Number of Marijuana Users Grows in the United States

October 4, 2016 by  
Filed under 420 news, General News

Evelyn Robinson /Against the Wall 60567160824797010213532

As of June, 2016, some 25 states and Washington D.C. have officially legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes, with a further three states awaiting the results of ballot measures or pending law changes. Although medical marijuana laws are now the norm, their nature varies greatly from state to state, which has important implications as far as the health and welfare of citizens are concerned – especially those battling illnesses whose symptoms are eased by marijuana, including epilepsy and illness producing chronic pain. In some states, people are allowed to cultivate marijuana for medical use (limits on the number of permitted plants vary from state to state); among these states, some only permit people to grow marijuana if they do not have a state dispensary or for financial reasons. In other states, the term ‘medical marijuana’ simply refers to marijuana extract (not the plant or leaves).
Amidst these subtle differences with big implications, meanwhile, the use of marijuana for recreational in the United States has steadily increased over the past few years, owing in no small part to the decreased perception of the drug being harmful. A large-scale survey of over half a million adults, undertaken between 2002 and 2014 and published last month in The Lancet, has found that marijuana use continues to increase and that the drug has become increasingly more potent in the last decade. The authors of the study note that these new developments mean that improved education and prevention messages regarding the nature of and risk factors involved in using marijuana, must be aimed for.
The authors also noted that increased use of marijuana did not lead to greater abuse or dependence among adults in America. Thus far, the impact of state law changes need to be assessed, and continued monitoring of use and possible disorders, would be required.
The study showed that from 2002 to 2014, marijuana use increased from 10.4 per cent to 13.3 per cent; so, too, did the percentage of adults who first began using marijuana in the previous year, rise significantly (from 0.7 per cent to 1.1 per cent within the same time frame). More people are also using the drug on a daily basis – the percentage of those who take marijuana five days a week on average has risen from 1.9 per cent to 3.5 per cent. People also do not perceive that smoking marijuana is risky (33.3 per cent deemed the practice potentially harmful in 2014, compared to 50.4 per cent in 2002). The authors claim that changes in the perception of marijuana’s safety, began to change in 2007. The paradigm shift can partly be attributed to the legalization of medical marijuana in many states, and to its legalization for non-medical purposes, in several jurisdictions.
The fact that increased use has not led to greater abuse/addiction, reflects that possibility that those who have started using marijuana, or doing so less frequently. Those who have been found to be at a greater risk for addiction include males, the youth, those with lower levels of education, those who do not work full-time, persons with depression and those who consume tobacco or other substances.  Among adolescents, risk factors for the consumption of drugs include having a low grade point average, early alcohol used, low self-confidence, psychopathology, and having a poor relationship with their parents. Those whose personality tended to be sensation seeking, also had a higher likelihood of dabbling in marijuana and other drugs.
The authors stated, however, that the full effects of legalization needed to be studied over time, via large-scale surveys such as the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, and Monitoring the Future (which focuses on drug use among the youth). Comparisons should be made between sample populations in states that have legalized marijuana for both recreation and medical use, and those which have not.
The authors also noted that their survey, although large and extended in time, did not take into account specific members of the population (including the homeless, those who had been imprisoned, and those living in shelters). Therefore, the actual rate of those who use and abuse the drug, could actually be much higher. The study also failed to look into the link between serious psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, and the likelihood of marijuana use.
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With US Warships En Route To Islands, China Asks: “What On Earth Makes Them Think We Will Tolerate This?”

October 18, 2015 by  
Filed under General News

zerohedge:

The US is in a tough spot militarily.

In Syria, Russia and Iran have taken advantage of the fact that the plan hatched by the West and its regional allies to destabilize the Assad regime took far too long to develop. The idea was to foment discord and provide covert support for the various armed militias fighting to overthrow the government. But the effort is entering its fifth year and Assad is still there. Not only that, there have been a series of unintended (well, at least we hope they’re unintended) consequences. First, one of the rebel groups the West and its allies supported morphed into an insane band of white basketball shoe-wearing, black flag-waving, sword-wielding desert bandits. Second, the fighting created a horrific refugee crisis that now threatens to destabilize the whole of Europe. Sensing a historic geopolitical opportunity, Moscow and Tehran simply stepped in and outmaneuvered Washington. Now, the US basically has to decide whether it wants to go to war with Russia, because paradropping ammo into the middle of the desert isn’t going to be a viable strategy.

Meanwhile, the US faces another superpower confrontation in the South China Sea.

When Beijing began its land reclamation efforts in the Spratlys, we’re reasonably sure the Pentagon didn’t anticipate the extent to which the effort would quickly become a giant headache for Washington.

As a reminder, it’s not so much the dredging that has Washington’s regional allies in the South Pacific upset. Island building has been done before in the area. Rather, it’s the scope of the project that has everyone unnerved as Beijing has so far constructed over 3,000 acres of new sovereign territory atop which China has built everything from cement factories, to greenhouses, to runways. 

Whether or not the US really cares about this is debatable although these shipping lanes are indeed critical for world trade. But with The Philippines and others crying foul, Washington is left with little choice but to put on a brave face lest the world should get the idea that China can just redraw maritime boundaries at will and establish a Sino-Monroe Doctrine in the process. 

So finally, the US decided that it would sail some warships by the islands just to see if it can do so without getting shot at.

No, really. That’s the whole plan. “Let’s see how far we can push them.”

This is of course orchestrated under the guise of a freedom of navigation operation which, in a way, makes little sense because China has never threatened global trade. Then again, it’s fairly obvious that Beijing has some military role for the new islands in mind.

In any event, China hit back on Thursday, saying the PLA would “stand up and use force” if necessary should the US make a “mistake” with the whole warship plan.

So in short, Washington is now in a staring contest with both Moscow and Beijing and both Russia and China seem to have gotten the idea that the US has lost its resolve lately and will probably blink first in both standoffs.

It’s with all of that in mind that we bring you the following rather amusing op-ed from Beijing out Saturday on Xinhua, presented below with no further comment:

*  *  *

Via Xinhua

The United States’ provocative attempts to infringe on China’s South China Sea sovereignty are sabotaging regional peace and stability and militarizing the waters.

 

The U.S. Navy is reportedly preparing to conduct “freedom of navigation” operations, sending warships within 12 nautical miles of Chinese islands in the South China Sea. The U.S. operations may take place within days, according to reports.

 

Last month, in his response to China’s claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said the United States “will fly, sail and operate wherever the international law allows, as we do around the world.”

 

White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said on Oct. 8 that U.S. warships patrolling close to artificial islands built by China in the South China Sea “should not provoke significant reaction from the Chinese.”

 

Let us not forget that in October 1962, when the Soviet Union was building missile sites in Cuba — not even on U.S. soil — U.S. President Kennedy made it clear in a televised speech that the United States would not “tolerate the existence of the missile sites currently in place.”

 

What on earth makes the United States think China should and will tolerate it when U.S. surface ships trespass on Chinese territory in the South China Sea?

 

China will never tolerate any military provocation or infringement on sovereignty from the United States or any other country, just as the United States refused to 53 years ago.

 

China’s stand on the South China Sea disputes is firm and clear. China’s sovereignty and claims of rights over Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters in the South China Sea have been formed over the long course of history and upheld by successive Chinese governments, and have adequate and solid historical and legal basis.

 

Just as Article 15 of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea stipulates, delimiting the territorial seas of China and other countries in the South China Sea shall be in accordance with China’s “historic title” to the region.

 

China has always been, in a constructive and effective manner, a firm upholder of the freedom of navigation as well as peace and stability in the South China Sea. And China has vowed to continue to do so in the future.

 

China’s construction of civilian and public facilities on the Nansha Islands and reefs, which fall within the scope of China’s sovereignty, serves not only China but also coastal nations in the South China Sea.

 

For instance, two lighthouses recently built on reefs in the region have helped guide passing vessels from around the world and significantly improved navigation safety.

 

Contrary to U.S. claims, it will be the United States, as an outsider, that further provokes tensions in the South China Sea by sending soldiers and warships to Chinese territory in the name of “freedom of navigation.”

 

This is not the first move by the United States to undermine the regional peace and stability that China has worked so hard for.

 

Over the past several years, the United States has held frequent large-scale drills with its allies in the South China Sea, flexing their military muscles.

 

According to the website of the U.S. Department of Defense, the country has deployed thousands of civilian and military officials, as well as a huge number of weapons, to the Pacific region.

 

To destabilize the region and contain China, the United States has deliberately involved non-party nations, such as Japan, in the South China Sea issue and stirred disputes between China and other parties, including the Philippines.

 

By no means will China let the provocateurs make waves in waters that should be characterized by peace, friendship and cooperation.

 

Last year, the bilateral trade volume between China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) exceeded 480 billion U.S. dollars.

 

Concerned nations have no alternative but to jointly deal with disputes in the South China Sea that pose a threat to the development and prosperity of parties in the region.

 

On Sept. 18, in response to remarks made by the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific on patrolling the South China Sea, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said China, like the United States, upholds freedom of navigation in the waters.

 

However, the spokesman stressed, China opposes any country’s challenge, in the name of freedom of navigation, to China’s sovereignty and security in the South China Sea.

 

During a visit to Europe in March 2014, Chinese president Xi Jinping stressed that his country will “never stir up any trouble, but will resolutely safeguard its legitimate rights” when it comes to sovereignty and territorial integrity.

 

Even though enhancing mutual trust and managing disputes through high-level visits and talks still remains the first option for China, the country will, without any doubt, adopt countermeasures against the United States if it doesn’t stop military provocations that infringe upon China.

7 Reasons You’re Not Free To Leave

April 9, 2014 by  
Filed under General News

source:libertsrianmoney
If you’ve talked about the decline in American freedoms with anyone then you’ve probably heard the old phrase: “If you don’t like it you can leave it!”

Now, a response like this really doesn’t deserve any response. It’s a knee jerk reaction with absolutely no connection to the declining freedoms in America. You’re saying that you take issue with the way the country is being run. They might as well be saying too bad. Of course, everyone blind enough to respond this way has their own desires for their country. You’re just not rude enough to give them the same snide remark in return.

But… life can get awfully boring at times. I understand. If you ever get in a debate with one of these men or women, here are 7 reasons you’re not actually free to leave America.

1. You’re Still Extorted If You Leave

A small country in Africa called Eritrea actually taxes it’s citizens for being alive. It has a draconian tax system that requires all citizens pay a 2% tax no matter where they are in the world. That means, if their citizens move out and use absolutely none of the governments services, they’re still required to pay 2% of everything they make. This practice has been attacked by the United Nations for its treatment of human rights. It’s the only country…

Wait… There are two countries in the world that practice citizenship based taxation. The second country, of course, being the United States.

No matter how little you use the services in the United States, you’re required to pay taxes. In fact, even if you’re required to pay taxes in the country you move to (because you use their services,) you still need to pay the US government.

While the world is anxious to harp on one of the smallest nations in the world for a 2 percent tax, virtually no one is allowed to mention the elephant in the room. United States citizens can be required to pay over half of their income while living somewhere completely different. Of course, human rights violations don’t count for America.

2. You’re Forced To Participate To Leave

You’re free to leave America. Well… As long as you’re willing to do exactly what they want you to do. Every border in the United States of America is guarded. If you’re within 100 miles of any border, the government can do virtually whatever it wants to you. Of course, the fact that you happen to walk into that zone consents to your participation.

If, you have the bold idea of using a plane to get out of the country. You’re required to go through poking and prodding of every inch of your body. No, your constitutional rights don’t apply there either. You have to be careful not to carry too much cash with you. And… God forbid… Don’t carry a full size tube of toothpaste!

Free to leave seems to have a very odd definition to some people.

Oh… And let’s not forget the fact that I need to get a passport. That passport costs a little over $100 (Yep… That’s free.) That passport is not even a guarantee of government. They can refuse to give me a passport for absolutely any reason they choose. If I don’t have this permission slip. They won’t let me out anyway. They can even take this passport for whatever reason they choose.

Freedom. As long as they permit it!

3. Trading Slave Masters

Reagan_and_Gorbachev_hold_discussions

To tell an anarchocapitalist or anarchist that they’re free to leave America is like telling them they can pick whichever rapist they choose. It doesn’t matter which country a person chooses to go to. The fundamental problems are still the same. In fact, the concept of country is completely absurd and foreign to the principles.

When a libertarian minded individual talks about the problems with this country, they’re not just whining. They are using one of the only freedoms they have left to try and make a difference to the place they are right now.

There are very few reasons to leave when you’re just going to find more of the same. People everywhere feel the need to control people using violence. People can’t always just walk in the other direction. There is only so much land on this planet. Eventually, someone needs to step up and say, “This is wrong.”

4. You Can Squeeze Through A Needle Too

You’re free to do absolutely anything you want to do. I agree with that statement in some contexts (including leaving the United States.) I am free to flap my arms and fly away! Heck, I could go to the Olympics and win them! Anything is possible. I’m free to do it… Sure… Unfortunately, reality sometimes kicks in the door.

Anyone can expatriate. They only have to do a few different things like: Save the money to travel, ask for a passport, find a location, see if they’re legally allowed there, find out if they can make a new income there, find a new place where they can actually make an income, go to through airport security, get grooming products taken, have to explain the vibration (I won’t tell), check out the new country, find out it’s not quite what they’re looking for, find a new location, go there repeating all the steps, repeating that until the perfect location is found, wait 5 or more years for citizenship qualification (or pay a boatload), ask for your new citizenship, get rejected, try again, get accepted, ask if you can renounce your us citizenship, go the the meeting, prove that you’ve paid all the taxes you’ve owed for the last five years (despite having not been there), finally get rid of the citizenship (if you’re lucky), and of course, abandon your family for the rest of your life.

Yes. You are certainly free to leave.

5. You Have To Pay Whatever They Want

The United States doesn’t just tax its citizens. When you relinquish your US citizenship you may be required to pay an “exit tax.” That exit tax is the equivalent of 30% of your assets. So, if you have a $200,000 home, even if you didn’t just sell it, you’re required to pay the government $60,000.

You don’t only need the amount of money you need to live to leave but you also need whatever pointless fees the government of the United States chooses you have to pay. Nope, not even giving up citizenship is free these days. There is fee after fee you’re required to pay.

6. You Can Still Be Forced To Die In War

Constitution_of_the_United_States,_page_1

It doesn’t matter if you leave and renounce your citizenship. If you’re a man then you can still be drafted to die in any war the United States government pleases within 10 years of expatriation.

So, to clarify this: You have to leave for around 5 years to get a new citizenship (typical but there are other options.) It takes at least 6 months to 1 year to renounce your citizenship. Then, you have to wait another 10 years to not worry about them sending you off to war. Only 16 years away from the sweet taste of freedom. You better hope the US doesn’t get in any big wars anytime soon.

7. You Need To Ask Permission

You’re not free to leave when you’re required to ask permission to leave.

As mentioned before, you can’t leave the United States without a passport. You can’t even give up your citizenship without going to a US consulate and applying for it. (Yes. They can reject your request to renounce your citizenship.)

The next time someone tells you that you’re free to leave do the following: (No, don’t really do the following.)

1. Lock them in your trunk.

2. Give them forms they can fill out to get permission to leave your trunk and tell them they’re free to leave.

3. If they try to escape without permission, lock them back up and don’t let them fill out their escape forms for a while.

4. When they properly fill out their escape forms, make them wait a few months, and then pull them out of the trunk to “free them.”

5. As of that point, throw them in a different trunk and give them some blank forms.

6. Then tell them to be thankful that you protect their freedoms so much better than the US government.

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Ukraine mobilises army as West warns Russia

March 2, 2014 by  
Filed under General News

Ukraine mobilises army as West warns Russia (via AFP)

Ukraine warned Sunday it was on the brink of disaster and called up all military reservists after Russia’s threat to invade its neighbour drew a sharp rebuke from the United States and NATO. The dramatic escalation in what threatens to blow up into…

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US warns of airline shoe-bomb threat

February 20, 2014 by  
Filed under General News

US warns of airline shoe-bomb threat (via AFP)

US security officials warned Wednesday about a potential shoe-bomb threat on international flights to the United States, local media reported. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a warning to airlines based on “very recent intelligence”…

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The Government’s Secret Research into Climate Change as a Security Risk

February 18, 2014 by  
Filed under General News

source : io9

Plenty of people still doubt that climate change is a real thing, or that it was engineered by humans and accelerating. But national security hawks agree with the scientific consensus that climate change is a real and growing problem. And they’ve done tons of research predicting the wars and disasters it could cause.

Image: NASA Goddard Photo and Video/Flickr

It shouldn’t be too surprising that the United States military and intelligence community thinks of climate change as a national security threat. The 2014 Director of National Intelligence’s “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community” global threats included “Natural Resources” – divided up into the subcategories of Food, Water, Energy, Extreme Weather Events, and The Arctic.  2013’s report was even more concerned openly about climate-based threats, using the term “climate change” more often, and giving the topic its own subheading.

One of the earliest available government reports on climate change as a national security threat is a 2003 report by the Pentagon Office of Net Assessments, which looked at an “abrupt climate change scenario.”  This, the Pentagon warned, could “de-stabilize the geo-political environment, leading to skirmishes, battles, and even  war.”

The United States Joint Forces Command, which devoted a section to climate change in its 2007 report on trends and challenges they’d be facing through 2030.  In this report, one concern was that climate change would exacerbate political instability and “foster the conditions for internal conflicts, extremism, and movement toward  increased authoritarianism and radical ideologies.”  Specifically, the report mentioned that climate change was a unique problem:

Unlike most conventional security threats characterized by the  activities of single entities acting in specific ways, climate change has the potential to result in  multiple chronic conditions, occurring globally within the same time frame.

This report built on the 2003’s concern about increased military and humanitarian enagements, adding these threats to national security:

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Constitution FAIL: School Teaching Kids That Cops Can Take Anyone’s Guns at Any Time

September 21, 2013 by  
Filed under General News

source:mrconservative

Our schools are desperate to teach children to hate or misunderstand the Constitution of the United States of America. If you don’t believe it, here is another example with kids being taught that they really don’t have any rights to resist unlawful search and seizure nor do they have inviolable rights to own a gun.

(See also: Pittsburgh School Teaching Kids to Lie?)

As in the *video above, we’ve seen this desire of authorities to make sure kids are taught that there really isn’t any truth to the Constitution, but in this latest case we have a school attempting to make kids believe that the Second Amendment is a meaningless, empty right and that government should have the dictatory power to do what ever it wants, when ever it wants.

Eighth graders at a school in Campobello, S.C. were essentially told that cops can confiscate your legal guns whenever they want and that there is nothing preventing them from doing so.

This all came to light when a parent found that his child’s answers to a quiz were marked wrong when they should have been marked right.

read more:

 

Should We Wait 300 Years for Clean Air in U.S. National Parks?

September 20, 2013 by  
Filed under General News

Should We Wait 300 Years for Clean Air in U.S. National Parks? (via Desmogblog)

If you’ve been planning a visit to Yellowstone National Park, and are hoping for a perfectly clear, crisp day, you’ll have to wait awhile. Like 150 years or so. You see, Yellowstone, like many of the United States’ national parks, suffers from some…

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Iran leader offers to broker Syria talks

September 20, 2013 by  
Filed under General News

Iran leader offers to broker Syria talks (via AFP)

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani offered to broker talks between the Syrian government and the opposition Thursday, as the United States called for a binding UN resolution on the regime’s chemical weapons. A “definitive” UN report has proved that the…

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They Denied That We Were In A Depression In 1933 And They Are Doing It Again In 2013

September 13, 2013 by  
Filed under General News

source:Michael Snyder

The more things change, the more things stay the same.  The Great Depression actually started in 1929, but as you will see below, as late as 1933 the Associated Press was still pumping out lots of news stories with optimistic economic headlines and many Americans still did not believe that we were actually in a depression.  And of course we are experiencing a very similar thing today.  The United States is in the worst financial shape that it has ever been in, our economic infrastructure is being systematically gutted, and poverty is absolutely exploding.  Since the stock market crash of 2008, the Federal Reserve has been wildly printing money and the federal government has been running trillion dollar deficits in a desperate attempt to stabilize things, but in the process they have made our long-term economic problems far worse.  It would be hard to overstate how dire our situation is, and yet the mainstream media continues to assure us that everything is just fine and that happy days are here again.

As I have already noted, the mainstream media was doing the exact same thing back during the days of the Great Depression.  The following are actual Associated Press headlines from 1933…

Decisive Break from Panic Shown in Business Figures

Markets Spurt To New Highs

New Farm Bill to End Depression

And the following is a headline discovery from 1933 that was made by Linda Goin

I was browsing through old newspapers the other day and discovered a page filled with news about the stock market and banks in the Daily Capital News from Jefferson City, Missouri. The date was March 15, 1933, well into the Great Depression, and the news was cautiously celebratory as a headline read, “Era of Fear is Declared at End Now.

The Depression-era classic song entitled “Happy Days Are Here Again” was played at the Democratic National Convention in 1932 and it went on to be featured by the Democrats for many years after that.  The following is an excerpt from a Wikipedia article about that song…

Today, the song is probably best remembered as the campaign song for Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s successful 1932 presidential campaign. According to TIME magazine, it gained prominence after a spontaneous decision by Roosevelt’s advisers to play it at the 1932 Democratic National Convention, and went on to become the Democratic Party‘s “unofficial theme song for years to come”.

There is only one huge problem.

The election of Roosevelt didn’t end the depression.  Years of bitter economic suffering and dust bowl conditions were still ahead.  The Great Depression continued all the way up to the start of World War II, and the war years were certainly no picnic for average folks either.

But at least cheery headlines can make people feel better, right?

That is what some believe.

Others believe that giving people false hope is very cruel and that it sets up people for failure.

The following are some actual headlines that were found on mainstream news sites today…

CNBC: “Recession risk gone in all US states but 1: Moody’s Analytics

CNN: “Foreclosure crisis is drawing to a close

NBC News: “Stocks close near highs; S&P logs 7-day rally

Wow, those headlines sound great!

So are happy days here again?

Not quite.

In fact, things continue to get even worse in a whole host of ways.  Just consider the following statistics…

-According to a brand new Gallup poll that was just released, 20.0% of all Americans did not have enough money to buy food that they or their families needed at some point over the past year.  That is just under the record of 20.4% that was set back in November 2008.

-Gallup also found that the ability of American families to meet some of their other most basic needs is near an all-time low…

The Basic Access Index, which includes 13 questions about topics including Americans’ ability to afford food, housing, and healthcare, was 81.4 in August, on par with the all-time low of 81.2 recorded in October 2011.

More than 90 million working age Americans are considered to be “not in the labor force”.

-The labor force participation rate is the lowest that it has been in 35 years.

516,000 Americans “left the labor force” last month.  That was a brand new all-time record high.

-The number of private sector jobs dropped by 278,000 last month.

77 percent of the jobs that have been “created” so far this year have been part-time jobs.

-Approximately one out of every four part-time workers in America is living below the poverty line.

-Right now, 40 percent of all U.S. workers are making less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968.

-The U.S. trade deficit with China has hit a brand new record high.

-The U.S. trade deficit with the EU has hit a brand new record high.

-The number of U.S. households on food stamps is at a brand new record high.

-One of the largest furniture manufacturers in America was just forced into bankruptcy

The maker of furniture brands such as Thomasville, Broyhill, Lane and Drexel Heritage said Monday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

-Total mortgage activity has dropped to the lowest level that we have seen since October 2008.

Yes, those in the top 1 percent are doing very well for the moment thanks to the reckless money printing that the Federal Reserve has been doing.

But for most Americans, the last several years have been a continual struggle.  The following is a list that comes from one of my previous articles entitled “44 Facts About The Death Of The Middle Class That Every American Should Know“…

1. According to one recent survey, “four out of five U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives”.

2. The growth rate of real disposable personal income is the lowest that it has been in decades.

3. Median household income (adjusted for inflation) has fallen by 7.8 percent since the year 2000.

4. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.

5. The home ownership rate in the United States is the lowest that it has been in 18 years.

6. It is more expensive to rent a home in America than ever before.  In fact, median asking rent for vacant rental units just hit a brand new all-time record high.

7. According to one recent survey, 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

8. The U.S. economy actually lost 240,000 full-time jobs last month, and the number of full-time workers in the United States is now about 6 million below the old record that was set back in 2007.

9. The largest employer in the United States right now is Wal-Mart.  The second largest employer in the United States right now is a temp agency (Kelly Services).

10. One out of every ten jobs in the United States is now filled through a temp agency.

11. According to the Social Security Administration, 40 percent of all workers in the United States make less than $20,000 a year.

12. The ratio of wages and salaries to GDP is near an all-time record low.

13. The U.S. economy continues to trade good paying jobs for low paying jobs.  60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.

14. 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.

15. At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less.

16. According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 declined by 27 percent after you account for inflation.

17. In the year 2000, about 17 million Americans were employed in manufacturing.  Today, only about 12 million Americans are employed in manufacturing.

18. The United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

19. The average number of hours worked per employed person per year has fallen by about 100 since the year 2000.

20. Back in the year 2000, more than 64 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  Today, only 58.7 percent of all working age Americans have a job.

21. When you total up all working age Americans that do not have a job, it comes to more than 100 million.

22. The average duration of unemployment in the United States is nearly three times as long as it was back in the year 2000.

23. The percentage of Americans that are self-employed has steadily declined over the past decade and is now at an all-time low.

24. Right now there are 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing.  That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.

25. In 1989, the debt to income ratio of the average American family was about 58 percent.  Today it is up to 154 percent.

26. Total U.S. household debt grew from just 1.4 trillion dollars in 1980 to a whopping 13.7 trillion dollars in 2007.  This played a huge role in the financial crisis of 2008, and the problem still has not been solved.

27. The total amount of student loan debt in the United States recently surpassed the one trillion dollar mark.

28. Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.

29. Back in the year 2000, the mortgage delinquency rate was about 2 percent.  Today, it is nearly 10 percent.

30. Consumer debt in the United States has risen by a whopping 1700% since 1971, and 46% of all Americans carry a credit card balance from month to month.

31. In 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance.  Today, only 55.1 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.

32. One study discovered that approximately 41 percent of all working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt, and according to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine medical bills are a major factor in more than 60 percent of all personal bankruptcies in the United States.

33. Each year, the average American must work 107 days just to make enough money to pay local, state and federal taxes.

34. Today, approximately 46.2 million Americans are living in poverty.

35. The number of Americans living in poverty has increased by more than 15 million since the year 2000.

36. Families that have a head of household under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.

37. At this point, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents.

38. In the year 2000, there were only 17 million Americans on food stamps.  Today, there are more than 47 million Americans on food stamps.

39. Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.  Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps.

40. Right now, the number of Americans on food stamps exceeds the entire population of the nation of Spain.

41. According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

42. At this point, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless.  This is the first time that has ever happened in our history.  That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.

43. According to U.S. Census data, 57 percent of all American children live in a home that is either considered to be “poor” or “low income”.

44. In the year 2000, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages was approximately 21 percent.  Today, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages is approximately 35 percent.

But there is no way that we are actually in another economic depression, right?

If that was the case, the mainstream media certainly would have told us, right?

According to John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics, if the U.S. government actually used honest numbers, they would show that the U.S. economy has actually been contracting continually since 2005.

In other words, if the numbers were not being manipulated they would show that we have had negative GDP growth every single year since 2005.

I don’t know about you, but that sure sounds like a depression to me.

What do you think?

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