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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Civil Unrest & Consumer Confidence, Recycle Pallets

The Poor Man’s Recession Bulletin
Your choice for usable information!

In This Issue:
· Preparing for Civil Unrest
· What Recession?
· More Money Saving tips & Resources
· Consumer confidence falls – again
· Recycling Wood Pallets

Every government degenerates when trusted
To the rulers of the people alone.”
--Thomas Jefferson

The Recession Paradox-Where is it?

Prior to moving back to Michigan for family reasons, we heard reports of how bad the recession is in this state. I think it’s a lie. My mother’s home sold in less than three days of listing it for more than its asking price. Valentine’s Day saw a 90-minute wait at an area Olive Garden restaurant. Every retail business we’ve visited during the past 60-days has been crowded with shoppers. Every auction we’ve attended has been crowded with buyers (spending big bucks). There are no boarded up businesses in the community we moved to. Area newspapers would not report on our free Recession Survival workshop.

Reports of rising use of shelters and food banks still make the nightly news, but it seems confined to areas, which have been on a downward spiral for years such as Detroit, Pontiac and Flint.

As reported last week, cities and state budgets are the ones hurting most from the recession; despite massive federal bailout funds. It sure seems to me that political entities never learn to rein in their budgets. But, government was never supposed to be a growth industry.

Perhaps Ayn Rand’s idea portrayed in Atlas Shrugged is coming true – all the smart people have quit working in order to cut government revenues off at the knees!


More Ways to Save Money
Visit these sites for printable coupons and more.

· On eBay purchases, go to:
· On Gas, go to:
· On Groceries, go to:
· On Clothing, go to:

TIP! Watch out for discounts offered after you make an online purchase. Some retailers use the promise of a future discount to lure you into joining a membership fee-based club; don’t waste your time or money.

TIP! Make your printer’s ink last longer by ignoring the warning light. There’s usually 20% more ink left when the 1st warning comes on AND switch your printer setting from ‘standard’ to draft (unless it’s an important document) – save as much as 50% of your ink.

TIP! Soothe sore muscles by filling an old sock with rice and tie a knot at the end. Heat it in your microwave for 30-seconds, then apply to sore areas.

TIP! Now is the time to trade in your old inefficient appliance while getting $100s of dollars back. Take advantage of the new Cash for Appliance stimulus plan. Each state is rolling out the plan at different times, so plan accordingly. Check out this site to find the best time to buy: – the site also lists any other rebates available from the manufacturer or utility company.

TIP! Make soil testing easy this year for your garden or small farm with a free soil-testing chart which can be downloaded at:

TIP! Learn more about raising ducks from the Univ of Calif Coop Extension at:


Creative Uses for Wooden Pallets

I moved into a “new” house last spring — a 1923, one-story bungalow with a full basement. The full, dry, clean basement was a big selling point, as I have a lot of stuff in boxes — years (generations) worth of books, scrapbooks and other mementos. I was thrilled to know I could store these treasures in a safe, dry location.
Have you noticed I used the word “dry” a couple of times? Well, that would be the issue — whether the basement really was dry year round. And, no, it was not (as we found out after the first big rain storm). A lovely little stream runs from one corner, across the floor and pools in the area where the old coal furnace used to sit. Hmmmmm

The best solution for me was to put the boxes up off the floor. We occasionally have a pile of wooden pallets at work. I hauled six of them home, laid black plastic on top of each pallet and piled on the boxes. The plastic prevents any moisture that seeps into the wood from getting into the cardboard boxes. A great solution until I can build permanent shelving.
The pallets were free and have served me well. More at:
Survival Gear for Tough Times

Free Weekly Alerts from Anne Coulter


28 Tasty Tips to Save on Food

According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 the average American family spent $6,443 on food. To put that number in perspective, that “average” family consists of 2.5 people (not a nice mental image) with an income of $63,563. So from these numbers we can surmise that our average family spends about 10% of their income on food.
Depending on who you choose to believe (there’s some dispute about this) the average American family also carries a $5,000 balance on credit cards. If they’re paying 15% interest, that’s more than $750/yr.

Conclusion? We could materially impact two expenses simultaneously if we could convince the average American family to eat their credit cards…read all of the tips here:


"The state tends to expand in proportion to its means of existence and to live beyond its means, and these are, in the last analysis, nothing but the substance of the people. Woe to the people that cannot limit the sphere of action of the state! Freedom, private enterprise, wealth, happiness, independence, personal dignity, all vanish." --French economist Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)

News Roundup & Commentary

Consumer confidence falls sharply…what a shock!

NEW YORK – A monthly poll showed consumers' confidence took a surprisingly sharp fall in February amid rising job worries. The decline ends three straight months of improvement and raises concerns about the economic recovery.

The Conference Board said Tuesday its Consumer Confidence Index fell almost 11 points to 46 in February, down from a revised 56.5 in January. Analysts were expecting only a slight decrease to 55.

The increasing pessimism is a big blow to hopes that consumer spending will power an economic recovery. Economists watch the confidence numbers closely because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity. Meanwhile, our federal government is preparing for civil unrest if the sheep get out of control…

Staring at frightening unemployment reports, his massive "stimulus" doing nothing but fan profound taxpayer resentment and Tea Party protests...
President Obama has quietly ordered 80,000+ returning GI's to retrain for deployment in U.S. cities & towns to quell "domestic emergencies"

ALL SIGNS POINT to pent up anger and simmering civil unrest across our nation – from grossly overtaxed workers and citizens fed up with the non-stop flood of illegal aliens... the rising numbers of unemployed and discouraged workers whose job prospects are bleak and whose benefits have run out... the massive underclass that is dependent for its very existence on a continuous stream of taxpayer handouts – the ones who have been promised the earth, moon, and stars on a silver platter by an administration which is now flat broke.

In coming months when middle class Americans run out of jobs, cash, credit, and patience... when the dependent class misses a few welfare checks and Food Stamp cards...
In a recent press interview, Col. Lou Vogler, U.S. Army Northern Command, characterized the Consequence Management Response Force as intended purely "for domestic operations... to reinforce state and local responders."

Vogler's Marine Corps counterpart, Lt. Col. James Shores, confirmed "this [unit] is precedent-setting" in terms of the extent of military preparedness for responding to domestic unrest.
A year ago, The Washington Post noted the Obamacrats would earmark at least 20,000 troops returning from Iraq to deal with "domestic emergencies."


10 Job Sectors in Decline

People in almost every profession may feel like jobs are scarce right now. For many industries, this is a temporary situation. But jobs in some fields are expected to continue disappearing even after the economy picks up.
Is your industry on the decline? The federal government projects that a number of industries will lose jobs from 2008 to 2018.

"You can't sit around and wait for news to come out about what's going to happen to your industry," said Alexandra Levit, author of "New Job, New You." "You have to be proactive about this."
Disappearing Jobs
Here's a list of the top 10 industries expected to lose the most jobs by 2018 -- and what to do if you're working in one of them:
1. Department stores: Projected to lose 10.2 percent of the 1.56 million jobs they had in 2008.
2. Semiconductor manufacturing: Projected to lose 33.7 percent of the 432,000 jobs it had in 2008.
3. Motor vehicle parts manufacturing: Projected to lose 18.6 percent of its 544,000 jobs…More at:

State studies toughening limits on property seizures
“Legal” Seizure happen everywhere in this country-Not Right!

LANSING — Some lawmakers want to require police departments to charge suspects with a crime before seizing property.

Even though the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, Dan Korobkin, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan, said seizures of property are a big problem in the state.
“People who aren’t committing or being charged with a crime are having their property taken away,” Korobkin said. “It flips the saying, innocent until proven guilty.”

The ACLU sued the Detroit Police Department for a 2008 raid on the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit. The police suspected the gallery of serving alcohol without a permit.
That incident sparked legislative interest.

Police seized 40 legally parked cars belonging to some of the 100 people charged with loitering.

Those whose cars were seized had to pay fines of about $1,000 to retrieve them, according to the ACLU, although all criminal charges were dismissed.
Korobkin said that is a common practice, not just in Detroit but all around the state and country.
A person whose property is seized by the police must prove his or her innocence, even if not charged with a crime.


When the 16th Amendment Became Law

Ninety-four years ago this week the United States Constitution suffered its worst-ever addition when the 16th Amendment, which permits a progressive income tax, was ratified by Congress. In just one sentence, a mere 31 words long, our relationship with those who would rule over us was changed dramatically.

A graduated federal income tax became legal for the first time in our country’s history on Feb. 25, 1913, thanks to 16th Amendment. Prior to its ratification the courts had repeatedly ruled that a progressive income tax—that is, the more you earn the greater percentage the government would take—was unconstitutional.

Thanks to a virtual conspiracy among the rich and powerful and their lackeys in Congress, Americans were persuaded that a graduated income tax (a key plank in the Communist Manifesto, by the way) would “soak the rich” and shower benefits on the poor. Instead, as many warned at the time, the tax and those who enforce it have done incalculable harm to the spirit of freedom and independence that once typified this country.

—Chip Wood

Gatekeepers Destroy American Democracy

It’s no wonder to me the mainstream press and both political parties dislike the Tea Party movement…after all, it might mean an actual challenge to their power. Each political party, lobbyist and other special interest group have a vested interest in keeping citizens from getting involved in the political process.

The sheep in this country are kept docile and in the dark about the political process…how to run for office, how to initiate a voter petition, even how our Bill of Rights works (or doesn’t work). We do not have a level playing field and system is set up (by Democrats & Republicans) to keep 3rd parties from gaining access to the system.

It’s easy to see how the re-education of our young people has worked to keep them from knowing American history or how the system is supposed to work. State and local governments work hard to ensure we cannot even exercise our right to public assembly…without the necessary permits and fees! In New York, for example there is a fee to use a bullhorn at a public rally! Whoever came up with that should be tarred and feathered.

Our nation was founded by protestors, not sheep. Today, most folks are so frustrated by our current system (which does not resemble what our Founders had in mind) they’ve given up practicing democracy – BECAUSE we no longer live in one. Our Bill of Rights has been eroded, our schools ‘dummied down,’ and our two-party system is in gridlock most of the time.

Contemplating the huge financial divide between CEOs and slave workers (something which has affected nearly all of the middle class), the increasing polarization of classes in this country…is it any wonder so many in government and elsewhere are predicting urban chaos or class warfare within the next few years?

As I always say We don’t need another election, we need another revolution!

It’s high time we said no to legislators and took our country back. With that in mind you should consider joining a tea party chapter in your area (or start one). Get rid of elected representatives in Congress who’ve served too long. Make your voice heard…you’ll learn a lot by reading the following book or by visiting her site at:


Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries by Naomi Wolf (published by Simon & Schuster – 2008)

That’s it for this week’s exciting episode!

Yours for better living,
Bruce “The Poor Man”

P.S. If you were unable to attend our Recession Survival workshop but would like the handout, drop me an email at with ‘Workshop’ in subject line.

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