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STATE OF AMERICA 2016

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL FACTS

THE HAPPY TALK OF THE MONEY LORDS

AND THE POLITICIANS THEY FINANCE

CANNOT HIDE THE REALITY OF AMERICA'S ECONOMIC CRISIS.


DEBT CRISIS    DEATH OF THE MIDDLE CLASS 

  A FAILURE IN POLTICAL LEADERSHIP

HEALTH CARE  CHEMICALS  THE WAR ON DRUGS

  EDUCATION AND STUDENT DEBT  BAIL OUTS FOR THE RICH


THE DEBT CRISIS

In a sick society problems are solved by debt. Now debt itself is not an evil, debt used for investment is very important, a necessary tool for progress. However in sick societies, debt is used to pay for consumption. It's used to pay for things for which the money has not been produced. Is this a long-term solution? No, it is not.

KEY WORLD FUTURE FUND CHARTS AND REPORTS

Global Debt
After the global economic bubble burst in 2008, levels of global debt have skyrocketed, and only continue to grow larger with each passing year.

Money Printing
The current "recovery" is a result of money printing to bail out the rich while neglecting the needy.

Wall Street House of Cards
Is the U.S. economy truly on the road to recovery? The practice of stock repurchasing (stock buy backs) is inflating the value of today's stocks, while a dire lack of funds are being allocated towards things that actually improve economic growth - such as job creation, economic development and research.

Collapse of America's International Investment Position  
America today is the world's largest debtor.

Debt to GDP Ratio Historical Chart

TAXES

Taxes and Deficit 1980-2010  (World Future Fund)
Shows need to raise taxes.

ARTICLES

We're in a private debt crisis that could lead to the next economic collapse: Richard Vague (Yahoo Finance, 3-28-14)
The United States is in the midst of a private debt crisis. American consumers owe $11.52 trillion in debt. When combined with corporate debt, the U.S. collectively owes $28 trillion in private debt. This also includes the crisis of student debt.

This Surprising Chart Shows Which Countries Own the Most U.S. Debt (Washington Post, 10-10-13)


AMERICA'S MIDDLE CLASS, SINKING INTO POVERTY

Today, the American middle and lower classes are in the their worst crisis since the Great Depression.  Wages are back to where they were in the 1960's.   Debts have soared. 

America and Poverty A Sorry Record (WFF Chart)

The Real Economy: Some Charts (WFF Chart)

Social Mobility in America Lags Behind "Old" Europe.   Hertz, an Assistant Professor of Economics at American University in Washington, DC, takes a scientific and statistical look at socioeconomic mobility in the United States.  He finds disturbing evidence that poverty is on the rise in America and that upward economic mobility between generations in the United States, long a heralded advantage of living in this country, lags significantly behind many developed countries, especially in Western Europe.   Read the report: "Understanding Mobility in America: PDF"  (Center for American Progress, 4-26-06)

More Evidence That Half of America Is In Or Near Poverty (Truth Out, 3-24-14) There are more Americans living in poverty than what the official numbers indicate. The official poverty threshold reflects living standards that prevailed in the mid-1950's. It needs to be adjusted for the current day standard of living. Food costs have doubled since the 1980's, housing has tripled, medical costs are six times higher and college tuition is eleven times higher. Not to mention that half of Americans own NOTHING. 47% of Americans on the bottom own 1.1% of America's net wealth. What all this means is that HALF of Americans are in poverty!

One in Four Households Have No Net Worth (Economy in Crisis, 3-30-11)
Even scarier is the fact that the bottom 20 percent of Americans have a negative net worth. One in five people are living in debt. Also see The Great Recession exacerbated existing wealth disparities in U.S. (Economic Policy Institute, 3-29-11). The number of impoverished Americans is growing quickly. While the Census Bureau has reported a number of 15% of Americans living in poverty, other reports show a more grim reality: Half of America in Poverty (Alternet, 5-26-13).

Almost a Third of Americans Under 35 Are Living With Their Parents: (FedUpUSA) According to a stunning Gallup Survey, nearly 3 out of 10 young adults are living at home with their parents. This is due to unrealistic housing costs as well as a weak job market.

Poverty and Society by Daniel Devine(Paperback) Excellent book on government social programs around the world. Shows history of programs. This book knocks down the delusions that U.S. government is "too big". (In reality it's the smallest in the developed world as a share of GNP).

Nearly 40 percent of mothers are now the family breadwinners, report says (Washington Post, 5-29-13)
As more women move into the workforce, it is becoming more common for women to be the heads of household or breadwinners in the family. Yet much of this statistic also reflects the growing number of single mothers in America. The topic of birth control is still one that is not taken seriously enough in America, which explains why this country has the highest rate of teen pregnancies among modern countries.

The Globalization of Hypocrisy (Common Dreams, 5-20-13)
The corporate world's relentless drive for profits has destroyed key aspects of American society: health care, education, as well as access to safe water and food.

Debtpocalypse and the hollowing out of America (Jeralee, 12-7-12)
Entire cities and sections of American society have been hollowed out by Financial devastation and debt. This is accentuated by the fact that prominent American industries have been shipped over seas never to come back.

The New Slavery Is Bigger Than The Old Slavery: More Black Men Are in Prison or on Probation Today Than Were Enslaved In 1850 (Huffington Post, 10-12-11)
Black men are over represented in prison for drug based crimes, even though whites use and deal drugs at similar rates. Imprisonment may be the new way to disenfranchise Black men.

Former President Clinton's Welfare Reforms of the 1990's Made America's Poorest Families Even More Poor (Center for Budget and Priorities, Off The Charts, 5-25-11)

FOOD STAMPS ON THE RISE

Why Half a Million People Will Lose Their Food Stamps This Year (Center on Budget Policy and Priority, 1-21-16)
At least 500,000 people will lose their food stamp benefits this year as many states revert back to a strict three-month limitation on benefits, according to a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Food Stamp Beneficiaries Exceed 45 Million for 49 Straight Months (Before It's News, 8-12-15) USDA Data (PDF)
The number of beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, has exceeded 45 million for 49 straight months, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Half of Food Stamp Recipients are Children (CNN Money, 11-26-13) Food stamps are currently feeding 47 million people. Enrollment in the program has surged since the recession, 15% of the population is on the program. Children account for 45% of food stamps. The White House also highlighted in a 2011 survey that most of food stamps go to the elderly, children and people with disabilities.

AMERICA'S DECLINING WAGES
American minimum wages (adjusted for inflation) are back to where they were in the 1960's. It peaked in 1968 and hasn't recovered since. Studies show that if minimum wage kept up with productivity, it would be $21.72 an hour.

Minimum wage would be $21.72 if it kept pace with increase in productivity (Huffington Post, 2-13-13)

The Middle Class Myth: Here's Why Wages are Really So Low Today (Salon, 12-30-13)

What the Recovery is Leaving Behind: The Long-Term Unemployed and Living Wage Jobs (The Shriver Brief, 10-29-13)

The Collapse of the Hourly Wage (Counter Punch, 6-10-13)

Elizabeth Warren: Minimum Wage Would Be $22 An Hour If It Had Kept Up With Productivity (Huffington Post, 3-18-13)

GLOBAL POVERTY

Growth of the World's Slums (World Future Fund Chart)

There are 85 People Who Are As Wealthy As Half the world. (Huffington Post, 1-21-14)

Crisis Squeezes Income and Puts Pressure on Inequality and Poverty (OECD Report, 2013)
The gap between the rich and the poor in OECD countries has increased more between 2007-2010, than in the previous 12 years.

Poverty Facts and Stats (Global Issues)
This site includes many detailed and informative statistics about the state of world poverty. One particularly horrific fact is that at least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. Almost half of the world - over 3 billion people - live on less than $2.50 a day. This trend of income inequality is also continuing to grow.

CHILD POVERTY

America and Poverty A Sorry Record (World Future Fund Chart)

The staggering cost of day care when you make only the minimum wage (Washington Post, 10-6-15)

Hard to Believe: In Most States, Child Care Is Now More Expensive Than College Tuition (Alternet, 10-12-15)

45% of Americans pay no federal income tax (Yahoo, 2-24-16)

America's Greatest Shame: Child Poverty Rises and Food Stamps Cut While Billionaires Boom (Alternet, 11-1-13)

Study: Poor Children are Now the Majority in American Public Schools in South, West (Washington Post, 10-16-13)

UNICEF Report On Child Well-being Shows U.S. Near Bottom Of List (International Business Times, 4-11-13)

Read the Report Here: "Child Well Being in Rich Countries: A Comparative Overview" (PDF)

OVERWORKED

Overworked America: 12 Charts That Will Make Your Blood Boil (Motherjones, 7-6-11)
In the past 20 years, the US economy has grown nearly 60 percent. This huge increase in productivity is partly due to automation, the internet, and other improvements in efficiency. But it's also the result of Americans working harder—often without a big boost to their bottom lines. Oh, and meanwhile, corporate profits are up 20 percent.

UNEMPLOYMENT

Record Low Number of Adults in Workforce (MSN Money, 2-10-14)
Today, one in six men are unemployed in their prime working years (ages 25-54) . In the early 1970's, this number only included 6% of American men. By late 2007, that number was 13%. In 2009, that number was the worst of the recession, nearly 20% of working age men didn't have jobs. For women, the numbers are a different story. In the 1950's, only a third of working aged women had jobs. Now that number has risen to 70% of working aged women being employed. You can also read this story at The Wall Street Journal (2-6-14)

America Needs a Better Measure of Unemployment (Against Crony Capitalism, 3-24-14) If we measured unemployment today in the same way that we did during the Great Depression of the 1930's, today's unemployment would be worse than any single year of the Great Depression. Even with the Fed saying that unemployment rates are at "6.5%," much of the numbers are very doctored. The official numbers do not take into account the people who have dropped out of the job market completely and given up looking for work.

DISAPPEARING PENSIONS

Public Pension Funds Roll Back Return Targets (The Wall Street Journal, 9-4-15)

PREDICTIONS OF COMING ECONOMIC COLLAPSE IN AMERICA

FROM THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE BLOG

The "official" unemployment numbers do not reflect the real situation in America. The reality is that there are less jobs now for Americans than when this century first began. A key factor in unemployment is the off-shoring of millions of jobs that will not be coming back. There is also the replacement of workers with technology. Yet there are predictions that America has not seen the worst of its economic crisis. There are predictions that this whole situation is about to get even worse.

Ten Reasons Why There Will Be Another Systemic Financial Crisis (Forbes, 12-8-14)

Terror Attack on U.S. Power Grid? “For the Record” (Secure the Grid, 3-26-15)

Chris Hedges

The Great Unraveling (Truth Dig, 8-30-15)

The Real Enemy Is Within (Truth Dig, 9-6-15)

MASS INCARCERATION: THE NEW SLAVERY

The Sentencing Project
This website offers data on the mass incarceration of America's population. One in nine men can expect to be jailed in their lifetime. The rate of incarceration is the highest for America's black males: one in three black males can be expected to be jailed in their lifetime. Compare this to white males who experience an incarceration rate of one in seventeen. America's jail system has experienced a 500% increase over the past 30 years. There are now 2 million Americans in prison, yet this mass incarceration has not done much to improve public safety overall. While the United States has 5% of the world's population, we house 25% of the world's prisoners.

The New Slavery Is Bigger Than The Old Slavery: More Black Men Are in Prison or on Probation Today Than Were Enslaved In 1850 (Huffington Post, 10-12-11) Black men are over represented in prison for drug based crimes, even though whites use and deal drugs at similar rates. Imprisonment may be the new way to disenfranchise Black men.

The New Jim Crow: Drug Policy as Race Policy (The New York Times, 3-6-12)
Michelle Alexander's book, "The New Jim Crow" has galvanized the American debate on Drug Policy and the mass incarceration of America's Black Males.

Read The New Jim Crow on Amazon

There Are 10 Times More Mentally Ill People Behind Bars Than in State Hospitals (Mother Jones, 4-8-14)
This article brings attention to the mass incarceration of the mentally ill in America. Now that mental institutions are no longer holding as many mentally ill patients as they did in the past, prisons are becoming the new home for America's mentally ill.


DEBT CRISIS

DEATH OF THE MIDDLE CLASS   A FAILURE IN POLTICAL LEADERSHIP

HEALTH CARE  CHEMICALS  THE WAR ON DRUGS

  EDUCATION AND STUDENT DEBT  BAIL OUTS FOR THE RICH


A FAILURE IN POLITICAL LEADERSHIP

There is a complete failure on the part of the American political systems to deal with the growing economic crises. If you look at the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, you see a complete disconnect from reality. In the Republican side you're talking about trillions of dollars of new debt for tax cuts that can't be paid for. On the Democratic side, there is a total failure to come up with a plan for the budget deficit, and many ideas put forth that will only balloon the current deficits.

2016 PRESIDENTIAL RACE - NO REAL ECONOMIC PLAN

Infographic Comparing Candidates’ Tax Plans (Fiscal Fact Check, 11-16-15)

The dangerous deficits our candidates aren’t talking about (Washington Post, 1-31-16)

People's State of the Union (Jill 2016, January 2016)

GOVERNMENT SPENDING

Even Without Sequestration, Non-Defense Spending Still Headed Toward Historic Low (Center on Budget Policy and Priorities, 10-8-15)

As Roads Crumble, Infrastructure Spending Hits a 30-Year Low (Yahoo, 2-25-16)


DEBT CRISIS

DEATH OF THE MIDDLE CLASS   A FAILURE IN POLTICAL LEADERSHIP

HEALTH CARE  CHEMICALS  THE WAR ON DRUGS

  EDUCATION AND STUDENT DEBT  BAIL OUTS FOR THE RICH


LIFE AND DEATH IN AMERICA: THE AMERICAN HEALTH CARE CRISIS

A majority of Modern states in the world use Single Payer Health Insurance - except for America. This is a social program that even Imperial Germany had, 100 years ago. It is a system with one payer - the government. In the United States of America, many of the great institutions that we take for granted are kept afloat by government funding: education, police force, firefighters, military, etc. Yet one of the most important institutions of American society, our physicians and health providers, do not receive this same treatment. Instead we have a rube goldberg machine of a system with an interconnected mess of competing health insurance companies and government bureaucracies. There are currently around 30 million Americans who do not receive health care, even after the implementation of Obama's Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

30 MILLION AMERICANS STILL UNINSURED AFTER PASSAGE OF AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

Thirty Million Uninsured (Factcheck.org)

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2014 (United States Census Bureau, 9-16-15)

Census Bureau - 33 million uninsured is good news? (PNHP, 9-16-15)

33 Million Americans Still Don’t Have Health Insurance (Five Thirty Eight, 9-28-15)

32 Year old Florida Woman Dies on Stranger's Doorstep From Lack of Health Care (Daily KOS, 4-9-14)

Left Behind: Stories From Obamacare's 31 Million Uninsured (Washington Post, 9-8-13)

20,000 - 45,000 Americans die from a lack of health care coverage per year (New York Times, 9-17-09)

SINGLE PAYER

Single Payer Health Insurance Plan, The Only Effective Option For Keeping America Healthy (World Future Fund Report)

Single-Payer Is Worth Fighting For (US News, 1-21-16)

Beyond the Spin, Some Facts About the Affordable Care Act (Aljazeera, 10-14-13)

THE AFFORDABLE CAR ACT

Obamacare Could Force 80 Million Off Employer-Provided Plans (Free Beacon, 11-26-13)

Woman Who Obama Cited as Obamacare Success Story Now Says She Can't Afford Health Care Coverage (Reason, 11-19-13)

Sorry Liberals, Obamacare's Problems Go Much Deeper Than the Website (Washington Post, 10-25-13)

Why Obama's Public Option Is Defective, and Why We Need Single-Payer (Physicians For a National Health Program, 7-22-09)

UNDERINSURED AMERICANS

The Problem of Underinsurance and How Rising Deductibles Will Make It Worse (Common Wealth Fund, 5-20-15)
Now even with the Americans who do have insurance, many of them are underinsured. Which means that many of them have very high deductibles relative to their income. Nearly half of these adults will not get the care they need due to high costs. Not to mention that half of underinsured adults have debt loads around $4,000 or more.

AMERICA'S PRESCRIPTION DRUG ADDICTION

Study: Pharmaceuticals Kill More Teens Than Illegal Substances In The US (Reset.me, 3-26-15)

7 Drugs Whose Dangerous Risks Emerged Only After Big Pharma Made Its Money (Alternet, 1-2-14)

Prescription Drugs Now Kill More People in the US than Heroine and Cocaine Combined (Business Insider, 9-26-12)

THE FORCED DRUGGING OF CHILDREN
Did you know that thousands of children around the country are taking stimulants with the potency of cocaine as well as other psychotropic drugs? These drugs have severe side effects such as suicide, violence, cardiac toxicity, diabetes, stunted growth, and psychosis. Not only are these drugs legal, but for some children they are mandatory. These drugs are often pushed onto children by the public education system at very young ages. Since the 1990's, school psychiatrists have been handing out pills right and left for common behavioral issues such as "ADHD." Often the symptoms of ADHD are characterized as the "inability to pay attention in the classroom" and "hyper-activity." These are traits that basically any school child could have. Prescription becomes more of a guess than a scientific diagnosis. Yet school psychiatrists and teachers have been pressuring parents to give their children these drugs at growing rates.

Forced Drugging and Special Services: (Psych Rights PDF)

Forced Drugging of Children in Foster Care: (Pysch Rights PDF)

The Business of ADHD (PBS)

Ritalin Proven More Potent Than Cocaine: Nearly 10 Million Kids Drugged (Rense)


DEBT CRISIS

DEATH OF THE MIDDLE CLASS   A FAILURE IN POLTICAL LEADERSHIP

HEALTH CARE  CHEMICALS  THE WAR ON DRUGS

  EDUCATION AND STUDENT DEBT  BAIL OUTS FOR THE RICH


POISON IN THE BLOOD:

HUNDREDS OF UNREGULATED CHEMICALS IN AMERICAN BLOOD

Failure of U.S. Chemical Testing: Poison in The Blood(World Future Fund)
America's track record on testing poisonous chemicals has been one of complete neglect to public health and safety. Most Americans assume that chemicals in everyday products such as shampoos and detergents have been tested. In this assumption, they are dead wrong. In its entire history, the Environmental Protection Agency has only succeeded in banning five substances (New York Times). America clearly does not take the regulation of hazardous chemicals very seriously.

EPA and EU Sites Concerning Chemicals and Human Health (World Future Fund)

Chemicals and Health Organizations (World Future Fund)

From fertiliser to Zyklon B: 100 years of the scientific discovery that brought life and death (The Guardian, 11-2-13)


AMERICA'S WAR ON DRUGS

America is the world's leader in incarceration with around 2.2 million people currently in prison or jail. This marks a 500% increase in the incarcerated population since the war on drugs began in the 1980's. Drug offenders even make up a majority of the Federal Prison population. Yet most evidence shows that the war on drugs has been an abysmal failure. The proportion of people consuming illicit drugs in America has not changed significantly since the war on drugs began. America has spent trillions on this drug war with few results. The Drug War has also wrecked havoc in South America, it has killed thousands while bringing several violent drug cartels to power.

Drug abuse is a disease much like alcohol abuse and should be treated with rehabilitation and therapy; A prison sentence is not an effective treatment.

A Timeline of America's Drug War (Frontline)

Drug War Statistics

The US War on Drugs and its Legacy in Latin America (The Guardian, 2-3-14)

Cheaper, Purer Illegal Substances Suggest Global War on Drugs is Failing (CNN, 10-1-13)

The New Jim Crow: Drug Policy as Race Policy (The New York Times, 3-6-12)
Michelle Alexander's book, "The New Jim Crow" has galvanized the American debate on Drug Policy and the mass incarceration of America's Black Males.

Have We Lost the War on Drugs? (The Wall Street Journal, 1-4-13)


EDUCATION AND THE BUBBLE OF STUDENT DEBT

Education Spending, An Area Where America Spends More and Gets Less (World Future Fund Report)
Even though America spends more than most modern states on Education, this is an area where our money is not working. We need smart spending, not more spending. One thing that would improve our ailing education system would be a National Broadband Strategy that would connect all students to the internet. Check out our report for other suggestions.

The US Student Loan Debt Bubble, A Threat To America's Future (World Future Fund Report)
Student debt is now bigger than credit card debt. It is also the only kind of debt that cannot be canceled by bankruptcy. Many Americans are told that the costs of Education are worth it, that these costs will guarantee them a bright and affluent future. Yet now, many recent college graduates are more in debt and out of work than their contemporaries who only received a high school education.

The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much (International New York Times, 4-4-15)

How Wall Street Brokers Are Designing the Future of Public Education as a Money-Making Machine (Truth Out, 12-11-13)

College Grads on Food Stamps on the Rise (Alternet, 2-15-13)

America's growing education gap (Aljazeera, 2-22-13)

AMERICAN IGNORANCE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

American people are appallingly ignorant of international affairs.  (Salon Web Site, 9-27-01

Just How Stupid Are We?: Facing the Truth About the American Voter: Rick Shenkman


DEBT CRISIS

DEATH OF THE MIDDLE CLASS   A FAILURE IN POLTICAL LEADERSHIP

HEALTH CARE  CHEMICALS  THE WAR ON DRUGS

  EDUCATION AND STUDENT DEBT  BAIL OUTS FOR THE RICH


WHILE THE POOR SUFFER,

THE SUPER RICH GET GIANT GOVERNMENT BAILOUTS.

The wage gap that exists in America today is unprecedented in history. Six Walmart heirs currently own more wealth than the bottom 30% of America's population. The Federal Reserve is pumping $85 billion worth of new money into the economy each month, yet where is this money going? Job growth is anemic and wages (adjusted for inflation) are back to where they were in the 1960's. The Federal Reserve has handed out $2 trillion in loans, but Bernanke won't say where the money is going. Is this money really being spent to help America, or America's wealthiest citizens? While America's wealthiest citizens get a bail out, American debt and trade deficits continue to escalate.

THE FEDERAL RESERVE

Federal Reserve is printing $85 billion dollars worth of new money into economy monthly: Economists call this a big mistake (Forbes, 9-20-13)

The Federal Reserve’s Nuclear Option: A One-Way Street to Oblivion (2-5-14)
The fed cannot create a bid in bidless markets that lasts beyond its own buying. The Federal Reserve has one last doomsday option to stop a meltdown in the global financial markets: creating trillions of dollars out of thin air and using the cash to buy assets that are in free-fall. This article explains why this strategy is a one way trip to oblivion.

Senator Sanders asks Bernanke "Where is The Money?" (YouTube)
The Federal Reserve lends out $2 trillion in loans, Bernanke won't tell Senator Sanders where it went.

THE BAILOUTS FOR AMERICA'S BIG BANKS ALONG WITH GROWING INCOME INEQUALITY

The $12 Trillion Dollar Bailout (World Future Fund Report)
Never before in American history has so much public money been used to bailout private blunders and crimes. The money spent so far is higher than the cost of world war II in constant dollars.

Wealthiest Americans Take Home Biggest Share of Income Ever Recorded (Alternet, 9-11-13)

Too-Big-To-Fail Banks Have Raked In $102 Billion In Subsidies Since 2009: Report (Huffington Post, 5-10-13)
We can't afford to bail out the countless people who have had their homes foreclosed by the banks, but we can afford to reward these banks with billions.


DEBT CRISIS

DEATH OF THE MIDDLE CLASS   A FAILURE IN POLTICAL LEADERSHIP

HEALTH CARE  CHEMICALS  THE WAR ON DRUGS

  EDUCATION AND STUDENT DEBT  BAIL OUTS FOR THE RICH