From New Eastern Outlook, by Grete Mautner
Some people today still remember the times when America was the wealthiest nation on the entire planet and that could afford even the boldest infrastructure. But things are different now, as the US now has the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world and it can’t even afford to repair the marvels that it used to build. The near catastrophic failure of the Oroville Dam is a perfect example of the situation most Americans have found themselves in.
Just recently, the Most Important News presented its version of 11 deeply alarming facts about America’s crumbling infrastructure and its long-term economic collapse. According to this site, the US economy expanded at its slowest rate for five years in 2016. Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by only 1.6 percent in 2016, down from 2.6 percent in 2015.
In turn, the World Socialist Web Site notes that the feature to emerge from the US GDP figures is the ever-widening disconnect between the underlying real economy and the financial system. This disconnect has a significant impact on economic growth, as vast amounts of wealth are diverted from the real economy into various forms of financial speculation. This leads to a decline in investment and falling productivity, two central features of the US economy in the eight years since the eruption of the financial crisis.
The situation is critical, so it’s hardly surprising that The Daily Caller has attempted to establish those responsible for the crisis most Americans have found themselves in, noting that President Obama’s time in the White House has added nearly 8 trillion dollars to the national debt. It means that Obama’s agenda came at a cost of the national debt increasing from more than 10.6 trillion dollars in January 2009 to 19.6 trillion dollars at the end of fiscal year 2016.
At the same time, as it’s pointed out by the Economic Collapse, none of long-term economic problems have been fixed. When the cost of living rises faster than paychecks do year after year, eventually that becomes a very big problem. Every month, tens of millions of American families struggle to pay the bills, and most of them don’t even understand the economic forces that are putting so much pressure on them.
Even if one still manages to remain employed, his quality of life is degrading rapidly as the rent, healthcare rates and even food are getting more expensive by the day. The Huffington Post notes that Water bills are on the rise across the United States, and the poor communities are being hit the hardest.
The total household debt climbed to 12.58 trillion dollars at the end of 2016, which constitutes an increase of 266 billion dollars from the third quarter, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. For the year, household debt ballooned by 460 billion dollars – the largest increase in almost a decade. That means the debt loads of Americans are flirting with 2008 levels, when total consumer debt reached a record high of 12.68 trillion dollars.
But how much more are you going to squeeze out of U.S. consumers? Two-thirds of the country is living paycheck to paycheck. But the US government is reluctant to provide relief to those hard working people who have suddenly found themselves struggling financially even after taking a tremendous work load. Instead it prefers to finance all sorts of military contractors that are pouring money down the drain on such projects as the F22 program, which has already consumed hundred of billions of dollars.
The American Thinker is predicting an abrupt rise in political violence in the United States, while arguing that wars begin when, in a major crisis, no peaceful solution can be found. Americans are at or near that point. Unfortunately, most people are not going to acknowledge the truth until it is too late.
Grete Mautner is an indepenent researcher and journalist from Germany, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”