Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Obama's speech gives hints of what's to come...

Last week, if you recall, Obama gave a speech on his economic plan for this country. Mike Rupert has written a long response to that speech, which I have excerpted for you here. I'm omitting the stuff like his comments on Panetta's appointment as CIA chief and such-like, and trying to focus on the strictly economic issues for purposes of this post.

Act 2: From the Wilderness
By Michael C. Ruppert
Friday, January 09, 2009
(c) Copyright 2009 Michael C. Ruppert. All Rights Reserved

...In Thursday's speech the President-elect, in my opinion, began weaning the American people, from their so-deeply ingrained sense of entitlement to wasteful excess. He called this the end of an era of "profound irresponsibility". He set the right tone initially about the gravity of the crisis but stopped short of Peak Oil and the fact that there can and will be no recovery. He chided us for living beyond our means and flatly said that there will be cutbacks in government services. He predicted double digit unemployment. (I see 20% or greater unemployment by January 2010.) He continues to talk about recovery but I'm sure he knows there won't be one. In fact he said that this could be a recovery that it might not be possible to recover from. We are being prepared.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a couple of days with 700+ point losses in the Dow over the next ten days to two weeks. The data is just horrendous and it is also becoming torrential around the globe as the Gaza crisis diverts attention...

...In the meantime WHILE EVERYONE WAS WATCHNG GAZA the stories of a global implosion are mounting. -- Europe's economy is contracting at a faster rate than in the 30s. In the meantime the Russian shut-off of European gas supplies is wreaking havoc, especially in the Balkans, the Czech Republic and elsewhere, causing factories to be shut because there isn't enough energy to run them and keep people from freezing. Corporate pension funds in the U.S. are facing serious shortfalls. Unemployment Claims have crashed three state web sites. Every major industrialized nation (including the U.S.) is preparing for civil unrest. And we haven't seen Q4 earnings reports yet.

China has just announced that it is holding onto its cash and not lending as much to the U.S. It has its own bailout package to fund. It needs that cash for its own bailout and thus can no longer lend anywhere near as much to the U.S. at a time when we are borrowing or printing money at rates about a hundred times higher than in World War II. Reports have suggested that China may dump half of its $1.4 trillion dollar holdings within the next two months. A global dollar dump will follow shortly thereafter bringing all those greenbacks back home. That could be the trigger for Weimar-style inflation...

...Manufacturing has hit a 28-year low and today's jobs report is the worst since 1945 with the biggest job losses yet to come. Officially, unemployment now exceeds 7%. Fourth-quarter earnings reports are due soon and that will be one of the biggest buckets of cold water in the face we've seen in a couple of months.

As I correspond with a number of key friends and researchers around the world we have all concluded that it may be just a matter of weeks before we start seeing major disruptions in everyday life. It's hard to keep up with the torrent of ominous news...

...What follows is only a partially-formed impression rather than a conclusion. It is looking to me as if the downward pressure on all economies is hitting fairly uniformly around the world. For a long
time those of us who looked forward assumed that economic collapse would hit first one major power and then another in varying degrees. I left open the possibility that it might be a controlled fast crash and spread evenly to avoid international conflict and tension. That's the way it is starting to look.

That leaves open the question as to whether or not there might be an agreement to collapse the global economy uniformly so as to let each nation manage its own die off. There's logic to that but I can draw no conclusions as yet.

COMING TOPICS – Soon it will be necessary for me to look at topics which we've mentioned in passing. These include civil unrest, camps, emergency communications and preparedness as the threat of societal breakdown becomes imminent. It's time to start doing that...

I'm going to presume he's referring to tent cities and the economically displaced homeless rather than concentration camps - at least I hope that's what he meant. There are already "tent cities" popping up in major metropolitan areas, though a lot of the "tents" are actually cars in most areas. ...and on a related note, we aren't hearing much being said by Obama or anyone else about the rise of modern "tent cities" of the foreclosed and homeless which include children and intact families instead of dazed alcoholic vietnam vets.

Tent city in suburbs is cost of home crisis
15:57 ET, Thu 20 Dec 2007
By Dana Ford

ONTARIO, California (Reuters) - Between railroad tracks and beneath the roar of departing planes sits "tent city," a terminus for homeless people. It is not, as might be expected, in a blighted city center, but in the once-booming suburbia of Southern California.

The noisy, dusty camp sprang up in July with 20 residents and now numbers 200 people, including several children, growing as this region east of Los Angeles has been hit by the U.S. housing crisis...

...As more families throw in the towel and head to foreclosure here and across the nation, the social costs of collapse are adding up in the form of higher rates of homelessness, crime and even disease...

..."They don't hit the streets immediately," said activist Jane Mercer. Most families can find transitional housing in a motel or with friends before turning to charity or the streets. "They only hit tent city when they really bottom out."

..."Folks who would have been in a house before are now in an apartment and folks that would have been in an apartment, now can't afford it," said Beil. "It has a trickle-down effect."

And this one:

In hard times, tent cities rise across the country
Since foreclosure mess, homeless advocates report rise in encampments
Associated Press
updated 4:36 p.m. ET, Thurs., Sept. 18, 2008

...From Seattle to Athens, Ga., homeless advocacy groups and city agencies are reporting the most visible rise in homeless encampments in a generation.

Nearly 61 percent of local and state homeless coalitions say they've experienced a rise in homelessness since the foreclosure crisis began in 2007, according to a report by the National Coalition for the Homeless. The group says the problem has worsened since the report's release in April, with foreclosures mounting, gas and food prices rising and the job market tightening.

"It's clear that poverty and homelessness have increased," said Michael Stoops, acting executive director of the coalition. "The economy is in chaos, we're in an unofficial recession and Americans are worried, from the homeless to the middle class, about their future."

The phenomenon of encampments has caught advocacy groups somewhat by surprise, largely because of how quickly they have sprung up...

Really? Did they think the people who got kicked out of their homes would just lay down and die or something? Ironically, many of the homeless actually have jobs, but can only find part-time work that will not pay a rent or mortgage. That leaves people with no relatives to mooch off of out in the cold, literally.

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