent nationwide figures aren’t available because HUD has since changed the methodology in the reports and lumps older people in with all adults over 25.

A 2019 study of aging homeless people led by the University of Pennsylvania drew on 30 years of census data to project the U.S. population of people 65 and older experiencing homelessness will nearly triple from 40,000 to 106,000 by 2030, resulting in a public health crisis as their age-related medical problems multiply.

Dr. Margot Kushel, a physician who directs the Center for Vulnerable Populations at the University of California, San Francisco, said her research in Oakland on how homelessness affects health has shown nearly half of the tens of thousands of older homeless people in the U.S. are on the streets for the first time.

“We are seeing that retirement is no longer the golden dream,” said Kushel. “A lot of the working poor are destined to retire onto the streets.”

That’s especially true of younger baby boomers, now in their late 50s to late 60s, who don’t have pensions or 401(k) accounts. About half of both women and men ages 55 to 66 have no retirement savings, according to the census.

Born between 1946 and 1964, baby boomers now number over 70 million, the census shows. With the oldest boomers in their mid-70s, all will hit age 65 by 2030.

The aged homeless also tend to have smaller Social Security checks after years working off the books. A third of some 900 older homeless people in Phoenix said in a recent survey they have no income at all.

Teresa Smith, CEO of the San Diego nonprofit Dreams for Change, said she’s also noticed the homeless population is trending older. The group operates two safe parking lots for people living in cars.

Susan, who stayed at one lot, spoke only if her last name wasn’t used because of the stigma surrounding homelessness.

The 63-year-old had kidney cancer while caring for her mother, then lost their two-bedroom apartment after her mom died. The cancer is now in remission.

Susan slept in her car with her dog at one of the gated parking lots that provide a bathroom, showers and a shared refrigerator and microwave.

She was stunned to see a man in his 80s living in a car there, calling it “just wrong.”

But residents enjoyed the community, grilling meals together and even surprising one in their group with a birthday cake.

Dreams for Change recently helped Susan get a one-bedroom apartment with a housing voucher after months of waiting.

With a washer and dryer, patio, dishwasher and bathtub, “I feel like I’m at the Ritz,” she said.

Donald Whitehead Jr., executive director of the Washington-based advocacy group National Coalition for the Homeless, said that seeing older people sleep in cars and abandoned buildings should worry everyone.

“We now accept these things that we would have been outraged about just 20 years ago,” said Whitehead.

Whitehead said Black, Latino and Indigenous people who came of age in the 1980s amid recession and high unemployment rates are disproportionately represented among the homeless.

Many nearing retirement never got well-paying jobs and didn’t buy homes because of discriminatory real estate practices.

“So many of us didn’t put money into retirement programs, thinking that Social Security was going to take care of us,” said Rudy Soliz, 63, operations director for Justa Center, which offers meals, showers, a mail drop and other services to the aged homeless in Phoenix.

The average monthly Social Security retirement payment as of December was $1,658. Many older homeless people have much smaller checks because they worked fewer years or earned less than others.

People 65 and over with limited resources and who didn’t work enough to earn retirement benefits may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income of $841 a month.

Finocchio said limited contributions were made for her into Social Security and Medicare because most of her jobs were off the books in telephone sales or watering office plants.

“The programs approved by Congress to prevent destitution among the elderly and the disabled are not working,” said Dennis Culhane, a University of Pennsylvania professor who led the 2019 study of the aging homeless in New York, Boston and Los Angeles County. “And the problem is only going to get worse.”

Jennifer Molinsky, project director for the Aging Society Program at Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, agreed the federal government must do more to ensure older Americans are better housed.

“The younger boomers were hit especially hard in the Great Recession, many losing their homes close to retirement,” Molinsky said.

‘We need more dignified, safer and comfortable places for our seniors’

Longer-term shelters specifically for older people are helping get some off the streets at least temporarily.

The Arizona Department of Housing last year provided a $7.5 million block grant for the state’s largest shelter to buy an old hotel to temporarily house up to 170 older people without a place to stay. The city of Phoenix kicked in $4 million for renovations.

CEO Lisa Glow of Central Arizona Shelter Services, which runs the state’s biggest shelter in downtown Phoenix, said the hotel is expected to open by year’s end.

Residents will stay around 90 days while caseworkers help find permanent housing

“We need more dignified, safer and comfortable places for our seniors,” said Glow, noting that physical limitations make it difficult for older people at the 500-bed shelter downtown.

Nestor Castro, 67, was luckier than many who lose permanent homes.

Castro was in his late 50s living in New York when his mother died and he was hospitalized with bleeding ulcers, losing their apartment. He initially stayed with his sister in Boston, then for more than three years at a YMCA in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Just before last Christmas, Castro got a permanent subsidized apartment through Hearth Inc., a Boston nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness among older adults. Residents pay 30% of their income to stay in one if Hearth’s 228 units.

Castro pays with part of his Social Security check and a part-time job. He also volunteers at a food pantry and a nonprofit that assists people with housing.

“Housing is a big problem around here because they are building luxury apartments that no one can afford,” he said. “A place down the street is $3,068 a month for a studio.”

Hearth Inc. CEO Mark Hinderlie said far more housing needs to be built and made affordable for the aged, especially now as the numbers of graying homeless people surge.

“It’s cheaper to house people than leave them homeless,” Hinderlie said. “You have to rethink what housing can be.”

Janie Har in Marin County, California, and Christopher Weber in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

SOURCE

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More seniors are becoming homeless, and experts say the trend is likely to worsen

By Hannah Grabenstein
PBS News Hour Nation
March 3, 2023

MEMPHIS, Tenn.  On a chilly January morning, Tony Thomas stopped by a small house with the hopes of picking up some breakfast and coffee.

That Thursday, dozens of people were milling around in near-freezing weather in the backyard of Manna House, a nonprofit serving the local unhoused population. They waited for showers, clothes or hygiene kits, which included toothpaste, lotion, socks and hand warmers. Others ate or sipped coffee with powdered creamer and sugar. Most tried to keep warm, including Thomas, who wasn’t wearing gloves.

At 50, Thomas and many of the other people at Manna House, are part of a growing cohort of homeless older Americans, though he is on the younger side of that trend. As baby boomers age into senior citizens, a series of recessions and the lack of a strong social safety net have pushed more and more elderly people into homelessness - a number thats only expected to rise.

Thomas said he had had a relatively normal life in Memphis. He was born in the city and moved back after getting a cooking certificate in North Carolina. He has two grown children, who live out of state, and he had a good job as a chef at a restaurant in a Memphis suburb. But after pleading guilty to aggravated assault in 2016, he served six years in prison, upending his life.

When he was released in Jan. 2022, he was 49 years old and everything had changed. A felony conviction made it nearly impossible for him to find work, and many of the people he could have stayed with had died while he was incarcerated.

A year later, Thomas is still homeless, he told the PBS NewsHour.

There is no current federal data on homelessness disaggregated by age, except for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s YEARLY REPORTS, which differentiate between youth, considered age 25 and younger, and adults.

But experts in homelessness note that the average age of sample unhoused populations on community levels has risen over the past four decades.

Thomas’ grown daughter lives many hours south in Alabama and has suggested her father stay with her, but he doesn’t want to impose on her family. Plus, he said, he worries about unpredictable Alabama weather, like tornadoes and hurricanes.

Though Thomas carries nearly all his belongings in a small backpack and regularly sleeps on the street, hes devoted to his neatness, shaving his graying beard regularly and keeping his skin moisturized with donated lotion. The fleece he wears under a well-maintained leather jacket matches his ear warmers, and his sneakers are a bright, clean blue - his favorite color.

At Manna House, co-founder and co-director Peter Gathje serves as many people as possible during their limited hours, often seeing the same crowd Monday and Thursday mornings for breakfast, showers and warmth, and Monday evenings for takeaway dinners. The other days of the week, unhoused people rely on other nonprofits for food or supplies, guests at Manna House told the NewsHour.

Gathje said he’s seen the average age of his guests increase over the 17 years the organization has been open.

|Some of that might just be that everybody who was on the streets when they were 40 or 50 is still on the streets. But we do see new people. And of course a lot of our guests who were in their 40s and 50s are dead,” Gathje said.

A problem on the rise

In 2004, Dr. Margot Kushel, director of UCSF’s Center for Vulnerable Populations and Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, and her colleagues compared the populations of homeless individuals over time using historical data from studies of people in San Francisco with HIV and AIDS. They discovered that among unhoused single adults without children, the percentage older than 50 had INCREASED FROM 11 PERCENT in 1990 to around 37 percent in 2003.

In subsequent studies, Kushe’s research group found that number has risen to about 50 percent today.

Elderly homelessness has been rare within the contemporary homeless problem. We’ve always had very few people over 60 whove been homeless historically. But of course that’s changed as this group has come in. It’s now arguably the fastest rising group,” said Dennis Culhane, professor of social policy at the University of Pennsylvania.

The vast majority of homeless adults are white, but when weighted for demographics, people of color are disproportionately represented among unhoused populations.

According to the 2022 STATE OF HOMELESSNESS REPORT by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, although 18 out of every 10,000 Americans are homeless, that number jumps to 52 for Black Americans, 45 for Native Americans and a whopping 109 for Pacific Islanders.

The ballooning population of older homeless people is composed largely of YOUNGER BABY BOOMERS, who endured the recessions of the late 1970s and early 1980s as well as the Great Recession in 2008.

In 1983, young Black men in their 20s had an unemployment rate of nearly 25 percent, Culhane noted in a 2019 report on rising elderly homelessness. The same report indicated that in New York City, Los Angeles County and Boston, the population of homeless people older than 65 will likely triple by 2030.

It’s this large group of people whose lives have been essentially thrown off track by the economy of the 80s. And there’s strong research that shows that if you don’t get into the labor market in your 20s, the odds that you will are very significantly diminished,” Culhane said.

There’s no single reason for the rise in the older homeless population. Weak social safety nets, mass incarceration policies and an insufficient supply of affordable housing are among the many factors, according to Kushel, Culhane and other experts.

Unlike many other intractable social issues, the phenomenon of people having nowhere to go is relatively new, Culhane said. Fifty years ago, indigent people often lived in low-income housing in areas like Skid Row in Los Angeles, the Bowery in New York City and the red-light district in Boston, Culhane said. While often unsafe or unclean, they were still homes, with walls and a roof.

But beginning in the 1980s, with rising unemployment, a deepening recession and a shift away from the construction of affordable housing, many low-income people often Black and Hispanic - started to drift into homelessness. Urban renewal revitalized downtowns that once housed many of the area’s poorer people, and the nation’s supply of affordable housing dwindled.

Experts the PBS NewsHour spoke with disagree on the extent to which President Ronald Reagan’s policies impacted the current crisis of elderly homelessness, but all agree his administration played at least some part. Among the contributing factors was the era’s anti-welfare rhetoric, which demonized people relying on the nation’s social safety net, Culhane said. That social perspective was political red meat for Republican politicians, who spent the next decade-plus constricting it.

Under Reagan’s policies, the nation’s affordable housing supply began to shrink. Today, 73 percent of extremely low-income renters defined as households whose incomes are at or below the poverty line or 30 percent of their area’s median income PAY MORE THAN HALF THEIR INCOME FOR HOUSING, according to the Center on Budget and Priority Policies.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, across the country, there are only 36 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 extremely low-income renter households. Some states, such as Nevada and California, have fewer than 25 affordable rental homes available for every 100 extremely low-income renter households; only nine states have more than 50 available for every 100 households.

In total, more than 1.7 million extremely low-income renter households with an older adult spend more than half of their income on rent and utilities, according to a 2021 brief from Justice in Aging.

“This is a Reagan-era problem, but we haven’t fixed it since,” said Eric Tars, legal director at the National Homelessness Law Center. “It has been 40 years since Reagan was in office. He, and the Congress at that point, were the ones who cut the affordable housing budget by more than half. But then every subsequent Congress never made up that gap. And it hasn"t been made up at the state or local level.”

There are other direct and indirect reasons for homelessness. The federal government’s Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is insufficient for many people and difficult to qualify for, Culhane said. It also has not increased commensurate with inflation, even with cost of living increases, he added.

“Many people who are low-income also have network impoverishment,” Tars said. “It’s not just that they are poor, but so are many others in their familial and social circles. People at risk of experiencing homelessness are less likely to have people who can provide personal safety nets for them.”

“Older people are also more likely to experience health issues, which can lead to medical debt,” Tars noted.

“The rise in elderly homelessness,” he said, “is not the result of individual bad choices people are making.”

“This is an injury, this is a chronic illness, because people are old, and our social safety net isn’t catching those people,” Tars said.

Lower life expectancies

Medical issues don’t just cause homelessness; they can also be the result of being unhoused. Homelessness places an enormous burden on people’s bodies, research shows, with experts often saying unhoused people are more biologically similar to housed people who are 10 to 20 years older.

In her research, Kushel has found that among the unhoused population who are 50 and older, about half had been homeless at some point before they were 50, while the other half were homeless for the first time like Thomas.

The latter group typically had worked their whole lives, she said, hovering around the poverty level but always with housing. But a combination of a few life changes forced them from their homes. These events included losing a job, getting sick, a spouse or partner getting sick, separation from a partner, or the death of a partner or parent.

And for those who first become homeless after 50, life expectancies can be even worse than the already early death rate for the general elderly homeless population.

In her research of unhoused people older than 50 in Oakland, California, Kushel found that their median age of death was 64. Compared to the general Oakland population and adjusted for age, the mortality rate for homeless people was 3.5 times higher, according to one of Kushelҗs studies.

Theres evidence that the wave of elderly homeless people will crest around 2030, Culhane said, and then it will start to recede, largely due to the deaths of people in the boomer generation.

A shortage of support

“Manna House serves around 250 people weekly,” Gathje estimated. There aren’t a lot of spaces for community for people without homes, he added.

The vast majority of people are so motivated to get out [of homelessness], they want desperately to get out, and what they need is a little help. And so we’re not talking about a population that cant be helped,” Culhane said. No, “this is a group of people who resoundingly demonstrate that they want the hell out of this hell that they’re living in. And we need to stand beside them and support them in their own self-determination and their own basic survival instinct.”

Thomas knows that feeling. He doesn’t want to be homeless, but he sees no way out. In the year he’s been homeless, he’s found that without a steady source of income, he has nowhere to turn. He wants to work, he said.

Being homeless is tough for Thomas, and scary. When he has wifi, he’ll watch the news on the cracked screen of his cell phone so he knows what areas to avoid. Hes heard of people getting harassed or attacked, he said, and he feels that because homeless people have nowhere to go, they’re easy prey for those who might harm them.

Around 10 a.m., Manna House started closing up for the day. Folks in the heated tent in the backyard grabbed their coffee and their belongings and made their way out front. They would head off to nearby churches, or parks where other food was being given away, or like Thomas, they’d ride the bus until the evening, trying to stay warm.

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Posted by Elvis on 07/17/23 •
Section Dying America • Section Next Recession, Next Depression • Section Personal
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Sunday, June 11, 2023

The Next Depression Part 67 - Fighting Centralization

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12 Ways to Cut the Chains of Financial Serfdom

By Charles Hughes Smith
Of Two Minds
June 10, 2023

Just because NOBODY TALKS ABOUT financial serfdom DOESN’T MEAN it’s not real.

Ours is a neofeudal economy of financial serfs in servitude to a Financial Aristocracy. The Financial Nobility / Aristocracy own all the debt and the serfs owe the debt to the Aristocracy. The serfs own assets that dont generate much income, the Aristocracy owns assets that generate trillions of dollars in income. The serfs pay high tax rates if they make above-poverty wages, the Financial Nobility pay low taxes thanks to tax-avoidance scams arranged by the AristocracyҒs toadies and lackeys in the Central State. The serfs create value, the Financial Nobility is parasitic.

That we are powerless is one of the key social control myths constantly promoted by the Status Quo. What better way to keep the serfs passive than to reinforce a belief in their powerlessness against Financial Feudalism?

But we are not powerless. Our complicity gives the Financial Aristocracy its power. Remove our complicity and the Aristocracy implodes.

The pathway of liberation is to opt out of financial feudalism. Here are twelve paths any adult can legally pursue in the course of their daily lives:

1. Support the decentralized, non-market economy. The core ideology of consumerism and financialization is that non-market assets and experiences have no status or financial value. This includes social capital, meals with friends, projects done cooperatively with friends, home gardens and dozens of other decentralized activities that cannot be financialized into centralized market transactions. Identity and social status are established in the non-market economy by collaboration, sharing, reciprocity, conviviality and generosity.

Decentralized means localized; farmers markets are examples of local market economies where the transactions are in cash (so banks cant skim transactions fees) and the money stays in the local economy rather than flowing to some distant concentration of capital.

If you start valuing non-market assets and experiences as the most important markers of status, you are resisting both financialization and consumerism.

This is how financialization inevitably transitions into financial tyranny.

The erosion of America’s middle class security has several structural causes, but chief among them was the financialization of the housing market. This has led to serial bubbles of housing valuations and the widespread extraction of equity for consumption - the classic “windfall” that financialization always produces in its first toxic blush.

Top-down centralized “solutions” imposed by the Central State are the problem, not the solution, as they further the concentration of wealth and power into unstable monocultures. Stop looking to overly complex fake-reforms and centralized solutions to unsustainable systems and start exploring decentralized, localized solutions that bypass both the Central State and the Financial Aristocracy.

2. Stop participating in financialization. Financialization is the insidious imperative of the Financial Aristocracy that seeks to turn every human interaction into a financial transaction that can be charged a fee, and transform all assets into financialized instruments that can be commoditized and sold for immensely profitable fees.

As the finances of local governments implode under the weight of their protected fiefdoms, many are heeding the siren song of financialization as a temporary (and inevitably disastrous) fix to their structural insolvency. For example, the revenue stream from parking meters is financialized into an asset that is sold to a private corporation. When parking fees double, the residents of the city have no recourse via democracy or petition, as the meters in their city are now “owned” by a distant concentration of capital that can double late fees, charge outrageous transaction costs, etc., at will.

3. Redefine self-interest to exclude debt-servitude and dependence on consumerism and the Central State. Unless you are long retired and have no other option, minimize reliance on the State. Reliance on the State weakens the correlation between sustained effort and gain, so the work ethic and entrepreneurism both atrophy as they no longer offer competitive advantages in a system where bread and circuses are guaranteed by the State.

4. Act on your awareness that the nature of prosperity and financial security is changing. Dependence on centralized concentrations of power (Wall Street and the Central State) is now an extremely risky wager that what is demonstrably unsustainable will magically become sustainable via pixie dust or more Federal Reserve trickery. Security flows from resilience, self-reliance, decentralized, diversified sources of income and abundant social capital, not speculation fueled by Fed policies and Wall Street.

5. Stop supporting distant concentrations of capital that subvert democracy by using their gargantuan profits to buy the machinery of State governance and regulation. For example, stop watching broadcast programming owned by the six global media corporations that control the vast majority of the media/marketing complex.

Stop eroding your health and sending your money to corporate headquarters by no longer frequenting fast-food restaurants and by no longer buying unhealthy packaged foods from corporate agribusiness.

Close your accounts with Wall Street investment firms and the “too big to fail” banks that dominate the mortgage, credit and debt markets in the U.S. If you need such an account to transact your business, maintain low balances so the banks cannot sweep your capital for their own use every day.

6. Stop supporting the debt-and-leverage based Financial Aristocracy. Liquidate all debt as soon as possible, take on no new debt except for short periods of time, explore localized or crowd-sourced private-capital loans that exclude the banks and limit the number of financial transactions that enrich the banks and Wall Street.

7. Transfer your assets out of Wall Street and into local enterprises or assets that do not enrich and empower Wall Street. Buy assets you control 100%, without the mediation of Wall Street.

8. Refuse to participate in consumerist status identifiers and the social defeat they create. Stop admiring and respecting those displaying status signifiers (supercars, $300 million yachts, etc.); start thinking of them as pathetic prisoners of a pathological mindset. Stop judging people based on their lack of status signifiers. Free your own mind from the toxic sociopathology of consumerism and social defeat. Stop watching commercial television and streaming corporate distractions and minimize your exposure to marketing and consumerist propaganda.

9. Vote in every election with an eye on rewarding honesty and truth and punishing empty promises. Unless the incumbent has renounced corporate contributions, unsustainable debt, financial tyranny and Central State encroachment of civil liberties, then vote against the incumbent, for they are just another lackey of the State-Plutocracy partnership. Avoid voting for either the Demopublican or Republicrat branches of the plutocracy; vote for an independent or third party candidate.

Remember that resistance isn’t just about refusing to participate in pathological neofeudalism; it’s about establishing a sustainable alternative to the unsustainable State-Aristocracy partnership. When people say that voting for a third-party candidate is wasting your vote,Ӕ reply that voting for either of the plutocrat parties is the real waste of a vote because their leadershipӔ is dooming the nation to destabilization and insolvency. As independents pick up more and more “wasted” votes, they shift from being “marginalized” to becoming powerful voices of integrity and transparency.

10. Stop supporting inflationary policies such as money creation - QE by the Federal Reserve and Federal deficit spending. Act on your knowledge that inflation is theft and that the Federal Reserve is a private consortium of banks that is the enabler and protector of the parasitic Financial Aristocracy.

11. Become healthy, active and fit. Refuse to consume unhealthy junk food and packaged food, refuse to squander much of your time in sedentary “consumption” of corporate “entertainment” and digital distraction, and devote your energy and time to mastery, new skills, developing social capital and friendships, projects you own and enterprises that benefit your true self-interest. Refuse to follow the marketing/media siren song into chronic ill-health, social-media addiction and social defeat.

12. Embrace self-directed plans and construct a resilient, community-based, localized life of identity and meaning. Build a social ecology of positive, productive, collaborative, non-pathological people of like minds and spirits. Be powerful via Self-Reliance, not powerless via apathy, passivity and complicity.

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Related:

Where’s The Revolution?

Fighting Back

Backyard Chicken Raising

Home Hydroponics

The People’s Garden

Homeschooling

Posted by Elvis on 06/11/23 •
Section Revelations • Section NWO • Section Dying America • Section Next Recession, Next Depression
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Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Why The US Should Declare Bankruptcy

image: dying america
 
The chaos that one day will ensue from our 35-year experiment with worldwide fiat money will require a return to money of real value. We will know that day is approaching when oil-producing countries demand gold, or its equivalent, for their oil rather than dollars or euros. The sooner the better.
- Ron Paul, January 2023

Doug Casey on the Debt Ceiling Farce and Why the US Should Declare Bankruptcy

By Doug Casey
International Man
May, 2023

International Man: The US federal government has raised the so-called debt ceiling 104 times since 1944.

Shouldn’t they call it a debt target instead of a debt ceiling?

Is this whole thing a farce?

Doug Casey: The situation is completely and irredeemably out of control. It’s a farce. Quite laughable, except for the fact it’s so deadly serious.

Can they reduce the debt ceiling or the amount of debt? Or even slow down its growth at this point? No.

The situation is beyond redemption because most US government expenditures go to pay entitlements - Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and numerous other types of welfare.

Those things will be very hard to cut at this point; breaking the doggy dishes of millions of corrupted Americans would cause unrest. Plus, the so-called “defense” budget, which mostly supports the military/industrial complex while fomenting conflict. Its actually much larger than disclosed because it should include $50 billion of foreign aid, the cost of running outrageously large embassies over the world, the CIA, and black budgets of all types.

Meanwhile, all US government agencies are bent on expanding themselves. The bureaucrats who run them realize that if they don’t grow the budget every year, they reduce their chances of going from one GS level to the next. Their success is based upon managing more people and spending more money. Naturally, all these agencies grow like cancers.

As a result, the “debt ceiling” is a fiction. It will stay out of control unless there is a total reorganization of the government - which itself would be risky. And that’s not going to happen until we have a financial catastrophe that leaves absolutely no alternative.

International Man: You have previously stated the US government should default on the national debt.

What are the reasons for that?

Doug Casey: I know it sounds outrageous to propose the US government default on its national debt. Of course, they don’t think it will ever be necessary because, as several high-level government officials have pointed out, they can just print money to pay off the debt.

However, I disagree. What are the reasons for doing something as seemingly catastrophic as defaulting on the debt? I"ll give you at least five. Stick with me. Let’s conduct an outrageous but not unreasonable thought experiment.

First, barring default, future generations of Americans will be turned into serfs to pay off the debt. Profligate people have run up the debt, but everybody’s children and grandchildren are stuck with having to pay it off. That’s simply immoral. If you have any care for the future at all, future generations should be saved from becoming serfs to pay it off.

Second, it would punish the enablers who lend the US government money. People who lend the US government money facilitate it by doing all the stupid and destructive things it does. They shouldn’t be rewarded; they should be punished.

Third, official default is better than the alternative. Its like a hundred-story building that’s about to collapse. If that’s the case, should you wait until it collapses randomly and unpredictably, or should you have a controlled demolition? It’s not a pleasant alternative, but its the better alternative.

Fourth, default would make further borrowing on the part of the US government impossible, at least for a while. It would be exposed as an untrustworthy entity, like the Argentine government, which defaults all the time. People would still idiotically lend it more money, but a default might slow down the rate of increase in the US government’s size.

Fifth, it’s almost necessary that the debt goes away to help de-financialize the US economy. The US is tremendously over-financialized. It’s all about buying, selling, creating, and packaging financial instruments. Government debt, with the help of the Fed, is the actual engine of inflation. Defaulting on the national debt would pave the way for the reinstitution of a sound, redeemable, commodity-based money. People would have to concentrate more on real wealth than phony financial wealth, actual engineering, as opposed to financial and social engineering.

Of course, an objection reasonable people would make is: “If you default on the debt, it’s going to be a catastrophe.”

My answer is that just because all the paper debt of the US government goes away doesn’t mean the real wealth in the world will disappear. The farms, factories, technologies, and the skills of the workers, will still exist. But on a sound foundation. And with some new owners.

Furthermore, Id point out that the US Government isn’t “we the people.” It’s become a discreet entity with its own interests, like a giant corporation. If it declares bankruptcy, it’s a problem for its employees and clients much more than for you, the taxpayer.

Those are some of the arguments I’d make for defaulting on the national debt. But it’s just a rather academic thought experiment. The powers-that-be will prefer to build the current house of cards higher, probably propping it up with FX controls, Central Bank Digital Currencies, a Social Credit System, much higher taxes, more inflation, price controls, and god knows what else in the years to come.

The default will happen, but more gradually, through the subtle fraud of inflation, which is actually the very worst and most dishonest way to default.

International Man: Paul Krugman and other mainstream economists have proposed the US government issue a trillion-dollar coin to buy up the federal debt.

That “serious” people can put forward such a clownish solution illustrates that it’s all a ridiculous charade.

What is your take?

Doug Casey: When you’re using funny money as a substitute for real money, it’s inevitable that soothsayers will come up with ridiculous solutions. Krugman isn’t an economist; hes a political apologist. And a fool. He doesn’t describe the way the world works, but the way he’d like to make it work - using coercion and fraud, not voluntarism and the market. Every idea he has is so stupid that it’s criminal.

The solution to this problem is to go back to a commodity money. Money should be, once again, just a medium of exchange and a store of value. It could no longer be used as a political football.

And the US government should be cut in size by 50, 75%, or 95%. Who knows how deeply you can cut the size of the US government until you try doing it? But it’s necessary, at least if what’s left of the idea of America is going to survive.

Using commodity money will, itself, greatly downsize the US government. The US State has become a behemoth and a parasite. It’s a far bigger danger to the average American than the Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians, or all of them together. Returning to sound money and a tiny government would make for a more pleasant, prosperous, and safer world - although the process of doing it would be unpleasant for some people.

On the bright side, the only people who will be seriously hurt are the parasites living off the government. I say to hell with the parasites. They should be inconvenienced.

International Man: It’s hard to believe the US government was ever debt-free.

But it happened once - in 1835 - thanks to President Andrew Jackson. He was the first and only president to completely pay off the national debt.

Jackson also shut down the Second Bank of the United States, the precursor to the Federal Reserve, the US’s current iteration of a central bank.

It’s unthinkable a modern US president could or would do such things.

Given the practical reality of the world today, where do you see the federal debt going, and what are the implications?

Doug Casey: It was wonderful that Andrew Jackson paid off the national debt, something that Alexander Hamilton, with his warped ideas of economics, sold to the country. But it’s now absolutely impossible to pay off $32 trillion of acknowledged debt, scores of trillions of contingent liabilities, and scores of trillions more of unacknowledged debt.

I’d like to point out that there actually have been previous defaults by the US government. For example, Abraham Lincoln, during the War between the States, defaulted by printing up so-called Greenback currency.

Roosevelt defaulted on the debt by fraudulently devaluing the dollar, raising the price of gold from $20.50 to $35, but only after confiscating it from citizens. That was a default. Then there was Nixon, in 1971, defaulting on the promise to pay foreign governments at $35 gold. Now the dollar is only worth 1/2000th of an ounce of gold.

International Man: Is there any way to turn lemons into lemonade and profit from this situation?

Doug Casey: Let’s not sugarcoat the situation. The real question is how to profit from the collapse of an overextended and corrupt empire.

It makes sense to look at the historical precedent, like the Roman Empire. Was there any way to profit from the collapse of the Roman Empire? Well, some people did, I suppose. But the standard of living collapsed for almost all its residents during the ensuing Dark Ages.

Is there any way to profit from the collapse of Western civilization? That’s so serious that it’s almost like asking whether it’s possible to profit from an asteroid hitting the Earth. The best you can hope to do is insulate yourself as much as possible.

At this point, the best way to be hurt least, or possibly even profit within a very bad scenario, is to own gold, silver, and other commodities. And to improve your skills as a speculator. Remember, most of the real wealth in the world is still going to exist; it’s just going to change ownership.

Editors Note: We’re on the cusp of a global economic crisis that could eclipse anything we’ve seen before. Most people won’t be prepared for what’s coming…

That’s precisely why bestselling author and legendary speculator Doug Casey and his team just released this urgent PDF REPORT ON HOW TO SURVIVE and thrive in this chaotic environment. Click HERE to download it now.

SOURCE

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Dollar Hegemony, Saudi Arabia, Oil, and Ron Paul

By Adam Dick
Ron Paul Institute
January 18, 2023

Interviewed Tuesday at Bloomberg, Saudi Arabia Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan indicated that Saudi Arabia would be open to conducting trade, including involving oil, in various currencies - mentioning in particular the euro and the Saudi riyal - instead of the United States dollar. This is the latest in a series of developments suggesting the Middle East nation and large oil producer is shifting away from supporting US dollar hegemony through trade.

In February of 2006, then US House of Representatives member Ron Paul (R-TX) discussed the history of US dollar hegemony and its looming doom in a House floor speech titled “The End of Dollar Hegemony.” Paul began his speech with his assessment that the dollar dominance, called dollar hegemony more recently and dollar diplomacy in earlier decades of the prior hundred years, is “coming to an end.”

The full history and analysis Paul related in the speech is fascinating. But, there is a particular portion of Paul’s speech that relates to the Saudi finance minister’s comment. This is when Paul focused on the key role the trade of oil has played in supporting dollar hegemony and the related position of the US dollar as the world reserve currency.

Paul explained that after President Richard Nixon removed the final link between gold and the US dollar in 1971, backing of the dollar with oil became key to maintaining dollar dominance. Paul stated:

It all ended on August 15, 1971, when Nixon closed the gold window and refused to pay out any of our remaining 280 million ounces of gold. In essence, we declared our insolvency and everyone recognized some other monetary system had to be devised in order to bring stability to the markets.

Amazingly, a new system was devised which allowed the U.S. to operate the printing presses for the world reserve currency with no restraints placed on it not even a pretense of gold convertibility, none whatsoever! Though the new policy was even more deeply flawed, it nevertheless opened the door for dollar hegemony to spread.

Realizing the world was embarking on something new and mind-boggling, elite money managers, with especially strong support from U.S. authorities, struck an agreement with OPEC to price oil in U.S. dollars exclusively for all worldwide transactions. This gave the dollar a special place among world currencies and in essence “backed” the dollar with oil. In return, the U.S. promised to protect the various oil-rich kingdoms in the Persian Gulf against threat of invasion or domestic coup. This arrangement helped ignite the radical Islamic movement among those who resented our influence in the region. The arrangement gave the dollar artificial strength, with tremendous financial benefits for the United States. It allowed us to export our monetary inflation by buying oil and other goods at a great discount as dollar influence flourished.

This post-Bretton Woods system was much more fragile than the system that existed between 1945 and 1971. Though the dollar/oil arrangement was helpful, it was not nearly as stable as the pseudo- gold standard under Bretton Woods. It certainly was less stable than the gold standard of the late 19th century.

Come the 1980s, Paul proceeded to state in the speech, additional support was provided to help maintain dollar dominance. Nonetheless, the “petrodollar” system remained a critical support for dollar dominance. Indeed, Paul commented: “If oil markets replace dollars with Euros, it would in time curtail our ability to continue to print, without restraint, the worlds reserve currency.”

That removal of the dollarҒs dominant role in oil markets is just what the Saudi finance minister is suggesting.

And the dollar has already been pushed aside significantly in the oil trade over the last year in reaction to US and several other nations’ sanctions on Russia, including on the large Russian oil and gas industry.

Paul, in his speech, describes the US as having been willing to pursue a series of foreign interventions in its decades-long effort to maintain the petrodollar system. It leads one to wonder what is in store as the petrodollar system’s crumbling seems to have much accelerated.

Turbulence is ahead. But, ultimately, Paul proposed in his speech, the end of dollar hegemony could make way for what he describes as a better system. Paul concluded his speech by stating:

Using force to compel people to accept money without real value can only work in the short run. It ultimately leads to economic dislocation, both domestic and international, and always ends with a price to be paid.

The economic law that honest exchange demands only things of real value as currency cannot be repealed. The chaos that one day will ensue from our 35-year experiment with worldwide fiat money will require a return to money of real value. We will know that day is approaching when oil-producing countries demand gold, or its equivalent, for their oil rather than dollars or Euros. The sooner the better.

Copyright © 2023 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

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Posted by Elvis on 05/10/23 •
Section Revelations • Section NWO • Section Dying America • Section Next Recession, Next Depression
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Tuesday, May 09, 2023

America In Collapse 8 - A Homeless Camp Two Miles Long

image: class warfare
 
Over the past several decades a “global elite” has emerged whose connections to each other have become more significant than their ties to their home nations and governments
- Rise of the Superclass, 2008
 
What is really taking place, however, is that the producing economy of working men and women is being crushed by the overall debt burden on households, businesses, and governments that could reach $70 trillion by 2010. The financial system, including mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is bankrupt, as the debts it is based on cannot be repaid.
- Report On The Collapse Of The U.S. Economy, July 2008
 
Signs have been around for awhile hinting at the breakdown of the US society. For instance at WORK, with its FEUDALISTIC UNDERTONES, and HOME RAGE from those getting kicked out of their houses, may only be the beginning.  Some even predict a BREAKUP OF THE UNITED STATES.
- Bad Moon Rising Part 34 - US Revolution, December 17, 2008
 
...the entire economic policy of the United States is dedicated to saving four banks that are too large to fail. The banks are too large to fail only because deregulation permitted financial concentration, as if the Anti-Trust Act did not exist.
- The “Fiscal Cliff” Is A Diversion, Paul Craig Roberts, December 17, 2012
 
The combination of lost jobs and millions of foreclosures means a lot of folks are homeless and hungry for the first time in their lives. One of the consequences of the recession that you dont hear much about is the record number of children descending into poverty. The government considers a family of four to be impoverished if they take in less than $22,000 a year. Based on that standard, and the government projections of unemployment, it is estimated that the poverty rate for kids in this country will soon hit 25 percent.
- Central Florida In Poverty, March 2011
 
Large U.S. cities that the rest of the world used to look at in envy are now being transformed into gang-infested hellholes with skyrocketing crime rates.  CITIES such as Chicago, Detroit, Camden, East St. Louis, New Orleans and Oakland were once bustling with economic activity, but as INDUSTRY HAS FLED those communities poverty has exploded and so has criminal activity.
- Bad Moon Rising Part 55, Third World U.S.A. Part 4, 2013
 
For the most part, American bankers whose rash pursuit of profit brought on the 2008 global financial collapse didn’t get indicted. They got bonuses.
- Vietnam’s Solution to Corrupt Bankers, 2014
 
“The TRANSITION FROM DEMOCRACY to oligarchy usually starts with the very wealthy acquiring political power by buying influence with elected officials,” Hartmann wrote in his book, explaining that their influence grows until they “completely CONTROL THE MECHANISMS OF INFORMATION” and “their agenda overwhelms the governing agenda.”
 
“In the final stages, Hartmann said, “the oligarchs RISE UP through seemingly democratic processes and take complete or near complete control of government, smashing the programs that give economic and democratic power to the people and cruelly punishing dissent.
- Return of the Oligarchs
 
In periods of acute crisis for the bourgeoisie, Fascism resorts to anti-capitalist phraseology, but after it has established itself at the helm of State, it casts aside its anti-capitalist rattle and discloses itself as a terrorist dictatorship of big capital.
- Growth of Socio-Fascism in Britain
 
We must remember that every right, we enjoy has been wrestled from the hands of power, at great personal cost by ordinary people like you and I.  We have been entrusted with the honor of remembering their struggle and defending these rights by helping to educate others and holding to the belief that compassion and understanding arise from an awareness that we are all just reflections of each other.
- Tom Feely, Information Clearinghouse
 
The only thing that can possibly transform the U.S. government to one that cares for the voters who elect it, rather than for the plutocracy that controls it, is a UNIFIED OPPOSITION BY ALL OF THE PEOPLE, irrespective of their social class or political beliefs. The energy driving such a mass movement must flow from the personal actions taken by each of its individual participants.
- Challenging America’s Plutocracy

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California’s homeless construct two-mile-long vehicle encampment in San Francisco’s North Bay region

By Arsenio Toledo
Natural News
May 9, 2023

California’s burgeoning homeless population has converted a two-mile strip of road in the North Bay region of San Francisco into a MASSIVE VEHICLE HOMELESS ENCAMPMENT.

The encampment, made up of two long lines of RVS, TRUCKS AND TRAILERS STRETCHING FOR NEARLY TWO MILES, is located near U.S. Route 101 in northern Marin County.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that there has always been a small homeless population encamped in their RVs and other vehicles alongside Binford Road on the outskirts of the small city of Novato in Marin, right next to Route 101.

But the number of people making the roads their own ballooned dramatically in recent years to around 135 vehicles now, fueled by acute housing insecurity and loss of income caused by the economic restrictions imposed during the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

California authorities providing the homeless with taxpayer-funded services

State and local authorities are providing a variety of free and low-cost services to the dozens of campers along Binford Road. These services are paid for by $1 million in taxpayer funds - $500,000 from the state and $500,000 from Marin County awarded to cities lining Binford Road and Route 101 and they are meant to address encampment issues

The services include free groceries, helping campers clear their criminal records and housing case management services like applications for housing assistance or free state housing.

The homeless are also provided with a variety of free medical services, like blood tests, hepatitis testing, prescription refills, physical examinations and even access to STERILE SYRINGES FOR THE DRUG ADDICTS among the homeless population.

These services are provided at least once a month by organizations paid with taxpayer dollars to come out for a service fair.

Social service officials note that even with all of this support, the camp residents who are well enough to work full-time still can’t afford the SKYROCKETING COSTS OF LIVING IN MARION COUNTY, where census figures show the median household income to be about $131,000.

Gary Naja-Riese, director of homelessness in the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services, noted that the county is working full-time to clear out the encampments by providing people with assisted housing. He added that the county is able to get an average of a dozen people into housing a month, primarily through landlord partnership programs at Marin Housing Authority.

“These are our neighbors - who through a multitude of experiences have lost their housing,” said Naja-Riese. “Sometimes I think folks aren’t always aware of how local the issue really is.”

Marin County locals not happy with homeless population being encouraged to stay

Homes in Novato cost a median price of $1.3 million, and Marin County calls itself the home of notable celebrities like George Lucas, Robin Williams and Tony Bennett. Other locals are concerned that the services being provided to these homeless people encourage them to continue encamping in the area.

“I cant park on a city street. Why are they letting them do that?” said Kathy, who has lived in Novato for over 40 years. “It appears to us this is just the easy way out - and California is making it really easy for them and very hard on us, the people who live here.”

Karen, a 78-year-old longtime resident of Novato, said she disagrees with the RV campers’ takeover of public property |at no cost to them, as far as I know.”

“I don’t want [Novato] to be another San Francisco,” she said. “We won’t go to San Francisco anymore.”

Watch THIS CLIP from “The Bottom Line with Dagen & Duffy” on Fox Business as hosts Dagen McDowell and Sean Duffy discuss San Francisco"s economic collapse due to rampant crime.

SOURCE ALTERNATE SOURCE<

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It Could Happen To You

My Michael Snyder
The Economic Collapse Blog
May 9, 2023

Those that are wrecking our economy don’t seem to have much empathy for the millions upon millions of people that they are hurting. As you will see below, one Fed official is actually suggesting that interest rates may need to go even higher even though the interest rate hikes that we have already seen are turning lives upside down all over the country.  Everywhere you look people are in severe pain, but this is only just the beginning.  And I would encourage you not to ever look down on those that have had a run of bad fortune, because it could happen to you too.

The other day I wrote about a homeless encampment in Marin County, California that stretches along the side of a highway for about two miles.  It can be easy to assume that those that live in the encampment deserve to be there, but the truth is that a lot of them are just like you and I.

The Daily Mail sent a reporter down there, and he talked to a 69-year-old man that once RAN A BUSINESS WITH 15 WORKERS and had a home that was completely paid off.

John Sherry saved all his life, owned his home outright, and ran a business with 15 workers. Then his wife got cancer.

Now the couple live in a trailer and take grocery handouts from shelter volunteers. Their prospects of ever getting back into a home in tony Marin County, California, are swiftly dwindling.

“I’m not the guy that’s down there and has zero. I saved real well. I owned my home outright. But circumstances happen.”

It sounds like he was doing everything right.

But his wife got sick.

Sadly, the goal of the cancer industry is to extract as much money from you as possible.

If they can help you along the way, that is a side benefit.

Whether you live or whether you die, the primary goal is to systematically suck the wealth out of your accounts.

It is such a broken system, but it isn’t going to change any time soon.

There is simply way too much money at stake.

So try not to get sick.

Sherry and his wife now live on the side of the road in an RV that they once thought would only be used FOR FAMILY VACATIONS:

He thought he would only ever use his $50,000 Outback Keystone RV for family vacations.

Now, it is one of a reported 135 motorhomes, cars and makeshift shacks that have assembled over the past two years to fill a two-mile stretch of Binford Road the Misery Miles - alongside the 101 highway north of Novato, a city of 53,000, a 45 mile drive from San Francisco.

These days, most Americans are just a couple of bad breaks away from losing everything.

And often it is children that suffer the most.

The Daily Mail ALSO INTERVIEWED 61-year-old mechanic Keith Jackson.  In his case, he actually has an 11-year-old son that he needs to care for:

His friend, Keith Jackson, 61, has been out of work since the pandemic began.

‘I’m a single dad with an 11-year-old son. I was a welder and a mechanic, but I got fired. Now I’m doing anything I can for money. In the past year I made $11,000,’ he said.

If your kids have warm beds to sleep in tonight, you should be very grateful.

Because there are way too many kids in this country that do not have homes anymore.

Earlier today, I was talking with a good friend that is absolutely horrified by how rapidly economic conditions are deteriorating in this country.  This particular individual has very little faith in those running our system, and a brand NEW GALLUP SURVEY that was just released seems to indicate that most Americans feel that way at this stage.

With the U.S. facing a deadline to increase the nations debt limit and the threat of an economic recession looming, Americans lack confidence in a variety of key U.S. leaders on economic matters. Gallup finds between 34% and 38% of U.S. adults expressing a “great deal” or “fair amount” of confidence in President Joe Biden, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and congressional leaders in both major parties to do or recommend the right thing for the economy.

The incompetence that our leaders have displayed in recent months has been absolutely breathtaking, but they donҖt seem to understand how badly they have failed.

In fact, New York Federal Reserve President John Williams JUST TOLD CNBC that interest rates could go even higher later this year:

“First of all, we haven’t said were done raising rates,” Williams told CNBC’s Sara Eisen during a Q&A session after his speech. “We’re going to make sure we’re going to achieve our goals and we’re going to assess what’s happening in our economy and make the decision based on that data.”

“I do not see in my baseline forecast, any reason to cut interest rates this year,” he said, adding that additional rate hikes would be possible if the data doesn’t cooperate.

The first rule of central banking is that you don’t raise rates if the economy is plunging into a major downturn.

But they are doing it anyway.

So now banks are in deep trouble all over the nation, and they are telling the Fed that loan standards WILL SOON TIGHTEN EVEN MORE:

Also on Monday, a new Fed survey on bank lending practices underscored that lenders expect to tighten loan standards even more in the near future, including for commercial real estate loans.

“Banks most frequently cited an expected deterioration in the credit quality of their loan portfolios and in customers’ collateral values, a reduction in risk tolerance, and concerns about bank funding costs, bank liquidity position, and deposit outflows as reasons for expecting to tighten lending standards over the rest of 2023,” the survey said

In fact, we just learned that mortgage credit availability has already plunged to the lowest level IN 10 YEARS:

Mortgage credit availability fell to its lowest level in a decade as lending tightened amid ongoing instability in the banking sector, according to data released Tuesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

If Fed officials had any sense left at all, they would immediately start slashing interest rates.

But they aren’t going to do that.

So the credit crunch will get even worse.

And more businesses will fail.

And more workers will get laid off.

And more people will end up living in their vehicles or in our streets.

This isn’t rocket science.

The Federal Reserve and our politicians in Washington got us into this mess, and now they insist on doing things that will make this new crisis even worse.

If you are going to enjoy a warm dinner in a warm home tonight, you should be very thankful.

Because our system is starting to fall apart all around us, and countless American families have already had their hopes and dreams completely shattered

About the Author: My name is Michael and my brand new book entitled END TIMES is now available on Amazon[.]com. In addition to my new book I have written six other books that are available on Amazon[.]com including 7 YEAR APOCALYPSE, LOST PROPHECIES OF THE FUTURE OF AMERICA, THE BEGINNING OF THE END, and LIVING A LIFE THAT REALLY MATTERS.  When you purchase any of these books you help to support the work that I am doing, and one way that you can really help is by sending copies as gifts to family and friends.  Time is short, and I need help getting these warnings into the hands of as many people as possible.  I have also started a BRAND NEW SUBSTACK NEWSLETTER, and I encourage you to subscribe so that you wont miss any of the latest updates.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this About the Author section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FACEBOOK and TWITTER, and any way that you can share these articles with others is definitely a great help.  These are such troubled times, and people need hope.  John 3:16 tells us about the hope that God has given us through Jesus Christ:  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you have not already done so, I strongly urge you to invite Jesus Christ TO BE YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR today.

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Posted by Elvis on 05/09/23 •
Section Dying America • Section Next Recession, Next Depression
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Thursday, May 04, 2023

The Next Recession Part 34 - More Troubled Banks

image: leham brother and silican bank

“I have full confidence in banking regulators to take appropriate actions in response and noted that the banking system remains resilient and regulators have effective tools to address this type of event. Let me be clear that during the financial crisis, there were investors and owners of systemic large banks that were bailed out . . . and the reforms that have been put in place means we are not going to do that again.”
- Biden officials say ‘resilient’ banking system can withstand Silicon Valley Bank collapse, Yahoo News, March 10, 2023
 
The U.S. banking system is sound and resilient. Tighter credit conditions for households and businesses are likely to weigh on economic activity, hiring, and inflation. The extent of these effects remains uncertain. The Committee remains highly attentive to inflation risks… The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 percent over the longer run. In support of these goals, the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 5 to 5-1/4 percent.
- FOMC Statement, May 3, 2023
 
Amid turbulence in the U.S. banking system, nearly half of Americans are anxious about the safety of the money they have in accounts at banks or other financial institutions. A total of 48% of U.S. adults say they are concerned about their money, including 19% who are “very” and 29% who are “moderately” worried. At the same time, 30% are “not too worried” and 20% are “not worried at all.”
- 48% Of Americans Are Worried About Their Money’s Safety In US Banks, More Than During Peak Of 2008 Crisis, ZeroHedge, May 4, 2023
 
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that the financial system is “sound and resilient” following the biggest bank collapse since 2008… The Fed on Wednesday raised interest rates by 0.25 percentage points despite fears that rate hikes are threatening regional banks and boosting the odds of a recession… The decision came less than a week after federal regulators seized First Republic and sold it to JPMorgan Chase after what became the nations second-biggest bank failure… Los Angeles-based PacWest Bancorp’s stock fell 73 percent since early March. Phoenix-based Western Alliance is down 57 percent, Salt Lake City’s Zions Bank is down 49 percent and Dallas-based Comerica is down 43 percent.
- Fed chief says banking system is ‘sound and resilient’ after failures, The Hill May 4, 2023
 
The bigger worry is that the bank failures might lead to doubts about relatively healthy banks, creating a financial contagion that could impact the wider economy. Averting that scenario was the reason the U.S. put tighter restrictions on major banks following the financial crisis 15 years ago.
- The banking crisis isn’t over. But how bad will it get?, Anchorage Daily News, May 4, 2023

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US banking crisis: Close to 190 banks could collapse, according to study

By Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy
USA Today
May 4, 2023

With the FAILURE OF THREE REGIONAL BANKS SINCE MARCH, and another one teetering on the brink, will America soon see a cascade of bank failures?

Bloomberg REPORTED WEDNESDAY that San Francisco-based PacWest Bancorp is mulling a sale.

Last week, First Republic Bank became the third bank to collapse, the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history after Washington Mutual, which collapsed in 2008 amid the financial crisis.

After the demise of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in March, a study on the fragility of the U.S. banking system found that 186 MORE BANKS ARE AT RISK OF FAILUREeven if

only half of their uninsured depositors (uninsured depositors stand to lose a part of their deposits if the bank fails, potentially giving them incentives to run) decide to withdraw their funds.

Uninsured deposits are customer deposits greater than the $250,000 FDIC deposit insurance limit.

Why are regional banks failing?

Regional banks are failing because the FEDERAL RESERVE AGGRESSIVE INTEREST RATE HIKES to tamp down inflation have eroded the value of bank assets such as government bonds and mortgage-backed securities.

Most bonds pay a fixed interest rate that becomes attractive when interest rates fall, driving up demand and the price of the bond. On the other hand, if interest rates rise, investors will no longer prefer the lower fixed interest rate paid by a bond, thus driving down its price.

Many banks increased their holdings of bonds during the pandemic, when deposits were plentiful but LOAN DEMAND AND YIELDS were weak. For many banks, these unrealized losses will stay on paper. But others may face actual losses if they have to sell securities for liquidity or other reasons, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

“The recent declines in bank asset values very significantly increased the fragility of the U.S. banking system to uninsured depositor runs,” economists wrote in a recent paper published on the Social Science Research Network.

A run on these banks could pose a risk to even insured depositors - those with $250,000 or less in the bank - as the FDIC’s deposit insurance fund starts incurring losses, the economists wrote.

Of course, this scenario would play out only if the government did nothing.

“So, our calculations suggest these banks are certainly at a potential risk of a run, absent other government intervention or recapitalization,” the economists wrote.

How did Silicon Valley Bank collapse?

In the case of the Santa Clara-based Silicon Valley Bank, which held most of its assets in U.S. government bonds, the market value of its bonds fell when interest rates started going up.

That’s because most bonds pay a fixed interest rate that becomes more attractive if interest rates fall, driving up demand and the price of the bond. But when interest rates rise, the lower fixed interest rate paid by a bond is no longer attractive to investors.

The timing coincided with the financial difficulties many of the banks’ customers - largely tech startups - were dealing with, forcing them to withdraw their deposits.

In addition, Silicon Valley Bank had a disproportional share of uninsured funding, with only 1% of banks having higher uninsured leverage, the paper notes. “Combined, losses and uninsured leverage provide incentives for an SVB uninsured depositor run.”

About the author: Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy is a housing and economy correspondent for USA TODAY.  You can follow her on Twitter @SwapnaVenugopal and sign up for our Daily Money newsletter here.

SOURCE [ARCHIVE]

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More Troubled Banks

By Paul Craig Roberts
May 5, 2023

As I reported at the time, the banking crisis is not limited to Silicon Valley Bank.  Silicon Valley Banks failure was followed by the failures of New York Signature Bank and First Republic Bank of San Francisco.  Now three more banks have had their stock prices collapse - Western Alliance, PacWest Bankcorp, and Metropolitan Bank.

As I have emphasized, the Federal Reserve’s higher interest rates are the cause of the bank troubles.  The decade of zero interest rates left banks with portfolios of low interest rate assets on their balance sheets.  As the Federal Reserve raised rates, these assets declined in value.  Depositors saw that the banks were technically insolvent, and withdrew funds.  Others withdrew funds because they can now get higher interest rates from money market funds. 

Banks losing deposits are subject to runs.  Expecting the worse, shareholders sell their holdings of the banks’ stocks.  As the banks lose market value, troubles increase.

The Federal Reserve is causing a banking crisis, because the Federal Reserve imagines that the inflation is a monetary inflation and not an inflation resulting from supply disruptions caused by Covid lockdowns and Russian sanctions.  If the Federal Reserve succeeds in throttling the economy with higher interest rates, supply problems are aggravated by reductions in production.  In other words, as usual, the Federal Reserves policy is counterproductive.

I have always been amazed that Americans look to government entities for solutions when incompetence is the main attribute of government.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 05/04/23 •
Section Dying America • Section Next Recession, Next Depression
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