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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Who stole your piece of the pie?

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin
Your choice for urban survival resources

In This Issue:

1. A homegrown revolution
2. The Zombie Bank-fun stuff
3. The Working Poor Families Organization
4. Recipe for creating the ‘cuddle’ hormone
5. End of America-Senator Tom Coburn Warns
6. Everything in America is now a crime
7. Destruction by Design-Sen. Bernie Sanders

P. J. O'Rourke
The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year's Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you're married to

Shattered Dreams for Too Many Americans
Washington is destroying the future of our children…

“Business is up,” said Linda, and “that’s not a good thing.”
Linda runs our local church ’soup kitchen’ and food bank for the needy. They serve free meals twice a week and help families who have been devastated by natural or man made disaster.

The truth is that there are millions upon millions of American families that have been pushed to the edge of despair by the lack of jobs. In August 2009, only 10 percent of the unemployed had been out of work for 2 years or longer. Today that number is up to 35 percent.
One very disturbing sign of the times is that many churches are now holding "blue Christmas" services to comfort those who are going through hard times. Back during the "good times" such a thing would have been unimaginable, but now they are being held from coast to coast.
All over the nation, food banks, aid agencies and homeless shelters find themselves absolutely overwhelmed this winter.

Despite White House propaganda and mainstream news reports of how the ‘economy is slowly improving,’ there are many long term unemployed and the odds of finding a job that pays more than $10 an hour are slim. The one segment of the nation doing well are those making more than $180,000.

What is perhaps saddest of all is what this economy is doing to so many children.
The richest 1% of U.S. households had a net worth 225 times greater than that of the average American household in 2009, according to analysis conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank. That's up from the previous record of 190 times greater, which was set in 2004.

According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 - the highest rate in 20 years.

Poverty is absolutely exploding all over the United States. The number of Americans living in poverty has increased for three consecutive years, and the 43.6 million poor Americans in 2009 was the highest number that the U.S. Census Bureau has ever recorded in 51 years of record-keeping.
So, no, this Christmas is not "a season of joy" for many Americans. For example, a commenter on the Unemployed-Friends website identified only as "jobless_in_MA" says that her holidays are going to be quite depressing since she has been out of work for 2 Christmases in a row now.

No one in this country should go hungry or go without affordable medical care. If we can afford billion dollar aircraft carriers and multi-million dollar jet fighters to attack street thugs in the mountains of Afghanistan, we should be able to take care of our own.

There are many, many flaws in the medical program Obama pushed through as it doesn’t address costs, the need for Tort Reform or the shortage of nurses and doctors (we also have a shortage of vets in the US) and by all rights, it should eliminate the need for Workers Comp costs for small business owners…perhaps it is just a start.

Today, one out of every six Americans is now enrolled in a federal anti-poverty program. As 2007 began, "only" 26 million Americans were on food stamps, but now 42 million Americans are enrolled in the food stamp program and that number keeps rising every single month.

Sadly, there are millions upon millions of Americans that do have jobs and yet barely find themselves able to hang in there. Many Americans have been forced to grab whatever job they can find. In fact, the number of Americans working part-time jobs "for economic reasons" is now the highest it has been in at least five decades.
It is becoming increasingly more difficult to make a living in the United States. Today, half of all American workers earn $505 or less per week.
Could your family get by on $505 per week?

America's economic pie is rapidly shrinking. As our national wealth continues to be destroyed, even more American families are going to suffer. Indeed, watch for the price of oil to head up to as high as $120 a barrel in the coming year…that, of course, will mean another round of higher priced commodities such food. There are many reasons this will take place but I’ll skip the economics lesson this issue (suffice it to say it has more to do with greed and speculation than demand).

Here’s the Poor Man’s message to Washington-Stop killing us (I like making these little animated movies)

A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one Year and out the other.

Free, Interesting or low-cost resources

Get it free-TV & Movies & More

Nimble ways to manage your social life

When preparing fresh vegetables…save the scraps & trimmings. You can freeze them or turn them into soup quickly just by boiling them with a bouillon cube or two and water, then puree them until smooth!

Compare online & store prices instantly-check out this site:

Opt out of catalog mailing lists. Holiday shopping frequently finds your name on a variety of mailing lists. If you want to stop the junk mail & save few trees, go to:

What Does the New HEALTH CARE LAW Mean for You?
The Affordable Care Act means that today, insurers can't:
deny coverage to kids with pre-existing conditions;
cancel your policy without proving fraud; or
put lifetime limits on benefits.
Also, your children may be able to stay on your insurance plan until they are 26; and, if you've been denied insurance due to a pre-existing condition, you may be eligible for coverage through your state's high-risk pool.
Learn more and search for insurance options available to you at

JOB TRACKER: Shining a Light on Outsourcing
Want to know what corporations are doing in your community? Just pick a ZIP code and enter it into our Job Tracker. Take 44115, in the Cleveland area: 47 companies sent jobs overseas, 130 had mass layoffs and 2,963 had violated safety and health laws.
Job Tracker is a publicly available, ZIP code-searchable database exposing companies that have been exporting jobs, laying off workers and violating safety, health and labor laws. Go to to search your area.

"The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender
-- Proverbs

The News Roundup

Candice Miller R-MI sent this new pledge to me just before Christmas regarding-

reforms recommended by the transition team and are expected to be adopted as the new House rules are:
• Requirement for every bill to cite its specific constitutional authority and for every bill to be available online for the American people to read and review;
• A prohibition on the consideration of any “suspension” bill that creates a new program unless it eliminates or reduces a program of equal or greater size, also known as “cut-as-you-go;”
• A prohibition on the consideration of any “suspension” bill that increases authorizations, appropriations, or direct spending in any given year unless fully offset;
• And, for the first time among either party, a requirement that internal Republican Conference rules and resolutions are made available online for the American people to read and review:

Dissent is what rescues democracy from a quiet death behind closed doors.”
–Lewis H. Lapham

Destruction by Design? The war on our middle class continues. Watch Sen. Bernie Sanders speech in the senate as how we’re being screwed.

Rumor Central…Fiscal vampires push for new world currency
Over the years, several ideas to replace the dollar have surfaced. The latest is called the SDR, a fiat currency of the IMF (Int’l Monetary Fund) run by Swiss bankers and our Fed…the plan is to reduce the size of the US economy and remove the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. These vampires have been meeting in Switzerland over the past year.

Corporate America screwing the little guy
As the American unemployed continue to struggle, Wall Street is making record profits and shelling out huge bonuses. With the US government is spending billions on wars abroad but neglecting its own people at home the holiday season looks bleak. Economist Max Fraad Wolff says because so many people are without a job, the social division between profits and wages has tilted further towards profit.

The year 2011 will bring Americans a larger and more intrusive police state, more unemployment and home foreclosures, no economic recovery, more disregard by the US government of US law, international law, the Constitution, and truth, more suspicion and distrust from allies, more hostility from the rest of the world, and new heights of media sycophancy.

Everything in America is rapidly becoming a crime. Learn of some of the most ridiculous ‘crimes’ under our rising totalitarian government at:

Path to Freedom presents 'A Homegrown Revolution' A collaboration of selective media clips which feature their urban homestead and farm which focus on the need of radical action -- growing food in the city.

This self produced, short music video was shown at Peter Seller's Cultural Art's class at UCLA followed by a short presentation by urban farmer, Jules Dervaes founder of Path to Freedom. The class focus was on the art of slow food and among other guests invited were Michael Pollan, Alice Waters and Eric Schlosser.

Like Victory Gardens of yesteryear, start your own homegrown revolution, grow your own food in your back or front yard -- for more information visit the urban homesteaders at

Or on their online journal at:

The End of America - A Tsunami of debt is growing and will drown the United States by 2020

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn warned Americans this Sunday of an apocalyptic economic future, with Great Depression levels of unemployment and a destruction of the country's middle class.
The Oklahoma Republican told Fox News that unless Washington cuts spending and reduces the national debt, unemployment in the United States could rise dramatically from less than 10 percent today to 18 percent or more.
At the same time, Coburn says the nation's economic output could drop calamitously -- by 9 percent. Once that happens he predicts the middle class could be destroyed

A Tsunami of debt is growing and will drown the United States by 2020. Unfunded entitlemnet promises will be ruinous to keep and if cut will likely bring civil unrest. Sovereign insolvency is likely to spread across the Globe as higher interest rates are demanded for government borrowing. America faces a terminal decline as an economic Superpower as stagnation and high unemployment sap its strength.

What will the next generation think of us when they
Learn our government has cannibalized their country, their opportunities?
--The Men Who Sold out America

Guest Editorial

The middle class and its jobs continue to be wiped out, little or no relief in site-poverty to
increase. Today, nearly one out of every three families in the United States is considered to be "low income". Millions of American families are finding that they can barely make it from month to month even with both parents working as hard as they possibly can. Blue collar American workers from coast to coast are having their wages decreased at a time when it seems like the cost of virtually every monthly bill is going up. Unfortunately, there is every indication that things are only going to get worse and that average American families are going to be financially squeezed even more in the months and years to come.

The Working Poor Families Project has just released their policy brief for the winter of 2010-11. What they have discovered is that the number of working poor in the United States is higher than they have ever seen it before and it continues to increase at a staggering pace. The following are some of the key findings for 2009 that were pulled right out of their report....

* There were more than 10 million low-income working families in the United States, an increase of nearly a quarter million from the previous year.
* Forty-five million people, including 22 million children, lived in low-income working families, an increase of 1.7 million people from 2008.
* Forty-three percent of working families with at least one minority parent were low income, nearly twice the proportion of white working families (22 percent).
* Income inequality continued to grow with the richest 20 percent of working families taking home 47 percent of all income and earning 10 times that of low-income working families.
* More than half of the U.S. labor force (55 percent) has “suffered a spell of unemployment, a cut in pay, a reduction in hours or have become involuntary part-time workers” since the recession began in December 2007.

Unfortunately, things are not going to be getting any better for the working poor. In the new "one world economy" that our politicians keep insisting is so good for us, millions upon millions of American workers now find that they have to compete for work with laborers on the other side of the globe that are willing to work for slave labor wages. This is causing millions of jobs to leave the United States and it is forcing wages down.

Millions of Americans now find that they are making substantially less than they used to. If that has happened to you, perhaps you can take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Or perhaps it is not that comforting. In any event, American workers are not just competing with each other anymore. Now there is the constant threat that all the jobs could just be sent overseas.

As wages are forced down, a record number of working Americans are finding themselves forced to turn to food stamps and to other government anti-poverty programs. Millions of Americans have been forced to take part-time jobs in order to supplement their incomes. Millions of others have been forced to take part-time jobs because that is all they can find.

This is all part of a long-term trend. The numbers don't lie. About the only people doing well are those on Wall Street and the very rich. Nearly every other segment of the population is getting poorer.

The following are 10 statistics that I have shared previously, but I think that they do a really good job of highlighting the plight that the working poor in this country are now facing....
#1 In 2009, total wages, median wages, and average wages all declined in the United States.
#2 Since the year 2000, we have lost 10% of our middle class jobs. In the year 2000 there were about 72 million middle class jobs in the United States but today there are only about 65 million middle class jobs. Meanwhile, our population is getting larger.
#3 As 2007 began, only 26 million Americans were on food stamps, but now 42 million Americans are on food stamps and that number keeps rising every single month.
#4 Since 2001, over 42,000 U.S. factories have closed down for good.
#5 One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one anti-poverty program run by the federal government.
#6 Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.
#7 The number of Americans working part-time jobs "for economic reasons" is now the highest it has been in at least five decades.
#8 Ten years ago, the United States was ranked number one in average wealth per adult. In 2010, the United States has fallen to seventh.
#9 In 1976, the top 1 percent of earners in the United States took in 8.9 percent of all income. By 2007, that number had risen to 23.5 percent.
#10 According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010.

The United States is becoming poorer as a nation even as the boys up on Wall Street are busy grabbing a bigger share for themselves.
We are rapidly becoming a nation that will have a very small privileged class of ultra-wealthy and a very large class of "workers" that is just barely trying to survive.
So is the answer even more government handouts and even more government social programs?
Of course not.

There is no distinctly native American criminal class save Congress."
-- Mark Twain

What middle class Americans need are middle class jobs.

I’m a new subscriber & had a chance to look through your previous issues too. You are indeed a passionate political muckraker. I enjoy your comments and resources and I’m making a small donation to the ‘cause.’ --Lifeworks/MaryAnne, TX

I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities
--Whoopi Goldberg

Parting thoughts-enjoy your New Year Celebration

I leave you with a bit of New Year’s trivia to brighten your celebratory weekend…

>>Bond with a midnight kiss. When the countdown ends & the ball drops (doesn’t Congress do enough of that), be sure to give your loved one a kiss-it will spur production of the cuddle hormone oxytocin which will fill you with love!

>>If that doesn’t work, try this recipe: In a large pitcher, stir together 2-½ cups of OJ, 1-½ cup of pineapple juice, ¼ cup apple juice, ¼ cup lime juice, ¼ cup of grenadine and a cup or so of bourbon…add 2 Tbs of light brown sugar until dissolved, cover & chill. Before serving, add 2 cups of 7-up and garnish.

>>The first New Year’s ball dropped from a flagpole at One Times Square at midnight in 1908. That ball was made from wood & iron weighing 700 lbs. Today’s ball weighs over 11,800 lobs.

>>The Rockettes home, Radio City Music Hall opened its doors in NYC in 1932 (has a wonderful Art Deco interior)…so who was better - the Rockettes or the June Taylor Dancers who used to appear on the Jackie Gleason show? You decide!

May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions!

Finally, here’s a fun little ditty called The Zombie Bank

A hearty happy New Year to all of you!
The “getting-too-old-to-enjoy-it” Poor Man
Don't Get Caught With Your Pantry Down-New 11th Ed.
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