Economy Stats & Debt Flooding - Bartering Ideas?


Bartering is the key to success in all of whatever occurs.  PURCHASE ITEMS AND FOOD NOW TO BARTER WHEN YOU NEED TO.  Buy things specifically for those times when situations get rough as you will have living GOLD to exchange. 

DO NOT HOARD (READ HERE!) as that creates its own problems,  but be ready to barter whatever you think someone may value as an exchange during hard times.  Have it ready for whatever situation may occur in your region in the near future,  or after the 7 of 10.

How can one prepare for this financial situation if the grid stops working?  What will be the expectations?  It is likely most folks will hope the local community or government will provide for them.  However,  just take note of how the Asia Pacific flooding has been handled to get an idea of the kind of help one may get.

While the Financial Condition of the global economy is still spiraling, the Zetas mentioned before the PS there will be much bartering going on.   With the 7 of 10 being expedited from the Christmas Hammer it is likely this will cause great havoc financially and socially.  Just to add to that the world has absolutely NO IDEA what will be the new situation.


Broke! 10 Facts About The Financial Condition Of American Families That Will Blow Your Mind


The crumbling U.S. economy is putting an extraordinary amount of financial stress on American families.  For many Americans, "flat broke" has become a permanent condition.  Today, over half of all American families live paycheck to paycheck.  Unemployment is rampant and those that do actually have jobs are finding that their wages are rising much more slowly than prices are.  The financial condition of average American families continues to decline and this is showing up in all of the recent surveys.  For example, according to a new Gallup poll, "lack of money/low wages" is the number one financial concern for American families.  To make ends meet, many American families are going into even more debt and more American families than ever are turning to government assistance.  Right now, more Americans than at any other point since World War II are flat broke and have lost hope.  Until this changes, the frustration level in this country is going to continue to grow.

The following are 10 facts about the financial condition of American families that will blow your mind.....

#1 Only 58 percent of Americans have a job right now.

Only 58 percent of Americans have a job right now

#2 Only 56 percent of Americans are currently covered by employer-provided health insurance.

#3 The median yearly wage in the United States is $26,261.

#4 The average American household is carrying $75,600 in debt.

#5 Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.

#6 At this point, American families are approximately 7.7 trillion dollars poorer than they were back in early 2007.

#7 The poorest 50% of all Americans now own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.

#8 According to one study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States were living below the poverty line in 2010.

#9 Today, there are more than 44 million Americans on food stamps, and nearly half of them are children.

#10 According to Newsweek, close to 20 percent of all American men between the ages of 25 and 54 do not have a job at the moment.

So what is causing all of this?

Where in the world did all of the good jobs go?

Well, the truth is that millions of them have been shipped overseas.

Our politicians promised us that merging our economy with the economies of other nations where it is legal to pay slave labor wages to workers would not create more unemployment inside America.

They were dead wrong.

Now we are being told that we just need to accept a lower standard of living.

For example, billionaire Howard Marks says that it is time for all of us to just accept that the standard of living of American workers is inevitably going to decline to the level of the rest of the world....

"In addition to balancing the budget and growing the economy, I think we have to accept that the coming decades are likely to see U.S. standards of living decline relative to the rest of the world. Unless our goods offer a better cost/benefit bargain, there’s no reason why American workers should continue to enjoy the same lifestyle advantage over workers in other countries. I just don’t expect to hear many politicians own up to this reality on the stump."

Are you willing to accept that?

Meanwhile, the job losses continue to get worse.  As I wrote about the other day, as the U.S. economy has started to slow down again we are starting to see another huge wave of layoffs all over America.

You can stop waiting for the "good jobs" to come back.

They aren't coming back.

That is one reason why I try to encourage everyone to become more independent of the system.

As our economic system continues to degenerate, Americans are going to become increasingly desperate.

Sadly, desperate people do desperate things.  Already we are starting to see signs that the fabric of American society is starting to be ripped to shreds.

So what is going to happen if the economy gets even worse?

There is a limit to how many people we can actually put in prison.  The reality is that the number of Americans in prison has nearly tripled since 1987.

Our prisons are already dangerously overcrowded.  As society falls apart, many communities will simply not be able to shove more people behind bars.

Even with our prisons stuffed to the gills, many of our largest cities continue to be transformed into absolute hellholes.

Detroit is now the 3rd most dangerous city on the entire planet and New Orleans is now the 9th most dangerous city on the entire planet.


While we await the 7 to play out, mounting personal debt is having a slowing effect on preparation. How did it all start?? Here is an interesting video series on banks and debt (click the series).

With a slowing economy worldwide, little money is left to spend on preparing a Safe Location. But NOW is the time to do this. Unfortunately, anything which has not happened yet is trivial for some family members to face. Those who want to prepare are simply out of luck with assistance from those who don't see the need yet.

Are you able to afford moving to your Safe Location? Can you afford to buy land or a property AND build your own safe home? Got any extra money to help anyone else? Got just gas in the car and hoping for the best? Community building really should begin NOW before things get too difficult to prepare after the 7 of 10. Learn some basics of rugged living here if you can only just rough it. and you will be amazed!:




20 Reasons Why Millions Of Americans Under The Age Of 30 Are Giving Up On The U.S. Economy

Millions upon millions of young Americans have completely lost faith in the U.S. economy and are mad as hell that their economic futures have been destroyed.  The recent economic downturn has hit those under the age of 30 the hardest.  Today, there are hordes of young people that should be entering their most productive years that are sitting home with nothing to do.  Many of them have worked incredibly hard throughout high school and college.  Many of them have stayed out of trouble and have done everything that "the system" asked them to do.  But once they got finished with school, the promised "rewards" simply were not there.  Instead, millions of young Americans are faced with crushing student loan debt loads in an economy where they can't find good jobs.  When you are in your twenties, it can be absolutely soul-crushing to send out hundreds (or even thousands) of resumes and not get a single interview.  Most of us grew up believing that we would "be something" when we got older, and millions of young Americans are having those dreams brutally crushed right now.  Americans under the age of 30 voted for Barack Obama in droves back in 2008 because they believed that he would make things better.  Instead, Barack Obama has made things even worse.  Significant numbers of young Americans are starting to wake up and realize that neither political party is providing any real answers, and they are starting to get mad as hell about it.

Americans under the age of 30 don't want to hear that they are not going to be able to do better than their parents.  They don't want to hear that they are going to have to "pay the price" because of the mistakes of previous generations.  They don't want to hear that the "good jobs" that have been held out as a "carrot" for them all these years have disappeared and are not coming back.

Millions of young Americans want what was promised to them.  They want good jobs that will enable them to enjoy the "American Dream".  They want things to go back to the way that things used to work in America.

If you spend much time around those in their twenties, you know that many of them have a look of hopelessness in their eyes.  Large numbers of them have moved back in with their parents.  Large numbers of them are flipping burgers or working retail jobs part-time because that is all they can find.  There are even a growing number of them that have given up entirely and have completely checked out.

So are we in the process of creating a "lost generation"?

The following are 20 reasons why millions of Americans under the age of 30 are giving up on the U.S. economy....

#1 Only 55.3% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 were employed last year.  That was the lowest level that we have seen since World War II.

#2 Today, there are 5.9 million Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 that are living with their parents.

#3 The economic downturn has been particularly tough on men.  According to Census data, men are twice as likely to live with their parents as women are.

#4 Amazingly, less than 30 percent of all U.S. teens had a job this summer.

#5 Approximately one out of every five Americans under the age of 30 is currently living in poverty.

#6 According to one recent survey, only 14 percent of all Americans that are 28 or 29 years old are optimistic about their financial futures.

#7 Since the year 2000, incomes for U.S. households led by someone between the ages of 25 and 34 have fallen by about 12 percent after you adjust for inflation.

#8 The cost of "getting an education" has become increasingly burdensome in recent years.  Average yearly tuition at U.S. private universities is now up to $27,293.  That figure has increased by 29% in just the past five years.

#9 In America today, approximately two-thirds of all college students graduate with student loans.

#10 Millions of young Americans are absolutely being financially strangled by horrific student loan debt loads.  Sadly, the total amount of student loan debt in the United States now exceeds the total amount of credit card debt in the United States.

#11 In 2010, the average college graduate had accumulated approximately $25,000 in student loan debt by graduation day.

#12 One-third of all college graduates end up taking jobs that don't even require college degrees.

#13 In the United States today, there are more than 100,000 janitors that have college degrees.

#14 In the United States today, 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees.

#15 In the United States today, approximately 365,000 cashiers have college degrees.

#16 In the United States today, 24.5 percent of all retail salespersons have a college degree.

#17 As the economy has crumbled, fewer young Americans have been getting married.  Today, an all-time low 44.2% of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 are married.

#18 Young Americans are becoming increasingly frustrated as our politicians stand by and do nothing while our economy is being hollowed out.  The sad truth is that United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, and top politicians in both major political parties keep pushing for even more job-killing "free trade" agreements.

#19 Young Americans are becoming increasingly frustrated that pretty much the only jobs that seem to be available are low paying jobs.  Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs.  Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.

#20 Young Americans are becoming increasingly frustrated that previous generations have saddled them with a 14 trillion dollar national debt that they are expected to make payments on for the rest of their lives.

A lot of young Americans swing back and forth between anger and despair.  Many of them worked like crazy for years because of the promise of a better life, and now they are being bitterly disappointed.  Just consider the following testimonial that was recently posted on The Atlantic....

I am in my mid-20s. I have a university education. I started working when I was 14. I have chemical burns and scars over my hands from dealing with caustic cleaning chemicals. I did not want that to be my life like my uncles. I had to get out. I worked very hard in high school and volunteered and was the member of clubs and all of that great stuff. I got into a good university and worked hard. I took a language course, took things that I loved. I worked through my degree - I was even a janitor in a building that I lived in, because I needed the cut in rent. I did that for no pay.

After these months of unemployment I have fallen into a pretty major depression. I live at home, I do chores, I look for work. As much as I want to get my life together, I have some great mental health issues to deal with - but have neither the money to purchase medication that may help me, nor the ability to pay for psychological or psychiatric help.

So what can be done?

Well, someone could wave a magic wand and fix the U.S. economy, but we all know that is not going to happen.

In fact, there is all kinds of evidence that the U.S. economy is about to get even worse.

So should we just tell our young people that they might as well just give up and start making rap videos about using food stamp cards like this one?  (*Warning* The video contains some very strong language.)

The number of Americans on food stamps has increased by 74 percent since 2007.  Millions of young people are learning that the only way to survive is to be dependent on the government.

It certainly does not help that our entire education system is deeply broken.  For example, did you know that the verbal scores on the SAT for the class of 2011 were the lowest ever recorded?

Our students have become so "dumbed down" that large numbers of them can barely even function in society once they graduate.

That is not their fault.

That is our fault.

We have failed young Americans in so many ways that it would take a series of books to detail them all.

We can say that we are sorry, but that just isn't going to cut it.

Millions of young Americans want what was promised to them, but we no longer have it to give to them.

Anger in this nation is already starting to boil over in strange and unpredictable ways.  If the economy gets even worse, we are going to have tens of millions of young Americans that are mad as hell and that are ready to riot in the streets.

What are we going to do then?

According to a recent Gallup poll, 81 percent of Americans are "dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed".

That is not a sign of a healthy nation.

The sad truth is that the foundations of America are crumbling and we have millions upon millions of young people that are incredibly angry and incredibly frustrated.

It does not take a genius to figure out that is a recipe for disaster.


Wage pic source:




The new Barter System is emerging. Here is some Zeta Talk on it:
Dropping Dollar
Barter Systems:
"In that one's skill sets can be considered a bartering item, one should examine their own skill set by the following exam. If you were in the middle of a wilderness, alone, what steps would you take to survive? What is the first skill that you would need, and not have? Whom do you know that you would wish about you, in such as circumstance? What is that skill that they possess, that you perhaps could develop? Imagine a group in such a setting, having arrivedat a land dump where various pieces of junk are about and could provide mechanical devices or shelter, if utilized creatively and resourcefully. How would you go about creating a comfortable home for yourself, and others, in such as situation? If you are clueless on how to use junk to structure a home, recycle and hook up, then perhaps you should work with a junk man, in his yard, and take lessons! What we are
telling you is that you should mentally put yourself in this setting, and you will have no difficulty determining what is useless or most worthwhile, in a skill set. If you are an accountant, and cannot translate this skill into
becoming a tailor or herdsman or cook, your skill is useless!"

Barter System to replace money in some regions:
"We advise the common man, as we have in the past, to relieve
themselves of stock and jewels and paper money that will fall in value, perhaps suddenly and without warning. Better to stock up on things that will have value, candles and matches, school books and a guitar, than what the rich treasure."


Paper Promise:

"During the Great Depression, the world was not beset with natural disaster after natural disaster, as is starting to occur today. Commerce, trade, was reduced due to lack of confidence but at the base, the economies were solid and recovery followed renewed confidence. Today, all countries are in a crisis affecting their base economies. We mentioned that Crop Failure would follow the irregular weather, and it did. But buildings collapsing in earthquakes, trains running off suddenly twisted tracks, factories exploding as gas lines breach, and storms tearing at coastlines without remorse do more than represent an opportunity to rebuild."


ZetaTalk Prediction 7/30/2011:
We have mentioned that the status quo is likely to be continued up to and even into the Last Weeks, as those who benefit from the status quo see no alternative for themselves. Bankrupt countries will continue to print money, devaluing their dollars, as the alternative is to declare bankruptcy, making their money virtually worthless. This attitude extends to corporations and the banking industry, where their failure is a specter too gruesome to contemplate, envisioned as making matters worse, so they are pumped up with loans or legislation to avoid failures and layoffs. It is the lack of alternatives that drives the process. This is a global issue. All are likely to stumble forward thus, maintaining the status quo, until the public has switched entirely to the barter system as the only medium of exchange that has any meaning.




In the Aftertime, the barter system will be the way of exchange as money will no longer exist. To make a gradual adjustment, it may be helpful to discuss it here if you like. Got any ideas on how to not get burned? How does one get the most out of the barter? Bartering is a skill that gets better with time. It is not our current system, so it must be understood so that it will work comfortably every time.



Got anything to share? What skills or trades work best in an Aftertime environment? How about what can be traded NOW before the 7 completes or before the PS?????


Showing the economic changes for better or worse may also be helpful to put things in perspective. Just as flooding of rain water is happening worldwide, economic statistics are SOARING for unemployment, bankruptcies, home foreclosures worldwide. Feel free to share input on that!


Rick Rickster

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Comment by Rick Rickster on May 9, 2012 at 1:58am

Big Mall Makeover: Using Empty Malls for Farms, Housing, Wedding Receptions

In recent years, consumers have been buying more and more goods from outlet malls, dollar stores and online retailers. By no small coincidence, over the same time period traditional shopping malls have suffered, and now have the highest vacancy rates in 20 years. All those empty stores—and sometimes, entirely empty malls—have developers and community planners trying to figure out what to do with a shopping mall when people don’t want to shop there.

The research firm Reis reported that during the fourth quarter of 2011, large regional malls had an average vacancy rate of 9.2%. The Wall Street Journal noted that, after hitting a 9.4% vacancy in the previous quarter—an all-time high since the tracking of such data began in 2000—this was something of an improvement.

But by most signs, the classic American indoor shopping mall is dying. The last time a new indoor shopping mall opened in the U.S. was 2006. Rents charged at large regional malls also stand at about the same levels as 2006. Vacancy rates have been rising steadily since 2007, when the rate was around 5.5%. The vacancy rate at shopping centers and strip malls recently hit 11%, the highest level since 1991.

The economic downturn is surely responsible for why many malls are being deserted. But shoppers aren’t staying away from malls just because they don’t have the money, but also because it’s becoming increasingly clear the standard mall is a less than perfect fit with how we now live our lives.


Comment by Rick Rickster on May 9, 2012 at 1:51am

Still think the economy is booming?  Take a look at the latest stats on enclosed Malls in various states and some abroad here  !  It is staggering at how many are deserted or near empty.  The list shows hundreds littered across the land and abroad.  Once a thriving industry,  now according to Wiki there has not been a single enclosed Mall built since 2006 in the US.

Comment by Rick Rickster on May 8, 2012 at 9:01pm
Comment by Rick Rickster on May 8, 2012 at 8:49pm

Americans: Too broke to go bankrupt

The cost of filing for bankruptcy has risen in recent years as a result of the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, which aimed to reduce the number of bankruptcies taking place by adding more requirements to the filing process.


The cost of filing for bankruptcy has risen in recent years as a result of the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, which aimed to reduce the number of bankruptcies taking place by adding more requirements to the filing process.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- This year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are expected to be too broke to file for bankruptcy.

The average cost to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, the most common form of consumer bankruptcy, is more than $1,500, according to recent research submitted to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

As a result, anywhere between 200,000 and one million consumers are estimated to be unable to afford that steep cost this year.

The research, conducted by a group of professors from Columbia University, the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis, examined how bankruptcy filings spiked after people received their tax rebates in previous years. They estimate that another 200,000 consumers, who would otherwise not have enough money to file, will use their tax refunds to pay for bankruptcy this year.

"For lots of people, bankruptcy has been taken off the table as an option because of the severe fees involved," said Jialan Wang, co-author of the report.

Among those fees is a charge of about $300 just for filing the paperwork with the federal court, while the rest typically goes to bankruptcy lawyers, said Wang.

And there are other expenses on top of that, including fees for mandatory pre-bankruptcy credit counseling and a pre-discharge debtor education course. These average about $85 altogether, according to a recent study sponsored by the American Bankruptcy Institute.

That means many of the Americans who have seen their debt snowball out of control due to events like job loss, foreclosure or a medical emergency during the economic downturn are now left without their last financial lifeline, she said.

"It becomes harder and harder to pay off the debt as interest payments get higher, so your debt grows larger and larger," she said.

The cost of filing for bankruptcy has risen in recent years as a result of the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, which aimed to reduce the number of bankruptcies taking place by adding more requirements to the filing process -- including additional paperwork and the credit counseling and debtor education.

While the bankruptcy rate has fallen slightly since the law took effect -- from a rate of 1.4% in 2004 to 1.3% last year -- the average income of bankruptcy filers has increased, the NBER study found. The findings indicate that the new requirements are pricing out many of the consumers who are least able to afford the fees, said Wang.

"It ends up being the relatively better off, or middle-class consumers who can actually afford to file, and the people with lower incomes can't afford to file," said Wang.

Billy Brewer, president of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, said bankruptcy attorneys have no choice but to charge such high fees.

"When clients come in and I tell them the fee, they look at me like I have two heads, and say: What part of 'I'm filing for bankruptcy don't you understand?' But we can't afford to do it for free," said Brewer, who charges an average fee of $1,500. "Congress decided to make the process much more difficult and there's much more paperwork involved, so attorneys are spending double the time they used to just to help someone file."

Those who can't afford the fees should still try to find a pro bono lawyer willing to provide legal services for free, said Wang. However, only a small fraction of people are actually able to get this kind of help.

And think twice before you decide to go it alone, said Gerri Detweiler, director of consumer education for

"It's too complicated now, and too much of a minefield. Make a mistake and your case is dismissed," she said. "A dismissed bankruptcy hurts your credit just as badly as one you complete. So you have all the downside without the fresh start."

She also warns against low-cost document preparation services claiming to help consumers fill out necessary documents. It's easy for consumers to think they're getting sound legal advice even though the preparers aren't lawyers, she said.

Among the various types of bankruptcy protection, Chapter 7 is the most common. Chapter 7 enables you to wipe out some or all of your debt in the shortest amount of time, said Detweiler. Bankruptcy doesn't relieve you of certain debts, however, like student loans or alimony payments.

If you're filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can request to have the $300 court fee waived. The judge will typically grant a waiver if your income is less than 150% of the poverty line and you can prove that you are unable to pay the fee in full or in installments.

However, it's the attorney fees that are the biggest expense.

If you have been making some payments on your debts, an attorney may advise you to stop paying creditors, which can free up the money you need to pay the attorney's fees.

But if you haven't had enough money to make any payments to creditors, Detweiler recommends asking friends or family members for help. If that doesn't work, you could sell some of your belongings or get a second job, as long as your attorney says that it wouldn't affect your ability to receive bankruptcy protection.

Brewer, of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, said sometimes it's just a matter of rearranging priorities.

"If the need is crucial enough, consumers usually find a way to come up with the money," he said.

Comment by Rick Rickster on May 8, 2012 at 9:32am

France faces 40pc house price slump

France faces a property slump of Anglo-Saxon proportions as the frothiest boom in French history finally tips over, threatening the country with an economic shock just as austerity hits.

Coffee, croissant and newpaper in cafe , Paris, France
Paris has overtaken New York to become the world's third costliest city Photo: Alamy

"It is a gigantic bubble, all the more dangerous as it is spread across France," said Pierre Sabatier, from the consultancy PrimeView.

"It reached a paroxysm in the summer of 2011. There is a mix of incredulity and denial as it starts to burst but there can be little doubt that all levers propelling the market are disappearing."

PrimeView said prices across France have jumped 160pc since 1998, though houshold incomes are up just 35pc. Paris has overtaken New York to become the world's third costliest city at €18,000 (£14,600) per square metre.

The boom seemed to defy global gravity last year as southern Europe and the US battled property slumps. The mood has since darkened. "A number of clients tell me they think the market has topped and want to get out," said one French hedge fund manager.

Standard & Poor's has told investors to brace for a 15pc correction. Credit Agricole says prices may fall 12pc by the end of next year, expecting a "gradual slide" that could last until 2016.

House prices versus disposable income in France

PrimeView thinks it will be much worse. The price-income ratio was stable from the 1960s to the late 1990s, before exploding over the past 12 years as a perfect storm of demographics, state sweetners and cheap credit led to a 12-year blow-off.

There are parallels with Spain and America but Mr Sabatier said the French twist is a replay of the early 1930s when investors fled stocks after 1929 and rotated into "safe" property. Hence the paradox of rising prices during the Depression. The strange boom did not end until premier Pierre Laval cut rent ceilings in 1935, triggering a long slide.

"Laval's policy change was the catalyst. The same could happen now as austerity forces brutal measures," he said. An array of market props are eroding, including tax relief on some mortages and certain capital gains.

The shift comes at a delicate moment. Banks are limiting credit as they scramble to meet Basel III lending rules.

PrimeView said deleveraging - which pushes up mortgage spreads - comes just as France's ageing crunch arrives. Those younger than 58 are net buyers of property, those older are net sellers. The buyers will stay constant at 33m, while the sellers rise by 1.2m every five years for a quarter century.

"Starting this year, the demographic structure will have a profound deflationary impact on property, reversing the last 40 years. We could see a vicious circle of falling prices," said Mr Sabatier.

"Ageing means the end of property's golden age. It may be less rapid than in the US because French households have less solvency problems, but we think a 40pc fall may be inevitable over five or 10 years."

A housing slump would hammer the economy just as long-delayed austerity begins in earnest. Property makes up 65pc of French household wealth, compared with 57pc in Germany, 39pc in Japan and 27pc in the US.

The risk is a "negative feedback loop" as all key levers of the economy turn contractionary. Any slippage in growth below the rosy forecasts of both candidates in Sunday's presidential elections, Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, would play havoc with debt dynamics, pushing France above the danger line of 90pc of GDP.

"Whoever wins will receive a poisoned chalice. What France faces is like Japan: not a cardiac arrest, but slow growth for years," said Mr Sabatier.

Comment by Rick Rickster on April 29, 2012 at 10:39pm

 This is major economic change in Spain! 

Spain Bans Cash

Friday, April 20, 2012 – by Staff Report

Spain Bans Cash Transactions Over 2,500 Euros ... Spain has outlawed the use of cash in business transactions in excess 2,500 euros in order to crack down on the black market and tax evaders. The motivations behind the push for digital currencies is exposed as Spain heads down the road of the Greeks in combating their sovereign debt crisis. As the government scrambles for every tax dollar it can get its hands on, even though they already gave every Spaniard $23,000 Euros in debt last year alone (approximately $32,500), they are now banning all large cash business transactions. Why? So they can track the transactions and make sure that people and business are paying taxes. Being able to track the transactions is also aimed to combat the growing black market in Spain. – Alexander Higgins' blog

Dominant Social Theme:This cash has gotta go. It's evil.

Free-Market Analysis: They are not even making a pretense anymore that the West is run via market economies. As we have long predicted, the phony "sovereign debt" crisis in Europe is being used to justify all sorts of authoritarian measures.

It is government pols that gladly borrowed what European banks threw at them. And somehow the upshot earlier this week is that Spanish citizens now lose the right to conduct many transactions in cash.

Spectactularly, the reports such as this one, excerpted above, don't even both to hide the real point. The Spanish government wants to ensure that it can "track transactions and make sure that people and businesses are paying taxes."

Of course, anyone who has visited Spain of late knows that the tax burden in Spain is onerous indeed, and is one reason that the truculent tribes that have co-existed uneasily with Madrid are again beginning to beat the drums of secession.

The taxes that the central government levies on small businesses especially are verging on punitive. But there are no apologies. The official position is one of unflinching demands.

It is surely part of a larger memehaving to do with a "cashless" society. Just recently the UK Telegraph asked "Is mobile the way we'll all be paying?" The answer, as can be expected, was a qualified yes, but issued in the predictable upbeat way.

The cashless society has been a much-mooted concept ever since consumer credit cards were widely introduced in the 1950s. Now it seems that “mobile money” is the new gold rush. The term – used to describe the way the mobile phone is used to pay for goods – yields no fewer than 126 million results on a Google search ... 

Market research firm Yankee Group believes that global mobile transactions will become a $1trillion market by 2015. While Berg Insight says there will be 894m worldwide users of mobile banking by the same year. Peter Ayliffe, chief executive of Visa Europe, who sits on the Monitise board, believes 50pc of all Visa transactions in Europe will be on a mobile device by 2020.

The top men are beginning to issue their predictions. The march to a cashless society has begun. Perhaps we owe Spain a debt of gratitude for revealing the REAL reason for a cashless society. It makes tax collecting so much easier.

But this is only part of the story. Taxes are certainly to be paid ... but the RESULTS of tax payments and the government expenditures they give rise to are seemingly more questionable every day.

In Spain this is certainly evident. The REAL problem that Spain faces as its depression spirals out of control is the infrastructure that politicos built over the past decade. Every small town has bike paths, outdoor parks and other unnecessary public venues that will soon prove, well ... unsupportable.

Gradually, the infrastructure sinks into disrepair, further exacerbating the loss of what was once gratifying. These expanding open sores in civic centers create additional dissonance. Spain has created public places everywhere with giddy exuberance. Soon it will be a kind of national "tragedy of the commons."

There is not much discussion of this plight, however. Most of the conversation centers around putting young people to work. Up to 50 percent of Spanish youngsters are out of work or can't find jobs and many of the rest live in fear that they will lose their positions.

There is now, in fact, starting to be a Diaspora of young people from Spain. Virtually all of South America speaks Spanish – and many countries are doing rather well. Argentina, especially, is attracting youngsters; Chile, too, presumably.

The cash ban is probably looked on by many in Spain as yet one more petty annoyance but these annoyances are piling up over time. When mixed in with the larger difficulty of the dysfunction of the Spanish economy, such issues can surely create an explosive situation. Here's more from the article:

Those who violate the ban will face fines of 25% of the payment made in cash. The Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, has announced on Wednesday that the plan to combat tax evasion on Friday approved the Cabinet prohibit the payment in cash transactions of over 2,500 euros and which at least involved a businessman professional.

During the control session the Government in the House of the Congress of Deputies and in response to a question about the tax amnesty made by the general coordinator of IU, Cayo Lara, the Prime Minister, has revealed that those who violate the ban will face fines of 25% of the payment made in cash.

The Government had already advanced the plan to combat fraud limitations include the use of cash for certain operations, although he had not yet specified which would place the threshold (yes at the time there was talk that it could be 1,000 euros for self-employed).

This measure aims to prevent the use of black money in commercial transactions and, in the case of companies, give them an obstacle to not resort to false invoices. The plan to combat fraud adopted on Friday, the Cabinet intends to raise up to 8.171 million euros in 2012.

We can see clearly the conflation between fraud and bad times. Of course, desperate people will do desperate things – and the "austerity" program that the Spanish government is following will only exacerbate matters.

To their credit, Spanish officials have generated some tax-forgiveness programs of late, but these, too, are proving controversial. Spanish politicos, like their counterparts elsewhere, are inclined to accept Brussels' dictates for "austerity" as the ultimate solution to the current mess.

But is it really so simple? As we have often pointed out, the elites running the Southern PIGS were basically bribed by Brussels money to bring their countries aboard the EU. Now that the EU is collapsing, these individuals are nowhere to be found. The citizens are faced with the bill – and with paying back the banks.

Increasingly, we believe, those trapped in this situation are well aware of their manipulation. What we call the Internet Reformationhas made them well aware of their manufactured plight. At some point there will be serious repercussions.


Comment by Rick Rickster on April 28, 2012 at 8:14am
Comment by Rick Rickster on April 28, 2012 at 7:32am

One of the Biggest Economies of the world GOING UNDER!

Economists and experts may want us to think the world is recovering, but long term effects are clearly bringing the masses of plenty down. This is major news as the California economy is significantly larger than most.

Read the entire article Here:

16 Reasons To Move Away From California

Once upon a time, millions upon millions of young people dreamed of moving to California.  Nearly endless sunshine, pristine beaches and a booming economy made it seem like paradise to many.  But now those days are long gone.  Unemployment is rampant, home prices have fallen like a rock, violent crime and gang activity are on the rise, local governments all over California are facing horrible financial problems, millions of illegal immigrants have poured into the state, traffic around the big cities is nightmarish and tax rates are absolutely outrageous.  Plus there is the constant threat that your home could be destroyed by an earthquake, a wildfire or a mudslide.  In recent years, hordes of hard working families have decided that they have had enough and have decided to move away from California.  In fact, since the year 2000 more than 1.6 million peoplehave moved away from the state of California.

There are still a few pockets of the state that are still very beautiful and that have been sheltered from the economic nightmare that is sweeping the rest of the state.

But in general, most cities in California are rapidly becoming giant hellholes.

Without a doubt, the "California Dream" has now become a "California Nightmare" for most residents of the state.

Do you live in California?  If so, perhaps now is the time to move.  The following are 16 really good reasons to move away from California....

#1 California Is Run By Elitist Control Freaks That Have No Common Sense At All

Politicians in California seem to love to impose absolutely ridiculous rules and regulations on the taxpayers.  For example, many local governments in the state are now seeking to require that most new housing be built with at least 20 units on a single acre.  This gives the phrase "being close with your neighbors" a whole new meaning.  The following is from a recent Wall Street Journal article....

Metropolitan area governments are adopting plans that would require most new housing to be built at 20 or more to the acre, which is at least five times the traditional quarter acre per house. State and regional planners also seek to radically restructure urban areas, forcing much of the new hyperdensity development into narrowly confined corridors.

There are many more examples of this "control freak" mentality.  As I wrote about recently, one California town is actually considering making it illegal to smoke in your own backyard.

In some California cities you even need to get permission from the government to gather with your friends.  For example, in San Juan Capistrano it is actually illegal to hold a home Bible study without a "conditional use permit".

#2 California Is A Horrible Place To Do Business

For seven years in a row, CEOs ranked California as the worst place in the United States to do business.  Thousands of good companies have left the state in recent years, and yet California lawmakers continue to pile on more rules, regulations and taxes.

#3 The California Economy Is A Gigantic Mess

The unemployment rate in California is still well above 10 percent.  In fact, the number of people unemployed in the state of California is approximately equivalent to the populations of Nevada, New Hampshire and Vermont combined.  In 2010, only about 37 percentof the entire population of the state of California had a job.

#4 Municipalities All Over California Are Going Broke And Will Soon Need To Raise Taxes Substantially Just To Survive

Read more here

Comment by Rick Rickster on April 26, 2012 at 2:29pm

Greece implements the Barter System


Comment by Rick Rickster on April 24, 2012 at 9:08pm

Tide Turns on Border Crossing

Number of Immigrants Arriving From Mexico (to US) Now Equaled by Those Going Home

Net migration from Mexico has plummeted to zero thanks to changing demographic and economic conditions on both sides of the border, a new study says, even as political battles over illegal immigration heat up and the issue heads to the U.S. Supreme Court.

After four decades that brought 12 million Mexican immigrants—more than half of them illegally—to the U.S., the curtain has come down on the biggest immigration wave in modern times.

"The net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped and may have reversed," says the report, which is based on an analysis of U.S. and Mexican government data by the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center.

The standstill, according to the report, results from declining immigration from Mexico paired with a rising number of people returning south from the U.S. Those trends recently converged, and between 2005 and 2010 about as many Mexicans left the U.S. as flocked here." width="555"/>

Between 2005 and 2010, 1.4 million Mexicans migrated north of the border, fewer than half as many as in the previous five-year period. Meanwhile, the number of Mexicans and their children who returned to Mexico between 2005 and 2010 rose to 1.4 million, about double the number who went home between 1995 and 2000, the report said. These trends suggest the return flow to Mexico surpassed arrivals to the U.S. in 2010 and 2011, the report adds.

"The pluses and minuses have evened out," said John Pitkin, a demographer with private consultancy Analysis and Forecasting, Inc. in Cambridge, Mass. "As many forces are pulling these people to Mexico as pulling them to the U.S."

Mexican families have fewer mouths to feed as the country's birthrate has declined to near replacement level, or about 2.1, akin to that in the U.S., meaning Mexicans feel under less pressure to move north to find work. And they have more job opportunities at home than in the past.

"While wages are still relatively low in Mexico, employment growth has been quite strong for two years running, especially formal sector employment that comes with some fringe benefits," said Pia Orrenius, senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Other deterrents include the steep price charged by "coyotes"—smugglers hired to bring migrants into the U.S.—and drug cartels that sometimes kidnap migrants or force them to serve as drug carriers. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has increased deportations to a record level, and border arrests of migrants have hit a four-decade low, indicating far fewer people are trying to get into the U.S.

Once almost certain to try again after being caught, fewer migrants are making repeat attempts to enter the U.S., based on analysis of fingerprints collected by border-patrol officers who arrest them. According to a survey by Mexican authorities of repatriated immigrants, 20% in 2010 said they wouldn't return to the U.S., against 7% in 2005.

Mexicans today constitute the lion's share of Latin American immigrants in the U.S., and account for about 30% of the 40 million immigrants in the country. The next-largest country, China, accounts for just 5%.

Mexican immigration to the U.S.—legal and illegal—peaked in 2000 at about 700,000, and began to slide after the housing bubble burst and jobs in construction and other sectors disappeared. By 2009, only 150,000 Mexicans had arrived here in a decline that hasn't reversed, according to the Pew analysis.

The Mexican population boom in the U.S. was first fueled by the end to decades of circular migration. Under the guest-worker "bracero" program, begun in 1942, thousands of Mexicans moved between the two countries to work on U.S. farms and railroads. The closure of the program by Congress in 1964 helped compel Mexican men to bring their families to settle in the U.S.

By 1970, the Mexican-born population in the U.S. totaled 760,000, but Canada, Germany and Italy still surpassed Mexico as the leading countries of origin. By 1980, Mexico was the top supplier of immigrants, with Mexicans numbering 2.2 million.

More here...

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