As The U.S. Economy Implodes, Should We Ditch Our Debt Or Is Paying Off Our Debts The Morally Right Thing To Do?

As the U.S. economy implodes, a lot of American families are being faced with some incredibly heartbreaking choices.  Many of them piled up massive amounts of debt during the good times as they chased the American Dream, but now that hard times have arrived they find that they just can’t handle the huge mountain of debt that they have accumulated.  Other Americans are looking at the crumbling economy and are trying to prioritize where to spend their money.  They wonder whether they should pay off their debts or whether that money would be better spent on stocking up on necessities for the incredibly hard times that are ahead.  The truth is that this article is going to raise a lot of questions but not provide a lot of answers.  In the end, each person has to make their own choices.  In addition, some of the viewpoints in this article are going to be controversial to many of you.  It is okay if you disagree.  In fact, if you find something that you disagree with, please leave a comment.  This is a topic that hits home with a lot of Americans, and a lot of people have some incredibly strong opinions about paying off debt. (Read More...)

Money Crunch! How Can An Economy Built On Debt Function If Nobody Can Get Loans?

Over the past several decades, the U.S. economy has become increasingly reliant on debt.  The vast majority of people take out a mortgage when they purchase a home, the vast majority of people require a big loan in order to buy a vehicle, and the number of Americans who use credit cards to make purchases at retail stores has skyrocketed over the years.  It has gotten to the point where credit is the life blood of the U.S. economic system.  Unless your business is a convenience store or a fast food joint, being able to accept credit cards or arrange credit for your customers is absolutely crucial.  In fact, the economic boom that the United States has experienced over the last 30 years has been largely due to a rapidly expanding pool of credit.  Americans have gone deeper and deeper in debt with each passing year as they pursue the American Dream.  But now that so many lending institutions have substantially tightened their lending standards and now that so many Americans have such low credit scores, how is the U.S. economy going to function? (Read More...)

50 Statistics About The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe

Most Americans know that the U.S. economy is in bad shape, but what most Americans don’t know is how truly desperate the financial situation of the United States really is.  The truth is that what we are experiencing is not simply a “downturn” or a “recession”.  What we are witnessing is the beginning of the end for the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen.  Our greed and our debt are literally eating our economy alive.  Total government, corporate and personal debt has now reached 360 percent of GDP, which is far higher than it ever reached during the Great Depression era.  We have nearly totally dismantled our once colossal manufacturing base, we have shipped millions upon millions of middle class jobs overseas, we have lived far beyond our means for decades and we have created the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world.  A great day of financial reckoning is fast approaching, and the vast majority of Americans are totally oblivious. (Read More...)

Living The Dream: What Do You Own – Really?

If someone came up to you and asked you what you own, what would you say?  It may seem like an obvious question, but it is actually a lot more complicated than you might think.  We live in a very materialistic society.  In fact, a large percentage of Americans today define their lives by what they “own”, and a large percentage of Americans consider “living the American Dream” to be about accumulating a house, several cars and a massive pile of possessions.  But what does it mean to “own” something anyway?  Does it mean to have something in your possession?  Well, if that was the case then someone leasing a car for three years could be considered the owner.  But that obviously is not the case.  Does “owning” something mean that nobody can legally take that thing away from you?  Well, if that is the case then perhaps we all “own” a lot less than we think we do.  (Read More...)

The Coming Economic Collapse Of Japan – And Why You Should Be Extremely Concerned About It

Most Americans pay very little attention to what is going on in the economies of other nations.  But they should.  The reality is that in today’s global economy, what is happening on the other side of the world can have a dramatic impact on the U.S. economy.  In particular, the ongoing implosion of Japan’s economy should greatly concern us all.  Japan is the 3rd biggest economy in the world and is one of America’s most important trading partners.  If Japan experiences a total economic collapse it will create a tsunami of financial panic around the globe.  In fact, it is likely that a default by the government of Japan would plunge the world into such an economic nightmare that the American Dream would quickly vanish for millions of American families.  So just how close is Japan to a financial collapse?  Well, Fitch Ratings says that Japan’s gross public debt has reached 201 percent of GDP and is likely to continue to pile up into very dangerous territory for the foreseeable future.  It is estimated that this gigantic mountain of debt amounts to 7.5 million yen for every person living in Japan.  Needless to say this is extremely troubling.  Japan has the highest level of public debt to GDP of any of the industrialized nations.  Japan is literally drowing in red ink.  Meanwhile, even with all of the massive government spending that has caused all of this debt, Japan’s economy still continues to implode at a frightening pace.  Japan’s discouraging battle with deflation dragged into its 13th straight month in March as prices continued to decline and the unemployment rate rose sharply.  In fact, the number of unemployed in Japan totalled 3.5 million in March.  This represented a 4.5 percent rise from the same period a year ago. (Read More...)

Is It Fair For The U.S. Government To Give Money To Some People (But Not To Others) To Help Them Pay Their Mortgages?

Millions upon millions of Americans are struggling with paying their bloated mortgages right now.  So is it fair for the U.S. government to be giving money to some people (but not to others) to help them pay their mortgages? Well, it turns out that U.S. citizens in 10 states will soon be receiving money as part of a $2.1 billion federal program to help distressed homeowners pay their mortgages.  But is this fair?  Why will only citizens in 10 states by getting funds?  What about the other 40 states?  Well, the money for this mortgage relief program is going to come from a special fund within the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) known as the “Housing Finance Agency Innovation Fund for the Hardest Hit Housing Markets”.  In other words, people in the areas where housing prices have fallen the most are going to get help living the American Dream, and everyone else is out of luck. (Read More...)

Generation Y: The Broke Generation

No group in America has been hit harder during the current recession than young adults.  Millions of Americans are graduating from college with virtually no money, lots of debt and with very dim employment prospects.  Those who don’t go to college are even worse off.  All their lives these young Americans were taught if they studied hard, got an education and worked within the system that good jobs and the American Dream would be waiting for them.  But now millions of them are realizing that all of their studying and hard work is not providing them with the rewards that they always thought they would get.  This is causing large numbers of young American adults to become depressed and disillusioned.  In fact, record numbers of them are moving back in with their parents.  But without decent jobs, what are they supposed to do?   (Read More...)

American Deadbeats

Is the current economic crisis creating a generation of American deadbeats?  Once upon a time in America, we were taught that no matter how much financial trouble we get in we pay our debts – no matter what.  But now that has fundamentally changed.  Today, record numbers of Americans are filing for bankruptcy and a new term had to be invented (“strategic defaults”) to describe the large number of people who are making “business decisions” to walk away from underwater mortgages.  Meanwhile, many of these same individuals who are walking away from their debts are spending big money on cruises, vacations and new cars – as if they were still entitled to all of the good things that come with living the American Dream.  Below you will read some incredibly disgusting examples of this.  It is as if a whole generation of Americans has decided that “financial responsibility” is a problem that they don’t care to be bothered with.  But what is it going to do to the U.S. financial system if we can no longer count on people to honor their debts? (Read More...)

10 Clear Signs That This Will Be A Double-Dip Recession In The United States

The U.S. economy has been riding out one of the worst recessions in modern history, but unfortunately every economic signal seems to be indicating that we are going to be experiencing a “double-dip” recession instead of a recovery.  U.S. government debt is out of control, a massive “second wave” of mortgages is scheduled to reset starting this year, banks have significantly tightened credit, pension funds across the U.S. are broke at a time when a ton of Baby Boomers are ready to retire, and a massive financial crisis in the Eurozone threatens to throw the world into financial chaos.  The truth is that 2010 is going to be another very tough year economically, and for many the American Dream is quickly becoming a distant memory.  The following are ten clear signs that this will be a double-dip recession in the United States…. (Read More...)