Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Why Poor People Stay Poor

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Saving money costs money. Period.

Excerpted from Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America by Linda Tirado.

I once lost a whole truck over a few hundred bucks. It had been towed, and when I called the company they told me they’d need a few hundred dollars for the fee. I didn’t have a few hundred dollars. So I told them when I got paid next and that I’d call back then.

It was a huge pain in the ass for those days. It was the rainy season, and I wound up walking to work, adding another six miles or so a day to my imaginary pedometer. It was my own fault that I’d been towed, really, and I spent more than a couple hours ruing myself. I finally made it to payday, and when I went to get the truck, they told me that I now owed over a thousand dollars, nearly triple my paycheck. They charged a couple hundred dollars a day in storage fees. I explained that I didn’t have that kind of money, couldn’t even get it. They told me that I had some few months to get it together, including the storage for however long it took me to get it back, or that they’d simply sell it. They would, of course, give me any money above and beyond their fees if they recovered that much.

I was working two jobs at the time. Both were part time. Neither paid a hundred bucks a day, much less two.

I wound up losing my jobs. So did my husband. We couldn’t get from point A to point B quickly enough, and we showed up to work, late, either soaked to the skin or sweating like pigs one too many times. And with no work, we wound up losing our apartment.

It’s amazing what things that are absolute crises for me are simple annoyances for people with money. Anything can make you lose your apartment, because any unexpected problem that pops up, like they do, can set off that Rube Goldberg device.

One time I lost an apartment because my roommate got a horrible flu that we suspected was maybe something worse because it stayed forever–she missed work, and I couldn’t cover her rent. Once it was because my car broke down and I missed work. Once it was because I got a week’s unpaid leave when the company wanted to cut payroll for the rest of the month. Once my fridge broke and I couldn’t get the landlord to fix it, so I just left. Same goes for the time that the gas bill wasn’t paid in a utilities-included apartment for a week, resulting in frigid showers and no stove. That’s why we move so much. Stuff like that happens.

Because our lives seem so unstable, poor people are often seen as being basically incompetent at managing their lives. That is, it’s assumed that we’re not unstable because we’re poor, we’re poor because we’re unstable. So let’s just talk about how impossible it is to keep your life from spiraling out of control when you have no financial cushion whatsoever. And let’s also talk about the ways in which money advice is geared only toward people who actually have money in the first place.

141205_FAM_HandToMouthCover.jpg.CROP.original-originalI once read a book for people in poverty, written by someone in the middle class, containing real-life tips for saving pennies and such. It’s all fantastic advice: buy in bulk, buy a lot when there’s a sale on, hand-wash everything you can, make sure you keep up on vehicle and indoor filter maintenance.

Of course, very little of it was actually practicable. Bulk buying in general is cheaper, but you have to have a lot of money to spend on stuff you don’t actually need yet. Hand-washing saves on the utilities, but nobody actually has time for that. If I could afford to replace stuff before it was worn out, vehicle maintenance wouldn’t be much of an issue, but you really can’t rinse the cheap filters and again—quality costs money up front. In the long term, it makes way more sense to buy a good toaster. But if the good toaster is 30 bucks right now, and the crappiest toaster of them all is 10, it doesn’t matter how many times I have to replace it. Ten bucks it is, because I don’t have any extra tens.

It actually costs money to save money.

It is impossible to be good with money when you don’t have any. Full stop. If I’m saving my spare five bucks a week, in the best-case scenario I will have saved $260 a year. For those of you that think in quarters: $65 per quarter in savings. If you deny yourself even small luxuries, that’s the fortune you’ll amass. Of course you will never manage to actually save it; you’ll get sick at least one day and miss work and dip into it for rent. Gas will spike and you’ll need it to get to work. You’ll get a tear in your work pants that you can’t patch. Something, I guarantee you, will happen in three months.

When I have a few extra dollars to spend, I can’t afford to think about next month—my present day situation is generally too tight to allow me that luxury. I’ve got kids who are interested in their quality of life right now, not 10 years from now.

Here’s the thing: we know the value of money. We work for ours. If we’re at 10 bucks an hour, we earn 83 cents, before taxes, every five minutes. We know exactly what a dollar’s worth; it’s counted in how many more times you have to duck and bend sideways out the drive through window. Or how many floors you can vacuum, or how many boxes you can fill.

It’s impossible to win, unless you are very lucky. For you to start to do better, something has to go right—and stay that way for long enough for you to get on your feet. I’ve done well in years that I had a job I didn’t mind terribly and that paid me well enough to get into an apartment that met all the basic standards. I’ve done less well in years where I didn’t have steady work. The trouble’s been that my luck simply hasn’t held out for long enough; it seems like just when I’ve caught up, something happens to set me back again. I’ve been fortunate enough that it’s rarely compounded, and I’ve stayed at under sea level for short periods instead of long-term. But I’ve stared long-term in the face long enough to have accepted it as a real possibility. It’s only an accident and a period of unemployment away.

Reprinted from Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America America by Linda Tirado by arrangement with Putnam, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, Copyright © 2014 by Linda Tirado.

About the Author
Linda Tirado is a completely average American with two kids and, until recently, two jobs. Her essay “Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or, Poverty Thoughts” was picked up by the Huffington Post, the Nation, and countless other publications, and was read by more than six million people. This is her first book.

Review
“The woman who accidentally explained poverty to the nation.” —The Huffington Post

“[A] whipsmart woman’s firsthand account of what it looks and smells and tastes and feels like to be living in poverty …brilliant and to the point. You won’t soon forget her voice or her message.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Funny, sarcastic, full of expletives, and most of all outrageously honest. . . . Tirado has a way with words that’s somehow both breezy and blunt.” —BusinessWeek

“In this riveting memoir, Tirado shares in vivid detail what it’s like to be a college graduate in the throes of poverty.” —Women’s Health Magazine

“Must-read…powerful.” —Good Housekeeping

“Educative . . . Tirado’s raw reportage offers solidarity for those on the front lines of hardship yet issues a cautionary forewarning to the critical: ‘Poverty is a potential outcome for all of us.’ Outspoken and vindictive, Tirado embodies the cyclical vortex of today’s struggle to survive.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Tirado tells it like it is… Enthralling and horrifying, this should be required reading for policymakers.”—Booklist, starred review

Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America141205_FAM_HandToMouthCover.jpg.CROP.original-original

Economics Is A Form of Brain Damage

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Debts Erased?

Thursday, July 25th, 2013


Bix Weir of RoadtoRoota.com predicts, “We are the biggest debtor nation in the world. If we collapse the debt now and erase all debt, we win.” When could it all start to fall apart? Weir predicts “the August-September time frame.” Join Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog.com for this controversial interview with gold and silver advocate Bix Weir.

This interview was posted with permission from http://USAWatchDog.com

All Debt To Be Erased Within The Next Few Months By Greg Prescott

http://usawatchdog.com/complete-wipeout-of-all-debt-coming-bix-weir/
Right on schedule, banking systems are collapsing and will result in the elimination of all debt, according to Bix Weir, who has 30 years experience in the financial industry with various fortune 500 companies. As mentioned numerous times on In5D, we are currently under the energies of Pluto In Capricorn, which will continue to bring an end to all sources of control and
manipulation, including the banking systems, governments and religion. Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008 and, right on schedule, we saw the collapse of hundreds of banks. For those who question the power of how astrological alignments dictate what is happening right now, look no further than the last time when Pluto was in Capricorn. During that time period, we saw both the French and American Revolutions. If you look around the world, there are revolutions either currently going on or are about to explode, so it is NOT a coincidence that we are seeing this happen once again. “We are at a point in our system and in the manipulation where there are people within the Fed, and within our government, who are ready to pull the plug on the game and basically crash the system,” stated Weir.
Many people will question whether this is a controlled demolition of the financial system in order to All Debt To Be Erased Within The Next Few Months | in5d Alternative News | in5d.com |implement a one world currency, which is a valid concern, but the current financial system based on fiat currency cannot sustain itself as it creates money out of thin air and charges interest on it. In other words, it is going to collapse whether you want it to or not. The most important issue is deciding what form of currency will be its replacement and if there is any assurance of whether this new system will inevitably collapse as well.

Right now in the United States, the U.S. debt is more than all of the money on the planet so it is impossible to repay. The only other solution is to eliminate all debt and create a new asset based currency that does not rely on creating money out of thin air. During the last bailout in 2008 after the housing boom, we saw a huge derivatives explosion which is due to crash the system in a few months. Derivatives are basically when a bank sells the obligation of the mortgage holder to another company and in essence, bets on the failure of the homeowner to fall into foreclosure. There is no way the Fed can bailout the trillions of dollars in derivatives so the only other option will be to eliminate all debt and create an asset based currency.

The Fed still continues to pump fiat currency into a rising stock market that should have begun collapsing in 2008, create a false sense of security for those who have stocks. This too, will collapse.

Will this happen in other countries as well?

Once the big banks fall in the United States, all other banks will follow. Weir stated, “If you take down the banks, you take down every individual checking, savings, 401K (etc…). Everyone holds their money in banks, even the brokerage houses. The derivative situation is such a mess that once a couple of those big banks go (under), every other counter party will fall, too. So you’re looking at a complete wipeout of all debts in all banks.”

Greg Hunter added that we have $10.8 trillion in deposits with (only) $33 billion in the FDIC deposit insurance fund and a line of credit worth $100 billion in the Treasury. In other words, there isn’t anywhere near enough money to back all of the depositors. Weir added that the FDIC also insures all of the derivatives for JP Morgan and the Bank of America for hundreds of trillions of dollars.

What will happen to any money we have in the bank? All Debt To Be Erased Within The Next Few Months | in5d Alternative News | in5d.com

|Weir mentioned an example where a person might have $10,000 in the bank along with $200-300,00 mortgage IOU’s. In this situation, the person would lose the money in their account, but would not have to pay off the mortgage to his or her home. Weir added, “The people who will lose out the most are those people who are completely out of debt with a savings account in a bank that they thought was AAA rated.”

When will this happen?

According to Weis, the collapse should happen anytime from August to October of this year. Will Federal Reserve notes be honored until the new currency arrives?

According to Weir, he believes that this would be a good plan but it would only work for those who have physical Federal Reserve notes versus having money in the bank, “at least for a little while.”

Gold and silver

Hunter added to be sure to buy rolls of quarters and half dollars because they are printed by the All Debt To Be Erased Within The Next Few Months | in5d Alternative News | in5d.com |Treasury and not the Federal Reserve.

As his number one investment, Weir recommended to buy pre-1965 silver coins because “everybody will be scrambling for gold and silver. It would be the last theoretical form of money that people have. People are starting to wake up now and when they can’t get money out of their bank that defaulted, that’s when you’re really going to se people scrambling for physical gold and silver in your possession.” The moment the banks are no longer manipulating the gold and silver market is the moment that these metals go “limit up. You will not really know the price of silver and gold for a while because it’s the anti-dollar.”
Redistribution and reallocation of money

The US Dollar is the longest lasting currency that is not backed by assets and history will dictate, every previous currency that was not backed by assets has collapsed. In the United States, people will receive new currency based on how much money they paid into Social Security, where those who worked the hardest and paid into Social Security while those who are young and working will get more as they work more. At this time, it is unclear how other countries will allocate and redistribute money.

The elimination of debt should create numerous immediate benefits, such as the significant lowering of rent due to the owner no longer having debt on his building, house or apartment along with a lower cost of goods and services for the same reason. In other words, prices for everything will drop significantly from what we are paying today. According to Weir, it might take “a few weeks to reallocate money” so there might be a transition period where grocery stores and other businesses may  temporarily close. You want to be sure to have enough food and water stored up to cover you and your family for up to several months.

“The government knows that this is going down quickly. These banks cannot survive much longer. They are literally on their knees and the main stream media is not going to tell you about it, but in the financial world, we all know about it.” Whether or not the banking collapse happens between now and October remains to be seen. What we already know is that our current system is unsustainable and its collapse it’s inevitable. It’s only a matter of time.

Gregg Prescott, M.S.
www.in5d.com
www.BodyMindSoulSpirit.com
www.HolisticCancerResearch.com

Bix Weir: Gold-Silver Update and Complete Wipeout of all Debt in All Banks Coming in Next Few Months
http://usawatchdog.com/complete-wipeout-of-all-debt-coming-bix-weir

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6haNWOm3-HU#at=37

Bix Weir of RoadtoRoota.com predicts, “We are the biggest debtor nation in the world. If we collapse the debt now and erase all debt, we win.” When could it all start to fall apart? Weir predicts “the August-September time frame.” Join Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog.com for this controversial interview with gold and silver advocate Bix Weir.

This interview was posted with permission from http://USAWatchDog.com

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for making investment decisions.

Bill to Give Students Same Banking Deal as Banks Get

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Senator Warren, shares her voice of reason that is not predatory, but empowering for students. A must hear!

Sen. Warren Introduces the Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act

Here is a copy of this speech introducing her bill.

warrens_bill_intro

How is Money Created

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

WHERE DOES MONEY COME FROM? THE GIANT FEDERAL RESERVE SCAM

Buy Local money

How is money created? If you ask average people on the street this question, most of them have absolutely no idea. This is rather odd, because we all use money constantly. You would think that it would only be natural for all of us to know where it comes from. So where does money come from?

A lot of people assume that the federal government creates our money, but that is not the case. If the federal government could just print and spend more money whenever it wanted to, our national debt would be zero. But instead, our national debt is now nearly 16 trillion dollars. So why does our government (or any sovereign government for that matter) have to borrow money from anybody? That is a very good question.

The truth is that in theory the U.S. government does not have to borrow a single penny from anyone. But under the Federal Reserve system, the U.S. government has purposely allowed itself to be subjugated to a financial system in which it will be constantly borrowing larger and larger amounts of money. In fact, this is how it works in the vast majority of the countries on the planet at this point. As you will see, this kind of system is not sustainable and the structural problems caused by such a system are at the very heart of our debt problems today.

So where does money come from? In the United States, it comes from the Federal Reserve.

When the U.S. government decides that it wants to spend another billion dollars that it does not have, it does not print up a billion dollars.

Rather, the U.S. government creates a bunch of U.S. Treasury bonds (debt) and takes them over to the Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve creates a billion dollars out of thin air and exchanges them for the U.S. Treasury bonds.

So why does the U.S. government go to all this trouble? Why doesn’t the U.S. government create the money itself?

Those are very good questions.

One of the primary reasons why our system is structured this way is so that wealthy people can get even wealthier by lending money to the U.S. government and other national governments.

For example, last year the U.S. government spent more than 454 billion dollars just on interest on the national debt.

Over the centuries, the ultra-wealthy have found lending to national governments to be a very, very profitable enterprise.

The U.S. Treasury bonds that the Federal Reserve receives in exchange for the money it has created out of nothing are auctioned off through the Federal Reserve system.

But wait. There is a problem. Because the U.S. government must pay interest on the Treasury bonds, the amount of debt that has been created by this transaction is greater than the amount of money that has been created.

So where will the U.S. government get the money to pay that debt?

Well, the theory is that we can get money to circulate through the economy really, really fast and tax it at a high enough rate that the government will be able to collect enough taxes to pay the debt.

But that never actually happens, does it?

And the creators of the Federal Reserve understood this as well. They understoodthat the U.S. government would not have enough money to both run the government and service the national debt. They knew that the U.S. government would have to keep borrowing even more money in an attempt to keep up with the game.

That is why I call the Federal Reserve a perpetual debt machine. The Federal Reserve was created to trap the U.S. government in an endlessly expanding debt spiral from which there is no escape.

And the Federal Reserve is doing a great job at what it was designed to do. Today, the U.S. national debt is more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was first created.

Another way that money comes into existence in our economy is through the process of fractional reserve banking.

I originally pulled the following simplified explanation of fractional reserve banking off of the website of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, but it has been pulled down since then. But I still think it is helpful in understanding the basics of how fractional reserve banking works….

If the reserve requirement is 10%, for example, a bank that receives a $100 deposit may lend out $90 of that deposit. If the borrower then writes a check to someone who deposits the $90, the bank receiving that deposit can lend out $81. As the process continues, the banking system can expand the initial deposit of $100 into a maximum of $1,000 of money($100+$90+81+$72.90+…=$1,000).

When you put your money into the bank, it does not say there. The bank only keeps a relatively small amount of money sitting around to satisfy the withdrawal demands of account holders. If all of us went down to the banks right now and demanded our money, that would create a major problem.

If I put 100 dollars into the bank and the bank lends out 90 of those dollars to you, now it looks like there are 190 dollars floating around. I have “100 dollars” in my bank account and you have “90 dollars” that you just borrowed.

The new debt that you have taken on (90 dollars) has “created” more money. But of course you are going to end up paying back more than 90 dollars to the bank, so more debt has been created than the amount of money that has been created.

And that is one of the big problems with our financial system. It is designed so that the amount of debt and the amount of money are supposed to be perpetually expanding, and the amount of debt created is always greater than the amount of money that is created.

So is it any wonder that our society is swamped with nearly 55 trillion dollars of total debt at this point?

A debt-based financial system is unsustainable by nature because it will always create debt bubbles that will inevitably burst.

Are you starting to see why so many Americans are saying that we need to abolish the Federal Reserve system?

Our founding fathers never intended for our financial system to work this way.

According to Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Congress is supposed to have the authority to “coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures”.

So why has this authority been given to a private institution that is dominated by the big Wall Street banks and that has actually argued in court that it is “not an agency” of the federal government?

Thomas Jefferson once said that if he could add just one more amendment to the U.S.Constitution it would be a ban on all government borrowing….

I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution; I mean an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.

But instead, we have become enslaved to a system where government borrowing actually creates our money.

The borrower is the servant of the lender, and we have allowed our government to enslave us to the tune of nearly 16 trillion dollars.

There are alternatives to this system. Things do not have to work this way.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of our politicians consider the Federal Reserve to be good for America and steadfastly refuse to do anything to change the status quo.

So if you are waiting for “solutions” to these problems on the national level you are going to be waiting for a very long time.

The debt problems that the United States and Europe are experiencing did not come into existence by accident. They are the result of fundamental structural problems with the financial system.

A debt-based financial system is always going to fail in the long run. Unfortunately, most Americans still do not understand this and so we will all get to suffer the consequences.

This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.