By Michael Snyder | Economic Collapse | October 26, 2018

As the middle class disintegrates and poverty grows, more Americans than ever are becoming dependent on the government just to survive.  Today, we live in a country where most workers do not earn enough to support a middle class family, and we are seeing the homelessness crisis spiral out of control in major cities on both coasts.  During this election cycle, many conservatives have been freaking out that an increasing number of Democrats are openly embracing socialism, but the truth is that we are already most of the way to becoming a socialist country.  In fact, as you will see below, more than half of all Americans currently receive more money from the government than they pay in taxes.  We have become absolutely addicted to government money, and this is one of the major trends that is eating away at our nation like cancer.

The government is not supposed to take care of us from the cradle to the grave.

Rather, our founders understood that the proper role of government is to create and protect an environment of liberty and freedom where we would be empowered to take care of ourselves.

Today, most Americans cannot independently take care of themselves, and that makes them dependents.  And when you are a dependent, you aren’t really free.

One of the reasons why I write so much about the decline of the middle class is because it is an existential threat to our way of life.  If you look around the world, or if you go back through history, you will see that tyrannical regimes tend to thrive when populations are poor and cannot stand up for themselves.  If we want our Republic to survive, we need a strong, independent population that is not economically dependent on the government.  That is what we had throughout most of our history, and that is now what we are rapidly losing.

Just because you are working does not mean that you are independent.  At this point, most jobs do not pay enough to support a middle class family, and the ranks of the “working poor” continue to explode.  In reality, Americans are working harder than ever in 2018, and yet things continue to deteriorate.

The following are a few numbers that prove that we are rapidly becoming a nation of government dependents…

Over half the country now receives more in government transfer payments than they pay in taxes.

-According to one recent survey, the cost of living is higher than the median income in 42 U.S. states.

-Today, 50 percent of all American workers make less than $30,533 a year.

62 percent of Americans say that their financial situations have not improved since the last presidential election.

And here are six more from my friend Alan Yerushalmi

• According to a FED report, about 40 percent of adults in the U.S. said that if faced with a $400 unexpected expense, they would either not be able to pay it or would do so by selling something or borrowing money

• Almost 1 in 3 U.S. households have challenges paying energy bills

• About 40% of the American middle class face poverty in retirement

1 in 3 Americans have hardly any retirement savings

• Those over 65 have been filing for bankruptcy in droves

• Health spending per capita in the U.S. increased nearly 29 fold in the past 40 years, outpacing the growth of the economy

If things are this bad now, how dreadful will the outlook be once we are deep into the next recession?

History has shown that once national governments begin to expand in size, they usually keep expanding until they ultimately collapse.

Sadly, a large portion of the population has become convinced that the government should be in the business of handing out as much “free stuff” as possible.  Housing, healthcare and college education are now being called “human rights”, and tens of millions of our fellow citizens feel that they are entitled to be given these things by the government.  Needless to say, this has chilling implications for the future of our country, and I really like how Ryan McMaken made this point in his most recent article…

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.

Market economics will become less and less popular because the voters will have realized they can — in the words of James Bovard — “vote for a living” instead of work for a living.

Every additional dollar that the federal government spends is an additional dollar that is being stolen from our children and our grandchildren, and we are already more than 21 trillion dollars in debt.

We have been on the greatest debt binge in human history, and that debt binge delayed our day of reckoning, but it did not cancel it.

In fact, one of my contacts just emailed me with some deeply troubling information.  He has a customer that is a Bank of America board member, and that board member told him that they expect things to really start falling apart by late March “at the latest”.  This is word for word what my contact told me…

“I had a customer this past Saturday who was a very high ranking Bank of America board member, and she said in the meetings, they expect late March, at the latest, that things will really start to disintegrate fairly quickly or very quickly. That was AT THE LATEST she said.”

When I say that “dark days are ahead”, I am not using hyperbole.  We really have reached a turning point, and things will never be the same again.

The relentless march of time is inexorable, and eventually the clock runs out for everyone.  America has been living on borrowed time for quite a while, and a perfect storm is looming on the horizon.


Originally published by Michael Snyder of economiccollapseblog.com

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.





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By Mac Slavo | SHTFplan | October 25, 2018

Twitter is able to track and collect your online activity data even if you have chosen to log out and delete their app. This is all thanks to an obscure and hidden setting that can only be disabled by accessing a particular page on Twitter’s website.

According to Breitbart, Twitter is likely still collecting your data if you have at any time, downloaded their app to your phone. This story was verified by Breitbart by testing Twitter’s data collection on an Apple iPhone, following a tip from banned conservative Twitter users @TheALX. Not only is Twitter neck deep in a censorship campaign, but once they’ve silenced a voice, they will continue to violate that former user’s privacy rights as well.

Even when Twitter’s app was deleted from the iPhone, and no Twitter account was logged in, when navigating to Twitter’s “Personalization and Data Settings” page via a browser, Breitbart discovered that data collection on the device was still enabled.

According to Twitter’s personalization page, all it takes is one login on a device to activate data collection across all devices until users discover the setting and switch it off. As the page explains, unless you switch off the setting, “Twitter will always personalize across the devices you’ve used to log in.” Not only that, Twitter’s personalization page goes on to explain that “Twitter mayt also link your Twitter account to other devices — ones you’ve never used to log on to Twitter — to help measure and improve your experience.” (emphasis Breitbart)

Twitter then responded to Breitbart’s request for comment on the issue of data collection.

Via a Twitter spokeswoman:

Data is only collected from people without Twitter accounts if and where there has been interaction with third-party sites that have Twitter content active on them (i.e., embedded Tweets, widgets, cookies, etc.). Individuals are provided with logged out privacy tools (per your screenshot) to help them determine which information is shared or not shared. -Twitter, via Breitbart

The personalization settings one must access to disable data collection are inaccessible via Twitter’s mobile app. To switch off data collection, you will still have to navigate to Twitter’s website via a browser and find the specific page before they can disable the data collection.

Twitter also collects your browsing data if you’ve never had an account if you’ve done so much as read an article with a tweet embedded. As Breitbart puts it:

In other words, as long as you’ve browsed websites that have embedded Tweets, Twitter cookies, or Twitter’s sharing widget, Twitter has your browsing data from that site. Considering that the vast majority of the top 50 U.S. websites (including pornography, payment processing, and banking websites) have some form of Twitter integration, this means that Twitter likely has a detailed profile one you even if you’ve never signed up for an account or used its platform.

Click here if you would like to disable all of Twitter’s sneaky data collections and privacy-violating scams.


Contributed by Mac Slavo of SHTFplan.com, where this article was originally published.





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L. Steele | America Uncensored | October 25, 2018

Hundreds of U.S. troops are said to be making their way to America’s southern border to assist the National Guard and DHS aiming to stop a migrant caravan making its way from Honduras. According to a U.S. official, 800 soldiers are being sent to offer “logistical support”.

In response to president Trump’s threat to send the military to the border, Defense Secretary James Mattis could order the deployment as soon as today, Fox News reports.

The official said roughly 800 soldiers will be sent to the area to offer “logistical support,” including providing tents and vehicles.

It’s not immediately clear which units are being tasked with the mission as details are still being finalized.

Defense Secretary James Mattis could sign the deployment orders as soon as today.

Thursday morning, president Donald Trump took to twitter calling the caravan a “National Emergency” requiring military support to stop it.

The National Guard, assisting Homeland Security, currently has 2,100 troops on the southern border.

The caravan of around 7,000 migrants is still 1,000 or more miles away from the closest entry point into the United States. Many are suffering exhaustion and other health issues.

The actual number of migrants with the caravan is not known as some are turning back to their homelands while others are joining along the way. Sickness, fear and harassment are whittling down the caravan, CNBC reports.




Little by little, sickness, fear and police harassment are whittling down the migrant caravan making its way to the U.S. border, with many of the 4,000 to 5,000 migrants camped overnight under plastic sheeting in a town in southern Mexico complaining of exhaustion.

The group, many with children and even pushing toddlers in strollers, planned to depart Mapastepec at dawn Thursday with more than 1,000 miles still to go before they reach the U.S. border.

But in recent days a few hundred have accepted government offers to bus them back to their home countries.

President Trump continues to call for a border wall to help combat invasions such as the caravan heading this way. However, it seams to have less appeal now that republicans are trying to fund it through taxpayers instead of making Mexico pay for it as promised.

Though mainstream media outlets such as CNBC paints a picture of hundreds of migrants suffering trying to make their way to America for a better life, there is much more at stake. The safety of this nation. As Sara Carter points out, there are people joining up with the caravan from several terrorist countries including members of the MS 13 gang.

It’s hard to find fault with Trump’s decision to put our military on the border, it is after all where they belong. Our troops are spread out throughout the world fighting battles for rich globalist which have nothing to do with out freedom. The border is where they belong, protecting us from real threats.


Contributed by L.Steele of AmericaUncensored.net, where this article was originally published.


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By Tyler Durden | ZeroHedge | October 24, 2018

One day after federal agents detonated a bomb discovered in the mailbox of George Soros’s home in Westchester County, Secret Service technicians have intercepted suspected bombs reportedly mailed to the homes of the Obamas as well as Bill and Hillary Clinton. The bomb sent to the Clintons was mailed to the couple’s home in Chappaqua, NY – which is also located in Westchester, according to the New York Times. The package mailed to the Obamas was sent to the former president’s office.

It wasn’t clear where the bombs were found, but the Secret Service is investigating.

The bomb found at Soros’ home was constructed from a length of pipe about six inches long that was filled with explosive powder. It was “proactively detonated” by a bomb squad that was summoned to the scene, according to law enforcement officials who spoke to the Times under the condition of anonymity. The motive of the would-be bomber – or bombers – remains unknown.

Though, as the NYT pointed out, Soros and the Clintons have both been the objects of scorn from right-wing groups.

The Secret Service has released a statement about the incidents:

“The US Secret Service has intercepted two suspicious packages addressed to Secret Service protectees.

Late on October 23, 2018, the Secret Service recovered a single package addressed to Former First Lady Hillary Clinton in Westchester County, New York. Early this morning, October 24, 2018, a second package addressed to Former President Barack Obama was intercepted by Secret Service personnel in Washington, DC.

The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such. The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them.

The Secret Service has initiated a full scope criminal investigation that will leverage all available federal, state, and local resources to determine the source of the packages available federal, state, and local resources to determine the source of the packages and identify those responsible.”

Given that these incidents are almost guaranteed to unleash another torrent of speculation about unstable far-right groups, one can’t help but wonder if this is an example of Democrats pulling a Bolsonaro just two weeks before a crucial midterm vote.


Originally Published by Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge.


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By Michael Snyder | Economic Collapse | October 22, 2018

The middle class in America has been declining for decades, and we continue to get even more evidence of the catastrophic damage that has already been done.  According to the Social Security Administration, the median yearly wage in the United States is just $30,533 at this point.  That means 50 percent of all American workers make at least that much per year, but that also means that 50 percent of all American workers make that much or less per year.  When you divide $30,533 by 12, you get a median monthly wage of just over $2,500.  But of course nobody can provide a middle class standard of living for a family of four for just $2,500 a month, and we will discuss this further below.  So in most households at least two people are working, and in many cases multiple jobs are being taken on by a single individual in a desperate attempt to make ends meet.  The American people are working harder than ever, and yet the middle class just continues to erode.

The deeper we dig into the numbers provided by the Social Security Administration, the more depressing they become.  Here are just a few examples from their official website

-34 percent of all American workers made less than $20,000 last year.

-48 percent of all American workers made less than $30,000 last year.

-59 percent of all American workers made less than $40,000 last year.

-68 percent of all American workers made less than $50,000 last year.




At this moment, the federal poverty level for a family of five is $29,420, and yet about half the workers in the entire country don’t even make that much on a yearly basis.

So can someone please explain to me again why people are saying that the economy is “doing well”?

Many will point to how well the stock market has been doing, but the stock market has not been an accurate barometer for the overall economy in a very, very long time.

And the stock market has already fallen nearly 1,500 points since the beginning of the month.  The bull market appears to be over and the bears are licking their chops.

No matter who has been in the White House, and no matter which political party has controlled Congress, the U.S. middle class has been systematically eviscerated year after year.  Many that used to be thriving may still even call themselves “middle class”, but that doesn’t make it true.

You would think that someone making “the median income” in a country as wealthy as the United States would be doing quite well.  But the truth is that $2,500 a month won’t get you very far these days.

First of all, your family is going to need somewhere to live.  Especially on the east and west coasts, it is really hard to find something habitable for under $1,000 a month in 2018.  If you live in the middle of the country or in a rural area, housing prices are significantly cheaper.  But for the vast majority of us, let’s assume a minimum of $1,000 a month for housing costs.

Secondly, you will also need to pay your utility bills and other home-related expenses.  These costs include power, water, phone, television, Internet, etc.  I will be extremely conservative and estimate that this total will be about $300 a month.

Thirdly, each income earner will need a vehicle in order to get to work.  In this example we will assume one income earner and a car payment of just $200 a month.

So now we are already up to $1,500 a month.  The money is running out fast.

Next, insurance bills will have to be paid.  Health insurance premiums have gotten ridiculously expensive in recent years, and many family plans are now well over $1,000 a month.  But for this example let’s assume a health insurance payment of just $450 a month and a car insurance payment of just $50 a month.

Of course your family will have to eat, and I don’t know anyone that can feed a family of four for just $500 a month, but let’s go with that number.

So now we have already spent the entire $2,500, and we don’t have a single penny left over for anything else.

But wait, we didn’t even account for taxes yet.  When you deduct taxes, our fictional family of four is well into the red every month and will need plenty of government assistance.

This is life in America today, and it isn’t pretty.

In his most recent article, Charles Hugh Smith estimated that an income of at least $106,000 is required to maintain a middle class lifestyle in America today.  That estimate may be a bit high, but not by too much.

Yes, there is a very limited sliver of the population that has been doing well in recent years, but most of the country continues to barely scrape by from month to month.  Out in California, Silicon Valley has generated quite a few millionaires, but the state also has the highest poverty in the entire nation.  For every Silicon Valley millionaire, there are thousands upon thousands of poor people living in towns such as Huron, California

Nearly 40 percent of Huron residents — and almost half of all children — live below the poverty line, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s more than double the statewide rate of 19 percent reported last month, which is the highest in the U.S. The national average is 12.3 percent.

“We’re in the Appalachians of the West,” Mayor Rey Leon said. “I don’t think enough urgency is being taken to resolve a problem that has existed for way too long.”

Multiple families and boarders pack rundown homes, only about a quarter of residents have high school diplomas and most lack adequate health care in an area plagued with diabetes and high asthma rates in one the nation’s most polluted air basins.

One recent study found that the gap between the wealthy and the poor is the largest that it has been since the 1920s, and America’s once thriving middle class is evaporating right in front of our eyes.

We could have made much different choices as a society, but we didn’t, and now we are going to have a great price to pay for our foolishness…


Originally published at theeconomiccollapseblog.com

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.


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