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10 Signs That America Is Decomposing Right In Front Of Our Eyes

The decay of society is so much harder to quantify than economic decline is. The government keeps lots of statistics on things like unemployment and inflation, but it really does not keep track of how sick and twisted people are becoming. America is decomposing right in front of our eyes, and it is time that we all admitted it. Here are 10 facts that prove it…

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The decay of society is so much harder to quantify than economic decline is.  The government keeps lots of statistics on things like unemployment and inflation, but it really does not keep track of how sick and twisted people are becoming.  Most of us recognize that the character of the American people has changed dramatically over the decades, but unlike the national debt, you can’t easily point to a chart or a graph to show exactly how bad things are getting.  In this article, my approach will be to point you to various “signs” of social decay.  Signs tell us where we are at now and where we are headed.  Some of the signs that I will use will be statistics while others will simply consist of anecdotal evidence.  Yes, anecdotal evidence is not perfect, but when you put enough of it together it starts to paint a pretty clear picture of what is going on out there.  America is becoming a truly frightening place.  Our cities our decaying, thieves are becoming bolder, you never know who you can trust and everyone seems depressed.  America is decomposing right in front of our eyes, and it is time that we all admitted it.

In the old days, if you met a stranger out on the streets you knew that you could almost certainly trust that person.  But these days if you let your child wander one aisle over while you are shopping at Wal-Mart there is a chance that someone will try to abduct her.

Something has changed.

In our major cities, if you walk up to someone at random there is a decent chance that person will be a pervert or a sicko, and most Americans know that this is true at a gut level.  Almost everyone is very leery of “strangers” these days.  It has gotten to the point where we are all afraid of one another.

Just try this some time….

In a major U.S. city, walk right up to people on the street, look them in the eyes and try to introduce yourself.

What will happen when you do that?

In many instances, people will literally run away from you.

We are scared to death to interact with people that we do not know, and the reality is that those fears are way too often justified.

The character of the American people is decaying at a rapid pace, and the evidence of this is all around us.

The following are 10 signs that America is decomposing right in front of our eyes….

#1 As the economy crumbles, in many U.S. cities desperate people are increasingly resorting to violent acts in an attempt to survive.  So far this year, violent crime in Washington D.C. has risen by 40 percent.  Robberies at gunpoint have more than doubled compared to the same time period last year.

And as I wrote about recently, justifiable homicide in Detroit rose by a staggering 79 percent during 2011, and the rate of self-defense killings in Detroit is now 2200% above the national average.

#2 But it is not just in the cities where you will find crazies.  A recent Daily Mail article described a very disturbing incident which took place recently in North Dakota.  Two crack-fueled perverts abducted and murdered a 43-year-old math teacher named Sherry Arnold….

Spell and Waters had left Colorado days before the crime claiming they wanted work in eastern Montana and western North Dakota’s oil fields.

After smoking crack cocaine over the entire trip, Waters allegedly told Spell the drug ‘brought the devil out in him’ and began talking about kidnapping and killing a female, AP reports.

After they spotted Arnold, Spell claims that Waters told him to ‘grab the lady’ and pull her into their Ford Explorer as she jogged by.

After they got Arnold into the car, they choked her to death and then buried her body in a shallow grave in North Dakota.

Why would anyone do something like that?

#3 Unfortunately, sickos will even be found working for the government.  Just as so many of us feared, TSA workers are actually purposely selecting attractive women to go through the body scanners so that they can admire their naked bodies.  The following are actual quotations from official TSA complaints….

-“I feel I was targeted by the TSA employee to go through the see-you-naked machine because I am a semi-attractive female.”

-“The screener appeared to enjoy the process of picking someone rather than doing true random screening. I felt this was inappropriate. A woman behind me was also “randomly selected.”

-“TSA staff ‘trolling’ the lines looking for people to pull out was unprofessional.”

-“I know he went to that room to see my naked body through the machine with the other guy.”

-“When I looked around, I saw that there were only women that were “told” to go through this machine. There were no men.”

One woman was recently forced to go through the body scanner three times because the TSA workers wanted to get a really good look at her “cute figure“.

Isn’t about time that we admitted that the TSA is a massive failure?

#4 The American people seem more depressed than ever.  So are we the most depressed nation in the entire world?  The U.S. has the highest percentage of women taking antidepressants of any country in the world, and kids in the U.S. are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants than kids in Europe are.

#5 The gang problem in the United States has never been worse.  According to the FBI, the number of gang members in the United States has risen by 40 percent since 2009 and there are now a total of 1.4 million gang members living inside this country.

#6 Millions of other young people are not able to find jobs once they finish school and end up financially dependent on their parents.  Today, record numbers of young adults are living at home.  Many of these young people end up very disillusioned and very frustrated.  Right now, more than 30 percent of all Americans in the 18 to 34 age bracket are currently living at home with their parents.  That is not good news for the future of this country.

#7 All over America, criminals are becoming bolder and more desperate.  The following is a report about one serial home invader from the Washington Post….

A housekeeper was tied up and sexually assaulted and a mother and teenage son were tied up during a home invasion in Bethesda early Wednesday morning that Montgomery County police say involves the same suspect as in a home invasion Tuesday in Wheaton.

As the economy gets even worse, home invasions will become even more common.  You might want to learn how to defend yourself.

#8 These days thieves will steal literally anything.  Each night in cities all over the nation more street lights are going out as thieves strip the copper wiring right out of them. In the San Francisco area, one very ambitious group of thieves actually swiped a copper bell that weighs 2.7 tons.

#9 One of the clearest signs that America is decomposing is the stunning decline of major cities such as Detroit.  In response to my recent article about the death of Detroit, a reader identified as Bill posted the following….

Seeing what is happening to Detroit makes me want to cry AND scream.

I’m a native Detroiter myself – born in Harper Hospital on the east side & was one of those 2 million plus counted in the 1950 Census. I left Detroit in the early 70s for work reasons and had not gone back there since 1984.

When I drove through there on my way to Port Huron last September I “made a lap” around the city – got off I-75 downtown, made a loop around the downtown area (the 2 new stadiums look nice as does the RenCen) then went out Michigan Avenue to 12th and up through the 1967 Riot area to Grand River and out to the northwestern part of town where I grew up and went to school.

What a depressing trip. All my old haunts are gone, boarded up or burnt to the ground. The car dealer where I bought my first car (the old “Redford Rambler” on Grand River just west of Evergreen) is nothing but a slab. All the car dealers along the Grand River strip from Evergreen to McNicoles (6 Mile Rd.) are gone, the 16th Precinct Police Station at GR & Mc Nicholes is abandoned and the high school where my cousin graduated is all boarded up (Redford High School, across Grand River from the old police station). My old house on Lasher just north of Grand River is there but the stores in the area are all gone. One would think space aliens had come and taken all the life out of the area.

On that same article, another reader identified as “Disappointed” shared his thoughts on the decline of that once great city….

I worked in Detroit for a few years a while back. I was fascinated by the crumbling ruins, drove around to see a lot of them after work (a couple of times I drove through neighborhoods that I can tell you now I would not go near, even in the daytime). It was sad and fascinating at the same time. I would not even THINK of doing that now, it would be highly dangerous. I would not even work in Detroit now.

#10 But it isn’t just Detroit that is falling apart.  This kind of thing is happening all over the country.  A reader identified as Golden Child recently left the following comment on my website….

Much of America is like Detroit. America is rotting from California to West Virginia to Baltimore. It’s the same song across the United States. High unemployment, falling rent and or house prices, massive police lay-offs, giant spikes in crime accompanied by a rising cost of living and fewer job opportunities. Vallejo and Oakland, California are very much like Detroit. Vallejo ranked as the ninth most miserable city in America according to Forbes. Oakland and Vallejo have laid off nearly half of their police forces. You can get an apartment in Vallejo or Oakland for $200-600 a month although the median monthly rent in California is well over a thousand dollars with Bay Area rent being generally higher. There is a reason why rent is so comparably dirt cheap in those cities. San Francisco-Oakland-Vallejo collectively make up the car-theft capital of the United States. Northern CA cities like Oakland, Richmond and Stockton are regulars on the top ten most dangerous cities in America list. Baltimore, MD is also very much like Detroit with its thousands of abandoned rowhomes, high concentration of Black poverty, drugs and violence. Camden, NJ, East St. Louis, Gary Indiana are all no different from the D. Even large sections of wealthy world class cities like DC, NYC and San Francisco are impoverished quasi-third world hellholes. Southeast DC has the highest unemployment rate of anywhere in America despite the fact that DC is the richest city and metro in America. NYC has the widest income inequality gap of any metro area. Massive swaths of NYC are dangerous towering project buildings packed with working poor minorities. SF is home to some of the most sub-standard public housing in America in neighborhoods like Hunter’s Point, Sunnydale and Potrero Hill. America has been rotting from the core since at least the 70′s.

Sadly, this is just the beginning.

As the economic decline of this nation accelerates, people are going to become much more desperate.

And desperate people do desperate things.

So where do all of you think America is headed?  Please feel free to post a comment with your opinion below….

— The Economic Collapse Blog

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6 Things That Can Make or Break The Stock Market In 2018

Credit Suisse is out early with its forecasts for US stocks and the economy next year, and they are bullish. 

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Credit Suisse is out early with its forecasts for US stocks and the economy next year, and they are bullish.

The firm’s equity strategists see the S&P 500 rising to 2,987 by year-end, implying an annualized gain of about 11%. They forecast earnings-per-share growth of 6% to 7% over the next two years, from $130 this year to $147 in 2019.

“Our market views are predicated on a supportive economic backdrop, with benign recessionary risks and a pickup in near-term indicators,” said the US equity strategists led by Jonathan Golub, in a note on Tuesday. “While we expect more muted longer-term growth, this has focused corporations on cost containment and the return of capital to shareholders, extended the business cycle and lowered discount rates.”

Credit Suisse is also betting on the continued outperformance of favored sectors in 2017. The tech sector remains the team’s favorite even though it’s expensive relative to earnings. And, they expect financials to outperform due to deregulation.

“Our forecasts are built upon the most historically important drivers of corporate profits and stock prices,” Golub wrote. “That said, many things can alter the market’s path over the near term.”

Trump policy

Trump policy

Andy Kiersz/Business Insider

The group of stocks that would benefit the most from a corporate-tax cut surged after the election but slid only until recently. This suggests investors were doubtful about President Donald Trump’s plan.

“We expect that the proposed tax plan will be difficult to pass, or will have less of an impact than hoped for,” Golub said.

“While we believe that the market would initially applaud such actions, we anticipate that the investment conversation would quickly shift toward higher potential deficits and wage inflation, both negatives for stocks.”

New Fed leadership

Trump said two weeks ago Friday that he would make an announcement on who will lead the Fed after Chair Janet Yellen’s term ends in February. He is reportedly considering policy hawks including Kevin Warsh and John Taylor.

“We believe that there are two key issues surrounding Yellen’s replacement that could unsettle the market: (1) a change in the perceived independence of the Fed, and (2) an end to the period of uber-dovish policy.”

Volatility

Stocks have historically rallied when the CBOE Volatility Index is very low.

“Market volatility has been extremely low throughout the recovery, with the VIX currently reading 9.7,” Golub said. “This has led many pundits to characterize investors as complacent and the market vulnerable to a pullback. We disagree with these assertions.”

Currency

Currency

Credit Suisse

The trade-weighted dollar has slumped 9% this year.

“Our work indicates a 10:1 ratio between currency moves and corporate profits (in the opposite direction). Unfortunately, the dollar’s move is much more muted when measured on a year-over-year basis [-3.3%], and is therefore a much smaller consideration in our forecasts.”

North Korea

North Korea

Credit Suisse

The concern is not a North Korean attack — which investors aren’t expecting — but what happens if the US government punishes one of its major trading partners: China.

“While such actions would likely be targeted, with little economic impact, they have the potential to escalate, disrupting global growth.”

The chart shows that the recent improvement in China’s economy has benefitted US companies.

Hurricanes

The impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, and the recovery efforts, will skew many economic indicators over the next few months.

“Separately, we would not be surprised to see some companies using these natural disasters as an opportunity to conveniently take write-downs,” Golub said.

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Is White-Collar Crime a Threat to Wall Street?

The stock market has had nightmares in the past and we cannot rule that out from happening again in the future, not even with the introduction of new financial regulation policies designed to prevent a financial crisis like the one witnessed in 2008-09.

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The stock market has had nightmares in the past and we cannot rule that out from happening again in the future, not even with the introduction of new financial regulation policies designed to prevent a financial crisis like the one witnessed in 2008-09.

While only one person, Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) executive Kareem Serageldin, was convicted in relation to the global financial crisis of 2008, investigations over the years have revealed  there probably should have been more. According to findings, the financial crisis of 2008 had more to do with white-collar crime than a natural market meltdown.

The biggest issue when it comes to white-collar crime however, especially in securities fraud, is there are a lot of gray areas. Since markets are unpredictable, it has often proven difficult to pin these malpractices on individuals.

In most cases, the company, its shareholders and even employees are the ones who suffer the consequences.

For instance, in a Financial Times feature on Eric Ben-Artzi, the Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) whistleblower who exposed the bank’s improper accounting practices, the bank’s former risk management officer accused the SEC of performing a disappointing investigation. Ben-Artzi actually turned down the $8.25 million offered to him by the SEC for his role in exposing the company.

In the article, Ben-Artzi argues that by forcing the bank to pay $55 million rather than prosecuting the individuals involved in the crime, the SEC had allowed top executives at the bank to retire with “multimillion-dollar bonuses based on the misrepresentation of the bank’s balance sheet.” On the flipside, the bank’s shareholders and general employees ended up suffering the consequences as they were forced to bear the burden of their managers’ accounting treachery.

This is a clear example of what happens when things go wrong in these so-called “too big to fail” companies. Top executives who are often at fault for planning and executing such malpractices are also deemed “too big to jail,” thereby transferring the burden to the company, the shareholders and rank-and-file employees. This happens on Wall Street, in multinational institutions and even within the confines of government parastatals.

According to Vikas Bajaj, a criminal defense attorney who regularly defends people accused of white-collar crimes, corporate fraud is often pinned on the wrong victims and at times can “devastate personal and professional life for a very long time, making it difficult to secure employment, rent a home, secure a government student loan or obtain a professional license.” However, gathering the right evidence and speaking to the right people can help to strengthen the defense, while getting a white-collar crime defense attorney can ensure the true story emerges, thereby protecting the rights and the future of the accused, notes Bajaj.

But as we have seen, investigators do tend to go for the least protected individuals when it comes to white-collar crime. This does not rectify the long-term impact on the company in question and we have witnessed many companies go down the drain due to major financial malpractices.

While most people view corporate fraud as any practice that wrongly represents the financial position of a company or anything that results in money being lost without a trace, sometimes ignorance and negligence can amount to white-collar crime. For instance, banks are mandated to perform thorough credit checks before issuing loans to individuals and businesses. Yet, defaults from loans and mortgages are what fueled the magnitude of the 2008 global financial crisis.

In short, lenders did not do their homework before issuing loans. It was high-risk lending fueled by the then-booming housing market, which was shortly followed by several credit defaults and then the global financial crisis. While various financial regulations like the Dodd-Frank Act and Basel III Rules have since been introduced to avert the possibility of another financial crisis triggered by the banking sector, accounting misrepresentation like in the case of Deutsche Bank could end up taking the market back to those dark times.

Had it not for Ben-Artzi, who knows whether the malpractice at Deutsche Bank would ever have been uncovered? Who knows how many more companies are doing the same thing on Wall Street? According to World Finance‘s Emily Cashen, “the same reckless behavior behind the 2008 global crash continues to run rampant on Wall Street and unless this vicious cycle can somehow be broken, the global banking system may spiral into fresh disaster.”

Conclusion

White-collar crime on Wall Street is real and could be one of the biggest undetected threats the financial markets could be facing. The various regulatory bodies tasked with the responsibility of investigating and prosecuting the individuals responsible seem to be reluctant to do so on the belief of some being “too big to jail.” Often, the innocent and defenseless end up bearing the burden of their managers’ crimes, losing their jobs and even being put behind bars.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned in this article.

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Is It Wrong To Question The Official Story When Tragedy Strikes?

Of course, when there is news, it should be reported. Today it is reported sensationally, as entertainment. Is it meant to inform, or induce?

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via The Daily Bell

The media says, “Jump.” And the public responds in unison, “How high?”

“As high as you ever have jumped before, except maybe after 9/11, or the Kennedy assassination.”

Of course, when there is news, it should be reported. Today it is reported sensationally, as entertainment. Is it meant to inform, or induce?

Which came first, the media’s obsession with violence, or the public demand for violence? In the 1990’s as violent crime in America dropped, the media filled more and more time slots with stories about violence.

By the end of the 90’s the public was clamoring for the government to do somethingabout what they assumed was a rising trend in violent crime.

Was that orchestrated? The government certainly benefits from a hysterical public begging them to help. It certainly gives the government an important role in the daily life of an average citizen. But this alone doesn’t mean that it was a conspiracy. Acknowledging that the government benefitted from the media’s overreporting of crime is not the same as suggesting the government actively pushed the media to do so.

But why not wonder? Exercise those thought processes.

It is a known fact that thousands of journalists were at one time on the payroll of the CIA. It was called Operation Mockingbird, and agents would place false stories in publications like the New York Times, and Time.

So when it comes to the case of the fake 90’s crime wave, it makes sense to wonder if a similar program still exists. The courts have ruled that FBI agents can legally impersonate journalists in the course of an investigation.

Do we need to discover the actual program in order to speculate? Well, I certainly wouldn’t say that it is happening without knowing for sure. But we can acknowledge a historical fact and draw a parallel between that and a similar contemporary trend. In such circumstances, it makes sense to be skeptical.

Either way, we shouldn’t fall prey to the media’s manipulations about such things, regardless of the catalyst. So why not remind people that in the past, lies from the government shaped public opinion?

But there are some cases when questioning, wondering, and speculating is considered downright wrong.

When it is most important to speak freely, you can’t.

How do I walk the line between my inherent mistrust of the government media complex and sincere compassion and empathy for victims of tragedy?

Is it wrong to question official narratives after a tragic event? Is it disrespectful to wonder if there isn’t more to the story? Should I censor myself to avoid appearing insensitive, when I want to talk about inconsistencies in the media tale, or the motives that various groups could have to lie about such events?

I think it is especially important to be able to talk freely when it comes to tragedy. The more potential an event has for exploitation, the more possibilities should be explored.

If we are conditioned to hold our tongues, to suppress our curiosity and skepticism when it comes to tragedy, then the worst actors in any given situation win. Those in power need only create a tragedy, and it becomes impossible to question the official narrative. Otherwise, you are disrespectful and uncaring.

When someone is gravely wounded, you don’t slap a band-aid over it. You’ve got to clean out the wound. And that hurts in the moment. But in the long run, it is necessary to prevent infection.

We should wonder if 9/11 was a false flag attack. I don’t think it is disrespectful to the victims to do so. I think it would be more disrespectful to unquestioningly believe the official story. The official story comes from the people who have the most to gain.

Did the terrorists who carried out the attack on the twin towers have anything to gain? Well maybe if they believed the whole 72 virgins thing. But in real life, they died. Suiciding bombing is a thing that people do, however, so it certainly can’t be ruled out.

Did Osama Bin Laden have a lot to gain? Well again, it is tough to understand the motivation of terrorists. Apparently, they think killing innocent people accomplishes something. But now he is dead.

And what about the official storytellers, the ones who investigated, and revealed the true culprits behind 9/11?

Their gains remain. They gained the power to easily declare wars and conduct military operations. Money was poured into the defense budget. Agencies like Homeland Security and the TSA sprang into existence.

Attention was diverted from missing money at the Pentagon. The PATRIOT Act was passed. Due process was no longer a concern.

“Mission Accomplished” in Iraq; the glory of killing Bin Laden. The public became desensitized to war. America helped toppled regimes in Libya and Egypt, and support a civil war in Syria.

These things alone don’t prove anything. But it looks awfully suspicious. The ones who we rely on for information about what happened had the most to gain from the attack. They are the ones who will “solve” the problems.

It is a conflict of interest even if the official story is true. It just so happens that their recommendations on the best course of action were the very things that would grow their power, expand their budget, and swell their ranks.

Again we have a historical fact to turn to for comparison. The Joint Chiefs of Staff under Kennedy floated the idea of carrying out a false flag against American citizens to get them involved in a war with Cuba. It was called Operation Northwoods. Kennedy told them if they ever mentioned the idea of murdering innocent Americans again, he would have them tried for treason.

Well, we all know what happened to Kennedy, but that is a whole rabbit hole of its own. What we know for sure, is that as early as the 1960’s people in the U.S. government wanted to commit false flag attacks against Americans to provoke war. And the leader most vehemently opposed was assassinated.

Incidentally, the Kennedy Administration approved of Operation Mockingbird.

May I Speak Freely?

I want to wonder, and I want to speculate. I get as angry and sad as anyone else with a properly developed conscience when horrible things happen. I want those responsible held accountable. And it is against my skeptical nature to accept an official story without digging for more evidence. Horror does not paralyze my desire to question the official narrative and wonder about inconsistencies.

One thing that strikes me about all of the mass shootings of the past few years, is the great diversity in location and venue.

A college in Virginia. An elementary school in Connecticut. A mall in Washington. A nightclub in Florida. A church in North Carolina. A movie theater in Colorado. A political meet and greet in Arizona. The streets of California. A concert on the Vegas strip.

If someone wanted to strike fear into the hearts of Americans, they could not have chosen a better range of targets. The message would be whatever place you live, wherever you go in public, whatever your age, job, or social status, you are not safe.

Maybe that is the truth. And maybe it is random.

We are told these were all carried out by lone a lone gunman–or a married couple in one case.

But why are there so often witness reports of a second gunman? Could it be chalked up to confusion?

The victims tragically lost their lives. Their families lost loved ones, which will impact them for the rest of their lives. The American people lose their sense of security and their rights. Relationships deteriorate as bitter disagreements turn personal, blame abounds, fingers point, defenses go up.

And after so many tragedies, the culprit is left dead. Is that justice?

Who benefits? The dead guy on the 32nd floor?

The Democrats who want gun control? The Republicans who want militarized police? The media who get a bump in ratings? The Generals who want war? A government that “never let(s) a good crisis go to waste”?

I want this madness to stop. We know how the media wants it to play out. They will get their ratings with division and bitter disagreement. The government always gets more power, more relevance, more opportunity to insert itself into the everyday lives of Americans.

That is why it is so necessary to look deeper, to ask those tough questions that we don’t even want to consider as a possibility. We can’t sit by silently wondering if we are being told the truth or fed lies. It is not disrespectful to question the official story. It would be a miscarriage of justice to accept it without protest, as we are told is what should be done in times of crisis.

The only other option is to play into the hands of the media and government, whether they be orchestrators or opportunists. When we replay the same old arguments and put forth the same stale solutions, when we look to them for information and solutions, they win.

Question everything. Clean out the wounds. It may hurt to get in there deep. But if we don’t, the infection will grow and fester, as it always has before.

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