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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Many Americans Still Stuck in Financial Limbo-Surprising US Demographics

Poor Man Survival

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Many Americans Still Stuck in Financial Limbo-Surprising US Demographics

In the song Sixteen Tons by Merle Travis (and made famous by Tennessee Ernie Ford), the idea of the ‘company store’ referred to a system of debt bondage that effectively trapped workers within an unfair system designed to harvest all of their labor at very low cost.

How exactly did the company store system operate?

Under a scrip system, workers were not paid cash; rather they were paid with non-transferable credit vouchers that could be exchanged only for goods sold at the company store. This made it impossible for workers to store up cash savings.

Workers also usually lived in company-owned dormitories or houses, the rent for which was automatically deducted from their pay.

This model was simple enough to understand.  “Pay” your workers with scrip vouchers, then sell them your marked-up goods at the company store, pocketing a nice profit. On top of that, force your employees to live in company housing, too, also at terms very favorable to the company.

Add it all up and the workers found themselves in perpetual service to their employer. No matter how hard and long they toiled, there was nothing left for their own private benefit after all was said and done.  The company succeeded in skimming off any and all  ‘excess’ for itself.

This vast unfairness eventually led to the formation of unions as well as to regulations providing protection to the workers.

However, capital never sleeps; and the human temptation to skim and take what they can for themselves is a constant in every hierarchical, post-agriculture society.  If the idea of “the company store” was too obvious, then a better method of achieving the same outcome had to be hatched.  Something with sufficient additional complexity to defeat the ability of the average worker to detect the nature of the scam….

The middle class—the most politically and economically stable part of our society—has been shrinking thanks to what I term the “Washington-Wall Street Cartel” which has systematically robbed middle America of pensions, health care and decent wages for decades.  The Left whines about this [yet willing pays $1,000 for an I-Phone while Apple pays third-world workers $20 a day in sweatshops to manufacture phones so  Americans can glue their attention to phones in oblivious glee to them while bemoaning their own financial fate].

The foundation of the middle class in America was a long history of consistently rising wages. For millions of Americans, life got a little better, year after year, as the value of their wages increased and our economy grew into the world's largest.

But this is no longer happening. Low income earners now make LESS in real terms than they did in 1980! And middle income earners make just 6% more than they made back in 1980. That's an increase of just 0.00172% a year!  [wages are finally beginning to rise under the current administration].

Here are some interesting stats from Pew Research:

Millennials are the largest adult gneration in the United States, but they are starting to share the spotlight with Generation Z. This year, Millennials, those ages 23 to 38, will outnumber Baby Boomers (ages 55 to 73), according to Census Bureau projections. Now in their young adulthood, Millennials are more educated, more racially and ethnically diverse and slower to marry than previous generations were at the same age. But after growing up in the Great Recession, their economic picture is mixed: Young adult households are earning more than most older Americans did at the same age, but have less wealth than Boomers did at the same age, partly because they are more likely to have higher amounts of student loan debt.

Although the nation’s 73 million Millennials are the largest living adult generation, the next one – Generation Z – is entering adulthood. Also known as the post-Millennials, Gen Zers (those ages 7 to 22 this year) are on track to be the best educated and most diversegeneration yet. Nearly half of Gen Zers (48%) are racial or ethnic minorities. Socially and politically, their liberal-leaning opinions on key issues are similar to those of Millennials.

No real surprise with this next statistic as birth rates among Hispanics has outnumbers all racial groups and they rely heavily on welfare to subsidize their families and medical costs.

Hispanics are projected to be the largest racial or ethnic minority group in the U.S. electorate when voters cast their ballots next year. The number of eligible voters who are Hispanic (32 million) is projected to surpass that of black eligible voters (30 million) for the first time, according to Pew Research Center projections based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau. However, voter turnout will play an important role in the influence of different racial and ethnic groups. In past elections, black voter turnout substantially surpassed Hispanic voter turnout. The projections indicate that whites will account for two-thirds of the electorate, a declining share.

As the nation’s demographics are changing, so are those of Congress, though not as rapidly, according to a February 2019 Pew Research Center analysis. Nonwhites have risen to 22% of Congress, and women are a record 24% of voting lawmakers (a share that matches the average in legislatures worldwide). The share of immigrants in Congress has ticked up, but at 3% remains short of historical highs and far below the foreign-born share of the total U.S. population (13.6% as of 2017). An influx of younger representatives is having a small impact on the median age of the House of Representatives, according to a November 2018 analysis.

The American family continues to change. A growing share of parents are unmarried. Among parents living with a child, the share who are unmarried increased from 7% in 1968 to 25% in 2017. Part of this increase is due to a growing share of unmarried parents cohabiting, as 35% of unmarried parents were in 2017. Over the same period, the share of U.S. children living with an unmarried parent more than doubled, from 13% in 1968 to 32% in 2017.

Americans generally see change on the horizon when it comes to the future of the family, according to a Pew Research Center survey. A majority of Americans (53%) say that people will be less likely to get married in the year 2050, and 46% say people will be less likely to have children than they are now. Even today, 71% of parents younger than age 50 say they are unlikely to have more kids in the future, while 37% of childless adults of the same age say they are unlikely to ever have kids, according to another survey by the Center.

Incomes are rising in the U.S., but the increase is not being felt equally by all Americans. Household income in the U.S. is at or near the highest level it has been in the last 50 years. At the same time, income inequality continues to grow, and the growth has been more pronounced among some racial and ethnic groups than among others. For example, the gap between Asians at the top and bottom of the income ladder nearly doubled between 1970 and 2016. Over that period, Asians went from being one of the groups with the lowest income inequality to the highest. A separate analysis found that, among Hispanics, the median income of foreign-born workers – but not U.S.-born workers – had returned toits pre-Great Recession peak in 2017.

The share of Americans who are in the middle class has fallen over the last several decades. About half (52%) of adults were considered middle class in 2016, down from 61% in 1971. The share of adults in the middle class has stabilized around half since 2011. Meanwhile, median incomes have grown more slowly for middle-class households than for upper- or lower-class households.

Six states account for 58% of illegal immigrants: California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois. But individual states have experienced different trends. From 2007 to 2016, the unauthorized immigrant population decreased in a dozen states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Oregon. In three states, the unauthorized immigrant population rose over the same period: Louisiana, Maryland and Massachusetts.

The number of unauthorized immigrants living in the United States was lower in 2016 than at any time since 2004. This decline is due mainly to a large drop in the number of new unauthorized immigrants, especially Mexicans, coming into the country. The origin countries of unauthorized immigrants also shifted during that time, with the number from Mexico declining and the number rising from only one other region, Central America, according to the latest Pew Research Center estimates.

NOTE: There has however, been a recent surge in illegals crashing the border – as high as 100,000 in a single month, mainly from Central American nations.

Finally…if you’re able to reach this magical stage:


7 Ways to Retire — Even if the Economy Heads South Again

It's only a matter of time before the stock market plunges again. Here's how to keep this from turning your golden years into a rickety roller coaster ride.


Here are my ideas for new bill [s] to improve government


>Since term limits never seems to gain any traction perhaps we should entertain the idea of zero pay for elected officials after their third term in office…give them their office, expenses, health insurance while in office and a living allowance only=much like our Founding Fathers and see how many decide to remain in office.


>Perhaps we need to resurrect a new version of ‘war’ bonds, perhaps calling them “government bailout bonds” to help pay off our national debt and/or to help pay for our massive deficits and proposed new spending projects since fewer foreign nations are buying our debt!

>An idea I've suggested before:  Eliminate ALL city/state & Federal taxes on the 1st $25K of income for all people. 41% of citizens pay no Federal tax, many city/state taxes are killers for many. Tax laws that encourage more US manufacturing/jobs & elimination of red tape would help too.


“When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility.” — Professor Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Discourse in the Age of Show Business

What characterizes American government today is not so much dysfunctional politics as it is ruthlessly contrived governance carried out behind the entertaining, distracting and disingenuous curtain of political theater. And what political theater it is, diabolically Shakespearean at times, full of sound and fury, yet in the end, signifying nothing.


Yours for a more secure future,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man!’


Free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom!


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You Can’t Buy Life Insurance After You’re Dead-Prepare NOW for Emergencies…

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Additional Resources

A retreat location is something you better be thinking about, especially if you live in a heavily populated area. If a SHTF scenario does occur, you will be hit the hardest and you may not have anywhere to go if you haven't planned a retreat location.

Now there are 2 types of retreat locations: short-term and long-term. Here we are talking about the long-term retreat location - someplace that you can either live or where you can go at the very first signs of trouble. Whether you are buying an additional property in the nearby rural area or moving across country to your perfect new homestead, you should do your research before you leap.

Generally when we talk about a retreat location, we talk about some place that is strategically positioned to keep you protected, supplied and comfortable for as long as possible. Hopefully, you can afford a piece of property like that.

First thing you need to think about when you are looking at a potential property is how your land is positioned. You don't want to be too isolated where you and your family are completely alone. Neither do you want to be located too close to major highways, towns or obvious natural resources, where your property could be wandered into easily. Get in the mind of that desperate wanderer; get in the minds of those looters. If they are able to see your retreat property easily they are going to try to break into your property. You should not be isolated. Before you make the move, make sure you research the area and find a community of like-minded preppers. Look for properties with multiple natural “layers of defense” and strategic advantage. You want something that has varying terrain.

With that said, some states are better for retreat locations than others. Obviously, you don't want your hideout to be in Washington, D.C. or New York or Florida. In fact, generally the further North you go, the better.

You have to consider several factors when you think about the area.

  • First of all, what kinds of weather is the area prone to? Are natural disasters frequent there? What kinds? Consider the general weather pattern, too.
  • Secondly, look at the criminal activity. Are there many gangs in the area? Predictably, gang members will band together during a crisis, terrorizing neighborhoods.
  • Third, consider man-made hazards: proximity to nuclear reactors, toxic waste plants, chemical production plants, etc. In an extended crisis, these facilities will be in disrepair, and whatever they happen to leak or release will be floating in your air or water.
  • Next you need to consider the cost of living. How expensive would it be to live at your retreat location? Will cost more or less than where you're currently living? Make sure before you make a move that you are not spending more. The goal is to save money and spend some of the money that you save stocking up on a few extra supplies.
  • Available natural resources. Everybody needs to eat and drink, so when you are choosing your retreat location, focus on the land that has good access to water and has the opportunity for you to produce, grow or raise your own food.
  • Simplicity of implementing your off-grid design is another key consideration. If you plan on using a windmill, choose the land carefully to get the most out of it. In other words, don’t move to Seattle with a bunch of solar panels.

These are just the basic considerations for choosing your perfect hideout

Rosefield is a classic traditional cabin, which can be built for less than $6,000. The cabin is open plan, which has the advantage of making it far easier, cheaper and quicker to build than more intricate cabins with separate rooms. This particular plan also includes a detailed cabin assembly diagram and step-by-step instructions which includes a foundation guide.  [282sf’]


Skills Every Survivalist Should Know

Essential skills every survivalist may want to consider learning.

 What would you consider important skills every survivalist should know?  For the sake of context, this is the same question I have asked myself for decades.  With limited time and resources, it is impossible to focus on all survival skills.  We can touch on various skills to get a basic understanding, but if we wanted to focus on exact list, what would that list contain?

After putting much thought into the topic, this is the answer I propose.  Let’s use our ancestors as an example and focus on skills that allowed them to survive for thousands of years.  Furthermore, let’s divide our ancestors into two groups:



A Smoking Frog Feature, Shallow Planet Production


George said...

Very interesting peek inside America and your usual useful resources!

Larry said...

Life has been a two-edged sword since the 80s when greed at every became the national mantra and corporate America sucker punched workers and so did local and state governments with ever increasing reaches into our collective wallets...never thinking we might need higher wages to support those beasts and others such as health care and other vampires like college tuition which raised fees higher than anything else [with virtually ZERO oversight-just another scam].

Dave said...

Your idea for tax reform makes the most sense-too bad no one running for office among the Left has any sense!