The Democrat Moral Superiority Complex (American Thinker)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

 

By Karin McQuillan

I recently met a man who cycled from his home in California to Maryland.  When I exclaimed how interesting it must have been to talk with Americans across the country, he looked at me as if I had two heads.  "Are you crazy?  I didn't talk to anyone," he told me.  "They're all red-necks."

A liberal friend solemnly warned me not to tell anyone I support the Tea Party.  They're all racists, wacko survivalists and birthers, she told me, impervious to anything I said about my pride in the Tea Party, and our mainstream issues: fiscal responsibility and constitutional, limited government.  She knew we were racist because there were only white people at our rallies.   No matter there's not a black face at the anti-global warming groups she goes to, or in her neighborhood or church.  It's only conservatives who are judged guilty of racism before proven innocent.

Democrats believe that good and evil in this country is divided along party lines, with all the caring people in their party, and all the greedy, mean people in the other.  They also believe that intelligence is doled out along party lines.  Conservatives are morons while liberals are the most brilliant people ever seen. 

I hear these comments every time I talk to Democrat friends, relatives and acquaintances.  They are core to Democrat identity, keeping people loyal voters even as the economy tanks and poor communities flounder under Democrat policies.

It gets worse.  Enclosed in their liberal bubble of superiority, Democrats can't picture an intelligent person sincerely and rationally disagreeing.  So they jump to the conclusion that conservatives don't believe in their own ideas!  

It's true: Democrats can't imagine anyone taking conservative ideas seriously, not even conservatives.  They logically infer that Republicans are malevolent liars.  We are just pretending to have our own ideas for how to set the country on the right track.  When Republicans say they hate socialized medicine, they really mean they hate blacks.  When Republicans say they want to respect and strengthen families, it means they hate gays.  When they say people should pay for their own birth control, it means they hate women.  When they say the right to bear arms is in our Constitution, it means they want school massacres.  When they say we need to make Social Security solvent, it means they hate old people.

Republicans can't really believe that individual responsibility is the only path to a free, good and prosperous life.  We don't mean it when we say a fiscally responsible government is necessary for a functioning economy and social safety net.  The Democrats can see through all ridiculous ideas.  It's obvious that Republicans want the old to die, the poor to starve, the young to have no sex, homosexuals to be humiliated and women to have no rights.  Above all, we are racist.

As my mother who grew up in Brooklyn would say, what a crock.

A liberal academic study on Obama's election concluded that racism cost him five percent of Democratic votes.  At the same time, nine percent of registered Republicans crossed party lines to vote for the first black President.  Prejudice correlates with education, not party affiliation.   A map by Swedish economists ranks all the countries in the globe on racism.  The United States is among the most fair, with less than 4% prejudiced against blacks.  According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 31 percent of blacks think that most blacks are racist, more racist than whites.    

So why do Democrats remain convinced that they alone accepted the Civil Rights movement?  Because they quickly rejected the values of Martin Luther King and substituted Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.  Affirmative action and War on Poverty programs constitute the Democrat test of racism.  You think people on welfare would have a better chance of escaping poverty if they are required to work?  Rascist and cruel to the poor.  You've read about the government report that Project Headstart is a complete failure and wonder if charter schools and strengthening the family are better ways to help children?  Clearly racist and cruel to small children.

A study was widely reported in the liberal press before the 2012 election, allegedly proving that America is a racist country.  People were asked if they agree or disagree with the following statements:

• "Irish, Italians, Jewish, and many other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks should do the same without special favors."

• "Generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class."

• "Over the past few years blacks have gotten less than they deserve."

• "It's really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites."

If Americans agree that blacks could achieve as much as whites with the same level of hard work they are judged racist.  If you do not think blacks are handicapped by having ancestors who were slaves, that is now proof of racism.  Anyone see a contradiction here?  That used to be the definition of not being racist. 

If you've noticed that over the past few years blacks get preferred treatment in hiring by police and fire departments, by diversity programs in corporations, by federal bidding procedures, in college admissions - most of these preferences required by law - that proves you're a racist.

Liberals are convinced by this logic.  To them it is common sense, irrefutable.  No one they respect would disagree.

Racism researcher David Bositis  "finds the (Tea Party) movement's arguments about reckless federal spending unpersuasive", so he concludes the Tea Party's real motives are racist.  He explains, 'They know they can't use any overtly racist language,' he contends. 'So they use coded language'-questioning the patriotism of the president or complaining about "socialist" schemes to redistribute wealth. Note that Bositis has no actual evidence.  He makes that part of his proof - Tea Partiers hide their racism so well they never say (or do) anything racist!  That proves they're talking in code.

Danita Kilcullen, the founder of Tea Party Fort Lauderdale counters Bositis' accusations:

"Nobody in the Tea Party movement that I know is a racist." She notes that she attends a church with a black pastor, supports a black candidate (Allen West) in a local congressional race, and backs a Latino candidate (Marco Rubio) for U.S. Senate. When a protestor showed up at one of her group's rallies with a racist sign, she says, she personally kicked him off the corner. "We absolutely don't tolerate anything like that," says Kilcullen."

No matter.  Liberals know what they know.

It is time for Republicans to go on the offensive.  There is no coded language.  We are not afraid and quite capable of saying exactly what we think.  Everyone can see with their own eyes how the War on Poverty approach has played out.  Democrats treat blacks like they can't get into a college on their own merits, are too emotionally damaged to get out of the ghetto, and can't be treated like capable adults.  It's demeaning and destructive.

The Nanny state is a nightmare of no future and no hope.  Not just for ghetto blacks, but for all of us.  We can't afford a government that is spending as much as 100% of all our income (yes, it would take 100% taxes on everyone to pay Obama's federal bills), squeezing out the private economy. We can't afford a welfare underclass that doesn't pull its own weight.  We live in competitive world and need the best efforts of every American.

Personal initiative, responsibility and hard work are the only paths to success.  They are G-d given gifts.  They are liberated by our free-enterprise system.  Government cannot give those gifts but it can destroy them.  The Nanny State is depriving not just ghetto blacks, but our entire country of a future.  Republicans have a better way.

Republican voters are fed up with our own pusillanimous leaders who don't speak up clearly and forcefully and honestly.  We are disgusted with the Republican elected officials who offered up that rodeo clown as a sacrificial lamb to the race-baiters out to lynch him.  The answer to Democrat lies is more free speech on our part, not less.

If anything good came out of George Zimmerman's trail in the court of public opinion, it is this:  Democrats don't get to define racism anymore.  Their race baiting is too ugly, too destructive, too false, and too self-serving.  If anything good came out of the IRS scandal it is this:  the Tea Party is back.  We're proud of our values, we have a positive vision for our country, we believe in both freedom and equality as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Now we've got to win so we can put our values into practice.  The country needs us.

The author volunteered in Project Headstart as a teenager, inspected tenements in Harlem for housing violations, served in the Peace Corps in Africa, became a clinical social worker and later a mystery author, writing books set in Kenya.  She is regular contributor to AT.

Knowledge of Website

Friday, August 30, 2013
  • Knowledge of CICAG Informations

A Minority View (Townhall.com)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Townhall.com ^ | August 28, 2013 | Walter E. Williams

Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 6:28:40 AM by Kaslin

This week begins my 34th year serving on George Mason University's distinguished economics faculty. You might imagine my surprise when I received a letter from its Office of Equity and Diversity Services notifying me that I was required to "complete the in-person Equal Opportunity and Prevention of Sexual Harassment Policies and Procedures training." This is a leftist agenda for indoctrination, thought control and free speech suppression to which I shall refuse to submit. Let's look at it.

Ideas such as equity and equal opportunity, while having high emotional value, are vacuous analytical concepts. For example, I've asked students whether they plan to give every employer an equal opportunity to hire them when they graduate. To a person, they always answer no. If they aren't going to give every employer an equal opportunity to hire them, what's fair about forcing employers to give them an equal opportunity to be hired?

I'm guilty of gross violation of equality of opportunity, racism and possibly sexism. Back in 1960, when interviewing people to establish a marital contract, every woman wasn't given an equal opportunity. I discriminated against not only white, Indian, Asian, Mexican and handicapped women but men of any race. My choices were confined to good-looking black women. You say, "Williams, that kind of discrimination doesn't harm anyone!" Nonsense! When I married Mrs. Williams, other women were harmed by having a reduced opportunity set.

George Mason's Office of Equity and Diversity Services has far more challenging equity and diversity work than worrying about the re-education of Professor Williams. They must know that courts have long held that gross racial disparities are probative of a pattern and practice of discrimination. The most notable gross racial disparity on campus, and hence probative of discrimination, can be found on GMU's fabulous men's basketball team. Blacks are less than 9 percent of student enrollment but are 85 percent of our varsity basketball team and dominate its starting five. It's not just GMU. Watch any Saturday afternoon college basketball game and ask yourself the question fixated in the minds of equity, diversity and inclusion hunters: Does this look like America? Among the 10 players on the court, at best there might be two white players. In 2010, 61 percent of Division I basketball players were black, and only 31 percent were white.

Allied with the purveyors of equity, diversity and inclusion are the multiculturalists, who call for the celebration of cultures. For them, all cultures are morally equivalent and to deem otherwise is Eurocentrism. That's unbridled nonsense. Ask your multiculturalist: Is forcible female genital mutilation, as practiced in nearly 30 sub-Saharan Africa and Middle Eastern countries, a morally equivalent cultural value? Slavery is practiced in Sudan and Niger; is that a cultural equivalent? In most of the Middle East, there are numerous limits on women -- such as prohibitions on driving, employment, voting and education. Under Islamic law, in some countries, female adulterers face death by stoning, and thieves face the punishment of having their hand severed. Are these cultural values morally equivalent, superior or inferior to those of the West?

Western values are superior to all others. Why? The greatest achievement of the West was the concept of individual rights. The Western transition from barbarism to civility didn't happen overnight. It emerged feebly -- mainly in England, starting with the Magna Carta of 1215 -- and took centuries to get where it is today.

One need not be a Westerner to hold Western values. A person can be Chinese, Japanese, Jewish, African or Arab and hold Western values. It's no accident that Western values of reason and individual rights have produced unprecedented health, life expectancy, wealth and comfort for the ordinary person.

Western values are under ruthless attack by the academic elite on college campuses across America. They want to replace personal liberty with government control and replace equality before the law with entitlement. The multiculturalism and diversity agenda is a cancer on our society, and our tax dollars and charitable donations are supporting it.

Douthat Can't Say It, But I Can (American Thinker)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

 

By Christopher Chantrill

It would be easy to critique Ross Douthat's column "A Different Kind of Division" as lily-livered RINOism. He is gently, ever so gently telling his liberal audience that, fifty years after Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech, today's Obama race wars do not divide the country like Bull Connor's dogs and water hoses in 1963. And really, he waffles, there are good ideas for reform from both sides of the aisle. Get this:

Meanwhile, in the broader socioeconomic landscape, the big story of the last generation in American life is that problems that were seen as specifically "black problems" in the 1970s and 1980s -- persistent unemployment, especially for men, family breakdown and social disarray -- are now problems affecting the pan-ethnic working class.

Do you see what he is doing? He is referring to Daniel Patrick Moynihan's 1965 report on "The Negro Family: The Case for National Action" and to Charles Murray's Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010. Moynihan is unmentionable because he was so embarrassingly right and Charles Murray is unmentionable because long ago in a galaxy far away he wrote a book that allowed as how blacks scored lower on IQ tests than whites. Cue Noel Coward and "Don't Let's Be Beastly to the Lib'rals."

Back in the good old days they used to advise rabble-rousers not to frighten the horses in the street. Today it's important not to frighten the NYT-reading termagents of a certain age in the faculty lounge.

Allow me to translate Douthat's gentle words. Liberals: You Suck! You're the ruling class; you're the evolved ones, the educated, the compassionate ones, yet you've been playing the race card, shamelessly and cynically, man and boy, for the last 50 years and now it's like you're on crack. You'll do anything to rile up and harvest that 90 percent of the African American vote that you need to stay in the game, and with the Obama race wars you're just about hitting bottom.

Remember? You liberals were the guys that said never again would the U.S. countenance racist thugs like Lester Maddox and George Wallace. Today, in 2013, it is liberals that not merely condone but actually encourage the racist Reverends who go out every morning to remind African Americans that Jim Crow is just around the corner.

So it's a different kind of division now? Are you kidding? Jim Crow got started after the dead-heat 1876 election because Republicans were tired of occupying the South. So Rutherford B. Hayes took office in a deal that allowed the white ruling class down south to resurrect a kind of slavery-lite for the next 80 years. Shame on the Republicans.

Fast-forward to today. The liberal administrative state has been exposed as an utter failure, from its failing schools, its failing pensions, its monstrous health-care, to its inflationist Keynesianism. Conservatives have been offering sensible, practical reforms for a generation, but liberals know better. Just like the defeated South and the Bourbons before them, they have forgotten nothing and learned nothing. They are the ruling class, to the manor born, and we once and future slaves better get down on our knees and obey the mandates of the latest 2,000 page omnibus bill to the letter, or they'll sic the IRS on us.

So what is the difference?

The difference is in what comes next. After the pride of Hubris comes the avenging sword of Nemesis. It's all just a Greek myth, of course, but it's telling that Nemesis was female, on the idea that Heaven hath no fury like a woman scorned by the pride of a ruling-class liberal.

We've got the recovery that isn't. We've got the ObamaCare train wreck. We've got the global warming that didn't. Now we've got the #HATE THEM hashtaggers proudly broadcasting their racist thuggery on Twitter and acting on it. There's your fundamental transformation.

We conservatives, if we were as mean-spirited as the liberals insist we are, could be setting up the bleachers right now to cheer on an epic political meltdown. But the truth is that we love America too much for that, and hate what is coming in the next three years, even if that's what it takes to put a Republican president into office with a Republican Congress on January 20, 2017.

We know who will be hardest hit. It will be the folks that took the welfare bait and backed off their work effort. It will be the twentysomethings buried in Obama student debt slavery. It will be the government retirees beached by the dismasted government pensions. It will be the teachers marooned by the shipwreck of education.

The dream has become a nightmare.

Christopher Chantrill (mailto:chrischantrill@gmail.com) is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. See his usgovernmentspending.com and also usgovernmentdebt.us. At americanmanifesto.org he is blogging and writing An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism. Get his Road to the Middle Class.

Faces of Evil in a Violent Underclass (American Thinker)

Monday, August 26, 2013

 

By Bryce Buchanan

See also: Is There Anything about Race We Can Agree On?

Faces of Evil - that was the headline of the Australian Herald Sun when reporting the depraved murder of Aussie Christopher Lane.  It is instructive to carry that theme further with a few more faces.

James Edwards and his buddies murdered Chris Lane "for the fun of it".  James Edwards shot him in the back.  It was reported that Edwards danced and laughed in the police station after his arrest.  Ending a stranger's life was funny to him.

He boasted on twitter that he had "knocked out 5 woods [whites] since Zimmerman court".  He advised others to "HATE" white people, and a few days before the murder he said he wanted to be "with my niggas when it's time to start taken lifes".

This is De'Marquise Elkins and his mother and aunt. 

De'Marquise approached Sherri West in Brunswick, Georgia in March and asked for money.  When she refused, he shot her 13 month old baby between the eyes.  Elkins' mother and aunt were arrested for obstructing justice when they lied to cover-up the crime.

On August 12, a recent graduate from nursing school, David Santucci, was walking home from a birthday party.  According to witnesses, Dondre Johnson, Mario Patterson and Jerrica Norfleet drove up to him, shot him to death and drove away. 

They were captured shortly after the murder. Some news outlets reported this as a robbery rather than a racist hate crime, but witnesses said nothing was taken from the victim; nothing but his life.

In another recent Memphis story, police say that the two people pictured above doused a man with gasoline in a vacant field and set him on fire.  He was severely burned over most of his body.  A neighbor heard the screams and saw the victim's skin falling off.  He said the devil himself would not deserve such treatment.

Several years ago in Knoxville, Tennessee, Christopher Newsom and Channon Christian were carjacked by the degenerate savages pictured to the left.  Newsom was gagged, bound, brutally raped, beaten, shot and set on fire.  Then they went to work on Channon.  She was taken into the back room of a home where she was beaten and brutally raped in every way imaginable for hours.  Bleach was poured down her throat.  Then she was placed in a garbage bag to suffocate to death.

News of this horrendous, racist hate crime was mostly covered up.  Much of the media are happy to lie in cases like Martin/Zimmerman or Duke Lacrosse, but they are not willing to tell the truth in cases like this. The typical cover-up approach was demonstrated by the Norfolk newspaper, The Virginian-Pilot, last year when two of their reporters were beaten by a black mob of about 30 people.  They did not report the story at all until they were shamed into it two weeks after the assault.  'News' organizations are political organizations and filter stories to suit their political agenda.

"Shorty" Belton died late last week.  He was 88.  He fought for our country in Okinawa and was wounded there. 

Shorty had been brutally beaten by two 'unarmed children'.

I sure hope Shorty didn't try to defend himself, because, as we all now know, it is just wrong to defend yourself when black teenagers decide to pound on you.

The alleged savages are Demetrius Glenn, 16, who is now in custody (above), and Keenan Adams-Kinard (below).

In a similar case, Pat Mahaney was beaten by 'unarmed' 13 and 14 year olds.  Pat died last week.

In Washington, DC, last August, T.C. Maslin was walking home from a baseball game.  His wife and two-year-old son were at home.  Tommy Branch (left) and two other young black thugs approached Maslin.  With a two-fisted grip, Branch swung an aluminum bat into the side of Maslin's head, shattering his skull and severing an optic nerve.  Maslin lived, but he is severely disabled.  The national media ignored this story.

Last Monday in Pensacola, Florida, 77-year-old John Garland Redick was chased, beaten with sticks and pelted with cans by a mob of very young black teens.  Two of the attackers are pictured below, Keyon Black and Shaknee Golay.

On March 17, 2012, police found 32 year old Terry Moore lying in his own blood outside an Appleby's Restaurant in North Carolina.  Moore said the group of predators pictured below approached him calling him a "tree honkey" and a "cracker". 

They knocked him to the ground and amused themselves punching and kicking him.

It would not be difficult at all to post pictures and tell stories of degenerate predators like this ad nauseam.  There is an explosion of black mob violence.  If you doubt that, read "White Girl Bleed A Lot" by Colin Flaherty.  Across the country, degenerate people are violently attacking strangers in "the knockout game" ...  just for 'fun'.  Flash mobs swarm stores to plunder and pillage.  They are eliminating the government middle-man and taking what they want directly.

Even though we don't speak much about this violence, and even though the press works to cover it up, we all understand that we have a huge problem with a violent, racist, uncivilized underclass.  We are taught, incorrectly, that it is not appropriate to talk honestly about it.  But ignoring or denying the problem is the most foolish approach of all.  We must acknowledge it and we must talk about it.

Consider these statistics:

§  Blacks are seven times more likely than people of other races to commit murder, and eight times more likely to commit robbery.

§  The best indicator of violent crime levels in an area is the percent of the population that is black and Hispanic.

§  Blacks are 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against whites then vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit a robbery.

§  The death toll from murder in Chicago over the last decade exceeds the death toll of our soldiers in Afghanistan since the beginning of that war.  [Handgun purchases are not allowed in Chicago.]

§  Nearly 3/4 of black children are born out of wedlock.  Generations of children are being raise without fathers.

§  Academic achievement for black students is appallingly low, despite a large amount of money being spent to provide that group with educational opportunities.

Now consider the fact that decent black people are the people who are most harmed by this violent subculture.  They are the closest to the problem and suffer the most from it. But we all suffer from this growing cancer and ignoring the problem is simply one way to commit national suicide.

This problem is not about skin color.  The real problem is bad values.  There is nothing about having melanin in your skin that will protect you from the natural consequences of destructive values.  Violent, hostile, uneducated, misogynistic men who do not care for their children will not be successful... anywhere, ever.  And no civilization can survive the degradation of its women.  Thug culture celebrates the degradation of women.

Think about the Vietnamese refugees or other Asian refugees who came to this country from lives of severe deprivation.  They had nothing...except good values.  With hard work, education, family values, self-discipline and perseverance, most achieved the American Dream in a short amount of time.  In one generation, they were often small business owners and valedictorians.  Fortunately for them, they had no putative leaders teaching them victimhood and hopelessness.  No one told them it was someone else's job to make their lives successful.

If we discuss this problem openly we will be called racists.  People will say we are finally "showing our true colors".  We will be called liars.  Thug culture will be defended.  They will say we are afraid of black masculinity, as though violent bravado is praiseworthy.  There will be a large leftist effort to stop people from saying what needs to be said.

We should ignore the criticism and steadfastly pursue Martin Luther King's dream of living in a nation where people "will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."  This dream strikes fear in the hearts of current civil rights 'leaders' who abhor the idea of character judgments.  They live in the past.  For them, it is all about skin color.

In my view, no one has done more to impede the progress of black people than black 'leaders" and other leftists in the racial grievance industry.  They sell exactly the wrong message of victimhood, telling blacks on the dependency plantation that none of their problems are their fault and nothing is their responsibility.  Could you find a better formula for creating an angry, dependent population than to tell them that all of their problems are caused by others and all of their needs are someone else's job to fill.  From Sharpton to Obama, the message is destructive, though it does maintain the desired voting block.

Accepting lower standards of behavior for black people is a form of racism.  Only a racist would say that black people are not capable of joining civilized society on an equal footing.  Do blacks need lower standards because they are inferior people?  This is the soft bigotry of low expectations.  Violent, ignorant, parasitic thug culture is not a built- in defect.  It comes from bad values which are created and supported by bad social policy.  The violent subculture persists because of an absurd level of tolerance on our part.

Today's "GFY" Entry: Obama (From The Market-Ticker)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Market-Ticker

Our racist (refuses to stand up and call the crime by three young punks who posted on Twitter that they hated white people -- then executed a white jogger by shooting him in the back of the head a hate crime), jihad-ignoring (has willfully and intentionally refused to call Hasan's murder of American Servicemen and women on a US military base, while yelling "Allah Akhbar!", Muslim Terrorism) POS (that's shortened from POTUS) now spewed:

"Students need ways to manage and afford debt" (to go to college.)

Oh really?

Let me guess -- we need massive Collegiate Football palaces, thousands of deans, provosts and other non-educators in these "hallowed halls", and we must continue to innovate in teaching such rapidly-evolving and difficult to instill subjects such as Differential Equations, Organic Chemistry and Physics?

Uh huh.

Calculus hasn't changed since, well.... calculus.  Neither has Organic Chem; I seem to recall that the last seminal event that re-ordered how chemical reactions (whether organic or not) took place some many millions of years ago.  I also seem to remember that same event being the previous instance where how physics works might have been altered as well.

It would appear to me that the cost of a textbook for such a class should in fact approach zero.  After all, copyright has long since lapsed in the intervening years.  It would also seem to me that with said lecture being delivered a few hundred thousand times in the intervening period that the marginal value of same also approaches zero.  This leaves the marginal cost and utility value of someone to answer your questions when you don't understand why a particular concept works the way it does.

That cost and therefore at (some multiple thereof) price should approach (but not reach) zero.

In addition it appears to me that a Raspberry Pi, a fully-functional $35 computer that can be coupled to virtually any flat-screen TV, is sufficient resource for someone to be able to access said store of knowledge and learn, should you want to do so.  Of course there are other options, some that are paid for with public funds (e.g. computers in the library) but even if you're (truly) poor and have little there is no barrier to entry when it comes to the knowledge that colleges supposedly impart.

No, what you have is a POS (again, shortened from POTUS) who thinks that (debt) slavery is just fine, and who is perfectly ok with arrogating to himself the bully pulpit to advocate for exactly that.  After all, as a black man he wouldn't have any cultural sensitivity to slavery -- right?

It's especially amusing to watch this POS advocate for ways for people to "manage" said slavery.  I'm sure all the black people on the plantations felt exactly the same way.  Isn't it funny how today's plantation is found with a nice pair of ivory columns in front of the door and a bunch of professors and administrators sitting in the tower?

And people wonder why I think this nation is about to find itself gripped in the convulsions of a people tearing each other -- and themselves -- apart?

The Tip Of The Iceberg Of The Coming Retirement Crisis That Will Shake America To The Core

Thursday, July 25, 2013


TEC ^ | 07/25/2013 | Michael Snyder

Posted on Thursday, July 25, 2013 2:14:41 PM by SeekAndFind

The pension nightmare that is at the heart of the horrific financial crisis in Detroit is just the tip of the iceberg of the coming retirement crisis that will shake America to the core. Right now, more than 10,000 Baby Boomers are hitting the age of 65 every single day, and this will continue to happen every single day until the year 2030. As a society, we have made trillions of dollars of financial promises to these Baby Boomers, and there is no way that we are going to be able to keep those promises. The money simply is not there. Yes, I suppose that we could eventually see a "super devaluation" of the U.S. dollar and keep our promises to the Baby Boomers using currency that is not worth much more than Monopoly money, but as it stands right now we simply do not have the resources to do what we said that we were going to do. The number of senior citizens in the United States is projected to more than double by the middle of the century, and it would have been nearly impossible to support them all even if we weren't in the midst of a long-term economic decline. Tens of millions of Americans that are eagerly looking forward to retirement are going to be in for a very rude awakening in the years ahead. There is going to be a lot of heartache and a lot of broken promises.

What is going on in Detroit right now is a perfect example of what will soon be happening all over the nation. Many city workers stuck with their jobs for decades because of the promise of a nice pension at the end of the rainbow. But now those promises are going up in smoke. There has even been talk that retirees will only end up getting about 10 cents for every dollar that they were promised.

Needless to say, many pensioners are extremely angry that the promises that were made to them are not going to be kept. The following is from a recent article in the New York Times...

Many retirees see the plan to cut their pensions as a betrayal, saying that they kept their end of a deal but that the city is now reneging. Retired city workers, police officers and 911 operators said in interviews that the promise of reliable retirement income had helped draw them to work for the City of Detroit in the first place, even if they sometimes had to accept smaller salaries or work nights or weekends.

“Does Detroit have a problem?” asked William Shine, 76, a retired police sergeant. “Absolutely. Did I create it? I don’t think so. They made me some promises, and I made them some promises. I kept my promises. They’re not going to keep theirs.”

But Detroit is far from an isolated case. As Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said the other day, many other cities are heading down the exact same path...

"We may be one of the first. We are the largest. But we absolutely will not be the last."

Yes, Detroit's financial problems are immense. But other major U.S. cities are facing unfunded pension liabilities that are even worse.

For example, here are the unfunded pension liabilities for four financially-troubled large U.S. cities...

Detroit: $3.5 billion

Baltimore: $680 million

Los Angeles: $9.4 billion

Chicago: $19 billion

When you break it down on a per citizen basis, Detroit is actually in better shape than the others...

Detroit: $7,145

Baltimore: $7,247

Los Angeles: $8,437

Chicago: $13,355

And many state governments are in similar shape. Right now, the state of Illinois has unfunded pension liabilities that total approximately $100 billion.

There are some financial "journalists" out there that are attempting to downplay this problem, but sticking our heads in the sand is not going to make any of this go away.

According to Northwestern University Professor John Rauh, the total amount of unfunded pension and healthcare obligations for retirees that state and local governments across the United States have accumulated is 4.4 trillion dollars.

So where are they going to get that money?

They are going to raise your taxes of course.

Just check out what is happening right now in Scranton, Pennsylvania...

Scranton taxpayers could face a 117 percent increase in taxes next year as the city's finances continue to spiral out of control.

A new analysis by the Pennsylvania Economy League projects an $18 million deficit for 2014, an amount so massive it outpaces the approximate $17 million the struggling city collects annually

A 117 percent tax increase?

What would Dwight Schrute think of that?

Perhaps you are reading this and you are assuming that your retirement is secure because you work in the private sector.

Well, just remember what happened to your 401k during the financial crisis of 2008. During the next major stock market crash, your 401k will likely get absolutely shredded. Many Americans will probably see the value of their 401k accounts go down by 50 percent or more.

And if you have stashed your retirement funds with the wrong firm, you could end up losing everything. Just ask anyone that had their nest eggs invested with MF Global.

But of course most Americans are woefully behind on saving for retirement anyway. A study conducted by Boston College's Center for Retirement Research found that American workers are $6.6 trillion short of what they need to retire comfortably.

That certainly isn't good news.

On top of everything else, the federal government has been recklessly irresponsible as far as planning for the retirement of the Baby Boomers is concerned.

As I noted yesterday, the U.S. government is facing a total of 222 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities. Social Security and Medicare make up the bulk of that.

At this point, the number of Americans on Medicare is projected to grow from a little bit more than 50 million today to 73.2 million in 2025.

The number of Americans collecting Social Security benefits is projected to grow from about 56 million today to 91 million in 2035.

How is a society with a steadily declining economy going to care for them all adequately?

Yes, we truly are careening toward disaster.

If you are not convinced yet, here are some more numbers. The following stats are from one of my previous articles entitled "Do You Want To Scare A Baby Boomer?"...

1. Right now, there are somewhere around 40 million senior citizens in the United States. By 2050 that number is projected to skyrocket to 89 million.

2. According to one recent poll, 25 percent of all Americans in the 46 to 64-year-old age bracket have no retirement savings at all.

3. 26 percent of all Americans in the 46 to 64-year-old age bracket have no personal savings whatsoever.

4. One survey that covered all American workers found that 46 percent of them have less than $10,000 saved for retirement.

5. According to a survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, "60 percent of American workers said the total value of their savings and investments is less than $25,000".

6. A Pew Research survey found that half of all Baby Boomers say that their household financial situations have deteriorated over the past year.

7. 67 percent of all American workers believe that they "are a little or a lot behind schedule on saving for retirement".

8. Today, one out of every six elderly Americans lives below the federal poverty line.

9. More elderly Americans than ever are finding that they must continue working once they reach their retirement years. Between 1985 and 2010, the percentage of Americans in the 65 to 69-year-old age bracket that were still working increased from 18 percent to 32 percent.

10. Back in 1991, half of all American workers planned to retire before they reached the age of 65. Today, that number has declined to 23 percent.

11. According to one recent survey, 70 percent of all American workers expect to continue working once they are "retired".

12. According to a poll conducted by AARP, 40 percent of all Baby Boomers plan to work "until they drop".

13. A poll conducted by CESI Debt Solutions found that 56 percent of American retirees still had outstanding debts when they retired.

14. Elderly Americans tend to carry much higher balances on their credit cards than younger Americans do. The following is from a recent CNBC article...

New research from the AARP also shows that those ages 50 and over are carrying higher balances on their credit cards -- $8,278 in 2012 compared to $6,258 for the under-50 population.

15. A study by a law professor at the University of Michigan found that Americans that are 55 years of age or older now account for 20 percent of all bankruptcies in the United States. Back in 2001, they only accounted for 12 percent of all bankruptcies.

16. Between 1991 and 2007 the number of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 that filed for bankruptcy rose by a staggering 178 percent.

17. What is causing most of these bankruptcies among the elderly? The number one cause is medical bills. According to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine, medical bills are a major factor in more than 60 percent of the personal bankruptcies in the United States. Of those bankruptcies that were caused by medical bills, approximately 75 percent of them involved individuals that actually did have health insurance.

18. In 1945, there were 42 workers for every retiree receiving Social Security benefits. Today, that number has fallen to 2.5 workers, and if you eliminate all government workers, that leaves only 1.6 private sector workers for every retiree receiving Social Security benefits.

19. Millions of elderly Americans these days are finding it very difficult to survive on just a Social Security check. The truth is that most Social Security checks simply are not that large. The following comes directly from the Social Security Administration website...

The average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker was about $1,230 at the beginning of 2012. This amount changes monthly based upon the total amount of all benefits paid and the total number of people receiving benefits.

You can view the rest of the statistics right here.

Sadly, most Americans are not aware of these things.

The mainstream media keeps most of the population entertained with distractions. This week it is the birth of the royal baby, and next week it will be something else.

Meanwhile, our problems just continue to get worse and worse.

There is no way in the world that we are going to be able to keep all of the financial promises that we have made to the Baby Boomers. A lot of them are going to end up bitterly disappointed.

All of this could have been avoided if we would have planned ahead as a society.

But that did not happen, and now we are all going to pay the price for it.