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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Will 2016 Spell the End of the Dollar?

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

Is 2016 the Year of the Dollar Collapse?

By Simon Black

"The entire American political system is a con, a sleazy mix of
legalized bribes, auctioning off of favors, revolving doors between
government agencies and the corporations they enrich and the blatant
hypocrisy of snake-oil salespeople who know the marks (voters) face a
false choice between two parties that are the same poison sold under
different labels."

-- Charles Hugh Smith
American writer
Source: If Your BS Detector Isn't Shrieking, It's Broken, June 08, 2015


On September 4, 1993, President Bill Clinton spoke about the American Dream in a weekly radio address….

He told his audience that “in America, the idea is that if you work hard and play by the rules, you’ll be rewarded with a good life for yourself and a better chance for your children.”

That’s what America used to stand for, and indeed much of the Western world. Freedom. Truth. Hard work and fair play. Building a better life.

But those ideals have all but faded now, displaced by a new normal of war, debt, government surveillance, freedom-killing bureaucracy, and a monetary policy that decimates responsible, hard-working people for the benefit of a tiny elite.

In his end-of-year commentary in the Washington Post, writer George Will summed up 2015 citing example after example of government overreach and excess--

  • The value of property seized by the US federal government through Civil Asset Forfeiture exceeded the value of property stolen by burglars and thieves
  • Florida police raided a Mahjong game played by four women aged 87 through 95 because they were *gasp* betting with their own money
  • New Jersey police arrested a 72-year old retired schoolteacher for illegally carrying a firearm-- a 300-year old flintlock pistol he had purchased from an antique dealer
  • A 9-year old in Florida was threatened with sexual harassment charges for writing love notes to a girl saying that her eyes sparkled like diamonds

George Will’s list, of course, barely scratched the surface of the tip of the iceberg

2015 was the year that the middle class was officially vanquished in the Land of the Free, with its share of the population falling to just 50%.

US federal debt reached nearly $19 trillion in 2015, an increase of almost $750 billion during the calendar year.

The US government published over 80,000 pages of new regulations, making it nearly impossible to understand ‘the rules’, let alone play by them.

But with each successive law and regulation, they tighten their stranglehold on the financial system, to the point that even the most innocuous activity is considered grounds for suspicion.

As a result of these ridiculous AML [anti-money laundering bills] laws, walking around with too much cash is now considered an indication of criminal activity.

And thanks to the Civil Asset Forfeiture rules in the Land of the Free, police have the authority to confiscate your cash.

There’s no trial. No jury. They simply steal your money.

Believe it or not, the AML rules also apply to coin and jewelry dealers. So buying too much gold is now an indication of money laundering.

Having too many transactions in your bank account is considered ‘suspicious activity’.

(Of course, if you have too little financial activity, your bank account can be considered ‘dormant’ and turned over to the state.)

Even going to the bank to withdraw your own money is now considered suspicious. It’s madness.

The latest craze for the anti-money laundering crusaders is going after people who buy luxury real estate without a mortgage.

Last week the US Treasury Department issued new ‘rules’ demanding substantial scrutiny over real estate transactions involving more than $3 million in New York City, and $1 million in Miami.

Property buyers will now have to jump through all sorts of bureaucratic hoops to prove that they aren’t criminals or financing terrorists.

Plus anyone who buys real estate through trusts and corporate entities must now publish the details of the ultimate beneficiary.

This is bad news for George Clooney who owns property through his “George Guilfoyle Trust”.

And Leonardo Di Caprio. And nearly every other celebrity out there, who, for obvious privacy reasons, don’t attach their names to the properties they buy.

(Barack Obama has done the same thing, as neither he nor Michelle is listed as the official property owner at the couple’s multi-million dollar mansion in Chicago.)

It’s quite sad that seeking a little bit of privacy to be left alone in your own home is now considered possible grounds for criminal activity. But it really fits the trend.

Every month, every week, often every day, there’s something else. There’s a new rule. A new restriction.

It’s strange that the government is willing to make life more difficult for 99.99% of the population because of the actions of a handful of people who might be criminals.

2015 also saw the passing of incomprehensibly terrible laws, including the USA Freedom Act, which restored many of the worst parts of the PATRIOT Act that were set to expire.

Then there was the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, passed at the end of the year, which officially turns the Land of the Free into a gigantic information-sharing surveillance state.

And of course the 2015 spending bill, which as of 3 days ago, allows the US government to strip you of your passport if they believe in their sole discretion that you owe them money.

These are hardly the actions of a solvent, trustworthy government, or a nation that’s on the right track.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this story doesn’t have a happy ending.

We can pretend that this time is different, that this country is different, that there is some special sauce that allows this government to run massive imbalances forever.

But deep down we all know the truth... and where this is headed.

I’ve read no shortage of apocalyptic predictions suggesting that 2016 is the year of the dollar collapse. Or the global economic collapse.

Or something else that invariably ends in the word ‘collapse.’

I don’t believe that. First, no one can credibly answer the question “when?”

“We’ve seen a dramatic slowdown in consumer spending… When sales actually fall from November to December during the holiday season, you are in recession.”

Governments have surprised us all with their uncanny ability to kick the can down the road and delay the repercussions of their folly.

But I don’t really think the question of ‘when’ is relevant.

Nearly every major western government is insolvent. Entire monetary and financial systems are insolvent.

Governments have destroyed their own middle classes, giving rise to the greatest wealth gap that has existed since the Great Depression.

The risks are obvious. And you either stick your head in the sand and ignore them, or you take steps to reduce their impact on your life.

It’s like anything else -- if you live in a wildfire zone, you get fire insurance. And you’ll never be worse off for having good coverage on your home to protect your family.

Having a Plan B just makes sense, regardless of whether a major disaster occurs in 2016, next year, or never.

We can’t see the future, we can only see the risks today. Develop a Plan B that addresses those risks, and you’ll never have to worry about the future again

NOTE:  Long time readers have witnessed my similar thoughts and predictions for several years now and perhaps the time has finally arrived to truly button down your hatches…

I think the results are even worse than portrayed in the results presented by the Census Bureau. Retail sales grew by only 2.2% in 2015 versus 2014. That is significantly less than the real inflation being experienced by real people, so on an inflation adjusted basis they fell. Even the 2.2% increase is artificially pumped up by the Fed induced auto debt fueled boom in car sales (or long-term rentals in reality). The 7 year 0% auto loans, subprime auto loans to deadbeats, and record levels of auto leases have created fake demand that will end in tears when the defaults skyrocket. If you remove these fake sales, then total retail sales are up a pitiful 0.9% over 2014.

When you realize that two of the few strong sales categories were autos (7.5%) and furniture stores (5.8%), you can put your thinking cap on and realize the 7 year 0% financing scam is solely responsible for these sales. Reducing credit score criteria and extending loan terms always works. Right? The other relatively strong area was internet sales (6.3%). Amazon and the rest of the on-line retail segment continues to destroy the bricks and mortar retailers, but even these sales are slowing. They were up a weak 0.3% from November. Before the states started taxing internet sales and it was still a newer concept, the annual growth rates were 15% to 20%, so the 6.3% growth rate is rather unimpressive.


Simon Black

Useful Stuff You Can Share…

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A well stocked pantry is a wonderful savings tool. Keeping it organized allows you to find those savings!


My gift to you:

The Poor Man’s Essential Survival Package


--The Doctors Protocol: Secrets of Survival

--How to Survive the Coming Economic Collapse

--Guide to Self Reliant Living

--Becoming Self Sufficient for Six Months

--How I Found Freedom in an Un-free World


Yours for surviving tough times,

Bruce the “Poor Man”

Non illegitimate carborundum – Don’t let the bastards wear you down!

The fates be willing I will be out of town for a week or so taking a break, visiting old friends and attending to some business…see you soon!


1 comment:

DAR said...

A timely and useful read given how lousy the year started-you and others have been saying all along how the powers that be will be screwing up our lives and it all seems to be coming to a head.