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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Stop Feeding the Beast

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543


"When you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty."
-- Benjamin Franklin


The Frozen Dog Ranch Files


In This Issue:

1.       Stop Feeding the Beast-Shattered Dreams in America

2.      Choose Homesteading Today

3.      11 Ways to earn money quickly

4.      Debt: the good, the bad, the ugly

5.      Obama still collecting your private info without a warrant



Shattered Dreams…


The way things were supposed to be or how the Middle Class got left behind.

The financial crisis, despite what news reports tell us, has gotten worse since the $700 billion bailout package was initiated, and it threatens to squeeze the middle class like never before, robbing people of homes, life savings and the economic security that has long been a staple.

Already, real income (which adjusts for inflation) has been stagnant since the 1970s, straining middle-class budgets and pushing wealth and power into the hands of the very few. Now some economists and sociologists fear the current crisis could make it all even more inequitable, putting the American Dream, the inspirational foundation of the middle class, at risk.

The White House and Congress are still bankrupting the nation with its fear-mongering security and spy programs rather than focus on rebuilding our nation.  Despite massive amounts of money fed into our educational system, it is still failing.  Our infrastructure is decaying (but we can spend trillions fighting undeclared wars).

We’ve lost an estimated 10% of our middle class beginning in the 1980s when firms such as General Electric led the way in off shoring US middle class jobs. Wall Street started our demise with Blue Collar workers and then white collar jobs began to get shipped to India and other countries.

When I first began writing about this in the mid 1980s I cautioned the Fortune 1000 (in a Wall Street Journal article and in a business column I wrote at the time) that “Burger flippers can’t afford $40K cars.”  My predictions came true when the housing market and employment picture in the United States fell apart. 

"The major reason I think the middle class is threatened is because most of the things we describe as revolving around the American Dream — owning a house in a good neighborhood and sending your children to good schools, owning and paying for a car or two, and saving money for retirement — all of that depends on having steady jobs with incomes that rise," said Kevin Leicht, a sociologist at the University of Iowa. "People are supposed to accumulate … a lot of debt when they're young and gradually pay it off as they age, and go less and less into debt."


The middle income is now between $46,000 and $54,000 a year, a surprise perhaps to countless people who make significantly more and yet struggle to pay their bills.  Inflation, especially in areas such as fuel, health care costs and groceries have risen significantly since Obama took office and the number of families requiring food stamps is now near 50 million – not a good indicator of well employed nation.

Census data and other demographic and economic statistics, paint a picture of today's middle-class American:

  • 14 percent of the middle class lost their jobs in the past year. About 7 percent of the middle class say they fear they'll lose their job in the year ahead.
  • 39 percent of the middle class said (when the survey was done earlier this year) they are "living comfortably," and about a quarter say they are just able to meet expenses or fall short.
  • 40 percent of middle-class homeowners have paid off less than half of the money they owe on their homes.
  • 67 percent of the middle class say they are doing better than their parents. But only about half expect their children to do better than they're doing, down from 61 percent in 2002.
  • Baby Boomers are particularly morose compared to younger and older generations, with 55 percent of Boomers saying their income won't keep up with the cost of living in the coming year.

On the threatened list

At this point, due to Wall Street greed and stupid government policies, the middle class as we know it may go the way of the dodo.

"Certainly the current financial crisis represents a substantial threat to a lot of people in the middle class because it threatens their savings; it threatens their wealth, mainly the homes they own, because that's the principal wealth of most families," Sullivan said. "And if there's widespread job loss, and it's not clear there will be, but if there is, it'll threaten income as well."

Inequality between income brackets has shot up in the past few decades. Between 1969 and 1997, the share of total household income controlled by the lowest income group has decreased from 4.1 percent to 3.6 percent, while the share to the highest income group increased from 43 percent to 49 percent, according to the Census Bureau.

In 2006, the top 5 percent of households in terms of income were making some $297,405, compared with the lowest fifth of the population, who had an average household income of $11,352, according to Census data.

Such concentrated wealth was seen right before the Great Depression, said Richard Levins, professor emeritus in the department of applied economics at the University of Minnesota. "And then it gradually became spread out more during the 60s and 70s. "By the 70s, we had a very different distribution of income and wealth that, in my view, favored middle class."

But by 1980, Levins said, "that trend has gone back the other way to where we have a very large percentage of income and wealth in the hands of barely one percent of the people."

No More Gold Watch or Pension

The 1950s and the 1960s were the “golden age” of America.  We emerged from World War II as the wealthiest and most powerful nation on the planet.  During that time period, just about anyone that wanted to get a job could find a job and the U.S. middle class expanded rapidly.  Back in 1950, America was still considered to be a “land of opportunity” and the economy was growing like crazy.  There was less crime, there was less divorce, the American people had much less debt and the world seemed a whole lot less crazy. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, spending in America has increased tenfold since 1950.  That increased spending means that not only are Americans saving less, in many cases they are over-extending themselves and living on credit (aka, living in debt).

Americans worked hard to achieve a middle class lifestyle beginning in the 1950s.  However, since the late 1970s their wages began to shrink, pensions and other benefits began to vanish, real estate prices escalated to 43% of oncome, health care costs began to skyrocket, taxes went up and most families required both parents to work outside the home in order to afford the middle class lifestyle.  Families, like the US government, also began their credit binge, living beyond their means.

Even today, our politicians continue to maintain policies which discourage employment or even erect new barriers to decent wage US jobs. The new immigrant amnesty bill provides employers incentives to fire Americans and to hire immigrants.  Illegal immigrants have bankrupted many segments of society such hospitals in CA where 85 have closed after years of providing free health care to illegal residents.

Were there flaws in society during the 1950s and 1960s?  Of course, women and minorities were still second class citizens.

No one knows clearly where we will wind up as a nation.  The incredible debt our nation has, government attacks on personal privacy and other civil rights and lack of job opportunities for our young will most likely turn the clock back.


Stop feeding the beast.  If enough Americans would stop financially supporting the two parties, they might finally wake up and stop screwing the people they serve.


PM’s Roundup of Useful Resources…

Choose Homesteading Today

Homesteaders find the lifestyle fulfilling with good neighbors, wonderful farmers’ markets, and seedlings for transplanting.

Do you dream of your own homestead? From last year’s Homesteaders of the Year come six inspiring stories of those who have made the change and are loving every minute of it. Thomas, writing in his A Homesteading Grimoire blog, calls homesteading a lifestyle, and Meg wants her children to know where their food comes from and how to enjoy the homesteading life. The Homestead Redhead finds her lifestyle fulfilling and full of purpose, and believes you would too. Shana relates how her good country neighbors helped out during an equine emergency, and a Good Old Days letter allows you to catch a glimpse of the festivities surrounding an old-fashioned husking bee. Bring home fresh produce from the farmers’ market for these 11 great recipes. Check out GRIT’s LIVE brooder webcam to watch the roaming hatchlings this week, and read Hank’s tips for transplanting seedlings before you watch the gardening episode of TOUGH GRIT.

Read more:


Fast Food
Recent research by the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development found that Americans
spend 1 hour and 14 minutes eating each day.
 We're the third fastest eaters amongst those in the 34 countries
studied. Turks, the slowest eaters, spend an average of
2 hours and 42 minutes eating per day. The French also
take their time at the table, spending an average of 2 hours
and 15 minutes daily".



You may think that money is invented to make exchange easier. You could imagine that at some point in prehistory. A hunter just shot a deer and a farmer has some carrots and they want to exchange but the meat is worth much more than the carrots. Watch now...



Frugal fresh fruits and veggies
read more here


Our economy is like a tattooed thug living in Detroit. In between burning broken-down cars and selling crack, he makes $16,000 a year working "security" at a local nightclub. Outside of busting heads, he has no real skills.

The Nanny State-We love our government

DHS Report Points To Armageddon Scenario
With something that can impact millions of people in the US alone it's amazing that few people have heard that such a report exists.

Just Another Small Town FEMA Camp...
In getting footage for a mini-doc we're working on, we passed the small town of Taylor, Texas and came across one of our nation's many lovely Homeland Security family detention facilities.


In the U.S., median wages are declining. Taxes are rising. Healthcare costs are increasing. Education costs are through the roof. Most of the new jobs created are low wage and part time.


The Parting Thought – Not to worry in the land of the free!


Obama Collecting Citizens’ Financial Info Without Warrants

Judicial Watch never rests, and they announced today that they’ve obtained records from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) exposing that millions of dollars have been spent by the agency on the warrantless collection and analysis of Americans’ financial transactions

The full extent of the CFPB personal financial data collection program is revealed in a document obtained by Judicial Watch entitled “INDEFINITE-DELIVERY INDEFINITY-QUANTITY (IDIQ) STATEMENT OF WORK.” According to the IDIQ document’s stated Objective: “The CFPB seeks to acquire and maintain a nationally representative panel of credit information on consumers for use in a wide range of policy research projects… The panel shall be a random sample of consumer credit files obtains from a national database of credit files.”
Read more:


 “Until the next revolution”, the Poor Man



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