Are Your Prepared for an Ebola pandemic or other health disaster?

                Editor's Note:

No one wants to think of the US or any country suffering a pandemic of some sorts, whether Ebola or otherwise.

But with the total international mismanagement of this particular pandemic, i.e., letting people fly to and from these countries with serious outbreaks, do you come to the conclusion that governments are generally challenged organizations on these issues?

This situation has been mismanaged.

Now we learn from a recently leaked Border Patrol internal report that individuals from these countries are also coming across our porous Southern Border.

Instead of being in fear and trembling waiting for the next announcement from the government, why don't you start preparing at home in case they continue to mismanage the situation?

For example, boost your immune system through nutrition.  Stop eating the GMO, MSG, hidden msg and aspartame trash the grocery stores sell. 

Supplement with vitamins, herbs and work on detoxing your body.

Stock up on food and water reserves in case you need to 'informally quarantine" yourself and your family for 3 to 6 months minimum.

Find alternative water supplies from friends who have wells in case there is a bottled water shortage such as occurred in the Toledo area recently.

Just standing there helpless, looking like a deer in the headlights, achieves NOTHING

Working on alternative risk management plans gives one peace of mind.

Read the below article for food for thought.  You don't have to go there unless you want to be an ostrich that sticks its head in the sand. 

Think about it!​

What Will It Mean If The Potential Ebola Victim In New York City Actually Has The Virus?

Ebola In New York CityOn Monday, we learned that a "possible Ebola patient" was being treated at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.  We are being told that this individual recently returned from a country in Africa where there have been confirmed cases of Ebola.  So that would narrow it down to Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria.  The patient is being described as a male "with high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms".  The hospital says that "necessary steps are being taken to ensure the safety of all patients, visitors and staff".  But could you imagine the panic that is going to be created if there actually is a confirmed case of Ebola in the heart of New York City?  There is nothing in the post-World War II era that would even be comparable.  Certainly 9/11 created fear for a short period of time, but a full-blown Ebola outbreak would create a panic that could potentially last for months or even years.

And this comes on the heels of another Ebola scare in the United Kingdom.  According to a British news source, a seriously ill 72-year-old woman "collapsed and died" after getting off a plane from Sierra Leone at Gatwick Airport...

Airport staff tonight told of their fears of an Ebola outbreak after a passenger from Sierra Leone collapsed and died as she got off a plane at Gatwick.

Workers said they were terrified the virus could spread globally through the busy international hub from the West African country which is in the grip of the deadly epidemic.

The woman, said to be 72, became ill on the gangway after she left a Gambia Bird jet with 128 passengers on board. She died in hospital on Saturday.

Officials tell us that the plane was rapidly quarantined and that they were tracking down anyone that had been in contact with that woman.

I don't know about you, but all of this is starting to remind me of some of the really bad Hollywood disaster movies that I have seen.

In my article yesterday, I included the following chart which shows how this Ebola outbreak is beginning to grow at an exponential pace...

Ebola Outbreak - Photo by Leopoldo Martin R

Well, today the World Health Organization says that the total number of cases has risen to 1,663 and the total number of deaths has risen to 887.  So just imagine what that chart would look like now.  Yes, it is definitely not an exaggeration to use the word "exponential" to describe what is happening.

If Ebola does start spreading inside the United States, it would be incredibly disruptive to our way of life.

In areas where there were confirmed cases of Ebola, it is inevitable that schools would be shut down and large gatherings of people such as concerts and sporting events would be cancelled.  In addition, due to fear of catching the virus, foot traffic at grocery stores and shopping malls would drop off dramatically.  If the panic lasted for multiple months, our economy would essentially grind to a halt.  Most economic activity still involves face to face interaction, and if people are afraid that if they go out in public they might catch a disease that will kill them, it would create an economic disaster of unprecedented proportions.

And what happens if strict travel restrictions (to prevent the spread of the disease) or plain old fear cause massive interruptions in our transportation system?  Almost all economic activity involves moving something from one location to another, and if we are not able to move stuff around because of an Ebola pandemic, that would create nightmarish problems almost immediately.  For example, the following is an excerpt from a report released by the American Trucker Associations that I discussed in a previous article...

*****

A Timeline Showing the Deterioration of Major Industries Following a Truck Stoppage

The first 24 hours

• Delivery of medical supplies to the affected area will cease.
• Hospitals will run out of basic supplies such as syringes and catheters within hours. Radiopharmaceuticals will deteriorate and become unusable.
• Service stations will begin to run out of fuel.
• Manufacturers using just-in-time manufacturing will develop component shortages.
• U.S. mail and other package delivery will cease.

Within one day

• Food shortages will begin to develop.
• Automobile fuel availability and delivery will dwindle, leading to skyrocketing prices and long lines at the gas pumps.
• Without manufacturing components and trucks for product delivery,
assembly lines will shut down, putting thousands out of work.

Within two to three days

• Food shortages will escalate, especially in the face of hoarding and consumer panic.
• Supplies of essentials—such as bottled water, powdered milk, and
canned meat—at major retailers will disappear.
• ATMs will run out of cash and banks will be unable to process
transactions.
• Service stations will completely run out of fuel for autos and trucks.
• Garbage will start piling up in urban and suburban areas.
• Container ships will sit idle in ports and rail transport will be disrupted, eventually coming to a standstill.

Within a week

• Automobile travel will cease due to the lack of fuel. Without autos and busses, many people will not be able to get to work, shop for groceries, or access medical care.
• Hospitals will begin to exhaust oxygen supplies.

Within two weeks

• The nation’s clean water supply will begin to run dry.

Within four weeks

• The nation will exhaust its clean water supply and water will be safe for drinking only after boiling. As a result gastrointestinal illnesses will increase, further taxing an already weakened health care system.

This timeline presents only the primary effects of a freeze on truck travel. Secondary effects must be considered as well, such as inability to maintain telecommunications service, reduced law enforcement, increased crime, increased illness and injury, higher death rates, and likely, civil unrest.

*****

Are you starting to get the picture?

A major transportation disruption would not just result in an economic downturn.  Many Americans would start running out of food and basic supplies very rapidly.  Without the ability to constantly resupply at the grocery store, a lot of people would start giving in to panic in just a matter of days.

And needless to say, a full-blown Ebola outbreak would wreak havoc on our financial system.  The stock market would almost certainly collapse and we would witness a credit crunch that would be absolutely unprecedented.  Nobody would want to lend to anybody in the midst of an Ebola pandemic.  The flow of money through our system would come to a screeching halt, and we would be facing an economic nightmare that would make 2008 look like a Sunday picnic.

So let us hope and pray that this crisis goes away and that Ebola does not start spreading across the country.

Because if it does, it could potentially kill millions of people, destroy our economy and plunge this nation into utter madness.

Michael is a Guest Columnist.  He has multiple websites where he writes on economic, cultural and ethics issues.  Michael has a B.S. in Business and Commerce from the University of Virginia.  He also earned a law degree (J.D.) as well as a Masters in Law (LL.M.) in Taxation from the University of Florida.

Michael is wise beyond his years.  He's graciously allowed this ministry to publish his articles in full.  This particular article comes from theeconomiccollapseblog.com.​

Western Water Crisis Is Expanding

Western US water crisis worse than thought

Nasa study finds dramatic loss of underground water in Colorado River Basin

By ,US Correspondent of London Telegraph

8:24PM BST 24 Jul 2014

Photo by Bureau of Reclamation/NASA

The water crisis in the south west of the US is likely to worsen according to a new study carried out by the American space agency and University of California.

Research has found that the Colorado River Basin, the prime source of water in the region, is being sucked dry.

Only last week California announced daily fines of $500 (£300) for residents who water their lawns with nearly four fifths of the state being classified as being under “extreme” and “exceptional” drought conditions.

The Colorado River is the only major river in the southwestern US, with the basin supplying water to 40 million people in seven states and irrigating around four million acres of farmland.

In California, the basin is a key source of water for Los Angeles and San Diego.

The new study is the first to look at the role of groundwater in the parched region and has been carried out against a backdrop of a severe drought dating back to 2000.

A series of monthly measurements have shown that over nine years the Colorado River Basin lost nearly twice as much water as Lake Mead, Nevada – the country’s largest reservoir.

“We don’t know exactly how much groundwater we have left, so we don’t know when we’re going to run out,” said Stephanie Castle, a water resources specialist at the University of California, Irvine.

“This is a lot of water to lose. We thought that the picture could be pretty bad, but this was shocking.”

Jay Famiglietti, the senior water cycle scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, warned the findings have long term implications for the entire region.

“The Colorado River Basin is the water lifeline of the western United States,” he said.

“With Lake Mead at its lowest level ever, we wanted to explore whether the basin, like most other regions around the world, was relying on groundwater to make up for the limited surface-water supply.

“We found a surprisingly high and long-term reliance on groundwater to bridge the gap between supply and demand.

“Combined with declining snowpack and population growth, this will likely threaten the long-term ability of the basin to meet its water allocation commitments to the seven basin states and to Mexico.”

Read More

Switzerland China Currency Swap Through Their Central Banks

Editor's Note

The Chinese keep expanding the use of mutual currency swaps to do an end run around the U.S. Dollar.  Now Switzerland China currency swap is added to the growing list.

Here's the countries I have found, prior to the Swiss, that have entered into the currency swap arrangements with China since 2008:

  • ​Pakistan
  • Argentina
  • South Korea
  • Indonesia
  • New Zealand
  • Malaysia
  • Belarus
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Singapore
  • Kazathstan
  • Chile
  • India
  • Brazil
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • South Africa
  • Germany
  • Nigeria
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Australia
  • Iran
  • Russa
  • Switzerland
  • Mongolia
  • Iceland
  • Hungary

This list may not have all the countries agreeing to go outside the dollar and do currency swaps with China.  (I DID NOT DO A SEARCH ON EACH INDIVIDUAL COUNTRY AND THEIR CURRENCIES.)  But the currency swaps are expanding to the Central Banks to include the ECB (European Central Bank) to now the Swiss Central Bank.  The Swiss are a major player in world banking and finance.

And let's not forget, whether our national and international policies are right or wrong, this year we have alienated more countries, such as Russia and France (especially with the sanctions) ​to move away from the US Dollar.

Truthfully if this present trend continues and we have more international issues, without some real solutions to our monetary policy issues, you have to ask yourself:  Will the US Dollar still be the world's reserve currency by the end of 2015?​

Why does it matter whether the US Dollar is the world's reserve currency?  Can't we just use the US Dollar at home? 

Yes, you can use the US Dollar at home.  We spend trillions in international trade and are highly dependent on it.  In fact 20% of your food supply is IMPORTED.  We have been exporting our manufacturing base since George Bush Sr. 41 was president.  Since we have been exporting our manufacturing base we are dependent on IMPORTS for our economy and individual use

Can you now see that we will experience our modern Weimar Republic (Germany post WWi), an onslaught of meteoric rise of inflation in major economic sectors of our economy,  once other countries loose faith in the US Dollar as the trading instrument?

I encourage everyone to keep following the currency swaps on their own.  The media seems to focus only on the BRICS countries, but they are just a fraction of what is going on. Follow the trend.​

Be on your toes so your dollars, income and savings can go farther!

Swiss, Chinese Central Banks Enter Currency Swap Agreement

By Dow Jones Business News, July 21, 2014, 04:12:00 AM EDT

By Neil MacLucas and Richard Silk

ZURICH--The Swiss National Bank and the People's Bank of China reached a currency swap agreement on Monday, allowing the two central banks to buy and sell their currencies up to a limit of 150 billion renminbi, or 21 billion Swiss francs ($23.4 billion).

The deal will also allow the Swiss central bank to invest some of its huge accumulation of foreign exchange reserves in the Chinese bond market, the SNB said in a statement Monday.

The Zurich-based SNB said the agreement will further strengthen collaboration between it and its Chinese counterpart and is a "key requisite for the development of a renminbi market in Switzerland." It could also facilitate trade and investment between the two countries, the PBOC said.

Switzerland is the latest of a series of countries to set up swap lines with China, which is keen to promote the international use of the yuan.

Last year China signed swap agreements with the European Central Bank and a clutch of others, including the U.K., Brazil and Indonesia.

The agreement between China and Switzerland has a term of three years and can be renewed thereafter, the PBOC said.

Write to Neil MacLucas at neil.maclucas@wsj.com and Richard Silk at richard.silk@dowjones.com


Read more: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/swiss-chinese-central-banks-enter-currency-swap-agreement-20140721-00068#ixzz38JjLmYOq

Rising Inflation: People Realizing the Government Figures Aren’t Accurate

Editor's Note:

Do you think that the federal government statistics are accurate?

Dr.Paul Craig Roberts has written extensively on this.  I refer you to his website, www.paulcraigroberts.org.  

Basically in the Clinton administration they changed the way we calculated unemployment (which led to underreporting) and inflation the government had used for over 100 years.  If you want to know the numbers based on the historical way inflation was calculated for over 100 years based upon today's data, see the website www.shadowstats.com of economist John Williams.

The truth is inflation is accelerating.  Whether this country follows what happened to the German Republic after WWI remains to be seen.  

What we also know wages are not increasing at a rate to offset the inflation.  (Instead, when inflation rises it seems that some employers cut payroll.)

Look below at how food prices have been increasing and what others are reporting.  Judge things by what you are experiencing.  For example at the grocery store you are seeing price increases in three ways:  (1) direct price increase; (2) decreasing quantity for the same or slightly higher price and (3) reformulation with cheaper ingredients and fillers.

Food prices are a faster rising sector due to many factors, i.e., the drought, 20% of our food being imported, the devaluation of the dollar, etc.

You can mitigate significantly the food inflation by locking in your prices with freeze dried and dehydrated foods.  I encourage you to consider storing Thrive because it really has the best quality all around among the freeze dried food companies.

Inflation where it matters: Close to 50 percent of Americans indicate spending more on groceries and fuel this summer. Nearly one third indicate more spending on rent and mortgage payments

By myfoodbudget360.com

The stock market continues to move upwards ambivalent to economic indicators and the reality that inflation is permeating throughout our economy. The Fed continues to point at CPI as evidence that inflation remains subdued and this gives them the motivation to move forward with monetary policies that we have never embarked upon. We are already getting a taste of the bigger consequences including a growing low wage labor force. A recent Gallup survey found that Americans are spending more money on items that actually matter and items that consume a large portion of a household’s budget. This is key here in understanding the nature of inflation. Items like housing, healthcare, food, and energy make up a large portion of spending. Yet the Fed looks at other items that consume a small part of a household’s budget and balance out the overall picture. What you get is a massive understating of inflation and a stock market heavily juiced on easy money. Large pools of money are chasing real assets and crowding out regular Americans from the market.

Where inflation matters

It is interesting to see how people react to a constant feed of distorted information. The message is clear and it is one that is underplaying inflation. The tone set by the Fed is one in which monetary easing should continue to go on because inflation is simply not happening in the real economy. This could not be further from the truth.

Looking at the Gallup survey, you can find that Americans are spending more on the items that already consume a large part of their budgets:

Inflation

Source: Gallup, GS

Read More at http://www.mybudget360.com/inflation-where-it-matters-inflation-2014-data-inflation-items/

Escalating Food Prices Are Here

                Editor's Note

I've been sharing various reports that food prices are increasing.

For example, from January 1, 2014 to the March report on zerohedge.com, food prices (reported by Bloomberg) went up 19%.

           

from Zerohedge.com March 26, 2014

Food prices are continuing their upward climb as the article by Michael Snyder below documents.

WIth all of the food pricing volatility, drought and current world events it is being a wise steward to store some food that you and your family routinely eat so you can cost average and lower your food bill.

Unfortunately the drought will probably be impacting food costs through 2015.

That's one of the great things about freeze dried and dehydrated foods.  They last so much longer than the shelf life of grocery store foods.  Plus our food comes in BPA free cans and we help you avoid GMOs, MSG, hidden MSG, aspartame, food processing chemicals, gluten, and more! 

If the food inflation issue did not exist, we are a much healthier alternative to the traditional grocery store.  And we are more convenient and help cut your meal prep times 50% or more since everything comes chopped, cut, prepped and clean!

So please do your wallet and your health a favor by trying Thrive!  I will show you how to get the lowest price possible if you just email me at thrive@northstate.net.​

If This Keeps Up, They Will Have To Start Putting Armed Guards On Food Trucks

By Michael T. Snyder, Guest Columnist, 7/17/2014 of TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com

The basic necessities in life just keep getting more expensive.  On Tuesday, Hershey announced that the price of all of their chocolate bars is going to go up by about 8 percent.  That is particularly distressing to me, because I am known to love chocolate.  But if it was just chocolate that was becoming significantly more expensive perhaps that would be okay.  Last month, it was coffee.  J.M. Smucker, one of the largest coffee producers in the United States, announced that it planned to raise coffee prices by about 9 percent.  And Starbucks has announced a bunch of price increases across the board on their coffee products.  Of course we could all survive without chocolate and coffee, but as you will see below just about every food category is becoming more expensive.  If this keeps up, could we eventually see armed guards in grocery stores and on food trucks?

On Wednesday, Robert Wenzel of the Economic Policy Journal shared some new data that has just been released by the federal government about food inflation over the past year.  Without a doubt, these numbers are quite startling...

According to the latest data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, year-over-year gains in some food products at the producer level have been truly spectacular.

Eggs for fresh use are up 33.9%.

Pork is up 28%.

Processed turkeys are up 20.4%.

Dairy products are up 10.7%.

Fresh and dry vegetables are up 8.4%.

Fresh fruits and melons are up 7.5%.

Unfortunately, paychecks for most American families are not going up at similar rates.

What that means is more pain when we make our trips to the grocery store.  Things have gotten so bad that even the mainstream media is running stories about this.  For example, this excerpt comes from a recent CNBC article...

"I try to do all my local errands in one day and go up to the mall," said Helon Rapfogel of New Jersey. "I used to go maybe twice or three times a week, and now I just go one day a week, if that much. And I try to consolidate things."

Rapfogel said that higher costs for food and gas are hitting her overall budget.

"You sacrifice things. Like not doing an ice cream run during the week with the kids. [That could] hurt the local retailers, and we don't want to do that ... but we may have to," she said.

At the grocery store, meat, dairy and fruit prices are all up substantially. People are even paying more for lattes at their local coffee shops. And it's not just food—gas prices have jumped sharply on geopolitical unrest, and at the moment there's no relief in sight.

So why is all of this happening?

Well, the truth is that a lot of factors have combined to produce something of a perfect storm.

First of all, we should talk about Federal Reserve money printing.  Since the last financial crisis, the Fed has been on an unprecedented money printing spree.  This has dramatically pushed up the prices of stocks, commodities and just about everything else.  It was naive to think that we wouldn't eventually see substantial food inflation as well.  Just look at what "quantitative easing" has done to M1 since the last recession...

M1 Money Supply 2014

When you have more dollars chasing roughly the same amount of goods and services of course prices are going to go up.

It is just basic economics.

But according to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, there is absolutely no reason to be concerned.  The following is a video of her telling the press her view on inflation that I shared in a previous article...

But crazy Fed money printing is not the only reason why food prices are going up.

The endless drought in the western half of the country is severely hurting food production as well.  The size of the U.S. cattle herd has shrunk for seven years in a row, and it is now the smallest that it has been since 1951.  And the drought is hitting the state of California particularly hard, and considering the fact that it produces nearly half of all of our fresh produce that is more than a little bit alarming.  Yes, we are more technologically advanced that we used to be, but we are not advanced enough to overcome an epic multi-year drought in half the nation.

In addition, we are also dealing with the worst pork virus to ever hit the United States right now.  Porcine epidemic diarrhea has already wiped out about 10 percent of the pig population in the U.S., and approximately 100,000 more are dying each week.  As you saw above, pork prices are already up 28 percent over the past 12 months, and if a solution is not found to this virus the price increases are going to get much worse.

Down in Florida, citrus growers are facing a horrific outbreak of citrus greening disease.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that orange production in the U.S. will be down 18 percent compared to last year, and it is expected that this will be the worst crop in close to 30 years.

Another plague known as the TR4 fungus has hit banana production.  According to CNBC, this horrible fungus may eventually completely wipe out the variety of bananas that we eat today…

Banana lovers take note: The world’s supply of the fruit is under attack from a fungus strain that could wipe out the popular variety that Americans eat.

“It’s a very serious situation,” said Randy Ploetz, a professor of plant pathology at the University of Florida who in 1989 originally discovered a strain of Panama disease, called TR4, that may be growing into a serious threat to U.S. supplies of the fruit and Latin American producers.

“There’s nothing at this point that really keeps the fungus from spreading,” he said in an interview with CNBC.

While there are nearly 1,000 varieties of bananas, the most popular is the Cavendish, which accounts for 45 percent of the fruit’s global crop—and the one Americans mostly find in their supermarkets.

For decades, Americans have been able to go to the grocery stores and fill up their carts with massive amounts of very inexpensive food.

But just because it has been that way for so many years does not mean that it will be that way in the future.

Right now, there are 49 million Americans that are dealing with food insecurity, and that number will only get worse as food prices go even higher.

It is getting to the point where it is not too hard to imagine desperate people holding up food trucks and robbing grocery stores in order to feed themselves and their families.

Let us hope that we don't see anything like that any time soon, but we are moving in that direction.

Just a few years ago, the notion that we could ever see armed guards on food trucks or in grocery stores in the United States was absolutely unthinkable.

But now, it is not so crazy.

Drought Monitor: Is A Severe Food Supply Crisis On the Horizon?

                Editor's Note           

The only way to save money on the fast rising grocery tab is for you to store some food.  Specifically you should store foods that your family regularly eat and are more subject to the higher price increases.

As my previously published research shows California has a strangehold on your grocery cart. Most of the produce, whether fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc. come from California. 

I encourage you to revisit these articles:

Make a list of those crops your family loves and start storing today!  If you want to purchase Thrive for some of those items, contact me at thrive@northstate.net.  I will work with you to get you the lowest possible price.

20 Signs The Epic Drought In The Western United States Is Starting To Become Apocalyptic

By Michael T. Snyder, July 15, 2014, Guest Columnist, TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com.

​When scientists start using phrases such as "the worst drought" and "as bad as you can imagine" to describe what is going on in the western half of the country, you know that things are bad.  Thanks to an epic drought that never seems to end, we are witnessing the beginning of a water crisis that most people never even dreamed was possible in this day and age.  The state of California is getting ready to ban people from watering their lawns and washing their cars, but if this drought persists we will eventually see far more extreme water conservation measures than that.  And the fact that nearly half of all of the produce in America comes out of the state of California means that ultimately this drought is going to deeply affect all of us.  Food prices have already been rising at an alarming rate, and the longer this drought goes on the higher they will go.   Let us hope and pray that this drought is permanently broken at some point, because otherwise we could very well be entering an era of extreme water rationing, gigantic dust storms and crippling food prices.  The following are 20 signs that the epic drought in the western half of the United States is starting to become apocalyptic...

#1 According to the Los Angeles Times, downtown Los Angeles is now the driest that it has been since records began being kept all the way back in 1877.

#2 The California State Water Resources Control Board says that nearly 50 communities are already on the verge of running out of water.

#3 In a desperate attempt to conserve water, the state of California is considering banning watering lawns and washing cars.  Once implemented, violators will be slapped with a $500 fine for each offense.

#4 It has been reported that a new social media phenomenon known as "drought shaming" has begun in California.  People are taking videos and photos of their neighbors wasting water and posting them to Facebook and Twitter.

#5 Climate scientist Tim Barnett says that the water situation in Las Vegas "is as bad as you can imagine", and he believes that unless the city "can find a way to get more water from somewhere" it will soon be "out of business".

#6 The water level in Lake Mead has now fallen to the lowest level since 1937, and it continues to drop at a frightening pace.  You can see some incredible photos of what has happened to Lake Mead right here.

#7 Rob Mrowka of the Center for Biological Diversity believes that the city of Las Vegas is going to be forced to downsize because of the lack of water...

The drought is like a slow spreading cancer across the desert. It's not like a tornado or a tsunami, bang. The effects are playing out over decades. And as the water situation becomes more dire we are going to start having to talk about the removal of people (from Las Vegas).

#8 In some areas of southern Nevada, officials are actually paying people to remove their lawns in a desperate attempt to conserve water.

#9 According to Accuweather, "more than a decade of drought" along the Colorado River has set up an "impending Southwest water shortage" which could ultimately affect tens of millions of people.

#10 Most people don't realize this, but the once mighty Colorado River has become so depleted that it no longer runs all the way to the ocean.

#11 Lake Powell is less than half full at this point.

#12 It is being projected that the current drought in California will end up costing the state more than 2 billion dollars this year alone.

#13 Farmers in California are allowing nearly half a million acres to lie fallow this year due to the extreme lack of water.

#14 The lack of produce coming from the state of California will ultimately affect food prices in the entire nation.  Just consider the following statistics from a recent Business Insider article...

California is one of the U.S.'s biggest food producers — responsible for almost half the country's produce and nuts and 25% of our milk and cream. Eighty percent of the world's almonds come from the state, and they take an extraordinary amount of water to produce — 1.1 gallons per almond.

#15 As underground aquifers are being relentlessly drained in California, some areas of the San Joaquin Valley are sinking by 11 inches a year.

#16 It is being projected that the Kansas wheat harvest will be the worst that we have seen since 1989.

#17 The extended drought has created ideal conditions for massive dust storms to form.  You can see video of one female reporter bravely reporting from the middle of a massive dust storm in Phoenix right here.

#18 Things are so dry in California right now that people are actually starting to steal water.  For example, one Mendocino County couple recently had 3,000 gallons of water stolen from them.  It was the second time this year that they had been hit.

#19 At the moment, close to 80 percent of the state of California is experiencing either "extreme" or "exceptional" drought.

#20 National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Boldt says that this is "the worst drought we probably have seen in our lifetime".

Most people just assume that this drought will be temporary, but experts tell us that there have been "megadroughts" throughout history in the western half of the United States that have lasted for more than 100 years.

If we have entered one of those eras, it is going to fundamentally change life in America.

And the frightening thing is that much of the rest of the world is dealing with water scarcity issues right now as well.  In fact, North America is actually in better shape than much of Africa and Asia.  For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled "25 Shocking Facts About The Earth’s Dwindling Water Resources".

Without plenty of fresh water, modern civilization is not possible.

And right now, the western United States and much of the rest of the world is starting to come to grips with the fact that we could be facing some very serious water shortages in the years ahead.

So what is the solution?

Big Corporations Power Over Your Food Supply

                Editor's Note           

You should pay attention to the concentration of our food supply. It is bad for your health and your wallet.

When power gets concentrated:

  • ​Higher prices result because price fixing is easier, i.e., YOUR GROCERY BILL INCREASES!
  • You have less choice of products, i.e., cheaper ingredients, GMOs, MSG, hidden MSG, aspartame, etc.
  • Innovation gets decreased because competition becomes more difficult;
  • You have less influence over product ingredients.

Stay away from Walmart!  It's sick that a third of the groceries are bought there!  Walmart heavily relies upon imported food from China.  Food grown in China has all kinds of safety issues.  Please see my page, http://survive-thrive.us/food-country-of-origin/.  Country of origin does matter for your health.  Also a recent study this year found that 54% of the food sold in Walmart would not meet Whole Foods standards to be sold in their stores.  Whole Foods has issues but nothing like Walmart, which I consider the bottom of the pit.

I visit a variety of grocery stores for market observations.  It is very striking time after time observing the physiological differences between shoppers at Trader Joes and Whole Foods compared to Walmart.  Many of the  grocery shoppers at Walmart are grossly morbidly obese yet when you visit Trader Joes or Whole Foods you do not see that degree of obesity there.  Just go and observe for yourself. 

It makes you wonder could it be the foods these shoppers are selecting that is contributing to their physiological presence and health issues?​

​(You don't have to go to Walmart to save on your groceries.  You can afford to stay out of Walmart by eating Thrive foods.  Just contact me and I will show you how to save 20 to 40% or more by planning and not wasting food.)

Vote for your health and your pocketbook with your dollars!  Avoid purchasing any of these brands if at all possible!

Pay attention to the diagram below.  Vote for your health and your pocketbook with your dollars!  Avoid purchasing any of these brands if at all possible!

For enlargement of diagram: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/10-Corporations-Control-What-We-Eat.png

Big Corporations Have An OVERWHELMING Amount Of Power Over Our Food Supply

By Michael T. Snyder, Guest Columnist, of TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com​

​From our fields to our forks, huge corporations have an overwhelming amount of power over our food supply every step of the way.  Right now there are more than 313 million people living in the United States, and the job of feeding all of those people is almost entirely in the hands of just a few dozen monolithic companies.  If you do not like how our food is produced or you don't believe that it is healthy enough, it isn't very hard to figure out who is to blame.  These mammoth corporations are not in business to look out for the best interests of the American people.  Rather, the purpose of these corporations is to maximize wealth for their shareholders.  So the American people end up eating billions of pounds of extremely unhealthy food that is loaded with chemicals and additives each year, and we just keep getting sicker and sicker as a society.  But these big corporations are raking in big profits, so they don't really care.

If we did actually have a capitalist system in this country, we would have a high level of competition in the food industry.  But instead, the U.S. food industry has become increasingly concentrated with each passing year.  Just consider the following numbers about the U.S. agricultural sector...

The U.S. agricultural sector suffers from abnormally high levels of concentration. Most economic sectors have concentration ratios around 40%, meaning that the top four firms in the industry control 40% of the market. If the concentration ratio is above 40%, experts believe competition can be threatened and market abuses are more likely to occur: the higher the number, the bigger the threat.

The concentration ratios in the agricultural sector are shocking.

-Four companies own 83.5% of the beef market.
-The top four firms own 66% of the hog industry.
-The top four firms control 58.5% of the broiler chicken industry.
-In the seed industry, four companies control 50% of the proprietary seed market and 43% of the commercial seed market worldwide.
-When it comes to genetically engineered (GE) crops, just one company, Monsanto, boasts control of over 85% of U.S. corn acreage and 91% of U.S. soybean acreage.

When so much power is concentrated in so few hands, it creates some tremendous dangers.

And many of these giant corporations (such as Monsanto) are extremely ruthless.  Small farmers all over America are being wiped out and forced out of the business by the predatory business practices of these huge companies...

Because farmers rely on both buyers and sellers for their business, concentrated markets squeeze them at both ends. Sellers with high market power can inflate the prices of machinery, seeds, fertilizers and other goods that farmers need for their farms, while powerful buyers, such as processors, suppress the prices farmers are paid. The razor-thin profit margins on which farmers are forced to operate often push them to "get big or get out"—expanding into mega-operations or exiting the business altogether.

Of course the control that big corporations have over our food supply does not end at the farms.

The distribution of our food is also very highly concentrated.  The graphic shared below was created by Oxfam International, and it shows how just 10 gigantic corporations control almost everything that we buy at the grocery store...

10 Corporations Control What We Eat

And these food distributors are often not very good citizens either.

For example, it was recently reported that Nestle is running a massive bottled water operation on a drought-stricken Indian reservation in California...

Among the windmills and creosote bushes of San Gorgonio Pass, a nondescript beige building stands flanked by water tanks. A sign at the entrance displays the logo of Arrowhead 100% Mountain Spring Water, with water flowing from a snowy mountain. Semi-trucks rumble in and out through the gates, carrying load after load of bottled water.

The plant, located on the Morongo Band of Mission Indians’ reservation, has been drawing water from wells alongside a spring in Millard Canyon for more than a decade. But as California’s drought deepens, some people in the area question how much water the plant is bottling and whether it’s right to sell water for profit in a desert region where springs are rare and underground aquifers have been declining.

Nestle doesn't stop to ask whether it is right or wrong to bottle water in the middle of the worst drought in the recorded history of the state of California.

They have the legal right to do it and they are making large profits doing it, and so they are just going to keep on doing it.

Perhaps you are thinking that you can avoid all of these corporations by eating organic and by shopping at natural food stores.

Well, it isn't necessarily that easy.

According to author Wenonah Hauter, the "health food industry" is also extremely concentrated...

Over the past 20 years, Whole Foods Market has acquired its competition, including Wellspring Grocery, Bread of Life, Bread & Circus, Food for Thought, Fresh Fields, Wild Oats Markets and others. Today the chain dominates the market because it has no national competitor. Over the past five years its gross sales have increased by half (47 percent) to $11.7 billion, and its net profit quadrupled to $465.6 million. One of the ways it has achieved this profitability is by selling conventional foods under the false illusion that they are better than products sold at a regular grocery store. Consumers falsely conclude that these products have been screened and are better, and they are willing to pay a higher price.

The distribution of organic foods is also extremely concentrated. A little-known company, United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) now controls the distribution of organic and natural products. Publically traded, the company has a contract with Whole Foods and it is the major source of these products for the remaining independent natural food stores. This relationship has resulted in increasingly high prices for these foods. Small manufacturers are dependent on contracts with UNFI to get their products to market and conversely, small retailers often have to pay a premium price for products because of their dependence on this major distributor. Over the past five years, UNFI's net sales increased by more than half (55.6 percent) $5.2. billion. Its net profit margin increased by 88 percent to $91 million.

Everywhere you look, the corporations are in control.

And this is especially true when you look at big food retailers such as Wal-Mart.

Right now, grocery sales account for about half of all business at Wal-Mart, and approximately one out of every three dollars spent on groceries in the United States is spent at Wal-Mart.

That is absolutely astounding, and it obviously gives Wal-Mart an immense amount of power.

In fact, if you can believe it, Wal-Mart actually purchases a billion pounds of beef every single year.

So the next time someone asks you where the beef is, you can tell them that it is at Wal-Mart.

On the restaurant side, the ten largest fast food corporations account for 47 percent of all fast food sales, and the love affair that Americans have with fast food does not appear to be in danger of ending any time soon.

Personally, if you do not like how these corporate giants are behaving, you can always complain.

But you are just one person among 313 million, and most of these big corporations are not going to consider the ramblings of one person to be of any significance whatsoever.

Collectively, however, we have great power.  And the way that we are going to get these big corporations to change is by voting with our wallets.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans seem quite satisfied with the status quo.  So the population as a whole is likely going to continue to get sicker, fatter and less healthy with each passing year, and the big food corporations are going to keep becoming even more powerful.

Encouraging Illegal Immigration: Charity Begins At Home

Why Is Obama Encouraging Illegal Immigration When We Can’t Take Care Of Millions Of Our Own Citizens?

Michael Snyder, JD, of the Economic Collapse Blog, Guest Columnist

07 Jul 2014 07:36 PM PDT

For years, the Obama administration has been making it abundantly clear that it is a friend of illegal immigrants.  Border security is a joke, the federal government refuses to go after “sanctuary cities” even though they are breaking federal law, there is a website that instructs immigrants how to sign up for welfare programs once they arrive in the United States, and the Obama administration has distributed flyers that tell illegal immigrants that their immigration status will not be checked when they apply for food stamps.  And Obama has even instructed officials to use “prosecutorial discretion” in deportation cases involving non-criminals.  In other words, Obama has been flashing a huge green light to illegal immigrants, and so of course our borders were going to be inundated with them.

Apologists for the Obama administration will debate you all day about what Obama “intended” and what he didn’t “intend”, but there is no doubt about what message immigrants from Central America have been receiving.

For example, one young mother recently told the press that she heard that if you “go to America with your child, you won’t be turned away“.

And you can view video of a little boy from Central America telling an investigate reporter that he believes that Barack Obama has “given permission” for him to live in the United States right here.

It isn’t an accident that our southern border is literally being flooded with illegal immigrants right now.  Newspapers in El Salvador and Honduras have been publicizing how easy illegal immigration has become, and even the President of Honduras has said that people are coming to the United States for “Obama’s amnesty”.

When they arrive, thousands upon thousands of these illegal immigrants are using rehearsed answers that border patrol agents are hearing over and over again.  Word has spread that if illegal immigrants claim that they are “fleeing gang violence” that it is more likely that they will be allowed to stay.

What we are witnessing down on the southern border is really unprecedented.  It has been estimated that twelve times as many kids are crossing our borders illegally now compared to just a few years ago.

And they just keep on coming.

This is utter madness.

Now, please don’t think that I am anti-immigrant.  I am all for legal immigration.  This is a nation of immigrants and we will always need immigration.  But everyone should be required to come in through the front door.  Encouraging illegal immigration is simply a recipe for disaster.

If we keep the back door wide open, the truth is that we have absolutely no idea who is coming into our country.  Do we really want countless numbers of criminals, welfare parasites, drug dealers and gang members pouring into our cities?  According to the FBI, there are now approximately 1.4 million gang members living in the United States, and it has been estimated that illegal immigrants make up approximately 30 percent of the total population in federal, state and local prisons.

And why in the world would we not want to control the diseases coming into this country?  Over the past several weeks, it has been documented that some of the illegal immigrants that have been apprehended have scabies and tuberculosis.

But instead of sending them right back out of the country, U.S. officials are setting up camps for this tsunami of illegal immigrants.  In other cases, the federal government is simply putting them on buses and planes and shipping them all over the country.  The illegal immigrants are released into their new communities and are given papers which order them to eventually appear in court, but of course the vast majority of them never show up.  You can see a map that documents areas where the federal government has been shipping illegal immigrants right here.

The rational thing to do would be to secure our borders and to send a very clear message that illegal immigration is not welcome in the United States.

But instead of doing that, the Obama administration is actually bringing in a riot squad to deal with anti-immigration protesters.

During normal times all of this would be crazy enough, but right now we are at a point where we cannot even take care of millions upon millions of our own citizens.

We are told that illegal immigrants do the jobs “that Americans don’t want to do”, but is that really accurate?

In this day and age, there is intense competition for just about any kind of a job.  Despite what the mainstream media says, the truth is that there hasn’t been a significant employment recovery in the United States.  As you can see from the chart posted below, the percentage of the working age population that is actually working is still far, far below where it was just prior to the last recession…

Yes, there has been a very slight bump in the numbers in recent months, but it is certainly no reason for celebration.  When the mainstream media declares that unemployment in America has been steadily going down, they are simply being disingenuous.  Right now things are only slightly better than they were during the worst times of the past several years.

And according to shadowstats.com, the broadest measure of unemployment is still well over 20 percent and has been steadily rising since the end of the last recession.

So no, there aren’t nearly enough jobs in the United States.

And thanks to competition from immigrant labor and thanks to the fact that millions of good jobs have been shipped overseas, the quality of our jobs continues to decline as well.  For much more on that trend, please see this article.

Needless to say, now is not the time to open up the floodgates to millions of immigrants that will need jobs to support themselves.  Many of our major cities are already so economically depressed that they look like war zones.  In fact, things have gotten so bad in Detroit that a plan is being considered to bulldoze a fifth of the entire city

In May, a group ominously titled the “Detroit Blight Removal Task Force” released a report claiming that around 22 percent of the city’s properties were “blighted” – vacant, damaged or considered dangerous. They also found that, of the 84,000 properties owned by public entities, just over 5,000 were occupied by squatters, making the city of Detroit, the report’s authors noted, “a very large and inadvertent landlord”.

The task force’s proposed solution is to demolish it all over the next five years and start again. Unfortunately, the plan doesn’t extend to rebuilding the properties – it’ll be down to private companies and developers to buy up the land and rebuild.

For much more on the decay of our major cities, please see my previous article entitled “The Death Of The Rust Belt“.

Considering the fact that we are already having such a severe problem taking care of our current population, what do you think is going to happen to these waves of illegal immigrants as they attempt to settle in to communities all around the nation?

Ultimately, we are going to have to end up financially supporting a very large percentage of them too.

Right now, more than 20 percent of children in this country are already living in poverty, and 49 million Americans are dealing with food insecurity.

If Obama continues to encourage mass illegal immigration, those numbers are going to get much worse.

Government dependence is already at an all-time record high, and about half the country currently receives benefits of some sort from the federal government every month.

How much more weight can we put on the “safety net” before it breaks?  Just check out some more numbers about this crisis from one of my previous articles

Ten years ago, the number of women in the U.S. that had jobs outnumbered the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin.  But now the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps actually exceeds the number of women that have jobs.

The U.S. government has spent an astounding 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs over the past five years.

Today, the federal government runs about 80 different “means-tested welfare programs”, and almost all of those programs have experienced substantial growth in recent years.

Back in 1960, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages was approximately 10 percent.  In the year 2000, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages was approximately 21 percent.  Today, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages is approximately 35 percent.

While Barack Obama has been in the White House, the total number of Americans on food stamps has gone from 32 million to nearly 47 million.

Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.  Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps.

It sounds crazy, but the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the entire population of the nation of Spain.

According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps is now greater than the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

According to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies, 43 percent of all immigrants that have been in the United States for at least 20 years are still on welfare.

A lot of people that are trying to immigrate here illegally just want to make a better life for themselves, and I can appreciate that.

But a policy of making it incredibly difficult for honest people to come in through the front door while keeping the back door completely wide open for lawbreakers is a recipe for national suicide.

And right now we don’t have jobs for these immigrants.

We can’t even take care of the people that are already living here.

Something desperately needs to be done about this, but I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for Obama to make a bold move to stop illegal immigrants from pouring over the border.

 

NOTE:  For those that believe in helping the disadvantaged (which I do), we have to keep in mind what my late Daddy J would say:  CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME. 

If we can’t take care of our own, how are we going to take care of those outside our country???

If President Obama would truly like to help these people, then why does he not close the border and send troops, if necessary, down to their countries to take care of the drug criminal gangs if their countries can’t handle the problem?  It would be in our interest since most of the illegal drugs coming into the US are from Central and South America.

By allowing these unaccompanied minors in, is he not substantially increasing the risk that they will fall prey to sex trafficking and slavery (yes, we are finding some of this even in America)?  Or how humane is it to allow these children and illegal immigrants carrying diseases and sick into the system without treating them?  And how humane is it to expose our citizens, legal and illegal immigrants to the diseases they are carrying?  Is it compassionate and intelligent to be brewing a public health crisis?

Why doesn’t he instead encourage developing businesses within their countries so they have jobs and a reason to stay within their country?

Instead, we continue spending precious resources on borrowed money in the Middle East.

And we do so now when even the US is the number 1 exporter of oil, even exceeding Saudi Arabia, courtesy of fracking (another issue, another day).

Is the problem here that Guatemala, Honduras and other countries don’t have oil?  Do we care less about their stability because there is no financial gain to be had?  Are we a nation of political hypocrites?

What do you think?

Food Inflation, Now Wood Food Fillers

Food Inflation, Now Wood Food Fillers:  It’s not just Your Health.  When Does it Become Misrepresentation/Food Fraud?

As you know I get very “worked up” about knowing what is in my food:  Is it GMO? Does it contain MSG? Hidden Msg? Aspartame?  What is the food formula or food ingredients?  Is it what I call “Chemical Food”?

I wrote about Food Fraud last year that many seafood are not what they are represented to be.

But what if they reformulate, do not tell you, but have a small ingredients label on the product and don’t translate the “foodese” (or food chemical language, akin to my profession having legalese)?

Do you think that this is misrepresentation or just caveat emptor (“buyer beware”)? 

Is it ethical conduct by the food industry?  (Note:  Sometimes things can be “legal” but that does NOT mean that it is “ethical”.)

Isn’t it a sad state of affairs that when you go grocery store shopping, week after week, that the situation is getting so out of hand (increasing probably more than we realize) that you just can’t trust that the product is still the same but have to read each item and each label every visit? If you think grocery stores are the only ones that do this, think again.  Restaurant chains, including the fast food industry, has wood fillers in their products.

Why are we supporting this kind system with our dollars?

This is one of the reasons that I buy extremely little from the traditional grocery stores and use Thrive.  But if you don’t use Thrive, why don’t you find a food co-op or a local farmer and buy as much of your food from them?

The point is GET OUT OF THE FOOD PROCESSING DISTRIBUTION CHAIN!!!!  It’s become more of a big business food purchase and supply chain than it is a consumer market or service.

How much do they really care about you?  The Grocery Manufacturer’s Association fights tooth and nail to keep you from knowing what their members have put in your food.  If they had healthy products, they would not care if you knew.  In fact, they would spend money conducting public information campaigns to tell you what is in your food.

Instead, they press ahead using dirty tactics, i.e., Washington State and California food labeling referendum, trying to discourage you from knowing what is in your food.

It’s sick.  And we consumers must vote with our dollars and get out of this system ASAP!

 

How Fast Food Providers Beat Inflation – Add Wood Pulp To Burgers

By Tyler Durden of ZeroHedge.com

Who knew wood could taste this good. QZ.com/Photo Reuters/Molly Riley

On Monday, Quartz published an article by Devin Cohen titled, There is a Secret Ingredient in Your Burgers: Wood Pulp. Given the headline and people’s already present suspicion regarding all of the shady and potentially dangerous ingredients hidden in food items, the article gained a lot of traction. In subsequent days, most journalists and bloggers have focused on the dangers of this additive (unclear) and whether or not it is pervasive throughout the food chain as opposed to just fast food (it appears to be).

The one angle that has not been explored as much is the overall trend. Let’s go ahead and assume that wood pulp is a safe thing to consume, it certainly seems to have no nutritional value whatsoever. So why are companies inserting it into food items? To mask inflation and earn more profits most likely. This was a major theme I focused on last year in a series of pieces on stealth inflation and food fraud, a couple of which can be read below:

New Study Shows 59% of “Tuna” Sold in the U.S. Isn’t Tuna

New Study Shows: Food Fraud Soared 60% Last Year

The Quartz article notes that:

There may be more fiber in your food than you realized. Burger King, McDonald’s and other fast food companies list in the ingredients of several of their foods, microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) or “powdered cellulose” as components of their menu items. Or, in plain English, wood pulp.

The emulsion-stabilizing, cling-improving, anti-caking substance operates under multiple aliases, ranging from powdered cellulose to cellulose powder to methylcellulose to cellulose gum. The entrance of this non-absorbable fiber into fast food ingredients has been stealthy, yet widespread: The compound can now be found in buns, cheeses, sauces, cakes, shakes, rolls, fries, onion rings, smoothies, meats—basically everything.

The cost effectiveness of this filler has pushed many chains to use progressively less chicken in their “chicken” and cream in their “ice cream.”

This is the part that really interests me. When did these companies first introduce this substance into their products and what is the growth trend? My guess is that as food costs have risen, the proportion of non-nutritonal fillers has increased substantially. That said, I’d like to see some data and I haven’t yet.

My big takeaway here is the same as last year’s when I first started writing about the trend. As the cost of food continues to rise, the cost of not paying attention to what you are eating rises exponentially. Companies will continue to try to mask inflation by shrinking package sizes, and when that is no longer possible, increasingly inserting empty fillers (or worse) into their products.

Read More Here

Deceptive Data: How Can We Rely On Government Figures?

Deceptive Data:  How Can We Rely On Government Figures?

The federal government collection of economic data should be objective and reliable.  It is not supposed to be deceptive data or misleading figures.   For example, in collecting the Census information, do you want them to report exactly how many people are residing in the US?  Or do you want them to lower the number of figures (if one is concerned about overpopulation) or increase the figures in a state so that particular state can argue they are entitled to another U.S. Congressional seat at the expense of another state?

Just like when you hire an accountant do you want that accountant to report the numbers accurately or fudge the numbers and get you in a lawsuit, or worse, a tax audit?

When we go to the grocery store and see the size of packages shrinking, the price of products going up and cheaper products being substituted, we know instinctly that the government monthly and yearly figures on food inflation just does not jive.

But what if those figures, although we know instinctly they are wrong, greatly distort the level of inflation?  What if the economic situation is much more serious than even our gut instincts tell us?  Although that may be really bad news and we don’t want to hear it, is it better that we know so we can make more prudent decisions?  Or is it better to ignore it and have deep regrets later when we could have mitigated our losses?

As a former litigator I can tell you when there is smoke, and someone is trying to significantly distort or hide the truth, there is usually a forest fire lurking around the corner.  After all, if things were not really bad, what is the motivation to mislead?

Please carefully read the next article.  Distortions like this just do not go on unless things are very ill internally.

Some may argue that the government may not want to upset or alarm you and they think they can resolve things before it gets out of hand.  This is akin to a spouse, taking money from the joint account without telling you, spending it foolishly but thinking that they can put the money back in the account before the other spouse discovers it.  If you’re the spouse not “dipping in the kitty” do you want to know what’s happening before all the money is gone or do you want to first learn about it when all the money has vanished or the well is dry?  (I can hear it now:  Honey, I really needed the money.  You have too many pressures on you.  I did not want to add any more.  I thought I could handle this….Yeah, sure!)

What’s different about a domestic “breach of fiduciary duty” and the government in this situation?  Feel free to share your thoughts.

 Stone Cold Proof That the Government Economic Numbers Are Being Highly Manipulated

By Michael Snyder of the Economic Collapse Blog

Detective - Public DomainHow in the world does the government expect us to trust the economic numbers that they give us anymore?  For a long time, many have suspected that they were being manipulated, and as you will see below we now have stone cold proof that this is indeed the case.  But first, let’s talk about the revised GDP number for the first quarter of 2014 that was just released.  Initially, they told us that the U.S. economy only shrank by 0.1 percent in Q1.  Then that was revised down to a 1.0 percent contraction, and now we are being informed that the economy actually contracted by a whopping 2.9 percent during the first quarter.  So what are we actually supposed to believe?  Sometimes I almost get the feeling that government bureaucrats are just throwing darts at a dartboard in order to get these numbers.  Of course that is not actually true, but how do we know that we can actually trust the numbers that they give to us?

Over at shadowstats.com, John Williams publishes alternative economic statistics that he believes are much more realistic than the government numbers.  According to his figures, the U.S. economy has actually been continually contracting since 2005.  That would mean that we have been in a recession for the last nine years.

Read More Here….