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The Vast Majority Just Aren’t Making It Anymore: “Honey, I Shrunk the Middle Class”

Charles Hugh Smith
December 30th, 2015
Of Two Minds
Comments (93) Read by 4,946 people

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This article was written by Charles Hugh Smith and originally published at his Of Two Minds blog.

Editor’s Comment: It just ain’t what it used to be. The dollar has been stretched to the max, and most people have been stretched too thin. While many Americans have been out of work and discouraged from returning to the work force, many more people are holding on to what they’ve got, but finding that what they earn hardly qualifies for the standard of “middle class,” especially when all the costs, taxes, penalties, accumulated debt and necessities are taken into account.

Let’s hope someone does ‘make America great again,’ because where we’re headed now is just a long, cold slide into oblivion as more and more find themselves on the margins, and in between the cracks. Who is it that put down the squeeze, again?

Honey, I Shrunk the Middle Class: Perhaps 1/3 of Households Qualify

by Charles Hugh Smith

If it takes more than $126,000 to fund a qualitatively defined middle class lifestyle, what sense does it even make to call this “middle”?

The Pew Research Center’s recent report The American Middle Class Is Losing Ground: No longer the majority and falling behind financially made a media splash, as it reported that less than 50% of adults are members of the Great American Middle Class.

My analysis suggests that by more qualitative measures, no more than a third of U.S. households qualify as middle class: claiming 49% of the nation’s households are still middle class is a gross exaggeration.

My analysis starts with the minimum fundamental lifestyle and wealth requirements of middle class membership: In What Does It Take To Be Middle Class?, I listed these requirements:

1. Meaningful healthcare insurance ($5,000 deductible healthcare plans don’t qualify; they are simulacrum/phantom coverage).

2. Significant equity (25%+) in a home or other real estate.

3. Income/expenses that enable the household to save at least 6% of its income.

4. Significant retirement funds: 401Ks, IRAs, etc.

5. The ability to service all expenses over the medium-term if one of the primary household wage-earners lose their job.

6. Reliable vehicles for each wage-earner.

7. The household does not depend on government assistance to maintain the family lifestyle.

8. A percentage of hard assets beyond the family home that can be transferred to the next generation.

9. Surplus income to invest in children (extracurricular activities, lessons, etc.).

10. Leisure time devoted to the maintenance of physical/spiritual/mental fitness.

In other words, middle class cannot be meaningfully defined by income alone. The middle class is more than owning a home (especially if the equity is modest or dependent on the asset bubble du jour): the most fundamental qualities of the middle class are not measures of income or bling, though obviously income is necessary to provide them:

— real healthcare coverage

— wealth that can’t be destroyed by one bad break or one popped asset bubble

— the ability (and willingness) to invest in children

— the ability (and willingness) to transfer accumulated real wealth to the next generation.

Income is not an accurate proxy, as many high-income households are living paycheck to paycheck: regardless of their income, they don’t qualify as middle class by qualitative standards.

$100,000 and up is not enough – even the ‘rich’ live paycheck to paycheck

Middle class is more than income–it’s a value system that recognizes the necessity of sacrifice, frugality, capital and long-term planning. If high-income households squander all the income on eating out, lavish vacations, matching luxury-brand autos, etc., they aren’t middle class: their values do not support investing in their children’s future, their own retirement (so they won’t be a burden to their adult kids) and on building wealth that won’t vanish when the current asset bubble bursts.

By my calculation (admittedly coarse, given the huge range of living expenses from lower-cost regions to sky-high locales on the Left and Right Coasts), around $100,000 for state/corporate employed adults (i.e. jobs that provide healthcare and retirement/401K benefits) and $130,000+ for self-employed people (who have to pay their own healthcare and retirement costs) is more or less the minimum required to fund the qualities described above.

It’s remarkably easy to earn this income and have very little to show for it by year-end, so this is (at least in many areas) bare-bones.

As you can in this chart of nominal (not adjusted for inflation) median household income, this is roughly double median household income of $52,000 annually.

The Pew report places households with incomes from from $42,000 to $126,000 as middle class. Judging by my estimates, it would very difficult to meet these qualitative standards on $52,000 household income unless housing was nearly free (for example, the family house was owned free and clear and property taxes were low).

In many Left and Right Coast cities, $52,000 is essentially poverty level. Even in lower-cost areas, it would take at least 50% above median household income to fund a middle class life.

 

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve’s policy of inflating bubbles in assets that were once stable places to build lasting equity (for example, housing) has devastated middle class wealth. Adjusted for inflation (which is likely under-stated, since big-ticket items such as college tuition and healthcare are under-represented in official inflation), household wealth has gone nowhere for over 20 years.

Two immense asset bubbles have inflated and popped in the past 15 years, and what has that done for middle class wealth? Nothing positive.

We should also note that most of the “middle class” wealth is held by the top slice of the upper middle class and the wealthy Aristocracy above them:

The current credit-asset bubbles are now poised to burst. What will that do to what remains of middle class wealth? We can be sure it won’t be positive.

If we consider the qualitative requirements, it is unlikely that more than one-third of households qualify as middle class. If it takes more than $126,000 to fund a qualitatively defined middle class lifestyle, what sense does it even make to call this “middle”?

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Author: Charles Hugh Smith
Views: Read by 4,946 people
Date: December 30th, 2015
Website: http://www.oftwominds.com/blogdec15/shrunken-middle-class12-15.html

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93 Comments...

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  1. Sgt. Dale says:

    I would hate to be a youngster today, and in the so called middle class.

    I love it when they call us the middle class. That is B.S. We are the taxed class PERIOD!

    Steal from the middle and give to the RICH and ZOMBIE/LEACHES. Like anything else you take too much you run out, and that is what is happening today. It is about DAMN time.

    I want to see just how the Rich and the Zombies/Leaches handle it. Let them learn how to work and save and scrape just to make it from pay check to pay check. GRAB THE POPCORN!

    Sgt.

    • Kulafarmer says:

      Popcorn for sure,,,
      I want to see it come un glued.
      I dont qualify for zombie leach, middle, or richie rich,
      Im a disenfranchised disillusioned patriotic American who is sick and tired of the corrupt BS that people just go along with….
      We need a whole nother kinda change

      • KY Mom says:

        Just part of “the plan” to collapse the economy…

        Obama’s War on the Middle Class
        “…One of the hallmarks of all socialist countries is the is the absence of an independent middle class.

        From the Bolshevik experiment in Russia to socialist Venezuela today, it is necessary for communist leaders to eliminate that class of citizens who are not dependent on government for their welfare.

        Political theorists from Aristotle to Locke understood that a truly INDEPENDENT AND PROSPEROUS MIDDLE CLASS WAS ESSENTIAL TO THE COLLECTIVE WELL-BEING OF ANY SOCIETY. The middle class has always, in every society, been characterized by qualities of social restraint and economic realism — a shrewd and skeptical conservatism that serves to restrain the grandiose plans of utopian revolutionaries and embittered reactionaries alike.”

        “It is an ominous sign that the political left, with the loyal support of more than a third of our population, is intent on its destruction.”

        http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/03/obamas_war_on_the_middle_class.html

      • Caucasian says:

        I’m now a pissed off, poor American with a bunch of guns and a shitload of ammo.

        • durangokidd says:

          This article by an otherwise highly regarded economist, an ALT MEDIA ECONOMIST at that, tries to hang the blame for the destruction of the Middle Class … upon the Middle Class !!!

          LMFAO !!! What absurd fucking propaganda !!!

          Nowhere does he rightly say that the loss of Middle Class wealth is the DIRECT result of FREE TRADE which has transferred more than 70 million FACTORIES offshore since 2000 with the loss of many, many, many tens of millions of jobs.

          Nowhere.

          The numbers are in: The Middle Class is not working; 93 million Americans are not in the workforce and 51 million are on welfare. Those numbers represent the “giant sucking sound” that Ross Perot warned US about back in 1992.

          Charles you have shit for brains, you fucking moron !!! 🙂

          • Philosopher says:

            Durango: I agree. I am familiar with the work of CH Smith. I have read his book, “Survival +” I actually read it twice. His writing style is obtuse and full of his own made up acronyms which I find annoying. This guy lives in Berkley, California, so consider where he lives as a big influence on his point of view. I consider Berkley as ground zero for communists that push out propaganda in the USSA. His latest book on the theory of work was complete BS. I didn’t find much of use inside that book.

            I voted for Perot. Perot was telling people the truth. Too bad that more people were not listening.

            • durangokidd says:

              Fayol, Taylor, and Drucker said everything that was needed to be said about work and management. Anything else is superfluous.

              This guy was probably trying to sell a text book or was under pressure to “publish or perish”. The bottom line is that NO ONE is talking about the real source of our economic problems ….. except TRUMP.

              And then they try to label him a “demagogue”. 🙁

        • Hondo says:

          That would make a good t-shirt

  2. TEST says:

    A Millennial’s Guide to Bill Clinton’s 20+ Sex Scandals (aka the REAL War on Women)

    NOT in the lamestream media this week. But for those of you who are thinkers, and concerned about the REAL “War on Women” (including boys in your daughter’s locker room, or men in the locker room of Planet Fitness, or men in women’s washrooms at Macy’s ( I went in an very politely but firmly indicated my displeasure to the Macy’s manager here. We was very receptive, and agreed with me. I told him to please escalate my concerns to his mgmt., and indicated I would end my shopping there if it happened here. Does this stuff work? Well, I did the same with Home Depot, and obviously others have, as they have backed off their gay Nazi Brownshirt support quite a bit) . http://nation.foxnews.com/2015/12/29/millennials-guide-bill-clintons-20-sex-scandals or as pasted below. Of course, Hilary ran lead in quashing news of the so-called bimbo eruptions, as everyone knows.

  3. john stiner says:

    Mission Accomplished!

    It was Obama’s goal to put everybody on the Government Cheese. Control the Government freebies and you control the people.

  4. KY Mom says:

    History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.
    – Mark Twain

    Swiss Army Chief Warns Of Social Unrest, Calls Upon Citizens To Arm Themselves

    “Swiss army chief André Blattmann warned, in a Swiss newspaper article on Sunday, the risks of social unrest in Europe are soaring.

    Recalling the experience of 1939/1945, Blattman fears the increasing aggression in public discourse is an explosively hazardous situation, and advises the Swiss people to arm themselves and warns that the basis for Swiss prosperity is “being called into question.”

    “As Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten reports, speaking on the record for the first time since the November Paris terror attacks, Blattmann told the paper that despite a rise in security incidents over the past two years Switzerland’s means of defence were being reduced.”

    The situation is growing increasingly risky, Blattman begins.

    “The threat of terror is rising, hybrid wars are being fought around the globe; the economic outlook is gloomy and the resulting migration flows of displaced persons and refugees have assumed unforeseen dimensions.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-12-30/swiss-army-chief-warns-social-unrest-calls-upon-citizens-arm-themselves

  5. KY Mom says:

    Infant and child reactions to vaccines can be severe and have lifelong effects. I have worked with children (born NORMAL) who have suffered lifelong effects from reactions to vaccinations.

    I believe that the “combination vaccinations” given to children contribute to adverse reactions. Currently, American children receive MULTIPLE vaccinations at age 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12-15 months and 4-6 years.

    The MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) and the DTaP vaccine (Diphtheria, Tetanus and acellular Pertussis) are each a triple vaccination cocktail. No wonder we see adverse reactions!

    If getting vaccinations, parents should request (demand) that their child has only ONE vaccination at a time.

    We lived in Norway some years ago. They vaccinate their children, but use a different schedule. When we lived there, they would NOT use any combination vaccinations.

    They gave a SINGLE vaccination at a time and required a waiting time (I think the minimum was two months) before any additional vaccinations.

    It is no surprise that the numbers of adverse reactions are extremely low in Norway. Also, after receiving a vaccination at the well child clinic, children had to stay onsite in the play room for an hour, in case there were any reactions.

    ER Nurse Exposes Scandalous Vaccine Reaction Cover-Up
    “This is a factual narrative that details an E.R. nurse’s experiences with adverse vaccine reactions. This is not about being for or against vaccines, this is about education and informed consent. This is a must read for every parent!”
    http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/er-nurse-exposes-scandalous-vaccine-reaction-cover-up/

    So tragic and could have been prevented!
    A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother’s informed consent
    http://www.naturalnews.com/A-Family-Destroyed-Vaccines-Without-Consent.html

  6. slingshot says:

    You can tell people a lot of things, but you can’t tell them shit.

    People will do what they want to do no matter the future consequences are and want “YOU” bail them out.

    Governments wants a bail out. Banks and Billionaires wants a bail out. Corporations want a bail out.

    Who does that leave? And they want to live like they are rich.
    But they can’t even afford Popcorn. Hahahaha!

  7. Southener says:

    I totally agree unless things change the middle class will disappear. We will have the rich and the poor the middle class started to disappear in 2008 what does that tell you. The welfare programs can only last so long before the funds run out, also started to increase in 2008 what des that tell you. Very few remember 1939 what happen in America ..The Great Depression, the younger generation need to look it up its not pretty …America could have another GREAT DEPRESSION however it will be worse then 1939.

    • bloomzoffdarose says:

      @ Southener

      The Amerikan Great Depression began in 1929. It was the year my late father graduated from college. You are off by ten years.

      In those days banksters were defenestrating themselves. One could make some popcorn, pull up a chair, and enjoy some entertainment.

      Today it will be those nice Joneses down the block jumping off high rise roofs. Don’t be those nice Joneses.

  8. Ppod says:

    Yet nothing will change. We’re all going to have to accept it because the giant monster has grown too big.

  9. Kevin2 says:

    I grew up in the 1960s and 70s in an area of VERY GOOD industrial jobs in the Oil Refining and Chemical Industries. The homes averaged 1300 sq/ft. Families had one car that was 3 to 4 years old and possibly an older pickup truck. No kids got new cars, a new bicycle was a big deal. Ice cream was a treat and all the kids had their business of shoveling neighbors snow and mowing their lawns was how you got spending money. These were the good old days.

    Maybe people lost their homes but far too many NEEDED TOO MUCH HOME, McMansions that Medical Doctors lived in when I was growing up. Necessities have been confused with luxuries.

    • Kulafarmer says:

      You see it a lot, hell, just look at all the shows like love it or list it or property brothers or some of the others, these people saying their 3200sf home just wont do,,,
      The orher funny one is these people whining about not enough space because they have 5 kids and want them to have their iwn rooms etc,,, proof that stupid people breed more and have more kids….

      • Braveheart1776 says:

        Kula, I know I’ll catch flak for this one, but I don’t care. Those women need to get their tubes tied first, then they can go f#$% like rabbits. People these days are too retarded to think before they do something.

        • Braveheart1776 says:

          Kula, BTW, if I had a 3200sf home I’d have more storage space for preps. I wouldn’t bitch at all. I have only a 1400sf home and ran out of room for preps 2 years ago, so that was one reason for me to get the BOL arrangement. I haven’t regretted that move for one minute.

        • slingshot says:

          When I was young and in my prime.
          I used to screw women all the time.
          But now I’m old and have more sense.
          I used the knot hole in the fence.

    • NVDreamer says:

      Kevin2says:
      I too grew up in the same area and what I see today is just madness. Every child must have a phone and a big screen tv in their room. My grandson once said that he is poor because he doesn’t have these things. I told him, that when I was a child no one had these things. Your Mother has money in the bank and a home to take care of you, she also has a college fund for you, all the extras just put you in debt.
      It’s time for a wake call USA. live within your means. The bankers gave out credit cards to everyone so they could put everyone in debt, that they could never pay off. Every time I go shopping the first thing the clerk asks me is do you want a credit card it can save you money. Yeah right! I just pay cash.

      • Braveheart1776 says:

        NV Dreamer, spot on. I use either cash or a debit card at stores because NOBODY will let me get a credit card, but that’s OK. Don’t want one anyway.

        • Cont divide says:

          Don’t argue the not wanting credit cards. They would give a card to pretty much anyone regardless of how bad your credit is. You must not have applied for a card in over 20 years. Again, not that you want one. Buying with a credit card (rather than debit) affords some extra protection. Important if you do a lot of online purchases. You can always pay it all at the end of the month but it becomes a slippery slope of you don’t have the discipline. I think you do. Google credit vs debit card protections.

    • I too grew up in the late 60’s, through the 70’s. We had milk delivery and our mailbox was on our front porch, right next to the door.

      Ah, the good old days, eh?

  10. nlightened2 says:

    “The way you destroy the middle class is you crush them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”
    Vladimir Lemon – Founder of Russian Communism

    Obomber sure screwed the middle class in the U.S. just by doing what his master has told him to do. He still has a year to finish the job. 🙁

  11. smokey says:

    You can be middle class at $42,000 a year, just don’t live beyond your means.

    Too many folks think middle class means brand new cars, boats, RVs, big screens in every room, constant entertainment, Home Equity credit lines, vacations to Provence and Acapulco, etc., ad nauseum.

    Want to be middle class? Graduate from school, get a job, get married, stay clean and sober, and keep your job and marriage. Live within your means.

    • Braveheart1776 says:

      Smokey, I made $46000 in 2014 before deductions. I live within my means. I’m litrally debt-free because I’ve never been allowed to play the credit game for any purpose. My cars have always come from private owners for cash only. Never had one financed at a dealer, period. I’ve always stayed clean and sober and always kept a job with little or no trouble. Since I’m debt-free I’ve always had a certain amount of cash on hand to keep my car running and for my prepping. I’ve always had money available for those “rainy days” that come up on occasion. My co-workers all think something is wrong with me for not using credit. These morons don’t stop and think. First, you have to find someone that will let you establish credit. Second, whatever you’re paying on, develop the best payment history you can, i.e. don’t miss any payments if you can avoid it. Third, there are times when you’ll have trouble trying to get what you want, even when you meet the criteria in everyone’s credit policy. I supposedly to this day and at the age of 58 still don’t qualify for credit; well, so be it. I damn sure don’t want it in this economy. I’m living proof that someone can go through life without ever using credit for anything. Being debt-free is the way to go for me. FUCK CREDIT, I DON’T NEED IT.

  12. slingshot says:

    I watch the Mall Riots on Utube. Lots of the participants are teenagers. As these acts of violence increases, there will be many who are not punished for their actions and many more will join in the mayhem. Eventually they will take the violence into the surrounding neighborhoods expecting the same type of success for their cause. What ever it may be.

    I await their arrival.

    • Braveheart1776 says:

      Slingshot, nothing will happen to those teenagers because they belong to a minority group, and under federal law minority groups get special treatment. They damn well better stay from me if they want to live.

  13. Mr Smith says:

    Looks like people are starting to see that they live on a farm and don’t get to live in the farm house but are little more than cattle or slaves.

    Yeah, Sure keep working like slaves and master might throw you a bone now and then but when the tits dry up, not much milk then the farmer wants you sent to market.

    Admit it, those that think they are “well off” you are debt slaves in most cases and act like sheep who run for there lives when the farmer sends the dogs (police) in

    Time to man-up people and take back what is your from the banks and corporations and to deal with the leaders who are taking bribes at our exspence

  14. slingshot says:

    Al Jazeera

    Louisiana to drop SNAP benefits for 31,000 January, 1.

    Other states do the same.

    I can hear the drums in the distance. ;0)

  15. TEST says:

    Leftist hypocrites: Cosby bad, Bill Clinton (who was just as bad) good.

    NOT in the lamestream media this week. But for those of you who are thinkers, and concerned about the REAL “War on Women” here’s one story at http://nation.foxnews.com/2015/12/29/millennials-guide-bill-clintons-20-sex-scandals or as pasted below. Of course, ******Hilary ran lead in quashing news of the so-called bimbo eruptions, as everyone knows. Summarizing the story:****
    ————————————————————

    “Eileen Wellstone allegedly was sexually assaulted by a 23-year old Bill Clinton at a pub near Oxford University… He admitted to the encounter, but claimed it was consensual….According to Capitol Hill Blue, just three years later while he was dating Hillary at Yale University, a female student called campus police stating that Bill sexually molested her.”

    “In 1974, an unnamed University of Arkansas student complained to her faculty advisor that her law professor Bill Clinton groped her and forced his hand inside her blouse. The 28-year-old law professor claimed that she was the one who came onto him. Capitol Hill Blue reported that “several former students at the University have confirmed the incident in confidential interviews…”

    “Clinton was elected Attorney General of Arkansas in 1977, soon afterward a young woman lawyer in Little Rock claimed that she was assaulted by him — he forced himself on her, biting and bruising the woman, wrote Roger Morris in Partners in Power. A year later, Juanita Broaddrick claimed that Bill raped her when she was a volunteer on his campaign for governor while she was at a nursing student conference in Little Rock. She claimed that he forced himself on her while she screamed “please stop,” and he bit her lip. Norma Rodgers, a friend who was sharing a hotel room with Broaddrick during the conference, confirmed her claims that she had been sexually assaulted…”

    “Bill also had a consensual relationship with Regina Hopper Blakely and Robyn Dickey in the late 70’s, according to L.D. Brown, a former Arkansas state trooper who guarded Clinton.”

    “In 1979, Carolyn Moffet was a legal secretary in Little Rock who was invited to Bill’s hotel room after a fundraiser. When she got there, she discovered the future president sitting on a couch only wearing a t-shirt. “When I went in, he was sitting on a couch, wearing only an undershirt. He pointed at his penis and told me to suck it. I told him I didn’t even do that for my boyfriend, and he got mad, grabbed my head and shoved it into his lap. I pulled away from him and ran out of the room,” Moffet said.”

    “After he became governor in 1979, he began to have a 12-year affair with Gennifer Flowers. She was an actress and model, who taped phone interviews that she had with Clinton. In his 2004 autobiography, Bill admitted to a sexual encounter with Flowers, but said it happened just once in 1977.” And, like with Blakely and Dickey, hypocrite libs say it was “just sex.” NO problem having a serial adulterer in power of course, or someone who perjured himself in court. And using your POWER like Cosby did to cajole, threaten or push women into bed is apparently A-OK with the hypocrite left.

    Then there was Lencola Sullivan, who was Miss Arkansas in 1980.

    “..he bedded two other Miss Arkansas winners, Elizabeth Ward and Sally Perdue in 1982 and 1983. Ward claimed in 1982 that she was forcibly raped by the governor, but recanted those statements in 1998.” (Gee, wonder what threats there were there!!) ” Ward announced she did have sex with Bill, but it was consensual. Perdue said that she was threatened not to reveal her affair by several Democratic Party staff members…”

    “Bill also had an alleged longtime affair with Dolly Kyle Browning throughout the mid-1970’s all the way until he became president. She said that when she tried to write a book about the affair Bill did everything he could to stop her. She ended up suing him for damages, but the U.S. Court of Appeals denied her appeal…”

    “On the eve of his run for the presidency, Bill sexually harassed Arkansas state worker Paula Jones in a hotel room where he flashed himself and demanded oral sex….” and ” According to Capitol Hill Blue, he allegedly pinned political fundraiser Sandra Allen James against a wall and stuck his hands up her dress. She screamed so loud that the Arkansas State Police knocked on the hotel door and asked if everything was okay. When she told her Democratic fundraising boss about the incident, he told her to “keep your mouth shut.””

    “During the ’92 campaign for president, airline stewardess Christy Zercher alleged that the 46-year old presidential candidate fondled her on a plane flight, while Hillary slept just a few feet away.”

    “After he was elected president, Bill was accused again of molesting another volunteer, Kathleen Willey. She claimed that the president grabbed her, fondled her breast, and pressed her hand against his genitals during an Oval Office meeting.”

    Then there was Monica Lewinsky.

  16. Stolz Vorfahren says:

    The money exchanger’s game and looting will continue unless the 99% Majority hangs the 1% minority on every pole in the J-SA controlled land.

    Happy New Year to the awaken and the truth tellers.

    • Makemyday says:

      Happy New Year to you, Stolz; and ditto to the awakened and the truth tellers.

      Read the Bundy Ranch blog and see what is happening in Burns Oregon this weekend. Rally like the Bundy Ranch is taking place. BLM trying to steal a ranch from the Hammond family. The Steins Mountains where the ranch is located is one beautiful place and the FEDS/PTB want it all for themselves.

      BLM. sheriff in Burns, and the kangaroo court system should be run out of Harney County. Wonder when we are going to say enough?

      And not a peep about this land grab is being exposed. Not even on this site.

  17. Vet1 says:

    It’s all done with mirrors…

  18. KY Mom says:

    “A powerful solar storm set to slam Earth today will make for stunning views of the Northern Lights just before New Year’s Eve. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center said the “strong” storm could allow the Northern Lights to dip as far south as Oregon and Illinois.

    Today’s storm is forecast to be a G3 event, meaning it could have the strength to cause fluctuations in some power grids, intermittent radio blackouts in higher latitudes and possible GPS issues.

    The storm is the result of a coronal mass ejection — basically a flare of charged protons and electrons — that burst from the sun earlier this week. Once they reach Earth, the particles interact with the planet’s magnetic field to paint the sky in dazzling colors.

    NOAA predicts the effects of today’s storm could linger into New Year’s Eve.”

    Drudge Report

  19. aljamo says:

    It’s just amazing to me that the whole shebang could turn belly up in less than a lifetime.

  20. Houston/Cypress/Katy/Shtf says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K6t0QE_gGk

    Brave, Sarge, Eppe, and all legitimate posters. Check out this youtube video done by and African Amerian, who is reporting on this incident.

    Hey guys. Listen to this video. Mac, you should post and article on this one. I came across this one recently and i don’t know how it slipped by most. But and artilce addressing it would be nice, so see if anyone in that area knows about the incident to tell the SHTF community what went down. This is extremely serious sh….t. It certainly got my attention.

    Anyone pulling a stunt like that in Texas is asking for trouble. In fact i was supprised, that this was not even reported by most of the top guys, Hodges, Quayle. Assumingly that it stayed under the radar for quite sometime until a None Dred Lock all American Brother reported it.

    Aka,

    HCKS.

    Molon Labe, tyrants, good luck in my city pulling that crap.

  21. Get rid of all the government leeches that continue to sap my labor with income tax, property tax, gas tax, ACA “tax”, sales tax and estate tax and then we’ll see how much it takes to be in the middle class.

    Fuck the government leeches and their Cadillac bennies, overpaid salaries and bloated pensions.

    Long live anarchy.

  22. Houston/Cypress/Katy/Shtf says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_VNjHYAeUs

    Here is another video about this assault on the citizens. This video is has more info.

    Aka,

    HCKS.

    Molon Labe.

  23. Satori says:

    Thought You Hated Rick Perry To The Max? Hell, You’re Not Even Close.

    h ttp://crooksandliars.com/2015/12/thought-you-hated-rick-perry-max-hell-you

    I sure am glad the “conservatives” are so different
    from the “libtards” !!!

    LOL !!!

    • Makemyday says:

      Satori:

      That article is an eye opener. But the best part is the comments section. Here is one worthy of repeating:

      “Sorry but Perry is the perfect example of a Texas politician. Got that purty face, empty head, full to the brim with evangelical tent rhetoric, couldn’t care less about the poor citizen. His model is out for personal riches and fame, and he thinks he walks on water. CRUZ is another picture of the same cyborg. I sometimes wish there was hell waiting for these scumbags”.

      Another quote:

      “Texas Politicians–the party of I; I, ME, ME, MINE”.

      “It pays to be a corporate whore in America, it pays well indeed”.

      ________________________

      Anyone supporting Cruz does not wish to address the Goldman Sachs, CFR, Bush connection in his immediate family. Are we stupid enough to believe Cruz does not know the game plan?

  24. citizen says:

    in 2008 I grossed 750,000 working for myself. by 2010 it was down to 250,000. By 2011 I was working for someone else to survive. I had lost everything. I paid everything I bought since with cash. I’m debt free now working for myself again. Making enough to survive. The Gov reckless policies are screwing us all. I don’t have a lot of money now, but I’m definitely happier. I pay my credit card bill in full every month. They pay me to use their money with cash back. I have cash on hand before I use credit.

    I’m blessed with a home, autos and land with low taxes.
    if you aren’t there or working to get there this will be a very rough year for you. Buy ammo whenever you find a deal. Even if you don’t have that caliber weapon. Gold and silver won’t matter soon. If you can’t eat it or shoot it, it soon won’t matter.

    one of you mentioned ‘one second after’ the other day. I just read it. Slaps the stupid right out of you. Anymore books like that you guys recommend?

    • KY Mom says:

      citizen,

      The author has written a sequel to the book One Second After. It is called One Year After. It can be purchased at Amazon.

    • Philosopher says:

      Citizen: I read “One Second After” years ago. There is a second book by that author, “One Year After.” Anyhow here is my list:

      Enemies Foreign and Domestic, Foreign Enemies, and Domestic Enemies by Matthew Bracken

      Locusts on the Horizon (there is no single author, written by the Plan B writers alliance) the best all-around prepping book, ever

      Civil War Two by Thomas Chittum

      Battlefield America by John Whitehead

      77 Days in September by Ray Gorham

      A Distant Eden by Lloyd Tackett (a whole series, excellent)

      The Wool Series by Hugh Howey

      On the Beach

      A Gift Upon the Shore

      The Postman (it was a book before it was a movie)

      1984, Animal Farm by George Orwell

      Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley

      Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

      Walden II by B.F. Skinner

      Anthem by Ayn Rand
      Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
      The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
      The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand

      Most of these books you can read for free at your local library or you can find cheap used copies at a university area used book store.

    • smokey says:

      Civil War II by Chittum.

      Like ‘One Second After’, it should force you to realize that hunkering down in your bunker for an Alamo is not a good idea, community is going to be where the game is.

  25. Satori says:

    Clinton Most Admired Woman for Record 20th Time

    h ttp://www.gallup.com/poll/187922/clinton-admired-woman-record-20th-time.aspx

    and yet another reason why I am so disparaging of public polls that show the public thinks this or thinks that

    who the F_CK cares what the “public” thinks
    when people like Hillary Clinton are “the most admired”

    something is SERIOUSLY wrong with our value system

    • PO'd Patriot says:

      I saw that titled article but couldn’t bring myself to read it. Such a wretched beast she is. I just can’t see for the life of me how anyone anywhere could become so enamored by the slime producing slug Hillary Clinton.

      • Makemyday says:

        One thing about it PO’d.

        She is proof positive of how a wretch can be rehabilitated by the MSM. I remember when she was probably the most hated woman in America.

        But TPTB understood she would sell her soul to them. And Voila! Here we are today.

      • smokey says:

        She could literally be a card-carrying Communist and the media would still drool all over her, she has ‘D’ after her name on the ballot, that’s all they care about.

    • Kulafarmer says:

      She will be the next president,
      Notice, i didnt say our president because she definitely wont be there for folks like us.

  26. Braveheart1776 says:

    Citizen, there’s a book online called “Lights Out” I highly recommend. A scenario not a whole lot different from the one in “One Second After.” I read that one 2 years ago and when I got to the part where the guy’s diabetic daughter died, I had to lay it down. It was the next day before I could pick the book back up and finish it. Google “Lights Out”. It’s available as a download.

    • citizen says:

      Thanks Brave and KY Mom. I’ll have them this afternoon.
      Building a nice library to go in the faraday cage. Only so many ‘how to ‘ books a person can read. Need a novel now and again too. Any more suggestions let me know.

      Oh and brave, I have a diabetic daughter. a year supply of insulin and a way to refrig it. That hit me a little hard too.

  27. NorseMan says:

    If you want to be ‘middle class’ today, get out of the city and find a small town. Sure, wages are less, but so are home prices (and interest). Entertainment is cheaper (no $100 a person NFL tickets), restaurants are cheaper, kids get to play high school sports without needing $3000 a year to be in a ‘club team’ feeder program, you have room to grow a garden, you don’t lose 2 hours a day sitting in traffic, and your ‘meat’ has antlers – not foam trays and plastic wrap.

  28. Amos Moses says:

    Saw a list of some companies that are expected to close their doors in 2016. Two caught my eye, Sears and Office Max. Sears because it was the Middle Class retail “God” years ago and Office Max because their main customers were small (Middle Class) businesses.

    Of course the Crony Capitalist mega-companies/donors to both Parties want this to happen as it eliminates their competitors.

    Like most stuff, “The love of Money is the root of all evil”.

    • Cont divide says:

      Sears has been steadily going downhill for over a decade. Sears didn’t adapt and if it weren’t for appliances and tools, Sears would have died a long time ago. Buying k mart, haha. Sears sucks. Office max has been slaughtered by online businesses. Not just small businesses going broke. Who would go to office max when they are high priced.

    • PO'd Patriot says:

      Ain’t Dow Chemical and DuPont merging. I’m for sure that Dupont is one of them. They say they’ll lay off 17k people after New Years when the merger is complete. All the layoffs will take place in the Wilmington, Delaware area.

    • smokey says:

      Our local Sears and Office Max both shut down within the last two years.

      The other office supply store is empty of customers, too.

  29. Braveheart1776 says:

    AM, Sears has been closing down stores over the last 3 years. Up until 3 years we had 6 Sears stores and 4 of their smaller parts/service centers open. Now we only have 3 stores and 1 parts/service center still open. OfficeMax was bought out by OfficeDepot 2 years ago. We had 3 OfficeMax stores and are down to 1, but all 3 OfficeDepot stores are still open. We had 2 Staples stores but both of them closed back in the spring.

  30. got out then says:

    “Live within your means” Oh I’m trying. But see they really screwed up the money. Stuff that I normally buy magically keeps getting more and more expensive, and amazingly my salary isn’t going to go up. I refuse to eat processed crap but my food bill is really tough to keep low. The beginning of the year we stopped our bi monthly morning breakfasts at the local dinner. Cut back our cable and switched the internet services around. We went off grid a couple of years ago so there is no water, or electric bill. Raising a 2 year old costs everything and it doesn’t get any easier. So yeah I live within my means but the walls on that box keeps getting smaller.

  31. Billy says:

    Hitler, Lenin, and so on and their ilk did not necessarily hate the wealthy class, but they really hated the middle class; regardless of the propaganda they put out. Above all, they were elitist; who used every unscrupulous method conceivable to attain power including mass murder. Regardless of the stripe, what they all have in common is a desire for power; to fashion a society and state to exercise unbridled control over. Most did not even really believe in the ideology they propagated, it was just a tool. They saw the middle class people too independent, as having too much freedom, or rights, or even status without the accompanying great wealth that the elitists believe necessary to confer those things on people. They were too comfortable, and lived out their daily lives mostly indifferent to who the rulers were. And because the middle classes were too numerous the elitists basically could not change that paradigm for hundreds of years.
    All that changed when economies started to industrialize on a vast scale. In turn, the state was now able and determined to reorder societies, to focus the people and resources into a machine to serve the will of the state in a way as never before. The result as we know was mostly wars, death and destruction, and oppression unimaginable before the 20th century; this was the fruit of the elitists efforts. This is what they wanted to do with their new power. They showed they would use every vile, and cruel, and inhumane act without hesitation on their fellow man for power’s sake. They unleashed their unlimited hatred on the religious too because the common people usually placed their faith above the state, and their Judeo- Christian values and morals did not fit what the state really was and is.
    If you want to understand what your real standing is, use history as a guide. Hopefully you will now see why the state is trying to disarm us, why they are trying to inhibit all our rights. They hate you, and they hate that you enjoy rights and freedoms that presently put you beyond their repressive control.
    The elitists also see us as disposable, of no value except to what we can do for them and the state, or what they can take from us. I keep saying again and again; stop voting, withdraw as much as possible from government and its institutions including taking your kids out of public schools. Take all your cash out of the bank-leave only what you need for monthly expenses. Stop buying junk you don’t need. Educate yourself, think for yourself. Don’t believe any public officials, get your news from alternative sources.