The views expressed in any article published in this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Joseph Foster or Bob Lupoli.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Joseph Foster: Trump & Controversy

By Joseph Foster
Email Joseph Foster at jfoste3@aol.com for a free book summary. My book, ‘’Destruction of America", subtitled "Stand up for America" will be available May 2012 at all major bookstores. Visit my blog Stand Up for America! for more articles.

THE CONTROVSEY OVER TRUMP
Bob:  I do not attach an important factor to the dispute as what Trump is worth, Trump is a business man that has developed an image in that he develops Real Estate that set a high standard in Luxury, for this reason some developers will pay him to have their building bears his name,   I doubt if Trump will accept his name on a building that does not reflect his image of Luxury.  I have been in the Real Estate business for over 35 years by no means equal to any of the giant in the business, and have over the years admire the man for his business acumen, Trump has an edge over me since he was fortunate that his father was the one that established the business, and he followed his father foot step, mine was started from scratch and difficult. The critcism that he got 100% percent financing or perhaps 110% is not valid, a smart entrepreneur will always use leverage to his best advantage.

The other factor that some raised about Trump was Bankruptcy, the Law was enacted to allow a business to file Bankruptcy where such business fails. This Law encourage entrepreneurs to take risk and establish a business which creates employment, such Law is appropriate, but what I oppose is government bailed out of a Bankrupt company as was done to bail out Bankers, and some of the senior executives were given a sweet heart deal upon their termination of employment with the company, while thousand and upon thousands of low rank employees left with their meager belonging from their work station.

The law suit filed by Trump against Timothy O’Brien failed due to one of the main reason. In legal language the term ‘’Discovery’’ has the following meaning the stage of legal proceeding during which each side must provide data and documents to the other side. When Trump failed to produce full data and documents to prove his net worth, O’Brien attorney will file a petition for dismissal of the case and for this reason the case was dismissed.

There is no human being that is holy than though, humans are not perfect, Trump has not committed any crime that a court of Law has found him guilty, he is a colorful person and has the trait of showmanship. President Reagan was an actor and ultimately was elected President of the USA; he inspired America and gave Americans a sense of confidence. I was a great supporter of President Reagan; also I supported Ross Perrot when he runs for the Presidency of the US. If President Reagan was involved in the Iraq war after Saddam regime was toppled, and was faced with a sectarian violence he would have pulled all of the American military and told the Iraq people you may now fight amongst yourself, he did that in Lebanon. Some Authors have written books about Trump since they know the public will show interest on the subject matter of Trump. Right now the main stream of the Republican candidates that are lining up to run for President of the US are shocked that Trump is leading in the pole, some of  the professional politicians are going to try to destroy him. For clarification I consider a politician as professional based on those that have held elective office presently, or in the past,  many are vying for the top elective office of the Presidency of the United States, many carry in their head the same failed policies that has now caused America to decline, and we now hear how China is now the largest Industrial country on earth, today the IMF has released the following report; U.S. economy by 2016, says the IMF, using a special measure of economic size called "purchasing price parity."

Measured in dollars, the U.S. GDP will still be 70% bigger than China's by then, but the trend is unmistakable: At some point, barring a wreck of China's economic freight train, China will eclipse the U.S. to become the largest economy in the world.
What will this mean?
Well, psychologically, it will mean that Americans will have to get used to the idea that they're not the biggest kid on the block anymore. For most participants in the global economy, China will have become the most important trading partner and market, and China's economic policies, not America's, will dominate the global conversation.

Similarly, and perhaps more momentously, China's military will eventually be larger than the U.S.'s, which will mean the U.S. will no longer be the most powerful country in the world. It's easier to have influence over other countries when you can speak softly and carry a big stick. Once China vaults past the US economically, it will have the wherewithal to carry an even bigger stick--unless the US wants to continue to bankrupt itself by outspending everyone else despite its smaller GDP. End of quote.

My take on China achievement was due to Washington failed policies that it opt for cheap labor and prefer to De Industrialize America to benefit the few in America that are obsessed by greed, in mine opinion some of these folks consider the bottom line is more important than the future of America, as a reminder please read my Article in this Blog Titled, ‘’Sad day for America’’ and the article below titled America hellhole.

The professional politicians are disturbed by the following news;
Trump's broken the perpetual gridlock we've found at the top of the Republican field, getting 26% to 17% for Mike Huckabee, 15% for Romney, 11% for Newt Gingrich, 8% for Sarah Palin, 5% for Ron Paul, and 4% for Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty.

I predict if Trump was to run for President of the US he will win the New Hampshire primary. It may shock Americans when I say the following Trump if you run please promise that you will begin to charge EEC countries for defense, perhaps you may also present a bill to the South Koreans, the Japanese and Taiwan have them pay for some of our defense cost, you shall stop the destruction of America and begin to get Americans to buy products that carry a label ‘’Made in America’ Trump remember what your great, grandfather thought you, always put your country interest first, do not sell America short, out there in America you have some of the finest people in the world, they work hard to achieve a high standard of living do not deprive them from a better life and have them join the ranks of the poor of the world.

Trump if you read this article perhaps you may lead America to produce products made by American workers that will be sold on the basis of quality, and not price. Germany does not sell price it sells quality.

Trump please tell the American people that some special interest group in Washington are working for China and not America, once you begin to use nationalism in your campaign you will be elected as the next President of the US. A word of caution do not try to balance the budget on the back of the seniors, the sick and the disabled, I estimate 25% of Medi care cost applies to fraud and price gouging, please check Medi care bills to find out which hospitals are charging Medi care patients $25.00 for a bucket of ice.

Derek Fenton and Free Speech Win

Joe:  another case decided in favor for freedom of speech. The American courts don’t always get things right but in this case I’m certain they did. Too bad for NJ taxpayers because they are out $250k! The person who fired Derek Fenton should be fired and if an attorney gave the city or his employer advice they should be sued as well. I maintain as we have debated many times burning the Koran is free speech. If I want to burn my high school text book in protest against a poor education, just fine. If I, as an American Indian wanted to burn the Christian bible in protest over numerous injustices against American Indian to point out the inconsistencies I’m allowed. If I were a Palestinian whose home was burned to the ground and parents were killed why could I not burn the Torah in protest? And as an American citizen what if I wanted to burn the Torah, the Bible, the Koran, in protest against violence (in the name of religion) and draw and burn a picture of the prophet to boot. I maintain the American way of free speech allows this. I don’t know Derek Fenton but I support his freedom of expression. The world needs more free speech not less. –Bob




Chinese Cheating: one example - St. Jude Medical

Joe:  this is a good example of Chinese cheating. I’ll bet it is going on a lot more than has been reported. It is a big deal not only in the medical device industry. In the automotive aftermarket there are many copies of cold air intake systems for example and many other performance products. Brands are being stolen. American buyers need to be educated about the counterfeit goods problem beyond the highly visable brands like Gucci etc. The cheating is happening on probably a much larger scale to small and medium sized businesses. That really bad part is St. Jude I think is unlikely to collect anything! The Chinese cheat by stealing information, with materials, with labor, and with exchange rates. Why do we put up with this for a country that is not a democracy?  –Bob

 [Saint Paul Pioneer Press (MN)] April 26--A jury in Los Angeles Superior Court last week awarded Little Canada-based St. Jude Medical a $2.3 billion judgment against a company and former employee accused of stealing trade secrets, the medical device company said Monday.

The jury found that former employee Yongning Zou and a Chinese company he founded, called Nervicon, stole trade secrets from a California-based division of St. Jude Medical in order to set up a rival medical device firm, St. Jude Medical said in a statement.

According to St. Jude Medical's complaint:

The company hired Zou in 2003 as a hardware design engineer and, at his request, sponsored him to become a permanent resident of the United States. In June 2009, not long after becoming a permanent resident, Zou resigned but kept a flash drive of confidential company information. Just a few weeks earlier, Nervicon was founded, with Zou as one of three shareholders and its sole supervisor.

St. Jude Medical said the jury awarded a total of $1.47 billion against Zou and a further $868 million against Nervicon. St. Jude Medical said the award follows a November 2010 preliminary injunction against Zou and Nervicon.

"We take the protection of proprietary intellectual property and trade secret misappropriation very seriously," St. Jude Medical said in the statement. "We are pleased with the jury's findings."

The judgment was first reported Monday by an online news service called Legal360.com, which noted that neither Zou nor a representative appeared at the trial, raising a question as to whether St. Jude would ever collect the $2.3 billion.

Company spokeswoman Amy Jo Meyer declined comment on whether St. Jude Medical might record a payment from the judgment during the company's second quarter.

Obama releases long-form birth certificate

Joe: apparently Obama has released the long form version of his birth certificate. Can’t figure out why he didn’t do this before for the sake of “transparency”. This is a link to a photo of the certificate. This may end up making Trump (and others) look silly, on the other hand Trump may get claim some credit for actually getting Obama to show it. It may also ignite new efforts to see Obama’s college records and other undisclosed documents.  -Bob

By Julie Pace
Associated Press
Updated: 04/27/2011 09:33:16 AM CDT
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says he's releasing his long-form birth certificate because the country doesn't have time for the "distraction" and "silliness" of questions being persistently raised about where he was born. The president spoke at the White House today after taking the unexpected step of releasing the document, which supplements Hawaii's official certification of the president's birth there. Obama had released that during the campaign.

Polls show large numbers of Republicans continue to doubt Obama is a natural born citizen eligible to be president. Real estate mogul Donald Trump had seized on the issue as he weighs a GOP candidacy.

Obama said the nation will solve its problems only if it's not distracted by such issues.  http://www.twincities.com/allheadlines/ci_17939143

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

China Human Rights & Ai Weiwei - a US Role?

Joe:  it seems the US will have some “talks” about human rights because of negative trends in China. This is a world economic downturn, what is happening in China I wonder, could there be some unreported turmoil? I hope the US has some real influence on the topic. Even if we can get one or two voices out of China and into the West they can be power voices for freedom in China. -Bob

By Chris Buckley | Reuters – Tue, 26 Apr, 2011 7:
BEIJING (Reuters) - The Chinese government warned on Tuesday against using human rights disputes as what it called a tool to meddle, ahead of talks with the United States that will focus on complaints about Beijing's crackdown on dissent.

The two-day-long human rights dialogue, from Wednesday, with U.S. Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Michael Posner and other Washington officials, will come at a sensitive time over the issue, long a sore point with Beijing. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said his government was willing to discuss rights issues with the United States as equals. But he warned against what Beijing sees as Western over-reaching.

"When it comes to differences between China and the United States over human rights, the two sides can enhance mutual understanding on a basis of equality and mutual respect," Hong told a regular news conference. "We oppose any country using human rights issues as an excuse to interfere in China's domestic affairs."

China's position augurs little movement from the talks in Beijing. China has jailed, detained or placed in secretive informal custody dozens of dissidents, human rights lawyers and protesters it fears will challenge Communist Party rule, drawing an outcry from Washington and other Western capitals.

Beijing police have also detained or placed under house arrest members of a Protestant "house" church who have tried to worship outside after they were evicted from the rented premises they had been using.

The U.S. State Department has said it wants to discuss with China "the recent negative trend of forced disappearances, extralegal detention, and arrests and convictions".


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said earlier this month that she was "deeply concerned" about China's clampdown and cited "negative trends", including the detention of Chinese artist and human rights activist Ai Weiwei.

Ai, 53, was detained on April 3 as he was about to board a flight to Hong Kong from Beijing. Chinese police said Ai, a critic of China's ruling Communist Party, was under investigation for "suspected economic crimes".

Hong dismissed foreign criticism of the detention of Ai.

"China does not fear the antagonism of other countries, but of course I hope the countries concerned and their publics will be patient in waiting the outcome of the public security investigation into Ai Weiwei," he said.

Ai's sister, Gao Ge, told Reuters that she hoped pressure from the United States would help free her brother, who she said was being persecuted for his outspoken activism.

"Of course I really hope that Weiwei's case is bought up, that he is supported," she said of the rights dialogue. "I think the whole world is paying attention."

(Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Donald Trump & Fiscal Responsibility: Oxymoron?

Joe:  an interesting article below on Trump I agree with her that the Donald has overestimated his wealth and I don’t consider him the best candidate by any means and I’m fairly certain he has overestimated his wealth as was stated in O’Brien’s book and by others. However, what bothers me is she doesn’t acknowledge why he is having some resonance; mainly the tough talk on China & the Middle-East. –Bob

Emperor Trump Has No Clothes
Katrina vanden Heuvel has been The Nation's editor since 1995 and its publisher since 2005. She is the co-editor of Taking Back America—And Taking Down the Radical Right (Nation Books, 2004) and editor of  The Dictionary of Republicanisms  (NationBooks, 2005) She is also co-editor (with Stephen F. Cohen) of Voices of Glasnost: Interviews with Gorbachev's Reformers (Norton, 1989) and editor of The Nation: 1865-1990, and the collection A Just Response: The Nation on Terrorism, Democracy and September 11, 2001. A weekly columnist for WashingtonPost.com, she is a frequent commentator on American and international politics on MSNBC, CNN, ABC and PBS and public radio. Her articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and the Boston Globe.

For a media that loves infotainment, the horse race and spectacle—and has trouble tackling real policy issues and digging deep—Donald Trump is the gift that keeps on giving: all spectacle, all the time.

Now he’s out there on his ugly birther trip, riding it to the top of the polls amidst a GOP presidential field in disarray. And other than a few notable exceptions, the media is largely playing the role of cheering spectator for Trump’s latest self-aggrandizing parade—none more so than Fox, which has treated his birtherism-based candidacy as a cause célèbre. Media Matters notes thirteen Trump appearances on the network since March 20. But the more significant issue raised by the media coverage is this: if Trump is going to portray himself as a presidential contender, and the media is going to give him mega-time to do that, then let’s take a hard look at his record and his views—particularly on “fiscal responsibility,” which Congressman Paul Ryan and the GOP say is the issue of our time.

“I haven’t seen anybody do anything for a long time that’s really tough

coverage on Donald,” says David Cay Johnston, the Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter formerly with the New York Times, who has written extensively about Trump’s net worth as well as his business dealings in the gambling industry in his book Temples of Chance. “He’s done exceptionally well at getting the media to treat him on the grounds that he wants—which is he doesn’t mind if you poke fun at him as long as you’re writing about him and making him sound important.” In a recent column, Johnston points out that in examining four years of tax returns he discovered that Trump paid no taxes in two of them.

“He pays little to no income tax because he does these real estate deals that allow him to take—as a professional real estate developer—unlimited paper losses like depreciation against income he gets from NBC for his show,” says Johnston. He’s also had more business bankruptcies than wives, and Johnston says Trump’s bravado about his wealth and business acumen contradicts his real record. According to Johnston, Trump typically does two kinds of deals: he borrows more than 100 percent of the purchase price for real estate and takes a fee off the top; or he’s paid a fee to put his name on a building. 

Johnston suggests that Trump’s fortune relied on government favors and stiffing his creditors. “Ordinary casino workers who got into debt had their licenses yanked or in one case their wages garnished, but Donald was not held to that standard,” says Johnston. As Johnston describes in Temples of Chance, in 1990 one of Trump’s advisers told the New Jersey Casino Control Commission that Trump was one day away from uncontrolled bankruptcy.

The commission then approved a privately negotiated deal that relieved Trump of millions in debts. Why did the bankers go along? “Government rescued Trump by taking his side against the banks,” Johnston says, “telling them that if they foreclosed they would own three seaside hotels that lacked casino licenses.”

Trump’s celebrated wealth is also likely not what Trump would have the public believe. In 1990 Johnston obtained Trump’s personal net worth statement that his bankers had prepared for him. At the time, Trump was claiming it was as high as $1.4 billion. Yet the statement revealed a negative net worth of $600 million—he owed $600 million more than the value of his assets. Johnston wrote a column with the lede, “You are probably worth more than Donald Trump.”  “Donald is one of many people in public life who whatever they say at the moment is their version of the truth, and empirical reality may not support what they say,” says Johnston.

“He never produced any documented evidence indicating a net worth anywhere in the range of a billion dollars or more, he only claimed it. It doesn’t take that much of an income to appear to be fabulously wealthy.  I don’t think he can sue anybody for making that observation.”

Indeed, Trump has proven litigious with those who dare question his version of the truth. He filed a $5 billion defamation lawsuit against Timothy O’Brien (author of, TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald)  for estimating his net worth at between $150 million and $250 million. It was dismissed, but NBC investigative reporter Michael Isikoff reports that Trump recently showed up at a Jersey City courtroom where he was “slipping notes” to his attorneys who are appealing the ruling. And former Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter recalls appearing in a documentary and saying that Trump was a “media hound” and that his claim of being “the greatest real estate developer in the world not only isn’t true—he’s not even the greatest real estate developer in New York.” Alter says he then promptly received a letter from a Trump attorney threatening him with a lawsuit.

Contrast Johnston’s hardnosed reporting with New York Times columnist David Brooks’s fawning over Trump in a recent op-ed, “Why Trump Soars”: “Donald Trump is the living, walking personification of the Gospel of Success…. He labors under the belief—unacceptable in polite society—that two is better than one and that four is better than two…. In private jets, lavish is better than dull. In skyscrapers, brass is better than brick, and gold is better than brass.” In fact, Johnston even has a word to say about that jet: “See how much a 727 three-engine jet that hasn’t been made in over 25 years goes for,” says Johnston. “If he were really rich he’d have upgraded to a G-5 or a Boeing business jet.”

Like so many corporate oligarchs, Trump has done well with the help of his armada of lawyers and accountants to avoid taxes and intimidate those who contradict him. He’s a single entity that has a lot in common with the Big Banks—reckless, highly leveraged, and a look at the books reveals he’s not what he appears: Emperor Don has no clothes.

Fire him.

Joseph Foster: Sad Day For America: decline in; Jobs, Cities, America

By Joseph Foster
Email Joseph Foster at jfoste3@aol.com  for a free book summary.  My book, ‘’Destruction of America", subtitled "Stand up for America” will be available May 2012 at all major bookstores. Visit my blog Stand Up for America! for more articles.

SAD DAY FOR AMERICA
Bob: here is a link to an article called American Hellholes on the Trading Report. Unfortunately the author is anonymous, so I couldn’t send an email to thank him for his candid report. I would like to let him know he, like myself and many Americans are mad as hell, we feel many of our politicians have let America down. The contents of his/her article depict the title of my book, ‘’Destruction of America’’ subtitled ‘’Stand up for America’’

Some may read the article and want to deny reality and remain in a state of self-denial. The question is did the destruction began during the 2008 recession, the answer is absolute no, it began 30 years ago, unnoticed by the largest percentage of the American population, it began under both political parties and the majority of those elected in Washington who supported a trade policy that when discovered by American Industry and American CEO’s they readily embraced what is known as Globalization.

In a nut shell here is how it works, remove all trade barriers and protectionism approach used for centuries, such as protectionist approach that was used by Britain during its colonial era where British manufactured goods flowed to British colonies duty free, non-British manufacturers were allowed to export but their products were taxed. Globalization is a win for multi-national companies since by the use of none Western workers paid as low as $35.00 per month, it removed from their bottom line high labor cost. One more plus for these companies you have the ability to expand your market some refer to it as 1.3 billion Chinese customers, add to that one billion Indian customers.

Now you may ask what is the negative factor to America.
  -De Industrialize America factories are shut down and empty of American workers, such factories are then constructed in emerging market countries.
  -Create high rate of unemployment in America, example over one million American garment workers once employed no longer are needed. Over one million American workers once employed in the electronic Industry are no longer employed in the USA since we cease to manufacture electronic products.
  -Beside high American wages that was attained prior to Globalization we have created a mind boggling medical system, rated as the most expensive in the world, some jobs that require the employee to be close to the USA are being lost to Canada due to no medical cost to the employer.
  -American middle class is in a destructive mode, new employments created in America are for the most part are low wage workers; some are referred to as hamburger flippers.

The subject matter cannot be fully covered in this article and will require a book with many pages, therefore I shall condense the remedy required. America today is mired in failure and declining due to decades of poor leadership attributable to both political parties. We do not need politicians that held public office in the past to be elected as President. What we need is successful business person of the likes of Trump, or Ross Perrot and others to come forward that never now or in the past held political office. America today is like a sick corporate entity that is on the verge of Bankruptcy and needs a CEO to turn that company around to the path of success. Although that great Investment guru Warren Buffett once said, he does not believe a dying company could be turned around; he said that most never get to be turned around. I believe the issue is different, we need a strong President that is focused on how to return prosperity back to America, and it can be done when such President when elected ignores politics for his reelection and focus on the fundamental issues that must be addressed.

Here are some; in light of the changing world the U.S. has lost its monopoly in manufactured goods, how does the U.S. address this issue, and how to re Industrialize America. Large trade deficits must be taken very seriously and correction be made to bring into balance a fair trade policy.

The U.S. once the wealthiest nation on earth and enjoyed a sound balance sheet, no longer hold this position, the question is how can that be turned around. The once wealthiest nation with low deficit that is no more, how could the U.S. Now mired in red ink afford to continue to be the police man of the world.

The new President must scrap all existing health care plan and adopt a health care program as practiced and tried over 60 years in Western Europe. Now our neighbor to the North, Canada has finally addressed the issue.

The new President has to take our broken border issue very seriously, it cannot open the gates for the mass of the poor flowing from many countries in South America. Legal immigration Yes, but not illegal flooding the country.

A strong President has to attack the issue of Lobbying in Washington it corrupts the Government; Politicians are unduly influenced to do what favors the interest of the Lobbyist master that employs them.

Our foreign aid programs must not be used to have corrupt leaders support us because they are being paid to do so.

The burden of our defense budget must be shared by those that we protect.

Taiwan, South Korea and Japan should contribute to our defense budget, why not? If they refuse withdraw all U.S forces and have them increase their defense budget.

America’s mindset sometimes caused America to badly overreach, as it did in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya. When a Nation refuses to accept its limitation, it continues its quest with disregard to its financial ability to carry a burden that its citizen cannot afford to pay.

Our politicians must accept the cold war is over and we do not need to extent our military force in Europe, the EEC countries are capable in protecting their country, moreover Russia which was their greatest threat is no longer a threat to both eastern and western Europe. When we withdraw from Western Europe, the EEC countries will need to increase their military budget and cease to enjoy substantial defense at the cost of the American Tax payers. Since the west has lost its monopoly in manufactured goods we need to develop a concept I call Industrial allocation, agreed upon by our trading partners.

Trade that is focused on cheap labor will not work in the long run America will become an agricultural based economy. Some say America may be turned around in being innovative and create new products etc., but that innovation is no longer the exclusive domain of America, other countries are also pursuing this approach. With the world population by the billions that live on $62.00 per month the supply of cheap labor is endless, perhaps one day China may not be the country of cheap labor, then it to, will lose its competitive edge to other poorer countries.

The concept advanced by some economist was to have China revalue its currency will not solve America trade problem. China has thus far refused to revalue its currency, Britain at one time when its currency became too strong and affected its export, devalued the pound.

By the latest report here is another move by China as to trade financing the Export-Import Bank of China and the China Development Bank, along with other banks, provide cheap financing for an overseas real-estate construction project on the condition that a state-owned enterprise (SOE) like China State Construction is hired to do the building and engineering work. There are several benefits to China from this arrangement. Many (otherwise unemployed) Chinese laborers get jobs. The Chinese SOE gets lucrative and prestigious overseas contracts, which it can further leverage to increase its overseas business and build a global brand name. The Chinese banks get to deploy their immense capital that they get thanks to (inexpensive) deposits from their frugal citizenry. This is also another way for China to deploy its massive foreign exchange reserves overseas. The Chinese banks and the SOE (in this case China State Construction) take a stake in the real-estate or other construction project, thus benefiting from the long-term capital gains and revenues that accrue.

I purposely made a trip to China in the year 2010 as part of my research in writing my book, I witnessed the people that Chairman Mao told them to stand on their feet. Yes there are, the people that built the Great wall are busy and building, it reminds me of the great people of America that conquered the west and were building America, that spirit has been taken away from them by bad politics in Washington. For the American voters wake up and please take politics very seriously and never listen to hollow promise or one line spin by some of our politicians. When Obama runs for election he used the word change after he was elected no change has taken place, we continue to follow old failed policies. Einstein said when you are doing something that is wrong and you fail to change it is a form of insanity, yes I repeat we are in a state of Insanity.

American Hellholes
The next Great Depression.  The talking heads in the mainstream media love to spin the economic numbers around and around and they love to make it sound like the economy is improving, but the truth is that it doesn't take a genius to see what is happening to the U.S. economic system.  All over the nation many of our greatest cities are being slowly but surely transformed into post-apocalyptic wastelands.  All over the mid-Atlantic, all along the Gulf coast, all throughout the "rust belt" and all over the entire state of California cities that once had incredibly vibrant economies are being turned into rotting, post-industrial hellholes. In many U.S. cities, the "real" rate of unemployment is over 30 percent. There are some communities that will start depressing you almost the moment that you drive into them. It is almost as if all of the hope has been sucked right out of those communities.  If you live in one of those American hellholes you know what I am talking about.  Sadly, it is not just a few cities that are becoming hellholes.  This is happening in the east, in the west, in the north and in the south.  America is literally being transformed right in front of our eyes.

If you still live in an area of the United States that is prosperous, do not mock the cities that you are about to read about.  The cold, hard reality of the matter is that economic decline and economic despair are spreading rapidly and they will come to your area soon enough.  Right now we are still talking about "American hellholes", but if the long-term economic trends that are destroying this nation are not turned around eventually we will just be talking about one gigantic "American hellhole".  In the end, no area of the country will completely escape the economic hell that is coming.

Let's take a closer look at what is currently happening in some of the worst areas of the country....

Detroit, Michigan
In the city of Detroit today, there are over 33,000 abandoned houses, 70 schools are being permanently closed down, the mayor wants to bulldoze one-fourth of the city and you can literally buy a house for one dollar in the worst areas. During the boom days of the 1950s, Detroit was a teeming metropolis of approximately 2 million people, but today the current population is less than half that.  The city of Detroit, once a shining example of middle class America, is now a rotting cesspool of economic decline and it actually saw its population decline by 25 percent during the decade that recently ended.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Detroit lost a resident every 22 minutes between the years of 2000 and 2010.

So why is people leaving Detroit so rapidly?
There simply are no jobs… At the height of the economic downturn, the mayor of Detroit admitted that while the "official" unemployment rate in Detroit was about 27 percent, the "real" unemployment rate in his city was actually somewhere around 50 percent. Since there are not enough jobs, that also means that not enough tax money is coming in.  Detroit is essentially insolvent at this point. Detroit officials are trying to implement some austerity measures in a desperate attempt to get city finances under control.

For example, the state of Michigan recently granted approval to a plan that would shut down nearly half of the public schools in Detroit.  Under the plan, 70 schools will be closed and 72 will continue operating. It has been estimated that the remaining public schools will have class sizes of up to 60 students. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing also wants to cut off 20 percent of the entire city from police and trash services in order to save money. Essentially that would mean abandoning 20 percent of the city of Detroit to the gangs and to the homeless. The mayor of Detroit has also discussed a plan in which authorities would bulldoze one-fourth of the city in order to save money on services.

So with all of this going on, is Detroit a pleasant place to live at this point? No way. Today, Detroit is considered to be the third most violent city in the United States. In fact, crime has gotten so bad and the citizens are so frustrated by the lack of police assistance that they have resorted to forming their own organizations to fight back.  One group, known as "Detroit 300", was formed after a 90-year-old woman on Detroit's northwest side was brutally raped in August. If you want to see what the future of America looks like, just take a few hours and go driving through Detroit some time.  But please only do this during the day.  Do not do this at night.  Detroit is not a safe place anymore, and you cannot count on the police to help you in a timely manner. Detroit was once one of the greatest cities in the world.
But today it is an absolute hellhole!

Camden, New Jersey
So is there any place in America that is worse than Detroit? Well, many would nominate Camden, New Jersey. Many years ago, Camden was actually thriving and prosperous.  But today the city of Camden is known as "the second most dangerous city in America".

In a recent article entitled "City of Ruins", Chris Hedges did an amazing job of documenting the horrific decline of Camden.  Hedges estimates that the real rate of unemployment in Camden is somewhere around 30 to 40 percent, and he makes it sound like nobody in their right mind would want to live there now....

Camden is where those discarded as human refuse are dumped, along with the physical refuse of postindustrial America. A sprawling sewage treatment plant on forty acres of riverfront land processes 58 million gallons of wastewater a day for Camden County. The stench of sewage lingers in the streets. There is a huge trash-burning plant that releases noxious clouds, a prison, a massive cement plant and mountains of scrap metal feeding into a giant shredder. The city is scarred with several thousand decaying abandoned row houses; the skeletal remains of windowless brick factories and gutted gas stations; overgrown vacant lots filled with garbage and old tires; neglected, weed-filled cemeteries; and boarded-up store fronts.

Gangs have stepped into the gaping void left by industry.  In Camden today, drugs and prostitution are two of the only viable businesses left - especially for those who cannot find employment anywhere else.  The following is how Hedges describes the current state of affairs....

There are perhaps a hundred open-air drug markets, most run by gangs like the Bloods, the Latin Kings, Los Nietos and MS-13. Knots of young men in black leather jackets and baggy sweatshirts sell weed and crack to clients, many of whom drive in from the suburbs. The drug trade is one of the city's few thriving businesses. A weapon, police say, is never more than a few feet away, usually stashed behind a trash can, in the grass or on a porch.

But before we all start judging Camden for being such a horrible place to live, it is important to realize that this is happening in communities from coast to coast.  All over the United States industries are leaving and deep social decay is setting in. Even the criminals in Camden are struggling.  Things have gotten so bad in Camden, New Jersey that not even the drug dealers are spending their money anymore. So where are the police? Unfortunately, there is very little money for police.  Authorities in Camden recently decided to lay off half of the city police force.
So now the gangs and the drug dealers have more room to operate. Sadly, this is not just happening in Camden.  It is happening all over New Jersey. Of 315 municipalities the New Jersey State Police union recently surveyed, more than half indicated that they were planning to lay off police officers.

So why doesn't the state government step in and help out?
Well, the state of New Jersey is in such bad shape that they still are facing a $10 billion budget deficit for this year even after cutting a billion dollars from the education budget and laying off thousands of teachers. New Jersey also has $46 billion in unfunded pension liabilities and $65 billion in unfunded health care liabilities.  Nobody is quite sure how New Jersey is even going to come close to meeting those obligations. Meanwhile, cities like Camden are rotting a little bit more every single day.

New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans had a struggling economy even before Hurricane Katrina struck back in 2005.  But that event changed everything.  It is now almost 6 years later and virtually the entire region is still a disaster zone. New Orleans permanently lost 29% of its population after Hurricane Katrina.  There are many areas of New Orleans that still look as if they have just been bombed. 21.5 percent of all houses in New Orleans, Louisiana are currently standing vacant.  Many of those homes will never be inhabited again.

What made things even worse for New Orleans (and for residents all along the Gulf coast) was the horrific BP oil spill last year.  The mainstream news does not talk about the oil spill much anymore, but those living in the area have to deal with the effects every single day. Some of the industries in the Gulf region were really starting to recover from Hurricane Katrina but the BP oil spill put a stop to that. Before the oil spill, Louisiana produced more fish and seafood than anywhere in the United States except for Alaska.  But now the seafood industry has been absolutely devastated.  It has been estimated that the cost of the BP oil spill to the fishing industry in Louisiana alone could top 3 billion dollars. Some local shrimpers in the region are projecting that it will be about seven years before they can set to sea again.

New Orleans keeps trying to bounce back from all of these disasters, but times are tough down there. Today, New Orleans is the 13th most violent city in America.  That is actually an improvement.  Before Katrina New Orleans had even more violent crime. The truth is that other areas along the Gulf coast are doing a lot worse than New Orleans is doing.  A ton of big corporate money has flowed into New Orleans.  Officials are trying to clean up the city and make it a huge tourist destination once again. But in the surrounding areas things are not looking so bright.  There are areas along the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the panhandle of Florida that are some of the most depressing places in the nation.

It is almost as if there are hundreds of thousands of people that time forgot.  In some rural areas along the Gulf coast the poverty is absolutely mind blowing.  There are very few jobs and there is very little hope.  Meanwhile, large numbers of people in the region continue to get sick from the toxic dispersants used to clean up the oil spill. Let us hope that we don't see another major disaster in the Gulf of Mexico any time soon.  As it is, it is going to take decades for that region to fully recover.  There are a lot of really good people that live down there, and they deserve our prayers.

Vallejo, California (And Virtually The Rest Of The State Of California)
Almost the entire state of California is an economic disaster zone. Austerity measures are being implemented in city after city as tax revenues have nosedived. The following is an excerpt from a recent New York Times article that describes the brutal austerity that has been implemented in Vallejo, California....

Vallejo is still in bankruptcy. The police force has shrunk from 153 officers to 92. Calls for any but the most serious crimes go unanswered. Residents who complain about prostitutes or vandals are told to fill out a form. Three of the city’s firehouses were closed. Last summer, a fire ravaged a house in one of the city’s better neighborhoods; one of the fire trucks came from another town, 15 miles away. Is this America’s future?

Sadly, that is what the future of America is going to look like.  Public services are being slashed all over the nation due to budget crunches. Unless there is a major jobs recovery, the situation in California is going to continue to degenerate.  The truth is that the state of California needs millions and millions of new jobs just to get back to "normal".  For example, near the end of last year it was reported that 24.3 percent of the residents of El Centro, California were unemployed.  Not only that, as of the end of last year the number of people unemployed in the state of California was approximately equivalent to the entire populations of Nevada, New Hampshire and Vermont combined. Businesses are closing in California at an astounding pace.  At one point last year it was reported that in the area around Sacramento, California there was one closed business for every six that were still open. As a result of all of this, home prices in many areas of California have completely fallen off a cliff.  For example, the average home in Merced, California has declined in value by 63 percent over the past four years.

California also had more foreclosure filings that any other U.S. state in 2010.  The 546,669 total foreclosure filings during the year means that over 4 percent of all the housing units in the state of California received a foreclosure filing at some point during 2010. Sadly, things don't look like they are going to turn around in California any time soon.  Forbes recently compiled a list entitled "Cities Where The Economy May Get Worse". Six of the top seven spots were held by cities in California. California is becoming a very frightening place.  When you combine high unemployment with unchecked illegal immigration what you get is rampant poverty. 20 percent of the residents of Los Angeles County are now receiving public aid of one form or another.

In particular, the number of children that are considered to be in need of public assistance is truly scary. Incredibly, 60 percent of all the students attending California public schools now qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches. Poverty and illegal immigration have also caused a tremendous health care crisis in the state.  The hordes of illegal aliens taking advantage of "free" medical care at hospital emergency rooms have caused dozens of hospitals across the state of California to completely shut down.  As a result, the state of California now ranks dead last out of all 50 states in the number of emergency rooms per million people.

The bozos in Sacramento keep passing hundreds of new laws in an attempt to "fix" the state, but the truth is that for the poorest residents of the state all of those new laws don't make a shred of difference. The following is how Victor Davis Hansen describes what he saw during his recent tour of the "forgotten areas of central California"....

Many of the rural trailer-house compounds I saw appear to the naked eye no different from what I have seen in the Third World . There is a Caribbean look to the junked cars, electric wires crisscrossing between various outbuildings, plastic tarps substituting for replacement shingles, lean-tos cobbled together as auxiliary housing, pit bulls unleashed, and geese, goats, and chickens roaming around the yards. The public hears about all sorts of tough California regulations that stymie business - rigid zoning laws, strict building codes, constant inspections - but apparently none of that applies out here.

Hansen also says that he observed that people in these areas are doing whatever they can to get by.... At crossroads, peddlers in a counter-California economy sell almost anything. Here is what I noticed at an intersection on the west side last week: shovels, rakes, hoes, gas pumps, lawnmowers, edgers, blowers, jackets, gloves, and caps. The merchandise was all new. I doubt whether in high-tax California sales taxes or income taxes were paid on any of these stop-and-go transactions. In two supermarkets 50 miles apart, I was the only one in line who did not pay with a social-service plastic card (gone are the days when "food stamps" were embarrassing bulky coupons).

Are you frightened yet?
You know what they say - "as goes California, so goes the nation". What is happening in California now is eventually going to come to your area. Right now California is also having a huge problem with gangs.  Gang violence in America is getting totally out of control. According to authorities, there are now over 1 million members of criminal gangs operating inside the country, and those gangs increase in the U.S. each year. But instead of ramping up to fight crime and fight illegal immigration, police forces all over California are being cut back. For example, because of extreme budget cuts and police layoffs, Oakland, California Police Chief Anthony Batts has announced that there are a number of crimes that his department simply will no longer respond to due to a lack of resources.  The following is a partial list of the crimes that police officers in Oakland will no longer be responding to....

Burglary, theft, embezzlement, grand theft: dog identity theft, false information to peace officer required to register as sex or arson offender, dump waste or offensive matter, loud music, possess forged notes, pass fictitious check, obtain money by false voucher, fraudulent use of access cards, stolen license plate, embezzlement by an employee, extortion attempted extortion, false personification of others, injure telephone/power line interfere with power line unauthorized cable tv connection and vandalism.  Not that Oakland wasn't already a mess before all this, but now how long do you think it will be before total chaos and anarchy reigns on the streets of Oakland? Today, Oakland is considered the 5th most violent city in the United States. Will it soon become the most violent? But Oakland is not the only major California city that is facing these kinds of issues.

Things have gotten so bad in Stockton, California that the police union put up a billboard with the following message: "Welcome to the 2nd most dangerous city in California. Stop laying off cops." Already the police force in Stockton has been stripped down to almost nothing. A while back, the Stockton Police Department dropped this bombshell...."We absolutely do not have any narcotics officers, narcotics sergeants working any kind of investigative narcotics type cases at this point in time. "Do you think drug dealers will be flocking to Stockton after they hear that? California was once the envy of the world. Now it is becoming one gigantic hellhole. During one recent 23 year period, the state of California built 23 prisons but just one university. So is there any hope for California? No, unfortunately there is not. In another article, I wrote about some of the reasons why millions of people have been leaving California for good....

Meanwhile, the standard of living in California is going right into the toilet.  Housing values are plummeting.  Unemployment has risen above 20 percent in many areas of the state.  Crime and gang activity is on the rise even as police budgets are being hacked to the bone.  The health care system is an absolute disaster.  At this point California has the fewest emergency rooms per million people out of all 50 states.   While all of this has been going on, the state legislature in Sacramento has been very busy passing hundreds of new laws that are mostly about promoting one radical agenda or another.  The state government has become so radically anti-business that it is a wonder that any businesses have remained in the state.  It seems like the moving vans never stop as an endless parade of businesses and families leave California as quickly as they can. But this is not just a "California thing".  The truth is that what is happening in California, in Detroit, in Camden and in hundreds of other communities.

The U.S. economy is slowly dying. Only 66.8% of American men had a job last year.  That was the lowest level that has ever been recorded in U.S. history. People are getting desperate.  There are ten percent fewer middle class jobs than there were a decade ago and the competition for good jobs has become insane.  More than 44 million Americans are now on food stamps and that number grows every single month.  Millions more American fall into poverty every single year.

It is time to face the truth about what is happening to America.  Our economy is not growing and becoming stronger.  Rather, the cold, hard reality of the matter is that our economy is very sick and it is dying.  The seemingly boundless prosperity that we have enjoyed for decade after decade is coming to an end.  Our communities are being transformed into absolute hellholes. Those that are telling you that the U.S. economy will soon be better than ever are lying to you.  The U.S. economy is going to go down and it is going to go down.

Comment by an American in Texas  – hurting
I live in Houston and even though they say the economy in Texas is great, that is not the case. I traditionally worked as an accountant in the industrial area and got laid off a year and a half ago. Since then I apply for any position I think I have a chance of getting (20+ per week) but as the article above says, competition is insane and employers look for younger supermen/women. My home, my dreams, my hopes, and my work efforts of near fifty years are drawing to a close, foreclosure sale is on 5/3. Being on unemployment with my son here and also unemployed, puts us in poverty. Not getting food stamps yet, but know I qualify. It's totally sad and unfair, all one worked for a lifetime up in smoke.