As I track trends and indicators, I see us getting closer and closer to what my models show as a “major transition”. As you know, for some reason, I feel compelled to share this with my readers. Really, I want to keep my readers posted about what I am seeing because I think it’s important; so I continue to provide you glimpses of what I’m looking at. This has been on-going for years. Like anything, there are pro’s and con’s that come with this though.
The upsides are fairly self-evident. You get to see information that you probably wouldn’t otherwise see. Some of you have become engaged and have actually been able to see the progression and found some things that I have missed. Some of you have tracked the numbers and have seen what I have been trying to convey economically. This list goes on but the hunger for information is evident (from some) and I have done what I can to share – hence my various social media feeds.
The downside is that some have gotten used to hearing the warnings and have begun to ignore them. Perhaps they have convinced themselves that since nothing really “massive” has happened yet, everything is going to be just fine. Sometimes I wonder if my work has created a level of apathy for them. Every so often, I drop a load of bad news and then I leave you alone for a while. In spite of the fact that my timeline hasn’t really ever changed, some have even gone as far as to suggest that I am wrong about what I am seeing because the U.S. doesn’t resemble Mad Max or Venezuela yet (even though I’ve never said that it would). Well, ignoring the progression and timelines won’t make it go away and as far as I’m concerned; we are the frog in the pot at this point and too many people are getting comfortable with the rising temperature of the water we find ourselves in.
Understand that a big part of what I’ve been doing all of this time is merely adding to the mountain of evidence and showing the progression. Time and time again, I have expressed that the information I share does not exist in a bubble; that it is connected to previous stories and future stories. Know that as of right now, the projected outcome has not really changed from the original projections provided when these cycles were first identified. In fact, each day that passes, reports continue to show that the projection model was more accurate than I could have ever imagined. A simple scroll through my Facebook feed provides story after story (usually from foreign media) and post after post demonstrating it’s accuracy. It’s actually quite alarming for me and according to the emails I get from my serious readers, it is for them as well.
As of late, it has occurred to me that the media has begun a massive push in regard to distraction and misdirection in the attempt to bury some of the more important stories. I have decided to consider this as a warning sign of things to come. Never mind the unreal push to sway the people (especially the children) to socialist agendas and disarmament. Everyone can see this and it should be self-evident at this point – even though many have already become apathetic to that agenda as well. What I am seeing is a major push at misdirection. I suppose I’m here to let you know that you REALLY need to pay attention to detail moving forward. Let me demonstrate.
Have you heard that the economy is still booming or that profits are exceptionally high? Have you heard about the repeated “all-time” highs in the stock market? Of course you have; the media won’t shut up about it. The problem is that what’s on the label probably isn’t whats in the box.
Recently, the media reported that the unemployment rate (the U-3 rate) had dropped below 4% for the first time since 2000. Specifically, the Labor Department reported last Friday that it fell to 3.9% — “inching closer to territory not seen in half a century“. I know, that sounds amazing! “How could you possibly think this is negative, David?”
The media also reported that employers added 164,000 jobs to the economy. They say that the economy has added jobs at about that rate every month for seven and a half years and called it “the longest streak on record”. Again, this sounds really awesome! “How could you possibly think this is negative, David?”
I’m calling this “spin” because a simple glance at the actual numbers paints a very different picture. Of course, I probably don’t have to tell you that. All anyone really needs to do is look around. But let’s talk about it anyway.
Let’s start with a question: “How many jobs have been lost in that same time?” That’s probably not the best way to ask that question but millions upon millions is the correct answer. In manufacturing alone, the U.S. lost over 7 million job since 2000. And look at retail closures – which is getting worse by the day. It’s not even a stretch to see what I’ve been saying. But you don’t even have to take my work for it if you don’t want to. In fact, according to guys like Ryan McMaken, former economist for the Colorado Division of Housing, only 2.5 million net jobs were really gained from 2007 to 2016, the amount of people that would prefer to work full time, but are not able to find full-time employment has increased significantly in recent years and we are currently experiencing the lowest job growth rate in nearly 35 years.
Now consider how many jobs have been replaced by robots. Millions upon millions is the correct answer. Self-Check kiosks, self-order fast-food (thanks minimum wage warriors), farm tech, manufacturing, analysts and so on. This should all DEFINITELY be on your radar.
Each additional robot in the US economy reduces employment by 5.6 workers, and every robot that is added to the workforce per 1,000 human workers causes wages to drop by as much as 0.25 to 0.5 percent. Such are the conclusions reached by MIT’s Daron Acemoglu and Boston University’s Pascual Restrepo, who published their findings at the National Bureau of Economic Research.Around 50% of all jobs are at risk of being automated and replaced by robots. – George Dvorsky
Just so you know, this is just the beginning; it’s going to get much worse. In fact, a new report predicts that by 2030, as many as 800 million jobs could be lost worldwide to automation. I think that estimate could be understated. Understand that one of the things I have been warning my readers about (since 1999) is about the change in the way the world does business. I don’t know about you, but robotics, artificial intelligence, crypto-currency and so on – this might all count as such a change.
Regardless, that’s not even the point of this post. The think we need to be thinking about why we are continuously told about how great things are going when we know that things are not where they should be. So many people can feel it. It’s ironic really. Yesterday, I was in line at a retail establishment and a gentleman in front of me was talking to another patron about how messed up everything is. They spoke of jobs, taxes and bills.
Let us remember that the U-3 is a joke. Even Donald Trump is on record as calling it “one of the biggest hoaxes in American modern politics”. That’s because it is. Of course, now he seems to be okay with it because it makes him look good to use it in his propaganda. Regardless, we must always remember that the U-3 doesn’t count everyone that it should.
When people talk about unemployment, they often forget a few things: 1) that unemployment benefits do in-fact run out, 2) when someone stops looking for work and they give up trying to get benefits, they are no longer counted in the unemployment number, 3) less than full-time still counts as employment, 4) when a single person has two jobs, that will show up in government numbers as two jobs added and 5) when seasonal jobs are added, they are usually taken away – so when someone lands another seasonal job, they are counted again as a job increase – and maybe we just missed the report where that guy lost his job again.
Friends, the truth is the truth and reality is reality. Critical thinking is important here. We need to embrace some facts if we truly want to address our problems. Ignoring the truth is not helping those in need. Speaking of which… have you ever thought about who is really in need? If not… just look around.
CNN Money reported this week that “Nearly 51 million households don’t earn enough to afford a monthly budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone, according to a study released Thursday by the United Way ALICE Project. That’s 43% of households in the United States.”
But things are awesome right now, right? 43% is rough no matter how you want to spin that. Add in the idea that over 40% of young adults still live with their parents and that picture gets a little more grim. And what about home ownership? We are told that the housing market is booming, but have you ever asked who’s really buying?
Think about this; rentals are on the rise while construction is booming. The media says the housing market is booming and that homes are selling fast. How can both be true? The truth is that rentals are actually skyrocketing. I saw a recent article that says that “Chicago’s hot rental market has been the main driver behind the latest building boom“. I suppose that helps to explain some of it. In fact, renting has increased substantially across metros. According to Rentcafe, between 2006 and 2016, 22 of America’s 100 largest cities went from being majority-homeowner to majority-renter. If you read the local papers, they will blame this on the high prices of homes. Fine… but that’s a misdirection and doesn’t change the point.
More misdirection is that some will say that people no longer want to own a home so they have chosen to rent. Really? Are we really to believe that for the first time in history, people no longer want a place to call their own? Well MAYBE… it’s that they no longer want to make the sacrifices necessary to own. MAYBE… they simply don’t make enough to own. MAYBE… too many of the benefits of home ownership have been stolen from the people. MAYBE… only a small percentage of people are partaking in and benefiting from the current housing market while everyone else is forced to rent because they can no longer afford home ownership. Let us keep in mind that 43% of households don’t earn enough to afford their housing.
Let me drive this last point home. I’m not seeing too many stories about inflation and when I do, they somehow spin to be a positive thing (even though I consider it theft at this point). I’m not seeing too many stories about the devaluation of the dollar either. In fact, I see stories about how strong the dollar is compared to other currencies. These are not the same thing and it confuses most. Or how about how people have to work more hours for less buying power? It’s frustrating. The truth is that if more people really understood this, you would see more reports like the one I’m writing here today. Unfortunately, people don’t get it and many simply can’t understand it.
Consider this; I recently saw some research by Juliet Schor, a Professor of Sociology at Boston College. In her text The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure, she demonstrated that the average adult male peasant in 13th-century U.K. worked approximately 1620 hours every year. Well, according to Pew Research, the average American works approximately 1811 hours. Yet, in one of the wealthiest nations in the world, just under half cannot afford to run their households?
An argument will probably be offered that homes during that time cost less. Well yeah, everything cost less back then and it was also a different economic system and government too, but this goes back to my statement about not understanding the situation for what it is. Let me use an example that I use quite a bit. Remember that in 1913 you could buy a suit and a gun for an ounce of gold and that today you can buy a suit and a gun for an ounce of gold. Only today, an ounce of gold costs about $1300 compared to about $20 in 1913. Now let’s factor in the job. Do you have to work more less or more than a worker in 1913? How many people in your home have to have jobs? Is this less or more than in 1913? Look… values haven’t changed – your currency has.
Some are quick to blame capitalism. This is a HUGE mistake which allows this theft to continue. If I had to blame anyone, I would have to blame central banks and government. The Central Bank argument should be self-evident so I won’t waste time on that but let’s talk about government for a second (which also allowed the Central Bank / Fed Res). As you probably know, the school district is considered a part of the local government. Anyone who works for the school district is considered an employee of the local government. Public schools are funded by local taxes and they are run by elected officials. This system is guided by the The United States Department of Education (ED or DoED); which is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government. Yet, all of these wonderful people are so great and the government is so awesome that they have provided your communities with the following:
(CNSNews.com) – Sixty-five percent of the eighth graders in American public schools in 2017 were not proficient in reading and 67 percent were not proficient in mathematics, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress test results released by the U.S. Department of Education.
Now… this doesn’t mean that the teachers are bad per say; it means that the system is bad – and many teachers I’ve had discussions with would agree with that. And guess what? It’s EVEN WORSE in urban districts! The people are being set up for failure and according to the former Senior Policy Adviser to the U.S. Department of Education, this trend has been going on for decades!
Think about it like this: if you’re not the best reader and if you didn’t really understand or pay attention in history then you will not be able to really comprehend some of the problems we are discussing in this article. And if you can’t exercise the math necessary to examine and compare and contrast economic indicators or even jobs reports, then you’re definitely not going to understand the gravity of what’s going on.
The education problem doesn’t go away in high school either, because it’s ran by the same group of people under the same rules and same agenda. High school is still government run education that allows more than half of all high school students to graduate unprepared for college, let alone a meaningful career necessary to run their own homes (note how I brought it back to the previous point). Yet, somehow we are told that the answer to the education problem is to dump more money into a government run education system that continues to fail us? SERIOUSLY?!?! Well… I think it has been said best by many; “play dumb games; win dumb prizes“.
Last year, I reminded my readers that according to a 2016 GOBankingRates survey, 35% of all adults in the U.S. have only several hundred dollars in their savings accounts and that 34% have zero. This will become a liability for your community in the very near future. Now consider the retail closures, the boomber retirement, the bond market, and so on. When someone tries to tell me that things are awesome, I refer to my calculator to see that they are not. Of course, I can see my neighbors, my city, my state and my nation and I can know without a shadow of a doubt that things are not as they are being sold. Meanwhile, many probably haven’t heard about the record revenues the Feds have taken from the people. Perhaps now you can begin to see how just under half of all households cannot afford the basics. It’s about to get much worse though.
The question I have is why are so many trying to hide the truth. What does that solve? I have often said that we are not far away from an economic calamity and it’s becoming evident that something horrible is about to hit us. It could be weeks, months or even a couple of years but it’s definitely going to happen because nothing is changing. Unfortunately, it won’t change as long as people remain ignorant of the truth. But here’s the thing: we cannot expect the ignorant to make good decisions when we hide the truth and we cannot tax ourselves into prosperity; yet that is exactly what so many expect to happen. Look, the longer we ignore the truth, the harder it is going to be to deal with the aftermath. It really is that simple.
Now, in light of what is unfolding in the Middle East and the South China Sea, rising oil prices and nations around the globe attempting to step away from the dollar, the rise of robotics and A.I., I am convinced that my model was correct. The Three Rule Method has yet to let me down. The way the world does business is changing and our economic situation is already demonstrating it. If you’ve read my work or followed me for any extended period, you know that I believe that war will surely follow. Of course, news feeds are now starting to show that possibility as well. Unless something changes, cause and effect will smack everyone in the mouth.
No doubt that what I continue to share with you is grim but I’m just trying to demonstrate that we are dealing with a systemic problem. The only we are going to fix it is if we approach it holistically. Still, I want you to remember that it doesn’t have to end in disaster and that I truly believe that this can be navigated on an individual basis. A few will have the opportunity to duck and dodge a good portion of the bad and come out healthy and happy on the other end. Again, if you’ve read my work, you also know that the model suggests that we are looking about 50 or 60 years of true prosperity on the other side of it. Yes, everyone will be impacted by it but you don’t have to take the full brunt.
It’s going to take looking at things differently though. It’s going to take learning some skills that you may not have been taught in school (like critical thinking). For many, this probably means making an investment in yourself; a concept that only a small percentage will appreciate.
Time and time again, I have been asked what someone can do to prepare for what seems to be the inevitable. My answer has often been to educate yourself about what has been going on and to store away some necessities. But my readers wanted more so then I wrote my books in the attempt to provide it. I did videos to aid in that effort. But my readers still wanted more and the requests for more help and more advice continue to flood my inbox.
As a result, I started teaching personal and professional leadership development. I started teaching about debt navigation and parenting. I even began teaching about ways to stay safe when bullets start flying. Now of course you should educate yourself about what’s going on and reading my articles and books will surely help. Of course you should store away some necessities as well. That’s just the responsible thing to do. But what about you, personally?
After mentoring quite a few people, I am convinced of the results. So now let me recommend it to you. Enroll yourself in Leadership Development. My recommendation is to invest in some personal leadership development from a qualified practitioner. My advice is to develop and hone some of those essential skills. This is NOT a pitch for my services as a coach; this is a pitch for all related services. Pick a coach that you trust and learn the skills necessary to navigate this and what’s coming. Do something… anything other than just read this, agree or disagree and hope for the best.