Not so, say world leaders and mainstream media experts. Yes, there are problems, but the financiers and politicians are aware of them. Policies are already in place and measures are being taken to correct them.
Whether it's failing economies, intractable old wars or raging new wars, the word from the top always maintains that steady progress is being made and comforts the populace with assurances that the brightest minds and the sharpest generals are in charge and on the case. On all fronts, success is certain and victory is at hand. Only "patience" is required -- along with more men, more time and more money.
As far as these "leaders" and their media are concerned, the only opinions that count come from a stable of thoroughbred experts, official sources and political favorites. Only they have the credentials to speak with authority and provide trustworthy forecasts. That they are consistently, if not invariably, wrong apparently does nothing to diminish their credibility.
Meet the New Plan, Same as the Old Plan
Democrat or Republican, it makes no difference. Despite the heated rhetoric, solving economic problems had less to do with the party in power and more to do with professional competence. Both sides had their turn in office. Both used their power to initiate policies that created the problems. Both sides had their shot at fixing the messes they were responsible for. Both sides failed, as we predicted. Given who they are and what they've done, we confidently predict an unbroken sequence of bipartisan failures in the future.
Not "Business as Usual"
In the 1920s, US President Calvin Coolidge declared, "The business of America is business." Four score and 10 years later, the business of America has become war: The forty-year War on Drugs; The ten-year War on Terror; the Afghan War (longest in American history); the eight-years-and-no-end-in-sight Iraq War; the covert wars in Pakistan and Yemen; and most recently, the "time-limited, scope-limited kinetic military action" in Libya.
While the justifications for engaging in these wars were all different, all were murderous, immoral, interminable, ruinously expensive and abject failures. Why would anyone believe the optimistic battle communique's issued by the "czars" in charge and the battlefield brass who keep reassuring the public that reapplying previously failed strategies would, this time, lead to success?
Yet even in the face of their proven failures and gross incompetence, anyone daring to challenge the party line or the conventional wisdom is dismissed as an "alarmist," "fear monger," or "gloom-and-doomer." However unwelcome our forecasts may be -- pessimism, optimism, like or dislike are all irrelevant -- only their accuracy counts. We correctly forecast:
- Afghan and Iraq Wars would be debacles
- Bursting of the housing bubble
- The "Gold Bull Run "
- The "Panic of '08"
- European Monetary Union crisis
- Failure of US bailout/stimulus packages to revive housing and create jobs
- Falling governments, spreading civil wars and social upheaval on a global scale
However, for the man on the street -- pummeled by falling wages, higher prices, intractable unemployment, rising taxes and punitive "austerity measures" -- "Depression," not "recession," and certainly not "prosperity," is just around the corner.
According to a June 8th CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, 48 percent of Americans believe that another Great Depression is likely to occur in the next year -- the highest that figure has ever reached. The survey also indicates that just under half of the respondents live in a household where someone has lost a job or is worried that unemployment may hit them in the near future.
Suddenly, after years of obvious economic hardship experienced by tens of millions of Americans -- only when the suffering and pain can no longer be cloaked in abstractions and cooked statistics -- does an emboldened media dare utter the forbidden "D" word.
For Trends Journal readers, alerted to this emerging trend some three years ago, the prospect of Depression should come as no surprise. Neither should the idea that, when it hits and can no longer be denied, a long suffering public will take to the streets.
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