What is the Economy Really Doing via SHTFblog

The following is being re-posted with permission from SHTFblog.com . I read it and felt it was great – so I asked if I could also post it here.

 Main Stream Media vs The Blogosphere – What’s the Economy Really Doing?

by Jarhead Survivor on March 18, 2011

Today – straight from the SHTFblog newsroom:

For the last few years I’ve watched the main stream media, and by that I mean large news sites like CNN and MSNBC, try and tell everybody that everything is fine, the economy is improving, they expect housing to go up any minute, etc etc.  They bring in talking heads who talk about how everything is getting better and they expect a couple of percentage points of economic growth next month.  Then the report comes out and there’s been some growth!  Excellent!  Then a few weeks later, maybe mentioned in a blurb in the business section, there’ll be some little tidbit about how last months CPI was downgraded a few percentage points and the real growth either didn’t happen or was less than what they reported earlier.

By now I’ve developed a healthy does of skepticism around what they’re reporting.  In some areas I think they do a top notch job such as the coverage of “The Disaster in Japan.”  They’re making an effort to cover many of the different aspects of the disaster, but the media is looking for ratings and that means when this story stops being sexy they’ll move on to the latest and greatest disaster.  Look at Haiti, it’s barely mentioned in the news any more, but it sure hasn’t gotten any better for those folks down there.  Do you hear about it on MSNBC Nightly News?  I haven’t heard a word about Haiti since the cholera outbreak.

In order to balance reading the mainstream news I then go and read things by Peter Schiff, Chris Martenson, Gerald Celente and other doomers and gloomers, lest I start to believe that thing are actually starting to improve in the economy.

With all of this conflicting information out there in the world who do we believe?  Who is right?  Is the world economy going to come crashing down next week or will we have 1.6% growth next quarter?

Here’s what I’ve noticed in the last few years.

Very few people in the mainstream media (that received any air time) predicted the economic collapse a few years ago.  Peter Schiff seemed to have pegged it pretty well though.  If you’re a follower of Mr. Schiff you’ll know that he’s not a big fan of Keynesian economics and regularly takes pot shots at Ben Bernanke, President Obama and anybody else in the government who gets his attention.

Chris Martenson has the Crash Course and if you’ve taken the time to watch it you’ll see that’s it an extremely well thought-out series of how our economy can’t sustain itself.  He quit a job as a high paid executive and now lives in a small community in Connecticut.  Here’s the latest straight from his web site:

Important note: It is with a heavy heart that I am now issuing the highest level alert to date. The threshold for an alert is one or more world events that personally cause me to take action. The substance of this alert centers on the unknown aftershocks that may result from the world’s third largest economy, Japan, rapidly shifting from an exporter of funding to a consumer of it.

This alert warns you that major world-changing events are now underway and that your personal preparations for an uncertain future should either be completed or take on a new sense of urgency. On the basis of the information contained here and in the past two days of posts, I am personally ratcheting up my preparations, making purchases, and topping off what needs to be topped off.

I have not been this concerned since October of 2008.

What I like about Chris is that he walks the talk.  He’s a believer.

But what to believe?  This is the tough part, so let’s go over some facts that I dug out of the news sites:

  1. The US is so far in debt that there’s no realistic way we’ll ever be able to pay it all back.
  2. Many states are hard pressed to pay their bills right now.
  3. Unemployment is at an official high of 9%, but in all actuality is much higher although it’s hard to say just how high.
  4. The Baby Boomers are coming to retirement age just as Medicare and Medicaid are becoming unaffordable.
  5. Japan’s crisis may affect us at an economic level, but at this point nobody’s sure how hard.
  6. New housing starts are down 22% as of today (March 16, 2011)
  7. High gas prices might cause the economic recovery to slow down.
  8. Food and gas prices are causing inflation to jump – more about inflation here.
  9. Unrest in the middle east is driving gas prices up.
  10. Healthcare costs are spiraling out of control, the US is fighting wars on multiple fronts that we can ill afford, and the government is printing new money, which will debase our currency.

I found these ten things in the mainstream news today.  None of it looks very good.

Then we have the economic Debbie Downers.  Chris Martenson, Gerald Celente, Peter Schiff, James Kuntsler and lots more.  These are intelligent people who take the available data and look at it differently and draw different conclusions from it.   For the most part they talk about economic collapse, peak oil, environmental issues and things of this nature.  And make a pretty good case for it too, I might add.  After reading these guys I’m ready to hunker down with my family and my AR-15 and wait for financial Armageddon and the collapse of civilization.

Now comes the tough part.  Who and what to believe?  On the one hand we’ve got the government and mainstream news feeds telling us everything is fine.  On the other hand we’ve got Schiff and Celente predicting the end of the world, or at the least a big financial crash.

Well, one thing I’ve noticed is that every time someone calls for the end of the world they wind up scratching their heads and looking foolish when the date goes by and nothing happens.  But then there’s Peter Schiff who called the housing bubble.  Now you begin to see how I go back and forth on this whole thing.

Here’s what I do.  First, I read everything with a healthy dose of skepticism.  Then I take a the highs of the media and lows of the blogs and mentally graph them.  Then I run a mental statistical line down the middle and that’s where I think things truly are.

Right now I’ve got to say that things are looking pretty grim; however, I caution you not to run for the hills just yet.  If you have your preps in place you’re far ahead of most of the population.  Don’t panic.  Be ready.  Be vigilant.  Be smart.  Do your research.  No one can truly predict the future and we don’t know what events might come along to help or deter us in our current financial predicament.

What do you believe?

-Jarhead Survivor

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  1. Until such time as I see real improvement that lasts several years and help wanted signs everywhere I will in no way believe it is getting better, we need years of good growth to make up for the last 4 years of decline. At this point I don’t see it happening, in fact I would argue that we still haven’t even hit the bottom yet.

  2. Rourke, the sad thing about all this is once you start finding out the truth you find that you can never trust what the talking heads are saying. I have gotten to the point that my TV only goes on maybe once or twice a week and then it is tuned to PBS for the news hour and then back off it goes. Our government would not spend so much time covering this thing up unless it was a lot more screwed up than they want to let on.

  3. I am in complete agreement! I have spread the word of prepping for the worst case scenerio and continue to do so. The sad thing is that many who I talk to agree with me, yet I see no real progress from them.
    Thunder 7

  4. great article, kind of sobering first thing in the morning.
    about our government…we don’t have a government anymore and haven’t in some time. What we have are sock puppets being manipulated by big money, big corporations, big business. Everything done in this country and for the most part the rest of the world, is done to benefit the super rich and the corporate interests.
    The only way we can fight back is to try and curb our participation in the system but…they are already lined up to do the same “consumer” lifestyle nightmare in Asia where there are vast numbers of potential consumers, wage slaves and debt addicts.

    and one last thing, sorry for rambling but, yes, the economy IS improving, it’s doing a lot better…just not for us.

  5. Thanks for sharing this, Rourke; its all too true! Btw I thought you and everyone else should know that when clicking your first link to the shtfblog I was notified of an attack on my computer from that website, via my antivirus program.

  6. Rourke,

    I don’t believe much of anything the mainstream media regurgitates these days. Listening to them, and them alone, one would come to the conclusion that aside from those few insignificant bumps we are encountering along our merry way: wars on THREE fronts now; nuclear meltdowns; economic free-fall, we are all going to be just fine.

    Sarcasm and doubt aside (and it’s hard not to be sarcastic and doubtful) it’s only good and right that we should keep our eyes and ears open, staying informed of diverse opinions, information, etc. After all, gloom and doom prophecies are, by themselves and without a basis for support, little more than unfounded fears. However, I personally believe that the warning signs of economic and social collapse are all around us. Lack of preparedness is foolhardy and dangerous. Nevertheless, most will continue marching to the beat of the same old drummer, believing that our government will tend to their needs when the chips are down. We have probably all heard and maybe said this ourselves: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

  7. the criminal enterprise in DC, acting under the color of government, has run up debts larger than we can possibly repay. as a country, we possibly can use this to our advantage.

    it’s a shame that our government is a criminal enterprise, as a country, we should have done more to stop them. they have been a criminal enterprise for the last hundred years or so. other countries holding our debt should reasonably have known it was a criminal enterprise, even if we the people did not. they chose to participate anyway, and buy our “debt”.

    we will need to repudiate some of the “national debt”, and be prepared for whatever are the consequences. hopefully this will not involve us getting into another war.

  8. I haven’t watched TV News for 3yrs… instead, I get all my info via internet & progressive radio. Oddly, Aljazzera & Russia Today/US have the most honest coverage. I’ve been stocking/training/prepping in the North East for 7+ yrs… friends didn’t share my concern & family simply went along with their consumerist lives and said ‘I guess I know where to go when TSHTF’… haven’t got the heart to tell them that’s not going to be cool. I think Kunstler has it right, and I’ve noticed he’s carrying now. Garden, raise your own meat, cook from scratch,live under the radar, heat with wood, starve the beast… don’t let them know what you’re doing.

  9. Thanks for re-posting, Rourke. Indeed, as one of your commenters indicated, there was/is a problem with the site today, throwing up virus warnings to some. I apologize to anyone that found that. It was working fine last night, but was hit with a computer virus pandemic. SHTF in blog maintenance land. The problem is in the process of being …. eradicated.

    Ranger Man

  10. I agree that we are in serious trouble, but WOW. MSNBC, PBS and “progressive” radio? Geez. Progressives put people in jail who disagreed with them. In fact, the root of progressivism is the notion that a minority are vastly superior and more intelligent than the masses and thus the masses need to be controlled, manipulated and protected from themselves. “There is no liberty without dependancy” – Cass Sunstein.

    I would suggest that it is time to be careful that “we” are not facilitating the destruction of liberty! There was a recent post on another blog about whether or not US troops would fire on Citizens. As I read the comments of fellow preppers I was shocked, and quite frankly frightened, how many of the posts pointed to the same examples of oppression that Martxists, Maoists, Socialists, Leftist-Progressives constantly use to advance their twisted agenda.

    Just sayin…Peace!

  11. I think the biggest problem is that a lot (most) people think there is nothing they can do about it. Their vote doesn’t mean anything and won’t make a difference. I know lots of people that are that way. I tend to think that way myself sometimes. I mean really, what can we do to change this train wreck that we see in slow motion. The Lamestream media won’t help. They are focusing on the trouble in japan and we have a ticking time bomb (financial) about to blow and send, literally, billions of people in to abject poverty.

    I wonder if Glenn Beck is related to John the Baptist? (One voice crying in the wilderness)

  12. I agree with just about every comment on this site. I know for sure that Obama is a puppet, i was listening to the mainstream media and they were reporting that Obama and his wife, Michelle, were going to go around the country giving commencement speeches at various schools around the nation. Isnt that something a president does after he is no longer president? Our economy is in the crapper, we have the highest unemployment rate of all time, gas prices are predicted to be $5 come memorial day, and we have political unrest in the middle east that is affecting everything. In addition, major catastrophes are all around us, Haiti, japan, earthquakes, tsumanis, WTF? And the President and his wife have nothing better to do but to deliver commencement speeches? What happened was the so called “real leaders” told them to get out of dodge while they handle all the Big Stuff, and sent Obama away. We are in trouble!

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