Why the U.S. is in a Pickle

American middle-class members are now going back to their credit cards to get by. They do not learn…

They are unwilling to make significant lifestyle changes. They are exactly like Congress. They are Keynesians to the core. Keynesian economists have always said, but never really believed, that in times of economic boom, the government could reduce its level of debt. Then, in times of economic recession, the government would have plenty of room to increase its debt. None of this ever happens… Congress is running up the debt because interest rates are low. Congress will not stop spending. Congress sets the pattern for the voters. People go bankrupt slowly, and then all at once.[1]

Slow moving train wrecks are not made any easier because they are slow moving. They just take longer to reach their conclusion, but inevitably the wreck still piles up.

And in today’s context, when someone at the end wants to apportion blame, it will be easy to say, “It was the Congress!”

The accuser will be right. But the real question is, “Who was it who voted for these people and these policies, all along?”

We are all creatures of habit, and that’s not wrong. What’s important is to establish good habits in relation to the use of credit.

I use a credit card frequently, because it’s convenient; I don’t have to carry much cash. But at the end of the month my wife pays off the credit card which generally isn’t hard, because I’m on a steady income. Thus we pay no interest for the use of the money.

But when people have to use a credit card, and they run up debts without the money to pay, they are on an awful tread-mill. They will probably end up bankrupt. Alternatively, they could take the radical steps necessary to save themselves from disaster, and get out of debt. This could mean significant cuts in expenditure, even selling a home to pay off debt, or any number of steps that must be taken with this goal: financial freedom.

Is this hard to do? Of course. Will most people do it? No.

When political leaders endorse this sort of attitude through the spending policies of government, you know you are being governed by predators, who don’t care about the outcomes. Abuse of power means nothing to them.

But what does the electorate do? Return those very people (or people just like them) to positions of power after elections, to keep doing the same things. This is what the United States has been doing now, for generations. So, our problems are not with politicians after all. We wanted to have our cake and eat it too, and what will we get?  National leadership in the hands of con-men, who are merely a reflection of those who voted for them.

It’s not just the U.S. that’s going to be in a deep hole. Anyone who knows this had better develop a plan for themselves and their family. A plan that’s based on the sure knowledge that the Social Security/ Medicare system of nearly all western nations is going to come under severe pressure in the next 5-10 years. Anyone dependent on that system could find themselves in the firing line, and those holding the guns didn’t load them with blanks.

This requires innovative and imaginative thinking and planning, before the event. 95% of people will not make such plans, because they never thought this kind of thing could happen. It will.

A wise employee will do what he can to set himself apart. He needs to be perceived by his employer as one the company needs to keep; one of the best.

How do you do that? Be super-reliable, and professional in all your dealings. Make sure you’re perceived as being a top profit and income producer for the company, not a consumer. You have to be seen as one who needs to be kept when company income falls away.

That also means you put your hand up for those jobs that none likes: the difficult or painful tasks or assignments, from putting out the garbage, to the boring but essential safety plan drill for an on-site fire evacuation, to working with that cranky, unpleasant client that everyone likes to avoid.

You need to work with an attitude that regularly reminds the management, “We need to keep that employee.”

And if it really goes pear-shaped and you are forced to look for another job, ensure now you are maintaining and developing relationships with other people in similar work, who may be able to put in a good word for you. In employment, it’s always been a case of, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.”

Take the threat of a serious economic downturn seriously. Then take those steps now in your job, and even beyond it, that will help protect you when things get ugly internationally. Before long, they will.

[1] Gary North (www.garynorth.com), “Middle Class Debt: Two Indicators,” 8/4/2015.