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Rolling Stone: The Sharp, Sudden Decline of America's Middle Class

I couldn't finish this report. It brought tears to my eyes.

Every night around nine, Janis Adkins falls asleep in the back of her Toyota Sienna van in a church parking lot at the edge of Santa Barbara, California. On the van's roof is a black Yakima SpaceBooster, full of previous-life belongings like a snorkel and fins and camping gear. Adkins, who is 56 years old, parks the van at the lot's remotest corner, aligning its side with a row of dense, shading avocado trees. The trees provide privacy, but they are also useful because she can pick their fallen fruit, and she doesn't always­ have enough to eat. Despite a continuous, two-year job search, she remains without dependable work. She says she doesn't need to eat much – if she gets a decent hot meal in the morning, she can get by for the rest of the day on a piece of fruit or bulk-purchased almonds – but food stamps supply only a fraction of her nutritional needs, so foraging opportunities are welcome.

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My wife and I were speaking about this last night. We both own & run small businesses. We are completely exposed to market forces. The are no subsidies, we don't have a lobbyist working for us at the State & Fed level. When fighting for our rights is required, we pay dearly for legal representation.

We pay taxes. We battle to provide reasonable health insurance. We fight to keep auto insurance cost low. We make sure we have liability ins for the businesses. We negotiate with vendors. We honor our agreements... the list goes on and the costs keep rising while our client purchasing power declines.

My point: don't think it is that easy for the woman in the article to pull herself up by the boot-straps and be an entrepreneur. It requires cash reserves, the failure rate is high and we operate without a net.

If small business does not have a net, no one else should have a net either. Or we should at least not be forced to pay for it. I am tired of the list of companies and industries who get to socialize their losses while privatizing their profits. And now they are being granted "person-hood".

Try being humane - this woman made a mistake. She did not realize until it was too late. She invested in a flawed path. The public has been sold an economic illusion. Community makes us strong. If you can, help another, pay it forward. One day you may be in need.

Apologies for the rant. This topic struck a chord and it is hard to contain the frustration.

"One resists the invasion of armies; one does not resist the invasion of ideas" Victor Hugo

Don't apologize

There are millions of people in the same boat as you and neither party has an answer for these issues.

It became clear...

...that we need to strip away the layer upon layer of subsidies, special favors, protectionist regulations & licenses, etc. But for decades we do the reverse.

We need to strip all of it away. We would then see who really is serving the market, we would save money, reduce taxes and more people would be in business.

There is no such thing as too big to fail. If you suck, you fail. If you steal money you go to jail. There would be a lot more honesty.

Greater than 70% of us work outside a corporation or government. Why are we allowing this ??? Small to medium business is a pillar of the middle class and it is being undermined. Without SMBs there is no middle class, none.

"One resists the invasion of armies; one does not resist the invasion of ideas" Victor Hugo

Some argue

Fascism is worse than Communism and its kind of true but this is the reason why the so called the left is lesser evil than the so called right, but the real far left is a lesser evil than the 2 above. which is why Obama is a lesser evil than Romney and which is why democrats are lesser evil than republicans.

USA has become a fascist country where corporations and goverment are in bed with each other and that is more the case with the republicans than the democrats.

So socialism might be better than what we have right now which is fascism. atleast the people get some share of the money right there. i think its worse to work harder and keep getting less than to not have as much as not work that hard.

so if the liberty movement isn't strong enough than this is the way to go till then.

Yes, be careful what you wish for.

This is to KrishnaDas, below, who says, "Be careful what you wish for. Collectivism will be promoted as the solution, and if you think things are bad now, just wait until that "solution" is implemented."

Don't look now, but the "solution" has already been implemented, through the elite and their union breaking, wage lowering, and commodity price raising - with help from the government (which the elite also controls, through their shadow government).

In addition, the deterioration of mainstream public health through FDA sponsored (and elite controlled) pharmaceuticals, not to mention GMO's, wars and the toxins of wars, etc, have all helped lead the American people into a vicious circle of government assistance for those whose health has been compromised...

The only solution I see is to take your health into your own hands: eat real and wholesome foods instead of processed foods, exercise, and steer clear of those pharmaceuticals, if at all possible. Take care of yourselves, love God and be good to each other, for that's all we may have left in the end...

Here's a poem for you:

The Humanity of Man

Who would redeem man
from the curse of the earth
by giving us wine?

To crush the grapes of wrath
of man's inhumanity to man
would quench that thirst!

Selfish desire motivates the elite
to sustain a system that sinks
families into war and poverty.

In contrast to that selfishness
stands those families' respect
toward one another.

Aware that their survival
depends upon their devotion
to the collective good,

they unite, sharing dreams
as well as burdens,
in order to survive.

Who would redeem man
from the curse of the earth
by giving us wine?

We will! And our love will show
that man's humanity to man
is for the common good of ALL.

"Stand up for what you believe in. Even if you stand alone."
~ Sophie Magdalena Scholl
"Let it not be said that we did nothing."
~ Ron Paul
"You must be the change you want to see in the world."
~ Mahatma Gandhi


Front page! Thanks LL!

'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul

It never ceases to amaze me

It never ceases to amaze me that the same newspapers who print this crap also supports the same politicians who have and who continue to destroy this place thru wars, taxation, regulation and inflation AND it's usually the people who support this who end up in these places.

I have nothing nice to say so I'll just stop there.

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good things is my religion. Thomas Paine, Godfather of the American Revolution

I stopped reading when I hit

I stopped reading when I hit the part about her taking a month or more vacation in the summer to escape the heat. I've never in my life taken even a 2 week vacation. I think the longest was 7 days, due to pressure from my wife and that almost drove me to the edge. No pity here.

Dear Mrs. Rand:

I AM NOT A professional critic and I feel no call to judge the merits of
a novel. So I do not want to detain you with the information that I
enjoyed very much reading Atlas Shrugged and that I am full of admiration
for your masterful construction of the plot.
But “Atlas Shrugged” is not merely a novel. It is also—or may I
say: first of all—a cogent analysis of the evils that plague our society,
a substantiated rejection of the ideology of our self-styled “intellectuals”
and a pitiless unmasking of the insincerity of the policies
adopted by governments and political parties. It is a devastating
exposure of the “moral cannibals,” the “gigolos of science” and of
the “academic prattle” of the makers of the “anti-industrial revolution.”
You have the courage to tell the masses what no politician told
them: you are inferior and all the improvements in your conditions
which you simply take for granted you owe to the effort of men who
are better than you.
If this be arrogance, as some of your critics observed, it still is the
truth that had to be said in this age of the Welfare State.
I warmly congratulate you and I am looking forward with great
expectations to your future work.
Ludwig Mises
January 23, 1958

If you are suggesting

that the woman living in her van, is "inferior" - I would
have to ask, "compared to whom?".

She must have considerable skill with plants and managing
a business - useful real-world skills - but now faces having her life
controlled by bureaucrats that have never done anything but push
paper (and told that she is not enough of a failure to get any assistance).

Then, when she tries to get work is told (by young service industry underling
losers) that she is too much of a failure to walk some yuppie's dog or sell
them made in China sporting goods..

In an economy run by Bernanke's and Jamie Dimon's for banksters spooks and
the MIC.

In any society that properly valued real skills and experience, hers should rate
higher than any of the above - but in modern America she is the one that is

(Bet Ayn Rand never had to chop wood, propagate a cactus or tame an ox...)

No, she was too busy escaping

No, she was too busy escaping the Soviet Union, where all of her family's property was expropriated, friends from college who spoke up imprisoned.

Perhaps if they saved, developed valuable skills...

were debt free, didn't waste money, cultivated better relationships at home at work in the community, stayed in excellent health, etc.

Perhaps if we bought a bit more US goods, negotiated for better pay (individually or collectively), cultivated our government by being politically active, etc

reedr3v's picture

Inflation hits the poor hardest, so do

minimum wage requirements and regulations that make it so hard to be an entrepreneur. some of these people no doubt made mistakes, but the fundamental problem is government hostility and punishment of businesses that hire, start up entrepreneurs. and the biggie: debt money printing that debases the dollar and lowers the standard of living for all.

Nobody gave a flying...

...you-know-what, until it came home to roost in their own personal pocketbooks. By then, it was far too late.

I remember in the late 90/early 2000's trying to talk to people about where we were headed financially as a nation. Nobody wanted to hear it.

Anyone remember the 1994 book "Financial Terrorism"? It was all spelled out what was coming, for anyone who cared (or dared) to think.

Along with trillions in unfunded liabilities, off-shoring millions of American jobs, and countless decades of unchecked illegal immigration, this horrific financial disaster tidal wave was sure as hell going to hit...forget about the stock market crash of 2008.

free trade disaster

The great "sucking sound" Ross Perot spoke of as a result of free trade
Socially I'm libertarian.
As a matter of trade policy I support protectionism.
Without protective trade tariffs, national sovereignty is lost.
Banks and corporations that can operate without borders and no national loyalties compete in a race to the bottom.

Great find

Thanks for posting.

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

The Revolution begins

when people have nothing left to live for.

Be careful what you wish for.

Be careful what you wish for. Collectivism will be promoted as the solution, and if you think things are bad now, just wait until that "solution" is implemented.

I know

Nationalism or Communism could come out, however it were already slowly going to the crash but the hope for this movement was it would be an organized force to earn the will of the people and be the replacement instead of those groups i mentioned.

bumping . . .


it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

egapele's picture

The New America: The land of the free, mandated healthcare

and home of the brave, pick-pocketing government.

Ron Paul 2012

Any time now Americans

You cowards. This can all stop any time you want it to. Stop hiding, stop living in your cars, stop eating garbage out of cans and march on DC and Wallstreet and take your country back from the zionist banksters and their lapdog goyim. This can all stop as soon as you stop being such a yellow bellied coward and seeing hiding and eating trash as a reasonable alternative. How much longer will you live like this? Is living like this really much better than maybe dying to take back your country from the bansketsr and fascist politicians? If you won't stand up and stop being a coward for yourself, at least do it for your children. Or are you all such cowards you think its great that your children will be eating out of trash cans and making below a livable wage with no benefits. STOP BEING COWARDS! This will all end the day you stop being timid cowards, wake up and use the second amendment the way it was meant to be used.

"But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing." - Andrew Jackson


Have you been there? I realize you're just venting, but when you're at the bottom you don't have the strength to fight, much less survive--

You talk big; do you even know where one of these banksters live?

They are not in parking lots--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

You must be

Thick. I don't mean just people like this, I mean everyone in the country. You all should be ashamed that you are not doing anything for people like this, especially if you are able to. I don't see anything wrong with her. Looks like she can hold a gun to me. I don't mean that in response to you. This is just further proof that Americans are cowards and a scared of the banksters and police. How pathetic.

"But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing." - Andrew Jackson

Spoken like a true


Be brave, be brave, the Myan pilot needs no aeroplane.

It's All Over...

Take a bike ride at night to your local Wal*Mart. In the back of the parking lot you'll find lots of people living in their cars. You wont see this in your automobile. Get off your ass and go talk to people. Find out what is really going on. I meet 2 people A Man and a Woman in the late 50's early 60's - people these are NOT bums... these are homeless people tossed aside by the system (IE Big Bank taking your home). YOUR FUTURE!

After I seen this - I started asking questions of my local government. Cops only wanted to arrest me. FireDepartment was open for conversation. City Hall wanted me to leave for just asking questions...

I've taken note... I am awake... and I fight for liberty...

You mean "After I "saw" this-...".

There is no such correct phraseology in the English Language of "I seen". There is "I have seen" or "I've seen.

A Tragic Situation Becoming Increasingly Desperate

It's a situation that more and more Americans will have to confront unfortunately. It's beginning to look a lot like the Great Depression. We, i.e. the members of the movement to restore constitutional liberty, KNOW who are enemies are. Our enemies will never remove themselves from power.