Monday, June 28, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A World Without Profit

A World Without Profit

posted at 8:52 pm on June 26, 2010 by Doctor Zero
regular view

The concept of profit takes a lot of abuse from the Left.  Democrats usually spit the word out as though it were a curse, especially when they’re working to increase government control over private industry.  Our current economic malaise illustrate that, contrary to liberal rhetoric, the absence of profit does not lead to “shared wealth” or “economic justice.”  A world without profit is a world of poverty.

What, exactly, is “profit?”  Technically, it’s income minus expenses.  This does not provide a complete understanding of the concept, however.  If you’re one of the many people who lined up to buy a new iPhone last week, you can appreciate how the retailer made a profit – he paid a certain amount to purchase his inventory of iPhones, added in his overhead costs, and sold it to you for a few dollars more.  His supplier made a profit from him in the same manner, in a chain of commerce which extends all the way back to the manufacturer.

However, it could be said that you also profited from this transaction.  You acquired a device you could not possibly have built yourself, in exchange for the earnings from a few hours of your labor.  You value this device more than the other things you could have bought with the money you paid for it.  Your job allowed you to efficiently convert some of your time into the money you used to make the purchase.  Every voluntary transaction produces a mutualincrease in value – both parties benefit, or they would not perform the transaction.  The dealer wanted your money, and you wanted that iPhone.

How did you earn the money you used to buy the iPhone?  You most likely traded some hours of your labor to your employer, in exchange for a paycheck.  Once again, both parties made a profit.  You might view your job as an unpleasant necessity – feel free to hum a few bars of “I Owe, I Owe, So Off To Work I Go.”  In truth, there are other ways you could use your time to take care of basic survival needs.  You might be able to find an easier job that pays less.  At the extreme, you could live in the wilderness, hunting and foraging for food.  Your job is not the only way you can survive… it is the most efficient use of your time, and it generates the most value for other people.

To put it another way, you want to maximize the profit you earn by selling your labor.  This naturally leads you to produce the maximum added value to the economy.  Millions of people engaged in this quest generate a staggering amount of value, beyond what would be created if they merely attended to their basic needs in a primitive fashion.  The voluntary exchange of this value, through mutually beneficial transactions, produces fabulous wealth.

We Americans are swimming in a sea of profit.  The depth of that sea is measured in time. Profits are not earned all at once.  You (and your parents) probably invested a good deal of time and money acquiring an education, to increase the value of your time.  If you’re young, you might not have achieved a net profit on that investment yet.  Some people never do.

Companies suffer immense losses on their way to realizing future profits.  Apple spent a lot of money designing and creating those iPhones, and success was not guaranteed – in fact, they’re selling well ahead of expectations.  An even more dramatic example is the pharmaceutical industry, where billions are spent researching drugs that might require years to reach the market.  Some of those investments are lost on drugs that never go on sale at all.  Once pharmaceuticals are put on sale, there’s no guarantee they’ll generate big sales numbers.  Success at the corporate level requires the ability to calculate risk, and it is driven by the anticipation of profit.  No corporation bases its business plan on the money it thinks it will spend and earn today.

I doubt most people appreciate how much our standard of living depends on the exhilarating anticipation of huge profits.  The pursuit of profit is a high-octane fuel, pumping through a turbocharged economic engine.  It leads to the development of miraculous products, such as the iPhone, which in turn create new opportunities for investment and earnings.

When businesses and individuals believe their opportunities for future profit are restricted, or likely to be seized by the government, they become unwilling to incur short-term expenses.  What happens to the supply of medical care, when young people realize grueling years spent at expensive medical schools will lead to tightly controlled salaries and punishing tax rates?  What company will accept the risk of selling health insurance when their already thin profit margins are virtually erased by mandates and regulations?  Why suffer the immediate costs of hiring and training new employees, when the forecast for future revenue is grim?

It is important to understand that our economy functions at such a high level that relatively small reductions of incentive can unleash tremendous shock waves, the way small twists of the wheel produce dramatic turns for a car traveling at high speeds.  It is also important to realize the wealthy investors who drive business formation can always put their money in safer investments with lower rates of return.  They take big gambles when they see big prizes.  We need a lot of rich people wagering high stakes to generate the kind of prosperity we have enjoyed for generations.  Instead, they’re looking at the shelf of shabby carnival prizes offered by our increasingly socialized economy, and leaving the table with money in their wallets.  They can live comfortably on modest rates of safe interest from their vast fortunes.  They don’t have to hire you, or supply capital for your business ventures.

The same forces influence the behavior of individual white and blue-collar workers.  Rising taxes, increasing minimum wages, and expensive mandates like ObamaCare price entry-level jobs out of the market.  Lavish welfare benefits lead those at the lower end of the job market to see insufficient profit in taking those entry-level jobs.  Waves of government stimulus, subsidy, and price controls destroy the ability to forecast future sales and earnings.  No one chases a profit they cannot see clearly.

In the end, there are only three reasons people do anything difficult: desire, ambition, or compulsion.  The number of people willing to perform extremely challenging work because they truly enjoy it, or answer a spiritual calling, is insufficient to provide for the vital needs of a huge industrialized nation.  That means ambition can only be replaced by compulsion.  The work product of compulsion doesn’t have anywhere near the value created by free people, in the pursuit of their ambitions.  The difference is between a prosperous society filled with stores selling technological miracles, and the grey communal existence of long lines for mediocre goods furnished by the State.  That difference will be measured in the barren wasteland where the middle class used to be.  As Francisco d’Anconia puts it, in a famous passage from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged:

Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns–or dollars. Take your choice–there is no other–and your time is running out.

I choose dollars, joyously and without reservation.  Those who demand you choose otherwise will lead you into a World Without Profit, where you have very few other choices to make.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Here Come The Threats: Europe

Here Come The Threats: Europe

You knew it was just a matter of time....

Democracy could ‘collapse’ in Greece, Spain and Portugal unless urgent action is taken to tackle the debt crisis, the head of the European Commission has warned.

In an extraordinary briefing to trade union chiefs last week, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso set out an ‘apocalyptic’ vision in which crisis-hit countries in southern Europe could fall victim to military coups or popular uprisings as interest rates soar and public services collapse because their governments run out of money.

How did that happen?  Was it someone else's fault?  Was it some "exogenous" event?  Some natural catastrophe?

Or was it profligate spending, handouts and bailouts, promises made to public employee unions and intentional, willful and wanton bubble-blowing?

And by the way, how does a "popular uprising" destroy a representative government?  That happens when the government stops representing the governed, doesn't it - and if that has happened you don't have a "democracy" any more, you have a ruling junta, whether you call it that or not.

The people always reserve, as a matter of fundamental human rights, to cast off - by peaceful means if possible, by other means if necessary - any government that has failed to be representative and/or responsive any longer.  Doubt me?  Go read The Declaration of Independence:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Not my words folks. 

Those of brave men who lived more than 200 years ago.  The United States of America exists because of those words - and brave men. 

Don't ever forget it, or you'll get to relearn it.

The stark warning came as it emerged that EU chiefs have begun work on an emergency bailout package for Spain which is likely to run into hundreds of billions of pounds.

Now wait a second... just the other day we were told that Spain was in no need of a bailout!

Was that a lie?

Mr Monks said union barons across Europe were planning a co-ordinated ‘day of action’ against the cuts on 29 September, involving national strikes and protests.

Union barons?  Who enabled public-employee unions to exist in the first place?  That would be governments, right?

Who enables them here in the United States?  That would be governments, right?

This threat-game sounds awfully similar to what Paulson ran with Bernanke in front of Congress.  The correct response to them at the time was "screw you!" and a pair of handcuffs for each.

We now have proof that acquiescence to such threats are the wrong answer - we have done nothing but built in a $1.5 trillion structural deficit which we appear unable to withdraw without cataclysmic consequence, and yet we are also unable to continue said profligacy into the indefinite future.  It is therefore a mathematical certainty that the path demanded and followed will fail - we argue only when, not what.

Mr Barroso and Jean-Claude Trichet of the European Central Bank are united on the need for a rescue plan.

The looming bankruptcy of Spain, one of the foremost economies in Europe, poses far more of a threat to European unity and the euro project than Greece. 

The looming bankruptcy of Spain?

Spain has continued to insist that it does not require a bailout and that its finances are stable!

Who's telling the truth?   And if Spain is just fine, why is Eurostat meeting on this matter?

The first casualty of war - and fascism - is truth.

PS: The money doesn't exist to "bail out" all the PIIGS.  Remember, we were told they didn't need to, and that's why the market has stabilized - more or less.  If we were lied to by EU and ECB leadership then one wonders how long it will be before the market says, as the Red Queen did, "Off with their heads!" - figuratively, of course.

All lies are eventually uncovered, and fiscal lies, when maintained for too long, ultimately result in fiscal and often political destruction.

Return of the Deutsche Mark and the disintegration of the Euro anyone?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Less Talkin’, More Kickin’ (Sarah Palin’s Facebook)



Tuesday at 5:31pm

50 days in, and we’ve just learned another shocking revelation concerning the Obama administration’s response to the Gulf oil spill. In an interview aired this morning, President Obama admitted that he hasn’t met with or spoken directly to BP’s CEO Tony Hayward. His reasoning: “Because my experience is, when you talk to a guy like a BP CEO, he’s gonna say all the right things to me. I’m not interested in words. I’m interested in actions.”
First, to the “informed and enlightened” mainstream media: in all the discussions you’ve had with the White House about the spill, did it not occur to you before today to ask how the CEO-to-CEO level discussions were progressing to remedy this tragedy? You never cease to amaze. (Kind of reminds us of the months on end when you never bothered to ask if the President was meeting with General McChrystal to talk about our strategy in Afghanistan.)
Second, to fellow baffled Americans: this revelation is further proof that it bodes well to have some sort of executive experience before occupying the Oval Office (as if the painfully slow response to the oil spill, confusion of duties, finger-pointing, lack of preparedness, and inability to grant local government simple requests weren’t proof enough). The current administration may be unaware that it’s the President’s duty, meeting on a CEO-to-CEO level with Hayward, to verify what BP reports. In an interview a few weeks ago with Greta Van Susteren, I noted that based on my experience working with oil execs as an oil regulator and then as a Governor, you must verify what the oil companies claim – because their perception of circumstances and situations dealing with public resources and public trust is not necessarily shared by those who own America’s public resources and trust. I was about run out of town in Alaska for what critics decried at the time as my “playing hardball with Big Oil,” and those same adversaries (both shortsighted Repubs and Dems) continue to this day to try to discredit my administration’s efforts in holding Big Oil accountable to operate ethically and responsibly.
Mr. President: with all due respect, you have to get involved, sir. The priorities and timeline of an oil company are not the same as the public’s. You cannot outsource the cleanup and the responsibility and the trust to BP and expect that the legitimate interests of Americans adversely affected by this spill will somehow be met.
White House: have you read this morning’s Washington Post? Not to pile it on BP, but there’s an extensive report chronicling the company’s troubling history:

“BP has had more high-profile accidents than any other company in recent years. And now, with the disaster in the gulf, independent experts say the pervasiveness of the company’s problems, in multiple locales and different types of facilities, is striking.
‘They are a recurring environmental criminal and they do not follow U.S. health safety and environmental policy,’ said Jeanne Pascal, a former EPA lawyer who led its BP investigations.”

And yet just 10 days prior to the explosion, the Obama administration’s regulators gave the oil rig a pass, and last year the Obama administration granted BP a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) exemption for its drilling operation.
These decisions and the resulting spill have shaken the public’s confidence in the ability to safely drill. Unless government appropriately regulates oil developments and holds oil executives accountable, the public will not trust them to drill, baby, drill. And we must! Or we will be even more beholden to, and controlled by, dangerous foreign regimes that supply much of our energy. This has been a constant refrain from me. As Governor of Alaska, I did everything in my power to hold oil companies accountable in order to prove to the federal government and to the nation that Alaska could be trusted to further develop energy rich land like ANWR and NPR-A. I hired conscientious Democrats and Republicans (because this sure shouldn’t be a partisan issue) to provide me with the best advice on how we could deal with what was a corrupt system of some lawmakers and administrators who were hesitant to play hardball with some in the oil field business. (Remember the Alaska lawmakers, public decision-makers, and business executives who ended up going to jail as a result of the FBI’s investigations of oily corruption.)
As the aforementioned article notes, BP’s operation in Alaska would hurt our state and waste public resources if allowed to continue. That’s why my administration created the Petroleum Systems Integrity Office (PSIO) when we saw proof of improper maintenance of oil infrastructure in our state. We had to verify. And that’s why we instituted new oversight and held BP and other oil companies financially accountable for poor maintenance practices. We knew we could partner with them to develop resources without pussyfooting around with them. As a CEO, it was my job to look out for the interests of Alaskans with the same intensity and action as the oil company CEOs looked out for the interests of their shareholders.
I learned firsthand the way these companies operate when I served as chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC). I ended up resigning in protest because my bosses (the Governor and his chief of staff at the time) wouldn’t support efforts to clean up the corruption involving improper conflicts of interest with energy companies that the state was supposed to be watching. (I wrote about this valuable learning experience in my book, “Going Rogue”.) I felt guilty taking home a big paycheck while being reduced to sitting on my thumbs – essentially rendered ineffective as a supervisor of a regulatory agency in charge of nearly 20% of the U.S. domestic supply of energy.
My experience (though, granted, I got the message loud and clear during the campaign that my executive experience managing the fastest growing community in the state, and then running the largest state in the union, was nothing compared to the experiences of a community organizer) showed me how government officials and oil execs could scratch each others’ backs to the detriment of the public, and it made me ill. I ran for Governor to fight such practices. So, as a former chief executive, I humbly offer this advice to the President: you must verify. That means you must meet with Hayward. Demand answers.
In the interview today, the President said: “I don’t sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar. We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick.”
Please, sir, for the sake of the Gulf residents, reach out to experts who have experience holding oil companies accountable. I suggested a few weeks ago that you start with Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources, led by Commissioner Tom Irwin. Having worked with Tom and his DNR and AGIA team led by Marty Rutherford, I can vouch for their integrity and expertise in dealing with Big Oil and overseeing its developments. We’ve all lived and worked through the Exxon-Valdez spill. They can help you. Give them a call. Or, what the heck, give me a call.
And, finally, Mr. President, please do not punish the American public with any new energy tax in response to this tragedy. Just because BP and federal regulators screwed up that doesn’t mean the rest of us should get punished with higher taxes at the pump and attached to everything petroleum products touch.
- Sarah Palin

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Energy: Are You A Pig - And A Bigot?

Posted by Karl Denninger in Musings at 16:17
(Page 1 of 450, totaling 2249 entries) » next page


There are a huge number of what some on the right call "Limousine Liberals" that preach all sorts of BS about "energy efficiency", "global warming" or "alternative fuels."

I have yet to see one with actual resources - one who is not reasonably wealthy or better - that is not a hypocrite or worse, exploiting people and playing on fear for their ECONOMIC benefit and to your detriment.

Let's deal with some facts.  I will not provide the references, but I do have them.  You will do your own homework if you care to.  If you don't, just skip to the next Ticker, as I'll provide you with fair warning here and now - if you come into the forum to run some sort of claptrap you'll only do it once, as my tolerance for the nutball lefties on this subject (including the jackasses who showed up on Pensacola's beach to claim "no drilling" but got there in their SUVs) is utterly exhausted.


  1. We have a lot of coal in this country.  It contains Thorium, which is a natural substance that can be used to build nuclear piles.  Said technology was developed and built more than 30 years ago - this is not "pie in the sky" technology.
  2. Each ton of coal we burn up contains 13 times as much energy as that liberated by combustion of the carbon in said Thorium.  We could thus receive the same electrical energy we gain by burning the coal through extracting the Thorium and using the nuclear energy to produce power.  With the rest of the energy, the other 12/13ths, we could then extract hydrogen from seawater (which we have lots of) and convert the remaining coal to either diesel fuel or gasoline.  To put a not-fine-point on this, we throw away more than 100 billion gallons of gasoline (after conversion losses) in thorium tailings alone.  That is damn close to all of our existing gasoline consumption - with ZERO oil being drilled.  (PS: Those are conservative estimates - mathematically, it's 200 billion gallons!)
  3. We know how to build fast breeder reactors.  It is true that we have a limited supply of U-235, because it is a tiny proportion of the natural deposit in terms of isotopes.  However, we have a lot of U-238 and we can turn that into Pu-239 in said Breeder Reactor.  That produces both more nuclear fuel and electricity.
  4. We like our cars.  We like our Air Conditioning.  We like our electricity, peak load of which is often generated with natural gas.  We like our 3,000 square foot houses, our computers, our bigscreen TVs and other electrical and electronic knick-knacks.  All of these require energy to operate.
  5. A growing economy requires a growing energy output.  There is no escaping this fact, despite it being inconvenient.
  6. We have a lot of oil and natural gas in various forms in the United States.  That includes (but is not limited to) offshore oil and gas, shale on federal lands and more.  We don't want to stick the straws in the ground and perform other sorts of mining (including strip-mining), but the energy is there.

Bluntly, "energy scarcity" is artificial.  We have every means within this nation - never reaching beyond our own borders - to supply every single bit of energy we need literally for the next several hundred years, and we can make as much of that energy into liquid hydrocarbons (gasoline and diesel) as we wish.

Notice that nowhere did I include such things as:

  • Ethanol from corn (or anything else); such is an idiotic waste of good foodstuff and arable land, and is utterly uneconomic unless subsidized, never mind the corrosion and phase-separation problems it presents in fuel systems (both of which are real.)
  • Biodiesel from blue-green algae.  It will work.  We have lots of arid, hot and sunny land on which we can build fully-closed systems.  Once we have scadloads of power (see above), we might choose to.  But we don't need to in order to get where we need to go.
  • Solar P/E.  It only works when the sun shines, it requires rare earth elements, manufacturing calls into question whether you will ever get out what you put in and on a $-per-kw basis it doesn't make much sense.  If it ever does unsubsidized, then fine and well.
  • Any sort of "pie-in-the-sky" sources such as wind (insufficient to provide a meaningful part of the load), wave (nice concept but unproved and not deployable today), tidal (and exactly who's waterway do you intend to dam to do that), lasers (or simple focused sunlight) from space and similar things.

That's because I don't need to.  I only need what we know we can make work, right now, right here, today.

Our refusal to be energy independent is political, not practical, thermodynamic, or driven by resource.  It is the product of lies and manipulations by those who claim "environmental awareness", which in fact is no such thing - it is instead a demand that "someone else" eat the risks that come with the consumption of energy we demand to enjoy, instead of those risks and costs being accepted by us in the United States.

Now with these facts let me put forward one of my first principles - that is, one of the things that I simply will not compromise on.

We have no right to demand that other people accept pollution and degradation of their environment to further our way of life

We will start with oil.  You can gripe about drilling off the coasts - all of them - and argue for shutting it down, along with arguing AGAINST strip-mining for shale and recovering oil sands and similar.  But if you do so you have an obligation to crush your powered vehicles (all of them), get a goat to "mow" your grass and refuse to fly or ride in any conveyance that is not powered by humans, animals or electricity (more on that latter one in a moment.)  If you heat your home with natural gas or heating oil you must disconnect both and toss your heating plant in the trash heap, replacing it with something that burns wood (if you'll accept the smoke that doing so produces) or lots of blankets (if not.)  You must, right now, go through your home and trash every item made of polymers - that is, plastics and synthetic rubber.  This means your computer, your television, your telephone (yes, including your cell), indeed, anything containing electronic components as all have petroleum in them.  You also may not use any sort of petroleum lubricant anywhere in your home or business.  If you have carpeting in your home, remove it - it was made using petroleum.

If you enjoy your Air Conditioning in the summer time you may not use it whenever the electric company is required to use natural-gas-fired "peaking" plants.  This is, incidentally, when it's hot outside.

Next, coal:  If you argue against coal-fired power plants you may not use electricity anywhere that it is generated using that coal.  Likewise if you argue against nuclear power, against hydro-electric ('cause of all the poor fishies we displace) and similar.

Finally, nuclear: We can build, right now, both thorium-salt based nuclear reactors and fast breeders.  The former we have more fuel than we know what to do with and the latter is fuel-cycle positive for both itself and a bunch of pebble-bed ordinary fission reactors.  You have no right to consume electricity where there is no coal or hydro-electric available (or if you argue against those!) if you argue against building a nuclear plant next door to your home.

The fact of the matter is that each and every one of the jackasses who I keep reading that argue against our "energy profligacy", along with "environmental damage" refuse to do any of the above.

They want to drive their cars and fly their (often private or chartered) airplanes - but they want the environmental risk and damage, if any, to happen to "those people" - you know, the blacks in Nigeria and the ragheads over in the Middle East?  Yeah, "those people."  Those "less than" fully-human people that are not entitled to the same environmental protection they arrogate for themselves?  Uh huh.

These are the same lefty liberals who type on their Macbooks and iPhones (made in China where they pollute their air, water and earth, never mind the workers at Foxconn who are committing suicide by the busload - apparently due to working conditions) all produced where it's cheap primarily because they have no EPA and thus simply throw out industrial waste instead of recycling or properly reducing it to harmless materials.

The bottom line is that all human endeavor involves risk.  You want to enjoy a western lifestyle, this means petroleum and energy production.  Period.

You want to know what I consider being "equitable" if you really believe the crap that is spewed by people like Kunstler and Gore - as a maximum resource consumption point?  I'll tell you:

  • One bedroom of of no more than 144sq/ft (12x12) for each cohabitating or married adult couple, plus one 10x10 bedroom for each additional single person (including children.)
  • One bathroom no more than 10x8, containing one tub/shower, one toilet, and two sinks.
  • A living room space of no more than 20x20.
  • An eat-in kitchen no larger than the living room.

This puts the "living space" for a household of 4 persons at about 1100 sqft.  That's what I grew up in and it's definitely "middle class" by the definitions of the 70s and early 80s.  It is also quite livable and frugal.  Now let's continue:

  • One television, LCD (not plasma), no more than 400w.
  • Passive cooling only (e.g. basement + fan), no air conditioning.
  • Solar hot-water boosted with electric (remember, no petroleum - so no gas!) when necessary.
  • Your computer is a laptop (low-power netbook), and you own only one.
  • No incandescent lamps, no dishwasher (you have a dishwasher - it's your hands.)
  • Your clothes are dried on a line outside.  The use of a horizontal (low-water and energy) washing machine is acceptable.
  • No person drives more than 5 miles to work and no petroleum is used to get there and back.  Yes, this means you walk, you bike, or you use a plug-in electric bicycle or golf-cart style vehicle or moped.
  • You do not use, at any time except for bona-fide emergency (e.g. an ambulance ride!) any petroleum-consuming conveyance, including diesel-powered trains, city buses (other than electric trolleys), automobiles or aircraft.  Period.

You do that and you can complain about energy profligacy.  And before you say that's impossible, no it's not.  A lot of people get damn close to it, and I know one such person very well who has the $30 monthly electric bills to prove it.  In Florida, where such would be called "impossible" by many.  It's not.

Those who argue for a "western lifestyle" but demand that others, whether defined as Chinese, Nigerians, Arabs, Mexicans or anyone else "eat" the risk and pollution that comes from their profligate lifestyles, or who argue for you to live as the above while they have their cars, boats, mansions and planes, are both pigs and bigots

This means you Mr. Gore, it means you Mr. Kunstler, and it means you <insert your favorite author or politician arguing that we're all gonna die if we don't "go green" right now.>  I won't even bother getting into the financial deals many of these people have entered into that will generate huge windfalls if we do have "carbon exchanges" and similar claptrap - I don't need to in order to make my point.

I like my car, my boat, my pool and my house.  I like my A/C in the summer and my natural-gas fired heat in the winter. 

I therefore support extraction and production of each and every BTU that I desire to consume right here, inside our borders, where the risk of the production of that BTU falls on ME, as part of the collective known as The United States.

And that, my friends, is the name of that tune.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The History of Modern Israel

| June 6, 2010 | Michael Bugg

Posted on Sunday, June 06, 2010 4:29:41 PM by Buggman

Following the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 CE, a would-be messiah named Simon Bar-Kochba incited another revolt in 132 CE and drove the forces of Emperor Hadrian from Jerusalem for three years. When the rebellion was finally put down, the Romans forcibly removed the Jews from Judea and scattered them across the empire, and renamed the land Palestine (for the Philistines, the Jews’ ancient enemy). For the nineteen centuries since, Jews in the Diaspora have celebrated Passover with the hopeful phrase, “Next year in Jerusalem!”

Following the rise of Islam, the Dome of the Rock was built by Caliph Abd-al-Malik in 691 CE. Jerusalem became a rallying point for western crusaders in the dawn of the second millennium, and the Muslims fought back vigorously to retake it. However, except when they were defending it from the infidels, the Muslim world seems to have largely ignored both Jerusalem and the land around it. The Land of Milk and Honey became an oppressive desert. In 1869, Mark Twain described the land as “rocky and bare, repulsive and dreary,” an utter desert waste. “No landscape exists that is more tiresome to the eyes than that which bounds the approaches to Jerusalem.” He marveled that Jerusalem itself had become a tiny, poverty-stricken village, and noted, “Rags, wretchedness, poverty, and dirt, those signs and symbols that indicate the presence of Muslim rule” (quoted by Price in Jerusalem, p. 200). It was not until the Jews regained control of the land and restored it to its previous beauty that this forlorn city suddenly became such a “holy” and important site to the Islamic world.

Though they were not in control, through all these long centuries there remained a continual Jewish presence in what had become known as Palestine, so named by the Romans after Israel’s enemies, the Philistines. Thousands of Jews were victimized by both sides in the Crusades. In fact, as early as 1865, there was a Jewish majority in Jerusalem for the first time since Titus Vespasian destroyed it. These Jewish immigrants quietly moved in, bought property of little value—ruins, desert, and marshland—at exorbitant prices, and worked at restoring it. The popular myth that the Jews just suddenly appeared out of the blue and started colonizing the land in 1947 is just that—a myth, propaganda by Israel’s enemies.

In 1917, Sir Edmund Allenby defeated the Turks who at that time controlled Palestine, and as a result the land came under the control of Great Britain. In the same year, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration, calling for the establishment of Palestine as a homeland for the Jews. The area that was set aside for the Jews was not only modern-day Israel, but the Trans-Jordan region as well. The Declaration came through the efforts of Lord Arthur Balfour, for whom it was named, and Chaim Weizmann, a Jewish chemist who produced large quantities of explosives for the British war effort and one of the leading figures in Jewish Zionism.

Duvernoy credits this declaration to the “favorably inclined frame of mind of a great many British politicians, whose Protestant background and education had imbued them with Biblical notions. Indeed, for many centuries a truly Zionist theology had been developed in Great Britain” (Duvernoy, Zion, p. 143). Telushkin agrees that “Lord Balfour’s motives for issuing the declaration definitely seem to have sprung more from idealism than realpolitik. ‘The treatment of the [Jewish] race has been a disgrace to Christendom,’ he declared on one occasion, and he saw his support for a Jewish state as an act of amends” (Telushkin, Literacy, p. 275). It was that and more. This return to a Biblical perspective on the role of Israel was not unique to Britain; in August of 1897, Theodore Herzl spoke to the first Zionist Conference in Basel, Switzerland and predicted in his diary, “Today, I established the Jewish state. If I said it out loud, I would be laughed at. But it will happen. In five years or in fifty years, it will happen.”

However, Britain reneged on that declaration, restricting Jewish immigration to Palestine with the publication of the infamous White Paper of 1939, “which better deserves the name of ‘blood-red paper’” (Duvernoy, Zion, p. 146). As a result, millions of Jews who might otherwise have been able to flee there for safety during Hitler’s reign instead went to the gas chambers of the Third Reich. “For Jews the White Paper represents two things: the betrayal of England of its commitment to Zionism . . . and a clear message to Hitler that Britain really did not care about what he did to the Jews” (Telushkin, Literacy, p. 287).

As a result of the White Paper, British navy intercepted ships carrying Jews to the Holy Land, forcing them back to the Continent. Ironically, the first British shots fired in WWII were not on Germany, but on the Tiger Hill, a boat carrying fourteen hundred Jewish refugees to the Holy Land. Another boat, the Struma, was refused entry into Palestine and escorted to Istanbul, where it broke down. After two months, Turkish officials had the unseaworthy boat towed of the harbor, where it sank, resulting in the drowning deaths of over seven hundred Jews, including 70 children. The United States was little better, refusing the 925 refugees aboard the SS St. Louis entry here!

Even after the end of World War II, after the full extent of the European genocide against the Jews became known, the White Paper continued to be enforced! As late as 1947, the Exodus, packed with forty-five hundred Jewish refugees, was refused entry into Palestine. Under threat of being sunk by gunfire, the ship was stripped of her passengers, who were taken first to France, where they refused to disembark, and then ultimately back to Germany. “There, club-wielding British troops forcibly carried the Jews off the boat.” While the Jewish refugees wept at being returned to the place of their persecution, their protracted struggle was not in vain.

For the British, the defeat they inflicted on the Exodus and its passengers proved to be a pyrrhic victory. The details of the ship’s tragic journey, transmitted daily and in great detail around the world, aroused tremendous international sympathy and support for Zionism. There were 250,000 Jewish refugees in Europe, the world now knew, who had but one place they wished to go, Palestine . . . (Telushkin, Literacy, p. 289-290).
It wasn’t until later that year that the United Nations General Assembly, both feeling guilt for the horrors of the Holocaust and recognizing the continual Jewish presence in the Land for the last 2000 years, issued a plan to partition the Trans-Jordan territory and to give the Jews a portion for their homeland.

Paul Johnson writes,

Timing was absolutely crucial to Israel’s birth and survival. Stalin had the Russian-Jewish actor Solomon Mikhoels murdered in January, 1948, and this seems to have marked the beginning of an intensely antisemetic phase in his policy. The switch to anti-Zionism abroad took longer to develop but it came decisively in the autumn of 1948. By this time, however, Israel was securely in existence. American policy was also changing, as the growing pressures of the Cold War . . . forced Truman to listen more attentively to Pentagon and State Department advice. If British evacuation had been postphoned another year, the United States would have been far less anxious to see Israel created and Russia would almost certainly have been hostile. . . . Israel slipped into existence through a fortuitous window in history which briefly opened for a few months in 1947-48. That too was luck; or providence. (Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews, p. 526, quoted by Telushkin, Literacy, p. 291)
This plan did not have overwhelming support; in fact, it passed by one vote only because “for the first time the United States and the Soviet Union took the same stand and voted against Great Britain!” (Duvernoy, Zion, p. 149). The Trans-Jordan area, comprising about 76% of what was considered Palestine at the time, was partitioned for the Arabs. Furthermore, while the Arabs did have a 2/3rds majority in the Trans-Jordan region as a whole, “the Jews were a majority in the area allotted to them by the resolution, and in Jerusalem” (Bard, Myths, p. 31).

Arab claims that the Jews had stolen their land did not arise only after Israel’s independence. In 1931, Lewis French conducted a survey of “dispossessed” Arabs, even offering new plots to those who were truly landless; only 600 of the 3000 applicants qualified, and only 100 of those accepted the new plots. In 1937, the Peel Commission investigated further claims by the Arabs of Jewish theft and issued a report finding such claims baseless.

[M]uch of the land now carrying orange groves was sand dunes or swamp and uncultivated when it was purchased. . . . there was at the time of the earlier sales little evidence that the owners possessed either the resources or training needed to develop the land. (Palestine Royal Commission Report (1937), p. 242, quoted in Baird, Myths, p. 19)
Modern satellite maps of Israel reveal that even today, territories controlled by Israel are blooming green and fruitful, while Palestinian territories languish as desert, not due to Israeli oppression, but the shortcomings of a government dedicated wholly to war and death instead of shalom and life.

It should also be noted that more than 70 percent of the land in what would become Israel was not owned by individual Arab farmers, but was controlled by the government. When the British defeated the Turks, that 70 percent was controlled by the British. When the British withdrew, it came under the control of the fully legal government of Israel. Of the remaining 30 percent, 9 percent belonged to private Jewish owners and 21 percent to Arabs. Of that 21 percent, 18 percent abandoned their properties both before and after the failed Arab invasion of Israel; the rest belongs to the Arabs that remained as citizens of the Jewish state (Baird, Myths, p. 29). In contrast, 100 percent of Jewish properties in Arab lands were confiscated—not sold, and not abandoned—when the Jews were expelled.

The U.N. partition was rejected by the local Arabs and the Jews in Jerusalem came under immediate assault in a three-month shelling spree by the Muslims. This siege was only broken by the opening of the underground Burma Road. When Jewish Agency representatives David Horowitz and Abba Eban attempted to reach a compromise with Arab League Secretary Azzam Pasha on September 16, 1947, they were told bluntly, The Arab World is not in a compromising mood. It’s likely, Mr. Horowitz, that your plan is rational and logical, but the fate of nations is not decided by rational logic. Nations never concede; they fight. You can, perhaps, get something, but only by the force of your arms. (Horowitz, State, p. 233) The following year, on May 14, David Ben-Gurion declared Israel an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, citing this as the fulfillment of Isaiah 66:7-8:

“Before she travailed, she brought forth;
Before her pain came, she delivered a son.

Who has heard such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Shall a land be born in one day?
Shall a nation be brought forth at once?
For as soon as Zion travailed,
She brought forth her children.

This is also the fulfillment of Isaiah 11:10-12, which says that God would gather His people Israel from their dispersal among the nations “the second time” after the Branch, the Messiah, had become a rallying point for the Gentiles.

The very next day, the Arab League declared its intent to invade Palestine. Azzam Pasha, the League’s secretary general, openly declared, “This will be a war of extermination!” Telushkin notes, “The spiritual leader of Palestine’s Muslims, Haj Amin al Husseini, delivered a similarly edifying message to his followers: ‘I declare a Holy War, my Muslim brothers! Murder the Jews! Murder them all!” (Telushkin, Literacy, p. 297)

It is interesting that King Abdullah of Jordan had a more subdued response to the impending Jewish statehood. He knew himself to be surrounded on all sides by enemies and that the Jews who had resettled the Land were his only true friends—and he did indeed cultivate friendship with them. It was for this reason that Mrs. Golda Meyerson (later Meir) made a dangerous journey into Transjordan to ask him for his support. His response was unusually enlightened: “I firmly believe that Divine Providence has restored you, a Semite people who were banished to Europe and have benefited by its progress, to the Semite East, which needs your knowledge and initiative.” Nevertheless, he urged Israel not to declare its independence because of the tense situation that existed, and in the end, joined with the other Arabs in the attack on Israel (Sachar, Israel, p. 323).

Radio announcements made by the Israeli government at the time urged the Muslim Palestinians to take part in the foundation of a new state where they would be equal citizens with their Jewish neighbors:

Israel, it was announced, would be open to all Jews who wished to enter, would extend social and political equality to all its citizens without distinction of religion, race, or sex, and would guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, education, and culture to all. On the eve of the Arab invasion, the authors of the declaration [of independence for Israel] issued a final plea: “We extend our hand in peace and neighborliness to all the neighboring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is prepared to make its contribution to the progress of the Middle East as a whole.” (Sachar, Israel, ibid., p. 311)
There were instances, “in which Israeli troops forced the local Arab population to leave their homes.” However,
These were acts of self-defense in a war that killed six thousand of the six hundred thousand Jews then in the country, and it is clear that Israel did not, as alleged, mastermind a large-scale expulsion of Palestinians. According to their own testimonies, most of the Palestinians left because of the threats and fear-mongering of Arab leaders. . . . The Arab and Palestinian responsibility for the population exchange that occurred weakens their argument for a "return" and highlights the double standard the UN has consistently applied to the conflict. (Berker, “Forgotten Narrative,” emphasis mine)
While the Jews of Israel did not expel all Arab “Palestinians” from their lands, the same cannot be said of the reverse:
Although they exceed the numbers of the Palestinian refugees, the Jews who fled are a forgotten case. Whereas the former are at the very heart of the peace process with a huge UN bureaucratic machinery dedicated to keeping them in the camps, the nine hundred thousand Jews who were forced out of Arab countries have not been refugees for many years. Most of them, about 650,000, went to Israel because it was the only country that would admit them. Most of them resided in tents that after several years were replaced by wooden cabins, and stayed in what were actually refugee camps for up to twelve years. They never received any aid or even attention from the UN Relief And Works Agency (UNRWA), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, or any other international agency. Although their plight was raised almost every year at the UN by Israeli representatives, there was never any other reference to their case at the world body. (Berker, “Forgotten Narrative”)
Indeed, threats against Jews living in Arab countries were being issued through official channels as early as 1947. When we discuss the Palestinian issue, should we not address the question: If Israel, impoverished, tiny, and tactically indefensible Israel, could settle 650,000 Jewish refugees within its borders, why could not the Arab nations, wealthy from oil revenue and having a thousand times the volume of land as tiny Israel, resettle the Palestinians?

The modern-day nation of Jordan had already been established since 1921 under King Abdullah. Contrary to what has been portrayed by Israel’s enemies, Jordan is the already-existing homeland of the Palestinian people, as has been acknowledged by that nation’s own leadership:

Palestine and Jordan are one..." said King Abdullah in 1948.

“The truth is that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan," said King Hussein of Jordan, in 1981.

Let's closely examine the facts of history from the Arab perspective, rather than the Jewish one, regarding Jordan and Palestine.

"Palestine is Jordan and Jordan is Palestine; there is only one land, with one history and one and the same fate," Prince Hassan of the Jordanian National Assembly was quoted as saying on February 2, 1970.

Accordingly, Abdul Hamid Sharif, Prime Minister of Jordan declared, in 1980, "The Palestinians and Jordanians do not belong to different nationalities. They hold the same Jordanian passports, are Arabs and have the same Jordanian culture."

In other words, Jordan is Palestine. Arab Palestine. There is absolutely no difference between Jordan and Palestine, nor between Jordanians and Palestinians (all actually Arabs). (Fitleberg, “Jordan is Palestine”)

Despite the odds, when the Arab attack came the untrained Israeli militia, having little more than bolt-action rifles and antiquated one-seater planes, were miraculously able to win out over Arab tanks—and if that doesn’t demonstrate to the reader which side God was on that day, what would? “Throughout Galilee the word ‘miracle’ was in everybody’s mouth, even those who were far from religious, and it was even used by the not particularly mystically inclined army commanders!” (Duvernoy, Zion, p. 151).

Israel’s existence has been threatened many times since then. In 1956, Israel took the offensive against the Egyptian blockade of the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aqaba. In 1967, another attempted invasion by Israel’s neighbors resulted in further disaster for the Arab world. This time, the Israelis captured eastern Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, and the West Bank, all of which remain major points of dispute to this day. The portion of Jerusalem that was captured included the Temple Mount, and we might well have seen the rebuilding of the Temple a long time ago if not for then-Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan. Dayan, a secular Jew, gave control of the Temple Mount to the Waqf who retain control and restrict access to it to this day.

Tensions between Israel and her neighbors were further exacerbated in 1970, when Yasser Arafat and the PLO attempted to assassinate King Hussein of Jordan. They were expelled into the East Bank and Golan Heights, where they continue to stir up trouble today. Israel succeeded in taking the entire Sinai Peninsula in the 1973 Yom Kippur war, most of which were returned to Egyptian control in return for a peace treaty which both sides have kept since.

The world, demonstrating a clear double-standard, says nothing about this expulsion of the Palestinians from Jordan, but screams in anger when Israel builds a wall to contain the PLO terrorists in order to protect Jewish children. If this were any other nation, the West—with its tradition of admiring the noble underdog—would have sided completely with Israel against the Arab “bullies” that keep trying to destroy her . . . but this is not the case. Instead, a not-so-subtle anti-Semitism has settled comfortably into European politics, consumed the UN, and has seeped into Washington as well, causing official condemnations to ring out every time Israel takes any action to protect herself from those whose announced intention is another genocide.

Supposedly, they are acting in a spirit of religious plurality, accepting Islam’s current claim that the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is their third holiest site. In truth, the world tiptoes around the Muslim Arabs because they control the majority of the world’s oil supply. Joseph Farah summarizes the current situation and that particular myth when he writes:

Palestine has never existed -- before or since -- as an autonomous entity. It was ruled alternately by Rome, by Islamic and Christian crusaders, by the Ottoman Empire and, briefly, by the British after World War I. The British agreed to restore at least part of the land to the Jewish people as their homeland.

There is no language known as Palestinian. There is no distinct Palestinian culture. There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc. Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of 1 percent of the landmass.

But that's too much for the Arabs. They want it all. . .

In fact, the Koran says nothing about Jerusalem. It mentions Mecca hundreds of times. It mentions Medina countless times. It never mentions Jerusalem. With good reason. There is no historical evidence to suggest Mohammed ever visited Jerusalem. . . Meanwhile, Jews can trace their roots in Jerusalem back to the days of Abraham. (Farah, ”Myths of the Middle East” )

No “peace-process” and proceed on the basis of a lie, and all too often, we have allowed lies and myths about the birth of Israel to go unchallenged. It’s time to make sure we are prepared to answer Israel’s detractors with facts wherever their lies pop up.


Baird, Mitchell G., Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict (AICE 2006)

Berker, Avi, “The Forgotten Narrative: Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries,” Jewish Political Studies Review 17:3-4 (Fall 2005), retrieved from on June 6, 2010

Duvernoy, Claude, Controversy of Zion (New Leaf Press, 1987)

Farah, Joseph, ”Myths of the Middle East,” WorldNetDaily (2000), retrieved from on July 2, 2004

Fitleberg, Gary, “Jordan is Palestine,” The Israel Report, Feb. 2, 2004, retrieved from

David Horowitz, State in the Making (Knopf 1953), p. 233

Sachar, Howard M., A History of Isarel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time (Knopf, 1985)

Telushkin, Rabbi Joseph, Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Relgion, Its People, and Its History (Morrow, 1991)

Friday, June 4, 2010

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

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The American Dream ^ | 6/3/2010

Posted on Friday, June 04, 2010 10:10:41 AM by markomalley

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

But the truth is that you cannot defy the financial laws of the universe forever.  What goes up must come down.  The borrower is the servant of the lender.  Cutting corners always catches up with you in the end.

Sometimes it takes cold, hard numbers for many of us to fully realize the situation that we are facing. 

So, the following are 50 very revealing statistics about the U.S. economy that are almost too crazy to believe....

#50) In 2010 the U.S. government is projected to issue almost as much new debt as the rest of the governments of the world combined.

#49) It is being projected that the U.S. government will have a budget deficit of approximately 1.6 trillion dollars in 2010.

#48) If you went out and spent one dollar every single second, it would take you more than 31,000 years to spend a trillion dollars.

#47) In fact, if you spent one million dollars every single day since the birth of Christ, you still would not have spent one trillion dollars by now.

#46) Total U.S. government debt is now up to 90 percent of gross domestic product.

#45) Total credit market debt in the United States, including government, corporate and personal debt, has reached 360 percent of GDP.

#44) U.S. corporate income tax receipts were down 55% (to $138 billion) for the year ending September 30th, 2009.

#43) There are now 8 counties in the state of California that have unemployment rates of over 20 percent.

#42) In the area around Sacramento, California there is one closed business for every six that are still open.

#41) In February, there were 5.5 unemployed Americans for every job opening.

#40) According to a Pew Research Center study, approximately 37% of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 have either been unemployed or underemployed at some point during the recession.

#39) More than 40% of those employed in the United States are now working in low-wage service jobs.

#38) According to one new survey, 24% of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.

#37) Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.  Not only that, more Americans filed for bankruptcy in March 2010 than during any month since U.S. bankruptcy law was tightened in October 2005.

#36) Mortgage purchase applications in the United States are down nearly 40 percent from a month ago to their lowest level since April of 1997.

#35) RealtyTrac has announced that foreclosure filings in the U.S. established an all time record for the second consecutive year in 2009.

#34) According to RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings were reported on 367,056 properties in March 2010, an increase of nearly 19 percent from February, an increase of nearly 8 percent from March 2009 and the highest monthly total since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in January 2005.

#33) In Pinellas and Pasco counties, which include St. Petersburg, Florida and the suburbs to the north, there are 34,000 open foreclosure cases.  Ten years ago, there were only about 4,000.

#32) In California's Central Valley, 1 out of every 16 homes is in some phase of foreclosure.

#31) The Mortgage Bankers Association recently announced that more than 10 percent of all U.S. homeowners with a mortgage had missed at least one payment during the January to March time period.  That was a record high and up from 9.1 percent a year ago.

#30) U.S. banks repossessed nearly 258,000 homes nationwide in the first quarter of 2010, a 35 percent jump from the first quarter of 2009.

#29) For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.

#28) More than 24% of all homes with mortgages in the United States were underwater as of the end of 2009.

#27) U.S. commercial property values are down approximately 40 percent since 2007 and currently 18 percent of all office space in the United States is sitting vacant.

#26) Defaults on apartment building mortgages held by U.S. banks climbed to a record 4.6 percent in the first quarter of 2010.  That was almost twice the level of a year earlier.

#25) In 2009, U.S. banks posted their sharpest decline in private lending since 1942.

#24) New York state has delayed paying bills totalling $2.5 billion as a short-term way of staying solvent but officials are warning that its cash crunch could soon get even worse.

#23) To make up for a projected 2010 budget shortfall of $280 million, Detroit issued $250 million of 20-year municipal notes in March. The bond issuance followed on the heels of a warning from Detroit officials that if its financial state didn't improve, it could be forced to declare bankruptcy.

#22) The National League of Cities says that municipal governments will probably come up between $56 billion and $83 billion short between now and 2012.

#21) Half a dozen cash-poor U.S. states have announced that they are delaying their tax refund checks.

#20) Two university professors recently calculated that the combined unfunded pension liability for all 50 U.S. states is 3.2 trillion dollars

#19) According to, 32 U.S. states have already run out of funds to make unemployment benefit payments and so the federal government has been supplying these states with funds so that they can make their  payments to the unemployed.

#18) This most recession has erased 8 million private sector jobs in the United States.

#17) Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of 2010.

#16) U.S. government-provided benefits (including Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs) rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010.

#15) 39.68 million Americans are now on food stamps, which represents a new all-time record.  But things look like they are going to get even worse.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting that enrollment in the food stamp program will exceed 43 million Americans in 2011.

#14) Phoenix, Arizona features an astounding annual car theft rate of 57,000 vehicles and has become the new "Car Theft Capital of the World".

#13) U.S. law enforcement authorities claim that there are now over 1 million members of criminal gangs inside the country. These 1 million gang members are responsible for up to 80% of the crimes committed in the United States each year.

#12) The U.S. health care system was already facing a shortage of approximately 150,000 doctors in the next decade or so, but thanks to the health care "reform" bill passed by Congress, that number could swell by several hundred thousand more.

#11) According to an analysis by the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation the health care "reform" bill will generate $409.2 billion in additional taxes on the American people by 2019.

#10) The Dow Jones Industrial Average just experienced the worst May it has seen since 1940.

#9) In 1950, the ratio of the average executive's paycheck to the average worker's paycheck was about 30 to 1.  Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.

#8) Approximately 40% of all retail spending currently comes from the 20% of American households that have the highest incomes.

#7) According to economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, two-thirds of income increases in the U.S. between 2002 and 2007 went to the wealthiest 1% of all Americans.

#6) The bottom 40 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.

#5) If you only make the minimum payment each and every time, a $6,000 credit card bill can end up costing you over $30,000 (depending on the interest rate).

#4) According to a new report based on U.S. Census Bureau data, only 26 percent of American teens between the ages of 16 and 19 had jobs in late 2009 which represents a record low since statistics began to be kept back in 1948.

#3) According to a National Foundation for Credit Counseling survey, only 58% of those in "Generation Y" pay their monthly bills on time.

#2) During the first quarter of 2010, the total number of loans that are at least three months past due in the United States increased for the 16th consecutive quarter.

#1) According to the Tax Foundation’s Microsimulation Model, to erase the 2010 U.S. budget deficit, the U.S. Congress would have to multiply each tax rate by 2.4.  Thus, the 10 percent rate would be 24 percent, the 15 percent rate would be 36 percent, and the 35 percent rate would have to be 85 percent.