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Monday, November 5, 2018

Is the American Dream Dead?

Poor Man Survival

Self reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-43

A periodic digest of urban survival resources

Is the American Dream Dead?

   In July of 2015 I got a letter from the government telling my old personnel file had been hacked by the Chinese along with millions of others…During Obama’s term in office personnel files were stolen by China.

At one time I had a Top Secret Security Clearance and I used to monitor Soviet and Chinese military [mostly submarine] activity.  I left that activity permanently around the time former President Clinton began giving away technology to China [even though the Chinese were already hacking and stealing high tech from US firms such as Boeing at the time]…little reported or believe or reported by amateurs in the press, President Trump has indicated that the Chinese are a bigger threat to the United States than Russia and I agree completely as that nation has ambitions of world domination.

Of course, our President gets little respect from the press and a mainly ignorant population belittles him as well.  Recently Yahoo ran a piece crying about how little progress the average person has made despite Trump’s improved economy.  That is true to an extent but as several polls have indicated it is because the average American does not know how to manage their money and they have reverted back to high credit card debt levels of 2009…not learning their lesson.

Yahoo always runs news which is anti-Trump or somehow negative so here is a nugget of something positive:

Good news on the economic front! A few weeks ago it was reported that the unemployment rate dropped to 3.7%. That's the lowest level since 1969 (back when I was a teenager!). And US Average Hourly Wages have increased by about 5% since January 1st. (source:


If your finances have improved this year, I hope that you've taken steps to make your future more secure. No one can control the future, but there are things that we can do to make future problems easier to handle.


One way to do that is to pay down debt. Good times or bad, debt is a drag on your finances. Why not use any increase in pay to reduce your debts? Or if your stock gains aren't in a retirement account, you might want to sell some appreciated stock and apply the proceeds to any debt you might have.

It is true however, most people are people are being squeezed by higher costs such as medical costs continue to head north but the president has nothing to do with that.  Once Obama’s subsidies ran out [which he borrowed from Medicare] insurance firms started raising their premiums and that had zero to do with Trump but the fault lies completely with Obama.

Also, most Democratic led state governments are broke due to their overly generous pension programs to government workers…CA, NY, MD and especially IL which cannot even pay their income tax checks to residents.

During Obama’s second term in office the jobs picture was horrible.  He almost didn’t get reelected.  Hoards of young people were forced to move back in with mom and dad.  Millions were added to the welfare rolls and Democratic voters in cities in Detroit were wooed to vote for him with gifts such as the “Obamaphone.”  Of course, he had help from former President Bill Clinton who campaigned hard for him in exchange for the promise of a job for his wife and for his support for when it came time for Mrs. Clinton to run for the office of president.

A group called Third Way did a study which found:

Third Way’s study finds 62% of jobs fall short of middle-class standards when considering both the pay and — this is critical — the cost of living in the metro area where the job is located. 

Within that 62%, about half are characterized as “living wage” — that is, enough for a single childless adult to share a two-bedroom apartment with another self-sustaining adult. The other half fall below even that modest standard and are considered “hardship jobs.” 

The American Dream Is Killing Us,” is the title of a 2016 article by Mark Manson at the Observer website

Manson is an older Millennial (born 1984), author of a book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** 

 “The American dream is simple,” he wrote: “It’s the unwavering belief that anybody — you, me, your friends, your neighbors, Grandma Verna — can become exceedingly successful, and all it takes is the right amount of work, ingenuity and determination. Nothing else matters. No external force. No bout of bad luck. All one needs is a steady dosage of grit and ass-grinding hard work. And you too can own a McMansion with a three-car garage… you lazy sack of s***.” 

In other words, do all the right things — get the good grades, get the degree, get a good job, yada yada — and you’re set for life. 

If it was ever true, it sure isn’t now. “By almost every major statistical measurement,” Manson wrote, “the average American is worse off than they were a generation ago.” 

“Our staggering national debt,” Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Man, Poor Man fame points out, “is due in large part to highly educated politicians and government officials making financial decisions with little or no training in the subject of money.” 

“But my concern is that too many people are counting on President Trump to save them,” says Robert.

 Robert speaks with the authority of someone who’s co-authored two books with Trump. (Robert hastens to add he is neither Republican nor Democrat.) 

“I doubt he can save anyone,” says Robert, “unless they are first willing to save themselves.” 

 “Let he who can, save himself.” Don’t outsource your prosperity to the politicians.  Any politician. 

National politics has become a Kabuki theater battle between parties. Instead of representing the interests of the voters and upholding the Constitution, politicians appear to battle over partisan issues while both sides grow government and take away our liberties. When it comes down to it, American politics is not Republican versus Democrats. It's government versus the people. 

I'm not one for flag worship, but I was very sympathetic toward the "tea" in the Tea Party's adopted name which is an acronym for "taxed enough already." But the Tea Party movement was quickly 
co-opted by opportunistic Republicans, and the anger of Americans at restricted freedoms has been turned on other Americans rather than the government at which it should be rightfully directed.

In MI where I live we have a do-nothing democratic senator [Stabenow] who has been in DC for 20 years who has always voted against military raises and their medical care so I am personally hoping our newcomer, a Black combat veteran and West Point grad, John James, will rally enough of voters –who traditionally vote democrat, despite getting crapped on by those leaders because they are led by unions- to get some new blood into office.

It has been said all politics is local and I support that maxim and therefore urge folks to vote tomorrow…


Looking for ways to honor our veterans?  The Veterans History Project was established by Congress in 2000 to collect the personal accounts of American veterans from every war so future generations can hear their stories—and you can contribute by donating wartime memorabilia or recording a video interview with a veteran in your family or community.  Find suggestions at:

You can honor Veterans [Nov 11th] by sending care packages to troops overseas or by sending gift cards from Amazon, Walmart, etc. by donating them to Comfort for America’s Uniformed Services which helps members being treated at military hospitals.  Here are the addresses for each organization:
Mail to Cause, 4201 Wilson Blvd., #110-284, Arlington, VA 22203

More than half of Americans would consider living in a home that's less than 600 square feet, according to a survey done by the National Association of Home Builders. And among Millennials, interest increases to 63%.

Behind the Latest Rosy Jobs Figures, Here’s the ‘True State’ of Americans’ Financial Lives (MarketWatch)
Despite optimistic metrics like a nine-year-long bullish, if volatile, stock market, higher than expected job and wage growth, and consumer confidence levels nearing record highs, millions of Americans continue to struggle, a study released Thursday from financial consultancy nonprofit the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) found.

America’s Other Family-‍Separation Crisis (jdargis)

America imprisons women in astonishing numbers. The population of women in state prisons has increased by more than eight hundred per cent in the past four decades. The number of women in local jails is fourteen times higher than it was in the nineteen-seventies; most of these women haven’t been convicted of a crime but are too poor to post bail while awaiting trial. The majority have been charged with low-level, nonviolent offenses, such as drug possession, shoplifting, and parole violations. The result is that more than a quarter of a million children in the U.S. have a mother in jail. One in nine black children has a parent who is, or has been, incarcerated.

Americans Save Less to Sustain Spending as Income Gains Cool (Adam)

Risks to the outlook include President Donald Trump’s global trade war -- which is boosting prices and making some companies hesitant to invest -- as well as a stock-market swoon and a fading of the effects from fiscal stimulus. At the same time, consumer optimism remains elevated amid a tight labor market and lower taxes, providing support for spending in the final quarter.

As the housing market stagnates, American homeowners are staying put for the longest stretches ever (Adam)

Across the country, homes that sold in the third quarter of this year had been owned an average of 8.23 years, according to an analysis from Attom Data Solutions. That’s almost double the length of time a home sold in 2000, when Attom’s data begin, had been owned.
It’s partly the long tail of the housing crisis that’s created stagnant conditions and a less dynamic housing market, Attom spokesman Daren Blomquist told MarketWatch.

America's Social Depression Is Accelerating (pinecarr)

Beneath the rah-rah statistics of "the greatest economy ever," the social depression is accelerating. The mainstream is reluctantly waking up to the future of the American Dream: downward mobility for all but the top 10% of households. A 2015 under Obama Atlantic article fleshed out the zeitgeist with survey data that suggests the Great Middle Class/Nouveau Proletariat is also waking up to a future of downward mobility: The Downsizing of the American Dream: People used to believe they would someday move on up in the world. Now they’re more concerned with just holding on to what they have.

Over Half Of America Gets More In Welfare Than It Pays In Taxes (Thomas R.)

The political implications of this are considerable. As Ludwig von Mises once noted, once we get to the point that a majority of the voting population receives more in benefits than it pays in taxes, then voters will demand more and more wealth be transferred to them through government programs. It will then become politically necessary to extract larger and larger amounts of wealth from a minority in order to subsidize the majority.


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Bruce, the Poor Man- philosopher, social critic & cynic

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Mike said...

Enjoyed this and the resources...I also liked your comment about Michigan's senator-time to retire her as she's done nothing for citizens & she's been anti-military. A real poster child for term limits.

Larry said...

Hopefully enough folks will realize that Dems will reverse course if they are elected and destroy the progress our President has made...we sure got screwed under Obama so let's keep our fingers crossed that enough people remember.