By TLB Contributor: Dave Hodges
Is America on her last legs? Is the end of the Republic, as we have known it, near? A snapshot view of the emotional, physical and financial health of our nation makes it appear that we are on the edge of collapse. This article takes a snapshot view on how we are doing and the final conclusion is that America, like an alcoholic must and will hit bottom.
Meaningful Political Reform is Impossible
In this, a mid-term election year, we hear a lot of talk of how the people must rise up and vote as one. Unfortunately, the gross, collective ignorance of this country is so great that elections, as an exercise as the collective and intelligent expression of the public will, are non-existent. And even if a community could spur a collective action on an issue, the electronic voting machines would cast doubt on the true outcome anyway.
Before a nation can peacefully change course, the people must understand how political change happens. Further, they must have an understanding of the key political players and what they stand for. Unfortunately, and according to an Annenburg survey that was just conducted, only 36% of all Americans can identify the three branches of government. How can one possibly rid a system of abuse when one does not understand how the system works? A full 25% of all Americans know how that Senators serve for six years. Tragically and only 20% of all Americans know how many U.S. senators there are. Additionally, only 40% of high school seniors know that Joe Biden is the Vice-President. The faces of Pelosi, Reed and McCain should be on every billboard and dartboard for what they have done to the country (e.g. NDAA, Obamacare). Instead, most Americans have scarcely heard of them.
Even as in the open our public corruption has become, most will never hear of it because six corporations own over 95% of the media. Most American think that they have a free press when nothing could be further from the truth.
One would think that the First Amendment to the Constitution would protect the freedom of the press. There was a recent time when the United States was previously ranked 20th in the freedom of the press, but the U.S. has fallen 27 places to the 49th place. One of the reasons listed for the decline are the many arrests of journalist covering Occupy Wall Street protests. Certainly, the Occupy Wall Street arrests had a lot to do with the slippage. The US is now ranked lower then most western European countries including Finland, Norway, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, UK, France, Spain, etc.
One of the many things the occupy movement has done is help focus more attention on the aggressive militarization of basic law enforcement in the United States. And that’s been combined with police efforts to prevent both professional and amateur reporters from covering the story. These undeniable facts were in evidence in the recent unrest in Ferguson, MO.
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index 2011, the United States is tied with Romania for forty-ninth in civil liberties. Several countries such as Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and Norway are tied for first.
Former award-winning CNN journalist, Amber Lyon, who quit the network in order to maintain her journalistic integrity.
Amber Lyon, former CNN award winning journalist left the network because she was disgusted by the fact that the government paid hush money to CNN to not cover stories and also paid money to the compromised network to make up stories.
I can remember when in the 1990’s many were unhappy that the number of corporations which owned the lion’s share of the media had shrunk from 150 to 50 due to deregulation under President Bill Clinton. Again, in today’s America, only six corporations own 95% percent of our media. One cannot, with any degree of confidence, believe a word coming out of the mouth any newscaster or their network.
Can one imagine how far the freedom of the press ratings would have fallen if the murders of Andrew Breitbart and Michael Hastings were taken into account?
Americans Are Medicated and Unhealthy
In the period from 1968 to 2008, the suicide rate in America rose 308% for people aged 15 to 24. It is clear that our children do not want to live in the New World Order. One out of every ten teen girls in America engages in “self-harm”. Cutting and burning are the most common forms that this “self-harm” takes.
No less than 30 million Americans are on antidepressants. Americans account for about four percent of the world’s population, but we buy more than 50% of the pharmaceutical drugs and Americans take a stunning 80% of all prescription painkillers. According to several studies 70% of all Americans are on at least one prescription drug and 20% of all Americans are on at least five prescription drugs. Additionally 60 million Americans are problem drinkers and are categorized as alcoholics. Let me restate the last morbid statistic, one in six Americans, are problem drinkers.
According to a presentation offered at the IFPE Congress in Vienna, Austria on April 18, 2009, on the results of World Health Organization’s World Mental Health Survey, 19% of studied Americans experienced a clinical anxiety disorder in the previous twelve-month period, which pushes the United States into a ranking of first place in this category. And no wonder, it is estimated that one out of every four girls will be sexually abused before they become adults. Suicide has now actually surpassed car accidents as the number one cause of “injury death”in the United States.
Collectively, our cancer rates are by far the highest in the world as are our autism rates (now one in 53 births). Alzheimer’s is soaring at record rates and the age of onset is getting younger and younger. According to the CIA 2013 Factbook, Americans only have the 42nd longest life span on the planet despite the exorbitant amount we spend on health care. And I haven’t even touched upon obesity rates, sleep deprivation, etc., but you get the idea,we are morbidly unhealthy and a miserable people.
Economic Recovery Is Not Possible Under Any Circumstance
There is a bit of good news. The national deficit is only $17 trillion dollars and it is growing by leaps and bounds. At least that’s the good news. The bad news is that our “unfunded liabilities” (e.g. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and now Obamacare) have reached a total of $240 trillion dollars. And the really bad news is that our country, through the bailouts, owe the bankers a whopping $1 quadrillion dollars for the Ponzi scheme we call the credit swap derivatives. Since the entire estimated value of the planet is merely $100 trillion dollars, please explain to me how we can pay off this debt? Because this is public debt and it exceeds the sum total of all of our collective holdings,the owners of the debt, effectively own you!
I would talk about IT compensation rates where the United States ranks 14th in IT management compensation. I could also mention that Americans no longer live in the highest salary paying country in the world. In fact, the United States does not even crack the top ten list of the highest salary paying countries on the planet in which Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Japan, Norway, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom round out the top ten and pay their workers more than workers in the United States. In fact, the United States only ranks 20th in terms of overall gross pay!
Perhaps our children can collectively educate themselves to a higher economic level in terms of our professional expertise ceiling. Unfortunately, The Education Policy Institute assessed the affordability of higher education costs and found that the United States ranks 13th in higher education affordability. And to those who think your children can borrow their way to a degree, think again. Today’s U.S. college loan practices, which serve to underwrite much of the cost of a college education, are the most predatory in the world.
As of last year, bankruptcy cannot cancel out a student loan debt and delinquent college students can now go to jail for nonpayment. In fact, several federal agencies have even “swat teamed” many delinquent student loan defaulters. Nowhere else in the world can we find evidence of these types of predatory practices being used against college students as we do here in the United States.
Again, all economic data,in effect, is meaningless so long as we owe a $17 trillion dollar deficit, a $240 trillion dollar unfunded liability debt and a $1 quadrillion derivatives debt. We virtually no exported manufacturing left and with the free trade agreements, there is no possibility of re-instituting tariffs which sustained this country without an income tax until 1913. The American government only takes in $2 trillion dollars per year. Do the math, if put every dime that we collect in taxes toward the debt and spent the money on nothing else, it would take us 120 years to pay off the unfunded liabilities and we could never pay off the derivatives debt because the debt is expanding faster that $2 trillion dollars of debt. Of course, the government could increase taxes, but there reaches a point when it will not pay to go to work. The final solution would be debt repudiation and start over. However, let me remind you, the bankers control the government and its enforcement mechanisms and they will not give up this asset and this measure of control without a fight and, my friends, I am regrettably sure that is where this is headed.
The Most Dire American Statistic
In a human holocaust beyond belief, more than 56 million American babies have been massacred in this country since Roe v. Wade was handed down by the Supreme Court in 1973. Our abortion rate is roughly equal to the number of U.S. military deaths that have occurred in all of the wars that the United States has ever fought combined. May God have mercy on us.
The purge has already begun. Despite having only 4% of the world’s population, our prisons house 25% of the worlds prison population!
This article is only a snapshot of the dire circumstances America finds herself in. Like an alcoholic, America must and will hit bottom because we lack the collective awareness, resources, maturity and resolve to confront our issues head on. However, hitting bottom does not necessarily spell the end unless these are indeed the proverbial and Biblical “last days”. Let me remind all Christians, that the Bible, in Matthew 24:36, clearly tells us that in regard to the Second Coming, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only”. Therefore, it is prudent to prepare for the reality that this evil that has been set loose upon the world is going to continue for awhile longer.
There is a cycle to everything and most of the people will reach a point where they cannot sustain themselves in the present system of contrived shortages and they may push back, provided depopulation strategies are not fully underway. In the very small chance that America will one day fight back against this tyranny, it would be prudent to teach our young the Constitution and what moral authority really means in order that the survivors have something meaningful upon which to rebuild.
Sometimes, knowing my history as I do, it is a curse because it is easy to see where this is headed. One of my contemporaries once told me that our fathers lived in the best days of America. I agree and that generation, the WW II generation, could not have imagined how quickly this country would become so utterly destroyed in such a short time.
My best advice to all is to prepare on two fronts. Prepare to continue within the framework that now exists, the Matrix if you will. However it is important that we simultaneously turn our attention to strategies which will increase the odds of survival. Therefore, adaptation strategies have become critically important.
About the Author
Dave Hodges is the host of the popular radio talk show, which airs from 9 PM to Midnight (Central). The show can be heard by clicking the following icon in the upper right hand corner of The Common Sense Show.
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