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Welcome To The Third World

by John Rubino on August 22, 2011 · 31 comments

One upon a time, the US was a place where police came when you called, a basic safety net caught those who fell on hard times, and a lifetime of work was rewarded with a decent retirement. A First World country, in other words. To be born here was to win life’s lottery.

But apparently this was an illusion fueled by borrowing and money printing, and now that we can’t borrow quite so much, many things we took for granted are going away. Consider this video of Chicagoans being dropped from state health care assistance.

And these recent news stories:

O.C. cities reeling from revenue loss, public safety costs

Spiraling public safety costs and plummeting revenues have pushed Orange County cities to the brink. Many can’t pay their bills without raiding their reserves, an analysis by the Orange County Register has found.

The Register also found that the unfunded portion of accrued pension and health care costs for Orange County and its cities now total $8.75 billion — boosted by the cost of retirement for police officers and firefighters.

Most cities do not have a plan in place to address that debt. Like a consumer who has pegged his credit card, they are paying only what’s due immediately.

Declines in city revenue have pushed Costa Mesa to dismantle its two-helicopter air patrol and consider outsourcing half the jobs at City Hall. Stanton has locked the public out of its police station, hoping to reopen the office with volunteers. Anaheim cut $5 million from police and fire budgets, sidelining a fire engine and its crew.

The cuts to come could be worse, experts say. “It has been a painful couple of years and I think it will be painful still,” said Chapman University economist Esmael Adibi.

The Register looked at audited financial reports for each city as well as state pension documents and found:

Twenty-three Orange County cities outspent their general fund revenues during fiscal 2009-10, the most recent audited year.

Santa Ana spent 77 percent of its general fund on police and fire protection. Westminster, Stanton and Garden Grove also spent more than 70 percent on public safety. The city of Vallejo was at 80 percent when the costs of public safety drove it to bankruptcy.

Orange County cities face a combined $4.1 billion in unfunded pension and health care liability. County agencies face another $4.65 billion. Those figures are growing at 7.75 percent annually. Anaheim has the single highest city debt at $787 million for retirements and medical benefits, with Santa Ana following at $626 million.

“With (the benefits) that municipalities have agreed to, they’ve put themselves in a real squeeze,” said Bob Burton, spokesman for the California Public Employees Retirement System, which administers the pensions for nearly all Orange County cities. “They negotiated benefit packages they are having a hard time paying for.”

Illinois’ budget stiffs the dead
Memo to residents of the Metro East: Come Monday, don’t die if you can’t afford a funeral. The state no longer is willing to pick up the tab.

Illinois has a budget deficit of about $9.4 billion, despite raising income tax rates by roughly 66 percent earlier this year. It owes $2.4 billion in tax refunds, $4.6 billion in unpaid bills to its vendors and $2.4 billion in Medicaid and insurance obligations.

As part of trying to make ends meet, effective Monday, the state will suspend its practice of paying $1,655 to funeral homes that bury the approximately 12,000 public aid recipients who die each year. The Illinois Funeral Directors Association says that barely covers the cost of a simple funeral and burial.

In the past, the state set aside about $15 million for indigent funerals. The budget for the current fiscal year, which began July 1, was just $1.9 million. As of now, that’s gone.

North Miami Beach’s proposed cop layoffs spark protest
Katrina Pinillos marched up and down the sidewalk in front of North Miami Beach City Hall, occasionally joining in a “No More Bonner” chant bellowed by nearly 80 people.

For more than an hour on Tuesday, the crowd rallied in front of city hall before the commission meeting, protesting City Manager Lyndon Bonner’s proposed cuts to the city’s police department, including the layoff 24 officers.

“I am angry,” said Pinillos, a Plantation resident whose husband and brother both serve on the North Miami Beach department — and are both facing layoffs. “Who is going to protect the city when there are minus 24 officers? It is the residents who hear the gunshots and see gang oppression,” said Pinillos, who teaches at a North Miami Beach public school. “When they let these officers go, this stuff is going to double.”

According to Bonner, who recently became city manager, there is a $7.5 million shortfall for the 2011-2012 budget.

The New Retirement Plan: No Retirement
Already battered nest eggs took another beating this month with the market’s wild swings. With interest rates essentially at zero since 2008, income from Treasurys and certificates of deposit is pretty paltry. … On top of that, housing prices [leave] homeowners with much less equity to tap.

Here is the survey mentioned in the article: The New Retirement: Working

• The survey found that for many Americans, the foundation of their retirement strategy is simply not to retire, to work considerably longer than the traditional retirement age, or work in retirement:

–39 percent of workers plan to work past age 70 or do not plan to retire

–54 percent of workers expect to plan to continue working when they retire

–40 percent now expect to work longer and retire at an older age since the recession

• Workers’ greatest fears about retirement include “outliving my savings and investments” and “not being able to meet the financial needs of my family.”

• Most workers will continue working out of financial necessity:

–Workers estimate their retirement savings needs at $600,000 (median), but in comparison, fewer than one-third (30 percent) have currently saved more than $100,000 in all household retirement accounts

–Most workers, regardless of age or household income, agree that they could work until age 65 and still not have enough money saved to meet their retirement needs

–Of those who plan on working past the traditional retirement age of 65, the most commonly cited reasons are of need versus choice

–Many workers (31 percent) anticipate that they will need to provide financial support to family members

NY cops preparing for civil unrest
In the aftermath of last week’s riots in the United Kingdom, the NYPD has held a “mobilization exercise” to train police to prepare for civil unrest in the United States, while also launching a program designed to spot signs of potential trouble via social networking websites.

The NYPD Disorder Control Unit brought together police from all five of the city’s boroughs to rehearse what the response would be “should out-of-control riots break out here”.

“Approximately 180 police officers total from each borough’s task force, including the horseback and aviation units, came out for the drill,” reports the Metro.

However, unlike in the United Kingdom where the rioters mainly comprised of teenage kids taking the opportunity to steal iPods and other high-end electrical goods, civil unrest in the United States is far more likely to have a political motivation.

With many Americans now becoming “pre-revolutionary” as a result of their fury at the Obama administration and equally unpopular lawmakers in Washington, potential civil unrest could spring not just from a poverty-stricken underclass, but also the shrinking middle class.

Perhaps that’s why the Department of Homeland Security is increasingly focusing its anti-terror apparatus on white middle class Americans, portraying them as domestic terrorist in a series of PSA videos.

In addition to the riot training, a new NYPD unit has also been set up to “troll sites like Twitter and Facebook for suspicious activity” in order to pre-empt potential flash mobs and other civil unrest.

Social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter came in for harsh condemnation following the UK riots, with Prime Minister David Cameron advocating authorities have the power to shut down access during times of public disorder.

For his part in decrying social media, Cameron was praised by none other than Communist China, which habitually censors the Internet to hide political corruption or prevent legitimate protesters from receiving media attention. The Communist state routinely uses such powers, which Senator Joe Lieberman has called to be introduced in the United States, to cover up atrocities and abuses against its own citizens.

Twitter, Facebook and Youtube are all banned in China and even sanitized government approved versions of these websites are now being shut down for long periods of time so that they can “remove all politically sensitive content under orders from Chinese internet authorities”.

Some thoughts:
It’s painful to think about how totally we blew it. In the 1980s and 90s we had the chance to get borrowing — both public and private — under control and live within our considerable means. We did the opposite, choosing to live big on credit cards, T-Bills and derivatives, and now we’re broke and those least able to cope will suffer through a decade that didn’t have to happen.

Note the progression of these articles: From state/local financial problems, to cutbacks in basic services, to evaporating nest eggs, to civil unrest, to a police state. Look around the world for examples of what’s coming.

  • dewey

    John, You hit the nail on the head.. when pensions can’t be paid or SS is cut back then we will see the S#%T hit the fan…I will tell you how to know when things are really bad..when the people cant make there cell phone payments…forget the Morgage Credit Cards Car Payments…we dont need to pay those items… as long as they make the CELL PHONE payments…if they cant make those payments they will riot in the streets!!!!! who cares about food shelter work pensions medical…all they need is there PHONE.. hope the PHONE tastes good..i think it needs a little salt…

    • Karl

      The cell phone, the worst invention ever. Modern day slavery.

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  • paper is poverty

    The double whammy is that while we were doing all this borrowing, we were also losing much of our productive economy. So, when we find ourselves broke and unable to import clothes, shoes, food (we are net importers), cell phones and lightbulbs, we’ll discover we’re no longer set up to make any of that stuff here. Between the gutting of our manufacturing base, our unsustainable & inefficient Big Agra, and an unstable currency that will hamper commerce, it’s going to be a decade of shortages.

  • Jason Emery

    I hate to say it, but I think Obama is gonna win reelection by a landslide. His handlers are already manipulating the situation so that THE issue will be whether your Social Security gets cut (Tea Party) or not (Obama).

    Bottom line, the Social Security Trust Funds are empty, except for some I.O.U.’s that must be paid out of the general fund, if at all.

    At this late stage there is no easy way out. Obviously, all this debt must be restructured, the only question is the path the process takes. If past events of this type are any guide, gold and silver, as priced in dollars, are going much, much higher.

  • John Braintree

    Like Margaret Thatcher said, “”The trouble with socialism is that sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money.”

  • http://tentonbooks.com Geoff Blake

    John, this is such a fantastic article, but with such a horrendous unfolding mess, it’s hard to know where to start. I’ll keep it short and make just a few brief points:

    – With counties and cities suffering losses of revenue, and laying off fire and law enforcement, who will be able to respond to civil unrest, should it errupt?

    – The new retirement plan of continuing to work later in life hinges on one very critical factor: That work will be available for these would-be retirees. What if they get laid off? What if they can’t find a new job?

    Crumba, are we ever headed into some interesting times. Only those who are unprepared are fearful.

    Thanks John,

    Geoff

  • http://www.adovationz.co.nz/catalogww.htm Digby Green

    Yes the thing people ignore is that all those imports the west is making, although they may not add up to a huge percentage of US GDP they did employ a lot of people, and used factories that paid rent and local body taxes and also employed electricians and plumbers and welders etc etc.

    I don’t think there can be such a thing as a “service based” economy.
    You have to have something to service.

  • frederick muhlbauer

    gold and silver right on there

  • Dave Ziffer

    Orange County has been a financial basket case for decades. An I just moved out of Illinois, where the legislature spends money like a bunch of drunken sailors and constantly lies to the public about how if we give them more money it will solve one or another fiscal problem. But the only thing that the Illinois legislature ever does with increased tax revenue is spend it all and more before it even arrives. There is no reforming these people. The only question is, how soon will the total collapse come, and how soon after that will the rest of the nation follow?

    • Mike

      As a former drunken sailor I take issue with your characterization of the Illinois legislature spending as I did.

      I quit spending when I ran out of money.

  • Jeff

    Thanks for the work that went into this. Shows clearly your conclusion on where we are heading.

  • brutlstrudl

    Get to know your neighbors

  • Jim

    Thomas Jefferson very famously said “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties that standing armies”

    “The central bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the principles and form of our constitution. I am an enemy to all banks, discounting bills or notes for anything but coin. If the American people allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

  • Mark

    WHO AM I ?

    I am more powerful than the combined armies of the world.

    I have destroyed more than all wars of the nations.

    I am more deadly than bullets or missiles, and I have wrecked more homes and jobs than the mightiest siege of guns.

    I steal billions every year.

    I spare no one. I find my victims among the rich and poor alike, among the young and old, the strong and weak, the high level and low level workers. Widows and orphans know me well.

    I rise to such proportions that I cast my shadows over every field of professional as well as non-professional, from the humblest laborer to the nuclear scientist.

    I kill thousands of employees each year.

    I lurk unseen and do my best work silently.

    I am relentless.

    I am everywhere. On land and sea and in the air, in the home, on the job, on the streets and highways.

    I breed sickness, degradation and death.

    Yet few people make a real effort to avoid me or even take me seriously.

    I destroy, crush, maim. I give nothing. I take all. I am your worst enemy.

    I AM Elite Billionaires.

  • John Williams

    So there is lots of work to be done and lots of people to do it but no way to mediate the process? That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. How about finding some process that is a fair mediator and getting to work doing it. When the alternative is most likely anarchy I have to wonder what sane person would disagree with that reasoning. Debt restructuring and even forgiveness is definitely better than chaos I would think, unless you look forward to chaos.

  • Karen

    hmmm, i think “Mediating the process” takes money that we don’t have. Like the aurther said, if we had learned to live within our means in the 80s & 90s, we would not be here today. Our standard of living is going to come to a halt as we know it. Our country spends over a trillion more annually than it takes in by tax revenues. I wish more people would wake up to what our politicians are doing to us.

  • Jeff

    Yeah,

    that’s the answer! Let’s arrest the billionaires, and put the military on the streets to protect us.

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  • RetiredPara

    Excellent piece. Unfortunately, most reading it already are aware of the author’s premise, that we are becoming, most rapido!, a third world nation. I guess the fiat introduced in the 70’s was needed to pay for the Great Society, as well as our continuing involvement around the world…Sad. Let us all now work for state sovereignty, by recruiting such candidates and working for them. Let us prepare our regions, our states, and our communities for what is ahead. Let us prepare to divorce the union of our states from this monstrous, unconstitutional federal government.

  • JohnnyRebel

    To blame people’s crazy spending habits over the past thirty years as the root cause of low or non-existent retirement accounts is misleading and factually incorrect. This country’s private corporations “screwed” the middle class by forcibly substituting these crappy 401’s for a much better and more secure “defined benefit” retirement program. In this uneven trade, Corporate America “pulled” the legacy retirement programs America had grown used to for several decades and offered the inadequate 401 voluntary contribution program in its place. They shifted all of the “risk” onto the employee without adequate compensation. Further, it was the US Congress who in 1978 created the guidelines for establishing 401 retirement plans. With Wall Street’s influence and support, hard working American citizens’ money was funneled through these 401 plans into another form of “casino gambling” whereby the only winner was “the house.” The greedy CEO’s and upper management of Corporate America and members of the US Congress both have generous retirement plans the rest of us can only dream about. The 401 employee contribution program was not supposed to be a “stand alone” retirement program. It was to be combined with a defined retirement and with social security. The 401 was supposed to become the third leg of a three-legged “retirement security stool.” Thank you Congress and thank you Corporate America!

  • Michael Rudisill

    I still love my country and its people…there is hope amongst the despair…Americans can learn to do things differently, better, creatively….yes things may be different, even worse…but lets not forget that when we want to do things we can. There can be new forms of govt., new industries, new education, it may not be the same as the past…but what is. Yes invest, learn, and get involved…tell everyone you know, teach others, help others….that is what the US is about and yes get rich again…I read of many people havingup & down crises, losing all after being rich and earning it back but still making it….it is not a fable …it is real. But get out of the bunker mentality…the elderly,young, unemployed, sick, and retired are not our enemies. Many public workers were promised benefits and retirement….why because they do work that others wont (for less) and we need their help…they are not the enemy….there are answers out there and we can solve these problems…Don’t give up…but stay vigilent.

  • http://HealthCareAlert.com drjimenez

    OC – example of working class buying expensive goods.
    Owners of capital will stimulate working class to buy more and more expensive goods (houses) pushing them to take more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable. The over-expansion of credit by greedy capitalists results in more goods being sold than can be bought from income and savings. The result? The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks in their city,then county, then state and finally becomes national. Our country will run out of money from widespread debts and collapse which is the beginning of reduction of our standard of living and the fall of capitalism.
    Author-Karl Marx

  • occam’s student

    Like almost all articles purporting to describe and explain the collapse of the west, Yours fails to mention the great holy cows of our lost age;
    You fear being branded a heretic, so you won’t mention the two most elemental reasons why the West is falling.
    1) Massive, crushing overpopulation (mostly from incompatible third world immigrants and their offspring, which are utterly and often violently antethithetical to all the West has been for centuries). No one and nothing escapes the simple laws of nature; the more crowding, the less resources. The more diversity, the more strife, leading to war (Flash mobs, you say)?
    “Youths” rioting. Pray tell, WHO are these youths. Don’t bother, we know, even if the media and respectable folks (cowards) won’t speak the truth.

    2) RACE. There, I said it. Now shudder, delete, cover up, renounce, start calling me names.
    Somalia is Somalia for one reason. Somalians. Mexico is the dangerous, chaotic, fantastically violent place it is, and always has been, for one reason; Mexicans.
    People of the third world, who do things like commit ritual female genital mutilation on their daughters, or who stone hang homosexuals, or bury women up to their heads, and crush their skulls with small rocks, or who decapitate bodies and hang the gory remains from bridges to “send a message,” do not, have never, and never will become Westerners, when they cross a border and settle down to make their new host country like the hellhole they came from. They show us al that every day. They clamour to get into the West for the benefits, but then complain that it’s not like their great old homelands.
    Their homelands, which are backward, super-violent, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-republican, anti- freedom, illiberal, chauvinistic, extremely racist, and possessed of stone-age indigenous culture and science.
    Westerners, possessed of the values, scientific and artistic achievements, and the very DNA of milenia of struggle and growth hitherto unseen in the world, are NOT replaceable. Not by anyone.
    Bring Somalians to the West, and there, you have Somalia.
    Bring Frenchmen to india, and in their enclaves, you will have France.
    Until Western man faces these obvious, albeit slightly uncomfortable truth, it’s lights out for the Western World.
    It’s virtually too late.
    The Marxist multicult (and money-grubbing business and political world’s) insistence on massive third world imigration is what is killing the west, and her economies. Really, it’s culture. Money pales next to that. But if money is what you want, remember it’s the Europeans and Americans that brought about the greatest prosperity the world has ever known.
    Look at the vast, teeming third world. Nowhere will you find one successful, prosperous state.
    You might like to think I’m wrong, and I wish I were.
    If you insist I’m wrong, I’ll ask you why you’re not packing up for Sierra Leone.
    I thought so.

  • occam’s student

    I forgot to add that The USA (which is the point-man for the whole West), is always off on fake wars to spread or safeguard Democracy. These wars are to feed an insatiable defense industry, into which all of the world’s richest people invest. These wars also make the way safe for Western investments. Lastly they always result in an endless stream of refugee immigration to the west.
    These wars are anathema to All that is traditionally American, as clearly and passionately spelled out by our founding fathers. These wise men warned us repeatedly that wars abroad…wars which held NO national interest, would be the ruin of a free nation.
    And they are.
    Remember this: while leftists like to believe that immigration restrictionists are all crazy guys wearing sheets, blasting poor immigrants at the border, and supporting any and all foreign wars;
    Almost all Americans who are strictly opposed to immigration, also despise our wars abroad.
    The only people who support our wars abroad, ironically, tend to be rabid immigration enthusiasts.
    Americans who would support the greatness that this country once was, are against invading the world, and inviting the world to invade us.
    We know this for the madness it is.
    Within two generations, the USA and the West will either have collapsed amid terrible racial wars, or will be groaning the boot of totalitarian regimes, and no one will be free.

  • occam’s student

    Lastly,
    How can anyone who is of sound mind, talk about conservation or economic prospects, yet ignore, completely, an exploding population? How did people come to ignore the giant elephant in our living room?
    In the early 1970s, the USA (still relatively unaffected by the Immigration act of 1965 which opened the floodgates specifically to third world immigrants), was at REPLACEMENT LEVELS. It was flat. Population bomb explosion averted! (Good Job, America!)
    We understood, without being forced to- that to sustain our way of life, free, prosperous and clean, with wide open spaces, and a bright future, we had to keep from overpopulating our home.
    But the effects of the treasonous Hart- Cellar act of 1965 poured in.
    Since the 1970s, America’s population has gone supernova, from a mere 203 million in 1970, to an insane 300 million- plus in 2011. Probably north of 315 million, with a totally indeterminable population of undocumented foreigners.

    Fully 70%, maybe 80% of this explosive growth is from immigrants and their offspring. (Attention: should anyone try to defeat my argument with the cry of “Racist, or attempt to dismiss my points because I focus on one issue, it doesn’t work anymore. The tired old racist card has been played out, and it is not only moot, and discredited, it is BORING. Don’t bore us anymore).

    The nation’s landscape, like her cities and suburbs and rural communities, has changed beyond recognition, and will not return to the wide-open , clean and free state it was in just a few decades ago.

    How anyone in this country manages to avoid this issue, it’s causes, and it’s effects, is mind- boggling.
    I suppose the cognitive dissonance among diversity- indoctrinated folks is just too painful to confront.
    It is bizarre to see the way such folks twist the simple facts into byzantine shapes, to avoid confronting the inconvenient truth: America has no chance of conserving anything, because of a population explosion, which is almost entirely comprised of third world immigration.
    And folks from the third world don’t give a darn about conservation.
    Haiti, Madagascar, these are not places where you find people concerned with wildlife or even crop rotation. They are not mentally prepared to live in large numbers. They burn down the forest to plant crops that deplete the soil, refuse to rotate, and move on to the next plot. Then they starve. Then we send them food. Then they have more kids, who in turn starve, so we feed them, and they keep starving. This is a terrible, sad drama played out all over the third world, time and again. Africa was starving in the 1980s. We kept millions alive. Today, those starving populations have exploded, and they’re still starving. We have to face facts here. By the way, THEY ARE HERE.

    Of course, there are all kinds of nutty Churchy- types on missionary-missions to bring every third world unfortunate to live like a good Christians in places like St Paul. And there are endless businessmen and women who just want a cheap Somali to replace that cheap Guatemalan in their meat packing plant, since Anglo Americans and Afro Americans (and Mexican Americans, etc.) got pushed out of those once profitable, if hard working careers. Those jobs payed three times today’s wages, in the 1970s. Yes, It’s true, I know first hand.

    So all the third worlders are here because SOMEONE, is getting an ego trip out of “saving” them from themselves, or making a pile of cash from dispossessing Americans from once livable jobs, and sucking the third worlders dry, but the fact is that every resource in America, from clean air, to open lands, to employment, is being consumed and spat out by endless, accelerating, crushing third world immigration.
    By no later than 2050 (the figures are constantly being revised to earlier dates), Whites will cease to be a majority in the USA. In 1965, we comprised maybe 85% of the country. And the USA was incredibly prosperous, wide open, safe and forward- looking in those days. The Space program was not an affirmative action endeavor. Enough said.
    The point, beyond stressing that a people make and preserve their culture, and that culture, good or bad, goes with them, is that the peoples of the undeveloped nations- who have lived in relative sone-age conditions, who have invented nothing, who can not form viable nations, who can not create prosperity, even in fabulously rich environments, are NOT going to preserve anything about America, once the beautiful.
    If you doubt it, look at where they came from, and ask yourself why they left. These questions lead to inescapable answers, which, by the way are not in the least bit related to white racism, colonialism, or the vestiges thereof, or any of the old excuses Liberals trotted out at every occasion for the last forty years. Those ideas are DEAD. No one is listening, except in the echo chambers of dying mass- media outlets and among the halls of academics who made careers spouting such nonsense (again, I know firsthand).

    We have nothing of value left. Ponzi schemes and bogus investments have replaced careers and futures. Cheap apartment buildings and discount stores full of Chinese made crap, have replaced open lands.
    Think your kids will have a better life than you?
    The one hope the West has, is to STOP all immigration now, and to assimilate the assimilable, repatriate the rest, and slowly heal the wounds of massive, incompatible overpopulation and cultural destruction. It will take decades to centuries.
    Or we could just wait until tribal conflicts so alive today , break out into full-on race wars. As soon as real shortages hit, you can bet that 50 or 60- or 100 million foreigners are not going to hold hands. If Tutsi and Hutu massacre eachother, how will Bantu and Anglo-Saxon get along? Don’t kid yourself. America was indeed exceptional, but that silly mythos about absorbing everyone into a happy family? That’s pure bunk, the type served up by politicians groveling for votes at the National Council of LA RAZA (THE RACE) Dinners. America has no magic to make “diverse” peoples get along. No one is that exceptional. If anyone believes in that stuff, they are on a huge ego trip.
    (If it isn’t OK to destroy a culture of tribal natives living on a far- flung island, how is it OK to destroy your own culture, at the expense of hundreds of millions of people who want to keep it alive?)

  • John Williams

    occam’s student: I think your razor is a little dull. An increasing population is a necessity in order to keep the economy growing, a steady state population attempting to support the baby boomers retirement would be disasterous. Do you not find it odd that productivity per employed person continually goes up year after year after year but middle class wages have stagnated for 30 years? How is that not a major red flag to everyone that there is something seriously wrong with the economic system? And I do not mean the idea of capitalism, which is fine, but the way the system has been set up. The unimaginable waste of resources there is today is just an effect of this system, it is not the cause, and if it is not fixed then the U.S. will soon be funding China’s army, in essence, and a massive depression or total collapse of the economic system is inevitable. Will it be in 10, 20 or 40 years, I do not know, but that it will happen, if a massive course correction does not occur, is inescapable.

    • occam’s student

      I just chose the handle because i need to use something…
      But, seriously, there is no chance of a perpetually expanding ANYTHING.
      The wish, the fantasy that we can continually grow our economy is the most fallacious sort of thinking I can imagine.
      Resources are finite. Land is finite. So is water, air, food.
      Debating the opposite position is not only silly, it is nearly psychotic.

      Blowing up the population of this, or any country is madness.
      If you want to feel better, you can shoot heroin. But you will need more and more and more, then you’re dead. If we have a faulty model built on this absurd idea that we’re all going to keep chewing through resources, I guess we can play that game until the whole thing collapses.
      So in 1965 the Hart- Celar act changed US immigration policies to bring in a predominantly third world population. Business and the society-killers brought in more and more cheap, skill-less , uneducable labor, and more dysfunction (why is Mexico so dysfunctional? Can anyone explain it without falling back on the mantra of “Well, the vestiges of Colonialism and racism…”) Mexico is a mess because of Mexicans. China is China because of Chinese, Finland is Finland because of Finns. If you could take the entire population of Mestizos from Latin America, and move them to the USA, you would not lift them up, so much as destroy the land Anglo Saxons built.

      If both populations switched places instantly, and both were bequeathed the infrastructure of the former builders in each of their new homes, economic and all, in a few short years, North America would look just like South America, and vice-versa.
      You can’t keep pumping people, especially peasantry, into the USA, and expect a good outcome. Should we live to a ripe old age, you will recall your folly of :needing to grow the economy”, while you have no room, scant resources, and even less freedom.
      Where in the real world are space, food, air, water, opportunities and freedom going to spring forth magically from? Can 100 people in a 2,000 square foot room possibly have the same room to roam, the same clean, un-stinky air, as ten people? No. It gets crowded, smelly, uncomfortable, tense, etc. Of course 100 Japanese or Norwegians, or Anglo Americans would make a far different atmosphere, then , say, 100 Somalians or 100 Haitians or 100 Guatemalans. But everybody knows that, even if they are loathe to admit it. In fact, were it not so, Guatemalans would not come to the USA. It’s self- evident.
      Can ten people make a meal out of one chicken? No. More like three or four, that’s it.
      What can you possibly be thinking?


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