Tuesday, March 10, 2009 Posted by Shattered Paradigm
What do you do when you can feed your family? Well, more families than ever are turning to food stamps. A record 31.8 million Americans are now on food stamps as the number of poor Americans families is shooting through the roof.
American families are also losing their homes at alarming rates. More than 11 percent of mortgages are delinquent or are in foreclosure.
In fact, the housing market has collapsed so completely that in some areas you can buy a house for a buck.
A two-bedroom, 800-square-foot home in Detroit recently sold for one single dollar. Because of the foreclosure crisis, there are more than 40,000 vacant properties in Detroit. The median price of a home in Detroit is now only $7,000.
The economic collapse is also hitting older families really hard. The collapse of the stock market is literally ruining the retirement dreams of millions of baby boomers as many of their once promising nest eggs have totally crumbled.
So are the banks safe? Well, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation says that it may need to borrow as much as $500 billion from the Treasury Department. The truth is that is simply does not have enough cash to cover all the banks that are failing.
How in the world could this happen to America?
The United States of America was once the wealthiest, most prosperous nation on the entire earth. Americans lived in peace, almost everyone had a job, businesses were booming, the citizens were the healthiest in the world and almost everything America did turned to gold.
Those days are gone.
Instead of taking care of our national wealth, Americans spent it.
That wasn't enough for the new greedy generation of Americans, so they spent their children's money, and then they spent their grandchildren's money and then they spent their great grandchildren's money.
Now the United States is in the middle of a financial horror that is literally unprecedented in the history of the world.
As we posted on another blog the other day, the total liabilities of the United States government, including future social security and medicare payments that the U.S. government is already committed to pay out, now exceed 65 TRILLION dollars, which is more than the entire GDP of the whole world.
If you don't believe us, just read the 2008 Financial Report of the United States Government.
It's an official U.S. government report.
And you know what?
That 65 trillion dollars does not even reflect any significant money from the monstrous financial bailouts that Congress has passed.
So things are going to get MUCH worse financially.
How in the world could the richest nation on the earth let this happen?
This is what happens when extreme greed and extreme gluttony overcome a nation.
For decades, we, along with many other financial experts and patriots have been screaming and yelling about all the debt that America was getting into.
But nobody listened.
Because of the mountain of debt that the U.S. government, financial institutions and ordinary Americans have piled up, the financial system is beginning to fail.
Already, 13 banks have failed in 2009. All of the bailouts that Congress have been passing certainly don't seem to be helping much yet.
The truth is that all of this government spending that Congress is doing will help the economy in the short term, but it will make the long term problems of the U.S. government far worse because all of this spending is just increasing the debt.
So who is going to buy all of this new government debt? China has serious doubts about who is going to buy all of America's new debt. The reality is that the only way that the government can "bailout" anyone or pay for any "stimulus" bill is to borrow.
So America borrows and borrows and borrows and borrows.
If your own personal finances were like that, how do you think it would end?
And most analysts are now predicting that times are going to get even harder.
Already there are so many ordinary Americans that are in severe pain.
The U.S. economy lost 598,000 jobs in January. Just think about that. Over half a million jobs GONE in one short month.
These job losses are hurting real people. Do you know people who have lost jobs? We do. We know parents that are trying desperately to support their children who have now lost their jobs.
When people lose their jobs they don't have money to spend at the stores and they can't pay their mortgages either.
Foreclosures in the United States increased by 81 percent last year, and there doesn't seem to be any end in sight.
As more people lose their jobs, more people will lose their homes.
The truth is that there are more homes sitting empty in the United States today than there ever had been before.
Just think about that.
In fact, there are some areas of the United States that are in danger of becoming permanent disaster zones.
Did you know that some areas of New Orleans STILL have not been rebuilt after all this time?
In the "greatest country on earth" a situation like New Orleans can persist for YEARS and still the government does not fix the problem.
It is a national disgrace.
But New Orleans is not alone. There are a growing number of areas around the U.S. that have been hit by natural disasters or hard times and have just been left to rot away.
Just ask someone who has been to certain areas of Detroit. There are some places there that look like a war zone. People there are hurting bad.
Does anyone care?
All of this financial turmoil has also cause a sharp increase in the number of homeless.
It's not just people sleeping on street corners either.
Due to the huge number of foreclosures, tent "cities" have been popping up on the outskirts of major cities all over the nation.
The truth is that there are more people in the United States without a decent place to live than ever before.
And Americans are getting desperate.
Can you imagine getting down on your knees and begging for a job at the dump?
That actually happened recently in the Tampa Bay area.
136 people, most out of work, answered a recent employment ad for a position at a landfill.
"At one point I actually had a line of people 10 feet out the door waiting to talk to me," Scott Hanus, an operations manager for Veolia Environmental Services told the St. Petersburg Times.
In fact, he had 4 people actually get down on their knees and beg him for a job.
At the dump.
Did you hear about the approximately 1,000 people who applied for 50 low paying jobs at a new In-N-Out restaurant opening in Nevada?
This is how the Las Vegas Sun described the scene:
Some wore ties. Some wore their pants too low. Some were balding. Some owed two months of mortgage payments. Some spoke openly of suicide. Some asked this reporter for a job. Some asked the manager at the hotel hosting the event for a job.
For some Americans, desperation is giving way to hopelessness.
One out of work Arizona woman described her increasing desperation this way: "When three months go by with only two job interviews, it's hard not to feel a certain amount of self-doubt and hopelessness."
All of this increasing desperation is putting a lot of stress on life in the home.
The Baltimore Sun is reporting on one woman in the Baltimore area is having a hard time hiding her desperation as her husband's business has almost completely failed. Her family's cars have been repossessed and their house is in danger of foreclosure. "We're behind on everything," she says.
She also tells of being afraid of her abusive husband: "He gets very frustrated, very, very angry."
The reality is that according the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than half a million Americans, almost all of them women, are abused by their spouses every year. All of this economic stress is making things even worse experts say.
Some Americans have decided that the economy is never going to fully recover and so there is a renewed interest in survival techniques. But is running off to the mountains really a long term solution?
The truth is that Americans have lived beyond their means for decades, and now America is full of families who think that life is over if all of their treasures are taken away.
But perhaps all of us would be better off if we took the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:19-21 to heart.....
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
If your family is in severe financial pain, the number one thing you need to do is to turn to God. In the dark economic times ahead it is going to take a lot more than just hard work and determination to make it through. You are your family will need God's protection and God's help.